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  September 26, 2005
Lesbian Ass vs. the Commuter Class

This past weekend, Manhattan's customarily quiet and genteel neighborhood of Chelsea was overtaken by lesbian rage, as 22nd Street became the site of the LTTR Block Party, in honor of the release of the fourth issue of this largely-unknown feminist art/literature/music journal. (That's one more issue than n+1, in case you're wondering. Collect them now!)

So, what sort of clash ensues when the upper-income brackets of Chelsea's brownstone-residing queers play host to a bunch of art-world dykes? Hmm...phrased like that, the whole situation becomes confusing. Let's sort it out by pitting LTTR versus that beacon of aspirational capitalism, BusinessWeek.

BusinessWeek LTTR
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The publication's title pretty much says it all...you're getting the news of "this week in business". Concise, but boring. Kind of like your typical V.P. of Development. Not very gay in the least. The publication's title serves a dual function; first, it's an artful abbreviation of LETTER, get it? Because the printed word is comprised of letters. Secondly, it's an acronym of sorts, wherein issue number 1 went by the longhand variant of LESBIANS TO THE RESCUE, issue number 2 spelled out LISTEN TRANSLATE TRANSLATE RECORD, and then there's some additional wordplay with the idea of LESBIANS TEND TO READ. Semi-clever, mostly creative. And, therefore, very gay.
Inserts: Each issue includes subscription invitation cards that frequently fall out on the floor of the Metro North train on which its readership rides. Inserts: Past issues have included insert CDs with rare and exclusive tracks by artists such as Le Tigre. Apparently the group's frontwoman Kathleen Hanna has some sort of penchant for lesbianism?
Current Cover Story: When Rita Came Calling, examining how "after Katrina, Gulf Coast outfits like SBC, Coke, and Texas Instruments prepared extensively for this hurricane." Informative and matter-of-fact. And, again, boring as all fuck. Potential Cover Story: When Rita Came Calling, examining what happens when an ex-lover comes by your studio apartment in Williamsburg while you're racing to hide your new girlfriend's undergarments. Assuming she wears undergarments. Poetic and beautiful.
Packaging: Bound like ninety percent of all other magazines. Three staples straight down the side, gloss on the front, and poker in the rear. (Sorry, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Account Executives are just so goddamned aggressive after happy hour!) Packaging: The latest issue comes wrapped in textured paper, bound by a frilly ribbon. Very feminine, but not very durable –– and certainly not built to last in perpetuity. Where are those all-important subscription cards?

This, then, is why the breeders will always win.

Posted at 11:00 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  September 23, 2005
Ronald McDonald's Happy Steal

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From L-R, McDonald's new female Ronald McDonald, as seen in a current Japanese TV campaign, and Milla Jovovich as Leeloo in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997)

Talk about Hamburglars! (Ba-dum.)

Posted at 11:59 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 30, 2005
Mamma Mia!

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Yeah, we know it's a little late, but it's not every day you discover someone copping Abba's style.

Big ups to James R.!

Posted at 8:53 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  May 26, 2005
The indiscreet charms of the bourgeoisie

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WHICH set of former has-beens-that-never-were returned to the glare of the spotlight earlier this month? WHO reissued their most prominent document of fame and fortune yet, in what is either the ultimate comeback or merely another attempt to cash in on the zeitgeist of bourgeoisie socialism? WHAT makes this sort of bougie urban politicism that far removed from an overriding cultural interest in Jessica Simpson's techniques for obtaining a bikini-worthy body?

Unrelatedly, Maer Roshan's Radar project is out anew this month.

And, hey, you know what? Our tried-and-true "This looks like this, which is like that, which is like this" routine never ends! We'll be here all week.

(with thanks to Adit Nathan)

Posted at 11:25 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  May 20, 2005
If Buchanan Wasn't Against the War Before, He Sure Is Now

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Separated at Bulge: Saddam Hussein on the cover of The Sun (via Drudge); Pat Buchanan on the cover of SPY, May 1992.

Posted at 11:26 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  February 14, 2005
Even College Dropouts Find the Work of Tony Kushner Inspirational

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Kanye West at the Grammy's and Emma Thompson in Angels in America

Posted at 2:14 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  January 26, 2005
How to design a record sleeve for your favorite hipster band

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L-R, Tegan and Sara, So Jealous; Bright Eyes, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn

Hmmm...and you're still wondering what the next Bloc Party or Dears LP will look like?

Posted at 2:34 PM in a Shallow, Soundproof, Versus fashion.
  October 28, 2004
Balloon Man

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Rhys Ifans in Enduring Love and its prequel Danny Deckchair

Rhys Ifans' new film, Enduring Love, is a charming sequel to his even charminger Danny Deckchair, in which Mr. Ifans' relationship with ballooning is further explored. Up next for Mr. Ifans? Maria Full of Grace 2.

Posted at 11:15 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  October 11, 2004
Three years and zero washes later...

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Where do you live, Jimmy Fallon? From left to right, the SNL wunderkind on the cover of Paper's November 2001 issue; and the star of Taxi featured as "Man of the Week" in the October 18, 2004 issue of Us

Posted at 2:15 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  August 27, 2004
The definitive hot new cover pose for September 2004 magazines

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Posted at 4:25 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  August 25, 2004
Doin' the Lynndie Hop

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An officer at the Department of Defense "delivers final reports of the Independent Panel to Review Department of Defense Detention Operations...A four-member panel headed by [former Defense Secretary James] Schlesinger issued a report accusing the chain of command from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on down of leadership failures that created conditions for the abuse of prisioners late last year that sparked anti-American outrage across the world."

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The image that initially started the abovementioned investigation.

Posted at 3:05 PM in a Grave, Versus fashion.
  August 19, 2004
Oh Yeahhhh! I've fallen prey to outsourcing

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From L to R, the iconographically cute representation of China's anti-AIDS/clean blood initiative, and America's favorite sugar warrior, the Kool-Aid Man

Posted at 12:54 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  August 6, 2004
I'm Academy Award-winning actor George C. Scott, and I'm reporting for duty

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Presidential candidate John Kerry, who renounced his Vietnam war medals in the early 1970s.

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General George S. Patton Jr., as played by actor George C. Scott, who renounced his metal Oscar in the early 1970s.

Posted at 2:31 PM in a Grave, Versus fashion.
  July 21, 2004
Hilary, darling, that look is sooo Sofia's last film

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Hilary Duff stars in A Cinderella Story, 2004

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Scarlett Johansson promoting Lost in Translation at the Venice Film Festival, 2004

(With thanks to Kristina Dalberg.)

Posted at 12:38 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  July 6, 2004
Clearly it's this pun that's the tramp

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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW: i-D Magazine's July 2004 issue, left, and V Magazine's Summer 2004 issue, right

Posted at 3:57 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 30, 2004
Woolf in Fred Segal's Clothing

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From left to right, Nicole Kidman and her Oscar-winning prosthetic nose, and the egregiously untalented Ashlee Simpson. Poor, poor girl. Check her pockets for rocks before she goes to the MTV Beach House.

Posted at 5:39 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 29, 2004
Mini DV's mobility, on the other hand, caused Chelsea Walls to seem poorly framed

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Photo of Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Richard Linklater peering at an Apple laptop computer, taken from Dennis Lim's piece about Linklater's Before Sunset in this week's Village Voice

And then there's this, below, taken from New York magazine's current profile of Ethan Hawke as leading man/single man/bohemian:

There's a manual typewriter on his desk; he wrote both his books on it. The computer has destroyed fiction,' he declares. Paragraphs get so perfectly sculpted they lose all their juice.'
Posted at 10:42 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 16, 2004
Here it is, in black and white

While sports fans everywhere are abuzz with news of the Detroit Pistons's more-or-less unanticipated victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, we here at low culture readily acknowledge that the only thing we love more than sports are drugs, and, in the beloved tradition of Darryl Strawberry, preferably both at the same time.

Lance Armstrong Barry Bonds
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Pre-eminent cyclist...the greatest ever? Pre-eminent baseball player...the greatest ever?
5 Tour de France titles over the past 5 years 6 MVP awards, including the past 3 years
Highly-respected and liked by the general public; has "a good attitude" Highly-respected, though disliked by the general public; has "a bad attitude"
Publicly battled cancer Publicly battled the death of his father from cancer
Currently embroiled in a steroid/doping scandal that threatens his legacy Currently embroiled in a steroid/doping scandal that threatens his legacy
The big issue, according to the Independent Online: "Emma O'Reilly, an Irish woman who worked for several years as Armstrong's "soigneur" - a combination masseur, physical therapist and personal assistant...claims Armstrong asked O'Reilly to dispose of a black bag containing used syringes after the Tour of the Netherlands in 1998...A year later, the book claims, Armstrong asked O'Reilly for makeup to conceal syringe marks on his arm at the Tour de France medical checkup, an event closely followed by reporters and photographers." The big issue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal weight trainer and longtime friend...allegedly obtained a so-called designer steroid known as "the clear" and a testosterone-based steroid known as "the cream" from BALCO and supplied the substances to all six baseball players, the government was told. In addition, Bonds was said to have received human growth hormone, a powerful substance that legally cannot be distributed without a prescription, investigators were told."
A possible explanation: "O'Reilly acknowledged she did not know what was in the syringes...Armstrong said he had used a skin cream for his saddle sores that contained glucocorticoid, an anti-inflammatory steroid commonly used to treat rashes." A possible explanation: "The information shared with The Chronicle did not explicitly state that the athletes had used the drugs they were said to have obtained. Bonds, who is baseball's single-season home-run king...[has] publicly denied using steroids...Last week, attorneys for Anderson and Conte quoted their clients as saying Bonds had never used illegal drugs."
Fan and media response? Supportive of Armstrong, and incredulous towards accusers. Fan and media response? Suspicious of Bonds, and wary of his exploits.
Caucasian, but that has nothing to do with it, right? African-American, but that has nothing to do with it, right?
Posted at 12:39 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 10, 2004
I don't like Pepsi, either

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Britney Spears, from her upcoming Outrageous video, via Stereogum, and borrowing a look or two from...

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Shakira, from her Rolling Stone cover appearance

Posted at 3:11 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
Twentieth Century Fox, meet award-winning director Chris Cunningham

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From L to R: Chris Cunningham's 1998 music video for Bjork's "All is Full of Love," and Alex Proyas' 2004 full-length I, Robot.

Posted at 12:18 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  June 8, 2004
Tear down this velvet rope! (I can't see him from here)

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Members of the public solemnly view their fallen leader in Simi Valley, CA, June 8, 2004.

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Members of the public solemnly view their fallen leader in Red Square, Moscow, undated.

(Thanks to Choire.)

Posted at 12:18 PM in a Grave, Versus fashion.
  June 2, 2004
Dubya, Dubya, Too

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In today's commencement address to recent graduates of the Air Force Academy, President Bush sought to make his modern-day War on Terror analogous to the heroic fighting of World War II. And in the grand tradition of Bush's prior usage of black-and-white absolutism, the speech framed the current struggle in the Middle East in terms of very clear and sharp contrasts: right and wrong, good and bad, democracy and fascism, father and son, etc.

His speech was notably short on specifics, however. Admittedly, his communications director Dan Bartlett is probably very overworked right now, having to fend off an increasingly combative press and increasing dissension in the ranks of the Bush White House, so we thought we'd help and compile this list of additional WWII analogies Bush might have invoked this afternoon, had his writers and researchers been given more time.

World War II War on Terror™
United States criticized for being a bit late to begin fighting United States criticized for being a bit, well, early to begin fighting
Fighting against the Axis Powers Fighting against the Axis of Evil
The Germans? Not so cooperative. The Germans? Not so cooperative.
The French? Pussies. The French? Pussies.
Franz Ferdinand? So three decades ago. Franz Ferdinand? So three months ago.
Born from the ashes of the first W.W. Born from the loins of the first H.W.
Band of Brothers Band on the Run
Greatest Generation Greatest Generation (of capital for Halliburton and Bechtel)
No gay soldiers No gay soldiers, save for those who coordinated massive pile-ups of Iraqi prisoners and photographed their bare asses
A president confined to his wheelchair A president confined to Crawford, Texas
Green camouflage, and great uniforms Tan camouflage, and not enough Kevlar jackets
The War to End All Wars ...
Posted at 3:35 PM in a Grave, Versus fashion.
  March 5, 2004
Identical Spins

dcsprouse.jpgAll too often, we witness debates about who's cooler, the Hilton sisters or the Olsen twins: it's a perennial (and perenially boring) topic of debate by pop pundits, which unfortunately usually breaks down to which set of sisters are hotter. (Frankly, we here at low culture feel that the Hiltons are hotter: no, not Paris and the one with the boring name. We mean Daisy and Violet Hilton, from Tod Browning's Freaks: talk about two hot, well-connected chicks!)

What's more interesting, however, is intra-sibling competition, the kind of squabbling and scrapping that those of us with brothers and sisters know very well. (What, you were an only child? No wonder you have so many issues and so few friends.)

Now, imagine if that competition began before you were even bornlike, in the womb! Imagine fighting for space, air, and nutrients before you even knew you were competing: that's some intense rivalry, right? It's the sort of thing that might even continue into your 'tween years when your mom and dad set up your vanity Web site so all the world can decide which one of their kids is better. (What, your parents didn't set up a vanity web site for you? They probably also neglected to get you immunized, because, let's face it, they clearly hated your sorry ass.)

Take the Web site devoted to Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the Italian-born but now very all-American young actors who starred in Big Daddy, and play Ross Geller's son Ben on Friends. (Hey, these guys also have indie cred: they're in The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Asia Argento's adaptation of JT Leroy's short story collection.)

Judging by the "versus-themed" graphics sampled above, which Dylan and Cole's parents have incorporated into DC Sprouse.com, brotherhood is even more competitive when the brothers are budding stars.

With that in mind, we're settling this debate once and for all. Like the Civil War, this is brother versus brother: who will win, Dylan, or Cole?

Continue reading...
Posted at 12:59 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
  December 31, 2003
Richerspooner

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I've decided that my blog-related New Year's resolution for 2004 is to pander a lot. You wanna see it? I'll do my best to write about it.

So, I'm getting a jump start by appeasing the person—or persons—who continually (think: weekly) types Rich Girls "star" Jaime Gleicher's name through our search field. We've never written about Rich Girls, so that search always came up blank. Well, anonymous Jaime fan, Happy New Year!

Rich Girls ended its first season last night on MTV. Much critical ink has been spilled about the show, but to my knowledge, no one has yet to compare it to Silver Spoons, the NBC sitcom that ran from 1982 to 1986. In addition to showcasing the comedic talents of Ricky Shroder, the dance skills of Alfonso Ribiero, and the unclassifiable brilliance of one Corky Pigeon, Spoons also gave its viewers TV's most realistic glimpse into the lives of the young and impossibly wealthy. Make that TV's formerly most realistic glimpse.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of Rich Girls and Silver Spoons: any similarities to actual rich persons or events is purely coincidental.

Continue reading...
Posted at 10:15 AM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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