Tag Archives: miley cyrus

Friends Must Let Friends Procrastinate

When you graduate from college, your circle of friends will inevitably do two things: #1 – Promise to visit each other and stay friends forever and ever and ever, and #2 – Create a mailing list with a clever title, like “She Wolves” or “Homies Sweet Homies.”  Really, #2 is for when you realize that #1 won’t work out, especially if your friends are bankers.

tellis_color_mediumThe friends’ mailing list is sacred: within its archives, you will find serious discussions, biting arguments, soliloquies, confessions, rambles, insults, and of course, gossip.  On my mailing list, some recent topics of conversation included: Halloween costumes, celebrity baby names, spelling, becoming fat because your friends are fat, thoughts on academic freedom/torture, and Miley Cyrus.  Naturally.

Of course, besides heated discussion about talentless seventeen year-olds, the main purpose of the mailing list is to share absurd links with your friends.  So, here are some obscure links from my industrious group of procrastinating friends.

  • Ad for “Georgetown sophomore seeking a personal assistant“:   Apparently, the sophomore is looking for a fellow undergrad to be his bitch: to “organize closet / make bed / and do laundry” for him, amongst other tasks.  He’ll pay $12/hour, plus “bonus” opportunities.  This has got to be the most blatant case of sex-soliciting in DC since Larry Craig.
  • Profile of Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: With the message, “What would an ‘Ashley Tellis’ look like to you? I think: white, mid-40s, hippie parents with a questionable taste in first names.”  See the picture above, from the link to Carnegie’s website.  Yes, that is Ashley Tellis.  Viva assimilation!
  • The Cat Game: Okay, I have to admit that my mom actually sent this to me.  But then a college friend sent it as well, so I suppose my mom is just that cool (or, my friends are just that lame).  This may ruin a good half-hour of your time, but it’s worth it when you finally corral that stupid black cat.

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Work Diary, October 21, 2009: The Song Never Ends

8:00 AM – Waking Up to “Music”

I wake up to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” on the radio.  I don’t know it yet, but this song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  Oh, joy.  I think I’d prefer the theme song to Lamb Chop’s Play-Along instead.

8:45 AM – It’s There to Warn Tourists

lamb-chop-puppetOn my way to work, I pass by a disturbing billboard in Times Square.  Of course, there are hundreds of billboards in Times Square, usually featuring Hawaiian Tropic girls and Calvin Klein models in their underwear.  This one, however, has a magnified picture of a bed bug.  It appears that bed bugs have become such a big problem that they warrant their own Times Square billboard.  I love New York.

10:21 AM – Wrong Number…

I get a call from an unknown number.  When I pick up, the guy launches into his pitch: “Hi, my name is Andrew Porter. I love the morning show.  I’ve noticed that Al and Matt dress in different suits every day.  Well, I own a custom clothing company… Wait, this isn’t NBC Today?… You’re not Al Roker’s assistant?… Can you direct me to Al’s assistant?… Well, goodbye.”  Click.

1:29 PM – Guaranteed to Suffer Injury Due to Karma 

a-rodIs it cruel to wish bad things onto other people? …Probably.  But, what if that other person is Alex Rodriguez?  I have an animated discussion with a co-worker about misfortunes that could befall A-Rod:  A-Rod breaks his leg.  A-Rod gets hit by a taxi.  A-Rod gets a shard of glass in his eye after an aggressive mirror kiss…  We’re not bad people.  But we’d just rather cheer for the Taliban than for the Yankees.

4:34 PM – That’s What She Said

We are having our monthly operating review with one of the senior executives of the company.  We reach a slide about demographics, which shows our increasingly male base.  Our concern is that we are driving away females.  The COO studies the slide for a minute.  Then she asks: “So, are women not coming at all, or are the men just coming on top of women?”  Pause.  “I didn’t mean it like that.”  Awkwardness.

TOTALS: 6 minutes lost trying to convince Mr. Porter that I was not Al Roker’s assistant, 100+ songs played to try and rid my brain of Miley Cyrus, and 1 extremely awkward meeting in which I strain a muscle from holding in laughter, because clearly — given my choice of music — I have the maturity of a 15-year old.

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Healthcare Reform for The Old and the Lethargic

During the past week, we found out about two high-profile affairs (Rick Pitino and Bernie Madoff), learned the fate of two embattled NFL athletes (Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth), and watched as Miley Cyrus danced on a stripper pole.  Yes, the second week of August had sex, sports, and scandal…

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about is healthcare reform. (That makes me happy, even if it means we have to hear from people like Katy Abram.)

daysofourlivesOf course, healthcare reform has been a pretty juicy topic.  Much of the past week was a soap opera of sorts, with quite a bit of melodramatic yelling, crying, and confusion.  Did Barack put out a hit on Sarah Palin’s son?  Did Chuck Grassley just stab Barack in the back?  Are Sarah and Chuck getting it on in the Aetna executive boardroom?

Like every good soap opera, we have an array of villains and the constant threat of violence (thanks Second Amendment!).   But unlike currently televised soap operas where it’s easy to spot the villain (it’s the man with the bulging neck), the healthcare reform soap leaves it up to you.  Are you convinced that wily Sarah is making up incendiary lies to discredit Barack?  Or do you think Barack wants to euthanize the elderly?  It’s a tough call.

Either way, I’m excited to see how this ends.  Will Sarah’s premonition come true in Guiding (Grandma’s) Light?  Will we see Chuck and Barack make up in One Life to Give?  Will our universal healthcare plan see defeat in As the World Turns Socialist?

I know one thing: this is way more exciting than General Hospital.

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An Hegelian Analysis of Pop Culture, With Commentary on Flava Flav

(To be honest, I don’t know who Hegel was, but I’m the preeminent Flav scholar this side of West Texas.)

A few years ago, an interviewer asked me what my favorite movie was. In any other circumstance, the answer would have been easy: Miss Congeniality, a story about an undercover cop-turned beauty queen who saves Miss Rhode Island from exploding onstage, as William Shatner dances and serenades the crowd. A true classic, in my opinion. However, in that moment, I reckoned that Miss Congeniality would be about as well-received as an outbreak of swine flu.  A Beautiful Mind, I decided, was a safer bet. It’s my favorite movie, I told the interviewer, because it depicts how Nash overcame the psychological struggle within himself to bring about one of the most important mathematical theorems of our time.

And on that load of crap, I got myself into college.

Looking back now, it’s easy to see how this little white lie could have been conceived. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where classical music and Jane Austen are seen as culturally superior to “Boom Boom Pow” and Agatha Christie. Our society favors the New Yorker over Us Weekly, Italian wines over Franzia, and opera over Oprah. A line is drawn between “high” culture and “low” culture, based on some ephemeral idea of quality as defined by tradition, or reputation, or, more likely, some really old guys. Many of us have accepted this order, convincing ourselves that we too are high class: the smartest, most accomplished, and best-looking scholars and future leaders of America… the creme de la creme. Why then, should we debase our exceptionally-gifted minds with the crap of the masses? Why should we indulge in tabloid reading and Britney Spears?

Some might argue that there is value in consuming “low” culture just as there is value in consuming “high” culture. As future leaders, perhaps we should study and understand the whole of American society. Bad TV, movies, and music are as much reflections upon the audience as they are vehicles of culture. Lindsay Lohan’s boozing can tell us a lot about the current attitude toward alcohol in America’s youth, which is important, because, as Whitney said, the children are our future.

Of course, it’s obvious that most people don’t watch The Real World to isolate the psychological impact of seven strangers, picked to live in a house. So here’s a new approach: instead of trying to find intellectual ways to justify consuming pop culture, why not embrace it? Don’t sneak your Cosmo behind The Economist at the gym. Don’t pretend to channel surf on Flavor of Love. Don’t be embarrassed that you know all the songs on the Miley Cyrus CD. Almost everyone is affected by pop culture: we all know who Brangelina is and who K-Fed is not. We all know the words to “SexyBack” (they’re not hard…). So instead of fighting it, belt out “See You Again” unashamedly. Indulge in a little Flava Flav… and follow up with a Sandra Bullock TBS marathon. Enjoy the undeep, unanalytical, unintellectual publications like InTouch Weekly, filled with uncompoundable compound words.

So, I am finally ready to proclaim Gracie Lou Freebush, rogue cop, as my cinematic heroine. After all, the mindless crap that is pop culture today does not seem that mindless anymore. Whether that’s because it has made me dumber, or because I have learned to justify it in my own weird way, no one should feel guilty for their entertainment preferences (unless, of course, you’re a fan of Gigli). Don’t be that uptight, humorless guy who wears argyle socks, quotes Ayn Rand, and looks down on the rest of us while we get fitted for our grillz. Instead, dump the math, forget the opera, stop being polite… and start getting real.

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Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Last summer, we were just coming to the realization that the economy might be in some trouble… Bear Stearns had fallen, oil prices were skyrocketing, and George W. Bush was still President. It wasn’t a good time.

We started 2009 thinking that the bad karma in ’08 was all in the past… but a quick comparison suggests that it may be rougher now compared to back then:

YOUNG LOVE
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Nick Jonas breaks up with Miley Cyrus over the phone Chris Brown breaks Rihanna’s heart… and her nose Obviously Chris Brown… you don’t send your girlfriend to the hospital, ever
POLITICKIN’
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Sarah Palin campaigning for the Vice Preisdency Tim Geithner campaigning for $789 billion Sarah Palin by a wink
CHEATING
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
A-Rod and Madonna A-Rod and a syringe Almost a toss-up between infidelity and ‘roids, but the juice is illegal… so it’s got to be worse
FAVRE ME
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Brett Favre un-retires Brett Favre re-retires Un-retired Brett Favre… the last month of the season counts
BABIES R US
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Angelina Jolie has twins! Crazy Angelina wannabe has octuplets! Crazy woman… Angelina only has 6 kids compared to her litter of 14
POOF!
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
$11 billion (August market cap of soon-to-die Lehman) $50 billion (Bernie) Yup, a vanishing $50 billion is worse…
THE DOW
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Down 9% from June to August, finishing just over 11,000 Down 10% year-to-date, clocking in under 8,000 Help.

Final count of crappiness? Summer ’08: 2… Winter ’09: 5

So, things are definitely not getting any better in 2009. In fact, they’re really spiraling more and more out of control, towards utter despair and desolation. But… at least we totally kicked last summer’s ass.

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An Hegelian Analysis of Pop Culture with Commentary on Flava Flav

(To be honest, I don’t know who Hegel was, but I’m the preeminent Flav scholar this side of West Texas.)

A few years ago, an interviewer asked me what my favorite movie was. In any other circumstance, the answer would have been easy: Miss Congeniality, a story about an undercover cop-turned beauty queen who saves Miss Rhode Island from exploding onstage, as William Shatner dances and serenades the crowd. A true classic, in my opinion. However, in that moment, I reckoned that Miss Congeniality would be about as well-received as an outbreak of herpes… or, perhaps, a screening of Beverly Hills Chihuahua. A Beautiful Mind, I decided, was a safer bet. It’s my favorite movie, I told the interviewer, because it depicts how Nash overcame the psychological struggle within himself to bring about one of the most important mathematical theorems of our time.

And on that load of crap, I got myself into college.

Looking back now, it’s easy to see how this little white lie could have been conceived. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where classical music and Jane Austen are seen as culturally superior to “Lollipop” and Agatha Christie. Our society favors the New Yorker over Us Weekly, Italian wines over Franzia, and opera over Oprah. A line is drawn between “high” culture and “low” culture, based on some ephemeral idea of quality as defined by tradition, or reputation, or, more likely, some really old guys. Many of us have accepted this order, convincing ourselves that we too are high class: the smartest, most accomplished, and best-looking scholars and future leaders of America… the creme de la creme. Why then, should we debase our exceptionally-gifted minds with the crap of the masses? Why should we indulge in tabloid reading and Britney Spears and The House Bunny?

Some might argue that there is value in consuming “low” culture just as there is value in consuming “high” culture. As future leaders, perhaps we should study and understand the whole of American society. Bad TV, movies, and music are as much reflections upon the audience as they are vehicles of culture. Lindsay Lohan’s boozing can tell us a lot about the current attitude toward alcohol in America’s youth, which is important, because, as Whitney said, the children are our future.

Of course, it’s obvious that most people don’t watch The Real World to isolate the psychological impact of seven strangers, picked to live in a house. So here’s a new approach: instead of trying to find intellectual ways to justify consuming pop culture, why not embrace it? Don’t sneak your Cosmo behind The Economist at the gym. Don’t pretend to channel surf on Flavor of Love. Don’t be embarrassed that you know all the songs on the Miley Cyrus CD. Almost everyone is affected by pop culture: we all know who Brangelina is and who K-Fed is not. We all know the words to “SexyBack” (they’re not hard…). We all love sensational stories of six-foot lizards and the guy who ate 23,000 Big Macs. So instead of fighting it, belt out “See You Again” unashamedly. Indulge in a little Flava Flav (yeah boy!)… and follow up with a Sandra Bullock TBS marathon. Enjoy the undeep, unanalytical, unintellectual publications like InTouch Weekly, filled with uncompoundable compound words and phrases only found in strategerical presidential speeches.

So, I am finally ready to proclaim Gracie Lou Freebush, rogue cop, as my cinematic heroine. After all, the mindless crap that is pop culture today does not seem that mindless anymore. Whether that’s because it has made me dumber, or because I have learned to justify it in my own weird way, no one should feel guilty for their entertainment preferences (unless, of course, it involves talking chihuahuas). Don’t be that uptight, humorless guy who wears argyle socks, quotes Ayn Rand, and looks down on the rest of us while we get fitted for our grillz. Instead, dump the math, forget the opera, stop being polite… and start getting real.

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Filed under Arts and Entertainment