All the Absurd Events in the U.S. This Week

New York

8th Annual Brooklyn Zombie Crawl 
4 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, The Trash Bar, 256 Grand St, Brooklyn
Terrorize Williamsburg dressed as a zombie. The zombie shenanigans will crawl for over 10 hours and will culminate in a blood fueled after party at Bar Matchless at 8:30pm.

Los Angeles

Dazed and Confused Drive-In 
8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 24 — $11, Electric Dusk Drive-In, 1000 San Julian St. Los Angeles
Dazed and Confused launched the career of Richard Linklater and arguably one of the greatest high school movies ever made. The older the movie gets, the more the characters stay the same age…

San Francisco 

Ian Curtis Memorial Show 
9 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, Thee Parkside, 1600 17th Street, San Francisco
34 years ago Ian Curtis took his own life after watching Werner Herzog’s Stroszek. Joy Division cover band Dead Souls and locals Roadside Memorial and The Ink Bats perform.

Chicago

Everything Is Terrible! Live! 
9 p.m. on Thursday, May 29 — $15, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, Chicago
The group’s members regularly raid thrift-store shelves in search of obscure and discarded visual media–B movies, instructional tapes, public-access shows–to use as raw materials for their hyperkinetic mash-ups, which first were published on their blog and are now being commissioned by the likes of MTV and Adult Swim.

FBI Relaxes on Pot, GoPro Goes Media + Obama’s Drones

FBI Relaxing Pot Policy for Recruits
The Federal Bureau of Investigation famously has a policy of not accepting job applicants who have smoked pot in the last three years, but it appears the federal agency may be relaxing that rule.

Obama to Disclose Drone Justification
The Obama administration will reveal a much-speculated-about secret memo that explains the legal justification for using drones to target and kill American citizens abroad.

Execution Halted at Last Minute
Attorney argued that tumors in the convicted murderer’s head could complicate the administration of lethal drugs, leading to “excruciating, even torturous pain.”

Inside the Troubling Rise of Fascist Parties Across Europe
History is repeating itself as Europe’s political leadership puts the needs of the banks first and the people last.

GoPro is Turning into a Media Company
GoPro just filed a $100 million IPO.

The Man Who Plays Soccer with One Leg
Alexandre Toledo used to be a professional soccer player in Brazil, but in 1996 a motorcycle accident injured his left leg so badly that the limb was eventually amputated.

Creeped Out by Couchsurfing
Is couchsurfing.org a brave social experiment spreading love and hospitality around the world, or a hedonistic haven for creeps seeking an easy lay?

A Last Illicit Look Inside the Crumbling Kutsher’s Resort Before it’s Razed
Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club was the last of the grand old Borscht Belt resorts.

How Much Do You Have to Earn to Afford a Home in NYC?
Fancy yourself a member of the patrimonial middle class, do you?

McDonald’s’ Terrifying New Mascot

It’s a new era for McDonald’s and they have a new, frightening mascot. Meet “Happy”, the new animated McDonald’s mascot aimed at getting kids to eat healthy food. Happy is terrifying — an animated Happy Meal Box with huge teeth, soul-scanning eyes, a black hole mouth, and judgmental arms — the stuff nightmares are made of. Happy’s role is to scare children into eating right. (As opposed to eating all the other shit on the McDonald’s menu.)

 

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The fast-food company wants to position Happy as a healthier spokesperson for kids to promote “improved nutrition” choice. The character’s entrance coincides with introduction of Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt. It, along with apple slices, can replace the kid-size fry as the side in a Happy Meal.

McDonald’s made their reputation on being Morgan Spurlock’s unhealthy nightmare, a wallowing fast food playground for our nation’s obese children. When Spurlock feasted on nothing but McDonald’s for Super Size Me, he gained 25 pounds and his cholesterol levels rose to a dangerous level, as did fatty accumulations in his liver. He experienced mood swings, depression, heart palpitations, and sexual dysfunction. (Ready for the joke?) I call that an “Unhappy Meal!”

McDonald’s decided to was time to rebrand, partially because of Spurlock’s movie, and partially because studies showed that more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. McDonald’s trying to rebrand itself as a healthy food establishment is like having a gun manufacturer rebrand by selling squirt guns.

Happy is the “ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.” He is encouraging kids to eat the healthy Happy Meal options: fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and water or juice. Happy is especially welcoming of the new Low Fat Strawberry Go-Gurt. Happy does this by having a psychotic stare on his box-face.

McDonald’s has had a long history of creepy mascots. Check out McDonald’s very first Ronald clown mascot—who designed this monstrosity? Did they strap a food tray atop his head and attached a Dixie cup to his nose and then call it a day? Were they promoting fast food or coulrophobia (fear of clowns)?

Check out one of the most disturbing commercials known to humanity:

N. Korea via Google Glass, Bear Attacks + Dictionary Selfie

Woman Treks Two Miles After Bear Attack
A female jogger on an Anchorage military base saved herself by managing to hike two miles after a brown bear launched a bloody attack on her.

‘Selfie’ Is Officially in the Dictionary
Other social media-focused terms, like “hashtag,” “catfish” (as a verb), “tweep,” and “crowdfunding” were declared part of the official lexicon, as well.

What Television Will Look Like In 2025, According To Netflix
You’ll have 48 million TV channels…

Intimate, First Person Views Of North Korea Captured On Google Glass
What’s Korean for “Glasshole?”

Women Are Getting Plastic Surgery For The Perfect Wedding Ring Photo
A growing trend in the U.S. to have plastic surgery to make hands prettier before the all-important selfie…

Facebook’s Latest Trick To Get You To Share More Personal Information
The social network recently rolled out an “Ask” button that will appear next to the relationship status of users who have chosen not to publicly disclose the information.

Patton Oswalt Confronts His Haters
Patton Oswalt sets up a sting operation to confront his most vocal Internet critics face-to-face. But he’s in for a big surprise.

McDonald’s New Mascot Is The Stuff Of Nightmares
McDonald’s unveiled a new mascot today. It’s called “Happy” but so far the reactions have been anything but…

Actor Michael Jace Charged In Wife’s Shooting Death
The Paterson, NJ-born actor, best known for his work in the cop drama “The Shield.”

 

Watch: The King of Pop Materializes at the Billboard Music Awards

A Michael Jackson hologram made an appearance yesterday at the Billboard Music Awards. The deceased’s image materialized, throwing out signature moves, moonwalking its way through pyrotechnics as it performed the singer’s recently released Slave to the Rhythm.

The King of Pop was not the first artist to perform from the grave; let’s not forget Tupac’s 2012 Coachella resurrection. Also, Elvis Presley’s  hologram performed alongside Celine Dion on American Idol in 2007. (Can holograms turn over in their graves?) The reason last night’s performance was different? Neither of the other musical icons’ real-life selves paid over $15 million to settle child molestation charges.

The Billboard Music Award finale was a closely guarded secret, though a spoiler alert went out days before the ceremony when on Friday a federal judge tossed out a patent troll’s lawsuit from tech companies alleging the hologram would violate their patents.

Regardless:

Accompanied by a plethora of background dancers, beaming lights and fire blasts, the Jackson hologram performance apparently looked so real that some members of the audience got emotional.

All I’d suggest is, parents: don’t let you kids go to the wrap party at hologram Neverland Ranch. Now enjoy a clip of last night’s performance.

Michael Jackson Hologram, Farmer Dating Site, + Whiskey Washington

Michael Jackson Hologram Woos Crowd
The King of Pop performed “Slave to the Rhythm” from his new posthumous album, Xscape, at the Billboard Music Awards.

Sex-Positive Female Masturbation App Rejected From App Store
A game called Happy PlayTime, in which a little anthropomorphized cartoon vulva teaches women how to be comfortable with their own bodies.

U.S. Files Hacking Charges Against China
“They used military and intelligence facilities to commit cyber espionage against U.S. companies.”

AT&T to Buy DirecTV for $48B
The merger will secure a sizable chunk of the pay-TV customer base for AT&T, as DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers, and raise new concerns about competition and consumer choice.

Putin Orders Russian Troops Home
On Monday, Putin ordered Russian military units on “planned spring training exercises” back to their home bases after criticism from the West and threats of more sanctions.

Inside The U.S. Government’s War On Tech Support Scammers
Sitting in front of her PC, the phone in her hand connected to a tech support company half a world away, Sheryl Novick was about to get scammed…

YouTube To Reportedly Acquire Videogame-Streaming Service Twitch For $1 Billion
If completed the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Long Before Jack Daniel’s, George Washington Was A Whiskey Tycoon
The Founding Father spent his post-presidency years presiding over a booming alcohol business – not to mention, he also smoked weed.

Why 1.5 Million People Are On A Dating Site Called Farmers Only
Dating sites like OKCupid and Match.com are great if you live in a city, where you go on dates with matches and never seen them again if it doesn’t work out. But what if you live in a town with, say, 8,000 people?

Hipster Beekeepers, 3D Guns, + The Death of the Homepage

What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News
News publishers lost the homepage firehose and gained a social media flood. It’s making the news more about readers, and less about news.

How 3-D Printed Guns Evolved Into Serious Weapons In Just One Year
The 27-year-old Japanese man arrested last week for allegedly owning illegal 3-D printed firearms did more than simply download and print other enthusiasts’ designs.

Building Fully-Automatic Wolverine Claws
We’re glad these aren’t commercially available, because we’d never take them off and end up stabbing ourselves in our sleep.

Photos Of The Room Where The NSA Plants Bugs In Electronics
Welcome to the bug factory!

Sterling Refuses to Pay NBA Fine
The attorney, Maxwell M. Blecher also wrote that Sterling doesn’t warrant “any punishment at all” for his racist comments that were recorded in a conversation with a female friend and made public.

MTA Scrambles To Keep Up With “Entitled” Millennials’ Expectations
“The Millennials’ expectations are really things that we thought were luxuries when we first rode the system, but they think are entitlements—and they are our customers.”

Urban Hipster Beekeepers Are All The Buzz
Show me the honey!

Drunk Driver Crashes Right Into NYPD HQ
Whoops!

 

Party Monster Michael Alig Mostly Blames Murder On Drugs, Victim

“So does he think of himself as a murderer? ‘No,’ Mr. Ailg said the other week before his release. ‘I think of myself as a drug addict who made some really, really, really poor choices, like the worst choices ever.”

 

Smelly Phones, UK Herpes + More L Trains

Donald and Shelly Sterling Divorcing
You mean these two weren’t happily married?

New York Times Fires First Female Boss
New title: First Female Boss To Be Fired.

CDC Recommends Daily HIV Pill
Federal health officials recommended that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it.

Neil Patrick Harris Rejected ‘Late Show’
“I think I would get bored of the repetition fast and the structure of it is so set that I don’t have any interest in doing monologue or commercial—sketch, sketch, guest, musical act.”

Taking A Ride In Google’s Self-Driving Cars
If you saw the last episode of Silicon Valley , we hope the cars don’t have the same real-life flaws.

A Phone That Sends Smells
David Edwards, Harvard professor and creator of what he calls the oPhone–an app-plus-atomizer combo that lets users tag images with scents and send them around the Web: “We think it’ll just be a lot of fun to be able to include olfactory notes as a wink, an emoticon.” So what smell do you send to telemarketers?

Bike To Work Day Is Friday, Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Friday is Bike to Work Day in NYC, one of the few celebrations in which hundreds of people who bike to work, bike to work…

We’re Getting More L And M Trains This Fall
Sorry G train, you will still suck!

In the UK, You Can Be Jailed for Giving Your Girlfriend Herpes
After his then-girlfriend found out that he’d given her herpes, she dumped him, reported him to the police, and watched as he was jailed for 14 months for passing on the STI.

Google Glass Now Available To Any Douchebag with $1500

Yes, the eyewear equivalent of the ‘fanny pack’ has just become available to any person in the US who wants to risk being punched in the face in public.

(NOTE: This is what a fanny pack looks like:

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Google announced Tuesday that it’s opening up its Explorer Program to more people who have interest in becoming a Glasshole. So far the reaction to Google Glass has been compared to the reaction you would get for shitting in the pool:

A 20-year-old tech journalist reports that he was walking through San Francisco’s Mission District on Friday evening when he had the $1,500 wearable computer ripped off his face by a woman who yelled “Glass” and took off running — an apparent protest of the controversial gadget.

Want more? Okay, here’s more…..

A San Francisco woman who says she was attacked at a bar on Haight Street after refusing to stop wearing Google Glass has released video footage of the incident that she filmed with the new technology that spurred the confrontation in the first place.

Bars in San Francisco are already popping up with signs such as this. (Either a great undercover marketing scheme, or a signal that people just plain hate you if you are adorned with this ugly device.)

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I’m still waiting for a compelling reason for anyone to want to wear Google Glass (unless accompanied by a Bluetooth headset.) Marketing videos such as this one, though pretty to look at, are sorely missing the mark, or shows that you can be the star of your very own reality show, starring….YOU!