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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The old razzle-dazzle

Am I the only one bored enough to be insulted by the lack of creativity abounding in articles about celebrities? Has anyone else noticed the strange circularity of the vocabulary used in fashion, movie, and music writing?

Well...probably. Anyhow, here are my top three most-overused terms in celebulary:

buttery: adj. used to describe the hair of every blonde female from Gwyneth Paltrow to Anna Nicole Smith to Kate Winslet to Helen Mirren. In other words, as long as it's some shade of blonde, it's 'buttery'. Ex: 'Reese sets off her orchid-tinted outfit with buttery but flyaway-topped tresses...' (MSN Oscars 2007: Undressed!)

pop: v. basically, spot-coloring. Anything from clothing to makeup to jewels to shoes can 'pop'. Ex: 'Choose lip colors that are natural...for a pop of color.' (MSN Shopping: Expert Makeup Advice)

chanteuse: n. any female singer ever. Genre not an issue. Ex: 'McLachlan isn't the only modern-rock chanteuse to throw her red felt hat into the ring this year...' (MSN Music)

On second thought, maybe the writers at People own a dictionary--clearly MSN is most responsible for these semantic crimes. They, too, give me my honorable mentions: modish and snaggle-toothed (oddly, both are usually used to describe Kirsten Dunst). I guess the moral of the story is, read what your Brit Lit professor assigns you and skip the famous people.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Le sigh

I confess that I am baffled. First, there's this, a New Yorker article about Joel Surnow, the creator of the cult TV show 24. Now, I have never seen this show and probably never will, so that means I'm unbiased, right? Or maybe it means I have no right saying what I'm about to say: that this show seems ridiculous, I can't see how it has so many fans, and how on Earth is it winning Emmys for portraying acts such as the ones detailed in this article?

However, 24 is not really the point. The point is, Joel Surnow, the "right-wing nut job" himself, apparently wants to make a pro-McCarthy movie...a movie which depicts McCarthy as an "American hero". All I can think of when I consider this hypothetical film is, Huh? I didn't know there WERE pro-McCarthyists! I didn't know that being anti-McCarthy was a liberal point of view--I thought it was an I'm-not-psycho point of view! Geez, people; the guy was crazy. He was a demagogue and he did imprison and blacklist and otherwise ruin the lives of plenty of people, some of whom were only guilty of occasionally wearing red lipstick. "It's not a movie I could get done now," Surnow says, and me oh my am I glad.

Then, there's the weensy fact that Bridge to Terabithia is getting good reviews. 74% positive on Metacritic and 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, to be exact. I can only conclude that none of the critics have actually read the book. Bah. Am I actually going to have to see this film??

Sunday, February 11, 2007


My logical side knows that hypocrisy is not a crime. If it were, what would we do for government leaders? They would all have life sentences. However, things like this completely dispense with my logical, rational, equitable side and bring out the roaring feminist within.

Actually, scratch that. This is not about feminism. This is about common sense. I'm not a feminist, and I don't have a lot of common sense, but I have enough to know that a mother breastfeeding her baby is not exactly a situation for lawsuits. Futhermore, this is America. Breasts are big business. They're everywhere, from movies to billboards to music videos to magazines dirty and otherwise. It is sheer hypocrisy to label a mother feeding her infant as 'indecent' or 'lewd' when more than half of the nation's population looks at tots daily. Where is these people's shame? To claim that 'men don't know what to do or where to look when a woman is breast-feeding in front of them' is sick and should be seen as such. Look at her face, you drooling idiot! Try and act like your IQ is higher than your sperm count. There is nothing, nothing sexual about a mother feeding her child, and there is no reason that men should feel awkward. A good chunk of them were breast-fed, I expect, and another sizable bunch see their wives' or girlfriends' breasts every day. Celebrities in Hollywood blockbusters flaunt their double-Ds all over the movie screen, yet an infant receiving its breakfast is despicable and should be hidden? Lame.

Another aspect of this situation is that many of the people taking offense are women. Does that make sense, or am I just old-fashioned? Why would women be taken aback by the sight of something that they personally possess? One of these women commented on a magazine cover which used a photograph of a nursing baby; she said, I don't want my husband or son to accidentally see a breast they don't want to see. From this woman's comment, can we assume that she and her husband have never seen one another unclothed? And she better not believe that her son's never seen boobies, 'cause that's just wishful thinking.

Certainly, it's preferable to find a private place to feed your kid. But if that's not possible, and often it isn't, what's more annoying: a screaming baby or the possibility of the public seeing something 99% of them have already seen, numerous times? Come on. No one in this country can grow up without seeing tots, and lots of them--girls have them, boys like to look at them. It's stupid to say otherwise, and it's hypocritical to pretend offense when a woman breast-feeds her infant in a public place. Our society sees breasts as sexual, but that same society is what has turned breasts into fantasy objects. Breasts are there for a purpose, and that purpose is to feed children. Deal with it or go find a nice cave, you self-righteous Puritans.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kicking butt, spraining ankles

Despite my slow-but-sure assimilation into the world of comic books (zomg Immortal Iron Fist!), I still have one problem with the whole shebang.

The women. No, I'm not going to go off on some feminist rant about how no comic artist has ever drawn a less than modelesque superheroine/villainess--you have to be a feminist to write things like that, for one thing. My problem does lie partly in their appearances, but I don't really care that they're all apparently 42-39-56. I care more that they seem to save/destroy the world while wearing thigh-high stiletto boots, white lingerie (I mean...come on. White? Clearly written by a man), and generally scanty outerwear which would, in a realistic situation, provide not-very-much protection. And they overwhelmingly have long, flowing hair.

The innate sexism in comics aside, this is just stupid. If I were fighting an opponent, particularly a male opponent who is theoretically larger and stronger than me, I would much rather be wearing, say, very lightweight Kevlar. NOT Spandex, NOT leather, and certainly nothing as exposing as the White Queen's typical gear (hello? That bare midriff is just begging to be stabbed). I can sort of understand why everything is so skintight; excess fabric gets in the way, I suppose (although I also suppose it might soak up some impact)--plus, a gal's gotta be able to move. But this is the Marvel universe, where S.H.I.E.L.D. can create fabric that never rips, shows bloodstains, or even bags at the knees! Surely they can come up with some sort of flexible body armor. Also, may I point out how impossible it is to run while wearing heels? No woman of any sense would choose heeled shoes as part of her alter ego's costume.

Then there's the matter of the hair. Back to this hypothetical fight--the dude I'm fighting, he wants to win. And we all know that no one (except maybe Captain America) fights clean. Seriously guys, it's not just a chick-fight thing. If my hair's waist-length, a man's going to do the same thing a woman would do: Yank all that hair flapping around in his face. It hurts to have your hair pulled, people know this, and in a fight, they're going to do whatever it takes to win. Who would give their opponent an extra weapon against them? Not to mention that hair also gets in the way of whosever head it's on...in the middle of a nasty fight, I want my peripheral vision to be free and clear.

So, my point is--I know that comics aren't real, that their unreality is at least half the coolness and fun, that the appeal of Emma Frost and Natasha Romanoff is that no real woman actually resembles them--but for goodness sake! At least give our heroines and villainesses a pair of sneakers!
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