Saturday, May 30, 2009

RE: Megan Fox Thinks Wonder Woman is Lame

How can anyone think this character is lame?

In an interview with London's Sunday Times, the attractive young actress Megan Fox dismisses the notion of ever playing Wonder Woman on film:

“Wonder Woman is a lame superhero,” she says, clearly unfazed at the thought of ruling herself out of a potentially career-making franchise. “She flies around in her invisible jet and her weaponry is a lasso that makes you tell the truth. I just don’t get it. Somebody has a big challenge on their hands whoever takes that role but I don’t want to do it.”

She has a point. Wonder Woman, at least as she exists today, really is lame. The reason is because DC comics has refused to acknowledge what the character is: a male fetish fantasy. Lately they've been engaged in a profoundly misguided effort to make her into one of "Big Three" with Superman and Batman. Apparently, she co-stars in a comic book with those two called "Trinity." Here are three recent interconnected covers:

Batman and Superman appear poised and ready for action. Wonder Woman has her hands above her head and one (bare) leg hiked up. Batman and Superman appear to be wearing pajamas, while Wonder Woman is wearing a stripper outfit.

And wearing the stripper outfit is fine. It's great. But if you're going to keep the stripper outfit, don't try to make her equal in stature to Superman and Batman. And if you are going to make her the equal to Superman and Batman, give her pajamas because otherwise no one's taking her seriously.

Wonder Woman was created in 1941 by a guy named William Moulton Marston, whose stories were an insane mixture of science fiction, fantasy, politics, crime, suspense, lesbianism, and bondage. Lots of bondage. In these stories, Wonder Woman was constantly being tied up or tying up others. From Wikipedia:

Marston's Wonder Woman is often cited as an early example of bondage themes entering popular culture: physical submission appears again and again throughout Marston's comics work, with Wonder Woman and her criminal opponents frequently being tied up or otherwise restrained, and her Amazonian friends engaging in frequent wrestling and bondage play (possibly based on Marston's earlier research studies on sorority initiations). These elements were softened by later writers of the series. Though Marston had described female nature as submissive, in his other writings and interviews he referred to submission to women as a noble and potentially world-saving practice, leading ideally to the establishment of a matriarchy, and did not shy away from the sexual implications of this:

"The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound ... Only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for a stable, peaceful human society. ... Giving to others, being controlled by them, submitting to other people cannot possibly be enjoyable without a strong erotic element".

About male readers, he later wrote: "Give them an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to, and they'll be proud to become her willing slaves!"

Here are some panels from a single story that appeared originally in Wonder Woman #6, Fall 1943, reprinted in Wonder Woman Archives Vol. 3. Wonder Woman is performing feats of strength "For the relief of women and children in Europe," and as part of said performance, she is to be tied up and placed in a tank of water. The vain debutante Priscilla Rich, who has an alter/split personality, called "The Cheetah," is part of the show, but no one in the audience cares about her. So, Priscilla attempts to sabotage Wonder Woman by using her own "magic lasso" to tie her up before she's placed in the tank:

We start with bondage, continue through to Wonder Woman being placed in a water tank and having to contort her body in order to free herself, then end with super hero and super villain kissing.

Seriously, cast Megan Fox as Wonder Woman and Jessica Biel as The Cheetah, have them bind and kiss each other for 90 minutes, and you've practically got yourself a license to print money.

Did I post these photos of two attractive women merely to get traffic to my blog? No- if I were tying to generate traffic I would have found a way to work in something about monkey attacks and zombies.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman pic source.
DC Trinity cover pics source.
Megan Fox pic source.
Jessica Biel pic source.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Rotten Tomatobots Come Out in Force to Protect Pixar's "Up" from the Nefarious Mechanations of Armond White

I'm kind of fascinated by the people who post on the "Rotten Tomatoes" site to come to the defense of films like Star Trek, and now Up, that have high "tomatometer" numbers. Up is currently at 98%, which means that 98% of the reviews collected by RT are positive. Two are negative. One of those negatives is by Armond White, who reviews movies for The New York Press.

Armond White is one of the few movie reviewers I read with any regularity, because he is one of the few reviewers I know of who has exacting and specific standards, and who sticks to those standards with determination, even if his opinion runs contrary to what is "popular." The "Up" review is obviously a case in point. He did not like it. You can read the review here.

I don't always agree with White. In fact, I rarely do. But that's another reason why I read his reviews. They are challenging. Whenever I read a movie review with which I disagree, it helps me to better understand what it was I liked or didn't like about the film. A good review (whether negative or positive) will help you to see something you might have missed, and White's reviews do that for me.

But, as we've seen in the past, when the Rotten Tomatobots came out in force to protect the dignity of poor little Star Trek (which sat at a pathetic 96% positive) there are some people who are simply scandalized to the point of hysteria by any review that in any way diverges from their own opinions. Especially if those opinions don't follow the "tomatometer." Somehow, if a movie is "certified fresh" by the majority, it's automatically a good movie, perhaps even a great one. Anyone who disagrees should just stop reviewing. They are "the village idiot." And those reviewers should simply die. Or start working as a janitor in a porn theater. Or, they're obviously just trying to be different for "shock value."

And it's still Thursday! The movie hasn't even opened yet- how many of these people who are calling White such silly names, telling him to "**** off," asking that he be banned from RT (no room for dissent on a web site devoted to opinions on film!- one of the commenters actually goes so far as to use the word "unique" as an insult), and suggesting that he should just "die," have even seen the movie?

Granted, it's Pixar, and I have enjoyed every movie Pixar's made. My suspicion is that "Up" is very good, but I won't know for sure until I actually see it.

And I can tell you that the fact that Armond White doesn't generally like Pixar movies does not threaten me in the least. In fact, it's interesting to me to read why he doesn't like movies that I do, and why he likes movies that I don't. It's actually more interesting to me to read reviews with which I disagree than those with which I do.

I can disagree with White, without wanting to see him dead. It's shocking, I know.

The comments on White's review are here. I also took some screenshots and I'm posting them below; they provide a rather depressing sampling of the comments on a movie review.

A movie review.

(By the way- a number of comments suggest that White is simply trying to draw attention to himself and his review, and generate traffic to The New York Press site. If those making comments genuinely feel that way, then why are they commenting on his review? As of right now he's at 168 comments, far more than any of the "positive" reviews with which these commenters presumably agree. Doesn't it make more sense to draw attention to reviewers you actually like, by commenting on those?)

Bronze Age Comics Cover of the Day: Spoof Issue 2

In the 1970s, Marvel ruled the comics world with their hilarious "humor" comics. Who can forget "Crazy" comics, and later, "Crazy" magazine (which featured an issue that contained 7 blank pages for readers to fill in with their own "crazy" comic)? Plus, I think there were others. Anyway, today's Bronze Age cover of the day is a certifiable classic from 1972, the second issue of Marvel's "Spoof," a comic which purported to celebrate nothing less than "The Lunatic Side of Life." The cover features, in the top left corner, an image of what appears to be a teenage Charlie Brown putting the moves on a teenage Nancy. Hilarious. The primary image shows parody versions of the characters from "All in the Family" being met at their door by two hippies; one black, one white, both hilarious.

"We gettin' it together fo' the cause, whitey!"

"Hey, dig 'em, man! Like-- they're our kind'a cats!"

I do not know if there was a third issue.

*Full disclosure: The cover appears to have been rendered by the great John Severin (he illustrated a story in this issue called "Tarz an' The Apes!"), who ennobled a few stupid articles that I wrote over at "Cracked" magazine many years ago and, of course, was one of the original "Mad" artists. He is a genuine talent and a real gentleman.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Should Anyone Celebrate "13 Years of Perfect Attendance"?

MSN has a story about a girl who's about to graduate from high school who supposedly has "2,340 straight days of school."

Stefanie Zaner, Iron Kid of Darnestown, is closing in on her 2,340th straight day of public school.

The 18-year-old is unlikely to get the standing ovation afforded Ripken for his streak when she arrives at Northwest High School on Friday for the last day of senior classes in Montgomery County.

I don't mean to pick on this girl, but she should not get a standing ovation for attending "2,340 straight days of school." All that means is that she has had a relatively easy life, with no serious illness, no real money problems, and decent genes. Good for her, I'm happy for her, but I'm not going to celebrate her. I'd be a lot more impressed if she came from a poor family and had to work, and miss a few days of school. Being out in the real world once in a while is good for you- it builds character and you learn more about real life.

But then, it turns out, that she actually did not accomplish what the story's headline claims:

But hers is a rare accomplishment. Not once in 13 years was Stefanie marked absent: not for a cold, a family vacation, a college visit or a senior skip day. She once went on a freshman trip to Shanghai with the school marching band and boarded the plane with her clarinet only after securing written assurance from the principal that the trip would not count as an absence. She has never broken a bone, thrown up or caught the flu or even a bad cough, she said.

First of all, she was privileged enough to get to take a "freshman trip to Shanghai with the school marching band" (how much do you suppose that cost?), and, again, I don't begrudge her that at all, but she strongarmed the principal into not counting her missed days as an absence.

This "13 years of perfect attendance" is not perfect attendance at all. Why should she get any extra consideration for her trip to Shanghai, when a kid who actually gets sick is going to get marked as absent?

Stefanie's story gets even sadder:

Her principal at Darnestown Elementary School, Larry Chep, gave out annual awards for perfect attendance. She won a couple, then found she "really liked being recognized for something." By the end of fifth grade, when Chep recognized her for six consecutive years without absence, Stefanie stood alone.

Chep remembers her as "one of those kids you want in your school." Stefanie returns to Darnestown Elementary each spring to help her fourth-grade teacher take down her classroom and organize her closet.

She gets a sense of accomplishment from merely being present? Is she that starved for attention?

And the students that principals "want in [their] school[s]" are the kids who just sit there and listen politely and do exactly what they're told. They don't want students who push them, or challenge them. They want the bland kids. That's like being told you live in a part of the country where companies test market products.

And just what sort of person earns straight A's for 10 years — make that nine — without missing a day of school? A perfectionist. A worrier. An overachiever. Stefanie is all of those, by her own account.
"There were times I felt completely overwhelmed and thought I was never going to be able to maintain this image that everyone had of me," she said.

She's not even doing this for herself. She's doing it because she thinks it's what others want her to do. Stefanie, stop it. Take off the day before graduation. Stop worrying about something that is absolutely meaningless.

Another kid is mentioned, Austin White of Mountain View High School, who "hasn't missed a day since first grade." Check out his bragging, but be sure and get out your hanky:

To keep the streak alive, the Stafford teenager has passed up national baseball tournaments. Even an ankle sprain sophomore year, he said, "wasn't a good-enough reason to stay home."

The parents are negligent in this case. Think of the memories this poor kid is missing out on. He passed up "national baseball tournaments," plural for crying out loud, so that he could sit and listen to a bored teacher read from his notes about the freaking War of 1812.

He might have hit the winning home run, or whatever it is that they hit for "baseball tournaments."

These kids are young, their bodies are stronger than they'll ever again be, their minds are learning at a more brisk pace than ever again, and they are wasting this prime time on attending class every freaking day.

That is to be discouraged, not celebrated.

Charm School 3 Episode 3: Pick Your Battles

Last week Ricki Lake had two plausible choices for expulsion from Charm School: Ashley and Kiki. I happen to think she made the right choice sending Kiki home, because Kiki just can't turn it off, whereas Ashley isn't as belligerent and bullying, and certainly not with the same consistency, as Kiki. Moreover, Kiki comes to us from "Real Chance of Love," a show on which she was competing for the affections of either Real or Chance, each of whom was so unmemorable and uncharismatic that he could not carry an "Of Love" show on his own, while Ashley was one of the top characters on "Rock of Love Bus," in which she was competing for the affections of none other than Mr. Bret Freaking Michaels for crying out loud, the guy who sang that song about the rose having thorns, and being careful not to prick yourself, or something. A genuine rock and roll celebrity, not a "celebreality" celebrity.

And Ashley wasn't the only one about to leave- she was going to take Farrah and Marcia with her. Ashley played it perfectly.

But Kiki's expulsion is too much for So Hood, who for some reason believes that leaving the show will be "making a stand." I suppose she sees Kiki as the victim of some kind of injustice (she says, "I'm like the modern day Martin Luther King," which only goes to show her just how breathtakingly stupid she is, and how little credibility she has, that she compares walking off a VH1 reality show with marching on Selma, for crying out loud), but this is a VH1 reality show, and Kiki was a jerk. Maybe this week's "commandment" should be "Thou Shalt Endeavor to Always Pick Your Battles."

So long, So Hood. Charm school can't help you.

The modern day Martin Luther King, Jr., at least in her own mind. I'd like to take this opportunity to direct her to King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. It's probably a good place for So Hood to start her research into life of the man to whom she compared herself, while flipping us off.

Anyway, maybe if they'd threatened to leave the show before the elimination, as the ROLBus girls did, things might have worked out differently.

Ashley, Farrah, and Brittanya can't even bring themselves to go into the house, because the Real Chance girls are throwing a fit. If only Brittanya weren't in trouble with the law, she would have beat the Real Chancers down. But, alas, she's left moping with Ashley and Farrah. At least until Farrah puts on her stripper heels and leaves. It's too "ghetto," she says. She wouldn't strip in a ghetto club, for any amount of money.

So long, Farrah. Charm School can't help you, either.

I will miss your enormous chest.

And then Farrah left, too. Because "Charm School" was too "ghetto." It was no place for a classy lady like her.

Inside the house, Risky points out that Ashley's physical abuse of Brittaney was worse than Kiki's verbal abuse of practically everyone else. I'm not compelled, but it's a valid point (even though I've already effectively demolished it in this post and the last). The abuse of Brittaney was far more mental and verbal than physical, anyway. I mean, no one actually laid a hand on Brittaney with the exception of the odious Beverly, and she was expelled immediately thereafter.

Brittaney prays for strength from God, and also prays that God will smite her enemies. Brittanya talks smack about Natasha for seemingly no good reason. "She looks like a guy, and she wants to be me," she says. This is surprising for two reasons: The first is, I don't think anyone would want to be Brittanya. The second is, I completely forgot that Natasha was in Charm School.

"Things are spinning out of control," Ricki says. "I need to get a handle on this before things get any worse." Indeed, very soon you won't have a show anymore.

Unfortunately, Ricki Lake's idea to "get a handle on this" is to turn this into an episode of "The Ricki Lake Show." She calls the "ladies" to the "lecture hall" for an "emergency assembly." "I want to hear all your gripes," she says, from her couch. "We're going to try to respect each other."

Risky feels the decision was wrong. Kiki was only verbally abusive, whereas Farrah actually threw things at Brittaney (I honestly don't remember that).

Ricki says that more girls were afraid of Kiki than Farrah. Eliminating Kiki, she says, "might have been pre-emptive, but it had to be done. Kiki's aggressive behavior was disruptive to many of my girls." She then asks Risky "Do you think that because Farrah and Ashley were white, that they got a pass?" It's a question that's both stupid and valid, especially given So Hood's insistence that she is a modern day Martin Luther King Jr.

Ricki solves Charm School's problems, and offers the rest of us hope that we can overcome our differences. You can tell she's serious because she's holding a Sharpie. I think she took notes, she was so serious.

Risky does feel that way. She then says something I find totally unbelievable: "I get along with all type of people, regardless of the race." Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for her to say, "I get along with all type of people equally well, regardless of the race." At this point one of the deans, Lala, says she understands why they think that, but it's just not the way it was. People were trembling in fear of Kiki. The Real Chancers seem to trust her, and appear mollified.

But Baybaybay isn't done. Ashley at some point called her ghetto, and she says that "just because I'm black, doesn't mean I'm ghetto." That of course is irrefutably true, but I suspect that Ashley was talking about her attitude, and not the color of her skin. Anyway, Baybaybay then states that she could call Ashley ghetto, as well. Ashley is, after all, a stripper. She is also the type of person who talks smack behind peoples' backs, locks them in bathrooms for over an hour, and throws salsa in peoples' luggage. "Because I'm black and I'm passionate about things I say, I have to be ghetto."

Baybaybay-- you were on "Real Chance of Love." Your point about Ashley is valid, but pick your battles. Quit while you're ahead.

Ashley's not a racist, she says, because her son, her whole reason for appearing on Charm School, is not white. "Obviously he's half, but I'm just saying." She also states that her behavior on ROLBus was "embarrassing to me." She then turns to Brittaney and says "I will say I am sorry. Like, okay, I seriously I'm just going to tell you right now I do- I apologize. I haven't treated you nice and I'm sorry." You can see, when it's written out like that, just how truly sincere she must be. Especially after locking Brittaney in the bathroom last week. She continues, to Ricki: "She is a human being, okay, like, I realize that... And I haven't felt right about it." Then, back to Brittaney: "I'm sorry and I'm willing to move forward."

Acknowledging Brittaney's personhood is a huge step for Ashley. No doubt it was painful, too. But, again, it must be pointed out that you locked the woman in a bathroom and slipped hotdogs to her under the door last week.

Arguably, Ashley's worst offense was wearing hot pink uggs to the "emergency assembly."

KO says that Brittaney is two people. Playing the victim role, while at the same time instigating the very abuse that is inflicted upon her.

But Brittaney insists that she is too "zen" for that.

Finally, the Ricki Lake Show ends with hugs all around. This is not very promising.

Thankfully, it only lasts so long. Brittaney confronts KO, who is seated on her bunk. "I felt like you ridiculed me in front of the judges; that made me look bad, and now I'm going to be eliminated tomorrow because of what you said about me." Brittaney interviews that she wonders if KO might be retarded, for not knowing what the word "instigator" means.

KO: "I never said that Brittaney Starr was an instigator, but I did say that she provoked a lot of the arguments in the house."

This is a fine distinction, and I suppose that KO is speaking of intent. But let's not get into a semantic argument.

Zen Brittaney's argument is alienating her Real Chance protectors. It wasn't very long ago they had taken her under their wing, and taught her to win any argument by shouting "kiss my black ass!" at your opponent. And now, they are starting to understand just why Ashley has such a hard time treating her as a normal human being.

Next day, Brittanya had to go to court. She was arrested only a few days before the show started, and, unlike Saaphyri, she isn't running away. But she's looking at, if convicted, a minimum of one year in prison. And this is LA, so she must have murdered someone to be looking at that amount of time.

Ashley's concern over Brittanya's fate prompts the best line of the episode:

"I hope Brittanya doesn't go to prison after she leaves 'Charm School.'"

If she does, maybe VH1 can follow her? Maybe she can get a room with Saaphyri?

We haven't even gotten to the challenge yet. "Thou Shalt Play Nice With Others," or something like that, is this week's official commandment. The girls are taken to a "senior citizen center" filled with elderly people. Listen to them, talk to them, impress them with your "charms," because it's the elderly who will be deciding who gets on the "dean's list."

One of the men recognizes Brittaney from her adult film past. A woman asks Ashley if she can feel her "fake" breast. Brittanya sits on the mens' laps. Baybaybay starts them dancing.

Then a man collapses behind a seemingly oblivious Natasha. Baybaybay rushes to his side, deeply concerned, having just recently lost her grandfather.

It's possible Baybaybay saved a life on "Charm School." Possible, but not probable. She did not save a life, but she did help a man who stumbled to the floor.

The elderly people vote for Baybaybay, who loves "old people...People say I have an old soul." In a way, I guess, this challenge was rigged.

The other girls go to detention, where Natasha agitates against Brittanya, Brittaney, and Bubbles. In that case, she feels, Brittanya would go home.

Could Natasha become the Charm School version of Tailor Made?

Brittaney Starr wears headphones to the elimination, so that she can "dance to the music in her own head." She's "just chillin', tryin' to have a good time." But Lala thinks it's a sign of disrespect. And Ricki and the deans need respect.

The bottom three: On the left is the one facing serious jail time. In the middle is the one who wants to do cartoon voices. On the right is the one who hears cartoon voices in her head. No wonder none of them were eliminated.


No one is eliminated on this episode. There's some nonsense about all the girls coming so far and needing to be commended, but we're not buying it. They have a certain number of episodes to fill, and in the last two episodes they've lost three contestants.

Dear Ricki: we will not respect you if you pull lame stunts like this. You had the detention, you had the elimination ceremony, and then you did not eliminate anyone. Not even the woman who showed you such "disrespect" by showing up to the "elimination" wearing headphones.

You have disappointed us all, Ricki.

Pics source.

Jane Austen's "Daisy of Love" Chapter 5


The previous two eliminations had ended with Daisy, suffering from an excess of sensibility, storming out of the greatroom in brokenhearted tears. But it was not only Daisy whose heart overflowed- the gentlemen, seeing the effects of London's refusal to accept his chain, worried that their own connections to the eminently desirable young lady were tenuous, were also in an agony of emotion. Were the connections they were inevitably feeling reciprocated by the object of their desires?

As the gentlemen mused and commiserated in their shared sleeping quarters, Chi-Chi, still groggy with sleep, implored the others: "Gentlemen! Please consider leaving, that I may finish the constitutional that you have, no doubt inadvertently, interrupted."

"We are commiserating," Cage replied. "A gentleman does not interrupt the airing of emotions, when others are hurting!"

"A gentleman does not interrupt the sleep of others, to air his emotions!" said Chi-Chi.

"Then, I am to be a stoic?" Cage asked. "Denying my true feelings? Improbable!" He grabbed Chi-Chi's bed and shook it. A fighter by trade, Cage's natural inclination was to solve his disagreements with a gentlemanly duel. It was true that dueling was going out of style, at least in certain circles, but Cage was perhaps an anachronism. It was not that he worried that the world might be passing him by, but that he worried that the world could not keep up with him.

Nevertheless, on this day, he manfully abstained from challenging Chi-Chi.

Cage started out the episode by picking a fight with sweet little Chi-Chi. Even I could beat up Chi-Chi.

Big Rig prepared coffee and fig newtons, the gentle Daisy's favorite snacks. "Let these fig newtons soothe your troubled spirit," he said, entering her sleeping quarters.

"Oh, you are so sweet!" Daisy declared, with great excitement. "This gentlemanly gesture has made me almost completely forget London, the gentleman who currently resides in a most favored place in my heart!"

"Indeed, dear lady, that was my intention," Big Rig said, satisfied.

When the gentlemen were assembled in the greatroom, Mr. Rachtman, dressed in a fashionable blue mechanic's jacket with a leopard print collar, informed them, "Today, gentlemen, you will be challenged to create photographic images of your intended, Daisy, to adorn the cover of her newest single, 'Pretty Messed Up.'" This was a challenge that had gone over well in previous seasons of "Rock of Love," but in those, the subjects to be photographed were not the love-objects of the guests. In this case, the gentlemen would be photographing Daisy herself, which made the whole endeavor much more delightful, and an admirable way to pass an idle hour.

"I love to play dress up!" Daisy said, unable to contain her enthusiasm.

Mr. Rachtman was more serious: "You will be judged on creativity, and the extent to which you allow Daisy's musical inspiration to act as your muse. Although I'm sure that as gentlemen you are all intimately acquainted with Daisy's musical endeavors, you'll all be given a musical disc of the song, along with a lyric sheet, so there will be no misunderstanding of Daisy's intentions."

The gentlemen were grateful for the consideration.

Daisy stepped forward and divided the teams based on her own inimitable logic: "The first team shall consist of Big Rig, Chi-Chi, 12 Pack, and Cage. This shall allow Chi-Chi and Cage to work through their disagreements in a civilized manner, with creativity. The other team shall be 6 Gauge, Sinister, Fox, and Flex, because I want Fox and Flex, the two most comely gentlemen, on the same team, so that when they win the challenge I shall have my pick from amongst them as to who to spend the solo date with."

As the surveyed the men and made her selections, Daisy could not help but to wonder what the absent London would have brought to the challenge. She sighed pensively, but none of the gentlemen knew why.

Each team pored over Daisy's heartfelt lyrics as if they were the Rosetta Stone, holding the secret code that would enable each team to create the most perfect representation of her charms.

The first team chose to represent Daisy as a high class lady of the evening, at a public house at last call, sharing tender kisses with a random man portrayed by 12 Pack.

The first team chose to try to make Daisy up like Marilyn Monroe. They do have a lot in common, actually- I think Marilyn Monroe was hospitalized for exhaustion too.

The second team chose to represent Daisy as a musical lady of the evening, sharing tender kisses with two random men portrayed by Flex and Fox.

The judges, Daisy, Mr. Rachtman, and world-renowned "rock photographer" Miss Bree Kristel Clarke, examined each team's representative photo with a discerning eye, before Daisy made her completely impartial choice, selecting the second team's photo as the best, and selecting Fox to be her companion for the solo date.

This is the photo that Daisy deemed the most flattering...

...I suppose it is at least as flattering as her official Jack Daniels and coke bird flipping promotional picture.

Naturally, the other competitors for Daisy's affections were most disappointed in her choice.

Fox, ignoring the other gentlemen and sparing only attention enough to prepare for his date with Daisy, applied makeup and pomade eagerly. This would be his chance to show Daisy just how much she meant to him, and he intended to take full advantage.

"I feel I am the realest dude here," Fox said, during their Greek god-themed solo date, in which Daisy had appointed her very own sleeping quarters with flowing draperies and an assortment of wines, fruits, and cheeses. "I cut hair."

"But what are you looking for?" Daisy asked.

"I'm looking for that special connection that only amazing people such as myself share. For instance, suppose you are in a situation in which you need to visit a public house, or perhaps attend a fashionable social gathering. I want a romantic partner to join me in such activities, and to know when the time is right to engage in those activities." He smiled.

"I worry that we are missing something," Daisy said.

"We can conversate silently," Fox said, meaningfully.

"Our lips should not be used for speaking anymore tonight," Daisy agreed agreeably, and the two shared tender kisses

Meanwhile, Cage brooded. In the language of love, his vocabulary was not nearly so large as the other gentlemen. He worried that Daisy, the clear object of his desire, was not so interested in him as he in her. He further worried that, with such concerns weighing heavy on his mind, he would lash out at the other gentlemen in an ungentlemanly manner.

Happily there was distraction. As the gentlemen engaged in yet another garden party, a skunk stole its way into the estate. Without regard to their own safety or vanity, the gentlemen endeavored to capture the beast. They managed the feat, but not before Big Rig, Flex, and 12 Pack were overcome by the skunk's glandular expression, each man rendered physically ill by the stench.

For all the negative aspects of the skunk incident, it brought the gentlemen closer together in a common cause that was not the capturing of Daisy de la Hoya's heart. It was the capturing of a skunk.

The skunk in the house is probably a metaphor or something, but I'm too dumb to figure out the symbolism.

Daisy's idea for the four-date with Sinister, Flex, and 6 Gauge was to take the men to an indoor skateboarding park. None of the men had ever been skate boarding before, but Sinister made a go of it. For his part, Flex found the highest of the hills, and made a valiant attempt to ride his board down it, falling in the process.

Daisy was most impressed, but found 6 Gauge's standoffish attitude a bit disappointing. "Why are you so aloof, Mr. 6 Gauge?" she asked him.

"I am a businessman," he said. "I am more mature, at 29 years of age. In my search for a wife, I have no time for shenanigans such as these."

"Nevertheless, I find your distance troubling," Daisy mused. "Even a businessman should find time for activities of leisure."

6 Gauge dropped his pants, revealing the enormous piercing in his man parts. Daisy gasped. "Oh, but I do find time for activities of leisure," he said. "As evidenced by the enormous piercing in my man parts."

Daisy said, "There can be no more dramatic events than such as I've witnessed today!"

Meanwhile, back at the estate, Cage was still brooding, unable to shake the melancholia that had recently assailed his spirit. He attempted to drown the melancholia with large amounts of wine; a gentlemanly act, for sure, but just barely. As the evening wore on, his spirit grew more troubled and as the gentlemen sat by the fire, Cage removed one of the burning embers and tossed it between his fingers quickly, usually throwing it into the air before it could burn him. However, when the ember became too hot, he flung it away from him, and it landed on Flex's hand, burning the skin.

"Please, hit me," Cage said. "I shall think less you if you do not- I have burned you, you are entitled to one gentlemanly punch."

Flex, a much more modern gentleman, abstained.

Cage attempted to settle his disagreement with Flex in the only way he really understands. One punch would have made them square again; but somehow I doubt the producers would be quite so liberal about this as Cage.

"You're going home, 6 Gauge!" Cage declared, apropos of nothing other than his inebriated state.

"You are too much in your cups," 6 Gauge replied.

"Could a man who was not completely sober do this?" Cage asked, engaging with 6 Gauge in fisticuffs. The other gentlemen stepped in at this point. In particular, Flex grabbed Cage from behind and placed him in a submission hold. It was only when the producers intervened that Flex could be pried off of Cage's person.

Cage was rendered mute by anger and frustration. He stormed from the room.

Daisy, out of a deep sense of selfless concern, sought him out. "Tell me what troubles you," she said.

"I am a fighter," Cage said. "Fighting is what I do. No one is better at it than I. That is not ungentlemanly boasting; I am being sincere, as I always am with you."

"Of course, but I am worried about you..."

"There is no need for worry," Cage sought to reassure her. "I will simply challenge Flex to a duel. The man left standing shall continue to compete for your affections. The loser shall be dead, so he won't care anyway."

Daisy was taken aback. She was unaware that dueling was still fashionable. "Certainly, there is no place on my estate for a duel!" she said.

Cage looked at her imploringly. "If that be your answer, then I fear I must take my leave of the estate- for I cannot remain here without so challenging Flex."

"I appreciate your candor," Daisy said, fighting tears. "I am sorry you must leave."

"Three weeks in a row," Daisy wondered, "have left me in tears. Will this not end? Can I take much more of this?"

And again, Daisy ends the episode in tears. She is supposed to be a tough punk rocker "chick," (see how she portrays herself in the photos above, flipping the bird, holding a Jack Daniels, sitting before a mirror table with lines of "coke" on it- she just doesn't care about anything! she's tough! don't mess with her!) and she can't even handle the freaking eliminations on a VH1 "Of Love" show. At some point, it's going to get tedious, and we're all going to start to wish that Heather had gotten her own show instead. Oh, wait- we already do wish that.

Daisy with Jack and coke pic source.
Other pics source.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Give The "Mother Gives Birth to Twins With Different Dads" Family Its Own Show, and Maybe Think About Canceling "Jon & Kate Plus 8"

"Jon & Kate" Gosselin have their own show, and their marriage is apparently maybe (allegedly) a total sham. But thanks to their several kids, they have a unique hook and therefore the attention of millions.

Well, this family has a unique hook:

A Texas woman wasn't planning on two conceptions for the record books.

But that's what she got — along with two beautiful boys — when she gave birth to twins of different fathers nearly a year ago.

How did it happen? Every month a woman's ovary releases one egg that can be fertilized by one sperm. But in this case, a pair of eggs emerged.

Sperm, meanwhile, can remain alive and well and viable for up to five days in the reproductive tract.* Thus a woman can have sex with different men within those five days and the sperm “just kind of hang out there waiting for the egg to be released,” Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University, told Meredith Vieira on TODAY.

[Mia] Washington, who just turned 20, admitted to her partner that she had sex with another man within that five-day window — hence, the double conception.

You can't tell me that is not at least as interesting as "Jon Ampersand Kate." To be honest, however, I've never really understood the appeal of the Gosselins, or of their show. I guess it's vaguely amusing to watch her continually emasculate him with her passive aggression during the "interview" segments, but the fact that they have children- and so damn many children, at that- makes the whole thing a bit distasteful.

I often feel the same way when I find out contestants on the VH1 reality shows have children. For instance, Beverly from Rock of Love Bus and Charm School has three children. Three! Can you imagine how terrible it must be for those kids?

Thankfully, those kids aren't visible on Rock of Love or Charm School. They're mentioned occasionally- Beverly might have Bret sign something for them, for example- but then quickly forgotten again. And they're not depicted on the show, so the viewers are constantly reminded of them, and the effects their parents' actions might be having.

On "John & Kate" we see the kids all the time. You can't forget that the rotten relationship the two of them have (the relationship they choose to show us!) is directly affecting their kids. Because their kids are everywhere.

But then again, the "Mother Gives Birth to Twins With Different Dads" family might be too loving to get their own show:

When he discovered that Justin wasn’t his son, [James] Harrison said, "I was hurt, torn apart — didn't know what the next move was gonna be," Harrison said in a taped NBC News segment.

Nonetheless, he's loved both boys the same since then. "I raised him [Justin] from a baby all the way to now. He knows me as his father, and I know him as my son," Harrison explained.

For the sake of the children, he's looking past his own pain, and raising the two kids as if they were both his own biological sons.

No, I can see now this wouldn't work as a reality show. Bring on the new season of "Jon & Kate"!

Jon and Kate Gosselin had eight beautiful little lottery tickets, and they've televised their way into our hearts.

Maybe if this family has a few more kids- preferably some more "multiples"- they can get their own show. And then they can disintegrate before our very eyes.

Jon Ampersand Kate image source.

*By the way- way to go, sperm!

RE: "Battleship" Board Game to be Made into a Film

The Hollywood Reporter has a story about a movie based on the board game "Battleship." That's not a joke.

The game, which began in pencil and paper form in the early 20th century and is now available on platforms from cell phones to computers, consists of two players arranging a variety of ships on a grid. The game proceeds in alternating salvos as players try to "sink" the opposition's ships by guessing where they sit on the grid.

While plot details are being kept below deck, the studio is looking to make an epic naval action adventure.

That quote isn't a joke, either. Those two paragraphs appeared in the story, in succession.

Left unstated is whether it will be the classic version of "Battleship," or the electronic version that will be adapted. Maybe it will be the "cell phone" version?

Remember when they used to make commercials for board games? Now they make movies about them.

There are too many people in Hollywood, laboring in obscurity trying to write amazing scripts that will never get produced, in the hopes of landing a gig adapting a board game for the big screen. That is the goal now. Hollywood has been relying on comic book-based films to keep it relevant and successful; now it's looking to board games:

Universal has several board game titles in development as part of its six-year deal with Hasbro. "Ouija Board" is being produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes shingle, "Candy Land" has Kevin Lima attached to direct with Etan Cohen writing the script, and Ridley Scott is developing a project based on "Monopoly."

These upcoming films might all be spectacular, who knows? Every one of them might be the next "Clue." Even so, it's giving me a sinking feeling.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Driving While Texting Should be Legal

Reuters has an article about a study that states that about a quarter of cell phone users admit to driving while texting.

A quarter of American cell phone users admit to texting while driving, despite bans in seven U.S. states and several serious accidents recently, according to a report on cell phone use released on Wednesday.

That probably means that even more people do it. Who wants to admit to doing something that's illegal, and caused several serious accidents recently? And if it's so common, then why aren't there even more terrible accidents being caused?

Some people can drive while texting, and some people can't handle it.

Some people sit with their eyes forward, seemingly on the road, hands on the wheel at ten and two, and daydream, running red lights and stop signs and plowing through school crossings, endangering our most precious resource ("the children"). If these people cause accidents, they should be punished. Should their punishment be any less because they didn't happen to have their cell phones or Blackberrys out at the time?

Yet 83 percent of the 5,000 people surveyed across the United States said they thought DWT should be illegal. The survey was carried out on behalf of mobile voice technology company Vlingo.

There seem to be a lot of people who believe, "I can handle it, but most people can't, so it should be illegal." How can more than a quarter admit to doing something that 83% believe should be illegal? At least a few of the people who do it must think it should be illegal. People can be pretty ridiculous sometimes.

Vlingo, by the way, makes hands free and voice recognition devices. Do you think their motives in commissioning this study were purely altruistic? Maybe their motives were simply to promote themselves- or maybe they were more sinister (if texting while driving is illegal, then all those driving-while-texters will have to buy hands free devices, won't they)?

Text messaging has been blamed for a number of recent high profile accidents, including a train crash in the Los Angeles area last September in which 25 people were killed, and a Boston trolley crash this month in which almost 50 people were injured.

In both cases, the drivers were found to have been sending and receiving text messages seconds before the crashes.

These paragraphs are totally disingenuous. They don't tell you that in both cases it was the operator of the trolley and of the train that was texting- not some average citizen driving a car and missing a four-way stop. If those are your top examples of the "dangers" or driving while texting, then why not start with a ban on the practice for those operating mass transit?

Oh, the practice was already banned in those cases. I see. So when the present rules are broken, the answer is to create more intrusive rules that directly affect nearly everyone on the road?

These new laws are necessary because they give the police one more excuse to pull you over. In Minnesota's version of the law, for instance:

Law enforcement will take action from what they observe and their perceptions at the time. Each city will decide the fine, which can be up to $300.

So the police can just pull you over and claim you appeared to be checking your text messages? Do 83% of people really want the police to be able to pull you over based on "their perceptions at the time"?

Some people can handle the distraction, and some people can't. That's just the way it is. Some people can look at a map while driving, some can read a book or magazine, some can listen to the radio, some can talk to their passengers, some can discipline their kids, and some just can't. Should we ban every single distraction, in the name of safety? What about eye-catching billboards? What about women who walk down the street with a bra and no shirt?

The world is full of distraction. Punish people who cause accidents.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plastic Man Takes A Stand Against Torture

Back in 1943, with simple clarity, Plastic Man explained exactly why he is opposed to torture:

"We aren't sinking to their level!" That's all it takes- and the criminal starts to spill his guts. True, he's killed by the mysterious "Number Seven" in the panel that immediately follows the last one posted above, but still, you get the point.

Fox News' Shepard Smith certainly gets it, and expresses the view emphatically and in more vulgar language than Plastic Man's creator Jack Cole ever dreamed of using (NSFW):

By the time of this story, Plastic Man was working for the FBI, and therefore represented the United States government. I'm not sure that superheroes should be working for the government, but if they are, I want them to have Plastic Man's attitude. This is a guy who can stretch his body into any shape, and basically do anything he wants. Because he's made of rubber, he's "not allergic to bullets." There's really no defense against this guy. He needs to be good, he needs to follow rules of common decency, because he is just too powerful. And, perhaps as important, he's a symbol of justice.

Lest you think this was just one lone rogue FBI agent's attitude toward torture, check out what Plastic Man's boss, The Chief, tells Plas's sidekick, Woozy Winks ("the man whom nature protects!"), just as Woozy is about to question a suspect:

"The F.B.I. cannot condone third-degree methods!" The government doesn't abuse people, and does not abuse power.

One reason I enjoy reading reprints of old comics is to laugh at how out of date are the sentiments expressed.

More about Plastic Man here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wolfram/Alpha Doesn't Know What to do With Me

Wolfram/Alpha, the super cool new search engine excuse me "computational knowledge engine" went live recently. It's supposed to be this big deal hot new thing, so naturally I had to check it out for myself. By searching for my name.

When I google my name, I get all kinds of stuff. But this hot to trot Wolfram/Alpha doesn't even know what to do with my input.


I tried just searching for my first name and got a little more:

Just over 202,000 people are burdened with my first name. Lucky them. Lucky us!

How about "Sprague"?

22,283 people named Sprague? Really? I wonder how many of those I'm related to? More important, how many of those people would admit to being related to me?

My point is, thus far, Wolfram/Alpha has been a huge disappointment to my ego.

Charm School 3 Episode 2: Hypocrisy

This week's "Charm School" lesson was "Thou Shalt Be A Model Citizen," or something like that, but perhaps a more important lesson for these women might be "Thou Shalt Aspire To Not Be Raging, Transparent Hypocrite." These women (or, "girls," as they insist on calling themselves) are starting to irritate me. Scratch that- they have irritated me from the start. Same goes for the producers.

Last week we lost Beverly, who managed the not inconsiderable feat of being both awkwardly dull and a loud mouth bitch, and poor Gia, who was a drunken loud mouth bitch. Both women were graduates of "Rock of Love Bus," which has Ashley concerned, because "The 'Real Chance' girls are just loud mouth bitches."

This viewer could not help but to cast his mind back to last week's episode, in which the lovely KO offered most of her clothing and $100 cash to charity, and the lovely Bubbles, who aspires to bring joy to the world by provided voices for animated characters. How can Ashley accuse this group of being "loud mouth bitches?"

Well, it turns out they really are "loud mouth bitches," as the Real Chance Girls are shown mercilessly ganging up on Bubbles. It's maybe only four or five against one, but these bitches are such loud mouths that it easily appears to be many more. Bubbles makes a valiant attempt to defend herself against the onslaught, but she has no reasonable chance. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes, but I am a bit of a wimp- that's to be expected. What is surprising is that even Farrah is concerned over the injustice.

"And it doesn't even make any sense," she says. "How are we supposed to be in 'Charm School' dealing with that?"

Whenever Farrah speaks, I listen very attentively, for some reason.

Farrah, do you even listen to yourself? I ask this, because later in the episode you will lock Brittaney Star in the bathroom for "an hour and a half" and slip hot dogs to her under the door.

Anyway, Ricki Lake interviews that she won't tolerate disruptive individuals. That's all well and good, but what happens when everyone in the house is a "disruptive individual"? (Except poor Bubbles, of course, who just wants to do cartoon voices.)

Before the first lesson, Marcia looks to take the edge off with a bit of tequila. Marcia, you see, is a bit of a lush. She hasn't had the kind of meltdown that Gia had last week, but she did become vomitously drunk and then make out with Bret Michaels on Rock of Love Bus. So, yes, she does enjoy her drinking.

During the lesson, someone called Tanya Acker, who is some kind of activist or something, tells the girls they need to be activists, or something. It's important. Marcia mentions, tearfully, that she grew up in Brazil, a third world country, and understands the miserable pain of growing up poor. Bubbles thinks that "poor" doesn't have to mean "unhappy," which is exactly the type of thing you expect to hear from someone who has never been poor in her life.

In her defense, she wants to do cartoon voices for a living. Presumably, she would have other people write dialogue for her.

The beautiful Los Angeles River. Mighty. Majestic. The pride of the City of Angels. If only the city could find a group of women of questionable virtue to clean it up and maybe, in the process, clean themselves up as well.

The girls are divided into three groups of four and taken to "the beautiful Los Angeles River," which I think is supposed to be ironic (it's filthy, littered with detritus and refuse, and they somehow found a part of that mighty river that's more than just a few inches wide) where they're lectured by an environmentalist. After soaking in all that knowledge about the environment, the women I mean girls are given 15 minutes to put their new-won knowledge into action, by cleaning up the Los Angeles River. By picking up garbage and throwing it in a dumpster.

Ashley claims this is stupid, and I'd be inclined to agree with her except (a) somebody has to do it, and (b) these girls aren't really qualified to do much else.

Unless, of course, one of them can find a way to explain to me how stripping can help the environment.

Here, Ashley surprises me by doing just that in her interview. She suggests that cleaning the filthy, ankle-deep water is "worse than giving a lap dance to a fat man." Well, we've heard that overweight people are apparently a burden on the environment, so if you're giving him a lap dance, he's not eating a hamburger. And maybe burning some calories besides.

Ashley, you are kind of my new hero now. You've really stumbled upon something. Stripping is good for the environment! I take back my (b) point above.

Ashley makes a valid point about strippers and environmentalism, but I would have expected more from her on this season of Charm School. She was a terror on Rock of Love Bus, but so far she hasn't been able to move beyond a few funny lines and bullying Brittaney.

Farrah in particular impresses the judges. Because she's not on a team with Ashley, the venal girl is away from the negative influence that so often leads her astray. Her team is declared the winner, and the four women are safe from elimination.

Kiki is irritated that she broke a nail. Kiki with a broken nail is a dangerous and unpleasant sight to behold. She is most emphatic in her expressions of dissatisfaction. No one who comes into contact with this woman will ever be heard to ask, "I wonder just how Kiki really feels about that?"

She takes out her frustration on Bubbles, who dares to defend herself, to try to explain to Kiki- and Baybaybay, who is playing Farrah to Kiki's Ashley- that she doesn't appreciate being called stupid. It makes her feel bad.

Last week, Bubbles claimed that one reason she wanted to attend "Charm School" was to learn to be more assertive, and to stand up for herself. Kiki and Baybaybay sense this weakness in her (Bubbles herself has exposed it), and it's obvious that neither Kiki nor Baybaybay suffers from low self-esteem. They despise it. And they despise Bubbles for it.

I took a psychology course in college once- I know these things.

Bubbles wants to learn to be more assertive. Learning to point while making a statement is a good start.

Kiki will later claim that she has a "strong personality," which some people mistake for intimidation. No, Kiki, you have an aggressive personality. You verbally attack people. People with "strong personalities" don't have to attack people.

Compare Kiki to the bullies of the great MTV show "Bully Beatdown." She is a bully. (In fairness to Kiki, she's not the only one. For starter's, Ashley's a bully, too.)

Speaking of Ashley, she and Farrah are laying in bed together. And they are bored. Let me repeat: Ashley and Farrah are in bed together, and they are bored. And, since they unfortunately did not have my telephone number, they decide to pick on Brittaney Star. They tear off down the hall to Brittaney's room.

The Real Chance girls don't understand why Ashley and Farrah have to pick on Brittaney all the time. They pause from bullying Bubbles for a few seconds to wonder about it, and then get back to bullying Bubbles.

Brittaney has gone to the bathroom and Ashley notices that, for some reason, the bathrooms have locks on the outside of the doors. This is a feature exclusive to VH1 reality show homes- I've been to a number of structures in Los Angeles, and I don't think I've ever seen that before. Anyway, the temptation is too great to pass up, they lock Brittaney in the bathroom and feed her hotdogs.

Brittaney Star's (or "Starr's") website is here (NSFW). She's still doing pornography, I guess, which is good for her, I'm not one to judge. Maybe she can take her "locked in a bathroom being fed hotdogs" experience and turn it into a porn film? On second thought- it probably wouldn't work.

Brittaney's revenge attempt is both strange and pathetic (and, therefore, totally worthy of her): she leaves a plastic scorpion in Farrah's bed. This sends Farrah into conniptions, and when Farrah races down to Brittaney's bed to confront her we discover that, for some reason, Brittaney has a fire extinguisher in the bed with her. Apparently she's trying to get a jump on next week's "Thou Shalt Always Practice Good Fire Safety" episode.

Brittaney seeks comfort with the Real Chance girls, who agree to take her under their collective wing. Just so we're clear: Brittaney is being bullied. So she runs to the other bullies for help. Somewhere out there is a budding psychologist trying to come up with something to help him make a name for himself, and here it is: Why is Brittaney so crazy? And, is this common among people who are bullied? Not to be too glib about this, but we know that women who have been abused as children often seek out abusers themselves. They also go back to men who have abused them. Maybe this is a similar dynamic?

Brittaney, if you haven't been paying attention, let me spell it out for you: You are the Rock of Love Bubbles. Kiki is not your salvation; she is another Ashley. You are going from one bad situation to another. Do not do it.

Oh, but the Real Chance girls can be very charming, apparently. They teach Brittaney how to defend herself from Ashley's abuse by teaching her to shout "Kiss my black ass!" whenever Ashley picks on her. Even though Brittaney's white, they assure her that this is an effective rejoinder.

Before the vote for the bottom three, Ricki talks individually with a few of the girls. The consensus is that Kiki is an intimidator. Bubbles is in fact so fearful of her that she asks Ricki to "pinky swear" that she won't tell Kiki that she told her she was afraid of her. And, oh yeah, Marcia and Ashley are bad, too.

For the elimination, the Rock of Love girls target their attention on Kiki, while the Real Chance girls use strategy to target both Ashley and Marcia.

Kiki is quite unhappy with this, and begins shouting fearfully at the obvious injustice. She can't understand, when she's made such an effort to "talk" to everyone on the show, why anyone would want to eliminate her. (She has a very loose definition of the word "talk," which involves shouting filthy reproaches at people's faces while standing a few inches away.) Baybaybay thinks it's scandalous and unfair, because, well, Baybaybay is Farrah to Kiki's Ashley.

Ricki and the other judges, or deans, or whatever they are, cannot understand why the girls have broken off into cliques. This is not what "charm school" is all about. It's almost as if the Real Chance girls, and Rock of Love girls, are plotting against each other. They are shocked! After all, they've done everything they could to get all the girls together, to get them to mingle and become friends. They've done nothing at all to pit them against each other. Like, for instance, setting up a system in which the "charm school" "students" vote for which three to send up for elimination. How could such a system be abused in this way? It's almost like the most powerful, and popular people are going to create alliances and try to vote out the weakest people and win the money.

And, I tell you, shaking my head sadly, that's just not what charm school is about.

Sensing the hypocrisy, and knowing the fix is in, Farrah, Ashley, and Marcia walk out. Brittanya would have followed them, but she needs the money to pay her lawyer fees.

This is a disaster. These three are among the most entertaining. Rock of Love is the highest-rated VH1 reality show, and they can't lose five of the veterans of that show in two weeks. Ricki goes up to their room to persuade them to return. She finds the three of them in their civilian clothes and with their bags packed. Ricki feels they should be able to "talk things over." But some of these girls have a loose definition of the word "talk." How can you "talk" to someone who believes that shouting in your face is "talk," Ricki? Explain that.

Actually, to Ricki's credit, she kind of does just that. After bringing Farrah, Ashley, and Marcia back, the elimination ceremony continues, and Kiki is eliminated. She is deemed to be the primary instigator of all the turmoil in the house, and she pays for it.

Ashley and Farrah, you will remember, locked Brittaney Star in the bathroom for an hour and a half.

Kiki yells at people. Kiki threatens and insults. In two episodes of this show, she's seemed to have two volume settings, ten and eleven.

It could have been Kiki or Ashley, but I think that Ashley had two things going for her. The first was, as I've already mentioned, she was a favorite on VH1's top reality show. The other thing was that, as cruel and irritating as she could be, she could and did turn it off sometimes. Kiki seemed incapable of that.

So Hood seemed so caring, so genuine, so full of love on Real Chance of Love. Who would have thought she could blow up the way she did?

But now, the Real Chance girls are upset, and So Hood is so scandalized by the injustice of Kiki's elimination that she starts packing her bags and screaming "Kiss my black ass!"

Unlike Brittaney, she says it with real conviction.

Kiki doesn't seem like a seething cauldron of bitter anger and violence, but this photo's been retouched.

Kiki pic source.
Ashley pic source.
Farrah pic source.
LA River pic source.
Bubbles pic source.
So Hood pic source.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jane Austen's "Daisy of Love" Chapter 4



I compose this letter burdened with a great deal of emotional uneasiness. I was of course quite fortunate to be able to recently visit with you, and to gain your counsel regarding the musical nature of the challenge I put before my gentlemen. However, I fear that my pleasant memories of the week will be forever subsumed beneath the turmoil that made my most recent elimination one of awkward deliberation and great pain.

There were nine gentlemen remaining, and I felt confident that I had done away with all of the quitters and schemers. This is not to say that I believed I had removed all sources of potential injury. By way of example, the relationship of the best friends Chi-Chi and Sinister was cause for great concern to me. Naturally, being a lady, I did not want to be the cause of any ill-will between them.

All of this is preparatory to my examination of the events leading to the elimination that still causes me such turmoil.

Things began innocently enough, when I set for my gentlemen a challenge that recognized both my current womanly interest in the musical lifestyle, and my only too recent innocent childhood. The nine remaining gentlemen were put into three groups of three, and charged with creating new, sophisticated versions of nursery-rhyme classics.

As you know, Taylor, my very best friend in the world and daughter of a guitarist for The Steve Miller Band, you were one of the judges of this competition, along with myself and my wise and sage counselor and servant Mr. Rikki Rachtman. The venue was the world-famous Knitting Factory in Hollywood, a wonderful structure in which has taken place some of the most entertaining diversions ever created to while away a weary hour. All of us were duly humbled to be there.

Remember how we gasped with delight and no small amount of scandal as 6 Gauge, Big Rig, and Flex played their version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"? Big Rig walked upon the stage completely nude, save for one unstrategically-placed guitar, and, not to be outdone, 6 Gauge stripped off his pantaloons and shook his banana hammock like I'd never seen before!

Alas, their makeup was such that they had the looks of little children who'd gotten into their mother's vanity. I would clearly have to do something about that!

Next, London, Chi-Chi, and Cage took the stage, and performed their rendition of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Their skills were good, and the lyrics quite impressive: "Daisy, Daisy, you're driving me crazy," London sang with his dulcet voice.

Taylor, I know I can confide this in you, for you are my very best friend in the world: London had a hold on me! Oh, I know it's tragic to write this, but it's the undeniable truth!

London had a hold on me!

Finally, Sinister, 12 Pack, and Fox took the stage to perform "Old McDonald." Their skills were also quite impressive- at least, the skills of Sinister and 12 Pack were. Fox, for his part, had very nice hair.

The clear consensus between you and Mr. Rachtman was that Sinister's group of minstrels was the best, and most skilled. As you know, however, I chose to not so much to disregard your advice as to ignore it, and chose London's group as the winners.

Taylor, I say it again: London had a hold on me!

Remember when London threw up in the first episode? No wonder Daisy liked him so much.

I took the three men with me on a motorized tour bus, which drove us to the Gibson Showroom which is, as you know, a museum for very famous musical instruments, played by some of the most famous musicians in the world. Famous people such as your father, Taylor!

Again, I wish to thank you for your wise council in helping me to choose a winning musical team in this challenge.

During the bus ride, ominous intimations attempted to reveal themselves, but my heart would not allow me to open my eyes. Perhaps London's candor beguiled me, I know not. He stumblingly revealed to me the pain of his father's chemical addiction, his kind of homelessness, his couch surfing. Truly, London was a deep man of deep conviction and suffering, and I wanted to hold him, to caress him tenderly and cover him in kisses and tell him that everything would be alright one day, that the world would catch up with him...

London had a hold on me.

Remember when London was so passed out drunk in that first episode that even the insane Flipper was worried about him? No wonder Daisy liked him so much.

Gibson was good enough to provide each of the three winners with brand new Epiphone guitars, prompting more revelation from London. It seemed that he had only recently sold his own instrument, to pay some outstanding debts. This was a true gentlemanly act, to give up the thing you love the most in order to maintain your integrity.

Yes, Taylor, today I am afraid I feel like a guitar.

After a few moments of pleasant diversion with all three men, I chose to spend some alone time with Cage, for up to this point I regret to say I had not spent very much time with him. He revealed to me the source of his great and troubled soul, opening up to me in a very touching way. In fact, his suffering seemed genuine, involving as it did the loss of his parents and his actual, real, and genuine homelessness as a child, and the path that led him to become the cage fighter I know and cherish today.

London had a hold on me, Taylor.

On the ride back, London sensed that I was not giving him the proper attention and respect due a gentleman. "If you don't like me, send me home!" he said. "I will help you pack, if that's what you want," I replied. "My name is Joshua Lee, not London. I am a real person," he said. As if somehow giving him a clever nickname was meant in any way to diminish his personhood.

He went on to add, "And I'm not even from London."

Remember in the second episode, when London wrote a song for Daisy consisting of two lines, one of which was plagiarized from Daisy's myspace page, and he lost the challenge and was forced to do a granny lapdance? No wonder Daisy liked him so much.

Even as we shared this argument, I understood that the reason we fought was because we care so much. Later, we shared tender kisses as I asked- no, Taylor, I am ashamed to say I begged London to stay, and to not make me cry.

The next day I sent 6 Gauge, Flex, and Big Rig to receive a real rock and roll makeover. To my mind, they had lost the previous day's challenge, and this was actually intended as punishment. If you'd stayed on at the estate and seen them when they returned, you would have seen just how comical they looked, Taylor. Oh, it was all I could do to keep from laughing.

While the three men were away, I spent time with the remaining six playing at Truth or Dare. You know how much I love that game, Taylor. Remember when we were but small children, the games we would play together, daring at kissing boys and each other, demanding to hear the truth from each other about our darkest emotions and desires? This game rivaled those for pure sensibility. I learned, for instance, that Chi-Chi looks up to and admires his good friend Sinister. I learned that 12 Pack can beat Cage at arm wrestling. And I learned that London does not like to answer questions about the circumstances of his current couch surfing situation.

He stormed out of the room, leaving me with the five remaining gentlemen, and the hold he had over me.

Immediately before the elimination ceremony, I again engaged the council of the wise Mr. Rachtman. After all, how could I ignore his council if I hadn't heard it? In terms most vehement he insisted that London was exactly the type of gentleman to be avoided. He is a drunk loser, he insisted. He cannot make a commitment. He is selfish. He is of questionable moral character.

Alas, none of Mr. Rachtman's advice took into account the most important aspect of London's character: The hold he had over me.

Remember in the third episode, when London tried to make his ridiculous hair look good? Okay, this one's not so bad- I can't really remember anything he did in the third episode. No wonder Daisy liked him so much.

Following the talk with Mr. Rachtman, I stole away to London's quarters and, between tender kisses, I told him that I would offer him a star and chain, as an invitation to remain with me at the estate. I only hoped he would accept it.

I can reveal now, Taylor, my dear friend, that when I finally did offer London his chain, he revealed the inner workings of his own heart. "I cannot fake it," he said. "It shouldn't be this hard, this early. I cannot accept this chain."

I left him standing there, my eyes full of tears, barely able to gasp out, "It makes me feel like I'm not good enough!" as I ran from the greatroom.

I was so overcome by my sensibility that I forgot Sinister, Fox, and 6 Gauge hadn't yet received their stars and chains. Sinister should be used to being forgotten by now, being as I left him alone in our private booth last week. But the other two certainly expected better.

London left the estate, but I have to wonder if he might some day return?

He has a hold on me.

Thank you for reading this, Taylor. I remain forever with respectful compliments your well-wisher and friend,


Actually, I just thought of something he did in the third episode: Remember how in the third episode London made out with Daisy a couple of times, and then in this episode he acted like a belligerent, spoiled, entitled prick? No wonder Daisy liked him so much.

London first ep pics source.
London second ep pic source.
London third episode pics source.