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By Michel Marriott and Michel Marriott,New York Times News Service | January 24, 1993
One of America's oldest and most searing epithets -- "nigger -- is flooding into the nation's popular culture, giving rise to a bitter debate among blacks about its historically ugly power and its increasingly open use in an integrated society.Whether thoughtlessly or by design, large numbers of a post-civil rights generation of blacks have turned to a conspicuous use of "nigger" just as they have gained considerable cultural influence through rap music and related genres.Some blacks, mostly young people, argue that their open use of the word will eventually demystify it, strip it of its racist meaning.
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NEWS
By Ananya Bhattacharyya | June 3, 2014
As my 9-year-old son and I were enjoying a meal at a Lebanese cafe last month, I overheard a middle aged woman say to the server: "This is my first Memorial Day weekend alone. I'm separated, and the kids are with their dad. " The way in which she wore her heart on her sleeve was touching, as if she thought others might think something was amiss because she was dining alone. It reminded me of my own vulnerability when my marriage broke down several years ago. The server expressed her sympathy.
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By Jean Marbella | November 4, 1991
I t starts in kindergarten, when you trace your little hand on a piece of paper and turn it into a turkey to commemorate Thanksgiving. That's American. Then you read Melville and Hawthorne, you study Jefferson and Madison, you listen to Sousa, you leave it to Beaver and you think: That's American.Think again, the American Studies Association says.Hip-hop is American. Lesbian characters in 19th century literature are American. Eco-feminists are Americans. Crips and Bloods, New York subway graffiti writers, exotic dancers exercising self-expression, Puerto Rican transvestites -- they're all American.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | July 30, 2012
In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., slaughter, the question went forth on all of the political chatter shows: "Will this reopen the debate over gun control?" That's the script. When heinous monsters kill people with guns, we tend to talk about the problem of guns. Or rather, people in Washington, New York and other big cities tend to talk about the problem of guns because they think guns are the problem. There's an irony there, of course, given that such cities tend to have the worst gun-related murder rates -- Chicago these days has the equivalent of an Aurora every month -- and they are the places where guns are hardest to come by, legally.
NEWS
By Theo Lippman and Theo Lippman,Special to the sun | January 21, 1996
America is about to lose one of the last survivors of a great national literature, un-mannered, un-recognized as such, and, so far, un-replaced. "Literature" may be the wrong word, but the great radio comedians were an important part of American cultural history. George Burns is the man.Early last year, as he anticipated his 100th birthday on Jan. 20, 1996, he dismissed concerns for his mortality with, "I can't die - I'm booked." It was an appropriate way to look at it for a man who had been in show business since he was 8-years-old.
TOPIC
By Neal Gabler | September 24, 2000
WE HAVE come full circle. More than 100 years ago, audiences were held rapt by the first films of the French Lumiere brothers - a locomotive grinding into a station or parents feeding their baby - and by those of Thomas Alva Edison - a man sneezing or a couple robustly bussing. Simple quotidian gestures. This summer, audiences were held rapt by 16 people scavenging about a tropical island or 10 strangers trying to coexist in a California prefab. Maybe not exactly everyday life, but not high drama, either.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | May 25, 1997
The ventriloquist's dummy sits there in Laurie Simmons' photo, a little fellow all dressed up in formal attire with a strange, Mona Lisa-like expression on his face. The mouth turns up in a slight smile, but the eyes look pensive and the eyebrows are lifted as if in -- what? Surprise? Alarm? Disapproval?You can invest a lot of time trying to figure this guy out, even though you know on one level he's just a block of wood with clothes on.But that's one of the salient qualities of Laurie Simmons' art. Through her photographed scenes -- staged with dolls, dummies, figurines and other props -- she creates a world of artifice with social and psychological implications.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,Sun Staff | May 15, 2005
Steven Johnson wants to do for popular culture what the Atkins diet did for red meat -- make it OK to enjoy something that's supposed to be bad for you. It's the "Don't eat your vegetables" approach to life: Watch The Sopranos and 24 on TV, play video games like "Grand Theft Auto," go see the new Star Wars movie and surf the Internet. Then watch your IQ rise! Johnson is dead serious, however. His new book, Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (Riverhead, $23.95)
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | November 28, 1997
There are milestones and then there are milestones in popular culture.Five years after the debut of two of our most controversial and cretinous television characters on MTV, the end arrives tonight for "Beavis and Butt-head."The finale -- titled "Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead" -- might not give you quite the same sense of loss as the last episode of "Cheers" or "M*A*S*H," but the crudely drawn cartoon about two repulsive teen-age boys with particularly annoying laughs is nevertheless landmark television in its own way.Many believe its popularity was telling us something about ourselves in the 1990s or, at least, something about male adolescence.
NEWS
October 25, 2009
RAY BROWNE, 87 Pioneered study of popular culture Ray Browne, a former University of Maryland professor who was credited with coining the phrase "popular culture" and pioneering the study of things such as bumper stickers and cartoons, died at his Ohio home Thursday, according to his family and officials at Bowling Green State university. Dr. Browne developed the first academic department devoted to studying what he called the "people's culture" at Bowling Green in 1973. He wrote and edited more than 70 books on popular culture - including "The Guide to United States Popular Culture," published in 2001.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2012
There is a reason more people watched the Grammys this year than did the Oscars last year: The Oscar telecast has truly come to suck. Sunday night's 84th Annual Academy Awards was actually painful to watch. I cannot think of any major TV franchise that has become so disconnected from cultural relevancy as the Oscar telecast has in recent years. And this one with Billy Crystal was truly pathetic. As I listened to Crystal doing schtick from Las Vegas circa 1960, I wondered if in 1917 Russia the czar had a comedian like Crystal working the palace in St. Petersburg, telling tired jokes from the 19th Century to keep those inside the crumbling walls of privilege distracted from the Bolsheviks in the streets who were about the change the world.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dave Gilmore | February 17, 2012
“You can learn more about a person in an hour of playing 'Call of Duty' than in a year of conversation.” -Plato, paraphrased Hello, fellow gamers. We don't know each other yet, but I need to ask: Will you co-op with me? You see, I want this blog, Game Cache, to be great. For that to happen, I need your help. Reader interaction is going to be a big part of Game Cache, from profiles and guest posts, to community efforts in critiquing and clamoring over our favorite games.
NEWS
October 25, 2009
RAY BROWNE, 87 Pioneered study of popular culture Ray Browne, a former University of Maryland professor who was credited with coining the phrase "popular culture" and pioneering the study of things such as bumper stickers and cartoons, died at his Ohio home Thursday, according to his family and officials at Bowling Green State university. Dr. Browne developed the first academic department devoted to studying what he called the "people's culture" at Bowling Green in 1973. He wrote and edited more than 70 books on popular culture - including "The Guide to United States Popular Culture," published in 2001.
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,Sun reporter | July 20, 2008
The National Organization for Women convenes its annual conference this weekend in Bethesda against the backdrop of a presidential race that, according to NOW President Kim Gandy, has been underlined not only by one woman's historic campaign but also by an extraordinary amount of sexism. Gandy, who's serving her second term at the helm of the feminist advocacy group, talked with The Sun about those and other topics. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and two daughters. Your theme for this weekend's conference is "No Capes, No Masks, No Boundaries: Feminist Super-Women Unite!"
NEWS
By June Arney and June Arney,Sun reporter | January 13, 2008
It was a week after the 12th Day of Christmas yesterday, and Tige and Julie Young of Howard County finally began plucking ornaments off the first of their three Christmas trees and dismantling decorations that had taken a couple of weeks to put up. "I can almost fully guarantee - not only will it not be done today, it probably won't be done this weekend," said Julie Young, 39, a researcher who lives in North Laurel. "We just hadn't gotten around to take down the trees because we're really busy, and we don't really know what we're going to do with all the toys."
FEATURES
By Joe Burris and Joe Burris,sun reporter | August 15, 2007
Tweens everywhere are texting, blogging and chatting about Friday's eagerly anticipated sequel, pondering whether it will be as totally awesome as the original. Adults without a preteen in their home may be asking, "Sequel to what?" High School Musical 2, welcome to the radar screen. The follow-up to last year's hit movie on cable TV's Disney Channel is garnering mainstream attention, more than three months after the network announced that the show would premiere Friday night. Consider that the original High School Musical was one of the biggest successes in pop culture last year.
FEATURES
By Knight-Ridder Newspapers DL WASHINGTON | February 8, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Today's music, comedy and literature are doing more than reinforcing unflattering racial and sexual stereotypes, minority leaders fear.Popular culture, they say, is teaching a generation of Americans it is OK to hate.The latest evidence they cite is the release this week of an annual study by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith that shows anti-Semitic crime rose for a fourth consecutive year. It also found eight out of 10 people charged with hate crimes were under 21."
FEATURES
By Molly Dunham Glassman and Molly Dunham Glassman,Staff Writer | April 30, 1993
In his author's note at the beginning of "The Rough-Face Girl," Rafe Martin writes that the 1,500 or so versions of the Cinderella story have kept alive "the universal yearning for justice."Who doesn't root for good (pure-hearted Cinderella) to triumph over evil (her vain, bullying stepsisters)? It explains why it is perhaps the most popular folk tale of all time, preserved in different forms over the centuries by people of all cultures.History will show that during our blip on the screen of civilization, Walt Disney's was the definitive version.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,sun reporter | April 22, 2007
Just enough science to make it believable, that's producer Tim Kring's goal. But for some fans of the hit NBC show Heroes, which Kring created and launched last year, he has been missing his mark. It started in the first episode, when genetics professor Mohinder Suresh repeats an oft-debunked myth as fact - that humans only use 10 percent of their brains - sending sci-fi fan Michael L. Kramer into a fit of self righteousness. "I thought, `Do the writers know anything about science?' " said Kramer, who's working on a visual-perception doctorate at Ohio's Miami University.
NEWS
By Anthony Day and Anthony Day,Los Angeles Times | March 11, 2007
The Night Casey Was Born: The True Story Behind the Great American Ballad `Casey at the Bat' John Evangelist Walsh The Overlook Press / 220 pages / $25 Is any poem more authentically American than Casey at the Bat? By happily making fun of our national pastime, it teaches us the civic virtue of humility and the literary value of irony. It tells us not to be too proud of our past accomplishments or rewards that may come in the future: Watch that banana peel! It shows us that even a subject as solemn as baseball - the sacred American baseball!
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