Iron Thorns and Gone But Not Forgotten

Image credit: Rachel Shannon

“We are nothing but animals looking to destroy each other if not use one another to be king of the jungle. So, come with me into Dante’s Inferno where we will sit on the fiery swings and watch our world grow more dark while Pandora throws hope back into the box and locks it tight.

Let’s slide down the slide into Mother Nature’s dead earth because we will live to see the day that she comes after us in all her fury.

Let’s hang upside-down on the molten monkey bars to let our minds slip further into emptiness.

Let’s play until we die, so we may escape this prison.”

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Missing Horror Movies of Days Long Ago

Image credit: Rachel Shannon

“I hate the Horror movies of today. The “Paranormal Activity”? Really? I did not need to be hopping out of my seat just for a scare. I want substance. I want another boogeyman. We need a new Freddy Kreuger, and I am not talking about remaking him. We need to stop with the remakes, because the remake of “Fright Night” sucked – literally. Someone, somewhere, needs to create a new monster to scare the ever-living crap out of us, and Chucky needs to be forced into retirement.”

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What if Heaven Were Really Real?

Image credit: Rachel Shannon

“After Colton Burpo’s supposed journey into heaven and back, there was a scene with such argument over how the boy could have gone to heaven, if he had never died. So, how did this child see heaven, if he did not die? How could his mind have opened that door, or his soul, if still stuck here? Or is there more at work here than we know of, and we just can’t understand? And we deny his vision, his mysterious knowledge because he did not die, so therefore, he did not see heaven.”

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When Trauma Isn’t Traumatic Enough

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We as a media consuming society know that there is a gap between what we see on screen and what we experience in reality. The gap can be sizable at times and at other times it is barely noticeable. This gap between our perceived “fantasy” reality on screen and our actual reality has caused many an outcry, whether it is about the level of violence in video games or the unrealistic body image promoted by films. The gap troubles us but not as much as it should.

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The Bletchley Circle

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The Bletchley Circle is an enormously popular British miniseries about four women who worked as codebreakers in World War II in Bletchley Park outside London and who are able to put their skills and training to good use after the war to track down criminals outside police channels. In the first season, which premiered in the U.S. in 2013, the four women went after a serial killer after picking up what the police had missed – the hidden pattern of the killings. Like many popular films, its interest is sociological as much as dramatic, for such films are popular precisely because they strike a responsive chord in the viewing audience.

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The Giver Revisited

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A few months ago, I wrote a movie review on The Giver. While I was writing that review, I struggled to see the wrong in a colorblind and homogenous society devoid of conflict as seen in The Giver. I ended up arguing that the “wrong” in the society was the giving up of control, freedom, and personal choice for the sake of safety. I didn’t really give much thought to the movie after all was said and done until I saw a video clip in my race and ethnicity class of a newly created suburb after World War II. This real-life neighborhood looked eerily familiar to the neighborhood Jonas and his friends inhabited in The Giver.

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A Leading Man, John Cho, and Selfie

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GQ Qi (Jack Yang) is a talented and handsome actor who can’t seem to get a break. That is until he lands a coveted role on a television sitcom. The only problem—the role is for a character named Kung Pao, a Chinese foreign exchange student. Not only is his name offensive but also the lines and mannerisms assigned to him. Fed up with the blatant stereotyping, GQ foils a plan to expose the executive producer of the show, Mitch Lebowitz (Bruno Oliver). He enlists the help of a production assistant, Kelvin Kim (Raymond Lee), but once again GQ can’t catch a break because the role is so coveted that Kim turns against GQ for an opportunity to replace him as the star.

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Cloppers: Perverts or Fetishists?

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an animated television show targeted at preteen girls, but unexpectedly has gained a following of primarily male adults, who refer to themselves as Bronies. The pressing issue that involves both Bronies and non-Bronies are Cloppers. Cloppers are people who are sexually attracted to the characters in the show, and create, or just enjoy, sexually explicit fan art. This type of fan-art falls under the idea of Rule 34, which is a social construct that if something exists there with always be a porn version if it. It can include, but is not restricted to, images, animation, fan fiction, and even songs.

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Why the Short Film Menschen Is Important

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The short film Menschen carries its weight as a period piece that involves relevant themes loaded from the past. I don’t have to tell you that film as an art-form has the power to impact both the life of an individual and influence or reflect societal values and norms. With this power in mind, Menschen is important because of how it relates to our modern world.

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The Batman Monomyth

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The Batman character is what Freud called a truth wrapped in symbolism (Freud, as cited in Campbell, 2008). Never mind that in this particular case, the vast majority of that symbolism involves a man dressing up as a night rodent and performing acts of skydiving, daredevil valor against an assortment of cartoonish and garish nemeses.

Some authors suggest that readers embrace the character because of his inherent humanity (White, Arp, and Irwin, 2008). Batman does not come from another planet, nor is he the result of a radioactive meltdown. He is the product of a tragic event, which is a universal truth to which human beings can relate.

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