Long Live the Bee Gees and Weird Al: The Week's Best Pop-Culture Writing

The most intriguing articles about entertainment we've come across in the past seven days.
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Let us know what we missed.

Nadine Gordimer: Evergreen, Ageless, and an Inspiration to All Writers
Margaret Atwood | The Guardian
"If you know that the beautiful manner of living you yourself enjoy is built on a foundation of misery deliberately imposed on innocents, can you in conscience do nothing? Her own answer was always no."

I'm Sorry for Coining the Phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl"
Nathan Rabin | Salon
"I coined the phrase to call out cultural sexism and to make it harder for male writers to posit reductive, condescending male fantasies of ideal women as realistic characters. But I looked on queasily as the phrase was increasingly accused of being sexist itself."

What Even Our Best Blockbusters Are Getting Wrong About Women
Kyle Buchanan | Vulture
"When I asked the brainy, talkative Reeves why there was so little for women to do in Dawn [of the Planet of the Apes], he fell uncharacteristically silent. 'It wasn’t a conscious decision. I don’t know,' he finally admitted."

It's Never Enough
Will Leitch | Sports on Earth
"It was the perfect final All-Star Game for Derek Jeter because, in one moment, what Jeter is, and what we demand him to be, came into vivid focus. We are nearing the end of Jeter's career, and we still can't let him be anything but perfect. "

I Killed At the Movies
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky | The AV Club
"Siskel and Ebert had years to master the crosstalk before anyone started paying attention. The show grew slowly, its hosts’ personas developing alongside the format. We had months, so we cheated a little."

I'm Not a Tart: The Feminist Subtext of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
Leighton Meester | The Huffington Post
"The insults are thrown at Curley's wife: bitch, tramp, tart. The further along in the production we go, the more I realize that the audience agrees."

Don't Cry for Messi, Argentina. This Germany Team Is One of the Best in Years.
Jeremy Stahl | Slate
"Messi did nothing to cement his legendary status in the final, but nor did he need to do so. If Messi played on a team as good as Germany, the World Cup wouldn’t be a fair competition."

Islands in the Stream
Bob Stanley | The Paris Review
"Total pop domination can have fierce consequences. Elvis had been packed off to the army; the Beatles had received Ku Klux Klan death threats—the Bee Gees received the mother of all backlashes, taking the full brunt of the anti-disco movement."

Weird Al Endures
Ian Crouch | The New Yorker
"The last time that 'Weird Al' Yankovic seemed to enjoy cultural relevance as a parody artist may simply have been the last time that you were twelve years old."

Boyhood and the Golden Age of Child Acting
Alyssa Rosenberg | The Washington Post
"Young characters, in other words, have gotten some of the same permission to be complicated people that has been extended to their elders. And young actors have taken full advantage of the parts that are being written for them, turning in performances of wonderful humor and melancholy."

Presented by

Spencer Kornhaber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music. He was previously an editor at Patch.com and a staff writer at OC Weekly. He has written for Spin, The AV Club, and RollingStone.com.

Katie Kilkenny is an editorial fellow with The Atlantic​.

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