Posts Tagged ‘video’

Sexy hot dogs, killer cats and Crappy Meals: Catching up with The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 by

During my three-month absence from POP!, I have been tragically neglectful in sharing with you all things bestial on two of my favorite faux news shows: The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. (Mostly The Colbert Report. The student has surpassed his teacher my many a comedic mile!)

Case in point: back in September, Stephen brought in some “pretty beer girls” to serve the troops during a special, week-long military appreciation edition of The Colbert Report, culminating in a guest appearance by Vice President Joe Biden as a hot dog vendor:

This was followed the next day by a sexy dude dressed in a hot dog suit, “for the lady troops”:

Naturally, PETA was not pleased:

[Neither was I – that is, when I watched the show many a month later (it aired when I was on vacation in NY) – but I didn’t see fit to write a press release about it. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to know that the general public will view this as so much opportunistic bandwagon-jumping and/or an “attack” on the troops. YOU MUST SUPPORT THE TROOPS AT ALL COSTS! BY WHICH I MEAN NEVER EVER NEVER QUESTION A MOVE MADE BY THE U.S. MILITARY! Like duh.]

Anyhow, I promise to be better in keeping up with this stuff in the New Year. In this vein, I come bearing two more recent clips:

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George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead asks, “Are we worth saving?”

Sunday, June 20th, 2010 by

Diary of the Dead (2007) - Movie Poster

George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead (2007) is your standard, post-apocalyptic zombie fare. As the dead begin to reanimate, a group of film students and their professor flees down the East Coast in a rickety RV. The story is told from the vantage point of the students, in particular Jason, the aspiring documentarian of the group.

Nonhuman animals don’t make an appearance in Diary of the Dead – really, there’s not one guard dog or zombie cat to be found – and yet, the movie’s ending speaks to what I’ve been feeling with increasing urgency as of late. (Cue images of the “oil” spill in the Gulf Coast, complete with hand-wringing about oil-soaked pelicans, torched turtles belonging to endangered species – and the “livelihoods” of the “fishermen” who themselves eke out a living by slaughtering nonhuman animals by the millions. “RIP Gumbo,” indeed.)

The final scene, narrated by Jason’s girlfriend, Debra (who took up his cause after he was mauled to death by a zombie; no spoiler alert needed, as she refers to him in the past tense throughout the film’s voiceover), turns the camera’s lens inward, into the heart of humanity.

Click here to watch the movie’s ending (skip ahead to 6:50; sorry, embedding disabled!), or keep reading for a transcript.

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link love, 2010-04-17

Saturday, April 17th, 2010 by
  • Add your voice to Biz Markie’s Earth Day remix of “Just a Friend”!

    In honor of Earth Day, Biz Markie and the Climate Protection Action Fund want you to rap (or lip sync) along to a “clean energy” version of his ’80s classic “Just a Friend.” Repower America will provide the lyrics and instructions; you just need a web cam and an internet connection. Here are the details:

    What do Earth Day, YouTube’s home page and a rap classic have in common?

    You.

    On April 22, we’ll be releasing a remix of the top-ten-hit song “Just a Friend” performed by Biz Markie and Repower America supporters from across the country. It’s going to be featured all day on YouTube’s home page — and you can be part of the fun!

    You don’t need a perfect singing voice to get involved — and for that matter, you don’t even need to know the song. In fact, the chorus to Biz Markie’s song is famous for being beautifully off-key. If you’re still not convinced that you’re ready to bust out rapping on tape, just lip-sync or dance in your video. (Or get your kids to.) The only thing that matters is that you participate — in whatever way works for you.

    We’ve got everything else you need to sing along — lyrics, music and a video showing you how to record your own version.

    Check it out and add your voice to the Biz Markie Earth Day remix right now: http://cpaf.RepowerAmerica.org/Remix

    Naturally, the “eco-friendly” lyrics ignore the role of meat, egg and dairy production in climate change – which is well in keeping with environmental organizations’ unwillingness to address human privilege and its many attendant ills. That said, perhaps some of you more creative types can work a reference or two to veganism into your own video? If you’re interested, you have to move fast – the deadline for submissions is midnight tomorrow night, April 18th. Eastern time, I presume?

  • In an upcoming episode, the long-running NBC procedural crime drama Law & Order: SVU will feature an animal rights plotline:

    After a young woman is sexually assaulted and murdered, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Eliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) track down the woman’s boyfriend – their first suspect – but learn that he is a devout vegan who wouldn’t hurt a fly. They soon find that the victim had been deeply involved in the fight to expose questionable practices in the meat-packing industry, even going undercover at a large company to find out the truth. Benson goes undercover herself to retrace the woman’s footsteps and to identify who the victim might have angered along the way.

    “Beef” will air this Wednesday, April 21, on NBC at 10PM EDT.

    (Many thanks to Vegan Burnout and POP! guest-blogger Shannon for the heads-up!)

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    Stephen Colbert on Temple Grandin : “It’s really a pro-business story.”

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by

    On Notice (but really Dead to Me) - ASPCA, PETA & HSUS

    Though it’s taken me far too long, here’s the promised writeup of Claire Danes’s February 10th appearance on The Colbert Report.

    Seeing as Danes was making the rounds in support of her new biopic, Temple Grandin, I expected to come away from this interview with a knot of frustration and anger in my stomach. In fact, I actually put off watching it for this very reason. (Which is no small feat for a fangirl of my caliber, I tell you what!) Happily, as with the Foer interview, I was pleasantly surprised by Stephen’s treatment of the subject matter.

    As you can see in the video (and partial transcript) below, Stephen plays the devil’s (animals’, really) advocate, maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism in the face of claims about Grandin’s “affinity” for and “love” of nonhuman animals. He equates killing and eating cows with killing and eating dogs, to horrifically comical effect. And, best of all, the phrase “animal rights” is not uttered once, in contrast to reports of previous appearances in which Danes praised Grandin as an “animal rights advocate” – and, likewise, described herself as a supporter of animal rights (their right not to be killed and eaten seemingly aside).

    [On a side note – Dear fluffyfun “green” and/or vegetarian celebrity gossip sites: can y’all please stop referring to Grandin as an “animal rights activist”? She is no such thing, and to refer to her brand of “advocacy” as rights-based is to shift the entire debate towards the exploitative. And your thoughts on welfare reform? Totally irrelevant. This is a factual dispute, not a matter of opinion. Thanks much!]

    While I hadn’t intended to write such a lengthy transcript, once I started typing, I couldn’t stop. Stephen’s quips – and Danes’s reactions – are just that good. If you can, you really need to watch the video to fully appreciate Danes’s flailing responses to Stephen’s gentle-yet-snarky nudging.

    It’s all after the jump, yo.

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    The Snowpocalypse Descends Upon The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

    Friday, February 19th, 2010 by

    Stewart/Colbert '08 graphic. (Should read Colbert/Stewart '08!)

    Even before the flakes settled, right-wing pundits were pointing to the snowstorms that have slammed the East Coast this year as evidence that “global warming”

    [CLIMATE CHANGE! Temperatures may or may not rise depending on one’s geographic location, air and ocean currents, etc. In fact, some scientists worry that melting polar ice caps might actually plunge the northeastern U.S. and northwestern European coasts into a mini-ice age. Global warming does not mean that every location on earth will resemble a sauna! End: rant.]

    is a hoax and/or has been definitely discredited. Naturally, these gleeful squeals of triumph are usually accompanied by multiple smug, self-serving jabs at Al Gore. (Because the man IS global warming itself, dontchaknow! And I say this as a vegan with her own complex, ambivalent feelings towards the meat-guzzling Gore.)

    Anyhow, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a little fun at the expense of these climate change deniers – and in back-to-back shows, at that. While I don’t have time to type up transcripts, I have embedded the videos below, after the jump. (Too many videos on the main page makes Firefox crash. I blame Comedy Central and its clunky video formats. IBCC!)

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    link love, 2010-02-18

    Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by
  • Today is Yoko Ono’s 77th birthday! Celebrate the life and times of this subversive badass with Yoko Ono: A Feminist Analysis, a comprehensive look at Ono – and the racism and sexism she’s transcended – from über-fan Cara of The Curvature.
  • MINE – a documentary centering on custody battles over rescued NOLA dogs, post-Katrina – aired on PBS February 16, and will be rerunning in select markets throughout the week. Part of the “Independent Lens” series, the film aired prior to another Katrina-themed piece called “Home,” in which “filmmaker, Matt Faust, interweaves imagery from his childhood home with post-Katrina visuals.” To find out if/when MINE will be airing in your city, go to http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/broadcast.html.

    Here is a short clip from the film, as aired on PBS’s “Independent Lens” program:

    I’ve actually been meaning to write about this documentary for quite some time now (ditto: An American Opera); the issues raised in MINE deserve serious exploration (and most certainly from an anti-oppressive perspective!) as well. Until then, you can learn more about the film at http://minethemovie.com. MINE is currently being screened at select theaters throughout the United States; to find a full list of dates, look under “Events” on the main page of the film’s website.

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    Stephen Colbert schools Jonathan Safran Foer on happy meat animals.

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by

    Stephen Colbert of THE COLBERT REPORT

    Admittedly, this is rather old news, but Jonathan Safran Foer appeared on The Colbert Report last Monday in order to discuss – what else? – Eating Animals.

    [Initially, I was going to group Foer’s interview with those of Claire Danes and John Durant in one big “(happy) meat peddlers” video roundup, but the Foer and Danes interviews proved a pleasant surprise – and not because of the guests! – so a dedicated post for everyone! Except for you, Durant. You’re kind of a douche, and you make this galactosemic lady feel a bit like one, too. (It’s not the same as lactose intolerance, but it’s close enough.) But anyway, that’s the backstory behind my procrastination. End: digression.]

    The interview was about as frustrating as I expected on Foer’s end, e.g.,

    * “I wouldn’t necessarily say you should become a vegetarian […] I would say you should eat less meat.”

    * [When asked if he would eat a hot dog] “Maybe the hot dogs they made 50 years ago.” (as opposed to those produced today)

    To his credit, Foer does manage to stay on message and squeeze in a number of pertinent facts re: animal agriculture, however, in downplaying the need for vegetarianism, he negates whatever points he may have scored with the audience. (i.e., if animal cruelty is wrong, and even “happy meat” products are cruel…go vegetarian on Mondays after 6 PM? Say what now?)

    And veganism? Fuhgeddaboudit! The word “vegan” was not uttered once during the entire 5+ minute interview.

    Luckily, in his quest to be the most ridiculous caricature of a self-delusional meat-eater he could be, Colbert provided some of the more trenchant quips in the exchange. To wit:

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    Anthony Weiner, Jon Stewart share a good teehee over animal abuse.

    Friday, February 5th, 2010 by

    The Daily Show logo

    “For my next bit, I shall kick a puppy. Bolstered by your applause, I may urinate on it as well.”
    ——————————

    Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) appeared on The Daily Show last night, ostensibly to discuss health care reform. At one point, the conversation turned towards politics, with Stewart referencing Weiner’s failed 2005 mayoral race against Bloomberg, as well as his decision not to run in 2009, after Bloomberg successfully petitioned the NY City Council to extend existing term limits. The conversation quickly devolved, with two generally progressive men comparing Bloomberg to an enslaved animal, and snickering over animal abuse culminating in murder:

    Stewart: Are you – uh – running for mayor? My feeling was you could have defeated Bloomberg in this cycle – uh, but, you did not run. Are you gonna run the next time

    Weiner: I could have – I would’ve beaten Bloomberg like a rented mule, [cue raucous audience laughter] but I decided, I uh…[pause for audience cheering; Weiner laughs, Stewart nods head in agreement]

    Stewart: Okay, how much does it cost to rent that mule? Because…

    Weiner: It’s an expensive mule.

    There’s so much speciesism packed into these four (three, really) short sentences; where to begin?

    – Mocking abused and enslaved animals? Check.

    – Making light of animal abuse? Check.

    – Intimating that you yourself would like to beat an animal to death? Check.

    – Objectifying a sentient being by referring to him/her as an “it”? Check.

    – Unquestioningly referring to an animal as rentable property? Check.

    As much as I dislike similar expressions (e.g., “I don’t have a dog in this fight.”; “Let’s kill two birds with one stone.”), comically joking about “beating a rented mule” has got to be one of the worst of the bunch. The image conjured up by this phrase – that of an exhausted, elderly “pack” animal, already worked to the brink of death, being bought, paid for, and used like a punching bag on which to take out one’s frustrations – is pitiful and sickening. To laugh at such misery and suffering is…well, it’s fucked up. Serial killer fucked up.

    To be fair, I doubt that Weiner, Stewart and others who callously employ these phrases spend much time deconstructing the comparisons they’re making. But ignorance isn’t an excuse. And words matter.

    Video after the jump (fast forward to 4:30 for the fauxgressive bravado):

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    Biopic Temple Grandin to air February 6 on HBO; vegans sharpen their knives in anticipation.*

    Friday, February 5th, 2010 by

    Temple Grandin

    For once, I’m actually happy that I don’t get HBO – otherwise, I’d feel obligated to watch and report on Temple Grandin, a new biopic starring Claire Danes that’s premiering on the cable channel this weekend. (Spared by own cheapness!) As if the title alone isn’t enough to turn all the vegans and vegetarians in the audience off (what’s that? you’ve never heard of Temple Grandin, you say?), behold American Humane’s gag-worthy marketing materials:

    Movie Tells Inspirational Life Story of American Humane Advisor
    ‘Temple Grandin’ Airs Feb. 6 on HBO

    HBO will premiere an original film based on the inspirational, true story of Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes, on Feb. 6, 2010. (Check your local listing for the broadcast time in your area.)

    Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism. Grandin became a successful doctor in animal science through her unique connection to animals and is now a world-renowned consultant in the field. She is widely recognized within the animal welfare and livestock-handling industries as a pioneer in the ethical treatment of animals.

    If by “ethical” you mean “killing more efficiently.” Similarly, Grandin’s “unique connection” to “food” animals is akin to that of a serial killer to her victims. Tomato, tomahto.

    Grandin is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the American Humane® Certified farm animal program. American Humane Certified, originated by the American Humane Association, is the nation’s pre-eminent and fastest-growing monitoring, auditing and labeling program that attests to the humane care and handling of animals raised for food. Find out more about the American Humane Certified program at www.thehumanetouch.org.

    Or just bypass the “happy meat” propaganda and go straight to http://humanemyth.org.

    Grandin is also the best-selling author of Thinking in Pictures, Animals in Translation and Humane Livestock Handling. She recently authored an article titled “The Importance of Farm Animal Welfare” for The National Humane Review.

    Vegans the internets over remain unimpressed.

    In producing the film, HBO also engaged the services of American Humane’s Film & Television Unit, which is the exclusive monitoring and granting agency to award the coveted “No Animals Were Harmed”® end-credit disclaimer. The production followed American Humane’s strict Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media, had an American Humane Certified Animal Safety Representative™ on set to ensure animal safety and welfare, and earned the famous assurance to viewers that “no animals were harmed” in the making of the movie. Learn more about American Humane’s Film & Television Unit.

    Wherein “accidental” deaths don’t qualify as “harmful,” and the AHA has about as much authority (or will) to enforce its guidelines on film sets as the USDA does to uphold its own animal “welfare” and worker safety regulations in slaughterhouses.

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    Lost‘s Sayid Jarrah: A History of Violence

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 by

    null

    Caution: Spoilers through Season 5 below.

    Last year, I wrote a (relatively) brief summary of the few animal-friendly plot lines found in seasons one through four of Lost. Animal advocacy issues are rarely addressed in the show, but look closely, and you’re bound to discover occasional gem: lovable Kate is a vegetarian, while show villain Anthony Cooper enjoys blood sports such as hunting. The Losties (understandably) took to hunting wild boar for sustenance early on, but the slaughter quickly ceased when they discovered the Dharma food drops. And who could forget Sayid’s memories of Amira?

    While nonhuman animals didn’t much figure into the season five story arc, one episode in particular stuck with me. In fact, I meant to write about “He’s Our You” (Season 5, Episode 11) months ago, but somehow it kept getting placed on the back burner. With the final season of Lost set to begin tonight, what better time to revisit an old episode?

    As I noted previously, Sayid’s story lines oftentimes revolve around the themes of forgiveness and vengeance, with Sayid struggling to come to grips with his strikingly violent past. As a soldier in the Iraq Republican Guard, he was captured, co-opted, and trained as an “interrogator” (read: torturer) by American forces during Operation Desert Storm. At the close of the war, his “skills” were put to use and turned against his fellow Iraqi citizens in the Republican Guard, where he was promoted to the Intelligence division and tasked with torturing dissidents and political prisoners – including his long lost childhood love, Nadia (as well as the aforementioned Amira). Torn between his allegiance to his country and his moral qualms, he helped Nadia to escape, but could not bring himself to go with her.

    null

    Once on the island, Sayid (somewhat reluctantly) put his interrogation skills to use several times (as if fate would not allow him a break from his past – even when stranded on a lost island!), first torturing an innocent but obstinate Sawyer, and later, a guilty but cunning Ben Linus. During the “A-list missions” and battles with the Others, Sayid proved to be a valuable military asset. After escaping from the island, Sayid reunited with Nadia, only to see her murdered not a year after their wedding. The rest of Sayid’s time off the island is devoted to hunting her killers down, one by one, and exacting revenge. This came with an uneasy alliance with Ben, on the premise that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” However, it’s still unclear whether the men Ben directed Sayid to kill had anything to do with Nadia’s murder – or if Sayid was being conned.

    Flash forward to Sayid’s return to the island – circa 1977. Here, a lost and confused Sayid struggles with the reason why he’s been brought back to the island; what is his purpose here? After meeting 12-year-old Ben Linus, Sayid has an epiphany: if he was to kill Ben, then the young, innocent Ben would not live to grow into the evil, adult Ben that the Losties know and hate – and thus most of the (present-day) events in Lost would never occur. But can Sayid really murder a child in cold blood?

    He’s Our You” deals with Sayid’s inner struggle over this complex moral dilemma. As with earlier episodes, Sayid wonders whether he’ll ever be able to escape his past as a torturer and killer; are these merely things that he has done – bad things, of course, but things that can be left in the past – or are they what he is? To what extent do Sayid’s sins define him as a person? And, given the American occupying forces’ role in shaping his destiny, is Sayid a natural born or man-made killer?

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