On the Couch

On the Couch
At the Office
In the Library
Through the Mirror
A place for musings on popular culture in its various forms

Created: February 11, 2007
The N Word
The use of the N word in American culture is a highly contested and potentially explosive territory.  In a country where racial divisions have been a defining characteristic for over four hundred years, where domestic slavery was widespread a hundred and sixty years ago, and where as recently as forty years ago, major civil rights legislation had to be agitated for, the use of a word that was historically disparaging and used primarily by the dominant White culture can stir very strong emotions.  There are those who believe no one should use this word; there are those who believe that only Black people can legitimately use this word; there are those who believe that the word can only be used in specific contexts.  So, the use of this word in a popular prime-time drama-comedy series on major network television could be expected to raise quite an outcry.  Only it hasn't, and I find this quite interesting, particularly since this event not only evoked the word but also brought in a context that is racially complex and raises serious questions of authorship and performance. more...

Created: December 4, 2005
Have a Nice Day?
So, my morning routine involves watching MTV.  Okay, actually VH-1 Classic, that's how old I am, but I'll occasionally cruise through the other music video channels when there's nothing I'm interested in watching.  Generally, this makes me grumpy, since they'll play the same damn crappy videos on four of the five channels I tend to cycle between, and the only thing worse than seeing a crappy video is to see the same crappy video being pushed all over the place.  Which brings me to Bon Jovi.  more...