in the Sub-City
Summer of Dumb
shot of the month
What happened to the summer? Is it just me, or has it totally
flown by? I mean, first there was the never-ending winter,
then the eternal rain, and now that it's actually nice out,
it's already Labor Day. But even though the summer is on
its last legs, some very notable things have occurred. And,
in typical brain-dead, beach-read, summer-blockbuster fashion,
they have been characterized not by their contributive value,
or their progressiveness, or even their entertainment factor.
They have been characterized by one thing and one thing
only: stupidity. Yes, it's been the summer of dumb, and
here, for your pleasure, is of recap of the worst offenders.
1. Dumbest Fashion Statement
Walk down Bedford, Avenue A or Ludlow and it's like you've
suddenly entered another world, a world filled with truck
drivers, white trash and rednecks. The only difference is
that these truckers are 100 pounds and have stylists. Whether
it's Von Dutch, Diesel or Puma, mesh trucker hats are everywhere.
What I don't get is how quickly the trend escalated, and
why so many people are still wearing them. Attention hipsters:
when everyone is wearing the same thing, it's no longer
cool. Time to try something new. My suggestion? A gas mask.
2. Dumbest Album
Tie: Liz Phair: Liz Phair, Jewel: 0304
By all accounts, Liz Phair's first album, "Exile in
Guyville," was great. Rough, raw, honest and dirty,
it wore its heart on its sleeve and turned an unknown into
indie rock's golden girl. The follow-ups were okay, but
nothing matched her debut. Now, ten years later, comes the
album we've all been waiting for, and it totally blows.
Instead of riding on her indie cred, she's shitting on it.
The word "sell out" doesn't even begin to describe
the way she's reinvented herself as a modern-day amalgam
of Britney, Christina and the like. Avril Lavigne even co-wrote
one of the songs. For shame girl, for shame.
Jewel I never really liked. Her songs were overly-sentimental,
and her poetry was juvenile drivel. But at least she had
her credibility. The whole Alaskan, country-girl, lived-in-a-van,
folksy thing. Now she's tossed it aside and pulled a Liz
Phair on us. Yes, she's hot, but so are all the other pop
tarts, and guess what? They suck. Now you do too. Guess
you should have followed your intuition.
3. Dumbest Film
What more can be said about a movie starring the most annoyingly
overrated and overexposed couple in history, about a bumbling
con and a lesbian hit-woman who refers to oral sex as "gobbling,"
with a tacked-on happy ending? Nothing.
4. Dumbest Politics
The California Recall
Proof that Republicans will do anything, no matter what
the cost, to win elections. First they orchestrated an illegal
victory in Florida. Now they're trying to take over California,
a state that's so fucked-up the last thing it needs is money
being spent on this bullshit. Yes, Gray Davis is a moron,
but he fucking won the election. You people voted for him,
remember? The only positive thing is that the leading Democrat,
Cruz Bustamante, a self-proclaimed "bald, fat man,"
is actually ahead of Ahnold in the polls. So there.
5. Dumbest Lawsuit
Tie: Fox News vs. Al Franken, Spike Lee vs. TNN
Fox News should be sued for using the phrase "Fair
and Balanced," a blatant lie used to sugarcoat their
jingoism disguised as journalism. Claiming to have trademarked
the slogan in their fight against Al Franken, who used it
in the title of his book: "Lies and the Lying Liars
Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right,"
is probably one of the dumbest actions ever taken. Fortunately,
the judge agreed and threw out the suit.
Spike, Spike, Spike. What's with you man? Sure, the 25th
Hour was kinda cool, but before that you haven't made anything
halfway decent in years. I know you like controversy, but
suing a network over the use of your name, a name that you
weren't even born with? That's just whack. I think you need
to re-focus, maybe stop and reevaluate what you're doing.
Then, when you're more centered, do everyone a favor and
make a fucking good film.
6. Dumbest Scandal
Kobe Bryant rape trial
Here's a guy who's got it all: a great career, loads of
endorsements, a beautiful wife and a new baby. Yet he has
sex with a teenage girl in a Colorado hotel room. And whether
or not the girl was troubled or easy has nothing to do with
it; he's married with a kid, and should have known that
even a moderate indiscretion (which this is not) would be
front page news. His actions represent the utmost in irresponsibility
7. Dumbest Book
Treason by Ann Coulter
Not only does this bitch defend Joseph McCarthy, a man
who single-handedly plunged our country into one of its
darkest periods, she claims that anyone who speaks their
mind and is anti-Bush (Democrat, Liberal, Socialist, Progressive,
etc.) is a traitor, and should be jailed for treason. Recently
she was scheduled to defend her views against Joe Conasan,
whose new book: "Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda
Machine and How It Distorts the Truth" takes her to
task. And guess what? She cancelled at the last second.
Her behavior is typical of right-wingers everywhere: they
can dish it out, but they can't take it. I have four words
for this mini-skirt wearing nazi: shut the fuck up.
8. Dumbest Journalist
What was he thinking? Making up shit in the New York Times?
Maybe if he was working for the Bismarck Post or something,
but come on. Did he really think he was going to get away
this? And while he's certainly responsible for the bulk
of the blame, the Times itself was rightfully taken to task
for allowing him to continue for as long as he did. Dumb,
9. Dumbest Disaster
Even before it was over, the finger-pointing began. Turns
out it wasn't Ohio's fault, or the power companies' fault,
or deregulation's fault. The fault lies with our outdated
power grid, which is essentially the same one we've had
since the last major blackout in '77. Congress has tried
to update it, but the Republicans won't pass the bill unless
there's a tacked-on section about drilling in Alaska. What?
How evil are you people? Can't you give it a fucking rest
for one day and do something good for a change? I swear
these people would eat babies for breakfast, except of course
they don't because they fucking love fetuses. For the life
of me I can't figure them out.
10. Dumbest Divorce
Liza Minelli and David Gest
Dumbest marriage, actually. Why a washed-up entertainer
would marry a weird, shifty-eyed gay man is beyond me. For
her career? For companionship? I'm only surprised it lasted
as long as it did. The only good thing about their marriage
was that it almost led to the strangest reality show ever.
And even that fell apart. What a waste.
11. Dumbest Television
Tie: Reality TV in general and Fox News
Aside from a few gems: "Queer Eye for the Straight
Guy," "Last Comic Standing," "The Amazing
Race" and "America's Next Top Model" (yes,
it's good, I swear), reality TV blows. It's all the same:
people getting filmed doing shit they would never do in
"real" life, often leading to humiliation, all
for a little recognition or cash. I just don't know what's
worse - the losers on the shows, or the losers watching
I've already talked about FOX News, so I'll spare you my
diatribe, except to say this: Liar liar pants on fire.
12. Dumbest Dummy
The king of all retards, this guy is so stupid I don't
want to even waste my time getting into it. I cite everything
he's ever said as proof.
13. Dumbest Activity
Paying to "hunt" women
A pornographer in Nevada runs expeditions where men pay
upwards of five g's to "hunt" naked women with
paintball guns. And if a man successfully shoots a woman,
he gets to have sex with her. Now, I'm all for kinkiness
and sexual exploration, but this is just sick. The men who
participate in this are sick, the women who allow themselves
to be subjugated to this are sick, and the guy running the
show is sick. Dumb as dumb can be.
14. Dumbest Quote
O.J. Simpson, on why he is still turned on by women who
resemble his murdered wife
"I've seen guys marry carbon copies of the lady they
divorced. What is so eerie about this?"
15. Dumbest Criminal
Tie: Hand Job and Resume Blunder
A masked man tried to rob a Wisconsin pharmacy armed only
with his finger. Instead of at least trying to pretend he
had a gun by keeping his hand in his pocket, the idiot pointed
his finger directly at the pharmacist and asked for money.
When the pharmacist refused, the two men struggled, and
the wannabe criminal's mask came off. The pharmacist recognized
the man as a customer, who was easily identified after he
escaped. Unfortunately, he couldn't be charged with armed
robbery because a finger is not technically a weapon.
A man robbed a bank in Fort Worth, TX, but left behind
the holdup note. No biggee, right? Wrong. The moron had
written the note on the back of his resume. To his credit,
he did attempt to hide his personal information by taping
black construction paper over it. But the cops were not
fooled. After peeling off the tape, they went to his house
and arrested him. Foiled again!
Pop (Culture) Quiz Results
Thanks to everyone who filled out my survey! The results
were interesting, insightful and very helpful. Also, thanks
to everyone who contributed suggestions to Music For Fucking
Volume 2. I will certainly keep your picks in mind, except
for the person who suggested I put a Dave Matthews Band
song on it. I don't know what kind of sex you're having
dude, but I don't want any part of it. Peace.
Best Band (New York)
Worst Band (New York)
Tie: Fischerspooner and Northern
Best Band (Anywhere)
Worst Band (Anywhere)
Most Annoying Trend
Three-way tie: Freewilliamsburg, Friendster and Salon
Best 80's Song
Video Killed the Radio Star
Best 90's Song
"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Best 00's Song
"Fell in Love With a Girl"
Best Thing About Williamsburg
Tie: Bars/Bands/Parties and Cute Boys/Girls
Worst Thing About Williamsburg
Best Thing About New York
The Music Scene
Worst Thing About New York
Lack of Jobs
Best New York Newspaper
The New York Times
Worst New York Newspaper
The New York Post
Most Overrated Celebrity
Most Underrated Celebrity
Best Reality Show
Three-way tie: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The Real
World and Survivor
Worst Reality Show
Who Will You Vote For in '04?
Favorite Sex Position
E-mail: [email protected]