Thursday, July 29, 2010

Even Captain America Hates The Tea Party

Marvel comics has recently been forced to apologize to the racist illiterates in the tea party for, well, calling them racist illiterates.

In a recent story arc of Captain America, ol' Cap and The Falcon are investigating a right-wing anti-government militia called The Watchdogs. As part of their information gathering, they're depicted monitoring a tea party-style rally (with oxymoronic and incorrectly spelled signs taken straight from reality).

Apparently some associated with the tea party have gotten all twisted out of shape about this (imagine that -- the tea party becoming enraged about something for little to no reason) and demanded Marvel apologize for it's accurate portrayal of them, which it caved and did.

But still, it's good to know that after all these years, ol' Cap is still standing up for truth, justice, and the American way...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mama Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

In a pretty standard business-type news story, Kodak is ceasing production of their famous Kodachrome film, no doubt due to all those damn kids with their "digital" cameras and smartphones and damn hip hop music.

In a more interesting news story, however, Kodak is giving the final roll ever produced to famous photographer Steve McMurry to use and the resulting photos will be published in National Geographic.

The best bit of the story: in a not-at-all ironic twist, because he did not want to waste any of the pictures on that final roll, McMurray used a digital camera to take every shot first to make sure he was getting the image he wanted. But time keeps turning, seasons come and go, further cliches about the passage of time, etc.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why Are The Homophobic Always So Homoerotic?

Apropos of nothing on a friday, here's a good collection of incredibly homoerotic sports photos.

In the way of a bit of commentary, multiple studies have found that the people who tend to be the most aggressively and outwardly homophobic are usually doing so as a way to hide and/or come to grips with their own homosexual urges (see Craig, Larry and the entire Family Research Council, etc.). So while these are just fun out of context photos, maybe they're getting at a bigger truth...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Need To Understand A Band?

But don't know where to look?

It's a serious problem -- many artists have careers so long and mystifying that you can't simply pick up any album and start there, because chances are usually as good that you'll get a shitty one as much as you'll get a good one. To make sure you know where to start and are no longer sneered at by the hipsters at the coffee shop who can't believe you've never heard this album before, there's Discographies, helpfully breaking down a band's output into 140 characters or less.

Here's a good sampling of some of their work:

Bob Dylan: 1 Woody; 2, 3 ambition; 4 pot; 5-7 speed; 8-9 pot; 10-11 AJ Weberman; 12-16 booze; 17-19 Jesus; 20-27 pot; 28 death; 29-32 pot.

The Beatles: 1st-4th) recorded in black & white; 5th-8th) the drugs kick in; 9th/10th/12th) entropy; 11th) invents ELO & Oasis by accident.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gee, I Wonder Why We Can't Keep Members

It's probably no secret now that the Catholic Church is having a problem or two these days. Amongst the many others, one major problem is retention -- people are leaving the church (or dying) in numbers far surpassing the people coming in. This is especially evident in small rural areas like where I grew up where Parishes are rapidly consolidating due to lack of members and especially priests. For example, the Parish I grew up in has now consolidated with several others and has a scant three priests for about 8 or so churches.

I can't help but think that a major part of the reason so many people are leaving is that the Catholic Church still thinks it's the year 1500 (in so many ways) -- they think that if they say we shouldn't do something, we'll all faithfully obey. Much like those who planned the Iraq invasion, they don't even seem capable of pondering the fact that people might not agree and might instead take a very obvious different course of action (in this case leaving the church instead of shunning their gay friends, for example).

And there's a huge problem recruiting new priests. My old man has a pretty good theory that this is the fault of Catholic schools -- while once they were designed to serve quality education to the poor, they've become daycare centers for rich brats. And this obviously makes a difference in grooming future priests; if you're poor, becoming a priests might look pretty cool (a job for life, respect in the community, etc.), but if you're rich, a dual vow of poverty and chastity doesn't look like a very good option.

But you know what would be a pretty easy solution to getting more priests? How about allowing the other half of the world's residents (the ones without penises) to be ordained?

But it looks like that won't happen any time soon. As Father Roy Bourgeois (who seems to be a much better Catholic than Benedict XVI, but that's another post for another day) recently found out, the ordination of women has been specifically identified as a grave crime.

For those of you not in the now, grave crimes are a big deal in the Catholic Church. For example, they're one of the few reasons for which someone can be excommunicated, one of the biggest punishments the church has (other than that whole eternity in hell thing). You know what else is a grave crime? Sexually molesting children.

I feel compelled to point out that lots of priests have molested children and none that I've heard have been excommunicated, but the one priest that ordained a woman -- excommunicated before the ceremony was over.

Just a crazy guess here, but this might just be a good example of why people aren't super interested in being Catholic these days...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh, Those Internets

Possibly the thing I enjoy most about the internet is that there are a lot of clever people in the world, and internet memes let us all enjoy in their creativity. So, say an über-famous anti-semetic religious fundamentalist actor is recorded saying long, semi-coherent strings of incredibly racist and sexist things.

In days long gone by, this would simply be something we all laugh at. But fortunately, in today's age, we have rappers making sweet remixes of it and enterprising graphics artists pairing the best/worst of his quotes with adorable kittens.

God bless the internets...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yup I'm a Racist

An image making the rounds from a tea party event. Some enterprising folks have printed up shirts reading "Yup, I'm a Racist" with a list of their tea party endorsed views on the back.

In a confusing interview with one of the folks selling the shirts, he claimed this was a satirical response to be calling racist so often. I'm not really sure that it's quite getting the message across, but then satire has always been better done by the left anyway...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

R.I.P. Harvey Pekar

Early yesterday morning, Harvey Pekar was discovered dead in his apartment. Pekar, of course, was most famous for his American Splendor series, chronicling his life and experiences as a working stiff in Cleveland. He became somehwat of a public figure after his repeated tousling with David Letterman on the Late Show, mostly surrounding the shady arms dealings of GE, NBC's then-parent company.

Pekar's comic was most famous for using the medium of comics to tell stories not about superheroes, but about a balding, overweight misanthrope and his daily grind working in a VA hospital mail room.

I once had the great fortune of getting to interview Pekar on his graphic novel adaptation of Studs Terkel's Working and his views of how sociology informed his works (short answer: it did not). While the interview provided me with a harsh lesson on the fact that interviewing someone famous for being irritable and not doing interviews does not readily lend itself to a very good interview, I did manage to get him to angrily relate possibly his most famous quote of "comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures," which has always been a favorite line of mine.

So at least there was that.

Anyway, Pekar kept working right up until his death and has left a lot of material behind to remember him by. If you're not familiar with it, now would be a great time to stop what you're doing and go check it out. He will be missed...

Friday, July 09, 2010

Put Up or Shut Up

The classic response to the tired "Im-me-gints is stealin' all our jobs" line has always been "No, they're mostly taking jobs no one wants."

Well, to test this theory and highlight the plight of farmworkers in America, the UFW has launched the website Take Our Jobs, where you can sign up to take over the job of an immigrant farm laborer.

According to UFW prez Arturo Rodríguez, only 3 people have thus far taken up the offer, though Stephen Colbert last night pledged to join the ranks.

So if you're unemployed and blaming immigrants instead of the real culprits, go ahead and get yourself a job...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Li'l Summer Listening

Need something to listen to at your barbecue, while washing your car, or while stuck inside working on lectures (like me)?

How about the official summertime mixtape, put together by no less than the potent combo of Mick Boogie and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Yeah, those are the dudes you want making your summer mix. Download it for free here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

You Never Even Knew You Wanted It

Given her recent success as host of Saturday Night Live, the big facebook push to get her to host the Oscars, and her Ringo-like ability to outlive everyone else in her famous quartet, it seems only right that Betty White would be getting the full paparazzi treatment these days.

And what all does that include? Well, of course nude photos.

Yeah, that's right. Nude photos of Betty White, apparently from a 40s era deck of novelty poker cards. with this information what you will, but don't say this blog has never brought you interesting news.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

50 Fattiest Foods, By State

Not much time to blog today. but if you're bored and wondering why Americans are so damn fat (something I assume you do all the time), check out this list of the 50 fattiest foods by state.

I'm disappointed that Minnesota's is relegated to a fast-food chain item from a company that just happens to have its headquarters in Minnesota (surely they could have come up with some more local, like my new favorite, the deep-fried peanut butter cup). But Iowa's is pretty kick-ass -- a hot fudge sundae, but instead of ice cream and hot fudge, it's meat, potatoes, gravy, and cheese.

This was the first I've heard of such a thing, but maybe it's just one of the many cool things Iowa waited to do until I left...