Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is it a Bird? A Plane? A Urine-Soaked Dress? No! It's Fashion!

** Note: This blog has an addendum. Go here to read it.**

You know how I said I’d do that weekly fashion column of things I like? I lied.
I lied for two reasons. The first one is that I got punched in the face with classes this semester. The second reason is because sometimes fashion is fucking ugly.
When I think of Bergdorf Goodman, I think of classy, timeless apparel. I mean, you’re probably playing $2000 for half of a gown, so you better hope it’s timeless, right? Since I’ve been trying to change my look lately, I decided to take a peek at their blog and this is what I saw as the cutting edge of fashion this week:

Sometimes you have to ask yourself, “What was the designer’s inspiration for making this piece?” Apparently Reed Krakoff’s inspiration was combining all the terrible parts about the 70’s into one completely unflattering pantsuit that costs more than my car. My personal opinion is that he was originally contracted to design camouflage for the military that would allow soldiers to blend in with any kind of animal, but then they realized that was a terrible fucking idea and they fired him, forcing him to plaster his prototypes all over an emaciated, androgynous model. The fashion world has never been the same since!
I realize that designers are supposed to be edgy. That is what supposedly puts them on the map. They’re supposed to reinvent the wheel and take risks, right? If you’re on the cutting edge of fashion, you’re the person making other people ask questions. So, I present you with this dress from Maggy London:
Also available in another thrilling color combination!

The question I just asked was, “Did that young woman just wet herself?”

The sad thing is, both of those items are available via department stores.  You can buy both of them and actually wear them around.  You could be the woman every other woman is taking about as you parade around in your urine-soaked yacht attire. You could be the woman causing heads to turn and then consequentially seizure as you hit nearby pedestrians with your newly-purchased urban camouflage.

Runway fashions, on the other hand, are supposed to be slightly terrifying. When that model comes walking down the runway, you’re looking to be surprised, scared, amazed, or confused. It’s kind of like a horror movie, in the way that many of the things that are draped on a coked-out 20 something and sent strolling down the runway at Fashion Week are, in fact, horrific.

Exhibit A: 10 Crosby Derek Lam

The surprise here isn’t that strange decorative egg is popping out of a book without pages. The surprise is that no matter how you dress it up, a full length flannel shroud gown will never look attractive. Just because someone thought it might look cute covering a couch does not make it OK to use as something to cover your body.

Personally, I can't imagine a garment that flatters the female form less than this atrocity. Or, at least, I couldn't.  That was before I  found out what Chanel has put out lately. See Exhibit B. 

Ok, so before you look at the picture, you need to consider the name “Chanel”. It SOUNDS classy, doesn’t it? It’s the name in fashion synonymous with grace, elegance, and timeless fashion.  They have lovely fragrances, watches, and gorgeous handbags that they put out years ago that you see regularly today.  

So after clicking through the runway collection for Chanel, imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Before I even comment on the clothing, can we pause for a moment to ask ourselves why they transformed their runway into the Fortress of Solitude? And, if that was actually what they were going for, why is their collection completely devoid of red and blue?

So, how about that terrycloth, eh? It practically bleeds “expensive luxury” all over the floor. Then, because it’s super absorbent, it mops it all up! If it’s good enough for the spa, it’s good enough for our million dollar fashion presentation, and it’s certainly good enough for you to wear out in public. (And spend all of your hard earned dollars on it. . .)
Nothing says elegant and flattering like the flat, shapeless lines of a bath towel, so in order to dress it up we added not one, but TWO watches which are probably the last bastions of elegance left in our entire collection!

Next time I visit the subject of fashion, hopefully it will be things that don't resemble your grandmother's curtains. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Starbucks and the National Organization for Marriage...

Wait, you mean I didn't change the World in a
single click?!?
Oh man, I’m writing about Starbucks again. For some reason, they just keep popping up on my radar.

This time, it’s the movement to send Starbucks a thank you card for their support of same sex marriage. I started seeing this link popping up on Facebook, shortly after the Kuny links started yes, Facebook has become our generation’s lazy way of supporting political movements.

This particular movement gave me some doubts. It seemed like a really great way to get a lot of publicity so I figured I would do a bit of research on the topic. Also, just because it’s on Facebook, doesn’t mean it’s true or accurate. I will not believe everything I see on Facebook!!

So here’s the deal; Starbucks added its name to a list of companies that supported a marriage equality bill in the state of Washington. Ultimately though, it was the politicians of Washington State that passed the bill and the governor signed it into law. Thus, without the inevitable backlash of Christian and right wing fundamentalists, the law will take effect June 7th 2012. Currently, same sex relationships have an ‘everything but’ status in the state of Washington; this law simply takes this to the next step, allowing for same sex marriage with all the same rights as heterosexual marriage.

Ultimately, what does it means that Starbucks supported this bill? It’s the same as any group of people supporting a bill. They are not the ones that officially vote on the bill to pass, but senators and other politicians supposedly look to public support to make their decisions.

Really, the issue here is that the National Organization for Marriage(NOM) has decided to target Starbuck’s support of the bill and issue a boycott against the company. The irony is that there are plenty of other major corporations that signed their names in support of the bill, yet Starbucks is the company being targeted. NOM also threatened any republican legislators who voted for the bill by stating that they were willing to spend $250,000 on primary challenges against them. I am assuming that means that come the next election, NOM will throw money into campaigns against those legislators.

How dare Starbucks use their
influence as a corporation to
support same sex marriage!
Only we, as a non-profit
organization, get that right!

So NOM, who is complaining that a corporation can throw their support behind a bill, will use their political influence and money to thwart the re-election of republican legislators who signed this bill. Bill Brown, the president of NOM, was quoted as saying “We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens.” How is a political organization forcing its values on political representatives any different?

I think it’s important to note that NOM is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. This is different than a 501(c)(3) organization in that they can lobby and participate in political legislature. The reason they can do this is because they are an organization that “promotes social welfare”. This also means that they “cannot primarily benefit a private group of citizens”. The question becomes whether or not a group whose mission is “to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it” is supporting a private group or not.

When boycotting Google, does that means you have to stop using google as a verb? 
The whole Starbucks boycott is really just one group’s way of fighting for a definition of marriage that only includes one man and one woman. Starbucks became the boycott target because a boycott works well only with a concentrated effort. One company that supported the bill was selected and it happened to be Starbucks. It’s a lot easier to boycott over-priced coffee than it is to boycott Home Depot, Levi's,, Microsoft or even Google.

Ultimately, I did sign the thank you card for Starbucks. I personally support same sex marriage. Even if I didn’t, I would sign the thank you card as a form of anti-support for NOMs scare tactics.

The decision to sign it yourself though....well, that’s up to you.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Women Are Crazy.

It's time for round 2 of dating advice from me! 

This helpful advice is for the menfolks, as most of my advice is. Menfolk; bitches be crazy.

That’s it. That’s my advice.

I’m serious though, women are crazy. We are actually bat shit insane. Most of us though, are fairly good at hiding our insanity. It’s still there though, lurking beneath the surface....

For instance!

We like men who are assholes. I have no idea what it is about assholes, but damn. When some dude can’t even deign to give me the time of day, it gets me hot. It must be something about wanting what you can’t have or some bullshit like that. When men ignore me, it drives me wild. I’m actually only being a little sarcastic here because it’s true. Maybe not to that extent, but men who express interest but are then standoffish or run hot and cold tend to make me more interested than a guy who is all about me. Really, if a guy is all about me, I assume something is wrong with him because I’m crazy.

Yes, even the most self assured woman is secretly filled with self doubt. Anyone who is interested in us must be blind in one eye and really, really desperate and everyone knows desperation is not an attractive characteristic.

Yes, even the most beautiful of women
 can be ugly in the right light.
So the fact that we are really secretly filled with self doubt is another sign of our craziness. Some of this self doubt has to do with our physical appearance. We are extremely self conscious of our looks. I realize that I have attractive features and sometimes, if the lighting is just right, I can actually look ‘pretty’. 

When men tell me I am attractive, I assume the lighting is in that ‘just right’ state and they’ll eventually realize how unflattering the rest of the world looks on me.

I am also aware that most of this is in my head. I had a roommate who had long, curly hair that was absolutely gorgeous. Many days, she would complain about her hair. “Oh it’s all fluffy today!” she would cry. When I looked at her hair, it looked exactly the same as it always did to me; perfect. She would then spend the next hour alternately spraying, styling and gelling her hair, the end result being that it looked exactly the same to me.

Another example!

When we actually manage to get over our self doubt enough to land us a man, that’s when the real crazy sets in. If we allow ourselves to admit that we actually like someone enough that we want to keep them around, the most ridiculous, absolutely insane thought pops into our heads. 
It worked! Now he can never, ever leave meeeeeee!!!
Are you ready for this?

“Oh my god, he’s going to leave me, how can I get him to stay? I know, I’ll get pregnant!”

Yes, this is absolutely crazy. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t gone through the head of your significant other/friend/mother at some point in time. Just because women have this thought, doesn’t mean they act on it, but it’s still there. Most women realize how insane thoughts like that are....but I’m sure we can all agree that a few women actually manage to pull this off....

Really, we are all crazy. There’s no help for it. Men, there’s nothing you can do to combat the craziness, but you can be aware that it exists and be patient with us. When we are ready, we’ll share it with you...hopefully little by little, in small, manageable doses. Unless you get us drunk. Then you take matters into your own hands. Alcohol is a first class ticket on the crazy train! Hooray!

Beep beep, it's the crazy train!

Monday, March 12, 2012

America's Next Top Racist?

Tyra Banks: calling white girls "Yanks", since 2012.

So I know I am a little behind on this, but I get my tv through, so there’s a bit of a delay there. Then, after I watched this episode, I just kept thinking about it and getting more and more annoyed by what I had seen and heard.

What I'm talking about is America’s Next Top Model. The new season, or ‘cycle’ as they call it, has just begun. This cycle features half of the potential models coming from the US and the other half from Britian. Towards the beginning of the season premier, when Tyra Banks referred to the US girls as “Yanks”, I should have known there would be nothing politically correct about the show.

This cycle also happens to feature the first ever Native American hopeful. So, in a competition designed to pit the United States against England, they’ve also made sure to throw in a woman of Native American heritage. Mariah, whatever you do, do not accept gifts from ANYONE.

For those of you who didn’t immediately google ‘americas next top model native american chick’, Mariah is the name of the Native American contestant. As it turns out, not only is she Native American(yay!), she’s also from Oregon(double yay!). Granted, she's from Pendleton, which is the opposite side of the state from where I grew up, but considering that I live 3000 miles away now, a paltry 8 hour drive is practically next door.

Now, dear Internet friends, I might be a little overzealous about this topic, but since I identify at Native American myself, Native stereotypes are kind of a big deal to me, especially since my brown hair and blue eyes don’t fit the stereotype. When I see the kind of ridiculous stereotyping that occurred on this show, I get kind of upset.

Why might I be upset? It’s just a stupid tv show. That millions of people watch. Around the world.

So what was so awful about the episode?

The only Native American girl to ever be on the show, was expected to play the role of Pocahontas. Yes, they decided the first series of photographs should feature well known American figures juxtaposed against well known British figures. Sounds like a really fun idea, right? It could have been, had it featured less racism and stereotyping.

“Wait, I thought Pocahontas was a positive role model for young Native American women” you might ask yourself. You’d be wrong. Who do you think of, when you think of Pocahontas? I bet, for most of you, you think of the anorexic, top heavy, fell in love with the first white dude she saw Disney princess. Hey man, me too. The live action movie Pocahontas was far too depressing for me to want to think of that when I hear her name. It’s probably a more accurate portrayal of Pocahontas and her life though. The big problem is that Pocahontas just happens to be the only Native American female of note that any white people know, except for maybe Sacagawea("Isn’t that the chick on the stupid dollar coins I used to get as change from vending machines?").

Seriously though, pick up a book and read about other Native American women who did something more than fall in love with some white dude and become ‘civilized’.

Pocahontas vs. John Lenon....really?
So anyway....we’ve determined that Pocahontas is famous for absolutely nothing. Now lets talk about what you think of when you think of Native American dress. Does it come from a costume store? It sure did on this episode of America’s Next Top Model. Is it really that difficult to find something that identifies her as Native, without proclaiming “Let’s see how much crap I can slap onto a small piece of leather!” Also notice the shortness of the skirt, the garishly dyed feathers and the shoulder baring boat neck, all highly practical designs for hunting deer, gathering berries and growing crops.

Mariah though, was a good sport, and let them dress her up in this get up. I have no idea how much she knows about traditional regalia, but since she grew up around Pendleton, Oregon, which is right next to the Umatilla Indian Reservation, home of the tribe to which she belongs, I’d say she’s at least been to a pow-wow or two.

Being a good sport got her this:
"Guess what happened to me today?
Someone confused me with Kelly Osbourne."
Kelly Osbourne: “Coming from someone who is Native American, you would have thought they would have brought something from within. You could have done something a little bit more special.”

Has anyone seen the movie Bridesmaids? Kelly Osbourne as a judge reminds me of the fat, ugly, idiotic British sister. It’s harsh, I know, but I felt like her comments were often idiotic and she uses such long pauses in her speech that she comes of as extremely unintelligent.

Picking corn fills me with such pain.
Nigel Barker: “First of all, Mariah, I feel like you had a very easy thing to do. I mean, you are Native American. I don’t feel like you’ve committed. I just don’t see the angst. I don’t see any feeling. I don’t see the passion. I just see you looking pretty.”

Because Pocahontas, as a Native American, living during the time period when Native Americans still had their land and their traditional way of life, was filled with ANGST.     

I think what upsets me the most, is that I actually like this show. I like Nigel Barker as a judge. I like the work that the models and artists do, during the duration of the show. But all of that has been tarnished by this. Two people said some extremely ignorant things and NO ONE CARED. Their comments made the editing cuts and were aired on national tv. There has been absolutely no backlash against the things that were said.

Telling the Native girl that she should have done a better job as Pocahontas because she is Native, is like telling the self proclaimed ‘androgynous’ one that she should have been able to portray a more manly George Washington. Oh wait, THEY DID SAY THAT.

I give up. I’m officially revolting against this show.  




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Post Where I Defensively Discuss The Trashy TV I Watch.

Ok, when I say trashy tv, I mean a show that I do not readily admit to watching, or that I put a qualifier on when telling people about watching it.
Yeah, I'm a GLEEk, so what? Also, Finn is 30
this year and still playing a high school-er. It gives me
 hope that people might occasionally mistake me
 for being younger than 26.

No, I do not watch reality tv. That’s not the kind of trashy tv I am talking about. No, I do not watch sitcoms. That’s also not what I am talking about. My guilt pleasures are more along the lines of anything free on Hulu, ie. network shows that are less cheesy than sitcoms, but totally overplay the drama.

To what shows might I be referring to? You haven’t figured it out yet? You are really going to make me spell it out for you?

Fine. Private Practice.

Yes, it’s a spin off of Grey’s Anatomy, which I also watch.

In all honesty, those are probably the worst shows that I watch, simply for the made up drama of ridiculous medical and personal situations.

I can’t lie though, I watch a lot of current shows. I have a lot of free time and rather than better myself, because that’s what I do the REST of the time, I watch tv.

Revenge. Glee. Once Upon a Time. The Finder. Suburgatory.

I also watch other shows that are not currently on right now, like Burn Notice. There are also other shows I would love to watch, if they were available for free on the Internet, like The Walking Dead and Archer.

This is the cast of Jersey Shore, right?
I mean, for all I know this could be a
Kardashian family photo.

Really, I just like to be entertained. I would probably watch worse tv, if I let myself. That is the reason I will never, ever watch Jersey Shore. I like being able to say that I’ve never seen it. It makes me feel better about myself. “Well, at least I don’t watch Jersey Shore!” Like that’s some sort of permission to do other horrible things, like rob banks or kill kittens or something.

My own prejudices against reality tv aside, I’ll admit that the shows I refuse to watch don’t actually make me any better than you. Really, I should watch less tv that I do, but when you have as much free time as have to find something to do. Clearly I should be focusing on the Great Read-a-thon, as the competitive part of me wants to kick some ass.

But the allure of tv is too great. Damn you, hulu. Damn you.

He's just so....diabolical.
Oh look, a new episode of Switched at Birth! Joy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A few thoughts on Rick Santorum.

I have been wanting to throw my two cents in on the whole Rick Santorum thing. I have been thinking about what form this should take. In 10th grade English, we had to write a satire, after having read In The Pond by Ha Jin. I chose to write my satire about John Ashcroft. I wrote it as a debate, which completely devolved into me just taking cheap shots at him by the end of my 5 page masterpiece. I honestly have no idea if it was really any good, but I thought it was hilarious.

The fact that I chose something political to write about, is rather odd, considering that I am not very political. It’s just that I don’t live under a rock, so I do hear about major things in politics, especially really out there political characters. Think Sarah Palin. When I hear about people like that, I can’t help but be filled with hate for their idiocy. Oddly enough, all of these political characters happen to be conservative.

I don’t define myself as a Democrat but I am extremely liberal when it comes to social issues. I am so un-political that I don’t even know what to call myself. I was registered as an Independent, until the state of Maryland did away with that and now I am just unassociated. I guess that’s what I am. Unassociated.

I also happen to be a feminist. I know people have this stereotype they associate with that word and it’s almost always negative. Like everyone who is a feminist is a radical, hairy-legged psychopath. I believe in this crazy idea that women should have the right to vote and get paid the same as men. Ridiculous, right? Believing in these things doesn’t mean I can’t shave my armpits or that I have to have dreads. I wear bras instead of burning them.

Who ever made this really gets me. Taken from this site.

 My radical political leanings towards feminism and social equality means that people like Rick Santorum make my Hate-O-Meter go off the charts.

I’d like to share an excerpt from Rick Santorum’s book, It Takes a Family. I added a few comments.

So what is the liberal definition of freedom? It is the freedom to be and to do whatever we want- freedom to choose, irrespective of the choice, freedom without limits (with the obligatory caveat that you can’t hurt anyone else directly). What then, is the conservative definition of freedom? Freedom to choose only from a few, pre-selected choices?
But someone always gets hurt when masses of individuals do what is only in their own self-interest. That is the great lie of liberal freedom, or as I like to say, “No-Fault Freedom” (all the choice, none of the responsibility). When I listen to the rock group U2’s latest hit “Vertigo” which criticizes the dizzying culture surrounding us, a chill goes through me when Bono sings (Are you and Bono really on a first name basis?), in a satanic voice, “All of this, all of this can be yours-just give me what I want and no one gets hurt.” Thank you for clarifying that he said that line in a ‘satanic’ voice. Way to throw a pop culture reference in there, it shows you can really connect with the younger generation that...listens to U2. Right.

No one gets hurt? Believers in No-Fault Freedom turn a blind eye to the damage such a notion of freedom causes not to this or that individual but to society as a whole. We have sexual freedom; and the resulting debasement of women, mental illness, and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases causing infertility, cancer, even death. Yes, this is what happens when you allow women to have sexual freedom, they turn into sluts and everyone gets AIDS and dies.
Adults have freedom to divorce (No-Fault) when it suits them: and too many children end up being scarred for life. Divorce scars children. It is something they can never recover from. In fact, anytime someone mentions the D word around me, I curl up in a ball and start rocking back and forth muttering ‘Mommy and Daddy still love me’ over and over.
This is but a taste of the collateral damage inflicted on society, families, and individuals by No-Fault Freedom.

Another quote from his book:

For some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home.

Apparently, women who pursue careers outside of the home are buying into the lie that their success can only be measured by their career. He claims that families can get by on a single income. Granted, his wife quit her job in nursing to be a stay at home mom and take care of their seven children, but not all of us earn upwards of $900,000 a year.

So basically, divorce is bad, sex is bad and people can’t handle the freedom to make their own decisions. Sounds like an awesome platform to run on, when attempting to become the leader of the free world.

Ok, so here’s a dude who thinks that we can’t make decisions for ourselves, that we need someone telling us how to live our lives. No wonder he’s Catholic. Gosh, if I didn’t have the bible telling me what I can and can’t do, I would just be a crackhead living on the streets, selling my body for dope.

Clearly, I want someone running this country who thinks that I can’t handle decision making. What that ultimately means is he will take away all decision making power of the average citizen, thinking that he knows best. Clearly, he is such a roll model to us all, I mean, have you seen the news recently? His poor record of charitable giving, calling President Obama a snob for wanting everyone to have the opportunity for higher education, his extremely conservative views on birth control and women’s rights are all issues that have been in the news lately. I suppose if you believe you are the ‘underdog’ of the campaign, no news is bad news and maybe being controversial is helping keep his campaign afloat.

Look, he's such a snob he was
made into art!
Imagine though, if he has the nerve to call President Obama a ‘snob’, what will he say about other world leaders? Right now he’s just some ex-senator and a presidential hopeful. What happens if he becomes the president of the United States and he flippantly calls the Queen of England a ‘bitch’? Would that be enough to spark World War III?

Personally, if Rick Santorum called me a bitch, I’d take it as a compliment.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some things I hate about Facebook.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I am addicted to Facebook. Yeah, it’s a terrible affliction, but it’s not a habit I intend on kicking anytime soon.

So what if I know everything anyone has posted five minutes after it happened? It makes me feel like I am keeping in touch with them. So what if communication is not a one way street and instead of keeping in touch I am really just being a creepy stalker? At least I am not collecting hair and urine samples.

I’m not going to lie, one of the first things I do when I get up in the morning, is check Facebook. What? I have a lot of friends on the West Coast who post stuff after I go to bed and I have to catch up! Oh god, this sounds so comes the 80 cats and the episode of Hoarders, featuring me crying about people throwing out cat shit that I’ve saved for 20 years.

Regardless of my impending crazy cat lady future, I have a few things about Facebook I want to say. Every morning, I am greeted by the sort of stories from the same people. Here are a few examples of what I am talking about.

1. New mothers posting pictures of their new babies. Look, I’m happy for you, that you have started procreating and are proud of the life that you brought into the world, but posting 1000 pictures a day, of your hairless rug rat making the same face, is ridiculous. I seriously wake up to baby pictures on my news feed every day. And you know, I can adjust my news feed to not include these people, but someone else is just going to pop out a kid and I’ll have to block them. It’s like all these people are procreating like it’s their job...or like, a biological imperative or something. Assholes.

2. Some Generic Role in Society: This is What People Think I do. These are inevitably filled with inside jokes, and you know what, I usually don’t get them because I am not a belly dancer or a mathematician or a zookeeper or whatever the fuck is being posted.

Who wants to use the pumice stone on my bunions?

3. An update about the 5th coffee you drank today. Did it have cream? Did you drink it black? OH MY GOD I AM ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT!

4. Music videos. If I wanted to know what you listened to, I would be your friend on or or some sort of music sharing site. Really, I don’t need to know the 10 anthems you’ve selected for your workday and watch their associated videos. This is not youtube. Also, who sorts the goddamn mail while listening to Chris Brown? 5. Really happy, sun shine-y good morning messages. Like, hello world, I am alive and SO glad to be and I love each and every one of my glorious, amazing, beautiful face book friends, many of whom I have never met in real life.. And now the birds will come and help me get dressed and the squirrels will shave my legs for me, tra la la LA la.

Facebook is for sharing the cool things that are going on in your life, things that other people might want to know about. If nothing cool is going on in your life, then shut the hell up.