Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

The Richest New Voice in Music

I’m a fan of Adele. Her new single says it all.

Adele’s music also keeps me sane–distracts me from other frustrations like Obama’s tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

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Filed under: music, ,

The Congresswoman Who Can Not Tell a Truth

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Where did the lie that President Obama’s trip to Asia is costing taxpayers $200 million dollars a day originate?

Anderson Cooper explains (in a reasoned yet nonetheless disapproving manner) that the ridiculous myth emerged from a businessman in India. However, the source is anonymous and can’t be confirmed. Less than reputable, as Anderson points out.

What’s more upsetting is the conservative media’s use of the bloated number to spur rage toward the President. How better to rile up patriotic, nativist U.S. citizens? Ask Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Worse, buy into the lies put forth by our elected representatives. When Congresswoman Michelle Bachman relates the $200 million myth on Cooper’s program, he calls her on it.

Shame on Bachman for perpetuating misinformation. How do Minnesota constituents feel about the latest of their representative’s falsehoods?

Filed under: minnesota, politics, republican, , , , , , ,

Another Example of Fox as Infotainment, Not Journalism

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Fox News host Brian Kilmeade sums up his philosophy–not an impartial one, to say the least–that “there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

One wonders if, in Kilmeade’s one-sided view of terrorism, he includes men like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers.

President Obama has derided Fox News’ lack of impartial journalism, calling it “destructive.” Kilmeade, O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck are all shucksters–far-right politicos masquerading as journalists.

In terms of infotainment, Fox News can’t be beat.

Filed under: entertainment, media, obama, , , ,

Art or Photojournalism?

President Obama, pre- and post-Photoshop

When is it justifiable to modify a real-life image?

The Economist photoshopped its most recent cover of President Obama, emphasizing his formidable challenge with BP and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In the original photo, Obama is shown with Commander Thad Allen and the president of Lafourche Parish, Charlotte Randolph, as they briefed him on response efforts. In the Economist‘s cover, however, Obama is shown hunched, alone, seemingly deep in thought about the environmental disaster–to great visual effect.

Issues of copyright infringement aside (we have to assume the Economist editors ok’d the change with Reuters, the copyright owner–unlike Shepard Fairey, whose iconic reproduction of an AP-owned Obama image led to a well-publicized court case), the cover is most definitely more compelling without the pesky bureaucrats in conversation with the President.

Emma Duncan, deputy editor of the magazine, provides this clarification:

Yes, Charlotte Randolph was edited out of the image (Admiral Allen was removed by the crop). We removed her not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers…I asked for Ms. Randolph to be removed because I wanted readers to focus on Mr. Obama, not because I wanted to make him look isolated. That wasn’t the point of the story. “The damage beyond the spill” referred to on the cover, and examined in the cover leader, was the damage not to Mr. Obama, but to business in America.

I agree that it’s the right of the magazine staff to crop or modify graphics for the visual impact, the sake of the story. Somehow, though, the fact that this image is so close to the actual photograph seems disingenuous.

If you saw this cover on the newsstand, would you assume it was a mocked-up design or a photograph?

Filed under: art, media, obama, , , , , , , , ,

Obama Backs DADT Repeal

The latest: the Obama administration will support the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal put forward by Congress  this week. It’s a compromise between gay rights groups’ wish for immediate repeal and the Pentagon’s study-in-progress. The Pentagon’s study is due December 1.

If the vote happens in Congress, and the President signs it, the move will be one step forward for Obama’s stagnant record in gay rights. Public pressure must be credited to Lt. Dan Choi and the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network for recent acts of civil disobedience as well as the protest art that’s cropped up.

Let’s hope this happens. The bad, 17 year-old law has led to more than 13,500 discharges. You can add your name to the list of supporters here.

Filed under: gay rights, military, , , , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
January 2019
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About Me

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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