Monday, 30 September 2013

Is this what they mean when they say carbs are evil?

Remember the Atkins diet? Gawd, what a drag that was. I think I tried it for, like, 28 hours once. I recall being especially perplexed by what my breakfast options were. There are many non-carb breakfast foods, obviously, but I experiemented with this in the days where I only used my stove for making coffee and my oven served as storage for my shoes. Seriously, I was a *total* cliche in my 20s. So making eggs first thing in the morning simply wasn't going to happen. I quickly learned that I wasn't a very pleasant person without carbs, anyway, and ditched Atkins in favour of the coffee-and-cigarettes diet. Because I'm smrt.

I'm glad to announce that nearly a decade later, I'm still happily consuming carbs. And I will never apologize for it, either. I've never met a pizza I couldn't pulverize, I've never pooh-poohed a potato and I've certainly never passed up a bowl of pasta. Until now. Last week Barilla chairman and resident fascist Guido Barilla said in an interview with Radio 24: "I would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role." He went on to say that he doesn't support adoption by gay couples, but does support gay marriage, which has a whiff of the daddy-hits-me-because-he-loves-me about it.

After a boycott was called on all Barilla products, the chairman clarified his comments and apologized cryptically by saying simply that "the woman plays a central role in a family." I don't really know what's worse, that Mr. Barilla has completely cut lesbians out of the equation, that he doesn't think the gays are worthy of his products, or that he believes that a woman's place is in the kitchen. You'd think that as one of the world's leaders in pasta production the guy would have had some media training by now, or that he'd have a PR team that knew to keep him away from reporters. As far as gastronomic gaffes go, this is like Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch: we didn't see it coming, we can't believe it happened, and it has made us pretty nauseous. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Art for (F)Arts' Sake

Something happened at some point along the creative way. When I wasn't looking (because I was probably doing tequila shots at the bar), all artistic writerly pursuits became thinly veiled attempts at getting a movie deal. Seriously. It's like the only reason anyone writes anymore is because they hope it will turn into something meme-y and money-y. I mean, I get it; I'm a writer, after all. We don't make a lot of money, so obviously if you're going to pursue your passion, why not tailor it to garner you some dolla-dolla-bills? And hey, the fame? That's just gravy.

But I woke up one morning and hipsters everywhere (ok, mainly in New York) were blogging about some bastardized, half-cocked concept of "love" hoping to land up with a million-dollar Miramax deal and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the male lead. This is "art"? I smell bullshit.

Let's start with those two twee gag-muffins from 40 Days of Dating ( The premise: two utterly nauseating cliches of New York singles in their "marrying years" decide to embark on an experiment to date for 40 days and see if true love blossoms. She is the prototypical girl who loves too much and just wants to find love and gosh, golly, gee ain't love grand?! And he's a douche. (No further explanation necessary.) They chronicled every barf-tastic detail, which included going to couples' therapy, because what self-obsessed navel-gazer wouldn't go to therapy and then chronicle it for the world to read? They even went so far as to film a day they spent together where they held hands constantly. Seriously, like, even in the bathroom. Cuz that's what married people do, I guess? (It's becoming all too clear to me now that the reason my boyfriend hasn't popped the question is because I insist on closing the door when I pee.) The end result, not surprisingly, is that they didn't end up together. Because hipsters don't cop to a Hollywood ending. Unless it's in Brooklyn, in which case, the more food truck lobster tacos offered on bended knee the better. And wouldn't ya know, those two douchenozzles now have a movie deal.

Next up: some idiot broad, also in NYC, whose boyfriend once told her, after scarfing a turkey on whole wheat that she made for him, that she's "300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring." ( What a charmer. Think of it as Julia and Julia meets salmonella poisoning. Precious nuggets on the topic of this "challenge", as she calls it, include: "Sandwiches meant more to him than nice gifts, regular sex or any other incentive I could use to get him closer to putting a ring on it." And: "It would take me about a year to make that many sandwiches." Now, my math skills are questionable at best, but aren't there 365 days in a year? Why, then, has she been working on this for 15 months? These two aren't just sickeningly obnoxious, they're also cripplingly dumb. Movie deals are probably pending. And I'm fixing my noose.

What's the take-away from all this? Is it that we've become so incapable of creating legitimate art that we have to debase ourselves with trite, specious experiments in love to be relevant and even celebrated? Where do we point the finger? Reality television? Capitalism? Hormones? Twerking? One thing is for certain: when our alien overlords one day sift through our collective internet browser history, we'll be a lot less embarrassed when they come upon the vast encyclopedia of pornography at our fingertips than these pathetic blog attempts at defining love and art.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Comedy, Thy Name is Kanye

This morning I was reading a humour blog called Vogue UK. If you haven't read it before I beseech you to do so. They post some really funny shit almost on a daily basis and use hilarious phrases like "fash week" instead of fashion week, because obviously they're laughing too hard at the funny things they write to get a whole long word like "fashion" out in one go. For instance, they once put this picture of Victoria Beckham in a Best Dressed of the Week gallery. It's so jokes, amirite?

Well, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today — sorry for yelling at you for using the wrong towel to dry your body this morning, Boyfriend. But seriously, why does the male species find it so difficult to distinguish between a towel that's meant to dry your hair and one that's meant for your body? IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. But I'm totes over it now. — so I knew that my fave humour blog would pull me out of the Tuesday doldrums with something aptly entertaining and side-splittingly hilarious. And I was right!

Today, Vogue-slapmyknee-UK reported on an interview Kanye West gave to BBC Radio 1. Now, that Kanye is one heck of a comedian. I mean, this guy has some real talent and I often wonder what it will take for him to get a sitcom. In the interview, he opined on the leather pants trend: "Whether I'm at a dinner with Anna Wintour, or ... giving Fendi our designs and getting them knocked down… [We] brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said no," he said. "How many motherfuckers you done seen with a leather jogging pant?" He's implying that Fendi, a fashion house that dates back to 1925 and is responsible for originating the idea of the It Bag, has *stolen* his idea of designing leather jogging pants! AHAAAAHAAAA. I mean, never mind that Gianni Versace did it back in the 1980s, or that Sophia Kokosalaki, when designing for the experimental leather label Ruffo Research, showed leather jogging pants back in the early 2000s. Sure, he could have slipped in those references to make his joke funnier, if somewhat pedantic, but hey, he's a modern guy and his jokes are phrased in a modern context.

He then hilariously went on to say this about Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane: "So when I see Hedi Slimane, and it's like, 'OK, this is my take on the world,' yeah, he's got some nice $5,000 jeans in there, it's some nice ones here and there, some good shit here and there, but we are culture. Rap is the new rock and roll. We are culture. Rap is the new rock and roll. We are the rock stars. It's been like that for a minute, Hedi Slimane. It's been like that for a minute. We the biggest rock stars, and I'm the biggest of all of them."

Ok, so that wasn't so much funny-ha-ha as it was funny-hmmm. That Kanye's pretty smart, after all, and very conceptual, so it's not surprising that many of his comments would fly over the heads of us normals. This is, after all, the same man who named his child North. Presumably so that he (or she? I STILL CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE SEX OF THAT BABY) will never lead a group of campers astray. "Which way do we go?" "I dunno, just follow North. He [or she?!?] always travels in the direction of his [or her] name." That's gold.

I gotta say, I'm humbled by Kanye. I couldn't come up with material that funny if I tried. Remember when he said this: "I am God's vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live." And this: "I am not a fan of books." And this gem: "I don't even listen to rap. My apartment is too nice to listen to rap in." 

Funny, funny shit. So funny I may cry.