Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's an Election Year -- Paris Hilton Might Actually be in Trouble

Paris Hilton, the vacuous "socialite" who is famous for, I suppose, being famous and appearing in a "sex tape" was recently caught with cocaine in her purse -- or, a friend's purse.
Paris Hilton will be charged with possession of a controlled substance -- .8 grams of cocaine -- this according to documents obtained by TMZ ... and it's a felony.
According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, the cop who stopped the Escalade pulled along the passenger side of the vehicle and smelled "the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle."

The cop writes he noticed immediately the passenger was Paris. He then observed her trying to roll up the window.

After the traffic stop and a crowd of 100 people gathered around, Hilton said she was "extremely embarrassed" and asked the cop if she could go to the bathroom at the Wynn Hotel.

At the hotel, Paris told the cop she needed lip balm so the cop handed Paris her purse: "As she began to open it, I saw a small bindle of what I believed to be cocaine in a clear baggie begin to fall from the purse and into my hand."
The policeman let her go to the bathroom? Um, as Entertainment Lawyer at Crazy Days and Nights points out
First of all, to think there was no special treatment in all of this is ridiculous. Next time you get pulled over at a traffic stop, go ahead and tell the police you are embarrassed and need to pee and see if all of you head off to a hotel lobby together. Go ahead and give it a try.
Second, and perhaps equally as important, .8 grams of cocaine isn't even a gram. That doesn't sound like much, to me. But then, I'm no expert! Of course, I'm one of those crackpots who thinks that people ought to be able to use their own bodies for whatever purpose they want, whether it's to use drugs or eat fast food.

We have better things to do with our money than fight a war on drugs -- we have a war on terror going on right now.

Regardless of whether Ms. Hilton "almost got away with it," it now it looks like she might be looking at serious jail time, not that phony baloney stuff she got sentenced to in Los Angeles.

Because Las Vegas is different. For one thing, the prosecutor is running for reelection.
District Attorney David Roger is highly unlikely to offer Paris a plea bargain deal on her cocaine possession charge, a source close to the case told RadarOnline.com exclusively.
“Roger won't tolerate celebrities coming to Las Vegas and thinking they can get away with illegal behavior,” the source close to the case told RadarOnline.com.

“It's going to be extremely difficult for Paris to get out of these charges, even with the brilliant legal skills of her lawyer, David Chesnoff.”

Hilton is facing a felony drug possession charge that carries a prison sentence of one to four years. ...

Roger is running for reelection and has a record of high-profile victories in the legal arena.

“This is a high profile case, right before a very important election, and it's very likely that there will be no plea bargaining down of these charges," said the source.
No plea bargains this year, Ms. Hilton! The prosecutor is running for re-election.

Wait a second -- are you telling me that the dispassionate pursuit of "justice" can be influenced by something like an election?


Ha, fooled you -- I was only pretending to be scandalized by that notion. Prosecutors actually have a lot of discretion when it comes to enforcing the law.
The conventional wisdom is that prosecutors are best positioned to evaluate these reasons. Consequently, prosecutors are granted almost unfettered charging discretion. More narrowly, when prosecutors decline or pursue charges for equitable reasons, they exercise their prerogative unchecked. This is defensible only if prosecutors are most competent to exercise equitable discretion. That question is almost never asked or critically analyzed. Instead, case law and commentators justify prevailing institutional design with reference only to uncontroversial understandings that prosecutors know most about legal merits and strategic priorities. In fact, several reasons exist to believe that prosecutors are ill suited to consider the normative merits of potential charges. First, professional prosecutors fail sufficiently to individualize cases, lumping them instead into legal boxes. Second, professional prosecutors prioritize institutional concerns over equitable particulars. Notably, prosecutors are least competent to adequately consider the equities in the precise types of cases in which commonsense discretion matters most.
Emphasis added because, well, as someone said to RadarOnline, it's an election year, and Ms. Hilton is being made an example of.

Yes, it's difficult to shed any tears for Ms. Hilton. She was born with a silver spoon on her face and she does naught but party and get paid for it, go clubbing and get paid for it, and hang out with men and get paid for it.

Occasionally, she speaks. Usually, to her own detriment.

But still -- it's an election year should not be a viable excuse for a prosecutor to go after someone. It's shameful that we all just casually accept this notion that politically-ambitious jackasses are given almost unfettered charging discretion, which they then use to further their own careers.

Vote for David Roger: The Man Who Put it to Paris Hilton.

The prosecutors who have all this discretion can also, as it turns out, withhold evidence in cases, and face almost no consequence for doing so.

I doubt there's much chance of Ms. Hilton not getting a "fair trial;" after all she is a famous, affluent, white person. But, seriously, do you want to see her charged for having .8 grams of cocaine, and by a prosecutor who wants to appear tough on crime in an election year?

I have been tired of this "tough on crime" bulls hit for awhile now. And if we are going to be "tough on crime," can we please not have such stupid laws?

David Roger's new campaign picture.

Paris Hilton mugshot pic source.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rubbish Bin Cat Lady: England is a Mess

I am sure you've heard all about the rather notorious British woman who put a cat in a rubbish (trash) bin last week. You can watch the scandalous footage here:

Since that footage was released, well, things haven't gone too well for the human woman depicted in the footage.
Grey-haired Mary Bale became one of Britain's most hated women when footage of her dropping four-year-old tabby Lola into the green recycling bin was posted on YouTube and Facebook yesterday.

She has since been given police protection — after sickened animal lovers bombarded her with death threats.
First of all, it was a recycling bin, so at least the woman was "being green."

Second -- death threats? Really? And from "sickened animal lovers"? I think they need to drop the "ed" from the end of that word.

I'm not going to try to excuse the woman's actions, even ironically, but death threats? For crying out loud, isn't that all out of proportion to the crime here? (And, yes, the cat was apparently in the bin for fifteen hours. That is a long time but the cat was pulled out by its owners and is apparently fine now.)

Okay, the woman seems a bit, well, let's say she seems a bit off. I don't know what kind of personal issues she might be dealing with so I'm not going to pass judgment (she herself says she doesn't know what came over her). I do eat meat, and there are a lot of people who consider meat to be murder. In their eyes, I'm a murderer!

Compared to that, putting a cat in a rubbish bin for fifteen hours doesn't seem all that bad, does it? It's not like she ate the cat.

But why is England's deputy prime minister weighing in?
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Friday joined the chorus of disapproval against a woman who dumped a cat in a rubbish bin, labelling her actions "extraordinary."

"To see the reaction to that extraordinary clip of the lady putting the cat into the bin -- quite rightly people don't understand how that could possibly happen," Clegg said at a public meeting in comments cited by the BBC.
Oh come on. An eccentric old biddy puts a cat in a rubbish/recycling bin and the deputy leader of the country has to have an opinion? Doesn't he have a financial crisis to deal with?

Then there's this, at the end of the article:
Clegg has been "holding the fort" while Prime Minister David Cameron is on holiday and will continue doing so for some days. Cameron's wife gave birth to their fourth child this week.
Hold on a second -- wasn't David Cameron just elected prime minister? Yes, in early May. About four months ago! And he's already taking a "holiday" (vacation)?

Well, you might say that -- he's actually taking paternity leave:
It will be blankies and binkies instead of appointments and allocations for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who, following the birth of his fourth child earlier this week, will become the first leader of the United Kingdom ever to take paternity leave. Cameron, 43, and his wife, Samantha, 39, welcomed daughter Florence Rose Endellion August 24 , about three weeks earlier than expected. Under a 2003 British law, new fathers are eligible for two weeks paid paternity leave, even if they happen to be the prime minister, and Cameron’s government has announced that he will indeed be taking some time off to be with his new daughter.
Let's not even get into the whole why-are-men-getting-to-take-time-off-when-it's-the-women-who-are-doing-all-the-work-anyway argument (it's a racket created by men!). Let's leave aside the fact that the Camerons no doubt have plenty of servants to help them to take care of their new child.

Why, when England is suffering from a devastating financial crisis, is the leader of the country taking time off, at taxpayer expense?

England, don't take this personally, but you're a mess. And the rubbish bin cat lady is the least of your problems.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beach Heat: Miami -- Amazing Power Over Women, and the Triumphant Return of Megan Hauserman

Somehow, and I am not in the least bit proud of myself about this, a new show on Showtime has completely escaped my attention. Beach Heat: Miami is, well, it's sort of like Baywatch meets Nip/Tuck, apparently:
"It's a show about lifeguards similar to 'Baywatch,'" says director Bill Fisher. "However, we show more skin, and have a real storyline like 'Nip/Tuck.'"
That sounds appealing to me not in the least. There is nothing more boring than "soft core" pornography, especially today when actual, for-real "hard core" porn is so easily accessible (thank you, internet). And soft core porn that aspires to combine the virtues of Baywatch and Nip/Tuck? More like Crapwatch and Nip/Yuck, am I right? However, there is one aspect of the show that I'm not too proud to admit I find compelling:
"Beach Heat Miami" stars Megan Hauserman as she is finally attempting to get her life together. After getting arrested in Miami for DUI, Megan has now landed a real acting job, pinning down a leading role in a new series on cable giant Showtime.
Yes, Megan Hauserman, of "I Love Money" and "Megan Wants a Millionaire," among others, is back on television. And in a "real acting job," too.

Megan Hauserman's back! Hooray! Megan Hauserman's front! Hooray!

And then there is the fact that the creator of the show, Bill Fisher, apparently tricked the female stars into appearing on it.
A coalition of Beach Heat: Miami's female talent — including its best-known star, reality show Z-lister Megan Hauserman — is revolting against the director, claiming Fisher tricked them into acting in smut.
They're considering filing suit to halt the show, says Christina Galioto, the dark-haired beauty who plays Brooke. Her character has four sex scenes in the first season, including the tryst with her boss, and now the 24-year-old actress fears she'll be pigeonholed into erotica. She's "mortified" that her family might see an episode.
"You watch movies about this sort of thing: The young girl goes to Hollywood and is tricked into making a porn," says Galioto, who lives in Buffalo but came to South Beach for filming. "You never think it will happen to you."
"If I had known the show would be so disgusting, I would have never done it," says another actress, who asked that her name not be used. She's a tutor, she explains, and can't afford to be associated with porn. "I can lose my job. I can be forbidden from working with children ever again."
Bill Fisher must have used some kind of amazing spellcasting to trick these women, if the description of a scene from an upcoming episode can be believed:
Suddenly, lesbian sex breaks out ... An impressionable lifeguard named Brooke has come to ask her vivacious boss, Melanie, if she can borrow some money, and now they're naked and their faces are in each other's crotches. The scene is strategically obscured by lifted thighs but seems to stretch painfully longer than a few minutes.
Did the scripts not have episode titles? According to Showtime's official website, for instance, the first episode was called "Virgin Meat on the Beach."

Where is the "trickery" supposed to come in? Did they think they were simulating lesbian sex for some obscure arthouse movie? Did Mr. Fisher tell the women he was actually Michael Winterbottom? Did someone else insert completely new footage, a la the classic Caligula? Did none of these women realize that Megan Hauserman was involved in the show?

Anyway, if this promotional video is to be believed, none of these women are exactly Dames Judi Dench:

And, hell, if even I haven't heard of this show until now, that tutor's job is probably safe.

Then again, maybe the lawsuit is just some big promotional gimmick? Who can tell anymore?

Katy Perry is a Comedian, But She's Not the First Singer to Make Fun of the Male Libido

Katy Perry's first big song was "I Kissed a Girl," which was basically a parody of the male fantasy of his completely heterosexual girlfriend making out with another woman (preferably in preparation for the inevitable three-way that must follow).

I think it was a parody, anyway. I didn't see how it could be serious. I didn't really like the song enough to examine it further. You can watch the video if you're so inclined:

Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
Uploaded by Nile-On. - See the latest featured music videos.

"I hope my boyfriend don't mind." Yeah, right. That's a funny line, but the song isn't for me. Maybe if Richard Thompson did a version of it.

Anyway, Ms. Perry has released a new CD called "Teenage Dream" in which she is depicted on the cover nude, lounging on a bed of cotton candy.

Tell me she isn't joking. She must be, right? Yes, she is. She is having another laugh at the expense of horny men. The lyrics to the songs on this album bear witness to that, as someone at New York magazine almost manages to say, before finally completely missing the point:
Awfulsome. Where awful and awesome meet, rub up against each other, and birth something new — something simultaneously good and bad. Katy Perry's ecstatically, enjoyably, endearingly hollow album Teenage Dream, out today, is full of lyrics that embody this term — awful lyrics that after repeated hearings (and, there will be repeated hearings!) begin to earn some admiration for being so brazenly, so straightforwardly, so bravely ridiculous.
If she's trying to be "hollow," then is it so "brave" to be "ridiculous"? Not really. She is making a point about popular music: Pleasingly constructed woman singing about sex. But not just sex. Ms. Perry's songs actually represent the apotheosis of the female flattering the male. She doesn't just want sex, she wants the menage-a-tois suggested in "I Kissed a Girl" ("Last Friday Night"). She wants the man to dominate her ("E.T."). She wants the man to think that she's an experienced woman, but that she's never had a man like him before ("Hummingbird"). And of course, she has an entire song devoted to how amazing the man's penis is ("Peacock"):
Oh my god no exaggeration
Boy, all this time was worth the waiting
I just shed a tear
I am so unprepared
You've got the finest architecture
And oh the rainbow looking treasure
Such a sight to see
And it's all for me.
I don't care who you are or think you are, you want to hear a woman tell you things like that when the pants come off, especially the first time.

Here is the song. Be warned: It is catchy, although not necessarily in a good way.

If it is possible for anything to be a single entendre, then this song qualifies. I get the joke. It's impossible not to get it. I even think it's funny. It's as funny as anything Ms. Perry's husband or boyfriend or whatever he is comedian Russell Brand has ever done (and, yes, I think Russell Brand is funny).

But I still don't want to listen to it. The music, which is oh so important to a song, is grating and irritating to me. It's the sonic equivalent of fingernails on my face.

Happily, there are plenty of other songs in the "making fun of male libido" subgenre that I can enjoy.

Back in 2001, a young woman named Carly Hennessy (who would later cause a minor scandal on "American Idol" as Carly Smithson) released a record called Ultimate High, which was basically the same thing. A series of catchy parody songs in which Ms. Hennessy sang about how much she wanted to have sex. The fact that Ms. Hennessy was actually 17 at the time, and singing about how she couldn't wait to give her BF a BJ, made it mildly distasteful to some people (maybe that's why it only sold about 100 copies?), but that was kind of the point:

They were taking a male fantasy of the young, virginal-but-kinda-corrupt woman that has been co-opted by our culture and carrying it toward its logical conclusion. The video above is for the BJ song, "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind." But the best song on the CD is one of the least subtle, "Young Love."
Gonna have to come on strong
if you really wanna get my... young love.
Get it? She's "young" (in the song she says she's 16), and she's got some "love" to give. (The song is helped immeasurably by the fact that the music is catchy in a good way.)

Men had been singing about the temptations of younger women and girls for years. In "Room Service," KISS sang,
In my home town, I'm hangin' 'round
With all the ladies treatin' me real good
A sweet sixteen lookin' hot and mean says
I wish you would
In "Seventeen," Winger sang for both his male narrator and the female lust object,
I'm only seventeen (seventeen)
I'll show you love like you've never seen
She's only seventeen (seventeen)
Daddy says she's too young
But she's old enough for me
Chris Rea's "Fool if You Think it's Over" parodied the idea a little bit, but still had a genuine dirty-old-man feeling, perhaps owing to the smoothness of his adult-contemporary-friendly voice. Well, that and the fact that his narrator suggests he's going to get the 17 year-old object of the song drunk:
I'll buy your first good wine
We'll have a real good time
Save your crying for the day

Gary Puckett's narrator struggled with his desire for a "young girl" in the song "Young Girl":
Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run girl,
You're much too young girl
You will note that his narrator at least partly blames the "young girl," telling her she had "better run," which of course brings to mind the great Beatles song "Run for Your Life"
You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end'a little girl
That is undeniably a parody, which brings us back to Ms. Perry. She's obviously mucking about in a subgenre of pop music that includes many against whom she pales by comparison. Including of course Britney Spears, whose "Oops! I Did it Again" is the modern masterpiece of the subgenre:

I think I did it again.I made you believe
We're more than just friends.
Oh, baby;
It might seem like a crush,
But it doesn't mean
That I'm serious.
'Cause to lose all my senses...
That is just so typically me.
Oh, baby; baby.

... I did it again.
I played with your heart.
Got lost in the game.
Oh, baby; baby.
... You think I'm in love.
That I'm sent from above...
I'm not that innocent.
She really didn't mean to make the dirty old man fall in love with her. She's so innocent she didn't realize she was "playing with his heart."

But, wait -- did he actually fall in love her? Did it go beyond just "lust" for him? This song is seriously and hilariously twisted, as the object of lust actually crushes the man in question, and piles insult onto injury by ironically declaring, "Oops! I did it again."

Teenage Dream cover pic source.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Perverted Movie Classic: He Who Gets Slapped

Tomorrow, August 24, at 7:00 am, TCM will be showing one of the best and most perverted movies ever made, the classic horror drama He Who Gets Slapped. The movie tells the genuinely disturbing story of a scientist called Paul Beaumont who has been working for years on some kind of theory on the origin of humankind. Finally, after flipping through a few pages in a book, he discovers something that proves! all! his! theories! correct! He tells his wealthy benefactor, the Baron, and his wife, all about it.

They seem happy for him, but in fact they're just happy for themselves, since they've been carrying on an affair right under Paul's nose and behind his back, all at the same time. The Baron arranges for Paul's proofs to be presented before "The Academy" (we never learn anything about them and because this is a silent film even when the Baron is speaking we don't hear what he says); however, the Baron takes all the credit for himself, telling The Academy members that Paul is just a crazed grad student he hired as an assistant.

Moreover, the Baron slaps Paul. Right in front of everyone at The Academy.

This sends The Academy members into conniptions of laughter.

And starts Paul on his decline into a raging, maddening victimhood.

Later, he returns home to get solace from his wife. Then he learns that she is seeing the Baron. Then, she slaps him, too.

Paul's descent into ravening self-pitying madness gathers steam.

I could post these pictures of Lon Chaney all day. Every single pose he strikes in this film, every movement of his eyes and mouth, perfectly conveys the sad- and madness that this man goes through. It's got to be one of the best performances ever captured on film.

Chaney had a -- shall we say, perverse devotion to the acting craft.

Chaney was known to be willing to undergo genuine physical pain if it would help him achieve a role. For example, in the famous vampire grin in "London After Midnight" he reportedly used fishhooks to widen the leer and showcase his pointed teeth. For "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" he donned a hump and harness weighing more than 50 pounds to help him capture the tortured nature of the character. He bound his feet to his thighs to play an amputee for his work in "The Penalty" which resulted in broken blood vessels and considerable long-term pain.
(Now compare that to Julia Roberts' assertion that she had "no regrets" about gaining 7 pounds while filming "Eat, Pray, Love.")

And, yes, the movie is silent, but unlike a lot of silent films it doesn't feel in any way dated or alien; the acting isn't "hammy," and the title cards aren't overripe. In fact, in many ways, the fact that we can't hear Paul's dialogue helps create a more claustrophobic, frustrating feel for the character.

He cannot be heard!

But, anyway,  back to the story. Paul becomes a clown with a circus. His entire routine consists of being slapped. In front of the crowd. Hundreds of times a night. He's taken his humiliation and turned it into an act. It's almost as if he actually likes being slapped. It's what he wanted all along.

Every single one of us has the power to rationalize our situations. How many times have you ever been, say, cheated on, and you convinced yourself that it was somehow your fault -- that if you'd only just shown her a little more affection, she wouldn't have strayed? Or, have you ever been stuck in a job you hate? I mean, that you really, really loathed at first, but after awhile you come to think, "Hey, this isn't so bad. In fact, I really like having to (sit at a desk all day) (stand on my feet all day) (remove that part from the press all day)" or whatever it is.

The movie gets even more perverse as it goes. The Baron attends the circus where HE is performing. After the show, the Baron starts to put the moves on Consuelo, the bareback rider that HE has fallen in love with. She is his one chance to finally break out of the maddening cage of self-loathing in which HE has locked himself. Things don't go well.

It's impossible to "spoil" this movie, since it is a great work of art. Everyone knows what happens at the end of Romeo and Juliet, but we still read it or watch performances anyway, because it's great. The same is true of He Who Gets Slapped, but I won't tell you just how badly and perversely the story turns out. I will point out that one of the movie's themes, as articulated by one of the other clowns in the circus, marveling at HE's popularity, is carried to its bitter and logical conclusion:

That is one of the most grim sentiments ever conveyed in a film! People like to see others get punished, but it's not just that. HE hasn't done anything to really deserve to be slapped. His guilt and his madness come from the fact that he was cheated on and lied to by people who were close to him, and maybe he should have seen it, but the humiliation piled on humiliation is totally out of proportion of any sin that HE might have committed.

Yes, perhaps there is a part of us that might say, He deserved to be cheated on if he was that clueless, but how much of that comes from recognizing that weakness in ourselves?

Even more than that, HE actually revels in his own humiliation. He's an emotional masochist, carrying his fetish to hysterical ends, and making the audience complicit. So who is the real loser in this scenario? HE who gets slapped, or the audience who laughs, and who slaps?

The movie was based on a play written by a Russian named Leonid Andreyev in 1915. Russia was still under tsarist rule, but the communists were gaining power as war and inflation weakened the government. The people were setting themselves up to trade one form of oppression for another. But Andreyev had some serious emotional issues outside of all that:

He experienced the utter depths of depression when he was twenty while studying law at St. Petersburg University then transferring to the University of Moscow. Onset of mental health issues led to several suicide attempts, thus he abandoned law and became a police court reporter for the Moscow Courier.
Then, after the revolution, insult was added to mental injury:

Like many other Russian writers at the time, the Revolution of 1905 and ensuing Communist revolution that overthrew the tsarist regime had a profound affect on Andreyev. He was imprisoned with Maxim Gorky who became a friend and supporter until they parted ways years later due to political differences.
Unlike the character HE, Andreyev didn't just sit by and accept what had happened to the country. He didn't try to rationalize that all along Russia needed to trade one tyrant for another.

During World War I, Andreyev was the patriotic editor of a government inspired newspaper, but as a fervent anti-revolutionary moved to Finland after the Bolsheviks gained power. His last work, S.O.S. (1919) was a blatant appeal to the Allies to save Russia.
Alas, that wasn't enough to prevent him traveling the same road of madness negotiated by that of HE. After all, he was a writer, not a politician or a soldier. Perhaps it's worse when you actually try to do something, but don't have the tools. He became more isolated and mentally ill as his life wore on and he finally died of heart failure on September 12, 1919.

The story of the artist is gloomy, but the art itself, while certainly downbeat, is nevertheless full of uplift and power. It's an insane, shocking, hilarious, and moving film that still retains its power. And it is perverse as hell. And I'm pretty sure that people who claim to be frightened of clowns might have HE in mind.

HE really is creepy.

And thanks to google, you don't have to wait until tomorrow; you can watch the movie any time, as long as you don't mind looking at French subtitles.

You can also, again thanks to google, read the play online.

HE clown pic source.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Piranha 3D: Joe Francis Really Needs to Stop Being So Damned Biagio da Cesena

Ah, Joe Francis. Don't you have anything better to do than have your lawyers send threatening letters to movie studios?

There is a new film opening this weekend called "Piranha 3-D," which apparently promises:
There are a lot of piranhas. There are a lot of naked people. And a lot of the aforementioned naked people wind up getting eaten by the piranhas
Sounds like my kind of movie! Except that it's directed by Alejandre Aja, director of the completely reprehensible, stupid, pointless, dishonest and totally illogical film Haute Tension. Then he made a completely pointless and witless remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Then he made another pointless and witless remake called Mirrors.

"Piranha 3-D" is also a remake. I haven't seen it yet (I did see the original, many years ago when I was but a small child and I very much enjoyed it), so I can't say it's pointless, but I will say this:

Alexandre Aja does a lot of remakes. And his only notable film that wasn't a remake, the aforementioned "Haute Tension," isn't the most original movie I've ever seen. (But it does have some effective special effects.)

But that isn't even what I'm writing this post about. What has caught my attention about this movie is the fact that one of the characters is loosely based on Joe Francis, the rather irritating and unctuous man who has made several millions of dollars getting college-aged women to flash their pretty pointies in bars, for his "Girls Gone Wild" series.

That character, apparently, loses his you-know-what to one of the piranhas.
But perhaps nothing will spark quite as much insane screaming from audiences as the sight of actor Jerry O’Connell’s penis as it comes flying at them after being bitten off by one of these carnivorous creatures.
The aforementioned actor, Jerry O'Connell (who was so likable in that Tom Cruise parody video), has apparently made no secret of the fact that his character is loosely based on Mr. Francis:
“I get to play Joe Francis!” O’Connell practically screams through the telephone. “Oh, wait. For legal reasons I’m supposed to say, ‘I play someone loosely based on Joe Francis.’ I play Derek Jones, who owns Wild Wild Girls, which is loosely based—loosely!—on Girls Gone Wild.”
(Why is he so excited about that? Was a character "loosely based on Joe Francis" truly the role of a lifetime? What, that movie about the guy who lives with all the cockroaches wasn't your big role?)

Anyway, that could be pretty funny, I suppose. A guy loosely based on Joe Francis gets his weiner bitten off by fish. Ha, ha. But Mr. Francis isn't laughing. He's got his lawyers on the case.
The letter threatens that "any defamatory or disparaging statements, or depictions, in the media or in the film itself, or other statements that portray Mr. Francis in a false light, will be met with swift litigation."
"I appreciate a good parody as much as the next guy, but to associate me with drugs and the filming of underage girls crosses a definite line," Francis tells us. "Jerry O'Connell has repeatedly and emphatically stated on the public record that he is “playing Joe Francis,” NOT a fictional character based on me. Mr. O’Connell has done this despite having been warned by his own lawyers not to admit this."
So-called "libel-in-fiction" claims have become more common lately. The theory goes that the average person would be led to believe the character is based on a real person (like Francis) and the depiction puts him in a false light and/or defames him.
"The actors, producers, distributors and others associated with this film are on notice that my legal team will be evaluating their film and monitoring their promotional activities," he tells us. "Clearly, this film was intended to be more than a mere parody, and I intend to seek damages if and when the film is distributed."
I have already written at length about authorial trespass, so I'll resist the temptation to point out that Mr. O'Connell clearly lacks faith in his own portrayal of his character and the abilities of the screenwriter(s) and director to get their message across. It's pitiful when an actor has to go out and tell people what he was trying to do.

No, really, it's Joe Francis! The Girls Gone Wild Guy! Okay, not really. But it is him. But not really. It's based on him. Sort of. It is. But not really. No, but it is! You see how clever we are! We did this character based on this really sleazy guy, and I played him really sleazy, and you can tell how sleazy he is because I just told you, just now, in this very interview! He's sleazy! But not really. Really. Not really.

So okay, I've cut Mr. O'Connell down to size. But what about Joe Francis. Having your attorney send an ominous if completely unfocused and strange letter to the movie studio threatening them not only over the movie itself, but over the actions of the actors in promoting that film? Really?

Have you learned nothing from Biagio da Cesena?

That's right, Mr. Francis. I just compared you to the former Vatican master of ceremonies who criticized the great Artist (that's right, capital letter A-Artist) Michelangelo for painting wieners on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

You know what he got, don't you? Of course you do. Most people do. In fact, it's really the only that Biagio da Cesena is known for. Michelangelo painted him in the "Last Judgment" section of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Even before its official unveiling, the Judgment became the target of violent criticisms of a moral character. Biagio da Cesena, the Vatican's master of Ceremonies, said that "it was mostly disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully", and that it was "no work for a papal chapel but rather for the public baths and taverns." Michelangelo's revenge was to paint Biagio in hell, in the figure of Minos, with a great serpent curled around his legs, among a heap of devils.
Biagio da Cesena is known for exactly nothing else. He doesn't even have his own wikipedia page. Go on, try to look him up over there. He's mentioned once on that site, in the Sistine Chapel ceiling article I linked to above.

He's known as "that guy with the snake between his legs in the Sistine Chapel." If at all.

Joe Francis, you have built a media empire. Concentrate on that. Otherwise, you're going to go down in history as just "that guy who gets his wiener bitten off in that piranha movie remake."

Is that really what you want?

Biagio da Cesena pic source.
Joe Francis pic source.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Foul Ball Couple Saga Gets Sexy, Finally, and a Future Sideline Reporter is Born.

Back on August 10th, a nation waiting for something, anything, to capture its attention was amply rewarded by the sight of a professional baseball fan leaping out of the way of a "line drive" that hit his "girlfriend."

The two people in this video, The comically named Bo Wyble ("boil weevil"?) and Sara Saco-Vertiz, naturally became objects of fascination. "What would you do?" people asked themselves. Fight or flight? Does this young man's instinct for self-preservation in the face of a flying baseball represent some larger problem with our current generation of spoiled, entitled, narcissist like jerks who are unable to make any sacrifice, not even for the object of their affection?

I can tell you that superficially I identified with the boy, at least at first. I know what it's like to be dragged to a professional baseball game by a dating partner. I would sit in the stands at Dodger stadium and hope against hope that some "foul" ball didn't fly over and hit me in my moneymaker.

But I lost all sympathy for him when I read this:
"As soon as we got here and I saw where we were sitting, I said 'Baby, we're going to get hit,'" the woman said when interviewed during the game. "He said, 'No, I'll catch it if you do. We just had this conversation and sure enough, the ball comes at me. He just bailed."
Okay, so that's what she says. But he hasn't denied it. Instead, he's quoted as saying:
"The ball was coming up and I was going to catch it and it was in the lights and I lost track of it," he said.
So not so sympathetic. Until he got dumped on national television.

Stupidly, the interviewer, Harry Something, cuts the interview short just as it starts to get interesting. Apparently, he's afraid of being associated with something that might be tawdry.

That's why he was interviewing a couple of little kids about their foul ball experience. Doesn't he also interview "Big Brother" cast members?

But thanks to the internet, we don't need timid, ridiculous tv "journalists" to follow the story. We can just head on over to their facebook pages.
All is not well with our favorite foul ball dodging star-cross'd lovers, Bo and Sara. We've got allegations of infidelity, and the threat of dropping nude photos. Join us, on As The Bo Turns.
Our Facebook operatives (whose names we'll keep secret so as not to compromise their mission) have been sending us screengrabs of the epic war of words Bo and Sara are waging on their Facebook walls. It's not pretty.

We start with Bo calling Sara a "stupid slut," assailing her chastity, and threatening to post "naked pictures and video" of her.
Here is part of the screengrab from Mr. Wyble's page:

Why are there some men who seem to think sleeping with a woman an hour after meeting her someone reflects poorly on her? Dude, you slept with her an hour after meeting her. If it reflects poorly on her, then it reflects poorly on you, too.

(In this case, it actually does reflect poorly on her, since this guy is a real dbag.)

Anyway, rather than wait for the reprehensible Mr. Wyble to post incriminating photos or video of her, Ms. Saco-Vertiz went ahead and saved him the trouble, sort of, by posting some semi-provocative-in-a-chaste-sort-of-way photos of herself.

She's cute. And she looks so relaxed in her beaded bra and panties. Now she's become an internet celebrity, a la other sports "hotties" like Erin Andrews, and Jenn Sterger.

How long before Ms. Saco-Vertiz is a sideline "reporter"? Clearly she has the requisite charms.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seven Infants in California Have Died of Whooping Cough This Year -- But at Least Jenny McCarthy is Enjoying the Single Life!

Us Weekly brings us the happy news that Jenny McCarthy, the "actress," "comedienne," nude model, and possible future talk-show host, is enjoying her single life. Tremendously.
After parting ways with Jim Carrey four months ago, Jenny McCarthy says she's still single -- and loving it!

"I'm enjoying it tremendously!" McCarthy, 37, told UsMagazine.com of single life at Saturday's 4th Annual Midsummer Night's Dream at Palms Pool & Bungalows in Las Vegas.
Oh, I'm so happy for her! I was worried. How is Jenny McCarthy getting along after her split from Jim Carrey? I often found myself wondering, in the cold darkness of a long sleepless night. That must have been devastating for her!
Her proof: "Look at me in this outfit," she said of her super-skimpy, cleavage-bearing outfit. "Would I not be hitting this? Come on."

She added of the daring look: "I have one more year to pull off an outfit like this, so I better hit it while it's hot."
Isn't it great that she can honestly assess herself like that? She's got one more year to look fabulous in this outfit:

Only one more year of looking like that. That makes 38 she's counting on.

That of course is 38 more years than seven infants in California are going to get. They died this year in an outbreak of whooping cough.
California is in the midst of its worst outbreak of whooping cough in a half-century. More than 2,700 cases have been reported so far this year — eight times last year's number at this point. Seven of the victims, all infants, have died.

And here's what really worries pediatricians like USC's Harvey Karp: Doctors thought they wiped out whooping cough when they developed vaccines decades ago.
That's right -- there's a vaccine for it. And yet children are still dying from it. I guess there must be something wrong with the vaccine. I mean, parents wouldn't knowingly not vaccinate their children against a disease that might kill them, would they?
The California epidemic has raised plenty of questions about the role of vaccination and the increasing numbers of parents who decide not to vaccinate their children. California's Department of Public Health cites three schools in the state where 80 percent of parents have signed a "personal belief exemption" to keep their children from being vaccinated.
Whhhhhhaaaaaaattttttttt? What kind of assholes wouldn't vaccinate their kids against something that might kill them? Why the hell do they have a "personal belief" that their children ought to be exposed to a deadly disease without any protection? And, why am I laying those dead babies at the feet of the "better-hit-it-while-it's-hot" Jenny McCarthy?

Because Ms. McCarthy is one of the "don't vaccinate your babies" crackpots who is spreading discredited propaganda about the supposed dangers of vaccines.
In June 2007 Jenny McCarthy began promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric. Because of her celebrity status she has appeared on several television shows and has published multiple books advising parents not to vaccinate their children. This has led to an increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths.
Way to go, Jenny McCarthy! And congratulations on still looking good at 37, and enjoying your single life again!

And yes, I know that it's not Ms. McCarthy's fault that stupid parents listen to her and those of her ilk. But she is out there making these claims that fly in the face of all scientific evidence, and building an entire career on it. She has callously and cynically parlayed her success as the mother of a victim of "Big Vaccination," and she deserves nothing but scorn and ridicule as a result. 

And if she can blame vaccines for spreading terrible diseases, I can (at least partly) blame her when people don't vaccinate their children.

In addition to being a "Skeptic," I also have a "skep-tic"; my eye starts twitching whenever I hear about crap like what Jenny McCarthy is selling.

(Link to npr story via Skeptical Inquirer's facebook page)

Dirty Love poster pic source.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Katy Perry is Sadder Than I Thought

Is there anything sadder than an adult "crashing" a "prom"?

No, there isn't. An adult crashing a prom at a high school she didn't even attend is the saddest thing in the world, ever, in history.

And it's even sadder when that crasher is a wealthy, famous, and physically attractive woman who certainly has enough money to at least buy some friends her own age.

Katy Perry, the famous singer, is the saddest person in the world.
Katy Perry shocked a group of Australian high school students Friday night when she turned up — unannounced — to their prom!
I am too sensitive, I'm afraid. I can feel the tears starting to come. But.. I must hold it together because, well, it gets worse:
The hit-maker entered through a back door of a function room when she heard her chart-topping hit California Gurls playing.

As stunned students cottoned onto their impromptu guest, Perry grabbed a microphone and began singing along to her track.
How lonely the poor woman must be! How starved for companionship! Alas! Hand me a handkerchief, sniffle.

But it gets even worse:
“She appeared slightly drunk and was stumbling a little,” student Adi Kedar told RadarOnline.com.
Oh, moooooaaaaaaaannnnnn!!

A drunk and lonely woman, approaching middle age, crashes a high school formal dance and drunkenly takes the stage to sing along to a song playing on the loudspeaker.

My god, I'm flashing back to my own high school days! Shudder.
“She was dancing and laughing with students until the end of the song when she was subtly whisked away by her security guards.
Of course, in my case, the "crasher" was the wife of the principal, she was shouting at her husband (he'd just found out she was having an affair with the gym teacher), and it was a grade school formal. And she was "whisked" away by the police, not security guards.

God, what a sad night for everyone -- the sad lonely woman whose fame and money can't buy sober happiness, and the delicate children whose "big night" was ruined by a tragic drunk.

I need a nap.

Don't let the smile fool you. She's crying on the inside. Also, drinking.

Katy Perry pic source.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scream Queens 2: The "More Evolved" VH1 Stays Classy

 At least they're honest.

The contestants on most reality shows aren't "real people" at all. They're actors, looking for a cheap way to get some TV face time. Or they're models. Or aspiring musicians. Or comedians. This has been true for as long as there have been "reality shows," and even before. Andy Kaufman was on an episode of "The Dating Game," after all.

The fiction of reality shows has been that these real people are looking for something outside of fame. Maybe it's money, or bragging rights. Maybe it's romantic love. Maybe it's nookie. But savvy viewers understand what they're really after.

Movie roles.

(Hey, it happened to Colleen Haskell from the first season of "Survivor.")

That's why VH1's "Scream Queens" franchise is the most honest reality show on television. These are admitted actresses who are looking for a role in an actual, upcoming film (the latest "Saw" movie). Last year's winner actually did appear in "Saw VI," so you know that the producers will actually give the winner what they've promised.

Of course, "Saw VI" was the worst-performing film of the franchise. It ran into the buzzsaw that was "Paranormal Activity." It was also competing with the fact that the "Saw" films became stale and depressing. At least, that was the case with the fourth film, the last one I sat through.

What I'm saying is that there are plenty of reasons why this once-mighty franchise has run out of steam. It wasn't just the fact that it hitched its wagon a VH1 reality show (even though VH1 is now "more evolved"-- and by the way, how are those ratings working out for you?). But that probably didn't help matters.

That said, "Scream Queens," in which ten attractive young actresses compete in "acting" challenges for a spot in "Saw 3D," is an entertaining way to pass an hour a week.

In the first episode, the women had perform a scene inspired by ripped off from "A Nightmare on Elm Street," in which they had to play a young, attractive woman who has just awakened from a nightmare, only to discover her boyfriend is missing. Then, they're attacked by a cheap Freddy Krueger knock-off.

My own favorite performance was delivered by Sierra, who somewhat resembles a "Jersey Shore" cast member (please tell me someone out there is doing a "Jersey Shore"-inspired horror film). Her dream was clearly not a "nightmare" at all, but more of a "wet dream" (in the words of director and judge Tim Sullivan). Or, as one of the strongest actresses Tai put it, "I want to have her nightmares."

 Sierra having a "nightmare." Maybe she was dreaming about me?

Spacey Gabby, who tearfully states that she has devoted a full "four and a half years" of her life pursuing her lifelong dream of being an actress, won the first challenge and earned a guaranteed "callback" to the next round. This turned out to be a good thing, because her "director's challenge" was abysmal.

The women are all attractive to a certain degree, of course, but it's 4'11" Rosanna who is the shortest sexiest. She's so adorable that when she did the "anger" exercise with acting coach John Homa in the second episode, she couldn't even split a pumpkin with a baseball bat. And then she froze up and didn't complete her "I'm going to kill you" exercise.

Speaking of Mr. Homa, his acting class segments are the highlight of each episode. He stares daggers at all of the women, conveying "intensity" with snarls and a staccato voice with which he hurls vituperative reproaches about the actress's lack of focus. "Make me feel it!" "I'm not feeling it!" That sort of thing.

 John Homa (left) works his magic on country music superstar and Lifetime movie actress LeAnn Rimes.

His exercises are priceless glimpses into the "actor's craft." For instance, in the second episode, he had the actresses sit across from each other and convey a desire to kill each other by reciting letters of the alphabet.

"A," Gabby said, menacingly. "B," she then said, her voice dripping with venom.

And so on.

Mr. Homa, we are told in the first episode, has trained such noted thespians as Kirsten Dunst and Evan Rachel Wood. And, of course, last year's "Scream Queens" winner, Tanedra Howard. I don't really care about that. What I do care about is that he got a bunch of hot women to talk about killing people. That segment was over far too quickly.

The host of the show, Jaime King, is attractive and just interesting enough not to distract from the contestants. I understand the appeal of having a woman who has appeared in horror films host the show, but I can't help but think that "I Love Money" host Craig Jackson would be a great fit for this show.

Or, just about any show. Where is Craig Jackson? VH1, don't punish him for the sins of 51 Minds.

Each episode ends with a "director's challenge," in which Tim Sullivan, director of some movies I haven't seen so I can't judge them one way or the other, puts the women through their paces. In the first episode, they had to shoot a fake trailer for a film about a hot college girl who discovers her boyfriend is the devil, or something like that.

Witness it in all its "magic of Hollywood" glory:

It's pretty apparent that Tai and Jessica are the two best, and by a long shot. But, based on the judge's critiques in the second episode, Tai's consistent high quality might be a liability. They want to be "surprised." In other words, she needs to have an "arc." Because even though she's an actress, she's also a reality show contestant.

The message is clear: Tai, start some fights.

 Tai is too "consistent." Since this is the "more evolved" VH1, I'm not sure what advice to give her.

The second week's director's challenge each contestant played a hot woman who is going to kill and cook a man played by Trevor Wright, one of the stars of a bunch of movies I haven't seen, including David Fincher's next movie.

The dialog isn't about killing, Mr. Sullivan tells them. It's about steak. But the women have to make it menacing.

By way of direction, Mr. Sullivan tells them things like, "You're starting out where I want you to end." And, gesturing toward his face, "It has to be all in here."

Sierra makes it sexy. Or, as contestant Allison puts it, "Oh my god; Sierra's having sex with her steak." That might be the greatest line every uttered on a reality show.

Karlie ate a piece of the raw steak, much to the chagrin of the other actresses. "I wanted to do something that no one else would do."

Sarah's annoying Chicago accent puts everyone off, and makes the other actresses laugh.

Distracted and overwhelmed Rosanna was disappointed in her "stepford wife"-y performance.

When "The List" is revealed, Sierra starts to freak out about being in the bottom two again.

Jaime says Sarah's accent pulls her out of the moment, which is a problem with Jaime's shallowness, not with Sarah. But she's safe.

Bottom two, to no one's surprise, is best friends Rosanna and Sierra. Also to the surprise of no one, Rosanna is "cut." It's too bad, since she was the best hottest.

So I suppose I look forward to seeing which of these attractive young women will win a role in a movie that I probably won't see, ever.

Poor Rosanna was too sweet and too short for this world.

Rosanna pic source.
John Homa pic source.
Sierra pic source.
Cast pic source.
Tai pic source.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some Thoughts on the Nobility of Porn

For most people, those moments in which they achieve sexual climax are the happiest of their lives. That sweet sense of anticipation that gives way to a tingling of the loins, then the dizziness of ecstatic release and complete loss of self as you exist only in that single moment before the drowsiness and then the calm of blissful sleep is unmatchable. There is no greater feeling than the giddy thrill that comes from coming.

For many, that feeling of joy is only enhanced when it is shared with a partner. Yet there are times when it must be experienced alone. Perhaps you’ve just broken up. Perhaps you’re physically loathsome. Perhaps you’re being oppressed by some reactionary religious government edict. Perhaps you don’t have money for bus fare. In those times, pornography is the most helpful alternative.

Look at the areas where internet pornography is most frequently consumed. In the United States, Utah is the pornography-consumption capital. This also happens to be one of our most religious states. The Middle East, a vast wasteland of religious repression, is another region in which an unusually large amount of pornography is enjoyed.

Making people happy is the noblest pursuit. Making people who are suffering repression happy is even nobler than the noblest pursuit.

Those who make pornography are the noblest people I know.

We should all aspire to be Stoya.

The woman and man who engage in a mere five minutes of videotaped coitus and then share that videotape on the internet are doing more to help spread happiness and relieve tension in the Middle East than the last fifty years of disastrous US “foreign policy.”

It’s for this reason that when anyone makes the decision to go into the pornographic film business, they are to be celebrated. That is why I wish to salute Montana Fishburne, who has stated unequivocally that she wants to make pornographic films.

Ms. Fishburne has “options.” She does not match the stereotype of the sad, dirt-poor girl from Podunk, USA who needs to do a few scenes to score her next 8-ball, or to pay for an abortion. She is the daughter of a wealthy and famous Academy Award nominated film and television star. In an industry built on nepotism, she could do whatever she wanted to do.

She has chosen to bring real joy to people.

This despite the fact that there is a stigma attached to such a decision. Any time a woman chooses to assert her sexuality, she puts herself at risk for ridicule. As a society, we seem to both celebrate and abhor women who make “unconventional” choices.

And I thought we were supposed to encourage our daughters to do what they want. “You can be anything you want to be,” we’re supposed to tell them. Well, apparently not. Now we have a “first lady” who wants to tell little girls what not to eat. We have a “super model” “United Nations ambassador” who wants to tell women who have just gone through childbirth that they must breastfeed their babies for at least six months. And of course we have a prominent father attempting to buy up copies of his daughter’s first pornographic film to prevent others seeing it.

I believe that Mr. Fishburne should celebrate his daughter’s choice. He is her father, and gave her the benefit of his wisdom and guidance for 18 years. Now she is legally an adult, and is making her own choices about what to do with her life and body. I would think a parent would be happy about that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lady GaGa Has More Faith in "Rock Festival" Attendees Than I Do

Disturbing video of Lady GaGa at Lollapalooza, "crowd surfing."


Have you ever been to a three-day "music festival" before? Smelly, sweaty people. Drinking. With poor sanitation. And inadequate bathroom facilities.

Would you really want those people with their hepatitis and gonorrhea and brucellosis and who only knows what else groping your nearly-naked flesh? Not I!

This guy, the so-called "Green Man," has the right idea about surfing such a crowd. He is completely covered, head to foot:

Truly the industrial-strength full-body condom is the way to go. If you must crowd-surf, be sure to use protection.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rock Star Penises

Can you guess what I have in common with this man?

Via the indispen(i)sable Iced Borscht, comes this story/list from Metalsludge from way back in August 2004 (six years ago! were we ever really that young?) in which groupies tell all about rock star penises, and the sexual attitudes of the men to which those penises are attached.

The information is absolutely hypnotic. You learn more about these people in just a few sentences than you'd learn from reams of "promotional material." For instance, there's this about Tom Araya, from Slayer:
If you're down with pentagrams and Satan, then not only is Tom for you, but he's got a big c*ck to boot. Tom is about 7 inches, loves to f*ck and is not selfish at all! Also has an uncircumcised d*ck.
That is really all you need to know about someone. You get a little about his personality (unselfish), a little about his interests (Satan), and a little about penis (big).

It's what you call a pithy description.

Mr Araya's description stands in stark contrast to that of Stevie Benton, of Drowning Pool:
An insensitive butthead. Not much going on in his pants or in his head.
There is an amazing amount of information in that single sentence.

I do have to say, I was mildly disappointed in what I learned about Bret Michaels:
The d*ck is about 7 inches or so, and he enjoys providing oral favors. I've seen the video of him and Pam, and his d*ck looked pretty good, but he was way too concerned about looking into the camera. He didn't impress me in the video, and I've also heard that Bret's skills are overrated. If you do hook up with him, chances are he'll keep his hat or bandana on. Also very manipulative and a control freak. If you're one of his side pieces of action, he demands you stay loyal to him while he can go get other p*ssy. A total double standard.
A double standard, manipulative, and he keeps his bandana on? And while there is mention of "oral favors," there is no specific mention of "talking dirty" to him. Too bad, but maybe he's changed since that brain hemorrhage thing.

I did like what someone had to say about Sebastian Bach:
Bach can deliver the good, as most skinny, tall guys can. He has been seen with a variety of groupies out on the road and reports are that he doesn't shower much. He does have an above average c*ck and can be a lot of fun, but is ego is totally out of line and out of control. Is known to be a very big assh*le, so be careful.
Emphasis added because I am a tall (6'1"), skinny (156 pounds) guy.

Yes, I like to think I can "deliver the good," and that I at least have that in common with Sebastian Bach. Most of the time, anyway. I mean, sometimes it's been a long day and I'm kinda tired, you know? I haven't been singing and prancing around on a stage, but I have been, uh, sitting at a desk and typing.

Seriously, the entire earthy and fascinating piece can and should be read here.

Sebastian Bach pic source.

Are our personalities really set for life by first grade?

What was Roman Polanski like when he was around first grade age?

Via yahoo's main page there is a story on LiveScience with what seemed to me a startling headline,
Personality Set for Life By 1st Grade, Study Suggests
I find that startling because, do you remember what you were like in first grade? I do kind of. I was a rotten little brat. I was stupid. I liked stupid things. I was weird.

I don't want to be anything like that little turd.

But, as is so often the case with these stories, the backpedaling from the headline begins with the very first paragraph:
Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we're over the hill, according to a new study.
Emphasis added by yours truly. (I wouldn't have added that emphasis when I was in first grade.)

We've gone from "personality set for life" to "personalities stay pretty much the same" in two sentences.

But it gets worse for this story. Next paragraph:
The results show personality traits observed in children as young as first graders are a strong predictor of adult behavior.
Now it's "personality traits" in "children as young as first graders," and "strong predictor of adult behavior."

That is a seriously jumbled up sentence. I mean, I thought this study said that personalities are set for life by first grade. Now, two paragraphs in, it's been switched so that personality traits that were observed are strong predictors of behavior (not "personality").

In other words, the headline was nothing but a lie.

But let's go on. Who did this observing of personality traits in children?
Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (grades 1 - 6) in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later.
Are you effing kidding me? Teacher personality ratings? What the hell are those? Who are these teachers? What level of sophisticated observation was brought to bear on these kids?

And for crying out loud-- 144 out of 2,400? We're told the original 2,400 were "ethnically diverse" -- were the 144 they chose?

And so what if they're "ethnically diverse"? They're all from the same state!

And what happened to these people between first grade and "40 years later"? Doesn't that have some bearing on their personalities?
Previous research has suggested that while our personalities can change, it's not an easy undertaking.

Personality is "a part of us, a part of our biology," [University of California, Riverside doctoral candidate Christopher] Nave said. "Life events still influence our behaviors, yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well."
Not based on this study, my friend. I'm no "doctoral candidate" or nothing like that, but I got me some smarts.

You're making a sweeping generalization about human beings based on a sample of 144 people from a single state, based on interviews (how many?, by the way) with those people conducted 40 years after some teachers wrote "plays well with others" on their report cards (to be fair, I don't know if that's how the teacher evaluations went but I'm venting -- and no, I didn't used to vent in first grade). And the last 40 years have been unprecedented in human history.

We in America have seen our standard of living rise to preposterous levels. We all have cell phones now. iPods. Everyone has a tv and most of us have cable and a lot of us have DVRs. The cost of food has gone down -- barely any of us in America go to bed hungry anymore.

To the authors of the study: When you were in first grade, were you a lazy jackass with a desire to self-promote?

To the authors of the story: When you were in first grade, were you a lazy jackass who just accepted everything you were told by manipulative "researchers" trying to get their names in the paper?


What do you think Megan Fox was like in first grade?

Megan Fox pic source.
Roman Polanski pic source.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Brett Farve Learns a Hard Lesson: Oh the Cruelty of Women!

 Looks can be deceiving. This woman is cruel.

Women can be so cruel.

We men do our best to impress them, in the pursuit of a little bit of affection and attention, and what do they do? They spurn our advances, and then laugh about them amongst their friends. Not even the most famous, accomplished of us is immune to this terribleness.

Take, for instance, the case of the professional American football player Brett Favre. He is a winner of the so-called "super" bowl, and has a number of American football records (I do not follow the game closely, alas, so I cannot comment with authority). He appeared in the film "There's Something About Mary."

In other words, he is a famous and accomplished man. And even he is laughed at by the objects of his affections.

According to a story at the website Deadspin, Mr. Favre reached deep into his "dating playbook" to "call" what is certainly his "touchdown" play. He sent photographs of his penis to a woman whose charms he wanted to explore.
But then, one night, [New York Jets football team sideline reporter Jenn] Sterger received a picture on her phone which was so shocking that she just tossed it across the room. It was his dick. Brett Favre's dick. And it happened multiple times. In fact, Sterger claims that, in one of the photos Favre allegedly sent her, he's masturbating — while wearing a pair of Crocs.
The displaying of the male member to the object of his interest is a proud one that has been ingrained through generations of evolutionary history. It is not only a way of showing the woman what she might gain access to; it is also a way of prostrating oneself before her. The masturbation photo shows a man who is alone, and in need of invigorating companionship.

The man is "exposing" himself to the woman, placing all of his trust in her hands. The gift is both sensual and sentimental.

And what did Ms. Sterger do with those gifts? Only commit the ultimate betrayal of a man who trusted her:
But soon after Jenn told me this story, she balked about releasing the photos or voicemails she still had on her computer. They were still on her computer because they were fun to laugh at amongst friends, but she never planned to sell them or use them to bolster her profile. 
She laughed at him. Amongst friends. A man in dire need of romantic companionship was made a laughingstock, and all because he trusted the wrong woman.

This is an important lesson I myself have learned through bitter experience.

Oh, cruelty, thy name is woman!

What man wouldn't send this seemingly charming young woman photographs of his penis? We are only human, after all.

First Jenn Sterger pic source.
Second Jenn Sterger pic source.