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Archive for August 2009

Shock and Ugh

Filed Under: Food and Drink, New York

drinks

No smoking in restaurants, bars, or pretty much anywhere else: check. No trans fats in baked goods: check. Full disclosure of calorie content of all mass-produced chain food: check.

Means by which to make subway riders physically ill whilst attempting to teach them some semblance of a nutritional lesson: check. Thanks Department of Health.

 
kira

2:33 PM on August 31st, 2009 | 

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In The News: Wolves, New Jersey

Filed Under: Pop Culture

wolvesLots of unexpected shit happened in the news this weekend. Five escaped wolf-hybrid dogs were captured in New Jersey; no explanation as to whether a wolf-hybrid dog is simply like, you know, Balto, or rather the result of some Jersey medical experiment.

Also, police busted two brothels in the Hamptons over the weekend, which means more than a few vacationing real estate brokers are in need of a new “For a good time, call …” number. Don’t worry Lou, I already wrote yours on a select 100 bathroom stalls.

DJ AM was found dead in his apartment on Friday, and for whatever reason the media has continued to speculate on his cause of death. Let me hazard a guess here: drugs. Yes, it was definitely totally drugs. That, or some sort of Final Destination karma for not getting killed in that plane accident last year. Death always wins.

Oh, and the Times wrote about VH1 Celebreality, circa two years too late to be culturally relevant.

And some more on wolves. Shutup, I’m tired.

 
kira

11:56 AM on August 31st, 2009 | 

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Parents Just Don’t Understand

Filed Under: Books

lostchildIt seems that whenever I think, to say nothing of hope, that progress is being made on the marijuana front, that the misconceptions are being remedied and the assumptions being undone, some half-high and way-drunk woman crashes her minivan into an SUV and kills eight people. So much for that.

But if it isn’t the tragic car crashes that get us — after all, plenty of people die from alcohol-related accidents every year, with no repercussions for the substance’s legality — it’s this: the heartfelt and depressing memoirs written by parents of addicts, moms and dads who have watched their sons and daughters fight a battle against any kind of substance, whether it’s pot or heroin or online pornography. So Julie Myerson’s The Lost Child, a story about her son’s battle with marijuana addiction, is sure to set us back at least another decade.

The book comes out next week, and needless to say, I won’t be reading it, so my understanding of its plot points comes almost exclusively from the New York Timesreview, which I found oddly confusing. Myerson’s son smokes “skunk,” a cannabis strain with a THC content of up to 22% in some cases, which makes the immediate point that at least some of the risk with marijuana is the endless potential for more potent varieties, much as beer ostensibly poses a lesser threat to well-being than Bacardi 151. According to the review, which I have to assume is taking information from the book, or WebMD, stronger varieties of weed, like skunk, have been linked to behavioral and cognitive changes reminiscent of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, biopolar disorder, major depression and anxiety disorder — which to me sounds simply like the physical manifestation of addiction. There’s no room for cognitive or rational thought when the mind is consumed with the drug. Read More ›

 
kira

3:25 PM on August 28th, 2009 | 

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Integrity Is Overrated

Filed Under: TV

danceassThis is a list I found written haphazardly into a “Memo” on my Blackberry. Chances I was high when I wrote it? A million percent.

THINGS REALITY TELEVISION HAS TAUGHT ME WILL NEVER HAPPEN:

  1. Diddy will make a successful band.
  2. Bret Michaels will find love.
  3. Tila Tequila will decide between boys and girls.
  4. The Real World will find something socially unacceptable enough to cause 1990’s-level drama in the 21st century.
  5. People with more than five children will live happily ever after.
  6. Obese people will lose weight without participating in televised weight-loss competitions.
  7. Heidi and Spencer will disappear.
  8. There will be something that no one is willing to do on TV.
 
kira

3:38 PM on August 27th, 2009 | 

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Understanding in a Car Crash

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Kira was nice enough to ruin my day with the following segment, a British PSA warning about texting while driving, which was specifically designed to disgust and horrify… so basically it’s just like VH1’s Celebreality line up.

Seriously though, if you ever wondered what it would be like if some depraved sadist directed a mashup of Death Proof and Crash, your deranged, nightmarish prayers have finally been answered. This shit is truly putting the “viral” back in “viral video” — so, yeah… vomiting is definitely a likely side effect.

My co-host, however, was remiss in watching the video without sound. It would be a mistake akin to eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter — a jelly overload, and this short exercise in scaring the shit out of teenagers has more than enough “jelly” as it is.

By jelly, of course I’m actually referring to blood.

In fact, it kind of amazes me that this video is as gory as it is, including the cringe-inducing brittle cracks of 16-year old necks breaking, considering you can’t even say the word “bomb” on MTV anymore. Indeed, somehow, this manages to tug on every dangling heart string at once with its inspired orchestra of manslaughter, dead babies, and orphaned children. A real feel-good film.

Anyway, I wrote this post on my Blackberry while in traffic, so you’ll have to excuse me as I need to Twitter about that 18 car pile up behind me. There are just too many irresponsible drivers out there on the road these days.

 
aaron

2:22 PM on August 25th, 2009 | 

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K-K-Kumbaya

Filed Under: Pop Culture

stutterersHow quickly am I going to hell for thinking this camp is probably the most hilarious and infuriating place to work in the history of summer employment?

”I wanted to create a place where kids from all over the country and even the world can come, and know that they’re wonderful just the way they are,” said Taro Alexander, the professional actor who started the camp—which if you’re too busy to click on the link above, caters to kids with a stutter who like to act. “Just because they stutter doesn’t mean it has to stop them from doing anything in life.”

Sorry to disappoint Taro, but that’s exactly what it means. Particularly when it comes to acting. Instead of creating a fantasy land where stuttering children can escape for a few weeks at a time—thereby pretending to themselves that the world isn’t actually a cruel place full of people who couldn’t care less about the difficulty of having a speech impediment—perhaps you should create a town, nay, an urban center, where stutterers of all ilks can live together and plod their way through conversations, poetry readings and political speeches. Mayor? Jeff Goldblum.

 
kira

9:29 AM on August 25th, 2009 | 

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Democracy Rules

Filed Under: TV

You know that scene in Pineapple Express when James Franco is laughing at old sitcoms whilst high and chewing with his mouth open. That was me, last night, to this.

 
kira

2:00 PM on August 21st, 2009 | 

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I Do My Little Turn On The Catwalk

Filed Under: TV Reviews

projectrunway6For someone whose favorite designer is “The Gap”—and even then, only when stuff is on sale—I find myself endlessly fascinated by Project Runway. Something about the combination of high-drama egos and high-stakes competition, coupled with a sassy gay (Oh Michael Kors, how I’ve missed you) makes this one of few shows that has managed to capture my attention for a full five seasons (I missed the Top Chef season with all the faux-hawks). This is, of course, to say nothing of the sheer awe with which I watch people turn rolls (I know they’re called bolts, but to use that word would suggest some knowledge of garment construction on my part, an untruth made evident by the fact that I’ve never even sewed a button back on) of fabric into beautiful dresses, or piles of trash into chic separates. In many ways, fashion design is like cooking for me: I know the ingredients exist, but put them in front of me and all I can think is “Don’t they sell this stuff, like, pre-made in stores?”

In short, Project Runway Season Six premiered last night, the first episode of the first season since the show’s controversial move to Lifetime, otherwise home to half-baked dramas and made-for-TV movies about domestic violence. Legal squabbling and network preference aside, Runway fans like myself have mostly spent the last year wondering whether moving PR off Bravo would mean changing some of the show’s fundamentals—judges, challenges, Tim Motherfucking Gunn. Those same fans will be relieved to know the answer to all of the above is a resounding no. Read More ›

 
kira

9:26 AM on August 21st, 2009 | 

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Megan Wants a Murderer

Filed Under: Pop Culture

meganwants1You know those moments when you realize you’ve somehow averted disaster simply by being in the right place at the right time—you stop for coffee and miss a train that later stalls underground, or trip on the sidewalk and avoid a fatal blow from an unobservant bus driver. Shit like that. Well now’s the time for American model and reality show star Megan Hauserman to thank her lucky stars.

The body of Jasmine Fiore, a 28-year-old Canadian swimsuit model, was found stuffed inside a discarded suitcase this weekend, (though I have no idea how authorities could tell since Fiore, pictured, appears to be made of plastic). An investigation is ongoing, but among the “persons of interest” with whom the police are interested in speaking is 32-year-old Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a real estate developer and past contestant on VH1 newbie Megan Wants A Millionaire. (And according to TMZ, an eventual participant in I Love Money 3).

Although Ryan has yet to be eliminated from the show, I assume his participation should be referred to in the past tense—police would surely be able to track down someone whose every move was being recorded and broadcast on national television. So assuming Ryan is booted this week, or soon (a shocker, really, I considered him a frontrunner), dear Megan is surely looking back now and wondering just how close she was to inviting a potential serial killer into her home. Well, VH1’s home. And I guess they invited him, she just had to show up with a suitcase full of bikinis.

In any case, if my timing estimates are correct, Ms. Hauserman and her retarded dog are by this point settled on one of the show’s unfortunate bachelors, and most likely somewhere in the hazy timeframe between the season finale, reunion special and point at which they inevitably break up so she can begin production on Season 2. For the rest of us, well now’s the time to think to ourselves two things: First, whether there might be any other hidden criminals in Megan’s midst, and second, how awesome it would have been if she got killed.

 
kira

4:07 PM on August 19th, 2009 | 

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Sesame Meets Wall Street

Filed Under: Pop Culture

elmo

"Let me tell you about credit default swaps."

Seems like everyone’s talking about the economy these days: politicians, educators, my hairdresser. But despite the whole “worst recession since the Great Depression” thing, there remain a few places where I expect to have my fun, worry-free, with nary a mention of Ben Bernanke, unemployment or the falling dollar. Sesame Street is one of those places. After all, in a fantastical one-street town populated by talking puppets, who has time to wonder whether the financial sector will recover? Moreover, who cares? Bert and Ernie are already living frugally by sharing an apartment, Big Bird doesn’t waste money on frivolities like “clothing” and Oscar lives in a trash can. If ever there was a cost-conscious bunch, this is it.

So I’m a little bummed to read today that Elmo has taken it upon his little red self to address the troubled economy in a PBS special for families. The show, which will air on Sept. 9 and includes Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, will allow Elmo to “help parents and young children deal with economic hardship,” and is aimed specifically at families with children aged 2 to 8.

I’m sorry, but since when has Sesame Street been a forum for educating children on current events? And since when has Elmo; who doesn’t have what I would consider an authoratiave tone of voice, and whose most famous verbal contribution is prolonged giggling; been a role model for economic education? (One might argue that the one-time consumer chaos created by Tickle Me Elmo is an example of the very conspicuous consumption behind our current crisis).

The whole point of Sesame Street, and every show like it, has always been to teach kids essential morals like “share” or “don’t hit,” with a bit of basic arithmetic and color recognition thrown in for good measure. That’s why they’re all set in nonexistent fantasy lands—Eureka had a castle, Blue had a cartoon house and I’m pretty sure the entirety of today’s Yo Gabba Gabba is filmed in front of a green screen. These shows aren’t about so-called “reality.” And to be frank, I don’t think it’s necessary for a child under the age of 10 to understand the recession, anymore than I spent fourth grade trying to wrap my mind around NAFTA. Rather, when you’re a child, the economies of supply and demand end with Mom: you demand, she decides whether to supply. Knowing that her motivation is a dwindling 401(K) rather than a refusal to invest in Super Soakers hardly matters.

So I say enough Sesame Street—you were already on thin ice when the Cookie Monster started talking about eating cookies “in moderation,” (as though 3-year-olds who imitated face-stuffing eating habits weren’t in all likelihood already doomed to years of social isolation) and now this. Let kids be kids, otherwise they might as well start watching CNN.

 
kira

9:56 AM on August 19th, 2009 | 

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Tough Love

Filed Under: Pop Culture

It’s tales like these that really emphasize how important good communication is in a relationship…

…particularly when you’re in a relationship with a person who has shaped their personality around horrifying archetypes of high school girls typically portrayed in teen comedies.

Or, for that matter, when you’re dating a guy with high-functioning autism. This whole video reads like Mean Girls crossed with Adam, which sounds like a movie I’d really like to never see. Basically, this relationship was all kinds of fucked from the start — it’s really one of those stories where all of the characters are completely unlikable so you’re not even upset at the end when nothing works out. Which I guess is a lot like real life.

 
aaron

6:22 PM on August 17th, 2009 | 

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Who Let The Dogs Out? (Good One, I Know)

Filed Under: Zero Tolerance

michaelvick

If only.

Here’s the thing: I eat meat. In fact, I love meat. I couldn’t care less what’s in a chicken nugget, so long as it’s appropriately crispy and served with honey mustard. I’ve never thrown red paint on a white fur coat; I’ve never broken into an animal testing facility to free would-be trial subjects of the latest Revlon product. I’m an animal lover, with a single cat (who will surely be the springboard to my long and fulfilled life as Cat Lady Extraordinaire) but I’m no extremist.

So it’s with at least a teeny tiny bit of objectivity that I say I am phenomenally offended by the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to sign Michael Vick. For those who don’t follow football, or news (and in fairness, this is one of the few times RA has even touched upon the great wide world of professional athletics), Vick is—like so many of his professional football peers—a criminal. But unlike most NFL players, the 29-year-old has never done drugs, or driven drunk, or slapped an uppity stripper. I mean, he may have, but his 18 months in jail were the product of a 2007 conviction for conspiracy, and running a dogfighting ring. Read More ›

 
kira

11:15 AM on August 14th, 2009 | 

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