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KING KRULE: Dum Surfer

Monday, October 9th, 2017

NEW YORK TIMES: Archy Marshall, the enigmatic South London singer best known as King Krule, is a creature of the night. Known since the age of 15 as a preternaturally wise and unpredictable songwriter, Mr. Marshall, now 23, has assumed the mantle of a bard for the shrouded underclass, churning his anxiety, depression and insomnia into swampy, after-dark tales for the mischievous and disaffected. On songs that mix jazz, punk, dub, hip-hop and the affectations of a zonked-out lounge crooner, he has cut what he calls “gritty stories about the streets” with a “sensitive and romantic side,” aiming to take “social realism and make it social surrealism.” He’s also timelessly cool, a child of bohemia with a sharp proletarian edge, tall and model-gaunt with a gold-capped front tooth and a fluff of red hair. “In the dead of night I howl/We all have our evils,” Mr. Marshall snarls in his harsh, accented baritone on the new King Krule album, “The Ooz,” out Oct. 13, returning to his typical themes. MORE

NEW YORKER:
His sound isn’t hip or trendy. The references he makes in conversations can’t be found anywhere on the current American indie-music map. […] Marshall’s music has little in common with that made by most of his peers; he sounds more like people who, for Americans, fell off the radar years ago—the Jam’s Paul Weller, or the Streets’ Mike Skinner, both of whom offer detailed, concrete descriptions of the daily lives of British youths. He has side projects that veer toward hip-hop, but, as King Krule, he performs with an electric guitar, backed by trained jazz musicians (he has no training himself), and sings in an unadorned South London accent, with deadpan affect. He looks as if he could be part of a jam band or a bar band or a songwriting jingle house with little change. It is a striking presentation from a boy who grew up on hip-hop and dance hall. Exactly when nobody expected a raw guitar troubadour, along came a Tom Waits several time zones removed. As a child, Marshall didn’t care for school, and he mostly chose not to attend. Shuttling between his mother’s house, in East Dulwich, and his father’s house, in Peckham, he spent most of his time in his room, writing graffiti and recording songs. Social services threatened his parents with prison if Marshall didn’t go to school, and eventually he won a spot at the BRIT School, a performing-arts vocational school where both Adele and Amy Winehouse studied; there he established an uneasy truce with education. While he was finding his voice, he kept writing, and developed a love of jazz, which he describes as more raw than punk. MORE

KING KRULE PLAYS UNION TRANSFER ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 22ND

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CINEMA: The Clone Ranger

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

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BLADE RUNNER (directed by Denis Villeneuve, 163 minutes, 2017, USA)

CHRIS MALENEYBY CHRISTOPHER MALENEY FILM CRITIC Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, is without a doubt, one of the most visionary and influential science-fiction films ever created. Set in 2019 and released in 1982, Scott’s film uncannily predicted our current age some 35 years ago. While some aspects of the film’s vision of the future — flying cars, police ziggurats and android slaves known as replicants hunted down by bounty hunters known as Blade Runners once they reach their expiration date — still seem a ways off, others — the domination of humanity by a corporate technocracy, the privatization of executive and judicial power, and the utter disregard for worker’s rights — are already here.

The newest iteration, Blade Runner 2049, takes us 30 years beyond the original’s dystopian future. The first film’s events have thrown society into even deeper troubles as people try to make sense of a world without the vast trove of data — financial records, medical records, historical records —  that was wiped out by the 2020 blackout. The divide between the haves, with their robot slaves and cybernetic upgrades, and the have-nots has grown all the more extreme as the mega-corporations and their pawns struggle to restore order to the blighted world.

While previous generations of replicants could be identified by their lack of empathic responses to the oblique questions of the Voight-Kampff test, these rules have lately gone out the window. Now, replicants can apparently innately tell each other apart from humans, but only when the plot requires it. Most of the time they need to rely on serial codes found on bones, or under an eyeball.

When chasing down a rogue android, one of the Blade Runners, K (Ryan Gosling), makes the shocking discovery that suggests replicants may be able to procreate despite being engineered to the contrary, thereby elevating the soulless robots to near-human status. If this information leaked to the general public, the underlying narrative of social order would be threatened. Tasked with locating and eliminating any replicant spawn, K chases down leads in sprawling  post-apocalyptic junkyards mined by orphan children and the irradiated remnants of Las Vegas as he begins to question not only his own function as a keeper of order in a disordered world, but the deaths required to keep that order, like how Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the titular Blade Runner from the first movie, did before him. If this were the single story being told, the movie would be great. As it is, just when K’s storyline should be wrapping up, Rick Deckard shows up and draws out what should be the third act by a degree that makes the story begin to feel unwieldy.

Still, the film is a marvel of cinematic wizardry, and the visuals carry it to its end. The blue lights of the rainy Los Angeles and the orange fog that shrouds the ruins of Las Vegas all telegraph the evolving morality of the primary characters. The endless blocks of interchangeable gray tenements and the massive advertising holograms offer a nightmarish vision of what Los Angeles will eventually become. Closeups of eyeballs and small, handcrafted statuettes mimic the imagery of the first film. As with the original film, the costumes are simultaneously futuristic — such as the environmental suit of the grub-farmer in the opening scene — and elegant, like K’s high-mouthed turtleneck coat which would not seem outlandish in 2017. The score is minimalist, lo-fi pulsing that is suitably mood-altering, but the Noise of Something Important About To Happen that is used at least three times a scene eventually grows annoying.
The great sin of Blade Runner 2049 is that it tries to do too many things at once. It wants to pay homage to the original movie in its imagery, its characters and its story. It wants to create a new, standalone audio-visual spectacle that defines our current age and crises. It wants to spark a revolution where the workers overthrow the exploiters. It wants to make us re-think our increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. Perhaps least forgivably, it wants to create a new bankable cinematic universe where an endless number of sequels are required to explain a complex, densely-layered overarching narrative while simultaneously making Sony lots of money. If it only wanted to do one or two or even three of these things, we would have an iconic sequel to a classic movie. Instead, despite its eye-dazzling doomscapes and moody noir atmospherics,  Blade Runner 2049 feels cluttered and overlong, never quite achieving artistic parity with its predecessor.

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INCOMING: Amazon Dreams Of Electric Sheep

Friday, October 6th, 2017

VARIETY: Even the future needs to be re-imagined for modern times and Philip K. Dick’s alternate realities and visions of years hence have been re-engineered by Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and the team behind “Electric Dreams” for today’s audience, the star and producer says. The writers of the anthology series “Electric Dreams” had free rein to completely re-imagine the sci-fi master’s work for the Channel 4 and Amazon project, said Cranston, who stars in one installment and was a producer on the series. “It was actually a mandate,” he said. “What we didn’t want to do, and we had the blessing from the Philip K. Dick estate as partners, was just do what he had already written and put it up on its feet. Anybody can do that, and it’s not fresh and it’s not new. We told all of our writers to use the original material as a springboard to your own re-imagining of the story – change the genre, language, place, whatever you like – but keep the core of them or idea behind it and enhance that and see how that affects not a Cold War period when it was written, but now. How does it affect the modern-day audience?” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: A Life In Parts: A Q&A W/ Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston

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CINEMA: Rise Of The Machines

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Blade Runner Fan

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Dir. by Denis Villeneuve, 163 minutes, U.S., 2017)

Buskirk AvatarBY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC Right off the bat, let’s say I’m relieved this didn’t turn out to be the wrong-headed, half-assed mess that was so easy to imagine. There’s a lot to digest but Blade Runner 2049 feels like a real film, not some sputtering, franchise-launching, million cook stew. Thirty-five years is an awful long time to wait before returning to a story, but director Denis Villeneuve has crafted a sequel that organically conjures the universe created by Ridley Scott although its ultimate destination takes us a little too deep into “the feelies.”

Ryan Goslin is the lead here as “K,” blade runner in the future’s future, still out there shooting down the androids who have broken loose to attempt a life of freedom. While out there wasting a beefy robot (David Batista aka Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy) K discovers a clue that points to an evolution in the android species bringing them ever closer to humanity.

Ridley Scott’s 1982 original, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? emphasized the noirish detective story at its heart but freshened the old genre up with a truly spectacular cityscape rich in clashes between hi-tech and lo-tech. Beneath the razzle-dazzle was a reflection of Dick’s pet themes: the nature of consciousness, the enigma of identity and the world beyond our imagined reality. It was the rare thoughtful blockbuster that lived up to its grand ambitions (although considered a bomb in its original theatrical run) and one that has benefited by escaping the sequel and reboot factory that Hollywood has now become.

It is the visuals more than the story that has been influential from the original, 2049 dares and succeeds in expanding and reimagining the design of Scott’s masterpiece. Tans and greys dominate with a sense of post-apocalyptic dustbowl extending into every horizon. Other times the film has K navigating the same rainy L.A. streetlife as the original, with its Asian flourishes and moving billboards. But from beginning to end, the spaces, gadgets and the scientific processes gone awry, all have a witty style and design that elevates the film above the standard sci-fi extravaganza.

K’s stunted existence, emotionlessly cutting down the desperate androids and reverting at home to the most-realistic of intimate fantasies, captures the cold remove of the original but perhaps luxuriating too long in its muted emotionalism and icy langor. The original pondered these musings on human and non-human life but still remained true to the pulp fiction thrills at its root. 2049 tries a little too hard to ensure we get all its soulless ramifications, along with whatever metaphoric take one wants to conjure about the encroaching robots of our modern world.
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WORTH REPEATING: The Anti-Social Network

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

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WIRED: As the summer wore on, it became unmistakable that Facebook’s problems ran deeper than fake news. In June, Facebook officials reportedly met with the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of that body’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. In August the BBC released an interview with a member of the Trump campaign saying, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”

At last, in September, Facebook broke its silence. The company admitted it had received payments for ads placed by organizations “likely operated out of Russia.” These were troll operations with a wide range of phony ads designed to fan the flames of American racism, anti-LGBT sentiment, and fervor for guns­—as well as to build opposition to Clinton. Zuckerberg announced that the ads had been turned over to Congress, and he ­intimated that an internal investigation at Facebook would likely turn up more such ad deals: “We are looking into foreign actors, including additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states, as well as organizations like the campaigns, to further our own understanding of how they used all of our tools.”

The statement sounded more like fact-­finding than soul-searching. Zuckerberg seemed to be surveying a different Facebook from the one that allowed possibly Kremlin-­backed entities to target people who “like” hate speech with racist propaganda. A Facebook like that would need a gut renovation; Zuckerberg’s Facebook just needed tweaks.

Facebook is indeed a new world order. It determines our digital and real-world behavior in incalculable ways. It does all this without any kind of Magna Carta except a vague hypothesis that connectivity is a given good. And yes, it’s largely unregulated, having styled itself as nothing more than a platform—a ­Switzerland pose that lets it seem as benign as its bank-blue guardrails, which stand as a kind of cordon sanitaire between Facebook and the rest of the unwashed internet.

In 2006, a college kid talked me off ­Myspace and onto Facebook by insisting that Facebook was orderly while Myspace was emo and messy. That kid was right. Facebook is not passionate; it’s blandly sentimental. It runs on Mister Rogers stuff: shares and friends and likes. Grandparents and fortysomethings are not spooked by it. Like the animated confetti that speckles Facebook’s anodyne interface, our lives on Facebook—the bios and posts—seem to belong to us and not to the company’s massive statehouse, which looks on in­differently as we coo over pups and newborns. (Or is it a penal colony? In any case, it keeps order.) Facebook just is the internet to huge numbers of people. Voters, in other words.

But that order is an illusion. Nothing about Facebook is intrinsically organized or self-regulating. Its terms of service change fitfully, as do its revenue centers and the ratio of machine learning to principled human stewardship in making its wheels turn. The sheen of placidity is an effect of software created by the same mind that first launched Facemash—a mean-­spirited ­hot-or-not comparison site—but then reinvented it as Facebook, an “online directory,” to prevent anyone from shutting it down. The site was designed to make the libertarian chaos of the web look trustworthy, standing against the interfaces of kooky YouTube and artsy Myspace. Those places were Burning Man. Facebook was Harvard.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, whose book about Facebook, Anti-Social Media, comes out next year, describes Zuckerberg as a bright man who would have done well to finish his education. As Vaidhyanathan told me, “He lacks an appreciation for nuance, complexity, contingency, or even difficulty. He lacks a historical sense of the horrible things that humans are capable of doing to each other and the planet.” MORE

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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FRESH AIR: Decades before NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African-Americans, boxer Muhammad Ali roiled white America with his 1967 resistance to the Vietnam War draft. The boxer had converted to the Nation of Islam a few years earlier, and he explained his resistance to the war by saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” Ali’s resistance to the draft resulted in his being stripped of his heavyweight title, banned from boxing and charged with evasion. (Though he avoided jail time, it would be more than three years before he returned to the ring.) Biographer Jonathan Eig says Ali’s protest was unprecedented in those days.

“It was unimaginable for most black athletes to stand up that way and say, … ‘I’m going to play by my rules and to criticize presidents and to criticize the war and to call all of white America a fraud,'” Eig says. “That was radical.” Eig spent four years learning about Ali by interviewing the late boxer’s associates and former wives, and poring over previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files. His new book, Ali: A Life, chronicles Ali’s remarkable boxing career, his role as a social critic and his colorful and often chaotic personal life.

Eig says that although Ali was attacked for his political views at the time, attitudes towards the boxer shifted as American support for the war waned. “To see this guy who goes from being the most hated man in the world to being the most beloved in many ways, to being seen as this kind of saint is fascinating,” Eig says. “And I don’t think we do Ali any good by treating him as a saint. He was a human being and he was deeply flawed, but I think the reason people look to him this way is because he had the spirit of a rebel. He was willing to fight for what he believed in.” MORE

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SPOON: I Ain’t The One

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Ahead of an upcoming run of October dates that includes Red Rocks and Austin City Limits, Spoon have released a new video set to a live recording of album standout track, “I Ain’t The One.”  Renowned British artists and filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (Silent Sound, 20,000 Days On Earth) have captured one of the world’s most formidable live bands in an intimate studio setting, the slinky silhouettes and blue-tinged shadows complimenting the song’s sinewy synths and Britt Daniel’s standout soulful vocals.  The minimalist drums and bass surface sporadically throughout, building tension across the melancholy melody gagagagagathat never quite relents. It has been a whirlwind year for Spoon, Austin’s most esteemed rock ambassadors, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down with today’s announcement of a new run of West Coast headline tour dates in January.  Spoon’s ninth album Hot Thoughts came out to a cavalcade of critical ecstasy in March, and has sustained continuous praise in all the “Mid-Year Best-Of” lists, a sure sign of what’s to come as we enter the last leg of 2017. Never ones to slow down, Spoon will reissue their 2007 classic Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga on Merge Records on October 20th before heading to Europe in November.  They return stateside just in time for two NYC shows, newly added East Coast dates, including the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA, on December 3rd.

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WORTH REPEATING: Crime Family

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 7.05.33 AM

 

THE NEW YORKER: In one e-mail, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coördinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the e-mails, they worried that a reporter might be on to them. In yet another, Donald, Jr., spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the e-mail chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the e-mail. There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the e-mails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”

In 2010, when the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the D.A.’s office opened an investigation of the siblings, the Trump Organization had hired several top New York criminal-defense lawyers to represent Donald, Jr., and Ivanka. These attorneys had met with prosecutors in the bureau several times. They conceded that their clients had made exaggerated claims, but argued that the overstatements didn’t amount to criminal misconduct. Still, the case dragged on. In a meeting with the defense team, Donald Trump, Sr., expressed frustration that the investigation had not been closed. Soon after, his longtime personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, entered the case.

Kasowitz, who by then had been the elder Donald Trump’s attorney for a decade, is primarily a civil litigator, with little experience in criminal matters. But, in 2012, Kasowitz donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reëlection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower-level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped. […]

Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” MORE

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THE BREEDERS: Wait In The Car

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Ahead of their upcoming tour dates in Europe and North America — they play Union Transfer on November 6th — The Breeders announce their return to 4AD with the infectious new track, ‘Wait in the Car’. The single is the first music to be released by the classic line-up behind the iconic album, Last Splash. ‘Wait in the Car’ marks the welcome reunion of band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson. The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their platinum-selling record Last Splash and have since been spending time together in the studio working on new material. The two-minute ‘Wait In The Car’ offers an enticing preview to a band who are still as vital and relevant as ever. The single will also form part of a series of 7”s releases. One will be available at the band’s upcoming tour dates, starting October 15 (pressed on orange vinyl, featuring a cover of Amon Düül II’s 1970 track ‘Archangel’s Thunderbird’, recorded with Steve Albini in Chicago). Another will be available exclusively at select independent record stores from October 27 (pressed on yellow vinyl and including a cover of Devo’s ‘Gates of Steel’). Details of a third version (featuring Kim’s dreamy reimagining of Mike Nesmith’s ‘Joanne’ and pressed on red vinyl) will be announced later in the year. Each version is limited to 1,500 copies worldwide. The artwork and visuals for ‘Wait in the Car’ come from Chris Bigg (formerly of the v23 team who worked on the band’s previous 4AD releases) and Martin Andersen, with the video piecing together 800 still images.

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TRUE FACT: If You Take NRA Money You Have Vegas Blood On Your Hands, This Is Not Debateable

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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BEING THERE: Tom Petty @ Wells Fargo Center

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Photo by DAN LONG

EDITOR’S NOTE: This originally posted on 9/16/14. We are reposting it today to mark the sad passing of Tom Petty today at age 67.

I was in the sixth grade the first time I saw a picture of Tom Petty. He looked like a stick with blond bangs and lidded rabbit eyes. I was fairly certain he was going to die soon. Turns out he was just high. In October he turns 64 and having learned a thing or two about longevity over the course of the last 40 years, I’m pretty sure he’s never gonna die. Which would be just ducky with me and the 20, 000 people who showed up at the Wells Fargo Center — home of the $10 Stella and the $7.75 slice of pizza — last night. The band threw me at first — a bearded-and-dreadlocked Al Jourgensen on lead guitar? Barney Fife on rhythm guitar? Bryan Cranston in a Conway Twitty wig on bass? Far fuckin’ out, man! Turns out that was Heartbreakers — a dreadlocked Mike Campbell, Scott Thurston, and Ron Blair, respectively — one of the deadliest and unstoppable killing machines ever assembled in the name of rock and/or roll. Critics have crowned Springsteen the bard of the common man, but I would argue that Petty holds the keys that set the working man free from their cages on a Friday night for a few hours of beery elation and the occasional skyward fist pump. A lot of men climbed down off a lot of ladders to be there last night, my friend. And unlike Springsteen’s audience, no Tom Petty fan ever voted Republican. Anyway, how did they sound? Deathless. Petty was in fine voice, his reedy Dylan-esque drawl as withering as ever. The band alternately roared and purred, with surgical precision. The setlist alternated between choice cuts from the snarly/bluesy just-released Hypnotic Eye and the songs that anchor the soundtrack of our lives: “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” “Free Fallin’,” “Yer So Bad,” “Learning To Fly,” and an endorphin-triggering cover of The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock N’ Roll Star.” Near the end, they brought out a mutton-chopped Steve Winwood, the tour’s opening act, to kill it on The Spencer-Davis Group’s white soul classic,“Gimme Some Lovin’,” which, judging by the crowd’s reaction, was sort of like bringing out Ferris Bueller to do “Twist And Shout.” They closed out the night with a searing, anthemic “American Girl,” the song that, more than anything any president or soldier or superhero has ever done in the name of public service, makes me proud to be born an American boy. Unlike so many of his rusting peers from the fast-vanishing Golden Age Of FM, Tom Petty never got old, he just became a classic. – JONATHAN VALANIA

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New Posobiec Pac Trolls For Thiel & Mercer Money

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

POSOBIEC SELFIE
Photo by @JackPosobiec

THE ATLANTIC: A group of pro-Trump media figures are launching a super PAC aimed at making an impact in the 2018 midterms. Jeff Giesea, Mike Cernovich, and Jack Posobiec, organizers of the “Deploraball” party to celebrate President Trump’s inauguration earlier this year, are behind the super PAC, which is being called #Rev18.

Giesea, who at one point worked for Trump donor Peter Thiel at Thiel Capital Management, said the trio expects to attract big donors but has not POSOBIEC THEY LIVEdone so yet. “I’m the first donor with a 50k personal investment,” he wrote. “We expect major donors come in soon but we want to prove the model and get the grassroots involved first. It’s safe to say we are broadly aligned with Team Bannon.” Asked whether someone like Thiel might get involved, Giesea said “Not naming names but certainly Thiel and Mercers would be fits. We’re hoping to broaden the base of contributors as well.”

Bannon’s efforts have a powerful donor family backing them: the Mercers, his political patrons, who have invested in Breitbart and who are some of the most important donors in Trumpworld. The New York Times reported last week that Bannon has secured the Mercers’ backing for a “political coalition” similar to that of the Koch brothers, designed to support candidates running against the Republican establishment. Bannon is already tied to a pro-Trump super PAC that was involved in the Alabama race, Great America Alliance. MORE

POSOBIEC I RAPED MACRON CROPPED

RELATED: The Devil & Jack Posobiec

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EXCERPT: The Devil & Jack Posobiec

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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Photo by CHRIS BUCK

PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE: Jack Posobiec — born in Norristown, proud “Philly kid,” Temple grad, onetime Santorum intern, former WPHT account exec — is a relentless, ruthlessly effective pro-Trump political dirty-tricks operative/fake-news ninja/social media assassin who salts the fields of the Internet with alternative facts and dank counter-factual memes that he blasts out to his 199K Twitter followers at least 20 times a day. Posobiec studied the dark arts of ratfuckery — a Watergate-era term for Nixonian political dirty tricks — at the feet of the master, GOP strategist Roger Stone, who regards him as the torchbearer for his toxic legacy. Stone’s prime directive is, “Attack, attack, attack. Never defend. Admit nothing, deny everything” — a mantra Posobiec has honed like a razor.

Posobiec’s infamy stems in part from his status as one of the prime figures in the #Pizzagate hoax, the viral dissemination of French President Emmanuel Macron’s leaked emails, and the RAPE MELANIA protest-sign fiasco. All of which, when lumped in with the rest of his exponentially expanding body of work — filing a human-rights complaint against a Brooklyn theater’s ladies-only screening of Wonder Woman; standing in front of Auschwitz and lecturing the Anti-Defamation League about the Holocaust; tweeting fake news that fired FBI director James Comey “said under oath that Trump did not ask him to halt any investigation”; smearing net neutrality advocates as satanic porn fiends; tweeting fake news that pro-Trump neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, charged with the second-degree murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, was an “anti-Trump, open borders drug addict” hours after Heyer’s death — has made him the Trump troll the Internet loves to hate.

Young, hip and telegenic, Jack Posobiec is part of a new breed of far-right social media “influencers”—Twitter trolls, YouTube monologists, Medium town criers, Periscope Platos, and the fake newsboys of Facebook. They’ve built massive six-figure online audiences to which they endlessly evangelize the gospel of #MAGA—“Make America Great Again”—over hot cups of liberal tears. Posobiec’s known associates include: date-rape denialist and white genocide alarmist Mike Cernovich; flamboyant controversialist/fame whore/pedophilia apologist Milo Yiannopoulos; tinfoil-hat haberdasher Mike Flynn Jr., the Hillary-hating scion of Trump’s disgraced national security adviser; and Alex Jones, conspiracy nut job whose show, Info Wars, Posobiec has guest-hosted.

“These guys are all proponents of information warfare—a hybrid of regular warfare and psychological operations, or psy ops,” says David Carroll, associate professor of media design at Parsons School of Design. “Their willingness to militarize the media space in the spirit of political warfare, I think, is extremely disturbing and characteristic of what makes these guys different from anything else that’s come before them.” MORE

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Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
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