Mixed Media

Susan Boyle, Curing Cynicism Since 2009

| Sun Apr. 12, 2009 12:46 PM EDT

Good for what ails you: This 7-minute clip (video embed disabled, sorry) of 47-year-old Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent.

Wait for minute 4 when unbridled joy breaks out on the judges' faces. 

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Passion of the Twitter

| Fri Apr. 10, 2009 6:59 PM EDT

Experience the power of God in real-time...on Twitter! To commemorate Jesus' crucifixion and death, Trinity Episcopal Church in Manhattan tweeted its three-hour reenactment of the Stations of the Cross today. Well-known twitterers included Jesus Christ, Mary Mother of Jesus, and Pontius Pilate. And in between their tweets, world-wide followers shared their thoughts. Here are some excerpts: 

Pontius Pilate: What harm has this man done? Why does the crowd cheer on his murder? I wash my hands of this. They can do what th...

jgderuvo: Guys, stay within the 140 character limit...it's truncating, ruining the effect!

JesusChrist: Let the sctriptures be fulfilled. It is as the prophets wrote. I am who you say I am.

romanguard1: I've got dibs on his robe, but if you guys want to cast lots for the rest of his clothes, I'm cool with that.

mrst72443: I am sure I am missing out on somethign here. I guess I do not understand this TWS thing. How and what do I DO???

JesusChrist: Forgive them, they know not what they do.

Will twittevangelism replace televangelism? Judging by today's tweeting it looks like St. Isidore of Seville, the sixth-century scholar who Pope John Paul named patron saint of the internet, is praying for the church to keep up with the times.







California's Charitable E-Bingo Is E-Liminated

| Fri Apr. 10, 2009 5:39 PM EDT

Californians can say goodbye to the electronic bingo machines (better known as e-bingo) in their charitable bingo halls thanks to a ban signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger that takes effect tomorrow. Turns out that bingo isn't just good old-fashioned fun anymore. Instead, it's at the center of a fight between nonprofits and Native American tribes who are all clamoring after bingo's big money.  

Federally recognized tribes will still get to operate the machines on their reservation land, but charities will have to shut theirs down. Despite a few upshots for charitable bingo operators in the new law, like an increase on prize caps from $250 to $500 for traditional bingo games, the e-bingo ban still puts them on the losing end because many have come to rely on the machines to keep their business afloat.

Gastrosexual Intercourse with Lynne Rossetto Kasper

| Fri Apr. 10, 2009 4:53 PM EDT

The Splendid Table, NPR's signature cooking show, recently launched a Gastrosexual of the Month Contest. Gastrosexuals, we know (thanks Urban Dictionary), are foodies who use their culinary skills to impress friends and woo the opposite sex. Splendid Table host Lynne Rossetto Kasper, of course, is the ultimate gastrosexual: that sultry voice, that Midwestern perkiness, all that experimentation with raddichio. Grrr, and winners get to join the original saucy dish on the air.

I'm sure gastrosexuals nationwide are now polishing their essays on the sexiest culinary tool and waxing poetic about variegated beets and double creme gouda. Yet, the phrase "gastrosexual" is more a clever marketing tool than trendy neologism. A pseudo-scentific paper entitled "The Emergence of the Gastrosexual," concludes that the newest forces in the culinary scene are men, ages 25-44, who cook with the hopes of getting frisky. The paper, written by the dubious sounding Future Foundation, was commissioned by a British food company called PurAsia.

A descendant of the metrosexual, gastrosexual falls victim to the adding-a-witty-prefix-to-sexual-to-describe-a-cultural-phemonmeon curse, pushing it into marketing ploy territory. Further Googling reveals the website gastrosexual.com, an elaborate ad for PurAsia, complete with an interactive quiz, with a focus on Asian cuisine, that purports to answer the question, "just how gastrosexual are you" before guiding users on "a journey of enlightenment into the cuisine of the East"—a journey outfitted, of course, with PurAsia products.

PETA to Pet Shop Boys: Roll Over

| Fri Apr. 10, 2009 12:03 PM EDT

PETA has finally gathered up the courage to ask the Pet Shop Boys to change their name. Explaining that pet shops often treat animals cruelly, the group suggests that the PSB consider a more critter-friendly name, like Rescue Shelter Boys. It's not clear why PETA has waited more than 20 years to make this request, though I suspect it wanted to preempt an Onion headline that's just been waiting to be written. So what will be the next step in the campaign to remove animal cruelty from musical monikers? Asking Brian Wilson to change Pet Sounds to Animal Companion Sounds?* Hounding bands like Dogs Die in Hot Cars, Psychedelic Furs, and the Meat Puppets? MoJoer Lauren Rice proposes that Meat Loaf rechristen himself Cruelty Loaf. Or Textured Vegetable Protein Loaf. Presumably Cat Power and Animal Collective are off the hook. But just to be safe, the reunited Phish may want to rename itself Sea Kittenz.

*Nonspeciesist Beach Boys makeover after the jump.

Image by Wikimedia Commons user Beaucoupkevin used under a Creative Commons License.

The Week in Digg/Reddit: Trent Reznor, Wolverine Leaks, and Dubai

| Thu Apr. 9, 2009 7:38 PM EDT

Social media, that dastardly upstart of a content type, is a little like a cocktail party: occasionally interesting and usually full of people you sort of know. Social media aggregators, on the other hand, are more like boozy pubs: entertaining and loud.

Forthwith, 10 links this week from Digg and Reddit that I found informative and deliciously strange. This (and every) week's meme: the internet! Think of social media aggregators as newspapers that report on the internet as if it were a place. That's right, kinda like a bar and kinda like a newspaper. Enjoy.

1) Does anyone else feel like despite the vastness of the internet you just visit the same 4 or 5 sites over and over?

2) Trent Reznor explains the music industry.

3) Is it immoral to review leaked copies of The Wolverine movie?

4) Hey, Bill Gates has a Facebook page!

5) Should Obama control the Internet?

6) The dark side of Dubai.

7) Yes, the Internet sucks on April 1. Every year.

8) Chewbacca chord. Hilarity ensues.

9) Hungover in London? Have I got a bacon cure for you. 

10) Just cuz it reminds me of the Homeward Bound movie..

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Video: Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Audition Tapes

| Thu Apr. 9, 2009 3:51 PM EDT

The National Organization for Marriage, which probably called you Vermonters recently during dinner about keeping holy wedlock away from The Gays, has a video for you. Why are the people in it more concerned about gay marriage than the lightning bolts falling around them? Never mind, watch people flub their homophobic lines on these audition tapes instead:

UPDATE: The audition tapes are already inspiring YouTube parodies.

Are Nazis Funny? Even in Berlin?

| Thu Apr. 9, 2009 2:28 PM EDT

Mel Brooks' "The Producers" is set to open in Berlin in May. It's even being performed in a theater that used to have a luxurious "Führer's Box" for Hitler. But how will Brooks' musical, with its 20-foot swastikas and singing stormtroopers, be received? As Der Spiegel points out, the musical has already had runs in Vienna (modestly successful) and Tel Aviv. So it was really only a matter of time before it came to the Fatherland. According to the Berlin theater's manager, advance ticket sales are doing well. Still, what a strange experience to see a fey, dancing, Hitler sing "Heil Myself" in the same theater where the real Hitler once watched "The Merry Widow."


How Bad Was That Turkish News Anchor in Blackface Report?

| Thu Apr. 9, 2009 2:22 AM EDT

omf'ing God!

Turkish anchor reports on Obama's Turkish visit in BLACKFACE!

I am without words. But Young Turk Cenk Ugyur has a few.

Boys Are Pilots. Girls Are Stewardesses.

| Wed Apr. 8, 2009 7:28 PM EDT

Back in the '70s everything was so much simpler. This collection of gender unbending images apparently exists in the nebulous space between satire and not satire.