Culture

New York Times Now Offers Affordable Tours of Iran

By on 10.14.14 | 12:36PM

The New York Times may no longer be able to sell you papers, but it's hoping that it can sell you on an ill-advised trip to a foreign nation that routinely expresses its hatred for any Westernized nation.

For a mere $6,995 (plus taxes, fees and extras like upgrades), you can now, thanks to the brilliant minds at America's finest newspaper, take a luxurious, 13-day tour of Iran, complete with "insights into the life and accomplishments" of the always-charming Ayatollah Khomeni (on your Day 4 tour of the "mountain villages"). One assumes his prowess at hostage-taking and undercover nuclear bomb manufacturing go unaddressed.

Journey 2,500 years back in time to discover the ancient secrets of Persia on this 13-day itinerary incorporating some of most well preserved archaeological sites in the world. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Iran.

California on the Lookout for Creepy Clowns

By on 10.13.14 | 5:55PM

I'm not okay with this

Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week, police said on Sunday.

In the latest incident, a person telephoned the Bakersfield Police Department on Saturday night, reporting a clown armed with a firearm, said watch commander Lieutenant Jason Matson.

"We've been having sightings all over the city," Matson said. "They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses."

That's right. California is being terrorized by mysterious, knife-wielding clowns.

And you thought Ebola was something to be worried about.

Gwyneth Paltrow Fawns Over President, Gets Constitution Wrong

By on 10.10.14 | 11:24AM

Last night, Barack Obama tied up his seven-day fundraising bender with a visit to Gwyneth Paltrow's Beverly Hills home, where he collected checks from Hollywood celebrities and, no doubt, dined on Gwyneth's signature vegan, gluten-free diet food. Fortunately, what has been a rough week for the President generally, cleared up as he was feted and - quite literally - fawned over at the event.

The idiocy of Hollywood was in full bloom Thursday night when Gwyneth Paltrow turned an already-embarrassing Hollywood fundraiser into "The Dating Game."

Paltrow -- who hosted the event at her Brentwood home -- gushed as she introduced President Obama, "You're so handsome that I can't speak properly."

After you've finished vomiting up your breakfast over your keyboard at the thought, we can continue. You good? OK.

White House to Convert Millennials with Emoji

By on 10.9.14 | 3:40PM

The White House is preparing to make the pitch to young people that it's economic policies are working in their favor, despite their record unemployment. They're apparently desperate for the youth to turn out in the mid-terms, since pretty much every other demographic has abandoned the President's agenda (and for that matter, the President's closest allies). Young people, they feel, are just the low-information demographic they need to retain the Senate and continue their proud tradition of partisan disrespect.

And so, this week, the White House will launch a campaign aimed at 18-35 year olds on social media, starring - what else? - emoji. Those adorable digital pictures you can append to your text messages to make give your utterly incoherent text an inscrutable, yet visual, emotional angle. 

Joe Biden to Host Law & Order SVU Marathon

By on 10.9.14 | 12:45PM

Mark your calendars, America. The Vice President is coming to cable. 

Weekend after next, October 18 and 19th, VP Joe Biden himself will join Mariska Hargitay, for a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marathon on the USA network to promote domestic violence awareness. He and Hargitay have already filmed a series of PSAs that will air between episodes in the 18-hour run.

Talk about an arresting duo: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay and Vice President Joe Biden, together at last! 

No, the VP is not making a special guest appearance on the long-running NBC series. Instead, he and Hargitay have joined forces on several public service announcements that will air during an "SVU" marathon set to air on USA Network on Sunday, Oct. 19. 

The 14-hour run of back-to-back "SVU" episodes, called "No More Excuses," is an event for National Domestic Violence Awareness month in October, and is partnered with Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation and the NO MORE campaign.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s LA Home Tagged With “Obama Drone” Posters

By on 10.7.14 | 11:45AM

After spending nearly a decade bemoaning the cultural degredation of the American continent, Gwyneth Paltrow has finally returned to Los Angeles, perhaps to mend her broken heart in the wake of her "conscious uncoupling" from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin (who has since moved on to this blogger's girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence). America, unfortunately, has not been equally welcoming to Gwyneth Paltrow.

This weekend, the GOOP.com founder will host a fundraiser, dinner and reception with President Obama to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. The author and actress, who prides herself on being our generation's Martha Stewart (though without the homemaking success or the felony arrest record), will probably hire out all aspects of the party planning process, including the invitations, which cost between $1,000 and $32,400 to obtain. And, according to Radar Online, at least one of her neighbors, controversial LA guerilla artist "SABO," is already ruining her aesthetic

This isn’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s year.

Dallas Ebola Apartment Available to Rent

on 10.6.14 | 3:48PM

This morning, the CDC declared victory over Dallas's Ebola outbreak, noting that they've managed to track down and quarantine everyone the Dallas Ebola patient might have had contact with while he was contagious with the disease. The several Ebola scares from the weekend have all cleared, and the one Ebola patient who "woke from the dead" after being placed in a body bag, appears to have never been dead in the first place. So unless you're planning a vacation to Liberia or trying to bring about the Zombie Apocalypse, your concerns about bleeding from your eyes from a deadly foreign virus can be somewhat abated.

And, if you're looking for a snappy place to live in the greater Dallas area, you may also be just in time to snag a cheap rental. The "quarantine apartment," where Thomas Eric Duncan rode out the first wave of his Ebola in style is now squeaky clean and ready for a new inhabitant, NBC News DFW tweets.

Hannity and Levin Dance: A JibJab Must-See

By on 10.1.14 | 4:00AM

Ya gotta admit. Sean Hannity and Mark Levin got rhythm. Just look-see right here at Jib Jab, the site working with the two for months — OK years — to get them honed to Dancing With the Stars quality. 

Come on. Give it up for the JibJab Boys! What’s a conservative revolution if you can’t dance????

Dinesh D’Souza Avoids Time In The Slammer

By on 9.23.14 | 3:08PM

Congratulations are in order for controversial conservative journalist Dinesh D'Souza who received sentencing today after being found guily a few months back of campaign finance violations. He will spend 8 months in something called a "community confinement center," the New York Times reports, and will pay a $30,000 fine, but will avoid prison time.

D'Souza is perhaps best known of late for his work as a filmmaker. His "2016: Obama's America," released before the last election raised eyebrows with the suggestion that the president is carrying out an anti-colonialist agenda passed on to him by his deadbeat dad. More recently, he released "America: Imagine a World Without Her," which pulled in over $14 million at the box office, and published a companion book which hit the number one spot on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. I bet the folks at the Gray Lady just loved that.

Boob Tube

‘The Cosmopolitans’: Worth Watching Even If There’s Only One Episode

By 9.16.14

The Cosmopolitans, Whit Stillman’s new project about American expats in Paris, is several different kinds of experiment: It’s Stillman's first foray into television. It’s a return to the slightly more naturalistic style of earlier movies like Metropolitan, rather than the more stylized approach of 2011’s wise and winsome Damsels in Distress. And it's a commercial experiment, since Amazon is offering the pilot for free; the pilot’s ratings will decide whether Amazon picks up the whole series as part of its Prime content.  

That experiment deserves to succeed. Judging by the pilot, The Cosmopolitans will please fans of Stillman’s movies. There’s culture-clash comedy of manners, amiable and opinionated youth, and some very fun dialogue. (“This is my friend Hal. He’s lonely and craves the company of maternal women.”)

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