Golden Globes Red Carpet, Part One

I didn’t even bother to watch the awards show. I really only care about the fashion.

The Worst Color Choices

Diane Kruger in Christian Lacroix

Leona Lewis in Roberto Cavalli

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman wear either of those colors after her eighth birthday. Unless, of course, she is the headliner in an 1980s drag queen prom show, or moonlighting as the Easter bunny. Kruger’s pink gown is a nightmare, from the color to the sleeves to the bow, and her dead-on-the-inside expression doesn’t do much for me. Lewis chose a particularly tacky shade of purple, made even trashier by her Jersey Shore tan and black roots. Oh, and use a fucking steamer, for crying out loud. This photo cuts out the worst of the damage, but Lewis looks like she picked this up off a hotel room floor the morning after a bad decision.

My Golden Globes Dream Date

Matthew Morrison in Dolce & Gabbana

He. Is. Perfection.

When Did She Get So Old?

Cameron Diaz in Alexander McQueen

Heather Graham in Elie Saab

Isn’t there something just plain off about both these ladies’ once-beautiful faces? Close-ups of Cameron’s face showed her looking distinctly Madonna-esque. Heather looks like she hasn’t slept in days. Both women look like there’s a very unpleasant smell right under their noses. And this photo doesn’t show it, but Heather is wearing her hair in a ponytail. On the red carpet. Cameron looks like she did something equally lazy to her hair. Get your shit together, ladies. You’re hot, rich, and thin, but you need more than just a dress to look like a star on the red carpet.

Check back later for more! You’ll see my favorite and least favorite looks of the night, plus more character assassinations!

Prop 8: A Comedy (Part 1)

Everyone is blogging about the Prop 8 proceedings, and they are all very serious about the rightness/wrongness/timeliness/untimeliness/support/opposition to same-sex marriage. Well, fuck that. I’d like to focus solely on the hilarity that ensues when people are bitterly fighting over the American Constitution. And no, I have not watched/read any political satire/humor programs/blogs in the making of this post.

A brief intro: California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state, is currently being challenged in the courts in a case called Perry v. Schwarzenegger. The plaintiffs are trying to overturn Prop 8 and therefore re-legalize same-sex marriage in the state; the defendants are fighting in support of Prop 8, to keep same-sex marriage illegal. Today was the third day of the proceedings, and they will continue tomorrow. Let’s dive in.

Day 1

  • Kristin Perry, who comprises one half of one of the couples who brought this case against Prop 8, refers to her partner as “the sparkliest person I’d ever met.” On or off the witness stand, who the hell has ever used sparkly as an adjective for the person they love?
  • The plaintiff’s attorney Theodore Olson, who is famous for fighting and winning Bush v. Gore in favor of Bush back in 2000, asked his client, “What does it mean to be a lesbian?” Okay, I respect that he’s trying to go for a personal angle here, but still, the idea of someone being asked this in front of a bunch of old white dudes in robes sounds like a low-budget porn that I definitely don’t want to see.

Day 2

  • Professor Nancy Cott of Harvard unleashed the following delicious tidbit about our founding father:

“George Washington, the father of our country, was known to be sterile, which was considered an advantage because he could not create a dynasty.”

Day 3

  • “Will and Grace” and Brokeback Mountain were cited by defense attorney David Thompson as proof of changing attitudes in favor of gay rights. Um, whatever happened to citing Gallup public opinion polls? I’m not sure that this is the way to win an argument on constitutionality, buddy.
  • Okay, so Thompson did also cite a Gallup poll from 2002, stating that 86% of Americans believed homosexuals should have equal rights. Obviously I agree, but there is no way that this poll is relevant. If you poll Americans specifically about same-sex marriage, the numbers are completely different. (This isn’t a funny tidbit, I’ve just taken too many classes with Professor John Sides to take polls at face value.)
  • William Tam, defendant of Prop 8, claims that he found proof of a gay agenda through a Google search. Well, I just Googled “do vampires exist,” and I found proof that they do! And it was the first website that came up, so you know it’s true!

I think we’ll stop there for tonight. Check back here soon for updates, because nothing is funnier than civil rights.

Same-Sex Marriage: The Inevitability Problem

Originally posted by me in the GW Discourse blog.

There is an argument that is continuously reappearing in arguments over same-sex marriage and, to a lesser extent, other LGBT rights. For many, this issue is not solely about love, equality, or the protection of marriage. It is also a question of inevitability.

Gay rights advocates at the National Equality March

At first glance, the debate is simple. Those in favor of same-sex marriage say it’s inevitable. Those against it say it’s not. But who really benefits from arguing for or against inevitability?

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, claims that same-sex marriage has “always been inevitable.” This seems true, based on opinion polls that show young people to be much more in favor of gay rights than older generations. But does it help their cause to make this claim? I believe that emphasizing inevitability sends the message that LGBT rights will come eventually – and why should we fight tooth and nail for something we believe will happen no matter what? Gay rights advocates are still losing battles in liberal bastions like New Jersey and New York. And claiming that gay marriage is inevitable won’t make people fight any harder to achieve these rights now, in full, across the nation.

Perhaps when more states legalize gay marriage, it will be wise for groups like the HRC to emphasize the inevitability factor. They’ll have more proof for it, and they won’t have as much to lose as they do now. But at present time, only five states allow gay marriage, and four liberal-leaning states have rejected it in the last two years. Now is the time for the same-sex marriage movement to emphasize how far they still have to go and how hard they must fight, and put the inevitability issue to rest.

People’s Choice Awards Red Carpet

I always care about the red carpet more than the awards, and let’s face it, the People’s Choice Awards are just an excuse for Hollywood to blow smoke up its own ass. So let’s start judging.

Most Overdressed

Mariah Carey in Ysa Makino

My problem with Mariah, besides the fact that I truly believe her to be one of the most boring people alive, is that she is never appropriately dressed for anything. Granted, it is difficult to be appropriately dressed for any event when most of your wardrobe looks like it was stolen from an urban tween in 1999, but I digress.

Let’s put aside the fact that this dress does not do her figure any favors, and just ask: Why, Mariah, did you think that the People’s Choice Awards was the right event for you to wear a cheap-looking wedding gown to? I mean, I don’t think tacky wedding gowns are appropriate for almost any red carpet event, but it’s particularly over-the-top for a bullshit event like this. 

Newest Fashionista

Lea Michele in Nuj Novakhett

Welcome to the neighborhood, Ms. New Diva on the Block! The dress is cute, age- and event-appropriate, and flattering. The bust could be fitted a bit better, and something about her pose inexplicably irks me just a touch, but this is a great start for Lea. I think my slight discomfort is just that I’ve rarely seen her in a red carpet scenario, and I’m not used to her dolled-up look. But that will fade shortly, as Glee continues to take over the universe.

The hair and makeup are flawless. And I think it’s refreshing to see a hot young starlet in something that’s not a) black, b) slutty, or c), glittery. Not to mention, the shoes are fierce as hell (they’re Louboutins, of course).

Most Difficult to Recognize

Demi Lovato in Jenny Packham

I try not to follow teen Disney stars too closely, less I get attached to them and then Disney decides to ditch them as soon as they grow pubes, or a mind of their own (whichever comes first). But I’m also able to recognize most of them pretty well, as I read fashion blogs and trashy magazines (uh, you know, when I’m waiting for my copy of The Nation to arrive).

It took me a good ten glances at this photo to figure out who the hell this was. Not to say her face doesn’t look beautiful, because I actually think this is one of the better photos of her occasionally awkward features.  It’s just all very severe, no? The jet black hair, that looks like it’s been overteased/semi-dredlocked/made out of horse hair. The eyebrows that look painted on.  I can handle black nail polish on the red carpet, but black on the toe nails? Honey, it just looks like an uncomfortable fungus.

I think what makes me most uncomfortable is the opulent bling that points straight into the excessive cleavage. That’s quite a lot of titty for a seventeen-year-old. Especially because she and BFFAEAE Selena Gomez present themselves as the nice-girl alternatives to the Miley Cyruses of the world. I shouldn’t judge Lovato more harshly because of her nice-girl image, but honey, you’re 17. Save looking 25 for when you’re 30, and dress your age.

Do You Carry Condoms? Congrats. You’re a Hooker.

According to a post in change.org’s Women’s Rights blog, DC police officers can arrest prostitution suspects in areas that are declared “Prostitution Free Zones.” Seems reasonable enough, right?

Apparently, cops in the District consider carrying 3 or more condoms to be proof of intent to sell sex. That’s right – you can be legally accused of prostitution in our nation’s capital if you just picked up a 3-pack of Trojans from the CVS on E Street.

I understand why governments have an interest in banning prostitution, regardless of whether you consider it a moral issue. For the preservation of public health, it’s important to place serious restrictions on sex workers to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. In the era of AIDS, this has only become more important.

Here comes the public service announcement part of the blog post, but it’s relevant to my point: One in twenty people in the District of Columbia has HIV. DC also has the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the nation. And up to one-third of the one million Americans living with HIV do not know that they are HIV positive. (These facts are from Whitman-Walker Clinic.)

So what do these facts mean, when we consider the costs of carrying condoms in DC? These cops are encouraging sex workers in the center of the American HIV epidemic to not carry protection. In order to crack down on prostitution, which is criminalized (in part) because of its public health risks, DC is risking the health of its residents by using safe sex as proof of sex work.

Not only is it completely offensive that planning on having sex three times in the indefinite future apparently makes you a hooker, it also encourages exactly the type of dangerous behavior that anti-prostitution laws are supposed to prevent. I think there’s also an extreme-right, abstinence-only education vibe to it: Having protected sex means you’re having sex for pleasure, not procreation. And having sex for pleasure makes you a whore.

I’m not saying we should legalize prostitution, but if the government could keep a closer eye on sex workers, perhaps our law enforcers could make prostitutes more likely to use protection, and therefore less likely to worsen DC’s already horrifc epidemic. Instead, we’re relying on the illogical practices of our nation’s capital, which are much more likely to spread HIV than prevent it.

Just remember: If you were considering finding a prostitute in DC this weekend for some pre-semester shenanigans, you might want to bring your own condoms, since the government is encouraging prostitutes to not carry them. And if you’re en route to Thurston for the same sort of fun, be sure to either hide your condoms, or watch how you dress, because in your stereotypically GW shirt-without-pants outfit, UPD just might accuse you of prostitution.

Obama Appoints Transgender Woman to Commerce Dept

Originally posted by me in the GW Discourse blog.

On Tuesday, January 5th, Amanda Simpson began her work as a Senior Technical Advisor to the US Commerce Department. Ms. Simpson is the first known transgender presidential appointee.

The backlash was immediate. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth, an antigay group, released the following statement:

Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama administration? How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby.

The White House website currently shows 643 appointments and nominations made by President Obama. Apparently, 1 out of 643 represents a quota to groups like Americans for Truth, who are so panicked by Simpson’s appointment that they are ignoring her qualifications and claiming that this is a political maneuver by the president.

Simpson worked as the deputy director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems. She is a flight instructor and a test pilot, and with thirty years in the industry and degrees in physics, engineering, and business administration under her belt, she’s already proven more than worthy of the job. Her high qualifications only highlight the absurdity of claims by Focus on the Family that this appointment is just Obama’s “payback to his far-left base for their political support.”

If this is supposed to be payback to the LGBT community for their support, it’s too little, too late. The President is far too intelligent to believe that one appointment would make the LGBT community forgive him for his lack of progress on repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s clear that groups like Focus on the Family either have no idea what the LGBT community’s priorities are, or they are just trying to instigate media attention with their radical messages.

Amanda Simpson represents a milestone in our nation’s history, and it is important to recognize what she has done for the transgender community. But we should remember that she was appointed because of her unique skills and qualifications, not because Obama wanted to use her to “pay back” the LGBT community.

Let us hope that this appointment ushers in an era not of quotas and political pandering, but of equality and opportunity for all.

Best/Worst of 2009: Superlatives

Time to finish up the best and worst of 2009 with pop culture overview. Here’s how I rate the lows and highs of pop culture.

Most Likely to Succeed

Don't stop believin'.

You can’t watch a talk show without one of these cuties popping up and charming the pants off the host and the audience. They’ve taken over facebook, myspace, and twitter. And they’re still adorable and fresh enough so that we’re not sick of them yet. This group of relative unknowns has been catapulted into the spotlight by the success of their hit show Glee. It seemed like a long shot for a musical dramedy with no big-name actors that’s basically geared toward choir geeks and theater dorks to have any sort of success, but what America needed most during a year of economic downturns and celebrity deaths was a bright-eyed show choir. Now that the show has ironed out some of its more absurd plot lines (Mrs. Schue’s fake pregnancy, anyone?), it can focus more on its strengths: The fascinating characters it showcases, and the show-stopping musical numbers. I’d like to see anyone try and rain on Glee‘s parade.

Biggest Comeback

It’s Kermit, bitch!

Sorry folks, but Britney’s comeback from the brink of fucking nuts started in ’08. It’s the Muppets who had a shockingly popular year.

Our furry friends were everywhere this year! Rocking out. Being worn as coats. Helping families on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (I’m watching it now, and let me tell you, it’s phenomenal). And since star of How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and my dreams Jason Segel has spent all year writing the next Muppets movie, 2010 might be their biggest year yet.

Most Changed Since Freshman Year

The good old days

It's Peter Jackson, right?

I think the photos really say it all.

Worst Thing to Happen to Nice Girls

Tiger Woods, I'ma let you finish, but Kanye West is one of the biggest douchebags OF ALL TIME! OF ALL TIME!

With the quote that launched a thousand memes, Kanye solidified his position as the Crown Prince of Douchery by destroying probably the most exciting moment of a young girl’s life (that is, until that young girl went on to win like every single other award of 2009). While he had a point that Beyonce’s video was probably more deserving of a VMA than Taylor Swift’s (if we’re speaking strictly about the video and not the song), his booze-induced improv session made most of America’s youth turn against him, in favor of Team Taylor. He might have destroyed Taylor’s night, but he also unintentionally rallied a huge amount of support in her favor and made himself an enemy to basically all nice people everywhere.

There is a lesson to be learned here: Friends don’t let friends drink an entire handle of whiskey on the red carpet.

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