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De Stijl-styled wine bottles inspired by ‘The Simpsons’
07:44 am


De Stijl
Piet Mondrian

Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich have created these awesome wine bottles depicting Marge and Homer Simpson in the style of Piet Mondrian—arguably the most recognizable artist of the De Stijl movement. However, the kitschy appeal of the bottles is part and parcel to the suspicious beverage inside, which is described as “wine, or maybe not?”

The drink was brought to life together with the cartoon characters in 1987. Maybe it is wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out yourselves. The contents have been kept secret for already 26 years now. While the ingredients remain the same, their proportions differ from time to time. That is why you will never get bored from this drink! We can assure you that you will not be left disappointed.

No information is given beyond that, but there’s a website given that both leads to nowhere and misspells Marge’s name (www.homer&—mysterious, huh?. Twenty bucks says this is just 26-year-old malt liquor in a cleverly wrapped bottle, but the appeal of the project is the novelty, not the “wine” within.

I’m not above a little gross booze, but I definitely drawn the line at “mystery booze,” Simpsons-themed or otherwise. Besides, wouldn’t beer be the proper beverage for a project like this? Then again, the secret-Simpsons booze is 13% alcohol, and you can’t argue with… efficiency.


Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Billy Bob Thornton hates on ‘Cupcake Wars’
12:42 pm


Billy Bob Thornton
Cupcake Wars

I never thought in a million years that I’d ever be typing out a title that says, “Billy Bob Thornton hates on Cupcake Wars.” I wouldn’t even think Mr. Thornton would know about such a show! But he does.

And he doesn’t like it.

If you don’t know what Cupcake Wars is, it’s a mind-numbing reality-based competition TV show on the Food Network where people are judged by their cupcake-making abilities. Apparently there’s a rather large audience—who don’t even get to taste the cupcakes for crissakes—that watches this show. I’ve only ever seen it briefly at the gym (I know, Cupcake Wars on at the gym, right?) but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would care about this stuff.

Anyway, Billy Bob sorta nails it with America’s (and perhaps the World’s) fascination with shitty reality television.

We don’t need one show about cupcakes, as far as I’m concerned. But you know what, if you’ve got one, okay, that’s fine, let’s have a show about cupcakes. But does it have to be a fucking competition? Do you have to have cupcake ‘wars’? And I’m sure people who have been in war kind of take offense to that. Because seriously, it’s not that goddamn dangerous to make a cupcake.

I’m not going to lie, tho… I do love me some cupcakes every now and then. I can’t take a side.

via D-listed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Listen Mulder, what you can’t question is the SCIENCE!’: Dana Scully REALLY likes science
09:48 am


Dana Scully
The X-Files

Here’s a montage of The X-Files’ Dana Scully defending science to the bitter end to an aloof Agent Fox Mulder. YouTuber Ryan English—and maker of this video—points out:

“She never gave up, even when the aliens put a chip in her neck.”

What X-Files fan hasn’t shouted at their TV set “SCULLY, YOU’VE PERSONALLY SEEN FREAKING ALIENS!” With that in mind, I appreciated the punchline.

via Waxy

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Rave of Thrones’: Have a listen to Hodor’s Sound Cloud page
11:39 am


Game of Thrones
Kristian Nairn

Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn has announced a Rave of Thrones tour of Australia this August and September.

Nairn, who plays the gentle giant from Winterfell, has a second career as a successful DJ back in his native Northern Ireland and has perfomed with Scissor Sisters and as far afield South Africa and Australia. Now he will returning “down under” to bring the Seven Kingdoms with his skills as a DJ.

Details here.

If you want a taste of the kind of tunes Hodor will be playing have a listen to his Sound Cloud page.



H/T Popbitch

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Happy Days’ created by David Mamet and other sitcoms we’d like to see

Happy Days created by David Mamet
I love these mind-bending title cards from some memorable TV series from four or five decades ago—I only wish there were more of them. They appear to be the Photoshop handiwork of Johnny Walker. To adapt a witticism of one of the commenters on the page I found this, it’s only a rumor that early drafts of David Mamet’s first play used the title Sexual Perversity in Milwaukee.

Delirious possibilities for other TV shows abound: how about Get Smart created by George Orwell? Or The Patty Duke Show created by Vladimir Nabokov? Gilligan’s Island created by Kurt Vonnegut? Saved by the Bell created by William Golding? Diff’rent Strokes created by Richard Wright?

Your turn!
I Dream of Jeannie created by Germaine Greer
Mork & Mindy created by Philip Roth
via Ken Levine’s blog

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The most idiotic moment on Fox News so far today

Fox and Friends’ resident cheerful idiot Steve Doocy is obviously one of the stupidest people on television. Doocy comes off as so completely brainless that his utterly gormless co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Elisabeth Hasselbeck look good (or at least slightly better) by comparison. One would have to think that Fox News viewers with low to barely average IQs would be perceptive enough to realize that Steve Doocy is an abject buffoon. I don’t think SNL even does Fox and Friends parodies anymore, do they? Why bother?

In any case, this morning Doocy made a game attempt to get a small number of “Fox fans” (as he called them) to react negatively to the new multigender bathroom signage at Illinois State University (This is the latest “outrage” on Fox News, in case you aren’t aware of it, even though they are for single-occupancy restrooms!)

Here’s how it went down, live on Fox News as Chyron captions read: “Bathroom Boondoggle: Are New Gender Signs Just Too Confusing?” and “Gender Bender”!

Doocy: “See, they were designated as ‘family restrooms’ in the past and now, apparently, they’re going to be known as ‘all-gender’ restrooms! Does that make sense?”

Woman: “Restrooms for both genders.”

Doocy: “That’s right. Bathrooms for both genders, or transgenders!”

Man: “Transgender, that’s right.”

Unable to rile up even the slightest bit of “moral” indignation, let alone any anxiety even among these “Fox fans,” the floundering Doocy quickly threw it back to his co-tool Brian Kilmeade in the studio who then, astonishingly, offered up pretty much one of the truest things that I’ve ever heard a Fox anchor say (if only accidently):

“Well, they’re better people than us.”

Yes, indeed they are. Most people are better people than bigoted Fox News morning show hosts, I’d have to agree with that and this segment proved it. In spades!

Just yesterday, Fox News ran a story mocking the University’s attempt to accommodate everyone with equal respect.


Bonus clip, Steve Doocy before his tenure at Fox and Friends, back when he was a serious journalist…
Via Media Matters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Happy Birthday Ken Russell
07:57 am


Ken Russell

Happy Birthday to Ken Russell, born July 3rd in 1927. Once the so-called enfant terrible of British cinema, Russell produced a dazzling array of powerful, vibrant and intelligent movies during his lifetime, which placed him among the greatest film and television directors of the second half of the twentieth century.

His love of cinema started early in childhood when he escaped to the local picture house to watch innumerable flickering matinees with his mother. The films fired his imagination, in particular Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen and the early monster movie The Secret of the Loch, both of which would be filtered into his later work (Dance of the Seven Veils, Altered States and Lair of the White Worm). At first Russell had ambitions to be a ballet dancer, but this was superseded by a passion for photography, which he studied at Walthamstow Technical College in London. After service in the Royal Navy, where he once presented a musical number of fishermen darning their nets with sailors in drag sewing their silk stockings, he began taking photographs of teenagers—most famously his series on “Teddy Girls,” which were published in Picture Post. Looking at these early photographs, you can see hints of Russell’s distinctive cinematic framing and compositional style

It was a small leap from stills to motion pictures and Russell started directing small films for very little money, notably Amelia and the Angel and a documentary on Lourdes. These helped Russell secure work as a documentary director with BBC’s prestigious Monitor arts series. Here, under the guidance of editor Huw Wheldon, Russell developed the form of the drama-documentary and made a series of radical films on artists and composers such as Elgar, Dante’s Inferno, The Debussy Film, Song of Summer and the banned Dance of the Seven Veils.

The flamboyance of his talent could not be contained by television and by the late sixties Russell felt he was repeating himself and therefore made the move to cinema. Over the next five decades Ken Russell made a series of consistently brilliant movies from The Billion Dollar Brain, the Oscar-winning Women in Love, the controversial The Devils, Savage Messiah, Mahler, a version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy, Altered States and The Rainbow.

Russell’s approach to film and television has influenced generations of directors, including such luminaries as Stanley Kubrick, Lindsay Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Derek Jarman and Baz Luhrmann.

Though influential and greatly loved, Russell did have to deal with several overbearing and self-important journalists, who made small careers out of attacking his work. Russell famously attacked one such critic on live TV with a rolled-up copy of his newspaper review. “Unkle Ken” was well aware that had he been Italian and called “Russellini” such critics would have sung his praises. No matter—Ken Russell’s films will long outlive such superfluous individuals.

To celebrate Unkle Ken’s birthday, here is one of his early, pioneering television documentaries Dante’s Inferno from 1967, which examines the relationship between the 19th-century artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his model, Elizabeth Siddal. It stars a young Oliver Reed, Judith Paris and poet Christopher Logue, and is filled with Russell’s arresting and powerful vision.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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There’s an Iranian imitation of ‘Modern Family,’ but it’s minus Cam and Mitchell
10:47 am


Modern Family

When I first stumbled upon Haft Sang (translation: Seven Stones)—the Iranian version of ABC’s Modern Family—I was excited to see just how the gay characters Mitchell and Cam would be portrayed in this Iranian version of a “modern family.” Sadly, both important characters—who make the show, IMO—have been replaced with hetrosexual characters. 

In Haft Sang, an unauthorized remake of the show, their parts have either been written out or given a heterosexual makeover as Iranian TV tries to translate the appeal of the ABC hit show within the strict religious guidelines of an Iranian theocratic state.

Other characters have also had their genders changed to avoid depicting pre-marital mixing of men and women to Iranian audiences.

Not very modern now, is it?

Below, a side-by-side comparison of Haft Sang and Modern Family:

Via Gay Star News

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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The time Ian McKellen jammed with the Fleshtones on MTV in 1987

Last week, we told you about the short-lived MTV series Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes, a brilliant and unimpeachably hip NYC countercultural olio that the famous pop artist curated and co-hosted for the music network before its final descent into full suck. I combed the Internet for videos from that show in an effort to be as comprehensive as possible. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how many hours I spent looking, actually. But despite all that effort, OF COURSE I missed something brilliant, and lucky I am that an attentive reader clued me in.

Just before they set off on their Fleshtones Vs. Reality tour in 1987, NYC’s Fleshtones—a great band who’d combined early psych cool, surf-rock twang, R&B swagger, and shitloads of cheeky, high energy fun—taped two segments for Warhol’s show. This confluence of personalities was a perfectly natural one—Fleshtones singer Peter Zaremba was in Warhol’s orbit going back to the days when he lived in a loft across the street from Warhol’s Factory, and he was, at the time, also the host of his own MTV program, the excellent IRS’s The Cutting Edge. (It’s such a damn shame The Fleshtones never really took off big—back in those days, Zaremba seemed to me like such an unfuckwithable ambassador/avatar of cool.) The band first did a madcap lip-syncing of their song “Return of the Leather Kings.”

And while that was great fun, it’s the second segment they taped that should be far, far better known than it is. In it, the band jams while Ian freakin’ McKellen recites a Shakespearean sonnet. It’s my good fortune that the reader who tipped me off to this happens to be the man who literally wrote the book on the Fleshtones, Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band, music writer Joe Bonomo. (Among other works, Bonomo also wrote a dandy 33 1/3 on AC/DC.) I quote here from Sweat, page 256:

The pairing with McKellen was fantastic: as the actor dramatically recited Shakespeare’s “Twentieth Sonnet,” the Fleshtones accompanied him in the background, creating ambient psychedelic music. The kind of marriage of high and low art prized by Warhol, the union provided all concerned with kicks. The guys invited McKellen down to the Pyramid with them after the taping, and he gladly came along for some alternative East Side divertissement. (When the performance was released the next year on the Time Bomb compilation, the Fleshtones were able to enjoy one of the more notable songwriting credits in recent pop history: “Zaremba / Milhizer / Spaeth / Warren / Streng / Shakespeare”.)


Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Take a drone tour over scenic Snoqualmie Falls, better known as the vista from ‘Twin Peaks’
06:50 am


Twin Peaks

Just another beautiful day in scenic Twin Peaks
When watching Twin Peaks one tends to get much more caught up in interiors then landscapes—The Waiting Room? Chic and cerebral! Nonetheless, the Washington state wilderness provided a gorgeous backdrop for a psychological thriller, and divested from Laura Palmer, the gorgeous Snoqualmie Falls look way more majestic than sinister. Frankly the most disturbing thing about the drone footage below is the vertigo it induces—the team actually almost lost the copter trying to get the shots.

Fun fact: For the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, the falls have a spiritual significance, as they believed it to be the brithplace of man and woman. The mists were said to connect Heaven to earth, carrying prayers to the creator. In 1992, the National Register of Historic Places nominated Snoqualmie Falls as traditional cultural property, but the energy company that owned the the property fought the listing. In 2009 Puget Sound Energy gave up the fight, and Snoqualmie Falls is now under protection of the National Register.

Via Welcome to Twin Peaks

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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