Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have no words...

Jean Paul Gaultier denim boob tubes at Men's Fashion Week in Milan...

The New Face of Greed

150 years in the slammer for this wretched man. In the words of one of the victims of Madoff's unbelievable behaviour, "He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values. He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife Ruth could live a life of luxury beyond belief."

Greed isn't good (this year). Although Michael Moore is apparently setting his sights on Wall Street for his next "expose". I shudder.

Don't Try This At Home

Lady Gaga at the Toronto Much Much Music Awards. How?

My Maiden Aunt's Mind Is Vicious

Brrr....! I know when you think about cold places in winter, Brisbane doesn't exactly rank highly, however getting dressed in 8 degrees is cold! And because we're not a winter country, we don't have appropriate heating. We also have Queenslander houses which are not, repeat not, designed for winter months. Gaps in the floor boards, flimsy windows - let alone windows that never shut - and the general mindset that it's not necessary to heat, so we suffer in freezing silence. The benefit of Brisbane winter is that by about 10am, it's a hearteningly pleasant 20 degrees. Which makes Mink Pink's winter offerings of ripped stockings, flimsy scarves and dainty tees totally acceptable.

It also means otherwise ridiculous items could potentially have a purpose - such as sequin knickers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More MJ

Tribute songs have already started - "Better on the other side" was written and recorded within 24 hours and features The Game, Chris Brown, P Diddy, Polow Da Don, Mario Winans, Usher and Boyz II Men.

You can have a listen here:

Blame It On The Boogie

Rage on the ABC is playing the greatest tribute to Michael Jackson right now. It's like a chronological history of his career - we're only up to Blame It On the Boogie so I'm settling in. Even though his childhood was apparently marred by an abusive, OTT stage dad, there is pure joy in his face when he sings and dances. Amazing.

Pic credits

I love you girrrrrrls! xo

PS: See what Deepak Chopra (Gwynnie's sage and someone my mother is also into) had to say about MJ. Apparently they were friends!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's just like Clueless!

I loved Cher's computer program in Clueless which let her easily mix and match outfits to choose what she was going to wear. Polyvore plays on a similar concept where you can pick and choose outfits and accessories from lots of different online stores.

Summer means typhoon season here in HK, so here is one of my dream outfits to brighten up the rainy weather....


67 year old animation genius, Hayao Miyazaki has returned to cinemas with his latest film, Ponyo On the Cliff By The Sea (or Gake no ue no Ponyo for Japanese speakers).

Ponyo is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. It tells the story of Ponyo, a baby goldfish who wants to be a human girl. She runs away from her home under the sea by hanging on to a jellyfish and getting into a glass bottle. Sosuke - a 5 yr old boy - finds her in the bottle and frees her, but in doing so, he cuts himself on the glass. Ponyo uses her magical powers to heal him, but when she tastes his blood she starts becoming human. She and Sosuke become friends and she goes to live with him, but this upsets the balance in nature and her father, the king of the sea, tries to bring her back home.

Ponyo was released in Japan in late 2008, and is slated for release in the English speaking parts of the northern hemisphere in August 2009. Cate Blanchett, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson and Matt Damon provide voices for the film.

If it's anything like Spirited Away - winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003 and one of my favourite movies of all time - I'm sure it will have that enchanting quality that reminds you of the simplicity, happy innocence and never-ending, magical possibilities of childhood.

I also can't wait to hear the musical score for Ponyo - the music is composed by Joe Hisaishi, who was also responsible for the music in Spirited Away. I absolutely adored that soundtrack, and the Train to Nowhere, with No Face? Music/cinema genius.

Happy Friday: Rain Rain Go Away

I Do Hope That Doggie's For Sale

It's happening again. I am dog-sitting in July. This time he's much, much bigger (which means he can't escape from his lead and run across Coronation Drive at peak hour giving me both a heart attack and burst of creativity - how to blamelessly explain a dog's death - at once). Dog-sitting means waking up at 6am for walks, negotiating with neighbours and the council (hopefully not this time), and being home at a reasonable hour to feed an extra mouth. So much responsibility!

Pic The Sartorialist

I want Penelope's tutu.

Charlie's Angel

Also passing away yesterday after a long battle with cancer was Farrah Fawcett, star of 1970s TV show Charlie's Angels. Fawcett played Jill Munroe, and was best known for her skateboarding, flicky hairstyle from the era and her mega-watt smile. Fawcett was 62.

We Were Young and Innocent Then

In celebrity gossip this morning is news that Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack. Born August 29 1958, we all know the impact Michael Jackson had on music and dance classes everywhere. Various homages have been paid to MJ over the years by other musicians in a salute to his indisputable talents - Justin Timberlake (pretty much all the time, but esp in Rock Your Body), Chris Brown at the VMAs in 2007 performed a mad Billie Jean, Fall Out Boy (remake of Beat It) and Eminem (somewhat less flattering, of course).

No one denies he was a strange man (let's face it, creative types generally are in some way or another) and his final years were dogged with controversy surrounding his finances, plastic surgery, bizarre behaviour frequently involving his children and of course questions surrounding his relationship with younger boys who stayed in his Neverland Ranch.

Regardless of all of those issues, it's impossible to ignore the impact his brand of music, moon walking, fingerless gloves and crotch grabbing had on the music and dance world. Michael Jackson was the soundtrack to my childhood dance classes. I know a lot of dance teachers who will be shedding a tear or two today.

It's sad what happened to Michael Jackson, as he appeared to struggle with life not only as an adult, but as an adult out of the spotlight he had grown up with. It's also terribly sad that he died so young (relatively speaking), leaving 3 children behind.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Said Mr. Purple People Eater, Don't Eat Me

Current Crush

Wil Anderson. Yummy, funny, crude-mouthed man. Having spent the years since The Glasshouse finale becoming accustomed to Wil's clean-cut, quick-witted host to the ABC's The Gruen Transfer, I will admit taking about 25 seconds when I saw him perform at QPAC last night to get used to the rapid frequency with which he drops the eff-word. (He says "country" instead of ... ). Once I realised he swears on par with an enraged sailor, I was fine.

Comic gold was delivered at the start of the show by a group of Unilever employees, clearly on some corporate bonding experience, with 3 men surrounded by about 50 women: the Lynx effect. "Ando the Comedy Commando" as he likes to call himself was in fine, sharp-witted form - despite getting completely lost in his whale joke which somehow became all about sweet transvestites. Also fantastic was his ability to mix hyperactive humour with political and moral truths. I am also always very amused when comedians can't talk because they're laughing so hard at their own jokes.

Anderson appeared in his trademark outfit (I didn't realise this until later - here's me thinking a pinstripe suit from The Gruen Transfer was de riguer) of Haviannas (he has big, fluorescent-white feet), tight black jeans, grubby-looking tee and leather jacket (despite his vegetarianism). Luckily for me, I have some friends in high places so a group of us (including high-seated friends, natch) went for a few drinks after the show. Ooh I'm bragging! Funny guy and startlingly tall - I'm a huge fan!

Should You Even Have to Ask?

Sorry folks - this one is rather long. It's extracted from Sam de Brito's column today, Is Date Rape Funny?:

In the latest Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report, there’s a scene where Rogen’s loser security guard character has sex with a drunken, drugged woman who’s just vomited on herself and passed out and, hey, if that doesn’t get ya chuckling for your $16.50, what will?

In the US, the scene delivered the filmmakers what it was designed to - outrage and publicity - none of which could lift what is an otherwise unmemorable film, nor resuscitate its meagre box office takings ...

What’s even less amusing is the real-life rationalisations flowing from several male media commentators. Time magazine film critic Richard Corliss called the scene "the finest thing" in the movie, commenting that it “achieves what few American movies even attempt: to pinpoint the grim compromise, the desperation, that can attend the sex act.”

The problem with all these responses are they perpetuate the idea that if a woman is so off her face she can barely talk, then this is a good time for sex. It is not.

In the last few months, we’ve heard a lot about the “grey areas” of sexual consent and like it or not, it’s time men understood that if a woman’s ability to say “yes” to sex is in any way “grey” or confused, then sex is off the agenda. Instead, we get 66-year-old Time magazine writer Corliss saying of a scene that clearly depicts date rape: “Don't call it love; don't call it grand; but whatever it is, don't stop.” Dude … you don’t even start.

If a girl is so drunk she can’t keep her eyes open, that’s the end of the night. Taking it any further is called sexual assault and this includes touching and rubbing yourself on her like a mongrel dog while she’s passed out. If a girl can’t talk, you put her in a cab or you put her in bed and you sleep on the couch. If, when she wakes the next day she’s lost her drunken attraction to you, you have your answer as to whether sexual advances the night before would have been a good idea.

As I was writing this, I got sent an online piece by a woman identified only as Lucy. Lucy wants to know why there aren't more stories of 'the guy who got me home when I was seriously drunk and my boyfriend wasn't looking out for me?’ Why we don't hear more men speaking up about the times they acted honorably and did the right thing?

Says Lucy: "You probably have stories of a time when your friend was at your apartment drunk and you didn't rape her. And you don't tell them because you don't think that's even a story. And it shouldn't be, but let me tell you: you should start telling them, because those 18-year-old boys who don't think they're bad guys sure aren't listening to us. Maybe they'll listen to you."

"Men raping women is systemic and cultural, and yes it is misogyny and it is men thinking they are entitled to women's bodies. ‘Well, what did she expect, getting drunk like that?' isn't salt in the wound: it is the foundation of the problem. The idea that if a woman is not actively preventing a man from sticking his penis into her, he is doing nothing wrong, and 'hey, who can blame him', IS THE PROBLEM. So I say to men everywhere: if statements like the ones I made above piss you off, try taking it up with the men who make it so."

And this is the problem with the scene in Observe and Report. Young guys see this stuff in a cinema - and everyone's laughing about it - so how serious can it be?


And so on. About a month ago I bitched about the D&G gang-bang ad, and then there was the football saga. I wonder if it might not be true that the message needs to come not from women (who are often portrayed as raving mad, hairy arm-pitted femnazis when issues like this arise) but from men - telling their mates off for unacceptable behaviour, and explaining to teenage boys how to respect a woman. It's sad that it has to be that way, but what is the solution?

I have plenty of male friends I know I can trust in that situation (and God knows it's happened several times before). I also have a few male acquaintances I know I wouldn't ever trust - and on that basis I try to avoid being in such a situation with them at all costs. Things change when your drink is spiked - not necessarily by them - or something happens beyond anyone's control to put you in a situation you're not comfortable with. It's nice to be surprised by the actions of another, but I think there's a lot to be said about your instincts for people.

This article reminded me of a friend who had looked after me on many occasions: he always got me to bed safely, I was usually still in the clothes from the night before (avoiding the undressing-redressing into pyjamas conundrum), and he would tell me laughingly about how I had raved about all sorts of bizarre things. He always felt we'd somehow bonded, and in retrospect, we had. We were pretty good friends for a while there, and I still think about that friendship and how terribly I behaved towards him when he did nothing to deserve it. I was young, immature and incapable of sensitive communication. It is something I have always regretted. Guys who - without an agenda - look after girls , who will be your friend regardless of whether you're obnoxiously triumphant following a success or riddled with insecurities, and who care for you even when you have snot dripping off the end of your nose when something awful happens or when you snort uncontrollably with laughter at inappropriate moments should be treasured and valued - as much by other men as by the women who these guys care for.

Pic credits

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Black Eyed P. Hilton

It was revealed yesterday that "celebrity" blogger Perez Hilton was whacked in the head by the Black Eyed Peas' tour manager. The news sparked a little shiver of a certain well-known Chicago-based cell block tango... He Had It Coming.

I haven't read his blog in many, many months. I found the putrid bilious hatred that spewed out of the computer screen too much to bear - his unfathomable hatred for Kate Moss (unacceptable!), his desperate need to "out" young male actors (who eff-ing cares who they shag? Let them deal with their sexuality in private) and his general need to pin penises on people's heads was getting a tad dull. Obviously violence is no way of solving a problem, but if I was confronted with an obnoxious, taunting, fat, hideous man at 4am ... Well. I just don't know what I'd do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Roof Is On Fire

It was announced this afternoon that Lewis Carroll's children's classic, Alice In Wonderland, has been "Burtonised" (distinct from brutalised), with Tim Burton waving his quirky, magic wand over this old time tale (it was written in 1865). Happily for Johnny Depp fans everywhere (and my God they're starting young these days after the success of Depp's Michael Jackson-esque Willy Wonka in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory), Burton and Depp are collaborating again, with Depp slated to play the Mad Hatter. The pair have worked on several other films, including Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Simply exhausting.

(Personally, I think he looks more like Elijah Wood with face paint)

Burton's wife, Helena Bonham Carter, is appearing as the Red Queen ("off with their heads!"), with Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Also featured will be Stephen Fry, one of my favourite Brit actors. Also featured is Matt Lucas in mirror image - as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The story has been given a dash of "girl power", with Alice (slightly grown-up in this version at 17 yrs old), attending a party at a Victorian estate only to find she is about to be proposed to in front of hundreds of snooty society types (poor darling). Wait. Isn't that illegal?? Off she runs, following a white rabbit into a hole only to find herself in Wonderland, a place she visited 10 years before yet doesn't remember. The plot thickens...

Adding to all this excitement, the film will be released in 3D. Sure to terrify the socks off anyone under the age of 10.

Gwen Stefani's producers have also dabbled in a bit of Alice, using the theme for her What You Waiting For? film clip in 2004/05. While I didn't love the song, I was very in love with the film clip, and particularly loved her red lips, white white hair, little black gloves, top hat and harajuku girl consort.