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Kyle Smith writes that this was the week when the word of the year — selfie — “collided in slapstick hilarity with the picture of the year”.

December 17, 2013 3:37:36 am

New York Post

Selfie of the year

Kyle Smith writes that this was the week when the word of the year — selfie — “collided in slapstick hilarity with the picture of the year”. Last month,selfie was proclaimed the word of the year by Oxford University Press. Three weeks later,US President Barack Obama starred in what is now the most infamous selfie of all time,one taken by the pretty-faced Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Flanking her were Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Smith lists a few reasons how this became the Selfie of the Year. The picture has candour,as it is of “a president who is so fiercely protective of his image that dozens of media outlets signed a letter blasting the White House for barring news photographers while instead issuing its own carefully vetted images”. It was also inappropriate,given the occasion. Others who appeared to have a real shot at starring in the selfie of the year included “Bashid McLean,25,who took a selfie with the severed head of the person he had just murdered,his mother; a guy laughing and giving a thumbs-up with a crumpled car visible in the background (caption: ‘Other persons car accident selfie’); and a guy making a mock-horror face while photographing himself at Auschwitz”.

The Washington Post

Let the Syrians starve

Fred Hiatt expresses his indignation over America’s choice to watch quietly as millions in Syria starve. He begins by saying that “if you had said in 2008 that the administration of Susan Rice,John Kerry and Barack Obama would do nothing while a dictator deliberately starved more than a quarter-million of his people,no one would have believed you as all three had condemned the Bush administration for allowing people to starve in Darfur,Sudan ”.The author says it is not out of ignorance as,seven weeks ago,Secretary of State John Kerry bemoaned “Assad’s war of starvation” in an op-ed. Hiatt says the other possible explanations for inaction include that “what’s happening in Syria is a civil war,not a humanitarian catastrophe and that US action would be illegal without UN approval”.

The Atlantic

Disney’s brilliant ploy

Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia. Kermit the Frog. Miss Piggy. Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. Buzz Lightyear. And now,Indiana Jones. “Together,they represent the defining characters and pop culture childhood memories of millions,if not billions. And in the past decade,they’ve all been snapped up by the Walt Disney Company,” writes Jason Lynch. The whip-wielding archaeologist has become the latest gigantic pop culture acquisition for Disney. Lynch concludes by writing,“In a business driven by sequels,adaptations and other flavours of nostalgia,Disney is winning by sheer breadth. Disney remains intent on discovering,rescuing,and rehabilitating precious pop culture artifacts so they can be found or rediscovered by audiences around the world”.

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