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Archive for June 2009

Another Reason To Become a Vampire

Filed Under: Science and Medicine

walker-261x450Imagine this: you’re eighty. Why yes, those dentures do look realistic.

So you’re old, and you’re having some trouble walking and, convinced by your daughter that despite The Scooter Store’s very convincing commercials, scooters are not in fact easy to get around in, you snag yourself a walker, or cane. Safe, right?

Wrong! According to an article in the New York Times today, citing a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (who apparently are no longer particularly concerned with things like malaria, or AIDS), about 47,000 “older Americans” are treated in emergency rooms each year from “falls associated with walkers and canes.”

“It’s important to make sure people use these devices safely,” Judy Stevens, an epidemiologist (I’m not even sure what that is) at the CDC told the Times. “It gives them greater independence but, at the same time it can be a hazard if not used properly.” …Why am I reminded of kids’ first water wings? You can set those old people free, but never let them out of your sight.

The study found that 87% of fall injuries involved walkers and 12% involved canes, leading me to believe maybe 1% of old people are just tripping over their own orthopedic shoes.

It’s not like I don’t sympathize with old people — and I’m not saying, given the opportunity, I wouldn’t end up face-first on a sidewalk somewhere with my cane stuck in a street grate. Alls I’m saying is there’s only so much training one can give on “how to use” a fairly self-evident device.

Moreover, I’m tired of hearing about old people falling! You know what CDC, we all fall. I trip probably two or three times a week, sometimes in public, sometimes walking from the couch to the bathroom. It just so happens my bones are less fine than rare china and I know “shuffling” isn’t the most efficient form of transportation. Sorry old people, I’m still more worried about swine flu.

 
kira

5:44 PM on June 30th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Put Down The OxiClean

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Billy Mays with his sole legacy, a legion of unnecessary cleaning products

Billy Mays with his sole legacy, a legion of unnecessary cleaning products

Come on, Fate, give us a break here. First Michael and now this?

At the very least you could have had him commit suicide with a Samurai Shark so the story might begin to approach funny as opposed to just boring, weird, and kind of sad. The man simply looked far too much like a teddy bear to not feel some twinge of heartbreak in the face of his passing.

I may never recover. Seriously… I counted on Billy’s exuberant screaming to wake me up at 4 am when I’ve passed out on the couch. And one thing OxiClean can’t get out is a stiff neck.

At least Hell’s floors will be spotless by the time I get there.

 
aaron

1:05 PM on June 29th, 2009 | 

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Michael Jackson Reenacts Thriller

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Michael Jackson

I don’t know if Elton John will sing a personalized version of “Candle in the Wind” at his Superbowl-sized funeral. I don’t know if this will have any impact on Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen’s box office draw (you know, considering MJ was the original transformer). And I don’t know if your children are finally safe now, but one thing’s for sure… Jon and Kate must be psyched.

 
aaron

7:01 PM on June 25th, 2009 | 

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Authors Laugh All The Way to the Blood Bank

Filed Under: Books

vampire

Before my morning coffee.

Sometimes, when I’m not letting the television’s warm rays actively melt my brain, I read books. No seriously, I do.

In fact, my love of the written word at the very least equals my love of the idiot box, and may even in fact surpass it. So it stands to reason that I’ve devoted no small amount of time to the consideration of what type of book I would write, given the opportunity, motivation and lots of Adderall.

The answer? The money-making kind. And what kind is that? Well since I don’t have the patience to research my way through a Paris-based mystery involving washed-up professors discovering ancient mythological secrets that create worldwide controversy – I’d settle for the next best thing: vampires.

Indeed, a recent analysis conducted by me in my own apartment yields these findings: I have read no less than eighteen books about vampires in the last year. Eighteen. At the current rate, I’m well on my way to achieving a “one vampire book per month” frequency, which I’m pretty sure is the point at which it would be socially acceptable to label me a loser. Read More ›

 
kira

5:04 PM on June 25th, 2009 | 

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You Down With G-O-P?

Filed Under: Politics, The Future Freaks Me Out

ter·ri·fy [ter-uh-fahy]
–verb (used with object), -fied, -fy⋅ing.
to fill with terror or alarm; make greatly afraid.

Synonyms:
What this video does to people with a firm grasp on reality.

Related:
ter·or·ism (auditory), noun

See also:
Things that make me ashamed to be white.

 
aaron

10:54 AM on June 25th, 2009 | 

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Public School 4 Lyfe

Filed Under: TV Reviews

nycprepIn sitting down to watch the premier episode of NYC Prep, I thought to myself that the success of this show will really depend on one thing: how well it manages to fulfill the “real-life Gossip Girl” prophecy. Will it add a spark of awkward melodrama to an otherwise timeless “hate the rich” plot line? Or will it inadvertently highlight the very reason we stoop the level of Gossip Girl to begin with — because it’s sensational,everyone is glamorous, even the nerdy guys are good-looking, and no one has bad skin.

Initially, the former seems to be the case. The characters are the same stereotypes, the drama is the same drama — the first episode features an argument over the worthiness of a certain charity, much like GG’s Blair was lambasted for her peregrine falcons fundraiser. Basically, NYC Prep is Gossip Girl, except everyone’s just six inches shorter and has mediocre hair. PC, who will clearly take the role of leading douchebag, is a dead ringer for GG’s Chuck Bass — in truth, he’d probably do a better job of playing the part than the current actor, who reminds me a lot of Chris Klein, circa American Pie–awkward, annoying and with a questionable hairline. PC clearly thinks himself above not only everyone on the show, but the show itself, in the sense that he less than subtly uses it as a platform for making the kind grandiose statements douchebags make; things like “Everything in New York City is about pulling connections. It’s all about who you know and how much money you have. And It’s really sad, and I’m not saying I’m like that, but that’s what New York is.” Thank you PC, let me know when you get your degree in urban anthropology.

Outside of PC, there are few characters that manage to make it non-awkward to be watching actual high school students go about their daily lives. (Seriously, think about it, it’s creepy). Jessie, long-time friend and ex-girlfriend of PC’s who’s still in denial about what league they’ve both grown into appearance-wise, is the kind of girl who never got the guy in high school, but twenty years later will probably be married to a real estate developer and own two companies. Sixteen-year-old Kelli is one of the easily confusable brunettes, memorable only because she lives alone with her 18-year-old brother while her parents shack up in the Hamptons six days a week. Sebastian is the “player,” except he’s a teenager so watching him hit on girls is like watching a baby learning to walk. Camille is the Type A academic one, who indulges in the dramatics, but never at the expense of her “plan” (Harvard, husband by 40, the works). In normal high school, though, I’m pretty sure she’d be “that girl who really likes horses.” Taylor, another brunette, is the only public school character — a veritable pauper by Prep standards: her mom is exceedingly mom-like, and her first-episode party had fewer than one million guests. She’ll probably be the redeeming one until one of those private school sluts gets her drunk and uploads a YouTube video of her peeing in public. Read More ›

 
kira

10:42 AM on June 24th, 2009 | 

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I Hate Your Life, Too

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Some of us spent enough of their college tenures puffing wacky tobacky and wasting entire afternoons in front of Halo to know what the true addictive substance in that equation is. And when video game addicts hit rock bottom, it’s uglier than an episode of Intervention.

Granted, plenty of people are addicted to other forms of technology, be it schlock like American Idol, Twitter, or playing 30-second-ringtones of rap singles over and over again in a crowded subway car. However, I’ve never once seen somebody have their Facebook account closed and decide that sticking a remote up their ass is an appropriate response.

You may cry “fake” on this one… but it’s a really hard call. This child’s special breed of deranged so gracefully walks the line between melodramatic overcompensation and maladjusted-pizzaface-suffering-from-hysteria that one thing is for certain anyway. He’s clearly spent enough time in World of Warcraft to learn the agility of an elf. To say nothing of the typical Legolas-league homoerotic undertones.

Seriously, he literally emerges from the closet and then decides to take the plunge into DirectTV related sodomy? I’m not sure anyone could write something that perfect, but if so, we’re looking at a future nominee for Best Screenplay.

 
aaron

2:30 PM on June 23rd, 2009 | 

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A Moderate Defense of Jon & Kate

Filed Under: TV Reviews

jk1-450x450It’s unfortunate that this post will come directly after the preceding one, but rest assured – Respect Authority is a long way’s off from becoming a blog about Jon & Kate Plus 8. Primarily because I never intend to watch the show again.

Indeed, out of some bizarre loyalty to the reality television genre, and certainly no small amount of schadenfreude, I ended up watching last night’s much-anticipated episode of J&K, during which the couple announced their equally expected and imminent divorce. Or separation. Or whatever it is when mommy and daddy don’t love each other anymore but of course they love you and none of it is your fault—except the part where you took over their lives and demanded nonstop attention, thereby tearing apart the very fabric of their relationship and making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to continue having a normal existence.

This is the thing about Jon & Kate—which, outside of the occasional clip on The Soup, I haven’t actually seen before: it’s primarily about children, and it’s fairly boring. And these, my friends, are two very good reasons why I plan to never catch another episode, but also spent 20 minutes last night in reality-induced tears.

I started watching with the intention of writing a scathing “review” today—about the show, about what it means for where reality TV is headed, about the dangers and ills of exploiting children to make a quick buck. I also had tentative plans to make fun of Kate’s hair. But after sitting through an entire hour of it, the awkward interviews, the candid footage of the kids playing, the surprisingly raw, yet consistently cryptic, confessions of both Jon and Kate, I’m mostly just sad. My notes, which started with things like “kids ruin lives” and “Jon seems like he’s high on painkillers,” grew into whimsical paragraphs about the strain of marriage, the tragedy of falling out of love, the process of divorce. Read More ›

 
kira

9:26 AM on June 23rd, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Jon & Kate Minus Dignity

Filed Under: TV

jk-450x265

As everyone who cares reported today, Jon and Kate Gosselin, stars of TLC reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8, will announce a major decision on an episode of the show to be aired Monday. Although the d-word is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, RA would like to hazard a few guesses as to what the notoriously open couple might choose to reveal on their reality TV program next. Based on our speculation, here are some potential new titles for the show’s sixth season:

10. Jon & Kate Plus 9

9. Jon & Kate Plus Abortion

8. Jon & Octomom Plus 22

7. Survivor: Gosselin Family

6. Jon & Kate Is Actually A Lesbian

5. Jon & Rampant Alcoholism

4. Jon & Kate Admit They Kidnapped Those Kids

3. Jon & Kate Go To White Castle

2. Jon & Kate Fire Kate’s Hair Stylist

1. Jon & Kate: Special Victims Unit

 
kira

11:08 AM on June 19th, 2009 | 

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Son Of A Beach!

Filed Under: Photography

Chicago’s icy claws have loosened from my neck, allowing for wholesome trips to the beach a few blocks from my apartment, and some unwholesome as well — which obviously include a lot more smuggling of alcohol and much less photography.

Berwyn Beach - Photography by Aaron Hatch

What can I even say here that hasn’t already been said? Water just looks better in America. Sorry exotic beaches of the world, you just can’t compete with the Midwest’s proud collection of gigantic mud puddles. The lakes are called “Great” for a reason, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s not because of their size. It’s because they’re in the U-S-mother-fucking-A. Read More ›

 
aaron

11:48 AM on June 18th, 2009 | 

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Meals: So Overrated

Filed Under: Food and Drink, Pop Culture

cheeseburgers-450x270I imagine I’m fairly late in jumping on the bandwagon that is “hating MeMe Roth,” the publicist and mother of two who was profiled in the New York Times today for starting shit with her kids’ elementary school over their apparently terrorist-level distribution of junk food.

Roth, who the Times carefully avoids labeling an out-and-out crazy, has engaged in an ongoing e-mail battle with administrators at the school, over “junk food served on special occasions: the cupcakes that come out for every birthday, the doughnuts her children were once given in gym, the sugary ‘Fun-Dip’ packets that some parent provided the whole class on Valentine’s Day.” Indeed, rather than simply instruct her health-conscious children to abstain from the frivolous snacking, Roth has the kids pack up whatever non-meal food they’re given in Tupperware and bring it home to her, ostensibly so she can craft her vitriolic e-mails with more detail… and vitriol. Read More ›

 
kira

1:30 PM on June 17th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Yes, I Stole This From Gawker

Filed Under: Politics

Twenty-minute speeches on world peace and universal healthcare notwithstanding, it’s these types of moments that make me happy Obama is president.

 
kira

10:06 AM on June 17th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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