The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

With Apologies to Your Mind's Eye

Feb 5, 2013 1:10 PM PT

In response to A Heavy Subject Matter:

I think the left's response to the charge of hypocrisy over smoker shaming would be that second-hand smoke harms the health of other people besides the smoker. I know there's some conservative pushback to the claim, but I've never conducted a survey of the necessary medical literature to come down on one side or the other.

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Celebrities, Politicians and The "Me!" Generation

Feb 5, 2013 11:11 AM PT

The Los Angeles Times recently did a story on how fans no longer seek celebrities' autographs and instead want photos with the celebrity.

"A photo is proof that I was near the people that, before this, only existed on my TV screen or in the movies," said Miller, who earlier had managed to snag a shot with "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston. "A photo can show a smile or an outfit to your friends; a signature can't."

The time-honored scrawl that once was the gold standard artifact of a brush with greatness has lost some of its glow in the age of social media. Taking a photo of oneself for Web posting has become so popular that it has added a new word to the lexicon — "selfie."

And a selfie with an A-lister is among the most prized postings of all.

A photo with a famous person, said Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, an associate professor at USC and author of "Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity, "supports the larger belief that we are just like them because we are standing right next to them." [emphasis added]

Indeed, celebrities, whether at a restaurant or on the red carpet, report they are spending far more time posing awkwardly close with fans than scratching off their names. The shift has left some longing for simpler days.

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'Hugging Moore'

Feb 5, 2013 8:18 AM PT

I'd like to help spread the word about a worthy project the guys from FTR radio are working on that will pay tribute to the late great Andrew Breitbart as the one year anniversary of his death approaches. Thomas La Duke came up with an idea to film a documentary - not about Breitbart, but inspired by him.

Yes. Everyone should be “Hugging Moore”. Michael Moore. The filmmaker guy from Flint that makes movies that are full of the stuff that makes plants grow. That guy.

In Jan of 2012 new media guru Andrew Breitbart toured Moore’s theater in Traverse City, MI and proclaimed that Moore was a one of his favorite capitalists. FTR Media and Get Over Yourself Productions dig into why Moore has so bad mouthed the very system that ha made him one of the wealthiest people in the country. The journey into this story will surprise you and make you realize that Michael Moore might be Americas greatest capitalist. Maybe.

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Only the Jung can say

Feb 4, 2013 9:03 PM PT

In response to The Jung and Restless:

Another thing I find interesting about the credential fetish is that it elevates potential over actual achievement; we are supposed to get excited about the marvelous educational and political backgrounds of the elite, rather than take a cold hard look at what they actually did, or failed to do.  This mirrors the way socialism, the ultimate triumph of intellectual hype over experience, is always judged according to its promises, never its results.

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The Jung and Restless

Feb 4, 2013 5:16 PM PT

In response to Psychoanalyzing the Left:

Ace - like a lot of cherished lefty ideas,  meritocracy (with wise elders bestowing credentials on the deserving) began with good intentions. Ancient China had civil service service exams as far back as the Han Dynasty (200 BC), as a bulwark against nepotism and favoritism. And, lest we forget, Plato was pretty cool with the whole idea of philosopher kings.

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