Archive for August, 2012|
After all the hoohoo about vaginas lately, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about pee pees.
Let’s talk about penises for a moment. I know, I know. It’s not an especially appealing topic for most of us. So let’s ease into it. Before we really dig in, there are probably a few things you should understand about them. First of all, the old joke “Why is a man’s brain so small? So it will fit in his penis!” has considerable foundation in reality. Second, it’s important to understand that 90% of the male population’s behavior is in fact ruled by their penis. And third, in spite of the incredible amount of time men devote to tending to its needs, they seem rather loathe to actually talk about the thing in a serious fashion. In a way, this is probably a rational choice; there is perhaps no other part of the body that is of such limited utility, is so likely to be visually unappealing, and that in spite of its relatively meager dimensions, seems to have a profound impact on human civilization. Consider Napoleon, for instance. This whole issue of men being reluctant to talk about penises came up recently when this ghastly story of an infant in Brooklyn who died as a result of an archaic circumcision ritual called metzitzah b’peh made the rounds. The story (probably because of reason number three above) got scant media attention, and mostly seemed to be used as fodder for hyperbole-driven atheist blog posts and poorly-executed internet memes (language NSFW).
Amongst some people I know though, this tragic event stimulated some conversation about the whole circumcised vs. uncircumcised debate, and led us to an Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on August 22, 2012 by admin in MusicWednesday, August 22nd, 2012
If you can find it. But rather than spending your time downloading free music by a non-existent band called Pussy Riot, why not just give them some money via Free Pussy Riot so they have some hope of actually being free?
If you haven’t heard about Pussy Riot, you couldn’t possibly be reading this, because this is the internet, and you’re on it, and “you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a reference to Pussy Riot lately”, as my grandpa might say, if he were alive, and if he had heard of them. Which he would have. Because he was English, and The Guardian got exclusive rights to their latest video release, and he would have watched it, because he was a rascal. But have you HEARD Pussy Riot? I’m willing to bet not. In much the same way that people rail on Justin Bieber without actually having given him a listen, people are willing to get all up in arms about a band in Russia that they’d never heard of until last week, and definitely never listened to.
So ponder this. Are you even sure they’re an actual band? I’d argue they’re not, based on output and substance. I did my best to track down a way to buy a CD, and gave up. I eventually tried their MySpace page, and after getting annoyed with MySpace for trying to force me to update Flash and link my Facebook account, I suddenly realized that it was the WRONG PUSSY RIOT. It’s an Italian band from six years ago. Eventually I found and downloaded the collection called “Pussy Riot – Kill The Sexiest” [sic], and gave it a listen. Well, that didn’t take long. The longest of the songs clocks in at 2:11, and the total running time was 10:15. Probably the most interesting thing about it remains the rebellion behind it, not the music. As this review points out, some of content in these one-minute wonders is actually sampled from eighties punk, sort of completing a weird circle of irony.
Personally, I remain adamant in my support of Pussy Riot, merely on the basis of the absurd harshness of their sentence. But I’m perhaps much more impressed with the media savvy behind the “band” than even their ideology. One thing that never gets mentioned in major media pieces is that Pussy Riot is an offshoot of the Voina group, which was established in 2007. The band itself was really formed just last year, as a direct response to a decision by former President and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev not to run for re-election as president. As the husband of Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova points out in this Spiegel interview, it wouldn’t be especially prudent to go into detail about their long term planning and the details of their “marketing strategy”, but rest assured, one exists. From the brightly colored balaclavas to the harmless looking threesome that took the fall (with amazing resilience under oppressive prison conditions, by the way), there was a plan behind Pussy Riot. But not much of a “band”. Sheer genius in activism, and a worthy cause. I hope my fellow citizens here in the states don’t wait until things are as bad here as they are in Russia before they get this savvy and productive when it comes to standing up for freedom. And fuck twats like Vadim Nikitin of the NYT who offer up liberal elite analysis questioning westerners’ support for the group, comparing Pussy Riot to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The issue here is resisting authoritarianism, not the kind of dumbass debates Americans are having right now, like whether or not Romney is testing well with black voters, or whether Obama plays too much golf.
If you haven’t actually listened to Pussy Riot, some clips are below, and you should have no trouble finding more tracks by Googling “Pussy Riot – Kill The Sexiest” [sic]. And since downloading the songs for free won’t do them OR your ears much good, visit FreePussyRiot.org to donate to the defense fund and generally keep up to date. Oh, and remember, there are Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on August 19, 2012 by admin in Editorial & OpinionSunday, August 19th, 2012
Why none of the crimes of the financial services industry will ever be punished.
If you want to commit a crime and get away with it, one way to do it is to make it an EPIC crime, surround yourself with lots of fall guys, and remain utterly unrepentant. Nixon understood this in the Watergate scandal; his abuse of office was remarkable, and he had no qualms about letting his underlings dangle. Reagan & Bush understood this in the Iran Contra affair; mixing billion dollar drug and weapons deals to negotiate the extended enemy-state-sponsored kidnapping of American citizens to win an election was a stunning exercise in criminality that went largely unpunished. In fact one of their fall guys is now a high-paid “journalist” with Fox News. And in a recent bizarre example, the US government dropped charges against a fugitive doctor wanted in a multimillion dollar international racket selling prescription drugs online, simply because the evidence against him was using too much space on federal servers.
Another way to achieve your goal is to create a legitimate business that so insinuates itself into people’s lives that they feel they can’t live without it, and then charge them enough to buy deregulation for yourself, so you can basically get away with murder, price-fixing, repossession of property, Read the rest of this entry »