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Archive for November 2009

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

Filed Under: Food and Drink, Pop Culture

 
kira

7:10 PM on November 24th, 2009 | 

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If RA Had A Manifesto…

Filed Under: Pop Culture

“Sometimes writing is difficult. Sometimes writing is like pounding a brick wall with a ball-peen hammer in the hope that the barricade will evolve into a revolving door. Sometimes writing is like talking to a stranger who’s exactly like yourself in every possible way, only to realize that this stranger is boring as shit. In better moments, writing is the opposite of difficult–it’s as if your fingers meander arbitrarily in crosswise patterns and (suddenly) you find yourself reading something you didn’t realize you already knew. Most of the time, the process falls somewhere in between. But there’s one kind of writing that’s always easy: Picking out something obviously stupid and reiterating how stupid it obviously is. This is the lowest form of criticism, easily accomplished by anyone. And for most of my life, I have tried to avoid this. In fact, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the underrated value in ostensibly stupid things. I understand Turtle’s motivation and I would have watched Medellinin the theater. I read Mary Worth every day for a decade. I’ve seen Korn in concert three times and liked them once. I went to The Day After Tomorrow on opening night. I own a very expensive robot that doesn’t do anything. I am open to the possibility that everything has metaphorical merit, and I see no point in sardonically attacking the most predictable failures within any culture. I always prefer to do the opposite, even if my argument becomes insane by necessity.

But sometimes I can’t.

Sometimes I experience something so profoundly idiotic–and so deeply universal–that I cannot find any contrarian perspective, even for the sole purpose of playful contrarianism. These are not the things that are stupid for what they are; these are the things that are stupid for what they supposedly reflect about human nature. These are the things that make me feel completely alone in the world, because I cannot fathom how the overwhelming majority of people ignores them entirely. These are not real problems (like climate change or African genocide), because those issues are complex and multifaceted; they’re also not intagible personal hypocrisies (like insincerity or greed), because those qualities are biological and understandable. These are things that exist only because they exist. We accept them, we give them a social meaning, and they become part of how we live. Yet these are the things that truly illustrate how ridiculous mankind can be. These are the things that prove just how confused people are (and will always be), and these are the things that are so stupid that they make me feel nothing. Not sadness. Not anger. Not guilt. Nothing.

These are the stupidest things our society has ever manufactured.”

-Chuck Klosterman, Eating the Dinosaur

 
kira

10:04 AM on November 17th, 2009 | 

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Foxes and Cougars and Twinks, Oh My

Filed Under: Pop Culture

So much going on in the news these days, like Obama schooling Chinese children on how awesome it is to live in an uncensored country, and three-year-old Suri Cruise already being more adept at wearing heels than I am.  Here’s a Monday morning roundup.


1116meganfox-100x100Megan Fox managed to once again perpetuate the idea of herself as an intellectual and under-challenged actress who was duped by the type-casting slobs of Hollywood into limiting herself career-wise to Michael Bay action flicks and thinly veiled soft-core porn horror films. Sorry Megan, you can talk to as many New York Times reporters as you want, women will still hate you.


1116sellingdetroit-100x100Time Inc. is sponsoring “Selling Detroit,” a contest in which five advertising agencies are producing campaigns to encourage young and creative types to consider Detroit as a place to live/work. Somehow I feel like they’d have better luck just…actually selling Detroit.


1116scream-100x100Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell are all on board for Scream 4, written by Kevin Williamson, the genius behind Scream and Scream 2 (not sarcasm, I love those movies). I’m just not sure which is more indicative of a career plateau–starring in an ABC show about an older woman gaming on younger men, or returning to the same role you played 13 years ago.


1116mcgreevey1-100x100Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who went down in flames after revealing an extra-marital affair with a man (and who also wrote a book where he admitted to doing dudes in “book stores and rest stops”), is currently training to become an Episcopal priest. …No commentary necessary.

 
kira

10:57 AM on November 16th, 2009 | 

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Dumb Shit People Said

Filed Under: Pop Culture

fergie-100x100“I’ve had a lot of fun with women, and I’m not ashamed of it. The problem is that I also love a well-endowed man. But just because I enjoy women doesn’t mean I’m allowed to have affairs in my relationship. I learned through talking with my therapist that it is still cheating even if it’s with girls, so there’s a rule there.”

-Fergie, on her husband’s alleged affair with a stripper


bus-100x100“Thinking about how many people I want to kill today, including myself….I hate these people. I want to kick the shit out of them. They’re idiots. …They revere me as God. Even though I hate them, they still love me….I can’t wait until it rains again so I can splash more people.”

-Facebook posts from NYC bus driver Jeremy Philhower, who hit and killed a college student last week


kindle-100x100“These universities are saying, ‘Our policy is nondiscrimination, so we’re not going to adopt a technology we know for sure discriminates against blind students.’”

-A National Federation for the Blind spokesman on schools that have stopped buying Amazon Kindles because they cannot be used by blind students


weiner-100x100Washington responsibilities “were incompatible with running a full-fledged, full-throated Weiner-style campaign.”

-New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, on why he dropped out of the NYC mayor’s race

 
kira

10:58 AM on November 11th, 2009 | 

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Surrender Dorothy

Filed Under: Book Reviews

wicked-402x450As an avid reader and even more avid frequenter of bookstores, I’ve stumbled across Gregory Maguire’s Wicked more than a few times in the past several years. Particularly after the book was translated into a Broadway musical–which I am seeing for the first time this weekend–it became fairly impossible to avoid seeing Maguire’s various fairy-tale remakes on shelves everywhere. Only recently, prompted in fact by my imminent trek to Broadway, did I bother picking it up.

Here’s the thing: I really didn’t want to like Wicked, and for no particular reason. I suppose some part of me thought the very idea of revisiting stories already told was corny, to say nothing of a bit of a cop-out on the part of an author. I thought the book would be a cliche, the same way I have no intention of reading Stephenie Meyer’s fifth Twilight book, which re-tells Book 1 through the eyes of another character. In my world, where at any given time some 200 books wait, unread, in my apartment, there’s no time for repetition.

So extra kudos go to Maguire for manging to tell an excellent story that not only impressed me, but changed my mind entirely. What The Wizard of Oz dispels by way of hokey morals and annoying canines, Wicked re-offers through a much more somber lens: the story centers around Elphaba, a resident of Oz with green skin, who later becomes what we know as the Wicked Witch of the West. But more importantly, the story focuses on the political and religious inclinations of all the various people of Oz; it touches on questions of royalty and hierarchy, on political unrest, revolution and ruling with an eye to the divine. It brings up issues of good and evil, right and wrong, and guilt and forgiveness. In short, it’s a very serious book that just so happens to star a central character of its less-serious predecessor. Also, there’s sex. And dirty jokes. And violence.

So if anyone out there still reads books, this one comes highly recommended. I suspect it’s more worth your time than, say, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

 
kira

2:08 PM on November 6th, 2009 | 

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Tool Academy, I Mean, The Hills

Filed Under: Screenshots From Kira's Television

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Only Spencer Pratt would have another friend named Spencer.

 
kira

9:30 AM on November 4th, 2009 | 

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The Continental

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Sorry friends and fans, RA staffers’ so-called “real jobs” are cutting in to their free time these days — and without free time, who will write 1,000 words on childhood obesity? No one, that’s who.

Here’s a video to hold you over. In case 9,365 Lady Gaga Halloween costumes didn’t wear you out enough.

 
kira

2:11 PM on November 2nd, 2009 | 

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