Screenshot from "Look What You Made Me Do" music video - Taylor Swift sits in bathtub, covered in diamonds, pointing fingers like a gun.

Eight Genres of Garbage Polemic About Taylor Swift

Cultural criticism is great, isn’t it? There are so many really smart pieces of longform writing floating around that present nuanced, enlightening discussions of our response to successful female businesswomen, the nature of celebrity, white feminine victimhood, the commercialization of feminism, the line between country and pop music, the role of authorial intent in interpreting art, the reasons why the colonialist fantasy of Africa as a giant theme park empty of humans still persists so strongly in the American imagination, and many other interesting issues as they relate to Taylor Swift.

WAIT JUST KIDDING. Some days it seems like the entire Internet is actually a Dumpster full of faux-intellectual schlock that stakes out a narrow yet vehement, take-no-prisoners position on Taylor Swift because somebody had a deadline that day and, well, Taylor was there. Here’s a tour of the trash heap.

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Links We Loved This Week — 7/28/17

We link to Roxane Gay a lot… but that’s because she says such interesting stuff! This week, read her editorial on why she’s not going to bother watching a show about an alternate universe where slavery still exists. (Not that it’s the same thing AT ALL but her sentiments seem to be very similar to how I feel about movies with female sex robots.) (via New York Times)

Rebecca West was a brilliant modernist novelist, but she also apparently wrote a travel book about Yugoslavia that has fallen out of the fame it once held. I personally had never heard of it; it’s going on my to-read list after reading this passionate essay by James Thomas Snyder. (via LA Review of Books)

Sigourney Weaver said at Comic-Con that she based her villainous Defenders character on rich Trump supporters she knew in New York. She described these men in great detail, including the delightful quote: “Your objections to what they’re doing because of the planet makes them giggle secretly inside. They’re just like, ‘Oh yes, pish posh.’”

Links We Loved This Week — 6/16/17

Do you know about the creepy surrealist Youtube star Poppy? This article about her is fascinating, but what really fascinated me was just watching her “I’m Poppy” video. (via Wired)

After some anxious sponsors backed away from the notorious Trumpian production of Julius Caesar, Alexandra Petri for the Washington Post cheekily identified reasons why pretty much no plays should be acceptable to sponsors. For example, in As You Like It, “Woman wandering in the woods to get away from the current regime is portrayed as some sort of hero.” VERY inappropriate.

Rebecca Solnit argues in Harper’s that the mythical Cassandra is the feminine inverse of The Boy Who Cried Wolf: from Anita Hill to Cosby’s victims to Trump’s accusers and in countless other examples, men can lie over and over again and be believed, while women can tell the truth time and time again and be dismissed.

A poet who wasn’t getting any traction on Instagram conducted a social experiment in which he posted the most banal, non-sensical lines he could think of–and he immediately got thousands and likes and followers, many of whom were not in on the joke.

The New Yorker‘s Doreen St. Felix walks us through Bill Maher’s awkward, graceless apology–and why we probably shouldn’t accept it.

Links We Loved This Week: 9/16/16

Vulture has a complete breakdown of this fall’s TV reboots. Obviously we’re excited for Gilmore Girls here at Adversion; we’re also definitely going to be watching Westworld.

Read Fusion.net‘s breakdown of why this year is a good one for women of color on TV (financially, at least… we still feel pretty bad for Mindy that her new love interest sucks so bad).

One of the smartest literary blogs I follow is Word and Silence by Tim Miller. This week, he posted a link to an exquisitely scathing NYT piece on Thomas Wolfe by Harold Bloom.

We liked Braindead this summer, but apparently the Kings are planning to have larger bugs each season, so we’re not sure we can in good conscience hope for it to be renewed. The first season bugs are disgusting enough! (via MovieNewsGuide.com)

 

Links We Loved This Week — 7/22/16

Read the heartbreaking tweets Leslie Jones posted before being chased off Twitter by racist harassment. Vox has a good write-up of the topic, too.

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Emily Nussbaum wrote a fantastic piece about Braindead and Mr. Robot. Her analysis of why Braindead succeeds despite its insane-sounding premise is spot on. (via The New Yorker)

Matt Damon did a Reddit AMA in honor of the new Bourne movie. His answers are great — or as one poster amusingly put it, “my boy’s wicked smaht.”

How well do you know Anne of Green Gables? This is a pretty basic quiz, but it should whet your appetite for the planned 2017 revival (and if you get less than 100%, you should probably just go rewatch. Actually, we probably all should).

 

UnREAL 2×01 “War”: Who Wins the Battle of Oppressions?

What with Hillary Clinton’s perceived “white feminism,” the public reaction to the Bill Cosby rape allegations, and even the Black Lives Matter movement to a certain extent, the intersection between different oppressions is at the forefront of social justice, and not always in a positive way. Hillary Clinton’s election to the White House would be an unqualified win for white, privileged women in the US, while people of color and non-Americans might disproportionately suffer from her more illiberal views on economics, foreign policy, and national security. Similarly, those who called Bill Cosby’s victims attention-seekers were being misogynistic, but many of them were partially reacting to a long and painful history of black men being falsely accused of violating white women. And while Cosby 100% deserved to be publicly shamed and ostracized for raping dozens of women, did he deserve it more than Roman Polanski, or even Woody Allen, both of whom still have relatively thriving careers?

A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that a Lifetime show would be one of the boldest and most nuanced explorations of these complex (and emotionally fraught) political issues in popular culture right now–but it is. UnREAL has always been a feminist show, which has become all the more explicit in its second season, but now, with the addition of the first black suitor, it’s also tackling racial inequality. And even better, it’s showing us the ways in which feminism and anti-racism interact, and often appear to be incompatible with each other. Continue reading →