The Best Cultural Writing You May Have Missed Over the Long Weekend


From suburb-bound hipsters to Beyoncé and Girls, and the aftermath of terrible Valentine’s Days, we rounded up the best of the weekend’s cultural writings. Weigh in on the most talked-about pieces of the past few days and tell us what else you’ve been reading in the comments.

Tim Keane offered an enlightened look at Allen Ginsberg’s photographs on Hyperallergic, as he draws contrasts between these never-before-seen images and the Beat poet’s writing, to show that “these photographs seem like a secret visual diary filled with more complex realizations about his life and times.”

In a controversial piece at the Times , Alex Williams unearthed what he calls the “colonization” of “Hipsturbia” in the suburbs of New York, where grown-up Brooklynites are beginning to set up artisanal vegan soap shops and fancy yoga studios, proving that we “no longer have to take the L train to experience…cosmopolitan bohemia.”

As if on cue, Slate promptly pulled the Times up with a piece on so-called “Hipsturbia” that might as well have read: “News flash! Tattooed grown-ups are moving to the suburbs!”

Jillian Mapes made a compelling case for meeting people online, while offering insight into the one-dimensionality of the MTV reality series Catfish, which “sets a bad example for young viewers” — and yet, she writes on Maura Magazine, the show “has restored my faith in humanity and its capacity for forgiveness, but at its core it portrays denial.”

Elsewhere, on internet dating – and on a creepier note – James Hablin considered buying a Facebook girlfriend on The Atlantic, reasoning that “As bad as the idea of buying fake Facebook girlfriends is, creating them ourselves, and having dialogues with ourselves, is worse.”

Slate‘s Dave Haglund and Chris Wade offer an interesting male perspective on the treatment of men in this weekend’s episode of Girls, including Adam and Ray’s bromance gone unpredictably awry, Jonathan Booth’s “flagrantly despicable treatment” of Marnie, and Ray’s startling resemblance to Staten Island and the dog he gets stuck with – “Ray is the fucked up little island, Ray is the lost pit bull with no home,” Wade observes.

Erin Obervey wrote a beautiful piece at the New Yorker about Joseph Mitchell’s ear for New York City, in which she starts off by reading Mitchell among the stacks at The Strand before embarking on a deft journey of the city through his writings.

According to Vulture‘s Amanda Dobbins, the Beyoncé’s documentary that aired this weekend is far “too perfect” to learn anything of value from.

And in the wake of Valentine’s Day – which, let’s face it, felt like Valentine’s week, if not month – Nerve shared six stories about awful Valentine’s that make you feel better about your own.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Jonathan Jones wrote a love letter to Lichtenstein and other modern American artists in the Guardian , and fretted that American art could put British art to shame.