Don’t Troll Taylor Swift Because She Had a Good Year

Donald Trump has a way of making things weird. Well, this isn’t exactly Trump’s fault, but instead a side-effect of the hysteria around his election. Suddenly, the most uncontroversial statements have a way of making headlines. Case in point: pop star Taylor Swift reflecting on 2017 and saying, “I could not have had a better … Continued


Why Timelessness, Not Political Timeliness, Makes for the Best Stories

Timely. Relevant. Resonant. These are the promotional watchwords for must-see TV and movies in our politics-saturated pop culture today. The New York Times recently published a piece about the “timeliness” of the new Starz series American Gods because of the show’s pro-immigration theme. The Times also advertised Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The … Continued


What Today’s Celebs Could Learn from George Michael’s Generosity

George Michael celebrated his last Christmas on Sunday before dying of heart failure. The pop star was fifty-three years old, and while you may know him best for his holiday hit, “Last Christmas” (Taylor Swift’s version will never compare), or his 1980s stardom as one half of the pop duo, “Wham!” there’s a lot more … Continued


JT Leroy and the Limits of Postmodern Deception

In the early 1980s, my family and I, living in Newton, a suburb of Boston, were victims of a hoax. A scruffy, boyish young woman, wearing a red hockey jersey emblazoned with the letters “CCCP,” her hair cropped and uneven, “popped out of nowhere,” in my father’s words, while he was conducting a practice for … Continued


Why Can’t We Let JonBenét Ramsey Rest in Peace?

It has been nearly twenty years since six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found murdered in her home, but from the flurry of media coverage, you’d think it had been just twenty days. CBS is broadcasting a miniseries that began yesterday. Variety magazine reports that Discovery, Lifetime, and A&E also plan coverage. Dr. Phil McGraw recently scored … Continued


What Will Pop Culture Look Like After the Baby Boomers?

Who will be the next David Bowie? Bowie’s January 10 death deprived the world of one of its greatest creative talents. Born in 1947, the relentlessly innovative Bowie was both a part of the Baby Boomer generation and one of the primary shapers of the culture it created. His influence pervaded not only music, but … Continued

Culture, Entertainment

Should Museums be More Entertaining?

James Durston at CNN Travel recently penned the thought-provoking piece, “Why I Hate Museums,” in which he lamented that the hallowed institutions have become musty old tombs for objects that too often lack a human connection. They’re “like libraries,” he writes, “without the party atmosphere.” He proposes a notion heretical to many: that it’s time … Continued

Culture, Entertainment

Tupac Shakur & Helping Men Become Men

I recently came across an old song by Tupac Shakur, “Keep Ya Head Up.” It was another reminder of a phenomenon that has become part of our culture in the last forty years: the absence of men, which has forced women to try and teach men how to be men. Here are some lyrics from “Keep … Continued

Entertainment, Music

What Is Sexy and What Is Crude?

In response to Ashley McGuire’s post about Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl and the question of whether traditionally minded women can be sexy: of course they can. Traditional women can be, and are, sexy. So are liberal women and anarchist women (although there’s fewer of those). Women are sexy. It’s just kinda how God … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Fashion

Beyoncé’s Soulful Feminism

I happened to like Beyoncé’s halftime show at the Superbowl. But I also happen to like Beyoncé. Perhaps it’s because Beyoncé, whether she means to or not, promotes a pro-family version of feminism. She more or less said in an interview that her husband, Jay-Z, is the only man that she has ever slept with. … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Fashion, Parenting