Some of my favorite culture stories…
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 Article.
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 Article.
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 Article.
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 Article.
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 Article.
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 Article.
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 Article.
Sesame Workshop has long refused to settle the question of Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation. I make the case that they should. In fact, not doing so is a disservice to the LGBT community. Full Article.
I spoke with longtime patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, called the birthplace of gay civil rights, on the eve of a decision by the New York Landmarks Commission to designate the property a historic landmark. The fight to protect the tavern reflects broader challenges faced by preservationists in pro-development New York. Full Article.