Latest Articles

Sm{art}: The Intricate Horror of Parastou Forouhar

Office chairs upholstered in mourning fabric, Arabic calligraphy covering white walls like black foliage, and graphic patterns with horrific details—these are just a sampling of Parastou Forouhar's multimedia artwork.

Preacher's Daughter: Alt Country: Murder, Addiction, and the Southern Gothic Soul

I am not sure what this says about me, but I love the dark themes that infuse Southern Gothic narratives. Alt country is one of my favorite genres, at least in part because it explores the most frightening vestiges of the human soul (I also like the pedal steel). In my defense, "Deep Red Bells" was my favorite Neko Case song before I learned that it was about the Green River murders...

Bringing Up Baby: True Grit and the Unfortunate Spinsterhood Finale

Films with female leads sometimes end this way. Did she get married or not? Did she have babies or not? The framing makes it clear that the real question is: Does she have a happy ending or no?

The H-Word: Rachel Lloyd vs. The Fashion Police

Many people find it challenging to see sex workers as subjects, rather than as objects—as individuals capable of making choices and as actors in their own lives. Tragically, many of these same people purport to be our advocates.

B-Sides: Extra Classic and the Vampire Weekend Theory of Appropriation

So it goes like this: "[your favorite music blogger]: Readers, please check out Band A. Band A hails from Culture A (represent!) but sounds exactly like underrepresented Culture B. Like, can you believe your ears, doesn't it sound like Band A just sounds like all of these bands from Culture B that work hard and get little recognition in our giant Culture A?" This week it's time...

Bringing Up Baby: Up All Night is Boring But Christina Applegate is Soooo Cool!

I really thought I would like NBC's new comedy series, Up All Night, which stars Christina Applegate (Reagan Brinkley) and Will Arnett (Chris Brinkley) as a married couple whose fun-filled, alcohol-drenched lives are interrupted by the birth of their daughter Amy. Reagan is the producer of Ava, an Oprah-esque talk show starring her best friend (played by Maya Rudolph...

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I wish that The Hangover had hit theaters in 2007 to get that roundtable's perspective on Mr. Chow, because my immediate reaction to the role in the context of Asian American stereotyping was that it represented more of the same. Don't get me wrong: Ken Jeong is a hilarious scene-stealer. And I get the fact that the comedy intentionally flaunted stereotypes to elevate the oh-no...

A Tale of Two Bunnies: Naturi Naughton in Mad Men and The Playboy Club

Those of you who've seen both AMC's Mad Men and NBC's soon-to-be-cancelled The Playboy Club have probably noticed a similarity between the two shows. No, it's not the guy on The Playboy Club who's doing his best Don Draper impression, it's Naturi Naughton, America's favorite "chocolate" Playboy bunny (yes, she is referred to as a chocolate bunny in both shows. Ugh...

Adventure Time Gay Subtext: "Spicy" or Adorbz?

What time is it? Time to get to the bottom of what happened between Adventure Time's Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen! Before I lose anyone who isn't a fan of this irreverent, Cartoon Network show, a recent episode alluded to a complex, queer relationship between two of the older, female characters on the show. But you know what happens when complex, queer...

Preacher's Daughter: Women in Country and the Construction of Femininity

There's a script for women in commercial country music that doesn't necessarily coincide with more mainstream stereotypes and assumptions about women. If you've ever heard Carrie Underwood's ubiquitous 2007 single, "Before He Cheats" (lyrics), you'll recognize the tropes.

Of course there are exceptions, but the ideal country woman is often blond (and white), feisty, world-wise, and hot...

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