she liked Imaginary Men best of all


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Doctor of Gossip

A few weeks ago I made a discovery. An awesome, fascinating, is-this-real-life? discovery. That discovery is named Anne Helen Petersen. “Who is Anne Helen Petersen?” you may ask – well let me tell you – she is my new idol. She is a doctor…of GOSSIP!! Not just gossip but CELEBRITY GOSSIP!! Only one of my favorite things ever!!

Me making my new discovery (reactiongifs.com)

I have a bachelor’s degree from a fancy college and that’s about all the academia I could handle. However, if someone had ever said to me in my youth, “Oh you like gossiping about celebrities and critiquing pop culture? Well you can get a doctorate in that” I may have done that very thing! People think gossiping about celebrities is frivolous but doing it with a PhD? Well that’s a prestigious career my friend.

Since this amazing, time-sucking, enthralling discovery I have been combing the internet for her work like the extremely focused lady I am. Thankfully she is very prolific online writing for Hairpin and Buzzfeed (where her piece on the birth of TMZ contains a fascinating backstory on the demise of the old Hollywood studio system and rise of the celebrity gossip industry.) And she’s just published a book about classic Hollywood scandals!!

So speaking of that, I LOVE OLD HOLLYWOOD SCANDALS!! I have been obsessively reading her pieces on Errol Flynn, Warren Beatty and, oh god the Hedy Lamarr one is just insane (you know, just your typical beautiful rich girl becomes poor, stars in the most provocative movie of the early 20th century, marries a millionaire Nazi who locks her in a castle, then escapes to Hollywood to become a movie star and six husbands and several shoplifting charges later is discovered to hold the patent for the technology that is the basis for the cell phones we all use today story. YOUR MOVE JENNIFER LAWRENCE.)

I love Petersen’s writing because it is accessible and not so stuffy academic that a few lines in you get bored because you don’t know what the hell the author is talking about. In this interview she explains her background in Cultural Studies (again, why did I not know I could study this stuff?? Career Development Office FAIL!) and why it’s valuable to study pop culture and be able to present it in an intellectual manner but without the requirement that you already have a PhD to understand it.

Her writing is smart, funny and very “chummy” as in she feels like your girlfriend who is gossiping with you about cute famous boys of all eras which, Hey Anne! I do that all the time! I love Cary Grant movies, Hollywood glamour and handsome dead actors. We should be besties 🙂

SO HANDSOME!

SO HANDSOME!

But let’s get back to the old scandals for a moment because they are often far more fascinating (and crazy) than anything that happens in today’s celebrity realm. Brad leaves Jen for Angelina. Snooze! That is nothing compared to the Elizabeth Taylor-Eddie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds-Richard Burton square of sex, cheating, death, alcoholism and really enormous jewels! (and guess who wrote about it?) Or one of my personal favorites after reading two Frank Sinatra bios earlier this year – the Ava Gardner and Frank Saga that involved adultery, affairs, abortions, suicide attempts, bullfighters (!!!) and one of the best things I have ever EVER heard in my life – per Ava herself from her bath as Frank stormed out after a fight:

Okay! If that’s the way you want it. I’m leaving. And if you want to know where I am, I’m in Palm Springs, fucking Lana Turner.

YOUR MOVE CHANNING TATUM.

(from Giphy.com)

And if old timey movie stars behaving badly isn’t your thing, Petersen writes about current celebrities weaving together pop culture and feminist theorystarlets and classicism and a topic that consumes us all as a nation: Taylor Swift’s love life! It’s all so interesting and explores celebrity in ways that often get ignored in our fast-moving-social-media world. She is basically what I aspire to be if I had any drive to be further educated and the ambition to be paid for thinking/talking/writing about things I love for a living. Hence, why she is my idol.

You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll just be over here reading all her stuff – probably when I should be working at my job or on my life (which is why I do NOT have a PhD in Celebrity Gossip!)


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Oh my god I’m back again!

Sooooo – long time, no blog yet apparently people are still coming here to read old posts which is pretty cool considering I haven’t posted anything in almost 15 months!

When I left you I was swooning about The World’s Best Boyfriend who, I’m happy to report is still fulfilling that role. I still love me some Imaginary Men but of course spending time with a Real Guy does take away from my sitting-up-all-night-blogging-time (so does a new wake-up call of 6AM – ACK!)

What else? Oh I just, you know – bought a house. Yes after several years of commitment phobia I went and got a relationship AND a mortgage within a year of each other. You would think I am a GROWN-UP or something!

Don't you love my new house?? (this is not my new house)

Don’t you love my new house?? (this is not my new house)

So plenty of energy that used to be dedicated to fantasizing about Pacey’s Pea Coats or Dreamy Vampire Brothers has been funneled into really sexy thoughts like bathroom remodels, caulking tools and home heating conversions (I know, I know – my life is VERY VERY COOL. Control yourself.)

And I guess some of my interests have changed and my need to write about them obsessively waned. I think that’s normal and I certainly still love a lot of things that are on this site (I’m looking at you Dowager Countess) and have discovered new interests because that’s what life is about – you grow and change and some things make the cut and some don’t.

I do have a confession to make and that is that I may now be less your Fun Sassy Girlfriend and more your Fun Sassy Grandma. The evidence: this winter I read two biographies of Frank Sinatra (speaking of obsessions – HOW could we not see Ronan Farrow is CLEARLY his kid?!) I got hooked on listening to the Cole Porter station on Pandora and when I saw The Fault in our Stars instead of getting all swoony for teen dream boat Augustus I kept thinking, “can we spend more time with Hazel’s parents? Because they seem really fun and awesome.” I’d like to think it was just residual feelings for Sam Trammell now that I’ve missed the last few seasons of True Blood – but I think it’s because I’m Your Grandma and Laura Dern seems really fun to hang out with (even when she’s pretending her daughter is dying of cancer so bravo for that specialized talent!)

But! I quoted the Backstreet Boys up above AND just saw them in concert (and got to keep my  Concert Bitch in check) and because Boy Bands are Never Not Awesome. I have some fun news coming up in the next week so I hope you’ll welcome me back into the big wide blogging world and that I remember how to link shit 🙂

 


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Different decades, same dumbassery

This weekend I enjoyed a classic movie fest. The theme was:

Beautiful but “Plain” Young Women of Means are Wooed by Handsome but Caddish Playboy Types who May be Trying to Marry Them for Their Money, and/or Trying to Kill Them.

If you’ve never seen Suspicion starring Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant, or The Heiress starring Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift – well get to it! Both are excellent movies with not only some of the most famous movie stars ever, but great pedigrees (Suspicion is a Hitchcock classic and Heiress is based on Washington Square by Henry James.)

I’d never seen Heiress and have watched Suspicion many times – but something struck me as I watched both films: The men in them were doing classic Annoying Boy Shit to the heroines, and the women – in turn – were reacting by doing Stupid Girl Things.

Example: Cary Grant sweeps Joan Fontaine off her feet with just a little intense flirting on a windy hilltop, and of course his charm and handsomeness (because he’s CARY GRANT!!) He then disappears for over a week causing her to do Stupid Girl Things like flip through the society pages and cut out his picture to hide in her books, and have operators dial his phone – which of course he never answers.

Cary waltzes back into her life (literally – he shows up uninvited at a ball and waltzes her away!) and tells her he stayed away because he was afraid he was falling in love with her and he didn’t know if he liked it. Does Joan say, “are you even serious right now?!” No, of course not! She lets him kiss her in HER car that HE’S driving and then accepts his marriage proposal!

Example: Montgomery Clift sweeps Olivia de Havilland off her feet with his lavish attentions, compliments and aggressive daily courting (and HIS handsomeness which is so handsome even Olivia’s father compliments him on it!) He arranges an elopement and she not only agrees, but she moves it up a day! Except she mentions her father forbids her marrying him and if she does, her inheritance will go down A LOT and she’ll never talk to her mean dad again anyway because she’ll be with the love of her life.

Monty of course abandons her and Olivia does Stupid Girl Things like pine over him for years instead of Getting On With Her Life. He then saunters back to her door when her dad is dead and she’s rich – and tries his old tricks again. I won’t spoil the ending but let’s say Olivia kicks some golddigging ass and she does it in an over-the-top Parisian ball gown while doing NEEDLEPOINT (as you do!)

So while I’m giggling over Joan’s stalking, and Olivia’s “fuck off I’d rather do Crush Crafts you asshole” attitude – I’m eye rolling that these movies – both over 60 years old and both taking place in different eras – have men doing the same kind of Annoying Boy Shit that guys are still doing today!! Acting as if they like you, then not returning texts! Breaking up with you without an explanation!

So listen up guys – UNLESS you are Cary Grant:

OR Montgomery Clift:

Those kind of behaviors just make you a dick 😉 And ladies? Keep your money close, and your Parisian ball gowns at the ready.