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Dick of the Week: William Giraldi

January 22, 2015

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photo via flickr

William Giraldi wrote a personal essay for The Baffler called “This Brat’s for You.” Have you encountered this polished turd being bandied about the internet yet? In the piece, Giraldi bemoans the fact that he got paternity leave from his employer for the birth of his first child, became so utterly bored by his “surfeit of free time” (because, he says, “let’s be honest: even in self-consciously progressive households, it’s a rare new father who does as much baby work as a new mother”), and subsequently developed a drinking problem that resulted in “medieval hangovers that vanquished entire days” along with “migraines and dehydration that felt downright malarial.” The alcoholism apparently ended when he went back to his job.

The essay is, indeed, truly baffling. Is the piece a joke? An attempt to rile up progressives, see if we’ll take the bait? Is it supposed to be a brave, unapologetic, politically incorrect defense of men who know and aren’t afraid to say what it truly means to be a Man? The piece tries so desperately to be funny and provocative and soul-baring, but fails so miserably. He just comes across as an entitled, whiney, pretentious, self-centered dickhead — a man so consumed with becoming a great white male novelist cliche, so amused by his own thesaurus-inspired ramblings, and so clueless about his own blessings, that he apparently misses his only child’s first nine months. Ha, ha, hilarious!

I’m not certain how this enlightened advance came about, but I instantly pictured a phalanx of ultra-modern men parading down Commonwealth Avenue, jabbing placards that read “It’s My Seed, So Give Me Leave,” or some such slogan.

Ha! Fathers wanting to be active participants in the raising of their kids? That’s so earnest it’s embarrassing.

[S]ome of the men I know [at Boston University] might begin impregnating people just to earn a semester off with pay.

Ha! Male college professors as welfare queens. Too funny.

[T]hink of the tremendous ennui and the earthquakes of personhood that can occur when men are laid off or retire. After my grandfather quit working in his sixties, I’d often catch him standing in the basement, staring at a cinder-block wall.

Ha! It’s almost comical the extent to which men — and men alone — need to keep their brains active and keep pursuing their passions with serious, important work in order to maintain purpose and meaning in their lives, while women — silly women — can do whatevs and apparently be content.

So far the best response to this watercolor with feces masquerading as revelatory personal essay is Mallory Ortberg’s parody “I’d Love To Help My Wife Do The Dishes, But I’m Trapped Under Something Heavy”:

My wife’s capacity and willingness to do everything necessary for the care and comfort of our child has flooded me with awe. In fact, I am so flooded with awe that I cannot move. It is all I can do to grin weakly at her, trapped as I am under a sea of my own admiration, as she struts powerfully by, dressing our son at several hundred nautical knots per hour while knitting his college application essay with her teeth…. I wonder what my son’s name is. Perhaps it is Jonathant.

Now that’s fucking funny. Giraldi, take notes.

Another pointed response — this one by Erin Elizabeth Clune on her blog “Life After NY” — addresses the seriously hard work of raising a kid without extra support:

BORDEM MADE YOU DRINK?  CRYING MADE ME DRINK.  Literally.  I cried from exhaustion more times than I can remember, and only the glass of wine at night, by myself in the kitchen, made me feel better.  Those were some of the easy days.  I once had to fight off the instinct to shake my baby, because nobody was there, and I was so tired, and I wanted her to sleep so badly, and she wouldn’t.  Thank God my mom intervened with a bottle, and let me sleep one night.  My husband couldn’t get up at night in my place. He didn’t have paternity leave.

And we also love this literary takedown by math professor and novelist Jordan S. Ellenberg — who we assumed was a woman (shame on us) but were delighted to discover is an honest-to-goodness man — called “William Giraldi Only Cares for Beauty,” which includes excerpts from other similarly offensive and sexist pieces by Giraldi:

Reading Giraldi’s prose feels like sitting in an extra-fancy bathroom, with black and white tiles and gold trim everywhere and a fur-lined toilet, and no windows, into which someone has just sprayed a perfume whose label identifies it as “woodland fresh.”  Or like listening to William F. Buckley on an off day.  Or like listening to William F. Buckley on an off day in that bathroom.

Besides some genuinely entertaining response pieces, the greatest benefit of the publication of Giraldi’s essay “This Brat’s for You” is to ensure that no one accidentally buys one of his novels.

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Top 10 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Wedding “Crashers” Episode)

January 20, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

Last night’s third episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” continued the season’s new style of embracing the humor along with the histrionics (often via some heavy-handed editing at the women’s expense). For examples of this trend, see Ellen DeGeneres’s recent season recap:

Is Chris Soules so boring that the producers’ only recourse is to turn the show into an ongoing bloopers reel? Probably. Is it kind of uncool of them to caricature the women’s poor drunken choices, their fashion faux pas, and their mental instability with clever camera work and cruel cuts. Um, yeah. Is it still incredibly entertaining and addictive and we’ll never be shamed into not watching? Of course! As always, we’ve sacrificed our own brain cells for your benefit. Behold, the best dating advice “The Bachelor” can give!:

  1. It may be trendy, but clown-color lipstick is not a good choice if you’re hoping for a late-date make-out sesh. We’re all for men wearing make-up, but it’s got to be their own choice.
  2. You don’t have to pretend to be the “cool girl”, as defined by Gillian Flynn in “Gone Girl,” in order to get the guy: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl… Men actually think this girl exists.” We were reminded of this passage when Kaitlin said she wouldn’t mind if Chris slept with all the women in the fantasy suites, even if Kaitlin and he ended up engaged, because it was all “part of the process.” Yeah, right.
  3. When pursuing a romantic interest, do not bring along a funnier, more interesting person as your wingman/wingwoman (that goes double if said wingperson is a famous celebrity, triple if they’re a famous celebrity comedian). They will upstage you while underscoring your flaws.
  4. Ass crack should not be a fashion accessory, ever.
  5. Five words you should never say on a first or second date: “Let’s pretend it’s our wedding.” Similarly, avoid cheesy pick up lines and canned prefaces to first kisses, e.g. “You’re a man and I’m a woman, so I just wanted to take advantage…” (You may also want to avoid  the phrase, “Salty and warm, that’s not stuff I like in my mouth.” Then again, asserting that upfront may be a good thing, depending on how you roll.)
  6. Not rushing into things, saving something for later, and leaving something to the imagination are all legitimate dating strategies (and not only when you’re one of 18 people trying to play one-on-one tonsil hockey with the same person). We’re not suggesting you play games, we’re just saying the beginning of a relationship is one of the most fun parts — why not draw it out and make it last?
  7. Never underestimate the transformative power of knowing how to dance, even if it’s only the “Shopping Cart” and the “Fishing Rod.” Prince Farming got 80% more attractive once he exhibited his moves on the dance floor of the wedding he “crashed” with his date. It’s called rhythm — get some.
  8. While we would caution against employing a Kardashian look, we must insist unequivocally that you never publicly admit that you actually have “a Kardashian look” that you sometimes employ.
  9. While we understand there’s no time like the present, we question the wisdom of dropping the details of a personal tragedy to the object of your affection in the middle of an event like a fun, flirty, boozy pool party…while dressed in wet bathing suits. (Don’t even get us started on wisdom of wearing a foreheadband.)
  10. In the immortal words of Rosy Grier, it’s alright to cry (see below) — for instance, over the tragic suicide of your husband and baby’s father. However, it is NOT alright to cry because someone won’t get out of a hot tub.
Read up on last week’s love lessons learned from “The Bachelor.” 

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Blog Snog: The 29 Steamiest Movie Sex Scenes of All Time

January 16, 2015

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still from the movie “Titanic” via PopSugar


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How to Ruin a Date in 5 Words

January 15, 2015

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Some hashtags come and go on Twitter faster than a teen boy on prom night. But #RuinADateInFiveWords is still going strong, and it’s been weeks now! That’s some stamina worth paying attention to. Here are some that have been posted just in the past hour or so: I’m not thirsty, Mr. Cosby by @JohnFugelsang and What size fursuit you wear? by @DailyFiasco. Though the winner, at least, in our opinion, is, Oh, it’s my playdoh dispenser (click on the link for key visual hint – the original poster deleted the Tweet, apparently publicity shy). Anyway, bad dates are our speciality, both professionally and personally (though, happily, the latter is now ancient history). So here are our top 20 contributions to #RuinADateInFiveWords:

1. You’re not a feminist, right?

2. My mom chose this shirt.

3. I write my own jokes.

4. You just yucked my yum.

5. Sex is better without condoms.

6. But I like to top.

7. I thought you meant ice-cream.

8. Your place? My mom’s home.

9. But my ex loved that!

10. You’re a really good person.

11. What’s wrong with baby talk?

12. But the guy always pays!

13. Do you have a sister?

14. Discussing our STDs is unsexy.

15. No, really, pull my finger.

16. I don’t bother to vote.

17. Gotta run, my soap’s on!

18. Hillary just seems so bossy.

19. Sex toys are a crutch.

20. Where is the handcuffs key?

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Prince Farming’s First Dates)

January 13, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

Last night’s second episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” proved to be quite entertaining, despite Prince Farming having the personality of a soybean. The producers seemed to pepper the episode with the kind of zany, kooky, funny stuff usually reserved for the closing credits — in order to make up for Chris Soules’s snooze-inducing flat affect, perhaps? Hey, we’ll take it, since the bloopers reel they play at each finale is the highlight of every season!  Of course, between the wise cracks and the drunken twerking, there were still plenty of love lessons to be learned!:

  1. On “The Bachelor,” as in life, there are no hard and fast dating rules. If you change your mind about someone or want to give them a second chance, that’s fine — in fact, it’s open-minded, open-hearted and quite generous. Just be sure you’re not leading them on. If you know, deep down, there’s no hope for a future relationship, quash it quickly, as Chris did with Kimberly (a.k.a. Oliver, as in “Please sir, may I have some more?”)
  2. Do not humiliate your date by parading her around town like a sex doll. For example, making her walk in public places (that aren’t the beach or the pool) wearing only a bikini — in the freezing cold, no less — while you enjoy the benefits of full length shorts and a hoodie during your stroll is Uncool with a capital U. Equal opportunity objectification, people! (And are bikini bottoms really the appropriate attire for riding on tractors and sitting on hay bales? Wethinks Prince Farmer would say no, so he should have advocated for the dignity and comfort of his dates as an expert in this field, no pun intended, and just as a decent human being.)
  3. Don’t kiss and tell (we’re looking at you, Mackenzie) — at least to people who fall into one or more of the following categories: near strangers, singles, the recently broken-hearted, people interested in the same person you just swapped spit with. Otherwise, you come across as, at best, insensitive and, at worst, mean-spirited (or else just totally clueless).
  4. We don’t care whether you’re drunk or stupid, it’s not okay to put other women down in order to try to elevate yourself into a higher dating bracket. It never works; in fact, it always backfires. No matter how pretty, in shape, or hair free you are, you will come across as a bad person. And nobody wants to date a bad person. Cheap shots — whether we’re talking personal digs or alcohol (ahem, Jordan) — are never a good idea (even though they, admittedly, make for great TV).
  5. Just because someone isn’t into you, doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love. It just means you didn’t quite click. Buck up, cowgirl. You’re still so young! You’ve got plenty of time to sow your wild oats. Eventually you’ll find a farmer made just for you whom you can sow some serious cereal grains with.
Read up on last week’s love lessons learned from “The Bachelor.” 

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What Did You Think of Jeremy Renner’s “Globes” Joke?

January 12, 2015

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screen shot from the Golden Globes on NBC

J. Lo wore one of her, shall we say, memorable numbers to the 2015 Golden Globes, the kind of outfit that draws the unblinking stare of even the gayest gay man like greedy raiders of a lost ark. So when she and Jeremy Renner were about to announce the winner for Best TK, and Lopez said “I’ve got the nails” (meaning the long fingernails to best open the card with the winner’s name), Renner quipped, “You’ve got the globes, too.” So, what do you think? Poll below the Vine.




Blog Snog: No, Your Penis Is Not Too Big to Fit in a Condom

January 9, 2015

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Swedish pop star Zara Larsson’s condom-ed leg, via Instagram


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Top 10 Things We Hope the “Fifty Shades” Movie Does Better Than the Book

January 9, 2015

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photo via the movie website

The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in the mega-selling erotic trilogy by E.L. James, is almost here! It arrives in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend (ladies, get your limos ready!). With the casting of Jamie Dornan (The Fall) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele, many diehard fans cried foul, saying that the filmmakers got it wrong. We’re not sure any casting would have been universally warmly received (short of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), but we do think the film has a chance to definitely get some other things right. Behold, our top 10 improvements on the book we hope to see in the movie:

1. No cable ties: In the first book, when Christian visits Ana at the hardware store and picks up some DIY bondage supplies, it’s implied — intentionally or not — that he’s hoping to use cable ties as wrist restraints on his next guest in his Red Room of Pain. Big mistake. HUGE! If used in such a way, cable ties could cause cuts, poor circulation, and a little thing called nerve damage. The only thing they should be used for in BDSM play is organizing all the cords of your various plug-in vibrators.

2.  No explosive orgasms from Ben Wa balls. It’s just not realistic, at least not for the majority of women. Giving them the same power as, say, a vibrator just sets women up for yet another sexual expectation most can’t meet. Balls (like LELO’s Luna Beads) are better suited for working out your pelvic floor muscles and thus improving pelvic health, which can lead to better sexual sensations. But as little balls full of cosmic orgasm potential? Uh uh.

3. Give Ana some sexual experience. Just a smidge. We’re supposed to believe an adult woman who’s not a member of the FLDS can graduate college with absolutely no sexual interest, no experience with men, and no attempts at masturbation ever? It perpetuates the myth that women aren’t sexual creatures until the right man comes along. Please. She’s the virgin and he’s the stud, and they save each other — gross. And even if we were to believe that such a mythical woman could actually exist, it would be totally irresponsible — reprehensible even — to dunk her over her head into the world of BDSM.

4. Full disclosure on the slave contracts. Christian doesn’t ever clearly articulate to Ana that slave contracts are not actually legally binding — you know, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and that whole abolitionist movement. Here’s a kid, for all intents and purposes, who is not what you would call worldly or business savvy or lawyered up. Not cool for a romantic interest who’s supposedly falling in love.

5. Easy on the controlling, abusive, stalker-ish behavior. Christian spies on her and tries to control who she can see, where she works, what she eats — and she is not down with it. She’s afraid he’s going to hurt her; he causes her physical and emotional pain she doesn’t want — that’s not a D/s relationship, that’s abuse. And where’s the aftercare? Christian is a terrible top. The movie should make him a better one.

6. More well-adjusted kinky characters. It would be nice if the movie could add a character or two who’s into kink who isn’t royally fucked up. In the book, it’s Christian the controlling abusive boyfriend, his crazy gun-wielding ex sub, and his statutory rapist from when he was a kid. Not exactly the best advertisement for the kink community, the majority of whom are uber-responsible, law-abiding, stable citizens.

7. Drop Ana’s issues with eating.  With Ana forgetting to eat all the time, not being hungry and being forced to eat by Christian, it’s like she’s got an eating disorder. Maybe EL James was just playing around with a woman’s ultimate fantasy of never being hungry, but it’s a distracting issue — let the girl have a healthy appetite.

8. Have Ana enjoy the kink more. She can be conflicted about it, sure, but she should ultimately love it, embrace it and not be so afraid of it.

9. Make the sole minority character less date rape-y. Jose, basically the one minority in the book, is on a clear path to sexual assault as he tries to take advantage of Ana when she’s super drunk outside the bar. He tries to kiss her even though she keeps saying no and trying to push him away. He continues to hold her in a bear hug and is about to commit a crime before Grey breaks it up. Criminal tendencies aren’t a great quality in a “really good friend.”

10. No Ana narration. We hope and pray the movie dispenses with Ana’s insipid internal dialogue. Please no voiceovers about the “ghost of a smile” on Christian’s face or her cartwheeling Inner Goddess.

For an awesome book about kink that should be made into a documentary movie, check out our award-winning “150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink” – now available as a Kindle E-book! 



Photos of the Week: Weird & Wacky Wedding Cake Topppers

January 8, 2015

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The season premiere this week of “The Bachelor” got us thinking of nuptials, both solid and doomed. So we turned to Getty to see what a wedding search would yield, and we were barraged with a bunch of weird, wacky and, in some cases, downright wonderful wedding toppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Prince Farming’s Season Premiere)

January 6, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

It’s been a long, grueling wait, but last night we finally got our fix with the live season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelor”! This season features “Prince Farming” and Bachelorette runner-up, Chris Soules — a guy who’s so deep in the Iowa boondocks, the closest Starbucks is over an hour away! Absolutely bone-chilling. But somehow, the producers were able to find not 20, not 25, but 30 brave women willing to marry him and move there, basically sight (and site) unseen. Let the dating mistakes begin, be made, and be learned from!:

  1. Never admit in public, let alone to your date, that as an adult you shamelessly live with your mother, don’t know how to cook for yourself, and are effing crazy. In fact, forget about admitting such things, don’t DO such things in the first place if you want to be even remotely dateable. (Ahem, Amanda.)
  2. Baby Voice + Vocal Fry = an incredibly short shelf life for any potential relationship. Even if this is how you talk naturally (and we are NOT convinced that this sound occurs spontaneously in nature), you must take measures to correct this unholy mutation: vocal coaching, vocal chord surgery, testosterone treatments, etc. (You know who you are.)
  3. Using gimmicks on a first date to make yourself memorable often seems desperate and pathetic, rather than creative and quirky. Don’t try so hard to separate yourself from the pack, just be your sincere, genuine self. If a situation naturally arises for you to demonstrate your singing ability, your breakdancing skills, or your cadaver tissue excavation, great! But don’t force it. Quick rule of thumb: if you require props for first dates, you’re doing it wrong. Exception to the rule: small, heartfelt tokens may — we said, may — endear your date to you, but the bigger the prop or the more performative it makes you, the worse off you’re going to be perceived by said date (and the rest of the nation, if they happen to be watching).
  4. We’ve said it a thousand times before, we’ll say it again: Alcoholically speaking, pace yourself on a date! A drink or two — or even three when the date lasts until the freakin’ sun comes up — is fine to calm your nerves, slightly loosen inhibitions and give yourself a little liquid confidence. But please don’t get sloshed on your dates. It’s not safe: you could get sexually assaulted, you could fall from a high height, you could embarrass yourself on national television, you could suffer the wrath of 29 judgy women all vying for the attention of the man you’re dating who will happily and publicly flatten your character with a steamroller!
  5. The limit on dirty jokes you can tell on a first date is ONE. Even then, we highly recommend testing the waters first before you drop the bomb, i.e. don’t let it be the very first thing out of your potty mouth. We’re all for a good crotch joke, but knowing when, where and how often is key. As with alcohol and first-date tongue, moderation rules.

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