Culture Update 2/28/14: Pseudo Science, Trans-Parent, Boston Flick, RuPaul

Lots to cover this week:

Whole Foods: Whole Lotta Nonsense?

From distiInfo.com

From distiInfo.com

In this provocative Daily Beast article, Michael Schulson points out that while the pseudoscience behind, say, creationism or its more science-kosher avatar intelligent design, is rightly decried by educated liberals as pseudoscience, those same liberals will often turn a blind eye to the snake oil dished out by Whole Foods, everyone’s favorite overpriced grocery-dispensing cash cow. A well-balanced article that points out biases we may not even be aware we had, and recognizes the human mind’s awesome ability to rationalize the most ridiculous assertions that align with our beliefs (they sell Vitamineral Earth’s “Sacred Healthy Food”; really Whole Foods?!).

TV Show Pilot: Transparent

From the NYTs website:  Jeffrey Tambor in a scene from the 2014 Amazon pilot “Transparent.” Credit Amazon Studios

From the NYTs website: Jeffrey Tambor in a scene from the 2014 Amazon pilot “Transparent.” Credit Amazon Studios

I had heard about the pilot for the TV show “Transparent” from the Slate Culture Gabfest’s podcast (listen here), but I wasn’t really made aware of what a show like this means until I read this great piece in the New York Time’s Sunday Review. In “Transgender, Schlumpy, and Human,” Jennifer Finney Boylan, a professor at Colby College, the author of Stuck in the Middle With You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders, and an adviser for the new show, wrote about what it means that this innovative concept for a show, although a big step forward, stars a very talented actor that is not trans. Boylan asks a very arresting question: “Why do these parts go to people who struggle to imitate us, when there are trans actors ready and able to bring to these roles the authority and authenticity of their own lives?” Go read this piece and assess for yourself how progressive or limited this show and other artistic projects like it really are.

Boston Theater: Annie Baker’s New Play The Flick

Peter Andersen and Alex Pollock in The Flick. From companyone.org

Peter Andersen and Alex Pollock in The Flick. From companyone.org

If you want my opinion on this show, read my review of the Company One Theatre production on the My Entertainment World site here. All I have left to say is: Go see it, if you are in Boston this month.

RuPaul: Born Naked Album

Album Cover Art

Album Cover Art

Mama Ru is back and better than ever with Season Six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the release of her new album, Born Naked. I’ve put off writing a piece on encountering Drag Race out of fear of inadequately expressing how fan-fucking-tastic the show is and how it has changed my life by sheer force of entertainment and intelligent subversion.

So for now, I will leave you to gag over this particular hit, “Sissy That Walk,” the new runway track:

Unlike some of RuPaul’s other albums, Born Naked is actually free of most tendencies towards bubblegum dance-y tunes (no T, no shade) and provides some seriously blood pumping electronic beats that will leave you gasping for breath.

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