Tag Archives: mediocrity

Celebrities We Hate

AKIE BERMISS: Being born in 1983, all of my interaction with things before that is imaginary. And I suppose that is the way it is for all people. History is something you learn either from books or stories or its something you capture from older people around you as it translates down the ladder of generations. And so one can imagine oneself in the times before one’s existence by that proxy. So I have always nursed this false nostalgia for the decades gone by. I feel in my heart that maybe super stars were really stars then. That singers were really singers, that leaders were really great men and women who commanded the attention of the nation, and that celebrated persons were really worth celebrating. I know its probably unrealistic — that, more than likely, those celebrities are as vapid and untalented as many of our present day celebrities — but I still reserve a place in my heart for the simpler beauty and convictions of what songwriter and pianist Dave Frishberg describes as the “dear departed past.”

ZOË RICE: If I pride myself on being rational and forming opinions based on experience and empirical evidence, then why does this recent Defamer article about irrationally hating certain celebrities ring so true? “Hate” takes it too far. But I admit to distasteful feelings when I see or hear about Renee Zellweger, January Jones, or Megan Fox. So, why? Why do I never want to share a dinner table with these women I’ve never even met? Let’s explore.

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The Palin Kids

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: In case you missed the latest Teen Drama You’re Not Allowed to Avoid, it is this: Willow Palin, 16-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, got into a Facebook argument that included homophobic slurs, fat jokes, and curse words. Dear Palin Household, I have two questions: one, did you have the conversation with your kids about “don’t say stuff that might make Mom (or Bristol) look bad”? And two, if you did, did you remember to include “homophobic things” under “stuff”?

AKIE BERMISS: Basically, I agree with Dani. When I was young, I know we used homophobic epithets for everything. That’s just growing up in Brooklyn and talking slang and being ignorant and insensitive (and also a childless clueless reflection of adult society’s context clues). But when I got a little older — that is, when all my friends hit puberty — and some of them started to “come out” AND remain part of the circle of friends… well, then I started to think more about my language. Also, I knew, no matter what kind of slang or profanity I was saying, that my parents would not approve of such things as were meant to subjugate an entire group of people to generalized negativity. Alas, I’ve gone to far inside, perhaps. I’m sure the Palins are VERY different parents than mine were. Why even the poorly disguised disdain for community organizers and educators runs totally opposite from my upbringing under a father who was, basically, a community organizer and a mother who was, to her very core personally and professionally, an educator. Continue reading

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Chris Christie For President?

AKIE BERMISS: Chris Christie for President? Look, I am as ambivalent about New Jersey as the next guy… Ok, that’s a lie. I sort of hate New Jersey. Its always been a thorn in New York’s side. I’ve always thought how much more pleasant rush hour would be if New Jersey didn’t exist. No Holland Tunnel, no Lincoln Tunnel, much less traffic on the George Washington Bridge. And Jersey drivers are infamous in New York for cutting people off, driving the wrong way down one-way streets, parking illegally and holding up traffic. Anytime there is some jerk doing something wrong on the road I assume — and I am often right — that they’ll have Jersey plates. Don’t get me wrong — there are great people from Jersey, and wonderful places to go in Jersey, and if you catch the traffic just right, a drive through Jersey can be a real breeze. Jersey is sometimes hip and happening.

But it’s still Jersey.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Not much to add here, though let’s discuss, briefly, his path to national office.

He’s currently running well short of 50 percent approval in his own state. He’ll face re-election in 2013, in a state that generally votes Democratic, though in cases of extreme political malpractice can go GOP. (See Corzine, Jon, or Florio, Jim). Continue reading

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