By Naomi Shaefer Riley, Christine Rosen (Editors)
“Sizing up and taking down the issues we learn, watch, and play, this all-star workforce of analysts offers a chain of delightsand surprises that may make you think of anew the deep buildings that tell our lives, even if we predict we’re off-duty.”—Kyle Smith, motion picture critic, manhattan PostContemporary pop culture, from books to movie to tv to song to the private corners of the web, has provoked loads of feedback, a few of it good deserved. but for plenty of americans, and especially for more youthful american citizens, pop culture is tradition. it's the in simple terms type of cultural adventure they search and the foreign money within which they trade.In Acculturated, twenty-three thinkers study the rituals, the myths, the tropes, the odd conduct, the practices, and the neuroses of our smooth period. each tradition reveals a fashion for individuals to inform tales approximately ourselves. we depend on those tales to coach us why we do the issues we do, to check the boundaries of our adventure, to reaffirm deeply felt truths approximately human nature, and to coach more youthful generations approximately vice and advantage, honor and disgrace, and greatly extra. A phenomenon just like the present crop of fact tv indicates, for instance, with their bevy of “real” housewives, super-size households, and boy or girl beauty-pageant applicants, turns out an not going position to discover truths approximately human nature or examples of advantage. And but on those indicates, and in a lot else of what passes for pop culture nowadays, a stunning topic emerges: stream past the visible extra and hyperbole, and you'll find the makings of vintage morality tales.As the name indicates, readers will locate in those pages “ACulture Rated.” This full of life roundtable of “raters” contains not just popular cultural critics like Caitlin Flannigan and Chuck Colson, but additionally celebrated tradition creators just like the manufacturers of the hit ABC comedy smooth family members and the host of TLC’s What to not put on. Editors Christine Rosen and Naomi Schaefer Riley have tasked those contributors—both the critics and the insiders—with taking a step or again from the unceasing din of pop culture in order that they could greater pass judgement on its worth and its values and aid readers imagine extra deeply in regards to the that means of the narratives with which they're bombarded each waking minute. In doing so, the editors desire to foster a wide-reaching public conversation—one that may support we all to imagine extra sincerely approximately our culture.Free excerpts, video clips, and extra statement on hand on www.acculturated.com.
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Additional info for Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality TV, Chic Lit, Video Games, and Other Pillars of Pop Culture
At the time when what is now Health and Human Services was known as HEW (Health, Education, and Welfare), Joe Califano, then the agency head, would often have someone call Mother’s oﬃce for information because her ﬁles of city agencies and free services in every town that carried her column were more complete than theirs. (The reason for this was that Ann Landers was the most widely syndicated text column in the world, with 1,250 newspapers. ) Living in the age of the Internet, as we do now, there is a boatload of online resources, and most people know how to ﬁnd them.
More speciﬁcally, the Adultery Ritual is an indictment of male lust for younger women. The “other” woman is almost always dewier, sexier, and a deeply bitter reminder to the middle-aged wife and her peers of their declining allure. No matter how impressive her achievements, depth, or wisdom, the wife is an aging female, the least enviable of human beings. Monica Lewinsky vs. Hillary Clinton. Rielle Hunter vs. Elizabeth Edwards. In a just world, would there be any contest? The bottle-blonde Rielle commenced her seduction by whispering to the candidate, “You’re hot”; she passed out business cards inscribed with the words—in caps, of course—“being is free.
Government. Kevin Costner’s Lieutenant Dunbar switched sides, but in the bloody tooth-and-claw battle of the species he stayed on the same team. The protagonist in Avatar, however, not only betrayed humans and helped another species kill them, he gave up his own humanity. As in the Twilight series, we have stumbled oddly and without irony in a full circle: the monster of old devoured humans, subsuming them into his being; now humans—the enlightened ones, anyway—willingly abandon humanity in favor of assimilation into monsterdom.