Her name is Nina. Nina Davuluri.
Since the winner of the Miss America pageant was announced, every effing headline I seemed to glance at online or hear on some news outlet spoke about her ethnicity or the racist backlash against her victory. Although I tend to enjoy Vice's more political coverage (traveling to North Korea and dodging danger), this one rather pissed me off (and not just because I'm bitter about not being Miss America material myself). Vice isn't alone in making this mistake. However, it serves as an excellent example of hypocrisy in these sorts of stories.
The content was finger-wagging, yes; but it was peppered with screen caps of hateful tweets (Yes! by all means, give the supremacists the spotlight!). Also worthy of note, is just how many hyperlinks I had to click through before I could find out whether she was an actual human female with an actual name:
Well, that's a relief! She's a person! I was starting to wonder if friends and family referred to her directly by the color she isn't. I'm imagining a hypothetical introduction taking place between Nina's agent and a young fan excited to meet her (who suddenly thinks the agent has a speech impediment):
Agent: "Okay, little girl! Here she comes! This is NotWhite!"
Schoolgirl Fan: "What's not right?"
Good question, young one! I'll gladly explain what's "not right":
1. That hatred is indulged via regurgitated racism that makes "news".
2. Dehumanizing in the name of hyper-objectification.
3. The fact that our unifying factors are never what are celebrated.
With the power of the press in your hands, if you can't start by spotlighting and celebrating the commonalities of the human race itself, it's going to be pretty hard to hope the world reading your drivel can change their programmed and ingratiated bigotry to start seeing that even less significant "differences" - like skin color - aren't differences at all.
Keep being as beautiful internally as you are externally, and do something wonderful with your win. I don't know how important beauty pageants themselves are, but your victory will indeed give you a social platform from which you can help mold the minds of young admirers into celebrating the similarities we all share.
I know it'd be rude to Firth to say Franco got robbed back in 2011.
So, when I go ahead and say it anyway, let it be known that I'm not knocking Firth's equally epic-for-its-genre performance. H-h-h-he did g-g-g-reat. Rather, I'm eye-rolling the septuagenarian white curmudgeons comprising the committee of Oscar voters whose perpetual predictability makes the show all but unbearable to watch.
A little variety might be nice...
And, I know what you're thinking: "That award show is over, Ash."
Mhmmm. But you know what isn't? The next one.
"Great, so I suppose you're plugging Franco? Big surprise."
First: Nice double entendre; but I'm a bit ill equipped. Second: Yes. Yes I am. And here's why:
Harmony Korine wowed us into oblivion with his cult classic "Kids" and then also with "Gummo". So, when I saw the previews for "Spring Breakers", I was worried that I'd end up disappointed by some kind of commercialized vapid smut-drivel (given the subject matter and the "Sprang Braaayke" mantra monotonously repeated throughout the trailer).
I couldn't have been more mistaken.
Now, I didn't go to film school; so I won't pretend to know the lingo or how to properly analyze films. However, I do love watching and dissecting them as living pieces of art. As you revisit them, you can take notice of the little things: what music is employed when, montages, camera angles, scene juxtaposition, and so on. I marvel at the minute details, and wonder what the motives of the director were for each.
With Korine, it comes off almost Warhol-esque inasmuch as it doesn't glorify spring break's sleaziness; rather, it takes those iconic symbols of pornographic partying and flips them on their heads by barfing it back at you - not in a "Requiem for a Dream" way - but via reiteration and over-stimulation. That repetition is meant to be annoying. The girls are meant to look like used barbie dolls. The gratuitous sex is meant to seem unattractive. I could almost smell the puke and body odor floating off the screen. It was brilliant - as were the former kid-starlets' subtle segues into more mature roles (compared to some directions taken by other Disney cohort group members)
However, Franco takes the cake with his method (meth-head?) drug dealer performance. Even if you don't have the context to fully appreciate his prep-work for the role, he ultimately transformed chameleon-style into a chimera of Riff-Raff, Dangeruss, and other local rappers. The sneer, that southern gangster drawl, the grill, and the daunting countenance he wore (along with his cornrows) - all managed to find its way off screen between takes - and so much so that Selena Gomez even admitted to being a little afraid of him until after shooting ended.
But, that's what it takes to be a boss.
So, I guess what I'm saying is this: If you happen to be an Oscar voter who happened across my page (and are reading this as you eat your pudding and wait for the Matlock reruns to return from their commercials), I ask only this: Prove me wrong, vote with a little diversity this year, and think outside of the box in which you'll imminently be spending eternity.
I used to think how unrealistic it was of me to wish life was more like my favorite flicks.
Well, obviously it is ridiculous, thematically speaking (seeings as Judd Apatow's characters never end up having monsters come out of a well with Cousin It faces or their legs on backwards). Oh, and equally preposterous is the respectful dialogue aspect; people never wait for the other person finish saying a line (much less digest what they just said). Anyway, what isn't so far-fetched is injecting the visually stylistic element into our lives. You'll likely never get to hear an awesome soundtrack start up after you get asked on a date to accompany the montage (that also won't happen) as you enthusiastically try on dresses for it. Yeah, that won't happen... but wouldn't you at least love to see life like it's all bathed in cozy colors?
I'm thinking Instagram should come out with a line of contact lenses to let us peer perpetually at the world through our filter of choice. You could buy the whole set and match them with your mood! Happy? Rock the Hefe lenses! Miserable and want to wallow? Stick in some Sutros as you underline meaningful phrases from your copy of "Moby Dick".
Possible Tagline: "Imbue your view with a new hue"
No, no, no.
I'm not saying to kill your TV. Or that I'm a conspiracy theorist.
This little art-POS I made today via MS Paint is simply an amalgamation of my ideas along with internet icons and popular images floating around. I don't generally cling to icons of any kind (just admire from a safe distance); but whether or not you believe a flipped cross is satan's doing, that your TV is hypnotizing you to "keep calm and carry on" when you should really be preparing for Z-day, or that all politicians loosen their ties and tighten their mason aprons after 5 to enjoy a nice blood sacrifice, it's all the same to me: irrelevant.
The point is... well.... What I wrote, there.
And since it's art, you can interpret the inverted color bar shape to be an overturned all-seeing eye, or just a rotated greater-than sign saying "Read More" - more than you watch T.V., more variety, or just more than you are currently. If you fall into the former category, here's the thing: You're not likely to convince the world of your assorted ideas about a New World Order by calling them sheep or idiots. That's why I don't mean my message in some highfalutin tone many assume, either. I find invectives generally don't work when trying to change one attitude, much less a mass of them. What you can do is preach a positive message, like, "Read, also!" The whole snobbery thing is just as bad to me as obsessing over how bad a given Kardashian's face surgery looks. Why? Because judgment is judgment. If you really want people to read for their personal edification, why would you demoralize them into it via judgmental glances or other assorted assholery? It makes no sense. People shouldn't reluctantly grab a book because you made them feel shitty about themselves. They should read because it's awesome, they should revisit classics because the themes tend to repeat themselves in reality, and you shitting on their lack of literary inclinations doesn't make you awesome.
It just spotlights your insecurities and inability to communicate civilly.
Don't get me wrong. I like shows or films as much as the next chick. But you know what bores me? Anything with a lack of interaction. A good film - or even a good T.V. show - will draw you in, make you notice themes, symbolism, etc., and let you work out the denouement in your head a bit. A good book will do the same. For a long time, I stopped reading... and I can't for the life of me figure out why! It's the ultimate, most self indulgent entertainment there is because you get to manifest the details. You're the director. Now that I've re-read the classic Crime & Punishment, getting back into the habit makes each chapter feel like a new episode of your favorite show. The themes take on new meanings as you relate the soliloquies and epic one liners to things happening in your life... or maybe even that show you like.
For example, I couldn't help but compare Dexter Morgan to Rodion Raskalnikov: I mean, both are made out to be these paradoxically conscience laden and kid-loving sociopaths, both harbor the vigilante mentality of "Oh, well my murder is justified because I'm this Übermensch taking out the trash", both speak about their drive to kill as being some dark and separate entity, and both love intimating these long, repetitive, and drawn out internal soliloquies.
(Do you thinkkk Rodionnn talks like thissss... in a perpetual descending inflectionnnn toooo?)
The answer? You get to decide. That's actually why reading is even better than watching, because it's your show. You run the game. Want to play casting director to the entire story? Boom! Just like that, Johnny Depp is your Rodion Raskalnikov, we'll resurrect Marilyn Monroe and make her play Sonia, and then cast Christina Ricci as Dunia (but don't ask why - I think she'd just make a believable -albeit more hydrocephalic looking - sister to Depp).
Oh, and I lied about Raskalnikov possibly sounding like Dexter Morgan.
Rather, the entire tale (especially the violent bits) will be narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman's cozy, Southern, gentlemanly voice.
Because irony is fun.
That is your name, right? You don't say it enough - so I just want to make sure before I proceed...
Anyway, I'm writing you because I'm totes in love with this chick I met online... but I have some apprehensions. You see, I can understand that she doesn't like to video chat or whatever. Not everyone's into that. I get it (and also I was willing to overlook it because she's been sending me nudies for like ten years now).
However, I apparently didn't have the foresight to ask her at some point in the past decade to at least prove her legitimacy (AKA that I wasn't actually sexting with the Human Toe) by doing something like, oh I dunno, taking a selfie I'd requested? Nothing crazy; just ANYTHING, like: "Put on a purple top, scrawl my name on the back of a Chinese delivery menu along with a line from an Edgar Allen Poe poem... and then take a selfie of yourself holding it up. Oh! And don't forget to prop up the Miss America trophy you said you won in the background!"
So, yeah. I could just stop this letter here, and ask her to do that -like - now.
But, nahhhh ... because...I need YOU!
Why? I need you because (although you harbor zero special powers or credentials or technology skills more than I myself have), you, sir, have a prettier LAPTOP and can look up names on Facebook and you know about Spokeo and MyLife. Also, you have MAX and some other camera guy (who nobody ever sees, but who films Max filming you)... And... and... even though you've shown us all (literally, step by step, in every single episode) how to do it, I still just can't seem to find the time to learn how to type in "download reverse image search software" or how to simply copy and paste an image URL into google image search.
It's just too much for me.
I JUST CAN'T.
So, naturally, I need you: to start your show by reading this out loud (like you're reading it for the first time and haven't even called me yet), then do a scene of meeting me at my house, then another scene of you doing detective work in a coffee house 5 blocks away from me, then coming back to my house to toy with my emotions about how she might be fake, then you'll call her, and she'll answer and act nonplussed (because people totally answer random numbers and speak in monotone when they aren't getting paid to do bad acting), and then we'll fly to see her, and I'll try to feign pained horror when "she" turns out to be what looks like the pedophile murderer from Lovely Bones (and who might actually be, since he's straight out of central casting).
Pleeeease help me
with my fifteen fame minutes figure out: is it a faux-femme I'm phone-forking? Or is she f'real?
P.S. Oh, One last question:
An hour? Seriously? Don't get me wrong. The documentary was awesome but - for the show - really? This series is like watching Nascar. I can literally watch just the first and last ten or fifteen minutes and know everything I need to know about the storyline.
I have nothing to say other than:
1. Wicked witch of the West and the aliens from "Signs" can now respectively conquer Oz and Earth.
2. Dudes can stop freaking out about keeping their crispy white shoes or hats in top form.
3. Will this work on my walkway and parking space this winter? Or windshield for that matter?
4. Hosts can properly prepare electronics prior to interviews with Russell Brand:
I like poking fun at gender disparities:
During a convo earlier today with a friend, I indicated that it's not so much that we enjoy hearing ourselves carp. It's just that action is so much more terrifying; our brains can't process it. So many of us grow into these child women who wear the facades during the day of "How are you doing? Nice weather we're having..." and then take our masks of confidence and professionalism down at the day's end for those with whom we're closest.
And we let them have it - like it's their fault.
Because it is often so hard to dig even close to the source of unpleasant feelings causing unhealthy behavior, we stop short of searching at all, and fall into that seductive trap of victim-ness in lieu. When we unload the weight of our world onto the shoulders of our partner, he feels like Atlas himself. *Sigh* If only he knew we aren't looking for a psychologist - or a maintenance man for that matter.
Rather, expecting to hear "I'm sorry" or "that must really suck" from them has become more than the mere obligatory shoe in for the less comforting words "There there..." Nine times out of ten, the expectation isn't a Freudian couch session or a logical answer, so much as a few meaningless words like "Yeah, those people you mentioned from work who I don't even know are total douchebags". This reinforces our own cognitive dissonance; by making sure they take an active part, chime in, and say anything signifying agreement, confirms that you're the victim here.
And voila. The loop is complete. Fear continues to play third wheel to you both, and you don't have to a damn thing but watch it eviscerate your relationship inside out.
Don't get too comfortable, though, men. You aren't excused from this behavior. It's just that you're taught not to cry or show emotions or even talk about them for that matter. So, try as you might to think you can control everything, that painful-whatever-it-was-from-childhood goes somewhere in those neuro-recesses. Since tears aren't an option, it will manifest in a different way if left unchecked... and it's every bit as unhealthy to the relationship.
Usually anger and self righteousness are the main means by which it manifests. Since domestic violence is socially unacceptable, it has to get further filtered until it becomes this faux representation of control or power. Going to the gym sometimes helps unleash these sentiments healthily; but for others, this either isn't an option or falls short of satiating. Thus come the passive aggressive jokes, patronizing remarks, punching of walls in the house, cold body language, abuse of drink or drugs, and so on.
Some might argue that women do the latter (anger) as well as the former (despair/misery). And you're not wrong. However, you'll have to concede that men also do the former, then. The difference is that their "complaints" are masked in a kind of pseudo-superiority. Instead of a whiny "why me?" or commentary on how painful or depressing it (whatever "it" is) is, they stay the course of one-upmanship, and instead talk about what an idiot everyone else is.
I have to hand it to them! I mean, when everyone else is an idiot, you're still a victim (of every other person's alleged stupidity); but by declaring it (rather than emoting it or implying a desire for confirmation), you're not asking for your girlfriend's agreement! Your word is just a fact. You're a fcukking god! In control! All powerful maintenance man who fixes other people's problems!
And...yet... you still don't have to do fcuk-all about your own "nail".
I like you, Iggy. But the answer is "no".
No, you're not giving us "Fran". Not completely anyway. Fran was all floofy orange boas, leopard prints, and hot pinks and oranges. Fran was like Peggy Bundy, except with dark hair and an annoying "Oh Chaaandler... you're such a paaapppy!" New York accent.
So who are you giving us? It's so super familiar... Wait!
Red and black triangle top with black and white checkered pants? Check!
Old Hollywood Glamour hair? Check!
Even as a hardcore Gwen-o-phile, I ain't mad atchya. Copycats and flattery and all that jazz. Just, ya know, give credit where credit's due next time and say, "I'm channeling Fran Drescher channeling Gwen Stefani's 'Hey Baby' wardrobe. And hair. And makeup..."
VIDEO TUTORIALS SUCK
Want to know why most video makeup tutorials suck sphincter?
Video chicks love four things:
1. To hear themselves talk.
2. To fish for comment compliments.
3. To flatter themselves.
4. To HEAR THEMSELVES TALK.
Seriously?! A ten minute intro for something titled "Everyday Smokey Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial"..? Girl, you've got five subscribers, even fewer views, and the only comments are from spam bots or other losers who "Sub4Sub'd'd'd"...whatever that means. Worse yet, you start with "OMG, all of you guys, I'm so sorry I haven't made a video in a while!" Betch, who're you trying to kid? Nobody missed you.
So, when a friend asked me to do an "eyeshadow tutorial", the tri-sequence of thoughts came to mind:
1. No way. 2. Wait...I'm not a makeup professional? and 3. Fine I'll do my "routine", but I'm not making a video. So, there's your disclaimer. I'm no pro if you want to judge or run the other direction (preferably do the latter if you plan to do the former). This is just an "I listen to MUA friends and try to follow their techniques" thing. So there that is.
I keep my ish matte and monotone. But to keep this simple, I've renamed all the colors to fit whatever palette you purchase. So, gloss over the diagram, read the Non-Pro protips after, and then give it a go.
If you want.
1. Why use brushes? Blending is the key to achieving a "natural look" via a gradient of color
2. Why Primer first? So shadow will stay on and and you won't look like a reptile.
3. Hate cream liners? Swap a liquid liner on top lid and crayon liner on bottom (crayon won't get everywhere if you cut an onion or get fired or whatever else makes your eyeballs leak).
4. Why mascara last? So that white shadow doesn't fall on your black lashes.
5. Why do foundation after eyes? Same idea as 4. Speckled face flakes are not cute.
6. And finally, why put light eyeshadow on the lid and brow bone and the darker shades in the crease?
Answer? The same reason white pants make you look fatter, black is slimming, and your art teacher preached about contrast: Highlights give the illusion of looking larger and closer to the eye, while shades give the illusion of depth. Thus, if you've got little lids or small eyes, a darkened crease (skin at the top of your eyeball) sandwiched between a lightened eyelid and brow bone will give the illusion of a larger, wider, deep set eye.
WHY THE FKK YOU SO BORING?
If you're around my age (wrong side of 25), matte (non-shimmery) palettes might be your preference too. Why? You're not 19 anymore and the sparkly Kesha look isn't as cute for a professional everyday look... unless your "profession" entails an every night look (no, graveyard shift nurses, I don't mean you). Any quality matte palette is fine. The one used here is by brand "Smashbox" and the palette is called "Softbox". But any good neutral, nude palettes will usually work though. Try Sephora or Ulta.
Y U NO SHOP DRUGSTORE?
I do. For liquid liner and q-tips. But have you ever bought a shadow and it doesn't look on you like it does in the palette? Or it blends badly? Or gets really dusty and lands everywhere but your lid? Yeah. That's why I like Smashbox, Lorac, Urban Decay, or Nars (the pigment and application's just better). Considering the cost versus how quickly I've gone through the drugstore ones, it's not a snob or status thing (which would be pointless, seeing as no one's ever eye-dentified a brand of shadow I'm wearing). They just last long enough justify the price. Want quality sans ridiculous price? Try Urban Decay's matte palette or Nars' duo shadows instead of a full palette.
If the principle of paying piles for primping is still too much (or you want a hint of shimmer), go ahead and do the drugstore thing. Rimmel's and Maybelline's trishadows aren't too bad, just expect to run out of the shades you use the most in a month or two:
I get it.
The trending Celine mini luggage bags are totes adorable (unintended pun; kept for fun). Still, I can't get over the hovering punchline-by-design one of these would be on the shoulders or bent elbows of those who can't really afford one on their net income, so they paid the other arm to get it.
You: I don't get it.
Me: Oh, it's nothing important... I just really, really, want one.
You: Oh, okay. Maybe for your birthday! How much are they?
Me: I think the cheapest, smallest one's around $2,300..