Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

A 90s Culture Time Capsule

STEPHON JOHNSON: Like Stevie Wonder once said, I’ve been living in a pastime paradise and I’ve tried to erase my current funk with some thoughts of yesteryear to cheer me up. Continue reading

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Gawker Ethics and the Chris Lee Scoop

AKIE BERMISS: I guess as long as there are famous people and/or celebrities and/or politicians infidelity will always be a popular story. At this point, for me, its become a bit old-hat. I mean, I guess I’m concerned if some family-values zealot is sleeping with his secretary, but I’m not sure what my concern is for. When these things come to light they often lead to an anti-climactic finish for the politician in question (in most cases, they do the fake apology, lay low for a while, and the pick up right where they left off) and give the political Left fodder for some righteous indignation (something we are not exactly short on). But nothing happens to the family-values cause, and that’s why I’ve stopped caring.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: As we all know, the website Gawker.com recently broke the story of Chris Lee soliciting sex on Craigslist while using an actual photo of himself. And sure, it was a little surprising to everyone how quickly he resigned after that scandal made headlines. A lot of people suspected that there might be more to the story, and the journalists at Gawker were only too happy to help them confirm those suspicions. But if you ask me, they acted a little too quickly with their volatile follow-up story, which leveled an arguably even more serious accusation against Lee: that he had also solicited the company of a pre-op transsexual and a transvestite prostitute, also through Craigslist. Continue reading

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Christine O’Donnell: A Witch? You? Me?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Christine O’Donnell’s revelatory advertisement advising that “I am you” cast a bright and often unforgiving light on my life to date.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: If there’s one thing I am not, it’s politically savvy. Still, even I knew there was something fishy about Christine O’Donnell’s recent “I’m Not A Witch” ad. For one thing, it’s a given that any time a politician stares directly into a camera and makes a definitive statement, from “I am not a crook” or “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman” to “Read my lips”—you know that the truth is going to actually be the opposite of what they’re saying. Continue reading

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Mario Cuomo In Review

HOWARD MEGDAL: The election of Mario Cuomo would have meant nothing less than the intellectual rebuttal from liberalism needed after Ronald Reagan. Instead, when Cuomo failed to make the 1992 presidential run, conservatives had a 40-year reign in the presidential discourse.

AKIE BERMISS: Mario Cuomo became Governor of New York State in 1983. Several months later I was born. And for the first 11 years of my life — Cuomo was mayor. At the age of 12, puberty hit me like a ton of bricks — it was the end of an age of innocence. So I quite naturally associate Mario Cuomo with the warm and wonderful feeling of simplicity that is childhood. That’s not to say I didn’t have my share of complicated woes from ages 1 – 11 (it was the eighties and New York was basically New Jack City), but if there was one consistent goodness it was Cuomo at the helm of the state.

This also means I associate George Pataki with sweaty hair, pimples, and nocturnal emissions. Which is fair, I think.
Continue reading

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State of the Newt

HOWARD MEGDAL: Newt Gingrich has made little secret of the fact that he wants to be President of the United States. That was clear when he rode an anti-Democratic wave to become Speaker of the House, when he tried to bring down a president, and in every appearance he makes these days with a thinly-veiled PAC geared to return him to the public eye.

DAN SZYMBORSKI: Regardless, Newt’s role in the Republican Party at this point isn’t going to be as a candidate for elective office, but as one of the elder statesmen of the party, which is a role he can handle very well. Newt’s name isn’t of huge value, but instilling an intellectual spirit in the party rather than the kind of lazy conservative faux-populism that Sarah Palin represents can only benefit the party.

CHRIS PUMMER: If Gingrich is the nominee, it’s going to be because the GOP prospects are bleak, the other A-listers have taken a pass, and Newt will be the latest Bob Dole-style firewood thrown into the fires of futility. Which maybe meets his exact place in history. Continue reading

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President Happy?

AKIE BERMISS: Here’s a question for you: Is the President happy? Is he a happy fellow? Does he smile enough? Is he quick to kid, easy with his laugh, light and bright and delightful? I don’t know, honestly I haven’t thought about it. I mean, he seems like a pretty nice guy. He’s certainly capable to delivering a well-timed comedic barb. Still, its just not the first thing that springs to mind when I think: President Obama.

And according to Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post — it should be.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It is hard to know which part of Fred Hiatt’s analysis is most ridiculous. Is it the “tough political time” when Obama is the most popular officeholder in Washington by far? That he would rather sustain himself with the love of family than the adoration of strangers on the campaign trail or meetings with foreign leaders? Or the fact that Hiatt diagnosed this problem just before President Obama passed Health Care Reform through both houses of Congress- for, let’s not forget, the second time. Continue reading

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90s: The Golden Age of Music?

AKIE BERMISS: I should make it clear from the outset that it is not my position that the 90s was THE golden age of music. Just perhaps one of many golden mini-eras that come and go with the tides. And I should also make it clear that there is very little scientific evidence to back up the arguments I am going to presently make. What follows is, rather, a pseudo-scholarly attempt to draw up a basic outline of musical trends in the last half century or so.

I speak, of course, of music. Of the last great golden age of music: the 90s. But not as an isolated incident, rather, as a the most recent evidence of a decidedly unproven trend of artistic flowering under a Democratic presidency. It seems curious to me that we can so often think of artistic artifacts as being simply art’s domain when, in fact, we all know that outward influences are always at play. That often art is a sign of the times. Or art can act as a cultural and societal artifact as potently as an “artistic” one. Certainly anthropologists look to art in order to gauge the tenor and timbre of a civilization. Why shouldn’t we (albeit on a more micro-level)?

STEPHON JOHNSON: While the 90′s could be considered last real golden age for music, the way music was consumed and experienced back then might cloud our judgement of the decade. Continue reading

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The Real World: Generational Zeitgeist OR Truth is Stranger than Fiction, and Nakeder

JEFF ELDRIDGE: From grunge to Girls Gone Wild — Real Word, c’est moi.

MOLLY SCHOEMAN: The Real World inspired a number of timeless Reality TV classics for which I am grateful. Continue reading

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