Photo by CX Insight on Unsplash

Autocrats Reach Into the Classroom

President Biden is off on a trip to Europe to reconnect with allies after four years of fraught relations. He will emphasize America’s commitment to democracy and its values, and he will argue for a global corporate tax as well as for serious action on climate change. In line with the reaffirmation of democracy by the United States, he also plans to meet with President Putin. With Putin, Biden will raise the issue of Russian meddling in elections and aggression in Ukraine. …


US Naturalization Ceremony on World Refugee Day, Washington, DC 2016; photo David Jensen, USCIS

There were 26 million refugees on the planet at the end of 2019, according to the United Nations report published on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2020. We generally think of refugees as those who have been forced to flee their homes due to a natural or a human disaster, to an environmental calamity or to an economic collapse. The UN’s definition is more specific, however, and is directly related to war and conflict. …


The Blob, An Ecological Fable from the 1950s

Svengoolie recently brought The Blob back to ooze through his MeTV show. A none-too-gripping account about a threatening amorphous mass from space, the 1958 work is now generally remembered as the first leading role of American cinema icon Steve McQueen. The film is a treasure trove of fifties sci-fi and horror tropes — invasion by an unknown force or being, dim-witted adults and smug officials who won’t listen to young people, a pseudo-scientific solution to repel the invasion and a gender-based division of labor between steadfast men and their faithful, he-was-right-all-along, women…

Lee Hilliker

I write on cinema and contemporary culture, and am a filmmaker (Semester, on Prime). I am Emeritus Professor of French at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.

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