The American Sniper Controversy

Ken AshfordIraq, Popular Culture, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

I don’t expect “historical” movies to be documentaries.  I have no problem with some artistic license for dramatic purposes. I saw “American Sniper” recently, not knowing that it was based on the real life events of Chris Kyle, known as “The Legend” for his abilities during the Iraq War.  It was clear from the end of the film (which cut … Read More

The White Male Oscars

Ken AshfordPopular Culture, RaceLeave a Comment

I will do my Oscar predictions in the weeks to come, but in case you haven’t heard, not a single actor or actress of color was recognized by the Academy this year, despite a number of acclaimed films featuring non-white casts and directors. The last time there was no non-white in any of the four acting categories, and directing category, … Read More

I Can’t Help It — I Have To Review “Boyhood”

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

It’s not unusual that I disagree with some movie critics.  It is unusual that I disagree with, apparently, ALL of them. And I have to speak out, because Boyhood won the Golden Globe last night for Best Dramatic Film, and many consider it an Oscar contender. For those not aware, Boyhood is the latest from writer-director Richard Linklater.  It was filmed over the … Read More

Fast Thought On “The Newsroom” Season Three

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Most of the critics who dislike “The Newsroom” are members of the so-called “new media”, which (surprise surprise) Aaron Sorkin often uses as a target (not only in The Newsroom, but in The Social Network, Studio 60 and even as far back as The West Wing). Last night, Sorkin took another convincing swipe at “new media”, focusing on how Reddit … Read More

Not An Apology

Ken AshfordPopular Culture, RaceLeave a Comment

“I’m not a racist," Sterling said. “I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt.” Okay, that's a good start.  Except it wasn't ONE terrible mistake.  After all you were being sued for discrimination, which was mistake one, and then to make racist … Read More

Homeland Season 3 Finale Review

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Well, it took a few episodes, but Season Three finally came together.  As I had written before, Season One, which got rave reviews, was exciting and unpredictable because of Brody, played by Damien Lewis.  You never knew whose side he was on; the conflict between him and his family and his loyalties drove every episode. The problem, of course, was … Read More

Homeland Review As We Step Into Season Three

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Yeah, I don't know what the writers are thinking.  I like Dana as a charactor, but to make this season about teenage runaways?  Well, that's a different show.  The success of Homeland, Season One, was that you didn't know who to trust in a show about international terrorism.  And that was awesome.  When it started to become a show about … Read More

First Thoughts On Homeland, Season 3

Ken AshfordMental Health, Popular CultureLeave a Comment

Showtime's Homeland may have achieved some sort of record for greatest fall from grace for a TV series.  The first season may have been the best-crafted season of any television drama (although Breaking Bad's season four gives it a run for its money).  You had Sergeant Nicholas Brody, a returning war vet and terrorist, and the only person who thought he was … Read More

Emmy Winners

Ken AshfordPopular Culture2 Comments

I didn't see the Emmys, and for a change, I actually wanted to.  I thought the match-ups were amazing, and it is really interesting to see how TV has changed in just two years.  A lot of people are watching the shows by streaming them — some nominated shows — like House of Cards or this season's Arrested Development could only be seen … Read More

Who’s Right?

Ken AshfordPopular Culture, Random MusingsLeave a Comment

This is on the cusp of going viral, so weigh in. Backstory: GTA V (that's "Grand Theft Auto V") was released, and a lot of people had pre-ordered it from places like Gamestop.  At midnight of the release which was two days ago, people lined up at Gamestop (and other places) to get their reserved copy. So this one guy … Read More

Ok. NOW I Get Newsroom Season Two

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Oh, Aaron.  You got me. Here I was thinking you were writing a terrible season about some silly journalism scandal while avoiding the relationships of the charactors in HBO's The Newsroom, and it turns out that the silly journalism scandal was a metaphor for how the charactors fail to connect. Well, needless to say, the finale of Season Two of … Read More

Some Ig Noble Prize Winners

Ken AshfordPopular Culture, Random MusingsLeave a Comment

MEDICINE PRIZE: Masateru Uchiyama [JAPAN], Xiangyuan Jin [CHINA, JAPAN], Qi Zhang [JAPAN], Toshihito Hirai [JAPAN], Atsushi Amano [JAPAN], Hisashi Bashuda [JAPAN] and Masanori Niimi [JAPAN, UK], for assessing the effect of listening to opera, on heart transplant patients who are mice. REFERENCE: "Auditory stimulation of opera music induced prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival and maintained generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ … Read More

Here’s What’s Wrong With The Newsroom Season Two

Ken AshfordPopular Culture1 Comment

Aaron?  You there?  Did you stumble on this website because you googled "what's wrong with the newsroom season two"?  You did, didn't you?  That's why you're here, right? Okay, I'll cut to the chase. I'm fine what you did with the Jim-Maggie-Don thing.  That needed doing.  And I like Don's growth.  He's my favorite charactor now.  And I know I'm … Read More