I’m breaking my self-imposed but entirely unintentional blogging hiatus to comment on this OMG Diet. I will probably start blogging again because as I get older, the more things piss me off. Instead of beleaguering my boyfriend with my rants (and because Twitter only allows for short angry missives), I’ll pour out my rage here.
To recap: Some douchey personal trainer, who has no medical or scientific background, wrote a book called Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. In it, he gives some stupid tips to lose weight, like blowing balloons, taking cold baths and skipping breakfast. Seriously. Not making this shit up.
The sad part is, publishers are beating down his door to publish this tripe because — fuck you, young girls and common sense — this will make them a ton of money. Because there are people who want to lose a lot of weight in as little time as possible and with minimal effort, and they are desperate to try anything — except, you know, eating better and exercising — and will buy this book. They will buy it, and they will try to adhere to its crazy methodology, like chugging black coffee and shunning broccoli (seriously?). They will then tire of it because taking cold baths is not pleasurable and smoothies are very delicious. They will consign the book to the cobwebby bottom shelf of their bookcase, nestled between other stupid books about the Atkins diet and the master cleanse. But it doesn’t matter, you see, because the author and his skeezy publishers will have taken their money. Suckers!
Perhaps I’m being harsh on the guy. After all, for as long as woman have been shamed by the ladymags for their thighs and eating and whatnot, there have been weight-loss books. Lots and lots of weight-loss books. For every “How to get a flat stomach in 6 days to get a man in bed” Cosmo article, there is a fad diet that makes you drink your own pee or give up air. The author, who goes by the alias of Venice Fulton (I’ve rolled my eyes back into my head so severely they’re stuck that way and I’m now typing blindly), is just the latest in a long line of modern snake-oil salesman who claims to have the solution to quick and easy weight loss.
Here’s why the OMG Diet makes me ROTFCMAO (rolling on the floor cursing my ass off, in Internet-speak – because everybody likes acronyms!):
If it’s not obvious to you, the subtext of the ad is that Belvedere Vodka goes down smoothly, unlike some women who have to be tackled and forced to “go down” on smirking douchebags. (In my vivid imagination, she bites off his penis and, while stuffing it down his own throat, cackles, “Is THAT going down smoothly enough for ya?”)
(On a side note: There are some who argue that the ad isn’t “rape-y” at all. They say the ad is talking about the guy; it’s his approach to wooing the women that isn’t going down smoothly. Right, so the woman in the ad is reacting in horror because his pick-up lines are too cheesy? For God’s sake, LOOK AT THE PHOTO. It looks as if she’s just realized that all her fears about being raped are about to come true. Even without the tagline, the whole scenario screams “rape”. If you still don’t see it, I suggest you jump off the highest bridge you can find, because you are too dumb to exist.)
I’m not an expert in advertising, but I do know there is a vetting process when it comes to this stuff. You do not launch an advertising campaign without sign-off from the top. Which means that Belvedere Vodka and its ad agency thought this was okay. Someone thought that making a funny about rape is just the ticket to sell vodka. But when the shit hit the fan, it was time to save face.
So Charles Gibb, the president of Belvedere Vodka, has apologized. How nice. How fucking fantastic. Call me cynical, but this is how I read the statement (my interpretations are in red):
I would like to personally apologize for the offensive post that recently appeared on our Facebook page. [Oops.] It should never have happened. [We thought it was hilarious until y’all freaked out.] I am currently investigating the matter to determine how this happened and to be sure it never does so again. [We’re looking for a patsy to take the fall.] The content is contrary to our values and we deeply regret this lapse. [As in, we value your money, so if you’re pissed, we’ll regret anything.] As an expression of our regret over this matter we have made a donation to RAINN (America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization) [There, we made nice. Now leave us alone, okay?].
Yeah, that apology doesn’t go down smoothly with me.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. – Ernest Hemingway
I’ve waited 42 years to finally see the City of Lights. And I fell in love, with its buildings, its bridges and its cafés.
Paris, je t'aime
Being in Paris in unlike traveling in other cities. It’s not just the history – the United Kingdom has that in droves, as does Greece, Italy and other parts of the world. It’s the feeling you get as you walk down the street. It’s imagining the history that happened right where you’re standing. It’s the respect the city has for its architecture and history. (I live in Toronto, where the oldest structure is less than 200 years old.) It’s hard to explain, really. All I know is when I mention Paris to those who have been there, a certain look comes over their face: the eyes light up, their heads nod slowly, a sigh escapes their mouths.
One thing about Paris is that you will want to see everything in the time you are there. Unless you plan on staying there for six months, you will not see everything. You won’t even get to see the places and things on your list. And if you do, you won’t be able to spend much time seeing them. Because if you dawdle at one place too long, you won’t be able to see THIS or THAT, and oh! I never knew THAT was there, and why is there a line-up at THIS place? and those people at the next table are raving about THAT, so I’ll just have to go THERE…
Okay, take a deep breath. Relax. Accept the fact that you won’t see all of Paris. Instead, experience Paris – walk her streets, take in her beauty and prepare to be overwhelmed.
If you’re planning to visit Paris for the first time, read these tips. You’ll thank me later.
1. Buy a good guide book (with lots of photos) and read it all. It will give you a sense of each neighbourhood, or arrondissement, in Paris, which is important to know when booking a hotel or apartment. Heavily into art and culture? The Marais is a good district for that, with its galleries and artisans. Want to be in the middle of everything? Les Invalides is a ritzy and central neighbourhood. Shopping? Try the Opera district. Also do your research. There is no excuse for not knowing how to ask for your bill, or what to tip your server (nothing – the tip is built into cost, but leaving a Euro or two won’t hurt if the service is good).
2. Download the Time Out Paris app. It’s free and works even if you have your data roaming off. Leave the guide book in the hotel room – you won’t want to lug it around with you. The app has great maps and a GPS system, which lets you know not only where you are at the moment, but also how far you are from your destination. Besides, do you want to look like a lost tourist pouring through your maps and books? Or would you rather look like some local who is simply checking their emails, while you’re really figuring out where the closest Metro stop is.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this enough. You will be walking a lot because you will want to walk a lot. No matter where you want to go to, the journey is as enjoyable as the destination. Paris is like a gigantic museum; you turn a corner and BAM! there’s some beautiful statue/building/bridge that takes your breath away. And you can still look chic while rocking some clean, cool sneakers and nice jeans.
4. Navigate the Metro. Paris’ transit system is great, once you get the hang of it. A word of warning: as my friend Andrew put it, you can’t get there from here. There will be times when you have to make a connection that seems to take you in the direction you just came from. There will also be times when it’ll be faster to walk. Play it by ear. It may save you time and sore feet.
5. Buy a museum pass. Paris has many great museums. Most of them are included in the price of a pass. You can buy a one-, three- or six-day pass. Do it. Not only does it cost less than paying admission to each museum, it sometimes lets you skip any long line-ups. You can buy a pass at any museum. (Tip: If you are pressed for time, skip the Louvre and go to the Musée d’Orsay. It’s not as large and easier to navigate.)
6. Skip the McDonald’s and Starbucks and frequent the gazillion cafes and brasseries that seem to be on every corner. Some patisseries offer coffee to go, if you don’t want to stop your sightseeing. You’re in France, stupid – enjoy the incredible cuisine. Don’t eat anything you could get at home.
7. Eat a croissant. Eat a lot of croissants. I defer to Andrew again in describing how goddamn good they are: “It’s like they found a magical way to cram as much butter into a croissant and have it still feel light and airy.” Seriously – go nuts.
8. Drink lots of wine. Even the house wines at restaurants taste infinitely better than anything you get at your local liquor store. Have it for lunch and dinner, or grab a small bottle and head to a local park.
9. LIVE. Don’t count calories, don’t wonder how much fat is in a croissant (a LOT, if you really want to know). Don’t think – just eat. And enjoy yourself. I maybe had one salad in all the time I was there. I lived off carbs and meat, wine and caffeine. And I didn’t gain a pound because I walked a lot. If you pack your exercise gear or deny yourself a macaron, you have no business being in Paris. Or on a vacation, for that matter. (Tip: Avoid the long line-ups for the elevator at the Eiffel Tower and take the stairs. It’s a workout with great views.)
10. Avoid the cheap, tacky souvenirs. If you really love your friends, bring them back chocolate or little jars of jam or mustard from Vauchon or Hediard. Or print and frame your photos as gifts. You will take a lot of photos and they will all be lovely (see mine below). (Tip: The second level of the Eiffel Tower, the top of the Arc de Triomphe and the ninth floor of Printemps provide breathtaking views of Paris. It’s also worth the wait to go up the towers of Notre-Dame if you want some gargoyles-looking-down-at-Paris shots.)
You won’t get to see everything. But don’t worry – you’ll be back. Paris is a city that you will return to. Because you will want to go back. You’ll be planning your next trip to Paris on the plane ride home. Paris lives with you, in your heart and in your head. Hemingway was absolutely right – it is a moveable feast.
“Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”
While I understand the point Depp is trying to make, he could have used another word – “violated”, for example.
Is it just me or are people increasingly using the word “raped” as an analogy to describe feelings of frustration and annoyance? For example, I once heard someone say they were “raped” by their cellphone provider. Really? Getting overcharged on your phone bill is analogous to a violent sexual assault?
I can’t imagine the psychological, emotional and physical turmoil that a rape victim goes through. Rape is a tool used to wield power, dominance and fear over a person. It is meant to diminish a person’s dignity and self-worth, to reduce them to something less than human. To have the word “rape” used in such a way as Depp has takes away its impact and its brutality, and trivializes the experiences of those who have been victimized by it.
Before you use the word “rape” to describe something you’ve gone through, ask yourself this: would a victim of rape describe her or his experience in the same way? Would they say something like, “As my vagina was being torn apart, I thought, ‘Now I know how Johnny Depp feels being in a photo shoot.'”? Or, “Getting punched in the face felt like getting hit with data roaming charges.”?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
UPDATE: Shortly after I hit the “Publish” button, I saw this:
This lovely email was sent to a friend of mine on OKStupid. As she put it: Can one be cute and magnificent at the same time? I say, yes, just like this email can be stupid and nauseating at the same time.
whats up baby,beautification is an understatement but the word pretty and cute are the best word to describe an angel like you,you are so cute and magnificent to the extent you got my breath away,it will be a great pleasure to have a chat with you if you dont mind? care for one pretty