Disclaimer: I am going to be writing about my recent trip to Paris and London A LOT over the next week or so. I know that it can be annoying when a person brags about their AMAZING vacation because you’re like “Fuck off, I am trapped at my cubicle and don’t give a shit about your vacation,” so I apologize in advance for this and hope that you can find it in your heart not to hate me.
OK, so now that we got that out of the way … from Paris, I hopped the chunnel and spent 28 hours in London to visit a friend who had just moved there. In that time, I was able to: eat at Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, go to an art gallery opening, shop, have high tea at some posh place in Mayfair, walk through most of the city, and most importantly, watch British television. Keep reading »
Hmm. Actress Chloe Sevigny, no stranger to transgender characters (see: “Boys Don’t Cry), says she “cried every day” while getting fitted with her prosthetic penis to play a transgender hit man in her new TV series “Hit & Miss.” The show has Sevigny playing Mia, a pre-op transgender hitman, and the character’s genitalia deeply upset the actress. “I cried every day when they put it on. You know, I’m ample-chested and I have this on. I felt very exposed, and it was hard, very hard, having people so close to your personal parts anyway — who you’re not sleeping with — for an hour-and-a-half each day, to put it on,” she admitted to The Daily Telegraph. Keep reading »
Abercrombie & Fitch recently announced plans to open a children’s store on Savile Row, a London street known for high-end menswear and often referred to as “the golden mile of tailoring.” Obviously, this didn’t go over well with Savile Row’s merchants and clientele. In response, impeccably-dressed demonstrators gathered outside the A&F store in Burlington Gardens twirling their mustaches, strumming banjos, and waving signs that said “Give Three-Piece A Chance.” I’m a little concerned about the guy on the left with the riding crop, but otherwise I think this is brilliant.
Are you desperate for British citizenship? There was a time when you’d have to find a nice British national to marry you. But no more! Now all you have to do to set up permanent residence in the UK is win an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, or BAFTA or at least get nominated for one of these awards. Yep, you read that right. Yesterday the British government signed into law a new immigration class—Tier 1—that’s designed to attract celebrities and those of “exceptional talent.”
As the Hollywood Reporter points out, this is very unfortunate timing. Considering that London and several other British cities are entering their fourth night of riots, in which major looting is happening, many buildings are burning, and four people have died so far. Keep reading »
Deadbeat dads should be stigmatized by society just like drunk drivers, UK Prime Minister David Cameron wrote in a Father’s Day article for the Telegraph newspaper. Cameron blasted what he called “runaway” fathers and said society should be “genuinely hostile” and make them feel the “full force of shame heaped upon them.” The prime minister wrote:
“They should be looked at like [drunk] drivers, people who are beyond the pale. They need the message rammed home to them, from every part of our culture, that what they’re doing is wrong — that leaving single mothers, who do a heroic job against all odds, to fend for themselves simply isn’t acceptable.”
He also tooted his own horn on his plan to give tax breaks to married couples, which some people believe encourage stability. Keep reading »
American culture is spreading throughout the world … spreading like herpes. Behold, a British version of “Jersey Shore” on MTV UK: “Geordie Shore” stars thickly accented lads and lasses Jay, Vicky, Gary, Charlotte-Letitia, James, Sophie, Greg and Holly — who says she is “fierce, flirty and I’ve got double Fs!” — in the northeastern city of Newcastle. It’ll air Tuesday, May 24 at 10 p.m. in the UK. British “Jersey Shore” proves the allure of fake tans, tube tops, and puking your guts out is indeed universal. But — serious question — do they fist pump?
[BuzzFeed] Keep reading »
I love a superheroine as much as the next feminist, especially one who loves the fuzzy am-i-nals as much as I do. Meet “Black Arrow,” an anonymous British woman who fights evil in the form of people who abuse their pets. “I make sure people aren’t abusing their animals,” Black Arrow told The Sun newspaper. “I serve justice to those who deserve it. We stand for those who cannot, because we can.” (Unfortunately, the tabloid-eriffic Sun didn’t get a single detail on just how Black Arrow does this.) For six years, the London lass has stuck up for animals who are abused — presumably without crassly objectifying women in the process. You hear that, PETA? [The Sun UK, Coventry Telegraph UK] Keep reading »
Rich people are having a hard time, y’all! Cutting back on helicopter rides. Re-soling shoes instead of buying new pairs. No new clothes, handbags or makeup. It utter cruelty is what it is! These are the tongue-in-cheek gripes of Lisa Unwin, who blogged anonymously at a blog called Austerity Mum about cutting back on expenses with her husband, Ashley Unwin, a honcho at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. The 44-year-old former Deloitte communications director, who now is a stay-at-home mom, blogged jokingly about downgrading the family vacation from the Maldives to Morocco and her hubby’s disdain for Prada shirts. According to the blog This Is London, Lisa Unwin referred also to her two children as “the diva in waiting” and “the smallest man with the biggest attitude” — charming! — and told readers the Unwin’s new Georgian-style home in east London cost “squillions.” Keep reading »
Don’t let anyone tell you reality TV shows are a scourge on American television. We may have “16 & Pregnant” and “Jersey Shore,” but the UK has “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.” Apparently in its second year, “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” follows teen brides from Europe’s gypsy clans, the Romany and the Travellers. Generally speaking, gypsies tend to live nomadic lives and travel from place to place. Last night’s episode featured 17-year-old Josie and 19-year-old Swanley, who married in July only five months after they met. Had you pressed the “mute” button, however, it would be difficult to tell Josie and Swanley were having a gypsy wedding: she wore a fluffy white confection of a dress and a garter, her bridesmaids were decked out in Spanish-style fuchsia dresses, and a priest performed the ceremony in a church. (You can see some over-the-top wedding looks from stills from the first season of “My Bit Fat Gypsy Wedding” on the Guardian’s web site.) And despite the stereotypes that gypsies live on the streets, or travel around in caravans, Josie lived inside a house. According to the Daily Mail UK, the most “gypsy” thing about the bride and groom on “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” is their unconventional-mixed-with-completely-conventional lifestyle. Keep reading »
Between the BP oil spill and the U.S. and U.K. facing off during the World Cup, the “special relationship” across the pond has gotten seriously strained in the past few weeks. This is unfortunate considering that—as I learned from spending a decade in London—creating any relationship with a Brit is not an easy task. As a 32-year-old comic in England, I suffered for years from “cultural autism,” not understanding the bulk of people’s actions and words. Or at least what they meant in “English.” I was lost in a morass of professional, social and romantic rules, constantly making shameful mistakes. But I eventually decoded the etiquette of the glorious Brits by researching their anthropology and, uh, marrying one. Here are my hard-culled tips to U.S. travelers who set off to the U.K., a land where not everyone is an American-loving Hugh Grant or Hugh Laurie. (Although everyone is called Hugh).
Keep reading »