Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Racism, Patriotism and Terrorism: How Country Music Fuels Political Rage

I love America. I do. Some of my favourite things have come out of the US, including two of my best friends, Taylor Swift, and junk food.

However, I watched this YouTube video, questionable for its extreme patriotism and distant relationship to fact, and the comments beneath are some of the most disturbing things I've ever read.

If I wanted to make my point more forcibly, I'd print here some of the horrifying (and horribly spelt) insults that are hurled through e-space at people pointing out that not all people in the Middle East are terrorists. However, most are too grotesque to inflict on you, dear reader.

I would (and do) say that I'm patriotic to dear old Blighty, however, I am also patriotic to the human race. Politically sensational headlines in papers such as The Sun feed the idea that anyone living in the area of land slightly to the right of the bottom of Turkey (where we still happily take our summer holidays) is more likely to kill an American at first sighting than he/she is to hug their child, or cook a family meal, or simply go to work in the morning.

These are just people. There are some out there whose affiliation to religion or extremist groups takes priority over the well-being of their fellow man, however, to say that anyone with dark skin is a terrorist, or that all terrorists were tea-towels on their heads ("F*** the rag heads U.S.M.C for the win. HOORAH!!!!") is simply and completely absurd.

Love your country, but also love your fellow man! I'm not a hippy (far, far from it!) but in my mind there's nothing more important than peace, otherwise we all kill each other, and there's nothing left! There are things worth fighting for, but this mindless, scarily ill-educated, patriotic rage seems like the drivel of those with no soul ("I just returned from Afgan, and I'm proud to say that I personally greased 19 of these towel wearing dirty dogs. My only regreat is that I didn't waste more of them!").

I am a terrible speller, but one gets to a point of wondering whether poor spelling and horrifyingly violent threats aren't linked somehow. I'm not saying education is the cure, but we must all admit that, though our troops do an enormous amount, it is the men in suit, talking in a room who actually stop wars. Whether the horrific loss of life is entirely necessary is not for me to say, but it is the Presidents and Prime Ministers and NATO and other highly intelligent men and women who actually sign the peace treatise.

This is a little uninformed rant, and I'm sure much of what I've said is complete rubbish. However, I felt so compelled to champion humanity in the face of the e-screams of 'AMERICA FUCK YEAH' and 'GOD BLESS AMERICA'.

The clip can be viewed here... Comments are beneath.

Friday, 22 January 2010

I'd like to thank...

I love The Oscars. Yes, I love the gowns, but the best parts are the speeches!
They don’t air over here in the same way, but I LOVE The Oscars. Who doesn’t dream of making on of those speeches? And having spent hours on the Oscar’s YouTube channel, I find the speeches that are deemed the ‘most embarrassing’ or the ‘most ridiculous’ are actually the most genuinely heartfelt.

So here are my favourites…

The Girls


It's impossible not to shed a tear when the wonderful, beautiful, bestest, most talented Kate Winslet finally gets her Oscar. Especially since some of the best winners of the past were presenting the award...


The beautiful, austere Nicole is a gangly awkward mess accepted her award. So endearing, so sweet trying to pull herself together... She even tries to halt the orchestra when she realises that she has more to say... I can totally imagine doing the same thing!


Julia, Julia. Hers is the most honest. It was widely mocked, but how can you not LOVE the girl with the billion-watt smile?


I'm in love with Marion and her speech is so brilliant, if a little abstract at the end. But abstract in the best possible way.


Another classic. You can tell from the beginning that she's only just going to get through it...

The Boys


Play the music! I don't care!


Tom Hanks, the ideal man? Very possibly.

Ben and Matt

Childhood friends, and SO SO ADORABLE!

The Host!


I just love Ellen. She's so fantastic, and it meant so much to her.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Oh Anna... Oh Grace... Oh Wow!

Natalia. Diddy. And trains.

This spread epitomizes all that is cool (Diddy), beautiful (Natalia) and romantic (TRAINS!)...


L O V E ! ! !

Monday, 18 January 2010

Plastically Perfect

In a sea of stories about celebrities disfiguring themselves with surgical procedures designed to reduce, realign and resurrect, Heidi Montag’s stood out to me.

The Hill is one of my many guilty pleasure shows (naturally, I stopped watching after LC left. Duh!) and, like the rest of the viewership, I was not a fan of Heidi. She is portrayed as the most gullible, starry-eyed, platinum-headed collection of cells (even by LA standards), but one always felt that she was probably alright deep down.

I can’t explain why this before-and-after effected me so much, perhaps because her already-fake figure was, even then, starting to look unrealistic, or perhaps it’s the super-stretched, non-expression in the 'after' shot, like a bemused Fembot whose hard drive has crashed. Either way, it seems to represent to me the worst thing about a society that is able to morph its physique to attempt to achieve ‘perfection’.

Of course, it’s not surprising that in a world which holds this as the gold standard of aesthetic perfection…

…that people are always, and WILL ALWAYS, be dissatisfied with their bodies, but there is so much sadness in the decision to ‘perfect’ oneself this way.

Heidi might want to be Barbie, but if we can train ourselves not to respond positively to these ‘transformation’ stories, and rather be content to going to the gym more often, or buying new lipstick, then maybe we can halt mentality that unless Hugh Hefner wants to fall asleep on top of you you’re somehow wrong.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Tweet Tweet

This is my new china-pattern bird wallpaper… Isn’t it pretty?

Source: Sanderson

Pretty… Pretty… Pretty…

Source: TFS

Friday, 15 January 2010

Carter Smith Rocks My World

I’ve never loved Lily Cole. Not only because she’s a model AND a Cambridge undergrad, but because her shoots never wowed me.

Well, Carter Smith – W. O. W.

Lily Cole is not really what’s great about this shoot, and if you look at Smith’s other works you see why. He seems able to capture dream-like images, showing woman as sexy, fantastical creatures – whether Britney Spears or Giselle, the effect is always the same in my mind’s eye. It’s picture-Lust, the feeling of being transported into earth, warm daydreams…

And some of his images are infamous. The Jessica Alba cover, which, to any fan of The City, was the catalyst of Olivia’s taking credit for Whitney’s work. Also, the recent spread of Miley in Elle which caused some controversy for being over-sexed, and the Britney spread with her sons…

Needless to say, I’m totally obsessed now… Carter Smith, I’ve got my eye on you…

Source: TFS and FashionGoneRogue

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

2010: Year of Culture

Things I'm looking forward to in 2010?

Valentine's Day

No, not the ACTUAL day, but certainly the movie which I'm guessing will be released to coincide with the holiday which encourages singletons all over the world to dramatically lower their standards in order to keep their self-esteem buoyant.

It has a heck of a cast -- Patrick Dempsey's hair will star alongside Julia Roberts' teeth, Taylor2 will make out (in case you’re not an obsessive tween – that’s Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner), Jessica Beil and Jessica Alba (I personally can’t tell them apart) will also star, as will a Smörgåsbord of other celebrities.

Billed as ‘The American Love Actually’, Valentine’s Day is likely to make a truck load of money without going to the trouble of presenting the audience with a plot.

Still, I’m gagging to see it!

A Single Man

Tom Ford. Colin Firth. Julian Moore. Art-house-gone-main-stream.

I’m guessing, stylish as all hell.

Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton’s acid-trip style sprinkled on a childhood classic? How could it be anything but deliciously disturbing?

The Grace Kelly Exhibition at The V&A

Grace Kelly’s wardrobe goes on display, including the original Hermes Kelly bag. Couture gowns from the 60’s and 70’s Atelier’s of Dior, YSL, Balenciaga… Take a tissue to slyly mop up the drool.

(More) Glee! Coming soon to Channel 4

If you’re not already watching Glee, then you’re no one. However, it legitimately reaches our shores in the coming months…

Source: IMDB

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Favourite President?

1. President Bartlet

2. President Obama

In that order.

But the gap is closing after I found The White House photostream on Flickr.

I knew Obama was cool, but I had no idea how cool until now…

I’m setting another place at my fantasy dinner party. I’ll sit him next to Richard Curtis and Alan Bennett…

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sunshine: Strange New Torture

Scott Schuman is chasing the sun. The Sartorialist is in Sydney, now in Melbourne, now in LA. What he is not doing is posting images of winter style. How to be cool in the cold. That, Mr Schuman, is what I need!

H&M SS'10 (FashionGoneRogue)

Spring/Summer campaigns are rearing their ugly heads – a Hydra of sunshine images, styling that defies imagination in minus-something temperatures.

H&M SS'10 (FashionGoneRogue)

My lust for warmth – real warmth, when you can get out of bed without fear of hyperthermia – has become overwhelming. I want to be able to leave the house without wearing a hundred pounds of knitwear and without fear of further damage to my already weather-beaten skin.

Flavia de Oliveira by Fabio Bartelt (FashionGoneRogue)

Bring on spring. No more tights, no more Michelin-man waddling down the street, NO MORE COLD! Let’s start a petition…

Flavia de Oliveira by Fabio Bartelt (FashionGoneRogue)

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Big 'But'

I never thought I'd say this, BUT, I don't love the new Chanel campaign...

It doesn't have the usual charm. Of course it's chic, but it's a move away from the near-lifestyle brand that is SO seductive.

The romance is scarce, the style is quite matchy-matchy... It's just not my favourite Chanel effort...

This resort campaign is so much more dramatic...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Black and Blue

I am famous among friends for wearing black for any occasion which calls for formality. Not in the grave-side sense, but more in the way that we trust the 'classic' to deliver. The beloved LBDs, however, are quivering on their hangers at the invasion at a supremely and superiorly chic LNN.

The Little Navy Number.

Black is classic, it's simple, it's easy... But navy is sophisticated. It's the exotic cousin of the 'it'll-do' outfit choice.

I purchased mine from Topshop, it cost very little and screams modern elegance. Sleek, versatile... Perfect

Black will forever be my security blanket, but this season I'm playing away with Navy...

Source: net-a-porter and TFS