Archive by Author

The Donald Trump Effect

27 Mar

Almost as awkward as the height differential in this shot of former surprise couple Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi is the recurring fact that hot girls go for…well…not so hot guys. And following their divorce Rushdie only upped his swagger by spending quality time with Olivia Wilde. From Russell Brand and Katy Perry to Jay-Z and Beyonce all the way to Seal and Heidi Klum there have been some inexplicable hook-ups. The wedding picture from famed philosopher Slavoj Zizek and his model wife Analia was enough to solidify hope for greasy truck drivers everywhere.

I like to extrapolate from all these disorienting couplings and take solace in believing that short, nice, smart and balding men have a chance in this world…if they have fame or cash.

Who is/was your favorite beauty and beast?


2012 Bumper Stickers We Have Come So Far

20 Mar

One sad legacy of our Nation has been the ridiculous tendency to categorize humans into races on a quickly sliding scale of importance and ability (athletics aside). Now, a quick glance at the current options for bumper stickers reveals a more modern, refined and sensible relationship to peoples of darker skin colors, like ones who shouldn’t be reelected and ones who can only be understood and helped by WASPy Facebook users furiously sharing and “liking.”

Look how far we have come. Fredrick Douglass, Martin Luther King and Rosa if you could only see us now!

Siri Leads Man On

13 Mar

Siri is the hottest female robot since the Terminator took so many steroids he became a chick. She also packs some serious political power, invading just about every country with running water and she has already aligned the axis languages of German and Japanese–before you know it iPhones will be goose stepping. (I’m sure Glenn Beck foresaw Apple’s imperial pursuits, between his streams of tears).

But one customer with enough smarts to see through Apple’s conspiracy has filed a lawsuit. The complaint reveals the earth-shattering discovery that, “in many of Apple’s television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock…with ease…a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri.”

Just because he couldn’t get that sexy voice to fulfill his every whim doesn’t mean Siri is misrepresented. Although, from the TV ads I always believed Fushigi balls really rolled around your body like David Bowie’s balls in Labyrinth (both meanings intended).

What other commercials or advertisements turned out to be a bit of an oversell?

1978: The Year God Let Blacks Drive

6 Mar

I’m not sure we can trust following this guy, wherever he thinks he is pointing. In an article published by the Washington Post last week a religion professor from Brigham Young Univeristy attempted to help explain the ban that restricted African Americans from having the priesthood in the LDS church until 1978. This was just another blurry feature of Mormon history and doctrine ripe for clarification with Mitt Romney leading the polls. The professor, Randy Bott, tried to put the situation in laymen’s terms. The author of the article reported, “Bott compares blacks with a young child prematurely asking for the keys to her father’s car, and explains that similarly until 1978, the Lord determined that blacks were not yet ready for the priesthood.” Oh, OK. I think I get, so blacks were perpetually 15 years old, in God’s eyes. Bott himself is quoted with saying, “in reality the blacks not having the priesthood was the greatest blessing God could give them.”

Of course the actual LDS Church responded by releasing a statement that Professor Bott does NOT speak for the church and that the official doctrine states…oh wait, what? It states “it is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began in the Church.” Well on the bright side, Bott did get his own fairly comprehensive Wikipedia page out of the whole ordeal.

The Ivory Tower and the End of Aesthetics

29 Feb

Just like Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, Fredric Jameson represents a dying breed. As one of the few surviving hardcore marxist theorists, Jameson has established himself as a force to be reckoned with–but certainly not one to be read. Since he has published over 20 books it is better to just hear him talk. Tonight he spoke to a dangerously overcrowded auditorium in the International House at UC Berkeley as part of the Townsend Lecture Series. Jameson attempted to characterize our current age (the third stage of capitalism or postmodernity). In order to do this he threw out some pretty flippant statements like claiming that there is no more art, philosophy, or ethics. We have also apparently lost all sense of temporality (time) as everything has been reduced to the (present) moment and the body. The focus on the singularity of the moment is, in Jameson’s estimation, evidenced in art installations (seemingly random collections of crap thrown together) that are not to be preserved or archived, museums that compile various artifacts together in new contexts that are ever-changing, flash mobs and films that focus on a series of moments of spectacular effects instead of narrative (yes, we mean you Michael Bay). But most tellingly he characterized the present age with finance capital’s baby from hell: the derivative.

The new mutant nonproduct of the derivative has completely changed the global financial landscape and is a singular (always distinct and changing) and unprecedented means of betting on betting that eventually screwed us all over, as its abuse resulted in the economic crisis of 2008. Jameson reminded us of Warren Buffet’s quote that derivatives “are financial weapons of mass destruction.” So there you go. You are living in a postmodern world and with no sense of future and nostalgia instead of real history you are living in the moment more than you might have realized. Either that or you have no sympathy for an aging marxist.

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