Category Archives: Unhappy Media

Multimedia malaise: TV, movies, music, print.

In case you forgot to hate the world today

They’re making another “No Strings Attached.” Except they cleverly swapped  out the leads (look close, it’s hard to tell: Justin Timberlake for Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis for Natalie Portman), and changed the name from one lame cliche to another. Miraculously, this one is even more explicit. “Friends with Benefits.” Behold and be sad:

I don’t know how many times I can endure this.

Advertisements

Case of the Mondays? It could be worse.

It’s Monday morning, but try not to freak out.

 

[Thanks, Mikey.]

Fox News Boobs Cover Boob-Cover Hoax

Oh, you morons.

Take it away, Slate:

A Fox News website has picked up a hoax story about an Islamic council in Pakistan protesting the use of padded and colorful bras and presented it as fact.

The story, which is still featured on Fox News’ Fox Nation website, was illustrated with a picture of a woman’s mid-section and carried the headline “Pakistan: Islamic Clerics Protest Women Wearing Padded Bras as ‘Devil’s Cushions.'” (UPDATE 9:30: Fox has now pulled the story. See the original here.)

…[T]he whole thing is an obvious Onion-style satire — a fact first pointed out by Arif Rafiq of the Pakistan Policy Blog.

The sify.com story linked by Fox cites a “report” from yet another site called Roznama Jawani.

Roznama Jawani, in turn, appears to be a Pakistani version of the Onion, featuring such stories as “Karachi Preparing a Huge Ass Bat to Beat the Shit Out of Kamran Akmal,” “Altaf Hussain Challenges Imran Khan to a Rap Battle to Settle Differences,” and “Man From Peshawar Sues Red Bull. Says he has no wings!”

Matter of fact, in my limited experience in the Muslim world, padded, colorful bras are not only acceptable, they’re everywhere. Bazars are lined with bedazzled braziers, and women with headscarves paw unabashedly through racks of neon and lace. Even midscale shops in Syria equally supply for beauty on the inside and the outside:

News from Another Blue Monday

Gag me.

Really, America? No Strings Attached took the top box office spot over the weekend? Really? I’ll have to chalk it up to the fact that there weren’t other openings last Friday, because the thought of a movie with such an insultingly thin plot line — and a lame title that must have taken all of two seconds to come up with — being the most popular in the country makes me want to hurl. And that’s completely independent of the standard effect Ashton Kutcher has on my upchuck reflex, or how tired I am of Natalie Portman. It’s just the only reaction I can muster upon reading that it took in $20.3 million. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. Or disappointed. But I can’t help it if sometimes my emotions get the best of me. Puking is an emotion, right?

In other entertainment news, this just in from Yahoo: “Bret Michaels is undergoing a procedure in Phoenix to close a hole in his heart.”

Medical emergency, or brilliant concept for the Rock of Love star’s next reality series? Either way, I hope the plug works.

Journalism, by the Numbers, by the Wayside

For a quick by-the-numbers lesson on the sad state of current media affairs, read the opening sentence of media guru Ken Auletta’s column in this week’s New Yorker:

In the past three years, newspaper advertising revenues have plummeted, a fourth of all newsroom employees have been laid off or have accepted buyouts, and more than a hundred free local papers have folded.

The industry’s unlikely hero, Auletta continues, is AOL, which has hired 900 journalists in the last year, adding another 40 each week to its mushrooming Patch local newsroom network. Or should that be anti-hero? The compendium of online newspapers in small, affluent communities numbers 700 in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and each is run by an editor who makes, Auletta reports, between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

Just a few short years ago, $40k was the starting salary for a bottom-of-the-masthead magazine reporter. Not, certainly, what an effective Editor-in-Chief should even consider. Honestly, I don’t know what Patch writers make, but I know it’s not much, and that it is a source of much nervous and angry chatter among journalists who are hungry for work but unwilling to chew and swallow their pride for sustenance. It’s no wonder we’re all so fucking bitter.

Other, funnier numbers from the story include:

  • 50% of internet surfers logged on using AOL pay-per-minute dial-up service in the late 1990s
  • 35 million AOL users in 2002
  • 4 million AOL users today (and falling precipitously)
  • 75% of current AOL dial-up subscribers have DSL or cable hook-ups and don’t need AOL — but don’t realize it
  • $9.99-$25.90 per month: price of AOL’s dial-up plan options [not in the story; I added that one]

Still being able to subscribe to the New Yorker and read it in print on the subway: Priceless.

Metal Rebirth with a Plastic Guitar

In yet another curious renaissance for heavy metal icons, a video game has helped deliver Megadeth and Soundgarden back atop the pedestal of rock. Sayeth the press release:

Megadeth’s “Sudden Death” and Soundgarden’s “Black Rain” – have been nominated for Best Metal Performance and Best Hard Rock Performance, respectively, at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Inspired by, composed exclusively for, and debuted in the game, “Sudden Death” marks the first time an original track created for a videogame has been nominated by The Recording Academy for the prestigious awards.

This is Megadeth’s 9th Grammy nod since the institution of the category in 1989. They’ve never won. Soundgarden hasn’t even existed since 1997, two years after nabbing the Metal award for Spoonman (along with Hard Rock for Black Hole Sun). Black Death debuted simultaneously in the game and on their first new album in a decade, Telephantasm, which went platinum in a day.

If you’re interested, starting tomorrow through noon on Sunday, you can get a free download of each Grammy-nominated song at facebook.com/guitarhero. All I can hope now is that if either band plays at the awards, they’re playing the song, not the game.

I’m Writing a Story — Bring Me a Blond

There’s a little something I’m trying in the new year. It’s writing for other women, instead of exclusively nerdy pubescent and octogenarian males. Some time next month my first articles in a couple major women’s magazines will start to appear on newsstands, adding some softer edges to my portfolio — and some rougher ones to my personality.

Though writing for chick rags has been a welcoming entree into a world of puffy stories and exclamatory emails, I’ve also come up against the industry’s Spanxed underbelly, a cavern of cantankerous cuntery and fantastically unreasonable expectations buttressed by some of publishing’s most solid ad numbers and reader loyalty. The video above is frighteningly accurate. It’s not as much of an exaggeration as you think. I have received some of these very instructions from automaton editors. Get me three whiteshoe professionals from the midwest, one told me, no temps. From another:  I get most of my story ideas just talking to my friends and turning it into a trend piece.

Hit play for a glimpse into the terrifying trials of freelancing for the ladymags. It gives a good sense, too, of the general humility and humiliation veritably wrapped up in the freelancer’s job description.

[From Slate. Thanks, Jolene.]