New PDF release: Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality

By Naomi Shaefer Riley, Christine Rosen (Editors)

ISBN-10: 1599473720

ISBN-13: 9781599473727

“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 consider anew the deep constructions that tell our lives, even if we predict we’re off-duty.”—Kyle Smith, motion picture critic, ny PostContemporary pop culture, from books to movie to tv to tune to the private corners of the web, has provoked loads of feedback, a few of it good deserved. but for lots of american citizens, and especially for more youthful americans, pop culture is tradition. it's the in basic terms form of cultural adventure they search and the foreign money within which they trade.In Acculturated, twenty-three thinkers learn the rituals, the myths, the tropes, the strange 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 bounds of our event, to reaffirm deeply felt truths approximately human nature, and to educate more youthful generations approximately vice and advantage, honor and disgrace, and greatly extra. A phenomenon just like the present crop of truth tv indicates, for instance, with their bevy of “real” housewives, super-size households, and youngster 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 identify 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 sleek kin 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 well higher pass judgement on its price and its values and support readers imagine extra deeply concerning 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 essentially approximately our culture.Free excerpts, video clips, and extra statement to be had on www.acculturated.com.

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Extra info for Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality TV, Chic Lit, Video Games, and Other Pillars of Pop Culture

Example text

In an age when we’ve learned to be more respectful of other species, there’s really no reason to go about decapitating or 18 Tony Woodlief flamethrowing or scorching with sunlight those creatures who simply want to coexist. Especially the good-looking ones. But alongside this emergence of kinder, gentler monsters is the rise of the monster as hero, and not far behind this the notion that it is men—or, some men, at least—who are the real monsters. And the monsters are the ones who save us from our depraved human selves.

Saturnalia, which came in December roughly around the time we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, was a time of revelry, gambling, and festive dress during which, daringly, masters and slaves played at switching roles. The game had limits: masters might indeed serve lavish suppers to their slaves, but it was still the slaves who did the cooking, such as stuffing and roasting the dormice that were a delicacy of the era. We can’t go back into the minds of the Romans, but the popularity of the holiday and the jovial way in which the ancients referred to it (“loose reins are given to public dissipation,” wrote Seneca) suggest that Saturnalia may have worked as a kind of safety valve: a bit of risky glee that once a year eased the burden of a slave’s enslavement while reminding his master that mastery was as much an accident of fate as anything else.

It was they who brought to America’s shores, after all, the notion that humankind is inherently wicked, that man is a monster to his core, in fact, unless he happens to be among God’s foreordained Elect. Concomitantly it was the Puritans who taught us to be on the lookout to divine, among one another, the signs of election or reprobation. And it was the Puritans who embedded in American culture the notion that physicality is to be distrusted and spirituality exalted. All these beliefs are essential if one is to embrace the notion that literal monsters can be spiritually virtuous and humans thoroughly monstrous.

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Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality TV, Chic Lit, Video Games, and Other Pillars of Pop Culture by Naomi Shaefer Riley, Christine Rosen (Editors)


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