Mixed Media

Red States Love Porn

| Mon Mar. 2, 2009 6:21 PM EST

They're red from all the chafing! In the latest installment of Irony and Hypocrisy Weekly, a study has shown that traditionally conservative states consume the most online pornography. Okay, the study (pdf link) was actually in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and it looked at zip codes of credit cards used for "online adult entertainment" between 2006 and 2008. Researchers found that Utah led the way in sexy interweb fun times, with 5.47 subscribers per 1000 broadband users, followed by Alaska and Mississippi. Out of the top ten porn-using states, only Hawaii and Florida voted for Obama in the 2008 elections, and I think Hawaii is excused because they're so far away from, you know, actual sex with people they don't live next door to. Of course, one could also ascribe the higher online porn usage rates in red states to the simple fact that these states have often made in-person porn buying more difficult, but I prefer to think of it as another example of Larry Craig Syndrome: those who doeth protest too much are at home having a wanketh.

Researchers also found "marginally" higher porn subscription rates in the 27 states that had (at that time) passed anti-gay marriage laws, and in states where surveys show conservative positions on sexuality and gender roles. But in a boon to church-goers, there was also a slight dip in porn subscriptions on Sunday, although the oh-so-cynical researchers noted that this meant only that these people "shift their consumption of adult entertainment to other days of the week." Note to self: promote online porn company more aggressively on Saturdays and Mondays.

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China Cancels Oasis Gigs Over "Free Tibet" Show

| Mon Mar. 2, 2009 5:52 PM EST

Wow, China never forgets, huh. Beatlesy British combo Oasis have had their first ever shows in the People's Republic of China canceled after the Chinese government revoked their performance licenses. The band's management issued a statement saying the decision "has left both Oasis and the promoters bewildered." But, according to Billboard magazine, band member Noel Gallagher had a deep, dark secret:

According to the promoters, officials within the Chinese Ministry of Culture only recently discovered that Noel Gallagher appeared at a Free Tibet benefit concert on Randall's Island in New York City in 1997. Consequently, Oasis is considered unsuitable to perform in the People's Republic of China during its 60th anniversary year.

If only it was just their 59th, right?

After the jump, a video from the band's most recent album, the underrated Dig Out Your Soul.

Michael Jackson's Creepy Art Collection

| Mon Mar. 2, 2009 1:16 PM EST
Around the corner from our office are a couple of antique stores that sell what I can only describe as the world's worst kitsch. A specialty is giant garden statuary of prepubescent children doing idyllic things that no kid has done since 1897, like playing leap-frog or fishin' with a branch. I figured the stores, which are always packed to the rafters, were some kind of money-laundering front. Now I know better. They were supplying Michael Jackson.

If you have a few minutes, go check out the auction catalogs for Jackson's Neverland Ranch. The King of Pop, in desperate need of cash, is selling off 2,000 of his possessions. What's up for sale is an awesomely horrible glimpse into the world of the man-child who blew his money on jaw droppingly bizarro figurines like this, which even Abe Lincoln seems disturbed by. More examples after the jump.

Video: Royksopp - "Happy Up Here"

| Fri Feb. 27, 2009 9:16 PM EST


Norwegian duo Röyksopp are back with a new album, Junior, out March 23, and the first single, "Happy Up Here," is nice enough. It sort of feels like an update of their classic "Eple" (whose bleepy melody was charming enough to last as my ringtone for like 8 months) with some breathy vocals that sound a little like Air circa "Cherry Blossom Girl." Not exactly ground-breaking, but lovely. However, the video is a strange and wonderful counterpoint to the song's casual jauntiness: Space Invaders emerge from hiding in our flashy billboards to engage in battle with what looks like a Trabant. Is that Röyksopp there in the Trabant, and will they save us? Watch and find out...

The Immortal Simpsons

| Fri Feb. 27, 2009 7:13 PM EST

Fox announced yesterday that the network had renewed The Simpsons for two more years. Breaking the record set by Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 years, the animated show will become the longest-running prime time TV series in history.

Bart Simpson was my age (nine years old) when the show made its network debut in 1989. I'm 28 now, so in two years I'll be 30, only six years younger than Marge and Homer who will, of course, remain 36 years old. Like David Wooderson said in Dazed and Confused: "Man, I get older; they stay the same age."

Kenneth the Page's Response to Bobby Jindal's Response to Obama

| Thu Feb. 26, 2009 10:29 PM EST

He doesn't get what all the fuss is about.

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One Cool Thing About Working for Hustler

| Wed Feb. 25, 2009 9:20 PM EST

Okay, maybe I'm hyperaware of mandatory arbitration clauses because MoJo has consumer-advocate rock-star Stephanie Mencimer on staff and currently on our front page. But I couldn't help but exult a little over this sentence at the bottom of a Larry Flynt Publishing freelance contract (yes, I've done a little journalism for them. Smart, investigative vagina journalism): 

"Any dispute or claim arising out of the Letter Agreement shall be determined only by the courts in California, and therefore, you hereby agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of California."

Court! How quaint! Seriously, mandatory arbitration clauses are now so standard that it's nearly impossible to buy a car, get a job, or even eat a cheeseburger without giving up your ability to sue companies that screw (!) you. But not at Hustler. Whatever my thoughts on some of Larry Flynt's politics, at least the pornographer puts his money where his litigious mouth is and lets contributors keep their right to take his whole sexy empire to court. Which is going to come in really handy when his art department photoshops some giant naked boobs onto my contributor's photo.

Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack Scores Big Post-Oscar Bump

| Wed Feb. 25, 2009 5:39 PM EST
The ceremony was shrill and silly, and A.R. Rahman was forced to share his big musical moment with John Legend (who was himself replacing Peter Gabriel), but things worked out: the soundtrack to best picture winner Slumdog Millionaire, as well as best song "Jai Ho," have both registered significant post-Oscar jumps in sales. The soundtrack, which includes both of Millionaire's nominated songs as well as M.I.A.'s already-pretty-popular "Paper Planes," is now the number one selling album on iTunes, outselling both The Jonas Brothers and heavy metal monsters Lamb of God. Nice. Perhaps more intriguingly, the ecstatic, driving "Jai Ho" is now a Top 5 sales hit, climbing to #5 on the iTunes singles chart today. The official Billboard charts have not yet caught up with this week's sales, but it will be intriguing to see how those look next week. Also, for some reason the music industry powers that be decided it would be a good idea if the Pussycat Dolls did a "remix" of "Jai Ho," which one hopes might engender interest in the original amongst otherwise clueless demographics, but one worries might, er, hasten the end of the world. After the jump, the song in its original form (accompanying the dance scene from the film) and the new, Pussycatted version.

SF Chronicle Could Be Shut Down or Sold

| Tue Feb. 24, 2009 9:05 PM EST

Hearst said today that it may sell, or totally shutter, San Francisco's main daily newspaper. The San Francisco Chronicle lost $50 million in 2008, and has been losing money consistently since 2001. If the paper cannot recoup losses "within weeks" via job cuts and other measures, Hearst officials said via a statement today, "...we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle or, should a buyer not be found, to shut the newspaper down." According to Reuters, the Chronicle employs nearly 300 people on its news staff alone, and is the 12th largest daily in the nation.

So what does it mean for San Francisco to lose the Chronicle? For Bay Area folks, there are a number of newspapers that could possibly step up coverage to fill the gap, like the excellent San Jose Mercury News or the Oakland Tribune. Television news crews could conceivably lengthen their broadcasts. So far, all I've seen is that one of the of the city's smaller dailies, the San Francisco Examiner, is hiring. The Examiner also has only half the Chronicle's circulation, and is given away free instead of sold. While many San Franciscans have pooh-poohed the Chronicle for its heavy slant toward lightweight stories, surely the Examiner is not what they envisioned as a solution.

More disturbing than the Examiner taking over San Francisco is the idea that liberal, literate, San Francisco might not have a newspaper to call its own. Even Cleveland and La Crosse, Wisconsin, have their own papers. Granted, a Sunday morning in San Francisco will show you as many people reading the New York Times as the Sunday Chronicle, but still, the Chronicle has been there and there really isn't another paper in town of similar quality or distribution. As much as I'd like to think a major city can survive without a newspaper, I'm not super-excited to try the experiment personally. San Francisco has some of the nation's most tech-savvy citizens, but are they really ready to get their local news only from virtual sources? If the Chronicle gets shut down within weeks, as seems to be Hearst's intention, they may have no choice but to find out the hard way.

Arrested Development Movie a Go

| Tue Feb. 24, 2009 8:17 PM EST
"Sources say." Rumors of a film version of cult-favorite TV show Arrested Development have been flying around like badly-imitated chickens for a while now, with everybody from Jeffrey Tambor to David Cross jumping on board. But young Michael Cera, now a big movie star, appeared to be the last holdout, and you couldn't make an Arrested Development movie without George Michael. But now, E Online has it on good authority that Cera has agreed to do the film. "Insiders" are saying production may even get going by the end of the year, with show creator Mitchell Hurwitz as writer/director. Finally, I'll be able to eat frozen bananas again without crying.