Shaming the Obamas Over Lena Dunham Doesn’t Help Anyone
We never give people who live in the public eye the same amount of privacy and respect that we afford our personal friends.
If there's one thing I love about not being famous, it's being able to make mistakes without thousands of people mocking me on cable news channels or the Internet. It seems we never give people who live in the public eye the same amount of privacy and respect that we afford our personal friends.
Even law courts uphold the distinction between private and public individuals, and if you have "chosen" to live in the public eye, it's much more difficult to win a defamation suit (the logic goes that you can marshal the forces of celebrity to publicly defend yourself).
So I read with skepticism recent criticism of the Obamas' parenting skills, in which their teenage daughter Malia interns with Lena Dunham on the set of Girls. The charge? Girls is soft-core porn and Dunham's sexual libertinism isn't appropriate for teenagers.
Few things seem more fraught than telling parents how to raise their children, especially when their father has access to the nation's nuclear codes. Still, there's a lot of incredibly disturbing stuff out there. (I just watched Rihanna's "BBHMM" video for the first time — WTF?!)
The problem with criticizing celebrities (and the president is definitely a celebrity) is that we rarely know the nuance of the event we're criticizing, just as we private individuals keep the most essential details of our private decisions, um, private.
What's at stake in wondering whether Malia Obama is fit to intern on a racy TV show is (1) popular culture is too liberal in its approach to sex (and grotesque, fetishized violence in the case of BBHMM) and (2) the president should be shielding his daughters better, protecting their innocence.
In the wake of the Elizabeth Lauten event, in which the Congressional staffer questioned the etiquette of the Obama daughters, an appeal was made to keep them out of the media spotlight. Presumably this was precisely about protecting their innocence, allowing them to exist in a world free from adult cynicism.
How quickly that appeal faded.
Kwame Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, argues that notoriety and tackiness have historically conferred a questionable distinction on individuals, but that an undercurrent has always resisted moral mediocrity.
Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.
- Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
- Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
- Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
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