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    Tue. May 19

    ‘Maxim’ Magazine’s Perfect Choice for Number One

    Suzanna Heldring

    Maxim magazine’s highly anticipated yearly “Hot 100” list was released this week, and the choice for #1 may surprise you: Taylor Swift. Just when you thought the girl couldn’t possibly achieve more this year, she tops this list, too. While it might seem like a strange fit—the women on this list are usually better known for having a far more sexualized look than Swift’s classic girl-next-door image—it actually makes a great deal of sense.

    Maxim has long been associated with celebrating the female form. With over 9 million readers each month, it is the largest men’s lifestyle brand in the US. However, the magazine has gone through some major changes recently with the appointment of new female Editor-in-Chief Kate Lanphear. Her main goal thus far in the rebranding of the magazine has been to “redefine sexy.” While there is still a huge focus on the aesthetics of…

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    Culture

    3 Comments

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    Tue. May 19

    The Loathsome Claire Underwood

    Ashley E. McGuire

    Television is full of anti-heroes these days, and House of Cards’ Claire Underwood leads the pack in the female category. She is, I would argue, the most loathsome woman in television currently.

    She is a mash-up of various real political figures. Before anyone, she reminds me of Wendy Davis, the female hero of the abortion movement for her championing of the cause of late-term abortion. Like Davis, Underwood’s star rises when she tells her late-term abortion story. But unlike in the real world, where abortion is a hugely divisive issue and later-term abortions are statistically very unpopular, Underwood somehow rises above all that. (Probably because she lies and claims she got pregnant because she was raped. In fact, she and her husband just decided it was a bad time to have a baby, it just took them sixteen weeks to realize it.) Wendy Davis, meanwhile, was ultimately sunk by her extremism…

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    Television

    1 Comment

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    Mon. May 18

    Five Reasons to Love Claire Underwood

    Chelsea Samelson

    Just about everyone who loves House of Cards hates Claire Underwood. She has been dubbed an “anti-hero” and been called a cold, ruthless, immoral villain. I was surprised to discover this, and even more surprised to discover that my dear sister and colleague, Ashley McGuire, has joined the anti-Claire camp.

    Frankly, I like Claire. In fact, there’s a lot about her that I admire and respect. Yes, I take issue with some of her actions and decisions, and I’m not suggesting she is some paradigm of virtue, but she deserves more positive attention than she gets. Here are five reasons why: Claire is the epitome of cool, calm, and collected. She is a reasonable woman, and relies on logic more than emotion. Many call this “cold and calculating,” as if that were some sort of vice. But movies and television too often present us with melodramatic and emotional females who…

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    Television

    1 Comment

  • mad_max___fury_road_wallpaper_1920x1080_by_sachso74-d8o2uzz

    Mon. May 18

    ‘Mad Max: Fury Road': The Best Action Movie You’ll Ever See

    R. J. Moeller

    All right, so hyperbole may have gotten the best of me with such an emphatic headline, but this movie is really good. Great, in fact.

    Run, don’t walk, to see Mad Max: Fury Road.

    No, it isn’t better than Schindler’s List or Lawrence of Arabia. But that’s not the type of film Mad Max aspires to be. Whenever I sit down to write a review of any movie or television series, I ask myself the following two questions: What did this movie want to accomplish? Did it meet, fall short of, or exceed its goal?

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a dystopian version of the classic Western that wants to excite the senses and entertain the masses with a thrilling narrative from start to finish. It is an action movie. It is cinema’s longest car/Mack-truck chase. It is everything Waterworld could have been. But on land,…

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    Movies

    2 Comments

  • american-idol-1024

    Fri. May 15

    3 Reasons The Show Must Not Go On For ‘American Idol’

    Erin Vargo

    This week, American Idol announced that it would be entering into its 15th and final season on Fox next year—after 15 years on (often) live television.

    Personally, I was a fan during Season 5 (2006), when some of my favorites—Ace Young, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, and Kellie Pickler—were eliminated prior to Kat McPhee and Taylor Hicks winning runner-up and finalist, respectively. Incidentally, that was the highest rated season, and the exposure led to all ten finalists (and another 8 semi-finalists) earning record deals—nine with major labels.

    For a stretch of eight years (2003 to 2011), Idol ranked number one among all U.S. television shows in ratings, but the last several years have seen a dramatic decline in viewership due to saturation in competition-based reality shows on prime time television.

    Unquestionably, Idol had a great run and opened the door to a handful of enormously popular singers who may never have been…

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    Television

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  • 150506012031-20150505-ernie-johnson-stuart-scott-emmy-award-tribute-00040518.1200x672

    Thu. May 14

    Ernie Johnson’s ‘Stuart Scott’ Moment: Everything That’s Right with Sports

    R. J. Moeller

    The past twelve months have been rough ones indeed for the public image of professional sports in this country. Donald Sterling’s racially-charged rant against black people (and Instagram). Adrian Petersen’s suspension and trial for whipping his young son. Ray Rice cold-cocking his fiancée in the elevator of a hotel in Atlantic City. The American media’s obsession with the air density of Tom Brady’s footballs.

    Add on to these public scandals the perception that professional sports have become over-commercialized, watered-down versions of the institutions that once meant something more profound to the national consciousness. It has become increasingly difficult to retain a “pure” appreciation for (and interaction with) the games and teams and leagues and networks that used to make you feel like you were part of something bigger and better than yourself.

    In a world where fans take to message boards to “discuss” a baseball…

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    Culture, Sports

    1 Comment

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    Thu. May 14

    Amal Clooney’s Odd Choice for Met Gala Dress

    Ashley E. McGuire

    Amal Clooney looked stunning on the red carpet at the Met Costume Gala last week. I just have one question: Why would a woman who has devoted her life to defending human rights wear a dress designed by John Galliano?

    Mrs. Clooney’s human rights work is beyond extensive. She has worked as a prosecutor for major international tribunals in Lebanon and the former Yugoslavia, represented figures like Julian Assange and the King of Bahrain, served as a special advisor to Kofi Annan on Syria, defended political leaders in arbitrary detention, worked to lock up wartime child rapists, and advised on issues like drones, the Armenian Genocide, and my personal favorite, the repatriation of the Elgin Marbles for the Greek government. I mean, dang.

    There’s no doubt her brains and her principles played a part in finally winning the heart of the world’s seemingly perpetual bachelor. So why would someone…

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    Fashion

    1 Comment

  • l43-vendette-140418165812_big

    Wed. May 13

    Pulling the Plug on Revenge Porn

    Mark Tapson

    Revenge porn is one of the darker sides of our high-tech age. It’s the act of humiliating and extorting women, often former lovers (hence the “revenge” part) by stealing and posting their nude and/or sexually explicit photos and videos online. And it’s all over the news lately.

    In the last week alone: A judge ruled that New York Jets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, charged with invasion of privacy for distributing naked photos of a woman, cannot enter a program that would allow for a conviction to be wiped from his record. An Oklahoma man pleaded no contest to charges of extortion, attempted extortion and conspiracy that could net him six years in prison. He operated a website that encouraged visitors to post nude photos of “your ex-girlfriend, your current girlfriend, or any other girl that you might know.” He then charged the women to have the photos removed. A New…

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    Culture, Tech

    5 Comments

  • Denver Broncos v New England Patriots

    Wed. May 13

    Tom Brady: The Fresh Prince of Ball Air

    R. J. Moeller

    In what can only be described as unsatisfying, anti-climatic news, the National Football League has found the New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady guilty of . . . something. They think.

    From CNN.com:

    The NFL has suspended New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady for four games without pay in relation to the “Deflategate” incident in which the team was found to have used underinflated footballs for an advantage in the playoffs.

    Brady’s agent blasted the punishment and promised to appeal the decision.

    The Patriots were also fined $1 million and will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, the league announced Monday.

    A mere hundred-plus-days after the great national AFC Championship tragedy befell an unsuspecting populace on January 18th, the NFL decided that Tom Brady’s behavior and involvement were egregious enough to warrant such a strict punishment.

    I know I will always remember where…

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    Sports

    2 Comments

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    Tue. May 12

    Paul Newman, Racing, and a Life Well Lived

    R. J. Moeller

    Paul Newman was one of a kind. The late, great actor and philanthropist lived a life worth remembering. And a new documentary about his oft-forgotten second career as a successful professional racecar driver does an excellent job of reminding us all of that fact.

    Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman is an 83-minute behind-the-scenes look at one of the most famous human beings of the 20th century doing the two things he loved more than any other in this world: racing and winning.

    The younger of two brothers from a middle-class family in the suburbs of Cleveland, Newman bravely served his country in World War II—even lying about his colorblindness in an attempt to become a pilot—before pursuing a career in acting. He studied under the legendary Lee Strasberg in New York and met his eventual wife of fifty years, Joanne Woodward, on the set of their film The…

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    Movies, Sports

    No Comments

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