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Although the idea of vampires had already been popular in folklore long before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, his adaptation of the tale lead to the creation of one of literature’s most symbolically sexualized characters. Dracula have proven the 1897 novel to be truly timeless. It is arguably one of the most beloved classics of gothic literature. However, relying loosely on the text, modern renditions habitually bypass the more controversial subjects of fear within the text as those fears relate to female sexuality and homosexuality. By examining the Victorian era in which Dracula was written, looking closely at how the female characters are portrayed, the gender relations between the characters, and the blatant homosexual undertones of the novel, this reflection will explore how the classic seamlessly manipulates the themes of women’s sexuality, gender inversion, and also the point of view of Bram Stoker. “Dracula” becomes the famous horror novel in the 15th century and also an inspired many horror stories after that. Click on the title to read the full review.
Believe or not before she became an international sensation, Shakira’s song lyrics were very politically incorrect. There is a very deep thinker and a skilled business woman behind her sexy light public persona. In this post, I want to shed some light on her earlier songs and the evolution of her entire body of work. Her upbringing combined with the passionate nature of the Latin culture made for a very diverse and broadly creative output. Shakira has used her songs to make controversial statements regarding corruption in Medellin, and at times, describe in great detail the emotional turmoil of relationships that were never meant to be. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
Published February 22, 2021 “Meaning and purpose are predictive of longevity.” Today’s guest is Dr. Mark Hyman, who has been on the podcast a few times and every episode has been extremely powerful. Mark is a practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of Functional Medicine. In… Continue Reading →
The plot centers around Nadia, who seems like a typical New Yorker, working as a software developer, and living a life of excess. It’s her 36th birthday, and while it would be normal for her to feel happy that her friends are throwing her a party, she seems quite disengaged. Something is not right from the beginning. Nadia starts off the night by bailing from her own party to spend the night with a stranger, only to end up dying… again and again. Click on the title to read the full review.
This book makes an important distinction between happiness and joy indicating that the latter creates a more positive state of mind than the former. This is the example used by his holiness: “The feeling of happiness is similar to a high, that can be felt during an event or when achieving a specific goal that we are pursuing, and therefore, happiness can feel like it is constantly eluding us. Thus the search for happiness can lead to long periods of resentment, frustration and low self esteem.” Click on the title to read the full review.
This is another one of Tim Burton’s masterpieces. I really appreciate his eye for detail and the way he invites viewers to immerse themselves into his vision. The cinematography in this movie has magical qualities. I found myself thinking about metaphorical imagery used by Tim Burton to depict how our recollection of personal experiences seem to morph as we revisit relationships and situations during different life stages. Heightened or diminished senses can play tricks on us, leading us to think that the world has changed around us, when in fact, it us and our perception of things that has changed. Suddenly, someone who was seen as a warm and caring character can become a cold hearted ogre when the bond is broken or the contact diminished. Click on the title to read the full review.
This book is an invitation to dig deeper into the self and find out who you really are in order to create synchronicity between thought and action, inviting others to truly connect with us. When we wear masks we create dysfunction in our internal mechanism, so that when we want to smile it becomes forced, and when we truly want to love, we have forgotten how or what it means. When we fail to embrace the less perfect side of ourselves that has been forgotten and shamed, the stronger that side becomes and takes control of our actions forming a life of its own. Click on the title to read the full review.
This movie introduces a political dimension to the character of the Joker. In a way, he represents the underdog, those who have been forgotten by society and politicians. The feeling of disenfranchisement is the binding element between the audience and the character. Poverty hits Arthur and his family in many ways and it seems to be partly responsible for his descend into madness. Resentment begins to built up and it drives him mad. So he resorts to living in a world of fantasy, where he can escape the unbearable pain that he is experiencing. The script describes a step by step journey from mild disability into severe mental illness when someone lacks support. Click on the title to read the full review.
Before I proceed, I must warn you that this review contains some spoilers. I absolutely loved this movie because it was unexpectedly funny, dynamic and surprisingly good. The story centers around Dave, a regular dorky comic book geek turned superhero. Dave is a high school student whose only super power is being invisible to girls. Part of his charm is that he is such a relatable character. While the plot seem to be about Dave and his journey into trying to become a superhero, the movie is really about ‘Hit Girl.’ Who happens to be one of the strongest female superhero character I have seen in a long time. This movie does a great job showing some serious girl power. Click on the title to read the full review.
This band is loaded with shy playfulness and layers of metaphors. Over time I also noticed that each album represented a different growth stage for Sting. He walks us from his lonely, insecure and jealous streak, all the way to his solo song “If you love somebody set them free.” I really appreciate how he can paint a detailed picture with the lyrics. Click on the title to read the full review.
This show looks like a teenager sex ed animated comedy. However, the writing is peppered with layers of complexity. It has quickly grown to be one of my favorite shows on Netflix. While I agree with my friend’s assessment that the show is “Sex Positive,” I also think that is a lot more than that, sort of overall emotion positive. Somehow, the writers managed to sneak in the topic of mental illnesses and even politics into the story while making us laugh and reflect about our own hang ups. Click on the title to read the full review.
This film was Mel Brook’s first movie, which was ironically sort of a flop when released, forgotten and later rediscovered by accident. It is hard to imagine that someone with Jewish ancestry would make fun of Nazi Germany only 20 years after the end of WWII, but Mel took the risk and did it anyway. This is a satirical black comedy that centers around a slick producer who sets off to commit fraud by raising money for a broadway play that is meant to fail. There are some things that I love about this version and overall, I think it is funnier than the musical. I have laughed until running out of air with this one. Click on the title to read the full review.
This is a Canadian television sitcom that follows a group of friends as they deal with the challenges of being working mothers. The story revolves around Kate and Anne (two best friends since college) who share a very strong bond, no bullshit between these two. They don’t hold anything back and this is shown from the first episode as they stare at each other’s bare chest and engage on a debate about the ‘sogginess level’ of their boobs after motherhood. 😀 The primary driver behind the humor is the indifference shown by society and partners, who have no idea of how hard it is to make it all work. Click on the title to read the full review.
“Your job is more like a boss’ unzipped fly that everyone can see but also knows better than to mention.” This is a good read for those looking to demystify the emotional realities of the post industrial labor market while doing so with some humor. Graeber compares wage labor to slavery and an alternative form of sadomasochism that has been widely accepted in our societies. If you feel like you don’t know what the heck you are supposed to do in your job and live with constant fear that they will realize that there is no reason for it to exist, you are not alone. Click on the title to read the full review.
What is true wealth? Money, assets or connections? This is a very dark and complex drama that touches upon life perception from poverty and wealth extremes. A story about class told like never before. Although it would seem like the poor people act as parasites of the rich, it is unclear who the parasite is in this movie. Click on the title to read the full review
Self-reliance. Wit. Intelligence. Bravery. Just a few words to describe Enola of Netflix’s recently released film Enola Holmes. Why strong depictions of women matter. Click on the title to read the full review.
He made his first debut as a jazz musician in 1991. Mehldau was one of the original member of the Joshua Redman Quartet who last played together in 1994. They recently reunited to release their new album RoundAgain. His album Largo is probably one of the best modern Jazz compositions I have heard. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
I bet $100 dollars you did not know that some of the 1970’s classic movies theme scores from internationally famous films was composed by an Argentinian. Three of his most widely known tunes are the classic 1970’s Jaws, James Bond and Mission Impossible theme songs. He is famous for being able to blend the sound of the big orchestra with that of improvisational jazz. Every song is carefully crafted to transport the listener through time and space. He can tell a story by solely using a melody. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
The plot revolves around Malcolm, a child genius (with an IQ of 180) who faces very unusual challenges while trying to blend into a public school environment. It is precisely the clever build up to the dumb outcomes that makes this show amazingly funny, not to mention the dysfunctional dynamics that exist between all the characters. I laughed so hard with this one that I cried several times. Click on the title to read the full review.
This latin band features a mix of ska, jazz, folk, reggae and funk all wrapped up on a big band sound. It is very easy to find yourself dancing even to their saddest songs. Vicentico and Flavio (who wrote most of the songs) were born in the mid 60’s at the beginning of a very politically violent period in Argentina. This experience certainly left a mark on the band members who often write about their experiences and stories they witnessed during this process. Click on the title to read the full review.
This film employs a dystopian setting to depict the reality of the binary world that we live in and the poor mating choices that people make based on fear. This is a very dark comedy that treads lightly on the edge of tragedy. The major take away of this movie is that unlike we have been told, love is not blind. Click on the title to read the full review.
The Hives is a Swedish rock band that rose to prominence in the early 2000’s. Their music has a very hard core British garage rock revival sound. To me they sound like a blend of Queens of the Stone Age, the Rolling Stones and a little bit of 80’s techno rock. The lead singer’s look on the cover of their Tyrannosaurus Hives album reminds me of Alex McDowell’s character in Clockwork Orange (1962). Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
Another garage rock revival band. Although they are from NY, their style resembles the sound of other well known UK bands. Their lyrics are eclectic and charged with alternative lifestyle vibes that leave them open to interpretation. One could safely say that it reflects the reality of life in New York, fast paced, vibrant and not fit for the faint of heart. Click on the title to read the full review.
This book is an excellent read for anyone desiring to become smarter about money and decision making in general. It is also a must read for social scientists, especially those interested in formulating effective public policy. Click on the title to read the full review.
This book uses a powerful digital truth serum to extract some insights about human nature and the reasons why we lie. Click on the title to read the full review.
In my view this is a true love story, of a love so great that was able to evolve with the individuals as they grew into their true selves. This is a tale of a love that transcends genders, relationship labels and it lasted a lifetime despite the constant pain and disappointment. Click on the title to read the full review.
Quarantine, curfews, economic turmoil and compliance with health laws. Does it sound familiar? “Imagine a virus so deadly and that only you have the cure, how much power can that afford you?”. Meet V, a different kind of super hero! Click on the title to read the full review.
Inception is another masterpiece from Christopher Nolan and it is considered cinematography at its finest. This movie is so layered that it is hard to keep this review brief. The plot centers on dreams within dreams if that were possible. The imagery switches between time and setting using cinematography as a guiding point to keep the story together. Sit tight and prepare to feast your eyes and your imagination, this is going to be a wild ride. Click on the title to read the full article.
I have gotten into a state of nirvana while listening to these songs and solving mathematical equations. There is not much else to say other than they are amazing to listen to. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
Have you ever watched a show that gets funnier with time? This is one of those shows. The personal stories and the narratives are so well written that I can notice new subtleties with every re-watch. Click on the title to read the full article.
The story balances on a tight rope between mental illness and an amazing capacity for creativity, reminding us of the link between deep trauma and an active imagination. Perhaps this is why some of the greatest artists in history were also often tortured by demons. Click on the title to read the full article.
Although the book is considered literary nonsense, I think that Charles Dodgson conveys the very familiar feeling of disconcert that we all experience while going through different life stages. The book was written in 1865 but somehow managed to remain timeless when it comes to describing the struggle between societal pressures and a coming of age. Click on the title to read the full article.
I love this Netflix show because it is very sci-fi and controversial. It is the type of series that can spark good conversation among friends about almost any topic. Every episode portrays a twisted dystopia based on the secondary effects of using technology even with good intentions. Click on the title to read the full article.
What can I say? Wow, what an amazing blend of talent and passion for life. This is a relatively young band that I think will make their mark in the music industry. #Rock, #Garage. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
Cornelius (the protagonist) lives a relative stable but very lonely life. The film employs many metaphors to describe the journey of a man dealing with onset depression. The denial of his own need for deeper connections pushes him to exchange one addiction for another. Toxic masculinity is the glue that keeps the story together and moves it forward. Click on the title to read the full article.
If you are a fan of GOT, you probably heard the most prominent tune from this string quartet many times. However, despite being featured in a very popular show, their amazing talent remains mostly hidden to those reluctant to perform deep dives in search of relatively unknown artists. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
There is no doubt that Freddy was a genius when it comes to composing beautiful tunes in a variety of genera adapted to rock, but he was also a drama queen. The intensity of some of his most famous songs, provides a glimpse into his troubled emotional ups and downs (Love of my life, Bohemian Rhapsody, and his ode to the Radio Ga Ga, just to name a few). I hope you enjoy my top picks. Click on the title to read the full article.
Matt Helders’ energy is what really draws me to this band. Alex Turner, the lead vocalist seems like a rather shy boy, but don’t let him fool you, there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. He is just my type, I like peeling the layers slowly… 😉 Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
I would describe Brendon Urie as a mix of Frank Sinatra and Jack White with a dash of Prince’s edginess. His work exudes creativity and passion from the variety of their repertoire, the cleverness of the lyrics, to the elaborate storyline of their videos. The music has hints of retro- rock, electronic dance, piano, classical ballads, latin jazz, punk, religious praise and everything in between. Click on the title to read the full review and see my top picks.
An amazing performance by Joaquin Phoenix. The most troublesome part of the movie is the parasocial interaction between the protagonist and his avatar GF. While he thinks there is a real connection, the relationship is very one sided. She is programmed to learn about him and become the perfect GF. Thus influencing his perspective of what a real life relationship should be like, all about him. Click on the title to read the full article.