Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Regrets of 09

We can't believe T-Pain had a Christmas Party and didn't invite us!



Other things we regret not doing more of in 09: Booze Cruises,



Karaoke, Family time, Collage, Museum Going, Picnics,



Polaroid Photoshoots. Let's make 2010, the start of not just a new year, but a new decade, a reason to outsmart the odds, crown the underdogs and keep on Pomping!

Throwback

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Do I Get?

I woke up with this song lodged deep in my head. Ah well, there are worse songs to wake up to, but this seems bratty given the holiday season.
Gotta love those Buzzcocks.



-Kastoory

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowed in

The snow makes the holiday seem more real, and pressing. If I could choose one day to be Christmas, it would probably be yesterday. Snow outside and cozy inside with chili and punch. The party ends but hot toddies continue and we eat magic brownies and have a rooftop snowball fight while listening to people playing in snow and laughing as hard as us all over town. And by town I mean Bushwick.
Oh and this clip made me laugh so hard it hurt. The Soup is such a great way to keep abreast of hilarious reality show moments without having to watch entire depressing blocks of said shows.

-Kastoory

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hard



Kind of love Rihanna's post Brown toughness. But confused by her aggressively oversexed vibe. Thoughts?

Bizz Buzz

There are movies you see for the plot, and movies you see for the cast. For me, “Did you hear about the Morgans?” new rom-com starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant was the latter. Who cares about the silly premise (a high-powered Manhattan couple rediscover their romance after they relocate to the Wild West) when those two superstars are involved? Not this girl. Off I went to the film’s Monday night premiere to find out just how much fun they had making it.



“It was wonderful,” gushed stunning SJP, clad in black confection by hot new designer Sophie Theallet. “I loved working with Hugh, I loved the director. It was just a really nice way to spend 4 months.”
Indeed, who would object to spending a few months with Hugh Grant? Certainly not Mary Steenburgen, who portrays “a rough-riding, bad guy-catching, rifle-shooting Western woman” in the film.



“Hugh and I had a little giggling problem,” revealed Steenburgen, with hubby Ted Danson by her side. “I don’t know what happened, but we brought out the worst in each other.”

If the Santa Fe set of the film sounds like it was all fun and games –that’s because it was. According to Kim Shaw, the adorable up-and-coming actress who spends much of the film in cut-off shorts and a cowboy hat, the cast “played lots of games off set, like 'Running Charades' Mary Steenburgen’s favorite!”

Jesse Leibman, who makes his big-screen debut as Hugh Grant’s assistant, even told me that famous funnyman Bill Murray “crashed” the film’s New York set one night. But for all the cast’s merrymaking, they had some serious praise for the leading lady. “I found Sarah Jessica to be genuinely enchanting,” cooed Grant, oozing his trademark British charm. “She was very kind to me, very supportive. She nurtured me, and was always nice about the clothes I was wearing.”



If it seemed that Grant suffered from the same problem I do –thinking of SJP and her alter ego, the clotheshorse Carrie Bradshaw, as one in the same –who could blame either of us? For there was her “Sex and the City” comrade Cynthia Nixon dashing down the red carpet in a Miranda-worthy Armani frock, and… wait, is that Kim Catrall? Holy Manolos – it was!



And before my very eyes, SJP bumped right into Catrall, pulled her in for an affectionate hug, and let out her signature Carrie squeal –all the while I stood there wondering, why would anyone ever want to leave this city? Stuff this good only happens in Manhattan.

-Linley Taber
Entertainment Editor: Lori Bizzoco

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Open Invitation


Bored of debauched holiday parties yet? Try sipping slowly and taking in some up and coming talent for the MFA Fine Arts Department Open Studios at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). It's a great chance to meet any of the 64 artists in the department and chat about recent work in their studios.
(Image: Matthew Craven)


(Image: Maria Duran)


(Image: Yonatan Ullman)


(Image: Bryn Mcconnell)

MFA Fine Arts Department Open Studios
Friday, December 18, 12 - 8pm
Saturday, December 19, 12 - 6pm
Reception: Thursday, December 17, 5 - 9pm
133/141 West 21 Street, 8th and 9th floors
Free and open to the public
Information at 212.592.2010

Wish List

All I want for Christmas (or whatever non-denominational, exploitative, gift-giving holiday people celebrate) are these things:


These are ridiculously beautiful, and the design makes it sound better... brilliant. Little Horn Speakers are a must have for the disgustingly rich (don't even ask how much they cost, and if you look it up and have a heart attack, don't say I didn't warn you.)


This kind of looks like the Christmas tree my dad brought for our first Christmas ever, when we moved to New York from Dubai. And the winter was so bitterly cold, and every night I dreamt of home, but would wake up in this freezing, grimy, sad city. No gardens or sunshine in sight. We still don't celebrate it, but I miss my tree, this picture doesn't do it justice (but it's the closest I could find).


I want the second season of True Blood, so I can get the saccharine taste of Twilight out of my mouth. Or maybe I want hot vampire sex to keep me warm through the winter. Or maybe I just want to catch up and see that last episode again before it begins right where it left off.


I just want this album, but am too embarrassed to get it for myself, even though most pop-haters agree, this girl is for real.

But Santa, even if I get none of these, just some peace of mind would be great-thanks!

-Kastoory

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quoted

One of the curses of being in a post-modern era is the feeling that everything has been said and done before, probably much better than any way you can say it or do it. I feel that most of the apathy and laziness of our generation comes from holding that belief.
However, there are times, when I am going through a varied and multi-dimensional inner lifescape, that quotes are the only things that feel relevant or even matter.
When I was younger I quoted Nikki Giovanni and Francesca Lia Block (or when I was really young it was probably Whitney Houston, and then Fiona Apple). Then it was all my professors at Bennington. But now, I find them everywhere, scrawled on a bathroom wall, in last weeks episode of Ugly Betty and of course in poems, always in poems.
This weeks quotes are:

"I've been no one so many times, I'm not the least bit afraid" Mark Doty.

"If you're going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill.

and this weeks top pick (don't say I didn't warn you)

"I just had my heart crushed, but I can push that aside like it never happened" Ugly Betty.



-Kastoory

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rihanna Rules the School

Pomp Obsessions: Lit up

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I am obsessed enough with this song to warrant a comeback, and I'm sure Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest will make a lot of top 10 of '09 lists, but still, the video invites a lot of strange interpretation.



And then I saw this, and realized that I can't wait for their a capella album. They really should do one. A capella is so... haught.



-Kastoory

Friday, December 4, 2009

Face OFF???



OMGZ! It's true, Coke zero in a brilliant marketing tool has decided to bring together doppelgangers from all over the world.
What does that mean, say you?
What it means is that you can go through the Coke Zero website, then connect through Facebook (in a do you trust this app way? where you have to ask yourself what Coke Zero is getting out of it, and the answer is probably valuable consumer info and insight, but who knows?) where they then go through all the hundreds of other people who trust the Coca Cola corporation (naive, but sweet) and they show you your Doppelganger.



Now I have seen doppelgangers of most of my friends, but said friends are usually far away and don't get to see the evil (or sometimes good) version of themselves. This allows you to not just stare awe-struck into the face of someone that looks like you, but allows you to strike up a conversation, talking about how you guys look the same.
I haven't actually done this yet, because I am certain that if I met or even gazed at the countenance of my double, the world would end. And it's so not 2012 yet.
But still, the fact that I can do this, scares me. The wonderful power of the internet, and companies with disparate websites that have nothing to do with coca-cola.

-Kastoory

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New York State Senate Not Ready For Big Boy Pants



The New York Times reported yesterday that the New York State Senate voted down a bill that would allow gay couples to get married, giving all the adults in the room a clear indication that the 38 senators who voted against it are not yet ready for big boy pants.

The adults in this case are quoted as saying that the 38 senators who voted against it will be allowed to stop wearing diapers just as soon as the idea of two same-sex strangers getting married does not cause them to shit their pants.

Pictured here is Carl Kruger, the only Brooklyn Democrat to vote against the bill. Multiple calls to his offices were not returned for comment by press time, though we have been promised a press release regarding the issue.

In all seriousness, I want to remind everyone what's at stake here: this is not about changing the rules of any church or religious organization, nor is this about a wave of angry leather daddies in assless chaps riding the subway with erect cocks to the statehouse to have unprotected buttsex on the steps of the capital while wiping their shit-muddied semen on every blank marriage certificate they can get their hands on.

This is about the basic family rights currently denied to homosexual couples, some of whom have been in loving, monogamous relationships for decades who have been denied the right to see their partners in emergency rooms, who have been denied the right to have joint adoption of a child (Can you imagine - your partner dies and you have no legal relationship with your child? None?). Whatever your beliefs about marriage as a religious or social institution, when we deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, we are denying them access to very important and life-changing legal protections and rights that every heterosexual has free and open access to. There is no rational justification against the legal status of marriage for homosexuals.

When you deny homosexuals these rights, you are not defending marriage. (If you were really interested in the sanctity of marriage, you would, like this California satirist, ban divorce.) You are being mean. You are denying life-changing rights to strangers for no good reason.

If you vote against gay marriage, you are a mean dick.

Here is a video of gay couples, individuals, and straight allies talking about how much marriage equality means to them, after winning it in Connecticut.

Full disclosure: I shot and cut this video.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten O' Clock Classics


Entering senior year of LaGuardia "Fame" high school in post 9/11 New York, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground were my smoky voiced survival soundtrack. Lou's stark lyrics conjured an alluring boozy bohemian side of the rough streets I was raised in. Five years later, I've drunk my way through countless degrading downtown dramas to emerge not too badly singed in time to meet Lou for Ten O' Clock Classics brilliant benefit.


(Dr. Dan Richman, Dominic Chianese, Actor/Singer & Carrie Waible)


(Fern Jelen, Ben Jelen & Ailyn Perez, World Renowned Opera Singer)


(Yannick Noah performs)


(Ronen Segev, T.O.C. founder, Michelle Suna, Artist)

T.O.C. was founded by Ronen Segen in 2000 in an effort to bring classical music to untraditional venues with celebrity hosts in order to raise funds for the finest young musicians in NYC public schools. Appropriately hosted off Union Square ("Run Run Run"), the evening brought together a slew of charitable stars including Yannick Noah, Ben Jelen, Dominic Chianese and native New Yorker artist Michelle Suna.


(Lou Reed with the T.O.C. kids)


(Lou and his guitar)

I eagerly awaited Lou's arrival, excited to meet someone whose songs I felt reflected my own hurt. When Lou walked in, his assistant immediately demanded a Diet Coke, while Reed hid from photographers. Though I never got to greet the elusive legend, the real rock stars of the night were T.O.C.'s musical prodigies who performed with Ben Yelen to wild applause. Though Lou--and sometimes I--might be over the downtown scene that wore us ragged, it's nice to know that a hopeful young generation is still making music.

-Royal
Photos, Jakes

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Dumbest Thing I Heard Last Week



Did you catch that? Dana Perino, who was a Press Secretary for the Bush administration, said that there weren't any terror attacks during Bush's term. Nobody calls her out on it, but you can see the gentleman sitting next to her going "Wait. What? Did she just say...? Ooh! Hannity is asking me a question, it's time to keep making the point that Obama is soft on terror."

Her comment caused quite a bit of outrage, and so she clarified on twitter:
Last night on Hannity, I obviously meant no terror attack on U.S. post 9/11 during Bush 2nd term. We have the tools, just need to use them!


Of course! And, really, she's right. Except for that whole biggest-terror-attack-in-the-history-of-the-United-States thing, Bush's presidency was totally terror attack free!

Dana Perino did not misspeak. Of course she didn't mention 9/11, because her statement is absurd when you include all the information:
"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term except for the largest terror attack in the history of the United States."

The reason they're calling the Fort Hood attack a terror attack is so they can use it as an example of a terror attack that Obama missed, as evidence that he is soft on terror. But hearing their brief conversation about what makes it a terror attack as opposed to a random, tragic shooting indicates another motive: they seem to believe that "terrorism" is a synonym for "violence perpetrated by Muslims".

It's still not clear to analysts whether the shooting was motivated by religious dogma and political goals or simply by mental illness. Experts have said both that the shooting was motivated by mental illness, and was much more similar to workplace mass shootings and the Virginia Tech shooting than a terrorist attack, and, alternately, that Hasan was a terrorist acting alone.

Brian Levin, J.D., suggested that the truth may lie somewhere in the middle: "Lone wolf offenders in particular often self-radicalize from a volatile mix of personal distress, psychological issues, and an ideology that can be sculpted to justify and explain their anti-social leanings."

Evidence is mounting that Hasan's co-workers and peers missed many warning signs that this sort of behavior may have been coming. But after violence like this, all sorts of anecdotal evidence comes out, and everyone shakes their heads and wonders: 'How could we have missed it?' Everyone goes through periods of antisocial behavior, everyone has hard times. Hasan had recently lost both of his parents and was counseling soldiers he believed were war criminals. If my friends turned me in for every crazy thing I said, I'd have been in jail a long time ago. And if I reported them, I wouldn't have any friends left. It's a big step from dark thoughts and hard times to mass murder.

You can argue that Barack Obama and his policies are soft on terror, and that as a result of his policies, key personnel didn't act to stop this crime before it happened. But if your argument only sounds persuasive if you neglect to mention 9/11, you need a new argument.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Scheherezade of Pain

When I was little, and had to get tested for allergies with ten needles stuck in each arm, my dad would distract me from the pain by telling me stories. I would be staring down at needles in my arms while he would hold my hand and tell me about Patans (stupid, but kind), King Pasha and his Vizier Jafar (one was wise, the other foolish), he would tell me about animals living lives like us, palaces made of bird feathers, worlds away from pain.
Today, my arabic teacher told me a story, while I was wailing and crying, thinking what could I have done to deserve this? If you are in pain, perhaps it will help you to read it:



Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Lela. Lela had fallen in love with the shepherd, Sam, from the village, and told her father, the King. Held down by dogma and years of rigid rule, the King grew furious at the illicit affair and forbade Lela to ever see Sam again. Knowing the recklessness of young love, he had guards posted all around his daughters room to make sure she could not sneak off to see him. Lela despaired and wailed, cried out to God to help her find her love, and eventually grew quiet and calm.
One day, while one of her handmaidens was bringing her food and expressed sympathy over her sad love story, Lela looked into her eyes and knew she had found a friend. She told the handmaiden of Sam, his kindness, his large rough hands, how animals loved him. Eventually, Lela convinced the maid to bring some of the palace food to Sam, so he would know that she still thought of him always. The maid agreed, and brought the rich palace food with silk scarves for Lela to package the meal. Lela packed the food and imagined Sam's face as he opened the scarves she covered in kisses and it made her face hot with happiness. She gave the maid careful instruction where to find him, at the hill on the edge of the kingdom, where the shepherds usually lived. His would be the house on the very edge of the kingdom.
The maid set off to find Sam, and when she got to the edge of the kingdom, all was in confusion. Flocks had gotten lost since the King was trying to find the shepherd who had stolen his daughters heart. People were scattered in different homes, and fires raged on the edge of the kingdom.
The maid went from door to door, asking for Sam the shepherd, saying she had a gift from his love from the palace. Most people stared suspiciously and sent her off, at one home a florid man with large rough hands laughed joyously and said he was Sam. He took the package from the maids hands and closed the door soundly in her face.
The maid went back to the palace and told Lela she had delivered her package successfully. Overjoyed, Lela asked her to do her this discreet favor weekly. Her maid, unable to turn that smile away, agreed, and went out again a week later with rich food wrapped in rich cloth.
After many months of feeding Sam, Lela asked the maid if Sam ever had a message for her. The maid explained that Sam always took the package and closed the door, not even letting her step into his cottage. This was proper for the time, but it troubled Lela, and she sent a message with her next offering. She asked Sam if he would mind just letting a few drops of his blood stain the silk she was sending the food in and to send it back to her. So she would have a part of him.
The maid came back to see Lela, her eyes downcast. Lela ran to her, hands outstretched for bloodstained silk, but the maids hands were empty. She looked up at Lela and said, "That man wasn't the shepherd who loved you, he was just a shepherd who wanted your food and cloth for himself."
"How do you know?" Lela demanded, grabbing her maid by the shoulders.
"Because he refused, he refused to give you anything back for what you gave him."

-Kastoory

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Case Against Democracy

These people vote.

Sayin'.



No, but seriously, I don't hold ignorance against people. Ignorance can be cured, and ignorance is okay when you recognize it within yourself and seek to eradicate it through knowledge and experience. The problem here is this abundance of ignorance intentionally spread by the Republican Party and attached to a sense of pride and nationalism. This sense of certainty and righteousness coupled with no functioning knowledge is so dangerous and frustrating to listen to because it is a form of ignorance that cannot easily be cured. This is ignorance that, when refuted, redoubles in certainty and righteousness.

And yes, there are plenty of followers on the left guilty of exactly that kind of ignorance and righteousness.

What makes the worship of Sarah Palin so worrying to me is that her ignorance is something her followers are proud of. Like George Bush before her, righteousness in the absence of knowledge or experience is somehow understood by her fans as an asset. One of the interviewees nearly says as much: being right is more important than anything else. Which, okay, maybe he has a point. But in this context, being right isn't a matter of gathering all the relevant information and making a sound decision about what's best for everyone. It's about *feeling* right. It's not about Truth, it's about Truthiness.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Truthiness
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating


I think Jon Stewart best described the left's mystification about the popularity of Sarah Palin. We don't hate her because she's a woman or because she's strong. Lefties love strong women. We're crazy about them! Perhaps pathologically so. (I know my romantic preferences trend towards testicle-crushing superwomen.) Our problem is that she presents herself as proud of being a functionally illiterate Republican talking point machine.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: The Rogue Warrior
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


The world is a complicated place with a lot of complicated problems, and we need to work together to find the best solutions to these problems by gathering factual information and coming to an informed consensus about the path that will benefit the most people the greatest amount. And ideologues, on either side of the aisle, who refuse to learn and collaborate because they already know the right answer, an answer they got from their guts, are bad for America and ultimately, bad for the world. They are the drunk drivers of human civilization, and as long as we keep electing them, we are all riding shotgun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Survival Soundtrack 10 - Shove it

So the survival party came, and it went. The issue should be out in stores by Black Friday. Special thanks goes out to Andrew W.K., Tony O'Neill, Lucid, Littlefield and everyone else who made it out. For now, I'll leave you with the last survival soundtrack pick. Enjoy.



-Kastoory

The Big Payback


Juxtapoz and Upper Playground, know how to put the Art in party. Their recent auction consisted of artwork from over 140 artists, free tasty bites provided by Gram and Papa’s, and sweet cupcake treats from Frosted. The Big Payback’s proceeds are to support the Powerhouse project of Detroit, brainchild of Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert. Their project is geared toward turning formerly-foreclosed homes on their block into homes that are "capable of producing enough energy and excess power for neighboring homes outfitted with wind turbine, solar power, heating technologies and super efficient appliances . . .The structure will function as a neighborhood hub by producing not only electricity but also a new point of identity, gathering, demonstration and inspiration, thus a new type of neighborhood where undesirable homes become experimental factories for community action."







On paper and in execution the event was flawless. A wide array of experimental artists gathered under the roof of Factory Place Arts. The concept was flawless and sadly, the event missed the mark when it comes to inciting community action and power. People looked guarded, disconnected, and generally blazé. It felt as thought people just showed up, snapped a few photos of the event to post on their twitter, myspace, or facebook so they could glamorize their lives on the internet and then left.







Everyone walked through the warehouse glancing at the art work alone, piece by piece; enjoying the free food in single file lines as they ate alone at tiny tables for one. No one danced and no one really stepped outside his or her comfort zone to chat up someone new. Don’t get me wrong, the people of Los Angeles are unique, remarkable, and Juxtapose and Upper Playground provided a brilliant array of art that stimulated all my senses, but the people of this fair city have a problem admitting they’ve been stimulated. Lets hope they raised enough money so Detroit could show us what a community really looks like.

-V

Sunday, November 22, 2009

True Story: Twilight Addict



I’m 24. I’m a Photographer, sales girl, and blogger. I’m an nyc native, fiancee, and Gemini. I’m also a Twihard. I’m not the type to deny things I love.

I come from a household of readers and love good books. The closest I’ve gotten to cheesy best-sellers before was a stint with Steven King in middle school and Nicholas Sparks when I’m feeling sentimental. I’ve steered clear ofAnne Rice.

But below my cynical city girl facade, I’m a sucker for classic forbidden love stories. Like everyone obsessed with something, I turned to the internet. The rumor mill was always on overdrive with Rob Pattinson but when I heard confirmation he was filming Remember Me in the city for two months this summer, I lost my mind. What did I do? Did I find him? Where did I draw the line? My best girlfriends and I went searching after dark.

Finding the movie set was no problem, it was getting a picture with him that was the obstacle. So we did what us city girls do best, we sat on a stoop and brought out the one hitter. 3am Rob Pattinson strolled passed us to his trailer. There were three of us and we all wanted a picture. My heart kicked into overdrive. I could barely look him in the eyes as we spoke. After our picture, the three of us ran to our car.



A vampire shoot and obsession with all things sparkly and cold is the last thing I would expect from myself. Blood and lust were never the game I played and previously held no interest to me. Twilight made me branch into unknown territory. It made me conscious of our quest for beauty and immortality and forced me to look into myself and my darker forms of love. Relax. I’m not here to over-analyze everything. Really, I just want to bone a vampire.










-Photos & Words, Amanda Segur
Make-Up, Alana Hays

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bizz Buzz


As a sucker for feel-good movies and football, I was thrilled to cover last night’s premiere of “The Blind Side” at the Ziegfeld Theatre. The movie stars my favorite actress Sandra Bullock. Plus, it is based on the life of Michael Oher, who plays for my hometown Baltimore Ravens.

The true tale behind the film traces Oher’s path from the Memphis slums to NFL success, thanks to the Tuohey family who rescued him off the street. Originally portrayed in Michael Lewis' bestseller "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game," the story seemed to particularly move star Tim McGraw.“Anytime you can walk away from a movie and want to be a better person, you’re truly lucky,” said the country crooner, with gorgeous wife Faith Hill by his side. “It was just such an awesome story.”



While the real-life Michael Oher was a no-show (he better be resting up for Sunday’s game against Indy, for which I’m making the trek to Baltimore), the up-and-coming actor who plays him was thrilled to chat about the movie’s message. “I think this movie will inspire a lot of people,” said Bronx-born Quinton Aaron. “Not just today’s youth, but adults too.”



According to critics’ buzz, the most inspiring thing about the well-received flick is Sandra Bullock’s performance. She is already garnering Oscar buzz For her spot-on portrayal of the strong southern belle Leigh Anne Tuohey.
“I’ve always been a fan of Sandy,” said director John Lee Hancock. “I feel so blessed to have worked with her, and to have her in almost every scene.”



For costar Lily Collins (yes, daughter of Phil), making her big-screen debut opposite Bullock was both a blessing and a source of nerves. “I thought, oh my gosh, I am going to play Sandra Bullock’s daughter! I really have to deliver!”



Even twelve year-old cutie Jae Head, who plays Bullock’s son in the film, was effusive about his experience with the screen queen. “It was awesome!” he said.



When Ms. B herself paused to chat about “The Blind Side”, which opens nationwide on Friday, I found her every bit the girl-next-door charmer I imagined.
“I don’t know how they do it,” she laughed, gesturing to the dapperly-dressed pack of New York Jets stars (including D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Jerricho Cotchery). “To have that physical and mental capability, and maintain your composure? I was seriously amazed.”



I might not agree with Bullock’s draft picks –the Jets are, after all, in my hometown team’s division – but for her performance in “The Blind Side” and adorable real-life persona, she gets my vote for MVP.

-Linley Taber
Entertainment Editor, Lori Bizzoco

Survival Soundtrack 9 - Happy

We're getting closer and closer to the party. Can you feel the happy?



If you can't feel the happy you can find the happy, tomorrow at Littlefield, with us.

-Kastoory

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Survival Soundtrack 8 - So Moody



This is a band I would have looooved in high school. I'll settle for playing this on repeat on my iWhatchamacallit.

-Kastoory

Challah Back


Jews have survived a lot--Slavery, Genocide and bad lox. Heeb Magazine's brilliant anthology "Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish" (Hachette Book Group) brings together a range of racy personal essays which illustrate true Jewish triumphs. Whether getting masturbating lessons, beating breast cancer with Benzos or going undercover for the Mossad all the authors share a shocking resilience and readiness to confront their pain. I kvelled, I shvitzed, I plotzed. I came to terms with my own Hebrew clan of artists and psychotherapists, who has always believed through confession we can overcome my heroin addicted Rabbi, my insistence I only got Bar MItzvahed for the cash money, my teenage poetry published on an anti-Israel website and the fact I am writing about all of it on a blog.

Heeb Magazine will be having a reading this Thursday featuring fantastic authors from "Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish" including the talented OCD Abby Sher, who we have been covering on Pomp. Since we are also throwing our Post Apocalypse Survival Party that night with free Lucid Absinthe and Andrew WK, I can't tell you to attend Heeb. BUT, if you feel like party hopping, these two are an awesome place to start,

-Royal

Nasty Shit To Watch Out For : An Open Letter To Spam Hell, WooMe.com


Dear CEO of WooMe.com,

I fear that this plea will fall on deaf ears, since in creating a website, you have likely already considered the problems I would like to bring to your attention, but just in case you haven't, this all started with a misleading e-mail I got from a friend, indicating that he had sent three videos to me.

I signed up for your website, and entered my e-mail and password information to see if anyone from my address book was a member of your site, and a few were, so I asked the site to add them as woome.com friends.

Well.

You can imagine my surprise when, moments later, e-mails from close friends, professional contacts, and even *clients* were filling my inbox asking me why I had sent them videos and what this woome thing was all about.

It was humiliating, explaining that I had been duped by your website and that I had not, in fact, created any videos for them.

Your company has irrevocably damaged client relationships, and thus cost me money, not to mention my poor mother who was still looking for the videos I had (not) sent her on your site when I got home tonight.

The problems with these e-mail are threefold:

1) I was not, at any time in any clear way, notified that every person in my address book would receive an e-mail from your company. In fact, on the screen in which I entered my e-mail account information, I was explicity told that your company would not e-mail any of my contacts without my permission.

2) The e-mail is designed to appear as though it has come from me. The from: section of the e-mail is not your company, it is my e-mail address, which is misleading and reduces the trustworthiness of my e-mail address in my friend's spam filters. It did not come from me, it came from you, and without my permission. It should, at the very least, say that it is from you, clearly and without exception, in the from: section of the e-mail header.

3) The content of the e-mail is a lie. I did not create any videos for your site, nor did I post any videos on your site, nor did I ask your site at any time to share the imaginary videos with any of my friends. The e-mail was a lie, and appeared to my friends, relatives, and clients as though it came through me.

I hope this was all a simple misunderstanding on your part, and that your enthusiasm for your website and your hopes of making it a profitable business prevented you from considering the impact on your potential users of unsolicited false e-mail spamming.

As a side note, your user experience also needs work regarding extrasite spammers. Upon joining the site, I received four invitations to be friends with women who had joined the site that day, who immediately wanted to chat with me. They all referred to me as "handsome" and urged me to come chat with them over yahoo or msn messenger services.

All this happened within 5 minutes of joining the site.

I closed my account immediately thereafter.

I urge you to reconsider your tactics and strategies. They are hostile to users, and thusly, I believe, hostile to your bottom line.

And seriously, get your spam problem under control. You guys are spammers and your site is flooded with spammers trying to get your users to go elsewhere. You are a quivering, jiggling warehouse of malicious spam.

And you should probably hire me as a consultant to fix it.

Sincerely,

Robert Dobbs