Lady Gaga is Louis Vuitton Brown

Today I managed to drag myself away from K-Pop videos (I need help) long enough to perform the world’s most appalling dye job on my hair. It’s bad enough that I’m not going to post a photo, but I suspect the desire to dye came about from watching too many music videos featuring people with candy-coloured hair. Anyway, I’m not the only one to drastically change colours recently. Lady Gaga has also has a bit of a colour make over. I realise that’s not really news, since the woman changes her hair every other week except this really is kind of a drastic change. It’s brown. There’s a blond bit, but it’s mostly just a nice healthy shade of brown.

Like…really. Just brown.

While I think it looks quite nice, it is just a tad boring from the woman who made a name for herself by not wearing pants and attaching plastic lobsters to her head. Not to be accused of slowing down in any way, Gaga quickly clarified that it was not merely brown, it was ‘Louis Vuitton Brown.’

Well thank goodness for that. Here I was thinking that colours were just colours. Turns out, you can just clarify all your dying mistakes and successes (I have significantly fewer of those) by comparing them to some sort of product. Because she has managed to be ALL of the colours, I’ve used Gaga as a template to helpfully label your future dye jobs, so you can tell your friends and acquaintances exactly what it was you were aiming for. However, having no experience with luxury goods (they don’t let me have nice things) my comparisons may be a little more… low rent.

Pink and Purple – Pastel colours in hair have made a sudden resurgence, possibly due to the influence of Mother Monster. It’s a tricky trend to deal with, so if anyone asks you what you were aiming for you can tell them that you were imitating the popular colour combination of the Baby Born toys.

Black and White – Ever a fan of the two-tone, Gaga was rocking this black and white do for a while there. Aside from the obvious Cruella de Vil/ skunk comparisons, I like to think of this hair as a ‘reverse Oreo’, combining the deliciousness of a sandwich cookie with high fashion. Incidentally, I too have had this hair style. It was mostly just due to my total inability to successfully get the bleach to cover my whole head. But whatever.

Blue- This blue look was part of that whole “sheer body stocking with pointed crotch outfit” that happened a while ago. While the spiked thong looked a little uncomfortable, I was a fan of the blue hair. It reminded me of my favourite household cleaning product, which both smells good and comes in an attractive colour.

Yellow- I find yellow hair really hard to deal with, mostly because whenever I look at it, it makes me feel like there’s been some sort of horrendous bleach malfunction. But, this look does remind me a little bit of a fried egg, which I guess you could call a redeeming quality because fried eggs are delicious.

Orange – Orange hair. Orange juice. It’s not a huge leap. I probably could have done something more creative (like… basketballs?) but I didn’t because orange things are hard to think of off the top of my head. I think I might be hungry. I think I may also be craving breakfast foods. Eggs and a glass of orange sounds good right about now. Sidetracked by my stomach, yet again!

Anyway, that’s all I have time for folks, but feel free to submit your own cheap-o comparisons in the comments.

K-Pop K-Hole

So, I have this thing where I just really fucking love K-Pop. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I wish we could all just go back to a time where synchorised dance moves in elaborate music videos were a thing. Thankfully, K-Pop never really moved past that, so it’s there whenever I need a fresh hit. Recently, one song has grabbed everybody’s attention. South Korean rapper, Psy’s single Gangnam Style has exploded globally. It’s catchy as hell, the video clip is insane and everyone from Nelly Furtado to T-Pain is talking about it. If you’ve missed it, check out the video below and thank me later.

The video features a whole host of Korean personalities, including members from boy band Big Bang (who are fabulous and full of sass and you should watch their video) and girl band 4minute (who have less sass than the boys, but channel some Madonna-esque outfits in this video).

In case Korean isn’t your first language (it definitely isn’t mine), Wiki has this to say about the song’s meaning:

“‘Gangam Style’ is a Korean language colloquialism that refers to a luxurious lifestyle associated with the Gangam District, an affluent and trendy area of Seoul. The music video depicts Psy dancing at various locations in Gangam. The song’s theme is about ‘the perfect girlfriend who knows when to be refined and when to get wild.'”

Well, the more you know, eh? If you ladies are feeling a little left out, the song was also helpfully re-released with a feminine perspective from Hyuna, the same 4minute member who appears in the original video. She’s a little flat, but you get the point.

My favourite part of this whole affair has been the release of a live video of one of Psy’s concerts in Korea. Now, you guys have all seen videos of Western concerts. There’s a set of stock characters: sweaty drunk guy, sweaty drunk girl, guy making devil horns at the passing camera, excited girls seeing camera and waving, people on drugs looking kind of bewildered, more drunk sweaty people. Keeping that in mind, check out this live video of Gangam Style.

First of all, that’s a fucking massive audience. And second of all, can we all just pay attention to the fact that everyone here is just having some good, clean fun with glowsticks? They’re dancing, they’re jumping politely. Not one is crashing into anyone else. It’s just so damned wholesome. I love it. Also, how great are glowsticks?

Anyway, that’s me done for the evening. This post has actually just been an excuse for me to watch K-Pop videos in my pyjamas all night. Like I needed an excuse. Oppa Gangam Style!

Goddamnit, Canada!

I like Canada. It’s a nice place. The scenery is very pretty, it’s got a nice national anthem and, aside from the occasional hockey-based riot, Canadians are generally pretty chilled out. What I’m saying is, I’m pro-Canada. However, they do have a slightly chequered musical output. On the one hand, they’ve got some really cool stuff – Teagan and Sara, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Leonard Cohen and so on and so-forth. On the other hand, they’ve also got Avril Lavigne and Nickelback.

There is a lot of denim here, Canada. A lot of denim.

I’m not saying that I haven’t been guilty of loving Avril. I’m pretty sure every girl of a certain age spent at least a little bit of their early life dreaming of “sk8r bois”, wearing studded belts with cargo pants and lamenting the fact that aforementioned “sk8r bois” always had to go and make things so complicated. (If you didn’t understand those references, you need to go do some research and get back to me.) Having said that, I never liked Nickelback. No one, anywhere, ever, liked Nickelback. Except for the several million people who keep buying their albums. But those people don’t count… because they bought Nickelback albums.

Anyway, the point is that something terrifying has been bubbling away in Canada. Something that could bring about the end of the world as we know it. Avril Lavigne and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger have been collaborating on Avril’s 5th album. (Wait! It gets better.) Not only have they been collaborating, they also used that time to “fall in love” and have been dating for the last 6 months. Which led to the next logical step. (Seriously… it gets better.) Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger are getting married! Take a second to drink that in, and then have a look at this terrifying magazine cover.

It’s not just me… this looks like the reenactment of some sort of terrible high school formal photo where the trashy chick from your year took the creepy older dude who works at the service station, right?

Dating for 6 months! And now they’re getting married! Excellent! This sounds like a fool-proof plan! Shall we just stop here for a second and examine Avril’s spotless dating record? Because it’s pretty good. Avril married the lead singer of Sum 41, Deryck Whibley, when she was 22 . They got divorced three years later. Not long after that happened she started dating Brody Jenner (you know, that guy who was on that reality show and is also Kim Kardashian’s step-brother?) After about three months she thought it would be a good idea to get his name tattooed under her boob. Shockingly enough, after 2 years they split up. And now she’s getting married. To Chad Kroeger. From Nickelback. She’s 27, she’s already been divorced once, she has the names and initials of two long term partners tattooed in various places around her body and she’s marrying the dude with the creepy face who still thinks frosted tips are a look.
Clearly the girl has impulse control issues.

But whatever. Maybe they’ll get so caught up in planning their future together that they’ll forget to release the album they collaborated on. Before I sign off, I’m just going to leave you with what is definitely the best reaction to this whole affair so far. Thank you, Adam Levine of Maroon 5.

Party Party Party

This weekend, we threw a house party. It was the kind of perfect combination of awful carnage and good time that you see in American frat boy films. The house was trashed, we didn’t sleep and when the sun came up we moved the party to the back alley because none of us could deal with the state the rooms were in. There was a broken window, some burnt bed sheets and a floor so sticky that it was almost impossible to walk on.

A photo of the housemate with mess/ about to head out to the alley at 6am to make gin and tonics.

Why was is all of this relevant to a pop culture blog? Well, when people have these parties on film, they rarely have to deal with the aftermath unless it’s part of the comic relief. However, I just spent today reassembling our living room  and picking pieces of broken glass out of the concrete. So, I have compiled a list of the five best house party scenes. Incidentally, they are also the five that I am most glad I didn’t have to clean up after.

  1. Animal House (1978) – You can’t make a list of party films without mentioning National Lampoon’s Animal House. The Delta Tau Chi House of Faber college are on “double secret probation” after the crusty old dean and the brown-nosing Omega Theta Pi House decide they bring an unwelcome reputation to the college and vow to bring them down. Hi-jinks ensue. Sound familiar? That’s because literally every American college film that followed it took some (or all… usually all) of the plot and replaced the jokes. Check out the toga party scene below.

    If you haven’t seen this one, it’s aged a little, but it’s worth a watch to find all the young “up and comers” who went on to have illustrious film careers. John Belushi, Kevin Bacon and Karen Allen (the woman from the Indiana Jones films) all make appearances.
  2. Old School (2003) – As if to illustrate my earlier point, Old School follows almost exactly the same plot as Animal House with a few minor alterations. Three 30-somethings, unimpressed with the way their lives are panning out, end up (through a set of extremely tenuous circumstances), turning their house into a fraternity. And then the crusty old dean and brown-nosing other fraternity try to shut it down. Hi-jinks ensue.

    I couldn’t find a version of the whole party in English, but the most important bit that they manage to get Snoop Dogg (back when he was still Snoop Dogg) to perform… Before a naked Will Ferrel interrupts and shouts “We’re going streaking!” Will Ferrel naked is probably something I didn’t really need, but whatever.
  3. Almost Famous (2000) – This one isn’t a college movie, but it does have the advantage of being a coming-of-age movie set in the 1970s, so naturally there’s a lot of references to parties and drug use.

    There’s always that guy at the party who takes something and then sits there going, “How do you know it’s kicked in? How can you tell?” And then you find him three hours later half naked in an alley-way talking to a lamp post about something that sounds profound, but essentially boils down to “I’m on drugs!” This scene is a beautiful illustration of that.
  4. 10 Things I Hate  About You (1999) – This party has the best opening lines in party history. “Oh! That must be Nigel with the brie!” If you look closely, you can see Nigel scurrying in with a wheel of cheese as a wave of rowdy teenagers takes over Bogey Lowenstein’s house.

    It’s the kind of party that years worth of 90s teenagers wished that they could attend. Sadly, no one ever seemed to throw one. But despite that, it does have all of the elements that every teenage party (or any out of control house party, really) definitely feature: people desperately trying to get laid, embarassing dance antics (although, I can’t say I’ve danced on a table… yet) and romantic moments blind-sided by the sudden urge to vomit.
  5. Skins (2007) – Haven’t included enough TV in this list, but this is a pretty fantastic scene. Upon discovering that his mother vacated the premises leaving him with £1000, resident druggie and all-round irresponsible guy Chris, decides to throw a massgive house party. He also does all of this with a 15 hour erection due to a viagra related incident.

    While this whole scenario ends a little bit tragically (turns out Chris’ mother has left for good) it does contain a nice discussion about party ratios – “I think I know maybe 20% of the people here. That’s what makes it so good.” I don’t know how it happens, but there always seems to be a point in the night where you look around and go, “I know….3 people. Yes. Good. Now, more wine.” As long as those 3 people don’t disappear, everything is fine.

As fun as all those parties look, at the time of writing the idea of being in the middle of them is making me feel a little bit nauseous. The hangover I suffered at the hands of my good time saw an evening hangover food run to the supermarket (which is maybe 3 blocks away) result in me and the flatmate above almost passing out in the line for the checkout, me almost crying because we had to stand still for so long and everything seemed really hard, and then us both having to stop halfway home because walking was too tiring. (Massive props to our other flatmate who had to go and hang out with his parents all day.) So the point is, what’s good for TV and the movies is not necessarily good for me (but is still enjoyable watching).

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

If you haven’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you most definitely should. It’s a really, really good piece of young adult fiction that deals with a lot of massive teenage issues, whilst being splendidly relatable. As they do with most pieces of memorable literature, it’s being made into a film starring Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter), Logan Lerman (D’Artagnan from that recent and really terrible remake of The Three Musketeers, which was so bad that I suspect I might have been the only person who watched it) and Ezra Miller (Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin). Before we go careening down that tangent we all know I’m hurtling towards, have a look at the trailer for Perks of Being a Wallflower which is supposed being released on the 14th of September in the States.

Generally, I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing, but there is one fabulous thing that stands out in that trailer. That would be the incomparable Ezra Miller, who is so unnervingly beautiful that I have to psych myself up to look at his face. (I wish I was kidding. I am not.) Miller is playing Patrick, the closeted gay brother of Sam (Emma Watson) – the kind of wonderful and iconic character to is so OK with himself that it makes you feel like everything could probably be alright for you too. With the release date looming, the wheels have started turning for the press junket, which has led to Miller giving a most excellent interview in Out magazine. Before I get into the meat of what was said, can we all just take a minute to look at the photo shoot? …Because of… reasons… Guh.

Putting this here… for science?

I feel really creepy. He’s 19. (“Almost 20”, says the voice at the back of my head, like that makes it any better.) Whatever. Point is, not only is he glorious to look at but he gives a good interview as well.

Mainstream media outlets started paying attention to this interview because of the following quote:

“I’m queer,” he says, simply. “I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I’ve been trying to figure out relationships, you know? I don’t know if it’s responsible for kids of my age to be so aggressively pursuing monogamous binds, because I don’t think we’re ready for them. The romanticism within our culture dictates that that’s what you’re supposed to be looking for. Then [when] we find what we think is love — even if it is love — we do not yet have the tools. I do feel that it’s possible to be at this age unintentionally hurtful, just by being irresponsible — which is fine. I’m super down with being irresponsible. I’m just trying to make sure my lack of responsibility no longer hurts people. That’s where I’m at in the boyfriend/girlfriend/zefriend type of question.”

The way that these outlets are talking this quote up you would think that the headline for Out‘s article was “Young, Inexplicably Beauitful Male Star Outs Himself As Liking Hot Sex With Other Young, Inexplicably Beautiful Male Stars”. It wasn’t. But it has been the headline of pretty much every follow-up article in the mainstream press. Noticeably, a lot of these articles have also taken “queer” to  mean “is a gay man”, which it obviously doesn’t. I would just like to say that the “coming out in Hollywood” narrative is lazy and exploitative journalism and that you all missed the point. Learn your terms and then maybe you can talk about it, ok?

In reality, this quote was somewhere near the back of the article. Instead, the piece focuses on the reasons teenagers around the world flipping love this book. It has great characters in a high school situation and you know they’re going to be OK and that’s kind of what teenagers need. Miller is really succinct when he talks about the feeling of being bullied in high school. “A lot of [adolescence] left me wanting to end my own life, just give up. It feels like the whole world — because it is. It’s your whole world. But, man — life is a really, really cool ride. It’s really amazing the type of shit you can get up to if you endure. Like, you can do anything you want if you can survive.”

And that’s awesome. The fact that he talked about his own sexuality is also cool, but mostly I’m just more impressed that, as a 19 year old who didn’t finish high school, he managed to articulately talk about sexuality in a way that didn’t marginalise anyone and was gender inclusive. Why don’t we celebrate that instead of turning all the articles into lengthy descriptions of how Ezra Miller likes to get off with people of the same sex?

Anyway, Perks of Being a Wallflower is out sometime in September. The article in Out can be found here. And here is another picture of Ezra Miller’s face. Because I like looking at it.

You are so handsome.

Kanye Wests’ Perfect Bitch

Back in April, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made a decision that may or may not bring about the end of the world: they started dating. We haven’t collapsed into a vortex of narcissism and absurd displays of wealth yet, but I’m waiting. Anyway, West recently took over a New York club to debut some songs from his forthcoming album, one of which has the rather charming title of Perfect Bitch. The song is allegedly about West’s quest for the perfect lady. Apparently Kim Kardashian is that lady. West confirmed it on Twitter, but the Tweet has since been removed. LUCKY SOMEONE TOOK A SCREEN SHOT.

The song hasn’t leaked yet, so I can’t give you anything more than the title. Call me crazy, but if someone wrote a song calling me a ‘perfect bitch’ I’d probably show them what a ‘perfect punch in the mouth’ looked like. But not Kimmy. By all accounts she’s very flattered that Kanye would write a song about her and knows that he doesn’t mean ‘bitch’ in an offensive way.

Sometimes, in their quest to garner the attentions of the fairer sex, musicians get in it horribly, hilariously wrong. So, to honour the classy lyricism of Mr. West, I have scoured the internet to find my favourite dedications to the most perfect of bitches, be they the ideal hypothetical woman, a girlfriend, or that hottie in the club.

  1. Sexy Bitch – David Guetta ft. Akon – Akon is a bastion of tasteful lyricism, sensitively asking the ladies to “make love right now, now, now” and “smack that, ’til you get sore”, so it’s hardly surprising that Sexy Bitch is similarly wonderful.

    Choice lyric: “The way that booty movin’ I can’t take no more/ She’s nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood whore/ I’m tryin’ to find the words to describe this girl without bein’ disrespectful/ Damn girl!/ Damn you’s a sexy bitch, you’s a sexy bitch.” Basically what I’m saying is that Akon and Guetta get the top spot for unironically trying to to describe a woman respectfully and settling on ‘sexy bitch’ as the most appropriate adjective. Hat’s off to you, lads.
  2. Crazy Bitch – Buckcherry – Buckcherry are a class act. Crazy Bitch is dedicated to all of those fine ladies out there who are a little bit nuts, but definitely worth having sex with. The video for this one was filmed in a bar the band hired out for the day. The ‘talent’ (i.e the sexy, and presumably crazy, ladies who populate the video) were lured in with the promise of free drinks and a chance to party with the band. Provided, of course, that they were willing to get naked and work the pole.

    Choice lyric: “Take it off, the paper is your game/ You jump in bed with fame/ Another one night paid in full/ You’re so fine, it won’t be a loss/ Cashing in the rocks, just to get you face to face” and, of course, the chorus: “Hey! You’re crazy bitch/ But you fuck so good I’m on top of it/ When I dream, I’m doing you all night/ Scratches all down my back to keep me right on.” In case you missed it, the general gist was ‘This prositute is a bit nuts, but totally worth paying for.” Excuse me while I swoon.
  3. I Need a Bitch – Nate Dogg – Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg’s recently deceased cousin, needs a bitch. Not just any bitch though. He’s got very specific tastes. Thankfully for us ladies, he’s compiled a list of necessary qualities.

    Choice lyric: “I need me a bitch, with some big ol’ thighs/ I need me a fine-ass motherfuckin’ bitch with some pretty-ass eyes/ I need me a bitch, like I need some cash/ I need me a bitch so I can floss that hoe and make my ex mad/ I need me a bitch, ain’t no need to lie/ I need me a bitch, so when I do some dirt she be my alibi/ I need me a bitch, like I need a 6 4/ I need me a bitch, that’ll shine my rims up and open my door.” If you have big ol’ thighs, pretty-ass eyes and are willing to perform car-washing duties, congratulations! You’ve passed the test.
  4. The Makings of a Perfect Bitch – Nas – Not content with waiting around for the perfect woman to materialise, Nas has decided to make her. The Makings of a Perfect Bitch describes all of the qualities Nas needs to slice out of each lady in order to create the Frankenstein’s monster of bitches.

    Choice lyric: “I think I’m on a caper to abduct a nerd from the Ivy League/ Next stop the at the strip club, snatch a bad one and flee/ What’s next? I’m stakin’ out a 5 star restaurant to kidnap the chef/ Say goodbye to the stress.” Also this: “I’m her daddy, I’m her messiah, I’m god/ Cause I injected obedience and loyalty in her heart.” I guess all I can really say to this is kudos on a thorough understanding and original interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein ? Also…maybe see a psychologist? There’s something a little perverse about needing to be a lover, father and messiah to the same lady.
  5. Me and My BitchNotorious B.I.G – A tragic love story. Spoiler alert: Biggie’s lady ends up being shot through the heart with a bullet that was meant for the rapper himself. He cries. It’s all very sad. In between there’s some random dialogue about someone’s dick being cut off though…which kind of ruins the mood.

    Choice lyric: “When I met you I admit, my first thoughts was to trick/ You look so good, I suck on your daddy’s dick/ I never felt this way in my life/ It didn’t take long before I made you my wife.” I just really, really hope that that’s the line that Biggie used to pick this lady up.

I wanted to include more rock songs in this list but it turns out that not many of them are about bitches unless they’re ‘cold, hard bitches’ or ‘ice queens’. Anyway, if you’re ever trying to impress the ladies, maybe just serenade her with one of these bad boys? It worked on a Kardashian. Maybe it’ll work on her too.

Reading Porn on Buses

So, the other day E.L James’ inexplicably popular erotic novel, 50 Shades of Grey, became Britain’s highest selling book ever, clocking 5.4 million copies. It reached that number in 4 months. To give a little perspective, the previous best-seller was Dan’s Brown’s similarly shite, but much less erotic, The Da Vinci Code. All told, it sold 5.2 million copies over 50 weeks. Essentially, 50 Shades of Grey has obliterated the competition.

50 Shades of Socially Acceptable Porn for 40yr Old Housewives – has a certain ring to it?

There’s a lot of things that are interesting about the 50 Shades phenomenon, not least of which is the fact that for some reason it’s now socially acceptable for people to read porn on buses. I kid you not, at least 3 people in the office are reading it at work. We all know what it’s about, so since when is it OK for you to publicly read something I know you’re going to go home and double-click your mouse to later? Stay in, buy some batteries and go for it… I just don’t want to know.

But weird as that is, it’s not why I wanted to write about it now. For some reason, Bret Easton Ellis (author of several very good books including American Psycho, Rules of Attraction and Less Than Zero) became obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey very early on and was incredibly vocal about wanting to adapt it into a screenplay. He’s been frantically tweeting since the book came out.

Way too excited about 50 Shades.

For ages he was in talks to write the screen play for the cinematic adaptation. How on earth they’re going to make a mainstream cinematic adaptation of a book that basically asks the question “How many different ways can we have sex?” I don’t know. Not the point. Moving on. Talks have since fallen through and Ellis is no longer attached to the project. However, he does still have a lot of opinions about the whole affair. Namely, on who should play the protagonist Christian Grey. He was a strong adovcate for the incomparably beautiful Ian Somerhalder, who has starred in the adaptation of one of Ellis’ own books (namely, Rules of Attraction).

“Oh nothing, babe. Just quietly brooding.”

Since Ellis has been dropped from the project, a number of other names that have popped up in the discussion of who should play Grey – a character who is supposed to be so hot that we all drop panties at the mere sight of him. The one that has Ellis in a bit of hot water right now is White Collar star, Matt Bomer. You may or may not know who Matt Bomer is, but what’s important here is the fact that he is a married homosexual man with three adopted children.

\ To quote Robbie Williams, “all the best women are married, all the handsome men are gay. Feel deprived. You are deprived.”

Apparently, Ellis doesn’t feel that Bomer is capable of playing it straight enough to be Grey. Which seems like a rough call really since the whole point of that acting gambit that these guys do in order to make their money is… the acting? Bomer plays heterosexual characters in pretty much everything else he does and on top of that, swans around looking hot. Do you really need many more qualifications? Here’s what Ellis had to say on the affair:

If you’re wondering where that sudden outburst came from, consider that the day before, Ellis was dropped from the list of potential screen writers and was very openly disappointed about it on Twitter. Then consider that his response to the internet exploding and calling him a homophobe was to tweet, “What’s worse? My ugly mug next to Matt Bomers in 300 articles or that the dude who wrote Cars 2 is on the Fifty Shades of Grey writing list?” Do I sense a little bitterness here, Mr Ellis? I think the answer to that question, is yes. Yes, I do.

Honestly, my opinion on the whole thing is that Bret Easton Ellis has successfully managed to make himself look like an asshole on Twitter. Which is a shame. Because I quite like his novels. I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever ends up making the 50 Shades of Grey cinematic adaptation/ trash doesn’t hire Bomer and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was because of his sexual orientation. I don’t think that’s right or a valid argument for anything involving ACTING (am I the only person who fully grasps the meaning of that word?) But unfortunately that’s how it works sometimes. Either way, I’m probably not going to go see the film. If I want to watch porn I damned well don’t want to go and see it in a cinema.

You can follow the trainwreck that is Bret Easton Ellis’ Twitter account here.

Snoop Dogg is now a… Lion?

I realise this news is a little old, but it’s not getting any less funny so I thought I’d talk about it anyway. In case you missed it, Snoop Dogg, the man responsible for iconic tunes like Gin and Juice, has changed his name to Snoop Lion in order to reinvent himself as a reggae master.

Well, that sounds like a great idea… Wait. No, no it doesn’t. It sounds like a terrible idea, Snoop. It sounds like the worst idea you’ve had since you agreed to appear in a Katy Perry video wearing a candy-printed suit.

What’s that noise, Snoop? Oh, it”s just the sound of your credibility flying away.

So, initially I was kind of willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt. I like reggae. In spite of myself, I like Snoop. It could all be…OK-ish. Everything could always go better than expected. Unfortunately, as more details emerged, it became entirely apparent that at some point Snoop had lost his mind. He’s 40, so maybe he’s having a mid-life crisis. Either way, the press-conference was a trainwreck.

“On this particular project right here, I had no planning on going to Jamaica, making a reggae record or nothing. It was just, the Spirit called me. And any time the Spirit calls you, you gotta know that it’s serious and it’s real. So when the Spirit called me, it told to basically find something that was connected towards the Bob Marley spirit. Because I’ve always said that I was Bob Marley reincarnated. And it drew me to Jamaica.”

Oh, honey. No. For a start, Bob Marley died when Snoop was 9. But that’s not even the beginning of what’s wrong with that statement. If you’re going to start comparing yourself to one of the most recognisable and (dare I say it) influential reggae artists of the last 40 years, then you’d better be able to back your shit up.

I think we all know where this is going. Snoop most definitely cannot back his shit up. Take a listen to La La La produced by Major Lazer (which used to be a collaborative effort, but is now just Diplo).

I mean, admittedly he’s got a slightly better singing voice than initially expected, but this is just a nothing track with every reggae cliche that people expect to hear and some irritating space sounds. It’s not doing anything for anyone and it’s annoying.

So, now that we know the song is kind of terrible and that we shouldn’t expect anything wonderous from the sound, is there anything good to come of Snoop’s “wide open third eye”? Well, it turns out he wants to give back more to the community. He’s said and done some pretty destructive shit in the past, so I guess it’s cool that he wants to move away from the guns/drugs/women/pimp lifestyle.

“I’ve always wanted to perform for kids, you know, and my grandmother. People around the world who really love me, that can’t really accept the music that I’ve made. And this reggae music is the music of love, happiness and struggle. And now I get a chance to perform for kids and my grandparents, just make music that feels good to me… As a 40 year old man in the music industry, you know, artists call me Uncle Snoop. I gotta give them something now.”

That’s nice. I like the idea of Uncle Snoop. That terrifying, weed-smoking, almost-convicted-of-murder uncle that we all know and love. Sort of.

Whether it be mid-life crisis or a brain broken by 20 solid years of puffing on a joint, Snoop has made the change. Who knows how long it’ll last. I’m just going to go back to listening to Doggy Style and sipping on gin and juice (laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind). Snoop Lion’s reggae effort, titled Reincarnated, will be out soon.

A Short(ish) List of Reasons I Like Tom Hiddleston

I’ve recently developed somewhat of a problem. I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet (wait, there’s more to that sentence) looking at things to do with Tom Hiddleston. I don’t really know why, but I can’t get enough. I know I’m not alone, either. My friend Min is currently stuck at home with a broken foot, which means she has nothing to do but watch movies and lurk on the internet (the life I dream of). Sometimes, we call each other and spend at least half an hour discussing the finer points of why Hiddleston is pretty much amazing. We did it today, in fact. Anyway, in an attempt to get it out of my system, I have decided to dedicate a blog post to his handsome face. That way I’ll be able to move on…maybe.

But like…probably not though?

There are a lot of things that are quite likeable about Hiddleston. When I initially started writing this, it was just a garbled mix of capital letters and sobbing. I thought a second opinion might help, so I asked Min. All I got out of her was “BECAUSE REASONS! HE’S PERFECT! SHUTTUP! AHHH!” Obiviously, that didn’t really get me anywhere, so in an attempt to eke out a the tinest bit of coherent sentence structure, I have decided to make a list of things that are kind of lovely about Tom and hopefully you can begin to foster your own small Hiddleston obsession.

  1. The man is well-educated and well-spoken.  To steal a phrase from Sherlock, “brainy is the new sexy.” You know how they say that you should never meet your heroes because they’ll only disappoint? Well, because I am not a star-stalker (yet) the closest I get to meeting my heroes is reading/watching their press. Too many times have I had to cringe and turn off interviews because some actor’s misguided attempt at profundity has made me feel physically nauseous. Not so with Mr Hiddleston. Much is often made of the fact that he went to Eton and then later to Cambridge (where he earned a double first in Classics…excuse me while I swoon). But what’s really special is the fact that the quiet intelligence that can send you blazing through two of the most famous schools in Britain, can translate so nicely to something as fanastically unifying as popular culture.

    Hiddleston as Loki.

    You’ve probably seen Hiddleston in his stint as Loki in either Thor or The Avengers. Aside from having probably the most ridiculous costume in either of those movies, his performance was memorable and, despite his villainy, kind of loveable. What you may not have seen was his wonderful Guardian editorial in defence of superhero films. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Superhero films offer a shared, faithless, modern mythology… In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out.”

    You can (and should) read the rest of it here, because it’s perfect. What can I say? I like ’em smart and on the same page as me and as soon as I read his editorial I knew I was going to have a problem.

  2. Does a masterful impression of Owen Wilson (amongst other things). I like a funny man. Better still, I like a man who can accurately and affectionately mimic everything from Owen Wilson to a velociraptor to the horse he had to ride for a Steven Spielberg movie (War Horse, in case you were wondering).

    His Owen Wilson is terrifyingly accurate, as is his Samuel L Jackson. Endearing? Why yes. Yes, he is.
  3. Has possibly the happiest Twitter feed in all the land. If you’re not following Tom Hiddleston on Twitter I’m not sure what you’re using the platform for. He doesn’t tweet constantly, but when he does it damn near brings a tear to your eye. He thanks his fans in a variety of adorable ways, congratulates other actors on their success, uses the phrase “uncontrollably excited” a lot and posts pictures of himself literally jumping for joy. What’s not to love? Have a sample:

    Adorable chat about fan-mail.

    Thanking everyone, whilst also quoting ‘True Romance’.

    Being uncontrollably excited about things.

    His wonderfully eclectic “Song of the Day” posts.

    Right. So I may have gone a little overboard there, but there is one more thing you need to see, because it’s the best.

    Why you so perfect?

    No sulky or angsty Tweets from Mr Hiddleston. Just lots of gratitude, some bizarre song choices and pictures of him generally being a wonderful person.

  4. Can, and will, rap all of the words to Will Smith’s Miami. Bless whoever asked Tom Hiddleston if he knew any rap songs, because this is what we got:

    I like a man who knows his cheesy late 90s rap music and is not afraid to sing along. On top of that, he also has crazy good dance skills – like, some serious electric slide shit. In the interests of not clogging my blog with endless YouTube videos the link is here. Dancing starts around 1.07. Just…watch it.
  5. Ability to turn villain into the character everyone loves. I kind of mentioned it before. There’s something a bit wonderful about Hiddleston’s performance as Loki. People like a good villain, but not in the same way as they love the hero. People love Heath Ledger’s Joker, but they’re not on Team Joker. Loki, on the other hand, has an army. An army of screaming fangirls, sure – but that’s arguably more terrifying anyway.

    Essentially, yes…

  6. Looks stupidly handsome whilst crying. I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “ugly crying”. I am an ugly crier. There are two people I can think of  in the whole world who do not look ugly whilst crying. One is Abbie Cornish (if you don’t understand, watch Bright Star) and the other is Tom Hiddleston. So I was very pleased when this popped up on Tumblr the other day. (Click the image for  link back to the creator’s blog.)
  7. Is adorably phsyically affectionate with other cast members. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, I just do. Maybe it’s just cos I want everyone to look like they’re having a good time all the time. Check out this video of Hiddleston spooning Mark Ruffalo and tell me you didn’t explode.
  8. Ehehehe. Ehehehehe. Heheheheh. The Tumblr girls have definitely picked up on it, and by now I’m pretty sure the rest of the world has too. Tom Hiddleston giggles. A lot. And it’s a really distinctive laugh that sounds exactly like it’s written. Eheheheh. Here, have a video of it:

    If you cannot get on board with the unbridled joy that comes with that giggle then your soul is sad and I weep for you.

Right. I have to stop the list now because I could literally go on all day and I have shit that needs to get done (no…really). What I was trying to articulate here (aside from “would you all just look at his face please!?”) is that Tom Hiddleston is that rare breed of celebrity that actually seems like a human being. It’s easy to look at people in who are constantly in the limelight as detached and cool. And I like that. Don’t get me wrong, the man who is too cool is the man that I desperately want to be with – but only in some sort of black and white, film noir fantasy that has no engagement with reality. Whatever your type is, you know what I mean – they’re not just people, they’re a whole other breed.

But Hiddleston just kind of seems caught up in the joy of existing. He’s talented, he’s got a good sense of humour, he’s not afraid to actually look like he’s having fun. It makes him accessible and therefore likeable and I cannot get enough. Also, he’s handsome and has great hair. In short, he’s the perfect man and if he would like to call me then he is more than welcome. I’ll be waiting. (But seriously. Waiting.)

Edit: A couple of sentences in here are direct quotes from Min, because after she thought about it she was able to be slightly more coherent. Props to Min.

Peter Jackson – Victim of the ‘HP Split Effect’

I know I’ve spoken recently about my ‘Christopher Nolan Effect’ theory. But, as someone who watches a lot of movies, I have another theory and this time, it brings me much more pain because it is impacting on a franchise that I love. If you’ve ever glanced at this blog before, you’ll know that I have been waiting with bated breath for The Hobbit. By “bated breath” I, of course, mean “screaming uncontrollably every time someone mentions it and spending an inordinate amount of time looking at press images and video diaries”. Obviously.

AHHHHH! JUST LOOK AT IT, WILL YOU!? OH MY GOD!

It was announced during initial filming that the story would be split into two. Which is fine. I have come to grimly accept that this is now the way of things. However, Peter Jackson announced on Tuesday that now there would be not two, but three Hobbit films.

Before I launch into my theory, I’m just going to take a second here to vibrate with righteous anger. THREE!? What!? Why!? How!? Argh. The Hobbit is one book and one story, Peter. Yes, it is set in J.R.R Tolkien’s very large Middle Earth universe. Yes, Tolkien himself said that it was ‘a tale that grew in the telling.’ Yes, there is a lot of ground to cover. But I would just like to point out, Peter, that you made THREE Lord of the Rings films from the THREE MUCH LONGER AND MORE CONVOLUTED Lord of the Rings novels. And let’s be honest, you could have cut some of that shit out. The ending of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King has about 25 minutes worth of unnecessary farewells that could have been much shorter if you’d just made Sam and Frodo make out. People fucking love The Hobbit because it’s a short, simple and beautiful story. People who don’t even love the fantasy genre love The Hobbit. They might get lost or bored in LOTR, but The Hobbit has something special. And now you’re ruining it! ARGH!

Alright. I’m calm now. I’ve shouted a bit. Let’s get back to what my initial point was, shall we? Peter Jackson has fallen victim to what I am calling ‘The Harry Potter Split Effect’. Cast your mind back a few years to the end of Harry Potter. Shh… I know it hurts, but stay with me. Remember how cheap it felt when they announced that, rather than having one epic finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be released in two parts? In spite of Warner Bros’ inistence that “the best way to do the book, and its many fans, justice is to expand the screen adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and release the film in two parts”, it just felt exactly like the shameless and smutty cash grab that it was. I mean, we got an excellent dance sequence out of it (love a good dance sequence) but it was totally unnecessary.

Alternatively titled “Harry Potter and the Giant Mountain of Money.”

It didn’t end terribly. The films were alright and the most tragic thing about it was that there was no more Harry Potter and I had to go back to being an adult (sort of). What did happen though was a massive knock-on effect where suddenly the Twilight finale Breaking Dawn had so much detailed story-telling it also needed to be split into two parts. (No. No it doesn’t.)

The division of HP7 meant that it was now OK for studios to needlessly split stories in half in order to double the ticket sales. They could blame the whole thing on ‘artistic integrity’ and ‘fan demand’ and get away with it. And now this trend is fucking with my enjoyment of The Hobbit. They will make an absolute killing on these films because people love the story. And because it belongs to the endless realms of Middle Earth, they have the legitimate content to back it up.

Jackson announced on Facebook yesterday,”We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes’.”

I’m sure the smell of money didn’t hurt either. But whatever. My main concern here is that they’ve made the decision pretty late in the game and the film won’t live up to the standard that I so desperately want it to meet. So consider this my open letter to Peter Jackson:

Please make a good film. I know that the temptation to make a lot of cash and pan across endless bleak shots of New Zealand scenery is too much to resist. I’m mostly fine with this. But I am going to give you my money. A lot of my money. In return, I am entrusting you with one of my most beloved childhood books. So far, I have liked all the decisions you’ve made re: casting, etc. Especially Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Kudos on that one. If you think you can make three EXCEPTIONAL films, then please, go ahead. But if you think that there is the slightest chance that one of them might be even a little bit sub-par, then just stick to two (or even one, if they’ll let you). Quality over quantity, ya know? Thanks. Alex.

Anyway, the third film remains untitled, so for now all we can do is wait. Right. That’s it. I’m out for today. I leave you with this picture of Martin Freeman in his jaunty little cap, because I just can’t get enough of that shit and it makes me feel better after a long day’s ranting.

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