George R.R. Martin's series looks and feels like a historical drama, except the audience doesn't know how the story will turn out. Martin's 'fantasy' is preoccupied with power -- its relations, differentials and dynamics -- because he's interested in the way 'history' is really made.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is it worst to be killed by a crazed mob wielding machetes or to die via conveyor belt and filing system? The Better Angels of Our Nature keeps falling victim to the halo effect, creating an aura around reason itself.
Welcome to the 2011 Through the Looking Glass awards, the Anger Is An Energy edition. This was the year the whole earth shook, sending shock waves in all directions. We don't mean to imply that the seismic shifts were of equal magnitude: not every violent disturbance registered the same on our Richter scale.
Freedom is just another word for contemplating our own reflections. Indeed, the way internet users process information predates the advent of computers, and merely reflects the way we want to see (filter) the world in the first place.