Pop culture

I was an avid reader as a child. I read “Death of a President,” a big huge tome about the Kennedy assassination, when I was 12, even though my siblings called me a nerd. My mother caught me reading “The Other Side of Midnight,” a racy Sidney Sheldon novel, at about the same age. It had dirty sex scenes in it and she lost her shit and ripped it from my hands when she discovered I was reading it. I probably just read it because it was there, although I do remember being titillated by the sex.

In any event, no one has been more surprised than me that I have stopped reading books. Once I moved stateside, I got completely immersed in news blogs and websites and that’s all I do all night — just sit on my laptop and read Politico, the New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, etc. (more…)


This weekend I went to see Iron Man 2. I should have walked out ten minutes in, but as I am wont to do when it comes to a movie I just spent $15 on and waited on line outside to see…I stayed. Bad decision. Iron Man 2 a terrible movie overall. Tony Stark is a douche of massive proportions with a hateful personality. In Iron Man, Stark was a narcissistic jerk who learned a lesson: caring for people and doing good is better than being a war profiteer. That was the first movie. Inexplicably, in this second installment, he’s a bigger dick than he was before his big redemption in the original. Stark’s character is so insufferable that it’s really quite a feat he is the alleged “hero” of this story. And the sexism. Good god, the sexism. It comes with a dose of Fox News-style wingnuttery!


When the UK Metro alerted me (via Jezebel) to this story about the evil clown on hire to parents in Switzerland to stalk their children for a week, I was not only intrigued, repulsed, and delighted, I immediately forwarded it to every child-hater I know. The service?

Dominic DeVille stalks young victims for a week, sending chilling texts, making prank phone calls and setting traps in letterboxes.  He posts notes warning children they are being watched, telling them they will be attacked.  But Deville is not an escaped lunatic or some demonic monster.  He is a birthday treat, hired by mum and dad, and the ‘attack’ involves being splatted in the face with a cake.

‘The child feels more and more that it is being pursued,’ said Deville.  ‘The clown’s one and only aim is to smash a cake into the face of his victim, when they least expect it, during the course of seven days.’

Horrific, cruel, hilarious, yes, yes, and yes.  Also, probably more appropriate for adults who are in on the joke, although I think it is sickly awesome that this exists at all.  But where do consenting adults go for Hot Clown Action, you ask!  (You did ask, right?).  My good friend Fozzy Bear immediately emailed with the answer.  Enter:  Sugar Weasel of Austin, Texas, who services the greater las Vegas area as well:

[T]he self-proclaimed Clown Escort is an adult entertainer, a world-class lover, a rogue and a scoundrel.  Interpreted, Sugar Weasel is a punk rock thrill ride that leaves you weak kneed and panting for more….  He possesses a singular vision to make the world a strangely erotic, more satisfying place for women.  His exotic go-go dance is like watching a roller coaster derail… (more…)

Okay, we might as well give up.  Because no one is getting any work done today, not if you have a working internet connection and can read.  Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, Golfer Extraordinaire and Stupid Fucker of the Year is the hot topic for today after one of his mistresses stuck it to him by releasing a hilarious and damning series of text messages she says she received from the Fool.

Sports fans, head over to Deadspin for the original and where you will appreciate some of the comments.  Actually, I’m a bit disappointed in DS today, the early comments were cracking me up but the later ones are just weak.

But VirusWithShoes from Wordsmoker has taken liberties with the texts and has posted his version which has me howling with laughter.  Observe: (more…)

Not that I mean to continually yank off of  Best Week Ever, but they did post this amazing video from Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe that is a pitch-perfect takedown of the composition of the modern news report.  While I’ve been subjected to a lot of background BBC recently (and honest to Dog, if this was playing on the telly while I was otherwise engaged, I wouldn’t cotton-on at all), I think it holds true for the American news report as well.  Watch, listen, and let your mind numb gradually to the dulcet tones of the standard news story.

Yeah, it’s perfect.  Right down to the punny sign-off.  Three cheers to modern, by-the-book television journalism.

papparazziI did a post last year called Gradations of Celebrity Sightings after tripping over Boris Becker on my way to work, and we all had fun recounting our most random encounters with The Famous (you New Yorkers always win; for the record, I have since seen Bill Nighy outside Pret a Manger – twice!  So, yeah.). 

On an excellent night out a while ago, my friend Shanelle and I ended up having many, many drinks with a slew of papparazzi who’d been camped outside a nearby hotspot with their heavy-artillery camera equipment.  This was even better than an actual celeb meeting in many ways, as they were happy to share horror stories about their predatory ways and inside scoop on the stalking-for-pay business.  For fun, they even gave us a mini-celeb experience, shouting “Tailfeather!  Tailfeather, over here!” blinding us with flashbulbs and rapid-fire shots, so that passers-by stopped to gawp and try to figure out how we were famous (and we could have been any one of Britain’s roughly 10,000 reality show “stars”).  We giggled, thinking that probably a few of those people would go home and say they saw someone famous outside a Mayfair pub.  “Who was it?”, their friends would ask excitedly.  “I’m not sure… But definitely someone.  One of them was blonde, and there were papparazzi.  It must have been that drunk bird off of Big Brother!”

That evening eventually wound down when the papparazzo who’d been chatting up Shanelle got a text that Leonardo DiCaprio was at a SoHo lounge, and slipped off into the night after a money shot, gruffly whispering at her not to tell any of his friends where he’d gone.  I was reminded of this recently when the boy and I were out for a Thai meal at a little place near Goodge Street and he froze with his fork halfway to his mouth, clearly deaf to whatever riveting story about my office I was in the midst of.  His eyes tracked a group of skinny hipsters as they were warmly greeted and led to the more private dining area downstairs.  “WHAT,” I said.  “You totally just missed the part of my story where Todd stood in front of my desk and clipped his fingernails with my scissors.  That was the climax.  What IS IT.” (more…)

video_store470It is nearly Friday (FIST PUMP!), and I am, as usual, thinking about what movies I will watch this weekend.   I used to watch several a week, but no longer have that luxury as there is no video store within miles of me and I have thus far refused to subscribe to LoveFilm, the UK’s overpriced answer to America’s Netflix.  I think I’ll finally give in when the boy arrives and can share the monthy subscription fee, but for now, I tend to rely on my ever-growing film library.

Renting movies here is expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that it’s arguably the same price to just buy movies I like at the Computer Exchange or Tesco as it is to rent (new releases aside).  A big reason I’ve held out against LoveFilm is that I relish browsing.  I find the most interesting indie flicks, foreign films, and documentaries  that way.  I carry a handful of selections around the store before agonizing over my final decision.  I pick up movies I’ve never heard of and evaluate the cover art and the reviews.  I like that it’s tactile and there are always surprises.  This is my major objection to online shopping in general – so sterile, and so limited by your existing knowledge.  I far prefer to wander around a video store for 90 minutes, or spend a happy half-day at the bookstore.

But that is not the only topic of this post.  Oh, no, you see, the primary topic is actually Movies That Are Guaranteed to Cheer You Up, aka Pick-Me-Up Movies.  What I did is make what I like to call a “pun,” tying in two different ideas with a little “wordplay” – movies that uplift you, and my own side-rant about liking to physically pick up movies.  God, I swear my writing gets better with every post.  So, onwards! (more…)

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