Saturday, January 24, 2009

Duncan Davies's Hairy Chest



That's a video of Duncan, Erin's lumberjack Canadian musician sensitive super-great boyfriend, playing the gee-tar on an unfinished track for which he made a music video anyway. It's not a secret or anything, but it strangely has only a few--under 1,000--views. (Maybe because it sucks is too artistic for the mainstream.)

Sadly, MTV wanted him and Erin to break up--presumably so they wouldn't have to keep flying him to and from Canada?--but they wouldn't break up, because true love is resilient! And this is Duncan's one chance to be on MTV, you know.

Speaking of being on MTV, we all know that the network heavily edits its "reality" shows, but The City is shot so haphazardly that "even the cast doesn't know how it's going to look until it airs." Like, nobody has any idea how they're going to be portrayed on television. (Cough cough Olivia Palermo.)

Also, everybody who works at DVF hates this show and the producers and the cameramen and poor ol' Whitney "because MTV won't let them move their stuff around in the office because everything needs to look the same for reshoots and stuff."

Now look at some pictures of the lovebirds. (Click for bigger.)



-Josh

President Sexy

(AP)

God, what I would do to have him look at me that way.

-Jess (and presumably Josh agrees)

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Media Panel

Josh and I are painfully nervous for this.

-Jess

I Envy Whitney Port

So last night, my Canadian friend told me that Duncan (aka Erin's Canadian boyfriend who is Canadian) went to her high school and they have mutual friends so she has sooo much dirt on the show. I'll give you a full report when she gives me details, but suck on these naughty nuggets for a while:

> Whitney gets paid $20,000 an episode!
> Erin is a huge pothead!
> Duncan gets flown out to New York (and, later on in the season, Miami) for free, pretty much whenever he wants!

MORE TO COME. WITH PICTURES. I PROMISE.

-Josh

P.S. I guess there's technically no way to "verify" this, but this is as reliable as The City gossip is going to get, seeing as how it's all first-hand. I'm slingin' mud all over everywheres! If you want to add to the gossip pile concerning these Interesting Television Personalities, please feel free to email me.

Blah blah blah

I have graphs up on Daily Gorilla.

-Jess

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Will Be Alone Forevz


GEE THANKS VANESS.

-Jess

Blackberry, Bitches


I got the Blackberry Curve (in pink!) yesterday and now I'm one of those annoying people who has it glued to her hand in an attempt to look way more important than I actually am. My Dad was initially incredibly against me getting one, because the Data Package is $30/month, but I paid for it all so he couldn't really say no. And now we can Blackberry Message, which actually just means he can subtly bother me all day. Examples of BBM's I have gotten from him:

"I am helping your sister study for physics."
"ok lol"
"meow"

Also he can't type so he accidentally wrote "cumment" instead of "comment" in one of his messages and that typo really weirded me out. EW. Ew.

Anyway. At first I was really worried that having a Bberry would make me even more of a slave to technology than I already am. However, it has actually done the exact opposite. Whereas before when I'd be out for more than an hour I'd get the nagging feeling like "I should go home and check my e-mail....," now I don't get that! Because my e-mail is right in my hand! Always! So I'm free to go around doing my thang (a.k.a. wandering the E. Village aimlessly) without that Black Internet Cloud over my head. And while I don't like the idea of always being available, I still intend to not write back to everyone immediately/not write back to some people at all even if it's rude. Because I'm an independent woman like that.

Now I can officially become a tech nerd: it's a great way to make guys want to fuck me even less. WOOOOOO. But really I was always the dork in the corner of the party talking about blogging; now I'll be the one in the corner of the party Blackberry messaging about blogging.

-Jess

Have I Mentioned Recently How Mature We Are?


-Jess

JOSH SAYS: I think part of the reason nobody wants to hire me is because they look at my Facebook and it's like, balls.

My Doppelgänger

DO NOT BE FOOLED. I am not in the Class of 2012, and am not the sort of person who makes his profile picture into a flier for some cause/rally/party. (Even if, upon closer inspection, that cause happens to be a good one. Wait a second, is this Josh Becker gay as well? Whaaat the helllll is gooooing on.)

-Josh

Thethame Thtreet

Stuff like this convinces me that there is indeed a homosexual agenda, and it is infecting your children. Honestly, this could not get any more "fabulous." Blink and you miss it: love the black geigh with the crazy hair and the murse. Also: Kim Cattrall, in case you didn't know, is insane.

-Josh

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

P.S.A. (Pot Service Announcement)

If there's one piece of criticism I've heard about this blog more than any other, it's this: Jess and I reference weed too much. Even my mom said we should tone it down. For the sake of our non-420-readership (which must be, like, three people, tops) as well as any potential employers (ahem) reading this, I'd like to say a word about weed.

Yes, Jess and I smoke it. Yes, we smoke it often. No, we don't smoke it before class or work or anything important. But our philosophy is, if we're gonna be just hanging out and watching TV anyway, why not enhance the experience?

We have always been upfront about our lives--we use the "TMI" tag a lot--and don't like to hide aspects of our personalities just because they're not, well, kosher. Today, my creative writing teacher called me "transparently insecure," and he was right: I am a forthright, open book, all the pages intact, all my embarrassing moments and deep fears available to anyone who'd care to look. I think I can speak for Jess on that front as well; for as long as I've known her, I've known her, and while we've both changed since freshman year, we never hid things from each other, only to reveal them later over a bottle of wine on the Brooklyn Bridge while singing Simon and Garfunkel. As I said, we have always been upfront about our lives. Weed is simply a part of our lives, and there's no point in hiding that fact.

All I ask is that you hold back on the judgments. Don't assume that we're total slackers or unmotivated burn-outs because we use bongs more than calculators. (I guess I'm still a little burnt out from high school, but that's another blog post.) So don't tell us that we reference weed too much; this is our blog, the one place where we can go and say whatever the hell we want. And I'd rather be honest and stoned than duplicitous and sober.

-Josh

I Like School (For Now)

I can't sleep. I keep doing this: waking up really early in the morning and then lying in my bed and contemplating taking Benadryl to knock me out, but then not doing it because I'm afraid I'll then sleep through my alarm. I am like a little kid on Christmas morning, because my mom bought me an iPod touch for my upcoming (21st!) birthday, and it's supposed to be delivered today, and I'm so excited to have an iPod that 1) isn't a mini from 2004, 2) doesn't run out of battery in legit 10 minutes and 3) has WIFI, that I can't go back to sleep. Also I'm a dork.

Classes were good. In very typical NYU fashion I was notified of my New Media class changing from MW 12:30-1:45, to T 4:55-7:35pm at well, 4pm -- 55 minutes before class was supposed to start. And it conflicted with another class. And I hate NYU so fucking much. But it worked out for the best, because I dropped Fiction and will be doing another independent study which means an easy A in something I'm actually interested in.

As for my New Media class I am quite happy (though I doubt my parents are) to be paying all this money to learn about RSS Feeds and de.licious. That's what we learned about yesterday. Google reader. It was actually quite awesome because Josh and I are always posting about how we don't know shit about these internetty things, and now I have a really cool Israeli telling me all about them.

While it was weird to be back in New York, on campus, running into people I love and hate, it felt really good to reestablish routine. We're going to be doing some great stuff with NYU Local this semester, and I'm excited to see what the rest of my classes are like. Then again, I always like them the first week, and by the second I realize that the professor is a narcissist or the reading list is absurd or the people in my class are all pompous dicks. But for now let me be optimistic! I mean, it happens so rarely.

-Jess

Don't Ask Me What I Searched for to Find This



This is the video I was just watching, because I am just that cool. Anyway, the video itself is as creepy and off-putting as you'd think a 1970s McDonald's commercial would be. The comments, however, are what made me smile.

Mastmedia starts things off with an insightful assumption about the actor who plays Ronald; what I'd remind him is that any grown man forced to dress up as Estelle Getty on acid for a living probably needs a lot more than alcohol to feel okay with himself. 193and is the kind of person who takes children's television commercials seriously. NolanCho and thealy45 both wonder what happens after the camera stops rolling. Thealy45 also has a keen observation! Retrocomm kind of thinks the same thing I'm thinking, but then he says something retarded about "the past." Sned101 cares about the archival accuracies of old McDonald's commercials but doesn't care about the grammatical accuracies of basic English. MelanieLouM is someone I never ever want to meet in real life >.< She uses way too many smilies and then reveals herself to be even whiter than me, which is both impressive and sad. She is also uncomfortable with "urban" culture.

I know making fun of YouTube commenters is the cyber-quivalent of shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes they're so stupid it's beyond stupid, entering a realm of magical surrealism matched only by the cocaine-warped imaginations of the men who conceived of McDonald's clown mascot.

-Josh

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Celeb Crush

The 2003 version of John Hensley.

http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/tv2/programmes/nip_tuck/john_hensley_d.jpg

The people I'm subletting from left the DVD set of season 1 of Nip/Tuck which I'm now officially addicted to. Though he's gotten not-so-cute as time progresses, the 2003 version of Hensley is fucking HOT.

-Jess

Goosebumps

My mom sent this to me. It's a video of people reacting to the Oath in my hometown of Philadelphia. As if I needed to cry (with joy) more today!

-Jess

America's Cool Again


YAY FINALLY.

Drudge had this video of Obama bungling the Oath on its site almost immediately after it actually happened. Yeah, he did hesitate, but can you blame him? He's now the most important man in the world. In fact, I thought it was kind of cute; it was very human as well.

I mean, I'd be nervous too.

-Josh

Jess's note: Here's the video...

Unanswered Question

I've recently thought to check out the old drafts I've written but not posted. There are a lot of them, and let me assure you, it's really, really funny to read hasty, angry, forgotten rants about stuff that happened between you and your friends months ago. But one draft in particular kept my attention, from last June:

You ever have those moments where you stop what you're doing, even for just a second, and see your future? Not like, "I am jaywalking and there is a car coming, so I should wait by the curb," but really see what lies ahead for you, your career, your social life, the kind of moment that reaffirms your belief in God because no other entity could provide you with such foresight.

I had one of those moments today. My dad was driving me home from the city

What the hell was I talking about?

-Josh

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bye Bye Bush

I was 11 years old when George W. Bush took office. My father, ever the politico with a penchant for reading articles from the The New Republic to me as bedtime stories, was of course irate at the unfair takeover. I don’t remember much from the 2000 win. The closest thing I can find about that time is from 2003, right before the US declared war on Iraq (has it really been 6 years??!) From a diary entry dated March 17, 2003:

Bush issued a mandate yesterday that said if the UN does not back up the US in its war effort by today(Monday), we will go in and start preparing for attack Monday night, so that we can be at war by Tuesday. I'm going to try to state this in a cool, calm, and collected manner... WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! This is supposed to be a democracy. The definition of democracy, from dictionary.com is as follows "Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives." Does that sound like America? Or, better put, does that sound like a Republican American? I don't think so. More than half of the population of American is against the war, but does it matter what we think? No. Then again, as my father so graciously put, Bush wasn't elected by more than half of America, the bastard. Hell, he wasn't even fucking elected. Grr. If this were a true democracy it would matter what we all say, but it is not, so therefore no one gives a shit about the people trying to make the world a better place. It just downright pisses me off that we can go around calling the US a democracy, and then pull shit like this that just proves how hypocritical we are. It's such bullshit.

I was 15 and already this hard, blackened distrust for the government had begun to develop in my gut. Brought up a liberal in a politically-attuned family (my Dad used to teach AP government), I was used to hearing about presidents and wars. There’s a videotape somewhere in the basement of my Dad’s house that has him quizzing me and a neighbor friend on Presidents and Secretaries of State... when we were in pre-school. I loved learning about history, the presidents, this fine nation. The point is that I didn’t hate or distrust the government until Bush came along. My formative years, my teen years, I saw education go to shit-- the middle school that I attended got taken over by the state because of No Child Left Behind the year after I left it. I saw sex-education continuously fucked with until by high school all we were taught was that pregnancy was gross via a horrifyingly graphic film of a woman giving birth. I remember going into my Dad’s room while getting ready for school one morning and seeing the first US planes bombing Iraq and being absolutely terrified and disgusted.

In 2004 I worked tirelessly for the Kerry campaign. I was 16 and I dedicated my free hours to phone banks, petitions, interning for my local democratic Congresswoman. I cut school and went to Kerry’s rally at UPenn. It wasn’t that I liked John Kerry himself, it was that I saw something pathological and dangerous in a president as unabashedly idiotic as Bush. On election night in 2004 I got a Kerry/Edwards cake made at the local grocery store and threw a party. The results weren’t in until I was at school the next morning, and I was devastated. I went home early and cried and slept all afternoon.

When Bush won in 2004 I was still too young to vote. The celebratory cake went uneaten. I took my Kerry/Edwards sign that had been on my front lawn and put a sign over it that read “He may have won the election but he is not my president” or something to that effect. I went to the inauguration with my Dad and friend Alyssa and we sat with the socialists along the parade route and protested. I was bitter, I was upset, I felt so fucking HELPLESS. But most of all I remember feeling so angry: at my Republican neighbors, at the bigots, at the nation as a whole who had allowed fear mongering and hate to put that man into office again. I was 16 and I was embarrassed to be an American.

That feeling continued while abroad in Paris. But I was there first-hand to see the election of our nation’s first African-American president and how it immediately changed the minds of Europeans concerning Americans. Overnight, Americans in Paris became like celebrities. Everywhere I went I was asked about Obama as if I might know him personally. The shame began to ebb and in its place came... HOPE. There was a pride there, something distinct that I had never ever felt before. I had grown up under the tyranny of a president who will surely go down as one of the country’s all-time worst leaders. I had been taught to distrust and despise, to use terms like “regime” and “fundamentalist,” and I used them fluidly, because my political formation was occurring under George W. Bush, a man who, even at 11, I knew was a complete asshat.

But as of tomorrow, that is all over. And I know this is not a new or refreshing perspective, that my reactions to Bush and Obama are typical of liberal media and student peoples, but they are worth sharing, if only because tomorrow is the dawn of a new era, and I am so happy to be alive for that shift. I have spent the last 8+ years, from 11 years old to 20 years old, enduring a government that I did not vote for and COULD not vote for. My first ever vote in a presidential election was cast for an intelligent, politically-capable and sexy as all hell man, an incredible orator, someone who is fresh and new and can represent me in a way Bush and his Republican cronies never could. And after all of my disappointments these past 9 years, I am overflowing with RELIEF!

-Jess

Welcome to 2014

So you know this future-of-the-media video? It's been floating around for a while, and while it includes Google and Amazon, its spotlight on Friendster reveals its age.

Anyway, at the end, dude's telling us how "Epic," which is this massive techno-thing created by the makers of Google, filters custom-created news in a new, scary, computerized world. Except...what he says is already happening now.

Freelancing editors? Check. Customizable news sources? Check. The New York Times only being read by "the elite and the elderly"? Pretty sure that's a check. People around the world getting paid modest sums to contribute in the global network? Like...that's kind of what I want to do with my life. In fact, let's start now: someone pay me!

Ahem. Sorry. Point is, we're all controlled by robots and soon the crab people will eat us.

-Josh

Some Updatez

You know how I tend to think WSN is the shittiest "paper" ever written? Well, I still do, but I'm giving some of the writers another chance (because both me and Josh swore to be less judgmental this year as our New Year's Resolution) and teaming up with them for the freshly launched online mag, Daily Gorilla. Go check it out. I will be writing a big story for them once every two weeks, and also doing pop culture graphs on Fridays.

Josh and I are also continuing to write for NYU Local this semester, so check that out too.

I'm going to be horribly busy this semester, with those jobs plus school/work 9am-9pm every week day, plus homework. But I promise to find time to blog! J&J is still my #1 writing priority. I've just been kind of blah lately and need a shot in the arm -- in the form of the restarting of my routine TOMORROW -- to get the writing juices flowing again.

I think a lot of us start school again tomorrow, so GOOD LUCK. If you go to NYU, try not to spill your coffee on anyone in the elevator at Silver. (I, thankfully, have no classes in that awful building this semester) Brave the long line at Starbucks. Have forced conversations with people you didn't make an effort to see over winter break. Lament the end of the past month of lethargy. Woo!

-Jess

Gay Rap

Cazwell gets it "all over your face." And yes, he's talking about what you think he's talking about.

Jess and I saw Notorious the other night, and while the film itself was average, Biggie's presence and music fueled the drama and earned the viewer's respect. Even when he was sleeping around with women from photo shoots and abandoning his children (seriously, he does this at least twice in the movie), you felt for him as an individual and knew that he was a flawed yet gifted artist. Much of his appeal lied in his Biggie Smalls persona; "I love it when you call me Big Poppa," he would say, and women fell into his chubby arms. But what about gay rappers? Are they allowed?

Terrance Dean, a former MTV executive, recently wrote a book about the alleged secret gay subculture of the hip-hop community, but I'm not talking about shameful secrets. I am interested in the potential for a proud, gay rap culture that faces and seeks to answer the problems and paradoxes raised by the merger of genre and sexuality; hip-hop can be seen as an evolution of the urban alpha male, and as silly as it sounds, bitches and hos are seen as commodities greater in value than the largest chains or the most tricked-out automobiles. Can a gay rapper thrive--hell, survive--in a heteronormative world?

Ask Joseph Lee, aka Deadlee, that question. Hailing from Echo Park in Los Angeles, Deadlee is the leader of the burgeoning gay hip-hop scene. His lyrics acknowledge the seeming contradictions of gay rap; in one song, "Good Soldier II," he says a judgmental listener cannot claim to like him while hating his sexuality: "Hate the sinner, cuz I love the sin," he raps with a mix of steely nonchalance and angry defeatism. Moving to the East Coast, rappers like Bry'Nt are more explicit than contemplative, choosing to revel in their sexuality instead of challenging the assumptions it carries. And I must admit, it's rather thrilling to hear a rapper rhyme "gunshots" with "cum shots." (Later, he informs us that "even lesbians try to get a peek at the cock."

And it's sad, because these guys are talented but it's so naive to think that they have hope of achieving anything close to mainstream success; of all facets of American culture, hip-hop seems the least equipped right now to deal with the reality of homosexual artists. But I admire these artists for not hiding their true identities. I can't imagine that all of their peers are supportive; in fact, rappers like Deadlee had to come out twice, to their families first and the hip-hop world second. As someone who only had to come out once--to loving, supportive parents, at that--such a drawn-out process sounds like a tall order, and it's understandable that many gay people interested in hip-hop choose to stay in the closet, preferring to try for the easier route of rapping about girls and becoming the next big thing. Deadlee will (probably) never be the next big thing, but I do know that I want to see him perform. And I also know that I'm proud of the gay rappers who tell their stories and don't give a fuck about what anyone else thinks.

-Josh

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh Christ

I just read the word "biotech" as the unnecessarily disyllabic insult "biotch."

And with that I'm forsaking ONTD and leaving the internet for the evening.

-Jess

New Zealand?

Wow. So many people--including a surprisingly large amount of the Western world--don't have Internet. All their base are not belong to them?

I really don't know how to expound on this. I've grown so used to the Internet, I can't imagine life without it. So, Most of the World, what's it like to not check Facebook three times a day? (I'm really asking you kids in the "first world." I know they have bigger problems in Mali than what Julia Allison is doing.)

-Josh

UPDATE: Yes, that map is from 2000. This map is much more recent. Europe's way more connected now, as is Japan, but other than that the rates are pretty much the same across the globe, at least on a relative scale.