Thursday, July 27, 2006

Addendum to "Clerks II" post (SPOILER included)

It just occured to me that no matter how skillful Kevin Smith's handling of the "Porch Monkey" debate was, there will still be many white frat boy/impressionable types walking around with "Porch Monkey 4 Life" taped, stitched, or written on their clothing, as Randal defiantly does during the rest of the film.

Whether that was the intended result or not, Daddy doesn't like it, not one bit.

Photo courtesy

Rosario Dawson throws up the metal horns. It's a beautiful thing!

Photo courtesy

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thoughts on Clerks II (SPOILERS included)

To many people my age or slightly older, "Clerks" was a film that spoke to our need to make decisions about our life, while also simultaneously indulging us in flithy humor. When news that writer-director Kevin Smith was filming a sequel, my curiousity was piqued. The anticipation only intensified when it was disclosed that a screening of the film at The Cannes Film Festival earned an eight-minute standing ovation. After reading several reviews, perhaps too many, on Clerks II, I finally took in an early afternoon showing today.

I found the film to be, in parts, very funny, very poignant, a bit too nostalgic, and needlessly nasty. The depth given to the character of Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) was well-appreciated. Aside from having the funniest scene in the film (a defense of Star Wars vs. The Lord of the Rings), Randal is allowed to express heartbreak at the possibility of losing his best friend. (The temporary relief Randal finds in a mid-film go-carting sequence is handled well.) Also turning in a strong showing is Brian O'Halloran, reprising his role of Dante Hicks. O'Halloran expertly conveys the frustration that Dante feels at trying to take a major step forward in his life, while simultaneously straining to appease everyone he cares about. Rosario Dawson brings sex appeal, sassiness, liveliness, and humility to the role of Becky Scott, Dante and Randal's boss, and Trevor Fehrman plays the naivete of the teenaged devout Christian/virgin/Lord of the Rings enthusiast Elias Grover for all the comic gold that can be mined from it.

A special commendation should be given to Smith for a gutsy scene involving Randal's use of the term "Porch Monkey" in front of black customers. When a white writer handles race, the results can be mealy-mouthed at best and cringe-inducing at worst. Presumably learning from the clumsy handling of race in the deleted barroom dozens scene from "Dogma," Smith, aside from a rather restrained reaction from Becky, lets the situation unfold the way it probably would in real-life. Smith effectively finds a way to make what are, in my view, his points (i.e., that most racist terms are learned from loved ones and that just because a term is not offensive to you does not mean that many people are not justifably offended) to his audience without being preachy.

Despite all of the positives, however, one cannot help but agree with many reviewers who say that "Clerks II" is a lateral move from a director recovering from two artistic and/or commercial bombs ("Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Jersey Girl"), the latter of which was, to be fair, effected by circumstances that were beyond the filmmaker's control. To put it more bluntly, the film feels unnecessary. The forced nature of the film's existence is found in the fact that, even though you know it is a film, you are forced to ask yourself questions that you did not ask yourself during the first film (How could any convenience store worker make a transition to the fast food industry? How could a fast food restaurant allow two drug dealers to loiter outside? How could the business at a fast food restaurant be as slow as the business is at Mooby's for most of the movie? How does someone who looks and talks like Rosario Dawson work at a fast food restaurant, even as a manager?).

Furthermore, it seems as though Smith is trying way too hard to outdo himself with regards to shock value. Jay (Jason Mewes) has a Buffalo Bill, tuck-it-in moment, and, in an especially nasty moment, Smith seems to wallow in the depiction of an "interspecies" sexual encounter (don't ask). (To support this view, it was recently reported that Smith was disappointed when the Motion Picture Association of America DIDN'T slap his film with an NC-17, thereby denying him the extra, free publicity desired by an artist attempting a comeback.) Also, it should be said that Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith, Smith's wife, is absolutely atrocious as Dante's fiancee. Thankfully, she is given few lines, relatively speaking (neither pun intended). Finally, although it is good to see the guys display some sensitivity, some of the discussions in this movie (Dante's talk with Becky regarding the possibility of real love and portions of Randal's climatic speech to Dante) are a bit too sappy for their own good.

The best thing that I walked away from "Clerks II" with was the anticipation of what Kevin Smith's next movie will be. That movie will truly tell where his career is going.

Photo courtesy

Soundtrack: Helmet "Unsung"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Can't get enough Trudy!
Is it just me, or do skinny smokers think that they are better than fat people because they are skinny?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Aged to perfection!

Trudy Ireland, 49 years young!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Like daughter, like mother.

This story is one of the more interesting ones I have come across in a while. (Scroll down for story.)

Following in her daughter’s footsteps, Jewel De’Nyle’s mother is making her porn debut this week, having shot two videos and scheduling more shoots for the following week.

“My daughter’s been in the business a while, so when I turned 50 this year, I decided to get out and do something different,” said De’Bella, who shot Hot 50 Plus, Vol. 23 for NG Video, and Aged to Perfection for Jeff Goldwater, earlier this week. Coldwater says he’s seeking a distributor for his video.

“People used to ask me all the time about getting into the business, but I never took it seriously until I went the AVN Awards and people there were asking me if I was a performer,” said De'Bella, who works in marketing for Red Light District Distribution.

In the MILF-oriented Hot 50 Plus, De’Bella was partnered with veteran performer Herschel Savage for newcomer director Urbano.

“We had good chemistry and it was like having sex in my own bedroom. Urbano was so good about directing me that it was a lot of fun,” she said.

Although she plans to represent herself instead of signing with an agency, De’Bella said she already has been fielding offers for other MILF-themed movies.

“Sex comes naturally to me, so I’m just myself when I do these boy-girl scenes and I my husband loves it.”

Her husband, whose name is withheld, said he enjoys the fact that his wife is living a longtime wish to do porn.

“I don’t have a problem with her being her own person,” he said.

“I learned a long time ago that the more you try to control somebody else’s life, the less control you have over it. After she came from the set, she was really happy and had a really good time.”

De’Bella recently lost 30 pounds after working with a personal trainer and watching her diet, giving her the confidence to do porn, she said.

“I have a lot more confidence in myself in how I look, so that was important to me.”

But whether her daughter agrees with her new career, it's unclear.

“After I told her, there was a long pause, but she told me she’s happy for me,” De'Bella said.

De’Nyle could not be reached for comment.

Having worked as an activities director for a long-term care nursing home for 24 years before joining Platinum X’s marketing department, De’Bella is optimistic about her new career.

“I’m just going to do this until it’s not fun anymore.”

Photo of De'Bella (top) courtesy of

Photo of Jewel De'Nyle courtesy of

Story courtesy of

Maryse Manios, solid as a...well, you know.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Amy Schmid.

Happy Sunday, courtesy of Jennifer Chehardy (left) and Danielle Guevara.
She's won me over (Wrestling Post).

I'll admit it. I was one of those fans who cheered Victoria during her program versus Christy Hemme. Hemme did come across as someone who made her way into the company by winning an American Idol rip-off subshow where no real talent was needed (WWE's $250,000 Diva Search), so fighting her was an easy way to get over with the fans, even though the company was obvious trying to make the crowd dislike Victoria.

However, Christy's infectious energy and enthusiasm for the wrestling industry endured her to the fans. She eventually became the only true bright spot in the otherwise crassly commercial Legion of Doom revival. (She even executed the Doomsday Device, the L.O.D.'s signature finisher, at a Pay-Per-View.)

Fans were understandably shocked when the WWE announced her release from the company. Even though it could have been viewed as a transparent attempt to avoid paying on her contract, it still surprised many that someone who was so willingly commented to being an asset for the company would get so unceremoniously dumped.

The surprise turned to elation when Hemme made her first appearance on a Total Nonstop Action Pay-Per-View. Since then, TNA has used her to announce the teasers leading to commercial breaks on the "TNA Impact!" program, and she is a focal point of both the company's "Global Impact" program and the introduction of the TNA "Knockouts", TNA's version of WWE's "Divas."

Anyone who can make WWE regret their mistake is alright by me.

Superintendent Ousted by Board (A POLITICAL POST)

This post is political in nature. If that is not your thing, you will want to skip this post.

Still here? Good.

The Board of the St. Louis Public Schools basically broadcasted the fact that they do not care about the education their students receive by ousting Superintendent Dr. Greg Williams (pictured left).

Although I took issue with some of his policies (due to the negative effects I felt that they would have on the morale of the good teachers), the man truly came across as someone who cared for our children and was taking strides toward a beter future for the district. He enacted an initiative that exposed students to campus life via the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and made summer school mandatory for all 8th graders. (Due to the turmoil that our district is in, all of last year's 8th graders were allowed admittance into high school, regardless of their academic competency.)

The problem with these iniatives is that they may have actually helped our children, and we can't have that (sarcasm). Sure, publically voicing his displeasure with the Board's firing of Vashon High School Basketball Coach Floyd Irons may not have been the smartest idea, and the removal of two members of the Board who voted to bring Williams into the position did not bode well for Williams's future. The fact remains that, after fifteen months on the job, a man that the Board searched nationwide to obtain has been ousted (they will have to buy out his contract) , and has been replaced by Diana Bourisaw, a person best known for being dispatched from her last position.

Click here to read more about this shameful chapter in this city's history.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Taylor Hicks performing with Snoop Dogg.


Is Jamie D., or "Sirelda", The second coming of Chyna?

We will soon find out.
I pledge allegiance, indeed!

Lisa Marie, co-promoter of Club Bounce, at their June 30th Fourth of July party.

God Bless America!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A pick-me-up for your Saturday, courtesy of Debbie Czempinski.

Soundtrack: Gin Blossoms "Follow You Down"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Incredible Women

Kimberly Kilper (top) and Kristy Hawkins.

Soundtrack-Bun B. "Draped Up (Remix)"
Two of my favorite things!

Those of you who are not familiar with WWE may have to skip this post.

With the rumors of perennial Women's wrestling superstar Trish Stratus taking a sabbatical to walk down the aisle, it would be the perfect time for the company to push the most athletic woman on the roster: Victoria.

She was introduced as a main character when she stalked Trish Stratus with Stevie Richards in tow. She impressed the fans with her mean streak and incredible move set (the Widow's Peak is one of the most impressive women's finishing moves in quite some time).

During her face turn, her trademark theme music (T.a.t.u.'s "All The Things She Said") was discarded for some cheesy techno music. She also started smiling excessively, dancing during her entrance, and shaking her backside during matches (I honestly didn't mind the buttshaking, but still). Her mojo was soon lost, and she ended up on Heat. After a brief resurgence courtesy of an all-too-abbreviated feud with Christy Hemme (Hemme was booed at Vengeance 2005, even though Victoria was the heel), Victoria was banished back down the card, being totally absent at Wrestlemania 22.

Now that TNA is grooming their own dominate Women's wrestler, Jamie D., Victoria's time, to paraphrase the theme song of another performer, is now!

Memo to WWE--PUSH VICTORIA! (official site) (the website for the pizzeria Victoria owns)
(fan site)

Soundtrack-T.a.t.u.'s "All The Things She Said"

Triple the pleasure!

Welcome to my world!

I'm a brotha who loves thick snowgoddesses and chiseled snowgoddesses (see a pattern?). I will comment on my other interests (music, current events, social justice, pop culture, etc.) but there will always be a common theme of tribute to unique women of the melanin- challenged species. As a baptism by fire, I would like to introduce you to one of my goddesses: Dr. Dena Westerfield.

Soundtrack: Pantera "Walk"