Why Portland is Getting Sick of “Portlandia”

Walk down Hawthorne Street in Portland, Oregon, and it’s as if you’ve stepped onto the set of the hit TV show Portlandia. You walk past punks smoking pot on the sidewalk, trendy bars and coffeehouses, and shops full of Central Asian prayer ornaments. The men have beards and the women have dyed hair. A Starbucks … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why Do We Have to Review Everything We Do?

The most annoying day of every semester in college was the last day of class when we had to fill out evaluations of the professors. Like my fellow students, I wanted to get out of class, but before we could, we had to answer a long list of questions that attempted the nearly impossible task … Continued

Culture

Lena Dunham’s Female Sexual Entitlement

Sexual entitlement, fragility, and objectification are problems in the entertainment industry. If you want evidence of that, look no further than feminist hero Lena Dunham. At the 2016 Met Gala, Dunham treated NFL player Odell Beckham, Jr and actor Michael B. Jordan as objects for her sexual gratification and then became offended when they didn’t … Continued

Celebrities

The Feminist Attack Against K-pop

Korea is a country obsessed with popular music and entertainment. Every night of the week, one of seven major networks broadcasts a K-pop countdown show full of sexy girls and handsome guys dancing and singing (or lip syncing) in ways that would make feminist websites like Jezebel describe Taylor Swift as Betty Friedan by comparison. … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Why Are Republicans Embracing Identity Politics?

Commenting on last week’s Democratic National Convention, Dilbert cartoonist and self-proclaimed master of persuasion Scott Adams announced that he was “fairly certain my testosterone levels dropped as I watched.” Evidently Adams thinks that when men witness a woman being nominated for president of the United States and see her gender celebrated, they feel inadequate. “[I]f … Continued

Politics

What a Racist Chinese Ad Can Teach Us About Being American

On May 26, Donald Trump earned the delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination. That same day, Shanghaiist reported on a controversial Chinese ad that would later go viral in the West and be labeled “the most racist ad ever.” What do these two news events happening halfway across the world have to do with … Continued

Politics

What the Right and Left Get Wrong About Muhammad Ali

Liberal protesters wave foreign flags, conservatives question their patriotism, and fights break out at political rallies. The cultural divide between the Left and Right hasn’t been this fierce since the 1960s. The recent death of Muhammad Ali, heavyweight champion, Vietnam draft resister, and ‘60s radical, has brought that divide back into stark focus and shown … Continued

Politics

Why is Hollywood Pandering to Chinese Censors?

Watching The Dark Knight Rises in Shanghai in 2012, I wondered how the film had gotten past the censors. A leftist was running around a city decrying the rich, inciting a mindless mob to take over and steal individuals’ property, and convicting people without trial in kangaroo courts. It was as if Mao Zedong had … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Movies

To the Chinese, Our Presidential Debates are a Bad Sitcom

Can Chinese citizens gain an appreciation for democracy by watching American presidential debates? That is one of the premises of a group that is translating and subtitling the Republican primary debates for Chinese consumption. The Guojiang Subtitle Group, which is made up of about six dozen volunteers across China, subtitles American debates and uploads them … Continued

Culture, Politics