Politics

“It’s Gonna Be May”: The Unexpected Drawbacks of Barack Obama’s Hip Social Media Presence

A few times a year, the Internet bestows upon us unofficial holidays of the kind that merit a couple of well-crafted memes, though never a day off work. There’s Unofficial Mean Girls Day, the anniversary of Aaron asking Cady the date, which also happens to be my birthday (“It’s October 3rd”). There’s the Perfect Date, which Miss Rhode Island told us lies on April 25. And then there’s April 30, a national day of mourning for Justin Timberlake’s ramen noodle-like 2000 hairdo as it appears in ‘NSYNC’s video for “It’s Gonna Be Me.” A day that the President of the United States’ social media team decided to join in on this year. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Obama’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ Appearance Is a Reminder of Everything That’s Great About Obama

It seems rather unprecedented, I suppose, for the President of the United States to shoot a funny Internet video with an absurdist comic. Could you imagine, perhaps, Ronald Reagan joking around with Andy Kaufman? So I expect President Barack Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis will cause more than a few grumbles among those who make their living as talking heads for right-leading media outlets. But at this point, when the relationship between American politics and the entertainment media has become so symbiotic, is it a surprise at all?  … Read More

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Amanda Palmer Compares Macklemore Backlash to ’12 Years a Slave,’ Is Wrong as Usual

Walking, talking think-piece Amanda Palmer has a knack for insinuating herself into the cultural conversation: just when you think she might have finally gone away, she returns like a persistent odor. Her latest trick, if you missed it last night, was to conflate the message of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave with, um, the reaction to Macklemore winning a bunch of Grammys. If this makes no sense to you, well, you’re not the only one — but, loath as I am to give Palmer any more attention than she already has, it’s worth looking at this further, because it demonstrates some wider points about the way we approach questions of race and identity politics in America. … Read More

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Martin Bashir Resigns, But Why Are We Still Listening to Sarah Palin?

Inexplicably enough, Sarah Palin, a sorta-politician who ran a state for a little while and participated in a miserable failure of a presidential campaign five years ago, is in the news again. This time, it’s thanks to MSNBC host Martin Bashir, who took issue with Palin’s jaw-droppingly boneheaded comparison of slavery and the national debt. In doing so, he deployed an ill-advised metaphor of his own, setting off a firestorm of criticism and, ultimately, his own resignation yesterday. Bashir’s comments were a major screw-up, of course, and more on that later. But what no one’s asking is the more obvious question: why are we listening to a know-nothing, powerless partisan hack like Sarah Palin in 2013 to begin with? … Read More

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Bill de Blasio and the Politics of Lorde’s “Royals”

Well, Internet, we did it: New York’s next mayor is a Lorde fan. Mouths dropped open across the city last night as Bill de Blasio took the stage at the Park Slope Armory YMCA in Brooklyn to deliver his victory speech… to the unmistakable, minimalist finger-snap percussion of “Royals.” Without even thinking, I tweeted, “OK, de Blasio walks on to ‘Royals’? I mean,” as similar observations flooded my feed. “You wanted ‘La Marseillaise’?” replied Alec MacGillis of The New Republic. In fact, shared lyrical imagery of blood and tigers aside, Lorde’s song might be almost as revolutionary a choice. … Read More

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The Internet’s Best Responses to the Government Shutdown (So Far)

Happy Day 11 of the Government Shutdown, everybody! Here’s hoping you’re one of the lucky ones who’s been able to spend the time just enjoying an epic run of Daily Shows, as opposed to, y’know, losing your paycheck with no end in sight while a bunch of Tea Party assholes crow about how unessential you are, but I digress. In this period of anger and frustration, we flock to our Internet, and thankfully, in our time of need, our Internet has not let us down. Here are a few of the sites, writers, and savvy Web folks who have come through for us. … Read More

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