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Editorial

Personal opinions and commentary.

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Driving Across America in a Van Full of Videotapes

In terms of literal size, the United States is about a fifth as big again as Australia. Driving across the country, though, the US feels substantially smaller. Even driving through the least densely-populated states in the lower 48—Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas both North and South—it’s impossible to drive for a few hours in any given direction without finding yourself suddenly nestled within the bosom of a town. Australia is not like this. Australia is big and empty. The state I live in is about three times the size of Texas and has just one sixth the population—it’s not even the emptiest one. We fall just about in the middle, population density-wise.

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How Bisexuality is Shaking Up Reality TV

I have something to confess: I love reality television.

This might not be a huge surprise—reality television is a big market in the United States, often filed under guilty pleasures and the “treat yourself” mentalities we cling to in times of chaos. It gives us comfort and lets us take a break from our brains in a way that no other type of media can.

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Am I Your Girl? The Female Gaze in Horror Film

As a genre, horror focuses overwhelmingly on women. Our bodies are its medium, whether sensuously posed and slathered in gore or twisted into monstrous forms to reflect our fears and anxieties. Think of Dario Argento’s lovingly butchered maidens covered in gallons of vibrant red paint, or the Alien Queen hunkering bloated and distended among her thousands of eggs, a monstrous reflection of Ellen Ripley’s maternal instincts. But for all horror’s fixation on our suffering—sometimes gratuitous, sometimes revelatory—and inner lives, horror films actually written and directed by women are few and far between.

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The Rise and Fall of Canuxploitation

In 1967, after members of the Canadian film industry lobbied to expand funding of homegrown filmmaking, the government of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson approved $10 million CAD for the funding and creation of the Canadian Film Development Commission (CFDC). In 1968, offices opened in Toronto and Montreal, and the CDFC offered a 100% tax incentive for new films made in the country—Canadian filmmaking was ready to chart a new course.

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How Fandoms Fail Black Protagonists

I’ve been in and out of fan spaces for movies, books, and TV shows since I was in high school. I love fandoms because of the a shared sense of community and creativity that enhances the enjoyment of any story, and I’ve also met many wonderful people in these spaces. Unfortunately, over the years I’ve noticed that all fandoms I’ve been in also have one negative thing in common—an unacknowledged undercurrent of racism.

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How Nickelodeon’s Doug Helped Anxious Kids Cope

Editor’s Note: NickSplat is now available on VRV! It includes Nickelodeon content from the 1990’s and beyond, including “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “CatDog,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Doug,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “The Angry Beavers” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among others. To celebrate, we’re sharing our childhood experiences with these shows and inviting you to rewatch these classics with us.

Of all of the cartoons I watched as a kid, none left quite so strong an impression on me as Doug.

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Four Nickelodeon Game Show Challenges I Would Totally Have Aced

Editor’s Note: NickSplat is now available on VRV! It includes Nickelodeon content from the 1990’s and beyond, including “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “CatDog,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Doug,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “The Angry Beavers” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among others. To celebrate, we’re sharing our childhood experiences with these shows and inviting you to rewatch these classics with us.

As an 80s and 90s kid with cable, I inevitably watched tons of Nickelodeon. In particular, I was a fiend for their game shows: Double Dare to start, and then the 90s onslaught of programs like Guts and Nick Arcade. And if there’s one thing I know about those shows, it’s that I could have done everything on them perfectly.

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A Primer on Defense Against the Demonic Arts

On the list of things that can really put a damper on your day, demons are surely up there. Vomiting, speaking in an extremely deep voice, and being forced to disembowel your friends in a secluded cabin are but a few of the common annoyances a demon can bring into your life. In rare cases, they can even lead to the kissing of Satan’s butthole. To protect yourself from these threats, you must first know your enemy. Which is why I’ve decided to teach this advanced course in demonology.

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I Was a Teenage Gym Leader

I can remember the first time I played a Pokémon game better than I can remember the first time I rode a bike. It was my birthday, and I unwrapped a gift from my best friend to find a copy of Pokémon Blue, the first game—along with Pokémon Red—released in the series in North America.

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The Anime Series That Deconstructs Itself

The key to a successful comedy series lies in establishing circumstances for characters’ antics and misadventures. When a series sets up a reliable framework, new episodes can build upon that identity while still staying fresh with new jokes. This can be seen in all sorts of episodic comedies including gag anime, which typically build their identity around a world ruled by bizarre logic or fantasy elements. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. does just this by shaping an otherwise normal world around its hapless, psychic protagonist.

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Meet the Sherlock Holmes Fan Who Built His Own 221B Baker Street

Fans create amazing things. They collect, they build, and they show their love and appreciation in a beautiful myriad of ways. Whether they have the world’s largest Hatsune Miku figurine collection or are trying to build every Doctor’s TARDIS, fan collections and creations are simply marvelous. A sterling example is Chuck Kovacic’s authentic and historically accurate recreation of Sherlock Holmes’ sitting room at 221B Baker Street.