Confessions of a Reformed Kanye West Hater

It’s true, I used to hate Kanye West. Well, OK, “hate” is probably too strong a word — like many... Read More
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Slime Mold Becomes a Musician and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Becomes Snowden: Links You Need to See

There’s nothing like watching a relatively serious, seemingly well-researched episode of machiavellian political TV, getting self-congratulatory about how you’re managing to understand the political jargon and follow weaving plots, feeling wholly immersed, feeling nearly like a very intelligent fly on a White House wall — only to have Kevin Spacey turn to you, swat you off the wall and back onto your couch, saying something heinously on the nose about power vs. money. All House of Cards watchers know the experience of the show’s winding narrative being unceremoniously broken by a jowly sideways glance at the camera; if you are, for some reason, a proponent of the controversial style choice, try watching all instances of the show’s pseudo-Shakespearean fourth wall-breaking back to back. … Read More

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How PTSD Can Change the Culture: An Interview With ‘The Evil Hours’ Author David J. Morris

In The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, writer David J. Morris shows how the disorder has been a part of the human experience since time began, and how our understanding of it and treatment of it has changed throughout the years. Even today, the “PTSD” label is often misunderstood and misapplied, with the average reader seeing it as something that only affects veterans and rape victims (which is decidedly not the case). What a relief, then, to have Morris’ stunning writing and thorough research to make sense of it. As a former Marine, Morris writes vividly about life during and after war; and he also turns his eye towards the trauma that can arise from other categories including sexual assault and near-death experiences. We talked to him on the phone about how a greater understanding of PTSD could lead to a better culture, from veterans coming home to how colleges handle rape on campus. … Read More

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The Funniest and Most Vicious Comedy Central Roast Speeches

We’ve reached the “publicly begging people to show up” phase of planning for Justin Bieber’s March 30th roast on Comedy Central; yesterday, the noted Photoshop template took to social media to ask Seth Rogen, whose low estimation of Bieber is well known, to tear him a new one on national television. As the hype surrounding the Kevin Hart-hosted event (Kate McKinnon, presumably, didn’t have time for the gig given her SNL schedule), we’ve rounded up some of the best appearances from the network’s 17-year tradition of having comedians puncture stars’ egos, and each other’s, on camera. … Read More

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Reif Larsen’s ‘I Am Radar': Art and Race in 2015’s First Big, Messy Novel

Am Radar begins in darkness: the title character, Radar Radmanovic, is born to his mother Charlene during a hospital blackout. Charlene’s husband, Kermin Radmanovic, is tinkering with a transceiver radio in the delivery room, waiting to “announce his child’s arrival to the world.” But when the lights come on the doctor is holding on to her newborn child, a baby “so dark it shimmered purple in the beam of light, like an eggplant.” … Read More

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Jon Stewart Injects Some Much-Needed Humor Into WWE’s ‘Raw’

You don’t even have to be a wrestling fan to be aware that something’s been brewing between WWE star Seth Rollins and The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. A few weeks ago, Rollins publicly remarked that he would be a better host of TDS than Stewart. In response, Stewart cut a (pretty spot-on) promo. Then, Rollins showed up in the Daily Show studio to interrupt the Moment of Zen, and last night, Stewart appeared on WWE’s Raw (which took place in Newark) to defend himself. This certainly isn’t the first time that Raw has had a special guest show up (recent months have featured everyone from Kathie Lee and Hoda to Grumpy Cat to Larry the Cable Guy) but none of those appearances were memorable. Stewart, however, was a funny, affable, and all-in guest in a well-written segment, proving that WWE’s problem with guest hosts has less to do with their product and than with the enthusiasm of the celebrity in question. … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear in March

I’m overwhelmed just staring down March. As a music listener, you should be too. There’s no shortage of records out this month, from indie rockers you may have loved a decade ago (Sufjan Stevens, of Montreal, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie) to future favorites (Courtney Barnett, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Tobias Jesso Jr.) to Madonna, who always sits in a category of her… Read More

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David Williams’ ‘Ponycon Portraits’ Capture My Little Pony Fandom, From Kids to Bronies

David Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer who has an eye for portraiture. In his recent Ponycon Portraits series, taken at February’s 2015 Ponycon in Brooklyn, he captures the range of My Little Pony fandom, from little girls to the infamous “bronies” (adult male fans of My Little Pony). Williams, a 2011 Art Institute of Colorado graduate, says that “it was important for me to show how diverse the convention is and how passionate these fans are about My Little Pony, whether they be a male, female, or child.” The results are honest and striking. Click through for a selection of Williams’ Ponycon Portraits, and visit his official website and Instagram to see more. … Read More

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‘Better Call Saul’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: “Jello”

Although Better Call Saul has kept the promise that it would be “lighter” than Breaking Bad, laugh-out-loud funny scenes have been few and far between. Or, at least, they were until the moment last week when we saw Howard Hamlin gazing up at a Jimmy McGill billboard that looked exactly like him. “Jello” upped the humor quotient with some of the show’s funniest dialogue to date — though, thanks to a parallel storyline, it was also Better Call Saul‘s most emotional episode. … Read More

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Exploring ‘The Sound[s] of Music’ and Stomach: Links You Need to See

Today, the Internet is alive with The Sound of Music — for it is the beloved film’s 50th anniversary. “Beloved” seems an obvious adjective to apply to the 174 minutes of pastoral perfection. But actually, as The Daily Beast points out, when it was first released, critics saw it more as 174 minutes of a plasticly bucolic, saccharinely tender nightmare. The website notes that Pauline Kael was so revolted as to write: “We have been turned into emotional and aesthetic imbeciles when we hear ourselves humming the sickly, goody-goody songs.” … Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Adam Torres Finds Beauty in Loss With His “Voices From the Top of the Mountain” Video

At age 20, Adam Torres, then of the band Southeast Engine, wrote and recorded his first and only proper album, Nostra Nova. He released it in the most DIY of manners in 2006, while living in a college town in Ohio’s Appalachian foothills. This is not a remarkable tale. Many young singer-songwriters record albums and release them with so much hope in their hearts, only to have their songs go mostly unheard outside of their scene. It’s not a tragedy, it’s just the reality of the music world.

Luckily, Adam Torres will not end up one of those people. … Read More

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