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Unite the Right is the Hate Rally U.Va Deserves

By Evan Henry A few hundred Proud Boys, Kekistani trolls, good old-fashioned Nazis, and G.I. Joe cosplayers descended on Emancipation Park in Charlottesville last Saturday, followed by riot police, National Guardsmen, and counterprotesters. It goes without saying that there were a surprising (read: not at all surprising) number of swastikas and Hitler quotes on display, for … Continue reading Unite the Right is the Hate Rally U.Va Deserves

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Ratchet & Clank, Star Wars, and the Never-Ending Joke of Merchandising

Ratchet & Clank is better than Star Wars. This is (deliberately) an incendiary claim.  It is also (deliberately) a somewhat silly claim. Star Wars is a multibillion dollar ur-juggernaut of a franchise, dominating American pop culture since 1977.  Ratchet & Clank is nowhere near as dominant a franchise (not for lack of trying) with an at-best middlingly successful movie … Continue reading Ratchet & Clank, Star Wars, and the Never-Ending Joke of Merchandising

Sly Cooper, Preserver of Caste Hierarchy: In Defense of the Natural Hoarder of Things

This piece of mine was originally published on Hooded Utilitarian.  They have, unfortunately, gone on hiatus, as the proprietor, Noah Berlatsky, has moved on to creating ebooks!  Because the piece, as originally published, is very long, I am breaking it up into three parts along the lines of the original subheadings.  This is the third part.  The second part … Continue reading Sly Cooper, Preserver of Caste Hierarchy: In Defense of the Natural Hoarder of Things

Empire Begs its Subjects for Adoration, in Armageddon

Michael Bay's 1998 explogasm Armageddon is pretty much exactly what everybody expected – two and a half hours of gratuitous special effects, manly-man character development, and spastic cinematography.  It is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, after all.  It is predictable that the movie would be a ham-fisted, chest-thumping, toxically masculine patriot porn.  What isn't quite so predictable … Continue reading Empire Begs its Subjects for Adoration, in Armageddon

Sly Cooper, Preserver of Caste Hierarchy: Return of the Haters

This piece of mine was originally published on Hooded Utilitarian.  They have, unfortunately, gone on hiatus, as the proprietor, Noah Berlatsky, has moved on to creating ebooks!  Because the piece, as originally published, is very long, I am breaking it up into three parts along the lines of the original subheadings.  This is the second part. The first part … Continue reading Sly Cooper, Preserver of Caste Hierarchy: Return of the Haters

Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and the Authoritarian Aesthetic

This piece was originally published on Black Ship Books.  It is reprinted here with the author's permission.   Watchmen, besides its much-lauded status as a seminal work for “serious” superhero comics, is intricately caught up with politics. As Rawal Ahmed has written, Alan Moore’s oeuvre is inseparable from his loathing of Margaret Thatcher and the transatlantic political scene … Continue reading Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and the Authoritarian Aesthetic