Terrible Things

Guantanamo's Twelfth Ramadan

It's day three of Ramadan, which means it's the third day of "culturally appropriate" force-feeding at Guantanamo Bay, during which detainees are force-fed before sunrise and after sunset. Yesterday Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin wrote a very detailed letter to the Secretary of Defense and the President, asking for a halt to the force-feedings. On Monday, a court rejected a petition by hunger strikers, declaring that only the White House could intervene. All four inmates suing were cleared for release or transfer from Guantanamo more than a year ago.

In case you missed it, this week Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos [...]


Latest YouTube Brawl Video Only Scores a "6"

I would say that the Denny's Brawl Video just beginning to make the rounds is rather a 6 on the scale of the genre, where the 63 Wall Street Fight is a 4 and the Pedicab-Taxi Street Fight is a 5.5, the Muni Fight is an 8, and the Tranny Taco Brawl is a 9. (The Gay Hipster Fight is a 9.8.) Who's inured to violence thanks to the Internet? Who is?


Oz the Great and Powerful Stench of Garbage

Disney just put out this big expensive "spiritual prequel" (who came up with that line?) to the Wizard of Oz. That 1939 Judy Garland vehicle was one of the most groundbreaking, bizarre films of any era, pushing ideas about what could be done with movies to the very edge and also nearly killing two cast members along the way. Campy as it may be, and dated, still: it was released in 1939? Two years previous, people were still commuting from Germany to South America… by way of zeppelin. (I mean, in 1939, Gandhi was still trying to get Hitler to chill out.) So: this movie is pretty amazing for something [...]


Bad Stuff Still Happening

If you're worried that you haven't been horrified or upset enough today, click here: "The parrot was mimicking, 'Help me. Help me.' Then he would laugh," Bonnette said. "We think he was mimicking the mother when he said, 'Help me. Help me,' and mimicking the daughter when he laughed."


Did You Survive the Weekend with Your Face Intact?

"The bizarre syndrome, first diagnosed in Miami, transforms its typically sane victim into a slobbering, raging, supernaturally strong menace hell-bent on self-destruction," wrote the Miami New Times in 2010. "Excited Delirirum," is a focus of inquiry the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami School of Medicine; identified in the 80s among cocaine users, it's not necessarily drug-induced, but it sure helps (cocaine interferes with dopamine transportation in the brain, then things go haywire (technical term)). And then, next thing you know, you're naked on the side of the highway, chewing off someone's face: "After an officer approached… 'The guy just stood, his head [...]