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San Francisco group proposes 300-mile, $7.3B wall to keep Burning Man attendees from returning
07:29 am


San Francisco
Burning Man

“The week of Burning Man is the only week that the rest of us don’t have to hear about Burning Man. What if that week could last forever?” asks a spokesperson for Cultivated Wit.

The group has created a crowd-funding site asking for a mere 7.3 billion dollars to build a 300-mile wall, from from Point Reyes to Santa Cruz, around the Bay Area during the week of Burning Man to keep the Burners from returning.


We want to help Burning Man attendees continue their favorite week of the year, and allow them to keep experiencing the genuine community and deep connections they can only feel while at Burning Man. To do this, we will build a 300-mile wall around the entire Bay Area during Burning Man.

For the rest of us, what’s normally our favorite week of the year… lasts forever!


Their (yeah, bogus) crowdfunding site, MegaGoGo,  also features projects like rerouting the Mississippi River to California to solve the drought, building a tunnel under the “boring” Midwest, and deploying a fleet of blimps in Los Angeles to alleviate traffic.

If such a project were actually gotten off the ground, it would certainly go a long way toward lowering some of the astronomical rent prices in the Bay Area. The team at Cultivated Wit seems to think it’s doable if everyone pitches in:

Building a 300-mile wall in one week will be difficult, but if we can get just 50% of the Bay Area population (minus Burning Man attendees) we’ll have about 3.5 million volunteer wall builders. That’s less than half a foot of wall per person!

So what do you say San Francisco? Are you up to the challenge? Just don’t tell the Burners what you’re up to.

You’ve got less than a month to put this thing together!

Here’s their modest (and hilarious) proposal:


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Sexism,’ a disturbingly accurate board game from 1971
08:02 am


board games

Sexism board game - 1971
Sexism. A board game from 1971
Sexism was a board game, conceived back in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?

According to the folks over at Board Game Geek, the goal of Sexism is to move from the “doll house,” to the White House (flash-forward 44 years and we’re still waiting, but I digress). The first player to move into the White House, wins. Sexism is compelling on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. Just take this game board square from Sexism called “Abortionist.” The square itself depicts a pregnant woman and a clothing hanger(!) with the following game instructions if you land on it:


The bill didn’t pass.

Go to the Maternity Ward

Laundry Service and Part-time You Know What!

Sexism encourages players to play as their opposite gender as it is known to produce “hilarious role-playing situations.” So, if you win as a “woman” the game will instruct the other players that, “You are now a person, and must be treated as such for 24 hours. Non-winners may be treated as usual.” If you play as a “man,” you are greeted by a cartoon of a large thumb pushing a woman down with the following message: “Congratulations, you’ve won — or have you?” Wow.
White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism
Decisions, decisions. White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism

When it comes to the cards that you might draw while playing Sexism,  playing as a woman you might draw a card that says “Go back two steps because you’re a woman. You’d just as well get used to this.” Whereas a man might draw a card that makes this incredible statement:

I staunchly defend motherhood, God and country. I’m against giving more money to ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) for each child. I’m against abortions. I’m against women earning as much as men. I’m against paying taxes for free child care centers. Go ahead three steps.

In an interview with Houger from 1972, she said that her intention wasn’t to create an “anti-male” game. In addition to enlightening folks to Women’s Lib, Houger had high hopes that the game would start a dialog about sexism, as well as help people understand that both men and women should be treated as “people.” Houger also said she wanted to highlight the fact that women can also be sexist, by “reinforcing sexism” with their actions or attitudes, especially when it comes to assigning gender-specific roles - a point that she makes rather directly on many of Sexism’s game squares.

More on Sexism after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Attention, smart people: Over 100,000 have RSVP’d for tonight’s Bernie Sanders mega-event


“There are no coincidences, but sometimes the pattern is more obvious.”—Neil Innes

Attention, smart people! There is a MAJOR POLITICAL EVENT that’s happening—TODAY July 29th, 2015—across this nation that you might not have heard about for Bernie Sanders. Tonight Sanders will be speaking via the Internet to over 100,000 heavily-motivated people meeting for the first time at 3,520 Bernie-related house parties and get-togethers in bars and restaurants and union halls and church basements, etcetera, etcetera, all across the United States.

Yes, over 100,000 people have found other like-minded people in their area via this map and RSVP’d to get informed and to volunteer for Sanders’ increasingly astonishing campaign. I live in Los Angeles where there are well over 100 such gatherings. I’m married, but I would assume that a lot of smart, good-looking people would attend such events. Aren’t you even curious? Of course you are. Why not search for your zip code and see what happens?

Has there ever been a larger, more dynamic and more INSTANTANEOUS grassroots movement in American history? If there has been one, they must’ve kept it a secret. Even the Tea party movement didn’t grow nearly as fast as this. And after today’s event, what happens next?

I can’t wait to find out.

The sky’s the limit, but the goal is the White House. This can happen, people.

Bernie Sanders for President: It’s time to take it to the next level, America. He can’t do it without YOU.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Someone gave KKK marchers the farty tuba accompaniment they deserved

Dangerous Minds reported on the KKK rally held at the South Carolina statehouse on Saturday. What was missing from that report was this video of the Klan’s march toward the statehouse. Genius South Carolina sousaphonist, Matt Buck, gave the members of the KKK and Nazi NSM the farty-sounding accompaniment they deserved. I nearly lost my shit when he busted into the damaged rendition of “Ride of the Valkyries.”

Absolutely perfect.

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Hey Ya: Sign the petition to have Outkast carved onto Stone Mountain’s Confederate memorial!
08:43 am


Big Boi
Confederate flag

Credit: Mack Williams
Just a few days after an NAACP call for banishing the Confederate symbols on Georgia’s Stone Mountain monument, artist Mack Williams created a petition, addressed to Georgia’s state house, state senate and Governor Nathan Deal, offering a compromise.

Williams’ petition calls for adding Outkast’s Big Boi and Andre 3000, Atlanta’s most beloved hip-hop duo, alongside Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Williams believes the addition would improve an already “great monument.”

I believe it’s important to recognize the history and heritage of all Georgians. However, the carving of Davis, Lee, and Jackson on the side of Stone Mountain only represents a small, regrettable time in the history of the Peach State. It’s high time we added a bit more of our history and culture to this monument.

By no means do we wish to erase or destroy the current carving, which, regardless of its context, is an impressive and historic work of art. We simply wish to add new carvings, of Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast, to the mountainside. There’s plenty of room.

I believe that Daddy Fat Sacks and Three Stacks should be carved riding in a Cadillac (as is their wont). This will help the new carving blend nicely with the Confederates who are on horseback.

Outkast are two of the greatest Georgians in the history of our state. It’s about time the Empire State of the South paid proper tribute to them, while also improving a great monument and tourist attraction.

As of this writing, the petition has nearly 4,000 signatures. One half of Outkast, Big Boi, has given his nod of approval to the idea. On Wednesday afternoon he retweeted a link to a story about the petition, with the addition of a “thumbs up” emoji.


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Just (don’t) do it: Nike sneaker made from human flesh-like latex
07:33 am



Animatronic Flesh Shoe
Animatronic Flesh Shoe
In 2004, Canadian artist Adam Brandejs created a piece of art called the “Animatronic Flesh Shoe”. Brandejs even included bits of his roommates actual hair for realism. Yikes.
Animatronic Flesh Shoe with real hair
Brandejs used the logo for high-profile brand Nike on the piece that is actually made from latex that looks remarkably like human flesh. And that is because Brandjes made the rubber casts for the shoe out of molds made from his own skin. Brandejs then wired the shoe and connected it to electric motors that are run through a circuit to interpret signals sent out from an MP3 Player, enabling the shoe to move. Or more appropriately as you will see, “twitch” sporadically as if it was in the throes of death. Brandejs’ intention when he created “Animatronic Flesh Shoe” was to help enlighten consumers on the conditions in sweatshops that make our everyday products, as well as the labor practices employed by companies that make the things we all think we can’t live without. Here’s a part of Brandejs’ statement on his piece:

If the flesh disturbs you, then the reality behind the issue would disturb you far more if we opened our eyes long enough to see it. We live in a culture disconnected from what it is doing to itself and others, we choose to ignore rather than deal with the reality we have created for ourselves. This piece ultimately comments on this simple idea.

More photos and a video of the flesh shoe in motion follow. Your move, Buffalo Bill.
Animatronic Flesh Shoe
Flesh-like latex for the Flesh Shoe
The flesh-like latex that was used to make “Animatronic Flesh Shoe”

“Animatronic Flesh Shoe” twitching

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Hidden camera shows what it’s like to be gay in Russia
10:12 am

The wrong side of history


Americans became aware during the run-up to the Sochi Olympics last year that Russia was undergoing something like the opposite of the social revolution that has brought some approximation of equal rights to homosexuals within the United States. If anything, Russia was regressing, and the persistence of anti-gay hate was depressing to behold, just as Russia was the athletic center of the world, and just a few months before that country’s ominous annexation of parts of Ukraine.

ChebuRussiaTV are something akin to the Yes Men of Russia—they make political points and further social progress through the use of pranks. Just a few weeks ago they ruffled some feathers by mimicking oral sex on public park benches.

Their latest idea is incredibly simple and yet devastating in the virulence of the reaction it has elicited. All they did was have two young men walk through public places in Moscow holding hand—not kissing, not engaging in crazy PDA behavior, just holding hands—and documented the reactions of ordinary citizens, most of which are pretty nauseating.

In addition to the occasional resigned sentiment of “Where is this country going?” and various epithets of abuse, ChebuRussiaTV documented two cases of assault (arguably), taking the form of a rough shoulder hit—the second of which certainly threatened to get out of hand.

The Cyrillic headline of the video—”Избиение гомосексуалистов в России”—translates as “Beating homosexuals in Russia” according to Google Translate. The English title is “Reaction to gays in Russia social experiment,” which is a good deal more euphemistic.

via The Daily Dot

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
War is Hell: Morbid commercial parodies bluntly reveal the cold, hard reality of a military career
06:55 am


action figures

Veterans For Peace, a UK organization of war veterans, has recently set up a website in opposition to child recruitment of soldiers. Their mission is to raise the minimum UK recruitment age from sixteen to eighteen. The site makes its point with a set of (VERY) darkly humorous parody action figures: “PTSD Action Man,” “Paralyzed Action Man,” and “Dead Action Man.”


The site also features a set of (brilliant) fake commercials detailing the realities of war casualty.

We’re not sure whether to laugh or cry:

Via Veterans For Peace UK

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Brawl over the Confederate flag spills into the streets outside of South Carolina’s statehouse
06:44 am


South Carolina
Confederate flag

Photo posted to Facebook of the scene outside the South Carolina statehouse during a brawl over the Confederate flag.
At approximately 7:15 PM on June 29th, a brawl broke out in front of the South Carolina statehouse between supporters of the Confederate flag and protesters seeking to have it removed from the statehouse grounds.

According to the Bureau of Protective Services, about 30 anti-flag protesters were on statehouse grounds when a group of fifteen vehicles carrying pro-flag supporters pulled up and stopped in the middle of Gervais Street, in front of the statehouse. Between eight and ten occupants exited their vehicles and began to engage in an altercation with the crowd.

One eyewitness claimed tensions escalated when a convoy of Confederate flag supporters began shouting “racist remarks” from their vehicles at anti-flag protesters.

According to another eyewitness, a Confederate flag was ripped from a passing car of hecklers. The car following behind stopped, and a passenger emerged, confronting the crowd, inciting the brawl.

Another eyewitness stated, “several people were fighting and it spilled into Gervais St, and some people started pulling over and getting out of their cars to join in. Police began separating the two groups and pushing them back onto the statehouse grounds, and then a small group charged the other group, a quick secondary scuffle broke out, and then the small group took off running with several dudes chasing them behind the capitol.”

One man was arrested at the scene and charged with disorderly conduct.

An anti-Confederate flag rally on June 20th attracted nearly 2000 protesters. A similar rally is scheduled for July 4th. The Ku Klux Klan has also scheduled a pro-Confederate flag rally for July 18. It looks like it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Here is eyewitness footage of the fight:

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer speaks about her childhood as a sharecropper
05:46 am


Fannie Lou Hamer

I was at the Library of Congress last week, and while it was utterly grand to be there, I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly snapped a couple of cables when I spotted that pernicious Thomas Carlyle quotation high up on the wall: “THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IS THE BIOGRAPHY OF GREAT MEN.” Look, I understand that it was put there over a century ago, and I wouldn’t expect simple values dissonance alone to be a sufficient reason to alter something so historical, but it was still a drag to see that in 2015 (the exhibit lionizing Columbus and Cortez’s New World explorations without mentioning the word “genocide” anywhere was also a disappointment—the USA still has a loooooong-ass way to go).

One of the deep faults of the “Great Man” theory of history is that it excludes the contributions of thousands, if not millions, of unheralded activists who, though they didn’t happen to be the marquee names who got to make speeches that were recorded for posterity, still committed much of their resources and lives to the causes and movements that shaped the world we live in. A more obvious flaw is the continually maddening omission of great women. For example, I hold it as a significant demerit (among many) of the public education system that I never knew the name of the amazing Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman and the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States, until my late college years, when I was channel-surfing and I randomly caught a doc about her on PBS.

Another such figure I’m salty about never learning about in school, also from the US Civil Rights Movement, as it happens, is voting rights organizer Fannie Lou Hamer, a crucial activist and orator whose contributions to freedom in America are not, by my reckoning, sufficiently heralded—she not only endured being beaten and shot at, she underwent a non-consensual hysterectomy as part of a eugenics program. Justifiably furious at such shocking abuse at the hands of her doctor, she dove headlong into activism, helping found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and giving a powerful and pivotal speech to the 1964 Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee, challenging the legitimacy of Mississippi’s all-white delegation, and describing the horrors she endured for merely trying to register to vote. Presumptive nominee Lyndon Johnson, in a total asshole move, tried to keep the speech out of the news by calling a specious press conference. Hamer got crazy amounts of news coverage anyway.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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