Media Criticism: Definitive Snapshots

Recently, I was watching a review of a new movie when I heard something odd. This was, let’s say, a citizen critic YouTube channel guy, which is a label earned exclusively by his sudden insistence on “critical objectivity” in the year of our Lord 2018. Apparently, the gamers of 2005 are old men, and a new generation is taking their place, enjoying zero institutional memory. This old line is stereotypically trotted out in response to others’ disagreeable opinions, that if you, professional critic, didn’t like the movie I liked, you need to be more objective. … More Media Criticism: Definitive Snapshots

Notes on Instagram

I posted my first photo to Instagram late last night, after having used the platform unfortunately for years: let’s not apply scientific rigor, but I posit my following 50 people (mostly women) and never posting anything is the creepiest thing I do. Or, did, now. Blank page on creepiness. But it’s the first time I’ve thought about Instagram, on top of why I’d never uploaded anything. That’s twofold, that I don’t actually do anything to take pictures of, and plus, it’s a girl thing. … More Notes on Instagram

Knowing When to Not: Discretion is the Better Part of Opinions

I went into Mad Max: Fury Road a little bit too strong. Looking back now, it was 100% a nerd territorial thing. In 2015, I loved the idea of Mad Max, despite that I’d only truthfully enjoyed about five-twelfths of the existing films: let’s say half of Mad Max, three-quarters of The Road Warrior, and zero of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. But along with John Carpenter movies and the Verhoeven scifi trilogy, it was part of the canon of the science-fiction cinema I loved dutifully. So much so that I excused the rape scene in The Road Warrior, simply because it was part of my identity to have said “this movie is important to me,” like others did. … More Knowing When to Not: Discretion is the Better Part of Opinions

Chasing Endgame: “Star Wars” Between the Legends

Despite its roughly two hour runtime, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in fact a three-year long film — experienced before, during, and after. In this time, not only do fan theories rise and bake like clay, but the founts for these theories are arguably overinterpreted to suit them. Supreme Leader Snoke is overestimated because he is, again, three years in existence, despite actually existing for a few minutes. It’s unfortunate, but the similarly overblown “fan backlash” is essential to the metanarrative of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, now, and is mentioned here because an attempt to psychoanalyze the fans in question raises an issue about modern storytelling: the point. … More Chasing Endgame: “Star Wars” Between the Legends

Equal Opportunity Badassery

When I was a small child, I saw enough of action movies and thought enough of action movies (a lot and a little, respectively) to codify with an emotional association the ubiquitous signage of real life, that toughness and even violence were the language of an ideal human. Not only did these movies center-stage their violent hero, they gave them an oversized task: the ultimate actualization in the context of their world. These fucking great guys could do anything, unlike the other, less heteronormative bit players around them (though usually racially homogeneous, it was about gender, body type, or archetype). I know I’m not alone in this, as we were all small children once, and many continue to be. The wild thing was, I didn’t know just how much those movies had impacted my thinking until after I graduated college, and how much that thinking needed to change. … More Equal Opportunity Badassery