A well-known Pakistani journalist has been found dead after being abducted over the weekend in an upscale neighborhood of the capital and receiving repeated threats from Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency. The journalist, Syed Saleem Shehzad, 41, […] disappeared Sunday evening in the center of the capital, Islamabad, just two days after writing an article suggesting that a militant attack on the navy’s main base in Karachi on May 22 was carried out because the navy was trying to crack down on cells from Al Qaeda that had infiltrated the force.
Pakistan’s armed forces, and specifically the navy, have been highly embarrassed by the 16-hour battle that ensued at the base when six attackers climbed over a wall and blew up two American-made naval surveillance planes. Ten people were killed in the attack, and American and Chinese technicians working on the base only narrowly escaped injury as they were driven out through a hail of bullets.
Mr. Shehzad’s body was found Monday about 100 miles away near his abandoned car and was identified from photos by his family on Tuesday. Pictures of his body shown on television revealed that his face had been severely beaten.
“It’s like a “Saw”-style torture-porn movie with a laugh track […].
Is “The Hangover Part II” a comedy? Yes, definitely, but only of a recent strain: the now-dominant form of cinematic humor we’ll call the jokeless comedy.
This mutant subgenre is the offspring of two genetically compatible fathers: Todd Phillips, director of both “Hangover” films, as well as “Old School”; and Judd Apatow, director of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” and the producer/midwife to a litter of similar-looking movies with mix’n’match titles. (“Forgetting the Greek”? “Get Him to Sarah Marshall”? “Drillbit Taylor Express”?) Together, like Lenin and Trotsky, Phillips and Apatow have engineered a comedic-cinematic putsch. “Old School,” in 2003, was the April Theses for this uprising, and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” in 2005, was its October Revolution.
Their movies are, at first glance, similar: profane but intrinsically sweet-natured comedies about doughy broheems orbiting one another, water bongs and adult life. Apatow’s boys are usually fringe geeks or happy outcasts (comedy nerds, career stoners), while Phillips’s characters are unhappy, neutered or denatured adults: dentists, stereo salesmen, sad-sack husbands and henpecked clods. In Apatow, the enemy is adulthood, which ruins life; in Phillips, the enemy is women, who ruin men.
What these auteurs truly have in common, though, is that they have systematically boiled away many of the pleasures previously associated with comedy — first among these, jokes themselves — and replaced them with a different kind of lure: the appeal of spending two hours hanging out with a loose and jocular gang of goofy bros. […]
If not jokes, then what do these films offer? The primary pleasure of pretty much every comedy these days is this: Bros hanging with bros. Bromance! (In the case of “Bridesmaids,” the bros are women. But don’t worry: the film still contains the Congressionally mandated explosive-diarrhea scene.)”—'The Hangover' and the Age of Jokeless Comedy
“If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are. And if you succeed in manipulating other people into liking you, it will be hard not to feel, at some level, contempt for those people, because they’ve fallen for your shtick. You may find yourself becoming depressed, or alcoholic, or, if you’re Donald Trump, running for president (and then quitting).
Consumer technology products would never do anything this unattractive, because they aren’t people. They are, however, great allies and enablers of narcissism. Alongside their built-in eagerness to be liked is a built-in eagerness to reflect well on us. Our lives look a lot more interesting when they’re filtered through the sexy Facebook interface. We star in our own movies, we photograph ourselves incessantly, we click the mouse and a machine confirms our sense of mastery.
And, since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.”—
One of Urban Outfitter’s core missions is to provide a platform for emerging talent in design, art and music. You can see this in the products we sell, the people who work in our company, even the music we play. This deep commitment to emerging talent has perhaps found its fullest expression over the last three years in our series of Designed By: collaborations. The main goal of this program is not profit, but giving emerging designers access to our resources and helping them to build their businesses by reaching a wider audience.
We have also been supporting the Etsy community for years, buying wholesale from numerous independent Etsy designers including Yokoo, CelaPiu, Loyalty and Blood, We Dream in Colour, Laura Lombardi, Erica Weiner, Species by the Thousands, and others, giving them much needed exposure on our blog and marketing.
In her recent blog post and on Twitter Koerner claims that Urban Outfitters stole her designs or was inspired in some way by the items in her Etsy shop for our I Heart Destination necklaces. In fact, a quick search on Etsy for ‘state necklace’ reveals several other sellers with similar products (as seen here on Regretsy) who offered their wares as much as a year earlier than Ms. Koerner.
We are not implying that Koerner stole her necklace idea from one of these other designers, we are simply stating the obvious—that the idea is not unique to Koerner and she can in no way claim to be its originator.
Normally we would not respond publicly to Koerner’s allegations, but we believe the media response to her campaign is threatening to impact the dozens of independent designers we work with on a daily basis. For many of them, having their work sold at Urban Outfitters is a very positive turning point in their careers, and we will not allow their hard work and commitment, or ours, to be undermined by these false allegations. (via)
The Republican-led House has passed a defense spending bill Thursday with a number of controversial provisions. If signed into law, the bill would prohibit any non-U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism from receiving a federal trial regardless of where they were arrested. In addition, the bill expands the president’s ability to wage an endless worldwide war against terrorism suspects and against nations suspected of supporting them even when there is no connection to the Sept. 11 attacks. Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the bill, saying, “A new authorization of worldwide war will mean unrestricted powers to use the military at home and abroad.”
“I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues.”—Father Riccardo Seppia, a Priest in archdiocese of Adviser to the Pope on Pedophile Priests, arrested on pedophilia and drug charges. He has admitted that he is HIV positive.