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    Mon. April 14

    Bono: A Rockstar and a Christian?

    Mark Hemingway

    Considering America largely invented mass media, we’re awfully provincial about it. Perhaps that’s why this remarkable interview U2 front man Bono, a.k.a. Paul Hewson, gave to Irish Broadcaster RTE last year is just now popping up all over American websites. In it, Bono says he regularly prays to Jesus Christ and studies Scripture to know the will of God, believes Jesus Christ was the literal Son of God, and believes in the resurrection, as well as miracles in general.

    Now reconciling Bono’s professed Christianity with his profession as bombastic rock star has always been a bit of a challenge, considering his belief system places a premium on humility. It brings to mind an old joke. Shortly after dying, a man finds himself standing at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter appears and says, much to the delight of the man who was a big music fan in…

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    Culture, Music

    1 Comment

  • COLBERT-PIX

    Mon. April 14

    The Colbert Experiment

    R. J. Moeller

    After nearly a decade of being in subversive, faux-conservative character, Stephen Colbert is packing his basic cable bags and heading to the big show.

    From TIME.com:

    Stephen Colbert will take over as host of the Late Show when David Letterman retires, CBS announced Thursday.

    Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report since 2005, was rumored to be CBS’s top choice to replace its iconic late night host. Letterman said last week on his show that he will retire in 2015, ending more than three decades in late night.

    “Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement.

    A graduate of Northwestern University, and the youngest of eleven siblings in a devout Catholic family from just outside of Charleston, SC, Colbert has worked his way up the comedy ranks and now stares the potential…

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    Television

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    Fri. April 11

    Is America Still a Fun Country?

    Mark Judge

    There is a great virtue to American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt, the new book by John Beckman. That virtue is that American Fun strives to be about more than nostalgia.  This isn’t a book by a man rhapsodizing about the kicks of his youth, but rather a well-researched argument that America is objectively a less fun country than it used to be.

    Beckman defines fun as two things. One is “risk, transgression, mockery, rebellion” – i.e., poking the eye of the establishment. The other, which isn’t necessarily separate from the first, is “the fun of pranks, lewd dances, wild parties and tough competitions that unites the crowd in common joy.” People who break rules to have fun often find their fun becoming accepted – early rock and rollers, comedians like Richard Pryor who confronted racism, 1960s fashion designers who broke away from Mad Men rules about how…

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    Books

    1 Comment

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    Fri. April 11

    Before Lorde, There Was Kate Bush

    Mark Tapson

    Ask anyone to name a teenage pop music sensation with a wild mane of dark hair and an offbeat artistic vision, and these days the answer you most likely will hear is “Lorde,” the 17-year-old New Zealander of “Royals” fame. But decades before Lorde, there was English singer-songwriter Kate Bush, whose rather reclusive nature and infrequent recording output eventually took her largely out of the public eye – until recently, when she announced her first series of live performances in 35 years.

    The quiet, contemplative Lorde, whom Acculturated has discussed before, seems wise beyond her years and more serious about lyrically elevating pop music than are some of her well-known, corporately-packaged peers. With only one album under her belt – Pure Heroine – she’s already made her transformative mark with her whole career ahead of her.

    She hasn’t publicly counted Kate Bush among her influences, which interestingly seem as literary (American short story…

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    Music

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  • Untitled1

    Fri. April 11

    Who Should Feminists Really Hate: Kirsten Dunst or Lady Gaga?

    Melissa Langsam Braunstein

    Feminists are furious with actress Kirsten Dunst. She is being trashed online as “an insufferable person”, “kind of dumb”, and other harsh, expletive-laden phrases unfit for print.

    Her sin? During a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Dunst dared to speak well of femininity, including the traditional role of a nurturing mother:

    “’I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,” she says. “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work…’”

    In response, writer Ariane Sommer told Fox 411: “Being open towards being what is considered feminine at times: Yes! But regressing to a…

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    Culture

    37 Comments

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    Fri. April 11

    Let’s Celebrate Amateur Athletes

    Gracy Olmstead

    One of my favorite movie quotes about sports comes from the film Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius. After a professional golfer makes fun of the brilliant golfer for not getting paid, Bobby Jones replies, “I’m an amateur, Mr. Mullen. Do you know what the origin of that word is? It’s from the Latin root, ‘to love.’ To be an amateur is to love the game. Once you play for money you can’t call it love anymore.”

    How many modern athletes feel that way about amateurism? Not many, it would appear. Lately, calls for NCAA athletes to get paid have come frequently and loudly. The Chicago District of the National Labor Relations board just allowed Northwestern football players to unionize.

    There are definitely some good arguments given for athletes to get paid (to be clear, they’d be paid a salary in addition to whatever sports scholarships they may…

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    Sports

    1 Comment

  • VMAs-2013-Macklemore-and-Ryan-Lewis-Perform-Same-Love-ft-Jennifer-Hudson

    Thu. April 10

    Nine Reasons “Same Love” Is a Terrible Song

    Matthew Schmitz

    Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” was the song of 2013—a terrible year. Nominated for best song at the Grammy’s, it failed to win but still became the anthem of the event when Macklemore performed it during a mass on-stage wedding, a stunt many said was beneath the dignity of marriage (plausibly enough given that it was beneath even that of presiding R&B powerhouse Queen Latifah).

    “Same Love’s” popularity goes well beyond music-industry insiders. “Same Love” has received 114 million Youtube views (a Catholic priest I know tells me that every moment spent watching the seven-minute video is subtracted from the time one spends in Purgatory).

    Critics loved it, too. Robert Christgau, former music editor of the Village Voice dubbed it “the best gay marriage song to date in any genre and as corny as it damn well oughta be.” A reviewer for music site XXL…

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    Music

    2 Comments

  • futureislands4ad_samherring

    Thu. April 10

    The Return of the Manly Rock Star

    Mark Judge

    It’s a performance that has electrified the nation. A few weeks ago Future Islands, a synth-pop band, performed on The Late Show with David Letterman. The group did its wonderful single “Seasons (Waiting on You)”, a driving, hook heavy song about a man frustrated with waiting for a woman to reciprocate his love. Since then, the talk in the media has been about the singer of Future Islands, Samuel T. Herring. Because Herring captivated viewers – included David Letterman – by doing what’s been missing in popular music for a while: He sang like a man.

    That is to say, Herring, who looks like a young Marlon Brando, exuded physical power, passion, emotion, and harnessed sexuality. He thumped his chest. He growled. He raised his hand like a king bestowing knighthood. He danced, but in a coiled, athletic crouch. And yet he sang without profanity, hectoring, or braggadocio, instead showing…

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    Music

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  • Page-HGTV-NicoleCUrtis0214

    Thu. April 10

    Addicted to ‘Rehab Addict’

    Abby W. Schachter

    The No. 1 show at DIY network – Rehab Addict with Nicole Curtis – has got to be the most conservative show on television. Now I don’t mean that the host is a Republican (I’ve got no idea). I mean according to the Miriam Webster definition, a conservative is someone who believes in “the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society,” and if there’s anyone who understands the value of keeping to established tradition, it is Curtis. As she says at the opening of every episode: “I’m not your average flipper…I don’t just renovate, I restore old homes to their former glory.”

    Curtis lives in Minneapolis where she buys homes that look like they are ready for demolition or are in foreclosure, some are in bad neighborhoods others in more up-and-coming areas. “I believe old houses hold memories and soul,” she explains.

    She fixes…

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    Television

    1 Comment

  • 50228cc1_the-masters-by-phillivingstondotcom

    Thu. April 10

    The Aristocratic Pleasures of Golf

    Brandon McGinley

    There’s so much to love about the Masters.  The Augusta National Golf Club is a venue of preternatural beauty; it is one of those rare places that begs the question: Can it be that man has improved on nature’s work?  And that music.  That simple tune that announces spring’s arrival, and that seems to pair with the course’s shades of green and pink and fuschia so organically that one imagines the trees themselves composed the melody.

    Before writing this post I briefly indulged the sensory feast by watching flyovers of my favorite holes accompanied by the Masters music.  It’s an almost bizarrely emotional experience of both nostalgia and anticipation.  The event is ephemeral, yes, at only four days long, but it is also consistent.  It returns each year like the seasons themselves, and each year it is the same.  The 12th green will still be framed…

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    Sports

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