Monthly Archives: September 2010

Katy Perry controversy & modern Sesame Street

There was a bit of hubbub recently regarding Katy Perry and her musical skit on Sesame Street‘s being pulled before it could air. The reason cited appears to be a complaint about her exposure – her cleavage was showing on a children’s show. While I am not a fan of Perry’s and prefer not to draw more attention to all of it, it is only fair to show the video. Read the rest of this entry

Easy A

After watching Easy A, the new teen comedy starring Emma Stone, my friend cried BS because it features a house party full of rampant teenagers. He said that in this day and age parents would not allow their children to have such large parties. I quickly pointed out that some parents are negligent, and in addition this story takes place in sunny California where big parties are simply expected. Read the rest of this entry

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress | Indecision Forever | Political Humor, 2010 Election, and Satire Blog | Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress | Indecision Forever | Political Humor, 2010 Election, and Satire Blog | Comedy Central.

I remember reading classic political satire in my high school English classes. We discussed the value of the satirical approach in bringing to light important issues, as well as the subversive nature of the humor sometimes involved. (To be fair, some people fail at it.) The masses receive the satire these days on television. The most popular forms are The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Some people confuse these shows for real news shows, which is disappointing. They are opinionated and they are quite pointed. More importantly, they point out the flaws, hypocrisies, and stupidity of the people in our political world. I see value in that.

I also see value in Stephen Colbert stepping up the satire and delivering his message in person before Congress. People say that takes chutzpa, but it is easy to have bravado when you have money and supporters behind you. Still, he had a message to deliver and he did so in a memorable way. Whether or not he was taken seriously while he was sitting there, he remained in their heads afterward. Now it is up to them to do something about it.

The Town

Ben Affleck’s latest film The Town is the kind of film that should make any reasonable movie watcher uncomfortable. The narrative forces us to sympathize with and shout encouragement for Affleck’s character, despite the fact that he’s a criminal. Even though he plans on turning his life around, he still engages in criminal activity. He is a bad guy, plain and simple, but viewers are supposed to find him lovable. Read the rest of this entry

STEM Video Game Challenge and culture critique

As someone whose intended research focus will purposed toward integrating multimedia with the various therapies intended for children on the autism spectrum, I have definitely taken notice of the national competition for using video games to help children better understand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I also appreciate the endorsement for this competition by President Obama. As always, there are issues that need to be addressed. Read the rest of this entry

io9: How the Nielsen TV ratings work — and what could replace them

How the Nielsen TV ratings work — and what could replace them.

Great article on how the Nielsen ratings work (duh, you can read) and why you probably do not have a box yourself. The determinants are your being representative of a broader population as determined by a set of “normal behaviors”. Obviously irksome to me. I never liked the idea of “normal” people deciding anything for me.

Modern Mythology

As of late I have been on an interesting journey into what can be called modern mythology. A friend of mine is teaching a college English course, and she wants the students to consider looking at comic books and other articles of pop culture interest as the modern mythology of our lives. Since she has a lesser understanding of comic books than I do, she asked me for suggestions about what characters and books would be considered a modern mythology. Right now I have her working on a definition of modern mythology before we delve into things. From another direction, a friend of mine commented to me directly about my post about Jackpot, explaining to me that the vigilante archetype has been a member of the American monomyth for quite some time – and then she gave me book recommendations. I am currently waiting for the library to deliver those books, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The American Monomyth, so that I can really get into what it all is. However, a few months ago I picked up a book by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers called The Power of Myth, which is a collection of conversations between the two scholars about the meaning of symbols and the workings of Campbell’s mind months before his death.

"Myth helps you to put your mind in touch with the experience of being alive. It tells you what the experience is."

Read the rest of this entry

The Last Exorcism

You know what? I want to write a review, but there is nothing more I can say than to go see this movie. It is superbly written and well performed. Patrick Fabian has always pleased me in his television appearances (see Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Veronica Mars season 3, and even one episode of Bones), but he really stands out in the leading roll as Reverend Cotton Marcus. He is completely lovable while essentially praying on people’s faith, and you cannot doubt his goal in exposing exorcism to save the lives of children. (He lost his faith after reading about an impaired child’s being suffocated by exorcists who were trying to save him.) While Ashley Bell, as Nell the possessed girl, also gave an outstanding performance, it was hard to believe that she was 14. Aside from that, everything was perfect. The ending will definitely disappointed some viewers, but there was really no other way. The movie had me locked into my seat. The first half of the film is lighthearted and then you are whiplashed into chaos and fear. And then you might be left with a simple question: What do you want to believe?

This is how some of the people in the audience with me felt after seeing the movie