All posts tagged: American culture

Social Media as Social Justice

I haven’t posted in a while because it’s been “one of those weeks” – or more like two. I’ve been far too wrapped up in personal stuff to sit down and write or share a post, but I finally think that I’m ready to come back. It seems irresponsible to have a media and culture blog and not comment on recent national tragedies, including the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge (let alone the atrocities in France, Turkey, and across the globe). But each time I try to sit down and write, nothing that I jot down precisely articulates my disappointment, my rage, and my anxiety. When I think deeply about the problems within my own community, some seem fixable while others feel inescapable. And if I begin to think of injustices on a global-scale, I’m immediately engulfed by discontent and pessimism. I prefer being open to the world’s innumerable flaws, rather than closeted by my own naivety, but at times I find myself overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems that I want to fix. In many …

Celebrating Stewart – The End of an Era

With Jon Stewart’s reign at The Daily Show coming to an end tonight, it’s time to celebrate the man whose cultural influence knows no bounds. After taking over The Daily Show in 1999 (previously hosted by Craig Kilborn), Stewart went on to create a new type of news series. The Daily Show may be a comedic weeknight show, but above all, it’s critical commentary. In filling the role of Daily Show host – a role seemingly created for Stewart – he made the news entertaining. The result was attainable social and political critique, which has changed the way millions of Americans will consume their news forever. Aside from his obvious comedic and journalistic influence, Stewart has launched the careers of countless comedians including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms, and Kristen Schaal, among others. As a result of their popularity on The Daily Show, three of his correspondents went on to host their own shows: Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Larry Wilmore of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Aside from Saturday Night Live, can you think of …

Spectacular Short Doc About Beauty & Perception: ‘There She Is’

Am I beautiful? It’s a question that each and every woman will ask herself at one point in her life (or more likely, several). Women are constantly being bombarded by images and advertisements that define beauty within the context of American perfectionism. These ads tell us what’s attractive, interesting, or even acceptable – making it nearly impossible to ignore these standards and love ourselves for who we are. What’s particularly disturbing is that the women in these ad campaigns don’t live up to such standards themselves. They must be covered in make-up from head to toe, lit perfectly, and photoshopped before they exemplify the very measures of beauty they were hired to represent. It’s a problem. Filmmakers Emily Sheskin and Veena Rao set out to examine the perception of women’s beauty in their short documentary, There She Is. The film follows best friends Allison Kopach and Jenny Flores as they compete in the 2011 American Beauties Plus Pageant, which is open to women sizes 14 and up. Short documentaries are such fascinating forms of storytelling because they require …