May 13, 2014
Afterward, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that the Eurovision result “showed supporters of European integration their European future — a bearded girl”.
The act proved so popular that Austria was declared the winner after 34 of 37 countries had given their votes on Saturday evening.
November 25, 2013
Among those ready to snarf on this cool Austin, Texas, afternoon: A baby-faced, shaggy-locked, stoner-eyed teenager, wearing a neon yellow astronaut’s helmet, and a plush stuffed parrot on his shoulder; a young woman with electric blue hair, who tells one of the two emcees for the afternoon that her name is Anita Bonghit; and, towering above his foes, the returning champion, an enigmatic middle-aged film technician with a Cosmo Kramer haircut who competes under his nom de food “The Dog Hammer.”
Behind a long, Last Supper-ish table, topped with ketchup, mustard and Solo cups of water, stand the thirteen competitors in this year’s Vegan Hot Dog Eating Contest. Among those ready to snarf on this cool Austin, Texas, afternoon: A baby-faced, shaggy-locked, stoner-eyed teenager, wearing a neon yellow astronaut’s helmet, and a plush stuffed parrot on his shoulder; a young woman with electric blue hair, who tells one of the two emcees for the afternoon that her name is Anita Bonghit; and, towering above his foes, the returning champion, an enigmatic middle-aged film technician with a Cosmo Kramer haircut who competes under his nom de food “The Dog Hammer,” and who, when asked to identify the grossest thing he’s ever eaten, answers that he once ingested half a cheeseburger he found in the front seat of his fried’s car.
A DJ plays the Michael Buffer “Let’s get ready to rumble” track from the first Jock Jams album, and they’re off: The contestants begin to stuff their faces with as many vegan wiener dogs, in between egg-free, whey-free, all-vegan wiener buns, as they can, in the ten allotted minutes.
This is the ninth annual Vegan Hot Dog Eating Contest, and the fourth in a row to be held at the Fun Fun Fun Festival, a three day music-and-arts event in Austin’s Auditorium Shores park that this year featured performances by artists as diverse as Slayer, MGMT, Tenacious D, and Jurassic 5. Though the rules for the Vegan Hot Dog Contest are similar to the ones you probably know – entrants must eat as many dogs, and buns, as they can hold down, in ten minutes, and dunking the hot dogs in water is encouraged—this Austonian contest is not associated with the official Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which takes place on New York’s Coney Island each Independence Day, and which has turned competitive eat-letes like Kobeyashi and Joey Chestnut into minor American celebrities for their wiener-gorging abilities.
No, the Vegan version of the contest is a local concoction – both in the sense that it was founded in Austin, and that it feels so representative of the city itself. There is something so Austin, referee and organizer Chris Ledesma told me, about a Vegan Hot Dog Eating Contest, and that rings true, at least for the “Keep Austin Weird” section of town. The driving concept cleverly turns on its head a piece of new Americana and modifies it for one of Austin’s progressive subcultures. The competitors themselves, haphazardly poached from hotdog lines at the festival, seemed to somehow epitomize the general Austin population, too: Stoners, burnouts, clean-cut college students, fun-loving European emigrants, hippies, and the bearded, bicycling, bandana-wearing uncleaned fringe were all represented.
And then, too, there were the oh-so-Austin condiments of the afternoon itself: a trio of fresh-faced cheerleaders (or “cheer-wieners”), galloping through the crowd with pompoms, leading a chant of “WIE-NERS! WIE-NERS! WIE-NERS!”; the ironic appropriation of the campy Jock Jams soundtrack; and the heartfelt dedication, by Ledesma, of the competition to his ailing mother, with a final request for the crowd to think of their own mothers at the festival, whether they’re “ listening to music, drinking beers, rolling on X, whatever: Make her proud.”
Microcosm or not, it turns out that Austin’s Vegan Hot Dog eating contest is part of a larger constellation of clever public theater. Ledesma is behind an Austin-based culture and arts organization called iLoveMikeLitt, named for co-founding artist Michael Litt (Ledesma promised me that “Michael Litt” is, indeed, the man’s birthname). The organization throws a series of cultural events aimed at spreading awareness of liberal political and social causes, including a veggie speed-dating night, a John Keynes-themed “mixed economy bar crawl,” and a Vegetarian vs. Meat-Eaters arm wrestling competition.
The point of these events, Ledesma says, is not to exclude meat-eaters and create a quinoa social bubble for vegans; rather, the events are meant to be inclusive, and to open up non-vegans and non-vegetarians to alternative dietary habits, if even for a meal. The Vegan Hot Dog Contest, for example, does not require that a participant be vegan, or even vegetarian; contestants were poached at random from food truck lines around the festival in the days leading up to the competition, and simply asked if they would consider the event. Vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore, all you need to be in order to participate in the Vegan Hot Dog Contest is hungry.
This year’s competition ended in something of a controversy, as the 96 hot dogs that Ledesma ordered were devoured at around the 8-minute mark, with two minutes remaining. The winners were declared to be those who had finished the most wieners at that point; and so it was that last year’s champion, “The Dog Hammer,” was victorious again, having eaten 9 vegan hot dogs in 8 minutes.
“It was disappointing,” the Dog Hammer (the nom de food of Dan Cofer, the technical director at Austin’s landmark Alamo Drafthouse movie theater) told me later in an email. “I knew I could have eaten at least two more. Mostly, I was still hungry.”
And yet, in the true Austin spirit, the Dog Hammer abides. When I asked him if he would return to Fun Fun Fun next year, to defend his vegan hot dog eating crown and attempt an unprecedented vegan hot dog eating three-peat, Cofer answered with two succinct words that could, perhaps, in some futuristic setting, work as an Austin city motto.
Would the Dog Hammer defend his title?
“Fuck yes,” the Dog Hammer said.
(Topmost photo by Jason Gilbert. All other photos by Dave Mead.)
ABOUT THE AUTHORJason Gilbert is the editor of Yahoo Tech. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Complex, and many other fine publications. Follow him on Twitter!
September 2, 2013
August 17, 2013
From The Bilerico Project
Now here's a way to put some real skin in the game... Openly gay entertainer Andy Cohen will not return as the cohost of the Miss Universe pageant. The competition is being held in Russia for the first time later this year. Andy Cohen will not be taking his regular post as cohost of the 2013 Miss Universe competition, which will be held on Nov. 9 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. The Watch What Happens Live star told his friend and pageant cohost of the past two years, E! News' Giuliana Rancic, that he turned it down because "their discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit." "The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested," he told Rancic, adding that he "didn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia." These are the kind of actions we really need if we want to advance the civil rights of LGBT people in Russia. Russia should be treated more like South Africa* was than trying to relive the Coors/orange juice days by boycotting a beverage. When celebrities, businesses, and entertainment companies start walking away over the human rights violations, that is when the Russian government - with their weak economy - will sit up and take notice. This is much bigger than your choice of alcohol brand, folks. People are really starting to think Big Picture now and it gives me much more confidence in our abilities to actually help LGBT Russians bring real change to their government and their neighbors. *Taking into consideration, of course, that there is no cookie cutter method of international diplomacy. Andy Cohen Won't Cohost Miss Universe in Russia was originally published on The Bilerico Project /
February 22, 2013
Devin Velez pleasantly surprised the “American Idol” judges on Thursday when he sang part of his performance in Spanish.
Velez was competing in the sudden death round when he suddenly changed languages midway through “Listen” byBeyoncé.
Keith Urban praised Velez for needing nothing more than a stellar vocal to succeed, while Nicki Minaj said she had to “commend” the contestant for showing he was bi-lingual.
“It was a smart choice,” the rapper said, pointing out that it was a great marketing move.
Randy Jackson, who up to this point had been largely unimpressed by the other performances, went even further, saying, “Dude, I love you. I thought it was amazing.”
Added Mariah Carey, “No matter what, I can’t wait to see what a producer does when you get into the studio and make an album.”
Check out the video below!
December 20, 2012
Yesterday we gave out awards for political fuckery. Today, we'll be giving out awards for actual fuckery in our highly anticipated sex category.
Disgusting Achievement in Public Sex
Get a room you two. No seriously, get a room. The nominees:Welcome to the first annual WTF Florida Awards ceremony. It's the only award show celebrating the special brand of bizarre depravity we excel at down here in the Sunshine State. Black tie isn't required. In fact, jorts and a NASCAR cap are preferred.
And the winner is: Jeremie Calo and Tiffani Lynn Barganier
We imagine a place called Paddy Murphy's to be one of the least sexy places in existence, but that didn't stop these two from fornicating on top of a table in view of everyone, including children. The pair wouldn't even stop when a manager asked them to. To make matters worse, Calo ended up threatening to run out on his tab and vomited all over the floor.
Special Achievement in Masturbation
We all do it. Some of us just get more attention for it. The nominees:
Adult Entertainer of the Year
Some porn stars are actually upstanding members of the community. Others, well ... The nominees:
And the winner is: Sara Jay and Angelina Castro
Sure, the blowjob marathon they promised never actually happened, probably because the received the threat of legal action from the NBA, but kudos to these two for drumming up all the crazy publicity.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter@MiamiNewTimes.
Yes, it was the mugshot.And the winner is: Tracy Mabb.
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