books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

I’ve been mostly trying to read SVH novels to play catch-up on my other blog, but I did manage to read a couple of articles that got me thinking this week.  Here they are:

How a White Australian Model Imitated Southern Black Rap – and Topped the Charts (Slate)

I completely understand that Iggy Azalea is controversial and kind of problematic, but I also kind of like her music, and I think “Fancy” is a damn fun song (the video is pretty awesome, too).  This article is definitely taking a critical eye to the performer, and much of the criticism is deserved, and I think, spot-on:

Having trained herself to rap in a cadence vastly different from her native speaking voice, Iggy’s comes off brash but studied, and she resembles no one so much as her mentor, Atlanta rapper T.I. Listen to the way her tone rises on the line “You should want a bad bitch like this, hah?”—a clear homage to T.I.’s singsongy, conversational tone on smashes like “Live Your Life” or his rap bridge on Justin Timberlake’s classic “My Love.” They say that good artists copy and great artists steal.

There’s some interesting stuff to unpack here, but the fact that Azalea is one of the very few females to crack the top of the Billboard Hot 100 says something, and it’s not without merit.

How a Meme Becomes a Myth (The Awl)

This is a very short, sad piece.  You might have heard about it in the news this week: two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin were charged with stabbing their friend nearly to death and claiming that they did it to please the Slenderman, a creepy fictional creature that started as an online prank on the Something Awful forums.

This piece talks a little bit about the case, and a little bit about the media shit storm that surrounds it.  It’s sad and terrible.  But we can all agree that the media is fucked, right?

The John Green and Fault in Our Stars Media Bingo Card (Book Riot)

It’s written by Kelly Jensen, so you know it’s going to be good:

It’s interesting, though, to see what the overlaps are in these pieces. In many ways, they’re downright sad in how they present the YA community, the YA readership, and how they represent girls and girl interests especially. It’s fascinating to think about the media attention Green’s book has received, both in quantity and in quality, and compare it to other YA authors who’ve gotten the big screen treatment. Did we see this for Veronica Roth’s Divergent earlier this year? Will we see this for Gayle Forman’s forthcoming If I Stay?

Slots on the Bingo card include “John’s hair,” “John cried,” and “girls crying.”  In short, it is the best antidote to TFIOS overexposure and exhaustion one could hope for.  Awesome.


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