We may hate to admit it, but most of us get really into reality TV. The juicier the dirt, that trashier the catfights, and the more surprising the outcome the better. We all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to reality TV. In fact, some reality shows are so common and so "normal" that it's easy to forget that you are even watching reality TV. I used to really get into a show called Orange County Choppers, about a bunch of guys customizing motorcycles and if someone asked me why I was into this particular reality show, I would have insisted that it was not a reality show. Reality television in the US has deviated so far from actual reality that we mentally associate reality TV with women getting into fistfights with one another, Twitter battles, husband stealing, weave-pulling, and general ridiculousness. A reality show where a bunch of people are living their lives normally cannot really be reality TV can it?
Jackie is up to her usual plotting. She befriends archenemy Draya in the first episode and then turns around and sets her up for a fight.
Well, Basketball Wives LA is very far removed from Orange County Choppers, but it's just as entertaining (albeit for different reasons). Basketball Wives LA (a show on VH1) delves into the lives of the women associated with some of the biggest names in professional basketball. They are mostly girlfriends, baby mamas, and jumpoffs (starter girlfriends, not serious), but there are a few actual wives. The stars of the show are Jackie Christie, wife of retired Laker (also played for Sacramento and the Clippers) Doug Christie, and her nemesis Draya Michele. Jackie comes across as controlling and self-centered, while Draya is constructed as a shallow and vapid "ho." Naturally, Jackie, who has been married to her husband for more than eighteen years and has three children, should get into some sort of conflict with Draya, who is always scantily-clad and characterized by careful editing as some sort of husband-snatching vixen, when she actually comes across as one of the more genuine and honest of the women.
So why talk about this? There has been heated discussion in the last ten years about the impact that mainstream media (e.g. television, movies, video games) has on the American people. It would be nice to say that people are able to think for themselves and they watch television for pure entertainment purposes, but it seems evident (to me at least), that most people are sheep looking for someone to model themselves after. That said, do American networks have a social responsibility to broadcast media that is boring and dated respectable and upstanding or should we let them broadcast whatever they want, within the lines of decency regulations?
This is a difficult subject because the reality is that certain elements of American culture seem to spiraling out of control. Seedier American cultural elements, like reality TV, are being marketed as cheap, mindless fare, and they are playing to the lowest common denominator: the desire, even among educated people, to see adults getting into fights for little or no reason at all, name-calling, basically all of the sort of things that most of us would never do in ordinary life. As this sort of programming has become more common, the broadcasting has become more and more base and revolting. There is little or no thought put into this cheaply-produced but extremely popular programming, other than coming up with some trivial reason for why the women got into an altercation in the first place. This programming is also a great equalizer because we can all watch it and get into it, from the least educated to the most educated.
Frankly, Basketball Wives is not as egregious as say Bad Girls Club, but it is sad and alarming interesting that young women (young people in general), heck, even forty-something adults, seem to be modeling themselves after these seemingly perfect, very surgerized characters that seem to be living a hot and exiting life. Are we all idiots? What should we do?
All those sexy librarians at the reference desk are hiding some hairy beavers, guys! Photo Credit: Jen Chung/Gothamist
What do you do when you are a retailer, sales are down in the lucrative Winter sales season, and you have so many shiny window-fronts in trendy neighborhoods of New York like SoHo, NoMad, the Meatpacking District, and the Van Beardswyck section of Brooklyn? Well, clearly you come up with a shocking mannequin display to alarm people into remembering that your store exists and perhaps even walking inside so they can by some leggings or some plaid skorts made in LA.
Well, this shock-value tactic (a really, really old trick) seems to be what American Apparel used this week when they revealed their window display at one of their SoHo locations. First noted by Gothamist two days ago, the display features mannequins wearing sheer panties and showing off their hairy beavers. Beavers so hairy, in fact, that the dark black hair protrudes out of the side of the panties.
Let me take a break from trying to be both an objective reporter and cynical and interject my own personal opinion that the hairiness of the aforementioned beavers is so out of order that it really is ridiculous. If they were going that route, why didn't they just paste some hair on the legs and the armpits, too? Seems sort of half-assed to me. I mean, what self-respecting super hairy woman would shave everything except her pubic forest? I think she would leave the hair on her legs and upper lip, too you know, to make a point. And the purpose of sheer panties seems to me to be as utilitarian as ass-less chaps.
Oh, and the Van Beardwyck section of Brooklyn is totally made-up, it's from an episode of 30 Rock! (via gothamist)
You may think you have seen it all, but you have not, I assure you. The picture above is not from the reject reel of RuPaul's Drag Race, it is a screengrab of an Australian masker. What is that, you ask? Read on, comrade. The rabbit hole goes very deep. Very deep, indeed? Take the blue pill! Or the red pill! Whichever one leads you someplace else!
Ah, yes. The much spoken of English Rose! You might learn something Australian masker above.
We have all heard about Furries, Cosplay, Body Modification, Black Market butt injections, but the Maskers are a crowd that seem to combine elements of all of these. A "Masker" apparently is a man that dresses in a costume to resemble a blow-up doll, a costume that includes wearing an actual mask with holes for the eyes, mouth, and nose.
The choker was a nice touch, Miss!
This seems to be a form of fetishism, but I have to be honest when I admit that all I know about the lifestyle comes from the clips below and a quick (and can I say alarming?) Google search. These clips are taken from an upcoming British Channel 4 documentary entitled Secrets of the Living Dolls. In this series we will apparently be introduced to several men all over the world that engage in this practice, which does not only include dressing up, but also SALINE INJECTIONS! I'm surprised that there was not a Nip/Tuck episode about this. (via toplessrobot)
Wendy's is one of several fast food retailers (including McDonald's) facing striking workers and organizers.
Ok, so I am a little late on this one since, according to the New York Times, wage strikes at fast food companies have been planned since at least November/December, but it didn't really hit me until I experienced the effects myself. No, I am not referring to a Wendy's worker refusing to give me my triple baconator because she was on strike. It was so much worse! On my way home from work in Lower Manhattan yesterday afternoon, I found my passage down William St to the A train station blocked by a gathering of ruckus-makers (I'm getting old!), flashing lights from police cars, and very apathetic NYPD officers. Yes, the strikers had gathered outside of the local Wendy's location and were chanting "No Justice! No Peace!" or "Hell, no, we won't go!" or something equally ridiculous.
No, I'm not trying to be cynical (Yes, I am), but c'mon I hate my job and the last thing I need as I race to the subway station to get as far away as possible from the evil fortress where I work is my way obstructed by people striking in front of Wendy's of all fucking places. Strike in front of Chase (two blocks away) or Goldman Sachs or something. Don't strike in front of Wendy's. Have some perspective. Or at least consider all the hungry fat people. And what makes matters worse is that apparently what they want is fast food workers' wages raised to $15 bucks an hour. Really? $15 bucks an hour to make Type 2 diabetes-inducing Frosties? Yeah, good luck with that. When I was temping as a paralegal I was only making $14 an hour and I had to deal with blood-sucking attorneys all day.
And to lighten the mood a little bit, I present you with a picture of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon looking ridiculous in evening wear while they wade in a full pool of water on the cover of Ebony Magazine (via dlisted)!
Mariah and Nick's love is still going strong. I bet they don't eat at Wendy's anyway.
The Bonobos Guide Shop in Georgetown, DC. Photo Credit: Men's Flair.
Top online retailer Bonobos has expanded their lineup of guideshops with a second New York location. If you recall, Oh forgetful follower, the first Bonobos guideshop in these parts popped up on West 25th St a couple years ago; well now that site is joined by a little baby brother on Crosby Street. Haven't been there yet but Google Maps is showing me that the 35 Crosby St location is about three blocks down from the Carhartt WIP store and that Housing Works bookstore just south of Houston St.
What is a guideshop you ask? I thought the first Bonobos guideshop was sorta like a pop-up shop, which were super popular at the time, with pop-up shops, of course, being brief retail spots that appear and disappear relatively quickly but serve as a convenient way for newer retailers/designers to show off their wares. Bonobos is practically a Blue Ivy Carter, having been founded in 2007, but it's quickly become the purveyor of the favorite pairs of pants of lots of guys that I know. Anyways, the W. 25th St guideshop was not a pop-up shop, as it is, indeed, still at the same location, and has been joined by several similar shops all across the country (including the location at Georgetown, shown above).
I love Bonobos pants. They are snug without the boa constriction of slim fit pants. Plus, they leave enough room in the carriage for guys like me that actually have butt tissue. To digress: I love how its almost impossible to go to a mainstream store these days and find pants that are NOT slim fit. I can understand Urban Outfitters only selling slim fits pants/jeans, but c'mon J. Crew? You, too! I tried to buy a pair of khakis for work from the Columbus Circle Men's Shop and I said I did not want slim fit and the salesgirl looked at me like I had just asked her for a fucking Tickle Me Elmo. Anyways, guys, I love Bonobos and I recommend checking out their guideshops, where a Bonobos rep is there to guide you in finding the right outfit for your rear and you can try some stuff on. See, in spite of the digression I actually explained what a guideshop was. Check out the Guideshop locations at Bonobos.com/guideshop.
Plaque commemorating Barbara Johns, the 16-year old girl whose actions sparked the landmark case Davis vs. County School Board of Prince Edward County.
For many Americans, segregation seems like something out of a dusty history book, involving people long ago or places far away. We have all seen the black and white videos on 60 Minutes or other news programs of hoses turned on African-Americans or others protesting de jure inequality in our country (the black and white pictures and video do not help things seem real and recent, do they?). Apartheid in South Africa, a similar historical period, seems like something much more recent and relevant to people today. Yet, the reality is that segregation in the United States was not fully disestablished until fifty years ago, during many of your parents' or your own lifetimes. Many of the Black students who walked out of their segregated schools in protest are still alive today, as are many of the people who fought to keep the system in place. In interesting picture of the realities of segregation can be gleamed from the story of Prince Edward County, a small county in central Virginia, that was a hotbed of resistance to desegregation.
Blanche Kelso Bruce (1841-1898), a county native, born a slave, who became the first Half-Negroe full-term senator of the United States. Shaking my head at the term "Half-Negroe".
Prince Edward County has been for much of its history primarily an agricultural place. It is notable as the county of origin of several Confederate officers, of Blanche Kelso Bruce - the first "Half-Negro" full-term United States Senator (from 1875 - 1881), and as a center of the so-called Massive Resistance Movement in Virginia in the 50s and 60s. The Massive Resistance Movement occurred in response to Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Ed in 1954, which declared segregated schools to be unconstitutional in the United States. In fact, a local case, Davis vs. County School Board of Prince Edward County, was one of several cases incorporated into Brown vs. Board of Ed when the later case was heard by the Supreme Court. In Davis, the state court of Virginia rejected the suit by Black students at a segregated high school, who claimed that high school in Prince Edward County must be integrated in order to create equal conditions. The state court claimed that the state of Virginia was making every attempt to create equal conditions at the Black school. Brown vs. Board of Ed overturned the state court's decision, therefore requiring Virginia to integrated its schools.
Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, younger brother of George III of Great Britain and the namesake of the county. How appropriate.
Brown vs. Board of Ed was not received sitting down in Virginia (did I butcher that expression???). As a part of the Massive Resistance Movement, the State of Virginia granted tuition grants to white students in Virginia so that they might attend private white academies rather than the soon-to-be integrated schools. Sort of clever, actually, because it meant that the White segregated schools would now only have Black students, essentially reverting to being Black schools only with different names than they had before. The newly-formed White academies were informally known as "segregation academies" since they existed solely for the White students who would no longer be attending public schools. This private education for Whites was actually paid for by the State of Virginia with the tuition grants. Prince Edward County, notably, took this resistance movement one step further in 1959 by refusing to appropriate any funds at all for the public schools, essentially closing down the school district and shuttering all educational opportunities for Black children in the county.
The Prince Edward County School District remained shut down until 1964, for five years, during which time Black students had to travel outside the county to be educated or not be educated at all. The NAACP stepped up by opening a school to educate Black children in 1963. Naturally, however, this issue had to be taken back to the Supreme Court, who decided unanimously in 1964 that the county was thereby ordered to reopen its schools or have its officers face prosecution. Permit me a break from objectivity by saying: Nice job Supreme Court! This ended the Massive Resistance Movement in Virginia. Wow, kind of a fascinating story for a small out of the way county in the Upper South, huh?
Tongues in Asgard are awagging at the thought that there might be some sausage stuffing going on in the hallowed back rooms of the dwelling place of the gods. Yep, Thor and Loki are playing a game of hide the wiener schnitzel, at least according to this Chinese poster from Marvel's latest comic movie: Thor 2: The Dark World or whatever it's called. I hate to steal another blogging site's thunder but I have to LOL at dlisted referring to this as Brokeback Asgard: The Passion of the Hammer. Wow. Just wow. Thor 2 stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. (via dlisted)
Wait, aren't Thor and Loki supposed to be BROTHERS!!! GAH!!!
By now, many of you have heard that Heidi Montag recently took a trip to the operating room, again, for another boob job. But this time it was actually for a breast reduction as she decided to take her breasts down a notch (or two) from the Double Fs (Yes, F. Not D but F) down to a comfortable and manageable pair of C cups. This is all very ridiculous, I know, as even C cups are pretty substantial for such a petite woman, but I just cannot get over the fact that she actually had F-cups. That's awesome! I mean... um... horrible... That's so horrible. Honestly, I am only posting this as it presents such a rare opportunity to put up the great pic of Heidi with North Korea's First Family: The Kims. I love this pic. She looks so despondent! (via dailymail)
Never stop beliebing... um... I mean, believing, everybody! If you dream that one day soon you will lose your virginity, it can happen! Justin Bieber dreamt such a dream and it came true. He hooked up with a Brazilian whore while on tour. Yeah, he had to pay for it with good ole American green, but once you get that first notch under your belt it's all smooth sailing from there. A few weeks ago, a Brazilian woman claimed that she had slept with the Biebs while he was touring in her country and most people didn't believe it. She basically admitted that she was a hooker and no one hated her for it. #GETMONEYBITCH! But now she has proof.
According to the Daily Mail, via dlisted, the woman's name is Tati Neves and she is not a prostitute. Apparently she is one of ten girls that the Biebs brought back to his room while he was touring in Rio. Ok, so maybe the Biebs didn't sleep with her after all? Maybe they just played Nintendo for a few hours and fell asleep? It seems that this latter possibility may be the case because Ms. Neves has video of Mr. Bieber sleeping. In the fetal position of course. All that vagina can be traumatizing if your not really into that sort of thing. (via dlisted)