Saturday, January 31, 2009

We are all so very bored

In case you haven't noticed, Christmas is over, and has been for a little over a month now. We have passed New Years Day, and MLK jr Day, and are rounding upon groundhogs' day. Yet for some reason, Rageoline felt the need to send me this:

Which is quite the blast from the past for me: I faintly remember being young and thinking "Your not frosty! Be funny damnit!", but my mom telling me that it was beautiful, so I had to watch. Rageoline however, finds this extremely funny, and refused to stop laughing, that is until she found:

Nothing gets Rageoline going quite like effeminate boys wearing t-shirts accompanied by orchestras. "But it's not just the t-shirt, its the t-shirt over the long sleaved shirt, with the jeans and skater shorts," she protested, just before sending me this:

Apparently this kid is the shit when it comes to prepubescent singing, too bad he is going to lose his talent when his balls drop, if they haven't yet. Then all he'll be is a very rich twenty something with the weirdest first name ever.

Me, I'm just confused.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Statues of Naked People

February is a surprisingly good month for TV. The prime time season is in full swing, and they have moved on from unveiling new characters to giving hints as to whom they are going to kill off for the season finale. The biggest night on television is this weekend, the Super Bowl, where the nations companies compete to see who can make the best 30 sec video. However, there is another film-making competition, later this month: the 81st Academy Awards. (Right: Jarvier Bardem tries to give Oscar a boner)

This mother of all award shows, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' annual presentation ceremony dwarfs all other awards. The Golden Globes can't possibly compete and the Grammies are nothing but more proof that Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is just a party school (Yale to AMPAS' Harvard). There is no greater display of opulence than watching the red carpet to see who Jennifer Antison is wearing, and whom Billy Bob Thorton is wearing!

In honour of this great sceptical, I am going to help feed your gambling addiction by making forecasts as to who is going to win what. So grab some pop-corn, call your bookie, and bask in my wisdom. I will tell you who is going to get their hand on that fabulous golden naked man.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
While Taraji Henson probably gave the only noteworthy performance in Benjamin Button, I'm going to go with Amy Adams: "What's that Mr. Squirrel? Philip Seymour Hoffman is putting his thing up little boys rectories? Oh my!"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
While Josh Brolin is over-due for one of these things, the Academy doesn't seem to have their head on straight for this category: They receive an epic fail with Robert Downey jr as their token minority pick. And while Philip Seymour Hoffman touched me with his part in Doubt, being killed by an Olsen twin will give Heath Ledger the edge he needs.

Best Actress in a leading Role
Since Bride Wars bombed so bad, I'm assuming that Ann Hathaway is nominated for Get Smart, which she was out-shown by Steve Carell, The Rock, Alan Arkin, and that little Asian dude from Heroes. And while Kate Winslet is on a roll (role?) this year, Catholic is a slightly lesser evil than Nazi Guard/Pedophile in Hollywood. So the Oscar goes to Meryl Streep.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
I have no idea who The Visitor is, so I assume what's his face is not going to get it, and there is no way that a guy playing Richard Nixon will get it (those wounds are far too fresh). Mickey Rourke won the Golden Globe, and that is a dumb award, so nope. While Sean Penn won the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Academy are pussies when it comes to political issues, and thus will pass up Milk for the sadly predictable Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button. In Brads defence, I haven't seen narration like that since Ron Howard on Arrested Developement.

Best Picture
There has been a lot of buzz about Slumdog Millionaire, the movie which has been a breath of Bollywood air on this rather stale season. Slumdog will definitely sweep the Original Song, and original score for their deft use of MIA. However, I'm going to say that Benjamin Button is going to win, because the Academy is boring.

I could go on to call things like Best Sound Mixing or editing, but who knows what any of these things mean (What the hell is a Foreign Film?). So I will have to leave you with these predictions and let time test my knowledge of Hollywood.

PETA=a bunch of America hating terrorist pansies

I am going to do my best to put aside my disdain for vegetarianism and veganism for at least most of this post (If I have kids in the future, I would be mortified and possibly disown them if they attempted to become a vegetarian or vegan before turning 18). It'll be tough, but I'll do what I can. 

The title of this post probably has you going, "What? Terrorists? America hating? Pansies to be sure, but isn't calling them a bunch of terrorists going a bit too far?"

I say absolutely not. Let's cover the pansies aspect first. A Best Week Ever post brought me over to PETA's website and a video of their banned Super Bowl commercial. In the commercial, almost naked women dance around being seduced by asparagus and pumpkins. The message is "Vegetarians have better sex." After my eyes had fallen out due to the horror (don't worry, I put them back in again), I continued to watch their remaining video with reasons why to convert to vegetarianism. The video is pretty awful. Crappy music, dramatic "acting," and people smiling while animals are being slaughtered in the background. Here are a few:

#3: Because eating meat and dairy makes you fat. 
Hmmm....because eating crappy vegetables at a salad bar and lettuce with bread makes you really skinny. Not all vegetarians cook healthy food so this is kind of a ridiculous statement.

#4: Because you shouldn't have to lie to your kids about the food that you eat.
Why not? Parents make stuff up all the time! You can lie to your kids about Santa and tell them babies come from storks but you have to tell them where hamburgers come from? When the kids get older, they'll figure it out, will have a moment of "I can't believe you've let me eat this!" then remember how good it tastes and get over it.

#5: Because in every single package of chicken (which they repeat a couple of times) there's a little bit of poop.
PANSIES!!! Seriously, how unprofessional does this sound? So what? Do you see the poop when you're cooking? Do you taste the poop? Have you died yet from eating it? Don't you rinse off your chicken before cooking it? You do cook your food right? We supposedly swallow spiders in our sleep. We can't avoid gross things no matter what we do so we might as well suck it up and deal.

#6: Because meat is filthy and bloody.
Um, again, don't you cook your food? I personally like my red meat on the rare side. Bloody to me means more flavor. 

#12: Because no one should have to make a living from killing.
People have been killing animals forever. I don't really understand why all of a sudden it's considered "violence." Is it "violence" when my old cat killed a squirrel? The only difference between humans killing animals for food and animals killing animals for food is that humans think about it way too much. 

And now on to the America hating terrorist part. Think about it, what do terrorists do? They use aggressive (and almost always underhanded) tactics to scare people out of doing something. Their targets don't stop believing in something or doing something because they've suddenly been convinced that their ideology was wrong all along. Instead, they stop because they're scared that something bad will happen to them if they openly profess what they believe in. How does this actually help your cause? Sure it gets attention, but ultimately, those who force their beliefs upon others will not be remembered kindly in the history books. 

PETA also targets "fur offenders," or prominent celebs who continue to wear fur despite the fact that it's now considered offensive to do so. Instead of making people feel bad by going on about how wearing fur is a complete luxury in this day and age and no longer a necessity, they pour paint or whatever else on them in public. The expensive coat is ruined and the animals have now died for no reason. PETA defaced Sharon Stone, the Olsen twins, and Aretha Franklin's Hollywood stars with the words "fur hag." Okay, so some graffiti is not as bad as putting a bomb in a trash can, but the mentalities behind them are similar. How are people supposed to gain respect for the cause when PETA takes such despicable actions? 

Have they ever done any research beyond what goes on in the slaughterhouses? Do you know what brought the British and French over to the US and Canada? In part it was the fur trade. People built various fur trading posts, helping to create trade routes. Fur was a method of bringing different nationalities together, as well as Europeans and Native Americans. It wasn't all good, but it wasn't all bad either. It started out of necessity and then became more of a fashion statement. How can you condemn Aretha Franklin for wanting to wear fur? Of course we shouldn't go around making fur coats from white tiger fur or other endangered animals, but I find it hard to get all bent out of shape because someone is wearing a mink coat (mink are typically farmed for fur). And what's the problem with leather? I love my leather jacket. It looks good, it feels good, and it's lasted a long time. Not to mention that it keeps the wind off better than any of my synthetic material jackets. I took textile chemistry in college and know that synthetic material doesn't necessarily mean better for the environment. In some cases, especially with more recent developments in synthetic materials and manufacturing methods, synthetics are better, but certainly not in all. My issue with fur is that it's really not practical in most parts of the world these days. London certainly doesn't get cold enough for a full-out fur coat and a lot of the time, they kind of look ridiculous. However, some fur coats are gorgeous and I don't think I'd say no if someone gave me one. 

I could go on and on about how much PETA aggravates me, but I think I've said enough for one day. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Actors who want you to think they have standards, when in fact they don't

Have you ever seen the movie Lost in Translation? If you haven’t, Bill Murray plays a washed up action star, who goes to Japan for a few days to film a whiskey commercial. At one point, a bunch of Americans in a hotel bar recognize him, although it takes them a while to figure out who he is. In order to make some extra money and find some direction in his ever so boring life, he goes to Japan. No one recognizes him, his wife and kids get on his nerves, and not even people from his own country really know who he is anymore.

It’s not really so bad when actors who aren’t really in the limelight anymore go to foreign countries and try to make some money. However, what about the celebs who think they’ve still got it? These same actors claim to be reputable and want you to believe that they are serious about their professions. But instead, they escape to other countries and star in commercials they'd never be caught dead doing in the US.

Here are some examples:

Pierce Brosnan in L’Oreal Men Expert-I don’t know if these commercials have aired in the States, if they have I certainly haven’t seen them. This one is so obnoxious that I couldn’t even find one in English. I’m a Pierce Brosnan fan, but what’s the deal dude?

This one is pretty bad. George Clooney in a Nespresso commercial. Would you ever catch him in an ad like this in the US? Capsules of coffee? I'd prefer some freshly ground beans, thanks.

How about Jason Lewis in this Aero Bubbles chocolate commercial? You’re probably asking, who is Jason Lewis? Remember Smith Jarrod from Sex and the City (aka the guy Samantha actually sticks with for more than ten minutes)? Perhaps he shouldn’t really be included in this list because he’s not super famous. But the commercial is kind of sad because his attempts to get famous for his acting “skills” obviously haven’t worked out too well for him.

This is by far the worst one of all. Iggy Pop dancing around against a purple backdrop for a car insurance commercial. He appears in jeans and no shirt (as usual), and we all have to look at it. Gross. Okay, maybe he’s not a movie star and his career has kind of faded, but doesn’t he still make music? Wasn’t he supposed to be groundbreaking in his genre, or all inspiring to bands like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers? How is Iggy Pop spazzing out and muttering on about random crap supposed to make me want to buy car insurance? Despite the fact that these commercials have given me nightmares, I don’t even know what company they’re for. Maybe in this case, I shouldn’t be mad at Iggy Pop, but at the stupid insurance company.

In other news, I was totally right about that pesky Yo Yo Ma at the inauguration! In my last post, I raged a bit about his ability to play outside, in 20 degree weather, without gloves, a hat, or a jacket on. Well it looks like my suspicions about him were correct. He was only kinda sorta playing for reals. I just knew that there was no way he could seriously be that happy if there wasn’t a recording in the background!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama's First Week: WTF!?

Obama has just finished his first week, albeit a short holiday week (are you saying we should make our first black president work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?). People all over the planet are in agreement: what is takin' so damn long?

"I know it's only been a week, so I can't be too hard on him for not fixing Iraq and Afghanistan." said a man from your home town, Burny Maddeupp, "But I figured he would have at least cured AIDS by now."

However, disapointment is limited to people in your hometown. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times says, "How dare you kowtow to reality Barack!" (Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but at least I fought the urge to put quotation marks around her middle name.) Obama still operates on Windows XP, and that bastard advocates for change! You can't change anything if your screen is frozen!

Conservatives are disappointed too. Fox News is entirely in denial that he is even president

Rush Limbaugh, is bitterly disappointed that the apocalypse has not happened yet, because it would be better for Republican prospects in 2012. Bill O'Reilly, when asked for a comment replied "Who the fuck are you? Okay, that's five words so you owe me $1,200."

"Obama is on the slow track compared to other Great Presidents," tells Presidential historian and fictional character Dr. Jeff Fakesworthy, "Washington had already made 76 historical firsts, and 320 not so historical firsts, by this point. Lincoln, while it took him a little while longer, instituted a 'don't ask don't tell' policy for the Irish in the military. Andrew Jackson wrestled a bear and two moose between the swearing in and the inaugural ball,and by the end of the week, half of congress had musket balls lodged in various parts of their bodies."

I know what you are thinking: "Can I trust anything you say?" To this I reply, don't lose your faith in Obama just yet. I know you thought your gravy train had come in on Mr Obama's coat tails, but remember, rail transportation is very slow, unless you are on one of those super-fast Japanese bullet trains... We should have elected a Japanese president, that would have been sweet. Where was I? Oh, you were talking about me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Rageoline is right, I feel terribly un-American for missing the inauguration today, and for teaching Mathematics to University students! The second and third most un-American things after futbol, What? Too elitist to get your hands dirty? Now as I am watching Stephen Colbert photoshop different facial hair on Barak Obama, I wonder how I could miss this wonderful moment in history?

How could I miss the twenty-four hours of mind-numbing news coverage, which will not let me forget that I am watching "an" historic moment. What was I thinking not being elbowed by 2 million people, just to see Cheney become the emporer from star wars? How can I not be slightly slighted by Obama chosing to be sworn in using his middle name "Hussein", how dare he be sworn in using the name of a deliscious Afgahni chicken dish?

But I'm missing the important part here. In this time of war, this time of economic struggle, and this time when (!Spoiler Alert!) the Chinese are secretly planning to invade, we have come together as a united nation to peacefully transitioned our most reveared office. We have focused so much of our hope for the future on our first half-black, half-Abraham Lincoln, half-Jesus, president of the united states. Barack seems to know how to dance, so I think we made the right choice.

While we have a mountain of tough times in front of us, this day seems to have reminded a lot of people, that we have come through a lot to get this far, and the Chinese haven't asked for their 11 trillion dollars yet, so anything is possible. But then again, what would I know, I missed it to teach math.

If anyone can get mad about the inauguration, it's me

Yup, sure can. Don't believe it? Here goes:

1) Okay, so maybe this first one isn't really about the inauguration, per se, but it does have to do with Fox News coverage of the day before the inauguration. I normally attempt to block out what most of the Fox News correspondents say, but yesterday I actually put down whatever I was doing and looked up in shock at the screen. One of the correspondents had said, "We're starting to get a lot of Facebook twitters at the moment." I'm sorry, but if you don't know how the internet works, please don't try to pretend like you do. I've heard stories of professors who've referred to "Myface," and this is equally bad. For the record, Facebook and Twitter are two different websites. And it's called a "tweet" or "tweat" not "a twitter."

2) Fox News coverage in general. I wouldn't normally choose Fox over other (more technologically advanced) channels, but it's what my mom watches and I was too lazy to go anywhere else. For the most part, it wasn't all that bad. There was a lot of cheer going around and there was no bitterness about Obama becoming the president. However, I sometimes wonder how these people make it on to television. Other students in my program offer more thoughtful commentary over a 15 minute coffee break than these people do over the course of 4 hours. Here are some examples:

a) While Obama's family was walking onto the main platform, the correspondents were blithering about how finally there was a black role model for young black people. They actually stated that he was one of the first non-thug/gangsta role models around for people to look up to Wow, that is so true. If only I could think of someone young black people could have looked up to before Obama. Nope, can't think of one. None, whatsoever.

b) They went on, incessantly, about what Obama said in his speech immediately after it was over. They harped on how nothing he said was worthy of being engraved in granite. They then referenced famous speeches by previous presidents and how what Obama said didn't hold up to that. Leave it alone! The speech was powerful, it said what it needed to, and compared to who was giving the speeches before him, it was a freakin' masterpiece. Don't give him a hard time, when you use the word "misunderstimate" in your programming.

c) While Obama's limo was moving towards the White House, the announcers continually went on about Jimmy Carter getting out of the car to walk by the people all those years ago. "When will Obama get out of that car?" Guess what. He's America's first black president in a time when terrorism is a pretty large threat. Any nutjob could have a gun. Unless you've got the time and patience to frisk 2 million plus people, you never know what might happen. So the chances of him getting out of the car, slim to none.

3) This whole issue over Biden's wife slipping up to Oprah. Honestly, who cares? Hillary was Obama's opponent. Unless everyone has forgotten, the two weren't always buddy buddy. Obama didn't have to offer Hillary a position at all, why should we be that surprised that he didn't necessarily think of her first when going through his list? So stop mentioning it every time the camera focuses on her!

4) Chief Justice Roberts messing up the oath. Seriously dude? Although, Obama smiled so this is more funny than anything else.

5) Ted Kennedy. Way to steal Obama's thunder. KIDDING!!!! I'm just impressed he was able to be out and about with all the trouble he's had lately.

6) Yo Yo Ma and the rest of his quartet. It was less than 20 degrees in D.C. today. And yet, the man was sitting there, playing his cello in a suit. No jacket, no gloves, no hat...and yet he had a big grin on his face. I've always been the type of person, even as a kid, to wonder when the main character of a book goes to the bathroom. I'm always able to predict the end of movies with twisted plots because I pay attention to stuff like "He forgot that thing in the kitchen." So I can't believe that Yo Yo Ma is really doing okay in less than 20 degree weather without at least a neck gater. And no, I'm not your grandma. Take a look at this cheery (and yet talented) bugger.

7) The Redcoats. Come on guys, we all know you're still a bit bitter about that whole "no taxation without representation" thing back in the 18th century, but don't you think it's time to leave well enough alone? Sure Aretha sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee," which you claim we "stole." Just because we made your national anthem better doesn't mean you have to get all huffy about it.

8) Stinkerton is not a true American. He was too "busy" doing "work for his PhD" and "teaching" to actually watch the inauguration. He even told me, "I missed the part where Obama got slimed."

9) Spellchecker on Blogger, for still not accepting "Barack" or "Obama" as correct spelling.

Friday, January 16, 2009

IQ Test

Fox News came to the rescue of Chesley B. Sullenberger III, US airways pilot who has become something of a modern day superhero (he is good at flying because he's a wasp). Apparently some boob at Chesley's home town published his school records and IQ to the general public. Fox was so outraged at the thought of publishing this hero's private records they forgot to do one thing: not publish this hero's private records!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

False Idols

Tuesday night marked the beginning of yet another installment in Fox's, reality TV sensation, American Idol. Once every year, this juggernaut casts its shadow on Tuesday and Wednesday night television. Spilling into the morning show on every radio and network TV station, this program forms a black hole of gossip that you can't escape. Even if you turn off your cell-phone, put on your tin-foil helmet and ignore all electronic devices, your normally reclusive People-reading office-mate storms into your cubical to tell you how David Archuleta, "just isn't that cute."

I usually cannot bring myself to watch this Seacrest-ation, Lets do some math, each week, each contestant is asked to sing a 1:30 song clip. So, even in the first week, that is 1.5× 12 minutes = 2 hours over two nights.

However, I enjoy making fun of people more than most, so since there is nothing better on prime-time TV, I somehow convinced myself it was okay to watch the auditions. In case you are one of those Amish people who is on leave, these COMPLETE idiots come from all over the land to embarrass themselves in front of... four judges? four? Am I seeing double? Are there two Paulas? No, can't be, she looks sober: She has the presence of mind to realize that it would be good for ratings to get in a cat fight with the bikini-clad Missoran. Some more math:

Crazy Chicks × 2 + drunk chick = ratings!

Who is this Kara DioGuardi (it's not delivery)? After a half-assed Google Search, all I can tell is that her only claim to fame is that she is hot, nicer than Simon, and that she is the former roommate of Paula. Can this girl really be Simon's replacement? Simon brings intelligent, insightful, well formulated observations to the show, and this girl holds Paula's hair back...

At least there is a silver lining, we don't have to deal with that doe-eyed, dread-locked d-bag Jason Castro in this season.... NOOOO!

Some pre-coffee crankiness

Forgive me if I seem extra cranky today. Actually, I don't care if you forgive me or not. Because it's cold in my house, I'm still jetlagged, I'm tired because I haven't had any coffee yet, and I'm too tired to make coffee (terrible, I know). 

Today's crankiness is brought to you by:

Sarah Palin's current rants about the sexist media and how it hurt her chances at becoming elected.

I will certainly agree with her that perhaps the media hasn't exactly been super kind to her (in some cases perhaps more than kind). She's been speaking up a lot lately, defending herself and placing a lot of blame on others for what went wrong. Regarding her expensive wardrobe, she laments her frustration at being judged for what she wears. She wants to know why no one is asking what Obama's wearing but everyone is giving her a hard time. 

What makes me mad is not because I believe she's wrong. Okay, her wardrobe did sound kind of outrageous, but it's true that those questions haven't really been turned on Obama (although we did question how many cars and houses McCain owns). What bothers me is that when she was first nominated, she accused Hillary Clinton of being a whiner. Apparently, Hillary was holding women back by mentioning that women politicians tend to be hit harder by media pressure. She claims that Hillary has done herself a "disservice" by drawing attention to herself and that fact, and so has also hindered progress for women in America. Hillary was hindering progress. The woman who didn't have the McCain campaign protecting her every movement and telling the media she wasn't "ready" for interviews. The woman who actually made us believe that maybe one day the US could actually have a woman president.*

*Side note: Why was it, that when Obama won the candidacy over Hillary, that the media erupted with a frenzy over what a historic event it was? Yes, it was historic and really awesome for our country that a black man won it, but wouldn't it have been equally historic if Hillary had won it? The whole thing boggled my mind, and still does.

The Daily Show did a funny piece about Sarah Palin a couple of nights ago. I guess she's not just bringing the fact that she's a woman into the equation, but also her class status and the fact that she's a Republican. If she'd been running as a Democrat, things would have been a lot better for her. Oh really? 

Let me ask you a question Sarah, would you like some cheese with that whine? Maybe I'm wrong here (which I'm not), but aren't you doing exactly what you didn't like Hillary doing?  Shut up or admit that Hillary was right. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Female Superheroes: Why I hope it doesn't happen

When I was a freshman in high school, there was a large group of us that would sit together at lunch almost every day. The group was pretty much an even mix of guys and girls. Fairly frequently, we would get into a heated debate: which is better? Men or women? Without fail, the guys would argue for men and the girls would argue for women. There was simply no conclusion to the debate because the longer it continued, the more each side would feel justified in believing it was correct. Oftentimes, the arguments were pretty stupid and each side tended to mention over-the-top generalizations of the other sex in order to prove its point. A lot of the time each side wouldn't hear the other side's argument because there were too many shouts of, "Yeah!" "Oh snap!" and "That is so not true!" going on. 

As an adult, I find that the argument continues, now only slightly better articulated. A recent example of this is the debate over female superheroes. I read a couple of posts about it over at Jezebel and then followed links to articles for and against female superheroes. The article for it was written by a woman, and the article against it was written by a man. I did find the woman's article much better than the man's, and now kind of want to see a female superhero movie happen just to spite him. Seriously, that guy's article was a POS. 

However, I have to disagree with Jezebel and the woman arguing for female superheroes. Not because I agree with Mr. Douchebag McDouche, but because superhero movies are dumb. Believe me, I love action and violence. No Country for Old Men is one of the greatest movies I have seen within the last few years and my favorite part from the Matrix when I was younger was the metal detector scene where they blow up everything. But every time a new superhero movie comes out (with the exception of a couple, like Batman), I groan. They are so stupid! Nerd with secret identity and boring life develops freak powers (knowingly or unknowingly) and fights some inexplicable monster. The nerd all of a sudden becomes super cool and develops the ability to destroy things that get in his way. The reason I like Batman above all the rest is because he doesn't have superpowers, he just happens to be awesome (and in really good shape). Why would any woman want to take part in any of that? To return to my freshman high school self: Superheroes are lame and boring. Trust me ladies, we can do better.

As much as McDouche (as I've taken to calling him) sucks, he did make one or two points I could almost agree with. One was that women wanting a female superhero is kind of trying to give women something that men like instead of giving women what women want. He then craps on his own argument by saying that women want romance comedies and Julia Roberts. Wrong. While I might rather go see Slumdog Millionaire than Iron Man, I am not rushing out to see the latest crap with Ann Hathaway in it. However, I think there is something to be said in the fact that not all women have a strong desire to see superhero movies. Yes, many do, but not all by any means. 

In high school I was pretty into karate (see, McDouche, I like getting punched in the face and ovaries) and found that the men and women had pretty different reasons for signing up. While a lot of the young men found it fun and a great way to get in shape, almost every single woman in the class had a defensive reason for taking it. In a women's self-defense workshop we had, every single woman in the room had had a bad experience and wanted to be able to protect herself and her family from a future incident. Of course most of us also loved punching and kicking things, but there wasn't some greater desire to show off to our friends (okay maybe we did a little bit). My sensei commented on how a lot of the time his female students tended to correct their technique faster than his male students. While many of the men relied on strength, the women understood more quickly that strength was not going to help them perfect their technique. From my own experience, the women I have known have not wanted some fantastic superpower help them defeat all the evil in the world. Instead, it's about using what you already have and knowing what you can get away with. 

How about instead of a female superhero we have more movies featuring female badasses? Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, the girl from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Trinity from the Matrix, and Eowyn from LOTR are all awesome. Each has her weaknesses, but knows how to kick some serious ass. Maybe that would encourage more women to take martial arts classes before having a horrible experience push them into it. Give us something believable, like a woman who  really can defeat her enemies without having been born near some toxic chemical waste site. My favorite heroines do not rely on fancy technical gadgets to save them, or lasers coming out of their eyes, but their back fists, round house kicks, and sword fighting skills. They also don't try to save the world in one go or stop criminals, but fight their way, little by little, to the forefront, where they show that women are, in fact, better than men. Everyone knows that female baddesses are way more fierce than male badasses. 

If one of these female superhero movies ever actually does come out, I hope she doesn't wear high heels. If she does, I will be inclined to beat her up myself. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Liskula Cohen: Genius, Idiot, or Skank?

In case you haven't yet heard the news, former model Liskula Cohen (who?) is suing Google. Why? Because a Blogger blogger called her a 40 year old skank. The name of the blog: Skanks in NYC; the poster: anonymous. 

As I see it, there are three possible reasons that she may have done this.

1) She is a complete genius. As many other bloggers have pointed out, no one has heard of this woman. Do a google search for her name and one of the first things that pops up other than this "news story" is her friendster profile, a true sign of fame and success. Who uses Friendster? Didn't that exist when hotmail was still popular? Apparently, some dude threw a bottle at her face in the past couple of years and ruined her career. When your profile page on an ailing social networking site isn't boosting your career, you know what will? A lawsuit so inane that everyone will pay attention and wonder, "Is she serious?" 

2) If she takes this lawsuit seriously then she is a total idiot. She claims that she wants to know the identity of the blogger who has "defamed" her and believes that he or she is just "jealous" and "envious" of her. She wants to know who her "enemies" are.

First of all, if you choose to be famous, you have to accept the consequences. Not everyone is going to like you. And what exactly has this anonymous blogger done? Written gems like this:

"OK so there are so many nasty bithces in the NYC scene, so now we can write about them...She's (Liskula) a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank." 

So Liskula, are you mad that he/she called you a "psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank" (wtf does that phrase mean?), or that he/she implied that you were a "bithce?" 

I'd like to sue you for making the blog famous. If you do succeed, you'll probably have jump started some sixteen year old's career. 

Besides littering the interwebs, he or she hasn't really done anything lawsuit worthy. Unless Liskula, you are opposed to freedom of speech? Let's see, which of Blogger's terms of use has he/she violated?

a) Posted pornography: nope (unless you include the photos of you acting fairly skanklike)
b) Hateful content that promotes "hate towards groups based on race, ethnic,origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity: nope. If it is hateful, it's directed towards your pleas for attention rather than at your gender.
c) Violent content: nope
d) Copyright: nope
e) Private and Confidential Information: nope
Impersonation: nope
f) Unlawful use of services: nope
g) Spam, malicious codes and viruses: nope

So basically, you want to sue him/her for remaining anonymous and for being "jealous" and/or "envious" of you. 

3) She is indeed a skank. According to, skank means:

a) A rhythmic dance performed to reggae or ska music, bending forward, raising the knees, and extending the hands: So Liskula, what do you have against reggae or ska? Perhaps someone should be suing you for defaming the word "skank."
b) Disgusting or vulgar matter; filth.
c) One who is disgustingly foul or filthy and often considered sexually promiscuous. Used especially of a woman or girl.

I have no idea whether she is actually sexually promiscuous, but she has gone to quite great lengths to make herself famous. She has proven, quite well actually, that she is not a classy lady. A classy lady would have either ignored the blog postings or responded by creating her own blog. A disgustingly lame lawsuit and filthily immature behavior? At this point I'm not really convinced that she's not a skank. Oops, maybe I'll be sued too now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

This post brought to you by the letter G*

Last night, Stinkerton and I were watching Saturday Night Live when all of a sudden the TV was asking us, "What is G?" Our first response was, "What is this?" then, "Is this a joke? It has to be a joke. It's some sort of SNL spoof." A black and white screen, various athletes who slightly moved their heads, a guy with a gruff voice mumbling something about "G" being the emblem of a warrior. How could this possibly be serious? Then, Tiger Woods' face appeared and we knew that it was a real commercial. We instantly had two questions:

1) What the hell is "G?" At first we thought, maybe it's yet another extreme fragrance commercial. We'd have to do some research to figure out what this stuff was.

2) What won't Tiger Woods advertize?

After some googling, we discovered that "G" stands for Gatorade. Really, Gatorade? I'm not sure how I feel about Gatorade trying to push itself up to some sort of divine level. Sure, it helps to replace electrolytes after you've been exercising, but is it really what makes the "swagger of an athlete?" Is it really "a lower case god?" I don't think so. It's a sports drink, that's it. And talk about great advertizing. No one knows what "G" is supposed to be. The commercial doesn't show the beverage at all or even have the word "Gatorade" subtly mentioned anywhere. We're supposed to either just know or take a really good guess. Google results show that a whole lot of other people don't know what "G" is either. Do you know how difficult it is to google a letter? I got results for G-Unit, G-Flex, G-Shock, and eventually came across the answer. Ridiculous!

Do you remember when Tiger Woods was still likeable? He shocked the world by being part African American, part Chinese, part Thai, part Native American, part Dutch, and by having the name Tiger. At a time when golf was just something that boring white people did (and kinda steeped with racism), Woods appeared and really swung some life back into the game. People, even mini-golfers like myself, started paying attention (albeit just for a little bit) as the next greatest golf sensation since the invention of the Arnie Palmer took our breath away (okay, maybe no one paid that much attention).

But now, I wonder if he even plays all that much golf. He has become the posterboy for almost every product ever. How could I tell that the "What is G?" commercial was real? Because Tiger Woods was in it. I'm really starting to wonder if there is anything that he will not accept money for to advertize. So far he's showed up in commercials for:

1) Nike
2) Gillete
3) Gatorade
4) Tag Heur
5) Accenture
6) Buick/GM
7) Titleist
8) American Express
9) General Mills

Nine major advertizement deals. At this point I'm not sure whether there is an actual product in the commercial or if I'm supposed to be paying for Tiger Woods' face. Tiger, don't you have enough money? You seem like a nice guy, or at least your highly marketed smile seems to imply that you are, so how about you get back to the game? Maybe we can all remember you by some new cocktail, rather than as a guy who'll do just about anything for money.

*And in some parts by Stinkerton

Friday, January 2, 2009

P. Diddy needs something better to do with his time

P. Diddy (aka Puff Daddy/diddy/Sean "Puffy" Combs/Sean Combs/Sean John??) has recently come out with a new fragrance entitled I Am King. He created a $500,000 mini-movie for it. This may be more extreme than the Nicole Kidman Chanel No. 5 commercial mentioned in my last post.

I am not all that surprised by this mini-movie. However, it's not simply intended to sell's also an audition for him to become the next James Bond. In case you haven't seen this gem, here it is:

In an article in the Times, Diddy explains his motivation for wanting to become the next Bond (and tries to promote I Am King). The author discusses the election results and how proud and joyful Diddy felt on November 4. Now let's go over the aspects of the interview that filled me with rage:

"Combs believes that if a black man can enter the Oval Office, then a black man can become James Bond. And that man is him."
Hmm, so instead of a young black teenager thinking that he might not face as much discrimination on a day to day basis, or might have a better chance at getting a great job, or believing his parents when they tell him that he could in fact be president one day, he can instead look forward to becoming James Bond. Congratulations P. Diddy, you have really set some high-class priorities.

He later slightly compares himself to Obama:
"I remind Combs that he recently said that when people see Obama, they see a strong and elegant black man. Is that the way he views himself? He points to a picture of him in the white tux, the same one looming over Times Square. 'Yeah, I mean that's the way I view the images.'"

This is the same man who later describes I Am King as "the best juice you can wear on your body." Yeah, that's elegant all right. So let me get things straight here, this:

is equivalent to this (in terms of elegance of course):

Okay, I've gone way off track. Back to the James Bond thing. My first response to P. Diddy wanting to become the next James Bond was, "Doesn't this douchebag know that James Bond is British?" (You're saying, 'Sean Connery was Scottish!" That is still part of the UK my friends. 'Lazenby was Australian!' Part of the Commonwealth. 'Brosnan was Irish!' Geographically close enough. As long as you can get that swagger going, you're good). I read further and discovered that Diddy had, of course, developed a mini-plot.

Here's an excerpt from the interview: '"Yeah, I mean, it's about time. You know, white people aren't the only people who have to save the world, or be president. You know, I think that James Bond from London should be sent on a mission to come to New York and should meet me, black Bond....he should get kidnapped, and I should save HIS ass.'"

Oh, but he doesn't want to get rid of Daniel Craig, "he should just know that he has a counterpart in the United States."

Um, I have a few responses to this:

1) Has he ever watched a James Bond movie? A US counterpart to Bond already exists, and his name is Felix Leiter, who is sometimes played by a black actor. In fact, he has saved James Bond's ass several times.

2) JAMES BOND IS BRITISH! How many US spies/action heroes/saviors/captains of the universe do you need? In almost every movie ever, some US dude has rolled up at the end to save everything. What do the British have? Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Orlando Bloom. For crying out loud, let the British have James Bond. I have nothing against the idea of the next James Bond being black, but he can't be American. In fact, I think other members of the former British Empire should be arguing for a slice of that shaken-not-stirred martini. India, don't you think you deserve some of the action? How about you China? Egypt?

3) P. Diddy clearly does not understand the essence of James Bond. He actually likes Daniel Craig, who is a great action star, but not a real Bond. Where is the charisma? The puns? The getting away from the enemy on one ski? Would Diddy be able to say something like "shocking" after electrocuting a bad guy? His mini-movie shows that Bond is all about fancy suits, casinos, jet skis, helicopters, and models. But it's not. It's about beeing cheesy, suave, a little bit sleezy, and most of all, British. Plus, am I really supposed to be intimidated by this:

So get over yourself P. Diddy and try doing something useful with yourself instead of making some stupid perfume and trying to pass it off as manly. As someone once said, "Mo Money, mo problems." Hmm, if only I could remember who said that.