Tennessee Tea Party advocates editing textbooks, a move from the Communist playbook

National emblem of the People's Republic of China

Image via Wikipedia

Tea Partiers in Tennessee want to selectively edit history textbooks by removing  all negative portrayals of our founding fathers. For a political party so focused on avoiding a Communist America, the Tea Party in Tennessee appears to know nothing of Communist history.

The act of editing educational textbooks, with the purpose of making certain leaders more favorable, was employed by the U.S.S.R in many (unwilling) Eastern Europe satellites. Oh, and Communist China still does it. Oops. Read the rest of this entry »


Anime: Why two nukes on Japan wasn't enough

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Image via Wikipedia

Two days ago, New Hampshire state representative Nick Levasseur wrote this as his facebook status: “Anime is a prime example that two nukes just wasn’t enough” . (Click here to watch a video compilation of  the local media’s take)

The medias coverage has focused on him either being a racist (another right wing media link), or on how this is an insult to anime.

Nick appears to be around 26 years old. Nick looks like he watches anime. I think Nick was telling a joke. A really bad one, but nonetheless, a joke.   Would you ever hear a Japanese politician joke that they should bomb Pearl Harbor again because they just can’t stand our summer blockbusters? Absolutely not.

This isn’t the first time Nicky has made really bad jokes though. Back in 2007, on his Myspace page he listed under his interests: “the hunting of neo-conservative Reaganites” and in 2008, also on his Myspace page, he described himself as “the magic mushroom. Shove me in a dark place, feed me a fist full of shit, and watch me grow!”  This latest attempt at a joke, by insulting the Japanese tragedy, reveals his under developed sense of humor.

No other country in the world has been attacked with nuclear weapons, and if you know ANYTHING about Japanese history, or culture, you know to this day they still struggle with that happened to them (hello, Godzilla films?).  Consider the new book, ” The Last Train from Hiroshima” or even this  recent gem about Hayden Panettiere’s efforts to save dolphins in Japan:

As the group arrived, a truck of right-wing nationalists blasted slogans, saying Japan should not be singled out for whaling and dolphin hunts because Westerners “are killing cows.” They also demanded President Barack Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

‘Heroes’ Actress visits Japan dolphin hunt town via Associated Press

Japanese society has long used the arts to deal with their nuclear past, and if you are going to include anime in this artistic realm, you have to mention the famous manga-turned-anime-turned-American-film Astro Boy. Astro Boy was born in 1951…. just years after the bombs were dropped. Astro Boy’s name in Japan is “Mighty Atom” and is a direct reference to the nuclear attacks. Astro Boy was made to appeal to little boys, perhaps to help the children cope with new post-war reality?

Sadly, this joke also reveals that Nick has never seen any good anime. Action movies tend to be really bad too, but I don’t go around advocating the bombing of Hollywood…. and every once in a while, an action film does comes along that I can appreciate (Fifth Element, for example…). The same applies to anime.

If you’d like to watch some good anime films, I’d recommend anything by Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki, as well as the films Paprika, Ghost in the Shell (which Spielberg is remaking), and Perfect Blue. For anime series, I’d recommend Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Lain (though the last two do get creepy later on).


Chicago needs a hero

Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face in The Dark Knight

Harvey Dent via Wikipedia

There is something wrong with the people in Chicago. I’ve come to the conclusion that Chicagoans are masochists. Or they are insanely depressed and they revel in their misery. Why?  Before I go into the political scandal running through the media tubes right now, let me first consider the weather.

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Tough titties for bondage columnist running for office

Image of S/M sexuality. Bettie Page is tied an...

Bettie Page getting spanked, via Wikipedia

The 2010 40th district race for State House rep has been called historic for two reasons: this is the first time two openly gay candidates are running against each other (there are 14 gay candidates on the ballot this February 2nd), and second because this is the first time a bondage columnist is running for office.

Joe Laiacona, a part-time computer science teacher at Columbia College by day and leather master named Jack Rinella by night, is running against incumbent Deborah Mell. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because Deb Mell is Blagojevich’s sister-in-law, and was the only one to vote against the governor’s impeachment.   Deb Mell is also the daughter of Alderman Richard Mell, the “driving force”  behind Blagojevich’s win as governor.

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In Purple We Trust?

Barack and Michelle Obama board a plane in Chicago to St. Paul, Minnesota on June 3, 2008 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Barack and Michelle Obama board a plane in Chicago to St. Paul, Minnesota on June 3, 2008 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Purple purple everywhere. Purple shoes, jackets, blouses, shirts, ties, dresses, purses, belts- if your wardrobe needs updating, you buy purple, the fashionable color for the past two seasons (arguably, the color since last year). Why this color, the color long associated with royalty?

Do you remember those “Start Wearing Purple” ads by Yahoo? Where they referenced that gypsy punk song from 2005, “Start wearing purple“, by Gogol Bordello? This was around the same time that Yahoo changed their logo from red to purple. Did you see the date on that link? June 12th, 2008. Didn’t Michelle Obama wear a purple dress when her husband recieved the democratic nomination, on June 3rd? Michelle Obama wore a color that blended both political parties…. her color choice was symbolizing her husband’s willingness to work with both parties, to be bipartisan. Purple, the color that said everyone’s ideas would be incorporated, so we as a united nation could solve the many many problems that emerged during, out of, and because of, the last presidency’s handing of political and economic affairs.

Chances are, you have something purple in your closet, and it is new. So why are you wearing purple?  Are you aware that fashion houses grabbed onto this color because they love Michelle Obama?  I’ve acquired two purple items in the past couple of months- a blouse, and a pair of purple suede high heels (doubling my impractically purple suede heel count), and yeah, I respect the Obama administration and the idea of listening to everyone. Purple wearer,  do you too believe in incorporating everyone’s ideas? Do you too want to be inclusive and fix the problems that plague America? Are you willing to listen to the other side? Are you willing to compromise?

The date that marks one year after Obama was elected is upon us, and news outlets are questioning Obama’s accomplishments. The most popular problem of the day is healthcare, and while most Americans believe our healthcare system is broken, the effort to fix this problem stops at party lines (whether it’s over fear-mongering, ignorance, or just plain party line stubbornness), with Olympia Snowe being the exception. All this big government, little government talk is getting us no where in fixing America, and Obama is the only known and willing compromiser. I don’t see much bipartisan action going on, but I sure do see a lot of purple.  And frankly, it’s starting to make me sick.