Suicide’s on the Rise: Now for Some Cute Guinea Pigs

The Atlantic Wire posted a rather shocking piece by Alexander Abad-Santos this week titled, “3,026 More People Die from Suicide in America Each Year Than in Car Crashes.” As if that revelation itself weren’t depressing enough, what was also eye-opening–and inadvertently revealing–was the way in which Abad-Santos tried to give the bad news a lighthearted … Continued


The Benefits of Optimism

Have you seen or read Silver Linings Playbook and/or Life of Pi? If you haven’t, I couldn’t recommend them more. My latest piece was actually inspired by these two phenomenal books/movies. In the piece, titled “The Benefits of Optimism Are Real,” I argue that a positive outlook on life is the most important predictor of resilience–or how … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Movies

Augustine vs. Eminem: The Current Cultural Impasse

I recently came across two blog posts on The Atlantic that represent the current cultural distance between conservatives and liberals. The first post criticized conservatives for being uncreative reactionaries who sound like idiots when they condemn popular culture. The second post was by a liberal who is proud to be an ignoramus about basic things … Continued

Books, Culture

Is Hollywood’s Bias Conservative?

Elias Isquith in The Atlantic no doubt raised a few eyebrows with his recent article with the counterintuitive title, “Hollywood’s Real Bias Is Conservative (but Not in the Way Liberals Often Say).” He looked at the impressive slate of political (and in some cases, highly politicized) films from 2012 including The Dark Knight Rises, Les … Continued

Culture, Movies

Long Live Chivalry

The Atlantic posted an article last week by Acculturated’s own Emily Esfahani Smith entitled “Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance,” a reconsideration of the old-fashioned medieval ideal. The piece has garnered, as of this writing, an astonishing 590 comments which devolved into heated debate about everything from the origins of chivalry to lifeboat etiquette on the … Continued


Should We Give Chivalry Another Chance?

Is chivalry dead? If it is, who killed it? This is a topic that I addressed in a recent piece for the Atlantic, titled “Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance.” Feminists, I argue, have unfairly maligned chivalry as “benevolent sexism,” but I think they should reconsider their position. Chivalry, after all, has historically been about putting … Continued


Is the Hook-Up Culture “Empowering”?

In 2010, Hanna Rosin wrote a pretty devastating feature article in The Atlantic titled The End of Men, which argued that women are outpacing and outperforming men in the postindustrial economy. That article has since been transformed into a book by Rosin that will be coming out next month. Her most recent article in The … Continued


The Love Myth in Pop Culture

Over at Elle magazine, reader “Caught in a Love Spell” asks advice columnist E. Jean about whether she should leave her fiancee to be with a man that she is having a passionate affair with. At my father’s funeral, I ran into an old friend. We grew up together, his was the shoulder I cried … Continued