Archives for July 2011

Kim Kardashian’s Kourt Kase is a Load of Krap

Last week noted celebutard Kim Kardashian raised the bar for self-important narcissism so high that, given the Kardashian kompulsion to khristen everything with a ‘k,’ maybe we should start calling it “karcissism.” Narcissism, we all learn in grade school, is named for the Greek myth of the man so vain he looks into a pool of water and sees himself, and can’t look away. Karcissism would be the myth of the woman so vain she looks at someone else, sees herself, and calls her attorneys. 

Apparently Ms. Kardashian saw this Old Navy ad and decided that the girl at its center is so flagrantly stealing her look, style, identity, and persona (to paraphrase her attorney), she is owed $20 million, and has filed lawsuits accordingly.

Kind of, but not really.

The so-called lookalike, Melissa Molinaro, is indeed an olive-skinned brunette with a similar hairstyle, but if you ask me, the similarities end there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Kim obviously (if inexplicably) has her fans, but Ms. Molinaro is much prettier, and seems to have a bit more restraint (or at least better taste) with the cosmetics. In addition, she sings and dances throughout the ad, two things that Kim Kardashian has never been accused of even attempting. Singing and dancing, you see, are talents, and Kim has amply demonstrated over her four-plus years in the public eye that she has none of those (whatever Ray J might tell you).

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A Tale of Two Cities

I read the other day about some politician who, disgusted with liberal tax-and-spendism, wants to secede Orange County from the rest of California. This kind of thinking is not uncommon: Texas Gov. Rick Perry floated the idea of Texas quitting Team America not too long ago, and I’ve heard many a Lefty and Righty alike wish that we could separate the red states from the blue states.

I don’t think I would go that far, but there are some pretty extreme cultural differences between the coasts and the middle of the U.S. Over the course of my life I have lived on both coasts and in the middle, and I have observed this up close. Two anecdotes leap to mind:

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The Vampire Fantasy Is More Dangerous Than Actual Vampires

Sookie definitely has a type.

So a new season of True Blood just started, and there’s another Twilight movie coming this fall, there are still ads for The Vampire Diaries on the subway, and Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are remaking Dark Shadows. What do all these projects have in common? (Other than not interesting me whatsoever?)

That’s right, they’re all about vampires. Humans made immortal by feasting on the blood of other humans are a literary device nearly as old as literary devices, and over the years they’ve been used as metaphor for all kinds of different things, but the pop-culture vampire craze of the 2000s has been squarely aimed at the fairer sex.

On the surface, it’s easy to see why women find vampires, and the vampire myth, irresistable: They wear a lot of black, well-fitted clothes. They’re often into leather pants, which chicks are always a sucker for. They keep their hair slicked back, they’re thin and lithe (not a lot of carbs in fresh blood), and they’re seldom without a little five-o’clock shadow. And they’re always played by dreamy white guys. (Although they’re usually awfully pale, which, if you asked most women where “legal-pad white complexion” ranks on a list of Most Attractive Traits, I doubt would crack the Top 20, so this one’s a bit of a head-scratcher.)

So, other than the fact that they tend to look like Robert Pattinson and Alexander Skarsgard, what do women find so fascinating about vampires? I have a couple of theories. Read More

The Altamont Of Preschool Graduations

Yesterday my wife and I officially moved into the second phase of parenting. Having survived the first phase — consisting of the sleepless newborn part, the bull-in-a-china-shop toddler part, and the awful third year (which dwarfs the so-called “terrible twos” in terms of irrational screaming, pointless contrarianism, and all-around obstinacy), we are now the proud parents of a four-year-old who yesterday finished his first year of Montessori preschool. And thus begins the second phase: the phase that will be punctuated by frequent, poorly conceived, ineptly executed, largely pointless school events, starting with yesterday’s “Graduation/Moving On” ceremony.

My son is not actually graduating from anything, even by the increasingly lax criteria that we seem to be applying the word – he will be returning to our local Montessori preschool in the fall, and then starting kindergarten (God knows where, don’t ask) a year later. So a person might reasonably ask why he was part of this ceremony. I certainly asked, more than once. But my wife, who had attended a rehearsal, assured me that it would be super-cute and very brief — the kids had been taught to sing a couple of songs in unison, she said — so I got the blessing to leave work three hours early so I could make a 3pm curtain at the storefront church next door to the school.

The moment I got there and took a place for myself and my wife about halfway from the front — the closest I could get — I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see anything. The church was a long, narrow room with a small stage (maybe 8″ high, tops) at the front. I’m sure it works great when adults are standing on it, but the performers we were there to see are all just over three feet tall. No big deal, I thought — he’s not actually graduating from anything, and I’m sure the other parents will take about a million pictures and put them all on the parents’ listserv. 

Then the music starts: A funky little clavinet riff with a hip-hop beat, with some cute kids’ voices, barely audible over the backing track, freestyling strained rhymes about “Montessori.” (“You won’t be sorry,” etc.) My wife, who’s joined me after dropping off our boy and a platter of Rice Krispie Treats in the staging area in the basement where refreshments will be at some point be served, tells me that the director of the school composed it with his nieces. It’s cute and very short, about a minute and a half. But I soon realize it’s on repeat. And what’s cute for two minutes wears out its welcome pretty fast on the eleventh consecutive listen. Imagine a TV theme song — any TV theme song — played over and over and over.

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