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NBC journalist says live on air: ‘Someone should sh*t in Sarah Palin’s mouth’

As the editor of a blog that used to generate a lot of traffic with virtually any item, however small, that mocked Sarah Palin, believe me when I tell you that five years after her debut on the world stage, no one really cares that much about the snowbilly grifter anymore.

Not like they used to. Not even close.

Nope, an item on Sarah Palin will bring in a negligible amount of traffic, so little, in fact that it’s not even worth the effort anymore. “Sarah Palin does something stupid AGAIN” has stopped being effective as “click bait,” in the same way that “Glenn Beck says something outrageous AGAIN” has. Or “The 25 greatest moments from Murphy Brown” (as actually seen on Yahoo! earlier this week, I didn’t make that one up). Or whatever idiocy Ted Nugent is into. Who gives a shit about these assholes? No one does. At least our readers don’t. You let us know loud and clear how disinterested you are in these people and we see the evidence of this on Google Analytics, ChartBeat, and in Twitter, Facebook and Google+ shares.

Which brings up the question: Does a Sarah Palin appearance on The Today Show, or even Fox News, really bring in ANY extra eyeballs? Based on my own (admittedly left-leaning, but very large as these things go) control group, I’d have to wager that the answer is a definite “NO.” Going on what I’ve seen, she’s a total bust these days. Doesn’t move the needle on the traffic dial. Flatline. Nothing. Why do we still see her all the time saying “words” in the “lamestream media”? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but given that every newsgathering or content aggregating entity has access to the very same traffic measurement tools that I have, I don’t expect that she’s got much left cultural currency after this current round of “war against Christmas” media appearances to promote her new book that someone else wrote, for people who don’t read…

Having said all that, I certainly would have thought there would have been a terrific amount of interest in an NBC correspondent suggesting that Sarah Palin should have someone shit in her mouth and piss in her eyes, and this is exactly what Martin Bashir did in an MSNBC commentary segment on Friday that is, for the most part, only being discussed on the right.

How did this escape wider notice?

If you will hit play, you will see one of the most incendiary things I have ever seen someone say on a cable news channel about another person… ever.

Incendiary, sure, but I’d have to say… he’s right. Without further ado, here’s Martin Bashir saying what a lot of people think about Sarah Palin:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Face to Face’ with Allen Ginsberg
12:38 pm

Pop Culture

Allen Ginsberg
Face to Face

This is a fine interview with Allen Ginsberg taken from the BBC series Face to Face, in which Ginsberg opens up about his family, loves, identity, drugs and even sings.

The series, Face to Face originally started in 1959, and was hosted by John Freeman, whose skill and forthright questioning cut through the usual mindless chatter of such interview shows. Freeman, a former editor of the New Statesman was often considered brusque and rude, but his style of questioning fitted the form of the program, which was more akin to an interview between psychiatrist and patient. The original series included, now legendary, interviews with Martin Luther King, Tony Hancock, Professor Carl Jung, Evelyn Waugh and Gilbert Harding.

In 1989, the BBC revived the series, this time with the excellent Jeremy Isaacs as questioner, who interviewed Allen Ginsberg for this program, first broadcast on 9th January 1995.

Watching this now, makes me wonder what has happened to poetry? Where are our revolutionary poets? Where are our poets who speak out, demonstrate, make the front page, and tell it like it is? And why are our bookstores cluttered with the greeting card verse of 100 Great Love Poems, 101 Even Greater Love Poems, and Honest to God, These Are the Greatest Fucking Love Poems, You’ll Ever Fucking Read. O, for a Ginsberg now.



Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Check out Muhammad Ali’s Broadway chops as he performs a number from a Black Power musical, 1969
10:34 am


Ed Sullivan
Muhammed Ali

 Muhammad Ali
I use the term “chops” a little loosely here. When Muhammad Ali was banned from boxing and stripped of his heavyweight title in 1967 after refusing the draft, he began a lecture tour to pay the bills. Ali’s money troubles during this three and a half year blackball may be the reason so many cynical, cynical people assume his participation in the musical, Buck White was a ploy for cash, and not a reflection of his legitimate love of Broadway!

Below, you can see Ali performing the song, “We Came in Chains,” on The Ed Sullivan Show. Buck White is actually a pretty cool concept for a musical; based on Joseph Dolan Tuotti’s play Big Time Buck White, the show centers on its namesake, a militant Black Power leader who invigorates and focuses a group of radical black activists. Unfortunately, it only ran for seven performances, and full footage of Ali’s “musical talent” is near impossible to find.

Maybe if they had hired a lead with a musical background the show would be a classic?

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Neil Young announces ‘Live at the Cellar Door’
07:12 am


Neil Young

Neil Young has announced the impending release of Live At The Cellar Door, a collection of performances recorded over the course of a week in late 1970. Via Hennemusic:

The album collects recordings made during Young’s intimate six-show solo stand at The Cellar Door in Washington D.C. between November 30th and December 2nd, 1970, a few months after the release of his classic third solo album, After the Gold Rush.

The album, which features Young performing on acoustic guitar and piano, includes a mix of solo and Buffalo Springfield tracks. It also includes early, raw performances of songs that wouldn’t appear until subsequent Young albums, including the rarity “Bad Fog Of Loneliness” (which appears on Live at Massey Hall ‘71 – released in 2007- but was previously unreleased until the studio band version was included on Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972), “Old Man” (released two years later on 1972’s Harvest album), and “Down By The River” from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

The announced release date is December 10th. The track listing is as follows:

1. Tell Me Why  
2. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3. After the Gold Rush
4. Expecting To Fly
5. Bad Fog of Loneliness
6. Old Man
7. Birds
8. Don’t Let It Bring You Down
9. See the Sky About To Rain
10. Cinnamon Girl
11. I Am a Child
12. Down By the River
13. Flying On the Ground Is Wrong

Young has released a video trailer for the album, which you can repeatedly enjoy here to your heart’s content while you wait a month for the album to drop.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘What Would Pussy Riot Do?’
09:40 am


Pussy Riot
Anti Folk
Jeffrey Lewis

Anti-Folk mainstay Jeffrey Lewis is having a busy year. Not only has he released a collaborative album with bizarro-folk founding father Peter Stampfel (who just celebrated his 74th birthday yesterday, incidentally), he’s also released the “WWPRD” E.P. and toured extensively with his band The Rain. The centerpiece of the E.P. is an idealistic, poetic tribute to Pussy Riot, the female punk band famously being held captive in Russia for the “crime” of staging a protest. Here’s a partial transcription.

Pussy Riot went to prison
Just to make some people listen
They say church & state’s corrupt
It must be true ‘cuz they’re locked up
Before we lose democracy
You ask yourself, and I’ll ask me -

Put in jail for two years each
Just for punk rock public speech
What is this, the middle ages?
Let those women out of those cages
Before you choose complacency
You ask yourself, and I’ll ask me -

Minds can open in a flash
when hit by art or hit by cash
Money wins as like as not
Imagination’s all we’ve got
So let’s just have the decency
For you to ask yourself, and I’ll ask me -

‘Cause progress is not guaranteed
I say Pussy Riot is what we need
This ain’t the old Red Army Faction
This is bold, non-violent action
To change the world, the biggest hint is
art is really what convinces
That’s why they always try to buy it
But they couldn’t buy off Pussy Riot
So when you see bands on TV
You ask yourself, and I’ll ask me -

Permit me a mild irony in posting commerce links after that last bit, but in case you might want to support Lewis’ work, the E.P. is available digitally from Amazon and in multiple formats from Rough Trade.

Here’s the poem, performed in Cologne by Jeffery Lewis and the Rain, posted by YouTube user haengendegaerten.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Heartwarming video of lesbian couple applying for marriage license in NC: ‘Y’all sign right here’
01:26 pm


marriage equality
North Carolina

This morning, Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County, North Carolina’s Register of Deeds became the state’s first government official to seek approval for the granting of same-sex marriage licenses.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has already signaled that the licenses will not be given—although he claims to personally support marriage equality—but Reisinger was undeterred and has forced a bit of a public confrontation over the matter.

“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” he said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.” (He’s referring here, in part, to North Carolina’s constitutional “Amendment One” banning gay marriage which passed with a comfortable margin—61% of the vote to 39% against—in 2012. Civil unions are not recognized in the state either.)

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:

With a crowd of about 100 in the deeds office lobby cheering them on, same-sex couples filled out paperwork for marriage licenses beginning about 8 this morning.

Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory, of Fairview, were first in line. “We are hopeful that Attorney General Cooper will do the right thing and recognize our right to marry after 25 years in a committed relationship,” Clark said.

Reisinger said he will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to Cooper, the state’s chief legal adviser, Reisinger said in a statement Monday night.

Drew Reisinger, you are truly a fine example of a public servant. And talk about the rock and the hard place that Drew and these charming ladies have put poor Cooper between. The guy says he’s pro equality. If so, why would he choose to vigorously oppose it in his state?

Cooper is widely expected to make a bid for governor in 2016. That’s why. Marriage equality isn’t something a pol in North Carolina—even a Democrat—wants hanging around his neck right now. He personally supports it, but so what if it’s politically risky? Cooper shouldn’t be able to have his cake and eat it on this issue. This is a matter of right and wrong and not political expediency. If this video makes the rounds the way it seems poised to—have your Kleenex ready—it’s going to put a lot of pressure on Roy Cooper to do the right thing.

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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How Superman singlehandedly thwarted the Ku Klux Klan
07:32 am

Pop Culture

Ku Klux Klan

We all know that Superman generally battles evildoers in the fictional city of Metropolis. If you watched the disappointing, overcranked Man of Steel earlier this year, you remember that his nemesis was General Zod.

It’s a little weird to learn that not all of his enemies are make-believe. There was a time when the popular Kryptonian was deployed to sideline a very real threat in the United States: namely, the Ku Klux Klan.

Our story begins with an intrepid young folklorist and activist from Florida named Stetson Kennedy. He noticed that the Klan was experiencing a resurgence—as an example, a few weeks after V-J Day, the Klan burned a 300-foot cross on the face of Stone Mountain near Atlanta (!)—one Klansman later said that the gesture was intended “to let the n*ggers know the war is over and that the Klan is back on the market.”
Superman versus the Klan
The fiercely committed Kennedy decided to infiltrate the group and expose its secrets. He was quite successful in this—for example, he learned that when a traveling Klan member wanted to find other Klansmen in an unfamiliar part of the country, he would ask for a “Mr. Ayak”—“Ayak” standing for “Are You a Klansman?” The desired response was “Yes, and I also know a Mr. Akai”—“A Klansman Am I.”

When he took his information to the local authorities, he found, much to his surprise, little inclination to act on his findings: The Klan had become powerful enough that even the police were hesitant to take action against it.

Eventually he realized that he needed a different approach. In the 1940s, Superman was a radio sensation—children all over the country were following his exploits ravenously. Kennedy decided to approach the makers of the radio serial to see if they would be interested in an epic “Superman vs. the Klan” plotline. He learned that they were interested in such a thing.
Stetson Kennedy under cover
Stetson Kennedy under cover
In a funny way, Kennedy’s needs and the needs of the Superman radio writers coincided. Superman had spent the war fighting the likes of Hitler and Hirohito, but in 1946 that was a dead letter, and they were on the lookout for fresh villains.

On June 10, 1946, a Superman plotline began bearing the title “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” The episodes were broadcast daily, so the 16th and final episode appeared on June 25. In the story, Jimmy Olsen is managing a baseball team, but when he replaces his top pitcher with a more talented newcomer, the sorehead kid who has lost his slot ends up in the clutches of the “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” who volunteer to intimidate the “insufficiently American” star pitcher with burning crosses and the like. Jimmy Olsen (of course) takes the issue to Clark Kent, and in short order the Man of Steel is taking on the men in white hoods.

Over the course of about two weeks, the shows exposed many of the KKK’s most guarded secrets, including code words and rituals. The Klan relied a great deal on an inscrutable air of menace and mystery, and the Superman serial stripped the Klan of that mystique utterly. Almost overnight, the Klan’s recruitment efforts began drying up completely.

How successful was Kennedy in his efforts to take down the Klan? In their 2005 hit book Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt called Kennedy “the greatest single contributor to the weakening of the Ku Klux Klan.”

There is a much bigger story here than can adequately be covered in a post like this—there’s a great deal of information out there. Stetson Kennedy seems to have been a genuinely remarkable person, and his Wikipedia page lists a lot of resources if you want to learn more. A good resource is Richard Bowers’ Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate.

All sixteen of the Klan-related episodes of the Superman radio serial are on YouTube, complete with innumerable advertisements for Kellogg’s PEP cereal—the first two are linked below, and you know how to find the others.
“Clan of the Fiery Cross,” episode 1 of 16 (June 10, 1946):

“Clan of the Fiery Cross,” episode 2 of 16 (June 11, 1946):


Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Ridiculous celebrity ‘wall art’ we urge you not to put in your home
07:28 am

Pop Culture

wall art

Tom Cruise wall art
Tom Cruise

Seriously, do you really want these people staring at you all day, every day?

Sylvester Stallone wall art

Britney Spears wall art
Britney Spears

Oasis wall art

Andrew Garfield wall art
Andrew Garfield

Charlie Sheen wall art
Charlie Sheen

Twilight wall art
More shitty celebrity wall art after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Awesome Native American grandmothers capture and burn white supremacist’s Nazi flag
10:08 am


Native Americans

You may have recently heard of Leith, North Dakota, the town of only 24 people currently at risk of Nazi takeover, because apparently the middle of the goddamn country now contains a rip in space-time, leading directly to Poland in 1939. An opportunistic white supremacist has been buying up land in Leith with the express intent of organizing a “white nationalist intentional community.” (I’d argue a lot of those already exist more discreetly in the gated communities of America, but I digress.)

Obviously, there has been some push-back from Leith citizens, including Bobby Harper, the one black guy in town, who’s clearly the most patient and laid-back man alive. But a town of 24 people isn’t the most intimidating mob, so friends and allies from nearby towns have shown up in support, most notably the above crew of Lakota and Dakota grandmothers, who stole and burned a swastika flag in protest. You have to admit, there is some serious irony in attempting to create a Nazi town in a state that shares a name with the indigenous people who lived there prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Check out the video below for Bobby Harper and his wife, who now live right behind white supremacists.

Via Last Real Indians

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Trans teen homecoming queen is being mercilessly bullied on YouTube

Over the weekend, the sweet story of Cassidy Lynn Campbell, a trans teenager from Huntington Beach, CA, who was elected homecoming queen during a high school football game made the news. A feel good video from a local news channel shot at the game showed Cassidy crying tears of joy as her friends rushed down from the bleachers to surround her with a group hug.

It was a very moving sight and one that warmed the hearts of many—but not all—of those who watched the clip on YouTube.

And now, predictably, the trolls have moved in, leaving hateful, shitty transphobic comments picking on Cassidy and really cruelly bullying and mocking her. At a time that should be the happiest time in her life, these assholes have nearly caused this kid to have a breakdown. Doing what many teens would do in this situation, Cassidy took to YouTube and recorded a tearful rebuttal to the haters.

It’s sad to watch. Her pain is visceral. Her anguish is obviously very, very real.

The comments, well, they’re horrifying. How could anyone be proud of themselves for causing a kid this kind of pain?

Perhaps you’d like to take a minute from your day and leave Cassidy a message of support?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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