Trolling Stone

rollingstone

 

Nobody else is being honest about it, but the real reason folks are manufacturing outrage over this Rolling Stone cover is because Tsarnaev is looking kinda fuckable.

According to the traditional narratives, we’re supposed to be dehumanizing this swarthy foreign terrorist. Monsters are meant to be grotesque, and here he is looking like some sensitive singer/songwriter. How dare Rolling Stone allow him into a cultural space reserved exclusively for rock stars?

Please. It’s no accident they used a photo of the kid where he vaguely resembles that one-night-stand every sorority girl fucked on a foam mattress in some youth hostel that summer she backpacked through Europe.

The editors knew exactly what they were doing. It’s deliberately provocative. It was intended to elicit an uncomfortable reaction, and it seems to be working.

This is mainstream media trolling at its finest.

 

Taylor Swift

 

This shit is for 12 year olds, right? Because when I was 22, we would have kicked these giggling doe-eyed twits out of the hotel suite to blow lines off the cocks of real musicians.

Who the fuck tries to write a wholesome party girl anthem? I mean, seriously. This isn’t a music video. It’s the director’s cut of a tampon commercial.

 

On Super Bowl Advertising

This is marketing disguised as propaganda:

 

 

This is propaganda disguised as marketing:

 

 

The Scientology “Knowledge” ad is trying to make you buy something, whereas the Dodge “God Made a Farmer” ad is trying to make you believe something.

That’s an incredibly important distinction.

Scientology wants to sell you a product with its ad. Sure, it happens to be a set of beliefs, but the ad is still just a glossy sales pitch. (The beliefs come later.) All it wants you to do is buy Scientology, and that’s why it’s marketing disguised as propaganda.

Dodge, on the other hand, doesn’t want to sell you a product with its ad. The truck is for sale, of course, but that’s not the point. The ad exists for the sole purpose of reinforcing an American myth about farmers that can be co-opted for brand identity. It wants you to believe in the myth, and that’s why it’s propaganda disguised as marketing.

For the record, propaganda disguised as marketing is infinitely more insidious than marketing disguised as propaganda.

 

I just finished reading Lena Dunham’s $3,700,000 book proposal.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but when publishers start throwing around Hillary Clinton money for a book proposal by a “rare literary talent,” I certainly expect more than this.

It’s not funny. It’s not insightful. It’s not the least bit entertaining. It’s just a tepid exercise in neurotic navel gazing by a privileged white girl from New York who just happens to have her own show on HBO.

That’s fine, I suppose. The folks at Random House can squander their millions however they see fit, and kudos to Lena for cashing in on her Woody Allen meets Candace Bushnell schtick.

Still, in a book that purports to be about advice, you’d think the voice of a generation might have something to say about the world that exists beyond the end of her nose.

Then again, maybe not, and maybe that’s the larger point about a generation.

A Short List of Honest Reality Show Titles:

Real Gargoyles of the One Percent

 

America’s Next Entry Level Piece of Runway Meat

 

Keeping Up with A Family of Narcissistic Fame Whores

 

Dancing with D-List Celebrities Clinging to Cultural Relevance

 

Here Comes A Child With Type II Diabetes

 

Jersey Shore

 

The Shahs of Sunset

shahs

 

I’m currently watching an episode of The Shahs of Sunset, and I’m sorry, but I’m not entirely convinced these are real human beings. I think they might be papier-mâché dolls made entirely of Jersey Shore grease and leftover Kardashian shavings.

I’ve known my fair share of Beverly Hills dwelling Persians. I’ve even dated a few, and despite there being some truth to the tacky label whore and douchey mama’s boy stereotypes, I’ve never met a single Persian person who lives up to this ridiculous level of shallow ethnic caricature.

Still, somehow Ryan Seacrest managed to find a whole group of them. (What do you call that? A Flock? A Gaggle? A Pride of Persians?) Ugh. I want to take a razor to these people, in every possible way.

 

Deconstruction Of The Image

vag

This may be a campaign about HIV/AIDS awareness, but that’s no excuse. This is blatant misogyny, really sinister stuff that conveys a much more profound message about the female body.

Take another look at it. She’s got a killer smile, but still, you can’t see her eyes. The model is cropped so that she’s essentially headless. What makes her human is gone. What makes her a woman is on display. That’s a very deliberate creative choice.

She is an object to be fucked without a brain or an identity. Worse still, her vagina is a fully indexed destination on a Google map. The visual metaphor is so potent (and porn is so ubiquitous) that this image is more jarring than one in which she shows us her actual pussy.

It’s not about the fact that she’s had sex with Bill Johnson and 19 others. Who gives a fuck? What’s toxic is the idea that they checked into her vagina on Foursquare. What it’s saying is that her private parts aren’t private at all. They’re public. That’s the implicit message in this image, and it’s degrading.

It’s not slut-shaming so much as it’s female-shaming, and it reinforces the age-old cultural narrative that women’s bodies aren’t their own.

(Now, having said all that, I should add that I’m not the least bit offended by this image. My sensibilities aren’t that fucking delicate. I’m not over here clutching my pearls or burning my bra. Like I said, who gives a fuck?

The point here is the deconstruction of the image itself. Agree. Disagree. It doesn’t matter. In a media driven culture, what’s important is making the implicit message explicit.)

 

Framing

fence

 

Somewhere on Hollywood Boulevard at this very moment there is a segment producer for E! Entertainment Television who I’d like to buy a drink.

Just look at this shot. It’s a tiny little work of art.

I guarantee that the only creative decision this particular producer got to make all week was which direction to point the camera, and what did he choose? A massive chain link fence separating the hypnotized, unwashed masses.

It could have been just another filler segment featuring tuxedos and fake smiles, but no. Suddenly, it’s a smirking political statement. Those two douche canoes weren’t just yammering about Gerard Butler coming out of rehab. They were posing in a visual metaphor for America’s invisible caste system.

Yes, it’s deliberate, and that subversive motherfucker got away with it because no one in the broadcast truck either noticed or cared.

 

Professionally Offended

mia

 

Why is anyone apologizing for this?

No one was offended.

No one gives a shit.

No one.

There are assholes out there whose job it is to get professionally offended, and all they managed to do was phone in another poorly written press release.

Come on, even they’re not really offended. You can tell they don’t believe their own bullshit anymore. They just have to justify their ridiculous existence.

Not one person of any age, of any gender, or of any culture out of the hundred million who watched the Super Bowl is owed an apology for this fraction of a broadcast second.

Ugh. Even ranting about the irony and hypocrisy of this kind of nonsense is tiresome and irrelevant.

 

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