I’m back! Miss me?

Well HELLOOOO There my delicious lover heads! It’s been a minute hasn’t it?

I took some ‘personal days’ off from blogging—over 8 month’s worth if you want to get petty and do the math.

But why?

I’m glad you never asked.

First off can we just discuss the K HOLE DUMPSTER FIRE that was 2018 for a moment? 


…A cesspool of pain, growth, a break-up, MORE PAIN, poverty, tons of begging, grovelling, and ooh! squeezing the last ounce of patience out of my remaining friends.

Yup! 2018 was like that splintered climbing rope we had to straddle in high school gym class when David Milner told all the boys he saw my maxi pad…

Nothing good came out of it and it hurt like F-CK.

(FYI 80’s maxi pads were like wearing small mattresses, truly.)

Anyhow the good news here is that progress has been made and my long awaited essay/memoir—my messmoir (I loves me some portmanteau) book will finally come out in 2020. 

The title is:

Pop Life (based on my love for pop culture and an homage to my idol Prince)

Sex, Effexor & Hip-Hop based on the Ian Dury song “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” and that’s all I will reveal for now. There’s going to be so much more than just a book.

I’ve been working on this memoir for no joke, 20 years—efficiency is clearly not a strong suit.

Its evolved, its stagnated, its died many painful deaths, its been in remission, its been through maddening bursts of pure genius, followed by many instances of crippling self-doubt, rewrites, revisions and so on.

Also I have 2 full chapters and some change where I write about actor Ryan Reynolds and my absolute stalking appreciation of him.


Yup! I can finally and proudly announce that this BOOK is currently off life support and fully breathing on its own!

Just promise to buy it so that at the very least I can give my cat the kind of dental care that we all know she deserves?

Also I’m getting my full blog domain name Popculturerainman.com back expeditiously. 

Anyhoo, 2019 is going to be incredible I already have dreamy full-time top shelf name publicity and copywriting contracts that I’m also working on, the break up turned into a make-up, and I’m so thankful for all your support. TRULY. 


Longtime entertainment writer/journo and future published AUTHOR,


Renee Gold




Stephen Colbert Has Saved Late Night

The last days of David Letterman’s reign on CBS’s The Late Show were tugging at my heart-strings to say the least.

Letterman had been the last vestige in appointment viewing for me—after decades of staunch viewership. I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to such a mainstay in my life, and could not fathom late night without him.

No one, not a one touched Letterman’s unique brand of genius. Not the Golden Retriever ‘yes-person’ styling’s of  Jimmy Fallon, not Kimmel, not even Conan’s brilliance (*and he has comic genius in spades). And don’t get me started on Leno’s paint-by-numbers, mind-numbing nightly phone in.

Stephen Colbert had enormous shoes to fill, and he stepped into that time slot + the iconic Ed Sullivan theatre, and absolutely made it his OWN.


He has reinvigorated late night with an incredible VARIETY of guests, the latticework of his myriad talents—song + dance chops, he’s an ordained minister?! and comedic timing that is HEAD and SHOULDERS above anyone currently breathing on this planet. My brain feels like its been folded into intricate origami shapes after I watch each show, and that is a VERY good thing! He has disrupted the oh so lazy paradigm and rigmarole of late night guests—*bland celebrities, one after the other plugging their movies (wash, rinse, repeat) and turned it on its head.

His guests are changemakers, tastemakers, mavericks of science, politicians, tech giants, authors, dancers—and the ‘celebrities’ that he does feature, are the Rhodes Scholar stars of their field!

Even his band has brought something fresh and new to the late night stage. Band leader Jean Baptiste and Stay Human have a distinctive New Orleans sound and vibe (Ragtime, Dixieland, Jazz, Soul +++) and his musical guest choices are also out-of-the-box novelties. Sometimes its an on stage hodgepodge collaboration, as was the inaugural episode featuring Mavis Staples, my absolute favorites Alabama Shakes, Beirut and Buddy Guy. Sometimes its Stephen Colbert joining in as in the aforementioned, and most recently in a duet with Tenacious D’s lead singer (and actor) Jack Black. Last night’s performance by Judith Hill just slayed on every level.


My only complaint, the one caveat here—is Jon Batiste’s jaunty usage of that Piano Kazoo?

Piano Kazou

No one plays the ‘Triangle’ in an ADULT band, and no-one plays a Piano Kazoo. I have no idea what is its really called but it’s not doing anyone any favors and needs to go. Its freaking me out.

To sum up, Stephen Colbert and his coterie of writers, producers, musicians, and even his set designers have saved late night, and in effect saved us all from ourselves. I know, HEAVY stuffs.

To bringing Intelligenza back, (*to me THAT is SEXY)


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,


The Ashley Madison Hack Aftermath; The Cheaters Named!

**KARMA** is a resting bitch face best served up COLD, my friendsicles! 

Beyond people who hurt children and animals, I would say CHEATERS place 3rd on my ultimate s**t list. If you are going to throw your kibbles and bits around where they don’t belong, then you deserve to be CAUGHT in such a magnified, monumental way! Yes, my Schadenfreude is merciless.


…And so without further ado, here’s a short run down of the Ashley Madison hack aftermath—post the data dump release of 32 million names.

Kicking Asses & Taking Names

A photo illustration shows the Ashley Madison website displayed on a smartphone in Toronto, August 20, 2015. Love lives and reputations may be at risk after the release of customer data from infidelity website Ashley Madison, an unprecedented breach of privacy likely to rattle users' attitudes towards the Internet. Hackers dumped a big cache of data containing millions of email addresses for U.S. government officials, UK civil servants and high-level executives at European and North America corporations late on Tuesday, the latest cyber attack to raise concerns about Internet security and data protection. REUTERS/Mark Blinch - RTX1OZ5D

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The more notable cheeeetah‘s on the list have been Josh Dugger who sang like a canary, admitting his ‘hypocritical’ misgivings as soon as his name became public. Good thing he didn’t play the DENY card, as just yesterday news surfaced that Dugger recently hired a porn star he did not meet on Ashley Madison. Even more worrisome, said porn star claims that she was manhandled in a ‘terrifying‘ way by Dugger who paid her $1500.00 for the deed. Dugger has now checked into a “faith-based” addiction rehab?!?! and this entire story (including the former sexual abuse of his sisters) makes me want to boil my brain with bleach.

Dad Surprise Preg Video Guy

Speaking of religious zealots, Christian vlogger Sam Radar is also hiding behind Jesus & JC’s Daddy after being named, but claims he was merely a Looky-loo troll (ya, right?!) who never went beyond curiosity…

The account was open out of pure, fleshly desires and sinful curiosity. I’ve sought forgiveness to God and he has forgiven me. I never met with a single person face-to-face from that website and that I never had an affair with anybody, ever.” —Liar Liar Pants on FIYAH

realityshow z listers emphasis on zzzz

…The husbands of Z-list reality stars with an emphasis on the Zzzzz’s have also been CAUGHT in the Ashley Madison crosshairs. Jionni Lavalle and his wife the Pokémon guidette of Jersey Shore fame—Snooki (on Left) are denying the allegations with a united front. Real Housewives *star* Kristen Taekman’s millionaire husband Josh Taekman (on Right) first tried to deny the allegations, but after it surfaced that he accessed ie; paid the site 62 times—he reissued a lie statement that he signed up as a ‘joke’ with friends.

Jokes on you buddy as you try to super glue your marriage together! I hope she takes you to the cleaners!!!

While other names have floated through this scandal, a former prosecutor, a Texan police chief, so far its all very Maury Povich quality wouldn’t you agree? I’m looking for A-list names! Where are all the cheating A-Listers?!

Christmas in July

While divorce lawyers are claiming a huge spike in business hence the moniker ‘Christmas in July’ reputation PR firms are also seeing a boon in biz.

According to the CEO of Reputation Management Consultants Eric Schiffer, the firm has received dozens of “desperate calls” from “some very famous and wealthy people“.

We’ve received unbelievably desperate calls from famous politicians, top celebrities and extremely wealthy executives freaking out!”

Is Schiffers online PR prowess and those like him the reason we haven’t been privy to these more powerful figures? Can money protect these titans from eventually being named? According to Schiffer it depends on what email address was used and if it can be traced back to the rogue scallywag hubbies→my words not his. He did say “Eventually though, they perhaps will [be found out]” denoting that he’s more of a picking up the pieces service, as opposed to a firm that can make the pieces disappear altogether.

Several spinoff crimes are popping up, whereby sites that promise to remove alleged names from the database list for a fee, are simply scams and only exposing people to viruses and malware.

Time will tell as this is a list that is ripening in real-time, with every day bringing forth a new hall of shame. Stay Tuned!

A couple of updates on the case at large:

Last week 2 Canadian law firms filed a $578 million anonymous class action suit against Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Dating, and a litany of others have followed. Read about the suits that totals to a half a billion dollars here from NBC news. Many of the plaintiffs believe the company had ample time to warn its users to remove themselves from the site as well as protect their privacy better with available encoding technology.

On their end of this fracas, Ashley Madison is offering a $500,000 reward for information on the hackers. Considering the Canadian dollar is at an all time low, it’s truly chump change for anyone in the US.

Personally, I think they should save their Nancy Drew money—they’re going to need it!


Faithfully Yours,

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New Pop Culture Infusions Coming Soon!

Hey Pop Culture Lover Heads!

August has been a bit of a slow month I will concede, but I will be back next week with a brand new post on the Ashley Madison hack.

…And remember The Pop Culture Rainman™ is ALWAYS 100% original brand spanking new content. I don’t regurgitate others people’s hard work + stories and simply repost them here on the daily like ‘some bloggers’ do—isn’t that what Twitter is for?

Also, I like to s-t-re-t-c-h out my thoughts in what millennials like to call Long Reads? I just look at my work as THOROUGH and well rounded—I’m not a sound byte type of scribe. I may not post every day, but it’s always cutting edge, 24-carat legit AWESOMENESS!

To sum up…The Pop Culture Rainman is like a fine vintage Merlot you slip SLOWLY out of a Riedel Sommeliers wine glass on a veranda in Paris, as opposed to the kind that comes out of a BOX, that you drink out of a plastic cup…in the back of a pick up.

**Spot the Difference**

It’s your ball Internet …



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Flying High with Aerial Yoga

Going All Upside Down Styles at Fly Yoga!

After practicing various forms of yoga for well over a decade, when I heard about Aerial Yoga—a mixture of aerial acrobatics and Asana yoga—I knew I had to try it!

Gywneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman are fans of the practice which has a multitude of benefits, some of which are spinal decompression, lymphatic drainage, and a fuller expression of each pose with the aid of good ‘ol gravity. It’s also a highly effective all-over work out. While not exactly new—the practice is said to have started in New York in 2007, it’s a relatively novel trend in Canada.

The place, FLY STUDIO in Toronto’s downtown core of Queen West Street has been around since 2013, and was the first studio to introduce Aerial Yoga to the city!


My instructor, Ms. Ariel Whittaker-Brown—an unbelievably gorgeous and kind lass who looks like a cross between a fox and an albino fawn, talks me through some of the tenets of Aerial Yoga and answers my multitude of questions before class.  

 I immediately want to covet her teeny-tiny nose, but alas…the ‘silks’ await.


The purple ‘silks’ are the ultimate in an all-in-one yoga tool–eschewing the need for a strap or block. Our class of around 8 begins as we situate ourselves in front of a silk that fits our height, and we slowly open them up to resemble a trapeze.


Learning a new language of yoga…supported leg stretches.

The silks are surprisingly versatile, and soon I’m learning an entire new language of yoga that is both familiar and entirely *new* at the same time. It’s definitely an adjustment, whereby you have to learn to succumb with the knowledge that the silk can and WILL support your body weight. With the ability to support 1000 pds apiece, intellectually I understand that I’m safe, but it definitely takes some time to fully trust the feeling of being supported above the ground—even if it is only a couple of feet.

Synapses in my brain are firing off at record speed and this is a mixture of the easiest and hardest thing I’ve ever done?! Easiest because the silks allow me to get into postures and extensions that I normally would never reach on my own, and hard because it is a challenging workout that uses muscles you normally would never tap into to!

The Lovely Flying Gazelle: Instructor Ariel Whittaker-Brown

Ariel, informs me that the learning curve is about 2-3 classes. The same goes for the pain threshold…as the initial feeling of the silks tightly cutting into various body parts can be uncomfortable (especially thighs and if you are sensitive like me the underarms). Thankfully, there are modifications on every movement and as for the general yoga ethos, you go at your own pace and are encouraged to listen to your body and any limits thereof.

Did I mention the ABSOLUTE child-like fun factor? There were many moments where I giggled, or let out a playful “yee-hawas I learned how to go all upside downsies, legs flailing until I finally learned to semi-perfect the pose at hand.

Being upside down with the blood rushing to your head has myriad benefits that are great for your heart and promote a flooding of endorphins—but like everything it does have its limits. “You should absolutely come back up when you feel like it’s too much, or if you feel dizzy” says Ariel. My personal threshold was around the 2-3 minute mark.

And while Ariel looks like a super model from any angle, for the rest of us with jowly cheek circumference, a weak chin and the gravitational *pull* of underarm breast tissue—being photographed upside down isn’t the most flattering of ‘LOOKS.

My natural instinct is to superimpose Beyoncé’s face on these upside down photos of myself,  however I will resist the urge to cower to my vanity and post some of my poses. *Mea Culpa, but I look like a swollen pomegranate.

Ahem, moving right along!

Best of all, each class ends with enveloping oneself in a cocoon-like formation inside the silk. We begin first with a playful seated swing, then extending the legs for some side to side stretching before fully extending the legs and arms and preparing for Shavasana.

I can’t tell you how comforting and utterly natural a sensation this felt, being fully supported and swaddled above ground this way. I fell into a deep meditative state as soothing atmospheric music played in the background. I emerged from practice feeling renewed and grateful, and I encourage EVERYONE to try a class—I absolutely loved it!

See y’all in the SILKS!


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Electric Unicycle NineBot One. The Future of Personal Transport is On Fleek!

So I’m walking in downtown Toronto last week in the early evening, going west on Queen St just before University when I see this guy WHIZZZ by me on some sort of contraption. I wasn’t the only on that took notice. Everyone around me turned their heads in amazement, mouths agape as to what they were seeing?! Being that I am The Pop Culture Rainman™ +  a Trend Hunter to boot, before I knew it I was chasing after this guy, waving my hands wildly and yelling for him to “STOP!!”


My first response as he came to a quick halt was “WHAT IS THAT?!”

He answered in an accent that suggested he had lived in several cities around the world besides his native Singapore; “it’s an electric unicycle!

To my utter cluelessness these electric unicycles have been around for a couple of years now. The gold standard of electric unicycles—-the futuristic + compact Ninebot One [insert regal trumpet here] was created in Beijing and was just released to market during Christmas 2014, so, really I’m not THAT out of touch. The NineBot was also the hottest item at CES Las Vegas back in January, with orders pouring in from all over the world for Spring 2015.  

The Ninebot One is touted as a battery-powered personal transportation device that is both compact and totally ‘stylin. It is not for use on main streets and can travel upwards of 20km/h while having the facility of 360º mobility. You can also bling the balls out of the Ninebot One with personalized media add-ons, designs/colors/lights, and it transforms into a case that is light weight and easy to carry.

I asked the guy in the above photo that I snapped, how long it took him to learn how to use it, and he said 3 days—and afterwards he was a pro. Others can pick it up instantly while others take longer, but another add-on option is a set of training wheels, to get your unicycle legs in check.

Photos from L to R: A Tricked out Ninebot One with training wheels and attachable light, The Kids are Alright on their personalized NineBot Ones + Programmable Iridescent Ambient Lamp technology. There are thousands more color options than just the ‘Game of Simon’ light show pictured below right.

While there are other brands of electric unicycles out there, the NineBot is only avail in select areas/stores in Canada, US, Etc, but the product can be shipped to anywhere in the world OBVS.

This will be the hottest new trend that you will see growing in north America this summer, and I for one would LOVE to own one! (Hint, Hint Montreal distributors of NineBot Canada?) It’s a safe alternative for the environment and I love the sleek design and ease of use. Because this is a new product different cities will have various laws and regulations regarding safety gear. But it’s always wise to wear a helmet and safety pads with anything that can reach considerable speed ya dig?

and YES I tried to get away with saying ‘On Fleek’ in my title without sounding like a try-hard foolio. It’s a great SEO Booster, and let’s face it, I’m still $996,000 away from being a millionaire and need all the help I cans GETS.

Send Money. Ride Carefully.


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The Hipster Flower Beard Trend

2013 was the year of the Hipster Beard—the full-on grisly growth that was prominently displayed on men wherever free-trade coffee + muesli vegan/gluten-free energy bars were sold. Wheras many a hipster-dude shaved off their beards for the sweltering summer months, a new trend for diehards popped up in its place—The Hipster Flower Beard!

Falling in line with the economical hipster-ethos, the flowers should be plucked from nature—the smaller the buds the better—think baby’s breath size! 

Babys Breath Makes a Perfect Flower Beard Accent!

Baby’s Breath Makes a Perfect Flower Beard Accent!

While the itty bitty fleurs look fab in many an Instagram artful portraiture, I was curious to see how this trend handled on a day-in-the-life-test drive courtesy of Bustle.com, but remember results vary!

Be on the lookout for this delightful trend to show up at many an outdoor hipster wedding, the last of the summer music festivals or any variant on a SAVE THE BEES march/protest.

Remember, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your flowers, but you CAN’T pick your friends flower beards!


The Pop Culture Rainman

The Pop Culture Rainman™ Best of 2013 Part 1!

Tah Dahhhhhhhhhh!

My totally un-scientific and disjointed list of the year’s biggest Pop Culture noise makers, trend forecasts and infotainment, mixed in with a big chewy nougat of celebrity *cringe*! So in no particular order (what is this order you speak of?) Here it is Friendsicles!

*No interns were hurt in the making of this list

Best in Music

As a former full-time music journalist, I still try to fuse some of my musicology prowess into this newly minted blog. In 2013 I reviewed an exceptional body of work, one of which landed at #1 on virtually everyone’s end-of-year lists. Read my review of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories here.

Runner up is Beyoncé’s self-title end of season surprise album which sold a whopping 828,773 copies worldwide in its first three days on iTunes. A.K.A. The Visual Album, the 14 songs which feature everyone from Drake, Frank Ocean and even her daughter Blue Ivy, comes with the ‘visual’ accompaniment of 17 slick music videos.

On a side note: It’s good to see newcomer like her finally get their comeuppance 😉 Don’t let your aversion to commercialism over-ride this funktastic album and just wish Beyoncé and her buckets of money a Congratuloncé. (Yes, I just did *that*)

Best in Television

Netflix took over 2013 in a big way and with that came more eye balls on Breaking Bad and the season end finale with a colossal 10.4 million views on AMC. The number has grown exponentially larger from all the cross-pollination views on Netflix, but I’m allergic to math so your on your own to figure out the number crunching. Mea Culpa. What became of Walter White and his five-year Cancer Battle/Meth Cook-off?

Spoiler is here. You’re welcome.

Breaking Bad Season Finale

Breaking Bad Season Finale

Best in Television Spin-off

Better Call Saul...

Better Call Saul…

“Better Call Saul,” Walter White’s sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman get’s his own gig in an exclusive Netflix arrangement. I know. So many *feels* on this. It’s gonna be uh-mazing!

Best in Books

2013 saw two of my favorite bloglebrities put out exclusive hilarious tomes. Kelly Oxford’s Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar and Fashion Assassin Leandra Miller’s Man Repeller


These foxy bitches parlayed their Twitter/Blog Fame into 360 degrees of Real Life Fame!  I’ll be damned if I’m not next!!

Best Magazine Cover

It’s a Three Way Tie! Rolling Stone’s cover of Lena Dunham and juicy interview were the stuff of Girly dreams and Oprah’s hair-raising cover was simply too much fun!

New York magazine featured one of my favorite actresses Lake Bell in her birthday suit. I know what your thinking. Yes, her *hair* is TOTALLY fake.

Best in Former Child-Stars A.K.A. ♪ “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be 

Disney Constructs…”♪

The maniacal barely-dressed selfies. The haterade towards ‘ugly people.’ The suggestively ‘rapey’ come-on’s to Drake? 2013 was the year Amanda Bynes officially went crazy-cakes via her Twitter account. Oh and the ratchet wigs! Absotootly fetching!

 *Do* try and work with your medication(s) in 2014 will you Ms Bynes? (Be Well!)


Miley Cyrus made headlines in 2013 proving to everyone in try-hard doses how much she didn’t want to be viewed a Hannah Montana any longer. She’s Not a Girl….Not Yet a Hoookerrrrr.”♪ 

Yes, I’m slut-shaming. Deal with it.

Take one part pasty tongue-wagging gymnastics, two parts ass gyrating twerking, mix it in a cusinart with some oooooh-you-naughty-pot-smoking-rebel-on-live-tee-vee, some interrogation-lit Terry Richardson porn, and…we got it Miley.

We. Really. Got. It. You all GROWNS UP.  

Best in Guy Trend

My local coffee shop is THE place where hipsters converge in their natural habitat on the daily. When not sipping their fair-trade lattes and eating vegan muesli bars, I have a game I like to play called “count the hipster beards.”Hey brothers; it was fun while it lasted. Here’s to 2014 and some clippers, mmmkay?

Best Photo Bomb

There have been some epic photo bombs in the past year, but none as bomb diggity as this one taken last February at the Grammy’s. Here’s the adorbs Kelly Clarkson bombing Portia and Ellen’s photo opp with absolute aplomb. *see what I did there?

…Stay tuned for Part Deux of 2013 Pop Culture Rainman’s Year in Review.

In the Mean Nice Time…Merry Christmas Lover Heads!

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.