It would appear the classic and much-parodied emo pose of slapping the mascara on, holding the camera as far up in the air as possible and then glaring at the lens through your fake lashes is OVER.
The photos above are all avatars from Facebook and Twitter and took me about three minutes to source because it would appear EVERY TEENAGE GIRL in Britain is adopting this profile pic pose right now. Not quite a "duck face pose" and not quite "geek chic", I want to find out what has triggered this reent pose plague? Is it Katy Perry with gangrene? Is it Zooey Deschanel on a Claire's Accessories rampage? Is it Jordan with a C in GCSE Art? Or does one popular girl at one relatively large school start the trend and then it just spreads like a bush fire?
I appreciate that teenage girls are quite often insecure, and all sub-groups have photo trends, from the muscle-flexing boys in tracksuits to the pearly wise stares of handsome female news anchors, but I was hoping somebody could help me out in identifying what THIS trend is, in which girls tilt their head to one side, shove all their hair to the other, shove one shoulder out into the open, roll their mouth to look like the last two frankfurters in a jar and then glare their eyes in a crazy fashion (I've blacked the eyes out above but it's a sort of searchingly ironic ditzy-dumb beam).
I'm sure Shane Dawson has this on his agenda.
Obviously I'm taking my own invented lurid speculations and then translating them into plain English from sexually-charged chokey Italian whispers.
So, here's Pop Eye Benedict 16.0 on Twitter, and he's only tweeted five times since June:
The first tweet was a promotional one with a link to the Vatican's news website starting rather presumptuously with "Dear Friends". Well, either presumptuous or cliquey. I didn't click on the link in case it default opted me into a slave prostitution programme, or even worse, a tawdry website with naff yellow section headers and stories explaining why we should hand over children in their thousands to the church.
The second tweet was a nugget or ironic hypocracy "Let us abandon once and for all the path of violence and avoid principles of evil". Ha! I love a Pope with a sense of humour. It should have said "Kids on Twitter who cry themselves to sleep each night because their local priest is sexually abusing them, next time, tell your priest to abandon once and for all the path of violence and avoid principles of evil, I've tried a round-robin email internally but it went into peoples' junk I think. Ciao boys". Too many characters.
The third tweet was an invitation that arrived in the high heat of late August: "I invite you to give a bold witness of Christian living. In this way you will give birth to new Christians and will help the Church to grow". Sounds a bit like, "Come on Catholics, you do all the work please, here in the church we're not that good at having children, no pun intended, we keep trying to get men pregnant but it doesn't work, we're starting to suspect incense causes infertility, anywayz, I'm going to a barbeque". I like the image of a "bold witness", like a creepy wide-eyed neighbour staring intently over a garden hedge.
The fourth tweet attempted quasi-science. "The universe is not the result of chance", announced Pope Eggs Benedictus, "We are invited to read something profound into it: the inexhaustible creativity of God". Of course he can't be sure of that, and anyone who thinks that they have a direct line with God, let me tell you - They Don't. I was hoping this tweet might inspire an atheist to upload a big bang theory animation onto YouTube with an Abba soundtrack, Take a chance Take a chance Take a ch-chan-chance. Or even better, Sir Ian McKellen playing God, drunkenly trying to make a universe out of clay with Laura Berry in the background shaking her head, arms folded. The universe is not a result of chance? How does The Pope know that? What if God got lucky and was like "Fuck! How did I do THAT? ROFL. I'm taking a photo of this for my Tumblr"
The fifth tweet was sent on Christmas day (poor Vatican intern, barely had time to empty his sack before he was back in the holy Twitter chamber, Sudocrem in the top draw). It said "See through the superficial glitter of this season and discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem." It's interesting how when the Pope says "season" you immediately think he's using fashion lingo not referring to horological sectors. The light imperative tone of "See through the superficial glitter of this season" sounds a bit Gok Wan doesn't it? Still, the Catholic Church know their stuff when it comes to superficial, have you ever stepped inside one of their churchs? Not an inch of gold decorum, decadence, ornate detail or unecessary fucking tat.
And so that's the Pope's Twitter. Whatever next? Nicki Minaj presenting an archaeology series? The Pope only has 31853 followers, so about 1/300th of Fearne Cotton's following. And the Pope follows nobody on Twitter, not even Stephen Fry or Goldie Hawn. What a bitch.
And to finish, here's a relevant YouTube sketch from the talented Christopher Kendall:
You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris_Kendall_, and you can follow The Pope too - Google him if you're interested.
And then here's MY religion. Depeche Mode with their 1984 hit Master And Servant:
Nobody likes a sore loser with a sore ass and so it is disappointing to read that Elton John's not-so-young-anymore (50 something?) toyboy David Furnish slated Madonna calling her "desperate and narcissistic" and started throwing foul language all over his Facebook page (imagine "liking" David Furnish on Facebook!) Why? Because Madonna beat Elton John at the Golden Globes giving her new Wallis Simpson movie W.E. priceless PR (as if it needs anymore what with her ability to queue-jump her ass onto any TV couch in the first world) whilst Furnish's movie-toon Gnomeo and Juliet is just days away from the bottom shelf of Asda next to Angelina Ballerina: The Anorexic Schizophrenia Years.
It's odd that Furnish chose "narcissistic" as a word to insult Madonna with, when Gnomeo and Juliet is a cartoon stuffed with cover versions of his own husband's songs (so basically his songs) and is essentially a DIY Elton John episode of Glee that sets out to establish Elton John's canon for a young audience, perhaps upon the realisation that nobody under 30 knows Elton John's music (I'm Still Standing fell flat on its face twenty years ago, Candle In The Wind is like Adele without the Barry M and a beehive, you only ever hear Crocodile Rock at alcoholic aunt's second weddings and Are You Ready For Bum Love? is hardly a floor filler).
Meanwhile Madonna is a self-confessed narcissist who has penned entire albums about her problems with getting over herself, drowning in her alter ego, realising that the pursuit of wealth is endless and hating her own mortality. And Madonna's music has stood the test of time. I thought Elton John was famous for throwing lavish parties.. well they can't be that good if there's no strip-teasing on the diving board to Like A Virgin at 4am. Madonna - a narcissist? It's like calling Naomi Campbell vain or Jo Brand fat.
Calling Madonna "desperate" too also comes across as slightly hypocritical when Furnish is a not-all-that-recognised film-maker who became famous when he married an eccentric gay pop star worth several hundred million pounds. My definition of desperate is using a swearful slinging match in the press to promote your latest children's animation. I'm not saying that David Furnish would be nothing if he hadn't fallen into bed with Elton John, but I don't think film history textbooks of the future will have all that many pages between Fellini and Godard. And whilst one can accuse Madonna of cherry-picking hot young producers to keep her music career afloat, it's not as if she hasn't got about 50 classics already tucked under her high-waist Louis belt. And it's not like Elton John is doing the same by shoe-horning Gaga into his bizarre new folk pop which somehow manages to sound more dated than pop music that is actually from the past.
Madonna's Golden Globe winning song Masterpiece may not be a show-stopper, but it's a perfectly apt song for her latest project W.E. and was written by two well-established songwriters, Julie Frost (whose credits include Beyonce's Countdown, Black Eyed Peas' Just Can't Get Enough and Germany's 2010 winning song at Eurovision Satellite) and Jimmy Harry (whose credits include Pink's Funhouse and Britney's underground gay sex soundtrack fave Touch Of My Hand) The song is simple and lulling but at the same time modestly charming and quite effective really.
Lady Gaga's involvement in Elton John's "Hello Hello" song complicates matters further as she is currently being construed in the media as Madonna's arch-nemesis. Madonna hasn't actually slated Gaga in the press in the fashion that Furnish would have us believe, in fact, Madonna responded quite cryptically and somewhat stylishly when forced to give comment on Gaga. All four adults in this blog post started out with nothing in life, but it would seem only Madonna has acquired some social conduct and (yes) even a little learnedness along the way.
If David Furnish thinks the Golden Globes "have nothing to do with merit" then he shouldn't bother to show up at them. But clearly he does, and if he had won at the weekend then I'm sure he would have heard nothing nasty from Madonna (because only Nelson Mandela and Diane Warren need awards less than Madonna) and we'd have all heard a very different story from Furnish. The Golden Globes are prestigious, watched by a wide audience and many British magazines ask their staff writers to do night-shifts in order to give the best possible live news coverage because they know that the Golden Globes always set a suit that the Oscars follow.
What is sad about this sore-loser bitching story is the damage and confusion that it could potentially thrust upon the gay community and the public's general perception of them. Elton John and David Furnish are possibly, if not deliberately, the most famous example of a gay couple in the world (I prefer the likes of David Geffen and Jeremy Lingvall myself, or Calvin Klein and Nick Gruber if they're still together).
Madonna, Lady Gaga and even Elton John have all brought pleasure, escapism and inspiration into the hearts of millions of gay men over the last 30 years (in Gaga's case 30 months (nearly)). So to see David Furnish as an expletive thorn in the side of this rose bush of iconic figures is really quite an ugly site and understandably an absolute feast for the Daily Mail.
I would like Elton John to be a respected and loved figure. He is a good songwriter, he has passed some serious milestones and he has raised some serious amounts of money for good causes. His appearance on Kate Bush's album 50 Words For Snow last year was powerful. He collects Henry Scott Tuke paintings which is great and he sang at Princess Diana's funeral. He shouldn't be wrapping himself up in these celeb cowpats and associating his name with a Gnome-based whore-out of a Shakespeare story, he should be relaxing in the Capri or going for nice healthy rambles with Alan Bennett and David Hockney, not puffing his cheeks at Madonna speeches. Love only exists between two beautiful bodies Elton and you haven't been making the most of your gym. Give in.
I haven't seen Madonna's film W.E. yet, and when I do there will be a whole lot of things to say about it on Jack of Hearts, notably the clandestine story of Jimmy Donahue - Wallis Simpson's incredibly powerful homosexual best friend who threw wild gay sex parties at his Long Island retreat, sometimes attended by the Duke himself. A biographical segment that no doubt didn't find its way into the final cut.
Still, I'm looking forward to Madonna's latest project, and I quite like the song Masterpiece, not that it's the sort of song I spend my leisure time listening to. If I was choosing a song to accompany the credits to a Wallis Simpon flick I'd have chosen this:
One Direction stars Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are to co-purchase a £3million pound apartment in the former lunatic asylum Colney Hatch, according to Daily Mail reports, triggering more gay rumours amidst bitterly jealous nobodies. Personally I'm more excited by the prospect of boyband members spending money like water - usually the seeds of highly readable tragedy and tabloid despair. And even more exciting - their fantastically tasteless choice of home!
Former residents of the lunatic asylum Colney Hatch include the highly dangerous serial killer and rapist John Duffy, Jack The Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski, and the profound and wild homosexual occultist Aleister Crowley. The building is said to be haunted by Dorothy Lawrence too, a woman who was banged up as a loony in 1925 for fighting in the First World War disguised as a man. She died in Colney Hatch in 1964 under suspicious circumstances.Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the asylum (which strategically changed its name to Friern Hospital) fell into disrepair and abandon, looking not dissimilar to the house in Psychoville. Locals claimed the place to be haunted by the sounds of screams and echoes of groans from former patients who were tortured and sexually abused there, as well as daylight apparitions of contorted and malfunctioned faces in upstairs windows.
In the 1990s the building was turned into luxury flats by some smart property stooge and rebranded as Princess Park Manor - a name which for some reason appealed to Ashley Cole who swiftly moved in.
Are Harry and Louis gay with each other?
Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are moving into the flat as friends. Harry Styles is a bit of a gay poster boy following his appearances at gay bars including Britain’s flagship gay club Heaven, and because he looks like the sort of annoying bratty boy you wanted to fuck at school. However the teenager identifies as a heterosexual male and to prove the point rather vividly he has been dating hard-faced TV presenter Caroline Flack who is in her thirties. Meanwhile Louis Tomlinson’s sexuality is still in question. Gay rumours bubbled after an interview with One Direction in which each boy named their celebrity girl crush apart from him. Several bloggers and online commentors decided Louis was gay on account of having a “gay face”, "dancing like a gay" and "looking totally gay", unfounded allegations which young girl fans firmly combatted by saying "He has a girlfriend actually. We just don't know what she's called or what she looks like or how we even know this." I'm sure a proper girlfriend for Louis with a name and face and everything will pop up soon enough.
To confuse the matter more Harry and Louis have developed their own pseudo-ironic bromance in the young teen press, posting YouTube videos of them kissing (hilarious) and saying on Twitter how much they love each other and want to make-out with each other (SO HILARIOUS!!! BECAUSE BEING GAY IS FUCKING HILARIOUS!!! HAA HAA HAAAAAA! GAY! JUST IMAGINE! HAAAAA!!!!!) an act which no doubt acts as a source of light amusement for Harry and a heart-crushing wasp gasp of precious snatched expression for Louis. Also, joking about being gay on Twitter doesn't go down too well in America. You need to keep things nice and literal over there. Clear shapes. Bright colours. Short words. Thank you.
[If you're going to joke about being gay on Twitter at least make it witty and Tweet stuff like "Hey Harry, where did you put the Anusol cream? And why have you taken the lid off my Lynx, clumped Blu-tac around the nossle and put a condom over it?" (-13 characters) ]
Does Louis and Harry's new flat have any notable suspected closet gay former residents?
The apartment that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are buying with their feel-my-pocket money was formerly the rented home of professional footballer and tabloid character of yesteryear Ashley Cole, another man who has had his fair share of gay rumours in the mainstream centre-right press after he was caught sharing skank photos on his phone that few women on earth would be impressed by. Rumours that emerged several months prior to that when he married a shiny item found in Will.I.Am's handbag.
What else bad happened in Louis and Harry's new home the former lunatic killer asylum?
Colney Hatch was horrendously damaged by a fire in 1903. The screams of inmates could be heard from far around as 53 inmates were burnt alive – unable to escape the building because they were either strapped into chairs, blindfolded, or kept in pitch black cells with barred-up windows. The fire was shrouded in sinister suspicion of sadism on the part of the asylum's staff when not only was the aid of local men in the neighbouring area of North Finchley refused at the gates but firemen struggled to put the fire out when it emerged that several of the water supplies had been cut off.
Why live in N11? Not exactly a plush area code...
Why any modern-day millionaire, albeit a teenage one famed for winning a feckless and fascist karaoke contest, would intentionally choose to live in Enfield is beyond anyone, let alone a haunted former lunatic asylum hell hole that was not only a mass death site but was once lived in by Ashley Cole himself. Why not live in Highgate like Gwen Stefani, or buy a garden-locked mansion with a subterranean swimming pool in Kensington like J.K.Rowling? So maybe the appartment is bought by their record label? Don't members of boy bands get salaried, as opposed to royaltied, because they don't write the music themselves? I mean - trending on Twitter everyday for two years and with about seventeen official calendars and they're only worth £2-3 mill each? Even June Sarpong earns more in royalties for Series 3 of Bo Selecta.
The only good thing I can think of about living in Enfield is that there are a lot of hot boys in the nearby East Finchley area who cannot accomodate and so are desperate for fun in other peoples' places. Also, if One Direction did another show at Heaven nightclub and caught the N29 bus home then they could quite safely fall asleep as Enfield is the last stop - useful.
Where do the other One Direction recruits live?
Louis and Harry's bandmates Niall, Zayn and thingy also live in the same compound at Princess Park Lunar Rainbow Mushroom Mansions or whatever the fuck it's called now. The boys even threw an ecstatic New Year’s Eve party there last weekend for 50 friends, an image that makes the building’s lunatic asylum years seem like some kind of golden era heyday. Diana Vickers posing with a WKD bottle inbetween her tits and someone from JLS DJ'ing on Spotify springs to mind.
Oh and for the record – whilst you've caught me blogging about One Direction - is it just me or is Harry Styles really not that attractive? The clue to realising that Harry Styles isn't very attractive is to spend two solid seconds actually looking at his face...
He looks like if Gail's less attractive son in Coronation Street bred with a damp Oreo. Zayn Malik is the only hot guy in One Direction. Zayn Malik is really hot. Niall is cute in a sort of TY limited edition/ Happy Meal toy / Ferbie / stuffed baby owl sort of way and the other two just look like any average person waiting for any average school bus on any day of the year, it's just that the television has told you to fancy them and you do what the television tells you.
FINALLY, can I just point our how bizarre it is that the five members of One Direction still share a Wikipedia page. As much as I find it funny to see them categorised beneath 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 on the One Direction Wikipedia page they have enough going on in their individual lives to be treated by Wikipedia as seperate human beings now I think...
FINALLY FINALLY. Why are One Direction making bizarre early-noughties style banjo-y McFly type rock music? Shouldn't they be pushing out catchy dancefloor pop with an urban edge like the massively more succesful JLS?
I've forgotten what I was blogging about.
Right, I'm off to Prowler in search of a housewarming gift for Louis and Harry.
Just to help you forget the tacky Orwellian bacterial low culture of this blog post and back up on your feet again, here's an amazing moment from 30 Rock:
I was thrilled to receive my antique book cover style Kindle4 case this morning. Check it out! The cases are handmade in Hampshire by a family firm called Manor Bindery and they only set you back about £25.
Originally I planned to buy myself a metallic leopard print Diane Von Furstenberg Kindle cover, but she wasn't selling them in her Mayfair store, nor was she selling them in her Wimbledon store. The DVH shop assistant TOLD ME TO TRY THE NEDERLANDS and quite frankly I haven't got the time to chase Diane and her fashionable literary accesssories around the globe.
Then I discovered this Hampshire family who make beskoke antique book jackets for Kindle4 and my quest was over. They even gift-wrapped the case and sent me a beautiful hand-written note with the purchase -
They do all sorts of different book covers but I chose Bram Stoker's Dracula because it's a gorgeous silvery blue, and of course Bram Stoker was a fantastic psycho-sexual author. Dracula is just pumping with homoerotic subtexts and various explorations of same-sex fascination. As 21st century readers with the privilege of hindsight and posthumous closet-smashing we now know that Bram Stoker wrote confessional gay letters to the American poet Walt Whitman and he was also infatuated with the gay stage actor Henry Irving and the Soho underworld of the late 19th century. In fact the vampire genre, like the pirate genre, is an almost exclusively homosexual circle of texts but of course future generations will possibly forget this thanks to the bludgeoning box office of heterosessed (yet inexplicably gay) Hollywood and the likes of Kristen frying-pan-face Stewart. Still, they'll have Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview With The Vampire to serve as a reminder, although even that movie was a depressingly flattened heterosessed rendition of Anne Rice's gay sex packed novel.
What was I talking about?
Oh yeah. What I love about KleverCase's Kindle covers is that you can slide your Kindle into a bookcase and disguise it as a book!
I must admit I haven't quite got into my Kindle yet. I still have a stack of retro paper books lined up to read, but I do like the fact that you can email documents to Kindles. If you write poetry or fiction and would like to email it to me on my Kindle then please do give me a shout on Twitter @jackcullenuk. I'd love to read your stuff.
KleverCases are available on http://www.manorbindery.co.uk/
Last January it was brought to my spinning attention that I was neglecting good friends in favour of increasingly dubious one night stands. Missed calls from former uni chums were neatly archiving themselves in my phone unnoticed whilst bed sheets were being laundered and toilet rolls replaced so rapidly in my apartment that Premier Inn looked into buying me out.
So when a boy I met in Heaven left my front door open at 3am (stealing enroute via the living room my Oyster, my phone charger, a lighter and a scarf belonging to the boy from the night before) I realised that my friends were right and so I adopted the 2011 New Year’s Resolution “STOP SLEEPING WITH TW*TS”. I wrote this blog post about twelve months ago on the subject called Bros Before Hoes.
One year on I am pleased to announce that “STOP SLEEPING WITH TW*TS” was a success. I’m still cool with one night stands, I just try to make more considered choices. Anyone like me who goes in for a bit of recreational sex is always going to make a few mistakes, like the guy who stubbed his cigarette out in an open pot of moisturiser, the guy who somehow managed to smash two wine bottles against the side of my bath tub, the guy who slung a used condom against my bookcase and the “media studies” student I met at a Little Mix PA who said “If you wanted to be a journalist why did you study English? Why didn’t you study media or journalism?” and was then sick all over my shoe rack.
But generally speaking it was a tw*t-free year. No text message plaguers, no angry women on doorsteps, no bare backing pests, no thieves and only one minor stalker. I only visited saunas three times last year - once with a curious friend who had never been, once to wash-off the grime of an East London basement party, and once to kill time before a delayed train. I took a friend with me whenever possible on my Heath walks a lot this year too in order to deter the temptations of the male gaze, taking an interest in Hampstead's fauna rather than its fornication. Finally I cut down on Twitter’s addictive Direct Message underworld of half-lies and shapeless lust.
Obviously I let my hair down on holiday, but I used a defence wall of cultured questions for vetting men such as “What’s your favourite Italian opera?” or “Who is your favourite Booker Prize winner?”
Just kidding, I was a total pop-headed slut on holiday.
But I'm happy to admit that I’m not quite there yet. It’s a work in progress.
And so since “STOP SLEEPING WITH TW*TS” is an ongoing roll-over resolution, I’m going easy on myself this year and adopting just three trivial, manageable New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:
1) Only get taxis after 2am
2) Totally ignore the Evening Standard
3) Become an expert on the history of plastic surgery
There are exceptions. For example taxis are always essential in Vauxhall no matter what time of evening, and I love the Evening Standards’ restaurant reviews.
As for the history of plastic surgery, I think it’s healthy to have a pet Mastermind subject each year and I’ve been somewhat inspired by a blue plaque not far from me dedicated to Sir Harold Gillies. Plastic surgery strikes me as a haunting field of interest and I cannot wait to buy some books on the subject. Sorry if you read this blog post thinking that I was planning on going under the surgeon's knife.
So there it is.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, here’s Chloe with her New Year’s Resolutions:
[Picture at top of post is an artwork by Cindy Sherman]