Friday, January 22, 2010

Jersey Shore Season Finale Recap

This is what a feminist looks like.

Unless you've been plugging your ears and screaming "lalalalala!" when anyone speaks the words Jersey Shore, you surely must know about that gaggle of Italian Americans who live in a beach house, drink vodka smoothies and punch pedestrians who look at them funny.

You must also know about their star, Snookie - the legal midget with a self-tanner mustache and Amy Winehouse beehive bun who dances by herself on beach boardwalks to attract muscle men she affectionately calls "Juiceheads."

Last night's episode, the season finale, provided much of the expected shaudenfreude. Everyone yelled at each other for an hour because of various things - snookie yelled (and cried) because she ran into an ex while dancing embarrassingly alone on a boardwalk, one man with a metallic rose on his shirt yelled about this dude he punched in the last episode, and Jenni (Jay Woww) yelled because, for some reason, all of the hot muscle men failed to come to the beach boardwalk that day.

One lesson I took from the show was this: if you have muscles on your body, you can pretty much have a relationship with anyone in the world. What a grossly inaccurate impression of life you consistently provide, MTV! For example, Mike "The Situation," who has shoulders longer than a piano (and is what, forty years old?) found a bikini-clad 18-year-old girl on the beach and then proudly announced to all viewers the two of them would be dating for the next four months. See, she has an "eighteen year old ass" and he has a Bally's body, and really isn't that all you need to make a relationship? In the world of MTV, yes.

The show ended on a sweet note. To comfort Snookie about her boy problems, all the boys sat on her butt like it was one huge whoopie cushion. Then Mike, "The Situation," made out with her face in a hot tub. Snookie- the little cherub - sat in the hot tub and laughed. Because she felt self-conscious after all that kissing in front of millions of viewers? Because she saw semen floating in the water? "Don't think", said the editing. "Just stare at her boobs."

And then it was over.

Besides making me feel like I needed a cigarette (preferably one filled with crack), the show didn't have much affect on me. Somewhat surprisingly, I didn't feel violated, nor depressed about the state of humankind. Compared to the Jerry Springer Show, Jersey Shore is Oprah- all it did was make me laugh and feel all warm inside.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Los Angeles

"EWW! EWW EWW EWW!" screamed my roommate Zara from downstairs. Zara was on bathroom duty and today was the day she had chosen to clean the black mold in our bathroom.

I'm not a particularly morbid person but black mold makes me think about my own demise. Maybe it's the name: black mold. Sounds like black plague, black licorice, Black Sabbath. Black mold is the queen sheeba of terrifying things. If all upsetting things you rarely think about were graphed on paper (randomly choking on a strawberry, developing a severe allergic reaction to snickerdoodles just as soon as a plateful ends up on your table) black mold would surely rise to the top of the Y axis, and beyond, because it fucking flies in the air, is invisible, and can make you hyperactive while hurting your brain.

I was contemplating this the day I flew from Los Angeles to Seattle. I was flying Christmas day and the airport was empty except for smatterings of Jews and Asians. We should start a club, really. And then I spotted my fellow Seattleites: a huddled mass of fleece jackets and stiff shoulders gathered to the right of the terminal, in the one area with no sunlight.

I opened an LA Times and picked at my wilting Starbucks panini. I was not in a particularly flirty mood. I was thinking about mold and my own demise. And then I heard this over the P.A.:

"Mistah Blum! I repeat: Mistah Blum! Will Mistah Blum please come to gate 75?"

Read that in the voice of a sarcastic drag queen and you'll understand the thrill of what happened to me. Was this gorgeously flaming homosexual flirting with me?

I'm not a good flirt. At gay bars I look combative. I pick the pettiest corner and wait until I see someone who might have something sardonic to say. After I've extracted enough social commentary to fill a novel, I go about the seduction process.

I'm not sure if I've ever been a good flirt. After coming out, I look back at my childhood and think "who was this boy and did he flirt?" Everyone asks you, after you've come out, if you ever liked a girl, ever, ever? No, I didn't. So who did I flirt with when I was a child? I'm not sure. Dolls? Maybe dolls. That sounds quite sad. I hope I didn't flirt with dolls.

"How are we today, Mistah Blum?"

"I'm good,"

"Would we like an aisle or a window seat today, Mistah Blum?"

"Window please."

"Are we traveling alone, Mistah Blum?"

"Yes we are."

"It will be sad to see you leave, Mistah Blum."

"Stop it! You're embarrassing him!"

"No, this man is a celebrity! He wants the attention!"

"I don't want to leave L.A."

That last line of mine was a risk. I admitted it: I didn't want to leave L.A. I was flirting the only way I know how to flirt: by being painfully honest. In Europe, they loved it. Here, it tends to freak people out. But not this man. "You could stay at my place." he responded. I seriously contemplated the offer, then laughed. He was offering me a way out and I pretended I didn't notice. He knew I didn't want to leave L.A. He knew I couldn't not be honest about that. In fact, he seemed to like it.

Still, I shut it down.

"Thanks, but I have to go back to, err, school."

Lamest response ever. I didn't even sound excited about it. It was like rejecting a free Disneyland trip for a dentist appointment.

The plane was a noticeably more somber affair. I sat next to a woman who's eyes never left her Stephen King novel. She shut the window as if she didn't want to be reminded of the swaying palm trees waving goodbye.

If I could do it all over, I think I would have taken him up on his offer. He told me he lived in West Hollywood. It could have been interesting.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"It's Giving Me This Great, Weird Hope Right Now"

My friend Anna sent me a youtube today. I hope you like.