Terry Richardson and Literary Parties: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment

Terry Richardson
Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP

The Utter Meaninglessness of the Fashion Industry’s Shunning of Terry Richardson
Robin Givhan | The Washington Post
“It’s not just some narcissistic photographer with a warped definition of ‘consent.’ It’s inhumane model bookers, self-indulgent designers, greedy stage parents, and other creative types who treat women as something other than sentient, thoughtful individuals. Fashion denounced Richardson. Finally. Sort of. But frankly, it doesn’t much matter. Such egregious behavior may no longer be cool, but it’s still in fashion.”

How I Became Good at Literary Parties
Christian Lorentzen | Vulture
“Parties are a crucial part of the equation in publishing. … Writers do their work in solitude, but it’s sometimes good for them to get out, too, even when it’s only among kids who will fawn over them. It’s at parties that they play the role of Writer, acquiring allies and rivals. They might even pick up material, an idea, or at least a notion of what not to write.”

How Movie Theaters, TV Networks, and Classrooms Are Changing the Way They Show Gone With the Wind
Aisha Harris | Slate
“With more and more people becoming aware of the movie’s most offensive elements, could it ever go the way of The Birth of a Nation or that other iconic example of searing, dangerous agitprop from across the ocean, Triumph of the Will? … It’s hard to imagine the same thing happening to Gone With the Wind. To many, its cinematic innovations and the fascinating heroine at its center can still be appreciated even while conscious of its disgraceful aspects.”

All Consuming Women
Rhonda Garelick | The Cut
“Popular culture tells us who we are, it fosters and perpetuates our values. And so regardless of our level of feminist awareness, most of us consume, normalize, and to some degree internalize the limited images of womanhood presented to us. … We are accustomed to a pop culture universe—to film and TV plots, advertisements and fashion shoots—in which men ‘do’ and women mostly ‘are’—are pretty, are looked at, are victimized, are desired, are dressed and undressed.”

Surviving R. Kelly
Jason Newman | Rolling Stone
“The girls [the July BuzzFeed feature] focused on met Kelly when they were in their teens; [Kitti] Jones was different. She had a career. A car. An ex-husband. A child. She’d been working in radio for more than five years and was used to being around celebrities. … Over the course of multiple interviews with Jones and others familiar with her situation, what emerges is a detailed account of her relationship with Kelly and a firsthand look at life in the singer's inner circle.”

Going Deep: Baseball and Philosophy
Kieran Setiya | Public Books
“Baseball is the most philosophical of games because, like philosophy at its best, it harmonizes meaning with meticulous analysis. There is no opposition between wonder at the double play, the home run, or the perfect game … In fact, it is the arithmetic and geometry of the game that best disclose its truth. The highest aspiration of philosophy is to be both rigorous and humanistic, to place analytical thought in the service of human values. Baseball shows us that it can be done.”

When ‘Stan’ Became a Verb
Ann-Derrick Gaillot | The Outline
“Though Eminem gave the world the image of Stan, Nas showed the world how to put ‘stan’ to work, having used it in his classic 2001 diss track ‘Ether.’ … His is the first recorded usage of ‘stan’ as a label (and a pejorative one) for an obsessive fan rather than the name of the fan himself. From there ‘stan’ slowly took off, and while the noun’s pejorative meaning remains, the murderous intent it was originally associated with has nearly disappeared.”

The Oscars in a Post-Harvey Weinstein World
Sean Fennessey | The Ringer
“Once the disrupter, Weinstein now appears to be another in a long line of domineering but weakened tycoons with monstrous predilections forever cast in a shadow of his own monstrosity. The movie business never need meet another Harvey Weinstein again—but it does need a transfusion of new and talented facilitators. Could this be the year that some of them emerge?”