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Posted inFilm/TV

Once upon a time in ‘The Elysian Kingdom’

Reading Time: 9 minutes Classic Trek series always left room for play, and sometimes did so quite literally, with beloved characters play-acting in completely different roles for many episodes. Holodeck episodes in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager allowed crew members to play-act consciously. Q-continuum, time-travel, and mirror-universe episodes invited a range of unwilling, unintended, and naturalized […]

Posted inReproductive rights

When abortion is a joke

Reading Time: 5 minutes My college folklore professor Alan Dundes, a scholar often credited with creating the modern field of folkloristics, was an energetic teacher and learner with both a love and an encyclopedic knowledge of the field. When he gave a lecture on “sick” jokes to a hall filled with hundreds of students, I was fascinated. Even though […]

Posted inMyth & Folklore

The death of a useful monster

Reading Time: 3 minutes High in the Pennines in the north of England, in the gold-brown water of the River Tees, lives a creature named Peg Powler. She’s a mermaid, kind of, but she’s no Ariel. Peg is a river hag, with green hair and skin and a row of jagged teeth. And unlike Ariel, she lives not to make children […]

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