How do you feel about Lady Gaga? Me? Eh. Her songs are good for exercising to, like most music put out by gay icons. But they aren’t fantastic, they have a good beat and if I weren’t tone deaf perhaps I could weigh in on whether or not she has a good voice, although those kinds of niceties don’t really seem to matter all that much these days, what with the magic that can be done behind-the-scenes.
But we all know Lady Gaga, right? Mostly because of her crazy fashion antics and her outlandish stunts. She’s become part of the popular imagination by going to the MTV Music Video awards, wearing six different outfits, each crazier than the next, and splattering blood all over herself, hanging from a noose, on stage. And shortly thereafter, her tour with Kanye West was canceled presumably in part because of Kanye’s stupid “Imma let you finish” move on that same awards show.
Photo via MTV
Why do we know Lady Gaga again? Is it the Madonna attention whore thing again? Yes, but with a twist. (Continued on next page).
I started thinking about Lady Gaga and how her fashion is super crazy, but it’s crazy in an extra peculiar way. It’s not just making a statement, it’s serving some kind of purpose for her. And I could not figure out what htis purpose was, other than the attention-getting, which is hardly a new thing for Lady Gaga. Until I started to notice a pattern between all of her costume changes. When you see Lady Gaga out during the day, she is always wearing sunglasses. This on its own is not strange.
Sunglasses go best with full shirts, Lady Gaga. Just FYI.
Is there such thing as a righteous blacklist? Probably not. But I'm still tempted to stop consuming the products of Roman Polanski's supporters.
Roman Polanski is creepy.
Roman Polanski has spent the last twenty-five or so years living in Europe and making horrendously bad movies (with the possible exception of The Pianist), and this has made people forget that he is a scumbag and a creep. Which by the way is something you should know just by looking at him, if you are a DeBeckerian like myself: if he weren’t an internationally known director, I’m pretty sure that just a headshot of Roman Polanski would be tripping your creep-o-meter into overdrive. And if that didn’t do it, just imagine that you’re getting into your car late at night at Target and the dude in the picture at the right is lurking in the shadows of the parking structure. Yeah. Just thinking about it makes me squirm. He’s a creep. Go with your gut, is what I always say.
But let’s be clear: Polanski is not just a creep: he’s a rapist and a scumbag who makes schlocky movies. When I watched Wanted & Desiredthe recent HBO documentary on Roman Polanski a year or so ago, I was particularly horrified by the last scene, in which questions were asked of Polanski’s attitude toward the crime, and it was absolutely clear to me that this was somebody who did not feel he had done anything wrong, but was rather the victim of an unfair justice system and a prudish American sexual mores.
But for some reason, people in Hollywood have stopped thinking that what he did and was finally arrested for last week is a big deal. In some cases, people are too young to know the whole story. In others (Whoopi Goldberg), they are just too damn stupid to understand anything beyond their 9:00 am wake ‘n’ bake before a stint on The View. But what is disturbing to me is the fact that in two decades, with the buffering of the Atlantic Ocean and millions of dollars in between him and his crime, somehow Roman Polanski has managed to garner support from all of these people — not just support, public support:
Original Petition signers:
Tilda Swinton (!)
Recent Petition Signers
Wes Anderson (!)
Julian Schnabel (not really surprising)
Harvey Weinstein, who has been quoted as saying he was “calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation,” and thereby accounts for many of the recent adds in support of Polanski;
The petition signed by many of these people demands his release. Jezebel cynically asks if “being an artist trumps being a rapist?” I want to know when we decided Polanski was even an artist? Have you seen his movies? The only person that I believe is supporting Polanski on from an ideological standpoint:
The rest of them are either motivated by money, fame, ambition, peer pressure or are complete idiot fools. How do I know this? Well how else would you explain it? How else would you explain that Jack Nicholson — and oh good Christ does it kill me to use Jack Nicholson as a good example of anything — Jack Nicholson has not expressed public support for Polanski, when we know that the whole thing happened at Jack Nicholson’s house, in his absence and was possibly interrupted by Anjelica Huston, (who has also failed to offer Polanski support, please note)? Jack Nicholson doesn’t support Polanski because he knows that Polanski did it, knows that it WAS a big deal, and most importantly he doesn’t have anything to gain from Polanski. Same goes for Anjelica Huston. I have to assume that the rest of these fucks do. (Except for Woody Allen, naturally. He’s just extending professional courtesy to a colleague.)
I hate the idea of a blacklist, I despise it. But how can I ever look at Wes Anderson, Salman Rushdie and Tilda Swinton the same way again? Can you continue to support the work of people whose ideology is repugnant to your own? I suppose I’m going to find out.
First I read an article on a well-known website on a topic that interested me (marketing and how irrationality is at the heart of all human endeavor). Then I set out to write a post on this general topic, because the first premise discussed was about how sometimes premium consumer options are presented by companies simply to promote a more middle-range price option of a similar product. An intriguing example of this was given:
When Williams-Sonoma introduced bread machines, sales were slow. When they added a “deluxe” version that was 50% more expensive, they started flying off the shelves; the first bread machine now appeared to be a bargain. When contemplating the purchase of a $25 pen, the majority of subjects would drive to another store 15 minutes away to save $7. When contemplating the purchase of a $455 suit, the majority of subjects would not drive to another store 15 minutes away to save $7. The amount saved and time involved are the same, but people make very different choices. Watch out for relative thinking; it comes naturally to all of us.
And I was going to talk about how we just went and bought a new camera the other day, and we went with the Canon version we had originally thought about buying, but not until deciding that it was superior (and cheaper) to a Leica with similar options. And the Leica product representative dude (complete with German accent) was actually there, in the store, telling you about the Leica, when we made these comparisons. So I started wondering if maybe (Canon and Leica, and maybe Samy’s Camera, too) were all in this together or something . . .
But then I started following up on all of the links in that original article, to see more of the conversation. And then when I did that, it was like I was on a scavenger hunt, because each post led to another post, and all of the posts shared the same starting point. Which would not be remarkable except for that the starting point, in this case, was a two-year-old semi obscure book on marketing called Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Which was odd in itself, because why all of a sudden is everyone talking about this book? It came out in early 2008, and there isn’t even a paperback edition available in the United States.
And then the marketing of this book had started working on a level above itself, performing for me, the mechanism of web marketing, rather than requiring me to write about it. I have to think that this book’s author must be proud, if he knows, that his book on the irrationality of human behavior has been irrationally plunged into success several years later by the discovery of a seven-month-old book outline on a Wikipedia lookalike site. Because whereas book marketing might once have depended heavily upon PR tours and appearances, or plugging on major television stores, what happens now is that one mention leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, and that means that now Jason Kottke has mentioned you, and if it spreads to Seth Godin, well then, now we’re running out of used copies on Amazon.
And I think that everyone who worries about “giving away” their content online (Associated Press, I am looking in your general direction) should remember this in the future, rather than nickel and diming themselves out of business.
New here? Not sure what one of the references I made is about? It might be time to check the ABDPBT Glossary. To translate, you might want to check out the ABDPBT Glossary page, or just look for links within the text with folders next to them to see what various terms mean.
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Love her? Hate her? Want to be her? Of course she gets her own category -- she's the original mommy blogger businesswoman. And you can learn about all of Dooce's exploits, successful and otherwise, here.
Don't let the "Aww, shucks!" attitude fool you: Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman is a smart cookie and a shrewd businesswoman. You can read about her latest projects here.
She is quietly, tastefully, teaching us how to take the world by storm. Catch up on all the great things that Gabrielle Blair, aka Design Mom, has up her sleeve here.
My name is Anna. I like to blog. ABDPBT is a creative effort at understanding my experience as a wife, mother, recovering academic, popular culture enthusiast, satirist, and unrepentant fake American.