Culture

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.

Double Bind

Nate Parker is Black; in that sense, attacks against him are also attacks against me. How unsettling, then, that defenses of him are attacks against me, too.

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.

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.

Our Adored Cadavers

From the heartsick graverobbers of early Romantic literature to the latest gritty cable crime drama, the dead woman is never simply mourned and forgotten, but fully objectified and consumed.

House Hunting with Martha Gellhorn

The legendary war correspondent found domesticity and adventure are not easily balanced.

A Quiet Force

Remembering Katherine Dunn.