• 1941385_536317339813504_4071615832323062002_o

    Fri. July 25

    Is T.V. Nudity the Wave of the Future?

    Mark Tapson

    If you’ve ever been to a nude beach, you probably came to a swift appreciation of what a great idea clothing is. Casual public nudity is rarely if ever sexy, partly because very few bodies are suited to being, well, unsuited, and partly because—trust me on this—nakedness loses its novelty rather quickly. But several T.V. networks are gambling that this novelty will pay off in an envelope-pushing trend.

    Last Thursday for example, nearly coinciding with National Nude Day (hey, I didn’t know there was one either), VH1 premiered the (un)reality series Dating Naked, which is exactly what the title says it is, so I suppose they can’t be accused of false advertising. VH1 describes it loftily as a “new social experiment,” although in this promo stunt in downtown Los Angeles, it is described much less loftily as “romance without pants.”

    TLC recently premiered…

    Continue Reading >

    Television

    No Comments

  • Masterpiece_Foley

    Thu. July 24

    My New Favorite TV Show: “Foyle’s War”

    Ashley E. McGuire

    If you are like me, you like television. And if you are like me, you have a “show” that at any given time, you are watching, usually on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. And seeing as you are on this site, you are probably like me, at least with respect to television-liking. Actually, you are probably just like most Americans, for whom television has become the number one leisure activity when measured by time. The average American watches 34 hours of television a week. For Americans, powering through our favorite shows is almost a full-time job.

    The internet has made it possible to log into some type of live streaming service and watch several episodes at a time of most shows, enabling people to plow through season after season of show after show. It has no doubt made it easier and more enjoyable to spend more time watching television, since there…

    Continue Reading >

    Television

    No Comments

  • Robin Thicke Films Music Choice's Take Back Your Music Campaign

    Thu. July 24

    Robin Thicke Takes the High Road

    Mary Rose Somarriba

    Poor Robin Thicke. His latest album Paula is a certified flop, selling a measly 24,000 units in the United States its debut week. Coming after his highly successful Blurred Lines, which sold 177,000 units its debut week in July 2013, this is no doubt quite a surprise to the soft-voiced R&B singer.

    What’s interesting is how the success of Thicke’s last album is very likely what hurts the success of his new one.

    What made Blurred Lines so successful was the hit single by the same name—a song featuring a beat as contagious as its lyrics were rapey. It’s the very song that, when performed at the 2013 VMAs, skyrocketed performer Miley Cyrus into public speculation for wearing nude underwear and twerking with Thicke onstage. It became the song everyone loved to hate.

    For a fun upbeat tune everyone kept at the top of the Billboard list, “Blurred…

    Continue Reading >

    Music

    No Comments

  • 84469968

    Thu. July 24

    How the Hysterical, Sensationalistic Media Hurts Women

    Mark Judge

    Cecile McLorin Salvant. Melissa Aldana. Maria Schneider.

    If you don’t know any of those names, don’t feel bad. They are all women who are honored in the August issue of Down Beat, the venerable jazz magazine. And because the American mainstream media promotes stories that make women feel politically aggrieved, personally resentful, and anxious about their appearance, none of the above artists are going to find themselves in the pages of Oprah magazine or booked on the Today show.

    Four years ago former Ladies Home Journal editor Myrna Blyth wrote a book: Spin Sisters: How the women of the Media Sell Unhappiness—and Liberalism—to the Women of America.  Blyth argued, irrefutably in my view, that the modern media focus on stories that keep women insecure. Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Today, Good Morning America and even the cable channels are constantly running stories about makeovers, weight loss, evil men trying to take…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture, Music

    No Comments

  • JimGaffigan31

    Wed. July 23

    Jim Gaffigan: A Good Husband and Better Dad

    Kate Bryan

    “All I want to do is be a good dad, but I’m pretty bad at it.” – Jim Gaffigan

    Jim Gaffigan is one of the great comedians of our time and continues to gain popularity for his honest humor about life, family, and his love of food. Jim jokes a lot about his adventures in fatherhood, but the truth is—he’s really a good dad.

    Acculturated featured an article recently about Jim Gaffigan being a good husband, but he’s also an exemplary father. He speaks honestly about knowing nothing about raising children, but how he’s striving to be a good dad to his five kids. It’s refreshing to hear a comedian speak with such honesty and conviction about fatherhood, especially since fathers are so important but are often overlooked in today’s society.

    Much of what makes Gaffigan’s comedy so hilarious is…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    1 Comment

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Wed. July 23

    Celebs and What Money Can’t Buy

    Ashley E. McGuire

    Celebrities don’t always get things wrong. From time to time, they even get things really, really right.

    A recent interview with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s accountant reveals that Hoffman repeatedly rejected the advice to share his fortune with his kids. Hoffman “did not want his children to be considered ‘trust fund’ kids,” and he didn’t want to raise spoiled brats. So he left his children nothing in his will. Instead he left a wish that his son (his will was written before the birth of his subsequent two daughters) be raised with exposure to culture and the arts.

    Hoffman’s wishes echo those of Sting, who recently announced that his children would not be touching his $300 million fortune. He said, “I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work.” He made it clear that he wants his…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    1 Comment

  • Weird-Al-Word-Crimes

    Wed. July 23

    Weird Al and the Joys of English Grammar

    Abby W. Schachter

    When is a parody pop song a public service? When it’s Weird Al Yankovic covering Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” with a grammar-salve for our age of English language destruction called “Word Crimes”.

     

    Now, wait. Was that use of the apostrophe in the word it’s correct? Weird Al wants you to know if it was. As he sings:

    Say you got an “i-t” Followed by apostrophe “s” Now what does that mean? You would not use this (Every dog has it’s day) In this case! As a possessive (no,no,no) It’s a contraction (yeah,yeah,yeah!) What’s a contraction? Well, it’s the shortening of a word or a group of words by omission of a sound or letter.

    As someone who grew up being corrected by my father and who now faces off against four kids in a…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture, Music

    No Comments

  • THE INTERVIEW Teaser Poster

    Tue. July 22

    North Korea vs. Seth Rogen’s “The Interview”

    R. J. Moeller

    “Our military and our people regard the supreme leader as more precious than their own lives.” –Statement from a North Korean Media Outlet

    I’m going to attempt to explain the tense geo-political situation that Seth Rogen has created with his forthcoming film The Interview in one sentence, using only the titles of his previous movies. Here goes…

    Just kidding! That was a joke. You know, that thing that apparently no one north of the 38th Parallel seems to understand? Instead of using my finely tuned Western hemisphere sense of humor to explain the situation, let’s turn to the professionals at The Telegraph:

    Pyongyang has written to the White House to demand that President Barack Obama intervene to halt the release of ‘The Interview’, a Hollywood comedy blockbuster that pokes fun at Dear Leader Kim Jong-un.

    The movie, which is scheduled to be released in…

    Continue Reading >

    Culture, Movies

    No Comments

  • mag14_bodies009_cocoho

    Tue. July 22

    Why You Should Love ESPN’s “Killer Summer Bodies”

    Elise Italiano

    Periodicals and tabloids of all kinds have a common subject on their covers this summer: killer bodies. When the weather gets warmer, clothing tends to get lighter, which means that readers can peruse hundreds of glossy pages featuring celebrities in bikinis, swim trunks, or in the buff.   But not all magazines are alike in the way they showcase the human figure.  While some convey messages about vanity, others choose to portray health, strength, and vitality.  In an image-driven culture, that distinction matters.

    While perusing People and Us Weekly during my travels, I have noticed that the editors are sticking with their usual summer theme: hottest celebrity beach bodies.  Actors, actresses, reality stars, and musicians have been captured at the beach or in their swimwear at staged photo shoots.  Several spreads feature an analysis of stars’ calorie intake by dieticians and trainers. As to be expected, many of the “hottest” celebrities…

    Continue Reading >

    Fashion, Sports

    No Comments

  • tCNDzzU

    Tue. July 22

    Where Disney Princesses Live Unhappily Ever After

    Mark Tapson

    Last week my wife took our very young daughters to Disneyland, where they were excited to pose with a few of the Disney princesses. The fantasy is a thrilling one for little girls, which I’ve written about before for Acculturated, but the Disney princesses also seem to be fertile ground for adult artists, who wring out all the fun and fantasy from those icons in order to make grim socio-political observations.

    The most recent example is the domestic abuse awareness poster campaign from an artist known as Saint Hoax. “When did he stop treating you like a princess?” goes his slogan, emblazoned beneath the bruises, blood, and black eyes of a battered Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, and Sleeping Beauty. “Disney princesses are perceived as ideal females,” Hoax explains. “They belong to a fairytale land where happy ever afters are bound to happen. But what happens after the happy ever after?”

    Continue Reading >

    Culture

    2 Comments

THE DAILY SCENE

ACCULTURATED BOOK SERIES

Acculturated Book Series

TWITTER

Top Stories

PODCASTS

Staff Writers