Barack Obama

“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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Bill O’Reilly Driven Crazy by ‘Between Two Ferns’ and Beyoncé

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly are, at this point in modern television, low-hanging fruit. If you want to find someone who adeptly creates outrage out of nothing, look no further than O’Reilly. Despite trying to rebrand himself as a popular historian in recent years with his books about the deaths of Jesus, Lincoln, and JFK, he has always made a career out of being angry at whatever popular left-leaning folks — from President Obama to George Clooney — are doing. The guy is easily offended, at least for the sake of good TV, and in turn creates controversy to piss off the people who hate-watch him. It’s a vicious circle, indeed, and this week he’s found his typical ire in the familiar (Obama) and the unexpected (Beyoncé). … 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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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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