Only ‘old white men’ care about Obama’s virginity ad? Women push back!/JamesHercher/status/261642640599158784

The Nation swooned over the Obama campaign’s “sexy” and “affirmatively feminist” ad  featuring “Girls” actress Lena Dunham — you know, the putrid, offensive video that likens first-time voting to having sex for the first time. And the Atlantic’s Connor Simpson mocked the “ridiculous” outrage from “old white men” on the Right.

Lena Dunham gets old white men all hot and bothered:…

— Connor Simpson (@connorsimpson) October 26, 2012

Simpson’s fellow travelers on the seedy, woman-degrading Left joined him in lashing out at old white guys who don’t get the absolute hilarity of the president’s stomach-turningly disgraceful sexualization of young women for his own political gain.

Cute Lena Dunham vid may be hit w/young voters. But will it be a hit after kids hear the pushback from 55 and over whiteguys on Twitter?

— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 25, 2012

Old white men would be shaking their fists at Lena Dunham’s ad, but they’re too busy taking their Viagra pills and looking up pics of Palin.

—UltraVerified (@UltraVerified) October 26, 2012

I can’t believe old, white guy Republicans are upset about the Lena Dunham video for #Obama – get over yourselves. No one cares. #funnyvideo

— Joshua Hicks (@joshuarhicks) October 26, 2012

It’s not a “good ad” or a “funny video.” It’s not “cute.” And it certainly isn’t “sexy” to urge 18-year-old women to vote their way into Obama’s Skinemax harem fantasy.

It’s typical.

It’s a repulsive affirmation of the toxic liberal culture that trivializes sex and devalues women and girls, reducing them to no more than walking, talking “lady parts.” And that condescending, dismissive disregard for women is equally evident in progressive writers’ claims that only “old white men” care.

I guess all us offended women don’t count. RT @beregond: Congrats to @keder, who The Atlantic thinks is middle aged.

— Mamadoxie (@Mamadoxie) October 26, 2012

Conservative women had plenty to say about Obama’s demeaning assumption that sexualizing the voting process is the way to a young woman’s … well, the only part of her the president can stand to focus on. They’re sick of seeing the misogynist Left’s ideologically-driven crusade to insult and objectify women in the pursuit of leftist goals. And they refuse to be crammed into Obama’s “binder full of women.”

Watch the ad again and then read the reaction from “non-existent” conservative women.

Had there ever been a president that exploits women more than @barackobama? I think not.… #FirstTime

— Kemberlee Kaye (@red_red_head) October 26, 2012

Confirmed: My president has such a low opinion of women that his campaign made this:… #FirstTime

— Kemberlee Kaye (@red_red_head) October 26, 2012

The #MyFirstTime ad is the height of vulgarity. Tell me #Democrat Moms: Is this how you want the president talking to your daughters?~Stacy

— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) October 25, 2012

#MyFirstTime Instead of pandering to America’s youth as if they are sex obsessed morons, Obama should just step down. Tis low even for him.

— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) October 25, 2012

I can’t wait until Nov. 6, when we elect men who respect my daughter and don’t think women are just walking girly bits. #RomneyRyan2012

— Lori Ziganto (@snarkandboobs) October 25, 2012

According to @barackobama, 26 yr olds are still children, yet he’s okay with using sexual innuendo geared towards college students in an ad

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

Between Julia and this new freaking ad, @barackobama portrays women as giddy, helpless, impressionable morons.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

This ad devolves women to nothing more than lady parts with estrogen overload and incurable dependency.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

I get pop culture politics, as much as I hate them, but this is so far over line that I blushed playing it in front of my three girls.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

Yeah, I get it… losing your virginity and relationships arent that big a deal anymore.So, let us liken them to voting and reality tv.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

Though I should not besurprised that a man who would suggest abortion to his own daughter regards women in such an offensive manner.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 25, 2012

Reagan talked about “a shining city on a hill” & America’s greatness. Obama’s talking about #ladyparts & your daughter’s “first time.” #tcot

— Sandy (@_SandyP) October 25, 2012

Obama is approving ads I wouldn’t approve my daughter listening to

— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 25, 2012

This ad is more evidence Democrats focus on what’s between our legs than what’s between our ears

— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 25, 2012

This ad, suggesting women should want to sleep with Obama, is disgusting.…

— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 25, 2012

.@messina2012 most “1st time voters” are teens trying to test mature waters. Yet you trivialize the issue of virginity making it abt voting?

— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) October 25, 2012

.@messina2012 why must #Obama2012 sexualize the voting process for young teen women?Is nothing sacred & innocent to you ppl anymore? #p2

— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) October 25, 2012

@vaginasunited @rickstones @sistertoldjah My 17 y/o is disturbed by this ad. We’re both so sick of being minimized by the Dems.

— KrisR (@bookwormk) October 25, 2012

@morningmika So do you agree with obama’s new disgusting ad to women?.How degrading.You have a daughter.This ad is twisted

— karen ann phelps (@libertybellskp) October 26, 2012

Twitchy founder/CEO Michelle Malkin is bored by lefty celebs swooning over “their birth control supplier in the White House.” She calls the ad “the lady parts’ brigade’s jump-the-shark moment” and reminds Dunham, Fluke and company of her message to women.

Those with broken moral compasses would like to make this about uptight conservatives clutching their pearls over sex.

The reaction to this Obama Web Ad indicates yet again just how uptight the SoCons are about sex.

— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) October 25, 2012

That’s absurd. We’re not the liberal stereotype of stick-in-the-mud conservatives and we can appreciate a good double entendre. This one wasn’t even mediocre. It was a raunchy attack on the notion that women care about more than sex and birth control. It was yet another attempt to define women as even less than the sum of their parts.

When the sitting president — a father of two daughters — allows his campaign to make degrading analogies at the expense of our teen and college-aged daughters, you’d better believe men and women of all ages and races are going to be appalled.

Dear @barackobama: You are a disgrace and a pig. Guess what my daughter and I just did together? Sent @mittromney more cash money.

— Lori Ziganto (@snarkandboobs) October 25, 2012

We have a feeling that’s what a lot of moms and dads did with their daughters last night.

The Obama campaign has not responded to the backlash from conservatives. Keep the pressure on.

If the “first time” #Obama2012 video disturbs you, make sure to (respectfully) let @messina2012 know what you think about it. #p2 #tlot

— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) October 25, 2012

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This Cotton Candy Vendor Will Dance His Way Into Your Heart With His Sweet Moves.

Michael Jackson was the “King of Pop.” He spent his entire life earning and living up to the title with his award-winning music and incredible dancing skills. His impression on the entertainment industry inspired countless others following in his footsteps.

I’m not just talking about Jackson’s fellow musicians. Russian confectioner David Shtorm is anything but “Bad,” as he channels the legendary singer while working at his cotton candy cart. The tasty treat becomes extra delightful with his dance moves and unbelievable energy, earning his own title as “Candy King.”


The answer to your question is yes, he is available for parties. You can find more information and videos on his Twitter account. 

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American Idol producer bringing back ‘Name That Tune’!/THRmusic/status/177486482666303488

Are you old enough to remember the golden age of television? Once upon a time, some of the best and most watched shows weren’t anything like today’s reality shows. Back in the day, millions sat in-front of their tube TVs to watch classic game shows like Match Game, Family Fued, The Gong Show and many many more. Throughout the years, some of these shows have been reinvented for today’s society and some of them have even managed to remain huge hits.

Thankfully, American Idol and The X Factor production company FremantleMedia seems to be working on a rebirth of another one of our favorite classic game shows. In an era where there’s way too much karaoke on TV, “Name The Tune,” would be a perfect compliment to anyone’s list of must-watch shows.

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This Guy Has Been Instagramming Himself Made Up Like Female Celebrities

His Jennifer Lawrence is pretty good to be honest.

1. Meet Filipino TV host Paolo Ballesteros. He’s a media personality in the Philippines and he’s really, really, really into the Instagram makeup transformation game.

2. His favorite subject? Famous American female celebrities, including Ariana Grande:

3. Tyra Banks:

4. Jennifer Lawrence:

5. Rihanna:

6. Taylor Swift:

7. Two kinds of Taylor swift, actually:

8. “Wrecking Ball”-era Miley Cyrus:

9. Megan Fox:

10. Katy Perry:

11. Pretty much anyone you can think of…

12. …He’s tried to pull off with his serious makeup skill.

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When Left Alone, This Pooch Decided To Leave Its Mark…All Over The House

When you have traditional Chinese calligraphy ink in your home for whatever reason, it’s probably smart to keep it out of your dog’s reach.

That’s what one family learned when they came home and found a million black paw prints covering every inch of their home.

While they were at the movies for 3 hours, their dog showed them who’s boss.

Judging by these photos, I’m going to assume that this family likes to keep 30 gallons of calligraphy ink on hand at all times.

The canine culprit needs a little practice when it comes to lettering.

That being said, the pooch would not be defeated by a stupid pot of ink!

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No room was spared.

That’s just cold.

Okay, what the dog did is horrible, but how could anyone possibly stay mad at that face?

Fortunately for everyone involved, the ink was non-toxic and easy to clean up!

Again…the face. Just look at that face.

Huskies are definitely active dogs, so if you have one in your house, you can’t really blame them when madness like this goes down. They need to run free (while covered in ink, I guess).

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You’ll Recognize The Epic Song Playing As This Cargo Ship Pulls Into A Port

I’m a huge nerd, and I love when others embrace their geeky sides, too.

Science-fiction and fantasy movies have moved from niche interest to a huge part of popular culture in the past several decades. The “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter,” and rebooted “Star Trek” movies are all examples of nerd culture making its way to the mainstream. Even more popular than those franchises, however, is one series set in a galaxy far, far away.

You’ll surely recognize the song this huge cargo ship, the MSC, is playing as it pulls into port in Hamburg, Germany.

Read More: This Reimagined Version Of ‘Hallelujah’ Will Give You All Of The Chills

What an incredible entrance! I wonder if there are any heroic stowaways on board. Share this with your nerdiest friends, and may the force be with you.

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“Empire,” “Jane The Virgin,” And The Nonwhite Family Melodrama

One’s an unprecedented hit and the other won The CW its first Golden Globe. But more importantly, Empire and Jane The Virgin are both doing some of the most unique and progressive work on television today.

From left: Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett), Tiana Brown (Serayah), Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Gray), Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey), Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), Andre Lyon (Trai Byers), and Rhonda Lyon (Kaitlin Doubleday) on Fox’s Empire

Chuck Hodes / FOX

The Villanueva women — Alba (Ivonne Coll), Jane (Gina Rodriguez), and Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) — on The CW’s Jane the Virgin

Tyler Golden/The CW


The first scene of Fox’s new, ratings-demolishing series Empire doesn’t introduce the cast of characters that will make up the tapestry of the show. It doesn’t tour the mansions that will serve as its backdrop, or offer the titillation that will punctuate it. But within two minutes, it sets the register in which the rest of the series will operate.

A young woman sings a verse and a chorus in a recording studio as a producer, played by Terrence Howard, watches from the booth. Her voice is beautiful, but you can tell that he’s unsatisfied. “I need you to sing like you are going to die tomorrow,” he interrupts, “Like this is the last song you will ever sing, you hear me? Show me the soul in this music.” Another failed try later, she launches into the next-level take: the same words, the same melody, but it’s also evoking something visceral, fundamental, ineffable.

That’s the register in which Empire has continued to play throughout its debut season thus far: over the top, manipulative, bombastic. But those are all pejoratives ladled on a mode of entertainment that, for all its excess, is capable of expressing profound and often unspeakable truths about marginalization and oppression, and of articulating the impossibility and helplessness of living in a world defined by contradictions.

That mode is melodrama — and family melodrama in particular, one of the most resilient and influential artistic forms of the last century. On television, we’ve had Dallas and Dynasty, most famously, but also Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Nashville, The O.C., Revenge, Big Love, and Parenthood, and dozens more. And one of the things uniting all of those shows is whiteness — Italian-American whiteness, Californian whiteness, country whiteness, but whiteness nonetheless.

Yet what distinguishes Empire, as well as The CW’s Jane the Virgin — the two most recent (and successful) entries into the category — is their near exclusion of whiteness, and the ways in which that exclusion liberates both shows to focus on issues specific to their subjects and their places in America.

On the surface, the premise of Jane the Virgin sounds straight-up ridiculous: A woman is accidentally artificially inseminated and becomes pregnant with the baby of her wealthy boss. There’s much more to the story, but the premise primarily rotates around the axis of Jane (Gina Rodriguez); her immediate family; the father of her baby, Rafael (Justin Baldoni); and their future as a closely bound if totally untraditional family. Oh, and nearly everyone is Latino. Because both Jane the Virgin and Empire blatantly invert the ethnocentricity that guides most network television series, in which people of color serve to support the white main characters that dominate the narrative.

Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and her mother Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) on Jane the Virgin Greg Gayne/The CW

While melodrama is distinguished by its embrace and accentuation of emotion, one of the genre’s most radical achievements has always been its ability to explore “heavy” and uncomfortable massive societal issues by mapping them onto personal. Thus, otherwise easily dismissible and/or readily watchable narratives become ones of love and family. As a result, the personal doesn’t become political so much as the political becomes embodied. In simple or straightforward melodrama, that characterization is as simple as good and evil, right and wrong: unquestionable hero against equally unquestionable evil.

But in the family melodrama, it becomes much more. The first gay characters showed up in a made-for-TV movie (read: melodrama) all the way back in 1972; a “football show” like Friday Night Lights played out narratives of class and abortion; and a procedural melodrama like Scandal makes the politics of an interracial romance its fundamental source of conflict.

And in the worlds of Empire and Jane the Virgin, each character takes on an attitude or ideology, often accentuated or dictated by his/her generation. Empire is composed of aforementioned producer Lucious Lyon (Howard), his three sons, his fresh-out-of-jail ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), and his quest to find a successor for Empire Entertainment before he succumbs to ALS. Lucious is the ruthless father, desperate to pass along his legacy as he hides the fatal illness that will wrest away his power. He also represents a distinctly old-school attitude not only to hip-hop, but work ethics and sexual politics. In the first 10 minutes of the pilot, he tells a group of investors that he started selling drugs as a child simply to survive on the street, and makes it clear that he thinks “sissies,” like his middle, gay son, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), have no place in hip-hop.

Beside Lucious, there’s Cookie, his equally pragmatic ex-wife, hardened by nearly 20 years in prison. She’s unruly, disrespectful, and brassy, with a particular attitude toward adversity: If someone says no, she reasons, make them say yes.

Lucious and Cookie Lyon’s eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) on Empire

Michael Lavine / FOX

Lucious and Cookie Lyon’s middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) on Empire

Michael Lavine / FOX

Lucious and Cookie Lyon’s youngest son Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) on Empire

Michael Lavine / FOX


The Lyon sons each represent a different path to success: Andre (Trai Byers), the eldest, has gone full bourgie, attending Penn, marrying a white woman (Kaitlin Doubleday), stripping his voice of accent and his conversation of language that could mark him as other. He also lacks the musical skills of his younger brothers, seemingly doomed to disappoint. Middle brother Jamal’s gayness also works to mark him as emotional: He plays John Legend-like piano riffs that barely mask the inner turmoil of his father’s implicit rejection. And the youngest, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) — with his swagger and aggressive womanizing — takes up the role of the stereotypical rapper: talented, entitled, abrasive, the sort of young black man who’s not “a credit to his race.”

Over the handful of episodes, however, each character has complicated the trajectory of his or her type: Cookie is self-conscious, Jamal is ambitious, Hakeem is insecure. But each represents a slightly different take on what it means to be black in America, with corresponding attitudes toward the politics of respectability, the achievement of the American Dream, or how to manifest love and sadness and fear.

Jane the Virgin illustrates a similar dynamic, spread out over the three generations of Villanueva women, and defined, broadly, by the politics of immigration. There’s the eldest generation — Alba (Ivonne Coll) — who lacks papers and lives in constant fear of deportation. She regularly communicates in Spanish; she’s fiercely religious; it’s on her request that her granddaughter Jane vow to remain a virgin until marriage.

Alba’s daughter, Xiomara (Andrea Navedo), is an American citizen, embodying the first-gen immigration ethic. She’s also defined by her resistance to her mother: She got pregnant at 16; she sleeps around; she loves dancing. Pious she is not. She rarely, if ever, speaks Spanish, and is generally a disaster at replicating the signifiers of her culture, especially when it comes to food.

Jane represents a fusion of the ideologies embodied by her mother, Xo, and her grandmother, Alba. She speaks and understands Spanish; she respects her grandmother’s wishes for her to remain a virgin. She’s working her way through school; she’s respectful and loving but focused on avoiding the mistakes of her mother. She’s a proud, fully integrated American, speaking with accentless English, and shopping at Target.

Other characters represent even further ideas of what it means to be Latino/a in America, like the privileged Miami playboy in the case of Rafael, and the hilariously gaudy telenovela star with Jane’s biological father Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil). Like Empire, Jane the Virgin doesn’t suggest that these are the only ways of being Latino/a in America, but they are several of the examples which, when thrown together, act out the various tensions and glories of working out identity over a day, a year, a lifetime.

Interactions between family members — and, by extension, the ideologies they represent — are amplified by proximity. Apart from an occasional trip to a club or the back of a car, the primary homes and offices of Empire feel as claustrophobic as the emotional space real estate collapses in. Same with Jane the Virgin, which limits its locations to the Villanueva home and the hotel owned by Rafael.

Some of the overlaps makes sense; others are unlikely. But plausibility matters less than the way in which the proximity accelerates and amplifies the narrative. It’s like real life, on steroids. Every door slam bears intense meaning: It’s not just anger; it’s literally shutting the door on a past life or action. Lucious shoving a young Jamal in the garbage can, Cookie taking the head of the dinner table, Rogelio gifting Jane with a car, and the loss of Abuela’s rosary all become pregnant with narrative-altering significance.

Jane’s father, telenovela star Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil), on the set of his show The Passions of Santos, on Jane the Virgin The CW

And then there’s the aesthetics. In melodrama, excess overflows into the mise-en-scene, manifesting in wardrobe, set, weather, everything. On Jane the Virgin, it happens most overtly (and deliciously) in the scenes from the telenovela on which Rogelio stars that is nested within the series. The painted sunset and exotic jungle reflect Rogelio’s grand emotional gestures and his latest object of affection. (Or a recent episode, in which the intense turmoil between characters overflowed into….an actual hurricane).

Jane the Virgin showrunner Jennie Urman has discussed how she worked with set designers to create specific palettes for each character and set: Jane in blues, the hotel bathed in light, and no one, ever, in red. That aesthetic might seem like a natural extension of the show’s Miami setting, but it also communicates the way in which Jane attempts to solve its inherent conflicts: This is a show in which operating in the open — in truth and transparency — is valorized.

By comparison, the palette of Empire is replete with the deep veneers of dark lipstick and black Escalades, the lushness of fur and deep velvet. It’s a show obsessed with texture and surface, which reflects its narrative concern with image and the ways in which the performance thereof can mask the darkness and despair within. Several characters live some variation of a double life — a tension that plays out in the deep contrasts between the spotlights and dark corners that characterize the nightclub, the press conference, even the bank of the river where Lucious orchestrates [SPOILER ALERT] the execution of his longtime confidant.

Wardrobe also always contributes to character, but it becomes particularly significant in melodrama: Jane’s sundresses reflect her modest, sunny disposition; Xiomara’s cut-off jean shorts and wedges tell you everything you need to know about the type of woman she wants to be.

On Empire, Cookie’s lush outfits communicate loudly, especially when compared to her ex-husband’s new wife’s ensembles — the former debutante looks like she walked out of an Ann Taylor catalogue. The two would clash regardless, but their clashing style highlights their varying upbringings, worldviews, and expressions of femininity that undergird their conflict.

Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) on Empire


Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) on Empire



Only with a family melodrama can clothing mean that much, addressing enduring tensions of class, skin color, and assimilation within the black community. And only with a family melodrama, can a show on The CW explicitly address the practice of “medical repatriation,” in which undocumented immigrants, once hospitalized, can be deported back to their country, even when gravely ill. Because these issues of identity are embedded into the very details of every scene, they feel far less didactic and hackneyed than the after-school specials or “very special episodes” of the ‘80s and ‘90s that attempted to reduce larger issues into a single plotline.

There’s a potential danger, of course, in transforming systemic issues into ones that primarily take place on the level of the individual. It encourages audiences to view change for one person — Alma’s narrow avoidance of medical repatriation, for example — as enough. Systemic problems remain, but the salvation of the individual character,with whom the audience has connected, feels cathartic. Melodrama can depict and narrativize these issues, then, but it can also inoculate viewers from doing anything about them.

But there’s only so much straightforward thinking one can do about a particular issue: You can read the news, contemplate the tragedies of an issue, feel sad, post to Facebook, join a protest. What melodrama enacts, then, is a sort of narrative that not only makes Latino and African-Americans protagonists in their own narratives — instead of guest stars and plotpoints in others — but encourages people who might feel alienated or distant from those struggles to identify not necessarily with the particulars of existence, but the universalities of the human experience.

The emotionality and excess that make it easy to dismiss Jane the Virgin and Empire are also an entryway to a world that some might not otherwise consider. These shows aren’t what some term “quality television,” and even Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globe win for her turn as Jane isn’t enough to make many take it seriously. But that doesn’t mean these melodramatic shows aren’t doing some of the most important, unique, and even progressive work on television today.

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