What we read while reapplying to the Lingerie Football League…
What we read while deleting our unfortunately phrased tweets…
Like the majority of Americans born in the last half-century, I read The Catcher in the Rye in high school—part of the summer reading program before my sophomore year to be exact, when I was 15. Fifteen—as I believe Taylor Swift reminds us—is a strange time when it comes to reading: You’re stuck between more juvenile fiction and legitimate literature, with nothing specifically geared to you, especially if you’re male.
The Catcher in the Rye is pretty much the book* that bridges that gap between the short stories and novellas I had to read for middle school and the novels required for high school.** Salinger’s 1951 novel is that eminently accessible canonical work, and reading it is an eye-opening experience for so many teenagers because the novel is written on their terms. The Catcher in the Rye is like that teacher you have in high school who doesn’t talk down to you, who doesn’t follow regular lesson plans, and who makes you feel like he really cares. It’s the literary equivalent of Boy Meets World’s Mr. Turner. From its opening lines, Salinger’s novel acknowledges and celebrates the teenage mindset: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
*I mean the article literally; I cannot think of another book that should be read at the age of 15.
**I don’t know if my experience was unique, but in middle school, we had these big textbooks with “LITERATURE” on the front full of terrible excerpts from novels and terrible short stories and terrible novellas like John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. With these things in circulation, it’s a wonder anybody from my generation reads at all.
Continue reading »
As far as I know, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift do not hate each other. In fact, they appear to be on rather friendly terms in this YouTube video. At one point, Miley even referred to Taylor as her “best friend.”*
*Although, to be fair, she’s also applied that term to her dad, Nick Jonas, her YouTube talk-show co-host Mandy Jiroux, Liam Henson, the “Leslie” of “See You Again,” and, of course, God. Miley may have more “best friends” than any pop star in history.
So there is no obvious enmity between the two of them, but I feel like there should be. It seems to me that there should be a Highlanderesque, there-can-only-be-one vibe to their relationship. There can be no peaceful coexistence between these two stars.
From where I sit, these two are completely interchangeable. They’re both young singers who sing bad country-infused pop songs about what kind of shoes they wear. They both sing primarily for a vast audience of girls between the ages of 11 and 19. They both dated a Jonas Brother. They’re both from small towns. They’re both (ostensibly) wholesome. They both play the “gosh-I’m-just-so-overwhelmed-by-all-this-attention-since-I’m-from-a-modest-small-town” card, even though they’ve each spent over 25% of their conscious lives as superfamous sensations.
This seems like it should create a natural rivalry. And yet, even with a music media that loves pitting artists against each other unnecessarily (Britney vs. Christina, *NSYNC vs. Backstreet Boys, The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, Kanye West vs. 50 Cent), not very much has been made of these two as potential rivals. In fact, most people don’t seem to consider them very similar at all. Continue reading »
What we read while condescending others with small fruit…
As I’m sure many people did, last night I went on YouTube to confirm that “Single Ladies” is not, in fact, “one of the best videos of all time” (seriously, it looks like a fucking GAP commercial).
With that said, Kanye West thinks it is, and if Kanye says it, it must be true.
Plenty of people have already criticized West’s antics from last night’s VMAs, but the most surprising revelation from the awards show (not that I watched, I’m too cool for MTV) wasn’t that Kanye is a dick, but that people still care about what happens on MTV.
As Tim tweeted, “Wait…people still care about the VMAs? No way! Do they still complain MTV doesn’t show music videos?” Continue reading »