By Paul Casey
Anita Sarkeesian has released the first video in her twelve part Tropes vs. Women series, which will look at the representation of women in video games. You should watch it. Not least because you can see how something so uncontroversial can cause so much phony outrage. There is little here that should surprise anyone who has been aware of their own existence for more than a few years. There is nothing that could be considered in any way “extremist.” Sarkeesian is sober, clear, and fair. She also possesses the required humor needed to make this subject palatable to a wide audience.
By Paul Casey
The first sign that you are a hipster is that you cannot stop using the word “hipster.” In conversation, your thoughts turn to those angles and rimmed glasses and how their love of Animal Collective makes them inauthentic. They’re false. You’re the real deal. You get hard at the thought of real music that gets to the heart of the matter. You think of yourself as open-minded but the need to attack that music you see as inherently wrong brings on physical discomfort, until you can release it on some misguided soul who loves Kenny Loggins without irony.
“Hipster” is rarely self-applied. It is a put-down, and those who use it with venom do so not to mock the pomposity of uptight jerkwads who JUST CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DON’T FEEL WHAT THEY FEEL, but to highlight their confusion in not appreciating the universal objective qualities in music which disallow one from liking The Dandy Warhols over The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Or the other way around. There is no opposition to the hipster. There are simply variations of the hipster, which share the same affliction: They put far too much stock in their taste. What bothers them more than finding someone with the wrong tastes is being reminded that their taste rectification is not egalitarian but a rather dismal attempt to order the world.
It’s been ten years now, so I automatically assume everyone knows the story. But I should probably tell it again. First, I fell in love with Sloan. Then, I fell in love with Shaun.
Over the last few weeks, the blogosphere was in an uproar over SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of proposed legislation set to appear before the House and the Senate in January. While the alleged intention of the legislation was to thwart online piracy of movies and other media, opponents expressed concern that the actual effects of the bills would be far more insidious and damaging to the Internet, claiming that it would drastically change not only the structure of the Internet, but the way people use it. Although both SOPA and PIPA are US legislative proposals, there was an overwhelming fear that they would cripple Internet usage on a global scale.
Even at the best of times, it’s no picnic being the President of the United States. Being President in the 1970s was practically impossible.
Nixon inherited the bloody Vietnam conflict and struggled to govern a deeply divided nation through the oil crisis, economic stagnation, and that little Watergate thing. Athletic, competent Gerald Ford started out his brief presidency by pardoning Nixon for his crimes, heroically sparing the country an even more divisive trial; for his trouble, he got not one but two assassination attempts, and Chevy Chase turned him into a bumbling national joke. But nothing compares to the travails of our Thirty-ninth President, James Earl Carter. Double digit inflation. A bloated and unresponsive federal government. The collapse of Iran, the rise of radical Islam, and the intractable hostage crisis.
And the rabbits. The relentless, murderous rabbits.
I’ve been a fan of horror for a while—though I wasn’t always willing to admit it—but only in the last five years have I gone into overdrive, perhaps trying to make up for lost time. I understand my motivations and thus, I have accepted my fandom fate, even though other people might think it makes me a bad feminist. Luckily, I have a patient, open-minded spouse and a few horror-loving friends who both tolerate and encourage my obsession.
“There are only two things I love in this world: everybody, and television.”
—Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock
“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
—The Bhagavad Gita, as quoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer
TV is bad for you, right?
It’s mid-2011, and NASA’s 30-year-old Space Shuttle program is coming to a close. There is no permanent shuttle replacement scheduled at this time to send astronauts into orbit; the flagging United States’ economy has impacted the space program, along with many other governmental programs, immensely. The mood along Florida’s Space Coast—the Eastern coast of Florida—is one of sadness and resignation. Many Florida residents like myself sort of took the activities at the Cape for granted; somehow we didn’t really believe the shuttle program would ever come to an end. Why couldn’t 30 years last forever?
A recent article in The Daily Mail called 20-year-old ethereally androgynous fashion model Andrej Pejic, “fashion’s ultimate insult to women.” The Daily Mail is not heralded for its “unique” approach to journalism, but ignorance—particularly with regard to gender issues—must always be exposed and called out for exactly what it is.
Writer Amanda Platell blames the fashion industry for the “defeminsation” of women, stating early on that, “[r]eal women started to love their curves long before Christina Hendricks wowed the world in Mad Men with hers. And by all accounts men love them, too.” Even a brief unpacking of such bold statements would take far too long, so I’ll hit the high notes: Who or what are “real women” exactly? And why is it so important that men love curves?