pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

Are y’all ready for another link roundup?  These are the articles that had me thinking this week.


The Pitchfork Guide to Fall Music Releases (Pitchfork)

Say whatever you want about Pitchfork as a source for music news and reviews.  I guarantee that I’ve heard and said it myself.  (Probably before you’d ever heard of Pitchfork, amirite?)  That being said, I find myself returning to them again and again for news and reviews of bands and artists I’d never have heard of otherwise.  I’ve tried other music blogs, both mainstream and obscure, and Pitchfork remains the easiest one for me to navigate.  So, whatever.

The title is pretty self-explanatory, and after a summer of completely lackluster album releases, I’m finally, finally digging some new stuff.  Haim, Drake, Lorde, and new Lissie?  I’m so there, guys.  Plus tons of weird stuff I haven’t even discovered yet.

Life, etc.:

In Defense of the Slow Fade (Slate)

When I first stumbled upon this article, I was sort of enraged at the idea of it.  “OF COURSE THE SLOW FADE IS AWFUL HOW DARE YOU DEFEND IT IT IS THE LITERAL WORST.”  But then I actually, ahem, read the article.  And now?  Now I sort of understand the argument, and I might even agree with it a little bit.

This bit stuck out:

Is the fade a fundamentally selfish act? Perhaps. But when it comes to auditioning potential romantic partners, we’re all acting out of our own self-interest. Our exploratory dalliance only persists as long as our interests align. If you feel that you personally benefit from explicitly breaking off a casual relationship, go ahead and bloviate on that QWERTY.

What I do know I agree with is that if it isn’t working, it isn’t working.  It could be nothing personal, or it could be completely personal.  Either way, I’m not sure I really need a reason, when it comes down to it.  I don’t know.  This one is going to stay with me for a while.

How to Have a One-Night Stand (McSweeney’s)

One of my best friends and I had a conversation about one-night stands this week, and I stumbled across this really awesome essay about how they work.  This article is surprisingly funny and uncomfortably true, and it’s definitely worth a read.  This is what Thought Catalog wishes it was, basically.

Pop Culture:

Captain Phillips: A Disturbing Celebration of American Military Power (Salon)

I first saw the trailer for the new Tom Hanks Oscar-Nom-Hopeful movie a while back, and I was really, really uncomfortable.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but the trailer made me so uneasy that it brought tears to my eyes–and not in a good, “this is moving” way.  I’ve seen the trailer a handful of times since (I go to a lot of movies, guys), and that feeling hasn’t dissipated.  So it was nice to see that my feelings aren’t living in isolation.  This article has many of the same issues I have with the movie, and I’m not just talking about race (although that is a huge, huge part of this):

I can’t decide if there’s meant to be anything sardonic about the presentation of the asymmetrical conflict in “Captain Phillips”: Billions of dollars of cutting-edge military hardware and hundreds of corn-fed, gym-toned Americans on one side, four malnourished men with black-market Kalashnikovs on the other. But I kind of think there isn’t.

The movie is based on real-life events, and it’s based by the eponymous Captian Phillips’s memoir, but that doesn’t make this Hollywood portrayal any less gross.  Here’s another choice quote:

Again, while I know this movie sticks close to the facts, there’s clearly a metaphorical level to Phillips’ ordeal with the pirates, who end up escaping from the Alabama in one of its lifeboats with him as their prisoner. He survives but at immense cost and seared by trauma, his relationship to life and the world changed in unknowable terms. (In fact, the real Rich Phillips went back to sea a year later.)

I’m sure Hanks does a great job in the film, and I think he’s a good actor and seems like a nice person, but this movie feels like a desperate Oscar-grab and I’m going to take a hard, hard pass.

What did stumble across this week that got you thinking?


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