Friday Free-for-All #90: Not cool, clothing, celebrity bye-bye, book love

In the latest Friday-free-for all, find out which celebrities I’d banish forever, and more.

Friday Free for All

In which I answer random questions from a website. An ongoing series.

What’s something that people think makes them look cool but actually has the opposite effect?

There’s a list! Number one is vaping, which has replaced smoking, but same idea. No, you do not look cool standing on the parkway with a bunch of other hipster douches, fellating whatever form factor your stupid vape takes, and then inhaling huge white clouds into the air that are both more obnoxious and uglier than any cigarette exhale.

We get it. You need to be sucking on something at all times, especially when you’re hanging out with your bros.

Second: Man-buns for non-Asians. You know the concept. It’s a white guy who has long hair that normally looks okay when it’s down, or is even passable in a pony-tail. But as soon as they twist it into that little samurai topknot and stick it up there, they can just go to hell for all kinds of cultural appropriation, plus just looking like a basic douche.

Repeat after me: A Japanese man can pull this off because his people invented it. Other mainland Asians can do it in the same way that Europeans can borrow from each other — no one is going to bitch in Germany if an Irish guy wears lederhosen, for example. But FFS, it isn’t your hairstyle, don’t “borrow” it. Same goes double for white guys in cornrows or dreadlocks. Just… no.

Number three, “lumberjack” beards. You know the type. The ones that get so goddamn big that they grow down a man’s neck and hide most of his face. Dudes, here’s a hint: They are not attractive. They just make it look like you have an extreme baby face and don’t want to get carded.

Hint: If you can smuggle anything bigger than a paperback book in there, or a baby can stick its entire fist in from the front and still not hit your throat, then your beard is too damn big. Lose it, or at least trim it to normal beard proportions.

Now, I do know some actors who’ve chosen to grow their facial hair such stupid proportions. However, they do seem to be working all the time. It’s just that they’re always being cast as either semi-literate 19th-century mountain men or crazy modern homeless people. Sure, it brings in the money, but is it really acting or just playing the facial hair?

Anyway, if I look at your face and wonder how soon the baby birds in there are going to leave the nest for good, then your beard is way too big and ridiculous.

Finally, this one requires no explanation, although I don’t know why anybody would think that these would ever make them look cool: MAGA Hats. Nope. Why not just try a dunce cap instead?

 

What futuristic thing do you wish your clothing or accessories could do?

The most important thing — make me forget that I have to deal with them. In the morning, I go to my phone app, decide what I want to wear, and that shit hops out of the closet or drawers and puts itself on me. Maybe I have to alternately lift a foot while standing or put one arm and then the other back for a sleeve, but it would really be no different than being dressed by a human valet.

Or maybe that’s the ultimate accessory to go with all of this, instead of putting too much work on the clothes: The Closet Dresser. Once you’ve picked out your outfit, this rather sophisticated machine gently puts on all the parts — socks, undies, tops, pants, belt/suspenders, shoes, and it hangs your selected sweater, hat, or overcoat right by the front door. Well, the door you use to exit to go to work — if you still have to exit to do that.

In the evening, the Closet Dresser will remove the day’s clothing, put on whatever you want to sleep in (if anything) and will have already made the bed. Meanwhile, the clothes of the day go into a hopper at the base of the Closet Dresser, which provides a quick and quiet ultrasonic wash that leaves everything as good as new and smelling like it just came off the rack for the first time.

It’s filed back in the closet or drawers and Closet Dresser keeps stats so that, for example, if you try to pick the same top or same top and bottoms combo within, say, a week of each other, it will alert you.

Bonus feature that comes by default with Closet Dresser: Matching accessories, so that you never go out with the wrong shoes, bag, gloves, hat, jewelry, make-up, or tie to go with your outfit.

If you could choose one celebrity to instantly become disappear from the spotlight, which celebrity would you choose and why?

If it’s only one, I might be stretching by referring to this a-hole as a celebrity, but The Former Guy is number one on the list. You know — the Loser formerly known as 45*, or the Oval Office Occupant after Obama, or the defeated president who lost to Joe Biden.

Although I’d hope that “disappear form the spotlight” really just means “disappear completely.”

If I could do it in sets, then the TFG and his entire family and all of his advisors would get a quick trip to oblivion — except maybe for Tiffany, his niece Mary, and his son Barron. Maybe.

Now, if I get to eliminate them in sets, then it’s the Kardashians, hands down — every last one of them and all of their spouses and offspring. Hell, let’s vanish them from memory for three generations in each direction.

The only caveat is that significant others who didn’t marry into the clan get to stay here because no way in hell would I ever send Pete Davidson away, even if his monster dong has led him into a momentary lapse of reason.

Book or movie?

Well, this is an interesting question, because it really depends on how attached I am to the book. However, in a few cases, I’ve found the movie to live up to the book, so that I love them both.

Examples of these are, in no particular order, Interview with the Vampire, Dune (all three versions), Watchmen, Lord of the Flies (1963 film only) and 1984, the technically 1984 but really 1985 film version with John Hurt.

When it comes to books that were okay but kind of shlocky, then the films always win. Anything from a Dan Brown novel comes to mind, where the pace and glibness of film prevents us from dwelling on his self-indulgent prose and super-obvious plotting. There are also acres of so-so books that actually turned into great movies, although I haven’t read a lot of those.

Ones that do come to mind tend to fall into the Science Fiction or miniseries categories. Soylent Green (didn’t read the original) was a great movie, as was A Boy and His Dog (also never read the original.) Logan’s Run (read the original) was also a great movie.

The Bastard (miniseries) and Roots (miniseries) were both great. I did read all of the books in the John Jakes series that started with The Bastard, and remember reading about the first third of Roots. And, of course, both adaptations had to telescope events and combine characters but, ultimately, that’s no big deal.

That’s how adapting epics into film or TV form always works.

Oh — one I’m not counting here is 2001: A Space Odyssey, but only because Kubrick and Clarke wrote the book and screenplay at the same time, and the film version is only so much better than the novel version because it was written with that intention in the first place.

Well, that, and Clarke was kind of a hack who always wrote plot, never character. Sure, a lot of people have accused Kubrick of doing the same. The difference is that, on film, you can replace the weak imaginations of your audience with your spectacular visions and then they will just “get it” that way.

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