You Report, We Decide

News, Media, Politics, Music, Culture, Gossip, In The 215 And The Great Beyond

Archive for February, 2011

DEATH OF A BOMBSHELL: Jane Russell Dead At 89

Monday, February 28th, 2011


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jane Russell, the dark-haired siren whose sensational debut in the 1943 film “The Outlaw” inspired producer Howard Hughes to challenge the power and strict morality of Hollywood’s production code, died Monday at her home in Santa Maria, Calif. She was 89. Russell, who would later turn her sexy image to comic effect in films with Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe and other major stars, had respiratory problems and died after a short illness, her family said. Russell’s provocative performance in “The Outlaw” — and the studio publicity shots posing her in a low-cut blouse while reclined on a stack of hay bales — marked a turning point in moviedom sexuality. She became a bona fide star and a favorite pinup girl of soldiers during World War II. Troops in Korea named two embattled hills in her honor. MORE

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

WTF: Your Daily Dose Of ‘I Can’t Believe It’s News’

Monday, February 28th, 2011


RahmEmanuel.jpgThe real Rahm Emanuel offered to donate $5,000 to the charity of the anonymous Tweeter’s choice if the creator of the account would out himself (Update: even now, the offer still stands). The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board begged the account not to stop, saying, “The fun is just beginning,” and comparing the mystery of the account’s author to the “intrigue surrounding the identity of “Anonymous,” the author of the 1996 novel “Primary Colors,” a devastating insider take on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. If that seems like a lot of fuss over a Twitter account, you probably haven’t been following @MayorEmanuel. The profane, brilliant stream of tweets not only may be the most entertaining feed ever created, but it pushed the boundaries of the medium, making Twitter feel less like a humble platform for updating your status and more like a place where literature could happen. Never deviating too far from the reality of the race itself, @MayorEmanuel wove deep, hilarious stories. It was next-level digital political satire and caricature, but over the months the account ran, it became much more. By the end, the stream resembled an epic, allusive ode to the city of Chicago itself, yearning and lyrical. For weeks, journalists and insiders have urged the person behind @MayorEmanuel to reveal himself, but he (or she) demurred. Until now. After a protracted email negotiation, the author has outed himself to The Atlantic. He’s receiving no compensation. The genius behind @MayorEmanuel is Dan Sinker, who has a heart made out of Chicago and balls of punk rock. [via THE ATLANTIC]


Unions_Wisconsin.jpgThis clear picture of a bunch of agendas happily coinciding – ‘Sulzberger! Find me a Wisconsin union guy who agrees with the Governor!’ – and to hell with the facts or the fact-checking or the spelling, with the truth coming to light only from – gasp! – an actual union guy (from the devil UAW itself!), has been reduced to a “PS, the publisher’s kid kinda screwed up on the most important domestic news story of the moment” instead of serving as the springboard for something fair, or even useful – maybe a front-page piece about the disinformation war being waged by Governor Walker and the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party in Wisconsin and whether or not this Hahan/Hahn was part of it, intentionally or inadvertently. […]  Seems to me the Times could start with finding out exactly who Mr. Hahan/Hahn is. […] But the larger issue here is that while the Times and the supposed other members of the liberal media plot to turn the America of 2011 into, I dunno, the America of 1976, are flooding resources into stories in Libya and Oman – vital stories to be sure, but hardly likely to be as resonant with and impacting of generations of middle class Americans yet unborn – they can’t be bothered to assign a fact-checker back in the newsroom in New York just to make sure Arthur G. Sulzberger can separate the ‘guys who are members of a union’ from the self-proclaimed ‘union guys who are expressing a philosophical attitude towards unionism that may or may not be deliberately misleading.’ [via FOK NEWS]


Collar_Bomb.jpegAt 2:28 pm on August 28, 2003, a middle-aged pizza deliveryman named Brian Wells walked into a PNC Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. He had a short cane in his right hand and a strange bulge under the collar of his T-shirt. Wells, 46 and balding, passed the teller a note. “Gather employees with access codes to vault and work fast to fill bag with $250,000,” it said. “You have only 15 minutes.” Then he lifted his shirt to reveal a heavy, boxlike device dangling from his neck. According to the note, it was a bomb. The teller, who told Wells there was no way to get into the vault at that time, filled a bag with cash—$8,702—and handed it over. Wells walked out, sucking on a Dum Dum lollipop he grabbed from the counter, hopped into his car, and drove off. He didn’t get far. Some 15 minutes later, state troopers spotted Wells standing outside his Geo Metro in a nearby parking lot, surrounded him, and tossed him to the pavement, cuffing his hands behind his back. Wells told the troopers that while out on a delivery he had been accosted by a group of black men who chained the bomb around his neck at gunpoint and forced him to rob the bank. “It’s gonna go off!” he told them in desperation. “I’m not lying.” The officers called the bomb squad and took positions behind their cars, guns drawn. TV camera crews arrived and began filming. For 25 minutes Wells remained seated on the pavement, his legs curled beneath him. “Did you call my boss?” Wells asked a trooper at one point, apparently concerned that his employer would think he was shirking his duties. Suddenly, the device started to emit an accelerating beeping noise. Wells fidgeted. It looked like he was trying to scoot backward, to somehow escape the bomb strapped to his neck. Beep… Beep… Beep. Boom! The device detonated, blasting him violently onto his back and ripping a 5-inch gash in his chest. The pizza deliveryman took a few last gasps and died on the pavement. It was 3:18 pm. The bomb squad arrived three minutes later. [via WIRED]


[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

COMING ATTRACTION: Q&A With Chris Illuminati, Author Of The How To Guide a**-hole-ol-o-gy

Monday, February 28th, 2011


Look for it tomorrow on a Phawker near you!

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

LADY GAGA: Born This Way

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Let the buyer be weird.

TIME: The video opens with a “Manifesto of Mother Monster”–as Gaga calls herself, with her fans being “monsters”–where a Gaga voiceover tells the tale of the birth of good and evil. Or something. Frankly, it’s hard to follow her story because at the same time that she’s narrating it, we’re witnessing what appears to be a gooey, kaleidoscopic alien birth, before we’re plunged into the depths of hell. MORE

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

Monday, February 28th, 2011


DEAD MAN TALKING: Steve Earle, Johnny Brendas, last night.

mecroppedsharp_1_1.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER Steve Earle would be the first to admit he’s no saint, but by my tally he’s been going to bat for the angels ever since he tamed his demons – a nasty drug habit that ended in a prison sentence – nearly 20 years ago. Earle is just old-fashioned enough to think that folk songs can make a difference and protest singers should put their money (and their downtime) where their mouth is. Case in point, Earle performed Sunday night at Johnny Brenda’s as part of a fund-raiser for Witness to Innocence, an anti-death-penalty advocacy group made up of a dozen of the 100 former death-row inmates who have been exonerated by DNA testing since 1973.

After moving testimonials from Witness To Innocence’s Ray Krone and Ronald Kitchen — two men who spent a combined 30 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, and if not for the grace of DNA evidence would likely be dead men walking by this point — Earle took the stage with a stirring rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” which he dedicated to Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover girl Suze Rotolo who passed away over the weekend at age 67.

These days — with his Rasputin beard, long, thinning hair and chemistry professor spectacles — Earle resembles a Talmudic scholar or an Old Testament prophet, which gives his words and music an almost Biblical gravitas, a perception he was only too happy to undermine with his self-effacing stage patter. “I thought I had never been to Fish Town before but it turns out I was, but that was back in the 80s when I was a lot of places and didn’t know it,” he joked at one point, referencing the long lost weekend of his opiated past.

For the next 90 minutes, Earle finger-picked an acoustic guitar and wheezed on a harmonica while mixing crime-and-punishment-themed selections from his back catalog (the death row lament “Ellis Unit One”; the gun-crazed “Devil’s Right Hand”; and “Taneytown” where a man is lynched for a crime he did not commit) with folksy witticisms and appeals to the audience’s better angels. He switched to mandolin for “Galway Girl,” strapped on a bouzouki for “City Of Immigrants,” and prefaced “The Mountain” with words of support for the protesters in Wisconsin. “My feeling is, if you have a boss, you probably need a union,” he said.)

He unveiled two new songs (“Waitin’ On The Sky” and “The City”) from his new, T-Bone Burnett-produced album I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (due out April 26th), which is also the title of his debut novel set for publication in late May. “It’s really weird, full of heroin and ghosts and Roe Vs. Wade — it’s sort of a Harry Potter book for adults,” he quipped. MORE

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

PUDDIN’ HEAD: Taylor Swift, You’ll Get Yours!

Monday, February 28th, 2011
YouTube Preview Image

Where funny meets dark.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

WORTH REPEATING: If Hedge Fund Managers Paid Their Fair Share Of Taxes, It Would Pay The Salaries And Benefits Of 5,000,000 Teachers

Monday, February 28th, 2011


ROBERT REICH: Republicans would rather go after teachers and other public employees than have us look at the pay of Wall Street traders, private-equity managers, and heads of hedge funds – many of whom wouldn’t have their jobs today were it not for the giant taxpayer-supported bailout. Last year, America’s top thirteen hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion each. One of them took home $5 billion. Much of their income is taxed as capital gains – at 15 percent – due to a tax loophole that Republican members of Congress have steadfastly guarded. If the earnings of those thirteen hedge-fund managers were taxed as ordinary income, the revenues generated would pay the salaries and benefits of over 5 million teachers. Who is more valuable to our society – thirteen hedge-fund managers or 5 million teachers? MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Who could be opposed to closing a tax loophole that allows hedge-fund and private equity managers to treat their earnings as capital gains – and pay a rate of only 15 percent rather than the 35 percent applied to ordinary income? Answer: Some of the nation’s most prominent and wealthiest private asset managers, such as Paul Allen and Henry Kravis, who, along with hordes of lobbyists, are determined to keep the loophole wide open. The House has already tried three times to close it only to have the Senate cave in because of campaign donations from these and other financiers who benefit from it. […] Closing this particular loophole would net some $20 billion. It’s not as if these investment fund managers are worth a $20 billion subsidy. Nonetheless they argue that if they have to pay at the normal rate they’ll be discouraged from investing in innovative companies and startups. But if such investments are worthwhile they shouldn’t need to be subsidized. Besides, in the years leading up to the crash of 2008, hedge-fund and private equity fund managers weren’t exactly models of public service. Many speculated in ways that destabilized the whole financial system. MORE

RELATED: Robert Reich is chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Clinton. He has written 13 books, including ‘The Work of Nations,’ ‘Locked in the Cabinet,’ and his most recent book, ‘Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.’ His ‘Marketplace’ commentaries can be found on and iTunes. MORE


[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

SIDEWALKING: Chinatown Meat Lynching

Monday, February 28th, 2011


Alley near 11th and Cherry, Chinatown 2:30 PM Saturday by JEFF FUSCO

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RIP: Suze Rotolo Dead At 67

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Susan “Suze” Rotolo, who inspired some of Bob Dylan‘s most intense songs and later spent much of her own life trying not to be known as Dylan’s former girlfriend, died Friday night after a long illness. She was 67. Rotolo lives in Dylan lore as the inspiration for some of his most bittersweet love songs, including “Boots of Spanish Leather,” “Tomorrow is a Long Time” and the razor-edged “Don’t Think Twice.” She also became permanently engraved in Dylan lore as the girl on the cover of his 1963 “Freewheelin’ ” album.It was shot by photographer Don Hunstein on a freezing February afternoon on Jones Street. The two are clinging together for what Rotolo later said was just basic warmth. MORE

VILLAGE VOICE: Suze Rotolo was a talented artist (the maker of artist books and delicate book-like objects), as well as an illustrator, a sometime activist, an erstwhile East Village Other slum goddess, a devoted wife, a proud mother, a poet’s muse, a good comrade, and late in her too-short life, a published author. She was intensely private but as the radiant young woman on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, she became a legendary figure and even a generational icon. Just writing that I can hear her annoyed chortle–although she did humorously allow, after years of dodging rabid Dylanologists, that she was some sort of “artifact.” MORE

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

OSCARS: The King’s Sweep

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The monarch may have stammered terribly, but Oscar voters spoke loudly and clearly Sunday night, handing “The King’s Speech” four Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay. The come-from-behind “King’s Speech” coup concluded a providential journey for the drama about Britain’s King George VI (played by Colin Firth, who won the lead actor Oscar) and his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush). The film beat out “The Social Network,” which had been considered the likely choice for best picture for much of the fall and early winter, but ended up with three Oscars despite many critical plaudits. MORE

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Natalie Portman says winning a best actress Oscar for Black Swan “feels very dreamlike. I don’t really know where I am, I suppose.” Portman — who declined to answer questions about John Galliano‘s suspension from Dior, for which she is a spokeswoman — said she didn’t “really remember anything that happened” once her name was called. But her baby was being a “little dancer.” MORE

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

MUST SEE TV: Exit Through The Stall Door

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Enter Through the Stall Door – watch more funny videos

Hilarious spoof of Banksy’s Academy Award-nominated Exit Through The Gift Shop by local filmmaker Joe Stakun, with assist from Phawker alum Tiffany Yoon. Enjoy.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

SIDEWALKING: Stormy Weather

Friday, February 25th, 2011


Broad & Callowhill 3:04 PM by JEFF FUSCO

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Phawker Presents The Fifth Installment Of Blotto

Friday, February 25th, 2011


Lance_DoilyCROPPED.jpgBY LANCE DOILY I should have known how the day was going to turn out when Rex walked in with a carton of eggs tucked underneath his arm. As he’s proved time and time again, the dude couldn’t make eggs for shit, and we were all too hungover to eat anything besides a couple tugs off a Slim Jim and a fistful of Percocets anyway. Once again, we’d closed Murph’s the night before (truth be told, we actually got Dusty to come back to reopen at quarter after 2 and drank huddled next to a candle until about 5:30 this morning) and were already looking for excuses to either not work, or go right back to the bar. Rex’s egg gesture was not without merit, but we all should have guessed that the first one he tried to crack open would spill out a dead baby chick in lieu of yolk. We made some new temp hire in the repack department eat it for 20 bucks and with one collective stumble made it to our truck runs to see what was in store for the day.

Luckily for me I had the Food Basic in Paterson on my truck, which is a godsend after a particularly rough night. They’re always good for over 100 cases, they’ve got a guy who unloads all of it straight off the truck with a forklift, and the dairy manager usually lets me fire off a couple whippets in the storage fridge while waiting. The case drop would almost always clear a bay door first thing in the morning, enabling me to pick up a parliament of illegals off Straight St. to do the lion’s share of the work for me. I’ve got a reputation for treating them well, possibly too well, given that sometimes I’ll find five or six of them suctioned to the side of my truck like barnacles miles from where I passed them. I’ve been doing it for about eight years, so I know how to weed out the weak and the lazy to the point where I can confidently stack my team against any other in the beverage delivery world, in this state or any other.

My team was already well-versed in the subtle nuances of my daily route and were on fire all day, requring me to do little else aside from pull up to the account and open the bay door for them. And then trouble came knockin’. It was one of the Kohler guys, and he was none too pleased that I had eight obvious illegals of various ethnicities effectively doing most of my job. His name was Pat Lincoln, one of those wife-two kids-and-a-dog assholes, a big union guy who went strictly by the book and called out those who didn’t. I could see him getting all the info ready to make the call on me and was ready to walk over, trick him into looking at the sky and punch him in the adam’s apple, but today I would be the better man. When Lincoln was inside rotating his product (another sign he’s a “union or die” douche, no self-respecting driver rotates their stock), I casually slipped a 50 to his helper, some juicehead in his early 20s with a Mark McGwire head and no issues volunteering the info I needed.

I made a quick trip to Home Depot for materials, where I also picked up a few more illegals that looked sturdy enough for the job, and obviously knew no English. As you’ll see, I make sure no one on my team speaks English, or if they do they know to un-learn it at the right times. So after we blast through the rest of the route in record time it was time to make a pit stop on 17 Linwood Ave. in Caldwell. I pull up, open the bay door to let my workers out and hand them each a large hammer or similar tool of demolition. I walk them to the house and smash down the front door as a quick tutorial and let them have at it while I walk back to my truck, giving them the universal “I’m going to grab you guys some lunch” gesture, never to return again. As much as I wanted to be there to witness the entire demolition of Lincoln’s house, or just to hang around and watch his face as he pulled up and a group of non-English speaking illegals were destroying everything he had worked for in his life thus far, I had an obligation. Besides obviously not wanting to be anywhere near that area when the cops are inevitably called, I got a text from Freddy asking where the fuck I was. Apparently all the other drivers went straight to Murph’s from the office this morning, so basically I ended up working for no reason and lost a veteran team of illegals in the process. But I can always rebuild. After all, I’m not at or near the top of the Driver Of The month lists in the break room for no reason.

PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)