Category Archives: Hollywood

Dissenting Opinion: Raffi Torres Isn’t a Racist

I’m a little torn on the controversy around hockey player Raffi Torres dressed up as Jay-Z, which required painting his skin black in order to be less Mexican, more African-American. But only a little torn.

Judging by the angry internetz, apparently “blackface” is a special case in the world of race-mocking and racially-sensitive taboo costumes.

Well, okay. Except… this isn’t “blackface.” This is black makeup.

First, let’s point out the obvious here — I’m fish-belly white. I’m descended from a long line of fish-belly white people. I wear SPF 60 in the summer, and have green eyes and light-brown hair. I’m clearly a honky.

So, obviously I don’t have a fucking clue what it’s like to be discriminated against on the basis of my skin colour. I also don’t have the foggiest what being descended from slavery would be like. And, being Canadian, I don’t have the remotest idea what it’s like to live in a racially-charged country that has come from the Jim Crow laws of the South all the way to having a half-black president in office, all in 50 years.

I accept that I’m absolutely ignorant about what being black in America today is like. Guilty as charged.

That said…

What Raffi Torres did isn’t “Blackface.” He’s lampooning an actual person, not a whole race or culture. He’s goofing off on the one day of the year that everyone gets to dress up in masquerade.

I understand that, historically, “blackface” was a way of triggering long-felt hurt and mockery amongst socially-aware blacks who know their history. I get that there’s more to it than just being an ignorant theatrical past with stupid white people. I know this.

I think, in that way, that yes, it is somewhat racially insensitive, maybe a little boneheaded on Torres’ part given his public stature, but it’s not racist.

The outcry is over the top on this one. Is there cause for discussion? Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people probably need to know more about the history of blackface. Raffi Torres’ life has been spent without blackface being on television since its last appearance was in 1981, the year he was born.

If people want to talk about why his “costume” is inappropriate, then great. But the “he’s a racist” talk needs to fucking stop. First, he’s Mexican and probably gets it. Second, his agent is black. Third, he’s a Jay-Z fan and wanted to have a night pretending to be a great rapper — who’s black, and being a pasty-faced Mexican wouldn’t have pulled that off too effectively.

Some dude dressing up with painted skin that is done as MAKEUP, not as a mockery that has unrealistically huge lips, or excessive stylizing, isn’t racist — he’s just ignorant of the fact that some would deem it racially insensitive.

Take a look at the ACTUAL blackface shot here, the infamous The Jazz Singer take on it, versus Torres’ attempt at being Jay-Z. Slightly different style, no?

Was the movie Tropic Thunder racist because Robert Downey Jr. wore black makeup? No. It was funnier because of it, because his ignorance was amplified for comedic gain. It seems funny to us that someone could be alive today and be that ignorant, and that’s the joke.

Is Raffi Torres racially insensitive? A lot of people think so today. Would I have dressed up with blackface? No, but that’s mostly because it’s way too much work. Do I think Raffi Torres is racially insensitive? No. Would I advise someone against dressing up as a black person? Unlikely, but depends on the context. This context? I have no problems with it. Rappers by their very nature are pretty easy to lampoon, because they’re so stylized. But white southern folk are easy to lampoon too. That’s how it goes.

There are things we need to societally accept and just get over, and this is one of them. There’s a big difference between wearing black makeup that’s authentically done and wearing “blackface.” There’s a big difference between dressing up as an Asian and drawing “slant-eyes” on your face. One is authentic-looking in an attempt at mimicking, the other is blatant mockery and derision.

Raffi Torres wasn’t mocking, deriding, or insulting black culture. He was pretending to be someone that’s not the same race as him. It’s not an offense.

In some ways, it’s an example of how far we’ve come — that the new generation doesn’t see the offense, blacks have become millionaires and the movers-and-shakers of culture today. They’re as fair game as anyone, and that’s a good thing. That actually is progress.

We need to get to a place where we understand that there’s a difference between offensive behaviour and just having fun. There are sometimes shades of grey, but being unable to laugh at ourselves does us no favours.

This wasn’t racism. It’s not offensive. It’s impressionism, mimicry, and even wanna-be behaviour, but it’s not racist.

If everyone who’s bent out of shape about this could turn their righteous indignation towards the real offenses — like how a race that comprises 14% of the American population still manages to account for 60%+ of those in jail today in the USA.

Now that’s offensive.

I love lucy

Remembering Funny

I’m catching my breath after the two-part Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour episode with Tallulah Bankhead. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

It was the 100th anniversary of Lucille Ball’s birth this weekend, teaching me something I previously didn’t know — my mother died on Lucille Ball’s birthday. Kind of weird. Mom loved Lucy.

The top three shows for my mother — I Love Lucy, Columbo, and the Carol Burnett Show. All three were funny as hell, I thought. Peter Falk really had great comedic timing in a subtle way.

So, Saturday was the 12th anniversary of Mom’s death. People tell you that loss never really stops. Well, it doesn’t. The hurt kind of even hurts more now, sometimes, because I realize now how long forever really seems to be. It was a different kind of hurt this weekend, since I’ve been down with a cold and stuck watching re-runs half a century old on a hot August weekend.

I don’t remember if my mother was very funny. I don’t think she was. Just the average kind of funny. She sure knew what funny was, though. I grew up with I Love Lucy, Carol Burnett, the Apple Dumpling Gang, and classic slapstick kind of humour like that. Dad introduced us to Porky’s and Porky’s Revenge, so, you know, we got a little balance there. Both Dad and Mom were fans of MASH and Three’s Company, too.

All the other little kids at Catholic school were shocked we were watching that sin-filled Three’s Company. “They live together! There’s s-e-x!”

Still, I don’t think we were a particularly funny household. There weren’t miles and miles of laughs, ever. We weren’t unfunny, either. I think we laughed enough, that’s for sure.

I remember being distinctly unfunny, myself. I couldn’t tell a joke to save my life before the age of 10. I was funny just “being myself,” since I’ve always been an odd one.

My brother, he was a laugh riot sometimes. He’s still very funny but we have differing opinions on some of his methods, since I can find him really irritating… which is fitting, since he’s my big brother.

As a kid, though, I thought he was hysterical. If he wanted a laugh, he got it. He seldom blew the joke’s punchline.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make people laugh much until I got older, into my mid-to-late teens. As a kid, most of my jokes involved me flubbing the timing, blowing the punchline, and receiving a split-second blank stares then confused guffaws. Or, just a swat from my brother, since siblings are allowed to be jerks.

Being funny, that was important to me. It was a life goal. I couldn’t imagine living life without being FUNNY.

Then… I introduced my brother to Saturday Night Live. I was 11.

I remember it being fall of 1984, I’d just turned 11, and I was sleeping on the sofa, sick, while my parents entertained friends. I woke up after a few hours sleep, turned on the television, and am surprised now that I didn’t hear a choir of angels harmonizing as I discovered something that just blew my mind: Saturday Night Live.

As Billy Crystal would have said, it loohked mahvellous. Eddie Murphy was Buckwheat, wookin’ pa nub.

In the next couple years, I’d be getting into SNL and Second City TV and Johnny Carson. And, oh, The Blues Brothers. It was a crash course in Funny. by 14 I was getting my comedic cues from John Hughes movies, too.

Throughout it all Lucille Ball was a constant, so was Carol Burnett. I knew I’d never be slapstick kind of funny the redhead queens mastered, but I wanted to make people laugh.

These days, it’s still something I love to do. If I make a stranger laugh during the day, it’s great. If someone can’t breathe because my timing’s so good when telling a funny story and they’re laughin’ so hard, I’m on top of the world. I don’t look like I’m elated about it, I always have that sorta-surly Irish-girl look, but I’m secretly on top of the world when I get a good laugh.

Once upon a time, I had a nightmare. It was when I was 19, and I was becoming “in with the out crowd” and getting lots of friends, not a lot of whom I could call “close,” but who typically wanted to invite me to parties ‘cos I’d be interesting. So, the nightmare hit one day and I had it a couple times. It went like this:

I’m driving down a treacherous seaside highway in my hatchback, a bunch of friends in different cars behind me, as I lead the pack and our caravan weaves down the coast.

Suddenly, my car careens and I shoot through the embankment, off the road, over the cliff, plunging hundreds of feet to the rocky coast below — my car exploding into a fiery inferno, and me most certainly as dead as can be.

Smash-cut to the top of the cliff where a dozen or more “friends” all stand peering down in not-so-much-abject-horror as “dude, what a bummer” kind of faces.

One friend goes, “Wow. That really sucks.”

Another goes, “Yeah. She was funny.”

It was one of those moments of clarity when I realized I should be careful what I’m wishing for, because “being funny” is a pretty short list of what one should offer. I tried to be more, and began to collect friends who wanted me to be more than just funny, who didn’t see me as interesting filler for the guest list, who saw me as insightful or as having something more to say in life than just the next gag.

So, this weekend, I’d sort of spent time remembering my comedic roots and sometimes thinking of Mom too. No, she wasn’t “funny,” but she was well-rounded and certainly enjoyed laughing. I think she and my dad must have laughed a lot in the early days, to spawn such amusing kids.

I’m glad I was raised with a mix of genres around me — comedy, film, music, theatre, and big fun parties thrown at home. I’m glad I had parents who entertained a lot, because once in a blue moon I did manage to say something amusing, and having a whole room of adults laughing was a gift. Look at me, I’m a funny kid. Don’t you wish your kid was this funny?

In the middle of all these remembrances is a big gaping hole. My mother died at a time I was really seeing her as human — flawed and all — and when I was beginning to teach HER a lot about living life. I wish there could have been more of a full-circle event between us, but that’s cancer for you. It doesn’t tend to take rainchecks. I’m glad she found me funny and enjoyed that about me when she got sick. I’m glad we found the same things funny then, too.

I may be motherless now, but I’ve got some 30+ episodes of I Love Lucy on my PVR, and somehow it’s like I’m back in my childhood. Pretty awash in memories these days.

I’ll worry about Being Funny tomorrow.

The Death of Culture

Yesterday, I watched Oprah speaking with The Director Who Walked Away From Hollywood, Tom Shadyac, about the new doc he has coming out, I AM, in which he sort of explores the wrongness of “the cult of celebrity,” and how humans are the only thing in nature that takes more than what it needs, because of some ridiculous concept of entitlement.

The conversation took the point of how we celebrate people for nothingness. Oh, look, Paris Hilton goes to a party. OMG, how does she do it? Party queen!

Cartoon is by @meganmything, on http://mycartoonthing.com

Yeah, let’s talk about that. That’s important.

Are you kidding me?

There’s great art, great music, great film, great thinkers, great catastrophe, great urgency, great change coming — all of these things, everywhere around us.

AND YET these are the people we choose to discuss and obsess over? Lame actors and actresses who are simply doing their jobs, or celebrity debutantes who are do nothing but party and endorse brands?

I’ve shat all over gossip columns for years in blogging, and I’ve never written speculative posts that cut down people — famous or otherwise. I don’t believe in it, never have.

And I sure as hell won’t celebrate dumb-ass debutantes who contribute jack to the world. Sorry, walk on, bub. That might be on ANOTHER blog, but not here, baby.

Still, I do follow these things a little, because I think it says important things to us about our society and what we value, and why that means we’re in trouble when the world is in crisis and needs serious solutions.

So, when today, I hear that Jersey Shore is shooting in Florence, Italy, my jaw drops. Admittedly, I’m behind on this news, but…

Florence, bitches. FLORENCE.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

My whole LIFE I’ve wanted to go to Florence. The following passage from Wikipedia sure as hell doesn’t suggest it’s a great shooting location for the most vapid cast of reality TV ever.

Florence is arguably the last preserved Renaissance city in the world[11] and is regarded by many as the art capital of Italy. It has been the birthplace or chosen home of many notable historical figures, such as:

I bet Snooki’s over there mouth-breathing, chewing Hubba-Bubba goin’, “I’m packin’ for Eye-taly! We’re visiting a lady named Florence! She has nice food at her house, the guy said. And LOTS OF WINE.”

I used to be this bleeding-heart type who thought Eugenics sounded like a horrible thing, but then this cult-of-celebrity shit happened and now I want to sterilize Snooki, The Situation, Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and a lot of other people.

Let’s sterilize them. Let’s end this now. Let’s save the future of civilization.

Or, you know, you could up your standards on filmed entertainment, America. “No more vapidity!” should be our clarion rallying cry.

Seriously. Wake up. Look at the mediocrity we celebrate. You don’t THINK this is hurting our soul?

But no. SEASON FOUR. IT’S NEVER GOING TO END. I’ll need a supply of Tylenol just for all the facepalming this will incite.

Snooki is a millionaire. If Snooki becoming a millionaire while espousing the advice “Study hard but party harder” in a two-hour Rutgers University speech/appearance for $32,000, more than the average person earns IN A YEAR, doesn’t suggest AMERICA IS BROKEN, then I don’t know what will.

Now, instead of keeping this lame series where it belongs, in JERSEY, it’s crossing the Atlantic to a place where, as a WORLD, we are lucky that time hasn’t erased, and we’re subjecting that hallowed Renaissance city to this horror that is the lowest of the cultural low that America has to offer?

So wrong. On so many levels.

Maybe I’m cynical. Maybe I’m jaded. People have often suggested this to me: “Steff, you’re such a cynic.”

Yep, heard THAT before.

So, that said, lemme reach here — lemme open up to the gods of possibility and offer that maybe, JUST MAYBE, this is the season Jersey Shore at long last has a character arc in which the vapidest of guidos and guidettes finally grow and learn that there’s more to life than beer bongs and g-strings.

Maybe Snooki grows a much-anticipated soul and learns to breathe through her nose and think at the same time.

Maybe “THE Situation” finally realises the world is bigger than he is, he’s just a cog on its wheel, and thusly he changes his name to the less obnoxious “A Situation.”

Maybe THIS is that season.

But I be it’s not. Growth and redemption apparently don’t sell in America anymore. Mediocrity, however, rakes it in.

I fear for Florence. I fear Italians will get a load of this crew and think “If we knew their descendants would’ve turned out like this, we never would’ve let the emigrants set sail. Had we known…”

But here we are. Season four. Let the wheels of exalted mediocrity spin yet once again.

I keep hoping America, and everyone else, is gonna wise up to this “Hah-hah, they’re so funny when they drink, let’s make them famous!” idiocy, but it might just be that my expectations are too high.

Come on, prove me wrong. Stop watching. Demand more.

The King’s Speech: Film Review

I seldom do movie reviews, but want to tell you about The King’s Speech, coming out on Dec. 22nd.

It’s one of those rare profoundly moving movies that leaves me believing in who we are again.

It’s such an inspiring story, so well acted, so seamlessly made, that I’d encourage anyone who likes GOOD movies to see it.

The nutshell?

King George the VI, Queen Elizabeth’s pop, was never supposed to be king. His brother fell madly in love with a Nazi-sympathising American divorcee and abdicated the throne, leaving Albert to assume the throne as the first-ever English king to rule while his predecessor was alive, well, and no longer ruling due to conundrums of his own making.

Problem: Albert, who never should’ve become king, had a profound speech impediment.

Bigger Problem: He was the first truly modern king expected to make regular live radio speeches, including the first wartime monarch’s national radio address.

So, you can see, the whole speech-impediment thing was quite a big deal.

Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth turn in amazing performances, with Firth’s being a virtual LOCK on the Oscar this year. So compelling and moving. Helena Bonham Carter’s acting is also of stellar quality. Everyone’s is.

Tom Hooper’s direction is effortless. With music used very sparingly throughout, the silences become powerful — reinforcing every design concept about the power of negative space.

It’s the silences that choke the future King George VI that so clutch at us and break our hearts. It captures fears and insecurities we all can relate to, and everyone involved in this movie understood how powerful those fears/insecurities can be for each of us.

It didn’t need big sets, flashy editing, dramatic music, or overbearing light work.

It needed to simply exist on screen as nothing more than it is — a story about a man called to be greater than he thinks he can be, at a time when nothing less than succeeding will do, which requires his overcoming life-long struggles and fears in the face of everyone’s pity and lowereed expectations.

In those silences, and the muscles twitching in Colin Firth’s neck and his trembling lips as the words fail to form and he can’t “just spit it out”, we all identify with moments we’ve frozen, failed, and simply fucked up.

It is a rare and beautiful movie, lacking of pomp and circumstance, belonging in the class of simple and inspiring films in my little collection, like You Can Count on Me, The Station Agent, and The Visitor.

Fat-Fat, Skinny-Fat, & NonFat-Big-Fat Meanies

Thanks to Catherine Winters, you can now “Like” my blog posts & share on Facebook — which, if you like me, is a nice way of giving me somethin’ somethin’ for my work ’round these parts. Look the “like” button at the bottom of each post, where you can also “share” through many other services. Thanks!

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Uncredited photo on NEWSONE.COM.

FIRST: This Washington Post blogger suggests “fat” as become an offensive word. Offended? Don’t read. If you’re foolish enough to give the words power, that’s your choice. Go to a tap-dancing show if you think I should dance around this topic. I’m hitting this, yo.

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A blogger for Marie Claire online, Maura Kelly, has had a shitstorm of no compare land upon her since she decided to take on Mike & Molly, the chubby show about a couple who hook up at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

Long story short, she said things like:

I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other… because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

People are calling for her job.

Really? Because she’s hurting people’s feelings, or…?

You’ve got to be kidding me if you think she’s alone in that thinking.

I’ve heard people say it to my face before. I’ve heard people in my company say a person has “no right” to wear a certain kind of clothing because they’re “too fat.”

Me, I’ve been about 300 pounds and a cozy size 24.

Don’t you DARE tell me that Maura Kelly is ALONE in how she thinks. Do NOT tell me people aren’t fat-phobic or disgusted by obesity.

And don’t you DARE tell me everyone’s all shocked that someone actually thinks this.

Where the hell do you people live? I’m on Planet Earth, where really fat people are still perceived as walking stereotypes by a moronic media who thinks they only roll one way.

Half the time there’s a “fatty” in the movie, they’re a messy person, they keep missing their mouth with food and wearing it. I mean, hey, scriptwriters, how do these fat people become fat if they only wear their food and not eat it? Mad science, that!

When Hollywood’s concerned, the token “fatty” is almost always a cute but bumbling idiot.

Now and then someone like Oliver Platt comes along, who’s as graceful as he is oversized, but, for the most part, you’d think fat always equaled clumsy slob with no life ambitions. Thanks, Hollywood!

What the hell’s with this sanctimony now?

It’s just ridiculous there’s SUCH a furor over Kelly’s words and not enough anger about the program itself.

And where’s the anger about magazines like FHM, who hatefully call this undercover-camera footage of a fat man eating cheese “comedy gold”? Raise your hand if you don’t think this guy’s seen this footage and ever wants to exit his home again.

Face it: People are mean. They’re cruel.

Okay, was Maura Kelly an asshat in how she worded her rant? Yes.

Was she saying what a LOT of people probably agree with? YES.

Was she likely baiting people for a reaction? Yeah.

Does that make it right? Not really.

Should she lose her job? HELL, NO.

So where’s that leave us?

Finally friggin’ talking about it.

Here’s how I see this issue, on many levels:

One, Maura Kelly’s pretty wrong but there’s some truth to what she’s saying. Obesity can’t be allowed to become normalized. We can’t sit back as a society and say that what we’re doing to our health is okay. We can’t keep eating ourselves to death because we’re too lazy to chop up some vegetables.

Two, the problem with being horrified by “fat” people making out is, they’re not the only people with bad eating habits, they’re not the only unhealthy people. Are Kelly-type people grossed out by the “fatty” lack of health or just the fat? How hypocritical is that? IN FACT, there are “fat” people who eat healthy meals and can probably haul ass further than you. Don’t judge the chubby books by their ample covers.

Three, by keeping the perception of health on how we LOOK, a lot more “skinny fat” people will keep feeling validated in their habits because they have smaller than a 34 waist — much to the chagrin of the 5’4, 125-pound type-2 diabetic I know who drank himself into the disease by way of two full-sugar Big Gulps a day over a decade, and much to my chagrin as as a very-healthy-but-chubby taxpayer.

Four, is the show really doing “fat” any favours by making it a sitcom about fat people who meet in a fat-people place and who live their life around a lot of fat-people issues? I’m not so sure we should be celebrating the program while demonizing the critic, if the show’s reinforcing stereotypes. Know what “sitcom” is short for? “Situation comedy”. This situation, for Mike and Molly? Fat man meets fat woman at a fat meeting and they go home and are fat and awkward together. Oh, win, Hollywood — just made of win. The plot development seems a little, well, thin to me.

Five, when Maura Kelly likens seeing fatness to that of seeing a heroin junkie or an alcoholic, is she that far off the mark? Most weight situations are insanely difficult to be reversed, like a lot of addictions are, but they can indeed be reversed. Not all cases of obesity are caused by poor lifestyle choices, but many are. For me, she would NOT have been off the mark. Food is, and always has been, my primary choice of drug — be it my undying love for butter or passion for anything cooked well — and it would have led me to an early grave if I’d continued as I had from 1999-2003, as surely as an overdose or alcohol poisoning could have.

Six, by being a complete asshat in how she positioned some of her argument, Maura Kelly has shown us just how hateful most people’s speech is when it slips out in seemingly-harmless little chunks here and there — whether it’s a snide little “Oh, lord” about a morbidly obese man on the next corner, or a quiet chuckle as they see a heavy woman trying to squeeze into a too-small chair on a food court. Hypocrites.

You have no idea the jokes that are made to my overweight father’s face. To his FACE. He’s the kindest man I know, and he’s fat, and he knows it, and yet even his “friends” and “family” make remarks that break my heart. To his FACE.

Because he’s “fat,” it’s somehow all right.

People are often ASSHOLES, even “nice” people, and it’s about time they know these comments cut and they cut deeply. At least Maura Kelly had the balls to sign her name to her words.

This conversation needs to be had. Accepting people who are 35% obese and greater as just something we have to get used to is dangerous to our health as a society. But skinny-fat people who scarf down their fast food with no regard for sodium, heart health, or diabetes, they aren’t doing society any favours either, and the hypocrisy is glaring.

Ultimately, the conversation has to shift from what healthy LOOKS LIKE to what healthy IS.

Judging overweight people by their exteriors is stupid and foolish, but being permissive of an ever-enlarging population to just keep getting bigger, while chuckling at it and making it part of our entertainment, well… that’s not solving the problem either — and actually hurts those it purports to include in “Hollywood”.

Is there an easy solution?

Yes. As a society, we regulate food like we do anything that can kill people. We must stop legally catering to commercial food producers who see it as “product” and not our health. We tax those foods that can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other diseases so that it pays for the medical care it will surely one day demand.

We ditch shit food, we celebrate farmers, we learn to cook, we eat in moderation, and we exercise.

All of us.

Because most of us are killing ourselves — fat and thin. And it’s really not okay anymore — especially not when, in countries like Canada, the rest of the population picks up the tab for it.

You may hate Maura Kelly for her ideas and her attitude, but she should keep her job, because she’s done what she was hired to do — she got us all talking.

The Dark Lord versus Perez Hilton: Bullying

I never thought I’d type these words:

I’m with Lord Voldemort.

But there you have it.

On Twitter, I luckily caught the retweet of this pretty perfect comment of @Lord_Voldemort7’s tirade against the hypocrisy of PEREZ HILTON having the fucking audacity to lead a campaign against bullying, despite it being started by the well-intentioned Dan Savage.

I’ll let the Dark Lord have the floor:

Perez’ website is designed to ridicule & mock others. Whether it be a a smarmy comment, unoriginal nickname (kiki drunkst, Mischa Fartone, Slutty Cyrus etc) or a photoshopped picture with drool added; his posts garner attention through bullying. Currently Perez has made anti-bullying his pet project. He has gathered videos from celebrities & reiterated over & over the importance of putting an end to the very ridicule & comments that have made him “famous”. Additionally, celebrities have responded to his requests & made their own videos (many of them the celebrities that he mocks on a daily basis). Whether these videos are genuinely because the care about the cause or were created to gain favor with Perez is up to individual discretion. One thing is certain, creating these videos is simply the victims aiding the bully that terrorizes them. It’s Pettigrew all over again. (See what I did there? With the reference to the wizarding world? Yeah.)

In spite of my efforts for world domination, there still remains freedom of speech. He is entitled to say whatever he wants. However, to turn around & chastise others for writing “belittling, hateful comments” while calling teen celebrities promiscuous & other celebrities ugly or fat makes him a hypocrite.

I got chills when I read his rant, because this is how I’ve felt about the celebrity gossip world for years. I’ve hated it, I’ve ranted against it, and I love to see the sentiment shared by people who nail it to the wall.

The Dark Lord and I, in short, concur.

I don’t DO celebrity gossip. I don’t respect it, I don’t think it’s funny, and I don’t believe it’s a past-time. I think it’s an example of everything that’s wrong with today’s society.

I think anyone who’s ever been insulted, mocked, bullied, and hurt by others who enjoys spitefully tearing down public figures, yet cries out about the injustices they’ve supposedly suffered is a big fat h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e.

Making a passing comment is one thing, but making a career out of finding things to spite in other people is something I will never understand.

Living in that headspace? Daily? How can you hold such contempt for people? I don’t get it. I need to hope and believe that we’re better than that as a society.

Everybody hurts. Everybody gets betrayed. Everyone’s all alone in their head.

When it comes to celebrity, I don’t believe that getting famous suddenly makes you impervious to pain. I think it makes you a target.

But, hey, in today’s society, everyone’s spiteful of success. We celebrate it, then we throw darts at it.

The only thing more hypocritical than writing those gossip columns is when one lives and dies by reading their favourite trash-slinging daily, especially devouring the juicy bits, then goes about life pretending they’re Little Good Citizen. Seriously?

I don’t really get this whole “It Gets Better” crap coming from Perez Hilton’s site. I don’t. The Dark Lord points out an absolutely fantastic ethical paradox.

Somehow, it’s okay to be the completely cunty gay man who slams the shit out of everyone’s self-esteem, using “gay” epithets as insults, but if someone’s cruel to a gay teen, that’s the world’s most horrible crime?

I HAVE AN IDEA. LET’S NOT BE CRUEL TO ANYONE.

Bullying sucks. Belittling sucks. Mockery sucks. Laughing and pointing? Really sucks.

I always reserve the right to comment on clothing that’s way over the top. And, you know, toupees and comb-overs. A lot of other stuff, though, really crosses a lot of lines.

It’s really pretty simple, you know.

Would it hurt YOU if someone said that about you?

Then shut your fucking mouth.

My interpretation of the “Golden Rule”. Enjoy. Apply liberally.

I’ve been mocked, bullied, harassed, insulted, and betrayed. Not just 20 years ago, but even weeks ago. I live on Planet Earth in the Internet Age. Of course it’s happened recently.

I will not knowingly do it to others. I will not support websites who do it. I will never behave that way on my blog.

If you don’t see the hypocrisy in reading gossip sites and you’ve ever been hurt by a thing people have said about you, perhaps you need to rethink your behaviour.

You need to rethink your integrity and your ethics.

Really.

Hypocrisy isn’t less offensive just because you’re pleasant to talk to at cocktail parties.

But, hey, it gets better. Chin up.

My thoughts about “It Gets Better”?

I love Dan Savage and I know his heart is in the right place, and I know Dan speaks out often about all kinds of injustices — he’s awesome.

However: the Bullying Problem is bigger than dressing it in platitudes. Instead of saying “It gets better, chin up!” I’d rather see all these stars use their power and high-profile to get some motherfucking laws up in here.

Bullying needs to stop, and it needs to stop in administrative levels at schools and workplaces.

Platitudes won’t do a thing long-term, but I really hope the campaign does change some thinking on the ground right NOW. Still.

Less ain’t more here — time to petition congress, parliament, whoever the hell makes laws in YOUR world.

Gay teens have longattempted suicide, but now it’s apparently en vogue to make videos about it.

Laws, people.

LAWS will save lives. And education. Videos will just make people warm and fuzzy for three minutes. Get real. Make shit happen. Change this. Go to lawmakers. Be adamant.

For those so motivated, check the bottom of this page for a list for how to accomplish getting laws passed against bullying.