Mariah Carey was on HSN for eight hours yesterday. She declared her love for what she was selling, Italy, pools, meet and greets and everybody several times over. Here are most of those instances.
My favorite thing about this is how disaffected she sounds throughout, which is typical of her speaking voice, I guess, but not her decidedly affected musical persona. She's serving more vision of blah here.
Here is a cut I did of a Jehovah's witness propaganda VHS called How Can I Make Real Friends? Spoiler: The actual video is as incoherent as my trash compactor (a term coined by Cinefamily that I learned at Everything Is Festival -- it describes videos that take crap and show the best of it without any of the aspirations of comprehensiveness or critique found in supercuts). Spoiler No. 2: The first, dubbed French girl is a lot more gangster than you are, I BET YOU A MILLION DOLLARS.
I put together this reel (for work) of Jennifer Lopez being slightly squirmy but mostly composed whenever Marc Anthony was mentioned during her July 4 weekend appearance on HSN. In retrospect, it's pretty obvious that they had already split and it was just a matter of announcing it, but I do appreciate her poise and relative sincerity. Also, it is funny when celebrities are put on the spot and have to exhibit grace on live television. I'm telling you, home-shopping networks are the final frontier of celebrity honesty since they don't have the human safety nets that are publicists holding their hands and they have to talk and talk and talk sometimes for hours on end. That is why my commitment to sifting through it remains unyielding.
Randy Senna is an arcade-game enthusiast and collector that some call "eccentric" (like Philly.com) and some call a hoarder (like the show Hoarders, on which he'll appear next week). A few years ago, he basically commissioned a documentary about himself and his now-closed old-timey game spot on the Wildwood, NJ boardwalk called Flipper's Fascination. The doc lost funding (or something), but its directors, Steve Loff and Prichard Smith, released about 30 minutes of some 107 hours of footage they shot on YouTube in 2008. No one paid much attention, which is perfect in a way (it's like interactive destitution) but also kind of a shame because it's amazing and kind of pre-Jersey craze zeitgeisty and still relevant, I think. If nothing else, there is a really amazing improvised series/movie that is just dying to come out of this or something like it (really, I think Christopher Guest could tear the shit up).
My favorite of all the segments is above, but the one of people just eating boardwalk food is stellar, as is the one about Darlene, who rides a Jazzy, eagerly shows just how false her teeth are, shares a story about her being mistaken for a man and wears vomit on her shirt seemingly just for kicks. The best (and by that I mean most despicable) thing about the one above is that it upholds a great Wildwood tradition. In it, a foreign employee of Randy's is repeatedly referred to as "Pumpkin," which seems kind of...off. Maybe racist and/or homophobic? At one point, after the kid protests being called this, Randy's mother says, "I could call ya worse!" And then, you're almost certain about what she means. Anytime someone says something off color in Wildwood, there's always someone else to prove that your worst suspicions are the correct suspicions.
This weekend, my review of La Toya Jackson's second memoir, Starting Over, ran in The Daily. I didn't write the headline, so at first I freaked out a little, since much of the book is about her trying to correct misconceptions about her mistakes of the past. But then I thought about it and it's ultimately true: she's not sorry. She voices regret and points a lot of fingers (only on rare occasions at herself), but the weird thing is that she is unapologetic. I don't think she should be (there's nothing wrong with Playboy!), but she acts like she should be? She's pulling a Linda Lovelace and it's weird. I really didn't like Linda Lovelace (her memoir is such a crock of shit!) and I don't want to not like La Toya!
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Starting Over for many of the same reasons that I loved her first book. La Toya Jackson is adorably clueless. There's no recognition, for example, that we have no reason to trust her after she basically admits to deceiving us in her first book (Jack Gordon, her dead scumbag of an ex-husband, was the guiding hand behind the salacious allegations against her family members, supposedly). Who's to say that in 20 years' time, she won't come out with another book that said that Jeffré Phillips and his overemphasized syllable didn't force her to fabricate much of Starting Over?
Anyway, all of the abuse stuff aside (which is awful and harrowing if not gratuitous, as it stretches on for about 150 pages), Starting Over is fun and funny! I recommend it! Just a few more points/lines that I couldn't fit into my review, but still think are worth another chuckle:
This may be the only existing video interview of short-lived female sex-rap trio H.W.A. and with good reason: they're such liars! What's above (more classic footage from Slammin' Rap) is three minutes of spin. Baby Girl, Jazzy and Diva D look like they walked off an '80s Jersey shore postcard and completely misrepresent their slutacious image, explaining that the "Hoes" part of Hoes With Attitude "is businesswomen--women making money at whatever they're selling. We're selling records." First of all, no they weren't. They didn't sell shit! Also, I think in this case "hoe" means "one who has cognitive dissonance." I've heard mildly persuasive arguments for the reclaiming of the word "bitch," but this just seems like the product of low self-esteem. So that's sad. On the other hand, it's very egalitarian of them to imply that bathing suits can be just as powerful as business suits. Or maybe they just know nothing! Hard to say. Anyway, they go on to claim their song "Funk Me" is about dancing (and not being...funked) and that, "We're not selling sex, we're selling sexy." That makes as much sense as an actual hooker saying, "I'm not selling blowjobs, I'm selling blowjobbies."
Bonus: You've probably heard 20 Fingers featuring Gillette's minor '90s hit "Short Dick Man," but have you heard her lip synch it uncensored in front of children on Brazilian TV? Either these kids have no idea what she's saying or they, too, don't want no short-dick men. Everyone is way too enthusiastic about this horror show!
No one (that I saw) really picked up and posted what went down when Andrew WK performed at Cinefamily this weekend as party of Everything Is Festival, but it was nuts. His show was directly before the one I took part in (which was great fun!) and so I walked in a bit before the 42:00 mark in the video above to see him sit catatonically for about 15 minutes and then lay on his keyboard like it was a horn in rush-hour traffic for another five before ending his set. It made the Cinefamily theater one of several rooms I walked into last weekend in L.A. where something utterly surreal happened (at one point, when confronted with a group of people in pirate costumes, latex gold leotards and clothing covered in inflated balloons, as well as a cooler full of Tecate, I just surrendered myself to the surreality).
While doing absolutely nothing onstage may strike you as cheap, to me what Andrew WK pulled off was an impressive balance: this was very easy, yet undoubtedly hard. Most impressively, he was able to keep everyone's attention for the entire duration of his nothingness (any longer would have resulted in anger or at least mass walk-outs). But no, people cheered, continued asking questions (you'll see that the entire show was a Q&A with musical interludes) and remained wholly engaged. How much performance art can claim that?
Also, having met the bulk of the Everything Is Terrible crew, I can confirm that they are more awesome in person than on the Internet (how rare of a phenomenon!). It was very nice to be amongst garbage-cutting nerds (Hadrian of Cinefamily was similarly awesome and owns really amazing footage of Heidi Fleiss and Peter Sellers' daughter Victoria freaking out while giving sex advice for Laugh.com).
And just as a random bonus, Everything Is Terrible has unearthed proof that extreme couponing is far from a modern development:
For the past three years, on the first business day after July 4, I've posted an "I'm not here to make friends" montage (the first attempted to span the history of the phrase, while 2009's and 2010's revisited the year in people saying, "I'm not here to make friends," and variations of it on reality TV). For this year's video, I thought I'd mix it up by presenting OTHER reasons why people declare that they are on reality TV. I think what it mostly boils down to is that they're there to compulsively state why they're there. This "I'm Here/Not Here To..." montage is nothing but a string of declarations of dependence.