Category Archives: Pop Culture

Binge-watching with Obama

From Margaret Carlson at Bloomberg View:

Obama hearted “Cards” just a few weeks ago when he took aside Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings at a White House meeting of technology gurus to discuss problems with HealthCare.gov. Obama said he wished he could be “ruthlessly efficient” like Kevin Spacey’s Machiavellian character, Frank Underwood, who is “getting a lot of stuff done.” His skill set includes killing, sleeping with a reporter who prints his every word, and conspiring with his wife to do in the politicians who deprived him of his appointment to be secretary of state.

“The Future of the Book”?

“What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted”

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House is a new study of popular culture in the White House. The blurb:

From Cicero to Snooki, the cultural influences on our American presidents are powerful and plentiful. Thomas Jefferson famously said “I cannot live without books,” and his library backed up the claim, later becoming the backbone of the new Library of Congress. Jimmy Carter watched hundreds of movies in his White House, while Ronald Reagan starred in a few in his own time. Lincoln was a theater-goer, while Obama kicked back at home to a few episodes of HBO’s “The Wire.”

America is a country built by thinkers on a foundation of ideas. Alongside classic works of philosophy and ethics, however, our presidents have been influenced by the books, movies, TV shows, viral videos, and social media sensations of their day. In What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culturen in the White House presidential scholar and former White House aide Tevi Troy combines research with witty observation to tell the story of how our presidents have been shaped by popular culture.

Chapter 7 on music and the quest for cool looks especially interesting.

Intergenerational argument starter

Just add water …

The times they are a changing – early 1960s vs. today

How are we different? Well, we …

1. Watch way more TV.

Watch way more TV.

The daily TV consumption of American households has skyrocketed over the last 50 years from 5 hours to over 8 hours per day, according to Nielsen. Note that if a household is watching 8 hours a day, it may not mean each member of that household is present for all 8 hours.

Seinfeld now defender of coffee

If you haven’t checked out Jerry Seinfeld’s new web show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee then you should – it’s a lot of fun. But a recent article in Grub Street NY (NY Mag) reveals that he’s only a recent convert to the joys of coffee. Here are three revealing insights he provides on his new found liquid friend:

  • “When you go into 3 Guys Coffeeshop on Columbus, don’t complain that it’s not as good as Gimme! Coffee or Mudd or one of these places. Appreciate that for what that is. Know the difference, but don’t be a pain in the ass about it.”
  • “We want to do a lot of stuff. We’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.”
  • “Eating is annoying and difficult to arrange … meeting someone for coffee suddenly seemed like a wonderful, compact, accessible, and portable social interaction.”

Check out the rest here.

 

The story behind the famous Elvis/Nixon photo

Is told on Buzzfeed with a series of related photos. (Hint: there is a  War on Drugs theme). As  a side note, the photo above must be one of the most bizarre celebrity couple pictures I’ve ever seen.