Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Arrrghh. I find Susie Orman so frustrating! Here is her thesis: People who are struggling with money have low self esteem. People who have lots of money have high self esteem. Your personal worth equals your self worth. And there's Oprah nodding along, as Susie O starts making people cry who obviously have low self worth. It's like there's some particular talk-show universe in which grand metaphysical statements which obviously make no sense are let pass without challenge (although I guess comforting metaphysics is Oprah's bread and butter). So the reason for economic polarisation is self-esteem? Some have it, some don't. Those who have it rise to the top, those who don't sink to the bottom, 1890s style. So society must rely on a certain number of people to have low self esteem to do the jobs that people with high self esteem don't want to do. Or can we just use migrant workers who must come from countries with low self esteem to plug the gap? I guess we also don't need welfare or anything like that, since people can just choose to have high self-esteem (which is her subtext). I know that what she's selling is a kind of comfort (if I don't have much money, the only thing holding myself back is myself), but in a way doesn't this just provide one more thing to feel worried about (if I don't have much money, it's my fault). 
Sunday, November 16, 2008

I find this hypnotic for some reason.
Sunday, November 9, 2008

"On a gray day in Paris
, Zoe was having lunch at the Bristol, where she was staying with her husband, Rodger Berman, who was once an investment banker and now produces award shows for television. “I love Paris,” Zoe said as she studied the menu. “If I spoke the language, I’d live here.” She looked up at the waitress, who had appeared at the table. “Can you do crudité?” Zoe said. The waitress looked confused. “You did it yesterday. With cucumber. If not, I guess a salad, no dressing.” The waitress still looked confused. “You see,” Zoe said to me, “there’s just too much of a communication barrier.” Zoe took a sip of her English Breakfast tea. “I wish caffeine had vitamins in it,” she said."
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ok, election over, back to reality. Lets talk Rachel Zoe, aka 'The Raisin'. I was lucky enough to enjoy an episode of her reality show the other night and was entranced by her emaciated frame, shaky gait, overly-large sunglasses and Starbucks, as well as her critically low levels of self-awareness (bearing in mind that reality shows don't usually like people to be self-aware). It's like she's the gruesome future awaiting her proteges (or 'Zoebots' as they're called), and that's a wonderful thing to watch. I couldn't find any footage on Youtube, but I particularly liked her incessant reference to 'growing her brand'. It's like on-message politicking has bled into the fashion world and reality TV. Frightening.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My god, I didn't think I could be moved by presidential rhetoric anymore... And so refreshing to have a literate President elect ("the arc of history")... And he mentioned gay Americans (though not marriage, obviously). This has to be a first for an acceptance speech? 
Can't say I'm surprised about an Obama win, but on some level I never thought it could happen. But now I feel all these strange and foreign feelings like, you know, hope. And I'm *particularly* excited by Michelle Obama as First Lady.

The Mac is Back

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yikes, this one is blunt. Seems to augment McCain insider "whisperings" about the new momentum boosting McCain's chances - momentum "evoked" by a fast-moving camera over water, rock music, snappy editing, and flashing "McCain" on screen to the music. Is that a bit, how does McCain put it, "Commie"? Feels akin to Microsoft trying to do an Apple ad. And so long...

So sad... don't mess with cheeks!



My long weekend with the Prince of Tides

I've always been curious about The Prince of Tides. This is partly because I don't quite get the whole Barbra Streisand thing - maybe I'm too young, but I only know that she *is* admired, rather than having any admiration for her myself. My formative Babs experience was the very back lit and vain The Mirror Has Two Faces, but at the time this was consumed in the knowledge that there was probably some past pinnacle of achievement from which she had slipped...

Which explains my intrigue with The Prince of Tides - was this the past peak? Its 7 Oscar nominations suggests it was, but as far as I can tell, it's actually pretty shite. For example, the back lit lighting and extreme vanity is all still there in abundance - Babs makes being a therapist seem like the vainest thing ever. Prancing around in a mini with the camera tracking up her shapely pins (director: Babs); pouting suggestively after posing therapist-like questions ("what are you feeling?"); sliding off her glasses annoyingly in key moments suggesting the deployment of subversive therapist-smarts. It's all about looking like a therapist (in a mini with luscious lips).

But THEN there's the flagrant disregard for the ethics of therapy: Babs drills the brother of her client for information to aide her client, with no strategies in place to ensure the brother isn't horribly scarred by the therapy process. Then she hooks up with the brother, and even SLEEPS OVER in her client's apartment with her CLIENT'S BROTHER with no regard for how her client may perhaps feel about these FLAGRANT blurring of boundaries. It's kind of like Pretty Woman in the sense that heart-warming strings supplant any exploration of the murkier undercurrents beneath the gloss. Like rape for example - explored for about thirty seconds, but really just a plot device to symbolise the acknowledgement of past trauma, in order to allow enough growth for the Nolte character to HOOK UP WITH THE THERAPIST.

So yes, a very underwhelming experience, although I do feel a little bit more "gay" now. One more comment: I'd always assumed that The Simpsons was stretching it's Prince of Tides parody when Marge mouths the name "Lowenstein" as if it was the most poignant piece of poetry. But this actually happens! The ACTUAL final moment is Nick Nolte driving off into the sunset with his voice over mouthing the name "Lowenstein.... Lowenstein". So unintentionally hilarious.