Posts Tagged Hollywood
There is nothing a poor, hungry girl rummaging through the mounds of trash at the outskirts of New Delhi to find items she can sell to feed her family and herself appreciate more than a wealthy person, preferably an actor in an epic publicity stunt, stooping down to her level (not really) for a handful of days to supposedly raise awareness to the fact that she is poor, lives on under $ 1.50 a
day week and does not have much of a chance at a life worth living, ever, because she will probably soon succumb to abuse, beating, rape, disease and overall poor health as a direct result of her utter poverty that supposedly no one was aware of.
Case in point, Ben Affleck, who - together with a bunch of other privileged celebs such as Josh Groban, Debi Mazar and Sofia Bush – has taken it upon himself to live on a $1.50 food budget a day for five whole days to raise awareness for global poverty as part of the Live Below the Poverty Line Initiative.
“We are excited to announce that Ben Affleck will be joining us in the Live Below The Line USA challenge next week. He will be supporting Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI). Join Ben, Sophia Bush, Josh Groban, and thousands of others around the world as we raise attention and funds for some of the best charities out there in the fight against extreme poverty.”
Raise awareness? Are Ben Affleck and other privileged celebs so out of touch with reality that they think that the fact that 80% of the world population living in utter poverty needs awareness?
Since when is poverty such a novel and unheard of thing that we need celebrities to shed a light on it? As if this was some sort of emerging social phenomena most have not heard of or seen so we need some rich pukes to tell us and educate us all about it because otherwise we wouldn’t have known?
And five whole days? He must be such an inspiration for a homeless person who’s been on the streets for years eating out of garbage cans and sleeping in sewer tunnels suffering from all sorts of ailments - physical and mental – without any hope in sight, to see a multimillionaire who nets $70 million slum it for five working days (I like how it’s a Monday to Friday thing. Ben needs his weekends to himself, after all).
While I understand
and appreciate the idea of trying to bring attention to such a grave problem, this is just patronizing and feels like a smug 1 percenter trying to teach poor peons a lesson because clearly those who live it every day are not aware at all of society’s ills and what it feels like to be struggling with only $10 in your checking for the next week until you get paid.
It’s like saying ‘Let’s pretend you have AIDS for a week so you know how it feels like.’ But that isn’t the same. It doesn’t count when you know it is not real and there is an end in sight.
The point of being poor is precisely that there is no way out, that you have very little, if not no choices at all, thus completely at the mercy of forces beyond your control. Poverty becomes systemic, it is a trap, more often than not, and a spiral down hopelessness and destitution; a vicious cycle with serious lack of opportunities every damn day – not just for a week or two weeks or six months. Every day.
It’s lack of choice and option from which you cannot opt out if you don’t like it. In fact, when you are poor, you don’t have much of a choice regarding to many things in life.
Ben Affleck can choose to opt out of this shit. Poor people cannot. Heck even middle class folks who live on more than a buck and fifty a day cannot just get out of financial destitution and living paycheck by paycheck. They are stuck. These rich assholes aren’t.
So Benny boy et al will be “slumming” it for a few days, probably already think this is a good way to lose the last few pounds for the next million dollar role and then they go back to their lives in the fast lane as they drive by a homeless person in their limo to the next award show.
These token gestures don’t do anyone, especially poor people who are hungry, any good but make the likes of Affleck and co feel better about themselves and for good karma which they undoubtedly read about in some health book written by their $500/hour personal trainer or nutritionist.
It seems to me like the one entity that needs his consciousness raised is Ben Affleck.
If he really means it, I challenge him to live the life of an ordinary American. I don’t even need him to live the life of said poor Indian girl collecting from trash mounds, just normal Americans. Move to a middle class house (which a lot of people these days cannot afford anyway) and try living on a middle class wage where you cannot spend $ 5000 on an Armani suit or $800 for your wife’s Manolos or $20 million on a mansion and instead have to sit down and make a budget trying to decide between saving up for your kid’s college or getting him braces. Between going on a one week vacation to Paris with your wife who’s been wanting to go for the past 25 years or send your kids off to college.
There is no need for you to pull a pseudo-Mother Teresa. Just try to live like a normal, hard-working wage earner.
And if you really do want to make a difference, do something like promise 30% of every cheque you earn for the rest of your life, Ben. Or just donate a million dollars to a village in Africa or India and get all your Hollywood friends to match you because none of this, “do a cleanse for 5 days to teach others a lesson about poverty” business is doing anyone, but yourself, any good.
Men and women of bigger statute and character than yours have been trying to raise awareness for the plight of the poor and failed – and their intentions were sincere and their sacrifices real, not publicity stunts; not token gestures where you give up Starbucks and steaks for five whole days while sitting pretty on $70 million. This is a pathetic, patronizing and deeply insulting attempt at helping the poor and laughable at best.
Celebs giving up their privileged lives (if they even do that) for 5 days does nothing to raise any kind of awareness other than the awareness that these people are overrated, over-privileged, over-paid schmoes.
To be clear, I have no issue with folks being rich and enjoying their fortunes but I don’t like it when they try to “teach me a lesson” unless they’re giving away literally millions of dollars every year to philanthropies that actually get folks the food, education, housing, health care and job training they need and thus become the change they want to see.
There is nothing worse than some rich puke condescending to the level of the “common” man pretending to give a shit when in reality he probably read somewhere that it’s a cool thing to pretend to give a shit, supposedly adding character and dimension to his profile as a thespian.
“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” – Jack London
Facts on World Poverty
1. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
2. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
3. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
4. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”
5. Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
6. If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
7. Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.
8. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
9. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
10. Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.
After watching the entire first five seasons of Mad Men in two weeks I realized that I fucking hate Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and that despite all the talk about how cool and suave he is, I have found him to be nothing but a philandering, obnoxious, selfish, disloyal, sexist, unpleasant asshole incapable of love.
He is handsome. He is sexy. He is a panty creamer. Absolutely. But that is were the fascination ends.
Let’s recap Draper: he cheated on his first wife Betty (January Jones) at every opportunity and when he got caught he only apologized because he did not want to mess up his perfect little white picket-fence life with the good, gorgeous and dutiful wife and the model kids by his side (and not because he really regretted what he had done). As a matter of fact, he kept cheating on her while he was temporarily moved out and supposedly regretting what he did and he continued to sleep around when she forgave him.
After she eventually found out about him and his secret past and his affairs, he threatened her and called her a whore. When she had gained weight due to emotional problems and a health condition, he called her a fat whore.
He uses people and treats them, especially women, with the same care as the cum stained tissues amidst his luxury satin sheets. For years he took advantage of and disrespected Peggy (Elizabeth Moss), talking down on her and letting her do all the work while taking the credit for it, including awards. Despite her stellar work he pays her a fraction of what he pays his other, mostly untalented, male copy writers; she landed them account after account and when she asked for a raise or at least recognition he reached for his pocket, threw a handful of dollar bills in her face, literally, and patronizingly told her that she would go to Paris after all. He never apologized to her and on the same day he threw a wad of money at her face like she was a whore, he made Joan (Christina Hendricks) partner after having her sleep with the head of the Jaguar account
He is a lousy father to his three children whom he treats like puppys in a pound he occasionally agrees to take for a walk and he is never there while their mother dearest goes psycho on them.
After all the quality women he has met so far, he chooses to make his sweet-brained secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) his wife whom he pretends he is totally in love with (as if he could) and who of course gets billing before Peggy at his firm for the sole reason that she is pretty and fucking him.
Yes, the 50s Sucked for Everyone Who Wasn’t a White, Straight, Male
This is what the culture was like in the 50s and 60s. I understand. However, it seems as if the admiration for the magnetic, charming sexist, straight, white, racist homophobe Playboy was not just confined to that era.
Don Draper today is a source of fascination and admiration in our pop culture. Ask Men asked why people want to be like Draper. The answer was evident: he is, after all, a real “man” because he is so unlike the chronically unmotivated, sexually clumsy, socially inept, economically immobile, and childish boys in most of today’s movies such as Knocked up and The 40 Year Old Virgin; movies filled with “men” who are really boys and obsessed with fast food, video games and bodily functions.
As if there were only two kinds of men: the chic, suave, handsome selfish assholes like Draper who treat getting married or being a father like it’s doing someone else a favor, or the Seth Rogen, stoned-all-day slacker with no motivation or checking account. Uh-huh.
A Man’s Man
AskMen praises Draper’s “masterful manhood” and most importantly his professional and upward mobility above all, because god knows upward mobility and “the accumulation of wealth” as someone once told me after I asked them what they wanted out of life, are the things that truly matter in this country and define one’s manhood.
It doesn’t surprise me that despite all his other very serious character flaws such as his infidelity, his disloyalty, his lack of compassion, his misogyny and cowardice the one thing people know him and admire him the most for is the fact that he is good with hot women and upwardly mobile. Nevermind that he regularly fires people for things that are his fault or things that he does himself but judges others for. Or that he fired a gay employee because he did not want to sleep with a client, or when he made his secretary and long term friend sleep with a client to get the account, and when he drove a business partner and close friend to suicide by refusing to give him a break after that friend had a temporary laps in judgment. Nope, that is no big deal. As long as he is sexy and rich doing it, it’s endearing.
The only things he is criticized for are his chain smoking, his alcoholism and generally unhealthy vices. He is rarely, if ever, criticized for his deep misogyny and just the shitty way he treats people in life. Ironically, his wife Betty is considered the least popular character on the show while Don the most popular, even though he is the philandering asshole.
A Woman’s Man
As AskMen put it ”even those who consider themselves died-in-the-wool feminists — admitted that Don Draper represents just about everything they want in a man: not only is he tall, dark and handsome, but he is commanding, enterprising and always — always — in control. When we have, on occasion, pointed out to these same women that he is inwardly unavailable, hopelessly uncommunicative and serially unfaithful, many of them have conceded that, as one friend put it, “he would probably make a lousy husband and a bad dad in real life.”
It appears that according to AskMen women then – especially feminists – are nothing but a bunch of superficial bitches who may say they want one thing while in reality they all just want a handsome, assertive, in control asshole with a 10 inch dick.
Great. Looks like they agree with one of the male copywriters who once told Draper that women basically just want a man and that they’ll buy anything that’ll help.
Seems like men today fully concur and so does our culture.
Of course AskMen portrays Draper as the kind of guy not only all women want, whether they know it or not, but also as the kind of man most men wish they could be. You know, being “able to drink and smoke with abandon, womanize with impunity, [...] rule over everyone while being ruled by no one [despite being] an alcoholic, a chain-smoker and a depressive introvert.”
Note again, that nowhere are Draper’s misogyny, lack of compassion and bigotry mentioned as character flaws. Apparently in the world of Men, that is a non-issue.
So Why Does Everyone Want to Be Don Draper?
Because in essence not much has changed from the 1950s/60s with respect to the patriarchy and how our culture sees the two genders. I bet a lot of men watch this wishing things were that way again.
It is not surprising. After all, we live in a culture that considers “men” who are self-reliant, shrewdly ambitious, emotionally inaccessible and
philandering misogynists to be the ultimate hallmark of masculinity. As if the equal rights movements of the 60s and 70s had castrated men leaving them to be these supposedly non-masculine saps we see today – forced to operate and co-exist in a world full of women, negros, gays, jews and other ethnic minorities, as their equals.
The article laments manhood and white, male privilege of the 50s as a lost opportunity; a fall from greatness that still somehow appears to linger in the hearts and minds of men today who look at it fondly exclaiming that “if only things hadn’t changed…a man could still be a man“.
Ah, the 50s and 60s – the decades where men could be men instead of human beings who are no better, or less, than any other human being around them, male or female, black or white, straight or queer, thin or fact, handsome or fugly.
That is, of course, a very outdated and primitive notion of what constitutes masculinity. Or is it?
The patriarchy teaches young men, even today, that anger is safe and manly. Hurt equals weakness. If anyone questions your masculinity you must fight. Be assertive, be in control. Only a sissy pussy is not in control and so forth.
Don Draper is the opposite of that and according to AskMen, those are the hallmarks of not only real masculinity but also success, attractiveness and sex appeal. And a woman just wants to be part of that. Not do it herself, but be part of it.
The brilliance of the show is that no matter how redeemable Don Draper is made out to be and no matter how much sensitivity and vulnerability he is shown to possess, at heart he is a sexist and bigot and overall terrible human being who does not believe that women (and gays and blacks) are deserving of and entitled to the same rights as men. He does not see them as equals, no matter how much he may ultimately care for one of them on the personal level – such as Peggy or even his own daughter Sally.
His misogyny is so rooted in him, such a fundamental part of his chore, that he cannot part from it. And the writers don’t try to. They do not try to all of a sudden make him an advocate for equal rights or an enlightened man who really stops to check his immense white, male, straight privilege.
For Draper, women being nothing but child bearers, sexual conquests, housewives and neat accessories at parties to show off are a given that will never change.
The fact that our pop culture of today looks at someone like Draper and laments his greatness and masculinity that somehow seems to be amiss today amidst all the equal rights mumbo jumbo, says a lot more about how far we have come (or not come) in that area rather than how bad things used to be.
When people look at a black man like Obama running this country and yell “we want our country back“, Don Draper and the world of Leave it to Beaver and housewives like June Cleaver are what they are referring to. That’s the America they want back. The America that was great for no one but straight, white men.
The truth is that the masculinity of men in the 50s and 60s and thus of Don Draper - much like the masculinity of men today – is a mask; a facade hiding a person deeply out of touch with who he is on the inside. It is also a mask that allows them to navigate the world unhindered and thus without ever having to question the status quo. After all, why would you question a world that is so perfectly suited to and tailored towards your needs as a straight, white man?
On a personal level, feelings and emotions are tools that help you deal with life and when you constrict them the results are people like Don Draper in the 60s and a culture that considers everything Draper stands for, some 5o years after he stood for them, as the gold standard of masculinity and success ultimately.
Mad Men is a brilliant show and I thoroughly enjoy it, but the hype about Don Draper is just that. He is nothing but a pretty face in a nice suit attached to a big dick.
I enjoy following his journey but boy, I can’t stand the guy. Especially after he got married to his office bimbo and penile-equivalent Megan – whom they are trying to pass up as a really interesting person – I lost whatever little hope I had that there may be a worthwhile human being behind that spineless, quivering soul of his.
In Mad Men, Draper is portrayed as a complicated man. Even Hamm, in his recent Rolling Stone interview, admits that Draper is a “complicated man”. Someone lost in the woods, halfway through the journey of his life, who ends up exploring hell. Only that Draper is not that complicated man going through hell. Unlike Dante, Draper is part “The Inferno” – including, and especially, his fucked up sense of masculinity which – more than anything – is the source of his ruin and distorted sense of self, rather than its consequence.
He is real. He was real. He must have been real!!! Because the star who plays Jesus on the History Channel’s miniseries “The Bible” says that he just saw his whole life in a flashback in front of his eyes when he was hanging on that cross waiting to shoot the scene.
Amazing. This “strange occurrence” as the teaser headline on Yahoo! News says has me definitely convinced that in fact something divine may have had a part in this and that I was wrong and that Jesus was the son of god who died for my sins.
Strange occurrences like this always convince me – and they should convince you too – that even the most fantastical and far fetched myths are truths that we all just missed. I am sitting here in shame that I ever doubted him – whoever he is – especially now that I know that a “strange occurrence” during the reenactment of this scene totally makes the case for the veracity of the whole Jesus being the savior thing. Amen. Thank you for this sign. You had me on “strange occurrence.”
As the Portugese actor Diogo Morgado said “It’s so strong when you feel that you’re where you should be, you know, and you feel that this is what you were kind of … that you were born to, at one point, to touch people’s hearts. If the goal of an actor is to tell the best story ever, there’s no higher story than Jesus Christ. It’s the ultimate love story, and the way he can touch people, it’s just a privilege, it’s just beyond words, having this opportunity of doing this. It was really a personal journey and a spiritual journey. And it touched me, in a way that I’m still digesting. It didn’t end with the shooting. It’s still alive.”
I like how Jesus makes self righteous people feel great about themselves Something he was born to do? His destiny? Yeah right. As T.S. Eliot once said “most trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. ”
Morgado got the whole “greatest story ever told” part right because that is exactly what Jesus is, a nice story about the triumph of good over evil and self sacrifice, magic, love, pain, blood and tears. Shit, I mean if you were to add the lightsabers, Chubacca and the evil emperor to the mix, you could pitch the script to Hollywood and make crap loads of money of of it. Oh wait…
Elijah Wood (left) and Macaulay Culkin (right) on the set of The Good Son in 1993.
As a kid I had such a crush on Elijah Wood – the most beautiful kid I have ever seen. I love this pic because it shows these two before the fangs of Hollywood and fame got to them, especially Macaulay Culkin. Elijah Wood seems to be doing pretty awesome.
I miss the good old days where child stars were actually talented and good at something instead of famewhoring assholes.
If this shit wasn’t actually real, I would have to make it up because it is just too darn good to be unreal.
During last night’s episode of Kim and Khloe
Fuck Take Miami, the classy Kuntrashian sisters, apparently having run out of things to discuss, resorted to a time-honored family tradition that never fails: letting their vaginas take the lead on the famewhoring front.
Khloe told Kim and Kourtney that she read that drinking pineapple juice makes your pussy taste sweet, so naturally, they put the important question to the test, which makes sense. I mean if your entire source of wealth and fame is your carniceria, you gotta make sure it smells and tastes like nectar. Anyway after Kim and Kourtney took turns wiping their port of entries on cloth napkins for Khloe to sniff, which she did gladly because “We’re sisters, if I can’t smell their pusses, what else are we supposed to do?“(I don’t know. Throw yourselves in front of a bus, have The Governor throw you in a pit with Walkers, use each other as target practice for your newest diamond encrusted Tiffany’s gun etc), Kim’s puntang was declared the winner.
Naturally. After all, if it wasn’t for that pussy, none of these skanks and their pimp mother and family of famewhores would be here (and the world a better place).
If this revelation didn’t make your protruding parts shrivel up and fall off and you are still with me, let me ask this: since when it is acceptable to smell your sister’s pussy?? It’s like asking, “well if you can’t fuck your own siblings, who can you fuck?” These sisters are a real class act.
On a different note, maybe all this nasty snatch sniffing will lead to a Febreeze sponsorship! That’s why they are doing this right? Proctor & Gamble are you paying attention?