A Leading Man, John Cho, and Selfie

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GQ Qi (Jack Yang) is a talented and handsome actor who can’t seem to get a break. That is until he lands a coveted role on a television sitcom. The only problem—the role is for a character named Kung Pao, a Chinese foreign exchange student. Not only is his name offensive but also the lines and mannerisms assigned to him. Fed up with the blatant stereotyping, GQ foils a plan to expose the executive producer of the show, Mitch Lebowitz (Bruno Oliver). He enlists the help of a production assistant, Kelvin Kim (Raymond Lee), but once again GQ can’t catch a break because the role is so coveted that Kim turns against GQ for an opportunity to replace him as the star.

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Get to Know the Artist: Jackie Venson

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Want your music with a dose of take-charge attitude? That’s exactly what you’ll get when you listen to Jackie Venson, blues rocker with Texas roots. Jackie has an abundance of musical talent under her belt with seventeen years of piano playing, eight years of songwriting, and four years of guitar strumming. Jackie even attended Berklee College of Music, polishing her technical skills even further. So with all that training and musical emersion, what’s an artist to do? Shake things up with personality and attitude.

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From Neighborhood Cops to Robocops: The Changing Face of American Police

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“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ― Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means If 2014 was the year of militarized police, armored tanks, and stop-and-frisk searches, 2015 may well be the year of technologized police, surveillance blimps and scan-and-frisk searches. Just as we witnessed neighborhood cops being transformed into soldier cops, we’re about to see them shapeshift once again, this time into robocops, complete …continue…

A Little Rant About News Broadcasting

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Here in Israel we do not get to see American commercials on cable TV. On the American news networks, what we get instead of the commercials are fillers. These are naturally as superficial as the actual broadcasts. Fox, for example, gives us “extras,” very often focusing on health, though, not surprisingly, not a word is said about how the American food industry is destroying it. MSNBC, on the other hand, gives us its Lean Forward promos, where its anchor people and other superstars make “statements,” that is, deliver something in the way of personal credos. These are meant to be trenchant but are in fact ludicrous.

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Cloppers: Perverts or Fetishists?

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an animated television show targeted at preteen girls, but unexpectedly has gained a following of primarily male adults, who refer to themselves as Bronies. The pressing issue that involves both Bronies and non-Bronies are Cloppers. Cloppers are people who are sexually attracted to the characters in the show, and create, or just enjoy, sexually explicit fan art. This type of fan-art falls under the idea of Rule 34, which is a social construct that if something exists there with always be a porn version if it. It can include, but is not restricted to, images, animation, fan fiction, and even songs.

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Get to Know the Artist: Shilpa Narayan

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Today’s featured artist is Shilpa Narayan, a soul-pop artist based in New York City. Shilpa’s musical career originated on YouTube when she sat down with an acoustic guitar and wowed listeners with covers of popular hits, ranging from Rihanna’s “Rehab” to Eagle Eye Cherry’s “Save Tonight.” These videos showcased Shilpa’s natural, unmediated vocal talent, and as her fan base grew it was only a matter of time before her music moved beyond covers and towards original content.

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Why the Short Film Menschen Is Important

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The short film Menschen carries its weight as a period piece that involves relevant themes loaded from the past. I don’t have to tell you that film as an art-form has the power to impact both the life of an individual and influence or reflect societal values and norms. With this power in mind, Menschen is important because of how it relates to our modern world.

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‘You’re Either a Cop or Little People’: The American Police State in 2014

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“You’re either a cop or little people.”—Police captain Harry Bryant in Blade Runner For those of us who have managed to survive 2014 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns. We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, …continue…

Get to Know the Artist: Sunshine Riot

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This week’s featured artist is rock and roll band, Sunshine Riot, composed of singer/guitarist Jonny Orton, bassist Jeff Sullivan, lead guitarist Mark Tereault, and drummer Chris Alvardo. In an age where electronic-pop has emerged, Sunshine Riot’s music embodies classic rock and roll. The band also enjoys living the rock and roll life from the “shitty motel rooms” to meals at gas stations. Their sophomore album, Black Coffee Sigh, will be released on January 13. Check out “This Is A Raid,” a song from the album here and continue reading to learn more about Sunshine Riot!

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The Batman Monomyth

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The Batman character is what Freud called a truth wrapped in symbolism (Freud, as cited in Campbell, 2008). Never mind that in this particular case, the vast majority of that symbolism involves a man dressing up as a night rodent and performing acts of skydiving, daredevil valor against an assortment of cartoonish and garish nemeses.

Some authors suggest that readers embrace the character because of his inherent humanity (White, Arp, and Irwin, 2008). Batman does not come from another planet, nor is he the result of a radioactive meltdown. He is the product of a tragic event, which is a universal truth to which human beings can relate.

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