Why his 2021 Academy Award for Best Actor was not received in vain

Photo by Aaron Chavez on Unsplash

Anthony Hopkins is autistic. The octogenarian talked to The Daily Mail in 2017 about his disorder, with which he was diagnosed in 2014.

Bang out a quick Google search: “Anthony Hopkins and Autism and 2021 Oscars,” and you’ll find little literature written about how his win reflects the challenges and successes of those living with ASD (Autism Spectrum “Disorder”).

It’s Autism Awareness Month in America, whatever that should mean to the dominant culture. A confusing “celebration” which used to be called Autism Acceptance Month — coined by Autism Society in 1972 — that consistently stokes the ire of autistic people…

Motherhood is a rich, deep, inimitable treasure. Just not when it’s wrapped up in cellophane.

Photo by Shahzin Shajid on Unsplash

Go to Walgreens, Walmart, Publix, Lowe’s, CVS, or Winn-Dixie — stat! — and get mom plenty of white-hot carnations before Sunday. Get your flowers before they wilt so that they can, instead, wilt at home (did you cut the stems?), giving you a not-so-lively reminder that you did not fail the “woman you love most.”

Mother’s Day in America is this weekend and is in full flex mode. Aside from America, countries all over the world celebrate Mother’s Day — in different ways, of course, and almost always with sincere meaning behind the flowers gifted to mom.

Japan’s Haha no…

Indulging in social mythology might mean you have nothing real to worry about

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The nature of a conspiracy theory is, well, just that: purely conjectural.

Using passive folklore, the proponents of a conspiracy theory seek to actively publicize that which they believe is covert and nefarious — even if it the theory doesn’t have a pulse in the real world. As such, rampant mistruths only serve to further potentiate the disenfranchisement of critical thinking.

What about theory without a viable practice because the idea gets stopped short at the make-or-break stage of being testable?

Composing a “final” theory requires a researcher to identify the fallacy-free, applicable steps which will set a baseline for…

The lesser-known rhetorical device, kairos, is defined by the timing and appropriateness of storytelling

Photo by Hans Reniers

Chronos and kairos, both Greek words for “time,” have two essentially different meanings. Chronos is a word used to invoke the quantitative aspect of time: It’s half past five because thirty minutes have gone by since five o’clock. “Kairos,” as it were, refers to the qualitative aspect(s) of time: “As I get older,” the proverbial maxim goes, “time sure does seem to move more quickly.”

In no uncertain terms, Joe Moxley tells us that “kairos is so tied to the particular moment, or rhetorical situation, it is hard to provide concrete examples out of context.”

So, I find myself in…

Studying the social psychology of writing requires us to identify how reading meaningful texts stimulates our collective neural networks

Photo by Simon Shim

To understand the social psychology of writing, we can look at what it means in relation to the greater social world. We can look at how our writing relates, through composition, to ourselves and others. What is more, writing is dependent on the greater social world. That is, if it is writing that readers will ever consume without drudgery.

The writing process is a materialization of our conscious, psychological thought. The autobiography, then, is our writing as it relates to others. Anything else is, as it were, banal self-indulgence. As Hannah Horvath claims from HBO’s Girls, you can adopt a…

Why we aren’t there yet, but why thinking of what the term means is no less pressing for those who will not make it through covid-19

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado

“We are the virus and corona is the vaccine,” is the template for the tweets responsible for proliferating a new and eyebrow-raising folklore that attempts to connect a supernatural, “causal” relationship between “Mother Earth” and ourselves. …

How writers begin to think of “headline reading” as a gateway — not a roadblock — into their readers’ multimedia minds

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński

The problem with hyper-focusing on getting the reader into and through our stories has reared its malignant head: We put so much of that story into our headlines that we leave nothing to the imagination.

The antediluvian maxim “know your audience” is outmatched as advice frequently offered in writers’ discourse only by the Delphic maxim “know thyself.” These two ideas, when synthesized, allow us to consider what writing means from an ecological perspective, the “new” social ecology in question being, predominately, widespread multimedia publication on social media platforms.

If you’re a freelance writer, say, you’ve never lived in a writing…

The anxiety spurned by our present-day grapple with novel coronavirus, as with the abundance of absurdities experienced in our not-so-routine lives, asks us to think about Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” — yet again

Photo by Joe Green

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams” Franz Kafka writes in his dorm-cult novella, “he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect,” an opening so poignant, so matter-of-fact and permanently applicable to any contemporary situation in which we might find ourselves that we cannot willingly shake the narrative of Gregor Samsa — no matter how much time elapses since his story entered circulation.

Gregor Samsa, the should-be-a-household-name, Kafkaesque antihero and arthropod protagonist of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a story that takes place in the dystopic and modernist anti-society of early-twentieth-century Prague, is a character long-invoked in…

During the epoch of social distancing — which is a system Americans are essentially trusted to honor — how do we look to the history of liberty in order to make peace with (or challenge) our traditional ideas of freedom?

Photo by tom coe

John Locke dons the badge awarding him pioneer of modern American liberty with a sort of historical certainty. In contemporary libertarian discourse (and in buzzing, anti-aesthete, off-white chat rooms alike) his ideas concerning personal property are typically received with originalist sentiment — still, the idea of what counts as one’s property is a white-hot debate, especially as Americans begin to struggle paying their rent and mortgage during their battle against covid-19. Dwellings and homes are propertied, yes: But it doesn’t seem too utopic for me to suggest that guaranteed housing should always be federally subsidized, not just with pithy, dystopic…

The humanities department, through and through, needs an internal revolution: Robert Davis tells us that “the overthrow or wholesale reinvention of the humanities as currently constituted is to be welcomed and furthered.” What follows is why I — knowingly — thrust myself into the belly of the humanities field nearly seven years ago and will soon be earning my doctorate in English.

Photo by Raghav Modi

The short answer to why academics in the humanities are those best suited to lead the fight? We have more training than our predecessors and, with or without our teaching appointment, they know it.

I can’t really find a moderate stance on this topic, especially while I am still in school — nor should I. Seeing — year after year — so many of my STEM peers go on to snag tenured jobs (sometimes with just their MA) forces me to reckon with the more “anemic” aspect of pursuing both a humanities degree and employment within the humanities field. …

Ryan Kirby

• Pop Culture Writer, Ghostwriter, Copywriter, Brand Strategist • American Studies, Philosophy • Multimedia Manager, Producer

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