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Culture Wars: The Best, Biggest Feuds Raging Right Now

It’s been quite a few weeks for the world of pop culture smackdowns and the bloggers who love them — maybe it’s a reaction to all of that post-Election earnestness that was in the air. From the irrelevant (Sean Avery versus Elisha Cuthbert?) to the grandiose (are there bigger egos out there than Kanye West and Stephen Colbert?) news of cultural battles has been pouring in faster than 20-somethings to sneak peek screening Twilight.

In case you missed them, after the jump we break down the three biggest brawls from high to low culture, and place bets on our favorite players. Hint: one of them isn’t a person but rather a carbonated beverage.


So high-brow we had to Google one half of the feuding parties: New York Magazine’s Vulture points out that Petropolis author Anya Ulinich has just published a short story in the PEN America journal that seems like a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at Jonathan Safran Foer’s first book, Everything is Illuminated. Um, whatever, that book is a masterpiece, and JSF is a cool-headed, no-fuss kind of guy (or that’s how we imagine him in our dreams). Haters of Safran Foer’s contemporary magical realism might revel in this mockery, but we think satirical allusions are kind of a lame way to get literary cred.

So middle-brow that this feud is actually not a real feud but a carefully-orchestrated metaphor for our consumerist society: Stephen Colbert decided to do us all a favor and attempt to humble Kanye West, all while proving to us that he can get his loyal army to do anything — even buy a drm-protected copy of a holiday album and beat Kanye in the charts. And for the record, no, we don’t think Colbert also needs to be humbled. That would be no fun at all.

So low-brow we don’t even need to explain why it’s ridiculously hilarious: Axl Rose has demanded that Dr. Pepper — which promised everyone a free soda if Chinese Democracy was released and then didn’t deliver — apologize to him for attempting to profit off of his band. Dude, your album was finally released and it’s all anyone talked about for a week. Try not to remind everyone why they should forget about this whole thing already. Dr. Pepper kind of wins this one — there’s no such thing as bad publicity, even from Axl.

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