Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We all look to the justices on the Supreme Court to reflect our own lives, passions, and/or dreams. This is obvious, and it's why I'm not a little bit disappointed that Obama didn't choose Susan Boyle or Harry Hamlin from Clash of the Titans for this highest of high offices. Of course, I'm used to not seeing myself in the Alitos, Scalias, and Kennedys that recent US Presidents have been appointing to the bench. After all, what could I possibly have in common with a gaggle of non-diabetic old men who have never had a dick in their mouths (except Scalia)? Not much! But now that is all changing, thanks to one Sonia Sotomayor, who made history today by being the first openly type 1 diabetic person to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
I obviously have a lot in common with Ms. Sotomayor: the childhood in the Bronx; being a Latina; circuit (court) parties. But the most important thing we share is insulin dependency--and, I have no doubt, a pathological need to eat Little Debbie snack cakes when our blood sugar goes low. It doesn't matter if it's Nutty Bars, Fudge Rounds, Star Crunch, Devil Squares, Zebra Cakes, or Oatmeal Creme Pies; if the glucose dips below 60, we'll be at Little Debbie's house, eatin'.
This is a huge step forward for Type 1 diabetics across this great nation. But not for Type II diabetics. They're still fat lazy slobs.
Friday, May 22, 2009
It’s time to break out the summertime jams. And what do you think of when you think of summertime jams? That's right: pasty white British bands from the late 80s. More specifically: the “blonde pop” scene in England that was all the rage in the British music tabloids for at least a few months.
This scene included three bands: The Primitives from Coventry, the Darling Buds from Wales, and Transvision Vamp from London. Their defining characteristic was, duh, female lead singers with blonde hair, whose songs betrayed an utter devotion to the sounds of Blondie, Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Buzzcocks. Each made their mark on the British charts with songs like “Crash” (the Primitives), “Big Head’ (the Darling Buds), and “I Want Your Love” (Transvision Vamp). They enjoyed many Melody Maker and NME covers.
Ginned-up pop scenes can’t last forever, though. Tracy Tracy, leader of the Primitives, died her hair red in advance of the band’s second album in 1989 and, just like that, the scene was over. So sad. With Tracy gone, the scene’s followers quickly realized that Transvision Vamp’s Wendy James was just a hot mess who couldn’t really sing and that the Darling Buds’ Andrea Lewis, great as she was, couldn’t really constitute a scene by herself.
They were sweet days while they lasted, though. Let’s go to there!
This was the finger-snapping follow-up to their best-known single "Crash" and it deserved more attention than it ever got. More importantly, it's the last video Tracy ever made as a blonde.
How hot is guitarist Harley Farr in this video? How can Andrea even concentrate on her tambourine playing with him standing right behind her looking that good? Good God.
Wendy James was Courtney Love without all the heroin.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Well this is great news. Usually reading Publisher's Lunch's "Lunch Weekly" book deal roundup makes me want to vomit, but today's list put a big smile on my face, because has there ever been a greater force for good in the world than Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie? She taught a whole generation of gays how to be insufferable bitches, and for that she deserves our thanks--and our money. Check it:
Star of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE Alison Arngrim's CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH, a comic memoir of growing up as one of television's most memorable characters -- the devious Nellie Oleson -- with behind-the-scenes stories from the set, as well as tales from her bohemian upbringing in West Hollywood and her headline-making advocacy work on behalf of HIV awareness and abused children, to Kate Hamill at It Books, at auction, by Kent Wolf at Global Literary Management (NA).
This book will save the entire publishing industry, obviously. They will have to invent a new award for this book, because the Pulitzer is just not going to do it justice. This book will defeat the terrorists.
This book, in conclusion, will be a great excuse for me to dig my Nellie Oleson wig out of my parents' attic. For book parties.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Is there a more depressing conversation happening in the country than the one about whether or not torture works? These three cubs don't think so, and I'm inclined to agree with them.
So, the Republican position these days is: torture works, so we should do it. To which any thinking person might reply, "rape probably works, shall we do that too?" Or "please define works, if you would." To back up their argument, they always turn to the "ticking time bomb" scenario, which happens every week on 24, one of those Hollywood teevee productions that Republicans usually love to dismiss, but in this case they use to bolster their argument. Never mind that we took these torture tactics from the Chinese and the Soviets, which they used to elicit false confessions for political purposes. If there is a ticking time bomb, what is a false confession going to do for us, hmmm? Oh, I know: it will provide that smoking gun of a tie between Iraq and al Qaeda. More stress positions and nude pyramids, please! Ticking time what?
So the Republicans are now happily embracing the acts of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, yay! In the name of freedom. And liberty. And Nobama. And Jesus! Tea bags!
And now we get the entire Cheney family on every talk show on every station in every time zone, forever, saying "torture works" and "we are safer" and Obama is "siding with the terrorists." I think it's time for a Liz Cheney/Jesse Ventura cage match.
In Liz Cheney's defense, she was waterboarded every Christmas morning growing up, so she probably just can't understand what the big deal is and is wondering why everyone hates Christmas so much.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I saw the new Star Trek last night and, wow. Sexy much? I mean, damn, even Spock was hot. But the best news about this reboot, besides it being a nearly flawless re-imagining of a classic nerd franchise, is that, thanks to the magic of movies, Harold and Kumar's John Cho is now a gay, yay!
You see, the makers of this prequel, though they have infused it with some shiny new bells and whistles, have really stuck to the fundamental characteristics of the core Enterprise figures: Captain Kirk is a handsome skirt chaser; Spock is logical and passionless, with spartan bangs; and Nyota Uhura is leggy and hot.
It's only logical, then, to assume that Commander Sulu, (played in the original series and movies by proud gay George Takei) is a big old gay, due to the fact that, in the original, he enjoyed such activities as staring at Kirk dreamily and sweaty, shirtless fencing. So, by logical extension (because we must be logical), John Cho, who plays him, must also be gay, since George Takei was. This makes perfect sense and is an airtight argument that absolutely cannot be refuted, because it has been declared on a blog.
Welcome to the family, John! You know, it's now legal for Harold and Kumar to get gay-married in New Jersey (good title for next sequel, no?), so get working on those invites. White Castle, naturally, can cater.
I was a little disappointed that there was no sweaty, shirtless fencing in the movie, but I guess that's what sequels are for.
Friday, May 15, 2009
All of NYC's tulips and pansies are atwitter about the 8th Annual Tulips and Pansies fashion show that happened yesterday. It was picketed by a bunch of dumb hippies who don't believe in killing flowers for fashion, but the show was still a screaming success.
All it takes is some flowers to turn an ordinary doormat into an explosion of glamour.
You have to be really careful when wearing this one; I once wore it to a picnic and a bee tried to pollinate my eyeball.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
I woke up the other night in a cold sweat, realizing that I didn't commemorate the death of the late, great Kirsty MacColl last December 18 on the eighth anniversary of her horrible death (which makes me want to scream every time I think about it). I'm ashamed.
If you don't know Kirsty MacColl, you've probably encountered her in some way if you were at all with it in the '80s. (With It in the '80s--great title for a memoir, no?) Besides writing and recording her own material—including "They Don't Know" in 1979, three years before Tracy Ullman would take it into the US Top 10—she sang back-up on the Smiths' "Ask Me" ("the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, etc") and on Morrissey's "Interesting Drug"; she's the female singer on the Pogue's celebrated Christmas anthem "Fairytale of New York"; she covered the Smiths' "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby," turning its famous refrain of "you must suffer and cry for slightly longer" into a Phil Spector-ish, gleefully sing-songy summertime jam; and she famously (er, in the UK) covered Billy Bragg's "A New England," to which Bragg himself added two verses especially for her version. That video is above and is adorable.
Kirsty had troubles with record companies throughout her career and always had a hard time breaking the American market, due to her being so awesome. But she actually started shattering that glass ceiling in 2000 when she released Tropical Brainstorm, arguably her best album. It was Cuban-flavored with a bitter British twist, and you need to just go f**king buy it now. You probably heard her song "In These Shoes" in an episode of Sex and the City, if you watched that hideous program like I did.
Her overdue success in 2000 made her death on December 18 of that year while scuba diving in Mexico with her two kids all the more heartbreaking. I won't recount the whole sad story here, but here's her Wikipedia page and here's an official website dedicated to her memory and to getting justice from the Mexican authorities.
I remember one time a few years ago I was driving somewhere with my dad, and I put in her 1989 album Kite. After a few songs, Dad said "this girl is sharp." She was. And deeply, desperately missed.
But let's not end the week on a downer, y'all. Below please enjoy Kirsty's appearance on a skit in season 3 of French and Saunders. In the immortal words of Dawn French, "it's only tits."
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This whole Miss California/Perez Hilton kerfuffle is just another piece of positive proof that, just like with the celebrated death matches of, say, Rosie O’Donnell vs. Barbara Walters, or Glenn Close vs. Michael Douglas, or Rush Limbaugh vs. Megalon, sometimes both sides of a spat are being total a**holes.
As you all know, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, recently lost the Miss USA pageant for being an awful Christian bigot. Here’s what happened: during the question-and-answer segment of the competition, during which all finalists must prove that they can offer meaningless platitudes in reasonably clear English-type language, Miss California was asked by one of the judges—in this case, the sometimes-not-odious Perez Hilton, Professional Gay—whether she would support gay marriage. Prejean responded that she thinks its great that we live in a country where people can choose same-sex marriage or “opposite marriage” but that “I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. . . That’s how I was raised.” At which point she surrendered all hope of winning the contest, duh. (Because who wants a beauty queen who doesn’t like the gays? I mean, really, who does she think did her makeup?)
Since this brouhaha, Prejean has appeared in a promotional video for the National Organization for Marriage to promote “opposite marriage” and has basically become the new spokes-Barbie for the traditional marriage movement. Which means it’s about time for some racy photos of her to surface, which did a few days ago. Now she’s crying foul, saying she’s being targeted by the gay mafia for her religious beliefs. Which, um, yes, and yes.
Here’s the thing: Perez Hilton was being a dumb a**hole when he posed the question at the pageant. Why? Because she’s not running for office, she will wield no power if she wins, and IT’S THE MISS USA F**KING PAGEANT. That’s why. Ask her about world peace. Or melting pots. Or famine. Or literacy. Or maps. But don’t ask her about gay marriage. That brings politics into a place where no one wants it; they just want to look at pretty girls and their boobs.
Here’s the other thing: Prejean is also an a**hole, obviously, because she’s a brainless hypocrite. She believes in traditional marriage, but her brand of moralistic Christianity also obviously allows her to sex it up in photo shoots, just like in traditional marriage. (Is that how she was raised?) Also: why didn’t she just answer the question as if she wanted to win the contest? Did she come this far to stand (in heels) on principle? Again, it’s Miss USA, not Miss UN. It’s a souped-up hooker competition. Why didn't she just say "I believe in love" or something like that? You want to stand on principle and be taken seriously, princess, why don’t you put some clothes on and learn some debating skills?
In conclusion, Vanessa Williams was the best Miss America ever.
This duo from Ramallah is certainly terrific, but I'm kind of rooting for the young Palestinian girl who can play "I Gotta Be Me" on the spoons.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Well, finally! We've all been waiting for someone to ask Joe the Plumber his views on homosexuality, since they're so relevant. The brave publication? Christianity Today, bitchez. Take us there, Joe:
People don't understand the dictionary—it's called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing.
This honky has a great point: gays, who are strange and unusual (and who by definition cannot be slurred), want to hang with his kids. This is true. And I haven't heard a point so air-tight and well articulated since that Miss South Carolina contestant argued that Americans need more maps, for South Africa and such as.
I have a few friends who are plumbers that think Joe is a dumbass. This is not a slur because it's in the dictionary. (The Urban one.)
Friday, May 1, 2009
Those of you who know my last name know that I’m a proud Swede on my Dad’s side; a “svenska pojke,” as my grandmother used to call me. (It means “Swedish nancy boy.”) Oh, how often I've wanted to add a "j" to my name to make it Tjim. (It would still be pronounced the way my mama says it: "Tee-um".)
Anyway, as a result of my being a stone cold Swede, sort of, I have an inborn connection to any music coming out of Sweden. It’s why I’ve seen the Cardigans twice. Twice. Unnecessary, right? (Yes. Unnecessary.) It’s also why I agree with the historical fact that ABBA is one of the best bands ever (This is proven by science, and I don’t have to defend myself, so shut up, snobs.) And why I think it’s a tragedy that Komeda is not a household name and The Knife will one day save the world (after first scaring it shitless).
So of course I had a great time at the Peter Bjorn and John show at Webster Hall the other night with my non-Swedish Italian friend Alex. (Grazie for treating, Alex!) PB&J put on a great show and are freakin’ adorable. And they played “Young Folks”!
And now a message for the old folks: remember, grandmas and grandpas, when you went to live shows in the days before readily available digital technology that allowed you to photograph and film every freaking thing you saw that you regarded as semi interesting? Remember those days? When you had to just rely on your own memory power to conjure up images of a great concert you went to given by the Sugarcubes (Rialto Theater, Raleigh, 1988) or The Cure (Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, 1989) or Siouxsie and the Banshees (Walnut Creek Ampitheater, Raleigh, 1991), or Juice Newton (Chataqua Ampitheater, Lake Chautauqua, 1982)? When you may not have been able to text your friends all of your impressions in real time, but you could still, I don't know, talk to them about it later?
Those days, ancient mariners, are over. The last two shows I’ve gone to in NYC have proven that beyond any reasonable doubt. At PB&J on Wednesday I was forced to watch the band play “Young Folks” through the LCD screen of some dumb teenager standing right in front of me with his arms and digicam lifted triumphantly in the air for the entire. F**king. Song. That was a lot of fun. And during Ladytron last month a gaggle of dumb kids in front of me and my friend Kelly spent the entire show passing around text messages to and from their friends who weren’t at the show and the sickly glow from their phone screen just about gave me epilepsy. I looked at one of the text messages they sent. It said, “Ladytron’s light show is soooo pretty! OMG!” Really, dummy? Then why don’t you put the phone in your pocket AND F**KING WATCH IT?!
Stupid, meddling kids. (And before you yell at me saying "But Tim, you obviously took a picture with your camera phone, why are you such a hypocrite?!" let me tell you this: I lifted my phone in the air for about 2 seconds to take that picture. And if you can read what the backdrop on the stage says [one word, repeated over and over] without clicking to enlarge, I'll come and sing "Young Folks" at your next bar mitzvah.)