Kardashian Rant; the Kids are not Alright

I realise I am not splitting the ideation atom when I complain about the Kardashian army + my distaste for their absolute stronghold over the pop culture zeitgeist. ‘Cause zeitgeists don’t reign for YEARS? They’re not supposed to? They have their moment in the sun…so to speak. Why isn’t this ENDING?!!! Someone make this crazy train STAWWWWWWWP!?

*Spot the Difference?

Spot the Difference? You can’t do it can you?

I don’t know why it is, that when I see them coalesce on the cover of magazines, it feels like a personal slight against my soul? I don’t see their value? I don’t understand the obsession? Granted I’ve never watched more than a handful of episodes of their reality show, and I know they are a supportive bunch of siblings and there’s a cozy factor of value in that—but besides being life sized DeBratz dolls what’s the ALLURE? I’ve heard them all speak, there is nothing worthy there that could even be considered merit for this intense spotlight. NOTHING! The only one I find remotely interesting is Kendall Jenner A) because it seems she hasn’t rewired all her body parts and B) because she seems to keep a LOW profile, does her job, and isn’t HONGRAY, nay FROTHING at the bit for fame? I mean how HONGRAYYYYYY does Khloe appear in the above shot? She appears dangerously starved for attention. It feels so chaotic.  

What bothers me most, is that younger generations truly have only one FOOD group of which to pluck from in todays Pop Culture Pu Pu Platter? It’s heinously unbalanced in terms of mainstream media. Even what I considered to be edgier or counter culture media outlets have cowered to the pressure? Why is this family being forced upon my media diet and trying to ETCH themselves all up in my KITCHEN? It’s WAY offensive. 

Let me know your thoughts. We must band together and align in protest against this utter TRIPE. Also I think I’m going to start a drinking game based on how many times Kim refers to herself as a ‘business woman’. Were all in business one way or another KIM…no need to attach a gender to it?!

Don’t even get me started on Kanye’s last delusional interview. Yuck

Stop fanning the flames of MEDIOCRITY (no, not you…you have divine taste. THEM! It’s all THEM!)

Rant Over,


New York Magazine Website Hacked After Cosby: The Women Cover Goes Viral

Photo: New York Magazine © All Right Reserved

Last evening, I was stopped in my virtual tracks as my eyes clocked in on the latest cover of New York Magazine.

The cover, nevermore appropriate in a sobering black and white photograph, displays 35 accusers of Bill Cosby (out of an alleged 46). All 35 women, who range in age from mid 20’s to 80’s are sitting stoically, hands on laps with an impactful gaze staring forward. The last empty chair suggests the possibility of additional women who have yet to come forward. The ones still afraid to have their faces shown. The caption, tastefully understated on the bottom right corner reads, Cosby: THE WOMEN An Unwelcome Sisterhood.

It’s sobering. It’s impactful and painfully sad.

I perused through many of these ladies personal accounts and listened to six of them tell their stories via taped interviews—all of which broke my heart. Iconic 1970’s ‘blonde ditzy’ actress turned lawyer Louisa Moritz’s story is so graphic, her delivery of the account is so wounded, so passively helplessit reeks of a sinister Hollywood male entitlement that infuriates.

The irrevocable damage is seen all over her face and heard in the tenor of her speech.

Another woman Barbara Bowman recounts a two-year nightmare where she was forced to be Cosby’s sex slave. She was repeatedly and viciously attacked, likening her inability to escape to that of a kidnap victim despite having free rein.

Photo: New York Magazine © All Right Reserved

I never thought I would hear 70-year-old elderly women have to publicly use such explicit sexual language in describing their accounts, but I’m proud of them for releasing their truth. I stand with them all in solidarity. How brave they all are.

The last empty chair suggesting the possibility of additional women who have yet to come forward. The ones still afraid to have their faces shown.

I was excited to wake up this am to see the full impact the late breaking cover would have had on the collective zeitgeist, but to my shock I noticed the New York Magazine website was down. I wasn’t sure if it was a traffic overload snafu or if something more nefarious was at play? Who was trying to silence these heroic women?!

I quickly learned it was the workings of a hacker named Threat King who was able to keep the site inaccessible for 9 hours beginning at 2.30 am. The odd lunacy of it all, is that said hacker didn’t even see the Cosby cover and didn’t do it as a revolt against the women. His reasoning for the take down was because cause he “hates New York“?! And what more emblematic of New York than the magazine which bears its name? I’m just glad this maniacal kook blacked out a website and nothing more.

ThreatKing first claimed responsibility for the attack under the Twitter handle @Vikingdom2016. The hacking group Vikingdom garnered some attention earlier this year by claiming attacks on some random government websites, including maine.gov for a few hours.

As of 11:40 am the NY Magazine site is back up and running. A great thing, considering the social impact this cover is having and the ability for everyone to have access to it online.

I can’t underscore more how important, how historically monumental it will prove to be for decades to come.

Humbled by their bravery + honesty,


New Crop

Update: As of 1:40 pm I notice that the New York Magazine website is once again down. Will follow-up. *Perhaps we should all return exclusively to PRINT MEDIA?!?! Can people hijack a printing press?

Update: NY Magazine nymag.com is up and running as of 2:10 pm.


PCR ‘Pop Up’ with What’s Trending’s Shira Lazar


Digerati Darlin' Shira Lazar

Digerati Darlin’ Shira Lazar

Digerati darlin’ Shira Lazar’s media dance card is truly something to marvel at.

An early adopter of web technology and platforms, Lazar has been fully immersed in online culture since 2004. In 2011 she was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” and that’s just a thread of her overwhelming list of credentials. She speaks at conferences around the world (TEDx most recently) is a regular contributor on The Huffington Post and appears frequently on Bloomberg TV, CNN and Fox News Channel discussing Internet culture and digital trends.

Her daily interactive YouTube show What’s Trending, is head and shoulders above the competition—covering + curating the most viral content across the web. Part 24/7 news hub, part online talk show, her Emmy-nominated brand is a pop culture hot bed for trending personalities, videos, musical guests and celebrities alike. With a mammoth growth spurt since 2012, What’s Trending has had partnerships and syndication with mainstream publications like USA Today, Virgin America, iHeartRadio and Gas Station TV. On October 13th it was announced that Culture Machine, a digital video company will launch a What’s Trending net in India.

We tracked down the busy writer, producer and host in Los Angeles for an impromptu Pop Culture Rainman™ ‘Pop-Up’ Q+A.   

Pop Culture Rainman: I remember seeing you for the 1st time when you were a young student at Montreal’s St George’s High School. I was hired to choreograph scenes in the annual fashion show. My 1st thought when I saw you was, ‘who is this overly fashionable, cool kid?” You definitely exuded an ahead-of-the-curve *vibe*. Who were your style influences at such a young age, and how did Montreal play a part in that as well?

Shira Lazar: “I had a modern-day family with siblings that were 5-15 years older than me. It was a fun and diverse upbringing with so many different personalities around me. Fashion and style were always a [huge] thing in my household from step-sister and my step-mother who worked in fashion. Growing up in Montreal had a huge influence on my style and mentality—the overall chic and European influence!”

PCR: Tell me about your start as a writer and as a journalist. I truly think it should be the marrow of anyone who is in a creative field—to be able to write well

SL: “I guess I always looked at myself as a connector and storyteller. I’ve used new mediums to do what I love doing whether it be writing an article or blog, tweeting, interviewing someone on YouTube, or even for a TV broadcast. It happens that my ability and care for writing has only helped push me to a better product and has allowed me to create something special. I think this day in age you need to do it all.”

PCR: You attended Emerson University in Boston and majored in TV and Video Production. Tell me about what you learned in University (and your program) that prepared you for the real world? 

SL: “Emerson is very well-known for media and communications, as well as their extra curricular programs. It was also very small, so it was an intimate and hands on setting. I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t taken this path and gone to Emerson. They also have an LA internship program, which I participated in my last semester. I interned at The Ellen Degeneres Show and a local LA radio station. My first job and mentors came from that experience. The Emerson alumni community also has a strong presence in LA, so I’ve never felt alone here. It definitely set me up for a career not just gigs.”

Shira Lazar Receives Young Achievement Award from Emerson in 2014

Shira Lazar Receives Young Achievement Award from Emerson in 2014

PCR: Your early work leading up to whatstrending.com was largely web content based. You were really a pioneer in creating an entire brand which focussed around the web—and all of the opportunities and channels within that. How did you have the foresight to follow the thread of digital platforms when it was still in its infancy stage? What were your interests that brought you to this area of engagement?

SL: “I followed the thread of the web because it was the only path that was allowing me to do what I loved and work on my craft. I was still meeting and auditioning for high-profile traditional media jobs but I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines. There were so many exciting things happening in digital and the people I was meeting were pioneers themselves—it was hard not to be inspired by the founders, platform and communities being built. Having come from a family of entrepreneurs, I was completely drawn to it and it happened that I had something to offer them too. What started off as a possible stepping stone, became my niche.  The digital game is constantly evolving, you need to have a curiosity and a spark in you to want to stay ahead of the curve.”

PCR: In 2011, you made the shift from a daily blog/vlog (On the Scene) to turning whatstrending.com into a television series—tell me about that experience.

SL: “In 2011, we launched with a traditional media partner [CBSNews.com] and we streamed on Ustream and Livestream as well as posted on demand clips up on YouTube—but at the time we weren’t programming for the YouTube specific audience. We were still first to really put out a broadcast quality live week then daily show for the digital generation. It got many awards and even an Emmy nomination but even that model now has changed. Audiences are more mobile now, we’ve transitioned towards shorter pieces of content and we tend to program content to each platform differently. What goes on our .com is different from what goes on YouTube VS Facebook and Twitter.”

PCR: This is a business that is rife with struggle and that demands perseverance.  Tell me what you have learned so far about being a public media figure? Tell me about a how you recovered or bounced back from obstacles and what it has taught you? (*NB: On September 9, 2011, someone at “What’s Trending” erroneously posted that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had died on the official “What’s Trending” Twitter account and it was soon trending. The tweet was removed shortly thereafter, with Lazar apologizing, saying Jobs death was “completely unconfirmed“. Later from her own Twitter account, Lazar apologized again for the inaccuracy. Hours after the first tweet was posted, CBSNews.com severed ties with “What’s Trending” and Lazar.)

SL: “Whenever I’ve been through dark times, the process I go through is I let myself *feel it* for a moment. Acknowledge the pain or emotion you have and then sit down and figure out actionable positive steps to move forward. For me, when What’s Trending went independent in 2011 we just put our heads down and worked our asses off. We left no stone unturned and hard work persevered. In the end, the story of that year wasn’t how we had split from a major network partner, but how we built our audience on our own and that was the new name of the game. I like seeing a problem or a gap and finding a solution and thinking big. Don’t sit and stare at what you don’t have, but what you do and move forward with that to build something bigger. That gratitude mixed in with committed hard work is what has helped me push forward. Also, you are never better than anyone. Be confident in who you are and own your power, but leave your ego at the door. Collaboration is key and not just taking from people but bringing value to them.”

PCR: American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is your step brother. Do you find yourself having to defend or protect him on a regular basis and how do you navigate that?

a *rare* interview between step-siblings in early 2008

a *rare* interview between step-siblings in early 2008

SL: “Surprisingly no, no one ever brings it up and they’re surprised when they find it out! I’m like it’s on my Wikipedia page! [Laughter] But seriously—he’s a brilliant pioneer that I’ve always looked up to. He’s the consummate entrepreneur—and at every point has hustled, never gives up, fights for what he believes in and continues to work with that bullish excitement like he’s just starting out. You have to admire that.” (*N.B. the above interview still  from LX TV was taken in 2008 and there was no mention in the interview that Charney and Lazar were step-siblings—way to keep it all covert + pro!)

PCR: Tell me why you think social media platforms for your brand are important and which ones do you use that are the most effective for your brand?  Also What are some tips on building ones online portfolio?

SL: “It really depends on who your audience is and what story you’re trying to tell. Instagram might be more visual and behind the scenes for us, vs Facebook where we also hit on the Facebook trends of the day. Figure out your audience, where they’re hanging out and program your social platform for them there. Follow people in the community, show love and don’t just broadcast your own stuff. Comment, RT and be part of the conversations.”

PCR: Is there a new tool, app, or social media platform that you really digging lately? 

Lazar is all about SnapChat

Lazar is all about SnapChat

SL: “Right now I’m fascinated with the Vine and Snapchat communities. A lot of people are trying to figure out the next Snapchat or private messaging app that will replace texting.”
PCR: Any new music that you are discovering?
SL: “I’m loving Kiesza (go Canada!) and also Fitz and the Tantrums”
Pop Rocks: Lazar Loves the Music of Calgary's Own Kiesza

Pop Rocks: Lazar Loves the Music of Calgary’s Own Kiesza

PCR: Best film of 2014 (so far?) 
SL:I haven’t seen them all yet, but I’m definitely a fan of Chef and the Fault in Our Stars!”
PCR: Fallon or Kimmel and why
SL: “That’s too hard! Fallon kills it [with his skits] on YouTube constantly, but I feel like Kimmel would be more fun to party with!”
PCR: Best celebrity interview ever?
SL: “Without question, Joan Rivers. Her work ethic was so awe-inspiring. I can’t believe she is no longer with us. I feel so honored to have spent an hour with her on stage.”

Joan Rovers + Shira Lazar at Internet Week NY 2013

PCR: Lastly, do you have a personal quote or maxim that you live by?

SL: “Spend less time being interesting and more time being interested in people and the world

The Pop Culture Rainman™

Lena We Have a Problem; Why Season 4 of GIRLS Could be my Last.

I‘m not here to mince words or my online sense of entitled arm-chair criticism—so here goes…

I thought Season 3 of GIRLS was terrible.


Yes, the show that I dripped candle wax poetry about as being the most authentic show on television felt in several cases criminally unrealistic .

I know I’m severely late on the feedback portion of this dialogue. I only watched season 3 recently in bulk/marathon styles and I realise Lena et al are KNEE-DEEP in creating Season 4—but this all still needs to be said. 

Where to begin?

Let’s talk about these four RANDOM main characters who seem to have zero roots or depth to their friendship? I no longer see the connection between any of these ladies, whatsoever? I liked the former story line of how Marnie + Hannah were drifting apart—I thought that was authentic—and yet she is brought back into Hannah’s fray as if either of them need each other?

They DON’T!

Also who is JESSA? No really, besides having zero boundaries and dirt poor impulse control, who is this PERSON?!

The only thing about her that I can relate to is that we all have that sexual exhibitionist female friend who loves to lay on guys, on girls, loves to just cozy up seemingly anywhere, and has no hang ups with their own body or sense of personal space. That being said…the character she plays become has become full-on caricature. Some of the story arcs were preposterous? Her job at the children’s clothing store? The way she slacked off and harassed the customers into pressure buying, if and when she was paying attention? The long-lost friend who feigned her own death to get rid of her? Absurd?! 

No We Can’t Jessa?!

Jessa is Harem-Scarem-reckless—and I still don’t quite know why she is like this, besides the fact she had an absent father?

Her stay in ‘rehab’ seemed to be a full on parody. The other ‘patients’ were all cookie-cutter sitcom paradigms. Was it REALLY necessary for her to go down on her female rehab mate? Was that GIRLS answer to diversity? 

Why were there no repercussions/discussions between her and Hannah on her return? Sure, she doesn’t ask much from Hannah, but where is the culpability? Where is the connective tissue? Why are these two women FRIENDS? TELL ME? I’m. Dying. To. Know.

Your early 20’s is when your female friendships are at an all time enmeshment. These gals are acting all mid-30’s and shit—when you take on friends that conveniently fit into your adult schedule, like mommy/baby-group friends, or chicks you do pilates with.

I ‘get’ that Hannah is somewhat of a door mat in the friendship space, but please tell me, why any of these four characters are still sharing a communal sense of reciprocal oxygen?

You had a chance to have all four of them have at it, so to speak. To have them examine the after-math of the drunken lashings that were handed out the night before at the beach-house in North Fork.

…And yet, you glossed over it the next morning. With some more choreography. It breathed of LAZY.

Character Studies

Let’s talk Shoshanna?

Shoshanna's Braided Mullet

Shoshanna’s Braided Mullet

Her sing-song neurotic timbre at first was charming. But really, no-one past eleven talks that way. No-one.

Also its clear she has never had an orgasm during sex, as she is never truly in her body nor present during her sex scenes.

I think a great story arc for Shoshanna, would be to be introduced to a variety of personal ‘appliances‘ if you catch my drift. There are myriad sure-fire methods that someone like Shoshanna needsPerhaps her vocal hysterics will abate? Actually, I think it would be a great ‘excuse’ and/or panacea for her to calm the eff down.

Also clearly the girl has some skillz in the hair dept? She should go to beauty school and start working at a salon. Her jibber-jabber is perfect for the salon set. Also hair dryers can drown her out. Next!                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ray has got-to-go.

Ray...You are the weakest link...GOODBYE!

Ray…You are the weakest link…GOODBYE!

No really. He no longer belongs here. He looks about 43 and he is utterly joyless.

This is not *F*R*I*E*N*D*S—he is not resigned to playing the resident GUNTHER at the coffee shop that none of the characters have any reason to visitHis story arc has reached its apogee. It can be a work-related Java accident!

*Also he may have murdered Hannah’s boss (another story arc that was disjointed + left me with a hundred questions) after they got into that weird bar fight. Yes, he must be eradicated.

Last complaint. Correct me if I am wrong. But I recall what felt like an earnest former quote of yours dear Lena, to keep the guest stars or celebrities to a minimum—like the way I make everyone promise me there will be no math? I believe this was a promise of yours fairly early on, to give lessor known actors a chance. Season 3 was overflowing with celebrity spots? The ones that were incredible were Richard E Grant who played Jaspar the manic codependent accomplice to Jessa’s drug-addled spiral. And while it’s implausible to picture Gaby Hoffman as anything but the adorable kid from Uncle Buck—her role as Adam’s crazy-cakes sister ‘Caroline’ was fun to watch—even if her character is better-suited for the Groundlings stage.   

Caroline's Seduction Dance...

Caroline’s Seduction Dance…

Perhaps I’m being to harsh and these aren’t exactly A-list celebrities that you are casting. Also it needs to be said that Gaby Hoffman had a pretty difficult year in 2013 so giving an old friend a gig was really commendable. I don’t see why you needed to cast Amy Schumer in the first episode—she has her own hit show, and that Felicity Jones intervention story-line was unwatchable. Was she wearing a set of rabbit-teeth?

Also Rita Wilson? Here’s a question…what for?


The good news here is that both Hannah’s + Adam’s characters are still the paste that keeps the papier-mâché of GIRLS all artsy-craftsy. In other words…I like what you’ve done with the place.

Both Characters Were True to Themselves...

Both Characters Were True to Themselves…

And even though I would never befriend anyone like perfect-patty-controlling Marnie in real-life, I think you’ve given her character tons of great scenarios to chew on in Season 3. I did feel ever so slightly ripped off that she was abandoned by her ex in a story arc that we never got to see? Surely we deserved a soft-focus flash black sequence at the very minimum?  

For season 4, I foresee that dreamy Desi and Marnie are going to finally get together. She will fall madly and deeply in love with him. She’s going to change the way she dresses and talks, and turn her whole life around to accommodate his ‘busy actor’ schedule. She is going to lose herself in him and bore (new!) friends by talking incessantly about how “talented he is“.

Desi’s Piercing Eyes…

He’s going to teach her about music and literature and they’re going to have crazy Tantric Sex and then he’ll eventually turn on her, tell her she doesn’t understand/respect his “art,” go back to his ex and Marnie will be forever ruined. Its going to be fantastic!

The best teeth in the biz!

The best teeth in the biz!

*As a side-bar; where can I procure a set of actress Allison Williams fine dental-ware? They are like perfect tiny stucco buildings. Please don’t tell me they are natural? That is sooooo something Marnie would say.

And after all is said and done, the final story arc that Jessa was involved in with that older artist was gripping. It almost made up for the first nine episodes. I am curious to see how that all plays out.

To that end, it goes without saying that I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to write, produce and star in your own show Lena? So please don’t take any of this personally. I just hope that Season 4 ties up these loose ends and adds that initial spark of reality back that made GIRLS shine so bright. These characters aren’t all bound to one another. This is HBO, not a confined sitcom space where all characters must remain together, forever? Go rogue like that Game of Thrones director. At the very least, introduce some new female friends? This is not a foursome that makes any sense, any longer.

I heart Hannah Horvath...

I heart Hannah Horvath…

I have faith Lena Dunham,          

XOXO                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Pop Culture Rainman


Spike Jonze; Intergalactic Zeitgeist of our Time

I just finished watching the movie Her, written & directed by Spike Jonze—and it rendered me both speechless *and* ashamed.

Speechless because of how much texture and onion peeled *feel* layers my eyeballs were privy to, and shame for forgetting, nay—obliterating from-memory—what an absolute genius Spike Jonze was/is!?

I grew up on square meals of his incredible music videos, and I thoroughly enjoyed the wacky eccentricity of Being John Malkovich which was Jonze’s first feature film directorial debut. He teamed up again with writer Charlie Kaufman for the film Adaptation which was a visceral delight and so incredibly creative and cerebral.

I recall being super excited about the prospect that Jonze was going to be bringing the ‘adaptation’ of Maurice Sendak’s classic 1963 children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are to the big screen. He also partnered with one of my favorite writers Dave Eggers, to flesh out the script further.

Film Still-Where The Wild Things Are

Film Still-Where The Wild Things Are

That movie felt like it was in production purgatory for a while, and I never got around to seeing it and suppose I fell off his radar shortly before it came out in 2009.

I had forgotten just how much of a creative mastermind Jonze was, someone so ahead of his time—that I’m convinced he’s some sort of time travelling nomad. The only other writer/director that has been remotely similar in terms of risk taking and continuity is Paul Thomas Anderson—someone who also has an incredible knowledge of music in his wake. Anderson had previously directed a couple of ex girlfriend Fiona Apple’s music videos, and he was executive music producer on the soundtracks of Boogie Nights and Magnolia, the latter being one of my all-time favorite soundtracks.

Magnolia Soundtrack. So Dreamy.

Magnolia Soundtrack. So Dreamy.

A lot of contemporary music and art has become utterly lazy in my opinion. The last time that film(s) felt emotionally transformative was during the faze of the Coen Brothers Fargo, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, writer/director Todd Solondz’s Happiness and Sam Mendes American Beautywhich incidentally, all came out around the same time.

HER brings all of that back. All of it.

I must also give a generous nod to the quieter genius of Jonze’s ex-wife Sophia Coppola, both have shared cinematographers and posses a similar poetic aesthetic in their works.

Also, it goes without saying that writing/director duo the Coen Brothers are also exceptional in their own rite(s).

but back to *Spikes*

While I could do without the whole Jackass alliance…correct me if I’m wrong—but who in the English speaking hemisphere has consistently captured the Zeitgeist more than Spike Jonze consistently has in the last 15-20 years? No-one…not-a-one. And that includes his entire portfolio of photography, music videos, commercials, film shorts and features.

Did you know that he was also co-editor of the male oriented counter-part to Sassy magazine Dirt? XOJane‘s very own Jane Pratt hand plucked him!

Jonze was the first Hipster, the first Flash Mobber (Bjork’s, It’s Oh So Quiet)— his visual story telling was head and shoulders above what his peers were putting out—far from the overly expensive + flashy Hype Williams et al budgets. His videos always had a low-fi, cutting edge hipness to them, the story or artful thread always being at the forefront.

He is a bona fide futurist like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and yes, even the great Stephen Hawking. I sincerely hope they all belong to a skulls-like think-tank collective, because whoever they are (aliens, me thinks)—they are light years ahead of all of us. 

Speaking of lights (weak segue I know!) the following are six of my all time favorite Spike Jonze music videos. Watching them with fresh eyes all over again makes me to crawl into his brain & jump around like it were an inflatable bouncy castle.

P.S. I would love nothing more to offer up my thoughts on each video, but I don’t want to be known as the ‘long-read blogger’ (millennial attention spans are hard to come by!) So instead, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section as to which ones are your favorites and why!


WeezerBuddy Holly’-1994 (* I searched high + low for a Youtube video that they would allow me to embed, but no such luck. Please click on the arrow which will lead you to a link. Must Watch! It’s such a feel-good + clever video)

BJörkIt’s Oh So Quiet’-1995

Daft Punk ‘Da Funk’-1995

The Chemical Brothers ‘Elecktrobank’-1997 (*Starring his then girlfriend Sophia Coppola)

Fatboy Slim Praise You’-1999 (*This multi-award winning video reportedly cost only $800 to produce, with most of that money going towards a replacement boombox and food for the cast and crew. It was also shot in just ONE take. This video is missing the fake dance troupe’s extro where Spike Jonze is in character as choreographer Richard Koufey talking about his ‘inspirations’. Find the longer version online, this is the only one I was able to embed)

Weapon of Choice Fatboy Slim 2001 (*Starring the multi-talented Christopher Walken)

**Honorary mention has to go to Beastie Boys Sabotage – 1994an homage to 1970’s crime drama television series. The visual rhythmic cuts to this song are phenomenal.


Jonze’s tour de force Her is nominated for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture at the 2014 Oscars on March 2nd. He was left out of the Best Director category—an oddity for someone who is in the running for Best Picture. Let’s hope he takes the Best Original Screenplay! #FingersCrossed!

And remember, it’s my new Glengarry-esque mantra—ABJ Always Be Jonzing!  

XOXO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Pop Culture Rainman™

Bit Strips Taking Over Your Facebook Feed?

Notice these suckers showing up on your Facebook feed lately?

They are called ‘Bit Strips’ —  and are gleaned from an app that you can create with your iPhone. 

In a nut shell they are cartoon versions of yourself & your friends that you curate into different scenarios. I was mildly curious to try it, if only to see how close of a likeness I could actually get — but relented to do so after they were beginning to grate on my nerves.  As of late, it’s been filling up my Facebook feed, and stopping me from being able to see all of the OTHER braggadocio profusions that my friends post of their babies, their marathons, and their twelfth vacation of the year!

If like me, you find them narcissistic annoyances, you can easily block them by following this link that describes how to delete from seeing them. That goes for the Farmville’s and the Candy Crush’s as well.

One or two cartoons are cute, and some tow the clever line better than others, but there are those on my feed that are living vicariously through these things and it’s giving me a case of the ‘weirds.’

Dungeons and Dragons Weirds. Second Life Weirds. Stop referring to yourself in the 3rd person WEIRDS!

The reality/fantasy blur has never been my bag.

The Pop Culture Rainman

“Baby Boogaloo”–the Boy Behind my Dancing Gif!

I get a lot of people complimenting me about my Gif shown on the right hand side of my home page of the adorable little dancer ‘poppin & lockin’ aka doing the ‘Electric Boogaloo.’

The boy’s name is Miles Brown aka “Baby Boogaloo” and the Gif comes from the 2011 music video by London soul singer Aloe Blacc. Check out his incredible moves in full below. He first shows up at the 0:55 mark.

Baby Boogaloo first gained notoriety at the embryonic age of just *Three* dancing on a Youtube video here:

This video was made in 2009 when Miles was Four during a one-time appearance at City Walk in Los Angeles. The control he has over his body movements are pretty awe-inspiring. *That’s his father in the background–Jack Brown, also a musician and dancer.

His star stature really took off when he appeared on Ellen in that same year, and then at the age of Five when he competed on America’s Got Talent as part of a break dancing duo called Future Funk.

Since America’s Got Talent (No, they didn’t win) Baby Boogaloo has appeared in a variety of music videos and in several dancing competitions.

Just three days ago Virgin America released their latest UH-mazing ‘Glee-like’ Safety Video which also features Baby Boogaloo at the 3:30 mark. He’s looking a lot less ‘baby-esque’ but nonetheless still commands the camera with his hilarious lip synching performance and out-of-this-world moves.

The sky is the limit for this young talent and you can follow his budding career on his Twitter @mrbabyboogaloo.

Baby Boogaloo is all growns up! Seen here on Halloween 2013.

Baby Boogaloo is all growns up! Seen here on Halloween 2013.

I hope he knows he will be my forever ‘dancing machine’ official mascot and that I would LOVE to thrown down with him one of these days. Once upon a time, I really knew my way around the dance floor–and I think I still *GOT* it!

Love & Boogaloo,

The Pop Culture Rainman

Orange is the new Black [face?]

Around 6 weeks ago I posted this picture on my Facebook with the caption:

My Halloween Costume This Year, Please Don’t Steal it!”

Actress Uzo Aduba playing her character Suzanne aka 'Crazy Eyes'

Actress Uzo Aduba playing her character Suzanne aka ‘Crazy Eyes’

I was met with overwhelming laughter and encouragement from all of my friends.

OMG Crazy Eyes, That’s so Funny!” said one.

I Can’t Wait to see your Pictures. Please Post them on Halloween!” wrote another.


About ten posts into the thread, a relative by marriage living in the States wrote “isn’t this offensive?”

To which I quipped back; (not entirely devoid of feeling huffy that I was being called out on my OWN FB board)…

Offensive? To whom? This is a great character on TV from a show I adore. I’m not reading into it more than that I assure you?”


And then last weekend…this happened.

Dancer/Actress Julianne Hough Dressed up as 'Crazy Eyes' for Halloween

Dancer/Actress Julianne Hough Dressed up as ‘Crazy Eyes’ for Halloween

Immediately like wild-fire, there were allegations that Ms. Hough was racist, that her outfit was offensive and that she was misguided in thinking it could ever be appropriate.

This jarred me to my marrow, as, this was my idea only 6 weeks prior?

In the end, Ms. Hough put out an apology tweet, that in my opinion was vetted by her PR team who implored that she do so. I believe that she felt bad that she was offensive in any capacity as well, but had she truly understood the implications and backlash, I don’t think she would have ever done it in the first place? She truly had no idea!

The apology in full read like this: “I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize


Ok, so back to topic.

Disclaimer: My intention here is not to offend ANYONE, but rather curry a dialogue about how people can see things so differently, especially people of different races, cultures, and even ages.

I have to be honest and this is truly with zero intended malice or disrespect, but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Julianne Hough’s costume? Not to get into a debate about color or hues…but I see her as ‘orange-faced’ at best, and didn’t even think that something like this would offend? Honest!

Is it possible that it’s because the character is based on someone who is both mentally ill and incarcerated? The latter being an overused stereotype in the black community or inversely as negative ammunition towards the black community?

What if Julianne had dressed up with her ex-boyfriend Ryan Seacrest as Mr. & Mrs. Obama; The President & First Lady of the United States?  Would the maelstrom reaction have existed as badly? Or how about someone like the beloved and gorgeous Beyoncé–successful & strong people of color?

I’m not the one who is offended here, so I’m truly asking? Is this more about negative stereotypes, than a case of Blackface?

I pride myself as someone who is moderately educated and informed on historical matters and even *I* thought that there was a very different interpretation of Blackface. (I’m not even *certain* I’m spelling Blackface properly, and even that gives me anxiety that I’m offending someone!)

Inset:1)Ted Dansen shocks the world as he wears Blackface in a 1993 Friars Club Roast to then girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg, 2)1900 Minstrel show poster, 3)Entertainer Al Jolson in Blackface.

I HONESTLY thought that the Vaudeville era of white entertainers who wore ‘Blackface’, were what was offensive to the African American community et al. The notion that a white entertainer would dress up in such a lampooned manner, depicting a black clown face and emphasizing the larger lips, as if to denote that for them to ‘entertain’ they felt the need to project the ‘black face clown image’ ie; that white people don’t have to cower to entertain the masses, that the clown ‘entertainer’ should be a black person (long sentence, mea culpa).

It’s not perfectly articulated, but this is what I ‘thought’ was the offensive Blackface in question. I know there are many other offensive depictions of black culture such as the ‘Mammy/Aunt Jemima house servant’ or other overt Blaxploitation characters that exist that I haven’t touched on, but my intention here is NOT to write-up a laundry list, so bear with me.

My intention here is to express my own confusion and naiveté about what is acceptable for Halloween, as a white Canadian who considers herself responsible and compassionate (OMG, I’m writing in 3rd person…super ick!)


Another set of photo’s surfaced this week. That of a private party that was thrown in Italy called “Hallowood Disco Africa 2013.” It was attended by various taste makers and fashion designers and the pictures that surfaced were shocking to say the least.

Below famed fashion designer Allesandro Dell’Acqua is wearing dark face paint and big white-painted lips while posing in a picture with a feather adorned Stefano Gabbana from Dolce & Gabbana (pictured on left).

In addition, there were various people who were sporting this slave-like costume? I’m unsure if these were actual guests or were male models who were hired as ambient props for the evening.

Either way, it was in the utmost of poor taste, and I certainly didn’t need an Internet outcry to make me see that it was offensive and utterly disgusting.

N.B. The organizers of the “Hallowood Disco Africa” have issued an apology via Instagram in the wake of all the controversy.


While I didn’t think anything could trump that revolting display, I learned of a photo that was taken by some young white adults (ages 22-25) re-enacting the death of Trayvon Martin and his assailant George Zimmerman. While the photo was eventually taken down, it had already gone viral and out of respect for Trayvon Martin’s family I would never repost it here. This particular Blackface of Trayvon was so caricature that I don’t even know what it was made from (a mask or paint?) but the entire picture, which included a bloodstained gun shot wound on the sweatshirt made me want to projectile vomit all over American stupidity and arrogance as a whole.

Again, my reaction was one of disbelief and moral outrage.

Apparently the parties involved issued some sort of an apology via I-have-no-idea, and with that image on permanent record I’m certain that this group is having to super-glue their lives back together and rightfully so, as it will probably haunt them for the remainder of their pathetic existence on this planet.

It doesn’t end here friends.

A couple of days ago, this happened to the daughter of Alec Baldwin & Kim Basinger–Miss Ireland Baldwin.

Ireland was on vacay with her mother in Disneyland for Halloween weekend (which as you can see was when most people dressed up who were above the ages of twelve). She posted the following picture via Instagram, and almost immediately she was inundated with accusations of RACISM?!?!

She was earnest in expressing that as someone who is part Cherokee on her mothers side, was emulating this Disney character…BECAUSE  DUH,  SHE WAS IN DISNEY LAND; get a GRIP ‘Merica!

Being that she is the daughter of the famed Twitter outlaw Alec Baldwin, I’m not surprised she stood up for herself and good for her!

She had this to say…

And this…


And ultimately this…


I can’t say I understand what its like to have lived under a narrative of oppression, and I’m sensitive and have compassion for all forms of suffering, bullying or racism→ but hasn’t this all gotten out of hand? Should all racial parody costumes cease? I don’t know the answer to that, but I felt compelled to immediately take down my original Facebook post about my Halloween plans, of which didn’t actually exist, and was just a fun post about what I would want to be this year if I could. I have a long history of dressing up as various characters from ‘TV’ or ”Media’ some of them from different cultures, but I definitely won’t be doing that in the future any longer. Through all of this, I learned something new, and I’m thankful for a heightened awareness in my sensitivity footprint. I guess it’s back to the Sexy Nurse, Sexy School Girl, Sexy Meteorologist Halloween garb for me!

"Its going to be MUCHO  Caliente in the Gulf of Mexico today Papi..."

“Its going to be MUCHO Caliente in the Gulf of Mexico today Papi…”

…Until the meteorologists get offended that is.

I sincerely wish everyone and their families a safe and joyful Halloween eve.

One Love,

The Pop Culture Rainman

*I have used the term black community in the majority of my expression above. Again this is in no way to disrespect anyone. I was brought up in Canada, and in my experience I don’t hear the term African-Canadians used very often, but understand that it is a valid, and often desired expression and way to address the black community. I do use it more when describing an African-American as I feel that this is the general term used. Might I also add candidly, that as a white person, I get frazzled when it comes to the right and wrong way to address people of color, and I believe it’s an anxiety shared by many conscious white people.