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Alex Jones vs. “Machete.”

Alex Jones vs. “Machete.” (photo)

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Robert Rodriguez is one of the only directors whose highest aspiration is creating instant camp trash — for him, disposability is immortality. And yet, the so-called “illegal” trailer for the upcoming “Machete” cracked me up far more than its origin, as an over-obvious fake-exploitation trailer in “Grindhouse.” What started out as another Rodriguez cheapie has had the resonance of a real immigration law added to it, and all the racial jokes suddenly seem relevant (even if nothing is funnier than the words “Introducing Don Johnson”).

Nothing about “Machete” in its original form provoked conservative complaint. But the “illegal” “Machete” trailer begins with Danny Trejo’s announcement that he has a Cinco de Mayo message for Arizona, which set off alarm bells. When the movie comes out, it won’t be a big deal. (There’s scarcely been a conservative protest in the past 20 years to match the contentious release of “The Last Temptation of Christ.”) Still, for now, this is a faux-talking-point, and there’s a simple reason for this: Alex Jones got involved.

For those unfamiliar, Alex Jones may best be remembered as one of the highlight of “Waking Life”, ranting against the age of “slavery incorporated,” sounding merely like one of Linklater’s most vehement slackers. If you were in Austin in the ’90s, Jones was probably the best late-night AM host to stay up with in the area — his ramblings about a one-world government and black helicopters hovering over the rural areas were eminently listenable. But he’s blown up from local oddity to syndicated AM guy, still a firm believer in the idea that a “new world order”/”one world government” is trying to take over, Jones is actually to the right of Glenn Beck, who on a recent broadcast had the nerve to mock “tinfoil hat people.” He believes in “global governance,” not “global government.” This is how far right Jones is: Beck disputes him over semantics.

05202010_jones.jpgOne of the reasons Austin became a popular place in which to make movies in the late ’90s/early ’00s was, in part, to do with both generous tax breaks for filmmakers, but also with the establishment of the Austin Studios by the Austin Film Society — co-founded by Richard Linklater in 1985, and whose efforts were aided by Robert Rodriguez, who seems to have shot every movie he possibly can in Austin or at least Texas, including “Machete.”

Then Jones’ site “Infowars” screams that “Machete” is a “racist film” about “race war” being funded by Texas — apparently “Machete” is no longer a cheeseball spoof but a “Do The Right Thing”-esque incitement to blood in the streets — which makes a $20 million budget (and tax credits) spent in Austin unacceptable.

Jones must know how important film production has become to Austin in recent years. But every anti-“Machete” editorial op-ed you read will be based off his “research.” Just be aware where the talking points are coming from here — there’ll be no racial wars, but Texas will benefit economically.

Here’s Jones on the film and what he believes it will incite:

[Photos: “Machete,” 20th Century Fox, 2010; “Waking Life,” 20th Century Fox, 2001]

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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