Deconstructing Militainment

Learn how militainment works and the ways the military uses movies to recruit young people into the army. The channel Pop Culture Detective is a treasure trove of smart video essays examining how men and masculinity are portrayed in modern film. His other videos: The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory, Predatory Romance in Harrison Ford Movies, and The Fantastic Masculinity of Newt Scamanderm are also all really insightful looks at some of the most influential pop properties today.

Another Version Of You

A well paced and imaginatively put together walk through American television history with one of its most influential writers producers, Norman Lear, the doc “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” is well worth a watch for cultural and entertainment history fans. While Lear is famous for being the godfather of topical television in the form of All In The Family and Maude, he remained a pioneer in many aspects of life both in politics and art.

Moving through America’s shifting cultural and political landscape through the 60s and 70s, the documentary touches upon so many fascinating parts of American history. Feminism, bigotry and inter-generational conflict were put under Lear’s satirical lens that aimed to open minds through laughter and empathy. Not always perfect, he learned a lot along the way and he candidly shares that.

He is credited as having created the most provocative television of his time with shows that drew up to 65 million viewers. The tensions around “Good Times” which spawned “The Jeffersons” is such insightful history on the struggles of diversity and representation on television. The look at Lear’s time as an activist fighting the “Moral Majority” in the 80s reminds us of the cyclical rise of the right, and his reflections on what it meant to be Jewish fighter in the war, to a husband of an outspoken women’s rights activist, or a dad at 80 all come through with revealing openness, honesty and wisdom from a man of this world 93 years. On Netflix right now and you can rent it on YouTube too.

Tech Roots and Factoids

ColdfusTion Tv’s recent video 14 Things That Changed The World let me know the first email pre-dated my birth-date, who made the first cell phone call, the fate of the first Facebook user and what ever happened to Auction Web. It’s actually a great reminder how young the internet really is, and the we’ve come along way themes of ColdfusTion TV serve to remind us of that with slick, fact-filled shorts fleshing out the bullet points of tech history. He also offers tech reviews and music videos making for a diverse channel with regular but well-spaced uploads bound to answers tech curiosities you didn’t know you had.

The One Who Got Away

“I think I must be crazy, I’m so happy.”
– The tale of Slomo, the one who got away.

The New York Times has been pumping out web shorts they call “Op-Docs on their You Tube channel lately. Beautifully filmed and covering a wide range of people and ideas, some of them are setting the stage for longer docs to come while others are just simple yet insightful New York slices of life. In addition to the mini docs the channel regularly serves up a wide range of content: world news bytes, recipes, tech reviews and street fashion editorials. While I have never read the paper in my life, I can only imagine it is a reflection of the print vehicle that has earned it such high-esteem over the past few decades. Shifting into the online space, one which is so driven by video, The New York Times has done an impressive job of adapting to the medium and turned its brand from being what I considered a far away irrelevant newspaper to a You Tube feed highlight with a global outlook that connects with my current interests as well as sparked new ones. Having wet my appetite with their cultural lens, I’m already thinking about when I can orchestrate a trip to this legendary urban destination.

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