Apparently many news organizations chose to broadcast a report yesterday that Lou Reed was dead.

They did so without any fact checking because they thought the report was from Reuter’s and was legit. Yesterday I thought this was odd, but I hadn’t seen the actual message. I didn’t really know much about the whole controversy, to tell the truth. The first mention I heard was from Ed when he forwarded me a message from Reed’s manager’s friend that said Reed was alive and well. At that point I didn’t even know he was supposed to be dead. Very confusing.

Today, of course, my inbox was chock full of copies. I mention this whole thing because I am astounded that the contents of the message apparently didn’t send up a single warning flag to anyone. I find that hard to believe. No one got suspicious when reading the line in the message where it says [Reed’s] “long-time companion and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had no comment.”

Hi. Hello. The half-witted dog down the street could have sniffed out that this message was a hoax.

But what do I know? Maybe Reed and Albright are an item and I’m just the last to know. I don’t know if I’m fascinated by that idea or completely creeped out by it.

Lou Reed Correction
Okay, so I stand corrected. Apparently, I was the only one in America who was unaware that Lou Reed and Madeleine Albright are friends. I stand by my assertion, however, that Laurie Anderson is his longtime companion and not Maddie.

If anyone has proof to the contrary I simply do not want to see it.

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In my opinion, Weight Watchers is an institutionalized eating disorder. The members talk about nothing but the food they can’t eat all day long. Food is the enemy and must be demonized. Weight Watchers may claim to be about the positives, but having lived among Them for the last year I can tell you that members think of food in nothing but terms of reward and punishment. That is bad. But what’s worse is that they fixate on and analyze every morsal that goes into everyone’s mouths. They inject food, points, and value judgements into every conversation possible.

Consequently, those around the True Weight Watchers Believers must eat only in secret or risk being lectured about what we’re eating. I have some friends who’ve seen the light. I just tried to eat a Luna Bar.* in a public place. Big big mistake. Huge mistake. Mistake I will never make again.

Suddenly, I was surrounded. “How many points does that have?” They demanded. Something in my brain misfired, and I very evenly replied “Eleven million.” This, my friends, was the wrong answer. I expected retaliation for my deadpan sarcasm, but instead of getting angry, they confiscated my snack and started analyzing the ingredients!

Luna bars failed the test. They couldn’t tell me why exactly. They didn’t seem to understand why, exactly. I guess it’s because a) they’re nutritious and b) they don’t earn the almighty Weight Watchers a kick-back, as they are neither a branded product nor a product with the Weight Watchers seal and points value emblazened on the side.

They bray about how they can eat ‘anything they want” but for lunch they seem to stick to Weight Watchers brand frozen foods and bags of Weight Watchers brand unflavored microwave popcorn (washed down with 6 gallons of water).

Thankfully, they seem to be afraid to try and recruit me into their cult, but they’ve offended plenty of others around me with their insinuations that Weight Watchers could improve their lives. That seems like harrassment to me, but what do I know?

I do know that failure rates for money-sucking weight-loss programs are incredibly high (between 90 and 95 percent), and that these programs prey on people with self-esteem issues. The “support” meetings (which cost you roughly 14 bucks a pop) are apparently not great for your mental health either, as this epinion Humiliation, Plain and Simple illustrates. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from real, live people too so please don’t write to me and tell me that this woman’s experience is unique.

The Federal Trade Commission held a conference about consumers, health and the weight loss industry not long after they busted weight watchers for deceptive advertising. That’s why they have all that teeny-tiny fine print at the bottom of their ads now, but it doesn’t stop them. Not one bit. The report makes very interesting reading.

If you ever go to an office building and find that most of the workers are avoiding the lunchroom and eating in secret at their desks, you can bet money that there’s a Weight Watchers at Work group in existence and they can’t wait to find out exactly what you’re going to eat next so they can passive-aggressively demonstrate their own will-power by explaining to you exactly why they would never eat such a thing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

*as a sidenote, I prefer Odwalla Bars, but I was out and too lazy to go out and get one and I had Luna Bars in my desk. I like them both, I just prefer Odwalla’s.

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I just passed by a pair of colleagues deep in conversation. They weren’t discussing a dangerous and complex scientific experiment or a social research project that could change the face of welfare. Oh, heaven’s no! Their intense discussion amounted to one man trying to explain the concept of the TV show survivor to the other. This was all the more entertaining because neither one of them seemed to have the foggiest notion of what they were talking about. God bless academia!

While I’m on the topic of survivor…
I was deeply disappointed by the outcome of survivor 2. I mean, I wanted Tina to win, but I really didn’t find all of the shenanigans leading up to the big announcement compelling. Or even interesting.

Make a totem and throw it over a cliff as a gesture, as a way to give back to the land? They were right, they were giving back to the land. Littering is – technically – giving back to the land. But it’s still littering. Was I the only one deeply scarred by that Indian in the “Keep America Beautiful” commercials from the 70s? I didn’t expect a great environmental message from a show that allowed goofy Colby to pillage the Great Barrier Reef for coral souvenirs, but still….

And what was up with that walk past the torches where they remembered their fallen comrades in cheesy slow-mo video montages? It’s not like Mad Dog and company died or something – they just did Letterman and Good Morning America, for pete’s sake.

My big question is, if that final vote count was live, why was it dark as night in LA? According to my watch it was 6:40 p.m. and the sun has not set by then. Did this not strike anyone as odd?

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zero budget films

A really useful site for that nobudget auteur scraping around in the deepest recesses of your soul trying to get free.

Think you’re the next Hal Hartley? Prove it. And if you do prove it, don’t call me. I think Hartley is boring and unimaginative and you only think you have to like him because the Sundance channel masturbates all over him constantly.

Don’t despair – I have faith in you. I know that you can do better than Hartley. When you do, then you can call me.

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I continue to be convinced that we’re going to wake up one morning and find ourselves at war with Iraq. I told Husband this on election day, he told me I’m paranoid. I lack the faith in our current Congress necessary to think this is preventable, I feel a sense of doom.

In much more important news, my Lord of the Rings obsessed co-workers are atwitter that Ian McKellan will be in Philadelphia tomorrow for PrideFest, so it’s time to go to lunch and listen to the endless debates about how to justify a roadtrip as a professional development project.

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Finally, the disclosure project is going to give us proof that extraterrestrials exist! In the event that you prefer not to leave little digital tracks on websites of, well, questionable organizations, here’s an excerpt from the press release:

On Wednesday, May 9th, over twenty military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses will come forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to establish the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies. The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without any doubt the reality of these phenomena, according to Dr. Steven M. Greer, director of the Disclosure Project, which is hosting the event.

How can you doubt them any longer? How dare we call them a questionable organization – they’re going to prove to us, “without any doubt” that these things exist. It says so right in the press release. These people can’t possibly be crazy, they worked for the government!

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In the process of switching this section over so that it is run by blogger. I can already tell there are going to be bumps in the road, so please have patience.

While I iron this out, we must keep in mind that things could be much much worse for us. We could be like the poor souls in New York City. You may be asking, what poor souls?

The tragedy came to my attention via and article in the Washington Post online, which also appears on the front page of the day’s edition. “New York Gets Over a Gilt Complex”, April 24, 2001 [ed. note: dead link deleted]

Some people in New York are suffering and you can help. We need to put on a benefit concert and raise a lot of money because things sound pretty desperate. We have an obligation to help them.

See for yourself. Take the case of poor Paul Harris:

His personal fortune is down to $1.5 million and he’s leaving for an ashram in India. “I really need to reconnect,” he said. “This dream’s over.”

How shocking is that? Is Yanni available? How about Kenny G and perhaps the Mannheim Steamroller? We’ve got to help these people, damnit.

It gets worse:

“It’s the summer season coming up, so my patients must have tune-ups,” said plastic surgeon Pamela Lipkin, who has a state-of-the-art private operating room on Fifth Avenue. “But instead of doing liposuction on seven areas, they’re doing three or four. These decisions are so painful.”

Oh, the horror. The horror. Okay, so to be honest the article is mostly about the question of whether the stock market fluctuations will have wider-reaching implications. Those quotes were just too good to pass up. I do want to add that I feel pretty bad for the people who have had to sell off most of their jets. I don’t know what Husband and I would do if we had to restrict ourselves to just one Lear Jet.

plucked from the ashes of the punkprincess.com archives, reposted 02-23-07

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[this entry was posted during a software switchover]

While we iron this out, we must keep in mind that things could be much much worse for us. We could be like the poor souls in New York City. You may be asking, what poor souls?

The tragedy came to my attention via and article in the Washington Post online, which also appears on the front page of the day’s edition. “New York Gets Over a Gilt Complex” (April 24, 2001).

Some people in New York are suffering and you can help. We need to put on a benefit concert and raise a lot of money because things sound pretty desperate. We have an obligation to help them.

See for yourself. Take the case of poor Paul Harris:

His personal fortune is down to $1.5 million and he’s leaving for an ashram in India. “I really need to reconnect,” he said. “This dream’s over.”

How shocking is that? Is Yanni available? How about Kenny G and perhaps the Mannheim Steamroller? We’ve got to help these people, damnit.

It gets worse:

“It’s the summer season coming up, so my patients must have tune-ups,” said plastic surgeon Pamela Lipkin, who has a state-of-the-art private operating room on Fifth Avenue. “But instead of doing liposuction on seven areas, they’re doing three or four. These decisions are so painful.”

Oh, the horror. The horror. Okay, so to be honest the article is mostly about the question of whether the stock market fluctuations will have wider-reaching implications. Those quotes were just too good to pass up. I do want to add that I feel pretty bad for the people who have had to sell off most of their jets. I don’t know what Husband and I would do if we had to restrict ourselves to just one Lear Jet.

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No.No.No.No.No. Say it isn’t so. Please say it isn’t so. Tonight on the Sopranos, the moment that Chris “acquired” that nightclub a knot formed in my stomach. When he gave the club to Adrianna, I felt queasy.

Please, please, please don’t let the Sopranos fall into the 90210/Charmed “we’ve got a nightclub let’s have gratuitous guestshots from bands” trap. It’s already started. We didn’t even get through the first bar-ownership episode and there was already some lame band performing.

Does David Chase have that little faith in his fan base that he thinks they’ll start jumping ship mid-season? Why else would you resort to adding filler to your show? On the upside, since there are no commercial breaks during the Sopranos, a gratuitous band interlude gives you the opportunity to go to the bathroom, get a beer or just bang your head against the wall for a few minutes if you need to.

Perhaps next season on Survivor III they can have guest bands. Every few days another band can be dropped into whatever “remote” location they are filming in. The band can play and then the Survivors can hunt them, slaughter them, and eat them.

plucked from the ashes of the punkprincess.com archives, reposted 02-23-07

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In the latest bit of Miss Universe pageant news, Miss France was accused of having once been a man. (Accused. As though this was, in itself, a horrible crime).

Miss France of course denies the whole thing. I personally don’t understand why everyone is in a swivet. I think that the pageants would be better served if the contestants were men, either transgendered or transvestite.

We’re never going to change the attitudes toward the female body that are propogated by these pageants. So why not let the entrants be the individuals who naturally fit the standard: slim boyish hips, above average height, artificial (but still small) breasts, fake eye-lashes, plastinated hair. That’s not your average woman, but it sounds like a number of men I know. (That’s not a derogatory statement, they’re all quite fabulous and I adore them and think they’re great).

Runway fashion shows featuring women’s fashions use cross-dressing men. Remember the shock a few years back when designers discussed how much better their (women’s) fashions looked on men? Anyone with hips understands the perversity of this, but not the designers who design the clothes that women must starve themselves to look “good” in. I’m not sure how to fight the designers, but I do believe that the best way to defang the pageant industry a bit is just to give up on it.

Ironically, the drag queens would have an unfair advantage at the Miss America pageant since they better represent the “womanly” ideal than most women. Let’s face it, this idea won’t solve the problems inherent in a beauty pageant culture, but it would make it all a hell of a lot more interesting.

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