Commentary, Uncategorized

Girls girls girls

I get along with guys; most of my friends are guys. It’s easier to trust men sometimes.
– Paris Hilton

I can’t stand hearing this phrase. Of course you get on well with boys, they’re nice to you because they want to sleep with you. And yet, girls proclaim this like a badge of honor, an achievement, when it really should be said out of resignation. There’s nothing wrong with having guy friends, a lot of us do, but it’s nothing of which to be proud. It is easier to be friends with guys. They aren’t going to feel competitive with you and they’ll put up with your shit because they’re hoping that eventually you will see them as a potential suitor. It sounds harsh and generalizing, but if you’re only able to make friends with people who also want to sleep with you, then your personality is probably defective.

It’s like betraying your own gender. I find it personally insulting, like what’s wrong with me, that you don’t want to be my friend? It’s never a necessary thing to say. So guys have a different sense of humor, are more laid back and easy to get along with, and have less drama. They don’t always want to get with you, but most of the time they do, and it’s nice to have girl friends who will never have that agenda.

And before someone says, “My best friend is a boy, he doesn’t want to sleep with me–” FALSE. I mean, maybe, but it’s rare. Still, I understand the frustration. I know how girls can be. Two-faced, duplicitous, bitches… But what is more two-faced than acting nicer to a girl than you would if she were a dude, because you want to sleep with her? The only reasonable thing to do, is to only make friends with guys who are out of your league, and therefore couldn’t possibly see you in that light.

I guess I’m just old-fashioned. I’m a girls’ girl. I don’t like it when girls pander to guys, feigning interest in sports, video games, farts, etc. If you really like that stuff, fine. I have no problem with that. But I know pandering. I act like I enjoy burps and Age of Empires so that my little brother will think I’m cool. Okay it’s like 50% I do like those things and 50% pandering. I’m not about to forsake my gender though.

Though certain interests might traditionally be associated with men, it’s the 21st century, girls can like whatever they want. I actually only recently started liking beer. I know that the only thing, now, that would make me more attractive to men would be drinking whiskey, neat. I’m not doing it to impress dudes, they’re just characteristically more used to drinking beer, although for most of them it’s usually like Heineken, Heineken, Jagerbomb. When it comes to common interests, sometimes you have to make friends with the opposite sex by default, at least until you can find the right girls. But when I need to tell my secrets, gossip, or be that dramatic catty bitch that is the reason girls are friends with guys… I’m going straight to my girlfriends.

That being said, I haven’t gotten used to Irish girls yet. Help.

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Commentary, Entertainment, Uncategorized

Behind every great man…

It all started with Rita. She was so mousy and annoying. Then there was Skyler… she filled me a disdain that I couldn’t even fathom. And finally Winona, who seemed incapable of saying anything without attitude. These leading ladies are the worst. They practically infringe upon my enjoyment of these programs (Dexter, Breaking Bad, Justified) because I have to spend so much time being annoyed by them.

After hating her on Dexter, I saw Rita (Julie Benz) play a perfectly palatable hot lesbian on Desperate Housewives. I had just thought that Julie was terrible, but apparently she wasn’t. She was just acting, which meant that they must have written the character of Rita to be that annoying. And it wasn’t just me, none of the fans liked Rita, and I think that’s probably why she had to die.

I don’t know what it was about Skyler. At first I thought it was her face. Yeah she was kinda bitchy. But the writers did that to her. And though she didn’t die, by the end of the series I hated Walt enough that I had to root for Skyler a little.

I haven’t finished Justified yet, but I’m nearing the end of the fourth season. After torturing us through Winona’s drama, she started showing up less and less on the show, appearing only in 43 of 61 episodes. They created a character so annoying that they had to cut down her role.

Natalie Zea (Winona) was a little annoying on The Following, but much less so, although that could be because her role was quite limited in that as well. Still, I don’t like the pattern that is emerging.

I’m not sure what’s worse: if they meant for these women to be annoying, or if they just can’t come up with any other way to characterize them.

And let me clarify, in case you haven’t seen these shows–these aren’t the characters you love to hate, they’re just annoying.

The men are strong, dynamic, and complex. They’re the center of their TV universe.

Did the writers just get lazy and use the go-to annoying-wife stock character? And why is that even a thing? Would it detract from multi-faceted male protagonist to have a wife that wasn’t just annoying 24/7? Sure, there’s a male sitcom cliche for a bumbling, sports loving, overweight male, but that’s lighthearted and also super realistic.

Why is it like this? Maybe it’s because these men aren’t supposed to be happy. They can’t have a strong marriage and good home life and still get into the shit that they do. I know it’s not that kind of show. Is this the only way? Could they have an unstable domestic situation with a less annoying/more relatable wife? It would be nice to see, because as it is, after watching my fave shows I end up feeling a bit misogynistic and a bit self loathing.

It is important to note that while there are worthy female characters on these shows as well, but it is the wife/girlfriend who we must despise. She just can’t be cool. She gets stuck being the nagging, shrewy, voice of reason. And the cool characters always murder people, too.

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Commentary, Politics

What did Sarah Silverman do this time?

In Sarah’s new PSA, “SARAH SILVERMAN IS VISITED BY JESUS CHRIST,” she reminds us about the separation of Church and State.

I believe in a separation of Church and State,  and I believe in a separation of Entertainment and State… and also Church, if necessary. Even though  having Rudy Giuliani guest on SNL or having Michelle Obama make a cameo might be good for a few laughs, I think it is important that everyone know their place.

Comedians will always make fun of politicians. Will Ferrell playing Janet Reno playing with a Simba doll really spoke to me as a child. For a long time I couldn’t help envisioning George W. Bush as Will Ferrell, either. These are funny caricatures.

Then there’s the fact that  Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor. Reagan was an actor too, right?

I know, I know, all politicians are just actors anyway. But where do we draw the line” I think that there should be a line.

I might look up to famous actresses for hair and beauty tips, but any interest in their political ideologies is purely incidental. They certainly have a right to express their views, and I’ll let comedians have a lighthearted politically fueled joke now and again, but past that I think they are out of their depth.

Do I need to remind you that a lot of actors are way into Scientology?

Here’s the thing–I don’t mind a bit of political discussion, except that I don’t really pay attention to politics that much, and I’m not going to try and discuss something that I know nothing about. Nevertheless, it makes me cringe majorly when someone who knows even less than I do makes a completely uninformed political critique. I currently live outside the country, and I’ve traveled quite a bit, and everyone, especially cab drivers, wants to talk about American politics. And how informed do you think they are? I know that Americans are overwhelmingly ignorant, but people that don’t even live in America aren’t exactly keeping abreast of US current events either. And everyone knows that Hollywood may as well me its own universe, so take that into consideration.

Some actors are incredibly intelligent, like Dolph Lundgren, but most just normal people who have lots of things to do besides think critically. So… what do we do when they start taking it upon themselves to inform us about politics?

I thought that The Sarah Silverman Program was really funny. She just plays this ridiculous character who does stupid things and is kind of a bad person. Funny.

Those who know me, know that I’ll be the first to analyze humor until it isn’t funny anymore. And I don’t like jokes. I don’t like things with a punch line, generally, and I don’t like sarcasm. I like a good characterization and I like irony. I like things that are funny because they’re true, or funny because they’re so untrue.

It isn’t the be-all end-all of humor, but I think that a comedians tweets can be a pretty good assessment. Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it is to write funny tweets, and I probably never have. But neither has Silverman, which is pretty disappointing. I was following her because I thought she was going to be funny, but she wasn’t, so I stopped. At some point she got serious.

It’s super uncomfortable for me to watch someone trying to funny whilst being self righteous and clearly trying to impart a message. It will only be amusing to people who already agree with what she’s saying, who can commend themselves for being on the right side of the so-called joke, and find her oh-so endearing.

I am truly not sure what she wanted to get out of it, but the main message is this: states are trying to limit where abortions can be executed. These states are controlled by the Christian Right, but because there is a Separation of Church and State, they shouldn’t be letting their religious views influence legislation. WAIT, WHAT? That is not what Separation of Church and State is about. It’s about the government not establishing an official religion, and not prohibiting anyone to practice their’s.

Her points about “one nation under God,” and “In God We Trust,” though somewhat valid, ignore the fact that these could be applicable to any number of deist religions. It’s been before the Supreme Court before, and they basically said, “what’s the big deal?”

Silverman’s problem is that a lot of  people use their religion as a source of morality, and this morality is in contradiction with what she deems her freedoms.

People forget the historical context of Separation of Church and State. It comes from a history of religious oppression, not Godlessness. We are supposed to have freedom, and no one should be forced to practice a religion or give up their beliefs. But unless your religion tells you that you must have abortions, then the separation of church and state would not be infringing on your rights by telling you that you cannot.

Think about it this way: Mormons can’t drink alcohol, there are tons of Mormons in Utah, so Utah has super strict liquor laws. Would I want to party in Utah? Of course not, but these laws were put in place by the officials elected by the people who live there. It’s what they want. Our legislative system isn’t perfect, but this is how it works. So some states will restrict abortion, because that is what their constituents want.

Abortion advocates want abortions to be super accessible and easy. You shouldn’t even have to think about it. Meanwhile, they will also say that it doesn’t “cause mental instability.” Well honestly, if it is really no big deal and you will still want it even if you have to drive a few hours, then fine. But if it isn’t worth it to you to travel across state lines or to a hospital in another county to get an abortion, you probably didn’t really want one in the first place.

Don’t forget that rape/incest/birth defects make up a tiny tiny percentage of all abortions. That is a different discussion.

Sarah Silverman, give it up. If you’re trying to convince people who already agree with you to nod their heads, mission accomplished. But your skit was all over the place, except for your observation about NCIS, which was spot on.

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Music

Del Amitri hits Dublin

I could not have predicted, by any guesstimate of the imagination, how last night’s Del Amitri show would go down.

When I was growing up, their hit single “Roll to Me” got played just about every day on B103 in Richmond, Va. I didn’t like it much. I found it a bit presumptuous for him to call me “pretty baby,” and also assume that he was the cure-all for my life. In retrospect, I can appreciate it for what it is. It’s another song with a catchy hook and a message that is so emblematic of the 90’s.

Look around your world pretty baby is it everything you hoped it’d be? The wrong guy the wrong situation, the right time to roll to me.

The 90’s guy is really caught up on his feelings, and he is a very supportive partner. He’s always there for you, even just to talk.

If you wanna call me baby, just go ahead now and if you would like to tell me maybe, just go ahead now. And if you wanna buy me flowers, just go ahead now. And if you would like to talk for hours, just go ahead now. 

Wait that’s the Spin Doctors. What I meant was,

And I don’t think I have ever seen a soul so in despair, so if you want to talk the night through guess who will be there…

But the point is that you’re better than the other guy.

Marry him, or marry me. I’m the one that loves you baby can’t you see, I ain’t got no future or family tree but–I know what a prince and lover ought to be.

The 90’s guy is the ultimate sensitive wears-his-heart-on-his-sleeve guy. And it’s also a total facade. The nice-guy archetype has been played out, and once the nice guy’s love has been requited, he’s not so nice anymore. The 90’s guy will say just about anything to get in your pants. But he’s a rascal, we forgive him.

Most people don’t know this, but Del Amitri actually has other songs, a ton of em.  They formed in Scotland in the 80’s, and made some hits in the 90’s. I was 7 when Roll to Me came out, so I knew attending their show at Vicar St. yesterday I would be younger than most of their fans, but I truly did not know what to expect.

They hadn’t played a gig in 12 years before this tour, so them coming to Dublin was a pretty big deal. But I wondered–did they still have a fan base? Did they ever have a fan base? You see, all I really knew about them was this one song.

It’s important to know that in the past year my theme song had become Two Princes, and my sister’s was Roll to Me. We put these songs on at any time when we deemed it appropriate to play a theme song in our lives, whether we were walking down the street with our crew, sitting at a bar, or just cruising around town. These songs got played a lot, and often competitively.

When I heard that Del Amitri was playing in Dublin, I knew that I had to go. My sister was back in Richmond, so there wasn’t a chance, but I knew she would want me there, especially after my husband won tickets from a radio station.

I’d already gotten to see the Spin Doctors last summer when played a festival in Virginia. Let me tell you, Two Princes was exactly what it was cracked up to be. The boys still had it, only they were missing about half of their audience. See, the festival was outdoors and it was raining lightly. By the end of the set, only their true fans remained, and they did a meet and greet with everyone. It was pretty cool. But the Spin Doctors’ MO is different from Del Amitri–they had a new album.

So, what would a show be like for a band that had a hit in the 90’s and then didn’t tour for 12 years? Cursory fans like me who grew up hearing one single? People who embraced them in the prime of their lives? Scottish music aficionados?

The doors opened at 7:30, with the opening act appearing at 8:30. We had a drink in the bar area of Vicar St. and eventually wandered into the venue a little after 9. We wandered in and wandered right back out, wondering why the floor area was full of tables and chairs, when our tickets said standing. It was set up for a comedy show or dinner theatre. But we were in the right place. This was disappointing–I was hoping to claw my way up to the front, seeing as the fans couldn’t be that enthusiastic, and certainly wouldn’t want to put up a fight, right? I had been told that Irish people didn’t like being in front of the stage for gigs, nevertheless the seats were filled from the stage all the way to the back wall. The fans were incredibly enthused, and really quite robust for septuagenarians; whether or not they would have put up a fight remains a mystery. We walked up the side, and eventually found seats about halfway to the stage, sharing a table with two dudes.

Seated next to Norway’s biggest Del Amitri fan and his son (who was 2 years younger than me!), this show was already blowing my mind, and it had yet to begin.

I was wearing a T-shirt with an open chambray button down and some leggings. I thought this was appropriate 90’s era concert attire–if I needed to, I could take off the button down and tie it around my waist. If I had plaid flannel, I would have worn it. Looking around, we could have been at any local pub around Ireland: men sitting around tables with white hair, button downs, and sweaters, drinking pints.There were a few T-shirts here and there. This could have been a very subdued occasion. Not so.

When the band came on, these guys were 42 again. Dancing between the tables, standing on the stools, and shredding on air guitar, not to mention spilling beer willy nilly. And they knew all the words. All those other songs that Del Amitri has that aren’t Roll to Me–people know those songs. With the first few chords of each song, there were cheers from the audience–recognition of what was coming next. A few songs sounded familiar to me, but I was holding out for my sister’s theme song (how jealous would she be?!). Then, when they finally played it, it came and went all too quickly. 2.5 minutes just isn’t long enough. I really think, if you’re reading this Justin, you should just loop the song, make it twice as long. No one will notice, except that they will feel twice as satisfied. That being said, my new Norwegian friend, Rolf, said that it’s probably their worst song.

This could be my most unique concert experience yet, and I was once pepper sprayed by a veteran. The energy was better than I could have ever expected, especially after seeing the demographic. Between the bra-less urchin dancing like she’s been touched by the Holy Spirit, the rowdy Scots shouting from the balcony, and Rolf beside us, singing every word in his Norwegian accent, Del Amitri must be doing something write.

And it just goes to show: if you ever wonder if a band has die hard fans… it does. I once met someone who loved Howie Day.

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