A new United Colors of Benetton pop-up store in New York's SoHo neighborhood has lead to a social media outburst from a few 'offended' parents
The temporary store, titled Art of Knit, is a fall pop-up shop featuring yarn art created by
sculptor Erik Ravelo, however the pieces, amidst the racks of brightly colored sweaters, depict graphic sex positions and some parents are reported to be less than thrilled.
One mother claimed: This corrupt society we live in does not value nor
respect the innocence of children.
The installations, were called hardcore yarnography by one parent, are also seen as amusing by others.
The wooly installations will change every few weeks, according to a statement released by
Benetton, with up and comers including more family friendly knit covered dolphins.
Google lists eight reasons on its YouTube Community Guidelines page for why it might take down a video. Being cited as the cause of riots is not among them. But after the White House warned that a crude anti-Muslim movie trailer had sparked
murderous violence in the Middle East, Google acted.
Access to a 14-minute clip from The Innocence of Muslims was blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
Legal experts and civil libertarians, meanwhile, said
the controversy highlighted how Internet companies, most based in the United States, have become global arbiters of free speech, weighing complex issues that traditionally are the province of courts, judges, and occasionally, international treaty.
Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor said:
Notice that Google has more power over this than either the Egyptian or the U.S. government. Most free speech today has nothing to do with governments and everything to
do with companies.
The friends of freedom should not make exceptions because freedom's enemies never do. Admittedly, the trailer for Innocence of Muslims (one of its many titles) makes the temptation to allow just one exception close to overwhelming. It advertises an
amateur and adolescent piece of religious propaganda that depicts Muhammad as a violent and lascivious fool. Copts probably made it. As there is no great difference between Christian and Islamist extremists, why not intervene in this clash of
fundamentalisms and stop one sect inciting another sect to violence?
The Green Party have won a public-relations battle with Google in the US, forcing the company's television advertising division to book time for a commercial in which its presidential candidate uses the (partly bleeped) word 'bullshit' to describe
the policies of the major-party candidates.
Google TV Ads, which fills advertising slots for television stations, initially rejected the commercial in an e-mail to the party's ad agency, citing the use of inappropriate language by Jill
Stein, the Green nominee. No doubt trying to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission's vague standards for what constitutes indecency on television, Google TV Ads instructs clients to avoid bleeped-out expletives where curse words are
still identifiable from the audio.
The Green Party then called on its supporters to:
Tell Google TV Ads Not to Censor Our Ads! Never mind that these ads already comply with F.C.C. regulations regarding
appropriate content, what Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.
Google TV Ads relented and agreed to pass the ad on to broadcasters.
Apple are censoring an app that sends users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America's many undeclared wars.
Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store, and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The
company claims that the content is objectionable and crude, according to Apple's latest rejection letter.
It's the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program's New York-based developer. The
company's reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia not useful. Then there was an issue with hiding
a corporate logo. And now, there's this crude content problem.
Begley explains that Drones+ doesn't present grisly images of corpses left in the aftermath of the strikes. It just tells users when a strike has occurred, going off a publicly
available database of strikes compiled by the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles media accounts of the strikes.
The US Republican Party is calling for a crackdown on pornography. As they prepare to nominate Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate for the Nov. 6 election, Republicans have added language to their official platform that anti-porn nutters said
would encourage the federal government to step up prosecution of pornography involving adults.
Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced, the platform says, according to a draft obtained by
Republicans are planning a Tuesday vote on the document, a nonbinding statement of principles that tackles everything from monetary policy to abortion.
This appears to be the first time that the party has called for a crackdown on
sexually explicit material involving adults, a multi-billion-dollar industry. Adult obscenity cases have been exceedingly rare over the past 20 years. Though the administration of George W. Bush promised a crackdown, only the most extreme forms of
pornography have been targeted.
Anti-pornography nutter Patrick Trueman said the language in the Republican platform would bolster a broader push against the type of sexually explicit material that is sold by convenience stores, by hotels via
pay-per-view television programming, and satellite and cable TV providers.
According to Trueman's group, Romney promised earlier this year that he would push for strict enforcement of obscenity laws, as well as the broader use of blocking
software to screen out Internet porn.
This month's cover of Spain's Fuera de Serie , magazine features Michelle Obama in a mocked up nude.
The Spanish Magazine either decided to go provocative or political when featuring a manipulated image of the first lady pictured as a
topless, enslaved woman.
Taken from the Famous Nudes series done by artist Karine Percheron-Daniels, the painting was created by superimposing Obama's face onto the body of the Black enslaved woman shown in the 1800 Portrait d'une
ne'gresse by French artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist.
Clearly provoked by the sight of Obama showcased as an enslaved woman, the black blogosphere has waged a digital war against the cover, claiming that the image is nothing short of blatantly
By choosing to use such a jarring image to tell the story of how America's first lady seduced the people of the United States and stole the heart of Barack Obama, as Fuera de Serie describes her, writes
Brande Victorian of Madame Noire, it's clear the magazine agrees with that mentality and wants to spread the message loud and clear: todavi'a estamos esclavos. We are still slaves.
The Pentagon is reviewing a copy of a forthcoming firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, checking for leaks of classified information.
The book, No Easy Day , is scheduled for publication on 11 September, the
anniversary of the 2001 attacks that bin Laden masterminded.
The author, Mark Owen, a former US navy Seal who participated in the raid, did not submit the book until now for the pre-publication review that is required by the military secrecy
agreements officials say he signed.
Pentagon regulations stipulate that retired personnel, former employees and non-active duty members of the reserves shall use the DOD security review process to ensure that information they submit for public
release does not compromise national security .
Pentagon officials say that if they determine the manuscript reveals classified information about the raid, the Pentagon would defer to the department of justice . If the book has
classified information, the former Seal could face criminal charges.
Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas earned a standing ovation from a packed Los Angeles theater as he introduced a screening of the 1960 classic Spartacus that included a previously censored scene.
When you're 95 years old, you don't look
forward. You look backwards, you take inventory, Douglas said, as he sat on stage to talk about the film that immortalized him as a movie legend.
Douglas said that Spartacus challenged censorship during an era when Hollywood actors and
screenwriters were blacklisted due to their alleged communist sympathies.
Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, who wrote the script under a pen name. Douglas however put Trumbo's name in the film credits. You have
no idea how terrible those years were when we had the blacklist, said Douglas.
The complete Spartacus, which was restored in 1991, includes a homoerotic scene that censors cut out when the movie first screened. In the scene, Laurence Olivier's
character, a wealthy Roman, comes to his slave, a young, half-naked Curtis and asks him to enter the tub and help bathe him.
A Democrat-sponsored cybersecurity measure that the Obama administration claimed necessary to protect the nation's infrastructure was blocked by Republicans opposed to what they considered to be undue regulation.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012
needed 60 votes to move to a vote by the full Senate, thanks to a Republican filibuster of the measure.
The measure, sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins started life as nasty piece of work that was more about surveillance than
security. It would also have enabled substantial internet censorship.
However it was watered down to meet the objections of anti-regulation Republicans who argued that forcing companies to meet minimum security standards would be unduly
burdensome. The latest version made the security standards voluntary. Meanwhile, privacy advocates largely supported the revised bill after it was amended to include provisions designed to preserve civil liberties and the privacy of users that might be
threatened by increased information sharing between businesses and government.
There were a flurry of late amendments, including one to prevent warrantless tracking of consumers via GPS and one to protect consumers from monitoring by ISPs. But
pro-business Republican objections -- and the filibuster -- ruled the day, although a gun control amendment that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) refused to withdraw may also have influenced opposing Republicans.
There was an earlier episode of hype from Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris claiming that the up n coming The Expendables 2 would be PG-13 rated.
This hype had already been discredited by subsequent statements from the film makers but now
it has been confirmed by the MPAA that the film has just been awarded an R rating. The MPAA also added the tag that the R rating is for strong bloody violence throughout.
The Expendables 2 stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry
Crews, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's based on a screenplay co-written by Stallone and Richard Wenk, and directed by Simon West.
film opens in U.S. theaters on August 17th, 2012.
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a new Washington state law that would require classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people in sex-related advertisements.
Gov. Chris Gregoire claimed the
law this year to cut down on child sex trafficking. The law received unanimous approval from the Legislature and had been scheduled to take effect in June, but courts have put its implementation on hold.
The Washington law would allow for the
criminal prosecution of anyone who knowingly publishes or causes the publication of sex-related ads depicting children, unless they can show they made a good-faith effort to confirm that the person advertised was not a juvenile.
The decision U.S.
District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez stops the law from taking effect until the lawsuit challenging it can be heard in court.
The website Backpage.com and the Internet Archive, a popular archive of Internet sites, asked for the preliminary
Backpage and Internet Archive argue the new law violates the Communications Decency Act of 1996, as well as the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Backpage.com argues that
SB6251 would force websites to become the government's censors of users' content and would place an incredible burden on the company to review every bit of third-party content, as well as obtain and maintain records of individuals' ID.
These obligations would bring the practice of hosting third-party content to a grinding halt,
according to Backpage.com's legal suit.
In his ruling, Martinez found merit in some of their arguments that the state law would conflict with existing federal law. He also drew a distinction between the idea of the law and the reality of its
The mayor of Caldwell in Idaho asked for an electronic billboard at one of the entrances to town to remove a message that has sparked angry responses across the United States and beyond.
The message, which compares President Barack Obama's
foreign policy to the actions of Colorado mass-murder suspect James Holmes, will be gone soon --- but not because the city asked for it to be removed, said Maurice Clements, chairman of the Ralph Smeed Memorial Foundation and a promoter of the billboard.
Clements said the group typically runs messages on the board for a week or so, then puts new ones up. I didn't realize this was going to be as emotional an issue as it has become, said Clements, who estimates that he's received about 1,000
emails and phone calls. Apparently this one here struck a raw nerve.
If any publicity is good publicity, Pooja Bhatt's Jism 2 is doing just fine.
A case has been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking a ban on the release of the film even before it has been cleared by the CBFC, as well as challenging the
provisions of the law which define the powers of the Censor Board.
Nutter Rakesh Nayayik has raised an objection to the inclusion of hardcore porn actress Sunny Leone in the film. His legal counsel, SMA Kazmi, explained:
We have sought a stay order on the release of Jism 2 because of the sexually explicit content of the movie, and the inclusion of Sunny Leone in the film, for the adverse moral impact that her presence would have on society.
Kazmi argues that bringing an adult film star from the West into mainstream Bollywood cinema would send out a wrong message to aspiring actresses in the country.
The lawyer has also challenged the validity of Section 5(B) of the
Cinematography Act allowing the Censor Board to examine the content of a film and stop its exhibition if it is considered to be violating the morality or decency of society. He argues that it does not give enough teeth to the Board to be able to question
the impact of a star's persona and that when the law was chalked in 1952, no one would have conceived a situation such as this, when a porn star is allowed to act in a film.
A the court has deferred hearing the case until August 8.
Pooja Bhatt's film Jism 2 featuring adult star Sunny Leone has given a cuts list by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saying its lovemaking scenes need to be toned down by at least 50%.
Jism 2 will obviously get an A
certificate at a later stage but only when she incorporates the changes which we have asked for, a senior member of the board told Mumbai Mirror. The objections are for the length of the intimate scenes, explains the officer.
There are four lovemaking scenes in Jism 2, all with Sunny Leone in them. The problem is not the number of such scenes, but their length. All four scenes are too long and will have to be cut so that their impact is diluted. There is
no frontal nudity but 'kaafi explicit hai'. Hence, we did not issue a certificate. We will certify the film only when Pooja returns with the modified version, which should have the intimate scenes cut to half their length.
A very reliable source from the Censor Board tells us that all the love-making scenes featuring the irrepressible Sunny Leone in passionate contact with her two co-stars Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh have been reduced by half. The source said:
There are four major love-making scenes in Jism 2, 3 featuring Ms Leone with Randeep Hooda , and 1 with Arunoday Singh. Each of these was 2-3 minutes long. We asked Pooja Bhatt to reduce them to 1- 1 1/2 minutes each.
Apparently Pooja Bhatt agreed to comply with the cuts rather than go with the film to the Revising Committee. Says our source from the Censor Board Of Film Certification:
Pooja did argue. But she had
clearly come to us with lengthy love-making scenes. We've nothing against characters making love on screen... AS LONG As ... they get their mutual feeling across without over-staying their welcome. We collectively felt the 4 love-making
scenes in Jism 2 were over-staying their welcome. Once the mutual passion between the two partners was establishment there was no need to prolong the erotic content.
Warner Bros have pulled their Gangster Squad trailer after the Colorado cinema massacre and in addition, are cutting gun scenes out from Dark Knight Rises trailers.
It's a small, symbolic concession to show that the violence has
shocked the studio to the core. It's something that we expected, but could more restrictions be placed on trailers? Is this also going to have an impact on gun laws in the future?
Next time you watch a trailer for an action movie, check out the
gun references to see just how visible they are.
Warner Bros is now rethinking its plans for the film Gangster Squad in light of a scene featuring a movie-theatre shooting, but beyond that Hollywood executives expect little fall-out from the mass killing at a Batman screening on Friday in
Officials at Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros are expected to discuss whether to remove or edit the Gangster Squad shooting scene, or to change the September 7 release date for the film. Warner Brothers have already
pulled the trailer that included the scene in which men open fire with machineguns on an audience in a movie theatre.
Industry experts said moviegoers were likely to move on quickly from the shooting and studios would proceed mostly as planned.
Theatres tightened security over the weekend to reassure customers and one chain imposed new rules on costumes.
The immediate reaction is to go to some dark place when something like this happens. By Monday that's forgotten and the business of
releasing a movie takes over, said one person familiar with the studios' thinking. Especially for big-budget films, studios like to stick with planned openings as they spend tens of millions of dollars to raise awareness in advance. Filmgoers don't
dwell on isolated incidents for long, said Peter Sealey, a former Columbia marketing chief who now heads the Sausalito Group consulting firm.
Ronn Torossian, chief executive of New York-based 5W Public Relations, agreed that the public has a
very short-term memory of news events and said the Aurora shooting would not leave a long-term impact on film promotion.
Warner Bros. is moving the release of Gangster Squad to Jan. 11, postponing it from its scheduled Sept. 7 release date in order to accomodate reshoots because of a scene of a movie theater shoot-out in the completed film that became
problematic in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado. massacre.
The film included a climactic gun that was filmed at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The scene could be glimpsed in a trailer for the movie that the studio pulled from circulation on July 20
after the shooting that claimed 12 lives.
What I find utterly revolting and indecent, however, is the rush by the Religious Right to exploit this tragedy to trash their enemies, judge the victims, and bully people into joining their religious and political movement.
the American Family Association's radio program AFA Today, the hosts wasted no time lining up a far-right Evangelical minister, Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, to tell the audience that among the dead in the theater only those who were true
Christians have gone to heaven. The rest, he suggested, are already consigned to hell.
Thanks, Preach. Great message to share with the grieving families. Of course, AFA Today doesn't give a turd about their feelings; the lesson of
the day was not of comfort or comprehension; it was yet another opportunity to scare their listeners into joining the flock. And not just any flock. The program went to great lengths to discredit any minister or church that deviates from the Old Time
Religion view of God as a stern and wrathful judge. How, according to Rev. Newcombe, should we respond to the shooting?
The independent romantic comedy Dorfman has won a battle to have its R rating changed to a PG-13, the appeals board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has said.
The movie had been assigned an R rating because of some sexual content
, specifically the word fluffer, which refers to an employee on an adult film set who prepares male actors for performing sex scenes.
The appeals board heard statements from both the film's producer, Leonard Hill, and its writer, Wendy
Kout, as well as MPAA chairwoman Joan Graves. After conferring briefly, the board unanimously overturned the rating, 12-0.
We were basically told that unless we replaced the word in question with
a term less noxious --- like 'hooker' or 'stripper' --- that we had to keep the R rating. It seems so bizarre and arbitrary. Still, we made a determination to appeal it, even though we had to waste two months and $300 for the right to appeal, which isn't
nothing for a small production like we are.
The new Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover on finances of the 'Mormon Empire' has drawn nutter criticism.
A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:
The Businessweek cover is in
such poor taste it is difficult to even find the words to comment on it, said Michael Purdy, Sadly, the cover is a reflection of the bias and speculative nature of the article itself. It is narrow and incomplete, omitting, for instance, a good deal
of information given on how church resources are used.
The article misses the mark and the cover is obviously meant to be offensive to many, including millions of Latter-day Saints.
The cover caricatures a
classic LDS painting of what to Mormons is a sacred visitation by John the Baptist to early LDS leaders Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery The cover headline reads Inside the Mormon Empire. The accompanying illustration portrays John the Baptist
telling Smith and Cowdery to build a shopping mall, own stock in Burger King, and open a Polynesian theme park in Hawaii that shall be largely exempt from the frustrations of tax, to which Joseph responds: Hallelujah.
Rick Edmonds, a
media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, a school dedicated to excellence and integrity in journalism said:
As someone who has been watching the coverage of politics and faith and more specifically of 'the
Mormon question' for the last year, I see this as a great step backward. I thought we were past ridiculing sacred images of other faiths, even radical Muslims, let alone our fellow Americans. I doubt the story is as out of whack as the cover, but on its
own, the cover crosses way over the line between commentary and bigotry.
Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Seminary, a graduate-level seminary for Evangelicals said:
This cover ridicules
respected spiritual leaders and the Mormon faith by distorting a picture of sacred value and respect and turning it into a caricature.
John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, posted a comment about the cover on his Facebook
Teenagers Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar delivered a 28,000 signature petition to Teen Vogue to express their distaste for the common magazine practice of airbrushing images.
A group of approximately 10 girls staged a protest fashion show
outside the Conde' Nast building in Times Square to deliver the petition. Smiling for the cameras, the teenagers walked up and down a makeshift runway holding placards like Let's get real -- all girls are beautiful and Teen Vogue #KeepItReal.
Emma Stydahar, 17, a high school senior said:
I don't think girls should grow up in a world where beauty magazines dictate they should have a low self-esteem.
Images that have been
photoshopped have a bad effect and can really hurt young girls. We're looking for more diversity of girls and body types [in these publications].
According to Stydahar, 75% of girls get depressed within three minutes of shuffling
through a beauty magazine's pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable.
[And if the images were no longer airbrushed then girls would still get depressed within three minutes of shuffling through a beauty magazine's
pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable]. Fashion models are unattainably pretty, even without Photoshop...Get over it.
The girls were allowed to meet with Teen Vogue editors, where they handed over a petition to the magazine with more than 20,000 signatures, however they told
Jezebel the editors reactions were not what they expected.
They explained: We walked in, there was no handshake, no "my name is", none of that. Just, "you sit here, you sit there. So you wanted this meeting - what do you want to
say?" We said what is in our petition... They proceeded to take out handfuls of magazines with little Post-It notes in them, [marking] what they perceived to be diverse images.
Most of them were thin African-American models. It was a
good start - we love seeing women of color in these magazines. But two or three an issue - and all of them super stick skinny - isn't what we're looking for.
Emma added that the meeting consisted of the editors telling the teenagers that they
hadn't done their homework , and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, being unfairly accused.
Another team of health campaigners feel that the US film censorship system should be used to further their pet cause.
Movies that show actors smoking tobacco should automatically earn an R rating in order to minimize copycat smoking among
impressionable tweens and teenagers, the authors of a new study suggest. Lead author James D. Sargent, M.D., a cancer-prevention specialist and professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, N.H. said:
The movie industry [should] treat smoking like it treats profanity and sex and violence. If saying the 'F' word twice gets you an R rating, certainly something as important as smoking should get you an R rating.
seems to be saying that because the censorship scheme is naff in one area, then they may as well make it even more naff in another area. There is no comment from team on how this will effect the all important credibility of film ratings.
study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics , was designed in part to refute the notion that it's difficult to untangle movie smoking from the many other situations, both on-screen and off, that may contribute to adolescent
PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen, according to the two-year study, which surveyed roughly 5,000 children ages 10 to 14 about the movies they'd seen and whether they'd ever
tried a cigarette.
Smoking in PG-13 films---including background shots and other passing instances---was just as strongly linked with real-world experimentation as the smoking in R-rated films. For every 500 smoking scenes a child saw in PG-13
movies, his or her likelihood of trying cigarettes increased by 49%. The comparable figure for R-rated movies was 33%, a statistically negligible difference.
Assigning an R rating to all movies portraying smoking would lower the proportion of kids
who try cigarettes at this age by 18%, the authors estimate. (Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult to buy a ticket for an R-rated movie.)
Sargent and his colleagues can't prove from this study alone that movies incite kids to smoke.
But they did zero in on movies by controlling for a wide range of extenuating factors, including race, household income, school performance, parenting styles, smoking among friends and family members, and even personality traits such as rebelliousness.
Since 2007, the MPAA has included smoking among its key ratings criteria, along with language, sex, violence, and drug use. According to the association, film raters consider smoking in this broader context, and they also consider how frequent,
glamorized, or historically relevant it is.
The long legal battle between CBS and the Federal Communications Commission over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show is over.
The Supreme Court has refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a
$550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who at the end of a song tore a piece of Jackson's top, exposing her bare breast to an audience of about 90 million.
So the legal trail end
at the last judgement in November when an appeal court in Philadelphia upheld its earlier ruling that the FCC's indecency fine against the network was invalid. The court didn't say whether the incident was indecent but said the FCC's fine represented an
undisclosed change in the enforcement of its policy with regard to fleeting images and hence could not be enforced.
In a statement, CBS said it was gratified to finally put this episode behind us and noted that at every major turn
of this process, the lower courts have sided with us. The network added that since the Super Bowl, it has added delays to all live programming to prevent similar incidents from happening.