TIME Pop Culture

“It May Be Possible to Have an Ethical Egg”: A Chat With Gene Baur

A farm animals' rights activists weighs in on the high price of cheap food — and the right way to eat eggs

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Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur is an ultra-mega-uber vegan: he won’t eat eggs or honey, or wear wool, and he gives his turkeys a Thanksgiving feast every November. In this interview, he explains how to eat eggs guilt-free (treat your chickens like family), why humans aren’t necessarily carnivores (we don’t salivate when we see blood) and why factory-farmed food might not be as cheap as we think it is.

Baur’s organization has been involved with legislation to increase the room poultry have in hatcheries, to ban gestation crates — where pregnant pigs have no room to stand up until they give birth — and farrowing pens, the fenced-in stalls the pigs feed the piglets in. What does a guy who eats no dairy or meat do when he wants to kick back at the end of a long day of fighting for the rights of farm animals ? Well, it involves cookies — and not the kind you find online.

A longer interview with Baur can be found in the magazine, in which he explain how it is that a guy like him ended up in a McDonalds commercial and how turkeys have become so huge and altered that they can’t make baby turkeys normally.

 

TIME Television

#Cancel Your Outrage: Stephen Colbert Is Not a Racist

The #CancelColbert campaign shows that social-media life has become a race to be the most offended first.

Yesterday, the Comedy Central Twitter account for The Colbert Report posted a very dumb tweet from a very smart satire.

On Wednesday’s Report, Stephen Colbert’s idiot-pundit character gave a “defense” of Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins owner who has bitterly clung to the team’s racist nickname. Citing Snyder’s hamhanded attempts at p.r. spin–trying to buy goodwill for the name with a “foundation” and some token donations to Native Americans–Colbert referenced his own show’s racist “mascot,” a Chinese caricature named Ching-Chong Ding-Dong, who the show introduced in 2005 in a meta-skit about the fictional Colbert trying to excuse his own racism. Mimicking Snyder, Colbert offered to make amends “by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” (You can watch the whole thing online.)

Thursday, the Comedy Central account–run by the channel, not Colbert or the show’s staff–sent a tweet consisting essentially of just that line. As a punchline to an extended, constructed bit, it was a searing sendup of Snyder’s creating “the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” (because, Colbert said, “Redskins is not offensive if you only use it once in your name”). As an individual tweet, it just looked like a non sequitur racist slur from a famous person to about a million followers.

There are a couple ways to react to this kind of situation:

(1) Man, that tweet was really… bad. Stephen Colbert always seemed decent. Is he really an insensitive, raging racist? Is there some kind of explanation for this? Could someone have made a well-intentioned mistake here?

(2) WHAT? THIS IS B.S.! SOMEONE NEEDS TO LOSE THEIR JOB!

These days, social media, Twitter, Facebook–the whole React-o-Sphere–are permanently set to #2.

So once again we went from zero to I Demand Someone’s Head in no time flat. In short order, the hashtag #CancelColbert was trending on Twitter. That’s right. Nine years of brilliant satire demolishing hypocrisy and injustice? Eh, fine. Five seconds of reading a tweet? CANCEL!

Because what else did you need to know? What context did you need? The tweet was right there! Somebody retweeted it! People whose reactions I trust about this sort of thing are angry! It’s not my job to do further research! Stephen Colbert, I declare you #Guilty!

Maybe there are people out there who would argue that the full skit itself was racist–that, in fact, one can never create satirical racism to lampoon actual racism, because the wrong people might take the wrong pleasure from it for the wrong reasons. I would probably disagree with you, but I’d gladly read the argument–it’s a version of the arguments that people have made against Archie Bunker and George Jefferson and Eric Cartman and Borat. Satire is not its own defense; it can be badly executed, or it can be an excuse for actual hate. And if you want to make that argument about Colbert, go ahead, though I’d say you’ve got nine years of his show arguing against you.

But really this goes beyond Stephen Colbert or even racism. It’s about the instantaneous urge now to react fastest and most righteously, to Pick a Damn Side Already and demand the greatest punishment, to always, no matter what, immediately assume the worst of somebody who crosses you the wrong way. Sometimes it’s about a comedian, sometimes it’s about a politician or TV news host blurting something, sometimes it’s the gasoline-fueled flame war over a hot-button nontroversy like the Elan-Diane airplane war that turned out to be fake.

There is simply no prize for taking the most time to consider, posting the most even-handed and nuanced reaction, demanding the most proportionate punishment. If I’m being honest, this post itself is proof of that. No news site is going to get a billion clicks rushing out the headline: Internet User Considers Facts, Decides Tweet Was Maybe In Poor Judgment But With Extenuating Circumstances.

That’s just the media world we live in. Maybe someone like Stephen Colbert could do a late-night satire on it. And if he does, let me be the first to demand, in advance, that he be #Fired.

TIME Television

VIDEO: Joan Rivers Returns to Tonight Show for First Interview in 26 Years

Three hosts later, she's back!

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Joan Rivers is making a comeback — on the the Tonight Show, at least.

After Johnny Carson banned the comedienne from the show in the 1980s for leaving and hosting her own late-night show without first telling him personally, Rivers finally landed her first interview on the show in 26 years.

And for her big return on Thursday night, Rivers didn’t play it safe when chatting with host Jimmy Fallon. Previously, Rivers made a appearance in honor of Fallon’s debut as host, but she saved her best jokes (which made even Fallon a little uncomfortable) for the official sit-down interview.

TIME movies

See the Characters of Batman As First Introduced in the Comic Books

Batman first appeared in Detective Comics Issue #27 in 1939. See when other iconic characters in the Batman universe first appeared

TIME movies

Who Is Your Favorite Batman?

In honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, cast your vote for the actor who played the caped crusader best

TIME celebrity

Canadians Will Get a Taco Bell Breakfast Menu If and Only If They Take Justin Bieber Back

justin bieber
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

According to the franchise's president in a Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Taco Bell rolled out its highly anticipated breakfast menu and, naturally, the chain’s president, Brian Niccol, took to Reddit to host an AMA (ask me anything) about the new offerings.

The best part of the spirited question-and-answer session came when one user asked, “Only to America? When is this coming to Canada?”

Niccol responded with some pretty solid snark by saying, “When you take Justin Bieber back.”

TIME Music

Listen to Britney Spears Cover Madonna’s “Burning Up”

Britney Spears rehearses "Britney: Piece of Me" at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Dec. 26, 2013, in Las Vegas.
Britney Spears rehearses "Britney: Piece of Me" at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Dec. 26, 2013, in Las Vegas. Denise Truscello—Caesars Entertainment/AP

You want more? She’ll give you more

Britney Spears is on a brief hiatus from her Las Vegas residency, so you won’t be able to see her perform live again until late next month — but you can still get your Brit-fix in the meantime. A previously unheard studio version of Spears’ “Burning Up” cover surfaced online this week, nearly three years after the pop star performed the Madonna classic on her Femme Fatale tour.

A remixed demo of the cover leaked in 2011, but this version is reportedly the original.

It’s not the first time the pop princess has paid tribute to the queen of the form. Spears collaborated with Madonna on her single “Me Against the Music” in 2003. And while the “Burning Up” demo isn’t exactly new material, it should work to quench fans’ desire until the “Gimme More” singer takes the stage again on April 25.

TIME movies

REVIEW: Sabotage Sends Schwarzenegger Back to Brutal Basics

Sabotage
Open Road Films

Ahnold is a DEA officer seeking revenge for his wife's death, in a movie that is a tiny bit better, and plenty bloodier, than it needs to be

This weekend Arnold Schwarzenegger will be 66 years and eight months old: exactly two-thirds of a century since he arrived on this planet from some far-off steroid asteroid, and about one-third of a century since Conan the Barbarian certified the champion muscle man as a movie star. Though he doesn’t take off his shirt in the new thriller Sabotage, he still looks carved from some alien granite, still walks with a seismic stride, still occupies the center of a film with a sullen, don’t-dare-call-it-silly gravitas that makes the fine craft of movie performing seem like work for a girly-man. He doesn’t act, he just is; and that’s what’s needed in a medium that values charisma over finesse. Unlike the smoother, updated, humanized version — Dwayne Johnson — Arnold is his own, old-school special effect: the Rock of Aged.

After two terms as California’s Governator, Schwarzenegger slipped comfortably back into pictures with The Last Stand, a modern Western, then crammed into the wide screen, as if it were a service elevator, with fellow ’80s muscle car Sylvester Stallone in Escape Plan. Now he fronts David Ayer’s Sabotage, an enjoyably gruesome throwback to the grindhouse B movies of the ’70s and ’80s, Arnold’s early American prime.

(READ: Corliss’s review of The Last Stand)

He plays DEA legend John Wharton — another bland American name (like The Last Stand’s Ray Owens) that seems invented for the Austrian star by some impish official in a witness protection program — leading a team of undercover agents. They have been accused of stealing $10 million in a Mexican cartel drug bust and, months later, are being murdered, with extreme prejudice, one by one.

So stalwart is Schwarzenegger’s reputation, and so grim his visage, that Hollywood is afraid to tell him that most action movies now tiptoe toward a prissy PG-13 rating. Sabotage, bless its black heart and atavistic brain, wears the R rating proudly, like Curt Schilling with his bloody sock in the heroic (or catastrophic) 2004 MLB playoffs, when the Red Sox fought back from three games behind to take the Yankees. If Mexican thugs are to be slaughtered, as in the film’s first and last action scenes, their craniums will pop off in instant lobotomies. If a DEA agent is to be killed, he will get nailed to a ceiling, his guts hanging out to entangle investigators (in one of the few movie scenes that justifies the adjective “riveting”). This is not your maiden aunt’s or airplane edit of an action film. It’s the real, pulpy deal.

(READ: Why every action movie should be R-rated)

How ’80s is Sabotage? Wharton’s rowdy colleagues — including James “Monster” Murray (Sam Worthington), Joe “Grinder” Phillips (Joe Manganiello), Julius “Sugar” Edmonds (Terrence Howard), Tom “Pyro” Roberts (Max Martini) and Bryce “Tripod” McNeely (Kevin Vance), plus Monster’s red-haired wife Lizzie “No Nickname” Murray — spend their down time in a rec (or wreck) room adorned with the famous poster of Reagan as Rambo. Their hobbies are getting stoned and tattooed; they are so devoted to the Method of undercover work that, even off the job, they strut like biker outlaws. In this crimson Agatha Christie mystery, any one of them could be the next victim or — if the perp is not a Oaxaca drug lord but a DEA insider — the mastermind killer. (The movie’s third act contains a neck-snapping plot swerve that Ayer will have to explain on the DVD commentary, so the rest of us understand it.)

Wharton, who goes by “Breacher,” has none of his team’s louche vices. A generation older, he is sobered by mourning: his wife (Catherine Dyer) had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by a cartel baddie who thoughtfully sent Wharton his wife’s snuff video, which our hero studies as if it were the Zapruder film. We are made to watch too, to underline that this time it’s personal and that an action hero has no purer motive than revenge, whatever means he employs to realize it. In this remorseless genre, wives serve only as captives or corpses. Mrs. W is both. She also has to be dead so that Wharton can forge a working and implicitly erotic relationship with the sturdy FBI lady (Olivia Williams) sleuthing the DEA-dead case.

(READ: 10 Questions for Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Ayer, who wrote the script with Skip Woods, has spent more movie time with rogue cops than an Internal Affairs investigator. He wrote Training Day, with Denzel Washington as the slippery malefactor, and directed Street Kings, in which Keanu Reeves was the officer working outside the rules. (Reeves also had a dead wife to avenge.) Ayer’s last film, End of Watch, was a gritty, dewy tribute to the L.A.P.D. that ran aground in its faux found-footage format. Sabotage is more conventional in its camera style, more vivid and cynical in its appreciation of the resources a man (or woman) needs to carry a gun in the name of the law and decides who dies.

(READ: Corliss’s review of David Ayer’s End of Watch)

The movie answers a few questions that rarely get asked but have piquant answers. Like: How do you keep a body you buried at sea from floating to the surface? (By binding it in chicken wire.) Long on heated insult and short on banter, the dialogue avoids punch lines even when they’re expected. The DEA inquiry into the lost $10 million is suddenly dropped, and Wharton’s superior (Martin Donovan) asks, “Do you have a photo of a Congressman f—ing a goat?” You expect him to reply, “I’ve got a hundred of them,” but he flashes a tight smile, which may be a grimace, and remains mute.

Arnold does get to accuse one overweight inquisitor of having “48 percent body fat.” The flab level of Sabotage is considerably lower. For those who wishes they could have sat in on the enhanced interrogation of terror suspects, it’s a decent ride — familiar, massive and watchable, like the Easter Island statue who stars in it. Happy next third of a century, you brute. May your brand of B movie never be terminated.

TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: March 21 — March 28

From President Obama’s first meeting with Pope Francis to the massive mudslide in Washington, to credible evidence in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 and Sochi’s stray dogs arriving in America, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

 

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