Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random Thoughts: December

I can’t believe another year has come to an end and a new one has begun. Actually, I can believe it, to be honest. Mostly because it’s happened to me every single year of my life so far, and it’s a good thing too, because if one year didn’t end and another one didn’t start I’d have no fucking idea how old I was. I’d only know that I definitely had a lot more chest hair than I did the last time I was checking myself out in the mirror, and they don’t let you buy alcohol based on the amount of chest hair you have. (Though I think that would add an interesting element to purchasing of alcohol. Let’s just say that most girls don’t have chest hair, and if they do it requires a great deal of examination to see if they do. If this were ever to happen, I think every guy in the world would probably want to work at a liquor store.)

I guess all I’m trying to say is that the only thing a new year signifies to me is the start of a new calendar year. People always talk about “starting over” with the new year, and I think that’s bullshit. I mean, you can’t really just start over in most cases. I mean, you wake up on New Year’s Day with all the same problems you had on New Year’s Eve. Ask someone with genital herpes or the inability to adequately drive a car. Neither one of those things just disappear. Ask someone with erectile dysfunction, which brings me to my next random thought from the past month.

--I was watching television earlier today, and I saw a commercial that I’ve seen many times. It’s one for Viagara, the drug that helps men that are probably too old and unhealthy to actually have sex anymore continue to have sex, and it shows a man in probably his mid-50’s to early 60’s. He’s walking down a sidewalk next to a reflective building and talking to his own reflection. He’s telling himself, or his doppelganger or whatever/whoever the fuck it/he is, that he’s hesitant to talk to his doctor about erectile dysfunction. Eventually, his reflection convinces him to do so, and you see a little clip of him talking and laughing with his doctor. It then cuts back to him talking to the reflection again, and they slap five--which means this man is giving a high five to a fucking building and probably scared the ever-living shit out of whoever was sitting on the other side of the reflective glass.

Now, you’re probably thinking this guy is a little fucked up because he’s talking to his own reflection. That is not a normal thing to be doing, but I think the first thing I noticed that I felt was even more abnormal than talking to yourself was this man’s hesitance to talk to his doctor about not being able to get a boner. Holy shit. If I woke up in the morning without a tent pitched and my bed comforter acting as a tarp, I would run screaming and crying to my doctor immediately. I wouldn’t even call ahead for an appointment. And if it was his day off, I’d fucking find him. Golf course, whatever, I’d find him. And I’d steal a prescription pad from my mom’s place of employment (she’s a nurse), interrupt him on hole seven, and make him write me a script for Viagara or Cialis or Horny Goat Weed or whatever was going to make me feel better. And we also wouldn’t be laughing during this conversation. Wow. I should get into advertising.

--I heard the new Rihanna song for the first time about a week ago. I realized immediately that she constantly talks about how she is “so hard.” I also realized immediately upon hearing this that there are a lot of distasteful jokes that could be told about Rihanna saying that she is hard, because she got the shit kicked out of her by a man earlier this year. I wouldn’t say or write anything like that, because hitting women is wrong no matter what. But, I will go ahead and say that she’s not hard at all, because she went back to the guy that beat the shit out of her. That’s not hard, and a terrible example to set for the very stupid and impressionable teenage girls that idolize her. I miss the days when people idolized women like Celine Dion. She knew what the hell she was doing. Marry an old rich dude. That’s been the paradigm for certain women for ages, and although I disagree with it, it’s probably better than running back to a guy that bit you in the face.

She also asks where them bloggers are at in the same song. I think the only thing more self-deprecating than actually having a blog is calling the people out that have them through a pop song. She’s basically asking people to make tasteless jokes about how she should’ve never thrown the Lambo keys in the first place.

--I went to a Penguins game with my little brother last week. It was the last one they’ve won to date, actually, when Evgeni Malkin had a hat trick. When he scored his third goal, my little brother looked at me, wondering if I was going to throw my hat. I immediately snatched it off of my head (so someone else wouldn’t grab it and throw it, because there are douchebags everywhere), and said “I’m not throwing this hat, I just bought the fuckin’ thing yesterday.” He also decided not to throw his, since it had been a Christmas gift the year before from our older brother.

This got me to thinking about hat tricks and just how stupid they are. I love going to hockey games and I love being a participating fan, but those tickets are fucking expensive, and I don’t think the people at the games should be expected pay more (the price of a hat) just because one of the players on the team did what he is paid millions of dollars annually to do. Whenever I worked at a grocery store and we would stock the shelves with three trucks worth of products in less than six hours, nobody would start throwing their hats on the floor. They would just start bitching about how there was no more buttermilk.

Who the fuck even drinks buttermilk?

--To go with my theme from the past month of watching TV almost constantly (holiday break and no job), I got to watch the last couple episodes of Glee a few nights ago. I love that show. In case you haven’t watched it before, it’s basically like a series version of the movie Grease (or I guess the High School Musical movies) where there’s definite plots and subplots, but there’s also a musical aspect. The kids on this show just break out into dance at the most random times, and I couldn’t help but think about how awesome it would be if this was the way the world really went.

I mean, even in the worst times, these kids are just singing and dancing around like a bunch of well-practiced idiots. It often comes with no warning. They just get going, and they’re always synced perfectly. I wish it was like this for me in high school. Like if we lost a huge basketball game and everyone was in the locker room all down-trodden and our coach came in and we just started this awesome acapella version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” I bet our chances of winning the next game--no matter who the opponent might be--would be significantly increased.

--I was having a conversation with one of my friends a while ago, and she told me that one of the things she looks for in a potential mate is their religious affiliation. She’s a Catholic, wants her spouse to be a Catholic, and wants to raise her children as Catholic.

Alright, whatever. That’s fine, I guess. But an attitude like that really conveys a kind of righteousness that could be blinding, I think. I mean, you have to consider the fact that there are 22 religions in the world that have at least 500,000 or more followers. Each one of these religions seem to think that they’re the one that is “right,” or else people would not follow that religion.

But we can’t all be right. What if the Jews are right? What if the Catholics are? What if it’s the fucking Rastafarians? Basically, nobody knows what religion is the absolutely right one, or even if there is one that’s the right one. That’s why I don’t understand why people get so hot and bothered about marrying outside of their religion. I just want to marry someone that is a good person. They can worship the flying spaghetti monster if they want to. I’d rather marry a girl that’s a Buddhist than a Catholic that has a questionable moral standing.

I mean, it might be better if you marry someone outside of your religion. That way your family will have a better chance of being right. If/when you get up to the pearly gates at the time of rapture and your Neo-Paganism spouse was the one that ended up being right, they can at least try and vouch for you being an upstanding citizen that didn’t lie, cheat or steal.

--I’ve heard Kelly Clarkson’s song where she professes that she doesn’t hook up a few times recently, and all I can think is “Well, yeah, why would someone want to hook up with you anyway?” She makes good music, I’ll grant her that, but so does Tracy Chapman and I don’t want to get down with her. I mean, Kelly Clarkson just isn’t attractive. Not anymore. She used to be. I’m trying to find a politically correct way to say that people probably don’t want to hook up with her so much anymore because she really, um, let herself go. I mean, if this was Victorian England then people probably would want to, because chubby and pale were very attractive back then (and I actually have an idea for an entire entry based on that and how I wish society was that way today, but we’ll talk about that at a later date), but that’s not really how it goes now, and I guess it can’t really be helped.

I’m not trying to say I have a problem with women that are overweight, because I don’t. I mean, I love women; I have all their albums. I’m just saying that if you do let yourself go, don’t try to take your anger and frustration out on men by writing a song that alleges they all want to bang you when the real truth is that they may have used to but don’t want to anymore. Or they want to get with you simply because you’re a celebrity. If I’m going to sit around and drink beer and eat fried jalapeno poppers all day, I’m going to accept the fact that girls might not find me that attractive once I put on forty pounds. I’m not going to write a song acting like I didn’t want to get on women in the first place.

--The 2009 Oxford American Dictionary word of the year was “unfriend.” Like to unfriend someone on Facebook. I’d like to make a remark now about how technology is taking over the world and how social networking might not be the best thing for people to be immersing themselves in, but the truth is that I’ve immersed myself in it. And, without it, pretty much nobody would read this damn thing.

--J.K. Rowling should fight Stephenie Meyer for potentially ruining young adult fiction for eternity. Then Anne Rice or Neil Gaiman should beat the shit out of her again for ruining occult fiction for eternity. Then Bram Stoker should come back from the dead and beat her ass again for taking his invention and distorting it to the point that it’s barely even recognizable anymore. I just can’t make peace with the fact that one of the best stories ever told about a creature that couldn’t go into the sun because he would fry to a crisp and die inspired some lady to steal most of his ideas and change them around, so that the same breed of creature can now go out in the sun, but just sparkles. Fuck, Twilight is frustrating.

--I don’t get why people put “living” in the activities on their Facebook profiles. In general, that is a given.

--I was watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with a great deal of concentration early in December, and I had a hard time figuring out what the huge appeal of it is. I mean, obviously there are beautiful women strutting around in very extravagant outfits of lingerie, which I won’t argue with. That’s something most straight guys would like to see, and some of us even mark our daily planners for such an event (my mom even reminds me every year to watch it). I just don’t understand why girls like to watch it so much. I wouldn’t watch a fashion show for guys unless I wanted to buy the stuff they were wearing, and I’ve been inside a Victoria’s Secret on a few occasions and have never ever seen huge ass wings or any of the other shit that those ladies wear during those shows. I just don’t get the purpose of putting on a fashion show for a bunch of stuff people can’t even buy. I thought you had those things so people could see your clothing lines and would purchase them.

It’s almost as confusing as that new show Jersey Shore. Everyone watches it, but for all the wrong reasons.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Songs

It seems like it starts earlier and earlier each year. The celebration of Christmas. Well, more the anticipation of Christmas, actually. If you’re anything like me, the anticipation of the holidays can actually be just as stimulating and exciting as the actual holiday. I feel like I’m always more enthusiastic on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas day, probably because right after Christmas there isn’t much to look forward to. (Unless you’re like my little sister and were born on the day after Christmas, which is a birthdate I don’t think I’d really want to have. Jesus’ birthday is a pretty difficult act to follow.) I think this is why I’ve always been an advocate of playing of Christmas tunes before Thanksgiving, which defies conventional wisdom. It used to be some sort of unwritten law that true Christmas festivities wouldn’t begin until the day after Thanksgiving, when people flock to the malls at ridiculously early hours and all of the light music stations begin playing exclusively Christmas music. I’ve always sought to shatter this status quo, and so I was out of my fucking mind excited when I was driving home for Thanksgiving break last month--six days prior to Thanksgiving--and turned off my iPod (because my musical tastes are so depressing that if I listen to it the entire three hour drive home I start to get an urge to drive my car off of a bridge and begin to question my own sanity) to switch to the radio. When I was seeking through the channels, I came across Pittsburgh’s WISH 99.7, the station that my girl Delilah is syndicated on in the area, and they were already playing a Christmas song.

Now, I don’t remember what song it was that I first heard. But I do know that right after that one they played “Little Drummer Boy,” and then after that they played “Silent Night.” I didn’t know what was going on, but I fucking loved it. Then I heard an advertisement alerting me to the fact that WISH was already playing Christmas music all the time. I did a little fist pump in my car, and started hoping they’d play Trans Siberian Orchestra song (more on that later) before I pulled into my driveway--but they didn’t, so I had to play it on my CD player when I got home and was unpacking. And yes, I do own one of their CDs. After that, I went out to the kitchen to cook some food, and popped the Charlie Brown Christmas CD into the really loud sound system we have in the dining room. My mom came home and questioned my early festivity, and I told her that Christmas was getting started fucking early this year. I told her about WISH playing all the Christmas music, and also that I would be listening to almost exclusively holiday-themed music from that point until Christmas day (I say almost exclusively because sometimes I still like to sit in my room and listen to depressing songs, like the 15-year-old inner-emo kid that I am).

I was frightened that I would get sick of this music, and that it might ruin it for me in the future, especially since there aren’t many quality modern Christmas songs coming out anymore. But, I’m a man of my word, and am happy to report that my ceaseless absorption of Christmas music has yet to turn me into the Grinch or this weird dude my mom knows that wants to tell his 4-year-old son that Santa Claus isn’t real (which is completely untrue).

One thing it has done, though, is make me really analyze these songs, just like I do with anything else that I listen to frequently. It’s not really ruining them for me, since I know that holiday songs aren’t really supposed to be searched for hidden messages, but merely enjoyed because they make you merry and shit, but I still do think about it. You can’t really help it when you’ve heard “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for about the 43rd time in less than a month.

So, I have some thoughts about some of the more popular songs I’ve been hearing. And I’d like to share them with you.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: When I was younger, I never really gave a thought to this song at all. It was just cool because you got to keep repeating shit over and over. I never really thought about the items that one lover was giving the other until this year, when I realized that almost all of them were completely absurd. In fact, I’ve studied the list of gifts given over a period of 12 days, and have come to the conclusion that the only ones I would want would be five golden rings ( pays a holiday bonus), nine ladies dancing and maybe the eight maids-a-milking, but that one is kind of vague, so I’d have to get a little more information on what exactly was going on with those servants. I can tell you one thing, though: I would not want 11 pipers piping (unless they were smoking something from their pipes), or 12 drummers drumming. That shit is extremely loud, and I don’t have room for 23 people playing instruments in my house. Think about it. If you woke up on Christmas morning to a fucking drum line in your living room, would you really want to date the person that sent those to you anymore? If I were the one singing this song, I would replace “true love” with “first love,” because as soon as some broad sent me 10 lords-a-leaping, I’d have my personal information on Facebook changed to single, interested in women and looking for random play/ whatever I can get.

The rest of the gifts consist of edible livestock and aviary creatures, which I don’t really need because I have access to a grocery store where I can find meat that is already killed and prepared to the point that all I have to do is throw it in the oven (same reason I don’t hunt).

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: I’m not sure what came first, this song or the movie, but both carry the same message as far as I’m concerned: Rudolph is a fucking reindeer, and he’s a million times better at burying grudges than I am. He’s not only the most famous reindeer of them all, but he’s also the most selfless.

Allow me to tell you how it would’ve went down if I was in Rudolph’s shoes (hoofs?). If I would’ve gotten chastised from my early childhood about a physical deformity (red nose, obviously), and pretty much cast out of society as I knew it, I would’ve become pretty embittered. I would’ve met that dentist named Hermey and probably plotted some kind of plot to fuck up the rest of the reindeer. I probably would’ve employed the help of that huge snow monster too. I sure as shit wouldn’t have immediately gone into service for Santa to save Christmas without throwing down a few requests.

Okay, maybe I would’ve, just because saving Christmas would be a pretty important calling that, if one had the opportunity to participate in, they probably would. I definitely wouldn’t have been as fucking chipper as Rudolph, though. He was slighted in a big and unjust way. Nobody should be rejected for physical characteristics, and Rudolph’s immediate concession and joviality with having the responsibility of guiding the sleigh is pretty unrealistic. If I were him, I probably would’ve acted like Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies: I would’ve agreed to help, because it seemed like something I almost had to do, but I wouldn’t have been fucking happy about it, and I wouldn’t have been too nice to the others along the way. I would’ve probably pulled off the salvation of Christmas, then come back to the north pole and developed an expensive drug/drinking problem. I’d sit in the bar all day and talk about how one year I’d save Christmas for two reasons: to make all the little good boys and girls in the world happy, and to spite those fucking prick reindeer that used to rip on me.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: I never really got too into this song until this year. The only version I could pick out was the Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey version. (By the way, Nick Lachey is making a pretty tight comeback. I’m watching a new show called “The Sing-Off” right now on NBC. He’s hosting it. It’s basically an “American Idol” kind of deal, except with acappella groups, and Ben Folds is one of the judges. It’s funny, because Spencer and me were just talking about where that guy went, and said he should be like Mario Lopez and start to host shit. We’re clairvoyant. Anyway, I’m glad to see he’s doing better than Jessica Simpson. He deserves it after she cheated on him with Dane Cooke.)

Anyway, it just occured to me this year that the dude singing in this song is a hardcore creep. I mean, listen to it closely, and you’ll figure it out. The girl’s talking about how she has to leave because her parents will be worried about her and stuff, but the guy just keeps talking about how it’s too cold for her to leave, and that she should take off her coat and just keep boozing with him. I mean, it’s obvious that this dude is trying to get the girl ripped and get himself laid. I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually put a little something in the woman’s booze to get her a little submissive (the girl even asks “say, what’s in this drink?” at one point during the song).

Date rape is not what Christmas is about. I mean--at the risk of sounding absolutely awful--Mary had her kid on Christmas without ever having even gotten laid, right?

Keep it in your fucking pants, James Taylor.

Wonderful Christmastime & Happy Christmas (War is Over): I hear both of these songs by former Beatles members every single year, and I’ve always been a little split on which one I like better. I really amped up my thoughts on this a couple of weeks ago when me and a bunch of my friends had a huge debate/argument that lasted days over which band/artist made better music in a lyrical sense, Kanye West or The Beatles. (We tend to have these arguments a lot, because people have a hard time separating actual talent from a person’s shortcomings as a person--someone actually tried telling me that Taylor Swift was more talented than Kanye West a few weeks ago. I mean, just because Kanye West got up in front of thousands of people and hated on some teenage pop/country star doesn’t mean that he doesn’t write some of the greatest lyrics ever. Just like because millions of young women adored the Beatles doesn’t mean that they weren’t overrated or were the greatest lyricists of their time, because they obviously can’t hold a candle to Bob Dylan or Mick Jagger.)

I’ve always given Lennon’s song the edge, because when I was younger, my mom had this holiday themed screensaver/icon setting on our family computer, and everytime you double-clicked on something you would hear McCartney singing “wonderful christmastimeeeeeeee,” and it drove me fucking crazy. I’m sure part of this also has to do with the fact that I’ve always been a bigger fan of Lennon than McCartney, for reasons I don’t even understand. I spent a lot of time trying to decide which one I liked better (and tried to leave Yoko Ono out of it, since she pretty much marked the end of an era which makes me immediately feel spite for her), and at the end I just came to the conclusion that both songs aren’t really that great at all.

I’d rather listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey any day.

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24: Trans Siberian Orchestra is one amazing band, and they make holiday music that is comparable to nothing else out there on the market. This song, in my opinion, is the band’s best work. It’s definitely their most popular. Every time I hear it, I get this powerful mix of emotions. I’m almost overcome with the Christmas Spirit, but I’m also ready to do something extremely epic. If I was ever put into some kind of scenario where I had to fight terrorists that had taken over a shopping mall on Christmas Eve, I would want this song to come in when I was loading all of my weapons and preparing for my last desperate and heroic seemingly-suicidal surge against those haters, I’d want it to be this song.

Seriously. Listen to it once, and see if you don’t imagine yourself cocking a shotgun and saying something like, “Silent night, my ass. Let’s get merry.” Of course, you’d be saying this while crouching right behind the plastic baby Jesus’ manger in the mall’s fake nativity set.

I should write scripts.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: I had to save the most bewildering and ridiculous for last. This is a song that is usually received good-naturedly, and I don’t know why. I mean, it’s about a kid’s mom cheating on her husband with a fat dude with a long dirty white beard (that mommy allegedly tickles!) in a red and white suit. Also, Santa Claus is obviously married to Mrs. Claus, and has been for an astronomically long time. Actually, longer than pretty much any couple I’ve ever known. The fact that this man is going astray while he’s traveling around the country masquerading as this great guy that gives a ton of shit away is pretty unsettling (it’d be Bill Gates or Oprah cheating on their significant others). And, if you think about it, if Santa is getting fresh with this one lady underneath the mistletoe, wouldn’t logic dictate that he’s making time with ladies all over the fucking globe? It wouldn’t be irrational to think that Santa is hooking up with American, Asian, African, European, Australian and Russian women all in the same night, thus completing a gigantic chunk of my bucket list in less than 24 hours. Think about it. How many homes do you think Santa is breaking every Christmas Eve? And the little kid singing the song says, “Oh what a laugh it would have been if Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.” Are you fucking kidding me? This kid must have a strange sense of humor if he would’ve been laughing at his dad trying to pull a morbidly obese man in black leather boots from the fucking chimney.

I don’t understand why people are giving Tiger Woods so much attention. All that guy can do is golf. He’s not known as this guy that gives toys to every good boy and girl the world over once a year. I mean, if you ask me, Santa is the one that should have his own Gatorade flavor. Well, at least I thought so until I heard this damn song. And this whole thing’s not going to help the children of today at all. No wonder so many people are obese and cheat on their spouses. It’s because they idolize Santa Claus.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Analysis of Cosmopolitan Magazine, Part 2

The last time (well the last time that the general public knows about) I read an issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine in its entirety was a little longer than just a year ago. I read it for two reasons. The first is that I just wanted something to write about, and was not adept enough to come up with something that I thought might entertain people without using some kind of outside source, and Cosmo provided that outside source that would give me plenty of material. Basically, I was looking to make fun of something, and since Cosmo is the closest depiction to what a vast amount of American women seek to eventually be in a glossy print format (something I think is very problematic), and since it is their main source of advice concerning things like sex and fashion and comprehension of men, I decided to go with that. The second reason was that I was really really hell-bent on trying to understand women better. I would spend hours upon hours talking to girls that were my friends, just sitting there like the gay best friend that they all wish they could have (I’ve even gone clothes shopping with girls before), simply because I wanted to try and “get” what was going through the mind of a typical woman, because at that time I really, really hated girls (but have since downgraded to “strongly dislike,” based on recent studies that have shown they aren’t all conniving and spiteful whores), and wanted to know just what made them the way they were.

So, this meant that I had to associate myself with them quite often and infiltrate their ranks, kind of get a feel for them. (I was kind of like that dude who was trying to make a documentary about grizzly bears a few years ago, and eventually got eaten by the very mammals he was living amongst. Except that I haven’t been eaten yet, probably because I’m high in fat and low in protein. Girls would not even think about eating me. I’m like a Hot Pocket dipped in ranch dressing.) Part of this--and one I favored because it didn’t actually include being around girls for an extended period of time--was reading that magazine you always (ALWAYS) see gals toting around with them. It’s kind of like how monks are always carrying around bibles , or how Linus is always carrying around his blankey. It was obvious to me that this magazine was something that many girls respected highly, and would take advice from. (This kind of fucks up my Linus analogy, because I don’t think I ever saw an episode of The Peanuts where he was actually getting advised by his childhood play toy, but I’ve always wanted to incorporate that eccentric comic strip character, so I’m going to leave it.)

So, I read it a few times. And I was pretty extremely appalled. Some of the sexual stuff I came across in that magazine they suggested women do to their male partners in the sack was so absurd and disconcerting that it almost made me look at sex the way that elderly religious people and the Jonas Brothers do: never until marriage, and even then with the lights off, a gunshot start and a stopwatch running, with only reproduction in mind. I’m not saying I’m some kind of picky sexual person, or that I’m even a person that knows what the good stuff is supposed to be like, because I’m neither of those. I’m just trying to say that when a girl reads in a magazine--that she highly respects--that she should press on a dude’s taint (I understand that my readership has grown to a few people that are over the age of thirty that probably don’t know what a taint is, so I’ll explain: the middle ground between the male frontal genitalia and his ass) when he is reaching climax, I get a little frightened. This is because I would not press on my taint at any point during my day, and especially not when I’m near climax. That’s a weird area down there, and I don’t want people prodding it. The taint is a bridge, but one that should not be traveled upon. Anyway, that was one of the gripes that I had with this magazine, and so I decided to write an entire little thing about it (last November, it’s on this site somewhere).

This year, I decided to do it again. Mainly because I still feel like I haven’t made much headway at all in the “Comprehension of Females” category, and keep holding on to the hope that either the flaws of Cosmo’s logic in directing young women or its accuracy in actually telling them to do something that the majority of semi-average American males will like--or both--will help me gain just a small fraction of higher understanding about women than what I currently have.

Also, they usually have pretty women on the cover, and I like to smell the sample perfumes they enclose in their advertisements.

So, basically I’m going to analyze another issue of Cosmo, but this time I’m going to dig a little deeper, I think. I’m going to start by doing a little analysis of the cover stories (which was the extent of what I did last time), and then I’m going to go back through the magazine and pick out some of the stuff that strikes me as either good, bad or just absolutely off-the-wall crazy, because I’ve realized you seriously can’t judge a book (or magazine) by its cover.

Fergie: Her Naughty Honeymoon Surprise. The first story I read (well, skimmed) is on the cover model, who happens to be Fergie, or Stacy Ferguson, from the Black Eyed Peas. I wasn’t able to read this entire article, because I have absolutely no vested interest in Fergie, and don’t think she’d really help me understand women any better at all. Men, maybe, because she’s married to Josh Duhamel and he is absolutely a stone cold fox. I did find, though, from my skimming, that Fergie doesn’t like it when people call her “fugly,” because “it hurts.” She also gave some advice by saying not to “assume what someone else is feeling.” I learned not to call people names based on their physical inadequacies, as well as the fact that I was not a mind reader, sometime in kindergarten. I guess sometimes Cosmo’s readership needs a little reminder, though.

Apparently, all the naughty honeymoon surprise from the title entailed was that she took a leather feather duster with her on their honeymoon, but she doesn’t reveal just exactly what she did with it. Hopefully she was getting ready for what marriage is supposed to be like and was actually using it to dust shelves and shit.

“He Shoots, He Scores!” Wacked-Out Things Guys Say in Bed: Read it, and think it’s bullshit. I haven’t been in bedrooms when any guys I know (or don’t know, actually) have been copulating. But, I have watched a lot of porn in my day, and even the actors on most of those don’t fit into the categories they list here (and porn is usually greatly exaggerated). I certainly don’t fit into any of the groups they listed, but would like to try one they listed called “The Announcer,” just for a reaction. Apparently, this is a guy that narrates the entire sexual experience like a correspondent for ESPN. I’m almost certain that nobody in their right mind does this, but I also think it’d be the most hilarious thing ever to do to someone. I wonder, if I ever tried this, if it’d be a good idea to bring Jay’s Telestrator with me.

Is Stress Turning You Into a Raging Bitch? The very first sentence of this article pissed me off. It reads: “This time of year can try even the sweetest chick’s patience, what with crowded stores, too many parties (and hangovers), and annoying family demands--and experts are saying this month will be a perfect storm of stress because of financial worries on top of everything else.”

Seriously, give me a fucking break. At this particular point in my life, I’d say I’m at a pretty low stress level. This is not because I’ve been able to stay away from parties, but probably because I’ve been able to do shit like go to parties and have a good time, because I don’t have much gravely serious stuff to worry about. I absolutely hate that this magazine gives girls the impression that Christmas shopping, getting drunk at parties, and good-natured requests from family members during the holiday season are actually legitimate reasons to be stressed and, apparently in-turn, a bitch and a half. I guess I could understand a girl being stressed and a bit uneasy if she’s actually undergoing something stressful, like a family member being very sick or a really serious make-or-break-your-grade test coming up in the next 24 hours. Even then, though, I’ve learned to no longer tolerate a girl being a bitch during these times, because circumstances like these are not my fault, and I shouldn’t have to be punished for them (unless I’m the one that gave the family member genital herpes or am the professor giving the test). I know guys probably do the same thing, but wouldn’t everything be a little bit easier if we weren’t mean to the people that cared for us the most? I mean, fuck, how hard is that to do?

The only thing from that sentence that I can understand being severely stressful is the whole financial worries thing. Sure, being broke sucks, and a lot of people lost a lot of money last year when everything went to shit. But isn’t that common knowledge? I mean, I know that my family was able to talk about it last year. We basically acknowledged that things weren’t as great as they usually were, and because of such we should all tone down our Christmas gift giving. There, problem solved. I mean, I was kind of pissed that I couldn’t get that entire Burberry wardrobe and pair of Christian Louboutin platform pumps (yes, I know what those are...I’ve been around some materialistic people in my day) but it really wasn’t that big of a stresser.

After that opening line, I couldn’t bring myself to read much more of the article, but I did find a few of the magazine’s solutions to utilize if you have to wait in a line four people deep to purchase a merino wool sweater for your dad for Christmas or were somehow forced to take a shot too many of grape Three Olives at a Christmas party. One was to work out. The other was to kiss your boyfriend. Also included was watching funny Internet video clips, drinking coffee with your girlfriends and talking slower. These all seemed pretty reasonable to me, and completely self-explanitory. Except for the talking slower one. That’s probably just going to piss off whoever has to listen to you. It’s the holiday season. People have shit to do.

Speaking of having shit to do, I’m sure whoever’s reading this has shit to do as well. I just took a look at the rest of the cover and don’t find much enticing there, except for the last article I’m going to talk about. So, I’m just going to put some little thoughts about stuff I saw and observations I made in the rest of the magazine I’ve yet to cover, then finish with the one article in the entire publication that seriously caught my eye.

--JC Penney is apparently a legit place to shop for lingerie, judging by the advertisement I just looked at. Pink bra and panty set with baby blue lace and whit polka dots? I mean, I’d dig it.

--Estee Lauder Sensuous smells not unlike the elderly woman that used to teach me piano when I was like 8 years old.

--There’s an article called “Why Taken Guys Seem Sexier,” which is kind of disturbing. That’s not the way it should be at all. If it wasn’t that way, then Tiger Woods would probably still have a flawless “driving record” and people the world over wouldn’t know that he likes to bang chicks immediately after taking Ambien. (Because having money had nothing to do with Tiger banging at least 10 women out of wedlock. It was because he’s married.) This article mentions something about the competitive nature of women, which makes sense I guess. I mean, I’d probably pay more attention to a woman trying to snipe a married man than one playing a sport.

--I know I just endorsed an ad in the magazine a few sentences ago, but just like everything else in this magazine, their ads are extremely hit and miss. I would definitely enjoy a woman jumping out of a box on Christmas wearing the aforementioned underwear, but I would be extremely let down if I opened a box from her that contained Tim McGraw’s new cologne. I might actually rather have a container of Bod Man. I just flipped another few pages and saw an ad for perfume by Paris Hilton. She is dressed as a mermaid. What the fuck? Who approves these things? It was like when somebody decided to make a sequel to The Sandlot with an entirely different class. Who in the fuck thinks these are good ideas?

--There’s a little article talking about why guys are scared of marriage. Then, they suggest that you talk with your boyfriend about it, and this will help him come around. If a woman brought up marriage to me, I would simply break out some Ludacris lyrics and say, “Sorry, but I’m married to my music, but we got a pre-nup. So if that bitch don’t act right I’m still gettin’ my cut.”

--There’s a stud meter. And Levi McConaughey is on it. Pretty high up, too. He’s 1 1/2 years old. They also talk shit on Jason Lee and say the Chipmunks movies are annoying. Fuck these people.

--I made it about 2/3 of the way through the issue, and was pretty relieved to have not seen anything about stimulating a dude’s taint. Then, I came across an entire page of the magazine dedicated to suggesting how a girl can use a vibrator with her man. Sure enough, one of them was to put a vibrator on the man’s “perineum.” Fuck. I’m definitely not at a point in my life where I would be able to accept, let alone enjoy, something like that.

Make His #1 Sex Wish Come True: This caught my eye. Mainly, because one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in Cosmo are the sex tips. I’m always very wary of these, as I said before, but it also hooks me in. I think this is the whole thing that gets guys to skim through this magazine while in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. There’s always something about sex on the cover, and guys see it and want to see what they might be able to expect from their lady. Sometimes it gets downright frightening. This article alleges that what men want the most is “to be wanted,” which I’m not sure is true or not. I think that’s too deep of a question to really get into in a magazine, or on a blog. People are complicated, or something.

-The first one I read says to call him on his cell phone, and tell him that you’re touching yourself in your bed. I would be all for a phone call such as this, I guess, unless I happened to get it at a very inopportune time. Like when I was driving a car or waiting in line at the post office. Waiting in line with an erection is generally not socially acceptable, and nobody wants to do the waistband tuck. Especially if they have jeans on.

-The next one tells the girl to press her chest into the man’s back so it looks like you’re hugging him from behind. Then you’re supposed to rub your breasts and pelvis against him “for several seconds.” I thought about this and started laughing. How fucking awkward would that look? It’s pretty difficult to do something like that in public, I think. It’s like picking your nose.

-One tells a girl to basically simulate fellatio on a bottle. This could be kind of cool, or also very extremely weird.

-“Write him a note, describing, in detail, a hot time you two hooked up. Make the last one read, ‘Think we can top that tonight?’” That’s all good and well, but before you do this, make sure you’re really okay with giving a guy a suggestion to top your craziest sexual experience together. Because you might end up dressed as Marilyn Monroe trying to get it on 60 feet up in the air on a metal I-Beam suspended from a crane at a skyscraper construction sight in the middle of a brightly lit city. Or something like that.

-“Whisper these eight words into his ear: ‘I want to have sex with you--now.’” You’re supposed to do this in line at the grocery store or while eating breakfast. For the first time in my life, I feel that Cosmo is truly onto something.

-“Sneak up behind your guy while he’s on the phone and reach around to grab his penis.” This would be okay if said guy was not talking to his boss or mother. Also, make sure he has a strong heart. Something like that could be extremely startling.

-“Take off his underwear with your teeth.” Yeah, and watch him cackle uncontrollably.

***Okay. The rest of these are too blatantly sexual for me to talk about on here. I’m starting to get the dumb chills, and have made the decision that, if I ever have a daughter, she will not be allowed to read this magazine until she is at least 18. Who would’ve thought that people might be becoming more promiscuous at a young age because of reading? I didn’t think anybody read anymore. Maybe my career aspirations aren't that fucked after all. Thanks, Cosmo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey, it's a party in the USA

It’s a Friday night, and I’m probably going to be going out to the bar at some point, just like I do most every Friday night. Just like I did last night, and just like I did the Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to that (where I’m at there’s really not much else to do on a social level). In that time, something has come to my attention (and it’s definitely not that I’m a better dancer than I’d previously thought): The astronomical hit song by teenage sensation Miley Cyrus, called “Party in the USA,” is all over the place. I haven’t been to a bar for more than two hours since I came back to school this fall and not heard that song at least once. The DJ at the bar my friends and I usually go to on Thursdays normally plays it twice, and people go absolutely crazy both times. It’s almost like it turns some kind of switch on in people at the bar that just makes them want to dance. It inspires people to dance slightly more than ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and maybe even Men Without Hats’ seminal classic, “Safety Dance.”

Normally, I don’t really get too excited about these kind of viral songs that absolutely everybody is listening to (“The Macarena,” “Who Let the Dogs out,” that song about Applebottom jeans and stupid fucking boots, most everything by Michael Jackson since his untimely passing except that song he made for Free Willy, etc.), but this song really, really has impressed me (I’m saying that I like it enough to put it on my iPod), and it seems significant because nothing about this song fits the mold of music that I usually find impressive. It’s a song that doesn’t make a lot of sense lyrically, the singer doesn’t really have a captivating voice or any other extreme talent that I can discern (I don’t think the song would be much different if it was sung by someone like Gwen Stefani or Lady Gaga) and it doesn’t seem like the instrumental portion of the song is very complex either. I’ve even been told that Cyrus said she didn’t know which Jay-Z song she was talking about in the song because she didn’t write it and doesn’t even listen to Jay-Z. That makes her and my Mother the only two people in the entire nation that don’t listen to Jay-Z--my Mom would rather get down with Nas. Or Bob Carlisle and/or Kenny Rogers.

So, I’ve been really thinking a lot about why I like it so much, and two definite things have come from it: 1) It truly is a pretty solid song regardless of true artistic merit and 2) My life is the biggest fucking waste of time ever.

For one thing--and I believe this is the foremost reason that I and any other person that’s not a girl between the ages of 4 and 14--it’s the catchiest song that I have heard in a very, very long time. It rivals songs “You Get what you Give,” by The New Radicals, and “Shout,” by those black dudes that play at the party in the movie Animal House, and, of course, “Mmmbop” by Hanson. It’s so catchy that the actual intensity of its catchiness makes me want to just frolick out onto the dance floor and put my hands up, because they are indeed playing my song. I also want to nod my head and move my hips, both like yeah! More importantly than that, though, the catchiness of the song makes me forget that I’m a 22-year-old that will be (hopefully) graduating from college in a few months with a bad haircut and little hope of getting a job in my chosen field. It provides an escape that I usually don’t find in the music I listen to, a kind of joviality that--and this could be bad--makes me think that I’m totally capable of busting a few good moves. (I find escape, but when your favorite bands are Brand New or Bright Eyes you kind of just escape to an even more depressed place than you’d previously been, which actually makes me wonder why I listen to that kind of music virtually all the time. Maybe I’m the idiot, along with Jesse Lacey and Conor Oberst, and people like Britney Spears and the Jonas Brothers are the geniuses.)

Another thing about this song is the absolute cunning involved with it (even if Miley herself doesn’t realize it, which I think might be 100 percent true judging by an interview I just watched where she said she didn’t think it would be popular and made it for her clothing line or some stupid drivel like that). Pretty much as soon as she got astronomically famous in the young kids category, it became the cool thing to do to hate Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana and anything else that she was associated with. I don’t know exactly why this is, but it’s kind of like how older kids despised Barney and Power Rangers whenever I was a kid. It’s also kind of like how I hate Nickelback. I mean, when I reached a certain age, I didn’t like Barney and the Power Rangers because some part of society dictated that I shouldn’t, so I went along with it. In reality, I shouldn’t have given two fucks about Barney, because if I didn’t want to, I never had to watch his television show or buy any of his purple merchandise. All of the time that I probably spent in my formative years railing on Barney could’ve been spent doing Hooked on Phonics or improving my right-handed lay-up. I also never have to listen to a Nickelback song if I don’t want to, and I guess they’re going to be around whether I dislike them or not. I’ll just have to keep avoiding them, like I do with people that are bigger than me that I’ve made fun of or conversations about my immediate future.

***Having said all of the above, I would still like to make it clear that I will continue hating Nickelback and being vocal about it until they are completely publicly disgraced to the point that they stop making music.

I think that maybe people see these things and begin to hate them because they’re making assload upon assload of money off of an impressionable market (little kids and whoever it is out there that buys Nickelback records) by doing things that we feel we could do ourselves given the opportunity. I suppose it’s natural to get pissed off about things like that. The fact that I’m actually aware that I fall into this and hate on certain people or entities for these reasons makes it all the more impressive to me that Cyrus broke down mine and many others’ defenses. She has broken into a market of older people with just one song. It’s unbelievable. The same people that have hated this girl are now dancing to her song in places that she isn’t even old enough to get into yet.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t dislike Miley Cyrus, or that if you do it’s because of her undeserving fame. Maybe it’s because you think she’s a no talent ass-clown with a terrible personality. Maybe you just don’t dig on the raspy voice. Maybe you don’t like anybody that is of the Billy Ray Cyrus bloodline. Hell, I don’t like Miley Cyrus.

All I like is her one song. And it’s a song that shouldn’t be taken seriously (because apparently Cyrus doesn’t even take it seriously). I guess that’s part of the appeal for me, to listen to a song that is extremely dumb but catchy. I don’t give a fuck if the singer is too stupid to tie her own shoes or give timeless classics like “Big Pimpin’” and “99 Problems” at least one try (if nothing else, these kind of songs could keep her from becoming delusional about a woman’s place in society). Like it or not, the sheer fame this song has garnered will make it one of those ones you hear occasionally ten years from now, so you may as well embrace it. I plan to, because it will be a gateway back to my senior year of college, when I had not a care in the world, was listening to really stupid songs while drinking Miller High Life and sweating on a dance floor.

If you choose not to embrace it, though, just take solace in the probability that she’ll be completely addicted to some kind of hard drug by 2020 and will be, as a personality, completely eviscerated from the public eye.