follow us in feedly
The ‘Uncle Duke’ action figure that made Hunter S. Thompson want to ‘rip out’ Garry Trudeau’s lungs
06.10.2016
10:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes

Tags:


 
It was 1974 when Gary Trudeau debuted the newest member of his Doonesbury comic crew, “Uncle Duke,” to the world. And the man whom the character was based on, gun-toting Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was not pleased. In an interview with High Times, Thompson recalled the moment he became aware of Uncle Duke.

It was a hot, nearly blazing day in Washington, and I was coming down the steps of the Supreme Court looking for somebody, Carl Wagner or somebody like that. I’d been inside the press section, and then all of a sudden I saw a crowd of people and I heard them saying, “Uncle Duke,” I heard the words Duke, Uncle; it didn’t seem to make any sense. I looked around, and I recognized people who were total strangers pointing at me and laughing. I had no idea what the fuck they were talking about. I had gotten out of the habit of reading funnies when I started reading the Times. I had no idea what this outburst meant…It was a weird experience, and as it happened I was sort of by myself up there on the stairs, and I thought: “What in the fuck madness is going on? Why am I being mocked by a gang of strangers and friends on the steps of the Supreme Court? Then I must have asked someone, and they told me that Uncle Duke had appeared in the Post that morning.

Thompson went on to say that “no one grows up wanting to be a cartoon character” and that if he ever caught up with Garry Trudeau, he would “rip his lungs out.” While that never happened, in 1992 Trudeau published book called Action Figure!; The Life and Times of Doonesbury’s Uncle Duke that chronicled the misadventures of Uncle Duke that came with a five-inch action figure of dear Uncle Duke along with a martini glass, an Uzi, cigarette holder, a bottle of booze, and a chainsaw. While Trudeau has never been one to shy away from controversy, this bold move seemed rather suicidal or at the very least a very direct threat to the current location of Trudeau’s lungs. You can actually still find the book and its sneering Uncle Duke action figure on auction sites like eBay and on Amazon like I did.
 

 
More images follow, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘I am a Sunflower’: Amazing Chinese children’s propaganda record
06.09.2016
07:58 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Politics

Tags:


 
On some level, a lot of the music we play for kids—and the music we teach them to sing—is propaganda. Not necessarily overtly so, but beyond learning the alphabet and numbers, the music we offer children is always going to serve as some manner of cultural value metric. And such music originating from a hypernationalist, militaristic culture is sure to seem utterly nuts to cultures that don’t go so completely all in for that kind of thing.

Case in point: China. A friend of mine with the dually cool distinctions of being both a university librarian and a badass sludge/doom bass player turned me on to some Chinese children’s (and other) records, dating I think from the early ‘70s, which had recently arrived in her employer’s collection via a donation. They were all pretty amazing—just the song titles alone sound alien enough to underscore incredible cultural differences:

THE PEOPLE IN TAIWAN LONG FOR LIBERATION

PATROLLING ON THE GRASSLANDS

THE OIL WORKERS ARE FULL OF ENERGY

CHAIRMAN MAO IS THE RED SUN IN THE HEARTS OF ALL NATIONALITIES

The killer item, though, was an 11-song 7” children’s record called I am a Sunflower, with wonderful cover art of smiling children marching with shouldered rifles and songs expressing totally overt themes of youth para-militarism:

LITTLE RED GUARDS GROW STRONGER IN THE FIGHT

GROWING UP AT THE SIDE OF CHAIRMAN MAO

LITTLE RED GUARDS ATTEND A REPUDIATION MEETING

I’LL GO TO THE BORDER REGION, TOO, WHEN I GROW UP

Now, it’s maybe easy to be cast aspersions at all that, but we have our school kids sing “The Star Spangled Banner” which is forthrightly a war song, and the differences between the Young Pioneers/Little Red Guards and the Boy Scouts are surely more a matter of degree of fanaticism than of kind

CRITICIZE LIN PIAO AND DISCREDIT HIM COMPLETELY

OK, holy fuck, WHAT? That’s pretty disturbing: Lin Piao was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army, and was instrumental in the communist victory in China’s civil war. He died in 1971, in an iffy plane crash. After decades of enjoying high rank in the party—I mean HIGH rank, at the time of his death he was Communist Party vice-chair and Mao’s presumptive successor—he or his son led the Project 571 coup against Mao. The family was attempting to flee after the coup failed, and it’s been pretty widely speculated that the plane crash may have been an assassination. He was branded a traitor posthumously; his name was scrubbed from the Little Red Book, and there was a goddamn children’s song about how hard he sucked. Here it is. I will fully cop to having ripped this from the record and uploaded it myself. Ordinarily that’s a HUGE no-no, but I’m making an exception in this instance because I’d quite enjoy the comic irony of a DMCA copyright takedown coming from China.
 

 
That’d be really cute if you had no idea what it was about, right?

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Debbie Harry dominates DEVO in the funny pages of Punk Magazine, 1978
06.08.2016
04:56 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
At the start of 1978 Blondie had released its self-titled debut album and was about to put out its sophomore follow-up Plastic Letters; the band’s masterpiece, Parallel Lines, would be recorded in the summer and released in the autumn. Meanwhile, Akron’s DEVO had been bouncing around with sublime creativity for several years, but their mind-blowing debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was still several months off.

Still, the two staples of smart American pop music were apparently well known enough even at that moment, such that PUNK magazine could feel it worthwhile to commission a silly comic strip involving the two bands, featuring photographs as the panels, as in the fumetti form often seen in Italy and also, as it happens, in frequent use by National Lampoon right around this time. 

The title of the strip was “Disposable DEVO,” and the plot was rife with the “devolutionary” concepts that DEVO’s own name made so famous.
 

 
The comic appeared in issue #12 of Punk Magazine, which came out in January 1978. Chris Stein took the photographs. In the strip “a malfunctioning android cleaning lady” played by Debbie Harry attempts to sweep away a pile of humanoid debris (i.e., DEVO) only to find, against all expectation, that the five identically outfitted “zeroids” are actually capable of feeling sensations (pain).

You can actually buy this issue for a mere $75 (it’s also available on Amazon for a bit less)—or read “Disposable DEVO below. (You can do both, too.)
 

 
via Post Punk Industrial
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
For the Monty Python fan who has everything: How’s about these ridiculous Black Knight slippers
06.08.2016
11:06 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies

Tags:


 

“Tis but a scratch!”

Okay, so these Black Knight slippers celebrating one of the most famous scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail are as goofy as hell looking, but Father’s Day is just around the corner. If your dad happens to be a a big Monty Python fan, might I suggest these puppies? I mean, they’re much cooler than the boring ol’ tie you probably give him every year, right? Maybe it’s time to switch it up.

They’re for sale on Monty Python’s online store for $38.99.


 
Below, the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Filth is my LIFE!’: John Waters’ ‘Playdate’ with Charles Manson and Michael Jackson
06.07.2016
08:56 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Kooks

Tags:


John Waters’ sculptures of ‘baby’ versions of Michael Jackson and Charles Manson.
 
Back in 2006, the multi-talented and wonderfully boundary-pushing director, author, screenwriter, and noted hitchhiker, the fantastically transgressive John Waters created two life-sized silicone sculptures of both Michael Jackson and Charles Manson as babies clad in little cuddly onesies. Once you see them, you cannot “unsee” them. Ever
 

 
According to Waters’, the reason behind all of this (not that John Waters needs a reason for anything he does), was to portray two “famous media villains, reborn as perfect babies.” Waters went on to theorize about his tiny, terrifying creations by asking the question that if the two had been “reborn,” could they have possibly “saved” each other if they had met on a playdate “before their lives went wrong?” Leave it to John Waters to ask a question that nobody has likely ever considered asking—unless of course copious amounts of bad drugs were involved making such contemplation seem not only possible, but plausible.

Only five of these terrifying and bizarre bits of silicone (which were made with a combination of synthetic and human hair, because John Waters), were ever made with one set selling at an auction for $25,000 back in 2009. The others have been displayed at museums and shows in New York and Virginia and I presume that Waters himself is hanging on to at least one set that he keeps in a room along with other inspired oddities. Because I feel like that sounds about right when I envision the place where the great John Waters calls “home.”
 

 
A few more insomnia-inducing shots of the all-too-realistic Michael/Manson babies follow after the jump….

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Ian Svenonius has made a sci-fi rockumentary film: ‘What Is A Group?’
06.07.2016
06:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


 

A group is a music factory who comprise a kind of heroic clown role in the culture… oftentimes consisting of indigent or underclass individuals. The group members’ highly specific job functions and task compartmentalization indirectly reflect its post-industrial imperialist origins.

Via the blog of Glen E. Friedman—the superb photographer who amply documented the fertile Washington, D.C. hardcore and indie scenes—comes the marvelously odd film What is a Group? by Ian Svenonius. Svenonius first became notorious in the early ’90s; to civilians as Sassy magazine’s “Sassiest Boy in America,” and to underground cognoscenti as the singer/figurehead of the Nation of Ulysses, Cupid Car Club, the Make-Up, Scene Creamers, Weird War, Chain and the Gang…I’m probably forgetting one or two.

The film is a dryly odd collage of band photos and music performances tied together with the narrative device of two aliens, played by Katie Alice Greer and Daniele Yandel of the excellent D.C. punk band Priests, observing planet Earth and discussing rock band anthropology and the music-making process. The themes touched upon echo some of Svenonius’ writing in his books The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘N’ Roll Group, and Censorship Now!!, specifically the ideas about music culture as a pseudoreligious control mechanism and the ways in which the rock writing process mirrors industrial production—much of Svenonius’ thinking on these matters is directly inspired both by old-school Marxist class critique and Situationism, and those same extra-musical obsessions heavily informed the ethos of The Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up. And really, for all his bands’ relentless schtickiness, Svenonius is one of indie rock’s sharpest and most compelling thinkers about music’s role in culture. If you’re unfamiliar with his Soft Focus interview series, you should find those on YouTube, it’s quite good stuff.

The dialogue replacement and sound sync in What is a Group are done with about zero regard for actual synchronization (Greer and Yandel are entirely re-voiced throughout), which gives the whole affair a stilted and uneasy feel that goes beyond mere cheapness. Greer seems to function as Svenonius’ author avatar, expounding on the role of the recording engineer, the construction of songs, the social status of musicians, the glamorization of social alienation… you know, rock ’n’ roll shit. Astute trainspotters will recognize Cramps/Bad Seeds guitarist Kid Congo Powers, the Make-Up’s Michelle Mae, and Helium/Ex Hex’s Mary Timony.
 

Watch ‘What is a Group?’ after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
A gorgeous gallery of ‘ultra-chic’ men’s hairstyles from the 70s
06.06.2016
11:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
History

Tags:


 
I always get a good chuckle when I see those oh-so-perfectly coiffed men’s hairdos from the 70s. I’m just marveling at the Bay City Rollers-meet-Jesus-freakiness of some of these hairy head shots, presumably taken from men’s hair magazines from the early to mid 70s. Imagine the time and effort it took to perfect these amazing looks on a daily basis? How awesome the 1970s must have been.

I wonder if when these styles will make a comeback and push aside the already passé hipster man bun? History always repeats itself. (Except for powdered wigs. That’s not gonna happen.) Trust me, you’re going to see these styles again if ain’t happening already as I type this. And I can’t wait.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
And now here’s Casey Kasem dressed as Hitler roasting Don Rickles
06.06.2016
09:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
I was recently researching something when I came across a reference to “Hitler writing all of Don Rickles’ material.” As you can imagine, I instantly forgot about whatever I had been looking for—I knew I had to track this down.

Turns out that the line was a reference to a roast thrown for Don Rickles in 1974 on The Dean Martin Show. Bizarrely, the bit involved Casey Kasem dressing up as Hitler and explaining how pivotal Rickles had been in establishing him—Hitler, not the longtime radio host of America’s Top 40 Countdown—in show business. “Hitler” calls Rickles “a real pussycat” and says that he’s “the only man I know who has bombed more places than I have!”

At the end of the bit, Dean Martin gives the departed Hitler a tasteful Sieg Heil! salute.

This roast of Rickles was broadcast on February 8, 1974, and occurred in the 9th season (!) of The Dean Martin Show, which was an NBC property. Also present at the affair were Kirk Douglas, Phyllis Diller, Telly Savalas, Nipsey Russell, Bob Newhart, and Carol Channing. According to Variety, “Those NBC specials [roasts] were typically hourlong affairs but the Rickles’ roast was so smokin’ that the network let it go 90 minutes.”

I guess Hitler didn’t have any hard feelings about Rickles plundering Nazi gold in Kelly’s Heroes.......
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Better Call Saul: The surreal, politically-charged Pop Art of Peter Saul
06.06.2016
09:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Politics

Tags:


‘Dali Advises the President’ by Peter Saul, 2004.
 
Often referred to as the one of the “fathers” of Pop Art, painter and illustrator Peter Saul has been creating his mayhemic, often politically charged masterpieces since the 1950s and at his current age of 82 (Saul will turn 83 in August), he shows no signs of slowing down.
 

‘Ronald Reagan (Abortion),’ 1984.
 
Saul’s vibrantly jarring style will likely remind you of the weirdness found on the pages and on the covers of vintage Zap Comix, and the artist himself has been quoted as saying that his aim with his art was to somehow mesh the art of Dutch American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning together with the classic images found in MAD magazine. I’m pretty sure after looking at the images in this post of Saul’s face-melting paintings, you would agree that he has successfully mashed up both artistic concepts along with a large, LSD-laced dose of Surrealism.  In 2008 the New York Times described Peter Saul as “a classic artist’s artist, one of our few important practicing history painters and a serial offender in violation of good taste.”

With over 800 works under his belt to date, Saul’s paintings will be on display for the first time in Moscow (something the painter “never imagined” would happen) at the Gary Tatintsian Gallery under the amusingly title “You better call Saul!” And speaking of LSD, you can put yours away for now as the images that follow of GOP sweethearts like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and well as other despots and degenerates like Adolf Hitler and O.J. Simpson, will likely conjure up a bonafide, drug-free flashback just by looking at them. Some (such as Saul’s wonderfully bizarre depiction of a three-headed Andy Warhol that I had to include), might be considered NSFW.
 

‘Stalin and Mao,’ 2009.
 

‘Hitler’s Bunker,’ 2006.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Man upset that his new passport makes him look like Hitler
06.03.2016
11:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events

Tags:


 
This is one of those “I feel terrible for laughing at this” but admittedly… I did have a bit of a chuckle at this poor man’s expense. Stuart Boyd of Salford, Greater Manchester, eagerly awaited his new passport which was ordered on May 22 after booking a trip to the Greek island of Rhodes in July with friends. When Boyd’s passport finally arrived in the mail, he was dismayed to see that his reproduced photo looked a lot like a certain Nazi leader. Boyd was so bothered by the his new Hitler-esque moustache that he contacted the Passport Office.

Crestfallen Stu said of his unfortunate passport pic resemblance to der Fuhrer:

“To be fair the woman was very pleasant and helpful. She said they obviously didn’t intentionally make me look like Adolf Hitler and told me to send it back so they can issue a new one.”

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Passport Office said: “All UK passports are carefully created and checked to exacting standards before they are issued. We will be contacting him to investigate this case further.”

Well, at least his passport photo didn’t make him look like Donald Trump…
 

 
via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Page 3 of 441  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›