Recent Comments

Virtual reality film Out of Exile: Daniel's Story (Sundance Film Festival 2017)
Allison McCracken

I appreciate you sharing this story and video of this new type of digital 3D experience, which is fascinating. I haven’t heard of this iteration of digital experience before but I absolutely agree that digital media offers opportunities for visceral experiences of empathy and community that are just as valid as other types of media or in-person experiences for queer youth. What is impressive to me is the increasing number of media forms that provide spaces for LGBTQA+ youth expression and community (if only they had existed when I was growing up!). Where I see the limitations in LGBTQA+ spaces for youth more generally is not so much in their forms (on or offline) as their continuing privileging of white queer cis youth, who invariably receive the most attention/funding/acclaim/scholarly attention. This is a concern we all have, of course, and is a larger issue within LGBTQA+ mass media promotion/reception more generally.

Allison McCracken

Wow! Great piece, and this is such an amazing video—I can’t believe the production values here and it is so wonderful to see two girls skating together. As a longtime male figure skating fan, I was so pleased at the attention Yuri brought to the ways in which male skating itself invites queer reception because of its gender transgression/fluidity/beauty. Indeed, it is these aspects of the sport that women and queer fans (which I would argue are the majority) value the most about it. The resemblance of these female skaters—particularly the younger—to current male figure skaters puts into relief the gender fluidity of the sports’ stars (it’s not surprising that Johnny Weir and other major skaters have weighed in appreciatively on Yuri) .

I appreciate Andrew’s discussion above regarding yaoi, and what I particularly love about this vid is that it makes lesbian “yaoi” fandom visible, where it often is not. It made me think of the performances of drag kings—queer girls performing live as boy bands—and Barbara Jane Brickman’s wonderful essay, “This Charming Butch: The Male Pop Idol, Girl Fans and Lesbian (In)Visibility,” which points out how lesbian fans of boy bands are ignored because heterosexual desire is still the dominant framework for understanding how pop fandom works. Yet this kind of intense love and, as Louisa writes, joy, is so complex, and is certainly as much about identification as desire. In today’s culture, such texts have also become formative regarding non-binary identities as well as queer/lesbian identities for many youth.

Timothy Shary

It’s great to see the development of more youth programming online, since the relevance of film and television (and even more so print) are clearly waning for young people. As you point out, ‘Overshadowed’ in many ways follows familiar themes and employs relatively conventional narrative forms, but the target audience is far more likely to see it on their computers (or really, phones) than the dominant media outlets of the ancient 20th century. I hope these new shows encourage further creative endeavors for youth themselves, and can minimize the consumerist and commercial impulses that have corrupted most of the products geared toward children for the past century.

Timothy Shary

I can see how these CMVs are empowering— not to mention creatively energizing— for young people. Here the makers are able to combine geopolitical critique with a stylish gender commentary, and the fans’ appreciative responses speak to how deeply affecting these messages (and celebrations, and jokes) can be. I am heartened by how much creative reach young people have today through the internet, so that their diverse populations are heard more widely than ever before. Accordingly, youth are able to make significant connections with other youth that continue to grow in their impact.

Andrew Scahill

Wonderful piece! I’m struck my the multiple ways in which this video queers and requeers the original text to meet the needs of various fan subcultures. There is the gay male queerness of the origin text, and then there is the long-standing”yaoi” (beautiful boy) tradition in manga/anime/video games where heterosexual girls play with queer male sexuality. But this is fascinating because it uses the yaoi genre of fandom to playfully express lesbian sexuality. It also allows the young women to display their considerable skating talent in a sport that still underplays womens’ athleticism in favor of traditional norms of femininity.

Romero's ghouls shambling
Jennifer Van Houdt

I like your idea that there’s a set of characteristics put in place by Romero’s ghoul and that we see deviations in only a few those characteristics at a time. As a revolving set, it’s easier to see how the zombie can operate as an empty signifier. I am tempted, though, to think of the zombie’s mostly-consistent mindlessness (and lack of speech) as key to its malleability as signifier—with only one central, defining desire (consumption) it seems easier to transfer the zombie into other contexts and flexibly interact with other ideas.

John A. Riley

Was thinking about another way Stranger Things uses music: to create certain character associations. We know Bob’s a bit of a square because he listens to Kenny Rogers, while Billy’s bad boy credentials were cemented the moment we heard Ted Nugent blasting out of his car stereo. The music (pre-existing and specially written) is for me one of the main pleasures of the show.

John A. Riley

I’m only 3 episodes in to the new season, but it seems the showrunners are setting up a response to the shoddy treatment Barb received in season 1. Do you - and will other fans - feel that she’s finally getting her due, or is it a more cynical move?

Christina Ivey

I wanted to make sure that my student, Samantha Haskell, also got credit as a co-author for this piece. She was integral to bringing this trope to my attention, and provided all of the research related to the trope itself.

Romero's ghouls shambling
Ryan Lizardi

That’s an interesting question. I almost feel like the Romero core is what will be retreated back to after any deviation. So if we could figure out something like top 10 Romero zombie characteristics (e.g, slow, flesh-eating, damage to the brain kills, etc.), then after a new film experiments and changes #6 and #9 the next film will revert those two back to Romero-style and try to change #3 and #7. 28 Days Later changed a lot and was influential, but next film up likely reversed most of those changes in favor of the Romero core. I’m struggling to think of any significant changes to zombie characteristics that have been solidified and long-lasting post-Romero. What do you think?