Gen Xers—particularly those hailing from the UK, but some advanced Yanks, as well—may remember a fleetingly brief time just before the turn of the 1990s when the Stone Roses seemed to a great many otherwise sane people like the only important band whatsoever (Jane’s Addiction and Sonic Youth probably begged to differ). Even some of their Manchester contemporaries were on board with that assessment: still in my teens in 1989, I scored a face-to-face interview with Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, who was tripping so many balls that no matter what question I asked him, most of his answers were variations on “FOOKIN’ STONE ROSES ARE THE FOOKIN’ BEST, I FOOKIN’ LOVE THEM.” But no band—NONE—can live up to messianic expectations from an overly exuberant press and fan base, and when legal battles with the label that released their debut album left them unable to release anything, their momentum was consumed and that was that. Their years-overdue sophomore LP was generally considered a disappointment despite its wishfully grandiose title, and plus their whole “baggy” trip was kind of irrelevant by then anyway, long since eclipsed by shoegaze, grunge, and Britpop. When their reunited band was announced as the headline act for 2013’s Coachella festival, under-30s flocked to Twitter to ask um, excuse me, who?
But despite that kind of embarrassing start and the poor reception to their upbeat but insipid 2016 comeback single “All for One” (the subsequent “Beautiful Thing” is a little better), their concert dates have been greeted with enthusiasm, and really, nothing changes the fact that their self-titled LP is one of the most singularly brilliant debuts in rock history. Clearly some of their devotees remain as fanatical as the ecstasy-addled ‘80s kids that made the band short-duration gods.
Which is the only possible explanation for how a fucking jar of air from their show at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium last weekend has been bid up to £65,900.00 (almost $97K USD).
We’ll give the seller this: the lemon on the lid? Nice touch.
A helpful demonstration of the air’s capture
Which utterly boggles the mind in itself, but when considered against the fact that there are other bottles of air from the same show on eBay, one for only £0.99, it becomes damn near impossible to parse just how this could have happened. And also I’m sorry but there’s just absolutely no way a shipping cost of £12.45 (more than $18 USD) is justified for just one little bottle. The way some of these eBay sellers gouge you, I swear to God…
Yep, I searched eBay for “stone roses jar of air.” What’s the dumbest thing YOU ever did at work?
If you’ve got money to burn and are drool-cup stupid, bidding on the various bottles ends within a range from three to six days.
Michael Galinsky has documented many moments of political tension, from Klan rallies to Occupy Wall Street. Tagging along with a friend who worked for Reuters, Galinsky showed up at the Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, NC on Tuesday. He applied for press credentials as they were driving to the venue, although his plans from the beginning were to shoot something more akin to Jeff Krulik and John Heyn’s “Heavy Metal Parking Lot,” the legendary underground film made in the parking lot of a 1986 Judas Priest concert.
But whereas “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is bust-a-gut hilarious stuff, Galinsky’s quietly observational footage of the Trump rally will probably just make you sad. He writes:
I had applied too late which was fine, but I still tried to talk my way in because there wasn’t much happening outside. When that didn’t work I sat down in the shade to figure out a plan of action. After about a minute of watching people trickle towards the venue, I heard a man yelling, “White Power!” I grabbed my camera and approached. He was wearing a big cowboy hat and a Willie Nelson shirt with Willie giving us “the finger.” Still, I wasn’t sure if he was being ironic until a minute later when the cops approached. They explained that we as citizens do have “free speech,” but that his incendiary language was dangerous and therefore prohibited. It was kind of a surreal conversation (see the video), and as I listened, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be allowed there much longer either. I was right. After they gave him and his friend the heave-ho, I was told I had five minutes to leave. I tried once again to get in with credentials, then I headed for the parking lot.
I often enter these situations with a vague idea of what I plan to shoot but try to remain open to what comes. I ran into a guy selling shirts and talked to him for a bit. They were vulgar, anti-Hilary shirts and people heading into the event loved them. I started to think about the people who sold things at the event and followed this up with another guy selling shirts. A few moments later, I saw a group of people who were representing the Militia Movement. I talked to them for a bit, and then a roving protest showed up. It was a loud mass surrounded by police. Having spent time with the militia guys, I observed the protest from their perspective for a while.
This event was taking place just days after the horrific events in Orlando, and this was largely an LGBTQ-led protest. After having filmed at dozens of protests, I get a little spooked around cops. These guys were generally working with kid gloves, but I still felt a bit unsure about going to shoot with the protesters as they were surrounded by masses of cops. I’m a “non-credentialed” journalist, and as such, I’m more at risk in these situations, so I try to be very cautious. The protesters set up shop across the street, and I made my way across the street to shoot a couple of people being interviewed by a local news channel. I like to shoot media doing interviews because it gives a context to the situation and how that situation is being portrayed.
And now without future explanation, because of course, none is really necessary, witness the pathetic gene pool who support Biff Tannen sorry, er President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho whoops, I mean Donald Trump as they cavort and gather and hoot and holler in “Trump Parking Lot.”
A strange reverse “human centipede” style playground sculpture.
Many of the images in this nightmare-fueled post were taken in playgrounds around Russia, and they are about as bleak as a vodka shortage in Moscow in the middle of winter.
The “peeing rainbow kids” of Kiev, Ukraine.
Some of the other perplexing playground structures that you’ll see, such as a rock climbing “thing” that looks like a giant dick, and the reverse human centipede sculpture (pictured at the top of this post) were photographed in China, Tokyo and some European locations. Each of them has one thing in common: they appear to have been created by people who don’t like children at all. Of course there are plenty of demented looking clowns as well as depressed looking bears (because, Russia), and other odd animal-themed slides and such that are just too inexplicably odd for words. Unless those words consist of the triple-threat known as “WTF.”
If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
More images of strange playground structures that need to be put out of their misery, after the jump…
“Murderabilia” is a term used to describe collectibles related to murders or murderers. During the 1990s, which seemed to be the “golden age” of public obsession with serial killers, a cottage industry formed around the sale of artworks created by infamous death-row killers—that is until May of 2001, when eBay banned the sale of such items, forcing the industry underground.
The most well-known serial killer artists were John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Glen Edward Rogers, Henry Lee Lucas, and Ottis Toole. Though the argument could be made that Charles Manson is not technically a “serial killer,” he is nonetheless one of the most infamous criminals of our time, and murderabilia items related to Manson still fetch high dollars among collectors.
Perhaps playing to their audience, some serial killer artists have done portraits of Manson, proving there are no limits to bad taste.
Here we have a portrait of Manson painted by rapist and murderer of 33 boys and young men, John Wayne Gacy:
Next, we have this portrait of Manson drawn by convicted killer of 11 (though he has confessed to hundreds of unsolved murders), Henry Lee Lucas:
This doesn’t seem to be a joke. Businessman Paul Salo has started a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.com seeking 1.5 million dollars to purchase a 767 and a building. He intends to fly the plane, loaded with jet fuel, into the building, purportedly to prove “once and for all” what “really” happened on 9-11.
The project, titled 911 REDUX, is planned to take place in Thailand where Salo claims to have talked to the Thai military about purchasing a “used airplane” and a “used building.”
Salo’s campaign statement:
Many people want to know more about 9-11. We are like a Mythbusters for September 11th. It’s an important project for many reasons. Many people doubt various details of 9-11. As the world has changed our trust in government and media has declined significantly. We want to see for ourselves. We don’t need people to guide our thinking. In this project we will recreate 9-11 to the best of our ability given the funds raised. Our ultimate goal is a fully loaded 767 and a similar structure to the WTC. We will crash the fully loaded (with fuel) plane (complete with black box) into the building using autopilot at 500 MPH.
You will be able to see for yourself what happens under these extreme circumstances. I’m not sure which country we will purchase the aircraft and building but it doesn’t really matter much. I’m a globe trotter and will go where we need to go to complete this important project.
You can be a part of this. How will it end up? Will the plane disintegrate? Will the black box disappear? Will the out of date passports we scatter in the plane survive? You will see it all. We aren’t trying to prove anything either way. We will recreate the event and let the chips fall where they may.
At the time of this writing the campaign has raised $105 out of the $1.5M goal.
An unidentified Bible-thumping halfwit and her—get this—twelve children shot cell phone footage of their cringey two-minute dumdum hate parade through a Target store and it’s starting to go viral. The family probably posted it to Facebook themselves (clearly one of her minions held the phone that shot it) but it made its way to YouTube. I could find next to no information about this. There’s not even any information about the location of the Target store or anything else. What you see is what you get.
And what you get is a breathtaking display of idiocy, bigotry and I’m guessing more than a ladleful of severe mental illness. Obviously she is a “Christian” and how much do you wanna bet that she is also a Republican voter? (The GOP wants to curtail voting access for blacks, but this pathological freak is okay with a ballot? And no doubt a gun to protect her family against homos and that Obama, too? Right...)
So what’s going on here is that this… perturbed and disturbed woman is apparently angry that Target allows transgender customers to use bathrooms and changing rooms that correspond to their gender identity, so she brought along her… brood (How much do you wanna bet that they are homeschooled, huh?) and traipsed through a Target whilst hoisting a Bible and annoying everyone in the store who is not one of her blood relatives who she also happened to give birth to.
Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church has some competition? Meet the hateful new Christian kids on the block!
“Attention Target customers… Do not be deceived, Target would have you believe with their Mother’s Day displays that they love mothers and children. This is a deception. This is not love, and they’ve proven it by opening their bathrooms to perverted men. I’m a mother of 12 and I’m very disgusted by this wicked practice.”
Hey look, I’m disgusted by this fucking walking, shouting imbecile factory who feels entitled to bring twelve more genetically deficient morons into the world, yet I’m not inclined to wear such a statement on a sandwich board and walk around like a weirdo outside of this lady’s church. When you’re a Christian in America, though, you don’t need an excuse to wear your hatred (and IQ) so proudly. It’s your birthright!
“Mothers get your children out of this store. Mothers have enough decency to get out of this store, it’s a dangerous place… What Target has done is very hateful. It’s hateful towards families. It’s hateful towards mothers. It’s hateful towards children… Are you gonna let the devil rape your children?”
I thought that was the job of the clergy?
All in all though, as this video makes the rounds today, you have to give this head-shakingly ridiculous woman credit for all of the minds she changed with her goofy self-righteous God-bothering tirade. Not the way she intended to change them, but still. Bless.
Under a black sun farmworkers labor in fields. They harvest crops oblivious to the strange eclipse in the skies above them. On closer inspection the sun is perhaps a spot on the lens. Or a camera fault, or perhaps a mistake in printing. There are more photographs, but here the faces of the farmworkers have been devoured by this black spot—eaten like a cancer. It’s now apparent these black dots, these black holes, have been deliberately made.
During the 1930’s Great Depression the US Government set up the Farm Security Administration to help combat the country’s rural poverty. As part of the FSA’s remit was a photography project set up by Roy Stryker to document the lives of the people who lived and worked on the land.
Stryker hired some of the best photographers of the day such as Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, and Edwin and Louise Rosskam, among many, many others. The photographers were briefed as to what the FSA wanted documented. When the rolls of film were sent back from locations across the USA, Stryker rigorously examined each and every negative. His system for discarding images was brutal—he used a hole punch to pierce any negative he didn’t like—making it unusable.
It is not known on exactly what grounds Stryker rejected an image. Was it aesthetic reasons? Bad teeth, ugly people? Political? Images of farm life that did not coincide with the government’s desires narrative? Whichever—of the 164,000 developed negatives, only around 77,000 were made available for use. That’s a helluva lot of rejected photographs.
Stryker’s vandalism killed many historic and irreplaceable photographs. Of those that remain, Stryker’s hole punch handiwork has created strange yet still compelling images. Some conspiracy theorists suggest the photos were censored because of UFOs, or strange deformities, or odd background figures—and similar flights of fancy. In truth they were probably censored because the reality of human deprivation never sits easy with a government’s self-image.
I think one can safely assume that artist John Baldessari is well aware of these images.
More of striking examples of Stryker’s censorship, after the jump….
I’ve called our readers’ attention to the work of comedy genius Vic Berger a couple times before here on DM, and here I am doing it again for his mega-incredible “Batman v Trump: Official Trailer.”
In this his newest masterpiece, Berger takes his political pop culture détourné art form to another level. He’s the culture jammer extraordinaire of YouTube. SNL, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel… Hollywood needs to hire this man now. One of the best, most-effective anti-Trump propaganda memes yet, and obviously there have been tons of them.
In July, the $101 million “Ark Encounter” water park will open in Kentucky and now a group calling themselves the Tri-State Freethinkers—representing exasperated non-believers in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana—are seeking to raise some money in order to put up billboards trolling the Creationist-themed amusement park. The Ark Encounter destination is specifically a water park based on the myth of Noah’s Ark. The park, created by a consortium of investors headed by creationist Ken Ham—the hapless silly person who debated Bill Nye—and his “Answers in Genesis” group, includes a 510-ft model of Noah’s Ark and an interactive teaching exhibit that er… uh… “teaches” the rather silly notion that it was in fact the Great Flood which separated the world’s continents.
The first $2,000 raised by the campaign—which they have done already—will go toward setting up a single small billboard for a month. If they’re able to raise $6,000, the group will be able to mount six small billboards or one big one along an interstate highway.
If they are able to raise $150 million, the Tri-State Freethinkers say “we will build our very own Genocide & Incest Park.” The group, which has over 1300 members, are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donations are tax-deductible.
Writer, musician, raconteur Dave Hill is the author of the upcoming comic anthology Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Dave Hill is a very, very funny man. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Dick Cavett, Andy Richter, Malcolm Gladwell and John Hodgman also think he’s pretty hilarious. John Oliver must like Dave, too, because he uses “Go” by Dave’s band, Valley Lodge, as the jaunty theme tune for his Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show on HBO. Apparently Samantha Bee is a Hill fan, as well, since she had Dave on her new Full Frontal program earlier this week, serenading some college-educated Donald Trump supporters with a little ditty he’d composed about Trump especially for the occasion (see below).
And Dave actually knows what he’s singing about from experience. He really knows Donald Trump. Or at least he is—or was—once very, very briefly acquainted with the Donald for about an hour or so back in 2004…
The year was 2004. Both NBC’s The Apprentice and really fun cell-phone ringtones had taken an unsuspecting public by storm. I had managed to elude both—I kept my phone on vibrate and was ready to stare in bemusement at anyone even thinking of telling me I had been “fired.”
But I needed money, so when the call came to write ringtones for Donald Trump, a quiet businessman from Queens who had been reluctantly thrust into the spotlight by the seventh-most popular program on network television at the time, I said yes. I had been doing some freelance writing and one of my clients was among the tangle of corporations assigned to the case. Fortunately, they decided to throw me a bone.
Of course, I knew a thing or two about Trump already. He had flawless hair; he slept on piles of money each night; given the choice between having something not gold-plated or entirely gold-plated, he chose door number two every time. Still, I wanted to do the best job possible, so I had one of Trump’s minions send me copies of two of his books, Trump: The Art of the Deal and Trump: The Art of the Comeback, as well as an anatomically correct Trump doll that would tell me all sorts of things every time I pressed its back, something I couldn’t help but do repeatedly as soon as it came into my possession.
“You really think you’re a good leader?” the doll would ask, seemingly out of the blue. “I don’t.”
A little harsh, maybe, but also something I probably needed to hear.
Despite all the hours I spent playing with that doll, though, I had my work cut out for me. Somehow, in what I can only assume was the result of someone putting a gun to Trump’s head, NBC owned the rights to his electrifying catchphrase “You’re fired!” The challenge was mine to figure out what else he might say—to write some slogans people might want to hear coming out of their phones besides those two magical words that had already galvanized a nation.
“Your services are no longer required at this place of business!”
“Please stop showing up here for work, okay?”
“Die, you anus!”
These are but a few of the alternatives to “You’re fired!” that I proposed. In the end, though, it was decided that Trump’s ringtone avatar would be less cutthroat and more inspirational, encouraging cell-phone users to answer promptly so they could take advantage of a big business opportunity or maybe just hurt someone’s feelings. I whipped up a few dozen Trumpist gems. Track ‘em down if you like; I imagine they’re still out there somewhere, priced to move.
“This is Donald Trump. I have no choice but to tell you . . . you’re getting a phone call.”
“I’m Donald Trump and this is the call of a lifetime!”
“This is Donald Trump. Answer your phone now—it might be me calling.”
Maybe not my finest hour, but, hey—the customer is always right. After that, I assumed my work was done, but I ended up being asked to attend the actual taping, too, at none other than Trump Tower.
“You mean I’ll actually be in the room while Donald is saying the stuff I wrote?” I asked a guy from the ringtone concern.
“Yes,” he said, placing a hand on my shoulder for emphasis. This was officially about to be the biggest thing anyone in my family had ever done, including fighting in wars or any of that other crap my older relatives always went on about. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to tell them.
“I’m working with Donald Trump,” I told my mom over the phone.
“Who?” my mom asked.
“Donald Trump,” I told her. “The guy from The Apprentice.”
“David got a job with Tony Crump,” my mom yelled to my dad in the next room.
“That’s nice,” my dad yelled back.
They were pumped.
When the big day rolled around, I put on a suit and tie and worked as many hair products into my scalp as possible before heading over to Trump’s offices in midtown Manhattan to meet the other dozen or so people required to complete a task of this magnitude.
As expected, Trump HQ was beyond opulent. It was as if a blind decorator had been given an unlimited budget and told he’d never work in this town again.
“This way, please,” a Trump representative, who was difficult to focus on amid all that sparkle, said before leading us to a conference room. Along the way, I spotted Donald Jr. sitting in an adjacent office, his hair perfect, as he no doubt bought or sold something without even thinking about it. It ruled.
“You have one hour,” the rep announced, prompting everyone in the conference room to spring into action, turning it into a makeshift recording studio. A few minutes later, the doors opened and in walked Trump, somehow looking even Trumpier than I’d anticipated. He wore a suit and tie and, of course, his trademark scowl. And though he stood mere feet from me, I found I had no further insight into his hair-care regimen. Looking into his coiffure did nothing to demystify it. In fact, it only confused me more.
“Right this way, Mr. Trump,” a ringtone specialist said, gently urging him toward the microphones while being careful not to actually touch him.
“Let’s make this quick,” Trump grunted, already sounding like the ringtones I’d written. “I’ve got a busy day ahead of me.” At this point, a mild panic set in as everyone in the room became convinced he or she might very well be “fired” or at least told to wait by the elevators at any moment. As for me, though, I couldn’t help but relax a bit; it had suddenly occurred to me that Trump might not be the oblivious blowhard everyone thinks. I mean, sure, he was a blowhard, maybe even the biggest blowhard of all time, but he also seemed totally self-aware, like he knew he was just playing a character, and that as soon as we left, he’d run into Ivanka’s office, shut the door behind him, and squeal, “I got ‘em again, honey!” Something about that made me actually kind of like the guy, if I sat there and thought about it long enough.
Moments later, after a technician had scrambled to hit any and all record buttons, Trump began barreling through the ringtones, printed on large cue cards that would remain easily readable even when he squinted judgmentally, which was always. Occasionally he’d give emphasis to a different word or see if getting angrier might help sell things a bit more. Meanwhile, everyone else in the room remained pinned to the wall, just trying to get through the proceedings intact.
Things seemed to be going well enough until about twenty minutes later, when Trump paused abruptly and began scanning the room in the manner that, by now, haunts people’s dreams the world over.
“Who wrote these things?” he barked, pointing at the cue cards like he wanted them taken out back and shot.
“That guy! Dave Hill!” at least five people volunteered in unison, their tone suggesting they would happily stab me right then and there if Trump would just say the word.
I figured I might start gathering my things at this point, but before I could, Trump looked at me, dropped his scowl, and said, “You’re a very good writer.”
“Thanks,” I said with a nod, sensing a trap. For the remaining forty minutes or so of the recording session, Trump refused to address anyone in the room but me. Others tried to intervene, but as soon as they finished talking, Trump would turn to me, his right-hand man, and ask, “What do you think, Dave?”
It was a weird kind of trust to have earned, sure, but it was also kind of cool—especially considering that otherwise I probably would have been just sitting at home scanning Craigslist for missed connections.
As the session wrapped up, I recalled something else I’d learned about Trump through my tireless research: he hates shaking hands. Naturally, this made my mission clear. This will be the true test of our love, I thought as I stood waiting for any others brazen enough to approach Trump to say whatever they were gonna say with their hands glued to their sides before get- ting the hell out of his sight, dammit.
With the path clear, I approached him for some bro time.
“Nice working with you, Donald,” I told him.
“You, too, Dave,” he said.
“Thanks,” I replied. I gingerly extended my hand. I could feel eyebrows across the room rising in slow-motion panic.
Will he? Won’t he?
Against all odds, Trump slowly reached out and grabbed my hand, shaking it not so firmly, as if to suggest his henchmen might be waiting for me outside and not so softly as if to suggest a quality hang in Montauk was off the table. No, this was just right—perfect, in fact, almost like he was a regular human being who had done this sort of thing before. All these years later, that shake still feels like a victory of some sort, but I’m not sure for whom.
As I sit here writing this in my underpants, Donald Trump continues his disturbing bid for the American presidency. And I find myself hoping more than ever that he really is only playing a character, that maybe he’s just the greatest performance artist of our time, a modern-day Warhol or slightly chattier Marina Abramovíc who will any day now say “Tada!” and take a bow, then go open an all-you-can-eat shrimp joint in the Outer Banks or something.
With each passing day, I fear I may be wrong. Still, whatever happens, it’ll always be nice to look back on that day at Trump Tower and think, “Sure, he’s a hate-spewing boob who somehow manages to sound even angrier and crazier than that doll I still can’t help but drag out from under the bed every once in awhile…and, yes, he’s even got that certain awful something to win the endorsement of the unicellular Sarah Palin. But put the two of us in a room together for an hour and, goddamn, do that son of a bitch and I make one hell of a ringtone.