Estate of Disrepair.

Jon Stewart, The Newsroom, and the failure of the Fourth Estate.

The well-documented descent of modern journalism into sound-bite driven, cable news sensationalism has finally demonstrated its very real, very scary impact on society with its integral role in the current shutdown of the U.S. government. The absurdity of the news has been slowly but surely infecting the functional systems of governance over the past decade, but with the Tea Party caucus forcing a government shutdown, the extent of its damage has become clear. 

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Live Together, Die Alone.

Damon Lindelof, Twitter Hate Culture, and the legacy of The Island.

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof wrote an op-ed in the Hollywood Reporter this week which set out to comment on the Breaking Bad finale. However, what ended up getting published was a much more personal piece focusing on how deeply affected he’s been by the public backlash to the finale of Lost and how it has all but consumed his self-image in the years since it aired.

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Change has come to America.

Mr. White, The American Dream, and the death of the Frontier.

“Chemistry is the study of change.”

From its pilot episode, Breaking Bad has defined itself as a narrative of transformation. Vince Gilligan’s original pitch for the show was that it would be the first to witness its protagonist, slowly but surely, step by incremental step, transform into its antagonist – from pushover, beta-male husband to dominant outlaw, from mild-mannered educator of young minds to fearsome drug kingpin, or as Gilligan famously phrased it, “from Mr. Chips to Scarface.” Breaking Bad’s ever-growing audience bought into that concept and has been by equal measure thrilled and unsettled watching the process unfold.

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pop culture, close readings, & other junk.