Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bumper Stickers

Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that made me sick. It had a picture of Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat on the left side and one of W in a cowboy hat on the right, and in the middle it said "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys." That is so pathetic! Neither of those assholes were ever cowboys, unless your definition of "cowboy" is "rich poser who buys a ranch so he can ride around on a horse acting like the Marlboro man."

A few weeks ago I saw a really good one: "Be Nice to America or We'll Bring Democracy to Your Country." Hee hee...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Everything I Know I Learned From Watching America's Next Top Model

Did you know that Vh1 showed every single episode of America's Next Top Model ever this past week? I happened to turn the TV in the first 10 minutes of the first episode from the first season, so I did what any reasonable person who just started watching this past season would do: I set my DVR to tape every single episode for the rest of the week. And after watching many episodes each night since Monday, I am now a little over halfway through Season 3 and still have roughly 40 episodes left to watch -- only a problem if Reasonable Man dumps sattellite TV for cable in the next few weeks (don't ask).

Even though I have plenty of other stuff to do, I can't stop watching this show. And even though I know I'm a little late in coming to the ANTM party, I wanted to share a few things I've learned:

1) Even though I enjoy this show, I still hate the fashion world and what modeling is all about.

2) Even though I didn't watch the first six seasons of this show, I have evidently been paying enough attention to know the names of the the winners of every season, which kind of sucks as I go through and watch them.

3) One of the best parts of each season is when the girls get their hair cut/colored/styled and at least a handful of them lose it. As obsessed as I can be with my hair and as much of a crybaby as I am, I don't think I've ever actually cried about my hair, no matter how short I've gone. Some of the ANTM girls go into hysterics over having their hair cut to below shoulder-length. They need to get over it.

4) That dead-eyed vacant look you see on the face of every model in fashion magazines? Will get you picked on week after week after week on this show even though you better have it down when you actually go out to work as a model.

5) If you are a well-known supermodel who hosts a reality show, it's perfectly acceptable for you to lecture girls who live in a house decorated almost entirely with pictures of you about being more humble.

6) There will always be a token plus-size model. She will never win the competition, no matter how fabulous she is, but she will probably get lots of plus-size work after she leaves the show.

7) As insufferable as Tyra Banks is, every season includes at least one stuck-up ANTM contestant who is even worse.

8) If remaining "Christ-like" by not posing nude is important to you, you should maybe take enough time off teaching Bible Study to to thumb through an issue of Vogue one of these days. I'm not saying you have to like it -- I find a lot of it pretty questionable too -- I'm just saying ANTM, where you might have to do a naked girl-on-girl photo shoot, might not be the place for you.

9) Having ANTM on while I do my hair and make-up causes me to give more attention to those things. Having it on when I get the munchies every night doesn't help me lay off the snacks though.

10) I will never be America's Next Top Model. But if that means I will also never have to hang around with Tyra Banks, I can deal.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You Know How It Is...

You go awhile without posting (although 6 weeks may be a record for me -- I hope so) and then each time you think about maybe getting back in the saddle, you feel the need to write some huge long thing to explain about why you've been gone or what the hell you've been doing all that time or whatever. And that thought is just exhausting, so you end up posting nothing at all.

Well, I'm doing an end run around that and making my first post since mid-November something brief and completely random:

We saw two movies over Christmas break: Eragon and Charlotte's Web. Eragon was tolerable -- I suspect it was more exciting for a kid who a) has read the book and b) is too young to recognize the fact the story is about 3 parts Star Wars, 3 parts Lord of the Rings, and 1 part Harry Potter.

Charlotte's Web was enjoyable. I'm not a huge fan of the animated version so I thought doing a live-action version was a decent idea, though I didn't expect it to be as good as Babe -- and it wasn't, but it was very sweet. Two questions, though:

1) Dakota Fanning is a perfectly competent actress, but why does every single pre-teenage girl part go to her? What is so special? She's not bad, and I don't have a problem with the fact that she's not particularly pretty either, but I don't see what's so appealing about her that she gets all the parts.

2) Why does all the voice work in Hollywood have to be done by well-known actors these days? Charlotte's Web had 10 "names you know"-level actors voicing farm animals, including Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey. Of those, the only voices I recognized were Julia Roberts as Charlotte (and I might not have been able to place her voice if I hadn't known she was doing the part), Steve Buscemi as Templeton the rat (actually very good voice casting) and Thomas Haden Church (from Wings and Sideways) as one of two crows. Even Oprah's voice wasn't recognizable, and I was listening for her because I'd read she did one of the voices. So what in the world is the point of hiring all these stars to do voices when you don't recognize them? Aren't there plenty of talented voice actors out there who could do a better job?

I blame Disney, of course. They had to go and hire Robin Williams to be the genie in Aladdin. And it's not always a waste -- most of the Pixar movies have made good use of their big name stars, as have the Shrek movies, and I even came to appreciate Scarlett Johanssen's work as Princess Mindy in the Spongebob movie. But Robert Redford as a horse in Charlotte's Web and Rachel Weisz as the dragon in Eragon is just going too far if you ask me.