oh beezy

miscellaneous cultural commentary from two urban twenty-somethings. on this here interweb, we go by "bee" and "zy."

holy sacrilegious travel ad! to the popemobile!

So, Kayak.com has a hot new ad out. In case you haven’t seen it:

The Pope’s not gonna like that. He’s probably busy drafting the next Harry Potter ban, though.

Of course, this is well-worn territory. Nuns as transgressive sexual beings have been featured in many TV spots and ad campaigns, including The L Word and this widely publicized Bennetton image:

The world can use one more, though. Enjoy!

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wow. i love living in the future!

Ugh. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it shitty jewelry ads. While I can’t find a video link (who wants heart-shaped shit when you can YouTube screaming chickens?), the sickly-sweet Kay Jewellers spot goes something like this: Woman is cooking, man is reading candy hearts. He reads them out to her to prove their oracular nature: “My girl! You’re sweet! You’re an amazing woman and you’re all I’ll ever need!” I’m about to propose to you… maybe.

“It doesn’t say that,” says sensibly-dressed girlfriend stirring pasta. You’re making me super uncomfortable…

And then he springs it: the heart-shaped diamond necklace. OMG!

“Gasp,” goes girl. I can sell this for a grand!

No you can’t. Because it’s cheap, silly! Oh, and because this necklace is supposed to complete you.

I suppose there’s not much point in railing against these kinds of V-day ads, but in a year where so much has already happened (earthquake, Prop 8 trial, worldwide economic collapse), pushing shitty mall bling seems a bit outdated. Girlfriend doesn’t even look as impressed and owned as she should!

V-day is rough for many people. The pressure, the idea of presents. The endless red and pink marketing. The stale themed candy displays that you can’t get rid of for weeks, or bring yourself to eat. I actually enjoy the day: I loved giving valentines as a kid, and I’m not too proud to admit that I like receiving the odd card or candy heart. Munch.

But once the heart-shaped advertising farce is done, let’s turn our attention to what should be the main event in nationwide love news: the Prop 8 trial. Watch the reenactment here. And fortify your hunger for justice with this little ditty:

Happy almost Valentine’s day, queerlings. I love you all.

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shades of ray; andy suzuki

Shades of RayI just finished watching “Shades of Ray,” which turned out to be one of those movies I couldn’t even try to give an objective review of because it is about being a mixed race (South) Asian American. There are so few narratives (filmed or written) I’ve encountered that are consciously centered on mixed race Asians, which means that the minute I do find one, I’m smitten with the mere idea of it. That said, “Shades of Ray” did receive some critical acclaim at festivals, so maybe there isn’t pure self-indulgent fluff behind my two enthusiastic thumbs up.

The main character, Ray, is a half-Pakistani, half-white self-described “mutt.” (I remember my grandpa’s reaction when I labeled myself that in his presence at around nine years old. It was the one time he ever spoke to me in an angry tone of voice). Ray is in love with a white gal, Noelle, who doesn’t say yes right away when he proposes because she has to convince her parents to accept a non-white fiance. (Uh, why this was not a double red flag in the first place is unclear to me… his love is a bit too blind). In the meantime, Ray’s Pakistani dad thinks he made a mistake after three or so decades of marriage to Ray’s white mother, and is pushing Ray to find a “nice Pakistani girl.” Ray acquiesces to a blind (family) date with a woman his dad recommends in return for his dad making an effort to patch things up with his mother. Sana, the “nice Pakistani girl” turns out to be, in fact, half and half just like Ray. You can tell where this is going. Of course, it wouldn’t be feature length unless Ray was all conflicted about who he’s meant to be with.

Anyways, I loved “Shades.” (Spoiler alert) It indulges what could be a commonly held fantasy amongst mixed people like me that a deeper understanding and connection can be found with a mixed partner. “You get me. And I don’t even get myself half the time,” Ray says to Sana. Maybe fantasy is the wrong word. Hope?

One small thing that made me smile (granted, I was a smiling idiot the entire film) was the use of Priscilla Ahn’s “Are we different?” during a scene when Ray is talking to Sana. Ahn is half Korean, half white (I’ve blogged about her before on here). Did the film’s writer/director, Jaffar Mahmood, mixed like his protagonist, include Ahn on purpose? Yay, either way. (Another thing I liked: Fran Kranz, of Dollhouse, as Ray’s roommate).

Hearing Ahn prompted me to check my music blogs (I can’t kick this tendency to have two screens going–TV and computer). Via A-tunes.net, I read about Andy Suzuki, an unsigned talent who I’m happy to add to my list of hapa musicians to follow. Check out this utterly sincere video from his blog about the inspiration behind his song, “300 Pianos:”

There’s another video about Andy trying out for American Idol. Definitely interesting for anyone who ever wondered about the audition experience, as well as a testament to the fact that Idol has a minuscule quota for actual talent (ya ya, no shit, i know). Final note: Just putting it out there, but imho he’s a no-brainer for a Disgrasian Babewatch post… Disgrasian is my new favorite blog, by the way. Read about the bloggers behind it in Hyphen’s latest issue. Here’s my favorite post so far:

http://disgrasian.com/2010/02/best-of-craigslist-teach-me-how-to-kiss/

**end stream of not-s0-consciousness**

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esna yoon

i love everything about this video–the gal, the song, the lighting, the framing and direction. hell, even the font. It’s the tasteful work of The Mighty Fifty, “a creative group of talents that revolves around all aspects of production.” Check out their site, the design and functionality of which I also love.

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devil drinks soda

If I had my own country, I’d probably ban soda. That and fluorescent lighting. (And Jews for Jesus, Pat Robertson, Mel Gibson, all forms of violence, etc.).

It’s not that I hate soda. I love certain kinds, like Dr. Brown’s black cherry. I just don’t like it when soda becomes a lifestyle–when it becomes necessary at every meal, when someone flips a shit because they didn’t get their third can of Diet Coke that day.

Anyways, the other night I was skipping immaturely around a fancy corporate office (all of the employees had gone home for the evening except the one who’d let me in), checking out the accoutrements and expansive views that I lacked at my nonprofit, basement-level workplace, when I found this: I came across the DIY soda maker after inspecting the refrigerator, the top shelf of which was stocked with free cans of Coke, Dr. Pepper, and other soda options (no juice whatsoever). There is also a standard soda machine about ten steps away from where I took this picture. WTF.

Those are the bottles you have to buy along with the machine. Good freaking lord. At least the “Soda Maker Donations” cup was empty. That gave me some solace.

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happy MLK day.

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confused, NBC? then make Ellen the host of The Tonight Show.

So, aside from Haiti earthquake coverage (on the subject of which it must be mentioned, though obvious, that that crisis is way more important than any TV “crisis”), the NBC management debacle, aka Conan vs. Leno, aka Chingate, has evoked a ton of response from my American e-friends. That is, Facebook friends.

Haiti and Conan are the memes, but “I’m With Coco” is the image that people are choosing to replace themselves with. According to the Chicago Tribune, over 276,000 Facebook members have become fans, pledged to attend pro-Conan rallies, and sworn their devotion to O’Brien’s sharp wit and ginger coif.   

Now, I don’t have hard numbers, but that seems like a lot more people turning out to protest in the streets for Conan than for health care, gay rights or help for Haiti. Or at least doing so vocally, and more importantly, publicly.

Am I missing something?

I like Conan, don’t get me wrong. That lanky dude ranks up there with Craig Ferguson as one of the two least creepy dudes on network late night. Letterman gives me the funny uncle heeby jeebies, while Leno makes me want to rip my own hair out.  But they’re still white male comedians dominating the airwaves, and in that sense CoCo taking over The Tonight Show isn’t so much a change from Leno as it is a perpetuation of the comedy status quo.

Granted, “I’m With EDeg, Who Isn’t Even In The Running” does not make the best viral slogan.  Plus Ellen already has a goal in sight: Oprah’s 4 PM throne (and she will get it). There is something to be said for positioning yourself to take over the daytime stage, a position that has allowed Oprah to build an indomitable media empire based on a savvy mix of cushy specials, random prizes, books and well-placed outrage and activism.

Ellen knows what she’s doing, too. Her interviews are tasteful, her prizes lavish, her sympathy for the downtrodden sincere. Her 12 days of Christmas prize shows in December 2009 made tchotchke-hungry me drool in greedy ecstasy over the heavy piles of hubcaps, diamond watches and scented soap that I will definitely never need.  And while Ellen’s sympathy features are so far mostly limited to families who have fallen victim to the recession (a worthy subject), perhaps a few more years of entrenchment in the media landscape will allow her to do for gay youths what Oprah did for girls’ education. At least here’s hoping; being a non-threatening lesbian on daytime TV must be an exhausting daily maneuver.

Or maybe not. Ellen and Portia, the most gorgeous couple in Hollywood, were by many accounts the most talked about pairing of 2009. And Ellen’s total ease in her own body, coupled with a sweet sense of humor and killer dance moves, have allowed her to achieve mainstream success while being completely out.

But why does Ellen’s greatness, as well as that of other female comedians, have to be limited to daytime or non-network coverage? Because women watch TV during the day and men like to come home and laugh at night? Because Conan got a raw deal? Because  no woman ever hosted the late shows during or after Johnny Carson’s era, and thus it’s expected that the trend should continue?

I’m sorry Conan, but I don’t care if you get that slot. I don’t care if Leno gets it either. Because I will no longer be watching either of you. What’s the difference, in the end, between you two white, straight men sniping about how the network is mistreating you, while making millions on the same old star-flattering, side-kick pandering, gay-joke spreading routines? Not much. If I’m going to watch a big network show in the wee hours of the morning, I want a lady at the helm. And funny girl Ellen fits the bill.

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vajazzling

So, miss JLH has introduced us to the concept of bedazzling your lady parts with expensive glittery sparklers. Forget a night out or a brazilian (pedestrian!)–if your sex/love life are bumming you out, it’s time to break out the Swarovskis. Really, whose vagina CAN’T afford that? It’s an essential!

Not much else needs to be said, I guess. Except that I can’t wait to see what Pat Robertson has to say about the pact JLH’s crystal-encrusted hoochie made with the devil in order to get this much publicity.

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asian gals w. guitars

Well, not just guitars–pianos, too. Regardless, I tend to ❤ them. Here are a few:

Priscilla Ahn. So lovable, no? ‘Living in a Tree‘ is actually my fav song of hers, but I wanted to bring attention to a-Tunes.net, which alerted me to ‘The Boobs Song,’ as well as this next artist.

Jane Lui. I want a homemade music box.

Kina Grannis. Like Jane, a born-digital star via YouTube. (They’ve toured together, actually). She entered the video of her song, “Message from Your Heart,” into a contest that won her an airing during the Superbowl and a record deal.

Zee Avi. Yet another “YouTube sensation.” Aw.

Meiko. Meiko’s a quarter Japanese–she and her sister adopted Japanese names, kinda the way I replaced my middle name with my Grandma’s maiden name to get some filipina-ness in there. Kina and Priscilla are half (Japanese and Korean, respectively). So are Rachael Yamagata and Norah Jones. Represent, MIRAs. Yes, still pushing the hapa replacement label. Deal with it.

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to the tea

I’m into tea. All kinds. These days, tea is branching out. Here are some examples.

Hanger TeaHanger Tea. Does this not make so much sense?

Tea Bag CurtainsTea Curtains. Don’t just drink it. (Click on the image to read the how-to on making these, courtesy of Time Out NY).

Tea shirtTea shirt.

thirsteaBubble Tea. It’s flourishing in NYC. This is my preferred provider, on East 10th between 1st and Ave. A–Thirstea. Follow them on twitter for the occasional discount and whatnot.

earl grey ice cream

Earl grey ice cream. So good. Here’s a recipe. I plan to combine some of my favorite things in life and make earl grey ice cream mochi someday soon.

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