Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cat Scratch Fever

On Friday after writing his blog, Max came to sit on my lap and as I went to pick him up, his claw accidentally got caught in the inner corner of my mouth creating a long deep gash. This caused quite a bit of bleeding and I wasn't sure what even happened, but my appearance was scarier than any Halloween costume you could dream of. So, after the bleeding stopped, I went to work and saw the male work nurse who is the stereotype of a male nurse who you would expect to be working at a large company. He told me that as a result of the scratch I could actually get cat scratch fever which is kind of like the mumps and that my thyroid would have to be drained. Here are some of the symptons:
Cat scratch fever presents with tender regional lymphadenopathy, sterile suppurative papules at the site of inoculation, slight fever, headache, chills, backache, anorexia, abdominal pain, malaise. Alteration of mental status and convulsions. It may take 7 to 14 days, or as long as two months, before symptoms appear. Most cases are benign and self-limiting, but lymphadenopathy may persist for several months after other symptoms disappear. The prognosis is generally favourable. In temperate climate most cases occur in fall and winter. The disease usually resolves spontaneously, with or without treatment, in one month
He said I could get this in three-five days so I'm still sitting here waiting for the onset of this disease. If I do get cat scratch fever, I do hope the anorexia is part of it, because my diet really needs a jump start.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Catblog Friday by MJ Cat

Picture 513
Originally uploaded by redrachel.
It's been a long time since I last blogged, but as you can see I've been busy dieting, listening to music and trying to curb my addiction to Biljac cat treats. As you know, Halloween is my favorite holiday and this year, I'll be dressing up as a cat.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Want Mulvey: A Review of Marie Antoinette

Last night, I finally saw Marie Antoinette and I have to confess, it was fabulous. I'm a sucker for Sofia. We are the exact same age, our fathers look alike, we both like fashion and we have the exact same taste in music. Yet, Marie Antoinette really wasn't about Marie Antoinette at all. Todd thinks it is a movie about being in college. If this is a true, on a broader scale, MA can be interpreted as a film about the sadness about the loss of youth and innocence and being held responsible for one's actions. Others argue that MA is an autobiographical tale about Sofia Coppola and the her role in the royal dynasty of the Coppola family. The critics are always critical of Sofia and ready to chop off her head in viscous film reviews.

Today, I realized that Marie Antoinette is actually a Hollywood lesson in basic psychoanalytic feminist film theory.

I suspect Sofia has been reading some Laura Mulvey. So, to understand Marie Antoinette, here is basic Laura Mulvey 101. And for the record, Mulvey was my first favorite film theorist.

For those of you not up on your Mulvey, Mulvey deconstructed the male gaze in mass media in her seminal article entitled Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema. Basically, Mulvey says that film is is an instrument of the male gaze, producing representations of women, the good life and sexual fantasy from a male point of view. So, what happens when a woman takes over the role of filmmaker construcing a narrative soley for a feminine audience? The answer to this question is Marie Antoinette. (For those of you without Cinema Studies degrees, Laura Mulvey is a common name to drop.) So, here's some Mulvey 101.

Armed with Freudian psychoanalytic film theory with a Lacanian bent, Mulvey's studies of spectatorship focus on how subject positions are constructed by media texts rather than investigating the viewing practices of individuals in specific social contexts. Mulvey notes that Freud had referred to (infantile) scopophilia - the pleasure involved in looking at other people's bodies as (particularly, erotic) objects. In the darkness of the cinema auditorium it is notable that one may look without being seen either by those on screen by other members of the audience. Mulvey argues that various features of cinema viewing conditions facilitate for the viewer both the voyeuristic process of objectification of an ideal ego; seen on the screen. She declares that in patriarchal society, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female; This is reflected in the dominant forms of cinema. Conventional narrative films in theHollywood tradition not only typically focus on a male protagonist in the narrative but also assume a male spectator. As the spectator identifies with the main male protagonist, he projects his look onto that of his like, his screen surrogate, so that the power of the male protagonist as he controls events coincides with the active power of the erotic look, both giving a satisfying sense of omnipotence. Traditional films present men as active, controlling subjects and treat women as passive objects of desire for men in both the story and in the audience, and do not allow women to be desiring sexual subjects in their own right. Such films objectify women in relation to the controlling male gaze presenting woman as image(or spectacle) and man as bearer of the look. Men do the looking; women are there to be looked at. The cinematic codes of popular films ;are obsessively subordinated to the neurotic needs of the male ego. It was Mulvey who coined the term 'the male gaze'.

Mulvey distinguishes between two modes of looking for the film spectator: voyeuristic and fetishistic, which she presents in Freudian terms as responses to male castration anxiety. Voyeuristic looking involves a controlling gaze and Mulvey argues that this has has associations with sadism: pleasure lies in ascertaining guilt - asserting control and subjecting the guilty person through punishment or forgiveness; Fetishistic looking, in contrast, involves the substitution of a fetish object or turning the represented figure itself into a fetish so that it becomes reassuring rather than dangerous. This builds up the physical beauty of the object, transforming it into something satisfying in itself. The erotic instinct is focused on the look alone. Fetishistic looking, she suggests, leads to overvaluation of the female image and to the cult of the female movie star embodied in the character of Marie Antoinette. Mulvey argues that the film spectator oscillates between these two forms of looking.

See, the Mulvey theory is obvious! In the I Want Candy scene, Sofia visually summarizes Laura Mulvey better than any film professor can!

Now, I need to go download the fabulous soundtrack.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tyra Goes Nuts

This is one of the best things I've ever seen on television. I won't prep you, but prepared to be more disturbed than you've been in a very long time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Power Babies

In twenty years after we are through gossiping about the Olson Twins, Britney Spears, the Hiltons, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan, our culture will be obsessed with one of the most interesting and powerful celebrity couples of all time. Yes, I'm talking about Madonna Baby David and Jolie Baby Zahara. They will complain about their natural born siblings, the price of having celebrity parents, their African roots and searching for their birth families. I can't wait for the day they meet and establish a life-long friendship and spend their family fortunes!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Liza Minelli and David Gest unaired Pilot

While this does not compare with Liza's performance on the Actor's Studio last year, this section of the unaired reality show pilot starring David Gest and Liza Minnelli must be seen!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Pity the Fool!

For those of you with better things to do than watch the fabulous new show I Pity the Fool on TV Land, here is a quick clip where Mr. T motivates some used car salesmen. I wish he were here to motivate me to do my year-end self evaluation.

Boob Monday

I love Patricia Arquette. I love plaid gowns aka (Jeffrey's couture piece from Project Runway this year.)I love a Scottish accent. I love when robust women flaunt their boobs. I, however, don't love this look. Hike it up, Patty!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mouse Orgy: It's Hot Backstage at Disney!

There is nothing I can really say to convey the hilarity of the mouse orgy that took backstage at Paris Disney. To watch the video, click here.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday said it took "appropriate action" against employees at its Paris theme park who were caught simulating sex while dressed as Disney characters in a digital video that has received wide attention on the Internet.

Disney would not say whether it had dismissed any of the costumed employees featured in the grainy video, which appears to have been shot with a hidden camera at a backstage dressing room at Disneyland Resort Paris.

"The behavior shown on the video is unacceptable and inexcusable," Disney said in a statement.

"The video was taken in the backstage area not accessible to guests. Appropriate action has been taken to deal with the cast members involved."

The video shows Minnie Mouse struggling to free herself as she is grabbed from behind by Goofy and then a giant snowman.

Later, Mickey Mouse simulates sex with the snowman and Goofy does the same with either Chip or Dale, the chipmunks, as laughter is heard on the tape.

The tape is described on the Internet as the "Mouse Orgy."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Day the Music Died

Today, I learned that Tower Records is going out of business. While many businesses come and go, the closing of Tower makes me feel very nostalgic in a way I did not feel when the Wiz shut its doors. Since I moved to New York City, I have spent many a dollar and hours at Tower Records all over the city. I actually like to go on dates there and scour the aisles. During the summer of 1994 when I didn't have A/C, I used to go to the Upper East Side Tower to cool off and listen to new music. I once spent 5 hours outside the downtown Tower in the snow(pictured) to meet Kate Bush. Todd and I can't walk by a Tower without stopping by to check the sales. (We hve a special bond with the Trump Tower Tower for some odd reason.) I remember the days I used to pay my cable bill there. I remember the first time I saw my friends in Live's album cover displayed in the NYC window and knew they made it since Tower said so. And, how I loved the former outlet! When I first moved to the city, Tower represented to me all the variety and diversity the city had to offer. I always preferred hanging out at Tower over the large impersonal Virgin Megastore. Yet, I, too, fell in love with my iPod and my small apartment is out of room for more CDs. Plus, I can't pay $19.99 for something I can get for much less off the net. So, I am partly responsible for killing an institution that I admired, loved and psychologically needed. Goodbye, Tower Records! I'll miss you!

Friday, October 13, 2006

NYC in Babylon

This is a short film I made about my recent trip. It's kind of sad because I'm kind of depressed today. I unfortunately, don't have anything "in development" right now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back From Hell

For those of you who thought I might be exaggerating about the crazy time in LA, check out this photo I didn't realize that I took at the scary party.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It Ain't Me, Babe

I'm still in Los Angeles recovering from a party last night in the Hollywood Hills that seemed to be directed by David Lynch to the soundtrack of Bob Dylan's song "It Ain't Me Babe." While I have been having a great time on the West Coast, last night's party has left me feeling emotionally confused, uptight and a self-righteous genius. In theory, the party scene should have been exhilarating. The house was located next to the famous Hollywood sign and had a remarkable view. The host was some British set designer and the crowd was a mixed bag of wannabes, artsy types, drug addicts and poorly dressed women. I had a least 10 people tell me that they had a deal "in development" or that they "directed" a short film that I never heard of. I also had a lot of people offer me drugs that I never heard of and ask me for my card when I said that I lived in New York. Some dude told me that he actually wrote the movie "Crash" but that he didn't get credit for it but that he considers the Oscar all his. One fucked up guy wearing a pin-stripe suit with no shirt came up to me and asked me my name. I told him and then politely asked his name. He responded, "Toilet" and I didn't know what to say, so I just went all Robert Blake on him and responded, "I'm in your house." Some old woman over the age of 65 told me that you should never start taking drugs until you are after the age of 60. Then she hugged me. I don't like being touched my strangers. Part of the theme of the party surrounded a "drum circle" where drugged out people banged on bongos around a fire pit until 4AM. Perhaps I'm a sophisticated New Yorker, but let me tell you, drum circles suck and are the most pretentious stupid party gimmick ever. The worst part is that I was there with a date who completely abandoned me upon arriving leaving me cold and bored and left to my own devices. I did, however, learn that if I lived here, I would have no trouble picking up men as the boys out west are very easy but I'm classy so I asked my date to take me home, and he refused saying that he was having fun and that he wanted to stay. I responded that I was cold and bored and tired and didn't appreciate being tortured. He finally looked me in the eye very seriously and said, "You just don't get it." And today, I'm quite relieved that I don't get "it" and frankly, I never will.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rescue Me!

I'm being held hostage at a party in the Hollywood Hills. I'm clicking my ruby red shoes together. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. I miss my back yard.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Off to Hollywoodland

I'm off to LA for the weekend to spend some time at the Coffee Bean and Fred Segal. I'll be back next week. Happy Columbus Day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

TomKat Update

It's been awhile since I commented on my least favorite Hollywood couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holms, but this photo raises so many questions.

1. What is that weird tummy bump on Katie? Are those jeans too tight and is that muffin top? Or is she pregnant again?
2. What's the deal with Tom's manboobs?
3. How tall is Katie and how short is Tom?
4. Are Tom's kids upset that his dad brings his baby mamma to their soccer games and steal the spotlight?

The Perfect Date

This is the text message that I sent to my good friend Anittah from the bar bathroom during my date Friday night. I can't say what made the date so perfect except that there was chemistry and he wasn't crazy or weird and he had a job and he was smart and funny and sexy and he paid the check and he drove me home and he held my hand and when we crossed the street. He emailed the next morning and now I'm waiting with baited breath for him to call and ask me out again. Please pray to the date Gods that he calls me because I haven't been this excited about a date in a very very very very long time!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Little Podcasters

The most perverse episde of BEWARE OF THE BABYLON awaits all you little children this week...

In this revealing episode...

• Celebrity look-a-like madness, with some real celebs!

• Rachel chastises Todd for not watching enough television.

• How criminal and drug addicted celebrity children are more moral than porn stars.

• The signs of a really good dating, and screening season.

As always, this, and EVERY, BEWARE OF THE BABYLON podcast can be automatically downloaded to your computer and transferred to your iPod through iTunes.