Tag Archives: Barack Obama

The Week in Geek: Oct. 5, 2012

You may not know what you’re going to do this weekend, but after reading this you know you you’ll be doing it full of fantastical Internet knowledge!

Also, whatever you’re doing this weekend, bring a jacket. It looks like a cold snap could be coming. Don’t give me that look! Just leave it in your car. You’ll be glad you have it when it gets dark.

Princess Sally by matthewhoworth

Maybe Sally’s never been considered a Disney Princess because she doesn’t dress like one. This lovely portrait takes care of that! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

You know the silhouettes of you and your siblings that Ma and Pa have over the sofa? Yeah, photographer David Reeves’ action and occasionally zombie-packed vignettes are nothing like those. (via Geeks are Sexy via Geekologie)

TJ is a little excited that Halo: Forward Until Dawn is here.

Etsy seller Tannim is selling Game of Thrones-themed Converse All Stars (aka: “Chucks”) that he or she designed themselves. Insert overplayed play on,”Winter is coming,” here. (via Geekologie)

These kicks might be perfect for John since he just can’t stop discussing Game of Thrones!

What in the World (of Warcraft)?! Maine Democratic state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz is under fire for her participation in the MMORPG. It has also led to an inadvertently hilarious press release. (via Kotaku)

What the hell is up with these non sequitur covers of classics put out by publisher Tutis? I’m 90 percent convinced this is a Dadaist art project that has gone too far. (via The Mary Sue)

Love the new Leatherface? A fan of the facelifted Freddy’s? Jonesing for some more Jason? Rob’s got a list of his favorite horror remakes.

You’re cold, but you’re too weak to carry a fresh taun taun carcass everywhere for warmth. Think Geek’s got you(r head) covered with these adorable Star Wars hats. Yoda you will look like. (via Laughing Squid)

a_tip_of_the_hat_by_matthewhoworth-d4c43b8

Deviant Artist matthewhoworth has a fantastic series of classic Disney villains done in this style! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

May have guessed this because I’ve told you, but I’m a wee bit on the blue side of the Congressional fence. Because I very much disagree with Mitt Romney (And I’m the writer here), I’m sharing this link showing just what public television contributes to America. (Thanks to my friend Jess for the tip!)

Megan’s Movie Alphabet is not just an example of stunning graphic design; it also makes for some potentially twisted kids’ room art. (via Laughing Squid)

The Doctor Puppet is a blog that’s about pretty much what it says on the tin. I sit sad when you’re envious of a puppet’s globe-trotting lifestyle? (via I forget where! I’m sorry!)

Voters, listen up (You should all be listening since you should all be registered to vote!)! J. Fortune knows you’ve been guilty of fraudulent reasoning.

Are you a lady in possession of a larger than average bosom (counts me out)? Are you an experienced DM? Do you have a half hour to spare? Do you either have very high self-esteem or very low? Then you might want to answer this ad for a topless Dungeons + Dragons DM for a bachelor party. (via Nerd Approved)

Adele’s theme for the upcoming James Bond flick Skyfall was released yesterday. I haven’t listened it yet because I forgot my earbuds.

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“Akin” for Understanding

 

Photo appears courtesy of Wikimedia commons

For a little over a month I have avoided writing anything too in depth about the wild and crazy world of partisan politics.  I see no need to assist either of the presidential candidates with the slinging of their mud. I don’t want to react to the newest soundbites or quotes from speeches designed to influence my opinion. I find the campaign stops and bus tours ludicrous. I have trouble believing that one millionaire truly understands me better than the other millionaire.

I could go into a few things that have moved me over the last month. Romney’s senseless comments at the Olympics, or Obama’s complete misunderstanding of small business and entrepreneurs. I could lambaste the president for saying he does not need to prove anything while arguing that Romney should have to prove…see how easy it is to fall into the trap?

There is no better way to understand our partisan bickering than the view of a complete political meltdown.  Over the weekend we were offered a perfect example of a politician making cringe worthy remarks and the media running with them. When Todd Akin went on a St Louis morning show to talk about his race for the U.S. Senate, who knew the six time congressman from Missouri would coin a new phrase and draw up battle lines all across the country.  The foolishly uninformed statements made by Mr Akin can be viewed here.

Akin for a clue Photo appears courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Two things happened very quickly following the “legitimate rape” fiasco. First Democrats tried desperately to tie these comments to the general belief of any pro-life politician. This opportunistic approach is exactly the kind of thing that makes me despise election year news coverage.  Second, anyone with a reputation to protect ran screaming from Todd Akin and were quick to point out his views were strictly his own and not the views of… well… anyone who has ever taken an eighth grade health class.

What amazes me is that people have come to Akin’s defense. Explaining that he misspoke…I see when he said that a woman’s body has ways of  “shutting that whole thing down” what he meant to say was “Rape is a deplorable thing and no one can question the choices someone makes after a traumatic experience like that.”

The current division in our society has left us in an odd place. We feel compelled to defend anyone who shares our beliefs regardless of how indefensible their actions may be. We also find ourselves too quick to assume that the thoughts and opinions of a whole group of people who disagree with us can be summed up by the raving of one mad man. (Joe Biden speaks for all Democrats, right?)

 

I long to view national politics the same way we do on the local stage. Outrageous claims are seldom made in attack ads on the local level, because you have to see that person and their family afterward. The expectations are higher with lower offices, sources must be named and comments explained. On the local stage Blind Faith is just a super group featuring Eric Clapton, not something we grant the members of our party– simply because they are members of our party.

In my next piece I will probably return to slamming the current administration, but for now let me appeal to you as a person. We have to be the difference! The standards we have for those meant to represent our beliefs and positions should be twice as stringent as those we place on others. We are judged by the company we keep both personally and politically.

 

 

 

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Non-Stop Gaffe Riot

Presidential politics.

It’s about as close as you can get to A Game Of Thrones in America. Tricks. Political feints. Lies. These elections bring out all of it. While the stuff that gets play on the television is already enough to make us long for an emperor, the truly wicked remains largely unknown. Yes, now and then there are twitter scandals, but most of the nasty stays out of the public eye.

So when I heard one Todd Akin let slip his actual feelings about rape and it’s impact on the abortion issue I had the same reaction everyone else had.

We can make a handfull of these but we can’t figure out a simpler tax code?

Really? Really? What does legitimate rape mean?

And then I promptly went back to my day. I mean who has time for this when there are way more important things. For starters, have you ever seen an aircraft carrier? It’s like a million tons of metal, sits about 80% out of the water, and carries billions of dollars in military aircraft? HOW DOES IT FLOAT?!?!?! I mean, yeah, I get the theoretical mechanics, but that’s probably just scientific flim flam.

Anyway, I thought Akin would quit, but he’s decided to double down and make the race about abortion. Truly this will be a most entertaining election, but I don’t vote in Missouri, so what I think about the matter doesn’t carry much weight and I can’t do worse than the court of public opinion. So instead I started thinking about gaffes and how truly petty they are. All of them.

Remember when Barack Obama said small business owners don’t earn their money?

How about when Mitt Romney said corporations are people?

Didn’t Joe Biden say something about chains last week?

All of these comments became 10 second sound bites for the talking heads to analyze. Politicians blather on and on about all kinds of stuff, but the pundits like to pick the most incendiary (and often least important) parts to explain to us. While I always appreciate being told how I should feel about something I can clearly hear myself, I’m at the point where I mistrust all television news.

All these comments are taken out of context. Most “gaffes” are. Many of them, like Mr. Akin’s, seem awful in their full context. Others are more… complicated. Not that it matters because we’re trained to pass up the entire message in exchange for our own visceral reaction.

Obviously I’m not talking about the well-read politicos that argue the finer points of international policy or even those folks that read THE ENTIRE ARTICLE of more than one site when learning about an issue. This is reserved for the “heard it in the background while watching FOX/MSNBC and cleaning my gun/vegetable garden” crowd.

Am I defending Mr. Akin? Absolutely not. Any way you slice that statement, he either said some rape isn’t actually rape or he implied women lie about rape at least some of the time. And the stuff about women’s bodies doing whatever he thought they did to stop unwanted pregnancy was bananas.

No, I’m saying that the reason we have so many gaffes, so often, is because people are fallible, cameras are everywhere and the internet makes sure that all secrets are just funny things waiting to be discovered.

Imagine, if you will, that you have one 3×5 notecard to relay to the world the most important thing you’ve ever had to say. You’ve been given a single black sharpie and been informed that you have 10 minutes to write it and whatever is on the card is what everyone in the world will find out about.

That’s about the size of public speaking in politics. Whatever you say, whether you accidentally cough mid-sentence or have low blood sugar, is what the people will hear.

When I consider how often I misspeak or even incorrectly fill out paperwork I’m not so surprised that candidates actually say the wrong thing from time to time. Now throw in the pressure of party leadership, media demagogues, and a news cycle that sways from side to side like a WVU student.

No soundbite, no matter how damning, can tell you everything about a candidate or his position. Odds are the politician is more nuanced than whatever 20 words were picked up by the media machine.

So I guess what I’m saying is make sure you look into that condemning quote before you make your judgement… or just ignore it altogether and pay attention to something that’s actually important.

For instance, can anyone tell me why this is happening? I’ve brought it up before, but can someone actually explain to me how this headline is possible? If the GOP figures it out there will be a titanic shift in politics. And if you didn’t feel like clicking on the linky-link I’ve posted the funniest thing I’ve seen today below.

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Avengers Reassemble…in 2 Years

 

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

 

The theatrical release for Marvel’s second chapter in the Avengers saga has been set.  The film will open May 1, 2015.  At this moment I am very excited for this movie. Over the course of two plus years my opinion may change, but I doubt it.  I can see myself now flying to the theater in my hover car, because my jet pack is in the shop.  Oh the many changes we will experience before we get to see this block buster sequel.

The world will end…or it won’t:

The Aztecs, the Maya, that dude with the cardboard sign in front of the mall they all say the world will end 12/21/12.  Numerous books and  terrible straight to DVD movies have foretold of great disasters that could end life on this planet before this cinematic masterpiece debuts. Unless of course you factor leap year.

We will have a new president…or we won’t

On November 6th 2012 Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will square off in the least interesting election to date.  When we see the Avengers 2 one of them will be President and the other one will not.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

All of the Avengers characters will have solo films…except the Hulk…and Hawkeye.

Thor, Captain America and Iron Man will all appear in solo outings in the years leading up to the Avengers 2.  I would love to see some kind of Nick Fury film in the interim.  The last attempt was a made for TV film starring David Hasselhoff.  If you have not seen it do yourself a favor-Don’t.

Technology from Back to the Future 2 will still remain unavailable

The second installment of the Back to the Future franchise showed us an impossible future filled with exciting and exotic versions of everyday items. The year was 2015!! While some of these are expected to be available by 2015 (auto lacing Nike tennis shoes, 2015 mustang) some are no where near ready. I’m looking at you hover board!

The DC and Marvel Comic Universes will be rebooted 368 more times.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

In an effort to encourage new readers the two biggest comic book publishers will make drastic changes to tried and true characters(as apposed to creating new ones…seriously when was the last new hero introduced? 1974??).  Expect more heroes coming out of the closet and more time traveling paternity confusion than a whole season of The Maury Povich Show.

A lot may happen in our world in the next 2 years.  Will there even still be movie theaters? Will all content be delivered to some type of box attached to our heads? Will we all finally rise up against $8 buckets of popcorn and $20 3d movie tickets? Who knows.  What I do know is this- As long as there is a new Avengers movie on the first of May 2015, it’s gonna be a great day!

 

 

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Hope, Change, And Growing Pains

Yes We Can?

My grandmother sent me an email last week with a hip, new video about electing Barack Obama. If you can’t tell, I use “hip” ironically. It’s not a huge surprise that my grandmother, an elderly African American swept away by Obama fever four years ago, would still want to help engage the youth. I’m sure this email, with “Fw: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: FW:” proceeding the subject title, is an attempt to cut through the cynicism that seems to enshroud my generation’s political efficacy.

Maybe that cynicism is the reason this video feels forced and embarrassingly generic. Also, is it just me or does that guy accidentally sniff that girl’s butt at 0:54?

Watching “Take Us Forward” makes me feel the same way watching Austin Powers 2 made me feel–uncomfortable. I’m simultaneously struck by mild humiliation and a profound sadness with roots in a more genuine video that came out in the 2008 Democratic primary.

I would be lying if I said this video didn’t win me over. These four minutes turned me from a Hillary supporter to an Obama voter during my junior year of college. I told folks that I changed because of the policy differences, but looking back, I really flipped because Barack Obama was bold enough to hope to tackle our problems, eloquent enough to express the boundlessness of American potential without sounding jingoistic, and fortunate enough to have Will.I.Am put his thoughts to lyrical verse.

I was transformed by those three simple words.

Watching the video now, Mr. Obama and Kate Walsh cut through my political doubt in seconds. But below that is a painful dissonance. A voice in the back of my mind whispers, you are not the man we thought you were.

How did this youthful candidate become synonymous with raining death from above with UAV drone strikes? Are there clues in this video that Obama administration transparency would be Bush-like in its execution?

Is this what happens when the idealist comes to power?

Was it a constant chorus of “no” from the political opposition that ended “yes we can?”

Was the job so complicated, so full of secrets the public doesn’t know, that he couldn’t dare maintain his hopeful agenda?

Was it the dream of a second term that tempered the fire he stirred?

Even my questions sound like apologies on his behalf. Maybe Barack Obama underestimated how much ugly there is between the spaces of misunderstanding that define our political reality.

Don’t mistake my meaning. I love Barack Obama in spite of his flaws and missteps. He has, arguably, the most difficult and demanding job in the entire world, made more complicated by hyper-partisan gridlock and the racist overtures of a country coming to terms with its first black president. I weep for what the man could have accomplished if the economy hadn’t tanked right before he took office.

But that dissonance I feel comes from the loss of hope. For a few months Barack Obama made us believers. His audacity and, dare I say naivete, made us all innocent again.

And “Yes We Can” reminds us, with heavy hearts, that the last four years have been the loss of that innocence.

I believe, somewhere under the mountain of cash and talking points, most candidates run for office because they want to do good. Each of them, at some time, feels what Barack Obama made many of us feel during his first run for the presidency.

But I suspect, somewhere along the road to the presidency, too many secrets are created to keep that hope alive. As more and more of a candidate’s time is given to raising money and fighting the PR war it seems like there’s little opportunity to fulfill the dreams of those early days.

It’s oddly poetic that Will.I.Am’s inspiring refrain is replaced with the painfully forced “Take Us Forward”

Guess the dream was deferred after all.

The uncomfortable truth about growing up is that we often compromise our values to get shit done. Barack Obama has become the avatar for a generation of kids who grew up between 2009 and now. And maybe my cynicism is showing, but I’ll be voting for the president less because I dare to hope we can be the kind of country we deserve, and more because it’s the pragmatic choice.

Grumble grumble. Adulthood sucks.

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