The Grinch and the War on Christmas

I really liked doing this episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast. I loved it because we got to talk about the secular nature of Christmas in the United States, and why that shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing that we have to — almost literally — go to war over. For the fifty-fourth…

Pop Culture Lens Episode 8: The Last Temptation of Christ

In the eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I celebrate the Easter Sunday holiday by discussing the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Not being religious scholars, we focus our discuss on the usefulness and even necessity for artists and audiences to engage in artistic and critical…

Feminist Tensions in The Last Exorcism and The Last Exorcism Part 2

At the Midwest Popular Culture Association‘s 2014 conference, Chris and I presented the first analysis from our exorcism cinema project. The presentation is titled: Feminist tensions in exorcism cinema: Case study analysis and comparison of The Last Exorcism and The Last Exorcism Part II. What follows are the notes for the presentation, which constitute an…

The Selling of Scientology

Blink and you missed it, it seems. For this past Super Bowl XLVIII, the commercials, as always, were a draw and a source of conversation and controversy.  And while everyone is talking about Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” ad, and the right-wing reaction against it, a different ad caught my eye. Here we have another attempt by The…