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…

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…

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’s 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…

Pop Culture Lens on Hello Kitty

In the thirty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and I welcome friend of the podcast Norma Jones to discuss the venerable pop culture brand that is Hello Kitty. In this episode, Norma and I position Hello Kitty not only as a pop icon but as a heroic…

Pop Culture Lens on They Live

In the twenty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher and I welcome back friend of the podcast Joe Belfeuil to discuss John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic They Live and how the film seems as relevant if not more now. The short story the film is based on can be found on this website….

Call for Contributors: Jazz Age Pop Culture

The Lost Generation: An Encyclopedia Editors: Bob Batchelor and Kathleen M. Turner The Lost Generation: An Encyclopedia (Rowman & Littlefield) brings to life the Jazz Age and the artists, writers, and influential figures that made it one of the nation’s most interesting and compelling periods. Since commentators often use the Lost Generation in comparison with…

The Pop Culture Lens on Deltron 3030

I grew up in rural Northeastern Wisconsin. On a golf course. Country music was played in our high school gym’s fitness center. Tractors would sometimes keep you from moving at good speed on county roads. Winters were not the only thing smothered in white. I grew up at the time when hip-hop and rap cultures…

Podcast Episode #5: Planet of the Apes

In the fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I discuss one of my all time favorite pop culture texts: Planet of the Apes. I fell in love with this movie, this franchise — as dorky as it got in the 1970s — because of how many layers of meaning I…