Thursday, April 7, 2011

Duckie FTW

Okay, as the Charlie Sheen cataclysm roils and spews (latest: he basically killed his dog and bombed like atomic napalm in Detroit), I’d like to redirect attention for the moment to – the normal guy.

John Cryer. Gawd bless him. Calmly went about his business as basically the third banana behind Sheen and the half man on Two and a Half Men. But nobody appreciates the straight man, right? Then after the ‘splosion, he stayed firmly on the high road. And when the Sheen slime got splashed on him, he defended himself with grace and humor (his troll bit on Conan was funny without being on the offensive, good for him), and then calmly went about his business.

So, what has he been doing with his time off? Challenging himself by taking a roll in the crazy talented cast of the concert version of Company with the New York Philharmonic, that's what. He’s singing with Patti Lupone. That’s one ballsy boy. Kind of makes the Violent Torpedo of Truth look a little tame. And lame.

So, Jon Cryer, I salute you. You were once again upstage by an alcoholic, and stayed a normal guy. I hope you rock the hell out of the stage at the NY Phil. And finally that Hollywood will find something appropriate that will appreciate your talent. Your Try Some Tenderness still gets me. And I still think Andi was a fool. You deserve to finish last, my friend.

La Dolve Vita

I wonder so much if we’re going to change as a society when we realize that all the things that make us think we’ve got a “good life” are really screwing us up. Like “I’d be living the good life if I could afford a Birkin bag and a Mercedes.” Okay, you spent so much time working to afford that bag that you didn’t have any time to spend with your friends and family. And driving around in that Mercedes is costing you a fortune in gas and insurance (more work) and putting pollutants in the air and heat in the environment and . . . is this really what good is?

And even something like “Eat Pray Love” which takes really simple concepts and turns them into a consumerist commodity. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars to go on a dream vacation to discover good food, spirituality and human connection. You could do all that by going to your community garden – eat the tomato you grew yourself, pray that there’s enough rain and learn to do something really, really nuts like learning to love your neighbor. Okay, your neighbor is probably not Javier Bardem. So maybe you just like your neighbor. What a concept.

I guess what I’m saying is that any time somebody is trying to sell you something that will make you happy, stop. Think. They are trying to sell you something. It’s coming from outside of you. It’s a trick! You and I both know that happiness doesn’t come from outside. How do we keep forgetting? I’m not going Luddite, anti-consumerist, long-haired, hippie freak. Some of that shit you can buy is cool as hell. Cool is fun. Fun is not happy. We shouldn’t tie ourselves in knots for fun. We shouldn’t work ourselves to death trying to buy happy. You can’t buy the good life. You can only live the good life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We love you, Miss Hannigan!

So, I’m sort of into Kickstarter.

Background is that the Texas legislature pretty much gutted the funding for the Texas Council for the Arts. Way bummer. Kind of. I know it would seem like I’d be the kind of person who would be really pissed off that we can bankroll things like the Super Bowl, but not scrape up some change for arts in this damn state. The elitist, espresso-sipping, ur-snob side of my personality should be totally bent. Maybe the proletarian, tequila-swilling barbarian side too.

But, to be honest, I’ve always been a little ambivalent about government money in the arts. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and all that. And given the watered down, stand-for-nothing, politically correct wankers that populate the government from city hall to Capitol Hill, the tune they will pay for is probably from Kenny G.’s greatest hits. Not that there’s not a place for the mainstream, but in the interests of artisitic integrity and freedom of expression, I believe that, by and large, art should be independent, grass-roots and responsible to no one but its creator’s vision.

Aaaaaand, I step off my soapbox.

Anyhoodle, I found Kickstarter. It’s this website where you can find creative projects that need funding. Anything from somebody who needs start up funds to get an invention off the ground to someone who is trying to fund an independent film. Kinda cool. You’re not going to get a cut if they succeed. But it’s a way to directly give your charitable donations (if they’re earmarked for the arts the way mine are) to somebody’s dream project that you’d like to help happen. It’s not like I could bankroll a mural or a play on my own. But my $5 plus somebody else’s $5 plus somebody else’s . . . Things can happen.

So today was my favorite Kickstarter moment, probably forever. A bunch of elementary school kids from Dallas need $500 to put on a production of Annie. Awesome. I looked at what they needed to make their goal and thought “I can do that.” So I dropped them some dough (not a lot, I’m not a Rockefeller), and put the munchkins over the top. Hell, yeah. That felt good! I’m imagining a class full of kids boogeying down because they gonna put on a show. Who knows? Maybe there’s some little budding Carol Burnett who will look back on this moment when she got to play Miss Hannigan as the moment it all started.

And if there are about 2 dozen kids who will be driving every adult in their life compeletely bananas for the next 2 months by singing The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow nonstop . . . oh, geez. Even better!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wake up before you go-go 80s

Okay, here's a fashion tip - The 80s are back, but they're not THAT back. If you're rocking your Me Decade fashion and you were suddenly transported back in time to - say a Duran Duran concert and no one could tell that you came from the future, then you are doing it wrong.

If you are sitting on top of a mountain of neon over-sized t-shirts, shorty running shorts, Dynasty-era bejewelled sweater dresses, jelly shoes and hot pink lipstick, just waiting for the day that it all comes back - stop. Keep key pieces. Anything well-made, in good condition, with interesting design elements that hark back to a specific era. But not the excesses of that era. For instance, for an 80s look, say yes to a bold shoulder. Say no to 2-inch shoulder pads with a puff sleeve. If you have to turn sideways to get through a door, it's time to throttle back, Maverick. And, given all that, you can wear it one pieced at a time. One.

And yes, this is coming up because I saw it this morning. The epic, head-to-toe 80s look. The hair, moussed. The eyeshadow, purple (with purple mascara - I didn't even know they still made purple mascara). The shoulders, wiiiiiiidddddeee. With leggings and pointy-toed flats. If it was a costume party, she'd a won. But no. Just headed to work. I get the feeling that this gal has just been sitting on a pile of this stuff, waving a fist in the air, "You'll see! You'll all see! It will come back! And I'll be ready!!"

Yes, honey. You're right. It did come back. But there was a catch. It's been "updated". That's how they get you. And the other thing I always say is, if you wore it as a teenager the first time it came around, you're probably too old to wear it by the time it comes back. Fashion never stops, and neither does the clock.

TIME: Quotes of the Day