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I Am Not Hanging Out with Wild Mountain Gorillas, No Matter How Cute They Are!

January 30th, 2012 by Cyndi Freeman

One of the latest viral videos is of happy gorillas in the jungles of Uganda taking in a tourist as one of their own. Now this is an amazing video, so sweet, so heart-warming, and it got me cruising YouTube for gorilla videos – and there are plenty. That being said, I am personally not going to be hanging with the Wild Mountain Gorillas.

I am not saying you shouldn’t hang with wild gorillas –  if you want to. Go ahead, it looks like fun.

It is just that they are both intelligent and they are wild animals, plus they have ideas on how things should go.

*Note to self – do not take your pet baby orphan gorilla into the jungle.

Personally I think I understand gorilla culture and etiquette, as it looks a bit like the culture and etiquette in my family. But as my husband knows, I avoid hanging with my family because they behave like mountain gorillas. They are cute and cuddly until you challenge them. You never quite know what you said that got them all riled up, all you know is that they are suddenly screaming and somehow its your fault …

Also a Safari into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is like $300 a day, and I’d like to see what $300 a day could get me in Vegas.

I know that someone reading this might be thinking, “but  - but –  but….have you seen Koko the talking Gorilla who speaks sign language? Bill Shatner has!”

And I say to the imaginary Koko loving person in my head, “Oh yeah but what about the story of the Petronella Yvonne de Horde, she loved gorillas! She was convinced that the Gorilla named Bokito, who lived at the local zoo in Rotterdam was her friend…and so she went to visit him almost every day.  She would make kissy faces at him and he would make what she thought was kissy faces back….

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Cherry Pitz is on NBC Saturday and in And I Am Not Lying (Live) Wednesday

October 1st, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

I performed at the awesome new Paris Burlesque Club in Red Hook and NBC was there, doing a story about the venue! So my burlesque alter ego, Cherry Pitz is going be featured in the story airing tonight!

The show is called LX.TV 1stLook NY. To be specific, I’ll be on WNBC, channel 4 (channel 704 in HD) on Time Warner Cable, Saturday Oct 1 at 7:30pm and rerun on Sunday at 1AM after SNL. Catch it on TV if you can, or find the piece on their site http://lxtv.com/1stlookny/.

The segment covers the show Moonlight Rendezvous, produced by the gorgeous Lana Firebird. It will feature David Slone, Cherry Pitz, Ivory Fox and The Lady Aye, all at Paris Cabaret Club! Many thanks to LX.TV.

And naturally, Cherry and I will be in our live show at Union Hall on Wednesday — hope we see you there!

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“Retarded” Is the New “N-Word”

April 7th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

It’s easy to forget that life is a gift. And it’s easy to overlook the essential humanity of so many people out there on the Internet. It’s easy to get mad at people’s gripes and whines and forget that the Web can be a tool to expand your empathy and connect with people outside your regular routine.

But this video yanked me out of my regular routine and deep into the wild currents of the human experience. I don’t know whether to cheer or weep, to hug somebody or go be alone. My eyes swelled and leaked a little, and I could actually feel my heart expand in my chest.

It’s by a disabled woman who carefully, methodically explains why it’s so upsetting to be called “retarded.”

These are her words:

I made this video after seeing a number of things: Other disabled people rushing to prove that they were not some thing called “retarded,” being referred to here as a “mong” and other such words myself (on and off YouTube) as well as seeing lots of pointless ridicule directed at people with developmental disabilities, and being asked questions about what it’s like to be considered “retarded” in casual contacts with people, or to “look retarded”, whatever that means. I explore these questions, and the prejudice and dehumanization that surrounds cognitive disability of all sorts, in my video.

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Rickrolled by the Fax Machine

September 24th, 2010 by D.Billy

My coworker went to send a fax this morning, and a funny thing happened when it connected to the number that she dialed: She got Rickrolled.
I just had to grab the camera and hit redial…



(See “Rickroll” on Know Your Meme, for those of you who were nowhere near the internet for the past 2 or 3 years.)

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The Avengers: The Premake

August 9th, 2010 by D.Billy

Check out the latest video mashup “premake” by Ivan Guerrero – a trailer for a 1952 version of The Avengers movie, based on Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” storyline, spliced together from over 50 different sources of footage:

And then, to get a real sense of the buckets of attention to detail, skill, love, and sheer nerdiness that went into this, watch it again with Ivan’s annotations (below). He calls out all of the character and location cameos that you might have missed, and even breaks down the typographical references in the title cards! (Pause the video each time a note box pops up.)
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What Does Mahsewwus Wawwis Wook Wike?

August 6th, 2010 by D.Billy

Here now, the “Ezekiel 25:17″ scene from Pulp Fiction, redubbed with the voices of Donald Duck as Jules, and Mickey Mouse as Brett:



Via The Daily What.

EDIT 8/10/10: The original was taken down from YouTube, so we swapped in the CollegeHumor version.

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J Train is the Soul Train: Thirsty Man Sings “Winner”

January 20th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

Have you ever noticed how some people put a pair of headphones in, and it’s like it’s the performance version of Thor’s hammer? Like by putting those buds into their ears, they are suddenly blessed with an incredible singing voice, perfect pitch and total invisibility? Put on some sunglasses and an iPod and all of a sudden nobody is on the train except Simon Cowell and Dr. Dre, and both of them are hiring. It’s kind of like having a low-budget version of Rock Band that only plays R&B.

You never hear anyone singing Coldplay or Dave Matthews, is all I’m saying. I prefer it that way.

And don’t get me wrong here — sure, sometimes the phenomenon is a little annoying. But other times it is completely the most awesome thing that can happen to your whole week, a beautiful, off-kilter accident.

Like this guy that sat across from me on the J Train last weekend singing Chris Brown’s “Winner.” Check this thing out, it’s beautiful. I love how he doesn’t let his performance stop him from pouring himself a little sip of something from his thermos, then gets his soul stole by the music before the cup hits his lips … and caps it all off with a shameless crotch scratch. Also of note is how quickly the guy next to him stops giggling and starts ignoring the whole thing.

Don’t let me spoil it for you, though – check this out for yourself. It’s stuff like this that reminds me that the world is alive and beautiful and full of strange surprises …

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Qualatex: The Corporate Cult of Latex and Helium

July 14th, 2009 by D.Billy

Few things are sadder than when someone takes something intrinsically whimsical and attempts to surgically remove all of its joy and innocence, subsuming it to a cold and calculating corporate structure.  With a mission statement to “…unite and support businesses that offer value-added balloon designs featuring Qualatex products,”  it sounds like the Qualatex Balloon Network does just that.

Lucky for those of us who still have souls, they have provided us with a whole new type of joy in the form of this bizarre vintage balloono-facist training video:



(Via Everything Is Terrible.)

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Yo Momma’s Goin’ on a Date… with Vader.

June 13th, 2009 by D.Billy

I just stumbled across this awesome dub job done a couple of years ago by the guy(s) over at AKJAK, who replaced Darth Vader’s lines in Star Wars with James Earl Jones dialogue from other movies:



(The intro is a little awkward, and the song at the end is just puzzling… so I’ve set it to skip ahead to 0:44 when the absolute gold kicks in, and as far as I’m concerned, you can stop at 8:40. But it’s your life.)

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Aakash Nihalani : The Adhesive Handshake

January 14th, 2009 by D.Billy

Flipping through my Flickr contacts, I was chuffed to discover that our lad Poster Boy has been collaborating with another practitioner of imprompru aesthetic interventions, tape-slinger Aakash Nihalani:



There are more on Nihalani’s website, under STREET ART > COLLAB.

Chances are, if you have working eyeballs and have been around northwestern Brooklyn or lower-mid-Manhattan lately, you’ve seen Aakash Nihalani’s tape-cubes. The things that I enjoy about his work are things that I myself gravitate toward in my own art-activity: bright colors against dull city surfaces, and simple gestures which serve to highlight and elevate small details that would otherwise seem insignificant. (And I also, obviously, have an affinity for colored tape as an artist material.)

Here are a couple of videos that I found of Aakash in action:




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