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Gaming 

EA Blames Star Wars Canon For Its Greedy, Wretched Battlefront 2 Design

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. There are a lot of ways that EA could deal with its Battlefront 2 program. The company could announce it was redesigning the progression system so that early players didn’t have a huge advantage over those who bought the game later. It could bring its microtransaction ideas back, but use them for cosmetic upgrades that don’t affect gameplay. But being EA, it decided to double down on the worst aspects of game design. And now…

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Culture 

'Rumble' Aims to Upset the Rock 'n' Roll Canon

The year was 1958 and some radio stations were refusing to play a song that was making its way up the pop charts. But it wasn’t Elvis Presley who was causing the furor—it was the similarly coiffed Link Wray. Born in rural east-central North Carolina, Wray was peddling his own form of musical subversion. Unknown to his small but growing fan base was the fact that Wray hailed from the Shawnee tribe. Wray wasn’t about to proclaim his Native American heritage out loud in an era when bigotry and racism was the norm….

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Ken Burns’s American Canon

Like Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, Ken Burns has a summer house on Lake Sunapee, in New Hampshire. The property is furnished with Shaker quilts and a motorboat; every July 4th, a fifteen-foot-long American flag hangs over the back deck. He bought the house in the mid-nineties, with money earned from “The Civil War,” his nine-part PBS documentary series, and its spinoffs. When PBS first broadcast that series, in a weeklong binge in the fall of 1990, the network reached its largest-ever audience. The country agreed to gather as if at…

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Culture 

The Trouble with Building a Rock-Writing Canon

Sister Rosetta Tharpe performing “Blues and Gospel Train,” in 1964.CreditPHOTOGRAPH BY ITV / SHUTTERSTOCK / REX The most famous definition of rock journalism comes from Frank Zappa, who, in 1977, described the form to an interviewer as “people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read.” It’s a funny quip that has enjoyed a robust afterlife, mostly because generations of quasi-self-deprecating rock journalists can’t stop quoting it. But it was never really true, and certainly wasn’t in 1977, the year that Elvis died, punk broke,…

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