Saturday, September 9, 2023

Here are all the Cynical Girls in the fan video of Marshall Crenshaw's first single, which failed to chart but was a college radio favorite

I don't know who Rick Thomas is, but if he's not a professional video editor, he should be.


From the Youtube annotation:

0:00 Bette Davis (Of Human Bondage)
0:02 Greta Garbo (Anna Christie)
0:03 Marie Dressler (Anna Christie)
0:04 Joan Crawford (The Women)
0:06 Jean Harlow (Libeled Lady)
0:08 Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel?)
0:10 Lauren Bacall (To Have and Have Not) with humphrey bogart
0:12 Linda Darnell (Fallen Angel)
0:13 Ida Lupino (The Big Knife) with jack palance
0:15 Gene Tierney (Laura)
0:17 Elizabeth Taylor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
0:19 Jessica Lange (All That Jazz)
0:21 Faye Dunaway (Chinatown)
0:23 Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction) - follow-on michael douglas
0:27 chorus line [dancers] (Sweet Charity)
0:29 Ava Gardner (The Night of the Iguana)
0:30 Sophia Loren (Man of La Mancha)
0:32 Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones)
0:33 Marilyn Monroe (Some Like It Hot) - follow-on tony curtis & jack lemmon
0:40 Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct) - lead-in wayne knight & ?
0:42 Shirley MacLaine (Irma la Douce) with jack lemmon Wow!
0:45 Vivien Leigh (A Streetcar Named Desire)
0:47 Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon)
0:50 Margaret Dumont (Animal Crackers) wth groucho marx
0:54 Raquel Welch (Bedazzled)
0:59 Lana Turner (Peyton Place)
1:01 Melina Mercouri (Never on Sunday) Opa!
1:08 Glenda Jackson (Women in Love)
1:11 Dyan Cannon (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)
1:14 Julie Christie (Darling)
1:15 Eileen Heckart (Butterflies Are Free)
1:16 Rita Moreno (West Side Story)
1:20 Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago)
1:22 Bette Davis (The Letter)
1:24 Natalie Wood (Gypsy)
1:26 Stockard Channing (Grease) - lead-in john travolta
1:29 Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz)
1:31 Ann Margret (Carnal Knowledge) ding-ding-ding!
1:35 Patricia Neal (Hud) - lead-in/follow-on paul newman
1:38 Kathleen Turner (Crimes Of Passion)
1:41 Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
1:43 Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy) with john voight
1:47 Anna Magnani (Mamma Roma)
1:49 Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard)
1:51 Valerie Perrine (Lenny) - lead-in dustin hoffman
1:55 Madonna [birth name: Madonna L. Ciccone] (Desperately Seeking Susan) with robert joy
1:57 Jane Fonda (Klute)
1:59 Julie Dawn Cole (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) - follow-on gene wilder
2:02 Barbara Hershey (The Stunt Man) with steve railsback
2:04 Annette Bening (Bugsy) with warren beatty
2:07 Piper Laurie (The Hustler)
2:10 Anne Bancroft (The Graduate) - lead-in dustin hoffman
2:12 Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential)
2:14 Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) as Effie White singing "And I am Telling You"
2:15 Shelly Winters (The Night of the Hunter)
2:16 Barbara Stanwyck (The Strange Love of Martha Ivers)
2:18 Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver)
2:20 Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha) - lead-in a group of geishas
2:21 Mia Farrow (Broadway Danny Rose)
2:23 Gena Rowlands (Faces)
2:24 Cher [birth name Cherilyn Sarkisian] (Moonstruck)
2:26 Laura Linney (The Squid and the Whale)
2:28 Mae West (Myra Breckinridge)
2:29 Bette Davis (All About Eve)

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Randy Rainbow on Trump: Don't Arraign on His Parade

And here's Rainbow's interpretation of Trump's New York indictment, which we like even better...

Monday, July 3, 2023

CaptureTheFlag Twitter hashtag disappears as vandals coordinate online the destruction and theft of Rainbow flags

USA Today reporting that social media dares, such as "Capture the Flag," are increasing arson, theft, and vandalism of Pride flags across the United States.

The paper says: "In the past week alone, Pride flags have been stolen, slashed or burned in at least five states, including California, Utah, Arizona, Nebraska and Pennsylvania."

Below: torched porch pride flag in Omaha

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Gaymers are now playing Call of Duty?

Apparently, more gaymers than AKSARBENT ever suspected, waste their time clobbering people online when they could be signing up new voters to clobber Republicans. Wired just published an exploration of all this mock mayhem.

After shows, gay comedian Matteo Lane unwinds by playing video games with fellow comedians and others. "Originally, I was playing the gay version of Call of Duty–which is Fortnight." Below: he explains how gay dudes play shoot-'em-up video games different from their straight friends.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

From Forbes:
What happens when Dave Chappelle buys up your town

Iden Crockett, the "only black trans woman who is neighbors with Dave [Chappelle] in the world," and generally approves of him, nevertheless is not amused by his anti-trans rants:

“Because what he says in regards to the life of Black men in the country is so spot on and so insightful, he gets a lot of credit, people go to him for his opinions. He is an expert on that, because he is a Black man in America.” But “he’s not a trans woman in America. And to speak with authority on trans-ness when you’re not—and you clearly don’t understand—is problematic and dangerous, because other people who don’t understand look at you and assume that you do.”

Though Chappelle has a lot of admirers, he has vociferous skeptics:

Few people will say anything critical of Chappelle on the record, citing fear of losing their jobs or customers. Off the record, locals from different racial backgrounds and different generations say things like:

    Chappelle is “a force that’s turning us into the place that we’re all trying to stay away from.”
    “Dave’s got to be the biggest contentious thing that I’ve ever seen pit neighbor against neighbor.”
    Several villagers compared Chappelle to former President Donald Trump for his propensity to, as one put it, “never apologize, double down and blame the other person.”

When Chappelle started putting on shows ($200-$500 per ticket) in an empty field, during the pandemic, in violation of local zoning laws, attendees were "handed a mask with Chappelle’s logo, a white “C” with a red stripe above it and a green one below. You either left your phone in the car or let it be sealed in a special pouch..."

The local zoning inspector had to rule that the use was prohibited and order them stopped. Chappelle ignored the order until he was able to get a waiver. On SNL, he said this:

“The local farmers, my neighbors, started to complain that my shows were too noisy—in a cornfield!” He described the ensuing town meeting as “embarrassing” and said, “I resented it, I resented that these country farmers could decide a guy like me’s fate. People don’t deserve to do that. They haven’t seen enough. They don’t know anything.”

There's much, much more in Tyler J. Kelley's piece for Forbes at

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Want a divorce from the United States of America? It'll cost you $2,350

Renouncing your citizenship is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, believe it or not. And you have to take an oath:

I desire and hereby make a formal renunciation of my U.S. nationality, as provided by section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, and pursuant thereto, I hereby absolutely and entirely renounce my United States nationality together with all rights and privileges and all duties and allegiance and fidelity thereunto pertaining. I make this renunciation intentionally, voluntarily, and of my own free will, free of any duress or undue influence.

Here is the form: 


Rep. Don Bacon to Ford Motor: if you make AM radios optional, we'll sic Pete Buttigieg on you!

Don Bacon is congratulating himself on twitter for a letter he signed "encouraging" Ford Motor not to remove AM radios as standard equipment in its gas vehicles.

He brags about the carrot, but is real quiet about the stick–a bill in Congress to give the National Highway Safety Administration the power to force the issue.

Yes, kids: Pete Buttigieg as the head of the Department of Transportation, is the boss of that.

Bacon disingenuously claims this is all about safety.

In a pig's eye it is.

AM radio is the #1 conduit of right wing propaganda in this country and Bacon knows it.

While it's true that many people rely on AM radio for Emergency Alert System and FEMA announcements, it is also true that participation in EAS is optional for both AM and FM radio stations. If Bacon were less hypocritical (dream on) he would be cheerleading Big Government to mandate that all radio stations, including FM, which most people listen to, become part of EAS as part of their license to broadcast on airways owned by the public.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Sharon Slater's Arizona hate group, Family Watch International, gets Uganda LGBT Death Penalty law resurrected

Sharon Slater (photo via GLAAD)
Family Watch International is a Gilbert, AZ organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate group.
It was founded and is led by a radical right-wing Mormon, Sharon Slater, who plies UN delegates and African governmental conferences with pseudoscientific research to persuade them to pass draconian anti-LGBT legislation in various jurisdictions.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Watch Stephen Colbert rip Ron DeSantis' new bio with some savage help from the New York Times

Colbert firebombed Ron DeSantis' tedious, whitewashed autobio in high style Tuesday, flashing 7 vicious takes on the new book to viewers during an extended diatribe in which he added choice quotes from a scorching New York Times piece, like "…can't distract from the dull coldness at this book's core." and "...courageously free of anything that resembles charisma, or a discernible sense of humor."
     Along the way Colbert took swipes at the law DeSantis had to have passed to replace his original legislation to strip Disney's taxing authority of its Orlando environs after it was discovered that his first hamfisted stab at legislative revenge would have left many Orlando property owners owning a $2 billion tote bag of Disney debt. DeSantis' redo puts control of development in a board of DeSantis cronies and returns responsibility for taxes on Disney properties to Mickey's lap.
    Colbert did not forget to rip DeSantis' cronies, who include a principal proponent of Florida's new Don't Say Gay law, a businessman who runs a right-wing Christian ministry, an attorney who runs the Orlando chapter of the right-wing Federalist Society (which brought America Justices Barrett and Kavanaugh) and the hunter who killed Bambi's mom.

The entire takedown is embedded below.

Iowa's 1,600-page government "reorganization" gives GOP Gov. Reynolds power only Putin and Ron DeSantis would love

Official after official would now be appointed and serve "at the pleasure of the governor" in Kim Reynolds' new power grab/score settling maneuver. The Cedar Rapids Gazette, has all the details and they ain't pretty— unless you're an authoritarian, freedom-hating Republican. Here's a link to Todd Dorman's scorching exposé. He appears to have gone through all 1,600 pages with a fine-toothed comb.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Watch: Rachel Maddox interviews the State Senator willing to tie the NE Unicameral into knots if LB574, an anti-trans bill, is not tabled. "Take your names off that piece of poop"

Machaela Cavanaugh, if you are not from Nebraska, is the daughter of former Nebraska state legislator and U.S. Representative John Joseph Cavanaugh III. 
     What radicalized Cavanaugh was LB574, an anti trans bill introduced by Sen. Kathleen Kauth, who enlisted one of the most revolting gay grifters ever to sit in a Unicameral hearing room to testify in its behalf.
    Cavanaugh is willing to take every single pending bill to cloture, which would tie the Unicameral into knots if Senators do not, as she put it, "Take your names off that piece of poop."


Gay 1/6 insurrectionist Brandon Straka 'brutalized
and destroyed' by ban from five Omaha hair salons

Gay insurrectionist Brandon Straka (Can we call him a "coupier"?), who is now on federal probation well into 2025 for his role in the 1/6 DC coup attempt, is now whining on YouTube about being banned from all five Omaha area locations of Garbo's, a hair salon, despite the fact that he is a "big tipper." From his video:
It’s considered socially acceptable to ban me, to cancel me or to prevent me from being able to receive goods and services like a normal member of society.
NE02 Rep. Don Bacon and Omaha Mayor
Jean Stothert at Straka Walkaway rally in 2021
Straka is a Trumper and the founder of Walkaway, a social media campaign to con Democrats into becoming Republicans, kind of like those Jews for Jesus salesmen. Walkaway had more than 500,000 followers before Facebook got rid of it. From Wiki: 
In 2019, Straka said WalkAway does not receive major donations and that "everything is grassroots support from Americans who send us $5 or $100." In May 2020, OpenSecrets reported that of the $20,104 donated to WalkAway in 2020, a total of $7,521 was contributed by nine donors who gave $200 or more.

Brandon is performatively upset because no far right mucky mucks are yet yelling about his crucifixion by Omaha hair stylists.

'...most of them will never talk about this because they’re too afraid despite all of their platitudes about fighting the left, they’re too afraid to stand up for somebody who is being brutalized and destroyed by the left.'

We at AKSARBENT are not privy to the innermost machinations of the far right, thank goodness, but we have a perfectly reasonable theory: although Straka repeatedly pointed out in the video below that he was only convicted of a disturbing-the-peace misdemeanor, what he didn't say is that he dropped a roll of dimes on a bunch of people to get out from under a federal felony charge. Perhaps some of his right wing fellow travelers now consider him a rat fink, ya think?

As for the persecution politics of purportedly left-wing Garbo's, we're not completely convinced. Maybe they aren't left wing at all. Maybe they just don't like cutting the hair of big time snitches.

(Hat tip: @cynicalgirl)

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

What happened when we told ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence program, to write a gay comedy scene

AKSARBENT tried to trick the artificial intelligence program, chatgpt, but wasn't able to.
     However we learned that although the program has a truly lousy sense of humor, it is capable of coming up with a surprisingly edgy line (second from last). 

The request: Write comedy scene in which Tom mistakes Rick, the straight twin brother of Tom’s gay boyfriend Jeff, for Jeff

The result:

[Setting: A busy coffee shop. Tom is sitting at a table, scrolling through his phone. Rick, Jeff's straight twin brother, enters and spots Tom.]

Rick: [Waves] Hey, Tom!

Tom: [Looks up and smiles] Hey, Jeff! [Stands up to give him a hug]

Rick: [Looking confused] Uh, I'm not Jeff, I'm Rick, his twin brother.

Tom: [Embarrassed] Oh my god, I'm so sorry! I thought you were Jeff.

Rick: [Laughs] Don't worry about it, man. Happens all the time.

Tom: [Sits back down, looking mortified] I can't believe I just did that. I mean, you guys look so alike.

Rick: [Sits down across from Tom] Yeah, we get that a lot. But I'm the straight one, so you're safe.

Tom: [Nervously] Oh, right. Yeah, I'm sorry. It's just that Jeff and I have been dating for a few months now, and I guess I'm just used to seeing his face.

Rick: [Smirks] Well, I'm flattered, but I think you're more into my brother than me.

Tom: [Blushes] No, no, it's not like that. I mean, Jeff and I are happy together, and I would never want to do anything to mess that up.

Rick: [Pats Tom on the back] I know, man, I'm just messing with you. Jeff talks about you all the time, and he's really into you too.

Tom: [Smiles] He is?

Rick: [Laughs] Yeah, he is. So don't worry about mistaking me for him. Just make sure you never mistake me for his boyfriend.

Tom: [Laughs] I won't, I promise.

[They both laugh and continue chatting, while Tom glances over at the door every few minutes to make sure Jeff isn't walking in.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Meet Mario Presents (or Mario Estrada) the bizarre gay, anti-trans activist Senator Kauth invited to testify for LB574

Meet Mario Estrada, a Gays Against Groomers gadfly who swooped into Lincoln February 8th to testify for LB574, Kathleen Kauth's bill to stop physicians from performing gender alteration procedures on anyone under 19 or even referring patients to someone who will, under penalty of a review by Nebraska's medical licensing board.

     The bill also allows a parent or guardian to bring civil action against any such doctor and prohibits state funds for any hospital that performs transgender care.

     Estrada did not identify himself as Estrada in his testimony, but as "Mario Presents."

     Estrada, of Chilean extraction, likes to wear a T-shirt depicting people executed by being thrown out of a helicopter, a favorite means of dispatching argumentative Chileans by dictator Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile between 1973 and 1990, when an estimated 3,200 people were murdered and another 28,000 tortured by the state.

     In a video, wearing said shirt, Estrada disingenuously declared, "Pinochet, if you didn't know, was in Chile and he protected people from an overreaching government. Yes, he didn't like homosexuals"

Below: Estrada crowing about how easily he thinks it is to trigger liberals in Nebraska.

From Wikipedia:

Gays Against Groomers (GAG) is a far-right anti-LGBTQ organization that started as a Twitter account created by Jaimee Michell known for posting anti-trans rhetoric. The collective has harassed school board meetings and hospitals, attended and held anti-LGBTQ rallies alongside far-right organizations, and has been banned from multiple platforms for hate speech. They are known for their use of the slur "groomer" to portray their critics and parents and supporters of LGBTQ youth as pedophiles and have been compared to Libs of TikTok. The organization refers to transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people as "infiltrators" and opposes gender-affirming care and Drag Queen Story Hour Events. It is widely promoted by right-wing media such as One America News Network (OANN) and Fox News. GAG has been accused of fueling stochastic terrorism, the public condemnation of a group that leads to violent acts against the group.

Left to right: Mario flashing White Power gesture with companion,
defending a murderous Chilean dictator, and posing with Sen. Kauth

     Twitter has suspended the account four times, some of which were supposed to be permanent, but kept reinstating it. Before Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, the website's rules prohibited the use of "groomer" as an insult based on gender identity or expression under their hate speech policy. GAG responded by using code terms such as "broomer" and "gr__mer" and changing its screen name to "Gays Against Grewmers". Some hypothesized that someone at Twitter was manually and repeatedly overriding the suspensions.

   When Elon Musk bought Twitter, GAG reverted to its old name, tweeted "OK GROOMER", and purchased a verified badge. In October 2022, the account directly thanked Musk for helping them further their agenda. Before Musk's purchase, tweets using hate terms averaged at most 84 per hour over a week. After the purchase, users tweeted hate speech 4,778 times from midnight to noon. A report from the Human Rights Campaign found that the GAG Twitter account had seen an increase of nearly 300% in their use of the slur "groomer" when comparing the two months before and after Musk's purchase.

     Venmo, PayPal, and Google have banned the group from raising funds on their platforms due to their policies prohibiting hate speech. As a result, GAG began to use the fundraising platform Donorbox.

     Gays Against Groomers may not need much fundraising. Imara Jones hypothesized that The Heritage Foundation was funding them, noting they have a budget of close to a million dollars and stating it could not have come organically from the community. Founder Jaimee Michell has denied that anyone is funding the account and claims the organization is a non-profit, though its application has not been approved. In September 2022, the group filed as a corporation. 

Above: The LB584 hearing, brought to you by the Nebraska Progressive Legislative Study Group and Nebraska Public Media.

Such a cavalcade of amazing facts from the LB574 proponents!

First up was Kathleen Kauth (in red), introducing her bill to the Unicameral's politically lopsided  Human and Health Services at the hearing. She represents district 31 (Millard and South Omaha).
  • "These novel and irreversible procedures lack sufficient long-term research...
  • One of the most disturbing aspects of the current trend with gender dysphoric youth is the risk of suicide. Parents and children are being told that a young person experiencing gender dysphoria is more likely to commit suicide. The studies that are cited are rife with flaws and weaknesses in study design. A new analysis shows rather than solving the problem, medical interventions make the risk of suicide worse, once all the surgeries are completed. A 30-year study out of Sweden documents how individuals who have complete gender altering surgery are 19 times more likely to kill themselves...
  • I called on every group I could think of. I called on the Nebraska Family Alliance [virulently homophobic], the Nebraska Catholic Conference [guess what their position might be]..."
Next up was Scott Newgent, a dissatisfied former lesbian and current trans male who also describes himself as a mother.
  • "I'm here today to put an end to the idea that medically transitioning children is about human rights. It is not. It's about money... THE LEADING COUNTRY [SIC] IN SWEDEN HAS SHUT DOWN ALL MEDICAL TRANSITIONING...
  • I still have infections. These infections will shorten my life because these procedures are experimental... I'VE TALKED TO HUNDREDS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE. Don't do this to kids!
  • ...I went to a therapist. A transgender woman therapist... Within 5 minutes she looked at me and said "How long have you been wearing male clothing? I was a business sales executive. I looked like Jillian Anderson. Nobody would think that I was a man. But that sentence, at 42 absolutely changed my life. I won't get to meet my grandkids... These infections will kill me. That one sentence changed the whole trajectory of my LIFE!
     Most trans people aren't changed by a sentence and don't want to wait until they are 42 to escape the life of a sex that their brains are genetically wired to reject. They almost always know this before they enter kindergarten—not in middle age via Evil Transgender Therapists.
     Third at bat was the non-frivolous version of fascist-friendly, white power gesturing Mario Whatever, reading a script that sounded like it certainly could have been written for him by the Heritage Foundation.
     One wag has suggested that instead of hawking Gays Against Groomers merch, Mario might more honestly sell tees which say Roaches For Raid.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Arrested black gay reporter at DeWine presser intended to "do harm to me" — Ohio National Guard chief John Harris

Lambert, right

The presser, following a nearby train derailment, was supposed to start at 3 pm but NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert was reporting live at 5 by the time Ohio Governor Dewine started speaking.
     The man in charge of Ohio’s National Guard, Maj. Gen. John Harris, decided that Lambert, at the back of the gym, was too loud. Lambert objected.
     Shortly thereafter, Lambert was yanked out of the gym and tackled to the floor, away from others in the press conference gymnasium venue.
     WKBN reporter Gerry Ricciuti published Harris's account, which AKSARBENT thinks is 80% bullshit.
 “During Gov. DeWine’s press conference on Feb. 8, 2023, I heard very loud voices coming from the back of the gymnasium. Since most of the people in my immediate area were involved in the press conference as Public Information Officers or Subject Matters Experts, I decided I was the best person to notify the source of the disruption that the press conference had begun. 
Upon reaching the back of the gym, I saw a cameraman and reporter making what I assumed was a recorded message. Upon telling the reporter that the press conference had begun and that they were disrupting it, they appeared to become agitated and informed me that they were broadcasting live. After stepping out of the shot and appealing to them to be quiet down, I waited for them to finish their work. As I began to offer the assistance of my PIO team to find a more suitable location, the cameraman demanded, HEY, COME OVER HERE!   

Confused, I told him I would not come over there. I went back to conversing with the reporter who grew more agitated. He then became enraged. His eyes opened wide, he stared at me while very aggressively lurching at me. He screamed YOU GUYS ARE THE ONES WHO STRUNG THIS THING OUT! (I assumed he was referring to the 2-hour delay for the press conference).  

He is a much larger person than I am. At that point I was convinced he was prepared to do harm to me. I instinctively put my hands on his chest to keep him from bumping into me, which I felt was inevitable if I had not protected myself. I immediately removed my hands when there was space between us – we were in contact for less than a second.  

At that time he immediately began yelling statements such as: ASSAULT! DID YOU SEE THAT, HE ASSAULTED ME! That was witnessed by several law enforcement officers. The officers attempted to persuade him to stop being disruptive. Now convinced that I was involved in a contrived event, I removed myself from the immediate area and walked back to the press conference.  As I walked away I heard his voice continue to get louder and more hostile and the commotion at the rear of the gym continued. At the point I was no longer in a position to see what was happening.”

KTLA has released body cam video of Evan Lambert's takedown which effectively gives the lie to John Harris's preposterous claim of feeling threatened into shoving reporter Lambert.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Bucha mayor: Russian soldiers raped Ukranian men

Fedoruk: "The number of victims is large,
unfortunately. But not only women.
The guard of the children's sanatorium,
the man was even raped. I say this because
it [sic] does not exist. After all this bullying,
he could not stand it and died."
Both Time and The Guardian have reported that Russian soldiers raped more than women and children in Bucha.

On April 17, the mayor of Bucha, who had recently been liberated from Russian occupation, recounted horrific details of Russian sexual violence against women and men.
     In an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Gordon, [Mayor] Anatolii Fedoruk said that a security guard at the Orlyatko children's camp had been raped in Bucha. The man could not stand the physical damage and moral abuse and died.

Monday, September 13, 2021

ICYMI: Rock-blocker Tiffany ended its 135-year ban on men's diamond engagement rings last May

For most of its history Tiffany has refused to sell any men's diamond rings, including engagement rings—it considered them to be in bad taste. The firm introduced diamond engagement rings for women in 1886.
     Walter Hoving, who ruled Lord and Taylor, and then Tiffany for 25 years, firmly enforced the policy.
     Once, a customer  tried to buy a man's diamond ring from Hoving himself, whose flat refusal was: "What you want is your business. What we sell is our business."
     (Hoving wouldn't sell silver plate or provide charge accounts to customers who had been rude to his employees, either)
     He explained his stance to told Women's Wear Daily.

"Sometimes you mustn't pay too much attention to your customers. That's the best way to mess up your merchandise.
     He meant it, and no one, not even President Kennedy, got a pass.
     In 1962, Kennedy, a fanboy of all things space age, directed Tiffany to supply 32 acrylic calendar mementos for those who had been close to him during the Cuban missile crisis—mementos made of then-new Lucite (Poly(methyl 2-methylpropenoate)).
     What the Leader of The Free World received instead of the goods was a terse letter from the Chairman of Tiffany informing him that his firm did not execute objets d'art in plastic.
     Kennedy change the order to silver.
    Even in 2015, when Tiffany ran its first ad for rings for gay male couples, they couldn't have anything heteros couldn't have — just gemless bands.
2015 Tiffany print ad for gemless rings for male couples

But last January Tiffany's sale to French-owned LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (which also owns Bulgari, Christian Dior, Givenchy, etc.) was completed, and three months later, diamond engagement rings for boys went on sale—for $15,600 to $278,500, each.
     And no BOGO, homo. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Arrested by FBI: Rep Don Bacon's radical right wing #Walkaway ally, Brandon Straka

Rep. Don Bacon speaking at Omaha Walkaway
Rally last Fall. Photo: Matt Johnson
Brandon Straka, who founded the Walkaway movement to urge fellow LGBTs and people of color to abandon the Democratic party, has been released from the Douglas county jail after being arrested by the FBI Monday.
     ThinkProgress considers the Walkaway organization a grifting operation.
     Straka faces federal charges of entering restricted grounds and impeding a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.
     He cannot now leave Nebraska without permission, and has made his twitter account, with its half million followers, private.

Kirk, with Bacon

     Don Bacon, who votes against LGBT interests in Congress, but unabashedly solicits gay support, spoke at Straka's event.
     In 2018, Bacon showed up at Creighton to pose for a selfie with Charlie Kirk, of Turning Point USA. Kirk bragged on Twitter about sending 80 busloads of people to a Trump Rally in DC. (After it turned into a a violent insurrectionist mob, Kirk tried to bury his role by deleting the tweet.)
     In 2019, Don Bacon told a constituent outraged by his relationship with the Family Research Council, that the DC pressure group was not an antigay hate group, even though the Southern Poverty Law Center has been saying exactly that for decades.
     FRC's president, Tony Perkins, has a sordid political history; he once purchased Klansman David Duke’s mailing list for use in a Louisiana political campaign he was managing.

Rep. Don Bacon receiving a good behavior trophy for his 100%
support of the homophobic FRC's legislative agenda.
     In 2001, Perkins gave a speech to a Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group. In 2017 the FRC presented Bacon with a trophy to acknowledge his 100% voting support of its legislative agenda.
From Wikipedia:
      News sources have debated the extent to which WalkAway is an example of astroturfing rather than a genuine grassroots movement. David A. Love of CNN condemned the campaign as "pure propaganda [and] a psychological operation." The website Hamilton 68, which tracks Russia's interference on U.S. elections, reported that WalkAway was "connected to Kremlin-linked Russian bots to manipulate voters into thinking the movement was more popular and active that it actually was."
     Abby Ohlheiser of The Washington Post claimed that "[t]here’s little actual evidence to suggest that #WalkAway represents a mass conversion of millions – or even thousands – of Democrats" and contrasted the broad appeal of true viral videos with the "Conservative Internet viral" nature of the WalkAway video. ThinkProgress characterized the WalkAway campaign as "a grifting operation," noting efforts by the organizers to sell dinner packages priced in the hundreds of dollars to march attendees.

     Slate journalist Mark Joseph Stern accused Straka of presenting royalty-free stock images from Shutterstock and claiming they were of people who had left the Democratic Party, though Straka has denied that any such material originated from the WalkAway campaign. Fact-checking website Snopes stated that it could not determine whether this use of stock images had originated from campaign organizers.
     Straka has stated that WalkAway does not receive major donations and that "everything is grassroots support from Americans who send us $5 or $100." As of May 2020, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that of the $20,104 donated to WalkAway in 2020, $7,521 were contributed by nine large ($200 or more) donors, of which Straka is one.
     Soon after its founding in 2018, WalkAway received a $10,000 donation from Alex Jones and InfoWars. Straka has stated that he is grateful for the donation.
     On January 8, 2021, Facebook closed the WalkAway group page, which had more than half a million followers at the time. The page was replaced with a message from Facebook saying the page had violated its terms of use. The shutdown came in the wake of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, when Facebook and other social media platforms increased their enforcement of terms of service that ban the incitement of violence.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Seth Meyers to Ben Sasse:
What a-the fuck are you a-talking about?

Ben Sasse, who holds a doctorate in history from Yale University, insisted on the floor of the Senate this week that the center of America is not Washington, D.C. and that Americans should be shoveling their neighbors' snow instead of, presumably, staying glued to their screens watching his party's leaders egg on vandals attacking the Capitol Building of the United States.
     On "A Closer Look," Seth Meyers was having none of Sasse's bizarre redirection.

Quick follow-up question for you, Ben Sasse: What a-the fuck are you a-talkin' about?
      Violent separatists just ransacked the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow Democracy, forcing lawmakers and staff to lock down and shelter in place and you're solution is to shovel your neighbor's driveway? This isn't Lake Wobegone.
     You're not the host of Prairie Home Companion. You're a United States Senator and insurgents just breached the Capitol.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Free Webcams for owners of the following cameras: Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic Lumix, Sony, GoPro and Olympus

Now that Zoom participation has, well, zoomed during the pandemic, decent webcams have become scarcer and more expensive — but millions of people already have digital cameras far superior to most webcams.
     Most can connect to computers to transfer photos and video, but live video output from most DSLR or mirrorless cameras is not in a streaming format.
     Not to worry.
     At least six of the world's biggest camera companies offer FREE software to turn their products into very high quality webcams. Below are the links. You're welcome.








Saturday, November 21, 2020

Does KMTV practice journalism or merely transcribe evasive cop-speak euphemisms?

 KMTV's web post and on-air reporting of last night's fatal police shooting of an Omahan are marvels of "avoidant garbage"
     Here are some of the evasions, passive linguistic buck-passing, obfuscations and violations of recommendations by the Columbia Review of Journalism and the Associated Press in KMTV's initial story:

Posted at 9:29 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 6:02 AM, Nov 20, 2020
     OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha Police Department said a routine traffic stop at 27th and Harrison ended in a 31-year-old Black man dead from gunshot wounds.
     Officers said they asked a male to exit the vehicle and he refused. Once he did exit, the officers said they observed a weapon, a struggle ensued and an officer fired shots.
     The man was struck and taken to Nebraska Medicine where he died from his injuries. A police department spokesman said they believe only one officer discharged his weapon, but they are unsure exactly how many shots were fired.

What do self-aware and self-critical journalists have to say about what this sort of lazy journalism? Plenty!

Officer-involved shooting ( to avoid using ‘officer-involved shooting’

    "officer-involved shooting" is journalistic failure on multiple levels: first, it is confusing and inadequate to communicate the truth (an officer shot someone). second, it allows the subject of the reporting (the police department) to dictate the language used in the coverage
    — Wesley (@WesleyLowery) August 24, 2020

    Any media using “officer-involved shooting” is intentionally using language designed to obfuscate, and worse, is doing so to preserve access to organizations that we *know* routinely & systematically lie to journalists. Editorial leaders should be ashamed to allow it.
    — Anil Dash (@anildash) August 24, 2020


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Guest Post: Hate in the Time of Cholera

Margo Howard is a journalist and author, known by
many as
Dear Prudence under Mike Kinsley,
who started
Slate Magazine.
“Cholera” is my name for COVID-19, even though one is bacterial and the other viral. There is, however, a more important difference between our pandemic and all its predecessors than nomenclature. We’ve had the misfortune of a “leader” (that really must be in quotation marks, for obvious reasons) who’s made it more lethal than it had to be; more divisive and more political. As early as the 5th century BC, people in the Ganges River delta wrote about cholera. Then on it went through the ages. No one — until now — has ever tried to put out demonstrably false information about a plague.

A basic tenet taught to children by most parents and, I am reliably informed, nuns, is that, “One should not hate. Doing so damages the vessel more than the object.” I have lived with this belief all of my life — until now. That I’ve made an exception I find astonishing. I remember being glued to the televised Army-McCarthy hearings and feeling disgusted by drunk, old, double-gaited Joe, but I don’t recall hating him; just being revolted by such an obviously opportunistic, destructive, and dishonest Senator playing to a gallery of the gullible.

Donald Trump’s despicable, if not deliberate, approach to COVID-19 has precedent. He is culpable in the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to the evisceration of environmental protections. The deregulatory attack against the standards of mercury, soot, and carbon dioxide alone will lead to 245,500 preventable deaths over a ten-year period – a calculation based on EPA staff estimates. This is more than the population of the city of Norfolk, VA., or Boise, ID.

OK. Once you’ve made peace with the fact that there is someone worth hating, you get busy and start imagining (OK, wishing for) certain punitive outcomes. I gave myself permission to inflict imaginary damage on the disastrous and unfit Mr. Trump because a psychiatrist told me years ago that no thoughts or fantasies were unacceptable because they were just … thoughts or fantasies. So, for Trump I have selected an LIS, also known as “pseudocoma,” or “locked-in syndrome.” It is the condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally “due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking.” (It is the kind of stroke old Joe Kennedy had.) I felt this would be suitably frustrating because it would make his rages impossible … not to mention, of course, that it would end his tweeting.

My second choice would be for a patriotic Secret Service agent to have his gun go off, seemingly by accident, with the bullet striking the president somewhere significant. That is, no kneecap or shin injuries. As motivational speakers put it, “Aim a little higher.” You are certainly welcome to imagine your own choices, because, really, who amongst us does not want to punish evil?

Editor's note: Even the throes of her most vehement disgust, Margo has never encouraged actual mayhem and isn't here, obviously. We hope Google's content algorithms are smart enough to make that distinction, though we have our doubts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Douglas Co. GOP now promoting quack hydroxychloroquine video banned by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

     On its six o'clock news tonight, Omaha's KMTV reported that the Radical Republican nutballs who run the Douglas Co. GOP are now promoting on Twitter a "debate" about hydroxychloroquine, the discredited COVID-19 "treatment."
     The GOP send two tweets today, the first reading simply HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE!!! and the second containing a retweet of the video made by quack doctor Stella "deliverance from demon sperm" Immanuel.
     That video is now been banned on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
     Derek Oden, the wet-behind-the-ears, Don-Bacon-sticker-wearing Executive Director of the Douglas County Republican Party told reporter Jon Kipper:
"I’m just saying clearly studies have shown there’s something to look at there."
     Dr. Mark Rupp, chief of the division of infectious diseases at UNMC, had this to say about the bonkers video spread further on the Internet by Douglas County Republicans:
"I think this is unfortunately a disservice to the public, to patients, this is something that is very dangerous."
Watch KMTV's report here

Sunday, July 26, 2020

One degree of Don Bacon!

Left: Don Bacon; Right: Augusto Pinochet
You don't have to go through all that 6-degrees-with-Kevin rigamarole with this game—it's easy!
    The photo on the right is of Augusto Pinochet, pal to Henry Kissinger but not so much to the mothers of the thousands of Chileans he "disappeared" and the tens of thousands he had sadistically tortured.
    What does any of this have to do with Don Bacon, youse of little faith may well ask! Well, piglets... Don and Augusto have/had the same sugar daddy—BAE Systems!
    The British merchants of death secretly paid Pinochet (and Pinochet-linked groups) more than $1,000,000 through a front company in the British Virgin Islands as recently as 2014—even though Pinochet was arrested (in London!) in 1998 and died in 2006
    Bacon hasn't yet collected $1,000,000 from BAE's U.S. tentacle, but he is on the take for $8,000 so far—enough to pay for about 8 attack ads on KETV during its evening newscast. Every penny helps!
Click above table to enlarge