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Archives for June, 2006

June 30, 2006

What if celebrities were played by celebrities?

Daniel Radosh

Again we are making fun with face-recognition software on the Internets!

Today's game: uploading photos of actual famous people and seeing who the celebrity database matches them with. MyHeritage correctly identified George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden and Johnny Depp. And then are some celebrities who would apparently be better played by someone other than themselves.


Continue reading "What if celebrities were played by celebrities?" »

June 29, 2006

Also, Vogue doesn't make 'em in Women's Extra Large

Daniel Radosh

Why is Gawker stealing t-shirt ideas from Vogue? They can't exactly plead ignorance, either. Please tell me this is supposed to be meta somehow.

Update: It has explained to me that the Gawker shirt is a "reference" to the Vogue shirt. I fail to see how this is different from stealing or any less lame. Why not just go ahead and make a Gawker t-shirt that says Vote for Pedro?

June 29, 2006

Back in the 90s I used to get Andrew Shue all the time

Daniel Radosh

Recently, some of my fun-lovin' co-workers at The Week put together a page of photos showing which celebrities would play the staff in a hypothetical movie version. I got stuck with David Hyde Pierce. Pretty much everyone admitted this was the worst match of the bunch (whereas one editor was captured perfectly by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), but nobody could come up with a better option.

But now, thanks to the Internets, there's face recognition software to match any picture to a celebrity database. Here's the photo I uploaded...

And here's my celebrity doppleganger...

I suppose I could live with that, but I think he's already claimed by one of the other Jews on the staff. So I clicked through to see this miraculous software's second choice...

Continue reading "Back in the 90s I used to get Andrew Shue all the time" »

June 29, 2006

I always said baseball is for pussies

Daniel Radosh

A friend in the newspaper biz forwards this quote from an Associated Press story about a successful surgery on Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood: "The MRI in Dr. Kremchek's terms, stated it was pristine (and) that the labia repair looked as if it was completely intact (and) looked like it had healed nicely and perfectly."

Which was followed by this urgent correction from the AP to all editors: "Eds: Subs to CORRECT to 'labrum' sted 'labia.'"

Too late.

[Via Kevin G. Again]

June 29, 2006

Dyslexia or editorializing?

Daniel Radosh

Chicago's WGN News knows what Obama really means by "acknowledging the power of faith." [From Kevin G]


June 27, 2006

Cute Fake band alert

Daniel Radosh


So I got this press release today about this band from the early 1970s. It seems that Platinum Weird was destined to be huge until the mysterious and alluring female singer — the "songwriting partner, muse and soul mate" of Dave Stewart — flipped out and disappeared, leaving Dave curled up in a ball until Annie Lennox came along. The debut album was shelved... until now.

It's not entirely improbable — think Vashti Bunyan — but what smelled fishy was the link to the video clip from a forthcoming VH1 special that said, "Click below to see what Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson have to say about Platinum Weird."

Paris? Lindsay? Christina? Kelly? These are not the first people you think of in connection to some Fleetwood Manqué. But what they do have in common is that they've all had songs written for them by Kara DioGuardi. Despite an attempt to cover their tracks with a bunch of fake fan sites, a little Googling reveals that Platinum Weird is a new project from Stewart and DioGuardi. The ambitious artifice trumps even Huckapoo's.

I'm trying to figure out what bugs me more than other people about this. After all, the music isn't bad, I'm obviously all for artifice in pop music, and there's a respectable history of this kind of fakery in the rock biz: Green Day went undercover as the Network; XTC as Dukes of the Stratosphear; The Alarm as the Poppy Fields; INXS as Dogs in Space; Sum 41 as Pain for Pleasure; and of course Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines.

I think it's mostly that it's done too well. There's so much money and corporate clout behind the facade that it violates the spirit that's usually behind such projects, the DIY attempt to recapture anonymity or break out of a comfort zone.

And as Francis points out, there's also the fact that "Dave Stewart is not pretending to be someone else entirely, but is rather pretending to be a younger version of himself. It's not creating fiction, it's self-mythologizing, which is always a
bit unseemly." And that brings up the fact that while "young" Dave and "Erin Grace" look cute together in those faux 70s photos, a pic of actual Dave and Kara together drives home the fact that his "soul mate," having not aged since 1974, is a girl some 20 years younger than him.

June 26, 2006

This week, in a magazine...

Daniel Radosh

Even as CNN.com swallows its pride and gives idea-credit to a blog comment (more credit, it turns out, than the authoress of that comment gave her source), New York magazine steadfastly resists the idea that the MSM owes anything to the citizen'smediaarmyofbranchdavidians.

mnc.jpg taming.jpg This week's Approval Matrix includes the following item (positioned on just the right side of the despicable/brilliant divide): "A Website reviews 'bardcore' porn films based on Shakespeare plots. To wit: A Midsummer Night's Cream."

A Website? A Website?! It has a name, you know. And feelings.

Of course, this doesn't even begin to address the facts that my bardcore reviews were first published in a magazine; that the idea was stolen from another magazine; that it originated with a college professor; and that this all happened four years ago. Zeitgeist is such a amorphous thing.

I've been making note of more bardcore films released since then with an eye toward writing a follow-up, but only if I can find someone willing to pay me to watch porn again. You'd be surprised how quickly it gets old when you have to take notes.

June 25, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #57

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker cartoon. Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for amplification of those rules. Click here for contest index.


"Well at least the sumbitch stopped singing! Get it? Big Mouth Billy Bass? Shit, that joke killed when I first did it 7 years ago."

"Hey, it's only ten minutes until 4:20!"

Results after the jump

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #57" »

June 22, 2006

Safe sex gets safer

Daniel Radosh

Researchers reported definitively today that condoms prevent the spread of HPV, the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer.

I've written a few times about the pro-abstinence movement's pathetic fondness for HPV, most recently when the abstinazis denounced a new vaccine for it.

The abstinence movement needs HPV out there to help justify its war [on sex]. HPV, you see, isn’t blocked by latex, which means that as long as it’s around, chastity pushers can argue that condoms are essentially worthless. Abstinence education literature puts more emphasis on HPV than on just about any other STD — it’s the bug that supposedly gives the lie to the safe-sex approach of comprehensive sex education. It’s not uncommon to hear claims — lies, that is — that HPV kills more people than HIV/AIDS.

The abstinazis anti-vaccine position was so blatantly outrageous (it's really hard to sell the sex is worse than cancer line) that even they had to backpedal. Don't expect them to embrace condoms anytime soon, though. After all, they're responsible in the first place for the misinformation that this study now overturns. Even as I denounced them, in the above piece and others, I accepted the contention that latex doesn't block HPV — after all, the government said so. But buried in the Times coverage of today's research is the following shocker:

In 2000, four government agencies convened a panel of condom experts to determine the medical accuracy of condom labels in describing their effectiveness in preventing papillomavirus and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The panel concluded that there was inadequate information about condom use in reducing the risk of all sexually transmitted infections except for the AIDS virus and, among men, gonorrhea, an editorial accompanying the journal article said.

Although the panel emphasized that the lack of information did not mean that condoms were ineffective for those purposes, the Food and Drug Administration was urged to add warnings to condom labels about the lack of protection against papillomavirus.

Urged by whom, do you think? That's right, the abstinence movement officially changed the "science" from "we don't know if latex blocks HPV" to "latex does not block HPV." I know they lie about condoms to children (one textbook tries to make condoms sound scary by saying that to use them properly you have to wash your genitals with Lysol afterwards), but somehow I didn't think to double-check that FDA warning. I wonder how many kids have gotten STDs because they'd been led to believe that condoms are so useless they're not even worth the trouble.

Meanwhile, don't think the vaccine fight has been entirely won. The abstie's compromise position is that while they won't fight Gardasil directly, "we would oppose any measures to legally require vaccination or to coerce parents into authorizing it. Because the cancer-causing strains of HPV are not transmitted through casual contact, there is no justification for any vaccination mandate as a condition of public school attendance."

Of course, as the American Council on Science and Health points out, "The principle behind compulsory vaccination is that almost all members of a population must be vaccinated in order to ensure population immunity and complete safety from a disease." So while you might be tempted to say, "Fine, your kids can get the warts," it doesn't work that way.

June 22, 2006

What's an eight-letter word for awesome?

Daniel Radosh

To all the playa haters who said they'd never make it, brace yourself for Huckapoo's long-awaited big screen debut — in Wordplay, the new documentary about crossword puzzlers opening tomorrow nationwide.

I talked via IM with one of the film's stars — musician and puzzler Jon Delfin — about sharing screentime with Huckapoo.

Radosh: Hey Jon. I want to interview you about your appearance in Wordplay and the cameo of sorts by Huckapoo.


Radosh: Do you even know what I'm talking about?

Delfin: I do check your blog a couple of times a week. Huckapoo is the teen girl group?

Radosh: The teen girl group with a capital T

Radosh: For The, I mean, not teen

Radosh: But do you know the Wordplay connection?

Delfin: Fill me in.

Radosh: Honestly I haven't seen the movie yet

Delfin: I have, but I haven't committed it to memory.

Radosh: Francis says that in the scene where you're going in for a piano audition, there's a whiteboard in the background that lists who's in what room

Radosh: And apparently Huckapoo is on it

Radosh: So you were totally in the same building as them

Continue reading "What's an eight-letter word for awesome?" »

June 21, 2006

There's a breast-sucker born every minute

Daniel Radosh

pussy-kissing-breast.jpg Last week, The New York Times reported prominently on a new government campaign to guilt-trip women into breastfeeding. Apparently it's not enough to inform women that breast milk is healthier than formula (which no one is denying). The campaign claims that formula is actively dangerous. Really dangerous: it compares not breastfeeding to smoking or riding a mechanical bull while pregnant.

Others have pointed out some of the political and sociological problems with this campaign, but now Stats.org explains that it (and the Times article) are based on a flawed reading of the data. For instance:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breastfeeding leads to a 21 percent decrease in the death rate of babies in an age range over one month and under one-year old.

But turn to the AAP’s source. The scientific study used to support this claim found that babies who are nursed are less likely to die… of injuries!

I don't think anyone's arguing that bottle-feeding causes children to run into chainsaws, so there's clearly a correlation is not causation thing going on here.

And that seems to be the case throughout. The women who are more likely to formula feed are also more likely to be poor, have worse health coverage, smoke, etc. No wonder their kids aren't as healthy. In one of the few studies that looks only at affluent mothers, the only differences found between breast- and bottle-fed babies is that the former have fewer ear infections and less diarrhea. Not exactly mechanical bull territory.

What's more, Radosh.net childcare correspondent (and proud breastfeeder) Marjorie Ingall points out that "formula is different now than it was in the 80s, when most of these studies were done. essential fatty acids (which help brain development) were added in 2001, making formula MUCH better now than it was in the 80s." And Momsquawk notes that the Times used a misleading statistic to imply that too many women don't know the benefits of breastfeeding. In fact, "when you look at the full results of the CDC survey in their proper context... only 16.6% of Americans believe that babies should not be breastfed for at least the first six months." In other words, as Marjorie says (and this is why she's our correspondent in these matters): "DUDES! IF WE **KNOW** WE'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT, YOUR ASSWIPE GUILTMONGERING CAMPAIGN HAS NO PURPOSE! FUCKTARDS!"

June 20, 2006

A Democrat who gets it

Daniel Radosh

During the last couple of weeks of Iraq debate, I've been frustrated — what else is new — by tone-deaf (never mind policy-deficient) Democrats. As the LA Times's Ronald Brownstein puts it, "The political fallout from this escalating confrontation in November's midterm election may pivot on which three words voters find more troubling: 'cut and run' or 'stay the course.'"

In other words, while the GOP has come up with a harsh phrase to spin the Dems's position, the Dems are content, in describing the GOP position, to use the phrase the Republicans themselves prefer, in the hopes that people will know that the policy behind it is not working, and so will come to attach negative connotations to the phrase.

Rep Lloyd Doggett ain't buying it, and he offers a new phrase to define the Republican policy that packs even more of a wallop than "cut and run": "Spend and bleed."

Get that into headlines and TV shoutfests and the momentum shifts back, guaranteed.

June 20, 2006

Don't you mean, "and so on"?

Daniel Radosh

Unclear on the concept, Rick Santorum explains his support for a "Speak English" sign at a Philly cheesesteak joint: "There's not really an extensive menu here. I mean, come on, it's cheesesteaks, onions, et cetera. It's not that hard."

[Via HuffPo]

June 19, 2006

Shh! Nobody tell her about blogs

Daniel Radosh

Britney Spears has an answer to negative news coverage: "I need to create my own magazine."

Over to you, Andrew Hearst.

June 18, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #56

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker cartoon. Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for amplification of those rules. Click here for contest index.


"Ha ha ha. That homely girl who wanted plastic surgery to look like a bombshell is sure going to be surprised when she wakes up. That's because my brother, who is operating on her, is a lousy plastic surgeon. Now hand me that spanner so I can finish assembling this warhead, which will at last give us the capability of striking Tel Aviv within 20 minutes. Allahu Akbar!"

Results after the jump

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #56" »

June 17, 2006

Also, I woulda gone with Huckapoo

Daniel Radosh

The ever-funny Dirk, one of the few pure humor blogs out there, has a Father's Day card for Pitchfork critics. At the risk of sounding like a Pitchfork critic, it's not as good as his first release, back on Mother's Day.

June 17, 2006

Struggling New York Times revises its 'fit to print' policy

Daniel Radosh

The lead story on the front page of today's NY Times is Growing Wikipedia Revises Its 'Anyone Can Edit' Policy. Typically, this slot is reserved for articles that are, you know, newsworthy. So what's the big story here? It boils down to this: 82 out of the 1.2 billion million entries -- .0068 percent -- on Wikipedia are protected to prevent vandalism, meaning that only administrators can change them. An additional 179 entries -- .0149 percent -- are semi-protected, meaning that only people who have been registered for at least four days can change them. Most protected and semi-protected entries are released back into the wild after "a few days," once the revert wars have cooled off.

That's newsworthy? Don't answer yet, because you can't spell 'news' without 'new' and what the article obscures is that these protections aren't. The fully protected category has existed from the very beginning of Wikipedia. The semi-protected category is a more recent development, put vaguely at "early this year" (if you read carefully you'll see that this means January -- five months ago)

The only acknowledgement of this is the statement, "But Mr. Wales dismissed such criticism, saying there had always been protections and filters on the site." Usually when something is factual, a newspaper will state is a fact; by couching it as a claim of an interested party -- a counter-claim, in fact, as it comes in response to criticism by another party -- its weight is diminished.

As for those criticisms, they can be found here and the hysterical quality of them reveals the true attitude lurking behind the Times' calm demeanor. I'm not a huge Wikipedia booster -- I think of it as a search tool for pointing me in the direction of accurate information rather than a source of accurate information itself -- but to call one very minor change "the death of Wikipedia" is bizarre. In any event, while the debate about how open a Wiki should be is certainly worth having and possibly of interest to a handful of web geeks, it's hard to see how it merits above-the-fold A1 coverage in the Times, even on a Saturday.

Dinosaur media conspiracy version of events: The paper's editors find this tidbit floating around on the blogosphere and say, Ah-ha! Here's our chance to kill off a competitor once and for all. They claim their model is better, but now they quietly admit that they need the same kind of editorial control we have. Old media wins!

More realistic hack journalism version of events, based on the fact that there is a reasonable amount of actual, if not exactly exciting, information about the business and future of Wikipedia in the article: Writer Katie Hafner prepares a typical company profile story for the business section. An editor spots the bit about semi-protection somewhere around paragraph 10 and says, "Isn't this big news?" Hafner explains that it's not. "It sounds like front page news to me," says the editor who has never looked at Wikipedia in his life. "Did you say front page?" says Hafner, who quickly retools the story to give it a new spin.

I'm not sure which version is more pathetic, but I can guarantee this: even though this story is months old at best, now that it's on the front page of the Times, you're going to see rewrites of it in every media outlet in the country.

Continue reading "Struggling New York Times revises its 'fit to print' policy" »

June 14, 2006

Richard Motherfuckin' Scarry's Best Motherfuckin' Storybook Ever

Daniel Radosh


Is a classic children's book the secret inspiration for Snakes on a Plane? The evidence (p. 78) says, Yesssssss!

Update: I am so behind the motherfuckin' curve

June 13, 2006

The new new new journalism

Daniel Radosh

NYSU006.jpg I don't know if you can read the subhed on that Newsweek cover, but it says, "How We Got Him. What We Learned." I know: you thought the military killed Zarqaqi. Turns out it was Newsweek. Talk about participatory journalism! Strange, though. I don't see any headlines about "How We Let Three Gitmo Inmates Hang Themselves" or "How We Went Totally Effing Apeshit at Haditha." Maybe they're still smarting from the reaction to last year's big story, "How We Flushed the Quran Down the Toilet."

Of course, the international edition this week reads, "How They Got Him. The Lessons Learned." There's a word for someone who distances themself from their home country once they get overseas.

June 12, 2006


Daniel Radosh

Every now and then I look back and marvel at the fact that there was no Internet (to speak of) when I was in college. Usually my thoughts are along the lines of, "How did I ever do research?" "If I had IM, I'd probably still be friends with everyone from high school," and "Did people really pay for porn?" But apparently there's an upside to having gone through those years offline. At least I never had to worry about future employers knowing what an irresponsible fuck-up I sometimes was.

I'm reacting, of course, to the New York Times article For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Résumé. See, here's the thing. Yes, there is an argument to be made that employers can evaluate an applicant's "judgment" based on the fact that they'd say certain things on MySpace or Facebook — even if they're obviously "posturing." But it's a lame argument.

As I understand it, the kids today treat virtual hangouts much the way they treat all-campus parties. Yes, they are public venues, but they are supposed to be open to only a limited segment of the public, and, more importantly, everyone who shows up really ought to know that one's behavior in such venues can deviate from one's behavior in daily life and should not be held against one forever and ever.

On a practical level, the fact is that companies who find outrageous behavior online are really NOT learning anything about what kind of employee a student will be in an office setting. People who brag about sex, drugs, and rock and roll — and even those who indulge — can be perfectly good corporate drones. Indeed, the executives banning youngsters from their offices based on their MySpace shout outs probably did plenty of stuff in their college years that, like me, they were happy to see erased from the slate after that diploma came.

More disturbing is the long-term implications of saying that young people should know better than to behave this way online. To my mind, that's exactly the kind of thing young people shouldn't know. Youth should be for acting out and being dumb, and with the Internets so integral to socialization now, that includes creating a risqué online persona. To punish kids for doing so because they should have known that someday an employer might catch them is to create a generation that never says or does anything risky because someday it wants to get a job. A generation, in other words, of calculating young Bill Clintons and John Kerrys, shaking hands with everyone in their dorm because they want to be president 30 years later.

Is that really who companies want to hire?

Vaguely related: I'm not too old to hear this, although I do prefer Francis Albert.

June 11, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #55

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker cartoon. Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for amplification of those rules. Click here for contest index.


"Not right now, I have to put pictures into the two empty frames above the couch. I've been meaning to get to that for a while, honestly."

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #55" »

June 9, 2006

Car talk

Daniel Radosh

In his public speaking engagements, Randy Cohen sometimes paraphrases a certain ethics 101 exercise this way: A train is racing toward a switching point. On one track is George W. Bush. On the other is Donald Trump. Isn't there something you can do so that it will hit them both?

That's sort of how I feel when it comes to a debate between Tom Friedman and a vice president of General Motors. Here's the story from GM's corporate blog [via] — and who'da thunk a time would come when corporate blogs would actually be entertaining and useful. Basically, GM tried to respond to a Friedman column calling GM "the most dangerous company in the world," only to be told that it could not use the word "rubbish." "It's not the tone we use in Letters," the Times's junior letters editor explained. (GM published its entire e-mail exchange with the paper). GM refused to change "rubbish" to either "We beg to differ" or "Not so" — somewhat persuasively arguing that it was only trying to match the tone set by Friedman — and so the letter was never published.

Not surprisingly, considering that you have an audience of people who read GM's corporate blog, commenters tend to blame the Times' liberal agenda (although I'm with the guy who points out that GM isn't exactly dependent on letters to the editor to spread its "message": "We don't care if there is a gas shortage. Just keep buying our ridiculously oversized gas guzzlers so we won't go out of business to more efficient automakers.") If that's true, the Times doesn't want you to get too liberal either, as I found out a few years back. After the jump, a brief essay I wrote back in 1999 (originally for The Nation and McSweeney's) about my own conflict with the NYT letters editors, in which I was edited for both sarcasm and theology.

Oh, and if you read that exchange with GM, you'll see the fruits of the policy that the Times instituted in response to my more recent conflict with them.

Continue reading "Car talk" »

June 8, 2006

On location

Daniel Radosh

The good folks at Coudal Partners were kind enough to invite me to contribute to this year's edition of Field-Tested Books.

Despite the inherent silence of author-to-reader interaction, literature is a creature of its surroundings. Books allow a reader to explore locations unfamiliar, while with a circular momentum, the reader's own environment shapes and intensifies the appearance of those distant places and the people and events that inhabit them.

The Field-Tested Books project is our version of the Heisenberg principle: reading a certain book in a certain place uniquely affects a person's experience with both. The writing you'll find here is grounded in that idea. You won't find any book reviews here. You'll find reviews of experience.

My review is of Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose on board the Amtrak Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland. You'll find lots of other familiar names on the list. And you can even buy the whole kit in book or poster form, if you like to hold and/or hang things.

June 6, 2006

Back to Ohio

Daniel Radosh

Not so long ago I said I was waiting to see if Salon could punch any holes in Rolling Stone's Ohio was stolen article. Well guess what.

Salon casts some doubt on RS, but I don't think it's the complete refutation it presents itself as. For one thing, Salon puts a lot of weight on the fact that it's hard to prove, and sometimes possible to disprove, intentional malice behind a lot of the errors in the Ohio vote — and uses this as a reason to dismiss concern about them. In my original post, I made a point of saying that the theft was a combination of intentional actions and taking advantage of fortuitous errors, and I'm not willing to shrug off that latter part as easily as Salon is. It's still at least possible, if not likely, that the election results did not accurately reflect the will of the people, for whatever reason, and if we want fair elections in the future, the reasons for that need to be examined, not swept under the rug.

June 5, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #54

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker cartoon. Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for amplification of those rules. Click here for contest index.


"This time tomorrow we'll be dead from dehydration."

"Five more minutes, and I get the shoe."

"Debemos apresurarnos. Pronto construirán la pared."

Results are jumping

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #54" »

June 1, 2006

Next you're gonna tell me Bush really was wired for the debates

Daniel Radosh

Way back in November, 2004, my good friend Jake, who never met a conspiracy he didn't like, began telling me that the Ohio election — and therefore the entire national one — was stolen. I poked around, and based largely on analysis by Salon, decided that, this time, we simply lost.

Now I'm not so sure. In a long Rolling Stone article with 208 footnotes, RFK Jr presents a hugely persuasive argument that, both fortuitously and intentionally, "Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House."

I look forward to Salon — and the right wing blogosphere — attempting to punch holes in this piece. I'm genuinely curious to see if it can be done. And of course I look forward to the MSM covering their ears and saying La, la, la, la, la.

June 1, 2006

Speaking of the biggest opening in movie history

Daniel Radosh


It's a tough decision for Christians, because on the one hand, they don't want to condone heresy, but on the other hand, Jesus loves porn.

Although, curiously, he hates porn stars. It's very Fannee Doolee.

My favorite part: look closely at the Mona Lisa. That's attention to detail.

[Via Golden Fiddle]

June 1, 2006

The Huckapoo makeunder

Daniel Radosh

Is this the new Angel Sparks?


Nah, it's just some fan posing with the remnants of Huckapoo at a recent gig [pic via Harmony]. But I have a reason for posting this (as if I need one). What's the first thing you notice about this picture? No, not Joey's Huckaboobs. If that was the only criteria for being in the band, you'd be totally wrong about which of these girls is the star and which is the groupie.

Got it yet? Well, pretend — I know this is a stretch, but play along — that you're not completely obsessed with Huckapoo and that you're seeing them for the first time in this photo. Now, which one is the punk? The gangsta? The cheerleader? The hippie? Yeah, the one in the middle could be a hippie, but she's not in the group.

twiggyupskirt.jpg Apparently, Huckapoo has not only shed a member, they've shed their characters too. For comparison, here's the last known photograph of Classic Poo. Those are the outfits we fell in love with! (Although it suddenly seems possible that Angel's real reason for leaving the group may be on the Vargas tip.) To be fair, in the video from the above-mentioned performance you can see that Twiggy is wearing a very short skirt. I guess that doesn't make her look any more like a cheerleader, but, you know, I just thought I'd mention it.

So is this just our Huckleberries getting sloppy, or is it part of a calculated maturation process? A determination to make it on talent, rather than a gimmick. The official outlets give no help. Huckapoo.com is closed for renovations. "We're totally updating our site right now." I know— it's hard to believe someone would mess with perfection. And MySpace is still stuck in the Angel era. Although at least it's clear from their band profile that at the time, the gimmick was important to them.

They are like a new-age Spice Girls but with a different flare! They all have characters and stage-names, which makes them very unique compared to other teen groups these days. Also, in Huckapoo, there is no lead singer. Each girl sings as much as the next! These girls have talent, and are sure to hit it big!

Notice that says "as much," not "as well." Trust me, it's like the Bible: when you first read it, it just sounds like bad writing, but every word is there for a purpose. And every exclamation point.

But fear not. I hope to have more answers for you after June 10, when, using my adorable twin toddlers as a cover story, I plan to confront the Poo Bears in person at the South Street Seaport Children's Day. It won't be creepy at all. My kids are totally there to see Hi-5 (Primary Colors Huckapoo) and Big Truck (MILF Huckapoo).

Meanwhile, YouTube answers all your other Huckapoo questions:

• Would a Huckapoo concert be even better without sound?

• Would Huckapoo be even better if they were (really) anime characters?

• Would High School Musical be even better if Huckapoo was in it?

• Who is the world's bestest Huckapoo tribute band?

Sorry, I know absolutely nothing more about Backalley Huckapoo, though I sure wish I did. I suppose it's what Angel Sparks will be forced to do if Huckapoo is outlawed. Apparently the whole stage names thing isn't entirely unique, because these gals call themselves Terets, Patches, Electrc Slide and Wiggy. Terets! Totally brill! Let's hope at least they never grow out of their characters.

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