New York Times

It’s Time to Kill the Poptimism vs. Rockism Debate

It’s a rule of thumb that you can tell a debate has become really tired when it reaches the pages of the New York Times. So it goes with the rockism vs. poptimism discussion, which has been burbling in critical circles for the best part of a decade, but has finally reached the mainstream in the wake of Ted Gioia’s piece in the Daily Beast about the state of music criticism. … Read More

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Why We Need So Many Indie Films

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2013′s Worst Writing About Millennials

2013′s been a solid year for some lucky teens and 20-somethings: Lorde, One Direction, and Miley Cyrus topped the international pop charts; Jennifer Lawrence charmed the pants off of anyone with eyeballs; Lena Dunham scored a multimillion-dollar book deal. The rest of us, however, weren’t so lucky. The past 12 months saw more ill-founded, hysterical, condescending, and generally awful writing than ever about what so-called “millennials” are up to and why it’s ruining the country. Here are the lowlights of this year’s… Read More

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The Mainstream Media Can’t Figure Out How to Write About Chelsea Manning

This morning, in a statement read on the Today show, Chelsea Manning, née Bradley, professed her desire to live as a woman during her 35-year prison sentence at an Army prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Rumors that Manning identified as transgender arose during her trial for leaking 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks, and more attention was given to this side of the case during her trial, when the Army released a photograph of Manning in a blonde wig and lipstick, and after Manning’s defense claimed that her struggles with gender identity played a role in her actions. … Read More

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Stop Lecturing College-Aged Women About Our Love Lives

Fifteen years ago, the very first question Carrie Bradshaw “couldn’t help but wonder” was simple, provocative, and in its own way, progressive: Can women have sex like men? That query was questionably relevant even a decade and a half ago, when Sex and the City sought to answer it for 30-something urban professionals. Unbelievably enough, we’re still having that conversation, except writers have turned their sights from themselves and their peers to a different group entirely: college-aged women. “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too,” Kate Taylor’s lengthy study of Penn undergrads for The New York Times’ Styles section, isn’t the first subtly judgmental, distressingly inaccurate portrait of the supposedly post-feminist, post-relationship college dating scene. Sadly, it probably won’t be the last. But the practice of telling college-aged women how we should lead our romantic lives is patronizing, condescending, and — above all — needs to stop. … Read More

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‘New York Times’ Trend Pieces Aren’t Just Ridiculous — They’re Bad for ‘The New York Times’

Just in time for the long weekend, the New York Times came through with its latest hate-read to power the blogosphere through a particularly slow holiday lull. This time, the Grey Lady’s real estate section introduces us to a flock of Upper East Siders opting to buy second apartments below 14th Street. Some of these apartments are crash pads so their owners don’t have to make the onerous trek uptown after eating dinner in the West Village; some are future homes for their high schoolers, in case they choose to go to college in New York; all are infuriating to read about. Surface-level outrage at the 1%and those who write about them aside, though, there’s more to be angry about than a group the Times memorably refers to as “Muffys and Thurstons.” … Read More

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It’s Time to Stop Talking About Damien Hirst’s Boring Spot Paintings

A year and a half ago, Larry Gagosian used all 11 branches of his eponymous art gallery to exhibit Damien Hirst’s spot paintings. My mom asked me in earnest if anybody actually bought those things. Among critics, she wasn’t alone. That month, opinion after well-informed opinion poured forth about how the paintings were not only bad, but also really, insanely boring. A lot of people whose talents could be profitably spent elsewhere — people who admitted they had nothing to say about the spot paintings — seemed to write about them anyway in part because the excessive, capricious market for Hirst’s work felt like a story in itself, and partly because Hirst’s name is a magnet for controversy. … Read More

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The 35 Best Magazine Covers Without Celebrities

The New York Times recently reported that movie stars aren’t selling magazines anymore. The article describes how covers featuring pop stars like Lady Gaga sell more issues than covers with famous actresses, but magazines with Taylor Swift have a terrible track record of sales. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s responsible for the shift, but it could be that magazines in general aren’t selling like they used to. But this could also be a case for better design in magazines — it’s very easy to just slap a celebrity on a magazine cover and assume the issue will sell, but some of the most iconic covers didn’t need a famous face to get attention. We’ve collected some of our favorite magazine covers that didn’t feature celebrities, all testaments to the power of great design. … Read More

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