The Woman's Complete Guide to Leaning the Fuck In

Ladies: they have so many troubles! When they aren't bleeding like wild coyotes, they are made fun of relentlessly for enjoying pumpkin-flavored beverages in the fall. When they aren't being murdered by their spouses, they are  facing exceptionally high rates of scrutiny in the workplace. Fortunately, an elaborate performance art piece depicting the decline of the capitalist intelligentsia called The New York Times is always at the ready to reveal how this might be remedied. Today, a story called "Learning to Love Criticism," by Tara Mohr essentially gave women a dozen ways to blame themselves for institutional barriers that make them feel like shit at work and several variations on leaning in to remedy them. FIND A FEMALE MENTOR! CONSULT YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE FICTION AUTHOR AND PRETEND SHE'S GIVING YOU ADVICE! IMAGINE THAT ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD, DUMMY!

But what is missing from this advice? A NEW BOOK TO SPEND YOUR CENTS ON THE DOLLAR ON, DUH. Below are the titles I am working on for every kind woman that needs to do every kind of leaning in.

Lean Into the Wild- For the  woman in search of adventure and self-discovery, but has limited botany knowledge

Lean INXS- For the woman that needs him tonight, cause she's not sleepin'.

Lean In the Valley of Elah- For the woman who would dad-fantasy-fuck Tommy Lee Jones and isn't afraid to let you know it

Lean Cuisine In - For the woman who loves ham and cheese but eschews cold sandwiches as peasant provisions

Lean Inside Job- For the woman who whistleblew on the financier robber barons and lost her job for it while they returned unscathed to the riches of investment banking on golden parachutes

Lean In On Me- For the women who loved singer/songwriter Bill Withers, from near and afar

Star Trek: Lean Into Darkness: For the women who write Benedict Cumberbatch/Zach Quinto erotic fan fiction between job applications

The Lean-In Crowd: For the woman whose parents got confused at the video store and rented this janky Cruel Intentions knock-off at her birthday party, turning her into a social pariah and recluse

Lean In the Name of the Father: For the woman who is prison pen-pals with an Irish political dissident because goddam, they are so fly with their black curls and their rage.

Lean Into the Groove- For the woman whose only free when she's dancing.

All of these titles will be available in hardcover from Chez Massey Publications  and ready to gather dust for months as you claw powerlessly for some free time away from the excessive demands of work, family, and social expectations.

Four Advertisements That Told You Bigger Damn Lies Than Usual

Advertising! It pays for things! Like TV shows about real housewives (made of plastic that have paying jobs) and cats from Hades! And journalism about similarly important affairs! Sometimes, FAMOUS PEOPLE star in it!  Its like seeing movies for free just with no plot and mostly Photoshopped to Hello! magazine headquarters and back rendering the celebrities dead-eyed and hollow! Celebrities in ads, they're just like us! Girl, I feel you on the "one leg bent outward to look skinnier" trick. THAT SHIT WORKS.

But advertising is  a cruel mistress and a minx. It draws us in with punchy copy and sexy models then makes us spend wages we're not earning on products that will render us neither sexy nor punchy. It transforms once lithe magazines into monstrous tomes and prevents us from getting straight to the "Anaconda" video on Youtube where we all belong.  It makes otherwise sane people develop crushes on a sociopathic human Eeyore named Don Draper as he waxes poetic with his convoluted word wizardry and day drinking.

Yet some ad campaigns have seemed to transcend all that hogwash and glitter and get to the heart of something deeper, some poignant note about the endurance of the human spirit in a vulnerable world. Surely everyone has been  touched by an ad that made them  feel a little more certain in an uncertain world. To those people, I'd like to introduce myself. I am a big wet blanket full of a dose of truth more potent than the case of smallpox that hippie family's kid is carting around because he wasn't vaccinated. Which is why I am about to ruin some inspiring ads that might have momentarily warmed that delicate fist-sized organ in your chest cavity.

 

 

THAT FRIEND THAT GOT YOU, FACEBOOK

Facebook has ads for Facebook on Facebook.  The one below recently emerged and  it was soooo cute because we all have that friend that just GETS ITS when you wear a miniature green cowboy hat. But Facebook is mostly not home to those types of friends. It is home to monstrous strangers that look like people you once knew.

This ad for Facebook was found ON Facebook. WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO CONVINCE?

You see, once upon a time, only an elite gang of private school brats and outlying bandits that craftily stole .edu email address with impunity were able to have Facebook accounts. Back then, it was super exciting to connect to someone you hadn't seen since junior high because it had only been like five years since you had seen them. Maybe back then, this ad had some truth. But the democratization of Facebook means that longer stretches of time pass between when you last spoke to someone and when you connect with them on the ole 'book.  Conversations nowadays go something like this:

Jean: Glory, Miranda! So great to get connected again! It has been an age!

Miranda: Hasn't it though? We had so much fun together on the pep squad! I can't even remember the last time we saw each other.

Jean: I think it was in 1988 at the 10 year reunion at the Marriott. You and Pascal had just returned from your honeymoon to the Corn Palace out in Mitchell.  What HAVE you been up to?

Miranda: Oh when our last daughter moved out, Pascal and I  sold the house and moved into a cabin where I run a vegan nihilist blog while he builds an empire on Etsy selling crafts made from squirrel bones. What about you?

Jean: I'm a professor at Columbia and spend most  my weekends hosting underground salon discussion where local elites plan a fascist coup to further fortify existing structures of power and lord over the unwashed masses...(PAUSE) I do love cooking with tempeh!

Miranda: Oh tempeh is on its way out, I'm much more vegetable than grain-based in the recipes for my blog that is ultimately pointless in this world void of meaning or any truly moral actors!(PAUSE) So....you always did have big ambitions! Salon discussions, huh?

Jean: That's what I fucking said, isn't it, you wood-dwelling peasant?

Miranda: Your revolution will fail, Jean. All the revolutions will fail.

(PAUSE)

Jean: You'll have to give me the link to your blog!

Miranda: Will do! Great catching up!

Jean: SAME!

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING, ADIDAS

ali20adidas  Oh the old, "Let's put our transcendent word salad inspiration copy on top of a larger-than-life public personality and make it seem like she/he said it!" trick.  It is a sneaky tactic that has convinced people that Benjamin Franklin invented capitalism and that Harriet Tubman practiced yoga.  The "Impossible Is Nothing" campaign did it to a man (presumably with his estate's permission but STILL) with whom one ought not trifle.

First, because Muhammad Ali knows very well that there are a lot of things that are impossible. For example,  standing up to unjust wars  like the one in Vietnam and not paying dearly for it or recovering from Joe Frazier's vicious left hook. Secondly, because Mohammad Ali has made so many more pointed and blistering critiques of sports, society, race, and war that associating him with this drivel ought to be treason or something. Also, come on Adidas: "Impossible" has ten letters in it, which is just not that big of  a word.

 

EVERYTHING DOVE EVER SAYS ABOUT SELF ESTEEM, UNILEVER

The soap-sized gap between your daughter and her fully realized self.

Before Dove started their self-esteem workshops for girls, the world was a wasteland free of any ways of giving girls a sense that they were beautiful such as gentle and encouraging parenting tactics or movements designed to affirm them like Girl Scouts, sports, positive role models, books with strong female leads, feminist teachers, or a kind network of  friends. THANK GOD DOVE CAME ALONG TO GIVE THE FIRST DOSE OF BEAUTIFUL FEELINGS TO THESE GIRLS. It only took them so long because their parent company, Unilever, was working on its latest Fair & Lovely campaign to promote the popular skin-lightening products that exists because international beauty standards are still in a chokehold by insidious white supremacy so women all over the world put toxic chemicals on their skin to make it lighter.  The good people at Unilever's ad team were also putting the finishing touches on a new Axe Body Spray advertisement where women dressed up in leather cat suits and crawled on the floor toward men as if he were a laser pointer because women degenerate into animals at the mere mention of Axe products. Girls are beautiful, women are sex-crazed cat monster people who could go down a few shades.

LIVE RICHLY CAMPAIGN, CITIBANK

I get it, you guys have a really good copy team.

 

To be clear, I have mad respect for the entire horrifyingly effective Live Richly campaign that Citibank ran early in the century. It included other cutesy and feel-good ads like, "Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which are kind of the same thing." It was all "hahahahahaha, we understand the neurotic and soul-crushing obsession you have with money, it really is hard to have those feelings. We get it. Come trade a smile. Buy a flower. Laugh harder. Sign up for a financial product that we'll earn obscene amounts of interest on. I mean...eat marshmallows. Yes, yes that's right. Sign at the bottom and initial where I've highlighted. There there, I'm sure she's going to call you."

 

New York's Got Problems, I've Got Solutions: Snakes in Make-Up Edition

Another day, another plot line ripped directly from the hellscape that is my brain during REM sleep and plopped into the local news! BEHOLD: A BUNCH OF FUCKING SNAKES FOUND ALIVE IN A BAG IN BOERUM HILL.  Now anyone with a lick of sense knows that there is only one instance in which snakes and bags go together:

Everything in it's proper order, you see.

But nooo, this was not a bag MADE of snakes, it was a bag FULL of snakes.  You know,  just the latest in a series of little gimmicks the stunt queens of the reptile world have thrown our way here in New York.  The sadistic writer of the Gothamist article  above was kind enough to link to a number of other incidents in which these legless motherfuckers make surprise appearances in the lives of innocent human beings and ruin their entire lives in so doing.

Fortunately for this fair city's residents,  there is a resourceful hero living among them.  That hero, of course, is me.  You see, I was reading an article this morning in The Economist that mentions that animal testing of cosmetics is mandatory in China.  I know you thought that the whole  Sucking-the-Bile-Out-of-Bear-Stomachs-for-Junk-Science-Reasons was the worst that emerging superpower could go in terms of its animal treatment record but no, they gotta put lipstick on 'em BY LAW too.  

Substance in image unconfirmed as bile.

However, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration has recently announced that they will begin lightening this restriction for certain cosmetics starting in June 2014.   I would like to suggest that before they begin to phase out animal testing, that we send every snake in America to China to have cosmetics tested on their sinister non-asses.   I propose to do for America what St. Patrick did for Ireland and look how well THAT country is doing? Lotion em up, give em some rouge, and shampoo the devil out of 'em all you want because they are serpenta non grata in these parts.

You look great, you harbinger of doom and author of The Fall of Man.

After their ordeal, they can be unceremoniously made into handbags or turned into jump ropes for forest foxes. 

A dramatization.

I don't care where they go really, I just want them gone.  In the words of Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, ANYWHERE BUT HERE. 

Natalie Portman does NOT approve this message.

 

 

Boring Nerd Things That Interest Me: The NYC Council

It is a common practice for regular people to have fantasies about their favorite gaggle of famous people palling around, doing fun things.  Maybe you think One Direction is in a constant state of horsing around and going on fun-fueled glamping (glamour camping) trips where they sometimes spontaneously jump into big piles of bros and make S'mores.  Maybe you think of Leonardo Dicaprio and his gang of ne'er do-wells goofing off in Vegas clubs, hitting on 19 year old girls with really low self-esteem.  For me, that fantasy is about the entire New York City Council being a bunch of goofy  pranksters, cracking jokes about Bloomberg, and singing New York-themed karaoke songs and then having haunted sleepover parties in City Hall.  They just seem like a fun, silly bunch in my mind. That was until I feasted my eyes on THIS:

kent12k-1-web
kent12k-1-web

Careful where you point that thing, Councilman Levin! And make sure it's not at my heart as it would reveal that it is thumping at dangerously high speeds!  This guy isn't jacking Jumaane William's Twitter account to say "LOL, I hate the Knicks!" (Jumaane Williams loves the Knicks). He is enforcing the law, catching criminals, and bringing them to justice, while also promoting community gardens and universal pre-K!   Sorry Brad Lander, he doesn't have time to duet "Fairytale of New York" with you tonight, he's ON PATROL.

In all seriousness, the speeding that he is addressing on Kent Avenue is a very real issue and speed enforcement is notoriously bad in that area.  But that picture! It screams "Lone Hero of Gotham" and I felt that the six of you who read this blog should know it. Go on with your bad self, dark knight of that most curiously shaped council district.