1. Mark Wahlberg at the MTV Movie Awards
Mark Wahlberg receiving a “generation award” at the MTV Movie awards is several different kinds of weird. Perhaps most overtly disturbing of these is the implication that Mark Wahlberg voices a generation, since it would follow that ‘we’ belong to it and are therefore at least semi-responsible for him. He is horrible.
Has everyone forgotten about the time Mark Wahlberg committed multiple racially charged assaults? Also, he is scary religious and said something about Palm Sunday while talking about the Entourage movie— seeming to imply that the Christian community was or is the “real entourage.”
Which I guess isn’t so weird. Vinny Chase and Jesus Christ are similar in lots of ways. They both have three syllable names. Known for their good nature and charity, both men acquire devoted followers who habitually ask them for stuff. Like Vinny, Jesus receives flack from his contemporaries for associating with a so-called woman of questionable morals.
2. Law and Order: SVU’s Current Direction
Every season of Law and Order: SVU, everyone on the Internet says, “This season is off the rails!” This time, though, “they” (unsure precisely who this is, though I am interested in working for them) have abandoned the much-beloved “ripped from the headlines” formula that has characterized the franchise for the past several decades. Rather than its usual ensemble or dynamic duo format, this season of SVU fixates primarily on Sergeant Olivia Benson. Cases and supporting characters are peripheral to Benson / Mariska’s story. The season began with Benson’s kidnapping and abuse at the hands of this sinister “Lewis” dude (played by the guy from that one season of The Wire with all the dock workers. Not the character who gets his pet duck drunk and kills it on accident, his friend who is slightly tougher and more adept.) Understandably, Mariska has all kinds of PTSD. Less understandably, her surly live-in boyfriend is fucking Dennis from 30 Rock.
Though nothing about this show is especially normal at this point, I was particularly perplexed by Benson’s perp’s escape at the beginning of this week’s episode, which was attributed to cupcakes somehow ‘spiked’ with Xanax. Even less likely than a few benzos knocking out the entire security patrolling a federal prison was the quickly-skirted-over claim that the medication allowed Lewis to stop his own heart entirely and come “back to life” minutes later.
I have been known to shit-talk cupcakes. They are too self-aware and cutesie-wootsie, to say nothing of the icing / cake ratio. Even though seeing adults eat cupcakes also makes me feel weird, I would forgive all of this for the chance to sample these Alice in Wonderland downer-desserts.
3. The D12 Video “My Band”
A thing I find particularly scary is when scary people try to be funny. You watch them try to be all jokesy and self-effacing and “in on it,” but at the same time can’t forget what you already know about them, like for instance how Mark Wahlberg blinded a Vietnamese man in one eye (see above,) or that Eminem is objectively terrifying.
Last night, my roommate / platonic lifemate and I were swept into a digital rabbit hole that began with a super sad, super-unauthorized-seeming Eminem documentary and ended with the D12 video “My Band”.
Watching Eminem “joke around” is bizarre, since he usually seems to take himself very seriously. He is just not a good sport about criticism, satirical or otherwise. I don’t like watching him in wigs or doing “different characters,” “just fooling around”. He seems like the kid who sits by himself in recess burning ants with a matchbook. That future-sociopath kid probably thinks his petty violence is a form of humor too, but everyone else is just doing their best not to deal with it.
The whole charade, saturated in hyper-self-conscious nudge-nudginess, screams “I’M JUST KIDDING!! GET IT?” while maintaining the “I can snap at any moment” look in its eyes.
I get the sense that Eminem is a kind of sad clown that has tuned into a mean, demented clown. Even though he is way twisted-up inside and has likely experienced awful things most of us cannot imagine, he is also holding a knife up to you while he clowns around, like “DON’T YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY??”
Surprisingly, this is not an expose about ethical or hygienic aspects of a fast food chain. Rather, it is a bizarrely in-depth explanation of the franchise whose intended audience not only has never been to a Chipotle but is wholly unfamiliar with the concept of a restaurant chain.
Honestly, I didn’t make it through this thing. What I did see made me think that our cryogenically frozen ancestors are definitely stashed away somewhere, and in its plans to resuscitate them and integrate them into our society, the government has contracted Netflix productions providing basic explanations of what life is like for people.
5. Matthew McConaughey’s Family Life
The more time US Weekly spends insisting that a particular celebrity is a Totally Normal Person. the more suspicious of him or her I become. You know who has to tell people they are “just like everyone else?” Freaks. People whose formative social education took place in a tent behind an I-Carly casting between pilot seasons. Self-help gurus. Jessica Simpson.
I like a good comeback. I’m not a monster. I can sometimes be happy for happy people. Hey, Matthew McConaughey lost a bunch of weight and revived his career! Good for him! Even though he looks like a sinewy reptile, Dallas Buyers Club was a good movie: it struck an intelligent note and managed moments of levity while illuminating a devastating topic of grave social importance— a rare and captivating quality to find in a film.
Like most “Big Winners,” the post-awards-show-season spotlight has lingered on Matthew McConaughey a liiittle long. I don’t mind that: it is a familiar kind of boring that is fine by me. I like some boring things. Unless someone freaks out, award show ceremonies are always banal and long, but I like them anyway. They are comforting. Sometimes I even I watch the crap before, where E! puts a pretty lady on the red carpet who makes comments I don’t care about and describes clothes I will never be able to afford for hours on end. What I do find difficult to tolerate and comprehend is the peculiar manner in which McConaughey’s personal life is portrayed. Maybe it’s because most celebrity marriages, even the successful ones, look like dramatic, glitzy and unrelatable attention contests. And/or, as usual, the media is floundering to appeal to down-homesy folks in, you know, the middle, those flat states between New York and California where restaurants don’t have soy milk.
For whatever reason, the “presses” (who I always imagine as a bunch of old-timey newspaper guys at type writers saying, “Get me Smitty on the horn, I’ve got a hot scoop. Tall brunette heading for a rag joint on the double” and things like that. I also see myself this way) love to remind us of how supportive Matthew McConaughey’s wife Camila is. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeonly couch potato who hates love, this woman is described as such a doormat. You can’t even see a shot of her on the red carpet without the caption saying how she chose her dress as she always does: to match her hubby, while remaining ever-weary of the perils of overshadowing him by dressing too flashy.
I like to get drunk watching Failure to Launch and yell at the TV in a bad Southern accent as much as the next person, but we get it. Matthew McConaughey is a good dude from Texas, a “family man.” Sure, maybe he had some wild and crazy days (who hasn’t?), but now he’s just a regular dad who likes to play the bongos. The awards are all well and good but he’s happy just to be invited– just for the scant chance to take the old lady out on the town and show her a time. Though, needless to say, the real good times don’t start until they finally return home, where they can just get away from it all, kick back in the casa with the little tikes. We get it. You can stop now.