jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Clio Chibi)
  • Well, the Olympics are over, which is probably good for me because I was watching too much TV anyway. Now I'm back to listening to music instead of Chad Salmela shouting about cross-country skiing. That said, the cross-country events, including biathlon and Nordic combined, were by far my favorites of the entire Games, and I'm not alone in that. Also I'm glad that Canada won hockey and got the most golds, even though medal counts are so Cold War.
  • Though that closing ceremony was some crazy town. Are closing ceremonies ever particularly good?
  • Timothy Olyphant's new show Justified premieres on FX on March 16th, conveniently after White Collar's finale. You can see the trailer here on ew.com. I hope it does well so he doesn't have to keep being awesome in mediocre horror movies in order to pay his mortgage.
  • You know that study that found a correlation between liberal political beliefs, atheism, and male monogamy on the one hand and higher IQ on the other? First, the thing is full of holes—how long have we been talking about IQ being culturally based? Second, it's evolutionary psychology, which this outstanding Newsweek article takes apart and doesn't bother to put back together again. I could say more, but it's really all in the Newsweek article. Ev psych, kinda shitty.
  • Which reminds me, does anyone else feel like the whole gay animals thing is proving the wrong point? Will finding gay animals make gay people more "natural" for anyone? And will homosexuality being "natural" or "biological" really mean anything for equality or changes in attitudes? Because many other groups are "natural" but that hasn't done much for their status.
  • And then there was that huge article in the NYT Magazine this Sunday that once again tried to say that depression is "creative." For those of you that don't know, I've been struggling with clinical depression since I got out of college, though probably before then as well, and when I'm in a really severe depressive episode I don't create fuckall. I barely get out of bed. I mean, didn't Elizabeth Wurtzel already say this twenty years ago? Anyway, here's Foster Kamer on the subject:
    There's nothing good about depression. It sucks. Here's what to tell people who're depressed: get some fucking help. See a shrink. A good one. If you need them, get some fucking drugs. And that you love them, and that it's gonna get better, and it's gonna get better just by trying. And that you love them. And then love them.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
Everyone and their brother has probably told you this by now, but the new profile of Roger Ebert in Esquire is a definite must-read, especially if, like me, you grew up watching Siskel and Ebert. (They were always the reason Letterman gave for having two guest chairs on his set even though he talked to one guest at a time.)

In the middle of the article they're talking about Gene Siskel, who died of a brain tumor in 1999—well, not talking, as Ebert lost his voice and his ability to eat to cancer, but discussing. Ebert goes to his blog to look up the embedded video of his on-air tribute to Gene the first show after his death and of course, Disney has taken the video down. Ebert has a pretty big fit over this, understandably, saying, "MY TRIBUTE." It's an amazing moment in the middle of the article.

I know in fandom we often play a bit loose with copyright, and that there's an understandable concern among those on my flist who are compensated for cultural work about rights violations cutting into their real paycheck, or making it more difficult for future creators to be offered payment for their work. Ebert's tribute to his friend Siskel was done on a television show for which he had a contract and was duly paid. Disney produced the show and they have the rights to it. End of story.

But we've all seen that rights holders, which more often than not are giant corporations that exist to make money, aren't particularly respectful, especially to the creators of the cultural products. It sucks that the breaking down of paying for content leads to producers getting the squeeze (though that always happens in any economic change, that the little guy feels it first) but I just can't imagine that the way that copyright exists right now is awesome if so many people don't have the rights to the things they have created themselves.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (smokin' matt albie)
We have Bill Kristol to blame for Sarah Palin, apparently. Rove wanted Romney; McCain wanted Lieberman but no one else did.

Idolator doesn't think much of the proposed cover of D.Cook's record and I have to say, neither do I. It makes his head look like an ICBM.

Justin wants you to put something else in the box. Ryan played this on E!News last night and then went on and on about the mustard scarf JT is wearing and the importance of proper accessorizing.

Defamer shows that movie critics are kind of white dumbasses. I want to know what Elvis Mitchell has to say about it. I very much do not want to know what Ben Lyons has to say about it.

I link to this post on Christie Brinkley's ex's possible sex tape less for that and more for the vintage 80s GQ cover. And they wonder why Gen X women keep trying to date gay men.

Gawker calls bullshit on small differences in Playmates having anything to do with economics. I think that stupid skirt theory was disproven, too.

Christopher Buckley, son of the original neocon God William F. Buckley, decides to endorse Obama because McCain ain't no neocon. After all the hate mail columnnist Kathleen Parker got for calling on Palin to resign for the good of the party because she was bringing McCain down, Buckley puts his endorsement not on the website of the National Review, that stalwart conservative magazine founded by his father at which he is still an editor, but at Tina Brown's brand spanking new website. Hate mail arrives anyway, and eventually a pink slip from said National Review. One wonders what Buckley pere would have said about all this.

Jezebel doesn't have a lot of time for that stupid New York Observer cover story about how what career women really want is Don Draper. However, I think I need to get my hands on the first season, don't I, as apparently season 2 is available on On Demand.

Thanks to Jezebel I found out that Katy Sparks, the chef from my old favorite Quilty's, is back to restaurant cooking in New York at Compass on the UWS. It's a little pricey, but not save-for-months pricey, so I'll be putting my loose change toward that $35 tasting menu, I think.

Finally, from late last week, Jezebel breaks down the social dynamics and political economy behind The Long Winter. A fascinating read.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Richard Ayoade)
But first: Sadly, my beloved laptop died the other night and even the magical Zigster couldn't revive it. I'll be surviving on the ipod touch in the evenings, and I have internet at work during the day, but expect delays for most of October until I can get funds together to replace it.

What's for Breakfast? So that sort of annoying mag Saveur asks a bunch of DC elites what they eat for breakfast (and jeez, Obama with the eggs, the hell?). I love Nancy Pelosi with "chocolate ice cream." I also love Wonkette's graphic of the best breakfast convenience product ever, chocolate chip pancakes wrapped around a sausage, frozen, on a stick.

Ollie North never called out Osama Bin Ladin. It was Abu Nidal, morons! I like the all-caps; I'm sure rather than a screaming on the email vibe he's going for a Telex/teletype/telegram feel STOP

Some moron is citing Chuck and Larry as a reason not to give same sex benefits to federal employees. Yeah, because men and women never cohabit in order to receive benefits. Nope, it's only the gays, because that's how they ruin marriage.

McCain thinks Obama has cooties. Or something. Anyway, he didn't want to shake his hand.

A thoughtful article from Idolator on the proliferation of lists in music magazines.

I am so watching the debate live tonight.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Clio Chibi)
Yes, friends, Rufus Wainwright is doing two shows at Carnegie Hall, recreating Judy Garland's landmark 1961 comeback shows in the same venue. I mean, I love me some Rufus, but I'm not sure I'm really ready to see him sing "The Man That Got Away," not because he's a man, but because he's not really a belter.

In not quite as gay news, People's Hottest Bachelors is up on the web. Taylor still makes me shudder but I'm pleased at the inclusion of Archie Kao from CSI (you know, the AV tech, total Cute Asian Guy). Nick Lachey really should be #1 as he has a hit single and is going through an infamous divorce but whatever. Also on the list, interestingly: Kenny Chesney, Ryan Seacrest and Jack Gyllenhaal. (There's even a little "which would you date" bit that includes Ryan v Simon.)

Oh, and So You Think You Can Dance has started up in earnest and how great were Benji and Donyelle? Also Martha and Travis!

I'm thinking I need to edit my icons. I don't use big piles of them. Hmm. Anyway, meme. )
jlh: Clara Bow (It Girl)
There's this whole thing going 'round about people trying to post more often. I realize that since sometime in March I've been posting about nothing but television, but hey, this is the public journal and my RL hasn't been that exciting anyway. I read a lot of books, and then I wrote some papers. That's about it. So now that my shows are off for the summer (right, like I'm going to post about So You Think You Can Dance) I was wondering what I should talk about.

And then Newsweek took it back.

You know, that stupid statistic that they put on their cover 20 years ago, that single women over 40 were more likely to be kidnapped by a terrorist than marry? Newsweek put it on the cover and wrote an article that followed a group of single women over 30 in 1986. And then, as famously said by Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, someone wrote practically a whole book about how that was wrong; Faludi said the article had more to do with politics than statistics, and indeed the study was pushed hard by the conservative Reagan administration.

(The original Harvard-Yale demographic study assumed that women would continue to choose husbands who were older, taller, and made more money than they did. So as unmarried women got older and made more money, they were competing for the six or seven single CEO's, basically, putting the odds of marriage for women over 40 at 5%. The study couldn't have predicted the growing status parity within marriage.)

Well, Newsweek tracked down 11 of the 14 women they'd talked to in 1986 and all but two of them have since married. Oh, and get this: None of them divorced. Turns out that the more highly educated and older you are when you marry, the less likely you are to get a divorce. (As my friend S said, you're just skipping that starter marriage.) Unfortunately it also reflects a steep decline in marriage among low income men and women (there was a great article in the New York Times magazine a while back about this trend and how it seemed to reflect both a hyper-idealization of marriage and the separation of marriage from parenthood).

Check the article and the sidebars that go with it. For good reason we tend to focus on the ways in which modern marriage still isn't equal, but this is one of those "look how far we've come" moments and really, we should savor it. Fuel to move us forward!
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Curse this!)
I was tired, and still sick, and irritable last night, so I after I followed [livejournal.com profile] chinawolf's link and filled up on CSI slash (Gil/Nick seems to be where my head is at, but I think that's only because Gil is the most compelling and Nick is the cutest) I decided to see what the actual Ryan/Simon people did. It's called "Rymon." "Nuff said.

Mostly, I'm just restless from being sick but still too weak to do much about it, which is always the absolute worst part about getting better. Which really means I should be writing but am being a baby about it, la, and instead reading the TWoP recap of Brit-Brit and K-Fed's love that unfortunately for us dares to speak its name very loudly.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of magazines here that need to not be here waiting for me to read them when really I'm not going to. If you want one of the HP Vanity Fairs let me know before I chuck 'em.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Chibi Clio)
So I didn't really write much this weekend but I feel that this is okay. Instead, I read. I read fanfic (specifically Better Late Than Never which [livejournal.com profile] cheeringcharm recently moved from her LJ to Portkey) and magazines. Many, many, many magazines. I'm trying to get them out of my damn house. Seriously, when you can't keep up with Entertainment Weekly there is something wrong.

I have decided, in this, that I do not care for women's magazines in any way. I've always hated the "women's service" ones, like Ladies Home Journal, because they are so about sex roles and making your chicken more interesting with the addition of Campbell's soup. I went on to dislike the general women's magazines like Glamour, Cosmo, even Marie Claire, because I've gotten to the point where I don't want someone telling me how to live my life. Never mind that since they are so much about boys that they don't have a whole lot to do with my life, unfortunately. But now, newly, I also have no time for high fashion books like Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar. I'm even losing interest on Vanity Fair, and I'm hopeless about the New Yorker.

However, I'm still liking men's magazines. Well, not those lad books like Maxim; they're just depressing. But I love Details and GQ and Esquire. They're smart and funny and interesting, they have more to say about music at least if not movies, and I love men's clothing. Love it. Plus, lots of pictures of hot men!

A side note to that: when did women stop liking music? What happens, we RULE music when we are pop-band crazy teens. But enter college and forget it. Most music magazines are more male than female in their readership and they are relaunching MTV2 to target young men. Women's magazines barely talk about music at all. What is up with that?

Anyway, the place is clean and uncluttered for the first time in quite a while, and that is a brilliant thing. Soothes the nerves, it does.
jlh: MTV sock puppets sifl and olly (duos: sifl and olly)
I keep having these things I think I'm going to make a post about and then I think myself out of it and never make the post. [livejournal.com profile] penelope_z had a great point this week when she said that fandom meta wasn't an argument you could win or lose. So possibly I'll post things when they are a little bit less well thought out just to see how people react to them.

So Chuck Klosterman really struck a nerve for me in the January issue of Esquire. I'd link you to the article but you can only get to it now if you pay, which is irritating. But here's the pertinent part:
[Most people] don't merely want to hold their values; they want their values to win. And I suspect this is why people so often feel "betrayed" by art and consumerism, and by the way the world works. . . . If you feel betrayed by culture, it's not because you're right and the universe is wrong; it's only because you're not like most other people. But this should make you happy, because—in all likelihood—you hate those other people anyway. You are being betrayed by a culture that has no relationship to who you are or how you live.

He goes on to apply this to politics, which is complacent and dangerous, but the main point I think stands. And it not only doesn't matter that the main culture isn't doing what you want it to do, but it really doesn't matter that some of the people you know don't make the same kinds of aesthetic decisions that you do. We naturally gravitate to those who feel the same about Madonna or Jane Austen or what-have-you as we do ourselves, but what does that say? Only that they feel the same way about Madonna. There is bound to be something else they don't feel the same way about, and then where are you? To be clear, I say this not as someone who avoids this; I do it myself, and often. But at the end of the day, it just sort of doesn't matter.

Or: co-consumption of culture is not a signifier of a sensibility, or a set of values, or a level of intelligence, or even class at this point. It really just gives us something to talk about.

Discuss! Push me around!
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (HarryHermione)
Awww, Dan in NME. I <3 the ickle punka. That monkey is going to heaven, man.

So I'm sitting here waiting for something to happen at work, and to meet now local!Ruby for dinner, and so I'm reading the pride issue of Out, in which I find an essay about whether Madonna is "over" as a gay icon if not as an icon in general, and I find this paragraph:
. . . in an age when gay people have themselves long since settled down and moved to New Mexico or New Jersey, Madonna's current book-signing aura of twee-and-tweed presents problems. It's hard to shift gears from prim middle-aged author at Barnes & Noble to bust-a-move siren onstage without causing some pop-culture dissonance. And motherhood, by making direct sex appeal with her audience less believable, has removed some of her heat. Madonna used to be Mary Magdalene; now she's Mary.

EXSQUEEZE ME? What sort of Madonna/Whore (pun intended) bullshit is this? Isn't it really Madonna who might be able to finally, as a female, sexual icon, break through this bogus dichotomy and be a Hot Mama? Have you seen those pictures of her on the tour? Unimpressed, Out. The gay community--and I mean just the gay community, just the boys please--should be beyond this sort of pigeonholing of women, but I have to admit, I'm sadly unsurprised.


jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
Clio, a vibrating mass of YES!

October 2017



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