B.S.

The Strange Ballad of John McAfee

Part man, part meme, total legend.

Software programmer. Tech entrepreneur. Yoga guru. IRS dodger. Presidential candidate. Drug dealer. Murder suspect. Whale fucker. The world's most eccentric millionaire is best known for his least interesting accomplishment.

When most people hear the name John McAfee, they likely think of McAfee Antivirus, the first consumer antivirus software to grace computer screens. But John McAfee hasn't been associated with his namesake software for over 20 years. Instead, he's been hiding from (potentially imaginary) drug cartels, writing yoga books, tangling with the government of a small Central American nation, eyeing the U.S. Presidency, and attempting to have sex with whales. All of this is true.

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Culture News

Yeah, but Which Brand Has the Healthiest Chicken Sandwich?

Wendy's, Popeye's, Burger King...or Chick-fil-A?

Burger King's Ch'King sandwich

The #ChickenSandwichTwitter war of 2019 embodied some prime late-stage capitalism in action.

Social media accounts for a bunch of fast-food brands are trying to get you to buy their lousy chicken sandwiches by memeing at each other, and it's working. Their "cool" marketing bullshit is absolutely going to make you want a chicken sandwich.

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: "My Immortal" May Be One of the Greatest Works of Postmodern Art

Was "My Immortal" a genuine work of terrible fanfiction, or was it a big ironic joke all along?

For fiction enthusiasts in the early 2000s, Fanfiction.net was the place to be.

In 1998, Fanfiction.net launched as a hub for fanfiction stories. The Internet was still in its Golden Age of lawlessness and creativity, with decentralized fan communities spread across personal websites and niche forums. Each brimmed with their own politics and drama, and for fans of children's novels, especially Harry Potter, fanfiction was serious business.

Battle lines were drawn over which Harry Potter characters you shipped (in explicit detail, usually). Fanfiction with the correct ships would be lauded as the greatest thing since real Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and bad ships would be derided as blasphemy. Dissent could mean being banned forever from the biggest online communities for your favorite series.

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Film Features

Fetishizing Autism: Representation in Hollywood

Hollywood can't tell authentic stories about autism until autistic voices are allowed to tell those stories themselves.

Autism isn't a superpower, but good luck telling that to Hollywood.

For people who fall on the spectrum, autism tends to be a complicated aspect of identity. Autistic experiences differ in just as many ways as the experiences of any other diverse group, and individuals with autism are precisely that—individuals. In movies and television, however, autistic people are depicted in shorthand.

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FILM

The Fetishization of Space Jam: How Lola Bunny Led to Furries

How Lola Bunny confused a generation.

Update 3/4/2021: Warner Bros. has just released early images from the forthcoming remake of Space Jam, and social media has erupted in a torent of outrage — only some of which is ironic.

The primary concern is that Lola bunny's character has been thoroughly redesigned, to deemphasize her sex-symbol status. They have replaced her once toned, anthropomorphic legs with cartoon tubes — or possibly cabriole table legs — made her facial dimensions more cartoonishly exaggerated, and have seemingly erased any suggestion of her bunny-breasts. All this while putting her in clothing that hardly even qualify for the term "scantily clad."

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Culture Feature

Myspace Was the Last Good Social Media Site

Myspace was the last social media that recognized the Internet's unique potential for individuality.

Myspace

At some point in 2006, I changed my name on Myspace from "Dan" to "D for Dandetta."

It was my freshman year of high school, and V for Vendetta had just come out in theaters (my friend and I snuck in after buying tickets to see Amanda Bynes' She's the Man). As a young, as-of-then-undiagnosed autistic nerd who thoroughly misunderstood social conventions, I decided that since V for Vendetta was easily the coolest R-rated movie I had ever seen, cute girls would think I was very cool by association if I tailored my online social presence to reflect it.

I made my profile background black to represent the darkness in my heart, and I changed the text color to red because revolution is bloody or something. I also set Vincent Valentine's theme song from Final Fantasy VII, which was edgy and mysterious just like me, to play on my profile in an endless loop.

One girl I had a crush on actually did start calling me "Dandetta." I thought she used it as an affectionate nickname, but in retrospect, probably not. In my defense, my brain was not fully developed.

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