Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Duffy rides a Huffy through the Piggly Wiggly

Controversy surrounds Welsh pop singer Duffy's new commercial for Diet Coke, in which she is filmed riding a bicycle through city streets—and a local supermarket. The spot received complaints by concerned citizens after it was first aired during the Brit Awards in the UK, claiming that it “broke health and safety rules and could be copied by children.”

Overzealous and unemployed parents continue to fret over observations that her bike was not properly locked, prompting flurries of children to neglect their Kryptonite chains in favor of the “honor system.”

“This is the second bike I've had to buy my daughter,” bemoaned one parent who declined to give her name. “Why can't she idolize a normal celebrity, like Lindsay Lohan?”

Due to the “fantasy context,” the Advertising Standards Authority of Great Britain did not pull the commercial, calling it “a scenario that depicted her escape from the pressures of stardom and far removed from the real world.” So far removed, in fact, that the superstar managed to pedal through the grocery store without slipping on a puddle of orange juice, tripping over a stock clerk, or getting caught in shopping cart gridlock near the cheese island.

In response to claims that her clothing and cycle were not sufficiently reflective, representatives assured the public that her black-and-white sequined blouse and blue tights-under-shorts ensemble was enough of an eyesore to guarantee visibility, and that her bouffant contained enough Aqua Net to deflect impacts up to 300 g's.

Security has been tightened at the venues for 2009 tour, as the backstage areas have been repeatedly mobbed not by fans wanting her autograph, but unscrupulous former Lehmann Brothers employees who hope to score a free bike and start making money again in the only field that's hiring--messengers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bicycles= Love

The death of one website usually leads to the birth of another. I'd actually like to try keeping this one up to date too, now that I'm back in the habit of writing again.

Anyway, if it matters, here is my new one:

It's for, and I've been referring to the project as a "website column," and not a "blog." I write about bicycle transportation in New York City, which I've found to be a ton of fun, and the writing of it to be a nice little outlet/daily dose of activism.

It talks about commuter issues, bicycle messengers, pedicab laws, bike safety, and other issues of import. If bicycles aren't your thing, well...that's what I'd thought a couple years ago too. You might learn something.

You...anonymous internet "yous," you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Apollo's Creed, or: One ignorant egomaniac deserves another

I'm not really much of a news junkie, but I read this article yesterday about a girl suing a man because she got attacked while wearing a t-shirt with a stupid slogan that he made. Only in my imagination and cheesy superhero movies did I think such greed and idiocy existed on such a common-day level. I shouldn't find this surprising by now.

First off, when I saw "Obama Slave Shirt Sparks Lawsuit Threat," I thought it was some lame hipster being dimwittedly "ironic," by putting the cover of the New Yorker or something on a t-shirt to show how retro-yet-handy he could be by using an iron-on transfer. When I read the slogan on the t-shirt, though, "Obama Is My Slave" interpreted immediately in my mind as "Obama Is My (Sex) Slave." Like something a young female collegiate liberal would display upon her bosom to flaunt her passion to the candidate and yet still remain edgy. Then a few girls saw "slave" and "Obama" in the same sentence, got pissed, overreacted, whatever.

Then I read that she reportedly "threatened to sue" for "all he's got." What, did she not have her contacts in when she purchased it? Did the shirt, possibly intended for pajama use only, fall in a convenient spot on Laundry Day? Was she a Hilary fan? Did she spot a future trend and think it was a secret DaVinci code when she couldn't read anything offensive on it when looking in the mirror? There's a good blonde joke floating somewhere in our midst. Or, when viewing it in conjunction with his other work in his one location, was there any doubt at all what point his designs were trying to make? Especially in light of his childish pretension?

Perhaps she honestly didn't realize how offensive it could be to others; maybe she herself was an edgy collegiate liberal who wanted to make a bold statement at that night's Young Democrat meeting by broadcasting her political lust for the dashing nominee. That being said, I doubt that any clear-thinking human being, after making any of the aforementioned excusable lapses in intelligence or judgment, would then return to the store and threaten to sue his ass for a purchse that she made of her own free will.

At least Apollo Braun is unabashed about what an egocentric prick he is. He's protected by the First Amendment, and hot damn, is he going to make the most of it. All sardonicism aside, this girl agreed with a controversial statement enough to buy it on a t-shirt and wear it in a massively public environment. But she wimps out when it receives the bad end of the controversy that it was, for all purposes, intended to garner--then has the audacity to retreat further into cowardice by saying that Moron McHack is now responsible and owes her money and ass-kissing. I'll give credit where credit's due, but I think she just maxxed out her victim card. You make your statement and you stand by it--or else the First Amendment isn't worth gravel.

I am not saying the other girls were right or even justified in attacking her. Nor am I discounting the shock and fear that she probably went through. It could have turned into a nasty, nasty situation very quickly. But you know what? She was "cursed at...for her shirt," "pushed," one girl "pull(ed) the earphones out of her ears, another spit in her face." No permanent injuries, no damage to property, nothing but an unfortunate confrontation. Every citydweller has one. Hell, I bet they have at least five or six.

Not so fast, Apollo Braun. You may not be at legal fault, but you're still guilty of being a douchebag. I couldn't care less which candidate he supports, but the least he could do is make his reasoning make sense. Braun is Jewish, and says the only thing he likes about Obama is that he is black, which "opens the door for other minorities," yet says Obama "reminds (him) of Adolf Hitler," a man who organized the systematic intentional extermination of everyone who did not fit into the Aryan status quo. And then, in the same breath as that argument, right when he's flashing his own Victim Card about being Jewish and subject to discrimination, BAM! He "does not like Obama because 'he is a Muslim.'" Go ahead, Apollo. Use it as an insult. Don't worry about it being completely incorrect. If it's in large enough font, that makes it true. It'll be ironic, right?

Oh, so the views expressed on your t-shirts aren't yours? Not even with BOTH of your names obnoxiously immortalized in the lower right corner? I'm sure your SoHo market demographic is full to the brim of "ordinary WASPs" who staunchly believe that America is not ready for a black president. It's ok, though. I have a few designs that I whipped up myself that I think would suit both you and them:

I realize that I'm giving him exactly what he wants when I pay this story the least bit heed, him being the attention-whoring cartoon of a person he is. The joke may be on him, since I doubt anyone reads this anymore after I stopped writing for two months, and any kind of traffic I could bring him is ghostly in comparison to this story being on the front page of Metro yesterday. But you know what, I'll take the high road. I hope that he gets a ton of myspace friends that he'd never even heard of before. I hope that people drop $69-$250 when they're desperately seeking to be edgy like everyone else. I hope people follow in his lead and puts everything that comes out their mouth, ear, or ass onto a t-shirt so that everyone who didn't get sprinkles on their ice cream when they were a kid can finally feel like they've contributed to society in some fashion while they're waiting for their lawsuit settlement checks to roll in.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Cry For Help, Right Next To the Ice Cream

I'm kind of worried about Seth, you guys.

He keeps putting stuff in the freezer.

I mean, it was fine at first, when it was just the tofu, alcohol, and coffee. Then a few weeks ago, I discovered his suit coat chilling with them during a routine snack check. He'd worn it out the night before, so I suspiciously dismissed it on grounds of drunken absentmindedness. I can't even count the amount of times I've woken up the next morning with star-shaped stickers on my face, bags of chips I didn't remember buying, only wearing one shoe, with vomit maybe not all in the toilet. Pretty tame, I know, but comparable to a frozen suit coat. He told me later that the night before, someone got gum on the sleeve and he knew that sticking it in the freezer would make the gum easier to remove. It was gone after a few days, and I forgot about the whole incident.

Until this morning, that is, when I found a stack of records snuggling next to each other by the icy wall. They were a bunch of old vinyl in their old original sleeves: Best of Sondheim, Xanadu, Sinatra in Pal Joey, Edwin Drood. He'd hung them up in his room two different ways in the two months we've lived here, and now they've been degraded to this. And the level in that Ketel One bottle hasn't gone down a millimeter.

Please, Seth. You know that you can always come to me, especially if you have a problem. I'm here for you, whatever it is. We'll figure out what to do. I just don't want to be the first to get there if we ever get a cat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

That's what she said

Almost two weeks ago, Seth and I moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn. The bathroom doesn't have a sink and we don't have internet, but we have our own rooms, so we're pretty satisfied.

I went away to Kirksville for a week, which I plan to give its due attention later. When I got back, I found to my dismay that the gentleman who was supposed to have hooked up our internet was in fact not a gentleman at all, but a douche, who was surly to my roommate and gruffly remarked that there were X amount of things that he needed before he could connect us to the system of tubes that supplements our post-collegiate procrastination. He told Seth to make a date for the next week.

There is a smattering of wireless connections floating around our space. They are all password-protected and typically-labeled, save one: a saucy unsecured network dubbed Tompkins Is Pussy. It might as well be named Carmen Sandiego, for it is as elusive as it is alluring. In our desperation for convenient Facebook, Seth and I asked our English-speaking neighbors what internet services they used and how good the connection was.

A friend of ours knew someone on the first floor, and he said, "Yeah, Steve's been on Tompkins Is Pussy, but it doesn't last very long, and it's really hard to connect to."

Without even thinking.

Friday, March 28, 2008

No sleep 'till Brooklyn

So I guess the reason I haven't written this week is because when I haven't been working, I've been travelling 140 blocks uptown to visit apartments that until yesterday I thought were in our price range. Since then we've had to lower the bar about $100. When I haven't been on the subway, I've been napping, since I usually average about 4-5 hours a night. When I haven't been napping, I've been either at the cold reading sessions for Ten Grand Productions (the reason why I am not reduced to a trembling mass at the bottom of the loony bin) or at the gym, burning off the copious amounts of reduced-fare Easter candy that I've felt compelled--nay, forced--to consume as a stress-management tactic.

And the reason that I'm sitting here clicking away in between rows of pink half-dollar Peeps and guilty snatches of Seth's Hershey Minis (except the Special Darks, lest I want my throat slit), is because I need five damn minutes to unwind after the news that Seth and I definitely need to be out by the 31st (which means in three days settle on an affordable apartment in God knows where, apply, get accepted, and move our stuff), because someone definitely dropped the ball when it came to communication, and this time you can't say we weren't doing our part.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's like ten thousand spoons whan all you need are your hands and tongue back

Usually I'm not very good at spotting these things, but nonetheless it seems ironic that I would move to a big city to find acting work, only for my first show to be directed by Truman alumni.

It seems similarly ironic that I would get to play Lavinia in Titus Andronicus, a play that I've never studied in any of my classes and had never read on my own. Not just I-was-supposed-to-read-it-for-class-but-I-had-to-label-every-song-in-my-iTunes-by-genre-and-scrub-the-toilet not studying; it wasn't even covered by the curriculum. I skimmed it when I was preparing, but I considered it as equally valuable to brush up the plays with which I was more familiar, and since there were more of those, that task vacuumed up more time.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Not a bit.