Archives For: Updates

Best Cover Song Ever?

Jul 28 2014 @ 5:11pm

A reader recommends an extreme genre-bender:

Great contest. Let me nominate an unconventional, but brilliant, submission by Girl Talk. You want genre mixing? How about something that includes parts of Black Sabbath, Ludacris, Dorrough, the Ramones and Missy Elliot, among others (plus equally amazing video):

Is it a traditional cover song? No, but if this is the future of the cover song, we are in extremely good hands …

Previous coverage of the Dish’s favorite mashup DJ here. Another reader:

I can’t be the first to submit Cowboy Junkies covering Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”. This version is so good Reed himself changed the way he performed the song live:

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Hathos Red Alert

Jul 28 2014 @ 10:48am

Yes, there is now an online video channel for the former half-term governor. (Conor watches so you don’t have to.) The subscription costs ten five times the Dish’s. Not even Roger Ailes can cramp her style now. Twitter? Well … #PalinTVShows is going strong:

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Mental Health Break

Jul 25 2014 @ 4:20pm

We might end up making an executive decision and declare this one the best cover song ever:

Update from a reader:

How dare you put Cartman’s “Poker Face” ahead of the epic “Come Sail Away” from the Chef Aid episode. The video doesn’t exist, but the rendition alone is pure gold:

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Creepy Ad Watch

Jul 25 2014 @ 8:01am


A reader flags it:

I received my August Bon Appetit magazine and as usual, eagerly sat down to read it as soon as it was delivered. I was dumbfounded when I came across this advertisement. To me, it seems like an overt case of ethnic stereotyping. I can understand the use of a traditional “yiayia” figure to advertise Greek food products, but to also have her include arranged marriage and exorcism on her to-do list seems outrageous. And oh yes, there are others ads in a similar vein – apparently in one, the yiayia calls her granddaughter a “prostitute.”

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Truvada And Women

Jul 24 2014 @ 5:39pm

It’s been a telling facet of the debate so far that the potential for the drug among women has been absent. This is often the case with AIDS drugs – the gay white rich men pioneer the treatments and only then do others get in on the action. But in some ways, it seems to me, the liberating potential of the anti-HIV drug is even greater for many women, especially in the developing world. A huge factor in their risk profile is the fact that their sexual partners often refuse to use condoms, and, in patriarchal societies, women are put at risk. Truvada might help shift that power differential. Two steps that could speed that process:

WHO needs to quickly issue guidance on PrEP for all of the populations that can benefit. truvadaThe data are strong enough to warrant this move, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently showed with its guidance that recommended that doctors consider oral PrEP for anyone at high risk of HIV infection … Gilead Sciences Inc., the maker of Truvada, needs [also] to move swiftly to secure regulatory approval in countries where PrEP is most needed. This starts with the countries that hosted clinical trials, where, tragically, PrEP is now out of reach. In two of those countries, South Africa and Thailand, Gilead recently filed for approval. This is an important and welcome step but the process needs to happen much faster and in more places. That requires both more aggressive efforts by Gilead and the willingness of national regulatory authorities to quickly review and approve the company’s applications.

The sooner the better. Update from a reader:

As a biomedical journalist, I have written about HIV for 20+ years. The US is the only place where regulators have approved a Truvada indication for PrEP; that label indication is not approved in Africa, Europe, even Canada. So it is appropriate to deal with PrEP in the context of the US. The CDC estimates that women constitute 20% of new infections and 24% of persons living with HIV in the US. The only data we have on who was prescribed PrEP was presented at ICAAC last September. In the first year after approval, 1774 persons started PrEP; 48% were women.

So it is decidedly NOT true that rich white gay men have been getting PrEP at the expense of other less favored socio-demographics.

Mental Health Break

Jul 22 2014 @ 4:20pm

Breaking the fourth wall:

Looking at you – Movie Montage from Brutzelpretzel on Vimeo.

Update from a reader:

A quick note: The vast majority of these clips are not really “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” They are simply POV shots, showing what one of the characters in the film is seeing. It’s an effective technique for helping the audience put themselves into the mind of one of the characters. But true breaking of the fourth wall is the direct acknowledgment of the audience. You are not being put in the position of a character; you are being asked to conspiratorially join in the movie.

My favorite versions are malevolent in nature; many remember several shots like this in the Austrian and American versions of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, as one of the young killers turns to the camera and asks the audience their opinion. But my favorite comes in Atom Egoyan’s Felicia’s Journey as repressed serial killer Bob Hoskins slowly walks through his home, I believe up some stairs, presumably on his way to kill a young victim. And then he pauses, and looks directly at the camera for an uncomfortable moment, before continuing on. Essentially he was indicting us in his crimes, there are no passive observers.

Treating Prostitutes Like Children

Jul 22 2014 @ 3:19pm

Elizabeth Nolan Brown sees the Swedes doing so:

Many areas have adopted or are considering what’s known as the “Swedish” or “Nordic Model,” which criminalizes the buying, rather than the selling, of sexual services (because, as the logic goes, purchasing sex is a form of male violence against women, thus only customers should be held accountable). In this nouveau-Victorian view, “sexual slavery” has become “sex trafficking,” and it’s common to see media referring to brothel owners, pimps, and madams as “sex traffickers” even when those working for them do so willingly.

The Swedish model (also adopted by Iceland and Norway and under consideration in France, Canada and the UK) may seem like a step in the right direction—a progressive step, a feminist step. But it’s not.

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Anti-Zionism And Anti-Semitism

Jul 22 2014 @ 11:40am

Pro Palestinian Demonstrations Are Held Throughout Europe

Some of the protests against the Israeli assault on Gaza have veered definitively into the realm of rank Jew-hatred. The NYT has a decent round-up of the worst today, and it’s especially troubling in France. As the world responds to Israel’s latest incursion in Gaza, Brendan O’Neill remarks on what he sees as the ever-thinning line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism:

[I]n the latest rage against Israel, it isn’t only the Israeli state or military that have come in for some loud flak from so-called radicals – so have the Israeli people, and even the Jews. In Paris on Sunday, what started as a protest against Israel ended with violent assaults on two synagogues. In one, worshippers had to barricade themselves inside as anti-Israel activists tried to break their way in using bats and planks of wood, some of them chanting ‘Death to Jews!’. Some have tried to depict such racist behaviour as a one-off, a case of immigrants in France losing control. But on that big demo at the Israeli Embassy in London last week some attendees held placards saying ‘Zionist Media Cover Up Palestinian Holocaust’, a clear reference to the familiar anti-Semitic trope about Jews controlling the media. On an anti-Israel protest in the Netherlands some Muslim participants waved the black ISIS flag and chanted: ‘Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning.’

His theory as to why this happens:

Why does being opposed to Israel so often and so casually tip over into expressions of disgust with the Israeli people and with the Jews more broadly? It’s because, today, rage with Israel is not actually a considered political position.

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Shifty Work Conditions

Jul 22 2014 @ 7:29am

McArdle contemplates the current state of part-time labor:

Unfortunately, the weakness in the labor market has coincided with yet another market development: scheduling software and technology that allows retailers to manage their workforce as another just-in-time input.

Workers are asked to input blocks of hours when they will be available; the software then crunches through everyone’s availability and spits out a schedule that takes account of everything from weather forecasts to the danger that a worker will go over the maximum number of hours to still be considered part time. Obviously, you can’t string together multiple jobs this way, because each job requires that you block out many more available hours than you will actually work. Meanwhile, Steve Greenhouse reports on even worse practices that I hadn’t heard of: requiring workers to be “on call” at short notice or scheduling them for shifts and then sending them home if business looks light.

In this situation, no matter how hard you are willing to work, stringing together anything approaching a minimum income becomes impossible. That makes it much more deeply troubling than low pay.

Update from a reader, who brings up unions:

This is why anyone who works at a part-time job in a non-union shop is essentially a wage slave.

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Superhero Social Justice

Jul 21 2014 @ 6:42pm

Kevin O’Keeffe relays the big news out of the comic book world:

Continuing the trend of diversifying their lineup of heroes, Marvel announced on last [week's] episode of The Colbert Report that the next Captain America will be Sam Wilson – currently known as The Falcon. … It’s the second big change for Marvel’s Avengers this week. On Tuesday, the women of The View announced that the next Thor would be a woman. Like with Thor, the new Captain America isn’t an off-shoot series – this is the primary Captain America, and the first black Captain America to officially hold the title.

Freddie sighs at those he believes are confusing symbolic firsts for real progress:

The glee with which these changes have been met, contrasted with the bleak state of structural change and economic justice, will tell you pretty much all you need to know about a certain strain of contemporary American liberalism. We’re mere weeks away from a Supreme Court decision where an alliance of religious crazies and corporatists was able to remove a legal provision requiring employers to pay for emergency contraception, but don’t worry, ladies! You too can now be portrayed as a heavily-sanitized version of a minor god from a long-dead pantheon. Black Americans continue to lag national averages in a vast number of metrics that depict quality of life, and in some of them have actually lost ground, but never fear. The guy portrayed punching people while wearing red white and blue spandex will now be black.

Lighten up, Freddie. Progress comes in all forms, big and small. And it’s often the small cultural changes, added together, that have the most lasting impact. Ta-Nehisi put it best, in a post written four years ago, reacting to the news that Captain America was headed to the big screen:

One thing that makes me sad–I wish they’d been ballsy and made Captain America black. … The subtle power of a black Captain America–in the age of a black president–really could be awesome.

Also awesome:

So far, the Hollywood version of Captain America hasn’t made the same move as Marvel, but here’s hoping. Meanwhile, Danny Fingeroth explains the business logic behind these sort of decisions:

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