MTV at 40: Did Video Kill the Radio Star?

July 30, 2021

On August 1, 1981, rock music’s second revolution started. The first didn’t have an official starting point, but Elvis Presley’s first number-one single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was released on January 27, 1956, and caused barely imaginable changes in music and beyond. There was mayhem,...

The Cultural Power of Anitta in Bolsonaro’s Brazil
June 25, 2021

The Cultural Power of Anitta in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

The Afterlife of Michael Jackson
June 23, 2021

The Afterlife of Michael Jackson

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, 50 Years On
May 20, 2021

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, 50 Years On

Why Fame Can Be a Nightmare

Why Fame Can Be a Nightmare

April 16, 2021

Self-annihilation is a constituent part of many celebrity careers. While some actors or singers slide smoothly from one success to another, hardly pausing for the occasional misadventure, others are ruined, occasionally by others but much more usually by their own devices. Frankie Lymon’s...

NFTs and the Cynicism of Contemporary Art

NFTs and the Cynicism of Contemporary Art

March 08, 2021

Many will remember 2020 as the year of COVID-19, an invisible pestilence that is still haunting the world a full year after its outbreak in the form of a global pandemic. Though it is still rather early, 2021 may one day be remembered as the year of an unexpected financial epidemic, the craze for...

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

December 03, 2020

British rapper and spoken-word artist Potent Whisper is known for his socially conscious rhyming guides that have broken down the world's problems into three-to-five-minute explainers. Over the last few years, his projects have included a lauded book, “The Rhyming Guide to Grenfell Britain,”...

Juliette Greco: Snatching Dignity From the Jaws of the Absurd

Juliette Greco: Snatching Dignity From the Jaws of the Absurd

October 02, 2020

Did you have to be a thinker, a philosopher, to help epitomize and pioneer an existentialist ethic in 1950s Paris? Or could you live the ethic of absurd aloneness in a mad and bad world but still maintain dignity and humanism in the face of despair? And still create something defiant, though...

Richard Wagner and the Twilight of Western Civilization

Richard Wagner and the Twilight of Western Civilization

October 02, 2020

According to Alex Ross in his book, “Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music,” Richard Wagner was more than the composer who dominated German music in the second half of the 19th century. He became a towering cultural icon who transformed the way culturally influential people and...

Xi Jinping’s Tibetan Summer of Love

Xi Jinping’s Tibetan Summer of Love

September 01, 2020

As reported by Al Jazeera, China’s President Xi Jinping is seeking to realize the traditional Chinese ideal of harmony within the borders of Tibet. He has a threefold goal: Xi wants to “build an ‘impregnable fortress’ to maintain stability in Tibet, protect national unity and educate the...

Latin Music Is Seducing the World All Over Again

Latin Music Is Seducing the World All Over Again

July 29, 2020

When Luis Fonsi launched his ninth album, “Vida,” in January 2017, he probably didn’t imagine that its main song, “Despacito,” featuring Daddy Yankee, would become an international sensation. The track broke seven Guinness records, among which were the most weeks at the top of...

McCoy Tyner’s Improvisations of Hope

McCoy Tyner’s Improvisations of Hope

March 10, 2020

Jazz is a musical art form that cultivates complex and highly disciplined improvisational skills. In its brief history — hardly more than a century — jazz has always floated between being perceived as a style of popular, crowd-pleasing music or as a sophisticated art form produced by...

#MeToo: Power, Let’s Talk About It

#MeToo: Power, Let’s Talk About It

February 27, 2020

This is a story I have been sitting on for over a year, trying to get it right. It is a story about womanhood, immigration, my remarkably uneventful experience of dating R. Kelly, and the intersection between the American pop culture and the #MeToo movement. Let me start by saying that it took...

Is Brazil’s Soft Power Under Threat?

Is Brazil’s Soft Power Under Threat?

February 21, 2020

An image isn’t just worth a thousand words. A good public image generates better market positions, healthier interpersonal relationships and, of course, profits. When it comes to a country’s image, its importance is even bigger, not only for economic growth but for the safety of its citizens....

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