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People Can’t Die from Sick Burns, Can They?

[ 83 ] May 20, 2016 |

Someone please check on Dinesh.

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Thursday Links: Now with Frogs!

[ 123 ] May 19, 2016 |

  • Matt Taibbi’s obituary for the Republican party–while I’m sure premature–is still must-read. “If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word “American” by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.”

     

  • Lindy West on trolls and body positivity.
  • This photographer takes amazing photos of “lost frogs.”
  • I’ve been meaning to write a post about the term “friendzone” and how much I hate it because it’s dumb and fictional. But some meanie on twitter beat me to it. Please check out this thread.
  • Here’s my latest piece, “Metamorphosis.”

Monday Links

[ 131 ] May 16, 2016 |

 

  • If you ever had the unfortunate luck to be in the presence of Donald Trump, what nickname would he give you? Find out here.
  • These days black artists are not caring too much about making white people comfortable. It’s pretty great.
  • Stephanie Zvan, like me, is a big selfie-proponent. But she has an incredibly interesting take on what selfies mean to different people. In that the goal of selfies is not necessarily to be pretty, to appreciate prettiness, to aspire to prettiness.
  • CBS scrapped a Nancy Drew reboot because it “skewed too female.” Just a reminder that the year is 2016.
  • Freddie deBoer thinks screeching at Barbara Boxer is acceptable behavior for grown-ass people to engage in.

Safe Spaces

[ 218 ] May 15, 2016 |

I think this should be required reading for…everyone.

SEX! Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let’s talk about The Federalist. AND SEX!

[ 25 ] May 14, 2016 |

HOT

If this prospect terrifies you, this proves you are human. Congratulations. I won’t spoil the surprise for you by riffing too much, but I will say I cannot understand what the purpose this little plug for hawt marital sexting was. I mean, presumably if you’re in a hawt, sexy Christian marriage filled with loads of hot sexy Christian sex, the idea of sexting has probably occurred to you. So this column ends up sounding more like wish-fulfillment fiction than anything that might actually be useful. And while it is about sex, it also manages to be the about the most genital-shriveling bit of derprotica I’ve ever read. It must be seen to be believed.

The comments are gold. And I’m not just saying that because the two top-rated ones are mine, but I’m mostly saying it because of that. (No, seriously, the alicublog commentariat is delightful, as always.)

A twitter Button We Can All Agree On

[ 15 ] May 13, 2016 |

People hate change, especially people who feel entitled to use free social media. So I always prepare myself for some super-dumb freakouts when platforms like Facebook and twitter make even minor changes to their interfaces. But I think twitter is on to something with its new Rape and Kill You button. It’s an upgrade we can all agree on.

Do You Miss Jon Stewart?

[ 78 ] May 11, 2016 |

I didn’t, really. I liked him a whole lot, but sometimes his shtick and mugging for the camera wore on me. But I sure like this Jon Stewart:

Some Quick Pop Culture Notes: Amy Schumer, “Crimson Peak,” Etc.

[ 46 ] May 11, 2016 |

  • Amy Schumer got off to a weak start this year with a huge huge huge squandered opportunity. I’ve always wanted to conduct a thought experiment here at LGM by asking our commentariat to imagine a “World’s Most Interesting Man” commercial with the genders reversed. Well, you don’t have to imagine it anymore because “Inside Amy Schumer” did it for you with decidedly mixed results.  The only way for this sketch to work would have been to have the satire parallel the original commercial almost entirely. That is, to show Amy–looking cool and cute and awesome– doing all this amazing stuff in her youth (which they did) and then to show her–still looking awesome in a Helen Mirren kind of way–surrounded by handsome men half her age. The joke would come in there–in that they would immediately leave…not give her the time of day. That’s the joke: we don’t find older women sexy. And we sure as hell don’t find women interesting outside their ability to inspire boners. But the show instead stopped the parallel in her old age–making Amy look tacky and weird…and then went off on some weird tangent about retirement homes. It was a sketch that started with such promise and a chance to really skewer a double standard but it kind of just petered out in a way that completely obscured any kind of keen observation about that double standard. The show has since redeemed itself, and the third episode of the season is one of the strongest shows to date, with hilarious riffs on men who have sex with their nannies, the lack of meaty roles for Oscar-caliber actresses, and flipping the script on fantasy football (where men find out that football players are tracking their moves, judging their every action, from returning an item to a store to asking people to join LinkedIn.) If the show keeps heading this direction, this is going to be an amazing season.
  • I recently got a chance to watch “Crimson Peak.” It’s a movie I’d love to recommend because it’s directed by acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and it’s gorgeous to look at. But unless you’re me, that’s not going to be enough to hold you. It was easy for me to sit there for an hour and half glorying in the film’s stunning sets and costumes, but I don’t think a movie can skate on that alone and still be considered a quality one. If you go into “Crimson Peak” expecting horror you’ll be sorely disappointed. I’m the biggest chicken on the planet and I was yawning at its attempts to scare me. And insofar as its a thriller as well as a horror film, it telegraphs its big reveals so vividly that there is absolutely no suspense. Trust me, you will figure out what’s going on 20 minutes into the film. The script is not particularly good. The acting is fine. That being said, I think it’s one of the most luscious eye candy films I’ve ever seen, so if you’re into that sort of thing, give it a watch. The show’s sets (it mostly takes place in a dilapidated mansion…beautiful in its decrepitude…you know what I’m talking about) are sumptuous I may actually watch it again some day. But that’s me. I don’t expect it will be you.
  • Rob Zombie doesn’t have much use for babymen who disparage Baby Metal.
  • My latest–“Panic at the Coronation”– is up here.

Doctors without Boundaries

[ 91 ] May 10, 2016 |

Lindy West has thousands of doctors. None of them are actual doctors.

You may remember telling me this before, but I love Lindy West. Yes, I know she writes terrific articles on being fat, on being feminist, on being fat and feminist, as well as popular culture; but honestly the reason I love Lindy West is because she’s on twitter…and she’s really really really funny. So it’s always with a heavy heart that I check her timeline because amidst all the fun and frivolity there is always a horde of twitter doctors telling Lindy West that they’re very concerned about her health. It’s amusing to me because it’s just a ruse to avoid saying “You make my boner deflate because you’re fat.” And because you’re not going to solve the obesity epidemic by yelling at Lindy West on twitter.

Women Who Write about Sports

[ 24 ] May 6, 2016 |

  • Sports-writers Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain participated in a video where men read them abusive comments that had been directed at them online.
  •  Jane McManus  and Juliet Macur expound.

Lemonade: The Visuals

[ 8 ] May 6, 2016 |

First, I’d like to expound on my review of Beyonce’s visual album, “Lemonade.” I like some of the music, and I think one song–“All Night”–is superb. I think it’s all worth a look and listen. I’m keeping “Formation,” in my library. It’s a song I want to describe, but can’t. (Can anyone help me out here?) I think it’s the second-strongest single from the album. I also think “Freedom,” which sounds like it could have come from a Woodstock/Wattstax mashup concert is worth a listen. As is the Jack White collaboration, “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” Outside of that, I mostly just think the music was a nice atmospheric accompaniment to the album’s gorgeous visuals.

My co-blogger requested I talk more about those, so here goes…

“Lemonade” was filmed in New Orleans. New Orleans has never looked more beautiful. And ugly. And beautiful and ugly. And sad. And creepy. And stunning. And gritty. And haunted. I’m a big fan of the aesthetic taking ugly things and making them beautiful (even as they remain ugly, really). I loved the visuals in “Let the Right One In,” largely because I thought it was so spare and ugly and beautiful all at the same time. Now, obviously, New Orleans is a gorgeous town, but “Lemonade” wasn’t afraid to take you into a grim, abandoned parking lot, car garage, or humble residential area and overlay such potent imagery it was transformed. Suddenly it wasn’t a parking lot, it was a haunted parking lot–haunted with anger and perseverance and hope.

And, of course, there’s the stuff that’s not not ugly-beautiful, but beautiful-beautiful. The Louisiana coastline, the plantation, the abandoned stone wall overgrown with the greenest green you can imagine… A standout scene comes early in the film: there’s a large, elegant room (in the plantation?) that’s filled with water. An entire room, sitting silently in water. And Beyonce’s there, her hair floating around her in slow motion. And she looks like the world’s saddest mermaid. The imagery is nothing less than stunning. It will stay with you.

Finally, I want to talk about the people who populate this gorgeous, haunted world. They’re mostly women, black women. And they are often still, which I found fascinating. In scene after scene the camera would pan to women, mostly sitting or standing completely still, and it was so powerful. I felt like there was a defiance in the stillness; there was so much menace in that stillness.

One woman who didn’t stand still was Serena Williams, who made a cameo appearance in the film. I wanted to high five the screen when I saw she and Beyonce had effectively traded places in this segment. Beyonce had taken her place on Serena’s now-famous throne while Serena danced provocatively to the music. And in so doing, both women had been empowered. Amazing.

Keep RedState Drunk

[ 83 ] May 2, 2016 |

Yeah, I’m just gonna come out and say it: keep RedState drunk. ‘Cuz when RedState is drunk RedState writes stuff like this–“Keep Cheerleaders Hot.” And then I laugh and laugh and laugh. Then cry a little. Then laugh some more. And that’s good for my abs. And then my abs look good and I think “Hey, maybe I should try out for the squad.” So keep RedState drunk. It makes me pretty.

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