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Crispin Glover’s Gripe with Back to the Future

Friday, February 28th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

YouTube Preview Image

Back to the Future actor Crispin Glover sat down with IGN recently to talk about his experience filming the classic time-travel adventure. Glover only worked on the first film in the franchise, though his likeness and select footage from the first film was used in the second.

In his interview with IGN, posted above, Glover explained some of the creative differences which contributed to his leaving the franchise. He objected to what he called “propaganda” in the film promoting “corporate interests.” Specifically, Glover felt that the ending of the first film, portraying the McFly family as happier and notably wealthier than when it began, sent the wrong message.

The happier was fine to me. And the idea of the characters being in love, I thought was excellent. But I thought – I saw that if there was a kind of a financial reward, where the son character cheers because he has a truck in the garage – I thought that the moral aspect ends up being that money equals happiness. And I questioned that, and that was met with a lot of hostility and upset.

Glover recalls watching old movies in revival houses as a teenager in Los Angeles, films which he felt “were questioning things.” He apparently did not want to be complicit in a film which takes for granted that “money equals happiness,” a message he felt deceived moviegoers into sacrificing their interests to that of corporations.

Propaganda is essentially fooling people into believing that there’s something good for them, but it’s actually in the interests of the corporations. I mean, you can call anything propaganda. You can say what I’m saying right now is propaganda. I mean, you’re saying – it’s propagating an idea. But the kind of propaganda that I’m speaking of, that I think is very damaging, is the propaganda that is making people at large feel that what’s being put forth to them is good for their own interests. But in fact, it’s actually best for the corporate interests and it ends up hurting the people at large.

And unfortunately, I think – even though there are very positive things about Back to the Future – there’s very good story structure. There was good writing within it. My argument was, if we just take out the element of wealth as a reward – and it was only that the characters were in love, I would like the film altogether wholly.

The philosophical notion fueling Glover’s objection was that money should not matter if you pursue those things which you love.

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7 Famous Supporters of the Chavez Regime

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

As Ukraine burns, our attention has unfortunately shifted away from the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, a potential revolution over a decade in the making. The New York Times gave a good quick summary of the situation today for those unfamiliar with the country:

Behind the outpouring is more than the litany of problems that have long bedeviled Venezuela, a country with the world’s largest oil reserves but also one of the highest inflation rates. Adding to the perennial frustrations over violent crime and chronic shortages of basic goods like milk and toilet paper, the outrage is being fueled by President Nicolás Maduro’s aggressive response to public dissent, including deploying hundreds of soldiers here and sending fighter jets to make low, threatening passes over the city.

President Maduro is the successor to Hugo Chavez, a man loved by the socialist Left in Hollywood and the fringes of the Democratic Party. Most observers place the blame for the situation in Venezuela at Chavez’s feet. While Chavez and Maduro have the same base of support and the same policies, Chavez possessed a political ability to keep tensions at a simmer, unlike Maduro, who has seen them boil over. As we watch dozens of Venezuelans die in the streets, struggling to save their country from the brink of disaster, this is a good opportunity to point out who on the Left in the United States helped legitimize Chavez during his time in power.

1. President Barack Obama

During the Clinton administration, amid negotiations with Yasser Arafat, the White House became consumed with hugs; specifically, how President Clinton could avoid Arafat’s famous bear grip handshake that would become a full-on embrace. There’s an amusing anecdote about how the White House practiced and choreographed how Clinton could avoid appearing too chummy with Arafat in front of the cameras (“Clinton would squeeze in underneath the biceps and block him.”). Why did Clinton’s staffers spend hours practicing how to avoid an Arafat hug? Because they knew that optics matter.

This is a lesson that President Obama has yet to understand, and this photo, widely circulated around the globe, including inside Venezuela, lent Chavez enormous clout.

Barack Obama , Hugo Chavez

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Our Bieber President Barack Obama: ‘I Can Do Whatever I Want’

Monday, February 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

 justin-bieber-president-obama-2011

Ben Wolfgang at the Washington Times today:

President Obama has taken heat recently for working around Congress whenever he thinks it necessary to, among other things, delay Obamacare mandates and trim immigration enforcement.

But the commander-in-chief on Monday boasted of how, as president, “I can do whatever I want.”

Mr. Obama made the tongue-in-cheek remark as he toured Monticello, the Charlottesville, Va., estate of Thomas Jefferson, with French President Francois Hollande. The visit is part of Mr. Hollande’s three-day stay in the U.S. this week.

The president delighted in his ability to “break the protocol” and view the Monticello grounds from a private terrace.

“That’s the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want,” Mr. Obama said.

Richard Nixon in 1977:

At the Washington Post today, again the Obama administration breaks the law by delaying a key part of Obamacare:

The Obama administration announced Monday it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.

Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015.

By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.

Even the nation’s largest employers got a significant concession: They can avoid a fine by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent starting in 2016. Under an earlier proposal, employers with at least 50 employees would have been required to offer insurance, beginning 2015, to 95 percent of those who work 30 hours or more a week, along with their dependents.

At the New York Daily NewsMichelle Obama advises Justin Bieber’s mom to ‘be very present in his life right now’

The mother-of-two offered some advice for the pop star’s mom, Pattie Mallette, after Bieber has been involved in a string of questionable activities.

“I would be very present in his life right now,” she continued. “I would be probably with him a good chunk of the time, just there to talk, to figure out what’s going on in his head, to figure out who’s in his life and who’s not, you know.”

She added that the 19-year-old singer, who was recently arrested on DUI charges and may face sanctions associated with the egging of his neighbor’s home, is “still a kid, he’s still growing up.”

Obama, 50, spoke out about the troubled Canadian star in light of a current petition aimed at deporting him.

Again: welcome to single mom nation. Bieber is 19 years old. Obama is 52. Neither of them ever had fathers who taught them the difference between Good and Evil.

At the Hollywood Gossip last week: Justin Bieber, Father Deemed “Extremely Abusive,” Totally High on Private Plane Ride 

Sources tell NBC News that Justin and his dad were among a group of about 10 on a chartered, private plane ride for Canada to New Jersey and that father and son were “extremely abusive” to a flight attendant on board.

She actually had to take refuse in the cockpit to get away from their rude remarks and behavior.

Moreover, law enforcement officials allege that Bieber and company were smoking so much pot that the pilots had to don oxygen masks.

“The captain of the flight stated that he warned the passengers, including Bieber, on several occasions to stop smoking marijuana,” says the official report of the incident. “The captain also stated he needed to request that the passengers stop their harassing behavior toward the flight attendant.”

The stewardess in question has refused to work any future flights involving Justin or Jeremy Bieber.

America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death: The Height of Selfishness

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

Over the weekend, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment of an apparent drug overdose. Immediately, stars and fans began to express their remorse over the loss of an incredibly talented, Oscar-winning actor. One star, however, bucked the trend. Supernatural star Jared Padalecki tweeted:

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He very quickly deleted the tweet after massive backlash, “clarifying” his stance by saying, “I didnt mean PSH is stupid or that addiction isnt a reality. I simply meant I have a different definition of ‘tragedy’.”

It’s a shame that Padalecki buckled to the outrage police, because he was one of the few prominent voices calling Hoffman’s death what it was. While Hollywood and the media were mourning the loss of an actor, three children — aged 10, 7 and 5 — lost a father yesterday.

Hoffman’s friends and family were alerted to something being amiss yesterday morning when he didn’t arrive as scheduled to pick up his children. During the subsequent investigation by the NYPD it was found that Hoffman had 50 bags of heroin in his possession at the time of his death, with TMZ assuming that the star was planning to go on a long binge.

With all of the adjectives thrown around regarding Hoffman’s death — tragic, sad, and so on — I would suggest a politically incorrect alternative: selfish. Hoffman, despite battling his addiction, and beating it for decades, plunged back into drug use, falling hard off of the wagon. The night before the star was set to spend the day with his young children, he purchased dozens of bags of herion, about to go on a bender that would end up taking his life. It’s no secret that heavy drug use can lead to death and that drug addicts don’t make for great parents. Despite being a father, despite the plans he had made to spend Sunday with his children, Hoffman planned to spend his Saturday night on a binge. While it’s appropriate to mourn the loss of a talented actor and father, it’s also time for Hollywood to stop making martyrs out of the fallen drug addicts in their midst.

Image: Jezebel

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Who Takes Parenting Advice From Billy Ray Cyrus?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

In light of pop star Justin Bieber’s unfolding meltdown, Miley Cyrus’s father is desperately trying to milk his 15 minutes out of the whole situation. Bieber’s exploits are tabloid and bandwidth fodder (why else would I be writing about him?), and Cyrus wants a piece of the pie, which led to this hilarious quote:

“A lot of people do ask me for parenting advice,” Billy told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, at the Grammys when she asked what advice he would give the troubled teen star.

I won’t even bother sharing with you what the advice was. Would anyone want their child to turn out like Miley? Sure, she’s famous and wealthy, but she also suggestively licks metal while half naked and put the word “twerk” into the phrase of 2013.

While writing about the epidemic of vaccine refusers and the link between this horrible parenting decision and ex-Playboy Bunny Jenny McCarthy I came across this incredibly depressing statistic: 24 percent of American parents trust celebrities for parenting advice.

So there you have it. The beginning of the end of Western Civilization. When we all start dying of whooping cough or venereal diseases caught while sitting half naked on wrecking balls, we can all look back at this moment and know why.

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There Isn’t Enough Booze in the World, Dennis Rodman

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

North-Korean-leader-Kim-Jong-Un-and-former-NBA-star-Dennis-Rodman-hug-on-Feb.-28-2013.-Photo-via-AFP.

It’s an excuse as old as time. Got caught cheating on your wife? Tell her you were drunk. Unplanned quicky wedding in Vegas? Yup, drunk. Unplanned pregnancy? People have been blaming their state of inebriation for that for thousands of years. But palling around with a genocidal maniac? Well, congratulations Dennis Rodman, that’s a new one.

Shortly after returning home from yet another trip to North Korea (not to the gulags or frozen homes without electricity, just the stadiums and luxury accommodations), Rodman finally realized what we’ve all been saying for months: He’s lost his mind. CNN reports on the basketball star’s new home for the next month: rehab.

“Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination ‘super human’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him,” his agent, Darren Prince, said Sunday in a written statement. “He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.”

Prince said Rodman is at a facility in New Jersey, one with a “28- or 30-day” program. He said Rodman drank heavily in North Korea during a recent tumultuous trip to the secretive state to play a basketball game with some former NBA stars against national team players from the regime.

“His drinking escalated to a level that none of us had seen before,” Prince said Saturday.

Rodman — the colorful basketball Hall of Famer who won five NBA titles while the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls — said alcohol was one reason he shot from the lip earlier this month and told CNN that an American imprisoned in North Korea since 2012 may have done something to deserve his sentence of 15 years’ hard labor.

After Kenneth Bae’s family complained, Rodman apologized, saying he was under stress and had been drinking when he was interviewed on CNN’s “New Day.”

Sorry, Dennis, but you may have been able to blame the tattoos, the outfits, and the girlfriends on booze, but not this. I’ve written extensively on the horrifying human rights situation North Korea for Commentary and The Federalist, and have unfortunately spent more time than I ever would have otherwise intended writing on Rodman’s “basketball diplomacy” in the Hermit Kingdom. It’s about time that Rodman wised up to the fact that it isn’t always the case that “any publicity is good publicity.” CNN reported that Rodman told the media: ”I’m sorry for what’s going on in North Korea, the certain situations.” But he didn’t apologize for his visit.

“Certain situations”? Really? Let’s hope that the rehab facility Rodman is in has a 12-step program. If it does, Rodman owes it to the victims of Kim Jong-Un to make amends.

******

Image source: Raw Story

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Who Are More Psychotic? Swifties or Beliebers?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

Serious question: did Beatles fans get this insane when someone mocked their favorite rockers? The last few days haven’t been good for Swifties (Taylor Swift fans) or Beliebers (Justin Bieber fans).

At the Golden Globes earlier this week, Tina Fey made a hilarious swipe at the teen star. ComplexPopCulture delves into the spat:

The “controversy” here (that word is used lightly because this is notremotely a controversy) all began last year, when Fey and Poehler first hosted the Golden Globes and, in a joke on stage, said that Swift (who was in the audience) should take some time to focus on herself rather than dating around. It was a lighthearted jab like most jokes at awards shows, but apparently Swift didn’t see it that way—in an interview a month later, Swift commented the following: “You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people, because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’” So, she basically insinuated that there’s a special place in hell for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Yikes.

Fast-forward to last night. Swift was, once again, an attendee of the event, and the subject came up at one point when Poehler was announced as the winner of best actress in a TV comedy: As Fey congratulated Poehler on the win, she joked, “There’s a special place in hell for you.”

So, of course, now Taylor Swift fans think that Tina Fey is the worst person alive, and have been launching a crusade against her on Twitter.

And on the Justin Bieber front, he just can’t seem to stay out of trouble for more than a few days at a time. This time, after egging a multi-million dollar mansion, causing thousands of dollars in damages, Bieber may even be vulnerable to deportation (fingers crossed!). CW star Jared Padalecki tweeted earlier this week about the incident:

jared padalecki tweet

Padalecki is now incurring the wrath of the Beliebers, receiving countless screeching death threats from Bieber’s legions of fans.

bieber tweet

What is it about Swift and Bieber that makes their fans this devoted, bordering on psychotic? Is this a new phenomenon or were teenyboppers always homicidal? Can parents somehow encourage their teens to adjust their priorities and channel their energies into a more constructive hobby?

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The Gosselin Twins Get Some Payback

Friday, January 17th, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

Wow, this was painful. The oldest of the Gosselin twins, Mady and Cara of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame, publicly humiliated their mother on national television this morning. While I normally would never cheer such behavior, Kate deserved it for clearly dragging her daughters onto TV, where they spent their entire childhoods, to force them to proclaim that they loved being reality TV stars and would happily become ones again.

The New York Post’s headline for the trainwreck, “Kate Gosselin’s Twins Freeze Up on ‘Today’ Show” doesn’t do the moment justice. They clearly didn’t freeze up in a moment of panic; there was genuine and palpable hostility between the daughters and their mother. Growing up in front of cameras may not have been the healthiest of environments, but it certainly acclimated the girls to the spotlight. The 13 year-old twins were asked to lie on national television about the impact of having their childhoods, and later their parents’ very messy divorce, play out in public. To their credit, they refused to bite. The Post lays out just how tense the moment was:

“This is their chance to talk. This is the most wordless I’ve heard them all morning,” red-faced mom Kate Gosselin said.

“I don’t want to speak for them. But Mady go ahead, sort of the things that you said in the magazine – that years later, they’re fine. Go for it Mady.”

Mady responded: “No, you just said it.”

The Gosselin girls spoke to People magazine earlier this month, explaining that their parents’ decision to put them TV wasn’t a damaging experience.

But given the chance to repeat that line, Cara and Mady went virtually silent.

Savannah Gunthrie asked the girls how their family, bruised and battered by divorce, was doing. It was this question the teenagers refused to answer. Later in the segment Mady did speak up, rather unconvincingly, about the damage (or lack thereof) that being reality TV stars did to their upbringing. Given which questions the girls refused to answer, and which they did, it appears that they may not lay the blame for their childhoods at reality TV’s doorstep. Having family vacations televised probably wasn’t quite as damaging as watching, along with the rest of the country, as their parents divorced and then galavanted across tabloid pages with their new flames.

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7 Media Stories From 2013 We Would Be Lucky to Never Hear About Again

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 - by David Forsmark

Media frenzies are now the norm. There’s no use complaining about them; we can only grade them.

With something like the Boston Marathon bombing or the Newtown school shooting, a certain amount and type of news coverage is obviously justified.  But with the following media stories, I would say they were worth a Bret Baier Grapevine segment at most, but many made top 10 lists of the year’s media stories.

The Phil Robertson kerfluffle didn’t make this list—yet.  I’ve only watched Duck Dynasty once. I thought it was better than I expected, but not appointment TV.  But I like their family a lot.  Robertson made some substantive points—and the one that everyone says was “gross” is something that has crossed every straight male’s mind at some point.  And I mean every one.

Also, the discussion has been valuable—even when some of the commentary is not—as a Rorschach test for the pop culture and a measure of how many Americans are following the party line.

The rest of these, I would argue, don’t come close to that standard.

Via Instagram / http://instagram.com/p/irOWreEyXT/

Via Instagram / http://instagram.com/p/irOWreEyXT/

7.  Paula Deen

Paul Deen is getting referenced again in the controversy around Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  Yeah, let’s compare apples and cinder blocks.

Paula Deen, if it’s a story, is a story about lawsuit abuse.  It’s a story about the media feeding frenzy.  But Paula Deen herself should sell cookbooks and stay out of my newscasts.

Granted, she didn’t try to get there.  She was minding her own business on the Cooking Channel (which was why I had never heard of her) when some former employees sued her.  They lost the lawsuit in slam dunk fashion, but not before Mrs. Deen fell all over herself in a deposition in which she had to answer questions about whether she (or her hiring practices) was racist.

Not that I’m condoning perjury, but what special kind of fool blurts out something in a deposition that only a spouse could sell them out on—especially since doing so would hurt the spouse financially in equal measure? Did Paula really think that if a lawyer asked her husband if she said “ni**er” a lot, he would say, “Hmmmm, well back 20 years ago after she was mugged, I think she called that guy bad names…”?

Paula Deen then proceeded to show up on morning shows and give tearful apologies that would make Tammy Faye Bakker cringe.

But other than being really bad at being in the national spotlight outside her cooking show bubble, I can’t for the life of me think of what Paula Deen did wrong—or why anyone should care.

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Nazi Is the New Sexy

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

tilatequilahitler

D-List reality star Tia Tequila has re-branded herself as Hitia Tequila in a move to give Adolf Hitler the voice she feels he so rightly deserves.

Based on the celebrity’s YouTube video playlist, the decision comes after releasing a year’s worth of conspiracy theory videos, a.k.a. “Truth Vlogs,” in which the Singaporean-born American model “exposes” the Freemasons, the Bildebergers, the Illuminati, and various groups employing “mind control” techniques including “Hollywood“.

Dubbing herself “the Goddess of Love and War” Tequila posted, ““I am She, the Queen who hath come to save you from this dark world filled with NWO [New World Order] parasite invaders,” on Facebook this past Monday. The description captioned a photograph of Tequila wearing an S.S. hat and Nazi armband while posing in front of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Responding to fan criticism, Tequila clarified:

I am not going to sit here and say that I hate Jewish people because that is not the case nor is this about Jews… It is about Hitler and his side of the story that was never told since he was not the victor. However, those of you with a closed mind can think I am being anti-semite all you want because I already told you that I am not, nor will I repeat myself again.

Reports also indicate that “Tequila also refers to herself as “Hitila” in a new song she posted online on Sunday, which features the lyrics, ‘Jewluminati motherf*ckers hate me,’ and, ‘Worldwide genocide, blame it on the Jews.’”

Tequila’s “conversion” to Nazism comes 2 years after her conversion to Judaism, and one year after suffering a brain aneurysm after a drug overdose, and revealing that “…she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, claimed her Twitter page was ‘hacked’ by her alter ego Jane, who, she described on her MySpace page as ‘crazy’ and someone who ‘always wants to kill me.’”

Jane was not available for comment at time of publication.

Tequila’s sexification of Nazism is the latest in a pop culture trend stretching back to Nazi exploitation films made popular in Italy in the 1970s. Last year’s San Diego Comic-Con welcomed Hot Nazi Chicks promoting Iron Sky, a sci-fi thriller about Nazi aliens attacking America from their home base on the dark side of the moon. There is no word yet on whether or not the Illuminati, Bildebergers, or Freemasons were responsible for the writing of the script.

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The Most Controversial Voice Ever in in the History of Recorded Music, Steve Taylor, is Back. And He’d Better Behave. (UPDATE)

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Since I gave up hope of ever expecting to hear from Steve Taylor again, I felt a lot better. Because I blame Steve Taylor for pretty much everything.

Sure, I could blame myself for picking up his Meltdown record back in 1984. That was a fateful choice. But I was a kid. How was I to know how damaging that record would turn out to be?

Steve Taylor was already controversial back then. He had debuted in 1983 with a mini-LP (that was a thing in the 1980s, Google it), I Want to be a Clone, that made an awful lot of people mad at him. They had every right to be. In “Bad Rap” he seethed “You save the whales/You save the seals/You save whatever’s cute and squeals/But you kill that thing that’s in the womb/Would not want no baby boom.” Green Peace denounced it, but they couldn’t deny it. In the title song, he mocked “Be a clone and kiss conviction good night/Clone-liness is next to Godliness, right?/I’m grateful that they show the way ’cause I could never know the way/To serve Him on my own?/I want to be a clone!”

Then he did it again, in “I Manipulate.” There was pretty much no one and no issue that Steve Taylor wouldn’t write about. He’s arrogant like that.

To a 14-year-old Christian, Taylor’s mix of art, humor, rebellion, truth and nasal vocals was just too much to resist. “We Don’t Need No Colour Code” beat up on Bob Jones before it was a mainstream thing. The haunting “Hero” took the nice-boy notion of being something more than another corporate type and turned it all on its head. “Meltdown” burned the rich and famous long before the Kardashians showed up to beg for every thinking person’s derision.

Then, there was this hideous cover photo on CCM. It set the magazine publishing industry back 10 years. The music industry almost never recovered.

taylor-cover

Steve Taylor taught me that it was possible to be right with God and still have a healthy skepticism for those who claimed to speak for Him, and that it was possible to make a difference in one way or another. What a jerk. I’d probably be rich and own a Gulfstream if not for him.

Taylor’s entire career is littered with wickedness. He ripped amoral state-run education in “Lifeboat” decades before CSCOPE and Common Core showed up. He tore up celebrity cults in “Jim Morrison’s Grave.” Then he got lost in “Sock Heaven.” I followed him the whole time, and even saw him wear a bizarre confetti suit in concert once. But it’s all his fault.

The reason I started caring about issues more than just having a regular job? At least partly Steve Taylor’s fault. The reason I started wanting more from the artists I support than just a good back-beat I can badly dance to? Also partly Steve Taylor’s fault. My collection of Flannery O’ Connor books? His fault too. Have fun Googling that one. The two years I wasted in the Hindu Kush searching for the perfect backup band? Totally Steve Taylor’s fault. The money I blew on yodeling lessons because he made the Swiss mountain call rock star cool? Absolutely, 100% Steve Taylor’s fault. I’ll never forgive him. Neither will anyone who’s ever heard me yodel.

So now he’s at it again. After 20 years of producing hits like “Kiss Me” with Sixpence None the Richer, being the shadowy hand behind the Newsboys (yep, they’re both his fault) and making movies, Taylor is going to inflict himself on the music world again. And I’m ashamed to admit that I’ll be right there with him. I’m already backing his next album on Kickstarter. I can’t help myself. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t join in. But I’m living proof that people who like Steve Taylor never seem to know what’s good for them.

Update: I’m not sure yet who deserves the most blame, but they’ve made their goal. There WILL BE another Steve Taylor album.

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What’s More Offensive than Blackface?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson
Julianne Hough and friends dressed as the cast of "Orange Is the New Black" for Halloween

Julianne Hough and friends dressed as the cast of “Orange Is the New Black” for Halloween

Julianne Hough probably didn’t think this one through. That’s the Huffington Post‘s take on the actress’s choice to attend a Halloween party dressed as a black character from Orange Is the New Black. As part of her transformation, Hough donned blackface. HuffPo reports:

The actress attended the Casamigos Tequila Halloween party in Hollywood with friends, who appear to have all gone as the cast of the hit Netflix series. No one in the group, however, seems to have given Hough a heads up about her offensive getup.

This comes during a persistent campaign to badger the Washington Redskins into changing their name. It also fuels the hand-wringing campaign to prevent “offensive” costumes from appearing on school campuses.

As a black man, I find myself wondering two things. First, why do I need white people to be offended on my behalf? Second and far more importantly, why should I be offended by something as trivial as a Halloween costume?

I’ve never quite understood why blackface should offend me. The act of wearing blackface does not harm me. It does not take something from me. It does not prevent me from acting upon my own judgment. It does not violate my rights. I accept that blackface offends some people. I understand that it may be distasteful. But I’m not sure why academics and journalists are so desperate to snuff blackface out of existence while ignoring or even advocating practices which actually harm black people.

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Pastor Rick Warren Embraces Islam — Yusuf Islam, to be Precise

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Pastor Rick Warren, whose sermons, books, church org charts and teachings have worked their way into every nook and cranny of Christendom over the past decade or so, met recently* with Yusuf Islam.

Yusuf Islam is better known by the name he went by before he converted to Islam: Cat Stevens. Stevens converted to Islam in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.

The singer of “Peace Train” has been known to espouse radical, even violent, Islamist ideas. In 1989, after the government of Iran issued a fatwa calling for the murder of author Salman Rusdhie, Mr. Islam rushed to back that fatwa. He said that if he knew where Rushdie was hiding, he would personally call up the Ayatollah to give that location away — which would have resulted in Rushdie’s murder. Islam has never recanted that, and remains a fundamentalist Muslim today.

Pastor Warren tweeted about meeting Islam on October 4. Robert Spencer captured this screenshot of the meeting and posted it at Jihad Watch.

RickWarrenCatStevens

But a Google search today reveals something curious: Warren has deleted the tweet.

warren-tweet-gone

“America’s pastor” may have been surprised by Stevens/Islam’s views when confronted with them online after his tweet, but Stevens/Islam’s radical views have been known publicly for years. Spencer notes that this isn’t the first time Warren has gotten cozy with Islamists. In 2009 he addressed a Hamas convention. In 2006, Warren also praised Syria’s “moderate” government. That government is currently waging civil war in which more than 100,000 have died. After controversy erupted following Warren’s visit to Syria, Warren blamed Rev. Franklin Graham and also  journalists for reporting it.

*Originally I wrote that Warren met Islam Tuesday, but that was incorrect. Warren tweeted about meeting with Islam on October 4.

*****

Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler

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Surviving a Scandal With Humor and Aplomb

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 - by Sarah Hoyt
Mandy Rice-Davies, left, and Christine Keeler, pictured in 1963.

Mandy Rice-Davies, left, and Christine Keeler, pictured in 1963.

The Telegraph shares words of wisdom on how to survive a scandal from Mandy Rice-Davis, the former model who, as part of the Profumo affair helped bring down Harold McMillan’s government:

At the launch of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical about the scandal, Stephen Ward, Rice-Davies declared that Profumo’s error was lying about his affair with Christine Keeler: “Had he actually stood up and told the truth, he would probably have gone to the back benches, maybe.”

Rowan Pelling from The Telegraph adds that:

However, I feel Rice-Davies would have even more pearls of wisdom about the role of humour in extremis. One key difference between the blonde bombshell and the more self-contained Keeler is that Rice-Davies always had a joke on her lips and a wink to the gallery. It was she who perkily declared to a packed court, on being told Lord Astor denied having an affair with her: “He would, wouldn’t he?” The Welsh-born glamour puss looked like she was playing a leading role in “Carry On Profumo”, and enjoying every second of it.

I don’t know.  I tend to think it is best not to be involved — much less caught in flagrante — in scandals of this nature, and that when caught one should have to pay no matter how charming or humorous.

However, I must say Rice-Davies’ approach seems preferable to our current public personages who seem to cover a scandal with a new and worse one.

Photo via Keystone.

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Miley and SNL: They Can’t Stop Embarrassing Themselves

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 - by Megan Fox

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On Saturday night, Miley Virus Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live, and, like I’ve done for the past 20 years, I didn’t watch it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid their parody online of what the House Republicans might be doing during the government shutdown. As usual, it was an unfunny Miley dressed like herself (a slut) in a brown wig pretending to be Michele Bachmann while touching herself and writhing around on screen like the strumpet she is to a parody of her song “We Won’t Stop.” It also included some guy I don’t recognize pretending to be a very gay John Boehner dancing around in underwear and licking other men’s nipples.

We are currently living inside an issue of The Onion and all SNL can come up with is this? That wasn’t anywhere near as funny as it should have been. Obama spent money during a “crisis” when government employees are on furlough to erect a fence around the WWII memorial!

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Meanwhile, this is going on in the border states where no one can be bothered to erect even a mediocre fence.

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Now that is funny. To make it even more hilarious, the WWII vets decided to hell with the gates and moved them, and then security came back and wired the fences together! (Somebody please tell the federal government that these guys stormed Normandy. Wire clippers aren’t really a challenge.)

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3 Ways to Know if You’re a Crappy Parent, Courtesy of Dina Lohan

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 - by Megan Fox

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Mommy Wars are a huge part of parenting and are usually waged between working moms vs. non-working moms. But if you want to know who is really ruining kids, look to the philosophies of permissive parenting and moms who are more interested in being a friend than a parent. This trend is not only popular in Hollywood, but is trickling into suburbia, where mothers of teen girls are shopping at the same stores as their teens and hosting parties with alcohol for their underage progeny. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, congratulations, you are a crappy parent.

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3. Are you a stage-parent?

Dina Lohan’s first mistake was getting her little girl, Lindsay, into the entertainment industry. While commercials and off-broadway plays may seem harmless, it can lead to full-on Hollywood horror. Strangely, while Disney maintains the best place on earth for little ones, any child sucked into working for Disney usually doesn’t end up happy or healthy. Very few child stars escape unscathed. Aside from that, hawking your child like a money-making opportunity is just distasteful and I’m sure makes for uncomfortable conversation over holiday dinners while your child is trying to figure out how they ended up with a cocaine addiction to rival Richard Pryor’s. Stage-parenting is not the same thing as parenting.

A classic example is Lynne Spears, who allowed a Rolling Stone photographer to photograph her underage daughter alone in her room wearing only a bra and panties surrounded by her childhood dolls. Spears then wrote a book trying to explain that she was just naive and had no idea the entertainment industry would exploit her daughter in that way (even though it had previously exploited every other female it got its hands on). I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure if some creepy photographer tried to get my daughter alone in a bedroom he’d find himself out on the front lawn with a bloody nose. What kind of parent doesn’t protect her child from predators? A crappy one (ahem…Billy Ray Cyrus).

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What We Taught Our Boys About Girls Like Miley Cyrus

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard

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We were those parents — the ones who “sheltered” their kids from much of pop culture as they grew up. Though we didn’t go to the extreme of banishing the television from our home altogether, we strictly controlled the entertainment that we allowed them to see when they were young. Our kids “missed out” on the Disney Channel, the Cartoon Network, and other stations aimed at the younger demographic. We carefully read family movie reviews, not content to rely on the MPAA ratings, and screened the movies accordingly. Our kids did watch some PBS shows, like Barney & Friends and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, as well as videos that we carefully selected. But we were so crazy-strict that we didn’t even let our kids watch the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake Super Bowl halftime show!

I know. We are so backward and old-fashioned and we deprived our children of a “normal” childhood.

One recurring problem was that we enjoyed watching sports as a family — the Indians, the Browns, the Cavs. We are true Cleveland sports fans and kept cable around so we could catch all of the games. We had no problem with the games themselves, but oh, my…those commercials! We could count on at least 2.5 ads an hour for male-enhancement products during a game and everything from hamburgers to beer being peddled in ads with scantily clad young women flaunting their sexuality to entice viewers to buy a product that usually had no sexual attributes (Danica Patrick pushing Go Daddy web hosting, for example).

We decided that we wanted to allow the good things viewing sports could offer but had concerns about our sweet, impressionable boys being bombarded with sexual images. Our Christian faith teaches the value of modesty (I Peter 3:3-4, 1 Timothy 2:9-10)  and that lust is a sin (Matthew 5:28). Our job was not only to protect our kids from exposure to these things when they were young and impressionable, but also to prepare them for a world in which modesty and purity of the mind are thought of as antiquated notions. After all, the culture teaches that lust is good — it should be indulged and even celebrated. But I reject the argument that we should celebrate the beauty of sexuality and the human body by parading it around in sexually exploitative ways. In contrast, human sexuality is right and good and blessed by God when it is enjoyed within the confines of marriage — not when it’s simulated on the world stage with a foam finger or used to sell hamburgers in a bikini.

So we taught our boys to look away — to avert their eyes whenever a scantily clad girl, intent on sexually enticing viewers, flashed on the screen. We explained that girls who provocatively showcased their wares on TV were not respecting themselves and that it is not respectful to gawk at them. We did not want them desensitized to our hyper-sexualized culture at a young age and wanted them to understand that what seemed common and normal on TV is wrong.

Prudish? Legalistic? Old-fashioned? Maybe. But it was important to us that our boys understood the incredible worth and dignity of women and that they grew up to be men who treated women with the respect they deserve — women who are fellow image-bearers of the God of the universe! We would not approve of the culture’s cheapening and prostituting of women in our home and in the minds of our precious boys. And we want them to someday be dads who cherish and protect their daughters. Any father who celebrates or condones his daughter engaging in behavior that encourages men to have perverse sexual thoughts about his little girl is a bad father.

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The Tale of Miley Cyrus in the Words of Allan Bloom…

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
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Oddly enough, Allan Bloom died the same year Miley was born.

Once there lived a professor by the name of Allan Bloom (1930-1992). He wrote a book called The Closing of the American Mind. In this book published in 1987 he studied various aspects of youth culture, including rock music, through the lens of the great philosophers. Gather round, dear readers, as I present to you the words of Allan Bloom as illustrated by the musical artist and former Disney child star Miley Cyrus.

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Carolla vs. Kindler: When Jealous Losers Attack

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 - by Kathy Shaidle

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It’s supposedly one of the highlights of the annual Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal:

Some comedian named Andy Kindler (?) delivers the “State of the Industry” address, which, from what I can gather, is a sort of “roast” of other comics.

Except the “roaster” — that is, Kindler — clearly isn’t “just kidding.”

(My philosophy? “No one is ever just kidding.” No, not even comedians. Especially not comedians. It’s a motto that’s served me well…)

Maybe you had to be there, and I wasn’t, but Andy Kindler comes across as a bitter, nasty piece of work.

And who can blame him?

After all, his biggest claim to fame is that every year, he delivers an unfunny speech in which he insults other, funnier, more successful comedians.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say this arrangement is actually an elaborate, ironic, high-concept prank on Kindler himself, a la Windy City Heat.

This year, everyone in the business is talking about Kindler’s attack on author/podcaster Adam Carolla.

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Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell Blasts Hometown, Deep South as ‘Bigoted’ — After Wearing Blackface

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 - by Kathy Shaidle

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Lank-haired, hatchet-faced Canadian songstress Joni Mitchell threw a tantrum last week.

Her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, wants to build a museum in her honor (seemingly oblivious to the irony, considering Mitchell’s quoted-to-death lyrics…)

Mitchell wants them to drop the idea:

There aren’t enough people [in Saskatoon] who know what I do. (…)

I feel that it’s very isolated, very unworldly, and doesn’t grasp the idea of honor. (…)

Saskatoon has always been an extremely bigoted community. It’s like the deep south, and the museum was one thing I thought would be beneficial for people. (…)

People don’t get me there. They don’t get my ideas. They just look at me like I’m famous. That’s a minor part of it.

The mayor of Saskatoon responded with sanguine diplomacy to these insults.

Some Canadians, on the other hand…

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5 Movie Stars Whose Careers Are in Trouble

Friday, July 12th, 2013 - by John Boot

Even in Hollywood, you have to deliver results if you want to remain employed. Every year stars fall off the A-list — ask circa 2009 Nicolas Cage about that — and find themselves in a shame spiral of B-movies, supporting roles, and eventually television (sorry, Robin Williams, who will be appearing in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, and as the dad, no less). Who is about to fall off the top of the perch?

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1. Tom Cruise

The success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol less than two years ago gave his stock a bump, but apparently it was the stunts that were the star of that movie. In the three consecutive flops he’s made since — Rock of Ages, Jack Reacher and the aptly-named Oblivion – audiences didn’t even show up on opening weekend out of curiosity. Before Protocol, don’t forget, no one showed up for Knight and Day, Valkyrie or Lions for Lambs, either. Cruise is 51 years old, his boyish charm is finally gone, and he isn’t an action hero anymore. Audiences see him as their weird dad. He should give up on trying to rule the multiplex and start nosing around for more interesting roles like the one he had in Magnolia. Not that he’s fond of Paul Thomas Anderson anymore after Anderson made fun of scientology in The Master.

Next up: Fighting aliens next summer in All You Need Is Kill. Sure.

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Uh-oh: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Daughter’s Name…

Friday, June 21st, 2013 - by Ed Driscoll

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“It’s North West! Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter’s name is confirmed as birth certificate is leaked,” according to the London Daily Mail:

TMZ witnessed a signed birth certificate with the name North West signed by Kim, 32, and Kanye, 36, at Cedars-Sinai hospital.

People magazine confirmed the news with a source close to the Kardashian family.

And a source told UsWeekly that the couple have already given their daughter a nickname — she will be ‘Nori for short’.

They added that the child has no middle name.

The name North had previously been suggested as a possibility for the child, although many Kardashian fans had dismissed the idea as a joke.

Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock could not be reached for comment.

Incidentally, since I’ve been meaning to post a link to this all week, this is as good a place as any to post a reminder that when it comes to pop “music,” Time magazine sure can pick ‘em: In August of 2005, a Time magazine cover story dubbed West (Kanye, not Adam or Leslie) “Hip-Hop’s Class Act…Why he’s the smartest man in pop music.” The following month, West would prove he’s neither of those traits, as he dynamited an NBC fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims with his racist rant against then-President George W. Bush, despite the fact, as DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile recently noted in CNN, “Bush came through on Katrina.”

Three years later, Time would run a story titled “Lil Wayne: The Best Rapper Alive.” This week, as Breitbart News noted, “Lil’ Wayne Stomps on U.S. Flag, Calls Country ‘Godless America.’”

We should have seen it coming; though perhaps we can predict future pop culture self-immolations. Who else has Time dubbed the best/smartest/classiest in their pop culture genres? Their implosion is likely just a matter of time.

*****

Cross-posted from EdDriscoll.com

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Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

Sunday, June 16th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Click here for Part 1

I love The 40 Year-Old Virgin for the same reason Shoshanna Shapiro quickly became my favorite character on Girls: not because of her personal virginphobia, but because in a world threatened with terrorism, hunger, and the pending threat of Obamacare, virginity remains one of the greatest crises of our time.

Thanks to the goddess feminist revolt of the sexy sixties, bedroom activities have risen to the top of the pops when it comes to ratings-driven conversation. As a result, virgins have become stigmatized as uncool goods. It’s no wonder, then, that pop culture-obsessed Shoshanna is neurotic enough to spend an entire season trying her best to lose her virginity so she can catch up to her “adventurous” female counterparts like Jessa (who came to the states for an abortion) and Hannah (who has recently been diagnosed with HPV).

How did feminism come to embrace promiscuity as a form of empowerment? Is the “adventurous” woman treating her HPV really happier than the biblical feminist who resisted the culture and waited until marriage to have sex?

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When Humans Live Free Why Must They Invent New Cruel Methods to Enslave Themselves?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

The top story right now at TMZ is about Michael Jackson’s daughter:

Note the particular ad that TMZ decided to follow it, minus the cropped photo of female breasts used to grab attention to the left of the text:

Any relationship between the two? Isn’t that kind of strange — the insistence on sex and death at the same time?

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