An Introduction to Pop Culture Detective

The Pop Culture Detective Agency is a series of long-form video essays and podcasts dedicated to critical media literacy. Each episode explores the intersections of sociology, masculinity, politics, and entertainment. The project is hosted and produced by Jonathan McIntosh

Jonathan McIntosh is a cultural critic who has been deconstructing and transforming mass media narratives for critical and educational purposes since before the invention of YouTube.

His viral remix videos “Buffy vs Edward” and “Donald Duck meets Glenn Beck” have been featured and discussed by major media publications including The New York Times, WIRED, Washington Post, LA Times and on National Public Radio. His online videos have been recommended by Roger Ebert and celebrated by Lawrence Lessig, while Glenn Beck has said of Jonathan’s work “It is some of the best, well made propaganda I’ve ever seen.”

In 2012, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jonathan screened his “Buffy vs Edward” remix video for the US Copyright Office hearings on exemptions to the DMCA. Afterward that remix work was cited in the official recommendations by the US Copyright Office on exemptions to the DMCA as an example of transformative noncommercial video work.

As an advisory board member at New Media Rights, Jonathan is an outspoken advocate of the fair use doctrine. His remixes, video essays HTML5 video work (like The Gendered Advertising Remixer) are often included on course syllabi and screened in classrooms by educational and media literacy organizations.

In 2010 his “Buffy vs Edward” video was nominated for a Webby Award in the Best Remix/Mashup category. That same year the accompanying essay “What Would Buffy Do?: Notes on Dusting Edward Cullen” won the Short Mr. Pointy Award at the 2010 Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses.

Jonathan has given lectures and facilitated workshops around the world focusing on remix video, transformative storytelling, fair use and critical media literacy. Recently, he’s given presentations at Transmedia Hollywood, Interactive Arts and Media at Columbia College, Festival de Cine Global Dominicano in Santo Domingo, Ars Electronica Symposium IV in Linz Austria and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona in Spain.

From 2012 to 2016 Jonathan was co-writer and producer on season one of the influential Tropes vs Women in Video Games web series. He also wrote an article on 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male and produced the accompanying viral video.

Under the banner of The Pop Culture Detective Agency, Jonathan is currently producing a series of long-form video essays investigating the intersections of masculinity, politics and entertainment.