Saturday, February 26, 2011

Five Types of Dudes Hollywood Has Made Me Attracted to Who I Otherwise Probably Shouldn't Be


The Departed

When a movie set in South Boston comes out, my lady friends and I will go see it. Regardless of quality, production values or levels of Ben Affleck participation, we are going to fork out seven quid to go see the thing in glorious surround sound. Why? Because Southie men are hot. Maybe it's their accents. Maybe it's because they seem to have an unwavering loyalty to their mothers. It may even be because they're all good Catholics. But I think the main reason is because Southie men seem to love beating the absolute crap out of eachother, and this is inexplicably sexy.


American Psycho

Remember how clean Patrick Bateman's apartment was? Remember how he let that prostitute take a bath and drink chardonnay before he murdered her? Sure, he has an unquenchable thirst for gore and violence, but he can also get you into the best restaurants in town. He may not be the worlds most level-headed boyfriend, but by God he knows a good power-ballad when he hears one.

Cocky Douchebags

Ferris Buellers Day Off

When I was thirteen, I decided that if I wasn't going to marry Ferris Bueller, I was at least going to find someone close enough and shape him in his converse-clad image. However, the older I get, the more I realise that Ferris Bueller is a cocky little douchebag with entitlement issues. He steals! He hijacks parades! He abandons his girlfriend so she has to spend half the day traipsing around with his mopey friend! Still, everytime I see Ferris Twisting and Shouting on an inexplicably German-themed parade float, my heart swells for his particular brand of pasty twatbag. Go figure.



Smoking is bad for you. And its expensive. And it smells kind of crappy. Yet somehow, despite various health warnings and my vague ventures in common sense, when I see a dude smoking I automatically assume that he has a Phd in absolute bad-assery. There are few things more intimate then sharing a cigarette with someone, and Smoker Guy knows this. Smoker Guy has watched you come in and has been monitoring your every movement with the hawk-eyed precision of a man who loves danger and hates life.

The Emotionally Repressed

The King's Speech

Men have often asked me what it is that women find so devastatingly attractive about Colin Firth, and until recently I didn't really get it either. Colin Firth seems like a perfectly pleasant man, with fairly average features and a weirdly dead-eyed fishlike expression. However, after seeing The King's Speech I feel  like I've finally been let in on the great Colin Firth mystery. Colin Firth specialises in playing the emotionally repressed individual. He favours characters who would rather swallow their own salad fork then talk about their feelings, and in a world where men are keeping dream journals, a bit of repressing is somewhat refreshing. Contrary to popular belief, most women are repelled by a man openly showing emotion. It makes us feel threatened, like you're moving in on our territory. If you're suddenly openly weeping over car insurance ads, what's left for us?

The Wider Social Problems Represented by Elizabeth Banks

A girls' relationship with her girl crush represents a truly unique area of her life. Choosing your current dominant girl crush tells the world not only who you are but who you want to be, and who you will hopefully, someday, forsake heterosexuality for.

With this in mind, let's all take a minute to think about Elizabeth Banks.

After much humming and hawwing over the matter, I've decided that I'm comfortably in love with Elizabeth Banks. Although my feelings for her were initially hampered by a worryingly prolonged stint on the perpetually shark-jumping Scrubs, I've since given myself over to this Aryan fox of a woman. If Elizabeth Banks were a Pokémon she'd be Ninetails. If she were a shower product, she'd be that discontinued Herbal Essence conditioner that smelled like daisies. If she were the kind of celebrity to release a perfume (which she completely wouldn't, by virtue of the fact of being cool) it would be called Win Some. (See what I did there?)

It's Elizabeth Banks! And she's happy to see you.

Shallowly enough, a lot of my girl-crushing on Elizabeth Banks is because of her hair colour. You may not have noticed this, but awesome blonde women are terribly misrepresented in the media. As an awesome blonde woman, I feel very strongly about this. It's the same in everything. The blonde girl is shallow and mean-spirited. She is ill-tuned to a mans needs. She is not fun. She does not like it when her boyfriend plays Xbox. She is precarious with Don Draper's children.  There aren't a whole lot of cool roles written for women in Hollywood, and if there are they almost always go to Zooey Deschanel. And frankly, who isn't sick of the sight of Zooey Deschanel?

Elizabeth Banks = Ice Cream

 What gives?  Do you remember seeing any nice blonde ladies in any of this years major movies? No, you don't. You don't ask a nice blonde lady to do a lesbian scene with Mila Kunis, or help Leonardo DiCaprio incept things. I'm sure Elizabeth Banks would have loved to do a lesbian scene with Mila Kunis, but nobody asked her.

There was a time in history where fair-haired people walked the streets as the rightful betters of the semetically coloured brunettes. Back then, blonde stood for something. Strength. Honour. Purity. And, of course, the unification of Austria and Germany.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Figure Out Your Political Leanings in Four Easy Text Messages

Tom is my friend that knows everything. I'm not even trying to be vaguely insulting toward him here; it isn't as if he tells people this, or even carries himself in such a manner. It's such a simple fact. Some people have blue eyes. Tom knows everything. I once tried to prove this to a third-party by asking him, as a joke, who invented Velcro. He thought for a moment and said "I can't remember right now, but it was definitely a Swiss guy" and he was right. Ok, I know he didn't know the specific answer but that's still pretty good.

Tom: Knowledge Whore

As at least 80% of those reading this blog will know, tomorrow is the day where we get to vote for a new government to complain about. Having never read a newspaper or thought about current affairs basically ever, I have absolutely nothing to add to this. I quickly phase myself out of political conversations, never quite sure who exactly to scoff or roll my eyes at.

What happens in my brain when people talk about the Government

So, this morning, when my Dad told me my voting card had arrived, I knew there was only one person to call.   Or text. Because, y'know. I'm busy.

Message Sent: Caroline
Who should I vote for? Just gimme a name. You don't even have to explain why.

Message Received: Tom
What constituency are you in? If Cork South Central, which I think you are, it's a no-brainer. Michael Martin has to be given a strong man.

Message Sent: Caroline
A strong man?

Message Recieved: Tom
Pressed send by mistake. Anyway, Martin. That was going to read "strong mandate". We need a credible, empowered opposition leader, so Martin needs to get elected with a huge lead. If he doesn't get elected by twice the votes he actually needs, we really are screwed. Although I won't vote FF, if I was in his area I'd make an exception.

Message Sent: Caroline
Ooh, my parents are voting FG. Imma stir some shit up.

Message Recieved: Tom
Well, I hate to say it, but that's the one thing I wouldn't do. Still, most people will, and I can see why. Still, as I say, Martin is the only politician we actively need. I don't think anyone at all can argue that point. You could replace Kenny, Gilmore et al without trouble, lose Martin and you lose all voice of opposition to plans that won't work, and the only experienced minister who achieved anything. Doesn't mean I support the idiots he leads, or the ones he was lead by in the past.

Message Sent: Caroline
I love you because you teach me things.

Message Recieved: Tom
Final word for today: Am in a supermarket. There is no shaving section. Quote from manager I asked for help for directions: "It's more P.C. to call it "male hygiene". I hate the world.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

James Franco: Chuck Norris for the Indie Bitch

James Franco. Somewhere in the space of the last two years, James Franco has gone from mid-level hottie and decent actor to the second coming of Indie-Christ. (The first coming, in case you weren't aware, was a shared title, given to J.D. Salinger and Ben Gibbard. This eventually ended in a fight to the death in early 2010.) James Franco is not only the worlds most marvellous actor (he can play gay, you know), author, artist, director and Yale-ey, he is also a really nice guy. After some brief, ahem, research on James Franco, I discovered, ahem-hem, many wonderful things about this talented young Hollywood miscreant.

James Franco knows what Bill Murray said to Scarlett Johannson at the end of Lost in Translation.

When James Franco finished Ulysses, he read it again. Just for the hell of it.

The role of Amelie was originally written for James Franco.

James Franco gets the bus, for enviromental reasons.

James Franco was only in Eat Pray Love ironically.

When James Franco finished Ulysses again, he left it on a city bus, leaving clues in the margins to his identity.

James Franco is Banksy, for environmental reasons.

James Franco changed his name from James Frank in 1992 in a bid to distinguish himself from esteemed writer and personal rival, Anne Frank.

The rose petal scene in American Beauty was based on James Franco's sightings of his own penis.

This summer, James Franco will be writing, directing and starring in a movie adaptation of the Hopper painting, Nighthawks.

James Franco owns the rights to the character of Holden Caulfield, just in case he someday feels like it.

James Franco gets Faulkner.

James Franco only buys from local businesses.

James Franco has two best friends; one is his mother, and the other is Rosa Parks.

James Franco really did cut off his own arm in that one movie.

James Franco is uncomfortable with his heart-throb status.

James Franco ordered three dozen Kindle's from Amazon and burned every last one of them.

James Franco once thought he had a zit. But then he realised that God would never be so cruel. Long story short he donated nothing to charity. (donated by Emmet O'Brien)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Open Letter to Sociology (and Academic Minors Everywhere)

Dear Sociology,

Our relationship with one another closely resembles Glenn Close's relationship with Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction. In this situation, I am represented by Michael Douglas and you are represented by Glenn Close. Yes, we shared a brief, passionate dalliance: I was excited by all you had to offer me, but even moreso, I was seduced by what you stood for. Sociology, you once stood for freedom of options, of the grass being greener, of the Michael Douglas I could be.

I neglected to inform you that despite my occasional straying, I am fully committed to my academic major, which is, and (sadly for you) always will be English. English represents stability in  my life; consistency. English is where I realise that the Michael Douglas I could be is just  not as compelling as the Michael Douglas I am.

Sociology, you will never be the woman that English is to me. English even still occasionally wears sexy lingerie. And I don't want to be harsh here, Sociology, but you're basically the least legitimate form of study there is. I mean, you're a "social science", for crying out loud. I'm sorry, Sociology, but you will never be my bottom bitch.

And that's what I wanted to talk to you about, Sociology. Your behaviour of late has become inexcusable. I would like to give you the time, love and attention you deserve but 2,500 words? By Thursday? On the Sociology of Cancer?  Cop yourself on, Sociology.

And stop killing my pets.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Thing That Made This Whole Weekend Worthwhile

The Mountain Goats are my favourite band in the whole world. I have never seen them live, because they rarely come to Ireland (I mean, why would you?)

If you would like to listen to the Mountain Goats so they can become your favourite band, too, click here.

5 Things I Listened To Today: Boring Music Post

I'm not a music journalist, but sometime I like to pretend that I could be. I work in a music shop, which means I sometimes get to listen to the music I like for free. Which is kind of like what music journalists do. Today I listened to five albums. This post is their story.

The Villagers -  Becoming a Jackal

I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard about the Villagers. It was about a year ago, and my friend Tom told me he was going to see a gig that night by a band called "The Villagers". This was obviously pre-Mercury Prize hoopla, so nobody had heard of them. Tom said "Villagers", but I of course heard "Village People", and then promptly told everybody as such. I feel bad about it now, as it furthered some pretty persistent rumours that Tom was gay.

Some time later, The Villagers became wildly popular, and I ignored it completely. I know I shouldn't, but I generally ignore Irish artists. I think it's because Ireland is so small that the second you have a conversation with someone about an Irish band, movie or terrorist attack, they won't stop telling you about their vague personal connection to it. Remember when Angela's Ashes came out and suddenly everyone had a cousin who played an abused kid?

But this weekend, I've started listening to Becoming a Jackal an awful lot, and it's safe to say I've fallen in love with it a little. The great thing about really great modern pop music (and I'm referencing recent break-throughs like The National and others I can't think of right now) is when a band can creates its own undercurrent, a feeling of quiet desperation that bubbles and always threatens to break through. The real pay-off is for the brief, beautiful seconds where it does.

"He lies awake in his bed every night devising ways to conceal the strain, she never tells of her midnight fears or admits that she does the same. They never meet, never touch, never speak, and for one tired old refrain; Can you hearr me now??" - That Day
Other Mighty Tracks: The Day of the Jackal, The Pact, Ship of Promises (I might be crazy, but is this song sound a lot like early Muse to anyone?)

Gruff Rhys - Hotel Shampoo

I really wanted to like this album. I'm not sure why; I don't like Super Furry Animals so there's no real reason I should have any real attachment to Gruff Rhys. Me wanting to like this album is based on a combination of seeing cool-looking people buying it, and the fact that its inspired by the 574 bottles of hotel shampoo Gruff Rhys has apparently been hoarding since 1995, with which Rhys has recently created this:

Neat, huh?

The album starts pretty strongly: Shark Ridden Waters is the kind of funky lo-fi track that someone puts on a mixed cd for you that you don't notice right away, yet later become obsessed with. Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn't really live up to even this bit of pseudo-praise.

The whole thing is a bit like a regional radio show from the sixties, most likely a region that had a lot of The Mama's and the Papa's fans. It's all very forgettable. The lyrics, when audible through Rhys's muttered vocals, range from the uninspiring to the truly dire. "Christopher Colombus, he had a lot to answer for" is bleated by Rhys throughout the record. What, Rhys? What does Christopher Colombus have to answer for? Embarrassingly, Rhys adopts the technique used by many average lyricists; finding a line that sounds half-way insightful and then repeating it ad nauseum. "If we were words we would rhyme"

Really, Rhys?

A.C. Newman - Get Guilty

The New Pornographers rarely get the recognition they deserve, and neither does their main vocalist and chief songwriter, A.C. Newman. It's a terrible oversight, and I've often tried to decipher why this could possibly be. The only suitable answer I could conceive is that Newman is too good.  That's right. A.C. Newman is so good at writing pop songs that they're too "indie" to be embraced by the cultural mainstream, but not indie enough to be embraced by "indie" lovers. I don't know if that makes any sense, but if your welcome to come up with your own reasons to explain the Newman/Popularity Conundrum as long as you listen to this album. Vitally, Prophets and maybe even more awesome There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve. I defy you not to enjoy this album.

Yuck - Yuck

Around this time every year, the albums that are set to be the soundtrack of the summer get released. These are the bands that will dominate the festival circuit, drinking outside and scraping together change for cans. I could never totally get on board with Summer 2010's soundtrack; yes we had The Drums, but there was also the sickly sweet retro overkill of Best Coast and She & Him. I wanted less Kopperberg, more Devils Bit. That's why I was so pleased with Yuck's debut album. Listening to it on a wet February afternoon made me think about the summer to come, of loud, loud music and short, short dresses.

Yuck - Get Away

The Kinks - Greatest Hits

What I like best about the Kinks is that I don't know any stories about the Kinks. I do not have a favourite Kink. I have never heard an incriminating story about a Kink involving a Mars bar. None of the Kinks children, as far as I'm aware, feature heavily in Heat magazine. The Kinks are one of the few artists of their generation who have managed to preserve their musical integrity for what it is; an enormous catalogue of brilliant, brilliant pop songs. Everybody should own a Kinks Greatest Hits, even if just for "Lola", "Sunny Afternoon" and "Waterloo Sunset". I won't even bother linking these here, because you should own them all already. However, you may not have heard this frankly excellent duet with Ray Davies and Mumford & Sons.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A = Vagina

I spend a large portion of my time by myself. Not scarily large; I'm not the dandruff chick from The Breakfast Club. While I'm not a complete hermit, I do find that I need to have a few hours by myself most days to be content. I've more or less always been this way, so I don't question it very often.

However, I, like many others, sometimes doubt the most fundamental aspects of my personality. Is it good to like being alone? Should I make more of an effort with my classmates? Am I self-contained, or just eternally bitter and pissed off? The last time I had these thoughts was May, 2010.

 I was standing outside an exam hall, waiting for my 19th Century American Literature exam to begin. Absently flicking through some notes on Herman Melville. I look up. I sigh. I see a group of my classmates, standing around socialising and generally being jovial like it's nobody's business. I fold my notes and decide that its time I break out of  my own bookish shell and start a conversation with the people I'd spent the previous two years actively avoiding. I am brave! I am charismatic! 

I stop and overhear the conversation that is already taking place. One guy, who is clearly the leader of the conversation, delivers the single douchiest sound bite since the creation of language. Funnily enough, it was about the creation of language.

"...and so, the Romans believed that the letter "A", was to be the first letter. The life-giver, the originator of the language. That's why it's so clearly shaped like a vagina."

I waited for his friends to say something, anything that would even vaguely address how that makes sense. Everyone nodded and continued talking about the alphabet, like it was a legitimate conversation. 

I decided, quite wisely, that there was no need to engage with my classmates today. I backed away from the group of English students, and never approached them again. 

Thankfully, the exam went slightly better then my failed social interaction. I got a Vagina in it and everything.

I Was Looking For a Job and Then I Found a Job

Yesterday was free chocolate day at work. That makes it sound like an organised event, or at least something akin to this:

But in reality, it was my employers noticing that all the chocolate was about to expire, and so dumped several boxes of Wispas and Crunchies on the break table. But am I complaining? Certainly not. As those who know me can testify, not accepting free food is just not in my lexicon. 

So, when  my assistant manager asked if he could have "a quick word" with me in the office, I looked something like this:

We all know what "quick words" are. Quick words are seldom quick, and the words involved are almost always about your failings as a worker, a person, and as organic matter. I knew from the second I saw my assistant manager that these quick words would almost certainly be in direct response to last Sunday's Disprin Incident. And maybe it was thanks to the two Crunchies and one Wispa surging their way through my pancreas, but it was hard to take the conversation seriously. You see, me and my assistant manager have, over the three years we've worked together, choreographed a merry social dance that we (fox)trot out at least three times a year, and it goes something like this:

He: Caroline.
Me: Mmmh? (Spinning idly in revolving chair that I hardly ever get to sit on)
He: Could you..? (Motions at chair)
Me: Oh. Sorry. (Stops spinning.)


He: I know we've talked about this before.. semi-jokingly..
Me: What before?
He: Your drinking.
Me: Oh.
He: You seem to spend the majority of your time in work either drunk or hungover.
Me: (offended) That's not true! 

A quick calculation of the facts unveil that it is true. I work, part-time, at 18 hours a week. I am generally hungover on Sunday, where I work six hours, and Thursday, where I work four. Below is a pie-chart representing these facts. 

So, I guess he has a point. This is where I usually begin my retort. 

He: Caroline, I won't say you're the company lush but..
Me: Oh come on now. That's totally unfair. You're only saying that because Billy and Ryan don't work here anymore.
He: (ponderous) True. Those guys were pretty bad.
Me: See?
He: That still doesn't excuse you though.
Me: (with the countenance of a scolded child) I know. I'm sorry.

What then generally ensues is a half-hearted lecture about my behaviour, with a cautioning about "Head Office" (whoever they are) and their feelings on my general debauchery. (They don't like it)

Artist's representation of my relationship with Head Office

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Still Raggin' on Ewoks

Feeling alienated?

It's fair to say that I had high hopes for Paul, and although I'd like to chalk my huge dissapointment in the film down to those initial hopes, it just wouldn't be fair. I'd like to say that Paul is only bad in comparison to previous Frost/Pegg ventures; namely the now legendary Shaun of the Dead, worthy follow-up Hot Fuzz and  cult TV holy grail, Spaced - but that wouldn't be true either. Because the fact is, Paul is just bad, no matter which way you look at it.

The primary aim of the film is to capture all the excitement and unpredictability of the traditional road movie, with the appearance of  "Paul" the alien granting the plot its higher purpose as a getaway movie. Two guys, a girl and an alien. Put even simpler, it's somewhere between Easy Rider and E.T.

The movie's main downfall is the inherent laziness of its script. Although the "bromance" element is still technically there, the duo's loveable, mooching humour that was so marketable in their first two movies appears stilted and manufactured in their third. The hallmarks of this are all too obvious; the Clive and Graeme characters are routinely mistaken for being a gay couple, there are constant references to their shared awkward childhood, and there are cuddly terms of endearment galore. As both actors reach their forties, you can't help thinking: "Really? Is this all you have?"

Yes Caroline, it is!

The overall dullness of the script is not limited to Clive and Graeme. This is a road movie, and like all good road movies, it relies heavily on colourful characters and bizarre, backwater locales. And somehow, in almost two hours of screen time, Pegg and Frost don't manage to come up with a single original entry for either. The audience is treated to the duo's take on bible-bashing red necks, angry red necks, naive red necks, crazy old lady red necks and, of course, homophobic red necks. Every defunct stereotype of the American South is tiresomely trotted out, to the point that the film which spends so much of its time pandering to an American audience ends up alienating at least half of them.

Paul seems to bank on its supposed embracing of nerd culture in defining its likability. However, while Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz lovingly homaged the genres they mimicked, Paul goes for cheap, predictable targets. Nerds like Star Wars? And Alien? Is this news - or even current - to anyone? It feels as if the movie exploits the nerd genre rather then embraces it, striving for the note deftly hit by productions like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and The Big Bang Theory while never achieving the same originality or cleverness.

Perhaps most disappointing about Paul is the overwhelming feeling of lost potential. Cameos by talents such as Jane Lynch, Jason Bateman and Blythe Danner are throw-away at best; baffling at worst. Jeffrey Tambor makes an appearance and outshines most of the performances for the ten minutes of screen time he is granted. Seth Rogen, to his credit, is clearly trying very hard to be the film's comedic lead, but unfortunately lacks the talent to carry the movie. He is a formulaic straight-man actor, forced uncomfortably into the role of irreverent CGI misfit.

Paul: The least likeable alien since Penelope Cruz

The fact that this review has rambled on for far longer then a review naturally should says a lot about my respect for the Frost/Pegg duo. While Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced will never date, the continual rehashing of the same character archetypes most certainly will. The sincere hope is that they can recover their original genius. Or better yet- find a new hope entirely.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Five days, five posts, six followers. One of them is me. One of them, thrillingly, is someone I don't know. (At least, I don't know if I know you. Care to unveil yourself, Captain Dogfather?)  A handful of comments, all of them from Dave or Emmet. Criticism from my mother for swearing too often. Two lists. One Embarassing story. New Years Resolution to write something every day, whether its a song, a story, an article or a blog post: going mostrly strong, if sketchy and uneven. Social life: lively. Blake Lively.

Apparentally Relevant?

Five Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

The idea of "the guilty pleasure" is something that people throw around quite a lot. Actually, I don't think it's even referred to as a "guilty pleasure" anymore, the trendier term since becoming "liking things ironically". (My friend Ross uses that last one quite liberally. The other day we were in the UCC Common Room, apparentally under "ironic" circumstances. I don't understand why. We both attend UCC.)

I'm someone who identifies themselves very strongly with my preferences. I feel like I devote a lot of my time and effort into either loving or hating things, and I am tired of having to identify whether the things I love are worthy of my Catholic guilt or not.

My thoughts on Ke$ha can probably be surmised best by the fact that I actually spend that extra second extending my pinky to the shift button in order to grant her the "$" she apparentally requires to spell her own name. I have time for Ke$ha. For all intents and purposes, she is just another dumb bitch. But I feel like Ke$ha has a vague understanding of her own dumb bitch-ness and has thus become intent on THE dumb bitch. And she's doing very well.

            (I mean look at her here! When's the last time you saw a pop-star wearing tights? I bet she's been wearing them for days)

Ke$ha epitomises the dumb, slutty drunk bitch that lives deep within every girl. Yes, in every girl there is a tiny version of Ke$ha, pawing at the door of our subconscious and begging to be let out. And sometimes we do let her out, generally when there's some Captain Morgan's in the equation.

Cher/ Dolly Parton

There are a limited number of spots on this list, and hence I am forced to include Cher and Dolly Parton in the same slot. I don't, by any means, mean to lump them together into the same genre. However, a cursory glance of these two photographs suggest that these women have an awful lot in common with one another. For one thing, neither of them have seen 40 in quite some time. For another, they are both completely and utterly awesome.

Just look at them! Dolly and Cher are opposing sides to the same coin of being utterly fantastic. They release albums and movies whenever the hell they like, wear whatever the hell they like, get plastic surgery in bizarre places, and generally spend their time being totally sassy bitches. Also, remember that time Cher went on the David Letterman show and called him an asshole? I do, and it was four years before I was born. And it was awesome.

Every Band Movie Ever

I'm not just talking about classics like Almost Famous or This is Spinal Tap. When I say that I love every band movie ever, I really mean, every band movie, ever. Regardless of quality, performances, use of lip-synching. I really don't care. If a movie is about a couple of kids with a dream and drumkit, I will love it, no matter how terrible it is. In fact, the more terrible it is, the more likely I am to love it. The following are examples of Band Movies I have genuinely watched, and genuinely enjoyed.

And lets not forget, the complete Holy Grail of Band Movies (for me, anyway)
Greatest. Movie. Ever.
The other day I actually started a conversation with "Have you heard the news about Scrabble?" (If you are interested in hearing what this truly devestating news was, click here. )To which my friend replied "What "news" could you have about a 25 year old word game that could any way be construed as interesting?"
If we had been playing Scrabble, I may have replied with something that looked like this.

And a cat bastard albatross shit-bastard to you too, fucktard! Just kidding, my friend is actually very nice and none of these things.

Scrabble has endured an unfortunate reputation as being a pastime of the old, the infirm, the criminally dull and the achingly nerdy. I'm here to set the record straight. The record being: Scrabble is wonderful. (A statement which would earn you a 39 point minimun in Scrabble)

The Gilmore Girls

Of all my supposed "guilty" pleasures, this is the one that people seem to have the biggest problem with. Despite the fact that it ran for seven seasons, people hate this show.

And for a lot of reasons, the above photograph included, I don't blame them. People seem to regard the Gilmore Girls as being a smug, fast-talking version of Seventh Heaven, only with less cast members and religion. People like whining about the fact that "Real people don't talk that way. Nobody can speak that fast. Or cite that many cultural references." And they're absolutely right. Yet, when I complain that the plot-lines of Desperate Housewives are completely unrealistic, the characters utterly one-dimensional and the aesthetics so far removed from reality that I now actually find it disconcerting when woman in her forties doesn't have Botox, the point is somehow moot.

I mean, what the fuck?

Gilmore Girls is a realistic show, with rounded characters and concievable plot-lines, yet has unrealistic dialogue. Unrealistic, yet completely fantastic. And if that's not enough for you, uhm, two of the guys who used to be in the O.C. were in it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's with today, today?

My opinion of my own intellect is rather varied. There are days when it feels like my brain has triumphed over every adversity that dares to face it. These are generally the days when I get back an essay and my lecturer grants one of my points an enigmatic double-tick. Or the days that I use a tin opener all by myself.

Today is not one of those days.

Last night, I had the honour of attending what has long been looked forward to as the social event of the season, nay, the year; the debut EP launch for loveable miscreants and good friends When Good Pets Go Bad. The night was a tremendous success, and I came home a satisfied, if quite drunk, customer. I launched myself into bed and prepared myself for warm lovely dreams about guitars and Burt Reynolds.

I woke up at six in the morning, feeling the groggy dehydration of someone who's been mainlining rasberry flavoured vodka. I blindly felt my way into the kitchen, desperately trying not to wake up my mother, whose crazy pills kick in between 1 and 6 a.m. I chugged three glasses of water, and feeling like I should probably play it safe, hangover wise, reached for a blueish box, on which i could barely make out the word "aspirin". The kitchen was still completely dark, so I couldn't actually read the box properly, but eggs is eggs is eggs, right?


The second I swallowed the tablet I knew something was wrong. My throat had never felt fizzy in the past and it seemed odd that it felt fizzy now. I turned on the light and looked at the packet to confirm my suspicions, and once I saw the little bubbles zooming off the cartoon tablet on the box, I knew my goose was cooked. Soluble, I remembered, does not mean "swallow by itself, ignore water" but actually means something closer to "make a drink with this out of water, and then you'll feel much nicer". Panicked, I drank an additional two glasses of water and went back to sleep.

By the morning I had forgotten about the whole experience and charged my way through two boiled eggs. Delighted with my reasonably small hangover, I went to work with no knowledge of the horrors to come. By half one, I was in complete agony. It felt like there was a bunch of angry Alaskans going to town on some baby seals in my stomach.

I quickly figured out that this sudden disgusting pain could in some small way be related to my fizzy throat problem the night before. I told my supervisor who suggested I go to Boots (where happiness is born) and tell the pharmacist about my problem. I was then told by a nice woman in a sweater vest that I was to lie down and drink lots of water, and that the problem should pass within twelve hours. Should?, I replied. "Unless it's ripping your stomach lining. Which could be the case. Look out for blood."

I responded with a face that looked something like this:

...and hobbled back to work.

For a total of 48 minutes, until my supervisor decided that me trying to serve customers while doubled over in pain wasn't the world's best marketing strategy. 

And that's the story of how swallowing a soluble Disprin got me sent home from work. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is Why No-one Takes Feminism Seriously

I feel sorry for Feminism sometimes. Let's face it, the world really doesn't take her seriously. If Feminism was a person, she would probably look exactly like Phil and Lil's mum from The Rugrats.

It's generally accepted that Feminism, the poor old gal, is a bit redundant, at least when she's talking about Western culture. Feminism hasn't been remotely cool since the seventies, which Feminism seems to have idly accepted. Since then, Feminism has been content to hang around in some kind of metaphorical waiting room with all the other semi-retired social movements, like Marxism, who hogs the good magazines, and Communism, who won't stop telling Marxism about China.

Feminism has a lonely life.

Today, however, Feminism raised her little old head again and reminded me how bat-shit crazy she is. Because today, I found this in a second-hand book shop.

Yes, you read that right. Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation is actually the title of a real book that I found in a real book shop. I couldn't actually bring myself to buy HBIG but I did go home and google it out of morbid curiousity, where I found reviews like this:

"Lara Owen presents a viewpoint on menstruation which is startling in its reversal of conventional attitudes. Her presentation is so lucid and convincing that after reading it one wonders how one could ever have regarded menstruation as a problem. This book is a must for any woman seeking wholeness. This is the rare kind of book that creates culture rather than merely commenting upon it. Lara Owen has sketched the outlines of a new social norm.”
Steven Bratman M.D., author of The Alternative Medicine Sourcebook (Lowell House)
I don't know about you, but I am utterly terrified at the prospect of this Lara Owen woman sketching new social norms out of God knows what. Another reviewer promises that "you will never look at menstruation in the same way again".

Feminism, you are a creepy bitch.