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  Raise your hand if you saw “Bladerunner.” Or read “The Martian Chronicles.” Or listen to the Top 40. My job in this column will be to convince you that they are all related and actually incredibly important to us. Since discussing Katy Perry’s video for “Wide Awake”...

The teachers’ strike in Chicago is one of the most important stands taken by educators for the future of education in the United States. Strong, effective education for young people is immensely important not only to those individuals, but to our nation as a whole. Countries whose citizens are well educated have greater innovation and economic growth. In Chicago,...

  Every theme park under the Walt Disney banner is for kids. Granted, when defining the word “kids” as far as Disney and age are concerned, the numbers span a broad spectrum. Anywhere from one to 100 comes to mind. The Magic Kingdom is a place where fairy tales come to life – where Cinderella’s castle is the center of the universe, and you...

With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions officially wrapped up, many political analysts refer to the next few weeks as the figurative “home stretch” of the presidential race. Less than two months remain until the Nov. 5 election, and most major polls show President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney either neck and neck with results comfortably...

Three weeks ago I met Pat Ward, the preacher presiding over The Orchard, a Christian Methodist church in Oxford, for coffee. During our conversation we spoke of his church, the doctrine of Christian Exclusivism and the value of faith. Ward was a good sport, letting me play Nietzsche with him and granting me permission to print the results. When I speak of “Christian...

Last week Democrats had a chance to come together in massive numbers in Charlotte, N.C., to host our national convention from Sept. 4-7.  I had the distinct pleasure of making the trip with the Mississippi delegation. This year we were treated to powerful party leaders and quite a few upcoming stars, from primetime speakers such as Michelle Obama, Julian Castro, Elizabeth...

This is a sensitive issue, I’m quite aware. Native Ole Miss students are hypersensitive to out-of-state students who have not been lifelong Ole Miss fans and have allegiances to more than one football team. I, having grown up in New Orleans to an LSU alum, hold dual fandom and have been called a traitor for even suggesting that I like LSU. Please refrain from tweeting...

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Here is the scene in Chicago currently: the city, in the midst of an all-time high in revenue, has decided to decrease teacher’s pay by 16 percent over the next four years and is pushing to do away with an accountability system that would measure the teachers’ performance in the classroom. The teachers, whose first priority is and always will be the students,...

Last week I drew from Benedict Anderson to introduce the notion of a national imaginary — those ideas and ideals that help link us to a national community from which we are otherwise separated by space and experience. Last week I discussed football; this week I’ll consider music and celebrity culture.   You might ask why I’m not talking about movies...