Bruce Springsteen and LeBron James: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment

Charles Sykes / Invision / AP

The Limits of Loving the Boss
Ann Powers | NPR
“[Springsteen], too, is a disruptor of sorts, a protest singer with strong progressive views and a commitment to the voices he hears speaking from society's margins. He’s grown more committed to that stance over time. Yet the dissident Springsteen emerges from a highly ordered framework, one that still elevates the noble individualism at the heart of American self-perceptions.”

What Are White Writers For?
Jess Row | The New Republic
“Since high school, I’d known people, some of them intimate friends, who wanted to desperately escape their own whiteness. I felt that the longing to escape our own racial bodies was everywhere, from silly acts of what Shriver calls ‘trying on other people’s hats,’ to identity-switching and disguise, and finally to radical plastic surgery.  But this desire was found almost nowhere in contemporary fiction.”

The Internet Win Alone, Together
Rawiya Kameir | The Fader
“While today’s music industry seems designed to cycle artists through an overnight rise and eventual flameout, The Internet is playing the long game. ‘We are about the band,’ Matt says, ‘but at the same time, “What you got going on? Let’s get this shit popping. Let’s get this shit popping!”’ If it’s good for The Internet’s members, it’s good for The Internet.”

When Women Signify Too Much
Jia Tolentino | The New Yorker
“Neither the robbery nor the unmasking was a gender-specific privation. But both Ferrante and Kardashian West were targeted because they are famous, and the celebrity of each woman is connected to the ways in which she has navigated the predicament of womanhood. And while their methods are diametrically opposed, both have made it their life’s work to express a specifically feminine point of view.”

The Final Stretch of LeBron’s Race Towards Greatness
Jonathan Tjarks | The Ringer
“What makes him unique is how quickly he racked up such a massive workload. No player in the history of the NBA has played as many minutes as LeBron at his age. He’s a walking science experiment, quantifying how much high-level professional basketball the human body can withstand before it starts to break down.”

The Hard Lessons of Hey Arnold, 20 Years On
Caroline Framke | Vox
Hey Arnold wove urban legends into its empathetic narrative of how hard it can be to grow up—and how rewarding the process can be when you have some friends and a whole lot of imagination.”

Letter of Complaint: Cards Against Humanity
Dan Brooks | The New York Times Magazine
“Because the premise of the game is that you play the cards you’re dealt, players get points for creating shocking combinations but don’t have to take responsibility for them. The genius of Cards Against Humanity, as a party game, is that it encourages intimacy by allowing players to violate norms together without worrying about offending one another.”