Category Archives: Literature

Culture, Taste, and What We’re Thankful For


What we like can say a lot about us. As sociologist Pierre Bourdieu said, “Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier.” The claim is that you’re born into a certain milieu, and that ends up influencing what you like. More interestingly, though, these tastes end up “classifying you” through your attitudes toward the tastes of others. You defer to those whose tastes you view as superior and look down on those who can’t match your own cultural cred. When this plays out, we have ourselves a class system.

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Thor’s Day: Norse Gods and Reboot Culture

thorsdayHappy Thor’s Day, everyone! You all know Thor, right? The majestic blond superhero with the hammer and the thunder? Or maybe the red-bearded god and lover of frost giants? Descriptions of the Norse god are vague and far-reaching across time and space. Why the disparity? And how in the world did he land in comic books?

The character known to us as Thor finds his beginnings in the oral tradition of Norse/Scandinavian mythos as the protector of humanity from the frost giants and other unnatural forces, the god (usually) second in power only to Odin. Characteristically wielding a mighty hammer, he served as the brawn to the other Norse gods’ brains. Continue reading Thor’s Day: Norse Gods and Reboot Culture

Death, Life, and Halloween

halloweenWith Halloween just around the corner, it’s worth taking a moment to ponder why we celebrate the day in the first place and why it emerges from its grave every year at this same time.

Every culture has its days of the dead: the Mexican Día de Muertos, the Chinese Yu Lan, the Japanese Obon, and, more recently, the Christian Hallowmas are some notable examples. But why the universal human preoccupation with those who’ve left us? The answer might lie somewhere in the dark, primal past of the mind. Continue reading Death, Life, and Halloween

First Impressions: Comic-Con’s “Man of Steel” Poster

San Diego Comic Con has come and gone and in it’s wake we’ve been left with loads news. Marvel is working on their “second phase” of their ever expanding film universe. And we’ve also been given some peeks into DC’s offerings with their upcoming Superman film, “Man of Steel”. Take a look at this teaser poster they revealed in San Diego.

Look! Up in the sky!
click to enlarge

What do you all think? Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it yet. I’m not the biggest fan of this new trend of adding ornate textures to super-suits. Most recently in Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man”, many though Peter Parker’s costume had the texture of a basketball (myself included). Regardless, it’s not really what they’re wearing that matters, is it?

Let us know what you think!

Book Review: Gundam – Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I’m a huge fan of giant robots in any form. Ever since I was a tiny gent, it was always something that captured my attention and imagination (a feat which could prove quite difficult at times…) Whenever I would come across one, whether in a comic book or on television I would drop whatever I was doing and focus only on that, including one unfortunate instance involving a dropped egg while helping in the kitchen.

Today’s review of the novel Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation not only fuels my aforementioned obsession but also holds a special place for me, as the Gundam franchise was my first introduction to the Japanese genre of “Mecha”.

Gundam is arguably one of the most recognized Japanese cultural icons having established itself as a multibillion dollar industry over the past 30 years. It has garnered a fan base of millions, been featured in a dizzying number of tie-in products, and has even spawned a life-size 1:1 scale model of the RX-78 Gundam featured in the original series. Brightly colored humanoid robots fighting for the salvation or ruin of humanity, striking memorable poses, and giving an unusually relatable sense of the characters daily struggles. Gundam is nothing short of a tour-de-force.

So, after all that hype what did I actually think of the book?

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