Culture

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Re-Criminalizing Cannabis Is Worse Than 1930s ‘Reefer Madness’

In the 1930s, parents across the U.S. were panicked. A new documentary, “Reefer Madness,” suggested that evil marijuana dealers lurked in public schools, waiting to entice their children into a life of crime and degeneracy. The documentary captured the essence of the anti-marijuana campaign started by Harry Anslinger, a government employee eager to make a...

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Star Wars Is a Religion That Primes Us for War and Violence

$1 That’s what it cost 14-year-old me to get into the 1977 Star Wars premiere. $10 That’s how much I eventually stole from my mom so I could see it again and again. I’m not ashamed to admit, as a 14-year-old boy, I was hooked. Standing along side Luke and Obi-Wan, I left this world....

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How the Death of the Hip-Hop DJ Spawned the Superstar Rapper

Since the inception of hip-hop culture, the DJ has been its cornerstone. The culture’s starting point is widely accepted as the birthday party Kool DJ Herc threw for his sister at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, The Bronx on August 11, 1973. Kool Herc’s selection spanned the funk genre, and using two copies of the same record,...

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The 1960s Jazz Tribute to Malcolm X That Profoundly Expressed the Black Condition

By the late 1950s foremost musicians like Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane explicitly introduced politics in their jazz, as the civil rights movement started gaining momentum in the US. Musician and author Gilad Atzmon explained it in a 2005 essay: Black Americans were calling for freedom, and jazz expressed it better than mere...

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What About Young Men Who Are Having Unwanted Sex?

Time Magazine recently featured “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 “Person of the Year,” a nod to the countless women who have come forward with stories of unwanted sexual advances and sexual assaults. But missing from the conversation are men. For example, a number of surveys have found that about 8 percent of men are...

Six Favorite Charts from 2017
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Six Favorite Charts from 2017

From internet trolls to college dropouts: Our 6 favorite charts from 2017 Where we’ve been in 2017. rawpixel.com/shutterstock.com 1. Invisible inequality America may be getting richer, but who’s reaping the reward? The economic gap in the U.S. has widened over the past few decades. Today, the top 10 percent of U.S. households control over three-quarters...

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Untrustworthy Memories Make It Hard to Shop Ethically

Imagine a shopper, Sarah, who is concerned about child labor and knows about groups like the Fair Wear Foundation that certify which brands sell ethically produced clothing. Hours after learning that fashion giant H&M reportedly sells clothing made by children in risky workplaces in Burma, she goes shopping. Completely forgetting about what she just heard,...

Child Marriage Is Still Legal in the U.S.
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Child Marriage Is Still Legal in the U.S.

The recent outrage over Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly targeting teenage girls for sex has elicited reports that some evangelical churches actually encourage teenage girls to date older men. It seems unlikely that Moore was ever interested in marrying any of the women who have thus far accused him of unwanted sexual attention...

Social Media, the ‘Bikini Bridge’ and the Viral Contagion of Body Ideals
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Social Media, the ‘Bikini Bridge’ and the Viral Contagion of Body Ideals

What happens when you combine a cultural obsession with thinness, a bit of organised propaganda and a catchy hashtag? Enter the “bikini bridge”: the space between the bikini and the lower abdomen that occurs when bather bottoms are suspended between the two hip bones. On January 5, 2014, anonymous internet trolls on 4chan, an imageboard...