Whether you like his politics or not, President Barack Obama is a unique president. OK, let’s get the obvious one out the way, he’s black. However, another unique feature that he has that not many presidents have had, is that he’s the first “millennial” president. He uses social media, he listens to current pop music, and he’s a loud and proud nerd.
That would be a-mazing! But unlikely. While making some remarks during a “manufacturing innovation event” this past week at the White House, President Barack Obama joked that the industry innovators gathered there were building Iron Man noting the technological innovation and research into new metal alloys being conducted. After some polite laughter, the President said he was just kidding, or maybe he wasn’t… Watch the clip from CNN embedded below: (more…)
Back in the 1980s, U.S. President Ronald Reagan initiated a missile defense program and called it “Star Wars” because, you know, you doesn’t love Star Wars even if you’re using it as a thinly veiled reference to America’s safeguard against total nuclear war.
Of course, Reagan lived life, including his presidency, like he was starring in a movie; he told the Soviets to “go ahead, make my day,” and he once told Steven Spielberg that he’d be surprised about how accurate the story behind E.T. is. But hey, that was the 80s! We’ve got real problems to solve, so who in their right mind would petition the government to build something like big and pointless from a movie because if they get enough signatures, the government will have to take it seriously.
Well, his name is John D, and he started a petition on the We the People section of the White House’s website. The point of the section is to increase engagement between people and the government by getting President Barack Obama and his staff to pay attention to the issues that are important to them. And what John D thinks is important is building a Death Star.
“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” writes John D on his petition.
While some of that actually makes sense on the surface, isn’t there going to exorbitant costs of manning and maintaining a Death Star over the long term? Didn’t that thing have like 50,000 officers and men stationed there? Actually, that was the detail I couldn’t find about the Death Star on Wookiepedia.
Anyway, the petition currently has 20,000 signatures. If it gets 25,000 by this Friday, the White House will have to take it under serious consideration. John D’s goal is to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” Maybe if he can’t get Congressional approval he can find some private funding, some guys are trying to get rich folks to pay $1.5 billion a piece for a ticket to the moon.
People are still talking about the tragic events that transpired this past weekend, where suspect James Holmes walked into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado and fired upon the crowd. The resulting tragedy unfortunatly left 12 dead, 59 injured and scarred a nation in a way that it may never quite heal from.
Nearly seventy-two hours removed from the initial shock and dismay everyone and their grandmother has voiced their opinion, including American President Barack Obama. Warner Bros., the studio behind The Dark Knight Rises has already issued a statement, but now Dark Knight director and co-writer Christopher Nolan has released the following statement over the Colorado theater shooting:
“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.
I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.
The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.
Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone.com this past Friday in Paris, where the now cancelled Dark Knight premier was to be held, composer Hans Zimmer said:
“We’re all devastated by what’s happened. When we set up this interview, we didn’t know that things would change. I was going to send a note to Chris (Nolan)… but I didn’t have the words. Suddenly, words become meaningless because it’s so beyond anything. Devastated, I suppose, is the word. “It’s just sad.
Here we are, we were trying to celebrate this movie and celebrating that we’d finished it and then this happened.
I just feel so incredibly sad for these people”.
Over at Entertainment Weekly stars Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale also voiced their sympathies over those lost this past weekend.
“My heart aches and breaks for the lives taken and altered by this unfathomably senseless act. I am at a loss for words how to express my sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
“Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.”
UPDATE: A slew of comic book professionals and heavyweights have spoken up as well. Here’s a look at some of their comments courtesy of Comic Book Movie.
From Brad Meltzer:
“‘No Guns, No Killing.’ That line bears repeating,” quoting a line from a scene in The Dark Knight Rises.
Jonah Weiland, the creator of Comic Book Resources:
“Anybody drawing assumptions between the actions of this man and things they’ve read in a comic book or a movie is just plain wrong.”
“If you really look at who Batman is and what he stands for, he doesn’t stand for what this guy did.”
Neil Gaiman also chimed in, telling the Washington Post that the incident was a “huge and appalling tragedy”. You can check out a few more thoughts on Aurora from others in the comic industry by reading the Washington Post blog‘s roundup from twitter.
We here at Nerd Bastards continue to offer our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of those involved.
According to The Wrap, there are reports out of Warner Bros. that they’re considering the cancellation of all screenings of The Dark Knight Rises following the tragic events in Aurora, CO late last night. A 24-year-old man named James Holmes is accused of being the man behind an attack on an audience at a midnight screening of the Christopher Nolan film, breaking into the theater, release tear gas and firing from an assault rifle into the crowd, killing 12 and wounding another 59. It is the largest mass shooting in United States history.
According to initial reporting, an unnamed executive told The Wrap’s website that, “Warner was watching the situation and still considering whether to take further measures beyond cancelling the Paris premiere, including cancelling screenings at theater chains.”
A little while later though, according to sources for E! Entertainment Television, another executive told that site that “he’d be shocked if that happened, but it’s such an unprecedented situation.”
Further reports seem to suggest that Warner Bros. will not be pulling the film, although any further publicity and publicity events have been halted, and all advertisements have been pulled from TV.
In the meantime, both President Barack Obama, and his presidential opponent Governor Mitt Romney have issued statements regarding today’s tragedy.
Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.
“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”
If you feel like making a statement about what happened in Colorado, or if you feel like you have to “do something,” might I suggest the following: get your friends together, head out the nearest theater, and have a great time watching top-notch cinematic entertainment. Matthew Jackson says it’s pretty good.
The politically aware among us know that it’s going to be a rough ride to re-election for current U.S. President Barack Obama, but there’s now polling suggesting that if aliens descend on Earth between now and November, the people will gladly follow Obama in defense of the Earth against evil invaders. Or get along with them if they turn out nice.
The poll, conducted by National Geographic in promotion for its new series Chasing UFOs, reports that nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65 per cent, think that Obama would do better dealing with aliens than his opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Miit Romney. The numbers also break down along conventional political lines, 68 percent of women polled choose Obama as alien buster-in-chief over 61 percent of men. Nearly 70 percent of those polled between ages 18-64 think Romney would do worse when dealing with aliens, and 50 percent of those 65 and over think he’d struggle.
Interestingly, National Geographic’s poll further revealed that “More than 80 million Americans are certain that UFOs exist,” and that most of those people “would not mind a minor alien invasion, because they expect these space-age visitors to be friendly — like the lovable character depicted in Steven Spielberg’s popular film E.T.”
So does that mean people trust Obama to deal diplomatically with a friendly E.T., or do they trust him to suit up Independence Day style if the aliens come down here and get all rowdy. Hopefully, this isn’t a question the electorate gets hung up on this election year.