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Archive for July 2009

Papsmear

Filed Under: Music, Sneakers

Kanye's always up to something

Take a good look at the above photo. Is Kanye just signing an autograph for an awestruck fan, or is he pulling off a daring modified dick-through-the-popcorn-bucket maneuver, perhaps forever redefining the term “sneakerhead”? The world may never know… or, at least it won’t until TMZ finds out anyway.

 
aaron

11:25 AM on July 31st, 2009 | 

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La La Land

Filed Under: New York

When they’re not being predominantly creepy or smelly, the mentally ill are often quite interesting to behold. Russel Fong, an amateur videographer from the more-clean-than-mean streets of Brooklyn apparently agrees, as he recently sat down and interviewed Lawrence LaDouceur, more commonly known as The Bedford Ranter or just “that guy who yells in the middle of the street.” Heck, he’s as much a Williamsburg fixture as plastic wayfarers or a crushed can of PBR.

Considering his litany of felony charges and various bouts of institutionalization, the man can’t exactly get a job at the closest Mickey D’s, so Lawrence spends most of his time ranting about the sad state of our society in his own special breed of psychosis-addled English. Of course, some have contended that psychosis is merely an extreme state of consciousness that falls beyond the norms experienced by most — and one would be hard pressed to argue that Lawrence doesn’t experience the world in quite the same way as the average complacent cog walking down the street.

His ideas are incendiary, occasionally veering into the dangerous gray areas surrounding xenophobia; nonetheless, his story, albeit tragic, is consistently fascinating, especially as a rare view into the actual life of one of the so-called nutcrackers we regularly dismiss on our daily commutes to our arguably insane 9 to 5 routines.

As the old quote goes, “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And while Lawrence might not be exactly well adjusted in… fuck it, just about any society, at the very least, I would hope we could all agree that the amount of attention paid to whether or not the stars of Twilight are doing it is quite demented in its own right.

 
aaron

4:06 PM on July 30th, 2009 | 

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Streets to Nowhere

Filed Under: Skateboarding

Having a particular day of the year set aside for skateboarding (June 21st) seems about as pointless as having a special day reserved for smoking copious amounts weed. If you really profess to be a skateboarder, every day should be a celebration of your slow, glorious decent into perpetual adolescence. Similarly, 4/20 is a great idea and all… except that most of us truly dedicated wastes of life smoke almost every single day of the year anyway. I guess it’s the thought that counts after all… so, thanks to whatever anonymous committee first took the whopping ten seconds to think of that idea.

However, if Santa Claus jumped down your chimney at the stroke of midnight every night like clockwork itself, wouldn’t Christmas just be business as usual? Indeed, if it was always Halloween, wouldn’t the skeleton king grow weary and bored, eventually seeking out different forms of holiday cheer, going on to inspire a claymation musical which would then make Hot Topic ludicrous sums of money for an entire decade?

Nonetheless, there are always those who try to make the special specialer, such as SLAP magazine, Adidas, and skate shop FTC who collaborated this past Go Skateboarding Day in San Francisco to put on the 7×7 Video Contest. The contest featured entrants from shops such as FTC SF, HUF SF, 35 North, and Skateworks, with each five-member team heading out into the streets of San Francisco to create a video part recreating iconic photography from the pages of SLAP’s past.

HUF just posted their finished video, which, admittedly, looks a little more fun than your average flat-ground session in the parking lot.

Now, if only they combined Go Skateboarding Day and 4/20 to form a massive black hole of slacker delights we might finally be talking about a real holiday. Hell, you might as well throw Talk Like a Pirate Day into the mix while you’re at it, just to make it that much more intolerable for the mundane majority. Ha ha, people with ambitions are dumb!

 
aaron

4:26 PM on July 29th, 2009 | 

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Up In Smoke

Filed Under: Pop Culture, Sign Language

It’s interesting that even after all those uptight health officials put an end to inspiring (but mostly misleading) cigarette advertisements like the ones below, a sizable portion of young people still think smoking is a cool thing to do. Unfortunately, what the Surgeon General will never truly understand is that the deliciously poisonous nature of cigarettes that makes them such a modern scourge in the first place is the very basis of their cool factor. When you’re young and have plenty of life in front of you, or, conversely, have little to no “life” at all, coming up with fun ways to kill yourself seems like pretty much the bee’s knees. Just ask James Dean about it sometime, he started it.

Personally, I’m in favor of loosening up cigarette advertising restrictions just so we can have some extra entertainment piled on the night stand next to our death beds. Actually, Is it even possible to laugh when you have an iron lung?

Benson & Hedges 100s Vintage Advertisement

In a time when “pointlessly weird” is nearly synonymous with advertising in general, this vintage Benson & Hedges ad could nonetheless easily give The Burger King himself not lung cancer, but fucking brain cancer if he dared to try wrapping his mind around this strange artifact from marketing’s deranged past. The longer you look at it, the more hopelessly lost in its senselessness you fall — it’s like the quick sand of soft sells.

Is the sentient cosmic sea cucumber trying in vain to burn a hole through the astronaut’s helmet with his cigarette? Are we to assume Benson & Hedges smokes are so good that they can actually burn in an oxygen-deprived environment? Not to mention… is the alien an American citizen? What does his enjoyment of a smooth, flavorful cigarette on the desolate craters of the moon have to do with them being America’s favorite brand anyway? Is it simply that their sweet plumes of toxins are so irresistible, even vastly advanced space-faring civilizations that should surely know better just can’t say no? Or maybe sentient cosmic sea cucumbers just want to be cool too — and who are we to begrudge them that?

Seriously though… somebody actually thought this would help sell cigarettes. That’s probably the single craziest thing about it. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before Big Tobacco learned to better apply the sciences to peddle their deadly wares. Read More ›

 
aaron

4:16 PM on July 28th, 2009 | 

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No One Wants To Be Defeated

Filed Under: Movies

I’m hesitant to say that the new Tron Legacy trailer is the latest entry in the dark realm of things nerds inappropriately masturbate to, but only because nerds really never stopped whacking off to Tron in the first place.

Now, due to my ongoing crusade to fill the gaps left in a world without Michael Jackson (which so far has involved far too much babysitting), I decided to share an alternate version of the Tron Legacy trailer instead, which features a perfectly synced up “Beat It” as the soundtrack — making this suddenly much cooler… in a homoerotic digital gang fight kind of way.

Plus, now any overexcited Comic Con attendees won’t even have to feel bad about their dirty little CGI fantasies considering the King of Pop himself is essentially ordering them to “just beat it.” Then again, it is a movie about a video game so… take that as you will. Not everything in life is about masturbation after all. Just most things.

It kind of redefines the concept of an 80s classics mash-up — it’s just as surprising and nostalgically amusing as Girl Talk, but didn’t require nearly as many half-naked hipsters to get there.

However, if I had to choose a classic sci-fi mindfuck to be recreated, I’d go with Total Recall. Unfortunately I think that title has already been reserved for the upcoming documentary about Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger’s career as Conan the Governor.

Yeesh… this post is dripping with so many movie references you’d think I crossed the streams.

 
aaron

4:50 PM on July 27th, 2009 | 

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I Scream, You Scream

Filed Under: Movies

orphanOrphan opens this week, the predictably plotted horror movie about unsuspecting parents who adopt some sort of demon child. But while scores of pre-teens are begging strangers to buy them R-rated tickets, adoption advocates have united in dismay over the movie, which they argue will fuel negative attitudes toward real-life adoptions.

Some adoption advocates are calling for a boycott, and a national coalition wants to sit down with Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer. The production company has already removed a controversial line from the movie, (“But how can you love something that didn’t pop out of your own va-jay-jay?”) in response to adoption-related objections.

But the best part? Warner Bros. spokesman Scott Rowe says the company is considering adding a pro-adoption message at the end of the film when it comes out on DVD, sort of like those public service announcements Saved By The Bell kids used to do after particularly poignant episodes about smoking, or domestic violence, or AIDS. Imagine it: 123 minutes of demon child, followed by two minutes of encouragement to go ahead, go out and acquire a strange youngster and invite them into your home. Show them where you keep the guns.

But really, haven’t we gone a little too far with the political correctness? I can only imagine how many horror movies would never have been made if a slew of advocacy groups had actually taken the time to raise a red flag. Hotel managers alone would be totally fucked (Psycho, The Shining). Nor have children as a whole been pleasantly portrayed in the world of horror – The Exorcist and Poltergeist are high-brow examples; Children of the Corn less so. And if one were to truly base their perception of reality on scary movies, no one, and I mean no one, would send their kids to summer camp.

The whole point of horror movies is to foster fear, and introduce people to the idea that danger is all around. It’s not always the trench-coat-wearing man in the alley, or the conspicuously observant cashier at the liquor store. It’s neighbors, teachers, friends, pets, even kids. Shit ain’t safe. Get used to it.

 
kira

3:29 PM on July 24th, 2009 | 

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Thursday’s Least Surprising Headlines

Filed Under: Pop Culture

winehouse

And my favorite of the day, which isn’t so much unsurprising as it is simply hilarious:

 
kira

9:30 AM on July 23rd, 2009 | 

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What a Croc of Shit

Filed Under: Sneakers, The Trend That Time Forgot

Damn girl, where'd you get them Crocs?

Damn girl, where'd you get them Crocs?

It seems a tad callous to wish death upon something just because it sucks, but hey, we live in a shallow world and I’d like to preserve my hermetically-sealed bubble of air-conditioned consumerist comfort, if that’s all right with you. So, shallow as it may be, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadistic satisfaction when I read that infamous purveyors of brightly-colored hideousness, Crocs, have a conference call scheduled with the Grim Reaper.

The Washington Post seems to believe Crocs won’t have the longevity of the species’ they’re named after, but more likely the lifespan of something they more closely resemble — rotten Swiss cheese:

The company swung from a profit of $168.2 million in fiscal year 2007 to a loss of $185.1 million last year. In its annual report, Crocs said that an independent auditor expressed concerns about “conditions that raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue.” Its stock price has plummeted 76 percent.

In other words, even when common sense, self-respect, and, uh, a working pair of eyes couldn’t do it, something finally managed to kill the Crocs. Some may be quick to blame it on the recession, although I’d put my remaining few pennies on the shoes themselves causing their own demise. That’s right fellow fashionistas, just like that horrifying cyclops baby, some things are just too ugly to be allowed to live. Read More ›

 
aaron

11:20 AM on July 22nd, 2009 | 

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Portents Of The Stars

Filed Under: Pop Culture

The August, 1985 issue of Ebony — curiously the last issue of Ebony to know a world without my iron will’s influence rippling through it — ran a feature by Chicago artist Nathan Wright, depicting what the day’s black celebrities would look like in the murky, far-flung reaches of our future… yes, of course I am referring to the year 2000.

Click for full size

Click for full size

The artist presumed that “time will be kind to today’s black stars,” however, this was undoubtedly assuming 1985’s black stars didn’t turn themselves into circus sideshows entirely on their own. Indeed, it would have been hard for Wright to picture a future where Michael Jackson had actually transformed into a white star. But it’s hardly his fault, Terminator 2: Judgment Day wouldn’t come out for another six years, hell, George W. Bush wouldn’t even be elected as president until the year 2000 — there was simply no way to know that the future would be such a dark fucking place.

So Wright understandably missed the mark when he said, “At 40, [The Moonwalker in question] will have aged gracefully and will have a handsome, more mature look.” Yeah… it would be kind of difficult to say he got that right, unless “a handsome, more mature look” means “resembling a living animé character made entirely out of porcelain.”

Anyway, this one probably should have been left to rest, but it was just so gosh-darned, um, thrilling I couldn’t help but raise it from the dead. Although now methinks I may just be beating it to… er… death. Aw jeez… does anyone know any good Farrah Fawcett or Billy Mays jokes?

 
aaron

1:30 PM on July 17th, 2009 | 

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Fatshion Forward

Filed Under: Food and Drink, Pop Culture

untitledConcentrated healthy eating hasn’t been possible since the birth of McDonald’s, so God gave us diets. But diets, with their rules and costs and weird approximations of chocolate-flavored things, were just too hard, so God gave us drugs. But drugs, which peeled off the pounds faster than you could say “my liver hurts, is that a side effect?,” were apparently dangerous, so God gave us surgery. And now, with layoffs mounting and health care coverage about as effective as an umbrella made of Swiss cheese, surgery is too expensive, so God gave us something new: denial.

If you can’t beat ‘em, eat cheesecake—or so goes the mantra of a group of fatties documented in a New York Times article today. The story outlines the sentiments of a growing movement, a so-called “loose alliance of therapists, scientists and others” (read: unapologetic fat people) who believe that people, “‘even’ fat people, can eat whatever they want and, in the process, improve their physical and mental health and stabilize their weight.” In other words, some cross between “If you stop obsessing about what you eat, you’ll probably eat okay,” and “It’s totally okay to order five cheeseburgers.” Read More ›

 
kira

9:15 AM on July 17th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Into The Wild

Filed Under: Pop Culture

We are a culture with far too much free time. It’s incredible - in light of certain doom swirling ominously around us at all times, you’d think we’d have plenty to do. Instead, as a people, humanity seems to have adopted procrastination as a much preferred alternative to “working tirelessly in order to save the species.” But I guess I can understand the draw… who wouldn’t rather watch Gossip Girls than figure out that stupid world peace thing those liberal queers have been going on and on about for so long?

Seriously, we are living in the beginning-credits sequence of a big-budget summer disaster movie. In the real-world equivalent of 30 on-screen minutes, shit is going to hit it and we’re busy figuring out new ways to make eating obscene amounts of junk food look more like sports. And it’s no surprise that competitive eating took off considering the average waistline in this country seems to indicate most people have been practicing for a long fucking time now anyway.

So, in honor of the recently held Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest that started it all, I present to you the newest frontier in stuffing your face for a living — Human Abyss Takeru Kobayashi and The Jungle Book’s Baloo going toe to paw in the great time-honored tradition of gluttony.

Quote of the Day: “I gotta tell you something, when the bear came out… I saw… a flash of fear for a second in Kobayashi’s eyes.” The mind reels. Perhaps the only thing more inane than trying to eat more hot dogs than a fucking bear in the first place is paying two smug assholes to talk about it as if it’s a legitimate exercise in athleticism.

Whoa, what’s that? Kobayashi looked scared of a 1,089 pound Kodiak bear? Holy shit guys, can we get a slow-mo replay?

Not to mention, sir, but where exactly are your credentials in reporting on ursine competitive eating? Frankly, I’m not sure if I can trust your commentary.

Although, in a strange twist of irony, when competitive eating and Man vs. Beast are smashed into each other at high speeds — in a belching, hairy, and totally nonsensical Sprite commercial kind of way — it actually almost makes sense. We might as well stop pretending we’re any better than the beasts. That’s right, I said it: bestiality should be legal. Er, wait…

 
aaron

5:42 PM on July 16th, 2009 | 

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Project Gayhem

Filed Under: Dumb or Dumber, Movies

starbucks

I knew a kid in middle school with a Fight Club T-shirt. The back of the shirt, which included the rather redundant list of club rules outlined in the film, proved a valuable distraction in the midst of eighth grade science, but I always thought it was a bit disingenuous. After all, I knew this guy—he got A’s in school and probably played a lot of video games. Presented with an actual fight, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t wind up stuffed in a locker with a bloody nose.

Today’s revelation that Kyle Shaw, the 17-year-old arrested and charged in connection with a small explosion outside an Upper East Side Starbucks, only proves a theory I’ve retained since those adolescent years: Fight Club really appealed to losers. Read More ›

 
kira

3:11 PM on July 15th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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