Friday, July 31, 2009

Fire Burning.

Work in retail long enough and you'll want to watch the whole world burn. I graced American Apparel with my presence for a year, and though the free clothes and 50% discount were sweet, the disorganized corporate structure, female objectification and rampant shoplifting weren't.

Now that I'm gone from the place, have no friends that work there anymore and can only read about Dov Charney's indiscretions instead of hearing them first-hand during weekly conference calls, I haven't bought much; the prices are too obnoxious and my bank account too pathetic to keep purchasing pretty-colored cotton and shiny lamé. I still have a healthy relationship with perusing the store's website, though - especially when items like these keep popping up under the "New Items" category:

But it's hard to lust after U-neck dresses, seersucker Kennedy shorts and foil stripper gear when American Apparel is making stuff like this, too:

No, I'm not gay. But do I still find the placement of the slogan on these unisex briefs wildly offensive, and comparable to the ad with the girl licking a guy's crotch, or see-through panties, or haywire pubic hair, or unnecessary nipples, or unnecessary buttcrack, or unnecessary full-frontal, or that one shot from below so the girl looks like she's on top, or the one with Dov Charney's face and a quote from him that says it's women, not men, who are "perpetuating a victim culture?" Pretty much, yeah.

+ Photos courtesy of American Apparel and, as AA's archives strangely didn't have that one with Dov's misogyny on full display. Weird (insert dripping sarcasm ... all through this post).

Cry Little Sister.

In the realm of celebrity magazines, Entertainment Weekly is that superficial guilty pleasure you thumb through while the guy in front of you at the self-checkout line at Giant struggles to get his shit together, or when you're preparing yourself at the doctor's office for yet another obnoxious co-pay fee and the baby in the waiting area with you inevitably screams the entire time, or when you want to punch the skinny girl on the Stairmaster next to you at the gym because look, if you're already in shape, go work out somewhere else away from us not-perfect people, thx. Your toned calves do not help a damaged psyche that self-medicates with Ben and Jerry's, OK?

But anyway, back to the topic at hand: Everyone knows Entertainment Weekly is the swill of the masses, a perfect mix of mainstream appeal (they liked Kanye's "808s and Heartbreak") and surprisingly in-depth reporting (a cover story on that pesky writer's strike). So when their latest issue listed the top 20 vampires of all time, I shouldn't have been surprised that Robert Pattinson/Edward Cullen from "Twilight" was in the top 10, as he's the latest pretty-boy at the forefront of this faux-Goth obsession.

Yet ... in the top 5 ... at No. 4, above Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård/Bill and Eric from "True Blood" (No. 5), David Boreanaz/Angel (No. 7), Gary Oldman/Dracula from "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (No. 10), Kiefer Sutherland/David from "The Lost Boys" (No. 14) and Wesley Snipes/Blade (No. 16)? And no James Marsters/Spike!? Out-of-touch entertainment writers say what?

I'm just as appreciative of Pattinson's dreaminess as the next person - I'm not drawing blood spots on my neck and begging him to bite me while panting over "Hot Topic" merchandise or anything - but he's cute in a grungy-dirty-Ray Ban-wearing way. It's just that he's way better as himself:

Than as Edward Cullen, an overprotective, pathetically overdramatic perpetual-teenager with too much angst and too little charisma who is profoundly awful, and has only perpetuated some kind of weirdly anti-feminist dogma by Stephenie Meyer, who probably cackles while counting all the dough she's made over hormone-heavy prepubescents.

Shame on you, EW. I didn't really expect "more," per se ... but you get my drift.

P.S. Best episode of "Buffy," ever.

Harry Potter, Harry Potter! Harry Potter, Harry Potter - that's me!

Back in freshman year of college I took American Studies 203: Pop Culture in America, and for this exceedingly labor-intensive class, we studied seven areas of pop culture - music, film, books, TV, etc. - picked something from each and wrote a 15-page paper on the themes it contains and what those mean both about the creator of the material and the society that consumes it. My book of choice, after considering doing "The Kite Runner" and realizing that I couldn't write about a book I fully despise for mostly these reasons, was "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which had come out a few months before.

One of my main points: J.K. Rowling's description of The Daily Prophet and how her negative depiction of the media must subtly suggest her own dislike, and, that Rita Skeeter is meant to symbolize all those mud-slinging, Stephen Glass- and Jayson Blair-esque journalists that probably stalk the crap out of her life. Hey, it didn't have to be true, it just had to be what I guessed.

But now, with a recent study suggesting that Harry Potter readers show a greater dislike of the press because of how Skeeter displays "a complete disregard for accuracy, truthfulness and objectivity," I feel disappointingly vindicated. I may have gotten an A in that class (yay!), but now part of the reason the journalism industry (which I've adored since watching and reading "All the President's Men") is failing could be because those obsessed little kids with Sharpie lightning scars on their foreheads can't bother to pick up a paper. Awesome.

I leave you with this:



+ Photos courtesy of IMDB

Wanna Be Starting Something.

Can I get in fistfights with Z-list "celebrities" without going to jail? I think it would be a gift to mankind to beat the crap out of Stephanie Pratt (Spencer's sister) and Holly Montag (Heidi's sister). Like, people may very well bow down before me, it would be so beneficial. (One of my best qualities: Humbleness.)

Check out these slorebags eating frozen yogurt in L.A. yesterday. Remember when that Pinkberry in New York was overrun by mice? I'm hoping for a repeat.

Also Stephanie's new nose/face situation makes her look like Heidi - i.e., "plastic." I don't want to suggest creepy incest thoughts, but oops I just did.

+ Photos courtesy of Yahoo

Dirty, Filthy, Rich.

This girl is Italian? Let's be real. Trick looks brown like me (why did you think this blog was named after Ay-rabs, anyway?).

P.S. The show looks fucking awful. Yay more rich people on MTV!
P.P.S. I may have considered watching this if it were on Bravo and included more blow-outs like last night's between Sheree and that douchey part planner (excuse me, "top-level executive"). Truth.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Copycat say what?

Forever 21 never ceases to amaze me, both in exceedingly bad ways and in surprisingly good. Let's go with the crappy first:

This stuff gets the "super-fug-gross-ew" reaction: (Spiral Floral Trim Dress, $27.80; X-Posed Denim Dress, $19.80; Wild Floral Maxi Dress, $22.80)

While here's the "that's-cute-double-take-business-casual?-sure" stuff: (Ruffle Sleeve Dress, $39; Satin Chiffon Ruffle Dress, $24.80; Evangeline Dress, $29.80)

I'm guessing creators Do-Won and Jin Sook Chang only design well when they're knocking people off? I wouldn't be surprised, unfortunately.

+ Photos courtesy of Forever 21

She Wolf!

I really can't help but admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for two things:

1. Skanks that are unabashedly skanky (cue: Ashley from "Rock of Love" and "Charm School with Ricki Lake," especially when she's saying "biiiiiiiiiitch")

2. Skanks that are unabashedly skanky ... and slut it up on the dancefloor like the unabashed skanks they are.

Case in point: My new obsession, Shakira's "She Wolf" video. This is some low-budget fuckery with high-class whoredom, a trick-in-arms with videos like Ciara's "Love Sex Magic," Britney's "I'm a Slave 4 U" and Kelis's "Milkshake." I'm in love/need a shower.

* Because Sony pulled some "copyright infringement" booshit and yanked all the copies of "She Wolf" off YouTube, here, watch it on MTV instead.


The Washington Post has a fine fashion/culture writer/editor in Robin Givhan, a woman so blunt in her opinions that she basically sucker-punched Hillary Clinton in the face by tearing apart her choice of a V-neck blouse ("unnerving" and "startling" were Givhan's best adjectives, I think) back in 2007, when the now-Secretary of State was a then-Senator chatting up higher education initiatives. When Givhan deemed spotting Clinton's cleavage as a voyeuristic activity, I couldn't help but agree - I'm fine with seeing the girls on display, but not when it's not on the Senate floor, and definitely not when it's Clinton.

But aside from Givhan, the Post doesn't stray too far from the norm when it comes to following fashion. Sure, the Style section admirably documents annual fashion weeks and covered the "Project Runway" move to Lifetime like it was one of the biggest disappointments in cable TV history, but their advice on current fashion trends isn't that jaw-dropping. They usually take the conservative route, and that's understandable when you think of the Post's readers - for example, their latest piece about mixing sequins into your wardrobe makes sure the young, urban professionals and established Washington-ites who read the paper don't end up pulling a Gaga. It's solid, practical advice - it's just not very exciting.

And neither are the Post's favorite picks - a $398 bag from Coach and a $68 bangle from Anthropologie both seem unreasonably overpriced, and while the sequined Converse sneakers are cute, they're also $90. Jigga what?

So instead, I gathered my five favorite sequin-happy items that won't rape your pocket too hard. Or, you can bust out the Bedazzler and do-it-yourself. Whatever.

+ Forever 21 "Eclectic Sequin Earring," $8.80

Yeah, so these are basically knock-offs of the earrings Beyonce wears in the "Sweet Dreams" video, when she's got on that spangly silver dress. But they're $9. That's less than Alexander Hamilton!

+ Toms Sequin Slip-Ons, $54

A pair of slip-on canvas sneakers with glittery spangles for $54 is not cheap. But doesn't the humanitarian in you want to give some underprivileged kid a pair of shoes just as cute as yours? Buy a pair of Toms and the company will give a pair away for free, and that should warm your recession-hardened heart.

+ TopShop USA Sequin Shoulder Bodycon Dress; $90

Straightforward, simple and with just enough old-school glamor. A little pricey, but it's TopShop - which means better quality than Forever 21, and also that it won't be worn by like 73 13-year-olds at their next middle school dance. Oh, and it's definitely better than the hot pants.

+ Express Racerback Sequin Tank, $24

Pretty similar to what the Post found at South Moon Under, but cheaper, and more colors. A basic, necessary staple.

+ ModCloth Razz Matazz Dress, $59.99

Flirty with tons of subtle sparkle. Pair with flats and it's cute for summer; add a cardigan or a hoody and you've got edge into fall.

This Shit is Bananas.

So, fucking, fierce.

As in, "get-in-my-life!" levels of fierce.

+ Photos courtesy of

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Every Step You Take ...

... on the red carpet should not be a badly dressed one. Instead, they should be pretty, sparkly and memorable, either in a way that shows another side to the celebrity (for example, maturity became Michelle Williams when she dolled it up in yellow Vera Wang at the Academy Awards a couple of years ago) or affirms everything you thought already (Bjork, the swan dress, the media mayhem that ensued). When you're an actor/actress/musician/socialite/whatever, you have money. That money can be used to look not-idiotic. It's not that much to expect, right?

So ... why is it that the Los Angeles screening of "Paper Hearts," that upcoming faux-documentary hipster rom-com thing, was such a legitimate trainwreck? Here are some important lessons:

1. If you're not a stripper, American Apparel is not suitable for evening-wear. Seriously. Unless people put dollars in your G-string on a nightly basis, lay off the lamé.

2. Grandmas are not hip. They are charming, adorable and often bake delicious cookies. However, this does not mean they dress well.

3. Wallpaper should stay on walls.

That is all.

Nice Guys Finish Last.

OK, so Jimmy Fallon isn't a nice guy. He's actually kind of a douchebag who used to giggle through all of his skits on "SNL" and totally ruined it for those of us who weren't amused by his perpetual smugness. And it probably sucked for Tina Fey, too, cuz she had to carry Weekend Update while he smirked like a masturbating schoolboy. Oh well, "Taxi" sucked a big one and Fey's laughing last with "30 Rock;" the gods heard our pleas.

But either way, it does kind of suck for Fallon that his months of campaigning for this ...

actually turned into this ...

What's the deal, People? Why so coy? Upgrade: editing Screech/Dustin Diamond out of the cast photo, so the cover without him isn't as obvious. Downgrade: Taking credit for an idea that a C-grade late-night talk-show host has been pushing for months. That's just embarrassing.

+ Photos courtesy of AOL News and, respectively.

Pretty Hate Machine.

This whole "actors with bands" thing has always been around, and in a way, it makes sense. You're making money as an actor, and people already worship you for your talent and good looks. So why not transpose that into another pop-culture-related career by grabbing a mic and practicing those pipes?

Well, more often than not, those hybrids are distressingly awful, and for every Jack Black (Tenacious D = good), there's a Bruce Willis (The Bruce Willis Blues Band = crappy). Now, it looks like "Gossip Girl" castmate (using the word "star" here would be not accurate) Taylor Momsen is joining the ranks of the evil, thanks to her recently formed band The Pretty Reckless.

Yes, that's her, getting all Courtney Love on stage for her own 16th birthday party at the Maritime Hotel in New York City. And yes, this is also her, sounding all ear-bleedingly bad on some song called "Blender."

Dear god, let "Gossip Girl" kill her off already. Like, get the actual Gossip Girl to murder her. It would be a solid, "Dexter"-esque plot twist.

+ Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Durrr, footloose.

If Ducky dug up Elvis, stole his shoes and spray-painted them white, these would exist.

And I'm OK with that, if I don't think about it too hard. Because when I start applying actual thought to the equation, the shoes look uncomfortable; like something Ashlee Simpson-Wentz (ugh) would purchase in order to stay hip; and not really appropriate for the real world, unless "Pretty in Pink 2" is casting or something.

The world needs another Molly Ringwald. Make it happen, Hollywood!

+ Photo courtesy of Aldo

God Called in Sick Today ...

... Why, you may ask? Because MTV's documentary about Paris Hilton premieres tonight ("Paris, Not France"), and if the rule of celebrity documentaries is to be followed, this will suck. Using Britney Spears' "For the Record" as a rule, let's lay down what jaw-dropping revelations will be revealed tonight:

- The person in question isn't who you expect (see: Paris dropping her baby accent).
- The person in question may have an agenda of his or her own (she only uses the baby accent because it makes her money and people like it; epic fail, world.)
- The person in question wants your pity and sympathy, despite his or her millions of dollars, fame and fortune (just forget about her night-vision sex tape, mmkay?)

Check out the trailer and then tune in at 8:30 p.m. if you're trying to punish yourself or something. Like, straight-up, purgatory-type shit.

Worst Fears Confirmed.

Let's think this through.

"Mom, can we go stalk Lady Gaga?"
"Mom, can we go hang out with her in her underwear?"
"Mom, what are these rashes all over my skin? And why do I smell like rancid fish?"

Yes, kids. That's what happens when your flesh touches Lady Gaga's.

Worst. Parenting. Ever.

+ Photo courtesy of Flynet

Talk to Strangers.

Let's do this.