Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Kit MacFarlane
Image: Kit MacFarlane

Kit MacFarlane has a PhD in English Literature, Film and Popular Culture, and teaches film and media as a freelance academic. He writes cultural criticism, commentary and relentless tirades, and has published regular cultural and higher education commentary in Australian media. He writes monthly-ish column Retro Remote at PopMatters. A full list of his writing can be found on his very ugly webpage. Why not follow him on Twitter? Off-the-clock, he shouts at the TV incessantly.


Features

Thursday, May 21 2009

Star Trek's Lost Legacy of Literary Pretension

What's a Kirk without Earth-poet Shakespeare? Has the awkward Star Trek quotation spat its last breath? Trek's lost legacy of literary pretension.


Tuesday, May 5 2009

Who Needs an Oscar Anyway?: Mickey Rourke's Homeboy

Dismissed as too depressing in 1988, Mickey Rourke's self-penned turn in Homeboy brings an aura of sorrow more nuanced and poetic than that of his celebrated performance in The Wrestler.


Columns

Sunday, March 2 2014

'Quantum Leap' and the Denial of Meaning

Grand "explanations" are simple, it's actions and decisions that are complex. Quantum Leap treated ordinary people's problems as the real matters of cosmic importance.


Tuesday, December 17 2013

Why Does TV Betray Us So, Every Christmas?

Some TV shows just aren’t willing to launch themselves into Christmas joy without also considering the validity of the Grinch's perspective.


Wednesday, October 2 2013

Back Away Slowly, Walter White, Sgt. Suzanne 'Pepper' Anderson's Got Her Own Big Gun

Unassuming high school chemistry teacher faced with insurmountable medical expenses turns to manufacturing illegal drugs to make ends meet? Sorry Bryan Cranston, Angie Dickinson and William Shatner got there first.


Monday, July 29 2013

Forget the Brooding 'Man of Steel', Here Are Five Ways to Have Fun with a Lighter, Brighter Superman

Man of Steel was more concerned with surly brooding than Superman's more endearing traits. I think we (and Superman) should lighten up.


Tuesday, May 28 2013

Superman and the War Against Anachronism

The impulse is to "update" Superman, to make him "relevant". But what could be more deadening than making an enduring cultural icon "relevant" to passing trends?


Pete Kelly's Blues [19.Oct.09]

Blogs

Tuesday, August 20 2013

Total Divas on E!: Just Switch it Off

Total Divas is WWE's ode to its own misogyny, its glorification of its belief that women are peripheral to real narratives and that women don't deserve the same opportunities as men.


Friday, April 27 2012

Joss Whedon's 'Avengers' Reaches Apex of Averageness, True Believers

The Avengers may be awesome, but that doesn't mean it's any good. The new standard for superhero films seems to be that they don't suck as opposed to actually containing any ideas of interest.


Thursday, October 13 2011

The Thing (2011): Bringing Quiet Tones and Space Vaginas Back from the '80s

Matthijs van Heinjningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing summons the chilly vibe and the cinema-sexual psychoanalytic undertone of the best of '80s genre cinema. It's only the generic modern "female empowerment" story that seems dated.


Friday, September 30 2011

WWE's Heels -- the Jerks, Cowards and Miscreants -- vs. Corporate Hedonism

Mainstream culture's failure to examine professional wrestling seriously -- in this case, workplace safety issues -- lets the WWE get away with all kinds of ridiculous villainy that no other media organisation could. And pocket a tidy profit while doing it.


Wednesday, March 30 2011

Homophobia Is Alive and Well on TV at the WWE

With the WWE's biggest event of the year on the horizon, fans and sponsors might want to take a closer look at its blatant homophobia and reconsider the wisdom of handing over their money to a bigoted and retrograde institution.


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