Friday, December 29, 2006

Wedding Crashers Part Deux

As someone who has never been a bride I can't pretend to understand the stresses brought on by wedding planning. Still, I do have an inkling how difficult the whole lead up to the aisle can be for the majority of the betrothed. They worry about just about every detail, big and small, from the location of the reception to choice of appetizers to the color of the monogram on the hand towels in the restrooms. The fact that no one cares about any of these things as long as the booze flows freely is entirely beside the point.

The one detail that is paramount, however, is the guest list. Good guests make for a good party, so for all brides-to-be out there, please keep in mind that virtually above all else, this is the one thing that must be given a great deal of thought. To that end, I'd like to offer up this little piece of advice: Just in case you were debating your list of prospective invitees and thought to yourself, "Should I invite the water buffalo next door, or should I just hope he doesn't hear about our wedding through the grapevine?" girls always, always err on the side of inclusiveness.

One young Cambodian bride learned this lesson the hard way when, in one of the most compelling reenactments of Deniro's oscar winning turn as Raging Bull, a water buffalo who was clearly feeling slighted made a mad dash for her buffet table. The hungry, hungry buffalo also took down six of the invited guests, leaving a trail of cocktail weiners and buffalo chips in his wake. When asked to comment, the water buffalo merely huffed, farted then trotted back to his pond where he was promptly shot by hungrier guests.

So brides-to-be, please take note, though I understand worrying about place cards may seem like a life or death matter to you now, I'd spend just a little more time appeasing the neighbors. Because the thing is, it's your party, and no one--behorned or not--should be fiercer than you on your wedding day!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

France 24

Despite popular opinion in this country that 24 hours a day of television broadcast with a "distinctly French point of view" is 23 hours, fifty-nine minutes and fifty-seven seconds a day too many, I, personally have been intrigued by the concept of France24, France's new news and culture network. And this has nothing to do with the fact that a very good friend of mine and the author of one of our generation's best novels is now one of the head honchos at France 24.

No, I'm fascinated because ever since I saw this commercial, I can't stop thinking to myself, "the French really are different than you and me." Take a look:

Can you imagine this playing in Peoria? Well, that's exactly what I'm going to ask you to do. (Come on, it's XMas week and I'm feeling too overfed and lazy to break it down for you myself right now.) So have a think on this one for a little while and we'll discuss further in 2007.

Meanwhile, hope you're still enjoying a joyeux Noel!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas, Christmas People!

Just wanted to wish all a wonderful holiday -- and remind you that there are only 365 shopping days left till next Christmas!

(And to all the rest, look forward to seeing you at the Woody Allen festival at the Film Forum! I'll be the one smelling of kung pao chicken.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

China to Adopters: "No Fatties"

So the Chinese government's Center for Adoption Affairs has just announced plans to tighten requirements for those would be Chinese baby cherry pickers. According to an article in the Star-Telegram, people who may no longer be eligible for Chinese adoptions include:

• Unmarried people (ed: Sorry lonely ladies, we don't want you either!)
• Overweight people with a body mass index greater than 40 (ed: No one likes a fatty!)
• Those older than 50 (ed: Look oldies, mutual diaper changes aren't "adorable.")
• People who take medicine for depression or anxiety or have a "severe facial deformity" (ed: If you weren't anxious enough about the way you looked before, now you have real reason to be!)
• Other potential restrictions could require an adoptive family to earn more than $80,000 a year. (ed: Really, poor people, we know you're plenty good at having babies on your own.)

The Chinese government would like you to know, however, that it still welcomes adopters who are attractive and famous. (ed: Hey, Angie and Brad, we're looking at you. Come on, show us some love!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sad News For Meddling Kids Everywhere...

Dear Yogi, Fred, Tom, Jerry, Shaggy, Scooby, Elroy, Vanity Smurf, et. al,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this note to express my sympathy for the death of your father, Joseph Barbera, one half of the ingenious creative animation team, Hanna-Barbera. Joseph Barbera was a true inspiration to me, a man who filled on average 8.4 hours of each day when I was a kid, back in the days before parents understood that that much TV watching turned the contents of a child's head into rubber cement. He made me laugh, he made me snort, he made me shoot Froot Loops from my nose in moments of uncontrollable mirth.

Joseph Barbera was my babysitter by proxy. My substitute for books. My reason for spending my entire childhood indoors. He left an indelible mark on my psyche. He left me illiterate until I was 17. Needless to say, he will be missed tremendously. And every time I yell "Yabba Dabba Doo!" "Exit, stage left!" or go on a bender and come home to stuff my face with Scooby snacks, I will be reminded of his legacy.

There is one question, however, that has nagged at me all these years, and I fear now might be the only time I can get it answered. So forgive the timing and any hard feelings this is likely to dredge up, but, "Hanna-Barbera," why? Why, when B so clearly comes before H, does Hanna get top billing? Was there some sort of feud that went on between these prolific partners? I know the pat response is probably going to be that Hanna-Barbera is a more syllabically pleasing rhythm. Ha-nna-Bar-ber-a sounds better than Bar-ber-a-Ha-nna, but still? Wasn't he even the least bit miffed that the rules of alphabet supremacy didn't apply? Was that really the true animus behind many of their more sadistic creations (and let's be real, much of that stuff was mean shit. Tom was, after all, brought into the house to ruthless execute the mouse, Jerry.)

William Hanna openly confessed, "I was never a good artist," and it was apparently widely acknowledged that Barbera was the duo's gag writer, too. So what did Hanna bring to the table that entitled him to firstsies? Again, I apologize if this brings up hard feelings, but I've always been a "meddling kid"... and I think we all know, we have your father to thank for that.

With greatest sympathy,
Robin Epstein

P.S. You are going to write, "Exit, stage left!" on his tombstone, right?
P.P.S. Sure sucks for Chris Hayward, another brilliant TV writer who created The Munsters and wrote for Rocky and Bullwinkle, who also just died. I mean he really gets second billing having the great misfortune of croaking the same week as Joeseph Barbera, no? But maybe this means there's some justice for Barbera in death after all!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Prufrock, Revised

With no apologies to T.S. Eliot whatsoever...

The Love Song of A. Leanora Mortimearst
By R.K. Epstein

LET us roll then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a text message from an undesirable guy;
Let us Escalade, to a certain district of Meat,
Happily gentrified through PR heat
Purged of trannies who trolled the street
And carcasses hanging by their feet:
Streets that unfurl off the grid
Now laden with galleries where we bid
But lest you worry your entitled head…
No need to ask, “Are we on the list?”
Hello? We’re in the social register, we can’t be dissed.

In the club trustafarians wax and wain
Pretending they must ride the eLevated train.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “What to wear?” and, “What to wear?”
Time to pick a charity to co-chair,
Blonde extensions woven in my hair—
[They will say: “How her breasts sag!”]
My Tory Burch coat accessorized with Balenciaga bag,
My gown on loan, my tasteful promotional Jag—
[They will say: “I heard her husband’s a fag.”]
Do I dare
Start my own fashion line?
In a New York minute there is time
To decide if I should distinguish papa’s name from mine.

For I have been there, done that, seen it all:—
Have known the Cosmos, the Gins and Tonics,
I have measured out my life with Manolo Blahniks;
I’ve purged myself silly for the new line of fall
To be a size zero, requires wheatgrass colonics.
So how should I consume?

And I have known the eyes already, from the Chapin days—
The eyes that fix you in that awkward phase,
And when I am insulted, called out on Page Six,
When I am photographed in a boozy haze,
Then how should my publicist fix
The stories unfolding about my ancestors the hicks?
And how should I perfume?

I could be big in Japan
Sign autographs for my Oriental fans.
. . . . .
No! I am not Princess Leia, nor was meant to be;
I’m a socialite, one that will do
To swell a party, start a foundation or two,
Advise the junior league; sit on a board,
Pray my husband isn’t caught being untoward.

I grow old … I grow old …
I’ll inject botulism into my nasolabial fold.

Shall I part my hair? Do I dare to design a handbag?
I shall wear Dolce and Gabbana, let the tongues wag.
I have heard the debs chattering, hag to hag.

I do not think that they will chatter to me...

Oh, but surely you realize this is a joke,
Because I’m the bespokest of bespoke.
And if that isn’t enough to make me da bomb,
Recall my billing on!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Truth in Advertising

As I was reading today's New York Times Circuits section and flipped to its back page, I nearly choked on my chocolate chip muffin when I saw an ad for the Samsung BlackJack. The ad features a pretty model, the bold text reads, rachel2, and its tagline is, "your style to a higher power. the slimmer, smarter Samsung BlackJack." (NB: apparently capitalizing the first letter in a sentence is for those of us with lower powers.) The Rachel in the ad is actually Rachel Zoe, the Hollywood stylist most famous for transforming Nicole Richie from a zaftig sidekick into that fabulous-bag-of-bones we've come to admire. In other words, Zoe is the one responsible for turning Nicole into a dangerously anorexic sliver of her former self. So that's a big bravo to Samsung for choosing a diet nazi to serve as the face of their slenderized product line. It's genius: they're literally calling it as we see it.

But what makes this Samsung ad so deliciously devious in addition to its liberal use of photoshopping? (The image it features of Zoe transforms her into a healthy Cheryl Tiegs-type when this is what she really looks like:)

The best part is the copy, which sounds more an ad for those pro-ana groups than for a souped-up telephone. Here it is:
What do you do when you style some of the most demanding A-list celebrities in Hollywood? Clone yourself. Or, if you're like Rachel Zoe, you use the new silm Samsung BlackJack smart device... Its ultra-slim profile with a large colorful display allows you to easily manage documens, email and text from anywhere. And you'll look good doing it.
Ultra-slims clones, eh? Well if that doesn't say what's in demand in Hollywood, I don't know what does!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dumbest Lyric... Ever?

Was just listening to the radio and heard what may well be the worst example of songwriting um, ever. But in fairness to John Bon Jovi, auteur behind the "Have a Nice Day" album, I do think this is the type of thing that requires a little comparative analysis.

So today begins the "Dumbest Lyric... Ever" contest. Beat this one, and, in addition to winning a real sense of personal satisfaction, you will gain my undying amazement (next we'll sponsor the "worst prize... ever" contest.)

Here's what you'll need to best:
"I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold."
(From "Who says You Can't Go Home?")

Good luck finding a better example of badness, you'll need it.

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