Ellis Cashmore

Ellis Cashmore is the author of "Elizabeth Taylor," "Beyond Black" and "Celebrity Culture." He is honorary professor of sociology at Aston University and has previously worked at the universities of Hong Kong and Tampa.

What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?

Jun 21, 2019

Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, has become one the most castigated figures in recent history. What if he’d lived to see it? What if, on June 24, 2009, the paramedics had arrived at Michael Jackson’s home in Los Angeles at 12:24pm — two minutes earlier than they actually did when responding to … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

The World-Changing Idea of Girl Power

May 27, 2019

The Spice Girls and the Women’s World Cup are parallel realities, and some will point out that women are still underpaid, undervalued and stuck in much the same position they were in during the early 1990s. “Girl power” was never anything more than a heaven-sent answer to the question, “What do you want?” It was … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

With Another Suicide, Has Reality TV Run Its Course?

May 15, 2019

The suicides linked with The Jeremy Kyle Show and the similarly unscripted Love Island have occasioned a debate over the effects of reality television. Imagine pitching an idea for a show to a TV executive in, say, 2000: “I want to gather a bunch of people who are multi-dysfunctional and sit them in front of … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

The Decision against Caster Semenya Plunges Sport into a Moral Maelstrom

May 01, 2019

The significance of the CAS ruling in the Caster Semenya case will be felt across the world of sport for years to come. “For me, she is not a woman. … It is useless to compete with this, and it is not fair,” Italian athlete Elisa Cusma Piccione told reporters, pointing toward the winner of … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Men Claiming Objectification Is an Irony-Rich Cop-Out

Apr 26, 2019

“There’s this idea that if a man enjoys a photograph of a nude woman or if he likes your short skirt, he’s taking something away from you,” actor and model Emily Ratajkowski was talking to Harper’s Bazaar. “When I post a selfie and someone comments, ‘Oh, sure, go ahead and reclaim your sexuality, I got … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Should Sport Let Go of the Idea of Binary Sexes?

Mar 04, 2019

We now seem poised for a change: Instead of understanding women and men as two different halves of a binary, we will see them as different points on a spectrum. “A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Shamima Begum: A Jihadi Bride’s Plea to Return

Feb 19, 2019

A case of an IS bride’s newborn child raises questions of citizenship, personhood and agency. You probably haven’t heard of Marshae Jones. Last December, she was arrested after a shooting at a convenience store in Pleasant Grove, a small town in Alabama. Jones, who was pregnant at the time, was shot in the stomach. She … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Why Do We Forgive Liam Neeson?

Feb 05, 2019

We simply don’t have enough time, energy or incentive to investigate the thoughts and behavior of people we admire. I’m not sure why I still remember this so clearly, but I do. In the late 1970s, while a student in Toronto, one of my professors, Gregory Baum, announced to a social theory class that he … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Roeg, Goldman, Bertolucci: A Farewell to the Grandmasters of Film

Nov 27, 2018

The richness of their collective legacy is breathtaking. Fate can be economical: It picks its victims, not in an arbitrary or random manner, but in a ruthlessly efficient, emotion-saving way. No sooner have we started to rhapsodize over the legacy left by visionary film director Nicolas Roeg than we are assaulted by the departures of … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

Jonestown Massacre at 40: Deciphering Jim Jones’ Apocalyptic Visions

Nov 16, 2018

On November 18, 1978, Jim Jones, a charismatic leader, ordered the followers of his People’s Temple to kill themselves, in what would become known as the Jonestown Massacre. The 1970s was the decade when civil rights came of age, in all its imperfections. Legislation in 1964 and 1965 was intended to guarantee the rights of all … Continue reading "What If Michael Jackson Had Lived?"

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