David Bowie and Netflix's Superstar: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

The highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Let’s Dance: David Bowie’s Everlasting Influence on Pop Music
Maura Johnston | Noisey
“Removing David Bowie from the last half-century of pop would result in its edges being less pointed, its colors being less vibrant, its playfulness being reined in sharply; talking about how Bowie influenced it is like talking about how oxygen affects the breathing process.”

Adam Sandler, Streaming Superstar
Amanda Hess | Slate
“In a press release announcing the partnership, Netflix praised Sandler’s ‘prolific’ pace, and quoted Sandler as saying, ‘When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only: Netflix rhymes with “wet chicks.”’ Sandler is getting a big paycheck, and Netflix is getting exactly what it paid for: fast, unfiltered, Z-grade misogyny.”

Standing Up to Sexual Harassment and Assault in L.A.’s Comedy Scene
Katie J.M. Baker | Buzzfeed
“When women share unfiltered information, it’s often called gossip, or, even worse, a witch hunt. But there’s been a cultural shift in recent years, from college campuses to the military, where women have taken advantage of new platforms to speak freely and publicly instead of depending on the so-called proper procedures that have let them down—and institutions have been forced to listen.”

Words Unwired
Lorin Stein | The New York Times
“By writing offline, literally and metaphorically, this new generation of writers gives us the intimacy, the assurance of their solitude. They let us read the word ‘I’ and feel that it’s not attached to a product. They let us read an essay, or a stanza, and feel the silence around it—the actual, physical stillness of a body when it’s deep in thought.”

Meat Market
David A. Banks and Britney Summit-Gil | The New Inquiry
“The perfectly stirred cocktail or the well-balanced soup broth is not the end product of scientific trial and error in some food lab meant to impress you. Rather, the authentic culture commodities invite you to believe you have found something that is indifferent to your existence—the food culture of some far away community—and in that moment when you successfully purchase them, you feel as though you have been invited into a cherished tradition.”

Drake’s Playground
Laur M. Jackson | The Awl
“Though perhaps not in terms of monetized spread, the new school reigns online, headed by rappers whose style can best be described as internet-extraordinaire: Tyler, The Creator; Childish Gambino; and others for whom persona seems as influenced by the internet as the other way around.”

Their Next Round
Rembert Browne | Vulture
“They’re excited to change preconceived notions about black film, while not abandoning the idea of being blacks in film. ‘Black art, it’s so complicated. Because there is no white art,’ Coogler said. ‘Because, whether people want to admit it or not, you know, in this country, in this culture, white is seen as the norm.’”

The Ideal Marriage, According to Novels
Adelle Waldman | The New Yorker
“In literature, the desire to find an equal, and the belief that love in its ideal form should comprise a meeting of minds as well as bodies, appears to be a much greater psychological driver for women than it is for men. This abstract difference ripples through the novels that men and women write in all sorts of ways.”

Against Neutrality
Teju Cole | The New York Times Magazine
“The camera is an instrument of transformation. It can make what it sees more beautiful, more gruesome, milder, darker, all the whole insisting on the plain reality of its depiction ... Photojournalism relating to war, prejudice, hatred, and violence pursues a blinkered neutrality at the expense of real fairness.”

Mr. (Swipe) Right?
Nellie Bowles | The California Sunday Magazine
“Every generation panics about young people having sex. How they’re doing it. Why they’re doing it. How often they’re doing it. And Tinder is the latest cause for alarm. There’s something jarring about knowing that millions of young people are finding mates based on headshots. But why?”