Foreign Intelligence Brief #407: On White House Beer & The Appeal Of Diner En Blanc



The greatest thing about the American election cycle? It’s the return of Get Your War On! Press play on the video above for a fantastical taste of two lovers theoretically entwined at the Republican National Convention.

And what a god awful sham it was, Clint Eastwood’s bizarre antics notwithstanding.

These three buttoned-up dudes explaining the dangers of masturbation to deaf Jehovah’s Witnesses are really feelin’ it. What’s missing is a sexy soundtrack, not to mention a woman.

Cute as fuck: when skateboarding first arrived in New York City in the 1960’s.

Venice is sinking: Terrence Malick’s new film To The Wonder booed by critics at Venice Film Festival.

A comedic history of internet spam.

The latest marketing initiative from Absolut is a limited edition vodka bottle (a run of 4 million). The new product packaging will become available at airport bars (and other shit holes) around the world this October.

Covers of Where magazine subtly reveal the publication’s ethos.

In Singapore, the Diner en Blanc mass secret supper organisers went too far with their control-freakiness by disinviting local bloggers and telling people what they could and couldn’t bring to eat. Still, from a business perspective and as a social experiment in population control, it remains a wonderful idea: let’s make it ridiculously exclusive, host it in a sterile environment, have everyone dress up head-to-toe in white, subject their enjoyment to a bunch of stupid restrictions, have them pay good money to bring their own food (seriously), and get them to ejaculate in unison with sparklers at the end of it all to celebrate their participation in a masturbatory spectacle that has no meaning. Ka-ching! Pure genius, and we (together with our media) fell for it hard.

Unrelated: the why of not wearing white after Labour Day:

By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already “in” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Ever been stirred by Jack Kerouac’s reading of Old Angel Midnight? His collected poems have just been published by the Library of America.

Barack Obama becomes the first President to make alcohol in The White House. His kitchen crew releases its beer brewing secrets and recipes.

Bonus: new JPL panorama images put you in driver’s seat on Mars.

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