ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

A White Girl Like You

Forgive me. I have not yet fully worked this all out. But Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes the prisoners headed to the Soviet Gulag as waves flowing underground. These waves “provided sewage disposal for the life flowering on the surface.” I understand this to mean that the gulag was not just mindless evil—was not just incomprehensible insanity—but served some sort of productive and knowable purpose. Could it be that believing our police to be constantly.. Read More

Poverty & the Making of American Politics

With the midterm elections fast approaching, the time is ripe for reflections on the changes wrought in the political landscape since Obama’s election nearly two years ago.  Such thinkpieces tend more towards the negative — though some are more balanced than others — but, invariably, much mention is made of ye olde Tea Party, that purportedly populist uprising that has so usurped the sociopolitical conversation of late.  There are many theories of the.. Read More

Unpacking Betty’s Knapsack

This past spring, “Ugly Betty” ended its four-year run.  I had stopped watching the show after its (not very good) second season, but when I heard it was over, I headed over to abc.com to see how it ended — and the final episodes were so well-done that I joined Netflix for the sole purpose of catching up on seasons three and four (and cancelled my account immediately thereafter).  I’ve been thinking about.. Read More

The Last Racebender

I was relieved to discover that “The Last Airbender” received terrible reviews, for a variety of reasons (the cartoon was just about the perfect format to tell the full narrative), but particularly because the characters which were, in the series, ambiguously Asian or Native became, in the film, all white.  Except the villains.  The good guys are all white, and the Fire Nation is now Indian.  NPR’s television blog, which I normally find.. Read More