Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Female Shark Who Ate A Male Shark Whole Is The Feminist Hero We Need

While we are in the dead of the winter and months away from the wonderful summer days of Shark Week, a video of a female shark eating a male shark from a Seoul aquarium has gone viral. And it is amazing. Mostly because this female shark is the feminist hero we've all been waiting for.
After being pestered by a male banded hound shark that kept bumping into her, this mighty female tiger shark retaliated in the most girl power way possible- by eating the annoying male.
Here's the video:

YAAASS shark girl! 
You show that guy that NO MEANS NO!
You warned that persistent Romeo that his unwanted attention and touching was harassment and you would take action. And you did. Fiercely. 
Now every time I am walking down the street and some clueless man cat calls at me that I'm "hot" or when some dude all of a sudden has more arms than an octopus and all of them are on me, I'll think of this bad ass shark chick, and visualize these harassers as my snack, with their toes hanging out of my mouth as I strut swim away. And I suggest you do the same.
Now, while it would be hard to justify this kind of vigilante behavior in the human fight against sexual harassment, it is really empowering to see a female come out on top of the food chain.
It's not easy being a woman. Women get paid less than men. For example, it leaked last week that Gillian Anderson was offered less money than her co-star David Duchovny for the X-Files return. And we know women's bodies aren't always their own. Most disturbingly this week in El Salvador, where the Zika virus is spreading, the government is telling women to not get pregnant so as to reduce the risk of more babies being born with the birth defect the virus causes. And while this seems like a good idea, contraception in this country is hard to come by and abortions are illegal. And when it comes to women in power, we see presidential candidate Hilary Clinton being told she is not "trustworthy," which at the root seems like a complaint dripping with sexism. 
With struggles like this, women need a hero to look to. An inspiration to remind us that we are strong and that we are bigger than whatever is bothering us. 
And I think this male eating shark is that hero.

Marvel Comics 
Now, I'm in no way suggesting you attempt to eat that man in your office whose un-welcomed flirting is even harder to cope with knowing the idiot also probably makes more money than you do. That would be a bad idea. And cannibalism. But I do think you can use Female Shark as your feminist spirit animal to rise above and in other ways destroy the limitations set on you. You don't have to take being touched when you don't want to be. You don't have to tolerate being told you run like a girl or that your choices for your body are a matter of politics. Female Shark wouldn't take crap like that. And neither should we. 
Ladies, let's live every week like it's lady shark week!

Friday, January 22, 2016

La Cheeze & Whine Winter Shut In Netflix Binge List

We are bracing for Snowpocolypse 2016 on the east coast. With this year's mild weather so far, I feel we are all actually like this teacher looking forward to some snow for forced couch time.
And since obviously we have all already binged on Making a Murderer and are stressed out from Sarah Palin, I figured I'd let you know about some fun and maybe lesser known picks from the lighter side of Netflix viewing that will help calm you down and get you through.

La Cheeze & Whine Winter Shut In Netflix Binge List

"The Spoils Before Dying"
An IFC mini-series that is a creative parody of vintage bad tv follows a 1950s jazz pianist turned private eye who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation. It's sort of a high budget, extended SNL skit starring Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph. It's so intentionally terrible that is delightful. Make it a true binge and watch its sister series "The Spoils of Babylon" while you are at it.

A snarky British police sitcom featuring a mis-matched pair of Detectives with sexual tension who must work together to solve bizarre murders. If you like things like "Law and Order: SVU" and "Castle," but wish they had more sarcasm and sex, you'll dig this.

"The Search for General Tso"
A history of the real General and how my favorite Chinese take out chicken dish got named for him. Informative, filled with fodder for interesting anecdotes that you can wow any crowd with when they bring up Chinese food. It's also told like a good detective story, and best watched while enjoying some take out-because you will definitely be craving some watching this.

After all the recent Lottery craze, this is a relatable one. It's a dark comedy about a serial killer who unwittingly wins the lottery jackpot starring Colin (Tom's son) Hank, Ann-Margaret, and Mimi Rogers aka the gum girl from Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.

"The Riches"
You may have missed this totally binge worthy show when it aired on FX nearly a decade ago, but it is so good. Eddie Izzard plays a gypsy con-artist who leads his family into stealing the upscale life of another man who they find dead on his way to moving into his new home. You won't be able to stop until the end. And Izzard creates a character who, like Tony Soprano, makes you so confused about what is actually right and wrong.

Not the shit movie they attempted to make. The original. The 80s cartoon that you probably watched but didn't really understand. It is like a soap opera with date drama plots worthy of Sex and the City. And just as stylish.

"Friends with Benefits"
A short lived but cute sitcom from 2011 that if you like things like "How I Met Your Mother," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "New Girl" you will enjoy. Right from the first scene of the pilot episode where a guy, rushing out of bed after sleeping with his best friend, puts on her skinny jeans instead of his own.  Oh the struggle.

"The Increasingly Poor Decision of Todd Margaret"
David Cross' dark sided humor creates this character who is destined to fail and bring everyone around down with him in this IFC sitcom about a pathetic loser who accidentally gets sent by his company to work in London, despite the fact that he is so clueless he doesn't even know that the Pound and Dollar have different values. Also stars my favorite British actress/comedian/writer Sharon Horgan.

"Better Off Ted"
A brilliant sitcom about a heartless company called Veridian and the employees who "don't fight it." Starring the super cute Jay Harrington and Portia de Rossi being the ultimate perfect corporate bitch. This show is so clever it is hard to believe it only was allowed to exist for two years. It is vainglorious. So watch it. For Jenkins. You'll get all this when you watch it.

"Small Town Security"
A reality show about a family security business in a small town in Georgia led by the matriarch Joan, a former local cable access tv star whose employees include a trans-gender security guard who is in a bizarre love triangle with her. There are all the elements you need here for captivating viewing of bizarre realities of other lives. So get on it.

"Bojack Horseman"
An animated series in the twisted vein of "Archer," this one is about a horse who was a 90s sitcom star but is now a miserable drunk desperate for a comeback. Hilarious and raunchy and filled with great pull quotes. 

There you have it! Now get binging!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Trump and Palin Join Forces to Lead the Apocalyptic End of Times

I'm not sure why this is being called a "Bombsell Endorsement."
You can't say you didn't see this coming.
But, that doesn't make it any less awful.
Sarah Palin is stumpin for Trumpin.

Inexplicably dressed like Dorothy Zbornak, Palin yips about how great Trump is like she is a yorkie on cocaine. She shouts (Why is she shouting? She has a microphone. Bitch needs to chill.) that Donald Trump will "kick ISIS' ASS!" All the while Trump and his constant duck face stands by gleefully gloating that he is finally unleashing this pound puppy on America. Bringing her out is clearly his eleven o'clock number. Those toddlers in tiaras that he had wearing star spangled tutus and singing patriotic songs that sounded like we are now in North Korea-yeah that was clearly just a starting step to the new level of craziness we will be climbing to.
Maybe all this has been a big staged joke. Maybe Lorne Michaels, NBC, and SNL are in on it. I'm just desperate to find my way out of this wonderland we've fallen into. I mean really Trump and these people who are making him lead in the polls can't possibly  think that when it comes to campaigning he is nailing it? Right? Right!
Obviously anyone with a fucking brain is feeling sick and outraged.
Yep, Palin, you do get one thing right in your "speech." I AM "dog-gone angry." I'm angry that while this is all brilliant stuff for parody, this is real life. And I probably have to give my landlords notice that I will be relocating to another country. It's cold here anyway.
Well, America, I guess it was inevitable. All great civilizations come to an end. One day, thousands of years from now, teenagers will be studying the downfall of the U.S., transcribing our emoji hieroglyphics, and discussing how such a powerful nation came to meet its own demise at the hands of two "reality tv stars."

Also when Palin says "kick ISIS'ASS" all I can hear is the Lily Tomlin speech in the movie "Big Business" where she says she is going to "Raise some hell and kick some snooty New York Ass." That's a great movie. It also stars Bette Midler, who in happier news that gives me something worth living for today announced she is going to be in the Broadway revival of "Hello Dolly."

Just go watch this movie right now. It's so fabulous, it will help you forget or at least cope by reminiscing about the simpler time of shoulder pads.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Planet Earth Is Blue and There's Nothing I Can Do: Bye Bye Bowie

When I woke up this morning to the news of David Bowie's death, I felt that deep, painful sadness in the pit of my stomach. Then my mother called to "see how I was doing" with the news and offer a heart to heart about how she felt the day Elvis died and I then I wanted to cry. Today is my day the music died.
David Bowie was an enigma. He was sexy and weird all at once. His unmistakable voice was both soothing and haunting. And his music videos and appearances in movies created looks that were forever burned in your memory. Each one was about him being reborn with yet another androgynous yet arousing and totally unique style.
It is often confessed on the internet that "Labyrinth" was the film of sexual awakening for many in my age group. And it is true. Yes, yes....that bulge in the tights. But David Bowie in his giant blond mullet Goblin King glory really did make me feel things like lust and intrigue for the first time. I was just so glad to find out I wasn't alone on this.
Yes, yes I do Bowie.
But more importantly, that film opened my young eyes and ears to the magic of this strange but beautiful man.
I consumed all of the Bowie of the past and began following the Bowie that was still unfolding. "Under Pressure" has been my anthem for years and I feel no shame in calling it my favorite song. I honestly could listen to it a thousand times on repeat for days and still love it. And even though I hate going to concerts, I saw Bowie on his Reality Tour in 2003. In the front row. I swear he winked at me with his hazel eye. He was a true ageless rock god whose voice and presence was huge-bigger than life, despite his small frame. And most importantly, Bowie made being different so glamorous and cool. He was a true artist who made every detail he presented to us matter.
I don't really know how to properly mourn the loss of a rock god. Especially one who crossed so many generations that it seemed impossible for him to be anything but eternal. Just last week, Bowie released his new album and video for "Lazarus" and upon seeing it, I accepted it as yet another curious Bowie transformation--a weak, frail bandaged man twitching and writhing in pain.
The glamorous haunting intensity all staged for the glory of dramatics with his voice as strong and succulent as ever. But now, that video seems to take on the meaning of Bowie's goodbye, his ominous staged confession that he knew he was dying. It seems cruel to be left with this image as our final look at Bowie. But that was maybe just as he would have it.
A sad, silly part of me keeps hoping that this is just a Bowie fake out. That the title "Lazarus" means he will be back, he will be risen. The next Ziggy Stardust. But that is just as foolish as assuming that Tupac calling himself Makaveli on his last album meant that like Machiavelli suggested he was using a fake death to fool his enemies. (A google rabbit hole of conspiracy theories I once went down after watching a documentary on VH1.)
But reality is that Bowie is gone. The Golden Years are over, though lucky for us, his stardust will always remain.
And perhaps it is ok that I all I want to do is watch Bowie videos all day.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lust in Translation

So science is working really hard to get us more sex.
Pretty much all technological advances are no sooner developed then they are curated into being used for mating stupid humans. Think about it. Your cell phone is such an incredible feat of technology, capable of giving us great advantages from knowledge, and yet we use it to swipe right on Tindr and send sexy poop emojis in text flirtations. What is wrong with us?
Maybe we just need a device that is even more advanced to help us see that the key to the world before us is communication. Not just from emojis and 140 character tweets, but our real, beautiful, poetic words that reach across countries and language barriers. If we had a device that allowed our words to be heard by everyone, translated instantly into their language, just think of the possibilities. That would get us back on track. We'll all be expressing ourselves as eloquently as the Bard himself and the world will find the peace it searches for.

But soft what light through yonder window breaks!
That device is here! The Ili!

The Ili is a necklace that looks like you are wearing a late generation ipod shuffle, but is actually a mobile translator which instantaneously translates all you say into the language of your choice.
There is no way that we can misuse this device. Except the one.
And the company that launched it, Logbar, went ahead and just jumped right to what we stupid, sex starved humans will use this new technology for. Sex. But even worse, their first commercial introducing the device pretty much has a man sexually harassing women with it. And it turns out, sexual harassment is creepy in any language. But especially when translated through a stick in front of your face with a robot voice.

This commercial is super slimy and complete with awful pick up lines you expect to hear after midnight at a dive bar in the wrong part of town. And yet coming out of the dimple-rimmed mouth of this British model they are even more disgusting. This asshole adonis goes around saying things like "I should thank your parents" while wondering through the streets of Japan asking girls to kiss him. Not surprisingly, despite his fancy, magical translating machine and Disney prince good looks, these girls are repulsed, and most of them run away in terror, save a few who clearly were raised orphans without parents to teach them about stranger danger.
Watch this and try not to be disgusted.

While I'm not sure exactly what else we would desperately need to say in a foreign land using this device other than "Where is the toilet?" and "What kind of meat did I eat?" I am positive that this obnoxiously creepy flirting is not what it should be used for. I am also pretty positive that not one woman was on the team working to come up with this marketing concept.
Also, this commercial is a total knock off of an episode of the short-lived, but never-the-less brilliant sitcom ,"Better Off Ted." In the aptly named "Lust in Translation" episode, the team of accidentally evil but adorably dorky scientists at Veridian Dynamics launch the exact same translator product, and the main character Ted obviously uses it to flirt with and bed the buxom blond German corporate head. Like with all sitcoms, it predictably doesn't end well for the translator, Ted, and the blond, but everything wraps up nicely by the end of the episode.
This show has been streaming on Netflix for years (and if you haven't binged on it, I suggest you do.) So I can't help but think whoever came up with the Ili, or at least whoever came up with their commercial, totally caught this episode of "Better Off Ted." So not only does Logbar lose points for their disturbing sexual harassment commercial, they also lose points for lack of originality.
I guess we don't need any more devices or ways to be heard. We apparently have very little worth saying anyway.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Holiday of Making A Murderer

Happy 2016! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I did. Thanks to Netflix. Netflix gave me exactly what I wanted this holiday season. A show so worthy of binging that I forgot all about the three trillion questions my nosey relatives asked me about how my "acting" career is going and if I have found "somebody" yet. A show so deliciously captivating that I forgot all about the high calorie holiday cookie bender I'd gone on. A show that turned my post Christmas cold that had me curled up on the couch shut off from society and massacring tissues into the most wonderful time.
I am of course talking about "Making a Murderer." The Netflix original documentary series that they launched just in time for the holidays, knowing that everyone would be desperately searching for something to do beside stand in line to return their gifts or visit more with their strange cousins. 
And unless you have been living trapped underneath your Christmas tree due to a freak decorating accident, you too probably got sucked into this 10 hour television trap. 
Watching the whole 10 hours. At once.

Despite the several times in the 10 hours when Netflix stupidly questioned my life choices by interrupting the next episode from starting saying "Are you sure you're still watching?" Are you mocking me Netflix? Stop passing judgement and just get back to showing me that fat pawn of a prosecutor with the mustache. 
The whole 10 hours got me more and more filled with rage and shock at the seemingly evil police state we live in. My rage levels became out of control high while watching this. Like Nicholas Cage rage.

I had to consume a box of wine to calm myself.
Making a Murderer follows the story of Steven Avery and his intellectually challenged minor nephew who are accused of rape and murder shortly after Steven Avery was released from jail where he spent 18 years for a crime that DNA cleared him from. Avery was also in the midst of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the county for this error when bam-he's back in cuffs. With crazy evidence popping up everywhere. It was a true crime story 10 years in the making by Columbia film grads Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. And each twist and turn left me with so many questions to fuel the fire burning inside me. I had flames....flames on the side of my face. ....

Why are these County policemen who clearly have motive allowed anywhere near this case and evidence? Why was Avery's poor mentally challenged nephew questioned without help and then led into believing that if he told them what they wanted to hear that he could get home in time to watch Wrestlemania? If Avery did kill this girl and try to hide it, why didn't he crush her car, that was literally in the lot next to a car crusher? What is wrong with this jury? Why?
I have watched endless hours of Law and Order:SVU, so I feel that makes me pretty versed in criminal affairs, the law, and spotting liars. And this show raises tons of red flags and makes you lose faith in the American justice system. Where is Benson, Stabler, and that husky voiced DA chick when you need them? They would have never let this happen. 
But despite the rage and the endless whys, this show was amazing. And for once, I was able to partake in conversation using the current lexicon that had entered pop culture. Usually, from the moment I hear people raving about something, I immediately become disgusted and avoid it. I still haven't watched Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones. See mom, I did listen. If everyone else is jumping off the bridge, I don't just do it too. But in this case, I discovered this show that silently entered the world digitally, without any prior hype, while alone on my couch. Netflix suggested it to me, and since I am a fan of a good mystery and was tired of watching sappy Christmas specials, I decided to give it a whirl. And by the time, 10 hours or so later, when I came out of my viewing hovel on the couch, it seemed everyone else had simultaneously discovered it and seen it too.
And everyone was fascinated and outraged. They blogged, and posted, and tweeted, and obsessed over this.  They even did something relatively productive. They created an online petition to the White House to pardon Avery and his nephew that has already acquired the 100,000 signatures needed to ensure that the White House must now respond. So the story isn't over. Thank goodness, Netflix could get a second season out of this.

So if you haven't watched this show, get on it. Call out sick immediately and just settle in and go for it. It's like a band-aid, best to rip it all off at once. There is no way to train for this kind of marathon.
And if you have already watched it, try to keep calm and avoid giving in to the conspiracy theory life. This show is a dangerous gateway drug that will lead you down the acid trip rabbit hole where Tupac is alive and Paul is dead and the government is trying to control your mind and poison you. 
Just be grateful for the wonderful holiday memories you shared with Netflix this year. Wasn't it a nice change of pace to spend that week between Christmas and New Years filled with rage from something other than family out-staying their welcome?
Here's to a 2016 filled with things that unite and excite us as much as "Making a Murderer!"