Grave Versus

Doin’ the Lynndie Hop

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.”
The image that initially started the abovementioned investigation.

Shallow Versus

Oh Yeahhhh! I’ve fallen prey to outsourcing

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

Grave Versus

I’m Academy Award-winning actor George C. Scott, and I’m reporting for duty

Presidential candidate John Kerry, who renounced his Vietnam war medals in the early 1970s.
General George S. Patton Jr., as played by actor George C. Scott, who renounced his metal Oscar in the early 1970s.

Shallow Versus

Hilary, darling, that look is sooo Sofia’s last film

Hilary Duff stars in A Cinderella Story, 2004
Scarlett Johansson promoting Lost in Translation at the Venice Film Festival, 2004
(With thanks to Kristina Dalberg.)

Shallow Versus

Clearly it’s this pun that’s the tramp

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

Shallow Versus

Woolf in Fred Segal’s Clothing

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.

Shallow Versus

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
vs_lance_armstrong.jpg vs_barry_bonds.jpg
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?
Shallow Versus

I don’t like Pepsi, either

Britney Spears, from her upcoming Outrageous video, via Stereogum, and borrowing a look or two from…
Shakira, from her Rolling Stone cover appearance

Shallow Versus

Twentieth Century Fox, meet award-winning director Chris Cunningham

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.

Grave Versus

Tear down this velvet rope! (I can’t see him from here)

Members of the public solemnly view their fallen leader in Simi Valley, CA, June 8, 2004.
Members of the public solemnly view their fallen leader in Red Square, Moscow, undated.
(Thanks to Choire.)