Pop Culture

The Good Place and the Good Life

NBC's show explores all manner of philosophical quandary, but focuses especially on the meaning of life and the morality in mortality.
blurry photograph of decorated Christmas trees

Christmas Music and Emotional Manipulation

Songs like Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" attempt to harness holiday sentiment to support charitable causes. Should they?
photograph of Lil' Kim on stage

The Jezebel Stereotype and Hip-Hop

Are black female artists fueling the jezebel stereotype or attempting to reclaim the narrative surrounding their sexuality?
photograph of unsmiling girl giving thumbs up

“OK Boomer” and the Generational Divide

Battle lines are being drawn, but what is the generational conflict really all about?
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?