• greek_life_1_560x340

    Thu. December 18

    In Defense of Greek Campus Organizations

    Hadley Heath Manning

    When Rolling Stone published a horrific account of gang rape at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia, the University responded by suspending all activity for all fraternities and sororities for the remainder of the year. This was a kneejerk reaction that punished many for the (alleged) actions of the few.

    Greek organizations have a reputation for drunkenness and debauchery, which may in part be deserved. But sororities and fraternities have many redeeming qualities and fill a special role in university life. To blame “rape culture” on the Greek system, or to seek to shut down these groups, would be misguided and unfair. Let’s put blame where blame is due—a culture of casual sex, binge drinking, and confused notions of manhood—not on Greek organizations as a whole.

    In full disclosure, I am a sorority alumna. I married a fraternity man. I’ve seen firsthand the positive role…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    No Comments

  • 141013132907-sixers-season-preview-14-15-1-pack.video-player

    Thu. December 18

    The Curious Case of the Philadelphia 76ers

    R. J. Moeller

    Named in tribute to “the gallant men who forged this country’s independence in 1776,” the Philadelphia 76ers have been a proud NBA franchise representing a loyal fan base for fifty years. With legendary names like Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson boasting retired jerseys up among the rafters, the Sixers have made their fair share of positive, memorable contributions to professional basketball through the years.

    In this—the 2014-2015 season—no one will confuse Philly’s team for the 2001 squad that made it to the NBA Finals, or the 1982-1983 one that swept the Lakers in four straight games en route to a Championship.

    Currently positioned in the standings at a miserable 2-22, the 76ers are on pace to “best” the 2012 Charlotte Bobcats (7-59) for the not-so-coveted “worst season in NBA history” title. Coincidentally, the 1973 Philadelphia Sixers went 9-73—good for second-worst season in NBA history—so…

    Continue Reading >

    Sports

    No Comments

  • sarah-koeinig

    Thu. December 18

    Serial’s Sin

    Matthew Schmitz

    I spent the weekend scrubbing my kitchen and listening to Serial, the critically acclaimed podcast that follows reporter Sarah Koenig as she looks into the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee. The man convicted of the crime, Lee’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, gains Koenig’s attention and sympathy as he tries to persuade her that someone else committed the crime. Koenig digs into the facts and tries to peer into his soul. Of course, we learn more of her and her upper-middle-class decency and blindspots than we do of Syed and the overlapping worlds—high school and mosque, America and Pakistan—that formed him.

    In short, Serial is an episode of This American Life that not only feels but in fact is eight hours long. There is lots of dialogue, little drama, and a great deal of reportorial introspection. One of the appeals of public radio is…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    1 Comment

  • screen_shot_1

    Wed. December 17

    Where Are Television’s Good Dads?

    Melissa Langsam Braunstein

    Where are the men? In the Father Knows Best era, we could assume they were in (nearly) every home with a wife and child. As David Frum referenced in his recent, provocative Atlantic article, that’s no longer the case:

    As the wages of non-college-educated men have tumbled, marriage has looked like an increasingly pointless and even dangerous choice for poorer women. As marriage fades, unwed motherhood has evolved from an acceptable outcome to something close to an inevitability. The order of choices in the face of an unexpected pregnancy has thus shifted again: single parenthood, abortion, shotgun wedding, and adoption.

    Those shifts are visible on TV as well. Consider Parenthood’s Amber, a pregnant twenty-something high school graduate. She knows the baby’s father is Ryan, a military veteran and her ex-fiancé. But after driving from San Francisco to Wyoming to tell him about the pregnancy, Amber firmly pushes Ryan away,…

    Continue Reading >

    Television

    1 Comment

  • iStock_000010768861_Small

    Wed. December 17

    The “Rape Moment” in Pop Culture

    Chelsea Samelson

    America is having a moment—an uncomfortable moment, no doubt, as our country’s collective attention has been focused once again on the ugly problem of rape.

    Over the last month, a number of rape allegations have emerged from both the civilian and celebrity world, and the sheer number of these stories and the publicity they’ve received, is making them hard to ignore.

    These stories come among the increasingly ardent cries that America is amidst a rape “epidemic,” heard alongside the equally ardent cries dismissing such a claim as hyperbolic and absurd.

    Epidemic or not, the last few weeks have seen a worrisome number of rape allegations, including those against Bill Cosby, and those from Lena Dunham, Rolling Stone magazine, Shia LaBeouf, and others, and those (erroneously) on behalf of Lady Gaga. It has even percolated into current television. HBO’s media-focused series The Newsroom recently aired an episode with…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    1 Comment

  • xSHjOvNdx426K9KKSeOQZ8SC479

    Tue. December 16

    Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus’: The Best “Moses Movie” of 2014

    R. J. Moeller

    If my carefully chosen title to this piece fails to inspire in the reader an overriding desire to leap out of his or her seat in order that they might rush to the nearest cinema, I’ve done my job.

    Exodus: Gods and Kings dropped this past weekend and topped the box office with a modest $25 million. Largely panned by critics—including a measly 28% rating over at Rotten Tomatoes—Ridley Scott’s biblical epic was lengthy, meandering, and, according to some, full of too many white people. Starring Christian Bale as a brooding Moses, Exodus was better than the angry Facebook reviews you’ve read, but not nearly as good as it should have been.

    First, let me briefly address the Caucasian elephant in the room. The casting decisions made by Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox came under fire the past month leading up to the film’s release. I…

    Continue Reading >

    Movies

    No Comments

  • AFI FEST 2014 Presented By Audi Gala Screening Of "The Gambler" - Red Carpet

    Tue. December 16

    Why Mark Wahlberg Should be Pardoned

    Mark Tapson

    In April 1988, a 16-year-old Mark Wahlberg was convicted in adult court of felony assault against two men during an attempted theft, while under the influence of pot and alcohol. One of the victims, a Vietnamese man, was legendarily left blind in one eye. Wahlberg received a two-year sentence, with three months to be served and the remainder suspended. He ended up serving only 45 days, but it seems to have scared him straight. Through “faith, hard work, and guidance from some incredible mentors,” Wahlberg says, “I turned my life around.” Over twenty-six years later, the actor is petitioning the Massachusetts Parole Board for a pardon for that conviction—a forgiveness that media opponents of white privilege want to deny him.

    In his working-class youth in Boston, Wahlberg was a high-school dropout and petty thug: on drugs at thirteen, numerous run-ins with the law, ugly incidents of racist behavior, convicted of assault.…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    No Comments

  • lebron-kate

    Mon. December 15

    LeBronGate: Where Friendly America Meets Britain

    Ashley E. McGuire

    What are we American commoners to make of LeBronGate?

    Unfamiliar with LeBronGate? It was that now infamous moment when the beloved basketball star wrapped his big sweaty arm in a half hug around Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife and mother to future heirs of the British throne.

    Our friends across the Atlantic had a collective freak upon seeing the breach in royal protocol, which bars non-royals for touching royals, “even if an innocent gesture.” Not only can’t we Americans, as pop-star Lorde puts it, be royals, we apparently can never touch royals.

    We (Americans) also seem to have a knack for ticking off the royals, or at least not following their rules. American journalists were nonplussed, to put it lightly, upon being informed that if they wanted some time with the visiting Royal Couple, they’d need to dress the part. The British palace actually sent a formal…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    No Comments

  • Chris Rock poses with his award during the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood

    Mon. December 15

    Chris Rock: College Audiences Are Too PC

    Mark Tapson

    The college circuit used to be where many newer, edgier comedians built their audience and reputation, and where some established comedians remained relevant by connecting with a new crop of fans. But in recent years, those fans seem to have traded their funny bones for a very humorless hypersensitivity toward the feelings of others.

    In a recent, wide-ranging Vulture interview, comedian Chris Rock was asked for his thoughts on the controversy back in October about talk show host and comedian Bill Maher speaking at UC Berkeley’s commencement. Ironically, considering that this is the 50th anniversary year of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, students disinvited Maher over remarks he had made about Islam that some found “racist and bigoted.”

    Curiously, it was the university that stepped up in support of free speech over student objections; the administration reinstated Maher’s invitation, asserting in a statement that it fully respects and…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    1 Comment

  • sdcc-14-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-c_acdu

    Fri. December 12

    The (Blessed) End of Middle Earth on the Big Screen

    Chelsea Samelson

    After the final Hobbit film is released next week, Middle-earth may never again grace the big screen. Last week, director Peter Jackson announced that the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien has denied future film rights to any of Tolkien’s other works, including The Silmarillion.

    Most fans were devastated. True fans were relieved. Tolkien’s writings are some of the most beloved in all literature, but Jackson’s movies are some of the most controversial in all film.

    With such cherished and timeless works like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, a filmmaker has an enormous, often-overlooked responsibility to proceed only with the utmost care and delicacy, forethought and deliberateness, to preserve the treasure of the original story. No matter what he does though, he knows some people will still go home unhappy.

    I was one of those people.

    Like so many others, I was mostly disheartened…

    Continue Reading >

    Books, Movies

    8 Comments

THE DAILY SCENE

ACCULTURATED BOOK SERIES

Acculturated Book Series

TWITTER

Top Stories

PODCASTS

Staff Writers