Culture

Was Patricia Arquette’s Wage Equality Speech a Planned Infomercial?

By on 2.23.15 | 5:07PM

As is typical of this sort of "day after a major Hollywood event," you'll be seeing an Oscar recap from me soon enough. You will, no doubt, be impressed with how I deftly handled Patricia Arquette's decision to use her acceptance speech to declare war on America's non-existent wage gap problem, and the audience's fawning response, unaware as they were that they were applauding a lecture on income inequality given by a woman worth a reported $24 million, wearing a dress and jewelry that cost more than most people's homes, and clutching an award she won for being paid hansomely to act like herself in a film. 

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Culture Vultures

Five Hours of Oscars

By 2.23.15

I valiantly tried to avoid the Oscars, because that’s what sensible people do. Why force myself to watch millionaires award themselves fake prizes after a nonsensical campaign period that favors the politically connected over the popular, only to be randomly lectured on my of compassion for the downtrodden they haven’t seen since they realized they were unqualified for any job that required real thought when I already get enough of that covering politics every day? 

I do it, America, because I care. And because, at least, the people are prettier. In theory. Aaron Schock excepted, probably.

At any rate, last night, America was subjected to the five long hours of The Oscars, the last in a series of Hollywood events that coddle the fragile egos of our entertainers, lest they realize that we could easily live without them, if only we brought back traveling circus freak shows. Circus freaks are, after all, a genial bunch, and the miserable collection of Hollywood elite are only happy when gifted a golden statuette for their “brave” and “uncompromising” performance as an ugly person with real problems.

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Rep. Steve Cohen Jealous of Sarah Palin’s SNL Invite

By on 2.16.15 | 12:58PM

Last night, Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 years on the air, presumably because, given the ten more years required to reach a real milestone, everyone's pickled livers would have given out, rendering the show forced to celebrate it's awkward 1980s downturn instead of it's 1970s heyday. In attendance were some of the show's brightest stars, celebrities who've made multiple hosting appearances, iconic musical acts and Sarah Palin.

It's understandable, of course, that the show would welcome it's most famous target, especially since Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression is almost inseperable from most people's idea of who Sarah Palin actually is. Sarah, for her part, wore her daughter's dress and poked fun at herself in a way very few politicians are able to do. But while her appearance generally suprised and delighted audiences, at least one sitting Congressional representative was incensed that she snagged an invite while his got lost in the mail.

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Should We Regulate Leggings Worn As Pants?

By on 2.12.15 | 5:11PM

Yesterday, Montana seemed poised to become the first state in the nation to ban yoga pants because, apparently, Montana's male elected leaders were having a hard time focusing with all these leggings-clad women meandering about, distracting them. At least, ostensibly. 

The real bill, Montana H.R. 365, which is tabled in committee and will likely die there, was authored in response to a "nude bicycle ride" that got under the skin, pun intended, of David Moore, a Montana rep. The bill was patently unclear as to what it actually banned, but didn't specifically target yoga pants or, for that matter, my cultural arch nemesis, leggings worn as pants. It just happened that David Moore, when asked whether the bill would, in fact, ban the wearing of yoga pants in public, decided to make a very controversial statement.

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Media Rewriting Obama’s Prayer Breakfast “Crusades” Speech to No Avail

By on 2.9.15 | 12:38PM

By now, the Internet has thoroughly handled our fair President's National Prayer Breakfast speech, which compared the rise of radical Islam to the Crusades undertaken to recapture the Holy Land, in an argument that exhibits the type of intellectual gravitas normally seen in an inspirational email signature quote. Punch-drunk on his own moral superiority, the President lectured a room full of people who had since adeptly handled the crisis of violent Medieval Christians and, unlike their ISIS "bretheren" are not still wandering about in the desert setting fire to people in cages, on how their respective religions' darkest times, found mostly in history books the President clearly does not read, are just as deplorable. Unless, perhaps, that burning caged man has a carbon footprint.

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Michelle Obama Says Ditch Your Boxed Mac & Cheese

By on 2.9.15 | 12:06PM

It's Monday, which means if, like me, you haven't grocery shopped since last Monday, you're either eating leftovers, take out or Kraft macaroni and cheese, that delicious miracle of chemistry that perfectly approximates what real macaroni and cheese would taste like if we ran out of cows. 

I'm just kidding, obviously. According to the company's website, Kraft Mac & Cheese is not only "The Cheesiest" mac and cheese type product out there, it's also "part of a balanced meal," if you add in some veggies and force your child to drink milk. The pasta is good, solid carbohydrates, and while the cheese powder is initially a little confusing, it can't possibly be worse than anything their parents ingested in the 1970s, as part of a television dinner or otherwise. But because the box meal is enjoyable, practical, low-cost, filling and nutritionally viable, it has clearly come under fire from the White House, whose matriarch has banned it from the kitchen outright.

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Debbie and Sheila’s Night Out at the Grammys

By on 2.9.15 | 11:28AM

I'll be rounding up the highlights from last night's Grammy Awards a bit later, but suffice it to say, if you didn't watch it, you missed very little. As is tradition, we all got an eye-full of Madonna's rear end, questioned whether Kim Kardashian's dress was set to stay on for the whole night, were reminded that there was once such a thing as "rock and roll" but everyone who was involved in it can barely remember where they put their Metamucil, and that despite our best efforts at outlawing torture in this country, Ariana Grande still exists.

One unexpected highlight, however, was seeing Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sheila Jackson Lee, best known for haranguing Republicans for their ill treatment of the downtrodden and economically depressed, skating across the red carpet like they belonged there

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Michelle Obama Refuses To Wear Headscarf in Saudi Arabia

By on 1.28.15 | 12:12PM

Yesterday, President Obama and his wife Michelle attended the funeral of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. And while most of the delegation - of all dudes - that met them in the nation's capital was clad in the traditional funeral black (though not the President, who wore navy blue), Michelle Obama dressed in a festive electric blue blouse and patterned coat over pants. And she refused to don the country's requisite headscarf designed to prevent her male compatriots from staring lustily at her hair.

And I have to say, I think the outfit was not only perfect. It was just awesome.

Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.

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On Eve of #MarchforLife, GOP Lawmakers Drop Abortion Bill

By on 1.22.15 | 3:56PM

In politics, you have only so many friends. Part of the great balancing act of being in elected leadership, aside from doing important work while sporting the approximate IQ of an electric toaster oven, is to keep those who are reliabily in your camp happy, while maintaining enough openness to attract those who could, one day, become part of your election campaign. Sometimes, this balancing act is difficult, as with foreign policy - a war-weary America is loathe to involve itself in more Middle Eastern conflicts, while Middle Eastern conflicts still provide the globe with the lion's share of its instability, for example - and sometimes this balancing act is easy  - don't, for example, anger an important key demographic, with a youthful component, on the eve of its most important event of the year. 

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Joe Biden Weighs In On #Deflategate

By on 1.21.15 | 1:22PM

My hopes of ever having a hometown team in the "Big Game" were dashed, oh, right around the time I was born in Detroit. Maybe before. Depends on your feelings in regards to reincarnation. So as far as I'm concerned, the entire concept of a "post-season" in football is alien to me. But it's not alien to everyone else, so Joe Biden, noted Vice President of the United States and REO Speedwagon's most prominent fan, is weighing in on it during his post-SOTU interviews.

At issue: whether the New England Patriots effectively cheated when they slightly deflated footballs used in Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Not at issue: whether Joe Biden thinks about what he's going to say before he vomits it out at an unsuspecting interviewer. In regards to the former? Probably. In regards to the latter: no.

America, Joe Biden likes his balls soft.

Vice President Joe Biden told “CBS This Morning” that he liked catching softer footballs when he was playing.

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