Are These Parties for Real?
What in the name of Brassica oleracea is going on? Leave it to the Stylin' section to limn all trends spurious. Based on one paperback novel and a lot of talk in those high school halls, The New York Times sees fit to inform us about something that might be happening, although no one can say. To wit: Oral sex parties at which girls wear different colored lipstick and dudes try to collect as many colors as possible on their units. Because in high school, dudes love showing each other their wangs.
Let's leave aside the issue of taste for the moment. (Although I wonder if Bill Keller didn't spit out his Mueslix when he saw this.)
This is appalling journalism. A trend story should ideally have facts to support the claims. But apparently, not even Friendster could produce the raw material for this story. Nevertheless, it must have made it over that low Stylin' bar, because here it is.
Certainly, almost any sexual practice that can be imagined stands a good chance of having been tried somewhere, sometime. But many sex researchers and adolescent-health professionals say that rainbow parties are not a big part of
teenage sexual behavior.
Here's the only part of the story that uses anything other than naked assertion to support the story's premise.
Still, an informal survey of teenagers found that most of those aged 13 to 16 knew what rainbow parties were, believe they take place and hear of them through the school gossip mill. "I think it's completely gross, but there's a girl in my class and everybody says she's been to one," said the girl, a 13-year-old from New York. "I heard two guys talk about her."
Does this count as independent verification? (Don't answer that, Judy Miller). Of course it doesn't. Any halfway competent journalist would have seen this as a non-story. The only reason to write this is to titillate and maybe to garner some coveted "most-emailed" status.
Just to clarify one thing: Unlike most of the people sputtering over this non-phenomenon, Cole Slaw Blog objects soley to the bad taste and insipid values that underlie the decision to run a story like this. It reminds me of the sort of thing that got Bob Somerby into awesomely high dudgeon during the campaign.
I just can't wait until the Stylin' section tackles the trend of A-list actors who misappropriate gerbils, as well as this season's hottest sex trend: The Nolita Steamer!
Addendum: Also, I love that the second most-emailed story according to the Times right now is Thomas Friedman's column entitled "The End of the Rainbow."
The Sweet Smell of Celebrity
If there were a Stylin' Section drinking game, this would totally prompt a granddaddy social. You've got your trendspotting, your product placement and your celebrity fawning all in one. Hope you brought the Natty, bro.
It appears that Alan Cumming has his own scent. Which puts him right up there with Britney and J-Lo. Of course, it's mostly a colossal joke. Which is actually pretty damn funny.
Honestly, more actors should have their own scents. I'd definitely buy Hot Becky in a bottle for a girlfriend.
I hope they can work this into the Entourage plot: Johnny Drama could have his own camp scent, and as is his wont, be the last one in on the joke. Or better yet, when Crimenotes and I make it big we can have Cole Slaw Blog: The Scent. It would be Cabbagey and peppery, with a definite carrot note, along with an undercurrent of creme fraiche. Also available in jicama and new red cabbage, for slaw as real as the streets.
Or would everything fall apart when Gheorghe Muresan's lawyers threatened copyright infringement?
Outfitting the Hamptons, Après Puffy.
Oh, Alex. You're back. We missed our shopping trips with you. We also missed your daft, myopic worldview and trainwreck articles.
In this week's Critical Shopper, Alex pays a visit to a Hamptons retail outlet called Blue & Cream and is immediately rendered dizzy by the irony. Because, although it's an expensive boutique aimed at crackers with high cheekbones, it's named for ... a rap song! By someone who was in Wu-Tang Clan!
And to think, it's only been 85 years or so that white people have been liking black music.
Reclamation is a recurring theme in rap: black rappers taking the ultimate uncool white man's accessory - in this case a clumsy gum-soled shoe - and transforming it into urban chic. In turn Jeff Goldstein and Kira Cohen, a former Hamptons nightclub promoter and his fashionista former girlfriend, use the nostalgic vernacular of rap to sell clothes. It's a derivative symbiosis that will have sociologists scratching their heads for decades.
Yeah, this is basically the hottest field in the social sciences. It's gettting so you can't get a grant to study anything else nowadays.
You also can't get good help these days. Alex sniffed at the level of service and drew a couple more dubious assertions before wrapping up with what has become a curiously favorite pastime of hers: Reporting via the eavesdrop.
I sat for an hour, unobserved and undisturbed, listening to the soundtrack (Spandau Ballet, Sugar Hill Gang, Flock of Seagulls) and visitors' conversations. The topics were limited: money, fashion, the Hamptons, hangovers. (To be fair, it was a weekend.)
Did you see all those Maybachs in town this week? Dope. We were at Tavern last night. Where were you? This is my friend Mitch, the one I told you about. He's a stylist. Is this totally boom or what?
For the record, the words dope and boom were uttered by white people.
You can almost see her shaking her head, wondering how such a thing came to pass. I mean, one certainly doesn't overhear such words at Bergdorf's. Oh, Alex, never change, sweets. Never change.
Are Men Ready for the 5-Step, 10-Minute Shave?
Some guys like taking more time and care when they shave. There are many products available to apply to one's skin before, during and after the act of shaving. Five helpful photos show a model applying five different products. This is the kind of innocuous advertorial content that probably shouldn't bother me, but does. Why is this in a newspaper again? Service journalism? I'm skeptical.
That said, I should also disclose: I've done this before. And you know what, it felt pretty damn good. Of course, I got my excess shaving products as gifts. On balance, I'd rather have a good sandwich.
I can't speak for my co-blogger, but it all might be a bit much for him. We're talking about someone who considers hand towels a touch rococo.
In other Stylin' news, more beards! But this time, with pretty ladies! Also, the weekly "Open for Business" feature, often written by Stephanie Rosenbloom, bears no byline. Stephanie, if that was you, we totally applaud the self-respect.