The Pendulum provides a weekly survey of America’s top trending topics. This week, we’ve got the latest on the death of Osama bin Laden, Beyonce & The First Lady make a music video, gas-price solutions, rethinking soul food, and much more!
1 U.S. POLITICS OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD
Late Sunday night, just as some of us were getting ready to turn in, news started to spread that President Obama would be making an important announcement. You knew it had to be something big if it couldn’t wait until the Today Show or Good Morning America, and it turns out it was. When the President finally emerged at 11:35 ET, his confident walk to the podium said it all. “Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.” The President not only made the historic announcement of bin Laden’s death, but he also encouraged the American people to remain cautious about national security (“We must — and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad”) and to distinguish their feelings between Muslims and the radical terrorists of al Qaeda (“the United States is not — and never will be — at war with Islam”). Score big points for President Obama — not only did his national security team orchestrate the capture of bin Laden, but the news also prompted NBC to pre-empt the last half of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.
Last night on 60 Minutes, foreign correspondent Lara Logan broke her silence about her assault and rape by a group of men in Egypt in February following the fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarek. It was often difficult to listen to Logan’s blunt and detailed description of her brutal attack. As Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker observes, Logan’s candor was heroic. He writes, “It’s often said that such a crime is ‘unspeakable.’ On this night, Logan spoke with a harsh eloquence entirely suitable for expressing the brutality of what she’d gone through….”
In the last few weeks, tornados have swept the South and parts of the Midwest, causing unfathomable damage. Somehow, in the midst of tornado season, this baby managed to survive. Ayden Robinson, of Dunn, North Carolina, was found alive underneath rubble after a tornado sucked him out of his cousin’s arms by tornado winds, with just a bump on his head. Hallelujah!
As a part of her childhood obesity campaign, Let’s Move, First Lady Michelle Obama, released “Move Your Body” as a fun and cool workout video for kids. It’s a start, but hopefully parents respond to their child’s new found affinity for working out and cook more meat and veggies, instead of taking their kids to America’s favorite, McDonalds.
Rutegersfest, a 30-year tradition held at Rutgers University, was cancelled on April 16, 2011, after 4 people were shot and 11 arrested at the event. The free event had over 40,000 attendees from local high schools and colleges and featured carnival games, food and concerts. Young people, we can do better.
Nationwide, gas prices average $3.87 per gallon, but in Chicago gas prices average a heaping $4.32 per gallon. In response, fuel efficient cars are more popular than ever. The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is priced at $18,175 at 42 mpg. The 2012 Hyundai Elantra is priced at $18,500 at 33mpg. The 2011 Honda Fit is priced at $16,000 at 33mpg.
Al Gore’s new book, Our Choice, is completely changing the way we read. The interactive book is available as an app that talks and includes maps, video and infographics that are enmeshed into the text. I love my hardcovers, but I might have to buy an iPad. Check out the video below!
Despite the war recently started, dividing Tyler Perry fans and questioning the intelligence of his targeted audience, Perry is responding to his critics with a new show, For Better or Worse, based on his hit series, Why Did I Get Married. Most of his critics would admit that they enjoyed the first Why Did I Get Married, so will he give them something to actually watch or just provide them with more ammo?
Watch Sneak Peek Audition Below!
Filmmaker Byron Hurt examines the health crisis plaguing the Black community in his new documentary, Soul Food Junkies. He challenges the idea that soul food is made only of unhealthy high-fat dishes. Perhaps, if we change our perception of what of soul food is, we can still obtain an appreciation for that segment of our culture, but not kill off our communities with heart disease.
Watch trailer below!
10 CELEB OPRAH = RELIGIOUS ICON? SMH
Yale professor, Kathryn Lofton, depicts Oprah as a saintly figure in her new book, Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon. She has always used her influence to promote positive messages and she is certainly an honorable philanthropist; but, to call her a religious icon may be the greatest overstatement of the year. She is a very persuasive motivational speaker at best. A positive message spoken in an elegant cadence does not equate spirituality. Preachers take note.