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Archives for October, 2005

October 31, 2005

My first and last pledge drive

Daniel Radosh

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Welcome back to radosh.net. You know, this Internet blog doesn't just happen. It takes time, effort, and even a little money to keep radosh.net on the air at the standards you've come to expect. Contrary to popular belief, we receive no money from the government and basically none from anyone else either. I have never put out a tip jar, and while these Google ads have been up for a year, they have yet to earn the minimum $100 necessary before Google will cut a check. In fact, I'm going to be getting rid of them any day now.

So for the first time in three years, I'm going to ask you, my loyal readers, for something in exchange for all the pleasure you've sucked out of this site. But don't flee yet. I'm not asking for money. And if you give, you'll have the chance to get something yourself too.

Before I get to that, though, I'd like you to think about the special place radosh.net holds in your life. Think about where you first learned that Huckapoo was the next big thing, and that Prussian Blue was the next Huckapoo. Where did you first find out that Peter Landesman was full of shit? Where did you first see Arnold Schwarzenegger's cock?

And that's only the beginning. I'm dedicated to making radosh.net one of the twenty or thirty most exciting blogs on the Blogebrity B-list. That's why I'm constantly innovating, with hypothetically popular new features like the New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest.

So what do I want? The same thing you do, my geeky friend: a free Xbox 360.

That's right. This is all building up to one of those pyramid schemes you keep hearing about, where if I get eight people to sign up for a sales offer, I get a free toy -- and if those eight people lure in eight more people, they get one too. Of course, unlike most pyramid schemes, this one has been thoroughly vetted and is on the up and up.

Over the next week, I'll be telling you more about why you want a free Xbox 360 and how by helping me, you're also helping yourself. But for now, I want you to stop thinking of yourself for a second and think about me for a change. Even if you have no interest in videogames, which I find hard to believe, just sign up here and complete one order so that I can get the referral credit. The orders are pretty non-onerous. They just ask you to sign up for a new credit card that you then have to use at least once, or buy something that will cost you between $10 and $30. If you read the fine print, you'll see that there are ways to keep costs even lower.

Yes, it's cheesy. Yes, it's a bit of a pain in the ass. No, I have no pride. But if you enjoy radosh.net at all, isn't it the least you can do? I mean, other than the actual least you can do, which is nothing. But you wouldn't do that, would you? Please, join today!

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October 31, 2005

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest

Daniel Radosh

If there's one thing we've learned from The New Yorker cartoon caption contest it's that it's really hard to write a funny cartoon caption. Each week we see something like this, or this, or this, or this and we think, if these won, how awful could the losing captions have been?

That's why we've decided to create a new, parallel contest that plays to people's strengths. Introducing the unauthorized New Yorker cartoon anti-caption contest. Every Monday at radosh.net, you'll be invited to submit the worst possible caption for the new uncaptioned cartoon in that week's New Yorker. The fun begins now. [Update: Click here for contest index with current contest at the top.]

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Submit your terrible captions in the comments section. The winner (chosen by me) gets a round of applause and a link in next week's post. Here are some of my own suggestions to get you in the mood:

"Would the owner of the giant truck please get it the fuck off my stage."

"Hey, there's a big fucking truck on the stage."

"Nice parking job, asshole."

"Flames on a monster truck? Could you be more trite?"

"Are you not entertained?"

"Well apparently someone out there finds the juxtaposition of classical music and monster trucks inherently hilarious, perhaps due to the class differences between aficionados of each form of entertainment, or perhaps simply because they think it's funny to see snooty musicians crushed under five-foot tires."

Update: Results after the jump.

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest" »

October 28, 2005

Oprah worship finally goes too far

Daniel Radosh

Ok, so there's one of these charity auctions going on, where people bid on lunch boxes decorated by celebrities. You know the deal. But tell me if these current bids aren't just a bit out of wack:

Sarah Silverman -- $78.99
Jimmy Kimmel -- $102
Mike D -- $113.50
John Waters -- $134
Flea -- $280
James Earl Jones (Darth Vader design) -- $305
Charlize Theron -- $460
John Mayer -- $610

Then there's a big leap to:

David Bowie, Iman & Alexi -- $1475

And the current highest selling celebrity item: James Frey -- $1500

James Frey?! Maybe you're thinking, well, what if it's a really awesome design? Or made out of pure gold? It's not.

October 28, 2005

Suddenly Sulu's dialogue sounds much less quotidian

Daniel Radosh

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A recontextualized drama in one act.

"So much for the training cruise."

"I don't know about you but I'm hoping for the Excelsior."

"I'm delighted. Any chance to go aboard?"

"Don't call me Tiny."

"Do you think you might be able to find a long rope somewhere?"

"I can't get power."

"She's supposed to have a transwarp drive."

"That's the first time I've heard a malfunction threaten us."

"I hope these things work."

"A third crystal sir. Now supplementing with battery power."

"With an armful of this stuff I wouldn't be afraid of a supernova."

"Do it."

"Come on. Come on!"

"Lick my balls. Lick my balls!" *

"Target that explosion and fire!"

"Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk."

"May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet."






*non-canonical

October 28, 2005

When worlds collide

Daniel Radosh

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Hold onto yer drindls! GTA blogger Marc Weisblott (sorry, that's Greater Toronto Area, not Grand Theft Auto) just me dropped a note about an epic battle being waged between the pure-hearted defenders of all things young, slutty, and racist and the nefarious crypto-Jewish nerds at Wikipedia.

Apparently, the Prussian Blue fan base discovered the new entry about their girltoys and, detecting Jewish sympathies, launched a campaign to annex the page like so many Sudetenlands. The barrage of edits has sparked a lenghty and entertaining debate on the Huckanazi's Wiki talk page, complete with gratuitious Star Wars reference.

Shorter version:

"The ABC Interview with Lynx & Lamb Gaede went on for quite some time, much longer than the total footage with the girls that was included in the Primetime show. The rest remains on file in ABC's archive folder on the Gaede family, available to be exploited at any time the Jews who run ABC see some advantage in doing so."

"Can someone tell me what exactly ARE the great historical accomplishments of 'your' race that make you proud to be white? Capitalism? Slavery? Genocide? Sitcoms? Guns? War? Pollution? Addiction? NAFTA? Thigh-Master? This your fucking white history, my 'friend.'"

"You've gotta admit, the one on the right (Lynx i think?)in the hitler t-shirt pic is hot. I want to mack with her. But other than that, they're racist brainwashed fucks. And i'm not a pedophile or anything, i'm 15."

"Uh, but they're 13. So stop eye-raping 13-year-olds, hmmkay?"

"Not even. They are like, thirteen and a half."

Yeah, and in a threesome they'd be practically 27!

[Previously on this topic]

October 27, 2005

The shamelessness watch begins today

Daniel Radosh

Now that the right wing has successfully brought down a Supreme Court nominee (who, in all fairness, deserved it) with their incessent complaints not just about her fitness but about her philosophy, watch for Bush to next pick a wild-eyed conservative, and for those same wingers in the peanut gallery to instantly snap back to their previous position: that the Constitution gives the president the right to have anyone he wants on the court, and that the Senate's only role is to consider fitness, not philosophy.

These people do tend to have short-term memory loss often associated with brain damage.

October 27, 2005

The picture of the hot babe can only mean one thing: It's time for a post about Dr. Who!

Daniel Radosh

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Charlotte Church (above, in a futile attempt to distract you from how geeky this post is) has just been cast in the new television show I may have to move to the UK for: Torchwood, an adult spin-off of Doctor Who.

Now, you have to understand. As a kid, I loved Dr. Who more than pedophiles love Star Trek. I mean, I had my mom make me a friggin scarf. I haven't watched it again as an adult because I'm truly terrified that I'm going to be disappointed (much the way I was re-reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). I have been looking forward to eventually watching the new seasons, but more out of curiosity than anything else.

Torchwood, however, sounds genuinely fun, not least because it sounds a hell of a lot like Ultraviolet, the MI.5 with vamps show I've been raving about for years. Even the title is clever (as Francis could tell you), and it promises "sex and swearing," which everyone knows equals quality.

So what do you think, am I just getting my hopes up?

October 26, 2005

Which is good, 'cause you wouldn't want to miss Frank Bruni's takedown of Ninja

Daniel Radosh

The New York Times today runs photographs of the 995 American service members killed in Iraq in the past year. This roster of the dead takes up four pages.

Were the Times to run a similar feature on the minimum 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the invasion, it would fill 120 pages. In today's edition that's the entire A section, metro, business, arts, sports and cars.

There would, however, be eight pages left for Dining In.

October 26, 2005

Death by a thousand cuts

Daniel Radosh

On Salon, Sarah Karnasiewicz ponders the overtly sexual ads for Lifetime's Human Trafficking miniseries.

It's a question that has shadowed other media representations of the so-called sex-trafficking epidemic, -- namely, Peter Landesman's now infamous (and hotly contested) 2004 New York Times Magazine feature, "Sex Slaves on Main Street." And it's a conflict that comes out in images more than words: For instance, the cover illustration for Landesman's piece depicted a dark-skinned adolescent, clad suggestively in a short plaid skirt, and viewed from below as she leaned back into a pink motel bed.

Perhaps it's petty to find fault with any story that brings more attention to the plight of impoverished and persecuted women around the world -- but it's worth wondering why the issue of trafficking so often focuses on sex. Recently, Jack Shafer in Slate, David Feingold in Foreign Policy and Debbie Nathan in the Nation have all brought to light convincing evidence that the media coverage of sex slavery is wildly disproportionate when compared to the number of trafficking victims forced into other -- often equally dangerous -- unpaid labor. Though it's difficult to pin down reliable statistics, Feingold's article in particular cites compelling new research. A 2005 study conducted by the International Labor Organization asserts that "of the estimated 9.5 million victims of forced labor in Asia, less than 10 percent are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation." On a worldwide level, the ILO says, "less than half of all trafficking victims are part of the sex trade."

But more to the point, "infamous (and hotly contested)." Careful, Peter, don't tear out too much of that luxurious hair.

By the way, when I explained earlier why the movie doesn't bother me so much (not that I intend to watch), I neglected to point out that while it may be exploitative, it doesn't have any scenarious nearly as fantastic (in the literal sense) as the ones MPD Andrea told Peter: Disneyland daddies, damage groups, etc. Really, throwing in one American kid kidnapped overseas is downright responsible in comparison.

October 26, 2005

Chance the gardener, come out to pla-ay!

Daniel Radosh

OK, I'm still looking forward to playing the new Warriors game, despite my skepticism. Meanwhile, today on Radar, I ask videogame insiders what other 1979 movies should be turned into games.

October 24, 2005

I'm cheating on you with another blog

Daniel Radosh

After reading about this here, I went ahead and wrote this for the Radar wire.

A further thought after the jump, but don't read it until you've read the Radar post.

Continue reading "I'm cheating on you with another blog" »

October 21, 2005

Blue's Clues

Daniel Radosh

Since last night's Prussian Blue broadcast (which I've recorded but not yet watched) I've noticed a small spike in traffic from people Googling Prussian Blue and finding this old post. Curious about where this site ranks, I did the same search and stumbled onto the best Prussian Blue fan site ever:

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OK, it's not actually a PB fan site, but it sure should be. However, this is just pervy. And from Japan, no really, it's Plussian Blue. Wait, shouldn't that be "brue"?

But most important -- since our favorite anti-PB bloggers seem to be taking some time off -- I found out that there's now an OFFICIAL Prussian Blue blog that's even funnier than the anti-fan site. I mean, if the PB-haters had posted this picture, instead of their mom, I would have assumed it was photoshopped!

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If only you could see some headlights! If you do want something hotter try this pouty pose from li'l Lynx (or is it Lamb?). I totally wish I'd come up with that headline.

By the way, that's grabbed from the new official PB forum, and there's much more, as well as lot's of big fun racism, if that's the kind of thing you get your kicks from (and I know it is). My favorite response the the Primetime broadcast was, "It was heavy on showing Nazi and Hitler references because lots of people have a knee-jerk reaction to that. Also they tried to discredit the girls by showing lots of dead bodies immediately after L&L mentioned they believed the Holocaust was an exaggeration." Yeah, people have such a knee-jerk reation to lots of dead bodies. Fortunately, that futile attempt to discredit Licks and Limb won't work. Everyone knows all those people killed themselves to make Hitler look bad.

Update: Now that picture has been photoshopped.

October 20, 2005

While Huckapoo still toils in obscurity

Daniel Radosh

An alert reader informs me that Prussian Blue will be featured on ABC's Primetime tonight at 10. You think they'd save that for sweeps, considering that the girls are becoming total hotties, in an underage, racist sort of way.

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I'm a little bit fatherland...

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And I'm a little bit rock n roll.

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October 20, 2005

Just in time for the release of True Crime: New York City

Daniel Radosh

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How beautiful is this?

Related.

[Via Kotaku]

October 18, 2005

Why movie trailers can't be trusted, part XXIII

Daniel Radosh

I've noted before on this site that you can never tell what a movie is going to be like based on its trailer. Now Andrew links to the ultimate example of how any film can be cut and packaged to look like whatever the marketers want you to think it is. It's almost as scary (and funny) as the movie it's (not really) selling.

More here. PS 260 is new to me. I will definitely be checking it out more thoroughly.

Update. Yikes, I am SO late to this party. Here's the whole story, links to more trailers, and a catalog of everyone who blogged about this before I did (as if you didn't know).

October 18, 2005

Game Boy

Daniel Radosh

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Big news on the freelancing front: my videogame hits stores next month.

OK, when I say "my videogame," what I mean is the videogame that I was hired -- more than a year ago -- to do a few days worth of research for. But still, I worked on an effing videogame. How cool is that? I would have mentioned it before, but I signed a confidentiality agreement. Me and Judy: we're all about the security clearances.

The game is True Crime: New York City, Activision's sequel to True Crime: Streets of LA. The first game was widely compared (not always positively) to Grand Theft Auto for its open-ended sandbox design, though in tone it was closer to The Shield than anything else (where is that Shield game, by the way?). The best thing about it was the detailed recreation of Los Angeles: every street just where it is in real life. I'm not a hardcore gamer, so I pretty quickly got bored of the main storyline and spent my time driving around the city causing trouble. Of course, the problem with a totally accurate rendition of driving around LA, is who wants to drive around LA for very long?

Wandering the streets (and interiors) of New York, however, is a different story. Like the first game, TC:NYC is getting buzz for its authenticity, and for that, I'm going to take just a little bit of credit. My job was to generate lists of 1) real people that one encounters on the city streets both generic types and specific characters (the "free hugs" guy, the Shuttle Lady), and 2) real weird or funny crimes that have been committed in the city (remember the society ladies who got into a knife fight at Tavern on the Green? Or the trend of setting token booth clerks on fire?). As a sign of at least the designer's original ambitions, I was specifically instructed to note not only which on streets you might find certain people, but what time of day.

I have not played the new game yet so I have no idea if any of my suggestions were incorporated (I checked a few of the screen-grabs and videos, but didn't notice anything). Anyway, if you're one of the people who got an e-mail from me in June 2004 about a street characters census, now you know why, and thanks for your help. I'll let you come over and play the game.

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October 12, 2005

At some point you have to call this dog bites man

Daniel Radosh

Wake us when she stops having kids.

13 children add up to asset for challenger Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Sept. 9, 2001

Duggars welcome 14th child into family Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 16, 2002

15 kids not enough for this mom AP, May 25, 2004

Mom delivers 16th child, thinking of more AP, Oct 12, 2005

If we really want to stay informed, we'll just bookmark QuiverFull.com.

October 11, 2005

Denial isn't a river in Serenity Valley

Daniel Radosh

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In case you were wondering, after all the build-up on this site, I thought Serenity turned out great. I admit I missed the unhurried exposition and character development of Firefly, but overall it's as fine a science fiction movie as I've seen in years.

But fan though I am, I can admit that the movie is a disappointment at the box office, and that this is the end of the Firefly ride. That's too bad, but at least the movie wrapped up all the loose ends, and it's not like Joss isn't going to come up with something else great before long.

The same attitude is not shared by the -- god help me -- "Browncoats" at Whedonesque. If you want to see an absolutely hilarious meltdown that nearly matches the emotional state of Kerry voters on election night 2004, check out these two comment threads: The first before last weekend began, in which the 'coats vow to defy predictions of a 50% box office drop, and the second, after the weekend box office was posted in which they claim victory and begin the sequel-watch because the drop off was only 47%.

October 11, 2005

Kate Lee, call your agent. Oh, wait.

Daniel Radosh

I think that if 42,000 people hadn't been killed in Pakistan on the same day, this would have been just about the worst news I'd heard all weekend, and even so, it was close: "The world's first literary prize for books based on blogs or websites known for short as 'blooks' is launched Monday, 10th October, 2005." First of all, books based on blogs are NOT known as blooks and never will be, because that's the most annoying coinage ever. Second, the press release, when citing examples of this supposed new type of book, is reduced to mentioning Washingtonienne. Any contest in which Washingtonienne is eligable for an award is self-evidently crap. Third, the whole thing is a scam to promote the organizer's self-publishing business. Why yes, I'll pay you to slap my blog between covers in the hopes of winning $1,000. And then I'll shoot myself.

October 11, 2005

Stealing Peter's thunder

Daniel Radosh

A number of folks have e-mailed me about the upcoming Lifetime movie Human Trafficking, which is pretty obviously inspired by our friend's article, even as it steals his thunder.

The truth is, the movie actually looks less exploitative than the article, if only because it acknowledges that it's a work of fiction. Viewers will be coming to it for entertainment (Per the Lifetime message boards: "this movie is gonna be so good! Even though these young ladies are in a terrible position. they showed the previews like 3 months ago,and now i gotta wait 1 more month but its worth it! cant wait till it starts") and that's what they'll get.

Oh, sure they're dressing it up with a call to action, and who knows, maybe that'll even do some good, especially if people compelled to learn more turn to an actual source of information, rather than Peter Landesman. That said, it's amusing how the house party tool kit tries to apply an Oprahiffic "personal experiences" lens to an issue like this: "Have you ever been put in a situation where your control over your life was limited? How did you deal with the situation? Take on the identity of one of the trafficked girls. What would you have done in her shoes?" It depends. Were they high heels?

October 7, 2005

Tomorrow's New York Times corrections today

Daniel Radosh

Due to an editing error, an article about Internet blogs by lawyers said that Denise M. Howard of Reed Smith "claims credit for coining the term 'blawg.'" The sentence should have said, "accepts blame."

Missed opportunity head-scratcher: No mention of David Feige's Indefensible, soon to be a book of the same name? I guess they felt it was more important to give Powerline some more press instead.

Gratuitous picture to make up for shofar girl:

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October 6, 2005

What fresh hell is this?

Daniel Radosh

Nearly two years ago I sounded the alarm on this site about the removal of the word "hell" from my favorite New Yorker cartoon, "Fusilli, you crazy bastard..." (Remember when people used to have favorite New Yorker cartoons?)

Well now the full story is out and I find myself thinking, Why do I waste time on this blog when I could pitch this crap to Time Out New York and get 150 bucks out of it?

October 5, 2005

Get fucked. It's the law.

Daniel Radosh

I don't have time right now to weigh in on this fully -- and certainly not to improve on Amanda's take -- but readers familiar with my apocalyptic IVF series will want to be aware of the sky is indeed continuing to fall. With the caveat that I haven't read the original documents myself, here's Laura McPhee's description (basically confirmed by the AP):

Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

Ironically, this will probably be killed by attacks from the right, because it acknowledges premarital sexual intercourse without condemnation.

October 5, 2005

It's not TV. It's... really not.

Daniel Radosh

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A few months ago I got an e-mail from a producer at ABC News Productions asking if I'd do the witty observation thing for a new docu-entertainment special called Yearbook: 1983 that was not described to me as a marginally more high-brow I Love the 80s, though it certainly could have been.

The last time I did one of these things it turned out to be a fiasco, but I'm a -- what's the word? -- whore, so I said yes.

The taping went pretty well. I got off some pretty good lines, and they did assure me they wanted funny stuff this time. But I also said some truly, truly dumbass stuff too, and if they wanted to edit the show to make me look like a clueless, inarticulate moron, it would not be that hard. So I'm nervous.

But not too nervous, because I just found out that ABC News Productions does not mean, as I'd rashly assumed, that the show will air on ABC, a network some people actually watch, I'm told. Instead, it will be narrowcast this coming Friday at 9, and periodically throughout the month, on something called The Discovery Times Channel, which is available only to the 423 people who get their cable or satellite company's full digital lineup. In New York that's channel 113, sandwhiched between the Hindu Cartoon Channel and Hitler's Dog Show Network.

So if you want to hear me discuss new wave and Iran-Contra, you know where you'd have to look if you were willing to pay an extra $50 a month on cable.

October 3, 2005

Shana Tovah

Daniel Radosh

Light blogging for the next couple of weeks as I atone for my sins, up to and including spending the last ten minutes searching for a photo of a sexy girl blowing a shofar (and settling for the above). (Update: Ted finds the hott photo I knew had to exist somewhere. My bad for not checking Heeb in the first place.) Update: Original photo removed by request of photographer.

Meanwhile, here's a little family lore I've decided to share with Romenesko. Also, I'm going to be on TV on Friday. If you count channel 113. More on that Wednesday.

After the jump, some thoughts I threw together to read tomorrow at the request of my rabbi, because who doesn't want High Holy Day services that are just like reading a blog?

Continue reading "Shana Tovah" »

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