Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Nancy Pelosi

So I’m at a book event for Nancy Pelosi last night, and it was kind of like watching the most depressing three ring circus of all time.  She wasn’t depressing, nor was the actual event itself, which should have been a nice evening, no, it was the members of my political party that decide the most logical way to behave in our current society is to act like children.

Here’s the scene.  This event was at the American Jewish University (not Berkeley, not UCSC), it cost $30 to attend, it was mostly well-off jews (what’s new in L.A., that’s pretty much everyone).  There were protesters, which is to be expected at events with major political figures, standing politely on the street with their signs, to which I say ‘fantastic, protest all you want.’  The atmosphere was definitely tense, as is the political climate throughout the country.  There was a battalion of police officers and secret servicemen (who were nice, but a little scary), there were private security officers, basically there was an army of law enforcement.  Now, I’m not the biggest fan of law enforcement and have been chased by a few police officers (I’ve always evaded them), I’ve nearly been arrested several times (it seems whenever I go to Santa Cruz, I come very close to being thrown in jail), and I was never a fan of authority, especially authority that carries guns and billy clubs.  And especially in Los Angeles (Capitola cops are just bored, L.A. cops are entirely different and kind of scary).

About an hour after the Speaker of the House started talking (and after I had consumed the first food I had time to eat all day, which consisted of two mint milano cookies), the screaming started.  Some guy was screaming at Pelosi about dead Iraqis and the normal stuff that we are all pissed off about.  This of course started a chain reaction of events, that basically devolved the event into shifting tenseness, and a few other people standing up and screaming.

Here’s my deal:  I get it.  I’m pissed off too.  I think this country is shooting itself in the foot; we’re going down fast and our elected officials don’t seem to be doing much to stop it.  If you care that strongly about it, get involved.  Get a job with Obama’s campaign, go join a lobby.  GET INVOLVED.  It’s one thing to be Michael Moore at the Academy Awards (which is a nationally televised event that tens of millions of people watch), it is quite another to scream and yell in front of 500 people and no press (plus, going to L.A. county jail in a suit or a dress and heels doesn’t seem like a great time to me).

I believe in free speech.  I’m not saying that these people don’t have a right to stand up and yell at the Speaker of the House about issues that they are passionate about, but really, what’s it going to accomplish?  This is something a child does.  They’re not getting their way so they simply yell.  Democrats of America, stop being fucking stupid, the only people you rally by doing stuff like that is people who are already on your side.  I think we saw with Reagan how reactionary methods can completely screw us over, so why are we using the same tactics?  I went to the protests against the Iraq War and guess what?  They didn’t accomplish anything.

Now I don’t know a whole lot about Pelosi (I just know what my mom told me when I asked her about it) but it seems like she’s not really the problem.  In fact, it seems like she might just be one of the only people who is intent on working and not fighting.  Let’s face facts, we’ve spent 50 years fighting each other in Washington and now we’re fucked.  Perhaps we should try working this out as adults and compromise and take little steps toward something better instead of violently shoving one way and having the pendulum come flying back the other way.  That hasn’t gotten us anywhere.

I was pretty disgusted with the actions of people that are on my side of the divide and for one moment I caught a glimpse of what the other side sees: a bunch of punk kids lashing out because they’re angry.  Well, I’m angry too and maybe instead of whining about it, we should actually do something that will garner results.

Peace, Love, and Politics,
Julia

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Books, Culture, Politics | Leave a comment

Seventh Heaven

The world as we know it is coming to an end.  I just thought you all should get the heads up seeing as you seem like the kind of people that like to be informed about things like this.  It’s the apocalypse.  How, you might ask, do I know this?  ABC Family has aired a show that may be the beginning of the end of Civilization as we know it (that is if said position has already been filled by George W. Bush).  I’m not going to lie to you, I was attracted to the show for two reasons, 1) it’s about teenagers and I’m a sucker for teen drama, and 2) it co-stars Molly Ringwald.  Yes folks, the lady that 80s danced into our hearts, the lady that made herself the ugliest prom dress of all time, the lady that made us girls fall in love with Jake Ryan.  That’s right, Molly Ringwald, the mistress of the Brat Pack is back and lord do I wish she’d stayed in the 80s.  To be fair, she’s not the problem.  It’s the show she’s on.  

So ABC Family started airing a new show called The Secret Life of the American Teen which was created by the same person that created Seventh Heaven, the long running show on The WB that showcased an overpopulated Christian family.  As horrifically offensive as Seventh Heaven was (and man did it browbeat Jesus into it’s viewers), this new show is even worse.  It’s as though the 1950s ideal of what was proper behavior by teenagers crashed into American teenagers in 2008.  Basically, it’s horrendously unrealistic.  It is taking the ideas of abstinence only education and over the top Christian morality and ramming them down the throats of its 2.8 Million viewers.  
And on top of the fact that it’s trying to cram a pro-fundamentalist agenda into an hour of television, the acting is undeniably awful, the writing is trite and unrealistic, and the plot lines are just appalling.  It’s about a Christian teenager who gets pregnant (she states at one point that she’s not sure she even had sex, score one for abstinence only education) and has to deal with the consequences.  Hm, Juno but crappy much?  The sub plots revolve around a christian couple who have decided to wait until marriage, but the guy in the relationship is an unrealistic horny teenager who thinks about nothing but sex 24 hours a day.  Now, I know what it is to be a horny teenager, but realistically, I can see something like 18 hours a day, maybe 12 hours a day, and even less if you want to make an interesting t.v. show, but come on.  And really, what kind of a shitty character thinks about only sex and nothing else?  Of course, he’s sixteen years old and asking his girlfriend to marry him as soon as they get out of high school presumably so they can have sex.  I personally don’t have a problem with sending the message that sex should wait until one is ready (they even waited on Gossip Girl, which looks like a Las Vegas burlesque compared to American Teen), but what kind of society do we live in where it’s completely acceptable to get married to someone simply because you want to fuck them.  And we wonder why kids are so screwed up when it comes to this kind of stuff.  I’d also like to point out that this is, for the most part, the same demographic that opposes gay marriage because they would ruin the sanctity of it.  
Oh yes folks, the end of the world is near.  And the American Teen is reigning it in.
Peace, Love, and Sex Before Marriage (because it’s the smart thing to do),
Julia

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Gay/Lesbian, Hollywood, Politics, Sex, Television | 1 Comment

Reflections on (Re)Watching 90210

Like I said a few days ago, I’ve been on a 90210 binge for the past week or so.  This is the show that made me love television, the show that everyone my age was completely addicted to, the show that shaped certain desires of mine that have yet to go away.  90210 went on the air in 1990, when I was approximately 7 years old.  Prompted by my best friend at the time, one Sarah Jones, I started watching the show mid way through season 1 and never looked back.  Of course, the cheesy dialogue and moral messaging was lost on my younger self.  I do, however, remember vividly the exact plot lines of all the major characters through the first 7 or 8 seasons.  What a strange and mysterious creature memory is?

What strikes me now is not merely the moral stronghandedness that permeates every episode, but the political awareness that is so prevalent among our favorite group of students at West Beverly.  It seems like every other week Andrea Zuckerman was leading protests determined to implement a condom distribution at West Beverly High, or the gang was leading a picket proclaiming the innocence of their best friend when she got drunk at prom and was forbidden to graduate (who can forget the ubiquitous chant ‘Donna Martin Graduates’?).  The political activism that ran like a carotid artery through the series would never ever make it on t.v. today.  Which begs the question, have teenagers become less political or does television just not portray it anymore?  It’s a chicken or egg question, but one that begs consideration.  
As much as the politicization of the West Bev gang is somewhat jarring when they are viewed with modern eyes, the most depressing? interesting? thought-provoking? themes and issues 90210 touched on are ones that would be completely relevant in any modern television show.  They talk about fighting against abstinence-only education in school and the potential harm that could cause.  They mention recycling and not using aerosol spray cans, so as to not cause harm to the already fragile environment.  They talk about taking care of veterans from a different Iraq War, but an Iraq War all the same.  If you lost the early 90s clothing that we all wish we could forget, the show would play today, and I’m pretty sure it would be just as popular as it was then.  The CW is banking on it.
Peace, Love and Random Thoughts,
Julia

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Hollywood, Politics, Television | | Leave a comment

Pride

The gays are out in L.A. this weekend.  That’s right, it’s pride weekend in L.A. and I had front row tickets.  Lord knows I can’t miss out on spending the weekend with a bunch of Fabulous men and women.  

For anyone who hasn’t experienced it Pride Weekend in West Hollywood looks something like a huge carnival full of beautiful men that have no interest in me and beautiful women who also have no interest in me.  They shut down San Vicente Blvd., take over multiple parking lots and a relatively large park, there are four different D.J. areas, all complete with dancing, there’s a gay cowboy/cowgirl area (one of my personal favorites), an erotica exposition area where proper use of whips and chains are demonstrated to the public (this area is also inhabited by many older people wearing neon fanny packs and sporting huge cameras, taking pictures of the cute boys in boxer-briefs who hand out condoms and flavored lube).  Basically, it’s my heaven. 
Now, in comparison to San Francisco, West Hollywood is just much different.  Not better or worse, but different.  It isn’t as in your face as San Francisco (I have to say, after hours in SF, I tend to have to have a whiskey or three; there are some things better left to the imagination), but there also aren’t as many drag queens.  In fact, I only saw one in WeHo.  She happened to be a pretty famous one named Chi Chi La Rue, but there was only one.  Drag Queens are one of my favorite parts of San Francisco and pride weekend, they’re just so over the top, so flamboyant, it brings out my inner fabulously gay man to be around them.  
Of course, this being Los Angeles, we had to have some wonderful movie items.  I happened to score a Mamma Mia! poster and a fan proclaiming me Dancing Queen.  There are some rather incriminating photos with a fake chiquita banana hat on and one with my head in the body of a buff cartoon proclaiming my avid use of rogaine.  
On the plus side I also got to sign up for the AIDS walk and the human rights council that fights for gay rights (I finally have time to take up political and humanitarian causes now that I’m not working 100 hours a week).  Plus, I got to dance to DJ Chi Chi La Rue.  
All in all, it was everything I could ever want from a pride weekend.  Free stuff, surrounded by people celebrating themselves (and their newfound right to marry), sun, and great music.  The only thing missing was my harem of gay men.  So fellas, next year I expect you to be here.
Peace, Love, and Girls who like Boys who like Boys,
Julia

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Gay/Lesbian, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Parties, Politics | Leave a comment

Failure?

I don’t know if anyone caught it, but last week on VH1 there was a great 4 part documentary called Sex: The Revolution.  It was a four hour series about the sexual revolution from the repressive 50s to AIDS and Reagan’s denial of it in the 80s.  It is a fantastic series.  If you have a TiVo see if you can catch it, otherwise you’ll just have to come visit me and watch it on my TiVo.  

There are about one million things that I want to talk about from this series, but one, in particular, sticks out.  In the first part, which is the part that brings us from the repressive 50s where Doris Day and Rock Hudson were the peak of sexuality (and a little figure named Kinsey changed everything) to the rumblings at Berkeley and Reagan’s witch hunt against university students who fought for free speech.  
Over the course of the hour one of the sentiments expressed is that of communication.  The documentary talks about how the early 60s were a time when freedom and honesty were really coming to the forefront as what people wanted.  Writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg spoke and wrote openly about their sexuality and sexual encounters.  Dean Moriarty in 1958 was a character that had sex with men and women, few of whom he was actually married to.  The piece goes on to say that the dishonesty and hypocracy that went along with sex, which was a dishonesty and hypocracy that permeated all socio-cultual strata, was really what the sexual revolution was fighting.  
So I want to know if this means that the sexual revolution was, at its core, a failure?  Our culture is still ripe with hypocracy and dishonesty about sex and sexuality (hello, abstinence only sexual education anyone?  And seriously, who is thinking that high school students are abstaining from sex voluntarily?).  But our culture is also still ripe with dishonesty and hypocracy at all levels.  In fact, we seem to be in a very similar situation.  Unpopular war, backlash against liberalism (Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, among others), bitter culture war, and little by little we are drawn out of the cave and into the light.  Maybe the legalization of gay marriage in California (and the hopefully ensuing domino effect) is the first of many wins in the culture war.  Then again, if we go that route can we expect a backlash like we got in the 80s?  And can America survive another Reagan?
I’d rather not see.  The bitter cold of England is looking mighty appetizing right now.
Peace, Love, and Unhappy Thoughts,
Julia  

May 22, 2008 Posted by | Brits, Culture, Education, Politics, Sex, Television | 1 Comment

If You Were Gay, That’d Be Okay

Congrats to my gays, you can finally get married (as if you haven’t been living in what anyone in their right mind would call a marriage).  I know I’m a few days late, but that’s how I roll.  I have to say, I’m glad California got it together, and what happens in California usually tends to create a domino effect to the rest of the country.  So this is what I have to say: fuck you Jerry Falwell and Ann Coulter, fuck you Mr. Bush, with your constitutional amendment, and a big up yours to all the politicians who tout their opposition to Gay Marriage while trying to get their dick sucked in an airport bathroom.  

And I say thank you to all gay people everywhere for sticking with this ridiculous system that has oppressed you and hated you and mistreated you.  Perhaps you can do better things with marriage than we straight people have (because we’re pretty bad at it apparently) and even if you can’t, there’s now way you can do worse.  
Peace, Love, and Same Sex Sex,
Julia
P.S. I apologize for any typos, I’ve had some whiskey and it’s late and I worked for 13 hours straight today. 

May 20, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Politics | Leave a comment

Unhappy Anniversary

I know I’m a few weeks late, but I couldn’t let this monumental anniversary pass without being noticed and discussed.  I spent all morning at Firestone tires (I got a flat, it’s actually miraculous that this doesn’t happen more often seeing as many roads in Los Angeles have pot holes big enough to be portals to the Land of Narnia) listening to Democracy Now!  I know, it’s majorly leftist and biased, but guess what?  So am I.  And I know, Amy Goodman has NPR voice that reminds me of the Schwetty Balls skit from SNL with Molly Shannon and Alec Baldwin, but it’s putting out news that no one else is so I’m going to listen to it.  So I’m sitting in Firestone Tires on Highland and Sunset in the little makeshift lounge, surrounded by fake plants and tires.  I’m drinking my folgers coffee out of a small styrafoam cup, almost as if I’m waiting for my car to get out of the hospital.  The small T.V. in the corner is playing Regis and Kelly, who are fighting a yeti (that is not a joke, quality television right there), and I’m on the red vinyl couch tearing up as I listen to soldiers talking about the atrocities they have committed.

Yes, if you haven’t picked up on it I’m talking about the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.  Coincidentally, it comes about a week before the 40th Anniversary of the My-Lai Massacre.  I’ve spent the whole weekend listening to American Idiot, the Green Day Album, and have been planning out a piece on how Green Day is actually the most important band of the last 15 years.  And I’ve been thinking about one of my roommates in college and how she wrote a paper on protest music that came out around two years after the war started and how that compared to Vietnam War protest music (if said friend reads this and still has that paper, I want to read it please).  So I’ve got all these conflicting and converging ideas and I’m going to try to reconcile them here because apparently that’s what I do.  
Five years in Iraq.  I know the comparison to Vietnam has been done, but it’s true.  Sure Vietnam went on for 16 years, but we’re degenerating into never ending war, into war where the occupied country that we’re supposedly liberating hates us for destroying any semblance of peace that they had under a military dictatorship.  It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten the fact that history has tended to win out on the side of democratic republic and constitutional societies.  It might seem kind of harsh, and I am by no means advocating the fact that we should just let violence go unchecked in any country, but to a certain extent independent countries need to find their own brand of government, the kind that works for them.  Like I said, it sounds harsh, but if you think about it, most ‘developed’ nations went through some sort of revolution or civil war in order to become what they are now (whether or not this is a path that all countries should follow is a completely different argument).  
These last three years of Bush’s Presidency have marked ever growing dissatisfaction with the job that the present administration has done but he was reelected in 2004.  I think that it’s important to remember that even though most of the people who receive this email did not approve of Bush, even then, approximately 50% of the country did (let’s not get into an unfairly won election debate, I’m saving it for the Associated Press).  However, directly before the 2004 election, a handful of bands came out with war/Bush protest music.  The most important of which was Green Day and their American Idiot album.  They were really the only band that came out with an album that was almost entirely about the sad state of our nation.  I’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop all weekend and I came to the conclusion that between Dookie in 1994 and American Idiot in 2004, Green Day was really the band that defined the era (Kurt Cobain died about three weeks after Dookie came out, so Nirvana doesn’t really count in this).  Green Day went from this fun and funny punk band with three-chord songs about going crazy and masturbating to a musically complicated band determined to make the world a better place.  
I guess what I really reacted to when I was listening to Amy Goodman, and what I’ve been reacting to with Green Day is remembering a time when I was young and naive and still held some sort of hopeful romantic notions about the world, namely this country.  I remember being in college class after college class and arguing that we need to find a new way to protest.  I went to all those Iraq war protests in San Francisco and it didn’t help anything; it’s actually not a well publicized fact, but that’s the reason I wanted to get into film.  I saw what Michael Moore was doing in bringing awareness to ‘the masses’ and realized that this might be the most effective way to protest.  Since then I’ve broadened what I think about protest to art and activism, those seem to be what works, and I’ve actually grew to hope a little more, thanks to a certain presidential candidate, but I must say, sometimes our situation seems futile, sometimes it seems that we are doomed to inherit the pain and suffering of my parents generation.  
My mom said something to me in response to my ’70s inquiry that has stuck with me.  She talked about the veterans coming back from Vietnam and pointing out that those college kids protesting had no idea the evils of war and what it was like, they were spoiled pampered kids who shouldn’t talk about things they didn’t know about.  Now, I have no illusions of which side I am on in this discussion, nor do I try to speak about the atrocities that are most certainly happening in Iraq, but what I will say is that it is scary to be in the crux of history repeating itself.  It’s scary to be aware of it and to not know what you can do to stop it, if anything can be done.  It’s scary to think that democrats might bicker their way to a McCain victory and we could be stuck in Iraq for ‘10000 years.’  But I guess that’s what I’ve come to as a young adult; through my period of despair directly succeeding the 2004 election to where I am now, still skeptical with a little hope, it seems like I’ve finally found some middle ground.  It’s far left middle ground, but middle nonetheless.
Peace, Love, and Peace,
Julia

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Environment, Politics | Leave a comment

Women’s Movement 2008

So I was listening to NPR the other day, I forget if it was before or after the Iowa Caucus, but there was a woman on who was utterly appalled that these young women were not going to vote for Hilary Clinton.  She was in her fifties and even though she is basically for the same things I’m for, she managed to really piss me off.  Like seriously get under my skin.  I like to think of myself as seriously liberal.  I mean I grew up in the Bay Area, my parents are ultra-liberal, I don’t think I’d met a real, true conservative (in every sense of that word), actually I still don’t know that I’ve met someone that really is a less government, anti-abortion, pro-gun control, anti-gay marriage conservative.  

On the other hand, seeing as I was raised in such a politically correct town, I also have major issues with that shit.  If I have to hear one more person tell me there are more than two genders or that I’m not a true feminist because I’d rather have sex with a man then a woman, I’ll cut someone.  Yeah, I dealt with that a lot at UCSC, but even that is not nearly as condescending as the notion that we young women now are setting the women’s movement back.  
Here’s the deal.  Do I think people like Paris Hilton paint women in a bad light?  Yes.  Do I think that she sets the women’s movement back?  No.  She made a sex tape and that made her more popular.  40 years ago she would have been called a whore and no one would want anything to do with her.  Now, it just endeared the public to her (excepting me and most of the people I know).  But she’s really not who I want to talk about.
I want to talk about this lady on NPR.  She said something along the lines of she couldn’t believe that these young women were not going to vote for Hilary Clinton.  She asked what her and her sisters had fought for all those years ago if we weren’t going to elect a woman president when one was offered to us.  To which I say, ‘Hold the phone,’ you expect us to vote for her just because she’s a woman.  Hmmm.  That seems a) illogical and downright stupid, and b) like it’s not doing much to help the fucking women’s movement (by the way, Betty Friedan, don’t call it that…no one’s called it that since groovy was a cool word to use, and it’s not now, just in case you didn’t get the memo).  Aren’t we setting the ‘women’s movement’ back even further by saying that just because a woman is running for president and is a viable candidate we should vote for her?  What if I don’t agree with her?  And isn’t that really condescending to her to say, we’re only voting for you because you happen to be in possession of a vagina?  We could care less if Paris Hilton was up here, we’d still vote for her because she’s got lady-parts.  It’s perhaps the dumbest logic I’ve heard in a while, and we’re still living under G.W.  
Also, lady on NPR, don’t fucking condescend to think that young women nowadays have no respect for your movement.  We love that we aren’t expected to be wives and nothing else, that we can wear pants, that we can sleep with a total stranger and not feel like less of a ‘good’ woman.  But still, don’t deny us our right to choose that we like Barack Obama better than Hilary Clinton.  Also, what if these young women are Republicans and want to vote for that crazy bible-thumper Mike Huckabee, are they setting the women’s movement back?  Or are they just participating in the American political system?  
And along that same line, what right do you have to judge people for how they vote.  Would you like to amend the 19th amendment and say that women can vote if they vote for a woman?  Sure lady, let’s just totally throw away the rest of what all those men and women fought for before you so that we young women who aren’t fans of Hilary are forced to vote for her.  I think that’s a fantastic plan.  So thank you NPR lady for making women look like total idiots.  Score one for the women’s movement.
Peace, Love, and Constitutional Rights,

Julia

January 8, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Education, Politics | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Caucus

Ah, it’s election time again.  Time for the ceaseless advertisements in newspapers, on television, on huge billboards all over the city.  That’s right folks, it’s election time in L.A.
Oh wait, you thought I was talking politics.  No no, we don’t really like politics in L.A.  Sure we pretend to care.  We go out and buy hybrid Lexus SUVs when Al Gore tells us to.  We love what excellent stories are coming out of the cocked up Bush Administration (wait until he’s gone, there will be 8 trillion movies about what a fucking disaster that was).  But really, here in L.A., we could give a fuck about politics.  We don’t care about Iowa or New Hampshire because right now we’re having our own election coverage.  It’s awards season and it’s time to vote.  Now, it’s been a year since my last golden globe/oscar recaps and I still have yet to be allowed into the vote…patience dear friends, patience.  However, living in L.A. means I’m inundated with advertisements telling me how fucking fantastic every single film that is out right now is.  I’m pretty sure Juno, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Sweeney Todd are all the best movies of the year, as stated by every movie reviewer that has ever lived.

I never quite got how reviewers call every movie the best movie of the year.  Do you just not have discerning taste because I can pick which one I liked the best and I’ve seen all of them?  Is it the campaign funds?  Are the studios paying the critics (they’re certainly not paying the writers) to call every movie the best movie of the year (even the ones that are unbearable)?  What is up with that?

In my opinion there was only one best movie of the year and it was Juno, but I also know how people in Hollywood feel about comedies (the same way people in Washington feel about Hilary): How nice that it’s there, now we’re going to give this award to something that’s a little different (read: No Country for Old Men and Barack).

Now, like our Presidential races, we in Hollywood are having some set backs and some uncharted territory.  You might be aware that there’s a writers strike going on.  In fact, you might be aware that your favorite television shows are done, if not they’ve only got one or two episodes left.  I know, I know, you’re devastated that you won’t see what’s happening on House for the rest of the year…that’s right, they’re not coming back until next season and even then, we might be behind.  But what you may not know is that this is going to affect the awards shows.  I’m completely heartbroken.  Basically, the WGA agreed not to picket the Golden Globes if NBC didn’t air it on National Television.  NBC said that it has the right to film the Golden Globes and if they go on, they will film it and put it on T.V.  As of right now, the Golden Globes are set to go on.  What the hell does this mean?  It means that there will be a bunch of nobodies at the Golden Globes (I’m expecting my invitation any day…this might be the only year I get to go).  All the actors, who are in sympathy with the writers, will not be attending.  Plus, they can’t write anything for the Globes because they can’t use WGA writers.  So basically it will go something like this.  The nominees for best picture drama are __________________.    And the Globe goes to ____________________.   How thrilling.  The oscars will be the same way.  I’m trying to make it through this hard time but it hurts me deeply.

So yes, it could be that there is no Christmas for Julia this year.  No speeches that make me cry.  No watching Diablo Cody say something awesome about being a stripper in Minnesota (cold, don’t try it is what I gather) and winning an Academy Award (pretty sure she’ll be the first in history).  But perhaps the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will make some sort of deal with the WGA and be able to show the Oscars.  If Letterman did it, then the Academy should be able to, right?  I’m grasping for straws.  Shit.

Okay, well, I guess I’ll get to it.  Julia’s 2007 Award predictions:

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody for Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men

Best Director:
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men, or
Tim Burton for Sweeny Todd
(neither of these folks has an Oscar or a Globe for this so I’m thinking it’s one or the others year)

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men, though I could see an upset as
Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (he was absolutely amazing in it).

Best Supporting Actress
There aren’t many stellar performances this year.  I could see it going to
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement but I could also see it going to a big hitter like
Cate Blanchett for I’m Not There or
Julia Roberts for Charlie Wilson’s War

Best Actor
It’s a toss up between
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (he’s so good, it’s unreal), but it could be the year that the Academy finally pulls it’s head out of it’s ass and gives it to
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd…they do love giving awards to musicals (hello Catherine Zeta-Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Hudson, etc)

Best Actress
This is actually one of the hardest to call.  In my opinion they should throw it at
Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose.  No words can describe how good she is.  However, I could see the Academy giving it to
Kiera Knightly for Atonement to try and solidify her as a true leading lady (too bad she can’t seem to shake the period pieces).  I could also see them throwing it to
Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart because America has forgotten that she already has a fucking award and she sure as hell doesn’t deserve one for this movie, but it’s a political thing…who says we don’t care about politics?  Oh wait, me 😛  I could also see
Ellen Page for Juno upsetting this race.  I personally would be happy but Marion deserves it by far.  It’s just I don’t know if the Academy is going to give it to a French lady in a foreign movie (that’s only happened like two times, Roberto Benigni and someone else).

And last but not least,
Best Picture
This is hard to call.  Personally I think it will be
No Country for Old Men, but I could see
There Will Be Blood taking it.
I could see Juno upsetting, but I doubt it.  Also, I could see
Sweeney Todd upsetting, but I doubt it.
This race is down to No Country and There Will be Blood.
Personally I think No Country was the better of the two, but I could see either one taking it.

Alright kids, well, until next time, Barack the Vote.

Peace, Love, and Happy Campaigning,
Julia

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movie Reviews, Movies, Musicals, Oscars, Politics | Leave a comment

Cultural Snobbery 101

I’m writing under deadline today.  It’s the first time in two years (i.e. since college) that I’ve had to write under deadline, seeing as I have a job (or three) that a well trained Chimpanzee could easily perform…in fact, I think G.W. will become a P.A. as soon as he’s done with this White House gig.  Anyway, like I said I’m writing under deadline.  No, this is not what I need to turn in by a certain time.  I actually have to finish a screen play (I actually have to write about 25 pages) before 7pm tomorrow.  But I have to work tomorrow, so I actually have to finish tonight.  Now, this is nothing new for me.  I’m nothing if not a world class procrastinator.  Yes, I have been known to start and finish a 10 page analytical paper on the opera Carmen a mere 7 hours before its due time.  In fact, in that particular instance I had a major movie moment where I sped to school, parked illegally and sprinted to the door, which the secretary was just about to lock, miraculously turning my A paper in on time.  And yes, I really did receive an A.  In fact, it was one of the best papers I’ve ever written.  In any case, that’s not really what I’m going to write about today, you see, over the past week or so I’ve come to a major life decision.  I want to be cultured.  No, I don’t want to sip dry martinis (though I won’t say no to that) and talk about the merits of Proust’s ‘Remembrance of Things Past.’  I mean, I did try to read the first volume once, got 100 pages in and didn’t know the protagonists name, so I’m leaving Proust on the back burner for now.  This big epiphany came to be while I was reading Diablo Cody’s (writer of Juno) book about her year as a stripper.  Now, you all may or may not know this, but I do love to read the stripper/porn star/sex trade bios.  It’s endlessly fascinating to me.  In all fairness, I also love to read the rockstar bios, the drug addict memoirs, all that shit.  Basically, my theory is that these lives in no way resemble mine (except at one point some of the drug addicted memoirs) and thus are endlessly fascinating.  No, I’m not planning on hitting up the Body Shop for a job.  I never intend to work for Vivid Pictures.  In fact, I presume I’ll never get into a pair of leather pants and a sequined top and belt out anything on stage.  I’m quite content being holed up in my meat-freezer of an apartment and staring endlessly into the black eyes of my macbook, wondering how a place in Los Angeles can be so fucking cold.  And where the hell did I put my gloves because I actually can’t feel my fingers right now (thus explaining any typos).  But I digress.  Basically, as I was reading Diablo’s book, I a) was struck by how similar to me she seems in the book, and b) how much different popular cultural crap she references.  Now, I, for one reason or another, have always aspired to be one of those Dorothy Parker-esqe ladies whose tongue is as sharp as a knife and who always has some sort of obscure referential to throw out in any given situation.  I actually, now that I think about it, kind of attribute this want/need to Clueless.  I always thought it was great how quickly Murray called Christian and Oscar Wilde reading, Streisand ticket holding, friend of dorothy.  I mean that paints a pretty vivid picture, and as I have previously stated, I do love intertext.In any case, I think this desire to employ, as Seth Cohen calls it, ‘pop-culture laden bromide’, was helped along the way by Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Dawson’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, to name a few.  Amy Sherman-Palladino is the goddess of pop-culture laden language, as seen in Gilmore Girls.  It’s remarkable really, the crazy things she does with words.  But it’s not just about speaking in a way that only an elite few can understand (and yes I’m aware of how ridiculous and, for lack of a different word, elitist, that sounds, but I’ve always been in the pion group so I wanted to be elite somewhere, and if that made me incomprehensible, so be it).  On the other hand, even though I’ve always publicly detested pretentious people, especially pretentious New Yorkers, I, as a small town girl, always sort of envied them.  Sure at heart I’ve always been a big city lady, but really I grew up a million miles away from anything that resembled an intelligent and cultured environment, with the exception of my actual house, and even then spend 5 minutes with my father and it seems as though you’ve entered some sort of distorted reality that greatly resembles National Lampoon’s Animal House.  I also have recently realized that I spend an unhealthy amount of time talking about Movies and T.V. when really my interests, even within the entertainment industry, go far beyond that.  Funnily enough I actually got some great advice the other day from someone who said that the best thing a writer can do is make a name for herself and then get the fuck out of Los Angeles because really there isn’t any interesting fodder in L.A.  Now, I don’t know if I agree with that completely, but there is some truth to that statement.  I know I don’t want to spend my life writing about movies or television.  I mean, I’m content to do that a little, but there are more important things to write about.  So I started reading some Dorothy Parker.  And yes, I’ve read her before, but I started reading her again.  I realized that if I am going to get some culture in me, apart from the West Coast culture I already have, I’m going to have to suck it up and make nice with the pretentious New Yorkers.  Dorothy is a good way to slowly slip yourself into that kind New York is the center of the world and the only great city in America kind of bullshit that just makes me want to scream.  But today was a banner day.  Today I decided that I would give The New Yorker magazine another try. Now, I had a subscription to the New Yorker in college (the logic behind it was ultimately the same, smart, sophisticated people read and write for The New Yorker).  Of course, this was an ultimately stupid maneuver seeing as I double majored in Literature and History and barely had enough time to read street signs, let alone a weekly literary magazine.  But now, as I sloth around my apartment in between working 60 to 100 hours a week, I want some reading material.  I have a ton of books, but this is a great way to stay plugged in to my literary roots.  So today, I went to the newsstand and picked up a New Yorker. If you still think of me as you’re sweet little girl, which is misguided, but ultimately fine with me, you might want to plug your ears for this next bit because it’s the real me.  I just couldn’t help myself on the other magazine I bought.  You see, for weeks now, at Booksoup, we’ve been discussing porno mags.  I don’t know how it gets brought up, but it ultimately usually does.  In any case, my side of the argument has always been that Playboy is maybe the best magazine of all time because the articles in it, as cliche as this is, are really awesome.  I mean this month’s issue has a short story by John Updike, an interview with Tina Fey (comedienne extraordinaire), and an article about John Muir, among other things.  Sure there are naked ladies in Playboy, but I just read it for the articles, I swear.  Actually, my opinion on the matter is that men (and smart women) truly do read Playboy for the articles.  If it was all about the naked ladies, they’d buy Hustler or one of those other dirtier magazines that my small town girl eyes generally avoid.  So if you haven’t gotten where I’m going with this here it is.  Today, for the first time since my eighteenth birthday, I bought a Playboy.  I’m contemplating getting a subscription to both Playboy and The New Yorker because, unlike the pretentious New Yorkers I refer to, I get that being cultured means more than Proust and William Burroughs and Kofi Annan.  I’ve read Dickens and Shakespeare and Ron Jeremy and I loved them all in their own right and they each taught me something different.  So I’m going to go write the kids movie I’m supposed to be writing.  Maybe in five years you’ll see it on screen.  Maybe you won’t.  Maybe Miss Diablo Cody and I will follow similar trajectory (not with the stripping because we all know I don’t have the body to strip, but if I did I could see it as a lucrative way to make money) with our writing careers.  Maybe I’ll become a professor of pop culture studies at UCLA or Berkeley or Bowling Green, OH.  In any case, I’ll be cultured in the fullest sense of the word.Peace, Love, and Playboy,Julia

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Books, Culture, Education, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Politics, Porn, Ron Jeremy, Sex | 2 Comments