Thursday, January 29, 2009

Elizabeth Hasselbeck announced today on The View that she is pregnant again which really suggests that her only real appeal on the show is the performance of motherhood in front of the audience of women who love thinking about children and how they’ve either had them or want to or something.

It always seems like Elizabeth Hasselbeck is coming up with some reason to stay employed on that show whether it be her contrived, breathless and excitable right wing stance on everything because it’s her angle or whether it be the stories of her pleasant domesticity as a working mother with a sporty husband – everything comes back to survival. It’s not necessarily about substance or reason, it’s just survival.

I often wonder if, for Elizabeth Hasselbeck, life is simply a complex process of filling in time until she dies. I mean, there must be moments where she just sits there as her husband is in the next room smashing his head against the wall to try and numb reality somehow, where she cuts to the core of the issue and just looks at her watch and rolls her eyes. I mean, it’s got to be over soon, right? Life? [source]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Following on from yesterday’s post about how gawker was getting in early with their criticism of Barack Obama’s tendency to be a humourless control freak in order to prove that they never swallowed the Kool Aid, at least as journalists anyway, Women’s Wear Daily is reporting that after they broke the story Black Artists’ Association criticizing Michelle Obama for not wearing clothes by a black designer to the inauguration, death threats were received by the Black Artists’ Association.
“BAA’s co-founder Amnau Eele, a former runway model, said she was not speaking on behalf of individual designers, but merely wanted to broach the subject. She has faced death threats as a result,” WWD reports.

See, death threats are the kind of thing that make criticism of the human elements of the Obama entity so valuable. I mean, if you weren’t doing the cultural equivalent of taking away the people’s opiate then why would it be so courageous? That being said, give it a rest.
The woman was First Lady for literally only a few hours before she was being beaten down for not making the right choice of dress to wear. She already went out in J Crew which is a pretty strong statement to make in terms of fashion and economic status. Besides, she chose Jason Wu who is a kid – that is sure to inspire other kids to get out there and make dresses. And that’s what the presidency is all about. It’s about how many kids are designing gowns for women.

In other news, last night I went to Alan Cumming’s birthday party for like 10 minutes. That was after I ate a whole wheat humus and falafel sandwich. The nice thing about snow in New York is that it’s all light, pure and enchanting for the first bit. Of course, once the city rolls over it it becomes brown messy sludge and the mess doesn’t leave until April. Also, there are less rats everywhere when it’s snowing and I enjoy that. [source]

Icelandic Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurðardottir would be the world's first openly gay Prime Minister if she becomes Prime Minister of Iceland, as is widely expected, reports the Huffington Post. Her achievement as a gay politician is, in itself, impressive but with that we are, yet again, presented with an example of how Iceland is ahead of the world. Look at her up there in that small picture I posted. She's got her glamorous red lipstick on and white, ice-like hair, if you will. What a patriotic Icelandic woman. It's no wonder she's basically in charge. I mean, her hair indicates she's already living the part.

For about two months last year Iceland was THE place to be planning to go for New Year’s Eve due maybe in part to a tourism ad campaign on the subway and all over New York following the collapse of Iceland’s economy. All anyone would talk about was Iceland. “Oh, hi, I’m thinking about going to Iceland” is what they would say to me as I stood about at parties making idle conversation with actors, publicists and hookers.

And I didn’t blame them, either. While I’ve never travelled to Iceland, I have known of the delights of Iceland for years prior to this momentus historical moment whether it be from my ongoing and relentless research of puffins, the playful Atlantic seabird often affectionately known as the clown of the sea, Bjork, my interest in the different ways that caraway seeds can be used including as the principle flavor in Iceland’s national alcoholic beverage Brennivin, or whether it be the always enchanting Icelandic appetizer, hakarl, a cheese like substance made from the meat of a rotten shark. It’s certainly no surprise to me that again, even in the face of economic ruin, the Icelandics are still managing to do interesting things.

The Huffington Post goes on to report that Ms. Sigurðardóttir's appointment has been met with general apathy both inside and outside the country, a cultural reality that could only possibly be the result of massed intoxication and delusion. I am delighted to say that the news of her appointment is certainly not being met with apathy from me. Why, I am pleased as punch and, in fact, will be sending her a note with a list of national suggestions bracketed with compliments so that she doesn’t feel too hard done by as a result of my admittedly pushy tone.

Thank you again, Iceland, for being small and important. Not everyone couldn’t give a shit. Keep it up! [source]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gawker has joined the ranks of media outlets who write critical things about the Messianic President by posting a story about how Obama has been all nice so far but now that he's the president he's letting out some of his controlling rage (look at him in that picture above - all pissed off and shit) and for some reason I was surprised there for a moment. It’s like , “oh, look at that…someone on the north east left talking smack about the human embodiment of hope for western culture…that’s something you don’t see every day.” That's not surprising at all!
I mean, for one thing, gawker is always among the first to be bitchy and snarky so it’s true to form. In reality though, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before even more leftist journalists jump on the bandwagon of being highly critical of Obama – and not entirely because he doesn’t deserve to be viewed critically – actually because the first to depart from the hero worship can claim credit for being journalists with unique credibility.
In fact, now it’s almost like the opposite of what happened with conservatives jumping ship prior to the election and joining the progressives. Leftist journalists are going to slowly clamor to write things critical of the president and the more they go against the libidinal tide of popular opinion the better for them.
Everyone is trying to prove that they were at the helm of the issue first. That’s half the job of writing in the public sphere anyway. You have to actually be there and can I just say it gets exhausting.

I took a break from attempting to be at the helm and last night I went out to dinner with Greg Allen who is an immensely talented hair stylist who graciously cuts my hair for like nothing and does a bang up job in between styling for Harper’s Bazaar and a ton of people, Adam Klesh – some loud restaurateur I once met and Matthew Woodin, Adam’s ex but who is also tolerably funny. It was really amazing to remember what it was like to go out with people and socialize in a way that wasn’t the result of some rancid online invitation that attempts to lure you in with an open bar. Plus, none of us drank so it wasn’t messy. I mean, it was practically 1996 again. Minus the pending depression, post school poverty and relationships with several people on anti-psychotics who were into self harm. Yeah, that was a great period of time. [source]

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Huffington Post reports that Sarah Palin’s $180,000 wardrobe, the wardrobe that was supposed to be donated to charity after she wore it parading about the national stage during the presidential campaign, has actually not been donated to charity, it’s sitting in garbage bags by the looks of things, at RNC Washington DC headquarters.

If anyone needed any further evidence that Sarah Palin was the Dina Lohan/Rosie O’Donnell of the political arena then this should quench that dire need. And it probably is dire. There’s about five cents worth of doubt in my mind that Sarah Palin kept those clothes on purpose so she could bump up her publicity as the entire country does the inevitable and forgets about her now that the Democrats have taken the White House.

Only very recently, she was jumping on the Caroline Kennedy media bandwagon to remind people that she’s also a woman who had run for major public office. That interest waned and so she’s dragging out plan B. The clothing. It’s not really that important unless you want to talk about how 180,000 dollars is a lot of money. For me, paying 180,000 dollars in public money so that we never talk about Sarah Palin again seems like a good investment. I would not be surprised if something to do with her kids and maybe incest rape comes out sooner or later. She’s using her cards one at a time.

So, this is really all about Sarah Palin trying to keep her hand in. And I think we’re all pretty comfortable that she’s not really that relevant any more.

One thing that struck me about her clothing was that she always seemed to choose these jackets where the sleeves were simply too short. When she raised her arms to wave it looked like she was wearing a non-commital t shirt. Is it a t shirt? Is it a jacket? How is that comfortable? In fact, John McCain had a hard time raising his arms too. So, all up, both Republican candidates had restricted arm movement and that always felt difficult to me. It was difficult to feel comfortable in a physical way while watching Sarah Palin and John McCain deal with their arms.

Oh my GOD, I’m still writing. [source]

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here’s a video from a documentary about Air Force One, which is technically any flight the president is on. From the very beginning, all I was thinking about was, “what kind of food do they serve on Air Force One” and that was all I could think about. It’s actually all I ever think about when it comes to airline travel. I don’t think about the journey, the sleeping tablets, the fact that the different cabins are a clear nod to classism unless I am in business class because I have relatives who work for United. Nope, I only think about food.

That’s why I was initially delighted to see Obama order food and to really explain what he was getting. One thing that is for sure though: the American always orders the burger. They really always do. No matter where you are, they always order the burger. And then they make a massive production out of smearing some weird mixture of mustard and ketchup on the bun and they drip it all over my white bed spread and I have to contain my rage because that stain will never come out and it was always a mistake to attempt to smear your ketchup all over the bun and not really watch what you’re doing. A mistake I would never have made because “the burger” is the least interesting item on the menu most of the time.

Following on from that, I realised I have actually never felt more uncomfortable watching Barack Obama move and speak. I always felt he had a strangely fake, affected way of operating but in this film his fake interest and goodwill is unnerving. Also, the way he drags out giving his dinner order is really difficult for me to deal with. I mean, just say what you want. Don’t you have other things to think about? God. Plus, what ELSE was on the menu. I bet they had a quality steak frites or a duck confit. Actually, you know they had a Maryland crab cake with chipotle sauce or a quesadilla with shrimp in it. American menus are pretty standard. It’s often the amount and type of cheese that fluctuates. Also, what actually constitutes cheese in America tends to fluctuate as well. With very little concern to anyone but me.

Also, here are two other things. Yesterday I was running late and as I concocted an excuse about why I was late and rehearsed saying it so it sounded sincere while waiting on the platform at Union Square, a man in hand cuffs jumped down onto the track and literally ran into the tunnel (away from the incoming train). Moments later, police officers ran up and the trains were held up. My reaction was one of total relief. I mean, you can’t BUY a more plausible excuse than an escaped criminal held up the train and one really did.

Then, later on, as I was buying my steaming oatmeal breakfast on a blisteringly cold and inhuman morning in New York City, a woman walked buy me on her cell phone and said “Yeah, we bought enough sperm for three kids.” There is no idle chatter in New York. It’s all about getting things done.

The 2009 Academy Award Nominations are out and for the first time in a really long time I have actually seen a large chunk of them. Not Slumdog Millionaire yet but I will change that asap. Fundamentally, though I’m actually involved this time and that’s better than my usual experience of the Academy Awards which involved annoyance that I didn’t see most of the films, annoyance that I wasn’t invited to attend it, some kind of just general fury at my own lack of awards and also the preposterousness of the Academy Awards anyway, being essentially disappointed in whatever extent the choice of winners goes to so that Hollywood can prop up its own mythological power and the inevitable disappointment that boils up when its over and I’m sitting in my apartment or an apartment or some place and I realize that the paint is peeling off the ceiling.

I just feel a little cynical about the Heath Ledger nomination as the hype far out weighed the performance he gave and I also think the same can sort of be said for Mickey Rourke who might just be the Jennifer Hudson of this Academy Awards show. So, all in all, it’ll be a great show.



"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" "Frost/Nixon" "Milk" "The Reader" "Slumdog Millionaire"


Anne Hathaway; "Rachel Getting Married" , Angelina Jolie; "Changeling", Melissa Leo; "Frozen River", Meryl Streep; "Doubt", Kate Winslet; "The Reader"

BEST ACTOR Frank Langella; "Frost/Nixon", Sean Penn; "Milk", Brad Pitt; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Mickey Rourke; "The Wrestler", Richard Jenkins; "The Visitor"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams; "Doubt", Penelope Cruz; "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", Viola Davis; "Doubt", Taraji P. Henson; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Marisa Tomei; "The Wrestler"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Josh Brolin; "Milk", Robert Downey Jr.; "Tropic Thunder", Philip Seymour Hoffman; "Doubt", Heath Ledger; "The Dark Knight", Michael Shannon; "Revolutionary Road"

BEST DIRECTOR Danny Boyle; "Slumdog Millionaire", Stephen Daldry; "The Reader", David Fincher; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Ron Howard; "Frost/Nixon", Gus Van Sant; "Milk"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Dustin Lance Black; "Milk", Courtney Hunt; "Frozen River", Mike Leigh; "Happy-Go-Lucky" Marttin McDonagh; "In Bruges", Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon; "WALL-E"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Simon Beaufoy; "Slumdog Millionaire", David Hare; "The Reader", Peter Morgan; "Frost/Nixon", John Patrick Shanley; "Doubt", Eric Roth, Robin Swicord; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM "The Baader-Meinhof Complex" (Germany), "The Class" (France), "Departures" (Japan), "Revanche" (Austria), "Waltz with Bashir" (Israel)

BEST ANIMATED FILM "Bolt", "Kung Fu Panda", "Wall-E"

BEST ART DIRECTION "Changeling", "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button", "Dark Knight", "The Duchess", "Revolutionary Road"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY "Changeling"; Tom Stern, "Slumdog Millionaire"; Anthony Dod Mantle, "The Reader"; Chris Menges, "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"; Claudio Miranda, "The Dark Knight"; Wally Pfister

BEST FILM EDITING "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"; Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall, "The Dark Knight"; Lee Smith, "Frost/Nixon"; Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill, "Milk"; Elliot Graham, "Slumdog Millionaire"; Chris Dickens

BEST COSTUME DESIGN "Australia"; Catherine Martin,"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"; Jacqueline West,"The Duchess"; Michael O'Conner, "Milk"; Danny Glicker, "Revolutionary Road"; Albert Wolsky

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE "The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)", "Encounters at the End of the World", "The Garden", "Man on Wire", "Trouble the Water"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG "Slumdog Millionaire", "Jai Ho," A.R. Rahman, "Slumdog Millionaire"; "O Saya", A.R. Rahman & M.I.A. "Wall-E," "Down To Earth," Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat, "Defiance," James Newton Howard, "Milk," Danny Elfman, "Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman", WALL-E," Thomas Newman

BEST MAKEUP "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Colleen Callaghan, Fionagh Cush, "The Dark Knight," Peter Robb-King, John Caglione Jr. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," Mike Elizalde, Thom Floutz

BEST SOUND EDITING "The Dark Knight"; Richard King, "Iron Man"; Frank Eulner, Christopher Boyes, "Slumdog Millionaire"; Tom Sayers, "Wall-E"; Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood "Wanted"; Wylie Stateman


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Here are a couple of the photos I took of the inauguration from where I was in Times Square.

Here’s a video I just shot in Times Square looking up at the Fox News screen at the live broadcast of the inauguration of Barack Obama. There were about 5 screens in Times Square with several of the major networks showing their own version of what was going on but weirdly enough, Fox News was the only network to think of actually including subtitles on the screen as there was no sound.

Because of that, the whole of Times Square was weirdly and almost eerily quiet except for brief moments when people would cheer. I got one of those cheering moments on video above.

Barack Obama is looking good too. Not only is he a demi-god who clearly works out, he may very well have re-defined what it means to be a zeitgeist leaving Paris Hilton in the dust of cultural irrelevance. That's ANOTHER thing he's done. CHECK! Well, to be fair she left herself there a while ago but still - why not attribute that cultural triumph to President Obama? Everything else that represents progress seems to be as a result of him. People apparently booed when George W Bush was announced and Dick Cheney attended in a wheelchair. What an exit.
America has a black president.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here’s Jeremy Piven on Good Morning America talking his way out of and yet, still into, the hole he is digging and filling regarding his recent quitting of David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” on Broadway.

He talks his way around the whole idea that he could have somehow ingested enough mercury to get mercury poisoning which impaired his ability to continue working. Because he’s a coke hound and plays an aggressive manipulative agent on television people aren’t buying his

Mercury poisoning story right now so this is apparently damage control.
Celebrity damage control is almost always ridiculous. It’s sometimes necessary – as was the case with Queen Elizabeth around the time of Princess Diana because it became political – to go on TV and explain yourself but certainly not incessantly. If you’re going on TV and in the print media to argue about how you really aren’t lying then the trick is to avoid sounding desperate.
Piven sounds desperate.

Plus, I love how when a celebrity is acting like a freak they always have some disease no one else has – conveniently – so no massed understanding of the ailment can debunk their smoke screen. I mean, remember when Amy Winehouse had “impetigo”? Quick, no one will know what impetigo is! It'll buy us some time while we get her on some cipro and put her through some microdermabraision.

For the amount Jeremy Piven has gone on about this you’d think someone was accusing him of being gay. People who get accused of being gay never deal with the question well in the media. Actually, Chase Crawford doesn’t do too badly at it. Joy Behar asked if he and Ed Westwick were gay lovers and he rolled his eyes and fobbed the question off. He didn’t answer it but he certainly didn’t look like an earnest douche avoiding the question for what is billed as high brow political reasoning. Like Mika or Kevin Spacey or Anderson Cooper.

So, essentially, what I’m saying here is Jeremy Piven is to Mercury Toxicity as Mika was to Gay.

Yes, it is true that I could have just said that but I didn't we are.

I was reading a couple of magazines recently and ended up paying attention to the subscription inserts they're always pummelling you with and realised that if I just paid for a subscription I wouldn't have to actually go and GET the magazine because it gets posted to you and also, you save like a million percent on magazines. As a result, I now get all these magazines every month and so, now I can write things about what's in them after I've gone through them. I mean, it sounds like the bleeding obvious but it's really surprising what you figure out when you really think about the small things. Like, just as an aside - it took me ten years or something to figure out that CC's, the packets of corn chips you can buy in Australia, were named CC's because it stands for fucking "Corn Chips".

But, better late than never.

So, to my genuine, unadulterated delight, one of my favourite non fiction writers, Rolling Stone contributor Matt Taibbi has not one but two pieces out at the moment. One is an omnivorous demolition job on New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in the New York Press which is classic Taibbi acidic conversational language assault. I haven’t followed Thomas Friedman in a while so this utter distain for him is unfamiliar to me but it’s still worth a read if for no other reason than the graph he constructs that charts the correlation between the size of Valerie Bertinelli’s ass between 1985 and 2008 and Happiness.

The other is a fictionalized interview with George W Bush in Rolling Stone, written entirely by Taibbi where, apart from making Bush apologise, he delivers a stunning, laser sharp summation of the Bush administration in one hard paragraph.

If you go to Rolling Stone online they won’t give you the final paragraph so I’m going to graciously type it out right now:

Matt Taibbi: I think there are a lot of people who feel that way.
President Bush: Really, what do they want to say?
Do you really want to know?
Ok, here it is. You’re the child of two emotionally absent aristocrats who denied you any kind of love and affection from an early age. You grew up resentful and lacking completely in natural gifts or curiosity and by early adulthood found yourself desperate to fulfill the expectations your parents by then mostly only had for you much more competent brother, Jeb. You failed every test you ever faced as a young man and were unable to hold any job at all until the age of 45 or so, at which time you decided to try to win some self respect by going into the family business. You were aided in this quest by a bunch of narrow-minded lackeys and holdovers from your father’s administration who every step fo the way manipulated your obvious Oedipal resentments to their advantage, enriching themselves and their friends. All you wanted was a pat on the back and a few accomplishments of your own to hang your hat on, but instead you’re about to spend the rest of eternity pondering your now official legacy as the worst and most pigheaded leader in the history of Western Democracy, a man who almost singe-handedly sank the mightiest nation on Earth by turning the presidency into a 50 trillion dollar therapy session that ended in two disastrous wars, a financial crisis that threatens the entire system of international capitalism, and a legacy of corruption on a scale not seen since the Borgias or maybe Nero.
That, Mr. President is what they’re thinking and not saying to you.

Jeez, I thought you were a music magazine.

[source] [source]

Monday, January 12, 2009

One of the best moments in the Golden Globes last night was Sacha Baron Cohen’s routine about the recession.

“Victoria Beckham hasn't eaten for days, he cracked, and Charlie Sheen has been forced to have sex without paying for it.
But he drew boos when he ripped on Madonna.
"Madonna has had to get rid of one of her personal assistants," Cohen said. "Our heart goes out to you, Guy Ritchie."

Was Madonna even there? Salma Hayek looked appalled which was appalling in itself. What the hell are they afraid of, exactly? I mean, apart from the physical threat of Madonna. If Madonna’s career has proven anything to us it’s that on the whole she isn’t an actor. At an awards ceremony for actors it would seem odd that people would be scared of offending her. Plus, when you consider that Baron Cohen was a favourite of Madonna’s for a while, maybe it was a personal joke between them. You know, like “hey, go out there and humiliate me and my husband…it’ll be great!”.

I do think that perhaps Baron Cohen was potentially in the same league as Rupert Everett when it comes to Madonna ie. One minute she loves him the next minute she hates him and he’s on the outer so maybe this was his way of getting back at her. In which case he should be commended because she can see through steel and breathes fire. Uncontrollably.

Suffice to say, amid the idealism and hope these awards ceremonies always bank themselves on fostering, it was good to see a little bit of acid to cut through the marshmallow. [source]

As much as I did like The Wrestler, I totally love Darren Aronovski and I think it is always good to see someone transcend some level of self destruction like Mickey Rourke did through playing The Ram and then winning Best Actor at the Golden Globes; the relentless cheering at the announcement of his triumph reeked of self congratulations to me in much the same way that Jennifer Hudson winning the Academy Awards did.

It really seems like things like this are set up in no small part to propagate the myth that Hollywood is the land or organically fostered dreams and that it is not entirely about politics and insanity. Everything worked for Rourke, marketing-wise for this film and he won.

It was sort of similar when Russell Crowe won Best Actor at the Academy Awards and he went out with his private school haircut, suit and father’s medals on and opened up with the line “G’Day Folks” just to hammer it home that he is the physical embodiment of thick masculine ruggedness. I mean, he’s from New Zealand the land of sheep farming, for Christ’s sake. It all felt like an entertaining routine for the relentlessly bored Hollywood Exec.

There was a sincerity in what Mickey Rourke said as he accepted his award (the part about his dogs particularly) but he’s looking awfully well styled now that he’s the personification of transcendence and hope. Perhaps he could have dinner with the Obamas and blind us all forever more. [source]

Friday, January 09, 2009

The former vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, who shall remain nameless because printing her name only encourages her to keep talking and issuing statements to the press which are crapulently addictive in the same way gummi bears are even though you know that they have no nutritional value and about twenty minutes after you gorge yourself on them the darkness creeps in like the Angel of Death and you just wish your income tax would calculate itself, is in fact issuing statements about how the media’s treatment of Caroline Kennedy as a woman in the public eye will help to clarify whether she herself was exploited by the media elite.
Because it’s totally all STILL about you, isn’t it dear?
The interesting thing about said former vice presidential candidate is that apart from her red neck appeal, the main angle she had was that she is a woman and so it really comes as no surprise that in order to keep fostering public interest in her, she has to keep reminding the public that she is a woman. Second to that, the point is that sure she didn’t actually succeed in taking office in the White House but that is in no way really her fault. That is the fault of all the elite leftists in the media.
The Huffington Post writes:
Palin also complained about reports suggesting that Trig Palin was not her son and said she was "frustrated" by rampant rumors about her and her family. However, mainstream media stayed away from such rumors, which were fueled by bloggers and others online and the supermarket tabloids.

"I wasn't believed that Trig was really my son," she said. She called it a "sad state of affairs."

It is a sad state of affairs but I really think that any frustration she felt or still feels was as a result of not profiting more from whatever press she got and still receives. Poor dear is stuck up there in Alaska with a teenaged mother for a daughter and a good natured oaf for a husband. She’ll never win the pageant from up there. [source]

The Daily Mail in the UK is reporting that the skeleton of another strange, mysterious and incredible beast has been found on the beach in Devon reigniting interest in the dreaded and feared Beast of Exmoor that was apparently responsible for the mauling of 100 sheep. Unlike the blood curdling, fear marinated story of that weird, dry, sunburned cat like thing that washed up along the shore of Long Island a while ago, this thing is huge and is probably just a large cat like a panther, according to experts.

The actual Police had a hand in investigating the find and PC Tucker added: 'It's a good 5ft and it has black fur. It certainly looks quite beast-like with those teeth.'

I tell you, a quality beast sighting is always a good thing. It’s almost better than a celebrity sighting because beasts are so much less predictable. On a fundamental level, it’s hard to justify using the words maul, beast, and mysterious all in the same sentence when you’re talking about celebrities unless you’re talking about their publicists so I always welcome a beast sighting. Especially if one involves official confirmation that giant cats live in Britain. What an absurd notion and yet, it’s true!

Plus, there really are semi regular beast sightings too. All over the world. The places where the beasts are more likely to be real, however, always tend to be places with access to areas of higher cultural density.

There’s a mysterious monster in Africa that apparently goes around raping men at night and I’m almost certain there’s no real cause for alarm there except from whoever came up with that story. I'd be surprised if the originator of that myth isn’t an hysterical Catholic, Muslim or member of some other sex phobic religion. Reports of that African rape beast only usually surface around election time anyway.

So, in short, Hooray for Beasts! [source]

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For some reason I’m having technical difficulties uploading pictures. I’m having problems with Windows Vista in general actually. It’s a complete pain the ass what with its constant need to shut off all sound every now and then and require System Restores to be performed semi regularly.

SO – apologies for the lack of illustrations.

One thing I can say is that last night I went to a book reading for one of my favourite non fiction authors, Benoit Benizet Lewis because he has a new book out called America Anonymous: 8 Addicts in Search of a Life. I haven’t read the book yet but when it arrives in the mail I totally will. I spoke with him a bit which was all very pleasant and the book is bound to be great but here’s the thing; they had a really swank buffet.

Exceptional chicken wings marinated with some kind of asian glaze, rare roast beef displayed in a kind of makeshift rose shape which I found oddly vaginal, turkey or pork – I can’t tell which because they’re both white meat and when they’re cut into semi circles you just can’t tell unless you try them and when I did I wasn’t paying attention, prawns on sticks with a variety of dipping sauces, two aioli type dips which after a while looked slightly oxidised on the top so I just avoided those. There were also salads and a delightful baguette too. There was no alcohol at that party because it was hosted by a rehab organisation and so I drank Coke and it made me thirstier than I've ever been. Isn’t the point of a drink that it is meant to quench your thirst? Coke does not care about that point apparently. I was sort of appalled. Kirsten Johnson was there and said that her new movie that comes out today is dreadful.

Also, here’s a link to an article in the London Times arguing that Tin Tin was gay. Why not? [source]

The Washington Post reports that the guest scheduled to stay at Blair House, the official guest quarters for White House visitors, during the period the Obamas had requested to stay there– a party that the White House refused to identify when the request had originally been submitted turns out to be none other than former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. BOOOO. Cue: kazoo centric introduction music as the huge curtain draws back to reveal the short and generally unimpressive John Howard. John Howard was the reason the Obamas couldn’t move into Blair House a couple of days early.

At this point, all stories about the Obamas as people are really anchored in the idea that they are the physical embodiment of hope and inspiration for America. It’s often inane but that’s the way it is. How fitting then, that on one, admittedly minor situation where the Obamas were denied being able to break with tradition and take up residence slightly early, a moment where their wave of light filled progress was sort of held up – the person at the center of it was the consistently disappointing and little John Howard.

What was he REALLY doing there anyway? The Washington Post says he's a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor but is that really the reason he's here? He’s not Prime Minister anymore so he was probably just on a quick tour to the US so he could cash in on the perks of being part of the Coalition of the Willing before Bush is officially out of office. Perhaps the breakfast rolls at Blair House are second to none and Howard wants to stock up before he’s completely irrelevant on the world stage. Quick, stuff them in your INSIDE pocket John. Why not ask the staff to send you a case? You can probably keep them in your freezer at home. [source]

The Huffington Post reports that Sarah Palin’s Grandson’s father, Levi Johnston (whose mother was incarcerated on around about the same day his son was born) has quit the job he had lined up as an electrician’s apprentice for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation after coming under fire from a newspaper columnist who reported that you actually need a High School GED before you can take that job. Apparently, Johnston hasn’t finished high school yet.

Let’s just recap the basic facts about Levi Johnston. He is a self described redneck who doesn’t want kids and who should be at high school but has dropped out and now has a son with his girlfriend to whom it appears he will not be marrying any time soon despite the fact that it was officially announced the entire world during the election campaign that this would be the case because if he didn’t he would be a human strike against his sort of mother in law’s political platform. Plus, his mother is in jail for drug related charges. What a crippling loss for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation.

Is there anyone more fucked than Levi Johnston right now? Sarah Palin rushed to his defense but what exactly could that really do anymore besides aggravate?

Still, he could always make money working for Sean Cody or Randy Blue. Sure it’s gay porn and he’s straight but doing gay porn for publication on the internet would probably require no more or less squinting and pretending that he’s psychologically somewhere else than his life does now on an hour by hour basis. Talk about political prisoners… [source]

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Washington Post reports that Barack Obama wants the always alluring Dr Sanjay Gupta to be the Surgeon General of the United States. Gupta is a neurosurgeon so he’s not just one of those evil doctors who appear on TV but don’t really know what they’re talking about. Dr. Phil, I’m looking at you.

Here’s the thing about this. I remember when the pope died and Dan Savage wrote about Cardinal Ratzinger who then went on to become Pope Benedict. He wrote:

But before I open the girl-power spigot, I wanna get two things off my chest: First, Ratzinger? Ratzinger! Jesus Fucking Christ. Ratzinger.

And the inference there is that Savage totally knew everything about how lame Ratzinger was and that I mean, Jesus, we could have done better than that! As though the current posse of potential popes contained someone better that any normal and informed person would have known about. Oh totally, Savage. You totally knew. You know everything.

I’m not going to pretend that I know a whole lot about who is potentially up for the role and I don’t watch Nip Tuck or Grey’s Anatomy so I can’t make a sassy and predictable comment about how Julian McMahon or Patrick Dempsey could be worthwhile candidates (although Patrick Dempsey’s character is also a neurosurgeon so …you know…) even though they’re not actual people.

What I will say is that if Sanjay Gupta is made Surgeon General then the Obama administration will be far more sexually marketable than the Bush Administration. I mean, Stephen Galson is certainly no Yasser Arafat in the looks department but I mean, Sanjay Gupta has a sparkling, professionally whitened smile and doesn’t look at day over 33. Put that next to a shirtless, gym fit President Obama with his presidential pecs glistening in the sun and you have yourself some high impact porn…sort of.

Obama’s administration is going to turn out to be many many things and sexy is definitely one of them. Isn't that reassuring? [source]

Here’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s talking about her shitting experiences on her blog. She’s talking mainly about detoxing and the menu she goes with when she wants to detox but part of detoxing is shitting out toxins. That’s right, Gwyneth Paltrow expels human waste from her body by shitting! Ok, so she doesn’t actually use the word “shit” (at least in public!) but it is probably ok to admit that the idea of her doing so is like some kind of thematic juxtaposition and that’s interesting to me.

Gwyneth Paltrow, a living zeitgeist whose entire being is at once focused on being in cleansed harmony with the universe while she stays thin enough to be a leading female movie star product who is married to an ego maniac musician, likes to detox and she doesn’t mind talking about her bowel movements. What an amazing world we live in.

“If your bowel movements get sluggish," she says. "You can accelerate things by drinking half a cup of castor oil or using a mild herbal laxative. Bowel elimination is paramount for correct detoxification.”

What a trooper. Why, she’s just like us!

It’s important for me to admit that I would totally follow that diet because it actually seems like nice food and I figure that Gwyneth probably spends a shitload on herself when it comes to health specialists. This way, I get to benefit from her costly, movie star medical advice.

However, ultimately, I’m torn between totally buying into the hype and shit-centric information she gives and the natural tendency to simply find fault with her because she is a movie star and therefore probably not actually a real person at the end of the day. Well, I mean, she’s probably a whole lot of nerves and body image anxiety and need. That’s about it though. God, it’s complex being alive. [source]

Monday, January 05, 2009

Is Tom Cruise insane or if he actually the smartest man in the entire universe equal in some ways to God? I like to think about that kind of thing a lot and I also enjoy letting it override every thought I have so I’m glad the Post has run a piece about how Robert Pritikin, the man who wrote the Rice-a-Roni jingle is suing someone because a replica of one of Hitler’s globes was featured in “Valkyrie” without copyright payments being made. Robert Pritikin bought the globe and several other Nazi artifacts and copyrighted their likeness so no Nazi group could use them to promote Nazi causes. Ok, wow – all of that really did happen.
Pritikin wants to sell all his Nazi art so he’s using this completely random event to mention that too at the end of the news piece by suggesting that Tom Cruise buy it all and donate it to a museum.
Apart from the fact that this reeks of a media savvy Pritikin using this angle to get some press so he can sell his artifacts, I wonder if this is all part of a world dominating plot by Tom Cruise to repair his freakish image and to promote the film.
After all, the film is the third highest grossing film at the moment and that’s after a series of apparent set backs during its production not the least of which were based on Tom Cruise’s personality being “unpleasant”. All that bad press kept us thinking about a film that really had no reason to be any worse than anything else when you consider the cast and production values. Here were are again wondering about conflict that is connected to Tom Cruise and it really only serves to make Tom Cruise look like a hero and to let Robert Pritikin sell his Nazi art for top dollar. It’s win win for everyone.
Right, everything is a plot. I’m not paranoid – everyone is in on everything around me. [source]

I am so glad I went and back read some of New York Magazine’s Vulture blog today because had I not I would have missed Chris Martin’s interview that made me feel just great about being alive. There’s nothing I enjoy more than that feeling.

When talking about his work, the Coldplay front man and male counterpart in boredom inducing uber celebrity douchebagness to Gwyneth Paltrow was quoted as saying:

We feel bands need to fill their first 10 years, so we have lots to do before December 31, 2009.
“I know it’s stupid, but that’s kind of our deadline. We have to do something good by then.

“We’ve done some pretty good stuff, but there’s something about the year changing to 2010. I’ll also be 33 that year, and I always feel that marks a different phase of songwriting. So I just try to keep as busy as possible till then.

“Most of my heroes did most of their great stuff before they were 33. It’s not that you can’t do great stuff afterwards. You just have to have deadlines, otherwise you’ll spend all day in the sauna.”

Even though when he says "We" he’s clearly talking about he and the other band mates, the way he uses the word “We” makes him sound like he’s in a cult and his inadvertent “We have to do something good by then” is simply too easy to attack.

Aside from that, just to calm myself down and place the razor blade back in the safety drawer, I did reassure myself that I am in fact a year younger than Chris Martin so I totally have another whole year to scramble my way up to his level. That being said, the quote reads like something out of a sit com script that sends someone directly into a mid-(ish)life crisis after which they spend half an hour freaking out and being weird only to discover that actually wherever they go there they are. Oh, how wonderful…I’m nauseated. Kick ass, Chris Martin – you’re so tolerable!

Still, there’s something great – and I genuinely never thought I’d say this - about a major celebrity rock star who is always drunk on ego gratification talking about the world that is almost better than a can of frosting at midnight while watching a marathon run of Iron Chef. [source]