RT to Kill: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Tweets a Death Threat
On the night of March 11, a Twitter user with the handle @StillDMC stood at a window in downtown Los Angeles and took a photo of his rifle, the barrel aimed at what appeared to be a couple of pedestrians standing on a street corner in the distance. At 12:09 AM, he tweeted.
“100 RT’s and I’ll shoot someone walking,” he wrote alongside the picture, which quickly racked up well over 100 retweets. An hour later, he followed up: “Man down. Mission Completed.”
This time the image showed a young man lying on the ground, clutching his torso—along with what looked, in the pixelated dark, like a chest wound.
The next day, LAPD detectives arrested 20-year-old Dakkari McAnuff. The police report states that investigating officers had “discovered multiple pictures displaying an unknown type of rifle pointing in the direction of various Los Angles city streets [sic],” determined McAnuff was @StillDMC, and confirmed his location. At midday, police officers arrived at 22-year-old Zain Abbasi’s high-rise condo building, where McAnuff was a guest.
According to Abbasi’s account of the arrest, the building’s property manager summoned him to his office, where detectives placed him and another friend in handcuffs. Helicopters circled the building, snipers took aim from a complex across the street, and multiple police cars blocked the parking lot.
The detectives told Abbasi to call McAnuff and to instruct him to come down to join them. As soon as he left the condo, McAnuff was apprehended by ten LAPD officers who were lying in wait, their guns drawn. The officers searched Abbasi’s apartment and found the weapon pictured in the tweet: an unloaded air rifle.
The entire group was handcuffed and taken into custody. McAnuff was “jailed on suspicion of making criminal threats,” and his bail was set at $50,000.
It was all supposed to be a joke, of course.
One Man’s Quest to Create the Best Blowjob-Simulating Machine of All Time
The Autoblow 2 is billed as the world’s preeminent “realistic robotic oral sex simulator for men.” It comes equipped with a motor built that lasts over 500 hours, a removable mouth-shaped sleeve made from artificial skin, adjustable speeds (duh you need adjustable speeds), and is “super easy to clean.” The Autoblow 2’s website specifies (emphasis theirs): “The feeling of having your penis inside of the sleeve while the spring-loaded beads stroke up and down can best be described in two words: surprisingly good.”
Earlier this year, Brian Sloan, a former lawyer and the creator of the Autoblow 2—as well as other adult entertainment products like the original Autoblow, Mangasm, andLadygasm—realized that despite investing over $100,000 into creating and testing the product, he was still $45,000 short of having the funds necessary to complete the project. This led him to launch an IndieGoGo crowdsourcing campaign, which has something of a viral success. With 16 days left in the campaign, the Autoblow 2 has raised over $40,000.
I found the concept and crowdfunding success of the Autoblow 2 fascinating, so I decided to give Brian a call in China (where he’s based) to discuss what his law school buddies think of his new career choice, the other names considered before settling on “Autoblow,” and why sex toys should work like kitchen appliances.
VICE: OK, let’s start with the most obvious question: why?
Brian Sloan: [Laughs] Why not?
I think that if you asked men what their ideal masturbation-improving device would be, many would say, “Something that does it for you and you don’t have to do anything.”
I’ve just always had this idea that it would be the ultimate fetish toy. In a way, it can improve people’s lives, you know?
Ever since I started making toys, I always thought the Holy Grail would be an awesome, automatic machine.
Should the FDA Regulate Sex Toys?
It’s the most wonderful time of year—the time when we jam a bunch of random crap in an oversized sock in hopes that the person we love will sleep with us. Family members aside, nothing quite says I care like sex toys, right? Whether it’s a vibrator for your eternally single roommate or a cock ring for the dude you pork on the reg, sex toys stuff stockings (and other things) in all the right ways.
Except when they’re toxic. Nobody wants anaphylactic shock for Christmas, but the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates an average of 2,100 sex toy-related emergency room visits a year. Getting off just became pretty high stakes.
On the whole, sex toys hang out in regulatory limbo. The FDA only pays attention to them if they fall under the category of medical devices, which means the tiny handful of vibrators that are presented as therapeutic massagers. It’s the manufacturer’s decision to classify their toys as therapeutic or not, so the majority of vibrators—not to mention all other sex toys—elude the FDA’s gaze.
Everything comes from vaginas… and from China, in today’s world of free (unregulated) trade. Put ‘em together and you’ve got va-China, a birth canal lubed with chemical toxins and prisoners’ blood, endlessly popping out cars, TVs, toys, and all kinds of other products that overpopulate our storage spaces and attention spans. We Americans are addicted to mass crap, cheeseburgering on into 99 cent stores by the dirty dozen to inhale these bargain items. Recently I spotted some adorable va-Chinese kids’ shoes with a label that said, “These shoes have chemicals in them that may cause cancer.”
In truth, reports have found that about a third of the products for kids from this country “may cause cancer.” Stuffing in a lot of these va-Chinese plush toys contains serious carcinogens, and the latest craze in possibly toxic snuggles comes from a company in Hong Kong called Jay at Play. Let’s have a look the hottest line of combo monster mash-up items, “blankets that are puppets,” aka CuddleUppets!