Lucha VaVoom tonight at Webster Hall in NYC and the Park West in Chicago on Thursday. Miss them at your peril.
Lucha VaVoom combines burlesque and Lucha Libre-style wrestling with a post-modern spin. The wrestlers are experienced in the art of grappling as well as other things. In the words of Lucha Vavoom superstar Cassandro:
“I’m just a gay guy, and I wrestle in my hair and makeup and my feathers and the glamour — I’m like the wrestling Liberace. One of my moves is the lip lock. I like to kiss people, so you better watch it if you’re around there.”
Parents TV Council claims profanity is up a shocking percentage in primetime. (In fact, they say it’s up 69% ... snicker). While I don’t think the PTC would intentionally cook their numbers, they’re not exactly an unbiased organization about this stuff, so you have to be a tad skeptical when any activist group presents in-house research. Most interesting is the PTC’s list of words they’re objecting to (their chart, below), which expands mightily on George Carlin’s famous list of seven words you can never say on TV. Wondering: Does the Bible-based “hell” and “damn” really seem like profanity? What about “suck” and “screw”? Is bleeped profanity the same as profanity that you actually hear? (Perhaps ... you do sort of get the point). And is anybody else curious what the euphemisms were for “fuck”? And what does “other breasts” mean, exactly?
Of all the attempts to analyze the post-election “now what?” question, by far, the clearest-headed effort has come from Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He composed his thoughts in an email that he sent to friends, family and colleagues, and now this email is going viral. Here’s an excerpt:
Amazingly, as Harold Meyerson notes in today’s Washington Post, Americans who blamed Wall Street for the nation’s economic problems favored Republicans over Democrats by a 14% margin!! It is time to reframe the debate over which party is in Wall Street’s pocket!
Obama’s biggest victory (which the Republicans now hope to repeal) was the passage of the historic health care reform. As I wrote last May in the American Prospect, that victory happened because progressive groups — unions, consumer groups, community organizing groups, and others — mounted a grassroots protest campaign that saved the health care bill from defeat. The activists focused public attention on the influence and greed of the insurance industry, and gave wavering Democrats, including the President, the support they needed to push for a reform bill. Progressives and liberals need to sustain an permanent protest campaign focusing on the outrageous greed, irresponsible practices, and political influence-peddling of big business. It would help if the President and the Democratic leaders were partners in this “inside/outside” strategy.
We need to constantly reframe the public debate to remind Americans that the Republicans, like Cong. John Boehner (the likely next Speaker of the House) and Sen. Mitchell McConnell, are wholly-owned subsidies of corporate America. That’s where they get their money. That’s their agenda. In case you’ve forgotten already, here it is again.
Boehner, McConnell, and their corporate sponsors have already declared war on Obama, the Democrats, and any attempt to tame corporate abuses, or reduce income inequality and poverty. McConnell today repeated that his top priority in Congress is to make Obama a one-term President. As Ganz, Reich, and others have written, this is no time for Obama and the Democrats to compromise principles for the sake of an illusionary bi-partisan consensus. Boehner, McConnell, DeMint and the other Republican leaders have absolutely no interest in bipartisan compromises.
In 2005, Six Flags amusement park in New Orleans was temporarily closed in advance of hurricane Katrina’s assault on the Gulf Coast. Five years later, it’s still not open for business. The once thriving attraction is now a virtual ghost town. Sad and eerie.
The park is closed not only to the public but to photographers as well. The demise of Six Flags is not a source of pride for the city of New Orleans.
Music by MGMT.
Bill Barol at Boing Boing just posted a piece on the sad fate of Six Flags New Orleans. But the article’s video link has been removed from Youtube. The video below is the one formerly linked to the Boing Boing post. It was shot by photographer Teddy Smith.
Thanks to BB for bringing this story to my attention.
Is MSNBC doing the dirty work of its future owner Comcast?
Phil Anschutz, major shareholder and content partner with Comcast, donated large sums of money to the First Amendment Alliance, one of the largest outside groups targeting Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. The Anschutz Corporation, wholly owned by Phil Anschutz, gave $50,000 on 9/24/2010 to the First Amendment Alliance. The two candidates targeted by the First Amendment Alliance? Jack Conway and Michael Bennet. Keith Olbermann gave to Jack Conway’s campaign along with Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords.
The artist and digital activist Ai Weiwei is currently under house arrest in his native China, according to the Guardian. Weiwei, who has embarrassed Chinese authorities on several occasions with his campaigns on sensitive issues, says he has been placed under house arrest until Sunday night because he planned to hold a party to mark the demolition of his newly built studio.
Earlier this week Weiwei, best known for his bird’s nest design for China’s Olympic Stadium, and his Sunflower Seeds exhibition, was ordered to demolish his recently completed $1.2m studio in Shanghai, which had been built after a personal invitation from the local mayor two years ago. The studio was to form part of a new cultural area, where Weiwei was to teach architecture. Authorities now claim the studio had been erected without the relevant planning permission and has to be demolished. In response Weiwei said:
“I was very surprised because the whole process was under government supervision and they were very enthusiastic in pushing it,” he said.
“Two years ago quite a high official [from Shanghai] came to my studio to ask me to build a studio in this newly developed cultural district in an agricultural area. I told him I wouldn’t do it because I had no faith in government, but he somehow convinced me, saying he had come to Beijing from Shanghai, and so I said OK.
“Half a dozen artists were invited to build studios there because they wanted a cultural area. I’m the only one singled out to have my studio destroyed.”
Weiwei decided to hold a huge party before demolition work began, today Ai tweeted that national security officers visited him to say he could not leave his Beijing house until midnight on Sunday - the day of the event. As the Guardian reports:
They appear to have been concerned by the size of the party as well as its nature. Thousands of people had said they wanted to attend after Ai issued an open invitation via Twitter. Chinese authorities are always nervous about large unauthorised gatherings.
“They came last night and tried to interview me, saying I should not do it because it was getting too big,” he said.
“I told them: ‘I cannot cancel my party, because it is our only chance before the building is destroyed.’ Then they suggested I said I was under house arrest. I said: ‘This is ridiculous, because I’m not under house arrest and I’m not going to lie to the public.’”
Ai said he suggested they could either let the party go ahead and stop it if there was any wrongdoing, or ask the Shanghai government not to demolish the building – even if it were only a temporary stay of execution. Had they done so, he would have called off the party.
The police returned today and announced he was under house arrest after he reiterated that he would go unless they stopped him by force.
“They said it was an order they had received … They were very polite and very embarrassed,” he added.
“This is the general tragedy of this nation. Everything has to be dealt with by police. It is like you use an axe to do all the housework because this is the only tool you have.”
Surely I’m not the only one who found Obama’s “concession” speech today nauseating, am I? What the fuck was up with that? The time for civility has long ago passed, Mr. President and it’s depressing to hear you speak of working together with Republicans and all that bipartisan bullshit. Are you for fucking real? Unless your shit gets real bare-knuckled—and soon—you can kiss your historical moment goodbye, pal. If you’re delusional enough to think that this crew of Republicans has any intention of working with you on anything, you are tragically mistaken. They want you and your agenda, dead, dude.
“Look, you ignorant, Fox News-watching rednecks….I have heard your illogical cries to ‘cut government spending’ and will do just that — starting immediately.
“I’m implementing a 20 percent cut to ALL federal programs, starting with the three federal programs that consume the majority of our tax dollars: Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security and Defense.
“Don’t whine to me about how you ‘need’ your government-subsidized Medicare or Medicaid…you want cuts to government spending; you’ll get cuts to government spending.
“Don’t bitch about how you can’t afford to have your Social Security check cut. You’ve made it clear that federal budget cuts are your priority.
“And just in case you think we need MORE defense spending, let me fill you in — the US military budget is larger than the military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Saudia Arabia, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, and Australia combined.
“YOU may want to piss our tax dollars away in unwinnable wars, but since you’ve demanded cuts to federal spending, I’ll be lopping 20 percent off the the defense budget.
“In short, fuck you brain-dead idiots. Ask for cuts to federal spending and you’ll get cuts to federal spending. Please direct any whining to the Republicans you voted into office, because I’m done with you inbred asshole teabaggers.”
That’s exactly what Obama should have said today. But he didn’t.
Comment of the Day: What Obama Should Have Said (Gawker)