A lot of people are reacting negatively to this video, but I don’t have a problem with it. Honestly, Lena Dunham is funny, and the video is a joke. YES, you’re correct, it uses voting as a euphemism for sex - but it’s a joke!

Here’s the thing: when a Republican makes a comment about “legitimate rape”, that is insulting and degrading to women everywhere, suggesting all kinds of demeaning things about women’s sexuality. That is not funny. When an author who is known for writing and talking about sex makes a lighthearted video that references sexual activity, it’s a little different. Dunham is not putting down women - she is connecting to voting in a way that’s funny, and relatable, for young people.

This looks worthwhile. Possibly a real, genuine window into the lives of the 1%?
Official trailer here.
From the New York Times review:

“The Queen of Versailles” upholds Hemingway’s demystified view and testifies to the curious logic of class in the new gilded age. The Siegels are proud of how much they have, embracing the idea that what distinguishes them from others — from Westgate’s customers or the members of its sales force, from friends and family in the heartland — is not quality but quantity. They are just like everybody else; they just have more. Mrs. Siegel treats herself to a tin of caviar on Christmas morning, but she also likes Chicken McNuggets and diet soda.
David and Jackie Siegel are no better than any of the rest of us. That may go without saying. But the reverse is also true, and [director] Ms. Greenfield’s real achievement is to disarm the reflex of superiority that the spectacle of her subjects’ way of life may provoke in some viewers.
Schadenfreude and disgust may be unavoidable, but to withhold all sympathy from the Siegels is to deny their humanity and shortchange your own. Marvel at the ornate frame, mock the vulgarity of the images if you want, but let’s not kid ourselves. If this film is a portrait, it is also a mirror.

This looks worthwhile. Possibly a real, genuine window into the lives of the 1%?

Official trailer here.

From the New York Times review:

“The Queen of Versailles” upholds Hemingway’s demystified view and testifies to the curious logic of class in the new gilded age. The Siegels are proud of how much they have, embracing the idea that what distinguishes them from others — from Westgate’s customers or the members of its sales force, from friends and family in the heartland — is not quality but quantity. They are just like everybody else; they just have more. Mrs. Siegel treats herself to a tin of caviar on Christmas morning, but she also likes Chicken McNuggets and diet soda.

David and Jackie Siegel are no better than any of the rest of us. That may go without saying. But the reverse is also true, and [director] Ms. Greenfield’s real achievement is to disarm the reflex of superiority that the spectacle of her subjects’ way of life may provoke in some viewers.

Schadenfreude and disgust may be unavoidable, but to withhold all sympathy from the Siegels is to deny their humanity and shortchange your own. Marvel at the ornate frame, mock the vulgarity of the images if you want, but let’s not kid ourselves. If this film is a portrait, it is also a mirror.

Jay-Z Supports Gay Marriage! -Rolling Stone

When asked about his opinion of the President’s endorsement of gay marriage:

What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.

When asked if he thought the President would lose votes as a result:

I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s not about votes. It’s about people. It’s the right thing to do as a human being.

Go Jay-Z!

[Source: Rolling Stone]

Cultural racism - the cultural images and messages that affirm the assumed superiority of Whites and the assumed inferiority of people of color - is like smog in the air. Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and day out, we are breathing it in.

—Beverly Daniel Tatum, in her book "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?"

I just started reading this book, and I can tell it is going to be eye-opening. 

Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.
Lisa Bloom, "How to Talk to Little Girls" on Huffington Post

The White House Blog: Meeting with Lady Gaga on Inclusion and Equality for Our Young People

Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett writes on the WH Blog

Lady Gaga is a source of strength for many young people who feel isolated and scared at their schools.  Today, I had the opportunity to welcome her to the White House, where we discussed ways we could work together to make sure that no child comes under attack, regardless of his or her race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other factor.

One of Lady Gaga’s newest projects is joining together with the MacArthur Foundation and Harvard University to launch the Born This Way Foundation, which will explore ways to help change the culture, the policies, and the curriculum surrounding the safety of our children in school. 

Lady Gaga has described this cause as a personal one – she has said that as a child, she was often picked on for being different. I am deeply moved by the way she has used her story, and her success, to inspire young people, and shine the spotlight on important issues. 

This is pretty cool - I’m glad the White House is working with people like Lady Gaga, who youth really respond to and respect. I appreciate that President Obama has focused on anti-bullying, but sometimes it takes an icon like Lady Gaga to really draw the attention of young people.

Personally though, I still am not a huge fan of Lady Gaga. I don’t find her music videos and outfits particularly inspirational or different from all the other pop stars. And to me, the way she dresses is demeaning to women. I don’t want women to be cool because we can wear a dress made out of meat (see photo), I want to be respected because of my own intelligence and personality. But hey, we can’t have it all.