When it was sixty-four

Baradwaj Rangan

‘A Hard Day’s Night’ turns 50 this July. It’s a great ticket to ride back to a swinging era…

How does one truly get the Beatles? This isn’t about their music, which, like any music, doesn’t belong to any single generation, even the one that it was birthed in. We do, after all, listen to Mozart today. This is about the gargantuan, fireworks-going-off-in the-head phenomenon of it all – the fevered anticipation of the next release, the buzz of being wired into a pop-culture moment, the feeling of communal ownership, the heartbreak when it’s all over. As someone born in the nineteen-seventies, I’ve never had this with music. The iconic bands of my teens – U2, The Police, Dire Straits – were big, but they weren’t that big. Michael Jackson, perhaps… But even he wasn’t “more popular than Jesus.”

I guess I’m trying to say that one way to…

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Guest Post – Dave Kang: “International Relations Theory and East Asian History”

Robert Kelly --- Asian Security Blog

AHN_HOUSEIt’s always my pleasure to guest-post my good friend Dave Kang. Dave teaches at the University of Southern California, runs their Korean Studies Institute (the pic), and knows way more about the issues of this website than I ever will. So if you aren’t reading his work yet, you should be. Here are some previous guest posts he’s written (one, two, three).

Here is his encouragement that you actually apply international relations theory to East Asia. I can’t agree more. There is far too much superficial think-tank wonkery about East Asia (how many nukes does China have? will Pyongyang test another missile? and so on), and not nearly enough real theory. Dave does that and you should too. So instead of writing yet another essay about the South China Sea, the essays referenced below should be good encouragement to write something richer.


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Could the Youth Protests of the EU, Middle East, Turkey, and Brazil Spread to Asia’s Corrupt Democracies?

Robert Kelly --- Asian Security Blog


Jay Ulfelder and I had a Twitter conversation on this question in the last few days (here and here). But Twitter has such limited space, I thought I would break out our discussion on the blog and ask what others thought.

Watching all these riots – driven heavily by youth dissatisfaction, it seems – is making me wonder if this might spread to Asia’s democracies. A lot of the problems these protests are identifying exist in spades in Asia: high-handed, out-of-touch governments; election-proof pseudo-technocracies that act as unaccountable oligarchies; shallow, clique-ish political parties that provide no meaningful transmission belt of citizen preferences; massive government and business corruption; wasteful white-elephant spending to capture global ‘prestige’ while everyday services like health care and education are underfunded; closed political opportunity structures that regularly reward insiders and large corporations with crony connections to the state; wealthy, de-linking elites with 1% lifestyles wildly…

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TV Review: “24” Season 1 – If “24” is even Close to Accurate, then We are Deservedly Losing the GWoT

Robert Kelly --- Asian Security Blog

I have been teaching terrorism for about 5 years, but I am not a big fan of serial television. So I had never actually seen an episode of “24.” But my students always reference it in class, and ‘Jack Bauer’ has become synonymous with a no-holds-barred approach to the GWoT. GOP officials occasionally refer to the show, usually in praiseworthy or pseudomethodological terms – as in, ‘we need try to the Jack Bauer-approach to counterterrorism,’ or ‘Jack Bauer wouldn’t let politics stand in the way.’ (It always amazes me how congressmen, who we think have greater access to good or secret government information, nonetheless draw ‘knowledge’ from the same media flim-flam as the rest of us do. Please don’t tell me Congress gets its sense of counterterrorism from movies and TV!) My sense was that such Jack Bauer references meant we need to bend the rules, torture, and otherwise wander…

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Odious Ray Comfort movie (watch it below) to be distributed in public schools

Why Evolution Is True

The following information comes from PR Newswire, so it’s just a press release from Ray Comfort’s “Living Waters” organization; but according to that, kids at Hollywood High School are about to get a free creationist e-treat:

On August 13, students entering Hollywood High School will be given a DVD that shows top evolutionary scientists unable to give any scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution.

In “Evolution vs. God,” a 36-minute movie, producer Ray Comfort interviewed scientists at UCLA and USC, pressing them for observable scientific evidence for evolution. “They couldn’t give a lick of evidence,” Comfort said, “because it doesn’t exist.”

Ron Love, a spokesperson for the producers, added, “Public schools do not allow honest discussion and debate when it comes to the evidence against evolution, on the grounds of separation of church and state and an erroneous stance that creationism and Intelligent Design are unscientific and based on faith. ‘Evolution…

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The Best Movies of 2013: #20 – #1

Cut The Crap Movie Reviews

Congratulations, my players and playerettes! You finally made it, the big day has finally arrived! For those just tuning in, here’s what you’ve been missing:

Day 1: #85 – #66
Day 2: #66 – #51
Day 3: #50 – #36
Day 4: #35 – #21

Now that that’s out of the way, what do you say we get down to it?

20. Cutie and the Boxer
Those awesome opening credits. The unexpected weight of Ushio’s drunken, emotional breakdown. There’s just a lot to like about this gorgeous, honest, complex portrait of two aging, starving artists as they come into their own. Didn’t hit me right away, but it’s been lingering like a mother ever since.

19. V/H/S/2 (Full Review)
In light of its (mostly) disappointing predecessor, I can’t stress enough what an improvement this was every single way. Love what these guys are doing and, holy hell, that…

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