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Film

'The Final Year' Wistfully Recalls The Obama Administration's Final Months in Office

As The Final Year quietly argues, if the United States' electorate fails to elevate itself to a higher level of political vernacular than coarse tweets and reality TV-style colloquies, then 2016 may be the best year the US will have had for a long time to come.

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Politics

The Power of Now

There’s an old saying that “patience is a virtue.” Not anymore.

Politics

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents - The Growth of Democracy & the Flow of Humor

“Greatest” and “worst” president surveys continue to reveal what is surely not just a coincidence: we have always and still continue to revere our wits in the White House.

Television

In America, Imagination is a Third Party: The Presidency in Fiction

Fiction lets us to explore our weirdest speculations and darkest fears about the person who sits in the White House. Is reality, under America's current president, worse than fiction?

Music

Pussy Riot, Paul Ryan, and Protest Music in 2012 America

With a high-stakes presidential election around the corner, many people have wondered what's happened to protest music in America. From Pussy Riot to Paul Ryan, taking stock might not be as simple as it was a few decades ago.

Music

Ry Cooder: Election Special

The guitar legend channels Woody Guthrie on his brilliant new album.

Politics

The Politics of American Perceptions

If Republicans and Democrats were in a street fight, who would win? Beyond Red and Blue is the rare book that gracefully helps you see the legitimacy of the other side of your sacred political beliefs.

Politics

Post-Black, Post-Racial... Post-Trayvon

The sense that a cohesion of group identity was no longer a defining factor of black life had taken a firm hold in America. Then Trayvon Martin was killed.

Music

When Politicians Hit Wrong Notes

From Reagan in the '80s to Limbaugh in 2012, Republicans have an uncanny knack for linking themselves to musicians who don’t support them. Just ask Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp.

Books

On President Obama's Mother: 'A Singular Woman' and Her Egalitarian Spirit

This book reveals Stanley Ann to be an intellectually curious, passionate, idealistic, and unconventional woman whose sense of wonder and love shaped the lives of two children -- including the one that would become the 44th president of the United States.

Politics

Your Brain in the Voting Booth

President Obama may not be everything people’s brains deceived them into thinking he was, but he’s who he said he would be all along.

Politics

Killing Osama bin Laden and David Mamet's Special Ops Drama, 'The Unit'

Viewing the world through a haze of vaguely remembered TV shows, tough-guy dialogue and TV jingles, the news about Osama bin Laden’s death quickly turned thoughts to The Unit, the TV series created by once-great writer David Mamet.

Politics

The Government Shutdown: Only on Television

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid managed to negotiate a compromise with the Republicans just two hours before a shutdown would have occurred. President Obama didn't have it as easy as The West Wing's Jed Bartlet.

Books

Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

To paraphrase Lewis Black, if the candidates in the 2008 election represent evolution, then by 2016 we're going to be voting for plants.

Books

Nobel Prizes and Nobel Promises

President Obama probably rattled and hummed in disbelief when he got his Nobel Prize. Ask Bono.

Books

Winning the Presidency 2008 by William J. Crotty

The details of the recent presidential election will soon fade, and you'll want to have this recap and analysis to reflect on.

Politics

Rachel Maddow Takes on Obama Over Defense of Marriage Act (video)

US Citizens Constitutional Rights continue to be trampled. Thanks, Obama (Not!)

Karen Zarker
Television

Kinship & Collective Fate in Heroes

Each one, teach one goes the ole African adage. This gets reflected in many unconventional ways in Heroes.

Books

Redemption Song by Niall Stanage

President Obama, whose great-great-great-grandfather was Falmouth Kearney, had the luck of the Irish -- and a lot of it.

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Black people doing white people doing Black people.

Certainly, my wet dreams aren’t of some wanton tragic mulatto naked on her hands and knees, projecting that very old Plantation style racial order (See the next-to-last scene of Monster’s Ball). Rather, I fantasize about Mariah, Barack and Alicia.

Music

Recession Sounds: Revisiting Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

President Obama faces an economic crisis, rising unemployment, and widespread anxiety about the country's future. In light of these troubling events, perhaps it is time for him (and us) to revisit Nebraska.

Andrew Zitcer
Music

Hot Buttered Soul: Politics and Pop Culture Are Really One

When change is upon us and we need media most, more and more traditional media outlets will simply pick up and disseminate what fewer and fewer folks have placed on the corporate-filtered news wire. Luckily, my new White House friend is as funky as you wanna be.

Music

"Zoom, I wish the world were truly happy": Barack and the blues

In Grant park on the night of America’s victory in November 2008, Barack opened with: "It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America." It is my sincere hope that readers don’t miss that. Barack has a deep and personal understanding of this unique and complex American history. A cool, smooth, blues man has come to lead the nation.

Books

Down to the Crossroads by Guy Rundle

Rundle didn’t know for certain that Obama was going to win. Admit it, neither did you.

Visual Arts

Street Art’s Day in the Sun

In many ways Sheppard Fairey’s (designer of the famous Obama "hope" poster) work is an ad campaign making fun of ad campaigns. It’s his consistency of message that has earned him respect. He is the McDonalds of guerilla art.

Tom Matlack
Television

Frontline: Dreams of Obama

The "dreams of Obama" are partly his and partly his admirers', functions of his much-repeated story, his political ambitions and achievements, as well as the desires of his many and diverse supporters.

News

Celebrities fete Obama

Robin Abcarian and Jill Zuckman
Books

Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, by John Stauffer

Stauffer demonstrates in amusing and enlightening fashion the pivotal role fisticuffs and fighting had in helping Lincoln and Douglass define themselves and take control of their fates.

Politics

Are We the Rockstars We've Been Waiting For?

Barack Obama may be Radiohead and Sarah Palin a riot grrl punk, but they aren't rockstars. The reason why is that the rockstar is dead.

Aaron McKain
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