Are millennials really driving cancel culture – or is it their overcautious critics?

Older generations argue that young peoples insistence on equality in all things including books threatens to stifle free speech. But is that always true? I wouldnt normally air my dirty literary linen in public, but here goes. When I finished writing my novel Putney, about a 13-year-old girl who has a love affair in the 1970s with an older man and realises decades later that it was actually abuse, my previous editor at Jonathan Cape chose not to publish it. The reasons emerged this year when described in the Observer as a Lolita for the era of #MeToo. Whether there was any truth in his words or not, Franklins position reveals how much fear now exists in publishing. The balance …

Stella McCartney: Its not like Im here for an easy life

The fashion designer talks about her latest collection, the creative frustrations of eco sequins and why shes not a fan of washing her bra I am standing in the Paul McCartney music playing on repeat, as Stella explains when I meet her in a private room on the top floor. Limited-edition versions of her clothes hang all around us, saved for favoured customers who make it into this locked zone. Inspired by the Beatles: highlights from Stella McCartneys new All Together Now collection. Photograph: Daniel Benson/The Observer Indeed, it turns out that the rocks have been shipped down from Pauls farm on the Mull of Kintyre, where mist rolls in from the sea the mist now rolls into his daughters …

The key to avoiding sexual shame online: reveal it all first

Foil sextortion scams, deepfakes and revenge porn by simply posting your own nude shots. By Eva Wiseman A little while ago I got an email saying my computer camera had been hacked, theyd taped me watching interesting porn, and unless I transferred cash immediately, theyd send the video to all my contacts. Which porn, I wondered idly. Was it the late-night scrolls of modernist houses splayed across Californian hills, the sensual greenery of Instagram plantfluencers, or the staccato clicks through embroidered folk art on eBay, quickly minimised when my boyfriend entered the room? The email dropped into hundreds of colleagues inboxes at the same time and it was possible to gauge their viewing habits and the membranous walls of their …

Why cultures queerbaiting leaves me cold

From Taylor Swifts new video to M&S sandwiches everyone is capitalising on Pride. Is it cause for concern? When Taylor Swift released her video for news site the Onion that delivered the funniest and most poignant response: Taylor Swift Inspires Teen To Come Out As Straight Woman Needing To Be At Center Of Gay Rights Narrative. The video, directed by Drew Kirsch and Swift herself, was designed to make a statement: it sees the musician parade around a campsite with a bunch of celebrity LGBTQ+ friends. Theres a same-sex wedding, a drag pageant and a food fight a parade of out and proud behaviour provoking the videos redneck protesters who hold placards with slogans such as Adam and Eve not …

The Psychological Impact of Seeing YouTubers Spend Millions

Price tags have been clickbait for a long time. The last 10 years are littered with sticker-shock stories: Paris Hilton's $325,000 "dog villa," Nicolas Cage's $276,000 (stolen) dinosaur skull, Kim Kardashian's $23,000 diaper bag, every celebrity's multi-multimillion-dollar home. Implicit in most of those stories was not only covetousness but judgment: how wonderful, how out of touch. In the age of influencers, though, the judgment has all but disappeared. You celebrate and contribute to your fave's flexing, or you're a hater. Flexing, if you're unfamiliar, is flaunting your wealth. You may have encountered it in meme form: In early 2018, "weird flex but OK" was the only appropriate response to bizarre social media boasting. Sometimes the bragging methods were questionable, but …

Ernie Barnes: the overlooked legacy of the athlete turned celebrity artist

The work of the football player who became a painter is finally being celebrated, from his Olympics artwork to his Marvin Gaye album cover Historically noted as the first professional American athlete to become a painter, the artistic legacy of football player Ernie Barnes still remains overlooked. But now, as part of a long overdue survey, his art is on view in Bridget R collection of world flags, in a piece titled The Rhythmic Gymnast from 1984. One of his paintings called neo-mannerist. Barnes with his 1984 Olympics artwork. Photograph: Chan Bush He was ignored by the mainstream art world, said Cooks, the author of a book called his paintings for their albums, including the cover of jazz trumpeter Donald …

My secret shame: I am (still) addicted to Pokmon Go

Dominic Rushe has caught over 11,000 Pokmon, walked 1,841km in Pok-land, and doesnt plan to stop anytime soon A thunderstorm is rolling towards Chicagos Grant Park. The thousands of people gathered for the citys third annual mon Go Fest, already sodden after a day of drizzle and rain, are now being told to evacuate for fear of lightning strikes. But I need to take a snapshot of a Bulbasaur, Pokmon Go is an augmented reality game where players, armed with their phones, collect Pokmon in the real world. The cute little creatures pop up on a map of your surroundings as you explore on foot, and you just have to catch them. At Pokstops dotted around the world, you spin …

Stop Meme-ing Taylor Swift

At this point, thinking sober thoughts about a new Taylor Swift song is painfully predictable. It's a here we go again exercise that think-piece writers and social media pundits have come to dread and celebrate in equal measure. Yet, no matter how formulaic the Swift responses are, the internet must be fed. Luckily for all involved, her latest single, "You Need to Calm Down," is irresistible hot-take fodder: It's been hailed as revolutionary, slammed as queerbait, praised as inclusive, and condemned as intolerant. The lyrics and music video nod to Swift's many celebrity feuds, but also include a GLAAD endorsement and a petition to ratify the Equality Act. There is homophobia, and also a food fight. It's a Tayfecta of …

Not OK, computer: how it feels to have your music leaked

When Radiohead were held to ransom by hackers, they shrugged and put 18 hours of unheard material online for free. But for other artists, having music leaked can be devastating In 1997, Radiohead imagined a future in which technological dependency and out-of-control consumerism had merged to form a dark, digital void. OK Computer, the bands third album, painted prescient pictures of riot police at political rallies and anxious lives lived in suburbs surrounded by endless motorways. The digital advances promising to bring us together, it seemed to warn, would instead corrode and cause chaos. Last weeks big Radiohead news wouldnt have sounded out of place on that albums technosceptic vision of tomorrow. The band had been hacked, Tuesday, and 18 …

While You Were Offline: Justin Bieber Wants to Fight Tom Cruise

It's been a week where everyone's favorite member of the Queer Eye Fab Five—sorry, Bobby—Jonathan Van Ness came out as being genderqueer, where Radiohead released outtakes from OK Computer to foil hackers, and a week where an ice wolf that died over 40 millennia ago was discovered, preserved, in the Siberian permafrost. And that's not all—President Trump also favorited a tweet about Rihanna for some mysterious reason. What else happened on the internet last week? While You Were Offline is here to catch you up. President Trump Got a Nice Letter from Kim Jong-Un What Happened: The romance between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un continued last week with a press conference in which everyone discussed a very special letter, one …

While You Were Offline: Trump Had a Very Long Week in the UK

Greetings, dear friends, and welcome to this week's installment of While You Were Offline. What did you miss on the interent last week? First, you might have missed Jared Kushner giving a pretty good demonstration of why he doesn't do many interviews. Joe Biden reversing course on bad ideas and apparently plagiarizing policy on climate change might have escaped your attention, too. No wonder more people are getting behind Elizabeth Warren, including, somewhat surreally, Fox News host Tucker Carlson. (Clearly, we're in the Upside Down.) Meanwhile, President Trump's attitude toward Mexico is reportedly making Mexico offer significant changes to asylum rules, even as Senate Republicans grumble about how bad Trump's tariffs will be for Americans. Elsewhere, Apple killed iTunes, and …

No, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Aren’t Married

Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are best friends, and pretty much have been since they took on the roles of Sansa and Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. Their fast friendship has often led people to wonder if they're romantically involved. The truth is they're not, but Turner understands why people think that. "People do think that we're a couple, sometimes," Turner says in the WIRED Autocomplete Interview above. "It's beautiful. It's the purest friendship I've ever had in my life." So, for whoever asked the internet if Turner and Williams are married, we're sorry if you're disappointed with that answer. And if you're wondering who Turner is married to, it's Joe Jonas. They got hitched last month. But even …

‘It’s ghost slavery’: the troubling world of pop holograms

Dead stars from Whitney Houston to Maria Callas are going on tour again. As Miley Cyrus explores the issue in a new Black Mirror, we uncover the greatest identity crisis in music today In the star-making Disney Channel switcheroo Hannah Montana,Miley Cyrus played a teenage girl who is able to metamorphose from regular eighth grader to pop icon, simply by donning a streaked blonde wig. Most of the show seems quaintly dated now, but one moment taps into a very 2019 pop anxiety. On foam-finger humper to The episodes trailer ends with Ashley Too acquiring potty-mouthed sentience, screaming for her owner to get this [USB] cable out of my ass! Holy Shit! Specifics are under wraps, but the episode seems …

The Trumps are coming! Expect it to go as well as a US sitcom episode set in London

In a plot twist no one saw coming, Trump is bringing his four adult children on his forthcoming state visit. It will be like Arrested Development Goes To The UK The one immutable law about TV sitcoms is the show should never leave its usual setting. Trump is bringing not just Ivanka, the daughter he once said he would date if they werent related, but his less date-able adult children, too: Donnie Jr, Eric and Tiffany! Trumps daughter with second wife Marla Maples is not a regular character, so its exciting when she makes an unexpected appearance. Sort of like on The Cosby Show when Lisa Bonet would come back from college, AKA shooting the sex thriller Arrested Development have …

‘This piece is San Francisco’: the massive digital mural capturing the city’s humanity

French artist JRs massive digital artwork showcases every stratum of society in the city San Francisco has been getting a bad rap lately. You dont have to live here to know that homelessness brushes up against wealth and shiny technology, construction cranes are a staple in the landscape and articles citing cultural collapse duel on social media with love letters to this city by the bay. All of which is to say that there are lot of opinionated perspectives in this dynamic metropolis. The French artist JR has captured 1,206 of them in The Chronicles of San Francisco, a massive digital mural he began in 2018. The crowd-depicting panorama is a technical marvel that captures the range of humanity seen …

Russia cuts Rocketman scenes citing ‘homosexual propaganda’ law

Elton John biopics gay sex and kissing footage edited out in effort to play down singers sexuality A Russian media company has reportedly cut all scenes featuring gay sex and men kissing from the Elton John biopic Rocketman because of laws banning homosexual propaganda. An estimated five minutes of footage have been cut from the film in an attempt to play down the sexuality of one of the worlds most famous gay celebrities for a conservative Russian audience. The cuts were first reported by Russian journalists after the films 30 May release in Moscow. Anton Dolin, a popular Russian film critic, wrote on Facebook that all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out The …