All it took was Kraft Foods merely posting an illustration of its Oreo brand cookies in the “pride” colors of the gay rights movement on their Facebook page, and this brought out the wingnut hater bots.
The post on Oreo’s Facebook page encouraged a high-volume debate rife with misspellings, indignation and hysterical punctuation.
One commenter: “this is absolutely disgusting!!! Vote with your dollar, I will NEVER buy anything Kraft Foods again.”
Another: “Don’t worry about them people boycotting you Oreo - I never bought a single cookie from you and now I will.”
Christians with no objection to same-sex marriage dunked the issue in Matthew 7 (“Judge not, that ye be not judged”). Christians opposing same-sex marriage cited Romans 1 (“Males committed indecent acts with males, and received within themselves the appropriate penalty for their perversion”).
And cookie fiends were more concerned with what the graphic means for their dessert options: “So like are we actually getting rainbow Oreos?”
That was honestly MY first thought. Fine print under the picture reads: “Made with creme colors that do not exist.” I was disappointed to find out that it was not happening. I wanted to make Slutty Brownies with them.
Note to Kraft Foods, even a limited edition of the pride Oreos would make millions.
Considering that these newly-minted Oreo haters (whose number apparently include Jesus himself) were interested enough in fuckin’ Oreo cookies to follow them on Facebook in the first place, I really can’t imagine that many of them will continue their goofball boycotts for very long.
Big win for Kraft Foods. Kudos to them for hiring marketing professionals who know which way the wind is blowing.
Somebody might want to explain to these bigoted asshats that there are some other LGBT-friendly companies who they might want to include in their boycotts. If you’re going to refuse to give your money to Kraft Foods, what about Levis, Nike and Google? What’s that you say? You’ll just use Bing as your search engine? Guess again…. And if it comes down to your computer, are you going to toss out your PCs and Apple products, too?
A combination of three online services can make this project possible.
Hair samples of Elvis Presley, bought on eBay were sent to a gene sequencing lab to identify different behavioural traits (varied from sociability, athletic performance to obesity and addiction). Using this information, transgenic mice clones with parallel traits were produced. The genetically cloned models of Elvis (in this case) are tested in a collection of various contemporary scientific mouse model environments, simulating some of the significant biographical circumstances of his life.
Is it possible to quantify our life through a series of conditions and events? What are the aspects of life that are responsible in making us ourselves?
Does buying a pre-owned item gives one the legal right to another individual’s genetic data?
Can mouse models of ourselves help us prepare for possible futures or will it impose them on us?
Will we make different choices Re-living the same life?
Can a mouse be Elvis? What makes you believe it can be?
In parallel to the works performed by these laboratories, Koby has been studying the scientific mouse model environments that have been used on lab mice over the past 100 years. The cages have been designed to study and manipulate psychological aspects of mice.
Koby then made his own cages. But his were intended to reconstruct some of the most influential moments in the life of Elvis. Each of these cages offers a specific environment that is designed to influence the psychology of the mouse and make it closer to Elvis’.
Some of the main themes that the designer identified as being influential in making Elvis are: his close relationship with his mother (and so the mouse is given a mouse companion), being the victim of bullying when he was a child (in this cage, the mouse is submitted to external stimuli that frightens it), the discovery of his talents, becoming a star (features a distorted mirror that makes the mouse appear bigger), the Graceland period (in every place the mouse pokes nose, it gets a positive reaction in the shape of food or toys and keeps filling the cage to the point making it anxious), the army, the death of mum, the divorce from Priscilla are events that are represented by a cage that functions as an isolation chamber. The last cage embodies the last three years of the life of Elvis, when he worked himself to death, that period is represented by a little treadmill at the top of the cages. The mouse would run, run, run and eventually fall down.
It’s unclear if the Elvis Mouse is only being fed fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches washed down with phenobarbital, when it groggily rings for its cook in the middle of the night.
Also unclear is whether or not there is a mouse equivalent to “Dr. Nick” Elvis’s legendary doctor feelgood, who prescribed the King over 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives and hormones in the final year of his life alone.
“The toughest, timeliest, gutsiest magazine around.”
Circus Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Gerald Rothberg (seen in the commercial) stopped publication of the magazine in 2006 and sent the following soul-baring letter to its contributors:
It is with sadness and a deep sense of loss that I must inform you that I’ve experienced great financial loss, which includes Circus Magazine. Over the last year, I’ve tried my best to hold on to Circus Mag, selling all my personal possessions, including my home, pumping the money into the mag. And I’ve lost all. I’ve held off contacting people because of the shame and humiliation I’ve experienced. I’m broke. I feel like Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall.
A rather sad end to a magazine that during its heyday in the mid-1970s to mid-80s featured an editorial staff that consisted of some real rock critic heavyweights, including Lester Bangs, Nick Tosches, Paul Nelson, John Swenson, Jim Farber, Kurt Loder, David Fricke, and Fred Schruers.
Personally, Circus wasn’t a magazine I paid much attention to, it seemed geared to teenage boys and focused on bands heavy on metal and pomp-rock, but its punchy covers (designed by Milton Glazer) always added a splash of color between the racks of the more muted facades of Hit Parader, Creem and Rolling Stone. I later discovered, via my friend John Swenson, that Circus had a pretty dynamic record review section that had little to do with the rest of the editorial content of the magazine. It was there that many of the critics mentioned above were given free reign, under Swenson’s guidance, to write about records of their choosing. Perhaps now would be a good time to unearth some of those reviews for a book or Internet archive. In the meantime you can visit Running Away With Circus, a loving tribute to the magazine by some of writers.
Just thought I’d share this great photo of Steve Martin—long before his hair turned gray—circa 1970. Martin had been a staff writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour which had been canceled by CBS the year before.
It contains the following sentence which is going to see them mocked mercilessly for the next week or so:
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
Well, they’ve finally come right out and said it. In plain English. They want the population to STAY STUPID. That way they don’t question things like why poor people don’t have health insurance, why billionaires need to pay less in taxes and the middle class pay more, how fracking might poison the water table and you know, shit like that.
Wonkette’s Doctor Zoom encountered a fifth-grade Language Arts lesson on “Fact and Opinion” while doing graduate studies in the mid-80s. Zoom recalls from memory how the lesson explained the critical thinking task:
A fact is an observable reality, something that can be quantified or measured, or God’s Inerrant Truth as revealed through the Bible.
* The table is made of wood.
* Washington DC is the capital of the USA.
* Water freezes at 32 degrees F.
* Jesus died to take away all our sins.
* God created the world and all life in seven 24-hour days, less than 10 thousand years ago.
An opinion is a matter of taste, a view or judgement about which people might reasonably disagree, or a “scientific” claim that contradicts Biblical truth.
* Blue is prettier than yellow.
* My mom bakes the best chocolate chip cookies in town.
* Mr. Jones is a better candidate for Mayor than Mr. Smith.
* The Universe is several billion years old.
* Humans evolved from apes.
Red state public schools are teaching an organized system of ignorance, nothing more, and nothing less. How much longer can the center of this country hold when folks who believe that the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution hold sway over the education of so many of the nation’s children?
Doctor Zoom concludes by bringing up the very question that caused my wife to question what she was being taught in Sunday school as a young girl when she began to suspect that the whole Noah’s Ark thing was nothing more than mythological bullshit:
So, yes, think critically, kids, but don’t think so critically that you ask any inconvenient questions, like “wouldn’t two of every animal species on Earth produce so much shit that the Ark would be full to the top within a matter of days?” (Beyond the obvious Biblical nonsense, there’s also some empirical evidence that the particular methods in ACE’s curriculum leaves students less well prepared for college entrance exams than conventional high schools.)
Let us be clear about this: Texas is only against the wrong kind of critical thinking — the dirty librul kind, which isn’t even really thinking at all, but indoctrination, you see. As college-degree owner Rick Santorum knows, too much education will only turn you into a commie and an atheist. Texas Republicans promise they’ll nip that thinky-learny shit right in the bud.
Once those kids start pulling on the thread of KNOWLEDGE the whole sweater becomes unraveled. We can’t have this, can we?
And while we’re on the subject of Republicans being more, um, straightforward on things, did you catch the clip of this asshole from Pennsylvania stating the obvious about the state’s voter ID law?
Legal election fraud to prevent voter fraud. NICE WORK GOP!!
If you can’t get elected because of your ideas, it’s because your ideas SUCK.
Recent Cal Arts graduate Clair Monaghan made this grotesque, but let’s be honest here, kinda awesome miniature butcher shop. There’s not too much information about Clair online, except for that she loves “making little things.”
Visit Clair Monaghan’s blog ARTa to see more of her work.
Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” is one of the great greatest one-hit wonders of the rock era, selling over 2 million copies for Warner-Reprise Recorsds in 1969/1970. Although the song has been used in several TV commercials and Hollywood films—and made its composer quite rich, I’d imagine—most people know the song, but there is little cultural memory of the man who wrote it, sang it and played its proto glam-rock fuzz box-drenched guitar riff.
“Spirit in the Sky” has been used in “Rock Band 2” and in films like Forrest Gump, Evan Almighty, Saving Grace, Contact, Apollo 13, Remember the Titans, Oliver Stone’s W, Wayne’s World 2, The Longest Yard, Knocked Up and many others. On TV we’ve heard it in Big Love, House, Law & Order and My Name Is Earl and in ads for Gatorade, Nike and American Express. [Although the song will undoubtedly still be listened to (and licensed by Hollywood soundtrack supervisors) until the end of time, “Spirit in the Sky” was inexplicably put on the list of “questionable” songs after 9/11. (Huh?)]
Still, I have to confess, after loving that song for years and always feeling happy whenever I hear it, I had no idea what the guy who made it looked like or much about him. The mental image the song called up for me was of the Doctor and the Medics music video, so I searched online and found basically one music video that was made for the song, and it’s pretty cool, so then I read up on how this classic came about.
Greenbaum, who was, and is, a practicing Jew, was inspired to write his version of a gospel song by Porter Wagoner, although Greenbaum’s song was meant to be more about a gunslinger wanting to die with his boots on than the reference to a having “a friend in Jesus” might indicate
Greenbaum used a Fender Telecaster with a fuzz box built into the body to achieve the song’s unique guitar sound, but it was a guy named Russell DaShiell who was the lead guitarist for the session. DaShiell explained how he got that “beep beep beep” sound to Spirit Guitar:
“I actually played the lead guitar parts on Spirit, using a 61-62 SG Les Paul, a 68 Marshall Plexi 100w half stack and a home-made overdrive box in front of the Marshall. Regarding the ‘beep beeps’ as I call them, when the producer asked me to play some fills in between the verses, as a joke I said how about something spacey like this and I did the pickup switch/string bending thing. I saw him stand up in the control booth and he said “that’s it! let’s record that!” so we did. (There was no slide involved, just my fingers, and I used the bridge humbucker and the pickup switch). The fuzz part is Norman with a built-in overdrive circuit built into his Tele pickguard.”
“I’ve been asked a lot over the years how I did the ‘beep beep’ guitar parts on Spirit, so for any guitar players out there who would like to learn how, try the following: Using a 2-pickup Gibson, set the neck pickup volume to zero, bridge pickup volume to max, with the pickup switch in the middle position (with Gibson wiring this gives you silence in the middle position). Do a string bend, picking the B & E strings together with one hit, just ahead of the beat, then use the pickup switch to kick in the bridge pickup in triplets (6 per bar) as you let the B string bend down two frets.”
“I mainly used two positions on Spirit, which is in the key of A. For the low position, fret a stationary C note (8th fret) on the E string while bending the B string up to an A note for your starting-position, then pick the two strings together once while the guitar is silent and work the pickup switch as you let the A note bend downwards to a G. For the high position, do the same thing at the 15th fret holding a stationary high G note on the E string while bending down from E to D on the B string.”
“I must give credit to Jimi Hendrix as my inspiration for this technique (as well as for the double-string riffs I did at the beginning of the Spirit solo tail section). I saw him perform live in a small club in Madison, Wisconsin and loved the way he used his Strat pickup switch to create staccato feedback on songs like Voodoo Child. The difference is, on a Gibson you can start from silence and create the on/off effect, which worked well with the downward string bending thing I did on Spirit.”
Greenbaum’s psychedelic gospel music was finished with booming drums, hand claps and gospel singing trio the Stovall Sisters (who did their own version) layered atop it. “Spirit in the Sky” became the blueprint for the glam rock sound, especially the music of Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust (who ripped it off shamelessly for “My Coo CaChoo” in 1974).
Norman Greenbaum is thought of as a one-hit wonder, but he actually had an earlier song of some notoriety to Dr. Demento fans: As a member of Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band, Greenbaum composed the alien invasion novelty record, “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago” in 1967. Now 69, you can still see Greenbaum from time to time on Vh1. His website is Spirit in the Sky.
Below, the one and only music video I could find on YouTube for the original version of “Spirit in the Sky.” The quality is slightly ropey, but it’s still totally watchable and the sound is great.
After the jump, a bonus clip of Pan’s People dancing to “Spirit in the Sky” on Top of the Pops in 1973
Musician and poet Luke Rathborne spent an afternoon in March of this year with Blixa Bargeld discussing, among other things, Bargeld’s art show “Einschüsse” at the Galerie Hunchentoot in Berlin-Mitte, Germany. Lukas, a friend and follower of Dangerous Minds, was kind enough to provide us with this exclusive video interview with Bargeld.
Blixa is a word that is a hum in Berlin.
When I met up with Blixa he had a wisp in his hair.
I had been up the whole night.
A friend in Tokyo said Blixa was doing an art show here called, “Einschüsse”, meaning bullet holes, shots.. (or an ember that, “encases fossilized remains,” Blixa said.)
When I met Blixa it was at an old bar across the street.
I had flown from Paris to play at an abandoned subway station in Kreuzberg, staying with a girl in the top floor of a burnt out apartment building in East Berlin. The punks slept in the alcove of the stairs.
You can’t get rid of the punks in Berlin, everyone has tried.
In France, a punk with a dog is called, “punk-a-chien”. To be a, “punk-a-chien” is worse than just being a punk or just being a dog.
We set up in the hotel room and I felt like more like a dog than a punk. Then Blixa started to speak.” L. Rathborne
This is quite lovely, relaxed and free-flowing. Rathborne is clearly enthralled by his mentor and gives Bargeld plenty of room to expound on his art, music, influence and the nature of being Blixa.