Archive for Celebrity Crap

Misogyny and Emma Watson’s UN Speech

I just finished reading this article about the crazy, explosive response to Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. If you haven’t seen the speech, you can watch it below. It’s worth your time:

I’ve been following the story because I happen to like this actress, and feminism is an important subject to me. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to it, here’s what happened. Emma Watson is the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador. After she delivered the speech a couple days ago, a lot of extreemly critical and threatening messages were posted on 4chan, which I won’t spend time to discuss, but they were hideous, and the whole internet blew up over them. Since then, a viral marketing outfit has come forward, claiming to have posted the messages as a hoax, and now people are going back and forth with that little morsel.

Returning to The Telegraph article, it was a response to the 4chan threats. You should look at it. The subject matter is unsettling enough, but the comments under it are downright astounding.

“Just goes to show how easily these feminist extremists can smear innocent people with calls of “misogyny” and how quick the white knights are to leap to their defence and join the baying mob without any fact checking.”

“The cultural Marxists aim to destroy the nuclear family, destroy marriage, destroy motherhood, destroy society. They need willing mouthpieces like Emma.”

“And Emma has revealed HER real motive and thats to be queen of the world. Its always the quiet ones.”

There’s a lot of that. Lots and LOTS of that talk. I don’t want to rot your braincells with too much more of it, but it’s a real thing, and it should shock and bother us. Frightened or angry people, who are just plain confused about why women would want to stand up and call for empowerment, are condemning either her personally or feminism generally. They call out what they see as foolishness or aggression; but the cause is not about man-hating. To quote from the speech:

“Gender equality is your issue, too. To date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. I’ve seen young men suffering from illness, unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of a man. I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.”

For anyone out there who still thinks that misogyny is not a real thing, google it. There are huge communities of angry men who seem to genuinely fear women who have autonomous control over their own lives.
Just look at the comments in the article: deny, deny, deny! Insult! Condemn! It’s as if the knee-jerk reaction of these people was to presume the worst of intentions on the author and the women being discussed, and they gushed out all those ugly feelings onto the comments section to voice that women are not being unduly criticized for requesting fairness.

I think some of those commenters are simply misogynystic, but there is another group being represented in them, too. Those of you who do not think women should be mistreated, but think the word “feminist” means “angry man-hater lady,” need to start defining your terms and come to grips with what you really can call yourself. It’s time for that to change. When men cannot coexist as equals with women and vice versa, their relationship is necessarily going to be tainted with some level of disrespect. Friendship, love, and respect require vulnerability, and that cannot be part of a relationship in which one party looks at the other as a category first and a partner second.

If you think people should be in charge of their own lives without regard to gender, if you think people should be offered equal respect, regardless of gender, you’ve embraced the feminist goals. It’s time to stop making a war out of this, and call it what it is: a cooperative effort to bring about something we all need.



Things that are just plain horrible

I’m so grossed out by this. Disney, you’ve done it again.

into the woods 2

Playbill announced yesterday that a 10-year-old bundle of youtubey stardom has been slated for Little Red Riding hood in the upcoming movie adaptation of Into the Woods.


This happens to be one of my favorite Broadway plays. Literate Libran introduced it to me as one of her favorites too- the dual parts of Cinderella and the Witch have always resonated so powerfully with her. For me the strongest message is the underlying indictment on group dynamics in troubled times. Click either of those to read our thoughts about it. Much has been said about this, and I could easily go on about it much more, so naturally I wasn’t too excited when I heard it was headed for movie theaters, but whatever. They snagged Meryl Streep for the lead, and that’s usually a good sign, right? But this?

A kid sings on Youtube, gets asked to show up on a TV show, subsequently makes miscellaneous talk show appearances… and… those are her acting credentials. This child is 10. The role of Little Red Riding Hood is a coming of age story, with a very overt message about carelessly sacrificing her innocence when a predatorial “wolf” crosses her path. This child is 10. A ten year old who still shows up at every public appearance in a princess costume is supposed to portray a layered, complex balance of fairy tale playfulness and the sadder but wiser embarrassed confidence of a young woman newly smarting from the regrets of a bad relationship.

Check out Danielle Ferland below from the OBC:

“Nice is different than good.” Pretty clever, no?

I thought about also including a clip of Sophia’s breakthrough appearance on Ellen, but she’s singing a song with illicit lyrics about having sex, and in case you’ve forgotten, this child is 10 (actually, she was 8 when that was done) and I think the world will be a better place with fewer blogs posting videos of little children belting out smutty rap lyrics.

Folks, really, how is this not the epitome of exploitation? The pink dresses, ever present to remind us how tiny she is? Have I mentioned she’s 10? Never mind that normal 10 year old girls don’t go trooping around in sparkly plastic crowns, she’s got the cutie-pie image to foster. Never mind how completely unfit she may be amongst her peers; as long as it’s garnering TV spots, why not keep it up? On the same token, I’ve never overheard a fifth grade girl mournfully lament her adolescent choices (because, of course, fifth graders haven’t experienced adolescence yet). A friend of mine commented that it’s a bit discouraging to see how this type of thing is pushed on children at younger and younger ages, but really, however informed a kid may be about the facts of life, ten means she’s still got her teen years ahead of her. Adolescence hasn’t even started yet, and therefore she has not yet earned the right to reminisce about it.

I could ask what kind of lousy parent would pretend like this is good for their child, but the subject of the fame-obsessed parent pimp has been discussed to death, and we all know it’s vile. Can we maybe just start having stagemom of the year awards?

toilet trophy

We could call it the “Don’t go in there” Award (little Office joke there). That’s actually pretty apropos.

I could also ask why the movie itself was necessary at all, but that’s something we all know too, right?

mickey the vandal

Although their original ideas are often fun and watchable enough, those are just the revolving door prime-time stuff. Disney feature films are most often hijacked pieces that the public has already grown to appreciate. I’ve learned by now to just avoid the ones about stories I like unless I want to have the original tainted (I’ll never forgive them for the butchering they gave the Hunchback of Notre Dame), and this will certainly be one to avoid.

I just feel sick and sorry for the child who is so obviously being herded into the child-star-who-does-scandalous-things act, especially considering that she’s got that along with the preschool-dress-up-princess image to maintain. This is one seriously messed up situation.

YAAAAY! But I still don’t want to watch the movie.

You Can’t Stop Me from Loving You

The world lost a brilliant talent when Richie Havens passed.

My friend wrote a short eulogy for him which I share here:

In honor of Richie Havens’ life, I say Bravo. You crossed the lines against injustices and opened many eyes to them. Your music has a soul of its own and definitely worked towards bettering the world. You will remain in this fan’s mind and heart. Again I say Bravo.

richie quote

Paloma Faith Paper Doll

The bowling alley is a reference to her brilliant video for New York, which doesn’t seem to want to embed. “Click here to watch it.

Yaaaay! I’ve finished my Paloma Faith Paper doll! Click here to print out your very own copy!

paloma bowl

I heard her music playing at a store a while back, and I liked it so much I got a copy of Fall to Grace. Pretty, cute-funky sound; I have a theory that she will always be compared to someone else, because she has such a faceted and colorful voice, doncha think? Each time I listen to her I think of some other singer that she’s invoking. I wonder if it annoys her. I also wonder a little how she feels about people making paper dolls of her, but those costumes, and that hair! How could I not? Well, Paloma, if you’re out there, I hope you like the paper doll I made.

paloma mansion

Unrelated: I don’t like upgrades that “simplify” things by making buttons look bigger and more cartoony and move all the features I’m accustomed to using to somewhere I have to hunt for half an hour to find them.

That Tragic Moment When You Realize…

She’s a Disney Princess now.

How long do you think it’ll take before Sparkle Fun Holiday Leia starts showing up on toy store shelves next to Jasmine and Ariel? Because we all know it’s coming.

Nobokov and How Not To Be Surprised When You’re a Ghost

It was only a matter of time before I started talking about this, I suppose, but one of my favorite celebrity ladies, Charlotte Church, has been producing some more music, and I think it may be her best yet. The vocal quality is not pristine and crystal clear, this time around it has more of a Kate Bush kind of sound. The lyrics have the sound of a person with something to sing about. Yay Charlotte. I love you like this, girl! Please please keep it up!

This song is about this philosophy poet/writer Vladimir Nabokov discussed in his book/super long poem “Pale Fire,” in which he discusses life and death. He treats the essence of humanity sort of like Betty J. Eadie, only without a god. Like we are all just a collection of souls or lives, waiting in the afterlife, ready to live again after death. Maybe it’s like the movie What Dreams May Come, where all the human beings live and die and live and then die again when it’s their turn, sort of like reincarnation, but again, with no real god presence. It’s beautiful poetry, albeit hopeless.

Time means succession, and succession, change:
Hence timelessness is bound to disarrange
Schedules of sentiment. We give advice
To widower. He has been married twice:
He meets his wives; both loved, both loving, both
Jealous of one another. Time means growth,
And growth means nothing in Elysian life.

I think the weirdness in the video is just stylistic, but there are a few little hints here and there of something in this- little beautiful people in masks can be strange and ancient too. But then I could be reading into it- who knows.

Somewhat unrelated sidenote: the Leveson Inquiry gave me a whole new respect for her. During her teen years, I kept thinking that she must be a self-entitled jackass to repeatedly show up in the news as a drunken loud-mouth (and a bit of a tramp), but now I’m just really impressed that the worst things dug up about her were that she went out partying on the weekends and smoked cigarettes. And said bad words a lot- there’s that, too. I think that if someone had been spying on my teen life and publishing everything I did in the nastiest light possible, it would have made pretty bad headlines- probably worse than hers. This has been a lesson for me- be quick to assume well of people and quick to overlook seemingly negative reports.

Seriously, why do we even need to be told things like this? Don’t jump to conclusions when you hear a negative report about someone… you may not have the full story…

Why My Friend is Cooler than Nicki Minaj

So today I read this at Lainey Gossip, and I just thought to myself, dang that Nicki Minaj… she just isn’t so good at politics, is she? And that’s kind of a shame for her, because she isn’t so good at music either, and she isn’t super good at putting on a show. I mean, take away the baby voices and melted gummy-bear hairdos, and what’s left? Just more bubblegum music. She’s big on attitude, and she’s got drive I guess, but really, I’m wondering what keeps her popular. She’s not so awesome. You know who’s awesome? My buddy:

She could run awesome circles around Nicki any day…

and she could do it without the bewildering clown wigs and without cussing out everyone who ever says something that doesn’t make her happy on twitter and without ever picking fights with her betters…

Seriously, it’s like Christina Aguilara. You can only be rude and obnoxious for so long before your career starts suffering for it. And Christina Aguilara doesn’t have to lip sync.

Dear Fiona,

You’re brilliant. Stop doing this. Please. It’s not the h-problem, it’s your impending demise.

When the Idler Wheel came out, my friend and I listened to it, and determined to listen all the way through because of how good you are, and it’s clear that you still have a knack for complicated rhythm and clever lyrics, but it’s also clear that there’s something unhealthy influencing your work. Then she linked me to the picture at the top of the post, and I just thought, this is not right. This isn’t good. You need help, Hon. Please stop doing this before you become remembered as a tragic loss.


I couldn’t find another clip I was looking for- Andy and Don in what looks like a screentest. I saw it ages ago- the two are acting in similar roles to the ones they played in the show; a police officer and a bumbling new guy, if I remember correctly. It was something like that. They were an excellent pair with perfect comedic timing. I often play the Andy Griffith show in my house as white noise, and now that Andy has passed, I thought I would post about him in that role. Whenever a famous person dies, I feel sad as though I knew him or her personally (I bet most people feel a little like that). Of course, what we’re really mourning as fans and viewers is what they became in our imaginations, which is not really gone at all. I can go pop in an Andy Griffith Show DVD and play it in the kitchen and stil have a pretend 30’s sound playing in the background, and that will remain as long as I have the DVDs and my own opinions about the show. Thanks, guys.

I Met the Bloggess

This has nothing to do with Voo Doo.

Jenny Lawson came to Chicago on her book signing tour! Yay! I’m so glad she did, since it’s her last tour. I figured she would pretty much stick to the South, but I’m glad she popped in on us in the Windy City.

I bought a copy of her memoire shortly after it was available in print and was delighted when she added a Chicago stop to her trip. This is someone I would actually have driven a distance to see, but the last time she toured, the closest she came was New York City and it was just too much.

There were about a hundred people there (mostly females, as my husband pointed out, and I want to take this opportunity to praise him for attending a “chick event” with me after taking me to the mall on Friday-hubby gets a gold star). One lady wore a red dress and a couple girls had cats on their heads. I kept wishing I had thought to put rollers in my hair for it, but then I had also intended to bring her a papercut depicting her, and I spent two weeks on it, but it just wasn’t turning out. So I resigned myself to showing up as an ordinary person, but I still liked the collage idea and wanted to complete one to give her- I figured I could just mail it to her later on. It seemed like it would be weird to receive a thing like that in the mail, so I figured I’d tell her I was sending my handiwork. But… well, there were all these scary bouncers around (the Chicago Lit-Fest attendants) and I was just sure they were waiting to throw me out for telling Jenny Lawson I was mailing her something. *Side note- this fear is not unfounded- I get thrown out of stuff a surprising lot, and I never even drink or act rowdy.* So anyway, I figured I should tell her really fast that as an admirer, I was in the process of producing a portrait of her but that my medium of choice was paper collaging and I hoped she would like it even if it was slightly off the beaten path. But the scary people were there, and seriously, once I got to see her, what came out was more like… “I meant to bring you something, but it sucked, and so I’m sending you something, once it doesn’t suck anymore, and it’s not like voo doo or anything, so you don’t have to worry when you open it cuz it’s just from me.” Then I nodded like that was how I intended to sound. She just nodded and smiled like that was cool with her. So then we walked away and went to the bathroom, and I turned to my husband and said, “I just told her I wasn’t sending her any voo doo,” and he was like, “She brought a moldy taxidermied monkey to a book signing, so you’re probably safe.”

“A hug is a strangle you haven’t finished yet.”

Which, I’m sure, is true. Anyway, I bet she was so exhausted from all the touring, that she doesn’t even remember all the stuff people have said to her. But then it also occurred to me that I sounded like maybe I was trying to ingratiate myself to her using voo doo humor. Generally, I’d have to say I was kind of a dork, but it was still a totally awesome event.

My copy of the memoire 😀

I had intended to ask her to sign it to “The Queen of Outer Space” after the Zsa Zsa Gabor movie, but my tongue slipped and “queen of the universe” came out first, and especially after the voo doo comment, I just felt too silly changing the request.

This is a photograph of Giuseppi posing with Jenny Lawson, that she very graciously signed for me. I am sending it to my friend, but wanted to blog it first.

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