Britney Spears calls for wealth distribution and a general strike amidst coronavirus shutdown

Oops the proletariat did it again.

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Communion goes beyond walls 🌹🌹🌹

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Mar 23, 2020 at 12:42pm PDT

Britney's bluntly communistic instagram post is not her own original material; rather, it's a quote and image she stole from writer/artist Mimi Zhu, creator of the write 2 heal newsletter. It's surprising to see a pop star of her calibre suddenly sharing red roses, but in hindsight, "Toxic" was very clearly about the ills of capitalism, and we just didn't realize it at the time.

Workers, bitch.

Image: Peter Cruise / Flickr (CC 2.0) Read the rest

How to look cute on your webcam that the government is definitely spying on

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sorry for posting my face twice in a row but here’s an old one that seems relevant rn 💅

A post shared by Aiden :) (@aidenarata) on Mar 24, 2020 at 4:49pm PDT

Image via EFF / Flickr (CC 2.0) Read the rest

Do you have what it takes to be this guy's "Awesome Republican Goddess?" Take the quiz!

Reverend William is looking for love.

I have no idea what he's a Reverend of, or if he's even ordained at all. In fact, as you progress through his "Republican Goddess" quiz, he doesn't seem to be a Christian of any kind, but more of a New Age Spiritualist Right Wing Conspiracy Theorist. I'm not sure what that ordination ceremony entails (but then, I am ordained in the Church of Latter-Day Dudes).

But either way: "Reverend William" has grown tired of those lonely LA nights, and has set up a website to help him find true happiness.

I'm a healthy 68. I'm looking for a woman born in any year from 1950–1995, who takes excellent care of herself.

I am a natural-born U.S. citizen residing in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. I will consider relocating within the United States but am unwilling to move to another country. If the woman I'm looking for lives outside the United States, she must be willing and legally able to move to the United States to marry me and to live with me here.

As you read through this website, you will notice that I'm an intense, complex man who thinks waaay "outside the box." If my intensity/complexity is too much for you, or if I think too far "outside the box" for you, well then, we are not a match. I seek a woman who is likewise intense and complex (not a mild or simple woman; nor a woman who thinks I wrote way too much here).

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Tim the Security Guard at the National Cowboy Museum is the wholesome content you need right now

This is Tim. He's the head of security at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. While everyone else is social distancing, Tim stands vigilant, protecting things like John Wayne's boots. So as long as he was there, the museum's social media team asked him to tweet for them.

Thanks, Tim.

Tim does not understand how hashtags work. But gosh darnnit, he tried it.

Or really how the Internet works.

Oh cool there are John Wayne's boots! Thanks, Tim.

I hope he's done his grandson proud. Read the rest

Right-wing websites are weighing the pros and cons of letting people die from coronavirus to help the economy

It's already been reported that Trump is getting antsy about all the social-distancing quarantines intended to flatten the curve of coronavirus deaths, and that he's eager to return things to business-as-normal. Who cares about a million deaths as long as the economy is moving, amirite?

I'm sure his decision has nothing to do with the fact that his own hotels are hurting from the shutdown. Again, what's a few million lives compared to the President's personal profits?

Unfortunately, Trump is not alone in his mass-murdering sentiment. Republicans have been parroting a new refrain this week, that, "The cure cannot be worse than the disease." But this implies that a few billionaires losing some money is objectively worse than a million dead. And that's just absurd.

Jonathan Ashbach took to The Federalist to complain about the ways that coronavirus impedes on that uniquely American value of "freedom."

It seems harsh to ask whether the nation might be better off letting a few hundred thousand people die. Probably for that reason, few have been willing to do so publicly thus far. Yet honestly facing reality is not callous, and refusing even to consider whether the present response constitutes an even greater evil than the one it intends to mitigate would be cowardly.

First, consider the massive sacrifice of life Americans are making in their social distancing campaign. True, nearly all are not literally dying, but they are giving up a good deal of what makes life worth living — work, classes, travel, hugs, time with friends, conferences, quiet nights out, and so forth.

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This groovy tune will help you pick your work-from-home outfits while in quarantine

John J. King is a playwright and all-around awesome and clever dude; we were playwriting fellows together at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, and I also contributed some music to his Hamlet/James Bond mashup From Denmark With Love.

Now John has decided to share his work-from-home tips, in the form of a fun, dance-y music video (clothing optional). Enjoy! Read the rest

An American artist illustrates a webcomic love letter to her hometown of Wuhan

Laura Gao was born in Wuhan before moving to the US at the age of 3. An experienced graphic designer who now works for Twitter, Gao has been — understandably — frustrated with the virulant racism that's accompanied the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and Trump's continued insistence on blaming China for the virus.

But Wuhan isn't as well-known as other cities in China, even though it has a larger population than London or New York. So instead of letting her hometown continue to be associated with a pandemic, Gao wrote and illustrated a new webcomic to help people get to know the city where she was born, beyond those gross racist implications.

It's a short read, but it will remind you that Wuhan is indeed a place of humans, culture, and history, all of which deserve appreciation and respect.

The Wuhan I Know [Laura Gao]

Image: Creativity City in Wuhan by Majorantarktis / Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0) Read the rest

Get pumped up with this brutal deathcore song about coronavirus

Vermicide Violence is one of several bands that essentially function as musical sub-genre standup routines for comedian Jarrod Alonge. Their newest "single" (for lack of a better word) is simultaneously a parody and love letter to deathcore that offers helpful advice for coronavirus and COVID-19.

Honestly, the lyrics are more intelligible than anything the President has said about the virus so far. Read the rest

Quarantine survival advice from Buzz Aldrin and other astronauts

I had the privilege of interviewing Buzz Aldrin a few years ago. The second man to step foot on the moon (and first to pee on it) had just released a new book, and won his first ever March Madness bracket, and the first thing he told me over the phone was how he'd spent his 80th birthday scuba diving in the Galapagos with his son, but got in trouble when he broke away from the group and grabbed a whale shark by the dorsal fin just so he could ride it.

Buzz Aldrin is a god damn national treasure and a real American badass. (I'd also love to see the look on that scuba instructor's face if/when they realized that the old man they were scolding was in fact Buzz Aldrin.)

Now, Aldrin is 90 years old, which puts him at particularly high risk for infection by the novel coronavirus. But this national treasure has a solid plan to stay safe, as detailed to Eric Berger at Ars Technica: "Lying on my ass and locking the door."

Aldrin is a survivor — of outer space, of shitty jobs, and of alcoholism and depression — so I tend to trust his advice. But if you're looking for something more substantial, Forbes spoke with several other astronauts about their time in isolation, including NASA’s Human Research Program Director Bill Paloski, Ph.D.; John Grunsfeld PhD, a retired NASA astronaut and Hubble Space Telescope repairman who spent over 59 days in space; and Dr. Read the rest

"Metropolis Kid" will make you dance like Superboy

Metropolis Kid by Model Decoy

I've known Doron Monk Flake and Ari Sadowitz since high school, and it's been an honor to watch their musical prowess grow and grow and grow. Their current project, Model Decoy, pumps out Prince-like post-punk jams, full of sick rock riffs and soaring jazzy vocals that bring gravitas to clever lyrics that are mostly about their favorite nerdy comic books and movies.

Their newest single, "Metropolis Kid," is a perfect example of this. It makes you want to tap your feet as you croon along with Superboy (being young Kon-El, the misfit clone of Superman and Lex Luthor, not that cranky bastard Superboy-Prime

You can find the band's back catalog on Spotify, but they just released "Metropolis Kid" and two other new songs exclusively on Bandcamp, which is waiving their fee today (March 20) so that struggling bands can get 100% of the proceeds of their music during this quarantine.

(If you're feeling generous, you can buy some tunes from my own band, the Roland High Life, too — we're not as funky as Model Decoy, but we do have some good banger about Spider-Man and, uhh, conspiracy theorists.)

Model Decoy on Bandcamp

Image: Pat Loika / Flickr (CC 2.0) Read the rest

More than half of Americans actually think Trump is handling coronavirus well

Sure, he pretended it was all a "Democrat hoax" for the last 2 months; neglected to do anything but downplay the virus for those 2 months; repeatedly used the pandemic as an excuse for anti-Asian racism; and brought his own precious economy to a grinding halt as unemployment reached record highs.

But according to a new ABC News / Ipsos poll, 55 percent of Americans think that President Trump is doing a good job with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Political Polls / Survey USA presents similar results:

I'd like to see ol' Donny wriggle his way out of this one, nevertheless, etc etc.

Coronavirus upends nation, as three in four Americans' lives changed by pandemic: POLL [Kendall Karson / ABC News]

Image: Public Domain via US Department of Defense and Gage Skidmore/Flickr via CC 2.0

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I filmed my socially distant bike ride through the ghost town of downtown Boston

While there were certainly more people out than I expected to see … there weren't that many. Which somehow made it even weirder than the Boston Marathon Bombing Lockdown, when at least the shared sense of fear was more palpable. Read the rest

WWE minus the audience is even better with the music from "Twin Peaks"

A few days ago, I wrote about the transformation of WWE Smackdown into a beautiful work of Beckett-esque absurdist theatre once the audience was removed for coronavirus safety. I didn't think it could get anymore gloriously weird.

Then Twitter user @SIDEEYEmusic took it to the next level by adding the Twin Peaks score.

Image: peaked/Vimeo and Shamsuddin Muhammad / Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

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Florida cow arrested by police after months on the lam

On March 11, 2020, the hooflickers of the Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida posted an ominous message to their Twitter page, warning residents about a rogue heffer who had been let loose upon their quiet community. This female brown cow with a white head was renowned for her speed and fence-jumping skills, and also apparently liked pools.

The specifics of the cow's alleged crimes of "MOOving violations" and "UDDERing false checks" are not currently known to the public at this time. The law-breaking bovine has since been apprehended, and is currently awaiting trial.

This fugitive cow has avoided police capture for months in South Florida [Wells Dusenbury / South Florida Sun Sentinel]

Image: Public Domain via Pexels

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The entire Animorphs book series is now available for free online

Animorphs was a YA sci-fi series that took the mid-90s Scholastic book fair circuit by storm. Written by K.A. Applegate, the books focus on a group of kids who gain the ability to transform into any animal they touch — but only for two hours, or else they're stuck that way. Naturally, they meet and befriend an alien named Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (or "Ax" for short) who also has this same ability, and recruits them to join his guerilla resistance efforts to stop an invasion by a race of slug-like alien parasites who can crawl into peoples' ears and take over their brains.

Wikipedia informs me that there were 54 books in total in this series, although the latter half was ghostwritten, as tends to happen with these sorts of  things. They all sported the same uncanny-valley-bad-90s-CGI-cover art of someone morphing into an animal. I remember being pretty obsessed with the series as a kid, and their quarterly-or-so release schedule was a great way to satisfy my voracity for reading. I don't know how well they actually hold up, but even The Paris Review recently sang their nostalgic praises. And, well, kids fighting against an evil fascist empire that's essentially invisible other than the fact that it hijacks the brains of parents and authority figures is, erm, still a pretty relevant concept. I also hear they dealt pretty well with trauma and complicated moral questions, which I vaguely recall as well. I definitely remember the body horror and food horror and surprising amount of death and violence for a kids' book. Read the rest

It's a-me, Mario's retirement plan!

Instead of watching your stocks go up and down right now like a terrifying roller coaster, let's see what some Certified Financial Planners have to say about investment planning for a plumber-turned-jumping-pan-dimensional-warrior.

Public Domain Image via Pexels Read the rest

The penguins at the Chicago Aquarium are not practicing social distancing

With no visitors coming into Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, some of the rockhopper penguins have been given free reign to roam and explore. While Wellington seems really into the Amazon fish tank, Edward and Annie have been using the opportunity to bond together more in anticipation of mating season, according to the Shedd's Facebook page.

Whatever they choose to do with their time, I say: fly free, my tuxedo'd comrades.

Penguins openly explore Chicago aquarium closed due to Covid-19 [The Guardian] Read the rest

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