Do You Need Something to Be Furious About Today? Here Ya Go!

Yesterday a friend of mine who probably wouldn’t call himself a feminist (don’t worry, I’ll get him there in time) sent me a link to a video. This was the note that accompanied the link:

“This video is called ‘The Perfect Technique for Kissing a Girl in 30 Seconds’ but should be titled ‘Guide to Raping Women in the Street.’
You see how he grabs on to them? At least one definitely pushed him away. And the kisses looked more like him trying to bite them!”

This friend is not prone to exaggeration so I was curious to see what he was talking about. As much as I hate to give the “filmmaker” more views, you’re gonna have to watch the video to understand the rage it set off in me.

Am I crazy or is he basically committing sexual assault OVER AND OVER AND OVER?! What in the actual hell is happening here? The first woman he approaches must be a plant; her shitty acting is porn quality. But every other woman in the video appears genuinely startled and upset.

That a large portion of the internet is a stagnant, garbage-filled parking lot lake of filthy water is not news. So this asshole makes offensive videos for pathetic brodudes to watch and air high-five each other about? Whatever. Who cares?

Well, what makes this so, so much worse is where my friend came across the video.

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Oh, wait. You don’t read French? Here’s the headline in English. (Thanks, Google Translate.)

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Yup. This video – the one you just watched above, in which an aggressive d-bag grabs women on the street and mauls their faces – is just “the perfect technique for kissing a girl in 30 seconds.” Relax, ladies! Why so uptight?

The editorial board at Yahoo Quebec wrote that headline and the post that accompanies the video. To them, theirs is an accurate representation of the content of the video.tumblr_mf2vqa7VV81rccyxzo1_500

Ok. Are these people stoned all day everyday? Is Yahoo Quebec just an awesome place to work because you can hang with your bros drinking Labatt’s and comparing assault techniques all day?

In some ways, this brings to mind the iconic V-J Day photograph by Alfred Eisenstadt. The image is recognized all over the world as a romantic symbol of the elation of freedom.images-1

But the facts behind the picture tell a totally different story, one that is considerably less charming. And less consensual.

I’m so exhausted by all this. Aren’t you? I mean, the uproar over that Dove video is one thing. Sure, it’s worth discussing. But I firmly believe that we as women are at least as guilty as men are of heaping appearance-based hate on each other. I don’t ever defend the Kardashians but look at the fat-shaming that Kim has suffered while she’s f***ing PREGNANT. Jesus.

At least that Dove commercial was trying to emotionally manipulate us to sell soap. This douche-y auteur Vitaly is just going around grabbing women – my friend described the guy’s hand as a “rape clamp” –  and filming it. And getting nearly 5 million pageviews for it. (I don’t even need to tell you that avoiding the comments section below the video is best for your mental hygiene, do I?) In the same week that three women who’d been missing for more than a decade were found alive in a gruesome neighborhood prison, I just don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Without being too dramatic, I can honestly say that not once in my life have I ever been alone in a public space without my guard at least somewhat up. There is never a time when I am alone anywhere that I am not at least peripherally aware of the possibility of some man getting too close to me, or saying something offensive to me, or – worst case – physically violating me. Honestly, it’s much easier now that I’m older and more mom-ish, but I still get unwanted attention nearly every time I pump gas or go grocery shopping. Even if it’s something as comparatively benign as being commanded to “Smile, pretty lady!” when I’m mean muggin’. Hey, Asshole. I’m scowling so a man JUST LIKE YOU won’t consider me even remotely open to your proprietary advances.

The idea that there are preteen boys doing Internet searches on “how to get girls” and landing on a seemingly legitimate website like Yahoo to find advice like this just makes me want to go to a corner and rock back and forth for the rest of my life. And as long as women’s bodies are regarded as public property, this kind of thing will continue to happen.

It’s a good thing that women over 40 are anathema to shitheads like Vitaly. Because if he pulled that shit with one of us, he’d be picking up teeth.

Best of the Blog: An MC to a Degree You Can’t Get In College

Adam Yauch died last year. This is what I wrote about him on May 10, 2012. 

It’s been a few days since Heaven got a little more Adam Yauch.
I’m surprised how much his death is still on my mind. I keep imagining what his parents are feeling, what Mike and Adam are feeling, and what his wife and daughter feel. The loss of someone we love, especially when it’s so new, is too hard for the heart to accept. You wake up thinking for a minute that person is still here somewhere before realizing he’s gone. Forever.
I came across this picture on Twitter:

I can’t stop looking at it.

I look at him and I see all of us. In his eyes, I see that feeling that we have when we’re young: I am immortal, untouchable, never ending. We think our ideas are the freshest and that the world better be ready for us.

But not many of us leave behind the legacy that Adam Yauch did. Between the work with the Beasties, the Milarepa Foundation, and his film company*, his ideas really were the freshest.

I feel lucky to have grown up with him and I’m just sad to see him gone so soon.

(*Weird. Just saw that his company produced the excellent Maurice Sendak documentary “Tell Them Anything You Want.” RIP Maurice.)

Ryan Lochte Is My Favorite Person on TV Right Now

People complain all the time about how negative reality shows are. If they’re not portraying some ethnic or socioeconomic group poorly, they’re glamorizing the shallow values of the nouveau riche. Not to mention all the fighting! Oh, the nasty, nasty fighting.

I agree that there is a whole crop of Kardashian-adjacent television shows that are little more than what my pal Dean calls “hater tv.” But what about when something entirely positive comes along on reality TV? Don’t believe it’s possible?

Well, E! network is broadcasting an uplifting reality show featuring a healthy, well-adjusted young man with developmental disabilities and a supportive group of friends with similar disabilities, as they try to make sense of an increasingly complex world.

Oh. Wait. That’s actually the plot summary of the 2001 Sean Penn film I Am Sam. Sorry, my bad.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do? actually focuses on the day-to-day life of an Olympic superstar as he navigates through a series of highly-orchestrated situations and spreads his dumbass charm around like fingerpaint.

I’m not proud to say that I didn’t watch any of last summer’s Olympic games. Not one event. But I was aware of this Lochte character because obviously the media loved him. I was turned off by his seemingly douchey ways – the sneakers, the annoying catchphrase (“jeah!”), and of course, this:

complexWhen I saw him play a version of himself as a “sex idiot” on 30 Rock, I thought he was cute but I definitely didn’t see him jumping out of the pool and rocketing to Hollywood domination. ryan-lochte-sex-idiotSo, yeah, I started watching WWRLD as hater tv. (Also, I was sort of curious how the producers would show Gainesville, Florida – a town I love for lots of reasons, but mostly because my dad lived there while I was growing up.)

You guys. I didn’t mean to fall in love with this incredibly hot doofus. It just happened!

Here’s the thing about the show: just like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, no matter how much the producers throw in sound effects to cue viewers when they’re supposed to laugh and feel superior, a delightfully genuine affection between Ryan and his family and friends comes through loud and clear. Ryan Lochte loves his life! It’s refreshing to watch someone so famous seem to love every minute of the life he’s made for himself. Yes, he has God-given talent as a swimmer, but he also pushes himself hard enough and digs down deep enough to become the fastest human being in the water. And that kind of determination and focus is no joke. Continue reading

Legally Stupid: Reese Witherspoon Vs. APD

I love how her eyes are like, "I quit this bitch."

I love how her eyes are like, “I quit this bitch.”

Before we look through the Georgia Department of Public Safety Report together – and oh, we are so gonna do that – let’s take a minute to be thankful that no one was hurt when one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and her dumbass husband drove drunk through the A late Thursday night.

Because since no one was hurt, we can safely LAUGH and LAUGH and LAUGH about this mess!

If you’d like a look at the actual document, you can download it here, or you can just let me give you the good stuff.

First of all, dang. Reese is really tiny. According to the report, Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon is 5’02” and 105 lbs. Now, it’s possible that Reese shaved a couple pounds off when she filled out the DMV form (something I obviously do not condone) but it’s more likely she’s really that small. Which makes some of the stuff she did that night seem even funnier.

So. Reese and her husband were riding down Peachtree at 12:40 am on Friday, April 19. They were over by Peachtree Battle. [Any guesses where they were hanging out before they hit the road? I don’t know; I actually really want your guesses.] An APD officer noticed a Ford Fusion – wait, stop. Quick laugh break for ballin’ in a FORD FUSION!

Oh well. I guess a Fusion is better than a giant Hummer? Still funny. Anyway. Moving on.

So, Officer No Bullsh*t (you’ll see in a minute) notices that the Ford Fusion – one more time: HAHAHA! – failed to maintain its lane and traveled more than once over the double yellow line. Officer No Bullsh*t initiated a traffic stop and the car pulled over into the Walgreen’s parking lot.

Again, I have to stop the story for a second. In general, I tend to be anti-cop. Sorry, I just am. I know it’s not rational but it’s almost like how some people just have a preference for mayonnaise over Miracle Whip. I just generally prefer to not deal with cops whenever possible.* However! I do love it when they serve up some “sit your ass down” justice to people acting like a**holes. Which is exactly what happened that night in the Walgreen’s parking lot.

Smelling alcohol on the driver’s breath – and also noting “disheveled clothing” – the officer asked the driver how much he’d had to drink. He replied “a drink” (yeah, right) and then looked to his passenger, one R. Witherspoon, to answer when he was asked where the drinks were consumed. She replied that the drink was consumed at a restaurant two hours prior. Girl, stop. Just stop.

I love this kind of crap! Listen, we have ALL left “a restaurant” after having “a drink” “two hours earlier”. We just have. And we probably did not smell like alcohol and fail to maintain a lane in our disheveled clothes! God, could one of these people not ever just say, “Dude, I am WASTED right now. I don’t know what the hell I was even thinking after that sixth shot. Here, cuff me.”

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Linked In Can Suck It and Here’s Why

God, I hate Linked In.

A couple years ago when everyone started jumping aboard the Linked In ship, I was waving from the dock with a cocktail, wishing everyone bon voyage. My initial dislike of it was simple: I thought their design was ugly and boring and also I was an unpaid stay-at-home mom not looking to “network” with other stay-at-home moms.

I can’t remember who sent me the first “Invitation to Connect” but at some point I thought, “Damn, I better swim on out and see if there’s still any room on that boat!” I accepted that Linked In wasn’t the passing fad I thought it was. So I created an account and have maintained the laziest and most blah of profiles, while trying to Beadazzle™ my Facebook and Twitter (and sometimes Pinterest*) on the daily.

Since I’m looking for work in social media now, I’ve done tons of reading about the usefulness of Linked In. And I’ve been advised by people I like and respect to beef up my profile. Damn it. I have to do this now. But first I’m gonna rant for a minute about why I hate it and don’t have to like it and you can’t make me. sam_spratt_300_linkedin_gizmodo_copy

1. I hate self-promotion.

Right now I’m supposed to be writing my own reference letter for an associate (fancy) who is going to sign it when I’m done. I’m having the hardest time! I can write a recommendation for someone else in a quick second but writing about how awesome I am is not coming naturally. And saying that you’re good at things means you create the expectation that you’re actually good at those things! I know, I know: weak. But getting on LinkedIn and coming across like a serious person who knows what she’s doing is haaard, you guys.

2. The endorsements thing is a total scam.

Because of this blog, I get a lot of endorsements that I really, truly appreciate. When I see that someone has endorsed my writing, or web content, or social networking, I feel like it’s a really nice hat tip. But I usually can’t reciprocate. I don’t KNOW if I should endorse your proposal writing skills. ARE you really good at segmentation or integrated marketing? I don’t know because I don’t work with you and I don’t really know what you do! You’re a great pal and I love our chats, but we haven’t talked about your skills in Adobe Creative Suite so I can’t say if you’re good at it!

3. PEOPLE CAN TELL YOU’VE STALKED THEM.w6cRgyY

This is why LinkedIn is just the worst.

Remember a few years ago, everyone was seeing these scammy ads telling you you could see who’s checked out your profile and then it all turned out to be fake because thank God the one thing Facebook hasn’t taken away from us (yet) is the ability to hide our stalking? Well, Linked In totally lets you see who’s checked out your profile. Grrreat.

The problem with this is that let’s say there are only a few people in the world that you would definitely say that you hate. Like, you loathe them. Your interactions with them from more than a decade ago still have the power to get you heated. You may have even crafted a revenge fantasy or two. Then let’s say one boozy evening you decided to google this fool and see what she’s been up to. And LinkedIn comes up first so of course you click on it. Now you’ve visited her profile. She thinks you’re interested in her for good reasons, not bad, shameful, you-should-have-moved-on-by-now reasons. And then BAM! The next day, there it is: your “invitation to connect”! And attached is a stupid note saying something vague about how long it’s been and how glad she is to reconnect. D’OH! You don’t WANT to reconnect with that heifer! But just the fact that she knows you looked gives her the upper hand. And then you cry violently at your life.

In the next few weeks, I am planning to try to do some real networking and self-promoting on Linked In because I know that I need to grow up and accept that it’s important to try to appear professional in order to get people to pay you. But I will be rolling my eyes the whole time.

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*Let’s talk about Instagram another day.

Instagram WISHES It Was This Cool, And Other Things I Learned From A Box of Pictures

I don’t think I’ve shared this on the blog, but I am not currently employed full-time. Or part-time. Or even at all. I hope it won’t stay this way for long but that’s the way it is right now.

So while my kids are at school, I find myself in a strange place where there usually isn’t anything pressing that needs to be done. When you have younger children, there is always – ALWAYS – something that absolutely has to be done, but once the kids are older, the day-to-day urgency of chores lessens a bit. This is all a very long way of getting to my point which is that sometimes I have enjoyable stretches of time to do what I want.

I try to use these found hours to do things I’ve long put off. One project I’ve meant to take on forever is going through my boxes of letters and mementos and seeing what’s actually there.

Today I pulled out a couple of boxes of “special things” and ended up on an all expenses paid tour of Memoryland (Memory Lane is just one small street) that sort of blew my mind. You guys. Here’s what I realized: kids today – yes, I just wrote that – will probably never know the joys of finding a box that contains stacks of pictures and letters and cards. It just won’t happen. Coming across time-stamped and organized emails from your first boyfriend will never be the same as opening a yellowed envelope, holding a letter in your hands, remembering the handwriting. Swiping your fingers across your phone, gazing at the faces of lost loves will never be the same as finding a snapshot tucked into a book. Kids still give each other cards and things (wait, do they?) but there was something truly magic about opening up a box to find a disorganized jumble of memories. Here are a few I found today.

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Proof that I’ve always been an excellent speller, as if I needed that. And wouldn’t you know? They misspelled my name. 

 

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First concert. Awww, yeeeeah.

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My granny was my hero when I was a kid. She was hilarious, salty, and fun – everything I aspire to be! In this picture, Granny is posing next to picket signs made by her neighbors after she hosted a party and didn’t invite them. What a bunch of fun drunks.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls before they discover boys. A lovely example.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls in those years before they discover boys. This is a lovely example.

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My dad and me at my high school graduation. He was actually very handsome, even though he’s making a weird face here. I don’t have many pictures of us together so this is a treasure. Sidenote: It makes me want to cry that I thought I was fat then.

Double exposures! A roll of film in which a baseball game showed through in pictures of my wedding. Instagram WISHES it could do this.

Double exposure! A roll of film on which pictures of a baseball game, a backyard pool party AND my wedding were shot. Instagram WISHES it was this cool.

More after the jump. Continue reading

Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Part 1 TONIGHT!

We’re just hours away from part one of the super-sized Real Housewives of Atlanta season 5 reunion show and for me, it can’t be 8 pm soon enough! This season was a little ho-hum but the reunion looks goooood, doesn’t it?

Since it’s very clear that Andy Cohen reads my blog – how else to explain Fashion Queens? – the other ladies probably do, too. So I’ll address each of them individually and let them know what I think of their performances this season.

Phaedra Parks ::  Donkologist, Ph D

Phaedra, you are a delightful mystery to me. You live contentedly in Phaedra World, a place where every idea is turned into a business and where a charmingly cracked Southern charm is the coin of the realm. But it’s a nice place and I love you for making a home there with Apollo and Ayden. I’m pleased to see that the marital discord Bravo hinted at in the trailer for this season turned out to be a bunch of bunk and I know you must be so happy to be bringing another little chicken nugget into the world. Anytime you want to go for a day drink at the Clermont Lounge, I’m down.tumblr_mg8g040Ws81ql5yr7o1_400

Kandi Burruss :: The Hungry, Happy Housewife

Kandi, you may want to have a chat with the producers about the editing this season. Girl, they made you look like you would do anything for a plate of food! Maybe you’re ok with it but I think I’d be a little miffed if I had put on a noticeable amount of weight and then every episode showed me yammering about food! I’m guessing you probably don’t care though. And, really, why should you? You seem genuinely happy with Todd, Riley seems to like him, you took a few steps back from Mama Joyce, and you own a bad ass mansion. Good for you and may your empire – whoaOHOH! – keep growing.tumblr_mjas0t874x1ql5yr7o1_400

Continue reading

So This Is What Courtney Love’s Been Up To

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Hey there, Crazy.

When I go too long without some C. Love in my life, things get boring.

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Kurt’s just clownin’. He’s not really afraid of her.

Full disclosure: I’m a big, big fan. I think Court is bonkers, crackers, bananas, a wack job, cuckoo, a few sandwiches short of a picnic, insane in the membrane, etc. – and I LOVE HER FOR IT! It’s rare to see someone who cares so little about making herself seem normal and acceptable. And in addition to all those things, she is also smart, witty, and the woman behind one of my favorite albums of all time, Hole’s Live Through This. (Don’t kid yourself: it sounds as fresh today as it did then.) And she was married to my boyfriend Kurt Cobain, whom she did not kill, despite whatever misinformation you may have gotten.

This advertisement “web series” for NJOY electronic cigarettes is officially bringin’ Courtney back – yeah! Them other Courtneys don’t know how to act! (Sorry, got carried away.) The actress who is not Courtney Love is notably terrible, which makes it that much more wonderful when Courtney croaks out, “Relax.” Ah, where have you been, girl?

Yeah, she’s “back” selling e-cigarettes, but a check is a check. Git money, gurrrl!

 

The Brazilian Twerk Team Is Giving Me LIFE!

Go read a book, Miley. Have a seat, Caramel Kitten. These waxed clean Brazilian fellas are about to show you how twerkin’ is REALLY done!

My favorite thing about this is their totally bored facial expressions. They’re putting a ton of energy into their moves but their faces look like day shift truckstop waitresses who don’t have time for you and your mess.

I also really appreciate that the kid in the middle – you KNOW he thinks he’s the Beyonce of the group – stops to fix his wedgie situation around the :50 mark. He’s both an artist and a professional.

They call themselves As Abusadas, which I happen to know translates to Ass Abuse in Portugese.*

After watching this – and going back to watch Caramel Kitten twerk her way through Wal-Mart again (“Twerkin’ by the beer, twerkin’ by the bread”) – I had to reign myself in before getting sucked into a k-hole of twerk videos. The variety is astounding! But something all twerkers who post videos of themselves twerking seem to have in common is a general “I DON’T GIVE A F***” attitude. And I can appreciate that.IDGAF

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

*It totally doesn’t.

The Week in Celebrity Vaginas

I probably should have used quotation marks around celebrity because the people I’m talking about are celebrities in the same way people like Ingo Rademacher and Sean Lowe (who?) pass as “stars” on Dancing with the Stars.

So, how about this? Some people that a lot of people are aware of said some stuff about their vaginas and I have some things to say about what they said.

Let’s start with Amerika’s favorite sisters, the Kardashians. I generally try to limit my exposure to Kardashianalia. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary reason is that I CANNOT LISTEN TO THEIR VOICES. Because I love trashy pop culture so much I want to marry it, I know that not watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians leaves a gap in my knowledge base. So I have tried, Lord knows I’ve tried, to watch the show. But I have never made it through a full episode because of those voices. The combination of that flat, nasal whine and using “like” every fourth word makes me feel insane.

Also, Kim’s face freaks me out.

But I am aware of them because DUH. So when I read earlier this week that on their television show, two of the sisters asked a third sister to compare and judge the smell of their vaginas, I thought, “Well, of course. Of course they did!” The way in which the winner was determined is that sisters Kim and Kourtney individually wiped their vaginas with a cloth napkin and then each in turn presented their napkin to sister Khloe for a sniff test.

That’s right: these adult women smeared (sorry!) their essences (again!) on a piece of cloth, which they presented to another adult woman to judge.

Big surpise, Kim was the winner! Know why Kim was the winner? Because Kim getting peed on by a third-tier R&B singer ten years ago is the reason these people are on TV. How is Kim gonna lose?

Here’s my favorite line from the whole thing: “Do I want to be the judge of the pineapple p***y?” Khloe rhetorically asks. “Not really, but we’re sisters … if I can’t smell their p***ies, what else am I supposed to do?” Exactly, Khloe! You just summed up sisterhood beautifully! I mean, come on! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?!

Some would argue that Amanda Bynes is even less of a celebrity than the K sisters. We’re splitting (pubic) hairs here, but at least Amanda Bynes had a career as an actress with her own TV show and a movie or two before turning full-time professional car wrecker. Everyone pretty much forgot about her until she started acting all weird and druggy a few months ago. And then she went on Twitter with this lil gem:

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. . .

C Bale WHAT?

Um. I don’t . . . I just . . . WHAT?!

I guess she means she wants to do sex with Drake? But Amanda, WHYYY do you use words as though you’re a non-native English speaker?

Even though we hear the word “vagina” in public more now than we used to, it still pricks up the ears when people talk about their own. It’s sort of a guaranteed attention-grabber.

So, to you, masochistic Amanda Bynes and you, sweet-smelling Kartrashians, I say well played. Well played.