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Archives for April, 2008

April 28, 2008

She's just being naked

Daniel Radosh

miley-cyrus-nude-pic_360x488.jpg It's amusing to hear all the ruckus over Miley Cyrus's "topless photo." Because clearly what people are reacting to is not the toplessness, but the JBF hair and MySpace pout.

Talk about threats to the franchise, however, is a bit far-fetched. While soccer moms may be upset, they're pretty obviously going to take out their anger on Vanity Fair. Miley has worked hard in the past year to build her reputation as a good Christian girl. Now, the Christian pop industry has no problem kicking one of their own to the curb if she steps outside the bounds of propriety, as even Amy Grant has discovered time and again, but when it comes to precious kids, the secret desire to see a celebrity fall, which is how the mainstream fan psychology works, will easily be trumped by paranoia about the Christian-hating media. Especially with Miley issuing a "what, me naked?" statement, talk among her "safe for the whole family" fan base is pretty quickly going to turn toward denunciations not of Miley or Disney but the godless liberal media and, subtext, the Jewish lesbian photographer.

Miley will come out of this unscathed and people will call for boycotts of Vanity Fair by people who never bought Vanity Fair in the first place.

By the way, longtime readers of this site may be surprised to know that my own feelings about Miley/Hannah are pretty eh. I love the concept of the Hannah Montana show but I find the young lady's music bland and disappointing. With the single exception of See You Again, which is one of the best pop songs of the past year, and bodes well for her future.

Update. Cheap irony alert: The Wall Street Journal runs its wither Miley handwringer with a photo from the CMT music awards that, unlike the VF pictures, shows actual cleavage. And quite a lot of it.

April 28, 2008

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #144

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Cod... sea bass... flounder... orange roughy... sex with my mother -- I mean, Arctic char..." —kejo

"...and as a fireman, I'm totally perplexed. Shouldn't I be haunted by images of charred, coughing infants? What I wouldn't give some days to be haunted by images of charred, coughing infants! But no. Fish. Weird." — J

"What do you call a fish with no eyes? Fsh. What do you call a psychiatrist with no eyes. You!" [lunges at psychiatrist] —Mo Buck

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #144" »

April 27, 2008

Baby Talk

Daniel Radosh

Mark your calendar for next Tuesday, May 6, when I'll be presenting at the always funny and insanely popular Adult Education Useless Lecture Series in Brooklyn.

The theme for May: Babies and American Industry. I'll be talking on "Marketing to Christian Kids or The Secret Identity of Bibleman."

Also on tap, a lineup including two anti-caption regulars:

Pamela Paul: "Baby Gear Your Mother Didn't Have"
Charles Star: "A Short List of the Worst Children's Toys Ever"
Gary Drevitch: "How Princesses and Pokemon Conquered America"
Susan Gregory Thomas: "Barbie Goes Vertical: How the Marketing Industry Brands Infants and Toddlers"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 8 pm (doors at 7:30)
Union Hall in Park Slope
702 Union St. @ 5th Ave
$5 cover


April 24, 2008

How about abstaining from opening your mouth?

Daniel Radosh

Yesterday, a parade of public health experts told Congress that abstinence-only education doesn't work and shouldn't be funded.

In response, Rep. John Duncan replied "that it seems 'rather elitist' that people with academic degrees in health think they know better than parents what type of sex education is appropriate."

Yeah, those elitists with their fancy degrees in actually knowing about stuff should back off and let parents have their say! And what do parents say? According to one poll, only 30% of American adults agree with the statement "the federal government should fund sex education programs that have 'abstaining from sexual activity' as their only purpose." In contrast, 67% of adults agree with the statement "the money should be used to fund more comprehensive sex education programs that include information on how to obtain and use condoms and other contraceptives."

Um, but that's all adults. And they're probably counting liberal college students. What about actual parents with kids in school. That's right, "95% of parents of junior high school students and 93% of parents of high school students believe that birth control and other methods of preventing pregnancy are appropriate topics for sexuality education programs in schools."

Still, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, issued a statement calling yesterday's hearings "biased" and a "sham." Also yesterday, Perkins issued a statement calling Earth Day "a calculated attack on the sanctity of human life," adding that "the crisis du jour is global warming, but even that is just another excuse to fund 'Planet' Parenthood and similar groups." So he seems like a level-headed individual.

That last link is via Utne Reader, which also has an excerpt from a new book that may be of some interest, I Want to Be Left Behind.

April 23, 2008

Welcome, Christians. Run away!

Daniel Radosh

If you've arrived at this site through the Paul Edwards show, I should warn you that you might not feel entirely comfortable here. I'm cool, but some of my readers, frankly, are potty mouths. Also, I think a few of them are liberals.

In any case, what you're probably looking for is information about my book, Rapture Ready!. Trust me, go there instead. You can check out reviews, excerpts and more.

For my regular readers, I'll have a link to my conversation with Detroit pastor Paul Edwards when it's online. Update. Listen here. I come in about 3/4 of the way to the end.

April 23, 2008

Did you say pretty please with sugar on top?

Daniel Radosh

I'm reluctant to criticize David Barstow, whose New York Times article on the Pentagon's force-message multipliers was so terrific -- not just important but interesting. But I did find his answer to one reader's question somewhat... lacking.

Q. While this is an excellent piece of reporting in covering the relationship between the networks' star military analysts and the Pentagon, the networks themselves essentially get a free pass. To say that the networks simply neglected to investigate conflicts of interest obscures the fact that overall there was a huge gap between the picture of the war presented through news reporting and that presented through so-called expert analysis. That gap must have been as obvious to the networks themselves as it was to anyone else. The editors and executives who made no effort to close that gap have questions to answer. Why did you not dig more deeply into the network side of this story?

— Paul Woodward, Asheville, N.C.

A. We did dig into the network side of this story. Two networks, CBS and Fox News, declined to answer any questions about their use of military analysts, including what specific steps they took to vet them for business ties that could pose conflicts and what ethical guidelines they established for them. NBC would not allow any executives to be interviewed, but released a short statement saying it had “clear policies in place’’ to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest. Spokesmen for CNN and ABC said that while their military analysts were expected to keep them informed of outside sources of income, neither network had written ethics policies governing potential conflicts of interest with their analysts. But the question you raise – why didn’t the network news executives try to “close the gap’’ between what journalists were reporting and what some analysts were saying – is a good one. One possible answer: Several analysts said in interviews that network news officials tended to defer to their experience and expertise in military matters.

Um, they declined to answer questions, released short statements and gave non-answers -- and that's the end of the story? I'm not exactly sure I'd call that "digging." Good thing Barstow had better sources in the Pentagon than at the networks -- but why didn't the Times pair him with someone who does have good TV news sources? Surely they can't all be working for the Journal.

April 21, 2008

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #143

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Yeah, actually there is an interesting story behind this. I like to fuck dolls. See ya Monday." —David John

"But get this...she's inflated with the last breaths of the real victims" —Everett

"I'm up here, Jenkins." —Harry

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #143" »

April 18, 2008

I think of God, not Gaynor, when I hear someone say "Gloria"

Daniel Radosh

Over at my RR! blog today I posted about a Christian TV host who came out as gay. That led me to this hilarious video called Straight To Heaven, a musical spoof of "ex-gay ministries" (and queer culture) by a group of openly gay Christians. It's long, but the opening number alone is a pitch-perfect parody of language I heard all too often in my research.

April 17, 2008

They'll be watching the returns for Forgetting Sarah Marshall very closely

Daniel Radosh

shapeimage_1.jpg Here's Hayden Planetarium on the set of I Love You, Beth Cooper, perfectly cast as the object of graduation-day desire. As an afficionado of the high school movie genre I'm really looking forward to the movie, which is based on Larry Doyle's hilarious novel, now out in paperback.

To promote the new edition, Larry is holding a graduation song contest. A "slammin' graduation mix" figures prominently in the plot, and Larry wants to know what you think should be on it. The winner gets an iTouch, which is not a bad prize, and you don't actually have to choose a good song, because the winner will be selected at random.

Only you should choose a good song, because otherwise, what fun is that.

Larry helpfully has a breakdown of the different types of graduation songs, including

“Don’t you forget about me because I will remember you because we’re friends forever”

“Thank god that’s over”

“You were all kind of mean to me”

“This is such a special night, we should have sex.”

I, of course, went with Christian rock:

April 16, 2008

Why should the devil have all the good music? (part XXIV)

Daniel Radosh

leigh_nash.jpg My continuing quest to become known as "that Jew who likes Christian rock" takes me today to the New York Times' Paper Cuts blog where I offer my list of 10 great Christian rock songs. Really.

Skeptics can listen to the songs here. Some will be old news to readers of this site, but there are a couple of new ones on there too. If you're at all moved to post a comment on the NYT site, please do so, since that's what keeps posts in the public eye. Sample comment topics could include your ability to be the first person to make a comment, comparisons of Christians (or Jews) to Nazis, and recommendations for web sites that offer discount pharmaceuticals.

Oh, in case you're wondering: no, I'm not allowed to say "sucks" on the Times site and, yes, I am the world's biggest hypocrite. I wanted to say "sucks," of course, in order to make the argument that Christian rock doesn't, which you'll recall was my position in a public debate a few weeks ago. If you have an hour to kill and an excessive amount of interest in the topic, you can now watch the entire debate -- well, until the tape runs out, but enough to get to the part where my opponent starts backpedalling -- on Vimeo (if anyone knows how to get around YouTube's length restriction, please tell me).

Debate: Does Christian Rock Suck? from Daniel Radosh on Vimeo.

In other RR! news Timothy Beal, the author of Roadside Religion, has a very nice review of the book on SoMA. And Radar has an excerpt from the chapter on Christian comedy. Yes, another excerpt. Pretty soon the entire book will be free on the Internets. (And of course, while you're there, click the little "recommend it" link). Radar pulled from my site this awesome clip from Prank 3:16, the Christian Punk'd, in which the jokers trick a young woman into believing she's missed the Rapture. It is horribly cruel and funny.

Also on YouTube now: the video of Bibleman vs. Jewy Jewstein, posted last week on Gawker, is ready to go viral.

Update: RR! finds its niche

April 14, 2008

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #143

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Well, I think that speaks for itself and we can...AGH!! MEN IN CHAIRS!!!" —seth

"Getting a cab is easy for us white people." —Nick

"My surprise at the arrival of this taxi has caused me to evacuate my bowels with a great sense of entitlement." —kosmicki

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #143" »

April 11, 2008

Mmm, crucifixy!

Daniel Radosh

For my latest stop on the Rapture Ready! publicity tour, I did one of them newfangled Bloggingheads.tv diavlogs with the erudite and entertaining Jeff Sharlet. I think it came out pretty well. If, like me, you've been avoiding these things because they're called Blogginghead.tv diavlogs, this would be a good time to get past that unfortunate fact.

Hey, you can even go all the way and "create a dingalink."

April 11, 2008

Forget the Newseum

Daniel Radosh

The Paper is what's going to make journalism cool again.

April 10, 2008

Bibleman vs. Jewy Jewstein

Daniel Radosh

bibledoll.jpg Now on Gawker: a video I put together from the greatest episode of Bibleman ever. If there's a God, this one's going viral.

April 10, 2008

Stephanie Rosenbloom's Googleganger

Daniel Radosh

New York Times reporter Stephanie Rosenbloom has a front page story today about Googlegangers — people with the same name as you who pop up when you Google yourself.

And guess what! It turns out there's another Stephanie Rosenbloom out there. And that one also writes articles for the New York Times about Googling yourself. What are the odds?!

I know what you're thinking, but they're completely different people. Here are photos of each of them.

rosenbloom.gif Sitaly.jpg

April 8, 2008

Speaking of Christian porn

Daniel Radosh

cover-may-lg.jpg I'm not weighing down this (award winning!) blog with every news item about Rapture Ready! (For that, you can keep an eye on the RR! news page.) But I can't pass up an excuse to post the cover of the May issue of Playboy with its awful and anachronistic visual pun.

In this issue, along with, I kid you not, "the women of Putin's Russia," you'll find a photo essay of "the best of the worst of Christian consumerism," selected from the pages of Rapture Ready! On the Playboy blog today, editor Chip Rowe interviews me about my experiences inside the Christian bubble. It's a good intro to some of the themes of the book, and because it's Playboy, they didn't have to render my most articulate phrase as "s---ing c--k."

April 8, 2008

And all manner of things shall be game

Daniel Radosh

Back when we were having our discussion about the problems and potentials of videogames, we focused mainly on narrative games while always reminding each other that some of the most artistic titles — Katamari, Rez, maybe even Guitar Hero — are really just psychedelic freak outs.

Jason Nelson's web game, game, game, game and again game is a delightful low-fi approach to that niche. He describes it as "a digital poem/game/net artwork hybrid of sorts" about "our many failed/error filled/compelling belief systems, from consumerism to monotheism." I know how that sounds, but it's actually pretty adorable as well as arty.

I mean, it's no Google Street Racing, but it has its charms.

April 7, 2008

Oh, great, now I have to keep doing this until it kills me

Daniel Radosh

bestblogs_landing.jpg Somebody at Time magazine fucked up big time and named Radosh.net one of the 25 best blogs. Find out why and vote for me here. Or against me.

Update: I suppose I should link some greatest hits for any newcomers, huh? Try these.

The Huckapoo saga (nothing silly about it).

What was wrong with that sex slave story.

The media self-censorship meme. Warning: contains language that the media thinks you need to be protected from. (Come to think of it, hats off to Time.com for not censoring my use of the word douchebag.)

The quest for Kosher bacon.

Regular readers can suggest their own Radosh.net faves in the comments. And, oh yeah, buy my new book.

April 7, 2008

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #141

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Yeah, and 20 gigs more than the white!" —Heather

"How did you think they collected the cleansing blood?" —shadysidelantern

"I know you're new so here's how it works: I sit on one shoulder and say 'She's drunk. She's passed out. Go ahead! Fuck her!' You sit on the other shoulder and tell him 'Not without a condom you don't!'" —al in la

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #141" »

April 7, 2008

Rapture Ready! No, really, it's finally ready.

Daniel Radosh

Today, April 7, is the day to order Rapture Ready! from Amazon and spike the sales rank. If you haven't yet bought the book, do it now for maximum impact. After you've read it, a review on Amazon would be greatly appreciated too.

If you're in the New York City area, please mark your calendars for what's currently my only local reading, on Thursday April 17 at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble, 267 7th Avenue, at 7:30 pm.

Thanks for all your support, and keep an eye on GetRaptureReady.com or the RR! Facebook page for reviews, media appearances and more.

April 3, 2008

Christian porn, however, is totally inferior

Daniel Radosh

It's official: Christian rock doesn't suck. Last night I debated the topic with rock singer Brian McCarter, who was arguing that it does. At the end of the evening the room voted something like 45 to 4 in support of my position. Not only that, McCarter himself started saying things like, "I may be totally wrong about this," and, "I now disagree with what I said at the beginning."

I hope to get a video of the debate up on YouTube soon. I know at least one loyal radosh.net reader was in attendance, and if she wants to post her thoughts, that would be swell. For now I'll say that though I won on the strength of my arguments, it probably didn't hurt to have some songs to play, including these.

April 2, 2008

Absolut Revanchism

Daniel Radosh

absolut.jpg In an Absolut World, Lou Dobbs' head would literally, not just figuratively, explode when he saw the version of the Absolut World ad campaign the vodka company is running in Mexico [via].

Since this isn't an Absolut World, however, Mexicans will hang their sombreros in shame when they realize that even in the most pandering nationalistic ads, the slogans are in English.

Also in an Absolut World, this juxtaposition of Google News headlines would actually mean what I initially thought it meant.


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