Tag: Pop Culture

“Euphoric” Heroes

“I know your generation relied on flowers and fathers’ permission,” says Rue, the protagonist of HBO’s Euphoria, “but it’s 2019, and unless you’re Amish, nudes are the currency of love, so stop shaming ...

Be Kind, Rewind

Biologists use the term endling to refer to the last remaining member of a particular species. As of May 2019, there is only one remaining Blockbuster video store left, located in Bend, Oregon ...

Masculinity on the Mat

From Ready Player One to Roseanne, popular culture in 2018 might be looked back on as “problematic,” to use a polite academic term, in its attempts to bottle and sell 1980s nostalgia. Conservative in both form and content ...

The End?

The apocalypse—for all the questions of when and where and why and how surrounding it—will actually be a rather straightforward affair. At some point in time, after a particularly grueling winter ...

Stadium Arts

On the way into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium during this year’s World Cup, spectators found FIFA’s flagship Fan Shop in an unlikely spot: at the feet of a monumental statue to Lenin. The irony was ...

We Like Short Shorts

We seem to be in an age in which short forms have risen from minor to major cultural commodities. On November 30, 2017, word went out on the internet that Vine, a defunct video-sharing platform ...

Feeling Like the Internet

What has the advent of the internet meant for the novel? Apart, that is, from its having opened a gaping time-sucking sinkhole at the center of culture? The sweet drip-feed of sentiment and savagery ...

Feeling like the Internet

What has the advent of the internet meant for the novel? Apart, that is, from its having opened a gaping time-sucking sinkhole at the center of culture? The sweet drip-feed of sentiment and savagery ...

Join the Mutant Resistance!

The real world just got a lot more like a superhero comic, and not in a good way. I write on November 13, 2016; one of the many things that came up in my panicked, angry, sometimes despairing social …

Lin-Manuel Meets “Moana”

Disney’s new animated film, Moana, with songs by Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, arrived last weekend to great expectations. Would it keep Disney’s musical franchise afloat? Would it continue ...

Boss Poet

Little has changed since Bruce Springsteen explained the origin of his song “Thunder Road” to a seething crowd at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 19, 1978. “There was this ...

Shadow-Dancing with Zadie Smith

There is a scene in Swing Time, the 1936 George Stevens musical that gives Zadie Smith her new novel’s title, in which Fred Astaire, through a series of comic mishaps, enrolls in a dance lesson with ...

The Bingewatch: Mother Winona

Since its release last July, Stranger Things has been praised as an “original,” “meticulous” homage to the Great Men of 1980s popular culture (Carpenter, King, Lucas, Spielberg) ...

Chick Lit Meets the Avant-Garde

Ask the average critic, professor, or reader to name an experimental novelist and they will more likely name a man—Pynchon, DeLillo, Foster Wallace—than a woman—Tillman, Winterson, Lessing. Ask them ...