Update: A&E caves on Duck Dynasty

I guess people are allowed to criticize gay sex after all:

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following some incendiary comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all. [Read more…]

Most important historical development of 2013

I would say that the most important historical development of 2013, the one that will prove most pivotal and culturally significant , is the Supreme Court decision casting out the Defense of Marriage law, which, along with various other court decisions and state laws, threw the door completely open for same-sex marriage.  Never in all of human history and never in the wide diversity of human cultures, including those that have been most open to homosexuality, have men married men or women married women.  Just as a matter of history and anthropology, the new legal and social acceptance of gay marriage is revolutionary and unprecedented.

What else happened in 2013 that you think historians of the next century will study?  (That will not necessarily be the same as the “top news stories,” since historians are more interested in the big picture.)

 

Top news stories of 2013

The Associated Press released its list of the top 10 news stories of 2013, based on polls of American editors and news directors.  See the list after the jump.  What would you add?  What do you think was the most important news event of 2013? [Read more…]

Best movies of 2013?

You tell me.  What do you think was the best movie of 2013?

Best television of 2013

As others have also said, some of the best and most interesting filmmaking, acting, and screenwriting is taking place not in the movies but in the historically-less respected medium of television.   I am appreciating how television can develop a story and characters over many hours and weeks, as opposed to the couple of hours that is all movies and plays have to work with (about the time a human being can sit still).  My pick for the best TV show is limited, of course, to what I’ve seen (and I didn’t watch Breaking Bad), but in my opinion the best television of the year could be found on Broadchurch.

My reasons after the jump.  Make your own nominations in the comments. [Read more…]

Looking backwards, looking forwards

The week building up to New Year’s is a good time to look back at the year that has passed.  We’ll be doing that on this blog over the next week, among other things, with your help.  Then we’ll look forward to the new year ahead.  And that will bring us to a celebrated and notorious feature of this blog:  the year’s predictions.  On New Year’s Eve, we will check the predictions that you readers made last year and see who takes the virtual prize of glory for the most astute prognostication that came true.  Then on New Year’s Day, we will make predictions for 2014, which will be checked on the last day of that year (if we last that long).  So be thinking about what’s going to happen!