From the brilliant Bloomberg News story by Max Abelson in which rich assholes in the 1 percent shoot their mouths off. Amazingly they go ON RECORD saying stupid things like the above.
Read all of it here.
The last trailer before Young Adult began was for Titanic in 3D. I raced to cram my fingers in my ears so as to not get the horrific Celine Dion song we all know and hate stuck in my head. Didn’t work. You’ll be happy to hear that the trailer included every single thing you remember oh so fondly from that bad bad film: Kate and Leo flying on the prow, the spin-dance, nude sketching, sex in the car, the iceberg, and, most poignantly, that dude who bangs into the smokestack while plummeting to an ice-cold watery death. No Billy Zane, which is fine, since I can barely recall that he exists at all.
I grimaced through this entire godforsaken meal of tripe and thought, “How can the marketing team who selects the trailers that run before the feature believe that the audience for Young Adult wouldn’t scoff at Titanic?” Because as we all know, Young Adult is about a grown up mean girl who goes back to her hometown to wreak havoc on the yokels. She’s a self-serving, narcissistic, angry, myopic cunt and people who would be drawn to watching a film about her probably aren’t the sort who would sit through a bloated, histrionic mess. In 3D no less. Like “Hey, Madagascar’s set in Africa right? Cool, let’s throw it on the front of Hotel Rwanda.”
The most obvious reason the Titanic 3D trailer was stuck in there is because marketers break down demographics into highly specialized groups so as to ensure that whatever they’re selling will be aimed at the audience most willing to buy it. Clearly, these guys have a very specific bucket labeled: “WOMEN.” If you’ve got va-jay, you’re definitely gonna pay to cry.
After Young Adult finished however and I’d been forced (albeit willingly) to endure an hour and a half with a beautiful but ugly on the inside (IRONY) anti-heroine who barely grasped that her romantic ideals of “running off to the city with her first one true love” are downright delusional to the point of mental handicap, I considered the deeper implications of including that Titanic trailer.
Charlize Theron’s character is the sort who would watch Titanic or Twilight or some other bland rom-com filled with stereotypical, wrong-headed views on male-female relationships. She seemed like the type who had actually believed and acted on ideas she’d learned from this crap that women so happily, brainlessly devour. And since she’s a writer of books aimed at teen girls, she’s actually complicit in the creation of these lie-filled stories. She came off like a delusional escaped mental patient — a victim of never having grown out of a particularly bad phase in high school.
The idea of the film is that you get to dwell in the spectrum of her horrible behavior and thrill at her spectacular self-involvement. There are visceral moments of mortification where you shield your eyes. Most of these were given away in the trailer however, which is a shame. This isn’t praise for Young Adult’s filmmakers because it’s tough, unpleasant work spending time with a spiteful, amoral alcoholic (who isn’t me!). You actually think, “How did this person get this way?”
And so the answer is by watching brain candy like Titanic and reading Twilight?
Couple thoughts on Shame, which I saw last night in at the AMC theatre on 68th street and Broadway. Same place where I saw Avatar and, ugh, multiple Harry Potters. So, mainstream as they come and probably just as filled with bedbugs.
I expected to enter a theatre with solitary audience members spread out with many seats between one another and a damp trench coat over each of their laps. And that was pretty much what I found, except one guy was eating nachos. This perplexed me. Maybe that’s just his go-to porn nosh it being so aqueous and sticky.
The film is beautiful, to be sure, and minimal so that you pay close fucking attention (as it were) to Fassbender and Mulligan’s subtleties. For all the full-frontal and supposedly debased adventures Fassbender’s Brandon gets into to lose himself in some semblance of intimacy, the most excruciating moment is when his sister Sissy (Mulligan) sings a slow, spare version of Sinatra’s usually show-boating standard “New York, New York.” McQueen holds the camera so close to her face you’re forced to examine her skin and ears and over-processed blonde curls. As her voice falters and finds its footing, you’re utterly, embarrassingly captivated. She’s laid bare and you as the audience member are asked to stare. In this moment I felt the truth of Brandon’s fear of intimacy. Because I had to do quite a lot not to turn away.
And so, you’re asking, what about the sex? Well, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Some mildly arousing, none repellent. At its core this film is about loneliness and how even in the midst of doing the one thing that supposedly brings human beings closer together — literally one inside of the other — one can still feel trapped and alone inside yourself. Duh, we all knew that before going in.
Given that I could probably hand-draw Michael Fassbender’s penis from memory now, Shame does suffer from a lack of specificity. McQueen must have done this purposefully to avoid the typical tracing Brandon’s neurosis/addiction back to some childhood incident or bad family situation or shitty break-up. Addiction is incidental to these, not sourced. It emerges from a cloud so attempting to tease out a string would be too simplistic. However, I could do with a little more than Sissy weeping to his voicemail, “We’re not bad people, we just come from a bad place.” Knowing only that they grew up in New Jersey, I mean, I understand, yes, that’s true, you do literally come from a bad place. But that’s probably not where the sex addiction comes from.
I just wanted McQueen to throw me a bone.
Instead I got like 17 boners.
ps. Even after all of this I’d still let Michael bend my fass.
“In one of the scenes, which was really important to me, one of the main characters, David, the asshole character—well, he’s a player, he’s gotten around, but eventually he gets to have sex… It’s a disaster, physical sex with a girl, it’s not doing it for him. They’re in the dark, and he’s—his whole sexual life has been built on porn. So just to get off, he needs to imagine pornography… [Afterward] David finds himself thinking, “this is it!” When he gets home and he’s going to bed, he’s thinking “I feel great.” But it’s a pose. He didn’t get what he wanted; what he actually wanted was some sort of genuine intimacy. And I think that as far as men are concerned, that felt—I mean it wasn’t an autobiographical moment, but it was a very personal moment. This is where I think men are not being written for, in YA, the phenomenon of guys who in fact truly don’t want to just fuck everything that moves.”
This is an excerpt from a discussion between two Young Adult fiction writers, John M. Cusick and Laura Goode in this new literary blagh, The New Inquiry, which I only discovered from a completely irritating NYT Styles Section profile on it today. Cusick said the above and I have a number of questions here:
The Young Adult novel world is basically just for women and girls, so I suppose Cusick is wise to crack open an entirely new market of boys who have gotten too old for Harry Potter but aren’t yet ready for Portnoy’s Complaint. He’s written a book called Girl Parts, which calls to mind hairless prepubescent pussies and brainless dolls broken into component legs, arms, torsos. So far, so good! Not exploitative or sensationalized one bit. Whatever, my main problem here isn’t with the title, but with the scene quoted above.
Every few weeks a new trend piece is published about the destructive nature of porn on our poor men-folk. After rubbing out too many to some tattooed neanderthal jack-hammering an orange siliconed faux-blonde, their sleepy peens just can’t lift their calloused heads when a real lady is at the ready. And now this trend has infiltrated the world of the Young Adult novel. I literally cannot imagine this ever, EVER being the case. Especially with a horny 17 year old! This kid can’t come because he is too wise, too jaded to the treats of the flesh delivered via internet. Show me a straight 17 year old who can’t fuck a tight little willing cheerleader and I will show you a pervy old writer shaming teenagers for activities HE feels guilty about.
Ah yes. Here’s what the writer says about porn: “I found it really calcified my interests. I imagine that I tried different things for about six months in high school. Followed by 17 years of basically the exact same thing over and over again.”
Seriously? Dude needs to hit some new sites now and again. One can only take so much bukkake. One meaning the guy, since girls fucking love to take it allllllll, give it to meeee, all over my faaaaceee. In any case, Cusick has created a teenage character who can’t get off while fucking a real girl with legs spread wide open because his pornography-drenched brain isn’t turned on enough by it. Fine, I’ll do a little suspension of disbelief here and not imagine what he’s really writing about is a 40 year old man with a shriveled dick. So he’s got this character, the one with the bukkake-bleached brain. This character is not now allowed to simultaneously wish for genuine intimacy and be all sad-face about it. Because he had it. He was fucking that girl, he was pumping away, skin on skin, and yet needed to imagine some naked mole rat pussy just to get off.
This doesn’t compute. And the reason it doesn’t compute is because these guys who are all fucked up due to their porn-addiction DON’T ACTUALLY EXIST. Sure, dudes may wank more than they would admit, but not so much that if they were with some naked chick who was looking to straight up get reamed, they couldn’t perform serviceably.
So, Cusick, trying to infect the world of Judy Blume and the Hardy Boyz with your message that kids should lay off the wanking only comes off as pearl-clutchingly conservative.