Pop Culture

Staff Picks: Screaming Females, Bolaño, and Ned Beauman

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Watch Erykah Badu Crash a Local Dallas Newscast

“It’s hard out here for a pimp.” Those are the first words from Erykah Badu’s mouth as CBS Dallas… Read More

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Cyberspace Is the Place? Afrofuturism in the 21st Century

“Planet Earth: sound of guns, anger, frustration. There was no one to talk to up on planet Earth who’d understand, so we set up a colony for black people here. See what they can do on a planet all on their own, without any white people there… Another place in the universe, up under distant stars.”

So muses Sun Ra as he wanders through the imagined landscape of a distant planet in his 1974 film Space Is the Place. The film is perhaps the first thing that might come to mind when you think of Afrofuturism, representing a sort of quintessence of the ideas of a man who essentially created that movement (even if it didn’t get named as such until decades later). It unites the main ideas of Afrofuturism: interrogating the nature of racial oppression and imagining a version of the future where black people and culture are free of such oppression, in Ra’s case by decamping to another planet entirely. Afrofuturist ideals are interesting in that they’re both expressions of utopian futurism and principles deeply grounded in history — the parallels with emancipation are obvious, and the vision of the real world as a place of incessant oppression remains as depressingly true as it was 40 years ago. … Read More

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Reboots, Robots and ‘Recreation': Links You Need To See

Sobs will surely be heard throughout American households tonight as Parks and Recreation fans gather to watch the series finale of the seven season show. And while cries and moans might be appropriate, consider this alternative: commemorating the beloved show with a group sing-along of legendary guitarist Andy Dwyer’s (aka Johnny Karate) finest work. It’s also crucial, in these tough times, to remember that nothing is ever truly gone… so long as it’s commoditized. Parks and Recreation will always be in your hearts (with purchase of this show-related paraphernalia). … Read More

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Frank Underwood Seizes Sesame Street: Links You Need to See

You know it’s been an aberrantly chilling season when even dogs tire of the snow, to the extent that they begin shoveling it. Of course, some of us carry out our frustration in less productive ways — some perturbedly Tweet at the snow itself, which, while ultimately unhelpful, at least makes for enjoyable, mild late night humor.   … Read More

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“The Shadow State Is Not Really a Shadow State”: How Surveillance Anxiety Is Shaping Pop Culture

Someone is always watching.

For the longest time, that idea underpinned grim visions of a totalitarian future in books and movies, from Nineteen Eighty-Four to The Hunger Games — cautionary tales about the fate awaiting a citizenry that allows itself to be deceived by the people in power.

Then the future arrived, and it turned out those bleak fantasies of an all-seeing surveillance state weren’t so farfetched: in the post-9/11 world, someone really is watching, be it Facebook mapping your life’s history for the sake of advertising dollars, or the National Security Agency keeping tabs on your phone calls and text messages in the name of freedom. … Read More

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Bro, What Was the Bro, Bro?: Links You Need to See

“Bros” — the history of the term and culture of “bro” — is not something taught in elementary school, but bro-ness is so essential to mainstream masculinity that it should be. Now, go forth, and mail printed copies of this Awl essay to your local school boards: the history of the bro is important, and it must be taught. … Read More

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The Seat-Fillers Await: Links You Need to See

Given the fact that you clicked on this, it’s fair to guess you’re sitting idly with nothing to do — and nothing to even read, but for this links post telling you what to read. It’s therefore fair to guess that this interview with someone else who, at one point, sat somewhere, might be appealing, as it’s predominantly about that very act of sitting, in that particular place. To be less opaque, said place is the Oscars, and the interviewee is an elusive creature called a “seat-filler.” … Read More

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Viral ‘Hits’ and Philip K. Dick Pics: Links You Need to See

Broad City‘s second season has been alluring audiences even more than its first, exuberantly expanding the wild world in which it takes place (Gowanus, apparently, at least according to the wisdom of a giant tooth who now has his own Twitter account). This season, Abbi and Ilana have pegged, endured swamp-ass, exploited unpaid labor, cleaned up after rogue exercise balls covered in vomit, and sent perfectly innocent friends into the dangerous territory of Frozen Yogurt fortress “42 Squirts.” But despite their consistently brilliant tackling of risqué topics like fro-yo, co-creator/star Ilana Glazer says, in a new interview with The Daily Dot, “Risk-taking isn’t really on our radar when we’re creating. We just wanted to make the show something we’d want to watch and laugh out loud at.” She also reveals their dream guest-star. Read the interview here.  … Read More

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Staff Picks: Nick Jonas, Alex Calder, and Los Angeles in TV Dramedies

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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