Today I’m taking a step away from my normal discussion of pop culture and media to discuss something far more important and on which I’m actually much more qualified to speak (due to specialized military training as well as OSHA training on Hazardous Materials Management and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response). …


The stories we tell as a society are important. Consider The Little Mermaid.

Most are familiar with the Disney adaptation wherein a young woman sacrifices everything about herself in order to marry some dude she just met — teaching us that “love at first sight” is a relevant romantic metric and making a generation of young women believe if we change everything about ourselves, he’ll like us. There’s also probably something to be said about trying to “save” a guy not worth the trouble.

Analysis of Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale is far more worthwhile. The broad strokes are largely…


Few conversations between self-avowed geeks of my generation can last long without devolving into a single melancholy recollection: “I miss Firefly.” For the uninitiated among my readership, this was a sci-fi series in the early 2000s written and directed by Joss Whedon which didn’t survive it’s debut season. Many a debate and article has wondered over the “why” of Firefly’s failure, with most attributing it to the lack of popularity of genre fiction on prime-time television twenty years ago.

“You know nothing, corporate media.”

It’s almost hard to imagine a witty character drama nested within a sci-fi framework failing so utterly, particularly when looking at…


Marvel, particularly in Phase 3 of the MCU, has had a tone problem, particularly when it comes to depicting the suffering of loss and trauma. No character is more emblematic of this failure than the mighty Thor.

“Well that’s just, like, your opinion, man!”

I can see where, on its surface, the portrayal of Thor as a tragically traumatized hero figure seemed to be accurate, or even interesting. There are plenty of people who can commiserate with Thor’s arc. I’m one of them; toxic anger, obesity, substance abuse, survivor’s guilt… it’s all there in Endgame. The problem isn’t in how it’s executed internal to the narrative, but…

Critical Pop Culture

Take a smart look at the lighter side of media and what it means to society at large.

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