Lessons Learned: A Marching Band and Cheerleaders Makes Everything Better

Presented by Pepsi

Turns out, the easiest way to get fans excited for Super Bowl XLIX’s Pepsi Halftime Show (or maybe anything) is to include cheerleaders, a marching band, and free food. Flavorpill teamed up with Pepsi and GrubHub/Seamless to reward football fans with a catered spread and full-on halftime show during playoffs — and the Big Game this weekend. Check out footage from our nationwide delivery blitz below, and get hyped for #Halftime yourself! … Read More

  • 0

Why Sweden Sucks: On Michael Booth’s ‘The Almost Nearly Perfect People’

When Mashable ran a story on “hygge” in December 2014, it ended up running around my social media feeds as the ultimate way to get through winter: cozy up, just like the Danes do! There’s no direct English translation of how exactly to get the feeling of hygge, but it amounted to, in short, lighting some candles and drinking some mulled wine, in what may be your beautifully minimalist yet folksy outdoor cabin on the water, in the most Danish and Scandinavian embrace of a small, warm place in the middle of winter. … Read More

  • 0

Why Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney’s “FourFiveSeconds” Left Me Disappointed

This weekend, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney released “FourFiveSeconds,” a stripped-down, soulful jam. Rihanna delivers one of her best vocal performances ever atop an acoustic guitar hook — seemingly from Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth — that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Ed Sheeran album. Kanye sings — sans AutoTune — with a defiant streak audible in his voice, about spending the night in jail (a true story, mind you) and the public coming for his pride. An organ, likely played by McCartney, and a hearty choir of voices flesh out the sound and give “FourFiveSeconds” a gospel feel as it progresses. … Read More

  • 0

The Last Days of Carles: A ‘Postscript’ to Hipster Runoff’s ‘Era’ of ‘Cynicism’

Who’d have guessed it? Carles, the shadowy creator of Hipster Runoff, the most ‘relevant’ alt of 2007 and the Internet’s foremost exponent of scare quotes, was an idealist all along. Our antihero has been in the news of late because he’s selling Hipster Runoff and its associated revenue streams — exactly the sort of cynical prank that you’d expect from him — and now he’s surfaced to publish a blog post entitled “Why I H8 Online Media.” (It’s the prelude to, god help us, an entire ebook, which is called Nothing Matters.) The site on which it’s published, carles.buzz, is supposedly the last we’ll ever hear from him, what he calls a “terminal pop-up art website blog where I will document my final days on the internet.” Of course, Carles being Carles, it’s hard to know how much of this is sincere and how much is ‘sincere’ — which has always been one of the most obnoxious things about reading him. But taken at face value, it’s an interesting, if profoundly depressing, insight into the bleak cynicism of HRO and its creator. … Read More

  • 0

30 Best Pop Culture Spinsters

The word “spinster” refers to an unmarried woman, and is most often synonymous with the stereotype of the past-her-prime old maid, a woman who hasn’t made a good match and who’s doomed to live an unfulfilling life. Well, that’s just stereotypes talking, because… hey, what’s wrong with that, exactly? The answer is absolutely nothing. Pop culture has given us some pretty great spinsters (although on average they do fall within a specific, homogenous, moneyed, and white demographic). So here are our 30 favorite writers, artists, and fictional characters who show the freedom that comes from living an unmarried life — female characters who are defined by their wants and desires, and not characterized through the simple scrim of their relationships. … Read More

  • 0

The Oppressive Softness of ‘The Duke of Burgundy’

I watched The Duke of Burgundy with someone who experiences ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), whereby certain stimuli that brush against the threshold of nonexistence create a tingling sensation in one’s upper body; it’s said to be pleasant. Some typical ASMR triggers — which have become something of a YouTube phenomenon — include running water, the rustling or crunching of leaves, personal attention (like being measured, getting one’s hair cut), and whispering, all of which are used in hypnotically controlling repetition by writer/director Peter Strickland throughout the film. Strickland also adds some new triggers to the mix, such as popping soap bubbles, and, more strangely, the high-frequency sounds certain moths’ genitals make to confuse approaching, echolocating bats. … Read More

  • 0

Writers, Money, and the Economy: Why Time Is the 21st Century’s “Room of One’s Own”

Ann Bauer’s eye-opening essay about being a “sponsored” writer (actually version of a piece by Bauer that’s been kicking around the writing blogosphere for a few years), published yesterday on Salon, has fostered an intense, multi-pronged online discussion about writing and money. In the piece, Bauer lists several anonymous examples of acclaimed writers who have benefited from an extra financial boost but thrive on the myth of their genius. But her main aim is to admit that she’s accomplished much, much more as writer since marrying a high earner later in life than she did in her years as a struggling mom with financial woes. … Read More

  • 1

Spy Novels, Mice Brains, and the Neuroscience of Pleasure: Ned Beauman on ‘Glow’

There are some go-to mentionables about the novelist Ned Beauman, snippets or shorthand remarks that are true but work to obscure his literary gifts and value. It is often pointed out, for example, that Beauman was the youngest writer on Granta’s Best Young British Novelists of 2013. And it is now a given that his first two novels — Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident — recall the work of William Gibson and Thomas Pynchon. Both of these are fine things to write or say — and Beauman is unfailingly modest, a writer who is genuinely humbled to hear such things — but for me they don’t quite get at the consistency or quality of his work. Time after time, Beauman is able to capture a milieu, or totally invent one, in fleet, intelligent prose that is somehow analytic, beautiful, and comic all at the same time. When a new novel by Beauman arrives, I open it knowing that I’m going to be swept into an engaging, possibly ecstatic plot. I also know that I’ll be quoting it to all of my friends. … Read More

  • 0

Sundance 2015: Baumbach and Gerwig’s ‘Mistress America’ Looks Behind the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Mask

PARK CITY, UT: “I could only agree with her,” Tracy says of Brooke, in the opening moments of Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America. “It was too much fun to agree with her.” Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a college freshman, failing (and frankly, not trying all that hard) to fit in at Barnard. Brooke (Greta Gerwig) is her older future sister-in-law, a whirling dervish, jazzy and odd and prone to non sequitur. She’s comfortable and confident and all the things that Tracy’s not, so it’s easy to see how Tracy both idolizes and idealizes her. If that were all that was happening in Mistress America, it’d still be worth seeing; it’s got a fast pace and screwball spirit, and is the closest thing Baumbach’s done to pure comedy since his peerless debut picture Kicking and Screaming. But there’s a lot more going on here than just laughs. … Read More

  • 0

50 of the Greatest Literary Moments on TV

It’s probably safe to say that media tends to refer to itself, in one way or another — and referring to literature, as opposed to other forms of pop culture, is one way to make just about anything a little more highbrow. Television, notoriously full of references and allusions, might be the worst/best culprit, and the most fun to hunt through for literary moments — after all, nothing’s more fun than seeing books on the boob tube. Here, you’ll find 50 of the greatest and most memorable literary allusions, shout-outs, cameos, and references on television, as well as real-life author appearances and whole episodes, or even whole seasons, based on… Read More

  • 0
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,963 other followers