Stan wars raged out of control in May. Taylor Swift fans tried to cancel Burger King for a tweet poking fun at her songs about ex-boyfriends. Barbz called for Usher’s head when he downplayed the prospect of a Verzuz battle between Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim, calling the Young Money chart-topper a “product” of the Bad Boy pioneer. Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande fans united against Tekashi 6ix9ine for the suggestion that their collaborative No. 1 single “Stuck with U” cheated its way past his comeback track “Gooba,” which landed at No. 3. Doja Cat caught smoke from every direction throughout the long Memorial Day weekend for dalliances in nebulous internet chat spaces and cavalier use of slurs popularized by racists on forums. Lana Del Rey got lit up by a coalition of Nicki, Beyoncé, and Cardi B fans last week for an Instagram post expressing frustration about the feeling that she isn’t allowed the same leeway for self-expression … [Read more...] about Stan Culture Is Due a Reckoning. So Are the Celebrities They Worship.
Christian pop culture
Growing up — much like, I am going to estimate, 100 percent of the population — I felt stifled by the stereotypes and expectations of my gender. Even from the privileged position of being a straight, white, cisgender woman, I still walked around in a constant panic that I was doing femininity wrong. (I tripped every time I put on heels. I played sports a little too competitively in gym class. I went through a very unfortunate brown-lipstick phase.) Coming of age in the Britney era did not exactly help my or any young woman’s feelings of feminine inadequacy; the message she telegraphed to the girl population was “You’re either born hot or you’re not. Sorry.” With Britney, femininity was something innate. So what I loved most about Lady Gaga was how unapologetically fake she was, especially when she was at her most girlie. (The wigs! The affect! The Alexander McQueen shoes!) The much-needed message that she beamed to the world was that — … [Read more...] about Lady Gaga Goes to the Middle
Perry sings the songs fine; she is nothing if not competent. But her voice remains pallid — the color on a Katy Perry record has to come from the songs themselves, and on Prism, Perry’s all-star collaborators have let her down. I reserve the right to change my opinion; Perry’s music has a way of insinuating itself into your consciousness, especially when it’s clobbered home by a zillion radio plays. But as of now, I count only one great song on Prism, “Roar,” which doles out its hooks and pep-rally sentiments in precisely the right proportions. As for the rest? As Perry herself might have put it, before she started dabbling in auras and mantras: ur so meh. … [Read more...] about Jody Rosen on Katy Perry’s Half-Baked
Quiz, written by James Graham, who authored the play of the same name, and directed by Oscar and Emmy-nominated Stephen Frears, differs from other scripted accounts of true crime because it doesn’t merely add more nuance and color to a high-profile case. It invites the audience to seek answers to several questions, including a big one: Is it possible that the people accused of cheating their way into winning a million pounds actually are innocent? … [Read more...] about You Should Watch
If You've Been Seeing that "F--k You" Clip of Lance Armstrong Making the Rounds: Missing The Last Dance? Samesies. But ESPN smartly decided to air some of its 30 for 30 films in the Sunday night time-slot the Michael Jordan docu-series aired in, beginning with the Lance. Part one aired on May 24, with the opening scene of the controversial cyclist's expletive-filled rant going viral, and part two is set to air this Sunday. … [Read more...] about What to Watch This Weekend: Our Top Binge Picks for May 30-31