Whatever and Ever Today: Friday, March 29, 2013

Credit: Reuters

North Korea hates free-spirited Texans, Pope Francis kisses feet, Maron gets a trailer, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs prep the new album

Credit: Reuters

North Korea Wants To Scare You With Pictures

In Kim Jong-Un’s lifelong quest to be a real-life Bond villain, the North Korean regime released photos clearly displaying a missile strike plan against the United States. The photos show a map of the United States with Korean text stating, “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan” and black lines delineating the potential targets—Hawaii, D.C., L.A., and what looks like Austin, Texas (A place known to inspire rage in many N. Koreans). This isn’t the first time the North Koreans have used .jpegs as propaganda. Earlier this week, an apparent Photoshop led the world to casually dismiss the regime’s claims to a large and battle-ready hovercraft fleet. Even though this image is part of North Korea’s propaganda effort and that their faulty missiles could not reach the United States, they still are within striking distance of their South Korean neighbors. Hopefully tensions out east do not escalate beyond threatening pictures.

Pope Acting Like Jesus Angers Catholics

Just in time for Good Friday, the newly elected Pope Francis sparked controversy when he washed and kissed the feet of two young women at a juvenile detention center during a Holy Thursday Mass. Apparently, this is a significant departure from church tradition as the foot-kissing rite has traditionally been exclusive to men. The foot washing sadly and unsurprisingly led to conservatives and liturgical purists calling the act of the infallible church leader a “questionable example.” Before yesterday, no pope had ever washed a woman’s feet so this sort of gesture continues Pope Francis’ proclivity to buck tradition. So far, the former-Jesuit has declined some of the more glitzy perks that come with being pope—he walks or takes public transportation instead of a limo, and for now said “thanks but no thanks” to the luxurious Apostolic Palace, preferring to live in a simpler guest house.

IFC Debuts Maron Trailer

IFC released the first trailer for Maron, a comedy series starring and based on the life of renowned stand-up comedian and podcaster, Marc Maron. Premiering Friday, May 3 at 10:00 pm, the show will follow a somewhat fictionalized Maron—a 48-year-old stand-up comedian who lives with his cats and runs a very successful interview-comedy podcast out of his garage. Joining Maron are co-stars Judd Hirsch of Taxi and Ordinary People fame as Maron’s dad, Nora Zehetner as his girlfriend, Andy Kindler as his best friend, and Josh Brener as his gawky assistant. Though the program’s premise sounds a hell of a lot like Louie, Maron’s neurotic and sardonic nature will likely make it a worthwhile addition to IFC’s growing network.

Credit: Robert Maxwell for The New York Times

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Had Awkward Childhoods

Along with the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the next New York City rock revival band to release an album in 2013—the fourth in their 13-year career. In the lead up to the April 16th release of “Mosquito,” their new album, the New York Times Magazine has a well-written profile of the band highlighting their history and how an eighth Grade Karen O just couldn’t fit in. Judging by Karen O’s manic and exhibitionist stage persona, the lead singer appears to be much more subdued and awkward in real life—even getting “freaked out” by the writer interviewing her backstage. Despite the Grammy nominations, the festival headlining slots, and the ardent fan base, the band admitted to doubts about their future and pervasive anxiety about being in a popular band.

This Whatever and Ever Today was written by the well-shampooed Josh Terry

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