Pop Culture

Flavorwire Staffers’ Cultural Resolutions for 2015

Though New Years resolutions may be one of our biggest personal myths — and though it makes little sense that with the popping of a champagne bottle which will likely lead to a nauseated New Year’s Day, the obligatory awkward kiss that will likely not lead to romance, the dropping of a ball which will undoubtedly lead to testicle humor, and the passing of a second which, despite marking THE NEW YEAR, is still just the passing of the second — we persist, year after year, in making them. We remain hopeful, for some reason, that, come midnight, we’ll be New. And whether it’s champaign, a bad kiss, a large ball, or our own ability to actually change that catalyzes progress, we find ourselves setting goals, should that change just so happen to occur. With all that in mind, here are Flavorwire staffers’ cultural resolutions for 2015. … Read More

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Flavorwire Staffers’ All-Around Best Cultural Experiences of 2014

2014 may not have been a… stellar year for some people the planet, but it wasn’t totally irredeemable! Here at Flavorwire, we’ve had the opportunity to see exhibitions from Davids Lynch and Bowie, see acts from Aimee Mann to Sugar Ray in the flesh, and even move halfway across the world. Here are our all-around best cultural experiences of the past year, before we move on to the next. … Read More

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2014: The Year the Outrage Machine Started Eating the Real World

If you’re inclined to believe #slatepitches, then 2014 was the Year Of Outrage. The Internet’s favorite shrine to contrarianism published an interactive calendar earlier this month wherein one can track, day by day, the things about which we (“we” being liberal American adults on the Internet, basically) were outraged this year. I’m not so sure this year was any different to any other, though: the public has always been fond of being righteously outraged, and for the last few years, at least, the Internet has felt like (and been characterized as) a giant outrage machine. But 2014 did feel like a landmark in one respect: it was the year that the outrage machine proved its power to chew up and spit out people IRL as well as on Twitter or Tumblr. It was a year in which the precipitous fall taken by Bill Cosby, in particular, proved that it’s much, much harder for stars to bury unflattering narratives these days. But the ever-growing power of the angry mob also has pretty terrifying implications if you take an old-fashioned view of what constitutes justice. … Read More

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Old Favorites Flavorwire Staffers Revisited in 2014

For each of 2014’s monumentally annoying Monuments Men or each shameful Walk of Shame, the Babadooks and Perfume Geniuses were fighting with their dark, awesome magic to ensure that some excellence snuck into the mix. It was a year of cultural greatness, it was a year of cultural shittiness, and like every year of greatness and shittiness, the great and shitty output… Read More

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Vintage Photos of Pop Culture Icons Hitting the Slopes

Winter is officially here — and depending on your tolerance for the freezing cold, that means it’s also ski season. The snowy slopes feel like one of the few places a celebrity can blend in and evade the cameras, which is why vacationing at the most exclusive resorts around the world has been a decades-long pastime for the fabulous and wealthy. We also imagine the humbling act of balancing two feet atop icy hills gives them an odd thrill. In the spirit of the season, we’ve collected some fantastic photos of pop culture icons hitting the slopes that will hopefully inspire you to strap on a pair of skis. Enjoy the vintage fashions and stunning surroundings, below. … Read More

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2014: The Year We Met the Art Monster — and She Was Us

Eight pages into reading Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation last winter, still skeptical of the tiny, epigrammatic book, I came to a passage that halted me: “My plan was to never get married. I was going to be an art monster instead. Women almost never become art monsters because art monsters only concern themselves with art, never mundane things. Nabokov didn’t even fold his own umbrella. Vera licked his stamps for him.”

Months later, those short, simple sentences immobilize me every time I re-read them. The paragraph is a prelude to Offill’s narrator (a blocked writer known only as “the wife”) discovering that her husband is cheating. But it doesn’t need to be; even out of context, it resonates. Any woman artist who has chosen love or family over work, or fears she has, or even just fears she might one day, will find in this paragraph a mirror of her darkest thoughts. … Read More

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Flavorwire Staffers Weigh in on What Was Criminally Underrated in 2014

It’s tough adoring something that nobody else seems to want to get behind; it leads you to feel isolated in the golden fortress of your own  misunderstood tastes — worse, it can lead you to question, even turn against, your own flawless judgment. Of course, once you’ve done enough pontificating about a good show (or what have you) that nobody watches but must — once, finally, other people show interest in entering your shining castle of excellence — you’ll begin to feel crowded. “I knew it before it really became a thing,” you’ll think. “It’s kind of lost its edge.” But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this post is but the first, pontificating step. Here’s everything you’re not watching or listening to or liking, but maybe should — everything Flavorwire thought was criminally underrated in 2014. Just know that if and when these things become popular, “we knew it before it really became a thing.” … Read More

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Why “Jewish Christmas” (Movies and Chinese Food) is Going Mainstream

As a Jewish American, I find Christmas both restful and frustrating. It’s a day that I can’t do anything productive because nearly all of American life is shut down, but my clan doesn’t exactly gather in bright sweaters (we do latkes earlier in the season) and sing carols under a tree, so we’re sort of stuck in limbo. That’s why I almost always do what the rest of my “tribe” does: get Chinese food and head to the movies, maybe to two in a row. My fellow Jews know where it’s at. … Read More

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Photos, Furries, and Photos of Furries: Links You Need To See

Between 5,000 and 10,000 people in the United States reportedly identify as furries; despite the community’s growing numbers, their culture is primarily misunderstood and ridiculed. BuzzFeed has a thorough piece about furries, describing what it’s like for those who identify as such to realize what they’re interested in and “come out” to their families and friends about it. It’s an enlightening story—I had several of my own misconceptions about the community corrected. … Read More

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2014: The Year Pop Culture Took On Prison and the American Justice System

Piper Kiernan’s book Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison was published in 2010. It initially appeared on my radar via an excerpt in Marie Claire, followed up by a New York Times Modern Love column from Larry Smith (yes, Piper’s real-life husband Larry) about what it was like to have a girlfriend in prison. At the time, I found Kerman’s book to be an awkward mix of the then-trendy “My Year In…” memoir and chick-lit. It was a story that demanded a happy ending (in this case, marriage to Larry), but also one rooted in a serious topic: our prison system. … Read More

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