I tend to be a defender of Eminem's poppier impulses, as long as they make good use of his skill set. If he wants to hang out on a mediocre mishmash with Drake and Lil' Wayne? Fine, as long as he delivers an insanely fast, clearly articulated, clever verse when it's his time to step up to the mic. Want to create an extremely particularistic vision of self-help? Sure, as long as the video's kind of neat, and there are enough worthwhile turns of phrase, delivered at sufficiently high speed for me to enjoy the talent involved. But I draw the line at Em's duet with Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie." For two talented performers in transitional phases of their careers, it's a surrender to their worst impulses:
Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.