Representation as Resistance in Get Out

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Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) bearing witness in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (Blumhouse Productions, 2017)

In Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out (2017), Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) trusts his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). But Chris will find out that the lovely Rose is full of thorns. Although Rose denies it, her white, affluent family is is not the cool-headed group of “huggers” it claims to be. The Armitages’ weekend friends are bizarrely drawn to Chris, who is slated to be the guest of honor for a modern-day slave auction.

Aural clues to the planned atrocity begin almost from the outset with the “Run Rabbit Run” song played on Rose’s brother Jeremy’s (Caleb Landry Jones)…

What’s At Stake in the Democratic Primaries: Beating Trump

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There is only one person running who can beat Donald Trump, and that is the Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. All hands need to be on deck, and that means choosing the one candidate who can turn things around.

The primary season is the time to consider not only what kind of president will defeat Donald Trump but also what kind of country we envision. The primary campaign season needs to be about inclusiveness and diversity over unity, the very message that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez conveyed at the November…

What it Tells us about Our Schizoid Political Culture

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Photo by Maxime Roedel on Unsplash

Someone on Reddit recently claimed that Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) in Season Five (the finale) of Bates Motel (A&E, 2013–2017) likened himself to President Donald Trump — “Something about ‘There are many people who are crazy, some of them heads of state. I think I can manage running a motel.’” Bates Motel might not be about Trump per se, but it does say something about the culture that elected him — a people in denial. White Pine Bay, Oregon, is a village that refuses to face up to its own social pathology. Bates Motel creators recognize that the town they’ve…

Classism as a form of Bigotry

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Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

As a nation, we have a long, disgraceful history of cruelty to one another. We’ve wrought untold damage onto the innocent, to children, to the poor, to the minorities. We need to rethink how a myriad of insults wrought upon one another over the centuries have led up to the current crisis of Trump.

Let’s do a little stocktaking.

We are one of the top rape nations in the world, and the one with the highest prison population. We have rapes not only of women but men, girls and boys, many of them in…

Fear of Democracy in the USA

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Origins and Stories

Bernie Sanders embodies the amalgamation of several archetypes: Grandfather, Santa Claus, Robin Hood, Jewish Prophet and Civil-Rights Activist. The Bernie Sanders Myth is an evolving national treasure. In its eclectic hodgepodge of variegated political energies, the Bernie Sanders phenomenon evokes the mid-nineteenth-century origins of the Republican Party. Indeed, the voices that gave it meaning were themselves imbued with the spirit of democracy — Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson bestowed upon our nation those forever competing twins, individualism and democracy, known back in the day as republicanism.

The rise of Bernie’s…

Why We Need Bernie Sanders.

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When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on the debate stage with Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016, asked who her opponent turned to for foreign policy advice, Sanders shot back, “Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger, that’s for sure” (Clinton had just remarked that her mentor was Kissinger). The testy exchange marked a significant moment of the campaign since it evoked the longstanding US foreign policy that underlay the current political crisis.

Trump’s family-separation policy forms the kingpin of a rogue government. Under Trump, the Republican Party has become little more than a destructive cult. Trump’s rule is not merely an extension…

Why Democrats lost the 2016 US Presidential Election and How They Can Win it in 2020

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Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash

There are many factors that give rise to an event — in this case, a candidate’s election — including the role of national mythmaking. National myths have always accompanied nationbuilding. These come into play at times of political crisis including elections.

There is a powerful national mythos comprised of American Exceptionalism and Exemplarism, also known as The City upon a Hill. The English settlers who arrived on the Arbella ship to Massachusetts Bay in June 1630 were, according to this founding mythology set forth by John Winthrop in his speech, A Model of Christian Charity, to become exemplary in their…

Gangsters, Anarchists, and the Stories We Tell about Ourselves in the Movies

March 8, 2019

This is the Fiftieth (Golden) Anniversary of writer Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather. The radio station NPR (National Public Radio) chose to honor Puzo, co-screenwriter of Francis Ford Coppola’s eponymous film adaptation, The Godfather (1972) by replaying a couple of interviews (1996 and 2016) of him and Coppola with Fresh Air’s Host, Terry Gross.

The interview brought to mind the ways in which Hollywood films permeate our movie culture in the USA and around the world. I loved The Godfather, and The Godfather II. Both were meticulously crafted films, starring exceptionally gifted actors (Marlon Brando as Don…

Mary Cantoral

Writer, independent scholar and media activist; MAs in History, Media & Cinema Studies and MFA Screenwriter.

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