Melancholia and the Infinite Sadness: A truly Dark Side of the Rainbow

When first told about the idea to combine Lars Von Trier’s cinematic ode to romanticized depression with the mid-’90s classic from Smashing Pumpkins, what struck me was the obvious similarity of titles. But then the little things start to add up:  Kirsten Dunst’s character in Melancholia is named Justine and the Pumpkins song “1979” also features a character by that name; “Justine never knew the rules.”

David Plate, a multi-media artist who goes by “MK Ultrasound,” has collected a list of correspondences between the two pieces of media (enough that he considers Von Trier may have utilized the album as a direct influence or even intended it as a secret soundtrack). If you want to experience it and judge for yourself, Plate has made this experiment in Xenochrony available to the public:


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Forget Turducken. It’s Piecaken Time.

This is so quintessentially American I just had to serve it for y’all at Thanksgiving (via the New York Times):

Piecaken by David Burke fabrick

Piecaken by David Burke fabrick

What is piecaken, you ask?

It sounds like a figment of some weird Thanksgiving fever dream, but it’s real: three types of pie stuffed in a cake. And social media has unexpectedly crowned it as the next big thing on Thanksgiving dessert tables, a space typically reserved for the just-the-basics trifecta of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie.

Piecaken has existed in underground dessert-eating circles for years, but a Thanksgiving-inspired recipe from pastry chefs at David Burke Fabrick in New York spent some time this week on the daytime talk show circuit. It’s a spiced poundcake with layers of pecan pie and pumpkin pie, topped with upside-down apple pie, slathered in cinnamon buttercream and edged in oat struessel. Just look at this thing.

Zac Young, the executive pastry chef for David Burke Group, said Wednesday that he dreamed up the recipe four months ago with Fabrick’s pastry chef, Gian Martinez.

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ISIL and the West: A Clash of Savageries

Lamis Andoni writes at Al-Jazeera English:

In the post 9/11 days, the US unabashedly exploited fear and grief to unleash its own sophisticated campaign of terror, replete with all that military technology can offer, providing a “civilised” cover for what are essentially mass murders of innocent populations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Unlike al-Qaeda and the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Western civility rarely includes on-camera beheadings or burning captives alive in cages, but relies on the comfortable process of burning people through the simple pressing of a button – disassociating the murderer from the murder.

That does not exactly include Israeli criminal acts against Palestinians, often caught on camera, but “Israeli exceptionalism” absolves it from accusations of savagery.

In the West and according to Israeli political lingo, savagery is a trait confined to other nations who fall outside “shared values of democracy and freedom”, a propaganda concept that is used to camouflage – even whitewash – all Israeli and Western government crimes.

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Butterball Helps American Idiots

Happy Thanksgiving American disinfonauts. For some light relief amidst all that heavy eating, salivate over the idiocy of callers to the Butterball help line, courtesy of the Guardian:

Turning a 12lb bird into a meal for 10 while juggling friends and in-laws is a task that would have a St Lawrence, patron saint of chefs, reaching for the Xanax. People need help. Last year, about five million home cooks reached out to the talk line through 1-800-Butterball,, live chat, email and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. On Thanksgiving day alone, the talk line answered more than 10,000 calls.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Photo: Patrick Fitzgerald


In the weeks leading up to the big day, the phone lines at the Chicago-based center are busy with callers wondering what type of turkey to buy, how to prepare it and most often how to defrost it.

People can get quite creative with their thawing solutions, said Johnson.

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Anonymous ‘Anti-Islamic State List’ Features Obama and BBC News


Grace Dean reports for the BBC:

Anonymous “declared war” on so-called Islamic State (IS) after the jihadist group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks on Friday 13 November.

Hackers said they would take down “IS-linked” social media accounts.

A list, shared online by Anonymous, claimed it detailed more than 20,000 accounts which had already been disabled.

But among the thousands of Twitter names the list features Barack Obama’s official account and even BBC News.

The list has been stored on Pastebin, a web app commonly used to anonymously publish text online.

Who else is on the list?

Newsbeat has looked through the list and discovered many more unlikely targets.

Obama’s right-hand woman is there, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton), as well as the White House (@WhiteHouse), the US State Department (@StateDept), a Twitter “help” account for people trying to get verified and America’s most famous newspaper, the New York Times (@nytimes).

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What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?


Have you ever wondered what animals think and feel? Let’s start with a question: Does my dog really love me, or does she just want a treat? Well, it’s easy to see that our dog really loves us, easy to see, right, what’s going on in that fuzzy little head. What is going on? Something’s going on.

But why is the question always do they love us? Why is it always about us? Why are we such narcissists?I found a different question to ask animals. Who are you?

There are capacities of the human mind that we tend to think are capacities only of the human mind. But is that true? What are other beings doing with those brains? What are they thinking and feeling? Is there a way to know? I think there is a way in. I think there are several ways in. We can look at evolution, we can look at their brains and we can watch what they do.Read the rest

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To Forgive: An Ongoing Conversation with My Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Grandmother

tanakawho (CC BY-NC 2.0)

tanakawho (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In February of this past year, I had an interesting conversation with my grandmother about ISIS, God, and the nature of forgiveness. She is an apocalyptic fundamentalist of the Christian persuasion and that is how I was raised, though I now consider myself to be agnostic. I wrote about the conversation and shared it with a few friends, as well as with my family, most of whom are also Christian fundamentalists. Barring a few Bible verses that were texted to me by an aunt (described in more detail, below) no one else in my family bothered to respond, which is fairly typical of my clan. Anything that challenges their beliefs is usually seen as a threat, and instead of engaging with me in these sorts of conversations, they often retreat and just pretend like I never said anything. I considered publishing the piece here on Disinfo, but ultimately held off…it felt very personal and I was apprehensive about it getting back to my grandmother, who might view it as some sort of betrayal.… Read the rest

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