Friday, December 31, 2010

Follower of the Year

Gentle readers,

On this the final day of 2010, it is my esteemed pleasure to present to you The Broadcast Energy Transmitter Follower of the Year:

I remember the day I logged in and noticed that I had my first follower as well as my very first comment.  It was you laurajane00.  These past few months you have provided me with encouragement as well as material (via your willingness to hangout with Anime celebs).  There were times when we both knew that a post was mediocre at best, but you were at the ready with a charming comment to make things seem a bit less lame.  

You already received your Follower of the Year award.  Judging from that text you sent me you mistook it for a Christmas gift.  I guess the red and white wrapping paper fooled you. Laurajane00 that elegant, white scarf is meant to symbolize your pure love and devotion to my blog.  I hope that you will wear it with pride.  Also, if anyone compliments you on the scarf I would encourage you to explain that you are the 2010 BET Follower of the Year.  

Brittany Havican, you were a very close second.  Unfortunately, my blinding jealousy regarding the success of your own blog undoubtedly effected my decision.  

Readers who are reading but not following: I hope this inspires you to join us.  Just think, you too could be the recipient of a scarf!  For those followers not receiving this coveted honor please keep in mind that this will be an annual award and through hard work and dedication this could be you next year.  

Y'all have a safe and happy New Year's Eve! And never forget that we are all The B.E.T.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

If You Were Here I Could . . . Deceive You?

Before it actually happened I spent quite a bit of time imagining my first kiss.  And I mean every possible detail preceding the kiss including the setting, my outfit, and the background music.  From time to time the song would shift with my musical tastes, but more often than not my optimal first kiss song was "If You Were Here" by Thompson Twins.  This had a lot to do with my Sixteen Candles fixation.  

Ten year old me was under the impression that it was a really sweet love song.  I thought the lyric was, "if you were here, I'd get to see you" which in hindsight would be a terrible lyric.  

I was wrong.  These are the lyrics:

If you were here
I could deceive you
And if you were here
You would believe
But would you suspect 
My emotion wandering
Do no want apart of this anymore

The rain water drips
Through a crack in the ceiling
And I'll have to spend
My time on repair
But just like the rain
I'll be always falling
Only to rise and fall again

As you can read the song is about someone who falls in and out of love.  Not romantic at all.  This really leaves me wondering about the conclusion that John Hughes was trying to draw at the end of Sixteen Candles.  Does this mean that Jake Ryan is feeling a little fickle about Sam?  Is he already thinking about getting back together with Carolyn? Nooooo!

It's strange, but I don't remember my first kiss.  Maybe this would have been a good song choice for me and my beau . . . whoever he was.  

P.S. Cary Brothers covered "If You Were Here" on the Who Are You album. I think his version is dandy.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The King's Speech

I saw this movie today and it was spectacular.  All of my favorite British actors are in the cast (Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter) and they each did a superb job. The less well-known Timothy Spall portrays Winston Churchill and is delightful as always. Remember him from the movie Rock Star?

You know, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Rock Star.  Minus the formulaic, cheesy ending it was a pretty solid movie.  My opinion on the ending also has a lot do with the fact that I  have big problems with Grunge being viewed as 'more authentic' than other genres.  Talk about formulaic.  

And if I'm gonna digress and talk about Rock Star I have to mention the hilarious end credit sequence.  For those of you who have forgotten about Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, let me (and the crew of Rock Star) remind you:  

I'm so glad that Mark Wahlberg gracefully elected to have a sense of humor about his Funky Bunch days, though I still think he needs to explain to his brother Donny that this New Kids/Back Street Boys reunion tour is a mistake.  Yikes.  

Alright, back to The King's Speech.  I am so glad that this story was finally told.  I think the whole Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward affair tends to overshadow this most noble moment in The Royal Family's history, and I appreciate that King George VI is an honorable man who wants to serve his country, but has zero charisma.  One of the things that really bothers me about our current political landscape is that people will pay all sorts of attention to charismatic leaders without bothering to review their voting record or even dissect what it is that they are actually saying.  Just because you're a dynamic speaker, doesn't mean you have good intentions.  And please don't misunderstand me, I'm talking about Republicans and Democrats alike here. 

Check this guy out.  He's not sexy, but he makes sense.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cooking With Too Much F---ing Rosemary

A few months ago I was eating dinner at a formal restaurant.  To my left was a couple who appeared to be on a first date.  Their body language was stiff, they raced to fill uncomfortable silences with open ended questions, and every sub par joke was met with forced laughter.  

Then a curious thing happened.  Their food arrived and as they began to eat the woman who was minding her ps and qs just moments before remarked to her date, "this chef always uses so much f---ing rosemary."

Rosemary can be a delightful herb when used sparingly, but can completely ruin a meal if a chef is heavy handed with it. However, this post isn't really about cooking.  I've noticed something as of late.  I feel like as a society, linguistically, we're all using too much rosemary.  

I'll be the first to admit that I do it too.  In fact about a year ago my mother said, "sweetheart, I know that you're a grown woman and that I can no longer tell you what to do, but sometimes when we talk, your unnecessary cursing makes me cringe."

My husband and I watched Going the Distance last weekend.  It was absolutely terrible.  So terrible in fact that we were making fun of it no less than five minutes in.  One thing that definitely added to the terribleness was all the unnecessary cursing.  If a comedy is relying on arbitrary f-bombs to illicit laughter the movie is in trouble. This ubiquitous cursing went hand in hand with the fact that each of the characters (who were all between the ages of 25 - 35) seemed to have the emotional maturity of adolescents.  Which brings me to my next question.  Are we all cursing so much because in our youth obsessed culture so many people are suffering under the delusion that it's cool to perpetually behave like a teenager?

I really got into cursing during my high school years.  It made me feel rebellious and powerful to use four letter words, but much like my teenage smoking habit it was ridiculous and disgusting.  

So in addition to Breaking Up With The Kardashians, in 2011 I'm vowing to stop using so much f---ing rosemary in my speech.  

It tends to overpower the dish.  

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Still Here

My brother and I decided to watch the furthest thing possible from a Christmas classic on the evening of December 25th.  We chose I'm Still Here the documentary which chronicles Joaquin Phoenix's transition from retired actor to hip hop artist.  

Of course my brother and I remembered the David Letterman appearance and the video footage of Joaquin's rap performance that went viral, but neither of us did any solid research on whether or not this was a documentary or a mockumentary, but we were leaning towards the latter.  

Even though I held preconceived notions that I'm Still Here was a hoax, while watching for the first time it was truly difficult to decipher whether or not JP (as he refers to himself) is legitimately pursuing a hip hop career, because he seems so desperately passionate about shedding his former image and exploring this musical art form.  He's also incredibly abusive to staff, friends, and sometimes total strangers who all seem genuinely terrified of him.  That, combined with drug use, manic rants, an unkempt appearance and a substantial weight gain blurs the viewer's sense of reality.  

At the end, we were left scratching our heads wondering if what we we just watched was real or fake, and if it was fake . . . who all was in on it? 

Luckily, we were watching a DVD so we could turn to the commentary which includes Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck, as well as other cast members.  Mystery solved.  

Spoilers from this point on . . .

So as we sort of expected but mostly hoped, the commentary reveals that the film is 100 percent fake and that almost all of the people featured in the movie were totally in on it.  In hindsight their reactions to JP's erratic behavior are genius- especially Sean Combs who plays a superb straight man.  

My favorite moment is when all of Joaquin's staff (who he berates daily) are gathered around him at dinner before his big rap performance and he announces that he couldn't have done any of this without them, and triumphantly shouts "we are all JP!"  

I think it's quite comical that there are so many bad reviews of this film, and from actual film critics!  This review from Robert Ebert is so scathing that it made me question whether or not he was in on the joke especially because he writes stuff like, "I have hope that if Phoenix ever cleans up his body and mind, he can be restored, and can be happy again" and "we do not desperately need another actor, but Joaquin is imprisoned within his illness, and he desperately needs to get well. If he wants a career as a singer -- well, why not country music?"

It really is a credit to Joaquin Phoenix's acting abilities that so many people thought he was for real after watching the film, but it still surprises me that these viewers would have the audacity to write reviews on IMDB and similar websites criticizing his "drug use" and lambasting him for his egotistical behavior without pausing to consider why Joaquin's brother-in-law would direct a film chronicling his "downward spiral."  Is it because they are so excited about the possibility of another celebrity meltdown and are too busy searching for stones to throw to consider that the joke is on them? Or are they keeping the joke alive? I'm hoping (for their sake) that they are keeping the joke alive, but I kinda doubt it.  

I found myself really liking both Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck after watching the movie with their commentary.  They seem like really nice people who don't take themselves too seriously and each of them seem to have a great sense of humor.  I would encourage anyone who enjoys mockumentaries  to check this out.  It takes the genre to a whole new level.  

One final thing- even though I watched this movie with my brother on Christmas it is definitely not family friendly.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Breaking Up With The Kardashians

So in case you haven't seen it, that's this year's Kardashian Christmas card.  Doesn't it look like an advertisement for an Aaron Spelling drama?  

I try really, really hard to abstain from watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but I will admit that every once in awhile I will get sucked in by a marathon.  As many of us know, that's how they hook you with these reality series- the marathons.  

It's pathetic how much I know about these people.  It's pathetic how much everyone knows about these people.  I bet more Americans could tell you that Rob used to date a Cheetah Girl than could name the Senate Majority Leader or think that Scott Disick is more of a threat to our country than our crumbling currency.  

I have a few ideas for New Year's resolutions that I'm still deciding on, but one is for certain: I'm determined to have a Kardashian free 2K11.  

I feel guilty when I watch this show, because I know that it is interesting for very superficial reasons- the family is rich and beautiful and that's it.  I'm sure they're all slightly intelligent (or at least savvy), but that aspect of their personalities is never featured on the show. None of the 'characters' are particularly witty, and even their family dramas are fairly tame and typical. There is absolutely no substance in the plot lines (if you can even call them that), and I can't relate to any of their day to day dilemmas.   

I know that I'm not saying anything new here.  We all know that the show is eye candy, but my brother asked me a question once that shed so much light on how much the series depends on their physical beauty and material possessions: 

Would you still watch if they were a middle class family and were all mildly disfigured? 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gucky by Gucci

Most advertisements are fairly ridiculous when analyzed, but very few ads are as ludicrous as fragrance commercials.  Since it's gift-giving time these commercials are saturating the airwaves and this year they seem sillier than ever before.  I don't think these two spots were intended to make me laugh, but that's what happened:

(Do you think Britney Spears Inc. learned that the name Destiny was already in use after this commercial filmed prompting Brit to say, "Y'all, we'll just call it Radiance! It means the same thing.") 

(I hope McConaughey cringes when he sees this, but I doubt that's the case.)

I came across tons more ridiculous ads on Youtube, but I know that I only have you for a limited time, and I wanna get this last thing in before you jump to another blog.  This Funny or Die sketch featuring James Franco poking fun at his own Gucci ad is so very refreshing.  Thanks for not taking yourself so seriously James.   I love you for that.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Black Swan

No guy will be able to relate to this, but girls- isn't Center Stage one of the best movies to watch while recovering from a hangover!  I can't tell you the number of times I watched sweet little Jody Sawyer dance her heart out while lying in bed trying to muster the energy to make it to a late brunch.  The plot is uncomplicated so you can rehash the previous night with your roommates while occasionally laughing at the subpar acting, terrible dialogue, and Peter Gallagher's eyebrows.  Of course you will pause to watch the awesome dance numbers (Higher Ground and The Way You Make Me Feel) and lines like, "I'm the best @$!# dancer in the American Ballet Academy- who the hell are you?"But mostly you'll sort of zone out and wait for your Advil to kick in.  It's one of the best worst movies ever.  


I couldn't help but think of Center Stage while watching Black Swan.  I know that's not a cool thing to admit, but there it is.  And while watching Black Swan I kept thinking, "man, I would hate to watch this movie with a hangover."  Actually, I had difficulty watching it in a perfectly healthy state.  About twenty minutes in my husband leaned over and said, "this is so intense it's unbearable."  

I'm not sure what genre Black Swan falls under.  I would say it's mostly a psychological thriller, but there are definitely elements of horror (which I was rather unprepared for).  I suppose that's why two other movies came to mind while watching this movie- Fatal Attraction (psychological thriller) and Rosemary's Baby (horror).  


Much like Black Swan, Fatal Attraction is a psychological thriller that reveals fairly early on that the main character is crazy but keeps you guessing at exactly how crazy.  And in Rosemary's Baby the main character is both a victim of circumstance and of her own desire which is a lot like the Nina Sayers character in Black Swan.  

But here's the thing with Fatal Attraction and Rosemary's Baby-  I can watch either of those movies over and over, because the directors (Adrian Lyne and Roman Polanski) give the audience a lot of breaks.  Remember when Glenn Close and Michael Douglass play football in the park and then go back to her place and eat spaghetti while listening to Madame Butterfly?  It's all so pleasant, and always leaves me craving pasta.  And I absolutely love the scenes in Rosemary's Baby when Rosemary decorates her new apartment.  By the way, there's an awesome Living In Rosemary's Baby on Design*Sponge which made me feel a lot more normal for noticing the Woodhouse's delightful apartment decor while they were being seduced by Satanists.   

There was not one minute of relaxation time in Black Swan.  Not one.  And while it's a very well done film that is getting incredible reviews (which I feel are mostly well deserved) I will never see this movie again because it's so unnerving.  

A few more things- one, if you are at all familiar with Swan Lake you will see the writing on the wall fairly quickly, but the film still manages to be suspenseful.  Two, it's awfully meta what with Winona Rider (an aging actress who looks a lot like Natalie Portman when you think about) playing the aging ballerina being replaced by Natalie Portman.  Three, even though Natalie Portman is completely creepy in this role, the great Barbara Hershey manages to out-creep her.  

And last but not least, don't order anything to eat if you take in this one at the theatre.  Remember, it's The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky and he pulls out all the usual grotesque stops.  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fur Fur Fur Fest

Sometime last year Lauren, Kellie, and I discovered that we had all inherited fur stoles and admitted that we were dying to wear them no matter what sort of wrath we incurred.  So for our Christmas gift exchange we dined at the Four Seasons and bravely donned fur.  We received a few stares, but I think that had more to do with the fact that we were in Texas (not exactly a climate that demands pelts) and nothing to do with anyone having an issue with our blatant disrespect of minks.  

I especially loved our cab driver's reaction to my ensemble.  He was one of these Austin cabbies who drives around listening to Alex Jones all day (which may or may not make him crazy depending on your opinion of the Bilderberg Group).  We had a spirited discussion about the Trilateral Commission and I agreed with some of the things he had to say.  

As I was getting out of the cab he said, "I knew I could trust you, because you're wearing fur." 

Well it's time for Fur Fur Fur Fest once again.  I'll be making the trip to Austin Sunday and I have already begun mentally engineering my ensemble.  I'm bummed because I've been admiring this "Beachland Ballroom" dress from Modcloth for months, but it's out of stock.  Wouldn't this look perfect with a brown mink stole?

I'm not really into fashion on a day to day basis, (Kellie spent about twenty minutes trying to convince me not to wear sneakers last Saturday night) but I do love to get dressed up for a fancy occasion now and then.  

Last year about this time I was reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and I happened to come across the most sensual description of fur.  Since I'm someone who who keeps things fairly simplistic in the style department I reread this a few times to boost my confidence before our fur filled evening:  

What he brought and put over her shoulders was a cape of blue fox that swallowed her from the curve of her chin to the tips of her sandals.  "Hank, that's preposterous"-she laughed- "it's not my kind of thing!" "No?" he asked, drawing her to a mirror.

The huge blanket of fur made her look like a child bundled for a snowstorm; the luxurious texture transformed the innocence of the awkward bundle into the elegance of a perversely intentional contrast: into a look of stressed sensuality.  The fur was a soft brown, dimmed by an aura of blue that could not be seen, only felt like an enveloping mist, like a suggestion of color grasped not by one's eyes, but by one's hands, as if one felt, without contact, the sensation of sinking one's palms into the fur's softness.  The cape left nothing to be seen of her, except the brown of her hair, the blue-gray of her eyes, the shape of her mouth.  

She turned to him, her smile startled and helpless, "I . . . I didn't know it would look like that."  

"I did." 

Whew! I think I'm gonna go try on my fur.  

P.S. The only time fur is absolutely unadvised is if you are a drug lord who is trying to keep a low profile during a professional boxing match.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Way We Play the Game Has Got to Change

After hearing
yesterday's news I blared George Michael's Freedom 90 all the way home.  I realize this song has nothing to do with civil liberties and everything to do with George Michael leaving Sony/coming out, but some of the lyrics totally work as an anti-government anthem.  Plus, it's just a really good song.

So if you enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or just freedom in general- crack open a Foster's, raise your glass to Julian, and watch this video.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One of a Kind Gifts

"It's one of a kind."   

Isn't that a powerful statement?   A stranger approaches you at a party and asks where they can buy that cool dress you're wearing and you get to say, "actually, it's one of a kind."  

I always enjoy finding a truly unique gift to give a good friend- something that conveys how special they are to me. And when I receive a thoughtful gift that I know wasn't arbitrarily selected from a bin at Target I know that I will hang on to it forever.  

Two of my good friends specialize in creating one-of-a-kind items that make amazing presents.  Since it's the holiday season, and the malls are in full swing, I thought I would give you an alternative to fighting the crowds.  

My friend Kellie has a clothing line called Material.  All of the pieces are one-of-a-kind, and every time I wear one of her creations I receive compliments.  She also specializes in Game Day Dresses which are ideal for any female college football fan/girl who doesn't care about the sport but wants to look cute during the game. 

My friend Brittany has a custom embroidery store on Etsy.  She recently did this for someone.  I think something like that would make an awesome gift for parents or grandparents.  

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alarmingly Apathetic

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm gonna-

"Kids these days . . . 

Don't get me wrong, I was never in danger of being nominated for most school spirit or anything, but this so-called spirit poster struck me as alarmingly apathetic:  

Do you think the flaming basketball is meant to be ironic? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Problems With Pets

This weekend I journeyed to Austin to reunite with some old friends and I'm still recovering.  Don't jump to conclusions- I only had one glass of wine the entire evening, but we stayed up gabbing until 4:00 a.m. and I have been paying the price all week. 

I talk A LOT.  My friend Leanne makes me feel a bit more normal, because I think she might talk as much or more than me.  In fact, she talks so much that she is in danger of permanently damaging her vocal chords and her doctor has recently prescribed "six weeks of vocal rest."  As her former roommate, I can assure you this will never happen.

The great thing about Leanne's excessive talking is that she is exceptionally entertaining.  We considered attending a Wu Tang concert, and I'm so glad we didn't because there's no way that a Wu Tang show could compete with a Leanne show.

My favorite stories that she shared involved her failed attempts to find suitable pets for her classroom.  Leanne teaches kids with special needs, and she is very passionate about providing them with unique learning experiences.  Unfortunately, I think that some of these learning experiences turned out to be more unique than she intended.

Leanne thought a frog might make a great classroom pet.  The frog she ordered online turned out to be a gigantic bullfrog.  Mr. Bull's cage was too small so one of the science teachers offered to take Mr. Bull for the weekend because he had a large unused terrestrial tank at home.  When Mr. Bull returned to the classroom on Monday Leanne didn't realize that she had a) put him too close to the heater and b) partially covered his air hole thereby creating a small sauna.  When Mr. Bull began frantically hopping around searching for air she actually said to the kids, "Look how happy Mr. Bull is to be back in our classroom!" Needless to say, Mr. Bull didn't make it much longer.

But here's where the story get's really sad/hilarious- Leanne decided to use this opportunity to teach the kids about the life cycle.  She explained that everything will eventually die, and that it's okay to be sad, but that death is natural.  This lesson was capped off with a funeral for Mr. Bull which included a burial in the yard outside their classroom and the singing of "Amazing Grace."

This would have been a great moment in teaching if Mr. Bull's grave wasn't so shallow and the lawn mowers had not shown up that day.  So unfortunately when the kids were marching back from P.E. they were all subjected to the bloody, mangled body of Mr. Bull which was strewn across the sidewalk.  

R.I.P. Mr. Bull

Leanne did not provide me with a picture of Mr. Jack which might be for the best.  Mr. Jack is a rabbit that was donated by one of the parents.  One day Mr. Jack escaped from his cage and attempted to make a break for it.  He was almost outside of the classroom when one of the kid's grabbed him by the head. What the children ended up learning that day was that rabbits' have very delicate skin because basically Mr. Jack was scalped.  Leanne said it was absolutely disgusting.  Mr. Jack miraculously survived, but is more skittish than ever and rarely gets to venture outside of his cage.  Don't worry, Leanne transformed the traumatic incident into a lesson about the dangers of running away from home.

Get well soon Mr. Jack!

Leanne decided that her next classroom pets should be sturdy animals.  She selected two box turtles.  Even though they were unable to determine the sex of either turtle, they decided to go with Speedy and Mrs. Spots.

One day there were some strange noises coming from the turtles' box.  The children raced over to see what Speedy and Mrs. Spots were up to and it turns out that they were aptly named:

Prepare yourself for a graphic image that was captured by Leanne: 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quick Thought

Why is it that when most families live off other people's hard-earned money it's considered government welfare and somewhat shameful, but when certain families do this it's celebrated?  

Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Do you ever find yourself wondering, "who are these alleged Ke$ha fans?" 

Every once in awhile (for reasons that I don't wanna go into) I am forced to listen to my local "hit music station" which has Ke$ha on heavy rotation.

Mom, I know you don't know who Ke$ha is, and I really love that about you, but for the sake of this post I will give you a quick introduction- she's a twenty three year old pop star who sings about 'partying.'  

Her songs and her persona are completely ridiculous, but for some reason she appeals to a fairly large group of people.  According to NPR she describes her latest album as a celebration of "boys, boots, beer, boobs."  I know what you might be thinking (what an idiot!), but do not be fooled.  

Even though this Ke$ha is somewhat ridiculed for putting out obnoxious songs that regrettably only appeal to impressionable teenagers- I think she totally understands the game and is well aware of what she's doing.  

She was raised in the music business (much like that other teen sensation who enjoys partying in the USA) and has "near perfect SAT scores."  (This also according to NPR.)

I'm not sure if being "in on the joke" makes a terrible joke more humorous, but either way I think Ke$ha is laughing all the way to the bank.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good News!

Representative Spencer Bachus announced today that Ron Paul (the Texas congressman determined to dismantle The Federal Reserve) will be in charge of the panel that oversees the central bank when Republicans take the House next year.

I bet Ben Bernanke is sick.

If you don't understand why The Federal Reserve should be abolished or at least audited, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and watch this video.

If you don't have an hour to spare, you could just watch Jon Stewart bust Bernanke.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Half Awake In A Fake Empire

If you're looking for a reason to lash out at the government, but are hesitant to visit WikiLeaks for fear of Joe Lieberman's wrath, check out the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan webpage.  This bipartisan legislative commission released a report in June of 2009 which is chock-full of sickening information.  

There are $13 billion dollars in "questioned" or "unsupported" costs, but don't be too concerned. The vast majority of these costs are linked to the former Halliburton subsidiary KBR.  I'm sure they are honest mistakes.  

If you want to help the government help Halliburton you can make a contribution to the National Debt which is currently $13, 843, 457, 556, 754. 48.  Don't worry, your part of the tab is only $44,710.34.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are You More Than The Sum of Your Parts?

In a previous post I mentioned that I am not on Facebook.  I also mentioned that I try to avoid discussing why I'm not on Facebook, because it makes me sound like a disgruntled sober alcoholic.  

Today one of my good friends sent me a very insightful article entitled "Generation Why" by Zadie Smith.  It's lengthy, so here are some highlights for those of you are dying to get back to Facebook:

-We know the consequences of this instinctively; we feel them. We know that having two thousand Facebook friends is not what it looks like. We know that we are using the software to behave in a certain, superficial way toward others. We know what we are doing “in” the software. But do we know, are we alert to, what the software is doing to us? Is it possible that what is communicated between people online “eventually becomes their truth”? 

-Different software embeds different philosophies, and these philosophies, as they become ubiquitous, become invisible.

-When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility. In a way it’s a transcendent experience: we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears. It reminds me that those of us who turn in disgust from what we consider an overinflated liberal-bourgeois sense of self should be careful what we wish for: our denuded networked selves don’t look more free, they just look more owned.
-Step back from your Facebook Wall for a moment: Doesn’t it, suddenly, look a little ridiculous? Your life in this format?

-The last defense of every Facebook addict is: but it helps me keep in contact with people who are far away! Well, e-mail and Skype do that, too, and they have the added advantage of not forcing you to interface with the mind of Mark Zuckerberg—but, well, you know. We all know. If we really wanted to write to these faraway people, or see them, we would. What we actually want to do is the bare minimum, just like any nineteen-year-old college boy who’d rather be doing something else, or nothing.

-In this sense, The Social Network is not a cruel portrait of any particular real-world person called “Mark Zuckerberg.” It’s a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little Mosque on the Prairie?

I am really nervous about posting this, because I know that Julian Assange is a polarizing figure, but I have to admit that I am completely addicted to WikiLeaks.  In fact I'm so addicted that I contemplated calling in sick to work tomorrow so that I can continue to pour over these classified documents.  

I don't want to undermine the importance of the majority of the information in the cables, but since my last few posts have included commentary on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Saved By The Bell, I thought I'd take a light hearted approach to this subject.  

As I was sifting through the massive amounts of information in this latest leak I came across a cable with the following subject line: Primetime Images of US-Canada Border Paint US In An Increasingly Negative Light.

Y'all have to read this. I can't believe it's someone's job to watch Canadian television and report back to the Secretary of State:  (Copy and paste yourself- I'm paranoid.) 

Update: WikiLeaks is no longer available.  Go here:

I also can't believe there's a sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are Mommy and Santa Having An Affair?

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.
She didn't see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep;
She thought that I was tucked up
in my bedroom fast asleep.

Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white;
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.

My second grade class performed this song during our Christmas play, and it left me feeling very confused.  One day after rehearsal I waited to speak with our music teacher Mrs. Grimes.  

"Mrs. Grimes, I don't understand.  Are mommy and Santa Claus having an affair?"  

Poor Mrs. Grimes.  She couldn't explain the song to me without informing me that Santa Claus does not exist.  So she smiled and said, "It's just a silly song."  

I'm sure I wasn't the first child to ponder the meaning of this song.  What do we have to do to phase it out?