SHMOOZE NEWS: The Sphinx Slouches, the Fiscal Cliff Too & Life/Death Media-Style

Wha’ Happened This Week?  So You’re Never LATE TO THE PARTY.

1. Guys, I know ’tis the season for being all “peace on earth” but this wasn’t a great week for peace on kind of a bunch of earth.  Seems both Egypt & Syria missed the memo: Syria’s been fighting a civil war for like a year and a half now, since the Arab Spring, and word is the government is prepping some chemical weapons (deadly nerve gas & other apocalyptic-sounding bio-bombs) — and everyone’s freaking out that they might use the stuff on their own people.

Egypt, on the other hand, was all “yay democracy” following the Arab Spring, and in June of this year elected a shiny new president (who even got a PhD from USC so he must be a cool guy), Mohamed Morsi/Mursi/Morsy (I love how it’s like every news outlet tries to exert its independent spirit by finding a different spelling than anyone else uses).  Moursea was supposed to lead a new regime of fairness & good stuffness.  Sooooo.  That happened.  Actually, it was off to a not-too-bad start until suddenly a few weeks ago he’s like “wait, let’s just say I have absolute power” (supposedly only a temporary thing because he was trying to avoid trouble during the gray area of constitution-writing-time) (Trouble: not avoided).  As this week’s Time Magazine cover story puts it, right up ’til this moment:

…there was even the possibility that Morsi had amassed just the right proportion of international credibility and domestic political capital to start delivering on the promise of the Arab Spring. But then he overreached. Instead of consolidating the power he had amassed in service of his country’s emerging democracy, he grabbed for more.

And the Egyptian people noticed and got disillusioned & angry, and Moursea’s henchmen noticed and got vindictive & stone-throwy, lobbing ’em at protesters on the streets of Cairo.  People died.  A few hundred more were wounded.  It was not good.
This image encapsulates the problem, says those who oppose Moursea:
A 74-year-old activist woman is physically silenced by a Morsi supporter.
A 74-year-old activist woman, shouting “We are the Egyptian people!” is physically silenced by a Moursea supporter.

Sorry, not a meme.  Just an actual thing.  As is the OTHER revolution going on in Egypt these days — the one where women are finally starting to not get brutally gang-raped without means of recourse.  Sorry, again.  Super heavy.  But kinda puts the whole Katy-Perry’s-not-into-using-the-word-“feminism” thing into perspective, eh?

katy perry

2. The Thelma & Louise denouement nears!  Yeah, there continues to be no real news, strictly speaking, regarding ye olde Fiscal Cliff (this still makes me think of Bill Cosby thanks to that meme from a few weeks back), but the non-news is gelling into a story of its own.  Like jello.  President Obama 2.0, the tough guy who won this time around, is not backing down on his hard line stance that whatever agreement is reached in Congress to swerve ‘n miss the cliff WILL include a tax on the richest Americans.  (Since everyone likes cannibalism references, Daily Beast‘s Daniel Gross counts the days since the fiscal cliff “hostage situation” began — the stalemate between the Dems and the GOP — and announces “it’s starting to get like the Donner Party. The weaker members are starting to succumb.”)  And all the Republicans can do to ignore the stench of human flesh is a) complain about Speaker of the House Boehner since he’s — gasp — trying to compromise, b) shoot down utterly benign & well-intentioned treaties to protect the disabled, or c) in extreme cases, defect (like that DeMint guy, who’s gonna go run a Tea Party think tank [oxymoron?] and ruminate on a 2016 presidential bid).  Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 11.45.47 PM

Or I guess there’s also option d) get kicked out — heh.  Karl Rove (the brains to George W. Bush’s beauty) endured a public flame-out worthy of Lindsay Lohan this week when Fox News downgraded his on-air status (read: sorta fired him but less dramatical) in response to his utterly impressive break from reality on Election Night 2012.  As Salon editor Joan Walsh puts it, he now finds his “privileges to roam the right-wing fearscape spewing propaganda suddenly limited.”  PS. Wait, the Republicans blocked a treaty to protect the disabled?!  Yes, thanks to sweater-vest-wearing, search-engine-beleaguered Rick Santorum, this is indeed the case.  As The New York Times’ Gail Collins writes:

Lately, he’s been on a crusade against a dangerous attempt by the United Nations to help disabled people around the world. This week, he won! The Senate refused to ratify a U.N. treaty on the subject. The vote, which fell five short of the necessary two-thirds majority, came right after 89-year-old Bob Dole, the former Republican leader and disabled war veteran, was wheeled into the chamber to urge passage.

“We did it,” Santorum tweeted in triumph.

Well, it doesn’t get any better than that.

3. Finally, the salacious: a little life & death drama.  First the death: everyone had a collective “oh my god, I’m mortal” moment when an image was released this week that captured a man’s final moments, stuck on a subway track as the train approached.  A photographer for the New York Post just happened to be on the platform, and started a national tizzy over photojournalistic ethics when he got the shot instead of saving the guy.  And now for the life: on the other end of the invasive/thorough media coverage spectrum (I’ll let you decide which side is which), Kate Middleton is preggers and we only know about it because she threw up a lot!  The world’s favorite dainty young lady wasn’t for a sec.

middleton

As much as it’s creepy to learn this much about the uterus of someone we don’t and won’t know, a bunch of newspapers were quick to justify their fascination with the reminder that, no matter how “antiquated” it might sound, producing an heir is kinda Kate’s job.

I prefer mine being the smarty at the party.  Ya know, roaming the left-wing fearscape spewing propaganda unhindered.  Muahahahhaaa!

Quote of the week:

dalai lama

3 thoughts on “SHMOOZE NEWS: The Sphinx Slouches, the Fiscal Cliff Too & Life/Death Media-Style

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