Blink-182 and Game of Thrones: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

Helen Sloan / HBO

The Internet Accused Alice Goffman of Faking Details in Her Study of a Black Neighborhood. I Went to Philadelphia to Check.
Jesse Singal | New York Magazine
“‘They’re funny to people,’ Goffman said of these videos. ‘They’re really funny, these cat videos. And my feeling was, these cats don’t have any choice in this, and why are they being pushed into the bathtub for sport for all of the humans to watch?’”

I Made a Linguistics Professor Listen to a Blink-182 Song and Analyze the Accent
Dan Nosowitz | Atlas Obscura
Pop-punk vocals are on the forefront of shifting regional dialects and, especially, a major vocal change happening in California in the past few decades. The three-minute pop-punk song, one of the dumbest forms of music ever conceived (in a good way, I’d say), maybe isn’t so dumb, after all.”

Cersei’s Walk of Shame and Game of Thrones’ Evolution on Sexual Violence

Amanda Marcotte | Slate

“More than any other in the show’s history, this season showed the writers' deep understanding of sexual violence: that it’s not about titillation or sexual gratification, but about dominance.”

This Is the Part Where I Defend Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Dave Ehrlich | The Dissolve

“I first saw the movie at its storied premiere (every Sundance has that one screening that feels more like a happening), after which I called it ‘The Citizen Kane of teen cancer tearjerkers,’ a somewhat backhanded compliment that nevertheless was meant to convey a genuine admiration for what I’d just watched. A little more than a month after returning to sea level, I learned my dad had a Grade IV brain tumor.”

Film From the Ashes
John Lingan | The Verge
“Cultural artifacts, like natural ones, go extinct as a matter of course. The question is simply how to carry history into each new era. There will never be a final film format; the movies will keep getting upgraded and compressed into tinier units of digital memory. But as they do, the world’s slowly improving stock of nitrate film will beckon—romantic, profound, extraordinarily novel.”

Start-up Costs: Silicon Valley, Halt and Catch Fire, and How Microserfdom Ate the World
Alex Pappademas | Grantland
“Rather than an on-the-ground account of the first tech boom, then, Microserfs is an inadvertent time capsule of the moment just before the explosive growth of the consumer-facing Internet transformed society’s relationship to technology.”

LeBron’s Handling of Blatt Unbecoming
Marc Stein | ESPN
“James’ otherworldly performance in this series, on top of everything he’s done for Northeast Ohio just by returning to the area and revitalizing it beyond words, doesn't make any of this stuff palatable.”

Painting’s Point-Man
Peter Schjeldahl | The New Yorker
“Among other things, Oehlen offers an insight into why digital pictorial mediums can be exciting—and certainly are triumphant in global visual culture—but still fail to sustain intellectual interest or to nourish the soul. They are all in the head.”