Showing posts from February, 2015

Pop Misogyny: Nick Jonas, One Direction and 50 Shades

Pop music has a misogyny problem.

Now, were I to posit that hip hop has such a problem no one would bat an eyelash; that's old news. But I mean just what I said, that popular, top 40 music, in the United States of America, in 2015, shows evidence of deeply ingrained notions of female inferiority, subordination and disempowerment.

I can already hear the chorus of dissenters citing examples of empowered women in the medium in an attempt to stave off having this conversation:

"What about Beyonce, huh? How can pop music have gender equity problems when Beyonce is Beyonce?"

"Lorde's a feminist right? Doesn't that mean everything's basically fair?"

As if the success of a few women/minorities means the playing field is suddenly level. As if, because a few women have successfully navigated the murky waters of fame, we should stop talking about female representation in music. It's a flimsy line of thinking, albeit a familiar one.

Granted, the popular mus…

American Christian: Allegiance, Militarism and the Kingdom of God

I don't walk out on movies. Honest, it's just not my MO. For perspective, I sat through to the end of Rock of Ages. I finished Bruno in the theater. I do not walk out on movies.

That is, until Friday before last, when I encountered a film I could not in good conscience finish, prompting me to leave my group of friends and walk out of the theater. I made it through about two thirds of the thing, but at that point was so profoundly disturbed I had to walk out of American Sniper. 

Before we go any further allow me to clear something up: American Sniper is not a bad movie. As a matter of fact, from a technical standpoint it's damn near flawless (from what I saw). Gritty, poignant, emotionally gripping, smoothly directed, masterfully acted, full of action, suspense, and human drama; this film has it all.

But I had to leave, because AS surfaced in me a host of profoundly confusing, troubling issues, rendering the whole viewing experience alternately painful, numbing and infuriat…