Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You wanna see my talent?

Apparently noting the lack of non-fictional hottie girl superheroes in the world, Miss Americas are trying to fill the void. Let's make like it's a pageant and score them.

Miss Making the Internet Safe for Children: The current Miss America helped nab a bunch of would-be kiddie touchers by acting as the "bait" in an internet-pedophilia sting. They posted pictures of her when she was 13 online, then detectives posed as a 14-year-old girl, engaged in sexually explicit chats with some dudes, and they busted a bunch of them. Miss America was also involved in the actual sting: she waved some guys into a house, where they got arrested. She told reporters: "I got to chat online with the predators and made phone calls, too. The Suffolk County Police Department was there the whole time."
I'm the judge: Saucy! But also random and seemingly quite unnecessary; did the cops think the baby-rapists would not be interested enough if they posted pictures of someone less glam than Miss America? And why did she have to chat online with the "predators," or be there for the arrests? Presumably the real winners here are the cops who dreamed up a way to make Miss America hang out with them.

Miss Screw You, Gun Control Advocates: Also today, the 84-year-old Miss America of 1944 shot the tires of two trespasser/intruders and held them at gunpoint until the police arrived. The article says she had to "balance on her walker as she pulled out her snub-nosed 38-caliber revolver and aimed at the tires on the men's SUV, but she didn't think twice about shooting twice." About the incident, she said: "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."
I'm the Judge: I am totally terrified of Miss America 1944, and thus declare her the winner. Congratulations!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Russell Simmons takes out his relationship problems on hip-hop

Russell Simmons called on the recording industry to bleep "ho," "bitch," and the n-bomb out of hip-hop songs, because they're as obscene as "extreme curse words" (ooh, what are those?). That seems more Tipper Gore-y than you'd expect from the founder of Def Jam, but arguably the whole Imus thing made him realize just how bad those words really are.

Or maybe he actually had this realization at some point during the 8 years he was married to Kimora Lee Simmons? Kimora, the model/designer/talk show host/whatever who's the momma of his 2 daughters, gave a uniquely bizarre interview to Vanity Fair in 2005 in which every other sentence out of her mouth was, "I will beat a bitch's ass." I'm going from memory here, but I'm pretty sure she said it multiple times in a row in a syncopated fashion, like: "I will beat a bitch's ass. I will BEAT a bitch's ASS! I WILL beat a bitch's ass."*

So, Russell Simmons: Paul on the road to an obscene musical Damascus, or just a dude with a grudge against his ex-honey and her pottymouth ways?

*Ahh, Kimora. Thinking about that interview is plunging me into a confusing nostalgia spiral of giggles and moral approbation. If you missed it, or have since devoted the Kimora Lee Simmons portion of your brain to something else, like who Paul Wolfowitz is, shame on you! Luckily, the internets will refresh your memory: here's an awesome Top 10 Kimora Lee Simmons quotes list from PopSugar.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Carrie Nation 'n me

In response to my last post on the topic of my turning-30 freakout, and my mom's joke? confirmation? that I will end up looking like the toothless babushka I found on Google Images, my dad sent me the following picture in an attempt to give me a more accurate image of what I should expect to look like when I'm old:

This is Carrie Nation, 1846-1911, known to history as a temperance movement activist who expressed her antipathy to alcohol by smashing up bars with a hatchet. Lore has it that we are related to Carrie Nation on my dad's side of the family. In the interests of being fully informed, I have done a bit of research on my possible ancestor (by which I mean I read the Wikipedia entry).

It turns out I disagree with Carrie on a couple of her major life decisions, namely: her belief that God told her to smash up bars, her dislike of alcohol, her scowl, her lady-necktie, and her dislike of alcohol.

But! All in all I am finding my possible Carrie Nation-ish fate a fairly inspiring development. Say what you will about the crazy religiousness and the liquor-smashing, the lady did her own thing, and was ahead of her times in many ways. To wit: after God told her to smash up bars, a tornado hit eastern Kansas, and she took it as . . . divine confirmation that she was doing the right thing. Confident! And: she paid the fines that resulted from her law-breakin' by selling souvenir hatchets. Clever! Post-modern, even!

One could say that I am absolutely nothing like Carrie, what with the godlessness, the beer, and the fairly conventional life choices (see earlier post re: married lawyer with mortgage). But I am going with the more positive interpretation, that I, like her, am doing pretty much what I want to do.

And more to the point, she didn't even become Carrie Nation until she was 31.* :)

*That's when she married David Nation. The vision from God came when she was 32. I've got plenty of time!

Taxation without representation blows

Today is both DC Emancipation Day and the big Voting Rights March.  It's cold and rainy with predicted wind gusts up to 60 mph, which seems appropriate given what a ridiculously uphill battle it continues to be to get voting representation in Congress for the 600,000 people who live in DC.

Here's why I'm gonna be there despite the tornado-like conditions:  I wanna be able to do those "email your Senator" things without getting an error message or putting in a fake zip code!  I want my city to have someone to speak for it the next time some Congressman from Texas decides to name all our streets after Ronald Reagan, or to get rid of our gun-control laws

If you live in DC, you should come to the march too.  If you don't, take advantage of your lucky represented-ness and email your Senators to tell them they should support voting rights for DC. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Voter Fraud is the New Global Warming

Or rather, "voter fraud exists" is the new "global warming doesn't exist." This article in the NYT is about how this federal panel, the Election Assistance Commission, "revised" a report on voter fraud and voter intimidation, like so:

  • Out: "There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud."
  • In: "There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud."

  • Out: Found "evidence of some continued outright intimidation and suppression" of voters by local officials, especially in some American Indian communities.
  • In: "Intimidation is also a topic of some debate because there is little agreement concerning what constitutes actionable voter intimidation."
It would be amusingly meta if it weren't so straight-up undemocratic.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Turning 30: Top 10 Freakout Topics

Sometime this year I will turn 30. In preparation for this event, I have started to freak out. Here is a highlight reel:
  1. I have a mortgage.
  2. I am reading Gardening for Dummies.
  3. My cat, who I adopted the same day I got my wisdom teeth out, is 58 in cat years.
  4. I am married.
  5. It's too late to become a gymnast or a wunderkind of any type.
  6. I am closer to too old to have kids than to too young to have kids.
  7. I have started to receive Lands End catalogs.
  8. I'm a lawyer, and I no longer feel like an imposter when I say "I'm a lawyer."
  9. If I were a character in Logan's Run I would [SPOILER] be killed soon.
  10. What do I want to be when I grow up?
Just thought I'd share.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fred Thompson is skinny grey jeans

I went shopping the other weekend and found myself inexplicably drawn to skinny grey jeans. This was surprising because I clearly remember myself thinking a year or so ago that the skinny-jeans trend was something that I was way too smart to fall for, and also that grey jeans were an annoying fake-ironic 80s throwback look for girls who were not actually born until the late mid- to late-80s.

What changed my mind? Why, looking at lots of pictures of people looking awesome in skinny grey jeans, of course. Here, try it:

Starting to grow on you, aren't they? One could get freaked out that it's so easy to get brainwashed by pretty pictures, but that's what fashion is about--a kind of group addiction that makes you want things mainly because other people want them. As group addictions go, it's much healthier than, say, religion.

Except it seems that the same logic has made Fred Thompson the skinny grey jeans of the Republican presidential candidate world. He's totally gonna be the next candidate, entirely because people have seen a lot of (relatively) pretty pictures (talkies, even!) of him as a tough prosecutor on Law & Order. He didn't even play the President! (I would definitely vote for President Bartlett, btw, if you're looking for work, Mr. Sheen.)

I submit that this is something people should be too smart to fall for, as it is an annoying should-be-ironic throwback idea for people who think they miss Ronald Reagan and the '80s, but don't really know why. I'm boycotting Law & Order (and possibly grey jeans, just to be safe.)