So Fresh and so Clean

Hilton at the premiere of The Simple Life; Diddy shynes in white.
One last Hilton post (we all hope): Let’s say you’ve just done something you feel really bad about, like appearing in a homemade porn video or allowing your protege to shoot up a New York nightclub. How do you tell the world you feel remorse but that you’re untouchable, above the charges, and so fresh and so clean?
The white suit, of course! Long favored by plantation owners and Southern law men, the white suit is your best option for conveying, you know, innocence.


Ghetto Princess

ghetto.jpgWhat more can you say about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s sojourn to Altus, AR on The Simple Life? They’re possibly the most malignant thing to hit a heartland family since Dick Hickock and Perry Smith visited the Clutter family in Holcomb, KA in 1959. (In this context, FOX becomes not unlike that other alternately priggish and obsequious society chronicler, Truman Capote, except that Tru cleaned up his act and got serious to bring us In Cold Blood, while FOX only gets serious when it’s chasing America’s Most Wanted.)
I’ll leave it to others to deconstruct Paris and Nicole’s every utterance—as we speak, somewhere high atop Rockefeller Plaza Amy Poehler is practicing saying “I’ll puke” while Maya Rudolph is being fitted for a blond wig—but I do have a bone to pick with one of Hilton’s favorite epithets: ghetto.


Round & Round & Out of Sight

trashrecycle.jpgAt the risk of encroaching upon Gothamist‘s turf, we’re going “local” for a moment. Today’s New York Times unfurls a piece about the city’s budgetary problems in dealing with the increasing costs of ridding the five boroughs of the thousands of tons of trash it produces daily. Given Mayor Bloomberg’s oh-so-non-green anti-embrace of recycling initiatives, it may or may not be of any great concern that this particular article appeared in newspapers which must have used thousands upon thousands of tons of wood pulp for today’s Times paper production. But that’s beside the point. We’re talking about trash here, not the Times. Or vice versa?
The article floats a number of ideas entertained by city officials as they attempt to locate novel (and cheap) ways of dealing with the refuse, which is currently de-Manhattanized by trains heading north and trucks making

“about 240,000 trips a year to and from New Jersey, mostly over the George Washington Bridge, taking at least 30 minutes to travel each way. In addition, 250,000 or so trips are made on the region’s highways by tractor-trailers taking the waste to landfills in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. A tiny part of the city’s 11,000 tons a day of residential trash goes to a landfill in upstate New York.”

The “radical” alternatives being bounced around by officials include some well-nigh science fiction-esque proposals, such as building “three 900-foot semisubmersible ships” which “would carry as many as 18 of the old-style barges at a time to landfills in the northeastern United States or to an island in the Caribbean…where an incinerator would be built.” Or how about the one where the city builds “a trash plant within New York City that would heat waste to such a high temperature — perhaps 30,000 degrees — that the garbage would break into elemental components, creating byproducts of natural gas and a stone-like residue. The gas the plant would create could be used to power it.”
One idea seems to go unconsidered, however. Taking a “virtuous” cue from Vice President Dick Cheney, perhaps we, as residents of this great urban environment, might consider engaging in a bit of that age-old conservation? This includes heartily embracing responsible packaging initiatives and being wary of products and corporations that fail to do likewise. Just a bit of “personal” public policy, if you will.
Until then, “Happy Holidays!” from low culture.
(Sidebar: Today’s Daily News is coincidentally running an article that tangentially touches upon both issues, i.e. the city’s budget and its trash. It seems New York’s chief marketing officer, the same jackass who brought us the Snapple-in-schools initiative, wants to plaster advertisements all over the city’s trash cans to generate revenue. Someone, please help us.)

Grave Unintentionally Hilarious

Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 10

I’d say the “Ick Factor” on this photo of Dick Gephart is, oh, 11.
It’s practically a Robert Mapplethorpe photo, specifically Man in a Polyester Suit from 1980. [Warning: link goes to explicit photo that includes an ugly suit.]
Sidebar: Incredibly Shameful Admission: I found this image on Drudge. I am so terribly, terribly ashamed but admitting it is the first step.


Tracy, Tracy, Tracy

tracy.jpgIt’s no secret that Tracy Morgan is something of a folk hero around here at low culture. It may be too much to ask that Morgan be awarded the The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor, but I guess he is still at the start of his career, right? Maybe we can somehow get today declared National Tracy Morgan Day? Or is that overkill?
His show premieres tonight at 8PM EST on NBC. I know I’ll be watching.
Good luck, Tracy. And don’t forget us when you’re a superstar.
Sidebar: What’s with the logo NBC is using for this show? Kind of a bit Brady Bunch for my taste.


Say ‘Cheese!’

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and NATO Secretary General George Roberts, et. al. pose for a NATO “family photo.”
This happens every Thanksgiving. Dad sets the timer on his camera and gets the whole family together for a group photo. And wouldn’t you know it, the damn flash goes off before he makes it to the group and before anyone’s ready, producing a series of embarrassing candids.


Say Something Original

answerme.gifLast week, The Onion AV Club introduced a new weekly feature called Say Something Funny, “in which comedians submit an e-mailed response to the query, ‘Make people laugh. You have 250 words.'” First unfunny victim, Mike Birbiglia.
Seems awfully similar to early-’90s hate-zine ANSWER Me!‘s Make Me Laugh, You Impish Bastard!, in which Jim and Debbie Goad (R.I.P.), the Ronald and Nancy Reagan of misanthropy called up clowns listed in the phonebook and said “I’ve heard you’re a clown. Make me laugh.” Here’s a quick (offline) sample:

Xuxa the Clown: I am a clown. That is true. Make you laugh immediately?… Wow! I’m sorry, I don’t know if I can do that. You caught me off guard. But I really know how to make the kids laugh a lot. I do a magic show, face-painting, animal balloons, and games. And I am pretty silly.

Shudder. No wonder kids hate clowns.