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Sex in the Sub-City
Summer of Dumb

cheap 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. Enjoy!

1. Dumbest Fashion Statement
Trucker hats

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 and stupidity.

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
Jayson Blair

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, dumb, dumb.

9. Dumbest Disaster
The blackout

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 them.

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
George Bush

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 State

Best Band (Anywhere)
White Stripes

Worst Band (Anywhere)

Most Annoying Trend

Best Website
Three-way tie: Freewilliamsburg, Friendster and Salon

Worst Website

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
High Rents

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
Jennifer Lopez

Most Underrated Celebrity
Don Cheadle

Best Reality Show
Three-way tie: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The Real World and Survivor

Worst Reality Show
Paradise Hotel

Who Will You Vote For in '04?
Howard Dean

Favorite Sex Position


--Russ Josephs

E-mail: [email protected]

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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | September 2003 | Issue 42
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