Posts filed under ‘Pop Culture’

Help Wanted (2010)

This California schoolgirl
Feels like Tom Hanks in Big
Dreams of purging and flying
Is at once worldly and naïve
Lacks bargaining power

Needs agency.

August 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

Team Snooki: “Jersey Shore” Returns for Round 2 on July 29

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino called her “a chihuahua spray-painted black.” Cathy Horyn, a journalist for The New York Times, likened her to “a turnip turned on its tip” and described her as “incapable of serious introspection.”  A grown man punched her in the face.

Standing a mere 4 feet and 9 inches tall, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is ethnically ambiguous (turns out she’s of Chilean descent but was adopted by Italian American parents), sexually curious, and outright boisterous.  She wears her hair in a signature bouffant, a smaller version of which can be seen on nearly every member of the 12-20 female demographic.  Snooki is the only member of the Jersey Shore cast to have her own Wikipedia page, and fans around the world eagerly await the August release of her talking bobble head.  She is like the fake-tanned, pint-sized version of reality princess Tiffany “New York” Pollard:  With plenty of curves in all the right places and a strange fascination with pickles, Snooki has a penchant for grabbing attention and inciting drama.

Message boards on YouTube and all the gossip sites are littered with trash talk about the self-proclaimed “guidette,” but Snooki seems to take it all in stride.  Although she battled an eating disorder in high school, Snooki maintains a relatively healthy body image, especially for a young woman under the media’s ruthless magnifying glass.

I hope the reality star has more hook-ups and fewer bruises this season, and I’m elated that she’s already signed on for round 3.  Jersey Shore would not be nearly as wet or as wild without her.

July 27, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Goo Goo for Gaga

Have you ever liked someone as a friend or acquaintance or even distant contact and—FLASH! BAM! ALAKAZAM!—all of a sudden and without warning, you felt much more strongly?

Lady Gaga, I think I love you.

I fought the feeling at first. I considered her act wannabe Madonna and wondered when her 15 minutes of fame would run out. I dissed “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” and even called her outfits and performance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards “outright ridiculous.”

But I have since changed my mind. Lady Gaga is like a lascivious mutant love child of Madonna, Elton John, Gwen Stefani, Cher, and David Bowie. Her performances are completely over-the-top, her voice is spectacularly versatile, her wardrobe is bizarre/sexy/original/fearless, and she identifies as bisexual. Her music defies genre, and her sexuality transcends social constructs.

Not to be arrogant, but I’m pretty sure Lady Gaga would want to have sex with me if she and I knew each other. Gaga seems like the kind of woman who gets around—not in a slutty way but in a cosmopolitan, open-minded sort of way. And although she’s admitted having sexual relationships with women (see the Barbara Walters interview), she has only been in love with men. Sounds like someone I know.

So, Gaga, hire me as your entertainment lawyer or personal trainer or backup dancer or—better yet—conjoined twin. I run circles around Alejandro.

July 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm 2 comments

Awkward Facebook Moments #1-3

It’s totally awkward…

#1 …when someone unacceptably rejects a friend request

Sometimes it’s not okay to not be someone’s friend. We all have different thresholds of who we will “accept” as friends on Facebook, but I think a vast majority of people would agree with me that “rejecting” or “quietly ignoring” the following people is unacceptable:  someone you’ve slept with (assuming, of course, there’s no drama involved); a close friend from high school, even if you haven’t spoken for many years; a family member you’re on at least mildly decent terms with; a fourth-grade “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”; a friend’s pet or child or sibling; someone with the same first and last name as you; someone who accompanies a friend request with a totally clever message explaining why you don’t know him but should “accept” anyway.

So remember: The next time you log onto your account, think twice before rejecting or ignoring. Karma is a bitch (See awkward moment #3).

#2…when you’re in a relationship but not “in a relationship”

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I just don’t get it. I understand not putting “in a relationship” or even “it’s complicated” when “it’s” legitimately complicated or not too serious, but when two people are in a bona fide relationship, there should be some indication thereof (and leaving relationship status completely blank doesn’t count). Unless your profile is completely bare-bones, hiding love behind privacy settings is unfair to you and to your partner.

#3…when you realize you were…D-E-F-R-I-E-N-D-E-D

I’ve been on Facebook since it was called “The Facebook,” so I have quite a few friends. The great thing about having a lot of friends is that you’re much less likely to realize someone’s done the d-word to you. Unless, of course, you happen to be stalking that person. (But only sociopaths with too much time on their hands use Facebook to stalk, right?)

In all seriousness, being “defriended” is awkward as hell, especially if you have no idea as to why. It’s happened to me at least once (that I know of…eek!), and I remember thinking, “Hmmm…glad I’ll never be stumbling into you again.” Then I realized that the awkwardness would really be on the “defriender” and not the “defriendee” if the two were to cross paths again.

Think about it: What’s more awkward than bumping right smack into someone you “defriended” unnecessarily? Karma’s a bitch, indeed.

July 8, 2010 at 5:11 am 2 comments

Lolly’s Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs

5. “Black or White” (1991)

“Eat this,” Macaulay Culkin says, in an “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” sort of music video. Call it ironic, call it corny, but it’s the best pro-miscegenation song to date.

4. “The Way You Make Me Feel” (1987)

Work out, groove, or make love to this song: It will provide the appropriate soundtrack.

3. “Will You Be There” (1991/1993)

Michael Jackson released “Will You Be There” in 1991 on Dangerous and in 1993 on the Free Willy soundtrack. The lyrics read like a prayer: “Hold me like the River Jordan”; “Mary, tell me: Will you hold me?” Jackson expresses vulnerability, sorrow, and hopefulness as a gospel choir sings in the background, crescendoing and decrescendoing like ocean waves.

2. The Jackson Five’s “I’ll Be There” (1970)

This love song manages to croon and groove simultaneously.  Michael and Jermaine harmonize perfectly as the lead vocalists, each of their lines flowing forward smoothly and sincerely. I imagine many brides and grooms use these lyrics as an inspiration for vows. I can also vividly envision teens and preteens in the early 70s swaying back and forth to the ballad at school dances. Mariah Carey’s cover of “I’ll Be There” was nominated for a Grammy in 1993.

1. The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” (1969)

Love and/or  lust isn’t as strong as you thought…until it’s gone…and someone else has a chance to do better. Young Michael sang this so sincerely that it almost seemed like he had experienced a broken heart. “I Want You Back” is naïve, honest, and groundbreaking. Like the love interest in this hit, we took Michael’s genius for granted.

I want it back.

June 30, 2010 at 4:10 am 2 comments

Celebrating “Semi-Charmed Life”

In the summer of 1997, my girlfriends and I camped out in a backyard tent and listened to “Semi-Charmed Life” on repeat for several hours. I’m the kind of person who tires after hearing a threshold amount of even the best music (How many times can a person really stand to listen to The Joshua Tree or Thriller?), but this Third-Eye Blind hit has never ceased to astound me.

As thirteen-year-olds, we only somewhat understood the sexually and chemically charged lyrics. Also, the breezy, fast-faced tempo made it difficult to decipher what lead singer Stephan Jenkins was even singing. It didn’t help that we couldn’t just “Google” a line from the song and retrieve the lyrics. I recall mistaking “And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse” with “And it speaks to you like the birds in the forest.”

Now, of course, I realize that “Semi-Charmed Life” is the seminal anthem of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. It was also my brother’s theme song. We played it at his memorial service, and it was awesome to hear “Doin’ crystal meth will lift you up until you break” and “How do I get back there to the place where I fell asleep inside you?” blast in a room full of relatives, young people, old people, Christians, atheists, and floral arrangements.

I went to Newport Beach this past weekend and had a great time slowly running my bare feet through the sand. I thought, “I believe in the sand beneath my toes / The beach gives a feeling / An earthy feeling / I believe in the faith that grows.” I thought about how hard it really seems, sometimes, to get through this bittersweet, ironic, defeating, gratifying, semi-charmed life. I thought about how I can’t not believe that there’s life after death. I simply cannot accept a reality in which I will never see Alex again.

I’m not listening when you say goodbye…

April 1, 2010 at 6:14 am 1 comment

“I’d Rather Keep the Trash and Throw You Out”: Feminine Angstiest Songs #3

See also Feminine Angstiest Songs #2 and #1

“Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)” samples Carly Simon’s quintessential song of feminine angst, “You’re So Vain.” Janet Jackson sings, and Missy Elliott, a veritable hip hop guru, raps. The music video, clearly alluding to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” stars a fleet of undead women. Janet dances in the midst of the ghouls as she stalks her former lover through a creepy mansion, bathroom, and parking garage. She wields a baseball bat, strutting her svelte figure in a sexy outlaw getup. Missy accompanies Janet and the zombie women on this hot pursuit. In an eerily erotic scene, Janet seductively swallows a black spider and growls, “I’d never be your lover / I’d rather make you suffer / You stupid motherfucker.”

Basically, don’t fuck with, lie to, cheat on, steal from, or disrespect these women…unless you want to end up in a “show down, knock down, drag down, gun slugger, shoot ’em up” with demonic damsels. But this post isn’t about you anyway, is it?

March 11, 2010 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

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