Face Off – How could you be so ignorant about Hawaiʻi?

Face Off – How could you be so ignorant about Hawaiʻi?

This is a little outdated now, but I think the message is pretty important. Indigenous people’s cultures and faiths should be treated with the same respect as anyone’s. Artistic interpretation is appreciated, but it shouldn’t be done with ignorance.

Pop Culture Uncovered

(UPDATE: Sections marked with a strikethrough were done because of new information, included at the end of the article.)

Face Off, the reality competition program of creature design and makeup is now winding down its All-Stars season. On April 11, 2017, they delved into a new subject material: Hawaiʻian mythology. The show remarked on how the culture was oft-ignored by audiences until recently with movies like Moana. This contest should have been the perfect opportunity to provide representation and exposure to mainland audiences.

Instead, Face Off fell victim to that very ignorance with its competition and artist designs.

courtesy of Syfy

The first failure lay on the production staff themselves, who failed to provide accurate information to the designers. Each contestant was given a choice of five tikis (about the only accurate cultural aspects on the show) representing a different Hawaiʻian god…

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13 Reasons Why – More Harmful than Helpful?

13 Reasons Why – More Harmful than Helpful?

Pop Culture Uncovered

Netflix’s presentation of 13 Reasons Why has been out for well over a month now, and the response has been controversial, to say the least. While critics and viewers praised the performances and applauded the series for discussing an often-taboo subject, a backlash occurred from parents and educators. Almost immediately, some began to defend the show, accusing the detractors of being “too sensitive” or “overbearing”; to the fans, the uproar was no different than controversial media from decades past.

I’m here to explain why that dismissive approach is wrong.

This critique is not about helicopter parents “shielding their children from reality” or conservative educators censoring the media. Many complaints against 13 Reasons Why come directly from the mental health community and are based on very real psychological concerns. For several reasons, this presentation of suicide may have the opposite effect intended: instead of helping people understand suicide…

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Stephen King’s It – Why do clowns terrify people?

Stephen King’s It – Why do clowns terrify people?

Pop Culture Uncovered

The Horror genre is buzzing with the release of the trailer for It, the 2017 movie adaptation of Stephen King’s award-winning novel. If this sneak peek is any indicator, this may more than make up for the 1990 mini-series. Many scenes appear loyal to the book in all the right ways, yet we see the 21st-century direction and cinematography we’ve come to love in movies like The Conjuring and Sinister.

The trailer has many people on the edge of their seats and waiting for the movie’s release in September. Others refuse to have anything to do with the film, novel, or even the trailer, thanks to the content. Then there are those who look at the former and wonder: just what is so scary about a clown?

That’s what we’re here to discuss.

The trope of the “creepy clown” or “monster clown” is a recent…

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Iron Fist’s Fight Scenes – Why do they pack no punch?

Iron Fist’s Fight Scenes – Why do they pack no punch?

Pop Culture Uncovered

Marvel’s Iron Fist has probably been the most divisive of Netflix’s Marvel shows, although in different ways from the social commentary of Luke Cage. Critics hated it, audiences seemed to enjoy it, and there are all sorts of arguments over the acting, plot holes, and appropriation. One of the common complaints that show up is probably the most important for a series based on martial arts: its fights.

My issue with the fight choreography is that, for a character and theme focused on Asian culture and martial arts, it severely lacked in that department. The fight scenes weren’t anywhere as exciting as Daredevil, they were inconsistent in style and presentation, and the “acting” of the participants was haphazard at times. This series was less Yuen Woo-Ping and more Pat E. Johnson, and that was a missed opportunity.

Part of the problem…

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Iron Fist: Where the Series Makes No Sense

Iron Fist: Where the Series Makes No Sense

Pop Culture Uncovered

Marvel’s Iron Fist has now been out a weekend, and it’s garnered a lot of attention. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, the focus has been less than kind. Criticisms abound about two-dimensional characters with questionable development and behaviors. Reviews talk about poor acting, story, and fight choreography, and even the hopes the show would address the “white savior” trope and Orientalism origins of the comic were shattered.

However, I’m not here to rehash the same old critiques and arguments. I saw all of these problems and moved past them as I binged the latest in Netflix’s take on the MCU. As the series dragged on, however, some things just began to bug me. That’s why I’m here to comment on the aspects that made no sense to me in Iron Fist. Sure, some might say I’m nitpicking, but I’ve got pretty low standards when it comes to…

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Hold On to Your Dreams – Voices of African-American Geeks and Creators

Hold On to Your Dreams – Voices of African-American Geeks and Creators

Pop Culture Uncovered

Writing an article about pop/geek culture and African-Americans is a difficult task for me. While I can certainly discuss academic knowledge, objective facts, or logical arguments, I find it far harder to write about the human and subjective side. As I have not lived these lives, how can I speak for others’ experiences?

Thus, I refuse to do so and will instead let people speak for themselves. What follows are the experiences of three PoC geeks and creators, discussing their pursuits and careers with their own voices. I hope readers find their words informative, enlightening, and inspiring, and carry that insight to others.

I would like to thank the following for joining me…

So, could you please tell me how each of you got started in the world of geekdom?

Danielle:…

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Sound of Silence – Overwatch’s Lack of Gamer Accessibility

Sound of Silence – Overwatch’s Lack of Gamer Accessibility

Pop Culture Uncovered

Gaming and accessibility is an important topic that comes up all too often. The subject is big enough there was an entire panel on it at PlayStation Experience. The topic even came up recently here at PCU, when discussing some irritation at Pokémon Sun & Moon. While Nintendo received the brunt of criticism for that faux pas, they are not alone in their inconsideration.

More recently, some gamers among the Deaf communityhave shown their frustration with Blizzard and the ever-popular Overwatch. While they praised the game for its visuals, character design, and mechanics, they noted the use of audio prompts and voice communication make things more difficult for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing players. While this could be mostly annoying in Quick Play or Arcade Mode, this design can be downright dangerous in Competitive mode where everyone needs to be on point at all times.

The biggest barrier apparently is the…

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