PSY Hates America, The Hobbit Movie Review, and the Top Culture Stories of the Week

The holidays are here, and with them all the angst, the joy, and the incredible movies. To keep up, PolicyMic cultural coverage just keeps on getting better and better. In case you missed it, check out the top stories, reviews, and features on the site this week. And see what future events already have the interwebs abuzz. 
 

Top Feature Stories in Culture:

Is Bullfighting Art, Or Is It Torture? (Juan Pablo Laso) – “Though bullfighting’s presence and relevancy in the arts may be well established, it has little to do with the ethical issues that the practice brings up. Unquestionably, an animal will suffer and die at the hands of a matador, and if we consider this to be unnecessary and cruel, then perhaps a more enlightened society is one without bullfighting. The growing number of bans seem to suggest more and more people see it this way.”

12 Pop Culture Phenomenons That Were Just So 2012 (Jasper Zweibel) – “7. YOLO – “You Only Live Once” became the motto of party people everywhere in 2012. Love it or hate it, you know you've said it at least once this year. Personally, I think only living once is a really good reason to not take risks, but maybe that's just me.” 


Football is Breeding a Culture of Violence, But It Does Not Need to Change (Michael Calabrese) – “League policies such as requiring third-party trainers on site, mandatory concussion testing and advancements in equipment technology will be enough to protect players from future injury. The NFL league office would also be within their bounds if they set mandatory waiting periods for players that team and league doctors determined have sustained a head injury. Boxing, while more violent, does not allow their competitors, nor their staff, to determine if they want to continue boxing. They have referees and third party doctors who make those decisions. “

7 Country Music Artists for People Who Seriously Don’t Like Country Music (Chloe Stillwell) – “7. Shovels and Rope – If you can get behind Johnny and June, Tammy and George, Loretta and Conway, you can get behind these guys. They’ve given the original twang-y, whiskey filled, love bursting country duet a modern, lo-fi, dark twist. They’re spunky and rhythmic, whaling about scrounging for cash and Tennessee girls. If you can open yourself to that new Mumford & Sons single that’s always on the radio now, you owe it to yourself to listen to Shovels and Rope. And Lucky for you they have a Christmas EP out this month.”

What the PSY Controversy Reveals About U.S. – South Korean Relations (Keeran Murphy) – “Anti-American sentiment in South Korea is a complicated phenomenon, and the fact that PSY was able to perform for the first family only days after it was discovered that he sang about killing American soldiers during the Iraq War says a lot about U.S.-ROK relations. The inextricable relationship between our two countries is much more visible in South Korea, (where there is an American military base in the center of Seoul), than it is in America.”

 

Reviews of the Week:
Movies

“The Hobbit”: Peter Jackson Makes a Film Two Hours Too Long(Daniel Tanure) – “Some scenes seem to come out of nowhere just to be sucked back into the purposeless vacuum they came from. There’s a bit where we’re introduced to a sort of naturalist nut-case hobo that for some reason is considered a wizard and I was legitimately confused not only as to what the purpose of that scene was, but also as to how it connected to the scenes that came before it. Was it a flashback? A dream-sequence? Was it actually happening? It was like someone changed the channel abruptly on me. It was only about 10 to 15 minutes later that I was able to fit that scene into a coherent context.”



Music

Big Boi’s ‘Viscious Lies and Dangerous Rumos’ is Modern Hip Hop at Its Most Visionary(Thomas Barnes) – “The beats on the album are unique, funky, dark, and driving. Big Boi’s rapping is as intricate and immaculate as ever. He spits in a variety of flows over a variety of beats. He’s written some electro dance pop, dub-like electrosludge, sweeping harmonious ballads, electrocheese pop with an 80s synth harpsichord (“Mama Told Me (feat. Kelly Roland).” The album features an uncharacteristic amount of electronics for the man. OutKast has always been about hard-hitting beats and space alien bleeps and boops, but their songs rarely strayed far from their characteristic southern funk and soul feel. On Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi stretches out and tries some heavy dance beats and indie ballads. Everything he tries works. It all sounds fresh.”


 

People Around the Web are Talking About:

The Apocalypse: According to Mayan lore this is the last week of Earth as we know it. The world will theoretically end on Friday, what are you doing to prepare?

Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow’s critically celebrated film about the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden comes out this week. It’s one of this year’s top must-sees.



The ‘Mad Men’ Snub: Is the reign of America’s favorite show over? ‘Mad Men was snubbed by the Golden Globes in the best drama category … internet panic ensued.

The Christmas Countdown: There are officially nine days left on the advent calendar. Have you bought your presents yet ?