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has already happened (earthquake, Prop 8 trial, worldwide economic collapse), pushing shitty mall bling seems a bit outdated.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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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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i am not a gleek.

I just really really like Kevin McHale, who plays Artie. OK, and the whole show, but I will NOT blog about that.

However, I did want to mention that I think McHale is terrifically quirky and lends a bit of strangeness to an otherwise very clean-cut show. I thought it couldn’t get any better when I realized he had played Neil, the morgue assistant/fangbanger, in True Blood.

But my little sis Hannah tells me that before these shows, Texas native McHale was actually in a boy band called NLT (Not Like Them). Think N’Sync, only in 2007.

He’s obviously multi-talented, and willing to work multiple angles of the industry. And he’s the only one of them that seems truly committed to the ridiculous spectacle that is a boy band dance move.

Here he is, introducing the band:

And here’s their big single:

My inner 13-year-old is squealing.

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Why I wish I still loved Amy Adams.

So, it’s February rom-com preview season, and along with Valentine’s Day (subtle title–I guess they felt no other ploy was necessary) is an Amy Adams-Matthew Goode vehicle, Leap Year.  If you haven’t seen the previews, the whole plot (as indicated by the trailer) goes something like this: American gal decides that the “old Irish tradition” of allowing women to propose to their fiances on February 29 (really??) is a good reason to travel to Ireland, grab her conventionally good-looking polo shirt of a guy and do just that. During a harrowing flight, she resolves not to die without getting engaged, right before emergency-landing on the wrong side of the quaint little isle she’s chosen as the backdrop for her bridal fantasy. A local, accented, rugged (read: has stubble) Irishman is enlisted to drive to her to the right side of the island in time for her leap-day proposal. Road-trip hijinks and romance ensue. And guess who she ends up falling for? Seriously, GUESS.

There will be charming locals, troublesome livestock, electrical appliance failure, and…mud! Shrieking! Spirited pouting! YELP! I think I’m falling in love, but I have to tumble down a hill first! EEE!

I suppose it’s a bit passé to complain about a romantic comedy plot. After all, rom-coms are usually pretty cookie cutter–and at least the heroine doesn’t start out as a servant or assistant who gets rescued by a handsome boss. But it’s not the existence of this movie that bothers me so much as the fact that Amy Adams is in it. Even last year’s Julie and Julia was difficult to watch at times, mostly because of Adams. Whether by choice or direction, her Julie Powell was practically channeling Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, down to the flustered typing and self-pitying arm flailing. On a second viewing, I found myself wishing I could edit her out so that Streep could evoke Julia Child’s warbly good nature unimpeded.

What happened to Adams? Though she was never exactly a full-blown indie darling, and her earlier films had her playing wide-eyed innocents, she was using that innocence to good effect.  As a displaced princess in Enchantment, Adams’ goofy charm helped propel the plot. After all, who else would be believable as an animated Disney Princess gone astray? Who else could sing to rats as they helped her clean and make it hilarious? Let’s not forget Adams’ wounded nurse in Catch Me If You Can, and let’s especially not forget her as Ashley Johnsten in Junebug:

That movie was devastatingly beautiful because of Adams: her vulnerability, her curiosity, and her open-faced belief that her new sister-in-law Madeleine would be as enthusiastically receptive of her new family as Ashley felt. The fact that Ashley is attempting to make a connection with all the Johnstens is heartbreaking precisely because of her wide-eyed, childlike faith in the fact that if she just keeps talking, they will all love her back.

Now, a drama like Junebug and a rom-com like Leap Year are nowhere near each other in terms of scope and audience. One is a money-grab while the other is reaching for a prize. But I really wish that Adams’ mainstream success–not to mention that of other actresses–didn’t have to come at the expense of nuance and artistry. After all, we shouldn’t all have to pretend that we are flustered and out of control in order to get the recognition we want and deserve. Talent and desire should play a part, too.

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some dreams must be shared

Such as this one:

I am Lindsay Lohan. I am bright and bubbly, at least for the moment.

I am attempting to branch out into directing. Unfortunately, when I arrive at the set of my new movie, my co-director is Janice Dickinson.

When I arrive she criticizes my clothes (I am wearing sneakers rather than boots) and informs me that I am not a director but, actually, have been downgraded to treasurer (a role I didn’t know existed on movie sets).

She then forces me to go to an amusement park where I am arrested while carrying a wax log (a prop?) which a police officer insists is filled with dangerous amounts of tobacco. I cannot reach my girlfriend via cellphone.

Then I realize the officer has not written down my name, leave, and arrive at set on time, in boots.

Interpret away.

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“Wolverine” in 140 characters or less

I have claws! Aaah! I’m a lumberjack and that’s OK! Will.i.am in a cowboy hat. Anger! Betrayal! Man, you’ll always be my bra. What happened?

wolverine-origins-fl

‘Nuff said.

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it was all a dream

So, time for some shameless self-promotion. And Biggie adoration, too!  I recently saw the new biopic Notorious.  Check out the review here.

Even though I knew B.I.G.’s biopic was going to be a bit of a bust, the trailer made me hope.

But even if the movie doesn’t measure up to the music, I’m glad the Notorious B.I.G. got his own tribute.  It’s about time for some parity.  No offense meant to Tupac, of course–it’s hard to compete with his charisma and otherworldly beauty on the hip hop memorial circuit.

It’s just too bad that the film didn’t give Biggie his due (and gave a lot of credit for what he did do to producer Puffy, or P. Diddy, or Diddy, or Sean Combs, or whatever name he chose right after the credits rolled).

Let’s not give any more credit to the industry that Combs has built on Biggie’s legacy. Instead, thank him for rapping (and thanking Brooklyn)…

…and enjoy his songs. They always take me back.

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