celebrity, Love & Romance, pop culture

WE DON’T HAVE THE YACHT—Luann and Tom are getting divorced

After seven months of marriage, Real Housewives of New York City’s Luann de Lesseps D’Agostino and Tom D’Agostino of the Not-The-Grocery-Store-D’Agostinos have filed for divorce. At least they’ll always have Palm Beach. Or rather, West Palm Beach.

Reality television relationships are one of those bizarre things where I don’t know these people, will never know these people, and yet I still have (and feel as if I have a right to have) opinions and emotions about the breakdown of them.

Luann’s relationship with Tom (and his former relationships with her castmates Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan, the latter of which was a FWB-sitch) were a massive part of RHONY’s last season’s drama. And honestly, it was a large crux of this season’s drama as well. It brought us such golden moments as “Don’t let it be about Tom” and “I came from Palm Beach” and my ULTIMATE FAVORITE “WE GOT THE YACHT.”

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celebrity, pop culture, social media

ROB KARDASHIAN MIGHT’VE BROKEN CALIFORNIA’S REVENGE PORN LAWS

On Wednesday, Rob Kardashian took to social media to blast his former fiancée, Blac Chyna, for allegedly “cheating on him.”

He posted a video of Chyna kissing another man, purporting that she had sent the video to him, a video of Chyna going into what Kardashian alleged was weight-loss surgery, as well as several screenshots of conversations (between Kardashian and Chyna, and between Kardashian and the alleged other man). After accusing Chyna of essentially swindling him for $1 million, given to her in gifts and rent, Kardashian posted three nude pictures of Chyna before his account was disabled.

While this isn’t the first time that Rob has posted sensitive contact information (he posted the phone number of the “other” man and he has posted his sister Kylie’s phone number, forcing her to change it), this is the first time he’s posted nude images of someone else. And, under California state law, it’s possible that he could face charges for revenge porn.

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celebrity, pop culture

KYLIE JENNER IS GETTING HER OWN REALITY SHOW

 Header image Source: Cosmopolitan

It’s here!

E! has announced that Kylie Jenner, teen queen, will have an eight-part docuseries centered on her life, airing this summer. Firstly, why the fuck are we calling this a docuseries? It’s a reality show.

The show, Life of Kylie, will focus on Kylie and her friends—Jordyn Woods, the one boy, Stas, others—as they navigate the undulating hills of Los Angeles in their glitzy Mercedes G-Wagons. And if that sounds salty, then I’m not coming across the right way. I am very excited!!

According to the E! Online article, the show “hopes to reveal the real woman behind all the lip kits, fancy cars, mega mansions, glamorous Instagram photos and filtered Snapchat stories.” Someone needs to learn how to edit.

“Kylie’s beauty, business savvy and fashion icon status have made her one of the most famous and successful young women on the planet,” said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President of Programming & Development at E!, according to the article. “Kylie has achieved so much at such a young age and we know the E! audience will be thrilled now that she is ready to share an inside look at her everyday life.”

Kylie is actually the last member of the family—sans Kendall, who’s, like, doing shit and drinking Pepsi—to have her own reality show. Her sisters have had various iterations of (x) and (y) take (z)—your Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons. Kris had her own short-lived talk show—Kris—and Caitlyn had her own docuseries—I am Cait—centered around her transition. Kylie’s Jenner brothers—Brandon and Brody—had a short-lived reality show called Princes of Malibu, which eventually led to their appearance on The Hills. Even the girls of the Dash store had their own, short-lived series, DASH Dolls.

Actually this is way, way overdue because even Rob Kardashian had a show—Rob & Chyna­—before Kylie. YOU GUYS, THE JAN BRADY OF THE KARDASHIANS HAD A REALITY SHOW BEFORE KYLIE.

According to a Jezebel article, the title comes from the Irish phrase “Life of Riley”, which implies a life of ease or pleasantry. Life of Kylie should’ve been called Life of Ky because—similar to the novel-turned-movie Life of Pi—the main character is trapped indefinitely with a tiger (Tyga) and we’re all like “Don’t stay with that tyga! You’re too young for that tyga, Pi!” Major missed opportunity, Kylie & Co.

Side bar: OMG. If Kylie and Khloe have a spinoff centered around the making of the Koko capsule collection from Kylie Cosmestics, it NEEDS TO BE CALLED “Kylie & Ko”. I’m just spit-balling now, and it’s working.

The move is not entirely unexpected. Kylie has been noticeably absent from Keeping Up With the Kardashians in recent seasons. She’s been almost entirely absent from the latest season. And on a show that’s going on with its thirteenth season in ten years, it’s reasonable to assume that—to stay relevant—you have to innovate. The show will further investigate the secret life of the—arguably—most alluring and mysterious sister. Among the things we might learn: her thoughts on the discovery of the Trappist-1 planetary system, her goals/psychic visions for 2017, and her opinion about winged eyeliner.

Other titles the show could’ve used: “The Ky Life” or “Ky’s and Dolls”

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celebrity, Mental Health, pop culture

DROWNED IN MOONLIGHT

Written before the death of Debbie Reynolds at 84 years old, a Hollywood legend and mother to Carrie Fisher. Reynolds was known for Singin’ in the Rain, The Debbie Reynolds Show, and Halloweentown. Reynolds was the president of the Thalians, which was dedicated to mental health causes, and received the Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2016.

Carrie Fisher, 60, died on the 27 of December 2016, drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. Her words, not mine.

Fisher wrote that obituary for herself in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking. The book was adapted from her one-woman stage show, and featured a story from her days shooting Star Wars. George Lucas went up to her and told her that she shouldn’t be wearing a bra.

“Okay, I’ll bite. Why?”

Because, he explained, apparently your body—due to the weightlessness of space—expands while your clothing—or more particularly your bra—do not, thus strangling you.

“Now I think that this would make a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra,” Fisher wrote.

Fisher spoke publicly about her bipolar disorder and her addiction to cocaine and prescription medication. In 2001, she discussed her drug addiction as self-medication with Psychology Today, particularly the use of drugs like Percodan to curtail the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. In 2006, she was a part of the BBC documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. She published her memoir in 2008 and discussed her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

In 2016, Harvard College awarded her its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for “her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism,” which have “advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.”

It’s important that Fisher got her last wishes concerning her obituary. It’s important that she’s remembered how she wanted to be. It’s important that she was in control of her story.

So often people with mental illness deal with events outside of their control, inside their heads. We struggle to get to a base level that other people operate from effortlessly. We work so much harder, every day, to get the same things. And sometimes we fall fucking short. We don’t succeed in the way we wanted to.

Carrie Fisher succeeded in the life she wanted. She was an actress, a woman, a parent, a writer, and an advocate. She brought so much light and laughter to a topic that sometimes, sadly, has so little of either. She showed that you can be funny and sharp and there, even if you are struggling with mental illness.

She proved that you can be more than. She was more than Princess Leia. She was more than an actress. She was more than her illness. She was more than her addiction. People will try to label you; to shove you into boxes; to dissect you, understand you, curtail you. But Carrie Fisher showed that you could exist beyond the expectations of people and society. And you can fucking rock it.

She lived a life of advocacy, of humor, of strength, and she died, drowned in moonlight and strangled by her own bra.

I want to extend my sympathies to Fisher’s daughter Billie, and her brother Todd, and her half-siblings, Joely and Tricia.

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celebrity, pop culture

THE PATHOS OF ROB KARDASHIAN

I might be in a twelve-person minority, but I’ve been watching Rob & Chyna. I don’t know why, I think I hate it. I don’t know what’s the worst: the blurred/pop art-y effect on transitions or the fact that it’s Rob. It might be the latter. Maybe if the show was just Chyna. It would be better. Or, best option: you drop both, and it’s just a sitcom with King Cairo and Nanny Joy. And occasional appearances from that hot guy who always hangs out with Chyna (is he, like, her trainer?) and Chyna’s mother, Tokyo Toni. Omg, I just realized that it’s “Chyna” and “Tokyo.” Appropriation?

As a long time KUWTK­ watcher, I’ve witnessed the evolution of Rob. Remember when he was a model? Remember when he was dating a Cheetah girl? Remember when he had a better ass than Kim?

We saw his steady decline into depression as he gained more and more weight, until he became a recluse in Khloe’s house for the last three years. Then, through the grapevine, we hear that he started dating Blac Chyna, and he slowly-slowly-slowly starts making appearances on KUWTK.

I really wanted to like Rob, but he’s become such a reprehensible, two-dimensional character that it’s almost impossible. I try to rationalize it as depression-based, but I feel like I’m allowed to say this: Being depressed is not an excuse for being a shitty guy. I have depression and anxiety, but you just buck up. It sucks and it’s hard, but Rob’s actions should not be excused by his illnesses.

I’m talking about, of course, his most recent actions: leaking Kylie’s private phone number on Twitter. He hasn’t taken it down, and she’s probably since changed her number, but the ugliness is burned into the brain of pop culture.

The incident: Apparently Rob was pissed that his sisters were throwing two separate baby showers—he and Chyna apparently haven’t spoken in months—and they didn’t invite Chyna to his shower. Btw, she knew about the separate showers and thus probably knew that she wasn’t going to his. But Rob, the kween of overreacting, decided to go ahead and publish Kylie’s phone number.

In a weird way, it’s a perverse parallel of Kim exposing Taylor via SnapChat. Both come after perceived wrongdoing, both were attempts at exposure and humiliation. But Kim’s retaliation was supported by a backbone of righteous retribution: Taylor was lying, and it was affecting Kim’s husband and her own reputation. Rob’s reeks of pettiness, in a way that the Kardashian-Jenners never show publicly. Maybe they are petty, but their images are so carefully cultivated that that slips through.

On Rob & Chyna, Rob plays so flatly, a depressed guy so clearly uncomfortable in his skin, so unenthused with having a child, so unenthused with everything. He’s so obviously putting on this act, dropping his cut-glass Calabasas accent and talking like he didn’t graduate high school. Rob, you might not have gone to college, but you’re from Hidden Hills, California—stop talking like that. Use proper grammar. He just wants to fit in, and it makes me want to hit him.

In literature, there’s this device that’s employed called “pathos.” It’s the word from which “pathetic” is derived. Pathos invokes a strong emotion, usually sympathy. And that’s what Rob is to me—pathetic. He pulls this twisted emotion out of me, revulsion coiled around aching sympathy, strung through with lip-sneering annoyance. He’s pathetic, and I want to be empathetic, but what he’s doing is so shady and petty and small that it’s nearly impossible.

From a literature sense, the “character” of Rob is deeply fascinating. The only boy; the heir. More sensitive than all his sisters, and falling susceptible to the fame. Trying to claw his way back to that golden place, the elusive upper echelon where his sisters reside. Getting a warped version of what he wanted: notoriety instead of fame, money instead of happiness. Lashing out in a cry for attention. Helpless. Hopeless.

And if this were literature, I would hope for a redemption arc. I would hope that Rob is salvageable, that this anger that seems to be burning a hole through his skin can be quelled. Because otherwise, he’ll blow up like a social media supernova.

Depression can’t be cured by any amount of money. It takes time and sympathy and therapy and work. But as Tokyo Toni pointed out in the Fourth of July episode of Rob & Chyna, they don’t have some of the issues that most people struggle with. They have plenty of money; they are in stable homes. They [Rob and Chyna] have issues that are possible to overcome.

At a certain point, to get better, you have to make the active choice to seek it out. And if that moment won’t be rapidly arriving with the birth of their baby, I don’t know what will.

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