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The Year in Catching Up

On clearing out your cultural backlog, one Breaking Bad binge-watch at a time.

2014 Is Not A List

On the insufficiency of numbers, black metal turned aggressively queer and danceable, and finding that certain brand of black cherry lipstick.

Harry Styles of One Direction
Publishing Pop Daydreams

Anna Todd’s One Direction fanfic-turned-novel After lets readers indulge specific fantasies—not just through the fictionalized versions of celebrities, but through the author’s life as well.

For Kids, By Kids—But Not For Long

YouTube’s (mostly) teenage vloggers created a monumental mainstream youth culture free of adult supervision. Now they’re doing the unthinkable: growing up.

Memorable For the Wrong Reasons: Tom Ewing on Charity Singles

In e-mail conversation with the UK music critic about “We Are the World,” “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and other “classics” of the genre.

The Secret Art of Talking to Other Humans

Whether at a friend’s birthday party or stark naked in the Nicaraguan jungle, our first conversations with strangers require a complex dance of tentative reveals and elisions.

Changing Minds: Nick Jonas, One Direction, and the Rare Act of Pop Transference

There’s no sure escape from the compressed life of a boy band.

Willow and Jaden Smith: The Outtakes

T magazine “condensed and edited” its interview earlier this week with Willow and Jaden Smith. Here, exclusively, is what didn’t make the cut.

Stumbling Towards the Mainstream: On Azealia Banks’ Broke With Expensive Taste

Banks’ long-delayed debut album arrived with a shrug, but this is less evidence of an artist failing to live up to her potential than of the still-crushing vagaries of the record industry.

Three Guns

The ones that scare us, the ones that take things away from us, and the ones that make us feel in control.