When Did Tolerance And Kindness Become Edgy?

From the American Prospect

Each of the Big Three networks, plus Fox’s broadcast network, have rejected a paid advertisement from the United Church of Christ that bears the tagline, “God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we.” Viacom’s gay-targeted cable channel, LOGO, has also rejected the ad, which conveys a message of inclusiveness, even depicting a gay couple.
The UCC’s “ejector-seat” ad speaks to the rejection of various categories of people by unnamed Christian churches — a touchy subject for a nation that deems itself to be among the most God-fearing on Earth. It shows people who represent frequent targets of discrimination being ejected — into the air — from a church pew via a mechanism involving springboards hidden in the pews, controlled by an unseen party represented by an apparently white, male hand pressing a button.
First to be ejected is an African-American woman trying to quiet her crying baby. Next are two men who appear to be a gay couple, a man who looks to be of Middle Eastern descent and an elderly woman whose walker is tossed up with her. The spot ends with the contrasting message that the UCC church, a descendent of the early Puritan churches, rejects no one…
[Meanwhile] ABC [has] accepted paid advertisements from the religious right organization, Focus on the Family, whose leader, James Dobson, has vilified gay people.

Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped

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Sonic Youth’s new CD, Rather Ripped is scheduled for release on June 13th. For those of you who can’t wait that long, RBally, has a generous sample here. It’s a live show recorded on French radio featuring new material from the record. Download the mp3’s here.

May 2006 Movie Preview

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Terry Zwigoff’s Art School Confidential
by Dave Thomas
The summer of 2006 is shaping up to look like the summer of 2004, where big, obnoxious sequels actually happened to be good films (Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Bourne Supremacy). And so it is with unabashed glee that I look forward to the third installments that open and close the month, even though each are on their third director.
May 5
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Tom Cruise vs. Philip Seymour Hoffman and his own tattered reputation.
WILL IT SUCK?
Of all the directors slated to helm this sequel (David Fincher, Joe Carnahan), J.J. Abrams is probably my favorite. Why? Two words. Alias and Lost. Who better to combine character and plot into a seamless whole (except maybe Joss Whedon, but that would just be weird)? It doesn’t hurt that Phillip Seymour Hoffman is joined here by Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, and Laurence Fishburne. The only sad part is that Hoffman is probably going to lose.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
This will own the first half of May. $205mil.
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HOOT
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Someone’s managed to combine the rallying cries “Save the spotted owl!” with “Will somebody please think of the children!?”
WILL IT SUCK?
On many levels. You’ve got the writer/director with a lot of Fraiser and Becker under his directing belt, but only The Wil Shriner Show for a writing credit, and he is Wil Shriner. The screenplay is based on a novel from the guy who wrote the book for Striptease, which I just find amusing. Luke Wilson and and Tim Blake Nelson are on board for what, from the trailer, looks like groan-inducing comic relief as inept cops trying to stop the kids from stopping the construction that’s going to kill the owls. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. And Jimmy Buffett did the music and plays a science teacher in the film. Neil Flynn from Scrubs shows up, but that’s just not enough.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
M:I3 is PG:13. As a result, you have a much greater draw on the kid audience than you would otherwise. Not to mention Stick It from the week before and Lindsay Lohan drawing tweeners in Just My Luck the following week. $17mil.

[Read more…]

Thanks For The "Routine"Reminder"…

… because we’d forgotten about 9-11, Madrid, the London bombings, etc., etc.:

[From ABC] U.S. mass transit systems should remain alert against possible terror attacks, the Homeland Security Department said in a new warning…
there is no specific or credible intelligence to indicate U.S. transit systems are being targeted, and he described the notice, sent Tuesday, as a routine reminder

And don’t forget to send flowers on Mother’s Day. It’s a week from this coming Sunday. Another routine reminder, brought to you by FREEwilliamsburg.com.

Mustache Tattoo

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There’s a new fad sweeping Providence, Rhode Island. And boy is it retarded. We’re just hoping it doesn’t make its way to New York. Click here for video. [Via Gawker]

Two Unreleased Cash Records Coming Soon

Via Pitchfork

American V: A Hundred Highways, culled from sessions Cash was in the process of recording with producer Rick Rubin before his death in 2003, will be released on July 4 through American Recordings on Lost Highway Records. While this release has the distinction of being the last album of new material Cash ever produced, the upcoming May 23 Columbia/Legacy release Personal File, also shares the pedigree of unreleased original material.
Selected from sessions various sessions recorded between 1973 and 1982 at his House of Cash studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Personal File contains stripped-down, solo acoustic recordings that foreshadowed the raw tone of his later Rick Rubin recordings. The material is intimate and sketch-like, with Cash switching between covers, gospel spirituals, and originals. The recordings were never issued by Cash, remaining untouched inside his archives until his passing.

The Complete Stephen Colbert White House Correspondent's Dinner Performance

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In case you haven’t seen this, it’s essential. And wonderfully uncomfortable to watch.
[via Democratic Underground]
Video 1 | Video 2
Best (and most uncomfortable) line:
“I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.”

Wholphin 2: Eggers Becomes The New King of All Media

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Wholphin 1
Eggers has already conquered the hipster literati world. Now he’s moving on to DVDs. Next step, the moon. Wholphin 2 is set for release. The name is derived from combining the words whale and dolphin. Dorky names notwithstanding, this actually sounds pretty cool. From Wholpin’s Press Release:

MCSWEENEY’S 2nd ISSUE OF WHOLPHIN: DVD Magazine of Unseen Things
Steven Soderbergh, Errol Morris, John Dolan, Andrew Jay Cohen and others contribute to anticipated second issue. BONUS: The Power of Nightmares- “The film US TV Networks dare not show”
Celebrated publishing house McSweeney’s Press is on the verge of releasing a second issue to the critically acclaimed DVD Magazine, Wholphin. The first issue, a complimentary issue for McSweeney’s subscribers bundled in The Believer and McSweeney’s Quarterly, caught national acclaim from esteemed publications for its short films, namely the Spike Jonze documentary that gave the US people an outlook into the softer and more human side of Al Gore around the 2000 election….
The content runs the gambit from a Japanese version of Bewitched dubbed by the hilarious Daily Show writers Rich Blomquist, Scott Jacobson and Jason Reich (Okusama Wa Maju), a film by Andrew Jay Cohen with Martin Starr called American Storage, an Oscar-nominated claymation short that question the age old question “What do we compromise of ourselves by trying to achieve a greater vision for humanity? called More, even Donald Trump makes an appearance narrating an aborted film by Errol Morris called The Movie Movie based on the premise “Isn’t it possible that in an alternative universe Donald Trump actually started in Citizen Kane?” But Wholphin No. 2 does not stop there. An endearing look at human expression by simply placing a powerful sour gobstopper in their mouths, Sour Death Balls, and an unaired TV pilot called The Pity Card, by the co-creator of the hilarious Mr. Show…
However, the most powerful of releases in this issue is the bonus 1st of 3 installments of the film, The Power of Nightmares, directed by Adam Curtis. In this extravagantly provocative film, arguably the most important and most timely documentaries of the last several years, the film focuses itself on today’s most endlessly debated subject parallel to the US’s current War on Terror. Ultimately, this film traces a parallel history of two seemingly disparate movements: Middle Eastern Islamic Fundamentalism vs. American Neo-conservatism. This film has not been able to find a way to expose itself to the American public as it has been turned down by TV networks, shut off at film festivals, and has shown fleeting presence on the internet.

Click here for more info.