Chicks on the Right, women working to take back feminism from the pro-choice crowd, discovered yet another way for parents and students to flush the cost of three college credits down the drain. Last spring, it was Rutgers University’s “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé.” This coming spring, it’s UT Austin’s “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism.”
By comparison, this class has a very eye-catching title. Whether or not you are a Beyoncé Bey or part of the Rihanna Navy, it will cause you to do a double take while scrolling through electives. The one downside, students may not realize the type of academic inquiry or material that will be covered in the course.
Students in this class will learn that there is far more than catchy melodies to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music. They will not be simply listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna for fun or even comparing the roles of Beyoncé and Rihanna in popular culture, rather, students will be studying how the lyrics, music videos, and actions of these women express various aspects of black feminism such as violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The instructor hopes for students to understand the role black feminism plays in popular culture as well as everyday life.
For any student interested in women’s and gender studies or how popular culture reflects social studies, this is a class that will make them fall crazy in love.
U2 and Apple engaged in a heinous conspiracy to give millions of people a free copy of a terrific music album. Alright, not everyone agrees with the “terrific” part. U2 remain popular enough to fill huge arenas, but not everyone likes them.
But the album was free, and a whole lot of people complained about the fact that Apple made owning it an opt-out rather than an opt-in.
In a fan Q&A video posted on Facebook, lead singer Bono was asked by a site user to never release an album in the way that the band and Apple released Songs of Innocence ever again. “It’s really rude,” the Facebook user wrote.
Bono replied, “Oops. I’m sorry about that. Had this beautiful idea. Might’ve got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania. Touch of generosity. Dash of self-promotion. And, deep fear that these songs, that we poured our life into over the last few years, mightn’t be heard.”
U2, still among the biggest bands in the entire world, fears that their songs might not be heard? It’s quite human to feel that one is toiling in obscurity, so much so that even Bono can’t escape it.
Bono continued: “It’s a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”
As a large-scale social experiment, the release of Songs of Innocence might teach us quite a bit about human nature. Free gifts are not always received with gratitude, are they?
True story: My TV provider called me up yesterday out of the blue. The man on the line said that, as a way of thanking me for subscribing, they were turning on a bunch of premium channels for a few months, for free. I thanked him, set a note in my calendar for when the free period expires so I could cancel if I want, and then checked my listings. None of the free premium channels were there. And I was annoyed at my TV provider.
Putting all of the First World complaints about getting free music forced onto phones aside, Songs of Innocence is an awesome rock album that ought to have had no trouble cutting through the noise with lots of good noise of its own. If you like U2, which I happen to. It rates among U2′s best work, easily.
Need a laugh? Check out Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin’s sit down on Russia Today’s Keiser Report. Make sure there’s no food in your mouth before I tell you the episode’s title.
It’s called “Meeting of Megaminds”.
The pair make an excellent duo of on-air Putin spambots. Russell Brand, better known as the former Mr. Katy Perry, is attempting to carve out a niche for himself as a comedian-cum-conspiracy theorist who makes Carrot Top look appealing. Alec Baldwin has devolved from Hollywood megastar to angry old man in a way that makes you wish a combo of Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood would magically appear every time he opens his tired old mouth. He promised to immigrate if George W. Bush were elected in 2004, but I guess pre-production for 30 Rock got in the way (thanks, Tina Fey). Fitting right in with the acting crowd, Russia Today host Max Keiser plays the typical role of upper crust yuppie-turned-commie (wouldn’t Alger Hiss be proud). He was an NYU theater student before working in stand up comedy, radio, and as a broker on Wall Street before making it rich with his creation, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Until 2012 he was a regular on Iran Press TV. Now, when he isn’t on Russia Today, he busies himself making documentaries for Al-Jazeera and writing for the Huffington Post.
Think he might just have a bit of a bias? Then you’re the biased one, obviously. Capitalist pig.
You have to slug through most of the stereotypical socialist hyperbole to get to any actual meat in the discussion. Still, the inflated theoretical dialogue (calling it “intellectual” would be an insult to those with actual, functioning brain cells) provides a great learning experience for young folk looking to understand what Soviet propaganda sounded like before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s nice to know this kind of pompous hot air still floats around in our atmosphere. Perhaps Al Gore should start tagging it as the real cause of global warming.
GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is taking the lead over Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a hot mid-term race in the purple state of Colorado. Ellen Carmichael explains what Republicans can learn from Gardner’s strategic campaign over at the Federalist. As it turns out, the lessons revolve around the Right’s tendency to play defense in the face of the Left’s only real weapon of choice, character assassination:
Udall’s fallacious accusations, misrepresentation of his record, or mischaracterization of his beliefs don’t shake Gardner. Instead, he redirects the debate to meatier issues, such as the economy and health care, without getting “in the weeds” on less pressing matters, like whether Julia’s birth-control pills should fall from the sky like Skittles. …Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. …We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.
Imagine, a politician that stays on point, refusing to waste voters’ time addressing baseless accusations. Could it be that, in the pot state of all places, electioneering hasn’t fallen to the level of a Real Housewives reunion?
At this point, there is probably enough of this kind of material out there to fill a feature-length film.
President Obama hung out with Gwyneth Paltrow at her Brentwood home Thursday night for a $15,000 a plate dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee.
Paltrow introduced Obama to the crowd of about 200, including Julia Roberts and Bradley Whitford, gushing, “I am one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest.”
The actress, who announced the “conscious uncoupling” from her husband Chris Martin in March, also told the president, “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”
Citing equal pay and sustainable energy, Paltrow stressed, “It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass.”
With occasional references to her children Apple and Moses, Obama thanked Paltrow for her 2012 effort raising funds for his re-election among expats in London. “I wanted to go, but they said there are no voters that I can knock on doors in London,” he quipped.
The president called it “an interesting time in American history,” with headlines “dominated by news overseas.”
“We’re seeing a lot of tumult all around the world. The Middle East is moving away from an existing order towards something new, but that process is messy and dangerous,” he said. “And what we’re seeing with ISIL I think is an expression of some of the challenges we have in societies that have divided along sectarian lines, and young people who aren’t seeing any other opportunity other than hoisting a rifle, and a breakdown in basic order. And we are looked to to try to make sure that we rebuild something that can sustain itself.”
“And when I was at the United Nations last week, or two weeks ago, it was the United States that had to mobilize the world community to make sure we were going after ISIL and putting an end to the kind of barbaric killing that we’ve been seeing there.”
Obama moved to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, “where children not much older, and in some cases younger, than Apple and Moses, are dying on the streets alone.”
“Although I want to assure everybody that the likelihood of any epidemic in the United States is extraordinarily small,” he stressed.
Obama also said his administration had “mobilized the world community to blunt Russian aggression.”
“So what was striking when I was at the United Nations General Assembly is, despite sometimes the complaining that you get about the United States, and despite folks liking or enjoying picking out flaws and problems in our policies, when there’s a crisis around the world they don’t call Moscow, they don’t call Beijing — they call the United States of America,” he continued.
“We remain the one indispensable nation not just because we have capabilities that nobody else has, not just because of the strength of our military and our reach, but because of our values and because of our principles and ideals, and the things that we stand for.”
Obama said he was out campaigning because “imagine what we could do with a Congress that operated on some common sense.”
“Imagine what we could do not just on any particular issue — although it would make a huge difference for us right away to be able to pass comprehensive immigration reform, or to pass a minimum wage law, or pass a fair pay law — but just in terms of the mood of the country; in terms of people believing that once again we can do something in common,” he said. “Believing that we can rise above narrow, ideological interests. Believing that we can match the decency and common sense of the American people with our politics.”
Millennial actress Raven Symone has dared to de-hyphenate her identity in the face of the goddess O:
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” Raven said.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Oprah said. “You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven replied. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture,” Raven said.
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America is supposed to be?” Raven declared.
The former child star, best known for her role on The Cosby Show caused television’s Goddess-in-Chief to nearly jump out of her chair. Perhaps generational difference is playing a key role in the Symone’s patriotic identification. According to a recent NPR story titled Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously:
“Forty-three percent of millennials are nonwhite,” says Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center (and a millennial herself). “When we look at older generations — boomers and silents — less than 3 in 10 were nonwhite.”
Because millennials look different en masse than generations past, the future is going to look different too. They’ve already led the country to massive shifts in opinion on social issues over the past decade.
As Symone illustrated, not every social issue is about sex or pot. Her willingness to step outside the box confronts the political correctness of Oprah’s Baby Boomers exactly the way it should: With a peaceful, confident, fresh perspective.
Perhaps Millennials should be given a second look after all.
Al Sharpton’s war with his own mouth continues, and he continues to lose. Today he did a segment on “National Breast Awareness Month.”
It wasn’t what it sounds like. He evidently intended to talk about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But he left out an important word.
Likely no one needs a month to be reminded of breasts. I mean, we still have Kate Upton just a Google image search away.
Following his performance Friday night (September 26) at the El Corazon as part of a benefit concert for 15 Now, the grassroots organization that successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, Morello and his entourage allegedly tried to get “a special room” at The 5 Point Cafe even though the place was already “at capacity” and there was “a line” of people waiting to get in. The restaurant’s doorman apparently told Morello and his crew that he could not accommodate them, after which the guitarist took to his Twitter to blast the eatery, writing: “Five Point restaurant in Seattle is the WORST. Super rude & anti-worker. Sh****st doorman in the Northwest. P***k. Spread the word.”
Morello was one of the more vocal supporters of the Occupy Stink-in, and portrays himself as a real man of the people. Only in the diseased mind of a wealthy commie can being denied a place to sit where there aren’t any mean the person passing along that information is “anti-worker.”
Morello’s Twitter bio beings with: “Feed the poor.” That should obviously have an addendum that reads, “But feed me first, you peasant, because I’m a rock star.”
After being called out by many, Morello isn’t backing down. He does, however, have the gall to offer forgiveness with conditions (thus not really understanding forgiveness) instead of asking for it, which he should be doing. It’s also classic commie-achieving an end through coercion, which is all they’ve got.
Willing to forgive the Seattle Evil (Egg) Empire 5 Points Cafe doorman powertrip if good guy owner D Meinert fully embraces #15Now min wage
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) September 29, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission ordered the elimination today of sports blackout rules that blocked cable and satellite broadcasts of games blacked out on local stations.
a local broadcast station.
“The action removes Commission protection of the NFL’s current private blackout policy, which requires local broadcast stations to black out a game if a team does not sell a certain percentage of tickets to the game at least 72 hours prior to the game,” the FCC said in a statement.
The FCC’s order found the blackout rules are “no longer justified in light of the significant changes in the sports industry since these rules were first adopted nearly forty years ago.”
“At that time, ticket sales were the primary source of revenue for the NFL and most NFL games failed to sell out. Today, television revenues have replaced ticket sales as the NFL’s main source of revenue, and blackouts of NFL games are increasingly rare.”
Only two games were blacked out last season, the FCC said.
“Today’s action may not eliminate all sports blackouts, because the NFL may choose to continue its private blackout policy. However, the NFL will no longer be entitled to the protection of the Commission’s sports blackout rules. Instead, the NFL must rely on the same avenues available to other entities that wish to protect their distribution rights in the private marketplace.”
The league, which objected to lifting the rules, said in a statement that teams “have made significant efforts in recent years to minimize blackouts.”
“The NFL is the only sports league that televises every one of its games on free, over-the-air television. The FCC’s decision will not change that commitment for the foreseeable future.”
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked the FCC in June to lift the blackout rule, arguing in a letter to the commission that it “unfairly harms consumers by insulating the NFL from market realities and punishing fans in cities with large stadiums and declining populations.”
Today, Blumenthal declared the FCC “officially threw a flag on the NFL’s anti-fan blackout policy.”
“The sports blackout rule unfairly harms consumers by punishing fans in cities with large stadiums and declining populations,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “The FCC did the right thing today by removing this antiquated rule, which is no longer justified by facts or simple logic.”
“Even as the NFL made millions upon millions of dollars off of broadcasting rights, they continued as recently as this season to threaten fans with unnecessary blackout restrictions.”
You’ve heard of “attachment parenting” from moms like Mayim Bialik who breastfeed until the kid is out of high school. Now, thanks to Valerie Jarrett, we know what “attachment advising” truly means, via the headline:
You can’t make this stuff up.
President Obama ditched his uptown digs at the Waldorf Astoria to sample the offerings of downtown Manhattan.
With the First Lady and his trusty senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in tow, the presidential motorcade took over the Nolita neighborhood on Wednesday night for the first couple’s date night at Estela on E. Houston St.
They dined on burrata with salsa verde and bread, two endive salads, tomatoes and croquettes before they returned to their hotel shortly before 10:30pm, sources told Eater New York.
The restaurant said it was “humbled” by the presidential visit, posting an Instagram shot of the Obama’s order.
Apparently, the restaurant is “beverage driven,” so I guess Valerie Jarrett didn’t need to do a literal public feeding. But, have no doubt, Mommy was still very hard at work scanning the menu for healthy choices for the kids.
When Apple released U2′s first new album in years on September 9, the company of the late Steve Jobs surely expected earthwide gratitude. Songs of Innocence was free, after all, it was freaking U2, and iPhone and iPod users didn’t even need to lift a finger or pay anything to get it. It was being pushed to their devices automatically.
Turns out, that was the problem, and one that Apple and U2 should have anticipated. This is the world of the tech-spoiled libertarian socialist millenial and the aging hippy dippy baby boomer. The same people who are too cool to get worked up much over terrorists chopping American heads off in Syria — if they’re even aware of that — scream with bloody rage that a bunch of free songs showed up on their phone without their consent. Hey, life is tough in the First World.
Apple had to roll out a U2 removal tool to quell the volcanic reaction to their decision to give away free stuff.
Had Songs of Innocence merely showed up as a surprise release, but with opt-in instead of opt-out, or with no connection at all to Apple, it would have had a chance to get embraced or rejected on its own merits. That chance was totally lost, and ongoing lack of reaction to the actual music suggests that it will never get a fair shake.
It’s also fair to point out that U2 belongs to the demographic that owns Apple, but not necessarily the demo that’s most passionately in love with the Apple brand. I’d have been annoyed if someone forced music from my parents’ generation onto my phone, despite the fact that I like a lot of it. Give me some Buddy Holly any day — but don’t force it onto my phone without asking, m’kay?
At this point I’ll confess something about U2. The first time I ever heard them, they were still an up-and-coming band. Yeah, I’m that old. A friend handed me the cassette (remember those?) and said “Hey, check this band out. They’re pretty good” or something like that. It wasn’t a particularly memorable conversation and we had had many just like it. He was that guy who knew about the good bands before the rest of us. He introduced me to U2, R.E.M., The Call, Simple Minds and probably a few others that I’ve forgotten. I returned the favor a few times, but mostly with bands that 99.9% of readers will have never heard of — Daniel Amos, and a few others.
The first strains I heard from Bono and company were from Live At Red Rocks. This was in 1983, I think, not long after that album had come out. I was still a kid. I heard U2 early, then, and I absolutely hated them. By the time Bono rang out “How long, how long must we sing this song?” I wondered the same thing. That song seemed to last forever, and not in a good way. That’s right — I immediately hated what has turned out to be one of the great live albums in rock history.
They eventually grew on me, and by the time Joshua Tree came out I was a little wiser and was a confirmed fan. I still remember appreciating the nuances of that album in headphones on my CD player. “Bullet the Blue Sky” still has a visceral edge to it. I missed the tour when it came to Dallas, and have regretted it ever since. I skipped that concert because by then U2 were so huge that everyone was going, and I didn’t want to just follow the crowd. It was pretty stupid, to be honest. They wound up defining the 1980s and the 1990s.
But little did I know at first listen that U2 were bringing a whole lot more to their music than first met the ear. That line, “How long,” was a refrain from a song that the band built atop Psalm 40. What rock band not on an explicitly religious label does that?
Even though Bono titled the song “40,” the reference probably flew past most of his listeners. It flew past me for a while. U2 have had that quality over the years, slipping into deeper waters than most other rockers, while still cranking out hits and successful albums and selling out arenas and reinventing their sound and themselves and kind of gliding around stardom and all that. Rebels with a clue, these guys.
The association with Apple may have finally killed the grander side of U2. Which would be a shame. They’re not just in it to market phones or write hammer tracks for Batman movies.
Unlike most bands who stick around for 30-odd years, U2 really haven’t lost a step. They haven’t gone into nostalgia or self-parody mode. They haven’t replaced their entire lineup with a bunch of sound clones to satisfy suits at a concert-promotion corporation.
They’ve made missteps to be sure — a couple of those experimental 1990s albums and No Line on the Horizon come to mind. Remember when Bono did that Mephisto thing on tour? That was weird. They were into that biggest band in the world thing, no doubt.
But Babe Ruth was baseball’s strikeout king along with being the home run king. U2 have lobbed up some stinkers, but they also created Boy, War, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and now Songs of Innocence. They did “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “With Or Without You” and “Elevation” and “Mysterious Ways” and so many other toweringly great songs. That’s quite a body of success, across a whole lot of time.
I’m not defending them as a fan, and they certainly don’t need me to. It’s just a fact. U2′s body of work is in the conversation as to which is the greatest since rock music came to be. For that, some will love them and some will hate them. That’s life. And they have done it with the same four guys, the same three or four chords (and the truth!) for the most part, and the same or similar visions of life and what music should be.
The title of their last one, the one that generated so much ridiculous rage, probably flies over heads like “40″ once did to teenage me. Bono ripped it off from a guy named William Blake. They probably don’t teach any of his work in public schools anymore, which is a shame, because Blake was a beast of a poet and a monster of an artist. His best stuff was just fun to read. Some of his other stuff is still impenetrable. His art ranged from awe-inspiring to scary.
The Daily Mail has new photos of the incident that led to Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts’ confrontation with police.
Watts initially claimed that police arrested her for kissing her white boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, in public. But then a tape of her confrontation with police came out — and it’s Watts who plays the race card, even saying that as a black actress she “raises awareness” of race issues.
The police officer simply told Watts that someone called the police about lewd activity taking place in a public area, so he had to investigate, and he had the right to ask for Watts’ identification. She refused to provide that, escalating the confrontation.
The photos in the Mail show Watts sitting on her husband, straddling him, with the car door open as it is parked on the street.
Eye witnesses have come forward to say that Watts was grinding on her boyfriend, and that she had her shirt up and her breasts exposed. See the photo on the next page and just for yourself.
The top beer sponsor is weighing on the NFL for its handling of a string of highly-publicized abuse scandals involving star players.
On Tuesday, Anheuser-Busch — a big spender in Super Bowl advertising whose Bud Light brand is the official beer of the league — issued a highly critical statement of the NFL.
“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” said the beverage maker in a statement released by a spokesperson. “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”
Those “expectations” were not disclosed in the statement. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been widely criticized over his handling of the domestic abuse scandal involving Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice and child abuse allegations leveled at Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson.
The company’s brand, Bud Light, has been the official beer of the NFL since 2010, when it replaced MillerCoors as the premier sponsor. Anheuser-Bush has been a top spending brand with the league from 2009 to 2013, spending $149 million during five Super Bowls, according to Nielsen statistics released in January.
This is where the calls for Goodell’s job will really heat up. His job is to manage the league’s image so the sponsor money keeps rolling in without interruption. If one of its biggest sponsors expresses concern, the problem has become unmanageable.
On a somewhat smaller scale, Radisson “suspended” its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after they reinstated Adrian Peterson and another allegation of child abuse surfaced.
If more sponsors begin grumbling soon, all of Roger Goodell’s damage control to save himself will probably be for naught.
On Thursday, CBS pulled the use of a Rihanna song from the opening of its Thursday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, avoiding starting the broadcast with the voice of someone who’s been the victim of domestic violence days after a shocking video surfaced of former Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee.
Many have pointed out that Rihanna’s involvement in the broadcast was an unfortunate choice in light of the scandal over the Rice incident and the NFL’s treatment thereof, which was the focus of most of the pre-game show. Now Chris Brown has linked his 2009 pre-Grammys Rihanna attack to the Ray Rice scandal.
On Thursday, MTV News’ Sway Calloway asked Brown, who was sentenced to five years of probation and one year of counseling after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna, what advice he had for Rice.
Brown, who has a history of violent behavior, said it’s all about anger management.
“I think it’s all about the choices you make. With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past — not knowing how to express myself verbally but at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they were,” he said. “For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up. For anybody who’s going through that situation or anybody who’s dealing with it — it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it’s all about the choices you make and how you control your anger.”
In the never-ending tale of people making stupid decisions during this Rice story, the executive who thought, “Hey-let’s see what Chris Brown thinks…” just jockeyed him or herself into the top ten.
Presumably, MTV was unable to get clearance for an in-cell interview with OJ Simpson to see what sage advice he had for Ray Rice.
Here’s an idea: let’s not give serial abusers a public forum to cover their you-know-whats.
Actor From Country That Coddles Muslim Rape Gangs Whines About Homophobic ‘Christian Far Right’ in America
(h/t The Truth Revolt)
There’s still a lot of homophobia in the U.S., as well.
Oh, the Christian far right? Yes. Very homophobic. You need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That’s the full journey from Obama’s legacy onwards. There’s a great Morrissey lyric from “America Is Not the World” from You Are the Quarry that goes, “In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe.” It’s quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you’ve done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.
Of course, that’s the mature, intellectual approach to picking a leader: based on a quota checklist from Morrissey.
I will wager good money that Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t be satisfied with a conservative gay or female (or gay female) POTUS. In the narrow-minded, limited reference world of the average entertainer, such a combination can’t possibly exist. In fact, your average high-profile liberal is basically a savage animal when dealing with powerful conservative females.
So he doesn’t really mean what he is saying.
Or he doesn’t understand it.
Which is why he should stick to scripts.
Look out, Clickhole, you have some competition. First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the original annoying viral content site, Upworthy. I’m not even kidding.
It’s not quite the gig that Chelsea Clinton had at NBC, but it’s something. A start.
The first lady is “guest curating” content at the site that perfected those cliffhanger headlines that even Facebook hates so much.
The first lady has already “curated” her first piece, with a very Upworthy title: “I Really Hope the Parents Of These People Get To See What They Said Here. They’d Probably Cry.”
If I saw what people say, I might cry too, and I’m a guy who has lived through the Jerry Jones Cowboys era without shedding a tear. Or I might run away. Or I might seek psychiatric help. It’s not common to see what people say. Visible words floating around while people are talking to me? That would freak me right out.
In her inaugural piece, Mrs. Obama allows that she is thankful for her three-week orientation at college.
Question: Three weeks? How long does it take to figure out where your classes are and which classes are the most skippable? That’s a week, tops. If you’re a little slow to catch things. Or if you’re distracted by seeing words floating around everybody’s heads.
The first lady’s first conclusion doesn’t really break any new ground.
Because our young people need to know that no matter where you come from or how much money your family has, you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on to build a better life for yourself.
And the sky is blue. Sherlock would be impressed!
Anyway, the First Lady of Irritating Crap Writing That Has Ruined Blogging Forever still has a mountain of cliches and cliffhangers to climb if she wants to stay ahead of Clickhole. They have a stunning video piece up today. You won’t believe what happens next.
Seriously. You won’t.
For years, President Obama has enjoyed the protection of the network’s late night talk show hosts. They wouldn’t mock him. Jay Leno would rip on him now and then, but the rest wouldn’t touch him.
That’s changed. Both Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon nailed Obama in their monologues Monday night.
Meyers gigged Obama for not having a plan to confront IS.
Meyers: “Turning to political news, this week, President Obama will announce his plans for addressing the threat posed by ISIS extremists in Iraq. It’s an incredibly difficult situation. I think at this point, you just tell Liam Neeson that they have his daughter. I think it’s ‘Code Neeson.’”
In other words, to get Obama’s attention on a crisis you have to relate it to pop culture. Or get someone else to do the job.
Fallon zinged Obama for spending so much time away from the White House, and popped VP Joe Biden’s habit of being an idiot at the same time.
Fallon: “On Friday, President Obama made a surprise visit to Stonehenge on his way back from the NATO summit in Wales. And even crazier, today he made a surprise visit to the White House. “What are you doing here, man?” Really exciting. That’s right, President Obama visited Stonehenge. It was going well until Biden was like, “Look at the size of these dominoes.” No Biden!”
Speaking of Stonehenge, here’s an Obama moment that the comics missed.
With enemies like ISIS, Hamas, Putin, the Anti-Defamation League, and all things Politically Correct…what’s not to love about the irrepressible Joan Rivers. The 81 year old comedienne passed away last week, and was buried with a star-studded tribute over the weekend. She died following a somewhat routine procedure involving her vocal cords. A month ago she bashed the Obamas mercilessly…today she is gone from a mysterious untimely death. She would have had a field day with that. Coincidence? Does Obama have a list? Did Joan Rivers have a check mark by her name? Was she on Obamacare? Sadly, we are deprived now of her rapier wit. She was ahead of her time. She was politically incorrect before there was a such thing. She made a living with those wonderful vocal cords and caused a lot of joy followed by controversy. In the entertainment industry few people say what they think, and no one ever accused the great Joan of failing to do that.
On the day she lost consciousness she had just completed a one hour long standup routine. Making people laugh and causing a spark of trouble is what she loved, and no one did it like Joan. She was an American treasure. She had all the right kinds of enemies. There were plenty of people who would’ve loved to permanently silence her razor-sharp commentary that was occasionally described as a bloodletting. She’d slash anyone with her vicious truth. Friend or foe, she was an equal opportunity destroyer. If you weren’t ready for the truth…you didn’t ask Joan Rivers her opinion.
The Anti-Defamation League won’t shed a tear at losing Joan Rivers. They were opposed to virtually everything that came out of her mouth. The PC Police couldn’t stand her unvarnished assessment of the world around her. Her infamous response to the question, “Do you think America will ever see a gay president?” is legendary…”We already have it with Obama, so let’s just calm down,” she said. “You know Michelle (Obama) is a trans.” When asked to clarify she added “A transgender. We all know it.”
The outrage that followed just gave Joan the platform to double down. She was asked what she thought about the Anti-Defamation League calling the remark “vulgar and hideous”. They should’ve known better than to mess with Joan. She responded in her wonderfully Joan way: “I think this is a ‘politically incorrect’ attack on me because I’m old, Jewish, a woman and a ‘hetty’ — a heteosexual.” Bravo.
Women like Joan Rivers are a disappearing breed and that’s why she was so awesome. The PC Police are taking the fun out of life. No one can make a joke…no one can tell it like it is. Joan didn’t care. Joan said whatever Joan wanted and that’s what was so refreshing about her. When you lose the ability to laugh at the craziness of the world, you’ve lost a lot. People of her generation used to laugh at themselves and poke fun at each other…no one cried defamation…or racism…or sexism…no one whined and hired a lawyer. Our perpetually offended generation could learn a thing or two from a gal like Joan.
She loved to get a rise out of anyone and no one could stop her. She didn’t care if the world agreed with her humor or not…it was her prerogative to say whatever came into her head. I read somewhere that she was described as a woman with no edit button, no filter. She proved that assessment again recently when she commented on the war in Israel. “Palestinians in Gaza deserve to be dead…when you declare war, you declare war…they started it. We now don’t count who’s dead. You’re dead. You deserve to be dead. You started it. You started it. Don’t you dare make me feel sad about that.”
With all the young celebrities coming out in support of Hamas and filled with Jew-hate messages, Joan Rivers tells it like it is. I’d like to see one young celebrity speak out like Joan. They only speak out when they are parroting the accepted narrative. I won’t hold my breath. None of them have the stones of Joan Rivers. Joan commented on the dead civilians in Palestine and the fact that the Israeli army issues warnings to get out before destroying an area so as to give residents a chance to escape. “You were told to get out, you don’t get out, then you know you’re an idiot,” she said. “At least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs.”
The world is now denied any more comments from Joan Rivers, and we will miss them dearly. I’m sure during her funeral the terrorists of the Middle East shot their guns in the air rejoicing and the PC Police breathed a sigh of relief as their nemesis is no more.
It took an 81 year old female comedian to tell it like it is. A sad commentary on the state of our media and world. Godspeed Joan, you talked tougher to Islamists than the President of the United States, and we loved you for it.
Eulogies for Joan Rivers continue to pour in. I’ll confess I was never really a fan of most of her comedy and I could not have cared less about her fashion chatter, but her self-mockery was just incredible. She was brutal, but seldom more brutal to anyone else than she was to herself. That made people like her even if they didn’t want to.
And she did have a knack for saying what people were thinking but never would say themselves.
She goes into one of those self-mocking riffs in this clip from 1982.
It’s usually funnier to see someone mocking themselves than trashing someone else. We’re laughing with them, not just at them, and it doesn’t feel harsh because they said it themselves. Rivers knew that and she was ninja-skilled at both.
She stood up for Israel recently. She stood up for Reagan back in the day. She ripped every celebrity, the famous and the infamous, of the past 50-odd years. So Joan Rivers had something for everyone. But no one would ever mistake her for any of the classic beauties over the years, not in decades that included everyone from Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn to Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.
For some reason, Rivers’ “friend” Barbara Walters used her obit of Rivers to bring that up.
But there are a few things that are important to know about Joan Rivers; and she would not be shy about me saying so.
She wasn’t a great beauty and she didn’t have great success with men. She had a disappointing marriage to a man who almost ruined her career and then, sadly, committed suicide.
What a weird thing to say. Everybody knows this. Rivers was 81 when she passed away, and she never kept her own life a secret, especially if she could get a laugh out of it. Joan Rivers tried to get a laugh out of everything, and she usually succeeded.
Rivers’ love of plastic surgery and her passing have now become a joke that she would appreciate: Joan Rivers died at the age of 81, but her face was just 25. Her breasts were a youthful 15.
Whatever Walters’ aside is, it’s not exactly hard-hitting journalism to observe that Joan Rivers was not a supermodel. Rivers succeeded by knowing she wasn’t a classic beauty and played that up for far more than it was worth. She lived by her wits, and her wits had the power of a hydrogen bomb.
This week the Drudge Report had this link from the UK Telegraph with the headline and subhead:
How Isil doctored the image of Obama, making him appear haggard in videos
The terrorist group carefully manipulate their videos to make the US president look as tired and weary as possible, demonstrating its technical prowess
Welcome to war in the modern age where our enemies use media manipulation to taunt President Obama. (Remember when Putin and the Russians made light of Obama’s wimpy image using the kitty cats? Click here if you missed that unusual caption contest.)
Below, the Telegraph describes the techniques ISIL (or ISIS) used in the screen-grab image that is the subject of our contest.
In the same way, Mr. Obama’s blue jacket is made to appear a funereal black. His strands of grey hair are picked up and exaggerated. The editor has also caused an interlacing effect of black lines to run across the president’s white shirt. For good measure, he has carefully stretched the screen length ways in order to make Mr. Obama appear thin and gaunt.
Now, here is your “special ops” mission for these dangerous times. You must translate the message written in whatever language these barbarians used, into a language that PJ Media readers can better understand.
In addition to the “official translation,” you can also write a non-official translation from the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee or from any committee or organization you wish, even the NRA or the Navy Seals.
Finally, is it just me, or does the ISIS video manipulation make Obama resemble, even more than before, “this guy” from the History Channel’s Bible mini-series? (Official name of “this guy” withheld for many political, religious and IRS reasons.)
Good luck, and you don’t have to be nice with your translations because the “folks” who did this video manipulation really are the personification of “this guy” in the photo above.
They’re making this too easy.
The Democrats are offering this Obama car magnet. It’s the easiest thing in the world to mock.
Here’s a blank version to get you started.
Here’s my first run at it.
If you make one, upload it to the image service of your choice and link in comments, or send it to us here at PJ.
Update: Chris has posted a few in the comments. They’re all funny. Here’s my favorite of the bunch.
Update: If you don’t have Photoshop or another image editor, here’s GIMP. It’s free and runs on PC and Mac.
Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.
Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.
Joan Rivers carved a niche for herself in stand-up at a time when it wasn’t just difficult-it was unheard of. It was still pretty brutal for women in the business by the time I got to it decades later so I can’t even imagine what it was like when there weren’t any other women doing it.
I remember watching her guest-host on The Tonight Show back in the halcyon days before her legendary falling out with Johnny Carson. She was fearless on stage. In fact, were she starting out today doing the same kind of humor, being female wouldn’t be as much of an obstacle but the PC Speech Police would be apoplectic about her material (she frequently did “Liz Taylor is so fat…” jokes when subbing for Carson).
She had killer timing, which was still on display when doing her fashion critiques of red carpet celebs in recent years. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the genre, I would still watch on occasion to hear the old girl being effortlessly, humorously and brilliantly caustic.
Some of my closest friends after thirty years in stand-up are female comics I’ve worked with. I know I would never had met them if it weren’t for Joan Rivers.
Rest in peace, dear lady.
And say hi to Liz Taylor.
Well, that didn’t take long. The St. Louis Rams cut defensive end Michael Sam over the weekend. Sam is, or would have been, the NFL’s first openly gay player.
He was drafted late, seventh round. Homophobia was suggested. Now that he has been cut, homophobia has been blamed, by Michelangelo Signorile at the Huffington Post.
Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams over the weekend. Over the following 24 hours, no other team had decided to claim the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL. Then came the news that the Rams didn’t choose him for its practice squad. And though he could be picked for a practice squad for another team this week, NFL watchers believe his options are dim.
There have already been lots of arguments on social media, and it will continue this week, over whether or not this represented homophobia in the NFL. Frankly, I’m astounded that anyone can even debate this. One person on my Facebook page said that if Michael Sam were good enough he’d be playing. I don’t know how this person could possibly justify such a statement since the NFL’s record — of giving slaps on the wrist for ugly homophobic incidents and hiring known haters — suggests otherwise, and no openly gay player had been drafted before.
And none of that bears on Sam’s performance in pre-season or whether he is what the Rams or any other team needs. He had a decent pre-season. The Rams cut him because he wasn’t what they believe they need. No other team took him on.
That’s what happens in pre-season football. Some rookies make it, many rookies don’t.
The Rams also cut Sam from their practice squad, and explained why.
They already have five defensive ends on their 53-man roster and have depth needs at too many other positions to cover injuries, and they need players for the scout team to run the plays of opposing teams in practice now that the regular season is here.
As of Sunday night, the Post-Dispatch had confirmed the names of six players the Rams will sign for their 10-man practice squad. But they still had needs to address at quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback – which would soak up the final four spots.
They’re too deep at defensive end and too thin elsewhere.
Signorile devotes the rest of the article to bashing the NFL for being “homophobic,” a smear that halts any discussion dead in its tracks. He bashes the Giants for hiring David Tyree for player development, because Tyree opposes gay marriage.
What that has to do with whether Tyree will make a good player development director or not is not explained.
Bashing Tyree’s hiring is telling. Tyree is the former Giant wide receiver whose insane helmet catch led to the Giants defeating the Perfect Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Tyree might know how to spot and develop players for the Giants. Or not. But his stand on gay marriage has nothing to do with that at all. Signorile wants Tyree banished over something that has nothing to do with his job. He wants Sam captured by an NFL team for reasons that have nothing to do with the job.
Do you want to know why I tend not to post the Hero of the Day story that everyone else on the Internet runs with? Because these days, they usually fall apart within 48 to 72 hours. I just skip their arc from fame to infamy to the dustbin of pop culture history.
USC football player Josh Shaw admitted to USC officials that his story about heroically rescuing his nephew is a lie.
In a statement, USC says … “Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) and admitted that he had lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend.”
“He said that the story he told of rescuing his nephew in a pool in Palmdale, Calif., was a complete fabrication. He apologized for misleading his coaches, teammates, athletic department officials and the public.”
I guess we’ll get one of these cynicism-building college football scandals every year or two from now on. Last year it was Manti Te’o and the fake dead girlfriend. This year it’s a guy who lies about saving his drowning nephew. Plus the usual assorted shoplifting and alumni gift stories.
Anyway, Miley Cyrus stunned America, with her touching tribute to homelessness. But it turns out that “Jesse” is a wanted man. His choices led to his being domicile challenged.
Tuesday, the world learned a little about “Jesse” and how he ended up on the streets of Los Angeles. Here’s a synopsis via Billboard:
Not long after the VMAs, his mother confirmed to The Oregonian that Miley’s Jesse was her son, Jesse Helt, a native of Salem, Oregon. And on Tuesday, Inside Edition spoke with an Oregon court official who revealed that Jesse Helt was arrested for attempting to break into an apartment four years ago. Billboard contacted the Salem police department and confirmed the 2010 incident.
Courts documents obtained by Inside Edition and shared with Billboard detail Helt’s attempt to break into a Salem apartment in Oct. 2010. Helt was charged with criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. According to the AP, a warrant is currently out for his arrest.
Months later, Helt’s probation officer filed documents stating that Helt skipped a probation check-in appointment and failed a drug test. Helt admitted to smoking marijuana, writing and signing a statement in March 2011 concerning his probation violation. The statement ended with the following promise: “For the sake of my freedom I have chosen to stop smoking weed and from now on I will not violate my probation.”
Since then, Spin reports that he briefly attended community college and worked at the Oregon State Fair. While attempting to start a modeling career in Los Angeles, the AP reports that Helt lived on the streets.
So Jesse has a criminal record, an open warrant for his arrest, a drug problem, and is homeless because he took the brilliant career path into the safe and secure world of modeling.
The intended lesson of Miley’s charity, there but for the grace of God goes you, eh, isn’t all that.
Want another lie exposed? Another downer for the day? Ok, try this: Hello Kitty isn’t even a cat.
Or, if it’s a cat, since it owns a pet cat, Hello Kitty is really Hello Slavery. But it’s not a cat.
According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty — whom you have seen on literally every consumer product at an increasing rate over the past 40 years — is in fact a human child.
“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”
Thank goodness that Hello Kitty is not in fact a cat. Because that would be awk-ward.
Let’s end on something a little less shocking, a little more predictable.
Remember the Boston bomber brothers? Their sister got picked up for…prepare not to be shocked…making a bomb threat.
The conservative right wing has risen to the defense of actress Sofia Vergara’s Emmys pun. I’m pretty sure they’re only doing this to annoy liberal feminists, which is a stupid reason to defend anyone’s bad joke. What conservatives fail to realize is that, by defending Vergara’s vapid display of beauty on the altar, they’re putting themselves in the same camp as those feminist liberals they claim to hate.
What made Vergara’s 360 on prime time acceptable? Her beauty and the fact that she was fairly modest in her presentation. Vergara’s is the safe, 1940′s glamour style that conservatives love, equal parts nostalgic, respectable, and most importantly, tantalizing tease for those strapping young American boys in bluchers and madras ties. Beyonce, villified by conservatives for her lascivious performance at the VMA’s, is everything right wing men loathe, despise and even fear from the feminist left. She is dangerous, grotesquely sexual, and lusts after deviance. Instead of addressing this, conservatives simply sought an alternative goddess to fit their metaphorical and sexual needs. In truth, there is nothing different from Beyonce and Vergara’s respective performances, except for the fact that Vergara kept her legs closed, abiding by that age-old Bible belt bit of advice: Who’s going to buy the cow when you give the milk away for free?
Even the strongest of conservative analyses of the Beyonce/Vergara dispute includes:
As for the examples being set for young women: if you have a choice between wearing a tasteful, expensive dress and standing on a turntable to make a joke, or doing whatever Beyonce is singing about, I believe most American mothers would join me in strongly urging their daughters to choose the turntable.
Actor Matt Damon accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge from his friends Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon this week, but admitted he was conflicted about wasting water. ”It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in a YouTube video, “but because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”
Damon, who said he plans to pay the “fine” since it took him more than 24 hours to respond to the challenge, decided that using toilet water would be a good way to assuage his conscience about wasting water and, at the same time, raise awareness about his own charity.
Damon then co-opted the ALS challenge and asked viewers to support his clean water initiative. “I thought a good thing to do to try to tie those things together would be to take some toilet water,” Damon said. “And now, for those of you like my wife, who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the West is actually cleaner than the water that most people in the developing world have access to. So, as disgusting as this may seem, hopefully it will highlight the fact that this is a big problem and together we can do something about it.”
Damon, sounding like Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA awards (I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish”), gave a quick shout out to the ALS cause, but then went right back to promoting his own charity before dumping the bucket of toilet water on himself. “So, I’m happy to take the challenge and knock out ALS — I’m all for that. For more information about the clean water crisis and sanitation crisis please visit us at Water.org,” he said. Damon then nominated George Clooney, Bono and NFL quarterback Tom Brady to take the challenge.
I didn’t watch the Emmy Awards last night. Honestly I can’t remember the last time I did watch the Emmys. It was probably when I was producing Laura Ingraham, and had to watch all the awards shows to edit the most ridiculous bits for the show. That was a couple of jobs ago now.
The Emmys, the Oscars, MTV’s awards show for videos that MTV doesn’t even air anymore…it’s all about the 1% televising their self-congratulation. I caught up with DVR’d Falling Skies while the Emmys were on.
So last night during the Emmys, Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara did a cute little bit where a bore from the awards show droned on while she stood on a rotating platform looking like, well, herself, so everyone would pay attention.
In case you don’t know who Sofia Vergara is, well, here.
I’ll probably get in trouble if I post any more, but you get the idea. She’d catch the eye of a drone circling overhead at 15,000 feet. And she’s out of your league.
So she does this little bit on the Emmys, which makes fun of herself and also makes a little fun of TV, the medium that the Emmys are all about. Not a ROFL funny bit, but harmless. Anyone who doesn’t think that TV is more about appearance than anything else is kidding themselves. Even on Falling Skies, Noah Wyle’s Tom Mason character is complex and great, and Wyle plays him well. But the producers wouldn’t have hired a homely man for the lead in that series. They didn’t hire an average woman to play his wife, either, they hired Moon Bloodgood. Who looks like this.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s a fine actress.
Vergara’s pedestal joke was self-referential and harmless. Unless you’re the left’s scolds. These people are incapable of getting through a day without getting outrageously outraged about something.
The gag was immediately slammed on Twitter and some news sites: “A very troubling turn,” wrote HuffPo. “She was treated like a literal object,” fumed Jezebel. “A bizarre, objectifying Emmy moment,” headlined Salon.
Yet when asked whether the stunt was sexist and demeaning, Vergara shot back: “I think its absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it’s ridiculous that somebody started this—I know who she was—who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a little bit.”
The same people cheer when entertainers go out of their way to slam America or offend, say, Christians. So, you know, they’re just being babies.
As Mollie Hemingway and Ace point out, the same people who are blasting Vergara for her charming and harmless little joke are all about the “empowerment” of Beyonce strutting around on stage wearing barely anything in a sexualized stage performance that’s ultimately aimed at teenage girls.
Both Beyonce and Sofia Vergara have become very powerful women in entertainment, in similar ways: They’re both scorching hot and have talents beyond their looks. Did Beyonce have any more or any less say in her act, than Sofia Vergara had in hers? That’s unlikely. They both know what they’re doing.
It would be nice if the scolds of the left could at least be consistent. But that would take away the advantage of surprise, I guess.
Matti Friedman, a former AP Correspondent, has written a brilliant, must-read analysis of why the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel is skewed, biased, and downright reprehensible:
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.
The 3 page story explains a number of popular misnomers that are the result of mainstream media reporting techniques, including:
- In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
- The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
- Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story. In addition, reporters are under deadline and often at risk, and many don’t speak the language and have only the most tenuous grip on what is going on. They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both. Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.
Concluding with, “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality,” the story is a must read for anyone willing to confront the mess of mainstream media and the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East.
Discovery Channel’s lone remaining science series, MythBusters, has lost 60% of its cast. The show announced Thursday night that that episode would be the last to feature Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.
MythBusters started out with just the two main cast members, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, special effects gurus who used their science knowledge and engineering chops to test common pop culture myths. The show was fine in those early days, but MythBusters really took off when it grew to the current cast. The trio joined the full cast of MythBusters 10 years ago. They brought a new chemistry to the show, and Byron brought a little nerd sex appeal too.
Now the era of five hosts busting multiple myths per show is over. And it sounds like money is at the root.
“I guess you guys are finding out the news right about now. After a decade of theMythBusters, we are no longer with the show,” Kari said in a series of tweets. “Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”
Chances are, budget cuts are to blame. Discovery Channel has all but dropped science programming in favor of reality shows about gold and cars, bogus documentaries about sharks, along with its survival hit Naked and Afraid. The reduced MythBusters probably isn’t going to last long now.
The phrase “union thugs” was invented for people like the Teamsters, who have been threatening TV star Padma Lakshmi and her Top Chef crew.
The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!”
“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident, which occurred in June while filming an episode for the upcoming 12th season of Bravo’s popular skein, which premieres October 15. “He was screaming at her aggressively and violently.”
“As any employee of our show walked on or off set, the picketers verbally attacked us, calling the gays ‘fags,’ the blacks ‘niggers’ and most of the women ‘sluts and whores,’ ” the crewmember said. “It got worse as the day went on. They chased us down the sidewalk when we had to run from one end of the location to the next in the middle of our busy work day. They threatened to kill us, beat us, and said that they would find us and force us out of the city. Needless to say, we were terrified. I’m a strong person, but being called names and yelled at and harassed for 12 hours while working, I started to crumble. I was scared and worried for my safety.”
More at the link.
One obvious solution to all this presents itself. Ms. Lakshmi should move production to a right-to-work state, like, just spitballin’ here, Texas. She and the jobs the show brings would be more than welcome here, and the Teamsters…not so much.
Let’s push the pause button on politics, to note the decline and fall of what was a great civilization.
Have you seen this show, Dating Naked? It follows similar cable fare such as Discovery’s Naked and Afraid. These shows have “naked” in the title, which is a dead giveaway of what they’re about.
They’re about regular people getting naked for basic cable. Duh. That ought to be clear. It’s censored but still R rated stuff.
Dating Naked is a twist on earlier highbrow fare like Love Connection. Only, the daters are naked together on the first date. And they have a full crew around them shooting every word and every move in every contrived situation. And there are editors who will go over every frame of footage to condense hours of nakedness into a 30-minute show, with the naughty bits blurred out to keep the show’s maturity rating below the Hustler level.
When a person signs on to appear on Dating Naked, they’re taking enormous risks. But those risks are pretty obvious.
For one, a whole lotta people are gonna see you naked. If there’s even one mistake, one innocent error, a whole lot more people are gonna see you naked.
And what if any of the raw footage leaks onto the forever Internet? Game over for whatever might be left of your privacy and dignity.
The risks weren’t obvious to Jessie Nizewitz, 28. Her naughty bits weren’t blurred for a couple of seconds that aired. So she wants an apology, and by the way, millions of dollars. Because of all the hurt it caused her.
Jessie Nizewitz, 28, says she was repeatedly promised by the producers that her private parts would be “blurred out” during the show’s third episode in May.
So she stripped down to her birthday suit with wet beach sand covering parts of her body and performed a WWE-style wrestling move on her date while the producers egged her on, according to the $10 million suit filed in Manhattan by her high- powered lawyer, Matthew Blit.
“I felt lied to, manipulated and used. I was horrified,” Nizewitz told The Post, explaining that she was brought to tears.
When the episode aired on July 31, Nizewitz became the butt of jokes on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr, the papers state.
“…butt of jokes…” We see what you did there, New York Post.
Even the runway model’s family caught an eyeful.
“My grandma saw it. I saw her this week and she didn’t have much to say to me. She’s probably mad. My parents are just annoyed,” Nizewitz lamented.
She says that the seconds of accidental clarity cost her a budding relationship with a boyfriend. Seeing her prancing around butt naked but mostly blurred on national TV — not a problem!
“He never called me again after the show aired. I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship. He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,” Nizewitz said.
You know what’s not ideal? Starting off a relationship with a lovely young woman who you really like, only to turn on the TV and see that she’s willing to romp around naked in front of her grandma and your family and everyone else, for a few thousand bucks.
To some people — horrible prudes stuck in the Victorian era, no doubt — that might even be a deal-breaker.
Via Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a report from the UN News Centre:
Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.
…“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said.
“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery….
While Iraqi women jump from cliffs to avoid becoming the next sex slaves of the Islamic State, American feminist publications spent their time focusing on male celebrities who’ve embraced the feminist demand that biology doesn’t matter:
This week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pretty much nailed the definition of feminism…“What [feminism] means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever,” Gordon-Levitt said.
And complaining about university sexual harassment policies that still aren’t strict enough, even if they include the following caveat:
The school has also adopted an affirmative consent standard, defining consent as requiring “unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging” and noting that “silence or absence of resistance is not the same as consent.”
Which leaves one to wonder if ISIS would be totally legitimized in their use of sex slaves if said slaves signed a waver of consent and mutual agreement beforehand. Feminists don’t believe in being defined by gender, so it’s not like those women jumping off the mountain in Iraq were due any unique respect for their biology. Not that American feminists would stop to notice the crisis of Iraqi women fleeing radical Islam’s sex trade, anyway: Lena Dunham got a new haircut and that’s taking up, like, all of their time.
While American feminists, by and large, do absolutely nothing to advocate for the sex slaves of ISIS, said slaves have done something amazing for the American feminist movement. Every time an Iraqi Christian woman jumps to her death to avoid becoming a sex slave of the Islamic State, she testifies to the fact that western feminism is nothing more than nihilism in a pretty dress.
The same article that praised Gordon Levitt for his anti-biology views also praised a myriad of actors for their pro-choice stance. How ironic that feminists who rail against absentee fathers praise an actor for saying, “It’s not about abortion being right or wrong. It’s about having that choice to decide what a person should do with their own body.” In their demand that biology be ignored, these women pursue the very behavior they claim to hate in the opposite sex: The right to irresponsibility.
Over 40 years ago feminists chose to walk away from their unborn babies. It should come as no surprise, then, that they are just as willing to walk away from their fellow women suffering now under ISIS. Because when you’re a nihilist, things like biology, sisterhood, and responsibility just don’t matter.
That was quick.
Some Montana-based Jeff Bridges fans recently launched a petition to get the Big Lebowski star to run for the U.S. Senate. But Bridges doesn’t think he’s the man for the job—or at least, his wife doesn’t think he is.
“I look down and I see this thing, ‘Jeff Bridges for Senate,’ and I say, ‘What?’” Bridges told Howard Stern on Monday. “Evidently, there’s a group of people that have called in and want me to run for senator of Montana, like 1,000 people, and so I say, ‘Sue?’ And she looks at me and goes, ‘Don’t even think about it.’”
Heh. The ads could’ve been fun.
Bridges stars in The Giver, which I’m hearing interesting things about, coming out this weekend.
The fiancee of the world’s former most eligible bachelor has said that she will not run a United Nations probe into alleged war crimes in the Israel-Gaza war. Which, by the way, is still going on.
GENEVA (AP) — The British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to George Clooney, on Monday pulled out of an appointment to serve on a U.N. commission on possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.
The president of the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council announced in a statement Monday that Alamuddin had been appointed on the commission, but the increasingly high-profile British-Lebanese lawyer later said she could not accept the role.
“I was contacted by the UN about this for the first time this morning,” she said. “I am honoured to have received the offer, but given existing commitments — including eight ongoing cases — unfortunately could not accept this role.”
Teasing out which way Alamuddin leans politically isn’t a straightforward thing. She is apparently Druze, which is an offshoot of Islam, or a re-interpretation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Druze are not associated with Islamism or terrorism. In Israel, they are defined as Arab but have been known to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. They don’t proselytize.
The United Nations has no business probing the Israel-Gaza war for war crimes at any rate. Hamas started the war, but the UN has played its usual role of pestering Israel while it defends itself from terrorists who are, by definition, war criminals.
UNRWA facilities have been used by Hamas to store rockets, which Hamas launches at Israeli citizens. UNRWA supplies have been found inside Hamas’ terror tunnels. If the UN must investigate, it should start by allowing an outside investigation of its own activities.