Lindy West: I hate this election and the dopey faux-confusion it inspires (Guardian)
From abortion and refugees, to the endless debates and that thing on Ted Cruz's lip - everything about this election makes me miserable.
Clive James: 'Ben Affleck has overcome the handicap of his absurd good looks' (The Guardian)
'Redford got so bored by his own beauty that he would go off and direct something. Affleck probably has the same motivation, but he has a lot more directorial flair.'
Clive James: 'Finally we knew that Hugh Laurie was evil' (The Guardian)
…and not just a friend of Stephen Fry.
Simon Hattenstone: "Richard Linklater: 'Someone's living back there, and he's murdered somebody'" (The Guardian)
As his lodger, a convicted murderer, is sent back to prison, the director talks about the Texan justice system, the art of storytelling - and why he'll always be a slacker at heart.
J. C Breen: Classic Literature & Poetry So Inappropriate It's NSFW (Cracked)
The great misconception about classic literature is that it represents a quainter, less sexualized time. A time when men were men, women were the property of men, and everyone sort of daintily posed next to harpsichords before dying quiet deaths. But the truth is that literature has always been written by, well, writers, and writers back then were exactly the same kinds of people that they are today. That is, some of them were as violent, racist, and sex-obsessed as any blog-hosting YouTube commenter, and they absolutely put that shit into their work.
Robert Evans: 5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism (Cracked)
As anyone here at Cracked will tell you, without even the slightest provocation, writing is hard. When the strain of coming up with new material becomes too great to bear, a writer has two options: He can pepper his work with penis jokes and pictures of cute animals (see our entry on T.S. Eliot, below), or he can steal his words from a better writer.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
WHERE'S ROBIN HOOD WHEN WE NEED HIM?
IS LIFE GETTING YOU DOWN?
THE RISE OF FASCISM IN AMERICA.
HE SAID WHAT?
"FREE THE CRUZ KIDS."
THE WHOLE SORDID STORY!
DONALD TRUMP GETS AN ENDORSEMENT!
THE "CAKEWALK CONTINUES!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and still a bit cooler than seasonal.
Meets Women Who Inspired 'Blackbird'
Paul McCartney met two of the women who helped inspire the Beatles' song "Blackbird" during his tour stop in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Saturday.
Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford were members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine black students who enrolled at the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957 following the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The governor of Arkansas initially called in the National Guard to block the students from entering, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort them into the school and enforce integration.
McCartney posed for a photo with the two women and shared it online, writing, "Incredible to meet Mrs. Thelma Mothershed Wair and Ms. Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine - pioneers of the civil rights movement and inspiration for 'Blackbird.'"
During the show, the rock icon introduced "Blackbird" by recalling how the Little Rock Nine and the U.S. civil rights movement inspired the iconic song.
"Way back in the 1960s, there was a lot of troubles going on over civil rights, particularly in Little Rock," he told the crowd. "We would notice this on the news back in England, so it's a really important place for us, because this is, to me, where civil rights started. We would see what was going on and sympathize with the people going through those struggles, and it made me want to write a song that, if it ever got back to the people going through those struggles, it might just help them a little bit, and that's this next one."
Deletes All Social Media, Website Goes Blank
Radiohead has disappeared -- from the Internet, that is.
On Sunday (May 1), with no explanation, all of the postings on the U.K. band's Twitter and Facebook accounts had been deleted, and its website had gone completely white. Postings on frontman Thom Yorke's Twitter account had disappeared as well.
It's likely that Radiohead's disappearance from the web could have something to do with the group's forthcoming as-yet untitled album, which does not yet have a release date but is rumored to come out in the first half of 2016. The act's last album, The King of Limbs, arrived in 2011.
On Saturday, some of the band's U.K. fans received mysterious leaflets in the mail from the enigmatic band. "Sing the song of sixpence that goes 'Burn the witch,'" read the leaflet, which featured oily artwork and an embossed Radiohead logo. "We know where you live."
Meanwhile, the band will embark on a tour in late May, with appearances set for several major U.S. music festivals, including Lollapalooza and Outside Lands.
RADAR Program "Spying Billboards"
A U.S. senator is calling for a federal investigation into an outdoor advertising company's latest effort to target billboard ads to specific consumers.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer has dubbed Clear Channel Outdoor Americas' so-called RADAR program "spying billboards," warning the service may violate privacy rights by tracking people's cell phone data via the ad space.
"A person's cellphone should not become a James Bond-like personal tracking device for a corporation to gather information about consumers without their consent," Schumer, a Democrat, said in a statement ahead of a planned news conference Sunday in Times Square, where the company operates billboards.
But the company, which operates more than 675,000 billboards throughout the world, argues that characterization of its program is inaccurate, insisting it only uses anonymous data collected by other companies.
In a statement, company spokesman Jason King said the RADAR program is based on a years-old advertising technique that "uses only aggregated and anonymized information" from other companies that certify they're following consumer protection standards.
Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson's bid to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii was rejected on Friday, as the state approved eight of more than 60 applicants, officials said.
Harrelson, who is best known for his roles in the film "White Men Can't Jump" and 1980s sitcom "Cheers," had applied for a license on behalf of his company Simple Organic Living LLC.
The actor, who for more than a decade has spoken in favor of pot and is on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, made national headlines earlier this year when his application became public.
The Hawaii Department of Health on Friday released a list of approved applicants, with three in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, two on the Big Island, two on Maui and one on Kauai.
Harrelson's business was not on the approved list, and a statement from the department did not specifically say why the actor's application was denied.
To Release Secret Documents
Greenpeace on Sunday said it was in possession of leaked documents showing that a planned huge free trade deal between the United States and the European Union poses "major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety".
The campaign group said it would on Monday publish 248 pages of classified documents to "shine a light" on negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an ambitious treaty both sides want completed by year-end but which is facing mounting opposition.
The leaked pages will be published online at 0900 GMT, Greenpeace said in a statement.
It says the cache -- obtained by Greenpeace Netherlands -- represents two-thirds of the TTIP draft text as of the latest round of talks in April, and covers a range of issues from telecoms to food and agriculture and trade barriers.
"These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health," said Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss.
Unconstitutional Life Sentence
A Louisiana man walked free from the state's notorious Angola prison late on Friday after serving 41 years of an unconstitutional life sentence over the shooting death of a white high school student during a violent and racially charged chapter in the state's fight to segregate schools.
The high-profile case of Gary Tyler, 57, ended when he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 21 years - just over half of the time served - and told he could go home Friday, according to a statement released on behalf of Tyler and his attorneys.
Tyler is among a generation of prisoners who faced harsh conditions and years or even decades in solitary confinement for convictions during racially charged events in Louisiana.
At age 16 in 1974, Tyler was the youngest person on Louisiana's Death Row, where an all-white jury sent Tyler, who is black, to die for the slaying of 13-year-old Thomas Weber, a fellow Destrehan High School student in St. Charles Parish in southern Louisiana.
Tyler was aboard a bus filled with black students who were passing an unruly crowd of white students when Weber was shot, the statement said. Police found a gun on the bus and Tyler was charged with capital murder and tried as an adult.
Bodies Found In Melting Glacier
The bodies of a renowned mountain climber and expedition cameraman who were buried in a Himalayan avalanche 16 years ago have been found.
The widow of Alex Lowe said in a statement Friday that two climbers attempting to ascend the 26,291-foot Shishapangma in Tibet discovered the remains of two people partially melting out of a glacier.
The climbers described the clothing and backpacks seen on the bodies to Conrad Anker, who was climbing with Lowe and cameraman David Bridges at the time of the October 1999 avalanche and survived. Anker concluded that the two were Bridges and Lowe, the statement said.
"Alex and David vanished, were captured and frozen in time. Sixteen years of life has been lived and now they are found. We are thankful," Jenni Lowe-Anker said.
She married Anker, her husband's friend and fellow elite climber, in 2001. They live in Bozeman, Montana, and run the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation together.
Trying To Find Its Way
Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight?
The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don't.
There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign.
If the court can demonstrate an ability to get its work done, that could reinforce Republican opposition to confirming federal Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, who died in February.
At the same time, the court has split 4-4 in two cases and part of a third, and the justices could end up similarly divided over immigration, birth control and a couple of other issues. Scalia's death has deprived the court's conservatives of a fifth, majority-making vote on some high-profile issues.
Weekend Box Office
Disney's "The Jungle Book" trounced a handful of underperforming new releases to rule the box office for a third consecutive week, while next week's certain champ, "Captain America: Civil War," began setting records overseas.
Jon Favreau's live-action Rudyard Kipling adaptation earned $42.4 million in its third week at North American theaters, according to studio estimates Sunday. One of the year's biggest hits, "The Jungle Book" has now totaled $684.8 million globally.
Keegen-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's feline action-comedy "Keanu" opened with a modest $9.4 million. That was a whisker behind "The Huntsman: Winter's War," which limped its way to $9.4 million in its second disappointing week of release.
Garry Marshall's latest holiday-themed romantic comedy, "Mother's Day," bowed with a weak $8.3 million despite the presence of stars Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts. Though Marshall's "Valentine's Day" opened with $56.2 million in 2010, audiences have since been less enthusiastic for his poorly reviewed Hallmark card ensembles. "Mother's Day," released by Open Road, even trails the $13 million opening of 2011's "New Year's Eve."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Jungle Book," $42.4 million ($57.1 million international).
2. "The Huntsman: Winter's War," $9.4 million.
3. "Keanu," $9.4 million.
4. "Mother's Day," $8.3 million ($2.1 million international).
5. "Barber Shop: The Next Cut," $6.1 million.
6. "Zootopia," $5 million ($8.3 million international).
7. "Ratchet & Clank," $4.8 million.
8. "The Boss," $4.2 million.
9. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," $3.8 million ($2.8 million international).
10. "Criminal," $1.3 million.
The Rev. Daniel Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest and peace activist who was imprisoned for burning draft files in a protest against the Vietnam War, died Saturday. He was 94.
Berrigan died at Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit health care community in New York City after a "long illness," according to Michael Benigno, a spokesman for the Jesuits USA Northeast Province.
Berrigan and his younger brother, the Rev. Philip Berrigan, emerged as leaders of the radical anti-war movement in the 1960s.
The Berrigan brothers entered a draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, on May 17, 1968, with seven other activists and removed records of young men about to be shipped off to Vietnam. The group took the files outside and burned them in garbage cans.
The Catonsville Nine, as they came to be known, were convicted on federal charges accusing them of destroying U.S. property and interfering with the Selective Service Act of 1967. All were sentenced on Nov. 9, 1968 to prison terms ranging from two to 3.5 years.
When asked in 2009 by "America," a national Catholic magazine, whether he had any regrets, Berrigan replied: "I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville."
Berrigan, a writer and poet, wrote about the courtroom experience in 1970 in a one-act play, "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine," which was later made into a movie.
Berrigan grew up in Syracuse, New York, with his parents and five brothers. He joined the Jesuit order after high school and taught preparatory school in New Jersey before being ordained a priest in 1952.
As a seminarian, Berrigan wrote poetry. His work captured the attention of an editor at Macmillan who referred the material to poet Marianne Moore. Her endorsement led to the publication of Berrigan's first book of poetry, "Time Without Number," which won the Lamont Poetry Prize in 1957.
Berrigan credited Dorothy Day, founder of The Catholic Worker newspaper, with introducing him to the pacifist movement and influencing his thinking about war.
Much later, while visiting Paris in 1963 on a teaching sabbatical from LeMoyne College, Berrigan met French Jesuits who spoke of the dire situation in Indochina. Soon after that, he and his brother founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship, which helped organize protests against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Berrigan traveled to North Vietnam in 1968 and returned with three American prisoners of war who were being released as a goodwill gesture. He said that while there, he witnessed some of the destruction and suffering caused by the war.
Berrigan was teaching at Cornell University when his brother asked him to join a group of activists for the Catonsville demonstration. Philip Berrigan was at the time awaiting sentencing for a 1967 protest in Baltimore during which demonstrators poured blood on draft records.
"I was blown away by the courage and effrontery, really, of my brother," Berrigan recalled in a 2006 interview on the Democracy Now radio program.
After the Catonsville case had been unsuccessfully appealed, the Berrigan brothers and three of their co-defendants went underground. Philip Berrigan turned himself in to authorities in April 1969 at a Manhattan church. The FBI arrested Daniel Berrigan four months later at the Rhode Island home of theologian William Stringfellow.
Berrigan said in an interview that he became a fugitive to draw more attention to the anti-war movement.
The Berrigan brothers were sent to the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Daniel Berrigan was released in 1972 after serving about two years. His brother served about 2.5 years.
The Berrigan brothers continued to be active in the peace movement long after Catonsville. Together, they began the Plowshares Movement, an anti-nuclear weapons campaign in 1980. Both were arrested that year after entering a General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and damaging nuclear warhead nose cones.
Philip Berrigan died of cancer on Dec. 6, 2002 at the age of 79.
Daniel Berrigan moved into a Jesuit residence in Manhattan in 1975.
In an interview with The Nation magazine on the 40th anniversary of the Catonsville demonstration, Berrigan lamented that the activism of the 1960s and early 1970s evaporated with the passage of time.
"The short fuse of the American left is typical of the highs and lows of American emotional life," he said. "It is very rare to sustain a movement in recognizable form without a spiritual base."
Berrigan's writings include "Prison Poems," published in 1973; "We Die Before We Live: Talking with the Very Ill," a 1980 book based on his experiences working in a cancer ward; and his autobiography, "To Dwell in Peace," published in 1987.