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    Wed. May 25

    How Two New Movies Explain the Meaning of Marriage

    Tim Markatos

    Imagine a world where marriage is mandated even in the absence of love—or just save yourself the trouble and go see the new film, The Lobster. Directed by the Greek satirist Yorgos Lanthimos (Oscar-nominated in 2011 for his provocative Dogtooth) and starring a paunchy, mustachioed Colin Farrell, The Lobster posits just such a dystopian future, where singleness is outlawed, yet authentic and loving relationships are impossibly hard to come by. At times hilarious and at times appalling, Lanthimos’s bizarre voice and directorial vision offer a twisted commentary on the business of finding love in the twenty first century.

    Per the draconian rules of the movie’s futuristic society, Farrell’s character, recently divorced, is checked into a hotel for singles and given 45 days to find a new romantic partner from among the guests. To make matters more difficult, a match between lovers is only deemed valid if the couple shares…

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    Movies

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    Wed. May 25

    Another Reason to Love Librarians

    Acculturated Editor

    Librarians are some of our culture’s most persuasive people. They help you navigate the library, of course; but they have also been the vanguard in the fight against intrusive government surveillance. They track down scofflaws who have neglected to return their library books (well, at least on sitcoms they do).

     

    They have even spawned numerous fictional heroes and heroines.

    But what librarians really want you to do is read. So this summer, the librarians of Livonia, Michigan, decided to take it up a notch when it came time to promote the library’s summer reading program. They made this video:

    The librarians’ stunt doubles in the video, who are shown flipping and catapulting themselves among the stacks of the library while awestruck patrons watch, were hired from a local free running club; the video was produced locally as well. But what’s most notable about the video isn’t the…

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    Culture

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12:  Producer Jodie Foster (L) and actress Julia Roberts (C) walk up upon their arrival at the 'Money Monster' premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 637186941 ORIG FILE ID: 531081584

    Wed. May 25

    Julia Roberts’ Bare Feet and the Decline of Aesthetic Standards

    Samantha M. Schroeder

    Last weekend at the Cannes film festival, actress Julia Roberts caused a stir when she ascended the red carpet stairs without her shoes on.

    Harking back to the “flatgate” scandal at Cannes last year, when several women (including some older women who couldn’t wear high heel shoes for medical reasons) were turned away from a movie screening for wearing flats, some reporters assumed that Roberts was seeking subtle retribution. Her justification, however, wasn’t so philosophical: “A lot was happening from my ankles up,” Roberts explained to Australia’s Sunrise. “Let’s not forget all that. A lot of time and effort went into ankles up. I just want to say for the record… I looked nice last night!”

    I’m sure everyone forgot what was happening from the ankles up after seeing the pale pedicured feet of an elite Hollywood actress walking across the red carpet of an international…

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    Celebrities, Fashion

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    Wed. May 25

    ‘New York’ Magazine’s War on Men

    Mark Tapson

    New York magazine’s digital fashion blog The Cut announced last week that it is addressing “the gender wars” in a new blog, as well as a column, intended to provide its largely female readership with a greater understanding of men and masculinity. This seemed like an intriguing and positive step toward easing tensions in the war between the sexes; but unfortunately, if the content thus far is any indication, don’t expect a truce to be forthcoming.

    The name choices are already a bad sign: the blog is called Beta Male and the column is titled “Mansplaining,” both of which are derogatory terms that will simply turn off male readers and open-minded women. It’s as if the editors were signaling from the get-go that they’re not so much sincerely interested in understanding manhood as they are in winking at the man-haters among their readers.

    Things don’t get…

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    Culture

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    Tue. May 24

    Facebook vs. Conservatives: A Solution

    Mark Judge

    Recently a controversy arose over accusations that Facebook was censoring conservative stories from its “trending” news feed. The site was accused of blocking certain stories because Facebook’s feed was run by liberals. Prominent conservatives had a meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who assured them that Facebook is an “open platform” and that he would try to make sure that more conservative stories were represented in the trending stories feed.

    But Facebook, a private company, doesn’t have any obligation to feature conservative journalism in its news feed. Zuckerberg can run stories about cats all day if he wants to. What would redeem Facebook, and every other media outlet in America, is not affirmative action for right-wingers, but two simple concepts: Honesty and honor.

    It’s that simple. Journalists need to be honest about themselves, as well as their motivations and biases. If journalists revealed to the public which political…

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    Culture

  • The-Top-10-Bestselling-Books

    Tue. May 24

    Stop Dumbing Down Books for Teens

    Julia Dent

    During my senior year AP English class in high school, we read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It was brutal. I thought I was a pretty good reader because I had worked my way through most of Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and Leo Tolstoy, but I struggled to get through Heart of Darkness. To this day, it’s still one of my least favorite books. But you know what? I made it through, and I actually learned a few things. And when my class got to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, I found it easier to read and more enjoyable since I was familiar with a more complicated language and writing style after making it through Heart of Darkness.

    Today’s teenagers are less likely to have that same experience taking on challenging books. Consider the recent news that even Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is considered…

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    Books

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14:  Blake Lively attends 'The BFG (Le Bon Gros Geant - Le BGG)' premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals  on May 14, 2016 in Cannes, .  (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

    Tue. May 24

    Blake Lively Isn’t Racist. She’s Vain.

    Chelsea Samelson

    You know a country’s lost its mind when people wail about a wrong that was not committed and ignore entirely a wrong that was. That’s exactly what happened last week when actress Blake Lively was mercilessly skewered on social media.

    The always lovely Lively took to Instagram to post a split shot of herself posing like red carpet royalty in a gold Versace gown at the Cannes Film Festival. She looked stunning, with an added healthy and happy glow thanks to her recently-announced pregnancy.

    But when she attached the following caption to the photo—“L.A. face with an Oakland booty”—she went from ravishing to racist within a matter of minutes. Twitter was instantly ablaze with angry comments, and the blogosphere lit up with lengthy explanations of how insensitive and racist it is for a white girl to say anything about having a black girl booty. Lively became the poster…

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    Celebrities

  • whitney-houston-hologram-the-voice1-750x522-1463758432

    Tue. May 24

    Raising the Dead

    Acculturated Editor

    Recently, when footage of a Whitney Houston hologram rocking out with Christina Aguilera on The Voice leaked online, the response was almost universally negative. “It’s not right and it’s not OK,” was the nearly-unanimous reaction.

    For those of you who innocently believed that Houston’s performing days were over (given that she died in 2012), let us enlighten you about the latest Lazarus-like efforts by the entertainment industry (and dead celebrities’ families) to profit off of dead people: The Hologram!

     

    The company Hologram USA, which produced the subpar pixelated Whitney Houston, lists dozens of dead celebrities as available “Talent” on its website. Singers such as Judy Garland, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline and comedians like Bernie Mac and Andy Kaufman are all available for performances and commercial endorsements—because nothing says love and respect for a person’s artistic legacy like selling their image to hawk Dirt Devil vacuums (RIP Fred…

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    Celebrities, Music

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    Mon. May 23

    Seek Your Purpose Before Your Paycheck

    Christine B. Whelan

    In a new national survey, 18-24-year-olds report that having a clear purpose in life is a big part of being a “real” adult. The problem is, most young people don’t feel like they’ve found that sense of purpose.

    If you’re graduating from college this month, congratulations. After you toss your cap in the air and before you jump into your life’s next chapter, spend a few minutes pondering the three biggest questions of your emerging adult years: What matters to me? Why does my answer matter? And how can I make it happen?

    What matters to me?

    More than 86% of young adults say that making decisions in line with their purpose makes them an adult, according to a national survey I conducted recently. But only 43% say they have a clear picture of what they want in life… and only 30% know why they are here.

    This…

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    Culture

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    Mon. May 23

    Do We Really Need to Hear about Dax Shepard’s Vasectomy?

    R. J. Moeller

    Few things in this life are more personal than the details and circumstances surrounding a husband’s and wife’s decision to have children. Far be it from me to tell another man—especially one who makes his living in the public spotlight—how he should handle information regarding his choice to get a vasectomy (without consulting with his wife and the mother of his two kids), but something tells me that comedian Dax Shepard’s “reveal” on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week was not the most tasteful of options.

    From US Magazine:

    Two kids are enough for Dax Shepard. The actor revealed during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, May 18, that he got a vasectomy last year after his wife, Kristen Bell, had a pregnancy scare.

    Kimmel asked the 41-year-old comedian whether more kids are in the cards for the couple, who are already parents of daughters…

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    Celebrities