Godfrey’s Pub Crawl: “We Have a Dream” Special!

2015-01-23_2250You missed Monday’s Godfrey’s Pub Crawl? But then you missed Derek B’s recap of FurCon 2015, and you missed one of FurCon 2015’s attendees calling in to the show to answer a few lingering questions! You really need to get on this, and you need to know that you can call in every Monday from 6-8 p.m. PST at 415-655-9246 because we love you and we want to hear from you. Seriously, why don’t you call more often? It’s like you don’t love us anymore. 

Kisses,

PB

50's guy

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1/22/15: Furry Tails Part 1 – Rumors at the Bar

Clip 4Derek B

It’s not often that you stand next to a five-foot tall squirrel at the bar while waiting to order a Miller Lite. And if ordering a beer next to a plush cartoon character who can barely manipulate the currency needed to pay for a peach-colored drink that would be more at home in a sippy cup being handled by an infant child isn’t odd enough, then watching said squirrel consume that liquor through a straw through its plastic snout should qualify as “exceptional” at the very least.

Such was my introduction to FurCon 2015, short for “Further Confusion,” a gathering of like-minded individuals with crippling social anxiety who come together to revel in their shared love for all things colorful, furry, and borderline pedophiliac. And this being the third weekend of January, 2015, what better way to celebrate the 86th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth than by dressing up as a unicorn and fucking a stranger dressed as a furry tiger in the stairwell of a Holiday Inn Express?

I came to the San Jose Convention Center on this Saturday evening with the expressed intent of investigating a furry convention for both my own edification and to report back to Godfrey’s Pub Crawl, an internet radio show on FCCFreeRadio.com of which I am a part, and I came equipped with what I thought would be enough provisions to brave the dander-riddled air and navigate the alcohol and MDMA-soaked waters of a furry convention. Those provisions included a Tascam DR-03 dat recorder and a head full of absinthe, but when a woman wearing a plastic masquerade mask and a leopard-print shirt with a plunging neckline took a seat next to me at the bar, I began to worry that I may have underestimated my assignment. I was interested in some interviews, but the atmosphere was beginning to make it seem as though this would require more subterfuge than simply strutting through the convention in a leather jacket and jeans.

Hayley explained that she had worn her leopard-print shirt and purchased her masquerade accessories for $5 on the way to the convention center because she was a civilian like myself, interested only in infiltrating FurCon in order to bear firsthand witness to the madness she had heard so much about over the years.

She was a fellow traveler, and serendipity and alcohol brought us together at the end of the San Jose Marriott Convention Center bar where she quickly divulged sensitive and insider information about the goings-on around us. She had an inside line, she told me—she knew people who worked at the hotel, and they had told her that there was a room, somewhere on the third floor, that was “covered in plastic.”

“You mean like Dexter-style?” I asked.

“If Dexter liked to dress up as a panda and fuck women dressed as German shepherds, yes.”

It was obvious that Hayley had chosen the proper tack by imbibing increasing amounts of increasingly strong liquor, and so I cast aside my Miller Lite and ordered a double shot of Johnny Walker Red, neat, as Hayley elaborated further points of furry life between intervening sips of Jack and Coke with Jose Cuervo chasers.

Part 2 …

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1/15/15 Patrick Bateman’s Ice Pick: Charlie Hebdo, Mohammad, and speech acts

Charlie Hebdo CoverIn Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, Patrick Bateman uses an ice pick to carve words into the backs of women, and the fact that he carves words into their backs is notable because their reaction (screaming and pain) is not in response to the words he writes but rather the act of dragging the ice pick across their skin. Inasmuch as Patrick Bateman may perceive himself as engaged in an act of speech (writing words with an ice pick), for the woman who becomes his parchment there is no act of speech but only a particular physical act inducing a physical reaction. This scene serves to illustrate an important difference between speech acts that are a function of representational meaning versus speech acts that are a function only of the features of their form in which meaning is somehow inherent in the object that comprises the representation rather than the thing to which that object refers. Put another way, Ellis’s scene shows us what it means to regard the object as meaningful in itself rather than the object as a signifier of a non-present referent.

Confusing meaning with the object itself is possible when those lines are traced with an ice pick into someone’s back, but the crucial point is that those lines are not themselves “meaningful” in the sense that for the woman whose back is being used to write them, those lines do not constitute words that she reads. Those lines instead produce a chemical response that is not a function of meaning but rather a response to a physical stimulus, and while we know that her screams are not in response to the message of the words that Bateman has written into her back but rather a response to the physical pain of the ice pick, any occasion in which we imagine the very form of words or any representation to be a violent act, the result is, in Walter Benn Michaels’ words, “a world in which what a speech act does is disconnected from what it means” (Michaels 69). And what speech acts do is necessarily, in fact inextricably linked to what they mean, since the lines and forms that comprise representations are arbitrary and inert and since only a scenario in which a psychopathic murderer may be carving them into your back do “words” become actions prior to, or altogether independent of interpretation, since it’s not like the woman can even see them in order to read them. Meaning thus arises through an act of interpretation in which objects, in this case lines, refer to an idea or concept that is independent of the form of the lines themselves and inherent instead in the concepts they represent.

The point is that speech acts use representations that signify thoughts and ideas, and meaning is produced through the act of interpretation—not, as it were, by screaming as an ice pick carves lines that one cannot even see to read. Those lines are not representations but rather physical stimuli, whereas representations are signifiers of meaningful referents. With this in mind, it is worth exploring how the mere act of drawing Muhammad is understood, for fundamentalist and perhaps even moderate followers of Islam, to be indistinguishable from Patrick Bateman’s ice pick.

Continue Reading …

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1/8/2015: Why Going to the Movies Sucks

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-official-posterI recently went to the movies for the first time since July, when I subjected myself to the multi-million dollar banality that was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a film that is a sprawling epic about sentient apes that clash with the moderately sentient inhabitants of a post-apepocalypse (you see what I did there? And to think that you don’t even have to pay for this!) San Francisco, many of whom, namely Kirk Acevedo’s character, Carver, have inexplicably forgotten about that somewhat notable news event from ten years prior—that’s ten years, folks—when a band of fucking apes destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge.

The point is: Why is this character so surprised to find talking apes in the woods north of San Francisco when this news story happened only ten years ago?! Carver’s incredulity at these talking apes occurs some ten minutes into the movie, and it was at that point that I settled in for the remaining 2 ½ hours of pointless mayhem interceded only by the laughable appearance of apes riding horseback. That and the fact that an invading horde of apes would be preferable to the mass of bearded hipsters who presently inhabit the Mission and Haight-Ashbury districts of San Francisco made the movie an insufferable waste of $15 in movie tickets and $10 in weed because when I go to see a movie about talking apes, you best believe I go equipped with plenty of edibles in the form of THC-laden Sour Patch Kids.

Continue Reading …

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1/5/2015: Top Ten Music Videos of the ’80s

Why not let’s start this, the first full week of 2015, with the first in what will become a daily or semi-daily blog as part of BannedCast.com?

Sure, the arguments against it are many, not the least of which is that no one should be subjected to the inane musings of yet another delusional, narcissistic internet blogger with nothing terribly interesting to say and a very poor way of saying it, but that hasn’t stopped anyone before, as evinced by the glut of inane musings presently flooding the internet in a clamorous cacophony of poorly written observations on everything from the latest episode of The Walking Dead (spoiler alert! It sucked) or how that Starbucks barista surely didn’t make your grande mocha Americano with the appropriate mocha-to-coffee ratio that you’ve come to expect.

Anyways, today I compromised my productivity at work by slamming a pot of Folgers coffee and Googling ’80s music videos, and I have compiled the following list of the top ten greatest ’80s music videos in terms of either their awesomeness or how well they represent that formative decade in my life known as the ’80s.

And yes, it was a shitty decade, which explains my all-consuming misanthropy.

  1. Toto — “Africa”

Bad RonaldHoly shit but this lead singer is a dead ringer for Zach Galifianakis, who needs to do a Between Two Ferns episode with this guy just so that we can confirm that they’re not actually the same person. Secondly, Bad Ronald is apparently playing keyboards. Watch, and enjoy, and don’t pretend like you don’t like this song and like you wouldn’t fuck that blazing hot African librarian because even that awful ’80s blouse can’t hide the amazing figure beneath. Also, enjoy the close-ups of the one dude’s moustache, and I’m not exactly sure how, but this video is totally racist, right?

Continue Reading …

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BannedCast Episode 5: Earlier This Year …

Happy New Year! Forget your imminent hangover by watching this, which will make that hangover feel less painful by comparison. Featuring a review of some of the 2014 news items you may have missed, and others you surely didn’t.

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BannedCast Episode 4: Your Ebola Recap

Whoops! We somehow forgot to post this! And what with a new video coming tomorrow, your New Year’s Eve cannot possibly get any better! And that’s depressing. Because you really should have better things going on in your life, you know.

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