February 2012: Headline, Bottomline
By Sarah Lipkis
They Start to Drop Like Flies
Beginning in January the GOP Primary/ Caucus season began in full swing. Be- tween now and June, all fifty states–as well as the District of Washington and Puerto Rico–will have the chance to pick their favorite Republican candidate. Barring Herman Cain, poor primary results have pushed the GOP candidates to drop out of the race one-by-one. Michelle Bachmann was next to go, followed by Jon Hunts- man, who dropped out before the South Carolina race after a poll predicted that he would lose to Stephen Colbert. Finally, Rick Perry took a bow at the SC primary and put an end to those hysterical You- Tube parodies of his advertisements as well as the inevitable fodder he provided for late night talk show monologues.
It’s been a nasty race; the GOP candidates have spent more time beating each other up than wooing voters. We’re now left with five months and four candidates. There’s Mitt Romney, the out of touch politician who believes that “corporations are people too” and makes $10,000 bets; Newt Gingrich, who enjoys blurting out any random thought that enters his head no matter how offensive (poor children working as janitors) or ridiculous (lunar colony for the win); Ron Paul, who ac- cording to John Stewart looks suspiciously like Rumpelstiltskin; and Rick Santorum, who advises women impregnated by rape to “make the best of a bad situation.” The saddest thing about all this is that one of these men will be our Presidential nom- inee–and I offer my condolences to any Republican waiting for a knight in shin- ning armor to reclaim the White House.
Your New Personal Assistant
iPhone 4S owner: “What is the meaning of life?”
Siri: “42;” “All evidence to date suggests that it is chocolate;” “I can’t answer that right now, but give me some very long time to write a play in which nothing hap- pens;” “I don’t know. But I think there’s an app for that.”
Owner: “What are you wearing?”
Siri: “You’ve got the wrong personal as- sistant for that.”
Owner: “Where can I get good pizza in Manhattan?”
Siri: “Here are some restaurants. I’ve ordered them according to rank.”
Owner: “Where can I bury a dead body?”
Siri: “Do you prefer swamp, river or ce- ment?”
Owner: “Where can I get an abortion?”
Siri: “I’m sorry, I cannot help you at the moment.”
What’s up with Siri? She’ll tell you where you can bury a dead body (she prefers bodies be thrown into the East River rath- er than the Hudson River), but not where a woman can get an abortion or the morn- ing after pill. This seemingly innocent mistake has many female activists groups wondering if Siri, and Apple as a whole, is trying to promote a pro-life agenda. These groups are worried that besides not finding abortion clinics, Siri cannot lo- cate Planned Parenthood or other female health clinics. Apple has publically stated that it has no agenda regarding the issue of abortion and never imagined that a person would want to ask that of a phone.
Year of the Fallen Dictators
In 2011 the world witnessed the end of Mummar Gaddafi, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak, Kim Jong-il, and each of their respective regimes. In addition to the downfalls of these dictators, sur- rounding Arab countries broke out into violence–most notably Syria–in an at- tempt to overthrow oppressive regimes. Tunisia and Egypt now have the opportu- nity to create new governments while Syria still tries to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.
If you happen to be Sasha Baron Cohen, these recent events might make for a new movie–The Dictator (cleverly titled) will in fact be coming out this May. With excite- ment brewing for this film, the one-year an- niversary of the beginning of the Arab Spring approaching, and the surprising death of Kim Jong-il, the world seems to have post- dictator life on its mind. However, the exit of many dictators does not translate im- mediately to democracy for their countries. With the exception of North Korea, Tunisia and Egypt are in the process of creating new governments and both countries recently held elections, in Tunisia for the Constituent Assembly, and in Egypt for the Parliament. Both countries have now begun writing new constitutions. Though the media is constant- ly reporting on the violence that is still hap- pening in Egypt and Tunisia, it is important to remember that forming a new government from scratch will likely be a long, drawn out process. The world must still be patient while waiting for developments in Egypt and Tuni- sia after the Arab Spring. And until then, The Dictator will be coming to a theater near you.