Archive for June, 2011

Let’s Cast the Trial!

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

If you live in the US, I’ll assume that you’re following the Casey Anthony murder trial. If you live somewhere else, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The trial has everything you could possibly ask for, except for O. J. Simpson. Every character is compelling in his or her own way. The movie won’t be as gripping but it still has potential.

Casey herself is a real piece of work and as guilty as sin. Guilty, your honor! Duh! If Winona Ryder were still young, she would be ideal for the role of Casey. Meanwhile, I’m going to go with Ellen Page. I think she would do a great job as the sulky, sociopathic young murderess.

In the role of Cindy Anthony, I’ve cast Edie Falco.   It’s a no-brainer, right? My friend Andy would like the tragically decrepit  Ryan O’Neil as Ray Kroc, the meter reader who found the skull in the woods.   I’m leaning toward Andy Garcia as that idiot Jose Baez.

Casting suggestions, anyone??

Oh God, It’s a Shoe

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

But why???

by Finsk. $999.95

Meet a Troll

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

In response to my last post about rock bands, I  received  the following comment by someone using the name Gene Simmons:

i hate that old dried up cunt, the one who ´s son died

~

Here are my thoughts. It’s wrong to attack someone like this, online or otherwise. Why the hell would a total stranger try to hurt me in this way?? Just because they could get away with it?   It is beyond my understanding.

So I wrote back to this person, and said:

What a horrible thing to write to me!    May I ask what moves you to write such a hateful comment to someone you have never met?   I hope you never experience the loss of a child.    Meanwhile, I’d like to know why you would invoke the loss of mine in response to an  innocuous  blog post about rock bands?    Sister Wolf

The next day, she replied:

you know what you are right
I ´m deeply sorry

your loss is way too big for me to understand, and i was outta line
this is what made me write that:
“that girl whose boyfriend punched her in the face”
when a person suffers through abuse, besides the beatings and insults and humiliation
what hurts the most is  the scorn of those around her,
things like

“that would never happen to me”
“that happens only to stupid bitches”
and it pissed me off that while you demand compassion about your situation,
you show none towards  someone who was fucking publicly punched in the face and then mocked endlessly for it
sometimes the only person who doesn ´t shit on you for being in that situation
(that looks so simple but it ´s not)
is  your abuser
so you go back  because in that moment he is being sweet, when deep down you know that it won ´t last
and it was a mistake I ´m sorry
I know things don ´t get better by insulting someone else in pain
and there i was trying to put you down to make myself feel better

when we are all fighting something
that random comment just struck a cord, felt personal you know?
óbviously I ´m not without fault myself
I hope this makes you feel less insulted

yours truly
Gene Simmons

~

Having read and reread this explanation, I don’t feel Gene Simmons knows the difference between a pop star and a blogger who lost a child.   I don’t “demand compassion” as Gene Simmons states. I have no demands. I merely expect human decency from those who wish to leave comments.

Gene Simmons is actually a 31 year old aspiring artist named Gabriela who lives in Mexico. There she is, above. She needs to take  responsibility for the things she writes.   She’s not 12 years old, after all.

I don’t want to hear ONE MORE WORD about my vag, which in fact does not suffer from dryness. And I don’t want to be taunted with the death of my child.

Please explain to Gabriela why her apology is worthless, since I don’t feel adequate to the task. Explain to her that the cause of abused women  isn’t  furthered by grotesque insults lobbed at other women, under cover of a pseudonym.

And if you want more of Gabriela in your life, you can visit her here.

Band Lists

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

I’ve been looking for Max’s list of the bands he hated and I finally found it. He sent it in a comment to a post I’d written about stuff I love. How Maxlike of him!   Here’s his comment with the list:

Getting back to hatred for a minute, i coincidentally just compiled my own list of classic rock bands I hate. Before making this list, I thought of myself as a classic rock lover (Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Love, Doors, Velvets, Beach Boys, David Bowie, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) But now I am not so sure. I wouldn’t mind if the work of these “artists” was erased from existence:

grateful dead
the who
the eagles / don henley
steeley dan
santana
jethro tull
king crimson
billy joel
sting
U2
Rush
Chicago
America
Kansas
Journey
Aerosmith
bob segar
steve miller
tom petty
alice cooper
frank zappa
supertramp
styx
eric clapton
ELO
earth wind and fire
blood sweat and tears
bad company
iron butterfly
robert palmer
deep purple
doobie brothers
crosby stills & nash
grand funk railroad
the guess who
mountain
thin lizzy (except “whiskey in the jar”)
allman brothers
lynard skynard
peter frampton
the cult
steppenwolf
heart
Emerson Lake & Palmer
zz top
ted nugent
bon jovi
humble pie
hot tuna
ten years after
j geils band
little feat
robin trower
badfinger
genesis / phil collins / peter gabriel
yes
tower of power
nrbq
three dog night
john cougar mellencamp
spirit
brian adams
acdc
sweet
carole king
leon russell
carly simon
sugarloaf
meatloaf
jimmy buffett
wings

A great list I think, very exhaustive. I’m on board with all of them. But as I read the list with a friend, I realized a glaring omission: What about Kiss?!?!?!?!?!   Is it because he didn’t consider them a classic rock band but more Metal??   I think it’s just an oversight that would make him smack his head in dismay.   The first question I’ll ask him when we meet among the stars out in the cosmos will be: “What about Kiss?!”

I love lists and Max did too.   My husband won’t have anything to do with lists.   It’s the one thing I would change about him.

I hate so many bands whose names I don’t know that I’ve stopped listening to the radio.   I hate the Strokes, for example. I hate every female singer/songwriter who sounds like Dido, so I just call them all Dido. I hate all music with that auto tune thing. I hate every new band I see on the David Letterman show. I hate bands with frantic overactive  front-men, or guitar players with funny hats.   I hate that guy Bruno Mars. I hate whatshername, the one whose boyfriend punched her in the face.

But I’m going to list my  all-time  favorite records and then I expect you to do the same.

Astral Weeks – Van Morrison
Forever Changes – Love
The Band – The Band
Burt Jansch – Burt Jansch
Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons

After these five, it would be too hard to choose.   I’d have to do a Top 50 and who needs that?

Okay, your turn.

Art is Art

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

After coming across this photo last week, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.   It’s a stage in Austria’s Lake Constance, for Kieth Warner’s production of Umberto Giordano‘s opera “Andrea Chénier”, which will open to the public in July.

Here’s a description:

The first performance of the four-act opera, based on the life of the eponymous French poet who was executed during the French revolution, will take place on 20 July at the Bregenz festival in Austria.

Lake Constance is often used during the festival as an extension of the stage, which this year is being transformed into a 24 metre-high figure of Jean-Paul Marat, inspired by the depiction of his death in the 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David.

The stage design also includes an open book from which members of the cast will emerge, and a large gold mirror.

Shit! How wonderful! I love the monumentalness   of this  enterprise. I wish I could transport myself to Austria. If you find this image compelling, see more here.

~

Here’s another piece of art that blows my mind. It’s a van I’ve seen around Venice lately, and yesterday I got to see it up close when I went to get groceries and there it was in the parking lot.   A slightly-built man emerged and he was very nice when I asked if I could take a picture.

I walked around and around the van, trying to take in all its wacky glory. It’s completely covered in black and white leather, heavily studded and topped off with realistic-looking stuffed tigers.   There are religious plaques on both sides of the van, praising the lord.   I believe this van is a tribute to the owner’s loved one, Shirley Ann, his “Queen in Life and Death,” “Together for Eternity.”

It’s  uplifting  to see artistic commitment of this magnitude. Whether it’s part of a prestigious festival or one man’s expression of devotion, real art is transcendent, isn’t it? I’m grateful for these glimpses of it.

*van photos via

Another Homerun from Al Wang

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

These Al Wang slit-knee jeans are worth $345 because __________________.

at Shopbop

~

*this post is for David Duff, who models his new sarong here.

The Tyranny of Beauty

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This photo in the Daily Mail is accompanied by the tragic story of twins who have suffered from anorexia for twenty years.   It’s a disturbing story that touches on sibling rivalry, parental enabling, and the failure of all mechanisms to heal the victims of our culture’s obsession with beauty.

If you read the story, you’ll notice images on the right-hand side of the page, mostly celebrities chosen by the Daily Mail to ridicule for their weight gain, plastic surgery or cankles.   The message is clear: There is no escape from the search for physical perfection. No escape and no winning either.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a photography exhibit called Beauty and Culture that examines the many ways that images work to influence our concept of beauty. The exhibit featured a short documentary that was truly devastating. Five year old beauty queens, cancer survivors, ancient women still trying to look young, and a history of evolving thinness in fashion models…it leaves you sickened by the shit we go through to measure up to a stupid restrictive ideal of beauty.

The documentary points out that only 2 percent of women are built like fashion models. Why do these models have so much power over us?!

You know the “It Gets Better” campaign for gays? We also need a campaign for women that says:YOU LOOK FINE! Maybe if we were reminded 100 times a day that we are okay as we are, we could forget about the size of our butts.

When we left the exhibit, my friend and I looked for somewhere to have coffee. We found a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where they display calorie counts with their pastries. Naturally, I freaked out and ordered a reduced-calorie muffin, because no matter what I know intellectually, deep down in my psyche I’m an unlovable fat pig.

I would like to thank Vogue, Glamour, the fashion industry and most of all my dad, who loved to drive around shouting “Look at the fat ass on that one!” I can relate to those poor  emaciated  twins, even though I’m a normal size. Accepting  yourself  can be a lifelong project.

Fashion Trends: No Idea

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Does anyone remember when I was obsessed with leather shorts?

That was another me who is long gone. But check out Yoko Ono wearing leather shorts at the Canne Film Festival! What an early-adopter she was.

It’s a relief to stop caring about the latest trends. The more fashion-conscious one is, the more anxiety one must contend with, and that is what generates billions of dollars for the fashion industry. The anxiety can only be relieved by shopping, and even then it’s a momentary relief. Every fashion layout or editorial is a trigger, causing new anxiety.

I have no idea of the new trends! Is it wide trousers or narrow or bright colors or patterns or tailored or retro or ladylike or boho or menswear-influenced? Are we still wearing studs? Are shoes still more important than handbags? Do the blogger girls still go on about Celine?

I think that at a certain point, we all know what we like to wear. People who insist that they love to “experiment” with fashion are just excusing themselves for needing to shop. But that’s okay with me.

I’ve traded my fashion-driven anxiety for a more fundamental anxiety about my body.   It’s much cheaper.   And all the time I once spent looking at fashion is now squandered on tumblr, a paralyzing addiction that has turned me into a vegetable.   At least it doesn’t involve my credit card.

I think it’s safe to say that the fashion and beauty  industries  are based on insecurity. They must constantly appeal to and promote our  insecurity  in order to satisfy their shareholders.   But my depression has  suppressed  my insecurity.   I think this is a benefit.

I’m hoping that Michelle Bachman and Mrs. Palin will provide some joy for me in the coming months, joy that for the moment is mostly supplied by the Real Housewives and the Casey Anthony murder trial. It’s a perverse joy that springs from the sheer staggering awfulness of horrible people exhibiting their horribleness.

Max used to love watching Sean Hannity on Fox news, and it drove me nuts. Now I remember the happy smirk on his face and I understand: When the usual things in life fail to bring pleasure, the theater of human stupidity is a valuable diversion.

Weiner Dog

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Anthony Weiner is a gift from god for people like me who are struggling with depression.   His predicament (no pun intended) is so bizarre and tawdry, and yet  Shakespearean. If character is destiny, Weiner is screwed, or as he would put it, “First I’ll make you gag on my cock before I make you cum.”

Let me say first that I was on his side, in terms of refusing to resign, until I read the text of his online chats with women he’d never met and had no intention of meeting.

It wasn’t the fact that he was a reckless horndog that provoked my disapproval. I was ready to accept the fact that the internet is an irresistible siren song to anyone with a “weakness.” Whether it’s a weakness for shopping, for social networking, for gambling or for porn, the internet makes it  perilously  convenient to indulge.

According to friends I discussed this with, “sexting” is now common among fifty percent of teenagers. It’s a Brave New World out there, where not much is considered too personal, not to mention sacred.

I will admit to chatting online in a flirtatious manner.   Years ago I was chatting with someone who suddenly suggested “Send me a picture of your C**T” and the word was not cunt. I was so stunned and horrified, I shut the chat window and felt deeply shaken. I had no idea that people spoke to strangers like this. I learned that it’s the wild west out there online.

With Weiner, I imagined his sexy chat was something along the lines of “Baby, You’re so pretty, What are you wearing?” Big deal. Maybe he’s bored when his wife is busy and he’s just having a little tame sexy banter…. I don’t feel that calls for his resigntion, since it’s his personal business and he didn’t run for the Priesthood. Better to have a politition with a sex drive than Bush or Nixon, who seemed more interested in abusing the constitution than in getting laid.

But no matter what liberal   principles you think you have, it all goes to hell once you read Weiner’s raunchy efforts at seduction.   The deal breaker for me was “Pussy Juice.” It’s just a big NO in my world.   You can’t listen to a congressman talking about jobs or taxes or healthcare once he’s said Pussy Juice.   It’s over. He is toast.

So basically, for me at least, it comes down to literary aesthetics rather than any moral judgement. Sexting online isn’t a crime that would make someone unfit to serve as a congressman or mayor. Sending pictures is pretty lame but again, no real harm. Lying about it is only natural: You would want to avoid embarrassing your family. But a man’s game does reflect his sensibility. And “Pussy Juice” cannot be condoned. If only he could have said “Are you wet?” instead.

I cannot emphasize this enough but it must be repeated: Words matter! Choose them like everyone’s looking.

Opinions or objections?

I Hope to Dance Again Some Day

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Community gardens in all of New York City’s five boroughs, many begun in the late 60’s and early 70’s, were the product of grass-roots activism. Residents who were unwilling to wait for the city to clean up abandoned lots, moved in themselves and created cloistered, vernal retreats in the middle of some of New York’s worst neighborhoods.

However, under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the city finally decided to do something with these lots. The city began the process of bulldozing many gardens and auctioning off the land to developers. Giuliani argued that the city needed the lots for additional low-income housing, and that while the destruction of the gardens would be be distressing, in the long run area residents would benefit.

The residents didn’t want to wait for the long run, and pulled together to protest.

The city moved forward with plans to auction off 112 garden lots to developers on May 13, 1999.   On May 12, Bette Midler in cooperation with the Trust For Public Land, purchased all 112 of the lots from the city, for a combined total of $4.3 million.

Today I’m prouder than ever to be a New Yorker,’ said Midler, who moved to the East Coast after an earthquake in California. ‘We’re thrilled. This is a joyous occasion and means that these gardens will stay in perpetuity.” You can learn more about her work here.

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With this in mind, please enjoy blasting the anthem “Thank You Bette Midler” by the great Max Wolf :   ThankYouBetteMidler.