YA and NBA and EDM and EW: The Week's Best Pop-Culture Writing

The most intriguing articles about entertainment we've come across in the past seven days

Let us know what we missed.

No, You Do Not Have to Be Ashamed of Reading Young Adult Fiction
Alyssa Rosenberg | The Washington Post
"It is not as if we are naifs one moment and jaded adults the next. The passage to maturity can be a shattering thing. Preparing yourself for that transition or looking back on that metamorphosis is hardly an un-serious act."

The Tortured History of Entertainment Weekly
Anne Helen Petersen | The Awl
"EW's rise, scattered identity, brilliant heyday and slow, gradual decline mirrors the same journey of Time Warner's conglomerate hopes and dreams. The leading magazine company weds a film and television giant? It all looked so great on paper."

In the Club: Country's Fascination With EDM
Jewly Hight | Rolling Stone
"This year, the country-dance trend is so inescapable even longtime veterans are retooling their sounds to stay current. Rascal Flatts incorporated club-friendly touches on their new album, Rewind, after their Big Machine label boss Scott Borchetta advised them to study the current pop landscape. 'He didn't mean just specifically say country music—he meant all music,' Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney said."

The 14 Pieces of Software That Shaped Modern Music
John Twells | Fact
"In 2014, you can even make music on your phone—with software that would put a decrepit copy of Opcode Vision to shamebut those old programs that many of us had to plough through, crash after crash, were absolutely crucial in informing not only the digital audio workstations and suites of plug-ins that we have available to us now, but also the music itself."

The World Cup of Dissonance
Laurent Dubois | The New Republic
"What, exactly, happened yesterday? A day years, even decades, in preparation, meant to be an joyful invocation, an invitation to the world, and a crowning for Brazil's state and Brazil's team, instead made abundantly clear how fragile this tournament might turn out to be."

All Is Lost
Jon Bois | SB Nation
"By any means or definition we can achieve, killing the NBA is the mission of this season finale of NBA Y2K, a series that was initially meant to run far longer than five episodes."

Thinking of Ruby Dee
Hilton Als | The New Yorker
"The magic of Dee’s work in those roles was such that she became a different person altogether—I did not understand how, but she did—beautifully suited and a little flirtatious and always serious about what someone else had to say"

Speed 20th Anniversary: Meet the Passengers of Bus 2525
Kristopher Tapley | Hitfix
"My part, after the rewrite, was down to about five lines, three of which I found offensive because this hero character had been sort of reverted to a stereotype, just another big, lumbering, Latino idiot. It was very distressing. I seriously contemplated leaving the project."

Presented by

Spencer Kornhaber is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the Entertainment channel. More

Before coming to The Atlantic, he worked as an editor for AOL's Patch.com and as a staff writer at Village Voice Media's OC Weekly. He has also written for Spin, The AV Club, RollingStone.com, Field & Stream, and The Orange County Register.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

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The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.


The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.


A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.


Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.


Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

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