San Diego Comic Con

In a first, the forty-eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Joan Miller (@a_wild_acafan) joining Christopher Olson and myself to discuss the importance of the grand-daddy fan convention, San Diego Comic Con. In this episode, the trio discuss how SDCC came to be the pop cultural juggernaut that it…

The Pop Culture Lens on Fraggle Rock

In a first, the forty-seventh episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Greg Clark joining Christopher Olson and I to discuss the Jim Henson television show, Fraggle Rock. In this episode, we discuss the transnational and transcultural nature of the series that sought to create something universally human with nonhuman…

Mystery Science Theater 3000

In a first, the forty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Ryan Schriml (@EalingCA) joining Christopher Olson and myself to discuss the original comedy series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. In this episode, the trio of Misties reflect on the legacy of the television show in spawning movie-riffing as a modern…

Coca-Cola and American Identity

In this episode, the co-hosts address the history of Coca-Cola and how it has come to embody American ideals and ideologies around the world. Along the way, they consider how important the formation of corporations was to the creation of the United States as a global superpower. For those interested in marketing, they discuss how…

Monopoly as Serious Game?

In the forty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I discuss the history and ideology of the classic board game, Monopoly. In this episode, we present the original intentions behind the board game as being meant to teach socialism — and most definitely not greed. We trace the history of the game…

CfC for Book on Mental Illness in Entertainment Media

Call for Chapters for Book Proposal The editors are seeking chapter proposals for a collection of essays that examine positive, healthy, and accurate portrayals of mental illness in entertainment media. Proposed Title: Quieting the Madness: Entertainment Media‚Äôs Shift into More Accurate Depictions of Mental Illness Editors: Malynnda A. Johnson (Indiana State University) and Christopher J….

Analyzing Trump’s 2018 SOTU

Back in 2013, I analyzed President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address after the contentious 2012 election campaign. I copied the transcript for his address and ran it through a word cloud generator (at the time, Wordle) to see what words he used more, and thus what ideas he emphasized in his speech. In…

Past, Present and Future of Pro-Wrestling

At the 2017 C2E2 convention, I was joined by a great panel of professional wrestling professionals, fans and scholars to discuss how we see the past, present and future of “sports entertainment” from this particular point in time. On this panel are the following: Dave Prazak (Shimmer Women’s Professional Wrestling), Mike Kingston (Headlocked comic), Matt…

Carpenter’s The Thing and Politics of Paranoia

In the thirty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast, and unofficial third host, Joe Belfeuil to discuss the influential horror film that is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). In this episode, the three discuss how the narrative and craft of the film has inspired a…

Pop Culture Lens on Robots, Anthropomorphism, and Ethics

In this video, part of the new YouTube Channel for The Pop Culture Lens, you will hear an excerpt from a lecture I gave on robots. In this excerpt, I discuss the nature of robots and how it intersects with the concept of anthropomorphism. I make the argument for why such anthropomorphism, and zoomorphism, occurs,…