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.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The New York Times reports that the Catholic Church is still selling indulgences in New York City. Isn’t that great? Along with a mysterious beast story, there’s nothing I like more than a good story about how fucking ludicrous the Catholic Church can be. Well, any religion really, I mean they’re all about as insane and arbitrary when it comes to the specific rituals and political positions they take and it all resembles big business but the Catholics tend to put on a good show.

The last time I remember the Catholic Church coming out with a perfectly absurd proclamation was when they decided to abolish the notion of Limbo, the place where unbaptized stillborn children. It hadn’t really been used that much of late so they just abolished it. Actually, World Youth Day in Sydney while I was there last year was a pretty astonishing experience. They carted a dead body around the world to show it off and banned the presence of condoms from within a certain radius of the Pope. What does that imply? That he barebacks? Also, World Youth Day was actually several days long. So, the entire tissue of confusion begins with the freaking name. It wasn't actually one DAY. Gosh, the lies...

Here we have churches selling absolution from wrongdoing.
The Times reports:

According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.

Another great quote in the Times piece is:

“Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.”

Ah, yes – and because it will also pay for whatever personal indulgences the clergy are into. Finally, they can say yes to that Italian marble for the spa in the vestry.

I think sometimes when it becomes possible to write about something as ludicrous as this I get so overwhelmed I basically just shut down and can’t be bothered. It becomes like a dam with a hole in it and that’s a real commitment to make. [source]

Here's my take on the Grammy's last night because the Huffington Post is reporting that the Jonas Brothers had some dubious fashion choices throughout the night of the Grammys and I really don’t think that was the case. I mean, maybe it was but the whole show was sort of inane and the Jonas Brothers fashion sense was hardly worth its own post.

For one thing, Hipster Jonas, the one with the floppy hair and v-neck, was really just a pork pie hat away from wearing the quintessential hipster outfit; pointed black shoes, skin tight black jeans, a v-neck t shirt and a black vest. I mean, all that was about was cornering one aesthetic angle of the youth market which he did fine.

Technically, I skimmed through the entire Grammy’s last night about half an hour after it started so I didn’t have to sit through the country music portion and Whitney Houston was clearly keeping it all together with some original strength cellotape. Most of what she said was fine but only in the way that most of what Sharon Stone says is essentially fine. Ok, what else…the tooth grindingly awful presentation by Dwayne Johnson was like eating glass and I was literally asking him out loud to leave the screen.

Hipster Jonas may well have figured out how to look like a hipster stereotype but the three brothers were hamming it up SO much while playing with Stevie Wonder I just didn’t buy even a second of their enthusiasm. The insanely pregnant MIA, who was, according to Kate Beckinsale, supposed to give birth that very day still managed to climb onto the stage and churn out a performance – no doubt because you really do have to take every single chance you get when it comes to show business even if that chance is a superfluous number featuring four gargantuan male rapper egos that drowned her out even though she maintained a team player stance throughout the entire number in her weird lady bug pregnancy outfit. I mean, it would have been outright demeaning if they hadn’t given her the last line. Why do people talk about how fucking great Kanye West is? I have never ever instinctively cared about his work.

Radiohead and the marching band that accompanied them were pretty amazing even if they were introduced by Gwyneth Paltrow wearing what was effectively a glittered belt and nothing else. Chris Martin is annoying even if he is pretty damned attractive and it seemed like Sir Paul MccCartney didn’t quite hit a few notes but whatever I mean, he’s Paul McCartney – something that was repeatedly brought up. Oh, look, it’s Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney, the massively famous star. Some people were ironic about him like Jack Black’s joke about how he’s a bassist to look out for. Fascinating! I suppose it was lucky Paul McCartney was there to be a default focal point for all the phoned in fake humility and selflessness. Also, I mean, maybe it got old because I’d just eaten a bowl of red jello with some whipped cream on it and I was suffering a sugar crash. Either that or the pending apocalypse.
What else? I walked off about five minutes to the end. [source]

Thursday, February 05, 2009

For some reason people are really responding to the Christian Bale rant through song and as such, here’s a youtube video of The Mae Shi’s take on it. Its borderline clever white male art a la South Park which is rarely funny on a genuine gut level but because it’s dancey and rockerish it’s ok and silly.

The bigger question here is, why are people responding in song? I suppose it’s only fair. I mean, when Fraulein Maria was running through the hills of Austria she responded by singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” So, as far as first reactions go "song" has to be considered viable. I’m going to call this the Fraulein Maria Effect.

Also, to be fair, there have been two main responses I’ve gauged; and keep in mind I am really only barely paying attention at this point because I’m on two deadlines. The two main responses are either song based or they’re from women and gay men who say “Yeah, he has rage issues but I’d still hit it.”

Cool. So, we’re either dancing our way through other people’s rage or deciding that it’s fine to be aggressively assaulted. This is my kind of town. If only Xenakis were still alive; we could have both at the same time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I’m writing this piece for DNA and am trying to adhere to a deadline for a class I’m taking that is on tomorrow night and so I haven’t got a whole lot of time to blog today but last nevertheless, night I went to see Justin Bond perform his final night at Le Poisson Rouge and he was astounding. I had forgotten how good he really is. Rufus Wainwright and Jake Shears were there but they didn’t do anything except watch.

Justin performed a couple of Bambi Lake songs including this one:

I was in the front and directly in front of him and so with the light behind his head he looked like an illuminated prophet.

Plus, it’s snowing here and snow always slows everything down and this freaking essay I’m writing isn’t coming together. I have to figure out a way to create a moment of tension in a character profile and it’s just not working and I have to be somewhere in less than an hour. This is just like the holocaust but a million times worse.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Here’s a remix of the recorded Christian Bale tirade by DJ RevoLucian that was making the rounds yesterday. That's right, it's Christian Bale rage you can dance to. Finally. I mean, I already dance to American Psycho but this is so much more effective.

I was lying in bed, sort of frozen this morning, in that space between being awake and asleep and even though I had far more pressing things to think about, I couldn’t help but think about Christian Bale being such an angry angry man as a way of avoiding my own problems.

Where did this anger start? Did he pick it up in China when he was playing Jim in Empire of the Sun? That’s the only place I can think of based on what I know of his life and I’m pretty sure I know enough about his life to think and talk about it a lot and to draw some pretty reasonable conclusions. I saw Empire of the Sun 14 times. I remember it was on TV once in 1991 and it was a choice between Empire of the Sun and Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and I wanted to watch the Turtles movie because it was familiar and unchallenging but my parents insisted on Empire of the Sun and in retrospect I thank them for that.

The thing is, Christian Bale is English. When you’re English and you have to be that repressed all the time eventually you explode. Most English people aren’t famous but the ones who are know to live in constant hiding for fear of bursting in public. Christian Bale failed to remember both of those two well-known realities. Now, he may want to think about marketing himself as a human weapon. A killing machine. The perfect killing machine.

Honestly, what else is there?

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Associated Press reports that as China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was attempting to give a speech at Cambridge University, someone threw a shoe at his head. Yawn.
The AP goes on to report:

The protester seated near the back of the auditorium stood up during Wen's speech and shouted: "How can you listen to this unchallenged?" before throwing a shoe that landed some distance from the premier.

And when you tell it like that, it sounds like some kind of Absurdist Theatre – which I find personally, rather exciting.

But nevertheless, Absurdist Theatre elements aside, by my count there are only one or two chances for someone to jump on the shoe throwing bandwagon left before it becomes eye roll worthy and actually would probably boost the public profile of the target of the shoe.

This sort of reminds me of the time Britney Spears was wheeled out of her house on a gurney and Courtney Love immediately jumped in saying that she and Courtney were the only ones who had ever had that happen. The Delta Burke took third place saying she was a depressive hoarder and also, there was that guy who said he was an insomniac. After that, mental illness became passé. You only have so many windows of opportunity to get things done and capitalise.

And the other thing is, someone apparently made a huge sculpture of the shoe thrown at Bush in Iraq which was taken down from being displayed and I would actually say that that counts as half an attempt at capitalizing. Similarly, there was the whole sale of the original shoe for a massive sum which is about half an attempt meaning that at this point there’s only one attempt left.

Sadly, this was tiresome because nothing really happened as a result of the shoe throwing except some emergency English protocol and politeness. The AP report goes on:

“The university is a place for discussion, debate and considered argument, not for shoe throwing," said Tim Holt, a university spokesman.

The protester was taken to a local police station for questioning, police spokeswoman Shelly Spratt said.

Just as an aside, I’m looking for a place for shoe throwing and I’m wondering where I can go. This is very serious. I find myself in need of some appropriate theatrical shoe throwing. [source]

The Huffington Post reports that Michael Phelps has issued a statement of apology for smoking marijuana from a bong at a party recently and it goes like this:

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."

It’s almost as though this is just some scripted routine designed by some PR executives to keep Michael Phelps in the news. I mean, the statement is almost a fill in the blanks paragraph churned out by a computer that specialises in American cultural and moral crises management. He had started to fade out a bit and the narrative arc of something like this is probably going to be helpful for Phelps in the long run anyway. He comes out with a statement where the underlying tone is that he never really did anything bad but that he’s sorry, everyone is upset for three minutes until he apologises and makes some public gesture that illustrates his intolerance of drug abuse and then the American public forgives him.

The American public is sort of like a gang of insecure teenagers in that respect. They love to turn someone into a demagogue and then tears them down almost arbitrarily based on absurd moral outrage and then, after they’ve publically flogged them for a while, the demagogue is allowed to come back but this time with kind of performative humility. It’s like American enjoys being dominated by something until it doesn’t enjoy it and then it changes its mind again. Just like a spoilt child.

Meanwhile, Michael Phelps is standing in the middle of the hurricane having more or less done nothing at all and just has to weather it with the help of some PR consultants who know how this works because it’s always the same.

Strangely enough, Phelps hasn’t been approached by Paris Hilton yet and that’s interesting. I always thought that would happen and then a zeitgeist baby would be born. Or at least a massive explosion of celebrity plasma would spray all over everyone and that would tide us over as the Obama flame dies down. [source]