Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Your American Express Commercial Says About You

You can tell a lot about a person from their American Express commercial. Partly because the printed ads involve writing unique and quirky facts about yourself in your own handwriting (that's what they had me do, anyway). But when you compare Tina Fey's commercial with, say, Beyonce's, I think they offer a lot of insight into who those people really are.

Let me just say I love Tina's commercial. It's genuinely funny and not in a tired way and it's charming and sounds like her. I might be a little biased because I want her life, not in a creepy sense, but out of sincere admiration, but also in the way that I think she and I would be the kind of best friends who would never disappoint each other. All of my best friends have ended up disappointing me at one time in the past and I really think Tina would constantly impress and never disappoint me. But I digress.

If, like with Wes Anderson and M. Night Shyamalan, one's American Express commercial is supposed to reflect a person's most pure self, and not of course their most marketable industry persona, then what the hell is wrong with Beyonce. Is it possible that in her deep, dark insides she really only likes shiny things, and buying shiny things? Does she really shop at designer boutiques therapeutically? Did she really just buy diamond-crusted monkey figurines?

Maybe so. Who am I to judge? But if this is true, then Beyonce is already a best friend who has disappointed me. Reliable? No. Trustworthy? No. These are not things her American Express commercial communicates to me.

My American Express commercial will be awesome, by the way.

Name: Jessie Gaskell (like you didn't already know)

Perfect Day: Paragliding off the ruins of Tikal, amassing a collection of exotic carnivores, lunch, rafting down my chocolate lazy river, composing a hip-hopera for Broadway and starring in it, then falling asleep in an Olympic-sized pool filled with goose down while Barry Manilow covers the White Album.

Recent impulse buy: Tanzania

My life is: An explosive brand of comedy and social justice

My card is: American Express.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why Do Supermodels Love James Blunt - Your Questions, Answered!

I am going to start a new segment (I love these "segments" I do - they last about one entry each). But I am really going to start a new segment called "Your Questions, Answered!" where I answer the questions from popular magazine covers. For instance, this month's Cosmo posed the question "Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?" That one's next. Today's installment comes from the October Blender:

"Why Do Supermodels Love James Blunt?"

Why do they? I'll tell you why. And I'll outline it for you in complete sentences in traditional 5-paragraph form. Intro/thesis, 3 supporting, and conclusion. But just the outline.

1. Why do Supermodels Love James Blunt? Supermodels love James Blunt for compelling reasons, which, as I see them, are threefold. Firstly, and most importantly, supermodels love James for his money. Secondly, they love him for his hair. Thirdly, they love him because he smells and sounds like them.

2. Money. James Blunt has amassed a considerable war chest from his success as a soft rock singer/songwriter. Selling albums to lonely women and weepy teens has earned him money and models love money, which is why they model.

3. Hair. James Blunt has empirically good hair. While most guys underestimate the impact of hair on their interactions with women, it is one of the single most important things that a man doesn't have control over that women will judge him for. And it clearly trumps other subjective personal traits such as substance, talent, and masculinity.

4. Woman Smell and Voice. As myriad studies have proven, familiarity is attractive. And no soft rocker is more familiar to women than James Blunt. His voice sounds like your mother's lulling you to sleep, and his breath smells of vanilla bean and honey butter. Moreover, he conditions his hair with Herbal Essences Moisture Restore for color-treated hair, which has extracts of jasmine and jojoba root (see point #3).

5. In summation, supermodels love James Blunt for the aforementioned reasons.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is beautiful.

And meaningful. It's love - interspecies love. Interspecial love!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Show and Tell Art

I wanted to tell you what my brain feels like right now but I learned in improv that you should "show, not tell." So I decided to show you. I call it "Brain Muffin."

This is art, by the way, and it's very expensive. I don't want to tell you how much because it'll embarrass you, but you'll pretend it's in your price range and nod your head and then turn away to guffaw with your friend about what a rip-off it is and how it's not even art. But what you don't realize is you don't even know anything about beauty or truth and what's beautiful is the human contact I just made with you, and you thought the real art was the piece on the wall for sale but it turned out to be our interaction which was free of charge but instead of welcoming it with open arms you guffawed and now your children are the ones who will suffer.

But it did make you think, and one day when it's too late you'll look back on this art and breathe an exhausted "thank you" through your sighs and those breaths will be your last.

...You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cool Historical Reference of the Day: Eisenhower

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

That's from Dwight D. Eisenhower, who we know was a decorated American general and our 34th president. A Republican war hero, Eisenhower exercised a very calculated and measured approach to military aggression. As president he spoke out often warning the country about the dangers of an empowered military-industrial complex. How refreshing to hear that a Commander-in-Chief can be both a capable military presence and a voice of reason.

This is an excerpt from Eisenhower's farewell address, delivered before the end of his 2nd term in 1961.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Is it crazy to expect this level of sanity from our President? I doubt it.