You have to face
the awful truth:
zombie hordes will
descend upon us
ripping your friends
limb from limb
infecting them with the
(created by an
who placed profits
above human life
while working on a
meaning you might
be forced to shoot
them in the head.
But enough about that.
This is the
on that day
there will only be
to go around.
Call dibs on the one
with the best stores
while there is still time.
For roughly two months, protestors have occupied New York City's Zuccotti Park in protest of growing class disparity, attempts to strip unions of their rights, continued unemployment and lack of job creation and more. The peaceful protest known as Occupy Wall Street has spread its influence all over, leading to Occupy sites in many major cities.
Then, at 1:20 this morning (Eastern Standard Time), the New York Police Department, under the orders of New York Mayor Bloomberg, stormed the Zuccotti Park encampment to evict the protestors, tear down their tents and their kitchen and arrest those who resisted.
The Major Players:
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Mayor of New York City since 2002. He has been at odds with the OWS movement since it began and has made multiple attempts to have the protestors removed from the park.
- The Occupiers: Students, union workers, veterans, the unemployed, anarchists there's pretty much someone from every walk of life at the OWS protests. Don't let the drum circles fool you, this is an eclectic movement.
- Lucy Billings: a New York City judge.
Once again, someone else has put together a timeline, but the basic idea is that at 1:20 AM, police arrived on the scene and ordered protestors to leave the park. Bloomberg claimed that the park's owners had asked for his help because of "health and safety" issues. He also stated “New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself...What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.”
Then, this morning, New York Judge Lucy Billings issed an order claiming that the eviction was illegal and that protestors must be allowed back into the park. Occupiers have vowed to retake the park.
The Big Issues At Stake:
- The Right to Peacefully Protest: This is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, however it seems that the eviction of OWS was a violation of this right.
- Freedom of the Press: Reports were pouring in last night of the NYPD's apparent attempt to keep the media away from the protests. Many professional, credentialed jouranlists were even arrested while attempting to cover the protest. This, combined with the time of the eviction, has led to some people claiming it was all done in order to keep the media from covering the event.
- Police Brutality/The Militarization of Police Forces: Throughout the Occupy movement there have been stories of police brutality, from the macing of peaceful protestors to the near death of Marine Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with a "non-lethal" rubber bullet...and when people rushed to aid him, they were tear gassed. Have the police gone too far and why is no one stepping in to keep them in check?
- The New Media: The breaking coverage of the eviction this morning was not in the hands of CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. It was in the hands of people on Twitter, Tumblr, Boing Boing, it was in the hands of anyone with a cell phone or internet access. With the "old" media becoming more and more about ratings and money over information, what place does the New Media have in this world?
There's obviously a ton of coverage out there right now, and you should check it out. Boing Boing has ongoing coverage, and Twitter, Tumblr and other websites are blowing up with breaking coverage. Inform yourself!
The Muppet Show not only had great musical guests, it also had guest actors who made their mark on the Muppet stage. Here's 5 of my favorites:
Kermit the Frog has a sit-down with classic horror actor Vincent Price:
British comedian Peter Sellers pitches some new sketch ideas backstage:
Monty Python funnyman John Cleese cannot catch a break:
This is kind of cheating, as it is technically a musical number...but I think it belongs in this post instead: former James Bond Roger Moore surrounded by adorable animals performing "If I Could Talk To the Animals." Nothing could go wrong here, right?
And one of the most infamous bits: PIIIIIIGS IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE...featuring Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 and C3PO
Do any of you have favorites you'd like to share?
I wrote a rant a few days ago over on my Tumblr about how I was afraid of the Occupy Wall Street movement being commodified by major marketers and sold as a fad rather than recognized as a very real and very powerful political movement. I was sure that the people behind such a thing would be MTV or Urban Outfitters or Hot Topic.
I was a little off.
Friday, Jay-Z's clothing company RocaWear released a shirt design that took "Occupy Wall Street" and crossed out the W and added an S to make it "Occupy All Streets." It's an awesome message and it was great to see the hip-hop mogul and member of the 1% (Jay's net worth is listed at $450 Million) stand in solidarity with the OWS movement and their fight against corporate greed.
Except. Well. RocaWear wasn't donating any of the profits to the OWS movement. And they issued a statement saying as much.
The 'Occupy All Streets' T shirt was created in support of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. 'Occupy All Streets' is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.
Instead, they were taking the movement, putting it on a t-shirt, and selling it for their own profits. But claiming they were in support of a movement which is in opposition to putting profits over people and their needs.
Surprisingly, this really pissed people off.
The shirts have now been removed from the RocaWear site, without statement from Jay-Z or someone on his behalf.
Right now, the internet is blowing up about a bunch of stuff happening in the city of State College, PA. Namely, things that are happening at Penn State University. From scandal, to firings to what's escalated into a riot, the whole thing can be a bit much to process.
But in the interest in helping you decode everything, here's the basics.
The Major Players:
There's a lot of people involved in the scandal, but the big names you need to know are
- Jerry Sandusky: a former Penn State football coach who started a sports camp for young boys. He is accused of sexually molesting 8 boys over a 15-year-period.
- Joe Paterno: The long-time head coach at Penn State who apparently knew about the abuses, but did not report them to the police. His level of participation in and blame for the scandal is being highyl debated. He was fired on Wednesday, November 9th.
- Tim Curley: athletic director at Penn State, accused of covering up the scandal since 2002.
- Jim Calhoun: a temporary employee at Penn State who reportedly witnessed an instance of the abuse in a shower in 2000 and reported it to his superiors, who then reportedly failed to inform anyone else.
NPR has a much more in-depth timeline which you should check out, but basically: Both before and following his retirement in 1999, Sandusky was witnessed sexually molesting and abusing young boys. These actions were witnessed in 2000 by Jim Calhoun, a janitor, who reported them to his superior and by a graduate student in 2002 who reported the incident to Joe Paterno, who passed the news on to Tim Curley. After the 2002 incident, Sandusky's keys to the locker room are confiscated and he is banned from bringing children onto the Penn State Campus. But the incidents are not reported to the police or a child protection agency, which violates PA state law.
A grand jury case began late last year. However, it was not until November 5th of this year that the case becomes public. Curley and another collegue involved in the cover-up vacate their posts and are charged with making false statements to a grand jury and for failing to report the child abuse.
Joe Paterno had announced he would retire at the end of the current football season, however on November 9th he was fired from his position, effective immediately.
The Fall Out:
While much of the case has hinged on Sandusky being guilty of child molestation, much of the coverage and resulting outrage has been over Joe Paterno's involvement. Many people have been questioning whether or not he should be punished.
Wednesday night saw riots on the Penn State campus...caused by the school's firing of Joe Paterno. Much of their focus was on the media, who they felt exaggerated Paterno's role in the scandal, leading to his firing.
HOWEVER, a number of Penn State students and alumni have also come together to form #ProudPSUforRAINN to help raise money to fight rape and abuse, hoping to prove that "Penn State is way bigger than the alleged actions of a few people. To honor the victims, our goal is to raise over $500,000 – one dollar for each of Penn State’s 557,000 alumni."
Actor Ashton Kutcher has also come under fire from the internet for Tweeting out the following:
People feel that Kutcher's support of Paterno in spite of his part in the scandal is troubling, especially considering Kutcher's own partcipation in the anti-child slavery group the DNA Foundation. Kutcher has since apologized for the Tweet, claiming he didn't know the whole story before he sent it out.
There's a ton of resources who could give you better information, I already mentioned NPR's great timeline of events and since there's been a media blitz on this you can find news pretty much anywhere. Inform yourself.
The annual Victoria's Secret fashion show was taped last night, featuring performances by Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj and about a kajillion Swarovski Crystals.
Feminist Gloria Steinem, who was in New York to attend the Glamour Women of the Year Awards (she was an honoree), was asked her opinion of the yearly lingerie spectacle. And if you were anticipating that negative stereotype of frothing feminist rage, well...you're going to be let down.
NY Mag reports that she said the following:
"Well, it's employing those women," she said optimistically, laughing. "But women’s bodies are not just ornaments, they’re instruments," she added. "Walk around the street and look at real people. That’s much more helpful than those ads." Does she think average women wear sexy lingerie? "You know, somebody must be buying it in the stores, but I don’t think they’re wearing wings."
I'm going to agree with Gloria on a lot of things, the "real people" aspect and the "not just ornaments" statement. And, um, of COURSE "average" women wear sexy lingerie! Why the hell wouldn't they? Don't "average" women have the right to feel sexy, too? And if wearing sexy lingerie helps them feel that way, well, more power to them!
But I will disgaree with one major thing: I spend just about every VS fashion show WISHING I could actually buy and wear the wings.
Last week I listed five celebrity musical appearances on The Muppet Show, but this week I want the Muppets themselves to take center stage. Whether it's on one of their numerous shows or a viral internet video, the Muppets have been responsible for some fantastic musical numbers. Here's five of them.
Animal - "Wipe Out"
And here's Janice from Electric Mayhem singing "With a Little Help From my Friends":
Beaker performs a tender and soulful rendition of "Feelings," with an assist from Animal:
And of course, the Muppets all get together to perform their own version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody":
As usual, these are just five of my favorites, and I wanna see/hear yours!
- Whats your middle name? Grace
- How big is your bed? Queen
- What are you listening to right now? The hum of my computer.
- What are the last 4 digits in your cellphone number? 1541
- What was the last thing you ate? A fortune cookie. The fortune was awful, FYI.
- Last person you hugged? I think it was Kristin, but I'm not sure.
- How is the weather right now? Cool and sunny.
- Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Did a phone eval for a study I'm in yesterday.
- What is the first thing you notice in the opposite sex? That they're the opposite sex.
- Favorite type of food. The kind you can eat.
- Do you want children? Hell. No.
- Do you drink? Yes.
- Ever get so drunk you don’t remember the entire night? No, but I have had nights with large portions I don't remember.
- Hair color? brown right now
- Eye colour? brown
- Do you wear contacts/glasses? Nope
- Favorite holiday? Christmas
- Favorite season? Fall
- Have you ever cried over a girl/boy? Too often
- Last movie you watched? Mirrormask
- What books are you reading? Re-read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. It's November.
- Piercings? Multiple
- Favorite movie? Blue Crush
- Favorite college football team? I went to Pitt, I am bound by law to say Pitt.
- What were you doing before filling this out? Internet
- Any pets? My apartment has a "no pets" policy, unfortunately
- Dogs or cats? Cats.
- Favorite flower? Asiatic lillies
- Have you ever loved someone? No, as many users have correctly assumed, my heart is a black hole full of hate, loneliness and feminism (Okay, the real answer is "Yes.")
- Who would you like to see right now? A masseuse.
- Have you ever fired a gun? Yes
- Do you like to travel by plane? Okay, here's the weird thing: I really like airports. There's something about them. The flying part I can take or leave, but I just want to be in the airport.
- Right-handed or Left-handed? Right
- If you could go to any place right now where would you go? A nice, relaxing spa.
- Are you missing someone? Mizz Cait
- Do you have a tattoo? Yep! And I want more.
- Do you still watch cartoons on Saturday mornings? No, but I do YouTube My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic on Saturday afternoons.
- Are you hiding something from someone? Aren't we all?
- Are you 18? Oh God, I was 18. Like, 10 years ago. It was WEIRD.
- What do before you go to bed? Read
In our future, we were promised flying cars, jet packs, moon amusement parks and flash frozen ice cream.
And now the future is ruined.
Because the company behind Dippin' Dots, the ice cream of the future, has filed for bankruptcy.
How can I continue on into an uncertain future when the very ice cream of the future has failed in the present tense? If the future is already failing, then what kind of failure can we expect when our future because our present? And our present is the past and my presence is a present so kiss my...
...wait, sorry, I got caught up in a Kanye West quote there for a moment. Where were we?
Oh, right. The future is a lie, has always been a lie and we will never get jet packs. And Christmas is cancelled.
There are some female celebrities out there who wear very expensive clothing and get their hair done a lot, and that's nice for them. But let's talk about Pawnee's own Leslie Knope. Leslie is the Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as a strong contender for City Council and, in my opinion, the future first woman president.
And why is that? Because Leslie Knope has style. Take a look at what she's wearing here:
That's right: a confident smile. Leslie Knope's confidence is overwhelming and infectious. Which isn't to say she doesn't have her moments of self-doubt, but she's able to overcome them with a confidence that is sometimes cocky, but never in a cruel way. Leslie believes in herself, in the good of people around her and in the sheer deliciousness of breakfast foods.
But let's not forget to take a look at her style here:
Her style of government, that is! Leslie, despite sometimes being discouraged by the bureaucracy and...um...political aspect of...politics...strongly believes in the government as an institution to serve the people. She believes those in power should use their power to help the people they govern, which sounds pretty simple and elementary but is an ideal often lost in all levels of government.
That's not to say Leslie doesn't have some personal interest in her political success, she dreams constantly of shattering barriers and becoming Pawnee's first female mayor and eventually the first woman to be President of the United States. But she doesn't want to do these things just for her own satisfaction, she wants to do them in order to make things better for people.
But it's not just about Leslie's WORK style, there's also this:
Her style of friendship.
Leslie is extremely supportive of all of her friends, especially her friend nurse Ann Perkins. Even when there's some potential awkwardness between the two (Ann dated Leslie's long time crush...but only after seeking Leslie's permission and talking the whole thing out as friends) they stick by each other and by Leslie's credo of "Ovaries before Brovaries." Leslie doesn't buy into that idea of "I can't have girlfriends because all women are catty and out to destroy each other." Leslie knows better. She knows that the important thing is encouraging your friends, male or female, to succeed at what they do, sometimes to the point of good-natured meddling, and to help celebrate their achievements.
Leslie Knope has a style you can't buy from a designer or off the rack (though I'm sure you could pick up some of her snappy pants suits if you wanted to...am I the only one who thinks it's a little ridiculous that "suit" for a woman immediately means a skirt and you have to specify "pants suit" for women? Why don't we have to do that for guys? Sometimes they wear skirts with their suits...like, for instance, if they're wearing a kilt). She has a style cultivated by years and years of positivity, achievement and an unwavering "Knope" for the future.
See, I used "Knope" instead of "hope" there.
I thought it was clever.