Appropriating the King of Pop: The Far Right Co-Opts Michael Jackson

October 08, 2021

Michael Jackson has been named the "king of pop" for his timeless hits as a member of the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist. His lyrics have brought individuals across the world together as one. "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" are some of his best-known songs, but it is "They Don't Really Care About Us"...

From Opera to MMA: Nationalist Symbolism and the German Far Right
August 12, 2021

From Opera to MMA: Nationalist Symbolism and the German Far Right

The Musical Is Political: Black Metal and the Extreme Right
August 10, 2021

The Musical Is Political: Black Metal and the Extreme Right

MTV at 40: Did Video Kill the Radio Star?
July 30, 2021

MTV at 40: Did Video Kill the Radio Star?

The Cultural Power of Anitta in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

The Cultural Power of Anitta in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

June 25, 2021

Anitta is turning her back on Brazil — and for a good reason. One of the most successful Brazilian singers of the 21st century, she alone gathered over 370,000 people in just one carnival block in Rio early last year. But now she wants millions more, and from all over the world. In late...

The Afterlife of Michael Jackson

The Afterlife of Michael Jackson

June 23, 2021

Dear Michael Jackson, This is the first letter I’ve written to a dead person, though you’re still alive in a sense, aren’t you? There were always two Michael Jacksons: one, the flesh-and-blood mortal who succumbed 12 years ago; the other, a product of countless people’s imaginations, a...

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

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

May 20, 2021

What is it about some great artists that makes them want to be someone else? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of Sherlock Holmes, aspired to be a historical novelist like Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoyevsky, neglecting that he created some of the finest detective fiction of all time. François...

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...

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