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NEW ARTIST ALERT: Parson James and “Sinner Like You”

2015 has seen an unprecedented rise in LGBT musicians breaking all sorts of boundaries. From Sam Smith to Adam Lambert to Years & Years to Who is Fancy? to MNEK to the incredibly infectious songs from Fox’s hit show Empire, LGBT artists are breaking through mainstream barriers, and Parson James is next on the ever-growing list…

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Grey’s Anatomy & the Rise and Fall of Derek Shepherd

SPOILERS! If you haven’t seen the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, turn back NOW. Season 11 of the Shonda Rhimes-helmed Grey’s Anatomy has been a tumultuous rollercoaster for the show and it’s fans. After the previous season-long departure of original cast member Sandra Oh (who played fan favorite Cristina Yang), season 11 felt largely unknown. How…

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The “American Sniper” Effect: The Narrative of Arab Americans in Post-9/11 America

Why aren’t more people, namely those in media, talking about the outrageous murders at Chapel Hill in North Carolina, where three Muslim American students — Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha — were killed? I name them because it’s incredibly important that we learn their names and not just refer to them…

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Media Round-Up: January 2015

In terms of equality and diversity, 2015 started off with a BANG! January has already seen some huge wins and new trends in comparison to 2014 (let’s try and forget about the horribly white-washed 2015 Oscar Nominations), and I’m counting down my favorite moments! From shining light on the often dim (or completely snuffed out) transgendered community…

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The Hypocrisy and Homophobia of Katy Perry

Yesterday, my best friend sent me a link to “How Katy Perry Gets Away With Homophobia,” an article on Nylon about, well, how Katy Perry gets away with homophobia. Writer Gabrielle Korn writes about her grievances with the singer’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, specifically with the non-threatening, football fan-appeasing, undercurrent-of-homophobia-with-a-dash-of-colorful-heteronormative song choice “I Kissed a…

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Arguing Pop Culture: Product Placement Is Not Shameless Marketing, It’s A Subtle Art

Written by Nicholas Bellomo for English 101: Writing & Research at Westchester Community College. Advertisements are everywhere in society, whether on television, radio, in magazines, on billboards, in newspapers, or online, and people often get tired of hearing and seeing them. However, product placement does something a little different in a more furtive way that…

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Arguing Pop Culture: Product Placement Is Shameless Marketing

Written by JoAnna T. for English 101: Writing & Research at Westchester Community College, Fall 2014.  Product placement is a method of advertising used to lure in consumers. Companies promote movies, television shows, products, brands, and even people when using product placement. Sometimes television shows or movies send subliminal messages to viewers advertising a product or…

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Iggy Azalea: 21st Century Black Face

Iggy Azalea was one of the most successful breakout rappers of 2014; she also represents the best (i.e., worst) example of cultural misappropriation. Since before the conception of her mainstream career, she has openly and bluntly made derogatory remarks about various races, subsets of people, and has made a career out of cartoonishly imitating ghetto…

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How to Get Away With Murder. And Sex.

“He did this thing to my ass that made my eyes water.” It was the post-coital line heard ’round the world. Or at least reverberated off of the walls of every household tuned in to watch this Fall’s buzziest new late night primetime obsession How to Get Away With Murder. Connor Walsh, played by Jack Falahee, is…

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Is Feminism the New Black?: ‘Gone Girl,’ Laverne Cox, and the Intersection of Feminism and Pop Culture

Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and breakout star Rosamund Pike, is a smart, intense crash course on public perception and the twist-of-the-knife, cutthroat media circus that surrounds the national exposure of often small town tragedies. Based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the story revolves around “fictional”…

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The Problem With Sookie Stackhouse: Thoughts on ‘True Blood’ Post-Series Finale

There’s a problem in Hollywood with the portrayal of female characters. They’re either so “strong” (objective word) that they come off as emasculating “bitches,” or they’re weak, perpetual damsels-in-distress, who want to be strong and want to get ahead, but can’t seem to figure out the proper balance, which leads to them falling back on finding…

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OUTrage: What Does It Mean to be A Member of the Gay Community?

The (online) gay community is apparently outraged by Sam Smith “slamming” hook-up apps Grindr and Tinder. At least according to Rich Juzwiak at Gawker, who wrote a scathing, fat-shaming, reaching-for-an-issue-that-isn’t-really-there article called “Sam Smith’s Fucked Up Gay Conservatism” about the openly gay singer. It’s also been picked up by Kevin O’Keeffe on The Wire, who wrote…

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“No Offense, But”: Reactions to the Possibility of The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon (Maybe) Being Gay

Whenever somebody begins with the phrase, “No offense, but…,” rest assured that it’s probably going to be somewhat offensive, especially where gay issues are concerned. No matter how progressive our culture seems to be on the surface, beneath that glossy, shiny exterior plastered with photos from Pride Parades, individual state marriage equality victories, and cover…