VICE feed for https://www.vice.comenMon, 22 Oct 2018 19:39:00 +0000<![CDATA[South Korea's #MeToo Movement Wants to End the 'Epidemic' of Spy Cam Porn]]>, 22 Oct 2018 19:39:00 +0000This article originally appeared on VICE Asia.

It's called molka in South Korea and it's been likened to a "social death penalty," that affects thousands of women every year. But the tides are turning against molka—or "spy cam porn"—as South Korea's #MeToo movement spreads to tackle an issue that has made public bathrooms, changing rooms, and even your own bedroom a potential danger zone for years.

Today, it's common in the bathrooms of cities like Seoul to see small pieces of toilet paper jammed into the ends of screws, small holes, or anything, really, that could be hiding a small concealed camera. One woman even sells an "emergency kit" online, complete with a pink ice pick to break camera lenses, stickers warning of the penalties of recording someone without their consent, and silicone to seal up suspicious holes.

That's because much of the porn available online in South Korea falls under the broad classification of molka—a genre that can mean anything from hidden recordings of women urinating to sexual acts secretly videotaped by someone's boyfriend and released later as "revenge porn."

Last June, more than 22,000 women marched on the Seoul neighborhood of Hyehwa in protest of molka. They carried signs reading "My Life Isn't Your Porn," and effigies of the police, who have repeatedly been accused of turning a blind eye to molka cases despite having a law that, on the surface but rarely in practice, criminalizes the practice. (Only 2.6 percent of the men accused of installing spy cams were arrested between 2012 and 2017, according to official data.)

Watch: Inside the Torturous Fight to End Revenge Porn

“Korean women are often told that they are simply too sensitive when they question the status quo and that they are uncomfortable to be around,” the protest organizer told the local news site Korea Exposé in an anonymous email.

“We are reclaiming our right to challenge existing conditions that aggravate sexual discrimination. We are raising uncomfortable issues," the organizer continued.

Since then, the city government in Seoul has promised to check women's bathrooms daily for spy cams. In the past, they only checked the bathrooms once a month. A 16-person task force set up with the backing of the national government is also trying to help victims scrub these spy cam recordings from the internet. Hye-jin Ryu, of the Women's Human Rights Institute of Korea, told Reuters that she had received 15,000 requests to remove videos since the task force was set up last April.

"The situation is getting out of hand," Ryu told Reuters. "Since the establishment of the task force, many victims have called and reached out to us."

These requests likely represent only a small percentage of the overall problem. The state-run Yonhap news agency reported that the number of molka cases had risen from 2,400 in 2012 to 6,500 in 2017. And those were only the women who both realized they were secretly recorded and successfully filed a complaint with the police.

"These are the people who are trying to hide themselves as much as possible," explained Soo-yeon Park, a vocal campaigner for harsher laws and the founder of the site Digital Sexual Crime Out.

Experts have struggled to explain why, exactly, spy cam porn has become so ubiquitous in South Korea. Some say it's a consequence of banning the production of actual (and consensual) pornography in a country as technologically advanced as South Korea. Social media sites like Tumblr became a popular place to find porn after other nonconsensual porn sites like Soranet, where men would upload nude images of women and ask other men to rate them, were shut down. And a lot of users on these sites now just see molka as a more "natural" version of porn that contrasts the stuff made by the industry in neighboring Japan.

"This kind of distorted sexual culture is becoming the norm," Sue-jung Lee, a criminal psychologist at Kyonggi University, told NPR.

But it's also a symptom of a society that still struggles with sexism, double standards, and the worst pay gap of all "developed" countries.

A popular K-Pop singer was recently accused of "promoting feminism," when she tweeted a photo of herself holding a phone case that read "Girls can do anything." She later took the image down.

The #MeToo movement as well has struggled to score a big win, especially after the former governor of South Chungcheong province, a man once seen as a future presidential contender, was found not guilty of forced sexual intercourse.

But the decision by several prominent women to come forward with their own stories of sexual harassment and abuse have emboldened women nationwide to directly confront issues like molka—a practice that is now being called an epidemic that can cause very real and long-last trauma for its victims.

"It sends the victims into depression because there is no end to it," Ryu told Reuters. "It is on the internet forever. It's a social death penalty."

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<![CDATA['Over There,' Today's Comic by Benny Montero]]>, 22 Oct 2018 18:44:21 +00001540232356378-Over-There

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<![CDATA[A Canadian Woman Was Just Arrested and Charged with Witchcraft]]>, 22 Oct 2018 17:45:00 +0000 This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

After a months-long investigation by police in a small Ontario town, a Canadian woman who sold herself as a psychic has been charged with witchcraft.

This weekend police in Milton, a small town in Ontario, arrested 32-year-old Dorie Stevenson who was running a psychic business out of her basement. She was charged with extortion, fraud over $5,000 [$3,813 USD], and witchcraft/fortune telling. If you’re thinking, whoa, Canada has witchcraft laws? Well, the answer would be yes, but they’re probably not exactly what you think.

It's covered under section 365 in the Criminal Code under the title “pretending to practice witchcraft.” It focuses on anyone who “fraudulently” gets paid to tell fortunes, “pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration,” or using their “skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science” to find where lost things are.

Police allege that Stevenson, whose psychic name as Madeena, swindled over $60,000 [$45,757 USD] out of one of her clients. Milton police say that the investigation into the “Milton Psychic” took months.

"What we typically see is a tendency for perpetrators to take advantage of persons when they are in their most vulnerable state. Victims are manipulated into believing something bad will happen to them unless they remit cash,” said Sergeant Dave Costantini in a press release.

“When victims cannot be squeezed any longer, the perpetrators rely on the victim's embarrassment in not contacting police."

Police say that the victim was tricked into buying some products—which include “new cell phones, jewelry, appliances, and gift cards—that they would then hand over to Stevenson for cleansing. They would expect these items to be returned by the psychic but, lo and behold, they never were.

Photo via screenshot of

A quick search for the Milton Psychic shows a snazzy website that advertises a wide array of “reading” types like tarot, energy, and crystal. It’s $75 [$57 USD] for a reading or $130 [$99 USD] for two—Stevenson even offered gift certificates.

“Through any reading of the palm, tarot cards, crystal, face, life, or energy readings I will answer all of your hart’s questions without one single question—GUARANTEED,” reads her site. “I will reunite the separated, bring back the success in your life, and the happiness in your home; all while removing the evil forces around you and your loved ones.”

Police say that they believe there may be other victims out there and are asking for them to come forward.

The law, which for a long, long time sat on the books without being used, has been invoked a few times in recent years. In 2009 a woman claiming to be from a long line of witches defrauded a lawyer out of thousands of dollars by telling him he was possessed by the soul of his recently departed sister. A few years later in 2012, a 26-year-old Mississauga man was charged after promising to lift a family’s curse—in exchange for some sweet, sweet cash.

There is a proposed bill, C-51, which was introduced by the government last year to remove archaic laws from the books, such as witchcraft. The bill also proposes removing the ban on dueling, and publishing blasphemous libel. If it passes it will mean practicing witchcraft is perfectly legal in Canada.

So, witches, warlocks, and those weird people in robes I sometimes see in the park, rejoice… I guess?

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<![CDATA[Nude Beach Surfer Headbutts His Way into Shark Attack, Punches His Way Out]]>, 22 Oct 2018 17:40:31 +0000Shark attacks are goddamn terrifying. Sometimes you're just minding your own business, basking in the ocean or trying to take a really good photo for Instagram or whatever, and then some hungry beast from the great depths reminds you that your puny status as a social media influencer doesn't mean much against a shark's razor-sharp teeth.

But when a shark chomped down on a surfer last weekend, the guy didn't just accept defeat and let the thing toss him around in the water like that lady in the beginning of Jaws. He decided to fight back—by beating it off with his bare hands, the West Australian reports.

Last Saturday morning, 51-year-old Paul Kenny was surfing at Samurai Nudist Beach north of Newcastle when he accidentally swam right into the hungry shark.

"I went to catch the last wave back in, put my head down, and headbutted the shark," Kenny said, according to the West Australian. "I didn’t know it was there and couldn’t see it because it was churned up white water."

The shark bit down on Kenny's right bicep and wouldn't let go, but he still managed to have his wits about him enough to hatch a plan. Somehow, in the midst of the terrifying experience, Kenny was reminded of a surfer named Mick Fanning, who fought off a shark back in 2015. So Kenny followed Fanning's lead and just started wailing on the thing.

"I just started punching it until it let go," Kenny told CNN in a separate interview. "[I knew that] if it took my legs, I'd be gone. I wouldn't have been able to walk out, get out."

Luckily, some combination of the headbutt and the fists of fury managed to piss the shark off enough to make it go find some other prey, and it let go. Kenny was able to swim back to shore, where an ambulance raced him to a nearby hospital, where he got 20 stitches.

Near-death experience aside, Kenny doesn't really blame the shark for taking a bite out of him. "I was in his world," Kenny told the West Australian. "He was just going about his business and I headbutted him so he retaliated."

A surprisingly chill attitude for a guy who almost got eaten alive by a fearsome sea creature, but come on—what else would you expect from a tough-ass surfer in his 50s who spends his weekends at a nude beach?

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<![CDATA[Ted Cruz Is a Desperate Man]]>, 22 Oct 2018 17:36:53 +0000 Just a few years ago, Ted Cruz was on top of the world. The Republican had handily won his Senate election bid, enjoyed relatively high approval ratings in his home state of Texas, and was a strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 primary. Yes, he has always been a kind of gross, wet little shithead who couldn’t approximate a normal human conversation if his life depended on it, but for a long time he was pretty successful despite this significant handicap. And after a lifetime seemingly spent on a singular quest for the most powerful office in the country, his defeat at the hands of a man who dicktripped his way into politics seemingly on a lark catalyzed one of the most spectacular slow-motion downfalls in modern politics. And let me tell you after watching a lot of Cruz TV ads and following his social accounts for the last few months—Ted Cruz is fucking desperate, man.

Putting aside the absolute abomination that is our current presidential reality, watching Donald Trump—who cannot form a single sentence without four different tangential brainfarts interrupting it—absolutely humiliate Ted “Princeton debate team” Cruz during the 2016 primary was a sight to behold. But what really brought a tear of joy to my eye was after Trump had thoroughly battered Cruz with a veritable cornucopia of slanders—everything from his wife being ugly to his father plotting the JFK assassination—was watching Cruz dive to the ground to sloppily lick Trump’s proverbial boots. Honestly I think the whole thing was best summarized in a single iconic photo.

Smash cut to 2018, and Cruz’s slide down the politics shit-tube has only accelerated. He is fighting for his political life against Beto O’Rourke, a charismatic and energetic young challenger who could actually turn a statewide Texas election for the Democrats. (Cruz has been leading in the polls, but not by an insurmountable amount.) And Cruz seems to have decided that there is only one real route to victory for him, especially in a GOP landscape that was bulldozed and redeveloped by the man who had humiliated him in 2016—a man who’s approval he now needs. This has resulted in some pretty wild-swing attacks on O’Rourke, many of them coming from Cruz-associated social media accounts, pro-Cruz PAC television spots, and even Cruz himself.

The most pathetic anti-Beto attack came from the Texas GOP Twitter account, which apparently wanted to bring voters attention to how uh, conventionally attractive and cool the Democrat was back in college? It’s clear that the Cruz campaign meant for this to prompt a “liberal homo” response from the online community, but shockingly more people took this opportunity to dunk on Cruz and his general pasty lameness than liked the original post.

After the Republicans tried this same asshat gambit with O’Rourke’s decades-old mugshot, it became clear that Cruz was taking a very specific strategy and targeting a very specific demographic: angry, elderly white Texans who suffer from advanced Fox News poisoning—increasingly the GOP’s saving grace. On his recent TV spots, Cruz goes after O’Rourke on some extremely Fox News red-meat issues such as “Does Beto O'Rourke think refusing to stand for the national anthem is disrespectful?” (replete with lots of troop shots), “Beto O'Rourke blasted police... as the new Jim Crow,” and “[establishment Republicans'] misguided plan would have given Obama the authority to admit Syrian refugees, including ISIS terrorists” (when discussing this influx of ISIS into our nation, Cruz boldly declares, “that’s just wrong”).

Last month, Cruz posted a video of O’Rourke addressing a black congregation in Texas, and expressing the (extremely reasonable) position that the off-duty police officer who shot Botham Jean in his own home should not have done that. A lot of people, myself included, were baffled as to the point of this, but it slowly dawned on me and others that Cruz had posted this video specifically to appeal to people so deeply racist that they would be outraged O’Rourke criticized any police officer for anything. Cruz even weepily followed all of this up by repeatedly claiming at his rallies that the video was proof O’Rourke did not support Texas’s police officers.

Cruz is likely embracing the negative because he can’t get a positive news cycle to save his life. He has no friends in the Senate purely because of his personality. He can’t stop getting trolled by young people. He gets run out of restaurants. He needs to kiss up to Trump to win the election. The headlines you see about poor, soggy Ted do not paint the picture of a man on the rise, or even a man who is keeping it together. If you’re familiar with how momentum works in sports, you probably get the idea.

As the November election grows nearer, I can only imagine that Ted will get even sweatier and dig more deeply into shitty right-wing tropes. His most high-profile "accomplishments" in the Senate were failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his hand in the 2013 government shutdown, neither of which make for a great stump speech. Given the current state of politics, that might be enough for him to win reelection, Betomania or no. But I would hope that enough voters are beginning to see Cruz in a new light—not as a maverick who stands by his principles or has any real interest in improving the lives of the people he represents, but as someone who will say literally anything to cling to power.

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<![CDATA[The MTA Figured Out How to Make New York's Subways Even More Horrifying]]>, 22 Oct 2018 17:11:59 +0000The very idea of the New York City Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority teaming up to produce a "Haunted Subway" seems so terribly on the nose that it may have actually worked: At Manhattan's Union Square stop for two days last week, on Thursday, October 19, and Friday, October 20, subway riders and some of their incredibly scared children were so distracted by a man dressed as the clown from IT and a zombie cop with half a face that they may well have momentarily forgotten the sorry state of their city's crumbling infrastructure. According to Gothamist, special activity officers conceived the initial premise (for kids, and definitely not as a distraction from reality), and with money from sponsors, 30 or so actors dressed up like monsters or maniacs with chainsaws and frightened everyone who decided to take a minute-long stroll through a tunnel near the 15th Street entrance. For back-to-back nights, from 4 PM to 7 PM, gone were the Hare Krishnas and the suited men shouting to "hold the door," and were replaced with a werewolf chained to a barricade and an undercover-looking cop wearing a bloody Dexter-esque plastic apron.

It was all reminiscent of a Guillermo del Toro set, though if the MTA really wanted to be clever here (have any of the employees read Freud's theory on the "uncanny"?), they might have squandered a real opportunity. Imagine, for a moment, the ghost of the lone IT guy capable of rebooting the card vending system. Or the new MTA president, a hapless detective incapable of abating the horrors of the past. Or a rat king stealing passengers' pizza.

Still, despite any creative lapses, on Friday evening photographer Victor Llorente went to see everything for himself. Below are some of the images he shot.


See more of Victor Llorente's photos here. Follow his instagram here.

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<![CDATA[This Is How You Go to College Without Taking on Massive Debt]]>, 22 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0000 This story appears in VICE Magazine's Power and Privilege Issue. Click HERE to subscribe.

Mike Long didn’t have the money to go to college. Though he managed to take care of his tuition at New College of Florida (NCF) via a combination of scholarships and grants, housing at the Sarasota school was expensive, in part because dorm residents were forced to purchase a meal plan. The food at NCF is notoriously gross, according to the Princeton Review, and Long didn’t want to be forced to pay for something he wouldn’t use. When he heard about a former student who’d lived rent-free out of a boat on the bay, he headed to Craigslist. There, he found a guy willing to trade his boat for Long’s car—and that’s how Long got a ticket to living cheaply for four years.

“It was a funky way to do it, but probably the only way I was able to make it work,” Long told me of his college years, which he managed to get through mostly debt-free, with the exception of a loan he had to take out to fix a snapped anchor line.

The prospect of taking on massive debt may be more central than ever to the decisions young people make about college. Eric Greenberg, who’s been advising incoming students about, among other things, money matters through his Greenberg Educational Group for more than 25 years, told me the biggest difference he’s seen in his clients over the past quarter century is that they’re no longer only concerned with the brand-name value of an umbrella institution. Instead, students (and parents) ask specifically about the return on investment they can expect from a specific major or degree. “Now they’re looking at it as a quality-of-life decision, but also taking into account other economic factors,” Greenberg said.

While Long relied on some uniquely Floridian ingenuity (as well as the help of a couple of girlfriends who let him sleep inside when it was cold or stormy) to keep college affordable, there are other ways for less adventurous—or just landlocked—people to cut down on costs.


According to Greenberg, one basic fact to keep in mind when mulling college debts is that employers tend to focus on where you graduated from, not where you started your college career. Student Loan Hero, a website that helps people refinance their debt, says the average cost-per-credit at a two-year public school is $135, whereas it’s $325 at a four-year public school. If you don’t have a ton of Advanced Placement credits under your belt and just need to knock out some general-education requirements after high school, spending some time at a local community college before matriculating at a full-fledged university tends to be one of the simplest ways to rein in the spending.

But if you already have, say, English 101 and calculus taken care of—or just want to seek out a higher-quality education right out of the gate—attending a public university where you can pay in-state tuition for a few semesters is another strong option.

"Spending some time at a local community college before matriculating at a full-fledged university tends to be one of the simplest ways to rein in the spending."

Carmen Segura and Jake Gotta both went to local community college before transferring to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The former didn’t get motivated about her education until senior year of high school, by which time her GPA was already shot, and the latter decided he would rather go to a two-year school where he could play baseball than a four-year one where he couldn’t. Segura, who’s currently enrolled in a chemistry PhD program in Santa Cruz, said she saved big by starting small. Same with Gotta.

“In all, community saved me about $20,000, probably more, and I still will have my bachelor’s from the UC I wanted,” Gotta told me.

The Brooklyn-based writer and editor (and a colleague of mine at VICE) Hanson O’Haver spent his first year of college at UCSB working hard to get the grades he needed to transfer to the school of his choice. He hadn’t gotten into New York University the first go-around, and figured it was stupid to spend money on a private college he didn’t feel passionate about. “I really didn’t want to be at UCSB, which was the best state school I got into,” O’Haver said. “So I kind of always had in mind that I needed to get good grades so I could transfer. And I knew I wanted to go to school in New York, and that the kids at NYU were who I actually wanted to be friends with.” It ended up working out perfectly. Not only did he get the degree he wanted and end up in the city he wanted to live in, but he very roughly estimated he probably saved around $40,000.

A third option is swinging for the fences. Oftentimes, elite private schools are effectively cheaper than public schools in that they leverage their enormous endowments to offer more robust financial aid packages to low-income students. It’s important to apply to a variety of tiers of school, then, rather than assume one class of institution will automatically be the best bargain or worst bargain—or out of your reach entirely. The only caveat, Greenberg cautioned, is that it’s typically harder for a student to get big-time financial aid when not applying as a freshman.

Still, he urged prospective students not to let the fear of missing out on financial aid stop them from starting at a less expensive—if also somewhat less prestigious—college. In many cases, Greenberg said, his clients end up being happy both socially and academically at the schools they start at, and don’t follow through on plans to transfer up.

And when they do insist on making a move to have the college experience they crave, starting local often leaves them in better shape financially.


Although a quick Google search yields all kinds of scholarships for every idiosyncrasy under the sun, Greenberg argued it’s not necessarily a good idea to apply to as many as physically possible. As a blanket rule, be extremely wary of scholarships that ask for application fees, for instance.

“There are a lot of these companies that want upfront fees paid, and very often the cost to the student would be a lot more than they originally would have spent [without the ostensible aid],” he told me. “Read the fine print when companies either promise or guarantee scholarships.”

That isn’t to say that you should only be dependent on government grants, which are awarded on the basis of need after students fill out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, form. There are, in fact, plenty of merit-based scholarships awarded for special skills or talents. The trick is to seek these out on a given school’s website or by calling their financial aid office.

By his own admission, Keenan Lantz wasn’t a very good high school student. After completing an AmeriCorps program, he received* a small grant to attend community college. It was after leafing through some college guidebooks, however, that he stumbled upon Deep Springs—a tiny ranch school in California at which 30 or fewer students live in isolation and work the land as part of a free two-year educational program.

"There are, in fact, plenty of merit-based scholarships awarded for special skills or talents. The trick is to seek these out on a given school’s website or by calling their financial aid office."

“The cowboy college plan worked out, and I was there for three years,” Lantz, who now works as an executive assistant at JPMorgan, told me. “Then I took a little time off [from school] and tried to find full scholarships for transfer students by just googling around. I learned there aren’t many, but Shimer College offered one of them at the time.”

In fact, the Chicago school was offering one full-ride that year, the so-called “Dangerous Optimist” scholarship, for someone willing to read Frederick Douglass’s eulogy of Abraham Lincoln, write a paper about it, and discuss it in an interview with a faculty member.

“The plan was to take more time off and just work and save up, but Shimer gave me the scholarship, so that worked out, too,” Lantz recalled. “I generally tried to avoid debt as much as possible, and still ended up with about $20,000. I’m just grateful it is that low.”


Greenberg said many young people don’t realize that bargaining, the most effective way to squeeze money out of college, is even an option. But in his experience, schools seem to have a cushion built into their budget for those young people with the guts to negotiate.

An extra conversation with a school’s admissions or financial-aid office is as good a place as any to toss in compelling biographical details that perhaps didn’t fit on your application. Or you could literally just ask for more money. After all, colleges are concerned about the number of people who accept their admission offers because those stats affect their rankings.

“Meet with them—ideally in person—and clearly explain why you’re passionate about the school and why the financial aid package doesn’t make it possible for you attend,” Greenberg advised. “And also, if they see a peer school has given a lot of money and they haven’t, they might give more.”

"An extra conversation with a school’s admissions or financial-aid office is as good a place as any to toss in compelling biographical details that perhaps didn’t fit on your application. Or you could literally just ask for more money."

After Beckett Mufson, another colleague of mine, was accepted to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania with a decent financial aid package, he decided to visit. He’d already fallen for Hofstra University on Long Island, but was willing to at least have a look at the other school, where the biggest selling point seemed to be that J.D. Salinger did a semester there—and you could enter an essay contest for the privilege of sleeping in his former dorm. The student he ended up shadowing, however, had a pretty tame idea of a fun night out: driving to a local convenience store.

“I was like, ‘NYC or Wawa?’” Mufson recently recalled.

His mother encouraged him to send an email to Hofstra to see if he might squeeze out a bit more money. He essentially told the school he’d pick them over a competitor if they could be bothered to sweeten the deal. In so doing, he officially entered the post–financial crisis economy, an often terrifying place where wage stagnation and college debt loom above all else.

“Basically, I made $1,000 in five minutes—a rate I will never match again,” Mufson told me.

*Correction 10/16/2018: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated that Lantz attended community college before Deep Springs. We regret the error.

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<![CDATA[Pete Davidson Says He's Looking for a New Roommate After Ariana Grande Split]]>, 22 Oct 2018 16:45:49 +0000If laughter is the best medicine, Pete Davidson took out a prescription on Saturday following his week-old breakup with pop star Ariana Grande. On Sunday, the SNL star spoke for the first time about the called-off engagement at a comedy show he co-hosted with Judd Apatow, E! News reports.

"Well, as you could tell, I don't want to be here. There's a lot going on," Davidson joked to the audience at Judd & Pete for America, a charity show for Swing Left in LA. He's also apparently in the market for a new place, seeing as he was reportedly was living at Grande's $16 million beanbag-adorned apartment after they got engaged.

"Does anybody have any open rooms? Looking for a roommate?" he reportedly asked onstage.

Davidson also answered a question many people following their relationship had since news of their breakup dropped.

"Um, I've been covering a bunch of tattoos, that's fun," Davidson said. "I'm fucking 0 for 2 in the tattoo [department]. Yeah, I'm afraid to get my mom tattooed on me, that's how bad it is.”

He continued: "So, obviously you know I, we broke up or whatever but when me and her first got engaged we got tattoos. And it was like in a magazine like, 'Was Pete Davidson stupid?' And 93 percent of it said yes. So my boy, he was like, 'Don't listen to that shit man. They're literally fucking haters.' And I'm like, yeah, fuck that. I'm not stupid. And the other day we were in my kitchen and he was like, 'Yo bro. Turns out you were stupid.'"

Eventually, he reportedly acknowledged his place among the hellscape news cycle that has become the new normal. "I feel like I am America," he said. “I'm a good guy that just keeps getting kicked in the dick. You're like, 'Ah, that fucking poor kid. Hope he doesn't kill himself.' That's America.”

While his former fiancé takes some time off to cope with the brutal year she's had, Davidson seems to be using comedy, an effective therapeutic tool, to get through the breakup with Grande, who reportedly returned the $93,000 ring he gave her, but kept their miniature pig and the apartment, obviously. Pete, if you’re reading this, there’s an apartment open in my building that’s great, as long as you don’t need a sink in your bathroom. DM me for details.

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<![CDATA[Weed Has Only Been Legal in Canada for a Week and Crackdowns Have Already Begun]]>, 22 Oct 2018 16:44:00 +0000This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

It’s been less than a week since recreational weed became legal in Canada and already Canadians are starting to see a crackdown on black and gray market businesses, as well as consumers breaking the rules.

The federal government stated that one of its major goals in regulation cannabis is to wipe out the black market. To boot, the Cannabis Act has introduced severe punishments—including up to 14 years of jail time for people who sell weed illegally or to minors.

Legalizing weed also makes it easier for police and municipalities to shut down illegal dispensaries. Cops no longer need a search warrant to enter and raid weed shops.

Raids in British Columbia and Newfoundland

Dispensaries in both BC and Newfoundland were raided over the last couple of days.

Officers seized weed at two dispensaries in Port Alberni, BC on Wednesday. While they removed cannabis, they didn’t arrest anyone, according to a news release. They were able to conduct the raids and issue fines of $575 [$438 USD] for the unlawful sale of cannabis under the province’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

According to the Globe and Mail, police seized $6,000 [$4,575 USD] of weed from Port Alberni Cannabis Club, which has a municipal license to sell weed.

Meanwhile, in Newfoundland on Thursday, inspectors from the provinces liquor corporation and police raided a local dispensary, seizing product. Cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd told VICE no arrests were made.

Cops called for greediness

This one doesn’t really belong on the list but it’s funny so we are including it. According to CTV footage, police were called to a “domestic situation” because someone refused to share their weed with another person. That is not a crime, and thus no arrests were made. But whoever called 911 over that is pettiness goals.

Hotboxing on a highway

Just an hour after weed became legal, Winnipeg cops issued a fine to someone blazing in a car on a highway.

“So… this happened early this morning: A Consume Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle ticket was issued. Just like alcohol, consuming cannabis is legal—and like alcohol, consuming it in your vehicle is **not**,” tweeted Winnipeg police. Many provinces have banned consuming cannabis in cars.

The person was given a $672 fine. Driving high in Manitoba could mean a 24-hour driver’s license suspension.

New Brunswick’s joint rolling tutorial

With 20 government weed shops open on Wednesday, New Brunswick was one of the most prepared for legalization. The province’s marketing scheme included a hilarious tutorial on how to roll a joint, and statements like “although many consume cannabis alone, more and more are getting together with friends for different occasions. It could be the weekly poker game, girls’ night out, or a concert with the whole group. It could even be video chatting with your friends from the comfort of your own home” alongside stock images of happy looking young people. (You are not allowed to consume weed in public in New Brunswick, so I’m not sure that it makes sense to promote a girls' night out.)

Sadly, the province may have been a bit overzealous in its promotion of weed, since the federal government has set out strict regulations that forbid depicting people or a “way of life such as one that includes glamor, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk, or daring.”

According to Maclean’s, Health Canada reached out to New Brunswick to inform the province that parts of its website are “not in compliance with those rules” and changes are reportedly on the way. Good effort though.

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<![CDATA[Turns Out Animal-Loving Brother Nature Has a History of Racist Tweets]]>, 22 Oct 2018 16:14:05 +0000Over the last two years, Brother Nature became one of those rare, invaluable souls whose Twitter feed didn't make you want to vomit—posting photos and videos of himself hanging out with tigers, sloths, camels, elephants, and his girl Canela, who's actually a deer. It seemed like an uplifting, unproblematic oasis in the miserable desert that is Twitter—until someone unearthed the animal whisperer's history of racist tweets.

Over the weekend, some cyber sleuth uncovered a bunch of awful shit the 20-year-old, whose real name is Kelvin Peña, tweeted out a few years back, making him what feels like the ten thousandth internet-famous person to get milkshake ducked this year, BuzzFeed News reports. The tweets, most of which came from 2011 and 2012, ran the gamut from racist, to sexist, to anti-semitic, and beyond. "I hate coons dammit," he wrote in one; another included a swastika next to the words "HEIL HITLER."

After briefly taking his account private on Sunday, Peña explained that all of those tweets date back to when he was about 12 years old. Of course, people say dumb shit at that age without really thinking of the consequences—Peña said he was "impressionable" and "seeking attention" back then—but he apologized for what he wrote, and let his fans know that he's "evolved."

"I am sorry to all of the people that I offended and have let down. I apologize for 12 year old Kelvin and take total responsibility for my words," he wrote in a statement. "Everyone changes, everyone learns, and everyone makes mistakes."

Peña is just one of innumerable people who's been called out for saying horrible things on Twitter, but unlike more mainstream personalities—say, James Gunn, or Roseanne Barr—it's unclear exactly what's at stake for him here. Ostensibly, sponsors who team up with Peña for content could decide not to work with him anymore. Ultimately it comes down to whether or not his fans will forgive him, which it looks like at least some of them are ready to do, especially in light of the work he's done for charity.

Even if we take Peña at his word—that these were just the mindless tweets of a dumb, 12-year-old kid who didn't actually mean what he was saying—it doesn't change the fact that calling women's rights a "joke" and praising Hitler hurts. If anything, the whole thing just goes to show why most people should really go back and revisit their old tweets—not just to avoid backlash, but also for a chance to reckon with what they said.

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Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.

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