Stupid Tuesday questions, Diana Ross edition

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Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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149 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    There are too many things that I find astounding in bad way to list. A lot of entertainment seems to go for the lowest comedy denominator, whether it be really dumb and not funny comedies like Larry the Cable Guy or bad, bloody, and not that scary horror movies like Leprechaun or schmaltzy family movies like the ones on the Hallmark Channel. These pieces of “art” tend to be very unoriginal and intentionally bad but are still popular and it makes me wonder why they even have an audience. Like ND, I find the concept of “so bad, its good” puzzling at best or horrifying at worse.Report

    • What?!? No. No, no, no.

      The entire payroll at the Hallmark Channel would commit seppuku before they’d let their names be attached to something as wretched as “Sex Dwarf.” Larry the Cable Guy is like unto Aristophanes when compared to Marc Almond. I haven’t seen “Leprechaun” (and never will), so maybe you’re onto something there. I dunno.

      You’ve gotta give me something utterly devoid of redeeming characteristics. Something that should be hung around the producers’ neck as they are hauled to the pillory so we can pelt them with rotten squash. Something that requires a big, fat apology cake to humankind.

      And maybe I’ll try to compose a post about things that are so bad they loop back around into being enjoyable. If my first reaction to something is “ew,” however, it doesn’t count.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        You’ve gotta give me something utterly devoid of redeeming characteristics. Something that should be hung around the producers’ neck as they are hauled to the pillory so we can pelt them with rotten squash.

        “Ahh, Zombies!” A great movie concept, 4 friends who become zombies but don’t realize it. The worst writing and acting of any movie ever. Imagine George Lucas wrote the dialogue and randomly selected four production interns to recite it without any practice.

        Apparently it won awards, but 15 minutes was all I could bear, and the last 10 minutes of that was a real struggle.Report

      • Avatar Johanna in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I just can’t hate “Sex Dwarf”. It was a popular dance song at a seedy club I loved to go to called the Odyssey. My friends and I had what I would describe as a symbiotic relationship with a group of young hot gay men. We dirty danced with them and it was purposely pretty over-the-top. We helped them show off their mad dancing talent without fear of possibly getting beat up later and they kept us clear from older creepy guys. Being an insecure and awkward teen, I didn’t get much attention from the boys at school but at the club when “Sex Dwarf” would play, I would be whisked onto the dance floor by the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous guy of the group. It was such a fantastic feeling having the appearance of being with someone so beautiful and to be the object of envy while dancing with him. My fond memories will best any hatred of that song.

        As for the first song that I thought of which I can’t stand to hear is “That’s Not My Name” the only redeeming quality is that the phrase “That’s Not My Name” comes in handy to also annoy my children.Report

      • “Sex Dwarf” was a… give me a minute here… it was…. *fingers cramping as I type*… “Sex Dwarf” was… popular? And people… people danced to it?

        I am quite certain I would have a generalized tonic-clonic seizure if I attempted to move my body to the rhythm of that song.

        But if you, a commenter of whom I am immensely fond, will go to bat for it, I will allow a micron-thin veneer of a silver lining on the drekstorm that is “Sex Dwarf.”Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        There are just too many movies, books, and comics that make me scratch my head and wonder why they were let out of committee for various reasons. Its one of the problems when your tastes lean towards high culture, althoughl less so than NDs.

        If I really have to pick thing that was really lacking in all redeeming value it would be Boratz. The humor was crude in a non-good way and it was deliberately mean to a lot of people who really didn’t deserve it.Report

      • @burt-likko Please excuse me. I think I need to go put my head in the oven.

        @leeesq it was deliberately mean to a lot of people who really didn’t deserve it.

        Yes. Precisely. Its humor was predicated on cruelty. I hated it.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Russel, Boratz represents the parts of liberalism I hate. The smug sense of superiority aimed at people you disagree with. I probably wouldn’t find a lot in common with the people Sasha Baron Cohen made fun of but they are humans and shouldn’t be treated badly out of political spite and disagreement. Its orthodoxy and I can’t stand the idea of orthodoxy, the idea that in order to be good and true you have to believe X.Report

      • @leeesq To me it reflected a fundamental misunderstanding of America, and highlighted the difference between what Americans and Britons consider polite.

        British politeness is really just attention to formality and public courtesy. Which, don’t get me wrong, I deeply admire. (My Dad is from England, I’ve visited many times, and I am an unabashed anglophile.) But they’re not actually very nice. They are often quite brusque, and aren’t all that concerned with other people’s feelings.

        It’s very different in America. We value being nice, in trying to avoid hurting people’s feelings. Often this comes off as patently false and disingenuous, and it’s not always a good thing. But our sense of being polite is less formal and more feelings-oriented.

        So “Borat” took this American niceness, people’s desire to be welcoming to a person from a culture unfamiliar to them, their reluctance to awkwardly call him out for saying things that no American would get away with saying, and it spun that as something to be mocked.

        It was flagrantly mean-spirited. I despise Sacha Baron Cohen.Report

      • Avatar trumwill in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Re: Borat. YES! YES! A thousand times YES! It’s not strictly a matter of the feeling of superiority (which Lee refers to) that bothers me about Borat. It’s the taking of cultural traits and tendencies, niceness and intercultural patience, and throwing a wrench in them to expose them as something nefarious.

        When I was in late high school, we had an exchange student from middle Europe (think Austria-Hungary-Czech). It was evident from early on that there was… something wrong with the kid. But there was a huge reluctance on our part to really call him out on it because cultural differences. It didn’t take too, too long before we realized that no, he was just a cad. But that was after living with him.

        Over and over again, though, the people around us – Republican, Democrat, white, non-white, didn’t matter – were overwhelmingly forgiving and talking about how we needed to be more patient with the person that was just getting his bearings down. The more exposure they actually had to him, the more they came around to our point of view. But we have a tendency to try to be accommodating. Sometimes we shouldn’t and I’m not saying we always get it right individually or collectively. But the rules aren’t written down anywhere. Borat was taking advantage of that ambiguity – as well as selective editing out of when the compliant-seeming people actually did lose their cool – to paint a dubious picture.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @leeesq

        I generally don’t like the type of humor that Borat uses. In the same vein as The Daily Show, it takes advantage of the good nature of people.

        I also disagree with the point that Sacha Baron Cohen was trying to prove, namely that people are still anti-Semetic just because they don’t denounce Borat. I think, and I think that @trumwill agrees, that people didn’t denounce him not because they agreed with him, but out of politeness and not wanting to take the time to educate an ignorant foreigner.

        Having said all this, the movie was literally LOL funny.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I think SBC is pretty much a comic genius – few things on TV ever made me laugh harder than Da Ali G Show. He’s a brilliant physical comedian, and it takes a *lot* of smarts to appear so stupid (the malapropisms and stupid questions and leaps in logic are brilliantly constructed, because you can reconstruct his characters’ demented thought-processes; and further, some of it is ad-libbed).

        That said, I agree that the Americans in Borat are generally not contradicting this “dim-witted racist foreigner” Borat because they *themselves* are racist etc., but because they are genuinely trying to help him (or at least be polite); and in fact, they pity his cluelessness. They ignore his more outrageous comments, as you would those of a child who simply knows no better.

        I STILL think it’s funny (because, as I said, I think SBC is, and his foolish character is); but I think people watching the film see what they want to see, regarding Borat’s “victims”.Report

    • Avatar dhex in reply to LeeEsq says:

      “Like ND, I find the concept of “so bad, its good” puzzling at best or horrifying at worse.”

      people with money call it “farce” and enjoy it in a theatre.

      boom. skrillex.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    Greatest intro to a BT post EVER.

    Since you started the mix, I’ll just continue it down here:

    Report

  3. Avatar joe says:

    Kinda reminds me of “Japanese Maid” by mc chris, which is equally offensive, but also hilariousReport

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    There’s this recent gem, found through Popehat’s twitter feed, that’s making me forget any ‘classic’ stunners.

    Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Why can’t I leave comments?Report

  6. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Now I can leave my comments for some reason. My answer is Family Guy and anything else done by Seth McFarlane. Also there is a whole website devoted to “funny” called T-shirt hell. They used to have a t-shirt that said something like “Love him or hate him, Hitler killed a lot of Jews.”

    The rest of their shirts are similar pinnacles of wit. I find it extremely depressing that there are working and bill paying adults that find t-shirts like this to be the height of wit.Report

    • It was only a matter of time, I knew, before T-shirts were mentioned. Because you’re right, there are a stupefying number of T-shirts out there so incredibly obscene/witless/outrageously offensive that I find myself amazed that they were manufactured/marketed/purchased/worn in public.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Its like when you hear stories about men who think that e-mailing women pictures of there you know what is a good courtship strategy. Without getting into the entire issue of consent and creepy behavior, the mind boggles that anybody would think this is a good idea. Apparently a lot of people really do though because these stories keep popping up.

        Its really disturbing to find out what you consider common sense, good taste, and polite behavior is less universal than you thought in your own society. A lot of people are proudly dysfunctional.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        When I was in 7th grade, I had a “funny” t-shirt that I thought was the best thing ever. It said Welcome to New York and had an outline of a body like the Police use for crime scene investigations. A friend of my uncle’s asked “Why are you trying to be the lowest common denominator?” I stopped liking that stuff a few years after that.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Burt, the fall of the shame gene probably has a lot to do with the radical social changes that occured after WWII. People probably had a bit more decorum in the past but this decorum came with the high cost of a lot of social policing. People were asked to be ashamed of things that they really shouldn’t have been. How female sexuality was treated in the past was an example of this. It was probably a situation where you had to throw the baby away with the bath water.

        Either that or we both might be over-estimating the amount of decorum in the past. There might have just been as proudly dysfuntional people in the past as they are in the present, its just that the dysfunction expressed itself differently than they do in the present. Maybe there were millions of people in the past that would have proudly worn obsence T-shirts if they had the opportunity to. There were lots of very racist knick-knaks that made fun of minorities like African-Americans in the United States or Jews in Europe that people used to proudly one. Obsence T-shirts might simply be the modern variety of this.Report

      • One day while at Wal-Mart (I was only there to get directions on how to best get away from there), there was a grown man wearing a “Mount And Do Me” t-shirt (using similar design to the Mountain Dew logo).

        And then he finished his transaction and began herding his kids out of the store.

        My thought processes didn’t reflect well on me (and I’m sure they don’t reflect well on me now)… but I thought “you really picked *THAT* when you decided to go out today?” with various digressions exploring whether it’d be okay for a 19-year old on Spring Break to wear that to a beach party (“barely” was the conclusion) let alone a grown man going out (as opposed to a grown man mowing the lawn/painting the kitchen/staining the deck (that last one is not a euphemism (but “barely” was the answer to that one too)) LET ALONE A GROWN MAN WITH CHILDREN WHO IS GOING TO THE STORE.

        What the hell.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @leeesq

        I think the second paragraph is probably more accurate. I seem to recall reading an article about t-shirts with offensive slogans shocking people in 1890s Boston.

        @jaybird

        Why do you think that your thought process did not reflect well on you? As a civil libertarian, I don’t think the guy should be thrown in jail or fined for wearing a crude t-shirt but this does not mean I want to encourage it or have to applaud it. Part of being an adult is understanding that t-shirts like that are really witless.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        ND, t-shirts didn’t really exist at this time. I remember reading in NYT magazine section that t-shirts orginated as a form of bachelor friendly underwear. A lot of bachelors did not know how to sow and had problems when buttons fell of their under-shrits. T-shirts solved this problem by getting rid of the buttons. Messages on t-shirts did not appear till the 1940s and were originally put on by teenagers themselves.

        I think my second paragraph is accurate to. If we lived in 1913 rather than 2013, the man Jaybird saw would not have the ability to wear an offensive T-shirt to the store because of the dictates of fashion. His lack of shame would be expressed in different ways like a collection of racist knick-knacks at home or something similar. Or idea that people in the past were more polite and well-behaved because of a human tendency to idealize the past and the fact that we are basing our observations on Hollywood movies controlled by the Hays Code and the preferences of the studio owners. MGM movies depcited well-scrubbed towns populated by charming, well-dressed people because thats what Mr. Meyer liked.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        My favorite t-shirt shows a public bathroom with a sign that says: “Larvarse Los Monos”. And in the sink is a monkey being washed. I thought it was funny as shit. Still do. Especially since you have to really pay attention to get the joke. But I don’t think it is offensive in any way. Silly, sure. I still wear it from time to time.

        Chris shared with me (and I believe I passed it along to Will) a collection of baby onesies, some of which had slogans I would shame an adult for wearing. Ugh.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        i once saw a girl in her young teens on the subway with her mom – she was wearing a t shirt that read “milf in training”.

        it was not cool.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @dhex

        That was one of the ones they had as a onesie.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @kazzy

        “That was one of the ones they had as a onesie.”

        actually, i would defend that. it’s over the top and around the bend to the point where it’s inappropriately funny. it would win where those “my mommy is hotter than yours” bibs do not, because one is clearly satire and the other is an expression of resentment in the guise of cuteness.

        on a teenager in a city with an overdeveloped culture of street harassment it was too depressing.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I know its supposed to be great that parents and kids can talk about sex freely and openly now but its still kind of disturbing when parents advertise their kids sexuality or budding sexuality like with the “porn star” onesies. “Milf in training” is really bad to, its an invitation for trouble.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @dhex

        Here is the list: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/inappropriate-onesies_n_1672222.html

        Some I think are goofy and silly. “I Poop Rainbows” is just sort of nonsensical in a kid friendly way.

        “Don’t Bother, I’m on My Period”? What the fuck? That’s just gross. “I [Heart] Titties and Beer”? Nope. No sir.

        Seriously. Buying one of these should result in sterilization.Report

      • I was immensely pleased when my teenaged daughter appropriated my “Free the bound periodicals!” sweatshirt.Report

    • Avatar Johanna in reply to NewDealer says:

      +1 on Family GuyReport

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to NewDealer says:

      1) In Seaside Heights, NJ, there is a store on the boardwalk called Big Pecker’s, which uses a Foghorn Leghorn knockoff as its mascot. Its slogan is “Women Love Big Pecker’s”. Big Pecker’s sells these types of t-shirts, among other things.

      2) While I don’t think the “Love … Jews” t-shirt is the “height of wit”, I find it to be very funny. Yes, I am an adult with a full-time job and who pays bills.Report

      • Your sense of humor is… different from mine.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to ScarletNumbers says:

        The world would, indeed, be a boring place if we all shared the same tastes.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to ScarletNumbers says:

        I defended (or at least, attempted to explain why I found it funny) the “Hitler/Jews” t-shirt, at length, in an old MD post entitled “Sick!”

        I won’t link it, because I just re-read the thread, and recalled my frustration at trying to explain my reaction and the mechanics of the joke from linguistic, philosophical, meta- and moral angles.

        I will say that part of it is visual – it has a graphic of a chin-stroking, eyebrow-cocking, eyes-cast-skyward “Thoughtful Hitler” (basically, the opposite of “spittle-flecked-ranting-in-Downfall-Hitler”) which for me contributed mightily to its absurdity.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to ScarletNumbers says:

        I think it is easily possible to find all sorts of sick, weird, cruel things funny. Humor is that way, it isn’t rational or nice, its strikes at odd nerves we have for things that don’t make sense or are transgressive or odd. I think the question is whether we want to show off the wildest/weirdest things we think are funny to others and then be surprised when people make obvious judgments about us based on what we just showed them.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to ScarletNumbers says:

        @glyph

        Concurred. Sometimes people do kill jokes too easily.

        However, I don’t think the burden should always be on the receiver of the joke. Not all jokes are funny and some are just plain offensive and not rising up to your very elegant defensive of the Hitler Killed a Lot of Jews t-shirt (see the video posted above from the lawfirm).* People should be considerate and reflective enough to think every now and then that their joke was the problem instead of just accusing the people offended for being dense or uptight or whatever.

        *And honestly, I’m a cynic and do not think most people who would wear the Hitler T-shirt put that much thought into the reasons about why it was funny. I think they do a “Wow this is going to really make people angry man, so awesome.”Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    Basically any music recorded between 1997 and 2000. OK, not any music, but at least Limp Bizkit.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Tod, whats with having to enter in numbers in order to post?Report

  9. Avatar Kazzy says:

    First off.. I always envy your writing, but this sentence takes the cake: “You exist in a world alongside those words in that order.” Brilliant.

    Second… I am unfamiliar with this band. Is there any chance they are satire, a la GWAR? Among their many “hits”, they have a song called “Fishfuck”. And in case you think that is euphemistic, here are some of the lyrics:
    “Fishfuck, baby
    Gonna fuck you with a fish [X2]
    Gonna take a rivercarp and ram it up your butt”
    But they are entirely performance art and the absurdity of it all (including the stage theatrics, which are really what they are all about) offers some value to their otherwise utter nonsense.

    Third — and to the question at hand — I feel like this delves into my “Things That Should Not Exist” zone. Which is totes cool. Though not necessarily the intent of that series, my first several posts deal with things relating to children. For obvious reasons, I get very bothered by things which I think are actively harmful to children. Now, that’s not to say the subject of all those posts firmly qualify as such (I got a good lesson on various meanings of the word ‘first’), but that is often an angle when I an ginning up some ire.

    Next in my crosshairs? The Elf on the Shelf. That someone would seek to commercialize and monetize an emotionally exploitive behavior targeted at children makes me want to throttle someone.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

      Friends of mine have changed how Elf in the Shelf works. Instead of “where’s Buddy?”, the game is “if you don’t clean up your stuff, Buddy will play with it after you go to bed.”

      For example: the kid left his crayons out. So “Buddy” went on to draw on the (easily cleaned) counter with the crayons. Stuff like “Budy wuz h3r3”, that sort of thing. The child wrote Santa a letter in which he explained that he did not draw on the counter, Buddy did.

      Now that’s just good parenting, right there.Report

    • Avatar trumwill in reply to Kazzy says:

      Somebody has to prepare the children for the surveillance state…Report

    • I look forward to that post about Elf on the Shelf. Our shelves will remain happily elfless, rest assured.

      I don’t know if Soft Cell was aiming for satire, since their heyday was a little before my time. Maybe that was their aim? I don’t know quite what they were aiming to satirize, in that case. And even if that was their intent, my understanding of satire is that it is meant to have some wit to it. In which case, I would have to give Soft Cell a failing grade on that one. But YMMV.

      And as always, thank you for your gracious praise of my writing.Report

      • Avatar johanna in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @russell-saunders As you semi-excused my liking of “Sex Dwarf” prior to your untimely accident, I am trying to find a way to excuse all of you on this thread for enticing me to Google this Elf on a Shelf. I would now like to go back to a few moments ago when I was blissfully unaware.Report

      • @johanna There are numerous things I find problematic about this particular new Yuletide excrescence. (Spying! Lying! Yet one more “thing” in an already-“thing”-laden season!) But I have an especially narrowed gimlet eye on fripperies that trivialize adoption.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @russell-saunders
        How does it trivialize adoption? I haven’t actually read the book and can imagine all sorts of awful ways in which it might. That was not intended to be part of my critique, but it sounds like I might need to bring out the big guns.Report

      • @kazzy Perhaps I am hypersensitive to this kind of thing, but to me a toy that comes with an “adoption certificate” and comes from “adoption centers” (read: toy stores) is a complete non-starter for my two adopted kids. I cannot imagine how that would seem to them and what it might imply in their minds about their own adoption stories.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @russell-saunders

        What about Cabbage Patch Kids? Would those be considered trivializing adoption? Is it possible having adopted dolls could actually be beneficial, by portraying adoption in a positive light and normalizing it?

        And thinking more about the Elf on the Shelf, I think it could be a fun game with young children, but perhaps best if the kids are in on it.Report

      • @reformed-republican I wasn’t really cognizant of those issues back when Cabbage Patch Kids were an unstoppable plaything juggernaut. I suspect I’d have similar misgivings.

        I am already deeply ambivalent about the whole Santa Claus narrative to begin with. I really don’t like lying to my kids about anything, though I’m taking a kind of laissez-faire approach and letting them believe want they want. It’s certainly not a story I’m peddling to them. And I would be deeply loath to conflate the wonderful and joyful but serious business of creating a family with buying a frigging toy for the purposes of coercing good behavior (yet another qualm I have with Santa, for the record).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Why can’t we get good elves at this time of year? The tall, otherwordly gorgeous ones that exist in fantasy novels. Those are the types of elves the holidays need.

        Russel, I was never into them but I understand that the Cabbage Patch kids had a similar adoption schtick back in the 1980s. FAO Schwarz made it into an elaborate production when they came out.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        @russell-saunders

        We are having similar conversations about Santa with Mayo’s first Christmas on the horizon. Zazzy and I have long since abandoned any organized faith. Yet Christmas (and Hanukkah, to a lesser extent) are important traditions without our broader family. So if my mother wants to buy him gifts and address them from Santa, I’m inclined to let her. But I see little reason to foster the lies. I have no intention of doing the tooth fairy. That’s just straight up nonsense for no good reason.

        Regarding adoption, I believe I’ve mentioned to you “King and King” and “King and King and Family”. If not, the books seem like well-intentioned attempts to write about same sex couples and their families in kid friendly ways. But… no. The former tells the story of how King and King came to marry one another, which is primarily because one king had a parade of women brought to him, none of which caught his eye. The final princess is accompanied by her brother and the two princes fall in love. I suppose in a weird way that may represent how some gay men get together (people try to force them to be straight but who they are wins out), but it always smacked of implying that gay men are just unsuccessful straight men.

        But “King and King and Family”? Ugh. On their honeymoon, King and King go to the jungle. When they return home, they learn that a lovely little brown girl (King and King are white) has stowed away in their bag. They adopt her and live happily ever after. I know some people love the book but I just can’t help but think, “WHAT THE FUCK! THAT’S NOT HOW IT HAPPENS!”

        Ugh.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Lee,
        You mean the sadistic ones?
        You just need to know where to look….Report

      • @kazzy Well, as half of a white same-sex couple with a non-white daughter, the notion of telling that story to my family is apt to make my head explode all over again.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Kazzy says:

      I did not know about this thing until today. The more you knowReport

  10. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Pretty much any hip hop recorded after Black Star and before Kendrick Lamar.Report

  11. Avatar rexknobus says:

    FWIW – (perhaps a rather embarrassing full disclosure) I kinda like “Sex Dwarf.” I do not disagree with anyone’s comments here, so I had to take a moment and ask myself, “O.k., rex, why is this on an oft-chosen playlist in iTunes?” Answers: High energy (makes me type fast); I actually think it is sort of funny (not brilliant or anything, but funny in a snotty, glitter-club, we’re hipper then you are kind of way); listened to on headphones, there is a lot of rather nice sound editing and aural landscaping.

    Have never seen the video. Don’t like Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” as much. I’ll stop typing now and apply some anti-bacterial gel to my fingertips. Sorry, gents. Resume being classy… 😉Report

    • Dear @rexknobus ,

      Thank you so much for commenting on Russell’s post! It always makes him so happy when people read his little essays, and everyone here in the office agrees it’s more pleasant to be around him when he’s in one of his good moods.

      Sadly, I regret to inform you that, upon reading your comment, Russell’s head promptly exploded. One of our medical assistants heard strangled noises coming from his desk that sounded like “kinda… like ??!”, followed by a loud pop and the sound of cranial matter hitting the walls.

      Thankfully, the Boston metro area has a number of high-quality plastic surgeons, a crack team of which is assembling even as I type. We’re hoping to scrape enough up, along with some modeling clay and balsa wood, to put his face back together. We’re going to try to make him look more like Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s what Russell would have wanted.

      Again, thank you for commenting on Russell’s post. Nobody could have foreseen the tragic events that ensued.

      Best wishes,
      Russell’s nurseReport

  12. Avatar Reformed Republican says:

    I would put anything related to Jackass out there. People doing stupid crap to hurt themselves and one another is not impressive. Evil Knievil jumping school busses is impressive. Crashing a motorized scooter into a school bus is the opposite of that.Report

  13. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Two words: Reality. Television.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Even shows like TopChef?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to NewDealer says:

        Especially shows like Top Chef.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to NewDealer says:

        While the manufactured drama can be annoying, I actually learn some real stuff about cooking watching TC. Especially if you read the accompanying blogs and recipes. It is certainly a show with real value.Report

      • Yeah, though I’ve lost interest in this season, Top Chef was historically the only reality show that I’ve found to have redeeming qualities for the “reality” aspects of it (I also very much like The Amazing Race, but could do without the “reality” show elements – to me, it’s enjoyable as a hybrid travel show/game show). I enjoy the non-“reality show” elements, which I find reasonably informative about cooking, but what sets it apart from other shows is that historically it’s been a show about normal people in a tough industry trying to get ahead and show what they can do while also providing an insight into the culture that develops within that industry. With only rare exceptions, it’s not a show that has attempted to overplay the “conflict=viewers” card, and does not generally put a multi-episode spotlight on contestants who act like jerks.

        Except for this season, the show hasn’t attempted to consciously select physically attractive people or push their sex appeal. The two most historically annoying aspects of Top Chef have nothing to do with the “reality” portion of the show – their over-the-top product placement (which I begrudgingly accept is what makes the show so profitable and probably helps to discourage it from needing to play the “conflict=viewers” card), and Gail Simmons (who I find to be unjustifiably condescending and in my mind represents everything I hate about professional food/art/music/movie critics).Report

    • Avatar johanna in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Things like Toddlers in Tiaras I agree – I can’t tolerate the 30 second commercials, but I love contest type shows like Face Off.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        Ugh. @johanna is a billion percent right. “Toddlers in Tiaras” is so vile I think I blocked it out of my brain. But it’s not just the show. I mean, people might find “Top Chef” annoying, but surely no one minds cooking and restaurants. But there should be no opportunity to create a show like “Toddlers in Tiaras” because children should not be participating in beauty pageants for any reason. Anyone with any involvement in that show should be arrested. Seriously. I am not intending to be hyperbolic in anyway. I would gladly listen to a life rendition of “Dwarf Sex” every night as I drift off to sleep if it meant that the entire child pageant industry disappeared.Report

      • Avatar johanna in reply to johanna says:

        @kazzy I suspect that listening to “Dwarf Sex” to a be quite different than the song “Sex Dwarf” however I agree both would be better than Toddlers in Tiaras.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to johanna says:

        Toddler’s in Tiaras and Dance Moms are two things that I would add to any “Things that shouldn’t exist” list.Report

      • Excluding the obvious exceptions like actual violent criminals, I think the people on those shows may very well be the worst human beings alive.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        I haven’t seen much of “Dance Moms”, but I’d probably put it in a different category than Toddlers in Tiaras” (which I can’t even abbreviate because it — naturally — creates a most unfortunate acronym). Dance is something that can bring much value to young people’s lives. It is an art form and mode of self expression that we should seek to encourage. While a show like “Dance Moms” and the people that inhabit it* are presumably more negative representations/manifestations of dance culture, the broader world it seeks to capture is not one I would want to see ended.

        Child pageants? No. Just no. No no no. A thousand times no. The entirety of that world should not be.

        As for “Things That Shouldn’t Exist”, I deliberately pick things that I believe can foster some lively debate. While I obviously feel that “Toddlers in Tiaras” shouldn’t exist in any way, shape, or form, the thread would likely turn into either a chorus of affirmation or me yelling at anyone foolish enough to defend the show.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        (Forgot to address my asterisk)

        * I think it says something that these shows tend to uniquely focus on women and moms. You could very well make a show about overbearing sports dads… yet that show has never been made. And I doubt it ever will be made. I have some hunches as to why this may be, but nothing even approaching a unified theory. All of them make the trends concerning though.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to johanna says:

        While the children in Dance Mom’s aren’t as young as those in Toddler’s in Tiaras, they are mostly pre-teens, and the show:

        a.) sexualizes them (though often dance in explicitly sexual outfits, including burlesque outfits and outfits designed to look “nude”)
        b.) shows them being berated for being children
        c.) shows their parents being petty and mean towards them, towards the evil, evil dance instructor, and towards each other,
        and d.) basically exploits the hell out of them.

        It may not be as bad as Toddler’s in Tiaras, but it ain’t far behind.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        I might need to watch it. I have seen dance routines that appear to be sexualizing children (always girls… of course) but know so little about dance that I don’t always feel qualified to comment. I mean, a basic ballet leotard seems risque in some ways, but I’m sure that isn’t what you mean. I am also admittedly baffled about how we should dress our younger females. It seems as if there are clothes that are appropriate for girls up until they hit the tween years, then inappropriate when they hit puberty, then somehow appropriate again once they are adults. Little girls can run around in short-shorts because they’re little girls. But 16-year-old girls can’t. But 22-year-old girls can. I don’t get it. I’m not saying this is wrong… I’m just saying it genuinely confuses me so even when I see something and think, “This feels skeevy,” I’m not sure how trusting of my reaction I should be.

        The phenomenon of “show business parents” (and I would lump sports dads into that) is no doubt concerning. But were I in charge of the world, I would probably aim to make a pivot in dance culture, seeking to keep the good and eliminate the bad. Child pageants? There IS no good. There is no where to pivot. It is 100% awful. “Dance Moms” captures the worst of the worst of a culture that has many redeeming qualities.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to johanna says:

        R watches Dance Mom’s and the related Abbey Lee Dance Competition (or whatever it’s called) religiously, with her Twitter reality TV friends. Argh, I can’t stand it.

        I did enjoy a moment on the show that follows Dance Moms, called Double Divas (about a pair of women in Atlanta who run a lingerie shop specializing in bras for hard-to-fit women), when Abbey Lee of Abbey Lee Dance Company (if you watch Dance Mom’s, you know that she always says the whole name) made a guest appearance. One of the hosts saw her bra and said, in her heavy (and wonderful) Georgia accent, “Did you see that bra? She must be really uncomfortable. No wonder she’s so mean to them kids.”Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to johanna says:

        Chris, I hate to admit this but the dance world does have tendency to sexualize kids. I’ve competed and been to competitions. For the Latin dances, the costumes and dancing tends to be a bit on the sensual side. These means in the junior division, you have girls wearing things vaguely like those worn by Vegas show girls. Its not cool or appropriate even though a lot of people seem to consider it good fun.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to johanna says:

        Lee, if I remember correctly, the Dance Mom’s group actually did a Vegas show girls routine.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to johanna says:

        That would not surprise me. The dance world like the modelling world has issues with the sexualization of children.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to johanna says:

        Kazzy,
        Kinda curious…
        Do folks even know what sexualizing boys looks like?
        (Meatballs is a prime example)Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        @chris @leeesq

        One of the “Toddlers in Tiaras” moms had her 3-year-old (!!!) do a “Pretty Women” themed bit. And not like classy-Julia-Roberts-at-the-end-of-the-movie “Pretty Woman”*, but hooker “Pretty Woman”. Thigh highs, mini skirt, etc. She didn’t understand why people balked at it. When the other people on “Toddlers in Tiaras” are looking at you like you’re nuts, you done gone did it.

        * I assume that’s how the movie ends, right? I’ve never seen it.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to johanna says:

        As for sexualizing young girls, I did a presentation to my 7th and 8th graders on Halloween costumes. We looked at the costumes for girls and they noticed how they were all frilly and cutesie and most were dresses. Then we looked at the costumes for adult women, which were all the different “sexy” varieties.
        I said to them, “Notice how the adult women are posed.”
        “Like they’re trying to seduce you.”
        “Okay. Now let’s go back to the ‘Girls’ page. Notice how they’re posed.”
        [pause]
        “OH MY GOD! THEY’RE STANDING THE SAME WAY! WHAT IS THAT?!?!”Report

      • Avatar Neil Obstat in reply to johanna says:

        Harlan Ellison released a collection of TV criticism columns for the LA Free Press in the late 60’s, titled “The Glass Teat”. One that I still recall was about accidentally tuning in to some toddler-ish pageant, and while I no longer remember the details, I can still recall my visceral horror at his description of said Paedophilic farce-assault upon sensibility, and I read it at least 30 years ago in my early 20’s. “T-in-T” unfortunately helped me revisit that feeling. Brrrr!Report

  14. Avatar Maribou says:

    My brain is merciful, and when it encounters such a thing, it takes less than an hour to erase all related memories from itself.

    You poor dears.Report

  15. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Gavin Stevens.Report

  16. Avatar Neil Obstat says:

    Honey Booboo.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Neil Obstat says:

      Honey Booboo and her family are interesting in that the apparent intent of the show (ridiculing these country bumpkins) ultimately failed among the people who genuinely watched the show. While Honey Booboo, her mom, and her sisters were an easy punchline for hack comedians, if you actually watched the show, there was something remarkably endearing amidst all the lowbrow chicanery. They seemed like a genuine family who were happy with who they were and, most importantly, loved one another. In a weird way, they were far more normal in this regard than many of the people laughing from afar.

      Don’t get me wrong… I was genuinely dismayed with some of what I saw from the family (and the fact that their fame grew out of child pageant culture makes me want to shake them all). But they aren’t the monsters that the dominant narrative seems to suggest they were. I think TLC or whatever shitty channel intended to exploit and ridicule them are far worse than the family of lovable misfits who don’t give two craps what you think about their homemade slip-and-slide or bodily functions.Report

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