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‘Animal Protector’: If PETA made an 80s action flick directed by Tim & Eric
10.17.2012
12:17 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Animals
Movies

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Where does one even begin with this 1988 Swedish action movie called Animal Protector starring David Carradine?

You don’t. You just watch the trailer in awe and ask for MOAR.

Update: This trailer is now out on the web because of the upcoming release of Drafthouse Films’ rare as hell exploitation trailer compilation called TRAILER WAR which will be released on December 11.

 
Via Super Punch

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Notes from the Niallist #5: An interview with drag sensation Sharon Needles
10.17.2012
10:33 am

Topics:
Heroes
Queer

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Sharon Needles campaign for PETA
 
In the world of drag, no-one is hotter than Sharon Needles right now. In fact, you could say she is the undisputed queen of drag. Granted, this may have a lot to do with her winning season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo TV earlier this year, but, to give her her due, she’s been that show’s biggest break-out star ever, with a legion of adoring fans that have come from far and wide, and not just the gay and drag scenes.

Because, you see, more than just being a drag queen, Sharon Needles is a FREAK. She speaks to everyone who has ever felt outcast, for whatever reason, and in this era of dying conservatism (where anything different is labelled “wrong,”) she does a pretty damn good job of standing up for the outsiders. Her winning of the TV show against some fiercely talented and beautiful contestants felt like a victory for anyone who is different, for the bullied, the awkward, the bizarre and the downtrodden.  

So I just had to interview to her. It took nearly six months, but I was finally granted an email interview with this underground superstar last week, and I’ll be damned if I was gonna waste it on bitching about the other Drag Race queens, or questions about drugs and shoes, or having a kiki with the Scissor Sisters. No, Needles’ is a brilliant, dangerous mind and I wanted to know more about the “serious” stuff.

So, if you still need more of an introduction to Sharon Needles, then read the post I wrote about her back in April, but If not, let’s take it away:

THE NIALLIST: Something tells me you won’t be voting for Mitt Romney this year. Do you mind telling us how you will be voting? And how are you finding the political discourse in America in the run up this election?

SHARON NEEDLES: There’s definitely a severe polarization in politics these days. I blame this on the media, and big money. I find politics to be something quite personal, and something that I keep to myself. But as Snoop Dogg, now known as Snoop Lion, has recently said in an interview, you can either vote for Lucifer or Satan. He is choosing neither. True change comes from within, not a 3 piece suit.

TN: As a performer, I sense your work draws a lot from non-typical drag influences, ie a lot of stuff outside the world of drag. You’ve been forthcoming about your love of Marilyn Manson, and most of the interviews I have read with you tend to focus on your drag-spirations, but what non-drag artists have had an impact/influence on you?

SN: Willam S. Burroughs, Andy Warhol, serial killers, under-appreciated horror films, transsexuals, politics, rock ‘n’ roll, and an all around distaste for organized religion.

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Photo by Austin Young
 
TN: Are you going to any of the “Twins Of Evil” tour? And what is your opinion of Marilyn Manson’s most recent work? Do you think there are any cultural figures from the last 5 years that could claim his level of influence and/or subversion?

SN: Marilyn Manson was my Backstreet Boys growing up. Though I’ve felt a disconnect with his body of work in the last decade or so, he was an inspiration to me in my developmental years. Anything after Mechanical Animals, I unfortunately think is downgraded… what went wrong?

TN: Guest question from Mark @ Tranarchy - what would you be doing if you hadn’t discovered drag?

SN: First of all, I’d like to say I love Tranarchy, I’ve been following their work. And if wasn’t doing drag I’d probably be writing, traveling, painting, or dead.

TN: Guest question from Lady Munter @ Menergy - how relevant do you think RuPaul really is to our generation (late 20s-early 30s)? Before Drag Race, he was out of the limelight for quite some time and was seen to be a bit of a naff 90s memory.

SN: So many people hold the responsibility for social relevancy. Pop culture took a much more boring twist in the early 2000’s, with such safe creations as ‘N Sync and Britney Spears. They left no room for the genius that is RuPaul. But unlike so many who have gone to the wasteland of reclusion, RuPaul has proved to be a true pop icon and underground survivor.

TN: After a recent mis-identification involving a dildo, Joshua Grannel described Peaches Christ as being “sex-negative”. Would you say Sharon Needles is sex-negative or sex-positive, and why?

SN: Sharon Needles is an example of American, consumeristic, exaggerated, inflatable beauty. She is designed to be considered sexy, but should never be considered as being fucked. So many drag queens use sexuality as a way of describing their characters, I distance myself from that, there are bigger fish to fry. But in terms of one’s personal sexuality, I’m game for anything.  No one should be judged for something that no one sees, we tend to be publicly scrutinized for something that is the most private thing in our lives, our sex lives. Dead girls never say no.

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TN: How was it working with Peaches Christ on Silence Of The Trans? If you two re-teamed to do a different movie and had an unlimited budget and a cast of thousands at your beck and call, what would you like to do?

SN: Working with Peaches Christ was a nightmare come true. It’s very refreshing to work with entertainers that have like-minded concept on drag performing, someone who prefers to frighten and enlighten people, before titillating them. Me and Peaches have discussed working on film projects, though I would prefer our film to have a low budget. Big budgets ruin horror film. If we were to make a film, I would call it “Methamphetamine Zombies.” If Meth can wake the living, then Meth can wake the dead. I smell a sequel.

TN: Speaking of the word “trans,” what is your view on the controversy that flared up a few years ago about the use of the word “tranny” on Glee, and the ownership/use of that word by different communities?

SN: There are real dangerous people doing real dangerous things in this big dangerous world to hurt people. Words only carry the merit that you give them. Intent trumps language. In my culture, language is twenty-six consonants and vowels swirled around to create dialog. Dialog can also be misinterpreted, but I’m the wrong person to ask. I love foul language, I love pushing barriers with my tongue. No one is safe. And I’m a tranny.

TN: You are no stranger to controversy yourself, in particular an incident involving the word “n****r” from earlier on this year. How has winning RuPaul’s Drag Race affected your performance, and have the reactions to, or the expectations of, your work changed since that particular incident?

SN: No. No one controls my art, and no one, and I mean no one, can say I have ever acted out, spoken out, or performed out of hatred. Do yourself some good, do some research, research Patti Smith, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Marilyn Manson, and William S. Burroughs on this very controversial word. Is it shocking? Yes. Have I ever used it without thought? No.

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TN: Guest question from Gregor @ Mutate Design - on RuPaul’s Drag Race you were quick to point out you weren’t a “singer,” and struggled with that challenge. What then was the motivation for making a Sharon Needles album? And what can you tell us about your album (which I hope is called “Punk Rock Sex Clown”)  - what are your main musical influences?

SN: I’ve never considered myself a singer, though others have told me otherwise. I’m currently playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, and have since been applauded for my vocal range and talent. My “album”, set to be released at the end of January, is a total example of compromise. A compromise between me and the industry, a compromise between underground and pop culture, and definitely a compromise within myself.  That is why this album is entitled PG-13. All PG-13 films are compromised R-Rated films, and I’ve learned in this roller coaster of a year that happiness and success come with a compromise between you and your detractor.

[The album also features] Jayne County from Jayne County & The Electric Chairs, she was a 1970’s New York Punk Trans goddess ,completely underestimated and underappreciated, but I’ve devoted much of my spare time promoting her past, present, and future.  She will be a guest on one of the tracks of my upcoming album.

Happy Halloween, Hail Satan, kill your parents, and steal everything.

TN: Thanks Sharon!

In this brilliant interview from The Daily Freak Show, James St James interviews Sharon Needles (as Aaron) and the legendary Jayne County:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dangerous Minds fully endorses Sharon Needles

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Jon Stewart rips Paul Ryan’s phony soup kitchen ‘clean-up’ photo-op: ‘At least give a shit’

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Jon Stewart skewered Paul Ryan’s obviously staged photo op Monday at an Ohio homeless shelter, where the Republican VP candidate washed dishes, already CLEAN dishes:

Someone really needed to say this (and say it just like this):

“Do you know how hard it is to make volunteering at a homeless shelter look like a negative thing?” Stewart said. “And how dead inside does a national presidential campaign make you that you could be handed clean dishes and instead of saying, ‘Uh, you know these are clean right?’ You go, ‘Where’s my scrubby sponge?’”

If Ryan intends to manipulate the public’s emotions with staged photo opportunities, at least do it with a little “oomph,” Stewart added. “Even if you don’t really give a shit about the homeless, at least give a shit about making us think you give a shit. Don’t phone in your cynicism.”

One of the soup kitchen’s volunteers, Juanita Sherba, told Youngstown’s Viddy.com:

“It was the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with. In hindsight, I would have never let him in the door. They couldn’t have cared less.”

Sherba also said that Congressman Ryan seemed to no interest in talking to the homeless who depend on the shelter. Reporters were prevented from covering the exchange that Ryan had with a handful of homeless men outside of the facility.

What a nauseating little dingle-berry Paul Ryan truly is. Can you imagine if Ryan had shown up just a little earlier and he was obliged to sit down with the poors and EAT THEIR FOOD?

That would have been fuckin’ COMEDY GOLD.
 

 
Via TPM

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mitt’s ‘Binders Full of Women’ story is made-up bullshit!
10.17.2012
09:55 am

Topics:
Feminism
Politics

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The following was posted last night on Talking Politics by Boston Phoenix journalist David Bernstein:

Not a true story.

What actually happened was that in 2002—prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration—a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct—and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about—and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about—budget, business development, etc.—went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

Post-debate, James Urbaniak. the voice of TV’s “Dr. Venture,” quipped on Twitter:

 
Perhaps that’s a good thing. The Internet might have sagged and broken under its own weight with one more instantaneous meme fest like the “Binders full of Women” craze that roared out of the gate last night before the debate even ended.
 
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Via reddit/r/politics

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Romney’s not the only one with binders full of women
10.17.2012
01:27 am

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Amusing
Politics

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Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Starbucks: ‘Paid no UK income tax since 2009’
10.16.2012
08:08 pm

Topics:
Activism
Class War
Current Events
Politics

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Starbucks has paid no UK income tax since 2009. If I hadn’t paid my taxes since 2009, I’d have been up before the beak, fined, bankrupted, and probably sent straight to jail.

So, how the hell do Starbucks get away with it? Well, by shifting their profits outside of the UK, Starbucks has been able to claim they have made a loss in the UK “despite £3bn in coffee sales and opening 735 outlets,” as Channel4 News reports:

‘[Starbucks] paid just £8.6m in corporation tax - perfectly legal under UK law. In the past three years alone, Starbucks paid no tax on sales of £1.2bn because it reported losses.
Its nearest UK rival, Costa, recorded £377m sales last year, compared to Starbucks’s £398m in 2011, and its tax bill came to £15m, or 31 per cent of profits.

Starbucks was able to legally pay such a low rate of tax by posting a loss in the UK in the last three years, meaning it was therefore not liable for corporation tax. But according to a four-month investigation by the news agency Reuters, the UK unit was effectively paying money to other parts of the business, such as royalty payments for use of the brand.

Reuters compared the losses filed by the company’s UK unit over the years, with transcripts of conference calls made by the company’s executives telling investors about how profitable the company was.

In the 2007 financial year to end-September, accounts filed by Starbucks’s UK unit showed its tenth consecutive annual loss. But that November, Chief Operating Officer Martin Coles told analysts on the fourth-quarter earnings call that the UK unit’s profits were funding Starbucks’s expansion in other overseas markets.

The Seattle coffee chain has joined other US companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon that have also avoided paying tax.

Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, told the Guardian:

“The [UK] government says that it has created a competitive tax system. The problem is that UK companies are paying the tax and the result is that it is an uneven playing field. UK businesses are disadvantaged against foreign businesses in the same market place. They are letting foreign companies do business here and not pay any tax.”

While these companies have not have done anything illegal, their actions are a major “fuck you” to the UK citizens and businesses, who pay their taxes. Think of the hospitals, health care, schools, pensions, and alike, this lost revenue could have paid for.

All of which make it more than apparent the current posh boys in government are more than happy to allow tax avoidance on a massive scale, while crippling the ordinary citizens with harsh, austerity measures and taxes.

UK Uncut are taking part in the ‘No cuts, no tax-dodging’ bloc, at the Trade Union Congress (TUC) march, on Saturday, October 20th, in London. Details here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Radio genius Joe Frank on ‘The Perfect Woman’
10.16.2012
07:27 pm

Topics:
Art

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“I’ve always thought of my programs as prayers. They may not seem that way, but to me they’re my conversation with whatever you want to call it about the condition that exists here, spiritually and physically.”—Joe Frank

As part of their ambitious, month-long Nightmare City horror film fest co-presented by Cinefamily, The Woodshed Horror Company and Cinespia, Thursday night will see a rare performance in Los Angeles by absurdist radio genius Joe Frank.

For two decades straight, Peabody Award-winning Joe Frank burned as brightly as humanly possible in the realm of radio drama, wearing the multiple hats of performer/writer/producer—but to call what Frank does simply “radio drama” is misleading, for “radio confessions”, “radio nightmares” and “radio nirvana” are all equally as accurate. Employing staged (or sometimes real?) phone conversations, tempestuous one-act blackouts, serpentine short stories and hyper-stylized monologues with equal measure, Frank’s noir-ish aural universe is unmatched anywhere in the world, and is highly addictive to boot. Tonight, Frank’s formerly disembodied voice finds a corporeal home at the Cinefamily, as he performs his brand-new, dark-hued work “Old Man” live on our stage. Come revel in it with us.

I can recall the first time I was exposed to the singular artform of Joe Frank. It was twenty years ago and I was driving home after meeting the notorious rouge CIA agent Philip Agee. It had been an odd enough evening already, now it was late at night and I was going through the radio dial trying to find something good to listen to. At first, it was hard to tell if it was real or a put-on (the piece I stumbled upon was in the form of a recorded telephone conversation with music added later), but I was sucked in—totally—before coming to the conclusion that it was, in fact, a scripted drama I was listening to, although that term seems wholly inadequate to describe Frank’s perverse theater of the mind.

In certain respects, you could look at Joe Frank like an American Samuel Beckett. Much admired by the likes of David Sedaris and Ira Glass, Frank is truly a national treasure. You can subscribe to his website and hear 230 hours of his oddball surrealist radio shows. There’s a new free one every day, too.

Below, a fascinating short film called “The Perfect Woman,” written by Frank and directed by Paul Rachman. The racy TV show seen in the beginning is a take-off of an actual show that aired for many years on Manhattan Cable’s notorious Channel J. It was called “Interludes After Midnight” and it was a nude talkshow hosted by a hairy, bearded guy wearing a huge gold medallion and little else. The first time I saw it, in 1984, I was perplexed by the sight of a naked clown juggling on my TV screen. I thought my cable was broken or something, but no, it was just a fully nude talkshow (not exactly par for the course of the Reagan era American television). I think the bar was pretty low for being a guest on “Interludes After Midnight”: you just had to be naked! (Family Guy once referenced “Interludes After Midnight” to my delighted surprise)
 

 
Get tickets for Joe Frank at Cinefamily here. And while you’re there, check out the upstairs gallery space with UNWELCOME, a horror film-themed black-light poster exhibit curated by Kramers Ergot creator, Sammy Harkham.
 
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“xxxxxx” by Shary Boyle. Fluorescent yellow, fluorescent blue, fluorescent red, and black. Four colors hand pulled on 100# acid free stock. 20” x 26” edition of 30. Signed by the artist.

$40 at Cinefamily or at the Nightmare City online store.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The poor and needy are but photo ops for studly class warriors like Paul Ryan

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From Salon:

The head of a charity in Ohio is not pleased with Paul Ryan’s photo op at a soup kitchen in Ohio, saying that the Romney campaign “ramrodded their way” into their facility unannounced.

The president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, Brian J. Antag, told the Washington Post: “We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”

He added:  “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

The Post reports that Ryan made the unscheduled stop after an event at Youngstown State University, and was there for about 15 minutes. But though the pictures taken shows Ryan apparently doing dishes, the food had already been served and everything had already been cleaned before he got there.

“Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted. … But I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans and then take a picture,” Antag said.

I’ve always hated Paul Ryan’s guts and the more I know about the sonofabitch the more I hate him. What an ugly little man. He’s the perfect running mate for Shit Romney.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Die Antwoord’s gorgeous and hilarious video for ‘Fatty Boom Boom’
10.16.2012
04:11 pm

Topics:
Music

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They’ve done it again…
 
Die Antwoord rapper Ninja teams up again with directors Terence Neale and Saki Fokken Berg to drop another mad Die Antwoord video on us for “Fatty Boom Boom” from their Ten$ion album released earlier this year.

The group’s camp describes it as:

a bright and colourful African adventure, complete with wild animals, zef savages singing and dancing in the streets, and a special guest appearance by a sneaky little prawn star.

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Pre-Zef Die Antwoord in a strange little film called Picnic
Die Antwoord: Another transmission from the edge of madness
Brand new from Die Antwoord: I Fink U Freeky

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Ricky Gervais 2: Religion 0
10.16.2012
03:40 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Media
Science/Tech

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Ricky Gervais tweets:

Dear Religion,

This week I safely dropped a man from space while you shot a child in the head for wanting to go to school.

Yours, Science.

Love him or loathe him, sometimes he is just right.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Ricky Gervais: ‘Oh no, the atheists are fighting again’
 
Via Ricky Gervais
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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