If you’re a fan of Disney’s Hercules, you’ve seen these five women in action. They are the Muses, a collection of goddesses of the arts. The daughters of Greek God, Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne, there were originally nine of them, each embodying a different aspect of the creative arts. Calliope (Epic Poetry), Clio (History), Euterpe (Flutes and Lyric Poetry), Thalia (Comedy), Melopmene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyphymnia (sacred poetry) and Urania (astronomy) all inspired the creation of art through their own songs, dances, writing, music, and mime. They were invoked at the start of epic poems and tales like The Illiad or The Odyssey to have the storyteller exist a vessel that the muses could work through to successfully tell the tales of these heroes.
A lot has been said about the racism in the fanbase of RuPaul's Drag Race. Queens have spoken out against racist abuse from the fans, and spoken out against the racism within the shows practises. But I feel like conversations need to become focused and really hold the show (and by proxy, RuPaul) accountable for its treatment of black people, and black culture.
Rent was a fairly obvious choice for a live broadcast. The musical has fans across the world, covering generations of musical theatre fans. The show has been on Off-Broadway, Broadway, the West End, toured around the world, and we all seem to know someone who did the show (sometimes at a disturbingly young age). However, Fox's live broadcast of Rent faced issues that affected the general production.
2018 was the year that I heard the word "problematic" more times than I ever had before in my whole entire life. It was a good year for the word "offensive" too. They become catch all terms to describe a piece of media, a public persona, or any pop culture phenomenon that wasn't exactly progressive by today's standards. This lead to a rise of people declaring things as cancelled straight up.
Queer digital magazine INTO recently published an article critiquing Ariana Grande's latest music video. With a title like "Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Music Video Is Surprisingly Anti-Queer" I expected an examination on what could go wrong when media that is 20 years old is shown in a modern context. I would have enjoyed that. That would have been fun.
I'll be honest. 2018 was the year that I realised that Shawn Mendes was actually a singer. All I knew about him beforehand was that he is cute, and that he has some effeminate mannerisms. Both things are fine, and they've also contributed to the way that queer male audiences engage with him. From very graphic expressions of attraction, to using gifs of him as a way of expressing one's own queerness, Mendes became a rather popular figure on Gay Twitter. However, due to these things, speculations about his sexuality were quite common. On one hand, I understand the mindset between seeing similarities between oneself and a public figure and assuming there is something shared about your identity. I also understand the desire for visible queer representation, especially in popular music.