Categories
NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Trolling Hell

The most controversial new work of art in the United States is a sculpture that resides in an undisclosed warehouse location in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Hardly anyone knows where it is, and few have actually seen it. The people who commissioned the piece have warned the artist not to publicly identify himself.

They don’t think they’re being paranoid.

“We’ve gotten all kinds of hate mail,” Lucien Greaves, one of the people who commissioned the work, says. Greaves has received a number of emailed death threats, which he occasionally posts verbatim to his Facebook page: “I hope, I pray you get a bullet. You are evil your a monster, an obamanation…the evil radiates off you. I hope you suffer.” A guest on Don Imus’s show on Fox News remarked jocularly that Greaves and his cohorts behind the sculpture should be lined up next to it and shot.

Greaves hadn’t seen the artwork in person until recently. On a warm afternoon in early June, a friend drove him down to New York from his home near Boston so he could take a look. He arrived in Brooklyn just as the sun was setting and hurried into the space where the sculpture is kept, quickly shutting the warehouse door behind him. Someone had tweeted its rough location not long ago, and he was uneasy about prying eyes.

Greaves closed the blinds, then turned to face the sculpture. He inspected it for a moment or two with quiet satisfaction.

“I love it,” he said without smiling.

Not yet completed, the work is a huge statue of Baphomet, a horned, winged, sexually ambiguous, goat-like deity. Baphomet is usually depicted with a goat’s body and cloven hooves, a woman’s breasts and enormous, flared wings. A flame protrudes from the top of his head, and from his lap a staff with two snakes wrapped around it: a caduceus. Greaves asked the sculptor — we’ll call him “Jack” — to forgo the breasts. This Baphomet is smooth-chested and muscular, with thin, shapely lips and rectangular pupils. The sculptor based his physique on a blend of Michelangelo’s David and Iggy Pop.

When the piece is completed, Baphomet will be seated on a throne underneath an inverted pentagram. On either side of him, two children — a boy and a girl — will gaze up adoringly. On this day the little girl was absent, visiting another artist for some finishing touches. The boy was in place, his lips parted, his unpainted, dimpled Afro reminiscent of a giant golf ball.

Read the full story: Trolling Hell: Is the Satanic Temple a Prank, the Start of a New Religious Movement — or Both?

Categories
VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent may be a conservative gun-toting Republican womanizer who has impressively managed to create an outdoor sports and hunting empire for himself—while still finding the time to lambaste animal rights activists and drug and alcohol users—but that doesn’t mean the Motor City Madman doesn’t still put on a good show. We’re talking about the same multi-platinum guitar icon with the one-time Tarzan persona who recorded “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Jailbait,” as well as “Wango Tango” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” back in the sleazy ’70s and ’80s. He’s still the same old Nuge, just hiding behind a grizzled beard and a mossy camo cowboy hat with overly curved side brims. Even exceptionally vocal, politically insensitive celebrities can still churn out ultra high-energy, pure Motor City rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll, it’s just a question of whether or not a new generation of listeners has the stones to hammer down and head into the danger zone. And no, we’re not talking about a PETA conference filled with animal rights freaks with their lies and scams! We’re talkin’ a gen-u-ine star spangled, whammy barred, NRA-approved, Fox News coverage-worthy, Whackmaster camo rock’n’roll show. Gitcha some beef jerky and a crossbow by July 21, and you’re officially ready to get Nugentized.

Mon., July 21, 8 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES Neighborhoods NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

GWAR

A little more than a month after front-alien and frequent Fox News commentator (no, really) Oderus Urungus and his merry band of self-proclaimed “Scumdogs of the Universe” in Gwar held yet another Crack-a-Thon to fund the comedy-metal beasts’ ongoing freebase fixation, the group returns to Irving Plaza, angering its cleanup crews yet again with more rampant spillage of fake (we assume) bodily fluids. By popular demand, Gwar never change, and their stage show remains the ultimate in gross-out rock. Wear a raincoat and maybe bring a cup. With Every Time I Die, Ghoul and Gunfire-N-Sodomy.

Sun., Oct. 23, 7 p.m., 2011

Categories
VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Gwar

What better way to sober up from too much eggnog than by gorging on fake bodily fluids emitted by intergalactic “scumdogs”? Everybody’s favorite tongue-in-cheek metal monsters–and regulars on Fox News (is there a more fitting news source to interview Earth-hating nihilist rock stars?)–celebrated their 25th anniversary last year and released their 12th studio album this year. Of course, such milestones don’t matter when it comes to Gwar; the band’s live spectacle is unparalleled and a welcome respite from reality in any season. With the Casualties, Infernaeon, and Mobile Deathcamp.

Sun., Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m., 2010

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

The Goo Goo Dolls

These blue-collar rockers titled their latest Something for the Rest of Us, which has something of a disingenuous, Fox News, victim-complex tang to it. Presumably the Goo Goos are commenting on how little attention the elitist media pays them, but haven’t they sold 10 zillion more records than, say, Animal Collective? With the Crash Moderns.

Wed., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2010

Categories
NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Washington, D.C. Where To

MAVERICK MUNCHKINS

Memorizing your lines (and occasionally adding a flirtatious wink) is key to winning the American people over—as shown by the barracuda VP-running hockey mom. Now, it’s their turn: Meet Bristol, Track, and Willow as they jig and bellow out their chords in the Palin Family All Star Revue and Election Spectacular at UCB Theatre. This half-hour family variety show takes the three eldest Palin kids (plus fetus) straight to the White House as they proudly proclaim all the misinformation their moose-hunting, Troopergate-stained mother has taught them over the years. And with special guests like high-school dropout Levi “Sex on Skates” Johnston and Chelsea Clinton, it’ll be a party that even Putin would fly over to see. (Caution to FOX News: No retouching done here, either.)

Fri., Oct. 24, 7 p.m., 2008

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES FILM ARCHIVES Media NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES TV ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

Power Point Conspiracy Theories in Stealing America: Vote by Vote

Never mind that in trying to establish that voter fraud in American elections is a national problem, Stealing America: Vote by Vote mostly relies on insinuation, anecdotes, and quotes from blogs. Never mind that it trusts the viewer’s intelligence so little that the opening Thomas Paine quote isn’t just shown on-screen but also read out loud (including the author’s name) for the presumably illiterate by narrator Peter Coyote. Never mind that it follows that insult with an unsubtle shot of the White House behind bars. Never mind that much of the footage—when it’s not talking heads, news clips, or bar graphs—consists simply of Daily Show excerpts taken as the last word in incisive media commentary. Never mind that in the rush to make its case, the movie forgoes any serious investigation and treats paranoid liberal conspiracy theories as fact. Never mind that the film complains at one point that allegations of electronic-voting screw-ups were completely ignored by the mainstream media, only to use clips from CNN and Fox News to validate itself. Never mind any of this. What matters is that Stealing America: Vote by Vote—even by the political video documentary’s meager standards—plays like a particularly dull PowerPoint presentation. The case it lays out is factually sketchy, but as a movie, it’s unforgivable.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Media NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES TV ARCHIVES

Good for What Ailes You

Although it’s been giving up ground to CNN this election season, the Fox News Network is still a target of derision by liberals who never fail to be exasperated by its “fair and balanced” motto. But for Fox haters, there’s a delicious (if uncorroborated) new look behind the scenes at the network’s startup now appearing online, courtesy of one of the people who helped birth it.

Dan Cooper, a former Fox News managing editor who helped conceptualize and design the channel in its first six months, has written a book dishing dirt on Fox News guru Roger Ailes. Cooper worked at the Fox network from 1994 to 1996, and claims to have been a critical part of the “brain team” that put the news channel together; he helped design the studios, the layout of the newsroom, and the program schedule. After six months—and countless titanic fights with Ailes—Cooper was made redundant and left to chase jobs producing television shows and managing talent in Los Angeles. But his subsequent divorce was so brutal that Cooper returned to his native New York to figure out what to do with his life. “The divorce was emotionally and financially shattering,” he says. “I had to rebuild, and the idea came to me that writing a memoir about the birth of the Fox News Channel could be very lucrative.”

According to Cooper, he titled his manuscript Naked Launch, snagged an agent, and shopped the project around town. But, he claims, publishers who showed interest were worried about alienating Ailes. So Cooper decided to serialize the book on his website (www.caos.us) and see if he could drum up publicity. He posted the prologue early last month.

Cooper spends most of his time guttersniping about Ailes’s alleged swaggering, vindictiveness, and casual abuse of underlings. Near the prologue’s conclusion, he recounts a story in which an Australian transplant named Ian stuck his head in Ailes’s office and asked a question in an accent so thick no one could understand him. Ailes, Cooper wrote, always liked to imagine this employee as a pig with an anus for a mouth.

“Instantly, Roger’s face was overcome with devilish glee,” Cooper wrote. “Roger had no idea what he was talking about, and he didn’t care. Roger made a fist and put it up to his mouth . . . ‘Oim Eeyan Rye!!’ Roger shouted. ‘An oim tawkin troo me arse!!’ This was supposed to be riotously funny. The
other boys howled in hysteria. I sat down
and slumped. Roger: ‘Eeooo cayn’t mike out what oim sighin, becawz oim tawking troo me arse!’ . . . This was the man who created the Fox News Channel for Rupert Murdoch.”

In another chapter, Cooper writes that Ailes allegedly demanded that bomb-proof windows be installed in his office, because he was concerned that homosexual activists might bomb Fox News when it debuted. As Cooper scrambled to find bomb-proof glass—which doesn’t exist, as it happens—Ailes also demanded that he get the city to chop down a line of trees outside his office. Every few days, Cooper wrote, Ailes would grab him and scream, “They’re still fucking there! Don’t you have any balls? Chop them fucking down!”

When Cooper isn’t trashing Ailes, he’s writing about the female employee he lusted after, or the men he believed his wife was sleeping with behind his back. The result is a hilariously idiosyncratic account of a flawed man and the terrible people he worked under. I may be an asshole, Cooper is saying, but you should see Roger Ailes.

Needless to say, Fox News representatives did not return calls seeking comment for this story. But Cooper’s memoir is drawing more and more Internet buzz, and the legions of people who love to hate Fox News are feasting on the kind of gossip that almost never manages to leak out of the channel. Meanwhile, Cooper promises even more salacious dirt to come. As for whether he worries that Ailes will somehow retaliate, he says: “I’m staying away from skating rinks this winter. You never know who’s driving the Zamboni machine.”

Categories
NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Bye Bye Wolfie

Paul Wolfowitz resigned his post last week as president of the World Bank while a media storm swirled around him over the sweetheart deal he engineered for his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, in 2005. That media frenzy was ignited by the Voice‘s Ward Harkavy, who broke the story of Riza’s hiring in his online column The Bush Beat. Harkavy’s September 22, 2005, story, “Wolfowitz Sends His Gal to State Dept.,” has been credited by such disparate outlets as Fox News and the watchdog group worldbankpresident.org as the first story on the scandal.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES FILM ARCHIVES TV ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’

Admit it: For years you’ve been burning to know what ol’ Phyllis Diller really thinks about electric cars, which first (dis)appeared in her youth. “They were very quiet,” she recalls. (Isn’t a Mack truck quiet compared to Phyllis Diller?) The real question is why this purportedly impassioned documentary investigation of a great subject—the culture’s conspiratorial dismissal of eco-friendly alternatives to the gas-guzzler—would assume such massive viewer disinterest that it coats the pill with C-list celebrity NutraSweet, including Martin Sheen voiceovers (“As the 20th century gathered speed . . . “) that would sound unforgivably hackneyed even on basic cable. An opening vignette in a California cemetery has GM’s produced-and-abandoned EV-1 being “buried” by tearful mourners (ha-ha); subsequent title cards, complete with Fox News–ish animation (whoosh!), finger so many of the usual suspects (e.g., carmakers, lawmakers, big oil, us) that the titular question might as well be Who Didn’t Kill . . . ? Director Chris Paine’s choice of talking heads leads you to think that famous people were the only ones lucky enough to have leased GM’s now flattened roadster—until the awkward slip of his would-be audience surrogate, a “former EV-1 specialist,” appears to reveal that his own model has somehow been tucked away for safe keeping. Another few of these squandered opportunities for art-house muckraking and we’ll need someone to ask who killed the left-wing documentary.