I think of it as the Led Zeppelin Problem, but you could also consider it the NWA Problem: if you're sentient, and you consume pop culture, you'll eventually notice that a lot of songs/movies/tv shows/video games that you love hate you, your family members and your neighbors. Some days, you can ignore it and just be all, "Jenna and Tracy's self-absorption is so entertaining, I'll just blip right over that extended bit with John Hamm in blackface."
Other days, though, you're going to be irked that mainstream media's views from and of women and people of color run the short gamut from unappealing stereotypes to flat-out nonexistent. On those days, you're going to want to turn to indie media, which has never been so plentiful or so good (thanks, internet, for the broad, cheap distribution). Herewith then, a very small sampling of indie media you can love when mainstream media sucks.
* Feminist Frequency (video). Terrific feminist analysis of pop culture from Anita Sarkeesian. Among my faves: her discussions of the Bechdel Test. (Note that Anita has been under intense, abusive attack from anonymous people on the interwebs who are opposed to the idea of her making a video about the portrayal of women in video games. She's been doing a stunning job documenting and exposing the abuse.)
* Awkward Black Girl (video). A terrific web sitcom by Issa Rae. I'm embarrassed to say that before I saw this show, I had no idea web tv could be so good. With sharp writing and strong acting, the show is both hilarious and poignant--and exactly the kind of tv I want to watch. When Lena Dunham's "Girls" debuted, lotta people were dismayed that young black women weren't part of the show--or really part of HBO at all. Awkward Black Girl is the antidote.
* This Week in Blackness (radio). I don't have a good chunk of time for listening to stuff these days, so I don't tune in to many podcasts. But when I do download, TWiB consistently delivers sharp thinking and funny angles from Elon James White and L. Joy Williams. They also have on guests like Van Jones, Tim Wise and Blair L.M. Kelley, who bring extra depth to the show.
When 500 cable channels and dozens of summer movies fail to satisfy, what indie stuff do you love?