Shakespeare’s Real Face Is Finally Discovered! (And It’s Probably a Hoax)

Conspiracy theories concerning the identity of William Shakespeare bring together even the most disparate human beings. For example: what traits are shared between filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Jim Jarmusch other than their mutual suspicion that William Shakespeare was not, in fact, William Shakespeare? And blinding white hair? … Read More

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The ‘Mad Men’ Cast’s Most Fascinating Insights About the Series Finale

The Mad Men finale is over, and as we wait for comment (or more silence) from creator Matt Weiner, insight is trickling in via post-finale interviews with cast members, as well as some pre-finale conversations that mean more now that we’ve seen the curtain fall. … Read More

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After BBMAs’ Censorship, Will Kanye West Ever Perform at Another Awards Show?

Kanye West closed the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday with a performance of “All Day” and “Black Skinhead” that got the people going, but for the wrong reasons. Despite self-censoring a few instances of “bitch” and “fuck” in his lyrics, West had long stretches of his performance muted by ABC censors. Unsurprisingly, he responded not with one of his infamous so-called rants, but with a statement via his rep. … Read More

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Gorgeous Photo Mash-ups Bring Classic Paintings to Life in 21st-Century Kiev

Great art is constantly reminding us that the past was not so different from the present — that even as human circumstances change, human emotions and interactions remain largely the same. The Ukrainian designer Alexey Kondakov provides visual proof of that observation in his lovely series 2 Reality, which seamlessly places the subjects of classic paintings in present-day Kiev. Angels serenade Mary and baby Jesus on the subway. A group of dancers in various states of Classical undress become a pack of party-goers about to catch the last train home. And the work of such artists as Caravaggio and Holbein is given a stunning new life. Click through for some highlights from 2 Reality, which we spotted via Faith is Torment, and visit Kondakov’s Facebook page to see more. … Read More

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How David Letterman Became Johnny Carson, and Everyone Else Became David Letterman

Last week, as part of their (understandably) protracted and hyped-up farewell to David Letterman, CBS aired a 90-minute prime-time special called David Letterman: A Life on Television. Hosted by Ray Romano, it was a clean, efficient retrospective that wrapped Dave’s memorable moments into tight little packages: celebrity interviews of note, political high-rollers, “friends of the show,” recurring segments, and so on. But the special was strangely incongruent to the true spirit of the show, which was never about immortal moments or rehashed clips; it was about an overall spirit, a loose, gonzo, hanging-out vibe. When Letterman’s idol Johnny Carson did an anniversary special or his own farewell tour back in 1992, you knew you were gonna see the tomahawk clip or Tiny Tim’s wedding. But that wasn’t what Letterman’s show — whether Late Night at NBC or The Late Show at CBS — was, or why those of us who loved Letterman watched… Read More

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‘Inside Amy Schumer’ Season 3 Episode 5: The Sketch You Need to See

Every episode of Inside Amy Schumer deserves to be talked about, but there’s always one segment that rises above the rest and necessitates a little extra conversation. In lieu of recapping full episodes, we’re here to help you with water-cooler conversation by letting you know which sketch was an absolute must-watch. … Read More

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Personifying Emotions and Universalizing Flags: Links You Need to See

Perhaps it’s best to begin this roundup of cultural tidbits from around the web with the most universal bit of news imaginable: the conceptualization of an “International Flag of Planet Earth.” Such is, perhaps obviously, the idea of a graphic designer (Oskar Pernefeldt) rather than a collective agreement of all Earth’s governments, who’d likely have a harder time falling for this lovely form of idealism than pedestrian readers of the Internet like you or me. According to the project’s website, “The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked.” It could, as The Creators Project elaborates, be used when planting a flag on a distant planet, where ideas of nationality are pretty irrelevant, or for issues on our own planet for which nations should be more unitedly active, like global warming.  … Read More

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The Particular Horror of Hearing Creepy Stories About Famous Men Who Should Know Better

Between Gawker publishing rumors that beloved comedian Louis C.K. has a tendency to expose himself (and I don’t mean emotionally) to women in the comedy world and today’s BuzzFeed piece alleging that a well-known TV character actor most recently seen on Mad Men acted inappropriately in the publication’s offices, it’s been a banner week for learning that a few male celebrities whose work addresses sexist and downright creepy behavior… may also practice that behavior. … Read More

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“I Suppressed Rose McGowan”: Bizarre and Illuminating Highlights From Billy Corgan and Marilyn Manson’s Press Conference

You could be forgiven for thinking Billy Corgan has been on a mission to alienate his peers and fans in recent years. With no obvious provocation, he has taken aim at a wide range of notable musicians, including The Foo Fighters and Kanye West, along with repeated, somewhat bizarre, attacks on rock’s nicest guy, Eddie Vedder. This July and August, Corgan and the latest Smashing Pumpkins lineup will join Marilyn Manson — not unknown to controversy himself — on a full North American “End Times” tour. Last night in Chicago, Corgan and Manson held a joint press conference hosted by the A.V. Club to discuss, among other things: their tour, why they didn’t speak for so long, and how Corgan taught Manson to play guitar. Here are some of the occasionally bizarre and awkward highlights: … Read More

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Holly Herndon’s ‘Platform': A Perfect Synthesis of Woman and Machine

A whole lot of theory went into Holly Herndon’s excellent new album Platform, which is out today. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who are familiar with her earlier work — Herndon is one of the most cerebral musicians you’ll ever come across. She holds an MFA in music, and is known for her fascinating experiments with both production and composition. … Read More

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