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popular culture



  • Black Sabbath's Paranoid at 50: Potent Anthems of Working-Class Strife

    Music critics dismissed Black Sabbath's sludgy sound and alienated lyrics, but fans ensured that the band's second album would become one of the most influential rock records of all time. The songs' channeling of working-class pain and frustration, not their fascination with the occult, explain why.



  • How Latinos Can Win the Culture War

    by Elizabeth Méndez Berry and Mónica Ramírez

    Latino/a Americans can secure their place in America against racist and nativist attacks by demanding representation in the news and entertainment media. The media have been important sources of power in the past, but are still not representative of American demographics. 



  • How Wagner Shaped Hollywood

    Music historian Daniel Ira Goldmark counts more than a hundred Warner Bros. cartoons with Wagner on their soundtracks.



  • Settler Fantasies, Televised

    by Hannah Manshell

    The genre of house hunting and home improvement shows involve contestants claiming the prerogatives of owning property, which has historically been allotted to white people at the expense of the indigenous in several societies. 



  • Epic Lego Battles Are A Smash On YouTube

    A subculture of Lego and military history enthusiasts has achieved notoriety for posting stop-motion videos of historic battles, despite the official non-violence policy of the building toy company. 



  • Bob Dylan Has a Lot on His Mind

    by Douglas Brinkley

    Historian Douglas Brinkley and the Nobel laureate Bob Dylan discuss the COVID pandemic, the effects of electronic media, and American history in music in a wide-ranging interview.