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Tag Archives: sexual

How to react to your first episode of Gossip Girl

16 Oct

Hands down the hottest 20-something to play a high schooler in years.

It all started with Monte Carlo[1].

Well, that’s inaccurate, it all started with an accelerated math course in elementary school but to follow the threads back that long would just be boring[2] so we’re going with the abbreviated version and it all started with Monte Carlo.

I used to watch a new movie every day which is relatively easy to do between Netflix and OnDemand and, you know, the internet. One of the last movies in this multi-year habit was Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and a blonde woman who seemed very replaceable the entire time. The movie is an intense look into the differences between people as stipulated by classes and also there is a scene where they play polo and also Selena Gomez meets up with her true love while casually working at a Romanian charter school. Also Cory Monteith is in the movie and he doesn’t sing[3] so that’s a plus I guess.

Regardless, I watched the entire movie trying to figure out where I had seen Leighton Meester before. My first guess was Episodes, best known as the show that earned Matt LeBlanc a Golden Globe for playing Matt LeBlanc. However, a quick trip down Wikipedia lane proved that incorrect[4]. I also that it might be Elizabeth Moss but it turns out that Leighton Meester and Elizabeth Moss are two seperate people and only one of them has kissed pre-skinny Jonah Hill.

Then I forgot about it.

Just kidding, then I watched Monte Carlo again because it was on HBO before Real Sex[5] and I like having very confused junk. The second time around I discovered that the film was a clever commentary on a gendered society done through a gender-inverted version of the classic parable, the prince and the pauper and also the replaceable blonde woman is a waitress right in that douchey French guys face and also they could have made a very shocking sequel in which Riley, the carefree Australian goes all Wolf Creek[6] on Leighton Meester.

After this viewing I forgot about it entirely.

Several months later I was at a neighborhood joint I frequent often[7] when Gossip Girl came on. My only knowledge of Leighton Meester up until this point was as the wounded Meg Kelly. A woman driven by academic ambition who learns to accept levity into her life, by way of a very attractive Australian.

In Gossip Girl she plays Blair Waldorf, who is a huge bitch.

Blair is manipulative and just a meanie-pants in general. In specific, in the three episodes of Gossip Girl I saw she blackmailed two people and was really mean to another one and then kissed all the boys and I believe I’ve discovered the perfect analogy to what watching Gossip Girl was like.

Watching Gossip Girl was like the first time I went to visit my brother[8] in college and we got into a huge street fight with some other guys and then went downtown to a suite and sat around in the hallway passing around bottles of André and then me and this other guy got hungry so we went downstairs and ate Popeye’s. Gossip Girl is that chicken. I enjoyed the show a lot at the time, but later when I try to access it again it has turned into shit via entirely normal physical processes.

I have fond memories of watching Gossip Girl, but I’m not sure if that’s because I liked the show or because I was watching it with good company and I was in a great mood. That said, watching the show reminded me of something once said by noted cultural critic and current expatriate John Edwin Foster regarding the inevitable proletariat revolution.

J.E. and I were watching It’s Complicated[9], a movie where there are literally zero considerations for things like money and whatnot, and J.E. told me that when the proletariat revolts it will be because of It’s Complicated. They will rise up banners of fire and counter-oppression and as we look down from the diamond balcony we will have very little soul in our argument and they will justly rend us limb from limb.

Gossip Girl works in substititution for It’s Complicated[10].

The entire show could be summed up as #firstworldproblems. In the episode I watched, a character was removed from all his money, a problem he solved not through any great effort. He just fucked a cougar. Then he got called out on it and the explanation “I fucked a cougar because I needed the guapamole” was perfectly sufficent.

Similarly, someone’s mom was running a fashion show and the cool kids had to show up in order to make sure it was covered by the press. The cool kids did show up but the models didn’t so they had to be the models!

At this point, someone reading this should have bridled as the unfairly one-sided portrayal of Gossip Girl by someone who has admittedly seen a very small amount of the show. “What gives him the right,” you may be asking, “to decry such a show? It’s not like they’re trying to make a really deep show or anything.”

Touche.

Some people don’t know this about me[11], but I’ve seen every episode of Sex and the City and both movies. While the second movie is not really worth mentioning[12], I love the show. My mother suggested the reason why she likes Sex and the City and not shows like Desperate Housewives or Cougartown is because the show, on a very elementary level, is about friendship. That’s what seemed to be missing while I watched Gossip Girl. Blair and Serena have moments of comradery but their relationship is built on mutual antagonism.

The men in Sex and the City are mostly[13] one-dimensional coitus puppets. But the show uses them as plot devices to advance the women. If Berger hadn’t broken up with Carrie via post-it-note then we would have never realized how he, an intellectual foil to her, represented all her insecurities in a relationship and her constant desire to find easy happiness over lasting contentment.

When Chuck hits Blair it’s shocking, but it’s shocking in a way that American Psycho[14] is shocking. There’s no emotional fear, just a physical revulsion to the act. Patrick Bateman was created as a satire of east-coast elite, and so his violence is somewhat representative of the arrogance and incosiderateness of an entire class. When Chuck hits Blair it becomes apparent that you are watching either very deeply layered cultural criticism or a soap opera.

This begs a further question: what is wrong with a soap opera?

There is a prevailing theory that stating a genre informs the experience of the viewer on a fundamental level[15]. If you watch Gossip Girl through the lens that the production value would suggest, then ultimately you will be disappointed. The show is not as glitzy as the location scouting would suggest, it is base, and that is not an insult though it may sound like one. It is less than it claims to be, sure, but if we learned anything from the Nolan Batman trilogy[16] it was it’s not what you say, but what you do that makes you who you are. Despite Gossip Girl‘s vehement claims to the contrary, it is just a tabloid you peruse while waiting to check out at the grocery store. You might enjoy it, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should stay conscious of its deliberate sensationalism which fundamentally undermines any sensationalist aspirations it may have.

A final note:

Metafilmic influence is a crazy thing.

Remember Monte Carlo[17]? That was where I saw Leighton Meester for this first time. Usuaully, when an actor has a definitive role[18] it informs how the audience views them in subsequent roles (or previous roles viewed subsequently). This can also be true for the first role you see an actor in.

Imagine watching Gossip Girl through the lens formed by Monte Carlo. Blair Waldorf becomes an act to appear tough, a protection against something. But what?

Does Riley leave Meg after Monte Carlo ends? Is Blair just a girl who opened up her heart, only to have it Temple of Doom‘d, forcing her to act as heartless as possible to avoid being hurt again? Maybe all of her politicking is intentionally self-destructive, as she has seen how the only thing she needed for happiness was an oft-shirtless Australian.

Do you think that Blair ever finds herself sitting by a window in winter? She looks out onto the snow and sees not a blanket but a smothering force. She remembers the beach in Morocco where he told her that the key was not to worry and so she doesn’t. She laments. She ponders the consistency of words when their speaker has been proven to be so inconsistent. She might run a finger over her lips, but only if she is sure no one is watching.

Her phone vibrates. Serena wants to get drunk because she can taste Conneticut in her mouth and she wants to drown it out anyway possible.

When they are having sex with their boyfriends, they’ll think of each other.

It will not be a sexual thought. It will be the absolute misery that comes from realizing that in all of existence there is only one other person who understands your position, and that’s because she is also on her back, legs up in the air and over-priced liquor in her stomach too.

Later that night Blair will turn her head to the side as if to vomit, but nothing will come up. Her stomach has become too fortified against all the poison she ingests.[19]


[1]   I was trying to come up with the name Monte Carlo once and said Montenegro. Very different films, I recommend neither.

[2]   A lot of the time in grades 6-8 would be spent at Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments, a notoriously difficult game to report on.

[3]   I feel very bad for a lot of the actors in Glee because how can any other work be fulfilling after that?

[4]   In my more vain moments I like to imagine that there is a conspiratorial council dictating rapid-fire changes to Wikipedia just to foil the discovery of pleasant coincidinces in my life. Also I was banned from editing Wikipedia so I’m still a little sore about the whole thing.

[5]   There’s a really good drinking game where you drink and watch Real Sex and wonder what went wrong to lead you to this point.

[6]   This is a movie I recommend. If more people see it, then they’ll get what I mean when I drunkenly threaten to Wolf Creek their ass.

[7]   It’s called the Kitten Shack and three Zeta’s live there because only the best can wear the crown.

[9]   I liked It’s Complicated but then I really like Roxanne so maybe I’m just a Steve Martin fan

[10] So does Catcher in the Rye, sorry.

[11] All of you who don’t know me shouldn’t know this, but some people who do know me also don’t know this.

[12] Think Godfather III

[13] Except Aidan. Carrie and Aidan forever.

[14] I only own three DVD’s: American Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and Remember the Titans.

[15] This is why Rian Johnson never told the cast of Brick that they were making a noire film. Genre conventions, etc.

[16] Those movies are worth watching a few times, which is independent of how good/enjoyable they are.

[17] You didn’t think I was never going to come back to it?

[18] So for John Lithgow, clearly it’s The World According to Garp

[19] The necessary accusation is that in order to write fan-fiction one must, on some level, be a fan.

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An Open Letter to the Female Body

20 Aug

Dear Female Body,

First of all, I’d like to start things off by saying that I think you’re great. I know it’s been an awful long time since you last encountered me fumbling about you, but just so you know, I’m plumb crazy about you.

Thirteen-year-old me would totally hit that.

Now, ever since the 5th grade I’ve thought that a woman’s body was a marvelous thing to behold. A veritable chalice of perfection, the female form captured my imagination with its gentle slopes and lush form. Also: boobies.

Needless to say, I have been enraptured by your feminine mystique and sexual reproductive system for quite some time now. Yet I never understood until recently how fucking awesome you really are.

You see, a bunch of experts unearthed some real sciencey facts about the uterus that just totally blew my fucking mind. No, I’m not talking about menstruation, although I’m still a bit iffy about how you line that shit up with the lunar phases.

Apparently, after much scientific inquiry and consultation with the world’s leading medical experts, Rep. Todd Akin discovered something amazing about you:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Holy shit! And this guy’s on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, so this nerd must know his science facts. I mean, I kind of figured that House Republicans were the world’s foremost experts on the cooch, considering how frequently they enter ones that don’t belong to their wives. Why else would the GOP try to legislate the female body so heavily if they didn’t already know what was best for you?

But please be square with me, female body. When were you going to tell me about this awesome power of yours? And anyways, if you’ve had this ability to pick and choose with your cervix or whatever the hell is down there what counts as, like, legitski’s rape and what’s just a fuzzy jungle-juice induced night, why in God’s name would you lie about those roughly 32,000 annual pregnancies that you just claimed were the result of rape? Did you really think we were that stupid?

Like, how does this power of yours even work? Rep. Akin was a little unclear on the details. Is it like Teeth, were you can suddenly spring a pair of pearly whites on any unwanted penis that comes within a yard of your lady parts? Because a skill like that would certainly shut any motherfucker down.

Forcible rape? No no no bro, this was just a panty raid gone horribly awry.

Or maybe it’s like Star Wars, where fallopian tubes are really like Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, sending out X-Wing Fighters to target the rape-induced pregnancy’s one weakness and blow the whole thing to hell.

What’s this, female body? You’ve never seen Star Wars? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Alright then, since when did you even become so judicious, female body? What about that one dude in college who’s still dating his high school-aged girlfriend, regardless of things like “geographical distance” and “statutory rape laws?” How do you know whether he’s, like, rape-raping her, or just, you know legal-age-of-consent-raping her. Since when were you able to act with precise biochemical certainty on legal vagaries like Romeo and Juliet laws?

And what if you’ve been roofied by some dude during Spring Break, like one in four of the unlucky college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape? Are your labia able to identify, and then shut down, the impending rape as “legitimate” even while skeletal muscle relaxant courses through your blood?

Just wondering.

Okay, I’ll stop pestering you about this. Like a magician, you don’t have to detail exactly how your wonderful feminine form defends its turf from legit rape as if the cervix is the DMZ or the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary or something.

Until we meet again, female body. Which, let’s be honest, probably won’t be anytime soon now that any prurient inclination of mine has been scared shitless of your awe-inspiring security system.

Sincerely,
Evander Jones

p.s. Sorry, just one last question for you, oh beautiful female form. Where, exactly, is this clitoris you speak so highly of?

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Res College Power Rankings

27 Jul

Well camouflaged into the surrounding sorority habitat.

Residential Colleges at Northwestern are designed to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social lives of their students by extending the learning environment from the classroom to extracurricular life. Essentially, a res college is a dorm filled with like-minded nerds and future friends you’ll spend the next couple of years drinking, arguing, and (for the truly venturous souls) hooking upwith.

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How to survive a walk down Sheridan Road

1 Feb

Always stay vigilant of your surroundings

Let’s face it: you didn’t come to Northwestern because you’re good at socializing. You probably came here because you got a 33 on your ACT, placed in the semifinals of Scholastic Bowl, and get offended when Harry Potter placement quizzes dare to put you in Gryffindor (RAVENCLAW 4 LYFE BRAH).

Yet I’m sure your social skillz have blossomed beautifully over the last few months or years. Just the other day I saw a friend on a shuttle and managed to sit next to him and hold polite conversation for 30 whole seconds without saying the word “scrotum!” So that was successful.

But, since not all social interactions can go that smoothly, I’ve decided to try and bestow some advice on the most socially difficult situation an NU student can run into: seeing someone you know on Sheridan Road.

Here’s what to do in a variety of situations:

Someone you’ve never met, but you know who they are:
DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. Look down or up or at your phone or to the side or pretty much anywhere but into their corneas. If you’re particularly socially able, engage in conversation with the person you’re walking with. This will make it less obvious that you are feverishly watching the other person in your peripheral vision.

Someone you’ve met once or twice:
Depending on how the last interaction went, it may be acceptable to wave or say a quick “hi.” This is certainly not required, and the other person should not be offended if you do not do so. But if the last encounter you had was pleasant and social you should feel free to greet them briefly as you pass. However, this is NOT a situation where you stop and say, “How ARE you? Ugh, I feel like we haven’t talked in forever! Let’s get Kafein soon!”

Socializing in a simpler time

Someone you know casually, as in from a party or through a mutual friend:
Say hello and wave. This is an opportunity to make a friend! If they seem particularly excited, you can throw in a “How are ya?” or “How’ve you been?” After several of these encounters and if the blooming friendship seems consensual, you can stop to talk or add a little more to the conversation.

Someone who you drunkenly met and hung out with at a party:
Oh God this can be awkward. First, how sure are you that they even remember you? If they were potentially blacked out, do not make eye contact unless they prompt it. If you’re sure they remember you and you didn’t do anything awkward, wave casually and maybe smile. If, however, it was one of those terrific drunken nights where you bond on the roof of Swift, feel free to be more enthusiastic. If you’re both still just glad to be alive, perhaps share a knowing laugh. If you ended the night by promising to become bestiez and exchanging numbers, you should probably hug. You are bestiez now, after all.

Someone you’ve hung out with several times:
Say hi. Try to be normal. Hopefully you have something to talk about for a moment. If not try “How ARE you? Ugh, I feel like we haven’t talked in forever! Let’s get Kafein soon!”

A friend of yours:
I usually go with “WAZZUP BROSEF STALIN, HOW YOU BE HANGING MAYN?!”. You may choose to be less heinous if you wish, but if that’s your goal I don’t really understand why you’re reading this.

One of your best friends:
Pretend to ignore them. This is hilarious every time and never gets old.

That kid who lived in your hall last year but you never talked to:
Stare at the sidewalk. The sidewalk is so fucking interesting. Oh, is that a flyer for the SASA Show? Why yes it is. That must be the most fucking fascinating flyer you’ve ever seen. Absorb it into your brainmind.

A professor you once had:
Wink. Please. Just do it and then tell me how it went and whether or not they immediately made violent love to you.

Don't worry, it wasn't very good for her either.

A girl you hooked up with last year:
Are you past the awkward stage? If so, act like it’s a friend. If not, act like it’s a kid who lived in your hall last year but you never talked to.

A girl you knocked up last year:
PAY HER CHILD SUPPORT. STOP RUNNING AWAY. THIS IS YOUR CHILD TOO AND IT NEEDS A FATHER. MAN UP YOU LITTLE BITCH.

A kid in your discussion section:
If you sit near each other and talk often, wave and/or say hi. If you don’t really talk but think they could be your soulmate, slowly drift over toward them. As you approach you’ll have two options: either grab them forcefully and run off, physically taking them with you, or bump into them and say “Sorry! Oh, you’re in my Human Sex lecture aren’t you? I’m sure we’d make great Human Sex.” Both of these should work.

Now, it’s important to remember that all of this is dependent on timing. No matter who the other person is, if you start looking at them too early or too late the encounter will be awkward and Northwesternish. Try to make eye contact no more than six steps in advance and no fewer than four. This way even an awkward encounter will be over quickly, but if you decide you’re enjoying it you can stop and make it last longer. Wait. Guys. That sounded sexual. Please don’t have intercourse on Sheridan.