Category Archives: ‘Merica

Amanda Palmer Writes A Poem, And The Internet Explodes

In what is apparently the Making It All About You Department, the not-always-social-media-savvy Amanda Palmer has written a poem titled “A Poem For Dzhokhar” on her blog over the weekend. Although the work does venture into what Suspect #2 (and his brother, Suspect #1, aka the Tsarnaev Brothers of last week’s horrific Boston marathon bombings) might be thinking, the references to iPhone battery life, Vietnamese soft rolls, and the Oh-my-Godiest line of all: “you don’t know how to tell the girl in the chair next to you that you’ve been peeking at her dissertation draft and there’s a grammatical typo in the actual file name” indicates that this poem is more about Amanda calling attention to Amanda. (We’ll let the crime of all lower-casing rest for now.)

So, the Internets noticed. Spin called it “a new low” (and paired it with an engineered-to-scare photo of Amanda enjoying a ball pit more maniacally than she might have intended), Gawker called it “the worst poem ever written,” and one blogger wrote biting parodies. And, predictably, the greatest handwringing on the Internets was of the “Neil Gaiman has to stay married to her?” variety.

It’s really not, to be fair, the worst poem ever written — it has all the hallmarks of being quickly dashed off, in an attempt to enter the dialogue in a way that’s clearly marked with her own voice and her own worldview. She has adoring fans, to be sure, and when you raise over a million dollars on Kickstarter and create a fantastic album in response, it maybe makes you feel like you can do no wrong, even after last year’s Unpaidmusiciangate — a pretty definitive indication that the Internets will not always love you.

Here’s the problem — we’re all watching from a distance right now as the FBI, CIA, and whoever else is questioning Dzhokhar right now trying to get into his head. We’re pretty sure that he wasn’t bleeding to death hiding in a boat thinking about Vietnamese soft rolls, and if he was, we’re not concerned about that. We want to know more important things, like why did they try to kill people, was he and his brother working with other terrorists to kill people, and are there plans to kill anymore people, including any additional bombs hidden in Boston. Right now, getting into the mind of the bomber isn’t a journey to the land of aesthetic ennui and artists-who-made-it problems for those of us who feel compelled together. We want to see the blueprint imprinted in that mind — namely, a plan to hurt and kill innocents, a plan that worked, a plan that took an eight-year-old boy and two young women from the world. We collectively want to know the extent of the plan so we can begin to heal and fight the fear and bewilderment that terrorism means. There’s a time and place for navel-gazing art. The galvanic response to Amanda’s thoughts on Amanda as filtered through Dzhokhar is the audience saying that this is not quite the time and place.

(Update: The title was arbitrary, and it only took her nine minutes to write the poem. We suspected as much.)

Advertisements

Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe: Stephen Colbert and Alan Cumming Combine for Awesomeness

Not sure what Stephen Colbert was doing with the bucket-cam in Times Square last night, but one night prior, he scored bigtime in skewering Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s “Accidental Racist.” He pointed out some of the issues we pointed out in an earlier post, but took it to an amazing new place by bringing Alan Cumming on to do a parody called, “Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe,” employing the reductiveness and sketchy rhyming of the original. He even employed a cowboy hat in the making of said parody. (Which, needless to say, brings its own extra level of hilarity.)

MTV Movie Awards: Not Just a Big Trailer for Avengers 2, Right?

This paragraph from Huffington Post‘s report (via AP), about tonight’s MTV Movie Awards, pretty much tells you all you need to know about the show:

“What’s the opposite of humbled? We’re Biebered to be standing here,” said “Avengers” writer-director Joss Whedon as he accepted the final golden popcorn trophy. “This is the award that means the most to me. I am so grateful and very excited for 2015; we’re going to bring you ‘Avengers 2.'”

Of course, Avengers 2. Will Ferrell collected a Comedic Genius award (from Peter Dinklage, Ferrell’s Elf co-star and current Lord of the HBO Original Series Castle) and promoted the upcoming Anchorman 2 (which could be really great, actually), and Emma Watson nodded to her Summer 2013 jam, The Bling Ring, which is more substantive than the title suggests (if IMDB is to be believed).

Oh, Rappers: Jay-Z and LL Cool J Go Where They Perhaps Shouldn’t

Is rap controversial again? Two developments of note this week.

First, LL Cool J and Brad Paisley have teamed up for six minutes of awfulness called “Accidental Racist,” in which Paisley displays a sketchy grasp on semiotics (in his world, Confederate flag signifies Skynyrd fan) and LL Cool J fuels the dumbness fire by referencing said flag and rhyming it with doo-rag. It’s essentially a 2013 remake of “Ebony and Ivory” crossed with a Saturday Night Live parody that refuses to end.

And now, Jay-Z (as Vibe Reports) has released “Open Letter,” referencing his recent jaunt to Cuba and his White House security clearance.

We’re all for rappers jumping into the political dialogue, but solving racism in America and the Cuban trade embargo? Be sure to check back and let us know how that’s going, fellas.

A Pizza With An Ear Infection: Sandwich Monday Takes On the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Oh, ‘Merica. In the never-ending quest of American fast food chains to fill us with fat, Pizza Hut has created a cheese pizza with bowls of cheese ringing the pizza. We wish we were kidding. It’s called the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, and it is undeniably all those things. Even though a pizza is clearly not a sandwich, the awesome team at NPR’s Sandwich Monday took the plunge (into a pool of cheese) to review the Hut’s latest offering. Hilarity ensues. Oh my God, does hilarity ensue.

A National Dialogue on the Wolf Whistle: Gawker Mansplains It For Men

President Obama’s recent misstep in calling California Attorney General (and possible future Presidential candidate) Kamala Harris “the best-looking attorney general in the U.S.” sparked an interesting conversation on why such complements might not be welcome. Gawker’s pointedly-titled “Mansplainer” takes on why this isn’t acceptable with a hilarious allegory involving cheeseburgers. (Ostensibly, something red-blooded American males can understand.)