20 Great Southern Short Stories

The American South has produced an incredible amount of great literature. Earlier this month, we published a hearty list of great novels to come out of the region. But for those who don’t have the hours to devote to Southern culture’s long-form masterpieces, there’s plenty of great short fiction set south of the Mason-Dixon, too. Featuring some famous tales by literary greats like William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Flannery O’Connor, this list is a great way to start exploring Southern short fiction. Be sure to suggest your own favorite short stories in the comments!  … Read More

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Lily Allen’s “Sheezus”: Feminist Anthem or Controversy-Courting Gimmick?

Lily Allen has proven herself to be a complicated artist in recent months. First there was her comeback single, “Hard Out Here,” which she dropped, along with a video, to much surprise. I immediately applauded the song itself, even enjoying aspects of the cheeky video, which seemed to reinforce what I loved about Allen when she released her debut in 2006. But the video caused controversy; was it making a statement about the current state of pop music, particularly the treatment of women within the genre, without recognizing the racist undertone in the way it depicted women of color twerking behind Allen? Months after the “Hard Out Here” controversy has died down, Allen has released the video for “Sheezus,” the title track of her new album, and it’s likely to cause a similar sort of debate.  … Read More

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‘Game of Thrones’ Characters Reimagined as ’80s Movie Characters

Even though they live in a pseudo-Medieval time, many of the characters on Game of Thones have a pretty timeless style. That’s part of the reason why Tokyo-based artist Mike Wrobel’s fan art is so endearing. The other being, of course, the ’80s sensibility of Wrobel’s work, which appeals to our love for nostalgia. His collection of portraits, which reimagines the denizens of Westeros as characters from ’80s movies, is a bright anecdote to the sometimes dismal events that take place on Game of Thrones. Plus, Wrobel proves that Cersei would have been a hell of a lot of fun in 1986.  … Read More

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‘Field of Dreams’: Still Making Men Cry, 25 Years Later

Here’s the funny thing about Field of Dreams: it’s the kind of movie I don’t want to like, and there are a handful of reasons why. First of all, as a grown-up in a post-Waterworld/The Postman world, Kevin Costner’s film presence has become a quick and easy punchline, and anything featuring the actor is a bit of a turn-off. Secondly, Field of Dreams is one of those modern family classics that was almost a staple, and anything so cheesy and PG shouldn’t actually be good. That it features one of the most memorable lines in recent film history has only made the film seem too accessible. And let’s not get started on its emotional manipulation; it practically turns men’s faces into salty sponges, just wringing the tears right out of them.  … Read More

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Hilarious Photos of ‘Pizza in the Wild’

Los Angeles-based photographer Jonpaul Douglass has a large following on Instagram, and rightly so: his photos are a nice blend of majesty and quirk, particularly as most of them document pizzas in the wild. The ongoing series, appropriately titled Pizza in the Wild (spotted via BOOOOOOOM), shows a delicious meal in a variety of settings. Some of these look too hilarious to be true (and it only makes me think of Douglass driving around with a freshly baked pie in order to put it on an outdoor object), but it’s a fun series that might give you a few chuckles — or, at the very least, a hankering for a slice of pepperoni and extra cheese.  … Read More

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‘Portlandia’s’ “Disappointing Gay” Sketch Looks Very Familiar

A few years ago, my good friend Mikala Bierma and I made a web series called Disappointing Gay Best Friend. It was successful in a specific way: a number of sites shared the videos (such as Jezebel, Salon, The Awl, and BuzzFeed), which each racked up a few hundred thousand views, and there were also some comments attesting to my attractiveness (making this project the only time in the history of the world I took anonymous comments on the Internet at face value, thank you very much). For a very brief period of time, I was even recognized in public — and not, as I had been before then, as “that guy from Modern Family.” It was a brief moment in the sun, and it was fun to make silly videos with my friend that other people seemed to enjoy. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Muriel Spark’s ‘The Driver’s Seat’ Is a Brief Yet Powerful Thrill Ride

The first two words of the third chapter of Muriel Spark’s scant little book The Driver’s Seat should be an all-caps “SPOILER ALERT.” After all, this is how she begins the chapter, just 25 pages into the narrative: “She will be found tomorrow morning dead from multiple stab-wounds, her wrists bound with a silk scarf and her ankles bound with a man’s necktie, in the grounds of an empty villa, in a park of the foreign city to which she is traveling on the flight now boarding at Gate 14.” … Read More

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Despite the Woody Allen Association, ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Is an Excellent Musical

It probably wouldn’t be too outlandish to say that a new Woody Allen cultural property is not exactly what anyone is in the mood for these days, given the last few months’ worth of op-ed tell-alls, backlashes, and comment-thread arguments. Despite the fact that the production of Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical had been in the works years before Dylan Farrow became part of the cultural conversation again, it still may seem like an April 2014 Broadway opening might not be the best timing for a musical based on one of Woody Allen’s films, especially as Allen himself wrote the book. The Broadway audience, however, is limited compared to the larger audience that would respond to the release of a new Woody Allen film, and it’ll be interesting to see in the next few weeks if the critical and public response to Bullets Over Broadway will indicate a turn in the acceptance of Allen’s work. Is it possible, at this point, to compartmentalize Woody Allen, to appreciate his art while not supporting the artist?  … Read More

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Freaky Foods: Photographer Lawrie Brown Offers a Dementedly Colorful Menu

There’s something very Seussian about photographer Lawrie Brown’s Colored Food Series (spotted via Feature Shoot). While there are no green eggs to be found, Brown’s photographs are as quirky and comical as they are, at times, slightly repulsive. (I do not like blue chicken, Sam-I-[Rhymes With Chicken].) While azure poultry and slime-green spaghetti might not be too appetizing, I’m betting that scoops of ice cream slathered with purple ganache would still be pretty tasty. … Read More

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Why Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Nude ‘Rolling Stone’ Cover Is Empowering, Not Objectifying

Yesterday, when I spotted the cover of the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone that features a nude Julia Louis-Dreyfus — whose back is tattooed with the Declaration of Independence, for some reason (it represents some very thoughtful Veep-related symbolism from Rolling Stone‘s photographer and creative team, I’m sure) — I thought, “Wow, she looks great. Good for her.” It’s not very often you spot a 53-year-old female performer in this sort of scenario, particularly when the woman in question is a comedic actor. And then I went about the rest of my day, because at this point in my life, I don’t think too much about naked people on the cover of magazines. It’s sort of the status quo, no? … Read More

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