Why Are America’s Mayors Taking Mindfulness Advice from Lady Gaga?

Last weekend, American mayors gathered for their annual conference in Indianapolis. As it often does for such conferences, the U.S. Conference of Mayors assembled an impressive array of political leaders, policy experts and industry big wigs. Lectures and panels were held on a variety of issues, ranging from water safety and technological innovation to business … Continued


Why Instagram, Not ‘Vogue,’ Controls the Runway

Last week was Fashion Week in New York, and beyond the stories of designers and celebrities a persistent question arose: Are smartphones and social media killing the spectacle of the fashion runway show? New York Times critic Vanessa Friedman recently argued that social media has upended traditional assumptions about the value of fashion shows: This … Continued


Why Men Have Disappeared from Pop Music

It’s only been a week since Adele released her new album, 25, but the British soul singer can already claim to have the fastest-selling album in the United States of the last quarter century—and maybe of all time. The success of 25 and its lead single, the infectious power ballad “Hello,” are all the more … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Is Fur Fashion Dated?

Last week, Sharon Osbourne lambasted Kim Kardashian’s voracious appetite for all things fur. (ICYMI: Kardashian boasts a wardrobe of fur-lined stilettos, furkinis, and an endless stream of fur coats both for herself and her daughter.) In Osbourne’s words: “[It] makes me physically sick, and wearing it is a very dated way of showing everyone how … Continued


5 Modern-Day Lessons from “The Sound of Music”

It’s the golden anniversary of a piece of cinema gold: The Sound of Music. Fifty years after the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical arrived on the big screen, the Broadway hit-turned-movie retains its appeal. NBC did a made-for-T.V. remake of the hit last year featuring country music star Carrie Underwood. Lady Gaga wowed at this year’s … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

The Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Space (Oscars Edition)

This year’s Academy Awards were unforgettable—and mostly for the wrong reasons. Even setting aside the performance of host Neil Patrick Harris, who pretty definitively “bombed,” and the surprise winners (Birdman) and losers (Boyhood, save for Patricia Arquette), Sunday night’s event highlighted a couple of social faux pas worth recording—particularly as they relate to personal space. … Continued


Does Art Matter Anymore?

This past spring, a nude performance artist made a minor media stir by publicly pushing paint-and-ink-filled eggs out of her vagina onto a canvas to make a profound statement—okay, perhaps not so much profound as profoundly messy. Around the same time, Lady Gaga, the music industry’s most self-consciously artsy star, incorporated a vomit performance artist … Continued


An Open Letter to Avril Lavigne

Dear Ms. Lavigne: I know it’s hard to believe people have been calling you racist in response to your newest music video. It’s not true. Your song (“Hello Kitty”) was undoubtedly intended to celebrate Japanese culture. And your response genuine: “I love Japan… I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video… specifically for my Japanese … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Who Should Feminists Really Hate: Kirsten Dunst or Lady Gaga?

Feminists are furious with actress Kirsten Dunst. She is being trashed online as “an insufferable person”, “kind of dumb”, and other harsh, expletive-laden phrases unfit for print. Her sin? During a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Dunst dared to speak well of femininity, including the traditional role of a nurturing mother: “’I feel like … Continued


Lady Gaga’s Repulsive Vomit Act

The scene: Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, Texas. It’s the middle of South by Southwest, Austin’s premier arts and music festival. The audience, rapt, pumps their fists in the air to Lady Gaga’s laconically titled “Swine,” the artist herself screeching the lyrics while beating away at a cymbal. Suddenly, a professional “vomit artist” taking part in … Continued

Entertainment, Music