Friendsgiving Puts Friendship Back Where It Belongs

For Centuries, Civilizations Revolved Around Relationships That Our Modern World Too Often Neglects

Across the United States, group chats are blowing up. Who’s bringing dessert? A side dish? A casserole? The wine? More wine?

The discourse isn’t necessarily anchored to the fourth Thursday in November, and the people texting share neither DNA (nor deep-rooted emotional baggage). Rather, such pressing questions revolve around an unofficial holiday nominally in the Thanksgiving orbit that’s slowly formed its own customs and significance over the last decade or so to become a standalone celebration in its own right. The result, Friendsgiving, has become one of my favorite events on …

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Every Era’s Vampires Require New Blood | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Every Era’s Vampires Require New Blood

A Queer, Multiracial Adaptation of Anne Rice’s Seminal Novel Follows a 200-Year-Old Tradition

For all the puffy shirts, brooding glances, and implicit queerness of Interview with the Vampire, the blockbuster 1976 novel by the late Anne Rice that became the 1994 cult classic …

Why Is Fantasy Stuck in the Middle Ages? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Is Fantasy Stuck in the Middle Ages?

From the Latest Tolkien Adaptation to the New Thrones Series, a Genre Is Reckoning With Its Most Well-Known Setting

The pre-industrial Western landscape of wizards and magic, good and evil, elves and dwarves of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination has become a well-worn part of our cultural geography. Amazon’s shiny new …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Hot Girl Summer Is a Utopian Notion

We’ll Never Reach Its Coconut-Scented Siren Call, But That Shouldn’t Stop Us From Trying

Here in Southern California, the Santa Ana winds are blowing, summoning us back to school, back to our routines, back to our lives.

The potential that once hung so heady in …

Are We Entering a New Age of Vaudeville? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Are We Entering a New Age of Vaudeville?

This Ecosystem of Diverse, Constantly Changing Variety Acts Was Once America’s Most Popular Form of Entertainment. Now It’s Back—on TikTok

If the viral Change.org petition that made the rounds this summer to “MAKE INSTAGRAM INSTAGRAM AGAIN” is any indicator, Instagram’s lurching attempts to try to become more like TikTok haven’t …

Why It Matters That Star Trek Is Confronting Eugenics | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why It Matters That Star Trek Is Confronting Eugenics

For Decades the Dangerous Pseudoscience Was Heavily Censored on Screen—While Offscreen It Continued Influencing Policy

In a meme that’s been floating around online recently, William Shatner asks, “When did Star Trek get all political?”

The joke is on Shatner, or rather on an old tweet from …