Category Arts and Culture

Is popularity dead?

A few years ago I finally took the plunge into Twitter. I fought it for a long time, until I finally realized all the benefits it offered me as a journalist and pop-culture enthusiast. But at some point last year I started to wonder if I had curated myself into a closed-off bubble. I wondered […]

Art in Public and Private

“Fandom has always been this interplay between the public and private, between the self-conscious broadcasts of band t-shirts and the quiet, devotional headphone moments.” – Lindsay Zoladz Zoladz recently wrote a piece for Pitchfork on Judee Sill and digital memorials for celebrities. She goes on to say: “And whatever a ‘virtual cemetery experience’ is, Find […]

How to Build a Monoculture: Memes, Social Media and Shared Experiences

Somewhere, someone in this country still remains oblivious to the four ubiquitous songs from 2012—fun.’s “We Are Young,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Psy’s “Gangman Style”—but, everyone I know, and I’m guessing almost anyone who regularly visits YouTube, immediately recognizes these songs. They have topped Billboard […]

An Artist’s Commentary

I’ve been listening to The Origin of Love, the new Mika album, on Spotify (if I decide I really like it, I’ll buy the CD). But, what’s interesting is the bonus version that has commentary for all the tracks. At first, I was in love with this idea. One of the things that fascinates me […]

This is a warning: Play On

A portrait of Irish artists after economic crash

“But everywhere I turned I saw evidence of a kind of social compact between artists and landlords you’d be hard-pressed to find in New York or London—a loose alliance that benefited both parties.”  – Lisa Abend Yet another reason to love Ireland—the pop-up art scenes. In the September issue of Afar magazine, Abend explores young Irish artists […]

“The Dark Knight Rises” shootings in Colorado

“…as someone who writes about movies, and who cares about the big, flawed thing we call fandom, I’m saddened by someone turning that shared enthusiasm into a weapon. And even if this tragedy hadn’t happened at the premiere of one of a dwindling number of genuinely mass cultural events, I hate the idea of using […]

The Art of Communication

“Artists don’t address themselves to audiences: they create audiences. The artist talks to himself out loud. If what he has to stay is significant, others hear and are affected.” – Edmund Snow Carpenter I came across this YouTube video by Vi Hart, a mathematician and creator. Carpenter’s decades-old message is still relevant today, as Hart […]

Racism and the Arts: From ‘Invisible Man’ to ‘The Hunger Games’

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”  – Ralph Ellison in  “Invisible Man” This quote was one of many statements Ellison made about his identity as a black man living in the early 20th century in his novel “Invisible Man.” As a 15-year-old, reading this novel proved to me the power of […]


There’s a poignant exchange in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona when Cristina, played by Scarlett Johansson, confesses, “I can appreciate art and I love music, but it’s sad, really, because I feel like I have a lot to express and I am not gifted.” I once felt like Woody Allen’s passionate yet lost character – […]