Barack Obama

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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Top Five Funniest Moments from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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

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10 Celebrities’ Favorite Children’s Books

If you’re a fan of children’s books (or ever were), today is the day to brush them off and take a new look. That’s right, International Children’s Book Day, which falls every year on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. To celebrate the day, we recommend curling up with a good picture book. If you need any suggestions, check out the favorite kids’ books of ten famous readers after the jump. What’s your favorite children’s book? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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10 Politicians and Their Fictional Pop Culture Doppelgängers

Sunday night, viewers of History’s hit miniseries The Bible (haven’t read the book; does the show work as a standalone?) were given their first look at Satan — and several immediately took to Twitter, pointing out what they saw as a marked resemblance to the President. Good ol’ Glenn Beck led the way, tweeting “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on HIstory (sic) Channel looks exactly like That Guy?” (Beck apparently uses “That Guy” as a substitute for Obama, whose name he refuses to say, because Glenn Beck is a child.) Though the show’s producers have dismissed the connection, we’ve gotta say — he’s kind of a dead ringer. On the other hand, politicians are so ubiquitous that it’s pretty easy to find resemblances in pop culture. Don’t believe us? Here’s a few more examples. … Read More

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10 Bizarre Political Ads We Can’t Believe Are Real

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

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