Rated Reads this week takes a look at dating in the Metaverse, a profile of the enigmatic Nicolas Cage and the intriguing emergence of short king spring.

I Tried to Find a Date in the Metaverse

Our big tech overlords (and Reese Witherspoon) have informed us that our future lies in the Metaverse. If (and that’s a really, really big if) that’s the case, then we’ll be bringing life’s challenges there. For VICE, Ross Buchanan bravely investigates one of those challenges – dating – unearthing a strange world of flirting in virtual bars and awkward VR helmet movements. The future is bright.

Nicolas Cage has been a lot of things – an actor, a meme, a permanent fixture of tabloid pages for his odd, expensive purchases. Ahead of the release next month of his highly-anticipated meta film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, GQ profiles an actor who proves to be a great deal more thoughtful and normal than his outsize reputation suggests. While wearing a kung-fu suit for relexation.

It’s officially short king spring

It’s short king spring! That may require some explanation, but Laura Pitcher at i-D is here to help. Short king spring, as it turns out, is a sign of the growing backlash against all those “6 foot or over” dating app bios, and of everyone’s love for iconic height-difference couple, Tom Holland (short) and Zendaya (tall). It’s simple!

One Good Thing: The messy, glorious music videos of Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson has become a fixture of awards seasons with acclaimed films like Phantom Thread and this year’s Licorice Pizza, but the director has often turned his hand to music videos too. For Vox, Alissa Wilkinson celebrates Anderson’s contributions to the genre, including videos for the likes of Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, and his modern-day muses Haim.

As we have seen time and time again, America is fond of taking existing formats and making it their own. The Eurovision film on Netflix a couple years ago saw a little envy coming in, and sure enough, this week saw the launch of an American Song Contest, porting over the Eurovision format to an inter-state competition. The Guardian examines a translation with some slight growing pains.

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