2 Broke Girls, S5E3 “And the Maybe Baby”: A TV Review


Now I’m not television executive or anything, but scheduling a sitcom to regularly air on American Thanksgiving seems unwise to me. Then again, the one and only time I’ve ever celebrated the holiday with a family in the US we gorged ourselves in the early afternoon, opening up our evening to whatever we wanted, so what do I know.

On the other hand, maybe some kind of holiday episode was called for? I guess its absence is what happens when CBS’s comedy lineup is in such flux that 2 Broke Girls‘ season premiere is announced just one month before it airs. At the very, very least you’d think that given the title this week would be covering some sort of pregnancy or infant-related incident.

Nope, this week we get the return of Candy Andy.  Continue reading

The Christian Paranoia Industrial Complex

Disneys Mulan came out when I was 12, and youd better believe I was excited about it. I was the girl who reacted to dresses and stockings with outrage and got big heart eyes at the sight of swords, so a girl dressing up as a guy and going to war was exactly my jam. Shortly after watching it, I remember climbing on a playground after church with a friend, while my brothers and I quoted the funny parts at each other. I asked her if shed seen it yet.

No…” she replied. I heard it promotes ancestor worship and stuff.

This caught me up.  Yes, in the movie Mulan prays to her ancestors for help and protection, and in true Disney fashion, the ghostly ancestors are seen discussing her plight.  12-year-old-me wasnt sure how to respond.  It didbut it hadnt occurred to me that it did.

I guess…” I said.  Kind of.

I’ll convert for the parties.

I found myself thinking about this exchange recently, while my husband and I watched through Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix.  I realize we are WAY behind the times, but wow did we enjoy it, despite neither of us really being anime fans.  It was such a great story, with excellent characters, and it was deeply refreshing to see a fantasy series that wasnt set in pseudo-medieval or pseudo-viking times.  The show also depicts a variety of ethnicities and cultures, most of which are based on eastern civilizations.  Its great.

Of course, there are references to various elements of eastern spiritualitiesreincarnation, qi energy, a spirit world, and featuring heavily in one episode of season two and recurrently through season three chakras.  

During that chakra-heavy episode, I couldnt help but hear my friends voice NoI heard it promotes eastern mysticism. Continue reading

Save Refugees, Save America

I believe in America.

I believe that the defining characteristic of this nation was its unerring sense of moral conviction- that all we did was in the advancement of some great work set into motion by ages past. That every undertaking stemmed from the deepest confidence in the simple rightness of our cause.

This faith led us, countless times, to commit terrible acts that damn the conscious of the nation. Slavery and Wounded Knee. Manzanar and Kandahar. McDonald’s and McCarthy. It’s led to the popular image abroad of Americans as fundamentally arrogant; loudly voicing their opinions without being asked, demanding where they have no right, interfering where they have no business.

And it was this same faith that has pulled this nation back every time. Yosemite and Normandy. Harlem and Harper’s Ferry. John Muir and Eugene Debs. The faith that sent millions to these shores from every corner of the world and the same unabashed confidence that sent American music, art, film, and literature back.

In spite of our divisions and our failings- and they are neither minor nor few- we are united by the common belief that our cause is not merely just but justice itself, and that its triumph needs only ingenuity, passion, and will to be secured.

For good or ill, it is this value that made America. Continue reading

[Doing Our Very Best to] Finish Strong

November is finally wrapping up and much to my chagrin I don’t have much to show for it, at least here on Culture War Reporters. There was of course the interview I conducted with ex-porn star Christopher Zeischegg on the 7th, which I remain immensely proud of, but since then my regular offerings have been less than sparse.

The reason for that being the return of CBS’s 2 Broke Girls, a sitcom that I’ve been reviewing since 2013. Given that the timeslot has been moved to Thursday nights, that robs me of the hours I would normally devote to my Friday blog posts. Excuses aside, this all leaves me feeling not unlike Peter Jackson on the set of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

-because, like Peter Jackson, I found myself with a lack of time in which to prepare. Unlike Peter Jackson, however, my blog posts were not to be penned by Guillermo del Toro, and I did not have to scramble to write them once the acclaimed filmmaker dropped out. I don’t have any great excuses, is what I’m saying.

All that being said next week I’m planning on giving us all a break in preparation to wrapping things up in December. Gordon may still deliver on that post he promised, but in general I have every intention of doing what I can to make sure I can deliver content that meets my own standards as 2015 comes to a close. In the planning stages are [hopefully] one more interview, a book review, and a post on violence and video games that may or may not be growing more outdated with every passing week.

Apologies on my part, and here’s to my becoming a better editor in 2016.

2 Broke Girls, S5E2 “And the Gym and Juice”: A TV Review


A lot of the time, when I wish I had implemented a grading system into these reviews when I first started two years ago, it’s because I want to underscore how truly bad an episode was. Not this week. This week I wish that I was able to qualify how good 2 Broke Girls usually is so that I could give “And the Gym and Juice” an A.

And no, this isn’t a particularly groundbreaking twenty-something minutes of situation comedy, but it is exactly what it needs to be, which is to say that it’s funny. Just two episodes into their fifth season and 2 Broke Girls appears confident in allowing its titular characters to truly carry the show, and they do so in a truly admirable fashion. I’m not sure if there was a shake-up in the writers room, but whatever happened it has me generally looking forward to future installments of the show. Continue reading

3 Reasons Why the Paris Attack Feels like 9/11 and 1 Reason Why It Demands A Different Response

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, I encountered several articles that criticize the way the Western world responded to the tragic loss of life in Paris. While each of these articles bemoans the loss of 132 innocent lives, they also highlight similar atrocities that happened before the Paris attack and were almost completely overlooked.

In a lot of ways this event, and its media response, reminded me of the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. While the media response to this tragedy has been a little more self-aware, our international reaction has been similar to how it was last time this kind of tragedy affected a Western nation. Rather than discuss the way we responded to these attacks, I wanted to examine why we reacted the way we did.

1) It felt close to home

I remember waking up the morning of 9/11, walking into the living room to see my mom crying. My dad turned to me and told me the world had changed overnight. Hearing about the attacks on Paris gave me the same shiver of fear that I felt that day. I don’t think it’s hard to dissect what motivates that feeling. These particular attacks were frightening because they happened to Western nations, and we in the West are very accustomed to feeling in control. We took control over much of the world during an age of imperialism, colonization, and slavery. Today we continue to control much of the world through unfair aid practices and political manipulation. These kind of attacks are terrifying because they make us feel like we don’t have as much control as we think we do.

Even though last Thursday 45 innocent victims lost their lives to a terrorist attack in Beirut and, 6 months ago a similar attack in Kenya killed 147 innocent people, many of us heard little to nothing about those attacks until their news coverage was compared to what occurred in Paris. In our effort to show solidarity with Paris, the Western world made it apparent that certain tragedies frighten us more than others.

As Elie Fares explained in his blog comparing the media response to the Paris and Beirut attack,

“When my people died, they did not send the world in mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”

Continue reading

Post Incoming

Readers, I’m sick.

Sick of the repellent terror attacks in France, sick of the vile reaction many have had to it, sick of the endless cycle of violence, misinformation, and Islamophobia.

I’m also literally sick.


There will never, in the history of man, exist a better encapsulation of what it feels like to be sick.

And it is for that reason and that reason alone that you will be spared my inevitable torrent of righteous/self-righteous indignation- for this week, anyways. Buckle up, kids- next Monday we’re going to be ripping apart the following individuals with the kind of viciousness not typically seen outside of a Gareth Evans movie.


Our punching bags will be as follows:

Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rick Snyder, and the spineless, xenophobic, dirtbag governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin- all of whom have issued refusals over the past 48-hours to allow the settlement Syrian refugees within their borders.

There will be blood.