• DeliverUsFromEvil

    Fri. November 21

    ‘Deliver Us from Evil’: A Horror Film Worth Watching

    Mark Tapson

    The best horror films aren’t the remakes of Japanese ghost stories, the torture porn franchises, or the ones in which someone knows what you did last summer. They aren’t the ones in which scream queens are stalked by zombies or masked psychos or homicidal dolls. They are the ones that illuminate the human condition and the spiritual nature of evil. And the best one of those I’ve seen in a long time—in fact, the best demonic possession movie I’ve seen in the four decades since The Exorcist—is Deliver Us from Evil, now out on DVD.

    From the writer/director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, another well-done possession flick, Deliver Us from Evil is based on the real-life supernatural experiences of New York police sergeant Ralph Sarchie, played by Eric Bana. Sarchie grew up Catholic but abandoned religion at the age of twelve, so when…

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    Movies

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  • The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1-Jennifer-Lawrence-as-Katniss

    Fri. November 21

    The Futility of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’

    R. J. Moeller

    Let’s get one thing straight: I have enjoyed the previous installments of The Hunger Games movie franchise. I’m not a hater. But I’m also not a reader of the books. So I don’t know all of the subtle intricacies that are likely contained in the novels. After seeing the latest offering, Mockingjay: Part 1, I doubt that I’ll ever bother to read them.

    The movie, on the whole, is fine. It’s fairly interesting. It keeps your attention for about two hours. The acting is solid, including the final role of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s illustrious career. There are things blowing up and emotional pleas for the safety of innocents. It (allegedly) moves the trilogy’s story along. And you get to see the lovely Jennifer Lawrence cry and blubber like a lunatic. A lot.

    I won’t spend much time on the plot because…

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    Movies

    2 Comments

  • amypoehler-bestbuy

    Fri. November 21

    Amy Poehler and How Cell Phones Want to Kill Us

    Marina Olson

    The best comedians are those who notice reality as it is, and allow us to also see the absurdities that come with it. One of my favorite observers is Amy Poehler, whose deadpan delivery and comedic earnestness has been a central fixture of both SNL and Parks and Rec. But perhaps one of my favorite bits she has ever done was not on screen, but rather the concluding chapter of her new memoir, Yes Please. In a chapter entitled the robots will kill us all: a conclusion, Poehler discusses how cellphones aim to kill us. It’s both funny and sad, because it’s true.

    She begins by recounting an early cellphone encounter, after which she told her friend “Nope…I just don’t need it. Cellphones aren’t for me. What am I going to do? Carry this thing around all day?” As someone who is currently writing this article on a…

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    Books, Tech

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  • school discipline

    Thu. November 20

    Wasting Time 101: Coming to an Ivy League School Near You

    Gracy Olmstead

    Do you wish you could surf the Internet mindlessly all day?

    Lucky for you, there’s a class for that. Kenneth Goldsmith, a poetry professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is going to teach a new class in the coming spring semester—a class completely devoted to wasting time online:

    Although we’ll all be in the same room, our communication will happen exclusively through chat rooms and listservs, or over social media. Distraction and split attention will be mandatory. So will aimless drifting and intuitive surfing. The students will be encouraged to get lost on the Web, disappearing for three hours in a Situationist-inspired dérive, drowsily emerging from the digital haze only when class is over. We will enter a collective dreamspace…

    Nothing is off limits: if it is on the Internet, it is fair play. Students watching three hours of porn can use it as the basis…

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    Culture

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  • Anne-Hathaway-a-la-premiere-d-Interstellar-a-Londres_reference (1)

    Thu. November 20

    Redemption Time for Anne Hathaway?

    R. J. Moeller

    Over the past three years, Anne Hathaway has become the most disliked actress in Hollywood. Or at least the one that Twitter has mocked the most. The criticisms of Ms. Hathaway have reached epic proportions since 2011, the year she co-hosted the worst Academy Awards show in recent memory with the stoned corpse of James Franco. So, to be fair, she can’t take all of the blame there.

    In my opinion, it doesn’t help that she comes off like a high school girl who is over-acting the role of a young, attractive starlet, but is the vitriol deserved?

    On the acting front, she was more than solid in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises as Catwoman and then did an even better job as Matthew McConaughey’s space partner in another Christopher Nolan epic, Interstellar. In between she won an Oscar for Les Misérables and got married. Not too shabby.

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    Culture

    1 Comment

  • 0_Colosseum_-_Rome_111001_(2)

    Wed. November 19

    A Colossal Mistake: Trivializing the Past

    Mark Tapson

    Last week, Acculturated’s own Abby W. Schachter reported on the dismantling of the “Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red” art installation in London, a flood of red ceramic poppies serving as a poignant memorial to the nearly 900,000 British lives lost in World War I. As it happens, I had just read about a sort of modern upgrading of the Colosseum in Rome. In their different ways, the two monuments reflect a vital connection between memory and history.

    Even though the United States participated in the nightmarish conflict that Henry James called “this abyss of blood and darkness,” it’s very difficult for Americans today to grasp the impact that the Great War had on Europe. It marked, in an unprecedented way, a traumatic break with the world of the past and the beginning of our modern era. Artist Paul Cummins’ installation, a temporary sea of individually hand-crafted and -planted poppies…

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    Culture

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  • matt-taylor-shirt

    Wed. November 19

    Matt Taylor’s Shirt was Sexist. Period.

    Brandon McGinley

    Matt Taylor should have picked a different shirt for the biggest and most public day of his career.  And that’s that.

    No, Matt Taylor’s sexy short sleeves do not in any way vitiate his technical accomplishments.  Yes, the reaction against Taylor was very often way out of proportion with the offense.  But that doesn’t change the fact that there was an offense: Regardless of its story or its wearer’s intention, The Shirt represents precisely the type of crass sexualization that marginalizes women, both in the pursuit of science and technology careers and in everyday life.

    I understand the shirt is kitsch.  But sexist kitsch is still sexist in a similar way that a racist joke is still racist: It capitalizes on, and thus perpetuates, tropes that debase historically marginalized groups.  In this instance the trope is that women’s primary asset is their sex appeal, and thus…

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    Culture

    2 Comments

  • Untitled

    Wed. November 19

    The Duggars: A Pretentiousness Problem?

    Erin Vargo

    On November 1, Jessa Duggar (of TLC’s notorious 19 Kids and Counting reality television family) wed sweetheart Ben Seewald after a courtship and engagement that spanned the course of a year. The ceremony marked a momentous occasion beyond the exchanging of vows: Per their commitment to self-imposed rules of courtship, the couple had waited until their wedding day to exchange their first frontal hug (pre-matrimony, only side hugs were allowed for the Duggar daughters) and their very first kiss. According to their pastor, the long-awaited smooch was “private” and “important,” so much so that they elected not to kiss in front of the wedding viewers: 1,000 of their closest friends and family members. Instead, the pastor facilitated “alone” time for the couple, while parents, Michelle and Jim Bob, offered to kiss in front of the crowd, so as not to deprive onlookers of an official wedding day peck.

    It was all very…

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    Television

    1 Comment

  • lorde-midriff-in-tanktop-v-magazine-92_1

    Tue. November 18

    The Disappointing Moral Hypocrisy of Lorde

    Chelsea Samelson

    I have never been as disappointed by a celebrity as I now am by Lorde.

    The teenage powerhouse burst onto the scene last year with her hit single “Royals,” the rebel anthem that took aim at all things Hollywood. She slammed the pervasive vanity, materialism, and opulence that so often defines the world of celebrity, shrugging off the “gold teeth, Grey Goose, ball gowns, diamonds, jet planes.” She proudly sang, “that kind of luxe just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz…we aren’t caught up in your love affair.”

    She was the precocious rebel, the girl who had the power to transform pop music and culture through her down-to-earth values and fearless morals. Over the last year, she reaped the rewards of more wealth and more fame, and yet she never sacrificed her standards for publicity or attention. She remained unique, humble, and clothed.

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    Culture

    7 Comments

  • sevendeadlyvirtues-homepage

    Tue. November 18

    The Seven Deadly Virtues and the ‘New York Times’

    P.J. O'Rourke

    From The Seven Deadly Virtues, political satirist and author P.J. O’Rourke assesses the vices found on the pages of The New York Times Sunday Styles section. —  [Ed.]

    Before we consider what virtue has been up to lately, we should take a look at how vice is faring.

    The conceit of every era is that people are more inclined to vice than they used to be. In The Clouds, first performed in 423 BC, Aristophanes has the personification of “Just Discourse” recount how vicious children are nowadays, compared to the youngsters of yore who “would not have dared, before those older than themselves, to have taken a radish, an aniseed, or a leaf of parsley, and much less eat fish or thrushes or cross their legs.”

    What Aristophanes said is true to this day. I’ve seen a child, sprung from my own loins, munch a radish. With crossed legs. And…

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    The Seven Deadly Virtues

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