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Homeless street kid is ‘math genius of Dapitan’
07.28.2014
12:31 pm

Topics:
Politics

Tags:
children
UNICEF
mathematics

stretkidgenius.jpg
 
A homeless child on the streets of Dapitan city in the Philippines entertains tourists with his genius for math. The Philippines is the 39th richest economy in the world, with a gross domestic product (nominal) of $272, 207 billion. Yet kids as talented as Gerald are living on the streets.

Gerald is nicknamed “Boy Square Root,” which will become apparent from this video taken by Chelsea Mae S. Luzanta from Antipolo in the Philippines, who is a student at the University of Santo Tomas.

Who knows what the full story is, but taken as reported, then Gerald should be at school, should be enjoying his childhood, not having to hustle to survive. Support UNICEF’s children’s campaigns here.
 

 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Men’s rights WTF commemorative coin mystery, solved?
07.18.2014
09:21 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Politics
Sex

Tags:
coins
men's rights

A Voice for Men
 
A couple of weeks ago the “men’s rights” website A Voice for Men put up a post calling attention to a “commemorative coin” celebrating the First International Conference on Men’s Issues. The coin was designed by Peter Vinczer, the son of men’s rights activist Attila Vinczer; it contains 1 ounce of .999 fine silver and costs $58.88.

Readers of the Lawyers, Guns & Money and We Hunted the Mammoth websites have been trying to figure out what on earth the image is supposed to represent. David Futrelle, author of the post at We Hunted the Mammoth, wonders whether Judy Chicago designed it.

Readers at the two websites have thrown out the following suggestions:
 

“sperm bouncing off a diaphragm”
“a condom with a hole in it”
“a puckered anus”
“a carrot hovering over a poorly-made pizza”
“a weeping butthole”
“angry pancake”
“a surfacing/sinking beaver”
“a condom turned inside out, with the hand ready to sperm jack”
“a sphincter with a drop of lube and a hand gradually encroaching”
“a diaphragm with a hole poked in it”

 
“Joe from Lowell” is one of several commenters who have probably cracked the case: “They’re throwing one little stone of masculine rationality into the ocean that is a male-persecuting society, but that one little stone will send out ripples, you betcha.” This makes sense, because the inscription on the other side of the coin, from Robert F. Kennedy, reads as follows: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
 
A Voice for Men
 
The text underneath the picture reads, “MHRA 2008-2014”—searching on “MHRA” yields extremely little on the Internet. It seems that “men rights association” or men’s rights activism” etc. are the most common phrases, but some in the movement have shifted to “men’s human rights” because it sounds less douche-y or something. In reality it just sounds confused, of course.
 
A Voice for Men
 
I’m not real sure what this video is (I certainly didn’t watch it—it’s nearly two hours long) but the coin image is at the very start, so maybe it has something to do with it.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Before Alice Cooper and The Cramps there was Screaming Lord Sutch, rock star, British politician
07.16.2014
08:31 am

Topics:
Music
Politics

Tags:
Screaming Lord Sutch


 
It seemed that Screaming Lord Sutch ran in every election and by-election in the UK from the early 1980s until his untimely death in 1999. There he would be on every election night, standing on the podium with his leopard spot jacket, top hat and rainbow rosette. Sutch was the perennial candidate of the Official Monster Raving Looney Party, which he founded in 1983. In fact, he had been standing for parliament on a regular basis under different guises since 1963, when sickened by the hypocrisy and corruption of British politics as exposed through the Profumo scandal, he started the National Teenage Party. Alas, Sutch never won, which was a shame, as his presence always ensured some anarchic, intelligent fun was added to the usual gaudy proceedings.

But Screaming Lord Sutch was more than a prickly whoopee cushion in the lives of unaccountable politicians, he was a well-loved sixties rock star, an early pioneer of shock rock, garage rock, psycho-billy who mixed monster movie aesthetics with rock ‘n’ roll long before Alice Cooper and The Cramps came along.

David Edward Sutch was born in Hampstead, London on November 10 1940. He left school at sixteen and worked at a variety of jobs, before he started his performing career at the 2 i’s Coffee Bar (the “birthplace of British rock ‘n’ roll”) on Old Compton Street, Soho in the late 1950s. Sutch took his name from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and with his eighteen inch locks, bizarre outfits (a giant headpiece of cow horns) and outrageous stage act, Sutch and his band The Savages soon attracted the ear of legendary producer (and future murderer) Joe Meek leading to their pioneering singles in the early 1960s.

When I first heard Sutch’s early recordings with The Savages, such as “Jack the Ripper,” “‘Til the Following Night” and his cover of Johnny Burnette’s “Train A-Kept A-Rollin’,” I couldn’t understand why he never became a major international star. Sutch appeared to have done most of pop’s rebellious things before anyone else (long hair, the wildest clothes, act, songs, etc. ) but never received the credit for any of it.
 
sutchheavy.jpg
 
Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages recorded and performed from the sixties to 1999, when Sutch tragically committed suicide, and during that time the line-up of The Savages included future actor/singer Paul Nicholas, guitar legends Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, bass player Noel Redding, drummers Keith Moon and John Bonham, and piano-wizard Nicky Hopkins.

Maybe Sutch relied too much on his “shock” tactics shows, or did too many covers of old rock ‘n’ roll classics, or was held back by his own personal problems (he suffered from depression all his life), who knows? But for sheer power, energy and good times rock ‘n’ roll, there’s nothing to beat Screaming Lord Sutch.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Serge Gainsbourg’s reggae version of ‘La Marseillaise’ that earned him death threats
07.14.2014
08:19 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Politics

Tags:
Serge Gainsbourg


 
Serge Gainsbourg offended many of his patriotic countrymen in 1979 when he rewrote the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” as a reggae number, “Aux armes et caetera.” The song was the title track from his 13th album, recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, giving him the distinction of being only the second (to Mick Jagger, who dueted with Peter Tosh) major white European performer to record there. Serge did not anticipate the shitstorm that followed the TV premiere of his song, including death threats from nationalists and threats from soldiers to kick his ass if he performed the song in public. The French embassy’s website still has a reference to this controversy:

The French national anthem has had a turbulent past. Every now and then, there is an outcry to have it banned, or at least updated; it has been a long time since the Revolution was endangered by bordering European monarchs. Some people are offended during national ceremonies, when they hear such vengeful verses as “these ferocious soldiers who slaughter our sons and wives” or demanding “that impure blood flow in our fields.” But the majority of French people do not wish to change so much as a comma in their national anthem. Didn’t the members of the Resistance in WWII sing it as a final and supreme challenge to Nazi-occupying forces as they fell beneath the bullets of the firing squad?

The extent of the attachment of the French to their national anthem was revealed in the 1970s, when President Giscard d’Estaing attempted to impose “his” Marseillaise by having it played to a slower tempo in order to give it greater solemnity. The President’s initiative raised a storm of protest and Hector Berlioz’s orchestration was maintained. Late controversial singer and composer Serge Gainsbourg tried to rewrite the Marseillaise his own way in 1979 by having the national anthem played by a reggae band. The reception was less than stellar: A group of legionnaires threatened to give him a hard time if he performed his new version in public. Gainsbourg did sing the Marseillaise, but a cappella. One cannot tamper with that which is sacred!

 

A little gallows humor on the cover of Hara Kiri magazine
 
When a group of paratroopers caused a 1980 concert in Strasbourg (where “La Marseillaise” was written) to be shut down, Gainsbourg defiantly sang an a capella traditional version instead of “Aux armes et caetera” and was joined by the paratroopers! A year later in a defiant but classy move he bought an original manuscript of the anthem’s lyrics by Rouget de Lisle at an auction in France. Gainsbourg then proved to the public that his version—and the controversial “et caetera” of the title—was in fact, more faithful to the original than any other version: de Lisle, in fact, did not write out repeated verses by hand, but merely wrote “et caetera, et caetera, et caetera”!

Serge Gainsbourg, “Aux armes et caetera”:

 
Serge Gainsbourg sings the original “La Marseillaise” to calm everyone down, and at 2:09 the auction for the lyrics’ manuscript begins:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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Making music out of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld

xyrumdubya.jpg
 
Who would have thought you could make music from speeches by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld? Well, this is exactly what minimalist composer Graham Fitkin and percussionist Joby Burgess did in 2008 with their number “Chain of Command.”

Fitkin wrote “Chain of Command” which uses samples taken from speeches by Dubya and Rumsfeld about Guantanamo Bay, the Iraq War and the inquiry into prisoner abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib. These extracts were then carefully edited, manipulated and slowly rebuilt to create a “confrontational and direct work, which examines the use of constantly looped, loud music, 24 hours a day, as torture at Guantanamo.”

Performed by Burgess on his xylosynth (“a hybrid instrument somewhere between a xylophone and a synthesiser”) “Chain of Command” is a powerful piece of political music.

Check more of Fitkin’s work here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Brain-dead, redneck diesel lovers brag about how much toxic smoke their trucks can spew

Rollin' Coal
 
I’ve long since stopped being amazed at the mental knots that white, male conservatives (usually white and usually male, anyway) will tie themselves into as a reaction to their rage that other voices are permitted to participate in the political process and even occasionally combine to form a consensus that might infringe on their god-given rights to be a malicious dickwad. In the last month or so we’ve seen the phenomenon, in reaction to some 2nd Amendment infringements that are mostly imaginary, of shotgun-toting fellows deciding that Home Depot as well as various chain eateries might be a appropriate venues to bring portable machinery expressly designed to kill living organisms. The pushback on the part of Chili’s, Sonic, Chipotle, and Starbuck’s have largely been successful.

Valorizing guns is stupid and rude. When you enter a restaurant with lethal weapons, the best-case outcome is that everyone else in the establishment feels threatened and must cower in the face of your cheaply purchased superiority (it’s not that difficult to carry a gun, after all, any dummy or old fart can usually accomplish at least that much). Even to mention the disheartening statistics is a sure sign that you support Obummer’s incipient Orwellian police state, but here goes: In the United States, deaths due to firearms occur on the order of 30 a day; over a 99-day period in 2013, 215 children were killed, the vast majority as a result of accidents.

Anyway, the latest display of inconsiderate mouth-breathing bullshit has to do with climate change. It’s become common for the proud owners of diesel trucks to champion the unpleasant black spew that emanates from their vehicles as a key blow struck in the name of freedom, against the liberal elite that seeks to save the planet from climate-related catastrophe. The keyword for this, er, “movement” is “Rollin’ Coal.” There’s a “Rollin’ COAL” group on Facebook that has 15,000 likes. The commenters who push back against the fossil fuel stupidity routinely invoke the modest penis length of the “Rollin’ Coal” crowd:

“I’ve never seen a larger collection of men with tiny dicks over-compensating than on this page.”

 
Truck Yeah
 
One of the favorite tropes of the “Rollin’ Coal” groups is a little poem that goes like this:
 

Roll, roll, rollin’ coal
Let the hybrid see.
A big black cloud.
Exhaust that’s loud.
Watch the city boy flee.

 
Here’s a brief description of the trend, from “‘Rollin’ Coal’ Is Pollution Porn for Dudes With Pickup Trucks” by Elizabeth Kulze:
 

In small towns across America, manly men are customizing their jacked-up diesel trucks to intentionally emit giant plumes of toxic smoke every time they rev their engines. They call it “rollin’ coal,” and it’s something they do for fun.

-snip-

Aside from being macho, the rollin’ coal culture is also a renegade one. Kids make a point of blowing smoke back at pedestrians [see the video at the bottom of this page], in addition to cop cars and rice burners (Japanese-made sedans), which can make it dangerously difficult to see out of the windshield. Diesel soot can also be a great road rage weapon should some wimpy looking Honda Civic ever piss you off. “If someone makes you mad, you can just roll coal, and it makes you feel better sometimes,” says Ryan, a high school senior who works at the diesel garage with Robbie. “The other day I did it to this kid who was driving a Mustang with his windows down, and it was awesome.”

 
I haven’t figured out a way to embed it, but Kulze’s article features a video that makes the resentment-based roots of the diesel enthusiasm explicit, with its tittering references to “Prius driving socialists.” It’s really worth a look.

What’s most astonishing about the “Rollin’ Coal” folks is that, I mean, surely the highly visible black smoke tends to make the climate change case, doesn’t it? Is there any way that that smoke could be good for the environment? Have these diesel drivers ever seen a fish, a pond, a leaf, or a tree? Do they think that bees, trees and tadpoles can just withstand the toxic fumes with no consequence? It’s difficult to figure out what they’re thinking about or if they are even capable of thought at all. At best the practice is a way of saying “I get to do whatever I want, and any bad things that occur are your problem.” Lovely. I gain some comfort from considering that these types of particularly stupid good ol’ boys often graciously volunteer to remove themselves from the gene pool with drunk driving and other fun activities.

Below, a compilation of asshat diesel truck drivers intentionally releasing their smoky coal-black smoky on pedestrians, bicyclists, children and so forth. Surely this meets the definition of “assault” wouldn’t it? It’s as bad as spitting in someone’s face…
 

 
via Lawyers, Guns & Money

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘If they find it, they’ll play with it’
06.26.2014
12:12 pm

Topics:
Politics

Tags:
Guns


 
When I first clicked on this video I had no idea what it was going to be about or its message. I was pleasantly surprised when I stuck with it till the end. Its message is loud and clear. Perhaps very slightly NSFW, but it’s brilliant and extremely clever, I think you’ll agree, no matter which side of this issue you’re on.

I’m not going to tell you what’s about, why spoil the fun?

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Anarchism in America


 
As the title promises, Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher’s Anarchism in America is a documentary survey of anarchism in the United States. The film presents an overview of the movement’s history, such as the Spanish Civil War, the 1917 Revolution, Emma Goldman, and the deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti, and takes these as the points of departure for what were then (1983) contemporary observations from the outside looking in on Ronald Reagan’s America. Whether viewed as a time capsule or as an able introduction to the various forms of anarchism, the film makes for fascinating viewing and has held up well after 31 years.

What’s perfectly obvious is how much of a libertarian or individualistic route the American strain of anarchism takes—let’s call it “free market anarchism”—in stark contrast to European-style communal living experiments (such as squatters’ groups or farm co-ops). They’re just not quite the same school of thought, although if you were to draw a Venn diagram of what they do have in common, it would be significant but also… probably equally incompatible for the things which they lack in simpatico. Does anyone in Anarchism in America have any hopes for a revolution? Seemingly not in their lifetimes. (Many of them were right, of course. I’ve read that the filmmakers are planning a sequel, so I’d suspect that post-Occupy, post-Piketty, there would be more positive prognostications to be found along those lines today.)
 

Emma Goldman will not attend your revolution if she can’t dance….

The film also offers anarchist or anarchist-leaning thinkers uninterrupted camera time to make their points. Like Murray Bookchin, who says this:
 

I had entered the communist children’s movement, an organization called the Young Pioneers of America, in 1930 in New York City; I was only nine years of age. And I’d gone through the entire ’30s as a—Stalinist—initially, and then increasingly as someone who was more and more sympathetic to Trotskyism. And by 1939, after having seen Hitler rise to power, the Austrian workers’ revolt of 1934 (an almost completely forgotten episode in labor history), the Spanish revolution, by which I mean the so-called Spanish civil war—I finally became utterly disillusioned with Stalinism, and drifted increasingly toward Trotskyism. And by 1945, I, finally, also became disillusioned with Trotskyism; and I would say, now, increasingly with Marxism and Leninism.

And I began to try to explore what were movements and ideologies, if you like, that really were liberatory, that really freed people of this hierarchical mentality, of this authoritarian outlook, of this complete assimilation by the work ethic. And I now began to turn, very consciously, toward anarchist views, because anarchism posed a question, not simply of a struggle between classes based upon economic exploitation—anarchism really was posing a much broader historical question that even goes beyond our industrial civilization—not just classes, but hierarchy—hierarchy as it exists in the family, hierarchy as it exists in the school, hierarchy as it exists in sexual relationships, hierarchy as it exists between ethnic groups. Not only class divisions, based upon economic exploitation. And it was concerned not only with economic exploitation, it was concerned with domination, domination which may not even have any economic meaning at all: the domination of women by men in which women are not economically exploited; the domination of ordinary people by bureaucrats, in which you may even have welfare, so-called socialist type of state; domination as it exists today in China, even when you’re supposed to have a classless society; domination even as it exists in Russia, where you are supposed to have a classless society, you see.

So these are the things I noted in anarchism, and increasingly I came to the conclusion that if we were to avoid—or if we are to avoid—the mistakes in over one hundred years of proletarian socialism, if we are to really achieve a liberatory movement, not simply in terms of economic questions but in terms of every aspect of life, we would have to turn to anarchism because it alone posed the problem, not merely of class domination but hierarchical domination, and it alone posed the question, not simply of economic exploitation, but exploitation in every sphere of life. And it was that growing awareness, that we had to go beyond classism into hierarchy, and beyond exploitation into domination, that led me into anarchism, and to a commitment to an anarchist outlook.

 
Worth noting that Bookchin left anarchism behind, too, due to what he saw as the antisocial element to American style anarchist thought.

There’s one particularly amazing piece of footage (among several included in the film) that I wanted to call to your attention. It’s the demonstration of how a policeman’s truncheon fares against various food items such as an egg, squash, and an eggplant before moving on to a Yippie’s head. That clip comes from an “answer” film made by the Yippies in the aftermath of the Chicago riots that was played on television there due to the “equal-time” rule specifies that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political parties who request it. When Mayor Richard Daley got to tell the city’s side of the story in something called “What Trees Did They Plant?” the Yippies got to tell their side in an extremely whacked-out short film scripted by Paul Krassner. That starts at 30:50 but if you want to see the entire thing, click over to archive.org, they’ve got it. (The guy with the truncheon is Chicago-based lefty humorist and radio broadcaster Marshall Efron, who played one of the prisoners in George Lucas’ THX 1138. He was also the voice of “Smelly Smurf” and works as a voice actor in animated films to this day.)

Toward the end of Anarchism in America, Jello Biafra and Dead Kennedys are seen onstage performing “We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now,” while in the interview segment a level-headed young Biafra suggests that anarchy, or some sort of revolution in the USA, is probably a long, long way off. If they do make the sequel, he’s one of the first people they ought to interview for it. I’d be curious if he still feels that way. I would suspect that he’s much more optimistic these days.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Loony rightwinger wants to criminalize homosexuality and adultery; ban rock music

nasusennaetihw.jpg
 
We’re living in strange days when every nutjob, krank and bigot thinks it a great idea to run for public off and air their poisonous views. Worse still is when these people believe they are sanctioned by some personal religious faith or aggrieved political agenda. Have our educational systems failed so badly that people grow-up to have nothing between their ears but inherited hatreds and delusional superstitions?

The latest political wannabe that fits the profile is Susan-Anne White, who is standing as an Independent candidate in the council elections for Fermanagh and Omagh district of Northern Ireland. At first, she may seem innocent enough, until you read some of the horrendous shite coming out of her mouth.

Ms. White co-writes a blog “The Truth Shall Set You Free” (really?) with Francis White (most likely her husband?) which they describe as follows:

In a Politically Correct society, the first casualty is truth. The media in its various forms are willing accomplices in the suppression of the truth. This blog represents the great Christian fight-back. Our targets will be Marxism/socialism, which has spawned Feminism, P.C., the green agenda, the ugliness and vulgarity that masquerades as “art”, and the moral collapse of society. We will not ignore politics either, nor the dangerous equality agenda, nor yet multiculturalism.

As Bible-believing Christians, we will also turn our attention to the tragic compromise and downgrade of so many once-sound fundamentalist, Evangelical churches.

It is our intention to cast the salt of the Word of God into the corrupt fountains all around.

Susan-Anne and Francis White.

(I’d include the link, but don’t want to give these people too much free publicity…)

White’s salt-casting election manifesto is based on ten “principles” drawn up by Norwich-based Dr. Alan Clifford (this man’s a doctor?), whose previous anti-gay and anti-Islam rants and pamphlets led to him being investigated by the police. White wants homosexuality criminalized, adultery criminalized and rock groups banned.

Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph, White said:

“I don’t consider myself extreme at all…”

Few extremists do, deary. White he claims she has had positive feedback from voters.

She explained her views on gay people:

“I would – if I had the power – make homosexuality a criminal offence once again. I would also make adultery a criminal offence, so I’m pretty fair in that respect. I think adultery is a terrible sin. Society has fallen to such a low level that most people wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at two men or two women walking hand in hand in the street…

“We believe that we need to be safe from the destructive homosexual agenda…. It (being gay) is portrayed as an alternative lifestyle and they are seeking to normalise it, and it’s being forced on society. It is saturation coverage of the gay agenda and their various demands.”

It’s not just gays and adulterers who would receive the first stone, the “vulgarity” of rock music and even modern poetry are condemned by Susan-Anne White’s tiny mind.

“One only has to think of some of those well-known rock groups from the 1970s and 1980s such as Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and more recently Kurt Cobain,” she added. “The lyrics are promoting immorality, the noise is deafening, and they also promote anarchy.”

But surely poetry is good for the soul? Apparently not, according to Susan-Anne White:

“Society has been so desensitised to vulgarity and a lack of God-given talent that these people are thought of as great artists and entertainers when they are nothing of the kind,” she continued.

Ms. White might seem to be in need of urgent psychiatric attention, but no, she’s only warming-up, as she explained her concerns over the “Islamification” of Northern Ireland.

“The Islam threat is in the form of halal meat,” she added. “Some Muslims have said that they plan to conquer the world through halal meat, so if you’re asking me is Islam a threat in Co Tyrone, then yes, it is.”

Of course, the big question was kept till the end, when reporter Adrian Rutherford asked White if she seriously believed she would get elected?

“I think the likelihood is slim but I consider it a privilege to be able to highlight these matters door to door.”

Ms. White plans to form her own party, SAFE (Society And Family Enterprise party), which will be based on Dr. Clifford’s principles.

Below, a crank call gets made to Dr. Alan Clifford…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘He promises to just smoke pot as mayor. Not crack’: Hilarious anti-Rob Ford campaign posters
03.31.2014
10:47 am

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events
Drugs
Politics

Tags:
Rob Ford


^^^^^ I’d vote for him!

Apparently parody election signs are popping up all over Toronto by No Ford Nation. The tagline on all signs are, “Anyone’s better than Rob Ford.”

The reaction by Torontonians have been a mixed bag so far. Some people are finding the signs absolutely hilarious, while others are pissed-off and claim the signs are damaging the city’s reputation.


 

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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