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April 29, 2016

Frank Cho is Gross

Also, having made the mistake of actually reading some of his Facebook posts, i've decided he's an idiot douchebag.


As you know, straight men are the most persecuted group in the world today. They used to live in a utopia where everything was tailored to meet their needs, but that's changed. There's a female Ghostbusters movie coming out! The video game Rust randomly assigns gender! Two different Star Wars movies have female leads! And also, sometimes there are naked women on Game of Thrones that they don't want to bone!
Thankfully Frank Cho was on hand to protect the struggling marginalized voices of men who want women's bodies to be used to sell products regardless of intended audience. And though that Manara cover came out two years ago, Cho hasn't given up the fight.

Cho started paying tribute to Manara's Spider-Woman cover early in 2015, first with his own version of the original, and then with a cover that presented a teenage girl from an all-ages book -- Spider-Gwen -- in the same sexually objectified pose. This drawing of a teenager's elevated buttocks was not well received by the character's co-creator or many of the character's fans.

But Cho is a maverick, and when people step to him to say, "this is creepy and weird," he fights back by drawing more pictures of women with their butts in the air, and selling them on eBay and at conventions. Cho has now reproduced this pose -- and generated others like it -- over and over and over again for the benefit of paying fans, because he will not cave to the PC police.


But Cho has not been content to fight back in the trenches of sketch covers. He recently created a new cover for a publisher of video game comics, which again features a female protagonist in the same butt-up pose. You can see it on his Facebook page. Cho claims that the company's art director wanted Cho to recreate this pose (yet again) because he, like Cho, is "anti-censorship".

Thank God for these brave men, willing to risk everything -- or at least risk someone on Twitter saying they're gross and sleazy -- to ensure that there will still be women's butts on comic book covers.

Because only an idiot douchebag would think this is a valid argument (FB post about his Cami sketch):

HA! This is too funny.

Some of the overly sensitive people are upset that I drew a sexy image of a sexy highly popular video game character who runs around in a thong. Talk about hypercritical and being upset over nothing.

It's like you buy a Superman comic and you're upset that he's flying on the cover.

I wish people would stop giving him money to draw comic porn. Especially comic porn of a teenaged character. Skeeve.

By min | April 29, 2016, 12:43 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

April 27, 2016

There Used to be a Museum of Menstruation

And i totally missed out on visiting it!

Finley, 73, and I are in his New Carrollton basement, which from 1994 to 1998 housed the Museum of Menstruation.
The collection, which by Finley's count has more than 5,000 individual pieces, is an interesting intersection of history and function and societal expectations. Amassing the collection and running the museum remains for Finley the most important thing he has done, and his efforts have garnered praise and vitriol alike. A story in the New York Times from 1998 called the museum's website "an odd, funny and well-researched site (created by a man) on the history of menstruation as told by women around the world." An anonymous letter writer from Wyoming was less enthralled: "The anger it stirred in our circle is enough to burn you at the stake figuratively speaking," she wrote.

Not really sure why people would be quite so upset about this museum. I think it's pretty awesome. The products advertised to women for "hygiene" are pretty horrifying. Lysol and borax! In the hoo-hah! *shudder*

My favorite is the ad for Pristeen way at the bottom of the page.

Oh, look! A forlorn girl, sitting in a decimated patch of grass. What ever could be the matter? Pristeen knows: "The trickiest deodorant problem a girl has isn't under her pretty little arms," the ad warns, capitalizing on the fear of "feminine odor."

Totally worth risking death with some Lysol to avoid that odor problem. Yup.

By min | April 27, 2016, 10:34 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

April 26, 2016



The City of Cleveland announced on Monday that it will pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was tragically killed by police officers in 2014 while holding a toy gun.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association released a statement responding to the settlement. Rather than acknowledging any error on the police's part, the association suggested that the Rice family use the funds to "educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms."

I think when you get away with shooting a 12-year old kid, you should prolly just shut the fuck up for forever and not issue asshole statements.

By min | April 26, 2016, 8:20 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

April 22, 2016


I'm not the only one! This lady has an inguinal hernia, too!

The thing is, the hernia itself wasn't really ever painful. An inguinal hernia is basically just a lump of fat or intestines that decides to break through a weak layer in the abdominal wall. It ends up looking like a weird, soft lump on your groin that can easily be pushed back in -- or at least, mine could -- and it didn't exactly stop me from living an active life. I still went to gym classes two or three times a week, jogged, played sport, and skied or hiked on the weekend. There is an excellent chance that this active lifestyle is what caused Henry to show up in the first place.

But because inguinal hernias (there are many many other kinds of hernias) are generally considered more of a men's health issue than women's, it took awhile for me to figure out what was even wrong. In the last few months, Henry started to show himself more, and I felt a dull sense of discomfort every time he popped out. Because of the general region of my discomfort, googling symptoms (never a good idea) made it seem as though I had anything from ovarian cysts to cancer, until I finally spoke to some people IRL who suggested it might be a hernia.

It is really difficult to get a doctor to realize you have a hernia if you're female. I had to tell the first 2 doctors i saw that it was a hernia. I diagnosed myself using Google. How sad is that? You should have seen how confused the urgency care doctor was when the lump disappeared when i was prone and reappeared when i was standing.

The first surgeon i saw was focused on getting me open and repairing the hernia. Right away! I was like "Whoa! Can we talk about it some more first?". And when i asked him if i should cut back on my weight lifting, he just stammered and seemed to be confused by the question entirely. I felt like i needed to enunciate more slowly - "Ex-cer-cise? Lift-heavy-things-with-body?". So, needless to say, not filled with confidence.

Which led me to my second surgeon who understood my question about lifting (he said i didn't need to change anything) and wasn't in a hurry to cut me. He said that since it wasn't currently causing me pain and because it was very unlikely to become strangulated (where the intestine gets trapped so that things inside can't pass through), i should wait on the surgery. Once i had the surgery, i would forever feel some discomfort from the scar tissue and whatnot, so why do that to myself if i wasn't currently in pain, was his reasoning. But he was willing to repair the hernia for me if i wanted it done.

Obviously, this was the answer i wanted to hear, so how much did that influence my feelings about his judgement? But at the same time, it's been nearly 3 years and things seem fine. I do wish i could just squish the stupid thing back in and hold it there until my muscles knit themselves back together and closed the hole, but apparently, that isn't how things work. Balls!

By min | April 22, 2016, 8:36 AM | My stupid life| Link

April 21, 2016

Well, first of all, i would've rebranded

I appreciate the tagline at the bottom.  It's issue #78 but they're still sticking very specifically to the Strange Tales theme.

I have no idea why this guy decided to call himself the Worm Man. He shrinks and grows and runs around! Like a worm!

Worm powers activate!

His original name was Surprise Naked Man

To continue to answer the question of what i would have done if i were the Worm Man, first, i would have sued the hell out of Henry Pym. This story was in Strange Tales #78, with a Nov 60 cover date, over a year before Tales To Astonish #27. Maybe we need to see the Worm Man's origin story. Ant-Man's first adventure involved him falling into an ant colony. Maybe this guy first fell into a pit of worms. Maybe he even developed a way to talk to worms, but realized talking to worms isn't very productive.

Second of all, i would stop storing my growing pills in my crotch.

Listen, unstable molecules hadn't even been invented yet.  You can't imagine how tight my underwear gets when i grow again.

By fnord12 | April 21, 2016, 7:33 AM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

April 20, 2016

Netflix's Sub-Category Codes

Why can't these categories just be available thru their UI?

The codes are actually Netflix's way of categorizing movies into various sub-genres, which it then uses to surface suggestions for subscribers. But if you're willing to do a little manual labor, the payoff can be pretty big.

"We categorize our content into thousands of subgenres to help match the right content to the right member based on their viewing history," Netflix spokesperson Marlee Tart told Mashable.

To view the categories, go to http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ and enter the category code (listed below) at the end of the URL (example: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/2676).

By min | April 20, 2016, 8:46 PM | Movies & TeeVee| Link

Unbemused Groan at the Coen Brothers

Old news because the Oscars happened ages ago, but it's new news to me, so here you go.


When Joel and Ethan Coen were asked about #OscarsSoWhite they responded with "matching bemused groans" and commented that while "diversity's important," "the Oscars are not that important."
By making such a big deal, you're assuming that these things really matter. I don't think they even matter much from an economic point of view. So yes, it's true--and it's also true that it's escalating the whole subject to a level it doesn't actually deserve.

The Coen brothers themselves have been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and won four so it's possible that they're a bit more blasé about the whole affair.


Their most recent movie, Hail, Caesar!, set in 1950s Hollywood, has a huge star-studded, and mostly white cast. When asked why the main cast lacked diversity, Joel responded:

Why would there be? I don't understand the question. No--I understand that you're asking the question, I don't understand where the question comes from.

Not why people want more diversity--why they would single out a particular movie and say, 'Why aren't there black or Chinese or Martians in this movie? What's going on?' That's the question I don't understand. The person who asks that question has to come in the room and explain it to me.

The groan escalated to mentally smacking my head on my desk as i continued reading the Coen brothers' quotes.

I, like the Mary Sue, especially appreciate black people and the Chinese being lumped in there with Martians. They've now ruined my enjoyment of their movies with their diarrhea of the mouth. Thanks a lot.

By min | April 20, 2016, 3:43 PM | Liberal Outrage & Movies | Comments (1) | Link

Who Wants to Go to Vegas?


What happens in Vegas won't be staying in Vegas, if companies like VR Bangers have their say. The charmingly named company is behind the latest amenity offered at some Las Vegas hotels, where guests can shell out just $19.99 to use a headset programmed with interactive, virtual reality sex scenes, billed as the "VR Bangers Hotel Experience."

"You will then choose a girl or guy of your choice, and see your hotel room replicated in the VR headset, making the experience much more realistic," VR Bangers said in a statement. "Next you will hear a knock on the door (in the virtual reality world), and the girl or guy will come into your room in order to enjoy an erotic or sex experience with the viewer."

Yup. 3-D porn. The next frontier. I'm pretty sure there's not enough disinfectant in the world to sanitize the visor enough for the next patron to use safely. Will it come with a tarp? There should be a tarp.

By min | April 20, 2016, 2:47 PM | Science| Link

More Democracy, We Deliver


In the 2002 speech against the Iraq War that helped propel him to the presidency, then-state Sen. Barack Obama denounced not just the looming invasion of Iraq, but also human rights abuses by our "so-called allies" in Saudi Arabia...

And he spoke out against the U.S.' role as weapons supplier to the world...

But arms sales in general -- and specifically to Saudi Arabia -- have been a consistent element of Obama's tenure.

"Many Americans would be surprised to learn that his administration has brokered more arms deals than any administration of the past 70 years, Republican or Democratic," said William Hartung, a senior adviser to Secure Assistance Monitor, a progressive group that tracks arms sales.


To put that in context, in his first five years as president, Obama sold $30 billion more in weapons than President Bush did during his entire eight years as commander in chief.

So, it's really no wonder that Obama would be concerned about opening the possibility of lawsuits against the U.S. by people in foreign countries.

Rose also asked about legislation that would allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has yet to be voted on by the full body.

Obama has said that he doesn't support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens - presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes - suing the government.

"If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries," the commander-in-chief said.

Between our arms sales and our drone strikes, we'd be buried in lawsuits. Is that really the best answer he could think of? He couldn't come up with one that sounded less self-serving?

By min | April 20, 2016, 2:27 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Tubman on the $20

This is pretty awesome:

Former slave Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce on Wednesday.
Alexander Hamilton, who created the Treasury Department, was originally targeted for replacement, but will remain on the $10 bill after public outcry.

Critics called for Jackson to be replaced based on his decision to violently remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands. He is likely to remain on the back of the bill, according to Politico.

Hamilton has gained popularity recently, thanks to the Broadway hit musical based on his life. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and stars in 'Hamilton', was a leading lobbyist for the former Treasury secretary to remain on the $10.


Although, if they keep changing what our money looks like, i'm going to be so confused. As it is, half the time i don't think the new quarters are real currency.

By min | April 20, 2016, 1:27 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

April 18, 2016

Meat-Eaters: Contributing to the Superbug Problem


Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are on track to kill more people than cancer, the UK's chief financial minister will warn Thursday.
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, for example, said in 2013, "Right now, 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used for industrial agriculture, and most of these drugs are routinely fed to animals to make them grow faster and compensate for filthy conditions. This is done to help the meat industry execute on its highly consolidated business model for profit. And the American public pays through antibiotic-resistant infections."

Plus, there are still doctors who prescribe antibiotics to "see if this works" when someone shows up at their office sick. Stupid doctors.

By min | April 18, 2016, 3:25 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link

April 15, 2016

Changing the debate

I find the "Bernie has already won because he's changed the debate and pulled Hillary to the left" comments to be subtly self-defeating, because it takes the urgency away from fighting to win the primary (yes, yes, however unlikely), which is how the debate is being changed. But i really was struck watching last night's debate about how much the conversation really has changed. It hit me on social security. Eight years ago, i was shouting at the television for Obama to challenge the moderator's framing that social security was going broke and does he have the strength to stand up to his base and make the cuts that are necessary. Last night, Wolf Fucking Blitzer was pressing Hillary Clinton on whether or not she was on board to expand social security, and she was tripping over herself to say that she is, despite her past and current equivocations.

The fact that Bernie has found his footing on foreign policy has made a big difference, too, as Hillary was entirely on defensive on that subject, having to defend her interventionist policy. And i think we had a serious conversation about Israel for the first time ever on national television.

It's also been true in proxy appearance on cable news. We've had people like Nina Turner, Michelle Alexander, Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Reich, and others repeatedly on television pushing views that would not have gotten the attention otherwise. It's also given Tulsi Gabbard a spotlight, and if she can't be my vice president next year there's now an opportunity for her to become a Senator and beyond in the future. So i do think the debate really has been changed, and not just in a 'Hillary might endorse more moderate versions of Bernie's positions for now and then pivot back to the right for the general' sort of way. The cable news pundits now have new ideas bouncing around in their empty heads.

On that last topic, though, one tangential thing i want to get off my chest, about Hillary's strange parsing of her minimum wage position. By definition, the minimum wage is a floor. Saying you are for a $12 minimum wage as a floor but that you're ok with local areas going higher is a truism, designed to mislead. I was glad to see her flailing to explain that last night, and getting booed.

By fnord12 | April 15, 2016, 7:17 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

April 14, 2016

Our Building Runs on Witches

This might explain why the temperature in this place is never reasonable and consistent.

By min | April 14, 2016, 10:12 AM | My stupid life| Link

April 8, 2016

Big Donors Provide "Oversight" to Those They "Invest In"

Sorry. It's an Intercept morning.


In a USA Today op-ed headlined "Big Donors Can Save Democracy From Donald Trump," Hoffman tries to make the case that Trump has gone off the rails because he doesn't have people like Hoffman telling him what to do.

Here's how Hoffman puts it: "Large donors ... often serve as an executive board of sorts, challenging campaigns to act worthy of their investment."

Hoffman writes, "Trump brags that he is without big donors. That may be true. But it also means he is without restraint. ... In business and politics alike, oversight is a good thing."

If you're not paying close attention, that makes the whole process sound public-spirited and inspiring. If you are, however, you realize Hoffman is telling us that he and his cohort see their money as buying them seats on the board of a corporation they ultimately control.

Hoffman acknowledges a possible downside of the system: "Raising seven figures for a candidate grants you access that the average voter will never see. This unfairness has been a source of major voter ire this cycle. Injustice makes people angry. And it is angry voters who have been pulling levers for Trump."

But he dismisses it in favor of an even loftier goal. Big donors aren't just backing a candidate, he says; they're also investing in their ideology.

"Even his critics would agree that Jeb released the most detailed set of policies and reforms in the race," writes Hoffman. "Seeing these ideas thrive and live beyond the candidate makes for a worthy investment. In my heart, that is a proper and just use of big money in politics."


That's one reason why money in politics matters even when it's backing a loser. Al Hoffman is telling us straight up: Big money in U.S. politics isn't just about buying individual elections, or individual candidates. It's also about buying space in our minds.

So, tell me again how having Wall Street and Big Pharma donors doesn't influence a candidate's policies cause it sure sounds like that's exactly what they believe they are buying.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:29 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Pirate Party Leading in Iceland's Polls After Panama Papers Leak


Opinion polls suggest that the government would be trounced in any immediate election, and most likely replaced by Iceland's branch of the Pirate Party, a pan-European movement founded in Sweden in 2006 to fight for internet freedom and direct democracy. The Icelandic branch currently holds just three seats in the nation's parliament, the Althing.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:15 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Invasion of Privacy for Those in Public Health System


Because clearly, if you're poor, you must be a criminal.

IF YOU'RE RELYING on the public health care system, you're living your life under surveillance, says Khiara Bridges, a law professor and anthropology researcher at the Boston University School of Law.

All sorts of incredibly invasive details about your life, including sexual experience, eating habits, and job history, are stored in databases that are accessible not only to your caregivers, but potentially to law enforcement, too, she says.


These "case management services" are officially there to provide help in "gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services."

But Bridges argues that the questions sometimes stray into the unnecessary, invasive, and non-medical territory. She calls it "a gross and substantial intrusion by the government into poor, pregnant women's private lives."


Bridges is particularly concerned about exceptions in the law that allow for incredibly personal information to be shared with law enforcement. As she writes in a section of her forthcoming book:

Crucially, the Privacy Act contains exceptions that allow for the nonconsensual disclosure of collected information. Intriguingly, one of those exceptions "allows disclosure to other jurisdictions for law enforcement." The result of this exception is that when a population is imagined to be inclined toward criminality, then that population exists in a state of exception under the Privacy Act: Its information can be disclosed as long as it is for law enforcement purposes. ...

... Undeniably, welfare beneficiaries are one of those populations that are thought to be comprised of criminal elements. The irony should be apparent: The act that provides protection from the disclosure of information, and thereby saves the constitutionality of information-collecting regimes, itself provides for disclosure.

Other researchers and groups, such as the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, are concerned about the surveillance of people who enroll in Electronic Benefit Transfer programs to buy groceries, or take advantage of other public benefits.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:05 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

April 6, 2016

Thank you Wisconsin

I know He Can't Win™, but Bernie sure is doing a good job of pretending, winning 7 of the last 8 contests with 57% or more of the vote, digging about a third of the way out of his delegate gap while polling 10 points down in New York (with two weeks to go), 6 points down in Pennsylvania, and 10 points down in California. 538 was giving Bernie a 17% chance of winning Wisconsin a week ago.

By the way, if you've heard about a "disastrous" interview with the New York Daily News, here is some pushback on that. I read the transcript and wasn't sure what the fuss was about, but the media have been happy to jump on the narrative that Bernie doesn't know what he's talking about. But Peter Eavis at the New York Times, Ryan Grim at HuffPo, and good old Dean Baker all say it's nonsense.

After trying to pivot away to the general, the Clinton campaign has now spun back to the primary, and is reportedly getting ready to get nasty:

Jeff Zeleny, senior Washington correspondent for CNN, was with the Clinton campaign as the news of Sanders' Wisconsin came in, and he described a Clinton campaign staff that was "running out of patience."

"They're going to be deploying a new strategy. It's going to be called 'disqualify him,' 'defeat him,' and they can unify the party later," he explained. "Now they're going to go headlong into him, I'm told, beginning here in the New York primary on his gun record, among other things."

Click the "nasty" link to see the Clinton campaign lying about guns to the point where one of their own superdelegates had to shoot them down. I guess it's going to get ugly. If He Can't Win™, why not take the high ground?

By fnord12 | April 6, 2016, 8:04 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

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