Archive for the ‘irritants’ Category

Death Cafe: Stupid Or Awful?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

death cafe website

Death Cafe is sort of a coffee klatch for would-be coroners. At present, it’s more of a movement than a physical space, with pop-up Death Cafe’s in 31 countries.

Here’s how Death Cafe defines itself:

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’

How nice! Because, who doesn’t like death? You can never have enough death, evidently. But here’s what Death Cafe isn’t:

It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

It’s not a spelling class either, but that’s okay. What isn’t okay for me is the concept of death as something cool because, you know, it’s so dark and transgressive. It’s like one big memento mori festival, full of arty skull motifs and and Victorian post-mortem photos.

Death Cafe is a ‘social franchise’. This means that people who sign up to our guide and principles can use the name Death Cafe, post events to this website and talk to the press as an affiliate of Death Cafe.

Yay, we can all host a Death Cafe if we follow the guidelines. I like this one: The main qualities of a host are enthusiasm for talking about death and dying and high ethical standards. That rules me out, since I have ethics but no enthusiasm.

I’m aware that a fetishistic interest in morbid things has long been a feature of hipsterism.  Taxidermy, Day of the Dead artifacts, the Morbid Anatomy Museum, zombies, all those tumblr pictures of dead girls in bathtubs. I get that it seems cool to embrace the taboo.

But this Death Cafe thing, no. A big No.

What a bunch of fatuous fuckers.

Cat Cafes, fine. *Baby Cafes, even better (*as soon as I get the idea off the ground. Contact me if you want to fund my business plan!)

Death is a drag and there’s already so much of it. It isn’t really cute. Let’s not trivialize it.

2015 VMA Awards Exegesis

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Horror VMAs 2015

The horror, right? It was mostly non-stop horror, with the exception of Kanye West‘s comic turn.

Poor Kanye! He could talk forever and never make sense. That is his genius. I tired to explain to my husband why I don’t aim my wrath at Kanye instead of Taylor Swift, by explaining:”Because there’s something wrong with him.” It would be like taunting a special ed kid; I can’t do it.

The show’s most egregious figure was Taylor Swift, because that’s how much she annoys me. She wore herself out trying to prove that she’s best friends with everybody, leaning down to embrace everyone of importance, who all looked like midgets compared to the giraffe-like chanteuse.

Something was wrong with Taylor’s face that made her look Chinese. She had trouble smiling, as though her mouth was full of bigger teeth than her lips could accommodate. Whatever it is, keep it up, girl.

Moving along, Justin Bieber tried to sing and then cried with relief. Pharrell hopped around like a little sailor, and an awful girl named Tory Something shrieked her head off and strutted around like Beyonce-times-ten.

Miley Cyrus was aggressively obnoxious but still relatively sexy. Her tiny butt was the perfect antidote to Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj. The latter two women need to manage their asses, somehow, before they become separate entities and use up the world’s oxygen. Remember “The Blob?” Take this as a warning, people of Earth.

What else? Oh, a guy called The Weekend did an impression of a poor man’s Michael Jackson, and wore his hair in a style reminiscent of Woody Woodpecker. (Millennials, that’s a cartoon character.)

John Legend was handsome and charming as usual. Call me, John. You too, Jared Leto, you freak.

Miley Cyrus ended the show with a musical number that involved a fleet of trannies or whatever the word is, bringing a Sixties vibe to the fiasco with her Free Love/Smoke Pot message.

The best moment for me personally was during the Kanye monologue, when my friend Margaret suddenly exclaimed, “He’s gay!” in the exact tone of Archimedes shouting “Eureka!”

Sunday Night TV

Monday, July 13th, 2015


Tonight we watched what my husband and I call ‘Our Sunday Shows.’

We’re like decrepit retiree’s, with nothing more exciting to do at night than watch TV. I can’t remember what young people do at night.

Anyway, Sunday night is packed with Cable series that are always ending or beginning a new season. One show will have its season finale, leaving me feeling anxious and abandoned, but another one will start up. Mostly they’re crap but we watch them faithfully.

Tonight we watched True Detective, Ray Donovan, and Ballers, all stupid and disappointing, but we’ll be back for more next Sunday. Despite the stupidity of these particular shows, we feel we have standards. I will never, and I mean never, watch Game of Thrones. I know in my heart that I don’t want to see dragons or women on horseback yelling at their armies.

Likewise, I didn’t watch Madmen because I can’t stand that guy’s face and I’m not interested in advertising or period irony.

True Detective was so magnificent last year! This year, it’s a big mess that’s hard to follow and doesn’t make sense anyway. No one can act, the dialogue is lame and stilted, and the Chinatown aspects are forced and idiotic. Plus, I miss every other line of dialogue because no one will fucking enunciate.

Ray Donovan is a truly terrible show but I’ve come to appreciate how bad it is. The best part is how Liev Scheiber refuses to make a facial expression. All the characters are repellent and all the accents are laughably inept.

Ballers is new but it seems promising in the stupid department. There’s a lot of male posturing and a lot of girls in bikinis, since it’s a Mark Wahlberg production. But it stars The Rock, who is always compellingly strange: Is he black or Mexican or Asian? Why is his head so small that he looks like a dinosaur? Is he gay or what? What is the source of his obscure charm?

During the week, we try to find things on Netflix that might actually be good but it’s hit and miss. If nothing is on, we are happy to play with our computers or read.

But Sunday night is special because Our Shows are on, and we hate to miss a single unintelligible moment.

What shows do you guys like to watch?


And For Our Jewish Friends…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

hot-jewish ladies

In my 20s, a hundred years ago, I remember enjoying newspaper ads for grocery stores that said “And For Our Jewish Friends,” with photos of Hanukkah or Passover food. I enjoyed what I felt was the discreet racism of “Our Jewish Friends” and probably inferred a silent “You kikes!”

I thought this Jewish specificity was a thing of the past but nope, the clickbait above popped up yesterday.

So where are the Hottest Presbyterian Woman Under 40?  I couldn’t find them, but I did find fifty more Hot Jews, including many names I’ve never heard before plus Sarah Silverman, the poster girl for attractive Jewishness.

If you google the phrase “And for our Jewish Friends,” it crops up everywhere, usually a polite afterthought to an Easter or Christmas wish. “Hey Jews, look, we’re not excluding you!”

When will America single out Muslims and Buddhists in their holiday greetings or hot babe galleries? Until that happens, I resent the shout out to Jews.

Fuck you, Dominant American Culture! I’m not your friend. I don’t even believe in god. But here’s how I served some pastries at my housewarming party last week.


L’chaim and Merry Christmas, inshallah!

Window Blinds: A Fight To The Death

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

new sign unpacked

We are moving box by box, until Monday when the moving truck comes to take the big stuff.  The new house is nice, and a neighbor from across the street gave us a bottle of wine and some cookies to welcome us. We bought huge rattan porch chairs from a guy on Craig’s list, and sitting on the porch enjoying a gentle sea breeze is genuinely idyllic.

But then there’s the window blinds.

I have never had one single thought about window blinds. They played no role in my existence. But that’s over. We’ve entered into a tense conflict over what kind of blinds to get. I want real wood. He wants faux wood, I guess made of vinyl. Wood is expensive and bla bla bla. But vinyl blinds seem creepy and not homey. Why wants vinyl anything?

I kept on promoting wood, and my husband kept on noting that he couldn’t tell the difference, so fake wood was fine. We got increasingly frustrated. It became one of those ‘just admit I’m right’ argument. I suggested that the one who cares most should trump the one who doesn’t fee emotional invested.

I went into another room feeling angry, wronged, resentful, and wounded. Who gives a shit about fucking blinds, I thought. Why give a shit about anything.

I wondered whether the fight was really about control, fear, loss, insecurity. For me, yep, all those things, plus grief, going through old schoolwork and mother’s day cards, art projects, stuffed animals, used hypodermic needles.  I have to keep all these things in my heart while letting go of them physically. At least some of them.

Meanwhile, the motherfucking blinds. I wish we could just get curtains instead. And I need to buy a pink toilet to match the bathtub. I don’t care what it costs because life owes me a pink toilet.

2014 VMA Awards Exegesis

Monday, August 25th, 2014

DM_MTV_Video_Music_Awards_Pt_1 37.jpg

God, what an ordeal. I’m going directly to Beyonce to say: Why did everyone love this performance???

I really think I have never seen such an obnoxious display of self-importance in my whole life. “Welcome to my World?” Who gives a shit about her world! Why can’t she sing a song with a melody? It’s all like a long intro that never turns into an actual song. Since when does spreading your legs in a leotard and shaking your hair around signify feminism? Is everybody crazy? Beyonce is now like a parody of a self-important diva. She fucking LOVES herself. Why does she need us at this point? When she tells the audience ‘I love y’all!’ it is absurdly hollow.

And the fucking husband-and-baby gambit, Jesus Christ. Who else would do that? Just awful.

Okay. Moving on. The rest of the show was about asses, most of them huge. I was actually moved to consult my husband for a male judgement on whose ass was the night’s biggest. His answer was Iggy, which surprised me. Surely Niki Minaj had the evening’s hugest ass, or maybe she just twerked it in our faces more.

The look of dismay on Rita Ora‘s face during the Anaconda dance functions perfectly as a universal statement of repugnance for this tawdry shit. It just can’t get any lower. Racist, sexist, artificial, we now have Miley Cryus as the elder statesman and voice of reason. Please Adele, come back, we need you.

In order of awfulness there was:

Tayler Swift – Tragically delusional, she now thinks she is Britney Spears. Make her die.

Nicki Minaj – Depressingly shameless, she has some nerve to lecture other rappers about artistic integrity.

Sam Smith – Ugh! Stop singing that same fucking song. He’s like Antony Hegarty without the gender intrigue. Hate him. Bring back Boy George if we need a pudgy gay white soul singer!

Maroon 5 – Adam Levine is a disgrace to the Chosen People. He needs to shave and to stop imitating Sting.

Jesse J – Ew, what is the point of her? She’s just a big man with a screechy voice.

Now, here’s what was good:

Iggy Azalea – because I love her and that’s that.

Rita Ora – because she can actually sing.

Usher – because he can dance.

Homeless Jesse – because he is really cute, and I liked his relative composure.

Miley Cyrus – Because she managed to look ‘classy’ by keeping her tongue in her mouth, and stole everyone’s thunder with that homeless shit.

Maybe now people can stop throwing buckets of ice water on themselves and start throwing water at Tayler Swift if at all possible.


Taking A Stand

Thursday, July 24th, 2014


Everywhere I go online today, there is shit about Fifty Shades of Grey. I guess there’s a new trailer out, or maybe it’s the first trailer.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to not be interested in this trailer! Not only am I not interested in the trailer, I am not interested in reactions to the trailer!

I can’t wait to not see the actual movie., just as I couldn’t wait to not read the book or learn anything about its author. I admit to having a perverse fondness for really bad writing, and the few excerpts I saw were weapons-grade awful. So kudos to whatshername who wrote it.

Who would like to join me in taking a pledge to not watch this trailer? Maybe we can come up with a badge or membership card or something.

The state of pop culture is so abysmal that it may seem pointless to single out one offender as being too base or stupid to countenance. But I’m drawing my line anyway.

Big deal about bondage, S&M, doms and subs. Just don’t bother me with fifty shades of anything unless it’s red lipstick.



Gucci Brings It

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

GUCCI Striped shearling and goat hair jacket

But why? Just tell me why!  Look, just two of these monstrosities left.

GUCCI one left

Shearling and goat hair, I can practically smell it.

I predict the era of Eurotrash and disco coming back in full force, as if to say “I’ll show you, normcore!” We’ll all need a safe place to hide if this jacket is an indication of the horror to come.

gucci 3

The Mighty Hipster

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

How to be a hipster

To paraphrase a quote misattributed to Mark Twain,  Rumors of the death of the hipster are greatly exaggerated.

How many times have you come across a snide appraisal of hipsters, whatever iteration hipster is current at the time, with the conclusion that the species has hit rock bottom. Hipsters are so over, just look at them.

The last time I read something like that, hipsters were kind of effete and emo, remember them? And they had to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon for some reason.

Chris Sanderson, a trend forcaster, explains:“The hipster died the minute we called him a hipster. The word no longer had the same meaning.” Oh please, Chris, as if.  Then there was  a report last month from researchers at the University of New South Wales who discovered that the hipster look was no longer “hip.”

I’m down with Chris’s notion that there are now two types of hipster: “Contemporary hipsters – the ones with the beards we love to hate – and proto-hipsters, the real deal.” So, okay, the Real Deal means ‘us’ and the faux hipsters are ‘them’. That’s cool with me, I guess.

Hipsters were once people who rejected societal norms. White people who liked black jazz, people who read William Burroughs or Iceberg Slim. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t about a uniform that signaled you were cool and in-the-know.

I still like the definition of a hipster as someone who was into whatever you’re into, 5 years ago. He has moved on and you will never keep up with him. I can reliably turn to my Nephew Russell, who was riding a fixed bike years ago. He is too hip for Facebook, not to mention Twitter. Whatever browser he uses for the internet, you’ve never heard of it. Whatever coffee you drink, he knows a place to get better coffee and it’s not a chain, either. It’s a given that he despises hipsters.

This Sanderson guy, the hipster expert, predicts an ‘overhaul’ in hipsters as we now know them  He predicts “A more macho look, almost to the point of caricature, in a bid for men to reinforce their identity.”

Uh-oh, he’d better be wrong about this. The hipsters I’m seeing (whether proto, meta or crypto) are already bearded and scruffy enough to be woodsman and ax-murderers. Will they adopt an even more primitive look, like early cro-magnons? Whatever the next wave turns out to be, I’m confidant that the hipster will be here til the end, a survivor, like the mighty cockroach. Just more annoying.

Fashion Steal Of The Week

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014


Dolce&Gabbana boots 1“A studded metallic heel elevates a beautifully embroidered silhouette in soft Italian fabric.”

At $3895.00, these Dolce & Gabanna boots are a great deal. They are made of spandex, nylon and virgin wool, but lined in leather! Oooooh, right?

Dolce&Gabbana boots 2Look at all that crap sewn onto the fabric! It must have taken some half-blind old Italian lady a long time to accomplish this. Or maybe it was a poor little bambina who has to support her large family of immigrants. Whatever.

At nearly $4,000, these boots might seem like an obscenity; but I once paid $900 at Barney’s for a pair of boots I have now worn exactly twice and may not wear again. So, for many women, even Sea of Shoes and her ilk, the price here is no big deal. And that makes me feel very fucking sad and remorseful, I can promise you.

The only thing left to say about these Statement boots (besides where would you war them and what if it rained) is that they are pull-on style, meaning no zipper.

No fucking zipper? What’s their problem?