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Lana Del Rey Is the Urban Outfitters of Music

Lana Del Rey lied to my face. Sitting in the shadows backstage at Lollapalooza last summer, I asked her about her leaked Lady Gaga diss track (“So Legit”). She said she had never met Gaga, that this was a big misunderstanding and the press likes to turn one pop star against another. Thing is, they’ve been photographed together, including high-profile pictures shot by Terry Richardson. Later, an Interscope rep asked me to erase that portion of my interview, or Lana wouldn’t be signing the release forms for publication. He phrased it interestingly: “Lana doesn’t feel comfortable with what she said.” … Read More

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Nudes in Classical Paintings Replaced with Camgirls

Vanessa Omoregie’s Camgirls Project, which we first learned about on Beautiful/Decay and Animal, “looked at themes of questioning ‘beauty’ standards, ideas of censorship, and representation in art,” while investigating how the camgirl’s image is perceived in the realm of the Internet. Women were invited to submit their photos, mimicking the poses of nude women in classical paintings. “I really love Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and looking at paintings from similar artists and around that time I found more paintings depicting Venus and other women,” Omoregie said of the series. “They’re kind of heavenly and heavily romanticized visions of beauty in women, which was interesting to me.” Omoregie’s goal was to open a non-judgmental dialogue about women who choose to go in front of the camera. “It’s about trying to understand why these paintings of women do not get the same reaction, censorship, and labels of vanity and obsession that pictures of girls on the Internet do,” she explained. “Especially pictures that girls have taken of themselves.” … Read More

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20 of the Internet’s Best April Fools’ Day Pranks

Thanks to the limitless possibilities the Internet has given us, today’s April Fool’s jokes are a lot more sophisticated than the ones American Girl Magazine used to suggest (“Put a dime and a safety pin in a box, give it to your friend, and say you got them a diamond pin!”). Tech startups (and, of course, established companies) have become especially big players, as they have the platforms, budgets, and creative minds to make really wacky ideas come to life. Some companies go all-out, like Google, which has at least five different pranks (just in America) on its multitude of channelsOthers, like Uber and TOMS, realize they’re a match made in heaven and combine forces into something beautiful. For your entertainment — and to help you avoid falling for an embarrassing prank — here’s a roundup of the best April Fools’ jokes the Internet has to offer today. … Read More

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The Uncomfortable Gender Politics of “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection”

Cohabitation: it’s an endless series of compromises, all supposedly worthwhile in the name of true love and cheaper rent. We don’t just share our homes and beds with our spouses and significant others — we also share a lifetime’s worth of possessions, and the obsessions that drive us to amass them. That is, perhaps, one of the basic human truths that made a Tumblr called My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection, in which a woman has set out to review each of the 1500 items in said collection, a viral hit. … Read More

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Is Trigger Warning Mania the Terrifying Future of Activism?

Do you remember what your high-school English teacher said to your class before assigning The Great Gatsby? Did she call it the Great American Novel? Did he urge you to pay attention to the green light? However your teacher introduced the book, I’m guessing it wasn’t like this: “Trigger warning: suicide, domestic abuse, graphic violence.” … Read More

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Scandalous Photos of Shameful Librarian Confessions

It’s easy for book nerds to hold librarians to some godly standard, but the truth is, the part-time superhumans of the literary universe are people just like us. Tumblr Librarian Shaming is an online confessional, which we learned about on Neatorama, that offers a safe space for library workers to dish their dirt. If you’ve always imagined that your local librarian read the classics by candlelight, then your fantasy is about to be shattered. It’s nothing but Doctor Who fanfic and vampire smut for these guilty parties. Prepare to avert your eyes from these shameful librarian confessions. … Read More

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The New Golden Age of Online Book Clubs

As publishing people never tire of repeating, Oprah is the most powerful person in the book world in terms of the sales numbers her endorsements generate. Of course, Oprah isn’t really an author, editor, or publisher, but she tells people to read books, and they listen — lots and lots of them listen. Just look at her two Oprah Book Club 2.0 picks: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. Both books would have done well on their own, but here we are, well over a year after the release of Strayed’s memoir, and the paperback is still making bestseller lists. Mathis, who The New York Times called “just another promising writer” two weeks before Oprah came along and made her the book club pick, has had a similar experience thanks to the blessing of St. Oprah. … Read More

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10 Musicians You Should Be Following on Tumblr

There have been a gazillion things written about Daft Punk and Random Access Memories over the last week or so, but one of the best of them appeared this morning on the Tumblr of Montreal-based musician James Brooks, aka (formerly) as Elite Gymnastics. Brooks’ take on the record is well worth reading, and if you’re not already following him on Tumblr, you really should be. And he’s not the only musician who’s using his blog in a compelling way; here’s a selection of other music makers you should be following on Tumblr. Get to it! … Read More

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Celebrities as Media Critics: How Grimes and Jay-Z Are Dictating Their Own Mythology

If you’re a Grimes fan, you’ve probably already read her fantastic Tumblr post about how she’s tired of the way she’s portrayed in the media. If not, it’s definitely worth a look, because it’s basically everything we love about Claire Boucher — it’s articulate, intelligent, and heartfelt. Given her ambivalence about her Tumblr posts being reported as news, it’s not clear how she’ll feel about the response to the post, which is being reported everywhere. Still, it’s a pretty fine example of how today’s celebrities — for want of a better word — are using their Internet presences to push back in a meaningful manner at how they’re portrayed in the media. … Read More

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