HYPERREALITY

Recent Posts

Tyra Banks’ Future Beauty Predictions Look A Lot Like ‘The Hunger Games’

Tyra Banks wrote an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal¬†(“Tyra Banks Says Beauty in the Future Will Mean Looking Different“) about her predictions for the future. With the tagline, “Plastic Surgery and Other Aids Will Be Widely Available, Putting a Premium on Distinct Looks,” it’s clear that Ms. Banks is dreaming of a plastic […]

Big, Bold, and Body Positive: Praising ESPN’s Body Issue Cover-boy Prince Fielder

ESPN’s 2014 The Body Issue won’t hit newsstands until July 11th, but leaked images of Texas Ranger’s first baseman Prince Fielder are surely making the rounds online, and for good reason! These images show a different side to the usual “Fitness Model Magazine Cover-boy,” and the result is not only inspiring, but it’s a step […]

Instant Gratification, Insta-lebrities, Instigation: Why Nash Grier Shouldn’t Have a Platform

Not everybody deserves — or should have — a platform. Eight years ago, ¬†internet-based celebrities were non-existent; the thought of achieving fame solely through the internet¬†was a concept that I don’t think anyone¬†anticipated, let alone expected to ever come to fruition. At the start of the 2000s, social networking was a relatively “new” concept, with […]

Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final: New Post-Potter Piece by JK Rowling Hints at More Potter to Come?

If you’re a member of JK Rowling’s famed Pottermore, a website devoted to everything Harry Potter (and more), you were greeted to a treat today: JK Rowling has posted a new “story” of sorts on Tuesday, July 8th; it’s an article from the Daily Prophet by the famed Rita Skeeter, written — of course — […]

Zac Efron Should Just Take Off His Shirt and Shut Up: The Hyperreality of Efron’s Body

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen’s latest comedy Neighbors slayed the box office this past Spring; it racked up an impressive $147 million at the box office and beating The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the #1 spot during release weekend. Most of the buzz around the film was due to the films word-of-mouth, BuzzFeed-esque viral media […]

#AskThicke Proves That Glorifying Rape Really Isn’t Cool, Score 1 For Human Decency

2013’s Song of the Summer was the mostly unexpected, hugely inappropriate “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, a song that both raced to the top of the charts, despite Thicke not having a hit since 2006’s “Lost Without You,” and glorified rape and promoted rape culture at the same time. Don’t believe me? Check out the […]

A Whole New … World? Aladdin Song About Sex, Childhood Effectively Ruined

Caution: I’m about to ruin some childhoods. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS OMGREVELATION? “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin is totally about foreplay. Don’t believe me? Sing along and really think about the lyrics (and your first time losing your V card or delivering/receiving a handy/blowie) as I break it down: . I can […]

Men, Objectified: From Michelangelo to J.Lo, a Study of the Effect of Mainstream Masculinity on Male Identity

On March 13th, 2004, Jennifer Lopez released a music video for her new single “I Luh Ya Papi,” a bouncy new hip-hop infused jam to twerk to in front of the bedroom mirror. It was immediately promoted on social media and reigned down on the blogosphere as a refreshing twist on the usual “Let’s Objectify […]

‘Me. I Am Mariah … the Elusive Chanteuse’: A Benchmark Mariah Carey Record

Originally Published on May 27th, 2014; Updated on June 24th, 2014 “I’ll just sit right here and sing that good old school shit to ya/I won’t fool ya” Mariah coos on the first verse of “Dedicated,” a breezy throwback jam to 1980’s hip hop featuring hip hop heavyweight — and probably one of the last […]

Why Pop Culture Desperately Needs the Spice Girls

Originally Published on April 10th, 2014; Updated June 24th, 2014. The brightest spots in my days each week¬†happen during class periods when thought-provoking, deep discussions sprout from whatever material is being taught that particular day. Since I teach a wide array of classes, from core required Composition and Literature courses to upper-level English courses like […]

Lady Gaga Closes Roseland Ballroom, Minds Were Blown

Originally Published on April 7th, 2014; Updated on June 24th, 2014. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Minds Were Blown. Altered. Changed forever. On April 6th, 2014,¬†Lady Gaga performed at Roseland Ballroom, the¬†penultimate show before the iconic venue closed forever EVER. On April 7th,¬†Gaga performs the¬†final show before embarking on her artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball tour. Arriving at […]

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was in the Closet

Originally Published: April 3rd, 2014; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Recently, I’ve had a few readers reach out to me in response to this piece I wrote about Disney’s Frozen, sharing candid personal details about their life and struggles they’ve faced in regards to growing up gay and taking those pivotal first steps towards coming out […]

Leave Ellen Alone: A Lesson in Misplaced Transphobia

Originally Published: March 5th, 2014; Updated: June 25th, 2014 Comedienne, actress, host extraordinaire, and overall amazing human Ellen DeGeneres recently came under fire for a comment during her opening monologue at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which aired Sunday, March 2nd. During her witty opening, which employed her signature wry-delivery and the pop culture-laden humor […]

Why It’s Bad Form to Tell a Writer to Stop Writing

Originally Published: February 24th, 2014; Updated: June 24th, 2014* When I saw the title of this piece, “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It” that was originally published on HuffPost Culture this past weekend, I felt a familiar rage bubble to the surface before I even read the first sentence, which, […]

Beware the Frozen Heart: Is Disney’s ‘Frozen’ An Allegory for Coming Out?

Originally Published: December 2nd, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Is Disney’s Frozen An Allegory for Coming Out? **WARNING: Mild Spoilers Ahead** Walt Disney Animation Studios, the brilliant tour de force¬†behind¬†animations greatest cinematic achievements like the use of a multiplane camera to¬†help create the illusion of depth in animation, among others —¬†ahem, Snow White and the […]

Sex in YA: Everybody Does “It,” Nobody Talks About It

Originally Published: December 9th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 In¬†Young Adult Literature, How¬†Should¬†Sex Exist? Sex is a basic human need.¬†When we’re young, we’re curious about it; as we mature, we want it and once we have it, we crave it. If we aren’t having it, we’re daydreaming about it, reflecting on past experiences, looking ahead […]

Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

Originally Published: October 28th, 2013; Updated June 24th, 2014 The end is nigh. The apocalypse is upon us. . The sparkly vampire, zombie, post-apocalyptic, dystopian craze is coming to an end.¬†According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Sue Corbett, “New Trends in YA: The Agent’s Perspective,” agents are now looking beyond paranormal and sic-fi/fantasy; […]

The Great Escape! Escapism in Children’s Lit

Originally Published: October 4th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Escapism in Children’s Literature Children‚Äôs literature can take many forms, from sweeping sci-fi and fantasy epics to riveting who-done-it mysteries. One of the most popular ideas presented in these various forms is that of escapism, which authors use as a way for their main characters to […]

Will & Grace 101: How to React in Almost Any Situation

Originally Published September 16th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 As a self-respecting gay man, and pop culture commentat√≥r, naturally I have learned a lot from the oft-stereotypical, yet wildly forward-thinking-for-Network-TV-at-the-time Will & Grace. And by learned a lot, I clearly mean it’s my bible. For a very long time, it was my only real window […]

Katy Perry Is Really Just Mariah Carey’s Evil Twin, Bianca

Originally Published: September 8th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Hasn’t anybody ever wondered where Katy Perry came from? Ok, sure, it’s kind of explained in her concert documentary Part of Me and Wikipedia,¬†but I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye. To the untrained eye, she came from nowhere in 2007 with […]

Ruby Slippers, Western Stampin’ Ken, and A Whole Lotta #Diva

Originally Published: August 28th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 I had a MAJOR gaypiphany¬†the other day, like I often do when I’m reminiscing about my childhood. Gayphiphany: How did everyone NOT know I was gay by the time I reached 7? And if they did, WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME? Disclaimer: this is SO stereotypical. […]

“Maybe”

Originally Published: August 26th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 ‚ÄúMaybe‚ÄĚ I probably shouldn‚Äôt have told Nina not to wear her skintight plaid pants with zippers all over the legs. It wasn‚Äôt my finest hour. But I guess that‚Äôs the beauty of hindsight; it‚Äôs only good after the fact. Now I‚Äôm left alone, with only my […]