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15 search results for: Ben Schneider


Lil Dicky: “A very serious combination of funny and serious”

It’s hardest to describe a cultural phenomenon from the very middle of its trajectory. Not enough time has passed for hindsight to accurately characterize its origins, and its future remains distressingly uncertain, particularly for its primary stakeholders. The rapper Lil Dicky finds himself in just such a position at the moment; profoundly validated by his […]


Advertisements are films, too

Since its inception, the advertising industry has tried to present ads as entertainment, and it’s never been closer to succeeding. Although Americans watch less live television today than we have in the past, TV ads have started to become more a part of pop culture than ever before. With online viewing platforms allowing us to […]


Intersection of music and sport forms new media monolith

Sports and music have always been not-so-strange bedfellows — just look at Sheryl Crowe and Lance Armstrong, or Madonna and Alex Rodriguez, to name a few. But in recent years, this marriage has gone beyond celebrity relationships as the institutions themselves are becoming increasingly “synonymous.” Each passing year, it seems like there are more references […]


‘#Selfie’ makes laughable attempt at cultural critique

The song “#Selfie” by the Chainsmokers has been securely in the top 20 most downloaded songs on iTunes for the past few weeks, and the accompanying music video has been viewed more than 40 million times on Youtube. It’s been quite an impressive run for a song that isn’t really a song at all. The […]


What we talk about when we talk about Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea is not your typical rapper, but I really mean it this time. No, she’s not a media studies student at an American liberal arts college. She’s a 23-year-old Australian blonde bombshell, and she’s making a serious push to become a legitimate voice in the hip-hop world. In fact, she’s arguably the most successful […]


‘The Lego Movie’ as cultural allegory

I thought I knew what people like about The Lego Movie. I saw Wall-E and Toy Story and enjoyed their substantive messages, and their occasional one-liners that “only an adult would understand.” Still, those films were created primarily for kids, and say very little about the state of contemporary culture. In fact, until I saw […]


Rising star Frak navigates college life with substance and style

“Date With a Feminist” isn’t exactly a stereotypical title for a rap song, but Frak isn’t exactly a stereotypical rapper. When he’s not rapping or making beats, the twenty-year old Pitzer College sophomore is debating sociological issues with friends or in class, studying creative writing and media studies. Over the last few years, Frak, also […]


Drake and Stromae: In a time of international unity, how similar are we?

The Olympics are often seen as a time of international unity, when countries can set aside their differences in order to celebrate humanity’s greatest athletic achievements. Unfortunately, the Olympics just as often evoke both blatant and subtle forms of political posturing that highlight cultural differences rather than commonalities. In the buildup to and commencement of […]


Foster the People’s DTLA mural: an experiment in postmodern self-promotion

Every year come February, millions of Americans suddenly become fascinated by television commercials, something usually reviled. Thanks to their ubiquity, high-price, high concept Super Bowl ads can serve as a fascinating cultural barometer. Following recent trends, this year’s crop continued to go for spectacle, emotion, and cuteness over traditional methods of persuasion. Today’s commercials must […]