Paris Is Burning is one of the defining documentaries of the 1980s. It brought vogueing to the mainstream from the underground black and gay communities of New York City. It's been highly influential in exposing a part of society that was neglected for the better part of the 20th century.
RuPaul's sole hit “Supermodel (You Better Work)” cites “Shantay! Sashay!” His TV show Drag Race dedicates a portion to “reading”. Because, reading is what? FUNDAMENTAL! RuPaul would even airlift one of Venus Xtravaganza's read into his single “Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous”. Venus declared, “your just an overgrown orangutan!”
The documentary includes nuggets of wisdom from all walks of life. Octavia Saint Laurent said, “I think all men are dogs (…) they all start barking sooner or later.” Or take Eileen Ford's advice when it comes to modeling, “when people ask you how you feel don't tell them your sick, because they don't really care.” Paris Is Burning is the kind of gem that has to be watched at least once.
This is a list of her 5 Worst (Best?) music videos, one from each Avril Lavigne era, that visually guide us through her punk rock reveling image.
Buy "Don't Tell Me"
The Best Damn Thing (2007)
Avril Lavigne finally caught onto the game she was playing. “Girlfriend” was her knockout cheerleader rant hit and the video is a sticky guilty pleasure. It was once the most viewed video on YouTube and for good reasons. It's easy to make fun of, but that's what we were supposed to do. There's a cute dark haired boy. There's two girls. One who has him and one who “deserves” him. Avril Lavigne is the protagonist and antagonist ala Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”. AND, it all takes place at a Golf N Stuff (Family Fun Center).
Buy "What The Hell"
Buy "Rock N Roll"
Avril Lavigne (2013)
“Rock N Roll”
Say what you want about the visual for “Here's To Never Growing Up”, it was fun, candy coated, and predictable. And, arguably “Hello Kitty” was the worst, but nothing was more middle finger raising about expectations for an Avril Lavigne video then “Rock N Roll”. There's product placement (Can I make it any more obvious?). Cartoon graphics circa the campy Batman in the sixties and some Katy Perry kissing girls action. It has it all and exactly what you would want from Avril Lavigne a decade after her foray into the music industry.
It was the biggest thing to rock the nineties after Kurt Cobain's death. It was the pop culture phenom of the century. Their were SNL skits and if the internet was functioning they way it was now we would have had memes referencing Bill's infamous, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
I personally love Monica Lewinsky. She's honestly a role model to me. This woman picked herself back up and she's led her life despite all the public scandal and ridicule she faced. Praise her. It's must have been so traumatic being the center of such a political scandal. She was the “home wrecker” who led Bill on.
I can't express enough how much of an inspiration she is too me. America bullied Monica and she's hear being this positive ray of light in the world and I just love her. I'm a fan.
The Patty Duke Show was a good sixties sitcom. It was in black and white. Patty Duke pulled some Haley Mills, Parent Trap voodoo, she played two identical cousins. They were Patty and Cathy. It was full of innocent, heterosexual reassuring past times. The comedy was classic and pure and child friendly. The show only had 3 seasons, but they packed in over a 100 episodes. It was a time to be alive.
Except, for her turn as Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls. The movie is kind of shit if we're being real, but it's some good shit. It's trashy fun. I live for it.
I know Patty Duke hadn't been doing anything recently, but it's sad to see her go. She was a cultural staple of an earlier more racist, homophobic society. And, I for one loved Patty Duke. She will be missed.
There are so many criticisms of Charlie's Angels. All of them well founded. They said people only watched, because of the sexy female leads. Their not wrong, but it's not as if there was anything better to watch. And, Farrah Fawcett's nipples were amazing. May she rest in peace. Charlie's Angels in truth was good mindless filler TV.
Tanya Roberts was the final angel. She did little for me, but she was pretty. Season 5 was the place to end it.
Charlie's Angels lives on as a pop culture phenom. It had that horrible reboot a few years ago. Those wonderful movies with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu fucking shit up. They were amazing. Despite what anyone will tell you, this show and everything connected to it was golden, and God truly blessed us when he gave us Charlie's Angels.
Buy "Gucci Gucci"
I was first introduced to Kreayshawn and her world of misdeeds by J Lo and Thunder. Back in the good old days when J. Lo and I were still friends and Thunder hadn't moved cross country to Georgia. These are the two whitest bitches I know.
“Gucci Gucci” is the only hit that dear Kreayshawn has ever had. Although, personally I enjoyed both “Breakfast (Syrup)” and “Go Hard (La La). One of these songs had 2 Chainz on it and when you get Kreayshawn and 2 Chainz together, you know that's some good stuff.
Buy "Left Ey3"
You should read up on Left Eye. She's fascinating. In fact I should do a Throwback Thursday on her, but that's neither here nor there.
Buy "Hey Ricky"
Now I learned something crazy about Pac-Man. So, Pac-Man is actually based off a Japanese story. The story is that this creature eats children in order to protect them from monsters. It really begs the question of who's the villain in this story. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never been good at Pac-Man. Or any video game.
The exhibit also discussed computer games. The only one it really focused on was Myst. I knew of this game. It was an adventure puzzle game. It pioneered computer video games. My aunt loves this game. It's supposed to be incredibly difficult. You don't know what's happening. Your just this unnamed character exploring this island The only kind of puzzle games I ever played were the Nancy Drew ones. I'm just a dork enough to love them.
Now the game I truly consider art was Flower. It was released on one of the Play Station systems and the entire point is to move flowers. You play the wind and you traverse this terrain. It's soothing and beautiful. Absolutely amazing. Now, I wouldn't have spent fifty dollars to play the wind, but I most certainly see the artistic merit of this game. It was visually stunning. The entire thing.
I don't know if I've done an accurate job of relaying the history of video games or convinced you that their art. But, no one can ever tell me that there isn't artistic merit to these games. Creating these worlds with computer models instead of a paint brush doesn't diminish their creativity.
Although, Halo is not art. It has the merit of a Kids Bop CD.
I needed that. There's someone who's been making me feel really shitty recently. I feel like I'm not good enough or that I'm just this prop that they use when they're bored. I was even going through my twitter feed and I saw something I said. It was something along the lines of 'never try to convince someone of how fabulous you are'. And, I don't know if that's what I was doing, but I really needed Elle Woods to make me realize. That I am never going to be good enough for this person and that they don't care about me.
After this realization the only thing to do was to watch the movie. I didn't actually get to it at 3:00 that morning, but I did get to it later that night. I sat down with a bowl of grapes and orange juice and said to myself this is the most perfect snack for a movie. Except not really.
Hopefully, you remember Legally Blonde. My generation might be more attached to it then others. Reese Whitherspoon is in the lead. Everyone loves it. There was a musical. A sequel we don't need to talk about. The premise is that a beautiful blonde goes to law school to win her boyfriend back. When it's laid out like that it doesn't sound quite as amazing as it is. I guarantee you need to watch it. Forewarning that I took notes while watching this movie and that there will be spoilers.
Warner is Elle's horrible, but reasonably hot boyfriend. Who dumps her and leaves her for icky Vivian Kensington. Who despite being in need of some mascara is not deformed. My favorite part of Warner breaking up with Elle is all the reasons comes up with him for leaving her. “Are my boobs too big?” “Am I too blonde???”
Warner is an ass and thank God, Elle realizes that she will never take him back. That said she does force her way into Harvard Law to get back with him. The best part is the video she filmed for it. If you've seen the movie, you remember the part where she objects to someone objectifying her and she says “I feel comfortable using legal jargon in every day life.”
The manicurist also makes the movie. She's played by Jennifer Coolidge who was also in A Cinderella Story (the one with Hilary Duff). She's so funny. This is also where the iconic “bend and snap” came into pop culture. There is literally nothing about this role I don't like.
There is also so much good cleavage game. Reese Whitherspoon kills it in that bunny suit. Ali Larter also nails her cleavage. Like god damn. Racquel Welch also makes an appearance and I don't particularly remember her cleavage, but Racquel has amazing cleavage so I'm sure it's probably in there at some point.
Elle also solves a law case. Proving that you can be both smart and beautiful. And, that they are not mutually exclusive. Never forget the wise insight that “happy people just don't shoot their husbands”.
Legally Blonde is really just my childhood and it came to me in a time of need. When I needed guidance. When I needed someone to point out to me that I was not feeling good about myself. Elle Woods spoke to me and I just understood. Elle becomes valedictorian at the end and she says “you must always have faith in yourself”. I forgot that. I'm awesome and I let someone make me feel like I wasn't. If you have a person like that. This is my wake up call to you. Drop them. Fuck them. They are not worth it. You are fucking awesome and you don't deserve to have to put up with someone who brings you down.
The basic premise of this show is that Betty Saurez (played by America Ferrera) is not traditionally attractive. She has an average body type, braces, with no taste in clothes and unflattering glasses frames. And, of course she works as the secretary to the editor in chief of a fashion magazine. It's all loosely based off of Vogue.
The first season starts with the new editor in chief (Daniel Meade) taking the place of Fey Summers. The former editor in chief who died in a horrible car crash after her brake lines were cut. We see glimpses of Fey Summers with her bob and prim attitude, reminiscent of current Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.
This show is built off of drama. The bitchy secretaries (Amanda and Mark), the woman plotting to take over the magazine (Wilhemina Slater), the tumultuous Meade family, and the daily struggles of the Suarez household. That include, but are not limited to: Betty's boyfriend she doesn't love but doesn't know how to break up with, Hilda's love for the man who knocked her up, Betty's father being deported, Betty's nephew Justin dealing with the problems of choosing not to conform to adolescent standards, shady lawyers, case workers, and a slutty neighbor.
I might have missed something. Sometimes I forget that this show is based off a telenovela. I have never seen a telenovela, but from what I understand their like our soap operas, times ten. I was informed by someone I sit with at lunch not to judge Hispanic culture by this and I told him who am I to judge. What really is American culture? Throwing tea into the ocean and baseball. We are not the ones to judge.
Honestly, I love everyone who isn't, Betty. Although, I do hate all of Betty's boyfriends. They just reinforce the fact that men are shit. Wilhemina is probably my favorite. Vanessa Williams killed this role. She is bitchy and in command and me. Her assistant Mark is adorable and equally bitchy as is his assistant friend Amanda. She's my queen. Claire Meade, wife of Bradford Meade, is queen bitch. Slay mama Meade. I love all of Betty's family. Her sister can be annoying. Her father is everything and 12 year old me totally had a crush on Justin.
It's really weird looking back on this show at 18 and realizing I had a crush on him. I feel really pedophilic. It was age appropriate at the time and now I'm just like I can't take back these feelings. Grown up Justin has moments where he's really cute.
Justin is probably one of my favorites. I especially like his relationship with Mark. Mark is like his guardian gay. He's always there to mentor him and I just love it. When the two of them are together it's everything. Justin is also not openly gay until the last season. It's coming to terms with it and I love how his family is just always there being supportive. Even, his biological father gets on board eventually with letting Justin be Justin. It's just really nice. It's how it should be. My parents died, because in the last season Justin finally kisses this boy he likes. They saw it and they were like that's disgusting. And, I was like this is the best part of Ugly Betty.
I definitely think you should watch it. I want to tell you more, but I don't know how much I can tell you without giving away the entire plot of the first season. Make sure whatever you do, though, that if you watch the first season that you have access to the second season. The season finale of season one was everything. If you were a character on Ugly Betty at that point you were either in some state of moral peril or your world was literally falling apart. There was no in between. It was awesome.
It's there newest song “Sledgehammer” that's been gaining some traction. I think it's bland and completely basic, but I love it. If you could feel my pulse it would hit you like a sledgehammer. I would completely understand the inability to remain calm around your crush if I wasn't soooo cool and collected.
Needless to say I've been jamming out to it. It got me thinking about whether girl groups were coming back. We shall see. Fifth Harmony hasn't been the success story of One Direction as of yet. And, even with the success of One Direction we've only had that 5 Seconds of Summer group make any real headway.
Girl groups were huge way back when in the fifties and sixties. I'm just going to be lazy and use Bette Midler as my jumping off point on this. You've got The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Andrews Sisters, The Chordettes, The Crystals, The Angels. Basically if you start a girl group you have to start it out with 'the'. Of course I casually forgot to mention The Supremes. You know only one of the most successful girl groups of all times.
I would tell you the songs all these groups sing, but I just don't know how well up you are on your fifties culture. It was songs like “Mr. Sandman”, “Stop! In The Name of Love” and “My Boyfriends Back” that defined a generation. Or more accurately defined the aging patriarchs of my family's childhood.
Buy "Cherry Bomb"
You may be saying to yourself how could you forget about Destiny's Child. Because, if we're all being honest Destiny's Child is really just another name for Beyonce. Love them and all, but it's about Beyonce.
I suppose that's the question with the new girl group of Fifth Harmony. Which, one is the Beyonce? That I don't know. Time will tell. There all kind of boring. Sure their pretty, but not anything amazing. I don't know. I like that one Fifth Harmony song, but as a group they're dull. They don't have half of what The Spice Girls did.
That said wishing them luck in 2015 right along with TLC. Dominate the world. Shut it down.
Greta Garbo, and Monroe