Bieber, Twilight, and B-Ball: The Week in Culture


The Atlantic

A roundup of the week's biggest culture stories:

This week, we went on the defensive, declaring our allegiance to chick flicks, the Sabbath, Pierce Brosnan, and the Duke basketball team in the face of criticism. But we also picked our share of fights, calling out CBS for story-stealing, criticizing the American copyright system, and declaring the director of Clash of the Titans "so outrageously inept that [he] managed to make Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes look ridiculous."

In music, Janelle Monae released her latest video, a collaboration with Big Boi from Outkast—we explained why it's even more exciting than that Lady Gaga video everyone got so excited about last month. Justin Bieber dominated the pop charts with his second album, My World 2.0, and we gave him some career advice. But maybe no one should listen to us in the first place—we also discussed the diminishing role of of the music critic.

April is National Poetry Month, and we celebrated with a retrospective on The Atlantic's long history of publishing great verse and republished poems by Stanley Kunitz and Richard Wilbur.

In other literary news, we spoke with the author of a new biography of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, checked in on the progress of the upcoming film version of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, and discussed the newest addition to the phenomenally popular Twilight saga.

The culture world lost two icons: Treme writer David Mills and teacher Jaime Escalante, who inspired the film Stand and Deliver.

And anchor blogger Ta-Nehisi responded to actress Jill Scott's comments about black men who marry white women, then elaborated here and here. The marriage discussion continued after the New York Times' David Brooks published a column about Sandra Bullock's marital woes. The upshot of all of this?

The problem is that no committed person goes to bed with black spouse or a white spouse. They go to bed with someone who does, or doesn't, think it's a bad idea to blow the rent-check on school clothes. They go to bed with someone who does, or doesn't, think it's a priority to keep the living room clean. They go to be bed with someone who does, or doesn't, want children. In other words, they go to bed with an individual who (hopefully) has very specific idea about their life that goes beyond whether the revolution will be televised, or not.