Michelle Lhooq

If you ever wanted a window into an underground weed rave, an autonomous zone, or the intersections between Buddhism and MDMA therapy, Michelle Lhooq's journalism is for you.

Lhooq is a journalist who covers subcultures, drugs, raves, and everything in between. Her Substack newsletter Rave New World is a raw, immersive window into modern counterculture in all its ecstasies and contradictions, and her book WEED: Everything You Want to Know But Are Always Too Stoned to Ask is a modern classic.

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TV News

The 5 Best and Worst Moments of the 2021 Emmys

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were LIVE last night

Schitts Creek Emmys 2021

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were LIVE last night, and, as is the case with many awards shows recently, it was filled with moments that were both cringey and rewarding.

We admit that it was kind of nice seeing a bunch of people gathered safely in a room again. But from another whitewashed winning streak to a bizarre ode to the "sexiness" of chess, here are a few moments from last night's ceremony's that were either appalling or worth applauding.

Best: An Awkward Schitts Creek Reunion

After sweeping the comedy category of the 2020 Emmys, the Rose family reunited this year for a hilarious back and forth bit that should have been nominated for an Emmy itself. "Thank you so much, there's nothing on the prompter," Dan Levy began. "Is there a tech guy or something?" Annie Murphy asked.

As the cast fumbled to make the most out of an awkward situation, the back and forth between them slowly revealed that Eugene Levy had caused the writers to pull all of their lines after he pissed them off. Considering most of the ceremony's other comedy bits were atrocious this year, this awkward Schitts Creek reunion was a much needed moment of levity.

Worst: A Lack of Diversity...Again

Ted Lasso Emmys

Ted Lasso Emmys

After once again blabbing on about championing artists and stories of color, the Emmys once again awarded most of their awards to white talent. Pose, The Underground Railroad, and others were severely overlooked. Sure, Cedric the Entertainer was the host, and the nominations weren't nearly as white-washed as they have been in the past, but the ceremony was still rank with white privilege.

For example, in an awkward show of said privilege, The Queen Gambit's Scott Frank ordered that Emmy producers cease their lead-out music, for which they happily obliged. By the time Michela Cohen got her long-overdue award, it all felt rather tokenizing.

Best: Michela Cohen's Award

But that tokenization did not in any way diminish the award itself! Michela Cohen, who was cheated out of a Golden Globe nomination and other well deserved awards earlier this year, finally won an award for her critically-lauded masterpiece I May Destroy You. After two hours of predictable victories for many of the (white) shows this year, Coel snagged a win for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie. Her speech was to the point and beautifully concise, and she dedicated her award to the survivors of sexual assault.

Worst: That Weird "Queen's Gambit" Speech

Queens Gambit

Queens Gambit

While The Queen's Gambit was one of the most widely watched shows of the year, the Outstanding Limited Series/Movie winner this year resulted in one of the oddest acceptance speeches of the night. While accepting the award, the show's producer thanked star Anya Taylor-Joy for bringing the "sexy back to chess," before going into tearing down the patriarchy.

It was an odd thing to praise someone for — not to mention that diluting a female artist's contribution down to just being sexy is right in line with what the patriarchy has done and continues to do?

Best: The Bizarre Biz Markie Tribute

When Cedric the Entertainer kicked off the show, he dove into a hilarious and charming parody of Biz Markie's hit "Just a Friend." Meant as an ode to the rapper, who died in July of this year, Cedric roped in other celebrities from around the room to partake in the song including Rita Wilson, who oddly stole the show with her cringe-worthy rapping abilities.

Every Emmys opening is undoubtedly awkward, but this year it was nice to see everyone in person having some fun and letting loose, even if the results were at times uncomfortable.

Culture Feature

AOC's "Tax the Rich" Dress Wasn't That Radical

At this point, "Tax The Rich" is not a radical statement

AOC and Aurora James, Met Gala 2021

When Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrived at the 2021 Met Gala in a white tuxedo dress that said "Tax The Rich," immediately criticisms were raised against her.

People called her a hypocrite for attending the Gala, for accepting the gifted ticket and dress, for being rich herself, and a flurry of other claims and questions.

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Culture News

Get Well Soon, Elton John! And 6 Other Times Artists Canceled Their Tours

Here are 6 other massive artists that were also forced to cancel their tours over the years.

Selena Gomez

It's true: Elton John is postponing his farewell tour.

The legendary pop star said after he sustained a fall that he was in a considerable amount of pain. In a statement, he wrote that he unfortunately will have to undergo major hip surgery and reschedule his Farewell tour.

"Despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving," he wrote. "I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications."

While we send Elton John the best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery, he is far from the first artist to have to cancel a tour due to health issues or an injury. Here are just six other massive artists that were also forced to cancel their tours over the years.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

In July of 2017, Bieber announced after performing a handful of dates on his Purpose world tour that he would be unexpectedly canceling the remaining dates. In a vague statement, the pop star wrote that he was "grateful and honored to have shared that experience with his cast and crew for over 150 successful shows across six continents during this run." He added that "after careful consideration" that he simply "decided he will not be performing any further dates."

A month later, Bieber clarified the reason behind his decision, citing mental health issues that he felt needed addressing. "I let my broken relationships dictate the way I acted toward people and the way I treated them," he wrote on Instagram. "I let bitterness, jealously and fear run my life...Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be SUSTAINABLE. I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind heart and soul to be sustainable. So that I can be the man I want to be, the husband I eventually want to be and the father I want to be."

Selena Gomez

selena gomez

selena gomez

Bieber's former flame even once had to cancel her tour due to mental health issues. Selena Gomez was in the middle of her 2016 Revival Tour when she decided to cancel half her dates and take a year off from music. She told fans in a statement published by PEOPLE that she had been diagnosed with Lupus and that the disease resulted in a mix "anxiety, panic attacks and depression."

"I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off," she said. "Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues."

Kanye West

Kanye West

Kanye West

After a handful of bizarre rants and celebrity feuds placed a dark cloud over 2016's Saint Pablo Tour, Kanye West abruptly canceled what was left of the tour after he was hospitalized in Los Angeles for sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Little information emerged regarding his condition as his weeks-long stay dragged on, with mental health experts at one point weighing in on what exactly was going on with Mr. West. After his release, he came out and said that he had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and that he experienced manic episodes that led to debilitating paranoia. He confirmed that he is not medicated for the condition.




In 2011, Adele was forced to cancel her U.S. and U.K. tour dates after her vocal chord hemorrhaged and resulted in her having to get surgery. "She is to undergo surgery to alleviate the current issues with her throat and a full recovery is expected," read a statement per Billboard. "As a result, doctors have ordered her to rest her voice and completely recuperate before looking to schedule any work commitments."

The hemorrhage was due to laryngitis, and she continued to battle the disease throughout the year. On her blog, Adele spoke on two moments in particular when her voice "suddenly switched off like a light! it was literally as if someone pulled a curtain over my throat."

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Another artist forced to sideline their tour due to hip surgery, Lady Gaga was forced to make a similar cancellation to Elton John in 2013 when her Born This Way Ball tour was abruptly cut short after she suffered an intense hip injury that required surgery. Gaga later reaffirmed that the injury was indeed severe, as she said the injury resulted in "a hole in my hip the size of a quarter."

She added in an interview with Women's Wear Daily that her injury was "actually a lot worse than just a labral tear. I had broken my hip...The surgeon told me that if I had done another show I might have needed a full hip replacement. I would have been out at least a year, maybe longer."


In 2014, Lorde decided to cancel the entire Australian segment of our Pure Heroine Tour. The decision came after the singer developed a "really nasty chest infection" that left her ill and in desperate need of R&R. She returned home and wrote on Twitter that she was "so, so gutted" for disappointing her fans. "My parents and my team stepped in telling me I needed a break after being non-stop since the Grammys in January," she wrote. "We will 100% be back for this tour (most likely in November) so don't worry about that."

Culture News

15 Looks That Saved the 2021 Met Gala

So many disappointments that not even Rihanna could save us.

The Sweatpants. The Converse. I guess this is American fashion

Timothee Chalamet at the Met Gala

Let's just say it: the Met Gala was … embarrassing.

We waited two years, we speculated for months, and then the night finally came and it was disappointing at best, but more aptly described as a horror show of mediocrity and misses. And then we woke up the day after and had to remember that no, it wasn't a dream.

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Fashion Roundup: Best Outfits of the Season So Far

Fashion Week, Venice Film Festival, VMAs, oh my!


Fall fashion so far? A feast.

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