Another messy Monday: censorship, talk radio, and other awkward things.

GOP convention features “bullet-pocked” Obama outhouse

In case you’ve been living under a rock this year, a presidential election in the US is fast approaching. That means all decorum is lost and the shit hits the fan—or, in the case of some political “art,” the bathroom.

A Republican Party convention in Montana this weekend featured highlights like Newt Gingrich, a gun/shovel/duct tape raffle, and—oh, right! An outhouse fondly called “Obama’s Presidential Library.”

The portable creative work featured a fake Obama birth certificate stamped “Bullshit”, in reference to the racist and tiresome “debate” over whether he was born in America. Every outhouse has a little graffiti on the walls, and this one was no exception. On the side of the bathroom was written, “for a good time call 1-800-Michelle Hillary Nancy.”

Also, the outhouse was painted to look like it was hit with a slew of bullets.

“That’s So Gay”: Now Okay!

Surprise! It’s apparently okay to use the word “gay” to mean “stupid” or “weak” according to the Broadcast Standards Council.

The response has been split: on the one hand, it’s disappointing that a group of people can agree that “stupid” and “weak” are acceptable synonyms for a queer identity, and not see a problem there. At the same time, censorship has been a tool that often targets the queer community, so it’s generally something to avoid. Besides, people have said awful things on talk radio for a while now, much of which manages to “fit into” broadcast standards…so maybe we should be focusing on changing social norms, instead of policing people’s words.

Speaking of censorship…

Google is reporting an “alarming” rise in censorship in the past half-year. The search engine has received more requests to remove political content—including from Western governments like Canada, the US, UK and Spain.

Question: Can men and women be friends?
Apparently the question is some matter of debate, according to NPR.

After all,

Some of the research indicates that men, in particular, are somewhat likely to both report some level of attraction to their female friends and to believe their female friends feel some level of attraction to them.

I’m not really sure what to say to that. So… we’re not allowed to be attracted to our friends? If we do find our friends attractive, how exactly does that render our bonds disingenuous, anyway? I particularly like Faith and Mario’s “but he’s gay!” argument as to how they maintain their friendship. Right, because no straight girl has crushed out on her gay friend ever.

@Sweden… Well that was awkward.
Shortly after @Sweden got boatloads of New York Times buzz for its “new person each week” crowdsourced twitter project, the person who was manning the account at the time started tweeting some very strange screeds. Check out my storify for the whole rundown.

This post also ran on the This Magazine blog today.


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