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The world, with, and without a Pope
03.15.2013
03:40 pm

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Amusing

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Our friends at the mighty German blog Nerdcore pointed me towards this wry Tweet from Mark Corsillo.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Gun Crazy: How will the NRA react to the new information revealed about Newtown massacre?
03.15.2013
02:59 pm

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The wrong side of history
U.S.A.!!!

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On her MSNBC program last night, Rachel Maddow warned people who were personally affected by the mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut that they might want to change the channel as new information has been made public about the tragedy. Via The Raw Story:

The Hartford Courant reported Wednesday that the shooter, Adam Lanza, fired a total of 152 bullets in less than 5 minutes, killing 20 young children and 6 adults. Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had 30-round magazines. As Maddow noted, he only needed to reload his weapon four times before killing himself with a pistol.

“Had he only had access to ten-round magazines instead of 30-round magazines he would’ve had to reload 14 times,” she continued. “He would’ve needed 14 spare magazines beyond the one in the gun with the extra round in the chamber. Reloading 14 times. You think he would’ve still pulled off the whole thing in less than five minutes?”

Contemplate that for a moment. I don’t ever think there’s ever going to be a time when guns won’t be a part of American life, but this cuts straight to the heart of the matter about allowing semi-automatic weapons as a society.

As someone who was born and raised in rural West Virginia, I grew up in a household where there were guns. Guns for protection, my father isn’t a hunter. He’s not really a gun “enthusiast” in any way, really, but he’s got a few. Considering where my parents live, it did then and it still makes total sense to me why my father would want to have a gun around the house for an emergency situation—it would take the sheriff at least 30 minutes to get to their house. In a life or death situation, frankly, I can well understand wanting to own a firearm for protection, but especially if you live way out in the boonies.

In the American spectrum of opinion, on most matters, I would describe myself to the far, far left. On the matter of gun control, however, I’d describe myself as almost “neutral,” but can anyone tell me why in the world any civilian would need to own an weapon that can fire a fucking 30-round magazine for ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN KILLING A LOT OF PEOPLE IN A VERY SHORT TIME FRAME?

I’m truly not an anti-gun person, but the NRA and its little bitches, the GOP, have got to scale one hell of a logical precipice to make a better argument than is made here.  I mean, seriously, come the fuck on, WHO NEEDS A BAZOOKA???? This is getting ridiculous…

I think Michael Moore is right: If the country saw photos of those dead kids in CT, the ban on semi-automatic weapons would be all but assured and there would be nothing the NRA or the Republicans could do about it.
 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
God Hates Fred Phelps: Westboro Baptist Church founder, the world’s most hypocritical CLOSET CASE???
03.15.2013
01:26 pm

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Idiocracy
Kooks
Queer
Stupid or Evil?

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What do you think Perez Hilton would draw on this photo?

When Lauren Drain, 27, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church hate group sat down with The Advocate to discuss her new book recently she revealed her belief that “something” had happened—something, let’s face it, that is TOTALLY EASY TO BELIEVE—in his past that inspired “church” founder Fred Phelps’ vicious anti-gay crusade:

I never understood why, when [the media asked him], “Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?” And he would get so mad, he would shut down. And he’d be like, “I can’t talk to this person anymore, they’re stupid.” His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him. So I always wondered that — why does he get so mad? If I’m not gay, I’ll just say I’m not gay. And I’m not going to freak out, like, “Why are you calling me gay?” I always thought that was super strange. … I don’t know what happened there, so [speculation] is all that I can leave it at. But something happened, and something made him change his mind about the military, and in turn have kind of a crusade against sexual immorality and homosexuals.

No gasps from the peanut gallery? Nope, none at all.

Drain’s book, Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, describes her childhood growing up with Westboro nutters after her father became obsessed with the group and moved his family to Kansas to be nearer to the Phelps family.
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Drunk dumbass gets punched out by street performer
03.15.2013
11:44 am

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An idiot who appears to be three sheets to the wind, decides to pester a street performer. Things don’t go too well.

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Spider-Man beard
03.15.2013
10:48 am

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Amusing
Fashion

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Chad Roberts—president and founder of RVA Beard League—sporting his Spider-Man inspired facial hair sculpture.

This would be like kissing a giant tarantula!

Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Gifts for the lapsed Catholic in your life: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye prayer candles
03.15.2013
10:05 am

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Belief
Science/Tech

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Love the ritual of the Catholic Church, but hate the… everything else? Welcome the new Pope by burning one of these awesome secular “prayer” candles featuring scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Maybe pray for something like a radical change in the Church’s policy on birth control or homosexuality?
 
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Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Needling the Nazis: The subversive cross-stitching of Major Alexis Casdagli
03.15.2013
09:41 am

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Activism
Amusing
History

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Red Cross parcels and the joys of cross-stitching kept Major Alexis Casdagli sane during his time as a POW in the Second World War. After 6 months in a Nazi Stalag Luft, Casdagli was given a card by a fellow POW, together some thread from an old cardigan, and he started his now famous needlecraft.

Casdagli spent long hours working on his cross-stitching and between 1941 and 1945, he created a series of subversive samplers, in which Casdagli had hidden, around the Swastikas and Hammer & Sickles, a series of messages in Morse Code, which read:

“God Save The King”

“Fuck Hitler”

According to his son, Casdagli thought of the subversive needlecraft as part of his duty to get back at his captors:

“It used to give him pleasure when the Germans were doing their rounds,” says his son, Tony, of his father’s rebellious stitching. It also stopped him going mad. “He would say after the war that the Red Cross saved his life but his embroidery saved his sanity,” says Tony. “If you sit down and stitch you can forget about other things, and it’s very calming.”

Casdagli also sent his then 11-year-old son cross-stitched letters through the mail.

“It is 1,581 days since I saw you last but it will not be long now. Do you remember when I fell down the well? Look after Mummy till I get home again.”

Major Alexis Casdagli died in 1990, but his cross-stitching has been featured in different museum and gallery exhibitions, as a fine example of grit and determination under pressure.
 
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With thanks to Sig Waller
 

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Hand-job on Temperance Street (Kinda NSFW)
03.15.2013
07:41 am

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Amusing
Sex

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An image of a couple performing a sex act on Temperance Street, Manchester, England, has been deleted from Google Street View, after the picture was spotted by users.

Temperance Street is well-known Red Light area in the city, and it is believed the image had been on Google Street view since April 2010.
 
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Close-up, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Punk As Fuck’: A film on the powerful & iconic photography of Steve Gullick
03.14.2013
09:15 pm

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Art
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

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‘A good photograph,’ says Steve Gullick, ‘is one that looks great, one that captures an interesting moment in time, one that tells a story, or in the case of a portrait, offers an insight into the subject.’

This is could be a description of Gullick’s own photographs—his beautiful, inky black portraits that are amongst the most recognizable and iconic images of the past twenty years.

Gullick was influenced ‘Mainly by the dark imagery of Don McCullin and Bill Brandt. I tried to infuse my photos with a similar drama—I spent all of my spare time in the darkroom working on getting good.

‘It was more difficult with color but when I started printing my own color stuff in the late 1990’s I was able to match the intensity of my black & white work.

These photographs have captured succeeding generations of artists and musicians from Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Bjork, The Prodigy, through to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Richard Hawley

‘Photography is magic. The ability to capture something forever that looks interesting to you is magnificent.’

Now an exhibition of his work Punk as Fuck: Steve Gullick 90-93 is currently running at Indo, 133 Whitechapel Road, London, until 31st March, and is essential viewing for anyone with a serious interest in photography, music and art

To coincide with the exhibition, film-maker Joe Watson documented some of Steve’s preparation for the show, and interviewed him about the stories behind his photographs.

For more information about Punk as Fuck and a selection of Gullick’s brilliant work check his website.
 

 
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Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Very unpromising material’: A review for Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, from 1955
03.14.2013
06:48 pm

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Amusing
Heroes
Literature
Media

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A review for Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from when the play first opened in England, at the Arts Theater Club, London, in August 1955.

Writing in the Guardian, critic Philip Hope-Wallace described Beckett’s play as “inexplicit and deliberately fatuous..” and claimed it “bored some people acutely. Others found it a witty and poetic conundrum.”

‘TWO EVENINGS WITH TWO TRAMPS

“Waiting for Godot”

By Philip Hope-Wallace

“Waiting for Godot” at the Arts Theatre Club is a play to send the rationalist out of his mind and induce tooth-gnashing among people who would take Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen and Lear’s nonsense exchanges with the food as easiest stuff in the world. the play, if about anything is ostensibly about two tramps who spend the two acts, two evenings long, under a tree on a bit of waste ground “waiting for Godot.”

Godot, it would seem, is quite possibly God, just as Charlot is Charles. Both tramps are dressed like the Chaplinesque zanies of the circus and much of their futile cross-talk seems to bear some sort of resemblance to those music-hall exchanges we know so well: “You know my sister?” “Your sister?” “Yes, my sister,” and so on, ad lib. One of the tramps is called Estragon, which is the French for tarragon herb; the other is called Vladimir. On the first evening their vigil is broken by the arrival of a choleric employer called Pozzo (Italian for “a well”), and a down-trodden servant Lucky, who looks like the Mad Hatter’s uncle.

On the second evening this pair reappears, the former now blind and led by the latter, now a deaf mute. As night falls on both seasons a boy arrives to announce that Godot cannot keep the interview for which the tramps so longingly wait. And at the end of it, for all its inexplicit and deliberately fatuous flatness, a curious sense of the passage of time and the wretchedness of man’s uncertainty about his destiny has been communicated out of the very unpromising material.

The allegorist is Sam Beckett, who was once James Joyce’s secretary and who writes in French for preference. His English version bears traces of that language still. The language, however, is flat and feeble in the extreme in any case. Fine words might supply the missing wings, but at least we are spared a Claudelian rhetoric to coat the metaphysical moonshine.

The play bored some people acutely. Others found it a witty and poetic conundrum. There was general agreement that Peter Hall’s production did fairly by a work which has won much applause in many parts of the world already and that Paul Daneman in particular, as the more thoughtful of the two tramps, gave a fine and rather touching performance. Peter Woodthorpe, Timothy Bateson, Peter Bull and a boy, Michael Walker, the mysterious Godot’s messenger all played up loyally. There was only one audible retirement from the audience though the ranks had thinned after the interval. It is good to find that plays at once dubbed “incomprehensible and pretentious” can still get a staging. Where better than the Arts Theatre?”

While the daily papers were generally negative in their reviews of the play, Kenneth Tynan was more favorable and wrote in the Observer:

By all the known criteria, Mr Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a dramatic vacuum.

It has no plot, no climax, no denouement; no beginning, no middle and no end.

Unavoidably, it has a situation, and it might be accused of having suspense, since it deals with the impatience of two tramps waiting beneath a tree for a cryptic Mr Godot to keep his appointment with them; but the situation is never developed, and a glance at the programme shows that Mr Godot is not going to arrive.

Waiting for Godot frankly jettisons everything by which we recognise theatre. It arrives at the custom house, as it were, with no luggage, no passport and nothing to declare: yet it gets through as might a pilgrim from Mars. It does this, I believe, by appealing to a definition of drama much more fundamental than any in the books.

A play, it asserts and proves, is basically a means of spending two hours in the dark without being bored.

Not long after this review, Waiting for Godot transferred to the West End, London, and went on to win an Evening Standard award.
 
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H/T the Guardian
 

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