Early last year, the South Korean government blared K-pop – Korean pop music – across its border with North Korea in what seemed to be a playful, almost mocking gesture. Amidst a tense, perennial standoff, songs such as “Just Let Us Love” by Apink and “Bang Bang Bang” by Big Bang blasted into the northern […]

In a notable scene from Straight Outta Compton, members of the hip-hop group N.W.A. sat at a press conference, answering questions from a coterie of white male journalists bewildered at the emergence of “gangsta” rap. To explain their rapid elevation into fame, MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) asserts, “We give the people a voice,” while Ice Cube […]

If the Nobel Prize in Literature was established to celebrate words that empower, then the Swedish Academy’s selection of Bob Dylan is long overdue. In the past fifty years, one would be hard pressed to find an individual — presidents and popes included — whose words have had a more profound societal impact than Dylan. With the scratchy spin of the vinyl and the crackling of the radio, he disseminated […]

Last week, the International Criminal Court found Islamic militant Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of war crimes and sentenced him to nine years in prison. Al-Mahdi now joins the ranks of Jean-Pierre Bemba, Germain Katanga, and Thomas Lubanga Dyilo as one of the only people to be convicted by the International Criminal Court since its inception […]

This past weekend, media developer Firaxis Games unveiled Sid Meier’s Civilization 6, the franchise’s latest, most technically advanced installment. Yet, despite all the frenzy surrounding the new game, memories of Civilization 3, in all its square-tiled antiquity, still linger, fresh and unadulterated in my mind. For my six-year-old self, that game was my first, and […]

Amongst Venezuela’s internationally recognized figures, 35-year-old Gustavo Dudamel is especially unique: he is a global celebrity in the world of classical music. Currently heading the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, he is one of the most accomplished and recognized classical conductors in the world. He is frequently invited as […]

At the John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa — a museum entirely devoted to commemorating the late, notorious actor — Donald Trump stood in front of a fake desert background and a wax figure of John Wayne.  “When you think about it, John Wayne represented strength, he represented power, he represented what the people are […]

With $40.9 million in ticket sales on its first day, the Chinese film “The Mermaid” broke global box office records in February of this year. The success of the movie manifests China’s growing presence within the global film industry. Blockbuster successes and an increased partnership between Hollywood and the Chinese film industry have set China […]