Why Ashton Kutcher Made a Sitcom for Flyover Country

There’s a great scene in the third episode of The Ranch, Netflix’s new three-camera sitcom starring Ashton Kutcher and veteran character actor Sam Elliott. Kutcher plays 34-year-old high-school football hero Colt Bennett, who never quite made it in pros and is forced to return home to Colorado to work on his family’s cattle ranch. Elliott … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why Men Have Disappeared from Pop Music

It’s only been a week since Adele released her new album, 25, but the British soul singer can already claim to have the fastest-selling album in the United States of the last quarter century—and maybe of all time. The success of 25 and its lead single, the infectious power ballad “Hello,” are all the more … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Marriage “Performance Review” : Don’t Try This at Home

If you’re married and gainfully employed, I know what you’re thinking: Why can’t my marriage be more like my job? And why can’t my spouse be more like my boss? According to a bunch of experts quoted in the Wall Street Journal, you’re asking the right questions. The secret to a happy, successful marriage, they … Continued


Ask a Grown Up—Not a Celebrity

Is there a positive side to celebrity culture, that destructive, materialistic obsession we have with famous movie and TV stars, athletes, singers, and Kardashians? As long as there has been mass media, there have been efforts to use celebrities to do some good, especially for the children. Every NFL quarterback has a foundation to help … Continued

Celebrities, Culture

The Bitter, Frustrated Whiner Otherwise Known as Ethan Frome

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


Why Morning Radio is Bad for America

Reality television has been on a steady decline for years, particularly on network. TV executives have increasingly relied on celebrity-based programming like the E! Network’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians and legacy series like CBS’s Survivor, which still gets an average of more than 11 million viewers each season but is down by more than … Continued


Why We Still Love ‘Jaws’ and Still Fear Sharks

The first scene in Jaws is one of the most viscerally terrifying in cinema history. There’s no blood and guts, no quick cuts with jolting music cues. We don’t even see the great white. All we hear are poor Chrissie’s screams and John Williams’s frantic score as she’s dragged violently by the unseen horror beneath … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Why ‘Rocky’ is the Most Patriotic Movie of All Time

On Independence Day, your average freedom loving, red-blooded American probably celebrates like this: Playing at the pool or the lake or the beach, having a cold domestic beer with a hot dog, and enjoying fireworks that evening. If you’re unfortunate enough to have rain on your Fourth of July parade, though, you’ll need to honor … Continued

Entertainment, Movies