Culture I

Welcome to Culture! An inconsistent accounting of the zeitgeist performed by my proprietary mind using purely qualitative methods!

Pop Culture

America has no culture because we let a celebrity become President and now there is only politics

Music

Kacey Musgraves and Cardi B

I thought that our idiot, white-supremacist, anti-environment, virulently late-capitalist president would inspire lots of good music. You can read other critics but here’s my take – weak! Sad! There haven’t been too many musical bright spots so far in 2018, but Kacey Musgraves and Cardi B have arrived to shine. Musgraves’ new album, Golden Hour isn’t really my bag (her pop-country stylings bring to mind a post-Weinstein early-Taylor Swift in which women are strong and have agency despite facing age-old conundrums) but the writing is excellent, the production is gorgeous, and the gal can howl.

Cardi B is an enigma. Her video-vixen-turned-rap-ingenue narrative is dope and she is, lyrically, the baddest bitch in the game at time of writing. After early hits like “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” arrived drenched in swag, this week she gave us “Be Careful,” a borderline-ballad kiss-off combo that is the most #MeToo rap song so far. She’s basically telling her boyfriend (Offset, of Migos fame) that she’s fragile so be careful but also she will fuck him up and ruin his life so be careful. Ugh, it’s dope.

Movies

A little stir has been stirred by Love, Simon which is a movie about a gay romance. We have reached a cultural moment when the liberals must decide – do we like this because it’s gay or is it actually a good movie depicting a nuanced love story regardless? Also – can a good movie about gay love be written by a straight person?

Sports

Sister Jean, a nun and the team chaplain for March Madness Cinderella Loyola-Chicago went through the traditional meteoric rise to stardom and subsequent fall from grace of fame in America, as her team outperformed expectations and then she hinted that NCAA players shouldn’t be paid

Villanova won its second title in three years and continued the “Philly Philly” run of Philadelphia-area teams winning championships in 2018. The city greased its poles once again.

Major League Baseball opening day. Hold this thought until July when it recurs to you

NBA and NHL playoff pictures are coming into focus. If you are a fair-weather fan of any basketball or hockey teams, now is the time to start caring  

LeBron James: LeBron is, arguably, putting up the best numbers of his career despite being a 15-year veteran. His run is Kareem-esque and we may not see anything like it for a long time

Politics

Trump is waging a personal war against Jeff Bezos. Here’s what I understand:

  1. Trump doesn’t like the coverage he’s getting from WaPo, so he’s attacking another Bezos business, Amazon, saying they owe the US Postal Service more
  2. Amazon is actually a MAJOR client of USPS, so this is a dangerous lie
  3. Amazon has lost $34Bn in market cap since Trump started complaining

Trade warz and other non-traditional economics:

  1. Trump is sauntering into a trade war with China
  2. China is done playing games, put significant tariffs on 128 American goods yesterday
  3. The DJIA dropped 500 points yesterday between the looming trade wars and recent losses by tech giants (Facebook, Amazon [see above])
  4. The ongoing fallout from revelations that Facebook was used by political operatives in the 2016 election is sinking all tech ships, as “privacy” becomes the next stop on our collective nostalgia tour, right between the Roseanne reboot and whatever comes next
  5. According to NYT Economist Paul Krugman, Trump’s tax cut alone should’ve boosted revenues by 8% and the fact that stocks are net-negative since the cut is a very bad sign

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