Last night, Bill Clinton gave a 48 minute speech that so far is the most memorable of the convention season. Well, the most memorable for it's own merit, and not a failed gimmick.

President Clinton has a gift. Not just a gift for public speaking--that would be an understatement. What Clinton does is talk, and demand listening. He breaks conventional political rhetoric laws by stretching the boundaries of what will work in the context of a national speech. When Obama, or Romney, or Clint Eastwood ramble, it's a slow going stumble of ums and ahs and nonsense. When Bill Clinton rambles, he deconstructs complex arguments about Medicare.

Hopefully by now everyone has seen The Dark Knight Rises. With its two prequels, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it completes what is arguably the best movie trilogy of the last decade. Now that Christopher Nolan's trilogy is finished,  it is a perfect time to go back and read some of Batman's best stories in print.

Peter Gabriel during his tenure as Genesis' frontman.
In the evolution of rock music, there is a fascinating branch of eclectic work from the late sixties through the seventies that quickly became a source of mockery and parody. When serious, classically trained musicians started to cash in on the rock scene, progressive rock began to dominate record stores and radio waves. Bands like Yes, Pink Floyd, and Genesis focused their chops on long, album centered music and tossed the traditional three minute rock song out the window. Throw in a little psychedelia, and you have a musical movement that stretched the boundaries of pop art to its very bizarre and eccentric edges.

I thought about weighing in on the "5 Greatest Albums" debate going on between Cody and JJ, but then I thought that I already talk about that kind of thing enough on my personal blog (shameless plug) and really, I'm not any sort of a music/film buff. I collect them both like I collect candy and movie tickets, and I love them, but I don't have very complicated thoughts about them. I just like to enjoy them.

Kelly Clarkson

Recently, JJ Feinauer posted a blog where he claimed to hold the secret to the 'greatest albums of all time' and listed them by album artwork. It's a good list, and my all time favorite album was on there. But he declared it to be objective, and dared the reader to disagree. I'm challenging his list based on his futile attempt at objectivity.
Listing the greatest of all time anythings is a bold undertaking to begin with. I like to deal in more specific, but vague enough terms to limit contention. For instance, instead of listing the greatest albums of all time, I'm more likely to list the greatest albums to listen to while taking a bath after your dog runs away. Not very many people have an opinion on that kind of list.

Batman & Robin was the inevitable outcome of the Burton/Schumacher series. The moment that Tim Burton decided that continuity was an expendable part of the franchise, each subsequent film’s fidelity to the series was always open to interpretation. What could change? What couldn’t change? Drastic alterations were made to Gotham City in the second one, as well as mood and motivation.  Batman Forever proved that they could successfully wipe the slate practically clean, leaving only a few reminders that this all took place on the same planet. Once that boundary was broken, and once the studio realized that the fans were willing to accept it, Batman & Robin was born. All things considered, it’s important to remember that B&R was nothing more than a studio testing its limits, and a character testing itself.

Don't worry, we only do this because we love you.

Professor Bowman has named the books that we will be reading for the class.

This is oddly similar to that odd video by Beck. Maybe it's his cat?

This is the objective list of the 5 greatest albums of all time. They are in no particular order.

I dare you to disagree.

Since the The Dark Knight Rises has finally come out, I figure I may as well finish my reviews of the Burton/Shumacher films. So I suppose that means that next is...

Batman Forever

Since The Dark Knight Rises comes out tomorrow night (or I guess Friday morning) I think it is time I finally put down on paper (or computer screen) my opinions of each Batman film.

So next I'll do...

Batman Returns

Since The Dark Knight Rises comes out tomorrow night (or I guess Friday morning) I think it is time I finally put down on paper (or computer screen) my opinions of each Batman film.

So I'll start with...

BATMAN ('89)


Southern Virginia University students are invited to submit their favorite or best photograph they took over spring break 2012. The winning photographer will receive a $15 iTunes gift card, second place will receive a $5 gift card, and the third place winner will receive a signed photograph of the Accolade News staff.

Be creative, express what you did during spring break. Show us how awesome your hard-earned vacation was.

All photos submitted will be showcased on &etc, and the winners will be posted on The Accolade News website. The contest closes on Saturday, March 31st at midnight. Please email all photo submissions to; remember, only one entry per person.

Good luck! 

In the spirit of awesome forums (I found last Friday's forum by Matthew Bowman particularly awsome) I decided I would make a list of my favorite forum speaches so far at Southern Virginia University. There are a lot that I like, but I decided the best way to do it was to choose my top 5.

Have you ever heard of the Glass Ceiling? The Glass Ceiling Congressional Commission defined it as "the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements." Multiple spinoffs describe the invisible barrier in other professions and groups; including the Brass Ceiling (law enforcement and military), the Bamboo Ceiling (Asian Americans), and the Gray Ceiling (the lingering baby boomers keeping younger stock from moving up).  Now that we are familiar with the Glass Ceiling can you guess what the Paper Ceiling is?


Hipster. A word with an elusive definition, leaving behind - without fail - the question, what is a hipster?

Let's be honest here. I haven't the faintest idea. Countless people have tried to describe to me the hipster, and I've yet to truly understand what/who a hipster is. It's a topic of constant debate in our Accolade News meetings, usually ending with one among our ranks tossing his hands up with an exasperated "I don't understand what a hipster is!"

I feel like that quite often. 


(all images courtesy of LATFH)




If you’ve watched the hilarious show Portlandia then you’ve heard of hipsters. I hear this phrase pop up repeatedly at the mall, in the halls, and even at Goodwill. So what exactly is a hipster?

I’m not the urban dictionary, but I would split hipsters into two categories – the tragic and the chasers. The tragic should be addressed first since they really started the whole movement. They seem to be made of people are not willing to accept that they have grown up and the beauty of whatever epoch they came from is over. Whether it was the 80’s, 90’s, or coming soon the 00’s they keep bringing back forgotten styles, lingo, and music. It is almost like they found a real Never-never-land, where they will never have to grow up and act like adults e.g. wear grown-up clothes, get grown-up jobs, and talk about grown-up things – like realistic politics.

The term ‘hipster’ is one that fills me with derision, that inspires snooty contempt from the very root of my most callous and cynical id. Until now, I haven’t been able to articulate why, without becoming a living parody of the exact pretentious attitude that I am trying to dismiss. My point is, hipsters don’t really exist. Nothing can be hipster. That doesn’t make any sense. At least, not anymore. Like punk, the term has become a caricature of a once idealized mentality of something unique, smart, and true. And like punk, it is now a tool of advertising agencies to sell bland crap to an unsuspecting and easily duped demographic.

What exactly is hipster? gives us a few answers: “A person, especially during the 1950s, characterized by a particularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships.” Or, in laymen’s terms, “a person who is hip.”   

Their likes, for this group of nonconforming conformists, are rather similar in taste:

Hey and welcome to &etc, the blog for The Accolade News, formerly known as The Courser.  We hope you like this space as much as we do.

If you're interested in writing a blog post or having a permalink on &etc, email the staff at accoladenewsetc[at]gmail[dot]com.  We want to create a network of SVU bloggers and writers, working together to bring interesting stories and pertinent news to the campus, and we think you can help.

Look around, stay a while, and don't forget to scoot on over to The Accolade for timely and direct SVU news!


We did it!  After a few weeks of work, we've finally got the blog and the Accolade up and running again.

Well, mostly.  We're still working on transferring all of the old blog posts to our new blog site, &etc, so be on the lookout for that in the next few days.

Don't be daunted by the name change.  We're still the same, awesome blog that you know!


Thanks for sticking by us!

-&etc Staff