Pick Three: Today's Media Stories Worth Reading - 08/11/2016



Every day, we pick three media-related stories we think you should read. These are generally not "hot takes", but instead lesser-covered topics that deserve some extra love.

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1) Want To Keep Viewers Of Your Show Happy? Good Luck With That

It's hard to find a show with a more dedicated fanbase than "Steven Universe," an animated show that among other things has been praised for its ability to turn gender issues on their head. It's the first ever female-created animated series and the show has expanded the definition of what it means to be a mainstream animated TV series.

But no matter how hard you try, some viewers are going to find things to hate about your show. As an example, let's take a look at this piece from Medium, entitled "All These Black Characters and 0 Done Right — How Steven Universe Fails Its Black Fanbase, Part I."

Reading the piece is instructive, particularly for the way it mixes criticism of the show based on the way its characters are perceived, instead of the way they are written. It's a deep, complex wade. But it does give some insight into how difficult it is today to keep the fanbase of any show happy. And how some fans want to see things as they see them and aren't open to any alternative view:

The Business End

First, a content warning: There will be discussion of rape, violence and abuse as they exist in the series, and as they are discussed in the fandom. Please leave at this time if these topics will cause you harm.

Second: I will discuss Pearl as primarily white, but occasionally Asian. The former is because that’s what I code her as based on her narratives, the focus on her character, and the things she’s allowed to get away with, the latter is because of the large number of Asians I have seen coding her as such and heavily identifying with her.

Third: Due to Amethyst’s AAVE, I will discuss her as a Black-coding character. Garnet, Bismuth, Jasper, and Sugilite are also going to be discussed as Black-coding. Sardonyx will be discussed as biracial Black, in particular, softened by Pearl’s part in the fusion. Lapis and Peridot will be discussed as specifically Asian-coding. Pearl is explained above. Steven, Greg, and Rose are white. (Don’t bother arguing with me. They are undoubtedly white.)

Wanna Discuss This Essay With Me? Know This.

If you would like an explanation of why I used this specific coding, ask me privately on Twitter. It is not the purpose of this essay, which is mostly aimed at people closer to my circles in the fandom, and fans of color.
   
I do not care about white people’s responses to this post. At all.

2) The Accidental Origin of the Hit Song ‘American Woman’

The Guess Who had a long string of hits in the decade beginning in the late 1960s. And of all of all of their hits, the most memorable tune is probably the anti-war tune "American Woman." It's been covered a number of times since and the opening guitar riff can rightfully be described as "iconic." In this video from Great Big Story, co-writer Randy Bachman talks about how the song was written, which involves a last-minute live performance at a Canadian curling arena.

3) Can Pokemon Go Make Baseball Fun Again?

MPR News blogger Bob Collins writes about Major Leagie Baseball's efforts to leverage the social interaction success of Pokemon Go into the league's stadiums.

In a few years from now, we’ll fondly recall the days when people who went to baseball games went there to watch baseball.

Major League Baseball has increasingly tried to provide a “fan experience” that involves more than just the game and it’s about to take the next step.

If it sounds like Pokemon Go for baseball, that might not be a coincidence.

This week, a group of Google former employees picked up $7 million from a high-profile investor group to build an all-in-one mobile app development tool for people who go to games. One of the investors is Major League Baseball.