Obscenity is out, criminalization is in: what today’s moral panics about LGBTQ+ people have in common with post-identity resilience discourse

When I was growing up, my hometown was the epicenter of three moral panics about obscene sex that snowballed to the national stage: two grew so big they went to trial and became national media spectacles and one led to…

The Future of Rock and Roll: 97X and the fight for true independence—Final Draft Introduction

As many of you know I wrote a book on 97X WOXY–it’s all going through copy editing right now and should hopefully be out in the world as a printed Thing in spring 2023. In the meantime, however, I thought…

Vibes, Vectors, and the Biopolitics of Algorithmic Legitimation

it’s the first draft of the introduction to the central chapter of my vibes book For decades, various counter- and sub-cultures used the term “vibe(s)” to describe what made them different from the mainstream. From hippies and their “good vibrations”…

SCOTUS to US: There is no such thing as civil society

The week of July 20, 2022, the US Supreme Court released a series of decisions about religious liberty, gun rights, and abortion rights that significantly reversed established precedent. The court ruled that (1) it’s an infringement on the free exercise…

What comes before vibes? On norms & psychophysical aesthesis

As I argued in my April 2022 essay in Real Life, norms are becoming less central to the patriarchal racial capitalist governance of inequality generally and sexuality in particular. This waning salience of norms is rooted in a shift in…

Some news

I am excited to announce that I am joining Palgrave Macmillan as Acquisitions Editor for Philosophy and Media & Cultural Studies. I’m looking forward to using my expertise in and passion for both these fields to help scholars publish impactful…

“Vibe shift” and the shifting meaning of “vibe”

“Vibe Shift” has gurgled to the top of The Discourse this week, largely thanks to Allison P. Davis’s article in The Cut. The term was coined by Sean Monahan (whose work I like and which I’ve talked about in The…

Is a vibe a vibration?

Yesterday, numerous people tweeted me this picture: Combining the language of “vibes” with the pseudoscientific idea that 528Hz is a sound frequency with physical and psychological healing powers, the sentence on this chocolate bar speaks to two things I’ve written…

When did vibes become a Thing?

When Gawker editor-in-chief Leah Finnegan put “vibe” on her publication’s list of banned words in October 2021, it was clear the term stopped being cool and started to sound basic. That move made me wonder when exactly “vibes” became the…

The new Matrix movie: Actually interesting!

I watched the new Matrix movie last night and it completely changed how I felt about the entire franchise: I used to think it was somewhere between boring and annoying, but the new film reframes the originals in a way that highlights…