We call it having a baby. But when you are Kim Kardashian, getting knocked up is a “license to print money” and an opportunity to “take your brand to the next level”.
Welcome to the world of the billion-dollar celebrity baby.
If you thought the hoo-haa surrounding the birth of Brangelina’s twins was completely insane, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
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Who knew dating a Kardashian could prove detrimental? If modern popular culture has taught us anything, it’s that reality TV can turn even the most mundane of families into a multi-million dollar business.
And yet the entertainment industry is buzzing with reports that Kanye West’s decision to cosy up to self-promoting extraordinaire Kim Kardashian is damaging his music career.
That’s right, embarking on a relationship with a woman best known for starring in a sex tape and selling coverage of her 72-day marriage to the highest bidder doesn’t seem to have boosted West’s credibility. Who would have guessed?
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“We love Australian Music” is Triple J’s tag line, but do they? Really?? Or do they love it in the way that drunk guys tell random girls at clubs in the wee hours of Sunday morning?
Take Triple J’s “all Australian” music program “Home & Hosed” for example. The show features up and coming and known Australian bands who perhaps wouldn’t get any airtime on any other station..
At first blush this sounds like a badge of pride. But when it’s put into perspective, it’s less impressive.
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Yesterday afternoon, Kanye West put an emphatic punctuation mark on one of the most rapturous comebacks the music industry has ever seen.
Performing to in excess of 100,000 spectators at the Coachella Festival—and millions more worldwide, thanks to a generous and remarkable live YouTube stream—West’s finale was as fantastical as it was endearing.
Though West often describes himself as a designer—of music, of fashion, of aesthetic—yesterday he proved himself, more than anything, a curator. A man of impossibly varied influence and complexities. And he couldn’t have crafted a more grandiose stage to celebrate the completion of a fascinating, awkward, gritty metamorphosis.
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There is a great moment in The Simpsons where, after mounting a successful grassroots crusade against the violent Itchy and Scratchy cartoons, Marge is called upon to lead a group of concerned citizens who feel that Michelangelo’s statue of David is also not suitable for children (due to his exposed genitalia) and should not be displayed in Springfield during a nationwide tour.
Much to the frustration of Helen Lovejoy – the gossipy, ultra-conservative Reverend’s wife famous for the phrase “won’t somebody think of the children!?” – Marge does not want to participate in this campaign, because she thinks the statue is a renaissance masterpiece that all children should be encouraged to see.
It is a clever plot twist that highlights how slippery the slope of censorship really is, and how inconsistent we as a society tend to be when assessing the relative merits of art and popular culture: that one person’s art is very often another’s filth.
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How convenient to caricature someone whose work you oppose by reducing them to a cartoon parody. Like I haven’t had enough Helen Lovejoy clichés to last a lifetime? Oh, and look, another media studies academic watching The Simpsons. Are we impressed yet?
Warning: Contains graphic violent and sexual images
Where Stephen Harrington sees “a graphic critique of post-feminist female sexuality”, I see Kanye West holding a woman’s decapitated head. Where those like Harrington see ambiguous, complicated narrative and linear narrative fantasy, I see semi-naked dead women swinging from ropes around their necks.
When I see Rick Ross in the ‘Behind the scenes’ You Tube clip tucking into a plate of raw meat before a spreadeagled dead woman on the table, I see the brutalization and degradation of female sexuality. I don’t think ‘check out that satire!’
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Just days after the official release of his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye’s been given ten out of ten by Pitchfork and five stars from Rolling Stone.
For those of you who don’t subscribe to the music bibles, that’s unheard of. Critics are acting like it’s the second coming - and for hip hop, it basically is.
Hip hop used to be that stuff only the naughty kids listened to… the kind of music your mum used to ban you from buying… and the sort of album you’d put in your collection if you wanted people to think you walked on the wild side.
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Kayne West is unabashed. It’s why I like the guy, and it’s why many others don’t.
He’s the only superstar capable of the kind of outburst the world witnessed at last year’s MTV Music Video Awards — when he leapt onto the stage and announced that Beyoncé Knowles should have won Best Female Video mid-way through Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech — an outburst that also bestowed on him the title of being the only superstar who can claim he’s been called a jack-ass by the president.
Now, after the most damaging period of his career, West has attempted to resurrect his public image using Twitter.
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Kanye West has once again shown up off his guts to an award show and gotten all boisterous about who should or shouldn’t get a silly trophy, his fourth strike for the same offence.
At this week’s MTV Video Music Awards the prodigious hip hop talent leapt on stage to proclaim the clip for Beyonce Knowles’s floor-filler Single Ladies ‘one of the best videos of all time’.
I admire his passion for the music video form, but can only deride his timing: West made the statement during 19-year-old popstress Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for the best female video award, which she’d won ahead of Knowles.
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