How AHS: Cult Just 100% Confirmed the Identity of This Creepy Clown

This week, we got closer than ever to uncovering the clowns’ identities on American Horror Story: Cult. While no explicit reveals have been made on the show itself, there’s plenty to go off of in the way of deductive reasoning and context clues. By the end of the fourth episode, «11/9,» we have a pretty good idea of who is in Kai’s cult. From there, it’s just a matter of mixing and matching. So, as we break ground on this suspect list, where do we begin? Luckily, AHS seems to have given us a definite answer completely on accident.

After this week’s episode, we received our customary preview of the next week’s chapter. In the clip, we see how tensions rise even more and how Kai’s rhetoric is further fanning the fear of the community. We get to meet a new clown with a chilling elephant head. Also, we get a better idea of the storyline with the news station and up-and-coming reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter). There’s even a «fake news» dig in there! Beverly, as we now know, is already in Kai’s clan. So it’s not shocking to guess that she’s one of the clowns. Even so, there’s one shot of the new preview that’s pretty exciting and reveals exactly which masked murderer she plays.

As you can see, Beverly is wearing the exact outfit of the pentagram clown with hands coming out of its head. Right down to the pattern of the shirt and the suspenders. Of course, we’d already kind of deduced this was Beverly based on the fact that this clown in particular doesn’t have an inch of exposed skin. Since Beverly is black, it makes sense that she’d hide her skin color. She doesn’t want to risk being identified. Now, the real question is, what could she be showing Kai on her computer? It’s only a matter of days before we find out.

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The 5 Biggest Theories For the Identity of Star Wars’ Supreme Leader Snoke

Star Wars: The Force Awakens crash-landed in theaters in 2015, and it’s safe to say everyone in the galaxy has been blown away. In the wake of the film’s DVD release and on the cusp of Episode VIII, we’ve found ourselves with so many more questions than answers. Who are Rey’s parents? Where can we spot all of those epic cameos? What’s the real deal with Kylo Ren? The Internet has already been set ablaze with tons of theories, and perhaps one of the biggest question marks is the identity of Surpreme Leader Snoke. We’re breaking down all the ideas for the new supervillain’s mysterious origin, from the plausible, to the probable, to the downright crazy.

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This Seemingly Small Detail Could Be the Key to the Night King’s True Identity

Although the Night King has been terrorizing Game of Thrones for three seasons now, we still don’t know who he was before he became the White Walkers’ leader. We have a few ideas, of course, but it’s hard to ignore all the evidence piling up that the Night King is actually Bran Stark. Sound insane? We thought so too . . . at first.

Reddit user Turm0il26 recently proposed the idea that once Bran comes to terms with the fact his powers are the reason Wylis becomes Hodor, who then goes on to one day save his and Meera’s lives, Bran will wrongly assume he can go back in time to stop the White Walkers from ever existing in the first place. With the Night King and his army already doing serious damage to Jon Snow’s forces, it’s possible that Bran will get the idea in his head in season eight that the only way to put an end to the war between humans and White Walkers is by preventing the creation of the Night King (although it’s worth noting that Bran doesn’t seem interested in helping anyone these days). To accomplish this, he’d have to travel far enough back in time to stop the Children of the Forest from ever plunging dragonglass into the heart of one of the First Men, which is how the first White Walker comes into existence.

We already know that the two share an intense connection, since we see Bran experience the touch of the Night King while warging in season six. If you subscribe to Turm0il26’s theory, the reason the Night King and Bran could be so drawn to each other is because they are the same exact person, only at different stages of their lives. «Bran goes back all the way to where the Night King was created, to warg into the human that later is going to become the Night King,» the Redditor writes. «He wargs into him to instead stop the ‘dragonglass into the heart’-event from happening. Only he doesn’t think of that the Children of the Forest won’t recognize him from the future . . . He tries to go back in the current timeline, but can’t because he’s too deep into the past and stayed too long . . . From here Bran gets stuck in the past and becomes the Night King.»

Obviously Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have neither confirmed nor denied this theory, but we might have gotten another clue that the connection between Bran and the Night King is legit, courtesy of the show’s costuming department. As you can see in the GIF below, the clothes Bran wears in a season six scene are remarkably similar to the outfit the Night King wears in season seven’s «Beyond the Wall.»

In all fairness, most of the characters on Game of Thrones wear some variation of armor, black leather, and fur. Still, from the shape of their garments to their walk, the similarities are pretty striking. Could this be our first solid clue that Bran is well on his way to becoming the Night King? (Or technically, already is?) Here’s hoping the season seven finale answers some of our questions.

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Charlottesville: Privilege, Identity, and Why We Fight

I’m on holiday. In Europe. I spent the past weekend drunk, swinging on a swing, and playing with dogs, carefree. Someone took a funny picture of me on the swing and my first instinct, as is depressingly often the case these days, was to post it on Facebook. This was on Sunday night. Sunday 13th, 2017. I was gonna post the picture, but something stopped me. Maybe it was because I realised how tone deaf it would have felt on a day like that, after Nazis had marched through an American city in broad daylight, unafraid and unashamed, trailing hate and death in their wake.

But then I did post it, and I did so with an explanatory note intending to highlight why. I posted it to show how I could afford to be tone deaf. This stupid image, of a straight, white, cisgendered dude, all drunk and carefree, on a weekend like that seemed, in some ways, the embodiment of a word that is used a lot these days: ‘Privilege’. Now, I’m what some people would call a Marxist, so this thing called ‘identity politics’ can sometimes elicit ambivalence from me. Nevertheless, though most days I would champion the cause of class struggle above all else—as inextricably linked as it is to all other sociological factors—on a day like that it became clear how important it was to reiterate: Identity counts. It counts because there are people marching in the streets of our cities, calling for the extinction of people with certain identities. It counts because I’m privileged enough that if I and others like me wanted to ignore it, because of my identity I could. There are extremists out there, walking with heads held high, calling for the violent enforcement of rigid gender norms, of the eradication of ‘alternative’ sexualities and gender orientations, of the subjugation of entire swaths of humanity, based only on the colour of their skin. These fascists have always been there. It’s just now, as the tides of history shift around us, they feel brave.

Class matters. Identity matters. The two are intertwined. As priorities shift, we, as activists, modify our vocabulary. Today, as we reflect on fascists marching emboldened through public spaces, we have to speak the language of identity. We have to speak it because even in our circles of activism we might’ve grown lax. And people of other identities would have warned us about this. Black people, Jewish people, trans people would have told us: ‘Don’t rest, you might be safe, and we might be safer than we have been in the past, but the threat is still out there.’

And we haven’t always listened.

Complacency kills. Nazism is nothing without the enabling function of white liberalism. When your rights have never been under threat, it’s easy to treat other peoples’ rights as a trivial matter. The United States is a ridiculous country in many ways. To treat it as the centre of the universe is foolhardy. Nevertheless, it can be a useful litmus test, a barometer, and what happened in Charlottesville cannot be allowed to become the future. The US is bad enough when it is playing the imperial policeman, bombing poor countries into the dust when they don’t bow to its will. It’s even worse when significant portions of its own population wish to see the eradication of the parts of it that don’t resemble themselves.

So to the progressives out there the message is simple: Meet fascism head on wherever you may see it. Meet it with force, with the boot and with the bat. Give no quarter because none will be given. Don’t be complacent, listen, look past your privilege. Then remember this feeling the next time your country, under whatever leadership, decides to wage unjustifiable war elsewhere around the world. Blood spills the same everywhere. Human rights don’t vary across borders.

Fight fascism at home, fight it abroad, fight it always.

——

Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

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Chad Johnson Impersonator Charged With Identity Theft After Dropping $18K at Louis Vuitton

As you might have guessed, the man pictured above is not former Bengal Chad Johnson, nor does he resemble the six-time Pro Bowler in the slightest. However, that didn’t stop Miami resident Mervin Cabe from going to a Louis Vuitton store last Friday to buy $ 18K in goods as Ochocinco.

Details from The Aspen Times:

Mervin Cabe of Miami told employees at the high-end luxury goods store that he was Chad Johnson — who is formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — in order to be able to make the purchase. Customers at Louis Vuitton must have a “profile ID” in order for their transactions to go through, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

Cabe could not come up with the matching phone number to Chad Johnson’s profile ID, though an employee did allow him to purchase $ 18,548 worth of items. Cabe initially tried to use a credit card that was twice declined to make the purchase, then pulled up an Apple Pay account on his cellphone, which worked, the affidavit states.

The report goes on to state that lyin’ Mervin kept deflecting questions from police before ultimately coming clean:

However, he finally asked to speak with a sergeant on scene, who later said Cabe told him, “You’re going to have to take me … to jail. I’ve done something bad,” the affidavit states.

Mervin is facing two felony charges of identity theft and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, but all might not be lost for this scumbag because it looks like Ocho wants to help him out:


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

How Identity Politics Nearly Destroyed, But Then United a Small, Online Community

This is a story about video games, but it’s more than that. It’s also a story about friendship, racism, homophobia, loyalty, and how you learn the truth about your friends.

But it started with video games. Three years ago, Bungie, Inc. released a game called Destiny. It’s a fairly hard-to-define game, a sprawling first person shooter game with a hard sci-fi backstory. It’s an online cooperative game, wherein you join up with other players for missions and raids, but also for activities where you play against other groups of players. Despite playing video games on and off for the last 30+ years, it was my first online game. And after two months of it, I basically quit. I didn’t know anyone else who liked to play it, and I was anxious about online gaming with strangers (which is ironic in retrospect when you consider how many friends I’ve made through online writing). But eventually, a Pajiba reader and Facebook friend persuaded me to join his clan (in the Destiny world, likeminded groups of players can join together into formalized collectives called clans). And that’s how I dipped my toe into online gaming.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life in a lot of ways. It turns out that this particular clan was filled with people who I almost instantly connected with. They were funny and smart and interesting, with common interests in movies and TV and comic books and sports. What started out as a casual gaming experience became … a form of socializing. For me, it became something bigger. I was a relatively new father with a wife who worked nights. I had little to no social life, and so my nights frequently consist of me coming home from work, playing with my son, feeding him dinner, and putting him to bed. And then, it’s just me by myself with books or TV or video games. But suddenly, I didn’t feel like such a shut-in. Suddenly, I could play video games and socialize with people, shooting the shit while we also saved the universe.

What’s more, the guys in that clan became my friends. Real, actual friends. Sure, we were scattered across the world, from Boston to Nebraska, Texas to DC, California to hell, Australia. We were housing managers and logistics coordinators, chemists and oceanographers. A guy who works for REI and a guy who works for the CIA (I think. He works at the Pentagon. He might be a government assassin for all I know.) But it was diverse, enjoyable company. We joked and made fun of each other, we celebrated each others’ personal triumphs and commiserated each others’ losses. Whether it was the birth of a child or the death of a parent, that clan was there for each other. We became friends. It felt like a family.

And then, in not-particularly-coincidental timing, it started to fall apart at the beginning of the year.

It started one night, when it was just me and one other guy from our group, Bill (all names have been changed). He was relatively new — newer than me, anyway (a lot of these guys have been gaming together for years). We were playing Destiny’s PvP (Player versus Player) activity, «The Crucible,» wherein you’re matched up against other players, sometimes with various objectives, but ultimately to try to kill each other off. Things were not going well for Bill. He was of probably average skill, but tonight was not his night. Finally, after being killed ten or eleven times, it happened. Some straw broke the back of some camel, and he shouted out:

«FUCKING NIGGER!»

I felt as if all the air had been sucked out of my basement TV room. I was stunned, but only for a moment. I immediately barked back:

TK: Whoa, whoa WHOA. What did you just say?

Bill: Sorry man, I just —

TK: No, man, there’s no «I just». What the fuck was that?

Bill: I didn’t mean it that way…

TK:: What the fuck other way is there?

Bill: When I say it, I mean, you know, stupid people. I was actually talking about myself because I fucked up.

TK: Bill. You’re a smart guy. You know a lot of words. Find a better goddamn word.

Bill: OK, OK. Look, I’m sorry if you got offended.

There it was. «I’m sorry if you got offended». No acknowledgement that he’d said some racist shit, just that he’d been busted saying some racist shit. I finished off the match we were playing and signed off.

A couple days later, after I’d cooled off a little, things came to a head in our Band chat (we use an app called Band — similar to Slack — to chat and goof off with each other during the day). Someone posted a meme that was uncharacteristically homophobic. The chat became uncomfortably quiet, and then I asked if we could perhaps refrain from posting homophobic or racist shit in our chat. It started an argument about «just joking» and «not taking everything so seriously,» and «how come some jokes are OK and others aren’t?». Sides were chosen. And this wonderful little group of friends that I’d been with for almost three years felt like it was starting to fracture.

I took a break, going almost two weeks without playing or joining our chat. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where my friends stood. I was angry and hurt. I remember saying «someone has to take a stand on this. We’re either OK with this kind of talk, or we’re not. There can be no middle ground on this for me.» And I thought … this might be it. This might not be important enough to them. I mean, all they want is to play fucking video games. They joined this group to get away from politics, from conflict. Just like I did. But it was a new world now, and that world had invaded our place. It was a microcosm of every family fight, every divided friendship that post-Trump America had created. It felt like it had become too real, too much like the very world we were trying to escape. Maybe we should accept that the «real» world is always going to play a part in our lives, even when we’re banding together with Hunters and Titans to save the galaxy from an evil God of the Hive. Part of me realized that maybe this was our problem in the first place — maybe we shouldn’t be trying to escape.

This is a story about video games. But it’s also a story about all of us. It’s a story about how easily we fracture apart, and how the differences between us seem sharper, more painful than they did a year ago. It’s a story about how voices of anger and prejudice have gotten louder over the years. It’s a story about the end of friendships. This is a story that isn’t uncommon — it’s easy to say that video game communities are a pit of vitriol and bitterness. It’s what’s dominated the headlines when it comes to these communities — GamerGate being the chief perpetrator. But of course, it’s not just video game communities — it’s the world around us, where anger and racism and hatred seems to be on the rise with every passing day.

Eventually the guys who were the de facto leadership, the originators of the clan, got tired of my silence and reached out to me. The answer they gave me was everything I needed: «We get it. We want to fix it, but we’re not sure how. Let us figure it out. Don’t go.»

So I didn’t go. They figured it out, collectively. And they changed things. They created a code of conduct, and everyone in the clan — everyone — had to acknowledge it. A line on hate speech of any kind was drawn hard in the sand. It was time for people to learn the difference between «that’s what she said» jokes, and misogyny, racism, homophobia. In the face of the ugliness of the outside world, they had the choice to put blinders on. But they chose righteousness. I was proud of them, proud of us.

It made us stronger. It made us better, and cemented our friendships. For better or worse, Bill ended up getting kicked out — his temperament and attitude just never found a place after that, he had another ugly night (I wasn’t around for it), and the next day he was asked to leave. The tension was gone, and it felt like we were having more fun than ever. But it also made us freer. Talk of politics, previously mostly ignored, became a little more common. Not because of commonality of belief (though there is that), but because I think we realized that we didn’t need to hide anything about ourselves.

This was a story about video games. But it’s also a story about finding hope in the darkness. Ask any of the Pajiba writers, and they’ll tell you that when we talk about the current state of affairs, I’m losing hope. So much so that I can barely write about it anymore. I tried to give myself a boost earlier in the year, but it always felt like we were losing more battles than we were winning. But then I realized something — this band of strangers, this band of brothers? They can give me hope, too. Even a community as seemingly silly and lighthearted as ours can take a stand on something. Communities like this can do amazing things — hell, this week alone, Destiny players raised over a million dollars for kids with cancer (in only seven days, no less). So while this story may not seem like a big deal, it plays a part in the larger world. It makes me realize that every day, people are taking stands like this, both small and large. It becomes a question of numbers and momentum. The road to progress lost both numbers and momentum last year, but we’re still traveling on it. Still pushing forward. And maybe if enough of us take these little stands, it’ll keep going and we’ll finally get somewhere where we don’t feel like we’re taking steps backwards.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a good Destiny clan? Hit me up. I know a solid group of guys.

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52 Films By Women: ‘Humpday,’ Lynn Shelton’s Exploration of Male Identity

Humpday was my entry point into the worlds of both Mark Duplass and mumblecore (and the two intersect, but not always). It was the movie that, in interceding years, would lead me to some of my favorite films and TV shows, The One I Love, Togetherness, Laggies, Baghead, The League, Safety Not Guaranteed, and many, many other projects.

It’s a weird entry point in that world, however, because the premise is genuinely bizarre and — if you don’t trust Lynn Shelton and Mark Duplass — off-putting. It’s about two competitive, testosterone-driven, straight best friends, who engage in a drunken bet to fuck each other. There’s zero physical attraction between the two, no one is disguising their feelings. It really is a pseudo-macho posturing dare to fuck each other.

If this movie had starred Bradly Cooper and Ashton Kutcher and had been directed by Todd Phillips, it would’ve been a homophobic disaster. But somehow, Lynn Shelton pulls this off, and she really does, because this movie is not about the act itself. It’s about the process. It’s about two men psyching each other up to fuck each other, and they don’t need to be psyched up because having anal sex is weird. They need to be psyched up because having sex with your best friend is weird.

It’s not a novelty movie, either. It’s not one prolonged set up to a bad joke. It’s an intelligent, sophisticated, and deeply profound relationship comedy about two men who love each other, but who don’t love each other that way. Ben (Duplass) is a married guy who has settled into routine married life with a woman he adores and with whom he is trying to have a baby. One day, Andrew (Joshua Leonard) — Ben’s lifelong best friend — knocks on their door and disrupts their idyllic nighttime routine.




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Andrew — Mr. Motorcycle man — is a single adventurer, parties a lot, travels the world and is living the life, and there’s a part of Ben — while still insanely happy with his own life — that misses the life he once led with Andrew. With this context as a backdrop, the two get drunk, find out about this amateur porn contest, and decide to enter on a dare.

It’s in the act of trying to have sex with each in a hotel in front of a video camera that Ben and Andrew ultimately come to terms with who they are, what’s missing from their respective lives, and what they mean to each other. It’s sweet, and funny, and ironically for a movie about two men trying to have sex, a rare and illuminating exploration of male platonic love.

It’s a remarkable relationship film, and one that really benefits from the direction of Lynn Shelton (who also wrote the movie), who coaxes sensitive performances out of macho characters. It’s a movie written and directed by a woman that deftly explores male identity and the nature of sexuality while forcing these two men to take stock and reflect on their lives. It’s funny and uncomfortable and genuine and full of human emotions, and it’s a movie likely to stick with me for many more years to come.

Related Mindhole Blower: Lynn Shelton is married to one of the early MTV VJs.

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This Election Is Not about Policy. It’s About Identity

The boys I grew up with in Arkansas — who used to whisper «fa*got lover» from the back of the class whenever I spoke, regularly kicked my ass or threw me into trashcans — have blossomed two decades later into the Donald Trump demographic. Those poor and lower middle-class kids who went hunting on the weekends, did all their shopping at «Walmarts,» and frequently got drunk and rode around in four-wheelers while wearing camouflage jackets are all voting for an Ivy-league educated billionaire from Manhattan who has never had a drink in his life. If he wasn’t running for President, most Trump voters would probably want to beat the shit out of Donald Trump.

But Chuck Norris isn’t running for President, and these men sure as hell ain’t voting for a woman. Donald Trump is all they’ve got, and they have used this rambling, nonsensical Redbox super-villain as a vessel for their own fears, frustrations, and anger. It’s not so much that they’re afraid of losing their way of life — four-wheelers, Budweiser, deer season, and high-school football ain’t going anywhere — it’s that they don’t want to take orders from a woman anymore than they want to take orders from a black man. They’re worried about Mexicans taking the jerbs that they hate away from them, or that their kids might have to share a classroom with a Somalian child. They don’t give a shit about Donald Trump, except to the extent that he’s a white man with whom they can identify.

This election is not about policy. It’s about identity.

Meanwhile, in the other corner, Hillary Clinton is not exactly the poster woman for liberal America, despite what the alt-right might have us believe. She’s center-left. She’s hawkish. Her husband is responsible for the mass incarceration of black men over the last 20 years. He enacted damaging legislation to our social safety net, and she has deep ties to Wall Street and other corporate interests. But for us, she’s close enough for 2016. She represents the diverse America we want to see. Our hopes and dreams may not necessarily align with those of Hillary Clinton, but she’s going to be the vessel for those hopes and dreams anyway.

In some ways, the candidates have become an afterthought in this election. As several polls have illustrated, the race between Clinton and Trump today is almost exactly where it was in January. The polls fluctuate based on the news cycle, but they invariably bounce back to where they were with the majority of college education voters, women, and people of color voting for Hillary, and white men (and some women) without college degrees voting for Trump (how are there so many uneducated white men in this country? Why aren’t we talking more about education?)

It’s why this race has been so divisive; it’s why people on both sides have been so passionately angry. It’s not about tax policy or the environment or poverty. We’re not fighting for a candidate. We’re fighting for our identities, we’re fighting for who we are, and the only policies that seem to matter this year are those that reinforce our identities.

Trump supporters don’t give a shit about emails. They just use them as a cudgel to validate their own voting preferences. They don’t really care about Bill Clinton’s indiscretions, either (because they know they have no room to speak where their own candidate is concerned). I think that we care deeply about Donald Trump’s sexual assaults because they reinforce our beliefs that he does not respect women. But the tax issues, the Trump foundation, and the millions of lies are political weapons we use to take down Trump in the hopes that those angry white men will lose some passion for him.

They won’t. Because those issues do not go to the root of their identities. For every shot we fire against Donald Trump, they shoot one back, even if they have to resort to lies or conspiracy to manufacture a bullet. This election season is like a Ryan Murphy war: There are a million shots being fired, but nobody ever stays dead. The best we can hope is that we cripple them enough to break their spirits on election day.

The country is still divided, almost down the middle. But our side is gaining. We might lose this year (I don’t think we will), but this is what the map will look like in just four years (Hat Tip: El Gordo) if the political demographics continue their current trend. This is how kids are voting in their classrooms right now:

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I have four-year-old twins. When they are 30 years old and go to the polls, they won’t be in the majority anymore. There will be more people of color than white people, and when things even out between the races, maybe policy will matter again. Because right now, Trump supporters are fighting against the tide of history: They want to keep out Mexicans and Muslims (but not Europeans) because they are clinging to their identities while the rest of us are trying to finally move toward that United States where we’re all just Americans again, to that great big goddamn melting pot that we once spoke so highly of. An America where we’re arguing over tax policies, health insurance, the distribution of wealth, and the environment instead of about who can use which bathroom and who belongs in this country and who doesn’t.

Unfortunately, those issues are taking a backseat right now to the bigger question of what we want this country to be. I desperately want Hillary Clinton to win, but more importantly, I want this to be the kind of country that elects the identity that Hillary Clinton represents, or at least the identity that we want her to represent.

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