Statesmanship!

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Reported by Andrew Osborne

In a final meeting of the Galactic Senate before dissolving it, Emperor Palpatine called for unity while vowing to crush the Rebellion and their “pitiful little band.” Forcefully denying reports that his Jedi Council appointee Anakin had, in fact, slaughtered all the younglings in the Jedi Temple, Palpatine nevertheless declared martial law and banned all incoming hyperspace travel until further notice. Asked for his reaction to the speech, Senator Binks (a recent Palpatine appointee to the Bureau of Speaking Correctly) responded, “Ooh! Me-sa think he-sa very statesmanlike to not Force Blast any-sa people or Tweet-sa for whole time he-sa talking. I-sa worried before, but now me-sa trust-sa him completely and know-sa Empire gunna make-a galaxy great again, okeeday?”

Best of 2016: Movies

by Andrew Osborne

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Many films are well-made, but the ones that land on my own personal Top 10 each year have something more: some memorable element, some unique quality or emotional connection that reverberates down deep — a special something that was in fairly short supply this year, with the following notable exceptions:

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Best of 2016: TV

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by Andrew Osborne

Once again this year, most of the best writing, directing, and acting was on the small screen, as exemplified by my picks for 2016’s must-see TV:

Wild Cards (shows I’ve heard good things about yet aren’t on my list ’cause I haven’t really watched them):  Black Mirror, Bojack Horseman, This Is Us, The Americans, The Good Place

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Best of 2016: Books

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by Andrew Osborne

I didn’t have much time for reading this year (partly because I was preparing my own novel, Building Heaven for publication…now available in Kindle and paperback editions!) — but the following fiction, non-fiction, and funny books still managed to penetrate my pea-brain in the Annus Horribilis that was 2016.

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Best of 2016: Audio & Live Performance

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by Andrew Osborne

There were many things to hate about 2016 (including some of the events referenced on this very list)…but here are the performances, live and otherwise, that helped me to get through the drama of this accursed Year of the Monkey.

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Presidential Epilogue

by Andrew Osborne

I hear Trump was surprisingly gracious to Hillary in victory, and I truly hope that he somehow manages to be a great president. But the fact that tens of millions of people voted for the openly bigoted, sexist, and dangerously ignorant things he said during the endless campaign (and that millions more couldn’t be bothered to vote at all or chose feeling good about themselves over trying to stop such a man) is why this election night was more disturbing and upsetting for me than any other in my life. Obama’s two victories made me think America was finally getting smarter and better, but now I know that was just wishful thinking. We’ll always be the Union vs. the Confederacy. We’ll always be rural vs. urban, rich vs. poor, right vs. left. We’ll always be divided, and I don’t even WANT to be united with people who support “jokes” about killing journalists and jailing opponents and nuclear war. I don’t really want to be united with the supporters of a candidate who the KKK and Putin also support…I don’t really want to be united with people who deny science and oppose gay marriage and actively work to prevent blacks and Latinos from voting. But…enough. I truly don’t want to think or talk about politics as much going forward, because words and facts are clearly meaningless in America now. We all preach to our own choirs. I’ve said it before (and keep falling short), but going forward, I hope I can follow the example of those doing the actual hard work of elections: phone banks, canvassing, etc. And if you want to argue with this post, go ahead and dispute me or bash Hillary or praise Trump/Johnson/Stein or whatever down there in the comments. But I’m done arguing (at least for a while…though my wife doesn’t believe me). And to everyone else (especially those with kids), good luck: I hope Trump surprises us all (in a good way for a change), or at least leaves behind some semblance of the country I grew up in.

Double Toasted: The Double Year Oral History

I interviewed DoubleToasted.com‘s Korey Coleman & Martin Thomas for CultureVulture.net, but since I’m not sure if the article will be up in time for DT’s two-year anniversary celebration this weekend in Austin TX, I’m posting it here, as well…enjoy!

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Double Toasted:  The Double Year Anniversary by Andrew Osborne

Sure, lots of people have podcasts, and some of those podcasts even have fans…but DoubleToasted.com has a congregation (and that’s just for the Sunday Service, one of five R-rated, live-streaming weekly video broadcasts covering movies, video games, politics, dating advice, and whatever else the rotating ensemble of regular panelists, callers, guests, and random audience members feel like chatting about.

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