Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Racist Austin Billboard Taken Down, Replaced With Crisis Pregnancy Billboard

Naral Pro-Choice Texas has started a campaign with SisterSong to fight Austin-based Heroic Media's racist "The most dangerous place for some [read: black] children is in the womb" billboard campaign.

The organization recently miscalculated Manhattan's interest in having such a billboard in SoHo, and the outcry was so loud that the billboard was taken down after New Yorkers, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, made clear their lack of appreciation for Heroic Media's tactics.

But the billboard, located on I-35 South close to the Capitol, was replaced by the same sign that usually occupies that space--Heroic Media's "Pregnant? Scared?" billboard featuring a racially indeterminate--but definitely not white--woman.

The billboard space in question is owned by CBS Outdoor, but they aren't the only corporate sponsor. Dillard's department store is holding a fundraiser in Houston to raise money for--you guessed it--more billboards. Other than billboards and the occasional TV commercial (which always seem to appear on CBS) Heroic Media provides no services--the phone number you call if you are actually Pregnant? and Scared? redirects to Option Line's crisis pregnancy center pushing hotline.

If you're going to be in Washington on April 30th, why not buy a $250 ticket to Heroic's fundraiser featuring Sarah Palin and Lila Rose? It promises to be the "Pro-life event of the year!"

If you haven't made a donation to a Texas abortion fund, please consider doing so now.

*While you're here, why not click over and take Heroic Media's online poll?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Move over Christ Wire! On Knees for Jesus is Hot, Ready and Waiting to Entertain You

Move over Christ Wire! There's a new hilarious Christian game in town called On Knees for Jesus/Showing Christ's Love. The blog highlights all the ways that contemporary Christians seem to...how can I put this delicately...accidentally sexualize their religious devotion. Is that Christ's love in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

The blog's headline says "Christianity: Ezekiel 23: 19-20," which is this: "Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses." (NIV)


They posted MyFoxHouston's video "Pole Dancing for Jesus," highlighting a born-again stripper in Spring, Texas who teaches a class on Sundays that requires a program proving you went to services to get in and the ladies dance to "upbeat contemporary Christian music."

The blog itself is a treasure trove of vaguely sexual charismatic Christian experiences like "Girl Finger Banged by Jesus," below.

On Knees for Jesus, indeed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

There ARE Condoms at SXSW!

Thanks to my pal L who picked up one of these and let me take a picture. LifeBeat, an organization that uses music to educate young people about HIV, came out en force with cool ONE condom tins. (cough cough, I had them 2 years ago) Progress!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Breaking: People Have Sex During SXSW!

What, no hard-to-find Japanese condoms in the hipster trap?

During SXSW Austin is like spring break for cool kids; all skinny jeans, fixed gears, and cheap beer. But not Bud Light, and no bikinis--those outre items belong in South Padre Island or Panama City with the rest of the college hoi polloi.

KUT did a story this morning on the "amorous vibes" created by all the tipsy hipsters--complete with a preamble that the story "acknowledged the existence of 'adult activity'"--without ever actually using the word "sex."

A quick interview with a staffer at the city's communicable disease unit disappointingly confirmed that no data supports a spike in STIs during SXSW, but that sex under the influence of alcohol (or drugs, fuck yeah!) and with unknown partners are also "high risk." So if you don't get around to asking, "Hey, have you been tested?" before you take your dizzy-legged pixie back to the tent you're renting on the East side, you're putting yourself at risk for STIs.

Unfortunately, despite the hundreds of brands in Austin vying for attention through official sponsorship or unofficial parties, not a single condom company (Trojan, cough cough) is here handing out much-appreciated samples. Maybe the hipster demographic doesn't use condoms? Herpes is cool again, after all...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breaking: Operation Rescue "Exposé" on Texas Abortion Clinic "Abuses"

Updated: Press Release from targeted clinic Whole Woman's Health.

Cue shitstorm. Operation Rescue has released a "special report" on "widespread abortion abuses" at a selected few clinics in Texas. With videos, "undercover recordings," and masochistic tactics like digging through abortion clinic trash, I smell Lila Rose.

According to an Operation Rescue press release I received, tomorrow Operation Rescue staff and activists will hold a press conference at the Texas Capitol at 10 am, then have a meeting with the apparently not busy Attorney General Greg Abbott, and then come back to the Capitol to lobby for "pro-life legislation," presumably the mandatory sonogram bill, which is set to be heard by the House tomorrow.

Obviously, the overwhelming majority of this "report" is basic information that anyone could learn from visiting the website of Whole Women's Health, like the fact that they have a PDF of the state-mandated information about the "risks of abortion" that patients can download and ignore at their convenience, so women don't have to make two visits to the clinic.

The "dirty, back alley" clinics they describe are incriminated by, and I quote, "Faucets were corroded and leaking. Poor lighting in the waiting and examination areas was the result of numerous burned out bulbs. A leaky roof had damaged the ceiling and created the possibility of an unhealthful mold infestation." Call the cops! A potentially unhealthful mold infestation!

The report also attempts to hold the National Abortion Federation, which provides funding for abortions for women who can't afford them, responsible for the "abuses" and calls for an investigation. Unfortunately, women who need to beg charity money for abortions are more likely to visit bare bones clinics, because these women are poor. Having a baby they can't support would make them poorer. The solution, obviously, is to make abortion more accessible, not less, so that poor women aren't forced into clinics that are less safe than those richer women can afford.

The report also claims that the clinic violated HIPAA by not properly destroying patient information, and that they did not properly dispose of medical waste. If any of the allegations stick, these are likely to be the ones.

In keeping with the extremist, individually targeted tradition of anti-abortion radical activism, the report contains a list of physician names. This is a violation of privacy and also an invitation for violence against these individuals, many of whom are listed in the report as not having a record of "abuses."

This report's "findings" are largely bogus, but Attorney General Greg Abbott is a big supporter of crisis pregnancy centers and Heroic Media, which made news last year for its misleading and racist anti-abortion ad campaign. If presented with violations of the laws that unfairly target abortion clinics, my guess is that he will act.

More on this tomorrow after the press conference.