How An Improv Troupe Made Me

This is going to be a sappy-ass article about being young, lost, and finding a home. I’m not going to hold back, not even a little. So adjust your diet for this load of cotton candy emotions accordingly.

When you’re 19, you think you have a pretty good understanding of who you are as a person. You know things about you will change, like your favorite food or which version of Law and Order is your favorite (SVU, btw). But sometimes it takes a seemingly life shattering event to allow yourself to change things up. Sometimes you don’t even know that’s what’s happening.

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Kylo Ren and the Modern Villian

In December of 2015, Star Wars was brought back into our world. Fans across the globe dusted off their old light sabers and costumes in anticipation for the next wave of Star Wars content. Not to say that the world forgot Star Wars until The Force Awakens was announced, of course. The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels were being aired, video games were being made, comic books were being printed. But after the excitement of the prequels settled to let’s call it mixed reviews, the larger world of Star Wars seemed to be in a stasis for the mainstream media. The original trilogy will forever be ingrained in American pop culture and in the science fiction hall of fame. But there was a sense of freshness, a sense of hope, that Episode VII would continue the Star Wars Legacy, thus establishing it as a franchise that will go on for generations.

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London Calling, And The World Answers: The Use of Punk Rock Around the World


Spiky hair, ripped jeans, facial piercings, and a bad attitude. That minor description will put into mind an entire musical genre and the associated culture that arose with it. The general consensus is that, while influences are still very prevalent in modern rock music, the purest form of punk rock died in the 80s. The anti-establishment themes became lost as the genre gained popularity, becoming a contradiction.  How does one fight the majority when the very music being created to do so is mass produced and distributed? And so punk rock music died, at least as the version Western culture knew it.. However, the genre has become very popular in areas across the world where the youth are looking to fight against authoritative ideologies and governments. In order to find out how the punk rock music genre has been used by the global community to fight authority, we must explore the origins of punk music within the United Kingdom. Then, we can examine how the genre has been used in different countries and communities around the globe. It is also important to examine the nature of this subversive music’s prevalence in countries it did not originate in and if it constitutes as cultural imperialism.

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Man with a Movie Camera and the Role of Film


Erik Barnouw asks the reader in his book Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film to consider the visibility of the camera in Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. What makes this film so interesting and unique is its draws direct attention the fact that it is a film, when often the goal is to make the audience forget. Where most films try to hide the camera, this film intentionally displays it. I believe the reasoning behind this it to draw comparisons between filmmaking and everyday life, as well as to experiment with the blurred line between reality and illusion.

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Endure and Survive: Women and The Last of Us


There is no denying that Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us is an important marker in video game history. Games like this, among others, helps usher the industry into artistic credibility to the degree of film, literature, and theatre. With the advancement of video games as a source of mass entertainment, it is to be expected that they will be put to the same level of critical analysis other artforms are subjected to. To understand how the The Last of Us differs from other games in terms of female representation, it is important to understand the atmosphere surrounding women within the gaming industry today.

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Just Keep Swimming: Representations of Disability in Finding Nemo


“When my son was five, I remember taking him to the park. I had been working long hours and felt guilty about not spending enough time with him… but I spent the whole walk going, ‘Don’t touch this. Don’t do that. You’re gonna fall in there.’ And there was this third party voice in my head saying, ‘you’re completely wasting the moment you’ve got with your son right now. I became obsessed with this premise that fear can deny a good father from being one” (Price, 208).  This experience of fatherhood is what planted the idea that would eventually evolve into the Pixar classic, Finding Nemo, in Andrew Stanton’s head. Stanton would go on to co-direct the film with Lee Unkrich in 2003. This movie was an instant classic, beating it’s predecessors, Toy Story I and II, and Monsters Inc. as the largest grossing animated film of all time at the time of it’s release (Disabilities) and by winning an Academy Award for best Animated Feature film in 2004. The film has had no issue in receiving praise for its technological and thematic accomplishments. One element of the story seems to go unnoticed by the majority of the film’s audience: it’s portrayal of disabled persons.  To understand the impact of this element, one must explore how disability has been represented in popular culture, how it has been represented in Disney’s past filmography, and how Finding Nemo represents it comparatively.

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Bibbity Bobbity Bigot: Addressing the Rumors of Walt Disney’s Anti-Semitism


One would be hard pressed to find someone who cannot identify that iconic signature belonging to one of the world’s most influential men in the entertainment industry. Walt Disney has grown from a singular man into an entire corporation with its own values and even its own city. With any figure of such importance, rumors and myths begin to form around them. For Disney, some range from the inspiring, like the story told in the recent film Saving Mr. Banks (Hancock 2013), to the strange, like the rumor of his being cryogenically frozen. One of the darkest rumors surrounding Disney is the accusations of anti-Semitism. The perception of Walt Disney has been affected by the rumors surrounding his prejudices. His work depicting incredibly stereotypical representations of race becomes evidence for those believing him to be bigoted; but the personal accounts of some of his workers as well as his association with the anti-communist and anti-Semitic group, the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals are more likely the source of the myth.

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