July 11, 2007 - July 4, 2007
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Victoria's Secret is calling it the
. We found this courtesy of The
, along with this bit of explanation:
New York, NY- July, 26 2006—- A
presidential bust of Hillary Clinton is set to be unveiled at the
Museum of Sex on August 9, 2006 at 10 am. Accentuating her sexual power
and bolstered by the presidential seal, The Presidential Bust of
Hillary Rodham Clinton: The First Woman President of the United States
of America will be officially open for public viewing on August 9 for a
limited six week run.
Artist Daniel Edwards describes this new sculpture as capturing Clinton
“with her head held high, a youthful spirit and a face matured by
wisdom. Presented in a low cut gown, her cleavage is on display
prominently portraying sexual power which some people still consider
...Edwards’ inspiration for the piece
was derived from actress Sharon Stone’s controversial quote earlier in
the year about challenges that would most likely be encountered should
the Junior Senator from New York run on the ’08 ticket. “I think
Hillary Clinton is fantastic,” Stone said. “But I think it is too soon
for her to run. This may sound odd but a woman should be past her
sexuality when she runs. Hillary still has sexual power and I don’t
think people will accept that. It’s too threatening.”
We're not sure 'threatening' is the right word. If she attempted to
show them off to us like this in person, we might very well run away,
but not because we felt threatened. It's that something's wrong with
the image -- the head doesn't go with the, well, bust. For example,
doesn't this look more natural somehow?
Yeah, it does. The sculpture being
peddled by the Museum of Sex is a fraud. We're not being shown female
power here, but male power. Take a look at the head up top again. The
eyes are not Hillary Clinton's but Julius Caesar's, bent on conquest
and absolute power. That may be some part of her ambitionm but it's no
part of her supposed compassion, understanding, and female caring.
That's why we'd run away. We 're repulsed rather than attracted by men
with female bodies. Part woman and part anything else
is a turn-off. We'd feel the same way about a sphinx, a gorgon,
or a, er, harpy.
If you want to have sex with it, go ahead.
. Mick Jagger
is 63 years old today. Does that fact strike anyone
as remarkable, interesting or ironic? Yes, he's old and a strutting
anachronism, as the following complaint from a June 4 essay in the Toronto Star
The injustice of it all. "I've seen the
Stones many times," complained Joey Kramer, drummer for Aerosmith, a
few years ago. "I don't feel they play as good as we do. You've got one
hard-working guy out there and the rest of them are kind of doing their
He could be speaking for members of Guns N' Roses, or Black Sabbath, or
Red Hot Chili Peppers, or any number of durable rock groups that have
made a substantial mark over the decades. They continue to play their
guts out, yet what are people interested in? Keith Richards falling out
of a tree.
A bit harsh, really. I've seen both Aerosmith and the Stones in recent
years, and they're both still hugely entertaining, despite the current
fad of bashing Mick and the boys simply because
they're old. Witness this piece
by a young U.K. reporter who was forced to disembark from this
I have come here to witness the launch
of the European leg of the Rolling Stones’ £120 million A Bigger
Bang Tour, which arrives in the UK next month.
I have never seen the Stones perform before. Indeed, I’ve never felt
the urge to.
At first blush, they’re a pretty tragic-sounding bunch, aren’t they? A
national joke, some might say....
So what is it about the Rolling Stones?
Extraordinarily, and against my better judgment, the thing that makes
them cool is that in the (very wrinkled) flesh, they still ooze
charisma, charm and, yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, sex appeal.
On Monday, as they swaggered into the pre-concert Press conference, I
found myself craning, staring and cheering like a star-struck groupie.
‘God, they’re cool,’ muttered the bearded man next to me as ‘Keef’,
looking like an extra from Pirates Of The Caribbean (eye-liner, crazy
hair and lashings of rather tired-looking bling), giggled and smirked
like a naughty teenager with Ronnie Wood, 59... Then came Charlie
Watts, recovered from throat cancer but still looking morgue-fresh in
his immaculate pinstripes and crisp white shirt. And, finally, in
strode Jagger, resplendent in violet blouse and eye-wateringly tight
dove-grey satin suit, and sporting clean, fluffy, freshly-dyed hair.
In barely ten seconds I am utterly won over by this crumple-faced
caricature of a sex god. And clearly, I am not alone.
‘Oh my God, just look at him,’ comes a stage whisper from a pretty
Dutch reporter in front. ‘Oh Jesus! I’ve never seen anything like it…’
Together, the Stones are the very essence of Rock Gods — the genuine
article in an industry stuffed with pale imitations.
Making fun of their age helps baby boomers, in particular, forget the significance
of their age, which is
what the Toronto Star
quoted above is really about. The writer, Phillip
, points a finger at several musical dinosaurs:
Paul McCartney now looks like an old
lady, Bob Dylan resembles one of those unfortunates who line up at the
Scott Mission, and Mick Jagger looks like his face has not so much aged
as congealed, yet they remain irreplaceable icons. What would you
rather tell your friends — that you had lunch with Mick Jagger or Joey
Will we never shake off this damned legacy of the 1960s? I saw
playwright Edward Albee in an on-stage interview at the St. Lawrence
Centre a couple of weeks ago, and the theatre was full of people who
very likely had not seen or read anything produced by Albee in the last
This is not baby-boomer nostalgia, even though we are talking about the
'60s. Albee is not a baby boomer. Neither is McCartney nor Jagger nor
Dylan nor Keith Richards — these rock stars were all born in the early
'40s. They were lionized by the boomers, but they were not of them. All
the baby boomers did was buy their records and attend their shows.
The real force behind the 1960s revolution was a generation born in the
1930s and, to a lesser extent, in the early 1940s. We speak constantly
about the baby boomers and the "Greatest Generation," the veterans of
D-Day, but we rarely refer to the generation born in-between.
It was precisely this generation, however, that transformed our
culture. From this demographic cohort came the men and women who became
the icons of the 1960s and who have
had no equivalent successors. They cast very long shadows.
As Marchand explains, rock music is only one aspect of the dominating
influence of a generation that isn't even identified by any particular
name -- they're just the ones born too late to fight in World War II
and too early to be part of the Baby Boom. Yet they have led and
outshone the Boomers in multiple fields:
On May 21, The New York Times Book
Review carried its ranking of "the best American fiction published in
the last 25 years." The winning novel, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and the
four runners-up — Don DeLillo's Underworld, Cormac McCarthy's Blood
Meridian, Philip Roth's American Pastoral, and John Updike's Rabbit
Angstrom tetrology — were all written by authors born in the 1930s....
It is "startling to see how thoroughly American writing is dominated by
this generation," wrote the author of the article, A. O. Scott.
"Startling in part because it reveals that the baby boom, long
ascendant in popular culture and increasingly so in politics and
business, has not produced a great novel." ...
Other legendary figures of the 1960s were of this generation — Mohammed
Ali [sic], the last athlete to attain mythic stature, was born in 1942.
Ken Kesey, who attempted to smash open the doors of perception, and his
chronicler, Tom Wolfe, who helped revolutionize journalism, were both
born in the 1930s. So were Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Dustin
Hoffman, Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood, who made cinematic history
in the '60s. Martin Luther King, born in 1929, and Albee, born in 1928,
were also virtually of this generation.
Marchand goes on to offer four reasons for the ascendancy of the
in-betweeners. 1) Their generation, raised during the Depression and
wartime was smaller and, though he doesn't say this specifically,
perhaps more disciplined by parents and circumstances. 2) They were the
last generation to grow up without television, which may have prevented
them from acquiring the passivity of their successors. 3) They
accomplished their early successes in a much more monolithic media
environment, which gave their careers more attention and momentum. And
4) they were the first generation since before WWI to come of age in a
time that had the (post-war) prosperity affording the luxury of
profound cultural rebellion. They were free to plumb long postponed
doubts and new ideas their own forebears were simply too busy surviving
Now do you find Mick's age interesting or ironic? He's not simply a
superannuated kid like so many of the graying boomers who attend his
concerts. In more ways than one, he's actually an elder
, an opportunity to experience
the genuine inspiration that has outlived -- both physically and
artistically -- multiple generations of his disciples. Rock stars come
and go, and frequently die of their imitative excesses, while this
Ramses the Great of Rock and Roll goes on, prancing and sneering on the
graves of his figurative grandchildren. McCartney and Dylan have
survived too, but they really are old. No one would say of them that
they -- how did the young U.K. reporter put it? -- "ooze charisma,
charm and, yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, sex appeal."
Marchand's list of factors doesn't account for this particular
phenomenon. I'd like to propose a fifth -- humor. The easy wisdom of
the baby boomer music critics has it that Dylan and the Beatles were
the genuine article, while the Stones, though great, were lesser
artists who succeeded as much by self-promotion as by talent.
Having lived through the radical sixties, I always had a different view
of it than that. Yes, Dylan and the Beatles reflected their times
beautifully, giving voice to the angst and the doubt and the sincere
search for something new and transformational. But the Stones, and
Jagger in particular, did them one better. They stood above the times
in which they were nonetheless major protagonists, looked at the goings
on with a razor-sharp eye, and laughed out loud. The real triumph of
Jagger's output was its embedded mockery -- sometimes musical,
sometimes lyrical, sometimes vocal, sometimes sartorial, sometimes
contextual, sometimes overt, and sometimes concealed. His Satanic
apostrophe in Sympathy for the Devil
was, regardless of the (too) obvious political satire of its lyrics, an
extremely subtle satire of the burgeoning cult of pop star gurus like
John Lennon and Bob Dylan. He was making fun of it all -- his own
image, the quasi-religious overtones of the British invasion, the
hubris of musicians who thought they were sages, the naivete of
pot-smoking kids who thought they could remake the world with shocking
fashion statements, and the eternal appetites that lie in wait to
corrupt the self-righteous.
The mockery has been there throughout the Stones' long career,
manifested brilliantly in dozens of different ways, so pervasively and
almost casually that I have wondered for decades whether Jagger's
genius is conscious or unconscious. But it's undeniably there.
His falsetto is the signal of the jester getting down to work, and he
doesn't have just one falsetto voice; he has four or more, all in the
service of a continuous wry commentary that, whatever his stated
political views may be, rolls out against every possible constituency
that takes itself too seriously.
On one of his single albums, he has a song called "War," which begins
with the lyric, "I was born in a war." Needless to say, that war
was the same war Roger Waters's persona from "The Wall" was born into.
They were both in-betweeners, but they took different lessons from the
experience. Waters has become a metronome
tapping out the exact same
beat for every turn in world affairs. Jagger chose instead to laugh,
and he became -- oxymoron of oxymorons (how perfect!) -- the Evelyn
Waugh of rock music, one of a tiny handful of gifted satirists popular
music has produced in the last 50 years. If the baby boomers still
can't see that they have been one of his perpetual targets for
derision, well, that's par for the course for a group that has never
had a sense of humor about itself or its countless affectations. But
Jagger is still laughing. Maybe there's a lesson there for the next
generations. The ones that will have to pick up the pieces after the
curtain finally comes down on the Baby Boom farce. But until we get a
new star of this magnitude, we'll have to make do with the old one.
Many happy returns, old man.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
A GANG OF ONE
feel guilty about this. We really do. We've already trashed Keith
Olbermann here, more than once. He can't help being stupid. It's just
that he 's soooo stupid, we can't not
make fun of him.
Here's his latest exploit
Does it tell us anything new? No. He's
still the deranged boob we honored here
So sue us.