Thursday, November 05, 2009

Just saw an ad on TV for Miracle Whip - the ghetto, white trash version of mayonnaise for Americans born in a trailer park - that is meant to make the brand really unique and hip for young cool, culturally aware hipsters. It features all these young people playing near the beach and skating on skate boards holding out bottles of Miracle Whip saying things like "We are our own unique blend of herbs and spices and we will not tone it down." I really can't imagine how many creative ad execs medicated themselves to be able to cope after they came up with that one.

This is essentially the white trash American Mayonnaise substitute version of one of those unbearable Christian evangelists who try to get you to become Christian by explaining that you can still play sport and be a surfer and be a "cool "dude" and worship "the Lord". Bet you didn't think Christians rode motorcycles, did you? Oh certainly not. Consider me a convert. Where do I sign?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Look at that. What a surprise to be talking about Paris Hilton after not wanting to. Forever. Yesterday, Paris Hilton was on The View to talk about her unshockingly crap new reality show “My New BFF” (which interestingly enough apparently involves a trip to the Middle East – hope she doesn’t get stoned to death). I was watching my DVRed episode of The View and thought, ok, maybe Joy Behar will hack into her a little – that should be fun except sadly there was literally no chance of that here in the North East of the US. Actually, there was no chance of that anywhere in the US as far as I know because – as had been predicted for at least the last week – General Motors was announcing its bankruptcy Monday morning and the president was scheduled to address the manner in which they were to be bailed out. So, about thirty seconds into the Paris Hilton segment ABC cut to a Special News Report and broadcast president Obama’s live press conference instead.

Look at that Paris – you got upstaged by the NEW zeitgeist. You didn’t think it could last forever, did you?
What struck me about this was that this transference of national attention was as intense to watch as the kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears or the less important figurative passing of the torch from Lauren Conrad to Heidi Montag on The Hills a few weeks ago. It really is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
I haven’t even been watching or reading the news that much for the past week and I still knew this announcement was happening. It’s not like the president just usually just grabs national news airtime at the touch of a button for no apparent reason. We knew this was coming.

Consequently, I think it’s safe to assume that the producers of The View slotted her in there as a guest because they knew the name was cheap and simple enough to get viewers in but ultimately it wasn’t going to cause any kind of conflict as it may have with a guest of any real substance that might have felt jilted afterwards. Paris Hilton, after all, doesn’t feel.
Regardless, it doesn’t seem to matter what Paris Hilton does, she’s still a figure that people love to humiliate whether it be the general public or some television producers. I couldn’t help but watch this cut away from The View and remember the time she had her Sidekick stolen and hacked and was quoted in the press as saying, “I just don’t understand why this kind of thing keeps happening to me.” - or something to that effect.
It happens to you, Paris, because you’re the cultural equivalent to cheap, pornography flavoured, corn syrup choc crème filled snack cakes. Everyone loves you because you’re affordable, consistent and easy but ultimately you induce innumerable cultural diseases. Paris, you eventuate the cultural equivalent of some kind of digestive cancer brought on by too much refined white flour and sugar. People like you until you aren’t doing it for them anymore and then they blame you because you make them feel pain. People lash out. Like phone hackers, TV producers and maybe even the smug new black president.

But wait, let’s be fair. Paris may actually have changed.
For one thing, she’s not exactly everywhere we look right now any more. I mean, that period of time where she was in and out of prison upstaged the resignation of General Peter Pace and the AP, for one, came up with a policy of refusing to report on her because she was everywhere. She was everything and nothing at once. Right now, she’s nowhere near that level of exposure and I think that shows remarkable restraint on her behalf. These days she’s only a lingering rainstorm not another city destroying hurricane.
So, she’s doing the rounds now because has a new impossibly shit reality show about how she wants a new best friend and she’s out doing media to promote it. One thing that’s different about Hilton now is that her voice is a lot lower. The segment that did air on the View involved Joy Behar asking her how she got so thin and she claimed it was because of “pilates” as all good publicist retaining celebrities tend to do and then she went on to talk about the MTV awards and her voice was noticeably lower and calmer than the time she went on Larry King. On The View she seemed less insistent on playing the role of the evil cheerleader who knows how to be polite in front of the parents at the school function. That was probably one of the reasons why there was such a backlash against her after she went on Larry King. Apart from the fact that was speaking at all and revealing that she’s not really some kind of omniscient pop culture god, the high voice made her sound insincere.
My god, this post is still going.
With her new, lower voice she sounds slightly less put-on and in fact when you look at the ads for her new reality show the music is quirky and makes her look like she’s potentially making fun of herself and who knew she had the mental capacity for something as complex as that? Although, just to end this on a disappointing note, when you watch the actual show, it’s fairly standard reality TV fodder with plenty of totally staged scenes and a minor key dancey theme song that invokes the kind of ego indulgence your average mid-western reality TV viewer needs to stay alive and kicking.

So, overall – Paris Hilton’s new show is – surprise surprise – totally innocuous and, as you’d expect, she is still being kicked while she’s down but she’s perhaps figuring out that not everything she does is gold simply because she does it. That’s why she now has a lower voice in interviews. Having that realization can’t be a bad thing when you’re now just a wilting zeitgeist being upstaged by the bankruptcy of a car manufacturer.

Done and done.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Yet another mysterious beast has washed up on the North Fork of Long Island and for some reason I am less hysterical than I have been in the past when it comes to these weird hybrid beast carcasses. To be honest, the most interesting part about the video above is the fact that there’s some Long Island guy talking in a mobster accent providing running commentary in the background. Those mobster guys are so inherently likable and threatening; what a trooper.

Still, yes, there is some kind of weird human-molared carcass with white skin and tufts of black hair sprouting out from it and it doesn’t immediately look like any other type of animal so, naturally, it shall now become the physical embodiment of all irrational local fear of the immortals and, for me specifically, of my own of fundamental worldly irrelevance.

I suspect that what’s really behind this mysterious beast is just some kind of real life example of the Island of Doctor Moreau but with a tinge more military thrown in. That’s probably all it is. Chemical and biological experiments being conducted by the military near New York City and whenever they change course they just toss the mistake into the ocean and try and get on with it without dwelling too much on the abominations they keep creating. I can live with that. It’s sort of like freelance writing for gay magazines when you think about it.

Speaking of monsters returning to our collective consciousness as a metaphor, Joss Stone on The Tudors looks remarkably like Laura Bush or at least the Bush twin with blond hair who looks more like her father. It’s something in the eyes and jaw and teeth. What a surprise to be thinking about anyone in the Bush family right now. I wasn’t expecting that at all although, Laura Bush did leave such a legacy of medicated ambivalence and repressed rage that she should be a gay icon by now. Actually, George W will have to die first and she’ll need to stop wearing brown.

As Anne of Cleves, Joss Stone is clinging to a German accent and while it’s difficult to stomach that, her heavily rehearsed and strained German really is nothing compared to Jonathan Rhys Myers’ ham acting. Mind you, it is the best he’s ever done and he’s starting to learn how to deliver lines where it doesn’t always look like he’s about to pass a chair so at least we have some progress. Regardless, I, for one, am totally hooked on the show and watch each episode at least twice.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I knew I was right about Obama and the hamburger. I knew it. I am so fucking right I could puke my god damned reluctant whore guts right out of my “unimpressed-with-the-burger” face.

Yesterday, media like the Christian Science Monitor and Fox’s Sean Hannity – jumped on the story that Obama went to get burgers in Arlington, Virginia for themselves and the press corp. Sean Hannity, like clockwork, went nuts using Obama’s interest in mustard which happened to be Grey Poupon as a way of proving he is elitist Liberal and therefore out of touch and , one would expect, ultimately plotting in a secret and conniving way to fuck the poor out of happiness just like Scrooge or the Grinch or that Monopoly man. Except with an east coast degree (and that makes it worse). The basis for the Grey Poupon-means-you’re-an-elitist argument is that in the late 80s Grey Poupon had a series of ads that showed parodies of rich people eating it. Sean Hannity, on TV, said, "I hope you enjoyed that fancy burger, Mr. President."

I wrote about Obama’s use of a hamburger as propaganda MONTHS ago when I saw it as the first chink in his armor. He completely disappointed me by ordering a burger on Air Force One when he could have had basically anything at all. Then he dragged out the ordering and it was labored and forced and clearly pre-meditated. I was disappointed that he didn’t stick to his dietary guns and continue being the messiah by ordering a macrobiotically balanced meal of tofu, sunlight, wheat grass and birchtwigs (actually, writing that sounds annoyingly left wing even for me – let’s reign it in and say he should have ordered a lean chicken salad with almonds and a light Asian dressing - no oil.)

Burgers may be a safe culinary bet for most Americans but they are uninteresting and every time I’m in a French bistro with an American and they order the burger it secretly makes me think less of them. That is what happened when I saw Obama order the burger. I felt like I was at a dinner with just another unadventurous person.

President Obama has to do things like order a burger in front of the press corp because many Americans demand to be coddled and led around like moronic narcissist sheep when it comes to their leaders. So this is really just maintenance. It’s the culinary equivalent to kissing babies in shopping malls but better because it feels less Catholic.

I mean, let’s face it; Obama probably did suffer mightily through that completely unnatural photo op. I posted the photo just above because even though I'm unsure if it was taken in Arlington it stil shows the pain in his face at having to suffer through crap like this. He probably sat there grinning and bearing what was probably a nauseatingly tasty but extraordinarily toxic, heart bursting death trap of a meal while Biden rambled on about how he already knew what burger he wanted the minute he walked through the door and didn’t even need to talk to his PR staff about what to order for maximum political impact. What an onslaught of bullshit he has to put up with.

So, I’m not saying I agree with Sean Hannity when he says that Obama is elitist because he ordered spicy mustard on a medium-well done burger – that’s going too far. I’m saying I agree with Sean Hannity that Obama and Biden were using the ordering of a burger to show that they’re just like everyone else. I don’t care how much of a zeitgeist the president is, he’s absolutely guilty of actively seeking situations that help prove he’s just like everyone else because he essentially isn't.

The thing is, it’s also impossible for a right winger like Hannity to win the burger argument on the basis of mustard right now because the right wing has no credibility. When the right wing do this kind of thing they just look desperate. What we see clearly illustrated here is that in America today ordering a burger in full public view makes political sense but if you argue with the burger by citing mustard it’s absurd.

That’s right – this entire thing is about the political impact of a presidential hamburger. This is America. [source] [source]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I haven't been watching a whole lot of news because I've been focusing all my attention on Amanda Lepore's new 950 dollar perfume, but this exhaustive segment on the president's "swagga" caught my eye online anyway and it really is amazingly shit work by CNN.

For some reason, I can’t figure out how to embed this file so you have to go to the Huffington Post website and watch it there and then come back.

I think we can all agree that watching a white news anchor sit on camera totally perked out of his or her mind on caffeine talk about street culture by emulating it in between erupting with relentless exuberant forced optimism is very similar to watching a young mother with unpopular children whose heads are unfortunately and strangely asymmetrical try and suck up to the popular children in her kid’s class by emulating the popular kids' behaviour.

Except in the instance with CNN, everyone watching television becomes the poor insecure child who is crippled with embarrassment at what their parent is doing. Everyone means you and me.

Actually, the same thing happens when you’re watching the Hills (HA! I typed Hells and I nearly left it there because it’s funny that I accidentally named the place all Catholics are afraid of) and Spencer Pratt answers his phone to Brody Jenner and he suddenly becomes this completely amazing and nauseating white black guy. “Yo yo wassup?”. When he starts speaking like that on his phone you can see his eyes glaze over and his body freeze and his mind works overtime to become this generically marketable variable on the already hatefully bland object he is. I saw him do it on Monday and when I was in the shower I thought about how great it would be to answer “Oh hi Spencer, it’s me. I just called to distract you while a lot of people burst through your front door and beat you to death.” I also realized this week that it’s ok to watch the Hills if you are at someone else’s apartment. Also, you should watch it so you can have prior knowledge of what Richard Lawson writes about in his summation on That’s the rule. That’s why I’m not getting stupider and stupider from watching MTV while I figure out ways to turn Amanda Lepore’s perfume into a launching point for cultural analysis. Now I’m actually smarter and more outgoing now than ever before.

So, basically, apart from the perfume components of what I just wrote, what we have here is a whole lot of white people all over the place acting like black people when they are really just the whitest people you will ever know. I find it difficult to watch because it makes me feel like an unpopular child. Fuck you, CNN and fuck you Spencer Pratt and fuck you, kid I went to school with who I ultimately felt empathy for and now can't forget.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zac Efron has a film called 17 Again coming out on Friday so he’s everywhere and it’s impossible to miss him. When you do see him it’s impossible not to be astonished by how powerful his charms really are. I’m seeing the film in an hour and a half and all I’ve been able to think about all day is Zac Efron. I can think of nothing else and it’s not just because I’m a fag.

Zac Efron is as beautiful as Britney Spears music is catchy. It’s impossible to not have some kind of infectious reaction to him because his appeal is engineered by PR Executive Psychiatrists to be generic and easy enough for anyone anywhere to be affected by his cultural powers.

The interesting thing about the way America consumes someone like Zac Efron is that they actually consume him in parts. There’s his hair, his torso, his eyes, his singing voice and I actually think they are the primary assets he has. Teenage girls think they see Zac Efron as a complete human but they don’t. He is marketed on the strength of those things because those are the things that people notice first and most and they react to them as strongly, simply and immediately as they would the corn syrup in their twinkie or the meth in their crystal.
America has this tendency to compartmentalize the human body for the purposes of marketing. You can buy medication and appliances to treat and improve different parts of the body and the narrative involved in first gauging the product to feeling the need to buy it, buying it and using it is centered around an isolation effect which is fundamentally designed to induce panic that can be placated through purchase.

There is that nail polish that uselessly contains green tea extract (for what purpose? So you can lose weight and fight free radicals with a polymer that feeds your body caffeine and antioxidants through the dead matter at the end of your fingers? Totally!). By inferring that your nails need all these magical ingredients the manufacturer infers that not only are nails vitally important, they are in trouble, they need to be fixed, there are multiple ways to fix them (which infers that there are multiple things wrong with them usually linked to weight and age anxiety – two of the biggest motivators in western culture) but don’t worry – this product will help you. It’s the same with those inflatable water filled bags that go over your legs like pants made of water that apparently act like a self contained spa. The great thing about these pants though is that they don’t get you wet so you can stay in your arm chair facing the TV.

So, the internal monologue at this point is something like "Quick, I need a self contained spa for my legs that doesn’t get me wet. I need it because I’m going insane from trying to make sense of all these absurd products and the fact that according to TV, my body is no longer one entity; it’s a menu of items that all need to be catered for separately.

Zac Efron is a product that, like an non-wetting leg spa bag, caters specifically to one facet of our being. In this case, it’s the tide of mainstream America’s weird sexual identity and libido. Everyone either finds Zac Efron creepily fake attractive or they’re attracted to him because they don’t know any better. On the strength of his eyes, hair, torso and voice it’s impossible to find him completely repulsive or to genuinely have no reaction to him. Unless you are Siddartha Gotama.

I was watching him on The View yesterday and he is unnervingly mesmerizing. I’ve never cconsciously thought that before because I don’t care about the products he is involved in and I’ve never bothered to watch his movies. If I had I would have been completely mesmerized way earlier than yesterday. His jeans, shoes, hair and eyes were out in full, high impact force as he walked out to sell the hell out of what I think we can all safely assume will amount to a pretty obvious and average film.

Fundamentally though, no human is that powerful unless they are crafted by a team of professionals and because he is crafted as such, Zac Efron is full force American pop culture teenage sex object like no one else. So much so, in fact, that Sherri Sheppard made some weird joke about how she was fantasizing about him for the full length of the film when she saw it but the way she explained it sounded odd and Whoopi Goldberg looked really uncomfortable and then the ladies of the View just made jokes about how Sherri Sheppard is a cougar for the rest of the interview.

It sort of reminded me of when Travis Fimmel went on Sharon Osbourne’s absurd talk show and he just sat in silence while the women in the audience screamed and then that was the interview.

But you know, I think it’s OK to be hypnotized by Zac Efron’s beauty because he is designed by a massive corporate machine to be that attractive to everyone. Constantly. It’s the same kind of thing with deciding to numb your brain by watching The Hills. When you’re done interacting with it the effect wears off and you go back to being about as smart as you were before you started watching it. It’s meant to hit you hard and fast but not to last. In that sense, I guess you could say that Zac Efron is the polar opposite of Wagner whose work creeps into your soul and then just sits there and it adheres to you forever. If you want to be discerning and earnest about Zac Efron's influence on your life then just look the other way until he goes away. His powers are mainly visual anyway.

My guess is that Zac will probably vanish in the next few years anyway – unless he does a Gus van Sant or Gregg Araki film that has him cast as a rapist or alcoholic (or both!). Romantic lead roles might be likely and graspable for Efron but they lack the necessary edge that it will take to wash off the sickly plastic stench of his years as a Disney product. He needs to have dinner with Charlize Theron and take some pointers on how to be taken seriously when your physical beauty is so great it threatens to destroy you.

Monday, April 06, 2009

It was just this morning that I woke up and thought to myself, “How could I possibly arrange to buy a laptop, an iphone, a hideously gaudy and ostentatious crucifix inlaid with diamonds, an equally absurd diamond ring and a attention demanding watch that explains to people that no matter how much money I actually have, I will always be plagued by a crippling status anxiety that means I will always fail to see that being understated and subtle is inherently more impressive than being overdone and insistent.

What a joy it then was to find this post on ebay.

What could be more reassuring than buying from a retailer who, while capable of apparently pulling all these items together to actually sell them, can’t stray from meaningless phrases like “on the market today” and sets up their sales site to resemble that of a function center in Staten Island.

“A must have for any tech savvy millionaire, this Apple Mac Super Set features TraxNYC's top of the line Mens Diamond Ring, Cross, Bracelet and Watch along with a Mac Book Pro and the highly desired iPhone on the market today. “

Plus, this is fabulous:

100% Authentic 100% of the time, TraxNYC only deals with natural mined diamonds, for anything else go somewhere else. {because in order to prove how serious we are about our business claims we’re going to passive aggressively call your bluff} Your item will come with documentation, click here to see what you get! {Oh, totally – I’ll click there. Actually, I’ll click there! Sorry, forgot the energetic exclamation mark that comes with the excitement of checking to see what you get when you’re paying 55K for diamonds on ebay}

Hi, this retailer is totally not some ironyless gangster from Queens who walks around in a microfiber suit nodding aggressively at everything, repressing his rapist tendencies and wearing sunglasses at night. Plus, what the fuck kind of name is “TraxNYC”? It sounds like a cross between an online sex site profile name and some hideous club between tenth and eleventh avenues where people regularly get shot; two things I totally want to conjour up as I go to buy 55,000 dollars worth of computer equipment and grotesque jewelry by mail through ebay.

This is the kind of thing someone featured on MTV’s Cribs would do. It’s like buying a piano you don’t play and a set of faux Baroque dining chairs online. Nothing about it makes sense but somehow you feel like you’re living the American dream so that makes you a genius when you do it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Everyone is shrieking about a breach of royal protocol right now because Michelle Obama put her arm around Queen Elizabeth. CNN has a quick poll of up about it and over 70% of people are saying it wasn’t. Of course, I’d say the majority of those people are American and it’s so much less likely that an American is ever going to not act like a rebellious teenager when it comes to the protocols surrounding English royalty. Unless you’re an elderly woman.

The interesting thing about his is that the Queen quickly released a statement saying she was fine with the whole thing.

Back in the early 90s, Australia’s Prime Minister Paul Keating put his hand on the Queen’s back and was labeled the “Lizard of Oz” and a similar level of controversy occurred with John Howard who had to release a statement saying that there was no contact between himself and the Queen.

In these post-Diana times, it seems like letting Michelle Obama touch her back is really just in line with the royal family having its own website and the Queen flying the flag at Buckingham Palace at half mast when Diana died – despite protocol.

The Queen just wants to be liked without having to give up her mystique and it’s not an easy job. She has to never speak and be weirdly stoic in the same way burlesque artists always leave you wanting more but at the same time she has to be able to show that she can e mail people if she wants to.

As far as figuring out who to let touch her on the back, Michelle Obama is the perfect choice. She’s a woman who is married so there’ll be no charged up lesbian rumours there. Also, she’s married to the Western Messiah so she’s sort of just aligning herself with the great light brown hope. The Queen is a master at PR. If you only give her one thing – and that’s not the case because she’s given basically anything she wants – but if you only DO give her one thing you would say she’s a genius at PR.

Interestingly enough, CNN’s Situation Room is teasing the audience with an interview with Tina Brown about Michelle Obama’s back grope of the Queen and they’ve still not thrown to it and I’ve been watching for like 5 ad breaks now. Is this the part that people are hanging on for? American audiences are hanging on for a Tina Brown segment regarding Royal protocol? I always knew Americans were all closet royal fans – they just have a hard time admitting it because it makes them feel culturally subservient.


Friday, March 27, 2009

So, here's what I don't get. You've got this song and it seems to have two hooks to it, it's in a minor key so self indulgent club goers can get drunk or high and dance to it and feel like the song is somehow channeling them and represents their ego's plight on a celestial level, there's a strong beat to it which means it hits you in a core place, like it physicallly resonates with you and you're going and going and going and then it just ends abruptly. Who the fuck made that lousy decision? Whoever it was better have been fired.

I've been at home sick for three weeks and so for some reason I've been listening to a really weird and limited collection of music - with the exception of the day last week when I re-discovered Lush at like 11pm as I started to inadvertently research Dream Pop and bought Lush's 1990 album that really seems ageless. For the most part however, I've honestly been listening to the above song and this other, equally as inane, gay as fuck dance music by September called "Can't Get Over".

Before I found an interview with the above woman I assumed she would be some hard talking English woman from East London who had turned her weekend club slutting into a career - which, I guess all of us have done at some point. She's actually Swedish I think which makes the whole thing less hard edged and cold and mean.

Regardless, if you look at the two songs above there are all the essential elements that anyone would need for a night out in 1995. Like I said, they're in a minor key and there's heavy bass. Also, each features some absurd woman in either enormous sunglasses or some space aged animated car. They both crawl about a lot. We're, I guess, meant to identify with September more - perhaps in the same way we are meant to identify with Carrie Bradshaw.

The other song I have been listening to is "The Riddle" by Nik Kershaw and I played it on repeat 8 times yesterday or maybe the day before. There's a nostalgia to it but I always cringe at the line "Sold to America the brave" and by that point I don't like it at all but I feel stuck with the song so I just go with it. Then I start again. It's a weird, pointless circle.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Adam at his place and he was playing random music in the background to provide atmosphere and he played The Flaming Lips "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" which you can see here because Embedding was apparently disabled by request and that's unfortunate because it's the least irritating of the four songs I've referenced here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The New York Times reports today with a full page spread, that the Whoopie Pie is having a resurgence across the nation. Ok.

There was even a segment on it on The View this morning where Barbara Walters aggressively snatched the segment away from Whoopi Goldberg (whose name justifies the entire segment anyway) because apparently Whoopi didn’t see the story in the Times first and Whoopi was moderating.

Here is the actual text of how Barbara Walters snatched the story:

They come back from a break and there’s the star spangled “V” and the camera cuts to Whoopi Goldberg.

Goldberg: Did you happen to see the front page
Walters: YOU DIDN’T ….and I did
Goldberg: Oh…yes…go ahead Barbara
Walters: So, I’m going to do it…So, I pick up the New York Times and on the front page I see what Whoopi did NOT see. It says Whoopie! There you go. So, I got all excited and I brought it in.
Goldberg: You got excited and I split an atom and I got Whoopie Pies for us.

So, ultimately, Whoopi Goldberg wins because she brought the pies and later points out that her name has no "e" in it but it’s worth noticing the needless aggression from Barbara Walters for anyone who thinks she’s gone soft.

So, despite the fact that everyone is living for them at the moment, can I just say that I think that Whoopie Pies are, with the exception of anything that contains peanut butter, the MOST disappointing dessert experience I’ve ever had? I mean, that doesn’t include the disappointment of being at a Christian babysitter’s house and having them drag out fruit salad that has been pre-served into small plastic cups – there’s hardly anything worse than that entire scenario; the fact that you’re act a Christian babysitter’s house in the first place gives pause for thought. But apart from that I think these freaking Whoopie Pies are a really disappointing, deceitful experience.

I mean, look at them; they're amazing looking. It’s all cake and chocolate and then there’s this whipped up cream inside and it just looks like the kind of thing that could potentially replace Prozac or Lexapro or Paxil or whatever free samples your therapist has given you that week because you don’t have prescription insurance. Nothing about Whoopie Pies LOOKS disappointing. I have been to the Union Square farmer’s market on several occasions and I have seen them sitting there in bakery stalls, apparently assembled with organic cream and sugar and eggs and sunlight and Buddhist zen perfect flour from the head of Siddartha Gotama and I bought them wanting to take part in this apparent universally loved and now New York Times acknowledged cake pie whatever and from the moment you actually take a bite it’s all downhill.

The fact is Whoopie Pies are a dessert that is there without really being there. For starters, I think anyone with a brain can see that it's not a pie so, like the Catholic Church's World Youth Day, the name is saturated in deception. Then, the Whoopie Pie generally seems to refer to itself but it never really gets there and actually delivers. The cake isn’t quite chocolate cake. It can’t commit to being a cookie or a slab of cake so it just sits there in uninspiring oblivion and the cream is so light on flavor that you actually feel resentful when it spills out all over you and gets all over your face and you eventually swallow some. I mean, it’s like if you’re going to be that annoying at least be cream cheese based or have something extraordinary going on like gold leaf or little pellets of Vicodin.

Crème brulee, tirami-fucking-su, good old American pie…now THERE are some desserts you can set your watch and aim a missile launcher to.

So, even though the New York Times is all thrilled about noticing that Whoopie Pies are the new Palestinian scarf or heavy black-framed reading glasses when it comes to stall bought desserts, I really don’t agree.

When I got out of the shower my hands were so white they were transparent and I could see blue arteries pulsing beneath the skin in much the same way Tom Cruise’s face was covered in subtle blue veins in Interview with a Vampire that were probably put in later on with digital software. My hands didn’t need digital software. Does this mean I’m probably now a Vampire? I think we can all safely assume that it does.

Actually, I have no idea what it means but my gut instinct is to eat more chili. [source]

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here’s an ad campaign for Johnson and Johnson in Switzerland that kindly and charmingly illustrates that the tampons they make are as hungry for your menstrual fluids as a vampire is for the blood of life – which, if you’ve done any research into the matter is a lot. On the weekend, I actually watched Queen of the Damned for some reason and it really teaches you a lot about how much Vampires need blood. They need it so much they'll often kill for it. I was as shocked as the next man.

So, consequently, if you’re a woman who menstruates, wouldn’t you want the kind of commitment to absorbency from your tampon that a Vampire has to staying alive? I’m not going to try and answer for women but I will say that if I were speaking about myself and if I were hypothetically a woman, I’d like that kind of commitment to my sanitary needs.

There was this sanitary napkin ad that was running in California back in 1989 that used to drive me insane because they never fucking said what the product even did. These two women sat on the beach and rabbited on about how it was “thin” and “with wings” and every time it came on I would get increasingly angry at the television. “WHAT is thin with wings?” and I even started to get resentful. “How the fuck am I supposed to know if I would even be interested in buying your ridiculous thin, winged product if I don’t even know what it is?” I would yell. Years later I realized I would never need to buy that product but it still annoyed me.

When you’re making an ad for women’s sanitary products there are so many things you can’t do. I mean, you can’t use any other color ink for demonstrating the absorption power than light blue. Anything else would immediately connote disease or tragedy. As we know, disease and tragedy are not usually big sellers when it comes to things with which you can willingly associate your body. [source]

Here’s Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz in a video he and his whacky badnmates made where he talks about bottling his urine backstage so he can later put it onstage and drink it in front of people. They all did this because they were “bored”. This video has youtube views going through the roof.

The weird thing about writing about this is that I feel like I’ve said the same thing again and again about Pete Wentz. He’s a business created product who, despite being a nice guy (thank you Details Magazine for pointing that out – incidentally, if I read another celebrity interview in Details Magazine where it starts out with the writer waiting for the celebrity they’re interviewingin a hotel lobby or cool, downmarket café I’m going to puke my guts out. After a while, that technique means everything sounds the same, isn't that obvious?), does the same thing over and over again.

Firstly, kudos for wearing the ubiquitous black rimmed glasses with no lenses just like every other hipster is right now. Clearly, we’re throwing away the Paletinian scarves for some totally pointless faux nerd aesthetic eyewear; finger on the pulse there, yes. But fundamentally, these kind of pranks are what keeps Pete Wentz edgy. Oh, look at that…we’re on tour so we need press and the clothing line, tour sponsored by Honda, the non threateningly repackaged use of eyeliner and dive bar for him and his “dorky” friends in the East Village which is actually now a franchise are threatening the edge factor? No problem. Pee in a bottle and drink it. My guess is that as time goes by his fan base becomes younger and younger. His fan base would need to be less and less capable of critical thinking. And I’m talking about Pete Wentz’s fan base here, not necessarily the band itself.

And, just to make this even more generic, I fully admit that if I actually met him and interviewed him for something, I’d probably find out that he’s a really nice guy with a wife and kid who just flat irons his hair and wears non-gender specific eye makeup and has great teeth. Yes, I’d probably then, as I always annoyingly have, find him attractive. Curse you Pete Wentz. I really think it’s his facial structure that keeps him viable as a band based celebrity character.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Huffington Post is really wringing the shit out of this story centered around the the terse argument between Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart (who has been careful to point out he’s not alone in manifesting entirely for the point of ratings) and I just can’t stand when he does this kind of thing. Well, sort of.

Never mind the fact that clearly the entire thing had been negotiated prior to the interview with NBC logos plastered everywhere all over the background of the Comedy Central set and Jim Cramer firmly in the apologetic hotseat in much the same way Republican politicians seem to be with Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart may very well be in the right with this argument but the victory he has is annoying.

Jon Stewart does this every now and then. He quickly steps out of his role as a comedian and puts on the journalistic hat and tears into the media for failing to do their jobs properly and when he does that he takes credit for his work as though he were a journalist. He does that until it’s inconvenient to be a journalist and then he steps back into the entertainer category. He picks and chooses.

A large component of what has created this problem for Jim Cramer is the fact that he works within the media as a journalist and editorialist on an ongoing basis and as such has to, on a daily basis, deal with the combination of market pressures that include eviscerating his ability to focus on certain topics no matter how important they may be simply because people aren’t interested in those topics. In fact, Jim Cramer explains how it’s an extraordinarily difficult place to be because he’s running a show that is meant to be a financial information show but it has to be absurd and entertaining at the same time.

I’m not actually making an argument about Jim Cramer in this and I do think that the NBC marketing department is at fault for not reigning in their Jim Cramer campaign and Jim Cramer needs to examine his editorial philosophy obviously. Further more, from what the ocean of hype suggests, Jon Stewart has articulated the frustration of many people with regards to the current economic crisis quite well and he has pointed out the flaws of the finance media extremely well as well. That’s not what I’m irritated by here.

I’m so bored with the way Jon Stewart smugly walks into the media sphere every now and then and acts like a journalistic monitor by being a journalist because he claims he has to and then after he does that he gets a round of applause for being a demagogue and iconoclast and then goes back to his post.

Part of the profit generating appeal Jon Stewart musters up with young audiences who have shown in polls for years that they get their news from shows like his and The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher is that he is can be considered a news reporter and editorialist and yet he picks and chooses when he plays those roles so he doesn’t fall under journalistic market pressures of someone like Jim Cramer and as a result he can be as uneven as he wants. But, that doesn’t stop people from considering him a makeshift news anchor. And if you want to talk about responsibility as he clearly wants to do with Jim Cramer and the financial experts at NBC then his track record must come into question.

Stewart admits to being politically skewed but he doesn’t admit to being skewed when it comes to his role as a journalist or as an entertainer.

I sincerely doubt that without the use of someone like Michael Moore or an independent documentary film maker to explain to the average person how their media is so heavily untrustworthy and skewed, your average person would really be able to explain how media is so skewed. To many people, it’s just reassuring to be able to locate an enemy and hate them without having to think.

Right now, Huffington Post has three links. The story has headlined all day, one showing where you can watch the entire thing online, one where White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs has chimed in on the matter indicating that the president has talked about the argument (which does what? Makes the whole thing suddely more legitimate as news?) and there’s also the highlighted promise that Jim Cramer will be responding on his own show at 6pm tonight. Which is right now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Here’s PETA’s newest celebrity ad campaign featuring Ricky Gervais and Pink that is designed to sway people from buying products that rely on the harming of animals. Even though this is predictably gratuitous with the featuring of a skinned crocodile and a skinned rabbit trying to get their skin back from a demanding woman, it’s so much less annoying a statement than PETA are usually responsible for.

PETA is in a unique position because it manages to be the perfect entity for people to get completely lost in their high school anxiety and really vent some bottled up rage on the public at large but you can’t say that what they’re doing is for a mindless cause. I can't complain that I find the skinned crocodile painful to look at because who really WANTS animals to be tortured? No one except mean people, that’s who so fuck you, look at the mutilated horror. That's essentially what PETA always says to the public with their marketing gestures.

Consequently, PETA can do more or less whatever they like to anyone in public and no one can really stop them. Admittedly, PETA aren’t as bad as those people who go to anti-war rallies and stand up and get on the microphone and talk about how they were sexually abused as a child and that this is the first time they’ve ever said anything about it. No, those people are difficult to deal with.

But you know, I’ve been dealing with a fax based crisis for a while now and suddenly, it’s been solved. I have a fax machine now so that crisis is over. I mean, can you imagine not having a fax machine? Anyone who doesn’t have one will know that their life is a crisis because of the lack. So, I have a fax machine, a landline phone and seven hundred boxes that do things to keep the fax machine and landline phone working. The space I now work in is quite compartmentalised. I actually find it mildly oppressive but I’m not really admitting that to myself until summer. Nowadays everything is about the economy.

The New York Times and the Guardian and everyone else is vomiting in terror-stricken glee about the fact that a new portrait of William Shakespeare was just found and it’s believed to be the only one painted within his lifetime.

The Guardian says:

“We should visualise Shakespeare as a rosy-cheeked, long-nosed man who was something of a looker.”

And the Times says:

“It shows the Bard as a far more alluring figure than the solemn-faced, balding image that has been conveyed by engravings, busts and portraits that have been accepted by scholars as the best available likeness of English literature’s most famous figure.”

Then they all allude to the fact that the painting also brings into further question Shakespeare’s sexuality and I’m trying to figure out why. The main reason given is because it was commissioned by the Earl of Southampton who was Shakespeare’s literary patron and rumoured to be his lover. The way they word it it’s as though the visual properties of the painting itself are somehow telling.

My favourite part of these kind of stories where the sexuality of a prominent figure is scrutinised is when the standard self righteous reader writes a comment like “Who cares if Shakespeare was gay. He is remembered for his plays and everyone can enjoy those.” Or “Why are we talking about the sexuality of a dead man when there’s the biggest economic crisis in close to a hundred years going on right now? Thanks a lot New York Times” Plus, there has to be the requisite, “Everyone knows he was gay…get over it.”
From now on though, I will be taking the Guardian’s advice. I will visualize Shakespear as a rosy-cheeked, long nosed man who was something of a looker. Primarily because I should. [source]

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Best Screenplay this year for his script for Milk , was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on her show and the above clip is what that is. Just in case you read this part before you watch – I’m assuming that isn’t the case but whatever.
I’m working from Atlas Café again, and so when you combine the fact that there’s radio blaring in my ear and also the fact that there are all these graphic designers around me who look totally serious as they stare at their laptops, I haven’t really been able to totally listen to the entire thing. I’m putting it up anyway because The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took down the other two clips I put up – the ones of Tina Fey and Steve Martin and also the acceptance speech by Black – which was so totally moving and warm that Id didn’t mind that the script to Milk wasn’t actually that great. Oprah includes a bit of the speech in her segment with Black.
The great thing about this is that you get to see Black’s hair and bone structure again which is genuinely unbeatable. Genuinely. Unbeatable. I am banking on his cute, clean, bookish aesthetic becoming the new alpha male in gay culture now. Thank goodness. I was just about ready to puke over the boredom inspired by Spartan army clippered facial hair. Because it totally matters in the end. It totally matters.

Here’s a picture of a vibrant collective of male comics Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel in a parody of Annie Leibovitz’s portrait of Tom Ford and Scarlatt Johanson. Isn’t it great? I’m dying. They’re in fat suits! They’re not really that fat, they’re in suits that make them look fat! Hilarious!

Never mind the fact that this has been parodied twice before from what I can remember; once by Radar Magazine and another time by this kind of insufferable actor I once met.

Even though I think Paul Rudd is pretty attractive there’s something completely boring about him. He’s in a new movie called “I Love You, Man” and the poster for it is all over the place. Actually, maybe it’s not, it’s on the subway walls along the L line in New York and every time I see it I get the same reaction. This is just tired South Park humour. Smug, clever white straight men making hilarious jokes with a socio political angle but the majority of the humour comes from them humiliating themselves stupidly using physical comedy but ultimately everything HAS to be on their terms. They can act out and be silly and absurd and ridicule whoever they want but at the end they have the moral superiority and status to inform everyone else about what is reasonable and appropriate. That’s why I can’t stand South Park because underneath all that formalized moralizing there are just two infantile men who are dying to be noticed. South Park degenerated into reactionary bullshit with no deeper point than whatever moral they gleaned from the media that week which was invariably that everyone should just chill out and not take themselves so seriously. Except, of course, for the people who react to their work hysterically because that hysteria is the main reason they still get work. It feels mechanical and clever and shallow.

I think the thing about the movie poster at Lorimer Street that gets me every single time is the smug, self satisfied look on Paul Rudd’s face as he stands there going “Yeah, man…I’m straight but I can be sensitive…check me out…dude, I’m so cool. Just go with it man, feel what it's like. Just like I do. I'm so damned amazing and I should be celebrated.” And I just want to puke and or maul the poster. Maybe both. Pukemaul.

And the thing is, I don’t even care if he keeps working – go ahead, do stuff. I’m sure people love it. Go for it and be successful. I find it asinine. [source]

Friday, February 27, 2009

Here’s footage of a fashion runway being punctured quite obviously and clearly as a result of a performer who strategically brings the viewer’s gaze to the very hole he created and then, moments later, a model walking straight into that hole. I read that the model who walked into that hole – and I don’t mind saying that it is in the manner of a Warner Brothers cartoon that she falls – is now suing.

The appeal of watching a model fall into a hole and have to scramble their way out is sort of akin to watching a news reader get a phonecall mid-broadcast or watching a famous movie star projectile vomit in public. It’s not what you really expect from them and it breaks their concentration which gives us a little insight into who they are.

And I’m not just talking about celebrities here, I’m talking about the kinds of people who get paid to be stoic and not really express any humanity. It’s pretty easy to expect that a news reader would be a powderkeg of control issues and dominance and that one slip up would make them explode and ruin everything but when it comes to a model there isn’t much going on there anyway so falling into a hole and then being shaken up is probably what it takes for us to see real humanity. Like Sydney Schanberg said that when he had a gun to his head in Cambodia he had never felt more alive. I suspect falling into a really obvious hole in a runway is the model equivalent of that.

I once went to a barbecue party that involved a whole crap load of models who were all hanging out in casual clothes and just having fun – it was like standing inside an advertisement. When I got to the point where I was completely exhausted talking to one guy about what he was doing with his life as a model – which was inevitable because I mean, how much can you really get out of a 22 year old guy from Ohio who just moved to New York from the farm or whatever – I had to go and make myself a really strong coffee. In the kitchen I talked to this girl, who was also a model, about how I was making coffee (she was amazed I knew how and asked if I was a chef) and I asked her where the milk was. She opened the fridge and said “We’ve got almond milk, vanilla soy, rice milk and skim, plus there’s also this lactose free sheep milk.” And I said, “Wow, sounds complicated.” She got really upset all of a sudden and kind of half yelled, “It’s not complicated!”. I nodded to calm her down but I knew that it was pretty complicated... actually.

The New York Times has a piece about Jeremy Piven’s mercury poisoning hearing today and it claims that he broke down and cried when asked about his experience trying to perform in David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” on Broadway. He avoided penalties for leaving the show because he somehow convinced Actors Equity that he really was sick. The producers of the show suspected that he was actually just bored with the role in which he was cast and consequently, they were seeking to charge him with breaking his contract when he left the production.

I had almost forgotten about this story and one thing that strikes me about it is that either way, Piven is exercising his acting muscle pretty well. For one, he got pretty good reviews when the play opened so if he didn’t fake a thing and really is sick then great, it’s just unfortunate and if he is faking it and has been going out as opposed to staying in bed like he claims he’s been doing then he got away with the whole thing.

I don’t mind Jeremy Piven that much – apart from all the negativity he seems to dredge up in bloggers and the media. But, I mean, if you took that into account you’d hate everything.

Ok, so Piven saga is still going and he seems to be winning.

I am now working from home which is great except that there’s no internet so I’m sitting at a café in Williamsburg. It’s all very poetic. Coffee in reusable ceramic cups, hipsters everywhere, light, windows, old wood floors…yeah.

Except that I was given free face peel treatment gel from Sephora and I have applied it 4 days in a row and now look like I’m blotchily sunburnt. That’s really no big deal if you work from home but seeing as I’ve got no internet I had to leave the house today. The trick with shit like this is that you just pretend like nothing’s wrong and then people assume maybe there’s something wrong with their eyes when they look at you. I firmly believe that.

Plus, I’m reinforcing the notion that I’m completely normal by staring about the room contentedly every now and then. My my, how charming it is to step in and out of thinking and looking at my computer screen. I can do it at a whim as I'm just in an uninterrupted world of my own. There’s a huge map at the Atlas café - which is where I am – and I just realized that the US has dominion over a set of Islands called the Aleutian Islands which includes the Rat Islands. What a charming place they must be. Cancel my trip to Morrocco (which technically I had never booked). I'm going to the Rat Islands to be eaten alive by rodents. [source]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Right. Greatest things about the Oscars last night include:

The opening number by Hugh Jackman which flawless.

The more Ann Hathaway does stuff the greater she is.

As much as I’m a stickler for a quality musical number, I couldn’t quite stomach the bizarre musical number which had a line from about twenty mainstream musicals which weirdly enough didn’t include as many Sondheim references as you’d expect. I feel like a weird musical fag hag saying lines like that. As though that editorial decision was somehow political.

Also, and I know Slumdog Millionaire won 8 out of the 9 Academy Awards it was nominated for and it was a totally enchanting experience even if it was almost absurdly violent, but the best presentation moment for me was absolutely Steve Martin and Tina Fey presenting the award for Best Original Screenplay.

Who knew Dustin Lance Black was so utterly stunning? I mean, probably everyone but me. Jesus, his bone structure and everything. Gay people are pretty mindless and herdlike so I guess that means that tall, boyish, writerly types will now be the new alpha male instead of Spartan gym queens with carefully crafted facial hair. It feels schmaltzy to say but Black’s speech was completely moving and even though I thought Milk wasn’t such a great film (with the exception of Sean Penn) I’m totally glad Black won even if it was just for his speech. And hair.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everyone seems to be screaming about these newly discovered youtube videos that feature the seamless and inevitable melding of gay porn, Japanese dance music and baby imagery all of a sudden.

It really seems like the kind of thing you’d play at a gay bar in Brooklyn where people would stand around pretending not to notice it but then you could really say the same thing about practically anything on film.

Here’s another version that has a weirdly intense beginning:

But, Japanese dance music melding with gay porn and baby head imagery, hey? Seems like a cultural pastiche emulsion experience, a well shaken salad dressing of cultural elements if you will. IT seems like sexualized innocence and ridiculed urban spirituality at once that may induce seizures it’s that frenetic.

It sort of resembles something Diesel would put together actually but honestly, right now my problem is that I’m sitting in an office in Manhattan at 8pm on a Friday night and there are 4 Russian guys slowly emptying the office of these heavy, cherry wood desks. As the minutes go the image of me sitting here increasingly resembles being on a rapidly dissolving desert island. Desks and chairs are being removed but I’m sitting here in my glasses, in the center of a flurry of drama and heavy lifting writing about Japanese dance gay porn baby videos and I just realized that there are no walls behind me so they can see everything I’m looking at on the laptop. Great.

One of them looks like Andre the Giant.

Plus, for some reason, the electric shocks are particularly vicious today and the keyboard keep shocking me. God, everything is so prohibitive.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last night, Richie Rich of Heatherette fame displayed his new line of clothes for buyers during Fashion Week and a slab of celebrities turned up. I didn’t go but my friend Adam did and when I saw him last night he was wearing an uncharacteristic Mohawk and pointed shoes. Whatever, that’s not my point.

Above is Aubrey O’Day who is part of the expansive Heatherette/Richie Rich contingent (along with people like Lance Bass, The Scissor Sisters, Mia etc) hanging out with her dog and a conveniently placed copy of her recent Playboy issue. I love when marginally famous people bring press with them to events just to remind you that images of them are published in the media. In case you’d forgotten. It’s all very self perpetuating.

The first time I ever even heard of Aubrey O’Day was in the business class lounge at JFK waiting to go to the Life Ball in Vienna. She was travelling on the charter flight to model Heatherette clothing at the opening ceremony for the Life Ball. Aubrey O’Day spent that entire trip painted a celebrity orange color, wearing flowing robes made of sheets and towels and she had two light blue explosions for eyes. It was just eccentric enough to be mildly noteworthy. I mean, here’s a slightly famous performer who wants to be more famous so she paints herself orange and light blue and walks around in a sheet in Austria for 4 days. That’s sort of interesting, isn’t it? In a Warholian sense?

That’s why it seems like a step down for O'Day to just carry a painted pink dog and a magazine cover around with her. There’s no skill in that, it’s just blatant need.

Incidentally, waiting in that lounge on our way to Vienna, Tinsley Mortimer, Manhattan’s answer to Paris Hilton was walking around with a copy of “Socialite” magazine on which she was the cover model for that month making sure everyone who photographed her realized that it really is viable to publish pictures of her in the media because look, other people have.

When you’re surrounded by people like that it’s sometimes ok and sometimes it is exhausting and other times you just want to stab your own eyes out because those people don’t even have down time when they’re alone. They really need and believe their own press. That was two years ago though so, if nothing else, at least we know Aubrey O’Day has stamina.

As far as Richie Rich goes, I have only ever seen Richie and my friend Adam actually wearing Heatherette/Richie Rich clothes in real life although I heard tell they do well in Asia. Once I was at Barracuda Bar and was talking with Richie and he was doing his high pitched shrill boyvoice thing and I told him some dark joke and he laughed sans character. It was at that moment that we cut through the character and got genuine evidence of him being a human and that was interesting. Certainly more interesting than the clothes although they’re harmless and fun and pop. Not sure who wears them but that's alright.

Additionally, here’s a picture of some model wearing Richie Rich hotpants.

Totally wearable.

The New York Times reports that UK reality TV star, Jane Goody, who is dying of cervical cancer, has opted to do so on television which will be a first in at least reality TV where we all know it’s coming and we don’t look away. She seems have just the right ratio of apparent naiveté, narcissism, exhibitionism, desperation and media savvy to make it work, the media execs are buying it and I’m less appalled than I thought I would be. I mean, it’s not like we really DO have to watch and I also think that’s because Goody has been explicit about trying to raise as much money as possible for her children before she dies from a disease that can be spun into an awareness campaign and that she did nothing to contract. The actual death part is something I can't imagine. I liken it in my mind to Katie Couric's colon and I have no real problem with that except that it's cheap, unimaginative footage but that's another thing.

Ultimately, she’s just taking advantage of her media viability while she still can.

Goody is marrying her fiancé Jack Tweed and has been offered a million dollars for the media rights to the ceremony. This really isn’t the first time this kind of perverse, narcissistic martyrdom has occurred though.

A little while ago there was a girl who was writing a blog about how she was going to kill herself on a certain date and it was obviously compelling because it hadn’t really been done in blog form before. Plus, when I was at art school someone did a performance piece where they basically just had someone tell everyone they’d died and three months later they showed up fine. Both cases were met with an aggravated eye roll as the self indulgent university student at the center of each tried to justify inflicting such anxiety on people by saying it was an art project. The blog one seems less accountable because she remained anonymous throughout and you don’t have to read a blog. I'm also pretty sure that most art schools have had a student like that at one time or another and it's possible they pop up semi regularly. Early twenties angst is a terrible thing.

While the New York Times makes the point that “This is reality television carried out to its most extreme, grotesque conclusion, one not even envisioned in the film “The Truman Show” all those years ago.”, this conclusion was actually envisioned earlier than “The Truman Show”, in the film “Network”:

Plus, it seems like this guy in Italy got pretty close in real life.

God, what a deadly, morbid day. Here’s a sneezing baby panda to lighten it up a bit:

Apparently, this panda video has been viewed more than 31 million times. [source]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Huffington Post reports that while Lindsay Lohan is emaciated, she was quoted as saying that not only did she recently eat a Big Mac, but she is thinner basically because she’s been working a lot and also because she isn’t sleeping a whole lot. (The thin actress thing is big right now because it's Fashion Week. This topic always gets a bit of airplay around now)

However, that explanation pretty much solves the weightloss mystery when it comes to Lohan. Done. Nothing to see here.
What’s interesting about Lohan in the image published on the Huffington Post is that while her body looks eaten away by a nagging and crippling fear of irrelevance, her breasts are somehow the same size.
I genuinely think that if you’re an actress or a model and you’re losing weight so you can maintain the physical stance of someone who is easy to dominate and therefore you’re more employable because the sexual image you create will be compliant with the desire of sexually carnivorous straight men and aesthetic obsessed gay men, then being formally addressed about your weight is really just a milestone in getting employment. I mean, Lohan had that Big Mac comment figured out before she left the house. She’s got her eye on the prize. [source]

Here’s footage of a model falling over a Fashion Week here in New York. When this kind of thing happens there’s a series of things that occur as a result and it’s always more or less the same. She’ll go backstage and cry, maybe eat a lollipop and the other models will do one of two things; either they’ll rally around her like girls do at school where they all hug incessantly as the faller cries or they’ll keep their distance from the tainted one. The designer will be incensed to at least some degree. Fashion people love drama. They really love it. And because they think fashion is the be all and end all of everything, any tiny thing that goes wrong is treated with the same intensity as anyone else would consider a genuine military invasion of a nearby town.

Men who work in fashion love doing this thing where they’re in a crowd of people backstage and they put their fingers to their temples and shake their heads with their eyes open wide when something goes wrong. They do that because it clearly shows that a cultural apocalypse is occurring and it also shows that they will probably have to fix it but that it wasn’t their fault and ultimately, they are above the problem and still “fabulous”. Being fabulous is the most important thing at all times in fashion because it maintains your status as a kind of fashion muse. Which everyone in fashion is. They are the human embodiment of purity and inspiration. They are not of us. They are eternally youthful and happy and refined.

Women who work in fashion tend to have the same basis for their behavior as men but they scream and bellow a lot. They also charge about more. The more feminine a man is the more he will charge about. It’s a proportionate thing.
Also, after the fashion show where the girl falls, she is taken out the back and eaten alive by advertising personnel. Her agent says it’s ok though because he’s getting free champagne at the bar and Anna Wintour is near enough for him to feel no pain.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Speaking of videos, this is the new ad for Hulu that features Alec Baldwin. It’s essentially brilliant. I mean, I am the biggest fan of Alec Baldwin at the moment but even aside from that, this is totally perfect. It’s everything and nothing at once.

If you don’t have 45 seconds to watch the above cologne commercial then I’ll explain it for you here. Basically, here's the deal: rapid piano music, cars, blur, rain on the road, Henry Cavill gets out of a car, guitar, bass kicks in, dark, tuxedo, tunnel, woman, London, Parliament, blur, cologne, blur. That could really just be any perfume commercial. Especially the tuxedo and night parts. The cologne is Dunhill and it’s their new variant called black. So, it’s Dunhill black. Dunhill is such a 70s or maybe 50s brand. Yeah, more 70s. I also equate it with cigarettes. I would never in a million years buy a fragrance by Dunhill unless I genuinely liked it. I mean, that’s my basic response. When you climb over all the obtuseness of this fashion based post, you’ll see that what I’m saying basically means nothing but then, that’s the essential culture of fashion anyway. Or not. I’m really just posting this because it’s fashion week.

Speaking of a million years, I spent Saturday talking into a microphone for 4 hours. The first two were sitting in a white box in a gallery in Chelsea reading out the odd numbers between 79,100 and 80,150 like a controlled robot as part of On Kawara’s installation piece, “One Million Years” and then 2 hours after I finished that I co-anchored D List Radio at the Patricia Field store in the East Village for Valentines Day and for the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. That show was essentially 2 hours of shrieking, fashionista, liquor and absurd banter. So, when you think about it, it was a very broad range of microphone usage. Stark minimalism and then over glittered chaotic inanity.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I’m preparing to work out of my apartment rather than the Fifth Avenue office I’m normally in and today was spent going back and forth with some Baby Boomer Mortgage Broker from New Jersey who is buying two tables from the office and wanted me to clarify everything with the building before he books his truck and hired goons to come and cart his stuff away. He seemed extremely excited by the process of calling and e mailing me at the same time about the same thing and then calling the building but insisting I call to ask the same questions as well. His pants were too high when I first met him and he had grey hair and a kind of weedyness you really only get from Baby Boomers who are very controlling but smile a lot and lack imagination so they work in lending or they sell toilets.

So, that was great. Then some wannabe Mafioso guy came in and mumbled a lot. I’m really terse with people who are not immediately easy to deal with and who ask too many questions about chairs. People who really need to agonise over the difference between two virtually identical chairs are not my ideal conversation partner.

I received this e mail today, also about chairs:

What type of plants do you have?
Who is the make on the desk chairs?

That second question wasn’t quite clear enough so I responded by asking them to make more sense. I could have figured it out but I just wanted to point out that they weren’t trying hard enough.

Interestingly enough, India is about to have a cow urine-based soft drink launched at them, in a commercial sense. Not only will it be natural and I guess environmentally friendly but, the India Express reports: "In addition to this, it will prove and justify the high stature accorded to a cow in Indian culture."

Also, Michael Jackson’s body may be rotting away. I think sometimes that happens. [source] [source]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Huffington Post reports that Prince Harry is about to go into racism training so he can be disciplined for saying a few racist things while in the blistering heat of the desert while on secret army duty. This, of course, follows on from the time he went to a party dressed as a Nazi.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that most aristocrats are inbred and when you couple that with the fact that Prince Harry lives in a cultural bubble even despite being in the army, the chances are he’s probably just a product of being the socially warped grandson to Prince Phillip and the great grandson of the late Queen Mother – both wildly racist people. There are weblistings of the racist pearlers Prince Phillip has come out with over the years. No wonder he always has to walk behind the Queen. She’s worried he might insult someone. That’s all it is!

Plus, I mean, Harry is sort of the Susan Lucci of the royal family too. He’s almost someone but then isn’t quite because Prince William is the heir and nothing will ever change that unless …William… dies.

What a conflicted life Prince Harry must have. On one hand he’s probably not REALLY the son of Prince Charles but that’ll never come out as long as the Queen is the CEO because it would ruin everything. But, then, he is the more attractive of the two princes so he’s got more media appeal. So, that’s important to note. We’ll put “attractive” down on our list of pluses for the prince.

But then, see, he’s sort of resentful that he’s bound up by all the rules of being in the royal family when his mother was killed by the paparazzi primarily because she was marketable and royal. Technically she was an ex-HRH when she died but the British people still managed to figure out some protocol to cling to for the funeral so in the re-telling, it’s not that important that she wasn’t a legitimate princess anymore.

So, really – it’s all very confusing when you are Prince Harry. No wonder he’s a racist. I bet that class will sort him out. Classes in the appreciation of diversity are certainly not token and they are always effective. Good. That’s sorted. [source]

Seeing as it’s Fashion Week I thought I’d mention that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is now modeling for Energie and the above shot is part of a new ad campaign that will come out in Details magazine any second now. I mean, you know, and in bus shelters too. A multi-platformed campaign is what we're in for here.

I once owned a pair of Energie jeans until I wore those mothers out. I bought them on a Summery Saturday in Chelsea along with a massive palm tree that died because I live in a basement with no natural light. That story makes me feel like I am more connected to Jonathan Rhys Meyers than before, when I hadn't consciously remembered.

Good old Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I remember it was only a little while ago that he was wandering about telling people that he had turned down modeling contracts from Versace because they hadn’t offered enough money to him – and this was only a few years after the dreadful but addictive “Velvet Goldmine”; years before he was actually famous. Now, here he is, showing off and acting the clothes horse. Also, good on Energie for catching on to the high top trend that started over a year ago. There’s nothing more reassuring than the outright repackaging of old ideas with the conviction that no one will notice.

Someone near me is eating something hot, synthetic and covered in ketchup and it's disconcerting. It's like I'm in the 80s again. Jesus, what a nightmare.

The other reason I posted this is because I really just can’t go past a good Jonathan Rhys Meyer photo. That basically means that the above paragraph was more or less just filler.

Here’s a photo of Mischa Barton that is inspiring a slew of people on the internet to protest that she looks too thin. I don’t know that I’ve ever written the name Mischa Barton before. I just looked her up and found out she was English which is a surprise considering the way she so seamlessly resembles any other generic LA actress.

Regardless, I’m just wondering if she really is that thin or if she imploded her face to look thin when they took the shot. People do that all the time, they suck in their cheeks for the camera, but for the most part it looks ridiculous so the follow up plan to that is to turn your head to the side so you emphasise your jaw line. It’s what all the irony free fags do in back of the gay street press in those photos of who was seen out and about. They do that head to the side thing and the serious eyes all of a sudden because it really turns up the marketable sexiness. I’m sure there’s more to say about that but I think my hands are refusing to type anything more about gay people photographed for the back of gay street press.

One thing going for Mischa Barton in this photo is that she does look genuinely dead behind the eyes and that makes it seem like maybe her emaciation is bona fide. Still, is it really a good idea to shriek that she looks too thin? Isn’t that what a starving actress wants? Proof that her starvation work has paid off and that she really does look thin? Yes, Mischa, you’re thin. We can all see it. Maybe it’s best for us to just ignore the thinness and concentrate on her work. Where is that by the way? She seems to simply turn up to things and date people but I don’t know what the hell else…oops, there go my hands again. Not letting me type anymore about Mischa Barton.

Meanwhile, it’s Fashion Week in New York this week which means that all up and down Fifth Avenue near the office will be these vague, aggressively casual looking models juxtaposed against the bland, urban landscape usually populated with fat boring people from Long Island who wear those pointless Bluetooth headpieces or tourists who walk slowly that have flown from Arkansas or the UK.

The UK tourists stand in line at Walgreens and moan about things. That’s my favourite part.

I keep seeing these black flashes in the corners of my eyes. They’re like demon rats that transcend physicality. I told Paul Capsis once that I had a fear of rats before I came to New York and after I got here it expanded to include hallucinations. He said, “Well, it was either going to get better or get worse.” He was right.