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Posts tagged "Taylor Swift"


Miss Americana and the Heartbreaking Impossibility of Being Good

When I watched the new documentary about Taylor Swift, Miss Americana, I couldn’t help but see some of the elements from the story of my life portrayed in the story of her life. I know that sounds silly. I’m a 44-year-old mom of two teenagers who hasn’t been out past 10PM in months, years. I’m […]

What We’re Watching and Listening To: February Edition

Sarah Condon Dracula. This version (BBC/Netflix) takes a wildly beautiful twist where Professor Abraham Van Helsing is replaced by Sister Agatha Van Helsing. It is totally engaging and utterly rapturous. In other words, this is Fleabag season 3. Miss Americana. Hear me when I say: I’ve always been a little suspicious of Taylor Swift. Hear […]

Taylor Swift and the Ministry of Retribution

True fans of Taylor Swift will smell something fishy about the New York Times headline, “Taylor Swift, Philosopher of Forgiveness.” Because when it comes to Taylor’s philosophy of forgiveness, what songs come to mind? Maybe her early hit “Picture to Burn”? Or its music video in which she fantasizes about breaking into an ex’s house […]

Another Week Ends: Houston, Taylor Swift, Smartphones, Broken Window Policing, the Silicon Valley Hustle, and the Shape of Water

1. A gut-punch for all of us smartphone-using Millennials (or parents thereof). The Atlantic’s massive feature piece, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” painstakingly catalogs all the ways that our devices have ruined the mental health outlook for today’s young people, referred to in the essay as “iGen” teenagers. These teenagers, who were born after the […]

Another Week Ends: Work and Play, Oprah and Colbert, Barack and Marilynne, Kanye Western, and Yes, Death

The work and play issue continues. This week we saw two articles surface that had more bad news to give us about the growing presence of our work lives in our leisure time. Ugh. I’ll spare you both of them. One of them talks about the implicit message of workaholism in tv shows these days. […]

You Do You and I’ll Do Me (Unless You’re Ghengis Khan)

I was a little worried when The NY Times Magazine did away with “Riff”, a column we’ve mined over the years almost more than any other. Lo and behold, my concern was misfounded. What they’ve done is clever, funneling those observations into a handful of thematically-defined columns, the language-oriented “First Words” being the prime example. […]

Unredeemable Art and Wise Words From Madeleine L’Engle

When it comes to favorite art, I have an ever-growing list of guilty pleasures, a term which usually refers to some kind of light-hearted or even redeemable creation. Today, I’m not going to write about redemption in Taylor Swift’s new album (“It’s fun though…”). I’m more interested in the less redeemable batch, art that remains […]

“Abjection”…Or, Better Yet, Taylor Swift and a Postmortem Body

This wonderful reflection comes from Emily Stubbs. Often times we self-justify through the things that we associate with and claim as part of our identity: I am a vegan, I am a Phi Mu, I am a fellow at Christ Church, and I wear Led Zeppelin t-shirts from Goodwill and earrings that I bought from […]

The Irritating, Infantile, Irresistible Mr. West: A Review of Kanye West’s Yeezus

What in the world happened to Kanye West? He once gave a fresh, whimsical sound to Jay-Z and others, and then, armed with courage and a robust cleverness sufficient to overcome his limited lyrical abilities, he became a novel, thought-provoking voice in a musical genre that had become suffocated by the reflexive fulfillment of its […]

Selling Out to Keep It Real: Indie Currency in the Decade(s) of Dysfunction

n+1 has a new piece on the changing landscape of the “sellout,” and the assertions of authenticity that have been re-shaped in the relationship between art and commerce. Evan Kindley is writing a review on a few books in the topic, one of which is spotlighted, by Timothy Taylor, The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, […]

Another Week Ends: Wiman’s Abyss, Opinionless Boyfriends, Compassionology, Lehrergate, Antinomianism, Revolution, Taylor Swift, and Wreck-It Ralph

1. Every once and a while something comes across your screen that is so beautiful and honest and profound and enlivening that you want to force others to watch it. If commands of this kind worked, that’s what I’d do here. I’m referring to the interview that Bill Moyers conducted with poet (and Poetry Magazine […]

Another Week Ends: Taylor Swift, Tragedy’s Tragedy, Friday Night Faith, Crises of Boredom, and More November Haidt

David Zahl is finishing up his paternity leave this week. Congratulations amigo! Love to you and yours. 1) In his “Life of Reilly” magazine series, ESPN’s Rick Reilly covered a hummer of a story about one of the most backwards high school football games in history, in which there were “rivers running uphill” and “cats […]