Bachelor in Paradise and Rape Culture 

C.N. sexual assault, gaslighting, language

Look, I’m not going to get into the various details about what’s now looking like an alleged sexual assault or, at a minimum “improper contact” between Demario and Corinne. You can find that pretty much any and everywhere online.

I just need a quick rant about our pervasive  rape culture and the comments I keep seeing about this incident, even by people I fucking know should know better than this. If you see yourself in this rant, maybe do some goddamn soul searching.

Rape culture is when allegations of a sexual assault committed against a public figure come out, and people—even those who claim to understand how consent works in any and every other context—say

  • “Oh, well she’s a ho/slut/skank anyway”
  • “If you watched the show, you know she’s a drunk. So it’s her fault.”
  • “Oh suuuuure she blacked out. This is her M.O.”
  • “I’m sure she made this up so her boyfriend wouldn’t get mad. Have you seen how she acts?”
  • “She gets drunk and comes on to men. It’s what she does. Didn’t you watch??”

Look, I don’t give a flying fuzznut how easy someone is or how intoxicated they sometimes can get. Consent is consent. If someone is too drunk to give consent, it doesn’t matter if they gave consent to 100 other people earlier that afternoon. The one person/one time they didn’t/couldn’t, that one time is rape. In fact, hell, I’m willing to make the argument that if someone is proudly promiscuous, the fact that they tell you they weren’t trying to get down this time should carry some weight.

I don’t know what happened or what didn’t happen. I wasn’t there. I haven’t seen any tapes. I have no inside knowledge from a reliable source. I just know that I’m seeing a lot of people who claim to understand what sexual assault is and isn’t show their asses because the alleged victim happens to be on a raunchy ass show [which, full disclosure, I don’t watch, because it grosses me out], as though that discounts the fact that something happened she may not have wanted to.

Sluts get raped.

Sex workers get raped.

Lushes get raped.

Cheaters get raped.

The fact that an alleged victim doesn’t fit your personal morality preference doesn’t make the issue any less serious.

Stop being an asshole.

Dear Reality TV and Other Camera-Whoring Celebs—Cut the Bullshit

Earlier this afternoon. Bruce Jenner was in a car accident that proved fatal for at least one person. While causes of the accident are still under investigation, there has been some speculation that the accident occurred when Bruce was trying to get away from paparazzi. If this is the case… Are you fucking kidding me???

I’m sorry, but you don’t get that right. Sure, any other oerson walking down the street, even kids of celebrities or celebrities who (other than red carpet or multi-celebrity events and parties) generally seem to avoid the limelight—we all get that right for a life free of paparazzi intrusion. But reality TV “celebrities” and other stars who constantly pimp their mug for camera time? Nope, not you.
I mean, we are talking about someone who has voluntarily spent several seasons having cameras follow him and his entire awful family around, a man who is currently whoring himself on camera through one of the most difficult life experiences a person can have (and who all but called a national press conference to announce he was doing so). Now someone in the Kardashian/Jenner clan wants to hide from cameras? 
Hmm… Not hiding here…

No. Not this time, buddy. 
You already thrust yourself upon us, practically ramming the life of the Kardashian/Jenners down our collective throats. You wanted fame and 24-hour, around-the-clock cameras? You got ’em! And now you need to take your celebrity (as we say in the legal field) cum onere. You can’t have all the benefits and ignore the burdens. No cherrypicking! You get the entirety of this in-your-face star status you so desperately wanted. You don’t get to run from the paparazzi, no matter how despicable they are.
You signed up for this. You weren’t a royal who was forced to deal with the media. You aren’t the child of a celebrity who didn’t ask for any of this. You aren’t even one of those celebrities who basically stays as far away as you can from cameras until it is time to promote your next movie or album. And you definitely aren’t the other people who were just on the street, minding their own business. And now, because you were (possibly) outrunning those few cameras who were going to sell your picture without the profits coming back to you, someone has lost a life.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
So to the Kardashian/Jenners, the Real Housewives of Wherever USA, and every other actual real celebrity out there who likes to throw his or her face (boobs, abs, and whatever else) in front of the camera at every turn [say, for example, a Justin Bieber-type], you don’t have the right to endanger the lives of civilians simply because a camera who actually didn’t call (this time) was thrust in your face.

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It’s the End of ‘New Jersey’ as We Know It… And I Feel Fine

Rumors are starting to swirl that with the increased likelihood of Teresa Giudice and hubby Joe being jail-bound that Bravo is going to cancel The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As someone who has watched this show (and often blogged about it) since the very first episode, I’m perfectly okay with that.

For anyone who has been under a rock (or, like many of my dead to mefriends who don’t watch the show), here’s the two-cent summary: Teresa and Joe have been indicted in federal court on Monday on 39–count ’em, 39 counts of fraud. So what did these losers reality stars allegedly do? Exaggerating income while applying for loans before landing their RHONJ gig, committing bankruptcy fraud by deflating their incomes and failing to disclose assets after the show had aired, failing to file five years of tax returns, and lying on some of the tax returns that they actually did file.
Now, to anyone who’s watched the show before, none of this should be a surprise. At the begining of the second season, we all witnessed Teresa paying for more than $100,000 worth of furniture in cash. WHO has that much cash lying around, and who uses it to pay for general goods and services? (Generally) people with shit to hide, that’s who. Also, as a (then-)bankruptcy attorney, I was pretty insulted that the Giuidices would be stupid enough to fail to disclose major assets on their bankruptcy petition… that anyone with cable television could easily see. I mean, it wasn’t really a big surprise when the Chapter 7 trustee was able to pinpoint a number of assets (including, hello, her salary from the Bravo TV show!!!). The Giudices avoided prosecution (they thought) by dismissing the bankruptcy case. Well, y’all, you thought wrong.
Here are the Giudices entering the federal courthouse on Tuesday:
They mad, y’all.
Apparently, on the way in, Joe pushed a couple of cameramen and yelled at them (against the audible advice of his attorney). And after the hearing, his mother cussed out a few reporters, while his dad flipped the papparazi the bird. These people are seriously klassy, y’all.
The industry rumor is that Bravo wants nothing to do with it. Actually, the unofficial official statement is that Bravo only wants to show happy situations, like marriages, births, friendships, etc. But anyone who’s ever watched (or, heck, even heard of) reality TV knows this is not REMOTELY true. If I had to guess (and, apparently, I do), Bravo just doesn’t want to deal with the mounting liability that is the Giudice family. This isn’t the first time the Giudices have had legal trouble and faced possible jail time—Joe has had legal troubles aplenty; however, this is the first of their legal troubles where Teresa also faces jail time. Also, this is certainly the most serious of their offenses. Not only could they be facing up to 50 years imprisonment each, but Joe (who I did not know until this week isn’t an American citizen) could face deportation back to Italy. This goes way beyond DUIs and bar fights. They messed with the Feds!
So following the whole “Bravo is done with the Giudices” insider scoop, the speculation then follows that Bravo may cancel RHONJ altogether. When you think about it, this completely makes sense. There is nothing remotely interesting (and I use “interesting” relatively here) going on that doesn’t involve Teresa. No one cares about Melissa’s singing (ha ha) career except for the fact that it causes so much angst in Teresa. Jacqueline is sort of (but not really) interesting in that she’s apparently losing her mind… But why is she losing her mind? Because of Teresa. Caroline is (sort of) (sometimes) interesting to watch mother henning; but these days, with her kids out of the house, the person she seems to mother hen the most is Teresa. This show is so boringTeresa-centric that it would be absolutely impossible to have a show with Teresa gone unless they scrapped the entire current cast and started somewhere fresh. And it stands to reason that if they started with a new cast, they would have to get out of Franklin Lakes, because everybody there seems to be in everyone else’s business. What would be the point of having a new cast if the same people kept popping up every episode. And, I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in watching the limited amount of Kim G they show now, let alone a whole Kim G-centered show.
Lezbehonest for a moment, though, shall we? RHONJ is really two seasons past “should have been cancelled.” While the whole “let’s have a Housewives where virtually every castmate is related or damn-near related to the others” was cute for a couple of seasons, it got really old really fast. I don’t like dealing with my own family drama. There is nothing cute and compelling about watching the same 30 years of baggage play itself out for two years. Bravo should have scrapped this cess pool a long time ago and just moved the hell on.
There are plenty of Housewives franchises left to fill the void. Heck, I would even welcome Bravo picking up another city, so long as they didn’t repeat that disaster that was DC. In fact, Andy Cohen, if you’re listening, might I suggest (oft-rumored locale) Dallas? If you don’t know what kind of crazy Housewives potential you might find there, I would ask you to watch repeats of your own show Most Eligible Dallas, and then I would ask you to cross networks and see that delicious trainwreck of Big Rich. There is so much botox, big hair, big money, and big crazy to be found in the northern region of my messed upfair state. Just do it already, Bravo. Do. It.

Porsha Picks Her Baby (RHOA)

After the AMAs last night, I started catching up on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Wow. The new chicks…. just… wow.

Kenya is clearly cray cray, and there isn’t much to be said about her that hasn’t been said already. But Porsha? Oh wow… This girl is a perky little something.

The whole time she was telling Kenya about her desire for children, I kept thinking to myself, Is she 12 years old?. Even beyond the peppy enthusiasm and rambling, I mean, really. You rarely hear grown women talk that way. She wants kids (okay). Sooner rather than later (fine). Preferably twins so she doesn’t have to be pregnant multiple times (okie doke. Good luck with that). Her hubby wants a boy and she wants a girl (that’s normal). So she’s going to have the boy first and then a girl (wait, what now?). And when Kenya points out that usually one does not have control over these things, she responds that she’s just going to use the Chinese gender predictor to plan her boy and girl. (alllllrighty then…).

I get saying things like, “Ideally, I would like a boy and a girl.” But saying what sex she was going to have, and even going so far as to treat the Chinese gender prediction test as though it is honestly a reliable and proven gender prediction technique is just… I can’t… Do grown people do this???

If you are not familiar with it, the Chinese Gender Prediction test is a real thing. Based on the mom’s lunar age and lunar month in which the baby is conceived, the test tells you what gender it should be. That’s right, Porsha Stewart is putting stock in the fact that every woman her lunar age who conceives the same month as her will have the same-gendered babies. Sounds legit .

This gender predictor claims to be 90% accurate. In reality, it is—like all methods of predicting gender in a single-birth or identical twin scenario—50% accurate.

According to the Chinese Gender Predictor, I should have one girl and one boy. In fact, Pop Culture Toddler 2 was conceived smack in the middle of a three-month period that should result in a boy. Guess she missed the memo?

Seriously, what is the logic here? Some ancient Chinese secret from the cosmos? It doesn’t even make any sense statistically.

And what about fraternal twins [like the ones Porsha so desperately wants… I am assuming there must be some family history or she is planning on the aid of fertility drugs, since she is clearly not of such advanced maternal age that she has a heightened risk of fraternal twins] and other multiples? Where do they factor? By this theory, they should always be the same gender.

Look, I have no problem with gender prediction methods and old wives’ takes when they are used for fun only, and not treated as a serious endeavor. I can even understand people trying things like the Shettles Method or anything that has at least some basis in science (whether or not it is actually accurate). But some random chart that you found online that says every 31-year old woman who conceives in “lunar” February in any given year will have a girl?? C’mon now!

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Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion, Part Three Million

I just got this in my email from Bravo:

OMFG, how many parts ARE there to the RHONJ reunion show??? They say three, but I swear it feels like at least 30. And I could have sworn that Juicy (ew!) Joe was on the part I fell asleep watching last week. So how are the husbands just joining now? Don’t you mean “the other husbands,” Andy?

I am. So. Over. This.

Without watching, I can tell you exactly what happens:

Teresa will lie and blink a lot, use some not-so-big-words incorrectly, accuse everyone of ganging up on her, and pretend her marriage is solid as a rock while everyone else’s is falling apart. She will insist that every hurtful thing she has ever said to another cast member was “just a joke. Don’t you get it??” She also will claim that everyone is just jealous of her and her celebrity and take zero responsibility for the fact that every single relationship in her life (except the one with Dina, whose bitch has been showing since she left the show) has crumbled.

Joe will sit with her and continue to insist that he was not talking to his mistress on the phone when he called his wife the b-word and the c-word and then pretended he was talking to a Spanish worker (in Italian, natch) when she caught him. They will both claim that they are very wealthy and at no time committed bankruptcy fraud, despite lying to the Office of the United States Trustee (a division of the Department of Justice) about their assets. Then they will insist that, despite the fact that they give paid interviews to tabloids every other month, that their private lives are private, and people should butt out. They will also insist the tabloids twisted their words.

Jacqueline will also lie a lot, yell at Teresa, cry a few times about her son, Ashley, and her now-dead friendship with Teresa. She will claim her marriage is strong, even though it probably isn’t or at least wasn’t at some point. She will avoid talking about Ashley unless or until someone else brings it up, which they will (I’m looking at you, Andy)

Melissa will yell at Teresa… a lot. She will once again mention during every single topic that her single is set to be released on iTunes very soon. She will not sing live. She will, however, flip her hair and bat her eyelashes… a lot. She will mention that Teresa hates her and is out to get her, and while this is all true, she will exaggerate it and blow it out of proportion until no one cares anymore [I’m already at that point, in case you couldn’t tell].

Joe will join Melissa on the couch and yell at Teresa… a lot. He will mention their father no less than 10 times. He will also talk about therapy. He and Juicy (ew!) Joe will get into it and maybe even have to be separated by security. In short, it will look a lot like Melissa and Joe’s son’s christening (Jesus loves a good brawl per the Gorga/Guidices).

Kathy will roll her eyes… a lot. She will continue to switch sides depending on who seems to be winning the argument at that point. Ritchie will join her and make some extremely disgusting jokes that no one wants to hear. Their daughter, Victoria, will be away at college somewhere watching in her dorm room, cringing, and pretending like she’s never met these people in her life.

And last but not least… Caroline. Caroline, I lurves ya, but you iz wearing on my nerves too, gurl. Caroline will keep her arms folded across her lap, looking down at everyone in judgment (rightly so). When Jacqueline is addressed directly, Caroline will answer for her. She may even grab her, hug her, and hold her tight, as though she is a small child (which she sometimes is, lezbehonest). She will attempt to deflect accusations of being a bully with such a menacing tone that you start to wonder “Is she a bully?” But then you, the viewer, will realize she isn’t really, she’s just a 50-year old woman who has finally realized she’s way too old and impatient to be on this stupid ass show and that she is surrounded by idiots, who, sadly, she can’t escape because she’s related to one-third of them. So, yes, she may be mean and snippy, even condescending, but not quite a bully. That will not, however, stop the sanctimony from ignoring the living shit out of you.

Then we, the viewers, will turn off the reunion, wondering how we wasted three hours of our lives on this garbage… only to forget about it all in a few months and tune in for season five.

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Don’t Mix Business and Idiots (Real Housewives of New Jersey)

How is it that I watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey for mindless relaxation, but instead I just end up stressed out about how mindless these people are?

Tonight I watched the most recent episode, “Whine Country.” Whine indeed.

The Manzos/Lauritas and Guidices/Gorgas/Wakiles1 are on vacation in Napa. This episode is like episode 5,000 of this trip, and I have been increasingly bored and infuriated by these people this season, so I only halfway know what the heck is going on at the beginning of this episode. Next thing you know, everyone is boarding a tour bus with Albie, Albert, Caroline and Chris are looking scared as hell. Chris is warning everyone to be on their best behavior. Yeah, good luck with this crowd.

We then find out from Caroline’s voiceover that the gang is on their way to a business meeting:

Initially, it was supposed to be Albert, Chris, Albie. And then I guess Christopher felt kind of bad and was like, ‘Mom, you wanna come?’. And I felt kinda bad. ‘I’ll ask your sister.’ ‘Well, Vito would like to see it.’ And then, like, before you know it, we’re all going to the vineyard—which is fine… Maybe.

No, Caroline, no it’s not! And I can tell from the look on your, your husband’s, your sons’ and your brother’s faces on the bus that you all know this isn’t fine.

First off, at least two of the people in your group are, on their best days embarrassing and on their worst, certifiably crazy. I’m looking at you Teresa and Joe Guidice. Second, much of your group spends a lot of time—and I mean a lot—at each other’s throats (okay, this is really an offshoot of the first point, since the Guidices are usually the source of the problem where fights at concerned). Third, and more importantly, this is a business trip. You know who doesnt belong on a business trip? People who have no business and (most importantly) have no respect for the people that do.

So as you can probably guess, the extraneous non-business-having people on the trip acted like asses and embarrassed the guys who were supposed to be conducting business [and Caroline; but let’s face it, that bitch Teresa is “eating crackers” with her right now, anyway]. Teresa is in her voiceover totally confused [isn’t she always, though?] as to why people were mad, when she thought they were there to have fun. The woman at the winery with whom the Manzos/Lauritas are conducting business is being awfully good-natured about everything, even though she is probably seething inside [i am sure you would put up with a lot of tomfoolery, too, if you knew your small winery was getting free publicity every time someone on this insipid show mentioned your winery’s name. Though, I’m not so sure how excited about the publicity she remained after this episode aired and she got to witness Teresa and Joe Guidice having a quickie in her vines. Yes. Seriously.

Honestly, though, I can’t blame the interlopers, not even the Guidices. They never should have been invited in the first place. One very important rule of business is that everything you do in reference to your client reflects on you, that includes who you involve in your business affairs. If you bring along tagalongs, their behavior is a reflection of your judgment. It shows very poor judgment to bring along a band of idiots. The extras should have been left back at the resort, or at the very least, Chris/Albert/Albie should have set up a separate (non-business) tour for the others at the winery while they finished their business transaction.

I am not sure if the guys got this wine distribution contract they were hoping to get on this trip. Honestly, I don’t really care. I do know, however, that if I were ever conducting business with someone and he/she/they brought along 10 imbeciles with him/her/them to our first meeting, I would look for a different partner for my business ventures

1. If you are fortunate enough to never have seen this show, allow me to “briefly” explain how these people are connected. Caroline Manzo (née Laurita) is the older sister of Chris Laurita, who is married to Jacqueline. Caroline’s sons, Albert IV (Albie) and Christopher are currently in business with their uncle Chris (Jacqueline’s husband), who sometimes does business with their dad (Albert III). Caroline and Jacqueline are on-and-off friends with the absolutely insufferable Theresa Guidice (née Gorga) (who changes the way her last name is pronounced every time she makes a television appearance, so please don’t ask me how to pronounce it). Teresa, who is married to Joe, also has a brother named Joe. Brother Joe is married to Melissa. Joe (Gorga) and Teresa are cousins with Kathy Wakile.

Teresa is in the middle of a fight with Caroline, because she made fun of Caroline in her cookbook, among other things. Teresa was fighting with Jacqueline, because (long story short) Teresa is a terrible friend. They recently made up, because Jacqueline is a pushover. Teresa and Melissa were fighting, because Teresa is obviously jealous of Melissa, as her husband is of her brother. They recently made up, because they’re family, and Melissa and Joe (brother Joe, not husband Joe) wanted to be adults for the sake of their kids. I honestly couldn’t tell at the beginning of the episode if Teresa and Kathy were fighting, because they are always going back and forth between fighting and and wanting to act like family. Just know that when they are fighting, it is always some inconsiderate thing that Teresa has done that she (as always) turns around and tries to use to argue that she is the victim.

See a pattern here?

On this trip are Caroline, Albert (husband), Lauren (daughter), Albie and Christopher Manzo, Lauren’s boyfriend, and Christopher and Albie’s roommate, Greg; Jacqueline and Chris Laurita; Teresa and Joe Guidice; Melissa and Joe Gorga; and Kathy and Richie Wakile. Clear as mud, right?

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