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This is Dahlia’s Blog

Construction Workers Are Not Disposable

In case you haven't been paying attention to the news these last few weeks, things are pretty fucked up. Not only has the corona death toll surpassed Vietnam numbers, but countless states are already planning their re-opening strategies, all while testing and vaccines...

From AIDS to Corona, Silence=Death

In his book The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, American art critic Hal Foster writes that it is trauma that allows us to escape from the traditional binary approach that plagued most postwar art: that images either refer to something or...

Pandemics, Contagion, and Fear, part 4

Over the next few days (weeks?), I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in...

Pandemics, Contagion, and Fear, part 3

Over the next few days (weeks?), I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in...

Pandemics, Contagion, and Fear, part 2

Over the next few days (weeks?), I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in...

Pandemics, Contagion, and Fear, part 1

Over the next few days, I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in real...

Tarantino’s Love Letter to Trump

During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump recycled a campaign slogan used several times before (by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton). However, when Trump used it, the slogan took an ominous turn. When Trump or his supporters call out to "Make America Great...

How Madonna Became Gaga (and Gaga Became Stefani)

In 2010, Camille Paglia wrote an essay for The Sunday Times entitled "What's Sex Got To Do With It?" Despite the vagaries of the title, the essay is a pointed and methodical critique of Lady Gaga. One of the primary critiques discussed in the article is Gaga's then...

Not Ready to Make Nice

I was told not to write this. I was told not to "pick a fight." I was told to be more patient and kind. I was told not to alienate potential allies. I was told how to feel and what to say. Nope. I'm done with that. I was done with that on November 9, 2016, and I'm...

L.A. Private Eyes Launch Event This Week (and More!)

Dearest reader, My latest book, L.A. Private Eyes, examines the tradition of the private eye as it evolves in films, books, and television shows set in Los Angeles from the 1930’s through the present day. It takes a closer look at narratives — both on screen and on...

“Mom, I am a rich man.”

I have daddy issues. My father was detached and disinterested (at best) for most of my childhood and adolescence before cutting off contact with me completely. A shadowy figure, usually working, often distant, frequently disapproving, he never seemed to provide me...

Why Shrill Sabotages Its Own Empowerment Message

(If you plan to watch Shrill and care about spoilers, definitely don't read this until after you've caught up.) Shrill, one of Hulu's recent contributions to original television content, is emphatically marketed as "empowering," mainly because its protagonist (Annie,...

The Problem with ‘A Star Is Born’

Warning: SPOILERS. Bradley Cooper and and Lady Gaga in a scene from A Star is Born, which Bradley Cooper also directed. Hollywood loves a good makeover montage, and the story told within A Star Is Born—successful musician stumbles upon a talented but unknown singer,...

Just Some Facts (About Israel and the Myth of Apartheid)

This post is not meant to declare that any one people is "good" or "bad." I've repeatedly tried to move away from such simplistic binaries. The simple purpose of this post is to discredit some of the claims that Israel is an apartheid country. Many of these facts are...

Forget about Your Feelings. Look at the Facts.

Okay, everyone. I think it's time to review the current insult "snowflake" (with thanks to Dana Schwartz) -- There is not a single political point a liberal can make on the Internet for which “You triggered, snowflake?” cannot be the comeback. It’s purpose is...

Why Are White Women Unhappy?

The New York Times recently published an article by Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff with the dramatic headline: "Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit." Carey and Gebeloff warn of the withdrawal symptoms that unexpectedly cripple users...

Let’s Not Watch Roseanne, OK?

You may or may not have noticed that Roseanne is back. Not Roseanne Barr--she never left--but Roseanne Conner with her accompanying family (Darlene, DJ, Dan, Becky, Jackie, etcetera). Various entertainment publications are abuzz about not only the show's return but,...

LA + DC: Save the Date(s)!

Two upcoming bi-coastal events to celebrate the launch of Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World: For more info on the book, please visit: GoingViralBook.com.

Enough About Harvey

Confession: I am sick of hearing about Harvey Weinstein. It's not that I support the perpetual harassment and objectification of women, it's just that the selective focus of the whole situation makes me want to scream. Why Harvey? Why now? After all, our...

#MeToo, of course

I've been telling myself over the last few days that I need to write a blog. As the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment/assault/rape scandal appears to rock Los Angeles, as well as (perhaps) the rest of the United States, and woman after woman steps forward to share...

Taylor Swift as Unruly Woman

I'm not a "Swiftie." There is an occasional Taylor Swift song that I won't move past if it's on the radio, but I was hardly inconvenienced by the absence of her music on Spotify. That said, I feel compelled to speak up in defense of "Look What You Made Me Do." Her...

Where’s the Music?

Where are our protest songs? I recently watched the film London Town, a coming-of-age drama set in 1970s London and directed by Derrick Borte. It reminded me of what music could do, of what music is supposed to do. In the film, Shay Baker (Daniel Huttlestone), is a...

Minority of One

I recently came across the following quote by Tom Robbins from Jitterbug Perfume: "The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate...

White People, Step Up

Ever since the election in November, I've had several friends mention that they were going to ration their Facebook time, or cut it out all together. "Facebook is just too difficult these days," they would say. "I blame Trump," they would say. "I need a break," they...

Why Are We So Furious with ‘Girls’?

A recent episode of the HBO television show Girls threw audience members into a frenzy. Specifically, it threw audience members affiliated with academia into a frenzy. The cause of the uproar? At the end of the sixth and final season, Hannah Horvath (the...

I Don’t Want Prayers. I Want Gay Rights.

By now, most people have heard of the horrific tragedy that occurred late Saturday night in the Orlando, Florida nightclub. My social media has been full of people mourning the deaths of people who were executed for no other reason than their sexuality, for no other...

Office Killer Finds Its Place

Almost two decades ago, I saw a little movie called Office Killer. When I say “little,” I don’t mean that it lacked style or attitude or impact. When I say “little,” I mean that it only grossed $76,000. By no means should this paltry sum indicate empty theaters, Molly...

Office Killer with Cindy Sherman in NYC

Dearest reader, I am thrilled to invite you to a special screening of the film Office Killer at New York City's Film Forum theater on Saturday, June 4th at 2:20PM. What makes this screening so special, you ask? Well, first of all, it's a rare opportunity to see the...

Hillary Clinton Rewrites AIDS History

This has been one hell of an election season, with outrageous claims and promises spewing from all sides of the aisle. I've felt, many times, like I was trying to keep my balance on a tiny boat in a huge turbulent sea. People speak in sound bytes and declarations,...

Why Gaga’s Bowie Left Me Empty

Last night, Lady Gaga donned a bright red wig, a hell of a lot of makeup, and partnered with Intel to bring a David Bowie memorial medley to the Grammys. The only thing seemingly left out of a show complete with forty years of Bowie iconography was Bowie, himself. I...

It’s Just Hair

One of my friends has been battling breast cancer this year. First she lost her hair, and then she lost her breasts. She commented on how the loss of both forced her to redefine (to re-find) her femininity, since what defines a woman's sexuality--her very status as a...

Pretty Little Transgenders

[SPOILERS AHEAD!] Back when Basic Instinct premiered in 1992, it was met with massive outcry by many in the GLBT community who alleged that it portrayed lesbians as violence-prone killers and deviates. Rita Addessa, executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and...

Why Your Hipster T-Shirt Doesn’t Make You a Feminist

Mark Ruffalo's delightful response to the "I Am Not a Feminist" phenomenon, in which he castigates the current trend of women (and maybe also men?) to distance themselves from the feminist label (“You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained...

Marilyn Monroe: Artist and Auteur

In honor of Marilyn's birthday (and she is always Marilyn to us, never Miss Monroe), an essay from my archives:    Six weeks before she died, Marilyn Monroe did a photo shoot with Bert Stern for Vogue magazine. These photos show a Monroe more natural, more...

The Dangerous Lesson of Whiplash — And Why I Hated It

My feelings about Whiplash are complex, but one feeling isn't. I hated it. I hated it with a passion. If I had seen it in theaters, I would have walked out. And here's why: Whiplash glorifies a specific aspect of the artistic process -- the grueling, bloody...

AIDS Awareness Day

In honor of AIDS Awareness Day, I'm just going to post some facts and figures. One of the things that upsets me most is the current complacency that seems to have become common around HIV/AIDS, so here are some reasons not to be complacent: In 2008, there were 126,964...