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I want to wear pants!

15 Mar

Delightful thing my roommate brought to my attention. It’s a re-swizzling of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” but it’s about suffrage and it’s way better than the original:

Just remember, ladies: Suffrage is swell, but the battle ain’t over yet. Don’t listen to Beyonce. Girls do not run the world. That is straight shit and everybody knows it.

Klondike bar ads are insulting, lazy

19 Jul

Have you guys seen this crap? Apparently I’ve been hiding under a rock, or at least eschewing prime-time network television, because Klondike’s effort to re-brand was going mostly under my radar until recently. Peep this horribleness:

Oh ha! I get it! Women are boring! Especially if you’re married to them! It’s like torture to listen to them! BAAHAHAHAHA! Hilarious. /sputter Oh yeah, and did we mention gay people are just … icky?

It’s a generally-accepted fact that the very last thing a straight man would ever want to be caught doing is something gay-seeming! Although it might be worse to actually care about the person you committed to spend your life with – hard to tell from these commercials.

Sarcasm aside, it is possible to be funny and sell ice cream without implying that women are insufferable bores and being gay is wrong (and straight men can never show affection). This is lazy work, plain and simple. The Via Agency, the ad agency that Klondike hired to put together their re-branding campaign, should be ashamed.

I complained, I hope you do too. Tell Klondike you won’t be buying their products because of these spots. If you’re an advertising nerd like me and you’re opposed to the ads on multiple levels (not only are they sexist and homophobic, they’re unimaginatively so), you can also scold The Via Agency. Humor ain’t hard, people. Wise up or lose business.

Do you think these ads are worse than normal, or just more blatant? And who decided that all mint flavors must forever come in fluorescent green anyway? Technicolor is for TVs, not food. Sheesh.

Five ways to save time. For realsies.

11 Aug

I have a confession: I subscribe to Real Simple. There are several reasons I should not do so, the most readily apparent of which is that the very title of the publication flies in the face of one of my raison d’etres, namely, defending the integrity of the English language. Seriously, Real Simple? You couldn’t call it “Real. Simple.” instead? Just two little periods, or even one of those funny lookin’ pipe | thingies could do your rag a world of good. But no, you had to abuse an adverb, just like the “Eat Local” army. Fine. Whatever. I’ll eat delicious food that grows locally while you sit down to a four course meal of intangible adjective.

Along with syrupy prose contributed by its college-educated female readership who’ve chosen to stay home with the bratlings and wax poetic about cheese sandwiches or whatever, one of the magazine’s regular features is lists upon lists of time-saving tips. The tips are often pitched with a Pollyanna-esque, “If you can do your makeup in only 30 minutes, you’ll have more time for YOU!” What, pray tell, would a woman who spends more than 30 minutes on hair every day do with that extra time? Spend more time on lipliner? My advice to them would be: Stop doing your hair. Voila! 100 percent more time for you!

So in the spirit of mean-spiritedness, and since Real Simple won’t be informing its readership how to actually get more time for themselves anytime soon, leastwise without plugging a $40 bottle of face cream and reinforcing some serious heteronormativity and serving as capitalism’s and classism’s little glossy handmaiden, I came up with some more realistic time-saving tips for the less credulous among us. Written for the typical Real Simple reader, who, I imagine, is female, at least 30, white, upper-middle, with a husband, 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence:

1. Ditch the Hubbie
Ever get snippy with your doting spouse? It may not be the stress of planning all those complex dinner parties and thoughtful holiday gifts — he’s probably just using up nearly half of your special you time! He always wants to talk, wants to cuddle, wants to put it in your butt. Those things take time, my friend — get rid of the geezer and you’ll automatically gain plus-10 you-time points!

2. Don’t have kids.
Seriously, ladies, did you know it’s actually illegal for you to leave these little time-sucks alone for up to TWELVE YEARS? You don’t want to spend the best years of your adulthood in drudgery, watching insipid childrens’ television, cleaning up excrement and/or Cheerios, and trying not to shake your offspring to death, do you? If you’re unfortunate enough to already have one of these, take heart: In Nebraska, you can abandon your children no matter how old they get!

3. Live in a van.
Garden got you down? Lawn putting you to shame? Garage organization projects keeping you up at night? How much time do you really spend weeding, whitewashing, mopping and coming up with innovative storage solutions for all your crap? Sell it all and move into your suburban assault vehicle. Cleaning a small space is a snap, and entertaining’s out without an outdoor dining set.

4. Quit your job.
Forget the Pomodoro Technique. It doesn’t matter how much you prioritize, how many 100-calorie snack packs you stash in your desk drawer or how many green tea breaks you take, you will never, ever be caught up at work. Instead, quit. Live off all that money you’re making by contributing syrupy prose to milquetoast organizing magazines.


5. Get ugly.
Without a husband or a job, why bother spending even that measly 30 minutes blow-drying and heat setting your hair? Come to think of it, you probably can’t afford that $40 face cream, and there’s no outlet for a blow dryer in a van. But, now that you’re ugly, poor, unmarried and childless, you probably finally have enough time to sit down and read Real Simple cover to cover, and realize it actually only takes 10 minutes to blow through the whole thing, ads included.

Fraternizing With the Enemy

4 Apr

If you can believe the movies, men and women can’t ever just be friends. It’s required by unwritten social law that at least one member of a mixed-gender friendship be all full up with unrequited lust, if not outright L-U-V. Psychology Today said it best when it summed up the media’s role in perpetuating this filthy lie:

“A certain classic film starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal convinced a nation of moviegoers that sex always comes between men and women, making true friendship impossible.”

There is only one socially approved way around this rule: Straight ladies can be friends with gay boys. But beware, het ladies! Those gay boys may only be pretending to be gay in order to grease the path into your pants! The jury’s still out on whether straight boys can be friends with gay ladies, and I’m pretty sure no one’s allowed to be friends with bisexual people (unless that person is Rickie), since they can’t really be trusted with either gender.

Cinematic representations of friendship notwithstanding, the challenges of building strong platonic relationships in a culture that values romantic love above all else are real for everyone. Straight people, at least, have a guidebook for how to interact with their same-sex friends: Women gossip and shop, often commiserating about their boyfriends’ foibles; men watch sports, drink beer, and complain about their girlfriends.

But those with non-standard sexual identities are flying blind. With no guidebook, it’s hard to know with whom you’re supposed to seek kinship — those of your own gender, or those of your own orientation? And what if your gender or orientation is fluid?

Should we create rosters and categories? Choose from List A if you’re in the mood for stein-clinking and rugby-watching, from List B if you need a manicure and a trip to Bloomie’s. But what if you just want to have a potluck? What list do you invite then?

It’s hard enough to build long-lasting friendships in the adult world without all these stupid rules about cross-sex relationships and how they’re supposed to work. In a perfect world, people would just relate to each other as people, not as genders or sexual orientations or Democrats or Republicans or whatever.

Tell me, readers, who are your best friends, and what does your social circle look like? Are they homogeneous or heterogeneous  in their gender and sexual orientation? What about race, class, national origin? What are the challenges you see in relating to people that are unlike yourself?

Related posts: Boys of Facebook, Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Friends With Me

Lady parts

17 Feb

I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you pictures of everyone’s favorite female physical attribute: long hair! Every time I start to think seriously of chopping off all my hair, pictures like this one of a famous person named Jameela Jamil, from Black Tee Skinny Jeans, pop up to convince me otherwise:

Of course a shorter style can also look pretty awesome, although I have to say I question the context in which this picture appeared (Twilight-themed Bing commercial featuring another famous person whose name I don’t know. I’m so ashamed):

And my all-around favorite style so far, appearing on the internet-famous Sarah Evans, who is a PR maven and all-around nice person. This is what I like to imagine my hair would look like if I owned a flat iron and actually cared enough to use it. Which I don’t and I don’t. So it doesn’t:

If you can’t tell, I really like bangs. I’m just sort of bad at executing them on my own mug. For context, here’s an example of my bangs at their glorious heyday:

And here’s an example of my bangs having an off night, but they don’t care because they’re at a disco with Mother Hubbard and a bunch of drag queens:

* This photo is courtesy of Heather. You can see her picasa album here.

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