Sweet Thursday, dear readers. We’re only a couple more hours away from it being a couple more hours until Friday. Kick the shoes off those barking dogs and light one up like a housewife. Every Real Housewife is a smoker, you just have to figure out: cigarette, cigar, vape, or weed. Am I right, ladies? How else do you blow off some steam than sparking some joy, especially after the vengeful god’s plagues have begun. There are the obvious ones, and then the Maryland-specific flood of rats that reigned to punish Halsey for her 2016 smash-hit single “Closer” with The Chainsmokers. We will never forget the harm perpetuated by that dulcet tune. Like Jack Johnson provided on Kimmel, to soothe the incessant babbling of a lost, confused old man, the President of the United States, who commended Evil Dead villain and Senator Mitch McConnell for being a guy who “when he says something, he means it.” In other bullshit news, Tampax claims the shortage is because they hired universally beloved and loathed Amy Schumer with her persuasive ad in which she puts a tampon into a donut. Finally, if your group chats haven’t yet blown up with trying to figure out who can make which showing of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, then that responsibility falls upon your shoulders. Because the battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the blog arena: our review of the latest movie by the director of Videodrome. What else are we working on? Uhh... We’re working on something that will change the world, and human life as we know it… (more blogs).
The Real Housewives’ Dirty Little Secret
Suckin on those lung darts
The women of Bravo’s Real Housewives have plenty to hide: Bad business practices, repossessed cars, broken toaster-oven promises, and at least one notable accusation of hexing a computer screensaver via dark magic. All of these humiliations coming to light while cameras roll makes for great drama for women who have chosen to live their lives on screen. But the one dirty secret that many of our girls protect with their lives: they’re smokers.
We see so much of the Housewives, why can’t we see them nip a little ciggy? It’s glamorous! Well, smoking on screen has become a touchy subject. Love Islandeven banned it after getting complaints. The Housewives tend to see themselves first as businesswomen, then as aspirational role models, and finally as mothers. They think viewers look to them for lifestyle, health, and wellness tips, and hey Housewives don’t want to espouse bad habits, nevermind that they’re constantly drinking, screaming, and, as I can non-exclusively reveal, smoking.
Intrigued, I turned my forensic eye to tracking surreptitious Housewife cigarette usage. On my Instagram account @realhousewivessmoking, I share photos and videos of Housewives smoking on camera, on their Instagrams, in paparazzi pics and anywhere else you can find women on the brim of frikking out. I’ve learned that a cigarette is often an indicator of ultimate distress for a Housewife. A Housewife smoking is usually a Housewife in dire straits. Continue reading
Mother Nature Punishes Halsey Fans With Floods, Rats
What did they do to deserve such retribution?
On Wednesday night, thousands of Halsey fans descended upon Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. They were eager to take in a concert. They were eager to sing “Bad at Love” out loud, with abandon. They were eager to stay somewhat dry and, ideally, completely rat-free. But none of their dreams came true that night.
Instead, they were met with a nightmare.
The concert was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Then it was delayed, due to rain. Concertgoers were held in place, forced to endure punishment for their apparent sins against Mother Nature. They were rained upon under threat of tornado and flash-flood warnings; some took shelter in the bathrooms. Then the concert was canceled. Videos from the scene show fans dealing with intense flooding; vengeance brought down upon them for their, no doubt, illicit deeds. Continue reading
‘Crimes of the Future’ and the Evolution of David Cronenberg
The new movie from the legend of body horror is full of considered ambivalence
“I have unfinished business with the future,” said David Cronenberg, announcing his long-awaited return to body horror with Crimes of the Future. The Canadian director hadn’t made a movie quite in that vein since 1999’s eXistenZ, but given that film’s forward-looking vision of a virtual reality, one might’ve thought his business with the future largely complete. It’s not an accident, though, that the real reference to “the future” in Cronenberg’s cheeky statement was, in fact, to his second feature, an experimental science-fiction film from 1970, also titled Crimes of the Future, about a dermatologist who falls in with a group of pedophiles after a plague wipes out all sexually mature women. The new film and the old have nothing actually to do with each other, except perhaps as point/counterpoint. Fifty-two years on, Cronenberg’s formal acuity is sharper and his ideas — about medicine, about psychology, about the flesh — have matured considerably. The result is a carefully considered uncertainty, in which the wizened perspective of an older artist befits material whose boundary pushing is most evident in the spaces between the surface horrors. A far cry from his original fresh-out-of-college experiment in shock.
In the new Crimes of the Future, shock is mundane. Viggo Mortensen plays Saul Tenser, a performance artist of a particular sort. In a world wrecked by climate catastrophe and industrial waste, where most people no longer feel pain and some select humans are mutating and growing brand new organs (Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, they call it), Tenser puts on grotesquely clinical shows of his surgeries to cut those organs out. Léa Seydoux is both his lover and the woman wielding the knife, a distinction blurred in classic Cronenbergian fashion and later underlined by an admiring Kristen Stewart, who remarks, “Surgery is the new sex.” Where the director might once have bought into that sort of out-of-bounds provocation, pushing the audience to the limits as he did to greatest effect in 1996’s Crash, here he is decidedly more ambivalent. Surgery might be the new sex, but not all sex is good or fun or interesting, and most of it isn’t worth the attention of an audience other than dull art snobs whose sense for the outré has less to do with provoking revolutionary thought than flattering egos. Continue reading
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