Sunday, December 27, 2009

Make your own rules.

Literal lyrics is back! After a brief Christmas holiday in which it travelled to the ends of the earth in search of a good pavlova, it has returned victorious. Turns out a small coffee shop in western Ukraine really knows its New Zealand desserts.

This week we will be covering the first single from John Mayer's new album, 'Who Says'. In typical John Mayer fashion, he sounds just like a year 12 jock douchebag who bought a second hand guitar and takes it to every party because he knows like five chords and can totally bust out the first half of a bunch of Powderfinger songs and chicks dig that. Mr Mayer has totally nailed that market. Unfortunately, John is now 32 and hitting on 17 year olds is borderline illegal.

As such, it would appear Maybags (a smooth combination of "Mayer" and "douchebag" that rolls right off the tongue) has become a little jaded, probably after numerous attempts at failing to score with Jennifer Aniston, Hollywood's most damaged goods. Seriously John, I could bag that scalp if I wanted to, and I'm a poor, mostly talent-less Australian guy nearly 20 years her junior. You've got everything (well, not exactly everything, but money and fame are two good starts) and you managed to blow it.

So, Maybags has written what I can only describe is the apathetic anthem of the Naughties. Ladies and gentlemen, Who Says...
Who says I can't get stoned
Turn off the lights and the telephone
Me in my house alone
Who says I can't get stoned
Well, for starters John, the Government says that. They make these things called laws and the citizens of the country, who more often than not elect said Government (your country, as much as you desperately try to fuck it up, does this) must obey these laws. Now you may turn your nose up at this, but its these laws that keep people driving on the right side of the road, keep people from just waltzing into a shop and taking what they wanted, and stop angry members of the public from raping and murdering each other on a whim. They provide people with consequences, and help guide them in the right direction.

Laws aside though, the other thing that says you can't do that is our basic desire for sound mental health. If you sat alone in a darkened house and had no contact with the outside world, you would literally begin to go mad. And that's even if you weren't getting high all the time. Our brains crave social interaction. There are actually methods of psychological torture that involve locking people away from society for extended periods of time. It's called 'solitary confinement' and is regularly used in prisons to break the spirit of tough inmates.

Is that enough reason for you Maybags?
Who says I can't be free
From all of the things that I used to be
Rewrite my history
Who says I can't be free
You want a clean slate John, is that what you're getting at? You want everyone to forget all the terrible shit you've done? Or worse, all the cool shit you've done? Unfortunately Maybags, you are a worldwide celebrity, so the chances of everyone forgetting who you are and you being able to start over again are very slim. That would involve everyone else on the planet suffering a very specific kind of amnesia, in which we forgot just who you were but retained all other information. Plus there is the logistics of removing any trace of you from the internet and society at large. That's a pretty big ask Maybags, just so you can give being a different person a new try.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long night in Baton Rouge
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
Now we begin to see some evidence of how you managed to fuck up the whole Jennifer Aniston thing. I'm going to assume you're talking to a women in those last two lines. Bad move. "I don't remember you looking any better" is basically saying, "You look pretty shit right now, I much prefer what you were wearing last night". And following that line up with "I don't remember you" is bound to make any woman you've met more than twice feel like shit. I mean, sure, you're famous, you meet a lot of attractive women, but that is no reason to act like a dick. Do what most men do and lie, make shit up. And the excuse "It's been a long night in New York/Baton Rouge" really isn't going to work. Firstly, pick just one city (preferably the one you are actually in) and then say you've had a long night. Simply pointing out that it is the Winter solstice is not a valid excuse.
Who says I can't get stoned
Call up a girl that I used to know
Fake love for an hour or so
Who says I can't get stoned
More stoned talk, we've covered this Maybags. As for the drunk dialling, while there are no hard and fast rules on such a thing, it is generally frowned upon in social circles. More so by the person you are tricking into thinking you like them, but also by their friends. It really is a dick move. And just doing it over the phone and only for an hour is really just a waste of everyone's time. If you're going to mess with her head, at least invite her around and sleep with her. At least if she hates you she'll have had a night of pleasure. I am also getting the feeling you did this to Janiston, which probably didn't help your chances with her at all. As a general rule, no one likes any sort of emotions to be faked, particularly not love. And considering you did this to a woman who had her heart publicly broken by Brad Pitt and then Angelina Jolie basically spent the next five years rubbing it in.
Who says I can't take time
Meet all the girls in the county line
Wait on fate to send a sign
Who says I can't take time
Are you trying to tell me that you want to meet and, I can only assume, fuck, every girl on the county line (which, for Australians, is basically all the women in a certain post code) and then wait for fate to tell you which one to maintain a relationship with? Possibly an even worse idea than your psychological torture plan, Maybags. Firstly, the health issues. You're going to have to wear a condom the size of a pair of trousers, and that's not even considering oral sex. Secondly, those types of things can't just be left to fate. There will be a certain number of women who will pursue you and you will have to deal with them, you can't just wait for a sign. Finally, good luck keeping the fact you're shagging every woman in a 100-mile radius a secret. Much like the drunk dialling thing, women don't like being lead on. And considering you've already demonstrated your inability to talk to women, I can't help but feel this plan is going to crash and burn.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long night in Austin too
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
Again with the bad compliments and even worse excuse. Perhaps try "I've never seen you looking this beautiful" next time.
Who says I can't get stoned
Plan a trip to Japan alone
Doesn't matter if I even go
Who says I can't get stoned
Finally, you have proposed something that isn't frowned upon by normal society. I mean, it is a little depressing that you want to go on a holiday alone, but the fact you want to get out of the house is good. Baby steps Maybags, baby steps. And you're right, you don't have to go if you don't want to. However, I would recommend not paying for it if you're unsure about whether you'll actually show up to the airport. Otherwise you could waste a fair bit of money. However, considering the fact that you're both rich and willing to buy copious amounts of marijuana, maybe a missed flight to Japan isn't such a big deal. Also, a word of advice, don't fly stoned or take any pot with you. I may be incorrect, but I think that thing is illegal. They've been pretty anal about plane travel for the past few years and you could find yourself in a bit of trouble if they found you out.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long time since 22
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
John, you're a quick learner. Finally a decent excuse for not remembering someone. You haven't seen them since you were 22. That's ten years. She'll understand if you say that. Again I would avoid the thinly veiled insult and instead try, "You look amazing, I didn't even recognise you, have you lost weight?"

Wasn't that a fun journey into the inner psyche of John Mayer? Turns out he's just as much of a douchebag as you thought he was. Daughters is a pretty song though.

And now, something less vaginally cleansing than Maybags...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Test drive newborn.

Dear Parents-to-be,

There is a commonly accepted idea that couples, before they even consider having children, should get a pet. This, I assume, is to test their abilities to care for another living thing besides each other. Something that needs training and attention and doesn't understand what you're saying. In theory, it is a sound concept. If you can't look after a turtle, then you shouldn't have a baby.

However I feel there is a hole in the logic of this process. Basically, you can't raise a child like you can an animal. Sure, there are similarities, but if you're looking for some baby-raising tips, I'd suggest looking elsewhere. The following is a list of reasons why getting a pet does not prepare you for having a baby.
  • You can't keep a baby in a cage.
  • Lining a baby's room with newspaper does not count as a diaper replacement.
  • Similarly, a baby cannot be forced to use a box of sand as a toilet.
  • It is not okay to not know the sex of your own child.
  • You can't use a plastic bag to clean up after a baby in public.
  • You can't raise a child purely for the purposes of breeding it.
  • Conversely, you can't neuter a baby is you don't want it breeding in future.
  • You can't feed a baby your leftovers.
  • Similarly, uncooked week old meat is not a safe or nutritious meal.
  • Hiding their food is not a way to distract them for a few hours.
  • Dangerous babies do not give you an edge.
  • If your baby bites another child, this will not be viewed as playing.
  • Putting your name and phone number on a collar around their neck is not an appropriate loss prevention technique.
  • An old blanket in the laundry does not count as a bed.
  • You should not have a second baby for the sole reason of keeping the first one company when you go out.
  • Leaving the radio on and locking them in their room is not a substitute for a baby-sitter.
  • If you go on holiday, you can't just leave your baby in the yard and pay the neighbours to feed it.
  • Babies must take a bath more than once a month.
  • You cannot restrict a baby to one part of the house for their entire lives.
  • If your child humps your leg, or anyone else's for that matter, it is not cute or funny.
  • Similarly, it is not okay if your child humps teddy bears, pillows or other children, particularly if it is non-consensual.
  • Letting your child sniff other children is weird.
  • You cannot race them against other children and bet on it.
  • You cannot ride your child around your yard.
  • You can't fatten up your children so that you may eat them at a later date.
  • If your baby gets too big you cannot simply give them to a family friend who lives on acreage.
  • You cannot shoot your baby if it breaks its leg.
  • Also, putting your child down if their medical bills get too expensive and you think they've had a good life is highly inappropriate.
  • If your child licks its own testicles or anus, you should be concerned.
  • You will not be excited if your child unexpectedly falls pregnant, particularly if you do not know who the father is.
  • It is not okay for your child to give birth to octuplets on the bathroom floor.
  • Letting your baby eat bugs, lizards, grass or their own faeces is unhygienic.
  • You cannot let your baby catch mice, birds or toads.
  • Similarly, if you find any of the above hidden around the house or half-buried in the yard, you should be concerned.
  • Do not milk them.
  • If your child dies, you cannot flush them down the toilet or bury them in the yard.
  • If your child does die, people will notice if you try to replace it with one that looks the same.
I hope I've helped you in your baby making endeavours.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Waiting room reading.

There are many things that men get shit for. We smell, we are messy, we look like a footprint. One thing in particular women love to get on their high-horse about is men's magazines.

To some extent, I agree. Men's magazines are trash. There are a few different types, but most are rubbish. You've got the sport/hobby magazines, which, unless you're a big find of Big Bass Fishing Monthly or Rugby League Weekly, really aren't interesting. They're a pretty niche market. Importantly, anything that involves body-building or tattoos is usually just an excuse to fill the pages with scantily clad women selling vitamin supplements.

Then you have the men's adult magazines, and I needn't say much on this topic. I am impressed as to how long they have survived considering how much better the internet is for porn. Obviously there is a strong market of gentlemen who crave the tactile page-turning experience of Hustler as opposed to the often laggy delights of RedTube.

The remainder of men's magazines are lifestyle journals which, if anyone has flicked through a Men's Style or Men's Health will know that they are full of wank and are aimed at wealthy unattractive men who are desperate to latch onto the latest trend, like bespoke suits or kayaking.

Understandably, those publications are the subject of much criticism. However, very rarely do people turn the magnifying glass around and look at the other side. Probably because no one wants to admit to reading the trash that is women's magazines.

Actual trash magazines aside (Who, NW and Famous) what is on offer for women in magazine form is pretty poor, and as bad if not worse than men's magazines. Besides the niche publications (anything related to weddings or crafts) there are really only two types of magazines.

Firstly, you've got your Mature Lady journals, which includes things like Women's Weekly (published monthly mind you, if that simple error is not a cause for concern then I don't know what is) and House & Garden. These magazines have become what is essentially glorified monthly cookbooks. Rarely is there anything of any substance in them. I bet the editors of Women's Weekly had a conniption fit when Julie won MasterChef.

The other type, and the type that is the target of my scorn, is the Woman's Lifestyle magazines. Cosmo, Madison, Cleo and Marie Claire fall neatly into this category. And they are, on the whole, absolute trash. I was lucky enough to have the most recent copy of Cosmo at my disposal while I was at work this week. It features Britney Spears on the cover, who I can only assume is their desperate attempt at giving women in their 20's a role model. Not a good start Cosmo. She's lip synced her way through a career in which she's had a complete mental breakdown and lost control of her children and finances. She also has a problem wearing underwear. But sure Cosmo, "she made it."

As the cover points out, this month's issue contains such riveting stories as "5 Snappy Fixes for Everyday Beauty Problems", "Clever Fashion Tricks to Beat Your Body Quirks" and "5 Little Ways to get Sexier Summer Hair". Oooo, topical. This is just the tip of the iceberg people.

Firstly, these types of magazines always have some sort of "Real Women, Really Naked" special. It's gone beyond being a gimmick and now almost every issue features average women getting naked and talking about how much they love their body. We get it Cosmo, different women look different naked. So often do these magazines speak out against men objectifying women, yet they are now doing just that. Women's bodies have become less an empowering element of their lives and more a point of discussion, a thing for people to look at and judge and say "Oh, look how real her body is, she's so comfortable getting naked." The real concern is that in every interview they do with these naked women, they always ask "What don't you like about your body?" or "What is your least favourite part of your body?" I suppose this is meant to illustrate that everyone has body hand-ups, but all it achieves is enforcing that idea that no one should be happy with the way their body looks, no matter how much you say "real women are all different and we embrace them!"

There is also always a section on understanding guys, specifically what some trivial behaviour they perform says about your relationship. In this issue, the big article that fills this criteria is "What His Sex Style Reveals About Him... And Your Future Together". Firstly, I can pretty much guarantee that if a guy is having sex with you, he sees some future with you. That future may just be more sex, but men certainly do not have sex with someone and think "Now I will never see or talk to this person again" let alone not think about the possibility of future hook-ups. Secondly, basing the future of a relationship on something as trivial as someone's sex style is completely ridiculous. I'm no sexpert, but I am well aware that no matter what kind of person you are, you usually want different styles of sex depending on any number of external factors. Not only that, people can have the most dramatically personality changes once they start having sex with someone. It would be foolish to try and find a pattern and then use that to judge their long-term potential.

One of my favourite sections is all the pointless quizzes. They link your favourite number to your success with men, your last meal with your relationship with your mother and your shoe size to whether you were reincarnated. I believe this is referred to as a 'pseudo-science'. The December issue of Cosmo contains, amongst others, an article that hopes to explain the connection between your favourite colour and your prowess in the bedroom. When I saw this I thought "Wow, there are a lot of colours, this should be interesting." To my surprise, Cosmo had taken some liberties with the concept of colour. The options? Orange, green and purple. What the fuck kind of colours are they? No one likes those colours, let alone wants to compare them to their skills in the sack.

Finally, these types of magazines have a real problem with contradicting themselves. For example, the issue I was flipping through had an article that warned of the dangers of over-exercising, specifically intense "crash exercise". A handful of pages later was an article that encouraged a quick-fix (read: crash) guide to getting a bikini body. Make up your mind Cosmo, do you want me to exercise or not? Not content with just one level of contradiction, they also had an article that warned of the dangers of exercising, specifically relating to assaults on women who exercise alone. You're sending some very mixed messages Cosmo. No wonder you have a bunch of over-weight readers who need to see their naked counterparts to feel better about themselves.

I have reached my offensive quota, so I'll call it a day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Self-esteem issues.

Time for another dose of literal lyrics. Under the microscope this time is an Australian lady by the name of Vanessa Amorosi. Now Vanny (we're friends and she lets me call her that) has been around for quite a while, beginning her musical career in 1998 with the dance anthem "Absolutely Everybody". This song did indeed annoy absolutely everybody with its repetitive pop loops. Then then disappeared off the face of the earth, only to be reborn with the following track. Lucky us.

The song is basically a, "You are beautiful no matter what anyone says, you are strong, just keep fighting!" anthem to all the ugly teenage girls who listen to Vanny. Too harsh too soon? We'll see.

We open on an empty stage. Vanny enters with her guitar. She begins to sing in a heartfelt manner.
I spend my life
Trying to do things right
Better than trying to do things wrong I suppose. That can end badly. So far, nothing new though.
But all I do is fall to my face
with my hands on my head so many times
You what? You fall to your face... with your hands on your head? How about using your hands to stop you falling "to" your face. Considering you've done it so many times, why haven't you learnt how to stop landing on your face? (Note: other versions of these lyrics read "my hands and my hips" which makes even less sense.)

But then I learnt, after being burnt
To get back up and push straight on
stop the tears people move on, on
No no, if you've been set on fire, you should go to the hospital, or at least a doctor. Don't keep going like nothing has happened. You'll regret it once your skin starts to peel. It's also okay to cry if you've just landed on your face, been set on fire, or both.

The following happy words are the chorus.
Well it's alright to be myself
now I've learnt to stand
well it's ok to be just who I am
I spent years really hating me
longing to be friends,
now I hope that you can understand
This is who I am
Lighten up Vanny. You hate yourself, you've just learnt to stand, blah blah. No wonder no one liked you, you're a wet rag on the party of life. If who you are is a mopey bitch, then I would contest that's not an okay thing to settle for. You should really try to not be a downer.
Now when life gets tough
I'm quick to hurry up
I run all day, I run through the night
I break down walls, I hit up high
It would seem Vanny recommends the following coping mechanisms for those on Struggle Street:
  • excessive and dangerous exercise
  • vandalism and property destruction
  • grievous bodily harm
Not the wisest of choices, but I suppose if it stops you killing yourself then it's better than nothing.
I don't care if I'm fat, or if you think my clothes are bad
You should care if you're fat, because its actually unhealthy. I realise the media places too strong an emphasis on being thin, but the reality is, fat people get sick and die much quicker than thin people. That's a fact. Bad clothes is less of an issue, but I guarantee if you're fat and poorly dressed, no one is going to want to be your friend.
'cos I can go to sleep at night,
I'm a good person and I'll get by
Most people sleep at night, thats not a feat of strength. If you said you wrestled alligators at night, or kicked bears in the shins, then I'd be impressed. The same goes for being a good person. Big deal. Lots of bad people sleep brilliantly at night and get by just fine as well.

Are you someone, are you someone, are you someone,
someone like me
Fat, badly dressed, self-loathing, violent and well rested? No. You're appealing to what I can only assume is a very niche market here Vanny.
You deserve, you deserve, you deserve to be free
Free from what? Their own shitty lives? If they deserve it so much, they can go out and earn it.
Because the world will keep spinning,
and you'll be trapped in it
Not only do you have a poor grasp of the basic sciences of the planet, you're being very threatening here Vanny. These people aren't the most confident souls on the planet, and I can only assume they don't react so well to being told they'll be sucked into the Earth's core if they don't emancipate themselves from their shame spirals. Maybe not though, maybe that's what they need, a good scaring.

The chorus repeats a few times, and it's just as depressing as it was the first time you heard it. I'm not sure where Vanny went wrong, but whoever is writing her material should really get themselves checked out.They've gone from poppy anthem to borderline emo rather quickly. Well, that's a lie, it's taken 10 years, but still, they should be on suicide watch.

Multitasking bonus: The music and lyrics in one hit!

If you're feeling down about your weight, listen to this: