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Revealed: The Connection Between Classical Art and Hip Hop

If you’ve never considered the nexus between classical art and the world of hip hop, well, OK, you’re not the only one. Happily, though, the creators of a Tumblr called B4-XVI have the vision that many of us lack, and their blog is a series of composite images that draw parallels between prominent rappers and art dating from the 16th century and before. It’s as excellent as it sounds, and we’ve collected some of our favorites for your viewing pleasure. (There are plenty more to be seen here.) … Read More

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Netflix Shares Release Dates of ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’ and ‘OITNB’ Season 3

You are going to have an extremely conflicted summer. You will — especially if you’ve been part of the unifying experience… Read More

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It’s Nobody’s Business Why William Shatner Missed Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

Leonard Nimoy’s death prompted an almost universally positive outpouring of remembrances in the media Friday, but the backlash against his Star Trek costar William Shatner sounded a more sour note. This weekend, Shatner came to social media to express his sorrow over the loss of his costar and friend, and lamented his inability to attend Nimoy’s funeral due to a charitable commitment in Florida. For this, he was rewarded with a “Captain Jerk” headline by the tabloids. … Read More

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Verizon Attempts an Acerbic, Typewritten Press Release About Net Neutrality Decision

For many, like ACLU legislative counsel Gabe Rottman,

If listening to a major corporation whose argument is transparently rooted… Read More

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How I (Sort Of) Replaced Twitter With a Diary

Crusty intellectual types are fond of expressing disgust with what they see as social media’s corrosive effect on our culture of Letters. Recently, we heard about it from deposed New Republic sage Leon Wieseltier in a mostly maddeningly opaque New York Times Book Review cover essay about disruption. “As the frequency of expression grows, the force of expression diminishes: Digital expectations of alacrity and terseness confer the highest prestige upon the twittering cacophony of one-liners and promotional announcements,” he wrote. “It was always the case that all things must pass, but this is ridiculous.” (The latter sentence would fit fabulously in a tweet, I thought ashamedly.) … Read More

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“Hot Dudes Reading” Instagram Reverses the Male Gaze and Makes Print Books Sexy

Scattered throughout the history of Western art, one finds dozens of portraits of girls reading. In this popular pose, the male (or female) artist’s gaze focuses on the female subject, while her own gaze rests modestly on her book, unaware of the watcher. Now, a self-described “group of tight-knit friends” has reversed that classic male gaze — along with the troubling trend that has people turning away from reading books on the train in favor of screens. … Read More

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New Web Series Reimagines Monica Lewinsky’s New York Years

After their affair almost took down the Clinton presidency, Bill Clinton stayed in the White House, seemingly invincible, while Monica Lewinsky slunk out of public view.

But not for long. At age 27, Lewinsky arrived in New York as one of the most infamous women in American history. It was the age of post-millennial excess, the New York City of Candace Bushnell and designer everything. Into this glamorous universe, Monica — no last name necessary — was ushered. She became an “It Girl,” but also an object of constant surveillance, and the subject of a memorable profile by Vanessa Grigoriadis in New York Magazine. … Read More

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The Jace Connors Fiasco Shows That Gamergate Is Beyond Satire

How do you distinguish between a real death threat and a joke death threat? The all-in-good-fun, we’re-on-the-same-side-here death threats? The ones that look like death threats, sound like death threats, and certainly feel like death threats — but are actually death threats for a cause? It’s a trick question, of course, because you don’t. Brianna Wu certainly didn’t, which is why she reported a man named Jace Connors to the police earlier this month.  … 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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