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  • Holy Mashup Bat-fans!: What if Batman and The Joker got genetically spliced?
    10:21 am

    Pop Culture


    Picture if you will a world where superheroes are genetically spliced with super villains to create freakish hybrids who deal justice and terror out in equal measure. A world where no good deed goes unpunished, and no evil unrewarded. Welcome to the world of BATMAN™: Rogues Gallery….

    DC Comics Variant Play Arts KAI are producing a series of Batman action figures mashed-up with nefarious villains from the caped crusader’s rogues’ gallery. Earlier this year, a Batman and Two-Face combo was announced that featured a charred and scorched Harvey Dent (aka the coin flipping Two-Face) melded with Gotham’s finest crime fighter. Now a sneak peak of the next Batman mashup has just been released, this time featuring the Dark Knight and his most evil adversary—the Joker.

    The Batman-Joker figure is dressed in a “tattered straitjacket is erratically adorned with dynamite, a flower, cans of pepper spray, and an alarm clock.”

    Combined with his playing cards and a pistol with a flag as interchangeable parts, this ensemble shows the character’s madness, oozing from within.

    The pale skin and bloodshot eyes accentuate his eerie quality, while his trademark purple and green lend dark shadows to his coloring. The bat mark roughly painted on his chest can almost be construed as a laughing mouth. It seems to make a mockery of Batman, offering a glimpse into how The Joker’s twisted mind ticks.

    This collectible Batman/Joker figure goes on sale March 2017. The Batman/Two-FaceSquare-Enix.
    More Batman-Joker hi-jinks, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Classic covers from ‘The Monster Times’
    09:08 am

    Pop Culture


    I couldn’t begin to tell you why The Monster Times failed in only four years. It seems like a great idea—a sci-fi/horror/comics tabloid newspaper with poster quality cover art? It’s not like horror fans are so small a niche, but the paper launched in New York in 1972 as a bi-weekly, then soon went monthly, then sporadic, until its quiet death in the summer of 1976, when an all-poster issue failed to revive its fortunes.

    You can hardly blame it staffers for its demise—it was helmed by people who knew their business, veterans of The East Village Other, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and Screw. The result was a snarky, streetwise variation on Famous Monsters with deep coverage. But clearly the mag’s cult wasn’t enough to sustain it. Fangoria announced plans to revive the publication in 2009, but those plans were cancelled, along with plans to republish the original issues online. There’s a terrific and obsessively detailed rundown of the magazine’s history on Zombo’s Closet of Horror because of course there is. Back issues are findable on Amazon, mostly in the $15-$30 range, but can be had on eBay for under $10.


    More Monster Times after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    A list of the dirtiest-sounding town names in America
    09:07 am



    I can’t stop laughing at this list of the lewdest town names in America. I live in Ohio, so “Pee Pee Township” is the winner for me. But there’s also Wankers Corner, Oregon and Dickshooter, Idaho that give Pee Pee Township some stiff competition.

    Now some of these names are merely dirty-sounding and not necessarily lewd. Still, they’re funny as hell and you gotta have some potty humor in you to enjoy them.

    ALABAMA:  Ballplay, Boar Tush, Smut Eye

    ALASKA:  Clam Gulch, Covenant Life, Manley Hot Springs, Mary’s Igloo, North Pole

    ARIZONA:  Cyclopic, Kaka, Parker Strip, Show Low, Three Way

    ARKANSAS:  Bald Knob, Biggers, Blue Ball, Boeuf, Corning, Flippin, Greasy Corner, Pea Ridge, Romance, Toad Suck, Weiner

    CALIFORNIA:  Bush, Chubbuck, Clam Beach, Fort Dick, Hooker, Johnsondale, Johnsons, Old Fig Garden, Peters, Prunedale, Raisin City, Ragged Point, Ragtown, Rough and Ready, Shafter, Woody

    COLORADO:  Atwood, Beaver Creek, Delores, Hotchkiss, Johnson Village, Lay, Loveland, Lubers, Slagger, Wetmore, Woodrow, Woody Creek

    CONNECTICUT:  Happyland, Moosup, Seymour, Essex

    :  Blue Ball, Bunting, Cave Colony, Cocked Hat, Cowgills Corner, Hoars Addition, Midnight Thicket, Swallow Hill

    FLORIDA:  Briny Breezes, Bunker Donation, Chattahoochee, Fluffy Landing, Miccosukee, Needmore, Wildwood
    The rest of the list after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Whipped cream, bullfights, James Bond, Tijuana taxis & other delights: A taste of Herb Alpert
    02:41 pm



    When I was young, copies of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass‘s chart-topping album Whipped Cream & Other Delights could be found nearly everywhere you looked. In record stores, in every garage sale, and most probably in your father’s record collection. Maybe you noticed this too? It was a hard one to to miss!

    Suave and good-looking, the dapper and charismatic trumpet player provided the perfect soundtrack to the archetypal bullfight poster-clad swinging bachelor pad of the 1960s—not to mention a James Bond movie. If your parents went to Vegas, they might’ve come back with a tale of seeing a fiery set by the Tijuana Brass.

    Even if Herb Alpert was pretty cool, he was still your dad’s generation’s idea of “cool” (or perhaps your grandfather’s by this point). His songs were played during The Dating Game and Alpert frequently appeared on the most staid and middle-of-the-road TV variety shows. Not unfairly he is considered somewhat of a “show biz” performer of the “easy listening” variety, but he produced some of the most iconic and pleasing pieces of instrumental pop music of the 1960s, at times outselling even the Beatles and shifting some 70 million albums.

    A sundae kind of love?
    Best of all? He co-owned the record label (Alpert is the “A” in A&M Records, the “M” is his business partner, Jerry Moss). Your father’s idea of cool, perhaps, but the motherfucker was a gangsta businessman, too, raking in millions selling crate-loads of Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Sting, Janet Jackson, Supertramp and Peter Frampton albums.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Gary Numan’s 1978 blue jeans commercial featuring vampire robot punks
    02:32 pm



    In 1978 Gary Numan, then still with Tubeway Army, did the vocals for a commercial for the English jeans manufacturer Lee Cooper. The commercial featured some hyper-fashionable Londoners with pasty skin and glowing green and blue eyes. In the commercial, Numan sings a song called “Don’t Be a Dummy” with the following lyrics:

    Don’t be a dummy!
    Move like honey
    Don’t be a dummy!
    Use your money
    Come out proud, don’t hide in the crowd
    Find the gear of love to grind
    Find the gear to suit you
    Mine’ll suit ya!
    Lee Cooper!
    Lee Cooper!

    Interestingly, according to an article by Nick Robertshaw that appeared in Billboard in October 1978, music executives pushed hard for Numan to release the song as a single, but he wouldn’t do it:
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    1980s footage from a California new wave synthpop club is mesmerizing and awesome
    12:47 pm



    Isabella Ibarra at the Southeast Career Technical Academy deserves a big round of applause for these excellent compilations she put together featuring the patrons of the Stratus Dance Club in the San Diego area (actually Spring Valley) in 1986 and 1987 dancing their asses off.

    This was East County, and Stratus was an all-ages club that catered heavily to the new romantic and goth crowds—these videos are all labeled “The Metro Beat and Club Sanctuary Nights” which was surely a regular rendezvous for the new wavers in the area. Jane’s Addiction actually played Stratus right during this period, in the spring of 1987.

    This reminds me of the footage taken at the Xclusiv nightclub in Batley in 1984 we posted a while back. So what’s on the turntable—or CD player? Well, the clips start us off with the Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary,” there’s a good deal of Divine (I caught both “Shake It Up” and “Native Love (Step by Step)”) and Sexual Harassment (”I Need a Freak”) and Strawberry Switchblade’s version of “Jolene” and Trans-X (”Living on Video”) alongside more enduring faves like Blondie and New Order.

    Spot the folks with chewing gum, it’s a sure sign of ecstasy use….

    Continues after the jump, including a surprise appearance by Pee-wee Herman…...

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘Hell Drivers’: Wild vintage images of fearless car stuntmen
    10:46 am



    Lucky Teter (or perhaps one of his stuntmen) jumping over a truck, 1930s.
    Back in the early 1930s a man by the name of Earl “Lucky” Teter formed a troupe of eager thrill-seeking stunt-drivers for his daredevil extravaganza “Lucky” Teter’s Hell Drivers. It would mark the first time that a traveling “auto show” would put on as a “traveling” attraction.

    Ward Beam’s signature ‘Dive Bomb’ or ‘T-Bone’ stunt, 1920s.
    Inspired by the balls-out stunts by Ward Beam’s “Thrill Show” from the late 1920s who in addition to performing a wide array of stunts also played a bizarre game involving speeding cars and a giant ball called “auto pushball” or the Jimmie Lynch Death Dodgers who were getting started during the 1930s as well, Teter began trying to perfect his own “ramp to ramp” style stunts that had him hurtling over several cars or a city bus—a stunt that would ultimately take his life in 1942. Though his career was tragically cut short when his car failed to jump two Greyhound buses, Teter was the first person to coin the name “Hell Drivers” which would go on to be used by many other groups of adventurous automobile enthusiasts who would continue on with the legacy established by both Teter and Beam. Speaking of the crash-happy types of drivers here’s a want-ad that was posted by Beam in the Amherst Bee (a New York based newpaper) on August 6th, 1931 that will give you an idea of what it took to be a part of Beam’s “Congress of Daredevils.”

    Wanted: Single man, not over 25 years, to drive automobile in head-on collision with another car at the Albion Fairgrounds in connection with the Congress of Daredevils on August 19. Must crash with another car at 40 mph and give unconditional release in case of injury or death. Name your lowest price. Write B. Ward Beam, Albion, N.Y.

    I’ve been to exactly one demolition derby/car stunt show in my entire life and I was completely fucking terrified the entire time. That said, the images in this post don’t look much like what I lived through but they are still full of high levels of reckless and eminent danger, or in other words good old-fashioned family entertainment. Loads of pictures of the Death Dodgers, Lucky Teter in action and more pre-Dukes of Hazzard fun with cars follow.

    A driver for Jimmie Lynch’s Death Dodgers driving through a wall of flame.

    Lucky Teter.
    More thrilling photos (and film footage) of these old school automotive daredevils, after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Jack Kirby’s unpublished adaptation of ‘The Prisoner’
    09:57 am



    Jack Kirby was the man who imagined our world of superheroes. In partnership with Stan Lee and Joe Simon, Kirby created the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Doctor Doom, the Black Panther and many, many others.

    Kirby’s input had a bigger and longer lasting effect than just the words or concept. His drawings helped shape our worldview—for he was the artist who created the look of these superheroes. When we think of Captain America or Iron Man—we’re seeing these characters through the prism of Kirby’s imagination.

    Jack Kirby was born in New York to an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in 1917. Though life was poor and tough, Kirby had an inkling he was going to be an artist. Hardly the sort of work for a working class kid from the Lower East Side—but Kirby had a compulsion that made him draw. He started doodling, then sketching, and then drawing full comic strips. He knew he would never be a Rembrandt or a Gauguin but he did know that he would become an artist. He took to drawing comics because the comic strip was the art of the working man. Kirby later recalled:

    I thought comics was a common form of art and strictly American in my estimation because America was the home of the common man, and show me the common man that can’t do a comic. So comics is an American form of art that anyone can do with a pencil and paper.

    His talent for drawing led to his early career as a graphic artist. He created single panel health advice cartoons such as Your Health Comes First!!! and various advisory comic strips. When Kirby switched jobs to Fox Feature Syndicate, he teamed up with Joe Simon—together they created Captain America.

    After the Second World War Kirby worked for DC Comics and then Marvel—where his legendary partnership with Stan Lee was responsible for creating our world of superheroes—a world comparable to the myths of ancient Greece. However, disagreements with Lee over credit, led Kirby to quit Marvel and rejoin DC in the late 1960s, where he produced his superb Fourth World series.

    In 1968, Kirby became obsessed with a new TV series called The Prisoner. The series depicted a spy relocated to a mysterious island where he is interrogated for information. As an anti-authoritarian libertarian, Kirby identified with the central character No. 6 played by Patrick McGoohan. Kirby said the series represented: individual’s stubborn attempts to wrest freedom from subtle but oppressive power.

    This was analogous to his view of politics as well as his creative relationships with others—most notably Stan Lee.

    In the early 1970s, Marvel decided to produce a comic book version of The Prisoner. Marvel’s then editor Marv Wolfman set Steve Englehart and Gil Kane to work on it. However, Stan Lee—knowing how much Kirby liked the series—intervened and asked him to work on the comic book.

    Kirby produced a complete first issue lifted directly from the series’ first episode “Arrival.” Unlike his other work, Kirby’s The Prisoner is an almost faithful retelling of the TV show. The finished drawings were partially inked and lettered by Mike Royer–but the idea was dropped and the comic never saw light of day.
    Read the rest of Jack Kirby’s ‘The Prisoner,’ after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    You can buy two locks of Marilyn Monroe’s hair. Seriously.
    08:53 am

    Pop Culture


    Few actors have come to symbolize glamor qua glamor for generations like Marilyn Monroe. Her icon status is unassailable, and was already pretty much cemented during her lifetime—basically a female Elvis; her pop culture penetration is such that one needn’t have even seen any of her movies to have her most iconic moments embedded in one’s consciousness. And if you seriously haven’t seen any of her movies, good lord, see The Misfits NOW. Her tragic suicide (drama addicted tinfoil hatters and Norman Mailer would say murder) by barbiturate overdose elevated her status—revelations of her troubled private life made her as relatable as Elvis’ hayseed roots made him—making her both the sex symbol that the studio system cultivated and a martyr to that status, a badge for the culture industry’s still ongoing reduction of women to objects of desire, leaving some of its most talented figures to struggle for respect in a milieu where the only currency is fuckability.

    Due to her deification, trade in her image remains a brisk business over a half century after her death. The celebrated portraits of her by Andy Warhol adorn practically every consumer product that can be emblazoned with an image. And Monroe memorabilia need have only a tenuous connection to the icon to make waves—the replica of her Seven Year Itch dress worn by Willem Dafoe in a Snickers ad is expected to fetch thousands in Julien’s “Icons and Idols” auction this weekend.

    But some memorabilia is significantly more, um, personal.
    Lots 724 and 725 in the aforementioned auction are actual locks of Monroe’s hair. Their provenance is fairly compelling, if a bit creeperish—they came from the collection of one Frieda Hull, one of a group of six New Yorkers who basically made a hobby of stalking Monroe after her move there in the mid-‘50s. An astonishingly good sport about this, Monroe often posed for photos with and eventually befriended the group, known as “The Monroe Six,” even inviting them to the home she shared with her then-husband, playwright Arthur Miller. Can you even imagine that happening today? A clique of persistently invasive superfans would seem more likely to be assailed by goons than invited to the country for a picnic.

    A lock of Marilyn Monroe’s blonde hair given to “Monroe Six” member Frieda Hull by one of Monroe’s hairdressers. The “Monroe Six” was a group of young fans based in New York City that frequently found out where Monroe would be through the press or by staking out her residence. The group became well known to Monroe who frequently posed for and with them in photographs.

    Keep reading after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Move over Jesus: Face of Charles Darwin spotted in patient’s eye scan
    08:50 am



    Tired of all those Jesus sightings in things like Cheetos, rusty drainpipes or even a dog’s butt? Well here’s an apparition for the other side: Charles Darwin was found in a patient’s eye scan. Clearly it’s him. It’s him!

    Christopher McCleary noticed the shape of the father of evolution when carrying out a scan at Aintree Hospital .

    “Given the number of religious figures who feature in media reports of pareidolia, we thought that it was very appropriate that our high-tech scanning equipment found one of history’s most important scientists.”

    The Father of Evolution spotted in an eye scan. Take that, you nonbelievers!


    via Echo and h/t Nerdcore

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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