Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Not End Up Bitter

Things haven't exactly improved in the dating world since I wrote this article. Apparently the world not only needs tips for a successful date, but also tips on how to find a decent person to waste one's life with. While I have no idea how to describe the perfect guy, I can at the very least present a list of the five types of guys to avoid. Not that they're based on personal experience or anything...of course I'm smart enough to avoid these douchers.

1) The Bro
He can often be spotted wearing clothes that don't fit, driving a lifted truck, blasting hardcore rap, sporting white-rimmed sunglasses and may as well be walking around waving a Confederate flag. He should be avoided because he drives too fast, is incredibly into himself (so you'd think he'd dress better) and is generally uninformed about political issues.

2) The Kerouac Wannabe
While not as uninformed about political issues, the Kerouac wannabe is disillusioned about everyone in government. Because this hipster is convinced that he really is Kerouac, he smokes a ton of weed, spends a lot of time partying (and makes sure everyone knows about it) and treats women like objects without minds of their own.

3) The Drama Queen
When you see a friend's relationship status changing every other day, she is probably dating one of these. The drama queen is indecisive, sensitive and starts arguments the second he gets bored. It is impossible to be in a stable relationship with this one, so it's best to set yourself free the first time he lashes out.

4) The English Major
While one may expect this sensitive, Shawn Hunter-after-his-dad-dies-type fella to shower her with romantic poems and flowers, this guy ultimately proves to be too socially awkward to even know how to date. He fails to express his intentions or feelings, and may end up making you walk back from the library by yourself.

5) The Lazy One
"What do you want to do?" "I don't know; what do you want to do?" This conversation is never a sign of exciting things to come. If a guy really wants to prove that he is a go-getter who's willing to go out of his way to leave a positive impression, he will look up the movie showtimes himeself and know just the place to get dinner. The lazy one may know what he want, but has no idea how to get it.

As George Clooney says in Up in the Air: "I stereotype. It's faster."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Glee is Improving Society

"...We should treat all the trivial things of life very seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality." - Oscar Wilde

Yeah, I said it. Glee, that show on Fox created by Ryan Murphy about a bunch of high school misfits singing about unrequited love and a general desire to be noticed deserves to be taken seriously. Why? Because it is forcing young viewers to be more open-minded.

Evidence of this comes from first-hand experience with my younger cousins. (Score for not being a journalist anymore who has to go find - blech - sources!) Unlike many of my older relatives, they don't see anything wrong with being of a different race or gay. I noticed a palpable change in their attitudes regarding those unlike themselves after they got really into the show. The fact that a TV show's message of acceptance is capable of overpowering those of older role models is not a bad thing when the TV show's message is far more intelligent.

This message comes in two forms: tongue-in-cheek and completely sincere. The tongue-in-cheek elicits laughter because these scenes are so cleverly written, while the completely sincere often results in tears of sympathy and - more importantly - empathy.

Example of a tongue-in-cheek message:

"Adam Lambert. You're on the right track, but still too subtle. Now don't get me wrong. I'll listen to your music. I'll even hum it under my breath as I head into the voting booth the next time the state government offers me the chance to deny you your basic rights."

This perfectly written parody is exactly what viewers need to see in order to realize how hypocritical and ridiculous many conservatives can be about gay rights.

Example of a completely sincere message:

In this scene, we learn that Kurt has an outstanding and supportive father who also helpfully points out that the F-word, N-word and "retarded" are all equally ridiculous and cause the person saying them to sound incredibly uninformed.

If you want a good laugh, go here. This "journalist" condemns Glee for the exact same reasons I used to explain why it's so great. If Glee is "promoting homosexuality, atheism and careers in the arts," then keep it coming, Ryan Murphy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Three Reasons to Love Australia

Without ever having been to Australia, I have come to the conclusion that I would somehow manage to survive there if I ever happened to buy a one-way ticket there after graduating college. (What, you have a better plan?) Here are three reasons why.

TV Show

Summer Heights High
My friend introduced me to this one. It's a mockumentary based in high school that is hysterically twisted and exactly the type of show I wish to write someday. The three protagonists: a egomanic drama teacher, a self-absorbed teenager and very crude troublemaker, are all portrayed by Chris Lilley (who also wrote the show). Fans of The Office and humor in general would love it. There is only one season in existence, but it's pure brilliance and worth the $22.49 on Amazon.


Am I Right or Am I Right?
by Barry Jonsberg
I discovered this one when I volunteered at my high school library for eight hours a day every Saturday the summer before my senior year. (Talk about an unforgettable summer.) The narrator of this darkly funny and tragic novel is cynical, self-absorbed and convinced that she knows everything. (I clearly cannot relate to her on any level.) Sample line after the narrator, Calma Harrison, reveals that she made a friend: "If I'm going to be strictly accurate, I should say I've got two friends. You see, we signed up for cable." Please go read it. It's incredibly underrated.


Ben Lee
Enough with this cynicism worship. For an instant pick-me-up (without the hangover), listen to absolutely anything by Ben Lee. His most well-known songs are "Catch My Disease" and "We're All in This Together," but I strongly recommend "Numb" and "Into the Dark." He also has a peaceful version of "Float On." Oh, and he's a Jewish vegetarian, which is what I would put in my "Looking for" section on Facebook if such an option existed. Alas, he's married with a kid. Blerg!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Long time coming

Given that I picture myself to be one of those people who has a blog, I decided to finally live up to my own image. I'm going to avoid making it all about me and more about things I want people to know about. (Unless I'm in one of those pissy, need-to-vent, Paris Geller-esque moods.)

The blog URL is from one of my favorite movies, Up in the Air, and the blog title is obviously(!) from Mean Girls.