With her 13-hour filibuster to block Texas’s beyond-archaic SB5 anti-abortion bill, state senator Wendy Davis instantly rocketed from impressive political up-and-comer to the Internet’s favorite feminist icon. And with that newfound icon status comes many, many expressions of (largely virtual) admiration and appreciation. Tributes to Davis in the days following her truly epic marathon speech have ranged from celebrity nods to Amazon review bombing, celebrating her as a bright spot in a battle that it’s depressing to be waging in the first place. We’ve collected the best of them to enjoy while Davis brings the fight to today’s Texas legislature special session, called by endlessly frustrating Governor Rick Perry. Hopefully she’ll bring the baby dragon someone helpfully photoshopped onto her shoulder. … Read More
As I watched the new season of Arrested Development, I was immediately stricken by Terry Crews’ bizarre politician Herbert Love,… Read More
She might become a news anchor. She might host a game show. She might fall in love with a burly stalker who builds her a Jacuzzi and saves her from a gang of Kalashnikov-toting itinerants in eastern Russia. Most predictions about the future of Michele Bachmann, the divisive Minnesota congresswoman who announced this week that she would not run for re-election in 2014, are rife with reasons to gasp and grimace.
The same might be said about Fires of Siberia, a romance novel inspired by Bachmann’s public persona, released on Wednesday by artist Paul Chan’s e-book imprint Badlands Unlimited. The book centers around the plight of Danielle Powers, a conservative Republican senator whose campaign-season trip from Seoul to Moscow is interrupted when a plane crash leaves her and a mysterious fellow survivor named Steadman Bass stranded in the Siberian wilderness. … Read More
In his riveting new documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, director Alex Gibney (the prolific Oscar winner behind Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer) tells two stories: the thriller-like ascendency of the organization and the troubling questions it asks about government transparency, and the crumbling of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, which plays like something out of Greek tragedy — the transformation of an admirable idealist to a paranoid propagandist, injecting his own legal woes into the lofty aims of his organization, and conflating them. Gibney was unable to procure an interview with Assange; “Julian wanted money,” Gibney explains in the film, though Assange was willing to exchange his interview for information on the other people Gibney was talking to. (UPDATE: The organization has disputed this claim. Mr. Gibney notes that they’re working from an “incomplete and inaccurate transcript based on non-final version.”) The filmmaker refused, and We Steal Secrets has been under fire from Wikileaks supporters since it was unveiled at Sundance last January. I asked Gibney about that backlash, the importance of the story, and related troubling matters of transparency in the Obama administration. … Read More
Last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner offered President Barack Obama the opportunity to poke fun at Washington, Republicans, his detractors, and himself. The event started in 1920 and has transformed into a bit of a roast, with the chance to see some of the funniest comedians and biggest stars all in one spot. Conan O’Brien hosted the ceremonies, but the President wins our vote for funniest of the evening. Last night was no Amy Poehler and Tina Fey at the Golden Globes (hint, hint), but here are five of the funniest moments from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. … Read More
As you’ve no doubt heard, Margaret Thatcher died this morning, leading to a flood of internet coverage of her divisive years in power and her legacy. The serious commentary is best left to our friends across the Atlantic (if you’re after such, we recommend David Stubbs’ coruscating obituary for the The Quietus.) We’ll limit ourselves to a survey of how the Thatcher era manifested in popular culture — and for all that plenty of outlets have published articles today about anti-Thatcher songs, etc., the truth is rather more nuanced — for every “Margaret on the Guillotine” or “The Day That Thatcher Dies,” there’s a Thatcherite pop star waiting in the wings. Anyway, here’s a brief look at how the Thatcher years and the woman herself have been depicted in popular culture, both at the time and the benefit of hindsight. … Read More
Chile’s first shot at Oscar gold comes in the form of a comedy-drama that revisits the marketing campaign that helped oust Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1988. Directed by Pablo Larrain, No stars Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal as René, a hotshot ad guy enlisted by the opposition to spearhead the “No” (that is, anti-Pinochet) campaign. Employing rainbows, imagery you’d find in 1980s Pepsi commercials, and the tagline “Chile, happiness is on its way,” the opposition’s ridiculously lightweight messaging appears to convince the country’s majority that “no” is the way to go. … Read More
In this photo snapped earlier today by White House photographer Pete Souza, President Obama and Mitt Romney are shaking hands in the Oval Office, presumably after lunching on white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad in the private dining room. We’re curious to know what you think was going through each of… Read More
Those of us who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to watch Barack Obama’s victory speech had to find a way to kill time. Almost two hours passed between the first news organizations’ projections that the president had been re-elected and Mitt Romney’s concession speech. From 11:15 to 12:55, we amused ourselves by switching channels to The Daily Show, pouring ourselves another round of celebratory drinks, watching Karl Rove try to convince Fox News that the election wasn’t over — and scanning Twitter to see how our favorite famous Republicans were taking the defeat.
Of course, Donald Trump was the popular punching bag: Half of this writer’s Twitter feed was taken up by liberals RTing his temper tantrum. On NBC, Brian Williams observed that Trump “has driven well past the exit to irrelevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible.” But The Donald isn’t the only famous Republican who’s been flipping out on Twitter. Among the sore losers, perhaps the most bizarre and entertaining is Ted Nugent, who went full-on Book of Revelation this morning, with some harsh words for the “pimps whores & welfare brats” and “subhuman varmints” he believes make up Obama’s constituency. Read his rant — and be grateful this guy didn’t get to pick our next president — below. … Read More
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Flavorpill HQ isn’t exactly a 24/7 Mitt Romney convention. In fact, it’s safe to say that, while we tend to keep our editorial focus on culture, most of us are hoping the former Massachusetts governor will be out of the news by the end of the week. But before he is, we couldn’t resist scouring Etsy for the weirdest DIY Romney-related merchandise available for purchase — and, as always, the site delivered. From Democratic parodies to tributes lovingly crafted by his fans to things we had trouble pegging as one or the other, here’s what we found. If anything strikes your fancy (or tickles your funny bone), be sure to buy it now, because it might not be around tomorrow. … Read More