Image; the disinsider

Many elements in Disney’s Cruella (2021) shouldn’t work. It had to not only establish an empathetic backstory for the classic Disney villain and turn her into a likable anti-hero but create an entertaining enough plot for viewers to watch. It also had to center this villain while not offending the Mickey Mouse Corporations' conservative sensibilities. And on top of all of these constraints, the movie had to create the space for a potential sequel.

It’s a surprise, frankly, that we got a movie as fun and workable as we did. Some of Cruella’s elements really are fun and exciting: the…


Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

We are in the middle of a god damn pandemic, and some landlords want us not to criticize them for denying their tenants housing. “Not all landlords are rolling in money,” writes Jacqueline A in a Medium article explaining why she is evicting her tenants. “Some are just normal individuals trying to make ends meet. In the same way, we have good and bad tenants; we also have good and bad landlords. In the same way, tenants don’t want to be homeless; landlords don’t want to be in debt due to their tenants.

Before we proceed, it should be noted…


Image; created by Alex Mell-Taylor

The movie The Devil Wears Prada lingers in the public consciousness, even fifteen years after it first aired in 2006. We still see Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in memes, as people quote gifs of her oneliners, such as “You have no sense of fashion” or “By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me” to their friends in threads. The fanbase has remained active to this day, with the official page still maintaining over 2 million followers on Facebook.

It’s an IP constantly being tapped into and remade. The original author of the novel has…


The rich would not be allowed into Star Trek’s utopia

Photo by Dom Talbot on Unsplash

The first time I considered that work could be different than it is today came from watching an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999). The protagonist, Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), was talking to his father, Joseph Sisko (Brock Peters), who I learned ran a Creole restaurant back on Earth in the 2370s. Joseph found it hectic to manage it, but he didn’t work because he had to pay bills or get health insurance. In fact, his chosen profession was technically obsolete. …


We don’t have the mental space to do things that matter.

Photo by Natasha Connell on Unsplash

I spend so much of my time on numbers. I worry about how much I am spending. I fret over bills and filing taxes and whether or not I can meet a healthcare deductible. I look at my retirement accounts and chart out the thin red line on my computer screen, looking at a date decades into the future when I might not have to worry as much about money.

I then am pulled to the present and worry about the numbers for my job. I pore over click…


The emotion that has led to the death of millions.

Source: Édouard Moyse

I want to tell you about the time I almost died because of the shame of others. After a long shift, I was eating dinner at Whole Foods — one of the cheapest venues in the upscale neighborhood where I happened to work. I had taken a seat in the upstairs section amongst the plastic tables and chairs they set aside for shoppers to eat, scarfing down food I had hastily purchased from the hot bar.

I had not eaten lunch that day. I was so incredibly hungry that I…


Amazon strikes a propaganda goldmine with this flagship offering.

Image; Photo by Chuanchai Pundej on Unsplash

The slick sci-fi romp The Tomorrow War hits all the beats of a major Hollywood action film. With a budget of $200 million, the special effects and set pieces are impressive, though not particularly memorable. Chris Pratt, who earned his action bona fides in the Guardians of The Galaxy franchise and the Jurassic World reboot, manages to be a charming lead who propels the viewer through a dying Earth. …


Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

There is a lot of bad advice concerning climate change. Most of it pertains to what you can do on an individual level to reduce your carbon footprint (e.g., recycle, use less plastic, don’t fly, etc.). I even wrote one of these back in the day about urging people to fly less (be gentle).

This advice isn't all bad, but it individualizes a systemic problem. A third of the world's carbon emissions come from just 20 companies. You should still try to recycle, especially if you belong in a country such as the US that contributes to a disproportionate amount…


Image: Marca; edited via LunaPic

Loki was a show that tried to cover a lot of things in its six-episode run-time: as with any Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) property, it continued the larger cinematic narrative, specifically the fallout following the end of Avengers: Endgame (2019); it introduced the concept of multiverses; forecasted our next big bad; on top of having a philosophical conversation about if free will even exist alongside nonlinear time. There is a ton to parse, here and not all of these concepts play nicely with one another.

Underneath all of this bluster, however, there is a rather interesting conversation about fascism. The…


Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Bro, if you have ever been in a heated conversation online, you’ve probably had a cringe-worthy debate defining political terms like socialism or capitalism. “[Socialism] Who’s Behind It, Why It’s Evil, and How To Stop Itreads the subheader for Dinesh D’Souza’s 2020 book United States of Socialism. “Socialism is when the government does stuff,” academic Richard D. Wolff infamously said at a talk. People have a lot of opinions on how we should structure our government, and as we can see, they can get very rough.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that most people simply do not know what…

Alex Mell-Taylor

I write about pop culture and politics. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/opinionsalexhas Write for me: https://medium.com/after-the-storm

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