Archive for the ‘News’ Category

2015 Billboard Awards Exegesis

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Taylor Swift must die

God what a cultural wasteland. The Billboard Music Awards was one long Disney ad, disguised as a tribute to popular musical artists, with the word ‘artist’ meaning in this case ‘no-talent little shit.’

Sheer torture throughout. it was nothing short of a call to arms: Taylor Swift Must Die.

It was all about Taylor Swift, either Tayloring up the place with her sickening speeches to her fans (“You guys! I’m obsessed with you!”) or just grooving in the front row to whatever awful music was murdering our souls from the stage. She is one awful girl. She’s the girl we all hated in junior high, still pretending to be nice while making life miserable for anyone who crosses her.

There was Kanye, reminding us of his genius at getting bleeped out on live TV. I read that he said the word ‘nigger’ forty-one times. If he could just chant it the whole time, we wouldn’t have to hear anything! Think it over, Yezy.

Nicki Minaj livened things up with some solid twerking, and domestic-abuser Chris Brown danced around in a florescent blood-red suit. He danced with Pitbull, that bald guy who nobody can figure out why he’s famous.

Some awful country band sang about having a ‘girl-crush’. I’m sorry, I can’t even talk about it. Let’s see, what else. OH! Ed Sheeran was surprisingly inoffensive. I don’t like that elf look of his but at least he plays an instrument.

One Direction was there but we didn’t know if one guy was missing because we didn’t know how many there are supposed to be. It seemed like there were three or four too many.

Iggy Azalea and Britney Spears did a lip-syncing number that both seemed bored by, and Iggy betrayed me personally by getting a new nose and chin, nullifying her claim to originality. She’s dead to me now.

Some kind of fake Sam Smith person played a song with Wiz Kalifa. Much less perturbing than the real Sam Smith, who, mercifully, is recovering from throat surgery.

Chrissy Teigen was an embarrassing co-host to Ludacris, who is a pretty decent actor if nothing else. Chrissy is married to John Legend, so one assumes she must have hidden depths of some kind. However, the two men present for this viewing agreed that she was a “mean and stupid Filipino girl.’ They said this was a lot of authority, too.

That long-haired Hozier guy took us to Church, and rated a pass from all of us just for seeming like a real singer and bringing a little Goth melancholy to the situation.

There was one moment that offered a glimmer of hope: When two Kardashian girls came out to introduce Kanye, the audience booed. For just an instant, the audience acted like they had standards of some sort.

But then, no. It was Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, all the way home.

Don’t Smack Your Kid Around, Hero Mother

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

hero mom baltimore

At first I thought that video of the angry Baltimore mother smacking her teenage son was kind of comical. I was a little embarrassed for the mother, who came off like a stereotype over-the-top ghetto mom, screaming about I’ll hit you upside the head!

Now that I see she’s being hailed as a hero, I’m disgusted.

If you see a white mother slugging her kid, you know it’s child abuse. Case closed.

But because it’s Baltimore and the kid is wearing a hoodie, she’s a fucking superstar!

I’m glad that she loves her son and wants the best for him.  I know she must feel desperate. But smacking him and swearing is not okay for one ethnicity and wrong for everyone else. It’s just wrong. It’s violence. What does she do to discipline her other five kids when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Violence teaches violence. To commend this mother is racist.

Anyone?

 

 

Happy As A Werewolf

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Niraj Budhathoki, 12, sits under the shade of a tree a normal routine for the villager to spend time under a tree and speak with each others as there are very few televisions or any other means of entertainment at the homes of the villagers at Kharay

Earlier this month, I came across a  story about a family in Nepal who suffer from a genetic disorder known as Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa (CHL).  It causes excessive body hair growth and is sometimes referred to as “werewolf syndrome.”

The photos by Navesh Chitrakar are staggeringly beautiful. They show a very poor family living in a remote village in Nepal, making regular trips to a hospital in Katmandu for free laser hair-removing treatments.

Despite their unsettling looks, I thought I could perceive a kind of happiness that I’m incapable of achieving.

They are a family,  joined in a team effort to survive poverty and disfigurement. They are surrounded by natural beauty. The children look cared for and happy. They know what matters and what doesn’t.

I’m probably projecting a fantasy on them but it helps me to see how depression not only distorts everything, but how traumatic childhood experiences deprive you of something essential. I don’t feel okay being me. I feel disfigured and unlovable. I find it hard to be at one with nature. I want my mommy.

Devi Budhathoki

Devi-Budhathoki

Mandira-Budhathoki

Anyway, today I woke up to learn there has been a massive earthquake in Nepal. What about my werewolf family?!? It is unbearable. Are they okay? What about everybody else??

Let’s all give money to relief efforts in Nepal, because we are so blessed, no matter how miserable we are, to have somewhere to sleep tonight and to know where our loved one are.

Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, and CARE.

The Age Of Indignation

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

crybaby

Some guy who’s going to host a TV show has just caused a huge fit of umbrage because he once tweeted about ‘fat chicks’ and made a joke about Jews. How dare he! People are arguing about whether he deserves to host a TV show.

Prepare yourself for an endless witch-hunt if this shit goes on. Nobody will be allowed to say anything that might be objectionable to anyone.

The subjects of gender and sexuality are already so fraught with potholes of political incorrectness, it’s not worth getting involved. If you use the wrong word for transgender, you’re just a big mean homophobe. The Fat-Shaming thing is a variation we have already discussed here.

I’m wondering if this is the result of social media and internet trolling, or if it’s a natural consequence of liberalism. Being progressive now means being constantly indignant. When did everyone become such big babies?

I’ve been reading about the problem of free speech on college campuses, and the absurd level of sensitivity that students now require. There is a controversial ‘Trigger Warning Movement‘ afoot. You have to be careful not to ‘trigger’ someone by talking about rape or racism. You have to make sure everyone feels ‘safe.’ It’s like there are only two factions, bullies and victims, and if you’re not one, you’re the other.

Oberlin’s faculty members are advised to:

“[u]nderstand triggers, avoid unnecessary triggers, and provide trigger warnings.”

Triggers are something that:

“recalls a traumatic event to an individual, and experiencing a trigger will almost always disrupt a student’s learning and may make some students feel unsafe in your classroom.”

Now, here’s the juicy part. Professors are told to be aware of….

“racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.”

This leads to changes in curricula and worries about material that might trigger someone. Madame Bovary might really fuck someone up, given its ending.

Here is a great essay on the situation.

Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite jokes.  A Priest and a Rabbi are standing on a corner chatting when a little boy walks by. The Priest says, “Let’s screw him!” The Rabbi replies, “Out of what?”

Golden Globes 2015 Exegesis

Monday, January 12th, 2015

george and rande golden globes

God, what a fucking bore! I’m surprised I could even stay awake, but here are the main points as I recall them.

Tina Fey and Amy Pohler were funny and adorable; we expect no less from them at this point. Everyone loved their joke about Amal and George Clooney, as if Amal needed to feel more grandiose.  For me, it was all about hating Amal Clooney.

Have you ever seen a more camera hungry woman in your life? She flipped her hair extensions and batted her eyes like a schoolgirl, always searching for a camera to smile at. The white gloves…what the hell, does she think she’s a fucking debutante?

I’m sure she and George have it all worked out, with him pretending to be heterosexual and her making her family happy by finally marrying at 36 years old. It’s fine with me but I’d like them to come out instead of pretending to be a love-match. And most urgent, I’d like for her to eat a cheeseburger. Let’s look at her twig-like arms:

twig arms

I love the way her Je Suis Charlie badge coordinates with her black and white color scheme! And sticking it on a Dior bag is so elegant, so charmingly oblivious to money, c’est juste?

J Lo was her usual self, tits out and dressed like a Vegas showgirl She is this close to turning into Charro.

Ruth Wilson seemed a little too arrogant when she won for her role in The Affair, as if the film critics finally got it right. Still, she’s the only reason to watch that awful series, may it hurry up and end.

Jared Leto looked especially nuts in a white prom tux, but his long braid made up for it. Robert Downey Jr. presented an award I think, but I took that as the perfect time to go and pee.

Prince! Prince is always the perfect surprise, and I loved how he read out the winners, John Legend and Common. Kudos to three men I would have sex with if I were unmarried and ambulatory!

Jane Fonda looked great without those implants she used to have, but she should have given them to Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson is determined to make you look at her chest, just like her mother before her. Maybe it’s genetic.

Alejandro González Iñárritu was totally disarming in his acceptance speech for Birdman. Let’s have more passionate foreign guys picking up awards, okay?

Oh wait, I almost forgot about Transparent, a series about awful horrible rich L.A. Jews who make me want to convert to Catholicism.  While I love Jeffrey Tambor in anything, the other actors are torture to watch.

The creator of Transparent, Jill Soloway, made an indelible impression with a hideous pantsuit that I can’t begin to describe. Just google it.

Gwyneth Paltrow stuck with her favorite color pink for a Pepto-Bismol colored dress that hurt my eyes and stomach. Gwyneth always Brings It.

Getting back to George Cloone, he made a heartfelt speech.

Blah blah blah, I love my wife, really, I swear it, blah blah blah, we will not walk in fear, blah blah, I want to run for public office so please please vote for me.

I don’t know about you but I’m not buying it.

 

 

Happy Now, Seth Rogan?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

fuck them

Now that Sony has cancelled the release of The Interview, I wonder if there’s anyone on the Sony lot going ‘I told you so!’

When we look back on this debacle, I hope people will view the movie as an egregious exercise in bad taste and hubris on the part of the filmmakers and the studio that gave it a green light.

Everyone on twitter wants to express dismay about caving in to terrorists and about free speech. Aaron Sorkin has called media outlets that published the leaks ‘guilty of moral treason’ and Judd Apatow says it’s a dark day for creative expression. Rob Lowe says, ‘Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. Wow.’

Do you think this stupid movie is like the twin towers? Or the constitution? Does everyone have the right to make a $40 million movie that makes fun of assassinating a current world leader? What if another country made a comedy about assassinating Obama? I’m going to be on the fucking NSA watch list just for typing that!

A dear friend once wrote a play called ‘Let’s Kill The President!’ knowing that it was going to be guerrilla theater, and that was part of the concept. But he didn’t expect it to play internationally or to get forty million bucks for his joke.

I don’t like Seth Rogan or James Franco and now I like them less. Everyone who decries the freedom of speech they have been denied in the cancellation of this stupid movie should come out and publicly ridicule the prophet Mohammed.

And you know why they wont? Because they don’t want to get killed or have a fucking fatwa put on them! They like their freedom but they recognize a threat where it exists. Why didn’t Sony have the brains to recognize that North Korea represents an ongoing legitimate threat? Why didn’t the State Department weigh in on this earlier?

You can read the early reviews for The Interview on Rotten Tomatoes, but here’s a teaser:

It essentially uses a major global issue to cheaply dress up what is two hours of hit-and-miss erection jokes.

Okay, so you’re thinking, “It’s not the point whether the movie’s a piece of shit, bla bla bla!” but that aspect is not irrelevant.

I would defend an artist’s right to make art, even bad art. But anus jokes aren’t worth dying for or even protesting about. Fuck everybody involved and the horses they rode in on, capitalist pigs one and all.

Thoughts?

The New House

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

meandpicoanddeerhead

Here’s me in my house where I’ve lived for nearly forty years. There’s Pico, too. And the fake deer head that was a present from my friend Mark, because we laughed at in in a catalog. I don’t know why I’m scowling or why it looks like I’m packing a dick. I must have had my reasons.

We sold our house! We bought a cheaper house in another seaside community that hasn’t been gentrified yet with cafes that serve eight dollar toast. Venice is ruined, pretty much, by the Google employees and property developers who eat that toast.

So, now we will begin a new era in a new house that isn’t cluttered with forty years of collecting, hoarding, storing and piling things and we will be leaving behind a rich history of tragedy and joy. There are two dogs buried in the back yard. There’s a mural of a mermaid rising from the sea that covers an entire bedroom wall. Max’s girlfriend painted it over three days, after which little Charlie exclaimed: “No, I said I DIDN’T want a mermaid!” I hope I remember to take a picture of her.

Now I’ll get to the point. I’ve never decorated a house, not consciously. I know what I hate in terms of style, but not what I want. I want a light, airy environment that is suitable for a wood frame house built around 1913, with a big front porch and a big yard that needs to be landscaped. I don’t like ‘mid-century modern’ and I don’t like ‘early American’ either. AND we will have a tight budget.

Who wants to help? I need ideas! Decorating websites! Places to buy furniture that aren’t Ikea or one of those awful chain stores. What curtains should I get for all those windows? All tips and advice are welcome! Here is the one thing that I find reassuring about the  move – I will have a pink bathtub.

pink bathroom ooh

$300 Lipstick, Finally!

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

silly lipstick

This is what I’ve been praying for: a red lipstick I don’t want!

What a wonderful surprise from Givenchy, the brand of choice for Kim, Kanye, and many other celebrity luminaries. Allow me to fill you in:

French luxury label Givenchy is launching a $300 lipstick in its signature deep red shade in the Le Rouge line, clad in crocodile skin. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it will be available at Barneys New York starting October. Otherwise priced at only $36, Givenchy’s limited edition Le Rouge gets its staggering price tag from the crocodile skin it’s encapsulated in, patterned on the black and silver tube.

I only hope to meet one of the 3,000 idiots who buy this crocodile-clad piece of shit. Lucky for me that I shot my wad on the stupid Louboutin nail polish!

Okay. I just wanted to share my relief. Now you can go back to what you were doing. xo

The Solace Of The World’s Ugliest Jeans

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

I’m watching the life feed from Ferguson tonight, like I did last night.

Ebola is “vastly” worse than reported. tribal slaughter in Iraq and Syria, Israel vs Gaza,  Nigeria kidnappings, drones on Yemen, Robin Williams.

Let us look to these jeans for salvation. They are the ugliest jeans I’ve ever seen in my whole life, I’m pretty sure. There is something magnificent in such ugliness, you can feel the artistic striving for an indelible statement. A statement that transcends all the horror of current events.

ugliest jeans ever

These long-rise One Teaspoon pants have an exaggerated, slouchy fit. Heavy fading adds lived-in charm. Hidden elastic bands cinch the waist and ankles.

Right?

ugliest jeans ever rear

And with open-toe stiletto heeled booties, no less.

Whenever you find yourself filled with existential dread or sorrow, look at these jeans. That is my RX for mankind this evening.

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.