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Wait a minute, are Christians supposed to boycott Skittles, now, too?

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“Me Walrus. You Jane. Goo goo ga joob.”

This just in: Apparently the “disgusting” new Skittles TV ad was enough to send conservative Christian woman’s group One Million Moms into an apoplectic fit. Now they’re snapping into action. The group, who in the past have called for the boycotting of JC Penny because the retailer hired Ellen Degeneres as its spokesperson, sent out the following press release about the “bestiality” themed Skittles ad:

We are not sure of Skittles’ thought process behind their new ad, but if they are attempting to offend customers, they have succeeded. Skittles’ newest “Walrus” commercial includes a teen girl making out with a walrus. The two are on a coach in an apartment kissing on the mouth when her shocked roommate walks in on them. Parents find this type of advertising inappropriate and unnecessary. Does Skittles’ have our children’s best interest in mind? Skittles candies are for all ages, but their target market is children. Skittles Marketing Team may have thought this was humorous, but not only is it disgusting, it is taking lightly the act of bestiality. Let Skittles know their new ad is irresponsible.

Raise your hand if you think this ad puts a child—even one kid on the entire planet—in danger of wanting to make out with a large flippered marine mammal with tusks? Didn’t think so.

[Now all that needs to happen for this latest “boycott” to crawl up its own ass is for an ANTI-bestiality Christian candy company to…uh, take a stand. Then Mike Huckabee will tell all of the lemmings who listen to his radio show looking for clues on how to think (?!?!?) that they need to support this brave anti-bestiality candy maker by eating their fine sugary Christian products by the bagful. As if it was food… But all of this is really just a nefarious plot to dupe Mike Huckabee and One Million Moms into throwing their support behind the anti-bestiality candy maker… It’s all just an evil satanic ruse. The supposedly anti-bestiality candy maker is really owned jointly by Michael Moore, Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher. The real goal of this evil foursome being to give god-fearing Christians type 2 diabetes and make millions of dollars in the process. All of this will be exposed by WorldNetDaily and Donald Trump a few weeks from now, but I digress...]

I can’t believe One Million Moms thinks this is ad is so offensive. It’s just seems… kinda stupid to me. I will admit, though, that all the fuss made me curious about these “new” counter-intuitive Skittles flavors, so thanks for spreading the word One Million Moms! I’d never have heard about this product otherwise if you hadn’t taken the bait! (What a great way to increase the client’s ROI on an ad like this: Troll conservative Christians. They’ll get predictably outraged and then act as unpaid, hostile brand ambassadors! Maybe this deceptively stupid ad is is a lot smarter than I thought at first glance? It’s not just Skittle doing this, it’s Ragu, too)

One YouTube commenter, writing in support of OMM had this to say:

“Gross!! It makes me NOT want to eat Skittles. They have walrus and her spit on them!.”

If only more people knew that Skittles had “walrus” and spit (and probably walrus spit, too) all over them, then this Skittles boycott might actually catch on. Walrus spit? That’s disgusting!

Below, the offending Skittles commercial that arrogantly promotes the acceptance of an unnatural “lifestyle choice”:
 

 
Via Joe.My.God

BONUS CLIP: A video of a walrus sucking his own dick.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The video that killed the rock ‘n’ roll star
08.24.2012
03:32 pm

Topics:
Music

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Squier by Andy Warhol.
 
Can a shitty video kill a musician’s career? In the case of Billy Squier, one did. In a poll of over 400 music industry mover and shakers, Squier’s video for “Rock Me Tonite” (terribly mis-directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega) is considered to be the worst video ever made by a major artist and record label. Mike Kelber, who headed the Capitol Records division responsible for making the video, called it “a whopping steaming turd” and was astonished that such crappy looking production may have been the most expensive video Capitol had made up until that time. The resulting fiasco was devastating for Squier.

In the thoroughly entertaining book I Want My MTV (I keep mine next to the toilet), Squier describes the effect the “Rock Me Tonite” video had on his career with a combination of self-pity and dumbfounded disbelief. He still seems dazed by the fact that his life could be so profoundly altered with such irrevocable swiftness :

When I saw the video, my jaw dropped. It was diabolical. I looked at it and went, “What the fuck is this?”

The video misrepresents who I am as an artist. I was a good-looking, sexy guy. That certainly didn’t hurt in promoting my music. But in this video I’m kind of a pretty boy. And I’m preening around a room. People said “He’s gay.” Or, “He’s on drugs.” It was traumatizing to me. I mean, I had nothing against gays. I have a lot of gay friends.”

The video damaged his reputation among rock fans and Squier went from playing to packed arenas to less than 10,000 people a night.

Everything I worked for was crumbling and I couldn’t stop it. How can a four-minute video do that? Ok, it sucked. So?”

Squier eventually quit rock ‘n’ roll and it’s pretty obvious that the video is what compelled him to retire. Whatever regrets he might have are tempered by the fact that he left the music biz a wealthy man.

The wounds have healed and the scars aren’t that deep, because my life has evolved in a good way. I left the music business when I was forty-three. I don’t have to work. Look who’s smiling now! That video is a bad part of a good life.”

I’m sure most first wave MTV fans remember this: the video that killed the rock ‘n’ roll star:
 

 
Update: I Want My MTV author Rob Tannebaum wrote us to clarify a point made in my article. Thanks Rob.

There wasn’t an actual poll. My co-author and I interviewed more than 400 people for our oral history, and there was a clear consensus that “Rock Me Tonite” sucked way more than any other sucky video. No other video came close, not even Journey’s “Separate Ways,” which is pretty damn sucky.”

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
On the late Howard Zinn’s 90th Birthday: A new biography gives insight into his life and activism
08.24.2012
03:32 pm

Topics:
Activism
Books
Class War
History
Politics

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In the annals of activist history, Howard Zinn is a hallowed name, though without much rally from any cult of personality. The A People’s History of the United States author is known mostly for his seminal work and activism, as he took great pains to keep his private life private. Author Martin Duberman starts A Life on the Left by noting that Zinn actually went out of his way to destroy any personal affects, journals, etc that would reveal anything about his private life, perhaps remembering the good work that has been marred by the personal lives of its participants. However, the book is a compelling chronicle of Zinn’s contribution to US activism and academia, as well as the history of the US Left, itself.

The book only falls short for brief flaws, none of which are unheard of in the canonization of activists. First, while inference into Zinn’s interior life might help us understand him better, the speculations on his affairs and his wife’s insinuated mental health issues don’t actually contextualize him or his work, nor do they appear to give a better understanding of him as a husband or father. While I don’t believe in protecting a man’s legacy (and I’m aware he’s not perfect), frankly, it feels a bit gossipy, and unnecessary. The only other (again, minor) gripe I have is that the author (a historian himself) tends to devolve into polemics in what is otherwise a fairly professional account. It’s probably an excruciating exercise in abstinence for a historian to cover World War 1, Vietnam, Civil Rights, Reagan, etc without inserting their own analysis, but Zinn’s views are still the focus, so it never strays too far.

What it does well is a lot. The book gives a great analysis of his body of work; Zinn was more than just A People’s History. While I expected a strong focus on his most famous work, the book doesn’t skimp on Zinn’s theoretical pieces. Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order is as much a primer for young activists as Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, providing an analytical basis for protest and dissent in common speak language. Moreover, the earlier works that made waves in academia are often overlooked, and it’s a welcome backstory to learn.

The book is more about Zinn’s activism, organizing, and protest than his writing, however. Ardently averse to the stodgy academic, Zinn was arrested multiple times during direct actions in desegregation and civil rights organizing in the south. His regular arrests and organizing, as well as his subversive teaching style, caused constant clash with both his major tenures, Spelman (a black women’s college in Atlanta), and Boston College. While his later time in Boston was marked by a malicious conservative university president denouncing him at every turn (and once accusing him of trying to set a university building on fire), his clashes during his first position are almost more interesting. While Spelman obviously pushed for improvement in the socioeconomic standing of Southern black communities, the college did not advocate breaking the law. At one point, the president of Spelman accuses Zinn of a sexual relationship with a student, on the basis of giving her a ride. It’s under this sort of scrutiny and fear that Zinn continued to break the law in the name of social justice, and remain an ardent radical in spite of the benefits he would have received from compromising as a fair weather liberal.

Identifying as “something of a Marxist,” and, unlike his colleague and friend Noam Chomsky,  refusing to fully commit to a label of socialist or anarchist, Zinn was motivated by the work to be done, and not by an ideological dogma. With our current struggles in mind, the 60s and 70s feel so prescient, and in reading the book, there’s a hopeful tone when all the progress made in a single lifetime is laid out before us. A Life on the Left is a history book, using the life of a man to reflect the conditions of history; I think Zinn would have approved.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Bill Nye: Americans who believe in Creationism hold the rest of us back

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Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” thinks Creationism isn’t appropriate for children.

At one point in this video, Nye explains that when he is confronted with an adult who seems stuck on Creationism as their primary reality tunnel, he tells them they can “deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”
 

 
Via reddit

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Scorching set by Thin Lizzy in 1978
08.24.2012
02:45 pm

Topics:
Music

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Hot damn this is good! Thin Lizzy on fire at the Sydney Harbour in 1978.

1 Jailbreak
2 Bad Reputation
3 Cowboy Song
4 The Boys Are Back In Town
5 Waiting For An Alibi
6 Are You Ready
7 Me And The Boys Were Wondering How You And The Girls Are Getting Home Tonight
8 Baby Drives Me Crazy

Gary Moore joined Thin Lizzy on this tour and Mark Nauseef is subbing for Brian Downey on drums.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Manhattan’s legendary Colony Records set to close
08.24.2012
01:48 pm

Topics:
Current Events
History
Music

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One of New York City’s longest standing destinations for lovers of music, the legendary Colony Records, is set to close. Owner Richard Turk gives the usual reasons for its demise: the Internet, high rent and lack of CD sales.

Colony Records was one of the first places I visited when I moved to New York in 1977. This was before Virgin or Tower existed and Colony was an overwhelming experience for a record freak like myself. It was hip without being hipster, cool without being cold. It definitely had a Times Square vibe while still being an oasis in a neighborhood that could be rough and uninviting. The staff was old skool New Yorkers who knew their shit. They might not have looked like the record store employees we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years - no pale-skinned, bearded geeks spewing fan jizz on rare Lee Hazlewood albums - but they had deep knowledge and appreciation for whatever genre they specialized in. They could be gruff but the gruffness was tempered with a sweetness that came from being around objects they loved - rows and rows of vinyl and sheet music.

Webzine Capitol offers a brief history of Colony Records in an article on its closing:

Colony Records was founded in 1948 by Harold “Nappy” Grossbart and Richard Turk’s father, Sidney. The shop’s location and late hours—it stayed open til 3 a.m. seven days a week for decades—made it a popular destination for musicians, theatergoers and celebrities throughout Times Square’s multiple incarnations. Repeat patrons included Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, and Michael Jackson, who in his later years took to scheduling after-hours appointments to drop by.”

The closing of Colony, Tower, Virgin and dozens of indie record stores in Manhattan has resulted in a huge void where music fans once gathered to share their passion. Richard Turk’s concern is shared by more than just a few Manhattanites -  “where New Yorkers will go to talk about music, now that all the “characters stores” like Colony have gone extinct.”
 
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The following is a rough cut of scenes from Manhattan Lullaby, a documentary about Colony Records directed by Sara Cross. It’s a work in progress that now seems to have found its ending.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Click Clack: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band on German TV, 1972
08.24.2012
01:46 pm

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Heroes
Music

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (Zoot Horn Rollo, Ed Marimba, Roy Estrada, Rockette Morton and Winged Eel Fingerling) performing at Radio Bremen’s Funkhaus for German TV Beat Club, on April 12, 1972.

Zoot Horn Rollo (Magic Band guitarist Bill Harkleroad) recalls taping the show:

“I’m Gonna Booglarize You” got played an awful lot and was definitely part of our live show. Like “Click Clack” and “Alice In Blunderland,” “Booglarize You” was a staple part of the set on three basic tours - 1971, 1972 and 1973. I can specifically remember the band performing it on a German TV show called Beat Club. Like all TV shows at that time, they weren’t ready for loudly performed music. Our type of music was designed to be played loud, it didn’t have to be earsplitting, but it had to be played with a certain amount of volume just to push enough air to feel the excitement level of it - because we did have energy, no question about it!

I remember how difficult it was, beating the crap out of the instrument and jumping around, when you could hear people whispering over the low volume. ... Back then live TV shows were only one step better than lip-synching. It always felt funny playing to 30-odd people who were clapping politely while the TV producer was trying to make it look like a crowd 500. It was a very sterile environment and of course the Magic Band came over as being totally ‘over-the-top’ with our look - I remember stumbling around on my high heeled green shoes.

You’ll notice that the good Captain has two microphones bound together with tape, in order to amplify his deepest notes.

1. Hair Pie Bass Solo (The Mascara Snake) (0:00)
2. Click Clack Take 1 (3:08)
3. Click Clack Take 2 (6:51)
4. Golden Birdies and Band Intro (8:18)
5. I’m Gonna Booglaraize You Baby Take 1 (11:12)
6. I’m Gonna Booglaraize You Baby Take 2 (15:41)
7. Steal Softly Through Snow (Band Instrumental) (20:49)
8. I’m Gonna Booglaraize You Baby Take 3 (24:18)

The Magic Band will be performing live at the three-day Greg Dulli/All Tomorrow’s Parties-curated “I’ll Be Your Mirror” music festival in NYC on Sunday, September 23rd.

From the DVD of Lost Broadcasts.
 
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Thank you, Brad Laner, WFMU and to bookheaven1thousand who uploaded this treasure to YouTube.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Man-eater: A cool real time game for commuters
08.24.2012
01:45 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Design
Games

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Bored on your commute to work? Then try out this rather cool game Man-eater, by Daniel Disselkoen, who explains:

For four years, each day I took the same tram to art academy. Why would you then look out the window with curiosity when there is no reason to expect anything new. I decided to change the daily journey for my fellow passengers and myself. I wouldn’t move the tramway track, but maybe I could add something. Make something so that what already exists would look very different now.

Man-eater is part of my graduation project Remake Reality for the Royal Academy of Art, The Netherlands.

Check out more of Daniel’s work here. And if you can come up with any similar game ideas, do let us know.
 


 
Via b3ta
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Nuff Said: Stan Lee ‘naked’ centerfold, 1983
08.24.2012
01:09 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Heroes

Tags:

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Well, here’s something you don’t see every day: Stan Lee posing centerfold-style for a whimsical behind-the-scenes of office life at a Marvel Comics photoshoot in 1983.

Photographer Eliot R. Brown, who shot this gem, said of the session, “Stan indeed kept his fire-engine-red bikini briefs on—very business-like, I must add. You’d have thought he did this every day.”

From Sean Howe’s Tumblr:

When Stan Lee visited New York in January 1983, the editorial staff was at the peak of its yuk-yuk, hand-buzzer giddiness. They’d been shooting photos of each other in superhero costumes for some of the covers—several staff members appeared on the cover of the last issue of SPIDER-WOMAN—and now they were putting together a comic that consisted wholly of photos of intra-office hijinks. They wanted to include Stan the Man. Lee, the original ringmaster, jumped at the chance to pose for a nude centerfold. Marvel staffers photographed Lee with an oversize comic book covering his private parts; soon after, they received a call from his assistant in L.A. “Stan is wild,” said the assistant. “He should not have been naked for your centerfold. Please. Don’t.” (A Hulk costume was later superimposed over Lee’s body in postproduction.)

Stan Lee was obviously no Burt Reynolds, but he had nice gams 30 years ago, eh?

Via Nerdcore and Sean Howe Tumblr

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney’s ‘Destino’
08.24.2012
12:48 pm

Topics:
Animation
Art
History
Movies

Tags:

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Someone was kind enough to post an HD file of “Desinto,” the animated short that Surrealist painter Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated on for over eight months in 1945 and 1946 (along with Disney artist John Hench who did the storyboards). The film was eventually shelved due to WWII-era financial problems at Disney’s company. Dalí described the film as “a magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time” and Disney said it was “a simple story about a young girl in search of true love.”

“Destino” came out of its cryogenic deep freeze in 1999 when it was revived by Roy Disney, then working on Fantasia 2000. The short film was constructed from the existing story art and production notes, a 17-second animation test, talking to John Hench and a few clues gleaned from Gala Dali’s personal writings. “Destino” was directed by French animator Dominique Monfréy (his first directorial credit) at the Paris offices of Disney Studios France and a team of over 20 others.

The “plot” of “Destino” involves a tragic love story: Chronos (time) falls in love with a mortal woman and they cannot be together. They dance across surrealist landscapes. Dalinian things happen.

The 17 seconds of extant footage from the ill-fated project is the bit with the Dalian parade floats on turtles moving towards each other as the baseball player looks on. Also, it’s worth mentioning, that there would have been a mix of animation and live action dancers in Dali and Disney’s original vision for “Destino.” The appropriately yearning soundtrack is a song by the Mexican composer Armando Dominguez, sung by Dora Luz.

I’ve seen “Destino” twice in museums (the huge Dali career retrospective exhibit in Philadelphia back in 2005 and the LACMA show focusing on Dali’s work in Hollywood). I loved it, but I have problems with it. It’s a remarkable work of art, don’t get me wrong, I think “Destino” is pretty great, but it’s not really a Dali/Disney collaboration like it was hyped-up to be, but something more accurately described as the work of that was inspired by (however faithfully) Dali and Disney’s vision. I was expecting something “archival” or “vintage” I suppose, so therein lay my disappointment, as a huge Dali buff, nothing to do with the actual work, which is marvelous, as anyone can see.

“Destino” is available as a special feature on the Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 special edition Blu-ray. There’s a gallery of some of the production art and correspondence between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali at the great Disney fanblog 2719 Hyperion.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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