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Television

I Can't Bear to Watch, I Must Watch: Revisiting McLuhan, Postman, and DeLillo in These Heady Days

Americans' voyeuristic attraction for scarlet-stained murder spectacles spills over into our need for similarly doomed entertainment in our highest national political office.

Recent
Culture

Steubenville as Personality Test

The Steubenville High School rape allegations were more than a controversial court case — they were a true test of character.

Culture

Spies Like Us: Sex Scandal, Racists Tweets and Nobody's Business

The Petraeus sex scandal, liberal 'naming and shaming' of young racists and Rihanna's new single share a common theme: popular culture as survelliance. We all seem to be minding one another's business and keeping a watchful eye on one another.

Science

Hurricane Sandy: The Perfect Storm in Every Way

Hurricane Sandy was not just a freak natural occurrence -- it became the 'perfect storm' for cultural events such as conspiracy theories, religious intolerance, scientific accountability, and the sharing of (mis)information through social media.

Internet

Body Image: Chris Brown's Tattoo, Lady Gaga's Weight Gain and Amanda Todd's Suicide

Chris Brown's latest tattoo supposedly boasts violence against women. Lady Gaga has gained weight and now she's attempting to start a 'body revolution'. Amanda Todd, a teenage girl defined (and destroyed) by the image of her own body, committed suicide.

Internet

Lost in Translation: The Way We View the Videos 'Innocence of Muslims' and 'Gangnam Style'

While the responses to these two videos couldn't be more different, they have something in common. Both were released online in early July and became international flash points during September. They also revealed something similar: how cultural meaning can get lost in translation.

Television

Body Politic: Rihanna's Interview with Oprah, Kristen Stewart's Fall from Grace and the Hook Up Cult

This week Flashpoints looks at the female body politic that is reflected in the hall of mirrors of pop culture. Our gaze is cast on what we think we see of Rihanna, Kristen Stewart, and the Fifty Shades of Gray phenomenon.

Film

Fear Itself: How Did the Big Screen Become Linked to a Crime Scene?

The social discourse around the Aurora shooting at the screening of The Dark Knight Rises reveals a schizophrenic culture struggling with the issue of its own sanity. With so many different voices vying for attention, it has found itself contending with confusing impulses and messages.

Music

Flash Points: An Unquiet Riot

What is it about Pussy Riot that gets under the skin of the Putin regime?

Television

Flash Points: Penn State's Cover-Up and the Ethics of Rape Jokes

This week Flash Points looks at the Penn State cover-up and examines the way powerful people typically go to great lengths to cover their collective asses. We also examine rape culture and the ethics of rape jokes.

Steven Aoun and Sarah Boslaugh
Television

Flash Points: Making the Bus Monitor Cry, Frank Ocean's Watershed Moment & Louie CK's "Rape"

This week we critically examine the 'Make the Bus Monitor Cry' video, look at the watershed moment of Frank Ocean's coming out, and laugh with tears at the "rape" of Louie CK.

Culture

Staring Death in the Face: '1 Lunatic 1 Icepick' and 'Dark Souls'

This week Flash Points looks at the role the internet played in the creation and distribution of 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, arguably the world's first snuff movie. We also anticipate the release of Dark Souls for the PC, a game that is literally designed to kill you.

Culture

Flash Points: Racial Profiling, Riot Porn and the Zombie Apocolypse

This week we look at racial profiling through the lens of controversial writer John Derbyshire. We also talk about racism within hip-hop and find ourselves stimulated by the riot porn of the new Jay-Z and Kanye West video. Flash Points ends on a more positive note: the rise of the walking dead.

Culture

Flash Points: Chicks, Sluts and Facebook

This week Flash Points looks at the release of a controversial book sexually 'profiling' women, the slut shaming of Rihanna, and the poor showing of Facebook's IPO.

Media

Flash Points: Mommy's Breast, Marriage Equality and Why Chipotle Is King

Welcome to the first edition of Flash Points -- a new weekly feature that provides a critical overview of cultural trends and developments. This week: the controversial Time cover, the gay marriage debate and the annual CLIOs.

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