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The Sweet Smell of Our Culture on the Decline

August 22, 2010 by Alison  
Filed under Alison's Blog, Entertainment

jerseyshoreI just read that Mike from the show Jersey Shore is launching his own “fragrance.”   The trades are referring to it as the Situation Cologne or “The Sitch” for short.

On some level, that cologne sounds appealing if it does what the name implies and changes to fit a man’s situation– becomes less pungent when he enters an elevator or any small public space so the rest of us don’t have to smell him, becomes stronger when his body odor kicks in to mask his personal stench, and turns into a bug repellent when he’s outdoors, thereby saving everyone in his vicinity from mosquito attacks. 

Imagine if you could give the situation cologne to your boyfriend for his birthday, and it would suddenly smell really crappy when he was around other women, thereby warding them off.  

If “The Sitch” does anything along these lines, I say “bring it on Mikey.”

But I am pretty sure this cologne is not going to do be that inventive and useful.  My guess is that it is simply going to smell, like Mike wants it to smell – and tha’ts a scary thought to me.   Because Mike and his fellow cast members have way too much pop culture power lately.  They are already all over the TV.  And a few weeks ago they rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.  Now they are launching a product line and telling people what to wear?   I mean, seriously? 

Something about the cast of the Jersey Shore infiltrating every aspect of our culture just smells funny to me.   There is more to life than “Gym, Tan, Laundry,” isn’t there?

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett…Watch Out Hasselhoff, You Might Be Next!

June 26, 2009 by Alison  
Filed under Alison's Blog, Entertainment

It’s hard to believe two major celebrities passed away on the same day.  Just about everyone is in shock.  I used to love Michael – his awesome music, his funky dance moves, and his idiosyncratic neurotic ways. My mother is currently searching for a photo of me wearing Michael Jackson “stuff” from when I was about ten years old so I can share it with everyone.  The news coverage brings back memories of a simpler time when my friends and I would do the moonwalk at slumber parties and fight over who had the most Michael Jackson pins.

But isn’t Farrah Fawcett getting the short end of the stick here?  Her death got the world’s smallest headlines today. The woman was one of Charlie’s Angels for God’s sake! She was a cultural icon too.  Men loved her. Women wanted to be like her (even if they did hate the fact that all the guys had her poster above their bed).  Countless brunettes had peroxide orange hair in the 1970s and 80s in a vain attempt to emulate her blonde, feathery locks.  She was a symbol of beauty and strength right to the very end.

I think Farrah deserves more front page coverage!  (And it’s not every day that you’ll hear me argue that the hot, blonde with a nice body should get more media attention)

Imagine working your whole life to build your career, and then you die and someone more famous than you dies a few hours later and steals your thunder. If I were her, I would standing in the famed “light” on the other side with my hands on my hips saying “Way to go MJ! You couldn’t have waited 24 hours?”

Below is my little photo tribute to Farrah and Michael.

Any way you look at it, yesterday was a sad day. Two people who touched men, women, and children everywhere passed away and we will miss them both.   Copyright © 2009 Alison James





Why Does Music Suck So Much Lately?

June 16, 2009 by Alison  
Filed under Alison's Blog, Entertainment

What happened to music? Wasn’t it good at one point? Now, it honestly sucks, doesn’t it? The new songs coming out and the new artists just don’t do it for me.

I know I sound like my parents or grandparents saying “Kids these days listen to nothing but racket.” But my comments aren’t just part of the typical generational disconnect that keeps older people from appreciating novel, creative music teenagers listen to. I really believe that music is objectively worse than it used to be.

The turn of the Millennium brought with it what I call the “flash and trash” entertainment mentality in our culture. Whereas being a superstar used to be about raw talent, today it is all about using good looks and bright colors to disguise the fact that you can’t play an instrument or sing worth a damn. While there are a couple of solid musicians tossed into the mix, we can count on one hand artists that have had any staying power at all.

Meanwhile, in the decades before this one we were inundated with brilliant, diverse and fun talent from every part of the globe – Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, George Michael, the Go-Go’s, Blondie, Billy Joel, and Eric Clapton; Devo, REM, U2 and Nirvana; Queen, Van Halen, Journey and Poison, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Run DMC and Public Enemy. Need I go on?

Whether you liked their music or not, you have to admit that these musicians were all talented and distinctive. They had highly developed musical and lyrical skills and their own sense of style and humor. Remember the Michael Jackson glove and Madonna’s punky headbands? Do you remember learning “We Are the World” in sign language at school and getting yelled at by your teacher for imitating the Cyndi Lauper line?

These artists were talented and memorable. They appealed to an enormous audience that included people of all different ages and backgrounds. Now, you can line up the Top-40 singers and they are like interchangeable bobble heads. The average person on the street can’t name more than two or three songs that have come out recently.

Where is the Cyndi Lauper of our generation? If she doesn’t appear soon, I’m going to dye my hair pink and start singing. As painful as that would be for everyone, it can’t be that much more painful than the crap we have to listen to all the time. “Kids these days, their music is nothing but racket.”  Copyright © 2009 Alison James