Well, readers, it’s another sweltering day in June, and here in the trenches of the culture war accusations of “misogyny” and “political correctness” are being fired back and forth. And what’s that out there in the middle of the no-man’s land? Well, it’s the photo that started this latest skirmish:
Image retrieved via Telegraph.com, fair use
That right there folks is a billboard for X-Men: Apocalypse, and it’s got more than a few people upset. So much so, in fact, it’s being reported that Fox has issued an apology for the ad– caving to arguments made by some that the advertisement promotes misogyny.
And in all fairness, they are some compelling arguments.
Now ads featuring violence towards women exist, as evidenced in Jean Kilbourne’s famous documentary Killing Us Softly. Critics of this ad have cited (though I am paraphrasing for the sake of space) that the inundation of these images in our society leads to the normalization of violence. Show enough ads featuring women getting choked out and people will start assuming that it’s the natural way of the world.
Image retrieved via BusinessInsider.com, fair use
Even if the person doing the choking is the bad guy (and Apocalypse is), the simple fact that it’s a yet another man committing an act of force on a women should be enough to elicit outrage from us all.
Like I said- a compelling argument.
Let me tell you why it’s bull****. Continue reading
Posted in advertisement, advertising, art, bizarreness, comics, feminism, film, gender, media, morality
Tagged ad, advertising, Apocalypse, apology, censor, censorship, Choke, Eat Pray Love, Fox, grand theft auto, Jean Kilbourne, Killing us softly, misogynistic, misogyny, sexist, Taylor Swift, women
The culture war is a conversation.
While it is ultimately a conflict, more often than not this takes the form of ideas and criticism being slung back and forth across the trenches. To be heard is a minor success, but to be actually understood is victory.
Within this conversation it’s undoubtedly artists, especially those who have garnered celebrity status, who have the most powerful voices.
In 2014 the eponymous host of The Colbert Report featured a segment on his show about “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”. Given his popularity it reached far and wide, and was eventually viewed by a Twitter activist who created the hashtag #CancelColbert in response.
As it was meant to call attention to and ridicule the outrageous fact that a national sports team is named after an ethnic slur the response was out of line. It was a classic case of [obvious] satire being taken the wrong way, but by inadvertently contributing to what has been dubbed “a fake year of outrage’ this person’s misstep resulted in others who campaign for better representation and the like being worse than silenced, which is to say, ignored.
Despite calling out from what is ostensibly the same side, the misstep of a single loud voice meant that others were unheard.
The exchange between artist and critic is rarely ever an even one, and only becomes more difficult given the sensitivity surrounding such personal creative endeavours.
Lena Dunham is the star and creator of HBO’s Girls, and received enough disapproval about the lack of diversity in a show set in New York City that she was asked about it by NPR. She responded that “[she takes] that criticism very seriously,” and that very same year had Donald Glover playing Hannah’s Black boyfriend on the show.
While the presence of Sandy on the dramedy was a beneficial one, with arguments between the two capturing the tension that can be present in interracial relationships [including such exchanges as: “I never thought about the fact that you were black once.” / “That’s insane. You should, because that’s what I am.”], Glover’s character faltered in that he was very much a response to criticism. Continue reading
Posted in art, celebrity, Comedy, communication, race, television, writing
Tagged #CancelColbert, activist, apology, art, asian, Asian-American, comedy, conversation, criticism, critics, Culture War, Ghost In The Shell, Girls, Kimmy Goes to a Play!, Kimono You Didn't, Lena Dunham, netflix, offence, outrage, race, racism, rape, Respectful Asian Portrayals in Entertainment, Scarlett Johannson, Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, voice, whitewashing, yellowface
You know what I realized after two whole weeks off of writing reviews? I don’t have to watch these episodes anymore! No, I don’t mean that the show is ending. 2 Broke Girls has actually been renewed for a sixth season alongside a slew of CBS’ other programs. What I mean is that a quick visit to their website will tell you everything you need to know about the next episode.
All of the images I use for the banner graphics above my reviews are taken from slideshows on CBS.com, which are always accompanied by captions. This week’s, for example, contains such gems as:
- Randy’s therapist breaks some bad news to Max.
- Max drowns her sorrows in tiny bottles of booze.
- Max listens to what Sophie’s guru has to say about her recent breakup.
- Max, Caroline, and Sophie return to Brooklyn after an extended stay in Hollywood.
You could also just read the synopsis given underneath the very first promo photo, which tells us that:
The girls near the end of their Hollywood adventure, which finds Caroline signing away the film rights to her life story while Max deals with the fall-out after her L.A. steady, Randy, breaks up with her via his therapist. Plus, Sophie continues to try everything she can to get pregnant on the next episode of 2 Broke Girls entitled “And The Pity Party Bus.”
Which isn’t to say that other TV shows don’t also use similar write-ups to hype their upcoming episodes, they do, but they also tend to preserve a bit of the mystery. A conflict is typically mentioned, as opposed to the conflict [Max gets dumped!] and the eventual conclusion [the girls return to NY!]. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you could skim a dozen or so photos instead of tuning in for twenty-something minutes of TV every Thursday night. You could always just do that and then read my reviews! Continue reading
Posted in Comedy, relationships, review, television, writing
Tagged 2 Broke Girls, And the Pity Party Bus, apology, Beth Behrs, break-up, breakup, Caroline, CBS, closure, Elliott, Hollywood, John Michael Higgins, Kat Dennings, Max, maxoline, party bus, pregnant, Randy, review, S5E16, Sophie, therapist
We make an effort here at Culture War Reporters to not only decry travesties but to celebrate advances in art, politics, music, and media. And in this day and age, the presence of an honest journalist isn’t so much an advancement as it is a flippin’ miracle. That such a journalist should emerge from the McCarthyite dystopia that is FOX News is more baffling still.
But lo and behold-
Shep ****ing Smith.
Now granted- Smith’s been around for a while. His career as a journalist started clear back in 1985, and Shep’s been a top-rated newsman since the mid-90s. Still, it would be a decade later, during the “war on terror” that a change seemed to occur.
What (if anything) prompted it, I do not know. When exactly it happened- who can say? Perhaps it had been building for a while, but whatever it was, Shep Smith frickin’ lost it.
In the best possible way.
Now that clip was from 2009, by which time the debate on America’s use of torture (“enhanced interrogation”, to use the official term for it) had already been going on for some time. Again, the exact causes of Shep’s outburst are a mystery to me, but it really doesn’t matter.
This, people. This is the kind of stuff we need more of. Continue reading
Posted in America, bizarreness, media, news, politics, television
Tagged 4th Estate, America, American, apology, Birth Certificate, Birther, BP, BP oil spill, climate change, cnn, Don Lemon, Ebola, Fox, Fox News, Francis, gay rights, journalism, journalist, media, Net Neutrality, news, Obama, Panic, politics, Pope, reason, Robin Williams, sensationalism, Shep Smith, torture
Posted in bizarreness, internet, language, lgbt, morality, news, race, Shame Day
Tagged anti-Semitism, anti-zionism, apology, bigot, bigotry, blog, business, correction, double standard, free speech, freedom of speech, Getting Racists Fired, guilt, homophobia, justice, male, mob, prejudice, Public Shaming, racism, Racisting Getting Fired, restorative, retributive, scarlet letter, sexism, shame, shame day, sin no more, straight, Tumblr, viligantism, white, witch hunt, zionism