Pop Culture

Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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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Undermining Traditions, from Objectification to Turkey Dinner: Links You Need To See

The great Lindy West — one of the voices that rises above the chatter of the crowd with essays that are to the point — has a piece at the Daily Dot that is a punch to the gut of misogynists and purported “nice guys” alike. The ironically clickbait-y title—”The One Basic Thing Men Still Don’t Seem to Understand About Women“—disguises a super-simple premise: “women are people.” That’s the thing that men often don’t understand. An excerpt: … Read More

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2014’s Word of the Year, Vape, Is Ridiculous — So Let’s Change Its Meaning

My initial reaction after hearing that the Oxford Dictionaries have chosen “vape” as its word of the year for 2014: this is dumb as hell. Why, I thought, do they always have to cull the word of the year from techno-cultural fads and chat room gibberish? And as a word of the year, vape is without question a thoroughly British selection: both the sound of the word and its action come across as unduly Victorian and literally steampunk. But the obvious problem with “vape” as a word of the year selection is that it may have a short lifespan. E-cigarettes are increasingly banned in cosmopolitan areas, even if their prohibition is hasty and ill-founded. So vape is in danger of becoming a “word of the year” in the sense that, having vanished, it may be uniquely tied to the year 2014 as a kind of period piece. How long before “vape” vapes? Its usage is already in decline after peaking in April. … Read More

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Carrie Bradshaw Brings Chaos, Confusion and “Zsa Zsa Zsu” to Tinder: Links You Need To See

It’s winter, which means more excuses to stay inside and cuddle up with a book. Refinery29 has a great list of the books from your childhood you need to revisit, including Zlata’s Diary, which I read while in junior high and which captivated me; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, which inspired nightly dreams of running away and moving into a museum; and Running Out of Time, which, as the article’s author Laura le Vine notes, “was The Village before M. Night Shyamalan ruined the concept.” If you were a book nerd as a kid, this piece will make you want to read all your old favorites again. … Read More

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The Ugly Sweaters You’d Actually Wear

We have grandmothers and the 1980s to thank for the sullied reputation of Fair Isle sweaters everywhere. Nicknamed the “ugly sweater,” which also encompasses those awful 3-D sweaters with dangling jingle bells and other holiday ephemera, our ironically inclined culture has had an obsession for gaudy knitwear lately. Pop culture purveyors have been dressing up the ugly sweater, transforming an item of embarrassment into something we’d actually wear. We’ve collected a few fantastic ugly sweaters that are sure to be conversation starters at the dinner table this holiday. … Read More

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What If T. Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ Were a Horror Movie? : Links You Need to See

The second trailer for 50 Shades of Grey dropped this morning, but that’s not the scary, relationship-themed trailer worth watching. No, that title belongs to this rework of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video. Posted over at Slate, the trailer makes clear that T. Swift is actually a murderous lover. Surprise, surprise. No wonder she’s “Never, Ever Getting Back Together” with her ex: he’s dead! And was “I Knew You Were Trouble” actually a song about herself, wherein “trouble” meant “crazed serial killer?” Is Taylor Swift’s whole discography a thinly veiled allusion to her own murderous life? … Read More

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Music! Makes the People! Come Together! : Links You Need to See

It’s not anything new that music makes you happy. I mean, just last week it was proven that even sad music makes you happy! But today in particular there’s such a bounty of musical feel-good to be had. And not all of it is from expected venues: … Read More

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Meet the Murderer from ‘Too Many Cooks': Links You Need to See

Are you obsessed with “Too Many Cooks”? No? Don’t know what it is? Well, it’s the 11-minute, Casper Kelly-directed (read Gawker‘s interview with him here) Adult Swim feature that parodies ’70s and ’80s television title sequences while slowly introducing a serial killer plot-line into the mix. It’s been viewed nearly two million times. And that’s baffling! The fact that an absurdist piece of entertainment has succeeded in infiltrating the Internet’s most mainstream channels, and has not been strictly relegated to the most underground Reddit subs and /b/ threads, is a sign that people are either really, really bored at work, or just really into delightfully well-produced nonsense. … Read More

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Kim Kardashian’s Naked ‘Paper’ Magazine Cover Is About Camp, Not Sex

If sex is funny, then the butt is its punchline. Kim Kardashian’s greased-up naked ass coming out of a dress that looks like a trash bag on the cover of Paper Magazine isn’t best understood as wet-dream fodder, though I’m sure many young men will add it to their fapping collections alongside the sex tape that made Kardashian a household name. Rather, Kim K’s cover is a glorious joke, the most spectacular bit of trolling in the “Year of the Ass,” a declaration that says, “I am willingly objectifying myself, but I’m not taking myself too seriously.” It is pure camp. In fact, it’s a brilliant example of that sensibility — and on that count, more credit is due to Paper than to Kim, though it certainly portrays a different side of her too (HAR HAR). … Read More

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