Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Hollywood

As I'm sure you all know, there is a huge grassroots movement spreading throughout the US that originated in NYC, called Occupy Wall Street. I, for one, am glad to see this. The American populace is finally rising up against these shameless corporate crooks who basically bankrupted the middle class, but took their tax dollars to save their sorry asses, and are now back to making record profits, while that same middle class struggles to survive.

I read a great article on the Huffington Post by Jo Piazza stating why it's time to Occupy Hollywood and target celebrities who rake in ludicrous amounts of money for "entertaining" us. She states that most celebrities are on a higher pay scale than most CEOs, surgeons and lawyers. They are in a class all their own - the overpaid and overblown.

We, as the consumer, are not entirely innocent. No one has boycotted these celebrities in protest of their completely disproportional salaries. No one has refused to pay the thousands of dollars that people like Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, of Jersey Shore fame now commands for speaking engagements (that's an oxymoron, if I ever heard one). 

I was perturbed by the apparent dumbing down of America to the point of simply accepting that the Kardashian family rakes in millions in a single year. And for what? Airing their dirty laundry on TV? Who are these people? And why do we care?

Sure, we can probably all admit we have a secret weakness when it comes to reality television or such and such a celebrity but the reality of a growing number of Americans is forcing us (even us Canadians) to reevaluate where our values lie. We cannot simply continue within the status quo.

Michael  Moore appeared for a full hour on Piers Morgan Tonight this week, along with a live studio audience. Listening to the stories of these average Americans was heartbreaking. University graduates with Masters' degrees, crushing debt and no job; middle class folk behind in their mortgage and bill payments, struggling to make ends meet; people working well into their 70s to be able to afford health care. This is more than just "not ok"; it's criminal.

There is enough wealth on this planet to feed, clothe and shelter every human being on it. Why is the equitable distribution of wealth such an unacceptable concept? What are the obscenely wealthy so afraid of? They would have much less to fear with a general population that is thriving and content.

One way this incredibly lopsided distribution of wealth will change is if the consumer changes, and demands that the entertainment industry cease to pay these ridiculous amounts of money to "stars", and adopt a more reasonable pay scale, especially for such luminaries as Kim Kardashian and Snooki. And if they don't, we'll simply boycott the celebrities. 

We seem to forget, the consumer holds all the power, not the celebrity, and not the entertainment industry. Without fans, the celebrity is nothing, just another face in the crowd. It's time to wield that power, people.

Instead of paying some celebrity a gazillion dollars to appear in some mediocre Hollywood flick, how about paying them less and reinvesting the rest into creating jobs for people who desperately need them, and maybe throw in some benefits too. Is that really too much to ask?

Friday, October 21, 2011

The delinquent yogini

This weekend, I'll be attending a yoga workshop with a world-renowned teacher focused on detoxification. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing but I suspect my delinquent yogini ways will be challenged. 

I'm guessing there'll be discussions on healthy eating (i.e. no meat, caffeine or sugar). If I attempted to remove these things from my diet, I would be suicidal. I was once treated by a naturopath and had to completely cut out dairy, caffeine and sugar for a month. I felt great physically but I was cranky, obsessed with food and any capacity for joy had all but evaporated. That must be how supermodels feel. Now I know why Naomi Campbell throws phones at people.

Life without that sweet, warm elixir known as coffee would be, quite frankly, unbearable. The promise of that first, piping hot cup of coffee is pretty much the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Call it a soothing ritual, one that enables me to face the day ahead, and gives me a cool caffeine buzz. Hells ya.

Then there's the whole meat thing. I've tried to be a vegetarian but it never felt right. Or, more precisely, I didn't feel right when not regularly consuming meat. It's like something was off kilter. I was gassy and lethargic - a lethal mix since I couldn't even run away from my own heinous farts. 

Obviously, I don't condone the needless suffering of animals. Those raised for consumption should be treated in the most humane way possible. That being said, a Saturday morning without bacon is like Cher without Sonny (oh wait, they broke up, and he's dead - ok, bad analogy, but you get the drift).

I also drink, as in alcohol. I remember in my yoga teacher training, we were told drinking alcohol or consuming any substance that could alter our mood or perception of reality was like a "shortcut" to enlightenment, and by shortcut I mean "cheating". Instead of earning enlightenment through meditation, yoga and consuming only foods that purify the body, intoxicants "trick" the mind into unearned altered states. Well, I'm lazy and I like the taste of wine. 

I'm sure we'll also learn some yoga sequences over the weekend that help detox the body which is good since I'll probably have bacon breath and be a bit hungover.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Say it ain't so Joe... (I don't know who Joe is, it's a saying, just roll with it)

There I was, innocently perusing the Huffington Post when I came across not one, but two harrowing headlines: 1) a photo of Family Guy characters with the heading: Ending Soon? and 2) '30 Rock' may end this season. In the words of Elaine Benes, from the infamous Seinfeld episode The Contest: "Okay, you tryin' to hurt me? You tryin' to hurt me? You're tryin' to injure me, right? You're tryin' to hurt me..."

Seth MacFarlane has mentioned that there would still be a Family Guy movie every few years  instead of a TV series, but still. What about those years in between movie releases? I get that TV shows have a certain shelf life, and some do pass their expiration date. However, I don't feel that Family Guy has reached that point. 

I was kinda hoping it would be like the Simpsons, seemingly lasting forever. I want to say I understand where Seth is coming from, since change is inevitable and we need to embrace it but if I'm truly honest... f*ck that shit! You can't take away my weekly dose of Family Guy! What will I DO? 

It's the only antidote to political correctness, right-leaning religious fanatics, impotent journalism, broken democracy and vapid entertainment. In other words, it's a necessity to true democratic discourse. It's an anthropological record of 21st Century social mores. Are those enough fancy words strung together to sound like a seriously pondered argument? Good. I have no idea what they mean but they sound intelligent. 

Like that wasn't enough trauma for one day, I find out 30 Rock may be nearing its conclusion. I worship at the altar of Tina Fey. The very thought that this show might end is inconceivable. Why can't it go on indefinitely? I know Tina's had another kid, and Alec Baldwin would like to pursue other projects but c'mon people, you can't leave us in the lurch. 

You can't shower us with your brilliance every week, then just walk away. That's cruel. I mean, if there were other prospects out there, 30 Rock's absence might not be such a frightening thought and, like a break-up, it's always easier when a rebound is lined up, you know? But it ain't a "great comedy" buffet out there, if you get my drift. Shows of this caliber are rare which is why we cling so obsessively to them.

If you're going to produce socially-relevant, jaw-droppingly clever, thigh-slapping, laughter-inducing material, you should resign yourself to the fact that you can never, ever quit.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fun things to do when experiencing rage and despair

I've been under some serious emotional strain lately dealing with... difficult people. It hasn't been pretty. I left half a lemon in my desk drawer instead of putting it in the fridge. I haven't been on Facebook for like, a week. My boyfriend's giving me pep talks every night. It's f*cked up. So, I've been thinking of a few things that might be fun to do and may help me feel better...

1 - get completely smashed while watching the three Twilight movies on a continuous loop

2 - write a heartfelt letter to my Member of Parliament (that's the equivalent of a Congress rep for my American readers), asking him why the sun has stopped shining in my heart, and could he please get back to me ASAP otherwise I may drown in a pool of my own tears

3 - start my own version of America's Next Top Model - I would get to be Tyra Banks.

4 - get a shirt made with New Hampshire's motto Live free or die and wear it every day

5 - drink five caffeinated Venti Starbucks lattés in a row then try to meditate

6 - switch to a bacon-only diet

7 - adopt a pet rock, adorn it with a blue rhinestone collar, name it Wilson and bring it everywhere I go

8 - eat a "family-size" bag of Cheetos in one sitting

9 - write a dissertation on the benefits of slovenliness

10 - find out how many cosmos I can drink before passing out


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