New TV series, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo, premieres on TLC (The “Learning” Channel) this week:
One wonders what we’re supposed to be “learning” from this “learning channel” – or as George W. Bush once said, “Is our children learning?” If they’re watching TLC, apparently they’re learning about rednecks. Other current offerings on the channel include “I’m Pregnant at the Same Time as My Teen,” and “American Gypsies.” Not too long ago, TLC was the midgets and fat people channel, now they’re going full-on white trash. About the only good thing I can find to say about this is: thank god these people aren’t from Arkansas; the Duggars (another TLC “learning” opportunity) are enough of an embarrassment for one state. Sad to say, Beth and Lyta, but these fine specimens are your own – they hail from the great state of Georgia.
Don’t you love how the clip says, “you’ve met Honey Boo-Boo; now meet her family!” Really? Do we HAVE to? I think I could have lived out the rest of my days without seeing a bunch of derping rednecks playing with their belly fat for the cameras.
Another thing from the video clip above that is amusing, in a sick sort of way, is the argument they have about whether or not they’re rednecks. One of the girls claims they’re not because “we have our TEEF don’t we” (protip: if you call them TEEF, you might be a redneck), but as you can see in the photo below, no, they not only don’t have all their TEEF, they don’t have all their TEETH, either. Check out dad “Sugar Bear” in the lower right corner – he seems to be missing a few in the front:
From the blessedly limited amount of “research” I’ve done on the topic, apparently “Sugar Bear” is a chalk miner. I did not know such a profession existed, though I suppose it’s an appropriately Dickensian occupation for the husband of a 400 pound “Coupon Queen” who enters her child into beauty pageants and dopes her up with a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull to give her an energy boost before she goes on stage.
Seriously folks, it’s all over but the crying. America had a good run and we should just content ourselves with having made it through almost 250 years before the whole thing fell apart.
Given that we’re a week into the new year already, I figured it was time to put up something on the ol’ blog.
I spent New Year’s as usual, with the other 2 weird sisters in Atlanta. This year the feat of the annual New Year’s Day mass feeding was even more miraculous than usual, given that Beth still doesn’t have a kitchen. Something like 40 people were fed out of a room lacking a sink, stove, oven or dishwasher. As our friend Kyle said, “talk about your loaves and fishes!” Since Kyle has helpfully posted on the event here, and unlike me is not too lazy to take photos, I’ll not re-do his work.
My trip included the obligatory treks to Ikea and Trader Joe’s, things we don’t get to do here in the benighted hinterlands because, as the folks at Trader Joe’s told me when I called and begged them to open a store in Little Rock, “Arkansas isn’t in our two-year plan.” Well, no shit – we’re not in anyone’s two-year plan, and apparently not in the five-year plan either, since that conversation took place 3 years ago and still – no Trader Joe’s.
But the best part, as usual, was seeing out the old year and ringing in the new with a group of people, most of whom I have known for 30 years or longer now. Old times, both those that bear remembering and those that we’d rather not, were discussed. I learned to my shock and embarrassment that more people I know in real life than I thought read the horrible things I post here, something I’ll have to try to forget or I’ll never write anything else again.
There have been some great new people added into the mix over the years as well – friends’ children and the parents of those children’s friends, neighbors, and others. It’s always a good time and over the years has become my favorite holiday tradition.
One of the topics of conversation that came up over the three day visit was Portlandia. Allison brought it up and we talked about the feminist bookstore; Beth had never seen it. Then the topic of Portlandia came up over at Sadly, No! just yesterday. So to close out a post that really isn’t going anywhere, other than to wish you and yours a happy 2012, here it is:
There are several other feminist bookstore clips on the youtube, but if you’ve never seen the show, this is a good intro.
Use the comments section for the Airing of Grievances. You’ll have to figure out your own way to celebrate with the Feats of Strength.
I’ve been waiting for months for someone to post this video on the YouTube:
Yes, it’s bad…but the original, longer version was way worse. I think maybe it’s because of the maniacal grin the woman has on her face when she says “feces.” I also love how she’s sitting on a white couch in a white room with white carpet while cheerfully chatting about feces. You can see the original version here – it’s not in a format I could embed.
I think this commercial could be made into an awesome Xtranormal video. Just imagine one of those robotic voices saying “but what about feces?” Alas, when I went to the Xtranormal site, it looked like I would have to learn how to use it in order to produce said awesome video, and I’m lazy, so it will never happen unless there’s someone out there with a similar warp less lazy than I am.
Since Beth has officially kicked off our War on Christmas with the delightfully egregious Kids of the King, I’m bringing up reinforcements. I can’t decide which of the following is the most offensive; we’ll set aside the discussion of the crass, mawkish sentimentality of the song itself for the moment and you can deliver your verdict in comments if you can manage to watch even 30 seconds of each of the following. Warning: you’ll want to turn off the speakers if you make the attempt.
First up, we have what I can best describe as the Reagan Republican version, featuring !Rob Lowe! The story is sad, but the visuals are sufficiently generic to satisfy even the most voracious Lifetime viewer:
Don’t you just love how the clean-scrubbed yuppie family in the video matches up with the dirty kid in worn-out clothes in the song? Mom is more attractive in her death throes than most women are on their best days. And !Rob Lowe! perfectly portrays the noblesse oblige of the Reagan era as a busy executive who just magically shows up at just the right moment to help out the less fortunate, which is why we don’t need a social safety net. Also, the shoes is ugly. Bonus points: !Rob Lowe!
This next one is an art school project. Yes, ladies and gents, a student in art school chose this song for one of his projects. Here we see our next Thomas Kinkade in training:
I think this one probably scores highest on the “mawkish sentimentality” scale; the kid actually does look like he’s poor, and mom isn’t done up like Morgan Fairchild on the Love Boat. Instead of the company executive !Rob Lowe! in his Lexus assuaging his guilt by helping out a kid with about the worst sob story one could invent, we’ve got a Tea Party patriot middle-class-type-guy stepping in to do the honors. Poor people may be leeches undeserving of health care and all, but now that she’s dying, he can be a stand-up guy and toss the kid a few bucks to help him feel like he did something for his dying mom. Bonus points: this one has what may be the ugliest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen.
Our last contestant captures the art school vibe better than the art school project, with its nostalgic sepia tones and a dying mother and spare death-room staging straight out of a Vermeer:
Yes, the shoes in this one are horrible too, but at least they match the color of her outfit, and WTF is up with that get-up she’s wearing? The anachronisms in this one qualify for some bonus points: you’ve got a dying 16th-century Dutch woman whose son is running around town in early 20th-century newsboy garb making a purchase of 1980’s shoes in a modern store.
The song itself…uggh. I think the heart of its offensiveness, aside from general unlistenability, is in the narrator’s conceit that God sent this little boy into his path, and presumably is killing his mother, so the narrator can feel better about himself. Yes, that’s what Christmas is all about, dude. It’s all about you, just like every other friggin’ day of the year. Except on Christmas, for that one day, you’ll try to refrain from being such a dick about making sure everyone else knows it.
And I got almost all the way to the end of this post without realizing that they had made this dreck into a movie too, which means the Lifetime vibe from that first one was right on target, because that’s a made-for-Lifetime movie if I’ve ever heard of one. And also, that the end of the world is nigh.
In closing, I’d like to wash my hands of all responsibility for the offensive videos posted above; all the honors go to commenter Spotts 1701 over at Mr. Bogg’s for reminding me of this particular offense to taste and decency which I had successfully repressed for the past several years, though I must agree that an endless loop of this song playing would be an appropriate eternal punishment for Meagan McArdle.
Also. Too. I’m tagging this post with PENIS, because of the song’s general dickishness.
Shorter Fox News, Andrew Breitbart & MSM Rationalization for Why L’affair Sherrod Reflects More Poorly Upon the White House than Anyone Else
In Which Our Hero(ine) Watches TV.
First, The Tube. Oh.My.Gawd! Not finding the election results I wanted online last night, I ventured down about 11:15 to watch returns on the telly. Those of you who know me will be glad to learn that I have now completely mastered the the remote control, cable box and entire setup. I have been fancying myself a TV watcher this past year, gaining experience through Mad Men, Modern Family, Treme and a rewatching of The Wire.
So I’ve mastered the beast. And was even ready to argue that TV must be getting better.
But watching Mad Men had not prepared me for the World of Idiocracy that Teh Box has become. Did I say Oh.My.Gawd? I think the commercials are more tasteful than the programming! In defense, like raising both arms in front of my face in a car crash, I turned down the sound and watched the scrolling return numbers. Which are so wildly and badly designed it takes forever just to sort out what’s what.
In under an hour — about 20 minutes of that with the sound actually turned on — I was subjected to …
… Some wildly flashing promos for – or maybe it was the show itself –TMZ. What is TMZ? I certainly know that no one prone to migraines or seizures should watch it.
… A commercial for Oprah in which she wears a cowboy hat and much drama and fawning applause ensues. I have good friends who like Oprah. Which always makes me think the show must not be as bad as my limited experience with it has shown. But … Oh.My.Gawd!
… Monica Pearson (she’s kind of our local Oprah) shrilly shouting to Richard Belcher to run back and get Karen Handel and ask if we will be graced with a celebrity visit from Sarah Palin. “Richard! Go ask her if Sarah Palin will come to Georgia to campaign!” Thank heavens John Pruitt is still with Monica after all these years and calmly intoned, “I think if we see Palin come here to campaign, it will be for the general election, not the runoff.”
… At least four versions of a story about a carjacking with a baby in the backseat. Jacker runs into hotwing store, leaves baby on counter, flees. The talking heads kept using their voices to convict the mother (“The mother LEFT the baby in the car while she dropped an older sister off at daycare.”) but never managed to make the truly important connection … with Raising Arizona.
There was more. It was awful — loud screaming laughter, bright colors, flashing lights. I wiped a lot of it out of my mind overnight like a nightmare. All praise The Internets, which allow me to get the information I need without sitting in front of the Idiot Box.