Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lindsay Lohan's Vagina Magically Draws Glassware To It

Somebody forwarded this picture to me the other day with the subject "Ohmifuckin' GOD, this is INCREDIBLE." After looking at it long and hard, I agreed. It seemed unbelievable, inhuman, a bizarre trick of nature. Could there be a rational explanation? Because taking this photo on face value, the conclusion seemed inescapable:

Lindsay Lohan's vagina magically draws glassware to it.

On the face of it it seems unlikely, but it's not without precedent. Lindsay has supposedly slept with Adam Levine, James Franco, and Justin Timberlake, so there's something going on downstairs that the laws of nature can't explain. I wrote up a list of possible explanations and judged the likeliness of each.

First I spoke to a friend who nearly has a degree. "These perfume bottles seem to be moving toward Lindsay's vagina," I said. "Is that totally impossible?"

His answer surprised me. "Definitely not," he said. "Einstein documented distortions in time and space caused by an observer standing at a fixed position and something moving really quickly."

I mused over this for a while before I discounted it. I mean, perfume bottles can't move really quickly. And judging from what my straight friends tell me, vaginas can barely be budged from the bed.

A second possibility is the "birds of a feather" argument. We all know how perfume bottles cluster together on dressing tables, as if they have an affinity for each other. Is it possible they're downwind of Lindsay's vagina, and they suspect that it's one of them? At the risk of personifying them, maybe it's like they're sniffing the air and thinking, "Hmm, I smell a brisk autumn breeze and sweet romance. Guys, I think we're supposed to be over there." This might explain why the closest bottles is the most eager to move while the third is like, "I haven't smelled nothing but toilet since 1985."

However, we reach the sole rational conclusion by offering a proven parallel. In the Caribbean, there are pearl divers who can hold their breath for upwards of ten minutes. They start slowly, and with practice they develop a skill that seems other-worldly. Rather than diving for pearls, though, Lindsay is taking selfies, brutally sucking in her stomach dozens of times a day. Over the years it's not a stretch to imagine she can now create a perfect vacuum inside her body: one that not only pulls in human flesh but also anything lurking nearby.

One hallmark of a good theory is that it's easily testable, and I hope to test this in the immediate future. I've already written up a simple script that calls only for Ms. Lohan and the line, "Ohmigod, I just can't hold onto this paperclip."

Still, we haven't answered all of the questions this selfie poses. Maybe tomorrow we'll think of reasons why Lindsay's bathroom mirror doesn't actually reflect people but instead only offers the image of three elongated clams.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Golden Globes Night of Mostly Underperforming Stars

Once again Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were smart, snappy hosts. The Guardian says their "sister act subverted the conversations that take place about celebrity women." Yes, the night was truly a feminist triumph, except for the part where a dude had to help them upstairs so they wouldn't trip on their gowns.

I don't think anybody could have predicted most of the winners, unless you knew which movies weren't particularly successful and had money left in their advertising budget. Patricia Arquette was a surprise winner for Boyhood. (The feminist triumph of Girlhood should hit theaters in 2027.) No sour grapes here: I mean, I'd give her a whole truckful of Golden Globes if she could play a mom who wasn't annoying.

Greer Grammer was a bright light in an occasionally dazzling evening. Clearly her assignment wasn't about connections or beauty: it was all about the work. And I know in the future she'll really be able to use that experience showing people how to find the exit of a theater.

Whenever I see Leonardo Dicaprio I think of Oscar Wilde. Not because of his wit or subversion but because in his attic I'll bet there's a painting of an attractive guy.

On the plus side, the night was lightweight, silly fun. Me, I loved hearing the screams of surprise when the winners were announced. I guess nobody knew if their checks had cleared or not.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Every morning I wake up with a headache, and I'm not sure if it's caused by gin or a cheap space heater I bought. A friend said to test it I should either turn off the heater or not drink for a night, so I guess I won't know until July.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AS ALAN TURING: One day computers will be so smart they will be virtually indistinguishable from people.


BCAAT: I've devised a test that I know one day will be met. You will type in messages on your keyboard, and you will see responses on your screen. You type in whatever questions you want: What's the weather like? Who is the president of China? Why am I so insecure? You won't be told who's on the other end. It could be a person replying to you or a computer. One day computers will have such limitless intelligence that you will have absolutely no idea it's a machine you're talking to. And that, my friend, is what I call "The Imitation Game."


BCAAT: Go ahead: ask me any question, and then tell me what I am.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Is broth the next juice? We visited Brodo in East Village to find out.

Chef Marco Canora opened Brodo out of a window of his popular East Village restaurant Hearth to serve bone broths in paper cups to street side patrons. This may sound like an unusual concept at first, but it looks like Marco may have tapped into NYC’s next big health trend.

You know what's not the new health trend? A professional chef tasting his broth and then using that spoon to stir it.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Movie Review: Into the Woods

Into the Woods is a Disney film of a Stephen Sondheim musical. It intertwines four fairy tales, which probably isn't a great idea. I mean, when you watch Disney's classic "Cinderella," do you sit there hoping Jack and his Beanstalk will show up? Did "Rapunzel" leave you thinking, "Well, that was fun, but it would really have been great if Red Riding Hood had turned up"? Consider your wish granted.

Rather than try to psychoanalyze the characters, the film pretty much just throws them together. We don't get motivations or hidden feelings or any sort of depth: it's pretty much shallow conversations between simple people who haven't previously met. Exchanges run something like this:

RAPUNZEL: Hello little boy! What are you doing in the woods with a cow?

BEANSTALK JACK: I'm taking it to the market to sell. Gosh, you sure have pretty hair.

RAPUNZEL: Thanks. See you!


Roughly 90% of these conversations are about the woods. They're so dangerous, stay on the path, or stay out! Despite the talk, we don't really get the reason, because the woods seem to be full of simple people wandering about idly, resembling more of a dirty Bed Bath & Beyond than an actual forest. If this movie had taken place at the Glendale Galleria, it would have been eight minutes long.

For the first half hour, Meryl Streep and fourteen semi-celebs sing the words "Into the woods!" repeatedly. They don't just etch into your consciousness like the theme from "It's a Small World," They actually replace every message sent in your brain, bloodstream and nervous system. At four a.m. this morning I didn't get woken up by my urge to go to the bathroom: no, it was my penis' turn to solo.

The intro eventually ends, and a hundred intermingled stories start. The mood changes with each: Red Riding Hood is sassy, Cinderella is sincere, Beanstalk Jack is a Joey Lawrence-style idiot complete with bowl haircut. An initial encounter with the latter isn't exactly spine-tingling: he climbs up the beanstalk, climbs back down, and then spends twelve minutes singing about it. I'm not sure why: I mean, whenever I've recounted the story to children they've never asked me to repeat the entire thing but this time with a tune.

This is probably why I don't like musicals: they do stuff that people do in regular films, but then they stop and sing about it afterward. Is that really necessary? I'm pretty sure James Bond films wouldn't be quite as popular if he stopped to recap everything in song.

I drove my Jaguar very fast
with Blofeld hot on my tracks.
I would have had sex with Jill Masterson
but thought I might get paint on my slacks.

Cinderella's subplot makes even less sense. The prince's ball now lasts three nights in a row -- so for three nights in a row, she captivates the prince, she runs away, and he chases after her. She loses her shoe on the third night and he takes it throughout the countyside to find out who it fits.

I'm not sure I'm getting across quite as stupid this is, so let's make up some details and dialog that the movie leaves out.

[NIGHT ONE] PRINCE: You are so lovely, mysterious maiden. Please, tell me who you are!

CINDERELLA: I cannot! But I've had a wonderful evening, and I must go!

She runs off. The prince chases but a handsome, fit male is no match for a chick in stilettos.

[NIGHT TWO] PRINCE: Thank goodness! I've found you again. This time I will never let you go. Please, dance with me again.

CINDERELLA: Okay. [THEY DANCE] This is like a wonderful dream! [SHE SPRINTS OFF] See ya, buddy!

PRINCE [SHRUGGING]: Goddammit. Not again!

She runs off again. The prince chases, this time even more desperately, but again he can't catch her. He's bereft. True love escaped him once more!

[NIGHT THREE] PRINCE: This is fuckin' amazing. I thought I'd lost you forever, but here you are again! My beloved. Life has regained its meaning and birds will sing again.

CINDERELLA: Yup. Good to see you too. [THEY DANCE, THEN SHE BREAKS OFF AND RUNS] Gots to scoot again, beeyotch!


The movie picks up during her third exit. The prince isn't quite as stupid as I've made him out, because he's covered half of the castle stairs with tar to slow Cinderella down. Sure, it would have been smarter to hire a guard, but these are troubling times in the kingdom, m'lord. Cinderella doesn't see the tar and her shoes get stuck. Oh, damn! Now he'll catch her for sure! She steps out of her shoes and pulls them out. O...kay. She decides to leave one for the prince as a clue to her identity, and then she sprints off, running carefree through the tar.

Yes, the film definitely explores an alternative side of this fairy tale, because when you read the regular one you don't want to shout, "DOES SHE STICK TO THE FUCKIN' STAIRS OR WHAT?"

This time around we learn that a woman wearing one tar-coated stiletto is faster than our hunky prince. We almost wish the ball would go on for a fourth night, so the prince could lay nails across the exit and she'd step on them and her feet would get all bloody and we could all yell, "SEE IF YOU'RE FASTER THAN THE PRINCE NOW, ASSHOLE!"

Rapunzel is a shock on more of a visceral level. After fourteen people have sung about the glory of her hair, we see it looks like a bungee cord wrapped in a cheap weave. It's literally a matted yellow rope. If I fell into a tar pit and they threw me a lifeline of that shit, I'd be a really pissed-off fossil right now.

The baker is stupid and earnest, his wife is snarky. "This makes no sense!" she notices. "That's crazy!" she notes. She snidely remarks that somebody's wandered in from a different fairy tale. Suddenly we identify the movie's forefathers: we've got the style, though none of the charm, of Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever.

Towards the end you'll be delighted to notice that the observational songs -- classics like, "I Climbed A Beanstalk," "I Saw A Cow In The Woods," and "Man, That's A Really Big Wolf" -- give way to musical platitudes, and your heart races with hope the end is near. Now all the songs are about hopes and dreams and you half expect a kitten dangling from a branch to sing a ditty called, "Hang In There!" I didn't get the closing song's words exactly but I'm pretty sure it went like this:

Dream a dream or wish a wish,
it is up to you.
But watch out for the dreams you wish;
Sometimes they come true.
If you dream upon a wish,
you get lost in thought.
Dreams and wishes get entwined
and that's one fuckin' knot.

1. You sit there and think, "Hmm. That scene wasn't great."

2. You sit there and think, "This scene was awful."

3. You sit there and think, "This entire movie is a massive piece of shit."

4. You sit there and think, "If I tell everybody Meryl Streep shoots Kim Jong Un in this, will they make it go away?"

5. Six days after you see the film you stop at a local store and buy cilantro. The clerk rings it up as parsley. You clutch your face, drop to your knees and scream, "OHMIGOD!!! IS THERE EVEN A FRAGMENT OF A BRAIN CELL LEFT IN THE WORLD???"

Into the Woods is the Bill Cosby of movies. Judging by the name you assume it'll be great, but even before you get comfortable you're overcome by some odd paralysis and all you can do it stare helplessly while a voice inside your head screams, "MOTHERFUCKER! MOTHERFUCKER!" You're left thinking of the Pandora's Box of brilliance the movie has unleashed. Insted of mashing together four fairy tales, how about one-liners? That would be a show-stopper too:

PRINCESS: I just flew in from New York.

GIANT: Really? I broke my leg in two places.

PRINCESS: My arms are so tired; is that your wife?

GIANT: Yes: feel free to take her! And maybe stay out of those places.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Davy and Debby Hoffman were furious. It was Thanksgiving and at the homes of all of their friends tiny elves were magically appearing on random shelves. Checking their own shelves, though, all they found were books and shit. They ran straight to their father Neal. "Why don't we have any elves sitting on shelves at our house?" they asked.

"'The Elf on the Shelf' is a Christian tradition," said Neal, "and we're Jewish. We don't believe in elves because we don't believe in Christmas because we don't believe in Jesus Christ."

"Oh," replied Davy and Debby. "That absolutely sucks."

Every day Davy and Debby whined a little more. They'd visit another friend's home and see a cute little elf on a book-free shelf, and then they'd go home and scream. "BUY US A GODDAMNED ELF ON THE SHELF!" they screamed in unison. "BUY US A GODDAMNED ELF!"

The last straw came when somebody told Davy and Debby that these little stuffed elves flew to the North Pole at night and talked to Santa about them. "We don't wanna be Jewish," they yelled at their father. "We don't want fuckin' books on our shelves. We want one of Santa's assistants to sit there and watch us!"

Their father shook his head. How could these children see that aside from being outside of their heritage this elf was basically a felt nannycam? Then one day a lightbulb blinked on above his head. "Why," he thought, "I'll make a Jewish version of that infernal toy! Who wouldn't love a little Jewish man hanging around their house keeping tabs on them?" Neal, a former toy company executive, stitched up a crude figure and kept his fingers crossed. Others might have called it a creepy copy of an semi-interesting toy but he dubbed it "The Mensch on the Bench."

"The Mensch on the Bench is even more fun than the Elf on the Shelf," Neal told Davy and Debby, "because he's a nice Jewish man who watches you. If you do good, he's happy. And if you do evil, he's unhappy."

"Every night the Elf on the Shelf flies to the North Pole," said Davy, "to tell Santa if we've been naughty or nice. Where does the Mensch on the Bench go?"

Hoffman wracked his brain. "The senior center," he finally said. "He tells everybody's grandparents about you."

"Oh, okay," said the kids. And a Chanukah tradition was born.



Marcus and Augusta Agrippa were furious. It was December 17, the first day of Saturnalia, and all of their friends were hanging ornaments on trees, stuffing themselves with food, getting drunk and screwing and exchanging presents afterward. They went home and complained to their father Flavius. "Why can't we overeat and get presents?" they asked.

"Only the pagans do that," said Flavius, "and we're Christians. We don't celebrate Saturnalia because we don't believe Saturn is the god of the harvest because we believe in one true God."

"Oh," replied the Marcus and Augusta. "That absolutely sucks."

Every day Marcus and Augusta whined a little more. They'd look outside and see drunk people urinating in the streets before going home and giving each other The Clapper. At their house, meanwhile, it was all wrestling lessons and chiseling Latin words into stone.

Finally they threw a hissy fit at the Caesar's Palace Mall when they saw pagan children drinking Jack and Coke out of little sippy cups. "We don't wanna be Christian," Marcus and Augusta yelled at their father. "We don't have any fun. We don't have human sacrifices. We don't get to smash shit up. AND WHAT ABOUT OVEREATING AND GETTING PRESENTS?"

After one last, futile attempt to explain to his kids that only an idiot would celebrate the growth of corn, Flavius got a brilliant idea. "Why," he thought, "I'll make a Christian version of that infernal holiday! Who wouldn't love a religious celebration where you stuff yourself and then get cool shit?" Flavius decorated a tree, wrapped gifts and made green bean casserole, then fashioned a diorama of baby Jesus in a manger and kept his fingers crossed. He knew it was lame but he had high hopes. Others might have called it a creepy copy of a semi-interesting celebration but he dubbed it "Christmas."

"Christmas is even more fun than Saturnalia," he told his kids as they tore at their presents, "because instead of celebrating some stupid harvest, you're commemorating a really nice guy. See, Jesus died because he loved you, then he came back to life and now he and his father watch you all the time. If you do good, he's happy. And if you do evil, he's unhappy."

"Oh, okay," said the kids in unison, and that was the year Christmas was born.