My friend DK sent me this prank video where I have been singled out as the fucker responsible for Obama's defeat.
Don't be a non-voter. It could mean another four years of Republican horror.
You either get it or you don't. Devendra Banhart's solitary claim to fame, at least in pop culture, so far, has been that he's Natalie Portman's ex-boyfriend. On his own, he comes across as a psychedelic rebel looking to affront. He ain't no Allen Ginsberg when it comes to the standard of psychedelic rebels but I thought he was amusing to read at least in this article that he wrote after his break up with Natalie Portman. He's also a songwriter, singer and a musician whose career, well at least I haven't been following.
His new music video for the song Carmensita, from his album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, is a spoof of Ramayana and has gotten Hindu Religious scholars all riled up.
zeitgeist | Pronunciation: 'tsIt-"gIst, 'zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.
So what is the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of our era? All trends seem to suggest that it is Page 3 bullshit and you're all a bunch of voyeuristic wankers.
While Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert remain favorites, I have a problem with them. They are too intelligent. When one is looking for dumb stuff, you know the kind that is sensitive to the needs of the Lowest Common Denominator, it is far more rewarding to turn to self-proclaimed Religious custodians. My favorite has been televangelist Pat Robertson who among other things had this to say about the feminist movement:
(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
Nice going there preacher but I think I've found a strong contender. The Saudi cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid had this to say about women in Olympics:
How come modern sports - especially women's sports - involve the exposure of private parts? It is well known that the Olympics - both in the past and the upcoming games... the world's worst display of women's clothing is the women's Olympics. No exposure of women's private parts on a global scale could make Satan happier than Olympic games that include women's sports.
Wrestling involves the exposure of women's private parts. Even the promotion of the competitions is done by scantily clad women. This is done at the beginning of the match, in the middle, and at the end, or so I hear... the matches are promoted by half-naked women.
This son of a rich Karachi businessman, Asif Ali Zardari, was never meant to be the President of Pakistan. He was the guy you'd write about only if discussing corrupt husbands living in the shadows of 10% commission. The moniker Mr. Ten Percent, though appropriate, seems incomplete to describe him. He's also a man known for his frills, a philandering playboy and a lecherous womanizer.
Every time he opens his mouth, he begins by raising the specter of his late wife "Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto" as a copyrighted trademark. Once the formalities of announcing his claim to fame have been dispensed with, he'll break into the most gratuitous display of teeth, which he thinks passes off for a welcoming smile. One can almost see that behind the grinning eyes lies a conniving idiot-savant figuring out the rules of this new game he's playing. With this non graduate at the helm of power in Pakistan, I think the subcontinent has found its local version of President Bush. Just like Bush's Bushims, we can begin compiling Zardari's Zardarisms.
I'll start by pointing out this one:
These riots broke out after the burning of Coach S/6, on the Sabarmati Express, in Godhra, on February 27th, 2002. Fifty eight people (23 men, 15 women and 20 children) were killed, burnt to death by a mob, while returning from a pilgrimage from Ayodhya. Using these killings as an excuse, the Hindutva outfits VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal (members of the Sangh Parivar) unleashed mass riots in which close to two thousand people were killed and over a hundred and fifty thousand people displaced. Most of them were Muslims.
The Sangh Parivar (family of strong associations) is a group of various political parties. The BJP, which controlled both the state and national government, at the time of the riots, is the largest member of this family. The Prime Minster of India, at that time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee started his political career as a member of the RSS. The BJP chief minister of Gujarat, Narinder Modi has close ties to the VHP and the Bajrang Dal.
When the riots went on unchecked for over two months, till May 2002, allegations started surfacing that these riots were pre-planned, organized and aided by local authorities with carte blanche from the Government. It was a serious charge because if these allegations were true, it meant the government of Gujarat was aiding the massacre of its own people divided on lines of religion.
Another awesome GYWO episode - thanks to the hilarious work being done at 236
America seems to be the land of abstractions, where numbers have taken on an existence of their own in phrases like "57 Varieties," "the 5 and 10," or "7 Up" and "behind the 8-ball." It figures. Perhaps this is a kind of echo of an industrial culture that depends heavily on prices, charts, and figures. Take 36-24-36. Numbers cannot become more sensuously tactile than when mumbled as the magic formula for the female figure while the haptic* hand sweeps the air.
* The Greeks referred to the faculty of touch as the "haptic" sense.
Quantitative analysis is the foundation on which logic, science and reason stand. So great is our dependency on quantitative analysis that when something doesn't make sense we refer to the numbers. Numbers are seen as the unbiased validation of truth. Our faith in numbers is the basis of testing intelligence, of calculating progress, of creating economic models. The Number can tell you if you are happy or not, it can detect if you are lying or telling the truth. It can even pronounce you mentally insane. We strengthen our arguments by backing it up with numbers because everyone trusts the number. We measure success by numbers. And if the numbers don't add up, we attribute that to human error. The Supremacy of the Number even allows us to predict and control chaos and the unknown. It enables us to see into the future.
The abstract power of the Number is felt most tangibly in Economics. Today, Chaos Math and Game Theory are commonly applied to predict the Stock Market, the World Economy, Inflation, Employment, the GDP and even Poker Games (which a lot of people take quite seriously). In fact, Game Theory originated as a model to predict results in a Poker Game.
The first political applications of Game Theory are traced back to the paranoia of the Cold War years. In the late fifties it was used, at the Rand Corporation, to play out different scenarios of nuclear war and how to avert it. Simple quantitative models of human nature were drawn, based on radars that monitored Soviet activity, fed into a computer and then used by strategists to predict Soviet behavior and decide US policy. It was the first step to believing that we could incorporate the enemy into our own thinking. We could harness the power of the Number and mathematically predict how we and our enemy would play on a set of known and unknown rules.
But underlying Game Theory was a dark vision of human beings. That we were driven only by self-interest and constantly distrustful of those around us. One mathematician at Rand, John Nash (who entered pop culture through the film A Beautiful Mind) set out to show that this dark vision was not just applicable to the Cold War but could be used to create stability in all of Human Society. To prove his thesis, he invented a series of cruel games, the most famous of which he called "Fuck You Buddy".
The mockery continues. Do you know what a surge is?
If you haven't encountered Phil Hansen's work, you're missing out on a new form of Pointillism mixed with performance art. His work is politically charged, as all good art should be (I'm aware that "good art" is a dubious term, but I'm most interested in political art;). He doesn't necessarily look at museums or galleries to display his work and has preferred the world-wide-web as his exhibition space.
Hansen, an art school dropout, works as an X-ray technician by day, spending all of his spare time and money on his art. His presentation medium, though, has earned him a huge audience.
This 44" x 104" image of Kim Jong Il is made using half a liter of his own blood and over 6000 bandages on the canvas. Here's a close up of the canvas:
Another piece titled Paul, is a 144" x 96" portrait of a homeless man made by stepping in paint and walking all over the canvas.