TV the Diversity Slayer


June 29, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

Everyone knows the feeling: becoming too invested in a television series or movie, only to have (one of) your favorite character killed off. I recently saw Lexa, one of my favorite female characters on The 100, who was only a guest star but quickly became a LGBTQIA favorite of many of the show’s fans, pointlessly killed. Many people then got angry at the show’s producers for fulfilling the “gay/bisexual character hit by a stray bullet” – trope and not giving fans the satisfaction of her death with dignity. Of course, fans will always be mad when favorite characters die, as you grow to love them as friends or family. However, it gets more and more infuriating when death is only used as a shock device or a cliffhanger, and not as a satisfying end to a storyline.
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Bless the USA, a Concept of Hope

June 14, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

Many people today can no longer stand the United States. Asides from the traveling businesspeople who I envy, Europeans still predominantly deal with the Americans diplomatically and internationally. And for a country that’s so focused on freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Americans sure have made a mess of countries like Iraq and entire continents like Latin America. Domestically, too, the land of the brave is filled with injustice and prejudice. Just last weekend, the worst mass shooting of modern US history occurred in Orlando, Florida, where 50 people were killed and another 53 injured during a heinous hate crime. Because of these domestic and international headlines, the United States have lost their appeal to many. So whenever I tell someone that I study American Studies and actually do love the USA, I’m suddenly the strange one, and they can’t believe me. Well, I can still believe me, and I wanted to devote my last ASH online article to respectfully explain why.
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TTIP’s Evil Sister


May 31, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

While controversies and public resistance keep TTIP gridlocked, a similar agreement (CETA) with Canada has steadily entered the European Union, but has not yet entered the debate. It seems that everything that comes from the United States is bedeviled and that which comes from Canada is bejeweled. Yet the wolf in sheep’s clothing is working towards a comprehensive, undemocratic economic success.
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Election Extravaganza!

May 24, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

We’re still about six months away from the coming General Elections. Political junkies have a hard time waiting for the 8th of November to arrive, they need a fix, man! Sure, the primaries offer a good supporting program, but it just isn’t the same. Therefore it might be a good idea to temporarily quench your thirst by looking at some movies that offer some great stories about the US elections past! Make sure that you have seen these 5 movies before Trump and Clinton face it off in November!

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No Asian Invasion in Hollywood

May 17, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

While blackface has been heavily criticized and eradicated from Hollywood’s practices, another racist practice persists: yellowface. It might seem logical that Asian actors play roles in Hollywood movies meant to portray people of Asian ethnicity, right? Well, Hollywood does not see it that way. According to, Hollywood has a century-long history of choosing non-Asian actors and blocked actual Asians from getting their deserved roles, as well as mocking and discriminating Asians. The article mentions “directors sometimes defend whitewashing by claiming they need A-list actors on board in order to get big projects made, and there simply aren’t any Asian A-list actors to choose from.” However, recent movies with all-white star actors can still flop, like Aloha (2015). Hollywood executives try to defend these practices by claiming there aren’t enough big Asian stars, which is why roles meant for Asian actors go to white people. This vicious circle is actually highly offensive, especially in an industry that’s supposedly changing its diversity issues. Read more →

I’m With Her!

May 13, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

American Studies students are all aware of the election happening right now in the United States. Now that Donald Trump is more and more likely to be the Republican nominee, the eyes are on the Democratic side; Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton. In the American Studies community, there are a lot of Bernie supporters, which has slunk down a little lately because the path for Sanders to the nomination is almost impossible. And some in the American Studies are Hillary supporters, although they might be less vocal. As the title suggests, I am a Hillary supporter. Read more →

“Being Necessary to the Security of a Free State”: Questioning the Second Amendment

April 20, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

“Being Necessary to the Security of a Free State”: Questioning the Second Amendment By Lobke van Meijel 18 April 2016 Americans love their guns, and they love their second amendment. It’s so big an issue that the constitutional right comes back around almost every election, and candidates this time once again do not disappoint. While they all have very strong opinions on America’s gun culture and while they express these in various ways, one thing becomes very clear: the second amendment, which arguably is the most powerful enabler for gun culture, continues to be controversial. Yet, while one aspect has been discussed a lot, I want to turn the focus to another ambivalent linguistic phrase in one of the most prominent constitutional amendments of the United States.
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What’s in her face?

April 12, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

12779235_1085778114812050_2387116945549864873_oThe game is on. Whereas the media already seem to consider Hillary clinton winner of the democratic primaries, the anti-establishment community stresses the growing momentum of the Bernie Sanders camp. Media-platforms are working around the clock to collect, analyze, and process information. Information seems to be an all-embracing term, but the media leave out one important aspect of information: visual information. In this respect, the information analyzed in this article is less tangible, nevertheless very important. I will also look at Hillary Clinton’s campaign, however not at her viewpoints, her gains or losses, or her position within the democratic party but at her visual campaign. Why? Because visuals can convey as powerful a message as words and actions can. Hillary Clinton’s online campaign is a good example of the art and power of visuals. Signs and signifiers consciously or unconsciously convey the core principles of her political campaign.
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Supreme Politics

April 5, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

On February 13th, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, and with his passing a vacancy arose within the Supreme Court of the United States. Antonin Scalia was known as one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, thus his succession has become reason for debate. The US constitution states that the president should nominate a candidate for the Supreme Court, which needs to be approved by the Senate. The death of Scalia caused uproar among Republicans in the Senate; they claim that President Obama should abstain from nominating a candidate until a new President has been elected in November of 2016. Obama did not put up with this Republican rhetoric and decided to go ahead with nominating a new candidate for the SCOTUS. On March 16th, Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacated seat on the Supreme Court. Who is Merrick Garland, and why did Obama decide to nominate him?

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March 15, 2016 | Posted in ASH Online

Let’s all be honest with each other and say that we can’t get enough of the 2016 election. We can’t wait for President Trump to adjust every lock in the oval office so that only his penis and/or small hands can open the doors. But unfortunately, that particular doomsday is still months away. So let’s talk fiction, Frank Underwood laid out his plan for the 2016 election, and we have all seen that (don’t lie, it was all you did the whole weekend it was released, did you even shower?). But on April 24 of this year, my fictitious favourite president is going to hit the airwaves again: Selina Meyer.
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