Manga is the New Marvel

What with action packed fights with mechanic octopi, catchy theme songs, and Jessica Alba, who would believe that such a beautiful, beautiful thing as Marvel Comics could ever be replaced? As the Spiderman trilogy, X-Men, the Fantastic 4, Ghost Rider, and of course Iron Man have all impressed audiences at the theaters over the past few years, there’s been a resurgence of the popularity of Marvel Comics. But at the same time there’s a whole different line of heroes and super villains just waiting to save the day, and their names are less like Steve Rogers and Peter Parker, and more like Naruto Uzumaki and Piccolo.

Anime, a style of art originally from Japan with exaggerated physical features, speech bubbles, and tapered lines, usually expressed in dramatic comic books and graphic novels called Manga, came to America a long time ago in the form of a little yellow fur ball with rosy cheeks and a lightning bolt tail, along with his friends Squirtle and Bulbasaur.

But anime has expanded its horizons far past the Cerulean City, and is currently bordering on world domination. The anime and manga sections in bookstores are growing larger and larger, and every time I try to get the kid next to me to play hangman during math class, he’s drawing some anime action shot!

This thing is an epidemic.

I know kids who design entire anime comic books, with their own original story lines, characters, and styles. A lot my classmaters won’t draw or read anything else but anime. Comic books like Naruto, Kare Kano and other manga series have gotten kids into reading, drawing, and writing. Although many people are offended by the intense violence and sexual innuendo in manga, whatever lets people express their creativity and come up with new ideas is great in my book.

Now! That’s What I Call Songs About Politics!

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Probably the Greatest Ad Ever…

Steve Novick was a Democrat running for the Senate in Oregon this year – he lost in yesterday’s voting, but not before debuting this fantastic ad.

First, let me say that the hook is real. Novick was born without a left hand, and uses the prosthesis – it helped inspire his equally brilliant slogan, “The Fighter with the Hard Left Hook,” and t-shirts reading “Hooked on Novick.”

Power Rangers Producer Plays Poltical Puppeteer?

Haim Saban, whose started out his Hollywood career by composing the theme songs to Inspector Gadget and He-Man, is the biggest single political contributor in the nation. His tactics are beginning to bear the sheen of the super villain Lord Zed- arch nemesis of the Saban produced Power Rangers.

One of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s top financial supporters offered $1 million to the Young Democrats of America during a phone conversation in which he also pressed for the organization’s two uncommitted superdelegates to endorse the New York Democrat, a high-ranking official with YDA told The Huffington Post.

No one would deny that Saban knows the youth market… but it looks like the YDA took the truth, justice, and recycling* messages of the Power Rangers a little too literally for Saban’s sake. His apparent ploy to purchase the loyalty of superdelegates has been outed to the press by a bunch of meddling kids.

Saban has denied the story.

Contacted about the report, Saban, initially very friendly, became curt. “Not true,” he said, “it’s simply not true.” He declined to elaborate.

How the Young Democrats would benefit from angering the biggest donor the party has is unclear.

What do you think?

*By recycling we refer to the plots, not to any real environmental theme of the Power Rangers. That was Capitan Planet, and yes we are terrified that we know this information.

Immigration Cruncher

Immigration is a serious topic for me but at the same time it’s becoming
worn out. This issue has brought heated arguments with a friend of mine and
every time I say that I don’t believe that ALL illegal immigrants should be
legalized she always says “There just like us and deserve the opportunity”.

I crossed the border for more opportunities and that’s how I’ve learned to
respect the country that has allowed me to stay as a legal resident. My
friend on the other hand is still on the waiting list in order to get her
residency. I understand that obtaining a green card was much easier during
my time (90’s) but once 9/11 all that changed and its become a battle for
undocumented immigrants.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-immigrant but I do believe that living in
this country is a privilege. That is why I do agree that in order to stay in
this country people should have a decent record- no felonies. My friend
calls it discrimination but I call it awareness or even prevention. One of
the things that we both agreed on was that immigrants are crucial to the
economy and deserve our respect and equality.

It hurts to see how companies take advantage of them by not paying them what
they should. I know it’s a critical topic but it’s time that this issue is
taken seriously because it’s driving immigrants to the limit. I know because
I’ve seen families that have fallen into the fast life for quick cash.

Personal Budget

I was watching the Spanish news with my parents yesterday and the story that grabbed my attention was about a family who were forced to sell their personal belongings for a quick buck. I can’t imagine myself selling my gold necklace that was giving to me by my parents for my quinceañera. I’m thankful that I haven’t seen myself in that need but I do understand the motivation behind it. It’s upsetting to see how the financial crisis has pushed people to the limit. I used to believe that the United States– being such a powerful nation and known as the land of opportunities– couldn’t suffer this way. I guess there comes a time where even the strongest ruler has to step down sometimes. Of course my family is not like the one I saw on the news but we are suffering some of the same problems. Take my own for example: I’m young and as teenager there are some rules I’ve come across such as having fun as much as you can. But with gas almost reaching 5 dollars I’m about to break that rule. I own a small Nissan Sentra that used to get filled up with 25 dollars and now it takes 40 dollars. If you ask me, I could have used that extra fifteen dollars to get my nails done or something lol. I’m not a parent or a homeowner but I’m still financially hurting. As a college student money is already short but with inflation raising my pockets have been shrinking. I’ve had to put my female needs to the side and start helping more at home. In a strange way this crisis has made me more responsible, but I’ve learned enough and its time that things start changing. I hate seeing families suffering because of this. It brings me flashbacks of how people in my home country were suffering. Don’t be mistaken and believe that this problem is only affecting US citizens, because most developing countries like mine are hurting even more. My family members in El Salvador say the cost of food has increased too much for them to consider having a decent meal everyday. Instead they have to get use to having beans and rice three times a day. So for now my nails are going to have to wait until this situation gets better.

Edwards’ Endorsement of Obama

After former presidential candidate John Edwards gave his long-waited endorsement to Senator Barack Obama, now what? Will it actually help boost him with the so-called blue collar votes? We will just have to wait and see on the Kentucky primary which will take place on May 20. The polls there shows an overwhelming lead towards Senator Clinton by double digits. Due to the fact that Obama struggles with the working-class vote, it appears that the Reagan Democrats are up for grabs as soon as the general election kicks off and they are vital for Obama in order for him to win the popular vote in the fall.

It has been shown from time to time that endorsements doesn’t really have much on an impact on a candidate’s victory. Which is quite true because look at Ted Kennedy’s and John Kerry’s major endorsement for Obama, he didn’t even carried Massachusetts. So I wouldn’t think that John Edwards’ endorsement would have much of an effect either. But I suppose we will all just have to wait and see.