Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Fox News - They’re rich. They’re spoiled. They’re Persian. Which means Bravo’s latest reality endeavor, “The Shahs of Sunset,” has Iranian-Americans up in arms over the stereotypes they claim it perpetuates. So much so, in fact, that petitions are circulating in Iranian communities to have the show yanked off the air. The program, which premiered on Sunday night, follows a group of six Persian-American socialites in Los Angeles as they navigate love and life with what seems like bottomless checking accounts. The show is produced by Ryan Seacrest, who is also the executive producer of “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and the various spin-offs of that venerable series...The show’s focus does seem to be on the characters' frivolous sides. Golnesa 'GG' Gharachedaghi, who is being heralded as the next Kim Kardashian, is a 30-year-old trust fund baby who uses her father’s credit card to buy designer clothing and vehemently argues on the first episode that she does not like “ugly people.”..Another, which has collected 500 signatures on Change.org, argues that the show promotes racial stereotypes. One signer of that petition, Shepard Jacobson, commented: “The show wants to present caricatures of Iranian-Americans. This is not entertaining. Rather, it is racist and only encourages others who do not know Persians in our American society to feed into the worst kind of stereotype, rather than showing a new generation of ambitious yet hardworking Iranian-Americans.”
Hold up...Racist? Can something really be racist when it's portraying one particular extended family's wealth and extravagant lifestyle, am I getting that right? So portraying a bunch of filthy rich Persians as your typical Hollywood Hills celebutants, basically as obnoxious an American subset as you can find, is racist? I would have thought that was the most welcoming sign possible for Iranians. Like, "hey, you can act like the white spoiled brats out here and we'll make you famous too!" No? I would have thought racist would be filming the father of this clan involved in money laundering schemes in some dark basement with possible terrorists or something, not following the day to day drama of his daughter and filming her presumably many Mani-Pedi dish sessions. That line about "worst kind of stereotype" is an absolute joke. The worst kind of stereotype would involve the show insinuating that the family is funneling money back to Iran to fund their Nuclear Weapons research...but as far as I can tell that's not going on here.
It's not racist people. If anything we were being more racist before this show. I mean there wasn't one degrading show about Persians on American television prior to this, that was a travesty. Whites had The Real World, The Challenge, The various Kardashian franchises, The Jersey Shore, the Teen Mom franchise, Real House Wives of New York and LA, the list goes on. Blacks had the Bad Girls Club (on Oxygen, I'm sure you've never heard of it), Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Basketball Wives. It's about time the Persians got into the mix.
Plus, its on Bravo, which is basically E!-light these days. People aren't exactly watching these shows for intellectual curiosity reasons. We're not trying to glean some societal insight into the every day life of real Persians. We're watching junk television and trying to feel better about ourselves because even though these reality people have more money than most of us can ever dream of, they also tend to be dead inside, and that makes us feel good.
So spare me the racist petitions, the claims of injustice, and any other bullshit PC complaint you have. This show is as American as Apple Pie and white trash, and Persians should be proud.
TMZ - Jermaine Jones will be kicked off "American Idol" Wednesday night, after producers learned he concealed the fact that he was arrested twice last year and has outstanding warrants ... TMZ has learned. As we first reported, producers discovered Tuesday that Jermaine had lied about his criminal history and that triggered the decision to confront him on camera Tuesday afternoon. We're told one of the incidents involved violence, which was particularly troublesome to producers. He also lied to cops by giving them fake names both times he was arrested.
First off, if you're following Idol this season and don't want any spoilers, don't read the title to this post or look at the picture above...
But since I'm guessing you've already done both, you might as well follow along as I spin a little tale of an American Idol Conspiracy Theory.
Yesterday, when I first heard that Idol would be kicking someone off for their criminal past my mind immediately raced as to who it could be. I skipped right over all of the black contestants as years of white guilt have taught me to do (because obviously if I assume that it's the gigantic hulking black guy first, I'm a racist), so I pinned it on one of the older blonde girls, maybe one of them had a crystal meth problem, who knows?
Wrong. It was Jermaine. And then my mind started turning. "Wait a minute, Jermaine's the one they initially cut, and then brought back to create the "Top 13," even though he sucks." And I mean, really sucks. Sucks so bad that I've fast forwarded after listening to the first 30 seconds of each of his last 3 songs. Yea, it's a nice deep voice, but unless you're singing the theme song to some Disney animated movie, there's just no place for that voice. I couldn't figure out why the judges kept him.
Until yesterday, it all makes sense now. Feeling pressure from rivals The Voice and Simon Cowell's X-Factor, the Idol producers needed to do something to set themselves apart, and that's exactly what they got here. A chance for a twist and a surprise shake up when they have to send one of their own home for criminal transgressions and outstanding warrants (and Jermaine, if you have outstanding warrants, maybe entering a nationally televised competition isn't the best way to hide yourself). Boom, you've just hijacked the news cycle for at least a week, obliterated the voice, and stolen the "edgy" title from X-factor in one move.
And you would have gotten away with it scot-free, if it wasn't for this one blogger with a wild imagination.
HuffPo - "The Encyclopaedia Britannica", the world's most famous print encyclopedia, has announced that after 244 years in print, it is no longer going to make new physical copies of its flagship publication. The 32-volume, $1,395 edition that the Chicago-based company put out in 2010 was its last; future versions will live entirely online.
Oh, Encyclopedia Britannica, I hardly knew ye. You came into my life at a very confusing time, old world standards for knowledge were still in high regard, and yet there was this new fangled form of information, the CD-Rom.
Beg and save as little CW might I never could convince my parents or save up quite enough for the full collection of those beautiful leather bound books from antiquity. Sure after saving like, 10 months of chore money I could have afforded a few off-letters, maybe a Q, a V, and possibly an F or something like that, but I was never getting any of the star letters, the S' and T's, and A,B,C's of the world. Those were out of reach, and frankly, with the welcoming of Encarta's CD-Rom based encyclopedia, unnecessary.
Our chances for crossing paths never came any closer. Yes, I'm pretty sure my high school had a set from like 1978 hidden in the back somewhere, but by then I'd even ditched Encarta, the internet was everywhere at that point and things would never be the same.
So long Encyclopedia Britannica, and thanks for the years of knowledge you purportedly contain. I may have never read you, but my intellectual curiosity leads me to such claims as, "I always wanted to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica collection." You were also my first career aspiration, as nothing seemed higher than door to door Britannica salesman. Families everywhere spurned door to door Mormons and Jehovahs, turning them and their "literature" away, but you always took time to at least listen to the Britannica man, because you knew the wisdom he held.