Go here to read part one.
Somehow Saturday morning Jeff and I woke up bright and early. Flavor Flav must have sprinkled some magic dust on us the night before, because we weren't our usual hungover pieces of shit, writhing under covers 'til noon. For this special occasion, we headed to the famous Loveless Motel & Cafe (8400, Tennessee 100, Bellevue), a comfort food mecca and Nashville landmark. Hundreds of country musicians and otherwise famous humans hung their hats here when it was a hotel and have stopped in for grub since it's been a restaurant (seriously, there are countless autographed head shots covering every square inch of the walls).
'Tis the season of waiting for premium cable lovers. Most of the truly addictive programs shown on HBO and Showtime (and on many basic cable channels, for that matter) wrapped up in late fall and now all the Dexperts, Trubies and Maddicts are starting to get the shakes because it'll be swimsuit weather before their favorite shows return and it seems like Two and a Half Men is taking over the tube.
They say you only roast the ones you love, but what can be said about someone with few redeemable qualities, who's essentially spent the past year roasting himself in the media? Quite a bit, apparently.
Did you watch that Portlandia sketch about the fictional restaurant Around the World in 80 Plates, “a culinary voyage across the seven seas of flavor,” and think that would be a great premise for a food and travel show? Well, the folks over at Bravo did (or it at least seems like it) when they created a new reality show where chefs compete while traveling across the world, entitled — wait for it — Around the World in 80 Plates (10 p.m. Mondays). Chefs Cat Cora and Curtis Stone host. Tune in May 9 for the premiere to see if Craig’s Crazy Guac Tacs are involved in any way (fingers crossed).
Move over, Kardashians — there’s a new family in E! town. Mrs. Eastwood & Company (10 p.m. Sundays) takes the ubiquitous reality formula to Northern California, focusing on the lives of Clint’s wife, Dina, and two of his daughters, Francesca and Morgan. The ladies live on a sprawling ranch complete with a sassy housekeeper and herd of pets. The show focuses on the Eastwoods’ pet project, grownup boyband, Overtone. Hit show or hot mess? Find out May 20 when the series debuts.
Other recent show announcements include the following premiere dates: HBO's True Blood (9 p.m. Sunday, June 10), TNT's revival of Dallas (9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13) and my guiltiest of pleasures, Showtime's The Real L Word (10 p.m. Thursday, July 12).
I opted out of typing music listings and attending sociology class Friday in favor of checking out the conference taking place on the University of Cincinnati’s campus: Pop Praxis: Social Justice & the Media. With discussion topics like, “Disco Stick: Lady Gaga and the Phallus” and a keynote speech from Bitch Magazine’s own Andi Zeisler, I was stoked for an enlightening day of stimulating pop culture discussion.
The conference was the result of a collection of papers, presentations and workshops submitted by speakers ranging from undergrads to professors to alumni from a number of universities. Submissions were required to regard "pop culture as it relates to feminism, race, disability or queer theory, class, consumption, and all forms of political activism or cultural production."
It was an honor for the university to welcome Andi Zeisler, co-founder and editorial/creative director of Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. She wasted no time launching into a pointed discussion about the importance of feminism today, despite the general public’s tendency to assume that the movement is past and irrelevant.
“Any media needs to make money,” Zeisler pointed out, “and the quickest and surest way to do that is to sell out women.”
In short, while addressing the frustrating roadblocks today’s feminist advocates face, Zeisler commended technology and blogging as new ways to comment on the media and bring important issues to public attention, keeping intelligent discussion going that might not have been able to take place before.
Zeisler said Bitch’s goal is to help people think about pop culture in a more critical way, so it makes sense that the speakers in the sessions that followed did exactly that.
While the main event was arguably Zeisler's speech, the presentations and workshops were fun and eye opening.
During the first session, Sarah Mitchell called out Winnie of The Wonder Years for her textbooks that attempt to make math “sexy” for middle school girls in “Postfeminist Math Barbie: Danica McKellar’s Provocative Education Advocacy.” Lee Serbin also pointed out the shaky, back-and-forth stance Tina Fey’s character holds between feminism and postfeminism in 30 Rock during her discussion, “30 Rock and Feminism in Flux.”
Some women in the media, however, aren’t so bad to look up to. One presenter discussed how Lady Gaga rocked the phallus on the cover of Q Magazine as a response to the public’s accusation that she’s packing a package. While still technically enforcing the belief that a penis equates power, her gender-bending humor puts sexists in their place.
A strong argument was also made for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Admittedly, she was skinny and blonde, but more importantly, she overcame that image to kick vampire ass. The slayer was decidedly deemed a pretty solid female role model for something popularized by mainstream television.
Feminism wasn’t the only topic of the day, however. One student discussed Batman as an extreme representation of hypermasculinity who tends to equate violence with being a man. That, and maybe steroid use after all the bulk the superhero’s acquired over the years.
During the same session, another speaker addressed the somewhat androgynous image of the emo kid. This speaker deserves props for researching something so fickle in the world of teenage cliques. She concluded that, while the emo subculture allows for somewhat of a break from that Batman-inspired masculinity, only the white boys of suburbia seem to make up this social group.
While it was impossible for me to make it to each presentation, at the end of the day, the message was clear: People need to be careful about what they consume.
There are no clear answers. Watching a Lady Gaga video over 30 Rock isn’t necessarily going to be more empowering, and children who prefer Batman to Chris Carrabba aren’t doomed to a life of violence. The important thing Pop Praxis stressed is that the discussion remains open and that we, as responsible consumers of popular culture, keep a critical eye on it.
seek attention so desperately that you'll poison yourself on national television suffer from an unusual obsession that is negatively affecting your life? Would you reveal your addiction on cable TV for $800-$1000? If so, TLC wants YOU!
UPDATE: CityBeat has been informed by the direct casting agent for "My Strange Addiction" that individuals will not be compensated for their participation in the show. Because paying people to harm themselves on television is wrong.
Sandra Dee Casting (no relation) is on the hunt for men and women aged 18 and older for the new season of "My Strange Addiction" which, for those who haven't had the pleasure of viewing, is exactly what it sounds like. Each episode features two individuals with obsessions that take control of their lives, endanger their well-being and concern their loved ones.
I guess it all started when my parents got divorced...
You might be wondering what exactly constitutes a strange addiction. Well, for starters, there was a woman who takes laxatives to lose weight, a man who works out constantly to compete in Strongman competitions and a woman who cleans 8 hours each day in order to deal with OCD. But, of course, these are the tame examples.
Just ask this guy.
Other addictions range from almost funny (being a furry, ventriloquism) to really upsetting (trillotrichomania) to, "Bitch, what the hell is your problem?!" (sleeping with a hair dryer). So if you struggle with behaviors like these, you're just going to have to get a little stranger to make it on next season.
Addicted to giving your baby hair plugs? You're in!
If you or someone you know really wants to appear on the same channel as Sarah Palin, e-mail your name, age, current city, phone/e-mail, your "addiction story" and a few recent photos to MyStrangeAddiction@SandraDeeCasting.com.
Because heroin is for pussies.
Tune into CBS at 9 p.m. Sunday to watch Mayor Mark Mallory on Undercover Boss!
Nightmare Season is upon us as AMC's chilling zombie show The Walking Dead returns. A record-setting 7.3 million viewers tuned in last night to see Rick, Lori, Shane and the gang continue their apocalyptic journey.
Stop waiting for a streetcar to pick you up! Get on your fixed-gear and go get yourself a "poop as you go" TOTO Biogas Bike. This Japanese invention runs completely on human waste and the company calls poop the "new coal."
TOTO is predominately a toilet maker but thought they'd try their hand at making motorcycles that not only run on poop, but use “residual light imagery to write messages in the air as it zooms by." Not to mention, it “can also play music to entertain spectators.” Finally, the toilet actually talks, a feature with which TOTO has been equipping many of its toilets.