The hottest Criticism Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
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Freddie deBoer • 5040 implied HN points • 18 Mar 24
  1. Contemporary social culture often relies on the notion of Person-Guys, predictable stereotypes that people aspire not to be.
  2. Society evolves, but Person-Guy stereotypes remain stagnant, failing to capture the complexity of individuals' growth and change over time.
  3. Insecurity and projection play a significant role in perpetuating Person-Guy discourse, with individuals projecting their own fears onto these stereotypes.
Freddie deBoer • 8782 implied HN points • 24 Jan 24
  1. Indie rock no longer exists in 2024, with no cool clubs or scene left to produce new albums, showing a cultural shift away from 'indie' music.
  2. The embrace of poptimism in music criticism led to a shift towards conformity and popular music elevation, changing the role of the critic from highlighting underappreciated music to reassuring popular tastes.
  3. Music criticism has lost its diversity and focus on challenging artistic expressions due to the dominance of poptimism, impacting the vibrancy and depth of music discussions.
Vague Blue • 958 implied HN points • 08 May 24
  1. Renata Adler's writing focuses on critical acuity and a strong ethical use of language
  2. Renata Adler's work emphasizes the importance of maintaining distinctions and avoiding polarization in discussions of violence and ethics
  3. Adler's nonfiction stands out for its searing righteousness, honesty, and fearless exploration of truth amidst a backdrop of cultural and political complexities
Changing The Channel • 6039 implied HN points • 17 Jan 24
  1. Resistance is an invisible force that aims to prevent us from pursuing our deepest desires and goals.
  2. Procrastination is a common manifestation of Resistance and serves as an easy way to rationalize avoiding our work.
  3. Critics and naysayers, including those close to us, may stem from their own fears and insecurities, projecting them onto our creative endeavors.
Freddie deBoer • 4855 implied HN points • 22 Jan 24
  1. Sports media can sometimes be toxic with aimless shouting and pointless provocations.
  2. Nick Wright exemplifies how sports media can corrupt individuals, where his persona often overshadows his potential thoughtful side.
  3. Wright's obsessive criticism and cruelty towards athletes, like Josh Allen and Nikola Jokic, stems from personal biases and a lack of accountability in the sports media industry.
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Common Sense with Bari Weiss • 1507 implied HN points • 10 Mar 24
  1. The Oscars ceremony might not be highly anticipated, but the lineup of movies competing for Best Picture is impressive.
  2. The movie 'American Fiction' provides a satirical take on identity politics in the context of a black writer's success with writing cliched storylines.
  3. In 'Oppenheimer,' director Christopher Nolan uses a unique structure to showcase the creation of the atomic bomb and the interplay of fusion and fission processes.
Caitlin’s Newsletter • 1788 implied HN points • 23 Feb 24
  1. The difference between Republicans and Democrats lies in how they are perceived when supporting or backing certain actions - Republicans are seen as evil with evil reasons, while Democrats are viewed as having noble humanitarian reasons in spite of their actions.
  2. Republicans and Democrats differ in the ways they support certain agendas - Republicans use right-wing language to argue, while Democrats use left-wing language, even as they support wars, militarism, capitalism, and oppression.
  3. Republicans and Democrats vary in their approach towards global conflicts and issues - Republicans tend towards wars with China, while Democrats lean towards conflicts with Russia; they also differ in the perceptions of civilian casualties during their administrations.
The J. Burden Show • 2376 implied HN points • 22 Dec 23
  1. The phrase 'just' is used to diminish aspirations and heroes, promoting a sense of mediocrity and weakening the idea of heroism in modern society.
  2. Current narratives often focus on highlighting the flaws of historical figures and heroes to degrade their legacy and virtues, rather than showcasing them as examples to be admired and followed.
  3. The concept of 'just' contributes to a culture that belittles heroic actions, leading to a society that discourages bravery and valor, instead fostering a mentality of cynicism and self-deprecation.
The Common Reader • 779 implied HN points • 07 Mar 24
  1. Shakespeare's characters were not meant to be seen as real people but rather as symbols representing larger themes and ideas in his plays.
  2. The historical context of drama before Shakespeare involved using archetypes to make moral points, which influenced how Shakespeare's characters were perceived by the contemporary audience.
  3. While some critics argued that only what is explicitly stated in the text matters, it is also important to consider the depth and complexity of characters beyond what is directly mentioned.
The Common Reader • 673 implied HN points • 13 Mar 24
  1. Discussions on Shakespeare's characters often avoid delving into them as people, and those who do, like A.C. Bradley, are sometimes considered out of touch.
  2. Bradley's approach to literary criticism, focusing on the humanity of characters, has faced criticism and mockery over the years.
  3. The tension between traditional literary analysis, like Bradley's, and modern theories, such as Marxist political analysis, continues within academia.
The Rubesletter by Matt Ruby (of Vooza) | Sent every Tuesday • 1568 implied HN points • 09 Jan 24
  1. Critics say Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais' new specials are punching down, not insightful or funny.
  2. The target of their jokes may not be the marginalized groups they seem to mock, but those who display moral superiority online.
  3. Social media outrage often simplifies complex issues, but there can be funny jokes about anyone as long as they're thoughtful and original.
The Biblioracle Recommends • 1179 implied HN points • 21 Jan 24
  1. Arts criticism is becoming less important in our day-to-day lives due to algorithms taking over the role of critics.
  2. Criticism plays a role beyond just recommending what to buy; it offers unique perspectives and interpretations.
  3. Subscription platforms like Substack may offer hope for supporting sustainable work, but there are challenges in finding space and audience for new writers.
Aaron Renn • 1100 implied HN points • 17 Jan 24
  1. Left and right have different values and tactics when it comes to institutional capture.
  2. Conservatives can use a top-down private equity approach to capture and restructure institutions.
  3. Think asymmetrically - what works for others may not work for you, so consider different strategies to bring change.
Glenn Loury • 3518 implied HN points • 06 Aug 23
  1. The Florida Board of Education's guidelines for teaching African American history include lessons on the Underground Railroad, slave rebellions, and the harsh realities of chattel slavery.
  2. The controversy on the Florida curriculum involves a debate between emphasizing victimization or acknowledging the agency of enslaved individuals.
  3. Some researchers argue that recognizing the agency of enslaved blacks does not downplay the inhumane aspects of slavery and can provide a more nuanced understanding of their experiences.
Raheem Kassam's Substack • 3026 implied HN points • 14 Feb 23
  1. The Daily Show creator expressed strong negative feelings towards Greg Gutfeld's ratings and his audience.
  2. The creator's remarks were filled with profanity and elitism, criticizing Gutfeld's humor and his viewers.
  3. Despite criticizing others, the creator's own dietary habits were revealed to include indulgence in unhealthy foods.
Public • 521 implied HN points • 07 Feb 24
  1. Interviewing newsworthy personalities is a part of journalism and shouldn't require an apology.
  2. Criticism of interview questions is fair, but smearing someone for interviewing influential figures hinders journalism principles.
  3. Journalists should strive to interview leaders from all sides of major issues to allow for a broader perspective.
In the Flash • 1926 implied HN points • 08 Sep 23
  1. There is a collective backlash against Burning Man due to global warming leading to muddy conditions, criticized by journalists and intellectuals.
  2. Burning Man is not just about drugs and orgies; it also features art installations, interactive experiences, and a sense of wonder.
  3. Despite criticisms, Burning Man offers an escape from daily life, a space for freedom, creativity, and a reset from societal norms.
Wrong Side of History • 375 implied HN points • 16 Feb 24
  1. London Mayor Sadiq Khan employs a style of politics that can be polarizing and lead to criticism.
  2. Critics often blame Khan for issues like crime and housing in London, even though his influence is limited, and other factors play a role.
  3. Despite differing opinions on Khan, there are those who support his transport policies and take a minority stance on urban planning.
Public • 515 implied HN points • 18 Jan 24
  1. Corporate media is pressuring Substack for censorship due to declining revenues, but claims of widespread Nazism on the platform are exaggerated.
  2. A journalist revealed inaccuracies in an article that sparked the anti-Substack campaign, highlighting errors in claims about a writer's earnings through the platform.
  3. Mainstream media's coordinated attack on Substack, framing it as a platform for Nazis, aims to undermine its threat to legacy media, resembling past efforts seen with social media giants like Facebook and Twitter.
Crow & Colophon • 3 HN points • 15 Jun 24
  1. The question of whether algorithms can be considered beautiful, like poetry, sparks thoughtful considerations about the nature of code and its impact on our world.
  2. The discussion highlights the interconnectedness between literature, programming, and the human condition, prompting reflections on the beauty and artistry inherent in code.
  3. Various perspectives from programmers and computing experts showcase the idea of code as poetry and how programming can be seen as a form of art, invoking creativity, skill, and ingenuity.
thestoa • 314 implied HN points • 10 Feb 24
  1. Establish personal protocols to handle criticism online by nurturing offline friendships and developing a taxonomy of feedback.
  2. Cancellation and online harassment are real and harmful, aiming to cut people off from opportunities and psychological safety.
  3. Engage in snark and trolling online, but be aware of the impact they can have on your ego and be prepared to handle online judgment with resilience.
The Signorile Report • 1002 implied HN points • 25 Sep 23
  1. The Washington Post and ABC News published a flawed poll showing Trump leading Biden by 10 points, which was widely criticized and eventually disappeared from the Post homepage.
  2. Media organizations have a responsibility to provide accurate and reliable information, especially when conducting polls in a climate of misinformation and conspiracy theories.
  3. The methodology flaws in the poll, such as an unusual mix of respondents and misaligned results compared to other polls, highlighted the media malpractice in presenting and defending problematic data.
The Leftovers • 479 implied HN points • 19 Dec 23
  1. Negativity in literary culture is often repressed, leading to toxic behaviors like sabotaging peers on platforms like Goodreads.
  2. Year-end book lists can sometimes involve favoritism and promotion rather than honest critique, affecting the authenticity of recommendations.
  3. Encouraging fair and open criticism among writers and reviewers is essential for a healthy literary discourse and reducing toxic behaviors.