Why Is Othello Black?

To us today, the word “black” carries with it a specific cluster of associations informed by history, culture, stereotypes, and literature. Othello may have started in conversation with Shakespeare’s definition of blackness, but today, he speaks with ours. A much more interesting question, really, is: Why is Othello black? Why did Shakespeare write a domestic tragedy about jealousy, and make the husband a Moor? Is Othello’s race a canard, or…

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Audisee Presents: The War of the Worlds

As new age synthesizer music, a rich baritone narrates: “Audisee presents: The War of the Worlds. The year is 2015 A.D. From the first launching into space, in 1961, to the establishment of a base on Jupiter this year, man has not encountered extraterrestrial life forms.” When I was about 10 or 11, I loved listening to this audio book-and-tape adaptation. When I read the H.G. Wells version, I was…

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Canon Australia video: 1 man; 6 backstories; 6 photographers; 6 photos

Canon Australia wants to sell cameras. This soft-sell video flatters the creative ambitions of customers in order to make them want to invest money in a fancy camera. We should be critical of the premise, because the video is not an art project or a psychological study. Still, this is good storytelling, and helps make a point about how media creates the reality that we perceive.