Barack Obama

Flavorwire’s Holiday Gift Guide: 50 Gifts for 50 Cultural Icons

Everyone knows that the holidays are a time for tradition, so here’s one of Flavorwire‘s long-time favorites: doling out gifts to some of contemporary culture’s biggest and boldest icons. Whether they’re dead or alive, naughty or nice, whether they’ve been a cultural touchstone for five decades or five minutes — everyone deserves presents this time of year, right? So with that in mind, click through to find the perfect gift for the Miley Cyrus, Joss Whedon, or J-Law in your life. You know you’ve got… Read More

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The Fascinatingly Flexible Political Subtext of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Catching Fire, the second film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy (a trilogy which, true to their current style, Hollywood is adapting into four films), arrives on screen with the confidence of a film that knows it’s going to gross a bajillion dollars. It is a brisk, exciting, well-acted entertainment, and those elements, in addition to the built-in audience of Collins’ voracious readers, are the most logical explanation for the franchise’s massive popularity. But in viewing the two films back-to-back this week, another theory seems worth mentioning as well: the series’ political subtext, which is present and potent, yet flexible enough to latch on to the ideology of your choice. The Hunger Games is “political” without actually having to stand for anything. … Read More

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African-American Film Isn’t Having a Renaissance: Harvey Weinstein and the Myth of the “Obama Effect”

Earlier this week, while on record with the entertainment blog The Wrap, Hollywood producer and power-player Harvey Weinstein blithely declared, “It’s a great moment [for black films]… Hopefully it signals, with President Obama, a renaissance. He’s erasing racial lines. It is the Obama effect. It’s a better country. What a great thing.” … Read More

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10 of Ellen DeGeneres’s Most Brilliant Moments

Yesterday, Ellen DeGeneres announced on Twitter that she would be hosting the 2013 Oscar ceremony. While everyone’s first thought might have been “thank goodness it’s not Seth MacFarlane,” their second thought was probably “don’t you love Ellen?” Well, it’s hard not to, considering all the awesome she tends to bring to the table. So to get you psyched for the show, page through some of DeGeneres’s most brilliant public moments, from the serious to the silly (because hey, both can be brilliant). Check them out after the jump, and be sure to add any of your favorites that might be missing here in the comments. … Read More

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Wake Up, Book World: Obama’s Amazon Visit Isn’t Just Bad for Publishers and Bookstores

Today in Chattanooga, TN, President Obama will visit a two-year-old Amazon fulfillment center to outline his “better bargain for the middle class.” He will use the company that hosted him as an example of how our country might start working again, no doubt mentioning the 5000 new jobs that Amazon will be adding to demonstrate how the economy is supposedly on the upswing in the USA. This has caused a few friends of mine who work in various corners of the publishing industry, from editors at big publishing houses to indie booksellers, to voice their unease about the president palling around with a company that the publishing world considers the real-life equivalent of Star Wars‘ Galactic Empire. Even though there’s nothing more American than the go-getter capitalist spirit that promotes competition in order to give the American public what they want at a price they can afford, Amazon routinely engages in behavior that book people see as bad business, and bad for business. Check out the most recent round of prices slashed almost literally in half, on some of the biggest bestsellers of the last year. … Read More

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The All-Time Greatest Ayn Rand Takedowns

Over the weekend, Salon published an excerpt from Chris Kluwe’s forthcoming Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, in which the author succinctly explains the problem (as he sees it) with Rand’s worldview, as manifested in John Galt. If you’re even an occasional visitor to this space, you probably know how Flavorwire feels about the creator of Objectivism. So without further ado, a collection of some of the greatest Ayn Rand takedowns in recent memory. … Read More

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The Most Uncomfortable Portrayals of Celebrities in Art [NSFW]

Celebrities are voracious connoisseurs of art (even Beyoncé loves art history), and are among the few people in this world who can actually afford to collect it, so it makes sense that celebrities often appear as the subjects of artworks. Of course, that’s not to say they always inspire flattering portraits. The recent $1.9 million sale of artist John Currin’s 1991 nude portrait of Golden Girl Bea Arthur has inspired Flavorwire to round up the most awkward portrayals of celebrities in art, from politicians in the buff and doused in urine to installation art, sculpture, and a certain former president’s wet and wild self-portrait. … Read More

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