Posts Tagged: Real America

Beauty and Ruin in Pigeon Forge

In May, Dolly Parton returned from promoting her new album, Blue Smoke, to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for the celebration she hosts every year: the Dollywood Homecoming Parade. Thousands gathered along the stretch of U.S. Route 441 known as Dolly Parton Parkway, from stoplight number six to stoplight number three. The devoted sat in strategically placed lawn chairs; the less eager watched from roadside hotel balconies. My boyfriend and I stood in the median of the parkway, opposite a spiraling bumper-car attraction, and watched as the first few floats passed: veterans, students, and an official contingent from the City of Pigeon Forge. A marching band played “9 to 5” and then [...]


Florida Child Born in Florida Manner

"Ana Johana Irias, 26, was using an ATM near Northwest 36th Street and 13th Avenue when a teenager drove by one a bike and snatched her $800 gold necklace from around her neck. Despite being more than eight months pregnant, Irias decided to chase down the crook…. The crook eventually escaped by hop[p]ing over a fence…. Police convinced Irias to get checked out at Jackson-Memorial Hospital. Doctors there discovered that she was in labor, and shortly after the new year's came, at 12:15 to be exact, Irias gave birth to 6 pound, 6 ounce baby girl named Kimberly." —Naturally.


Products Found Alongside a One-Mile Stretch of Harrison Road, Columbia County, WI

• Marlboro Menthol, pack, empty

• McDonald's, large fry box, empty

• Miller Lite, can, empty

• Budweiser, can, empty

• Miller Genuine Draft, can, empty


Real America: Your Civil Rights Sausage Is Made in Minnesota

As we noted in our last look at some of the funding in the Minnesota governor's race, Best Buy has joined with Target by donating $100,000 in cash to MN Forward, a PAC that supports Tom Emmer, the vehemently anti-gay rights GOP candidate for governor.

As Target's PR woes roll on-the corporation seems deaf to public outrage, refuses to condemn Emmer and is taking on damage to its brand image (Target/MN Forward results are now on the first page of a Google search for "anti-gay corporation")-one would be excused from speculating that Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel's personal support for Emmer (thanks to moves like Emmer's vote against [...]


Real America: America's Most Violent, Patriotic Fireworks Ever

The USO is urging Americans: "This Fourth of July, as we remember all those who fought for our independence, let's make sure the brave men and women who are defending our country today know how much their sacrifice means to us." The organization wants you to honor the troops this Independence Day so bad they are even spending your tax dollars to buy Google Ads against searches for "4th of July." And what better way is there to celebrate the rigors and risks of a life spent actually risking life in combat than to recreate PTSD in your own backyard for your children?


Real America: "Red Dawn" Remade: China is Coming for Our Children

Later this year, America's dream factory will foist upon an already blooded-up America a remake of 1984's Red Dawn. It's probably the most unnecessary, irresponsible, Sinophobic film in America's history, and that's saying a lot. And it will be just in time for midterm elections already foul with the tea party's red-white-and-blue jingoism. What a time for it-America's relationship with China hasn't been this crucial since, say, 1941.


Real America: The 'Treasure Hunters Roadshow' and Their Small-Town Newspaper Grift

One look at the Treasure Hunters Roadshow operation and it's clear what popular program the operation is exploiting. The Illinois-based traveling con has little in common with PBS' Antiques Roadshow beyond a treasure chest logo and a similar name. Another thing it shares is a popularity based on a decreasingly well-off population's desperate hope that a lifetime of treasuring material things will somehow, miraculously, be monetarily profitable.

A national cultural failure, for sure. But the real tragedy is that this swindle is being underwritten by the very organizations charged with protecting their respective communities from just such chicanery.


Red State Gun Culture Kills Cops

This is a particularly brutal column coming in the wake of yesterday's big piece on the NYPD: eight black New York city college students reported being stopped and frisked 92 times all told. Meanwhile, also in the Times today, but over on the front page, it's this: killing of police officers is at a four-year-high. The Times plays this really big and really wrong, and calls this "a disturbing trend," but it's actually not. (It is disturbing, of course.) But 2008 was the ten-year low for police officers being killed, and 2012 is, so far, year-to-date, down 49% from last year. So it's actually the opposite of [...]


Primate in Chief: A Guide to Racist Obama Monkey Photoshops

People are outraged—outraged!—that a senior GOP official from Orange County, CA sent an email about Barack Obama that questioned his place of birth. But we've all become so numb to the "birther" conspiracies that the outrage wasn't at all about the absurdity of a party official confronting the president of the United States about some conspiracy theory. The outrage was about an attached photo, depicting Obama as an ape.

Anyone who has been on the real Internet knows that the Obama-as-ape Photoshop actually predates the mainstream talk about his birth certificate. How prevalent is it? Very. Here's a collection of artwork depicting the nation's first-ever African American [...]


How to Vote in Wisconsin Today

Big changes, civic-minded cheeseheads. We hope you're planning to vote, even if you're one of the 20,000-odd out-of-state students at UW-Madison. The polls are open-and they'll remain open until 8 p.m. (For all you coasties, that's 9 p.m.!) Vote your peer-pressured conscience! You can find your Wisconsin polling place here. Not registered? Not to worry, you can register at the polling place. The ballot you receive will be in English-only, because this isn't the frickin' U.N. And now: to the candidates.


Real America: Target CEO Chooses "Business" over Gay Rights

Last week, after we profiled Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, we asked why retailer Target would support Emmer, by way of a PAC called MN Forward. Target's statement to us argued that "Target supports causes and candidates based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests."


Real America: Guess BP's Stock Price on Christmas Eve, Win One BP Share

In January, BP's stock price was hovering above $60 a share. This is when all of America was focused on rebuilding Haiti. (That went well.) Even BP got into the charitable spirit. At the time, the oil behemoth was getting set to drill a new well at its Deepwater Horizon site, even though at the time BP knew the well to be dangerously high-pressured. While Anderson Cooper leaped into action to single-handedly save Haitian children, BP announced the conclusion to a successful cleanup of its Alaska pipeline leak. BP's market value surpassed rival Royal Dutch Shell. BP was about to be named an [...]


Real America: Go On, Move Here Then

Last week an Awl contributor opined that a boycott was not the answer for Arizona's recent immigration law. The essay posited that the best thing for Arizona's backwardness was for you, the enlightened, liberal person, to visit there, spend your money to boost the economy and engender in its people "new ways of thinking." It added, in conclusion, "if you really want to change Arizona, move there." I will preface my criticism of this idea by saying that, in the larger picture, we're on the same team. But I wholeheartedly disagree with the logic, or lack thereof, behind some of this argument. And I find the tone of [...]


Real America: Andrew Breitbart's Racist Witch-Hunt Website Community

Maybe you've heard of Andrew Breitbart. The former Drudge #2 and Huffington pal has been on an absolute tear recently, exposing anti-Tea Party demonstrators as "thugs" and insisting that this group of patriots is "on the receiving end (of threats and intimidation) every single day, but haven't made anything of it because they know that the press isn't going to be sympathetic to their cause."


What They're Arguing About in El Paso

Atheist coastal elites miss all the fun. Did you miss this awesome op-ed in the El Paso Times? Perhaps you did; I know how it is, the paper comes from El Paso every day and it just piles up and who can get through it fast enough, right? Anyway, the bishop is suing this priest who wrote this op-ed, Michael Rodriguez—and also moved him out of town, because he'd become "involved" in efforts to recall the mayor, because the mayor supports health benefits for gay and unmarried partners of city employees. It's big-time diocese drama! But yeah, probably not siding with the guy who thinks that the [...]


A Survey of What Real Americans Think About a Government Shutdown

The airwaves have been flooded with pundits talking about all the ramifications, fallouts and consequences of a government shutdown. Is Michele Bachmann's posturing mostly in support of her 2012 ambitions? Are the Democrats using the threat of a shutdown as a fund-raising device? Is it true that Congress will hire scabs to keep the seats filled during negotiations? Yes. Yes. Sure! And yes, Christine O'Donnell is available!

But what do real people think will happen? Below, a tapestry of Twitter pundrity that sums up, as well as anyone really, what America faces should the government shut down.


Real America: A Fashion Essentials Guide for the Tea Party Patriot

A movement that's rewriting the rules for politics is also rewriting new rules for fashion.

Clothing is an extension of your values, a sartorial statement of who you are as an American. And while you're shouldering the rebirth of a nation's glory, why not shoulder a smart-looking blazer in the process?

While Tea Partiers respect, more than anything, the freedom to wear what they like, there are some new essentials for the man looking to "restore honor" to America… and his wardrobe. Below, a selection of the Fall essentials for the Tea Partier dressing for the profession, the polls or the protest.


Real America: Tom Emmer, Minnesota's Last Sovereign Individual

As Minnesota governor Tim "T-Paw" Pawlenty gears up to rid himself of his characteristic Midwest abhorrence of touching other people so that he can run for president, the VW Beetle packed with clowns unloading to fill his vacancy as Minnesota governor is finally almost empty.

Candidate Tom Emmer is proving to be one of the more amusing. But don't laugh.


Real America: The Gear Daddies are Back, Maybe

They're getting the band back together. They're getting the band back together! They're getting the band back together?

The last few months have seen a random spate of Gear Daddies shows (Chicago, St. Cloud, Fargo, Des Moines and, of course, Lutsen). But the schedule has been spotty at best. After the mid-April show in Waconia, it disintegrated altogether. Will there be more shows? Are the Gear Daddies really playing together again?


Real America: 'Robin Hood' and 'Elm Street': Main Street Goes to the Movies

It's already summer movie season for Real America. This Friday marks the first of two spring weekends when America will be offered film remakes that are unusually prescient for Hollywood fare. These films will be blockbusters and, soon enough, the media will be knee-deep in meaning-searching. You should be ready. First up is the release of the re-booted Nightmare on Elm Street, which, as you should already know, tells the horrifying tale of teens haunted by a beyond-the-grave Freddy Krueger. In the 1984 original, Krueger was never openly called a "sex offender" or a "pedophile," even though many understood this to be the case. While Slasher films have always [...]