There Be Monsters: A Warning

Kelly J. Baker I decided to begin a project on zombie apocalypses, in part because of The Walking Dead’s popularity but also because of burgeoning amount of zombie media, the books, films, products, television shows, memes, and apps that center on zombies. My decision also hinged on the uncritical embrace of zombies by fans, critics, friends, relatives, and my students.

Don Draper: Dharma Bum, Priestly Sage

S. Brent Plate In episode 9 of the final season of Mad Men, Don Draper sits in his empty Manhattan penthouse, having lost his wife and all his domestic possessions. A few episodes later he is driving his Cadillac through the western states with nothing but a bag of belongings. In the ultimate scene of the penultimate episode he gives his car to a local grifter. These final episodes turn Don into a Dharma Bum, some modern-day bodhisattva eliminating attachments through carefree wandering. He’s straight out of Japhy Ryder’s vision in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel Dharma Bums.

“Looking” for Spirituality and Truth

Luís León The second season of HBO’s ground-breaking mini-series Looking aired this week, January 11, at 8:00 PM. The premiere on January 19 of last year marks a milestone for lgbt-themed television drama: a realistic and edgy depiction of young gay men set in San Francisco, with a multicultural cast (albeit still mostly focused on white men). Even while it’s a coup in the struggle to advance lgbt rights—depicting and thus familiarizing audiences with the interior lives of gays—creating empathy and affect— it is at once an advance in efforts to understand the human condition.