Culture

Some of my favorite culture stories…

Burn Down the Rock Biopic

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I wrote about Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic, Rocketman, an imperfect movie that shows what’s possible when filmmakers abandon stale genre-specific conventions. Full Story

The Last Days of Cirque du Soleil

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I spoke with executives and performers at the famed global circus brand to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic devastated its business, perhaps irrevocably. Full Story

The Trophy Hunting Paradox

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I went to Kenya to speak with wildlife conservationists about new efforts to save the country’s wild animals. Kenya banned trophy hunting in the 1970s, but many wildlife species continue to disappear at alarming rates. Full Story

Treated Like Addicts

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For Vice News, I wrote about how the crackdown on opioid painkillers is affecting chronic pain patients. Many who had relied on the medication for decades now say they feel stigmatized by the media and abandoned by doctors who have stopped treating them out of fear of losing their licenses. Full Story

Invasion of the Seaweed

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I reported from Tulum, Mexico, on the puzzling increase of sargassum seaweed washing ashore in coastal towns and threatening Mexico’s $154 million tourism industry. The problem in 2015 had hospitality workers on edge as everyone wondered when, or if, the onslaught would let up. Full Story

The Bloody Battle Over Bullfighting

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I reported from Paris about recent violent confrontations between animal rights activists and bullfighting aficionados. The blood sport is illegal in France, but some small French towns are allowed to practice it due to a special cultural exemption. Full Story

A Radical Red Revolution

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Shortly after the death of David Bowie, I interviewed Suzi Ronson, the former hairdresser responsible for his iconic Ziggy Stardust haircut. Ronson went on to marry Bowie’s guitarist, Mick Ronson. Full Story

Millennials Get An Opera

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I review the Met Opera’s Two Boys, a fascinating tale of catfishing and Internet pranksterism set in the early 2000s. The production is part of the Met’s attempt to lure more young people to the opera. Full Story