While superhero films often associate fascism with the bad guys, Nazi imagery is also used in the service of heroes.
Obsession over one trait—particularly a depreciable trait—is imprudent investing in the long run.
Ashley E. McGuire
On hearing the news that actor Jonathan Crombie, who played Anne of Green Gables’ amour, had suddenly died, women everywhere were plunged into the “depths of despair.”
“It’s kind of screwed my career in a lot of ways, because I don’t really care about it so much because I care about her so much," Renner says.
R. J. Moeller
Why can’t we just enjoy a quality movie or TV series for the journey it takes us on and new ground it breaks in how stories are told?
It’s commonplace that contemporary art is too often silly, incomprehensible, ugly, or even disgusting. But it isn’t often that a work of art is actually considered terrifying.
Mon. April 20
We were all a little horrified to watch Madonna essentially force herself on Drake at Coachella, only to see him recoil in horror and literally wipe his mouth, grimacing. Madonna is 56 years old. Time to pack-up the spontaneous make out session routine. Especially when your 28 year-old kissee is not a willing participant, and publicly so.
The Madonna fiasco was headline news for at least 48 hours. As the story was making the rounds, another headline came through my feed: “Heather Locklear Sizzles in Bikini at 53,” on People magazine online. And there was Locklear, old enough to be my mom, prancing around in a few scraps of cloth on the beach.
It all makes you wonder, is there no such thing as old-lady modesty anymore?
Fine, Locklear and Madonna are hardly old ladies, many of their celebrity peers are still having babies. But still, skimpy bikinis? Make out sessions? Whatever happened to…
Fri. April 17
The Washington Post reported last week that, in order to secure the financial future for his wife and children, aging singer Don McLean sold the original 16-page working manuscript for the lyrics to his chart-topping 1972 song “American Pie” for $1.2 million at auction. Somehow this mundane, practical gesture seems a sad but fitting end for a song that lamented the end of an era of cultural innocence.
“American Pie” was inspired partially by the shocking deaths of young rockers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper in a plane crash in 1959. But it was about much more than “the day the music died,” as one line goes; it rambled on with allusions to everyone from Karl Marx to Charles Manson to Jackie Kennedy to The Beatles. “It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music,” said McLean in a catalogue for Christie’s auction…
Fri. April 17
An US Weekly story about how Ramona Singer’s divorce brought her closer to Bethenny Frankel flashed through my newsfeed, and it struck me: an awful lot of the stars of the Real Housewives franchise aren’t wives anymore. In fact, the show seems very successful at turning housewives into divorcees.
While divorce can seem almost inevitable for even our favorite Hollywood couples, it seems especially rampant for a show that includes an uxorial reference in its title. Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: divorced. Bethenny Frankel: divorced. Ramona Singer’s marriage couldn’t be saved by the world’s most lavish vow renewal ceremony. Every single Housewives edition has seen several stars divorce subsequent to joining the show. Despite seeming like the most erratic of the lot of them, it is the ladies of The Real Housewives of New Jersey that boasts the lowest divorce rate, with only one split. Amazingly, the Giudices are…
Thu. April 16
Andraé Crouch still hasn’t received his due. Sure, the gospel great racked up seven Grammys, an Oscar nomination, and a declaration from Billy Graham that he was “The greatest hymn writer of our age, a modern day John Wesley.” Still, even after his death earlier this year at age seventy-two, Crouch’s legacy remains uncertain.
There are a few reasons for this. Secular listeners who might otherwise thrill to his radio-friendly R&B have learned to steer clear of any music that can be called “Christian.” Christians who share the same mistrust tout Crouch’s collaborations with artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna while neglecting his own—and in fact much better—work. Other Christians have turned away from contemporary Christian music that Crouch pioneered, exhausted by the scriptural emptiness and lyrical blandness of “Jesus is my boyfriend”-style praise and worship songs.
Thus Crouch’s status as the…
Thu. April 16
Now that Hillary is officially in the running, prepare to start hearing the s-word. Don’t like her politics? Sexist! Disagree with her positions? Sexist! Still have issues with Benghazi? Sexist!
The s-bomb will be dropping left and right over the next 18 months during an election season that’s bound to witness a violent collision of culture and politics. Obama’s exit will end the age of racist politics just in time for Hillary to usher in the era of gender politics.
But for many of her female supporters, the gender war has already begun, and the first big battle is being fought over her name. You see, if you do what I just did and call her “Hillary,” that makes you sexist now too.
Since we’re used to calling presidents and candidates by their last names (i.e. Obama, Bush), some are claiming that calling Hillary “Hillary” is too informal and…
Wed. April 15
Being the child of a celebrity is a curse as well as a blessing. Being born into a life of wealth and glamour comes with obvious perks, and many children of celebrities inevitably become insufferable, spoiled brats, particularly if they aren’t blessed with a talent of their own that distinguishes them from their famous parents. But for those who aren’t content to sponge off the money and accomplishments of their parents forever, finding their own way in the world can be especially frustrating.
Imagine, for example, being the son of Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, two-time Oscar-winner and arguably the most well-liked actor inside and out of Hollywood. It may seem that being his son is like winning the birth lottery, but how do you carve out your own identity, your own career, your own success when your dad is such a celebrated household name?
One son, Colin,…
Wed. April 15
Earlier this week, my Acculturated colleague, Chelsea Samelson, offered a strongly worded critique of France’s proposed legislation barring the use of “skinny” models in fashion. Samelson offers several valid arguments, including pointing out that lawmaking will not stop eating disorders and rebuffing the notion that BMI is a perfect barometer for vetting health.
However, I find the French legislation to be prudent public policy, even if the solution is far from ideal. The proposal, in my opinion, simply sets a minimum standard of decency in an industry that’s proven ineffective at monitoring itself.
In her argument, Samelson overlooks a key part of the French Parliament’s legislation: According to the UK Telegraph, the bill attempts to regulate print media as well as catwalks by requiring magazines to indicate on an advertisement that a photograph has been digitally altered to emphasize (or, in some cases, de-emphasize) a model’s thinness. Greater…
Tue. April 14
If you happened to be lucky enough to be a kid or teenager living in the general vicinity of Chicago between the years of 1984 and 1998, there is one name—and one name only—when it comes to sports heroes. Despite Walter Payton and the Chicago Bears’ unforgettable 1985 Super Bowl winning squad, Michael Jordan was everything.
His Airness floated above the rest with what appeared to be an unbeatable, unshakable confidence and desire to vanquish all comers that led to six NBA Championships in eight years. We—the Jordan Babies—were raised under the impression that Michael could do no wrong and all of the on-and-off-the-court challenges he faced were mere road bumps on the path to basketball immortality.
But as great as Jordan undeniably was, his dominating personality and hyper-competitive temperament eventually caught up with him (and his legacy). Nowhere was the darker, off-putting side of his nature more visible…
Mon. April 13
Imagine, for a moment, the fury and horror that would ensue if we passed a law making it illegal to hire a woman for being too fat. It’s almost unimaginable, right? The idea of legalizing and enforcing weight-based discrimination is so preposterous it’s almost comical.
But that just happened. Not here, but in France, and not for woman who are too fat, but who are too skinny. The lower French parliament recently passed legislation that would criminalize any person, agency, or company that hires or employs a female model who is too skinny.
Welcome to France, now eat a cheeseburger or else.
The bill aims to end the employment of underweight women or those who appear to be physically unhealthy or suffering from an eating disorder. The goal, of course, is to end the glorification of thin women. But it won’t, and everyone knows that. Such a bill…
Mon. April 13
We’ve all seen it. And heard it. You’re in a restaurant. There’s a man there with his girlfriend. As people are eating and socializing, you can’t help but notice. When the man tries to speak, he is cut off by his girlfriend. She mocks him when he tells a story that might make him look good, and finishes his jokes for him. When the waiter brings the menus, she makes fun of his selection. While she complains about spending money on him all the time, you can’t help but notice that he is paying for all of her drinks. By the end of the night she is berating him outright, and as they exit the restaurant, the woman is in a full rage spiral, yelling about something unrelated to anything that has happened in the last three hours. No one says anything.
It’s called emotional…
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