Thursday, August 21, 2003

"BLOGGERS WILL COMMENT ON JUST ABOUT ANYTHING": Hello and welcome to those of you who are here via Beth Gillin's article on Philadelphia bloggers in this morning's Inky. We're happy to have you, and hope you feel at home.

The Queer Eye Backlash post she referenced is right here, and you can follow my arc of disappointment here and here.

No updates for a few days, so feel free to check out the archives and links to your left.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Okay, well, one person asked for it again, but around here, that's a groundswell. More Dot Dot Dot:

So, okay, let me get this straight: the Phish bass player was alone, with a 9-year-old, in a secluded boathouse, in order to take "art photos" of her? Wasn't that Madonna's excuse with the Playboy photos -- "they were supposed to be artistic"? Eight year olds, dude . . . One thing that TiVo definitely changes in your life is that you start thinking of television in terms of programs to watch instead of time to be filled. You're less apt to just flip around for an hour and much more likely to pick one pre-recorded program and stick with it. But you knew that already . . . But you probably didn't know -- and this will surprise friends of mine -- that I never got into The West Wing before Bravo started rerunning it. I still have no idea why not; it wasn't up against anything good . . . If you like this blog, you are reading The Minor Fall, The Major Lift too, right? It's like here, only for smart people . . . . I'm embarrassed at how many people have visited this site lately looking for the Cat Power picture in The New Yorker, but thrilled that one person came here looking for Kotter + Epstein's Mom . . . There are 390 NFL players in the last year of their contracts. Only one is holding out from training camp. Of course, it's an Eagle . . . Where did Fiona Apple disappear to this time? . . . See you in DC/Balto; back Saturday.
DON'T THINK WE FORGOT ABOUT HER: This blog was one of the few, I think, that showed compassion for valedictorian/plagiarist Blair Hornstine, extolling her rights to the first while damning her for the second, and feeling pretty badly that Harvard dissed her while believing she's better off not being there in the first place.

Well, now, as many outlets reported today, the case has settled for $60,000, most of which is going to attorney's fees, and we still don't know what Ms. Hornstine will be doing this fall. "Blair's personal life is her own," her lawyer said yesterday, which is how it should be.

Let's just hope whatever college she does attend ends up giving her the blank slate all freshmen deserve.

Monday, August 18, 2003

ORANGE ON HIS FACE: Me, yesterday:
What, other than a likely appearance on The Smoking Gun (prediction: Thom, public lewdness), is next for the Fab Five?

The Syracuse Post-Herald, today:
According to a Bravo news release and the channel's Web site at, [Thom] Filicia holds a bachelor of arts degree in interior design from Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts.

SU spokesman Kevin Morrow, however, says Filicia attended the university from spring 1990 to spring 1993 without graduating.

"He was headed for a bachelor of arts degree but did not complete all of the requirements," says Morrow after double-checking university records.


Well, it's not the worst resume lie I've heard. Thom, meet former Blue Jay manager Tim Johnson and baseball outfielder Al Martin . . . .

Sunday, August 17, 2003

NEEDS A TOUCH-UP: Let me be the nth person to declare that Queer Eye is looking at the shark from the wrong side now.

This week's pair of appearances on The Tonight Show sealed the Fab Five's fate. The boys played with Jay's casual homophobia and made an even greater cartoon out of themselves, over-zhoozhing themselves in an unfortunate spectacle of camp and attention-seeking. Carson in particular (shockers!) looked to be auditioning for a gig in the top-left corner of "Hollywood Squares" with his over-the-top flamboyant stereotype-conforming queen routine.

I asked Jen at dinner last night what the last time was that a television phenomenon was so extravagantly overexposed in such a short period, and she had an immediate answer: The Osbournes.

And we all know what happened there: what started off as a cute, surprising show rapidly disintegrated from overexposure, as the performers started playing into their defined on-screen roles rather than act spontaneously. Those around them knew they were on a "wacky tv show" and conformed their behavior as well. It all started to suck, and quickly.

Look for the same to happen here, because unless there are dramatic changes (going to other cities where people have to improve their lives via non-fabulous stores; giving the adorable-but-useless Jai something to do) this show's going to get awfully repetitive awfully quickly. How many horizontal stripes can Thom paint in a man's apartment? How many expensive black shoes can Carson buy? How many guys can learn from Kyan to shave with the grain, not against it? As a friend noted, it's like seeing Iron Chef Kenichi whip out his special bean paste one more time . . . after a while, there's nothing special at all to it.

So QESG is going to burn itself out in a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"-esque blaze of glory, only without Regis' fashion sense. What, other than a likely appearance on The Smoking Gun (prediction: Thom, public lewdness), is next for the Fab Five?

First off, assume a book deal. Queer Eye's Guide For The Fabulous Life ought to come out in time for the holidays. If the deal isn't signed yet, I'm shocked. As for their individual paths over the next year:
Carson: "Hollywood Squares" and a slot on the Joan/Melissa Rivers pre-Oscar show. He's bought himself a slot as America's Favorite Bitchy Queen for the next three years.

Ted: Cookbook deal, regular appearances on a morning tv show. Keeps his day job.

Thom: Higher rates for his private design firm. Not outgoing enough to get a regular tv gig.

Kyan: Gets to work on movie sets, do private makeup sessions with actors. May get tv ad work for a shaving company giving grooming tips while pushing the Mach 5 blade. Disappears off face of earth in a year.

Jai: Back on Broadway, playing "Angel" in Rent. Again.

Look: the nature of the show is such that its charms were bound to burn out quickly -- there's only so much the same five guys can do every week in the same city. It just didn't have to be this quickly, and it didn't have to involve Jay Leno, a man who does to hipness and innovation what Sherman did to Georgia.
WOLVERINES! Sometimes, the Newspaper of Record makes no sense. Take today's Bernie Weinraub article on the PG-13 rating:
A PG-13 rating is now almost slavishly sought after, even by filmmakers who may have shunned it 20 or 30 years ago as too chaste. This attitude has accelerated over the last few years, as theater owners began to enforce the ratings codes rigorously.

. . .

Thirty years ago, recalled Robert Towne, one of Hollywood's most estimable screenwriters, he and other writers went out of their way to make R-rated movies, exploring adult themes for adult audiences. Mr. Towne, who won an Academy Award for "Chinatown," and wrote such 1970's hits as "Shampoo" and "The Last Detail," said the notion of writing a PG-13 film at the time appalled him and his friends.

. . .

By all accounts, the wide release of "Jaws," the 1975 film directed by Steven Spielberg, incited the hunger among studios for PG-13 films. Before "Jaws," most movies, including "The Graduate" and "Bonnie and Clyde," were released one weekend in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, and then slowly over the next month around the country.


Just one problem: the PG-13 rating didn't exist until 1984.

As members of my generation well remember, the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins as PG films in May 1984 prompted the demand for the intermediate rating, and the first film released with such a rating was Red Dawn, storming screens later that summer.

So what "accounts" is Weinraub talking about, exactly?
THE PAST IS MELTING AWAY: In a saddening turn of linguistic events, the Philadelphia Inquirer today reports that "jimmies" are disappearing from the ice cream world, being replaced by the banal "sprinkles".

For the sake of James "Jimmie" Bartholomew, the man who ran the machine that made these beloved chocolate grains in the 1930s (I shit you not), it's time to stand up and fight back. Keep reading.

If we don't stand our lexicographical ground here, next they'll come for the hoagies. Or the water ice. Or worse: in twenty years, will we be ordering "grilled sliced steak sandwiches, with cheese"?