Right now on Showtime, there is basically what amounts to a Donald Trump fanfic playing as a half-hour animated comedy titled Our Cartoon President, and as embarrassing as it is, I enjoy it. I uh, really like it, in a way that finally made me understand what it means to have a “Guilty Pleasure”. At its core, I always thought the term was dumb since simply enjoying something that isn’t actively harmful to others shouldn’t produce a feeling of guilt. Like, if you know something is dumb, and you enjoy it anyways, that isn’t really a guilty pleasure, that’s just finding the passion in a sloppily put together piece of art. This show though, is a different animal, because its subject matter is the menace that sits in the White House today.
Continue reading “God Help Me, I Really Enjoy the Cartoon President Show” →
In the age of Trump, millennials, a generation raised by popular culture, have been looking to it to draw meaning and make sense of the world. Everything that happens these days is apparently just like that one moment from Harry Potter, every time someone gets fired it brings to mind a shocking character death on Game of Thrones, every government official is just like that villain from Star Wars; even that horrific Charlottesville march and the President’s equally horrific response to it reminded people of that one time this character did that thing in this book/movie/TV show. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about whether or not this is a dumb way to look at the world, but it’s the way things are now for a lot of people. As we begin to isolate ourselves through technology and media, those things become enormous influences to us. The irony is that pop culture has become less explicitly didactic, TV creators these days aren’t interested in teaching word for word blatant lessons of the day, and more writers are content with trusting audiences to figure things out for themselves. We have such a diverse group of people consuming media in these increasingly confusing times, and in a lot of cases, people are taking the wrong lessons.
Continue reading “Popular Culture Has a New Responsibility, Whether it Likes it or Not” →
The Boy King. The image that comes to mind when I think of a Trump presidency isn’t that of a ruthless tyrant, or a xenophobic dictator. Trump is many things, but he’s never exactly what you describe him as. No one who has analyzed what he has said and done for a number of years can accurately assess what he’s going to do on a policy level, because Trump has no coherent policy. Actually, that may be an understatement, as a more accurate assessment of Trump is that he has no ideology. He doesn’t really believe in anything, and has been on every side of virtually every issue, even things he’s known for having a strong stance on like immigration. The only consistent thing about Trump is the level of character he brings to the office, and that character is that of an unpredictable petulant child.
Continue reading “The Best and Worst Case Scenario of a Trump Presidency” →
Oh boy, this election huh? This soul crushing, agonizing, overlong stretch of e-mail scandals, groping tapes, false-equivalences, clueless punditry, and general loss of faith in humanity has been trying for a lot of us. It has also been oddly poetic. We’ve got the first female major party candidate in U.S. history up against this great big orange misogynistic buffoon we can’t afford to stop talking or thinking about until election day. It’s been tough sure, but it also taught this Canadian a lot about America and its people. Continue reading “5 Things This Election Taught Me About America” →
Say what you will about Senator Ted Cruz… and before I get to the “but” part of that sentence I’ll be saying what I will about him myself! He’s a hypocrite about the constitution, completely lacks any self-awareness, and where most presidential hopefuls would like to shine under America’s spotlight, he glistens, like a reptile-man (similar to the Mortal Kombat character, Reptile). BUT, even with all that said, Cruz is very, very good at doing one thing: Making ads for his campaign. They’re well produced and they do the job of building Ted up, while his attack ads pull no punches in criticizing its targets. It’s clear that Ted puts a lot of effort into them, but he’s unique in that his ads also tend to have a bit of self-awareness in them. They’re basically the only ads out there that know how dumb these things tend to be, and he goes all out with making them. Take his best one for example titled “War Room”.
Continue reading “Ted Cruz is Good for Literally One Thing: Campaign Ads” →