Sunday, January 28, 2007

west knows best




so i was just thinking, if we're all meant to coexist on this planet--and by we, i'm referring to the multitude of different cultures, races, sexes and species--why is it that some of these groups aren't thriving, why they're living in extreme poverty, their everyday life challenged by some unseen force?

i've concluded that it's because western peoples use their own above-standard values as the point of reference--a completely normal habit when judging the activities partaking in one's own back yard, but to the rest of the world? it's a bit arrogant considering our nation is one of the youngest--we don't have enough experience to accurately make these conclusions. but i digress.

to question whether or not these people are as 'dirt poor' as the western perspective deems them, we have to ask ourselves--what is poverty? what concrete conditions provide the ideals that cause the situation known as poverty? is poverty NOT having a 7,000 square foot house with a solid oak front door, marble countertops, subzero appliances and top-of-the-line berber carpeting? or is poverty not having a fully-stocked refrigerator and an absence of restaurant receipts littering our boudoir? or is poverty having less than $100 in your checking account at any given time?
these examples i've given all fall into three centric categories: material possessions, food, and money. and if a lack of one or all of them constitute poverty, then i'm up the fucking creek! i don't have a large house, an oak front door, marble countertops (they're granite), subzero appliances (ge), and my carpet is from pottery barn. there's rarely food in my fridge (who has time to eat at home?) and hello--anyone who's resigned to stridently follow their dream is well-versed in the woes caused by the lack of funds that accompanies happiness.

so am i povertial?? they say that nyc is exclusively for either the very rich or the very poor, and my bank of america account will gladly inform you to which end i invariably fall. however, what about people living in those nations that were around long before the bank of america, and new york city and subzero appliances? like romania. true, they've endured a government coup or two, and a generous portion of the population are gypsy (roma), and the people are all referred to as peasants, but they're really not that bad. would they prefer one of those ready-hot spigots at their sinks instead of gambling whether or not they'll have hot water that day? sure, and so would i, for that matter. are many of the denizens of romania even aware of the convenience such luxuries would afford? maybe, but they're concerned with other pressing matters--and i think we can all relate to that as well. just as we aspire to future wealth, such as houses, cars, wardrobes and burgeoning social lives in america, the scaled-down aspirations in a scaled-down economy can amount to a larger house, a car, a goat, what have you. and that doesn't mean that their aspirations are any less important than ours, or deserving of any pity, but instead it means that they're just different, and didn't our daily dose of childhood sesame street teach us that different is good?

are these people really as poor as we think? are they really living in poverty?

now you think about that.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the hills are alive with the sound of sitars!



and so the world has become a brighter place!! two of the biggest names in bollywood have announced their engagement! abhishek bachchan and aishwarya rai are getting hitched, and i'm sure with no less splendor than the grandest of indian weddings. the hottest man in india and the former miss world deserve only the best. i'm seeing elephants, headdresses, and an entire wardrobe's worth of those intricately detailed saris from dolce & gabbana. nothing but the best for the planet's most regal race!
i'm hoping kal penn gets an invitation...and takes moi as his date. has anyone seen him on 24 lately? a little older, yes, but nonetheless HOT as usual! good stuff.

so down to the wire of the day. i'm really pissed at mario/aka perez hilton. he may be the 'queen of all media,' but the queen of all fashion he is not! i'm sick of him making completely unfounded conclusions about fashion related topics. let's start with his referring to the new miu miu campaign as one of "the worst fashion campaigns ever."

one look at this vibrant, strong ad and there's no contesting it's incredible! i'm no fan of lohan myself, but it's fuckin hot! and miuccia obviously didn't choose her to rep the brand based on her reputation or questionable habits. (please--if drugs were an issue, there wouldn't be such thing as fashion week). she was chosen because of her look. i highly doubt they speculate posing lindsay as the face of miu miu that they'll sell more clothing. the average lohan fan from tacoma can't even afford miu miu. but i digress.
it's a gorgeous ad, and who is perez to say that it's not? this coming from someone who wears circus tents as jackets.

issue number 2 is, quite personally, the worst. don't knock my cam.



SHE LOOKS FUCKING AMAZING!! cameron is channeling marilyn monroe meets snow white, and she more than succeeds! perez says that she must've borrowed her dress from bjork's wardrobe. HELLO, it's VALENTINO! of course there's going to be ruffles! of course there's going to be organza! of course there's going to be a gawdy lot going on! it's haute couture. not juicy couture, perez. there IS a difference, and if you knew the first thing about high fashion, beyond your macy*s subsidized wardrobe, you would clearly have seen cam's point and lauded her choice as the success it is.

so there, i said it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the situation




so i just got home, and i have a situation. after an afternoon of shopping in the second most affluent section of nyc, and getting an incredible pair of jeans on sale, something awful happened on the subway; either that, or something wonderful didn't happen. here's the deal:

i saw this homeless woman who kept making eye contact with me--just me--and an incredible idea popped into my head. why don't i take her back to my apartment, let her shower, wash her clothes for her, and then take her out to dinner? i could even give her a really warm coat that i don't wear anymore. and just as fast as the idea appeared to be wonderful, it faded into the reality-driven, "well people just don't do that." so, in usual bryan fashion, i contested that notion and decided that i would be the one to do that. but just as fast as my stop approached, i handed her a dollar--the last one in my wallet--a gesture to which she responded, "thank you." it was then that i realized what a terrible mistake i'd just made. this woman, just as down to earth as me, just as alive as me, just as human as me, is in the worst condition i could imagine. and what's worse is that i could have alleviated that. i could have offered her a chance to clean up, soothe her irritated skin, wash her clothes, and filled her stomach. i could have reminded her of a life she once had, and maybe motivated her to seek rehabilitation via a shelter.
what's more is that a certain event in 2006 really showed me what wealth was. i gave up a job--a thankless, pass-the-time, job that got me nowhere but to the bank because it paid incredibly well--to pursue my true passion, which came as the job i have now. it pays a lot less, like welfare less, but i'm happy. truly, undeniably, and absolutely happy and fulfilled. and i learned that money is not what matters--it's your own personal fulfillment of goals and such. ok, enough oprah. what i'm trying to say is now that i'm not as financially free as i used to be, i see what a struggle it is to make it month to month, with rent and bills and food and what not. and i often wonder what would happen if i couldn't make it--if i just happened to be $100 short. what would go unpaid? rent-no. bills-no. food-well, why not?. food is the only thing i don't have some harassing voice remind me about. no collection agency will come after me if i dont' eat. and in the land of the free and the home of the brave, that's fucking sad.
what's even sadder, is that in this same great nation, at the same exact time as that poor woman sat on that R train, some rich family is sitting around a table eating off plates that cost more than my year's rent. i'm not saying that wealthy people don't deserve what they have--many (but not all) of them work for it. what i'm saying is that it's pathetic that they can allow themselves to indulge in such a manner, to go so excessively overboard, while R train lady can't even get a pickle to eat. what could that dollar i gave her bought her? in new york? not a burger, not a bottle of water, not even a pack of gum. don't people have a conscience anymore? our government taxes us left and right for social this and right-to-work tax that, yet where is the tax that could actually BENEFIT the human race? where's the homeless tax? the small constituent of money that goes toward building shelters and paying staff members that show these fellow human beings who currently happen to be down on their luck that there is another option than sleeping between buildings.
the mayor can have a $2 million inaguration party, while close to 14,000 citizens of his presiding city wait outside in the cold.

WHAT IF

the mayor decided to be brazen and said, "why don't we take that $2 million dollar allocation in the budget and use it to buy a whole bunch of food that we'll spend the night giving out to the homeless--individuals and families alike!!

i'll tell you something--even if caviar didn't taste like cold cum, i'd prefer to be handing out food to people who need it than flanking some 5'4" stuttering fuckhead whom we refer to as the mayor at some stuffy, overstaffed party.

AND WHAT IF

the mayor, whose surname is not derived from a random phonebook listing, but instead the eponymous multi-billion dollar financial institution, were to say, "seeing as how i'm worth billions, why not take the mayoral salary and donate it to, say, the bowery residence committee! let's help those who can't fathom money past the teens!"

what if that happened? i'll tell you what--there wouldn't be as many children reporting to a parking lot after school, wondering why there's no refrigerator on which to post their drawings; there wouldn't be as many people trying to sleep as we step over them on the way to work in the morning; there wouldn't be an army of mentally ill people roaming the streets, potentially putting us in harm; and there would be a fucking LOT LESS people going hungry.

i know to expect such things to happen is not only far-fetched, but virtually impossible, but just imagine. and you know what else? i feel like it would snowball. once tight-ass bloomberg loosened his wallet for the good of his fellow man, i truly believe it would spur others of considerable financial comfort to follow suit.

all i know is that i was raised in an extremely modest household, an experience i will always covet as one of my most prized possessions. i've always related with marginal people--different races, sexualities, and social groups. i was never the popular bitch in high school (though college i can't speak much for), and i was always the one who talked to the black kid in class. and i not only found it the 'nice' thing to do, but i also found it extremely empowering. the fact that i possessed the fortunate ability to rise above everybody else, as insignificant as it seems in retrospect, and talked to the one person they so intently ignored, made me one with the marginals. i don't think of myself as marginal, though. you have to have at least four people in the margin to be considered marginal. they say "three's a crowd," but the next verse is, "and four is marginal."

but enough about me.

here's about you--they say, "charity starts in the home," so what you need to do is commence being charitable. do five things a day--five meager deeds--to benefit your fellow human beings. it could be giving a homeless woman a dollar--or even better, the address of a homeless shelter! remember, the homeless don't carry blackberries--they can't access the internet with the convenience we can! or order an extra entree to go and give it to the guy lying outside the overpriced, overcooked restaurant. even better--cook a little extra next time and put it in a disposable tupperware--voila! instant meal to go for a homeless person. next time you're in the duane reade, go to the aisle that sells travel sized products and buy a few to constitute a care package that you can give a homeless person.

remember one thing--aside from the brc, and other homeless agencies, nobody else gives a fuck about the homeless. sympathy gets you nowhere (now that flattery does), so act up and go fucking help someone! GO! NOW!!!


try these agencies for encouragement:

bowery residence committee (brc)

nyc dept of homeless services

and one of my faves,

robinhood

so get with the picture people--act up, 'cause nobody going to do it for you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

dancing with myself/week of crazy bitches



ooh i feel like gargamel from 'the smurfs!' it's all going according to my plan! ha ha just two weeks ago i professed my rational devotion to cameron diaz, and look what's happened--she's splitting from justin!
now it's definitely not my style to herald their breakup as some wonderful event--breakups are hard and they always suck, especially when you've got a long-awaited movie coming out, as in justin's case. but maybe it is for the best...maybe justin's embarking on a really lucrative film career, and cam is taking some time to just relax with a good book and a fabulous friend...which is where i, undoubtedly, will come in.

but back to seriousness--this has been the week of crazy people. on monday, perez brought us an exclusive look at james brown's crazy ass widow, who channeled tammy faye when she triumphantly questioned, "did GOD come down and tell the globe that it wasn't james brown's time to go?"


and then just days later, this!


how about a lotta you comin in-it's a wild party where you are!! straight up now tell us, paula--was it coke? tequila? maybe some leftover cliquot mixed with several antidepressants and ssri's you had lying around the coffee table? this is definitely a page in our his-to-ry!
i feel like this sort of behavior is too much for those poor seattle anchorwomen to take!! i mean, they kept their cool like dav-o back in '94 when little old madge fellated a cigar, but they were visibly disturbed, like they had to revert to a mental script in the emergency "what to do if your second-rate guest star is intoxicated" file. and a special toast to paula's hairstylist! her two hands must've really liked the feel of white rain extra hold!

i'm out, bitches.