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The Avengers Stands Up for America

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

A scene from The Avengers, as superheroes Hamlet Guy and Skeleton Man team up to save the world.

The Avengers is a film of shattering emotional impact that will make you rethink the way you view the world and keep you pondering and discussing its insights for days. Oh, all right, I’m joking.  But after the first kind of boring ten minutes or so, it was plenty of fun. Best part: the bickering among superheroes with egos as big as their musk-els, culminating in a hilariously random bit of physical business between the Hulk and Thor.

But just because the picture is dopey fun doesn’t mean it’s dopey altogether. In fact, it’s one of the most purposely pro-American, pro-liberty and pro-market films to have come down the pike in years. The villain Loki has come to Earth to enslave humanity, and goes about telling people that slavery is natural and that they will live more happily on their knees. In a clear reversal of the famous paraphrase of Galatians (A book of the Bible. A special Book. Where Jesus lives.), he tells them they will be “freed from freedom.”

When Loki launches an attack on Stuttgart, Germany, the comparison to Hitler is made obvious. “The last time I was in Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing,” says Captain America, the reawakened throwback to American ideals of the forties. When a female officer tells Captain A that Thor and Loki are gods, he responds, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

But Captain America needs some help from Iron Man, the delightfully cynical and ironic representative of free market capitalism. Iron Man is selfish and egotistical but also brilliant and ultimately good-hearted. The tension between him (the free market) and the Captain (American ideals) and the resolution of that tension in self-sacrifice and heroism are the emotional heart of the picture and constitute whatever message it has.

Add to that the fact that the representatives of government are idiots and their decisions have to be countermanded at every turn and, yeah, it’s good liberty-loving stuff. And of course, it ends with the earth being destroyed, all the super heroes being wiped out, and no possibility of a sequel ever. Right, right: joking.

Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

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Big Bird Waterboards Terrorists at Guantanamo

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

via Sesame Street songs were repeatedly played for days on end to torture Guantanamo Bay prisoners, report claims | Mail Online:

They were written to teach children colours and strange words but distorted versions of bouncy Sesame Street songs have been used to torture Guantanamo Bay prisons for days, it has been claimed.

The staggering assertion has been made in a documentary from Al Jazeera and follows previous claims in 2008 that heavier tunes such as Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and Drowning Pool’s ‘Bodies’ were played incessantly to prisoners at the naval base in Cuba.

According to the report ‘innocent children’s songs were abused for inhumane purposes’ as music from the popular US children programme was blasted repeatedly into prisoners’ ears.

I wish everyone used children’s songs to “torture” people.

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25-Year-Old Mary-Kate Olsen Now Dating Nicolas Sarkozy’s 42-Year-Old Brother

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Celebrity Gossip

via Mary-Kate Olsen Is Dating Nicolas Sarkozy’s Brother: Reports | OMG Now – Yahoo! omg!.

Mary-Kate Olsen has a new man in her life — and he comes from a very famous family! The child-star-turned-fashion-mogul is dating the brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, according to reports.

The New York Post broke the news that Olsen, 25, and Olivier Sarkozy, 42, have quietly been seeing each other for the last month. The couple took their romance public over Memorial Day weekend when they spent time together in the Hamptons. They’re “head over heels,” a source told the paper.

[Related: Mary-Kate Olsen's Messy Met Gala Hairstyle: Love It or Hate It?]

An Olsen insider confirmed the pairing to Us Weekly, saying: “It’s true, they’re dating, and she’s definitely interested in him.” As for the 17-year age gap between the two, “MK is constantly complaining about boys not being mature enough for her. She got the kids out of her system. Now being a businesswoman dominates her time, and she is rarely impressed with guys.” A second source confirmed the new relationship to the celebrity magazine, noting: “”They are good for each other.”

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#DUMB: Taco Bell Selling ‘Mountain Dew A.M.’

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

via Taco Bell Experiments With New Drink Mountain Dew A.M. | Geekosystem.

Taco Bell has been experimenting quite a bit lately, from their attempt at offering a breakfast menu, to the Doritos Locos tacos you’ve probably seen a commercial for by now. Spotted by Mike Elgan, it would seem Taco Bell franchises in southern California are experimenting with a new Mountain Dew beverage, Mountain Dew A.M.. It’s Mountain Dew mixed with orange juice.

 

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Rapist Roman Polanski’s New Film to Defend Antisemites and Misogynists

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Mark Tapson

Famed (and infamous) director Roman Polanski has announced that his next film project will be D, a political thriller based on the real-life tale of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jew wrongly imprisoned for spying at the turn of the century. What drew him to the topic? Its theme of antisemitism? Perversely, it is about a persecuted minority – just not the one you might think.

The creative force behind such films as Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist among many others, Polanski pled guilty to raping an underage girl in 1977, then fled the United States for the protection of France’s non-extradition law. There his filmmaking career has thrived and he has lived the high life of a revered artist. The list of awards and honors bestowed upon him and his films is towering; he is even the recipient of France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion d’Honneur, alongside such notables as Gen. George Patton, Victor Hugo, and, coincidentally, Dreyfus himself.

Polanski and his apologists consider his fugitive status to be nothing more than petty persecution on the part of Puritanical Americans who don’t understand that a great artist should be above the law. So when Polanski was in Switzerland to attend the Zurich Film Festival in 2009 and was put temporarily under chateau arrest at the behest of the U.S., French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand gave vent to melodramatic outrage:

To see him thrown to the lions and put in prison because of ancient history — and as he was traveling to an event honoring him — is absolutely horrifying. There’s an America we love and an America that scares us, and it’s that latter America that has just shown us its face.

(Mitterand should be comforted to know that back here in scary America, Polanski is still supported by Hollywood sophisticates who rush to the defense of a sex offender but who would be absolutely horrified, as Mitterand might put it, to find themselves in the same zip code with a Republican.)

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‘I Would Rather Have Everyone Exercise. But You Can’t Ignore the Data.’

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Helen Smith

A new study shows that for some people, exercise may increase your heart risk:

Could exercise actually be bad for some healthy people? A well-known group of researchers, including one who helped write the scientific paper justifying national guidelines that promote exercise for all, say the answer may be a qualified yes.

By analyzing data from six rigorous exercise studies involving 1,687 people, the group found that about 10 percent actually got worse on at least one of the measures related to heart disease:blood pressure and levels of insulin, HDL cholesterolortriglycerides. About 7 percent got worse on at least two measures. And the researchers say they do not know why….

Dr. Kraus said researchers needed to figure out how to tailor exercise prescriptions to individual needs.

Just like with diet, I have always wondered why people always think more exercise is better. People respond differently to different interventions. Some exercise is good for some people and some diets are good for some people but there are those of us for whom too much exercise and dieting is not such a good thing.

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Spy Photos of The Iron Patriot Armor from Iron Man 3

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

via Ain’t It Cool News. More images at The Superficial here.

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Meme of the Week: Scarecrow Good Guy

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 - by Sunny

This meme is just a bunch of corn-y puns.

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Hip Hop Cocaine Kingpin Funded Development of ‘Judge’ Al Sharpton TV Show

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

via Sharpton And Alleged Trafficker Peddled TV Show | The Smoking Gun:

Asked if the Sharpton project generated income for the 47-year-old Rosemond, Martin replied, “No, Jimmy said it was costing him money because he was paying for Al Sharpton to go to Los Angeles. He was paying for his hotels, he was hiring his car service to go to meetings. Stuff like that.” It is unclear whether these costs included payments directly to Sharpton.

Prosecutors contend that the overwhelming majority of Rosemond’s income was derived from cocaine trafficking, and that he funneled these illicit gains into real estate, entertainment ventures, and restaurant franchises. So it appears likely that money spent by Rosemond on the “Judge Sharpton” project would have come from the proceeds of this alleged narcotics operation.

At the time Rosemond–who is nicknamed “Jimmy Henchman”–met Sharpton, the hip-hop figure was already a career criminal whose rap sheet dated back to 1981 and included multiple weapons charges, along with collars for robbery, assault, drug distribution, and larceny. He had spent a total of nearly seven years behind bars for his various federal and state convictions.

Martin testified that Sharpton and Rosemond (both of whom have frequented the private Grand Havana Room cigar bar on Fifth Avenue) met after a March 2007 incident during which Rosemond’s son was roughed up on a Manhattan street by associates of the performer 50 Cent (who was then involved in a rap world beef with The Game, a Los Angeles-based rapper managed by Rosemond).

But wasn’t it the CIA who was conspiring to destroy black people through pushing drugs?

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How To Be an Amateur Wine Snob in 5 Easy Steps

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 - by Sunny

I admit it: I am an amateur wine snob. An amateur wine snob is a person who knows enough about wine to be annoyingly high-maintenance, picky, and impressive. It is someone who can get an enormous amount of sensory pleasure from a good wine and who can say things like, “I want a well-balanced Cab and if I can get my hands on a 2005 from Oregon I’ll be really happy.”

Are you impressed yet?

Becoming an amateur wine snob is not as hard as it appears to be. There may be a dizzying amount of information out there about wine, but so there is about most anything, and a small amount of information goes a long way.

As an amateur wine snob I would like to have a quality glass of wine when I go out to dinner. The problem is most restaurants in America serve crappy junk wine because most of you don’t know enough to ask for better and will drink the average swill without complaint. That $6 glass of California red you ordered probably cost the restaurant less than $3 for the bottle. Cheap. Junk. Because of the lack of wine snobbery in this country, I have to go out of my way to go somewhere that serves good wine and I HATE going out of my way. I would like wine snobbery to spread far enough so I can get a gorgeous dry red with well-balanced, ripened tannins at a McDonald’s drive-thru. (Okay, well, maybe not the drive-thru.)

For God's sake, they have it in South America. The only thing stopping us is a lack of wine snobbery!

Here are five easy steps to join the illustrious ranks of the Amateur Wine Snobs of America.

Step 1: You have to want it.

Does wine give you a headache? Not so, my friend. CRAPPY wine gives you a headache! Guess what? If you have a quality wine, you can drink an entire bottle without getting a headache. This knowledge is understood by both wine snobs and every homeless drunk in the world.

I'd like a well-aged Cabernet please. That cheap s*it gives me a headache.

Why else should you want to be a wine snob?

  • Impress your friends
  • Impress your date (This is true for men and women unless your date is Homer Simpsonish. Homer would just be annoyed and intimidated by your sophistication.)
  • Get a lot more pleasure out of a glass of wine
  • It’s heart healthy

Do you need more reasons? There aren’t any. If you are not motivated now, go have a Bud Lite and stop wasting my time.

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Why do Older Men Find it so Hard to Fall in Love Again?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

A reader sent me an interesting article from the Daily Mail about why older men have a hard time finding love again. The author, Liz Hodgkinson, is a woman, of course. Men unfortunately, rarely write about relationships from their perspective. I wish they would. Anyway, the author “explores” why older men are no longer interested in a relationship with a woman and talks about psychiatrist Dennis Friedman’s new book The Lonely Hearts Club:

Dr Friedman tells the stories of about a dozen men between 50 and 80 — all but one divorced, widowed or never married — who are composites of his former patients, and investigates why there’s such a cavernous gulf between them and their female peers. He wants to explore why, despite the fact that more of us than ever before are finding ourselves single later in life, we are incapable of pairing up with each other.
Friedman’s male characters are discontented and disorientated, wondering where they have gone wrong, and whether they can put things right. Above all, they agonise over whether they will ever again be able to find happiness in an intimate relationship.
They may be partly fictional, but they certainly ring bells with me; they are all examples of the kind of standard issue, unattractive older men I come across all the time.

Later on, the author of the piece gives us a glimpse of the real reason she and possibly her cohorts have no man:

At the moment, I have three rather persistent admirers — one is a friend of my late partner and I met the other two through mutual friends — but there is no rapport or chemistry between us.
When I asked one of them what he had to offer me, he replied: ‘Well, nothing really.’

A commenter to this article, Jim, summed it up nicely:

If you’re immediately asking men “what have you got to offer me”, don’t be surprised if you’re alone.
- Jim, Abroad, 30/5/2012 11:58

Amen.

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2 Dark Knight Rises TV Trailers

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News

Via Mark Hughes at Forbes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQRd2-Kk0JQ

 

 

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Kyle MacLachlan on Showgirls: ‘I Went Into That Film With the Best of Intentions…’

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Celebrity Gossip

via Kyle MacLachlan Thought ‘Showgirls’ Would Be A ‘Hard-Hitting’ Drama – Starpulse.com.

He tells Britain’s Metro newspaper, “I went into that film with the best of intentions. (Director) Paul Verhoeven and (writer) Joe Eszterhas were at the top of their game and I trusted they’d deliver something that would be controversial and hard-hitting. It turned into something completely different…”

“Only when it was assembled and I saw it for the first time, I thought, ‘Oh boy, this isn’t going to be pretty.’ Everyone has their Showgirls. We remember the great films actors have been in and the rest get forgotten. But occasionally, people like to revisit the ones that get swept aside.”

Related at PJ Lifestyle:

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American Idol: Prophecy Fulfilled

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 - by Tom Neven

This year's final two American Idols, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips

So the utterly predictable happened. Phillip Phillips, herein known as P2, is the Season 11 American Idol champ. As predictable as a giant nose zit at prom time, P2 was propelled over the finish line by millions of teenyboppers and cougars with flames bursting from their cell phone speed dials.

I won’t belabor P2’s lack of singing ability other than to say he agrees, as he observed last Thursday with Jay Leno: “As everyone knows with me, it’s not about the singing.” I’m glad he agrees.

The last performance night saw Jessica Sanchez singing the daylights out of everything and P2 doing his usual hipster Mumble Pop bit. Why he chose his atrocious cover of Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” as his best performance to repeat will remain one of life’s enduring mysteries. If he had chosen his audition version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” I would have said great choice. I was at first intrigued with P2 based on that—I attributed the less than stellar singing to nerves—but as the season went on, I grew tired of his one-note parade and especially tired of the high praise from judges who really should have (and probably do) know better.

But the third and last song for each was telling. This was the song they would personally choose to be their first single if they won the contest. (Allegedly. More on that in a bit.) After wowing us all season with her powerful, clear vocals, Jessica chose “Change Nothing” written by Jaden Michaels, Joleen Belle and Harry Sommerdahl. Um, no. This was her last chance to impress the judges and the fans, and she chose a really blah song. The judges didn’t like it, and neither did Jessica, apparently. How much a role the producers played in this will probably remain an Ultra Double-Dog Secret for all time, because it sounds like Jessica wanted to do something more urban, more “me,” as she put it. How much did Jessica’s relative lack of maturity play in her giving in to what the producers wanted?

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10 Secrets to Shopping the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Ah, being a woman rocks. Especially this time of year, when the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale rolls around. This morning, Angel cardholders received the email invitation to dive into the online sale early. Being a shopping ninja, I’ve learned some tips and tricks over the years to make the most out of this little-unmentionables bargain-a-thon.

1. The winter sale is better than the summer one. Why? Because the week after the in-store sale starts, it’s major closeout time with all clearance bras dropping to about $15 — even if the bra was a $125 Christmas special edition — and panties going for $2.99. In some stores, like Connecticut Avenue in D.C., all sleepwear is also half off the last marked price, so you’re getting the Pillowtalk Tank PJ, regular price $49.50, for $15. Prices also drop late in the online sale. Because the summer sale is shorter, doesn’t have as good of a selection, and is not as price-dropping as the winter one, get the things you want quickly in the summer one.

2. Shortly before the sale begins, Victoria’s Secret will start teasing loyalists with sale offers — hold fast and save up for the real deal. The only one that’s a better bargain than the SAS is the 7 for $26 panty sale that VS held in store and online this past weekend — they come out to $3.71 per pair, better than the $3.99 sale price.

3. When the online sale starts, pick up matching sets first and any neutrals you may want. While Victoria’s Secret has gorgeous colors and prints, these will be in plentiful supply both later in the online sale and in stores. And later in the sale, it’s more of a hunt to find matching bras and panties.

4. The sale is the time to try one of the new lines of bras that you hadn’t wanted to try at full price. But buy that sample piece early enough so that there are still others colors left if you’re smitten and want to go back to buy more.

5. The in-store sale, which begins nearly two weeks after the online sale begins, generally has better deals on beauty products (like 75 percent off fragrances) and on sleepwear. If there are prints you want in the Angel sleep T’s, though, the 2 for $39.50 deal online is comparable to the $19.99 markdown in stores.

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10 Reasons You Should Skip Traditional Publishers and Self-Publish Ebooks Instead

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 - by Robert Bidinotto

This week’s most intriguing news from the publishing world:

Woola wildly popular, dystopian sci-fi novel—was purchased for feature-film development by director Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox, after a fierce Hollywood bidding war.

Okay, so why is this “intriguing”?

Because Wool wasn’t issued by a major publisher. Author Hugh Howey released it himself, as a series of cheap, self-published ebooks.

Howey is understandably giddy. “A few months ago,” he writes, “I worked part time in the university bookstore, dusting the shelves and tackling shoplifters to pay the bills.” But now? “Without a single dime spent in advertising, a short story I wrote and didn’t even work to promote climbed to the top of the Amazon charts. It drew the attention of Hollywood. It landed me an agent and half a dozen foreign book deals.”

Howey’s is the latest in a rapidly growing list of self-publishing success stories—stories that, I’m happy to say, include my own. Today, self-publishing has transcended its lowly “vanity press” roots. The emergence of ebooks, “print on demand” (POD) technology, and online book-selling has allowed many writers to jump off the “Query-Go-Round” of agents and publishers, yet still establish rewarding careers as “indie” authors.

The Ebook Revolution also has shaken the print-book industry to its core. Many traditional (aka “legacy”) publishers, literary agents, bookstores, distributors, and—yes—well-established, Big Name authors view ebook self-publishing the way a vampire views a wooden stake. Here are two summaries of the history of this turmoil; and there are predictions of even more traumatic disruption.

The author's fantasy?

So, let’s assume you’re a writer contemplating publication. You’re agonizing over whether to follow the traditional publishing path, or whether to take the plunge and self-publish. Okay, maybe you’ve long dreamed of winning validation from the publishing establishment—of earning acceptance from a New York agent and a venerable publisher—of seeing your book stacked in pyramids on bookstore tables—of the NYT #1 spot, and awards, and a reality show, and, gosh, maybe the cover of the Rolling Stone

How could self-publishing possibly compete with that?

Well, my fellow scribe: Here are ten huge advantages that self-publishing has over legacy publishing.

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Less Than 30% of Professors Are Full Time Faculty

Monday, May 28th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News

via 5 Infuriating Things Nobody Tells You About College | Cracked.com.

Unfortunately, the notion of college professors as scholarly experts who inspire learning is as outdated as the idea of getting a job after graduating from college. Fewer than 30 percent of all professors are full-time faculty. The other 70 percent are the underpaid, unwashed masses doing most of the teaching, and, in many cases, doing it poorly.About 32 percent of all courses are taught by grad students attempting to stave off unemployment. What makes them qualified to do a job previously performed by tenured Ph.D.s? Nothing! Only half of teaching assistants get any sort of meaningful instruction on how to teach, where “meaningful” can mean a five-hour, completely optional seminar. The rest walk in on the first day of class and reflexively stumble toward the back row before realizing, “Shit. I need to be up here now.”

Related at PJ Lifestyle:
7 WRONG Ways to Decide Your Life’s Career
This Is The Way The Higher Education Bubble Ends…
3 Reasons Higher Education Is Broken — and How To Fix It

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True Blood Season 4 Blu-Ray Out Tomorrow

Monday, May 28th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News

 

 

True Blood: The Complete Season 4 Special Features:

Digital Copy of True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season (expires 05/31/2014)

Blu-ray & DVD:

Inside the Episodes (12 Clips)

Get the backstories on each of the episodes with revealing interviews with the show writers.

True Blood The Final Touches– Join Alan Ball as he reveals an exclusive never-before-seen glimpse in the post production process of True Blood.

6 Audio Commentaries with the cast and crew including Executive Producer and Creator Alan Ball, Anna Paquin (Sookie), Stephen Moyer (Bill), Alexander Skarsgard (Eric), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Fiona Shaw (Marnie Stonebrook) and more!

Blu-ray Only:

True Blood Lines: Uncover secrets from relationships past and present in this engaging fully interactive guide and archive.

Character Perspectives PiP: Find out the backstory of what happened in Bon Temps while Sookie was missing in Faerieland, and get the inside scoop on all the comings and goings from your favorite characters including: Andy, Arlene, Crystal, Debbie, Don Bartolo, Godric, Jason, Lafayette, Luna, Maxine, Melinda, Nan, Pam, and Tara.

Flashback/Flash Forward (Jumpout Video): Move through time in the world of Bon Temps. Flashback to relive pivotal moments or Flash Forward to reveal the significance of a certain scene.

Vampire Histories / Character Bios / Hints / FYIs – Get the background stories on your favorite characters.

 

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Would Anyone Be Surprised if Aliens Landed?

Monday, May 28th, 2012 - by Walter Hudson

This past weekend saw the release of the third installment in the Men in Black series starring Will Smith as one of the titular interstellar immigration officers. Last month, Smith and his family visited the White House as guests of President Obama during the Easter holiday. While there, Smith’s son Jaden took the opportunity to ask the president if aliens actually exist. The Raw Story reported:

“I was like, ‘Jaden, do not ask the president,’” Smith continued. “So we get into the Situation Room and Jaden gets the look in his eyes and he leans over and says, ‘Dad, what’s my punishment [if I ask]?’ And I was like, ‘Jaden, do not.’ And you know, Barack is talking about the Situation Room and Jaden says, ‘Excuse me, Mr. President.’ I was like, ‘Hey, Barack, man…’ And Barack said, ‘Don’t tell me.’ And in perfect form, and this is why he’s the president, and he stopped and looked at Jaden and said, ‘The aliens, right?’”

“And he said, ‘I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of extraterrestrials, but I can tell you if there had been a top-secret meeting and if there would have had to have been a discussion about it, it would have taken place in this room.’”

What if the president did confirm the existence of otherworldly beings? Better yet, what if they landed on the White House lawn? Would anyone be surprised?

Since the advent of UFOs and extraterrestrials in popular culture the assumption has always been that the arrival of real live interstellar visitors would result in a breakdown of social order. Such seemed confirmed by the 1938 panic induced by Orson Welles’ radio dramatization of H.G Wells’ War of the Worlds. Stefan Lovgen recalls:

Thousands of people, believing they were under attack by Martians, flooded newspaper offices and radio and police stations with calls, asking how to flee their city or how they should protect themselves from “gas raids.” Scores of adults reportedly required medical treatment for shock and hysteria.

Of course, in 1938, the notion of Martians attacking from another planet was itself quite alien. Mass media was new. People were not accustomed to fantastic narratives, and certainly did not expect to hear them presented like news over the radio. Much as the previous generation marveled at the motion picture, reportedly leaping out of their chairs to escape Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, listeners to War of the Worlds had no disbelief to suspend. They simply took what they heard at face value.

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This Memorial Day We Remember

Monday, May 28th, 2012 - by Tom Neven

Today is Memorial Day, the day we honor those Americans who have given their lives in war. You might not know this from the newspaper or TV, though. The holiday seems to have become another excuse to sleep in and for retailers to sell everything from dryers to bed sheets. In fact, Memorial Day should be May 31, but since that’s a Thursday this year, the government moved it up so we could all enjoy a long weekend.

If you’re ever near Washington, D.C., be sure to stop by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Maya Lin’s elegiac wall is perfect, despite the controversy that erupted when her design was announced in the early 1980s. In fact, the two sculptures added to it to “balance” it out—overly literal figures of male and female soldiers — actually detract from the deep symbolism of Lin’s elegant design. Visitors leave mementos at the base of the wall that are deeply meaningful only to the person whose name is on the wall and the person who left it. In addition to the usual flowers, teddy bears, and uniform items, one time I saw a 45-rpm record of “Devil in a Blue Dress” by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. What did that song mean to whomever left it? Which name on the wall was it intended for? It was a haunting sight, that simple black disc propped forlornly against the base of the wall.

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5 Great Pieces Of R-Rated Life Advice from the Movies

Monday, May 28th, 2012 - by John Hawkins

5) Rob: You don’t look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don’t have. Those guys are right about you – you’re money.

Mike: Then why won’t she call?

Rob: She won’t call because you left. She’s got her own life to deal with, man, and that’s in New York… alright? And she’s a sweet girl, and I love her to pieces, but f*ck her, man. You gotta get on with your life. You gotta let go of the past. And Mikey, when you do, I’m telling you: the future is beautiful, alright? Look out the window. It’s sunny every day here. It’s like Manifest Destiny. Don’t tell me we didn’t make it. We made it! We are here. And everything that is past is prologue to this. All of the sh*t that didn’t kill us is only – you know, all that sh*t. You’re gonna get over it.

Mike: How did you get over it? I mean, how long did it take?

Rob: Sometimes it still hurts. You know how it is, man. It’s like, you wake up every day and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn’t hurt at all. And the funny thing is, is that, this is kinda weird, but it’s like, it’s like you almost miss that pain.

Mike: You miss the pain?

Rob: Yeah, for the same reason that you missed her… because you lived with it for so long.

Swingers

No matter how much of a glass-half-full, optimistic, “don’t worry, be happy” sort of fellow you are, life is going to eventually knock you flat on your behind and it’s going to hurt like hell. When that happens, it’s nice to try to stay positive and know that other people care, but at the end of the day, only God and time can heal the wound. No matter how much it hurts, just give it enough time and it’ll get better.

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Game of Thrones Postmortem: A Pretty Kicking Battle

Sunday, May 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that, even though I’ve never been into the fantasy genre, I really enjoy Game of Thrones. And I’ve enjoyed this season better than the last, proving that there is life after killing off your main character before the first season is even over. The production value is like watching a movie, and at no time has that been more apparent than in tonight’s episode, where Stannis invaded King’s Landing and got smacked with some night-is-dark-and-full-of-terrors napalm.

A few observations…

  • WHY didn’t Stannis’ Demon Baby swoop in and kill Joffrey like it did Renly??
  • Hell is, apparently, being stuck in a siege with Cersei and a bottle of wine
  • Your wet-work guy will apparently only put up with being called “Dog” in a snarling tone so many times before he bails in the middle of a battle
  • After all this time GoT can come up with new dwarf jokes: In this one, Joffrey snarls about cutting Tyrion in half, prompting the quipmeister to quip, “That would make me a quarter man.”
  • Dwarves apparently have low-angle tactical advantages on the battlefield
  • Tyrion was one pint of blue facepaint away from giving a Braveheart rallying speech there
  • Varys was this close to telling his how-I-became-a-eunuch story. I hope nobody missed it.

I was kind of hoping that it would be Rob Stark to be the surprise invader on the invaders, but when we last left him he was a little busy with the woman who amputates legs. It was a nice twist to see Tywin ride in, but he needs to knock his snooty little grandson off the Iron Throne pronto.

The teaser for the season finale showed Sansa talking with Lord Baelish, so here’s hoping that The Hound didn’t smuggle her out of the palace and into the whorehouse. We also see that Daenerys will take some concrete step toward getting her dragons back (will they grow up already?), and Arya hooks up again with her death genie, “The Man” Jaqen, so we get to close out the season with some more awesome conversation in the third-person.

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Islamist Threats Force Lady Gaga to Cancel Indonesian Concert

Sunday, May 27th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Lady Gaga cancels Indonesia concert on security fears | Reuters:

(Reuters) – Lady Gaga’s cancelled a planned Indonesia concert on Sunday because of security concerns over objections by Islamic groups to her “vulgar” style.

Local promoters Big Daddy Entertainment said on its website that the sold-out June 3 “Born This Way Ball” concert in the capital, Jakarta, was cancelled and that 100 percent refunds would be given to ticket holders.

The U.S. singer, known for her outrageous stunts and provocative costumes, said in a message on Sunday to her 25 million Twitter followers: “We had to cancel the concert in Indonesia. I’m so very sorry to the fans and just as devastated as you if not more. You are everything to me.”

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Flavor Flav May Go to Jail if He Doesn’t Pay over 100K in Child Support

Sunday, May 27th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Celebrity Gossip

Flavor Flav Facing Jail Time Over Child Support Case – Starpulse.com.

Rapper Flavor Flav is facing a stint in jail after he failed to show up for a court hearing in New York this week.

The Public Enemy star is accused of failing to pay child support to Angie Parker from Albany County, New York, who is mother to three of his kids, and he was due to appear in court there to address the matter.

 

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