America’s Dirty Little Secret: Sex Trafficking Is Big Business

OldSpeak_SexTrafficking

“For every 10 women rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women are brought in by the traffickers. Unfortunately, they’re not 18- or 20-year-olds anymore. They’re minors as young as 13 who are being trafficked. They’re little girls.”—25-year-old victim of trafficking “Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children The mysterious disappearance of 18-year-old Hannah Graham on September …continue…

The Music of the Gaming World: Evolution and Influence

Video Games Final

Once a minor detail, video game music has come to be a key part of the overall experience, to the point where some people even choose games because of the composers who worked on them. This music has also come to have a significant impact on other kinds of musical culture, but how did this happen? Is it simply a side effect of the massive growth in the popularity of games themselves or have other technological and cultural factors played a part?

READ MORE.

A Galaxy of Comic Books: an Interview with James Rubino

T5 CVR_Fotor

We are all familiar with the world of comic books, and we are often quick to drop the names Marvel and DC Comics – producers of The Avengers and Batman, producers of countless other tales of heroism, villains, otherworldly realms and science experiments gone wrong. These are the comic books I recall as a kid, the stories I now eagerly go to see played out on cinematic big screen. But when was the last time you came across a contemporary comic book? I just recently starting diving back into the comic book realm, and I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that it is teeming with original and quality content.

READ MORE.

Turning Americans into Snitches for the Police State: ‘See Something, Say Something’ and Community Policing

OldSpeak_SaySomething

“There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.”—Professor Robert Gellately If you see something suspicious, says the Department of Homeland Security, say something about it to the police, …continue…

Sleepy Kitty’s ‘Projection Room’ Awakens the Soul

Sleepy Kitty

Gadfly recently sat down with Evan Sult, drummer for art-pop-rock duo Sleepy Kitty, to discuss the band’s latest album, Projection Room, which can be heard on Spotify. Sult, formerly a member of punky, alt-rock group Harvey Danger, brings unimaginable depth to the pair’s lives, music, and pasts with his insights on their music and future; both he and partner Paige Brubeck are truly remarkable, one-of-a-kind musicians, as is their latest LP, Projection Room, with it’s delightful mixture of edgy femininity and uplifting pop rhythms.

READ MORE.

An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

9-11

“I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”—Osama bin Laden (October 2001), as reported by CNN What a strange and harrowing road we’ve walked since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that …continue…

A Look at the Political Culture of My Little Pony

A Look at the Political Culture of My Little Pony

The ruling class of alicorns of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is able to stay in power because of a mix of fear and ingrained civic virtue, and this reflects the adult viewers pessimistic view of the current American government, their low voting patterns, and high civic involvement. In addition to the expressed view of political power seen throughout, other issues include terrorism, homeland security, and international conflict.

READ MORE.

Resistance is Futile: The Violent Cost of Challenging the American Police State

Resistance_585x585

“Police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. With varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.”—Kristian Williams, activist and author If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, …continue…

The Rise of Equality: Orange is the New Black

Panksepp1998

Last year, the critically acclaimed series Orange is the New Black premiered as a Netflix original show. For those who are not aware, the show follows the story of Piper Chapman as she navigates her new life in prison and encounters women from all types of backgrounds and cultures. The show is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her life in a woman’s prison, and though the show takes some leisure with Kerman’s life it nevertheless serves as an important marker in television history.

READ MORE.

The American Delusion: Distracted, Diverted and Insulated from the Grim Reality of the Police State

09-03-2014_Delusion

“In the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is …continue…