Cure for the Curse

Leave the white jeans in the closet

A manufacturer in the US called Wyeth is introducing its heavily publicised birth-control pill, Lybrel, and along with the promise to keep your womb fetus-free, they say you can finally stop living in fear of the monthly lady curse. As always, it comes as quite a relief to me that the drug companies have finally figured out how to turn an entirely natural and totally benign bodily function in to something that should surely be feared and extinguished. Continuing the long-established trend by the pharmaceutical industry to invent diseases so that they can sell us a pill, periods are being branded debilitating, superfluous and even dangerous. In the time it takes to photoshop away a woman’s uterine lining, Wyeth has established new footing in the medical industry, treating women’s bodies as naturally grotesque and wrong and offering us a permanent solution to our imperfect structure. I suppose when they decided shopping was a disease that could be cured with anti-depressants (and for shame, pharma bigwigs, for advertising those consumption-blockers in women’s magazines whose sole purpose is to get women to buy shit they don’t need) we were to assume that anything and everything was fair game. Stop whatever you’re doing right now, women of the world, because it’s probably wrong and definitely gross.

The feminist response to Lybrel is rightfully disgusted, somewhere between indignation and fear for the next generation of would-be bleeders. The facts certainly don’t lend much credence to the pill’s credibility, especially since more than half of the study group Wyeth originally tested the drug on dropped out because of the weird spotting the pills caused and general concern over what the fuck they could be doing to their bodies. The pill’s side effects include random and irregular bleeding, a side effect that for many women lasted longer than a year. And studies are inconclusive as far as the affect Lybrel has on the premenstrual syndrome that many women experience before and in conjunction with their periods. So basically you take this pill and you still bleed (at random, too, so you can keep those white jeans in the closet) and you may or may not continue to experience any discomfort that is generally related to your cycle? Sounds amazing, I can’t believe I lived so long without it!

Regulating women’s periods and in essence making our moons disappear is nothing new. Women who use the standard birth control pill to create 21 day cycles are not experiencing natural menses. Their chemically controlled and created bleeding allows them to merely mimic nature. But Lybrel’s distinction in the birth control category is that they claim any sort of menstruation (real or simulated) is unnecessary and outdated. A lot like telling someone that digestion and taking a shit are a couple of things that are kind of inconvenient and can probably be done away with. God knows when I’m on vacation and I just don’t feel like having to stop every few hours to hit the can, it would be much easier to just take a pill that prevents me from having to do so.

I realise that in a pop-culture driven world, one that fetishises plastic body parts and starvation-induced bodies, natural is a far cry from beautiful. But to continue to assert through the medical industry that there is something wrong with just being the way you were born is sickening to me. What happens when we’ve all been permanently plugged up, reduced to an ever dwindling size zero and oozing silicone and botox from every pore — can we finally rest then knowing that every bit of the genuine has been faithfully extracted from our bodies?

It’s not weird or wrong to shed your uterine lining every month. It’s your body’s way of letting you know that shit still works and that there isn’t a baby growing inside of you. Does appreciating the way your body naturally works mean you have to be some kind of crazy, menstrual blood-obsessed hippie? No. But denying nature in favour of an as yet untested and undetermined chemical falseness does take you one step closer to relinquishing control of your self. If that’s a step you’re willing to take then by all means, pop those suckers like there’s no tomorrow, just be prepared for the consequences.

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Porn for Losers

Dishpan Handjob

Have you ever seen an ad for a Swiffer wet jet and felt your panties get moist? Does the thought of a slightly pudgy but sensitive guy rubbing your feet in a nonsexual manner make you girl-hard? Well then, do I have the book for you! It’s called Porn for Women and the Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative recently put it out.

Finally ladies, a book that properly sanitizes and legitimizes pornography in a way that allows manufacturers to continue selling us lemon-scented furniture wipes and lets us chastely masturbate at the same time. If you thought you were alone in fingering it to the idea of your alcoholic husband finally putting away the dishes and reading to the kids, fear not because apparently there are plenty more women out there just like you. In fact, the CWPC interviewed “dozens” of females – rich, old, fat, whatever – to find out what got them juicy, and it would seem average looking men doing mundane domestic chores is what does the trick. Yes, we women get beige apron-clad sensilubes and men get naked chicks shooting live quail out of their vaginas.

Are we really that out of touch with our own sexuality or is this just a way to peddle a Martha Stewart Living catalogue disguised as a cum rag? Are women really so obsessed with cooking and cleaning that we can’t shake it from our sexual desires as well? I fucking think not.

Long have I suffered in vexation at seeing commercial after commercial that depicts women who ache and long to scrub their toilets clean. You can practically see them salivating, tempted to lick the bowl clean themselves if only it’ll mean reaching that Mr. Clean gleam. The idea in advertising is not just that women love to clean, but that we don’t even want men involved. No, the vacuum, the mop and the duster are our power tools. We take great pride in wielding these heady symbols of our relegated domestic roles while our men folk procure the wealth. Fuck You. Nobody actually likes to spend their day cleaning the house, not even maids and they fucking get paid to do it. So explain to me how it’s suddenly erotic for women (who have allegedly been on their knees scrubbing floors all day) to see men doing the same shitty jobs they apparently love to do? Shouldn’t that just be standard practice?

Seriously, how long are we going to allow the media to continue perpetuating the myth that all women fucking love doing laundry? And now on top of that, that we can only become sexually aroused if men suddenly love doing laundry too? Jesus, God, I would like to personally shit on whoever sold this lie in the first place along with the person responsible for convincing the world that women prefer chocolate to sex. No wonder North America is a nation of boring, overweight slobs: apparently all any of us women do is eat bon bons and fantasize about the plumber actually fixing the plumbing.

Have we really come to the point as a civilization where even something with the word Porn in it can be sold front and centre at the Starbucks and doesn’t have a single cock or puss? Whatever happened to raunch, a huge bush with some sweaty dude’s zang hanging out of it or even a normal-weight Jenna Jameson (pre botched vaginal surgery) getting straight pounded? The only thing in this case sadder than sanitized porn is porn that in any way suggests that domesticity is a feminine aphrodisiac.

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So In 2 It

Those People Are Just Like Me

hA grl wotz ^!? i wz jst listNN 2 som independent rock music on my VDO ipod! Laff out lowd, Im so n 2 it! Y dun we go participate n a flash mob whIl bn totally ironic w our wardrobes?! OMG, :-d out lowd!

Sorry, that’s just me communicating with my other technosexual friends, laying down the lingo that so keenly reflects our generation of text-savvy hipsters. We are all about conserving time by replacing words with numbers because we are efficient! We wear funny things that don’t always match, come from thrift stores and can be painfully appropriated and deemed ironic because we are so quirky! Old people don’t really get us, because we are all web 3.0 and they are still like, “blah blah hotmail,” while trying to peddle their consumer wares at us with traditional old-media based advertisements, except we see through that.

OMG, but then I saw this new magazine that was full of people just like me! And as I read what they were in 2, I realised that I was totally in 2 that stuff 2! LOL OMG!! Like, hello the guy who is in 2 computers and math, I am so in 2 ur mustache. And the girl that is in 2 poverty reduction and shopping, girl that is so true, we should get together a/s/l? Wow, like me being in 2 them because of what they are in 2, that is like so meta. I am so checking out the website! Oh, wait you mean this is an ad for a NEW asexual cologne, by the makers of that last asexual cologne? But I thought it was just a bunch of people like me, getting together because of our mutual love of neat things and impressive bone structure. :(

OMG that sux, I feel just like I did that time the Dove Real Beauty campaign came out. I was all “finally beauty industry, we are beyond your lies!” Me and my friends totally YouTubed that commercial of how models don’t even look like models cause it’s really just photoshop trickery and then we went out and bought a bunch of shampoo (from Dove obvs.) Then someone told me that the makers of Dove also make Axe body spray, which is actually about the opposite of real women having huge thighs and frizzy hair. So I was all, you mean they are using marketing to convince me that marketing sucks? And they are totally trying to promote female empowerment and emancipation from the packaged beauty ideal while simultaneously selling the promise of scent induced female sexual slavery? :( Damn.

Sup gal, it’s me agn dnt fall 4 dat CK bullshit. N Dove’s real beauty cn suk on it. Let’s 100% ch@ on d Twitter n put ^ slutty pix of us on Myspace!!! LOL

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Vagina!

a photo of a man interviewing people dressed in vagina costumes

Our Lips Are Sealed

Good news vagina fans: the three American high school girls suspended for saying the word vagina in front of a school assembly were totally un-suspended! Sadly, high schools remain anti-anatomy zones and parents continue to believe kids should live in the dark in regard to their own bodies.

How is it that while access to information increases with every technological innovation, our schools continue to foster intellectual ignorance? Bad enough some schools refuse to teach the basic principles of evolution, but banning words? Well that shit’s just crazy. You know that episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit when Sissy Spacek’s daughter gives birth and doesn’t even know she’s pregnant? And you’re like, “Oh come on, she goes to M.I.T!” Doesn’t that make sense now? If she went to a high school that only taught abstinence and suspended you every time you said anything related to how bodies work, how the fuck would you know that a child was growing inside you?

Why do school administrators get so shy about sex and panic about the consequences of communication? Maybe they don’t realize that the alternatives are awful bus ads with weird cartoony condom super heroes asking teenagers to text message them sex questions. So just to be clear, it’s not OK to talk about vaginas and penises and penetration in school, but it’s totally OK to turn the issue of AIDS and unwanted pregnancies over to illustrated dildos. Way to stay relevant and understand the demographic, guys. Why not get a bunch of sock puppets together (not anatomically correct, obvs) and have them explain how abstinence, I mean sexual awareness, works?

The tragedy is, a lot of uptight principals and parents believe exposure to dirty words is what drives kids to have sex in the first place, proving they’re just as blithely unaware as the teens they’re in charge of. If more thirteen year old boys and girls knew about their hoo-hoos and wee-wees, we might actually curb STD outbreaks, unplanned teen pregnancies and alcohol-fuelled pseudo-liberation, ala Girls Gone Wild. If you teach a girl that vagina is not a nasty word, she might take her own burgeoning sexual empowerment more seriously.

I don’t even think I heard the word vagina the entire time I was in school. I remember close-up pictures of genitalia in full outbreak mode (ugh syphilis!) and something about condoms, but somehow we managed to slide through sex ed without the mention of pink ladies. Coincidentally, we had at least three major baby-drama episodes, and at least one public abortion. Of course this was in Surrey, where parents spend most of their time trying to ban children’s books while their kids pop out babies like human Pez dispensers. It’s not a secret folks, your daughters have cooters and your sons have penes. You can either shame them in to thinking God hates them for being born with genitalia, or you can encourage them to ask questions, be informed, and celebrate their people parts.

And, on that note, Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!

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Oprah's Real Secret

an image of the cover of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Turn Shit Into Gold

Oprah wants to let you in on a secret. This secret, she says, will change your life. Shit is so huge that she devoted two whole shows to it and the world still can’t get enough. Rhonda Byrne, the lady telling (and selling) the secret, and the team she works with to lend her “credibility,” want to convince you that all you need to go from trailer park to MTV crib are some happy thoughts.

The “law of attraction” touted in The Secret certainly proves itself to be true in that fools will always have their false messiahs. And for them salvation has a price. This particular brand of life improvement is little more than yuppie pornography: a way to satiate material desires without getting off the couch. And Oprah has been peddling this smut for decades. First she allowed those horsey Rules ladies an audience of millions to convince women that being themselves was one of many errors they were committing on the dating scene. She eventually unleashed Dr.Phil on the world along with a handful of other stupidly-named faux-perts like Dr.Robin. And then there’s all the other crap (from that lying crystal meth addict to He’s Just Not That Into You) that Oprah has paved the way for. And does her audience ever call bullshit? Does the mainstream media ever take her to task for exploiting her access to billions of delusional housewives?

Oprah’s real secret is that she didn’t get to be one of the richest women in the world by ignoring marketing gold. She’s cashed in on every fault, vulnerability and conceit boasted by the unwashed masses. She never misses an opportunity to tell you what’s wrong with you and in turn hand you the book/DVD/yogic flyer that can fix you—with a hefty price tag attached. Even literacy is a cash cow for the TV baroness and you better read those fucking god-awful books because Egyptian cotton doesn’t run cheap. And as her massive shadow moves across North America, I ask myself, should this glutton of mediocrity really be granted the power of psychologist, nutritionist, marriage counselor, debt reformer and spiritual healer? At the very least Oprah has been the world’s greatest alchemist, consistently turning shit in to gold and for that her audience should revolt because they’ve been eating up that shit for too long.

So, in turn I’ve got a secret of my own I’d like to share. I will even tell you this secret for free, no DVD to purchase or affirmation diary necessary. My secret will unburden you from all the things holding you back. If you do what I tell you, you will save hundreds of dollars a year, lose that baby fat and regain at least a dollop of self-respect. My secret? Cause and effect. If your expenses exceed your income, you will be broke. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you are an annoying nag or a charmless asshole, it will be hard to find a date. If you think that all it takes to make a million dollars is to visualize it, you’re an idiot.

That’s it, that’s the whole fucking secret, good luck.

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Looks-ism is the New Racism

a picture of some nerds

BREAKING NEWS: COLLEGE GIRLS KICKED OUT OF SORORITY FOR BEING FAT, UGLY

Holy shit, I can’t believe after all the hard work that went in to pledge week, those peppy spirits were rejected by the very same, slightly thinner, and passably- attractive bunch that lured them to join the Delta Nus or the Alpha Betas or whatever, in the first place. Now that rag tag gang of pudgos and four-eyes, brace faces and minorities will have to feel, all too early, the cruel slap of reality sting their relatively plain-looking faces. But don’t count them out just yet, because every warm-blooded, bespectacled freak knows the only way to overcome the hierarchy of the Greek house order is to create your own! Nerds rule!

From now on nobody pushes the sistahood of the Tri-Thetas around. They are gonna show those bitches what’s what and remind them that Ugly Betty is running this shit. Not even that meddling dean or the prissy head of Gamma Gamma is gonna stand in their way. And they are telling you they are not going to be left out of the glamourous world of sorority houses anymore. And even though the whole concept of sororities and fraternities is so outdated and irrelevant -surely you’ve never known anyone that has actually been in one or God forbid, wanted to be in one – that’s no reason we shouldn’t blow this story way out of proportion. I think they should demand their own reality show on MTV. Just like Sorority Life, except instead of body shots and one-night stands, there’ll be a lot of nerding around and cramming for math tests.

And instead of being so surprised that slutty college chicks want to entice date rapists from neighbouring frat houses by kicking out the unwanteds, these nerds should awkwardly fight back, lovably screwing up the whole way, chasing the big man on campus and winning his heart by becoming his tutor or taking all his tests for him and then putting out! But maybe these nerds don’t know the rules. Perhaps they are too young to appreciate the time-honoured tradition of picking on dorks in college, a tradition that goes all the way back to Animal House. Don’t they get that without nerd-segregation we wouldn’t have such classic cultural phenomena as the made-for-TV movies, Dying to Belong and A Friend to Die For ?

Alas, even though their parents are shelling out roughly $40,000 a year to keep them in toga robes and pocket protectors, it seems the one class not on Depauw University’s list is History. If it were, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal. Because everybody knows millions of people wouldn’t shell out $12 bucks to watch Legally Nerd, not to mention Legally Nerd II. Sexy blondes and roidy homophobes named Lockhart keep the Greek System afloat, not Mexicans and yo-yo dieters.

And so to the sorority reject who said to CNN recently that looks-ism is the new racism, I say, you’re ugly, but there’s nothing wrong with that – Nerds Rule!

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Lunar lunacy

h.3 That bitch is crazy

Like a lot of people following the story, my initial reaction was “that bitch is crazy.” It’s not everyday an accomplished female astronaut drives 900 miles in a murderous rage to stalk her alleged love rival, all while wearing a diaper. It’s the stuff of voyeuristic dreams, the kind of story that mesmerises media and viewer alike, because as the old saying goes, earth hath no crazy like a woman unhinged.

Despite the fact that Lisa Nowak drove to Orlando with a steel mallet, knife, BB gun and garbage bags, the diaper remains the focal point of the story, a symbol of desperation as opposed to criminal calculation. Instead of frightening us, these figures draw us in, salivating at the chance to map the point when a girl gone wild becomes a woman gone fucking nuts. In film lore, Glenn Close remains the patron saint of mad women. Her character in Fatal Attraction has come to epitomise obsession, hers with Michael Douglas’ character and ours with the women who will go to any length to redeem their desires. From the runaway bride who faked her own kidnapping to the perennial soap opera of Anna Nicole Smith, their nervous breakdowns are our tabloid and headline news fodder.

But much as we love to watch them implode, we rarely examine what led them to the breaking point.

Everyone has done something questionable in the name of love and lust, but for a lot of these bunny boilers, obsession is not a conclusion, but rather a symptom. As teenagers many girls struggle with low self-esteem. Faced with the societal deluge of premature sexuality and preternatural adulthood, they find accomplishment the same way their adult counterparts on television do, through men. Those same young girls will also battle depression with few outlets and support systems, and will continue to misdiagnose themselves as simply lonely or undesirable. It’s no surprise to me then that at forty, low self-esteem, depression and fear turn into desperation. Though Lisa Nowak was married with kids when she started collecting wigs and trench coats, one can imagine she saw her attraction to William Oefelein as an escape; A way for her to channel a misspent youth, forgotten femininity or simply a way to placate fantasies of another life.

And yet regardless of what her personal tragedies may be, she is a dangerous person, someone willing to kill for her fantasies. In truth she’s not a wayward runaway bride or a film villain, she’s someone who has made many mistakes and her biggest one may have been ignoring her health. One in seven girls claim to have low self-esteem, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, but rarely seek help. These are stats that should be taken seriously. Compelling as it is to watch characters cross the line of normalcy and descend in to homicidal lunacy, it’s much less entertaining when those characters are real. Instead of rewarding them with headlines once they’ve fallen from grace, we should be focused on helping women overcome their own stereotypes of need and hopelessness. There is no substitute for sound mental health, even if he is an astronaut.

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Happy Harperversary

What happens when you don’t vote

On January 23, 2007 Stephen Harper’s Conservative
government celebrated its first year in “power,” bray-
ing the night away at some real barnburners, no doubt.

But lurking behind all the jubilation was something
Steve just couldn’t shake, something he won’t be able to
shake until another federal election is called; because
truth be told, the conservative hold on parliament is
tremulous, limp at best. Not that Harper’s iron grip has
gone soft, no the one thing we can be sure of is that the
man leading the regressive-conservatives is of the steel
dick variety. What I mean is now that the Liberals have
decided which middle-aged, white, French guy is gonna
lead their party to another victory and dozens of awk-
wardly phrased press conferences, its only a matter of
time before Harper is back in Alberta sodomising cattle
(for the record, who doesn’t love Alberta Beef?).

In light of his probable departure, I thought it might
be nice to revisit the accomplishments of the last year
and remember the many steps forward this country has
taken since we decided to punish the Liberals for pick-
ing Paul Martin.

  1. Harper tells the world media Israel took a “measured”

approach when it inflicted a remarkable amount of vio-
lence on the Lebanese, an attack which prompted hu-
man rights groups the world over to call for a timely
resolution. Thus further highlighting the gaffe the PM
made when he delayed aid to Canadians stuck in Leba-
non during the Israeli-Lebanese conflict
  1. Proving that whole Lebanese thing wasn’t just an un-

lucky flash in the pan, Harper goes on to publicly de-
clare his desire for Canada to stop being such a pussy
and start developing more of a military presence in the
world; his wet dreams involve combat practice before
each session in Parliament.
  1. Perhaps finally waking up to the reality of a bad sound

bite, the PM places the tightest restrictions on the Ot-
tawa press gallery since its inception. Often times even
refusing to appear before the press for questions, his
muzzle extends to his MPs, whom he places on the
shortest of leashes.
  1. Speaking of his MPs, Harper shows how much he be-

lieves in transparency by making it painfully clear that
his lone female talking head, the stupefying Rona Am-
brose, is little more than a well-manicured marionette.
Also, has anyone even seen the token ethnic guy?
So we know what this guy loves, power, control and
violence, but what does Stephen hate?
  1. He hates gays. He also hates women. Maybe, probably

in that order. Gay people and women people, especially
if they are the same thing.
  1. How much does he hate these things? Despite an

overwhelmingly ambivalent public, whose measured
response is “Who cares?” the PM insists on pushing
his anti-gay marriage beliefs all the way to the House
of Commons. Surprisingly (to him) it was not a conten-
tious issue for anyone else and the rest of the govern-
ment told him to move on. Some feel his obsession with
hating gay people probably means he’s gay.
  1. Still reeling from that whole thing, Harper takes his

remaining rage out on women, poor people and the
slow. Even with a budget surplus he slashes funding to
federal programs that advocate for women, literacy and
social housing. When that wasn’t enough he dropped
equality from the Status of Women Canada because he
feels (as Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Mourani put it) that
“systemic discrimination [against women] doesn’t exist.”
The irony is lost on him.

And all that fun from a guy who regularly attends an
evangelical church and once wrote a letter to the On-
tario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres congratu-
lating them on their independence from Britain? Awe-
some. But at least now you know what happens when
people don’t vote.

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Naked butt not alone

Networking in the nude

Having spent almost a decade of my life living on the West Coast, I’ve come to appreciate its many eccentricities. Namely, I’ve learned to love its inhabitants’ predilection for nudity. Hippies like to be naked, I get that. Aside from being the only place in Canada one would even want to get and stay nude, BC has such a tolerant air. I get the sense that whatever weird, ugly, naked, crunchy thing you want to do, people will totally be cool about it, man. Unless of course you just want to be left alone.

According to a recent story in the Province, a Vancouver Island nudist was booted from his exclusive nudie club for not socialising. Though ultimately, after legal action, the club agreed to re-admit him, the ousting so tarnished his image, he did not return. The club, referred to as ‘family-oriented,’ felt this particular member was less participation and more naked hibernation. Now as much as I want to put my two cents in on how perverted I think family-oriented nudity is, the story of a man who just wants people to get off his bare back is far too important.

The fact is we pack ourselves into cities like still-squealing sausages, bulging in every direction the way leggings do on anyone who’s had bread in the last two years. Concentrated is an understatement for the way we live; two and three and four to an apartment, rooms the size of walk-in closets, tiny cubicles, over-stuffed bars, heaving line ups. Everywhere you go there’s flesh. The barrage of humanity at every turn is enough to put anyone off. That’s why we retreat. We don’t go on holiday to hang out with more people, to force small talk at the hotel pool; we do it because it’s a socially sanctioned break from the community. It’s ten days off from pretending you care about other people. But even that is harder and harder to get.

Of course it’s important to spend time with people you care about. Building social skills is paramount in the development of a normal human being, and one can roll out a litany of sociopaths who have proven just that. But people, like everything else, should be taken in moderation.

There was a time we respected personal boundaries. It was rude to interrupt someone who was clearly seeking time alone. Now it’s unseemly if you aren’t the slickest, most networked chatty Cathy in the room, forcing your inanity on anyone who has the misfortune of being seen by you. There’s a monstrous pressure to always be talking, always be engaged, answer every phone call, respond to every email. We’re even expected to befriend our neighbours. I want to know if my neighbours are homicidal rapists, yes, but I don’t want to know about their kids’ soccer practice, what kind of laminate they used in their kitchen or who they think was really behind 9/11. A wordless acknowledgement as I’m rushing in the door will do just fine.

The least we can ask is that after 50-odd years of feigning interest in our friend’s new baby or our co-workers dumb perm, we may be allowed to retire nakedly and in peace. Can’t a guy be a nudist and alone? Is that any weirder than wanting to be naked with your kids and your neighbour’s kids and then playing a couple of rounds of badminton while you’re naked with all these kids?

And if you don’t want to be naked, but you do want to turn your phone off every once in a while, does that make you a crazy? No. It just makes you a reasonable adult person who knows where their boundaries are. Just like the weird naked guy who may have wanted to be naked all time, but didn’t necessarily want to do it with a whole bunch of other naked people around.

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Psycho Celebs

Fame is a mental illness

One of the first questions in a bi-polar disorder assessment test is, “Do you think you are, or will ever be famous?” The questions is designed to weed out delusional types who self-aggrandise or are under the assumption that they are known, stalked, or being watched (as, of course, all crazy people are always being watched.) If you answer yes, you’re on your way to mood stabilisers, but what do psychologists say to the scores of people who live by the celebrity mantra, “I always knew I’d be famous?”

From Courtney Love to Gwyneth Paltrow, Jim Carrey to Winona Ryder, at some point notable names publicly declare they had known since childhood that their place was in the centre of the spotlight. Does this mean they’re all psychic or just psycho? It certainly takes a specific type to eschew any sense of normalcy to pursue the skeleton of a life lived in front of the camera. It’s not much of a leap to see the similarities in a person who eschews regular employment to pursue the sketchy, harried life of a paranoiac. Both types are ravenous for attention, but shy away when it seems inconvenient. And no one pulls off a baseball hat and sunglasses at the grocery store better than a bi-polar celebrity. Tabloids live for the day they can report that the attention has finally forced so-and-so to crack under pressure, for person X to hit the bottle, the glass pipe, or the transsexual booty in search of fulfillment. A layperson might think celebrities are at greater risk of going mental—but I say, mental people are just naturally pre-disposed to becoming celebrities.

Another quality of the bi-polar sufferer is spendaholism. Potential victims are once again asked if they spend money recklessly, extravagantly, and without thought. It’s hard to lie about that one; manic-depressives are natural hoarders, and the proof is lying all around them, piled up in the closet and on the floor. It seems quite sad, really, this compulsion to erode one’s personal finances without any power to stop it. Now, you’re saying, there’s the distinction between crazy and famous. Famous people are rich and therefore spend money insanely because they have insane amounts of money.

But when Lindsay Lohan drops a $100,000 in one day, I’d call that extravagant. When TLC, Toni Braxton, and MC Hammer are all declaring bankruptcy because they invested in one-too-many pairs of customised parachute pants, I tell you, that’s reckless. These are people who have hired help around to hold their drinking straws and request diamond-encrusted microphones on tour. I ask, is there anything crazier? At the very least, the non-famous manic-depressives have limitations on their money madness. A creditor won’t wait until the second Escalade to send you a warning. If you’re still unfortunate enough to be undiscovered, they’ll just rip that credit card right up.

This is pretty conclusive stuff. Every lunatic tick box is getting checked. The manic highs, the suicidal lows, the teetering self-esteem and rampant eating disorders. Well, I don’t know about the eating disorders thing, but it seems like if you’re already racked with crazy of one kind, you might as well throw in crazy everything else too. But the remaining factors are uncanny—the disregard for personal hygiene, the sense that everyone is out to get them, the substance abuse and denial—it’s what experts like myself would call textbook. And in the ultimate irony, our society has eternally condemned mental illness while propelling celebrity status to greater and greater heights. Blindly unaware that they are one and the same.

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