Ashly's Blog

Jersey Shore's Vinny Has Himself in a Messy Situation (Pun Intended)

Ashly Nov 30, 2011

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? 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?

Introducing: A Girl's Guide to Being Friends With Girls

Ashly Nov 30, 2011

"I don't want to be friends with other girls, they're all catty, stuck-up bitches."

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard this or seen it online, I would never need to work another day in my life. It's a scarily common sentiment with a lot of upsetting ideas. 

Maybe it's ridiculous to assume people need a guide to being friends with each other.  But the more and more I see of what I like to call "Toxic Girl Hate" or girls hating other girls BECAUSE they are girls/because they're told they shouldn't want to be friends with other girls, the more I feel like punching something.  The whole idea is pure crap.

So, I figured, hey, maybe the way to fight back against that kind of stuff is to write something a little more positive.  Because, hey, maybe in a world rife with bullying, relationships that occur solely over the Internet and being constantly buried in media, maybe we do need a guide to friendship. 

Hence: A Girl's Guide To Being Friends With Girls.

Let's kick it off with a few BIG points:

There is no such thing as a "normal" girl.

The idea of a "normal" girl, who is into "normal" girl things and wears "normal" girl clothes and breathes "normal" girl air?  It's a myth.  It's something created in order to advertise things to women...those who feel a social pressure to conform will buy things in order to be "normal."

But don't think "counter-culture" escapes.  Because advertisers know that girls who don't want to be "normal" can also be advertised to easily: "Buy this because 'normal' girls don't like it."

Don't fall for it.  Banish the concept of "normal girls" completely.  Normal, abnormal, culture and counter-culture don't matter in the long run.  You shouldn't be able to put yourself or any other person, male or female, entirely under one simple label like that.  Be you who are.

And understand that other people will be who they are.

You might not LIKE who they are.  You might think they are total assholes.  But that has nothing to do with gender.

You ARE and you AREN'T like "other girls"...but why does that matter?

This is sort of an extension of the first point.  But all the time I see stuff about "Well, I'm not like OTHER girls." Hell, I think I made the same statement when I was a teenager.  So, from someone who's been there, take my advice: you are MUCH better off not judging you who are based on who other people are.

I see a ton of stuff about "Other girls wear high heels, I wear Converse sneakers!  Other girls wear short skirts, I wear jeans!  Other girls have crushes on Robert Pattinson, I have a crush on Alex Gaskarth!"  And all you've determined here is that you have different tastes from other people.  That's a good thing.  If we all liked the same thing, it'd be boring.  But this doesn't make you some kind of super special makes you YOU.

At the same time: there are plenty of other girls who like what you like and who do what you do.  Hell, maybe some of those "other" girls you're writing off have some of the same tastes as you do, you just don't know about it.  Looks and outward tastes can be really, really deceiving.

Basically, I'm assuming that nobody reading this wants to be in turn, you should avoid stereotyping other people.  Worry about who you are above all else and the rest will follow.

Relationships Aren't Easy (Including Friendships)

We spend so much time and money on romatic relationships, but I think we forget that even without romance, relationships can be difficult.  We get taught that being friends, including being best friends, should be something simple that just happens and sometimes there will be silly little fights that will blow over.

People are complicated.  This isn't something you can avoid.  People interacting becomes even more complicated.  So, why don't we all promise to take care of our friendships the same way we take care of our romantic entanglements?

Fight Toxic Girl Hate

I've already explained Toxic Girl Hate.  It sucks.  So, let's fight against it.  Let's take a stand against forces telling us that girls shouldn't get along by doing our best to understand each other, to communicate with each other and *gasp* maybe even LIKE each other. 

Let's banish calling each other "sluts and whores" (in the immortal words of Tina Fey: "It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores."). 

When we feel jealous, let's not give into the whole "women are supposed to be jealous of each other" and instead think about why we feel jealous and address our own insecurities, rather than acting on that jealousy.  Hey Chris just wrote some stuff about that, you should read it.

Let's take a good hard look at what the world tells us we should be and how we should act and think about why it's often total BS.

These columns shouldn't be taken as a 100% guide you must follow, but I'm hoping they do make you think a little more about how you think about yourself and other girls, and why you think that way.  Because I like to make you think.  I'm mean like that.

William Beckett To Perform At the Snakes & Suits Holiday Show

Ashly Nov 29, 2011

Have you been pining since the break-up of The Academy Is...?  Lounging on fainting couches and wondering how you'll continue on without TAI... in your life?

Well, get off that couch.  Because while TAI... hasn't reunited, William Beckett is returning to the stage this December in Chicago.

Beckett will be performing an acoustic set as part of the 2nd Annual Acoustic Christmas presented by Snakes & Suits.  Beckett's been a longtime supportor of S&S, going so far as to have an ampersand tattooed on his wrist (and making it impossible for me to get my Amanda Palmer inspired ampersand tattoo without it looking like I'm a creepy WB fan...THANKS BILLIAM), the same ampersand Snakes and Suits use in their logo.

The show will be held at Reggie's and will also feature Into It.  Over It., Bonaventure and Jennifer Hall.  Tickets are on sale now.

Anyone in the Chicago area thinking of attending?

Lady Gaga To Bad Exes: "I Can Buy Myself a F*ckin’ Ring"

Ashly Nov 29, 2011

Lady Gaga talked to Vanity Fair about her relationship history.  From the woman who wrote such songs as "Monster," Speechless" and "You and I," fans have every reason to believe her lovelife has been storied.

Storied and uncompromising.  Gaga says that being true to herself led to one of her ex-beau's telling her "You will die alone in a house bigger than you know, with all your money and hit records, and you will die alone."

While that doesn't sound so bad (I mean, I'm assuming by "alone" this guy means "unmarried" and, for crying out loud that's NOT the same as alone), Gaga says that things like that do occasionally lead to fits of self-doubt.  But those moments don't keep her down for long:  "Even though I know it sounds a bit Hallmark, whenever I [was] in that kind of stressful, worthless moment, I would think, I’ll show you.  I think what it really is, is that I date creative people. And I think that what intimidates them is not my purse; it’s my mind."

She also says she's had some marriage proposals from guys as an attempt to "fix" problems in their relationship.  Leading to one of the greatest quotes has ever come from Mama Monster:

"How f*ckin’ romantic, you asshole. Sure, pop a ring on my finger and make it all better. I can buy myself a f*ckin’ ring."

Patrick Stump Clues Us In to the Latest Fall Out Boy News: There Is No Fall Out Boy News

Ashly Nov 27, 2011

Time and time again, I've tried to warn people not to believe everything they read on the internet...ESPECIALLY on Tumblr.  News is easy to fake and sometimes a fact is anything you can convince another person to believe.

Earlier today, apparently, rumors about some update on the status of Fall Out Boy were going around the internet.  And while my heart goes a little a-flutter at the thought of the band reuniting in the near future, I'm really not suprised at all that Patrick Stump has provided this via his Tumblr blog:

Just so people know officially: In spite of what’s apparently ripping through Tumblr, there is no news on Fall Out Boy. Glad to know the rumor mill is open on Sundays.

So, there you go.  I just made a news post to announce there was no news.  This was an extremely efficient use of my time.  

See also: True, False or Tumblr, a blog I wrote in order to either encourage people to question everything in the world or to start rumors about Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Kanye West.

Author Anne McCaffrey Passes Away at 85

Ashly Nov 22, 2011

Sad news for the literary world today.  Anne McCaffrey, author of an incredible number of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, has passed away at age 85.

McCaffrey was best known for her series of books set in the world of Pern, where dragons and humans co-existed in order to fight off an extraterrestrial threat.  She inspired many young writers and entertained untold numbers of readers in a career that spanned from 1965 to her death.

Gerard Way Creates a Party Poison Shirt For Charity

Ashly Nov 22, 2011

As the Killjoys celebrate their one-year anniversary, MASScanvas is offering fans a chance to get their hands on a limited edition charity release Party Poison tee-shirt.

Oh, and the design was hand-drawn by Party Poison himself, Gerard Way.

Don't believe me?  Well, check out this video of Gerard sketching the shirt's design.

$5 from every sale will be donated to the Make A Wish foundation.

Enjoy it while you can, folks, 'cause it seems like this might be the last we see of the Fabulous Killjoys until the comic comes out....and as of New York Comic Con in October there wasn't an official release date set for it or future installments of The Umbrella Academy.

Is This The End of 30 Seconds to Mars?

Ashly Nov 21, 2011

They may have won big last night at the AMAs, but there's bigger news to talk about with 30 Seconds to Mars right now.  When they announced their "Church of Mars" show earlier today, the show description included one very, very interesting/troubling line:

"One of the final MARS shows..."

Wait, WHAT?

There have been rumors since May that 30STM was looking to call it quits, but the band refused to confirm or deny those rumors.  While they did tell MTV Canada that they were tired and tour-weary (rightfully so, as they just broke the Guiness World Record for "most shows ever performed during a single album cycle"), it sounded more like the band was going to take a hiatus than a full-fledged break up.  Later that same month guitarist Tomo Milicivec seemingly jokingly said ""We can neither confirm nor deny these allegations."

By August the rumors had surfaced again, with Jared Leto saying "It took two years to make 'This Is War'. Touring it has been another two years. Do I have that in me again? I don't know." However, Jared also admitted the band had written new material and gave fans hope for the future by saying "'This Is War' was an arrival, creatively and personally."

But now, between the quote from the ticketing page and the video posted to their website after the AMAs last night declaring "the end of a journey" it sounds as if MARS is finally telling us that they are finished. Of course, this could be tricky wordplay on their part, it could be that they're going to reinvent themselves yet again or that the "journey" they are ending is just the one they've been on with This Is War. 

What do you guys think of all this? Hoping it's all just a huge misunderstanding?  Think it's time for MARS to call it quits?  Can't talk now, panicking?

Muppet Mondays: 5 Memorable Musical Muppet Movie Moments

Ashly Nov 21, 2011

The Muppets comes to theaters this week.  But this is hardly the first time they've appeared on the big screen.  Here's five of their best big screen musical moments from the past 32 years!

"Sailing for Adventure" from Muppet Treasure Island

"Somebody's Getting Married" from The Muppets Take Manhattan

"It Feels Like Christmas" from A Muppet Christmas Carol

"Magic Dance" from Labyrinth
(Okay, not technically a MUPPET movie, but it was directed by Jim Henson, featured muppets prominantly and COME ON, IT'S BOWIE SINGING "DANCE MAGIC.")

"The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie
(Let's all take a minute, listen to this song and have a good cry, 'kay?)

Rumor has it that The Muppets will feature some musical numbers as well, including a reprise of "The Rainbow Connection" (which I'll be sobbing through, FYI).  How excited are you?

Hating 'Twilight': A User's Guide

Ashly Nov 18, 2011

There are many people right now celebrating the release of Breaking Dawn Part 1.  And no, I'm not talking about the Twihards.  I'm talking about those of us who are happy that there is now only one movie left and after that we will hopefully never have to hear about Twilight ever again in our lives.

Yes, as with any pop-culture "phenomenon" there are us "haters."  Those "Mean Girls From Your High School (TM)." 

Those of us who don't like the material, who are sick of the hype and just want it all to go away.  We are legion.

But you know, Twilight-hate is a tricky thing.  There's a polite way to go about it and a way that makes you look like a bigger asshole than Edward Cullen.  And as someone who has walked that line, sometimes crossed it and sometimes jumped over it, run away and screamed "SCREW YOU, LINE!  SCREW YOU SO HARD!" I have learned how to handle these things.  So here is "Hating Twilight: A User's Guide, by Dr. New Age Amazon, professor of antisparklepireology."

HATE THE GAME, NOT THE PLAYER: I know, I know.  It's tempting to claim that Twilight sucks because there are many devoted and, um, seemingly off balance fans.  But at the same time, the same could be said of Star Trek, Star Wars, Tolkein's works and Harry Potter.  Regardless of your thoughts on the source material (I am NOT trying to equate any of those other works with Twilight), the point is that devoted fans are devoted fans and will be devoted fans.  It's not entirely fair to say that Twihards are "crazy" when there are people who play Muggle Quidditch, okay?

Basically, recognize that the books are crap, but that people are still entitled to be fans of them.  And yeah, while it really, really sucks that some people will defend the writing or Edward's behavior, they have the right to.  Don't blame them.  Blame the world that taught them treating a girl like shit is okay or that thinking about things you enjoy is BAD.

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS INTELLIGENT HATE: There's a lot of good reasons to hate Twilight.  The books are poorly written and sometimes Meyer can't even keep her own canon straight.  Edward Cullen is an abusive jerk who treats his girlfriend like property.  Bella Swan is a passive victim with no sense of self-preservation and it is a miracle she doesn't manage to drown herself while taking a shower each morning.  The whole phenomenon is symptomatic of our world's still very upsetting and crappy attitudes about love, sex and gender. 

But there's also some really CRAP reasons to hate on Twilight.  And there's a really big one: because it's FOR GIRLS.  See, part of our world's crappy attitudes about gender include the demonization of anything seemingly girly.  So people end up claiming Twilight is bad not because of the reasons I listed above, but because it's not-masculine, therefor not NORMAL therefor GROSS.  If your reason for hating Twilight is because girls lilke it/normal girls like it/those mean girls from my high school like it?  Re-examine why you think like that, please.

BANNING BOOKS IS NOT OKAY, EVER.  I see a lot of "We should ban Twilight!" type sentiments.  And actually, the Twilight Saga is often challenged in public and school libraries for various reasons (including sexual content, which...what, do they want MORE of it?).  And while I know many people calling for the ban of the books are just kidding around, I wanna make it clear.  Banning books from public spaces is a scary thing and is something we should not have the right to do. 

And destroying books is scary, too.  While shooting Twilight with a gun or lighting a copy on fire might seem funny, on a deeper level the message that destroying a book is okay if you disagree with it is really, really problematic.

IN THE END, YOU CAN'T STOP THE JUGGERNAUT: Stephenie Meyer and her series have multimillion dollar publicity teams, ad campaigns and have possibly tapped into the Anti-Life Equation.  You cannot get rid of them.  And here's something that I had to accept, grudgingly, at one point: you cannot make all of the fans, everywhere, stop liking it.  You might be able to change a few minds, but in the end, people are going to keep consuming Twilight like crackcakes.

Feel free to express your opinion on the books, argue with people, even gif bomb them if you feel like it.  I can't stop you.  But decide on an anti-Twilight mission statement that works for you.  Wanna see mine?

I appreciate that people sometimes need mindless entertainment, but I don't think that means they can or should excuse the problems with that source of entertainment.  People are free to enjoy Twilight, but I have trouble when they start claiming it is well-written or that the relationships it portrays are healthy or desirable.  It makes me worry about deeper problems in society involving gender politics and discouraging intellectualism.

Of course, to be fair, that's my "academic" response.  Wanna see my gut reaction?


Further reading:

Mark Reads Twilight - come on, like I WOULDN'T include this?

Reasoning with Vampires - Tumblr devoted to pointing out bad logic, grammar and writing in the Twilight series.  It has been going strong for awhile now.

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Ashly's Profile Picture
  • Pittsburgh PA, US
  • 32 Female, Scorpio
(more info)
  • Member Since: 2006-11-04
  • Relationship Status: Cookie Dough
  • Religion: Other
  • Drink: Yes
  • Smoke: No
  • Children: I Don't Want Kids
  • Education: College Graduate
  • Occupation: That Girl You Hate

About Me:

FYI: If you list Jeffree Star or Falling in Reverse among your friends and then send me a follow request? I won't be following you back. I have no interest in seeing information about either of them in my follow feed.

Graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. BA in English Writing, concentration in fiction. Which means I'm qualified to do mind numbing office work. I'm also a leather clad crime fighter at night, but you'll have to take my word for it.

Yes, I work here.


alternative rock, beer, final fantasy, knitting, novels, pirates, reading, rock and roll, rum, soul calibur, tattoos, video games, wine, writing, ya novels, poetry, comics, batman

Favorite Music:

Amanda Palmer, Emilie Autumn, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic at the Disco, The Dresden Dolls

Favorite Movies:

Blue Crush, Fight Club, Hackers, The Lost Boys

Favorite TV Shows:

Arrested Development, Buffy, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, Moral Orel, Revolutionary Girl Utena, The Daily Show, The Venture Brothers

Favorite Books:

1984, Beige, Harry Potter, House of Leaves, Lost Souls, Neuromancer, The Handmaids Tale, The Secret Circle Trilogy, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, The Thirteenth Tale, We Have Always Lived in the Castle