Constance Grady
Constance Grady
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How Dolly Parton became a secular American saint

How Dolly Parton became a secular American saint

“I’m sick of Dolly, ain’t you?” .Few people are. Dolly Parton is in the midst of a career revival that has seen her hailed as a kind of secular country-pop saint. And what’s not to love about Dolly?Dolly is the living legend who sells out arena tours in her 70s. She’s the songwriting genius who wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day. In recent decades, feminists have begun to reclaim her as a feminist icon. She is an impeccably dressed glamour queen, a business titan whose brand includes her own theme park, a philanthropist whose has sent free books to millions of...

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Constance Grady
Feb 26
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Who is responsible for what happened to Britney Spears?

Who is responsible for what happened to Britney Spears?

We’re all complicit in what happened to Britney. But some of us more so than others.In the wake of the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, a new conversation is building around the pop star and her legacy.It is slowly becoming conventional wisdom that the way mainstream media talked about Britney Spears in 2007, as she went through a public breakdown, was inappropriate and wrong. Major news outlets called Spears fat, slut-shamed her, reprinted paparazzi upskirt shots, and mocked her for her increasingly erratic public behavior. Most of us are comfortable now saying that this...

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Constance Grady
Feb 10
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The word "Orwellian" has lost all meaning

The word "Orwellian" has lost all meaning

How the right made the word “Orwellian” an empty cliché.It’s possible Donald Trump’s greatest talent is driving people to buy copies of 1984.When Trump took office in 2017, sales of George Orwell’s dystopian classic went up . And in the wake of January’s , as as “Orwellian” and with the lament that “We are living Orwell’s 1984,” 1984 once again flew up Amazon’s bestseller list, .Last time 1984 returned to the bestseller list, it was because terrified liberals feared the Trump administration would drive us straight into the dystopian horrors of 1984, in which Big Brother is always watching,...

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Constance Grady
Jan 16
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Trump: "We’re watching Pennsylvania." Philadelphia: Okay, here’s a livestream.

Trump: "We’re watching Pennsylvania." Philadelphia: Okay, here’s a livestream.

In a crucial city, letting viewers watch the vote-counting is an almost flamboyant exercise in election transparency.In 2016, . It was the first time Pennsylvania had voted in a Republican for president since 1988, and it means that now the state finds itself at the center of the .So is the way it will count its votes, particularly in Democratic stronghold Philadelphia. As a result, offering the world an unusual opportunity this year: .The livestream, run by the Philadelphia City Commissioners, is an almost flamboyant exercise in election transparency. It shows masked and socially distanced...

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Constance Grady
Nov 3
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Why Britney Spears’s fans are convinced she’s being held captive

Why Britney Spears’s fans are convinced she’s being held captive

The #FreeBritney movement, explained.On Tuesday, August 18, indelible bubblegum pop star Britney Spears took a step the #FreeBritney movement has long been clamoring for: She filed court papers calling for her father to .For the past 12 years, Spears has been confined by a conservatorship that leaves her without control of her finances, business, or personal affairs. And for the past year or so, her fans have been speculating with increasing fervor that the conservatorship has left Spears, now 38, a prisoner in her own glamorous life and that she is in need of rescue.“She has NEVER had...

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Constance Grady
Jul 24
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Ask a Book Critic: What can I read that will make me feel better about being scared?

Ask a Book Critic: What can I read that will make me feel better about being scared?

Introducing Ask a Book Critic, in which we recommend a book to suit your mood.Welcome to the inaugural edition of Vox’s Ask a Book Critic. In each edition, I, Vox book critic Constance Grady, will provide book recommendations to suit your very specific mood: either how you’re feeling right now, or how you’d like to be feeling instead. If you’d like me to recommend something to you, email me at constance.grady@vox.com with the subject line “Ask a Book Critic.” The more specific your mood, the better!All right, gang. Let’s get to it. Let me help you find something to read.The solution here is...

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Constance Grady
Mar 27, 2020
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Taylor Swift used to be apolitical. Now she’s slamming Trump on Twitter.

Taylor Swift used to be apolitical. Now she’s slamming Trump on Twitter.

Swift accuses Trump of “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency.”On Friday, became one of the most prominent voices denouncing President . “We will vote you out in November,” , saying that he had “stok[ed] the fires of white supremacy and racism [his] entire presidency.”In Minneapolis, protests have been raging over the past few days in response to on Monday. Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, Trump tweeted that he wanted to dispatch , saying, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump’s words triggered an unusual response from Twitter...

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Constance Grady
May 29
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How 70 years of cop shows taught us to valorize the police

How 70 years of cop shows taught us to valorize the police

Early Hollywood treated the cops as incompetent fools. Then everything changed.In 2019, polls found that , more trustworthy than Congress or journalists or religious leaders. This week, , shot paint canisters at people standing on their own porches, , and pulled down protesters’ masks to pepper spray them in the face in the midst of a respiratory pandemic.There is a gap between the ways in which the police behave and the ways in which the public perceives them. And for a long time, police have behaved as though they think pop culture is responsible for that gap.In 1910, the International...

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Constance Grady
Jun 3
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