Friday, July 29, 2005

The Lion, The Bull, and The Scorpion


hot topic is the way that we rhyme

Those are the astrological signs of our beloved Le Tigre: J.D. is a Leo, Johanna is a Taurus, and yes, Kathleen is a Scorpio (the same sign as Femme Feral).

We had so much fun last night. The sweetly Sad Billionaire held our bag while Rcokslinga and I busted a move on the dance floor. Or tried to, at least. I mostly just jumped up and down and clapped and hollered because my space was extremely limited. Emo's was packed. And in case you were wondering, there is no shortage of hipsters in Austin. As I'd hoped, the usually uber-male-testosterone vibe of Emo's was pretty much overwhelmed by the sistas, but even then I was still annoyed with just about every boy there (all except SB, of course).

Anyway, I love Kathleen. Her music has been really important to me. In my teen novel, there is a chapter called "Rebel Girl." In it the protagonist, Melody, buys her first Bikini Kill record (Pussy Whipped). Because she can't drive yet, she listens to it on her walkman as she rides her bike around the neighborhood. When I lamented to Rockslinga that I wished rock shows could sometimes be more like poetry readings, I didn't mean that I wanted to sit in reverent silence while somebody from the ivory tower of academia read their poetry in hushed, deliberate tones to an audience of smarmy intellectuals. What I meant is that I wanted to wait in line and have Kathleen sign my record the way I waited in line for Lucille Clifton to sign my book. And I wanted that so I could tell her how her music changed my life. Anyway, it was Rockslinga who reminded me that they way I could tell her was through my writing. So I really want to finish this book now, because there are lots of little thank yous to bands like Bikini Kill sprinkled throughout the story.

I know, I know. I am a dork.

And I want a dress that says "STOP BUSH."


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Le Tigre


we gonna rock with these ladies tonite

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Annoying Boys Whose Names Begin with the letter "R"

If Cookie Monster can have a letter of the day, then so can we. And since it has been awhile since we've had an "Annoying Boy of the Week" post, we might as well take on a whole little clique of snore boys at once. Today, the letter R.

So...

1.)
Ray Romano


Ray is Rotten


Holy Hell, has there ever been a boy-man more annoying than this self-satisfied "comic" ? His show, ironically titled
Everybody Loves Raymond, is finally over, but that doesn't mean we won't be subjected to syndication hell. Yes, my friends. Hell is the place where Everybody Loves Raymond plays 24-7. The gender-dynamics on the show were pretty stone age, as all the women in the show seemed to cater to RR's every whim. I don't know what else to say. I just really hate that show.

I do, however, like
romano cheese.

2.) Ryan Seacrest Ryan Seacrest is getting his message out: fake tans and anorexia are for boys too! What a mealy mouth. What an unctuous slither-slime. How did he get that job? How? How?

3.) Ryan Cabrera This guy has the most ridiculous hair I've ever seen. And did Joe Simpson pay him to go out with Ashlee or what?

4.)
Karl Rove The nickname "turdblossom" is, for this mofo, a euphemism.

5.) Last, but certainly not least,
Ross from friends. Sure, he had his funny moments -- I can admit that. He's pretty funny in some of the flashbacks, when he has a moustache and plays his casio keyboard and sings about computers. But he is soooooo annoying. He had a pet monkey? Hello! A monkey doesn't want to be your pet!!! A monkey wants to live in the jungle and swing from vines and eat bananas. Anyway, Ross is whiny and wishy-washy. His hair appears to be shellaced with the same mixture of egg whites, spray starch, and elmer's glue that my high school friends used to make their much cooler mohawks. Plus, Ross is too proud to get back together with Rachel (who was always too good for the little green eyed monster anyway), and instead clings to the refrain "we were on a break!" thus allowing asshole boys of the universe to form a fraternity around this pathetic logic ( a depressing sign of the times really, when "technicalities" are invoked in order to justify infidelities, IMHO). And HE DOESN'T EVEN READ HER LETTER in that episode at the beach house. What a baby!!!!



Some good things begin with "R"

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Back to School" goes Back in the Day


The Choice is Yours?

"Back to School" time sucks. Remember that shit? You're all cold chilling, watching TV after swimming or hangin' with your peeps at the playground, and then -- like a grotesquely tentacled creature from the depths of the malicious mere of spoil your fun -- the back to school commercial rears its ugly head. Hordes of impossibly happy children in colorful outfits! Shiny lunchboxes! STUDENT PLANNERS!!! That back to school commercial punctures the fantasy of the endless summer, it reminds you that summer is ending, that you must go back to school. Run for your life!!!!!

Though it was about half a lifetime ago, I can still remember my reaction to the "back to school" advertisements. It was something like:

Yuck! Yuck! Fuck you back to school! With your composition notebooks and looseleaf and pocket folders. You can't fool me. School supplies and new shoes will mean nothing when I'm hurriedly copying someone else's Spanish homework before the bell rings. When I'm getting the answers out of the back of my Algebra book and wondering how the hell I'm going to show my "work." When I'm eating a gross, government-subsided "food" item on the bleachers.

Anyway, fifteen years ago I was going into the tenth grade (what a hell hole!). Interestingly, the soundtrack to this year's "back to school" commercials is the same one I had that summer. As if advertising wasn't evil enough. For example:


JC Penny and The Black Sheep's "The Choice is Yours"

P.S. In my google search for "Black Sheep" I also found this.

Target's bizzar-o rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"

Like Sir Mix, the Target folks aspire to pun on "back", referencing both "backpacks" and "back to school"(cringe). Poor Sir Mix, first Ross and Rachel sing this song to their kid in the final and most irritating days of Friends, and now this. Do you think Sir Mix got paid for that Friends shit?

Kohl's mash-up of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded me with Science"

Kids walk behind big test tubes and their outfits change! Poetry in Motion indeed!

Now, I have to admit that I'm glad the Black Sheep song is getting some play. It's a great song! And if advertising is going to be so evil, it might as well be entertaining. And of course the pop song as backdrop to corporate pimping ain't anything new (I can still remember when I first saw the Nike commercial that used the Beatles' song "Revolution"). But nothing can diminish the surprise of hearing the Ramones or the Go-Go's or the Clash or Modest Mouse or Nick Drake in a commercial. And absolutely nothing can diminish the pain of going back to school.



Celebrutality Vol. 3 Not So Simple!

Last night, while killing fifteen hours waiting for stoned hipsters to materialize at a musical performance so Nick Hennies and I could begin playing our music, FF and me and Nick and the fab-o Ms. Sitar were all chatting.

Hennies mentioned that he thought that the group A Simple Plan should be in the celebrutality category of totally-not- famous-but-somehow-considered-famous-maybe-by-people-
we-don't-know-and-also-me-because-I-know-who-they-are-
but-they-don't-know-me.
Moreso even than the evil Good Charlotte, sayeth Mister Nick!

I objected at the time. After all, I said, A Simple Plan are pivotal to the plot of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson's masterpiece New York Minute. I explained that New York Minute happens to feature the greatest scene of all time: Punk-rock crazygirl Ashley or MK reciting a whole verse of "Complicated" by "Professor" Avril Lavigne during a speech contest where she is pretending to be AWOL buttoned-down/smartypants Ashley or MK. Hilarious!

So. Are A Simple Plan celebrutality-worthy, and I am just being stubborn?

My brother has a great blog!

Everybody should check out my brother's new blog-- haverchuk.blogspot.com. Great commentary about everything from politics to food preparation.

Vegetarians should avoid scrolling down to the beer-can-chicken feature. Phrenologists, prepare to be outraged!

SB's couture line takes off!


Paris loves Sad Billionaire's new line of hats!

In Praise of all things CHUBBY


Totoro is chubby


Lately we have been reflecting on how much we like things that are chubby.

First of all, "chubby" is a great nom de plume for musicians. Fifties rocker Chubby Checker? Thrilling! Bluegrass great Chubby Wise? Yee haw! Dub master King Tubby? Honorable mention. Fat Joe? Not quite. Fatty Arbuckle? Wasn't he involved in some horrible Hollywood sex scandal? Fatboy Slim? Get out of my post, poseur! Ben & Jerry's "Chubby Hubby"? Not musical, but a pretty good ice cream flavor. "Chubb Chubbs" ? I never saw it but it looked like a really cute animated short on the Oscars a few years ago.

Second of all, chubbiness is an essential component of the ineffable sublime cuteness of many cartoon characters. Miyazaki's Totoro? His adorable tummy bulges all over, so little Mei can grab hold of his fluffy fur as she climbs all over him. On-time, off-balance Pekkle? A litle bit zaftig. Yogi Bear? Pleasantly plump. Need I say more?


Sanrio cutie Pekkle.

I love animals that are a little bit chubbier than breed-standard. There is a certain Lhasa Apso in Maryland whose owner feeds him plenty of bacon and sirloin steak and other tasty treats. Result: a belly so round and prodigious that it brushes the carpet whenever he waddles around. In our backyard there is a bluejay who has developed an overall roundness so profound that I start clapping my hands and squealing whenever I see him.

Yesterday, FF suggested a brilliant thought-experiment: try to think of an inanimate object that is not made cuter by prefacing it with the adjective "chubby." E.g.-- house. Yep, chubby house is cute. Fork? Yep, chubby fork is cute. Vaccuum cleaner? Roller skate? Harpsichord? You see where I am going with this.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Underappreciated Child Actor #2: Ashly Holloway


"I just really love that dog"

You know we love Curb Your Enthusiasm. But you may not know how much we love Ashly Holloway, the little mophead who plays Sammy Green, daughter of Susie and Jeff (played by the hilarious Susie Essman and Jeff Garlin ).

Anyway, Ashly is not only super-cute, she's a straight-up riot. Our favorite episode with Ashly? Hands down -- "The Corpse Sniffing Dog." Our favorite scene? The one where she accidentally gets drunk, slurs her words, and agrees to let Larry give away her dog. She's the best drunk little girl we've ever seen!



"I don't want Oscar -- I want Daddy"

We hope to see more of her.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

D-O-Single G

What a happy night it is over here at Fluffy Dollars HQ. The Eukanuba Dog Show is on, and we are watching all of the pretty puppies prance around.

I love dog shows. The commentary is so sweet, and the whole thing is very gentle and also quite fried.

Why is it that sometimes the mindnumbingly predictable is a source of annoyance-- say on cable news, when talking heads spout assinine cliches (my least favorite these days? the newfangled asian fusion cliches-- like "so and so is playing political ju-jitsu" or something is "political kabuki"...umm, sayonara, motherfucker?) while at other times, it is totally comforting?

For example, when the dog show people asked one of the dog experts who was likely to win, he said, "all bets are off once the dogs enter the ring." I thought to myself, "yes, all bets are off. How like life! I love you, dog show!"

Women Rule the Bestseller List

You have to check out this post over at GalleyCat.


good news for FF?

Lulu.com, the print-on-demand publisher that allows users to publish their novels for free, is the force behind this study. The above graphic came with their press release.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Non-annoying boy of the week: Ray Price


Ray Price

Sad Billionaire here, back again. Apologies for my lack of postage of late.

I was listening to CDs by country music legend Ray Price today, trying to do one hundred thousand dishes. If you are not a Ray Price fan, you owe it to yourselves to check out the master of lachrymose country-and-western self pity. A lot of folks who get into country male vocalists seem to stop with Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and George Jones. And while I also love the tough-guy swagger of these singers, I have been really moved by my discovery of what can only be called the "absurdly and frighteningly emotional" school of country song interpretation. A Ray Price record has more over-the-top blubbering than Morrisey singing Schubert lieder while chopping a whole bag of vidalias with a dull Ginsu.

Now, Ray Price made some pretty questionable records with string sections and other atrocities of the Nashville music machine. But the classic stuff from the 50s and 60s with the Cherokee Cowboys is totally unbeatable. Particulary recommended is the Audium CD reissue of "Burning Memories/Touch My Heart." Holy fuck. Price probes the inner architecture of despair and betrayal inherent in doomed love affairs, all the while maintaining a stoic air of wry resignation. When he gooses a line with outrageous sentimentality, one cannot help but collapse in a puddle of writhing sympathy-melancholy.

Whatever you want to say about that, it is definitely not annoying!

BUST, BUST, BUST

Thanks to Elka, we just got the new issue of BUST in the mail.

Here are some tasty tidbits.

Learn about Lady Sovereign, a 19 year old rapper from the GRIME (rap, hip-hop, garage, and dance -- all mixed up, shaken, and stirred) scene in London. She's an endearing mix of moody and confident. I like it when she talks about her punk rock parents.

Francesca Lia Block, author of our beloved Weetzie Bat, talks about her new book Necklace of Kisses. Even though Necklace of Kisses is like, one of the worst book titles I've ever seen, I'm still pre-ordering this book. It's about what happens to Weetzie in her forties!!!

A brief piece called "Saving Face" about Safe Cosmetics Campaign, a group started by California teenagers to uncover what' s really in your make-up. Prepare to be grossed out by what they find: www.safecosmetics.org.

An interview with Chuck D, who says "I think women should run the world. I think men have periods and they're called wars." Wow.

A fashion spread inspired by the films of John Waters called "Desperate Living." We love Baltimore.

Monday, July 18, 2005

This Book Made Me Laugh


Tanuja Desai Hidier's Born Confused

Now that I've finally started that YA/teen novel that I've been meaning to write forever, I'm reading around in the YA/teen section again. This weekend's tome: Born Confused.

Also, check out the PUSH website. They have some really cool titles for teens. I think I'm gonna read Never Mind the Goldbergs next.

Nothing is Sacred. Not Even The Smiths.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Day in the Life of FF or What I've Done Since this Time Yesterday

1. Herbie Fully Loaded


Lindsay and the Lovebug

number of puppies: 4

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Midnight party at Borders.

lots of cute kids, tweens, and teens out in the harry potter garb.


number of puppies: 4


3. Rhymes with Witches.

number of puppies: 2

4. Showgirls


the best bad movie?

number of puppies: 3

5. The Daily Show on DVD
Do you remember that Zell Miller shit? Hilarious.

And frightening

number of pupies: 5

6. Shopping for groceries at the gas station in the middle of the night.

number of puppies: 0

7. Shopping for poetry at Borders

number of puppies: 1

Rating system:
5 puppies: Excellent.
4 puppies: Fun
3 puppies: Flawed and fried, but so bizarre it's worth seeing at least once
2 puppies: Does not live up to it's cover design, title, or our expectations
1 puppy: Avoid it. One puppy is never enough. And they haven't updated their selection in the last year.
0 puppies: :(

No Shit Sherlock

Friday, July 15, 2005

DVD: Desired Video Delinquents or This Post Really Really Stinks

We like trash. It's our tonic. Our vice. We sift through cable's most disposable offerings and slurp them up like greasy old noodles. Yum. We love being full of trash. We must be bloated with it. We are trash junkies. Two hours without it and were all like, "more trash! more trash! Get us a trash IV, stat!" We crave the trash. We worship it.

But trash is not always available. At least not the tasty trash. That's why we need our trash on dvds. We spin that shit nightly. We bathe in the stench of stinkiest special features. We pause on the most garbage-licious moments. We rot in the waste of mind-pummeling commentaries.

So we ask the mighty gods of trash -- why do you withhold some of your most delectable offerings?

For example:


Jessica is on DVD. Why aren't you Ashlee?

So trashy. So painfully slimy and sticky. So icky yicky ya ya yay.

And what about:


My Super Sweet Sixteen

Garbage. Waste. Refuse. Pig guts. Give it! Give it!

And what about Rich Girls, aka Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher?



would you watch these two stinkers on DVD?

Detritus. Rubbish. Two foul piles of it.

And don't think we lack a sense of history:


Trash of our teens.

90210: the dump's original zip code. Earnestly noisome. Odiously adorable.

And look! We already have something fresh and healthy to cleanse our palette:


At least the Puppy Bowl is on DVD

Aw! Adorable puppies. So you can't judge us, because we like puppies.

'kay?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

NPAAAAAAARGH

Recently, the topic of National Public Radio has been abuzzing in these parts.

When I moved to the USA from Canada a few years ago, I looked forward to being able to listen to NPR. The rave reviews I had heard! "Car Talk"? Out of control!

Canada has a completely different public radio system-- the CBC-- that I regarded at the time with disdain. (Now, thinking back on its openness to leftist political perspectives, I really miss it). In the early days of our long-distance international courtship, when Femme Feral menaced Baltimore with her exquisite fabulousness, and I did my affluent despairing in Toronto, visits to my sweetheart were made even sweeter by the "exotic" NPR programming I could finally listen to. I really loved the Charm City public radio that I would hear in FF's tricked-out CRV.

I mean this totally sincerely... there were great public affairs shows, the awesome basso porfundo tag team of Diane Rehm and Daniel Schorr, and excellent local interest African American programs. There were also some of the best bluegrass and old-time shows I have ever heard, something for which the Baltimore/DC public radio was famous before the suits at NPR decided to axe music programming in favor of its now endless cavalcade of effete adenoidal pencilnecks. (But you can still find incredible NPR-affiliated old-time music programming online if you look hard enough, like Dick Spottswood's awesome weekly show on WAMU, free to listen to! Go to: http://www.wamu.org/programs/ds/)

Ironically, the best TV depiction of the horrorshow that NPR has become is on HBO's The Wire, set in Baltimore. Two of the African American drug dealers are riding in a van, heading out of Baltimore on an errand. Suddenly, the hip-hop radio station they are listening to starts cutting out, and the younger of the two, Bodie, starts to complain that the radio is broken. Having never left inner-city Baltimore, he is unaware that radio stations change outside the city limits. Frantic to find something to listen to, he twists the dials until he finds a clear signal... and lands on a particularly nauseating Garrison Keillor monologue from A Prairie Home Companion. The camera lingers for a moment on his face, and captures his sense of incomprehension and alientation.

I can really relate to Bodie! The world depicted by NPR is remote not just from inner-city African Americans, but to everybody who is not a white, middle-class, property-owning, two-party system loving, university-educated, Sunday Times crossword-attempting, L.L. Bean catalogue-ordering, Norah Jones-digging professional. The mainstream media tends to think that all of America either fits this demographic, or desires to, or is a mindless hillbillly who votes for Bush and goes on dates with his sister.

I cannot tell you all how much I hate this cultural construct.... what a betrayal it is of democratic, populist principles, what an odious example it is of the arrogance and hubris of middlebrow intellectuals. Public radio-- owned by the public and responsible, in theory to all Americans-- obviously should not serve only the tiny slice of citizens who work with their brains, are not subject to the arbitrary whims of management, and summer in the Hamptons. NPR would make you think, just like any small town newspaper owned and controlled by the local Chamber of Commerce, that the only local history worth knowing is that of the annual rubber-band ball rolling contest. That the proper posture towards the powerful is deference and submission. That cooptation of public space and the disappearing commons by petroleum corporations, union-busting big box megaexploiters, and the ethanol lobby is just fine so long as a few palms get greased.

Like a row of delightful fisherman figurines in a quaint New England tourist trap, NPR invites only one rational response: fuck you.

For real good online radio, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! really rocks! (www.democracynow.org).



Amy Goodman

The Fluffy Dollars Quiz Show

Check out this slide show of celebs with their fluffs.

Who is your favorite?




honey child gets our vote. Look at that face!



And check out Chyna with her new frizz-face at the ESPY awards:



new puppy on the block

And though it isn't fluff related, we feel compelled to tell you that Xzibit was there too.
What a cutie!



will you pimp our ride? Please?


And check out our girl Tori:


Pug, Tori, and Hello Kitty at the Sanrio Benefit for Much Love Animal Rescue on June 29.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Thought I'd Share This With You...

The baby barn swallows who live on our porch are learning how to fly.


barney babies

This Book Made Me Cry


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stepher Chbosky

Monday, July 11, 2005

Celebrutality Vol. 2: Hysterical Revisionism

Mopey Bills here! First things first, thanks to Elka, for this delightful detourning of my moniker. I will never wash my name again!

Secondly, the discussion of fake vs. real celebs has been raucous and thrilling. Giving props where props are due, I am willing to consider removing Jake Gyllenhall from my list in deference to the comments of Nick Hennies. I never saw "Donnie Darko," the cult movie, but I do very much like Rick Danko, the bass player for the Band, so I figure, drawing on undoubtedly flawless Aristotelian logic, that Jake cannot therefore be all bad. Q.E.D.


Rick Danko

Femme Feral could not be correcter than she is in her insistence on the heinous injustice of Kim Stewart and the Bam person being even vaguely famous. In my world, there is room only for one Bam guy, and that is Emeril, for whom I have sincere, if inexplicable, affection. One teaches me how to make delicious stock from shrimp tails and models proper pastry bag cannoli-filling technique; the other maybe slept in the same room as Jessica Simpson. No real contest there.

Finally, while the competition for most unfamous-but-allegedly-possibly-famous band is more crowded than a phone booth during a 1920s fraternity rush week, I nominate and second the group Good Charlotte. These guys are so not famous it is not even funny. They even have signature model guitars for sale in the Musicians Friend catalog. That honor is supposed to be reserved for poodle-haired burnouts like the guitarist from Journey, not people named "Benji."

Which brings me to my final point-- there is only room for one famous Benji, period. And that is the lovable pooch of the silver screen!




Benji

Sunday, July 10, 2005


a gathering of the Dons and Deans of lowchen university

Friday, July 08, 2005

Wish Granted: More Venus and Serena


Venus and Serena have a new show Venus and Serena: For Real
on ABC Family. Premiers July 20th.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

FF was unPREPared for the Yuckiness of Prep

FF, inspired by the Sad Billionaire, gets her hate on re:the self-hating book of the moment.


yuck: the disheartening and uninspired story of Lee Fiora, a midwesterner who attends a chi-chi east coast prep school on scholarship, will make you wonder what all the fuss is about.


I'm a little emotionally raw, having stayed up all night reading this let-down of a book. I know, I know. I could've just put the book down and turned off the light. I could have stared reading Rhymes With Witches or Around the Way Girls 2 (both of which I'd procured the same day I got Prep). I could have watched my Buffy or Gilmore Girls dvds. The thing is, despite inspiring all sorts of yuck feelings, I wanted to know what was gonna happen in this tedious yet oddly compelling tome. And because I'm committed to staying up to date with they way teen girls are portrayed / represented, I felt the need to familiarize myself with the emotional landscape of Sittenfeld's protagonist, Lee Fiora. Plus, Sittenfeld's book has gotten tons of media attention and, well, I was curious.

So yeah, it's a page-turner. I stuck with it even though it made me feel sad and yucky ( I admit that I probably skimmed the last 100 or so pages). I'm too tired to go into details now, but this book made me feel really bad, like my best friend was trying to manipulate me. And somehow my empathy / sympathy for Lee was roadblocked by the laborious nature of the narrative, and I also felt suspicious of its motivations. I guess I felt a little betrayed by the trite plot points and the unloving depiction of Lee. And the writing was fine, though not nearly as noteworthy as many reviewers have suggested. I'll just say that after reading all the press linked from Sittenfeld's website, I've lost all faith in book reviews from most major media outlets.
I mean, did we read the same book?

Of course Sittenfeld deserves some props. She does address class, though I think her critique is reluctant -- almost polite. I didn't find any real critique of race or gender that wasn't merely a watered down version of something you might have read in any YA or teen novel from the 70s (the way this book is being treated as "literary fiction" reveals how useless and inaccurate these categories often are). Ultimately, the book suffers from the same burdens as its protagonist: overwhelmed by its atmosphere of regressive values and too mild-mannered for its own good.



yum: radical punk-rock pixie, Weetzie Bat, hates high school so much that she actually does something about it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Celebrutality Vol. 1


The Andrews Sisters


Have any of you all noticed that as the proverbial sands of time cascade through the proverbial hourglass, the roster of individuals who are supposedly celebrities becomes more and more unrecognizable?

As a boy, my siblings and I were tormented by parents who didn't realize that celebrity is a fluctuating and fluid concept. My mother or father would make a "hilarious" reference to Jack Parr or the Andrews Sisters, and the stares of mute incomprehension on the faces of their young children would inspire a cackling riot of mock horror: "you don't know who Ernest Borgnine is? How did we raise such a bunch of drooling retards?"


Ernest Borgnine

This experience inspired in me a lifelong hatred of trivia. As an academic historian-in-training, this is a bit of a liability, since a lot of my colleagues seem to regard the goal of their education as the perfection of the ability to read the historical annals with the same confidence as a tourist traversing the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I mean, who gives a fuck? It is not like it's a virtuous act to have paid enough attention to everyday life to recall that Woody Harrelson was on "Cheers." If for some reason you forgot, then you could just look it up, right? Wouldn't we be happier just not worrying about it?

Similarly, when I went to the Universal Studios theme park as a young man, I was struck by the fact that the gift shops stocked a similar supply of old Hollywood icon souvenirs: Charlie Chaplin tumblers, Marilyn Monroe desksets, Groucho Marx umbrella stands, Laurel and Hardy lobster bibs... It was as if there really truly was a pantheon of American stardom that would never change.... as if no matter what seismic shifts altered the terrain of celebrity, these faces would remain as potent and recognizable as ever. But why no Alan Thicke corncob-holders or Randy Quaid shaving kits? I would certainly be more tempted to buy one of these souvenirs than shelling out cash for a Mae West rice-cooker.... Leading to the real question-- who did buy these knicknacks? Did they enjoy them? Are theys till cherished heirlooms?

Anyways, all of this rumination brings me to the real subject of my post today: celebrities who don't seem really to be celebrities. How did all of these people become famous all of a sudden? Can enough resistance to the postulation of their famousness on the part of the population at large remove their putative famousness? Let's try!

Jessica Alba
Jessica Biel
(are these the same people?)
Anne Hathaway
Kate Bosworth
Kate Beckinsale
(are these the same people?)
"Boston Rob"
Rob Thomas
(are these the same people?)
Omarossa,
Trista and Ryan
Jake Gyllenhall
Maggie Gyllehnall
Tobey Gyllenhall
NASCAR people....

And more to come!!!

Femme Feral Gets What She Deserves


MY sister?




Oh My!

You scored as Ashlee Simpson. You are most like
Ashlee Simpson (looks are not identical you
just have similar features)

Ashlee Simpson


63%

Lindsay Lohan


56%

Michael Jackson


50%

Pamela Anderson


38%

Paris Hilton


25%

What Celebrity Could Be Your Twin!? (Awesome!!)

Whose sister are you?


jamie lynn or ashlee?


jamie lynn or ashlee?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The F Word ?

Getting My Hate On

Wonderful 4th of July at the Fluffy Dollars compound yesterday... rockslinga, in-n-outraged, and some other luminaries stopped by the mansion for foie gras and lobster puffs. As would be expected, sparkling repartee and scandalous badinage flowed like wine! After one half of a Grolsch, the Sad Billionaire began to get his hate on. Grrrr!!! For reasons not entirely clear to me, I have tried to moderate my vituperative outbursts of late. But when talk turned to that staple of cocktail party conversation, the film Sideways, I could no longer control my bile.

Now, I should mention that I have never seen the film Sideways. But just the idea of self-obsessed narcissistic boyos cruising wine-country and learning valuable lessons about life and love makes me want to suicide myself. Another one of these Nick Hornsby-esque "men-will-be-boys" movies while Vin Diesel's Michel Foucault biopic lingers in development limbo?!!!!


hammertime is over

But talk of Sideways had another unexpected and far more sinister effect.... it evoked a supressed memory, from around the time of Sideways's theatrical release, of the satanic Charles Krauthammer on Fox News wrapping up another eloquent brief on the understated beauty of Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray with an uncharacteristic outburst of cinephilia: "and go see Sideways with the ravishing, magnificent, pulchritudinous and exquisitely erotic Virginia Madsen." Anybody or anything that could provoke such a display of unadulterated panting from His Dark Majesty Krauthammer must surely be fucking evil!!! Think about it, people! How utterly gross!

So, I say, in conclusion, I hate Charles Krauthammer and therefore also hate Sideways and everything for which it stands!!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Myth of the Mean Girls


mean girls ruled in 2004

This is something that has been on our mind for a while. There's been plenty of coverage in recent years of the so-called phenomenon of "mean girls." Lotsa books, including Queen Bees and Wannabes (the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls) and Odd Girl Out. These books seem markedly different from the mid-90s release Schoolgirls by Peggy Orenstein. Instead of focusing on the so-called "confidence gap," the more recent books tend to explore what I think of as girl "in-fighting." Quite frankly, I find this turn troubling.


spice was nice in the 90s

Let me digress for a moment by noting a trend that seems to parallel the media attention devoted to "mean girls." This would be the trend of "girls gone wild" and "hot girl on girl action." I'm not saying these are new ideas, but rather that their acceptance into mainstream culture is new, and it's a whole nasty set of contradictions that's made them "acceptable."

On the first episode of the latest season of The Real World for example, two of the female roommates make out in the hot tub as their male roommates look on with giddy disbelief. In the last season of The Gilmore Girls when Rory and Paris run into former classmates Louise and Madeline while on spring break, they learn that their old chums have taken to making out with one another as a way to gain entrance to parties, attract men, and score free booze. Paris Hilton's sidekick contained multiple pictures of her topless and kissing a female friend. Episodes of "The fifth wheel" have shown girls getting cozy in the "private booth" (the one with a camera, though they do blur out the nipples). Suddenly, in a country where the majority of people are opposed to gay marriage, there are women making out everywhere. Contradiction? Not really. The women in the above situations appear to make out not for their own pleasure, but for those (mainly men) around them. Sometimes they profit from these efforts, but only if their "performance" somehow takes place within the bounds of heterosexuality. And performance like this isn't new (especially in non-mainstream media) ; but it is new on prime time television. As long as some guy gets a boner (and in the case of Girls Gone Wild, $$$. I mean, I don't think those "wild girls" are compensated), that's okay. But I digress (more on this in a later post). My point is that this performance exists (and works) within the context of a sexist and capitalist sentiments and motivations. And of course the same outcome (or, er, "rewards"????) are not in store for most lesbian couples.


rock sistas sleater-kinney

But back to "mean girls." I worry that this recent interest in the "catty" and "aggressive" and "nasty" behavior among teen and tween girls neglects to analyze the context for this behavior. That is to say, it doesn't really ask why girls behave this way as much as it describes the things these girls do. Drawing on my own experience in middle and high school, and the social climates that I've observed among the students in these age groups with whom I've worked, its clear to me that attention from boys is one of the ways girls have access to power. It is also clear to me that girls are not mean to one another outside the context of a contest for power (raise your hand if you hate contests!). Even so-called "ana" (anorexia) clubs are basically girls competing to be thin ...probably because our culture rewards thinness. (I hate that the major contests young girls might be devoting their energy to revolve around boys and thinness. yuck.)

Anyway, women still only make .77 to every $ made by a men. And high-powered corporate positions are still dominated by men (though this is changing). And there still hasn't been a woman president. And when you watch c-span it still seems to be a whole lot of dudes. And that whole equal rights amendment thing never happened. Sooo . . . yeah, we still have a ways to go. My hunch is that young girls are sensitive to this. My hunch is that they get an idea that there isn't as much room at the top for women. So it seems quite possible that girls might turn on one another because they are cognizant of this inequality. And when you're young, the idea of challenging the status quo isn't as powerful as that whole "fitting in" one. And of course boys don't have to worry about this. There are lots of powerful men everywhere they look. I find it hard to believe that children don't register this inequality. I think "mean girls" are a symptom / result of this sensitivity.

I worry when I hear people sigh, "girls are mean." I worry that this is being treated as a "fact" rather than a condition or a symptom that can and should change. It also seems important to ask if anyone benefits from girls being mean to each other. I mean, if girls are mean to each other, they are less like to challenge the privileges their male classsmates enjoy. And if girls are mean to each other, they are less likely to disrupt the whole status quo.

And then there's this whole idea that men like mean girls. Most people agree that men like watching girls fight (and how far away is a catfight from "hot girl on girl action"?). Wasn't there that joke on Friends -- the one where Joey says guys like watching girls fight because the guys are hoping the girls might accidentally kiss? This joke works because it makes the girl fight into something men enjoy -- it turns the girl fight into something that gratifies men. And that's totally non-threatening (to men).

And what happens when girls are not mean to each other? It seems to me that the whole "sista solidarity" thing is something that clearly makes some men uncomfortable. Perhaps because female friendship and "sisterhood" is something that they can't control. And mainstream culture has yet to embrace lesbians, perhaps because the lesbian relationship renders men obsolete.

I'm just sayin'.



we love our sistas

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fluffy Cubana Pups


We are Havanese if you plea-ease.

You Tell Him Sister

Get Greens in your Summer Reading


Swenson gets green; very nutritious!

What pretty books! All hand-sized and pocket-sized and purse-sized in their printed goodness. All with pretty green letters on their shiny spines. All neat and humble in their modest stature on your shelf. All opening their delicious lanky verbiage within. In a nutshell: fetish-worthy. Yum Yum words. Cracked open tasty lexis. Tongue tempting texty treats.

Get a green summer lover. Get three. Go here. Green Integer books are da bomb bomb.

Go eat and eat and eat.

We like the way these taste:

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
Noon by Cole Swenson
My Life by Lyn Hejinian
At the Damascus Gate by Elana Greenfield
Across the Darkness of the River by Hsi Muren


What are you reading this summer?

have yourself a fluffy summer; listen to Sleater-Kinney

Friday, July 01, 2005

Fluffy quote of the week


Miyazaki

Entertainment Weekly is such a peculiar publication. It's full of contradications: one week they're hyping some ridiculous trend or movie, and then three weeks later they're making fun of people for liking it. It's like EW has amnesia, or a split personality. It's 80% industry ass-kisser and 20% sorta okay -- or as the sad billionaire would say " a little bit good" -- critique and snark.

But sometimes EW will give props to those who truly deserve it. Like our friend, the much-admired Hayao Miyazaki. In the last issue, there's a little interview with the genius creator of Totoro. And he says the smartest thing we've ever seen printed in EW.

EW: Is CGI going to destroy 2-D in the end?

HM: I'm actually not all that worried. I wouldn't give up on it completely. Once in a while there are strange, rich people who like to invest in odd things. You're going to have people in corners of garages [making cartoons] to please themselves. And I'm more interested in the people who hang out in the corners of garages then I am in big business.


Word.


our favorite neighbor, Totoro