Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Biography me, oh please Biography me!

"Someone please tell me when to stop dry humping the cash cow".
It's down right ridiculous the people that are cranking out bio-books these days. I have two samples, perhaps one holding more validity than the other.

First, let's look at this lovely business of Fantasia and her new book "Life is not a Fairy Tale". Okay, I GUESS being that she won the American Idoloff, she would be deserving to have a turn in the consumer well with her own little story of how she "made it". These types of inane bio-books ALWAYS have photos and this one is no different. But some of these photos look like they would have been passed over even in the Family Scrapbook, even if it were the ONLY existing photo. Two instances, the first: what the heck is there a picture of the UPS guy who just delivered a package in Fantasia's neighborhood doing in there. Yeah, OK, she is hugging him, but this is wack. There is even some silly caption saying something to the effect of, "Even the UPS man is getting in on the love". Is this some sly attempt at product placement or is Fantasia securing some sort of future for herself in the Package Delivery Empire? Filler anyone? The other photo, albeit a nice warm fuzzy bit, shows three generations of the women in her family but unfortunately her daughter (3 or 4) looks like she just ate a spoonful of medicine and it wasn't going to go down. I would have thought there would have been at least two photos taken of such a memorable moment, but I guess being backstage on "Idol" can be hectic. I wonder if her daughter will grow up with a vanity thorn and loathe her superstar mother for putting that unattractive picture in the book. Something to look out for, say in 20 years. Or will anyone even remember the reign of Fantasia?

Okay, now onto the real complaint.
Ashley Smith has written her untold story called "Unlikely Angel". (Note: Not to be confused with the goofily packaged DVD Unlikely Angel, starring Dolly Parton and Roddy McDowell) Have you figured out who she is yet? Tick tock, tick tock...TIME! She was the Atlanta hostage from earlier this year. Yeah, I don't remember either. But yup, she has a book out, and boy if it were anymore heavy-handed with Christian inspiration she'd be on the cross already. I dare you to read her author bio and not wince at the sheer whorishness of the market she is trying to sell to. Photos? You betcha, ranging from the amber alert sign to her marriage photos to her Christmas photos to her coming out of the shower in a towel photos. Gripping eh? Well, it DOES state that she will devote SOME of the royalties from the book to the victims of this incident. Some? Hmmm? oh, wait, she was a victim too... I get it. Well, this is supposed to be more a story devoted to her getting off crank or something and there are already rumors fluttering about she already knew her abductor. Anyway, this just is another example of the saying that pretty much anyone can get published these days; all it takes is a little walk through the valley of misery or win a contest of Network Proportions to get your story told.

On the upswing, I bought a 6 foot tree for the holidays and it looks swell. Pop in the Holiday Music, swing style and let's have a cocktail!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Flip Flops; the decline of Western Footwear

Flip Flops; the decline of Western Footwear

By Phil D. Ford

The sound is almost caustic. Especially when dragged across an apartment complex parking lot. The steady puffy plastic drag across smooth asphalt has all the charm of fingernails on a chalkboard. The coupe de grace is an accented punctuation to this excuse for footwear, the inevitable popping sound of the heel smacking the ball of the foot. We are of course talking about the invention known as the flip-flop which have now become the George Canstanza excuse for footwear in the United States and possibly beyond.

Once upon a visit to the mall, I have discovered that this phenomenon of foam rubber footwear has become quite the trend with the lack of tread setter. People will wear flip-flops with anything. I have seen young punk boys with a face full of piercing, sleeve-tattoos, offensively challenging mores t-shirt, and tight jeans, walking with a pair of them in the color of the German flag. I have seen beautiful twenty-something women in fully Gapped fashion-wear sporting dainty little flip-flops with gaudy pink plastic flowers on the strap. I have seen little girls, barely tweens, oversized by what I like to call “Kiss-Flops”; platform flip-flops that keep such rail-thin children from blowing over in strong winds. I have witnessed studly lads donned in Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, Fight Club glasses, and hundred dollar buzz cuts, dragging their feet in food courts in $45.00 (!) Nike streamlined glider-flops. On an average day of people watching at the mall, your odds are about two in four, that’s half the consumer population, that you are going to be seeing peoples gnarly toes exposed to the elements and restrained via the flip-flop.

As devoted as people are these days to looking good, especially at high-end outdoor malls, one could certainly put a little investment into a nice pair of shoes. It is almost as if people started from the top, applied all sorts of nifty and expensive hair products, worked their way all the way down with the latest trendy apparel, reached the lower calves and then just gave up. Or is this in some nightmarish way, supposed to be part of the outfit? Here people have spent all this time and money to achieve that certain special “look”, and have petered out below the ankles. Come on; finish that fashion thought you had. I know you can do it if you just apply yourself. You would think in this fear-driven age where terrorism or natural disaster could spark at any moment, that you would want to have a nice pair of shoes to avoid possible dangers in. If a levee breaks in your neighborhood, where are you going to be? That’s right, up flip-flop creek without a shoestring.

Flip-flops as regular footwear are, like reality television and rude cell-phone habits, signs of the decline of western civilization. They really say something about a person as far as I’m concerned. Now it’s one thing if you are making your way to a source of water for swimming, or in a public shower at a campground, or taking trash to the curb or even being a NCAA Woman’s Lacrosse Champion meeting the President of the United States. I’m not saying if you can’t wear them if you are say, Jimmy Buffet and you have a matching Cheeseburger in Paradise hula shirt, but if you are going to be attending anything public that requires lots of walking, there is no excuse for it. It has no merit as a shoe. By definition of purpose, it can’t. You can try and doll it up as much as you like, making them sporty brown with two sets of buckles like you would even attempt to hike with them, or decorate the plastic toe straps with butterflies or cubit zirconium jewels. It’s not attractive. There is no arch support, certainly no finesse, and absolutely no sex appeal. Flip-flops have all the social dignity of mononucleosis. It’s nearly Fall for flips sake. And if proper dress etiquette can pooh-pooh white after Labor Day, surely there is something to be said in the Hoyle’s Book of Fashion for these unsavory foot disasters. In this age of our concern about white teeth, toned bodies, implants, and clothes, we can't be bothered to put on a pair of real shoes?

Look, I don’t want to seem like a curmudgeon, I’m all for expressing yourself and looking like you just stepped off the fashion page, but let’s get something straight right now. Flip-Flops are not cool. They may be totally hip and nifty at water areas but when you are wearing them regularly as “your shoe”, then you need some one to come in and set you straight, a friend to tell you how wrong they are as a habitual footwear. I am that friend. I'm just looking out for the better interest of Americans, take your power of pride and get some sneakers or at least some loafers. Life is too short to still be acting like a 10 year old in a Wee Winks at the Outer Banks.

Surprisingly, this has yet to be published anywhere. Copyrighted though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Where do I start?

Once I get the hang of it, surely people will read this in droves? I guess since I can't seemed to get published by certain magazines I will have to have a blog to get the avalanche started. I'm not bitter. I vent in other areas anyway. Forthcoming will be rejected submissions or future rejected submissions.

What is more obnoxious? Christmas commercials the week of Halloween or February's Winter Olympic commercials the week after Halloween? Both are aimed at spending, the first wants you to spend money for gifts on everyone in your life and a little something for yourself, the latter would like you to spend weeks on the couch watching four guys with brooms move rocks across the ice.

Readville: "Like Sisters on the Homefront" by Rita Williams-Garcia

Music to life to: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion "Xtra-Acme", any Noble Chicken (Why? well, because that's my band!)

Movie to recommend: One Missed Call (Japan, Dir: Takaski Miike)