Tag Archives: podcast

Supercontext: The Maxx

This 1996 comic-book-based-cartoon aired on MTV in 10-minute bursts of weirdness. We discuss its themes of tragedy and trauma, together with how it represents feminism, while still objectifying the female body.

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Supercontext: Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin

This book attempts to redefine the novel by combining narrative with an imagined anthropological record. We discuss Le Guin’s background and mission, as well as larger questions about cultural misappropriation and utopianism.

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Additional Resources:

    • Le Guin, Urusula K. “On the Frontier,” in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination, edited by Le Guin. Boston: Shambhala Press, 2004.

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Supercontext: American Horror Story: Murder House

It’s our third annual Christmas ghost story episode and we’re looking into this 2011 debut of the popular horror anthology series by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. We discuss Murphy’s mission, the show’s popularity and its contrast of trashy excessive violence and sex, with themes of mainstream, heteronormative patriarchy.

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Additional Resources:

    • Keetley, D. (2013). Stillborn: The Entropic Gothic of American Horror Story. Gothic Studies, 15(2), 89.
    • Nussbaum, E. (2018). Mk. Big. New Yorker, 94(13), 52.

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Supercontext: Kamasi Washington, The Epic

This 3-disc debut by an accomplished saxophonist was universally acclaimed as a sea change in music. We discuss how Washington was influenced by friends, family, history and dreams, while trying to challenge his listeners with genre-defying sounds.

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Supercontext: The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time, by Brooke Gladstone

This long-form essay by one of the hosts of On the Media argues that our current sociopolitical conflicts stem from a dissolution of facts and reality. We look at Gladstone’s manifesto for producing her radio show to unpack her project here, while considering her advice for bolstering our own personal realities.

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Supercontext: The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa

This 12-part comic series seems like a fan’s homage to Carl Bark’ Disney stories, but we uncover how the values of “hard work” within (and the corporate machinations of many publishers) led Rosa to quit making comics out of frustration and resentment.

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Supercontext: Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia

This 1987 filmed monologue changed the way mainstream media considered autobiographical performance art. We discuss how Gray made the film with director Jonathan Demme and the emotional themes throughout that resonate after his suicide.

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Supercontext: Gang of Four, Entertainment!

This influential 1979 album combined art education with working class political activism to play with the meaning of pop music. We discuss the production of the record and the band’s conflicts (or lack thereof) with their record label and the BBC.

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Supercontext: Nameless

This horror comic by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn purports to act symbolically like our archetypes of myth. We ask whether it’s successful in getting into our subconscious and if cosmic horror and lack of meaning even scare us anymore.

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Supercontext: Taboo, Season One

We discuss Tom Hardy’s television passion project and how he produced it with his father and a string of well-known storytellers. We also examine the show’s symbolic demonization of corporations and what that says about historical accuracy and our present understanding of modern economics.

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