SHMOOZE NEWS: Beauty & the Interwebs

Yup, technically speaking, news happened this week.  From the apocalyptically bad: there’s an insane cyclone typhoon storm hitting the Phillippines this very moment & breaking all records (though weirdly ThinkProgress seems to be the only publication connecting the dots to man-made climate change, cough cough).  To the eh: some revealing-ish state elections went down this past Tuesday as peeps around the US kicked out Tea Party creepers (some clever ideas about how to fix stupid election problems in future also went down).  To some — WHAT?? — actually good (or good for the moment) news comin’ outta Congress: the bill to outlaw discrimination at work based on sexual orientation… made it through the first round!  No thanks, of course, to the 32 Republicans who voted “nay.”  But I should stop being so cynical — listen, they’re just super into discrimination, guys.  Everybody’s got their hobbies.

SATP bible vs constitution gayBut this speech that went around this week is what’s on my mind:

10 minutes of gold.  It’s about hard conversations and we’ve all had them — or put off having them and wasted stupid amounts of of time in our own closets be they, as she says, rainbow colored or not.

Makes me think of some other favorite bits that arose this week on the ol’ interwebs having to do with lady culture & authenticity.  You can’t click through these awesome/awful renderings of real life heroines all Disney-ified…

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 7.55.38 AM… without also checking out this companion piece from The Atlantic on HOW DISNEY REBRANDED ITSELF AND FUCKED UP GENERATIONS OF LITTLE KIDS IN THE PROCESS.  Reminds me of a great panel discussion I got to be at this week — some of the ladies behind the new Book of Jezebel spoke at my local Barnes & Noble — where filmmaker & Six Feet Under writer/producer Jill Soloway said she’s often had to run her stories by the ‘golf course men’ at the top of the chain of command, who think wish-fulfillment for women is looking beautiful, when in fact it’s “looking like Lena Dunham but getting Patrick Wilson anyway.”  Beauty’s just a means toward an end.  Getting good stuff whether or not we’re beautiful is far preferable… although perhaps not for some men watching.

SATP spend moneyAnd finally: mourning on social media is a cringeworthy thing to do OR witness, right?  I’m a total sucker for good writing that attempts to help us process our crazy world, and this fabulous article by Katy Waldman breaks it down for us starting with “Selfies at Funerals” and getting to the reality that if we seem a little poser-y or even self-promote-y when mourning public figures in 140 characters or less, or awkwardly over-share-y when writing an impromptu eulogy to a loved one on Facebook… well,

“Of course, this makes our online interactions pretty much the same as our offline ones: a stream of true and false statements mixed together, adding up to a social self that is sort of us and sort of not.”

#Truth

SATP twitter IPOHappy weekends, my dears!  Invest your time well 🙂

SHMOOZE NEWS: Branding Hurts. If You’re a Cow. Or an Artist.

Not gonna lie: been feeling sluggish in Smartyland of late…

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Post-Shutdown politics just seem like a joke.  A totally unfunny, badly told joke.  (Oh, btdubs: for the opposite, go here.  Directed by me!)  And frankly, I can’t help but think, those dudes in DC don’t deserve to be shmoozed over…

SATP vanilla iceBut wait!  The clouds are parting!  This week arch-angel Russell Brand descended upon us with his famously curly-cued eloquence, and ARTICULATED WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WHOLE SYSTEM (in the UK, in the US).  It’s so awesome, y’all!  I know he can be polarizing, blah blah, but as Gawker says, he “may have started a revolution last night.”  Let’s hope so.  The whole thing is fabu, but if you want a quickie, start at 8:30.

So few people beyond Al Gore talk about the climate crisis like it’s an actual crisis.

SATP asimov worldBut also… it matters that — as he points out — he’s mostly disregarded as a serious thinker because he’s an actor.  Yes, for shame, he’s done some dumb projects, sure… but who hasn’t?  Heh.  It’s really no excuse for trivializing the worth of his ideas off-screen.  Makes me think of this New Yorker article about Banksy: most people didn’t trust a random old guy in a park to be selling Banksy originals, as indeed said old guy did last week, so many pieces of art remained unbought, even at a five-hundredth of the actual value.  But that’s the thing… there is no “actual” value, is there?  Context is a bitch.

SATP helen mittensAs the article points out, there are things that are “easy to evaluate without a reference standard,” (like are you or aren’t you sick) and then there are things that aren’t.  Like art.  And beer.  And YouTube vids.  And actors’ capacity to observe the world with a keen eye.

#notsayinjustsayin

SATP complex carbsOff-Brand, this was a big week for more NSA spying drama (the Snowden repercussions continue to repercuss) so lots of countries are mad at us, and a big week for Obamacare’s foes to take the form not of old white Congressmen, but rather techie limitations.

SATP obamacareYeah, it’s a monumentally ambitious site and it’s glitching and everyone wants them to bring in the awesomest tech superheroes they can find (hint: the ones who helped get Obama elected) to save the day and our president feels bad.

Talking about tech!  It’s pronounced JIF, apparently.  Final answer.

SATP wasting time techAlso talking about the digital world, there was some ubercool stuff going around this week re: branding, beyond Russell, I mean.  From the annals of What if Brands Were Honest, we get this.  From the land of nascent artists talkin’ the need to brand oneself vs. the need to safeguard oneself against the onslaught of such advice, we get this.  And from the world of disruptive advertising we get a behind-the-scenes on that insanely awesome Carrie publicity stunt.  Enjoy!

And Happy Halloween weekend, all 🙂

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SHMOOZE NEWS: Raw Chicken Only Thing Worse For Us Than GOP

SATP sasquatchYeah, it’s been a big week for hashing out what exactly we get to blame on WASHINGTON, and what exactly GOVERNMENT even means.

As in “this stupid shutdown proves that the government sucks!”

Um, nope.  Not the most accurate statement we could make.  Just listen to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who continues to blow our minds with her tellin’-it-like-it-is-ness this week:

As she says, “in our democracy ‘government’ is just how we describe the things that we the people have already decided to do together.”  Boom.  So if you’re a senator and you’re throwing a hissy fit about what’s already been decided ‘cuz it doesn’t happen to serve your interests, well, congrats, you get Miley Cyrus mocking you in song.  But you also get amazing articles written about the fact that you’re on the wrong side of history.  And you also get Jon Stewart parsing the metaphors and pointing our you’re basically an arsonist.

SATP capitol buildingAnd what do we the people get?  Well, salmonella actually.  Yeah, a week without government pay for food safety personnel is no joke, y’all.  Click here for the link and the grossest image of raw chicken ever (okay, I’m a vegetarian so basically that’s any image of raw chicken).  And, relatedly, we get moooore than a little pissed, all over the internet:

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 10.09.15 PMAs of press time, the GOP and Obama are talking (seriously, that’s news) and apparently the GOP is offering a few concessions on ye olde wild west budget standoff to drive the tumbleweeks away.  Words like “useful” and “productive” are actually being bandied about.  Oh, also: whenever you next find yourself in the mood for understanding the latest incarnation of our national budget crisis a little better (when AREN’T we??), check out The Onion‘s explanation.  How high is this so-called debt ceiling, you may ask?  “Just like normal ceiling height.”   Yup, sounds about right.

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Okay, enough of all that.  What do we really need to get through the weekend?   I say (and I’m apparently not alone <– awesome little article on how we millennials like our news) there’s nothin’ like a good cure for Imposter Syndrome, a little light Malcolm Gladwell (got to hear him speak live this week and am now an unapologetic gusher), and some really cheesy but delicious nerd jokes.  (Ex. The first rule of Tautology Club, is the first rule of Tautology Club.) (Ex. 2 A Buddhist monk approaches a hotdog stand and says “make me one with everything.”) And of course it’s time to start the Halloween brainstorming!!  Post your favorite costume links, guys — for good or ill.  Are racist/culturally insensitive costumes a definite no-no or do we not need to go around censoring Halloween costumes like PCification of the holiday is the latest culture war?  Leave a comment below — and have fabulous (three day??) weekends, all!

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