Dear White People and Lorde: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Adam Rose / Netflix

Dear White People Is Hilarious, Real, and Necessary
Pilot Viruet | Vice
“All of these characters are honest and multi-dimensional, tasked with navigating the gap between how they see themselves and how others see them, while constantly code-switching throughout the day. They’re also fully aware of their contradictions in a specific way central to our culture: admitting to secretly streaming The Cosby Show, raging against Apple’s slave labor while scrolling through an iPhone. Dear White People is very much about our culture—it's not a show made with white people’s comfort in mind, nor should it be—which is what makes it so remarkable and affecting.”

Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press, a Century Later
Rafia Zakaria | The Guardian
“The publishing business that the two set up in their drawing room and which would eventually take up their dining room, then much of their lives, was supposed to be an answer to so much. It was a physically engrossing activity to ease Virginia’s crippling anxiety, a business that could potentially free the couple from the whims of publishers and even a social outlet through which their diverse literary friendships could be monetized.”

Why Lorde Is a Great Dancer
Aimee Cliff | The Fader
“Lorde isn’t trying to dance like Beyoncé and failing; she’s dancing like Lorde. From ‘Rhythm Nation’ to ‘...Baby One More Time,’ so much of Western Top 40 pop (and particularly pop made by women) has centered on pristine choreography. What Lorde does with her body is more freeform and spontaneous, and it speaks an entirely different expressive language.”

Recommended Reading

Rei Kawabuko, Interpreter of Dreams
Leanne Shapton | The New York Times Magazine
“Kawakubo’s clothes don’t move from day to evening. They don’t flatter. They don’t slim. They don’t fit perfectly or offer comfort or reassurance. But then, given a beat, they do all of the above. They are not simply clothes: They are ideas. They are feelings. Kawakubo once said that her collections begin as ‘nonverbal, abstract images inside of me.’”

The Love and Terror of Nick Cave
Chris Heath | GQ
“The way these new Nick Cave shows work doesn’t really make sense in theory. He comes onstage and begins with three of the most aching moments from Skeleton Tree; the pulsing washes of music that carry them are so desolate and stark that they're almost not songs at all but something much more fragile. You can feel a sense in the room that something mesmerizing is happening, but it's also hard to imagine where he can go from here.”

The Rise of the Global Novelist
Siddhartha Deb | The New Republic
“Foreign writers might still be considered strange or different, and they might not be covered at all. But even the notoriously elitist, insular establishment of book reviewers in New York did not see their novels as completely out of place in a world rapidly being shaped by globalization. In an era of cheap air travel, digital communications, consumerism, worldwide urbanization, and the dominance of English—all overseen by the United States as the world’s single remaining imperial power—readers, editors, and critics found it easy to welcome works by Haruki Murakami or Orhan Pamuk and the snapshots of foreign life they reveal.”

The Ghost of the GOAT
Howard Beck | Bleacher Report
“Google searches for ‘the next Michael Jordan’ had begun dropping by then, and, aside from a brief spike in early 2013 as [LeBron] James was picking up his second championship, the phrase has been a mere blip ever since. Though the label has lingered, no top prospect since James got saddled with the expectations. The lineage effectively ended with him. As it turns out, a new generation was rising, ready to fill the void with their own brand of dominance and showmanship and mind-bending talent. It's just that they look and play nothing like Michael Jordan.”

Elisabeth Moss Is the Queen of Peak TV
Jada Yuan | Vulture
“If Mad Men announced Moss as an undeniable acting talent, then The Handmaid’s Tale and Top of the Lake, which debuts its second season this fall, have vaulted her into a class of her own. Someday we will look out on the TV landscape and countless actresses will have Moss’s career: natives of the medium who were raised on some of the best shows in history and bring with them a purity of experience in serialized storytelling that only adds to the depths of their characters.”