[Five Deadly Everythings]

The Week in Culture

Posted in Uncategorized by Jef on May 16, 2009

Roundup: 05/10/09 – 05/16/09

Star Trek SNL

Zachary Quinto (left), relieved he can finally leave Heroes.

  • Esquire’s Stephen Marche tracks the trajectory of female sexual desire from Chaucer to Seinfeld to Lily Allen, asking where all the “loose” women have gone, because he doesn’t find them represented in new shows 30 Rock or Hills spinoff The City. Whereas women initially found their first tastes of power in the bedroom, says Marche, these later generations of post-post-feminists, represented by Tina Fey’s 30 Rock persona, wield their power with a heaping of confusion. It starts intelligently, but did it end in as stupid a place as I think it did?  [Where Have All the Loose Women Gone?]
  • Always fascinated by women in pop culture, Matt Mazur interviews French director Olivier Assayas for PopMatters. They chat about Assayas’ latest, Summer Hours, a film Mazur describes as a “true, gender-blind ensemble piece that asks hard questions that are universal to both sexes: Where is home? What do we do with the possessions of dying generations?” The director has worked with a wide list of fantastic actresses so Mazur inquires about Assayas’s favourite female performers. [Summer Hours: An Interview with Olivier Assayas]
  • James Parker writes a piece on SpongeBob Squarepants for the character’s 10th anniversary. Parker is genuinely aggravated by Bob’s persistent cheeriness, but he does find a bit of light at the end of the Bikini Bottom tunnel (pause). Are Bob and his star-fish BFF gay? Does the show contain an ironic satire of mundane workplaces while lampooning highbrow pseudo-intellectuals? Parker says SpongeBob not only resists unpacking, it refuses to complicate itself. Is that a bad thing? [SpongeBob’s Golden Dream]
  • The LA Times‘s Meghan Daum recounts a controversy involving children’s author Judy Blume, Mother’s Day and “shmashmortion.” As the pro-choicers enlist beloved (and heavily censored) family-values-centric Blume to their cause, pro-lifers increase the rhetoric. As the war heats up and teams shift strategies, we’re left with cultural works that are neither cavalier towards abortion nor condemning–in fact, most can’t even say the word anymore. [Judy Blume’s Planned Parenthood Pitch]
  • Reeeeeeach of the Week: Alyssa Rosenberg in the Atlantic tries to make a case that even the dumbest of superhero movies have at least something to say about the future of humanity, and therefore are of more cultural worth than dreck like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Rosenberg fights admirably for her client, but in the end she writes way too much in defense of indefensibly bad movies and stretches too far to add significance to ridiculous story developments, simply because she apparently really, really didn’t like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. [The Fanboys of Summer]

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