Pop Culture Matters — Editor’s Note

Pop culture is ephemeral. Celebrities rise and fall (and then land reality TV shows exploring their feelings about their fall); television shows and movies come and go (and come back again in rebooted form). The “song of summer” this year will have faded from people’s memories long before fall arrives. But some aspects of popular … Continued

Culture

‘Stars Wars’ and the End of Culture

Two noteworthy events happened in 2015: the premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the publication of Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society, by Mario Vargas Llosa. Seemingly different, the two works actually have a lot to do with each other. Notes on the Death of Culture is a … Continued

Culture

Pop Culture Detox with ECM

Every once in a while it’s necessary to have a pop culture detox. Just take a few days and unplug from the grid. No Internet, no phone, no Netflix. This isn’t to be confused with antipathy towards pop culture; if anything, it’s a way to come back to the stuff you love with fresh eyes … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Death of Adulthood Means the Death of Culture

Recently A.O. Scott posted a piece in The New York Times entitled “The Death of Adulthood in American Culture,” which stirred up online discussion about whether our grownup culture has shifted into a protracted childhood. What was largely absent from the observations is where this arrested development is taking us. Scott argued that in doing … Continued

Culture

Freedom and the Power of Pop Culture

Living in the Land of the Free as we do in the United States, it’s tragically easy to take our historically unprecedented freedoms for granted. It’s also easy to lose perspective and be unaware of just how significant an impact our culture has on people in less free societies around the world. Recently The Guardian … Continued

Culture

We Live in a Pop Culture World

Kurt Elling should not be this accessible. He should be too popular for someone like me to just walk in and interview at the last minute. I was reminded of this recently when I came across a piece by Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal. Teachout argues that we have become so overwhelmed by pop … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music

Chipotle and the Morality of Eating

In a time when the main thrust of popular culture is aimed at “choice” – so far as it pertains to things like the color of one’s iPad, the termination of an unwanted pregnancy, and the gender of your spouse – I find it strange to see just how authoritarian society’s gatekeepers of cool and … Continued

Culture

Five Things I Learned From The Roast of James Franco

The man who single-handedly crippled the 2011 Academy Awards telecast with his “less than enthusiastic” performance as Anne Hathaway’s co-host was picked to be this year’s recipient of Comedy Central’s something-less-than-prestigious “Roast” honors. In case you missed it, The Roast of James Franco (or #FrancoRoast, for those who were following along at home) was a … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Television

The Weirdest Things About America

Beset as we are by the gloomiest, doomiest economic forecast in living memory, if not since the Great Depression, it’s easy to forget or take for granted the blessings America offers its citizens and immigrants. So it’s occasionally helpful to get a foreign perspective – like that of Mumbai-born Aniruddh Chaturvedi. After two years in … Continued

Culture

Post of the Week

People are still discussing Ashton Kutcher’s recent message at the Teen Choice Awards. Melanie Wilcox’s post, Ashton Kutcher’s Smart, Sexy Message, gets our Post of the Week honors this week. Check it out and join the discussion.

Culture, Entertainment, Movies, Post of the Week