This morning, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, from the punk band/radical artist collective Pussy Riot were convicted of “hooliganism with the intent to incite religious hatred” to serve out a sentence of two years in a prison colony each. Their crime? Spending a whopping 40 seconds inside the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow dancing, kicking, and throwing up their fists to their anti-Putin protest song “Punk Prayer.”
Seem like a bit much? It’s a “softened” sentence, according to the judge, because some of the women have young children and this was their first offense. Some of the “victims” — that is, the Eastern Orthodox Christians who witnessed the act or glimpsed at it on YouTube or just merely heard it mentioned in the news and were thus thrown into moral “agony” over the blasphemous “interruption of social order” — had requested leniency. They complained about the bright balaclavas, the “fists,” the “demonic seizing,” the short skirts and high kicks that revealed offensive thighs, and, worst of all, calling for a prayer when only a church employee is authorized to do such a thing. The “victims” were scandalized after witnessing Pussy Riot trespassing in areas of the church were no women were allowed, and taking the Virgin’s name in vain by asking her to “become a feminist!” in their chants. However, watching the trial unfold for the last day on a live-streamed Russian channel, it was clear that this was much more than a case of Orthodox religious wrath.
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New Yorkers take note: This year’s Pride March takes place on Sunday, with none other than Ms. Cyndi Lauper taking on Grand Marshal duties, and an expected crowd of more than 500,000 people making their way down 5th Avenue commemorating 1969′s Stonewall riots and demanding equal rights for the LGBT community. Unfortunately, publicly… Read More
Is there anyone in Hollywood more mysterious than George Clooney? He’s devastatingly handsome, apparently terrified of commitment, partial to potbelly pigs… and, of course, deeply concerned about global politics. In fact, the actor is so earnest in his ideals that he was arrested this morning in a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in DC. As… Read More
The fact that PETA feels the frequent need to be sexually provocative in order to get its message across to a wide audience is nothing new. But in this latest spot — where that message seems to be, if you’re lucky enough to be dating a vegan dude, you’ll have sex that’s so rough that it will put you in a neckbrace and brainwash you into buying him bags of vegetable fuel — seems like a strange misstep to me. In fact, it might be even worse than when they launched that animal-friendly porn site. Watch the questionable clip after the jump, and be sure to weigh in with your opinion in the comments. Or just explain to me why Jessica is suddenly smiling and in her underwear.
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The relationship between law enforcement and those looking to document the Occupy Movement has been strained at best, and we’ve all heard horror stories about photographers getting roughed up and pepper-sprayed, having their cameras seized, and even being arrested for shooting footage that certain people don’t want the world to see. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Gregory Brothers, and the ACLU want you to know your constitutional rights as a photographer this election season, and they’ve made a short film on the topic that features an animated Benjamin Franklin as your guide. Let’s all take a look, shall we?
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SOPA Blackout Day is in full swing, with Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing, and other Internet giants blacking out entirely and thousands of other sites — including Flavorpill — creatively demonstrating their solidarity. (We hope you agree that censor bars aren’t a great look for us.) There’s also been something of a backlash against the online outpouring of opposition to SOPA and its Senate counterpart PIPA, from the usual suspects in Washington as well as groups like the MPAA, who sent this nasty note about the protests.
But not everyone in the entertainment industry supports SOPA. Stop the Wall, a site that you can also use to make a quick and easy phone call to your senator about the legislation, has posted an open letter to Washington from a group of artists that includes Aziz Ansari, Trent Reznor, The Lonely Island, MGMT, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman, and many others. “As creative professionals, we experience copyright infringement on a very personal level,” they write, but they don’t support SOPA because they “have benefited immensely from a free and open Internet.” Read the full letter after the jump, and then, if you haven’t already, get on the phone with your representatives to add your voice to the anti-SOPA chorus.
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Whatever your stance on animal rights or the ethics of eating meat, you can’t deny that this is a bold, beautiful, and rather ingenious way of getting a vegetarian message across. This demonstration, put into action by Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis, put a plateful of living human into the busy streets of Barcelona, flanked by clothed accomplices who held up a banner reading “How Much Cruelty Can You Swallow?” While the use of sexy, naked females to sell something, whether product or idea, isn’t the least bit new, we think the presentation in this case is quite striking. See the full photo (which may be slightly NSFW), and watch a video of the demonstration after the jump.
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We obviously love gift guides and giveaways as much as the next blog, but we also try to be conscientiously good and helpful every once in awhile. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Food Bank for NYC to launch the 12 Days of Giving, a series of “virtual food drives.”… Read More
All kinds of artists and celebrities have gone public with their support for Occupy Wall Street in the past few months, and yet it still comes as something of a surprise to us that Lou Reed has become a vocal part of the movement — not because it clashes with his politics, but because he’s never exactly been a joiner. We noticed his name on the Occupy Musicians petition that launched recently, and last night he and Laurie Anderson showed up at OWS’s Lincoln Center protest, where Philip Glass also spoke. Using the People’s Mic, Reed expressed his solidarity: “I was born in Brooklyn, and I’ve never been more ashamed than to see the barricades tonight. The police are our army. I want to be friends with them. And I wanna occupy Wall Street. I support it.” Hear the whole speech, courtesy of @Newyorkist, after the jump.
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Today is World AIDS Day. In honor of the annual event — and the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the HIV virus — our friends over at GOOD have put together an in-depth look at our decades-long battle with the disease. The good news? Public awareness and rates of treatment have increased, while both… Read More