The OMG Diet: WTF?

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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!):

(more…)


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How (not) to get ahead in advertising

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Once in a while you get a brand that wants to stand out, and that means be­ing “edgy”, “bold” or “dar­ing”. But in the pur­suit of style over sub­stance, some things can go wrong. Horribly wrong.

Case in point:

SERIOUSLY???

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.

Source: AdFreak, Jezebel​.com


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A Moveable Feast

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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

Ah, Paris.

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.

Paris!”

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.


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Banalogy

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ba·nal: / beyn–nahl / ad­jec­tive
1. de­void of fresh­ness or orig­i­nal­ity; hack­neyed; trite

a·nal·o·gy: /uh–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. a sim­i­lar­ity be­tween like fea­tures of two things, on which a com­par­i­son may be based 2. sim­i­lar­ity or comparability

ba­nal­ogy: / beyn–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. A hack­neyed and stu­pid com­par­i­son made be­tween two things that bear ab­solutely no sim­i­lar­ity or com­pa­ra­bil­ity to each other 2. A word I just made up

In an up­com­ing in­ter­view in Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp com­pares photo shoots to rape:

“Well, you just feel like you’re be­ing raped some­how. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”

Really.

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?

REALLY?

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:

Hank Williams Jr. pulled from ESPN af­ter com­par­ing Obama to Hitler

Wow.


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Email From a Guy: And/Or Edition

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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


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