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Mexican immigrant designs Donald Trump butt plug
07.13.2015
07:11 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Politics
Sex

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Artist Fernando Sosa—a Florida-based Mexican immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 11—has designed a delightful Donald Trump bum-hole plug.

I usually make Butt plugs to insult dictators, homophobes and politicians. However, when i heard [von Clownstick’s] remarks about Mexicans and latinos from south america i was extremely angry. You see I was born and raised in Mexico and moved to United States when i was 11 years old. So i don’t approve of what [F$27.99, Ted Cruz and the republican party have to say about us hard working americans.

When [Fuckface von Clownstick] decided to announce he is running for president he decided to use Latinos as a scapegoat and blame us for everything that is ailing America. Many republican politicians have done this before but never a politician running for president.

If you recall, Sosa was responsible for the Vladimir Putin plug last year. If you really got to own a Trump AKA “Fuckface von Clownstick” plug, they’re being sold on Shapeways for $27.99 plus shipping. It’s a steal!


 
via Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘God is dead’: Piss yourself funny ‘short versions’ of Republican Presidential announcements
07.01.2015
10:59 am

Topics:
Class War
Current Events
Politics

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For the past few weeks I have been emailing friends links to YouTube editing genius Vic Berger’s “trash compactor” cuts of Republican Presidential campaign announcement speeches. I have laughed myself senseless at these things. They get funnier with repeated viewings. He really knows how to highlight the absurdity of these events (like the Jeb Bush one with the guy beating his “Jeb! sticks”—what would you call ‘em?—behind the candidate. I found this screamingly funny in a Tim & Eric kinda way).

Hard to say which is the best. They’re all different and each one is a gem. Stay with the Donald Trump clip, I thought it took a little longer to ramp up than the others did, but once it gets going, Berger takes it someplace you probably won’t expect.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cold War dollhouses from the Socialist paradise of East Germany
06.26.2015
09:20 am

Topics:
Games
Politics

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The Flickr user diepuppenstubensammlerin (the name means “the dollhouse collector”) has a remarkably wide-ranging and detailed series of galleries documenting dollhouses from Germany, with many of the sets pictured dating from the 1950s through the 1970s. The set pictured here came from a company called VEB Grünhainichen, if I understand correctly, and it was in East Germany, in fact on the border to what was then called Czechoslovakia.

The notion of children playing with dollhouses that have this kitschy wallpaper and kitchen tiles or tasteful/chintzy furniture of indubitably modern design. All you need is a Trabant driving by outside or the tones of the Klaus Renft Combo emanating from the hi-fi system and the picture is complete.

This all ties in vaguely with something we covered a couple of years ago, “Ostalgie,” which might be translated as “Eastalgia,” a coinage that refers to nostalgia for the old German Democratic Republic, or the DDR as it is known in German.

Helpfully, diepuppenstubensammlerin supplies a little explanation as to what we’re looking at:
 

VEB Holzspielwarenfabrik Grünhainichen
Die Fabrik wurde 1952 in Grünhainichen, damals DDR, als Volkseigener Betrieb durch die Verstaatlichung der Großhandelsfirma Cuno & Otto Dressel gegründet. Sie produzierte hochwertiges Holzspielzeug auf einem künstlerisch anspruchsvollen Niveau. 1966 wurde die Fabrik im Zuge der totalen Verstaatlichung aller Betriebe mit anderen Fabriken zu dem Kombinat VEB VERO zusammengeschlossen.”

 
Which basically means, the factory made wooden toys in Grünhainichen in the German Democratic Republic. The factory was founded in 1952 as the state-owned version of the company that had been known as Cuno & Otto Dressel. The factory produced high-quality wooden toys of a high artistic quality. In 1966, as part of the total nationalization of all businesses, the factory was combined with other factories to create the VEB VERO company.

If nothing else, acquring these dollhouses would enable children to stage their own versions of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul or any number of Rainer Werner Fassbinder classics. (Yes, Fassbinder mostly worked in West Germany, but the aesthetic of these toys fits either way…..)

Click on any image for a larger view.
 

 

 
More dollhouses after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Death metal logos for America’s 2016 Presidential candidates
06.25.2015
09:08 am

Topics:
Art
Politics

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The presidential election is 17 months away—egad—so that means that according to recent tradition, it’s the season of “lots and lots of candidates.” This time around, the Democrats have a strong presumption that Hillary Clinton will be the eventual nominee, and that has limited the number of potential candidates willing to enter the race. But on the Republican side, no worries—the New York Times currently lists 16 people who either are running or are “probably” running as Republicans. Because that Times page will change over time, let’s record here what those names are: Jindal, Trump, Perry, Graham, Pataki, Santorum, Huckabee, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, and Bush are listed as “running,” with a trio of governors, Kasich, Christie, and Walker, listed as “probably.”

Fast Company, a business website that has often championed “branding” as the key to corporate success, hired well-known death metal logo artist Christophe Szpajdel to create new branding identities for some of the contenders. Szpajdel, who is from Belgium but lives in the U.K. has been a professional logo designer since 1977 and is responsible for the logos of more than 7,000 (!) black metal bands, including Morgawr, Anamorph, Fistula, Arcturus, Old Man’s Child, and Moonspell. It sounds like Fast Company got the right guy, at least. Here’s a coffee table book of Szpajdel’s logos.

Here are side-by-side views of each campaign logo with Szpajdel’s black metal-style creation. For Trump, amusingly, they used a toupee in lieu of his actual “TRUMP” logo. In every case you can click on the logo to see a larger view.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Boy George, Gary Numan, Elvis Costello & more tell what ‘they’d’ do if they were Prime Minister
06.10.2015
01:11 pm

Topics:
Music
Politics

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In June of 1983, in her first bid for reelection, Margaret Thatcher won “the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945,” according to Wikipedia. For the unionists, punkers, anti-nuke activists, and enemies of the National Front, it was a depressing outcome, parallel to Reagan’s easy reelection in the U.S. a year later. Labour’s platform was stridently left-wing, seeking unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the European Economic Community, abolition of the House of Lords, and the re-nationalization of the major industries Thatcher had privatized.

Labour Party MP Gerald Kaufman later referred to his own party’s platform as “the longest suicide note in history.” Labour was in the same predicament the Democrats in the U.S. found themselves in, led by standard-bearers like Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.
 

 
As with any major election, the subject was on everyone’s lips for a time. Smash Hits, the U.K. magazine, printed a two-page spread in its June 9, 1983, issue—the issue that would be on the newsstands when voters cast their ballots—in which they asked various prominent musicians “What Would You Do If You Were Prime Minister?” Included in the spread were Elvis Costello, Mark E. Smith of the Fall, Boy George, Gary Numan, and Malcolm McLaren.

The answers given by Costello and Smith are terse, and, each in its own way, perfectly representative. Boy George and Numan actually appear to have given the question some thought and give detailed answers. In general the answers are thoughtful but overall, especially with McLaren’s answer, tend to give credence to George Orwell‘s 1946 reference to “the irresponsible violence of the powerless.”

Probably the most attention-getting item on the page is Numan’s avowal of admiration for Margaret Thatcher, whose perceived image among left-leaning musicians was roughly that of the Wicked Witch of the West, as it remains today. Numan’s received plenty of flak for his early views—in 2006 he expressed regret that he had ever supported Thatcher, telling DJ Jonty Skrufff that “I voted for Margaret Thatcher once and it’s lived with me ever since. ... Like a noose around my neck.”

Support for Thatcher (or Reagan) wouldn’t be high on my list of attributes I’d seek in a friend, but the way I see it, Numan’s original answer was thoughtful and heartfelt and, most important, it took true guts to counter the orthodoxy of the artsy crowd he was running with at the time. 

Here are quotes from some of the participants:
 

Steve Severin, Siouxsie and the Banshees:

I’d stop the Cruise missiles, ban fox-hunting and animal experiments, change the licensing laws to open all the time—well, possibly—and I’d ban censorship, if such a thing were possible. I’d probably abolish the BBC or get it burnt down. One of the two. I’d also make Glenn Hoddle stay at Tottenham.

Gary Numan:

Personally, I’d like to see all the closed-down factories being incorporated into the school system so they can train school-leavers. I really like Maggie Thatcher—she’s everything that we needed and made me proud to feel British. The way the country’s going I really think that we’re on the way to recovery. Business is picking up and I liked the way she handled the Falklands’ crisis. But it’s hard for me to talk about British politics being rather outside it all.

Elvis Costello:

If Maggie wins again, I think I’d just take all the programmes off the air and just play Stevie Wonder’s “Heaven Help Us All” for the next 24 hours.

Boy George:

I don’t think any politician is in touch with the realities and pressures that normal working class people have to live with. I realised that after seeing Margaret Thatcher on Jim’ll Fix It. There’s so much money and glamour involved in politics today that I can see why it’s hard for politicians to stay in touch. If I was in power I’d lean more towards ecology—improving the environment people live in. You have to understand why Coronation Street is so popular. It’s because people like the kind of environment where they can communicate with each other. The worst thing that ever happened to this country was council-built, high-rise blocks. I would spend more money on renovating old buildings in an attempt to preserve Britain’s character. I’d make a lousy politician, though, because I’m too soft.

Mark E. Smith, The Fall:

I’d halve the price of cigarettes, double the tax on health food, then I’d declare war on France and introduce conscription for all members of CND [Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament].

Malcolm McLaren:

The Union Jack to be pulled down and a new flag with a big banana to be hoisted in its place. Free transport for everyone. An instant law that would shut out all TV, radio and press, encouraging everyone to invent their own truth. All public clocks to be put out of order.

The requisition of British Airways in order to transport all people under 16 to some more exotic part of the world. Parents must go to school and children to their Mum or Dad’s place of work. Everyone to write their own personal cheer, for example (sings): MY NAME’S MALCOLM—I COMMUNICATE/IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, YOU DON’T RATE/UPSIDE, DOWNSIDE/TURN THE TIDES MY SIDE/YOU—SHUT UP!

Everyone’s cheer shall thereafter be yelled by themselves throughout my term of office.

 

I found this issue of Smash Hits at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives, which is located at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts on Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. It is free and open to the public. Visit their website for more information.

Here’s the full spread—click for a much larger view:
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Idiot Christian couple pledges to divorce if gay marriage is legalized
06.10.2015
12:11 pm

Topics:
Belief
Politics
Queer
Sex

Tags:


 
The director of a conservative policy institute in Australia has announced that he and his wife of 10 years will divorce if the Australian state recognizes the legality of gay marriage. On the surface Nick and Sarah Jensen appear to be happily married, are in love, have children—the move would be a response to the changing nature of marriage as defined by the Australian state.

Millions of married couples have watched gay marriage enter their communities and not file for divorce, mainly because they recognize that the extension of marriage to apply to homosexual couples does not threaten their own marriages as such.

It would take the director of a think tank to make a stand such as this—in other words, Nick Jensen is grandstanding in order to make a political point. It is interesting that Sarah Jensen is nowhere quoted on the subject, it would be interesting to hear more from her. Or their children.

You can also read his statement, which ran in the Canberra City News. On this page from the Sydney Morning Herald you will find snippets of an interview with Nick Jensen in which he explains his reasons for getting divorced (it was not possible to embed the video). It runs like this:
 

Well, once you say that marriage is detached from children and is just about love, then when three people come to the state and say, “We’re all in love,” then the state has no grounds, except on just discrimination, to say why they can’t get married. So when it becomes detached from a child’s right to a mother and a father, and the sacred institution that it is, then suddenly it becomes meaningless, and those boundaries can’t be put back into place.

When we got married all those years ago, we made an agreement with the state—when we signed that marriage certificate—and that was an agreement about what marriage was and what we were entering into, and that was, as husband and wife, as a fundamental order of creation, part of God’s intimate story with human history, man and woman, for the sake of children, faithful and for life. And so if, later on in the year, the state does go ahead and potentially change the definition of marriage or change the terms of that contract, then we can no longer partake in that new definition, unfortunately.

I think states should have a role in marriage if it is affirming what is good about marriage. I can understand why some people might be upset, but our intention isn’t to hurt anyone or focus on any individual, but really our intention is for discussing at a deeper level what marriage actually is.

 
Opponents of gay marriage have long trotted out “slippery slope” arguments identical to the ones Jensen uses here—Senator John Cornyn famously speculated about a marriage between a man and a box turtle. Obviously such arguments are oblivious on the subject of the way marriage has been redefined over the centuries, from a system scarcely distinguishable from organized rape and kidnappings to suit political ends to one based far more on consent. Furthermore, the inclusion of homosexual couples in the kingdom of marriage doesn’t have any relation to marriages involving three people or involving a person and a bear. (Also, there have been cultures that permitted polygamy, it’s not a gross contradiction in terms or anything, society continued to function.)

Jensen invokes these spectres because he has no good arguments and because he wants to scare his fellow citizens into supporting measures to protect “traditional” marriage.

Whenever the subject of gay marriage would come on the news, my atheistic mom would cry out to my agnostic dad—in complete facetiousness—”Oh no! Don’t you see—the gays, they’re threatening the sanctity of our marriage!!!” In this mutual joke they were both affirming the silliness of any political position that relies heavily on “sanctity” or any “sacred” quality.
 
via Death and Taxes

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer speaks about her childhood as a sharecropper
06.03.2015
05:46 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
History
Politics
Race

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I was at the Library of Congress last week, and while it was utterly grand to be there, I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly snapped a couple of cables when I spotted that pernicious Thomas Carlyle quotation high up on the wall: “THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IS THE BIOGRAPHY OF GREAT MEN.” Look, I understand that it was put there over a century ago, and I wouldn’t expect simple values dissonance alone to be a sufficient reason to alter something so historical, but it was still a drag to see that in 2015 (the exhibit lionizing Columbus and Cortez’s New World explorations without mentioning the word “genocide” anywhere was also a disappointment—the USA still has a loooooong-ass way to go).

One of the deep faults of the “Great Man” theory of history is that it excludes the contributions of thousands, if not millions, of unheralded activists who, though they didn’t happen to be the marquee names who got to make speeches that were recorded for posterity, still committed much of their resources and lives to the causes and movements that shaped the world we live in. A more obvious flaw is the continually maddening omission of great women. For example, I hold it as a significant demerit (among many) of the public education system that I never knew the name of the amazing Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman and the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States, until my late college years, when I was channel-surfing and I randomly caught a doc about her on PBS.

Another such figure I’m salty about never learning about in school, also from the US Civil Rights Movement, as it happens, is voting rights organizer Fannie Lou Hamer, a crucial activist and orator whose contributions to freedom in America are not, by my reckoning, sufficiently heralded—she not only endured being beaten and shot at, she underwent a non-consensual hysterectomy as part of a eugenics program. Justifiably furious at such shocking abuse at the hands of her doctor, she dove headlong into activism, helping found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and giving a powerful and pivotal speech to the 1964 Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee, challenging the legitimacy of Mississippi’s all-white delegation, and describing the horrors she endured for merely trying to register to vote. Presumptive nominee Lyndon Johnson, in a total asshole move, tried to keep the speech out of the news by calling a specious press conference. Hamer got crazy amounts of news coverage anyway.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Nakamura Hiroshi’s absolutely brutal protest art against U.S. military in Japan
06.02.2015
12:58 pm

Topics:
Art
Politics

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“Gunned Down,” 1957
 
The paintings of Nakamura Hiroshi follow a tragic narrative.Trained as in political realism to do reportage painting, his work became highly stylized and surreal as he covered Japanese anti-military activism. There was a mass mobilization in the 1950s, particularly among Japanese students and unions, against the expansion of U.S. military presence, including massive bases. The painting you see above depicts the death of a woman who was fatally shot by an American soldier as she collected used bullet casings. The one below shows a protest against the extension of an airstrip over land confiscated from poor farmers. 

Hiroshi covered the protest movement diligently and loyally, even as a commercial failure who couldn’t afford canvases. His painting, “The Base,” now considered a masterpiece, was actually done on cheap wood, the grain of which gives the piece an ominous depth. However, as the conservative government took power and made major concessions to the Americans, Hiroshi began to despair. His paintings took on apocalyptic themes, with explosive imagery and lots of red, a reference to the firebombings that destroyed his hometown when he was twelve. Though the political inspiration for his work never won out, he lived to see it lauded by the critics, and went on to produce surreal work on a developed Japan.
 

“Sunagawa #5,” 1955
 

“Sunagawa #5” (detail)
 

“The Base,” 1957
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Orson Welles talks about the conspiracy to suppress ‘Citizen Kane’ in 1960 interview
05.21.2015
07:08 am

Topics:
Movies
Politics

Tags:


 
This short interview from 1960 has some fascinating comments from Orson Welles on the uphill battle he faced getting Citizen Kane into theaters. It was often speculated of course, that the titular character was based on publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst, who only exacerbated this notion by using all his resources to try and prevent the film’s release—this is without ever having seen it. (You’d think a strategy of denial might be a little less self-incriminating!) Welles manages to get in a snide jab with: “Kane isn’t really founded on Hearst… in particular,” specifying that Kane was a composite character.

Even more fascinatingly, Welles does not shy from the more explicit politics of the film, admitting “it was intended consciously as a sort of social document, as an attack on the acquisitive society, and indeed on acquisition in general.” This clear critique of power managed to get him branded as a Communist in the states and banned in the Soviet Union—can’t win for losing, I suppose. As it was, Hearst actually did succeed at limiting the run of the film in the US—by a lot. Few theaters even showed the film. The box office numbers suffered, and though Citizen Kane is now considered one of the greats, it damaged Welles’ career from the very start.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Mice should not vote for cats: ‘Mouseland,’ a political parable to make you think
05.18.2015
06:08 am

Topics:
Animation
Politics

Tags:


 
On top of the ever-rising economic inequality and a pretty revoltingly flying death-robot-based foreign policy, we have now learned that it is possible that our current President lied through his teeth to make the assassination of Osama Bin Laden look super-action-movie-cool. It is also equally possible that our then-Secretary of State—who is also likely to become our next President—was in on it. All of this is all pretty discouraging from a political perspective, so it is during these oppressive times of despair that I return to one of the greatest political speeches of all time—here in digestible animated form—“Mouseland.” It’s a perfect little take-down of the two-party system.

It’s the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you’ll see that they weren’t any stupider than we are.

Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws—that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds—so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: “All that Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said: “The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouseholes.” And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the color of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!” So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams did a variation on “Mouseland” in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, that it seems likely was read by David Icke where lizards are the leaders. No one likes this (save for the lizard overlords themselves, naturally) but the electorate still keeps voting in these unpopular reptiles:

“...because if they didn’t vote for a lizard… the wrong lizard might get in.”

 

 
The short animation below is actually introduced by Kiefer Sutherland, who is grandson to social democratic politician, Tommy Douglas. Tommy Douglas, the most famous orator of “Mouseland” (though it is actually first credited to Clarence Gillis, another Canadian social democrat), immigrated from Scotland to Canada as a child with a nasty case of osteomyelitis; had a Canadian orthopedic surgeon not offered to operate under Douglas’ knee for free (for the observation of medical students), his leg would have been amputated. Today Douglas is widely considered to be “The Greatest Canadian,” on account of his introduction of the Canadian single-payer health care system, and his disdain for the false choice of a two-party system run by elites. The “Mouseland” metaphor is simple in its eloquence, insisting that mice need not vote for cats (though bringing that up might get you branded a “Bolshevik” and thrown in prison).

At least nothing’s inevitable, eh?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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