"Totally coup, yo."

Murphy’s Law: “Get out of jail free” edition

Mar

13

by

Murphy-motion-appeal

“Hey, boss! I didn’t get any toilet paper.” The 2:30 – 3:30 lockdown is imminent. And so is potentially explosive mud-butt.

“Hold your horses,” says the guard, bolting through Echo block. “I’ll get you some.”

“Thanks! The booklet says…” I trail off. He’s gone. The booklet also says I should have a pillow. Nope.

“Lockdown!” he shouts. That’s our cue to gtfo of the common area–a little hallway between a long set of bars and our individual cells. The block’s split in half, with 10 or 12 cells on each side. There’s only 3 other dudes in my half.  I welcome the solitude. The two older dudes are chill, but the younger dude thinks he’s hard, or maybe he is hard. He keeps looking me up and down, wearing an indiscernible expression between “let’s fuck” and “let’s fight.” Maybe it’s both. Maybe I’m just hyper-aware of my asshole because I’ve been damning a river of shit for hours. He’s just trying to size me up, in all likelihood. I cut my own hair last night. Hopefully, it gives off that dangerous-mental-patient vibe I was going for. And Judge Joe Brown does the rest.

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David Bowie: Still Cooler Than You

Mar

13

by

This album cover ain't half bad, once you get used to it.

When news of a new David Bowie album emerged in January, I was excited, but also a bit apprehensive. Sure, the idea of new music from one of the most vital, original, and enigmatic rock geniuses to ever walk the earth was enticing, but at the same time, the dude is 66. What if he doesn’t have it anymore, and his comeback effort proves to be the musical equivalent of Michael Jordan’s time with the Washington Wizards?

Thankfully, that’s not even close to being the case. The Next Day, Bowie’s 24th studio album, is brilliant from start to finish, and proves that despite being gone for far too long, Bowie still has a lot of creative juices in him. This is one of Bowie’s more diverse efforts, as he adeptly switches from genre to genre on each song. Lead single “Where Are We Now” is a soulful ballad, a bit reminiscent of his cover of “Wild Is The Wind” on Station to Station, but with more of the atmospheric quality that would mark the Berlin Trilogy era.

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Murphy’s Law: $5,000 bail edition

Mar

06

by

“Bang on that window again, motherfucker, and see what the fuck happens!” the bald cop barks at me.

“But–but,” I turn to my new cellmates, incredulous. “you–he just let me in here to piss! My bail’s been paid!”

“Watch them process you all over again,” one guy jokes–says. “They don’t give a shit.”

Fear washes over me. I was locked in this room six hours ago–the first in a series of seemingly arbitrary cages the pigs herd you through at the Erie County Holding Center. I’d been bussed here with eleven other dudes from the courthouse across the street, handcuffed to a black kid who looked like he was about fourteen. But I can never tell how old black people are. Or how tall they are. I find professional basketball incredibly confusing.

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Community: An Imitation Of Community

Feb

22

by

At least it’s still better than Go On.

Last spring, a large section of the internet had a collective seizure when it was announced the NBC sitcom Community would be going forward without Dan Harmon, the super-duper-mega-genius who created it all. It seemed like sacrilege, since the show was Harmon’s baby from the beginning, and he had put so much of his blood, sweat, and tears into the project.

When it was announced that he would be replaced by David Guarascio and Moses Port, best known for their work on Happy Endings and Just Shoot Me (the latter is a fairly underrated show, for the record), all the diehard fans were all to eager to write the postmortem for Community without even seeing any of the new episodes. Well, after watching the first three episodes of the post-Harmon era, it’s my sad duty to report that those devoted ultra-fans actually had a point.

The show just isn’t the same.

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I’m Running For Pope

Feb

13

by

First funny Family Guy joke in three years. And it's not actually from Family Guy...

After 8 years on the job, Pope Benedict And The Jets XVI decided to call it quits this week, presumably because covering up child molestation is grueling, tiresome work. This, of course, means there is a vacancy at the Pope position, and since I’m three months away from graduating from college, and I could really use a job, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring.

What’s that you say? Pope is too tough of a job for a 22-year-old, perpetually drunk college student? I beg to differ. This seems like the easiest job on the planet. All I have to do is not cover up thousands of pederasts and I’ll be better than either of the last two guys to do it. Piece of cake!

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The 50 Most Loathsome Americans

Feb

12

by

NOW WITH 90% MORE COPY-EDITING!

50) Aaron Sorkin
Charges: Won’t stop writing like Aaron Sorkin. More Sorkin with each Sorkin. Like that scene in Being John Malkovich, every Sorkin character is a Sorkin-headed Sorkin shrieking, “Sorkin!” in coked-up, Asperger-esque Sorkinese–speed-walking through saccharine, ahistoric morality plays in which triangulation evokes lofty scores, social change is effected solely by limousine liberals, and hackneyed drama is typically measured in rainfall.
Smoking Gun: “The Newsroom.”
Sentence: His fresh cup of Chris Matthews’s spittle secretly replaced with Folgers crystals. Will he Sorkin the Sorkin?!

49) Jim Lehrer
Charges: The PBS Punching Bag, the Denver Dodderer, the Moderating Mute came out of semi-retirement only to spare Obama the title of “most incompetent performance in a debate,” and play Rihanna to Romney’s Chris Brown. The king of NewsHour’s horrendous phony balance coverage, it’s no surprise that his toughest question was meant to determine if the candidates were, in fact, two different people.
Smoking Gun: “…”
Sentence: An eternity of brunches with Charlie Rose.

48) Chris Brown
Charges: Aggravated assault. The Todd Akin of pop stars. Twitter, Halloween, Frank Ocean, something, something. I just can’t bring myself to care about this half-talented jerk.
Smoking Gun: Battered woman neck tattoo.
Sentence: A fatal case of Bieber Fever.

47) Rihanna
Charges: Guuuuuuuuuurl?! Worst role model for girls since Batter-Me-Barbie. Not technically American.
Smoking Gun: See above.
Sentence: Stockholm Syndrome, apparently.

46) Peggy Noonan
Charges: As the Journal‘s postmenopausal Carrie Bradshaw, the full depth of her political analysis is that “America doesn’t date losers.” Tied to Romney big-money advisor Paul Singer (who pushed Ryan onto the ticket) through the Manhattan Institute, her call for a campaign “intervention” was but a brief, self-serving departure from being wrong about everything, always. Terrible writer. Unbearably pretentious.
Smoking Gun: “The GOP still practices primogeniture, but much else has changed in politics.”
Sentence: Chief speechwriter for Clint Eastwood’s Barcalounger.

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Does It Matter That Pat Robertson Denounced Creationism?

Dec

03

by

Who took my false teeth?

In case you haven’t heard, in a recent episode of The 700 Club noted corpse Pat Robertson reluctantly admitted maybe that whole thing about the earth being only 6,000 years old is just kind of, y’know, maybe a complete load of shit.

Obviously, this was a bit of a shocker. Robertson has been the captain of the delusional nutjob team for decades now. Why the sudden change of heart? Is he so old that he’s just entered “who gives a fuck” mode? Whatever the case, it certainly threw a lot of people for a loop, but the question is: does this actually matter? Let’s take a look at the details and see if we can’t reach conclusion on this.

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404 Error: Justice Not Found

Nov

26

by

Two Recent Hacktivist Trials Have Dangerous Implications For A Free Internet

Twice last week, the justice system heard cases related to hacking, and in both instances, information sharing and cyberlaw were dealt a seriously heavy-handed blow. The government was the bully here, and the dorky little hacker had his glasses knocked square off his face.

It reminds us that the Internet is serious business, but also that a man’s gaping butthole can cause a lot of damage — but more on that later.

On November 20, alleged Wikileaks source Jeremy Hammond was denied bail in a New York City courtroom, and told he’s more dangerous than a sex offender because he compromised the computers of a private intelligence firm. In New Jersey, just hours later, a jury of his peers quickly convicted Andrew Auernheimer on charges of accessing a protected computer, and disclosing an AT&T security flaw while working with a group called Goatse Security. Hammond could get life in jail for his crime, and Auernheimer is likely to do a few years on a trumped-up charge for involving himself with a collective named after an Internet-famous image of a man’s wide-open rectum. Really. Look it up.

But it’s more than just a matter of sharing information, vile viral photographs, and making the world a wee-bit smarter. These rulings offer an eye-opening example of how far the government is willing to go to deter future hacktivism, even if it sets a deleterious legal precedent that could affect us all.

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Atheism’s Class Problem

Nov

16

by

Beyond godlessness, the fight for social justice

The religious reflex of the real world can, in any case, only then finally vanish, when the practical relations of every-day life offer to man none but perfectly  intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his fellowmen and to Nature. 
~ Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I

In early October, I received an email from author Richard Carrier. He heard that I was writing an article—this one, as it turns out—lamenting the general neglect of class issues among atheist writers. Among other things, Carrier wanted me to know about the new movement—which, actually, I had been watching since its inception—called “Atheism Plus” (a.k.a. “Atheism +” or “A+”). It is, he wrote, an entire movement “dedicated to including … problems of poverty, income inequality … and other issues of social justice.” (Note: there is no breach of confidence here—on his blog Carrier has promoted A+ and elaborated at considerable length on what he takes to be the core concerns of the movement.) At about the same time, Adam Lee, writing in Salon on 06 October, averred that one of the aims of A+ is to “call for equality of opportunity and economic fairness.”

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