Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Obama says that Jay-Z is the easy answer over Kanye West

2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Performance

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Kanye West (L) and Jay-Z perform during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City.

I've got a secret: I prefer Kanye. This is apparently something I don't share with our nation's president, who, in a recent Atlantic magazine article on Kanye West, says emphatically that he prefers Jay-Z.

It's not too much of a surprise, after Obama previously called West a "jackass" after he interrupted Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Award acceptance speech.

Obama wasn't all down on Kanye, though. He added that he likes Kanye too. "He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented." When asked about that jackass comment, Obama reaffirmed both Kanye's jackassery and his talent.

Of course, that Atlantic article being titled "American Mozart" perhaps isn't going to deflate that Kanye ego anytime soon. Not that Jay's too humble; these two are on tour together, and some of Kanye's early success as a producer came as a result of getting the chance to produce tracks for Jay-Z.


President Obama gets movie pitch turned down, all aspiring screenwriters cry in despair

US President Barack Obama walks out of t

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office to board the Marine One helicopter to leave the White House in Washington, DC, on Febraury 23, 2012 en route to Miami, Florida.

Bad news for all you aspiring Hollywood screenwriters out there: It apparently doesn't matter how powerful you are, you still can't get your project made. The latest failed auteur? President Obama.

OK, this might be a slight exaggeration, but President Obama got turned down on a movie idea by Harvey Weinstein at the Weinstein Company, based on a book he read.

"The president sent me a book the other day and said 'Why don't you make this a movie?'" Weinstein told the Times of London.

What was it? "I can't tell you. It was a spy novel."

Weinstein replied to the president, telling him that he was "the most overqualified book scout I've ever had." And this is coming from Weinstein, who's a big supporter of Obama and the Democratic Party and has even hosted fundraising events for the president in New York and Los Angeles.


Poking fun at the State of the Union, Hollywood Bowl schedule out and Popeye meets Wilco


Pop culture roundup for Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012

  • Love this year in review video, shot right here in L.A., collecting short bits of video daily and putting them together to tell one person's story over the course of a year. (via The Daily What)
  • Google has a new Los Angeles headquarters featuring things like virtual reality Google Maps rooms and a building-tall pair of binoculars. (via Boing Boing)
  • Adam Sandler was discovered in an L.A. comedy club by Dennis Miller; read this profile on Sandler focused on his time on "Saturday Night Live" (while you try to forget "Jack & Jill"). (via Splitsider)
  • Comic book artist Ben Templesmith drawing a comic book page at San Francisco's Noise Pop music festival (an hour and a half video, but if you don't have time, fun to skip around in to see bits of the process). (via Robot 6)
  • President Obama asking for Betty White's birth certificate (really!). (via the Daily What)
  • And, because it makes me happy, Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation dancing drunkenly, forever. (via Splitsider)


Don't have time for CNN, just give me a comic - Boom's Decision 2012 presidential comics

Recent trend in comics: Biographical comic books. That (not-so) grand tradition continues with the Decision 2012 line from L.A.'s Boom Studios, featuring Republican presidential contenders and President Barack Obama.

Boom issued a press release positioning the comics as "comic book's first straw poll." Readers can pre-order their favorite candidate's comic by Sept. 29, and the total print runs will be announced when the comics ship in November.

The Republican contenders you can choose: Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and... Sarah Palin? Apparently Boom is pretty confident that Palin will enter the race - or at least that she has enough fans that they'll buy a comic about her whether she runs or not.

Boom adds one caveat: Any comic without 1,500 pre-orders won't be printed. Looking at the polls, I'm betting we won't be getting any Rick Santorum comics, but who knows? Those comics will also include limited edition "Superhero variant" covers. (I'm excited to see what the candidates will look like with capes.)