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Weekly Reading: The best longreads all in one place

The Wireless logo The Wireless 18/05/2017

Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.

© Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited The Ringer pay tribute to Chris Cornell, who passed away this week aged 52.

Photo: AFP

Chris Cornell Was a Rock Star for the Ages , by Rob Harvilla, The Ringer

“He would’ve been a rock star no matter where he’d been born, or when.He’d have been a rock star during the Industrial Revolution; he’d have been a rock star on Neptune. That he first ascended to howling greatness in Seattle in the early ’90s is just coincidence. It meant he had company. Contemporaries. Friendly rivals. Which is to say, a bunch of other brooding dudes with leonine hair and tornado-siren voices who tried to look the part, and act the part, and sound the part.”

Female Gaze: Lana Del Rey, I Love Dick and The Love Witch , by Meaghan Garvey, MTV

“There is an irony in the critical misreadings of both Del Rey’s and Biller’s work — an ideological disjunction between the demand for clear demarcation of the “authentic” and “artistic” selves of female artists, and the reluctance to examine their work beyond face value. That imbalance of curiosity reveals, to me, an unwillingness to accept the artist’s subjectivity as equally valid as one’s own. It probably goes without saying that many of the most misguided critics of both artists are men.”

Desus and Mero Are the Late-Night Comedy Duo America Needs , by Clay Skipper, GQ

“Because where else are you going to find a Jamaican-American (Desus) and a Dominican-American (Mero) sounding off on everything from Steve Bannon ("N—— looks wild smelly") to Instagram celebrity Cardi B ("Shout-out to you, Queen of the Bronx") on entirely their own terms? (Well, almost entirely—they're only allowed five "fucks" a show.) At a time of peak bullshit—both in terms of fake news and people being horrible—it's endearingly authentic: two dudes from the Bronx just simply reacting to the nation's most frightening news and the Internet's funniest videos, being offensive but not off-putting. It's late-night liberalism without any of the suit-and-tie elitism—catharsis without condescension.”

The Last Moment of the Last Great Rock Band , by Lizzy Goodman, Vulture

“We had conversations that went along the lines of “Gosh, I think our songs are better than ‘Mr. Brightside’ by the Killers, but how come that’s the one everyone is listening to? They did it a different way. They recorded it in a different way. They promoted it in a different way. We could be that big.”’

A Cunning Adaptation of the Handmaid’s Tale , by Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker

“A TV show that replicated the book’s poetic compression, its formal strangeness, would be hard to pull off. But the Hulu adaptation doesn’t try. Instead, it is heavy-handed in the best way, dramatizing Offred’s claustrophobia through gorgeous tableaux of repression. It makes everything blunter and more explicit, almost pulpy at times; among other things, we learn Offred’s true name, June, right away. She tells us, “I intend to survive.”’

‘Hot Ones’ and Other Shows Parade the Rich, Famous and Oh So Vulnerable , by Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

“These shows reflect an evolution in celebrity journalism, using the conventions of reality television — unpredictability, intimacy, alleged authenticity — as a means of reframing how one should be famous in public. In the past, that might have meant a confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey or Diane Sawyer, or willing (but invisible) collaboration with the tabloids — tools to leverage one’s personal life for fame. But those have become part and parcel of mainstream celebrity. Now, what’s required are less expected, and more grounded, peeks behind the curtain. It is no longer the obligation of the celebrity to be unattainable; it’s more important to be relatable.”

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