Sunday, May 06, 2007

Watching Tyra's "So What!" Parade

I started laughing to myself this week as I recalled reading this Mondo Extras recap on TWoP during my Winter Break: The Christmas Shoes. It was a made-for-TV movie, based on a schmaltzy Christmas song, starring Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams. Here's what recapper Mr. Sobell had to say:

...It's a ridiculous anthem, full of mawkish sentiment and shallow acts of semi-kindness heralded as selfless philanthropy, topped with the kind of self-centered smugness normally reserved for Aaron Sorkin homilies. Someone responsible for "The Christmas Shoes" really needs to be punched.

I remember sharing this opinion with my father-in-law between guffaws of derisive laughter. However, my father-in-law -- an otherwise sensible fellow with little patience for the grade-A Velveeta often served up by popular culture -- took umbrage with my disdain for "The Christmas Shoes"; the words "cynical left-coast elitist" may have been tossed around in anger. And I soon learned that the majority of the civilized world seemed to take his side in this clash of cultures -- all throughout the weekend, people were calling into the radio station begging, pleading with the DJs to play this inane treacle. And in fact, the song turned out to be so terrifically popular that a woman named Donna VanLiere would churn out a novella based on this jejune pop song. I don't mean to disparage Ms. VanLiere or her literary efforts, but, several decades from now, don't expect to find The Christmas Shoes on the reading list for that "Great Books of the Early 21st Century" course they're teaching at your grandkid's university -- not if that school hopes to keep its accreditation, at any rate...

I was cracking up. When I shared the recap with my Mummy, she didn't find it as funny, since she's into that cheese. She's the kind of TV viewer who really liked The Ron Clark Story. I'm the kind of TV viewer who rolled my eyes when Matthew Perry had to be carried out on a stretcher by the paramedics after he passed out from pneumonia in his classroom. It only gave me more reason to laugh at the subsequent Nice White Lady sketch from MadTV.


Via Defamer:

Book Soup Overrun By Blanche Devereaux-Quoting Sodomites.

The deep imprint left upon the television landscape by seminal 1980s osteoporotic sitcom The Golden Girls is indisputable: Swap in some Cosmos for a cheesecake, you're looking at a post-menopausal Sex and the City; add an angry lesbian and some Hot Topics, The View. Not surprisingly, the series carries with it a fanatical following, comprised mainly of gay men of a certain age, and no one else. Many of them showed up at Book Soup last night to hear Rue "Blanche" McClanahan read and sign from her new autobiography.

It's not just for the gays. I love The Golden Girls, too. I have seen every episode at least twice, many a lot more than that. It's on five times a day, every week day. I'm a Dorothy.

And, Defamer Employment: Kids' Show Currently Staffing Up On Craigslist. Oh, the hilarity. My favorite part comes near the bottom.


...You would ever write (or laugh at) any of these 6 lines of dialogue:

(1) "Hey, stop eating my dinner, Eatie McEaterson!"
(2) "These nachos are like a party in my mouth!"
(3) "Whooaaa, too much information."
(4) "And by [that] I mean [this]."
(5) "Whoops, did I say that out loud?"
(6) "I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."

If you enjoy any of the above 6 lines of dialogue, time to move on to the next Craigslist ad! [...]

If you really hate this ad and you want to tell us how awful, unprofessional, and arrogant it is, please send that email to either your mom or your nearest Home Depot.

As is the norm on Defamer, the comments below it are the piece de resistance. The Craig's List ad subsequently "got over 900 responses in less than 48 hours," probably due to their Defamer mention. I bet they received a few mom/Home Depot emails as well.


from Wired, via Yahoo!News:

Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

So which freedoms are these soldiers fighting for again, even though they obviously can't exercise them themselves?


via AfterEllen:

My So-Called Box Set: But will Tino ever show? According to dorothy snarker,

My So-Called Life might be coming back. No, sorry, not with new episodes (I know, that was just cruel, teasing you like that), but as a re-released DVD box set of its one and only season.

That would awesome, because I didn't get the first edition of DVDs. By the time I realized they might be good DVDs to invest in (i.e. last year), they were no longer available in stores. Hmph.


from The New York Times, via Pajiba Love:

Young, Gifted, and Not Getting Into Harvard, by Michael Winerip.

ON a Sunday morning a few months back, I interviewed my final Harvard applicant of the year. After saying goodbye to the girl and watching her and her mother drive off, I headed to the beach at the end of our street for a run.

It was a spectacular winter day, bright, sunny and cold; the tide was out, the waves were high, and I had the beach to myself. As I ran, I thought the same thing I do after all these interviews: Another amazing kid who won’t get into Harvard.
He ends the article with this paragraph, emphasis mine:

That day, running on the beach, I was lost in my thoughts when a voice startled me. “Pops, hey, Pops!” It was Sammy, one of my twins, who’s probably heading for a good state school. He was in his wetsuit, surfing alone in the 30-degree weather, the only other person on the beach. “What a day!” he yelled, and his joy filled my heart.

Gee, thanks, Dad. Way to lowball your kid's abilities in a national newspaper.

By the way, I didn't get into Harvard either. I didn't apply...but that's beside the point. The Pajibans summed it up well:

What's the Times' sudden obsession with high school kids and top colleges? Maybe the paper is trying to solidify its identity as the most respected paper among the white, upper-class mass of Ivy league applicants.

Who cares if some overachieving, overprivileged Northeasterners don't get into Harvard? This is not the education crisis facing the United States. This is a small group of yuppies burdened with one-upping each other on the backs of their unnecessarily stressed-out children.


If you haven't read Racialicious this week, please do, along with Race in the Workplace. I would link to at least five articles that I liked on the site this week, but it takes me forever to link and quote and comment in my obsessively comprehensive manner. So clickety-click on the underline words above. Incredibly educational and poignant. Carmen really needs her own nightly show. That way, instead of spending two to three hours every time I post trying to convince you to read the articles that she puts on her blog, I could just say, "watch Carmen tonight at 8pm." And you would.


Why is Maroon 5's new single "Makes Me Wonder" growing on me? Adam Levine cannot sing, and the video isn't that cool. How many times can those guys stand around playing their instruments in random places while emaciated, underdressed, glassy-eyed models wander around them aimlessly? Plus, Adam, you are no George Michael. You're not even Robbie Williams.


The best for last. From The New York Observer:

Goodbye, Girls. Now I can exhale.

...[Lorelai Gilmore] never apologized. Not for getting pregnant; not for running away; not for over-mothering Rory; and not for being pretty and smart and young. Ms. Sherman-Palladino made her a strong character who overflowed with love and enthusiasm. We responded to her in kind.

Mr. Rosenthal, however, has seemed to want to punish the Gilmore girls for having too much fun -- and too much independence – over the last six years. Not a single character has escaped this season without tragedy or curse. After the collapse of her relationship with Luke, Lorelai made the very unlike Lorelai decision to marry Rory’s dad, Christopher (David Sutcliffe), perhaps the least reliable person she's ever known. The notion that Lorelai would be swept away by a romantic gesture (Christopher proposed in Paris after a shaky and swift post-Luke reunion) is totally ludicrous – this woman never even had a one night stand up to now. (Well, except with Christopher.) Luke, who having gotten to know the teen daughter he's only recently become aware of, became embroiled in a nasty custody battle – this is a man who didn't want a lawyer to help him get divorced a few seasons back. Rory is graduating from Yale (finally!) but has been dragged down by her boyfriend Logan (Matt Czuchry) who lost all of his family-bestowed millions on an internet merger deal gone bad…. And now, at 23, he's proposing! Mr. Gilmore, Lorelai's dad, had a heart attack; Rory's best friend Lane had sex once – on her honeymoon –hated it, and got pregnant with – wait for it – twins!

And, Who Will Play Obama on SNL?, by Jason Horowitz. The story should be called, "Lorne Michaels doesn't care about black people." Because, really. I could have told you who the 2008 Presidential candidates were going to be in 2005. The most loved sketches in 2000 were the ones with Darrell Hammond and Will Ferrell playing Al Gore and George W. Bush, respectively. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama have been making national headlines every week since the beginning of 2007. And Lorne still hasn't hired someone to play Barack Obama? You might think I'm being hard on Lorne, but consider this: he certainly has enough white guys to play the Republican candidates, even though most Americans can't name any of them besides John McCain. (Kudos to you if you named Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, or Tom Tancredo. Bonus points for Law & Order's Fred Thompson.)

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