What Can We Learn From Watching the Roanoke Shooting Footage?

There is an old story about how Native Americans, when first introduced to the camera, believed that it could steals their souls. Though usually taken as a story of primitive superstition, you can find a sort of retelling of it by Western writers like Susan Sontag and Daniel Boorstin, who also believed images could rob … Continued

Culture

‘The Little Prince’: A Classic Tale of Codependency and Loneliness

As we get ready to head back to school, Acculturated is reevaluating some of the “classic” books routinely assigned to children to read during the school year.  Do they still deserve to be granted the label of “classics”?  Are there better books kids could be reading?  And what ideological and cultural messages are these books … Continued

Books

Why Is Upspeak So Annoying?

A recent ­Fresh Air episode took up the thorny question of why so many people find vocal patterns like “upspeak” and “vocal fry” so irritating. It’s thorny because these patterns are particularly associated with women. And it’s thorny because so many feel pressured to either pick up or drop these patterns in order to appear … Continued

Culture

The Show That Doesn’t Quite “Master” Sex

Did you know that, in the 1950s, people were sexually repressed? That many married men were closeted homosexuals? That others frequented prostitutes? That many women did not achieve orgasm during sex? That there were . . . taboos? Making a respectable science out of these ideas was the groundbreaking work, beginning six decades ago, of … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Did Brian Williams Lie?

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 … Continued

Culture

Paleo Feminism

Have you heard? Jurassic World is a big, dumb, sexist mess. Even Joss Whedon thinks so! The problem seems to be that, at the beginning of the movie, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is iffy about whether she’ll ever have kids, and is also a bit awkward around them, but by the end she’s kept her … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Cheryl Strayed Turns ‘Sugar’ into Splenda

Dear Sugar,   I’m a fan. I jumped on the Sugarwagon years ago when a friend thrust into my hands a copy of your collected advice columns from The Rumpus, Tiny Beautiful Things, suggesting with a look that she thought I might get something out of it. And I did. I know you value open … Continued

Culture