Talking Barbies, Passover Ice Cream and Absurdity in Indiana: Links You Need to See

It’s been a doozy of a week in Indiana. In addition to facing nationwide backlash as multi-billion dollar corporations continue to scale down or phase out their businesses in the state (in response to the “Religious Freedom” Restoration Act that, in effect, legalizes discrimination against the LGBTQ community), the Hoosiers are likewise dealing with an HIV outbreak (also due to some shortsighted lawmaking) and, in the same stroke, have just become the first US state to sentence a woman to two decades of prison time for killing a fetus. Enough said—I’m moving my fantasy vacation to Pittsburgh. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Janelle Monae, The Rock, and Cheese Cleanses

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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How 10 of the Best Stand-Up Comedians Handle Hecklers

If we learned anything about stand-up comedy last fall, it’s that when a Hannibal Buress video goes viral, you should probably watch it. This time, his YouTube hit isn’t going to end an icon’s career; it’s just an enormously entertaining three-minute destruction of a boorish heckler. Said hecklers have been the bane of many a comedian’s existence — drunken assholes, bachelorette party morons, and would-be comics have been mistaking stand-up for interactivity since the form began. So on this April Fools’ Day, we thought we’d take a look at how Buress and a few other comic greats handled these particular fools. … Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Preview a Sci-Fi Murder Mystery from Russia’s Answer to Phillip K. Dick

Maybe you’ve heard of the Arkady and Boris Strugatsky — the Brothers Strugatsky — as the science-fiction authors of the novels behind Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Aleksei German’s Hard to Be a God. Or maybe you haven’t. In case of the latter, you can find an introduction, of sorts, here. But to enjoy the below excerpt, from the great sci-fi mystery novel The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, you needn’t know that the Strugatsky Bros. are Russia’s answer to Theodore Sturgeon or Philip K. Dick. Nor do you need to know that their novels are enjoyed by contemporary novelists like Jeff VanderMeer and Jonathan Lethem. There isn’t much, in fact, that you need to know at all, except maybe how to read and laugh. … Read More

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15 Internet April Fools’ Jokes John Oliver Would Hate

April showers bring May flowers, or whatever, but April Fools’ brings a glut of mostly Web-based, absurdist non-humor. As John Oliver so eloquently ranted about the other day, much of April Fools’ is about being a dick, whether it’s simply wrapping your coworker’s desk in aluminum foil or, as so many Internet presences have chosen to do, setting our expectations high for new, bizarre products and then killing our dreams when corporations remind us that business is, in fact, business, and fun is rarely allowed. … Read More

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Border as Event Horizon: On Mexico’s Greatest Living Novelist

What will we make of North American civilization, in the broad, continental sense, when it is gone? When its states have vanished or dissolved or slowly mutated into other states, how will we remember the borders that once existed between them? Or, for example: how will the war of attrition waged by the U.S. along the border of Mexico be understood in two or three centuries? … Read More

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Why ‘Mad Men’ Is Comfort-Food TV for Viewers Who Didn’t Live Through the ’60s

Mad Men is, at its essence, a show about terrible things happening to occasionally terrible people. Its characters are adulterers, careerists, alcoholics, and liars; they’re prone to selfishness, sexism, racism, and exploitation. Set in a period of massive social shift, they’re often (and often proudly) on the wrong side of history. The country’s in a shambles, relationships are falling apart, children are being damaged, lives are being destroyed. Even in this antihero-friendly pop culture environment, such grim goings-on risk alienating even the most intellectual audience — and yet Mad Men has done anything but that, drawing a viewership that ravenously consumes the bad behavior of its subjects. What pulls them to the show? Here’s one theory: in an odd, schadenfreude-tinged way, Mad Men is comfort television. … Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Broken Water Pays Homage to the Pacific Northwest With “Wasted” Video

For their new video, the wildly underrated Olympia shoegaze punks Broken Water rep their native Pacific Northwest. Home video footage of deer, lush foliage, and tugboats is juxtaposed with clips of the three-piece performing in its usual haze of radicalism. The result is so warm and warped that it’s wonderfully disorienting — much like the band’s new, highly existential album, Wrought, released earlier this month through Night-People Records. Flavorwire is pleased to premiere the clip below.

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New Girl Season 4 Episode 19 Recap: “The Right Thing”

A popular television trope that I not only enjoy but actively look forward to is the “Parent Comes To Town” episode of a sitcom. These episodes are especially welcome a few seasons in when we get to see, through the parent, why a certain character is the way that he is. We’ve seen a few parents on New Girl already (most notably, Jess’ folks have appeared a couple of times) and this week, we meet Schmidt’s mother Louise (Nora Dunn) who pays a visit to the loft and temporarily disrupts the status quo. … Read More

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The Streets Are Teeming with Miniatures and Pac-Men: Links You Need To See

Google often bestows the tiny, uselessly amusing gifts of decorative and sometimes interactive fonts — celebrating a variety of both famous and obscure birthdays, holidays and anniversaries — upon its users. Now, the corporation is letting Pac-Man run loose on the streets of Google Maps for our very mindless entertainment. Similarly on the subject of the Internet’s gifts, here are three mashups of various Muppets performing the hip hop classics.  … Read More

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