Youre reading TheBlot Boomerang, where we bring the biggest and best of this weeks news back around every Saturday.
LINK: The New Cold War
Remember the Soviet Union? That big Communist country that threatened to nuke the United States while the United States threatened to nuke them? Well, the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore. It’s been replaced by the Russian Federation, which, alas, is now run by a nasty former KGB officer. And there are a handful of Communist troublemakers still out there notably North Korea, whose government hates our movies. Speaking of movies, the Cold War is almost like a movie franchise, complete with spinoffs, and now a sequel. Gizmodo gives an overview of Cold War Part Deux.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of many famous people who made principled statements supporting free speech after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. But Gigaom compares Zuckerberg’s words with Facebook’s actions. Zuckerberg says that “different voices even if theyre sometimes offensive can make the world a better and more interesting place.” Meanwhile, Facebook has yanked pages and posts created by dissidents in China and Syria. Gigaom contrasts this with how Twitter handles political discourse and pressure from governments.
The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen has lived in the South for five years. She’s become familiar with a regional quirk: Roadside billboards with hard-right, evangelical or racist slogans. “In the South, rural billboards have become a bizarre battleground for tired culture wars,” Allen explains. And now atheists are buying their own ad space on billboards. Allen asks why these roadside attractions are such a unique feature in the American South.
LINK: Why the Strat Survives
NPR salutes the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, which made its debut in 1954. Although the Stratocaster has become an iconic instrument along with Gibson’s Les Paul, it was not an easy sell at first. Thankfully, its arrival coincided with the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Since then, the Strat has become the guitar of choice for legendary players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Bonnie Raitt.
Dr. Nerdlove is a relationship columnist who counsels geeks on love, dating and generally decent behavior in their romantic lives. He also writes sharp essays about misogyny in nerd-dom, most notably in his series “Nerds and Male Privilege.” In the latest installment, he addresses the privilege that geek guys don’t recognize or accept by virtue of being, well, guys. And he points out that nerds aren’t the social outcasts they used to be. “Nerd or geek isnt a privilege trump card, no matter how much some nerds may feel it is,” he writes.
Robin Cook is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.