News Genius – Quotes of the Week, 08/16/2013

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Egypt is falling apart again. Ashton Kutcher is playing his own holy trinity, living as Steve, Ashton, and Chris all at once. Orson Scott Card is typecasting America as a dystopian hellhole. And RGIII is calling out his fellow players and Christians to respect the LGBTQ community. What tops it all?

News Genius: God Hates Fracks! Edition

-- Gavin Matthews

 
5. "The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap -I promise you!"
- Ashton Kutcher, Teen Choice Awards 2013 Speech

Finding a mature, responsible actor is borderline impossible. Finding that person at the Teen Choice Awards is a punchline. Surprisingly, Ashton Kutcher's "Ultimate Choice" Lifetime Achievement award speech was not only responsible, but also one of the best acceptance speeches ever. Rejecting self-embellishment in favor of actual life advice, "Chris" Kutcher broke reality into three points: seeking opportunity, being smart, and building a life. Everything else is "crap" fed to you by people looking to make money. Our bet: a lot of network executives simultaneously frowned at the honesty and smiled at the advertising bucks rolling in from a viral story.

 
4. "I hereby render my resignation from the Vice President Office, praying God Almighty to safeguard our beloved country, help the people achieve their aspirations...."
- Vice President of Egypt Mohamed ElBaradei, Resignation Letter

Last week featured the overthrow of Egyptian president Morsi, leading to an uneasy military junta and talks of a new (and possibly worse) constitution. This week, all of the pins were pulled and the ball dropped. After military soldiers, likely in response to gunfire and stone throwing, fired on protest camps and killed some 600 people, the country was placed once again on the verge. Nobel Peace Prize winner and interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei had enough: he has fully resigned from the current authority. With the situation angling toward a proxy war and civil chaos, his choice may be the best: all that remains now is to see who claims the power, and through what means.

 
3. "I think there are [gay players] right now, and if they're looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window. My view on it is, yes, I am a Christian, but to each his own. You do what you want to do."
- Robert Griffin III, On Gay Athletes

Rare in the sports world is "coming out" popular or supported. The macho elements of the culture, even in women's sports, appears to heavily restrict personal emotions and LGBTQ viewpoints. Enter RGIII, a prominent player, Christian, and voice in football. Citing the hypocrisy of Christians who view homosexuality as a sin but not adultery, theft, and bigotry as the same, Griffin makes his view of it all clear: be who you are, and may pain and judgement come to those who think themselves able to judge. While it is unlikely that RGIII's words will make an instantaneous difference, his words come on the heels of announcements of personal orientation by Robbie Rogers and Jason Collins. Amen.

 
2. "This is the column where I predict how American democracy ends."
- Orson Scott Card, Obama is a Dictator

The author of Ender's Game, soon to be a blockbuster film, has a lot of opinions. Some, like his stance on equal marriage rights, are fully bigoted and irresponsible. Some, like his views on the stability and fate on the United States government, are becoming increasingly centered. Noting the new security state that emerges with every Snowden leak, Card paints the picture of a dystopian future like only a fiction writer could - stolen rights, a foreign policy nightmare, cats and dogs living together - but his chief message remains intact: the United States is doing some sketchy stuff. Strip away the extraordinary and you have a fair portrayal of what tomorrow may be like. But still, Card is a hate-fueled bigot, so take it with a grain of salt.

 
1. "The rush to benefit from the gas-drilling bonanza is an obvious temptation for many and this, of course, raises the question of how consideration for God the Creator enters into the decision-making process"
- Diocese of Blackburn, Fracking and God

Rarely, very rarely, do environmentalists and the church join hands and work together. Even more rarely does God take a personal view on a business sector's doings. Apparently, he picked this week to strike out. Citing the explosion in popularity of, and subsequent issues with, fracking, the Diocese of Blackburn has begun handing its members an...informative pamphlet about the practice and its dangers. While the science is off, and the ideas are perhaps extreme, the comedy of it all paired with the issue of choice makes the pamphlet this week's single most confusing and absurd document! Congrats!

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