• Merlin_440700

    Wed. October 22

    Ben Bradlee, the Last of the Masculine Newspaper Editors

    Mark Judge

    I’ll never forget: I was twelve years old, and it was the first time I heard the f-bomb dropped in a movie. The movie was All the President’s Men. Jason Robards, playing the legendary Washington Post editor Benjamin C. Bradlee, was warning reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein not to mess up the Watergate story. “Make sure you don’t [f-word] it up,” Bradlee snarled.

    Ben Bradlee died on Tuesday, October 21 in Washington, D.C. As the obits have noted, Bradlee was a colorful character. He swore. He used nicknames and phrases like “gay as a goose.” As a veteran of the Navy, he was physically brave, once climbing up a hundred feet on a building to cover a suicide jumper. He had integrity. He published the Pentagon Papers, revealing truths about the Vietnam War, and once fired someone for a falsified lunch voucher. “If a man will…

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    Culture

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  • obama-ferns

    Wed. October 22

    Pop Culture is No Substitute for Politics

    Mark Hemingway

    Ebola, Solyndra, IRS hard drives, Benghazi, “If you like your health care plan… ,” Fast and Furious, spying on journalists, ISIS, droning American citizens, Joe Biden… it’s getting really tough to pinpoint the worst thing about the Obama presidency. While many of those developments are extremely consequential, let me humbly suggest that the following Vine of Michelle Obama doing “Turnip For What” deserves consideration among these scandalous peers.

    I presume that this is some sort of nod to the First Lady’s campaign in support of healthy eating, but I saw it context-free on Twitter and I have zero desire to find out more. It doesn’t help that the First Lady seems a bit awkward. I mean, you’d be slightly awkward reappropriating a rapey video by someone who has the distinction of being arguably the most incoherent rapper alive. It also comes out at around the same time as Rock the…

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    Culture

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  • fury__2014__wallpaper_1920x1080_by_sachso74-d7uaxkh

    Wed. October 22

    ‘Fury’ and The Good War

    R. J. Moeller

    In the newly released Fury, Brad Pitt stars in one of the better World War II films to advance on theaters since 1998’s Saving Private Ryan.

    Directed by David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) and shot on location in the dreary, muddy English countryside, Fury is the compelling tale of a tank commander nicknamed Wardaddy (Pitt) and the men he has led into battle since the beginning of the war in North Africa. The greatest conflict in human history is drawing to a close. The Allied Forces know that Germany is done for. The Germans know that they are done for. But the mixture of fanaticism and fear of what the fanatics will do to them keeps many Germans fighting on past the point of realistic hope for victory.  Beleaguered and weary, yet ready to follow their leader into battle, the tightly knit tank crew has a new recruit…

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    Movies

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  • 78778855

    Tue. October 21

    Rescuing Boys from Disney Princesses

    Mark Tapson

    One of feminism’s favorite targets is the Disney princess films which, it is widely assumed, implant passivity and helplessness in young girls and perpetuate damaging gender stereotypes. I have to wonder if the critics of these princess films have seen one since Cinderella in 1950, because the Disney heroines haven’t been passive and helpless in a long, long time, while the male characters have become more companions than saviors. But that stereotype persists.

    In The New York Times’ “Motherlode” blog last week, Zsofia McMullin wrote about how the “save the princess” theme of fairy tales like that found in some Disney movies was destructive not only to girls but to boys as well. She has a 5-year-old son and “a complicated relationship with fairy tales and the princes and princesses who live in them.”

    That relationship seems more fearful than complicated, and what she apparently fears is her son’s…

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    Culture, Movies

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  • comics23n-5-web

    Tue. October 21

    Spider-Woman and the Liberals Who Censor Comics

    Mark Judge

    A few months ago, Marvel Comics got into some hot water when it revealed the cover of the first issue of its new series, Spider-Woman . The artwork is by Milo Manara, a comic book artist known for his erotic depictions of women. Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew, was drawn in a posture that liberals and feminists have decried as dehumanizing. In response, Marvel promptly canceled two additional Manara covers that had been planned.

    Of course, these same feminists don’t seem to have much of a problem with equally sexual things like twerking. Furthermore, if Manara’s drawing had been of, say, Sarah Palin and conservatives wanted it banned, there would have been earsplitting howls on the left about the Torquemada right-wingers trying to censor comics. Bill Maher would have gone nuts.

    The liberal outrage at the art of comic books is nothing new. I should add that I don’t completely…

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    Comics

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  • Untitled

    Tue. October 21

    Ebola and the Great Race Debate

    Chelsea Samelson

    Over the last week, I bet every person in America has either heard or said the word “Ebola” at least once. Maybe twice. Maybe a thousand times. Ebola fever has literally and figuratively made it to America.

    Fear, frustration, and confusion abound. Hand sanitizer has never sold so fast. People are prepping. Twitter is exploding. And yes, even celebrities are talking about it.

    Rapper Chris Brown took to Twitter last week to say this: “I don’t know . . . But I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control. Sh*t is getting crazy bruh.”

    His comment came on the heels of this tweet from the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan: “Methods of depopulation: disease infection though bio-weapons such as Ebola and AIDS, which are race targeting weapons.”

    Right, because there’s no better way to discuss a disease than to make wildly inappropriate, incendiary claims that lack any…

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    Culture

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  • variety

    Mon. October 20

    4 Reasons Why You Should Love Colbie Caillat

    Ashley E. McGuire

    My summer ended with a treat: seeing Colbie Caillat in concert at Wolftrap, Washington D.C.’s outdoor music venue.

    It wasn’t a treat just because she is a favorite artist. It was also a delight to see a female artist who is self-possessed and dignified, without any trace of the promiscuity or emotional baggage that seems to burden stars these days. She was radiant, calm, and happy throughout her entire show.

    Seven years after her debut with the hit song “Bubbly,” Caillat is still…bubbly. Infectiously so. Here are four reasons I love Colbie Caillat, and have since the get-go:

    1. Her music is overwhelmingly positive. Not only is it clean, it’s happily clean. It’s not prude-ish or naïve seeming. Quite the opposite, in fact, her music is strikingly mature for a 29 year-old. It just sounds like the music of a woman who has chosen her own…

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    Music

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  • 86488073

    Mon. October 20

    Why Women in Music Matter

    Erin Vargo

    Earlier this month, I posted an argument in defense of divas, specifically lauding female singers for their “extravagance and willingness to be bold.” Incidentally, the same week, a cadre of women assumed all five spots on Billboard’s top hits—a record that hadn’t been achieved since 1979. It is in this context that I’d like to take a moment to comment on the significance of female singers in general. We are in the midst of a cultural crossroads of sorts, and it’s important to evaluate how we can maximize the opportunity before us.

    Women need artistic mentors. According to the Davidson Foundation—a wonderful and unique institution devoted to developing the talents of young people—women make up a miniscule share of influential artists (visual, musical, mathematical, and more). One article elaborates in detail on a wide range of studies analyzing the reasons for women’s lesser impact in the…

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    Music

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  • equalizer-photos-denzel-washington-chloe-moretz

    Mon. October 20

    ‘The Equalizer': Heroism in a World without Knights

    Mark Tapson

    Action flicks these days aren’t solely the domain anymore of chiseled, one-note actors like Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Statham (although those icons have found a home in The Expendables series). Now the leading men of the best “actioners,” as they’re known in Variety-speak, are heavy-hitting thespians like Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington, whose acting chops elevate the genre to a whole new level. In The Equalizer, for example—his newest—Denzel brings compelling depth to a character that might be one-dimensional in lesser hands: a chivalric hero in a world without knights.

    MILD SPOILERS AHEAD

    Denzel (and let’s face it, he has reached the stratosphere of one-name celebrity now, like Sting or Madonna) plays Robert McCall, a quiet, mysterious loner whose unassuming demeanor belies his devastatingly bloody special ops training. Living like a monk while working at a Home Depot-type store, the widowed McCall flies under everyone’s…

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    Movies

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  • virginity-rocks

    Fri. October 17

    Is Virginity Making a Comeback?

    Mark Tapson

    Last month an Arkansas high school student caused a stir when she was asked to change her t-shirt, which read “Virginity Rocks!”, because the message was potentially provocative to the other students. But what’s more interesting than the free speech brouhaha it raised is that the message represents one more sign that virginity is making a comeback among American teens.

    Losing one’s virginity is a profound rite of passage not to be treated lightly. Since the sexual revolution of the ‘60s and ‘70s, though, it hasn’t been especially prized in American culture. It’s viewed as an embarrassing condition, like acne, to get rid of as soon as legally possible or be marked a loser. I suppose it has never really been valued highly for males—losing it is a badge of honor for them—but there used to be the shared cultural assumption that saving oneself for marriage, unrealistic though that…

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    Culture

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