videos that go viral usually appeal to the cultural sensibilities of racist 6th graders*

Kill it with fire!

Kill it with fire!

Why is everyone acting as if Susan Boyle is some kind of grotesque gargoyle? Like, if she couldn’t sing, we’d all be justified in trying to light her on fire if she dared to show her hideously unbecoming form in public. She looks totally normal to me.

People, if someone who looks like Susan Boyle would make you stop, point, and shriek at her on the street, à la Invasion of the Body Snatchers, you need to turn off your teevee/computer, put down Us Weekly, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that 99% of humanity doesn’t actually look like Zac Efron and Megan Fox (ie. vapid and whorey). Chances are very big that you don’t, either.

Most people didn’t hit some kind of genetic lottery; then go on to employ a small army of physical trainers, dieticians, make-up artists, and hair stylists. Most people don’t work out 8 hours a day and barely survive on a diet of macrobiotic dust. Most people don’t have regular access to million-dollar designer clothing and diamonds the size of a racoon’s brain. Most people aren’t airbrushed and photoshopped into something resembling a plastic blow-up sex doll every time their photgraph is taken. Because for most people, looking flawless is not in their job description, and unless they’re clinically narcissistic, they can’t be arsed to do any of that.

I don’t understand why it isn’t enough to go “Holy shit, this regular woman no one’s ever heard of can fucking sing like an angel!”, instead of having to imply that she’s a disgusting troll, and good thing she can sing or we’d have to tie to her an anvil and chuck her off a bridge!

*Title shamelessly swiped from Productivity Decreaser.

say goodbye to hollywood: actors continue trend of IRL flouncing

Fuckin' amateurs. THIS is how you do it.

Fuckin' amateurs. THIS is how you do it.

Joaquin Phoenix’s crazy-ass retirement from acting to be a rapper/possible Andy Kaufman-esque practical joke seems to have started an exodus of sorts. However, most of the current crop of retirees have loftier career goals than “look like a Section 8 hobo and flummox David Letterman while occasionally ‘rapping'”. Just as well. Trying to out-insane the Joaquin would probably involve taking enough mescaline to kill an elephant. It shouldn’t even be attempted.

Kal Penn is going to work for the Obama administration! We’re not sure what Viggo Mortenson‘s plans are, but isn’t he also some kind of artist? He’s probably going to devote his time to sculpting hobbits. Or I dunno, working on a dude ranch or something, I hear he also likes horses. Nicole Kidman was threatening to quit acting after everyone made fun of her last stupid movie, but was all LOL J/K! after she realized no one cared.

Sadly, the one impending retirement I was actually looking forward to, Robert Pattinson‘s, turned out to be an April Fool’s Day hoax. Curses! Not that I have anything against him — there are worse actors doing well (coughKeanuReevescough), and his alarm and trepidation over the antics of rabid Twatlighters continues to amuse. But I was looking forward to seeing said Twatlighters’ heads literally explode.

the sound of a thousand training bras snapping: tween violence over twilight just made me buy online tix

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If you were worried that the frenzied fanjinks of crazed Twilight fans (known as Twatlighters to the discerning few) were going to die off after they all returned their copies of Breaking Dawn, fear not! The first movie in the series is coming out in a few weeks, and it’s causing unprecedented levels of tween insanity.

It reached a crescendo this week during the San Francisco stop of the press junket, when about 3,000 girls overwhelmed a Hot Topic (God, where else?) signing that had expected, max, 500 people. One girl got her nose broken, another fainted, and the police did everything but turn the firehoses on them.

Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, the ridiculously perfect vampire hero of the series, also played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and is therefore no stranger to fandoms that can get, for lack of a ruder descriptive, “intense”. And even he seems a little taken aback by the reactions:

“I don’t do anything but go to screaming sessions anymore,” Pattinson said. “I don’t know what my actual life is now.”

Or, as a commenter on ONTD wryly put it: “Harry Potter had cute kids going up to drunks and shouting ‘Expelliarmus!’. Twilight has broken noses.”

Pattinson’s also described the collective screaming of fangirls as something you’d expect to hear “at the gates of hell”, said reading the books made him uncomfortable because it was like reading Stephanie Meyer’s sexual fantasies, and has had to deal with such madness as 7-year-old girls asking him to bite her. Christ on a pogo stick, no wonder he looks baked all the time. This shit has got to rattle the nerves.

I’ll admit it, the weirdness of Twilight mania combined with RPattz’s obvious scorn for the role is kind of making me want to fill a flask with limoncello and vodka and go see it opening weekend. Who will brave the squealing hordes with me?!

the only thing billy mays makes me want to buy are earplugs

If you’ve ever had insomnia, you know who Billy Mays is. He’s the super-enthused shill for a variety of as-seen-on-TV products — including, hilariously, something called The Big City Slider Station, which cooks tiny burgers on both sides at once “without all the squishin’ and squashin’ or flippin’ and floppin!!”

His slicked-back hair, black beard and manic grin are so ubiquitous, I half-expected him to pop up at the start of last night’s Obama informercial and bellow “BILLY MAYS HERE!” in the perpetually turned-up-to-ll voice that starts all his pitches, as if he were known for being anything other than a pitchman.

He’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that he even gets on his own nerves. From the NYT Mag:

There he is hawking Mighty Putty (”THE EASY WAY TO FIX, FILL AND SEAL VIRTUALLY ANYTHING FAST AND MAKE IT LAST!”), the Handy Switch (”BECAUSE IT’S WIRELESS, YOU CAN PUT A LIGHT SWITCH WHERE YOU NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE!”), Simoniz Fix It scratch remover (”THE SCRATCH HAS MET ITS MATCH!”) and a mini-burger cooker called the Big City Slider Station (”THE UNIQUE DESIGN COOKS ALL SIDES AT ONCE, SO YOU NEVER HAVE TO FLIP ‘EM!”).

Frankly, that’s a little more Billy Mays than even Billy Mays can handle.

“If I see myself one more time today,” he groans, sounding genuinely weary, “I’m going to pull my hair out.”

But wait! There’s more!!

He recently started hawking health insurance and might be moving into mainstream advertising for companies like Pepsi. And naturally, he’s getting his own reality show, aptly titled Pitchmen. Because that’s how we roll here in in the US of A: taking the most annoying people in the world, whose voices are the aural equivalent of being stabbed repeatedly in the face with a ballpoint pen, and giving them as much airtime as we possibly can.

The only thing I want to see Billy Mays in are blooper reels where he gets hurt:

let us now pay homage to a godfather of snark

Oh noes, now who will mock Cher?!

Oh noes, now who will mock Cher?!

Failed actor and fashion designer turned catty bitch Richard Blackwell died in Los Angeles earlier this week. He started his annual Worst-Dressed List in 1960, long before Perez Hilton was doodling coke mustaches on Christopher Robin in his Winnie-the-Pooh coloring books.

As much as I owe a debt to the likes of Mr. Blackwell, there is something kind of sad about making snark your life’s accomplishment. It’s not as if droll putdowns of what Zsa Zsa Gabor wore to the 1987 Screen Actor’s Guild Awards really contribute to the forward momentum of the human race.

Luckily for me, I have little pride and less ambition, so if the only accomplishment carved on my (metaphorical, since I intend to be cremated) headstone is “She talked a lot of shit about Sarah Palin”, I’m okay with that.

stitching, limoncello, and the passing of an icon

I took a break from stitching for a few weeks, but I got to missing it this weekend. Even though it was hot again, feh. I hope it was summer’s last hurrah. As usual, she’s overstayed her welcome. It’s gonna be October in a few days, autumn nau plz.

So my latest obsession is limoncello. I’ve just been drinking it straight over ice, a little bit after dinner. Which is when you’re supposed to drink it, it’s a digestif. (As opposed to an apéritif, which you drink before you eat.)

But I have this huge bottle of Skyy vodka in my freezer at the moment, which I bought because it was on sale for ridiculously cheap, then promptly forgot about. And like I said, it was hot, so I got to thinking a cold, lemony cocktail would be just the thing. Here’s what I came up with:

Lemon Meringue Fizz
In a lowball glass (about 8 oz.) put 5 or 6 ice cubes. Pour in 1 shot of vodka and 2 of limoncello. Top up with soda water. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel if you’re feelin’ fancy-like.

Limoncello is almost as strong as vodka, so go easy. Remember that old saying about martinis: They’re like a woman’s breast. One isn’t enough and three is too many.

Unfortunately, I spent Sunday afternoon crying into my lemon meringue fizzes over Paul Newman. That is just unbelievably sucky. I threw on Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid and The Sting back-to-back. Newman + Redford = OTP. Like, seriously. I think Redford even said Butch Cassidy was “a romance without any women”. (I wonder what Katherine Ross had to say about that.)

clay aiken comes out: normal people shrug; claymates threaten mass suicide

He's gay!

He's gay!

Clay Aiken has officially come out, and on the cover of People magazine no less. Now even your dental hygienist will know! Perhaps he was inspired by La Lohan?

Now, for most people with fully-functioning sensory perception and brains, this is not a shock. But there is a small but dedicated group of his fans, consisting mostly of post-menopausal women who own multiple small yappy dogs and collect Hummel figurines, who non-ironically refer to themselves as “Claymates”.

And for these deluded fans, nothing less than Aiken parading down the street in assless chaps and proclaiming “I’m gay!” à la Scott Thompson in The Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, could convince them of Aiken’s non-heterosexuality.

Perhaps predictably, given their shaky grasp of reality, they are dealing with the news in a less-than-rational manner. A choice selection of comments, with meanie-meanie-fo-feenie commentary from yours truly!

It just seems at every pincle of his career there was some sort of something from the slimebucket PH to TRY …..I repeat TRY to bring him down . THIS very well could be the same thing . Have we heard from Clay if this is true ?? IMO why don’t we adopt the attitude of wait and see from Clay’s very own gorgeous mouth himself IF and when he is ready to reveal whatever he wants to reveal.

I guess the assless chaps are literally going to be required, if Aiken appearing on the cover of a national magazine with the banner “Yes, I’m Gay” isn’t enough to convince her.

i realize people are gay… but what i dont realize is some southern gentlemen getting paid over 1.3 million dollars to come out AND introduce his son…. its not fair to the fans. he really let me down. i feel like an idiot because everyone else knew but me. and i was supposedly the biggest fan. i don’t hate clay now. but i will no longer support him… i will no longer fly across the country to see him on the east coast because he isnt doing a west coast tour… no more midnight parties…. no more camping out at every tv show taping to catch a glimpse… he lied. and he came out to people magazine before he had the respect to do it privately…

I’m taking my toys and going home, because he didn’t personally call every single one his fans and come out to them before he did it to a magazine!

Unfortunatly, The problem this board will have with it members, is not whether Clay is gay or not but whether we accept this social behavior. I, personaly do not, and am very disapointed that, if it is true that Clay is gay, that he would bring an innocent child into this world under those pretenses. This is not biblical. Homosexuality is not bibilical. And we must all remember that Clay has professed his devotion to Jesus Christ and the bible. He has!!! So, if this story is true, he defineatly is wandering far from what our creater has in store for him. Does that make me hate him?? Absolutly not! I still love him, but he has lost his way and I can only hope he find his way back. But I can not support him and his behavior, I just can’t.

Oh look, I didn’t know the Phelps wimmin were Claymates!

vampires are the new zombies: gen x carmudgeon struggles to understand the kids today

HBO’s new series about vampires, True Blood, was picked up for a second season just ten days after its premiere. So along with the runaway success of the Twilight series (the first movie is scheduled to be released this winter, and Stephanie Meyer is reputed to be re-writing the series from Edward Cullen’s POV, something I doubt the literary world was crying out for), I guess the spoke labeled “Bloodsuckers” in the wheel of pop culture trends has once again rolled up on top.

Every time a literary trope comes around again, the present generation tries to put its own unique spin on it. In the ’80s it was “Vampires are sexy, and sometimes aren’t entirely bad people! (Also, they’re often gay, and pithy thanks to Anne Rice.)” True Blood probably thinks they’re breaking new ground with this “Hillbilly Vampires” thing, except I already saw that movie in 1987; it was called Near Dark and starred Bishop and Nathan Petrelli. (Do yourself a favor and click that first link to see one of the greatest things ever, namely: Bishop doing “that thing with the knife” in a French dub. For some reason I couldn’t find it in English.) It also had a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream, something that could only happen in the ’80s.

Look, I understood the Harry Potter thing, obviously. Who wouldn’t want to feel like the fate of the world rests on their shoulders, and fantasize about killing people (or at least having a horde of canaries attack them) with the wave of a wand? But if the price of vampiric immortality means I have to spend eternity attending high school like Edward Cullen, or hanging out with homicidal bloodthirsty rednecks, count me out.

(Incidentally, have you noticed werewolves have become sort of passé? Nowadays it seems like they get thrown in as a lagniappe in stuff about vampires — Underworld, Twilight — but seem to be thought of as too boring to carry a story on their own.)

quick capsule review: “party monster”

I saw this on IFC last night. Three things:

  1. When he was a child actor, I frequently wanted to reach through the screen and smack Macaulay Culkin. This has not changed now that he’s an adult.
  2. Seeing as how he was at the bottom of a k-hole for pretty much the entire time that these events took place, I’m highly skeptical that James St. James can remember anything that actually happened. Especially since most of what he seems to remember is how devastatingly clever! he always was.
  3. So, was Michael Alig arrested and prosecuted on the basis of what St. James hallucinated a giant talking rat told him he witnessed? The movie was a little unclear on that point.

A much more lucid (and believable) narrative of the rise and fall of the Club Kids and the murder of Angel Melendez than Disco Bloodbath/Party Monster is Frank Owens’ Clubland.

p.s. Did you know that Dr. Cuddy used to be a Club Kid?!

your parents pornography gets updated for the new millenium

The skeevy-looking hippy couple from the original version

The skeevy-looking hippy couple from the original version

The Joy of Sex has been given a much-needed overhaul from its original 1972 text. The new sections (only about 9% of the overall text) were written by a woman (psychologist Susan Quilliam), and contains more about sexual pleasure from a woman’s point of view — the original only contained 4 sentences about the clitoris.

Stuart Jeffries laments in The Guardian article that it’s still only directed at heterosexual couples; but it would have to be an awfully big book, with a lot of different contributors, if it contained a comparable amount of advice for all flavors of sexuality. Surely there’s already gay and lesbian versions? If not, someone should get on that.

Gone from the updated version:

  • Sex on motorcycles. Ah, the halcyon personal injury lawsuit-free days of the 1970s.
  • Sex on horseback. Ah, the hygeine-free days of the same decade.
  • Sex with hookers. Ah, the AIDS-free days and the total unconcern with horrible exploitation.

Included in the new version:

  • Cybersex.
  • Hormones, sex shops, striptease, sex during pregnancy.
  • A section on penis injuries caused by vacuum cleaners.

Wait, what??

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