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A Critical Analysis of P!nks’s “Family Portrait”

My favorite tidbit about Alecia Moore, nee P!nk, now Pink, is from her E! True Hollywood Story that aired many years ago. ! says with all sincerity that when she was 8 years old, her house was a warzone, and if she was her mother, she would have kicked her out too. How anyone could leave little ! out on the street I cannot fathom, but taken in she was and now we as a society on the whole are paying for it.

There was a time in the early 2000s that ! decided to get really raw.  She paired with Four Non Blondes lead Linda Perry and spit out some truly deep 8-year-old ! jams.  Perry said this about working with !. “In the beginning I just said: ‘What do you feel?’, and she (!) would just sit behind the piano and sing.” Wow. Linda Perry bringing it home. And even though they are famously feuding now (due to Perry working with rival Christina “X-Tina” Aguilera on ‘Beautiful’) Perry and ! were able to create an album so full of high-school angst and sadness that it had no choice to go platinum. It’s like the whole thing took place under the bleachers of a run down high school in the Midwest (Go Tigers!).

Lyrics:

“Family Portrait”

Uh, uh, some deep shit, uh, uh

Momma please stop cryin, I can’t stand the sound
Your pain is painful and its tearin’ me down
I hear glasses breakin as I sit up in my bed
I told dad you didn’t mean those nasty things you
said

You fight about money, bout me and my brother
And this I come home to, this is my shelter
It ain’t easy growin up in World War III
Never knowin what love could be, you’ll see
I don’t want love to destroy me like it has done
my family

Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Mommy I’ll do anything
Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t
leave

Daddy please stop yellin, I can’t stand the sound

Make mama stop cryin, cuz I need you around
My mama she loves you, no matter what she says
its true
I know that she hurts you, but remember I love
you, too

I ran away today, ran from the noise, ran away
Don’t wanna go back to that place, but don’t have
no choice, no way
It ain’t easy growin up in World War III
Never knowin what love could be, well I’ve seen
I don’t want love to destroy me like it did my
family

Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Mommy I’ll do anything
Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t
leave

In our family portrait, we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, let’s act like it comes
naturally
I don’t wanna have to split the holidays
I don’t want two addresses
I don’t want a step-brother anyways
And I don’t want my mom to have to change her
last name

In our family portrait we look pretty happy
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
In our family portrait we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally

In our family portrait we look pretty happy
(Can we work it out? Can we be a family?)
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
(I promise I’ll be better, Mommy I’ll do
anything)
In our family portrait we look pretty happy
(Can we work it out? Can we be a family?)
Let’s play pretend act and like it comes so
naturally
(I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t
leave)
In our family portrait we look pretty happy
(Can we work it out? Can we be a family?)
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
(I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t
leave)

Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Turn around please
Remember that the night you left you took my
shining star?
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Don’t leave us here alone

Mom will be nicer
I’ll be so much better, I’ll tell my brother
Oh, I won’t spill the milk at dinner
I’ll be so much better, I’ll do everything right
I’ll be your little girl forever
I’ll go to sleep at night

Conclusion:

Oh ! . You’ve been through some real deep shit haven’t you. Real deep shit. ! really does love equating her familial situation to wars. I highly doubt that ! ‘s childhood was anything like what WWIII will be like. Thankfully ! has given us some ways to help avoid what will most likely be a humanity-ending nuclear war.

Ways to Prevent WWIII by !:
– Go to sleep at night
– Don’t spill the milk at dinner
– Stay a little girl forever
– Make all moms be nicer

Listen, I know having two addresses might get confusing in an emergency. I know you’re going through some real deep shit. But honestly ! , this is silly. The lyrics are so confusing that it’s hard to tell who is at fault here. If mom is breaking too many glasses, if the kids are fighting too much, if Christina Aguilera is also at fault for her shitty childhood.

Let’s look at the video:

Wow. It’s like that little girl in the video is supposed to be you, !.  That’s some real deep shit. I think that this commenter on youtube can sum it up way better than I ever could:

“well, acctually no, she wouldn’t. she has told, that she was very young when she wrote the song and that these were the feeling she felt back then and that all the family drama made her who she is now, an artist.
And you wouldn’t call her stupid nor bitch, when your parents would fight ALL THE TIME and when you would be thorn in the middel of it all…it’s people like you, who make me feel that our society is stupid and, well doomed!”

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The Solution to Childhood Obesity: A Study

After recently watching HBO’s “Weight of a Nation”, I started thinking a lot about the epidemic of Childhood Obesity. As an obese child that grew into an even more obese adult, it’s hard to separate my own experience from that of the nation as a whole. Privileged and white, I never had to deal with McDonalds being the only available food option because of it’s cost. I have every opportunity to be healthy, but I wasn’t and that was rare in 1993. Looking back now I can only pinpoint one major factor as to why obesity was so rare when I was a child, and now, it is literally killing our nation’s youth.

The Skip-It.

The Skip-It was discontinued in 2009 and I don’t want to directly blame the childhood obesity epidemic on it’s halt in production, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

A staple of Nickelodeon broadcasting throughout the late 80s and 90s, the Skip-It was essentially a horizontal jump rope in which the excited child would swing around their leg and try to jump over the large ball attached on its end. And the greatest part of all…well…I’ll let the commercial tell you.

The greatest part of all, the COUNTER IS ON THE BALL.

If only the kids of the new millennium would know the joy of harshly knocking your ankle against a hard piece of plastic spinning around your 9 year old limbs as fast as possible. If only they knew the sheer glee of feeling the harsh, concrete ridden surface of the once-smooth skip-it ball counter scrape your fingers when you pick it up to check the counts.

This exercise themed toy culture has gone by the wayside and as a result our children have become less active.

Now I don’t want to blame this all on the Bop-It but…

The lack of physicality involved is damning.

Reasons Ernest Hemingway is Cooler Than You

Hemingway is one cool freakin’ dude. A renowned literary badass, he could literally wipe the floor clean with the likes of Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich. That was a man who lived his writing. And when his life wasn’t interesting enough, he went out and threw himself head first into war zones and battlefields. But in recent years, Hemingway’s basassery has not fared as well in cinema and television. He’s basically been broken down into a series of costume choices and key phrases and actions. All of these things are essentially “Hemingwayian”, yet at the same time extremely trite and generic.

So I’m going to help you out if you ever find yourself in a situation wondering whether or not the person you are talking or if you yourself are in fact Ernest Hemingway.

Are you Ernest Hemingway Question List:

Do you have a mustache?

Are you with a woman who is self-assured and possibly wearing high waisted pants?

Are you drinking copiously?

Are you smoking a cigar?

Are you playing Russian roulette with an actual Russian?

Still Drinking?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may or may not be or be with Ernest Hemingway. I suggest you tread lightly as he is prone to comic and over-exaggerated outbursts.

American Apparel : Stable of Runaways

American Apparel advertising is unique. Just as Abercrombie and Fitch all those years ago decided to use gay porn in place of actual advertising, American Apparel has decided to use pictures of runaway girls they found on the freeway enacting various rape scenarios. American Apparel is, in general, a disturbing company in and of itself. Between the creepy sales employees, the CEO Dov Charney’s various sexual harassment lawsuits and the fact that you should never trust a place with so many bright leotards that isn’t a dance studio, American Apparel gives me the creeps.

In order to decipher their advertising, and bring a few girls home to their families, let’s take a look at some of their runaways.

Becca:

Becca is originally from Portland, Oregon and after a terrible fight with her father about her curfew, she decided to take her love of Charles Manson and the Manson girls on the road. She spent 64 days in a VW Bus before Dov Charney found her digging through the dumpsters behind a Shakey’s Pizza Parlour in Van Nuys.

Britt:

This is Britt. Britt was head of the Pep team at East Texas High in Austin until after a particularly rough fight with her father over whether or not she “Would Be Leaving the House in THAT outfit Missy!”. Britt hitchhiked across the lower part of the United States using only her sexuality and the 44 dollars she had in her sock drawer. Dov Charney found Britt somewhere outside of Pheonix at a Days Inn begging for scraps of leftover Bagels from the Continental Breakfast.

Emily:

This is Emily. Murdered in 1986 after a fight with her boyfriend at the Colonial Bowling Lanes in Iowa City, Dov Charney was able to scrape up these crime scene photos before the police roped off the scene. Thrifty that Dov Charney is, thrifty.

Rainn:

This is Rainn. Born Rebecca Smith Anderson to Bob and Kathy Anderson from Fairfield County, Connecticut, Rainn followed the Backstreet Boys around the country in a beat up old Honda until a drifter named Skurt introduced her to Mushrooms. Dev Charney found Rainn sleeping on a playground slide near the California/Mexico border.

Trevor

This is Trevor. These shots were taken just moments before Dov Charney led him into what can only be described as a “Colorful Vinyl Gay Nightmare”. Trevor was head of the debate team at Rich High School in Randolph, Utah until a Craigslist ad posted by Dov Charney convinced him that the National Forensics League had a  headquarters in the San Fernando Valley and that he should “not tell anyone” and “come and pick up your award in person”.

 

For reference, this is Dov Charney:

A Critical Analysis of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”

Bieber-Fever. While his music career reaches it’s ripe old age, we are now as a nation witness to the infancy of his manhood. With Usher as his “swagger” coach, Biebs is trying to make that transition from tween superstar into Justin Timberlake. I mean in the pic above he has 3 buttons undone! And hey girl, look how confused he is about his love for you. You can tell by the way he runs his fingers through his hair. He undid those buttons for you, girl.

Unfortunately, he is no Justin Timberlake. His latest effort into reaching manhood is his new single “Boyfriend”. Produced by the ever-catchy Mike Posner, this song stands alone as one of the more idiotic tracks I’ve ever heard. From it’s strange progression to it’s odd lyrics, I don’t think that “boyfriend” is going to be the crossover hit into manhood that the Bieber team is expecting.

I usually direct the class to focus on the lyrics as we go through these critical analysis, but for this instance, I also would like you to listen to the backing track.

Listen for an abundance of this:

Now that you have the endless owl hooting in your head, let’s look at the lyrics.

“Boyfriend”
B If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go
I can take you places you ain’t never been before
Baby take a chance or you’ll never ever know
I got money in my hands that I’d really like to blow
Swag swag swag, on you
Chillin by the fire why we eatin’ fondue
I dunno about me but I know about you
So say hello to falsetto in three two

[Pre-Chorus]
I’d like to be everything you want
Hey girl, let me talk to you

[Chorus]
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone
I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, I’d never let you go

[Verse 2]
Tell me what you like yeah tell me what you don’t
I could be your Buzz Lightyear fly across the globe
I don’t never wanna fight yeah, you already know
I am ‘ma a make you shine bright like you’re laying in the snow
Burr
Girlfriend, girlfriend, you could be my girlfriend
You could be my girlfriend until the —- world ends
Make you dance do a spin and a twirl and
Voice goin crazy on this hook like a whirl wind
Swaggie

[Pre-Chorus]
I’d like to be everything you want
Hey girl, let me talk to you

[Chorus]
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl you’d never be alone
I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, I’d never let you go

[Bridge]
So give me a chance, ‘cause you’re all I need girl
Spend a week wit your boy I’ll be calling you my girlfriend
If I was your man, I’d never leave you girl
I just want to love you, and treat you right

[Chorus]
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl you’d never be alone
I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, never let you go

Na na na, na na na, na na na
Ya girl
Na na na, na na na, na na na ey
Na na na, na na na, na na na ey
Na na na, na na na, na na na ey

If I was your boyfriend

Conclusion

Things that Justin Bieber is going to make you do:
-Chill by the fire and eat fondue
-Make you dance, do a spin and a twirl
-Make you shine bright while you’re lying in the snow, burr.

I’m going to completely avoid the Buzz Lightyear reference that he makes and really focus on the crux of the song. “Burr”.
He literally let’s us know the temperature of snow. Oh Justin. Thank you for your assistance. And “thank you” might not be the right word. Let’s try “burr”. So burr Justin. Burr.

It’s so hard to legitimize a song where the last 5 lines are na na na na na, ya girl, na na na na ey.
If you need me, I’ll be in the ICU holding the music industry’s hand as it takes its final breaths, chest heaving, lips chapped as it slowly slips away.

And if that image doesn’t do it for you, the music video is below:

Look at all that ear-biting and whispering. Oh girl, burr. Burr.
One has to love Justin Bieber, looking like a lesbian Bruno Mars, freak dancing next to a sports car.

To Be Sarsgaarded, To Be Devine

Many years ago a man burst into the world of cinema, accompanied only by his charming looks and trustworthy face. Since then, he’s made a career out of playing the man that every heroine is so quick to trust.

But there is a darker side to the man known as Peter Sarsgaard. And that side is utilized in almost every major motion picture in which he so charmingly and trustworthily appears.

The phenomena is called “being Sarsgaarded”.

“Sarsgaarded” – Verb. To be lulled into a false sense of trust, only to be betrayed with 15 minutes left in the film.

Below is a trusty guide for you, dear readers, so that you may be more prepared than I among viewings of Peter Sarsgaard films, and so that we may never allow ourselves to be tricked by he, or is droopy-dog looking wife Maggie Gyllenhall (of the Gyllenhalls) again.

SPOILER ALERT

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Peter plays John Lotter, the boyfriend of Chole Sevigney’s character. After discovering that Hilary Swank has been dressing as a man and is in fact Teena Brandon, a woman, the harmless boyfriend quickly beats and rapes Teena Brandon before eventually shooting her dead. Boom. Sarsgaarded.

The Skeleton Key (2005)

This time around our man plays “Luke Marshall”, a kind and friendly lawyer that Kate Hudson confides in after she suspects some serious foul-play at the home of the Louisiana couple she has been taking care of. She believes that the wife has put a curse on her husband and is now trying to kill her. After sleeping with Sarsgaard, Kate quickly comes to learn that he is not who he says he was, and he is in cahoots with the old woman to steal her mortality. He betrays her and eventually succeeds in allowing the old woman to take over her body. Boom. Sarsgaarded.

Flightplan (2005)

In the Jodie Foster “i can’t find my child” flick Flightplan, Sarsgaard provides us with a one/two punch. Coming out right after The Skeleton Key, Sarsgaard plays US Air Marshall Carson, whom, as Kate Hudson did, becomes the confidante of Jodie Foster after she believes her daughter is missing and no one will believe her. After some extensive investigating, she finally finds out the truth: that she, and us the audience, have once again been Sarsgaarded by his slight Southern Drawl. It turns out that Sarsgaard is the one who kidnapped her daughter in order to bring down Foster and blow up the plane because of her work in Aviation. We also learned that he killed her husband as well, which prompted the trip in the first place. Boom. Sarsgaarded.

Year of the Dog (2007)

Surely a harmless Molly Shannon Indie Comedy will not lead to the betrayal and heartbreak that we have felt film-after-film with our charming friend Pete. Wrong. Pete plays “Newt”, the friendly man from the Animal Shelter who Molly Shannon has a crush on after her dog is put down. They share a kiss and her crush grows. When she finally confesses her love to him…whoops…bam…he’s gay. Boom. Sarsgaarded Molly Shannon. You and all of us.

An Education (2009)

We are once again led down the path to Sarsgaard in the breakout hit, “An Education”. After falling in love with charming older man “David Goldman”,  Carrie Mulligan’s 16-year-old “Jenny Mellor” gives up her studies and drops out of school. Sarsgaard, as “David Goldman” is extremely charming at first, but Mulligan soon finds out that he’s a con man and makes his money through schemes and the like. She’s still fine with this lifestyle and is actually enchanted by it. We as an audience feel we’ve dodged a bullet. It’s no secret he’s a conman. And it’s okay. It’s like Bonnie and Clyde! They love each other. But as we know, never trust a Sarsgaard. We were double conned and it turns out the conman is also married with a family and ends up breaking our girl Carrie Mulligan’s heart.  Boom. Sarsgaard.

Green Lantern (2011)

I have to admit, I did not watch this heaping pile of cinematic garbage. But from the first 20 minutes that I could make it through I learned that Blake Lively is pretending to be a pilot and not a blow-up doll? Also we learned that Sarsgaard is nerdy and reclusive. But then he is recruited by the government and I assume that by the end he turns evil and enacts some kind of huge betrayal.

Now in this advanced day and age, we’ve moved past merely being tricked by Sarsgaard himself. There is a new phenomena called “Sarsgaard Adjacent”.

Sarsgaard Adjacent – Adjective. Being in a film with or sharing similar name structure to Peter Sarsgaard therefore rendering you a sneak who will only bring about betrayal.

Vera Farmiga

Vera appeared in the horror film “Orphan” with Peter Sarsgaard and was betrayed by him when he wouldn’t believe her that the child that they had adopted was trying to kill her. He was eventually murdered by the Orphan girl, with Vera barely escaping with her life so she could in turn Sarsgaard George Clooney in the film “Up in the Air” when she doesn’t tell him that she is married with a family after they fall in love.

Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard shares a name so close to Peter, he must be a betrayer. I don’t watch True Blood, but I assume he’s done a lot of weird, deceptive vampire shit, turned some hookers into vamps and generally fucked people over. But his real betrayal comes in the film remake, “Straw Dogs”, in which he plays Kate Bosworth’s charming old high-school boyfriend. Until he rapes her and tries to murder her and her husband with his bigoted band of locals. Boom. Another Kate been Sarsgaarded by Skarsgard. Double zing!

Somebody Please Tell Zooey Deschanel that it is Raining


The ever “adorkable” Zooey Deschanel has really made a power play for cornering the market on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype. At any given time she can be found at a trader joe’s, not understanding the rules of dating or just ‘chiling watching football’ with her 3 best guy friends. You see she likes being friends with girls, but guys are just so much less drama. That’s why she wears football jerseys and skips around in Men’s briefs.

So it was a clear choice for Apple for their new Siri iPhone campaigns to pick her. I mean who could they get that is the polar opposite of Samuel L. Jackson? Our girl Zooey, that’s who. Who better to represent an application that involves asking your cell phone silly questions?

Commercials Below:

Oh Zooey.
You really need your phone to tell you, while you are looking outside, whether or not it is raining?

I think the best way to get through this as a group is to just identify the hipster alternative things that she is peddling to us and move past them.

Zooey’s list of quirky quirks via the ghost of Steve Jobs:
– Formal Pink Silk Pajamas
– Home Delivered Tomato Soup
– Weird peach slippers
– Cutely contorting your face while looking out of the window
– Mandolins hanging from the walls
– A banjo on the piano bench
– Bright Red Lipstick
– Old Timey Music
– Bangs

What is truly amazing to me is that this commercial is shot with absolutely no sense of irony. The Sam Jackson one is a little funny, wry and totally passable. The Zooey D ad looks like a Saturday Night Live sketch sans Abby Elliot’s surprisingly not terrible impersonation.

How can we all go about our lives while this is happening on our televisions?
What if Samuel L. was tweeting our collective national rage at Zooey D. through Siri?
Check out the twitters that this rage has spawned.