The opening number to the 1989 Oscar ceremony will forever shimmer in infamy, featuring as it did then-hearthrob Rob Lowe and a helium-voiced human Snow White performing "Proud Mary." Here is a tiny samplingthe whole amazing thing, found by YouTube sleuth Fnarf:
Now, after 24 years, the poor actress tasked with playing Snow White has opened up about the ordeal in The Hollywood Reporter. You may read 'I Was Rob Lowe's Snow White': The Untold Story of Oscar's Nightmare Openingright here.
The Verge says the United States Postal Service is coming up with new ways to make money.
The line is called "Rain Heat & Snow," after the Postal Service's motto "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." It will initially be geared toward men and involve some sort of "wearable electronics," according the Postal Service.
This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” said Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills in a statement published on the agency's website...
Because when you think of the Postal Service, you think of fashion, and technology, and the place where fashion meets technology.
Did you know that the WWE has a Teabagger wrestler now? His name is Zeb Colter, and I think he's supposed to be a joke. Maybe?
When I was a kid, I sort of followed wrestling. I hated the Iron Sheik, because he seemed like an excuse for WWF fans to spread their jingoistic racism all over their favorite "sport." But now Zeb Colter seems to be flipping the script on those same proud 'Mericans by making fun of overzealous, under-educated Teabaggers. Or does he?
See, the "genius" of Teabaggers is that you can't tell if they're parodies or not. They are, more or less, satire-proof. Zeb Colter can be taken either way: A brave patriot, or a mocking bit of self-parody. Maybe this is the WWE hedging their bets. I honestly can't tell.
Showgirls 2: Penny's from Heaven—the would-be sequel to Paul Verhoeven's legendary Showgirls, written and directed by Rena Riffel, who also stars, produces, and edits—was released straight to DVD on December 28, 2011. As a diehard Showgirls fan, I figured I'd watch it someday. Then a year passed. What was it about Showgirls 2: Penny's from Heaven that made it so easy to avoid watching?* My two best reasons:
1. The appeal of "a sequel to Showgirls" is not the continuation of any character's story arc but the dream of another film with the perfect balance of hubris, talent, surrealism, and hilarious failure that makes the original Showgirls one of the great cinematic experiences of the 20th century. However, lightning rarely strikes the same place twice, and if there ever is "another Showgirls," it's unlikely to revolve around scantily clad women, and much more likely to involve the race for a vaccine or something.
2. It's going to be awful.
But exactly how awful will it be? And what flavor of awful? These are the questions we will seek to answer on Thursday March 7, when I'll be hosting a screening of (and providing intermittent commentary throughout) Showgirls 2: Penny's from Heaven at Central Cinema.
In advance of this screening, I've been watching the film. It is 143 minutes long, features numerous castmembers from the original Showgirls, and is astoundingly bad. "How bad do you want it?" teases the Showgirls 2 poster. This is not an event for Showgirls novices. If you haven't seen the original Showgirls at least ten times, you'll be so baffled and bored by Showgirls 2 you'll weep. But for those ready to take the 143-minute plunge, it's going to be epic, perhaps cleansing, maybe even cathartic. Full info here.
(Special assignment for forthcoming viewers of Showgirls 2: Watch/re-watch David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. Not just the Rena Riffel part, the whole thing.)
*-This is perhaps my favorite sentence I've ever written.
Slog tipper Brendan alerted us to the video below, which was recently posted to YouTube by Brian Spinney, who writes, "I helped my pastor make this music video when I was in high school. Thought you guys might get a kick out of it! May the Lord bless and keep you. : )"
Sigh. Chris Brown vented some feelings on Instagram last night, making it clear he was frustrated with his not-so-great reputation. MTV News has a screengrab of the rant, should you want to read it in full.
Here's an excerpt:
Im a human being and I honestly think I deserve respect im sick of being accused... Im Tired yall just don't understand I've been going through this shit since I was 19 years old.. you cant sit here and tell me to calm down, when am I gonna get a positive outcome out of anything I do? when can I get that feed back? Im TIRED do you read me im tired!!!!!! Im not gonna sit here and play victim, Im just tired of this shit... I pray every day and night for a new outcome... and just when everything seems to be going good some new shit happens..
Even though they don't have any right to do this, the United States Postal Service has announced that they'll stop delivering letter mail on Saturdays. Package service will continue. (Congress is supposed to approve all these delivery changes, but somehow the USPS believes they can make it work without Congress this time around.) Before anyone gets all "nobody-needs-mail-anymore" in the comments, I would like to highlight this passage from the Huffington Post story, which explains why this service cut is a response to a completely manufactured problem:
The agency's biggest problem – and the majority of the red ink in 2012 – was not due to reduced mail flow but rather to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.
The health payments are a requirement imposed by Congress in 2006 that the post office set aside $55 billion in an account to cover future medical costs for retirees. The idea was to put $5.5 billion a year into the account for 10 years. That's $5.5 billion the post office doesn't have.
No other government agency is required to make such a payment for future medical benefits. Postal authorities wanted Congress to address the issue last year, but lawmakers finished their session without getting it done. So officials are moving ahead to accelerate their own plan for cost-cutting.
Dropping Saturday service is a big mistake that will make the USPS seem more irrelevant than it is. This is a bad move down the wrong path. (Unless this is all some sort of a poker-faced political maneuver to force Congress into dropping the future health benefit requirement, in which case it's maybe a genius move. But I wouldn't bet on that.)
Meet Kai (straight out of Dogtown!) who is the most hilarious, deadly surfer dude/hitchhiker you will ever meet. Listen to his totally insane description of taking his ax and "smash, smash, SUH-MASHing" the head of an alleged rapist who nearly went on a Jesus-fueled killing spree, and... okay, this is far too complicated to explain. Just listen to the story, and then delete every news site you have bookmarked, because this is the greatest news story you will ever hear and there's no need to listen to or read anything else. HUMANITY HAS REACHED ITS APEX!!
UPDATE: This video has either been blocked or "smash, smash, SUH-MASHED" with an ax. Watch it here!
Wonkette has more tweets from Kincannon that prove this was not just some drunken accident. Kincannon really is exactly the kind of racist piece of shit you'd expect out of the South Carolina Republican Party. So, yes, Patricia, I am outraged. What I am not is surprised. This is the exact opposite of surprising. Fuck this fucking racist piece of shit, fuck anyone who'd defend him, and fuck this whole shitty story.
Based on flimsy evidence and leaps of logic, conservative media outlets are pretending that, in the words of Newsmax, "Reagan's Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama's Library." But the story doesn't pass the smell test.
The "childhood home" is an apartment Reagan lived in for less than a year as a young child, and its planned demolition is part of an expansion by the University of Chicago that has nothing to do with President Obama's presidential library. Obama hasn't chosen which state his presidential library will eventually be in, let alone where people will need to park for it. Further, Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney has declared the story "false."
So sayeth Lamar Alexander, Republican Senator of Tennessee:
As The Jed Report at DailyKos notes, "To repeat, those words came from the lips of a United States Senator. A Republican United States Senator, to be precise. Supposedly, he's one of the brightest bulbs in the Senate Republican conference. The first President Bush thought he was so smart that he appointed him to be Secretary of Education for the entire nation."
And as Sherman Alexie—celebrated author and Stranger columnist—Tweeted, "Blaming video games for gun violence is like blaming Monopoly for insider trading and slum lords."
As Cienna has already reported, state Senate Republicans will be resubmitting a parental notification bill after learning that it inadvertently outlaws abortion:
"The bill does indeed contain a serious mistake, the result of a drafting error at the code reviser’s office," wrote Republican caucus spokesman, Eric Campbell...
"Legislators trust the code reviser’s office to get all the language and legal citations right; however, mistakes can happen..."
Really? That's your excuse? It's all the code reviser's fault? You mean none of the bill's 18 co-sponsors bothered to actually read the bill before signing onto it? Because had they read SB 5156, they would have clearly seen the words "repealing RCW 9.02.100 and 9.02.110" right there in its title. And those are in fact the statutes guaranteeing the right to have and provide abortions.
Once you get past all the procedural bullshit, writing a bill isn't rocket science. Hell, even I once wrote a bill, and as far as I can remember, the code reviser's office didn't change a word. But had it, I'm pretty sure we would have noticed if it had inadvertently repealed an entire act or two.
So no, I'm not really buying it. I have a hard time believing that all 18 co-sponsors and their aides were either too lazy to read the bill before signing on, and/or too stupid to figure out what the bill actually does.
What explains 18 state senators sponsoring a bill that accidentally outlaws abortion?
As Goldy noted, one of the most amazing things about Saturday's first-time-in-decades gun buyback event was the Stinger missile launcher that turned up.
The promise was that weapons could be handed over to Seattle police "no questions asked" in exchange for $100 gift cards. But it sounds like some questions will be asked about this particular gun buyback find:
Detective Mark Jamieson said a man standing outside the buyback event bought the military weapon for $100 from another person at the event. The item, a single-use device that had already been used, is a launch-tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missile. He said detectives will notify Army Criminal Investigation on Monday.
Here's my question: Only $100 for a Stinger launcher??? Not too long ago, the CIA was paying $70,000 a Stinger to buy them back from Afghan fighters.
To say that Miami Connection is bad is a crushing understatement. Miami Connection is so bad it makes Tommy Wiseau's The Room look like Wild Strawberries. The plot—involving a tae kwon do troupe that moonlights as a bouncy pop band that's challenged by a gang of jealous drug-dealing bikers—is insane. The dialogue, crafted with the ear of an ESL television addict, is rudimentary in the extreme—"You need to get rid of that band, so you can control that area" goes my favorite line—with the actors seemingly making up what they say as they go along. The actors are not actors, but tae kwon do students, and their attempts at acting are as hilariously awkward as Dame Maggie Smith's attempts at tae kwon do. Badly overdubbed dialogue abounds. Hilariously bad fight scene follows hilariously bad fight scene. There is much random toplessness and a handful of hyuk-worthy scenes of bloody violence. It is terrible.
But out of this tragic mess of failure and incompetence, a distinctly sweet spirit emerges. Its source is the cumulative gameness and good sportsmanship of everyone involved in Miami Connection, which is drenched in a goofy joy that is contagious....
BuzzFeed's Alex Klein investigates the alleged real estate scam that's creating serious ill will between church members and church leaders. Two paragraphs of local interest:
When Bert Schippers forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars to help build an Ideal Org in downtown Seattle, he thought he was helping save the world. "I thought I was in the best religion on the planet," he says. But as he gave more and more from 2001 to 2008, the new cathedral's doors remained locked shut: to people, but not to money. Schippers, who had joined the church in 1986 and spent more than a million dollars on donations and courses, started asking questions about what, exactly, he was paying for; church leaders barred him, his wife, and his friends from setting foot inside.
"We gave that money because we wanted our local church to have its own building," says Schippers, who runs a circuit-board company with his wife. "But when I found out the church had changed the original teachings of L. Ron Hubbard to make so much money... I felt absolute, complete, total betrayal." Nonprofits often tell you that a donation can change your life, as well as its recipient's. For Schippers, losing so much for so little was a disturbing wake-up call. "It was around then I realized, I was in a fucking cult." He pauses, can't quite find the words. "It's…a mindfuck. Just a total mindfuck."
If you want more celebrity bullshit posts, post 'em. And please note that the two Seahawks posts were by regular actual employees of The Stranger, and one of them was so disdainful as to actually constitute a Golden Globes post.
Every Thursday former Guns 'n' Roses bassist and current Loaded lead singer Duff McKagan writes a column for Seattle Week's music blog, Reverb. In this week's installment, McKagan tells readers "How to Be a Man," and I just... I don't even know where to start.
Tips include "Don't be a pussy," "Do the dishes," "Save it for your girl," and "Learn how to fight."
And! He tells you what to do when you're tired of hearing that chick of yours blab on and on (emphasis mine):
We men sometimes get frustrated when our ladies talk. We will try to actually converse when she is deep into a story about the boss being a dick, or some other friend of hers doing your girl wrong. Do not even try to fix this situation! Your sweety just wants you to listen. Hell, you don't even have to agree. Just listen. This is black-belt-level man stuff.
Mark Driscoll couldn't have said it better himself!
If you need a laugh (or a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach brought on by the fear that humanity hasn't evolved nearly as much as you once believed) read the whole thing here.
Attention history buffs and fans of the amazing and terrible things human being spend all week doing to each other: A fresh installment of Last Days—my weekly column devoted to last week's news—is live online. Here's how it ends.
Media Matters noticed that Bill O'Reilly decided he had a lot to say about Asian-Americans yesterday. Here's video:
The money shot is this: "...Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They're usually more industrious and hard-working." There is so much wrong with those two sentences that I don't even know where to begin. First of all, Republicans are going to have to get off this bullshit theory that all liberals are lazy. It's a big reason why Mitt Romney lost the presidency, and it's an off-putting fallacy. Second, Gallup disagrees with O'Reilly. Third, you might not want to insult an incredibly diverse group of Americans with broad generalizations if you're trying to win their vote.
by Jen Graves
on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 1:53 PM
This is at the base of Denny Hill. What does it mean?
1. It's always entirely possible that you totally get this and that I do not. If I am being dense, please, someone put my out of my light misery. (Light misery: the new black.)
2. It's always entirely possible that this billboard of a sexy lady glassblower is an ad just waiting for some sucker like me to post it to a blog. That it would mean, actually, nothing—if I didn't get involved. That herewith I fulfill intentions whose intentions I can't vouch for.
by Dan Savage
on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM
That pro-marriage-equality editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times that I linked to early this morning? My brother just sent me a picture of the editorial in the paper's print edition. For the record: I posted about that editorial before I saw the photo the editors of the Sun-Timeschose to run with the piece.
by Jen Graves
on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Where were you on that momentous occasion?!
I was at home with the flu. (Last night, the aches were accompanied, finally, by something that made sense: a massive headache and a fever. Now we've got a ballgame, I thought, then slept 12 hours. Thanks for the love yesterday, Slog.)
...I'm going to spend this column recounting the story of The Hobbit—a book I've never read and know nothing about. Everybody's super-excited about the upcoming Hobbit movie... especially the Denny's chain of restaurants, which inexplicably created an entire Hobbit menu. I ate there the other day, and—well, shit yeah, I'm gonna eat off the Hobbit menu!! Even though I haven't read the book, I figured I'd just read the menu and learn everything I needed to know. (The "Gandalf Gobbler" was delicious, BTW—even if it was a sandwich instead of a wizard with an enthusiastic appreciation for oral sex.)
Anyway, now that I've educated myself, here's my plot synopsis of the book, based on everything I learned from the Denny's menu. Enjoy...
Stephen Colbert on the Hobbit menu at Denny's—enjoy!
OPINION REQUEST: straight men doing drag. would it be akin to a white guy doing blackface? I feel like on some level it would be offensive, but I could be crazy. (I hadn't even considered it until someone else said it might be and then I started worrying.)
This sounds like liberal hand-wringing to me. Hell, I've done drag and I'm not even a man, let alone a gay one. However, I felt this called for a binding Slog poll, so please, tell my friend whether he is a terrible person or he can do drag!