Wednesday, February 18, 2004

One Word....Plastics

Unless you do something other than read weblogs all day (as if!), you've probably already heard about how Barbie and Ken are breaking up. [via LYD] Yeah yeah yeah, so it's all a big publicity stunt: how different is that from most flesh-and-blood relationships? Anyway, Ken's mum on his future plans, Barbie's goin back to Cali to Cali to go all surfer chick (how 2002 of her!), and there's even a new man in the picture, boogie-boarding Australian stud Blaine. What's unclear is whether Blaine's intended for Babs or Ken. My theory is that the recent marriage-related activities on both coasts (Boston and San Francisco) have prompted Ken to reexamine decisions he's made in the past and go semi-public with, um, how-you-say, "what we've known all along." Hey, maybe in a few months or so Ken might even work up the courage to stop referring to Blaine as his "roommate" in front of his parents.

And Blaine? Gurrrrl, you don't fool me. I'm sorry honey, but everything about you—the name, the ab definition, the sketchy past, the even sketchier haircut—just scream gay porn star. I mean, who lists their occupation as "boogie boarder" and doesn't expect to raise a few eyebrows you-know? I know the gays aren't known for subtlety, but couldn't you have tried something a little less obvious, like "sausage handler" or "private lumbar support"? Why not just get HOT WILLING BOTTOM tattooed across your ass?

In other gay Barbie news, one of the kookiest movies out there, the banned Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, is available for slow free download on the great censorship site Illegal Art (which has lots of great banned/controversial clips and images to peruse). The senior thesis project of Brown alumnus/flaming homo Todd Haynes (director of Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven), Superstar tells the story of Karen Carpenter's losing battle with anorexia, using Barbie dolls instead of actors. It's horror, high camp, and movie of the week all in one—a must-see—and was immediately sued/banned by—not Mattel, since the dolls were a generic brand—but A&M Records and Richard Carpenter, Karen's brother and back-up singer. Richard objected to the unauthorized use of Carpenters songs in the film. (Most critics gossips agree he actually just objected to his portrayal in the film as, um, how-you-say, someone with similar psychosexual hangups as Ken. Karen: "Tell mom and dad about this and I'll tell them your dirty little secret." Richard: "You wouldn't dare!") The Illegal Art site also has a bit about Tom Forsythe, a Utah-based artist sued (unsuccessfully) by Mattel for his photos of Barbies and blenders in compromising positions; there are lots of great examples of his work here.

If the Illegal Art site is really slow to load up, it's because everyone's flocking there to download the recently banned Grey Album, in which DJ Danger Mouse mixes vocal tracks from Jay-Z's Black Album with backing tracks from The Beatles' White Album—get it, Grey Album? (The impatient can click here, unless they're worried about getting served.) The album is weird, futuristic, sort of hypnotic, and actually quite catchy—and light-years better than the way overhyped Dizzee Rascal album—and there's even a song that uses a clip of Jay-Z's mother talking about him. [Read more on the bevy of Black Album remixes at MTV News.]

Final gay Barbie/slow download note: artist Juan Albuerne has started a (sometimes slow-to-load) website showcasing his creepy/fascinating celebrity fashion doll makeovers, in which he transforms Barbie dolls into famous celebrities. This isn't just some dumb costume change site: the dude physically carves/sculpts the dolls' faces and bodies to look like famous women, then applies wigs, make-up, and hand-sewn couture to finish it off. I mean, there's plastic surgery, and then there's plastic surgery. (Har!) Some of my favorites are Cher (uncanny!) and the stars of Chicago—isn't it frightening how little work it took to make a Barbie doll look like Renée Zellweger?

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