I have a new essay at Jacobin on the controversy erupting in the conservative blogosphere over UCLA’s changes (three years ago) to the structure of its English major. While that may seem like an obscure topic for a lengthy disquisition, the article I’m responding to, from the conservative City Journal, reiterates some persistent, pernicious myths about […]
When it comes to politics, the children of old-school evangelicals are undergoing a shift. We have yet to convince our parents we are not rejecting what they have taught us but living it out in a different way. -Alisa Harris, Raised Right page 6.
Ah, to be a millennial evangelical. We live in […]
Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones has recently been making headlines. First, with her charming rendition of holiday pop songs on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and just the other week, with her not-so-charming Glamour article titled “Why is Everyone Getting Naked?”
According to Jones, female stars like Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna […]
Pop music is a sure bet to keep my toddler son happy in the car, so we end up listening to a lot of Top 40 radio as we drive around town running errands. When I first heard Miley Cyrus’ latest single, “Wrecking Ball,” I couldn’t deny the emotional effect the song had on me (despite […]
Currently circling the country is one of the world’s most loved/hated figures: Jesus. No, wait: Yeezus. But I saw it with my own eyes: the new Yeezus tour features Kanye West’s very own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Move over Bono, Christians have a new spokesperson.
Kanye’s depiction of Jesus may seem, at first, like […]
So this Tom Scocca essay on smarm is entertainingly executed and much-needed, even if it’s hardly the first time these arguments have been made, and even if there’s no small amount of hypocrisy in its appearance on Gawker. (Nick Denton presenting himself as some kind of warrior against the elite is, of […]
Whenever I talk to anybody about the New Sincerity — this happens a lot less since I stopped trying to talk to everybody about the New Sincerity — the inevitable question of “what’s next?” arises. This is a good and natural question given the laughably short lifespan of any pop culture moment. […]
The meaning of life—it can sometimes be a tricky thing, yes. But according to Joseph Epstein’s piece on Franz Kafka: you had better not make it too tricky, as did Kafka, or you just won’t be worth anybody’s time. Of course, Epstein doesn’t say anything quite so blunt or basic, but he’s rather convinced […]
Last week, in my Writing Across the Media course, I showed a video, produced by The Washington Post, about how sports articles are being written by computer programs. Perhaps you’ve heard of this. The thinking is that many sports news stories are rather formulaic, and so, given the right data, a computer program can […]
A few weeks ago, people on Facebook and Twitter were sharing a call to arms: Gen Y is entitled to its unhappiness and anger because we are living in an economic hellscape.
It was everywhere. Finally someone was articulating the legitimate angst, fear, and anger experienced by a generation that—as the […]
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