And Then They Came For Britney

This blog has declined to take a side in the Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry feud. We weren’t ready to face the world’s ugliness, head-on. As punishment for our negligence, we’ve paid an unimaginable price.

Katy Perry is on the cover of Elle‘s March issue. Elle is apparently interviewing and featuring all kinds of people these days. When asked about the being a pop “star”, Katy Perry replied:

“It is a hundred times harder a dream than the dream that I dreamt when I was nine…You think you signed up for one thing, but you automatically sign up for a hundred others. And that is why you see people shaving their fucking heads.”

Katy, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your job be harder than you imagined it would be when you were nine. I’m sure that’s awful and you have my sympathies. But Katy, you don’t need to worry about why people shave their fucking heads. I understand fame. I’ve performed in three professional melodramas in a small gambling town in Colorado. I’ve had my chicken fingers bought for me in a casino, unsolicited. But you don’t hear me telling Elle “that is why you see people marrying David fucking Gest.” Because you see, Katy, people like us can’t understand the motivations of superstars.

No one but the greats can understand why some things happen.

This was bigger than you or I could comprehend.

People  who shave their fucking heads were the most memorable part of a Superbowl performance that also included Aerosmith and N’Sync at a time when people still wanted to have sex with all the members of both bands*. People who shave their fucking heads danced their goddamn faces off and were more compelling than a million silver tiger/lion puppet things**. People who shave their fucking heads are known as the “Princess of Pop” not the “Gallagher of Pop.”

Learn from his subtlety.

Learn from his subtlety.

Because, for real Katy, you and Taylor Swift can fight through songs and Twitter and left shark attacks all day long. Go nuts. Have John Mayer throw shade and complain about how you’ve been cast as the mean girl while lesser DJs fight your battles for you. But leave Britney Spears out of it. She is a national goddamn treasure and we’ll be listening to “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” long after people can’t remember that “Firework” and “White Horse” existed. Hell, we’ll be listening to “Mmmm Papi” that long. Don’t worry about why people shave their heads. That’s never going to be your concern.

Britney Superbowl

Treasure.

*Mostly.

**Seriously great to see the War Horse people working though.

So This is the Kind of Movie Judd Apatow Writes Now

I loved Knocked Up, a movie that put Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl on the map. What a fun movie that established a relatively believable base reality. So I was thrilled to finally watch the tangential sequel, This is 40, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters from Knocked Up, also written and directed by Judd Apatow. What a very different viewing experience!

Guys, there’s a lot to love, but the most fun part of the whole movie is that Judd Apatow, a rich man who has a bunch of rich Hollywood friends, wrote a movie about people with absolutely obscene money problems. A quick calculation puts them around one hundred thousand dollars in debt with two failing small businesses, a huge house on which they can’t make mortgage payments, and a baby on the way. All of these issues make the movie so fun because they are never seriously addressed and the movie ends [SPOILERS] with the two of them confidently believing that it will all work out for the best!

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a comedy or because Apatow can’t imagine what money troubles would feel like, but the movie doesn’t let itself get bogged down in the fact that these two people are totally, insanely fucked. Like, in real life, Paul Rudd’s awful, constantly-pooping, man-child character would have to get a second job to support the family. They would have to actually go through with selling the house. Leslie Mann would have to fire both her employees and work there open to close. It would be so boring because in reality, people with crippling debt and no prospects would be panicking and budgeting and not going to nice resorts and throwing elaborate parties at their house unless they were ultimately going to end up filing Chapter Eleven. Instead, they focus on having more sex and being more forgiving of each other. So much more rewarding for an audience!

Two refreshing cameos round out this incredible film, in order of relevance to the plot: a subliminal corporate sponsorship from Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Billy Joe from Green Day. Melissa McCarthy is also in the film, but her character is so interesting and well written, I assume she just wandered on set thinking she was filming some other movie and the editors just decided to keep it in. “The longer the movie, the more seriously people will take it!”, they must have all said to each other in a congratulatory way!

It’s nice to see someone in a position of privilege and power in the entertainment industry shit all over the idea of monetary problems without ever giving them any weight and it’s really cool to see a movie talk about serious issues in a really irresponsible way. I hope that people who are actually struggling with these things really enjoyed this whimsical take on those issues and that if there’s ever a violent uprising in America against the one percent that the first place the we go to is Judd Apatow’s house to thank him for his great work!

Below is a list of all the unresolved plots in This is 40. Which one is your favorite?

Plots

  • Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd are husband and wife who don’t have enough sex.
  • Their kids fight.
  • One is a teen coming of age.
  • Leslie Mann’s dad is an absentee father. They have issues.
  • Leslie Mann’s dad has teen kids.
  • Paul Rudd’s dad is a mooch. He has triplet toddlers. Everyone has issues.
  • No one wants the triplet toddlers.
  • Leslie Mann’s trainer wants to fuck her. (Jason Segal, giving a great performance.)
  • Leslie Mann’s store is missing $12,000. She tries to figure out who took it.
  • Paul Rudd’s record business is failing. He’s trying to fix it.
  • Paul Rudd hasn’t disclosed any money problems to his wife ($80,000 loaned to his dad, a missed mortgage payment, failing record business).
  • Paul Rudd secretly puts their house on the market.
  • Megan Fox is a retail worker who is also a highly paid escort.
  • Leslie Mann’s sister, played by Katherine Heigle in the much better Apatow movie, Knocked Up does not exist nor does her boyfriend, Seth Rogan, or their baby, infant from the movie Knocked Up.
  • Paul Rudd hates his whole family, but likes his dad who is a piece of shit.
  • Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd both threaten a teen at their daughter’s school.
  • Leslie Mann gets unnecessarily pregnant halfway through the movie.
  • Their money manager is the main provider of exposition.
  • Subplot : Paul Rudd is always farting or pooping. Always.
  • Second subplot: They don’t know any normal people! Every single character is a zany [gynecologist, sexless friend, coworker/pill addict/lothario/uptight principal, man you get in a car accident with, etc.].
  • There is marijuana use in the movie, to no end.
  • Paul Rudd exposes himself to more than one room service person.

Life is Disappointing, No?

Goddammit you guys. Everything is the worst. Picture it: A nice girl lives in Brooklyn off the G train. The G train goes out of commission for the entire month of August. This girl has to take three trains to work. She has to be patient with extra wait times and crowded trains and getting up early and getting home late. It’s fine, she tells herself. Come September, all will be resolved. The girl takes the G through its full route on September 2nd to find MTA workers handing out fliers promising the girl that the G train was new and improved, never to return to its previous inefficiency.

"The G Train is Back". Hah.

“The G is Back”. Hah.

Trouble is, the girl is me. And me waited for the fucking G train for 25 minutes this morning. No explanations, no excuses. The conductor just kept yelling at us to stand clear of the closing doors. Some of us were clear, sir. Some of us were clear.

But, unlike the G train, there were several opportunities to quickly jump on disappointment today. Guys, Nev from MTV’s Catfish is a piece of shit. Who could have imagined that someone who makes a living following the emotionally delicate journeys of people who are willingly fooled on the Internet would turn out to be a total craphole? Who could have foreseen that someone on reality TV wasn’t as genuine as he appeared. Nev, second cutest host in a set of two, posted a hilarious and/or poignant photo of himself in an “abuse free” elevator onto the Twitter today. Fun fact about Nev, he punched a girl in the face in college. At Sarah Lawrence University. She was trying to get him to stop taking photos of her kissing her partner. Fuuuucckkkkk. Next thing you’ll tell me Roger Goodell had plenty of opportunities to see that video.

But all of this is just disappointment Funfetti on a disappointment cupcake. Guys, Taylor Swift is fighting with Katy Perry. And Taylor promised us it wasn’t even about a guy! And I, sucker for the ages, believed her. I figured they had professional beef, which I totally understand. There was this bitch at my old restaurant who never mise en place-d properly and I would have loved the opportunity to shade her in Rolling Stone. Women fighting over business in the media is the next step in kicking through the glass ceiling, right? Nope, wrong.

Tense cheekbones of rage.

Tense cheekbones of rage.

Not only are Taylor Swift and Katy Perry* fighting over a guy, they are fighting over human wet sneeze, John Mayer. Of all the men in all the corners unnecessarily playing guitar in the world, they are fighting over John “David Duke dick” Mayer. Taylor, it wasn’t supposed to be about a guy, and it’s about the guy.

G train, Nev, Katy and Taylor most of all, I can’t with you, so I’ll hand the mic to Tyra:

*My mom mentioned Katy Perry three times this weekend. This cannot be a coincidence.

What is Optimism?

Taylor Swift is the living embodiment of Voltaire’s tragic hero, Candide, as surely as Selena Gomez is the incurably optimistic Pangloss[1]. Just as Candide begins his life in a castle so did Swift begin hers on a Christmas tree farm equally believing that this indeed was the “best of all possible worlds”. We know Swift was as brutally ejected from this paradise as Candide was conscripted by the Bulgars, evidenced by the painful journey she takes us on in “White Horse”.

Just as Candide loses everyone he loves in hellish, nightmarish ways (syphilis, war, enslavement, rape, shipwreck, etc.) so did Taylor Swift date John Mayer. Just as Candide had to murder, lie, steal, and starve to survive his tribulations, so did Taylor Swift endure Kanye at the 2009 VMAs.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

Just as Candide had to journey to the lands of his enemies to pursue a love who had forsaken him, so did Taylor Swift survive that not super well-reviewed cameo in Valentine’s Day. Just as Candide finds pessimism-spewing, shade-throwing philosopher, Martin, so has Taylor Swift befriended Suri Cruise.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

And now we find ourselves on the other side of Swift’s exhausting journey with the masterful “Shake It Off”. Because indeed, the “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate” for it is declared thusly in their name as it is with the players, heartbreakers, and the fakers. But at last with only the backbreaking work of her farm to occupy her time, Taylor has realized that she’s “lightening on [her] feet”, though others cannot see it. Just as Candide learns that toil is man’s only way to find true joy so has Taylor Swift declared that she “can’t stop, won’t stop grooving”. Worry not, people, that Taylor Swift stays out too late or goes on too many dates. Be not like, “oh my god”, Taylor Swift’s ex man’s new girlfriend. Think not about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of this world, person listening to “Shake It Off”. Taylor Swift has made it through countless trials and tribulations, recorded for posterity in the ballads born of her pain, but at last has learned, whether this is the best of all possible worlds or otherwise, it’s best that Taylor Swift cultivate her own garden.

 

[1] Just as Pangloss retains his optimism through syphilis, losing an eye, nose tip, and an ear, countless enslavements, a hanging, and boredom on a farm, so has Selena Gomez gotten back with Justin Bieber, like, a lot of times.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

Ahem.

I was far too busy last night to watch the Golden Globes, but I am a lemming who will always click on an article asking whether or not a celebrity was drunk while presenting an award as surely as my spirit animal will follow its brethren off a cliff. So I did watch a clip of Diane Keaton accepting the Cecile B. DeMille award for a certain director.

Let me start this off by saying that I have never seen a Woody Allen film. At first, I just wasn’t that interested; too young. Then I sort of thought I wanted to wait till a really special movie came along, something that spoke to me. And now…any time I tell someone that I’ve never seen the world through the lens of the word’s most famous neurotic I got shock and horror. “Not even Annie Hall?!!???!” My former potential friend gasps as he/she clutches his/her pearls and averts his/her eyes.

And I’m ok with that. I was twelve when Woody Allen married his much younger former stepdaughter; old enough to assess how fucking disgusting that is at the disgust level only a tween can feel. Like disgusting. While they’re still married and only they know their love blah, blah, I can never see a picture of him without getting a little creeped out and the idea of sitting through a couple of hours of his view of women and the world gives me honest heebie jeebies.

I only recently learned that he allegedly also abused his seven year-old daughter and was caught MORE THAN ONCE. He was found innocent in a court of law, but imagining how difficult it is for a victim to come forward, let alone a child, I am inclined to side with said victim.

All that said, Mia Farrow, you need to reflect.

Did Ms. Farrow, as she watched Diane Keaton laud the man who made her famous despite the fact that he definitely did something wrong and maybe something really, really wrong, feel a twinge of familiarity? Because she continues to stand by Roman Polanski, despite the fact that he raped a thirteen year old girl. Like Keaton and Allen, Farrow and Polanski enjoyed cinematic greatness together. Like Keaton and Allen, Farrow has been complicit in a powerful Hollywood figure’s ability to be bigger than the law and justice as recently as a 2005 law suit brought against  Condé Nast for an article published in Vanity Fair, which had to be attended remotely by Mr. Polanski himself for fear of being extradited to the United States to face punishment for his famous child rape.

Sex crimes are not morally relative.  You don’t get to be mad at the guy who did it in your house while giving the guy who made you famous a pass. The victim you know is not more important than the one you don’t. Obviously, Mia Farrow is a huge fan of the site and will no doubt read this and reflect and change her whole life. I’m not suggesting for one moment she shouldn’t be apoplectic with rage at the man who victimized one or more of her children, but that perhaps that outrage is worth extending beyond your own four walls.

My Review of the Golden Globes

Y’all, I did not watch the Golden Globes tonight. I want so much to give a quarter of a fuck about them, especially because of the insane love I feel for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and for the insane love I feel for shading celebrity dress choices (but not bodies), but I just do not. For one thing, these Law and Order: SVU episodes aren’t going to re-watch themselves. Plus, I’ve seen like, two of the nominated movies and probably .015% of the nominated television shows so I can’t enjoy the sole joy of watching an awards show, which is to nod smugly as various movies and television programs I know are announced as if I somehow made them myself. Also, since anything besides Frozen  was nominated for any awards this whole production is a bull(?)shit sham and I won’t be a party to it.

I also did not watch the Golden Globes tonight because I was busy experiencing a major life milestone. In the interest of a little backstory, picture it: New York City, 2008, the Upper West Side….

A broke actor/server server/actor, I relied on my roommate Gigi to cut my hair for me; her qualifications being skill and patience. However, Gigi was working a similar gig with different hours, so I decided to take matters into my own hands, despite the fact that I possess neither skill nor patience. I cut my bangs so short and jagged that I couldn’t even pin them back. In a headband, I looked like a troll doll going through something. A drunk five-year old with one side of a pair of safety scissors could have done a better job. Since then, I have not been allowed to use simple tools to remove any of my hair.

Brenda Walsh and me: living parallel lives

Brenda Walsh and me: living parallel lives

But tonight, a mere six years later, I successful cut my own bangs. I sent a selfie to Gigi to make sure I had permission. Hey! 24 year old me, it really does get better.

Like a fine wine

Like a fine wine

Also, Sunday night treat. Lascivious Lemur, you will love it.

Also, fair disclaimer, I am not Shannen Doherty, only a respectful and not at all dangerous fan.

Baby, It’s Medium Outside

Holy shit. It is balmy outside. I am sweating. After two days of single-digit temperatures, it is a glorious 30 degrees in New York City and I am alive! The insides of my windows don’t even have ice on them. I’m only wearing one pair of pants! My shirt is cut lower than a turtleneck. I haven’t found my face covered in the involuntary tears of a person whose eyes have given up on trying to be warm and are hemorrhaging sadness even once today. As we head into a small reprieve of what will surely be one of the worst winters to date, let us not forget that what was once horrible can be upgraded to positively mediocre. And we will worship at the altar of that mediocrity.

happy

Today on the elevator in my office building, I heard a fucking idiot say, “Supposed to be 55 and rainy this weekend. That’s just nature’s way of rebalancing itself,” and the obviously junior coworker he was with titter nervously. As I bit down on my spontaneously bleeding inner cheeks so as not to scream, “No, you asshole, we have taken away nature’s ability to rebalance itself. Nature is fucking just trying to take the edge off of all the shit we cram into it by taking a little upper.” Tomorrow, someone will say or do something much more terrible, and that moron’s ignorant comment that turned the effects of global warming into an adorable thing nature was “trying” will seem like a balmy 30 degree evening in Brooklyn. As we head out into the world with a bunch of people too stupid to pull their head’s out of their asses, let us not forget that mediocre is far short of good.

serious

 

I Feel The Same Way As You Feel About Botox. Painful And Unnecessary.

Gang? Hey guys, everybody grab a piece of floor or sit backwards in a chair in a cool way; it’s time to rap. How was everyone’s day? Good? Good, me too. I bought new bras (Semi-Annual Sale! Run don’t walk!) so everything is good here.

I just wanted to check in and make sure we’re all on the same page about how we feel about Sarah Jessica Parker’s comment that there could possibly be a third Sex and the City movie. Did someone ask for this? Don’t hide in the back if you did. It’s ok. Someone let Russell Crowe be in Les Miserables; some people like Kelly better than Brenda. Sometimes people are wrong, but no one is mad, ok? So you can tell us if you said you wanted it.belding bro

Ok, so no one is going to speak up. That’s fine. Maybe no one did ask for this. I certainly didn’t. What the fuck could another Sex and the City movie do other than reinforce how vapid and unsubstantial the characters have become? How much harder can I wish every cast member of The Golden Girls was still alive and making magic together while watching four shadows of the legacy they left behind? Is there something getting privileged white women down in New York City in a way with which we are as yet unfamiliar? Is there a story about this not sufficiently being told but The Real Housewives of New York?

I have seen Sarah Jessica Parker play everything from the hot witch sister of Bette Midler to the hot social climber who stole Bette Midler’s husband but I have never seen her play any character other than Carrie Bradshaw. Maybe she could just keep doing that in other movies that aren’t Sex in the City and just leave the charred ashes of a once great show long ago destroyed by the flames of hubris to slowly recede into the sea?

Or maybe they’ll go back to Dubai or explore a whole other culture’s most superficial stereotypes! Life is crazy and even empty stories have more chapters!

Panda Gets Her Groove Back

Probably no one has called this to your attention today but it was cold in New York. I live in a moderately shitty old brownstone and when I rolled over this morning at 3:30am, my windows were covered in frost. On the inside. Of my apartment. Which was not even that cold.

Snow_Panda

That’s just a fun fact. Here are some others:

  • Sasheer Zamata is joining the cast of Saturday Night Live which is awesome. She is a smart performer with razor sharp wit who works to make the other people onstage with her look good. SNL is extremely lucky to have her. There are a million videos of hers flying around the internet but this is one of my favorites:
  • Knowing what frog gigging is apparently makes me a bit of an anomaly in New York City. I have never gone frog gigging and don’t think I’d have the stomach for it, but it’s basically when you go hunting for frogs but instead of reeling them in on a fishing line or shooting them with a tiny harpoon, you stab them through the head with a stick. I’ll just be over here tuning my banjo if you guys want to invite me to do something cool.
  • Evander Holyfield is a homophobe who uses the Bible to back up the idea that being gay is icky. Since I also know that Mike Tyson bit off Evander’s ear at a boxing match that I inexplicably watched live at a family beach trip (where we did go crabbing, but DID NOT GIG), so I now know two things about Evander Holyfield.
  • Books have trailers now. Like movie trailers in that they are videos but made specifically to promote the written word. What the fuck? What happened to just posting the first chapter of the next Sweet Valley High book at the back of the most recently published one?
  • There is a thing called The Selfie Olympics. It is the single greatest offering the internet has made in 2014, including new cats, mostly because like all good things (exfoliating and hair styling) the rules stipulate they must happen in a bathroom.
#howdidthisguygetinmytinyapartmentandtakea#selfie

#howdidthisguygetintomytinyapartmentandtakea#selfie

Guys, my point is that all I did today was read work emails, go to the basement of my building to get teriyaki, come home, and watch episodes of SVU that I have seen countless times. Imagine all the things I (or anyone) could learn with a tiny bit of effort.

 

Now We Don’t Have To Wait For Our Lives To Be Over

There is no group of strangers I care more about than the cast of Dawson’s Creek. There are shows I might be more loyal to (Happy Endings, 90210) but not casts. I care about each and every one of them, from Joshua Jackson to Marybeth Peil to Busy Phillipps. Did you know the world’s most perfect man (if appearances are to be believed) Ken Marino was on the Creek? I did. Did you know that your favorite bad boy, Michael Pitt was Jen’s serious boyfriend who she cradle-robbed from the freshman class? I did. Did you know that Busy Phillipps and Michelle Williams are each other’s’ rocks? I. Did. Thanks.

So, I am super thrilled second only to the time I saw Katie Holmes walking on the disgusting sidewalk next to the Duane Reade across the street from Madison Square Garden (she looked like a supermodel and walked like an angel finally given wings) to tell you guys about this website I stumbled upon while reading Jezebel.com comments on a Saturday night like the hip urbanite I am. Featuring the member of the Creek cast most likely to fade into obscurity who instead flipped everything on its head and became the celebrity Luke Perry never had the courage to be (that’s right, I said it), James Van Der Beek proves that he’s more man than Chad Michael Murray will ever be and more internet hero than we’ll ever deserve. I give you, Van Der Memes.

Every moment you don’t click on the link is another moment you don’t understand what it is to truly be alive.

Dawson