American politics: It could be more ridiculous, I guess.

Barack Obama’s birthday was a few months ago, on August 4th, and I spent the day putting together a “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” calendar, for which I posed as Marilyn Monroe, only instead of wearing a fur stole and a gold evening gown, I wore my sexiest blogging outfit – sweats and a clean hoodie. Ok, I did no such thing, and if I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t tell anyone about it.

But not everyone feels that way, apparently. The NYT’s Lede blog reported yesterday on some interesting student activism in Russia. In honour of Vladimir Putin’s birthday, two groups of student journalists have produced calendars:

The first calendar, which features 12 racy photographs of lingerie-clad students and come-hither captions like Miss February’s “How about a third time?” went on sale on Wednesday… On Thursday, another group of students responded to the pro-Putin calendar — “Vladimir Vladimirovich, We Love You! Happy Birthday, Mr Putin!” — with one of their own. The anti-Putin calendar shows six students with their mouths taped shut asking questions like, “Who killed Anna Politkovskaya?” in reference to the muckraking journalist who was gunned down on Mr. Putin’s birthday in 2006.

I know that American politics has gotten a little ridiculous lately, what with the radical anti-choice candidates and the rise of the political celebrity and, oh yeah, the witchcraft. But you know what? To date, as far we know, no one has made a pro-Obama pin-up calendar – so things could be worse, I guess. That said, there’s always next August.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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