Weekend Review

I realize it’s Tuesday but I’m still recovering from the weekend. I keynoted the Pop Culture & World Politics conference in Geneva, NY at Hobart William and Smith College where I talked about the Mad Men project and why it’s important to talk back to pop culture instead of being a victim of it. The event space was an AMAZING loft, an old cracker factory that now houses a reclaimed wood furniture shop and an open space that looks like a Pinterest board come to life!

And at the very back of the factory was a large room dedicated to housing the letter presses the suffragists used to print flyers in near-by Seneca Falls! It was such a wonderful space to be in. I was honored to share keynoting duties with some of my favorite counter-culture collaborators, Anne Elizabeth MooreLegs McNeil and Reverend Billy Talen.

Pop Culture & World Politics Keynote

And then it was off to the wonderful world of Long Island City, Queens, a small oasis I have visited only 3 times before, off the ‘coast’ of Manhattan. There, my Mad Men:Set Me Free collaborator and I joined other local remixers at Flux Factory  for a screening of  our work followed by the ten-years-in-the-making remix, Hollywood Burn created by mash up artists, Soda_Jerk. I learned that, after talking with them online for years, the two creators were both women! I had no idea so that was a pleasant surprise. What a wonderful weekend. Thanks to the professors from all over the world who came to Geneva for the conference and for waking up early, at 9:30 on a Sunday for the closing address!  And thanks to Flux for a wonderful event!


Mad Men: Set Me Free

Sung by your favorite female characters, Mad Men: Set Me Free is a musical mash up by Marc Faletti (@marcfaletti) and I (PopCulturePirate). As Peggy, Joan and Betty sing the MoTown hit “You Keep Me Hanging On”,  the entirely female-framed version of Mad Men becomes an entertaining and refreshing re-articulation of female frustrations amidst rigid gender roles.

“We love that feeling when two familiar pieces of pop culture blend to make something entirely new, especially when it’s punctuated by the perfect song” says Faletti. “Mad Men: Set Me Free shows us that the remix format — and the joy it creates — isn’t just limited to music. It can create new and interesting stories.”

By framing the female characters from Mad Men in a series of boxes, we wanted to illustrate how the show, and by extension, society, isolates and marginalizes womens’ voices within pop culture narratives. As a result, it’s important for women to tell their own stories. For me as a remix artist,  making mash ups is the best way to tell these stories. I call it writing with TV for TV.

And here’s where I quote myself!

“When you’re culturally “poor” for representation, both queer and feminist, you have to reuse the things you have access to, whether it be for subtext, your own entertainment or for critique. My hope was that I could turn the mixed feelings I had about the retro-sexual roles of women in Mad Men into something practical: product that my feminist theory addressed in theory only.”


Link on vimeo.

Link on YouTube.