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Hilarious ‘Japanese’ Donald Trump commercial is all kinds of batshit crazy
06.16.2016
09:34 am

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Amusing
Politics
Pop Culture

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I’m at loss for words here. You just have to click “play” and watch it to see what I mean. Clearly it’s a parody of a Japanese-style “commercial” having a laugh at the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. What’s scary is, I’m 99% certain, if Donald Trump were to have actually made a Japanese campaign commercial, you know it would be something just like this. It’s not too far of a stretch.

Anyway, the “commercial” is by a musician named Mike Diva and it’s batshit. Just like Donald Trump.

 
via Mashable

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

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Amusing
Music
Politics

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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
Better Call Saul: The surreal, politically-charged Pop Art of Peter Saul
06.06.2016
09:20 am

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Amusing
Art
Politics

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‘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
Someone keeps f*cking with this woman’s Trump signs
06.01.2016
02:56 pm

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Amusing
Politics

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Joyce McGrath is a proud Donald Trump supporter who lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Not for the first time, Joyce is having some problems with her “Trump for President” signs. Last time one was stolen, but now someone is painting over them with an “I’m Racist” stencil.

Joyce told the local station ABC 13 that:

“People are trying to destroy our freedom, but luckily I have extra Trump signs.”

That’s spelled freeDUMB, Joyce. FreeDUMB.

She added:

“They want to destroy my signs, I’ll continue to replace them, so everybody watch out.”

 

 
Via The Daily Dot

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Instead of diseased lungs, what about putting obnoxious assholes on cigarette packs?
05.20.2016
11:50 am

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Drugs
Politics
Pop Culture

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Starting today, EU regulations require that cigarette packages carry large-format “Shockbilder” (German for “shock-pictures”) on them. You may have seen these before, especially in foreign countries—usually they are super-disgusting medical pictures of diseased lung tissue and things like that.

Such “Gruselbilder” (“gross pictures”) are definitely enough to give one pause, but all in all, they probably don’t affect cigarette consumption all that much. The left-leaning German newspaper taz.die Tageszeitung, however, ran a cover page today with an intriguing take on the issue—taz thinks that putting annoying public figures like Heidi Klum or right-wing politicians like Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, and Germany’s Markus Söder on cigarette packages might be fiendishly effective. Other pictures taz proposed were Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a thick, green smoothie. Here, look: 
 

 
Donald Trump is so incredibly loathsome that taz hardly deserves credit for including him. Obviously the entire continent of Europe is quivering with dismay at the prospect of a Trump presidency.

I decided to speculate on what the cigarette packs might look like if they were targeted at a U.S. audience:
 

 
I’m pretty bad at Photoshop, but even I was able to alter a few of taz’s examples to get what I wanted. Here’s the original image. I’m sure that the talented DM readership will be able to surpass me in no time at all…...
 
via Kraftfuttermischwerk
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Street artists salute Bernie Sanders (and Bernie’s reaction to seeing it)
05.06.2016
11:50 am

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Art
Politics

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“Bernie Sanders: Together” by Jermaine Rogers
 
Running for president is a pursuit that attracts control freaks—let’s just say freaks, full stop. For a candidate seeking the presidency, Bernie Sanders has embraced the power of relinquishing control to a remarkable degree.

Sanders’ campaign is all about restoring power to the people, and in keeping with that, his strong reputation among our nation’s artistic community has enabled him to establish a traveling art exhibition that feels a lot like a street art show. To a considerable extent, Bernie is picking up where the grassroots campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 left off, as Obama was able to secure the support of protest-oriented artists like Ron English and Shepard Fairey and many others.

Sanders’ exhibition is titled “The Art of a Political Revolution,” and features artists like Fairey, English, Aaron Draplin, Gilf!, and Jermaine Rogers.
 

“Strong America,” by Ron English
 
A few days ago Sanders himself visited the exhibition for the first time, during which he commented that “I gotta tell you, on a personal level, it’s a little bit weird ... to see all thee guys who look like me on the wall.”

As the Slate video below asserts:

“Bernie and unsanctioned art appeal to the same people. He is to establishment politics what street artists and graffiti writers are to blue-chip galleries.”

Donate to the Sanders campaign.
 

“Thick Lines Bernie” by Aaron Draplin
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Cute Jehovah’s Witnesses animation teaches kids how to be homophobic
05.04.2016
08:31 am

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Animation
Belief
Politics
Queer

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If you want to get through Jehovah’s metal detector into paradise, you’ll have to leave behind that bag full of love and inclusivity

Jehovah’s Witnesses have released a cute Pixar-ish animation intended to teach children that same-sex marriage is against the will of God.

Lesson 22 is titled “One Man, One Woman” and is part of a longer series called “Be Jehovah’s Friend!” The animation shows considerable influence from Pixar’s monster hit from 2015, Inside Out.

The video depicts a young girl telling her mother about an episode at school involving a friend named Carrie who drew a picture of her family, which has two mommies but no daddy. The girl passes on the comment from the teacher—a liberal heathen and a threat to everything right and good—that “all that matters is that people love each other and that they’re happy.” This bit of commonsense truth provides an opening for the girl’s mother to bring down the hammer and explain that Carrie’s mommies are never going to get into heaven if they persist in such unholy pursuits.

“People have their own ideas about what is right and wrong, but what matters is what Jehovah feels,” says the mother. The mother then makes an analogy that compares the gatekeepers of heaven to a kind of celestal TSA with a metal detector to deny entry to those with false beliefs:
 

It’s kind of like going on an airplane. What would happen if someone wanted to bring something on the plane that wasn’t allowed? ... To get [to paradise], we have to leave some things behind. That means anything Jehovah doesn’t approve of.

 
At the end of the video, the girl, newly motivated to get her friend Carrie to change her parents’ ways, says, “I can tell her about the paradise, and about the animals, and about the resurrection!”

And then her mother says, “Let’s practice!”

A disclaimer at the end of the video states that it was produced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, a Jehovah’s Witness organization.

SMH, SMH…...
 

 
via Gay Star News

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention get caught up in a German student riot, 1968
05.02.2016
10:57 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Politics

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02exfzbe68.jpg
 
1968 was a year of great political unrest across Europe. The psychedelic summer of love had quickly faded—replaced by angry students hurling cobblestones at police in Paris or instigating loud and bloody demonstrations against the Vietnam War in London. It was against this background that Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention paid their first visit to Germany on the band’s second tour of Europe. The trip to Germany was to prove memorable for two very different reasons.

Firstly on October 6th, 1968: Zappa and co. appeared on Beat-Club where they jammed through a superb set of tracks including “King Kong,” “A Pound For A Brown On The Bus,” “Sleeping In A Jar” and “Uncle Meat”—all of which would appear on the band’s next album Uncle Meat. There was also an instrumental version of “Let’s Make The Water Turn Black”—from We’re Only in It for the Money; an early attempt at “Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask” and some interesting takes on Richard Wagner’s prelude to act three of Lohengrin and Edgard Varese’s piece for a small orchestra Octandre. All jolly stuff and very agreeable too.

However, any youngsters catching the Mothers on tour at this time may have been fooled into thinking Zappa was the ringleader of some revolutionary collective—which leads us dear reader on to our second reason this was such an interesting occasion..
 
03fzb3.jpg
The Mothers 1968—Ron Kroon / Anefo / Nationaal Archief.
 
A week after their appearance on Beat-Club Zappa and the Mothers played one of Hitler’s old stomping grounds, the Sportpalast in Berlin. It was here Zappa was approached by a group of young German radical students who—depending on which book you read or version you hear—either wanted their pop idol to demand the release of Fritz Teufel—founder of the radical group Kommune 1 who was currently under arrest; or to denounce capitalism from the stage that very night; or show his support for the imminent glorious socialist revolution or wanted they wanted Zappa’s help with their plans to riot for a “socialist education policy.” Take your pick.

Having witnessed the Civil Rights movement in America, Zappa was none too impressed by these grievance hungry students, who had mistakenly taken their cue from the length of the Mothers’ hair and Zappa’s subversive songs that he and they would willingly sign on to the student demands. Understandably, Zappa said “nope” or perhaps he said “nein.”

Undeterred, the students demanded Zappa to order the audience at that night’s concert to go out and set fire to the Allied Command Building on Potsdamer Strasse. Again and none too surprisingly Zappa said “no.” The students felt doubly betrayed.

They soon made their disappointment known at the gig that night when these red kerchiefed malcontents bombarded the stage with vegetables and blasted air horns. The Mothers carried on regardless, as Zappa later recalled:

We had to play a two hour show in the middle of all this bullshit. And these guys were out there stomping around and throwing stuff and the people on the bandstand are getting hit with hard vegetables, you know, cucumbers [laughter]. Squash. you know they really hit you like a rock up there. And they were throwing eggs, and cherry bombs. And then they grabbed this big fence, like a restraining device to keep the audience away from the performers at those events. It was made out of pipes this big around with a chain link fence in between and concrete feet. And about thirty of them picked it up and tried to throw it on stage, which would have killed both of our drummers by pinning them against the amplifiers, you see.

So our manager Herbie [Cohen] and this German promoter Fritz Rau caught it in mid air and threw it back on them. And then this other guy charged the stage and Herbie put his foot through his face. And then they kept on throwing things, and then they kept on trying to get up onto the stage. We kept pushing these guys back—and we’re up there humming and strumming…[laughter] and it was really a very unusual situation.

So then we had to take an intermission, see. We left the stage after an hour of fun and merriment. And during that time the ordinaries, that the local promoter had hired to keep everything under control at the hop thought that we had run off, so they ran away. And when they ran away, about a hundred of these kids went up onto the stage and started stomping all over our equipment.

So we come back from intermission, and here’s all these people milling around on stage. They don’t even know why they’re there. They look like cows. They’re standing there like this. But they’re standing, you know, on drums, and they’re knocking things over, and a few of the guys had stolen small pieces of equipment and disappeared into the audience. They were just making a lot of noise and standing around. Just completely blank. They don’t even know what their revolution is about.

So we started pushing them off the stage. We started putting our equipment back together. We got the PA system working. And I gave them a speech for about 15 minutes, wherein I discussed the possibility that they were acting more like Americans than anything I’ve ever seen. And that pissed them off. And they’re out there yelling “Revolution, Revolution”—and I’m saying “You people need evolution, not revolution.”

And they said, “No take it back you’re the Mothers of Reaction.” And I told them they were [beeped], and they understand English. I told them whether they liked it or not we were going to continued to play the second half of the program. So gradually they shut up, and they sat down. The only thing that happened during the second hour was one cherry bomb on stage.

And we had played about 45-50 minutes, and we were into a long instrumental piece, which was going to be our closing number, and I’d reduced the volume of the tune so that I could say goodnight to the nice German people. At which point the student leader with the red rag around his neck comes running up on stage and grabs the microphone and starts raving in German. I just knew he was telling these people, “I’ve got the matches come with me.”

So we played real loud so nobody could hear what he was saying. Two people were taking the instruments off the stage, you know piece by piece pulling things away until it was just me and the organist left on stage playing one full-volume fuzztone loud ugly note that was just going BLAAAAAH.

And it was the only thing that kept people back off the stage, ‘cause they kept trying to get up onto the stage and this noise would hit them and they’d go ...

Finally, when they got all the drums and all the rest of the stuff out of the way, we just unplugged and split off the stage. And they all came milling back up there. And they looked around and they didn’t know why they were on stage again. That’s Germany today.

Zappa later wrote about it all in the song “Holiday In Berlin”:

Look at all the Germans
Watch them follow orders
See them think they´re doing
Something groovy in the street.

See the student leader,
He´s a rebel prophet
He´s fucked up
He´s still a Nazi
Like his Mom and Dad.

Cheap shot, maybe. That’s what happened in Berlin.

After the jump Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention perform a fantastic improvisational set on ‘Beat-Club’...

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Bernie Sanders’ and his ‘f*cked-up noise band’
05.02.2016
09:08 am

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Amusing
Politics

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I probably found this way funnier than I should have, but maybe it’s just that it appeals to my soft spots for both Senator Sanders and for “fucked-up noise bands.”

Still this bit of YouTube tomfoolery had me legit LOLing at the name “Frog Piss,” the shot of Sanders in the barber chair getting his terrible wig cut, and the line “nobody likes us and we don’t like nobody, and that’s how we like it… [pregnant pause]... we also like having a strong middle class.”

You can check out more from the jokers behind this at their Facebook page. And why not donate to the good Senator’s campaign? Bernie is promising to take it all the way to Philly. This is going to be the best summer for politics since 1968. Maybe EVER. Why let the Republicans have all the fun? (Did you know that the difference in pledged delegates between Sanders and Hillary Clinton—with ten states including California still to vote—is but 327?)

Frog Piss, FOREVER!
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Roots Strikers: ‘Socialism Is Love’ and other left-wing 70s reggae anthems
04.28.2016
10:06 am

Topics:
Class War
Politics
Reggae

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This is how Dillinger feels about your incremental liberal reforms
 
Albert Einstein did not ever once say that bullshit about “the definition of insanity” that your dimwitted boss has inked on one palm, but he did have some ideas you might actually find useful in the workplace. For instance, in his essay “Why Socialism?” published in the first issue of the Monthly Review, Einstein identified “the economic anarchy of capitalist society” as “the real source of the evil” that alienates and “cripples” individuals, and he advocated “the establishment of a socialist economy” in its place. Why not enliven your next PowerPoint presentation or office party with that fun fact? 
 

Bob Marley and Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley
 
“Gonna fight ‘gainst capitalists, gonna get rid of capitalists, gonna stamp out capitalism,” the DJ Dillinger thundered in 1975. He was one of several prominent reggae musicians who wrote explicitly socialist songs during the mid-70s in support of the policies of Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley and the People’s National Party. Manley, a democratic socialist, introduced a minimum wage, equal pay for women, free education and free health care, and if his program sounds familiar, that’s because everybody already knows it’s what the absolute minimum of basic decency would look like.

But Max Romeo makes the case better than I can on his single “Socialism Is Love”:

You’re asking what is socialism and what it really means
It’s equal rights for every man, regardless of his strength
So don’t let no one fool you (Joshua said)
Listen as I tell you (Joshua said)
No man are better than none,
Socialism is love between man and man

Socialism is
Love for your brothers
Socialism is
Linking hearts and hands
Would you believe it?
Poverty and hunger’s what we’re fighting

Socialism is
Sharing with your sisters
Socialism is
People pulling together
Would you believe me?
Love and togetherness, that’s what it means

Mr. Big a-trembling in his shoes, saying he’s got a lot to lose
Don’t want to hear about sufferer at all
(Joshua said) One man have too many,
While too many have too little
Socialism don’t stand for that, don’t stand for that at all

 

Max Romeo at Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark, 1975
 
If I can extend an olive branch to Hillary’s supporters, I looked for reggae songs about raining death on civilians, glad-handing Wall Street bankers and bringing children “to heel,” but I couldn’t find a single one. I wonder why that is?
 
Keep reading, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
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