Michelle Cottle

Great News, Men!
August 13, 2009

The NYT's trend-watcher says potbellies--or what they term "the Ralph Kramden"--are the latest craze with all the Brooklyn hipsters. (In other parts of the country, they clearly never went out of style.) It had to happen eventually. Sculpting those hard bodies sucks up massive amounts of time and energy. And, evolving gender roles notwithstanding, there will always be plenty of hot women (and some men) willing to pair up with even seriously fat, seriously homely guys. Why work that hard--especially during a recession? But, as with all trends, this one is likely to be cyclical.

Good Thing No Nyc Natives Are Fat, Ugly, Or Unstylish
August 13, 2009

I realize the NYT's "Thursday Styles" is all about fashion frivolity and specifically tailored to a certain self-satisfied Manhattan snobbery. But this may be the single meanest, snottiest piece I've ever read in a real newspaper.  --Michelle Cottle

That Mel Is So Romantic
August 12, 2009

Maybe I've been oversensitized to Mel Gibson's misogynistic tendencies and general obsession with torture, but I find something troubling about the fact that the jaw-droppingly bad music video he directed for his girlfriend features her fictional lover hurling knives, circus-style, at the scantily clad singer (including a particularly nice shot at her eyeball). I wonder if Mel's pet name for his new baby mama is Sugar Tits. --Michelle Cottle

Maybe They Meant They Read About Rolling Stone
August 12, 2009

OK. This gave me the giggles. Late this morning, a communique from the RNC landed in my inbox with the excited, all-caps subject line: "DEAR MICHAEL MOORE, WE READ ROLLING STONE." I opened it up to find: Michael Moore In Current Issue Of Rolling Stone: "If a true public option is enacted -- and Obama knows this -- it will eventually bring about a single payer system, because the profit-making in surance companies won't be able to compete with a government run plan and make the profits they want to make ...

Will You Drive American?
August 12, 2009

There's been plenty of back-and-forth of late about the ultimate value and wisdom of the cash-for-clunkers program. But, even if it winds up achieving all that the White House intended, I can't help but remain pessimistic about the long-term prospects for Detroit. Sure, by dangling a chunk of change in front of people to trade in their old gas-guzzlers, many will drive off in a brand new Ford or Chevy.

Nbc's Struggle To Be Fair And Balanced
August 12, 2009

I understand news organizations' terror of being charged with "liberal bias" or with being the president's lapdog. I also realize that, in the frothing madness previously known as the health care debate, all sides are increasingly desperate to present the most compelling case possible.

Happy Trails, Boys
August 11, 2009

It broke my hillbilly heart to learn that country music crooners Brooks & Dunn announced on their website yesterday that, after 20 years, they're hanging up their spurs.  Is their music cutting edge? Nah. Alt country? Nope. They are as mainstream as modern country gets, but they produced some damn catchy tunes and had an impressive run. As noted on Wikipedia: The duo made its debut in 1991 with their first four singles all reaching the top of the U.S. Billboard country music charts.

From The Annals Of Great Rationalizations
August 11, 2009

Not that it should surprise anyone--disgust, yes; surprise, no--but the Fox network has bought footage of Nadya Sulman and her brood and scheduled a two-hour primetime special on the happy family to air August 19: "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage." Subtle.  Here's my favorite part: According to the AP report, "Last month, a California judge appointed a lawyer to oversee the estate of the octuplets, saying he wanted to make sure they weren't exploited by paid ventures like reality shows." So what's with the two-hour gawk fest?

Is Obama A Thug Or A Wuss?
August 07, 2009

So this little jewel from the Libertarians landed in my inbox, contending that, when the White House reassured Democratic lawmakers headed home for the break that, if they got "hit" on the health care issue by the increasingly exercised Right, "We will punch back twice as hard," they meant it literally--and are now going so far as to bus in union goons for that express purpose.  Libertarians to Democrats: Call off the thugs White House orders Dems to ‘punch back’ as union organizers attack citizens   WASHINGTON -- America’s third largest party Friday called on Democrats to end what appears to

Birth Of A Conspiracy Theory
August 06, 2009

When I first read that the White House had launched a Fight-the-Smears-style effort for the health care debate, it never occurred to me that it was a step down the grim path toward an Orwellian dystopia.