8. If you stay up to date on the latest gossip, I’m sure you’ve seen the recent Facebook group trying to get him replaced as UCLA’s graduation commencement speaker. Do not try to make him feel better by saying, “Don’t worry, James. My peers hate me, too!”
7. Refrain from all of the following: ripping your clothes off, ripping his clothes off, touching him at all, telling him you want to have his babies, screaming that you love him, screaming that you think he’s hot, screaming in general, crying, stuttering and shaking, passing out, staring at him with your mouth open, etc. I know a lot of these will be involuntarily, but try your best.
6. Don’t ask him where he tans. We know you saw his pasty white badunkadunk in the pool scene in Milk. [NSFW image here.]
5. He’s a nice guy. Don’t take advantage of that by having him talk on the phone to your entire cheerleading squad or write out autographs to your sister, mother, grandfather, best friend in Mongolia and Great Aunt Helga.
The other four after the jump.
Culture-war compromise is a hot topic right now, most of the talk being pegged to President Obama's unwillingness to take activist positions on sensitive issues. (At least when people are looking.) The president's talk of "abortion reduction" seems to be an olive branch to the right: if we all agree that abortion is bad and we want less of it, well, hey, that's something we can work on as a big, concerned family.
I'm all for abortion reduction, and for pro-life activists getting their sights set on the right goal: less abortions, via whatever means necessary, not overturning Roe just because that's what we've all been fixated on for two decades now. Also, if you're a conservative still trying to oppose abortion and contraception/sex education at the same time, then give it up already. Clearly, the message about birth control is not getting across to those who need to hear it — over 70% of American women who have abortions don't use it — and figuring out creative ways to get these women to prevent unwanted pregancy is crucial to solving our abortion problem.
But as Lisa Miller's Newsweek column suggests, the abortion-reduction hand-holding is mostly a delusion. There's a "culture-war industry on both sides," as one source says; the right's moral beliefs won't settle for half-way solutions, and, let's not forget, abortion is the holy sacrament of some feminists, and the remnants of that demographic won't part easily with their great victory.
Good cloudy, chilly Monday morning, New Yorkers, and readers in other places who have much more (and much less) palatable weather than we do. Here's what all the bad people did this weekend:
- Green Day's last studio album came out 5 years ago, but the Bush-angst-driven "rock opera" American Idiot is now being turned into an actual rock opera.
- Mouthy billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got fined $25,000 by the NBA for bashing referees on his emoticon-infested Twitter. His response may actually make you like him.
- Twitter is costing everybody money: a young fashion designed has filed suit against Courtney Love for using MySpace and Twitter to slander her.
- The New York Times folded the website of its Paris-based internation edition, the International Herald Tribune, into nytimes.com. You can now toggle between versions. Sweet. Pointless.
- Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton turned 31 this weekend. Zac Efron wrote him a card wishing him "many celebrity meltdowns," and Christina Aguilera sang "Happy Birthday" to him at his Hollywood party.
- So there's this guy out there trying to sell a video of Ashley Biden, daughter of VPOTUS Joe Biden, snortin' some white stuff. But Biden's lawyers don't care, and the video guy's lawer has now dumped the case. What was he thinking? Everybody knows that America's reflexive response to Biden misbehavior is: zzzzzz.
- Barack Obama, after deciding General Motors and Chrysler should fail, asked GM C.E.O. Rick Wagoner to resign, and he agreed. Our heads are confused.
- More scary liberal agendas!
- Dreamworks' Monsters vs. Aliens had the best opening weekend of 2009 so far, raking in $58 million.
Have a great Monday!
Apple is stepping off its pedestal April 7th to provide its 10 million iTunes songs free from DRM entanglement. Finally! But of course there’s no free lunch here. While every other store in the country is advertising vast sales, iTunes is raising their prices. Customers will pick up the extra 30% price increase with three variable price levels: 69 cents 99 cents and $1.29.
While Apple announced this change in January at the last MacWorld Expo, it wasn’t until last week the Los Angeles Times reported the April 7th switch date. Unfortunately, Paul Resnikoff, publisher of Digital Music News says labels will favor the $1.29 price tag.
In Salon, Frances Kissling raises an ethically thorny question: Do we treat potential living organ donors fairly? She says the medical community is overly cautious because of the possibility of bribes or rewards for living organ donation. In fact, "Even without incentives, no group of do-gooders is treated with more suspicion by the medical community." The medical community is so cautious that donors have to cover their own medical expenses for the donation and then insurance provides nothing later for long-term comprehensive health insurance or life and disability insurance.
She says something telling:
Transplants are still a little creepy, and the idea of sharing your body with someone else is still science fiction. It's scary.
I think she's touching on something uncomfortable. It’s possible that the whole issue —- not just “rewards” or “incentives”, but the entire idea of giving your body —- is more complicated than we assume.
The Big East rolled on last night. Anyone who didn’t think they were the best conference in America obviously didn’t listen to me or the rest of those self-professing basketball experts. Pittsburgh survived a scare against Xavier who had an 8 point lead at the half, UCONN handled Purdue easily, and Nova put the lockdown on Duke’s offense. Michael Wilbon thinks UCONN is the team to beat so far, but I’m not ready to hand over that title just yet after seeing Nova beat Duke by 23 and hold Gerald Henderson to seven points.
The World Trade Center replacement will open in 2014, dropping the name "Freedom Tower" for "One World Trade Center," much to the annoyance of former Governor George Pataki. The Port Authority says they're having better luck selling tenants on "One World Trade Center," but Pataki shoots back that it's about more than marketing. Daily Intel has a good point:
"It strikes us that when the building opens as scheduled in 2014, after ten years of thinking of it that way, people will call it the Freedom Tower no matter name what a bunch of marketers use in pitch meetings — kind of like how people still say they're going to take the "1/9" somewhere even though the 9 train no longer exists."
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