While the super-car or the SUV has replaced the camel as the most popular means of transportation in the modern Emirates, the animal retains an important place in the nation’s heart. “Beautiful camel” may strike you as something of an oxymoron. But many a bedouin or sheikh will think nothing of dropping up to $3 million dollars on a so-called prized beauty, in the hope that she’ll bring home the coveted Bayraq—the fairest camel in the land. In this episode of The VICE Guide to Travel, Charlet finds herself the only woman in the desert, looking for the elusive beauty in the beast.
Michael C Ruppert on Syria, Obama, and global economic collapse: “The United States Empire is crumbling as we speak. The world doesn’t have a Plan B for what happens when the United States fails. But the United States NEEDS to fail. The US dollar NEEDS to fail. Not until you have killed the last fish, cut down the last tree, and poisoned the last river will you discover that you cannot eat money.”
Sex sells. From sandpaper to steak, there is seemingly nothing it can’t be used to market—save baby formula. That being said, I’m sure a think tank of modern Mad Men are currently trying to eroticize the formula game. Of course, sex is best at selling itself, which makes the Adult Entertainment Expo business as usual; emphasis on business. A literal circle jerk for folks who make their living off lasciviousness, combined with a lil’ somethin’ for fuck fans—and by “a lil’ somethin’,” I mean, “the opportunity to take awkwardly staged photographs with bored looking women in sheer shirts”—the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Adult Trade Event” is a veritable smorgasbord of smut, all of which can be possessed for a price.
The Adult Entertainment Expo takes place where events of its ilk should take place: Las Vegas, aka Xanadu for mouth breathers; where the cocktail waitresses are already conveniently dressed like sex objects. In the casino that surrounded the expo (Hard Rock, natch), degenerate gamblers refused to look up from the slot machines they were vacantly poking at, not even to gawk at the scantily clad ladies go-go dancing right in front of them. Countless others, I’m sure, sat in the rooms above, watching television on their vacations. Vegas, baby! Vegas!
A Pimp Is Suing Nike for Not Warning That Shoes Could Be Used as Weapons
A Portland pimp named Sirgiorgiro Clardy wants a $100 million settlement from Nike because he claims that not warning people that their shoes could be used as a deadly weapon constitutes negligence. 26-year-old Clardy is serving a 100-year prison term for kicking the shit out of a johnwho tried to get out of paying, then robbing him and leaving him for dead at the 6th Avenue Moteljust outside downtown Portland. The victim later had to get plastic surgery on his nose.
Testimony in court from psychiatrist Frank Colistro called Clardy a psychopath who is 100 percent likely to offend again, to which Clardy responded by throwing a fit and shouting expletives at the jurors, just like a non-psychopath would. Clardy will be eligible for parole in 36 years, by which time he’ll be 62.
Property seized in drug raids can help fund police operations, but now that marijuana is legal in Washington and Colorado there are going to be fewer drug raids, which means fewer seizures, which means less money for the cops. Good.
Not to be outdone by Bitcoin and Dogecoin and Coinye West, libertarians went and created RonPaulCoin.
Military Police Are Killing the Cambodians Who Make Your Clothes
Four people were killed and 21 more injured in Cambodia this morning, when police opened fire with AK-47s into a group of protesters. The deaths come after months of tension and escalating violence between the authorities and garment workers, who are demanding higher wages.
Things came to a head on Thursday evening, when a police battalion in Phnom Penh were beaten back from an apartment block that had been seized by protesters during a day of demonstrations. By this morning, the military cops were engaged in a standoff on Veng Sreng Boulevard—one of the main roads out of the Cambodian capital—and the makeup of their opponents was a curious one. The factory workers, 90 percent of whom are women, had at some point been replaced by groups of metal pole- and machete-wielding young men, gathered together behind rows of Molotov cocktails.
At some point, the military police chose to respond to a barrage of rocks, bricks, and flaming bottles with gunfire. A nearby clinic that had refused to help the injured was ransacked. One of the injured was a pregnant woman who had been trying to escape the chaos.
Stories of Common Hustles and Cons from Around the World
Do you ever get the feeling that everyone you meet is lying to you? Well, that’s because they probably are—the world is full of people who will lie, cheat, rob, and hustle, putting on elaborate cons just to snatch a few bucks. An honest day’s work is for fucking losers, apparently, and it’s far, far easier to steal from the 7 billion gullible suckers roaming the earth. We asked our offices around the world to compile some stories of scams and dishonest rackets—big, small, innocent, fun, or despicable acts—and this is what they came back with. (Some names have been changed at the request of our sources because they admit to having committed illegal acts.)
HOW I ROBBED A BANK
I was pursuing the classical career path in the Swiss finance sector. I’d attended business school, gotten work at the cashier’s desk in a bank, then moved up to the private banking department, which got me my own office. Three months before my training as a stockbroker was about to start, I had an epiphany and realized that this life wasn’t really what I wanted. I quit my job, but I was required by contract to work there for another three months.
If you work in a bank and have all that money running through your hands day after day, you will always look for holes in the security system. What keeps people from stealing the cash is the fear of jeopardizing their careers, but that fear was gone the moment I quit.
Places like nightclubs that have lots of cash to deposit put their nightly take in bank-issued pouches and drop them into a special mailbox outside the bank that leads directly to an underground safe. Every morning, a clerk at the cashier’s desk goes down into the bank’s cellar to collect those bags and deposits the money into the appropriate account.
I knew that very early every Tuesday morning, somebody threw two to three cash bags into that mailbox, containing around 100,000 francs (about $109,000) each. There was no camera surveillance on the mailbox and minimal coverage inside the bank. The path down to the bank’s cellar was not under surveillance either. I imagine they’ve changed that by now.
My assumption when I planned the heist was that if money was “lost” in between the time the customer dropped his bag and when it was transferred to his account, neither the bank nor the customer would be able to figure out at what point exactly that cash had gone missing.
I started coming in early every morning so I could be around at the time the vault was scheduled to be emptied. I told my bosses I wanted a few extra hours since I was leaving soon and needed to save up. One morning around 8 AM I casually went to the coffee machine and made myself a cup. Then I placed it on my desk, making it appear as if I had been working and had just stepped out for a moment to go to the bathroom. Then I took the elevator to the cellar, opened the safe, grabbed one of the three money bags, and stuffed it into my pants. I had arranged for a friend to meet me for lunch in the bank’s canteen, where I gave him the bag. He took it to my place and the whole thing was done.
After five days the police were involved and had interrogated the entire staff. The easiest, and what should be the first, part of a heist like that is to find a way to do it and get away with it. The much harder part is the time after you have accomplished your mission and have to avoid suspicion and handling the constant pressure of not knowing exactly how much the police and your boss know.
Eventually, I couldn’t stand the pressure anymore and gave up. I went into my boss’s office and put the money on his desk. He fired me on the spot, and I was charged for my crimes.
Patrick Keiller Has Been Filming London’s Slow Collapse Since the 1990s
The Tory-led coalition government’s dismantling of Britain’s public services isn’t anything new. During the last stint of socially destructive Conservative rule, architecture lecturer, artist, and cinematographer Patrick Keiller made two seminal films—London (1994) and Robinson in Space(1997)—that pointed out the negative impact that government can have on the British landscape.
VICE: What did you want to achieve by making your last four films?
Patrick Keiller: The three Robinson films [London, Robinson in Space, and Robinson in Ruins] are all attempts to address a “problem” by exploring a landscape with a cine-camera. In Robinson in Space, for example, an initial assumption that the UK’s social and economic ills are the result of it being a backward, flawed capitalism gradually gave way to the realization that, on the contrary, these problems are the result of the economy’s successful operation in the interests of the people who own it.
In Robinson in Ruins, on the other hand, the “problem” is capitalism itself, prompted by Fredric Jameson writing, famously, “It seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due to some weakness in our imaginations.” The film arrived at its final destination in autumn, 2008 during the immediate fallout from the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
London includes several shots of the Elephant and Castle neighborhood, which is in the news again because the Heygate Estate public housing project is in the process of being torn down. How do you feel about that?
The Elephant is unusual in that it’s the end of an underground line but very near the center of the city, so there are always a lot of people at the bus stops, as you see in the film. It was the hub of the South London tram network. I was intrigued that the shopping center had never been very successful commercially.
The pictures of the Elephant in London are mostly of the shopping center and some nearby 1960s single-story GLC prefabs that were about to be cleared away when we were photographing the film. An elderly couple had lived in one of them since 1965. As the film relates, “After 27 years in the house, where they had brought up all their children, they were reluctant to leave and had been offered nothing with comparable amenities; but as their neighbors disappeared one by one, the house was increasingly vulnerable and they no longer felt able to leave it for more than a couple of days.”