Articles on this Page
- 04/30/14--13:42: _The-Dream responds ...
- 04/30/14--14:00: _Doge Records is a r...
- 05/01/14--09:18: _Rick Astley is rick...
- 05/01/14--13:30: _How to turn your em...
- 05/02/14--07:44: _Listen to Michael J...
- 05/02/14--10:56: _The day the Interne...
- 05/02/14--11:15: _'Girl Meets World' ...
- 05/03/14--08:46: _You'll never hear '...
- 05/03/14--08:54: _Why VidCon needs an...
- 05/03/14--11:40: _Read Amy Schumer's ...
- 05/03/14--13:19: _Riff Raff's new sin...
- 05/04/14--07:16: _'The Beygency' ensu...
- 05/04/14--09:46: _Watch Joe Biden and...
- 05/04/14--12:54: _You'll never guess ...
- 05/05/14--07:00: _These classic 'Sein...
- 05/05/14--08:52: _Silk Road lands a s...
- 05/05/14--09:47: _Here's proof your f...
- 05/05/14--11:04: _The all-cats, all-t...
- 05/05/14--11:30: _The mysterious case...
- 05/05/14--13:05: _Here's what the 'St...
- 04/30/14--14:00: Doge Records is a real label devoted to obscure house music
- 05/01/14--09:18: Rick Astley is rickrolling people in real life now
- 05/01/14--13:30: How to turn your empty lighters into a cool toy motorcycle
- 05/02/14--07:44: Listen to Michael Jackson's new single online now
- 05/02/14--10:56: The day the Internet tried to cheer up 'sad Kanye'
- 05/02/14--11:15: 'Girl Meets World' gets a premiere date, and the Internet explodes
- 05/03/14--08:46: You'll never hear 'Talk Dirty' the same after Kevin Spacey sings it
- 05/03/14--08:54: Why VidCon needs an anti-harassment policy
- 05/03/14--11:40: Read Amy Schumer's amazing speech about body image and confidence
- 05/04/14--07:16: 'The Beygency' ensures you think twice before dissing Beyoncé
- 05/04/14--09:46: Watch Joe Biden and Julia Louis-Dreyfus paint the town in D.C.
- 05/04/14--12:54: You'll never guess which rapper has the largest vocabulary
- 05/05/14--07:00: These classic 'Seinfeld' episodes wouldn't work today
- 05/05/14--08:52: Silk Road lands a starring role on CBS's 'The Good Wife'
- 05/05/14--09:47: Here's proof your favorite '90s songs were pure nonsense
- 05/05/14--11:30: The mysterious case of Rihanna's disappearing Instagram account
- 05/05/14--13:05: Here's what the 'Star Wars' Cantina Band might look like
The-Dream has removed his ubiquitous shades, lost the lover-man R&B angle, and gone socially conscious for his latest single, “Black,” which hit YouTube late Tuesday. It’s run up more than 16,000 views in under 24 hours.
The clip is key lyrics from the would-be “heal mankind” anthem juxtaposed next to images of societal turmoil: Ukraine, the Los Angeles Clippers, Venezuela. There are candle vigils and nods to Marvin Gaye, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, President Obama. At the clip’s end, the hand-feeding becomes most apparent when the song and video’s M.O. is spelled out on screen: “Black isn’t just a race anymore … It’s a feeling and a place from which one feels isolated by the world of the governing elite.”
The clip’s comments sparked instant dialogue, and the video’s comments section ranges from thoughtful to flippant, exuberant, perplexing, and, of course, self-promoting:
I like the video but find it hard to put the rancher losing the land he grazes on in the same place as Kim Jun Il and Idi Amin. Even the clippers guy doesn't belong there. However it's his person views and I respect that though I don't agree.
I like the video but find it hard to put the rancher losing the land he grazes on in the same place as Kim Jun Il and Idi Amin. Even the clippers guy doesn't belong there. However it's his person views and I respect that though I don't agree.
Classism is not the new racism, cause racism aint never went nowhere, white supremacy aint never went nowhere so therefore classism an racism exist at the same time an one will not replace the other
I love it!!!! Tears to my eyes
Really getting tired of people saying gay and black is the same smh
The dream lost so much respect jumping on that gay rights bandwagon
Quality rap music Creative next level music videos Coming from a 17yo Check me out, you will not be disappointed. Appreciate it.
Dream, wisely, is just himself here. That’s why this project works.
“Black” doesn’t fall into the No. 1 classic pitfall of conscious hip-hop, failing to differentiate between listing things and qualifying them. There’s no art in rhyming “Nina Simone” with “microphone” when you’re trying to be deep.
So The-Dream sticks to a feeling. The hook is “I’m feeling real black right now” (bonus points for the breaking news ticker in the clip that just reads “You’ve got me feeling real black right now”).
He’s basically going, “Man, what a depressing and intense time we are living in, #amiright?”
It’s most effective and resonant when Dream goes personal: “My mama left incense burning on the dresser/She said never be impressed with a man with no message,” and “My father spoke to you through that liquor/Let us pray your idea outlives you.”
But his best line is about the nature of racist headlines as they relate to the marginalized minorities that they attack. And how they linger and make you think twice going forward. “Tommy Hilfiger made me feel like a n****r/Kinda thing that sticks with you.”
Photo via Jason Persse/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Who let the doge out? It’s hard to remember.
Nipping at the heels of Dogecoin and Lonely Doge is Doge Records, a new London label, and the latest entity to co-opt the ubiquitous Shiba Inu meme. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Doge Records will be releasing music from actual dogs, though.
The label’s owner says Doge Records will be devoted to limited-edition vinyl house music releases, and the first release, out next week, will be by an “unknown” artist, in keeping with white-label dedication to limited-release anonymity. The four tracks span New York, Detroit, and Chicago house.
The label is so named as a nod to modern technology’s devotion to the meme, which was declared dead last year after being co-opted by the GOP. The owner, identified as “John,” explained that “the house music community haven’t exactly fallen over themselves to embrace him, so I thought it was about time that changed.”
Of all the genres that might have latched on to an Internet meme, house music seemed like the last holdout, though doge has appeared on Soundcloud quite a bit. Alternately, plastering an oversaturated meme on your new obscure house label is the exact meta-meta-action that fuels the Internet. It helps this whole venture that the music’s actually pretty good.
There will be more Doge Records releases after this initial one, and you can pre-order the debut at Kristina Records. Insert “doge house” jokes here.
The '80s pop star stopped by the Danish radio show Go’Morgen P3 (Good Morning P3), where he found out that rickrolling was still very much a thing in Denmark.
A French filmmaker has just given empty disposable lighters a second life.
The two-minute clip is part of an ongoing series called "Raatid and Magic," in which Chiffre provides an unadulterated look at Jamaican life. Since 2003, he has filmed musicians, artisans, and businesses.
Instructions on how to make the toy motorcycle have circulated around Reddit since 2011. Check out the Imgur album below on how to piece together your own.
H/T Reddit | Screengrab via YouTube
Michael Jackson died in 2009, but 2014 may be a big music year for the late King of Pop.
An album of previously unreleased Jackson songs, Xscape, will be released in the U.S. on May 13.
The first single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” is a bouncy disco-soul number Jackson wrote, produced, and sang in 1983 with Paul Anka and Kathy Wakefield. It has been updated by a team of producers, along with the other previously recorded songs from Xscape. Timbaland headed up the production team, and if this leading single is any indicator, the producer deftly updated the songs to give them a modern twist without stripping away the essentials.
There are two versions of the song; one is a duet with Justin Timberlake. Both were released by the official Michael Jackson VEVO account.
Which version do you like better?
Photo via Flickr/Zoran Veselnovic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
When our alien overlords finally come to Earth, and demand to see our greatest cultural artifacts, will we show them an ancient photo of a "sad" Kanye West, discovered in a zipline office in Mexico and posted to Imgur?
The image, uploaded to Imgur by photographer Alex Yenni, via Brown Cardigan, was allegedly discovered as an actual developed photo (remember those?) in a “random ziplining office in the middle of Mexico,” which might be Rancho Mi Chaparrita in Sayulita. The couple also went ziplining with Girls Gone Wild creepazoid Joe Francis in 2012.
This certainly adds a valuable interation of the Sad Kanye meme, but is it really possible a Kimye photo exists that had not yet been dissected on the Internet? While we all pondered that depressing question, the Internet stepped in to cheer up the ghost of Kanye past.
As Kanye watched Kim slide down the zip line, he felt he, too, was falling. "Kareful," he said, too quietly for her to hear. She was too far— Alex Alvarez (@soalexgoes) May 2, 2014
Of course, Kanye might not actually be sad in this photo. He might just have been experiencing the normal human reaction to being asked to go ziplining.
The Boy Meets World fandom is a curious thing. The show, which aired Friday nights on ABC from 1993 to 2000, followed the life trajectory of Cory Matthews, his bestie Shawn, and his girlfriend Topanga. Perhaps it existed in that perfect overlap of Gen Y and millennial viewing, because people on the Internet really love Boy Meets World.
And the Internet exploded with squee this morning, when it was announced that Girl Meets World, the follow-up to the show, would finally debut June 27 on the Disney Channel. Girl Meets World finds Cory and Topanga married with children, and the show focuses on their middle school-aged daughter Riley’s adventures with her best friend, just like Boy Meets World did! The voice-over guy in the latest promo assures us there will be hijinks.
Twitter was all over it.
There's a new MJ/JT song out, and Boy Meets World is coming back in June. So pretty much I'm nine again and it rocks.— Chuck Daly (@ChuckDaly) May 2, 2014
girl meets world premieres on the same night as the fall out boy concert and now i have to choose between the two greatest loves of my life.— Mary (@maroldrush) May 2, 2014
Only just heard about girl meets world!#boymeetsworld was my life!Had to watch it at my grandparents they were the only ones who had Disney— Danielle (@DanielleMac91) May 2, 2014
Fans have been anxiously awaiting the premiere for nearly a year; Disney ordered the series in June 2013. In the interim, pop culture kept the fandom alive. Remember Samuel L. Jackson’s dramatic reading of a poem about Boy Meets World?
Remember when this woman got so excited about the existence of this show?
Screengrab via disneychannel/YouTube
Fallon and Spacey performed Derulo’s hit“Talk Dirty” as barbershop quartet the Ragtime Gals, and somehow made the song even better. The line “your booty don’t need explaining” has never sounded so virtuous. It was the flipside of Jamie Foxx’s appearance a week ago, when he talked dirty to Tupperware.
Screengrab via the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
The inner circle of DFTBA-affiliated YouTubers has been under close scrutiny after several of its most popular musicians were implicated in abuse scandals earlier this year, many involving underage fans. Considering the number of previous VidCon headliners who have subsequently been dropped from DFTBA Records after allegedly taking advantage of vulnerable fans, VidCon’s lack of official anti-harassment policy comes as a shock.
This week, the thing that drew the YouTube community’s attention to VidCon’s lack of anti-harassment policies was a blog post from sci-fi author C.C. Finlay. In that post, he gave an account of what happened when he asked VidCon why they didn’t appear to have an anti-harassment policy in place. After submitting his question to the website, he received no reply until he publicly tweeted VidCon asking for a response, at which point they emailed him to say:
"As far as an official harassment and conduct policy goes, I don't know that we have anything publicly available yet. VidCon attendees, guests, and staff are extremely respectful to each other, and we work hard to provide a safe environment at our event. It's because of this that there hasn't historically been a need for such policies. Though as VidCon continues to grow, I think it is important to have something in place, and we're certainly looking into it."
This turned out to be a rather inflammatory answer, not just because there have historically been examples of harassment at VidCon, but because following the allegations against DFTBA stars Alex Day and Tom Milsom back in March, Hank Green announced that he would be organizing a Task Force to help prevent similar cases in the future. Drawing up a code of conduct for VidCon seems like a pretty simple step towards achieving that goal.
Uh, @vidcon? You need a sexual harassment policy. Not just bc of the history of sexual abuse & potential for it, but out of common decency.— Katie Locke (@Bibliogato) May 2, 2014
Wondering exactly what the DFTBA Task Force *has* done, if they didn't start with immediately implementing anti-harassment policy at @VidCon— Sarah Hamburg (@sarahrhamburg) May 2, 2014
Okay, I think I’ve asked all the youtubers who’ve ever talked to me to join me in asking VidCon for a visible Harassment Policy.— Paul Roth (@paulidin) May 2, 2014
It's tough for grown adult in a situation of harassment to know what to do, let alone to expect teens to. Which is why policy needed, vidcon— Liz Burns (@LizB) May 2, 2014
(1/2) The last @VidCon I attended (2012) I had a stranger in a mask come out of nowhere and grope my butt. I am male and an adult, so ...— Josh Kelly (@ForeignRobot) May 2, 2014
(2/2) ... it wasn't the worst case scenario. But it was inappropriate and people shouldn't do that. Even if it's "for laughs". Not funny.— Josh Kelly (@ForeignRobot) May 2, 2014
Sexual harassment at fan conventions is already a serious problem at the best of times, so it’s no wonder that C.C. Finlay and other potential VidCon attendees were surprised to discover that there were no conduct guidelines listed on VidCon’s website. After all, this convention is largely geared towards bridging the gap between YouTube celebrities and their fans, many of whom are teenagers. And as the various YouTuber/fan scandals have already proven, this doesn’t always end up well, in part because there were no obvious guidelines in place to clarify the power imbalance between fans and creators.
Having clear anti-harassment guidelines not only deters inappropriate behaviour, but it also makes it easier for convention staff and volunteers to deal with instances when they occur. And inevitably they do occur, even at the friendliest of conventions. This is why the Con Anti-Harassment Project exists, and why there are already so many online guides to drawing up a useable conduct policy for your fan event. Claiming that a convention doesn’t need them because everyone is already nice and well-behaved is like saying you don’t need anti-theft laws because your house hasn’t been burgled yet.
The Daily Dot reached out to VidCon to clarify whether they had plans to implement any kind of harassment policy, and received a positive reply. It appears that there will indeed be a harassment policy in place for next month's convention, and that “VidCon has always planned on disseminating and enforcing an official code of conduct policy prior to the execution of this year's event.”
The email from VidCon’s representative continued, “It is true that in the past we have advocated for decent behavior and relied on the sound judgment of our guests, attendees, and crew to determine when the line was crossed, (and unfortunately we have had to remove disruptive attendees in the past), but this year we will spell it out point blank — we are currently refining that policy via our legal counsel, a community-based task force that was formed some months ago, and our service providers (security, venue, etc) to make sure that the "official" policy is legitimate, enforceable, and reasonable.”
This is good news for VidCon guests and attendees, and will hopefully put minds at rest. Still, the question remains as to why an anti-harassment policy wasn’t introduced months ago, at least before tickets went on sale for the event.
Photo via gageskidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
On Thursday night, the Gloria Awards, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, took place in New York City, in honor of Gloria Steinem’s 80th birthday. Gabourey Sidibe's inspirational gala speech about confidence was trending on social media yesterday, but Amy Schumer’s speech is also required reading.
She told a story about an awkward college sexual encounter with such detail and wit, it became instantly relatable, and she tied it together beautifully with a revelation about the music of Sam Cooke. But Schumer went further about struggling with her weight and self-confidence, and how funny women are portrayed in the media. She was honest about how the struggle continues:
“I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, "All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice.”
Speaking of Twitter, Schumer posted about the speech earlier today, and the first two commenters decided they are also comedians!
Here’s the whole speech. Read it and then spend the rest of your Saturday watching Inside Amy Schumer, because it’s one of the funniest, most honest, most feminist shows on television right now.
Here I go, and if it doesn't go well, please just don't blog about it.
Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one ... for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn't mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber ... My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, "You look healthy!" I was getting no male attention, and I'm embarrassed to say, it was killing me.
But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying "should have graduated, but needed an extra year." He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I'd look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I'd spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.
It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. "Amy, wassup? It's Matt. Come over." Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we're meant to start a life together! Let's just stop all this pretending that we weren't free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don't care. I'll settle wherever he's most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It's still early enough, maybe we're going fishing? Or maybe his mom's in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he's fixing his hair and telling his mom, "Be cool, this may be the one!" I'll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn't think she's completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we're going to plan together. I'll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can't mess with me. "Rita! I'm going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that's that!" Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?
Finally, the door opens. It's Matt, but not really. He's there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can't focus on me. He's actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. "Hey!" he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He's fucking wasted. I'm not the first person he thought of that morning. I'm the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn't answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, "Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!" I can't be the troll doll I'm afraid I've become.
He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, "I'm taking the wheel on this one. Now I'm going to blow your mind," which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it'd look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What's on the wall? A Scarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That's it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note "temporary and without substance" too far.
He started to go down on me. That's ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, "Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay." I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang "Memories," what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, "Cats." The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he's now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. "Matt, what is this? The Braveheart soundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?" He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.
I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. "Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do ..." I'm thinking, "What is this?" He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn't water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I've never heard these songs before. They're gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn't have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, "Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!" I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I'm also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I'm still with today.
Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, "Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy." And it's all gone. In an instant, it's all stripped away. I wrote an article for Men's Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she's hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, "All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I'll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see." But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.
H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube
Cultural pundit Riff Raff released a timely single Friday, paying homage to the long-standing tradition of women posting selfies on the Internet. Called “Instagram,” the song lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds and shows more filtered T&A than most people would find on their Instagram feeds in two lifetimes.
It’s also got this short shot of a girl trying to lick the snout of her chihuahua.
The Houston rapper has a long history of promoting selfie culture, both on Instagram, where he has more than 498,000 followers, and Vine, where he’s a legend with no equal. Rare is the opportunity to see him speak so highly of the site’s many ladies, however. The only female to pop up on his feed is when he’s teasing the aforementioned video or jiving with TMZ.
Rumor has it the song’s going onto a new album from Riff Raff called Neon Icon, which Stereogum suggests should see release sometime this spring through Diplo’s Mad Decent.
Photo via JodyHighRoller/YouTube
When was the last time you heard anyone say something negative about Beyoncé? That’s right: You haven’t. But it’s not because America suddenly found the one pop diva everyone can agree on; this is an artificial consensus, brutally enforced by a cabal known as the Beygency.
That’s according to the best sketch on last night’s Andrew Garfield-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, anyway. Committing the faux pas of critiquing “Drunk in Love” in his own living room, Garfield must go on the run from men tasked with eliminating the slightest anti-Beyoncé sentiment. Along the way, he’ll meet a few unlikely Rihanna fans who may be able to help.
Man, if I was wary of expressing a nuanced opinion on the Queen Bey phenomenon before, you can bet I’ll keep it to myself from now on. (Still perfectly safe to diss Jay Z, of course.)
Vice President Joe Biden was not, as host Joel McHale pointed out, in attendance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last night. He had a very good reason, though. He was out on the town with Selina Meyer, his parallel number in the HBO political comedy Veep, a character played with post-Seinfeld pettiness by the one and only Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
In this delightful promo, we get to see how the second-most-powerful people on the planet kill their time: The two of them scarf down ice cream in the White House basement, duck the First Lady’s arm-wrestling challenge, write fake headlines for the Amazon-controlled Washington Post, and ultimately get matching tattoos (after seeing how badass Nancy Pelosi’s looks).
If you ask me, though, we needn’t worry about a Meyer-Biden primary battle in 2016. Every insider knows they’re going to share the ticket—it’s just a matter of who gets top billing.
Many have mused on the relationship between Shakespeare and hip-hop.
“If you look at real hip-hop, your KRS-Ones, your Chuck Ds, it's poetry, it's social commentary, it's documenting history,” argued rapper Akala in 2009. “And in three or 400 years, people will probably look upon it as such. There were those who frowned upon Shakespeare's work in his time, but it was a reflection of reality."
Now thanks to Matt Daniels, a data scientist from New York City, there’s a much easier way to draw that comparison.
Shakespeare used a total of 28,829 unique words in his work, leading some to believe he had one of the largest vocabularies ever. Looking at the first 5,000 words of seven classic works, Daniels used a technique called token analysis to determine that the Bard used 5,170 unique words in that span.
That’s the benchmark Daniels measured rappers against, based on data provided by Rap Genius. Daniels similarly limited his research to an artist’s first 35,000 lyrics—roughly three to five studio albums (EPs and mixtapes included)—to have an even measuring stick for both veteran and emerging rappers. (Unfortunately, that means artists like Kendrick Lamar and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard didn’t have enough material to be included.)
So how does your favorite stack up? For more interactive elements, skip straight to Daniels’ original piece, but in general, indie rapper Aesop Rock—included by Reddit’s popular demand—came out ahead of even Shakespeare, with 7,392 unique words used.
Overall, Wu-Tang Clan dominated the charts.
Breaking the findings down by region, the East Coast had the highest average by far (4,804).
Surprisingly, Kanye West, 2Pac, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg—four of the biggest names in rap history—fell in the bottom 20 percent.
H/T Matt Daniels | Photo of Wu-Tang Clan via Amoeba Records
Dubbed the “show about nothing,” Seinfeld is the prototypical sitcom and one of the first to dedicate entire episodes to the mundane: awkward dating moments, getting lost in a parking garage, and waiting in line for a babka.
But while Seinfeld remains one of the most acclaimed TV shows of all time, we found that some of its most famous storylines don’t quite hold up in our modern, mobile world.
Episode 2: The Stakeout
The original plot: Jerry meets an attractive girl at a birthday dinner but only remembers the name of the company where she works. With no other option, he and George stakeout her office lobby to wait for her to pass. When they can’t get their story straight about why they’re there, George insists on saying he’s an architect, and the whole thing blows up in Jerry’s face.
The plot in 2014: Jerry meets an attractive girl at a birthday dinner, but only remembers the name of the company where she works. With no other option, he looks her up on Facebook through a common friend. He quickly finds her full name, where she went to college, and what her favorite quote is. After swiping through her old photos for a good 10 minutes, he accidentally “likes” the one of her in a bathing suit and the whole thing blows up in Jerry’s face.
Photo by melenita/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Episode 23: The Parking Garage
The original plot: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer can’t find their car in the shopping mall parking garage after buying an air conditioner. While constantly going in circles and up and down stairs, the group becomes separated, Jerry relieves himself in a corner, and all hope is soon lost.
The plot in 2014: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer can’t find their in the shopping mall parking garage after buying an air conditioner. Kramer pulls up his MyCar Locator app on his Android phone, they all find the car, and get home earlier than expected.
Episode 54: The Movie
The original plot: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all plan to catch a late screening of the new blockbuster, Checkmate. George goes early to buy the tickets and meet everyone at the door. When they keep missing each other and end up in multiple theaters, their movie night is ruined.
The plot in 2014: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all plan to catch a late screening of the new blockbuster, Checkmate. George buys the tickets early online, and sends a group text to let everyone know where to meet. Everyone loves the movie and has a great night together.
Episode 77: The Dinner Party
The original plot: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are on their way to a dinner party and want to bring a babka from one of the city’s best bakeries. After waiting in line for ages and getting their car trapped by a double parker, they give up on the dinner party and everyone goes back home upset.
The plot in 2014: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are on their way to a dinner party and want to bring a babka from one of the city’s best bakeries as their contribution. Elaine has a Taskrabbit wait in line for her and deliver the babka to her office. They all arrive at the party on time and everyone agrees the babka was their favorite.
Photo by ginnerobot/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Episode 9: The Phone Message
The original plot: After an awkward ending to an otherwise enjoyable date, George is worried that he’s missed his chance. He leaves a series of increasingly desperate, and hostile, messages on his date’s home answering machine before discovering she’s out of town. Jerry and George are forced to hatch a half-baked plan to steal the tape from her apartment.
Photo by micurs/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
The plot in 2014: After an awkward ending to an otherwise enjoyable date, George is worried that he’s missed his chance. He texts his date a quick text the next day and finds out she’s heading out of town but wants to meet up as soon as she’s back.
Silk Road, the Internet’s favorite deep web drug bazaar, played a starring role in Sunday night’s episode of the CBS legal drama The Good Wife.
The episode, titled “The Deep Web,” attempted to tie in facts from the ongoing batch of real-life legal cases involving Silk Road with technical details of how the site operated and continues to operate. This isn’t the first network crime show to attempt to integrate Silk Road into its plot, but it was one of the most ambitious depictions.
A significant portion of the 45-minute episode centered on the case of a young man, who is being accused by a state prosecutor of working for the Silk Road, which the prosecutor describes as “one of the biggest criminal conspiracies of the 21st century.”
In presenting Silk Road to a primetime audience, however, the show’s writers both embellished the Silk Road’s nefariousness and mischaracterized several aspects of it.
“It’s a marketplace for the sale of drugs—marijuana, cocaine, MDA, heroine, assault weapons, and even murder,” the assistant state attorney says. “What Amazon is to book lovers, Silk Road is to criminals.”
Though it makes for good drama, contract killing was not actually something allowed to be bought and sold on Silk Road. In fact, the site eventually banned the sale of most weapons, according to an interview with the site’s owner published by Forbes in September 2013—a month before law enforcement closed the website.
The alleged Silk Road employee in the show was a young man named Robbie, who was suffering from cerebral palsy (think Walter Jr. from “Breaking Bad”). He initially denies involvement with Silk Road altogether, then says that the site’s administrators paid him to write reviews of vendors’ products.
As it turns out, Robbie’s involvement may have been much deeper.
The prosecutor says he was able to link Robbie to Silk Road by tracing bitcoins to a digital wallet stored on his computer. Robbie’s defense attorney Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski, claims that Bitcoin is an anonymous currency that can’t be traced, which is a common Bitcoin fallacy. The prosecutor’s rebuttal makes even less sense.
“You couldn’t [trace bitcoins] until Mt. Gox was bankrupted,” he says. “Law enforcement was suddenly allowed access to the servers.”
In actuality, each and every Bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred has been recorded on the blockchain, which is a public ledger. Though the blockchain doesn’t include personal identifiers, it is definitely possible, though often difficult, to trace the cryptocurrency back to individual users.
The Good Wife also misses the mark when discussing the anonymous Web browsing software that served as the sole portal to Silk Road. The software’s name, TOR, is an acronym for “The Onion Router.” Most call it Tor (a homophone of "tour"). The show’s characters spelled it out by letter, referring to it as “T-O-R.”
Of course, the writers of The Good Wife—a work of fiction—can obviously adopt aspects of Silk Road in whatever way they think will best resonate with their audience. Those familiar with the details of Silk Road may be interested in the episode for the sole purpose of seeing how it translates to primetime.
The actual Silk Road website launched in early 2011, and made its first inroads into the public consciousness in June of that year, when Adrian Chen wrote about it as “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable” for Gawker.
Even as Silk Road was facilitating $1.2 billion in illegal transactions, by investigators’ count, it managed to sidestep the spotlight of the mainstream media until October 2013, when the FBI seized the site’s domain and arrested Ross Ulbricht for allegedly owning and operating the site under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts.”
You can watch the full episode of The Good Wife on CBS’ website.
Photo remix by Sarah Reid/Flickr and Silk Road (CC BY 2.0)
If you ever struggle to remember the words to your favorite alternative rock singles from the 1990s, that’s probably because there weren’t any. Don’t believe me? Check out this supercut of “vocal hooks” from an era of slackerdom that makes even three-toed sloths look industrious.
From Third Eye Blind to Pavement, Alanis Morissette to The Offspring, every songwriter with radio play back then succumbed to “na-na-nas” or “doot-doot-doots” at some point.
You could have made this video four times as long without sacrificing the nostalgia factor, too. Hell, sometimes bands didn’t even bother to write a chorus:
It was only a matter of time before an Internet-powered television network featured a channel dedicated to nothing but cats—24 hours a day.
Back in the old days (you know, before 2005), watching cats on TV wasn't so easy. You had to wait for one to be featured on the local news or a sitcom. On Saturday mornings, you might get lucky and catch an episode of Thundercats or Garfield and Friends. And if you were really lucky, you were watching TV at a time when Milo and Otis was in heavy rotation on cable. So the cat-lover in you should be eternally grateful for Channel 406 on Pluto.TV.
"All cats, all the time. 24/7/365. We've got kittens too. Meow-mazing," reads the channel's description.
I tuned in to a noon offering of Famous Felines, which is basically a "best of" reel of famous Internet cats like Lil Bub, Keyboard Cat, and, of course, Grumpy Cat. It's basically Entertainment Tonight, only (amazingly) less catty.
Other programs on Cats 24/7 include Scaredy Cats, Putting Up with Humans, and Cats Gone Viral! Toggle buttons on each of the programs allow the site to send you a reminder when another riveting episode of, for example, Cartoons and Comedy Cats is about to air.
Granted, Cats 24/7 is not without its competition. Channel 407, Dogs 24/7, just one click away, is the all-dog network, while Channel 408, Crazy Animals, features a variety of creatures.
While Cats 24/7 is all well and good, I think the channel should go further. We need cat game shows, cat news broadcasts, and perhaps even cats drawing the daily lottery numbers.
Nevertheless, it's safe to say that the future of television is here, and it is adorable.
Image via GillyBerlin/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Where did you go, Badgirlriri? Rihanna’s Instagram account disappeared earlier today. Fans suspected Instagram itself had banned the Bajan singer after she posted a series of nude shots from a recent photoshoot with French magazine Lui.
Rihanna has a history of posing provocative pictures, but the Lui photos she shared in late April showed her topless and bottomless. They prompted a warning from Instagram asking the star to stop showing so much skin in her photos. The photos are gone from Instagram, but she also posted them on Twitter:
Rihanna posted this in response to the dustup:
[Update: See past the break below, but since Rihanna's Instagram account has disappeared again, it was a conservative, frumpy outfit photoshopped on the singer saying this is how Instagram would love her next magazine cover to look.]
She posted the Lui photos to Twitter to protest.
instagram *actually* deleted rihanna's account? that is the most tone-deaf move ever, u guys r dumb— r.e. kameir (@rawiya) May 5, 2014
While news outlets suspected Rihanna ran afoul of Instagram’s nudity monitors, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app insists the reason Badgirlriri temporarily disappeared is far more quotidian.
“This account was mistakenly caught in one of our automated systems and very briefly disabled. We apologize for any inconvenience,” an Instagram spokesperson told the Daily Dot.
This is not the first time a provocative celebrity has seen their Instagram account vanish. Rapper Tyler the Creator took to Twitter to complain that Instagram deleted his account last year. Like Rihanna’s, it was shortly restored, but Tyler the Creator insisted Instagram had purposely removed it. While the rapper hadn’t posted nude pictures, he had posted an image that showed him urinating into a trashcan.
Whether or not Rihanna’s habit for posting side-boob, blunts, and bottomless pics helped push her account into whatever automated system deleted it temporarily, it’s back now, so RiRi fans can breathe easy. At least until the next time the “Diamonds” singer toes the line on Instagram.
Update 3:14 EST: Rihanna's account is down again. We are waiting to hear back from Instagram about why the account keeps disappearing.
Update 3:46 EST: Instagram says it is not responsible for the account going down this time. "I can confirm that we have not deleted the account subsequently," a spokesperson told us.
Photo via Flickr/Eva Rinaldi (CC BY-SA 2.0)
While everyone’s rubbing themselves into a lather about the new Star Warscast, its lack of women, and the existence of Chewbacca selfies, there’s one very important component of the series that hasn’t been addressed yet.
What about the Mos Eisley Cantina Band?
College Humor recently gave fans an exclusive look into auditions for new members, including performances from Weird Al, Ben Folds, Liz Phair, and a malfunctioning Reggie Watts.
I never thought I’d never say this, but Chris Daughtry’s performance might have been the best one. Weird Al should be in the new Star Wars regardless. Also, smartphones now exist in Tatooine.
Screengrab via College Humor/YouTube