• Rocky-Apollo-Spin-Off

    Fri. July 3

    Why ‘Rocky’ is the Most Patriotic Movie of All Time

    Michael Warren

    On Independence Day, your average freedom loving, red-blooded American probably celebrates like this: Playing at the pool or the lake or the beach, having a cold domestic beer with a hot dog, and enjoying fireworks that evening. If you’re unfortunate enough to have rain on your Fourth of July parade, though, you’ll need to honor our country indoors by—how else?—watching a patriotic movie. Let me recommend the most pro-America movie ever produced by Hollywood: Rocky.

    Sure, there are plenty of more straightforwardly nationalistic choices. Take any number of war-hero films: Patton, Red Dawn, American Sniper, Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln offers a stirring depiction of the American president who saved the Union in her darkest hour. The Patriot is too obvious a choice, and star Mel Gibson’s an Aussie, anyway. And yes, you can always watch Independence Day, except President Bill Pullman’s rousing speech as…

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  • 0211_chic_fil_a_630x420

    Fri. July 3

    Why is Chick-fil-A America’s Favorite Restaurant?

    R. J. Moeller

    When you ask your friends which fast food establishment they like best, Chick-fil-A is typically the trump card that takes the winning hand. While this seems especially true in areas where their stores are few and far between, I have found that the length of one’s relationship with Chick-fil-A does very little to dilute his or her passion for it.

    The delicious truth is simple enough: People love Chick-fil-A.

    Don’t believe me? Just ask CNN.com:

    Not everyone likes Chick-fil-A’s politics, but they sure seem to like the food.

    It’s the highest-ranking fast food restaurant in the U.S. for customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report 2015.

    Wait—there are actually people who would put “politics” ahead of those savory waffle fries and an Oreo shake?

    The chicken restaurant was the subject of controversy and protests a few years ago after its CEO made remarks that…

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  • do-no-reuse-taylor-swift-the-beat-bb36-sarah-barlow-billboard-650

    Fri. July 3

    Is Taylor Swift Really Queen of the Internet?

    Andrew Stiles

    Recently, Taylor Swift was hailed as a hero on the internet after convincing the millennial generation’s least favorite mega-corporation, Apple, to slightly alter the compensation policy on its new streaming service, Apple Music, to ensure that artists aren’t giving away content for free. The 25-year-old pop icon was declared “queen of the internet” (Wired), “the most powerful person in tech” (Entrepreneur), and “our fair-haired capitalist” savant (New York Post).

    Even better, from a moral and/or public relations perspective, Swift’s “victory” over the iMan was celebrated for all the right reasons. Her actions were generally seen as those of a benevolent multimillionaire using her celebrity platform to serve as a voice for everyday artists. Not unlike Hillary Clinton, who is slightly less affluent than Swift despite being nearly three times as old, Swift has succeeded in getting fans to overlook the naked self-interest of her actions simply by asserting…

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  • 1434979914_oliver-bill-kate-hudson-zoom

    Thu. July 2

    The Boy Who Cried ‘Abandonment’

    Erin Vargo

    On Father’s Day this year, Oliver Hudson (the less famous brother of actress Kate, and son of Goldie Hawn) published a snarky caption on Instagram of a childhood photo of his biological father, Bill Hudson: “Happy Abandonment Day,” he wrote. The post garnered a great deal of attention in the press and prompted a fair share of virtual high-fives among the large contingent of individuals who’ve felt abandoned by a father.

    A week of silence ensued between the parties before Bill offered a seething response. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Bill vowed to “break all ties” with Oliver and Kate. “I say to them now, ‘I set you free.’ . . . I had five birth children but I now consider myself a father of three. I no longer recognize Oliver and Kate as my own. I would ask them to stop using the Hudson name.…

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  • mcadamsfarrell.0.0

    Thu. July 2

    ‘True Detective’ Season Two: A Show Confronts its Gender Issues and Tries to Solve a Murder

    Sonny Bunch

    For the next few weeks, the intrepid Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) will be discussing the new season of True Detective here at Acculturated. Spoiler Alert: Plot points for the first two episodes discussed below.

    I find the shifting critical consensus surrounding True Detective to be utterly baffling. The first season, which was extremely entertaining but not exactly groundbreaking, became a sensation, an object of fascination. People spent hours trying to decode the secret messages hidden in the plot, trying to figure out who the Yellow King was, trying to one-up each other with knowledge from outside the program. And when it closed in a rather conventional fashion, this cohort was outraged.

    That outrage, mixed with a sense that True Detective was not politically correct enough (neither of the two main characters was a woman and the supporting female characters were sketched out about as well as supporting characters generally are, mon…

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  • 77081-050-B4287213

    Thu. July 2

    Should ‘Gone with the Wind’ be Banned?

    Mark Tapson

    This Tuesday marked the anniversary of the 1936 publication of Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War-era epic Gone with the Wind, one of the bestselling novels of all time, which also became one of the most beloved movies of all time. But in light of its nostalgic view of Southern slave-owning society, has this classic become a racist relic that must be shunned in our time?

    Gone with the Wind has sold tens of millions of copies. Its author Mitchell won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the David O. Selznick-produced film starring Vivien Leigh as tenacious Atlanta belle Scarlett O’Hara and dashing Clark Gable won eight Oscars (out of 13 nominations) and is still the most successful film in box office history (when adjusted for inflation). It was number six on the American Film Institute’s 10th Anniversary Top 100 American Movies of All Time in 2007. Up until a week or…

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    Books, Movies

  • NBC NEWS-EVENTS -- Education Nation: New York Summit, Day 1 -- Pictured: Brian Williams  at NBC News' Education Nation Summit at the New York Public Library in New York on Sunday, September 23, 2012 -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

    Wed. July 1

    Did Brian Williams Lie?

    Ari Schulman

    Oh, Brian. I could hardly watch. Not because we saw the monster revealed, not because it was a PR ploy, but because . . . well, aren’t we all just waiting to get caught?

    What Matt Lauer really wanted to know when he interviewed you was whether you knew you were telling falsehoods. He wanted to hear the word: lie. So did Alessandra Stanley. So did many others.

    But this wasn’t your regular ole I have no recollection of the event in question, your Imagine: How Creativity Works (oof!), even your It depends upon what the meaning of the word “is” is. Not quite fabulism, and not legalese, but something more unnervingly ordinary.

    “I told stories that were not true. Over the years, looking back, it is very clear I never intended to.” It would almost be simpler if you had, wouldn’t it? But the idea that you didn’t is what…

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  • I will come back soon. Sad little boy leaning his face on hand while playing with toy car and looking down while his father in formalwear consoling him

    Wed. July 1

    The Four-Minute Parent

    Jennifer Graham

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics last week announced that in a typical day in 2014 Americans spent 156 minutes watching television, 17 minutes exercising, and 16 minutes “relaxing and thinking.”

    Troubling as it is that Americans admit to thinking for only a quarter of an hour a day, the agency’s study contained an even more damning admission: Parents have “deliberate conversations” with their children three minutes a day and, if they read to them, read for 2.4 minutes. This suggests the enduring popularity of Goodnight Moon may have more to do with its brevity than its charm, and that parents have taken way too seriously the astonishing headline on Smithsonian.com earlier this year that said “It Doesn’t Matter How Much Time Parents Spend With Their Kids.”


    This jaw-dropping revelation was enabled by the Washington Post’s spring report on a study that found the amount of time parents spend with their children…

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  • 134310218_14338200509611n

    Wed. July 1

    Two Yellow Cards and You’re Out: What Soccer Gets Right about Punishment

    Ashley May

    Yesterday, the U.S. women’s soccer team defeated Germany 2-0 to advance to the World Cup finals. But last week, when the team took the field against China, two notable players were missing from the pregame runs and stretches. Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe, both considered some of the best midfielders in the world, were sitting out, dressed in casual blue tops, perched in the stands along with every other American come to Canada to cheer on the team.

    Why? Any World Cup fan will tell you that Holiday and Rapinoe each received a yellow card in the U.S. match against Columbia, their second card each in the tournament. And according to the rules, receiving a yellow card in two matches in group play through the quarterfinals necessitates an immediate one-game suspension (after the semifinals yellow cards are wiped clean so players can participate in the final). Although Rapinoe…

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  • ORG XMIT: NYET799 This film image released by Warner Bros. shows, from left, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Channing Tatum, and Matt Bomer in a scene from "Magic Mike." Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer play fire men, cops and other exaggerated versions of hyper-masculine characters in the Steven Soderbergh film, and they say preparing for their parts and performing nearly nude for the dozens of female extras who populated the fake Club Xquisite gave the actors insight into women's grooming, undergarments and approach to carnal fantasy. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Claudette Barius)

    Tue. June 30

    Does ‘Magic Mike XXL’ Encourage Reverse Objectification?

    Chelsea Samelson

    Let’s pretend that Warner Brothers made a summer comedy about female strippers. Let’s pretend that the movie trailer featured three minutes of beautiful, topless women gyrating on a stage, ending with the words, “You’re Welcome.”

    What would happen? We would witness a nationwide conniption fit about the perils of sexual objectification.

    Now what would happen if Hollywood used male strippers instead? We would have a major blockbuster hit on our hands, which, incidentally, is exactly what the hotly anticipated movie Magic Mike XXL is expected to become when it opens in theaters tomorrow.

    Here in America, sexual objectification is perfectly fine . . . half of the time. When it’s done to women, critics offer loud and angry complaints about women’s equality and dignity. When it’s done to men, well, devil may care (and Hollywood will profit, as the box office returns for the first Magic Mike…

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