Culture Dominates Summer 2013

Isabella Lilley, Staff Writer

This summer, journalists could hardly catch a coffee break with the revolving tornado of breaking news. You may be caught up with the royal baby birth, the anticipated arrival of Kanye and Kim’s newborn North West, and recently heard about Beyonce’s new doo. But how well-rounded have you truly kept yourself in the culture of our entertainment business and nation?

No doubt you’ve heard the jazzy Robin Thicke hit at least 50 times this summer, but not a single line ahead of Thicke seems to be blurred. “Blurred Lines” was coined as the summer anthem of 2013 and has held its place at No. 1 on the Billboards for nine weeks straight- longer than any other song this year. Tunes following close behind included Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”

After complications with granuloma on his vocal cords, pop artist John Mayer returned to entertainment this January after a 10-month hiatus and recovery period. Now working on his sixth studio album, he began touring this July with American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.

The film industry unleashed a stream of sequels these past few months, but the sequels have proved to be less enjoyed than the original. “Star Trek: Into the Darkness” grossed $30 million less than its predecessor in 2009. “Grown Ups 2” earned $35 million less than the original, “Red 2” profited 40 million more than the first, and “The Hangover: Part III” brought in $1.4 million less than the second.

The trend, however, was broken with the animated comedy “Despicable Me 2.” It grossed $94 million more than the original.

Junior Abby Miller adds some insight to why that may be.

“I liked [both movies] because they’re for little kids, but there’s enough humor in them that the older people taking the [children] can laugh too.”

Although films were rushing into the cinemas this summer, we can’t forgot about where most of those movies originated.

It would be difficult to have lived these past fifteen years and not heard the name J.K Rowling. It would, however, be quite easy to not recognize Robert Galbraith.

The “Harry Potter” author released a book under a pseudonym about a veteran-turned-private investigator called “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Her hope of receiving critiques based upon the story’s content instead of her acclaimed name were annihilated when a partner of hers at the publishing company leaked to the press that Rowling was using a false name.

After taking legal action against the leak, all money owed to Rowling by the partner and his friend were donated to The Soldier’s Charity in honor of J.K. Rowling’s story.

In the television industry, the most publicized and most tragic news came with the passing of 31-year-old “Glee” star Cory Monteith on July 13. USA Today reported his death to be a result of a drug and alcohol overdose.

Junior Asher Denkiyirah, a fan of the teen drama since its first season, was in disbelief upon hearing the news.

“I was shocked. At first, I thought it was a joke. I thought Ashton Kutcher was trying to ‘Punk’d’ [us].”

Many wonder how the plot of Fox’s hit will continue without the male role, including Denkiyirah: “He always seemed like he was really happy when he was singing…hopefully they won’t wash out the storyline now that he’s gone. It depends on the actors. Are they still going to be enthusiastic?”

The passing of Monteith wasn’t the only TV news that left avid fans distraught. Your favorite doctors won’t be doing much to relieve your bellyaches, but may be bringing a bit of ache to your heart. Sandra Oh, known as Cristina Yang of “Grey’s Anatomy,” announced its new doctor early this August for the next generation. Peter Capaldi will be replacing Matt Smith as the twelfth Doctor since the show’s creation in 1963.

From films, to music, to books, to television, culture is determined by the people who create it, and the ones who observe it. Your desires determine what it becomes; make it what you want.