Donald Glover and YA Twitter: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment

Donald Glover performing at a music festival
Charles Sykes / Invision / AP

Underestimate Donald Glover at Your Own Peril
Lacey Rose | The Hollywood Reporter
“What distinguishes the 33-year-old—arguably the most prolific creator of his generation, racking up accolades as a writer, producer, director, rapper, stand-up and, now, movie star—is not only his unique voice and versatility, but also his desire, through his work, to get under people's skin and make them think, even if they aren't always comfortable doing so.”

The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter
Kat Rosenfield | Vulture
“Led by a group of influential authors who pull no punches when it comes to calling out their colleagues’ work, and amplified by tens of thousands of teen and young-adult followers for whom online activism is second nature, the campaigns to keep offensive books off shelves are a regular feature in a community that’s as passionate about social justice as it is about reading.”

‘I’ve Not Retired!’ Earl Cameron, Britain’s First Black Film Star, on Bond, Racism—and Turning 100
Xan Brooks | The Guardian
“If Cameron never quite achieved leading-man status, that was hardly his fault—there were other factors at play. One might describe him as the best black British actor of his generation, which is another way of saying that he stood alone at the top, waiting for others to climb up and join him.”

Darrin McMahon | Literary Review
“In delineating these distinctions in the minds of contemporaries and developing celebrity as a category of analysis, [Antoine] Lilti shows how celebrity was fundamentally democratic, in that anyone could attain it, and also keenly adapted to modern individualism, in that it encouraged empathy with individual people, not social types. Yet all along, he emphasizes its fundamentally double-edged nature—for celebrities and their publics alike.”

The Story of the Duck Tales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music
Darryn King | Vanity Fair
“Psychological studies tell us that the more often we hear a song, the more likely we are to enjoy it. Nostalgia plays a part too. For many, the DuckTales theme is inextricably tied up with happy, potent memories of childhood, of after-school television-watching and put-off homework. But the DuckTales theme also happens to be a superb piece of music. It’s not only a high point of an underrated musical form, but an exquisite miniature pop classic in its own right.”

Queen of the Wood Nymphs
Amy LaRocca | The Cut
“Rodarte’s fashion shows have been unusual in form ... and the Mulleavys’ filmmaking style is purposefully disorienting. They use mirror reflections and other, subtle displacements to keep its lush, extreme beauty from becoming some sort of bucolic, soothing travelogue. It was going to take a specific kind of actress to thrive in that setting, and Theresa was always only ever going to be played by Kirsten Dunst, who knows a thing or two about disorientation.”

Did 1997 Contain the Worst Two Weeks in Music History?
Sean O’Neal and Clayton Purdom | The A.V. Club
“They contain so many signifiers of the myriad terrible directions music was taking at the time, alongside omens of the worst still yet to come. Even if OK Computer or Life After Death had arrived during those two weeks, I’m not sure it could overcome the portentous weight of all these oracles of a world about to be dominated by some of the stupidest music ever made.”

What Would Diplo Do? and the Millennial Aesthetic of Viceland
Amanda Petrusich | The New Yorker
“If one were to engage in the treacherous and perhaps worthless work of trying to discern the millennial condition … from Viceland’s lineup, one might observe a fascination with fringe communities, or a belief that journalism should be dangerous if not borderline illicit, or a particular kind of humor that involves the unapologetic intermingling of high and low culture. It also suggests an intolerance for self-importance, particularly when practiced by people in positions of influence or advantage.”