Homer Simpson Goes to Washington

Author: Joseph J. Foy
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813159989
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The modern landscape of American entertainment is filled with commentary on the state of the union. Viewers turn to The Daily Show instead of Fox or CNN, satirical films such as Wag the Dog, cartoons like The Simpsons, or controversial action dramas similar to 24 in order to learn more about current events in the United States. Popular culture is educating America more than the nightly news, aiding viewers in their quest to understand the American political system. In Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture, Joseph J. Foy and other contributing scholars offer diverse political perspectives through the framework of popular culture. From the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the cutting-edge television program Chappelle's Show, a wide spectrum of entertainment media is used to explain the complexities of U.S. politics and how audiences engage with them. Popular culture and politics have never been so intertwined in the American consciousness as they are today. As political knowledge becomes increasingly fragmented, Homer Simpson Goes to Washington explains how popular culture can actually help connect people to their government.

Homer Simpson Ponders Politics

Author: Joseph J. Foy
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813141508
Format: PDF, Mobi
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It is often said that the poet Homer "educated" ancient Greece. Joseph J. Foy and Timothy M. Dale have assembled a team of notable scholars who argue, quite persuasively, that Homer Simpson and his ilk are educating America and offering insights into the social order and the human condition. Following Homer Simpson Goes to Washington (winner of the John G. Cawelti Award for Best Textbook or Primer on American and Popular Culture) and Homer Simpson Marches on Washington, this exceptional volume reveals how books like J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, movies like Avatar and Star Wars, and television shows like The Office and Firefly define Americans' perceptions of society. The authors expand the discussion to explore the ways in which political theories play out in popular culture. Homer Simpson Ponders Politics includes a foreword by fantasy author Margaret Weis (coauthor/creator of the Dragonlance novels and game world) and is divided according to eras and themes in political thought: The first section explores civic virtue, applying the work of Plato and Aristotle to modern media. Part 2 draws on the philosophy of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Smith as a framework for understanding the role of the state. Part 3 explores the work of theorists such as Kant and Marx, and the final section investigates the ways in which movies and newer forms of electronic media either support or challenge the underlying assumptions of the democratic order. The result is an engaging read for undergraduate students as well as anyone interested in popular culture.

Homer Simpson Marches on Washington

Author: Timothy M. Dale
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813139708
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Simpsons questions what is culturally acceptable, showcasing controversial issues like homosexuality, animal rights, the war on terror, and religion. This subtle form of political analysis is effective in changing opinions and attitudes on a large scale. Homer Simpson Marches on Washington explores the transformative power that enables popular culture to influence political agendas, frame the consciousness of audiences, and create profound shifts in values and ideals. To investigate the full spectrum of popular culture in a democratic society, editors Timothy M. Dale and Joseph J. Foy gather a top-notch team of scholars who use television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, All in the Family, The View, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report, as well as movies and popular music, to investigate contemporary issues in American popular culture.

The Simpsons Satire and American Culture

Author: M. Henry
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137027797
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How is The Simpsons a satirical artwork engaged with important social, political, and cultural issues? In time for the twenty-fifth anniversary, Henry offers the first comprehensive understanding of the show as a satire and explores the ways in which The Simpsons participates in the so-called "culture war" debates taking place in American society.

SpongeBob SquarePants and Philosophy

Author: Joseph J. Foy
Publisher: Open Court
ISBN: 0812697359
Format: PDF, ePub
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SpongeBob SquarePants and Philosophy introduces fans of SpongeBob SquarePants to some of the great thinkers and questions in philosophy. The essays can be shared by young and old alike, kindling new interest in philosophy and life’s big questions. What keeps SpongeBob “reeling in” major audiences on a daily basis is that underneath the lighthearted and whimsical exterior are the seeds of philosophical discussions about identity and the self, our obligations toward others, benefits and tensions of the individual in community, principles of the marketplace and environmental ethics, and questions of just how exactly Jack Kahuna Laguna can build a fire at the bottom of the ocean. (Okay, so perhaps we don’t have an answer for that last one, but maybe if you look into that fire long enough the answer will be revealed.) The book begins with a section exploration of the major characters of the series. For instance, chapter 1 uses the philosophies of Aristotle to demonstrate why SpongeBob, more than any other character in the series, is defined by a life of well-being and flourishing. Chapter two provides an assessment of SpongeBob’s best friend, Patrick Star.

Bullspotting

Author: Loren Collins
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616146354
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This entertaining and educational book applies the tools of critical thinking to identify the common features and trends among misinformation campaigns. With illustrations drawn from conspiracy theorists and deniers of every stripe, the author teaches readers how rumors are started, and the rhetorical techniques and logical fallacies often found in misleading or outright false claims. What distinguishes real conspiracies from conspiracy theories, real science from pseudoscience, and actual history from bogus accounts purporting to be history? How does one evaluate the credibility of rumors and quotes or judge the soundness of legal arguments advanced by tax deniers? Readers will learn how to make these critical distinctions and also how to spot "evidence" that has been manufactured or manipulated in some way to create a false impression. At a time when average citizens are bombarded with false information every day, this entertaining book will prove to be not only a great read but also an indispensable resource. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Leaving Springfield

Author: John Alberti
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 9780814328491
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A study of the landmark television program The Simpsons which focuses on the show's dual roles as subversive political satire and mainstream mass media hit.

Otherworldly Politics

Author: Stephen Benedict Dyson
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421417162
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"To the extent that politics involves decision-making amidst an array of competing values, most of human interaction may be understood as political. For students of international relations and political science, it can be a daunting task to evaluate value propositions in debate and discussion of issues with equally compelling opposing sides. Fictions found in storybooks, on the stage, and on the silver screen, however, offer scenarios in which value propositions may be sorted out as low-stakes case studies. To help his students think critically about international relations and politics, Stephen Benedict Dyson has found that using the fictional realities of three different television and cable programs, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones, so thoroughly engages his students in the classrooms that conversations frequently spill out into the hallways after class and onto Blackboard discussion groups. Students' strong grasp of these shows' events, themes, characters, and plot lines allow them to more easily understand the theory of international relations and politics and then translate that theory into contemporary political scenarios"--

The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture

Author: Paul A. Cantor
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813140838
Format: PDF, Docs
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Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive conflict from another. Film and television continually pose the question: Can Americans deal with their problems on their own, or must they rely on political elites to manage their lives? In this groundbreaking work, Paul A. Cantor explores the ways in which television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, South Park, and Deadwood and films such as The Aviator and Mars Attacks! have portrayed both top-down and bottom-up models of order. Drawing on the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other proponents of freedom, Cantor contrasts the classical liberal vision of America -- particularly its emphasis on the virtues of spontaneous order -- with the Marxist understanding of the "culture industry" and the Hobbesian model of absolute state control. The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture concludes with a discussion of the impact of 9/11 on film and television, and the new anxieties emerging in contemporary alien-invasion narratives: the fear of a global technocracy that seeks to destroy the nuclear family, religious faith, local government, and other traditional bulwarks against the absolute state.

Jim Henson and Philosophy

Author: Timothy Dale
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442246650
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Jim Henson’s creations have inspired generations with characters that are among the world’s most recognizable cultural icons. From Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and their Muppet friends to the legendary Sesame Street and Children’s Television Workshop, Henson revolutionized children’s educational entertainment. Combining live action and puppeteering into fantastical narratives like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, as well as the whimsical Fraggle Rock and The Storyteller, Henson transformed imagination into reality, weaving together powerful philosophical messages on identity, community, diversity, love, death, and friendship. Henson never shied away from exploring deep questions, nor did he underestimate the ability of children (or adults) to grapple with profound philosophical questions. Jim Henson and Philosophy explores the entertaining and educational world of the genius’s creations, revealing what it is about Henson’s world that has touched us so deeply and improved our lives in such meaningful ways. Contributions by: Lauren Ashwell, Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, David R. Burns, Samantha Brennan, Amanda Cawston, Brooke Covington, Christopher M. Culp, Ryan Cox, Natalie M. Fletcher, Victoria Hubbell, Dena Hurst, Christopher Ketcham, S. Evan Kreider, Shaun Leonard, Jennifer Marra, Michael J. Muniz, Laurel Ralston, Rhona Trauvitch, and Sheryl Tuttle Ross