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Archive for June, 2009

On my way into work this morning, as I desperately tried to find something to listen to on the radio, I was assaulted by this news story on multiple stations.  Apparently, there was some event in Canada last night at which gossip blogger Perez Hilton got into an “altercation” with will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas.

Hilton claims he was pushed by a member of the BEP’s entourage early in the evening. Because he is an attention-loving gossip whore, he then proceeded to tell anyone who interviewed him about this incident, making it seem as though it was intentional (who knows, maybe it was – he’s annoying enough to merit it).  Later in the evening, will.i.am approached Hilton at a club and told him not to talk about his group on his website anymore.  Hilton then left with Lady GaGa’s entourage (makes sense) and is now claiming that will.i.am was all agressive and “in his face.”

One of the radio stations this morning played the video of Hilton’s hysterical rant on the subject.  It is ridiculous.  It is so over the top, that I don’t even know or care what really happened, but I can still tell he’s full of shit.  I kept changing the channel to get away from it but it was every where I turned. About 10 minutes ago, two men I work with were having a conversation in the kitchen and actually used the phrase “journalistic integrity” in the same sentence as “Perez Hilton.”  Beyond anything, I just find that sad.

I will continue to change the station to get away from this news story, because on principal it will make me feel better.  It is the same theory I have about avoiding any story about the media spectacle of Spencer & Heidi.  By pretending it doesn’t exist, at least I can feel superior that I am not contributing to the need to continue this circus.

Of course, the mere fact that I wrote this entry is completely contradictory to that, but I’ve been looking for something current to write about in the hopes of increasing traffic to my blog.

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Plethora

I will let the Merriam-Webster thing go after this, I promise.  But before I do, see my original entry on the subject below (“Word of the Day”).  Today’s WOTD is “plethora!”  Weird, right?

Maybe if I get fired for blogging at work I will be able to get a job with M-W.

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“Gravitate?”   I am outraged.  Not only that they are trying to pass this off as my “new” Word of the Day, but also because this means that there are people out there who don’t know what “gravitate” means.

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Last Sunday I went for a hike on the trail in my neighborhood and had two celebrity sightings.  One was Ed Begley Jr. (I actually heard his voice and knew it was him before I saw him, proof that I really do watch too much TV).  The other was Natasha Henstridge.  It was a strange coincidence that I saw her, since just days before I had read this article:  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1190224/Diets-pills-ruined-body-Natasha-Henstridge-speaks-weight-battle.html

In person, I was struck by how unbelievably gorgeous she is, completely dressed down in workout clothes and without a scrap of make up.  When I first read the article, I actually felt sympathy for her. She looks so big in the pictures, especially when compared to images of her from the 90s or even a few years ago when she was so much thinner.  In person, she looks to be maybe a size 8 (ever since I worked at the Gap, I have the gift of guessing someone’s size just by looking at them; it is a ridiculous skill to have).  Why am I feeling sympathy for someone who is 5′ 10″ and a size 8? Isn’t that healthy?

Alternatively, I saw this story yesterday about Tori Spelling:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1193607/Tori-Im-anorexic-Spelling-looks-painfully-bikini-family-trip-Hawaii.html

Even though the headline hints at anorexia, my first thought was that she looks great and I felt jealous because I’m not as thin.  Is that wrong?  I am also an arguably healthy size for my height.  I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink water all day, stick to low fat foods and work out 3-4 times a week.  I know that I will not be any thinner unless I do something drastic to my routine, like stop eating entirely.  The thought has crossed my mind.

I’m always somewhat torn on the whole “Thinning of Hollywood” argument.  On the one hand, I get it.  I had the opportunity to be at an industry party a few years ago; it was as though I’d walked into my TV set. Almost any actor you can think of from film and television was in the room…and I’ve never felt so terrible about myself in my life.  People who seem reasonably “curvy” on TV are stick figures in reality.  The camera may add more than 10 pounds.  Are these women really just perpetuating unhealthy body image amongst the youth (and in my case, not so youth) of society?  But when I hear people go on about ridiculous weight and beauty standards for women, I usually end up thinking “Are these just the rantings of the overweight and unattractive?”  Is that sentiment in itself proof that these unreasonable standards have permeated the subconscious of men and women alike?

In general, I think it all comes down to perception and influence.   My own insecurities could stem from living in Los Angeles, where the ratio of beautiful people to normal people is much higher than other places in the country (except maybe New York).  But I really don’t feel like moving.

PS:  The Daily Mail is not my only source of news, and I actually don’t read tabloids besides this one. But I think that, if you must read tabloids, the British rags are the way to go. They’re wonderfully judgemental and entertaining.

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Disturbing

I am a big fan of WordPress for blogging – it’s exceptionally user-friendly.  When you log in to your account, it gives you stats so you can see how many visitors you are getting to your blog.  Some days I have zero.  The most I’ve ever had was a few days ago (32!!).  WordPress tells me this is because 21 people searched the phrase “albanian slave trade” and ended up here.

Oh well.  I’m sure whoever searched that and landed on this page was probably very disappointed.

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I am slightly disappointed in Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” email service.  I was hoping to broaden my vocabulary and come across new and exciting words.  So far, it’s been pretty lackluster. 

I’ve always loved twenty-five cent words and would try to pepper my speech with them after I studied for the SATs. I think it’s because I like the efficiency of being able to sum up a thought with one big word instead of several smaller ones.   This actually earned me my first enemy in college, my freshman roommate, who was convinced I was a pretentious jerk after I used the word “plethora” in a sentence. She also told me I was using it wrong. For the record, I wasn’t, and it turns out she was just a grumpy bitch.  I moved out in the second semester.

Yesterday’s Word of the Day was “flout;” it’s kind of my favorite so far.  And not only because it seems like it could be the past tense of  “flute,” which isn’t even a verb.  Here is the definition:

1 : to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn

2 : to indulge in scornful behavior

Perhaps I like it because I enjoy scornful behavior.  Unless it is directed at me.

Anyway, flout is the exception.   Flamboyant?  Complaisant?  Effrontery?  My vocabulary is not that spectacular, so I don’t feel smug that I already know these words. I think Merriam-Webster is kind of phoning it in.

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Watching TV last night, I saw a WWF ad about the extinction of polar bears featuring Noah Wyle.  It went on for two minutes, which is an absolute age in TV advertising time. Also, it was a rare occasion in which I was watching live TV and could not fast forward through the commercials, which automatically puts me in bad humor.

Now, before you think I am heartless and don’t care about polar bears, animals, or the earth, I have to say that I am not passionately against this – even though Wyle’s slow and deliberate speech pattern is maddening and the images of cute and cuddly polar bears floating to their death is pure emotional manipulation.  It just got me thinking:

* Darwin’s theory is aptly named “Survival of the Fittest” (if you are a Creationist, you should probably stop reading now, lest your head explode).  I realize that the reason the polar ice caps are melting is because of the million and one ways we’ve f*d up the earth in the past hundred or so years.  But still, if this is an environment in which these creatures can no longer survive, doesn’t that mean that it’s just their time to go?  Nothing against the polar bears, of course, but it would logically seem that you can only fight natural selection for so long.

* If you have extra income and want to give to charity, why, why, why would you choose to save the polar bears when there are starving people all over the world who also need help?  Aren’t there countries in Africa where genocide is still rampant?  Forget Africa – how about people in our own country who don’t have enough to eat or clothes to keep them warm in winter? When faced with the two choices, it feels as though picking polar bears, panda bears or whales over human beings is irresponsible and inhumane.

I hate being preachy.  It just didn’t make sense to me.

 

 

PS: Before anyone takes offence to the title of this entry or thinks it is contrary to what I have just written, it is something I stole from an episode of Sex and the City when Carrie goes on a date with a documentary film maker whose latest project is about saving the seagulls. On the date he proceeds to tell her that documentary film making is for losers and he really wants to make big action movies. Carries asks, “But what about the seagulls?,” to which he replies, “F** the seagulls.”   Perhaps this is not funny to anyone but me.  And yes, I am fully aware that any joke requiring explanation is probably not funny at all.

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