China Syndrome

First, some business. For those of you who missed it, I was on Chicago Public Radio’s “The Morning Shift” on August 16th discussing my article about Vivian Maier’s copyright. You can hear my dulcet tones if you so desire. 

Oh, and accept no substitutes for my story. In this case, I don’t consider plagiarism a form of flattery. It’s quite the opposite, really.

Onward.

And we’re off!

My fellow Americans, China is kicking our ass when it comes to odd news. It’s embarrassing, but not surprising since China is the largest country on Earth. Odds are with the Chinese that they’re gonna have weird shit happen in their homeland, not just on a daily basis, but hourly too.

A big hat tip to ChinaSMACK for these stories. And to the Chinese for being as weird and whacky as the rest of the humans here.

Nurse in Hunan Tapes Sign to Newborn’s Face: ‘Lump of Shit’

(photo courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(photo courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

First, I’d love to write the heds for this publication. I liken it to writing for the Chinese version of the New York Post or The Weekly World News.

When baby Hao Hao was born in June, his parents couldn’t be happier. He’s a male baby born in China after all! China IS the country that’s beaming with pride over its zero population growth, scorn for baby girls, one child policy, and sky-high abortion rate. So, when wee Hao Hao suddenly got sick, it was discovered that one of the nurses had an issue with the wee Asian bairn, and decided to inject him with something that caused him to hemorrhage. You know that’s bad, right? At some point after the injection, to the baby shitting hisself and getting sicker and sicker, the nurse taped the “Lump of shit” note on his noggin. According to the nurse, it was all a big, fat egg roll of a misunderstanding. Turns out, Chinese nurses dig on taping obnoxious notes on one another — you know– to pass the time before they’re forced to return to their gulag-esque living quarters. The baby got in the way and the rest is history. Gotta get your laughs somewhere I guess. Who knew that was even possible in China.

Civil Servant at Work Leaves Phone Off the Hook, Eats Pear

Well, a gal’s gotta eat sometimes.

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

‘Being 30 and Unmarried Should be Illegal and Punished!’

There are over a billion people in China, and they couldn’t find anything else to report on?

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

Not being married by a certain age is one of the few lifestyle choices that is not illegal in China. According to legal experts, what this old man was yammering about is a ‘moral issue.’

That settles it then.

Edward Snowden should be thrilled he’s not Chinese.

Oops.

And…

Schoolboys Use Their Shadows to Shade Girls From Hot Sun

My fave sub head in this story: Boys praised as usually being naughty, but having a sense of responsibility at the key moment

It’s hot in China is August, so the normally naughty boys at this particular school, rose to the occasion and shaded their sweltering sisters from the blinding sun. 

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

Finally …

Government Cracks Down on Organized Online Rumormongering

Good luck getting through this graf. It’s one helluva sentence.

“Recently, Beijing police, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Security and in accordance with reports by the masses, began prosecution according to the law to bring down an internet marketing company that deliberately manufactures and disseminates rumors maliciously infringing upon other people’s reputations in order to illegally reap economic benefit — Beijing Erma Interactive Marketing Planning Limited Company (hereinafter referred to as Erma Ltd), and has arrested Qin Zhihui (online name “秦火火” [literally “Qin Hot Hot”, suggesting the ability to make things popular], male, 30 years old, born in Hunan Province Hengnan County Xianghua Village, high school education, and former Erma Ltd employee), Yang Xiuyu (online name “立二拆四” [literally “erect two demolish four”], male, 40 years old, born in Jilin Province Baishan City Qidaojiang Town, and founder of Erma Ltd), and another 4 members of the company.”

I wanna know what exactly “Erect Two Demolish Four” is erecting then demolishing. Hmm.

 

 

February Can Blow Me

Well, February did blow but not in the way we all know and love.

I got nothing out of it except that I got to celebrate the 18th anniversary of my 29th birthday with some friends/family (got an iPad out of it–SCORE), learned that I’m a reporter/writer/editor and NOT a research editor. and was provided with even more evidence that I need to live in warmer climes and take bets on hermit crab races.

While I was reeling after the latest shit sandwich of a temp job that ended up with me ‘not being a good fit’ (whatever the fuck that means), a few awesome stories almost got past my radar.

The first is my fave. I don’t know how else to describe this particular yarn except, well, to wonder why I am not a drug addict after reading such a tale.

From Oddity Central.

Indian Sculptor Makes Creepy Bust of Favorite Politician from His Own Blood

My head hurts now.

(courtesy of FooYah.com)

(courtesy of FooYah.com)

Apparently, some loyal constituent in the world’s largest democracy, decided it would be neato to pay homage to his fab fave politico by sculpting a bust of said pol. Nice and not that unheard of in this day and age. However, busts of this sort are normally sculpted out fo marble, or stone or clay. Maybe even shit if certain materials are not abundant.

But, this particular bust was made out of … wait for it … BLOOD. (Thank god my gag reflex has calmed considerably after my years of being bulimic because my computer would be covered in puke right now)

Read on…

“An Indian man known only as Hussaini has recently unveiled a shocking work of art – a bust of J. Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu state, made from 11 litres of frozen human blood, donated by him and 32 of his students.

Apparently, nothing shows admiration for a person like making a creepy sculpture of them from human blood. At least that’s what Hussaini, a sculptor and archery teacher from Chennai, must have thought when he got the idea to create a bust of Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha out of his own frozen blood, for her 65th birthday. The noted artist wanted to thank the politician for being the “most sports loving CM of India” and for her support to his archery association, and since he had a few liters of his own blood stored for special occasions, he decided to put it to good use. You see, Hussaini has had his blood drawn at three-month intervals, over the last eight years, waiting for an opportunity to use it as a medium for his sculpture. But he only had 6.5 liters of blood, and this special project required 11. Luckily, his 32 archery students were more than willing to donate the extra 4.5 liters needed to complete the project.”

Oh no, not just Hussaini’s blood is in this masterpiece, but the blood of his archery students too. There are so many jokes there that my mind can’t handle the overflow, and my stomach is starting to churn, so the need to down Maalox by the gallon starts NOW.

I know you’re all probably wondering how the entire fuck he did this, so grab a pen and paper and write it down. Or, to really get in the mood, you may want to write in your own blood.

“To create his blood sculpture, the artist first created a made one from clay. He then prepared a silicone mold, encased it in a hard outer shell and filled it with the 11 liters of blood. The mold was finally frozen at -27 degrees Celsius, for two months. On the day of the unveiling, Hussaini revealed the other big idea behind his plasma artwork – blood donation. “If I can organize 11 liters of blood, then every other citizen can follow suit and save many lives,” he said.”

I hope Hussaini realizes that donating blood to make art is not the same as donating blood to, you know, save lives.

(Courtesy of New India Express)

(Courtesy of New India Express)

I hope the recipient has proper storage for this since India is not exactly known for its mild climate and low humidities. Ahem. Craaaap–can’t get that image out of my noggin. Fuuuuck.

On a somewhat happy note, the Chief Minister was none too pleased with this tribute and advised Hussaini to never do this again.

I hope he heeds her advice.

The parade of weird continues in the south Pacific.

Indonesian mother kills son over ‘small penis’

From Raw Story.

Apparently, whilst mum was prepping her darling son for his circumcision, she said “Fuck it, I’ll just kill him because his peen is so wee, he’s in for a lifetime of hell because of it.”

And she did.

Nothing else can be said about it by your’s truly here.

According to one of my fave websites, The Sartorialist, these are the penny loafers to own. Of course, they can’t be bought stateside, so you have to wing on over to Milan to purchase them.

(Courtesty of The Sartorialist)

(Courtesty of The Sartorialist)

Not your style, eh? Well shit howdy, at least they ain’t made out of blood–that’s enough to get me to buy ’em and I don’t even wear penny loafers.

Post-holiday news bloat

There are definitely advantages to living in a semi-booming metropolis. One of those advantages is news stories such as this one.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Crossdressing muggers charged in Lincoln Park assaults

There’s nothing wrong with your reading skills, you read that correctly: Dudes who look like ladies are swiping the personal belongings off of unsuspecting folks as they stroll through one of the hoitier ‘hoods of Chicago.

Read on…

“Two men dressed as women were charged with mugging a teenage girl Friday as she walked near Lincoln Park Zoo, only minutes after they allegedly assaulted another pedestrian and tried to take his wallet, prosecutors said.

Brandon Arnold, 24, of the 6800 block of South Aberdeen Street, and roommate Michael Burns, 21, appeared in Cook County Central Bond Court charged with robbery and attempted armed robbery, both sporting long, styled hair and gray leggings. Their bond was set at $100,000 each.”

My, what handsome ladies.

Gray leggings? I do hope they were wearing long enough tops to cover their man bits because the only place I want to see a dude wearing leggings is if he’s channelling his inner-Balanchine by mincing and prancing about on stage with the Joffrey Ballet. If that’s not the scenario, then it’s time learn about, love and wear a codpiece. Or, better yet, be a man and go get your pud snipped off by a professional.

Continue, please.

“Court records say the pair approached a 16-year-old girl as she walked past an alley in the 2300 block of North Lincoln Park West around 2:24 p.m.

Arnold asked the girl for directions, then raised a can of pepper spray and said, “Give me your camera or I’ll mace you.” The girl gave up her camera, then Arnold allegedly demanded the girl’s iPhone and ran off with Brandon down Fullerton Avenue.

Five minutes earlier, prosecutors said Arnold and Burns had attacked a man about half a mile away in the 2600 block of North Cannon Drive.”

I know this area well since I used to live a bit north of the crime scenes. Crossdressers are not an unusual sight at all.

“Five minutes earlier, prosecutors said Arnold and Burns had attacked a man about half a mile away in the 2600 block of North Cannon Drive.

The victim said one of the men grabbed him from behind and tried to take his wallet, but the man was able to wrestle free.”

Maybe he busted one of the alleged mugger’s sculpted nails.

” ‘When I turned around, one was holding the can of mace, but it must have jammed or it didn’t work,” the victim said.

 The man took off running with Arnold and Burns giving chase. The two alleged muggers gave up as the victim outran them. When he had enough distance from this attackers, the man called police on his cell phone.

The teenage victim was following her attackers down Fullerton when a squad car responding to the first victim’s call arrived. Burns and Arnold dropped the phone and camera in some bushes, then dropped the can of pepper spray, court records said.

“It wasn’t funny at all,” the male victim said Saturday. “These guys attacked two people, minutes apart, in broad daylight in the park.’ “

Okayokayokay — it isn’t funny — a teenager got mugged. Well the truth is,  it is kinda funny. I did laugh and so did you. I mean, really, crossdressing muggers are the new black in my book. I give them huge credit for wearing leggings in public and for daring to wear titty-pink lipstick north of the Mason-Dixon. But, mugging during the day in a popular area? Fucking dumbasses.

I must admit, however, I do like the hairdo of the one on the bottom.

The tour continues below.

It’s safe to say that McCrabass is a huge, news junkie. I read everything. I have a voracious appetite for information — especially the weird. Below, we have the apex of strange.

Courtesy of the Guardian.

Reborns: dolls so lifelike you could mistake them for real infants

Sidenote: Dolls in general really make me uneasy. They’re up there with mimes, clowns and contortionists. Mimes because the whole ‘trapped in a box’ bit makes me want to pick the boxed-mime up and toss him over a bridge into the icy water below, then watch him mime for help. Clowns equal evil — ’nuff said. As for contortionists, I need a little bit more space between the sun and the moon if you catch my drift.

Now, reborns? They’re dolls that look and sorta feel like real babies. However, some people treat them like real babies by dressing them up in real baby clothes, cooing at them with real cooing sounds and trot them out in public as if they were real babies.

According to photographer Rebecca Martinez, these dolls have a real place in real society.

Read. (I edited it a bit because after reading this, it’s obvious the Guardian doesn’t employ editors.)

” ‘If I go out and I hold this doll in any way other than you would a real baby, people get mad. I cannot just hold it casually, like by one arm or whatever, because people will go, ‘It’s not right, you can’t do that.’ They go crazy. Even though the rational self knows it’s a doll.’ “

Before I continue, I must disclose that McCrabass does not have children. I like kids, but I never felt the need to breed. Not selfish, not physically incapable, I just never wanted kids. Kids are great, but not great enough for McCrabass. Plus, I would be the worst mom — I could never curb my salty language and fart jokes. Plus, I’d let them eat anything they wanted, so it’s for the betterment of society that McCrabass only has cats.

I get the idea of using one of these reborns to temporarily help a parent get over the loss of a child, or as a teaching tool. But, to cart the fake wee bairn around as if it’s a real live breathing, eating, screaming and crapping baby is a titch too much even for open-minded me.

Continue …

“Martinez is full of stories about the way people react to a Reborn doll – the people who get freaked out and won’t touch them, the people who seem to feel neutral towards them and yet start rocking them as if they were real, the men who play pranks with them. But before we consider the reactions of bystanders, the experiences of people who make and buy them are fascinating.

Claire Hughes and Min Li, two UK-based Reborn creators, are very upbeat and straightforward that this is an act of craft, with a burgeoning and busy market. Hughes remarks on the power of the dolls, but the vignettes she describes seem to underscore the fact that it’s illusory: “My mum works in a care home with old people. If I take one of the dolls in, they love it. They think it’s real, it calms them right down. The manager can’t even look at them.” She likens it to eccentric male hobbies – playing with train sets, or sitting for three hours by a riverbank, waiting to catch a fish.”

Playing with TOY trains is considered an eccentric male hobby? I’m gonna need a judge’s ruling on that claim.

“Martinez has observed the reactions these dolls get in many different scenarios, with friends and strangers, in different countries and cultures. “People say they want to hold the baby, then they get surprised, because the baby is made to feel as real as possible. Often, they’ll start rocking the baby and cooing at it. And they’ll realise what they’re doing and they’ll get embarrassed. They know on one level it’s not real, and sometimes they’re ashamed that they feel like that, that they’ve been fooled. It’s something very deep and biological in people, something instinctive we have, that they’re automatically comforting their baby. Some people are just delighted; they’ll kiss the baby and not want to give it back. One time I had a man and he grabbed it and his body just tensed up, and he threw it on the ground. And I was upset, I said, ‘Hey, that’s a very expensive item, how dare you do that?’ And he was so into what he was doing, he was so stiff, he wouldn’t move for several minutes. He was trembling.”

Cooing at a doll? Seriously? Not wanting to give it back? Kissing it? Are these people fuckin’ half-wits or what?

“Duh… tell me about the rabbits, George.”

Perhaps most of these folks are hoping these dolls will grow up to be one of these.

No wonder this world is in the shitter.

However, PSAs such as this one give me hope that society is sliding down Crap Mountain at a glacial pace rather than at high speed: