And We’re Back…

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 | SMASH Technology with No Comments »

When you consider the airtime on C-SPAN, almost five hours, and the intense online coverage, you really have to wonder about the level of intelligent discourse in this country. The other night, inside the cavernous Hilton Hotel ballroom in Washington DC, hundreds of political and celebrity luminaries, including the President himself, gathered for the annual self-congratulatory, headline-grabbing, publicity-hound mongering event that only serves to puff up the hard work of publicists and staffs, running around carrying clipboards and rushing their clients in front of cameras. Is that a CNN camera? No, it’s actually Extra and Entertainment Tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama, President Bad Ass

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 | SMASH Technology with 1 Comment

Obama Speech

You really don’t want to be around Obama nowadays. He will kick your ass. And he’ll be smooth about it. Let’s look at the last 72 hours or so of his schedule and take a look at what finesse and general bad-assness he has displayed.

On Friday, instead of just tucking in and watching the Royal Wedding and hat parade like the rest of us, he flew with his family to Alabama to comfort those who were devastated by horrendous tornadoes. He even went to Miami’s Dade College and gave a commencement address! Read the rest of this entry »

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2016 Olympics? It’ll be Rio.

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 | SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

2016 Olympics Bid

This Friday, October 2, at 9:30 am PST (or 11:30 am CST), the world will know which city has been chosen as the host for the 2016 Summer Olympics. For those who live in Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo, the four finalist cities, they are especially anxious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Egos Like Kanye West Behaving Badly –and What It Says About Us

Monday, September 21st, 2009 | SMASH Technology with No Comments »

Last week’s trifecta of tacky behavior –Joe Wilson, in a historic first, heckling the President before a formal address to Congress, Serena Williams screaming expletives and threats at a line-judge at match point at the US Open, and a drunk Kanye West grabbing the mike from winner Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs—was a strangely aligned set of events that have underlined what many have suspected about social civility in the US: it is rapidly withering away. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hey, Kids! Missed the Obama Speech? Here it is!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Obama's Zombification of Our Children

Carolita Johnson Cartoonist Cartoon by Carolita Johnson

Hey, kids, I don’t know what the hell your nut-job parents were all upset about. The President gave a back-to-school speech this morning at a high school in Virginia, a patriotic message about dedication and personal responsibility that was beamed to all schools in this country.

Your parents thought this speech was tantamount to some propaganda shilling for Democratic social programs like that public option in the current health care fight up on Capitol Hill. This was supposed to be the speech where the force of Mr. Obama’s charisma was going to hypnotize you into becoming a free-spending and taxing Socialist, and indoctrinate you into the ways of Karl Marx. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sonia Sotomayor: Our First Latina Justice

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

The image of Sonia Sotomayor, accompanied by her mother and her brother, taking the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts, to become our nation’s 111th Supreme Court Justice was surely a thrilling, moving moment for many of this country’s Latino population.

After winning Senate confirmation last week, Sotomayor was promptly sworn in at the Supreme Court (and not at the White House, in order to show independence) on Saturday morning, and it culminated several weeks of debate and sometimes angry discourse from opponents who did not care for some of Sotomayor’s previous remarks that she, as a “wise Latina” somehow had a better perspective than older white males. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Obama Poster Copycats: Had enough yet?

Monday, May 18th, 2009 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

The Obama Poster Copycats:

Shepard Fairey created something truly inspiring in his original and stirring renditions of HOPE, OBEY and ultimately OBAMA.  Since then, hoards of copycat wannabes have been flooding the intranets with their own Photoshopped, inferior versions.

And yes, you can even OBAMA YOURSELF should you be so inclined.

So let’s get them all up and and over with, shall we?

Obama Poster Original

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Village Academy: We Are Listening

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with 1 Comment

Village Academy

Let’s face it: the economy is in the toilet, we’re one paycheck away from living in the streets, and we’ve been shocked into suddenly having very little —losing a job, a house, a car, a livelihood, a thinner 401K and portfolio. What portfolio, you say? You don’t invest in stocks? What 401K? You don’t have enough to invest either, huh? You’re just struggling, like many millions of families around the country, to just keep your head above water.

We’ve rapidly had to become a country that is taking a shockingly cold look at itself –a nation of people living beyond their means, a nation of debtors who have lived off plastic and put off responsibility until later, and now dealing not just with the devastating dislocations like, you know, not having a home all of a sudden. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Obama Era Dawns

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 | SMASH Technology with No Comments »

It was hard not to be overcome with emotion while watching the star-studded “We Are One” inauguration celebration from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington yesterday. No need to bear the harsh elements mind you, we all watched it in the comfort of our living rooms (thanks, HBO, for the free viewing). And it was a stirring spectacle from start to finish. Bruce Springsteen singing “The Rising”, accompanied by a legion of gospel singers, Garth Brooks doing a rousing medley of “American Pie”, “Shout” and “We Shall Be Free”, Usher and Shakira holding their own alongside Stevie Wonder for a spunky “Higher Ground”, etc. And it was hard not to tear up when Bono of U2 sang about “Early morning, April 4/The shots rang out/In the Memphis sky” during “Pride (In the Name of Love)” on the day before we celebrate what would have been the 80th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King and two days before his ultimate legacy is finally sworn in as President of “this great land”, as Bono said. “This isn’t even my land”, he continued, but clearly he and his band members were honored, along with a host of others, to be able to take part in history and really live this momentous occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

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More Free Obama Donuts! (And a Star-Spangled-One too!)

Friday, January 16th, 2009 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Our friends at Krispy Kreme are at it again. To commemorate the historic day that will be next Tuesday, when President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath office in the nation’s capital, all Krispy Kremes are giving away a free donut to all of its customers. That’s right. No purchase necessary. You go in, say, “I want my free donut!”, or perhaps even, “Hey, this is an awesome day. We have a new President. Give me my donut!”, or better yet, “Hey, we now have a President who speaks in complete sentences and who has lived in other countries. Would you please give me a free donut to celebrate?!” Read the rest of this entry »

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Keith Olbermann and the Prop 8 Vote: “This is What Your Heart Tells You to Do?”

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with 1 Comment

Keith Olbermann Prop 8

There have been a lot of post-mortems in the wake of the disturbing passage of Proposition 8 in California, which would have upheld the state Supreme Court’s decision in May to allow same-sex marriages. Protesters have taken to the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco voicing their dissent. Some have marched on the steps of the Mormon temples, especially since it’s been revealed that LDS money from Utah helped fund the Yes on 8 campaign throughout the state. Tens of thousands have also taken to signing petitions that seek to overturn the vote.  Other petitions charge that because of its overt involvement in the campaign, the Mormon Church should lose its precious tax exemption status. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama Victory: Two Black Women React

Friday, November 7th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

The utterly transformative and historic moment in Chicago’s Grant Park last Tuesday night held millions around the world spellbound. The image of the newly-elected 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and two young daughters waving to the crowds was something many people genuinely thought they’d never see. An African-American first family. A Black man who finally and most decisively achieved whatever this mythical “American dream” represented. A 20-month-old campaign was finally over, and Barack Hussein Obama triumphed, winning not only the popular vote on Tuesday but also the electoral vote by a margin of more than 2 to 1. Obama won in states that had not voted for a Democrat since 1964. The Commonwealth of Virginia, where the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War stood, went for Obama, as did North Carolina. As did Iowa. As did many states. They voted –Americans voted in large numbers for a Black man. Even in a country where racial attitudes still exist, one of the remarkable facts about Tuesday’s election was that Americans put aside those differences and took a proud and measured chance on a new leader and a new hope. Read the rest of this entry »

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More Treats! Free Starbucks Coffee on Election Day!

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 | SMASH Freebies, SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Starbucks Vote

So you’ve got free donuts and a free scoop of ice cream. Now on November 4, Starbucks wants to reward you voters with a free cup of coffee. Launched last night on “Saturday Night Live”, the commercial, part of the “Shared Planet” campaign, states that everyone who votes will get a cup of Starbucks coffee. Sounds like a deal. Now would you believe there are people who actually have a problem with this? KCBS-TV in Los Angeles apparently has questioned the legality of providing what could be seen as bribes to voters.

There is a California Elections Code, section 18521 (b), which prohibits rewarding people for voting or not voting. Another California companion statute contains similar language, saying the law is meant to prevent people from being bribed with money, food or alcohol. Technically speaking, any violation of the law could get you a prison sentence of 16 months to 3 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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What if John McCain were Black?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with 3 Comments

Hope Nope

Someone forwarded this e-mail to me this morning. It’s probably going around the Internet. Let me share it:

How Racism Clouds Judgment

What if things were switched around?
Think about it. Would the country’s collective point of view be different?
Ponder the following:

  • What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
  • What if Read the rest of this entry »

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Why It’s Obama

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »


In watching last night’s Barack Obama’s 30-minute prime-time TV ad, one couldn’t escape the sense that this was a culmination of sorts. We are now 5 days away from the most important election of our times, and never have I seen such intense interest in a presidential election. Then again never have I seen such an “advertisement”, or “commercial”, that was so seamlessly produced in a way that could capture the nation’s attention so close to an election by such a unique candidate. Should we reproach Obama for the fact that his campaign has the wherewithal to fund this ad and approach the seven TV and cable networks (CBS, NBC, Fox, MSNBC but not ABC or CNN) and say, “Can we buy 30 minutes of air time?”? Is it fair that his campaign, at last count, has now amassed something close to $600 million? If the largesse were McCain’s, don’t you think they would have done the same? It just strikes me that the McCain campaign has been engaging in some childish playground name-calling. They don’t like that this time it’s the Democrats who have clearly outspent them. They don’t like to acknowledge the fact that their candidate has been without a clear and defining message and that, though the race will probably tighten in the waning days, this campaign has been in a freefall. Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Debate #2: A Subdued Affair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with 1 Comment

Presidential Debate 2

Tom Brokaw had it right tonight. As Obama and McCain walked onstage in Nashville for their second debate of the campaign, the mood of the country had changed tremendously since their first encounter on September 26. The Dow plunged over 500 points today and the index is closer to 9000 than 10,000; people are concerned about the economy in ways that they haven’t since the Great Depression and voters especially are anxious for answers out of these somewhat desperate times. As a result, there was a somber feel to this evening’s affair given the crisis; a distinct pallor or dark cloud seemed to hang over the heads of the two candidates. Read the rest of this entry »

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