AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

Last week congresswoman and media-discourse-lightning-rod Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicked off a firestorm of hot takes by wearing a ball gown emblazoned with the message “Tax the Rich” to this year’s Met Gala. The annual super-exclusive social event and big money fundraising soiree typically attracts buzzing commentary over its dramatic displays of eye-catching haute couture. The buzz … Continue reading AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

I finally got around to watching Nomadland this weekend, just ahead of the film’s anticipated Oscars triumph. My viewing was belated for a number of reasons. For one, the fact that the film was only available to stream on Hulu, necessitating that I create a Hulu account, made it easy to avoid. Secondly, I am … Continue reading Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

Paris, Texas: Cinematic Space, Emotional Landscapes, and American Environments

Paris, Texas is a film about space. Space that you move through and space that you move beyond. The spaces between people, both inner and outer. It is a film utterly fixated upon landscapes: geographical landscapes, symbolic landscapes, and emotional landscapes. It offers one of the most evocative depictions of American environments in narrative cinema. … Continue reading Paris, Texas: Cinematic Space, Emotional Landscapes, and American Environments

TENET Redux: 22 Theses on Nolan

Some responses to my previous TENET post have complained that the essay is bloated, confusing, and pretentious. Ironically, these are also some of the most common criticisms of the film itself. In acknowledgment of this feedback (and as an exercise in padding my post count with repurposed content), I have prepared the following “Twitter thread” … Continue reading TENET Redux: 22 Theses on Nolan

Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Amidst all the Cyberpunk 2077 discourse over the past month-and-a-half, I was struck by the opinion expressed by gamepressure’s Michael Chwistek that the game perhaps offers more potential as an interactive movie than as an open-world RPG. The article begins thusly: “I don't like games that complete themselves. Take Telltale games, for example. I only … Continue reading Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

TENET: Christopher Nolan vs. Entropy

TENET is a preposterous film. The central conceit of the plot, the rapid-fire delivery of exposition through muffled dialogue, and the mixed-chronology action set pieces are all jaw-droppingly confounding. The fact that it functions as a movie at all is a testament to something, though I’m unsure how much that something has to do with … Continue reading TENET: Christopher Nolan vs. Entropy

The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

“The tarot will teach you how to create a soul.” Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain Cyberpunk 2077 released last week, and like so many others I’ve been exploring the game (to the best of my ability considering the performance issues on my console hardware...but that’s currently being discussed ad nauseum across the Internet, and I am … Continue reading The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

I love the Watch_Dogs franchise. Or rather, I want to love it. I certainly love the overall concept. The distinguishing features of the series incorporate some of my favorite elements from video games in general, as well as more particular niche interests. For one thing, the games  are set in contemporary urban open worlds that … Continue reading Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

Sick of Serial Killing: The Virulence of Hate in a Time of Contagion

The following reflections were originally written several years ago for a graduate seminar. I’ve decided to share these thoughts here because they seem highly resonant with the current moment. For one thing, the essay links metaphors of contagious disease with activist rhetoric deployed against public apathy and racialized violence. These connections take on a renewed … Continue reading Sick of Serial Killing: The Virulence of Hate in a Time of Contagion