Link Bank January 2017: Pop culture gives politics a kiss on the cheek and a knee to the groin

Well, this month really decided to go out with a bang, huh?

In his first few days as president, Trump has done his best to make good on the worst “promises” of his campaign, with truly terrible results. I won’t go into too much detail here, mostly because I imagine you don’t need the reminder.

What I do want to say, though, is that it’s easy at times like this to resent the intrusion of politics into our entertainment. Even the most active of us need a break, and it’s natural to look to our Tumblr feeds or our favorite blogs (*winks*) for  that much-needed breath of fresh fair. So when we’re bombarded with politics even in these spaces, it’s natural to feel frustrated, even angry.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “getting away from politics.” Everything is politics. The fight for diversity and female representation in media is politics. #OwnVoices is politics. #OscarsSoWhite is politics. And from where I’m standing, that’s always been the case – John F. Kennedy’s closest friends were Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Ronald Reagan was an actor before becoming governor and then president; same with Arnold Schwarzenegger (although with any luck we’ll avoid a repeat of that last part).

So here’s to pop culture and politics, a marriage best described as “inevitable.” After all, when you’ve been together this long, there’s not much point breaking up.

When Nerds Protest Our Signs are the Best – Black Nerd Problems

“There’s been plenty of think pieces about how superheroes are the mythology of this generation. Judging from the signs, costumes, and catch-phrases coming out of these marches, it isn’t just superheroes — science fiction and fantasy characters have their places in the new pantheon as well.”

How Princess Leia Became an Unofficial Symbol for the Women’s March – Washington Post

“Fisher’s own off-screen story of struggle and empowerment helped bolster her feminist credentials for many fans. She had openly shared her personal history with bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and assailed stigmas associated with mental illness. She championed feminist causes — and she lobbed plenty of criticisms at Donald Trump, before and after he won the presidency.”

American Idols and Idiots: Pop and the Coming Trump Culture Wars – The Ringer

“Maybe art doesn’t get genuinely political until it’s willing to forfeit the comforts of art altogether. In the near future, maybe albums will just serve as promos for sneak-attack PR campaigns.”

How Pop Culture Co-Opted Politics – The Week

“Increasingly, it’s pop stars or celebrities or pro athletes who strike us as having a voice and agency, and the resources to withstand the felt risks of exercising that voice and agency, that we obscure peons lack, even in large numbers.”

Pop Culture Captures Campaign Politics – Huffington Post

“Once upon a time, popular culture provided sustenance to the masses. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, popular culture served as a lifebelt, to lighten spirits, assuage suffering, even inspire…And now? Pop culture is a crude joke, a poke in the eye, not very entertaining or inspiring.”

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