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A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing: Self-defense for dummies
04:43 pm



Stevie Nicks demonstrates the platform shoe defense technique (not featured in the video below).
From “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” file:

While I’m sure that some of the “simple techniques” demonstrated in this self-defense training film may work, I’m dubious about many of them.

Is the idea here to repel sexual predators or just get them real mad? A poke, pinch, shout in the ear or mocking laughter may momentarily startle a would-be rapist, but would it render them helpless? Do testosterone-crazed sex-freaks really react to a smack on the snout by running and squealing all the home? And is humiliating an attacker the best way to defuse a potentially violent confrontation?

It seems to me, that some of these tactics would only serve to really piss-off the attacker and provoke them to acts of violence they may not have even considered. In my opinion, the odds are high that these defensive techniques could backfire.

Is anyone in the heat of a violent assault, when fear is pinning the red zone and confusion reigns, coolheaded enough to execute some of these “simple techniques?” Maybe if you were a ninja.

As a training film, I’m afraid this video is an example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. My advice is to take a class for self-defense where you can try these “simple techniques” in the real world and see how they work for you - hands-on and with an expert. In the meantime, I would suggest that whether you’re a woman or a man, refrain from laughing at the next nutjob that shows you his dick. You never know what else might be lurking under his raincoat.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Shit Rich People Say: Actual quotes from Mitt Romney donors

Some of the misguided lines that have emerged in the reporting on Sunday’s Mitt Romney fundraiser held at the Hamptons estate of Revlon heir Ron Perelman have been bust-a-gut funny.

LA Times reporter Maeve Reston asked one Romney donor, who wouldn’t reveal her name, her take on the presidential race:

I don’t think the common person is getting it…my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.

The Romney event she attended had a $50,000 per couple suggested donation. As the wealthy tossers inside nibbled on prosciutto-rolled melon balls and mint chocolate cupcakes, a group of protesters, kept at bay by a line of police shouted things like “It took my father a lifetime to save $50,000” and “Mitt Romney has a Koch problem.” (That evening there was a second Romney fundraiser at the home of Julia and David Koch in Southampton, the suggested contribution at that event was $75,000 per couple.)

A truck bearing Citigroup and Wells Fargo logos with a plastic dog strapped to the roof, circled the neighborhood. Planes streaming banners with anti-Romney insults flew over the heads of the rich Republican revelers.

Overheard at the fundraiser:

“Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.”

“Tell them who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”

“It’s not helping the economy to pit the people who are the engine of the economy against the people who rely on that engine.”

Oooohh snap! “Take that poor people!” says a would-be “John Galt” who probably inherited his fortune!

Romney’s tax plan would give the richest 0.1% of Americans an average tax cut of $264,000? No wonder he’s so popular with TEH BILLIONAIRZ.

As the Libor conspiracy scandal has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, bankers around the globe have been stealing money from every American with a mortgage or a credit card without any of us ever being the wiser. But that’s changed, rather dramatically in the past week, don’t cha think?

And now an investment banker wants to be President… A banker who stashes his secrets in offshore banks.

Do we really want to entrust America to a banker with something to hide?

An essential Bill Moyers essay: “The High Price of ‘Free’ Speech” (AKA ‘Poor People Haven’t Lost Their Voice — They Can’t Afford A Voice’)

Thank you MorpheusLA!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ghosts of the Moscow Kremlin
02:19 pm



This is a guest post by Zoetica Ebb, a Moscow-born, LA-based artist, writer, photographer and style technician. Follow her on Twitter @zoetica.

Russia in the 80s -when I was growing up there- was bent on things like UFOs, unsolved mysteries and clairvoyants, aka extrasens. Our televisions were bursting with shining lights in the sky and herds of intense, unblinking men demanding we listen to them and LET GO. As a result, I grew up with a vast divide between our regimented atheism and an obvious, nagging hunger for magic. At school, we were taught that communism and Lenin were our sacred cows and that spirituality was stupid. At home and on our summer breaks, we obeyed TV’s orders and scared each other with ghost stories, befuddled by the nation’s inconsistency.

The extrasens thing is especially strange, mostly because of how commonplace they became, regardless of things like educational brackets and class. My own mother – a writer, interpreter and supposed atheist, was cured of bleeding ulcers, not once but twice, at the behest of my grandmother who called an extrasens to the rescue. My grandmother was a forensic pathologist.

It’s not as strange though, if we look back at where Russia comes from. Pagan for centuries, with a rich catalog of ancient folk tales and superstitions, then Orthodox Christian until Lenin and his band of merrymakers took over in the early 1900s. So, it’s no major surprise that so many of my people rabidly jumped on the Orthodox Christianity train the very second Communism fell – it never could quite erase my nation’s innate need for magic.

Russian folklore, like most folklores, is teeming with legions of otherworldly creatures. Firebirds, super-humans, undead sorcerers, witches, and enchanted, shapeshifting beauties; some good, some evil, and many somewhere in between. Ghosts, on the other hand, are rare, reserved for those with especially violent deaths or tragic lifetimes – it almost goes without saying that one of Russia’s most haunted locales is The Kremlin.

The Moscow Kremlin is a huge fortified complex with four palaces, a bell tower and four cathedrals, surrounded by the Kremlin Wall and Kremlin towers. It’s the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation, the former home of tzars, a place of numerous demonstrations, coronations and executions, and it’s been around for ten centuries. It’s probably fair to assume that, if we’re allowing for the possibility of ghosts, we might as well allow for several thousand of them at the Kremlin. In the interests of concision, though, I’ll outline some of the more famous apparitions seen within its crimson walls.

Ivan the Terrible was the over-achieving, silver-tongued, likely bipolar ruler who conquered and conquered until Russia grew into the enormous country it was through the 21st century. No one did reform like Ivan – whose nickname shouldn’t really be “Terrible”, by the way. In Russian, his name is Ivan Grozny which translates to something between “Ivan the Fearsome” and “Ivan the Formidable”. And he was, ruling for 51 years, and ultimately transforming Russia from a medieval state to a colossal, multi-ethnic empire.

Calling the man “complex” doesn’t come close to doing justice to his numerous assets and eccentricities. When he wasn’t taunting the clergy and aristocracy, demanding absolute power, making leaps in international trading, winning wars, or making babies, king Ivan spent his time writing music, poetry and dry-witted, inflammatory correspondence to his enemies and underlings. Many of these letters exist to this day and have been referred to as “Shakespearean” in their breadth of imagination.

Deadwood fans reading this might liken the mercurial Al Swearengen, at least in part, to Ivan the Terrible.

More of Ghosts of the Moscow Kremlin after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
WorldNetDaily founder cries ‘Obama’s killer drones are after me!’
01:08 pm

Stupid or Evil?


Hilarious! Drone-sighting in the US of A looks all set to take over UFOs with the tin foil hat brigade as WND head honcho Joseph Farah claims"Obama’s drones” are following him around!

Farah told Alex Jones:

I live in one of the most rural places you could possibly live in Northern Virginia and there could only be one thing that this drone was spying on and that would be me, that would be my property.

This is the first term. If [Obama] is re-elected, it’s going to be war. They will be openly at war. We will be hunted down like dogs….

Either Farah is being hunted by the Obama administration or else one of the neighbor kids has a remote-controlled airplane and wants to fuck with the head the paranoid old dipshit down the street who is always telling them to get off his lawn…

Joseph Farah, batshit crazy, yes, of course, and apparently badly in need of pharmacological intervention, too, but he’s a great businessman, you have to give him that. I can’t think of another character quite as adept as Farah has been at building a media empire selling thinly-veiled racism coupled with end of the world religious quackery to low IQ buffoons.

It’s an art-form the way he does it. The man knows how to fleece the reichwing rubes like a 21st century W.C. Fields.

I might mock him, sure, but I’m just jealous of his success…

Via No More Mr. Nice Blog

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Elephant Man beanie toy
12:23 pm



Isn’t this just the cutest thing you ever did see? And when did you ever think you’d be able to say that about John Merrick, aka The Elephant Man?

This cuddly Elephant Man beanie toy was made by Maffers Toys, and you can find more of their work on Deviant Art.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Noam Chomsky on how the Occupy movement might affect the US Presidential election
12:19 pm

Class War
Current Events


“If you’re rich and powerful, you can never have enough…”

The Guardian’s Gary Younge talks to Noam Chomsky about why the Occupy movement is so important, where it goes from here, and how it will affect the election. You can watch a longer version of this interview, here.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Words, deeds and ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’: How Eminem’s ‘Kim’ almost killed Eminem’s Kim
10:13 am



Recording his first proper album The Slim Shady LP with Dr Dre in LA, Eminem decided he wanted to get his infant daughter Hailie on the work-in-progress “97 Bonnie and Clyde.” Then-wife Kim Mathers was curious to know what the song in question – in which father and daughter together dispose of mother’s murdered corpse – was about. Playing it safe, Eminem told her the lyric detailed his taking Hailie on a trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s, a Will Smith “Just the Two of Us”-style scenario the song parodies. When Kim heard the finished track, Eminem believably claims, she “bugged the fuck out.”

“97 Bonnie and Clyde” was the kind of composition that got Eminem in trouble with the Tipper Gore parade as well, along with others who would supply the controversy (those “picket lines” for his “wicked rhymes”) that would go on to inspire so much of the material for his next record The Marshall Mathers LP. One of the most thematically coherent albums in hip hop history, The Marshall Mathers LP features verse upon verse ridiculing the wider culture for its apparent inability to distinguish between word and deed, fiction and fact, often mimicking the confusion for poetic effect:

“Put lives at risk when I drive like this [screech]/ Put wives at risk with a knife like this [scream]”

In “Stan,” for example, the song’s famous protagonist has fatally confused Eminem (or Marshall Mathers) with Slim Shady, and ends up killing his own girlfriend in a manner reminiscent of “97 Bonnie and Clyde.” Elsewhere, Eminem reprised the wife-killing theme for the gothic murder-ballad “Kim,” a slower, crueler and darker version of its predecessor that ends with the following “dying” refrain:


While the rest of the accompanying album would be quick to remind us that “no actual Kims were harmed in the making of ‘Kim,’” did anyone ever wonder how the tune played chez Mathers?

Not that well, funnily enough, as I confirmed last week stumbling upon a 2011 interview with (the real) Kim (Shady) Mathers herself, a rather beleaguered woman horrified by her frequent cameos in the work of the twenty-first century’s most famous living poet. Indeed, in the Mathers’ fairly fraught marital home, Kim reveals that “Kim” was such a contentious issue that it was solely referred to (in passing or – you imagine – the odd nucleur domestic squabble) as “that song”…

So when Kim was planning to attend a show on her husband’s stadium tour in 2000, the occasion warranted a special conversation that afternoon as to whether Eminem planned to perform “that song” that night. Sensitive Mr. Mathers reportedly answered in the following reassuring fashion:

“No, because I know that you’re going to be there and I wouldn’t do that to you.”

Syke! At the concert, Eminem, would perform a robust “Kim” – acting it out with a blow-up doll, no less – before the sixty thousand strong crowd, including not only his wife, but her sister and some accompanying friends (must have been awkward for ‘em, eh?) – in the interview, the former Mrs. Mathers describes the surreal horror of being embedded in a stadium rocking with festive hatred – all indirectly directed at her – watching “everyone singing the words and laughing and jumping around in approval.

Altogether now


Sure enough, Kim went home and attempted to kill herself, slashing her wrists; so a song in which Eminem fantasizes about killing his wife… almost kills his wife. Words become deeds, fiction fact. Odd.

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Leave a comment
Jimi Hendrix Jamming With The Monkees: Micky Dolenz’s amazing photograph from 1967
10:06 am

Pop Culture


As you know, we’re fans of The Monkees and Jimi Hendrix, and we were quite delighted to see this amazing photograph posted by Micky Dolenz on his FB page. As he explains:

‘This is one of my personal photos from The Monkees 1967 World Tour…In honor of the 45th anniversary of the first concert that Jimi Hendrix appeared with The Monkees~

And what a concert that must have been.
Via Micky Dolenz

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Cookie Monster: Sings an ‘Absolutely filthy song’
09:38 am

Pop Culture


The Cookie Monster shows smut is all in the mind with “C is For?

Hm. Communism? Copulation? California? Canapes? Conservatives? Cobblers?

With a little help from Fidel Villeneuve of the band Applicants.

Via Guardian Music Tumblr

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Life before video games: Daddy Saddle
02:59 am




Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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