Saturday, January 31, 2004

Bush + Dick Make Love Not War

Great tidbit making the blog rounds about His Unelectableness the President. Speaking this month to the US Conference of Mayors (headed last year by Hizonnah Tom Menino of Boston), preznit give bad speaches let fly this stinker: "the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." It are appalling indeed! It are unpossible, even! (Via the brilliant Alas, A Blog, also a great spot for feminism- and women's rights-related news.)

I know I know, the astute smartasses at Pandagon are quick to remind us that a tendency to manhandle the English language is not a valid reason to hate the President. Thankfully, his tendency to manhandle everything else he touches offers plenty of fuel for the ire. Pandagon ignores its own wrist-slap a bit by linking to this (sur)real-life exchange between Bush and the confused Press Corps, which reads like some bizarre Beckett outtake.

In related Bush/theater news, witty socialist and Angels in America scribe Tony Kushner is hard at work on his next play, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy. It's about Laura Bush. (Wha?) The title is a line from The Brothers Karamazov,1 by Laura's favorite author, some Russian (I'm pretty sure it's this guy). I don't know why, but for some reason the fact that this chipper little Stepford librarian lady secretly adores Dostoevsky creeps me out—although her husband is a Grand Inquisitor figure of sorts. <obvious> Or wait, I'm thinking of The Idiot. </obvious>

Anyway, Cambridge's own A.R.T. is doing a benefit performance of an excerpt from Only We Who Guard.... (The excerpt debuted in L.A., with Camryn Manheim playing Laura Bush. Again, wha?) I'd love to see the performance, but at up to $300 a ticket it ain't gonna happen (though the Cambridge Forum says there are now limited $10 student tickets available). And anyway, I can perform it myself in my own home for free, because the flaming liberals at The Nation have published the excerpt. It looks even more bizarre than the incomprehensible seven-vagina Perestroika segment of Angels, what with the little Iraqi children making bird noises and such. That krazy Kushner!

1. Ooh ooh ooh, does anyone else remember the episode of MathNet which was all about how to pronounce the name "Karamazov"—KARamazov or KaraMAzov? Ah, sweet sweet SquareOne—it made me the dork I am today; 4-4:30pm just hasn't been the same since it ended. Thankfully, this SquareOne site has lots of MathNet (and Mathman!) episodes captured from Nickelodeon spawn Noggin, as well as a full stream of my favorite SquareOne video, "Archimedes" (bottom of page)! The official-looking SquareOneTV.Org streams a new MathNet episode every week, while this SquareOne site has lots of other video clips from the show, including the epileptic Swatch Watch/lite jazz intro sequence. I'm cogitating in my pants as we speak!

Friday, January 30, 2004

Strawberry Slutcake & The Chocolate Starfish

Remaindered from my Purple Pie Man image search (for the previous post)....

OK, fine. We all took the red pill, we're all hyper-aware of the trappings of our PoMo world: Alanis isn't ironic but The Carpenters are, new clothes are cheap but cheap-looking clothes are expensive, etc. And kids these days! In this post-punk day and age, all wide-eyed children's programming is actually secretly subversive and naughty, and 97.4% of the time it's geared toward whacked-out, sex-starved stoners1. It's all a case of target marketing, really: of the people who are at home to watch TV during midday children's programming hours, the only ones with any purchasing power (read: the only potty trained ones) are unemployed losers (ahem), and it's a proven fact that unemployed = filthy pit-stained drug addict. Throw some sly doobie references into the latest Sesame Street rip-off, and you're golden!

That said, I think I speak for the average loser when I say I like a little subtlety. For instance, take the Teletubbies, who worship a psychedelic baby and constantly crave giant mind-altering pills, a.k.a. Tubby Toast. Sure, ok, like groovy man and shit, I get it—but it's not obvious. So WTF is up with ole Strawberry Shortcake? Couldn't Strawberry & Co. try just a teensy bit harder to not be so fawking blatant about their B.V.D.-staining trampitude? Is it any wonder little girls (and prepubescent homos) look up to Britney Spears when faced with the kiddie porn/Lolita aesthetic of the Shortcake universe? Coy underage girls in fetchingly short outfits2 with their undies showing, all of them suffering from unhealthy attractions to horses and each other? Nothing wrong with that! And Ms. Shortcake's token slutty friend (the Blanche to her Dorothy, so to speak), who just happens to be named Raspberry Tart? She's not really a tart, she's just "friendly" and, uh, "sassy"! I mean, check out this comprehensive list of Strawberry's friends: Cherry Cuddler? Coco Nutwork? Baby Needs a Name? Are these children's cartoons, drag stripper names, or kinky sex positions? I'm too stoned to tell the difference!

[Speaking of stupid things you say when you're stoned, no talk of wink-wink cartoonery would be complete without mentioning Tinky Winky, cruelly outed by hatemongering douchebag Jerry Falwell a few years back. This post has more on the topic—the topic of sly children's programming that is, not Falwell's douchebagitude. For more on gay 'toons (and I don't mean yaoi or the Ambiguously Gay Duo), don't miss the list of top ten gay cartoon characters recently released by a UK radio station.]

Before I go, let's return to Exhibit A for a moment—SpongeBob SquarePants. I like him. He's gainfully employed. He's got moxie. He's best friends with a, ahem, starfish. He's great at trouncing his competition in the ratings every week—and last week was no different [link expires 2/6/04]. However (as the handy Zap2It reports), the 1/19-1/24 ratings win was a bittersweet victory for the underwater stoner. For in taking the #1 spot in the Nielsens, SpongeBob beat out preznit give me turkee's roid rage-fueled State of the Union Address, which tied with the WWF WWE at #8 in the ratings (lower than even Fox News's post-game analysis of the selfsame address, in at #4). A flaming but dapper loofa fares better than the President of the good ole US of A? I'm laughing and crying at the same time, and I don't think it's because of all this weed....

1. Exhibit A, Exhibit B. Seriously, just try navigating through site B when you're sober.
2. N.B.: Don't confuse old-skool Strawberry Shortcake with the relaunched and quite modest SScake 2003, who's clad in the hippest threads from 1994.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Mmm, Lemony

Gothamist reports1 on the upcoming movie version of nerd ur-text The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Woohoo! (No word on how exactly Gothamist got its info, but I'm in no position to doubt blogs read by more than 3 people. If it's on the Internet, it must be true.) The casting is great. Aside from her appropriately space-age-kooky name, Zooey Deschanel is just so alt and pixie, which there just isn't enough of in Hollywood; plus, she's had two chances to be Touched by Jake Gyllenhaal in The Swimsuit Area, which is my ultimate goal in life. And Mos Def! Loved him alongside fab Jeffrey Wright in Topdog/Underdog (next in my pile of library books).

Hitchhiker's Guide won't be at a theater (Canadians: theater theatre) near you until 2005, though. This year's most anticipated kids'-book-turned-movie is—no, not this jank—but Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, due out Xmas Day and based on the short 10-part (eventually 13) series of books by the same name. The Lemony Snicket books are some of my favorites—painfully clever, not really appropriate for children, and masterfully black in their humor (just like, uh, Wanda Sykes). The story follows the 3 Baudelaire orphans, whose parents die (or do they?) in a mysterious fire, leaving them a vast fortune coveted by their icky uncle (or is he?) Count Olaf, a cross-dressing but still butch doppelgänger for the faggy Purple Pie Man. I recommend a rainy day at the Coop reading the whole series; it's quick, pun-addled, and addictive in a way Harry Pothead only dreams of being. Hell, there's even an armchair right next to the special A Series of Unfortunate Events display in the Coop Kids section.

As far as the movie, it covers the first 3 books, and HELLO I NEED TRAILERS NOW!....But all they done given me is a (probably fake) teaser poster from the notoriously unreliable 6th graders cum-stained fanboys "critics" at Ain't It K3wl n00z. Again, the casting rocks: I loathe star Jim Carrey, but you're supposed to loathe Count Olaf. Severe-looking Meryl "You can see through my dress" Streep plays severe prude (and grammar Nazi) Aunt Josephine—obvious typecasting. Ditto for Jude Law,2 who's just smouldering-slash-sketchy enough to play the similarly styled Lemony Snicket. And any movie with topheavy comedienne Jennifer Coolidge (as a pale-faced Olaf henchwoman) is fine by me—she "makes me want a hot dog real bad."

1. I hereby declare a moratorium on this phrase, and the similar "Gawker notes" and "via Queer Day." Try generating your own G.D. content for once?!
2. Jude is the former occupant of the place inside me now, um, filled by Jake Gyllenhaal


Thanks to HaloScan, you can now leave comments on posts, complete with wacky smilies! Please do so, even on old posts. I'm taking bets on how long it takes until the comment-spamming bots take over.

Sadly, this now means seekaltroutes is no longer 100% JavaScript Free, which is not only sad in a geekout way but also means I have completely and utterly failed John Kusch, a blogger whose writing I enjoy immensely.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I did it eBay

Dirty, dirty doings at eBay these days. OK, part of it is that I finally figured out how to access eBay's "Mature Audiences" auctions: I was wondering for the longest time why when I would get drunk and search for "TWAT" all that would come up was a bunch of fawking rocks from The Wet Agate Trader (T.W.A.T....get it? [groan]). Now I can finally get my hot little hands on Wash West's rockin porn parody The Hole: [rrrring] "In seven days, you will be gay...."

But let's stay focused. Gawker notes that the latest sex-sells trend on eBay is imaginary girlfriends. Winning bidders get a promise of girlfriendom for a month or so, though considering it's restricted to online-only romance I'm not sure what the point is exactly. Since you can't show her to your parents, she doesn't work as a so-called "beard" girlfriend.** Perhaps Imaginary Girl can prove to a doubting fellow frat brother that you are capable of wooing women without the help of GHB?

But despite my predilection for fratboys, my favorite sex+eBay story has got to be the one about Rosie Reid, the Cynthia Nixon-styled college girl so desperate to pay off her college loans she tried to sell her virginity on eBay. The tagline is something only Gloria Steinem could love: "[L]ooking to sell virginity. Never lost it due to lesbianism. Will bung in free massage if you are any good." [Sorry I was speeding, officer—it was due to lesbianism. I'll bung in a free massage if you let me go without a ticket.]

Now sure, publicly auctioning off your V-card is sad, but Jessica Simpson did it to hawk bad pop music and an even worse reality show, so what's the fuss? Well you see, the truly sad part—what really hits you right there—is that (as the classy News of the World puts it in their much juicier scoop of the story) "Rosie is even willing to sleep with a man despite it being abhorrent to her—she is a LESBIAN." Gawddam those dykes are enterprising!

Hmm, let's see...the only other dirty eBay tidbit I have is more Halliburton dirty than Peaches dirty. Looks like America's sorry public school system is doing some good: wily eBay bidders have taken to buying misspelled popular items ("Chandaleer earrings") for cheap because they don't show up in searches, then selling them off at their true price, spelled correctly. (Link via the hilarious 'Bred Crumbs.) Hell, how else do you think I could afford my authentic "Louis Buitton" wallet?

**By "beard" here I don't mean a merkin or somesuch, but rather a faux girlfriend gay men use to hide their underlying flamerdom.


Ah, the Weekly List—an Internet meme as old as Al Gore himself. The following is partly inspired by the love-to-hate-it Boy's Briefs Weekly Top Five.

1. Cold Mountain Soundtrack [Review]
The movie is tedious stunt-casted crap, but the soundtrack is something else: haunting and Appalachian (but not in a Deliverance kind of way), with some old-time shape-note singing and a handful of dark backwoods ballads warbled superbly by White Striper Jack White. (Price on Amazon: $13.49. Not having to endure Meg White's preschool-level drumming: Priceless.) Makes the O Brother soundtrack (also produced by T-Bone Burnett) sound like an 8th grade musical.

2. Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude [Review]
A few years ago I read Lethem's last book—a hard-boiled detective novel about Tourette Syndrome—and thought it was OK, but nothing special. I started this book last night and am devastated at the though of it ever ending. As far as I can tell, the book is about racism, crack, gentrification, and America's cultural history for the last 40-50 years—sort of like Finding Forrester + Forrest Gump, but not sucky and set in Brooklyn (which is mercifully now totally over thanks to Sex & The City).

3. Ming Tsai Blue Ginger Bamboo Steamer [Buy from Ming]
So handy—those slanty-eyed devils sure know what they're doing! I made dim sum at home, ate Chinese broccoli until I puked, and even resuscitated stale bread. Ooh!

4. Nelly Furtado, Folklore [Review]
I know I know, what little indie cred my vintage Chuck Taylors afforded me is ruined by the fact that I dared resurrect long-buried memories of "I'm Like A Bird." But Folklore is less "Bird" and more bird flu—infectious, unstoppable, quirky, and globally-minded, with a so-called "world" music-tinged mix of R&B, pop, and fado, the plaintive folk music of Nelly's native Portugal.

5. Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, "I Keed" Video [Watch It]
Most of Come Poop With Me, the first (only?) CD by vulgar late night puppet (and Eminem rival) Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, is indeed poop. However, this first (only?) single is pure genius, with bullseye hits on every target from the "easy" (Britney) to the obscure (Philip Glass). The best line: "Snoop Dogg, there's only room for one dog putz / And I can rap, can you lick your own nuts?" The video is just as fawked-up: a cast of puppets, humans, live dogs, poop-based claymation, and cartoons drink and make out on a Cristal-Poppin Rap Video/Girls Gone Wild set. Cocktail party tidbit: Robert Smigel—the man behind SNL's "Saturday TV Funhouse" cartoons—is also the dude with his hand up Triumph's poop chute. FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Tanto Tempo

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my too-short trip to Brazil. I had some truly harrowing experiences there: wrestling an alligator in piranha-infested waters; taking an overnight bus ride with a machete-wielding serial killer; enduring an all-night binge with two closeted, coked-out Norwegian surfers; getting trapped on horseback in the middle of a cattle stampede; accidentally getting swept away into the Atlantic Ocean (Geribá Beach + high tide + no lifeguards = Ankur's Away); the multiple muggings visited upon friends who came to visit; and of course my four days forced to share a bed with a woman (gag!).

But I would still go back there in a second. Though João Gilberto alone would be enough, there's just so much to love about Brazil—the music, the movies, the cock size, did I mention the music?—and then there was Marcelo, and—

Uhh, but it's their politics that truly make my little liberal heart bleed...with joy that is. Anti-hunger crusade Fome Zero, despite its many problems (poor people credit cards?), was proposed as a global solution to hunger at last year's G8 Summit. This March, at Brazil's urging/resolution-authoring, the UN will, for the first time, consider sexual orientation as a human right worthy of protection (you can vote for it, too; via Queer Day). And even the h4><0rz gotta smile: government agencies and private businesses in Brazil are ditching Windoze in favor of free open-source like Linux, so they can spend their money helping the poor rather than lining the pockets of n00b lam3r Bill Gates. (Incidentally, Habib's, the Linux-friendly fast-foodery mentioned in the AP/Australian IT article, is where I spent much of that long night with the crackhead homo surfers.) Our own unelectable preznit give me turkee would book you on a one-way to Gitmo if you even thought about these things in his presence.

The Scarlet Letter

What's up with the Scarlett Johannson backlash? Love her! And those ta-tas?! Yet as Gothamist notes, in their Golden Globes acceptance speeches neither Bill Murray nor Sofia Coppola bothered to thank Scarlett, the girl who is so awesome she single-handedly jump-started their dreamy little pedophile fantasy with her ass.** And now the even more useless Oscars have snubbed Scarlett as well, in favor of the woman who chaws scenery in Cold Mountain like it's so much cornpone. Puhleez, you make one stupid movie about stealing the SAT and suddenly you're a Hollywood outcast? It's OK, Scarlett, did you really want to be part of any award for which Brother Bear is nominated?

In related Oscar news, I'm glad the eye-opening 60s radical documentary The Weather Underground got nominated—hopefully that will earn this solid film a wider release. True to its name, Weather Underground went "above ground" even in commie pinko Cambridge for approximately three days. I saw it then, at the Brattle, but nothing will compare to my viewing experience of its even more engrossing Oscar rival, Capturing The Friedmans. I saw Friedmans in the same Long Island town where the film—about a family destroyed by pedophilia accusations—takes place. If you've seen it you know much of the movie is about how horrible, unfair, and cruel the town (a.k.a. West Egg) is. I thought there was going to be a riot right there in the theater.

**Ass update [3:33pm]: Hyperlink kept forwarding to wrong page. Now follow updated link, then click "Images," and there Scarlett's (clickable thumbnailed) ass will be, swathed in sheer pink glory.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Twat A Wonderful World

Trends, fashion, Von Dutch hats, minorities du jour—oh how to keep up with it all? I mean, ok: first Tina Brown—somehow unaware of her own obsolescence—said that orange was the new black. Then The O.C. waltzed in one summer evening and declared that pink+brown was the new black. Then somehow Justin Trousersnake became the new black: not only did the born-and-bred honkey win a "Music of Black Origin" Award from those dubiously racist Brits, he cemented his blackaliciousness with questions of how much snake there actually was in his trousers**—not that I am one to stereotype.

Once Justin's flame began to flicker—and those pesky racism accusations surfaced—Justin was out and, uh, now out is in. Remember back in November? God, gay has been the new black for, like, ever. Makes me want to take a long swish off a short cliff.

Thankfully for the homo-weary, the wonks and wonkettes at AdAge have decreed that now porn is the new black (via Gawker). AdAge claims: "Porn is where hip-hop was 10-15 years ago."

Hey AdAge, 10-15 years ago, hip-hop was Vanilla Ice.***

Anyhoo, while mentioning several current double-anal-turned-WB stars (including Ice's Surreal Life co-star Ron Jeremy), AdAge fails to even name-check the father of all porn crossover stars: David Duchovny. Little Daveycakes channeled some juicy softcore exploits on the Red Shoe Diaries into a fully clothed but equally panty-moistening run on the aptly-named XXX-Files. AdAge also ignores ur-barely legal bimbo Traci Lords' many guest-starring attempts to go legit (including her recent jarring cameo on the G-rated Gilmore Girls), but since no one else watches GG but me and lonely Yalies, I'll forgive them (AdAge that is, not the Yalies—fuck them).

**Britney recalled only a Vienna Sausage, while an earlier report claimed they plump when you cook 'em. [Groan]
***I have nothing but love for fellow Floridian The Iceman: the line "A1A! Beachfront avenue!" from 'Ice, Ice Baby' is about my hometown. w00t

TEST: I have a dream

Born so close to MLK Day, it's only appropriate that seekaltroutes begins with a dream. For the past month, I've repeatedly been having vivid REM encounters with slinky Choire Sicha, "Corey to his friends" and current editor of Gawker. These dream tableaux are (sadly) non-sexual, though they do involve cooking. Regardless, I obviously have blog on the mind. Recent blog-prompting from a friend (from the waking world, no less) has helped turn these dreams into the nightmare you see before you. So here we go!