Pop Culture

photograph of Ellen Degeneres relaxing on couch

Ellen, George W. Bush, and the Duty to Be Kind

Ellen has defended herself against recent public backlash by asserting a basic obligation to be kind to others. What might this duty entail? What might be its limits?
Drawing of Kanye West in profile

Should POC Forgive Kanye?

What might Kanye need absolution for, who might he need it from, and are they inclined to grant it?
Image of "CANCELLED" stamp in red

Busch Light and Carson King: The Good and the Bad of...

The Carson King saga is just the latest chapter in the debate on the value of cancel culture. Is public shaming on social media about anything more than exposure?
Cropped, black-and-white headshot of a white woman with dark hair, pearl earrings wearing a white blouse and dark blazer.

On the Legitimacy of Moral Advice from the Internet

Seeking out moral advice from, and offering moral advice to, strangers in a public forum is nothing new. What has changed are the qualifications to claim moral expertise.
photograph of Radio City Music Hall

When Is Comedy Over the Line? The Departure of Shane Gillis...

Gillis's recent dismissal from SNL raises questions about free speech and the boundaries of offensive content.
photograph of framed polaroid of Caroline Calloway

Deceptive Vulnerability: Caroline Calloway and the “Unlikeable Woman”

Brand-building is taking on the guise of genuine openness. What's the harm? How should we respond when vulnerability obscures more than it reveals?
photograph of flag ceremony at NFL football game

Jay-Z and Colin Kaepernick: Is It Business or Personal?

What responsibility, if any, does JAY-Z have with regards to Colin Kaepernick and his partnership with the NFL?
photograph of Jay-Z mural

Jay-Z and the NFL: Hypocrisy or Suite Participation?

What, if any, obligation does Jay-Z, as a high-profile advocate for social justice and a recognizable brand, have to not condone or distract from the NFL's many public relation problems?
photograph of videogame mystery box

Are Loot Boxes “Quite Ethical”?

Recent rulings have called the loot box mechanics used in franchises like FIFA and Star Wars Battlefront "gambling for children." What's the danger?
photograph of a man's reflected image on mirror taken by iphone

What Technological Dystopias Can Tell Us About Human Values

The vision of technological dystopia presented by Black Mirror covers diverse topics ranging from the nature of consciousness to the essence of parenting.