Soman's In The Know
FILMThree entirely random things to consider:
A little girl says to her mother after the first time she tastes soda, "It tastes just like my foot's asleep."
The difference between Bruce Willis and Elisabeth Shue '85/'00: ''It's just a trophy. I have some bowling trophies I think would be worth about the same thing."'-- Bruce, saying he's never considered going back to complete his bachelor's degree.
According to DJ Schmeejay's research, six things are guaranteed to make people laugh, regardless of race or gender: 1) watching someone get kicked in the genitals, 2) a hapless person falling down stairs, 3-5) two people beating on each other in form or another, and 6) adults dressed as twins.
I don't quite understand how publicists can think we're all mentally impaired. First, David Letterman's publicist randomly announces that Dave's heading into the hospital for a "check-up" and professes shock when the talk show host has to undergo 'emergency" bypass surgery. Lightning strikes twice when Steven Spielberg also heads in for a routine check-up and emerges with only one kidney. And the example that hits closest to home, Elisabeth Shue's spokesperson claimed that Shue wouldn't return until the fall--and yet, she's been spotted at various campus hotspots (with a very strange haircut). Why bother telling us anything at all?... Everyone's dying their hair again. Maybe an attempt to escape the monochrome colors of barren Cambridge?... Our designer suggested that the public embraces American Beauty because it makes them think they're thinking when they're really not thinking at all. (I would compare it to Salman Rushdie or The English Patient. The latter is a terrible, thuddingly boring movie. And no, it wasn't intelligent. Just because people speak with a British accent doesn't mean they're intelligent.)... Speaking of which, why are pseudo-accents popping up all over Harvard? If I hear one more fake British accent that falls away when the person gets plastered...Rumor has it that the trendiest classes this semester are: Soc 150, German Bab, Foreign Cultures 76 ("Nazis for ROTCs"), Womens Studies 156 ("Hardcore Sex")--and Rome of Augustus before everyone found out that it also counted for a History B... Is it too late for me to try a special concentration in Contemporary Mass Communication (a.k.a. Trashy Pop Culture)? For my thesis, I want to fashion a cutting-edge visual landscape that reflects current sociological tastes (a.k.a. a music video). I'll let you know if the English Department approves.
PUTTING THE "SUB" IN SUBCONTINENT
I'm certainly no Indian nationalist, but I do find it odd that Indian actors or actresses just can't find their way onto the big screen (or the small screen. for that matter). In David Lean's A Passage to India, the only Hindu was played by a white man in brown face. In Short Circuit, Fisher Stevens added the needed laughs by yukking it up as an Indian with an accent so heavy that even the Indians in the audience couldn't understand him. Over time, it only got worse. Imagine if Malcolm X in Spike Lee's epic was played by a white man--that's how I felt when Ben Kingsley was given the highly coveted role of Gandhi (even though I was four years old). Even more egregious was the dreadful manipulation of races in 1997's A Perfect Murder. The movie is set in New York--Indian heaven--so when Sarita Choudry, one of India's great actresses, shows up on screen as Gwyneth Paltrow's best friend, I almost stand up and cheer. But then her mouth opens and a Hispanic accent dribbles out. Oh yes, Sarita Choudry--one of India's most famous faces--had been magically transformed into a Mexican. (But then again, what Indian would want to be friends with Gwyneth Paltrow? As if.) What's the deal? I'm saying it loud and clear --put an Indian in a movie and I guarantee it will be a blockbuster! M. Night Shyamalan did it with The Sixth Sense--in one totally irrelevant scene, two attractive Indians engage in a random argument over an engagement ring. But I assure you, those 30 seconds explain the movie's $250 million dollar gross. After all, every Indian in America went to see for themselves whether we had actually made it up on to the big screen. But truth be told, Indians will probably never stop being the lame-o sidekick or the inane comic relief (Apu, anyone?). Oh, but not to confuse those casting agents out there, I still want to be Anakin's Indian friend in Episode II. Help me out, Natalie.
Though they stopped playing videos ten years ago and run more commercials than any other station on TV, you can't blame MTV for not taking risks. After all, they basically started the boy band craze on their own--and now, well, they may just end it on their own. Next month, MTV releases the TV documentary "2gether," a boy band spoof that tracks an inept music manager's attempt to find the next bubblegum sensation after losing his job. His creation, 2gether, brings together the five crucial ingredients for "Larger Than Life" success: "the heartthrob," "the rebel," "the cutie," "the shy one" and the not so attractive "older brother." I just got my hands on a copy of the soundtrack to the documentary and I'm just starting to realize how earth-shattering this whole thing might be. Every song is a razor-sharp collection of patented boy-band fluff--down to the "Oh babys" and the "Oooh yeahs"; if girls watch this thing or even listen to the CD, they'll never be able to listen to their Backstreet Boys again without feeling cheated. Add in the bad lyrics and we might just have the end of the boy band craze a few years earlier than any of us could have possibly hoped for. Look out for "U+Me=Us (Calculus)," a hilarious send-up of sappy ballads with the scintillating chorus sung 10 different ways, "I know my calculus / It says U + Me = Us." But the real crowd-pleaser is "Rub One Out" (and the "Rub One Out" Dream Maker Club Mix) which tackles that most taboo of subjects while ejaculation noises gurgle in the background: "Rub one out baby, Don't be shy / Rub one out girl, Don't ask why / Rub one out and I grab my crotch / Rub one out, do you wanna watch?"
TREND-O-RAMA: VIRGIN TERRITORY
When did innocence become so trendy? With the rise of bubblegum pop and teenage purchasing power, reasserting one's virginity is all the rage. It's a tricky little marketing ploy--and as long as no one knows you're lying, it seems harmless, right? Unfortunately, the recent born-again virgins aren't particularly convincing. Case 1: Enrique Iglesias. Enrique is 24, a superstar in virtually every country, and he has women crawling all over him. And still, he claims that he's looking for the right woman to marry and with whom to have his "first" sexual experience. Pluhheeasssee. Not only did Enrique betray his self-description while attending my high school, but he confesses that his virginity lends itself to particularly effective pick-up lines. Case 2: Anna Kournikova. Kournikova is a tennis player--which may come as a shock to her zillions of teenage fans who download fake images of her off the Web and set up dedicated fan sites to the Russian Lolita. But Anna, after all, can be best characterized as the Brad Pitt of the sports world--after five years of playing, she still hasn't won a single thing, and still she's in the limelight. At the ripe age of 16, Anna was the puck to 30 year-old Sergei Federov's hockey stick and has recently been seen canoodling with no less than three 20-something male tennis players. Still, Anna claims, "No one has had a peep in my bed." Your bed, maybe. But who can blame her for being cautious--statutory's a bitch.
Questions, Comments, Want to Star in My Music Video?