October 19, 2006

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Red: Good, AIDS: Bad This past month, The Gap introduced a limited collection of clothing and accessories for men and women designed to "help eliminate AIDS in Africa." Half the profit from PRODUCT RED will go to The Global Fund to finance programs that help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. And that's fantastic. However, the ad campaign of portraits by Annie Leibovitz, might raise awareness less about the African AIDS crisis and more about...other stuff... Shall we? "No more pain, no more fear, no more drama, NO MORE AIDS! I'm wearing red, my eyes are shut, and one of my necklaces is a peace sign! But guess what, AIDS? I'm not gon' cry! AIDS is whack! Some think my being titled 'The Queen of Hip Hop Soul' is whack, as well, because my strained, throaty singing isn't necessarily pleasant to everyone, but guess what? I'm NOT GON' CRY! ...But AIDS will. Cry, AIDS, cry." With all due respect, Don Cheadle might want to save the strip show for a different photo shoot. Seriously, AIDS has not gone away, and as much as we like to think it has, we'd be lying to ourselves if...Oh my God, look at those GUNS! His bicep looks like a goiter, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible! Honestly, what do you think he benches? If I were to guess 200 pounds, would you think I were crazy? I don't even think it would sound crazy. ...Man, who knew, right? Who knew? *Sigh* ... What were we talking about? What's up? After a little research, I learned that this fella was Olympics star Apolo Ohno. And, yes, he's skating against AIDS, the li'l dreamboat. As someone who never found Chris Rock to be especially witty, despite the critical praise in which he bathes, I must say that he's really surprised me here. Not only is Rock making a statement by wearing apparel from PRODUCT RED, but he's also being comical by mocking the mentally ill! The old strait jacket gag never gets old ("I'm CRAAAAZY!") Oh, and fight AIDS! Hey, Africa! Guess what? Jennifer Garner has a message for you, and that message is: "Stop having unprotected sex! That's why you got AIDS in the first place, silly nation! Instead of hooking up with the diseased, masturbate to photos like this one, where my privates are shadowed beneath my healthy Caucasian glow! Even if you're not into girls whose faces look like those of disabled adolescent boys, I guarantee you'll feel better! Keep it real, homies!" Supermodel Christy Turlington strikes the "spiritual pose." Here, she's photographed in a sexy off-the-shoulder, red one-piece meant to remind us that sexy, off-the-shoulder, red one-pieces may serve as why AIDS spreads in the first place. And the nipples? Those are meant to imply that she's cold. I'm pretty sure it's a safe assessment to say that Dakota Fanning is unanimously considered disgusting. I realize that she's a kid (although I can't figure out it she's seven, twelve, or thirty five), but that air of Not-Yet-Damaged Child Star rings strong here, as the "casual" pose she strikes here seems to say, "Sup, y'all? ...Oh, not much. Just hangin' out, fighting AIDS...just hangin' out. Watchin' Degrassi." It's annoying.
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Law And Order: Litterbug Watch This past weekend, my two roommates were returning to our apartment in Park Slope from a Friday evening barhopping in Williamsburg. It was about 3:00am, and after waiting twenty minutes for monstrously big slices of pizzas, conversing uncomfortably with an old friend from college whom they'd run into on the platform, and being given free nail polish samplings, the L train finally arrived to return them eastward. After transferring to the G train, they sat, exhausted and still half-drunk, my female roommate painting her nails with her found freebie. It was one of those early morning trains filled with hipsters and hobos, achingly quiet yet still bright enough to keep them from falling asleep. Three stops in, with about a half dozen more to go before reaching the 4th Avenue stop, a policeman approached them. "Sir," he said, "I'm going to need you to step of the train." Seth, whose small frame and boyish face wouldn't normally attract him police suspicion, confusedly replied, "But I'm with her." "She can come too," he answered. Nikki followed, and after nervously watching the G ride off into the night as they stood on the platform at Myrtle Avenue at 3:30 in the morning with a cop who pointed his finger at Seth and began making accusations. Seth, quietly freaking out, stood astounded completely clueless as to why he was being questioned by an officer. In a minor stupor, Seth figured he was in trouble for being slightly drunk, before quickly realizing that being summoned for consuming alcohol hadn't posed a threat for nearly a century. The officer mentioned something about "leaving the bag" on the ground. What with the constant warning heard every day on the subway, Seth realized that he'd left his backpack at Nikki's feet for a moment, and that perhaps he'd been reprimanded on suspicion of terrorism (which, of course, is often how any other local 22-year-old wraps up a Friday night of drinks at the Brooklyn Brewery: bomb threat, y'all!). Before long, however, Seth discovered that the officer hadn't pulled him aside after suspecting that he'd planted a bomb. Instead, three stops in Williamsburg, Seth had gotten up to throw out the paper plate holding the remains of his Meat Lovers slice. Upon doing so, the officer's eyes caught Seth disposing of the plate into the garbage. However, he also saw a paper bag on the ground that, although not having seen Seth do so, quickly assumed him to have carelessly tossed it onto the otherwise sparkling clean Lorimer St. platform. Seth, bewildered, tired, and annoyed, retraced his steps in painstaking detail for the cop, who then realized that, indeed, he'd made a mistake. In fact, connecting a random object with an individual nearby doesn't make sense after all! Believe it or not, it's entirely illogical! Officer Broadshoulders had, after all, no reason to haggle an innocent, law-abiding Jewboy and his Shiksa companion for committing a crime for which the homeless, who both sleep and urinate on the same concrete, are rarely bothered. Luckily for the cop, he'd made sure to fill out the necessary paperwork to avoid being reported for needlessly pulling Seth and Nikki off the train on (wait for it...) Suspicion of Littering. At the very least, Seth figured, the cop could provide a ride home. "Sorry," the officer replied, "I have to ride the train, too." To New York City Cops, Our Unnecessarily Intrusive, Unequivocally Accusatory, and Selectively Discriminatory Racist Heroes! This one's for you!

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