Time Magazine: Ok, The Story is Fake…But It’s Real in Our Hearts

It’s like the “fake news” media just can’t help but make Trump’s whacky points for him over and over and over again. No matter how insane he might sound at times, the echo-chamber that houses mainstream news coverage somehow manages to slip on the banana peel he throws down every time.

This week the Democrats were somehow able to look up from their own navels long enough to remember who they were and the power they used to wield. For a moment they have been able to successfully reach into their tired bag of tricks and lay an immigration crisis that has been going on for decades at the feet of President Trump. Well, played. Except…

Time Magazine just couldn’t help themselves, despite being nailed for their photoshop antics multiple times over the years (O.J.Simpson, anyone?). The point was clear – here is a little girl stuck at the border, crying and pleading for her mother…a mother Trump is single-handedly and uncaringly snatching from her grasping arms.

Only as it turns out, that’s not at all the real story of that child’s photo.

The young girl’s father eventually stepped forward to say that his daughter was not separated from her mother at the border. The family left together. Furthermore, the mother was not seeking asylum of any sort but rather just looking for work.

Just like that, all the air went out of a headline and a cover that Time Magazine seemed to be feeling pretty proud of.

But the real kicker is that rather that simply say, “Hey, we made a mistake.” Time has doubled down on their fake-newsery.

“The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal. “Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”

Ya hear that, America? The story they reported isn’t true but the spirit of the story is what’s important. They meant well!

Judd Legum of Think Progress was ticked. Not at Time of course, but at the rest of us for not just letting that little oopsie go in favor of the larger story.

While Legum’s thread is entertaining in it’s hysteria, it is also a sign of the larger problem he pretends is actually a problem of the “far right-wing”…he’s ignoring the details to make his point. This wasn’t just a cover. Time was actually claiming the girl had been separated from her mother. They aren’t a celebrity gossip site, they’re a legitimate news outlet and have a burden of substantiating their reporting. And yet time after time they forgo that burden in favor of simply inflaming emotions. This is exactly what President Trump is saying when he refers to them and others as “fake news”.

If you don’t want to be called “fake news” then stop posting fake stuff.

And when you get caught posting fake stuff, own up and go find some real stuff. It’s not that hard!

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I Know I Should Care About Melania’s Jacket…But I Just Can’t

First lady Melania Trump arrives at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Another day another Trump outrage.

Yesterday was the day of the “jacket seen round the world”. Melania Trump was captured boarding a flight wearing a green jacket emblazoned with the words, “I really don’t care. Do U?” on the back. Immediately the internet catapulted itself to Ivanka-Trump-Posting-Tone-Deaf-Pictures-With-Her-Children levels of outrage.

First lady Melania Trump walks to her vehicle as she arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mrs. Trump was on her way to visit a holding center for illegal immigrant children in Texas. Was she seriously that tone deaf? Or that cruel? Or both? HOW DARE SHE????!!11111!!!

I didn’t exactly believe it was “nothing”, as Mrs.Trump’s spokesperson tried to tell us.

The First Lady is not the most vocal woman to occupy that post. She’s an introvert and typically very quiet. However, she’s developed a reputation for speaking with her fashion choices. Remember her “pussy-bow” blouse she wore to one of her husband’s debates with Hillary Clinton? It was an understated wardrobe choice that spoke loudly.

It was certainly no accident that she wore that jacket with that message. Mrs. Trump is quiet, not stupid. My original suspicion was that it was a jab at the media – a favorite passtime of the Trump family. That suspicion was confirmed by the President later that day, but it didn’t alleviate my concern that indeed the jacket was a bit tone deaf. It certainly didn’t feel like good timing.

However, that’s as far as I could manage to extend my concern. I tried to feel outrage. I watched as many of my conservative colleagues chastised other conservatives for their hypocrisy. The general sentiment seemed to be:

“If Michelle Obama had worn a jacket like this at any time during her husband’s presidency conservatives would have freaked out!”

And you know what? Those people aren’t wrong. I’m quite sure I would have been incensed had I seen such a thing on Mrs. Obama…or Mrs. Clinton. I most certainly think it’s hypocritical of me to no care about Mrs. Trump’s jacket, and to be making fun of people and their hysterical, self-righteous indignation. I get that.

But still…I don’t care. So here I am asking myself why I don’t care. I do pride myself on being intellectually honest. I do understand that I have certain biases that – for all my efforts – still manifest themselves in my expressions. I do know that it’s not fair for me to feel this way and I want to be better than that. I want to be “smarter” than that.

But I can’t do it. The reason is two-fold, but resides under the same umbrella. I’m all out of outrage.

On the one hand, I’m out of my own outrage. I spent eight years railing against the Obama administration. His presidency is the entire reason I ever got into the blogging game in the first place. I was an outraged mother, screaming desperately into the wind about my increasing cost of living versus the decreasing opportunity for black Americans under our first black President. I was outraged at their elitist spending, the way they looked down their noses at people who didn’t look like them, think like them, worship like them or earn like them. Mostly, I was outraged at how the media refused to exhibit even a modicum of curiosity when it came the Obamas. They simply projected onto Mr. Obama their own (frankly, racist) hopes and wishes about what a “magic Negro” in the White House would be like. They ignored every scandal, every lie, and worse – they made up lies about the people who rejected his worldview. Those people were cruelly and coldly labeled racists or -if they were minorities like me – sellouts…self-hating blacks who just yearn for acceptance from our white overlords.

It was indeed outrageous and I used every platform I could to call out the terrible administration and advocate for the people being left behind.

And what did it net? Nothing. The Tea Party – like most “viral” political movements – devolved into competing, partisan money-making operations. Barack Obama served his full two terms. He jammed Obamacare through Congress with nary a Republican vote. He gave away billions of dollars to American enemies…basically he did whatever he wanted. All my screaming and yelling did nothing but gain me some followers on Twitter. Life was every bit as frustrating when he took office as it was when he left. As we rolled into the new election cycle I told myself I would never again waste so much useless rage, no matter who we elected.

On the other hand, I’m exhausted by the never ending cycle of outrage coming from the mainstream media and far-left wing entities…and frankly from some on the conservative side as well. While I was genuinely irked when Trump won the primaries, I had previously made the decision to accept the will of the voters. Instead of trashing Trump voters, I sought to understand them. What I wasn’t prepared to do was to spend another eight years in a perpetual state of outrage. I’ve had enough. It makes not a bit of difference to anything.

So yes, I understand that failing to be upset by the First Lady’s untimely message looks hypocritical…and no, I still am not able to muster up enough outrage to join the virtue signaling Twitter mob. After eight years of the media ignoring, subverting and downright insulting every legitimate concern I shared with my fellow non-Democrat Americans I am plum out of anger. I’m all out of hysteria. My wellspring of “whataboutism” is all dried up.

I just don’t care about Melania’s jacket.

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‘Unbelievable’ Podcast Debates Faith and Politics With Cool Heads and Amazing Grace

I’m a podcast addict. Some people like to put on music while they drive or clean or perform other mundane tasks…I put on talking. I’m a voracious listener of anything that will make me laugh or teach me something. I particularly enjoy hearing thoughtful discussions on “third-rail” topics. Unfortunately those types of discussions too often devolve into shouting and name-calling. As someone who earns a living in an industry that thrives on outrage, I find myself avoiding any entertainment that might end in indignation. I just don’t have the tolerance for it anymore.

So I was thrilled to discover a podcast that broached all of my favorite topics – philosophy, theology, religion and history – without leaving me with a “rage hangover”.

Unbelievable bills itself as a place for Christians and non-Christians to meet to discuss and debate. The show began as a regular Saturday morning broadcast on the British Christian radio station “Premier Christian Radio”. Host Justin Brierley created the show as an opportunity for Christian listeners to hear their faith challenged and explore the case for a Creator.

Over the years the show has expanded into the podcast form and has boasted guests with huge (and sometimes controversial) names in the fields of philosophy and the sciences, such as (in)famous pastor Rob Bell, astrophysicist Hugh Ross and Jordan Peterson.

As a host, Brierley has a unique (and enviable) ability to quietly moderate passionate discussions on some of the most heated topics of the day. Rarely will a listener hear the debate between two diametrically opposed parties devolve into shouting and name-calling. With skilled professionalism and a healthy dose of British wit, the father of four keeps the dialogue on track and isn’t afraid to remind guests that the forum is about debating ideas and not personal merit. It all makes for an enjoyable listen.

Those very polite British accents don’t hurt either.

As an avid listener of the podcast I was thrilled to discover that Brierley and his colleagues at Premier Christian Radio host an annual one-day apologetics conference in London, aptly named Unbelievable: The Conference. Deciding there’s no time like the present I cashed in a travel credit and headed off to London with a friend. To my utter delight, Brierley responded to my post about the conference on social media and invited us to his studio to sit in on a recording.

Glen Scrivener of “Speak Life” hosts 5 Hard Questions at “Unbelievable: The Conference” in London, May 2018

 

We were riveted by the discussion on the origin of the universe between Dr. Hugh Ross and atheist biologist Peter Atkins. Afterwards, Brierley sat down with me for an interview in his studio.

Left to Right: Wendy, Kira and Justin Brierley

Brierley hosts a debate between Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Peter Atkins in the ‘Unbelievable’ studios in London

We spoke about the beginnings of the show and how, after three years with the network Brierley approached the CEO about creating a program that would invite non-Christians into the space and spark dialogue. Unbelievable would launch as a place for Christians to hear debates about core values and key points of their faith.

“In the process it could model for Christians how to have those kinds of dialogue,” says Brierly.

What he didn’t envision, however was how the show would take off as a podcast. Over the years it has gone from being a Saturday afternoon treat within English borders to a global platform capturing listeners from all over the world. With an impressive backlog of radio programming, the podcast was able to hit the ground running with dozens of shows already recorded that simply needed to be uploaded. As technology improved so did the platform, and with the older pre-podcast era episodes becoming available Unbelievable currently has an iTunes catalog of over 300 episodes dating as far back as 2010.

That’s a lot of food for thought.

Brierley says that while some people (atheists) in the social media sphere may tend to be antagonistic about Christianity and faith, he would still rather engage with a passionate, antagonistic atheist than someone who just didn’t care at all. In fact, the intellectual analysis of God and the origin of life can be important in giving people “permission” to believe. However, in the end the final decision is an issue of the heart.

“C.S.Lewis said when it comes to adult conversions there was some level at which some issues had to be resolved. Apologetics is that process by which people are given permission to have faith, because they may have come and they’ve got some issue with the problem of suffering, let’s say…It may be useful for removing some of the obstacles but you still have to want what’s at the end of the road. You have to still want Jesus Christ. If you don’t want to believe there’s always another objection to reach for…there has to be something going on in the heart in order for that person to want what’s on offer”.

The seasoned podcast host said that although the debate format is set up to be confrontational, he makes a concerted effort to center his discussions around personal experience.

“I’m not going to pretend that the kind of conversations we’re having in a studio are the same conversations people are going to have in a pub or a bar. [But it] moves beyond simply about being a debate about ideas to actually engaging with people as they are, the issues they’re going through and the experience they’re living because that’s when I think you really touch the core of who someone is and what really matters to them. As long as it’s just intellectual ideas it’s just a game of ping-pong. There can be value in that but at the end of the day the point at which people really experience a change and have come face-to-face with God is somehow when they’ve gone beyond that”.

Brierley says that when he first started broadcasting the program he knew very little about the subjects being broached. It was sort a learn-as-you-go situation, which has had the very pleasant effect of making him a “translator” for some of the more complicated, academic subjects. It has become one the hallmarks of his podcast and an oft-praised quality by new listeners.

Unbelievable listeners also tend to appreciate his effort to give his guests equal, uninterrupted time to peacefully make their points. In the beginning, some Premier Christian Radio patrons didn’t exactly approve of all the air time he was making available to atheist guests in particular.

“One of the earliest problems that we had was some listeners saying, ‘Why are you letting atheists on a Christian radio station? We’ve got enough of them on the BBC!’”

But Brierley was undeterred, believing firmly that there was a way to hear out both sides of the conversation that would lead to a better understanding between people of diametrically opposed ideologies.

“In the long course of doing the shows it would be hard for an atheist to listen and come away thinking, ‘Oh, christians are just a lot of deluded, brainless people’, because you will have heard a lot of intelligent, thinking Christians making their case for faith. Likewise, Christians will have heard a lot of cogent arguments against God and faith and realize atheists are not all draconian, humorless baby-eaters. The show serves as a way to move away from stereotypes”.

That doesn’t mean the show hasn’t had it’s fair share of intense confrontations. Brierley recalls one particular discussion between a Muslim and a Christian that quickly degenerated into ” a lot of heat and not much light”. He had to stop the recording and implore the men to keep the personal attacks to themselves. Another tense debate came when he had two Christians to debate same-sex marriage and sexuality. The subject soon devolved into both parties attacking the person rather than the argument.

So has Justin Brierley’s faith or point of view changed after interviewing atheists for a decade?

He says no, that he’s ended up feeling more confident in his faith as he’s become more aware of the complex issues of life. That is actually what drove him to write a book based on his time as a broadcaster, Unbelievable: Why After 10 Years of Talking With Atheists I’m Still a Christian.

“I’ve come across more things that point toward God rather than away from God”.

While he’s come to appreciate many of the salient, intellectual arguments from his non-Christian guests, Brierley maintains that the real irony is that they are all arguing from the comfort of living in a society which rests on the foundations of Judeo-Christian ethics and values.

“The whole of Western thought and culture is based on Christianity. It’s just crazy to dismiss it as intellectually lazy. Every atheist I meet…the irony is that everything they hold dear is based on the Jude0-Christian foundation and that for me is one of the great ironies.”

While his podcast popularity continues to soar, Brierley is reaching beyond the platform to engage even more minds. There are rumors that “Unbelievable: The Conference” may be expanding to the United States very soon, and his video series “The Big Conversation” launched in June as a sort of off-shoot of the podcast. His first guest was sudden intellectual superstar Jordan Peterson, who debated atheist scholar Susan Blackmore on the question, “Do we need God to make sense of life?”. The video has already racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube and Brierley is already preparing for a recording in front of a live audience.

One of Brierley’s favorite questions of his guests is, “Is there any kind of evidence, anything that you could see or hear that would change your mind?”, so I took the opportunity to turn the question on him. Without hesitation he replied that most certainly he felt Christianity is a “falsifiable” religion that rests completely on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Were there to be some incontrovertible evidence that the resurrection didn’t happen, the Unbelievable author admitted he would be forced to reconsider his faith. However, he sees that as simply a risk involved in taking on any kind of belief with intellectual honesty.

“I open myself up to the possibility of being wrong every time I open my microphone.”

After all these years of moderating heated topics, Brierley firmly believes we should be a “1Peter 3:15 people”:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Imagine how the world – and discourse in our own country – might change if we all decided to follow suit. Of course, adopting an adorably polite British accent couldn’t hurt either.

 

 

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Hannity’s Trump Interview Crushes Cable Competition

FOX News Channel (FNC) scored a stunning market victory with Sean Hannity’s exclusive interview with President Trump on Tuesday night.

Early Nielsen Media Research numbers indicate that FNC’s Hannity crushed it’s competitors in the cable news market with an average of 4.1 million total viewers. On top of that, FNC was also rated the highest cable news network in total day and primetime viewers for Tuesday. In the coveted 25-54 demographic, Hannity delivered an average of 914,000.

In order to truly understand the magnitude of that number it is important to know that Cuomo Primetime (CNN) and The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) only garnered a combined average of 915,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Certainly the Trump interview boosted Sean Hannity’s numbers, but both Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle smashed their CNN and MSNBC competition as well – and once again, that’s in combined numbers for the two giant, left-leaning cable networks.

Numbers also indicate FNC had a gigantic day in the digital world as well, with a record number of page views and video plays as well as being the most engaged news brand on social media for Tuesday.

What is the lesson to be learned from all this? #Resistance does not equal ratings. If the behavior of the #Resistance media is any indication, they won’t be learning from this lesson any time soon.

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Trump: If I’m Wrong on North Korea I Don’t Think I’ll Admit It

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump walk with the documents they just signed at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in Singapore. (Pool Photo by Anthony Wallace via AP)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or in North Korea – you’ve been hearing all about the historic meeting between President Trump and Rocketman…otherwise known as Kim Jong Un. Apparently the meeting was fruitful, with Un agreeing to denuclearization and Trump sending signals he is willing to legitimize the despot at some point by inviting him to America.

There are still a lot of “ifs” and “buts” and some “whens”. The Trump administration has been clear that this is only the beginning of talks and there are many conditions that must be met before the talks can be deemed successful. When asked about if he felt the North Koreans could be trusted Trump indicated that he did feel Un would meet the conditions and he wouldn’t have gone ahead with the talks if he thought otherwise.

Then, in typical Trump fashion the President went on to say he could be wrong about the whole thing but if he was, he probably wouldn’t really admit it anyway. He’d find some excuse.

After eight years of President Obama talking in circles and never really saying anything, at the very least it is amusing to have a President who isn’t afraid to admit that he’d be afraid to admit he was wrong.

Here’s the clip and below you can find the entire hour-long press conference.

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Canadian Museum Closes Over Government-Mandated ‘Abortion Clause’

The Bangor Sawmill in Meteghan River, Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s only remaining active water-powered sawmills. In the midst of their day-to-day operations, the sawmill has opened it’s doors as a museum open to the public over the last 20 years.

During that time, the sawmill has received funding from the Canadian government to hire high school students to lead tours during summer operating hours. However, a new requirement announced by Prime Minister Trudeau last year has led to the decision by Bangor Sawmill officials to close the museum.

The “abortion clause” dictates that any Canadian entity receiving government funds must sign an “attestation” of support for abortion as well as issues related to gender and sexuality. Trudeau tried to assure skeptics of the law that it would only apply to organizations that directly worked with those specific issues. However, the Bangor Sawmill representatives say that in order to get the money they needed to open for the summer they had to sign the clause.

They refused. From CBC News:

Gerald Comeau, a former Progressive Conservative MP and a retired senator, is a member of the board that runs the Bangor Sawmill Museum. He has been volunteering with the museum before it even opened its doors.

In order to get the grant money required to keep the museum open this year, the museum board needed to agree to the clause.

Comeau says that “the museum takes absolutely no position whatsoever on abortion.”

Colin Fraser, the region’s parliamentary representative claimed that the attestation was simply a harmless way of confirming none of the jobs asking for government funds would violate the government mandates. However, Comeau and other staff members were having none of it.

As the change was made under the Liberal Government, CBC’s Maritime Noon asked Comeau about the politics of the decision not to sign. He said there are no politics involved in it because, to him, abortion is an individual decision.

“If you support abortion, or don’t support abortion, that’s your opinion. It should not have anything to do with politics.”

Comeau said that if the government wishes to target anti-abortion groups, it should do it by targeting those groups specifically.

He worries it will send a message to volunteers that they have to “sacrifice their principles in order to get funding from the government.”

In an email, he called the museum a historical treasure that deserves to be saved.

The museum will not be opening this summer at a minimum.

 

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We’re Now Demanding Public Apologies for Instagram ‘Likes’

“Bachelorette” contestant Garrett Yrigoyen

When Obama started his world apology tour we couldn’t have imagined how apologizing to everyone for everything would become all the rage. This week in particular has produced a plethora of apologies from people like Roseanne Barr, Joy Reid and “comedian” Samantha Bee.

It seems the apology circus is in full swing. People are expected to apologize for single, poorly considered tweets, crass comedy monologues and blog posts from decades gone by. But if we’ve learned anything so far this year it’s that 2018 gonna 2018.

Gird your loins and lock your social media accounts because now we are making people apologize for…their “likes”.

That’s right, the little thumbs up button or heart or flag you press on a social media post could just force you into a humiliating public apology tour yourself.

Garrett Yrigoyenon, a contestant on the new “The Bachelorette” season was forced to issue a public apology after a former show contestant complained about his Instagram “likes”. As ridiculous as that feels to write, it’s equally as ridiculous to think that someone had to apologize for it. 

“Bachelorette” contestant Garrett Yrigoyen may have snagged the “first impression” rose from Becca Kufrin during the Monday night premiere of the hit ABC reality dating show, but the rest of “Bachelorette Nation” wasn’t so sure he was the right pick after disturbing reports about Yrigoyen’s social media activity began to surface.

The frontrunner, a 29-year-old medical sales rep from Reno, Nevada, came under fire this week after former “Bachelor” contestant Ashley Spivey revealed Yrigoyen recently liked a series of controversial posts on Instagram, including memes that mocked immigrants, Parkland students, transgender people, liberals, among others. His account was deleted shortly after.

“Can we do a better job of social media deep dives on the dudes that try out for #thebachelorette,” Spivey tweeted on May 24. “A contestant on this season of #thebachelorette liked all of these posts on Instagram and I’m thinking it will be very hard to pull for the type of person likes any of this.”

What’s trashier – someone giving a “like” to a lame meme or someone digging through a person’s “likes” on social media like a stalker?

Yrigoyen went ahead and apologized profusely, as the Hollywood script requires.

Spivey applauded Yrigoyen’s apology on Twitter Thursday.

“This is a fantastic apology and statement. I look forward to his growth and education as well as seeing seeing him support all walks of life,” she commented.

So this is what we’ve come to, America – publicly shaming people for what amounts to smiling in public at the “wrong” time. This guy didn’t even say anything. They weren’t even his posts. Just the mere push of a button was enough to make him an enemy of the state.

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Trump Will Impose Tariffs on Canada and Mexico

President Trump has been raising fears about a trade war with his promise to “even out” the trade deficit by imposing new tariffs on trade partners. After Canada and Mexico balked at the President’s strategy, Trump announced he would give the North American neighbors a grace period in order to iron out details. He also asked the two nations to make several concessions that would be in American interests.

On Thursday President Trump announced he would be moving forward with tariffs on both Canada and Mexico, as well as the European Union.

From ABC News:

The Trump administration announced Thursday it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies. Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions. Financial markets fell amid fears of a trade war.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, and go into effect on Friday, as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations. President Donald Trump had announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.

The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Trump’s decision amounted to trade protectionism and that Europe would respond with countermeasures. “This is protectionism, pure and simple,” Juncker said. Mexico said it would penalize U.S. imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

The markets experienced a slight drop in the wake of the news.

[Commerce secretary Wilbur]Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement were “taking longer than we had hoped.” Talks with Europe had “made some progress” but not enough for additional exemptions, he said in a conference call from Paris.

“We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions,” Ross said. He said he planned to travel to China on Friday for trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

European officials had braced for the tariffs and the EU has threatened to retaliate against U.S. orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return. In terms of the NAFTA talks, the tariffs could hinder the negotiations among the North American neighbors.

On NAFTA, Ross said there was “no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded and therefore (Canada and Mexico) were added into the list of those who will bear tariffs.”

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What’s the Matter with ‘Star Wars’?

The first bonafide “dud” in the Disney-fied Star Wars universe was delivered over Memorial Day weekend in the form of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.  The Ron Howard-helmed film performed far below expectations, despite a stellar cast and a gigantic publicity push.

From Redstate Box Office Report:

Once projected to pull in between $130-150 million this has become a disappointment on par with “Justice League”. There was plenty of negative advance word about the production but the main problem for this title is that is is facing a bloated marketplace, and this comes in probably too close to the release this winter of “The Last Jedi”. While this title may be lower the overall weekend is strong, with a 27% increase over last year. “Deadpool 2” and “Infinity War” are competing for the same audience, and they combined for almost $75 million. That is a significant amount of distraction away from a Star Wars title. While time will be needed to call it an outright failure Disney/Marvel did drop a high amount on the budget and marketing. It will be a challenge from here to see a profit.

By all projections this should have been yet another blockbuster for hungry Star Wars fans eager to see an origin story about one of their most beloved characters. Film reviews have been largely positive, with a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not the best rating, but certainly not the worst. The consensus seems to be that it’s a fun heist movie worth the price of admission.

So why has it been received with such a thud? What exactly is the matter with Star Wars?

There are many theories on the issue. Donald Glover threw out a social justice dart when he suggested his character – space rogue Lando Calrissian – was a pansexual. That isn’t exactly what family movie-goers want to see modeled in their pricey outings. While the character description didn’t seem to be played out on film, just the notion that it may be might have been enough to keep some families home.

Another theory is that Star Wars fatigue is beginning to set in. After waiting a decade for a new film, fans have been presented with four Star Wars films in just 30 months. It could be that the shine is wearing off; the law of supply and demand may be taking it’s toll.

However, a more plausible explanation is that the very base a Solo stand-alone movie needed to win over at the box office has simply decided they aren’t that interested anymore. After all, the controversial The Last Jedi made a purposeful and direct break from the Star Wars of old. Writer/director Rian Johnson warned fans not to expect the same formula that had come to identify one of the world’s most powerful brands. What he presented was a visually stunning yet jarring film that completely dispensed with the successful formula that had been the hallmark of the series all the way up to the acclaimed The Force Awakens.

Furthermore, Kathleen Kennedy – president of Lucasfilm – has made it all too clear that she intends for the Star Wars universe to take a major shift in the murky waters of social justice activism, even going so far as to hire rookie directors who claim they’ve never even seen the original trilogy.

Kathleen Kennedy arrives at the premiere of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at El Capitan Theatre on Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

In a somewhat bitter op ed, one writer suggested that Kennedy’s only goal was to turn the franchise into a vehicle for feminism. 

The Last Jedi has Kathleen Kennedy’s fingerprints all over it. She’s a Berkley educated liberal-feminist who was groomed by Hollywood men, told she had good ideas and was given powerful positions without having to do all that much… kind of like Rey.

All the men in The Last Jedi are cowards, failures, inept, or suffer from toxic masculinity. The women know better then them must save the men from their masculinity. It’s the mindset of an arrogant woman who for years has put up with the men around her (remember Hollywood is a cesspool) and believes herself to be some beacon of feminine light in the darkness. Burning the tree of the Force is setting fire the the patriarchy. The subtext of The Last Jedi is very deep and very post-modern. It’s a reflection of Queen Kennedy. It’s also why they had to destroy what Star Wars meant to us and why half the audience hates this film.

Presumably the newer, younger generation of Star Wars fans Kennedy and Johnson were looking to create aren’t really the same people Lucasfilm would expect to be chomping at the bit for a Solo movie. Kennedy and company just spent the last two years telling fans of the “old” story that it was time for them to move on. Star Wars isn’t for you anymore. It’s time to let the past go. As Kylo Ren put it, “Kill it if you have to”.

And that is exactly what Kennedy and Johnson did. But you can’t spend millions of dollars and dozens of months killing an institution and then turn around and expect the very fans you told to “get over it” to buy a story from the very past you just set fire to.

Star Wars is infinitely entertaining. The possibilities are limitless in that universe and with careful guidance that is rooted in the desire to tell good stories, the fandom will go just about anywhere you take them.

But it seems the one place they couldn’t go is back to a past that not only doesn’t exist, but is treated with contempt by the very people who hold it’s future in their hands.

The post What’s the Matter with ‘Star Wars’? appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


Can Victims Be Wrong? [VIDEO]

David Hogg, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., speaks during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Comedy outlet We the Internet TV took on the gun control debate recently, skewering both sides of the contentious issue and taking on the “newest form of American celebrity – the mass shooting survivor”.  This particular video takes on more of a serious tone than their typical fare, but host Lou Perez still doesn’t shy away from tasteless jokes that will make you roll your eyes as you giggle.

The overall message of the video is one worth listening to. We often insult and degrade celebrities who force their political views on us when those views are in opposition to our own. We tell the to “shut up and sing”. But when a celebrity who supports our views comes along, we celebrate and elevate that person.

We are doing the same thing with the Parkland students.

You’re either praising these students for speaking out or wishing they’d shut their bluecheck mouths and tweet about anything else. Unless they happen to be Kyle Kashuv another Stoneman-Douglas student who survived the shooting but who happens to be an outspoken supporter of gun rights. In which case you’re like, “You’re damn right Kyle deserves a blue check. He deserves TWO blue checks for the 2A.”

It’s worth the watch. How much authority should we give the opinions of victims? How little? Is it possible for Americans to consider two sides of one argument? How many bad jokes can Lou Perez cram into one thought-provoking commentary?

The post Can Victims Be Wrong? [VIDEO] appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State