Hmmm, very confused. Actually, I've been confused about this particular topic for a week now. In case you haven't heard by now, apparently Madonna has filmed a commercial with Missy Elliot for... the Gap. I seem to recall a particular Vogue cover story from about 6 or 7 years ago, while filming Evita, in which she declared that she didn't wear American designers, and she wasn't a jeans kind of girl. Something along the lines of "Oh please, can you just see me wearing Donna Karan? I would *never* wear Gap or J. Crew." Oh well. I guess motherhood and cold hard cash changes one's fashion sense. Although she did don Dsquared's denim dungaries in the "Don't Tell Me" Video. Heh, heh. Sorry about that. Saw an opportunity for (poor) alliteration, and couldn't resist.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Monday, July 28, 2003
Psst! [furtive glances over both shoulders] Is it totally cheesy that I got a little teary eyed over Harry's proposal to Charlotte on SATC last night? Should I be ashamed?[whispering] Don't tell anyone It's the last season, and it'd be nice if one couple that I root for on a show I watch actually gets a happy ending. 'Cause Lord knows, if Joss had something to say about it, some sort of traumatic and tragic sacrifice would occur.
Thursday, July 24, 2003
I have finally given in, and started watching reality television. I confess: I am quickly becoming a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy addict. Truth be told, I also watched every single episode of Project Greenlight, when they were making "Stolen Summer." And yes, I watched some of "the Osbornes." I find a little comfort in telling myself that these shows are on cable, because monkeys will fly out of my ass before I watch The Bachelor, or Survivor, or American Idol, or Joe Millionaire (you get the idea), although The Restaurant seems intriguing. It's an NBC show though, so I have my doubts...
I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life, but to be fair, I think I may have been standing on the same corner for about 5 years. The question that I keep pondering is, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Am I the only one at my age who's not really sure? Many of my friends actually have vocations, and seem to know what they're doing, careerwise. I've been working at the same place for 5 years, and not really going anywhere. For the most part, I enjoy working with the people I do work with, but I know that the work that I do (pushing paper) is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I feel a general sense of wasted potential, yet can't seem to motivate myself enough to get back into school. I fantasize about switching to a complete different career, but with the sort of lifestyle I'm living, and the pay cut I'd be taking, it's just not that feasible.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Anne and I were lucky enough to catch a free sneak preview of Pirates of the Carribbean last night, courtesy of my neighbor, Michael. Walter, another neighbor, and his girlfriend, Julie, who were also gifted with free passes had the misfortune of sitting next to us as we giggled and cooed our way through the evening. We managed to restrain ourselves (somewhat) once the film started rolling, but I can’t imagine what will happen on a second viewing, with Carla present. At one point, before the movie even started, Walter shot us a look of amused exasperation that we are quite familiar with. Anyways, it was a fun summer movie. I actually enjoyed it, but I can’t say there wasn’t a certain... bias I had in its viewing. Johnny Depp was pretty good, and the Elizabeth, female character (played by the chick from “Bend it Like Beckham”) wasn’t as annoying as I thought she’d be. She was actually pretty... resourceful.
On a sidenote, here’s some pirate fun.
Sunday, July 06, 2003
So it’s been more than a month since Buffy ended. There’s been a multitude of reasons why I haven’t really written about it yet, but it’s been on my mind. Yesterday, I watched “Legally Blonde 2”, as well as an outdoor performance of "The Bacchae" and today, I watched “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” Coupled with a lively discussion over brunch this morning with Ryan, Zack and Anne,concerning female empowerment, I suppose it’s the right time to discuss the Buffy finale.
I’m reluctant to say this, but it should come as no surprise that I was a bit disappointed by the finale. I mean, in comparison to “Becoming,” (Buffy kills Angel, as his soul is restored, among other things) or “The Gift”, (Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn) the finale didn’t carry nearly the same emotional heft as previous season finales, or the same sort of satisfaction/resolution. I suppose, though, that for a beloved cult series with richly interwoven storylines, it’s hard to write an ending that will satisfy all its fans and tie up all the dangling plot threads. But c’mon – why were we only given one hour? As Anne put it, is “if Dawson’s fucking Creek and the Gilmore Bitches got two hours, why could Buffy???” I’m sure that the amulet will be explained on “Angel” next season, and the scythe (or axe or whatever) has appeared in Fray, but there was like, no setup for them. I mean, that old woman in that cave was just lame. Joss has pulled similar stunts before, i.e., Anya’s suggestion to use Olaf’s troll hammer (from “Triangle”) and that glowy orb thing (from “No Place Like Home”) in “The Gift” or Willow calling on D’Hoffryn in “Selfless” by using the pendant that was given to her in “Something Blue”. These new props just appeared with no real explanation or backstory… they just served as a deux ex machina. I was also disappointed with the potential storylines and character interactions that never happened. Wouldn’t it have been interesting to show an actual conversation between Willow and Faith? When we last saw them before this season, they hated each other. Since then, Willow’s had a walk on the dark side, and Faith has been in self-imposed incarceration in an attempt to redeem herself. Shouldn't they have a lot to talk about? What did Jonathan/the First mean when he said, “it’s not [Spike’s] time yet”? Was Joyce’s appearance to Dawn actually the First? (One of the writers recently confirmed this was so… would’ve been nice to mention it onscreen.) And okay, so the Hellmouth is closed, the ubervamps are dusted, but is the First really defeated? We’re talking about the origin of evil, here. This season’s premise was also set up in such a way to make us expect a much bigger storyline – The First is trying to eliminate the Slayer line, and Buffy tries to stop it – than the way it actually played out: Buffy makes a bunch of speeches to a bunch of annoying Potentials. How can you wrap up a season that just (let’s face it) doesn’t live up to the previous ones?
I started thinking about individual characters and their storylines. Really, only one other storyline drove the show this year – Spike and his redemption. It’s a bit of a mind fuck, to think that when he first appeared, Spike was this totally badass Slayer-killing vampire, but it turns out that he was a mama’s boy who wrote bad poetry, got vamped, spent a hundred years or so killing humans, fell in love with Buffy, sought a soul, then wound up sacrificing himself to save the world. To create and develop a character who evolves as he did, and keep him compelling is quite a feat. James Marsters and the writers did a terrific job transforming a mass-murderer and the heroine’s would-be-rapist into a sympathetic character, and the aforementioned heroine’s most loyal champion, to boot (Did any of that make sense? It made sense in my head. Sorry about that. But I’m not gonna change it). The only other character that has changed that much is Willow. (Altough the seeds of her path into darkness were planted quite early on, the magick crack addiction as the explanation was lame… but that belongs in a different discussion) It’s too bad that the WB had to announce that Marsters would be on the cast of Angel next year before the “Buffy” finale, thus reducing the emotional impact of Spike’s sacrifice.
When I thought about Buffy’s storyline, the themes behind the series, what the season so far had led up to – female empowerment, and how having that power thrust on her forced her to isolate herself - well… the way the series ended is actually quite touching. Buffy, with Faith, chooses to share her (their) power, and makes all the Potentials into Slayers (even though they’re annoying as fuck. Couldn't Kennedy have died?). Buffy gets the one thing she thought she’d never have – a chance at a (somewhat) normal life… one that doesn’t involve an expiration date. (Of course, since this is Joss, the man she loves - and she does love you Spike! - dies believing that she doesn't love him.) I realize that opens up a whole new can of worms (what if there’s a bunch of Faiths running loose in the world??) but Joss Whedon, through Buffy’s final speech, delivers a message, saying every female can be, and is, strong. To me, what makes Buffy a hero and a feminist icon isn’t that she simply has superpowers, but with all the shit she has to go through, she still gets up and tries – she doesn’t give up, and remains focused on doing the right thing. I only wish I had that kind of drive and determination, but it’s nice to know that someone out there believes in us.
So now, I've got four images of female power before me - Charlie's Angels, where women with power are extremely sexualized, Legally Blond, where a blond airhead ditzes her way to the top with the assistance of sorority sisterhood (huh?), the Bacchae, with its frenzied Maenads, and of course, Buffy. Hmm. To be continued.