Anna Kendrick and the Celebrity Love Affair with Obama

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Anna Kendrick was recently talking with Stephen Colbert, and explained her less-than-respectful interaction with Barack Obama.

While it’s true that Kendrick really was in awe of Obama when she was with him, she definitely had an Eliza Doolittle at the races style response for him when he talked with her.

Yes, that was Kendrick admitting on national television that she called Obama an asshole to his face, and then proceeded to point out his lack of knowledge about the citizens of her home state of Maine. If that wasn’t enough, Kendrick also placed meeting Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy, higher on her scale of noteworthy celebrity run-ins.

Of course, there was a comedic feel through all of the exchange, but it probably did not wander too far from the truth of the matter. Politicians have turned Washington into Hollywood-East with their determination to be in the spotlight, but the denizens of Tinseltown still are more concerned with approval among their own. Kendrick, as an actress, cares far more about the goodwill of Beyoncé than Obama because the former is more likely to help her build her career.

Yes, celebrities dabble in politics, even to the point of running for (and taking) public offices, but like anyone else who has a career outside of the political sphere, if they aren’t vying for a permanent political career, they must care more about people in their own field. The ones who lose that perspective lose out, which is what we see from many entertainers who have chosen to be vocal about their political views when they don’t match the typical Hollywood stand on the issues. Is it unfair? Yes, but life isn’t fair. The entertainment industry also isn’t the only career area where people can face issues if they are vocal about their personal politics. While the right tends to suffer more, there are also situations where expressing any political views – right or left – can be detrimental to one’s career.

As for Kendrick and her moment of calling Obama an asshole, that could be just a tall tale, or it could be absolutely true. Either way, the fact that she told the story the way she did indicates something that too many people keep forgetting these days. While politicians can be very entertaining, they are not truly entertainers. Those who really are entertainers may say they adore some politicians, but that adoration ends where their concern for their next paycheck begins, assuming that they don’t want to see an end date on their list of jobs on IMDB.

Image: YouTube Capture

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Anna Kendrick and the Celebrity Love Affair with Obama

To Amazon Prime, or Not to Amazon Prime

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Amazon Prime is causing some degree of debate for subscribers this year, since they decided to increase the yearly fee by $20.

I dodged the increase, since my Prime day fell in May, but there are others who are considering the real value of Prime membership now. Gizmodo‘s Adam Clark Estes brought up some important issues surrounding the ubiquitous Amazon, and the nature of Prime membership.

Personally, I can’t empathize much when it comes to building up a Pantry order to get free shipping, since I think I’ve made only a couple of those orders myself – one was delivered to a friend. However, my reasons for never getting sucked into the Pantry buying has everything to do with the fact that I tend to shop local regardless. My food purchases on Amazon are scant, and include imported items that I simply can’t find at all in my local stores.

I also can’t speak to the idea of buying for the sake of buying, and getting the most out of my Prime membership fees. It’s true that I can end up with piles of Amazon boxes in my house, but that’s typically because of holidays. Otherwise, my purchases tend to fall in the category of “I can’t find it at all, or I can’t find it for less in a regular store.” That said, multi-packs of inexpensive earbuds, charging cords, phone and tablet cases litter my purchase history, right beside various specialty purchases like beach cabanas and soccer cleats. Yes, I am definitely guilty of having my kid try on shoes in a store, checking the price on Amazon, and if the shoes aren’t needed for another 48 hours, buying them online instead to save money.

We aren’t living in a “Smart House”, and it’s doubtful that we ever will. Frankly, the concept of my refrigerator being hacked terrifies me. So, I never seriously considered purchasing the privacy-invading nightmare that is Echo. I tried to make use of Siri and Cortana, and because those experiences were filed under “epic failure”, Alexa never caught my eye. Ok, maybe it did a little, when the stories about dildos being offered as a potential purchase when someone asked for something innocent surfaced. But, that’s just prurient humor that can be enjoyed via YouTube, not in my own home on a device that cost me a couple hundred dollars.

My point is that while I understand that Prime membership probably has lead many people down the path of impulse buying to a degree that probably is harmful, it doesn’t have to be that way. Are there compelling reasons to cut back on the use of Amazon in general? Definitely. Estes enumerated several of them, from unfair labor practices, through price-gouging on at least some products to make up for “free shipping”. Personally, as long as I remain the one in control of the situation, I suspect that I will continue having Amazon Prime. But, no matter what, yes I will be taking stock of the situation in April, well before my Prime day arrives.

Image: By Quote Catalog

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To Amazon Prime, or Not to Amazon Prime

Fergie Fouls on Anthem?

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Some people were a little upset with how Fergie sang the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star game. While it’s true that her version wasn’t exactly “straight”, perhaps the outrage is a bit… well, misplaced? In case you haven’t seen or heard it yet, here it is:

Yes, she did put a little “heat” into her rendition, but that’s Fergie. She made her hits and her reputation in the music industry on her ability to make just about anything at least a little sexy. If anyone should be catching fire today from the public, it should be the event organizers for hiring her in the first place. And that is assuming that you really think it’s utterly disrespectful to croon the anthem that way. Remember, Fergie just played around with the style – making it her own. Even though she made it a little sexy, Fergie didn’t overtly show disrespect while singing it, like someone else did:

While it’s true that Fergie definitely did the anthem in a way that no one else would – or could – she definitely didn’t push the envelope to the point that some people might think. At least now we know how she’ll sing the song, and it’s a fair guess that Fergie isn’t on anyone’s list of “artists to book for the singing of the National Anthem.” Well, maybe Jimmy Kimmel might ask her to do it on his show, but what else should we expect?

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Fergie Fouls on Anthem?

Misspent Outrage about ‘Peter Rabbit’

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Yes, Sony did put a scene in Peter Rabbit about severe food allergies. Yes, it is a serious subject. No, it probably wasn’t necessary for anyone to start calling for boycotts.

It’s been a long time since our society responded to situations like this in a more adult manner, so bear with me here. While I’m tempted to just relegate this to the “faux outrage” pile, I can’t, but that’s only because Sony chose to depict a potentially fatal allergy on the big screen.

But, instead of the extreme response we’ve seen from parents and groups on social media, perhaps the better route would have been to turn this into a teaching moment – for everyone. Saying that Sony was insensitive and calling for a boycott of the film forced the corporation to apologize publicly. Simply pointing out that the film showed a behavior that everyone needs to know is wrong would have left the door open for a deeper conversation about potentially deadly allergies in general.

Now, it’s not likely that many health teachers will think about pulling that scene from the film for class as an object lesson about what not to do. They will be rightfully concerned about reigniting the current outrage.

The fact remains that this film is pure fiction, and showing it as a dramatization of what not to do offers more than one lesson for kids. It also offers the opportunity to reinforce the ongoing lessons about the difference between fantasy and reality. No matter what, because of this outrage, Peter Rabbit has probably been lost as a teaching tool in general, and not just for learning about food allergies.

Maybe the outrage itself can be a teaching tool. When people are upset about something they see in media or entertainment, perhaps they need to think twice before crying for boycotts or other extreme actions. While many people might seem supportive of the outraged people, sharing that feeling doesn’t educate anyone on anything except the fine art of getting upset. Righteous indignation might feel good for a moment, but in the end it doesn’t promote discussion on what caused it in the first place. That discussion falls too far below the headlines, and isn’t tweetable. In the case of Peter Rabbit, even asking why Sony decided to put a poorly done Jackass stunt in the film would have brought more attention to real issue – food allergies. At least then, people might have asked why Sony got it so wrong.

Image: YouTube Capture

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Misspent Outrage about ‘Peter Rabbit’

Happy Trees with Deadpool?

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Fans of Deadpool have been waiting for teasers and trailers from the upcoming sequel, but they probably weren’t expecting this:

So, millions of people will never think of Bob Ross the same way again!

Does this mean that the sequel is going to be over-the-top? Maybe…

Of course, some people are interested in the words about the upcoming film. (Yes, some people actually are reading the plot synopsis!)

Then there are the rumors, because we must have those – especially about potential character introductions.

And then the talk about how some characters might be changing…

But, let’s be honest. While this teaser is great, it’s still just that – a tease! We want more, right?

Let’s just take a deep breath, commune with those happy trees, and whack off while we wait, shall we?

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Happy Trees with Deadpool?

Lena Dunham Did Not Want an Abortion


Yes, this is old news. Campy, gossip, garbage news. I could lie, and say that I have been actively thinking about the stupidity of the uproar over Lena Dunham saying she wished she had an abortion, but I haven’t. The news hit under a week before Christmas, so life simply got in the way. But, since I have a bad habit of keeping a kajillion tabs open all the time, that one never got cleared, until today.
Dunham is an idiot. She’s established this many times, and even some of her fans would agree that she has a tendency of letting words come out of her mouth before thinking it through. In this case, I’m not sure that happened. Honestly, it looks like people who threw fits over her comments were the ones who were suffering from the malady of commenting before thinking. English is a difficult language, and is misunderstood far more often than most would like to admit. When Dunham said she wished she had an abortion, it probably wasn’t about actually “wanting” to have one. It definitely was about a desire to experience full empathy with others.
I’ll clarify that, since the point is that this whole situation was a matter of words misunderstood. Dunham seemed to be expressing both a desire to fully understand how women who have had abortions feel, and some level of guilt over previously pointing out that she hadn’t needed to have an abortion during her life. In other words, she wasn’t trying to glorify abortion, at all.
While hosting Women of the Hour, the Girls creator recalled a visit to a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, during which a girl asked her to share her experience with abortion.
“I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that, as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion,”recalled Dunham, 30.
“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department.”
Context is everything, and that definitely is the case here. I’m sorry, but I don’t get where the outrage came from on this. Were the people who got upset thinking that Dunham was looking down on women who had abortions? Well, that would be wrong, because she characterized women she knows who have had abortions as “brave.” Are they upset that she publicly admitted to discovering that she personally had attached some kind of stigma to having an abortion? Well, if they are, the whole point of Dunham’s comments were to point out how she was trying to uproot that way of thinking. Again, if they were thinking she wishes she had an abortion because it’s “cool” or something equally vacuous, that isn’t the case either.
No, Dunham was speaking from a guilty conscience, and perhaps a recognition of personal hypocrisy. It is fairly disingenuous to run around preaching about a woman’s right to choose, while secretly feeling there’s a stigma attached to having an abortion.
So, please stop attacking Dunham (and anyone else in the spotlight) until you bother to really listen to what was said. Seriously, I don’t like being in this position – defending someone who I normally can’t stand.

Source: Subculture

Lena Dunham Did Not Want an Abortion