Posts tagged ‘media’

December 10, 2010

Politics and Outrage: 12/09/10

by V
via David Horsey

via David Horsey

Management would like to introduce a segment called Politics and Outrage. This segment will link newsworthy items along with commentary. We SHOULD care about the news. We hope this segment will spark lively discussion in the comments.

This segment will run as often as V will write it for us.

Fox News advocates murder and assassination on air — This is mostly a video, and at first I was only going to show the YouTube link, but I liked what the blogger had to say about the video. Nothing like calls for murder and the stifling of free speech to start your day, right Faux Fox?

Sign of the Devil…or perhaps just encouragement — Apparently, some people (and school officials) in a Utah town dislike the idea of their elementary school kids seeing the word, “suicide” on someone’s signs on their own private property. At first, this makes sense. Until you stop and think for a moment, and realize that even elementary school kids can and have committed suicide before (although perhaps not necessarily for THIS purpose) and the man has his eye on the future — starting positive messages NOW rather than waiting until its already too late.

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October 11, 2010

The Modern Bully: Someone Else’s Problem

by d

Nerd VennWe have this image, in our collective consciousness, of what a bully looks like. It’s a kid, usually a boy, often larger than the other children. He will be either rich and athletic and perfect, or flawed, stupid and angry. Either way, he needs to make himself feel better. He needs to make other people feel worse. So he finds the weakest, and he destroys them. Or he finds those who threaten his position and he wears away at them until they are no longer a threat. The he continues just because he can.

The female bully has gained less notoriety because she is more subtle. Sometimes she takes the imposing form of the large, angry boy, but usually she is a social climber. She wants to be popular; if she is popular, she wants to stay there. She has learned that it is easier to destroy others than to depend on your own good qualities. So she spreads rumors and cuts down other children when they least expect it. She sows seeds. She speaks in a coded language fraught with layered meaning. She does not need to use her fists. Movies like Mean Girls acknowledged that this creature exists, and how she operates.

It is easy to recognize a child or teenager who bruises his fellow classmates. Women can always tell when another female is targeting someone. But bullying has changed, and it continues to do so at lightning speed. 

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July 9, 2010

Imagine, a newspaper!

by d

A Liberal! God spare him from overeducated women! What had that vicar been thinking, letting his daughter read the newspaper? She shouldn’t even know the difference between Liberals and Conservatives.

From Where Roses Grow Wild by Patricia Cabot, set in 1860 England.

July 7, 2010

Congrats Mikhaela, we will miss you!

by d

Mikhaela E. Reade is one of my favorite political cartoonists. For the past eight years she has blogged weekly cartoons eviscerating the stupid, racist, sexist, homophobic, right-wing, trickle-down Reaganomics bullshit that goes on in the world. She’s been published in newspapers, magazines, and online, has won awards and was even elected Vice-President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

She’s currently on hiatus, simplifying her life and taking time to regroup. Oh, and she and her husband have just had the most adorable little girl, born last month. As my mother says, life moves in phases, and you focus on different things at different times. We want to wish Mikhaela, Masheka, and Baby Z well.

Meantime, here are some excellent Mikhaela comics for you to enjoy. And please consider buying her book, as that would certainly help them with baby expenses.

View her whole archive on Flickr.

Thanks for the comics, Mikhaela. We look forward to hearing from you again!

July 6, 2010

Secret Life: Adrian, you are cleared for take-off. Please breathe deeply and count to one hundred.

by d

Adrian with Amy's son, John

Another week, another round of craptastic ABC Family programming! My TiVo’s already filling up.

So, Adrian is having the abortion tomorrow. Her father is still opposed, but he seems to have come to his senses by episode’s end. He’s no longer threatening to break the family up. Ben is still waffling about what his role in this should be. HIS father insists that he should go to the clinic. Adrian doesn’t want this (or says she doesn’t), but I know that if I were in her shoes I wouldn’t be keen on the idea, either. They weren’t dating, it was an idiotic one-off thing.

(Perhaps the show’s arguing that idiotic one-off things are how you make mistakes. Amy & Ricky? One time at bandcamp = baby. Mr. & Mrs. Juergens one-off divorce sex = baby. Adrian & Ben = baby. The only ones to escape this pattern are Grace and Jock Boy. But her dad died, so she got her comeuppance. Still waiting on his.)

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July 5, 2010

Gratuitous Man Video: Old Spice Guy returns!

by d

It’s a little soon for us to be repeating ourselves, but, damn it, this is call for celebration. The Old Spice Guy is back!

And he’s on a motorcycle.

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July 4, 2010

Pretty Little Liars – Inoffensive? How’d that happen?

by d

Forgive my delays, I have TiVo. I just watched episode 4, and I felt it was pretty mild. The tension was fairly low throughout, and nothing leapt out at me as blatantly bad. That makes this a great point write an intro to the series itself.

Billed as Desperate Housewives for teens, PLL was born in the marketing department, then shopped to writers and TV studios. I haven’t heard good things about the books, but the show seems to be taking off.

Like DH, PLL is set in a pretty little suburban town. Like DH, our primary characters were a group of five friends that has been cut down to four. We knew Mary Alice was dead–she shot her brain out. But no one ever found Allison’s body, she just  went missing. Now, a year after her disappearance, her four remaining friends are getting mysterious–and dangerous–messages from someone who signs themselves as “A” and knows secrets only Allison could know. A appears to be stalking them–creepily appropriate messages are delivered at just the right moment, mere minutes, or even seconds, after things take place. It begins with text messages, then branches out to letter, radio dedications, items left in strange places, and, at the end of tonight’s episode, a message on a mirror in Allison’s favorite lipstick.

Each girl has her own terrible secret going. If her friends know, she doesn’t want anyone else to.

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July 3, 2010

Wonder Woman – Should we just move on?

by d

"Booth, I don't actually squint."

Something about Wonder Woman sticks in the public consciousness. She’s part of the DC’s big three–Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. Plenty of little girls like her–even literalist Dr. Temperance Brennan on Bones likes her enough to dress up as her for Halloween. There are TV shows, animated movies, comics… and yet she’s never really caught on.

The reasons why are enough to make a feminist despair. Over on Topless Robot, Alicia Ashby has made a top ten list that sums it up all too well. To summarize, she’s basically Superman with boobs, a skimpier costume, crappy tools, and no iconic story. Even worse, her creator had a thing for bondage; the early comics are full of fetish material.

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July 3, 2010

First Impressions: Huge

by d

When I saw the previews for Huge, I knew ABC Family had taken on something rough. The protagonist, played by Nikki Blonsky, hates the fat camp she’s been sent to, and makes no bones about it. “Wow,” I thought, “How are they going to play a pro-body/pro-fat message while we have a national obesity epidemic on our hands?”

What I know about so-called fat camps isn’t great. Kids (sometimes adults) are sent to a closed environment to lose weight, through enforced diet and exercise. Better programs will also address psychological issues and provide counseling. They’re controversial, with detractors saying they’re too harsh, unhealthy, and have poor success rates, or that campers gain the weight back after they leave. Others consider it a sort of tough-love, life-changing push toward health. Data is still be collected, so there isn’t yet a definitive answer. (My guess is that, like most things, the approach works for some people and not for others.)

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June 29, 2010

TV Time: Secret Life Soap Drama

by d

I just finished watching Episode 4, Season 3, of Secret Life of the American Teenager. I was already resolved to write about this show, and this episode, but I’m having trouble getting started. I’m still reeling from the next-to-last encounter.

Essentially, a father just told his pregnant daughter that if she doesn’t have the baby, he’s going to divorce her mother and dismantle their family.

If you haven’t been watching, Secret Life is a show on ABC Family that insists its intention is to depict teen pregnancy in a realistic light. I have watched from the beginning, because I was curious. I like the mix of characters, the writing and acting aren’t terrible, and it’s fairly funny. I also have a sick fascination with Hollywood’s ongoing aversion to abortion. The obvious reason for this is that a baby creates more drama than not having a baby. But doing so both panders to anti-abortion opinion and strengthens the idea that babies are better in the audience.

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