Monday, March 31, 2008
We abhor that show The Hills. We don't understand why it is on television.
We admit, we're a little misinformed. We've only seen two episodes of that show and couldn't get through an entire half hour of Laguna Beach. Nonetheless, we cannot stand it.
First off, its the cast. Their uninteresting lives, their lack of facial expressions, the sheer entiltlement of it all.
Lauren Conrad has a completly astounding lack of charisma. Its quite a feat to be able to freeze our over-emotional hearts. And those fabric scarves she wears piss us off. What's the point? They don't keep your neck warm if they're woven with linen. Also, don't the live in L.A.?
And, personally, (T)AHP don't quite buy that whole Lauren vs. Heidi fued. We don't quite believe they were originally friends. We don't quite believe Heidi is a real person and not a robot.
We don't care if her boobs or his mustache is fake. (Blonde guys with facial hair shouldn't happen.) Their little photoshoots are, and that's just gross. So's this:
Seriously, though. Its bad enough that we kinda keep up with the Kardashians. Why must we be subjected to faux-celebutaunts? And, on one final note,
Friday, March 28, 2008
While watching the ANTM (America’s Next Top Model, for the unaware) Marathon on MTV this fine Friday, I was bombarded with the commercials of MTV. Now, for those of you who have not experienced this lovely cable channel it is essentially 5% programming and 95% commercials. And seeing as MTV is socially aware, the commercials not for beauty products or TV shows are undoubtedly for causes.
The causes cover a small range. It is basically anti-drug, anti-tobacco, and HIV awareness. This got me to thinking, which cause makes the best commercials. They obviously are trying to save your life. So basically it’s a little game now. Which form of death will you not die from?
You’ve definitely seen these commercials before, since I am determined that there are only 3 commercials, and they just switch out actors, actresses, and the occasional cartoon dog. These commercials revolve around three themes: rejecting drugs, ruining your life, and ruining other’s lives. They definitely make a statement, but let’s evaluate!
The rejecting-drugs commercials are some of the more visually pleasing ones. The best one is about the boy standing center-frame, watching as people come by and change his outfit, hair, and accessories. He just stands, stoically, against all that comes his way—edited to be fast-paced and stunning. Then he breaks free from his pot-induced lack of self-awareness, and walks away from the people who just shaved his head. I guess it works, but it’s a little ridiculous.
The ruining-my-life commercials are quite hilarious, however. It is impossible not to laugh at cell phone girl who worries about the revealing photos circulating the youth of America that were taken when she was “so high.” At this point, you are supposed to feel sorry for the girl, however I have known a limited number of pothead girls. They genuinely amuse me, granted in a completely horrible way. Especially because this particular one targets the Latin community, so our little pothead answers the phone, "Hey, chica!" In the end, humor is the only reaction received from these commercials. This is evidenced by the many Facebook groups dedicated to Pete's couch. It's an amusing little ad in which three reefer-mad friends sit on "Pete's couch" with their eyes glazed over as one of them talks about nothing dangerous happened, and how the real world is more exciting. Then Pete's couch transports them the woods, then a basketball, court, an ice rink...Pete must be the son of Mrs. Frizzle with his magic couch. If getting high means apparating into a movie theater, pass it to me!
The final type of commercial appeals to sympathetic, soap opera fans everywhere. These are the ones that focus on how pot affects people second-handedly. These are the stories that stick. The little brother who is waiting for older brother to play with him, the grandmother who made food for her grandson, and waits for her pothead grandson—all of these genuinely make good commercials, although a tad cheesy. These, however, are not seen as often. Perhaps the potheads that need to be reformed are very self-centered.
In the end, these commercials are the most cinematically pleasing. However, the message is lost in the stories crafted. I find myself caring more about the grandmother, than about the pothead grandson. Rather than telling Mr. Mary Jane to reform his ways, I want to tell his grandmother to give up on him. Maybe I’m just a pessimist.
The anti-tobacco commercials are much more simple. These have always revolved around people making a statement in the middle of Any City, USA. These are universally statement-oriented. These are the commercials that look like they were filmed on a hand-held camcorder by a high school SADD club. But more recently, they became flashier, and therefore they leave room to evaluate old-school commercials, and new-school commercials.
The old commercials went something like this: person on megaphone talks to stunned crowd in some undistinguishable city. They speak of lies spouted by evil Big Tobacco, while their comrades do something shocking, like filling the rode with dead bodies, or having a person sing who has a hole in their neck. It’s very Cloverfield-esque. You are meant to be shocked and horrified by the evils of tobacco and smoking. You then go get a nicotine patch, regardless of whether you used tobacco or not.
The new commercials are now so ironic that it is ridiculous. They mean to be, however. These commercials usually begin the same way. Two people, in the years during college when they must be promoting some movement, set up some tobacco demonstration. And then with little warning, they second-guess the facts they spout about the lies of Big Tobacco. Cartoon characters pop up, and they start singing. If Enchanted didn’t elaborate non-Pixar Disney’s comeback, these commercials do. People singing about typos in regard to the number of tobacco-related deaths…that’s sheer brilliance. But in the end I find myself remembering this:
And not this:
These commercials are always the same. They always show information on screen. In questions, facts, or anecdotes, they somehow display a message of safe sex. Sometimes they have people talking—some of the most attractive HIV-infected people that live. Occasionally Africa is mentioned, but more often then not they are just trying to get Americans to wear condoms. They aren’t showy. There is no story, and sadly no unicorns. But I find myself listening more. These commercials may also be more effective because they are more controversial. And let’s face it, if they are a person who smokes pot, chews tobacco, and has sex without condoms—which commercial will they actually listen to? These. Why? Well, let’s see. They are addicted to cigarettes, they probably like pot a lot, and these commercials actually make sense. The lack of grandmas and unicorns wins.
But in the end, which commercial do I want to see? This one.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Hottie Of The week: Joel Stein
Welcome to the precedent for our “HOT” segment. Did you know Alexander Hamilton set the precedent for the Secretary of Treasury? Good lord, I hope you did.
Now, whom have we deemed worthy of copulation? Joel Stein. He, the hottie of Time Magazine, whose columns often draw the angriest letters. He, the hottie who actually takes up space in well-respected publications talking about his own insecurities and the first time he got high. He, the hottie who could get away with a mullet in his teens.
You might have seen him as a talking head on VH1’s I Love the 80s, or 90s, or whatever else VH1 tells him to love. Perhaps you caught his episode of Bill Maher- it’s the same one where Mr. Maher gets heckled. After Bill (another future hottie of the week) physically kicks the detractor out, our witty object of lust simply says:
“Its OK, I only brought one guest.”
Continuing in his grand adorable quest, when another heckler pops up, Joel Stein quips:
“That one’s not mine.”
See why we’re in love? And here’s another picture of this fine hunka-hunka man. Look, he likes babies!
And here’s where it gets better.
Joel Stein once had his own TV show, ‘Hey Joel.’ That was animated. Where he interviewed celebrities. That’s theme song was sung by the amazing band, Fountains of Wayne. And it only aired in Canada.
Here is a portion of our favorite piece by him, in which Joel eats a pot brownie. You’re welcome.
Coming Clean About My Drug History
I can’t wait to get into harder drugs. it used to be when I saw those ads where the guy talks about how heroin made him not care about his family, food or sex, I was sad. Now all I can think is, “How have I allowed myself to be fooled by this mirage of family, food and sex? Hook me up with some of that juicy heroin goodness!”
Until last weekend I had never tried any illegal drugs. This was a source of embarrassment, knowing that people I considered far less cool than I, people who were my parents, had at least smoked pot. So when I found out that George W. Bush, a man who likes only the Beatles albums that came before Sergeant Pepper, had hinted that he’d done drugs, I knew I had to loosen up. Bush said he hadn’t done any drugs since at least 15 years before his father’s Inauguration, which means he couldn’t have been older than 28 when he last got experienced. That’s how old I am. If I ever hoped to run for office, this was my last chance.
Fortuitously, I had lent my apartment in New York to my friend Lani, who has access to a garden in California. Aware of my Clintonesque refusal to inhale anything, Lani has been offering to make me pot brownies since high school. When I returned to my apartment, there was a thank-you note and a baked good.
Getting stoned wasn’t that exciting. Sure, I felt a little tougher, picturing myself with long hair, skipping classes, listening to Rush and slamming fudge-nut brownies, but the main thing I felt was confusion. I had defined myself as the guy who never used pot, and now I didn’t have that lazy sense of identity. But I’m not nervous about spiraling into harder drugs, wandering through Tompkins Square Park jonesing for a fix. Not unless there’s a pusher with a good recipe for cocaine Rice Krispies Treats.
You can read more of his fun, fun stuff at www.thejoelstein.com.
Also, here are the lyrics for ‘Hey Joel’ by Fountains of Wayne.
This is a show about a Jewish guy named Joel stein
In real life he writes for a magazine called time
But now he has his own cartoon show on VH1
In which he works for a TV show, a made-up one
But even though the show has a standard sitcom feel
All the interviews of famous people are for real
Joel likes to ask ‘em questions that’ll make ‘em squirm
Sometimes he gets punched out
Joel never learns
What do ya know?
Ya got your own show
Try not to blow it
‘Cause if you’re not funny then you’ll soon be gone
And they can fill the time with more Lenny Kravitz songs
Then you’ll be in obscurity where you belong
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Our sole purpose- besides making fun of everything and anything we want to- is to collect 10 dollar bills and put words, quite literally, in Alexander Hamilton's mouth. Something to the effect of, "Not cool, Aaron Burr. Not cool." or "Your birth mother, Aaron Burr. Your birth mother." or, "Who's governor now, bitch?"or "I was shot in a duel, and all I got put on was this lousy ten dollar bill."
If you find one of these in circulation, hopefully it came from one of us and our fellow federalists. If not, then I beg of you, Put that ten dollar bill down. It may be a horcrux talking to you. Feel free to pick up a felt-tipped pen and write a pseudo-witty saying of your own. If you send it to us (at email@example.com), it may get put on our blog! If you also send a self-addressed stamped envelope with the ten dollar bill, and 26.5 reasons why we should return it, we may! Anything higher than that will cause you to go bust. It's one The Alexander Hamilton Project's many similarities to blackjack. Besides early American political scandals, the members of (T)AHP enjoy, as a collective:
The wisdom of Tyra Banks
Babysitters' Club books
Project Runway/blonde-haired German models
New York (both the person and place)
Crocheting to a lesser extent
Jennifer Hudson/Emma Thompson
Speaking in gibberish/ high-pitched voices
The Film Experience (website/blog)
Watching bad TV/movies/videos/people
And, most of all, you!
(in case you haven't guessed, (T)AHP is comprised of ladies and gay men)
(T)AHP is what we might call "Fierce." (If anyone out there is transsexual, and joins our journey, then we will achieve the heights of Tranny Fierce. Until then, we're just hot messes. And that's why we need your help.
The most important thing is to read us. We are very insecure people who need love and praise and comments and laughs. Something along the lines of, "Oh (T)AHP! You're wonderful!" or perhaps "first!"
Then, if you're really loyal, start writing on your own dollar bills. The Alexander Hamilton Project also welcomes The George Washington Project, or The Ulysses S. Grant Project. For our Canadian friends, The Queen Elizabeth Project
So, check back, because we're not, like most people, "all about the Benjamins." We roll with Hamilton.