The Great American Movie

February 9, 2012

By J. DeVoy

Remember Falling Down, where Michael Douglas goes on a rampage in LA, shooting up a McDonald’s, a phone booth, and attacking a construction project with a rocket launcher?  Cathartic, no?  This appears to be even better.

The thing about Falling Down is that it did not go far enough in its attack on the perverted state of America normalcy.  It expressed frustration at common daily difficulties, but failed to indict the metastasizing culture that produces these inefficiencies.  God Bless America appears to remedy these defects by glamorizing the wanton and gratuitous murder of reality television “stars,” famous-for-fame’s-sake celebutards and generic douches who talk in the theater, insist on recording everything via cell phone, etc.  Here’s hoping for a scene where the protagonist walks into a restaurant and blows away my latest disfavored class – people who take pictures of unremarkable food they order so they can instantaneously upload them to facebook (“they’re not french fries, they’re pommes frites!“).

As the Joker once said, “this town needs an enema!”  Swap “town” for “western civilization” and we’re making progress.  Surely the whiner crew will come out wringing their frail hands, warning of copycat acts of violence against famous people.  Even if these hypochondriac claims had merit, the only reasonable response is, happy hunting.  Will Brangelina get your backwoods joke of a state to enact a badly needed Anti-SLAPP statute with teeth?  Leonardo DiCaprio is on the record as caring more about polar bears than your rights.  Would it be so bad if they all… disappeared?

Obviously nobody’s seen the full film yet.  Even if it’s terrible, I suspect it will have a significant cult following, likely among the alternative right.  The fact that such a film was even made, though, reflects a recognition that enough people are meaningfully dissatisfied with the status quo that they would enjoy – and pay to see – its simulated murder.


Georgia Supreme Court Helps Legitimize Assisted Suicide

February 6, 2012

By J. DeVoy

While illegal in 39 states, assisted suicide in not illegal in Georgia.  The state attempted to create the illusion that the practice was illegal, however, by outlawing public advertisement of assisted suicide services through OCGA § 16-5-5(b).  The statute did not forbid all offers to provide assisted suicide services, but only those publicly advertised.  Today, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the law as an impermissible content-based restriction on free speech. Final Exit Network, Inc. v. Georgia, Case No. S11A1960 (Ga. Feb. 6, 2012).

Applying both the Georgia Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Supreme Court subjected § 16-5-5(b) to strict scrutiny.  Succinctly stating the position of its opinion, the Georgia Court wrote:

It is not all assisted suicides which are criminalized but only those which include a public advertisement or offer to assist. This distinction takes the statute out of the realm of content neutral regulations and renders it a selective restraint on speech with a particular content. See Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U. S. 781, 791 (109 SC 2746, 105 LE2d 661) (1989) (“The principal inquiry in determining content neutrality . . . is whether the government has adopted a regulation of speech because of a disagreement with the message it conveys.”) (source.)

The court goes on to further eviscerate the state’s justification for banning advertising of assisted suicides:

The State argues §16-5-5 (b) is narrowly tailored because it reaches only those who publicly offer to assist in suicide and then, in fact, undertake an overt act to accomplish that goal. Had the State truly been interested in the preservation of human life, however, it could have imposed a ban on all assisted 5suicides with no restriction on protected speech whatsoever. Alternatively, the State could have sought to prohibit all offers to assist in suicide when accompanied by an overt act to accomplish that goal. The State here did neither. (source.)

The Final Exit Network decision is a very short but devastating opinion.  It also raises a number of concerns about the social and legal status of suicide in America.  For states with significant elderly populations – Florida, Nevada and Arizona come to mind – the manner by which they restrict assisted suicide may come under attack.  A full legal ban on all forms of suicide and assisted suicide, premised on the value of human life, likely would withstand constitutional attack.  If this goal is achieved from an outside angle as Georgia attempted, though, the laws may not withstand judicial scrutiny.

Being old – and especially extremely old – is a miserable existence.  I support strong penalties for murder and taking the lives of other human beings.  But when someone can no longer walk, can barely talk, has had their mental faculties degraded by alzheimer’s (or just old age), and has regressed to the point of requiring diapers to avoid daily humiliation, there is a serious question as to what value and dignity that life has left.  Would it be so bad if we allowed them to choose a time and place to bring about the end, rather than forcing them through years of semi-conscious misery to vindicate what are ultimately religious principles?  The same is true of the very ill – if it’s clear that the much needed liver or kidney transplant is not going to arrive in time, why be subjected to a degrading life of seizures, dialysis and pain?

The same arguments about medicinal marijuana, which liberals and libertarians are so fond of – that it helps people, and it does not directly harm anyone else – are equally applicable to suicide.  For many people, suicide is the best and possibly only way out from under whatever dilemmas are facing them, whether medical, psychological or financial.  By outlawing suicide, those who seek an exit are forced to inhumane and painful ends, using guns and pills to bring on a quick ending – and facing even worse consequences if they fail.  The unreasonable social shame surrounding suicide forces people who ultimately choose this route to live longer, more unpleasant lives, enduring the harsh scrutiny of others in the process.

Central to the concept of liberty is one’s right to do what he or she pleases until it runs into the rights of others.  Your life should, to the fullest extent possible, belong to you, which includes the way it is lived as well as the way it is ended.  The broad sweep of laws and public attitude against suicide is inimical to a truly free society.  Moreover, it is hypocritical for the United States to tout its position on freedom and yet take such a draconian position on suicide, assisted or otherwise.  While debates rage on about rights to own guns and receive healthcare, the right for citizens to have full control over their lives, including ending them without stigma or obstruction, has been totally overlooked.


Let’s Be “Newtly” Open

January 20, 2012

by Tatiana von Tauber

Would you find your spouse immoral if s/he asked you for an open marriage? If you’re like the general population, probably so and that’s because monogamy in marriage is so entrenched in our Judeo-Christian culture as the best way that it’s very difficult to pull out of such a norm; however, I believe Newt Gingrich showed a higher level of moral character than his current judgment dictates with respect to his second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich’s disclosure he asked her for an open marriage.

In politics as in marriage a lot of things happen in the background that aren’t always in plain view. Mixing the desires of more than one individual requires compromises otherwise you’re left with lies for solutions. Just look at history for evidence.

By Newt Gingrich asking his second wife – now the ex – for an open marriage he actually proved his moral character via his ability to simply be honest about his feelings and desires and ask in spite of the backlash from what would traditionally be considered immoral (from their camp anyway).

This honesty is honorable. While the request may or may not be, there cannot be confusion between the difference of the request and the honesty which manifested it.

I suppose Marianne Gingrich would have preferred her ex husband to exhibit typical politician behavior and pin a little twinkie behind closed doors, then lie about it to his wife only for her to discover later he was a sperm donor too. Poleeze.

Some people prefer truth and others like the illusion. For me, a president who likes truth based on the situation at hand is a better choice than the cowardly liar – though at press time he’s denying the open marriage allegation but then that just shows you lies are the skin of politics.  Strip the skin and kill the beast.


Leaping Lohan! Lindsay’s a Bunny.

December 9, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Lindsay Lohan has posed for Playboy for a whopping $1 million. Ah. Bravo. Not only is this a smart financial move for someone of her failure, it’s also a good career move because these days, being naked and/or sexual is the ticket to increased sales and stardom, temporarily at worst. A rather typical female critique of Lohan’s Playboy spread due out on newsstands Dec. 15th sits on Yahoo’s OMG titled “Lindsay Lohan Playboy cover leaked online”. The author expresses a sarcastic and sickened tone for Lohan’s actions. Sadly, it’s what I’d expect from a female who clearly doesn’t seem to understand and/or respect the distinct difference between Playboy and Penthouse past their covers.

The author referenced that if things don’t work out for Lohan from Playboy she can always go to Penthouse. They are not the same representation of pussy and the assumption that any woman would naturally go from Playboy to Penthouse is pure ignorance and insult. Perhaps the point was to throw Lohan under the bus but by doing so, the author also threw eroticism under there too and that’s just a mean girl thing to do.

I could understand and agree with a derogatory tone for Lohan considering her history but it was for Lohan via posing nude so in essence, the author so elegantly tore up the beauty of eroticism itself and used Lohan as her example only to compare her to other actresses who used their bodies to get ahead: Drew Barrymore, Joan Collins,Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone and Marylin Monroe.

The small list of women here are women who have, however, truly come out on top* so how has their nudity actually diminished their feminine and human value as suggested by many anti-sexually free women to justify an attitude that Playboy and of course eroticism and porn (because mistake number one is placing them in the same category) is basically what desperate actresses and wannabes do to get ahead?

The above video introduces Dominika, a Czech Playboy and Maxim model. I photographed her naked a couple weeks ago. She’s a petite, demure young girl, self-conscious in between shootings but extremely professional and very good at knowing her body to help produce some very sexy photos. I’m pleased. She’s pleased. Client pleased. Everyone comes out satisfied.

This was a job, something she chose to do for whatever reason and it involved her perfect nude body but the moment the lights turned off or the camera was put down, she put on her robe and protected her personal naked self. You see, when you’re on camera, you’re an actress. You have to be to do this kind of work. I’ve photographed many Playboy models and many real women and the common theme for the nudity, the desire for it whether it be for personal reasons, for a man or for money, these women like and/or want to feel sexy and show it. They want to express it.

I’ve watched some of these unfairly judged nude models begin their own companies in once eastern block countries with money they’ve made while traveling the world, an opportunity only their body was able to offer. These young women have made a better life for themselves by using the one thing people want and that’s nudity, sex or some form of either. Really, what people want is eroticism because that is the pulse of life. I don’t understand what is so wrong, bad or dirty about Playboy posing. I think it’s celebratory. It’s a give and take, as life should be and I find too many women just don’t get the point about sex and eroticism and objectivity. There’s too much fear, religious underpinning and/or insecurity looming in feminism, still.

The female body is beautiful and while Lohan is a lost soul and I hope she gets on the right track, and I deeply hate Hollywood ruins beautiful faces, she just made a million bucks. I don’t know about you but I’d gladly take my clothes off for a million dollars. In fact, I’ll take indecent proposals too! Sexual morality and judgment are a waste of time and potential pleasure in a life that is so damn short it takes death for us to remember it.

I love the “leaked” cover of Lohan on Playboy. It’s very, very sexy and shows her as elegant and I will be purchasing the issue. Lohan needed the makeover and I hope her inner self makes a similar jump. The thing about Playboy is that it’s still got style and elegance and class and eroticism in its pages. Some spreads are cheesy ( I still don’t know why you guys like that cheesy shit) but when celebrities come in, the work is usually different and stunning. Cindy Crawford, the iconic supermodel photographed by the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts and Aussie supermodel Elle MacPherson’s spreads were quite beautiful in recollection of past issue’s I’ve seen from the top of my head.

These weren’t desperate women. These were intelligent women using their sexuality and bodies to better their lives and those of their children. If women can’t deal with their own bodily and sexual beauty, then I suggest becoming a nun.

Playboy has helped create stardom for many kinds of women but more importantly, Playboy through Hefner, has managed to give the world the erotic elegance so missing from the dirty sex the Internet brings. I like that. It would be good if American philosophy on beauty, sexuality and eroticism had a little makeover in the elegance department as well.

* OMG author noted Marylin Monroe died of a drug overdose and implies MM wasn’t really “on top” but her eroticism is stronger each decade so the author fails in her point. Isn’t the jury still out on murder vs. overdose?


This is why you’re fat (Pizza Edition)

November 18, 2011

By J. DeVoy

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, is effectively trying to make pizza a vegetable so that it can be served even more frequently in school lunches.  Is that even possible?

Republicans have added provisions into a spending bill that would have the following effects on existing USDA laws and regulations:

  • Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables, including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut down on french fries, which some schools serve daily.
  • Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato paste could be considered a vegetable — too much to put on a pizza. Federally subsidized lunches must have a certain number of vegetables to be served. (source)

Amy Dawson Taggart, director of the group Mission: Readiness, said that these proposed changes “would effectively categorize pizza as a vegetable in the school lunch program.” (source)

The republican rhetoric of not limiting the choice of children as to what they eat is disingenuous.  First off, what choice is there when an absence of legislation will produce the cheapest crap that the market will eat – which tends to be stuff like pizza and french fries?  Moreover, children are legally, if not practically, incapable of making good decisions.  Perhaps Johnny has a fast metabolism, or is living in a brief fitness bubble between 14-18 when he plays three sports.  Once that ends and he enters The Real World, it will be much harder to break his unhealthy eating habits, which will manifest in the form of the Freshman Fifty.  And for women, well…

That said, many people choose to let their health take a backseat to other priorities as they get older, such as their careers and families.  While I don’t necessarily agree with that, I respect it, because they are adults and it is a choice they have made – whether affirmatively or by omission.  In contrast, school lunches are essentially poisoning children with this crap as a default position, assuming that the parents will step in if there are any problems with the school-provided food’s nutritious sufficiency.  Based on a totally random and non-scientific sampling of people I see pushing strollers on a regular basis, this is a very bad assumption when made writ large.

I know that someone in the comments will inevitably protest that not ALL pizzas are unhealthy.  Yes, there are whole grain pizzas that use olive oil and goat cheese, with heirloom tomato slices and basil leaves as toppings.  Unfortunately we’re talking about children and public education, so I don’t think there’s any dispute that we’re considering pizza of the greasy cheese-and-pepperoni variety.

In America’s twilight, it has entered a phase described by The Thinking Housewife as The Age of Pizza.  This sounds delightful, if you’re eight years old.  For adults and everyone else, though, it is a living hell from which pizza cannot be escaped.  At family gatherings, office functions, law school events, and any meeting where undergraduates are present, there is pizza.  Even within politics pizza is inescapable, as it is precisely where THE Herman Cain made his fortune.  Pizza has become the default nourishment for the dead-eyed soul.

There is, however, one redeeming point to the ubiquity of pizza.  It is the gift of the Baby Boom generation’s cynical desire to put pizza on anything – pizza chips, bagels, hot pockets – and make it available morning, noon and night, for a profit.  Baby Boomers can lift high the pie of sloppy sauce and refute the allegation that they never gave anything valuable to subsequent generations.  Sure, your student loans may carry interest in excess of 7%, and all of the jobs you went to college – at the Boomers’ urging – to obtain may have evaporated so the Boomers’ quarterly earnings could have been a few points higher; but dammit, they gave you pizza in the schools, and everywhere else, at the expense of all other choices.

H/T: Bronan the Barbarian


Vaginal Obsession – TSA, you’re doing it wrong

October 31, 2011

If you had to create a chart of the things I like and the things I don’t like, vaginas and the TSA would clearly be at opposite ends. The vagina is truly a wonderful thing, when properly cared for. Your mileage may vary depending on diet, grooming, genetics, and a host of other factors. But, in general, vaginas are a wonderful thing.

The TSA is not a vagina. It is not even vagina like. Even though it is run by a bunch of twats, it can’t even get close to being in the vagina zone when it comes to coolness.

I’ve never hidden my hatred for the TSA.  When I go through security, I always opt for the pat-down, and I make sure to make it difficult for the agent. Why? Because when I was in basic training, they taught us that it is our duty to make captivity as difficult for our captors as possible. I harass TSA employees when I see them in public, reminding them in grocery stores, theaters and anywhere else I find them that they are low forms of shit, and I advocate that we all do the same).  They are only doing their jobs? Well so was John Demjanjuk.

As much as I hate the TSA, I must admit that we have something in common: We both got a thing for vaginas. Of course, I prefer mine to be over the age of consent — the TSA harbors no such prejudices. Nope, not at all.

But, if I may be so pompous as to declare myself qualified to offer instruction on how to care for and attract vagina — TSA, you’re doing it wrong.

The TSA’s latest victim is prominent feminist blogger Jill Filipovic, of Feministe fame.  Ms. Filipovic recently took a trip to Dublin and, upon arriving, found a note from a TSA agent who’d discovered a vibrator in her luggage:

“GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL” (source)

She reacted in a way that was noticeably un-second-wavy of her — with a sense of humor. She wrote:

Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room. (source)

The TSA’s reaction to this incident was predictable, given how it responds to terror threats: Namely, it enacted a remedy that will never be useful in the future. The screener got shitcanned.

But, is that really what anyone wanted? Filipovic has as much right as anyone to demand that this TSAsshole lose his or her job. Nevetheless, she did not call for the agent’s head. (She admirably dislikes Coldplay more than she dislikes this Agent).

It’s easy to scape-goat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day. The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater. (source)

Filipovic went on to write that she is pleased that the TSA took the issue seriously, but firing one person who made a dumb mistake really misses the whole point.

I get no satisfaction in hearing that someone may be in danger of losing their job over this. I would much prefer a look at why ‘security’ has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake. (source)

Instead, the TSA seems to treat this as an isolated incident — or a failure by one of its drones. Meanwhile, the actual issue, which Filipovic tried to make us think about, is lost in the guffaws over the gooey gewgaw.

After we get done chuckling about Filipovic being anonymously told to “get her freak on,” I hope that we can think about how the TSA’s Freudian field day with our reproductive organs demonstrates the absurd nature of its very existence, the failure of its mission, the lie that it represents. It hasn’t got a damn thing to do with keeping us safe. I wish that we could think about how you should never try and have an agency devoted to such a high-falutin goal like airline safety, when you staff it with low-grade morons who are not fit to reproduce, let alone do anything else. Anyone who even wants that job must be a twisted, broken, loser; the kind of person who has lamented their loss of power ever since they left third grade and had to return the “hall monitor” sash to the principal’s office. Next time you are at the airport, just try detecting any intellect in the TSA agents you encounter. You will fail in that task. That alone should tell you that the agency has no reason to exist. If the job were actually important, we would never hire people who are this desperate, stupid, or lazy, to try and do it. And, when you give a powerless idiot a little bit of control, that misused power will find its own center, and that center is apparently our ‘nads.

Filipovic’s experience is no mere outlier. Take the recent tale of Amy Alkon — my client. The TSA only pried into what Ms. Filipovic inserts in her vagina; in Amy Alkon’s case, the TSA actually went up in there.  Repeatedly.  Four times over.  Naturally, Ms. Alkon did not like this and used her free speech rights to express her outrage over the event, shining the light of truth upon the TSA’s misdeeds, and calling the agent’s actions “rape.” Filipovic herself reports that even the FBI would agree with this assessment.  Unlike Filipovic, Alkon did not (so far) find out that her tormentor was fired. Ms. Alkon received a demand letter for $500,000 from Thedala Magee, the TSA agent with whom she had her little run-in. (Well, from her lawyer, but you get the point). 

It might have been undignified for the screener to scrawl a note about Filipovic’s sex toy – but unfortunately, that seems to be where the bureaucracy got hung up, and the real discussion about civil liberties got swept under the carpet — again.


Nazi-named Kids Taken From Parents

October 27, 2011

Heath and Deborah Campbell named their kids Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie. They drew national attention when they asked a New Jersey ShopRite to prepare a swastika birthday cake. This, naturally, prompted the state to consider whether the Campbells were fit parents. An appeals court today held that they should not regain custody of their children. (source)

No love for nazis around here, and I certainly do not think that reproduction should be a right. The Campbells, pretty clearly by my standards, would be good candidates for forced sterilization. Not because of their political views, but just because the world population has now hit 7 billion, and the vast majority of them are incredibly stupid and causing the devolution of the species into a feces-slinging, filth wallowing sack of protoplasm — Homo Walmartus. The Campbells are a good example of this, and in a perfect world they would not have been permitted to spawn.

But, I am still deeply troubled that an existing family can be dismantled by the state at all — let alone because the parents have deeply unpopular political views. The article on the Campbells states that the court found “sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect existed because of domestic violence in the home.” (source) It seems, from reports about the family, that the home is completely screwed up beyond all recognition, but it certainly seems that they were targeted for their views. Good people may say “good, nazis suck.” But, when we make exceptions to general principles because we hate nazis, we’ve opened the door to the second exception, and from there the third, and so on.


This is COLUMBUS DAY!!!

October 7, 2011

Pick another day, Crybabies!!!!

Pick another day, Crybabies!!!!

This is COLUMBUS DAY.

I’d like to invite anyone whose name ends with a vowel (Persians excluded) to raise their hands, extend their middle fingers, and flip off the Native Americans, the hippies, and everyone else in the International Association of Crybabies who has a piss and a moan about Christopher Columbus.

This is not “indigenous people’s day,” it is not “la dia de la raza” and it isn’t frigging “wear a beret, listen to Joni Mitchell, and wear patchoulli day.”

To the “Native Americans” who have a beef with Columbus Day — suck it. First off, it isn’t as though you sprang from the goddamned earth in Foxwoods. You’re immigrants too. You just wandered across ice to get here. We took boats. You were here first? I give a fuck?

There was a war. You lost. That’s how it works. That’s why the Celts wound up living in Ireland, Scotland, and every shitty rain-soaked crag in which they could cling to life — because they lost wars. That’s why nobody speaks Gaulish or whatever Vercingetorix spoke. They lost the damn war.

Sorry you crybaby fucks. That’s what happens when you LOSE A WAR. Trust me, the Italians know how you feel. We suck at wars. We used to be awesome at them. That ended some time around 400 A.D. Italians are the Chicago Cubs of warfare. (But you’re the Padres)

Tons of us came here to get away from the consequences of being really shitty at fighting wars. It worked out for us. We gave the world the thermometer, barometer, piano, electric battery, nitroglycerin, eyeglasses, the radio, and The Telephone.

We turned ghettoes into neighborhoods where people would kill to have a studio apartment. (Yes, I know that is the Gays’ job now, but it used to be ours) We taught the mayonnaise-faces what good food tastes like. We gave America 39 Medal of Honor recipients. We gave America Filippo Mazzei, John Basilone, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bruce Springsteen, Vince Lombardi, and Gino the Ginny. You know what their middle names are? “Fuckin” that’s what.

We gave America its NAME for chrissakes.

You know what America gave us in exchange? A holiday. Good enough for us.

And you know what? America didn’t even give it to us, we took it. You know why? Because at the turn of the last century, Italians and other Catholic immigrants weren’t exactly what you would call “welcome” here. Yes, they used to lynch Italians too. So, the Catholics and Italians started organizations like the Knights of Columbus as a way to band together against the bigotry they encountered. They thought that by choosing Christopher Columbus as their symbol, it would show that if an Italian “discovered” America, then as Italians, they belonged here.

So you assholes can run your little left-wing crybaby agenda on any one of the 364 other days. I don’t give a damn if you managed to get every crap stained woodstock love child, fucking peruvian flute band, and liberal academic to weep with you as you look at the pollution on the highway. This is our holiday, and you can kiss my ass if you have a problem with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I generally have nothing but love for my Native American brothers and sisters. I think that they got a crappy deal. I’m with them when they get pissed off at the completely racist Cleveland Indians logo, and I don’t think you should call a team “The Redskins” if you wouldn’t call it “The Jigaboos” (yes, its the same damn thing). I think that America DOES owe the Native Americans a little something — and it ought to be something better than the right to build casinos. We owe them respect, help, and dammit, we ought to put a hell of a lot of effort into preserving their culture.

Shaddap about Columbus Day or I'll give you somethin' to really cry about!

This guy is actually SICILIAN.

But you know what, Tonto? If you have a beef, its with the damn British, the French, the Spanish, and the white-bread assholes who kicked your asses. Lord Jeffrey Amherst gave you the smallpox infected blankets, not Al Pacino. You picked a fight with the wrong people, because the Italians never did jack to you. So get the fuck off my holiday.

Personally, I don’t know why we’re all down on the Conquistadors anyhow. Leonidas killed 20,000 ill-equipped, poorly trained, forced-to-fight losers and we call him a hero for the ages. A couple hundred Spaniards kick the crap out of an entire empire of human sacrificing, child-raping, savage nutbags who make Jerry Falwell look sane, and we think it was an awful sin?

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and then your lives started to suck. Boo hoo frigging hoo. The Conquistadors followed Columbus and took all the gold. Yeah that sucks. I got news for you, your lives sucked before Columbus got here.

You know what else sucks? When you screw with our holiday.

So here’s the deal. Take out the calendar. No, not that stupid Mayan one that is going to be worthless next year, the REAL calendar.

You want a holiday? Be my guest. Pick any day on the calendar except October 31, February 14, March 17, January 1, or July 4. I don’t even care if you want Christmas, but picking THAT will be a marketing nightmare.

You know which day would be an awesome Indigenous People’s Day? How about the Friday after Thanksgiving? Most of us have the day off anyhow. The pilgrims wouldn’t have survived without your help. So, the day after Thanksgiving, as we’re all resting up and glad that we have four days in a row off, we can thank you. Thank you for saving the Pilgrims’ asses. Thank you for basketball, and chewing gum, and chocolate. Thank you for potatoes and tomatoes. Thank you for the windtalkers. Thank you for really cool art. Thank you for whatever the hell else you did for us. Thank you for not stabbing every person in a Cleveland Indians shirt. Thank you for not setting off bombs at Redskins games. Thank you for being pretty damn cool about one of the most royal screw jobs in the history of mankind.

But most of all, thank you for quitting your damn bitching about Columbus Day.


Too Sexy for Crisp Skin?

September 30, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Too sexy for some head?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thinks this chicken is just too sexy for anyone to see, “downright offensive” in fact. 

“When I saw it I just couldn’t believe that an editor of The New York Times would find it acceptable,” PETA’s founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told The Atlantic Wire. “It’s downright offensive, not just to people who care about animals but almost to everyone. It’s a plucked, beheaded, young chicken in a young pose,” she said. (source)

Newkirk went on to call it “necrophilia.” I think PETA needs a sense of humor.  This is brilliant from every angle!   


The best parodies / derivative uses always involve muppets

September 28, 2011

By J. DeVoy

This is the trailer for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  It was a popular book, so naturally I neither read nor cared about it.  Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame scored the movie, which includes a cover of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song, performed with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Never to be outdone, Disney promoted its Thanksgiving offering, The Muppets, with an advertisement spoofing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s, titling it “The Pig With The Froggy Tattoo.”

Perhaps internet memes and user-generated content have come full circle to influence the muppets’ formal marketing.

Still, it’s not quite as good as this classic:


Planet “Fitness” Sucks

August 20, 2011

By J. DeVoy

Planet Fitness is a joke and a toilet.  Ostensibly a gym, its policies ban deadlifts and other “unapproved lifts” (i.e., the exercises that accomplish anything), its locations do not have squat racks, it traffics solely in equipment fit for an old folks’ home, and doesn’t have dumbbells going much above 50 lbs, if at all.  And why would it? It’s a “judgment free zone” – whatever that means.  Yet, its advertisements seem quite judgmental themselves.

Isn’t that hilarious?!  Someone with the wherewithal to build his body into something massive through diet, exercise and use of supplements is an amusing comic foil against the skinnyfat-to-waifish mongrels who are the denizens of this “gym.”

The judgment goes father still, though: Planet Fatness has a device called a “lunk alarm,” which screams and flashes when someone drops a heavy weight, grunts, or actually exerts effort.  Once the alarm sounds, then comes the onslaught of scorn for fit people from the Reddit commenters and, um,”Rubenesque” figures using the gym.  From Wikipedia:

Planet Fitness has a device called the “Lunk Alarm” at all of its facilities. [...] The “Lunk Alarm” sign has a spinning light, and sounds like a tornado siren. The sign also defines a “Lunk”, and it reads as this: “Lunk , n, [slang], One who Grunts, Drops Weights, or JUDGES”.

Had enough?  It gets better.  Not content to do a disservice to its members by lying to their face about the efficacy of their workouts and lack of “judgment,” Planet Fitness ensures the chains of bondage will never be broken by force-feeding its members, like the ducks that make delicious foie gras.  Planet “Fitness” gives away truckloads of Tootsie Rolls to its members, also tempting them with bagels and, get this, free all-you-can-eat pizza on the first Monday of every month.  That’s right, why limit yourself to peddling shitty, ineffective workouts when you can compound the damage with junk food!  EliteFTS puts it this way:

Imagine that I’m a drug dealer and you’re addicted to crack. You want to get clean but I keep dangling crack rocks in your face, telling you that “No one will judge you.” It’s going to be pretty hard for you to break that addiction when I keep fueling it, isn’t it? Even if I didn’t give you any crack, I’m certainly not helping you overcome your problem. Planet Fitness does the same thing, but instead of crack they throw pizza and candy in front of their clients’ faces.

There are a bunch of different workouts out there that suit the needs of different people.  A marathon runner doesn’t need to do Rippetoe or the Texas Method of weight training.  Similarly, a football player doesn’t want to speed bike 20-30 miles a day.  The common theme, though, is that an effective workout requires effort.  Sacrifice.  Pain.  Planet Fitness, however, perpetuates the bullshit of helicopter parents and mendaciously tells its customers that they’re beautiful just the way they are and they can change if they think about it, no pain or sacrifice needed – and there won’t be any judgment!

Everything Planet Fitness stands for is a lie – but it’s a comfortable one that its customers desperately want to believe in, using it to wrap themselves and their mediocrity with its comforting falsity.  Sweating and puking and wanting to die sometimes is part of looking good.  In fact, that level of sacrifice is requisite to do anything well.  Telling people that won’t be needed to look good is false, but could be excused as puffery to support a business.  But lying and telling people they won’t be judged – and taking steps to remove that pesky specter of another person’s superiority, or even worse, realistic criticism – is just damaging.

This blog is a veritable catalogue of America’s pussification.  Whiners sue for baseless defamation claims, and scurry like rats when they realize the courts, as well as the public, might punish them for spewing utterly unsupportable bullshit.  Wimps surrender their freedoms because some bureaucrat told them they should do so in the name of “safety,” and, hey, everyone else is doing it too so what the hell.  And, apparently, congenital losers are created in the gym by hack companies such as Planet Fitness, which exacerbate America’s many health problems while claiming to alleviate them.


Do you know who Ruth Orkin is?

August 19, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Ruth Orkin's "American Girl in Italy"

Recognize this photo?

Ruth Orkin photographed it in the early 50′s after meeting another young woman, Ninalee Craig (the model) in Italy while traveling solo.  Together they attempted to capture the experience of traveling alone in Italy. 

Some have claimed this photo is a symbol of harassment.  While Craig claims it’s a symbol of having a “wonderful time”  (source), I think it’s more a symbol of the kind of power feminine beauty has in Italy – and not much has changed in 60 years.  In Germany guys don’t make gestures, in America construction worker comments have killed the romantic potential but in Italy and in France, there still exists a “romance-worship” to the female.  With that comes a level of sexualization, sure, but when placed into the correct context, it’s a turn on rather than any symbol of harassment.  This photograph is a compliment.

By default of existing we are looked at.  Where some see judgment other see compliment.  If more men weren’t afraid of being accused of sexual harassment when none was intended more women might enjoy the compliment of a whistle or two.  Attention isn’t always comfortable but no attention for too long makes for an old, bitter maid.


Photoshop

July 6, 2011

Every girl should be required to go to a “what photoshop does” class by the time they are 10 years old. Either that, or news publications should be required to either use non-shopped images, or they should at least have to label the things.

I’ve actually done this job… a hell of a long time ago. I must admit that even then it made me sorta sick — and this is coming from a guy who isn’t exactly getting invited to parties by Jessica Valenti or Ann Bartow.


Grady Judd, at it again, in America’s Wang

June 16, 2011

By Marc Randazza

Following a three-month-long investigation of Theresa and Warren Taylor – Theresa being better known as “Kimberly Kupps” – the Polk County sheriff arrested them both on charges of promotion and distribution of obscene material.  The crime?  Creating pornography in their own home, then selling it both on their paysite and the popular distribution site clips4sale.com. (Source.)

Sadly, this is par for the course in Polk County.  The same Polk County where Philip Greaves, then living in Colorado, was indicted on obscenity charges for writing a book concerning pedophilia.  Let’s not forget the 15-year-old who was suspended from using the bus for three days after he passed gas on it.  And then there was the antique store owner who was charged with obscenity production for taking nude photos of willing participants – even if, at first blush, child porn charges may have been more appropriate.  Maybe I have Polk County all wrong and this is all the doing of dedicated gestapo fuckhead Sheriff Grady Judd.  But then again, Polk County is home to all the drooling, meth-addled retards who keep electing him.

It would be comforting to write this off as another Judd-ism, write a blog post about it, and put the incident behind me.  I don’t even live in Florida anymore; to hell with the place.  This case, however, goes too far.  Consenting adults, in the sanctuary of their own home, filmed themselves having sex — and by all accounts, the content they produced was pretty vanilla (e.g. no fisting, no watersports, no extreme bondage or BDSM, etc.).  In addition, the couple wasn’t exactly rolling in dough from this venture: by available reports, their porn activities brought in $700 per month. (Source.)
Enough for a few nice meals, sure, but not enough to finance a credible criminal defense.

Never one to let common sense or the First Amendment to come between him and a camera, Judd went to the press shortly after these arrests. Fox 13 had the initial interview.

“We want a wholesome community here, we don’t want smut peddlers,” Judd said, “and if they try to peddle their smut from Polk County or into Polk County we’ll be on them like a cheap suit.”

[...]

“They should heed the warning: If you engage in creating or selling obscene materials we are going to lock you up, and we enjoy that,” he said.

The profundity and wisdom of Judd is matched only by Yoda himself.  The last time I checked – I’m only a First Amendment attorney – “smut” is not a prohibited form of speech, much less a recognized category of speech.  Child porn is not protected by the First Amendment.  Nor is obscenity.  Smut, whatever the hell it is defined as, is protected by the First Amendment, as is everything not falling within the child porn and obscenity exclusions.  I’ll refrain from picking the low hanging fruit pointing out the hilarious irony of a peckerwood inbred like Judd mocking a cheap suit.

To Judd, this is a big game. He “enjoy[s]” when he can “lock you up.”  He’s not going to let a few founding principles get in the way of getting his jollies.  After a perusal of my prior coverage of Polk County affairs, I realized I’d left something unsaid that I want to say right now.

Grady Judd: fuck you.

And to the people of Polk County who enable this kind of bullshit for decades on end, fuck you, too.

When I’m not blogging, I’m busy running a law firm, Randazza Legal Group.  You may have heard of it; I have the privilege of defending bloggers, decorated war veterans and porn companies from attacks on their free speech rights.  I do not represent Mrs. Taylor or her husband.  I will, however, be making a donation to their legal defense fund.

I encourage everyone else who values free speech to do the same.  Inability to pay should not be a barrier to justice, especially in a case like this where the fundamental right to free expression is at stake.  Making only $700 per month from their adult business operation, Judd probably just expects the Taylors to roll over and plead guilty – quickly.  They shouldn’t, and we shouldn’t let them.  I do not know if this will be the case, but it’s time for someone to end Grady Judd.  Not to beat him, to ruin him.  To bescumber his legacy and make his name forever synonymous with the worst, most oppressive kind of home-grown terrorism that he’s inflicted onto the people of Florida, deserving though they may be, for decades.  I want him to have a forced, miserable retirement, and his children to quickly – in hushed shame – change their last names when he dies, to forever bury the shameful association.  It is long past time for Judd to be forced into the outhouse where he spends most of his time secretly thumbing through a crusty Fredericks of Hollywood catalogue from 1977, panting while doing so, forever. (Proverbially! rhetorical hyberbole ftw.)


Peter Murphy should have stayed in retirement

May 23, 2011

I owned every Bauhaus album on vinyl back in the 1980s. I am the target demographic for his new album. However, this interview guarantees that I wouldn’t buy his warmed over dreck.

“I’m not ashamed to claim that I’m the last and only star,” says Murphy, now 53, speaking by phone from his adopted home of Istanbul, Turkey. “I totally believe that. That’s how I live my life. People should witness it while I’m still gorgeous enough.” (source)

Jesus, what an asshat.

If that doesn’t turn you off, the sample from the album ought to make you barf.


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