These cases are notable because they are all easily avoidable. They’re evidence of a slow and peculiar shift in the relationship between fans and the musicians they love over the last decade, as maintaining a social-media presence went from being a novelty to a necessity for public figures, and saying the right thing at all times on social media has become the ground-level expectation of prominent internet citizens. Social media is a bucking bronco; you can make an educated guess what it’ll do ahead of time based on history and experience, but you can never know for sure until you hop on. In 2018, Kevin Hart thought defiance would get him out of hot water for dry gay jokes in old tweets when it was announced that he’d be the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, and LGBTQ Oscar viewers balked. It did not. In 2018, Kanye West seemed blindsided by the passion in the reaction to a statement he made on TMZ saying African slaves in America may have chosen their captivity. These … [Read more...] about Stan Culture Is Due a Reckoning. So Are the Celebrities They Worship.
Trivia pop culture
Two people who love a good pub quiz are Diana Ingram and her brother Adrian Pollock (Trystan Gravelle), a semi-sketchy character who doesn’t have his life in the same proper order as his sister does. When Cash Mountain is turned into Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and becomes a nightly fixture on ITV, Diana and Adrian are among its biggest fans. Diana’s husband, Charles, on the other hand, isn’t particularly interested in watching people try to answer multiple choice questions for cash prizes, deeming trivia to be, well, trivial. A decent but uptight and nerdy major in the English Army, he’s smart but has little knowledge of popular culture. … [Read more...] about You Should Watch
This phrase seemed to be on everybody’s lips in February when, with 36 million people watching, the artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta belted out a stunning, triumphant, and technically impressive Academy Award telecast tribute to The Sound of Music. As a beaming Julie Andrews hugged her in appreciation after she’d finished singing, you knew you’d just witnessed one of those universally respected, generation-uniting musical moments that we so rarely get in this era of Twitter-sniping — for one peaceful evening, everybody seemed to be bowing down to Gaga. (“Congratulations to Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews for a most emotional moment on this year’s Oscars,” Steve Martin tweeted. “Oops, forgot to be satirical.”) Since we must now predict the long-term cultural significance of a televised event before we’ve even broken for commercial, pundits had declared the performance an irrefutable turning point in … [Read more...] about Lady Gaga Goes to the Middle
It’s worth recalling how we first met Katy Perry, back in 2007 — 150 years ago, approximately, in pop-culture space time. That November, Perry released her debut single “Ur So Gay,” a send-up of emo girlie-boys that was offensive not so much for its homophobia as for its dreary eagerness to give offense. (Opening couplet: “I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf/While jacking off listening to Mozart.”) “Ur So Gay” didn’t crack the Billboard Hot 100, but it did its work anyway, prompting a few stray think pieces decrying Perry’s gay-baiting, thereby putting her on the map. What the song’s critics failed to notice was the key word in the title: not gay, but that SMS speak ur, which baldly telegraphed the marketing strategy, Perry’s hard-sell appeal to the Children of the Internet. The video, accordingly, was cutesy-quirky. There were Barbie and Ken dolls, shown checking out each other’s … [Read more...] about Jody Rosen on Katy Perry’s Half-Baked
If You Are Looking For a Way to Distract Your Kids For a Bit Without Feeling Guilty: Elmo to the rescue! The iconic Sesame Street character is the latest star to enter the late night arena with The Not Too Late Show with Elmo, with episodes running just 15 minutes and featuring celeb guests like Kacey Musgraves, Blake Lively, Ciara and the Jonas Brothers. Plus, Elmo's crew includes some familiar Sesame Street faces. Watch out, Colbert and Fallon! (Where to Watch: HBO Max) … [Read more...] about What to Watch This Weekend: Our Top Binge Picks for May 30-31