By Andrew Golledge, Antiscribe.com
After a nearly interminable amount of hype leading up to the premiere of HBO’s new sitcom, Girls, including various pieces in New Yorker, Time Out, Rolling Stone and endless blogs, we have finally seen its much heralded arrival come and go. Other episodes have followed and there is a rough consensus: it is a well-written, well-acted television show that dares to show young women as something less than glamorous fashion models who never use the bathroom. What we’re left with now is not so much a TV show as a debate over its inherent cultural value, one predicated not on its content, but rather on its premise.
Set in New York City, the show follows four wealthy, white women in their early twenties as they navigate living, loving, etc. And based on just this short description, two camps of appreciation have emerged: First, the show is the next step forward in how the “fairer” sex is shown; it is a detailed portrayal of realistically characterized urbanite women behaving in realistic ways towards themselves, their friends, their families and their lovers. Second, the show is a regressive narrative, exclusively showcasing privileged whiteness in the world’s most diverse city, and is essentially another cog in a media-machine that continues to white-wash an increasingly multicultural society. Read the rest of this entry
By Andrew Golledge, Antiscribe.com
In Steve McQueen’s Shame we see a moment play out that we’ve seen in many films before it: the protagonist hitting rock bottom. For Shame, the protagonist is a wealthy, gorgeous white man whose rock bottom is having beautifully lit sex with two gorgeous women at the same time. It’s a testament to McQueen’s direction, Harry Escott’s score and Michael Fassbender’s performance that the scene isn’t laughable, but instead a moment of pained surrender that seems to punctuate a lifetime’s worth of addiction.
It is a sex addiction, one with which Brandon has seemingly lived without incident for years as he pursued some anonymous corporate career in midtown Manhattan. There is certainly little for it to distract from outside his work; when he’s not paying for high-end sex or picking up girls from bars and clubs, he’s enjoying mid-day masturbatory bathroom trips and late nights with left over Chinese take-out, beer and porn. Yet as appealing as all that sounds, it’s upon the unexpected moving-in of his significantly more extroverted sister, Sissy, that we begin to see how deeply rooted his need for sexual release is. Not only does her presence prevent him from engaging in his usual escapades at home, but he’s also confronted with what is most likely the cause of his addiction: their sexual relationship. Read the rest of this entry
By Andrew Golledge, Antiscribe.com
I do not believe in God. This is partially due to the manner in which my parents raised me. Although my father identifies as Baptist and my mother as Catholic, the one institution they always held in higher regard than religion was education, so I was always sent to whichever school they felt would give me the best advantage in learning. I attended parochial, secular and Jewish schools, and while my mother was very generous with sharing her faith, I never received marching orders from home about what to believe or not believe.
I initially believed in God because it was convenient, a socially acceptable invisible friend who listened to me when adults couldn’t understand, and sat with me whenever I felt alone. Later, as I began attending Catholic schools, belief became a reflexive survival trait. There were certain motions to be made in order to meet the standards imposed by my religious environment.
Then belief became a necessity outside of school. Familial hardship, no worse than what many go through, turned us all to prayer, prayer for guidance, for money, for jobs and for a sense of love to return to our home. Every time there was a respite from the hardship, there was much laughter and back slapping; God had answered our prayers. Read the rest of this entry
For me, Batman began with Adam West. As an aggressively physical boy of eight, each half hour installment of that venerated 60’s TV show was a smack dose of all the things an aggressively physical boy of eight needs: bright colors, capes and at least two massive fistfights for every twenty minutes of story. When Batman Returns came out in theaters around this time, I very desperately wanted to go but my parents deemed the film inappropriate due to its violence and menacing atmosphere. They hadn’t even let me watch the first one, but they teased, they teased me by buying me those damn movie-version action figures that only built up the mythology of the Bat-man in my impressionable little head. This hurts-so-good trend peaked with a Halloween costume:
Fortunately it was also around this time that Batman: The Animated Series began broadcasting, and if my love for Adam West’s Batman was analogous to being hooked on smack, then its animated cousin had me whoring myself out on the street for my next hit.
Though I may have been too young to fully appreciate it, Batman TAS showed me how the character could be interesting in manner way beyond fisticuffs. There was emotion, sinister character pathos, gorgeous art deco art direction and, of course, Shirley Walker and company’s stunning live orchestra scores for every episode. I was finally allowed to watch the Tim Burton movies, and although I loved them both and even developed a mild obsession with Returns, by that point Batman TAS was my main fix, the definitive version. Read the rest of this entry
It’s not difficult for me to remember my first impression of Occupy Wall Street. Like many a New Yorker, mine was one of curiosity and cautious, yet hard to repress delight. For all the criticism regarding a lack of central message, the truth is that there was and continues to be one key point of agreement among all the protesters: things as they are are not good enough, and that’s a hard message to deny from any side of the political spectrum.
Happily I went, and quickly I was disappointed. It was a weekday afternoon, which meant that it was down to the most dedicated, most permanent protesters, maybe two hundred, and every negative stereotype regarding their appearance and attitude was given comical and exaggerated life. The crowd was almost entirely young, white, and, despite the mildly reassuring presence of showers and well-used trash receptacles, diseased looking. Every worthwhile message was cheerfully conveyed on the shittiest looking pissed-on cardboard to be found, and the one activity that drew the most energy, most participation, and most observation was the drum circle. I fucking hate drum circles.
It was time to take a breath. I stopped and read the literature. I listened to conversations, and spoke to a few of the many helpful, intelligent participants. For the time being, my fears had been eased. The package wasn’t perfect, I thought, but it was the right message for the right time. Better to have them there than not.
Weeks later, my now editor Jon Morris and I traveled to Philadelphia and explored the Occupy Philly protests taking place in front of City Hall. There we found a group of similar size to Occupy Wall Street, but with more space and a more visibly organized appearance far more welcoming to newcomers. And aside from goals particular to the state of Pennsylvania, the message and presentation was essentially the same. The theme for that day had been how to dump your big bank and switch to a smaller name or credit union. Read the rest of this entry