How the #FirstWorldProblems Anthem Video (Sort of) Missed the Point

The #FirstWorldProblems Anthem video (embedded below) may not have gone viral (yet), but it is making the rounds. Reactions to the video have been mixed, as Emel O’Toole explains in the Guardian.Writing for Co.Create, Joe Berkowitz has aptly captured both a central problem behind the now-famous #FirstWorldProblems Tweets and the rationale driving the ad group to release this video: While taken individually #FirstWorldProblems jokes may seem innocuous, but according to DDB New York, there ar … [Read more...]

Is Victory Within Reach for Romney?

By many accounts, GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney outperformed incumbent President Barack Obama last Wednesday, October 3. Fox News headlined the results of a recent Rasmussen poll, which found Romney had a 49% lead over Obama's 47% standing.It should be noted, as Fox News does, that the poll was conducted prior to the debate. It should also be noted, though, that Fox's headline -- "Rasmussen Poll: Romney ahead 49-47 percent in first, full poll-debate survey" -- will easily mislead view … [Read more...]

Spotlighting Drone Warfare

This week, a number of articles on drone warfare have appeared. It's a topic that is not discussed nearly as much as it should be. Here's a brief round-up of links to pieces on the subject, along with key quotes.Writing for Foreign Affairs, Princeton Ph.D. candidate Omar S. Bashir has argued drone warfare needs far more accountability: Concerns abound about the secretive nature of U.S. drone programs. Even among those who support the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in counterterrorism … [Read more...]

Fighting Human Trafficking

This week, President Obama issued an executive order meant to work toward the end of human trafficking. The order came in response to a petition with more than 73,000 signatures delivered to the President back in June of this year. (I had the chance and the honor of signing the petition.)In his speech announcing the executive order, the President said this about modern-day slavery: Now, I do not use that word, "slavery" lightly.  It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our … [Read more...]

Is “Les Mis” Slated to Be Groundbreaking?

Les Miserables

A promo video giving moviegoers a glimpse into the forthcoming film version of Les Misérables was released recently. Here's the video:http://youtu.be/wwgQjfg0hZwI'm generally not fond of musicals, but I am quite interested in seeing this production. My attention was caught when director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, 2010) said this about musicals: "You can tell in your bones there's something false or unreal about people singing to playback. . . . [S]inging live has such an impact on the … [Read more...]

Not Fit for Dinner: Welcoming Mormonism into the Fold

Each Friday in Not Fit for Dinner, C. Ryan Knight explores political issues and the preconceptions guiding our understanding of and responses to them.By many accounts, one of the primary goals of this year’s Republican National Convention was to re-introduce Mitt Romney to his own party, and America at large, in an attempt to increase the likelihood of his being elected to the White House.In trying to cast Romney in a new light, some speakers have carefully broached the waters of Romney’s Mor … [Read more...]

Not Fit for Dinner: Rand's Influence on Ryan

Each Friday in Not Fit for Dinner, C. Ryan Knight explores political issues and the preconceptions guiding our understanding of and responses to them.The national spotlight is on Congressman Paul Ryan more than ever before, now that Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate. This week has been a crash course in which we’ve glimpsed Ryan’s childhood pictures, learned about his voting record, and heard about his position on nearly every election issue.One area of particular interest—or concer … [Read more...]

Not Fit for Dinner: Elections in the Age of Microtargeting

Each Friday in Not Fit for Dinner, C. Ryan Knight explores political issues and the preconceptions guiding our understanding of and responses to them.Don’t be surprised if the political campaign ads you see in the coming months feel eerily focused on your interests and beliefs. Welcome to the age of what’s known as microtargeting—an age I wish weren’t here.Microtargeting is a digital campaign strategy that presents specific advertisements to viewers based on their interests. Campaign groups d … [Read more...]

Obamacare, Citizenship, and Neighbor Care

As debate over the upheld Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) remains intense, I’d like to enter the fray by focusing on the individual mandate and the terms associated with the cost levied at those who opt not to purchase health insurance.Two key words—tax and penalty—are primarily used to describe this cost, and the most intense debate I’ve heard has been over which of the two the levied cost is. There’s actually a third term for the cost, which is unfortunately and all-too-often neglecte … [Read more...]

Not Fit for Dinner: Think Twice Before Heading West

Each Friday in Not Fit for Dinner, C. Ryan Knight explores political issues and the preconceptions guiding our understanding of and responses to them.Fire-tongued Congressman Allen West has set headlines ablaze once again when he disparaged President Barack Obama at a campaign event earlier this month: “He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.” His other recent attention-grabbing comments include tell … [Read more...]


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