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Posts by James Mcconnaughy

Moonlight and The Handmaiden: Two Very Different Takes on Intimacy

We examine the depiction of the intimacy between the respective couples in both Moonlight and The Handmaiden.

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#NotMyGodEmperor: Why Are There So Many Actual Fascists in the Warhammer 40K Fandom?

The Imperium of Man might be a massive satire of fascism and authoritarianism, but that hasn't stopped the alt-right from embracing Warhammer 40k as inspiration for their propaganda.

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The Prison of Masculinity: Orange Is the New Black‘s Healy and the Dangers of Toxic Masculinity

"Behind every strong man is [a pile of poisonous patriarchal crap]."

Spoiler warning for all of Orange Is the New Black throughout. Because Orange Is the New Black takes place in a women’s prison and is primarily concerned with the prisoners in said prison, the vast majority of its characters are going to be women. That’s not really a criticism, since there’s no real way around it. And […]

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Dawn of Fascists: Examining Authoritarianism in Superhero Fiction

Batman v Superman v fundamental civil liberties.

Superhero narratives are politically fascist. That’s not really a criticism, it’s just a statement of fact. Integral elements of the genre, such as the nearly unlimited power and authority superheroes are handed with little to no oversight, are inherently authoritarian concepts. As such, superhero stories that wind up addressing or examining these themes tend to […]

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Sparks Notes, a Critical Analysis of Nicholas Sparks Movies: The Notebook

There are two types of bad media—in particular bad movies—that fascinate me, or at least fascinate me enough for me to want to examine them. The first is the strangely bad. The second kind of bad that fascinates me is stuff that's bad but is also monstrously successful. Movies based on Nicolas Sparks' books have quietly managed to gross over 900 million dollars without anyone really noticing or feeling like picking them apart. Since no one else is doing it, I might as well.

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What Led to Lexa: A Look at the History of Media Burying Its Gays

As a creator it's very easy to pretend that your works are not part of a trend. It's tempting, especially if you're not part of a marginalized group, to put blinders on and focus entirely on your work.

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The Death of Zara Young, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hate Jurassic World

When I first saw Jurassic World, I was trying desperately to like it. Summer 2015 was, with the shining exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, a terrible time for big action movies, and I was searching for something to break that. So I confess, I was looking for reasons to like it, and while I wouldn't say that my initial thoughts on it were completely positive, I at least didn't hate it. I am but a man; I am sometimes weak.

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Fifty Shades of Grey vs. Bound: When a Mockbuster Beats Its Original

Though relevant to the discussion, we're not here to discuss the pop culture effects of Twilight, nor are we really here to discuss the effects of Fifty Shades. No, we're here to discuss a film I discovered that puts the extremely regressive subtext (and, on occasion, text) of Fifty Shades in context—a weird little film called Bound.

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In the Grim Darkness of Warhammer 40k‘s Far Future, There Are Only Men, and It’s Terrible

If you love something, you must be willing to criticize it and acknowledge its flaws, and while there are many flaws with Warhammer, the one we're here to examine today is gender representation of the grim darkness of the far future. You'd better settle in, because this is a doozy.

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