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? 

I mean HOLY F-CK KNUCKLES, WHAT IN WITCH TITS HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?!?!

…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.

NNNRYYYYYYYY

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. 

XOXO,

Longtime entertainment writer/journo and future published AUTHOR,

*curtsey*

Renee Gold

A.K.A.

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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.

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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?

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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)

XOXO,

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,

XOXO

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.

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…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

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…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!

XOXO

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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XOXO

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

XOXO

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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!!”

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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.

XOXOX

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