Buffy’s It-Girl Problem & Intersectional Feminism

Buffy and Faith’s relationship is complicated, to say the least. They have great affection for and understanding of each other, but their bond is marred by jealousy, betrayal, and Faith choosing to channel her pain into destruction. In season 7, Faith captures the crux of it when she says “There's only supposed to be one. Maybe that's why you and I can never get along. We're not supposed to exist together.”

Whenever a woman gains enough power to be on equal footing with Buffy, she is knocked down. As long as they are relegated to sidekick, there’s no problem. But when another character, Willow, becomes too powerful as a witch, it’s portrayed as an addiction that must be controlled. When the ex-demon Anya regains her vengeance demon powers, she must relinquish them to rejoin the group. “There’s only supposed to be one.”

The Man In the High Castle & Our Own Alternative Reality

When the webmistress of this site asked me to do an article about The Man in the High Castle and the current state of politics, I joked that it must be because I'm Jewish! In truth, that's exactly why she asked me to write about it. And while I do watch the show, I hadn't thought of anything to say. It's two seasons in and most of the think pieces on it have been thought. So I said I'd take a pass.

But something was haunting me about the idea; why hadn't the prompt struck a chord with me? And if the show had nothing to say to me about politics then why was it interesting and why was I watching it?

Election 2016: Character Alignment for Voters

The interesting thing about the character alignment system is the different opinions on which category ends up being the most dangerous. Obviously chaotic evil - those who disregard rules and other people, seeking only to further their own selfish desires and personal freedoms - is one of the most dangerous (and is it just me, or does that correspond perfectly with the personality of President Trump?). Lawful Good has its own issues, with its blind adherence to rules. But both pale in comparison to the banality of evil represented by the Neutrals.

Browncoats Unite

I love Firefly for what Joss Whedon does best: bring together a disparate band of rogues with very different interests and turn them into a family. It ran for one perfect season (damn you, Fox!), and in a meta act of rebellion that led to ultimate victory, fans petitioned in the days pre-Kickstarter to bring the show back for one epic movie, Serenity.

There's no denying that at its heart, Firefly is a story about lost rebellions and the small acts of resistance people engage in in the fight to retain their independence. It's a story about social justice and unlikely heroes, about how even those broken down by lost battles maintain the spirit required to win the larger wars.

Fear and the Dark Side

Yoda: "Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

If there's one underlying theme that emerges from the 2016 Election Year, it's the use of fear to promote problematic narratives. For many Americans, the fear is real: fear of terrorism, of mass shootings, fear of economic instability. In a 24-hour news cycle, online news, and the perpetuation of "fake news" on social media, it's become difficult to separate fact from fiction.