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This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moment

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
The President asks us to live up to a young girl’s vision of the nation, an Icelandic singer saves her country’s nature and a Harry Potter group fights real-life evils.
President Obama Urges Us to “Live Up to Her Expectations”
This week the nation witnessed one of it’s greatest tragedies in recent years, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a gathering in Tuscon, Arizona. The 22-year-old gunman killed six people and injured 13 innocent bystanders. On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama delivered one of the most powerful speeches in U.S. history.
One of Loughner’s victims was a 9-year-old girl named Christina Taylor Green. The little girl was born on September 11, 2001, and as a result was growing up with a passion for politics. She went to the U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords’ Congress On Your Corner event at the local Safeway Supermarket, excited to meet her Congresswoman. Christina’s death is an unfathomable tragedy.
But the message that President Obama delivered in her honor will resonate in U.S. history. As he spoke of Green’s death, he made a plea to an unharmonious nation, saying, “I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us — we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
Much needed words of inspiration, which will hopefully help the country to heal.
Read the full transcript of Obama’s memorial here.
Bjork Stages a Karaoke Marathon for Nature
It’s been ten years since Bjork wore a swan dress to the Oscars. But the memory of that has pretty much become synonymous with the Icelandic singer. Now it seems Bjork might finally have wiped that slate clean and will now be known as the woman who saved her country.
The eccentric singer is getting a lot of buzz for her unusual fundraiser Bjork’s Karaoke Marathon for Nature. During the fest, the impish songstress gathered roughly 20,000 signatures in protest of the fact that a Canadian energy company plans to take on a larger share of Iceland’s power plant HS Orka.
But her interests go much further than that. According to her site, Bjork’s event was “dedicated to Iceland’s nature as part of Björk’s campaign to win back the country’s natural resources.”
Swan dress? What swan dress?
The Harry Potter Alliance Imagines Better
The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), an organization formed to fight the Dark Arts in the real world inspired by the “Harry Potter” series, announced their latest charitable campaign.
The group of “Harry Potter” fans joined forces in 2005 to start their own real life Dumbledore’s Army, the activist group formed by the book’s wizard and his friends to conquer evil. Like Harry, Andrew Slack and Paul DeGeorge formed The Harry Potter Alliance to fight the evils in our world.
On their website Slack says, “As a ‘Harry Potter’ fan, I … thought we needed an organization to act as a Dumbledore’s Army for our world, full of Harry Potter fans wishing to embody the message of the books to create social change.” In the past they have raised $123,000 for relief to Haiti earthquake victims and donated 55,000 books worldwide.
Last week they announced part three of their latest effort, The Deathly Hallows Campaign. For those unfamiliar with the wizarding world, in the final installment of the book, Harry hunted down seven Horcruxes (objects that embody evil). So for the nine months between the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two,” the HPA named seven real-life evils that represent injustices in the world.
The latest evil named by the HPA is the Body Bind Horcrux striving to raise awareness and change the global understanding of weight and body image. Slack said in a recent press release, “Countless people with eating disorders feel like they’re alone. Others exercise to the point of over-exertion or not at all. Some work until three in the morning and forget to sleep. Our culture doesn’t tell us to appreciate our lives. It tells us to forget to breathe.”
The other two HPA Horcruxes previously announced addressed unjust wages and depression. New Horcruxes will be announced each month until the final Potter films hits the screens in July.

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