Drawn and Quoted

Things I Learned From the Grammy Awards – It’s been a week and a half since the Grammy Awards ceremony, and many people are still figuring out who Arcade Fire is. Although all of us were surprised by their Album of the Year upset, I think the country is more or less split into two camps regarding Arcade Fire. There are those who only listen to KIIS-FM who were surprised because they had no idea who Arcade Fire was. And there are of those of us who were surprised because we thought Arcade Fire had a pretty large following, and we didn’t realize that so many people had never heard of them. A hilarious Tumblr page even emerged just to post surprised reactions from various people.

I say we should give the Grammys credit for finally rewarding originality and creativity rather than giving the trophies to whoever sells well at rural Mississippi Super Wal-Mart locations. Even pseudo-deity Justin Bieber got snubbed for Best New Artist in favor of Esperanza Spalding (who?). I was relieved; I honestly didn’t think Justin Bieber would ever lose at anything in his entire life.

I do have one criticism of the Grammys though. In theory, wouldn’t it make sense that the best album overall would also be the best album in a more specific category? How does Arcade Fire win Album of the Year but lose Best Alternative Album? If their album is not the best alternative album, how is it the best album overall? I’ve taken a few tedious philosophy classes in my college career, but none that could explain this existential conundrum to me.

Brobe Bryant – The NBA-worst Cleveland Cavaliers toppled the free-falling Lakers last week. I have nothing further to say about that. I just wanted to rub it in. Don’t worry, purple-and-gold fans. As he usually does whenever the Lakers are an inexplicable mess on the court, Lamar Odom has reassured you that everything is going to be all right.

Brolin Powell – A recent interview with former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson confirms what we sort of already knew.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had serious reservations about the Iraq War, but then-Vice President Dick Cheney coerced him into speaking in support of the war at a United Nations meeting. The case that Bush and Cheney were war criminals gets more and more solid as time passes. Bush even cancelled a trip to Geneva recently, apparently out of fear that he might get in trouble for authorizing things that are against the various Geneva Conventions.

Powell learned that day what people who go hunting with Cheney and then have to rush to the emergency room already knew: Cheney always gets his man.

It’s Complicated – After consulting with LGBT groups, Facebook has added ‘in a domestic partnership’ and ‘in a civil union’ as relationship status options for users. This is a great move for Facebook relationship equality, although I’m already looking forward to a day when these options are no longer needed because gay marriage is legal everywhere.

Agent Orange – After the GOP-led House of Representatives moved to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood last week, I’ve really started to question what kind of America it is that John Boehner and his ilk want to live in. Planned Parenthood does not spend federal money on abortions, and it provides HIV testing and free contraceptives to a lot of people, many of whom aren’t in the best financial situation. Apparently even safe sex is something that Republicans want to get rid of in this country. Sure, AIDS is bad, but condoms and comprehensive sex education are apparently worse. Welcome to Sarah Palin’s America, people.

This clearly is not a move that helps the federal budget at all. Planned Parenthood’s entire operating budget stands at around $1 billion, and only about a third of that money comes from the government. I know that sounds like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t affecting the taxpayer all that much. And I have a hard time with the notion that all of these representatives really believe that Planned Parenthood funding should be cut. This move is only about appeasing anti-abortion voters. Look, nobody really “likes” abortion, but cutting funding to a vital organization like this is ridiculous, especially considering that they don’t even use the money for what Boehner’s cronies are so upset about.