Seven Tropes We Should Retire.

King Solomon wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there’s nothing new under the sun, and that was circa 970 B.C., so you can imagine how recycled and overwarmed pretty much everything is now. As a pop culture connoisseur, I find Solomon’s screed particularly true of contemporary lit, film, and TV.

Take any show, flick, [...]

Navigating The Affection Gap.

Last week, the Kinsey Institute released the results of a study that surveyed 1,009 heterosexual couples on their attitudes toward physical affection and sex. The “shocking” pull-quote making media rounds has to do with men in long-term relationships valuing physical affection (i.e. kissing and cuddling) more than women in long-term relationships, who [...]

Five Romcoms You Should Side-Eye.

After a brief conversation about John Hughes’ 1984 teen romcom classic, Sixteen Candles, this morning, I was reminded of something I’ve always suspected by never taken the time to truly analyze: romantic comedies are never as innocuous as their writers would have you believe. For all their spin about happy endings, they’re about as kind [...]

Rodrick Dantzler Is Dead.

(Cross-posted from slb.)

Rodrick Shonte Danzler is dead. And so is his 12-year-old daughter and the six other people he killed Thursday.

I didn’t become aware of the massacre or begin to watch the live footage until his five-hour hostage standoff was well underway. Apparently, Dantzler’s killing rampage [...]

Open Thread: National HIV Testing Day.

Today is National HIV Testing Day.  How up-to-date is your status?

Tell us about the first (or last) time you were tested. Where’d you go? Were you worried? Did you bring a friend or partner along for moral support or to co-test?

We believe it’s important to keep the conversation about HIV prevention and [...]

BET Tries to Do Better.

Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, BET is adding significantly to its original programming roster. If the record-breaking success of the The Game and the benign tolerance of Let’s Stay Together are any indication, BET viewers are quite open to any adequately-plotted sitcoms and dramas the network might throw their [...]

RIP, Phoebe Snow.

The day just got sadder. In Edison, NJ singer-songwriter Phoebe Snow has also died. She was 60.

Though Snow is best known for her 1974 self-titled debut album, she’s had enduring fan appreciation, due in no small part to her classic single, “Poetry Man.”

If you’ve ever had a crush on a soulful, artistic, [...]

RIP, Poly Styrene.

I’d never heard of Poly Styrene before this morning, when I found my social media news feed peppered with news of her lost battle to breast cancer. I did some quick research, which confirmed that she was pretty amazing. As frontwoman of the group, X-Ray Spex, she dominated the UK punk scene [...]