Monthly Archives: April 2009

Snouts and such.

This photo makes me think of The Winter’s Tale — that whole statue come to life bit.  Art imitating life, life imitating art. Who knew surgical masks could be so ironic? It’s kind of like that Aerosmith video, too, in which the computer nerd creates and brings to life his perfect woman: Alicia Silverstone. 

Okay, it’s nothing like that.  But so long as I’m on the topic–I was thinking about this the other day: I’m convinced that watching hypersexual music videos on MTV and VH1 had an effect on me–particularly that *NSync one: “Baby, I can’t understand / Just why we can’t be lovers”.  Still deciding whether the effect was adverse or not…  (And before I switch topics again–I need to bring up Liv Tyler pumping gas in those leather pants.  Dear Stephen, your mouth terrifies me, but I like your scarves and I like your daughter…)

Okay, enough about my childhood.  I hate to admit this, but…thinking about the apocalypse gets me off.  It captures my imagination.  And it’s not just me–everyone loves a tragedy.  No one feels as alive as when the possibility of death is unignorably imminent (which must explain why Keith Richards is still kicking).  We spend so much of our lives ignoring our mortality that when it comes barking at the door, we’re not surprised–we send grandma to the store to grab some biscuits and a chew toy. 

So, yeah.  Swine flu.  Apocalypse next week?  Probably not.  But it’s still sorta fun to think about.  And it also puts the pressure on.  It brings to mind Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin'” in which the man with the two months to live diagnosis finally embraces life by going fishing and ditching his pride to grow a pair and tell people he loves them. 

Shit.  Country songs can be surprisingly profound.  What should I be doing with my existence?  Shouldn’t a possible apocalypse via pig-related pandemic be enough to open my eyes to the answer?  It’s gotta be something bigger than writing a blog post about Liv Tyler’s ass.  But then again, maybe it doesn’t.

WOOOO!: “Public health experts have long feared a new flu could appear and kill millions worldwide.”

So, I admit: My last blog post, in which I intended to find out what the deal is with Paul Mitchell, seems (a little) less important now that I sit here with my first sunburn of the 2009 season wondering what the deal is with this swine flu. 

Swine flu.  Bea Arthur dies and the world goes to complete shit. 

Photographs of people wearing medical masks and pigs gorging themselves on ominous heap piles are popping up everywhere!  And most confusing, none of my Facebook friends have written witty status updates about it.  Don’t they know what’s going on in Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, Spain, and the US?!  Don’t know they know that Shia Labeouf and Harrison Ford have already signed on and are awaiting funds from the WHO and the CDC before proceeding?!

Between this and the anticipation of tomorrow night’s episode of “The Hills”…it’s shaping up to be a real doozy of a Monday.

Can someone tell me…

…what the deal is with Paul Mitchell?

You know what pisses me off?

American Apparel. It’s bad enough that there is always a naked picture of a fifteen-year-old girl trying so, so hard to look sexy on the backs of The Village Voice and The Onion because of them. I don’t care if their schtick is making the clothes in Downtown LA.  Really.  I applaud their decision not to exploit overseas people to make the crappy clothes.  Still, that tidbit doesn’t excuse the fact that they exploit fawn-in-the-headlight girls to sell brightly colored bodysuits and micro-mesh minidresses.

Okay, okay. I’m kind of a fan of the male models on their website. I can stand for, and even pick up a few fashion tips from, effeminate men in tie dye:

But now this lawsuit with Woody Allen?  Why would they even put up a billboard featuring Woody Allen?  I think he’s right–their advertisements are sleazy, and if I were him I’d be angry enough to sue over being slathered above a boulevard with their name next to my face without my consent.  And regurgitating Woody’s scandal with Mia Farrow and Soon-Yi Previn?  Fuck you, American Apparel.  And an emphatic fuck you over this:

“It’s certainly relevant in assessing the value of an endorsement,” he (the company’s lawyer, Stuart Slotnick) said, noting that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps lost endorsement power after a photograph surfaced of him using marijuana.

First of all, Mr. Slotnick, Woody didn’t want to give an endorsement. Secondly, that Michael Phelps thing happened last week.  Woody Allen’s scandal?  Before any of American Apparel’s models were breastfeeding. 

It’s kind of a mystery to me as to why I’m a fan of Woody Allen despite his…deeds.  I think the main reason is that he’s out of his mind.  He’s just bizarre.  And sometimes the only thing I’m in the mood for is a Woody Allen movie.  I can’t help it.  Most people think he could’ve helped falling in love with his adopted daughter, but who knows?  I don’t know, and I don’t feel like judging the man for it. I certainly don’t think all fathers should snap naked photos of their adopted daughter while they’re still living with her mother, but…you know. That kind of behavior is pretty much on par with what American Apparel does on a daily basis. Case in point:

Just what I need.  A mauve cotton spandex jersey tank thong.

Just what I need. A mauve cotton spandex jersey tank thong.

Life crises are rarely boring, or, Glass half full (of hard liquor)

I’ve learned a few things about myself in the past year:

  1. When I’m stressed out, my eye twitches.
  2. When I have no idea what else to do in my life, I bake broccoli quiche and chocolate chip cookies (from a box).

I’ve also learned that when all else fails, listen to a song over and over again until wisdom is bestowed upon you.  Today, the song is “On the Radio” by Regina Spektor.  Particularly because of these lyrics, which are striking a…chord:

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again

And on the radio
You hear November Rain
That solo’s awful long
But it’s a good refrain
You listen to it twice
‘Cause the DJ is asleep
On the radio

Care to join me in my underwear shelter?

The other night I met up with this guy, and he asked me if I watch “Lost.”  And I said no.  It’s one of those shows I figure I’ll pick up on DVD and engross myself with for days on end at some point…when I’m unemployed or recovering from gastric bypass or waiting for my court date after making bail.  Some situation like that where you just need to lose yourself in another world because all hope for your own is a bit…lost.

Anyway, as a means of procrastination, I took one of those stupid quizzes on Facebook.  This one was entitled, “On which current TV show would you exist?”  And, yeah, my result was “Lost.”  Which strikes me as amazingly accurate even though I’ve never seen it:

You are suspicious of reality and not sure that time exists. You are attractive and sexy but never really bathe properly. When given the chance to re-invent yourself, you became the exact same person you already were. Some people think you are insane, but you may actually be a visionary. Despite your average background, you can kill wild boar, shoot guns, and build shelters out of underwear and luggage pieces. You think a lot but are not sure what to think. All of your friends could also be your enemies or your relatives. You know that ghosts and monsters really do exist. People are addicted to you.

As far as I know I cannot kill wild boar, but everything else is pretty spot-on.  (Especially the thing about bathing.)

Inanimate Men and Pirates

A Facebook friend of mine shared a link to an article entitled, “Somalia: You Are Being Lied to About Pirates,” that is pretty damn provocative. Especially this bit:

In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

and this bit:

European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish-stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving.

oh, and this:

No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But the “pirates” have the overwhelming support of the local population for a reason. The independent Somalian news-site WardherNews conducted the best research we have into what ordinary Somalis are thinking – and it found 70 percent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence of the country’s territorial waters.” During the revolutionary war in America, George Washington and America’s founding fathers paid pirates to protect America’s territorial waters, because they had no navy or coastguard of their own. Most Americans supported them. Is this so different?

In other news, here’s a portrait of two of the most important men in my life:

Ken imitating the parrots on the shoulders from the good ol' days of piracy.

I didn't notice until afterwards that Ken was imitating a parrot on a pirate's shoulder.

If I Could I Would, But I Don’t Know How

It takes a certain kind of mood…introspective, confused, and a little hungover…to inspire me to listen to the same song over and over again. And even then, it must mesh with the mood perfectly. Today, for me, that song is this interesting combination of Phish and Allison Krauss:

That’s all. There’s a bottle of wine atop the refrigerator with my name on it. Also, there was a dramatic sunset in New York City tonight and the skyline never struck me as so beautiful.

Testosterone Not Included

I was away from New York City for four days, and so much changed during my sojourn.  When I opened the door to my apartment around midnight last night, there was a giant man standing there.  After my eyes adjusted a little, though, I realized it wasn’t a man–just an oversized lamp in the shape of a man.  It’s kind of reminiscent of this:

…only it’s a man. 

I guess that’s the only real change.

Today’s my birthday, but I just wanna talk about dictators.

I think about Kim Jong-Il fairly often, and I’m not sure why.  He strikes me as a really tragic man: his angry little frame, his angry little outfit, his beady, dark eyes.  There’s something so bizarre about him.  Well, about all dictators.  And the way the West talks about them–with this air of superiority (as in Parade Magazine’s annual feature “The World’s Worst Dictators“).  We denounce their human rights violations and we pity their oppressed people.  We shake our heads, sigh, and vaguely acknowledge our good fortune to live in not that country.  We realize we don’t even really know what that disease is that people are dying of in Zimbabwe, but we think our great-great grandmother might’ve also died from it. 

On one extreme we do nothing.   Or, on the other, we capture the dictator, imprison him, send him to his death, and “liberate” his people.  (“We,” “them,” and “him” used loosely.) 

…I was reading a Sherman Alexie poem earlier today in which he writes, “Poetry = Anger x Imagination.”  It seems an apt equation.  Ways to channel anger, sort through anger are pretty vital to mental health.  Otherwise you end up sending ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean (so to speak).

Oh!  I just remembered why I began writing this post.  To recommend’s Poem-A-Day emails in honor of April, National Poetry Month.  I especially like when they send ones that don’t suck.