• Paris Hilton performs her DJ debut at the Pop Music Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil in front of thousands of ecstatic fans

    Tue. October 28

    In Defense of Paris Hilton

    Erin Vargo

    Renowned DJ Deadmau5 (real name: Joel Zimmerman) had some harsh words to say about DJ Paris Hilton, relative newcomer to the world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). His complaint was aired in a lengthy post on his official Tumblr page, in which he compared Hilton’s career as a fellow producer to a novice signing up for an Indy 500 race “just coz”:

    “Im a noob indy / f1 / racing fan.  I love the sport, the community, events, and the tech… But, let’s get real here for a second… theres no way in hell one day im going to just randomly show up to a racing event, proclaiming my ‘super awesome driving talent’ and get in the race just because i’ve been lucky enough in life… So maybe youll catch me performing in the snake pit, atrtending a professional track event, or even having some friendly fun with some legit…

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    Culture, Music

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  • Halloween candies

    Tue. October 28

    Environmentalists Are Ruining Everything, Including Halloween

    Ashley E. McGuire

    The environmentalists have outdone themselves this time. It’s not enough that they want to dictate what kind of bags you are allowed to carry your groceries in, how you sort your trash, how much water you use when you flush the toilet, how you source your energy, or what powers your car. Now they want you to feel like crap when you take your kids trick-or-treating this Friday.

    I laughed when I saw this article from the Huffington Post making the rounds last weekend: “The Frightening Climate Costs of Halloween Candy.”

    Out of morbid fascination, I read it. I want to know what I am destroying when I send my two year-old around our neighborhood in a Tigger costume with a little pumpkin pail as she enjoys the most fun she’s likely to have all month, or maybe even all year. Seriously, I want to know.

    Is it…

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    Culture

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  • Untitled12

    Mon. October 27

    We Should Embrace Childish Things

    Gracy Olmstead

    A.O. Scott’s article in The New York Times about the so-called “death of adulthood” has gotten a lot of attention. “Unlike the antiheroes of eras past,” he writes, “modern man-boys simply refused to grow up, and did so proudly.”

    Mark Tapson built off of this article recently, adding that this death of adulthood also signals a “death of culture.” He wrote that, pre-17th century, most children lived a “nasty, brutish, and short” existence. Adherents of romanticism, like Rousseau, basically made up the “notion that childhood was an important stage in its own right,” and 20th-century American prosperity allowed this idea to burgeon and grow. “This development has found cultural expression in the accelerated ascent of our youth-obsessed pop culture and a concomitant decline of ‘high’ culture,” writes Tapson.

    There are some good thoughts here. But there are also some assumptions—about our history and about the terms “adult”…

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    Culture

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  • 119948120

    Fri. October 24

    The Stigma Around Baby Formula

    Abby W. Schachter

    Formula is a man-made miracle.

    And yet when Emily Wax-Thibodeaux penned a confessional for the Washington Post that struck a massive chord with readers called Why I Don’t breast-feed, if you must know, she defensively explained her decision to feed her baby formula by revealing her ordeal with breast cancer. “For me, formula has been so vilified that I felt as if I was constantly explaining my situation,” Wax-Thibodeaux writes.

    As the mother of four kids who were all formula-fed, I can absolutely relate. Wax-Thibodeaux describes judgmental friends pressing her to admit formula was the wrong choice, or urging her to try anything at all to breast feed her daughter. I had women quietly approach me to whisper confessions of their breast-feeding failure and salvation through formula. But why should any of this be necessary, and why for God’s sake should Wax-Thibodeaux have to justify her perfectly rational decision…

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    Culture

    6 Comments

  • kate-middleton-london-2014

    Fri. October 24

    Kate Middleton’s “Itty Bitty” Figure

    Ashley E. McGuire

    The Internet is abuzz with the news that Kate Middleton has re-emerged after another first trimester tormented by severe morning sickness. I share in the happiness to see that she’s recovered and is now enjoying a healthier second trimester. But the tone of most of the articles I skimmed about her revival was a little disconcerting. They had an almost myopic focus on her “tiny bump” or “sexy look” or “skinny figure.”

    As one article put it, “She’s back and better than ever! In yet another appearance, Kate Middleton looked fantastic in a little black dress with an A-line waist that showed off her teeny-tiny baby bump.” Itty-bitty. Skinny frame. No bump in sight! And so on.

    One friend texted me an article with the news saying, “She doesn’t even look pregnant!!”

    I don’t think the commenters have bad intentions; everyone is just excited to see her…

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    Culture

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  • feelingnutsfeature

    Fri. October 24

    Grabbing Crotches, Dumping Buckets: Is This Charity?

    R. J. Moeller

    Mercifully, the reign of the Ice Bucket Challenge has come to an end. What (presumably) started as a fun way to raise awareness about a debilitating illness (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) quickly turned into a sideshow carnival act that little kids perform in the living room to try to get their dad to look up from the television. Celebrities “called out” other celebrities to see who could make pouring an ice-cold bucket of water onto themselves inspiring and/or interesting. (Note: none succeeded.)

    The only famous people who made things more cringe-worthy than the ones who made a joke out of the self-serving gimmick were the ones who took it seriously.

    But in point of fact, the group behind this tsunami of unfunny—the ALS Association—raised a lot of money. Millions of dollars, in fact. If a bad idea yields a profit, more bad ideas yield more profit.

    That…

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    Culture

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  • mwm2blz8gkcwnt8lyjhv

    Thu. October 23

    Renee Zellweger’s Unlovely Remodel

    Melissa Langsam Braunstein

    Whoa, that’s Renee Zellweger? The 45-year-old actress is literally unrecognizable in photographs from Monday’s Elle Women in Hollywood Awards.

    Zellweger told People magazine, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows . . . Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I’m happy.”

    As a long-time fan, I certainly wish Zellweger happiness. However, Zellweger doesn’t resemble any naturally aging women I’ve known.

    So, why does this bother me? I’m not Renee Zellweger, I’ve never met her, and I likely never will. Feminist writer Sarah Seltzer offered a theory at Flavorwire, writing:

    We’re not mad that she did it [plastic surgery]. We’re mad that we think we can see it so clearly. She’s broken the invisible pact that women are supposed to make:…

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    Culture

    3 Comments

  • Monica Lewinsky First Speech in 13 Years - Philadelphia

    Thu. October 23

    Monica Lewinsky’s Comeback

    Gracy Olmstead

    Monica Lewinsky is back—and her return to the public sphere has been greeted with both applause and derision throughout the media and general public, as many suggest that she’s using her past scandal as fuel for fame. We may view her return dubiously, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s likely upcoming campaign for president. And there probably are some underhanded motives at play here. However, that said, it could also be that some good comes out of this public reappearance.

    Lewinsky’s stated goal—to help cyberbully victims—is a good one. Cyberbullying exists, and it’s terrible. Whether Lewinsky herself is a perfect example of cyberbullying is another question: while she has thus far painted herself as a victim of the 90’s scandal, she is nonetheless complicit—both in the affair, and in how she responded to the situation afterwards. Lewinsky seems willing to admit (sort of) the role she played…

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    Culture

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  • Untitled1

    Thu. October 23

    Brittany Maynard and the Trouble With Suicide

    Ashley E. McGuire

    Just two months ago, the cover of People magazine was a tribute to late actor Robin Williams, who had just taken his own life. As they put it, Williams, “lost his battle with mental illness.” That they considered his death a tragedy was eminently clear. Fast-forward to the most recent issue, and People has an entirely different take on suicide.

    This week’s People features Brittany Maynard, the 29 year-old woman with terminal cancer who captured national attention when she moved to Oregon in order to be able to legally end her life. People’s coverage of her pending suicide is wholly different from its coverage of William’s suicide. The coverage of Maynard includes language like “die in peace” and “heart of a warrior.”

    “Maynard is staying focused on what’s important…though that doesn’t mean it’s been easy” they write.

    They make it sound like she’s going…

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    Culture

    57 Comments

  • cover-768

    Thu. October 23

    Facing Death with Dignity

    Mark Tapson

    On New Year’s Day, at the age of 29 and married for only a year, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer and given only a few years to live. By April, she learned she had the worst and most aggressive form of brain cancer, and this time doctors gave her six months. No treatment could save her, and it wouldn’t be an easy end. “I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it,” she says, “and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die.”

    Facing this, as well as the pain of putting her family through her decay, Maynard chose “death with dignity,” an end-of-life option for terminally ill patients. A physician has prescribed a medication she can self-ingest to end her suffering at her discretion, and in fact, she has settled on a date to do so: this November 1, just beyond her husband’s…

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    Culture

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