A New Episode of VICE on HBO Airs Tonight at 11PM
Here at the VICE HQ we have a gigantic sand timer that we reset each week to count down the days until the next week’s HBO show. It takes ten interns all heaving at once to flip it, and the chances of one of them getting pinned underneath or losing a limb is real high. It adds a good deal of suspense to the buildup though, and according to our in-house risk assessment team it’s totally worth it. That is all to say that the sand timer is nearing its end, meaning a new episode of VICE on HBO is nigh. Here is what to expect from tonight’s episode, airing at 11:00 PM.
Indonesians like tobacco a whole lot. So much, in fact, that 67 million of them smoke it. There are no restrictions on advertising in the country, meaning ads targeted at young people abound, and kids often start smoking when they are as young as six years old. To top it off, some Indonesians actually think smoking is good for you and believe it cures all sorts of bad diseases, including cancer. We sent Thomas Morton over there to cut through the smoke and find out what’s really happening. Months later, he’s still coughing up weird yellow stuff.
Underground Heroin Clinic
It’s something of a universally acknowledged truth that a heroin addiction is one of the hardest habits to kick. In the US we offer replacement drugs like Methadone, but unfortunately those drugs are also highly addictive. There are other schools of thought that believe in a different approach, but the drugs they use are often illegal in America, meaning users who want to get clean with their methods have to leave the country. Ibogaine is a drug used to treat addiction in many parts of the world but is labeled a schedule I narcotic in the US. It is rumored to cure physical dependency on opiates without the terrible side effects of withdrawal, and is often used in tandem with a voodoo-like ritual. VICE co-founder Shane Smith traveled to Mexico with an underground heroin clinic based in Harlem to see how well this unconventional addiction cure really works.
How to Hone Your Gaydar to Perfection
Of all the gifts that God supposedly bestowed upon gay men—a dandy fashion sense, preternatural design abilities, a predilection for the word “fabulous”—the gaydar is both the handiest, and the most elusive. To an outsider (read: straight person), the ability to instantly catalog and assess a litany of small signs and signals and determine whether any old person on the street is gay or straight might seem innate in all who enjoy homosexual romps in bed, but it is actually a learned skill, like algebra or injaculation.
And you can learn it too! These days with more and more social circles becoming sexually diverse, how can you tell if the guy swinging a glow stick next to you at some Bushwick “rave” is looking to put his pole in a hole or looking for another pole to pole all over his face? [Wait, what?—Ed.]I enlisted the help of Jeffery Self, the author of Straight People: A Spotter’s Guide to the Fascinating World of Heterosexuals. He turned his sociological skills around and instead of telling us gays how to detect breeders, he’s teaching everyone the best practices for finding queers and dykes out in the wild.
VICE: At what types of places or events is it easiest to spot a gay guy?
Self: Oh! I’m so glad you asked, Brian! The easiest places to spot a gay are: Broadway open calls, boutique gyms, one man shows, any major city with a bar named The Eagle, SoulCycle classes, and Kevin Spacey’s Annual Memorial Day BBQ, which, as an FYI, is being moved from Ojai to Brentwood this year. Please read the invitation VERY carefully as no one is allowed to bring more than ONE guest. Last year simply got out of control and Taylor Lautner is literally just NOW able to ride a bike again.
What’s one sure giveaway that the guy you are looking at is gay?
Nowadays it’s very hard to tell the difference between straight and gay men, probably because gay people control the media and ultimately the world. If the guy you’re speaking to refers to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as simply “Lance,” he is without a doubt homosexual. Another rule of thumb is that if you look at a gay man VERY closely you will see the off kilter glare of a guy who has genuinely wondered why Monique hasn’t made a movie since Precious.
Don’t miss the new episode of VICE on HBO, tonight at 11!
Who’s Getting Rich Off the Prison-Industrial Complex?
You likely already know how overcrowded and abusive the US prison system is, and you probably are also aware that the US has more people in prison than even China or Russia. In this age of privatization, of course, it’s also not surprising that many of the detention centers are not actually operated by the government, but by for-profit companies. So clearly, some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages.
But who are these people?
Using NASDAQ data, I looked through the long list of investors in Corrections Corporation of America andGEO Group, the two biggest corporations that operate detention centers in the US, to find out who was cashing in the most on prisons. When we say “prison-industrial complex,” this is who we’re talking about.
The individual who’s invested the most in private prisons is Henri Wedell, who started serving on CCA’s board of directors in 2000, when the company was struggling with scandals related to prisoner abuse and mismanagement. He now owns more than 650,000 shares in the company, which is far more successful these days. Those shares are worth more than $25 million.
I called Wedell to ask him what it was like to make a fortune from the incarceration of others, and whether it bothered him to profit off a system that puts more people in prison than any other country in the world.
“America is the freest country in the world,” he told me. “America allows more freedom than any other country in the world, much more than Russia and a whole lot more than Scandinavia, where they really aren’t free. So offering all this freedom to society, there’ll be a certain number of people, more in this country than elsewhere, who take advantage of that freedom, abuse it, and end up in prison. That happens because we are so free in this country.”
Presumably, when he’s referring to all the freedom Americans have, he’s not including the 80,000 inmates in 60 prisons operated by CCA.
Toronto’s Rob Ford, the World’s Greatest Mayor, Smokes Crack
There came a point on Thursday afternoon—after learning that Toronto mayor Rob Ford had taken some time off from an important city-council meeting to wander around a parking lot sticking “Rob Ford” magnets to cars—that I figured it would be time to update you about the ongoing saga that is Robbie’s intoxicated reign over the Kingdom of Toronto. Way back when, before the already infamous crack-cocaine scandal of May 2013, the magnet controversy of 24 hours earlier didn’t seem so important. That is, of course, until Gawker broke the story that some guy, somewhere, has a video of King Robbie smoking crack from a glass pipe. And the footage is for sale. Until someone buys it, you can always watch the Taiwanese CGI reenactment.
Gawker—who have decided that this is not an “alleged” or “supposed” crack-smoking incident, given that they’ve got a graphic that reads “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smokes Crack” on their homepage—have caused a major firestorm for King Robbie the First in the City of Toronto. The Toronto Star, an ungrateful and petulant organization that is hell-bent on taking down the mayor, has viewed the tape “three times” but was clearly too cheap to buy it and stream it for the royal subjects of the Rob Ford empire. Plus, according to them, they saw this video on May 3. Why keep all this crack-smoking mayhem a secret? And what kind of incompetent blackmail-video salesman is behind this controversy? How can you mess up on monetizing such a golden piece of footage? One must assume they’re ready to let it go at fire-sale prices right now.
Watch This Is What Winning Looks Like, our new documentary about chaos, corruption, sexual abuse, and the war in Afghanistan.
Then head to Reddit and ask Ben Anderson, the filmmaker behind the doc, a question.
(Source: Vice Magazine)
more excited for the Motherboard Guide to Spy Kids but this’ll do for now
Truckers in the Wild – Philadelphia
Philadelphia is filled with longstanding food traditions like the Philly cheesesteak. In this episode, Max and Eli check out Lil Dan’s food truck to taste his twist on the cheesesteak. Inspired by this culinary classic, the brothers set out to find more uniquely Philly food customs that have shaped the city’s character.
Please Don’t #FitchTheHomeless
I’m sure by now you’ve seen that video that Los Angeles-based writer Greg Karber made where he hands out a buch of Abercrombie gear to homeless people. It’s embedded above if you haven’t.
Karber made the video in response to that stuff that Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries said about their “no women’s clothing above a size 10” policy. Essentially, Jefferies only wants “thin and beautiful people” shopping at his stores, because he doesn’t want the “cool kids” to have to endure the horror of seeing a fat person wearing the same outfit as them. I think we can all agree that the most shocking part of Mike’s statements is that they reveal there’s a person out there who thinks that the cool kids are wearing Abercrombie.
Karber handed out A&F clothing to, as far as I can tell from the video, a fairly bewildered homeless population on Los Angeles’s Skid Row. His goal was to “rebrand” Abercrombie & Fitch by putting their clothing not on the cool kids that Mike Jeffries so loves, but on the homeless, who, I guess, are the opposite of cool.
Now, if you only think about it for a few seconds, it would appear that this is a great campaign. Karber wanted to make a point about Abercrombie & Fitch and to “clothe the homeless,” in his words, while doing it. Unfortunately, “Fitch the Homeless,” as Karber dubbed his campaign, is fucking stupid. For one thing, Karber doesn’t appear to ask these people if they want Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, or if he did ask them, he cut those parts from the video for some reason. He just sort of dumps polo shirts and A&F brand tees onto the residents of Skid Row, as if they were pack mules and he were a sherpa venturing into the mountains to deliver striped rugby shirts to a monastery.