Obama Wins Presidential Election: Yes We Did!!

Obama Wins Presidential Election: Yes We Did!!

At 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), NBC News made its official projection that Senator Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America.  Obama won 338 electoral votes, to McCain’s 156 electoral votes.  In an amazing moment in American history, the ultimate color line has been broken. The last few days have challenged Obama’s sense of calm like never before, his election-day stress amplified by the fatigue of an 18-month campaign and the death of his grandmother just yesterday.

A sense of history stalked Obama everywhere on election day. At this moment, hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans are already celebrating in Chicago’s Grant Park, where the crowd is anticipated to reach 1,000,000 people or more.   President-elect Obama is scheduled to appear to make his victory remarks before the huge crowd in Grant Park at around 11:00 p.m. (Central Time).

We are all so privileged to have witnessed this historic event tonight.

Barack Obama: Change Has Come to America

Music Video: Yes We Can!

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Photos of the Day: It’s the Dawning of a New Day in America

Photos of the Day: It’s the Dawning of a New Day in America

Photography by: Gregory Crewdson

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Blow Up Your TV: Defamer’s Live-Blogging the 2008 Emmy Awards!!

Blow Up Your TV: Defamer Live-Blogs the 2008 Emmy Awards!!

Sunday greetings from Defamer’s Headquarters, where television’s! Biggest! Night! Has us shaking off our hangovers for live coverage of the 60th annual Emmy Awards! That’s right, Defamer’s doing this live, bypassing that silly West Coast tape delay for the straight dirt as it happens on the red carpet, inside the Nokia Theater and wherever else history and fools are being made on this historic evening. You know the subplots to watch for over the long night ahead, so read along and join the party. And heads up: Spoilers (and a few advance clips) follow for anyone who can’t bear to know Heidi Klum’s hosting benchmarks or how much ass Mad Men is kicking before watching for themselves in primetime. That said, we’ve already filled you in this year’s heroes in comedy and drama; what more is there to know?

(Please Click Image for Defamer’s Live-Blogging of The 2008 Emmys)

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Paris Rips McCain for His Obama Attack Ad

So now, Paris Hilton’s ripping on John McCain for having the nerve to put her in his Obama attack ad. Late last Sunday Paris’s mother Kathy slammed McCain for the waste of money, time and attention given to the ad in a blog for The Huffington Post. But Paris has made a big step further, taking her response to McCain and his ad to the camera in a scripted piece, saying “I’ll see you at the debates, bitches!!” Oh, and by the way, Paris wants to know if it will be alright to paint the White House pink.

Paris Hilton Slams John McCain

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Obama Reviews His Foreign Trip at Jordan’s Temple of Hercules

Senator Obama spent a hot, dusty Tuesday in Jordan on the heel end of his fact-finding mission to Afghanistan and Iraq. He arrived in Amman this afternoon with two fellow senators, Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE). The trio cleaned up a bit after their journey before heading to the ancient ruins of the Amman Citadel to hold a press conference on their observations before the world press. Senator Obama then went to the Palace of His Majesty, King Abdullah, to have a private one-on-one meeting before his Senate colleagues joined them for dinner.

From Jordan, Obama flew to Jerusalem. After landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday night, Obama stated, “I will share some of my ideas. The most important idea for me to reaffirm is the historic and special relationship between the United States and Israel, one that cannot be broken.” He pledged staunch support for Israel and stated that if elected, he would work to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. As part of his overseas tour, Obama met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Later in the day, he saw President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Obama in Jordan: First Press Conference of Foreign Tour

Senator Obama also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Wearing a white yarmulke, he rekindled a flame and paused for a few moments of quiet reflection as he laid a wreath on a tomb that contains ashes from the Nazi extermination camps. “At a time of great peril and promise, war and strife, we are blessed to have such a powerful reminder of man’s potential for great evil, but also our capacity to rise from tragedy and remake our world,” Mr. Obama said after visiting the memorial.

Let our children come here, and know this history, so they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again. And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.”

Obama’s Press Conference in Israel

Jesse Jackson Slams Obama with Unbelievably Crude Comment

Jesse Jackson Slams Obama with Unbelievably Crude Comments

While on a break during a taping for a Fox News program, Jesse Jackson told another guest on the program that he wanted to “cut [Obama’s] nu**s out.” The hurtful and disparaging comments were caught on tape, because Jackson’s microphone was still on.

Of course, the two-faced Jackson immediately issued an apology, stating: “For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., expressed personal wrath about his father’s crude comments: “I’m deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee — and I believe the next president of the United States — contradict his inspiring and courageous career,” wrote Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), an Obama campaign co-chairman, in a statement that he sent out after word began spreading that his father had said something so crude and deeply offensive.

Instead of tearing others down, Barack Obama wants to build the country up and bring people together so that we can move forward, together — as one nation. The remarks like those uttered on Fox by Reverend Jackson do not advance the campaign’s cause of building a more perfect Union.”

Reverend Jackson is my dad and I’ll always love him. He should know how hard that I’ve worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.”

Jesse Jackson Whispering His Crude Remarks

Jesse Jackson Discusses His Crude Remarks

Jesse Jackson Issues a Formal Apology to Obama

Obama’s campaign was tight-lipped about the incident, issuing only a statement. “As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children’s lives,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton wrote. “He also discusses our responsibility as a society to provide jobs, justice, and opportunity for all. He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology.”

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Robert Rauschenberg Dies at 82: Re-Conceived 20th Century Art

Robert Rauschenberg: Re-Conceived 20th Century Art

Robert Rauschenberg: A 20th Century Art Icon

Robert Rauschenberg, the prolific American artist who over and over again reshaped art in the 20th century, died Monday night at the age of 82. A painter, photographer, printmaker, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, during his later years, even a composer, Mr. Rauschenberg defied the traditional idea that an artist had to stick with one particular medium or style.

Rauschenberg pushed, prodded and sometimes re-conceived all of the mediums in which he worked. Building upon the legacies of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and others, he helped obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art.

He initially attended the Kansas City Art Institute, then traveled to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Julian, where he met Susan Weil, a young painter from New York. Soon thereafter, Ms. Weil entered the historic, experimental Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. Having read about and come to admire the Austrian immigrant Josef Albers, who at that time was the head of fine arts at Black Mountain, Mr. Rauschenberg saved enough money to join Ms. Weil there. For a while, Rauschenberg moved between New York and North Carolina, where he studied at both the Art Students League and at Black Mountain College.

Black Mountain’s Josef Albers was famously known to be a disciplinarian and strict modernist who was shocked by his new student, and he later disavowed ever even knowing Mr. Rauschenberg. On the other hand, in retrospect Albers was recalled by Mr. Rauschenberg as both “a beautiful teacher and an impossible person.” “He wasn’t easy to talk to, and I found his criticism so excruciating and so devastating that I never asked for it,” Mr. Rauschenberg added. “Years later, though, I’m still learning what he taught me.”

Rauschenberg’s Controversial “Erased de Kooning Drawing”

Robert Rauschenberg’s controversial Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), is about minimizing the subject, indicating that the removal of one subject can allow for the appearance of another. The things that go undiscussed in conversation are in some way equivalent to those that are talked about.

The Erased de Kooning Drawing symbolised what was iconic about much of what Rauschenberg did in his early days, it was iconic and iconoclastic at the same time, although William de Kooning was not the icon the young Turk wanted to smash. His iconoclasm took a more genteel and personal approach. As he explained in an interview: “I erased the de Kooning not out of any negative response.” Rauschenberg had been doing the same thing with his own drawings, but there was not much tension in that; it didn’t push out into the world. He had a fascination with William de Kooning, photographing his studio in 1952. Another key factor was that “de Kooning was the most important artist of the day.”

The inception of the project has been well-documented. Rauschenberg went over to the master’s studio and said that he’d like to erase one of de Kooning’s drawings as an act of art. De Kooning, apparently intrigued, had three groups of drawings. The first was comprised of drawings with which he was not satisfied, but that wouldn’t work. The next group was of drawings that he liked, but which were all in pencil, too easy to erase. If de Kooning was going to participate in this neo-Dada performance, he would play his part. He looked in his third group and found a multi-media work on paper that would be quite difficult to eradicate (the media of the Erased de Kooning Drawing included “traces of ink and crayon on paper“). Apparently, it took Rauschenberg one month to get the sheet relatively clear of marks. No photograph exists of the work that Rauschenberg erased; however, there is a photograph of the relatively simple sketch of it on the reverse of his work.

The Erased de Kooning Drawing

Rauschenberg on The Erased de Kooning Drawing

Tribute to Robert Rauschenberg: A Music Video Slideshow

Music by Philip Glass: Mishima

Interested viewers might want to read a New York Times op-ed piece written as a memorial to Robert Rauschenberg by the musician and visual-artist David Byrne, which can be accessed here.

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