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Richard III Is Not Ready for Hot Girl Summer


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made Hot Girl Summer by this son of Scranton;
And all the plans that we postponed
In bright colors dance across our Google Calendars.

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Know Thy Elf


Atlanta is sweltering with late summer heat as crowds descend for Dragon Con, a massive media and comics convention that draws about 80,000 people annually. Or, as unsuspecting tourists know it, “why our waiter is dressed like Spider-Man in September."

The convention takes over downtown, scattering programming from panels to concerts to parties across all the major hotels. Imagine you’re squeezing past a conga line of Deadpools when you run into a spontaneous jumble of people cosplaying as Rick from Rick and Morty, along with one guy dressed as Morty shivering as he whines, “Aww, jeez, too many Ricks.” In the distance, you hear a Key & Peele fan shouting, “Meegan! Meegan, your sweater!”

That’s basically Dragon Con: just one big, warm pop culture hug...

Listen to the podcast episode.

now available in the Bar Flies story collection, available from Changing Hands


after the show


'I Love You, Please Notice Me': The Hierarchical Rhetoric of Twitter Fandom


Since its 2006 debut, Twitter has emerged as the primary online space for communication between celebrity and audience. Yet scholars are conflicted on whether Twitter’s expanded interaction is actual or merely perceived. Some contend that the social media site represents a democratised public square in which the borders between ordinary and extraordinary are flattened, while others argue that Twitter encompasses synthetic personalisation: hierarchical power dynamics masked by simulated interconnection. Assuming that Twitter communication is an extension of traditions of letter-writing by fans and fan clubs, this study utilises a framework for rhetorical arrangement drawn from medieval work on the ars dictaminis, or the art of letter-writing...

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FDR: American Badass is an Instant Cult Classic...But is That a Good Thing?


​FDR: American Badass has more random similes than a roast of Rob Schneider co-hosted by the Family Guy-writing manatees and Saturday Night Live's Stefon. Which is to say, there are a lot. The unapologetically absurd spoof - brought to you by the writer/director team of the equally ridiculous parody Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury - screened this past week at the Phoenix Film Festival, in conjunction with the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival. Here, the film showed to its best advantage: at the last timeslot of the night, to theatres packed with guffawing super-fans in ironically obscure Threadless t-shirts.

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We Need To Talk About Kevin Star Ezra Miller Talks About Kevin, Celebrity, and Working with Tilda Swinton


It is probably only a natural result of the historical arc of democratization that celebrity today requires little more than Tweeting racy photos and being combatively untalented. 

In this new-media model of fame, Ezra Miller is decidedly out of place: a relic of the Old World hierarchies - like the absurdly admirable pedigree of the cast of The Vampire Diaries - who speaks more to an era when we believed that those with fame and fortune were actually, if only a little, better than the rest of us.

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Copper Blues: Happy Hour Report Card


On an early Thursday evening, the square outside Copper Blues is filled with the lively movement ("like they do in South Beach," sings Gloria Estefan) of what appears to be either an outdoor Zumba class or a little-practiced flash mob. Inside, trendy accountants and up-and-coming political stars are crowding around high-top tables; when the lights are lowered at around 6:38 p.m., the place twinkles with the soft blue glow of smart-phones. There's a cool breeze sweeping in through the open double doors (beyond which visiting comedians like Tracy Morgan have been known to hang out and greet guests before the show), and the large, floor-to-ceiling windows provide an expansive view of the setting sun beyond Gold's Gym.

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