Adventures in Links – April 30, 2016 (90s Boy Band Music Videos)

Theme: 90s Boy Band Music Videos

A sacred tradition on the 30th of April (or any time in April, really) is to post N’Sync’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” music video. Why? Because the way Justin Timberlake pronounces “me” sounds like “May.” Also, it’s hysterical. So in honor of that, I thought I’d post a few of my favorite 90s boy band videos to help kick-start this May. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Daily WTF: Legislatures Waiting Too Long to Submit Budgets

This week, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin vetoed several lines on Kentucky’s next two-year budget. This budget was the product of weeks of research, negotiation, and drafts and was truly a bipartisan effort with both Democrats and Republicans compromising to create a coherent, sound budget. Unfortunately, Governor Bevin disagreed and vetoed items like allowing Kentucky seniors to go to community college for free (pending certain actions and only for limited credit hours), allowing people living at 200% of the poverty level to qualify for government-assisted healthcare, and changing the way Kentucky does IDs so Kentuckians can actually legally travel on planes. However, as disappointed as I am with Bevin’s vetoes, I’m even more disappointed with my legislature. Thanks to their in-fighting and bickering and waiting until the very last day of the legislature to pass a budget, they cannot override Bevin’s vetoes. Regardless of the harm his vetoes could do or how unpopular they might be, they get to be law since our legislature waited so long to pass a budget. We are stuck with what we have until next year. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Kevin from the New Ghostbusters Movie

Y’all, I’m worried about the new Ghostbusters movie.

Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, a day when we should take the time to express appreciation for the administrative professionals in our lives. In the spirit of that, Sony Pictures Entertainment released this trailer focusing on Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth), the Ghostbusters’ AP. It’s a pretty funny trailer, showing Kevin as “this big dumb puppy dog/Kevin doll with the insides scooped out.” He’s utterly inept at his job but is very attractive, tries hard, and wants to be a Ghostbuster. Sounds cute, right?

However, as I watched/re-watched the trailer, I started getting worried. Kevin appears to have several scenes in the movie, including helping the group put together a logo, rallying the group together to be Ghostbusters, and driving in on his motorcycle to save the day. The director, Paul Feig, says he was so delighted with Hemsworth’s portrayal that he expanded the role. Leslie Jones, who plays one of the Ghostbusters, says when she watched the movie, she just wanted more Kevin. And on IMDB, Hemsworth gets top billing – even though he’s not supposed to be one of the main characters. Leslie Jones, who’s an actual Ghostbuster, doesn’t even make it above the “See full cast” cut. Continue reading

Adventures in Links – April 23, 2016 (Shakespearean Adaptations)

Theme: Shakespearean Adaptations

Today, April 23, 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (and maybe his 452nd birthday?). I love Shakespeare, and I love getting to read, watch, and listen to adaptations of his work. Sometimes, I love doing this because I can bitch about how horrible it was, like David Wroblewski’s book The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, which started out as a really interesting book about a family that selectively breeds dogs to be smart and personable and then suddenly jumped the shark and turned into fucking Hamlet with dogs (It’s been six years since I first read it, and I’m still pissed.); mostly, though, I’m just filled with wonder. So, in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, I wanted to share some of my favorite books, movies, TV shows, and songs that are Shakespearean adaptations. Enjoy! Continue reading

Daily WTF: Mike Pape’s Racist Congressional Ad

As you may know, it’s election season and candidates are fighting tooth and nail not just for the Presidency but also for open Congressional seats. One such blowhard is Mike Pape, who’s running for Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District. Pape describes himself as “a constitutional conservative who will stand up for you against the establishment and special interests.” He is also “strongly pro-life, and he is a tireless advocate for the Second Amendment and your gun rights.” So, basically, a Tea Bagger.

Finally, Mike Pape is super against illegal immigrants, as this horrifying ad shows. If you’d rather not click on that 31 seconds of bullshit, here’s what happens: three men sporting false black mustaches and bad Mexican accents are trying to cut through a US border fence. They’re wearing shirts that say, “Stop Trump,” “Stop Ted Cruz,” and “Stop Pape.” The third explains to the other two who Mike Pape is and how he’ll support Trump in building up the border wall as well as repealing Obamacare. They all agree that they should stop Pape too and scamper through the wall, assumedly to murder the three. What else would a few lone men carrying nothing but a bag apiece and with no other wish to enter the US than to stop three lame pseudo-politicians be about to do? Continue reading

Adventures in Reading – March 28 – April 3, 2016

What did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out!

Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi (2006) – This memoir focuses on Shirin Ebadi’s life as a female judge in Iran during the 1960s and 70s until the Iran Revolution forced her from her position. Afterwards, she became a prominent lawyer, taking on cases that highlighted the Iranian government’s sexism and cruelty and worked to solve human rights violations. I liked reading this in counterpoint to Azar Nafisi’s memoir Things I’ve Been Silent About because it showed two very different sides of Iran during this time period. Azar’s family life was overly political and connected with the Shah while Shirin’s was apolitical and eventually more revolutionary. This memoir was a bit drier than the former since it focused at least partially on the law, but it was also more balanced and presented a more considered, measured view of the Revolution and Iranian people. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading her newest book, Until We Are Free. Continue reading

Daily WTF: #BoycottTarget

This past week, Target, the retailer that sells everything from food to work out clothes, issued a statement re-affirming their belief in gender, sexual, and orientation equality. According to their statement, “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day… we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Good for you, Target.

However, not everyone believes in inclusivity and respect, including the conservative Christian group the American Family Association (AFA). Almost immediately, the AFA demanded a boycott of Target and issued a petition that almost 400,000 people (or .1% of the US population) have signed agreeing with them. According to them, “Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims… Clearly, Target’s new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters.” Continue reading

A New Discovery of an Old Master: Yoshihiro Tatsumi

In my library system, there are one seven books that pop up when you search “Adrian Tomine,” the famed New Yorker illustrator: New York Drawings, Shortcomings, Killing and Dying, which are actually written and illustrated by him; three collections of comics and illustrations from various publishers; and Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Tomine edited it.). Initially, I was resistant to picking up Abandon the Old in Tokyo because I wasn’t interested in someone else’s work. I didn’t want to know what Tatsumi had done, and I didn’t consider editing truly reflective of Tomine’s work. Fortunately, I’m a bit obsessive and couldn’t resist the opportunity to read a Tomine introduction. And thus, a new obsession was born. Continue reading

Daily WTF: The US’ Wholesale Support of Israel

The US’ biggest ally in the Middle East is Israel, and the US returns the favor by almost indiscriminately supporting Israel. By 2018, the US will have given Israel over $30 billion in unconditional military aid and over $121 billion in aid since 1949. We remain silent on the Israeli government trying children as adults for crimes they didn’t commit. We remain silent about Israeli-government sanctioned extra-judicial killings. We remain silent about them raiding Palestinian homes and kicking out Palestinian families. We remain silent about their closure of Gaza. In fact, we praise them for their resilience, promise to support them against Palestinian terrorists, and continue to give them funds. We won’t even discuss sanctions against them. Continue reading

Daily WTF: That Hillary Clinton Can’t Like Anything without Being Accused of Deception

For the past 30 years, people have been talking about Hillary Clinton’s “likability” factor. Some think she’s too calculating, willing to change her hair, dress, and speech just to garner more support. Others think she’s stilted and unapproachable, unable to loosen up and be vulnerable. Some think she’s a shameless panderer, willing to say or do anything to get minority votes – only to abandon them at the crucial moment. Still others think she’s “shrill,” screeching when she should be talking. It’s part of why the press didn’t like her in the ‘90s, why she lost to Barack Obama in 2008, and why some people won’t vote for her today.

We can talk about why this is – how she and Bill have been victims of a right-wing smear campaign for decades, the sexism inherent in our society, and her own awkward personality – but the fact of the matter is that many people just don’t like her. It happens, and despite her best efforts, there’s really nothing she can do about it. Continue reading