Dolly Parton

American hero Dolly Parton bravely continues to keep our faith in humanity alive.

Parton recently appeared and informed the public that she turned down disgraced former president Donald Trump's Presidential Medal of Freedom, not once, but twice. She cited scheduling conflicts — the first time she was offered the award her husband was ill, and the second time travel was banned because of the pandemic.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture Feature

Matt Lauer vs. Ronan Farrow, and the Pushback Against the MeToo Movement

The former "Today Show" host seems to think nitpicking Ronan Farrow's book will relaunch his career

In a new opinion piece published in Mediaite, former Today Show host and alleged rapist Matt Lauer claims that Ronan Farrow abandoned journalistic integrity in pursuit of book sales.

Farrow's book Catch and Kill, which came out last October, details allegations of sexual misconduct against Matt Lauer in two of its nearly sixty chapters—the rest being devoted to Harvey Weinstein and other prominent sexual predators—and the particular challenges involved in reporting on these crimes.

Keep Reading Show less
Atlantic Records

MILCK launched her music career as an activist, singing for justice and for unheard voices.

After her song "I Can't Keep Quiet" went viral at the 2016 women's march, she became an unofficial voice of the Trump "Resistance" movement. She connected deeply with many fans by being open about her history with eating disorders, mental illness, and sexual assault, and her music emanates the same kind of honesty, vulnerability, and love that informed her online confessions.

Now, the artist behind the magic—Connie Lim—is turning her attention inward, an act that she believes is "essential to create the outer peace we long to see in our modern world."

Her new album, Into Gold, is a raw, moving, wide-eyed tribute to change in all its forms. "I've realized in my journey that the only way to bring change into this world is by first healing and respecting myself," she said. "And I hope my music is the soundtrack to each gentle rebel's journey towards becoming the change he/she/they wants to see in the world."

Each song on the EP is accompanied by a video. All together, the project follows Lim as she journeys past heartbreak, deep into her own pain, and finally into the light of possibility and hope.

These are delicate, optimistic songs and videos, carefully crafted and made with love. Together, they tell a story, beginning with the end of a relationship and following the protagonist as she looks inward, begins to heal, broadcasts her story on television, discovers a group of women who carry her weight alongside her, and ultimately takes her throne and presents her vision of a better world.

The videos are refreshingly minimalist and always hopeful, avoiding colorful maximalism and the negativity and desperation that defines a great deal of today's pop music, exchanging weight and dissonance for soft lighting, clean tableaus, flawless production, and simple arrangements.

The art of Kitsungi is a method of fixing broken pottery by filling its cracks up with gold. With Into Gold, MILCK performs a kind of Kitsungi on her own wounds, spinning them into jet fuel for her own healing journey, painting over her scars with gold leaf. "It took me years to turn these tears from water into gold," she sings on "Gold." "Yeah, I worked for it. I'm proud of it."

As Leonard Cohen said, "There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in." MILCK's work is an exercise in mining those cracks and in willfully opting to let the light in.

The videos and songs of Into Gold are earnest and idealistic, but MILCK has clearly worked for her right to hope "If I am to rule, then may I submit to love," reads the pull quote at the beginning of the final song, "If I Ruled the World," which features lyrics about faster WiFi, naptime at work, and universal healthcare. Now there's a movement to get behind.

Watch the videos here:

YouTube youtu.be



youtu.be



youtu.be



youtu.be



youtu.be

New Releases

MILCK Shares Her Vision of a New World

MILCK's new single "If I Ruled the World" paints a picture of a world where everyone has affordable health insurance and fast WiFi.

In 2016, MILCK became one of the leading voices of the burgeoning anti-Trump resistance movement with her rawly emotional power ballad "Quiet," which went viral after she performed it at the first Women's March.

www.youtube.com

Now, with the next presidential election approaching, and with nearly four years of Trump down and four more looming, MILCK is still making good on her promise to sing out. But over these past few years, she hasn't been beaten down or fallen prey to anger, frustration, or apocalyptic foreboding. Instead, her newest single protests reality by offering a vision of a new world.

"If I Ruled the World" is about what would happen if the woman known as Connie Lim was allowed to shape the future. "In my journey since 'Quiet,' I have found that focusing on the world we want is far more powerful than focusing on what we don't want," she said. "Activism doesn't always have to be arduous. We can find joy within our fight. It's my vision for a better world."

The song's lyrics paint an optimistic picture. If MILCK was in charge, everyone would recycle, the WiFi would be faster, and women wouldn't judge themselves based on their weight. If she ruled the world, nobody would be slammed with huge bills from doctor's visits, and "instead of feeding fear, we'd be feeding half the planet." If Milck ruled the world, schoolkids would have days full of music and trips to the ocean and workdays would include naps and "age would be a source of pride."

The song is MILCK's first single off her forthcoming EP, Into Gold, which is about "the journey of a woman leaving a safe relationship in search of her authentic place in the world." While she seems to be in a better place now, Lim has been open about her struggles with domestic violence, depression, and anorexia. Those forces made their way into "I Can't Keep Quiet," in which MILCK's voice cracked and trembled with quiet strength. Now, having grown into a star, her voice has grown along with her, and she reaches new heights on "If I Ruled the World."

The whole song emphasizes belief that change—both personal and political—is possible. Four years after she broke through, MILCK officially has made good on her promise to speak out. Instead of keeping quiet, she's kept blooming, dreaming of possibility, casting love out into the void. "If I Ruled the World" is a sweet, optimistic vision of systemic change—but what else has ever actually changed the world? It's an ambitious vision, but MILCK has one clear message for us: It's achievable if we fight for it together.

Listen to "If I Ruled the World" here:

MILCK's forthcoming EP, Into Gold, is out February 21st.


CULTURE

Apology for Previous Article: Pathetic White Women Are Also Big Mad That Greta Thunberg Is Time's Person of the Year

I apologize for my previous article. Plenty of white women are pathetic, too.

Getty Images

I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies for an article I recently published which, upon further reflection, I now realize was deeply flawed.

On December 12, 2019, I wrote an article titled "Pathetic White Men Are Big Mad That Greta Thunberg Is Time's Person of the Year." The conceit of my article was to laugh at all the lowest-performing white men pooping their nappies after TIME Magazine announced 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg as their 2019 Person of the Year.

My premise was erroneous, and from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I'm not going to give excuses or try to downplay the damage I've caused. If I could go back and start over, knowing then what I know now, please believe that I would do things differently. I'm sorry, and I hope you can accept my apology.

As soon as the article went live, I knew I had messed up. Yes, screeching, low-performing white men immediately swarmed into the comments to prove my point. They smashed boomer memes on top of boomer memes without an ounce of self-awareness, their dude-names emblazoned for all to see and their pasty white profile pictures glistening in the sun.

Greta Thunberg Meme Self-identified low-performing white man mad about being called mad.

But another group of people showed up, too, equally angry and just as white, but not quite "male." Yes, in all my hubris, I called out pathetic white men without acknowledging their counterparts––pathetic white women who are also big mad that Greta Thunberg is TIME's Person of the Year.

Perhaps by not acknowledging these almost inconceivably stupid white women, who spit in the face of established science and also love throwing adult temper tantrums about a child with Asperger's who wants to make the planet more sustainable, I was engaging in latent sexism. After all, as many pathetic white women made crystal clear in the comments, they are just as capable as their pathetic white male brethren of being big mad weenies.

Greta Thunberg Time Pathetic white women rising up against Greta Thunberg.

I acknowledge that roughly 52 percent of white women voted for Trump, and that your ability to launch into rambling, improper emoji-laden paragraphs full of CAPITALIZATION to indicate SCREAMING makes you pathetic lunatics just like the white men I was initially laughing at. To promote acceptance and reject racism, let it be known that anyone can become a pathetic white man or woman, just so long as they reject science, denigrate children, and believe everything they saw in a very biased YouTube video.

White women mad "I am a strong, independent, professional white SCANDINAVIAN women."

I want you to know that I respect your tendency to post low-IQ boomer memes just as mindlessly as even the dumbest of white men. It was wholly my mistake not to recognize that plenty of pathetic, angry white men are, indeed, supported by pathetic, angry white women. Otherwise, how else would you continue making more pathetic, angry white people?

Boomer memes Why do boomers keep putting walls of text in their memes?

I see you, pathetic white women who are mad about Greta Thunberg, and I hear you. And again, I am sorry for my error. Both pathetic white men and pathetic white women are angry that Greta Thunberg is TIME's Person of the Year, and in the name of gender equality, I want it to be clear that all of you are worthless.

White Women Literally all worthless.

I do feel a little bad insulting people who are mentally tantamount to children younger than Greta Thunberg, even if they're trapped in old, white bodies, but if our president can do it, so can I.

After all, as First Lady Melania Trump might say, "Insulting children on the Internet is what it means to #BeBest, unless anyone makes a joke about Barron, and then it's not okay." Or something like that; who cares, they're all hypocrites.

MUSIC

Hear Ingrid Michaelson's New Stranger-Things Inspired Single, "Missing You"

Ingrid Michaelson has released the first track off of her 'Stranger Things'-inspired album, along with a Pac Man-themed lyric video.

Does Netflix's Stranger Things make you feel like you're wrapped in a blanket of sweet memories of the 1980s suburban youth you never had?

You're not alone—Ingrid Michaelson feels the same way, and she's written a whole album about it.

Today, Michaelson released the first track off of her Stranger Things-inspired LP, Stranger Songs. "Missing You" borrows muffled synth-driven arpeggiations from the show's theme music, and layers her crystal-clear vocal tones high above them.

Lyrically, the song—which is a reference to the character Nancy and her fraught love triangle with moody dreamboat Jonathan and popular, pure-hearted Steve—offers the kind of complex portrayal of romantic tension that Michaelson has always been an expert at painting in her music. "When he's kissing me I'm missing you," she sings. "I'm in his bed feeling like a stranger."

Ingrid Michaelson - Missing You (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

With its 80s-style beat and grainy bassline, "Missing You" is a euphoric and sugar-sweet song that could easily soundtrack a triumphant bike ride in a Stranger Things final scene, just after Eleven has returned to sweep Mike off his feet and save all of Hawkins.

Michaelson's music has received widespread critical success; two of her singles have gone platinum, and all seven of her albums were released on her own record label, Cabin 24. But after the release of her last album, she found herself seeking inspiration—and discovered it unexpectedly in Netflix's smash-hit show about parallel dimensions and glowing Christmas lights.

Ingrid Michaelson via the Wall Street Journal

All in all, her music is a natural match for Stranger Things' softly lit nostalgia. "I've already made seven records, I have a lot to say. But I've said it so much from the brain and mind and soul of Ingrid Michaelson—I wanted to create something through a different lens," the musician stated. "There's something about Stranger Things that's really comforting, it brings me back to my childhood. It's the best kind of escapism and I find myself seeking that now more than ever. I took inspiration from the show and the characters and all these ideas started to come to me. Every song on the record includes a reference from the show, some more specific than others, but all of the themes are universal—these are feelings everyone has."

Regarding her love of the show, she told Entertainment Weekly, "I've always longed to re-live childhood memories. There's no word in the English language to describe what it is that I'm feeling. But it goes deeper than nostalgia — this desire to quite literally be able to go back in time and re-live those moments again because the memories are so wonderful and wrap you up with a warm feeling."

Stranger Things isn't the only beloved work of escapism that Michaelson will be lending her ear and lyrical sensibilities to in the near future. She has also written the score for a musical adaption of The Notebook, and the first performances will debut in Poughkeepsie, New York this July at Vassar College (the same place Lin-Manuel Miranda debuted his Hamilton Mixtape way back in 2013).

Ingrid Michaelson Reveals She's Working On 'The Notebook' Musical | TODAY www.youtube.com

Both The Notebook and Stranger Things are portals into magical, dreamlike worlds of passion, nostalgia, and parallel dimensions. With her penchant for spinning reality into perfect rhymes and whimsical melodies, Michaelson seems like one of the best people around to turn both of them into song.


Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.


POP⚡DUST | Read More...

Game of Thrones QUIZ: What Type of Viewer Are You?

How Black Drag Queens Invented Camp: An Incomplete History of Lena Waithe's Jacket

Here's What Royal Baby Archie's Astrology Chart Looks Like