Everything's Going to be All White

Nostalgia for the Mud: “Scarjo, darling, would you mind rolling your shoulders back so we can really see the yellow star pinned to your chest?”

07.06.09 by Natasha | Permalink | 18 Comments | Digg This

Here’s a term that you should familiarize yourself with:

“Nostalgie de la boue” means ascribing higher spiritual values to people and cultures considered “lower” than oneself, the romanticization of the faraway primitive which is also the equivalent of the lower class close to home.

Vanity Fair has a new photo-spread this month called DEPRESSION-CHIC where they dress up a bunch of celebs in rags and have them re-create iconic depression-era movie scenes.   Ah, the austere fashion of poverty is so often wasted on the poor!

I’m not offended at many things (check my credit card statements and you’ll see the charges for some lewd overseas websites) but this kind of flip attitude about history really chaps my ass (coincidentally the name of my fav website!).  Additionally, are we clean out of ideas? Is it impossible to create a new kind of glamour for the hard-working celebs of The Now Time?  Why does Vanity Fair insist on dry-humping the asethtics of The Before time? Is it so hard to think of some way to capture the allure and persona of a celebrity? IS THIS A RECESSION OF IDEAS, PEOPLE?!

Also, this recession has moved from being some abstract financing idea to being a dreadful day-to-day reality so it’s unsurprising that it wheedles it’s way into all forms of culture. But into fashion spreads? How gross! And THE OKIES, really?!   Like the skirts and overalls that reeked of oil, emaciated toddler spittle, and the desperation of the dust bowl is, like, a neat fashion motif  for millionaires?! It’s grotesque to have movie stars swish around like the destitute.  Oh, Stienbeck is probably steaming in the big cannery-row in the sky!

You know, I always thought when The End of Times came it would be full of murder cults and mystical shit happening. People getting mad and doing insanely cool stuff because like, everything’s going to end solet’s pull of this condom, napalm the walls, and staple these pancakes to roof cause FUCK TOMORROW! But the going idea seems to be FUCK TOMORROW AND HOORAY FOR YESTERDAY! Aww, you guys remember yesterday? When our biggest problem was racial segregation and the Germans? OMG, the GERMANS! How quaint! LOL @ Dresden!

Feminist Spidey Sense

Would Tina Fey ever blow herself up freebasing? : Women Aren’t Funny

06.22.09 by Natasha | Permalink | 2 Comments | Digg This


Women can be funny. But a self-destructive woman with a foul mouth and a reliance on pills doesn’t play well in comedy clubs or TV. Maybe because it provokes primitive notions of the fairer sex. Women “on the verge” appear as victims rather than hardened, street-wise misfits.  Sure, Sarah, Tina, Amy, whoevs, are all funny character actors. Clever writers too!  But that coke crazed energy, that self-loathing and swagger, the Bill Hicks sense of loneliness appears in no popular comedienne. And it’s not that women are incapable of being funny (trust me) but that particular brand, that penchant for destruction in the way the joke, isn’t fostered. Where is the female Lenny Bruce with a rag in her crotch and monkey on her back? 

 Sure, you have Lisa Lampenelli. She’s raunchy but vulgarity is her whole act. It’s exhibitionist rather than insightful. So you can take her right off the table. And I’ve always found the adoration of Fey/Phoeler style troublesome. It’s smart but it’s intellectually wholesome — they’re moms for christssake! 

Sam thinks it’s because “an audience doesn’t want to worry about it’s hero.” I think is absolutely true. 

There’s also a protective impulse with comediennes (but, you know, not in that “protetcting them from double standards about other shit” way) that makes people cringe when they hear “I’m drinking myself to death because everything is meaningless.”  It’s like “Wait, shouldn’t you have children first?”  

 

CONCLUSION: The best comedy is delivered when you can feel the void clutching at the comics ankles.  You show me the female George Carlin and I’ll cancel my abortion appointment so baby Carlos can grow up in a just world.

Feminist Spidey Sense

LOVE HER OR HATE HER, BETH DITTO IS TOO BIG TO IGNORE

06.19.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 8 Comments | Digg This

What is it about Beth Ditto that makes journalists lose their objectivity faster than virginity on Prom Night? I’m not sure what annoys me more:

The haters, like British GQ’s Alex Bilmes. He sneered and air-quoted his way through an article that called Ditto a “fat lesbian” (”lesbian” obviously being nearly as big a crime as “fat”) and a “porker” who was “pathologically exhibitionist”; said her band Gossip was “deeply average”; and berated the fashion industry as “stupid” for lionizing her and said they they’re only using her as an outsized human shield so other fat people couldn’t accuse them of sizism. Jeez Alex, who pissed on your scones?;

or

The gushers, like The Sunday Times’ Giles Hattersley, who waxes rapsodic about Ditto’s body, comparing her arms to “slabs of freshly baked ciabatta” and wanting to render the “play of light across her love handles” in oils. Also, her best friend is a unicorn and she farts glitter!

Beth Ditto’s profile is particularly large (HA HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE) in Britian right now, because she’s just designed a line for Evans, the plus-sized wing of the Topshop chain. Frankly, I think it all resembles the clothes I grew out of right around the time Miami Vice was hitting its peak. But I am an old; it might not be a drawback to people too young to remember the first time black stretch pants paired with oversized sequined purple tops were hawt.

SRSLY.

DRUG SMUGGLING JUMPS THE SHARK: COCAINE SHARKS!!!!

06.18.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 4 Comments | Digg This

Earlier this week the Mexican Navy found more than a ton of cocaine hidden inside 112 frozen shark carcases. Well, coked-up sharks would explain this.

 

Is there that much of a market for frozen shark carcasses; or did these drug smugglers think “You know what no one will ever look inside of? SHARKS.” Either way, they’ve set the bar impossibly high for awesome things to stuff drugs inside of. The only thing that would top it is live giant squids.

 

P.S. Whoever knew that the word “MARINA” could look SO MENACING?! 

I have a Bachelor's Degree!

Not Exactly Starry Dynamos: Soap Stars to Play Famous Literary Figures. Casting Updates on ‘Howl’

06.18.09 by Sascha | Permalink | 4 Comments | Digg This

Ok, so. I’m no longer as apoplectic about James Franco playing Allen Ginsberg as I used to be, mostly because he looks so dashing in these new photos:

 

 

Still not quite realistic, but I guess we can always count on Hollywood to make every actor in a bio pic a 9 or a 10 when their real life counterparts were mousy 4s or 5s. Remember when they slapped a unibrow on Salma Hayek and called her Frida Khalo?  Crazy woman artist with her fuzzy wuzzy eyebrow and death monkey visions. That was adorable. 

I’m excited that Mary Louise Parker, Jon Hamm [Ed's Note:  Jon, if you're reading this, which I'm sure you are, over a pile of newspapers and oiled up women, with a half sucked grapefruit clenched in that masculine mitt you call a hand. I you to want know that I can cast you in the ultimate to star vehicle ie my vag, like WHENEVER YOU WANT.  Ok back to Sash] , Jeff Daniels, and possibly Paul Rudd will have parts in Howl. But let’s take a look at who will play the arguably most important Beats, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. According to imdb, we’ve got Todd Rotondi and Jon Prescott, respectively.

Who???

Oh, apparently they were on “As the World Turns.” Was Lawrence Ferlinghetti even consulted for this film? If this casting info is correct, it’s the equivalent of torching City Lights bookstore and building a tanning salon in its place. Who exactly are the producers hoping to draw with these choices, besides the most vacuous gays and housewives among us?

Kerouac and Cassady were more than pretty boys twinkling in the background of Ginsberg’s obscenity trial. They were poetic visionaries, aggressive, masculine queers, and significant cultural figures. And they deserve better than the B-shift at Spagos.

 

Give me cable or give me death

Manic at the Disco: Up Is Down, Black Is White, We Empathize With Reality TV ‘Stars’. ‘OBSESSED’ IS THE SHIT!!

06.17.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 5 Comments | Digg This

Move over Intervention, there’s a new reality show (that I will actually watch and enjoy) on A&E! Obsessed is about people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder who allow themselves to be videotaped and submit to 12 weeks of Cognitive Behavorial Therapy in an effort to get their anxiety down to manageable levels. Meaning, they no longer scrape out their colon with a toothbrush for three hours every time they poop*.

Unlike Intervention, where the subjects are being tricked into the titular confrontation, the people on Obsessed sign themselves up for it. And there’s no “Gotcha!” moment, like the addicts walking into the intervention. This show’s parallel is probably the “exposure” part of therapy, where they’re forced to confront whatever makes them the most anxious. It’s also the part of the show where Dr. Shana, this show’s version of Jeff van Vonderen or Candy Finnegan, really shines. Whether she’s making a patient hold a butcher knife to her (Dr. Shana’s) throat (!!!); or asking “Can I get a 1-10 on vaginal secretions?”, she is Obsessed’s rock star.

It’s probably no accident that the one patient who seemed to annoy most viewers (judging from the Television Without Pity forum for the show, anyway) may not have been for real. “Rick”, from last week’s episode, is allegedly so terrified of death that he takes several fistfuls of vitamins, runs everywhere, and compulsively works out a bazillion times a day. In his street clothes. He must smell wonderful. Anyway, in the end the the only tic he could manage to give up was his habit of clockwise twirling every time he entered or left a room. He’s like a smelly Eric Zoolander with terrible hairplugs!

But! The crafty commenters at Videogum have uncovered the fact that “Rick” is really Rick Rosner, Professional Crazy Person:

The first comment on yesterday’s Obsessed recap concerned one of the episode’s two subjects, Rick, who, commenter ElBomb noted, is named Rick Rosner and has “a documented history of doing stupid crap to get attention.” His claims of being the smartest man on earth have landed him a Domino’s commercial and multiple appearances on talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. There is indeed a long documentation of Rosner’s stunts, but I couldn’t find anything more compelling than his 2000 appearance on Errol Morris’s documentary TV show First Person, in which he describes his obsession with scars, being too smart for Harvard, and putting himself on a diet of lettuce and dog biscuits, which gave him hemorrhoids so bad he had to wear a maxi pad.

You got punk’d, A&E! Maybe you should put Rick’s face on a urinal cake.

I went into this expecting it to be another gape-at-the-freaks hour of television (I am really a very lovely person), but halfway through the premiere I felt this strange, unfamiliar emotion. It was… sympathy! For people on reality teevee!  We’re sold.

*Actually happened!

Everything's Going to be All White

Yes, But Where Will The Youngs Buy Their Autotune Jams?!: The Opposite of a Eulogy for Big Box Music Stores

06.17.09 by Ande | Permalink | 32 Comments | Digg This

The New York Times has gone and laid a faux nostalgia egg on us with its piece lamenting the closing of the last NYC Virgin Megastore. Honestly, there are 10,000 things I feel sadder about than the closing of music stores (like Mad Men spoilers! Booo!). Burn the fuckers down for all I care. Big box chains were just glorified shrines to record companies, anyways (corporations, you guyssss). Also, they made every asshole with a Little Prince tattoo all the more self-righteous about hawking you the new Sigur Ross b-side on vinyl. 

I buy music. Lots of it. And like the rest of the non self- aggrandizing percentage of the population that actually finished college because they didn’t want to sell used Moby CDs for a living, I do it online. According to one guy quoted in the article, the closing of music shops is a hit to the community.

“It does matter because it was also a social gathering space, and that’s one thing that buying music online lacks.”

 

Really, Bro? I didn’t feel a sense of ‘community’ as a young pad purchasing a Bon Jovi door poster. Speaking of posters…what the hell ever happened to Prints Plus! Where do today’s youth get their masturbatory Jonai posters from? This the silent victim of the internet: posters! Cause, like, why ever buy a Carmen Electra wank poster when you could just download 500 jpgs for free! But still, I’ll pour it out for the poster section.

Anyways, I’ve never experienced that warm fuzzy feeling of community and likewise equated music stores to be a social gathering space for scabies. I didn’t enjoy feeling judged by the Hot Topic adorned, facially pierced (think 90s y’all) meth addict working the cash register for purchasing a Radiohead album alongside an Ibiza Trance Party Mix 2000 CD.

So to the record stores, you had a nice run, but I’m not really gonna miss you all that much. It’s not like they’re taking the music away forever. They are just making it easier for you to buy and getting rid of that clunky CD case that is taking up space in your otherwise grown up living room.  Let’s not be sad that a dinosaur is dying! Let’s wave our caveman clubs in victory and feast upon the succulent nectar of the online fruits … like Apple! Wish I could buy a Steve Jobs Poster :(.

Let's Talk Shit!

FUCK YEAH, INSUBSTANTIAL ENTHUSIASM! : REBLOG THIS, IRONY!

06.05.09 by Sam | Permalink | 7 Comments | Digg This

Background fuckyeahsharksfuckyeahcutenessfuckyeahneilpatrickharrisfuckyeahmodernism,fuckyeahfatchick, fuckyeahcilantro

Here’s the basic formula: 

Take pretty much anything  

* Add Fuck Yeah! to the front of it.  

* Now start a tumblr full of related ephemera.  

* Adding captions/ scrawling in Impact is also an option.  

Now, this may sound daunting.  But the dirty little secret of Fuck Yeah! is that there’s no real obligation to be good.  As a meme, it’s a perfect storm: deeply dumb, posited as smart by virtue of it’s implicit irony, and as theoretically unstoppable as IT IS INFINITE (fuckyeahperpetuity!). What is so objectionable is that Fuckyeahs use irony as a defense mechanism to dodge the need to have something to say.

 You don’t ever say “Damn, that was a pretty weak string of Ryan Gosling stills… UNFOLLOW”

Fuck Yeah, Puppies! would literally have to post nothing but mysterious Korean kebabs for a week in order to alienate people because, assuming you are generally pro-puppy, there’s no such thing as a bad picture of a puppy.  At a basic level, Fuck Yeahs! are a thing to spice a feed with; quite a few don’t get old because they’re broad enough.  However, a trip through the Fuck Yeah! Sharks archive will make sharks numbing to you in a way that even the worst documentary couldn’t.

 

It’s like the thing that ruined bacon; insubstantial enthusiasm in place of personality or even a point to make.  The Fuckyeahs are essentially a cheap way to graft something to your personal brand and create a perception of edge/energy that’s a kind of scam.  Suddenly, you are cool and edgy like a wizard by association without having to actually know or risk anything. You don’t leave fuckyeah sharks understanding but you leave feeling simultaneously clever but lightly beatified cause “yeah, I stuck it to irony.  I really think sharks are awesome.” when, if anything, it’s just made you incrementally dumber. 

 

A truly good Fuck Yeah! has to keep upping the ante by adding either drama or diversity, otherwise it just ends up devolving into room temperature pop porn. Fuck Yeah! PokeMeme did a smart thing last week when they laid out a dozen and a half or so text-free PokeParent backgrounds (with captions about each theoretical PokeParent underneath) and asked for reader submissions.  Of course, there are plenty of other ways to push the formula forward (or who knows, maybe tumblr isn’t fundamentally gunning for Wondershowzen territory).  Plus, the nature of memes is to evolve and Fuck Yeah! still has time to mutate, that is if the empty randomness singularity formed by the existence of  Fuck Yeah! Family Guy doesn’t swallow us all whole first.

Fashion Weak

Are You Ready for this Hand-Stitched Jelly?: Bravo Interns Read Your Nasty Comments and Revamp the ‘Fashion’ Formula

06.03.09 by W.B. Mook | Permalink | Comment? | Digg This

 GOOD NEWS! The repentant bosses of Bravo’s reality show factory have conspired to right their wrongs!  After a messy fight between the network and the creators of Project Runway the Bravodians have picked out almost all of the most common gripes I’ve heard about Project Runway and tried something new to address them. It’s it kinda cool!

Too many “established” industry professionals are robbing The Regs of their right to have on-air tantrums and film Saturn commercials.   Fashion Show is full of nobodies!  The obvious downside to this is that the overall quality of their work doesn’t always measure up to what we’ve grown accustomed to on Project Runway.  The first few episodes were difficult to watch, and included the “I’m a designer, not a seamstress” diva fit which the contestants on Runway are seasoned enough not to try.

The challenges were turning into stale, product placement opportunities. Introducing a mini challenge at the beginning of the show, you get a whole extra competition that takes away from the unfortunate fact that after five seasons of Project Runway (plus two in Canada and one in Australia) just about every idea is going to at least be reminiscent of a PR challenge. BUT ITS OK TO BRING BACK THE CANDY DRESS CHALLENGE! 

An shadowy judging process gave the impression that drama queens could be saved by annoying the other contestants.  Every episode culminates in a fashion show attended by fifty to a hundred people. It gives us the feeling that the process is more fair.  By restricting the judges role to picking a winner from the top three, and a loser from the bottom two, we can remain swaddled in the illusion that most of the contestants are getting by based on merit.

The end result is a Project Runway emerging from cultural bankruptcy: leaner and more competition based.  The human touch was the most difficult thing for Project Runway to recapture season after season.  By playing it down, Fashion Show could deliver a decent reality show season after season, but it may never be able to hit the high notes of genuinely good Project Runway seasons

News That's Too Serious For MSNBC

Say Hello To the Gods of ‘The Barely Menstrual’: Starlet Roll Call and Cheat Sheet

06.02.09 by Ande | Permalink | 26 Comments | Digg This

Sunday night’s MTV Movie awards, while totally amusing, proved once and for all that MTV is the network of rugrats. The Olds (in the MTV handbook, anyone over 22) are being ignored while the not yet able to drive or menstruate or do their hair properly tween fetuses are the ruling landlords of the pop cultural landscape.

Which is fine.

We can hang with the Robert Pattinsons and the Kristen Stewarts of the world. We know about the Twilight and the sparkling vampires who reek of new Volvo interior. But what about the in-betweens? The non Zac Efron people from HSM? The ones with the stupid names from Gossip Girl? All those blonde girls that look like Rachel McAdams - including Rachel McAdams. It’s hard for The Olds to distinguish them sometimes and so we’ve made a cheat sheet of young assorted starlets for your convenience!

 

* * *

 

Ashley Tisdale - Oh, The ‘Tiz! Why You Should Know Her: She plays Sharpay in the High School Musical saga. Also she got a botched nose jobWhy You Should Care: Unless you’re under eleven, you shouldn’t. Moving on.

 

 

 

* * *

Megan Fox - she is a real life version of a slutty Halloween costume. Why You Should Know Her: Transformers. Up coming new Diablo Cody flick, Jennifer’s Body. And she says really stupid thingsWhy You Should Care: Your boyfriend is probably thinking about her when he’s on top of you.

 

* * *

 

 

Taylor Lautner - he’s the werewolf from the Twilight series. Why You Should Know Him: It’s required by law to know everything about Twilight. Obama will smite you if you don’t.Why You Should Care: He hot. But he 17. And not even close to almost turning 18.

 

 

* * *

Mady Gosselin - the bossy eight year-old twin from ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8′. Why You Should Know Her: The internets LOVE to hate herWhy You Should Care: The Gosselins will probably be around for a while. Might as well be able to contribute to stimulating dinner conversations.

 

* * *

 

Leighton Meester - she’s on Gossip Girl. Why You Should Know Her: Besides being one of a handful of extremely good looking people on the show, there really isn’t very much more. Why You Should Care: Gay guys love Gossip Girl. See also: Taylor Momsen, Penn Badgely, Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, etc.

 

 

* * *

Shanae Grimes - she’s on the new 90210. Why You Should Know Her: She’s really skinny.Why You Should Care: She used to be on Degrassi: The Next Generation which is one of Canada’s greatest exports - next to syrup and Michael Cera. Mmmmm Cera-syrup.

 

 

* * *

 

Jessica Biel - she’s been in some movies and dates Justin Timberlake. Why You Should Know Her: You probably do know her but couldn’t name a single movie she’s been in. Depending on who you ask - she’s either an untalented linebacker or smokin’ hot. Why You Should Care: Because Justin Timberlake cares.

 

 

* * *

Rachel McAdams - she’s a 30 year-old Canadian actor. Why You Should Know Her: Mean Girls. The Notebook. Wedding Crashers. Why You Should Care: She’s talented. McAdams has two big movies coming out - Time Traveler’s Wife and Sherlock Holmes.

Anyone else need clarifying? Let us know in the comments.

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