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Category Archive: pop culture

Jul 17 2014

Of Ethics, Feelings, and Skyrim

Kilkreath Ruins. Creepy, yeah? Well, maybe you just had to be there.

I’m currently visiting my family in Ohio, which means catching up on all the gaming I’ve been too busy for during the last five years. My 12-year-old brother and I have a nice symbiosis going: he has a Windows machine, which meant I could install Skyrim on it, and I have a purchased copy of …

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Jun 25 2014

Are Celebrities Responsible for Modeling Good Mental Health?

[Content note: depression, mental illness, suicide] My newest piece at the Daily Dot is about Lana Del Rey, mental illness, and what we expect from artists and celebrities. Singer Lana Del Rey has recently reignited an age-old discussion about the glamorization of depression and suicide among (and in) young musicians. In a Guardian interview she has since tried to distance herself from, Del Rey focused on …

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May 14 2014

“When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted.”

Captain Picard comforts Lieutenant Yar in her penalty box.

I recently discovered Star Trek. Don’t laugh! I have foreign parents who were unable to expose me to such things in a timely manner. In episode 9 of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard and his crew are confronted for the second time by the mysterious “Q,” a member of …

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May 08 2014

Celebrity Women Are Not “Asking” For Stalking & Harassment

[Content note: stalking & sexual harassment] My latest piece at the Daily Dot explores the disturbing similarities between the ways people dismiss harassment of celebrities by the paparazzi and the ways the dismiss harassment of ordinary women on the street by men. It’s easy to dismiss the paparazzi’s harassment of famous women. After all, they’re usually …

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Jan 19 2014

I Finally Saw the Movie “Her” and I Loved It and Had Feelings

"Her" film poster

[Warning: ALL of the spoilers ahead] Last night I saw the movie Her, which, if you haven’t watched or heard of it, is about a man who falls in love and starts a relationship with his artificially intelligent operating system. The OS, who names herself Samantha, is with Theodore wherever he goes: on his home computer, …

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Dec 25 2013

Against Role Models

Whenever a famous person does something of which the general public disapproves, much is often made of that person’s status as a “role model” and how it influences the public’s judgment of their behavior, and whether or not it is time to revoke that status. It seems that celebrities cannot escape being seen as “role …

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Nov 03 2013

[guest post] Japan’s Not Doing Sex! An Intersection of Racism and Sexism

Here’s a guest post from my friend Mike about the recent news stories on Japanese sexuality. I remember as a kid laughing at the clownish stereotypes of characters like Long Duk Dong in “Sixteen Candles” and Toshiro Takashi in “Revenge of the Nerds”. What I didn’t realize at the time was how I, as a …

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Jul 16 2013

What We Write About When We Write About Hookups

Every few months the New York Times (or another similarly-positioned publication) prints an article about how Women These Days Are Having Casual Sex And It’s Ruining Things. The articles are often framed just progressively enough to get progressives to eagerly share them over social media because anything about casual sex that’s not from Fox News must be …

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Jul 10 2013

The Allure of the Beautiful Woman Who Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful

You’ve probably heard this song: You’re insecure, Don’t know what for You’re turning heads when you walk through the door Don’t need make-up To cover up Being the way that you are is enough Everyone else in the room can see it, Everyone else but you Baby you light up my world like nobody else …

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Jul 09 2013

[guest post] Harry Potter and the Fuzzies of Altruism

Here’s a guest post from Robby Bensinger about the psychology of altruism with a little bit of Harry Potter thrown in.  Effective Altruists are do-gooders with a special interest in researching the very best ways to do good, such as high-impact poverty reduction and existential risk reduction. A surprising number of them are also Harry …

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