olympics

We Need to Talk About Jessie J and Our Irrational Pop Star Preferences

By

With a record-breaking six Top 10 singles from one album in her native UK, Jessie J is England’s answer to Katy Perry. Admittedly, that’s selling her short — her voice possesses Aguilera power and she writes her own material — but details are unimportant in the mud-pit wrestling match that is the female pop star gauntlet. The singer’s most successful American single to date, Top 10 hit “Domino,” is straight-up Teenage Dream Perry, down to its reference to skin-tight pants. “(Insert new singer) is like (insert established pop diva starting to show cracks/long past her prime) plus (insert another big pop star)”: this is the musical conversation pop stars get, despite the fact that pop hits are defined more by their songwriters and producers than their interpreters. The personality conversation is an even uglier scene, one in which stars are made and fade away.
…Read More

Stark Photographs of the Empty 1972 Munich Olympics Stadium

By

Today marks the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and millions of people across the globe will flock to the city (and to their televisions) to cheer on an international group of athletes. But what happens to those sports arenas once the games are over? Some are demolished, but some, like the stadium in Munich, Germany, host of the infamous 1972 Summer Olympics, remain. In a series posted to Behance, Munich-based photographer Robert Götzfried depicts the empty spaces, which he says are his favorite subjects: “Public space when no one is around. Swimming pools, soccer stadiums, cinemas — places that are usually loud and crowded in a quiet and peaceful way. It’s about forms, patterns — architecture in its purest way.” The terrorist attack that took place there 42 years ago gives this collection (spotted via Faith is Torment) an added layer of eeriness, yet it is stunning nonetheless. 
…Read More

“I’ve Never Felt Like an Outcast”: An Excerpt From ‘Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories’

By

As the world gets set for tonight’s Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi, it’s important not to lose sight of Russia’s troubling political landscape — and particularly President Vladimir Putin’s attacks on the freedom and safety of its LGBT citizens via a vague ban on “homosexual propaganda” that amounts to nothing less than government-sanctioned homophobia.
…Read More