Friday, December 17, 2010

Clean Slate

I’ve been reading for about, oh, 6 months. Initially, I kind of liked their sort-of outsider perspective. They always had a different take on issues than anyone else.

Then I slowly realized it’s not so much outsider as . . . they’re kind of just haters. The reason they always have a different perspective is that they disagree with EVERYTHING. I haven’t actually figured out what anyone there stands for other than against anything anyone else may have thought up. They even recently had an article with a polemic against the caps lock key. Seriously. This is what ruins their days at Slate. Oh. And they have Christopher Hitchens. ‘Nough said. Usually they only have positive columns of the “best of” variety. Everything else is “What Just Happened and Why It’s Bad – and You’re an Idiot If You Think Otherwise.”

I’m not against the contrarian viewpoint. I like a little versus. It ain't all gumdrops and daffodils. But honestly, just statistically speaking, not everything can be wrong. All the time. Here’s an editorial assignment for the people at Slate: go out and do a human interest story about, I don’t know, puppies or rainbows or baby smiles.

And don’t turn it into a column about how puppies are so over-rated.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say . . . come sit by me.

Well, Miss Gwyneth is getting lots of buzz for being a "best dressed" for this one. And I agree. She must have been the prettiest girl at Scores that night. Nothing like a laced up side-slit to say, "They don't call this a "gentleman's club" for nothing, mister." Course, given the view we have, I'm not really sure where the tip would go. G-strings are fun and functional, Gwynnie.

Alright, alright. I know I'm being a bitch about this. But sometimes, if you're going to wear something, yes, I'm going to talk about you. Yes, she looks gorgeous. Yes, she can get away with it. Yes, the dress is hot as hell. Hot. And whorey. Or strippery. Because, frankly, I've seen way too many dresses like this on actual strippers (don't ask me how) to not recognize the inspiration. Of course if this were an actual stripper, she wouldn't have the nun neckline.

And I'm from Texas. I have a genetic predisposition to point out when somebody showed up at the party showing off the good china. But, here's a little secret, if you are the girl who shows up in the little cha-cha dress, we just love you. Don't ever stop. You're the bit of sauce that makes the dish. Every party needs a little something to talk about.

Cheers, Gwynnie. You look . . . amazing. Yes, that's the word. I truly am amazed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Corps de Ballet

Okay, this is about the ballet dancer that the ballet critic said was a few sugar plums over fairy weight. I’ve seen the footage. Let’s just start with, she’s not fat. And the fact that she considers herself “womanly” is a measure of how wonky the ballet perception of body types is. Womanly? Not by a long shot, Slim. From the description I was expecting, if not a Fantasia-style dancing hippo, then at least something that approached voluptuous. Instead, she has the kind of build most women won’t see after their 18th birthday. And, at least to my eyes, she appears light and floaty, like any other dancer.

And actually, I think it’s one of those things where when you’re inside the group you just don’t see the group think. Yes, there’s a certain ideal in ballet. There’s an ideal in the fashion industry. There’s an ideal in professional football. But that doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t fit the ideal can’t achieve. Could a ballerina who is truly overweight achieve something graceful and visually appealing? Possibly, but you might never get to see it if she could. Because she isn’t what a choreographer sees in their mind’s eye, she might never get a chance.

Sure, every industry has the right to set their own standards. But ballet would do well to remember what happened to the American car industry. They fell into group think about what an ideal American car should be. And slowly but surely, that ideal became less and less what actual Americans wanted to buy. They idealed themselves right out of the market. Fashion is seeing this with their waif-like ideal. Major fashion houses are going under for sticking to that ideal, and Jessica Simpson is approaching the $1 billion dollar mark in sales designing for people who aren’t stick figures (gawd I love that – go, Jess). And people like my Mom, who appreciate a fast-paced version of football that the titans of the NFL aren’t able to achieve, are now watching college ball, where the players still look like someone you could actually meet on the street, without worrying about being squashed.

But apparently, the fact that so few people have any interest in the ballet as an art form hasn’t penetrated yet. Maybe if more parents hesitate to send their daughters to ballet class out of fear of their child developing a warped body image, maybe then they might get the message. Or maybe they’ll stick to their ideal right into oblivion along with the Humvee. A shame, considering how much grace and discipline the ballet can teach.

TIME: Quotes of the Day