Tag Archives: subculture

Hitting the Representation Gym With “Strong” Female Characters

I may or may not have a famed print, lunch box, and some mints in my apartment with this image on them.

I may or may not have a famed print, lunch box, and some mints in my apartment with this image on them.

In every undergraduate class I took on the subject of gender, the professor started the semester with the same request: “Raise your hand if you consider yourself a feminist.” Without fail, most hands would stay resolutely on desks, and the only people who would raise their hands would be women majoring in humanities like English Lit. And, no matter how the professors would try to explain that feminism is not about hating men or burning bras or changing the spelling of “women” to “womyn” students, male and female, were still reluctant to call themselves feminists even if they believed in the core ideals of feminism. Continue reading

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The Pros and Cons of Pop Culture Binges

Oh, you liked that show/movie you watched a month ago? Too bad; it's gone now.

Oh, you liked that show/movie you watched a month ago? Too bad; it’s gone now.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the past few years, you may have noticed the pundits/anchors/news-type people discussing the recent-ish phenomenon of “binge-watching” on TV shows.  I’m not linking to any, but feel free to google “TV binging.” (I’m not sure how whether it’s spelled “binging” or “bingeing” as I’ve found both in use). I found articles written just a few days ago on the subject.

So, what is TV bing(e)ing? Well, according to my dictionary app, bing(e)ing is to:

indulge in an activity, esp. eating, to excess: some dieters say theycannot help binging on chocolate | (as noun binging) : her secret binging and vomiting.

I’ll assume you know what television is. Continue reading

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Adaptation Rage: Or The Result of the Inevitable Failure of Hollywood to Make Fans Happy

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 So, this weekend I, of course, made the trek down to my local move theater to indulge in the gratuitous violence and smart-assiness that is the latest Iron Man movie. As I sat through the 20-30 minutes of commercials and previews before the movie, I was treated to a “behind-the-scenes” story about Leonardo DiCaprio to promote The Great Gatsby and trailers for Catching Fire (the new Hunger Games move), The WolverineThor: The Dark World, and Man of Steel. I’ve also been, as I’m sure most who watch any form of TV or online streaming content have, bombarded with ads and tie-ins with the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie. If I had no other indication of the time year than these previews, I would still be pretty sure Summer was coming. If the last few years are any indication, Summer is the season for adaptions of popular properties to break box office records and sell products in Hot Topic or on ThinkGeek.com.

Clearly, movie adaptions of other media must have some sort of magical powers, because they are pretty much running the movie industry these days. I mean, why else would I, while sitting in a theater waiting to watch one movie based on a Marvel superhero, be watching previews for two other Marvel superhero movies? Adaptions clearly get buts in the seats and bucks in the executive’s coffers.

So, why are adaptions so often met with disdain and rage from the very people who most love the source material?  Continue reading

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Fan Fiction: Is It As Bad As They Say It Is?

Before I grew up and discovered the seductive draw of sitting in front of television for entertainment, I loved to read.  Being a relatively introverted and anti-social person (just to perpetuate that geek stereotype further), books let me meet new people and go to new places without having to enter into the scary world of real people.

So, it was perhaps inevitable that my introduction to fandom would come through fan fiction.

In many circles, “fan fiction” has become a dirty term.  Fan fiction these days tends to be thought of solely as poorly-written, smut-filled wish-fulfillment that leaches off of better works by better writers. (I may have abused hyphens in that sentence…) . Continue reading

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What is Fandom?

Fandom (consisting of fan [fanatic] plus the suffix -dom, as in kingdom, freedom, etc.) is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates “fannish” (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

Wikipedia

I can’t remember when I first heard the term “fandom.”  I know it was sometime before I graduated high school, but, other than that, I really can’t say.  What I do know, is that, the moment I first heard the word, I knew exactly what it described. Fandom is the world I had become familiar with in middle school, it is the community of people who not only don’t shun you for your somewhat obsessive commitment to learning all there is to know about Lord of the Rings, but embrace you for it.  It is the community where, instead of receiving a cacophony of eye-rolls when you explain, again, that retconning Star Wars so Han no longer shoots first is a fundamental betrayal of the character, they respond with a passionate, “I know, right?” Continue reading

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