Culture

‘There Has To Be Less School’: An Interview with Nicholson Baker

Talking with the author of Substitute about an educational system at odds with learning, seduced by technology, and ripe for reform; the vanishing awe of teachers; and the madness that is lunchtime.

That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

When you have a hateful demagogue on your talk show, or taunt a man for his father dying on 9/11, or hire Ann Coulter to be a human punchline, you flatten out evil.

‘I Feel Like Everything Shouldn’t Exist’: An Interview with Hannah Black

Talking to the artist and author of Dark Pool Party about celebrities as archetypal figures, shunning posterity, and whether we finally have the correct conditions for heterosexuality.

Straight to Hellmouth: When Punk and Magic Meet

There can be fantastic narrative dissonance when conflicting elements clash.

Everybody Hurts: The Soundtrack of My So-Called Life

How the seminal series became a masterwork in scoring teen angst, one lawn-twirl at a time.

The Greatest Thing Metallica Ever Did Was Start to Suck

On the 25th anniversary of the release of The Black Album, an appraisal of how Metallica’s Post-Good era helped secure its legacy as the greatest American band of all time.

Lady Dynamite Owns Its Afflictions

Going a step further than the recent wave of TV featuring nuanced portrayals of mental illness, Maria Bamford’s new Netflix show takes control of the story rather than settling for mere visibility.

In Defense of Our Decision to Become a Republican Party House Band

Let’s face facts: singing songs about really liking the Replacements isn’t paying our rent with the commies anymore.

Animals Strike Curious Poses: On Prince’s Under the Cherry Moon

Released thirty years ago, Prince’s directorial debut seemed calculated to frustrate the fans who bought tickets to Purple Rain weekend after weekend.

The Ethnography of Photography

A photograph is no more a memory or a gun than it is a murder or a moral code: On the work of Matt Bialer and the streets of New York City.