By Naomi Shaefer Riley, Christine Rosen (Editors)
“Sizing up and taking down the issues we learn, watch, and play, this all-star staff of analysts presents a sequence of delightsand surprises that would make you think of anew the deep constructions that tell our lives, even if we expect we’re off-duty.”—Kyle Smith, motion picture critic, big apple PostContemporary pop culture, from books to movie to tv to track to the private corners of the web, has provoked loads of feedback, a few of it good deserved. but for plenty of american citizens, and especially for more youthful american citizens, pop culture is tradition. it's the basically type of cultural adventure they search and the forex within which they trade.In Acculturated, twenty-three thinkers learn the rituals, the myths, the tropes, the atypical behavior, the practices, and the neuroses of our sleek period. each tradition reveals a manner for individuals to inform tales approximately ourselves. we depend on those tales to educate us why we do the issues we do, to check the bounds 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 very much extra. A phenomenon just like the present crop of truth tv exhibits, 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 exhibits, and in a lot else of what passes for pop culture nowadays, a shocking subject matter emerges: movement 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 energetic roundtable of “raters” comprises not just well known cultural critics like Caitlin Flannigan and Chuck Colson, but in addition celebrated tradition creators just like the manufacturers of the hit ABC comedy sleek relatives 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 may perhaps higher pass judgement on its worth and its values and support readers imagine extra deeply concerning the which means of the narratives with which they're bombarded each waking minute. In doing so, the editors wish to foster a wide-reaching public conversation—one that may support we all to imagine extra in actual fact approximately our culture.Free excerpts, video clips, and extra remark to be had on www.acculturated.com.
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Extra resources for Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality TV, Chic Lit, Video Games, and Other Pillars of Pop Culture
She doesn’t mind being an ogre, of course, because it’s what’s underneath that counts. That doesn’t seem such a bad message. One wonders at the source of this creative fatigue, however, given that the monster plot has served well for centuries. Perhaps it is like the Aristotelian tragedy, another durable form that has given way to the all-things-work-together-for-good melodrama, an Americanized perversion of Calvinism, wherein the protagonist always gets the girl, wins the fortune, bests the one-dimensional villains, and thinks up the snappiest one-liner to close the ﬁlm.
It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done, ever. I am not moving smoothly from task to task like Mary Poppins. I’m darting from unﬁnished job to unﬁnished job like a headless chicken. Yet the longer Samantha stays in her menial role, the more she begins to enjoy it. Fierce ambition has hitherto blinded her to the quieter pleasures of life: sitting down to eat breakfast, for instance, or making bread, or rolling around in the shrubbery with a handsome, educated, yet conveniently easy-going gardener. Samantha is eventually redeemed professionally (the legal 28 Meghan Cox Gurdon mistake wasn’t hers), but she shocks society, and herself, by foregoing the glittering promises of worldly success for a life spent polishing silver, scrubbing lavatories, and taking a pint at the pub in the evenings.
Further, these unrepentant killers are not characteristic of all vampires, they are simply bad seeds. Monsters are no longer, in other words, inherently monstrous. Thus do some fanged characters in the popular Twilight series spare human life, especially when that human life is a creamy Monster Mashup 17 young virgin squirming to be deﬂowered and eventually dehumanized. That’s not how Twilight devotees would characterize events, of course, because the vampire is no longer a monster. Instead he is like a Canadian exchange student, or someone with an ancient religion to which a girl must convert if she is going to have his pale, toothsome, beautiful babies.