The Stranger: Recognizing the Sun

Existence is not inherently meaningful. Our direction and purpose is defined, not by our own will but by the will of others and a great state of cosmic indifference that allows this awesome liberty to take hold. This is the stage in which Albert Camus’s masterpiece The Stranger takes place, tackling deep questions about the…

Westworld: Dissonance

Spoilers for Westworld season 1 What is humanity? What elements define our progress, and how do we rationalize our sentience in a manner that doesn’t involve an excuse of divine intervention? Are we gods, or are we animals who simply strayed too far from the natural cycle of life and are clawing to find our…

Harvest: Neil Young & the Harvest Moon’s Shadow Over Us All

Missed opportunities, an aching heart, the hope of a better tomorrow: all are well-worn tropes in the best of every genre. Considering most modern music stems (at least to some degree) from the slave spirituals of early America, it’s easy to see how this breed of melancholy and positivity, when crafted and executed well, reaches…

Sweeney Todd: If I Cannot Fly, Let Me Sing

Johanna sings of her resentment and envy towards her caged bird in a pivotal scene near Sweeney Todd‘s beginning. The song illustrates her desire to break free from her lavish confines or, failing that, at least learn how to accept her fate. Johanna doesn’t know much about the world outside, having lived as a ward…

Trump is the Key to Understanding ISIS

Excusing the racism, sexism, and general bigotry that undeniably rests at the center of Donald Trump and his campaign, there is an idea as deceptively simple as it is insidious: that someone’s out to destroy your way of life. It doesn’t matter who–in fact, the less specific the better–because all you need to know is…

Master of None Captures the Real Symptoms of the Internet Age

Spoilers for Master of None If there’s one thing I hate, it’s misrepresentation. Over-reliance on stereotypes, broad characterizations, and one-note characters meant to send a message or move a plot along don’t have much of a place in modern entertainment. And yet, it’s not uncommon to see old, out of touch depictions of the “millennial.”…

Truth, Don Draper, & the American Way

Don Draper has many weapons. Whether you consider his brilliant eye for strategy, his exceptional ability to deconstruct the notion of happiness into an easily marketable advertisement, or his brimming sexuality as his most important is negligible. The reason being none of those answers are correct: Don Draper’s greatest asset is his silence. Throughout Mad…