Children of Blood and Bone and the Importance of the Black Imagination in the West

Tomi Adeyemi’s success with Children of Blood and Bone is especially important for our cultural moment.

How Lava Lamps Made Sex Boring Again

Walker described the lamp as “Freudian” and evocative of the primordial ooze, because apparently no one bothered to take him aside and say, “It’s just a lamp, Ed.”

McCarthyism Was Driven by a Lot of Bluster, Paranoia, and Hearsay, Which for Legal Purposes Is a Fact Unrelated to the Present Political Moment

These hearings, like everything McCarthy had done up to this point, were fueled mainly by McCarthy’s desire to further his own career.

The Ickabog: A Fairy Tale and a Parable to Sear Our Consciences

I feel a searing of my own conscience as I read The Ickabog, especially in the context of events unfolding across America with the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.

Why Tickle Me Elmo Is the Key to Understanding Our Current Political Chaos (Sort Of)

It was obviously a touch ironic that Sesame Street, as a show created for poor inner-city kids, was inspiring such rabid suburban consumerism, but at the time, it was actually exactly what Sesame Street needed.

Don’t Wait to Engage with Black Stories

We must also educate ourselves, immersing ourselves in the stories and experiences of the Black communities and individuals in America.

No, There Isn’t a Global Satanic Cult That Ritually Abuses Millions of Children, but for a Long Time We All Really Wanted to Believe There Was

It’s not really a mystery why people yearn to believe bizarre and dramatic tales of evil: the actual truth about evil is that it’s mundane, pervasive, and unfixable, at least to us mortals.

Profound Grief Through Teen Eyes in Never Have I Ever 

What you will find in Never Have I Ever is a surprisingly profound look at grief through the eyes of teenagers.

Why Tulips Briefly Cost More Than Mansions

If you don’t have any sort of hope beyond death, the absurdity of everything tends to hit you hard. And then you end up doing stupid stuff, like betting the family farm on a bunch of tulips.

“Bye bye, Li’l Sebastian”: A Parks and Rec Special, A Farewell to Normalcy, and A Meeting of Old Friends

“A song about a miniature horse can be just what we all need right now.”

‘Loving Lifeless Things’: Virtual Reality and Deepfake Resurrections

How do we make sense of truth in a world where deepfakes are leaping from the big screen into our homes?

Virtual Reality was Virtually Real, for About Five Minutes in the Nineties

Ultimately, the problem with VR was that it, like so much that happened in the nineties, put technology ahead of content.

Everybody Loses: Tiger King, Greek Tragedy, and Spectacle as Entertainment

If you enjoy watching powerful and manipulative people subjugate vulnerable people (and animals) to fulfill their own pleasure, then maybe you should take a step back and examine yourself.

In the Middle Ages, Dance Crazes Were Literal, Actual Crazes

Accounts of unstoppable, contagious dancing fools date as far back as the seventh century, and hail from nearly all parts of Europe.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Social Distancing and Storytelling During the Pandemic

Many of us use humor as a defense mechanism when things go dark, but Waititi seems to use humor as joy-finding—a way of mining light out of dark ore.

This Lent, Let’s Fast from Toilet Paper (No, For Real)

Let’s give generously to the ones who need it and the ones who are helping. And maybe, I dunno, put that giant pack of Quilted Northern back on the rack.