If you haven't been driven to Holiday Madness by the constant Christmas music blaring pretty much everywhere right now, good job. And if you have, well, we might have the cure.
Because Patrick Stump has posted video of himself performing the Donny Hathaway hit "This Christmas" at the House of Blues.
I've gotta say, if Patrick were to cover a Christmas song, this is a highly appropriate one. While Donny Hathaway originally recorded the R&B Christmas hit, it's been covered by acts such as Patti LaBelle, Ashanti and Ms. Aretha Franklin herself.
What do you guys think? Are you like me in adding "a clear MP3 version of this song" to your Christmas list?
Recently, an internet feud had broken out between William Shatner (the original Captain James T. Kirk, long before Chris Pine) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). But it was really just a continuance of the longest geek feud of all time: Star Trek versus Star Wars.
Well, now George Takei has stepped in to offer up a peaceful solution for both parties, possibly ending the greatest nerd-battle the world has ever known.
Fans of Star Trek. Fans of Star Wars. George Takei calls upon you to unite together...in hating Twilight.
Because "it's really, really bad."
Well, I think this proves it. George Takei is the greatest person in the history of the world. No questions asked.
(OH GOD, I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM ADDING THIS DISCLAIMER BUT, GUYS: I'M SURE MR. TAKEI IS KIDDING. NOT ABOUT TWILIGHT BEING BAD, I MEAN, HE'S DEAD ON ABOUT THAT, BUT ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE TO GATHER TOGETHER AND HATE IT. IT IS A JOKE. I JUST DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYTHING NASTY DIRECTED AT HIM IN THE COMMENTS, OKAY? HE'S GEORGE F*CKING TAKEI.)
WARNING: This installment of "What You Need To Know" is going to talk about sex and contraception. I'm going to talk about it pretty frankly and possibly use words that could make people uncomfortable. But this is information I think is pretty important for people to have and an issue I think readers need to be informed on. I will add another warning: This is not entirely a neutral article. I support one side of the debate and there is some pretty blantant feminism in this post. You've been warned.
Right now, there's a massive debate going on about the drug known as Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill. Plan B in the US is available without a prescription for men and women 17 and older, but you still have to go to the pharmacy counter to buy it. It's possible to get it in prescription form if you're 16 or younger.
There has been a push, for years, to make Plan B available Over the Counter (OTC), meaning you can just pick it up off the shelves at the store and buy it. And recently, it looked like that was going to happen...
...until Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Barak Obama stepped in and overturned the FDA's decision to allow Plan B OTC.
THE PILL IN QUESTION
Plan B is what is called an "Emergency Contraceptive." IT IS NOT THE "ABORTION PILL." That is RU-486 and is another conversation ENTIRELY. The only reason I'm bringing it up is because people very often confuse the two and they do very, very different things.
Plan B is very much like regular oral contraceptives/birth control pills. Both are hormonal and they take preventative action to keep you from getting pregnant, largely by keeping sperm from being able to join with an egg. Plan B is a concentrated dose of hormones meant to be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It won't work if you're already pregnant.
THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION
As I already mentioned, it's possible for anyone 17 or older to get Plan B by visiting a pharmacy and asking for it. The FDA, however, was pushing for relaxing restrictions on Plan B for a number of reasons: the biggest one being that if someone under 17 needs the pill and can't get a prescription fast enough, they could end up pregnant despite trying to prevent it. Doctors can't always see patients immediately, and you really only have a small window to get the pill.
Secretary Sebelius and President Obama, however, have stated concerns that young women could gain access to the pill and use it incorrectly. They specifically cited girls as young as 11 years old being able to buy Plan B without restriction.
LOOKING AT THE REASONS
It seems that the final decision reached is one that is looking to protect young girls and that's understandable. However, as has been pointed out, there are many other medications available OTC that can do potentially more harm if used incorrectly, including Tylenol. It seems hypocritical to allow these medicines to be sold OTC, but not Plan B.
Many critics of this choice have said the choice has a more sinister reason: to punish women for having sex.
The problem is that there is a very, very negative picture painted of women who take Plan B, or of young women who have sex at all: uncontrolled "bad girls" who should just keep their legs closed instead of reaching for emergency contraceptives (or in some cases, contraceptives at all) and deserved to be "punished" with pregnancy for their discretions. There's a ton of really horrible things involved here, including
- slut shaming
- looking at sex as a purely procreative act (meaning you only have sex to make babies and/or that doing it because it's fun or you enjoy it is somehow wrong)
- considering pregnancy as a "punishment" (seriously, how messed up is that? I don't even WANT kids and I know that's messed up)
There's a lot of people who think that girls who step out of line and have sex can and should be punished, and they do a lot of things like trying to take away access to Plan B or even regular homormonal birth control (the pill, the patch, the ring, etc.), making it harder for women (especially young and/or poor women) to get to women's health facilities (like Planned Parenthood or other clinics) and more.
Basically, the blocking of OTC Plan B looks like just another example of how messed up our society can be regarding girls and sex.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
One of the biggest issues that needs to be brought up here are cases of incest and rape. Girls under 17 may experience either of these and be unable or unwilling to report them to someone, and may not be able to get to a doctor for a prescription. While it's sad that we live in a world where people feel they can't report these sorts of abuses, do we really think girls in this situation should also possibly be forced to carry pregnanies to term as a result of incest or rape? Shouldn't we give them the opportunity to prevent this sort of thing from happening?
Well, that would mean making Plan B available to them without the need of a doctor's signature or parental permission. Think about that.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RH Reality Check has been doing a ton of coverage on the issue.
You can keep up with the Google News feed on Plan B as the situation continues.
The first season of HBO's A Game of Thrones has been met with critical acclaim and overwhelmingly positive viewer response. And if you've read the books, you know that season 2 is going to get even better...or worse, as the case may be. And the Season 2 trailer looks AMAZING.
Seriously, the chaos of the coming season! Arya Stark is headed for the Wall while disguised as a young boy, Sansa Stark is a royal prisoner in King's Landing sentenced to marry a cruel, abusive king, Robb Stark is looking for revenge for his father's murder, Prince Joffrey is now King Joffrey...but he won't hold the throne unopposed as both of the late King Robert's brothers have discovered that Joffrey is NOT Robert's son. Jon Snow has traveled beyond the Wall in order to confront whatever terrors are hiding there (you know, the ZOMBIES). Ser Jaime Lannister is being held prisoner, his brother Tyrion is expected to act as the King's Hand, meaning he'll be butting heads directly with their sister Cersei.
Oh, right. There's also the part where Daenerys Targaryen, an exiled young woman with a claim to the Iron Throne, now has dragons. FREAKING DRAGONS.
PLUS, this season will be introducing even more drama and some great characters and..and..HOW EXCITED ARE YOU GUYS?
If you're uncomfortable with spiders, now would probably be the time to look away. Because the new Amazing Spiderman posters got a big one.
Or at least the shadow of a big one, being cast by Peter Parker. Or more specifically, Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, doing everything a spider can. Well, okay, not everything, but he's clinging to the walls in darkness, which is pretty cool.
Okay, wait. I've gotta point out one little thing. The tagline on this poster is "The Untold Story."
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
The movie is based on the Spiderman comic series. Comics are stories told with words and pictures. So, um. By definition this story has already been told. I mean, unless you're luring people in with promises of a Spiderman movie and then telling them the story of a lonely bear with a charming French accent who dreams of curling on a professional level. Betting that story hasn't been told yet. But the one about the geeky kid who gets bitten by a radio-active spider and becomes a superhero? Yeah, that's been told. A couple of times in several different mediums. So.
ANYWAY, you looking forward to the new Spiderman movie?
Here we all thought that America's Next Top Model was following in the age-old tradition of fashion industry experts plucking a girl from damn near obscurity and making her into a super model, all on a reality television show that was SO EFFING REAL.
And now the illusion is shattered: supermodel Janice Dickinson, who served as a judge on the panel for several seasons, has revealed to the world that America's Next Top Model is RIGGED.
WARNING: the end of this video contains strong language that may not be appropriate for all viewers.
I, for one, am shocked and appalled. You mean, all those surprise eliminations, all those come-from-behind victory stories, those were all pre-scripted and faked in order to make a television show that would entertain and get RATINGS? Where is the purity in the world of modeling reality television these days? The child-like joy?
Okay, okay, I'm laying the sarcasm on pretty thick. But honestly, are there people out there who still believe reality TV is anything BUT the exact opposite of reality? Things are scripted out, winners are pre-selected by sponsers, events are editted to make certain people look better or worse. It is completely possible to know these things and yet still find the show entertaining. And even if a winner is pre-selected, how many ANTM contestants have we seen launch careers just from being on the show? It's not as if it's hurting the girls who don't win, they're still getting exposure and maybe a free make-over.
Does this revelation change how you feel about America's Next Top Model? And are you also wondering what's the difference between regular skank and Royal Skank thanks to Janice?
Yo Gabba Gabba continues to be part of a new breed of kid's show: one that's just as entertaining for mom and dad. And part of how Yo Gabba Gabba manages this is by bringing in musical guests like Weezer, The Shins, Flaming Lips and, now, My Chemical Romance.
As part of the upcoming Christmas episode, the band, credited as "MCR," performs a bouncy song called "Every Snowflake's Different." How bouncy? Well, guitarist Ray Toro actually bounces through much of the song.
While the actual episode doesn't air until December 18th, EW has video of MCR's performance available online, showing the guys in bright colored ski jackets and performing for some of their very special snowflake fans.
What do you guys think of the song? Which face in the photo below are you making, Frank's or Mikey's?
You know the saying "Go big or go home?" That's the sort of logic that teams tend to use while playing in the Super Bowl, the NFL championship game.
And now, it appears that's the logic behind the choice of performer for the Super Bowl halftime show. Because it really doesn't get any bigger than THE pop-diva herself.
That's right, Madonna will be taking center stage during the halftime show.
This seems to indicate that they're done with the "safe" halftime shows that came in the wake of the 2004 show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, with a special guest appearance by Janet Jackson's nipple. In the following years we saw acts like Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Prince, but there was a decided move away from more contemporary pop acts...and from anyone with breasts. This changed last year when The Black-Eyed Peas performed with special guests Usher and Slash of Guns and Roses. Fergie's nipples did NOT make an appearance.
However, this also brings up an interesting question: do you think Madonna's going to bring some friends along for the ride? If so, who? Guess we'll have to wait until February 4th to find out.
Previously, with the help of Patrick Stump, we were told that the most recent Fall Out Boy news was that there WAS no Fall Out Boy news.
However, that has changed. Slightly. No, don't get reunion-happy yet, fans. The news is that Fall Out Boy's breakthrough album, From Under the Cork Tree, has been inducted into the Rock Sound Hall of Fame.
FUCT not only launched FOB into the mainstream, it contained hits like "A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me," "Dance, Dance" and, of course, "Sugar, We're Going Down." This was also the album that led to Fall Out Boy's Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist in 2006. The band's major label debut has also certified Platinum in the UK and 2x Platinum in both the US and Canada.
In an upcoming interview with Rock Sound, FOB and Damned Things guitarist Joe Trohman says "I don’t look back at the record as much as one would think, but overall I am very proud of it. I’m stoked that so many people cared about it and it’s cool to be part of something that has meaning to people."
Join us in re-visiting FUCT today in celebration. Oh, and tell us: What's your favorite track from FUCT?
I will not at all claim that Jersey Shore is where we should look for any kind of class or good sense. But honestly, there's a difference between "good sense" and "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?"
Vinny Guadagnino has officially registered as the latter with the release of his first single. Look, The Situation's attempt at a music career was laughable. Angelina's was as well. But Vinny? Vinny's gone above and beyond with his song "Rack City Remix."
I mean, it starts off bad enough, a cell phone ring followed by Vinny announcing "I just got paid. We're going to the strip club!" And then goes on to a hook that is seriously just "racks" and "ass" repeated. Over and over again.
But then? In the middle of the first "verse" Vinny drops the following line:
"Actin' like I'm raping it / F*ck her till she fakin' it."
Look, in the past I've cried out against musicians releasing songs that seemed to promote date rape. But this isn't even questionable, like "did he or did he not just talk about drugging a girl's drink?" This is Vinny flat out saying "Acting like I'm raping it."
So, acting like you're forcing yourself on someone else in a sick display of power? Is...is that in any way supposed to be SEXY? And who the hell told him this was a good idea? Doesn't Vinny have a manager? Didn't that manager think that maybe MAYBE releasing a song with that lyric was a bad idea? Or were they just counting on this getting Guadagnino all kinds of attention...the bad kind.
Youtube wasn't happy with it, apparently, and the video has been pulled. Perez Hilton, however, has presevered the song for the ages.
Well, Vinny appears to be taking it exactly how you'd imagine. He tweeted out: "Whoa! Some people really know how to take things out of context ! #LearnToListenToMusic …It was fun though!"
Vinny, I know how to listen to music. Maybe you should learn that RAPE IS BAD.
What do you think of Vinny's big debut?