Mixed Media

Watch a Bear Destroy a Woman's Kayak After She Thanks Him for Not Destroying Said Kayak

| Thu Oct. 1, 2015 11:43 AM EDT

An expression of gratitude should never be followed by a threat of pepper spray.

YouTube user Mary Maley learned this lesson the hard way after she encountered a black bear during a recent kayaking trip in Alaska.

"Thank you for leaving my kayak alone!" Maley tells the bear in the video.

As the bear saunters toward her, Maley quickly decides to abandon such pleasantries and hauls out the pepper spray, telling the animal, "I'm going to pepper-spray you in the face. That's what I'm going to do with you."

After she does just that, the bear turns around and begins to destroy Maley's kayak, while Maley engages in an increasingly hysterical rant.

"Bear! Bear! Why are you breaking my kayak? Why are you doing that?!" she screamed, her voice rising.

She also points out that it's the end of September and the bear should be asleep. To no one's surprise, the bear seems unimpressed with her hibernation facts and continues playing with her boat.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

John Oliver Couldn't "Give Less of a Shit" About Donald Trump

| Thu Oct. 1, 2015 9:42 AM EDT

On Wednesday, John Oliver stopped by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to refrain from talking about the one guy America just can't seem to stop talking about—Donald Trump.

"Do you care about him at all?" Colbert asked.

"I couldn't give less of a shit," Oliver responded to a raucous applause from the audience. "It's physically impossible."

He goes on to remind Colbert that it's only 2015, and while the media remains laser-focused on reporting the antics of Trump and the rest of the 2016 candidates, he plans to wait until 2016 to actually weigh in.

"I don't care until we're in the same year as the thing I'm supposed to care about," Oliver explained.

And as the comedian goes on to say, there are far greater issues outside of election-related items that warrant our discussion. Cue the next episode of Last Week Tonight.

"Black-ish" Took On the N-Word in Its Season Premiere. Next Up: Gun Control.

| Wed Sep. 30, 2015 1:40 PM EDT

Since his latest show, Black-ish, debuted last year, showrunner Kenya Barris hasn't been afraid of sparking debate.  

His weekly portrait of the Johnsons, a well-off black family in Los Angeles, already has taken on issues like the Republican Party's relationship with African Americans and homophobia in the black community. And in a memorable season premiere last Wednesday, the Johnsons embraced the intergenerational debate over the N-word.

This week, the show will face another contentious issue: gun control. In an interview with BuzzFeed on Tuesday, Barris gave a preview of what will happen: When a neighborhood break-in occurs, Dre (Anthony Anderson) contemplates buying a gun, with wife Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) arguing against it. (Nearly half of people who own a gun say they do so for protection.)

Barris said the idea behind the episode originated in the writers' room, when the creator told his team that he was trying to buy a gun, shocking his colleagues. As he told BuzzFeed

They were blown away…[I was like,] This isn't crazy. I'm not buying a gun to kill someone. But it split the room down the middle. For me, that's always a good sign that there's a story in there.

The notions and ideology of gun ownership has a lot socio-economic and cultural reasons behind it. We're not a political group. And we don't want to…start taking real hard stands on things that people have the right to have different opinions on. We want to have the filter of the family reflect different opinions and do it in a fun and funny way. That's what we try to do with each episode.

You can catch the episode, "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Guns," tonight at 9:30 p.m. EDT/PDT on ABC. 

College Athletes Just Lost Another Battle in the Fight to Get Paid

| Wed Sep. 30, 2015 1:28 PM EDT
Former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon in 2010.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that even though the NCAA violated antitrust law by restricting payments to athletes, the organization can keep colleges from compensating athletes beyond the cost of attending school.

The 78-page opinion struck down a lower court injunction in O'Bannon v. NCAA that proposed that schools pay athletes an additional $5,000 per year in deferred compensation for using their likenesses in video games. It did, however, uphold another decision that granted schools the authority to pay for an athlete's full cost of attendance, which includes covering expenses like home visits and cellphone bills.

The panel found that the NCAA was "not exempt from antitrust scrutiny," and that the association's rules "have been more restrictive than necessary to maintain its tradition of amateurism in support of the college sports market."

The opinion marks a victory for the NCAA at a time when the organization faces repeated challenges regarding the rights of athletes. In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said: "We agree with the court that the injunction 'allowing students to be paid cash compensation of up to $5,000 per year was erroneous.' Since Aug. 1, the NCAA has allowed member schools to provide up to full cost of attendance; however, we disagree that it should be mandated by the courts." 

As Vice Sports' Kevin Trahan notes, Wednesday's decision raises another question at the heart of the debate, at least for gamers: Does it allow EA Sports, and more importantly the NCAA, to cash in on a college sports video game in the future? The answer, Trahan points out, may be yes.

Lemony Snicket Explains Why He Ponied Up $1 Million to Planned Parenthood

| Tue Sep. 29, 2015 5:23 PM EDT

Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket and the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events children's books, announced yesterday that he and his wife, the illustrator Lisa Brown, would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

The women's health care provider, which has been the target of multiple suspected arsons this summer, is currently facing potential funding cuts from Congress. We spoke to Handler and Brown about their decision to support the organization.

"Arson and propaganda, not to mention the umpteenth threat of defunding, seemed to demand some counterbalancing."

Mother Jones: Why did you decide to give such a large sum to Planned Parenthood?

Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown: We've been enthusiastic supporters of Planned Parenthood for a long time, and watching their recent deceitful pummelling was frankly more than we could take.

MJ: What's your connection to the organization?

DH & LB: We're Americans and human beings.  We believe in people making their own reproductive choices.  Planned Parenthood has been essential in the lives of many, many people around us.

MJ: Why do you think your donation is needed right now?

DH & LB: Arson and propaganda, not to mention the umpteenth threat of defunding, seemed to demand some counterbalancing.

MJ: Where do you think reproductive rights are headed in the US?

DH & LB: Truth and justice will prevail, but we ought to make it happen sooner rather than later.

Planned Parenthood tweeted back at the couple:


Trevor Noah Debuts on the "Daily Show" With Pledge to Continue "War on Bullshit"

| Tue Sep. 29, 2015 8:24 AM EDT

Last night, Trevor Noah premiered as the new host of the Daily Show with a fresh round of jokes about the pope's recent visit to the United States and John Boehner's surprise decision to resign as House speaker late last week.

But before diving into the news of the hour, the South African comedian used his opening monologue to thank Jon Stewart for the opportunity and promised to continue fighting his predecessor's 16-year "war on bullshit."

"Jon Stewart was more than just a late-night host," Noah said. "He was often our voice, our refuge, and in many ways our political dad. It's weird, because Dad has left and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad—and he's black."

"Thank you, John," he continued. "Thank you for believing in me. I'm not quite sure what you saw in me, but I'll work hard everyday to find it. And I'll make you not look like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa."

Advertise on MotherJones.com

John Oliver Slams Fox News for Reducing Migrant Crisis to "One Single Stereotype"

| Mon Sep. 28, 2015 9:00 AM EDT

On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the current migrant crisis in Europe to call out the troubling way some world leaders, including "noted swine fellatio enthusiast" David Cameron, and the media choose to characterize the situation.

"When you're dealing with a mass of people that large, you really want to be a little careful with how you describe them," Oliver said.

"Here in the US, some in the media have chosen to reduce the migrant population to one single stereotype," he adds, before showing a Fox News clip featuring the misleading caption, "Terrorists Inbound? Taking refugees could open door to jihadists."

The segment, while continuing to illustrate the extreme racism and economic hardship refugees face when attempting to come to Europe, then turned to the story of a young, wheelchair-bound refugee, Noujain Mustafa, who learned English by watching Days of Our Lives for two years straight.

Watch the segment above for the heartwarming surprise reunion Oliver managed to pull off for Mustafa.

Los Lobos Comes Back With Scorching Boogie and Psychedelia

| Mon Sep. 28, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

Los Lobos
Gates of Gold
429 Records

Is there a more versatile outfit in rock? Since the '70s, the LA quintet Los Lobos has displayed a staggering stylistic range beyond the reach of most other great bands, and done everything with soulful verve. On its first album of new material in five years, the group shows its age in the best possible way, segueing effortlessly from scorching boogie to wistful psychedelia to tender Mexican folk, never straining for effect. As always, David Hidalgo tends to sing the romantic songs, while César Rosas tackles the rowdier ones, but either way, Los Lobos runs like the musical equivalent of an impeccably maintained classic car. Long may they roll.

Check out MYZICA, Nashville's Latest Darlings

| Mon Sep. 28, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

With the release of their debut EP in June, Nashville boy-girl pop duo MYZICA offers a synthy dose of sweet indie pop that sticks in your head without the bad aftertaste of bubble-gum pop. Micah Tawlks, a producer who works with the likes of Matthew Perryman Jones, and Isaaca Byrd, a bassist and backup vocalist for a range of artists, cranked out the bulk of the EP in three weeks. Since then, they have toured around Nashville and up the East Coast as MYZICA. Their highlight single, "Ready or Not" was featured in Marvel's latest "Fantastic Four" iteration.

Byrd's silky vocals pair perfectly with such sweet lyrics as "Call it perfect timing, call it fate/ Well, I know this is right, this is love at first sight" from the track, "Wait Just a Minute." The EP is an easy listen, with the occasional '80s keyboard influence and modern melodies enhanced by background vocals in all the right places. As Byrd croons about a love interest on "Believer," MYZICA makes us want to believe.

Julia Holter's Hypnotic Chamber Pop

| Sat Sep. 26, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

Julia Holter
Have You in My Wilderness


Soothing and gently unsettling at once, Julia Holter's beguiling fourth album could be the elusive music you hear in an intense but puzzling dream. The Los Angeles native's graceful chamber pop is distinguished by an appealing lightness of touch, both in the string-centric arrangements and her placid vocals, with occasional detours into Nico-like gravity. While artfully crafted lyrics abound, they never diminish the primal power of the hypnotic melodies, tending more to delicate allusion—note the recurring aquatic imagery—than literal insistence, aside from the anguished query "What did I do to make you feel so bad?" Offering different subtle pleasures with each hearing, Have You in My Wilderness promises to have a long shelf life.