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Articles on Pop culture

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With little else to draw from, people turn to science fiction when thinking about the Space Force. CSA Images via Getty Images

Space Force sounds like a joke thanks to pop culture – that could be a problem for an important military branch

Science fiction has often had an inspirational and positive relationship with space endeavors. But the new US Space Force is struggling with a pop culture public relations problem.
Beyoncé arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating “China: Through the Looking Glass” on May 4, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

10 years of Beyoncé: A decade ‘causing all this conversation’

From a quiet start to cultural dominance, Beyoncé’s work over the last decade is groundbreaking. But it is also filled with questions and contradictions.
Although the show was rightly criticised for its lack of diversity, the First Slayer - she who begat all future slayers, including Buffy - was black. 20th Century Fox/IMDB

A revamped Buffy could rectify the original Slayer’s problem with race

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a cult classic, was a series with a diversity problem. News of a new season provides an opportunity for a different kind of storytelling.
Australian pulp fiction: these works can be read as a symptom, laying bare the unspoken fears, desires, dreams and nightmares of the time. Author provided

Friday essay: the complex, contradictory pleasures of pulp fiction

Mid-20th century pulp fiction was trashy, tasteless, exploitative and lurid. There’s a lot there to love. You might read pulp as a cultural Freudian slip, loony bulletins from the collective Id.
Johnny Hallyday in concert in May 2014. Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr

Made in France: how Johnny Hallyday won a nation’s heart

Johnny Hallyday was more than a music icon, he was a cultural symbol for the French lower and the middle classes. In his death he reconciled the country with the term popular culture.
Kyle MacLachlan in the new season of Twin Peaks: has the Internet helped fuel nostalgia for TV shows from decades past? Rancho Rosa Partnership, Showtime Networks

It’s happening again … our love affair with TV reboots

Twin Peaks has just hit our streaming services, again, alongside reboots of the X-Files, Gilmore Girls, and more. But, despite our nostalgia, they’ll never revive the specific time they were born in.
Felicity Huffman in Transamerica, which signified a shift in depictions of transgender people. Belladonna Productions

Friday essay: transgenderism in film and literature

Historically, pop culture has tended to depict transgender people as objects of comedy or monstrous freaks. But attitudes are changing, as a new novel featuring a transgender child shows.
Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House in a promotional video ahead of Matt Groening’s visit to Australia this week. Twentieth Century Fox/Sydney Opera House

Why The Simpsons has lost its way

The subtlety laced with satire that graced earlier shows has been replaced by a brash, carelessness. And Homer, while always loud-mouthed, is now positively abusive. After 28 seasons, is it time for The Simpsons’ creators to call it a day?
A scene from Heathers the Musical based on the 1988 film. Kurt Sneddon

Why do we find it so hard to move on from the 80s?

Eighties culture is big, from nostalgic TV dramas to tours by ageing pop stars. But it’s time for a clear-eyed assessment of the decade, which prized excess and economic rationalism along with synth pop and big hair.

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