T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on March 08, 2019

Before we leave you for another weekend of living the glamorous blogger lifestyle, we simply had to do our duty to entertain you and compile this list of all the articles and essays that caught our eyes this week, just to tide you over till Monday. Get into the zeitgeist, kittens!


The crossover is obvious with regard to subject matter, although Oprah cogently opines that the word “abuse” lacks accuracy and is confusing. She points out that survivors such as Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the central subjects of “Leaving Neverland,” didn’t realize they’d been abused until much later in life, which is typical of many survivors. Whether Kelly’s live-in girlfriends Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage will say the same one day is unknown. On Thursday CBS aired their interview with King, in which they defended the singer and accused their parents of trying to extort the star, with Clary going as far as to claim her parents encouraged her to take sexual videos with him to blackmail him.

“After Neverland,” R. Kelly’s CBS meltdown, and the insidious patterns we refuse to seeby Melanie McFarland at Salon



Walt Whitman kept a ledger of his waterfront encounters that goes on for over 15 pages. One example: “David Wilson night of Oct 11, ’62, walking up from Middagh — slept with me — works in a Blacksmith shop in Navy Yard.” And the poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” contains this ode to cruising: “Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet never told them a word.”

The (Almost) Lost Gay History of Brooklyn by Edward Hart at Intelligencer



The brand is closing its high-end line, in a move that could have ripple effects across the American fashion industry.

Calvin Klein Says Designer Fashion Is Over by Vanessa Friedman at the New York Times



What was it that made that one sickly Cersei sip resonate so widely? The risks of an art-historical education are that it fills your head with images that can’t easily be expunged. In Renaissance and Baroque painting, when a woman is pictured drinking wine, it is certainly an event—but the event is the violation of the norm on women’s sobriety.

An Art-Historical Analysis of Cersei Lannister Sipping Wine by Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker




“I am so honored to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement,” Andrews said. “The Venice Film Festival has long been recognized as one of the world’s most esteemed international film festivals. I thank the Biennale for this acknowledgement of my work, and I look forward to being in that beautiful city in September for this very special occasion.”

Julie Andrews to Receive Venice Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award by Georg Szalai at The Hollywood Reporter




The comic book scribe shares the backstory to the crowd-pleasing cat Goose and weighs in on the movie’s most arresting moment: “There are going to be Women’s Studies and academic papers written about this scene.”

How ‘Captain Marvel’ Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick Revamped the Hero by Joelle Monique at The Hollywood Reporter




In 2006, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times writer and critic Margo Jefferson wrote one of the defining analyses of Michael Jackson. On Michael Jackson was a slim volume of cultural criticism, not a comprehensive biography by any means, and yet it provided singular insight into the space Michael occupied within our culture, as Jefferson attempted to understand Michael — both the man and the artist — through the prisms of celebrity culture and child stardom, race and gender, victimhood and abuse.

She Wrote the Book on Michael Jackson. Now She Wishes It Said More. by Anna Silman at The Cut




TFor THR’s latest intra-industry poll, the editors asked Hollywood professionals — actors, writers, directors and others — to take an online survey of their favorite fictional female characters. More than 1,800 participated — twice as many women as men — but the results proved there isn’t such a great divide between the sexes after all, at least when it comes to what types of females we enjoy watching on screens. By comfortable majorities, both genders picked a certain Hogwarts know-it-all as their No. 1.

Hollywood’s 50 Favorite Female Characters by Staff at The Hollywood Reporter



I’m a completely different type of artist than I was before. I’ve had to educate myself on how to come out of this situation financially, which I’m very proud of. Now I run my tour business very differently. I do something called “four walling”: I handle the insurance, hire the ushers, rent the venue, and sign the contracts [and that way I collect all the revenue]. I now know how to sell out every motherfucking seat, and how to work directly with the fans.

Kathy Griffin Bought Her ‘F*ck You’ House for $10.5 Million in Cash by Maggie Bullock at The Cut



Jackson’s hardcore supporters allege that Robson and Safechuck memorized details from the other boys’ stories in order to get revenge after their own previous attempts to sue Jackson’s estate for damages were thrown out of court (not because the charges had no merit but because the statute of limitations had run out). That seems far-fetched to me. Why would anyone put himself through this? Robson and Safechuck are not being paid by HBO. They had to come to grips not only with what happened to them but also with the complicity of those closest to them. That kind of stress can and does destroy families. Anyone who has spent time hearing victims tell their stories of sexual assault knows that it is extremely painful to recall detail after detail. You never know which one will stick in your mind, causing depression, nightmares, and P.T.S.D. It can be something as simple as a song.

10 Undeniable Facts About the Michael Jackson Sexual-Abuse Allegations by Maureen Orth at Vanity Fair



In “Stark Raving Dad,” Jackson was credited as “John Jay Smith,” and when the character sings Lisa a happy birthday song, it’s actually sung by a Michael Jackson impersonator, although Jackson composed the tune himself. In his 2017 ranking, Alan Siegel wrote that the episode “manages to showcase the King of Pop’s talents, poke fun of his persona, and humanize him in a way that nothing has before or since.” The Simpsons has resisted public criticism before, most recently in its bunker-mentality defense of the character of Apu, but the outcry over Leaving Neverland has evidently been too big for the show or its creators to ignore.

The Simpsons Is Pulling Its Michael Jackson Episode by Sam Adams at Slate



The history of why female superheroes were often sexified and hyper-feminine is kind of a no-brainer. For most of popular comic book history, men were the ones drawing these characters, and as Christina Dokou, an assistant professor of American literature and culture at the University of Athens told me last year, this stereotype persists in 2019. “Even today, the physical attributes and feminine beauty of superheroines are exaggerated to make them look like, well, frankly, porn stars at worst, and sexy female athletes at best,” she said.

Why The History Behind Captain Marvel’s Super Suit by Rebecca Jennings at Vox



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