Tag Archives | popular culture

American Ultra, Men In Black, and Hollywood desensitizing propaganda


I must preface this article with the fact I haven’t yet seen American Ultra. I’m sure I will at some point, but I’m in no hurry. I think I get the gist.

So in American Ultra Jesse Eisenberg’s stoner lead character is unknowingly a sleeper agent and the CIA-like agency that created him decides they want to kill him off. I saw it described on a forum as The Bourne Identity on weed, and that’s kind of what I expected judging by the trailer. Sprinkle a bit of love interest in with Kristen Stewart’s character and we have the recipe for a typical lacklustre Hollywood action comedy.

It isn’t the mediocre nature of the plot that worries me here. It is the clear correlation of the themes and plot with the true accounts of the CIA mind control program MK Ultra. Even in so much as the title, which is a clear reference.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Bootleg Toys by “The Sucklord”

Have you ever wanted to get your hands on a pink Stormtrooper or a Sleestak in a business suit? The Sucklord has you covered. Meanwhile, watch this video where he talks about villains and such.

“The Sucklord” by Joey Garfield from ghostrobot on Vimeo.

From Suckadelic’s website: “SUCKADELIC is an evil arts organization specializing in Bootleg Toys, illicit remix records, and duffed out Supervillain Soap operas and is universally regarded as the sleaziest brand in the game. Ruled from a hidden Sweatshop by the intergalactic criminal and cosmic playboy, the SUPER SUCKLORD, Suckadelic has continued to pump highly addictive pop culture crap into the veins of willing victims since 1997.”

via Vimeo

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Rock N’ Roll Samizdat: Soviet Era Bootleg Records Pressed From X-Ray Film

xrayLaughing Squid shares several remarkable examples of Soviet era audio samizdat. Neat stuff. Kind of spooky looking, too. Click through the link below to see the rest.

With vinyl scare and various western music genres like rock and roll and jazz banned in 1950s Soviet Russia, enterprising music fans would create records using X-ray film discarded by doctors and hospitals. The records were cut with scissors — often unevenly — with a cigarette hole burned through the middle of the platter and the music itself pressed onto the film using a special recording device. The result is a “multimedia” record that, when held up to light, reveals the skeletal structure left over from the film’s original use.

via A Series of Banned Rock and Jazz Records Pressed Onto Discarded X-Rays in 1950s Soviet Russia.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

YouTuber Raps About the Illusion of Free Will As Commentary to Call of Duty Video Game

YouTuber CamperKillerCommentary has released a video in which he raps about scientific experiments that cast doubt on the existence of free will over footage of him – I assume it’s him – playing the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty. And no, I haven’t the foggiest clue how all of this fits together. Apparently it’s the 26th in a series.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

On The Horror and Allure of Hannibal Lecter


Pic: Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter (C) NBC publicity.

I’ll never forget when my older sister came home distraught and shaken.  My parents asked her what was wrong and she broke down into tears and admitted she was horrified from having just seen The Silence of the Lambs.  Since then I always wanted to see it.  I was 4 at the time.  It wouldn’t be until years later that I saw the film.  It became my favorite movie at the time and Hannibal my favorite character in fiction.  He was just so classy and in charge.  Since then the Hannibal Lecter franchise has seen plenty more literary and cinematic incarnations, most of them lame, with Silence arguably standing as the unmatched artistic achievement.  That was the status quo of the Lecterverse until NBC released the television show Hannibal last year.

Over the last few months I watched and re-watched Hannibal.  I don’t watch TV, but being a sometimes very disappointed fan of the Hannibal franchise, I gave it a shot. … Read the rest

Continue Reading

Apparently Some People Still Can’t Differentiate Between Actors and the Characters They Play

TV-Breaking Bad-GunnHow is it that I figured out that Mark Hamill wasn’t Luke Skywalker as a little boy, yet what I’m guessing are full-grown adults are still struggling with the “actor does not equal character” lesson is beyond me. Apparently actress Anna Gunn is catching a lot of heat from deranged “Breaking Bad” fans who hate her character Skyler White. It’s not as simple as all that, though. Apparently some people just really, really hate what Gunn describes as “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women” I wasn’t aware of this hatred for the character until I did a simple Google Image Search for “Skyler White” and had trouble finding one that didn’t have “cunt” or “bitch” written on it.

Via Rolling Stone:

But Gunn admits being shocked by the degree of some fans’ hatred, expressed on the show’s message boards, as well as personal websites and popular Facebook pages devoted to taking down Skyler.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Is the Portrayal of Torture on TV Changing?

24-TV-Series-LogoAlyssa Rosenberg writes at ThinkProgress:

When Fox announced that it was bringing back 24, its serialized drama about counterterrorist federal agent Jack Bauer that finished its initial run in 2010, as a limited-episode special event in 2014, much of the commentary about the news focused on questions of structure, rather than content. Time Magazine television critic James Poniewozik argued that 24′s resurrection was part of an exciting move by Fox to make more limited series and more special events, a strategy that includes a shorter run for its serial killer hit The Following, a move that both was meant to accomodate star Kevin Bacon’s schedule and to ape the success of dark cable dramas with shorter runs, and an order of limited-run series Wayward Pines. Others saw it as part of Fox’s decision to walk away from a focus on female-focused comedies and return to an old, reliable—and male-centered—hit from its past.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

redhook summerJames Mcbride, co-writer of Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer,’ has penned a pull-no-punches open letter to Hollywood, detailing some serious issues on race and representation in cinema, and what it means to be a storyteller in an overtly commercial studio system. Via Colorlines.

The reviews for Spike Lee’s film “Red Hook Summer” that premiered at Sundance earlier this week have not been good. His comments made after the premiere about Hollywood studios knowing “nothing about black people” made more headlines than the actual film.

An open letter published yesterday by “Red Hook” co-writer, James McBride, is sure to make even more headlines because he takes the film community to task and says “nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens.”

Below is an excerpt from McBride’s open letter on the 40 Acres and a Mule website:

Three days ago, at the premiere of “Red Hook Summer” at The Sundance Film Festival, Spike, usually a cool and widely accepting soul whose professional life is as racially diverse as any American I know- lost his cool for 30 seconds.

Read the rest
Continue Reading