Archive for July, 2011

A man’s vampire

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

There are certain things that one has to pre-emptively say no to: Rides on dark roads from strangers. Dalliances in prison holding cells. Movies and television shows about vampires.

I really, really (really, really, really) cannot take Twilight, True Blood, and their ilk, with their emo camp and sensitive-guy pathos. They make me want to scream, Get on with it and suck her blood, already! Which is kind of too bad, since Alan Ball’s previous t.v. show is my favourite, ever.

Thanks, though, to a rant in New York‘s Vulture I now know why. Because they are castrati vampires, emasculated monsters:

Think of the message here: What is the consequence of falling in with a Romantic vampire? Death, either yours or his. What is the consequence of falling in with the Castrati vampire? Long and torturous (at least to everyone around you) conversations about feelings. This is not what really happens when you fall in with attractive monsters.

Which is totally true. A template for a better, more historically accurate vampire, says Brian McGreevy, is Don Draper, star of my second-favourite show, ever. You can imagine Don Draper, no, sexy, seductive, sucking your blood?

Betty’s revenge

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Oh. My. God. It’s the revenge of Betty Draper.

Kellee Maize “Mad Men” from arjanwrites on Vimeo.

Actually, it’s more like the revenge of Rachel Menken. ‘Cause lyrics like “Putting the patriarchy to bed/the one outside and inside our head/we planned it all we’ve made our own bed/time to awake, evolve and defend?” They’re kind of classic women’s college.

Generation Prude?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Do sexual libertines begat prudes? Can sex ed take the sexy out of sex? Molly Jong-Fast, daughter of the seemingly endlessly horny Erica Jong, explores these questions in a book excerpt, recalling a junior-high exercise  in which the students were sent out to purchase condoms, to their embarassment:

It did not create a class of safe-sex zealots, as I think our teachers might have hoped. It did, however, make sex seem somehow unsexy.

Like Jong-Fast, I came of age in the immediate wake of AIDS, amid a bombardment of safe-sex messages that stopped just short of “only initiate physical contact if you first wrap yourself from head to toe in cellophane.” A drumbeat of warnings can, you know, cause sex to lose its titillation factor. While Jong-Fast says she and her contemporaries felt “invincible,” impervious to the reprecussions of sex, I can’t claim that innocence.

Still, I agree that there was certainly something about the sexual liberties of the previous generations that also contributed to the unsexiness of sex for me when I was younger. Between Hair, the gross hairy drawings in Joy of Sex (come on, you just know that guy had B.O.), and Erica Jong, it’s amazing that any of us ever wanted to have intercourse. Every generation rebels against the one before it, and perhaps we rebelled by being sort-of prudes.

Heels & headaches

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I get terrible migraines, and have for years. They often come out of the blue, blindsiding and sometimes blinding me. There are lot of things that can be triggers for me: stress, dehydration, the smell of cheap perfume, too much sunlight, not enough sleep, neckaches, caffeine, lack of caffeine, the odour of gasoline, driving.

One thing, though, that does not give me migraines. High heels. Otherwise, I’d be continuously incapacitated.

Style smackdown

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Speaking of kicking people when they’re down, GQ has released a “poll” of the most-sartorially-challenged cities in America. Come on, is it much fun to deride football-jersey-wearing slobs in Pittsburgh as football-jersey-wearing slobs?

Notably, though, D.C. is not on the list. Notably, though, Manhattan is. Wh-aaat?!

For all my kvetching, I don’t disagree. Here’s why: D.C. is hardly stylistically stellar. I rarely walk down the street and covet a bag, a dress, a blouse. (Well, occasionally.) But the city’s inherent conservatism serves it well because it prevents people from making many completely egregious fashion mistakes. There are parameters, there are rules. There is less fun and more taste.

In New York, there is nothing to rein people in, there is no uniform. The adverturous, the stylistically smart, those with a real eye can soar. I see women and I swoon. I want, I long, I desire. The downside to that, though, is there’s nothing to guide those who need guidance. In the city the other weekend I saw: Acid wash. Scuncis. Wife-beaters (on men). Frayed jeans. Gym shorts at a fancy cocktail lounge. Leggings so snug I actually could see a woman’s vagina. Yeech.

For my money, consistent and classy win the race.

Cosmo, confidential

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

The Gloss has — rightly — identified the sources of teeange girls’ sexual dysfunction: Cosmo.

I thought it was the magazine that sexually liberated adult women read and I wanted to be one. Now I realize that Cosmo exists solely to frighten teenage girls.

Anyhow, the compendium of things girls think are sexy before they have sex but actually totally are not is pretty funny. The list includes thumb sucking, teeth, and edible underwear. This, however, is the most amusing bit:

I used to watch porn late at night….(It) taught me that blowjobs are supposed to look ridiuclous: gasping, breaching, head bouncing, wrist flicking, jazz hands, like fireworks only with a dick in your mouth. The first time I ever tried to give head, my boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy and then he said, “Slow down, get as much in your mouth as you can and suck really hard.” That’s been my mantra ever since.

Hail to the what?

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

I was on the treadmill when the most bizarre commercial, a strange sci-fi, period adventure-ish spot hawking a…feminine cleanser?

Truly, it’s the strangest piece of advertising I’ve ever seen. (Another Summer’s Eve spot is getting grief for potentially racist overtones.) Honestly, the commercial is so weird I don’t even know what to say about it. Except that I miss those soft-gel-shot spots of women running through a field.

I’m too sexy for…this newspaper

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Newspapers are hot. Like super hot. Like smoking.

At least that’s what I think the Newspaper Association of America is trying to say. Not exactly what it is saying in this new ad campaign, however. Because “smart is the new sexy” means that being smart has replaced being sexy as the hip, in thing, not that smart = sexy. Like, say, the Internet is the new broadsheet.

Not that you’d expect people who deal with words for a living to pick up on these finer points.

Too slutty to take seriously?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I am so very confused.

Writing in the upcoming Sunday Times, Rebecca Traister weighs in on SlutWalks, events put on by women’s groups to protest the idea that by dressing provocatively, they are inviting sexual assault. Traister says she embraces the organisers’ “don’t-blame-the-victim-blame-the-perp” message — and then proceeds to suggest that they undercut their argument because of how they are dressed. Um, isn’t that the point?

A proper salute

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Other places have official animals. State flowers. Sanctioned foodstuffs.

Here in D.C., however, we now have a city cocktail, the rickey. That highball — dubbed air conditioning in a glass — was born here, in a saloon that once stood by the National Press Club, a location that was probably pretty suitable back when reporters seriously got into their cups.

D.C. joins only Louisiana in having a recognised alcoholic beverage. (Eleanor Holmes Norton at an unveiling of a commemorative plaque: “History helps to define us, it helps us to know really who we are.” Heh. Drunks, apparently.)

I suppose it’s fitting that Washington, a place that’s never been too dry, should have an official drink. While the city has a monument to temperance, it also was home to hundreds of speakeasies. During Prohibtion, the bootlegger to Congress even had a Capitol office, according to Garrett Peck, author of a new book on the period. I mean, look, rules governing happy hour had to be imposed on lawmakers and political staffers, courtesy of lobbying reform.