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?
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 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?
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?

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.
photograph of cain statue

Unpacking Our Guilty Pleasures

There are a multitude of pleasures that we might feel bad about engaging in, but not all activities carry the same moral weight. And many are not simply a private affair.
photograph of women shoplifting makeup

Can Shoplifting Be Activism?

A new movement has developed around shoplifting as an anti-corporate political protest. Does it work? Can it?
photograph of Disney castle

Gay Representation and ‘Onward’

Corporations often try to brand themselves as inclusive and progressive, but is there any substance behind these labels or is it all just marketing?
photograph of TikTok icon on ipod sitting on empty counter

Is TikTok Good or Bad for Rap?

Is this new medium reducing art to a formulaic hunt for virality or is it inspiring innovation and increasing independent artists' opportunity for exposure?
photograph of D&D figurines and dice

Dungeons, Dragons, and Du Bois’ Race Problem

What might be the real-world harm of racial essentialism in a fantasy role-playing game? What does it take to confront the Veil?