Fifty Shades and a Fashion Oligarch: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment


The First Female Oligarch of Fashion
Eric Konigsberg | New York Magazine
"What would Madame Vionnet make of Goga Ashkenazi?"

Sex, Lies, and Fifty Shades
Leslie Bennetts | Entertainment Weekly
"The real reasons for the popularity of Fifty Shades ... are rooted in what it actually means to live life in a female body."

After the Fall
Brin-Jonathan Butler | SB Nation
"25 years after Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas, why do we still have sympathy for the devil?"

This is the final word on Gamergate—and it's from Law & Order: SVU
Caitlin Dewey | The Washington Post
"How does the average American see Gamergate, six months on? According to Law & Order, at least, like a menacing, high-tech fever dream—which should surprise nobody."

The Plot to Kill the Slam Dunk
Andrew Heisel | Vice
"From as early as 1930 until the late 1980s, not a year went by without talk of raising the rim—and with it, killing the dunk—in order to cure the game's ills."

In Defense of Kanye's Vanity: The Politics of Black Self-Love
Heben Nigatu | Buzzfeed
"The concept of vanity is so rooted in the idea of a singular narcissist that it can be hard to catch that Kanye speaks almost from a populist perspective."

Why Jon Stewart Was Bad for the Liberals Who Loved Him
Jamelle Bouie | Slate
"The emblematic Stewart posture isn’t a joke or a witticism, it’s a sneer—or if we’re feeling kind, a gentle barb—coupled with a protest: I’m just a comedian."

We Gave Seventies Rock Stars a License to Behave Badly
Neil McCormick | The Telegraph
"Glitter was able to commit his crimes because he was hiding in plain sight."

From Afghanistan With Love
Mujib Mashal | Matter
"A popular new call-in show is helping a generation of Afghans navigate a battlefield full of strife and confusion and fear: modern love."

Dean Smith: 1931-2015
Charles P. Pierce | Grantland
"Smith would have been a great basketball coach if he’d gone along and gotten along. He might have won 879 games eventually, after other coaches had made the choices and changed the world. But he would not have been the man he was, and that makes all the difference today."