“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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Stream Bastardized Version of Father John Misty’s New Album Through His Fake Streaming Service, SAP

Josh Tillman, AKA Father John Misty, is releasing his new album I Love You, Honeybear via Sub Pop in the… Read More

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Virtual Reality Project Premiering at Sundance Immerses Viewers in Campus Rape

An unusual film initiative is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Festival. Perspective; Chapter 1: The Party is a… Read More

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Is Pono Worth It? A Generational Struggle Over Perceived Quality

A few weeks ago, when I was home for the holidays, my dad asked a question that shocked and confused me. It involved Coldplay.

He asked me if I could move Coldplay’s most recent album from his iPod Shuffle onto his iPod Mini. I was perplexed. I’d given him the Shuffle just eight months ago, after winning three of them at a Toyota event at SXSW — a twist of fate that in itself seemed to say something about big brand benefactors in music. The Mini was beat-up and slow. I asked why he’d want to move his music around.

“Well, the only thing I have on the Mini is that Coldplay album,” my dad explained, “so I’ve just been using it to listen to that… basically since you gave it to me. I don’t know how to change which music is loaded where.” … Read More

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2014: The Year Music Actually Did Something About Its Tech Skepticism

U2 force-fed their new album to the world for free and ended up the enemy. Taylor Swift took hers away and ended up a hero.

Swift changed her narrative in 2014, and it wasn’t about ditching country or dating out of the public eye. She became the face of skepticism over how technology has changed music, during a year when the streaming music economy was debated more than ever — not only among artists, whose wellbeing is affected greatly, but in the court of public opinion as well. … Read More

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Poison, Pubes and Pubs: Links You Need To See

Poison–readily available in traditional domestic settings and requiring little brute force to use effectively–has long been considered a woman’s weapon. While most poisonings are committed by men–only 39.5 percent are committed by the fairer sex–if a woman kills, she’s most likely to have used poison as her method. At The Hairpin, Meredith Haggerty wrote a piece detailing some of history’s most famous–and horrifying–female poisoners, including Lucrezia Borgia (who was said to possess a ring filled with poison that she’d use at parties), pictured above. … Read More

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