Culture

Justin Bieber Crashes CA Log Cabin Republican Meeting

By on 1.15.15 | 12:57PM

Who says Republicans aren't actively attracting the attention of popular culture? 

Well, me. But at least Justin Bieber is interested, for better or worse. Unconcerned that State Social House's private dining area, the Attic, had already been reserved by the Los Angeles chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans for their annual meeting, Justin Bieber waltzed in and chatted away with a small group of friends while the group discussed gay rights and listened to a talk by Ronald Reagan's personal assistant Peggy Grande. 

He prides himself on being something of a hunk - if his latest Calvin Klein shoot is anything to go by.

So Justin Bieber probably won't take too kindly to being mistaken for a girl when he dined out at one of his favourite restaurants this week.

Jimmy Carter Approves of Your Kids Listening to Beyonce

By on 1.14.15 | 4:21PM

Just in case you were wondering, in addition to Jimmy Carter's bewildering comments about France and Israel, he's also expressed some vocal opposition to Mike Huckabee's theory that Beyonce is tearing at the delicate social fabric that joins our proud nation together. According to Jimmy Carter, whose opinions are still surprisingly interesting to the news media despite his disasterous track record on basically everything except running a non-profit (and that includes peanut farming), the Obamas are not terrible parents because they support their daughters' choices in music. 

Because, obviously.

Former President Jimmy Carter defended Barack Obama's parenting skills Wednesday, after former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee expressed dismay that the President would let his teenage daughters listen to singer Beyoncé.

"I think the President is doing a good job," Carter said when TMZ caught up with him to ask about Huckabee's comments.

Culture Vultures

A Look Down on Your Golden Globes

By 1.13.15

It has come around again, fair readers: that endless season of celebrity self-congratulation known as "Awards Season," wherein the more plebian of us take to our couches with cold gin and sharp criticism to view a seemingly endless parade of beautiful people who were lucky enough to possess so few life skills they ended up in entertainment.

National Zoo Panda Sees Snow for the First Time

By on 1.7.15 | 2:32PM

I don't want to demean the seriousness of today's other news and the discussion we're having about it, but maybe we could all use a little cuteness break today. Everything that's happened is very scary. I'm grateful that there are men and women who fight day in and day out on the front lines to protect me. I'm grateful I have commenters to remind me of that. And I'm grateful that the National Zoo has an adorable panda that likes to play in the snow.

So let's all drop everything and enjoy Bao Bao's first snow day. Because it's fantastic.

You may now resume your regularly scheduled news cycle.

 

Harvard Professors Shocked At Obamacare Rate Hike

By on 1.6.15 | 12:47PM

While we wait for the results in the Great House Republican Insurgency of 2015 (John Boehner looks to have dialed up the orange in his spray tan just for this occasion), how about a little unabashed schadenfreude? 

The faculty of Harvard University, who contributed greatly to the ideas theoretically embodied in the Affordable Care Act, have a Harvard-sponsored healthcare plan, so they were spared the effects of having to choose from the Obamacare marketplace. But that Harvard-sponosred healthcare plan could only be shielded from the nationwide trend of rising healthcare costs for so long. And now, the end is near. And they face the final curtain. And despite an ineffective faculty vote aimed at resisting the dastardly corporate influences now clearly infiltrating their beloved institution, Harvard professors will have to pay more for their plans

PETA Trades Barbs With Palin, Confuses Her With Tina Fey Again

By on 1.5.15 | 12:51PM

Over the New Year's holiday, PETA, which is not typically known for having all of its marbles together in a single place to begin with, lost whatever remains of its collection over a photo of Sarah Palin's son Trig balancing on a rather large dog in order to reach something at counter level in her kitchen. Depsite the fact that the dog was clearly used to it, that the child couldn't not weigh even half of what the dog weighs and that Ellen DeGeneres, PETA's celebrity of the year, posted an almost-identical photo months earlier, PETA insisted that Palin was committing animal abuse. 

Barack Obama Had a Nicer New Years Than You

By on 1.2.15 | 4:50PM

Actually, I had a pretty nice New Years. I availed myself of a five-course tasting menu at a really fantastic restaurant, some decent cocktails and Midnight Mass. 

But, of course, I didn't do it in Hawaii. 

The President, who is wrapping up his 17-day vacation on Oahu, spent New Years with the family, getting shave ice at a neighborhood place with his daughters and snorkeling with the family at Hanauma Bay, a huge inland reef and wildlife sanctuary that is great for beginners, but is usually closed to the public over the holidays. Barack and Michelle then ditched the kids and went for a fifteen-course tasting menu of their own at Hawaii's Vintage Cave, a French-American fine-dining restaurant, "private society" and wine cellar located in a giant shopping mall just down the road from Waikiki beach. The 

Lena Dunham’s Republican Rapist is Probably Not a Republican, Rapist

By on 12.31.14 | 1:38PM

Before I even begin, allow me to apologize. In this article, I am going to have to discuss Lena Dunham's sex life. I realize that the mere mention of Lena Dunham having relations with anyone or anything is enough to scar you, but I want to point out that you read the Spectacle at your own risk and we will not pay for your therapy. 

Anyway, in her book Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham discussed, in surprisingly graphic detail, a sexual assault that she suffered at the hands of the only Oberlin campus Republican that has ever existed. Only, further examination by Breitbart news and others seemed to indicate that, while there was a campus Republican at Oberlin at the the same time Dunham attended, that campus Republican absolutely did not rape her. And the campus Republican was, quite understandably, rather distressed that the suggestion would even be made, and not just because Dunham implied that he'd willingly seen her naked, but because accusing someone of rape is, legally speaking, defamation. 

'Tis the Season

Chinook Winter

By From the December 1997 issue

From our December 1997 issue.

Cody, Wyoming

To write about the weather, you have to be where the weather's interesting, or preferably lethal. Here winter has been punctuated in a cadence of blizzard, dead cold, wild chinook — at twenty below, thin ribbons of smoke from chimneys and exhaust pipes rise upward for what seems a hundred yards or more, finally fading into the cobalt sky. Tires rolling on the frosty pavement make a sound like ripping Velcro, and at night you can just about hear the firmament throbbing. It is the paradox of the frozen: cold brings quiet, yet in the quiet you hear everything. In Wyoming, madmen hear the stars.

Last Call

Christmas Below the Gnat Line

By From the December 2013 issue

I’ll risk cliché by saying it seems like we just did this a few months ago. Cliché perhaps, but true nonetheless. Hours and days last as long as ever, but the years whiz by.This isn’t a complaint. Christmas is joyous and I like it, even with its aggravations. There are fewer of those now as the family is smaller. Attendance at Christmas dinner at chez Thornberry, once a boisterous affair with young and old human celebrants in double figures and numerous dogs probing all perimeters for handouts, has dwindled, in the words of the song, to a precious few. 

But these few are indeed precious. And recognizing this is a good part of what Christmas is for, even though carols, presents, decorations, and parties remain in the forefront of what has been largely a secular celebration. This was the case even before our cultural transmission belts and their keepers went post-everything.

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