It’s nearing Halloweentime, which is one of my favorite times of year. I love horror movies, I love haunted houses, I love thinking about the parts of humanity that are creepy and mysterious and tinged with evil and darkness. I am all in.
Well, I’m all in except when it comes to a theme I see over and over again in local haunted houses, in shows like American Horror Story, in movies like Halloween or Silence of the Lambs- the use of mental asylums as a perfect setting for terror, and the portrayal of mentally ill folk as dispassionate psychos, incapable of being reasoned with.
Item #1: a snippet of a new Lady Gaga song was released today, and it’s called Burqa. Peep some lyrics.
Let’s get it on, religious risky fashion
Let’s get it on, religious risky fashion
Put it on, wear that Burqa all year long
all year long.
Burqa, Burqa, Burqa
lets get psychotic.
Burqa, Burqa, Burqa
lets get erotic.
Item #2: two of the categories in the MTV VMA nominations, which were announced today.
1. Best Video with a Social Message
2. Artist to Watch, Presented by Taco Bell
I would have preferred “Breakout Artist, Presented by Del Taco” or “Diarrhea Music, Presented by Chipotle”
It’s time for a long overdue edition of Celebrity Gossip Translator, where I go through the most read stories from People.com and explain them to those of you too busy listening to podcasts and creating art to understand what’s happening in pop culture land. You’re welcome.
Coming in hot at #5 is the very important story “Kim Kardashian Catches Up on Sleep“. Kim had a baby 13 days ago, DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT?!?! THE BABY IS A REAL THING THAT TWO VERY SELF-INVOLVED PEOPLE CREATED, and this is a picture that her sister took of her sleeping on a couch in full makeup. Being a mom is hard. I am convinced that this picture is one of the most emailed merely because it has a picture of a cute boxer puppy in it. (See, don’t you want to click on it now?)
The #4 most read story at People.com is about Paula Deen. I haven’t really said anything about the whole Paula Deen thing, and I’m not going to start now, other than
1) She is such a melodramatic Southern belle, and
2) Regardless of how racist she is, lay off the fat jokes. That’s almost as bad as her only calling a black man an n-word because she was very very upset with him. It’s not okay to resort to the easiest way to insult someone just because you’re angry. Get creative.
ANYWAY, the story is Paula Deen celebrates son Jamie’s birthday. And that’s important to read about, because we are all biting our nails wondering what this woman is going to do now that she is hated/revered for being “un-PC”/poor. The story here is that she tweeted happy birthday to her son.
Also, this picture:
We’re at #3 now, and finally we’re getting to some real news. Would you like to hear the biggest reason to marry George Lucas? I will tell you. At the wedding celebration of George Lucas and his new bride, Mellody Hobson, PRINCE did a set. Motherfucking Prince. Take a lesson, everyone. They seem like a cute couple and I’m very happy for him, and I hope marriage makes him better at making decisions about Star Wars.
#2 of the most read stories at People.com is a recipe for cookies from the lady who was on that cooking show and is now a morning talk show host. They do look delicious. This story needs no explanation.
The most read story today was this horror show about a Cirque Du Soleil performer who fell 50 feet to her death during a show last night in Vegas. Let’s face it, most of us go to shows like this not only for the amazing feats of strength, but for the horrifying possibility that someone might get hurt. Such is the magic of live performance- there’s always an element of surprise. Someone may shit their pants, cry, get stung by a bee, blow your mind, etc and so on. Last night was the most extreme version of this when Sarah Guyard fell to her death.
Sadly, what does this mean for Kim Kardashian and Paula Deen? That in order to be truly popular, they must be a horrifying circus accident, or cookies.
I frequently find myself in bars explaining celebrity gossip to friends of mine who are “too busy” masturbating to Twitter to know anything about pop culture. It’s a great arrangement, because it allows my friends to find out about celebrity gossip while maintaining that they don’t care about celebrity gossip, and it allows me to talk about stuff that I enjoy. So I thought I’d do that here.
First, a caveat: what I won’t do is justify giving a shit about celebrity gossip. It’s a fucking hobby, it’s not the most important thing to me, but part of the reason I became a therapist is because I like juicy interpersonal relations, and frankly, my friends aren’t really bringing much to the table in that regard. I wouldn’t want them to- friends who are constantly having drama are exhausting to be around. So please don’t come at me with “Why do you care what _____ is doing?!” comments, because why do you care what I care about? Shut up.
Now that we’ve gotten all that business out of the way, I thought I’d go through the most popular articles at people.com and explain them in layman’s terms to you fine people with better things to do.
I just saw a photo of Sharlto Copley, the dude who was a friend of Neill Blomkamp, the dude whose life was changed when he was cast as the lead in Neill’s breakout movie, District 9.
This is what Sharlto looked like in 2009, discussing District 9 at Comic-Con.
I wrote this for another website but they ended up not using it, so here it is, for Gynomite!
I think a lot about pop culture a lot, and more specifically, how we consume it. There are tons of actors/personalities/musicians out there, so why do some of them stay “oh, what’s her face from that show” while others are vaulted into the stratosphere of fame? What relationship do we have with these superstars, and why can we never get enough? Why is Nicki Minaj more famous than Ashanti? Why Taylor Swift and not the lady that did the “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” song? These are the things that fascinate me, because often it has very little to do with the product they’re putting out, and more with the product that is them- their personal lives, their style, where they hang out- and sometimes it’s little more than that. Gone are the days when you would release a song and sit back to see what happens- now our musicians are packages to be opened and consumed. Not to gank from the TV show, but what is that X factor that makes a female musician go from female musician to demigoddess? If one wanted to become a pop star, what could one do to increase one’s chances?
Let’s find out.
I went through a long list of pop stars from the 80s to current day to try and isolate the qualities that separate them from the mere mortal musicians around them. So let’s assume that beyond the standard attractiveness, catchy songs, and lucrative record deals, here are a few of the ingredients you may need in order to be a famous pop star. Use this for your own edification, or perhaps join me in creating a Frankenstein’s monster of fame and signature perfumes.
Exhibit One: John Travolta on the cover of his new Christmas album with Olivia Newton John.
Scott Stapp of Creed looking like a sad puppy dog cartoon on Fox News. FYI, he won’t be voting for Barack Obama this November. (Somewhere, Obama is wiping his brow and saying “Wheeeeeew!”)
Watch the sad puppy dog in action here, and remember kids: alcohol is a helluva drug.
Damien Echols and Johnny Depp at a recent book signing- which one is which?
1) They are good friends and have matching tattoos
2) I am reading Damien Echols’ book, Life After Death, and it is fantastic. Get it!
Trick question! They’re both Johnny Depp! (JK, Johnny’s on the left)
After weeks of hearing people losing their minds because she’s gained maybe 6 lbs, Gaga decided to strike back, and I just gained a bit of respect for her.
As I said a few days ago, we freak out over our pop stars getting fat, but Gaga, the woman who has made her body a blank canvas on which she can hang raw meat, wire clothing, extra appendages and more- it’s interesting that the one avant garde thing we cannot accept hanging on her frame is human fat. She’s objectified her appearance past the point of human comprehension, so we get confused when something human happens to her.
See more pics here.