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Posts Tagged ‘Internet culture’

Katy Perrry appears topless on UK Esquire cover.

Here in the fantasy-driven offices of The Curmudgeon, we are rather fond of the old, 1550’s era pinups. Those American icons of home-grown beauty that made our boys shoot down some Nazi aircraft and come on home for their own apple pie, corn-fed gal. Sure, there were your lascivious gals meant for flash lights and hiding spaces, but I refer to the ones that adorned boys’ bedrooms, gas stations, and soldiers lockers everywhere. Who can forget Betty Grable showing her shapely bum (clothed) and inviting, joyful smile, even men such as me who weren’t around then, nor yet even a gleam in our Papa’s eye.

Of course this was before we discovered that foreign accents make us crazy, or an exotic, over-seas look speak not only of the mysteries of lands far away, but the mysteries of the Female. And there’s another reason, and I could tell you why that is, but this is not the time. No, this was when we were innocent and un-jaded, the very paragons of middle-class morality and sensibility.

Taking her cue from those more innocent and mildly provocative styles, Katy Perry, that Santa Barbara girl born into a show business family, has adopted the pin up look. Slightly more sexually tempting when you consider her hit song, “I Kissed a Girl,” and she liked it…and I did too, if only I had been there to see it. Especially consider her nearly nude cover photo in the upcoming European issue of Esquire. (And why the heck isn’t it Americas cover too? Because we have all the morally uptight, self-righteous jerks running around complaining about sex and selling war, the hypocritical sons of…um…their mamma’s who probably did it in the back of a model T!)  And shes looking pretty damn hot on this months cover of Rolling Stone too (see below.)  It’s all pure show business, of course, manipulation of boys and men, but she has her share of girl fans too…and a few enemies. Jealousy, no doubt.

Consider Beth Ditto (no, I hadn’t heard of her either till she dished my Katy), that human cow who said, “I hate Kate Perry!” And why did this horror, this sirenian example of a female hate Kate? For singing, “I Kissed a Girl,” who isn’t even a lesbian, which Ditto is, or a dyke actually, or a Bull Dyke to be more accurate. She has to be since no man will touch her. Now I don’t want to offend my lesbian friends, of which I have many, but they are lesbians for the right reasons and they’re not ugly people (I mean on the inside. That kind of ugly. Their looks are unimportant, unless they’re hot, at which time I fall for them in a big way, only to have my hetero heart broken into a million pieces.) I wrote a scathing piece at the time called, “Kate Perry dissed by Beth Ditto: Kate’s a Fake Lesbo!”

Betty Grable

But Kate has figured out an angle for her success, and there is no star who doesn’t manipulate us in some way (or their publicists, agents or somebody does.) So I don’t mind.

Farrah Fawcett

Katy is pretty, sure, but it’s really the gimmick that grabs us. The flashback to those innocent times…and the promise of naughty times to come. And of course those imminently singable songs on fantasies Raquel Welchthat we dream about.

Will she ever rise to the level of Betty Grable ?  Or Farah Fawcette whose feathered hair were entwined in many a boy’s imaginary fingers, or Raquel Welch whose….well, you don’t need to know what MY fantasies were about as I stared entranced at the poster of her from 10,000 Years B.C.  I really don’t know.  We’re not the same place.  There’s far more revealing and provocative stuff to see, but bless her heart, Katy harkens back to those times when things seemed easier, more basic, and a simple picture of a beautiful woman was enough to drive our fantasies and turn us into men… or women.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, I give you….Kate Perry!  Americas new Pin-Up Girl!

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pavelm, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pavelm/538471634/

Photo by pavelm on flickr. Adapted by Christopher Reilly

Here in the open offices of The Curmudgeon, employees are free to go and come at their convenience, though I’m sure they feel incarcerated due to my strict adherence to deadlines.  I don’t know what they have to complain about.  Even when they are locked in their offices working furiously, they are still allowed to fiddle around on Facebook and Twitter like little bored birdies.  The same is true of an underworld Godfather (as in criminal; as in Marlin Brando) incarcerated in the U.K.

Colin Gunn continues to run his criminal empire from prison, thanks to prison official’s permission (he says; they deny) to use the site to communicate with family and friends, of which he has 565.  I can see his friend requests now; “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse…friend me or say goodbye.

The appropriately named Gunn is one bad dude known for ordering the murder or beatings of anyone who crossed him…or their relatives.  During his reign in Nottingham, it was known as “Assassination City.”  Gunn’s postings were often threatening.  In one post he said, “I will be home one day and I can’t wait to look into certain people’s eyes and see the fear of me being there.”

In another message he wrote: “It’s good to have an outlet to let you know how I am, some of you will be in for a good slagging, some have let me down badly, and will be named and shamed, F$&%!#@ rats.”  (It is not known whether Gunn used the symbols to represent letters or the letters themselves, but ever since his momma friended him he’s been watching his language.)  He was apparently able to update his info on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising that the updates and messages largely consisted of threats.  I mean, how many times can you write, “Chipped beef again!  Uggg.”

Naturally, when London’s The Sunday Times exposed the site, it was shut down, another example of the press doing what they are supposed to be doing.  As for Facebook, I think they should sue for prisoners rights to use the social network.  It could be great for business.  Look at all the free publicity it would generate.

And then they can dump that stupid slogan:  “Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you”  How boring is that?  Put a little zip into it.

Facebook.  Keeps You in the Game of Life…or Not.

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Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Here in the not-so-crusty offices of The Curmudgeon, I have given the order to the staff to cease their tweets, at least any tweets that relate to this office.  Paranoid, you say?  Cautionary say I, and I’m not just whistling through my beak.

Here’s the deal:  A man posted that he and his wife were “preparing to head out of town,” and then gave updates along the way of their journey, reported Elinor Mills on CNET news.  The dude had about 2000 followers (I still don’t get why people would be interested in knowing stuff like when I’m taking a dump) so basically, he put a big sign on his front lawn reading “Gone to Kansas City.  Nobody home.  Burglars welcome!”

So when the Dude and the Mrs. Get home, they find their house burglarized, but the crooks didn’t take the normal, consumer electronics.  They took the special, hi-grade stuff, the stuff he uses when he posts shit on….drumroll please…TWITTER!  And that’s one of the reasons the whole thing looks mighty suspicious.

Loose Tweets Leave Sweets

But Crusty, you ask, how could they know where he lived and stuff like that there?  Ha, ha, my innocent  little Tweety birds, as Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth and the Internet, Tweety, than are dreamt of in your twitterosophy.”  Or something like that.  The point is, they (they being the bad dudes and chicks, you know, like Sylvester the cat) can find out anything.  Mathew Honan explains it all for you in an article in Wired magazine:

Because the card in my camera automatically added location data to my photos, anyone who cared to look at my Flickr page could see my computers, my spendy bicycle, and my large flatscreen TV all pinpointed on an online photo map. Hell, with a few clicks you could get driving directions right to my place–and with a few more you could get black gloves and a lock pick delivered to your home.”

So that’s the theory, but would it work?  He put the theory to the test, and stalked (this is just a test) a woman taking a picture in Golden Gate park with her iPhone.  Searching the Flickr map and found one of her pics and verified it was her by looking at her photo stream.  Then he looked at her photos on the Flicker map and saw a cluster of images in one spot.  The shots were of an interior of what was likely her apartment (CNET, Elinor Mills).

If you’re a little confused by how all this works, just take my word for it that it does work and be careful what you write, post, and tweet on the Internet.

“Now I know where she lives,” he concluded in the wired article.

I’d like to thank you all for dropping by today.  Now I know where you live.

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Photo by rom on flickr

Photo by rom on flickr

Here in the secretive but not acronym-heavy offices of The Curmudgeon, we are having a good laugh over the list of the top 50 acronyms teens are using on the Internet and in text messages to keep their parents from knowing what they are talking about.  While the list has been around for a couple of years, it is only now beginning to take on a life of it’s own in a meme kind of way.  The problem is, it’s ridiculous.

The story was reported by Fox News (Oh, how it irritates me to reference Fox News) about just how absurd the list is.  Turns out, most of the terms come from sex and bondage chat rooms, or are so outdated that no one knows what they mean anymore, or just plain made up.  Of course, some of it can be useful, such as that 8 means oral sex (get it?) or that the acronym NIFOC means Naked In Front Of Computer (which I always thought meant Naked In Front Of Columbo, since I like to watch Columbo reruns while naked and visiting Internet Sex Chatrooms – but that’s another post.)

PC Magazine’s Sacha Sagan, as quoted by Fox, says, “I honestly have to say I have never seen most of these terms.  It looks like a lot of them come from online sex chat rooms, and not just any chat rooms, but sadomasochistic ones.”

“I don’t know most of this stuff,” adds Jason Parks, a 21-year-old junior at Arizona State University. “My friends and I just looked at it, and we were cracking up.”

This list was released by NetLingo.com, who still insist that parents should be aware of these terms.  Yeah.  I think parents should be aware if their kids are hanging out in sex chat rooms.  To their credit, NetLingo posted another list of the top 100 Acronyms, and this list is far more useful, both for parents, perverts, and old farts like me trying to follow what the kids are up to so I can tell you about it.  You should check out  The NetLingo List of Acronyms & Text Message Shorthand.  Print it out, study it, and keep it as a handy reference.  Of course, if you want to see the short, sex term list, you know, for a laugh, go here.

Which reminds me, I have a bone to pick with you (BTOPWY).  In my post about Glomosexuals, I asked you kindly to assist me in starting our own acronym – ROFLSCOMN (Rolling On Floor Laughing Shooting Cola Out My Nose.)  But kids, the acronym hasn’t taken off yet, which means you aren’t trying.  I want you to use it every time you are tempted to write LOL or ROFL.  Use it off-handedly, as though everyone knows what that means.  They will ask you, you will tell them, and then they will use it, and their friends will use it, and before you know it, it will be a thing, and we will have started it.

Notice I have not linked to my Glomosexual hub.  I don’t want you to read it.  You’re not old enough or it’s too nasty for you.  So I’m not linking it.  Of course, you could enter the term Glomosexual into the search box and find it that way, but you didn’t think of that.  Or you could just scroll down a few stories and there it is, but you don’t know that.  No.  Take my word for it, you are better off blissfully ignorant of Glomosexuals.

Just a brief wrap-up:  Many kids will have acronyms that they have made up and are only known to them and their group.  No list in the world is going to tell you what those mean.  You’ll have to interrogate the little buggars (ITLB).

(Photo Credit, Computer Mice, by [rom],  flickr)

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dog heaven

Here in the Curmudgeon offices, seekers but not preachers, we are as susceptible to those email jokes that go round and round and on their “routerly way,” and I can say that some are funnier than others.  The one about the “Church Sign” debate on whether or not dogs went to heaven, to whether or not dogs have souls, was at least highly amusing, if not slap-your-thigh-spit-up-your-soda funny.  The Catholic church says yes while the Presbyterians say no.  I say to them, “have you ever had a dog?”

The humorous drama played out in a series of “church signs.”
Dogs 1Dogs 2Dogs 3

Dogs don't have souls, this is not open for debate.

Dogs 5Dogs 6Dogs 7Dogs 8Dogs 9

A fairly funny theological battle of the religious wits (or nit wits.)  Since our research department has been out of the office for….oh…4 months now, I am reduced to doing the research, which means research is flawed. That is to say, the research sucks.  But here is what I did:  I first looked up “Cumberland Presbyterian Church” and learned that Cumberland is a kind of Presbyterian church and there are many buildings across the country that are called this.  So too are there several “Our Lady of Martyrs Catholic” churches.”  I was unable to prove if two of these existed in the same southern town.

So then I studied the pictures.  Each picture is the exact same angle with the exact same shadows.  Quite simply…impossible.  They are fake.  One picture of each church sign was photographed and the letters added later, probably with a simple “Church Sign Generator” on the Internet.  So why write this?  Because I did all this crappy research and I gotta use it somewhere.  Plus, I think it is worthwhile to discuss whether or not dogs have souls and go to heaven.  Another interesting question is why we find this sort of bickering amongst churches so likely?

Of course they do.  They smile.  They save your life.  If you were to die in your home and not be discovered right away, your dog would guard you.  Conversely, your cat will eat you, ergo, cats do not have souls or go to heaven.  (Just kidding.  Cats do have souls, their’s are just dirty, rotten souls.)

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

During an interview for the Denver Post, animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said  “If we have souls, our animals have souls. If we have free choice, they have it,” Bekoff said. “If we can’t know this for sure, let’s give them the benefit of a doubt.”

I may be a Curmudgeon emeritus, but that guy is a professor emeritus.  I’ll take his word for it, not that I need to.  Like I said, if you’ve ever had a dog, you know.

Besides, dog spelled backwards is God.

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Photo by mikebaird / flickr

Photo by mikebaird / flickr

Here in the oceanic eco-friendly but not all wet Curmudgeon offices – currently located in the Pacific Northwest with offices over-looking Puget Sound – we have seen our share of spectacular whale tails.  Both the beautiful Orca tail, rising above the water with a playful but dangerous slap back onto the water, but also the illusive land whale tail, that which belongs to human women.  Their tails involve a playful but dangerous slap too, but that’s another fish-out-of-water story.

Ahoy

Ahoy

For those of you who don’t know, we speak not of whale-sized women and their behinds, but rather when the back of a (hopefully) hawt young girl’s g-string or thong appears above the level of her low-rise jeans, much like the whale’s tail appearing above the water’s surface.  This look is said to have  been popularized by Christine Aguilera and Brittany Spears.  In fact, I could have easily included pictures of these two pop tarts, but there are, as they say, lots of whale tails in the sea.

Off the starboard bow!

Off the starboard bow!

I don’t know who first coined the term “whale tail,” but I wish it were me.  It’s clever and funny and, gosh darn it, that’s exactly what they look like.  I must confess that I like the look too.  The fashion.  The statement, which is something like, “wouldn’t you like to dive into this?”  Why…yes Ma’am.  Yes I would.  I kind of get the whole Prince Charles wants to be a tampon thing, too.  I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to find out.  I don’t know why we have certain bizarre fantasies.  I don’t mind looking for their deep-rooted, twisted reasons when it’s your crazy stuff we’re talking about, but when it’s mine…fugeddaboutit.

Moby Dick

Moby Dick

But back to whale tails.  We have this one young woman working here – Asfrid’s her name – who is like a Nordic goddess, all blond hair and creamy softness and steamier than an outdoor jacuzzi in a snow bank.  Asfrid has a whale tail almost every day and they make me want to be Jacques Cousteau.  In search of zee elusive whale tail. Give me a camera, boys…I’m going under. I think I’ll introduce the idea of casual Friday, only we’ll have whale tale Friday.  Or maybe not.  Some guy will complain and want to do plumber’s crack Friday, and that is the opposite of a whale tail.  Unless the girls want to do plumber’s crack Friday…okay, wait.  I’m getting confused.  So many options, so many tails.

No.  I guess I won’t mess with nature.  I reckon I’ll leave it to chance whether the whale tail appears or not, just like the Orca’s glorius, feisty tail.  Didn’t I say we were oceanic eco-friendly here at the Curmudgeon?

Save the Whale…Tail.

A double sighting

A double sighting

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nerd-girl-7

Here in the Curmudgeon Offices, we are intelligent but not eggheaded.  That doesn’t mean we aren’t impressed by eggheads, whether hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or fried.  And so it is that I admire the Nerd Girls.  Both the real ones and the representative ones –  like the one in the picture above – who is probably only dressed up like a nerd girl because it turns us on.  Us being men.  Wherever there is a major development  in women’s culture, particularly their style of dress or looks, you can bet the exploiters are not far behind.
nerd-girl-8
But Nerd Girls are real.  No longer willing to become pseudo-men in order to compete in the traditionally male fields of science and technology, the new nerd girl not only wears her smarts proudly, but shouts from atop her neutron generator, “I am woman and I am sexy.”  That translates to “sexy woman” and that is A-OK with me.  Throw in a brain and it’s the delicious icing on a luxurious cake.

They also offer encouragement and support to girls throughout the world to study science and technology in school, since a gifted woman can be as good (or better) as anyone.  It doesn’t hurt their popularity that Nerd Girls have entered the mainstream culture.  Think Tina Fey.  And they are organized.  The organization Nerd Girls was founded in 2000 by a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University, Dr. Karen Panetta, who partnered with two female documentarians to expand the Nerd Girls media presence and global expansion.

In addition, their website is an international community supporting the Nerd Girls agenda with forums, mentorship, networking, and a host of other services to help the girls themselves or their parents, young professionals, and anyone else who wish to inspire their budding Nerd Girl.
sexy-hot-nerd-girl-2
Perhaps most refreshingly, they shunt aside any criticism that photos of the Nerd Girls looking attractive and, yes, even sexy in high heels and makeup undoes decades of feminism.  Aww, give me a break.  That kind of feminism went out a long time ago.  The Nerd Girls website concurs, “No. Just the opposite. The most damaging thing for women is to compartmentalize and limit themselves. We are by nature complex and, after decades of trying to be more “male,” the new generation of women is comfortable in embracing all aspects of who they are and celebrating it.  Just as feminists did in the 1960s, we feel it is healthy to explore new sociological models, debunk stereotypes and continue to expand our horizons as a society.”  You’ll even see the motto on tee shirts, “Talk Nerdy to me.”

I am asked if my interest in Nerd Girls is really an altruistic one, or is it simply because I am a pervert.  I can answer that with a most definite…yes and no.  Truth is, I consider it my job to keep abreast of new fads as they affect culture and/or the Internet.  I have found that if you find out what the girls are up to, you will also find out what the boys are up to, and this in turn can give you some insight into where we, as a society, are headed.  Plus, I am a pervert, and I enjoy looking at pictures of pretty girls in various stages of undress.  Of course, this is not really a perversion, but simply the common interest of a healthy male.

So are these pictures of real Nerd Girls?   Mmm…Probably not.  But the United States is far behind the Japanese in objectifying the sexy Nerd Girl image.  Consider anime.  Those cartoons are chock full of Nerd Girl imagery, and the Nerd Girl and Japanese sensibilities fit together like, well, like a man and woman fit together.  These girls just happen to be wearing glasses, and they are as sexy as all get out.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Do you?

So the next time you see an attractive female wearing spectacles,  remember she is not a 4 eyes.  She is 4 intelligence.  She is 4 sensuality.  She is 4 me.

nerd-girl2

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"Dancing Man" quinn.anya/flickr

"Dancing Man" quinn.anya/flickr

It’s a different kind of day here in The Curmudgeon Offices, as, for a change, we are reporting on a happy story.  That’s instead of my normal negativity and cynical observations and thinly veiled sexual references.  Today, we are celebrating The Dancing Man.  First we walked the walk, then talked the talk, and now we are dancing the dance.  And it is a delightful, goofy dance.

Do you know about The Dancing Man?  It’s a guy named Matt Harding, who, in his own words, “used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play video games.”  Growing bored with that, he quit his job and went to Asia to wander around until his carefully saved funds wore out.  After a few months in Asia, his travel buddy asked him to do that silly dance that he often did while the friend taped it.  They made a little video of it and posted it on youtube.

The video sat on youtube for a couple of years until someone stumbled on it, thought it was funny and passed it around.  Those people passed it around to more people who passed it around until someone at Stride gum saw it and went to Matt with a proposition.  “Why don’t you let us sponsor your next trip as you dance around the world?”  No reason, no reason at all, and now the gum people have paid for a couple of his trips where he tapes himself doing the goofy dance along with the locals.

It’s odd.  It’s such a simple thing that seems to say so much about culture, friendship (or not), and brotherhood among nations that it takes on both a joyous and bittersweet feeling.  There is just something about seeing this guy dancing his spastic dance at breathtaking locations around the world with the locals joining in with their imitations of the goofy Matt dance, that we have to sit back and ask ourselves, “how much do we really know about our world neighbors?.  It will make you smile, laugh, and feel a little unexplainable sadness.

Take a look at it.  It is short and captivating.  I called a full-staff meeting this morning and showed everyone the video, and then I did the dance for them.  They loved it of course, to see the big boss being so silly, but they wanted to do the dance too.  And they did.  Everyone has been smiling around here all day, and I think we may have gotten more accomplished than ever before.  People spasmodically dancing up and down the halls, from office to office, and even in the meeting with the Chamber of Commerce.  Everyone was dancing.  They are dancing still.

For more information on where the hell is Matt, visit his website here.

My writer friend Denny Lyon has published a great article about this sort of thing.  There’s lots of great videos, and you simply have to check the “‘Freeze” at Grand Central, where hundreds of people freeze simultaneously for 3 minutes, and especially the big choreographed dance at Liverpool station with a cast of hundreds.  Fabulous!  Check it out here!

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The Accidental Tourist.  The photo that started it all.

The Accidental Tourist. The photo that started it all.

Here in the animated but not photoshopped offices of Curmudgeon, I have been checking up on past and current Internet memes.  For those that don’t know, a meme (pronounced meem) is something – a saying, an image, a recording, whatever – that catches people’s fancy and spreads like a virus, in this case on the Internet, which is what makes it an Internet meme.

At the Concorde crash.

At the Concorde crash.

So I came across the info that The 911 Tourist Guy’s real name is now known to the masses.  I’m not sure where I was when this information came out.  It was probably when I was living in a beach house on the native side of Freeport, Bahamas, fishing from my boat and drinking at the Conch Cafe, right on the ocean, no walls, wicker ceiling fans, the works, a place Hemingway would have loved.  Anyway, the start of  The Tourist Guy meme was that picture you see right up top, a man, supposedly a tourist, snapped atop the World Trade Center seconds before the plane hit.

It was sent around by email with this touching note:

“Fw: Different Perspective on the New York Tragedy

At the Hindenberg

At the Hindenberg

Attached is a picture that was taken of a tourist atop the World Trade Center Tower, the first to be struck by a terrorist attack. This camera was found but the subject in the picture had not yet been located.

Makes you see things from a very different position. Please share this and find any way you can to help Americans not to be victims in the future of such cowardly attacks.”

Almost immediately, Snopes pronounced the whole thing an Internet hoax while the Internet pronounced it funny.  So the clones began, many of which are posted here and some of which are actually funny and clever.

It has long been our way – us humans that is, I can’t speak for you – to cope with tragedy by making  jokes, and these are no different.  People need to laugh after something like that.  Laughter is a great medicine.  Laughter cures hurt.

At the Titanic.

At the Titanic.

It wasn’t long before the first poseur stepped forward.  He had no evidence.  Couldn’t produce the original photo.  He was pronounced a fraud by whoever pronounces these people frauds.  Soon after, another man was fingered by his friends, and he had the evidence.  He was a  Hungarian named Peter (last name withheld.)   He didn’t want people to misunderstand him, he said.  Didn’t  know it would become so popular, he said.   Didn’t know he would obtain Internet infamy, he said.

At last it can be told:  His name is Peter Guzli, a 25 year old guy living in Hungary, still trying to cope with his unexpected fame.  How’s that infamy thing going for you, Peter?

Next time, I’m going to write about the disgusting meme, Two Girls and a Cup.  YOU DON’T WANT TO READ IT!

At Godzilla's rampage.

At Godzilla's rampage.

At the assassination of John. F. Kennedy.

At the assassination of John. F. Kennedy.

At the blowing up of the White House - Independence Day.

At the blowing up of the White House - Independence Day.

At the assassination of Lincoln.

At the assassination of Lincoln.

At the eruption of Mount St. Helens

At the eruption of Mount St. Helens

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