Mixed Media

The Vaselines are Back

| Mon Oct. 13, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

The Vaselines
V for Vaselines
Rosary Music

V for Vaselines

Talk about poor timing. Scottish duo the Vaselines split up in 1989, the week their debut album was released, so they weren't around to take advantage when Kurt Cobain became a fan and recorded three of their songs with Nirvana. But things have been going more smoothly since 2008, when Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee got back together. On the rousing V for Vaselines, their second post-reunion outing, the rowdy twosome offers a fizzy update of classic male-female sparring matches in the grand tradition of Johnny Cash and June Carter, or John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X. Whether trading scruffy lead vocals or combining for bracing harmonies, Kelly and McKee make exuberant punk-pop that captures interpersonal strife with entertaining zest. Memorable snotty lyric of the week, from "Number One Crush": "Being with you/Kills my IQ."

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Allo Darlin's Latest is So Much More Than Twee Pop

| Mon Oct. 13, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

Allo Darlin’
We Come from the Same Place
Slumberland/Fortuna Pop!

Allo' Darlin

Allo Darlin' has sometimes been tagged with the dismissive term "twee pop," but there’s nothing cute or quaint about the jangly guitar rock on the Anglo-Australian quartet's excellent third album. Leader Elizabeth Morris crafts thoughtful vignettes that diagram the uncertainties of everyday life and fledgling relationships, exhibiting the perceptive, unpretentious directness of a master short story writer. "I can't say everything will be okay/I'm just trying to make it though another Tuesday," she sighs on the title track, while "Romance and Adventure" finds her confessing, "I'm just tired of being strong," to a stomping beat. Morris' understated vocals are a charming mix of wistful melancholy and determined resilience, giving We Come from the Same Place the resonance of a get-together with a nurturing close friend.

Malala Yousafzai Becomes Youngest Recipient of Nobel Peace Prize

| Fri Oct. 10, 2014 9:46 AM EDT

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban at the age of 14 for her advocacy work promoting girls' education, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, along with children's rights activist from India, Kailash Satyarthi. Satyarthi is 60-years-old, Yousafzai is 17, the youngest recipient ever. She was at school doing her thing when she learned she had won the honor.

The announcement from the Norwegian Nobel Commmittee:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age. It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.

Congratulations to both! For those of you in need of a refresher on the 17-year-old (reiteration is warranted), watch her leave Jon Stewart speechless during an appearance on the Daily Show last year.

Report: Katy Perry Is Performing at the Super Bowl

| Thu Oct. 9, 2014 10:09 PM EDT

The New York Post is reporting that the NFL has selected Katy Perry to play at halftime of the Super Bowl.

We endorse this decision!

Key members of the Mother Jones staff share the opinion that Katy Perry is great. (Some of these staff members control the social channels and the CMS.) We can quibble over bits of her performance but the point is we're fans.

Safe to say we'll we be live tweeting her halftime show.

Goodnight and good luck.


Radio Station Lays Off All 47 of Its Journalists, Will Play Beyoncé All Day Everyday Instead

| Thu Oct. 9, 2014 4:35 PM EDT

Houston's one and only 24-hour news station is closing up shop and replacing all its journalists with the perfect homage to the very best thing Houston has ever produced, yes, Beyonce.

We’d like to thank the News92 staff for their outstanding service, our advertisers and each of you our listeners and web visitors for your support. This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested. Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio, but each of you motivated us daily to produce a high-quality news program. Together, we made history.

Yes! History has been made. The world is truly a better place with the addition of an all encompassing destination dedicated to unrelenting Beyonce consumption. To say otherwise would be blasphemous, annoyingly contrarian.

But also considering 47 people just lost their jobs, this is sad news. It's even more pathetic for radio and journalism as a whole! But when the same day also presents to you a Chevron-funded newspaper in the same town where a Chevron refinery sparked a massive fire, we'll take all day, everyday Beyonce any day.

The Alternate Ending to "Titanic" Proves Once and for All That Rose Is a Monster

| Thu Oct. 9, 2014 12:52 PM EDT

Titanic is a deeply flawed film. The dialogue is atrocious. The characterizations are thin. The plot ain't anything we haven't seen before. Even the visuals—once heralded as revolutionary—look sort of pedestrian now. (Of course, that's the trouble with being revolutionary. You look like everybody else that comes after you.) Still, I love it. It's a jaunt. It's a ride. It's a song and a grand, immense emotional experience. It's what Hollywood does best, really.

But for me, the most unforgivable bit of Titanic has always been the end. Refresher: We're back in the framing device with the old lady and her granddaughter aboard Bill Paxton's ship. It is revealed that the old lady has had the jewel the entire time and has really only come aboard the treasure hunting ship so that she can throw it off the bow and lay it to rest down with Jack. This is stupid. That jewel is worth a fortune! Throwing it into the ocean is like setting money on fire. Even if you don't want to live in luxury because of some Titanic-related guilt, you should still sell the jewel and give the proceeds to some worthy cause: charity! Your children's education! Whatever! Throwing the jewel in the water is an act of selfish self-aggrandizement that puts old lady Rose firmly in the inconsiderate jerk camp. (Youthful Rose has long been a resident.) Homeless people are going hungry because Rose wanted some meaningless moment with the sea.

So, I was eager to watch the newly unearthed "alternate ending." (It was apparently an extra on a 2005 DVD release of the film but millennials don't watch DVDs and the internet only now became aware of its existence.) Does she sell the diamond and go to Beverly Hills and have a Pretty Women moment? Maybe she funds some orphanage for Dickensian youth? Maybe she created a scholarship fund in Leonardo DiCaprio's name and blah blah blah. She does none of those things. Instead, this ending actually makes it worse.

No longer is Rose solely responsible for this little act of wealth destruction, but she makes complicit Bill Paxton, a treasure hunter. Bill Paxton, who has convinced investors to fund his expedition to find this stupid diamond. Bill Paxton, who lives in the world as it exists and not some Technicolor fantasy. In the new ending, Paxton has the chance to stop her from throwing the thing overboard. She puts it in his hand. He holds it. He becomes ensorcelled by the romance and lets her toss it off the boat and into the sea while one of his shocked minions runs around like an extra with his head cut off.

Where does Bill Paxton go from here? After the stone sinks to the ocean floor, he looks to Rose's granddaughter and hints that maybe they should date, but he's going to have a rough go of it finding time to wine and dine her once his backers learn about what he's done and hit him with a bill for many millions of dollars. Titanic 2 is a courtroom drama set around Bill Paxton's bankruptcy hearing. Bill Paxton's life is now ruined. Let's go further. Rose's granddaughter's life is also ruined. Her granddaughter and Bill seemed to really be hitting it off at the end and one of the rules of Hollywood movies is that if two people are flirting and hitting it off at the end of a film then the audience can assume that they immediately get married after the credits roll and are happy for the rest of time and laugh together and eat brunch together and sip champagne and feed each other strawberries together and die within minutes of each other decades later in one another's arms because a life without the other isn't a life worth living. That future—that destiny, the right of every romance film character—is not in the cards for Rose's granddaughter if Bill throws that jewel into the sea. Rose sacrifices her granddaughter's future bliss for some stupid romantic nonsense.

Rose is a monster.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Ladies, Let Sarah Silverman Convince You to Get a Sex Change to Fix the Gender Wage Gap

| Wed Oct. 8, 2014 2:47 PM EDT

Despite the countless number of politicians, think tanks, feminists, and executive orders out there working to narrow America's gender wage gap, women still make 78 cents to a man's dollar. It's a dismal fact we all know, and one that has persisted for far too long.

Sarah Silverman, "writer, comedian, and vagina owner," is no longer going to wait for the rest of the country to get on board to fix this inequality. In a new satirical video, she proposes the only rational solution left—get a sex change.

"Every year the average woman loses around $11,000 to the wage gap," Silverman explains, while waiting patiently to choose the perfect penis for her surgical transformation. "Over the course of the working years of her life, that's almost 500 grand."

"That's a $500,000 vagina tax."

Ladies, prepare to be convinced below:

Here Are Two Videos of NYPD Officers Pummeling Teenagers Suspected of Weed Possession

| Wed Oct. 8, 2014 1:47 PM EDT

Two videos emerged this week capturing officers of the New York City Police Department beating two reportedly unarmed teenagers suspected of marijuana possession.

The first recording is of surveillance footage showing officers swiftly approaching 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble after he was seen tossing a black bag onto a Brooklyn street. The video appears to show Tribble then slowing down, attempting to surrender.

Tribble puts his hands in the air, but the officers ignore him and begin pistol-whipping him in the face. He reportedly suffered cracked teeth, bruises, and bleeding in the mouth.

One officer has been suspended without pay; another placed on modified duty.

The second video, reported today, just one day after Tribble's incident was uncovered, shows 17-year-old Marcel Hamer lying on the street while being placed under arrest. Hamer can be heard screaming, "Mister! It was just a cigarette!"

The arresting officer proceeds to punch Hamer in the face, who is immediately knocked out and appears lifeless on the street.

“Yeah, get it on film," the officer can be heard taunting onlookers.

Hamer's family says he now has brain damage.

Statistics to keep in mind as you sit there bewildered and disgusted: New York City is home to 30,000-50,000 marijuana arrests a year, despite repeated calls to decriminalize low-level pot possession. Studies have shown time and time again, blacks are no more likely to smoke weed than whites. But data from 2002 to 2012 indicate an overwhelming 87 percent of those arrested for possession are either black or Latino youths.

Cops Pepper Spray Black Teen In His Own Living Room After Mistaking Him For Burglar

| Wed Oct. 8, 2014 9:50 AM EDT

Here for your daily dose of blatant racism is a story of police officers in North Carolina pepper-spraying a black teenager after a neighbor mistook him for a burglar.

DeShawn Currie, who is a foster child in a white family, said he was simply returning home from school when a neighbor spotted him entering through the side door. "An intruder!" the neighbor instinctively hypothesized.

When police arrived, Currie was forced to explain a situation that never needed to be explained, as police humiliatingly pointed to family pictures asking how on earth a black teenager fit into the story.

"They was like, 'Put your hands on the door,'" Currie said. "I was like, 'For what? This is my house.' I was like, 'Why are y'all in here?'"

Apparently unable to wrap his mind around the fact a black teenager lives with a white family, and frustrated with Currie's defense, one of the officers then proceeded to pepper spray him in the face—right inside his very own living room.

The family is rightfully livid.

In a surprising move, however, the cops did not appear to try and "sprinkle some crack" on him.

Jon Stewart Talks to Atul Gawande About Death, Dying, and Ebola

| Tue Oct. 7, 2014 5:51 PM EDT

Jon Stewart had Atul Gawande, the fabulously talented writer and surgeon, on his show yesterday to laugh in the face of death. Gawande's new book, Being Mortal, is a must-read for anyone who doesn't want to die in an ICU. It tackles the thorny subject of how the medical profession has failed badly when it comes to the needs of the dying, or, as Gawande put it to me a few hours before the Daily Show taping, "We have medicalized aging, and that experiment is failing us." Let's hope this book makes a difference when the time comes.