Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

Beyonce Studies

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Professor Kevin Allred godammit

Kevin Allred, a professor in the women’s and gender studies department at Rutgers University, is stirring up controversy with his signature course: Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce.

In a recent interview with NPR, he discusses the genesis of the course. “I read an article a few years ago by Daphne Brooks, a professor at Princeton, and she was arguing that the ‘B’Day’ album should be looked – politically, in kind of line with black, female protest singing throughout history.”

It’s nice to know that Professors at Princeton are thinking about Beyonce too.

Allred continues, “And I wanted to continue that and, like, think about all of Beyonce’s work, post and pre ‘B’Day,’ and her career in general as a way to engage students around these conversations about race, gender, sexuality and the politics of those categories in the United States, especially.”

So I’m, like, how many units is this class and like, what is the cost per unit? Will it help the students to pay back their college loans or what?

If I were teaching Beyonce Studies, I’d start with her transformation from a pretty African American girl to a sleek blond bombshell.

Beyonce Knowles

beyonce--2010

161553644JS00162_BEYONCE_LI

Does a Black woman have to look ‘whiter’ to achieve success with a mass audience? Why is the prevailing concept of female beauty still a busty blond? For all Beyonce’s talk about empowerment, I see a shrewd businesswoman selling herself as a non-threatening sex symbol. Where’s the power in that?

I have no idea what Beyonce means to our culture, but nothing about her piques my curiosity. I’m much more interested when something fresh or challenging manages to capture the public imagination, like Amy Winehouse or ‘Breaking Bad‘. Or when someone truly awful, like Taylor Swift, manages to make $1 million per show.

But that’s just me. I am obviously out of step with most of humanity.

If you’re thinking of taking Professor Allred’s course, you should familiarize yourself with his own dissertation project, for which he is now, ahem, ….

“interrogating U.S. black feminism through the sonic register, reframing debates over intersectionality versus assemblage through taking careful account of the sounds black women’s voices make, both live and recorded. He is particularly interested in the ways black female musicians – like Nina Simone, Odetta, Beyonce Knowles, Nicki Minaj, and Janelle Monae – manipulate their voices in order to resist racist and heteronormative power structures.”

Oh God. Like his hairstyle isn’t enough.

Crazy Mother: A Tragedy in Torrance

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Eugène Delacroix - Medea

Carol Coronado, 30, stabbed her three young children to death and then got into bed with them. The children ranged in age from 2 1/2 to 2 months old. That is red flag number one.

Earlier that morning, Carol had called her mother to say she was ‘going crazy.’ Red flag number two.

Carol’s mother was at work so she called Carol’s sister-in-law, Sandra, and asked her to give Carol a call. Sandra, whose brother Rudy Coronado is Carol’s husband, now reports that Carol denied anything was wrong, but did admit to being exhausted. Sandra could hear babies crying in the background, but that was not unusual. She quotes Carol as saying, “Just tell your brother to calm down.”  Red flags #3, #4, and #5.

Rudy’s mother arrived in the afternoon, while Rudy was outside working on his car. She emerged from the house screaming that the children were dead. She had called 911. Police came and led Carol out of the house, naked under a blanket and covered with blood. She was covered with stab wounds, most of them superficial.

Now, this next part is key:

Carol Coronado, who was taking classes on the Internet, stayed at home with the children while her husband went out early each day to sell car parts at the Alpine Village swap meets.

She kept a cluttered home, which triggered some discord with her husband.

“I believe that was their main issue,” the sister-in-law said. “My brother wanted the house clean for his girls. He wanted to come home to a home-cooked meal. ~ (my italics) Daily Breeze, Larry Altman

Here is the house, described as a former workshop or converted garage. I’ll take the liberty of calling it a shithole.

shithole in torrance

I’m thinking, Andrea Yates. I’m thinking too many babies, postpartum depression, trapped in a shithole, demanding husband, desperation,  no way out.

What are you thinking?

Again With the Awful New Words

Monday, May 19th, 2014

nonono

Just because people say it, is it a ‘word’? This is becoming complicated, thanks to the internet and all its attendant evils, which are now too astronomical to count.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary has just added 150 new words, making official words out of shit like ‘gamification’ and ‘freegan.’ Remember how upset we were about ‘selfie’? It will never end. Soon, there will be no real words in use, just gibberish.

Every time I learn one of these new ‘words’ my world gets a little bleaker. I just recently learned ‘YOLO’ and ‘MLIF’ although one hopes that such acronyms aren’t considered words by the forces in charge. Oh god, is ‘snapchat’ a word? Here is some trending internet slang, by the way, if you’re not sufficiently discouraged.

Awful words are one thing, but awful usage can be even worse. For example, why have people started using the word ‘so’ to begin a sentence? I read that it was started by Mark Zucherberg, as if he doesn’t have enough to answer for.

How about the ‘because‘ thing. Because idiots.

It’s so hard to keep up.  By the time I find out about a horrible new word and object to it, it’s already in common usage and people will just shrug and defend its existence. (Most of these people are my husband but I assume he speaks for Everyman.)

Any words or word usage bothering you right now? Jump in.