Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And a happy holidays to you... they continue to rage on...

It's my highest and brightest hope that they were indeed happy, and you're not currently powerless (in the electrical sense), as many wind-stricken people are right now. Because that would suck. I go batshit nuts when the power goes out. Like, almost-resort-to-cannibalism-crazy. I treat every power outage like it's an apocalypse or something. Which might explain why my freezer is well stocked with salted venison, but that's a story for another day...

So, my friends, 2008 draws to a close - and thank fucking God, am I right? Am I? Ladies? Do you hear what I'm talking about? And if the end of the year is good for one thing, it's end-of-year-roundups-in-the-form-of-Top-10-lists... 

So I thought I might cap this one off with my ceremonial Top 10 Bitches that I Loved & Hated in [insert year]!!! 

Yepper skeppers, there they are. In all their glory/shame. Oooooh I just can't wait to find out how the cards fall - can you?!?!?! 

But yeah... here's my annual wrap-up of the various bitches who I've felt have defined the year passed, for better and/or for worse... 

Let the games begin...


A recurring motif in the lists of ladies that I choose to exalt is/are the sort of survivor-y journeywomen entertainers who've had a glimmer of limelight in the past but continue to truck on despite waning interest and then BAM - they're granted another moment in the sun. Such is the case with Miss Patti LuPone. Embarrassingly enough, until about 5 years ago, I had no fucking idea that Patti LuPone was a Broadway Star - most notably, for originating the role of Eva Peron in Evita, for which she won her first of two Tony Awards, almost 30 years ago. I knew her as Libby Thacher on the Sunday night family drama, Life Goes On. And the only reason I knew that was because Life Goes On was on right before America's Funniest Home Videos, which was a big fucking deal in my household. Aaanyballs - she was all but put out to pasture until a star turn in as 'Mama Rose' in the legendary musical Gypsy thrust her back into the limelight... squarely in the form of her fucking the absolute shit out of its act 1 closer, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" on this year's Tony telecast. If watching the 59-year-old LuPone belt that out note-for-note-perfect doesn't make you secrete something from somewhere... then I don't know what. Patti LuPone, everyone... BITCH HAS STILL GOT IT!


In what was arguably the most politically relevant year for the GLBT community in decades, we couldn't have asked for a better representative to enter political-pundit-dom than Rachel Maddow. If you haven't seen this lady in action A.) I pity you and wish you the best with your complete Season 2 DVD's of Life According To Jim (read: you're a dumbass) and B.) I would describe her thusly: picture Rosie O'Donnell during her super-politically-charged tenure on The View, only less hysterical and with copious educational credits (not that there's anything wrong with Rosie's approach... in fact, there's everything right with it, I'm just sayin'...) ... The first openly gay i.) Rhodes' Scholar and ii.) Primetime News Pundit, Maddow laid her brand of hyper-intelligent, lesbo-centric smackdown where it was just deserved at every turn, making your Pat Bunchanan's and Ann Coulter's tremble in their sensible conservative footwear. Rachel motherfucking Maddow - Truly, no one on the corner has the bulldagger swagger like hers... 


Elizabeth Moss first came to my attention in 1999's feelgood hit of the year, Girl Interrupted, playing the stunted-adolescent burn victim 'Polly "Torch" Clark' [upper left-hand inset]. Who knew that a scant 9 years later she'd be the face of 2008's premiere feminist tele-heroine 'Peggy Olson' on AMC's exquisite prime time serial Mad Men? If you haven't seen this show - DO! It's amazing. It's about a Madison Avenue advertising agency in 1960, and her character is this dowdy girl who unassumingly busts every ball up in dat detestable suit-wearing, whiskey-slugging, bottom-tapping, "Tootz"-calling boys club that is Sterling Cooper to rise to the top... played impeccably by Elizabeth Moss who makes it well worth watching. SO rooting for her at the SAG's... 


The most boldfaced inspiration to your Nana's self-actualization since The Golden Girls, 8motherfucking2-year-old Cloris Leachman danced her way right into the finals of this year's Dancing With The Stars... and with it, our hearts. Despite constant scathing criticism by the 'judges' for her wacky, two-left-footed, horny Grandma antics trumping more qualified dancers (because truly, if Dancing With The Stars is anything, it is a deadly serious ballroom competition... I'm talkin' to you, Carrie-Ann Inaba - you fucking glorified lap-dancer), Cloris has proven that 80 is the new 60... or... at least, 100 is the new 90. EITHER WAY - A WIN/WIN FOR NANA'S!!!


Bold statement alert::: how might one stay on top in the music business? Simple: create trends rather than follow them. That's precisely what these two ladies have done since their meagre inceptions ---(for realsies... I can remember paying astute attention to both of these bitches when they started out in the late 90's... Beyonce - then part of Destiny's Child - was rockin' a $4 weave and pleather pants, chanting things in 3's ("No, No, No"... "Bills, Bills, Bills"... "what's her problem?", I thought to m'self... and Pink had this slicked-back magenta hair and these hip-hop videos with her cupping her bare breasts... NUTS!)--- and a very cultivated autonomy rings truer than ever with their respective musical efforts this past year. MmmHmm... "I Am... Sasha Fierce" and "Funhouse" are two of the back-to-fucking-back, cover-to-fucking-cover best albums I've heard in a long time. It's been very evident for a long time that they set the queues, and dozen's of other pop-chanteuses-du-jour clamor to follow them... but you can absolutely mark my word - these two are the bitches that you'll be paying to see in stadiums 30 years from now.

Pallette Cleanser: BRITNEY SPEARS

Oh, Britney. Britney Britney Britney. You started the year off strapped to a gurney, prepped for a lobotomy. Things were looking grim. Even I felt for you. Then, there was a 720 degree turn - you severed communication from Adnan, re-welcomed your father into the managerial picture and most importantly, cut out those fucking Fraps. And now you're back on top. I can't stay that I'm necessarily happy about that - I've never much been a fan. But I can appreciate a good comeback. And this was quite a comeback. Well done. 


If Cloris Leachman was the Miley Cyrus to Nana's everwhere, Meryl Streep occupied that aspirational figure for everyone's Mom this year. The greatest film actress - living or dead... THAT'S RIGHT, I SAID IT... HAVE YOU SEEN 'SHE-DEVIL', MOTHAFUCKA?!?! - achieved the impossible dream in 2008... she became a bona fide, bankable movie star entering her 60's. I'm certainly not someone who was waiting to be persuaded by the power, glory, and bon homie of Streep, mind you - so this is hardly a revelation. (Sidebar: Although I could try, I'm not sure I could sound gayer than I did in that last sentence... moving on...) BUT I can simply take pleasure in seeing one of the greatest talents and most profound geniuses of our time FINALLY see her due...


THE LOCAL MENTION!!! Holy mother of pearl... Alana Johnston (who, incidentally, is of no [known... although if I dig through my father's type-written family tree, it's entirely possible] relation) blew my fucking mind this year. She's definitely one to watch. This slot is sort of my requisite "representational-of-every-Toronto-female-comic-PARTICULARLY-those-who-have-done-Bitch-Salad" slot, but her shit has absolutely blown my mind. Long live H'Alana.


It pains me to think that years from now, Hilary Clinton will be thought of as this sort of shrill Obama adversary - or, rather, Obamadversary. Because that simply isn't nor wasn't the truth. Hilary Clinton punched her fucking clock, man. She bided her time. She made a run for it, and it was fucking golden. She didn't win it, but she came super, suuuper fucking close. Hilary Clinton ought to and needs to go down in history as a true vanguard; someone who took the hit so that others could come through the gate, and above all else, someone who handled it with an Olympic level of grace. I don't know about you, but I'll always think "what if Hilary had gotten it..."


This is blatantly selfish... I can't tell you the level of joy I've gleamed this year from these two ladies - both coincidentally named "Elaine" (although, yes, Boosler's is spelled 'Elayne', I really liked the ring of "Elaine's Stritch & Boosler"... so fuck you, purists/Elayne Boosler... if you're actually reading this... in which case, I LOVE YOU!!!).

Stritch: Hard-living Broadway legend who's rocketed back into relevance as Alec Baldwin's character's mother on the greatest television show ever to exist, 30 Rock, who's one-woman show "Elaine Stritch, Live at Liberty" I purchased for a cool $50 this summer and became OBSESSED with. What's not to love about Elaine Stritch? NOTHING. She's wholly transfixing. There used to be a ton of clips from her one-woman show online, but they've all been taken off. That's a shame. Luckily, this video of her winning an Emmy for her one-woman show still exists. I urge you to watch it. Also - my Bitch Salad co-producer's and I have come to the conclusion that when/if - KNOCK ON WOOD, SALT OVER SHOULDER - Elaine passes on, we'll have a Toronto-based wake entitled "Stritch Salad". 

Boosler: The unsung heroine of comedy, she started out as a coat-check girl at The Improv when she befriended a young Andy Kaufman and started dating him. After one too many "I could do that" notions, she did, and became the preeminent ladycomic (all one word, yes) of the 70's and 80's. Deodorant spokeswomansporatic 80's sitcom mainstay, andrenowned vest enthusiast - Elayne fucking Boosler is the shit. Legend has it that she rebuffed Johnny Carson's advances, which put a ceiling on her career whilst the less-talented Judy Tenuta's and Paula Poundstone's rose to fame. Whatever. Elayne Boosler is the fucking shit. GET BAM-BOOSLER'D TODAY!!! 







The ways in which I love Elizabeth Samatina Fey are too numerous, elaborate and lurid to post here in print. 2008 was her year. Period. She ushered in the return of the female buddy comedy earlier this year with the number 1 movie Baby Mama... brought home triple-Emmy-gold for her ingenious 30 Rock, delivering the greatest Emmy acceptance speech since Elaine Stritch... and of course, became more of a household name than Kleenex with her impression of a certain folksy, MILF-y Vice-Presidential Candidate who shall remain nameless - shaping the political discourse in the process. Not bad for a unibrowed square peg from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (in the event that you missed that one, I'd invite you to refer to her high school yearbook photo, inset)... Thank God for Tina Fey. My life is right as long as I have Tina Fey in it. Amen.

Now... the bad news...

Or good news if you enjoy scathing negativity, which, I have a lingering suspicion that you indeed do... 



Editrix-in-Chief of Elle Magazine/Dead fucking ringer for Sarah Jessica Parker's character in Hocus Pocus, Anne entered the reality-television-villain realm this year as the decider on what I can honestly say was the biggest cavalcade of wretched assaches I've ever seen - Stylista. I caught but one episode of that shit and have been throwing up in my mouth ever since. I might have liked it back in the early days of reality TV, when people weren't so conscious of formulating themselves into characters... Omarosa-syndrome, as it were... but these people were just deplorable and soooo pretentious - especially Slowey. From the second she arrived to grade the contestants on who got her preferred breakfast and slipped into some sort of Anna Wintour-light character, I was over it. OVER IT, I SAY! 


I've always been hyper-aware about when female cast members on SNL break. When their first big moment is. It's usually about 6 months into their tenure... Molly Shannon busted out Mary Katherine Gallagher around that time... Rachel Dratch did that horribly deformed child that wore a burlap sack, had an arm growing out of its head and could only say "Glorph!"... the divine Amy Poehler, of course, gave us Amber - the over-confidant amputee with a flatulence problem... it typically happens by now. Casey Wilson - it's not going to happen. I'm sorry. On the plus side, you're still better than 2 Laraine Newman's, 5 Victoria Jackson's and a baker's dozen of Beth Cahill's.


AAAAAAHHH!!! Everybody run! Crazy, over-privileged, questionably-British divorcee/minor youtube star Tricia Walsh-Smith is coming to steal your soul!!! Yep... this lady is textbook bonkers - she makes Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction look as harmless and carefree as inquisitive French schoolgirl, Madeleine... earlier this year, she and her crazy eyes famously took to youtube to air her very private grievances about her divorce and make her case for why she should remain in the lap of luxury... and for some reason, we kept watching... and watching... and watching... 


As I get older, I become increasingly cynical about IT-girls. You need to understand, I've lived through so many of them by this point. I can remember, only a few years ago when the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Simpson and Ashanti were the absolute scaldingly hottest things on the planet and now they're lucky if they're practically anonymous. Take heed, you little strumpet... I find it specifically exceptional how Miley Cyrus - in about a span of 5 months - went from super-famous to complete overexposure... it usually takes at least 6...  then there's this whole self-righteous virginity issue, which is just a patent set-up for failure... Flooziness and an inclination for hard-living are imbedded in her genes... expect two things from Miley by the end of 2009 - A.) A pregnancy and B.) not being able to remember her name. 


Gross. Just gross. This blob of a lady who looks like she's coming to eat your children set the stage for the great GLBT human rights movement we're experiencing right now when, earlier this year, she was recorded in some sort of secret Republican kabal in her native Oklahoma (where she was an elected and is now, amazingly, a re-elected state legislator) making utterly shocking homophobic remarks. There aren't enough numbers to count all the kinds of wrong this bitch is. AND those jug-blowing yokels in Oklahoma actually RE-ELECTED her! To give you some perspective - this would be like electing an actual hood-wearing KKKlansman to office in the late 60's. If nothing else, this raging cunt serves as a reminder of how very, VERY far we have to go. 


I routinely pose the question to myself about whether or not I'd be happier if Elizabeth Hasselbeck was tossed out on her impenetrably clenched ass from The View. And, after exhaustingly weighing the pro's and con's (because that's what I do in my spare time, y'know... make completely inconsequential lists of pro's and con's... oh brother...), I always come back to the conclusion that I enjoy her as a Republican whipping boy waaay too much to see her leave.  


Now I am all for tickety-tock tranny's, as you may know. But this was a bit much even for me. Thomas Beattie used to be a chick. Thomas Beattie decided to become a dude, and was well under way to dude-dom, but - call it a hunch - decided to keep hi/r lady business, well, just in case. So, instead of adopting one of countless children who need a home, the Beattie's decided to play God and generate not one but TWO of what will no doubt be the most hormonally complex children in history. I feel the same way about Thomas Beattie as I do about TurDuckEn (A Chicken stuffed inside a Duck stuffed inside a Turkey... yes, it's a godless bastardization of fowl, if you ask me)... just because it could happen, doesn't necessarily mean it should happen... 


Even my shrillest, neediest, most sensitive female acquaintances who I've heartlessly phased out of my life were more tolerable than Jennifer Aniston in 2008. So here's the deal: you've got a children's movie about a dog coming out on Christmas Day! How do you promote it? Take to every single print publication that will have you and talk about how desperately lonely you are (not to mention, continue to plead for people's sympathy and stay attached to the Brangelina saga by referring to Angelina Jolie's actions as "uncool"). Jennifer Aniston's "Tour of Uncool 08" was relentless, and what's worse - it worked. Marley & Me debuted at number 1. God help us the next time she has something to promote... it will be very uncool... 


The Elliot Spitzer whore. Okay - no one understands that a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do better than me, but this opportunistic skank sunk to treacherous new lows. An aspiring singer, DuPre decided to pay her bills via the oldest profession in the world. One of her clients was super-hypocritical governor of New York and established adversary of the sex industry, Elliot Spitzer. He got busted. Her name got revealed. People flocked to her myspace page, looked through her pictures, played her songs. She lapped up the attention. Girls Gone Wild impresario/douchebag Joe Francis offered her a million dollars to do a video. That is, until the Girls Gone Wild people discovered that she was already part of their family on a tape from years previous. HA! Bitch gave it away for free. Suddenly the offer was off the table and her stock began to plummet... until months later when she sits down with Diane Sawyer and tries to re-ignite the fire and insincerely apologizing to Spitzer's family. Good luck with that music career.


The "Most Hated Woman On The Internet" got away with cold blooded murder this fall. Background in a nutshell: a psychologically shaky girl named Megan Meier had apparently spread some gossip about Lori's daughter - an incredibly out-of-character move for a teenage girl, am I right? So Lori did what any good mother would do - she set up a fake myspace profile as an 18-year-old boy named "Josh Evans", seduced her, coerced secrets out of her, publicly humiliated her and ultimately drove her to suicide. Yep. In a nutshell. Then - this fall - she walked away scott free and opened up a very worthwhile dialogue about how to deal with and legally punish cyber-bullying. Beyond the fact that this bitch is indefinitely going to be Hitler's bunkmate in hell, I think if you actually have the time and effort to construct an elaborate ruse on a social networking site might be a pretty clear sign that you should think about taking up a hobby. This all could have been avoided if Lori Drew had just fucking taken up knitting like a normal Mom... 







I don't think we'll ever fully comprehend how close we got to civilization coming to an end. Because, people - that finger over the big red button with an "X" on it lingered dangerously close. We were so damningly close to complete catastrophe. If Sarah Palin had made it, our world would look like some terrifying cross between The Day After Tomorrow (in terms of ecological devastation) meets A Handmaid's Tale (in terms of every woman would have a chip implanted in her head that would shock them if they even thought about abortion) meets Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (or some sort of lady comedy where a dimwit makes good)... I truly do believe that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse came and went with Sarah Palin, and join you in a collective "Phew". 

So yeah.

That's about it for me for Aught 8. 

I thank you so much tuning in this year. The feedback I get about these little scribblings continues to amaze me and I appreciate it more than I can tell you...

I hope you have the happiest 2009 imaginable - 

A small contribution to your night and another annual tradition - MY YEAR END DANCE PARTY MIX!!! 

Ass-rocking tunes from this year passed! Track listing... 

Mary J. Blige - Just Fine (Moto Blanco Mix)
Estelle feat. Kanye West - American Boy (Soul Seekerz Mix)
Janet - Feedback (Ralphi Rosario Mix)
Britney Spears - Break The Ice (Kaskade Mix) 
Snoop Dogg - Sexual Seduction (Wideboys Mix) 
NeYo - Closer (Norty Cotto Mix) 
Alicia Keys - No One (Lenny B Mix) 
Mariah Carey - Touch My Body (Seamus Haji Mix)
Natasha Bedingfield - Angel (Moto Blanco Mix) 
Lady GaGa - Just Dance (Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero Mix)
Madonna featuring Timbaland & Justin Timberlake - 4 Minutes (Bob Sinclair Mix) 
Rihanna - Disturbia (Jody Ben Broeder Mix) 
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl (Bam Bam & Mixin' Mark Mix)
Pink - So What (Tony Arzadon Mix) 
Danity Kane - Damaged (Mike Rizzo Global Mix) 
Jennifer Hudson - Spotlight (Moto Blanco Mix) 
Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine (Stonebridge Mix) 
Paula Abdul - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Paul Oakenfold Mix) 
Celine Dion - Taking Chances (I-Soul Mix) 
Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love (Jason Nevins Mix) 
Lindsay Lohan - Bossy (Soulshaker Mix) 
Chris Brown - Forever (Cahill Mix) 
Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up (Dave Aude Mix) 
The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go (Chris Lake Mix) 
Britney Spears - Piece of Me (Vasquez & Vicious Mix) 
Natasha Bedingfield - Love Like This (Johnny Vicious Mix) 
Miley Cyrus - See You Again (Wideboys Mix) 

Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

That's it. For reals. 

Have a great night.

See you in '09!!!

--- Aj