Monday, December 29

Levi Johnston Officially a DILF

Well, though I am disappointed that Bristol Palin's son's failure to hang in there til January may put an end to all parentage conspiracy theories, it's always good when someone pops out a healthy kid. So congrats to Bristol, who allegedly gave birth on December 27!

Unfortch, none of my top 5 names were chosen by the teen mom, who named her little peep Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston--kind of obvious in retrospect! However, do I still get points for identifying that Palins love nature names beginning in T? After all, people trip over shit in nature all the time.

Also worth noting is little Tripp's weight: 7 pounds, 4 ounces. 7/4. That's the Fourth of July, people! Ah, what blessed Americans those Palins are.

Now keep that baby away from his two insane grandmas!

Sunday, December 28

Math Is Fun . . . When It Comes To Palin Parentage!

While scanning headlines to see if Miss Bristol has yet given birth--and thereby seeing if one of my five picks was right--I came across this interesting piece, written on Decemeber 23, three days after Bristol was due. While I disagree with the writers' possible baby names (I mean, Hrug, let's be serious) the whole point of their post is quite captivating. Basically it brings up the old familiar Who is Trig's mom question, but with a new urgency.

Because, essentially, if Bristol's child is born is January, then the Palins' official timeline does not check out, making it physically possible that Bristol is in fact the birth mother of Trig, born in mid-April.

While I'm assuming that most babies are not born on their due dates--because it would be kind of crazy if we could literally predict the day everyone is born--let's not forget that it is December 28 already . . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sienna Miller, who turns 27 today. May she have a lovely birthday and keep her shirt on in at least one film in 2009, namely G.I. Joe.

Monday, December 22

R. Patt To Stop Looking Like Fraggle

With a few months to go before New Moon begins filming, R. Patt decided to Britney Spears it and cut the mullet! Don't get me wrong, I liked Edward's hair and all, but Pattinson left to his own devices was not cool. Congrats on your mature decision, Robbie!

DOWNLOAD: "Cut the Mullet" by Wesley Willis. TRUST me.

Sunday, December 21

"The winter loves me," he retorted, and then, disliking the whimsical sound of that, added, "I mean as much as you can say a season can love. What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love."

Saturday, December 20

What I Did On My Blogging Vacation

Wrote about basically the same stuff I write about here. Only got paid for it. (Well, kind of.)

November 13: As Seen On (M)TV. A piece about how retail is tanking everywhere, but if you get your clothes on peeps like Serena van der Woodsen, it's all good.

November 21: Vampire Weekend. While it was obvious to everyone who could read, walk past a Borders, or look something up on iMDB that Twilight would be a hit, Summit Entertainment refused to acknowledge it. Weird.

November 24: Box Office Bite. Yup, I was right. (Like most of the world.)

Friday, December 19

The Baby-Daddy's Baby

So, Levi Johnston's mom has been bad. But amid news of her arrest for running a drug store out of her house, a more exciting point has been brought to our attention: Bristol's due to pop tomorrow!

Yes, December 20 is the due date for Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston's darling illegitimate child. (Although, disclaimer, I think the illegit part is a good thing. Just say no to high school marriage. I hope you're listening, Brenda Hampton and ABC Family.) The impending birth of the little repub raises a major question, however.

What could Bristol, sister of Piper, Willow, Track, and Trig, come up with that would top the naming skills displayed by her classy and traditional mother Sarah? Below, my top 5 guesses for what the newest Palin will answer too, going on my gut assumption that Bristol's having a boy:

5. Govner (After all, this was an important year in politics for the fam. But they'll switch up the spelling of governor 'cause that's what "celebrities" do.)

4. Hunter (Sums up daddy's greatest goal for his boy, and is actually a normal name climbing in popularity!)

3. Thunder (Palins favor nature names beginning in T.)

And my top two:

2. Polar

1. Rifle

Thoughts, anyone? Ideas welcome!

Thursday, October 16


Aw. Baby's first homemade Twilight flair! Named for the scene in Eclipse when Jacob rolls up to Forks High to talk to Edward and peeps think they're gonna throw down.

Friday, October 10

R.I.P. CosmoGirl

No exclamation point for the title this time. One of the last of an expiring breed, CosmoGirl will close down forever after its December issue. Sad; no one should die in their teen years. Actually, CosmoGirl was a child of the '90s, and was only 9 years old.

This leaves only Seventeen and Teen Vogue in the teen magazine genre, though CosmoGirl, like ElleGirl, will live forever(ish) on the web.

You're Incredibly Fast . . . And Strong

"Are you afriad?"


How am I supposed to go to sleep in order to wake up early for a meeting when there is a brand new Twilight trailer released tonight?!

But alas, there is a new trailer, and I have rewound three times already to see Bella tell Edward she isn't afraid. New Moon was incred. But I have a feeling, truthfully, that this movie might outdo Twilight. There's something about Kristen Stewart's surliness, unlike Bella's giddiness, that works in the setting and circumstances.

Stephenie Meyer said she cried during the filming of the scene where Edward confirms what Bella knows he is. In watching this trailer, I believe her.

TRAILER #3: Here!

Wednesday, October 8

Okay, Now We See Why She Should Be Scared

It's my one-month check-in. I promise to return like Edward from South America as soon as the election is over--I can't stay away from chronicling Twilight much longer. In the meantime, here is the newly released movie poster, and announced track list for the Twilight soundtrack, featuring Senor Edward Cullen himself! God his eyes look vampiric.
1. Supermassive Black Hole (Muse)
2. Decode (Paramore)
3. Full Moon (The Black Ghosts)
4. Leave Out All The Rest (Linkin Park)
5. Spotlight(Twilight Mix) (MuteMath)
6. Going All The Way(Into The Twilight) (Perry Farrell)
7. Tremble For My Beloved (Collective Soul)
8. I Caught Myself (Paramore)
9. Eyes On Fire (Blue Foundation)
10. Never Think (Rob Pattinson)
11. Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Iron & Wine)
12. Bella's Lullaby (Carter Burwell)

Monday, September 8

More Leves

It appears I have become obsessed with the election since a new enemy of humanity and glaciers has emerged in Sarah Palin. Thought I'd find a place to put it. At least I can thank Sar-Sar for the name!

Ridic politics from a completely biased liberal who has at least taken a liking to one Republican: I'd Get With Levi Johnston.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: JTT! Y'all remember him? Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the middle bro on Home Improvement and Simba in The Lion King, is 27 today.

Thursday, September 4

Right about now I love the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

I know this statement sounds absurd for many reasons, not least of which being the fact that it makes me sound miles more sophisticated and educated than I generally put forth.

But educated I am . . . as I am reminded every month by the hundreds I pay to Sallie Mae for the privilege of being learned. (Pronounce that Learn Ed, please.)

The reason I heart B. Bern right now (Fed chair) is because I was quite stupid when I was 17, and sorry Dad, so were my parents. We were clueless about applying to college, and specifically about financial aid, and I wound up with one of the worst loans possible—it cannot be consolidated with any other, and its interest rate fluctuates with the economy. Thanks to the recesh and a bit of point-slashing by the Fed, my payments are actually dropping at the moment—but I fear to think of what will happen if a certain party is reelected to the White House.

I'm thinking that the best solution for high school juniors and seniors who are similarly undereducated in college-bound matters is to go somewhere where someone has already figured all this stuff out and will tell you what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Unfortunately and a little unexpectedly, it's not easy to find this in most high schools across America—God only knows what the guidance department does.

It's probably easiest to just do it yourself at home. has basically spelled everything out for almost-undergrad fools. The company's C.O.O. started it after collecting a ton of material while his eldest daughter was applying to college—she got into a bunch of good schools and went to the one that would end up assigning her to live in the same room as me for her freshman year, much to the musical distastes of our floormates.

The site keeps track of everything for you. It tells you when you need to be applying to the schools of your choice (you can enter up to 10 into your calendar), when is the best time to apply for scholarships and grants (the earlier, the better) and basically holds and reminds you of any other info you want to include. And that is undoubtedly better than nagging parents worried about your essays, owing an unnecessary amount post-grad, or discovering you missed the deadline of your top choice after you already bought the $85 hoodie.

It won't contribute to your college costs, 'cause it's free, and it will probably work better than having a thousand applications and a million post-its everywhere, because it's kind of hard for the internet to somehow end up in the trash.

Tuesday, September 2

Bristol Palin's Baby Daddy

Nice choice for her personal Paulie Bleecker! "Sexy asshole" pic courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Levi Johnston is a self-described "fuckin' redneck" who in his spare time likes to "shoot some shit" and impregnate girls. He was arrested last year for stealing salmon . . . out of a lake.

Levi's mom says he's "not facing any pressure to marry" Bristol. Which is the most hilarious thing I've read about him yet.

While I do think it's cool that Bristol decided to have her baby Jamie Lynn-style, I also think we all know that they'll be married by the time Sarah snipes the Thanksgiving turkey from her bedroom window while changing her own baby's diaper and shopping for bulk Aquanet online.

SOUNDTRACK: "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna.

Friday, August 22

Web Treats: "O-BAMA!"

It's Friday, the biggest slacking day of the week. And the second-to-last Summer Friday for those of us fortunate enough to work at a company with people more fortunate than us, who have Hamptons houses and need to leave early on weekends.

Here's some web stuff to entertain y'all:

Oh, this is why Republicans think Obama is too big a celebrity. A refresher course in the Obama Girl, who will evidently be all up in the DNC. "You went to border security . . . let's break this border between you and me . . . "

And listen to the first minute of this for an interesting review of her work.

Passive-aggressives vs. annoyings:


Wednesday, August 20


Massachusetts: Keeping people shitfaced as the cost of living rises.

Despite concerns over a tumbling economy and flip-flopping gas and oil prices, a little crop that could has given Americans a reason to mix drinks as we head into fall.

The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association announced Tuesday that Massachusetts' 2008 cranberry crop will be up by a whopping 25% . . . strange and fortunate, seeing as much of the country's nature-candy is down due to crazy weather, strange experiments that try to turn them into gasoline, and being pissed off. But 25% is big . . . enough to ensure that no bartender can ever tell you he's out of cranberry when really the Sprite fountain is just closer.

Southeastern Mass is the world's largest exporter of cranberries; according to my math, this means we can thank my dear hometown (on the South Shore) for Sex on the Beach, Alabama Slammers, Cosmos, and Cape Codders.

And Red-Headed Sluts. But you already knew that.

Oh, Massachusetts, of thee I sing . . . very likely to a song like "Take Me Home Tonight" along with a jukebox, after four vodka cranberries and while holding a shot.

THIRSTY? Absolut's Top 20 drinks made with cranberry juice.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Demi Lovato, who is allegedly the Christina to Miley's Britney, with talent and a lack of Dub-T taste. She turns 16 today . . . so only time will tell!

Tuesday, August 19

You Make Me Wanna . . .

. . . help elect a president.

Usher and his peeps (the New Look Foundation) have come up with a sweet idea for the upcoming election. While kids under 18 clearly can't vote, the outcome of the event will obviously effect them quite a bit as they come of age. A pretty bad president was elected when I was 18, and I'm willing to bet my generation would be better off now had someone else been voted in.

So here's what's gonna happen: If kids can't register to vote, they're gonna register voters.

Starting August 21, Usher's "I Can't But You Can" campaign will visit at least seven American cities, beginning in Detroit and including Cleveland, in critical swing state Ohio. Other cities include New Orleans, Boston, New York, L.A., and the singer's hometown of Atlanta, where last month 350 teens registered a thousand voters during the project's test-run.

It also doesn't hurt that the people running the sign-up booths know what they're talking about—the volunteers, all 17 and under, have to complete a 4-hour curriculum course prior to participating, making them likely much more educated on the subject of, say, the electoral college, than most people, who struggle to remember a fleeting mention of it at some point in high school history classes.

Hopefully, as the election nears, more American cities will jump on this. After all, it's a win-win: They get people registered without having to do any of the admin work themselves, and more of their residents vote.

Let's hope they're all 'crats.

Monday, August 18

Save The '90s Stars. Save The World.

Yes, the producers of Heroes have cast Breckin Meyer and Seth Green to star in multiple episodes of the everyday-superhero super-popular show come fall. Yes, they will play a comic-book-loving tag-team, which reportedly is not too far off from real life. Yes, this news is incred and might make me care about saving the cheerleader, etc.

And no, sentences like this are not okay! "Breckin Meyer is probably best known for his role as Jon, opposite Jennifer Love-Hewitt, in the recent Garfield movies . . . Green has starred as Scott Evil in the Austin Powers series and had roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That 70s Show and as the voice of Chris on Family Guy."

Okay, I will give this Heroes dude the Seth Green bio—he got Buffy (which apparently a lot of fools watched) and Family Guy and made his resume look quite a bit more thorough than I realized it was. But what he failed to mention was . . . both these guys were teen-movie underdog kings in the late '90s! It's as if Heroes principal Ali Larter never wore a whipped-cream bikini in 1999.

I thought this news was fantastic when I heard it. And you know why? Because "Denise Fleming is a tampon" and because of "the wonderful crew at McDonald's who spend hours making those egg McMuffins without which I might never be tardy."

Before the aforementioned roles, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer had already solidified their places at Teen Movie High by starring in two of the best high school movies of the decade: Green as the wannabe ghetto goggle-wearing Kenny Fisher in Can't Hardly Wait (see above), and Meyer as Travis Birkenstock, the good-hearted pothead skater in Clueless. Both roles surely get an award placed in the genre's lovable-slacker trophy case.

It's strange that these projects were overlooked in almost every casting announcement, particularly Clueless. Has not enough time passed for them to become retro-cool like the Brat Pack movies? Maybe it's just because TV shows watched on iPhones are currently more relevant?

At any rate, Seth Green in Can't Hardly Wait and Breckin Meyer in Cluelessthis is why this news is incred! I mean, Garfield? Really? Why you gotta be wastin' their flava?

SOUNDTRACK: "Dammit" by Blink 182 or "Inside Out" by Eve 6.

Friday, August 15

Warner Bros. Tries To Conjure Up More Money

As The Dark Knight's stunts cast a spell on audiences, its profits enchanted Warner Bros. execs so much so that they couldn't even wait for their next big summer action movie (Terminator Salvation) to be made—they had to throw a definite out there on the July Imax-blockbuster horizon immediately.

But rather than rush something slated for holiday season '09, Warner has scrambled to rearrange their finished works, taking a high-profile film with an already-announced release date and making crazed viewers wait another year for it. Fans must once again suffer in the knowledge that there will be no Harry Potter 8. Or '08, as the case may be.

The Bros. announced yesterday that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth movie in the series and widely touted for a November 21 release, will be held until July 17, 2009—the exact Friday that The Dark Knight was unleashed this year. Suspiciously enough, the heavily rumored debut of the (incred) HP trailer at July 18 showings of DK never materialized—were the hold-the-movie-hostage wheels already turning at Warner even before the DK numbers came in?

It's sad that the move is so blatant. “The picture is completely, absolutely, 100% on schedule, on time. There were no delays . . . We would have been perfectly able to have it out in November,” said Alan Horn, the company's pres and C.O.O.

Which, in the audience's eyes, makes it that much worse. That and the unfortunate timing of this week's Entertainment Weekly cover story.

I'm not into this throwing out set and promoted release dates thing at all. But while Warner Bros. is cleaning up shop, I wish they'd take a second look at director David Yates. While his previous Potter film, HP5, was the highest-grossing of the franchise, the directing was arguably the weakest. And, as Warner Bros. has told us, it only grossed so much more as a result of its July release. What may have fans more concerned is the elimination of certain characters, namely Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour (particularly strange, as Clémence Poésy has become somewhat of a muse in her native France) who fail to appear on the movie's IMDb page, suggesting that this fool and his screenwriters have significantly diced the story going forward.

SIGN: A petition, if you are not having this, here.

Tuesday, August 12

Superlatives: Most Likely To Be Ador

These little fools get my People's Choice gold medal of the 2008 Olympics. 17-year-old David Boudia and Thomas Finchum, who failed to place in last night's synchronized diving competish, are beyond presh.

I just wanna hug them all day with a third party present!

Friday, August 8

AT&T Pimps Out The Olympics

Let's face it, AT&T—most people are hoping to see less of you, and not more. Generally the more we see your logo, the more our checking-account balances drop. But alas, you have made yourself an official member of Team USA and will be all up on our TVs for the next 16 days.

I'm thinking that AT&T is letting their affiliation with Apple go to their heads, and they seem particularly charmed by iTunes; starting today, the phone company will sell exclusive music from a dozen Top 40 artists, a program they're calling Team USA Soundtrack. The tracks are meant to inspire America's Olympians and will be available only between the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Games.

They want to inspire you too--into seeing AT&T as an "entertainment brand" and not just a monthly bill or a necessary evil on the path to owning an iPhone. "It's a great opportunity to showcase our support for these amazing athletes--and our international wireless services and technologies," a spokesperson told me for a short piece on Clear ulterior motives, but supportive nonetheless. The proceeds will go to help Team USA, and I bet Chris Brown's song's pretty good. Other artists onboard include country sweetheart Taylor Swift, Mia from One Tree Hill Kate Voegele, Nelly, the dude's that's married to Katharine Heigl, and some '90s peeps like Goo Goo Dolls, who I really think are more "Winter Games."

The company is calling this part of a "three-screen integration" movement: Hear the songs on TV, download them to your comp, and listen to them on your AT&T-powered phone.

Oh, and while you're rearranging your iTunes library, why don't you show support for our athletes by adding an AT&T widget to your Facebook page?

Because clearly, Facebook is the new Superbowl commercial.


The aesthetically pleasing and Olympic Ring-mimicking date is finally here. And you know what that means: international sportsmanship, inspiring athleticism, water-bowl cam . . .

That's right bitches.

It's Puppy Games 2008, airing tonight on Animal Planet at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. These little fools will compete for gold in soccer, swimming, boxing and gymnastics. Way cuter than those weird pixie-Teletubby-troll Olympic mascots.

NICE BIRTHDAY: Totally jealous of babies born today. Also a little jealous of Ugly Betty's Micheal Urie, born on 08.08.80. Pretty!

Wednesday, August 6

Rihanna For Veep

Um, Paris Hilton just got a little bit hilarious.

Below, her anti-McCain "campaign commercial" from (Must give them a shout-out since they took their shit back from YouTube.)

WATCH: The video here!

Friday, August 1

Send Me All Your Vampires

I'd highly suggest you avoid stopping by Borders tonight; I'll personally be picking my vampires up at Barnes & Noble, and not the former store, where wannabe 'pires will actually be encouraged by hosts to act a fool, debate which hottie vampire they'd rather get with, and dress up as characters from the hyper-successful Twilight series—the reason for tonight's mayhem. At midnight, the fourth book of the set, Breaking Dawn, will be released, to undoubtedly hefty sales.

Perhaps I missed the boat (or whatever vampire-transportation analogy is appropriate here) on Twilight, because to me, the most striking thing about it is how it seemed to come from nowhere. I personally discovered it in a rather unconventional way: Near the end of last year, while shopping for the most obnoxious and inappropriate pieces of Facebook flair I could find for my friends, I found myself looking up and saying, "Okay, who the fuck is Edward Cullen?!" after seeing countless flair dedicated to him.

Cullen, it turned out, is the male lead in Stephenie Meyer's masterpiece, and he came out of nowhere for her too—she literally dreamt of him and his girlfriend Bella one night (seriously not kidding) and began writing the book the next day.

Twilight seems to be some kind of undercover sensation; now it has bonafide, very widespread popularity, but is it possible that two or three years ago, it succeeded in being some kind of massive underground hit, more commonly seen in music than in adolescent fiction? Last summer, the third installment dethroned the final Harry Potter book from bestseller lists within a week and no one heard about it.

And tonight is far from the Cullen culmination. The first movie comes out on December 12, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella, who proves again that the deeper your voice, the more beautiful you are. (Don't start smoking.) Cedric Diggory of HP4 fame has been resurrected from the dead, but apparently not completely: Gorgeous Robert Pattinson plays vampire Edward. On that subject, the movie will help highlight another aspect of Twilight that surely lends to its feverish fan base, an element fiction queen J.K. Rowling, for the most part, left out of her off-the-charts successful series: vicarious infatuation and desire.

In Edward, Meyer has created a character whom the majority of her audience will fall in love with in the literal, jealous-of-Bella, wish-he-was-real sense in a way that they didn't fall for Ron Weasley. Hence the endless flair reading "I'm in love with a fictional vampire." Ironically, the hottest guy in Harry Potter was played by the future Edward Cullen. If only he weren't frozen mere months shy of legal for all eternity.

Still, love is a literary device; and Meyer is sure to win extra hearts through girls hoping for an epic romance in high school and women nostalgic for when they thought it would happen that way. The element of projection the novels afford can only help.

And though hype can often discredit art, tomorrow's release of Breaking Dawn comes at a good time: It will give newcomers four months to read the four books before the movie's release, and there's an appropriate break between this film and the next chapter. Though Meyer will not end her series with Breaking Dawn, it will no longer be narrated by her everygirl (if unnecessarily popular with guys) heroine, Bella.

WATCH: The first but not as common trailer here.
"I Want You" by Third Eye Blind. Or you can listen to some Linkin Park, which is apparently what Meyer listened to throughout the writing of her novels. Weird.

My Number Expires On Thursday

Boys, do not ever grow up to be like this! You will be made fun of by strangers for all eternity and will—shocker—never succeed in your conquests.

Listen here
for the most out of control voicemail ever left. Some conceited and presumably delusional asshole in San Francisco left it for a girl named Olga who was hilarious enough to post this on the internet—the most incred punishment for a "catch" like this. I think the most disturbing thing about it is a) his voice, and b) the fact that he may actually be semi-attractive since she gave him her card.

Tuesday, July 29

Gossip Girl Gets Reality TV Show

No, not really.

But it seems that would have been the only reason for the CW to launch its down-with-the-internet, all-TV stunt of last spring.

In April, just as TV writers were ponying up and returning to work after a 100-day strike, the CW announced that it would no longer stream episodes of its most popular series for free on—a pretty brainless move, considering the nature of Gossip Girl, a show named after a tech-savvy blogger, and also antithetical to its original roots, in which the 2007 pilot episode was actually available online before it made its small-screen debut.

But the network feared it was "cannibalizing" its TV ratings by making the eps available online, though it averaged around 2 million viewers per episode, watched largely by coveted 26-year-olds.

It seemed an unusual move, since part of the intrigue of Gossip Girl lay in the fact that its characters echoed its audience, and vice versa: Just as Dan, Blair, etc. checked their cellphones for updates on the scandalous lives of their schoolmates, real-life high-schoolers checked in with their iMacs to watch the same gossip unfold (i.e., the show) anytime they wanted. The accessability of it all was built-in advertising, in a way, and allowed for a larger audience that couldn't be shackled by air times: Namely, an audience in the same age group, with the same interests and tech capabilities as the characters.

Thankfully, the network has seen the error of its ways; it's lost the battle to withhold the show and will bring the Upper East Siders back where they belong—free on the internet—come autumn. Though the CW is being very hush-hush about it (they didn't even send out a generic press release), it seems that their little plan must have backfired, as they will return to their original system the day after Season 2 premieres on September 1. Free Gossip! Whenever you want it! The way life should be.

There is, of course, an easy solution that would keep our beloved shows from being jerked around and imprisoned in airwaves: Disestablish the antiquated, dated, and irrelevant Neilsen ratings!

You know you don't love them.

Tuesday, July 22

Come See the Softcore Side of Sears

Youth of America, be warned: If you are heading back to school in September, Sears will find you.

The middle-America-mall retailer is going balls-out this summer, hoping to erase their near-Ocean State Job Lot status and return to the scope and glory of their Sears Roebuck & Co. days, when they were more like a modern-day Neiman Marcus. Their answer? Target the children, much like they singled out women years ago with their successful "Come See the Softer Side of Sears" campaign.

Sears will be everywhere. They have stopped at nothing to conquer literally every medium they could think of, from print to tv to celebrity spokespeople. But the real cash-cow they're aiming for is none other than the cool kid on the advertising block (or so they seem to think) the glorious social-networking site. So don't get your hopes up: That friend request on your Facebook homepage may not be from the hot goalie you met at soccer camp.

Sears will be all up in Facebook and MySpace, but they're really hoping to steal fans away with their own site, Nor are they showing any loyalty when it comes to other entertainment venues: They're pimping themselves out in Seventeen AND CosmoGIRL, The Disney Channel AND Nickelodeon, Disney's High School Musical AND MTV's rip-off The American Mall, of which Sears is the official retail sponsor. Read: exclusive product-placement rights. Cute actors wearing nothing but Sears.

Speaking of actually dressing for the camera . . . Sears, whose chairman Eddie Lampert has been bitched out before for not trying hard enough at marketing (again, I'm taking liberties here) has tapped none other than nude photographer/photographee Miss Vanessa Hudgens to be the new Sears postergirl. Vanessa's pre-back-to-school project last summer involved taking naked pics that were naturally seen everywhere.

Either way, Sears has not made a run-of-the-mill call here. Either they are brilliant for launching an interactive site with a girl who's already achieved "internet fame," or they are totally not doing their research and risking having all those women they wrangled with the "Softer Side" campaign desert them for trying to turn their daughters into amatuer, homemade, softcore pornies.

Monday, July 21

I Want (To Control) My MTV!

MTV has recently announced that this year they will be totally lazy and will not choose nominees for the VMAs, which will be given out on September 7.

This means you have to do it for them. But hey, there are worse things you could be responsible for.

To avoid a voting shitshow, MTV has been clever enough to limit the voting to two categories a week, from now until August 13, starting with Best Male/Female Video. The process will work much the way my high school chooses each year's homecoming queen: The kids get to pick who rides on the float, but the final decision is made by those older and "smarter" than us. In other words, the top five nominees in each category will be selected by the masses, and from those finalists, industry professionals will pick a winner.

Except, that is, for Best New Artist; they can never take that from us. So if you don't want it to be the Jonas Brothers, I suggest you go here and vote now.

Friday, July 18

Literary Whiz Def Not A Psych Whiz

Dear Jess Roy,

Regarding your insightful and successful blog post that took you exactly where you wanted to go: I think you may have underestimated your subjects when penning your obvious, though quite well-written, opus about the insincerity of the New York writing galaxy, where people get famous via shameless self-promotion and kissing up to the right people (though sleeping with them doesn't always work, so make sure you'd actually want to hit that in any other situation.)

J. Ro . . . we kind of know what you're doing. Reverse psychology has actually been done before.

Jess's Dear John letter to New York c/o New York Magazine (highlights of which are reproduced below), namedrops her heroes (who are, undoubtedly, still her heroes) and the ways in which they disillusioned and disappointed her upon meeting them in the flesh.

But the poor thing, who mentions feeling "hollow," failed to mask her hypocrisy. After all, she is doing precisely what she insults those fools for: Calling them out, by name no less, for being self-serving, fake, and egomaniacal. And what could be more so than a college sophomore salivating at the chance to tout her morals and artistry to media's biggest gossip outlet? (I have no proof of Jess's enthusiasm here, only my powers of assessment, seeing as she was so vague on her original blog and detailed every moment, person, and perv for the New York piece, which naturally ended up on Gawker.)

Personal (transparent) faves include:
I felt sad for him, for having all of these assholes in his house who made fun of him . . . He was an empty trust-fund hipster in his parents’ mansion where all the literary kids came to play. Everyone there went to Columbia or Harvard or Yale. They argued over grammar and syntax, the difference between a metaphor and a metonymy. Someone sparked a joint and everyone drank and simmered in their own self-congratulatory pseudo-intellectualism. For the first time in my life I felt intellectually inferior.
Did she just say that never once in 20 years did she ever meet anyone smarter than her?
A guy I am friendly with who used to work for Gawker, Jon, came up behind me, "Do you want to meet Emily Gould?" "No," I said. "I don't want it to be awkward."
This sounds suspiciously like a girl avoiding speaking to someone she considers an equal/competitor than a girl nervous to meet her idol.
I don't understand how people can exist in such a dishonest way and still call themselves writers. Isn't it the responsibility of a writer to be honest?
So Jess is mimicking these actions by pretending she disagrees. In a way, isn't that how everyone builds themselves? She's not putting anything past us. As one Gawker commenter said, this confession screams of "Points finger: 'One of us! One of us!'"

I must, however, give Jess props for this line: "I did not move to New York to return to high school, but that's exactly what it felt like." Yes! You got it! High school repeats itself over and over in life and society. Hence its fascination. I also see I have fallen victim to her tricks, as I keep accidentally typing "Emily" in lieu of "Jess."

And she's totally right about those old guys and the interns.

But my ultimate point is this: The telltale sign. I feel it quite coincidental that Jess needs to flee the shallow pool of New York's literary society right as she begins her junior year of college—the semester when many, many American students choose to study abroad. But I mean, it's not like she'll be leaving in August and coming back right before the second half of school starts or anything. Oh, wait . . . .

Looks as though Jess's sudden desire to "get out of New York," which is "not a place for serious people," isn't so much a product of a grave disheartening, but a sign-up sheet and application turned in a year ago.

I went to art school too, J., and my advice to you is this: Forget the heady intellectualism of Paris.

And get thee to a beer-pong table.
*Photo courtesy of my desire to prevent being sued by people who take themselves too seriously.

SOUNDTRACK: "Reverse Psychology" by Laura Branigan.

Monday, July 7

Cellar Door

It's happening. It's been 7 years since the unparalleled original, starring the near-unknown Gyllenhaal 'blings and Jena Malone in the only role where you don't want her killed off. Official word is out that there will in fact be a Donnie Darko sequel released next year.

The movie, S. Darko, will take place in the summer of '95 and will follow Samantha Darko.

Here's where it gets scary. The sequel will not be written and directed by Richard Kelly, as one can clearly tell from the synopsis: The car carrying Samantha and her BFF breaks down on a trip across the country; they're driving to L.A. to "make it big" when "weird stuff starts happening." Frank is not nearly as frightening as cliches like that. Kelly and his team are very much against the sequel, in which no other actor returns with he exception of Samantha's portrayer. Meaning there were quite a few roles to fill.

And here's where it gets fantastic: The movie stars Chuck Bass.

I'm not done. Also booked to appear in the film is James Lafferty, a.k.a. Nathan Scott. While the idea that these new directors will turn a truly brilliant, eerie and enigmatic film into a cheap horror movie makes me feel a little ill, there's nothing I can resist less than a star of One Tree Hill.

Friday, July 4

At Least There's A Hot Dad

Happy 4th of July, everyone. Nothing says God bless the nation like good old American shit-talking. So here, a couple days late thanks to the miracle of DVR that allows us to do what we want with our lives and still never miss an episode of . . . anything, are the picked-apart results of what I thought of Secret Life. I'm not talking vague opinions. I mean catty details, kind of like the insanely accurate Gossip Girl blog written by these genius dudes at NY Mag.

  • Best opening line of a pilot, ever: "Once, I held a pint of Ben Covington's blood." Felicity, 1998. Secret Life: "Hey, glad you're home; I was worried you'd marched off a cliff or something." Wow. Provocative.
  • What's up with that guy Ricky's pronunciation of "sterile"?

  • The repetition of "band camp" was just weird . . . I mean, that was practically trademarked in 1999.

  • Honestly, the whole Christian thing rings really, really hollow. Though I'm not a fan of Minka Kelly's high-pitched voice, this storyline was much better executed on Friday Night Lights. Lyla was a sloot sleeping with her crippled boyfriend's best friend as her dad cheated on her mom. She had a reason to look for something outside herself, and she still relapsed sometimes. In other words, she was a kid who believed in being a Christian, not a Christobot like Grace.

  • Kenny Baumann (Ben) is failing desperately in his attempt to play Adam Brody's Seth Cohen. I never though Brody was a good actor until tonight. No freshman would ever be so fucking cocky. . . Seth was incredibly insecure, remember, Brenda?

  • Um. Amy's haircut is amazing. If I had straight hair, I would have already copied her.

  • What is the font on that magazine she's reading in the doctor's office? Wow. Expanding on that, I cannot believe they deprived us of the scene where she finds out she's def pregs! Who the hell is directing this?!

  • Ricky in the therapist's office: His father sexually abused him. This is waaay too heavy for a show like this, and for an 8 p.m. timeslot! Kind of shocking.

  • Little sis's outfit is out of control. Love it!
I give this show about a 4 thus far. But, with most things I believe about love and society, I'm hoping to be proven wrong. I'll keep watching, mostly for the preview scenes of Ben's dad asking if Amy's pregnant and and Amy's sister yelling, "How can you leave us, especially now!" and the hot dad from that Superman show.

Tuesday, July 1

The Secret Life Of Evangelical Propaganda?

I had my suspicions--the 8 p.m. timeslot, a home network with "Family" in it's name, good-girl mom Molly Ringwald still dressed in pink in the promo trailers. I hoped it was coincidence, cleaned-up advertising for the dinnertime watchers. But we can hide behind hope no more.

It's true--The Secret Life of the American Teenager, premiering tonight on ABC Family, is coming at us straight outta the gates of prime-time Sunday school; otherwise known as Brenda Hampton's 7th Heaven.

I had little respect for 7th Heaven as a series . . . it served its own purposes, and therefore there was nothing stimulating about it. In its later seasons, it all but preached teen marriage and pregnancy before 19. Correction: It literally preached that, through a minister patriarch and his screechy wife. The theme song conjured images of Bible Belt children being forced to watch while their parents rallied against Democrats and birth control. (I now realize we were unknowingly picturing the kids from the polygamist cult.) In short, 7th Heaven seemed more an Evangelical political statement than a unique interpretation of growing up, and there was no subtlety in its deliverance; I mean, delivery!

I'll watch Secret Life tonight . . . it's the first major production to cash in on Juno and has at least made its protagonist a "band geek" and not a cheerleader. But do not fear, Pom Pom sect, you will be represented: by--try not to flinch--Grace (please), described on the show's website as a "super-Christian cheerleader."

Can't they put a little more effort into disguising it?

In other news:
FAUX-STUDENT BIRTHDAY: Happy birthday to Hilarie Burton, a.k.a. Miss Peyton Sawyer (One Tree Hill), who turns an un-high-schooly 26 today.
SOUNDTRACK: "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths.

Monday, June 30

This Is The Thing About High School . . .

It's kind of a clusterfuck. And if I'm not mistaken, by nature a clusterfuck is hard to define. But watching people try is better than TV. Trying on TV gets bonus points.

So here it is: People have been attempting to pin down high school for God knows how many years. But, shocking though it may seem to countless therapists, editors and filmmakers, it's probable no one will ever do it.

And therein lies the fascination--it can never be just one thing, and no matter how much you loathe it, or love it, or want to find the fountain of youth just to go back, or want to sleep for four years to miss it, it's always there, repeating itself in society. The world is made up of tiny high schools like stars, and it's not terrifying but terribly entertaining.

That's all it is: A collection of rejects and tries-too-harders, artists and artistes, and a media desperate to put it all into words.