Twitter Tips…Ramble

Here are some of my tips for Twitter:

1. Experiment: the more people you follow, the more interesting the experience.

2. It’s okay to unfollow people. Often people are recommended blindly, or because they are an ‘expert’ in real life. That often doesn’t translate to the content of their tweets being interesting or appealing.

3. Avoid the hard sell. Twitter is like spam, don’t expect that important messages are going to be seen. Use a hashtag and you can post again, but space it out – the hard sell approach is  turn-off.

4. You don’t have to reply to everyone. If there’s a controversial issue, you can address it privately, especially with a friend through direct messaging or completely offline. Have you ever been convinced to change your mind, merely because someone approached you aggressively? Use the ‘mute’ button.

5. Take a social media break. Not every thought has to be posted.

6. Save your confessional posts for apps like Whisper or Secret.

7. Drunk posts – do I have to go there? No. Just. No.

8. Hashtags -all good things in moderation.

9. Stay on brand – decide what you will and will not post about, and stick to it.  (see 4 & 5 above.)

10. Learn.

Happy Friday…Ramble

I’m practicing being concise. Here’s what I’ve been enjoying:

1.YouTube’s #DearMe Campaign to help girls understand, we all go through the painful teen years and here’s the advice we’d given ourselves as teens:

Promise: Next Post will have my #DearMe video

2. Nicki Minaj : The Night Is Still Young – ramp up your weekend immediately.

Love: This chill party ballad.

Perfect for: Getting ready.

3.  New Talent: Josef Salvat: Shoot And Run – sultry.

Like that: He’s an Aussie, living in London.

4. Harper Lee’s 2nd Novel is now on pre-order!

5. Fast & Furious 7 is only one week away:

Love: How the villain is F&F6’s Owen Shaw’s brother, just like Die Hard’s sequel. Prefer Jason Statham (playing Shaw) over Jeremy Irons anyway!

Can’t wait: To see The Rock fight Jason Statham

Anticipating : Tears for Paul Walker and driving faster afterwards, will be walking home this time.

Why Kimmy Schmidt is Slightly Broken…Ramble

Hear me out Kimmy sycophants, I like the series.

The opening theme-song is hilarious and on-point perfection. Ellie Kemper, who plays Kimmy, is incredible in this role. She is another example of how Hollywood loves a red head. The ensemble cast is strong, especially Kimmy’s roommate, Titus, couldn’t be more hilarious, especially about his interest in the trial of the insane preacher who kept Kimmy and the rest of the “Mole Women” locked in an underground bunker, and his music video for “Pinot Noir”:

I’ve been discussing the Netflix series with other Tina Fey fans. Maybe we’ve been starving for great comedy since our other favorite comedian, Amy Poehler, wrapped up “Parks and Rec,” so “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” helps to fill that gap. There are a lot of characters with traits similar to those on “30 Rock” – a natural comparison when there are so many crossovers of actors from the two series, yet that didn’t bother me. I liked it. Familiarity, like with a new song, breeds fandom.

The series falls short a during the trial of the insane preacher, when Tina Fey’s inept lawyer characters asks “is that a Black thing?” as a joke. I expect something a little more original from Tina. A friend called me the other day to discuss the types of female roles that exist for African American female actors. She is excited to see new, complex ones in the past several years in mainstream media. “Is that a Black thing?” comes across as dated now as “that’s what she said” jokes. Haven’t we moved on people?

Meanwhile, Asians rally around “Fresh Off The Boat” as our one show –the first Asian lead cast since Margaret Cho’s disastrous “American Girl” two decades ago. Several of my Asian and minority friends are scared to admit they don’t like it. They don’t have options to feel any sort of representation in mainstream television and relate more to ABC’s other race-based show “blackish.”

That leads me why I’m writing this ramble, the main Asian character on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is a delivery guy, named Dong. Really? Haven’t we moved past this stereotyping yet? How about the delivery guy used to be a professor in China, but is reduced to delivery guy in this country? How would he meet Kimmy? He could have been her GED tutor. Why she didn’t ask the tutor (who completely faded from the show after they didn’t work out as a couple, to tutor her is silly, and not in a good way. Why would you go to other students who were as uneducated as you are? It’s not a study group like law school.) To go with the show’s lack of originality, let’s talk about the name “Dong”- insert penis joke here, and they do as a way of saying don’t do that, but they never pull it off convincingly. It’s not like Tina Fey isn’t aware of that being dangerous territory:

There’s nothing new that the Dong character contributes as satire. He is yet another illegal alien who is “great at math” and has a heart of gold, underneath his broken English. Ugh. It weighed down the series for me. There are some other clunky bits, but mostly, I adored this show, I hope season two will not have any recycled jokes the way Tina awkwardly recycled Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il on The Golden Globes this year. If it does, I will my attention will go elsewhere.

Disney Princess Empowerment…Ramble

A few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet claiming that Elsa from ‘Frozen’ is the first strong female lead from a Disney animated film. Say what? Mulan cut off her hair and saved China from the Huns and Belle, well she wanted more than a provincial life.

Disclosure, yes I used to work for Disney and my childhood love for animation has never ceased. While there are many helpless princesses that had to be rescued, saying Elsa is the first to make her own way, is completely ridiculous, but you know, I should just let ….it….go. Instead, I’ll enjoy this hilarious Princess Rap Battle where Cinderellie and Belle duke it out:

Fashion Police Needs To Be Cancelled…Ramble

Fallout from Giuliana Rancic’s ignorant comments about Zendaya (see my previous post), has come to roost, not, as E! should have done, by firing or at the very least, suspending without pay, Rancic, but through two of the show’s stars, Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin, resigning.

Kelly’s resignation was postulated to be part of other issues she had with the way the show was being produced, but Kathy’s departure yesterday, after only seven shows, should be the nail in the coffin on this antiquated digfest. Meanwhile opportunist, NeNe Leakes, has been touting herself as an amazing replacement for the show and Rancic is in Australia on assignment.

How amazing is it that Kathy resigned? It shows, how you achieve success does matter. It shows a class and grace not always associated with Ms. Griffin. Her own reality show depicted Kathy as a wannabe Hollywood A-lister. She has often poked fun at celebrities, but it hasn’t never been racist. Kathy is an informed humorist.

When is E! going to tank the show and give Brad Goreski a fashion weekly wrap-up segment on E! news instead? Brad is a celebrity stylist. He is the only one qualified to give some constructive insights to what is happening in fashion. While Joan Rivers was a groundbreaker, her humor did grate on me at times and go too far. However, Joan had earned her place in Hollywood over six decades and did more than her share to pave the way for other women working in comedy (despite Johnny Carson cutting her off after she got her own late night talk show).

When is this format of shallow critics with nothing to say, going to stop? The guests on the show cringe constantly. If you are looking for trolls who say nasty things, just read the comments on Yahoo!. Their own biting commentary is in the same vein as Fashion Police, not always even identifying the designer of the dress. I know, photos = clicks. Clicks = advertisers, but why, when so much is watered down, is fashion an area where all bets are off?

In any case, kudos to Kathy Griffin for doing the right thing! This is real Women Power!

Respect for Zendaya…Ramble

Entertainment reporters are known for having some dippy moments, especially the taking heads on E! Guiliana Randid should be dubbed Queen of the Bobbleheads. Her rise to fame included a lot of tenacity, well according to her reality show on The Style Network.

What I really saw on that show the first, and only, season I tuned in, was that Giuliana lied to her husband about basically everything- she does not like adventure. There was more -I simply opt for my brain cells to forget. 

Last year’s Granmy Awards’ red carpet, saw “G”, fangirling out on the members of One Direction, who did not find a middle-age woman proclaiming them “totes adorbs,” engaging, making it cringe-worthy. 

This week, under the guise of fashion “expert”, on E!’s show Fashion Police, G made several jokes about teenage performer Zendaya, looking like her hair smelled like patuli oil. The triple-threat actress-singer-model then reacted with poise and grace, educating Rancic about the origin of the locs she wore- as a conscious tribute to her heritage as well as hair shaming of African Americans.

It makes me appreciate what a fantastic example Zendaya is, of strong, thoughtful females in the public eye. She doesn’t have to cringe, showing further grace by accepting Giuliana’s apology.

When the overall movement is positivity for women in the workplace, E! continues to remain trivial, where there is the opportunity to have intelligent and real critique that makes sense and still be fun. I’m not a fan of Fashion Police, a show my fellow Barnard alum, Joan Rivers helmed, that takes constant cheap potshots and hand out character assassinations, like Giuliana’s, that have nothing to do with fashion. 

The nail cam has been put to shame. The vapid, unprepared fallback questions: who are you wearing? Who are you excited to meet tonight, are not going away, if anything it’s business as usual with E! signing another hugely expense deal with The Kardashians. Yeah, those clumps of shows that have been falling in ratings. What business sense does that make? None. Where is originality? The new scripted show about the royals looks so promising, but E! I’m sorry, we’re more then done. 

Franzen is the Kanye West of Authors…Ramble

When Kayne West approached the Grammy stage to snatch Beck’s golden statue for Best Album of The Year, claiming it should have gone to Beyonce, he tried to make it a joke- at first. We all know the fall out, Kanye (for a completely different POV click on Kanye’s name) wasn’t kidding. He went on to say he doesn’t want to perform again at The Grammys until they change it to reflect popular sales. Hmm, then he went on to say it was an insult to artistry, but he hadn’t even listened to Beck’s album, Morning Phase, which had been hailed as a critical darling in indie circles. I also want to say his intro for Kanye’s own performance said it was his “most personal” and point out there is nothing less personal than using Autotune.

I’m not anti-Autotune, but let’s not kid ourselves. Here’s a link for Kanye and all the other people, who, instead of wanting to explore and make an informed rant, is Beck’s Morning Phase:

Well, now let’s turn to another accomplished, lauded artist, one who has graced the cover of TIME magazine for his work, won the Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Jonathan Franzen. Franzen has chosen to take many jabs at women’s fiction writer, Jennifer Weiner. While he hasn’t read her work, he says no one has told him it is a “must read” and she is using a real issue – the lack of review space given to female writers, as a platform to get attention when she doesn’t deserve it.

Dude. Come on, if you had read her work, I would think you had some valid points, but you are not A) her target demo B) too busy to take the take time to read it the way Kanye, who likes to call himself an arbiter of all things cultural, could have taken the time, pre-Grammys to listen to every album in the category of Best Albums that was nominated. If you never read or listen to music outside of what you like, how can you really know what is good and what is not?

As someone who has been paid to be a music programmer (Yahoo! Music & Vh1), and a writer, I have listened and read works I was not naturally drawn to, and found it not only expanded my knowledge, it expanded my own creativity. I don’t always agree with awards, mostly they are a broken thing, but they do help curate what is interesting.

I have read many award winning literary books which I found to lack a strong plot or interesting characters or deliver a good ending. How is Kanye’s lack of respect any different from Franzen’s? It negates their point, which might otherwise presented have been valid. If you are going to diss someone at least know what you are putting down and acknowledge that’s not going to be given to you as a suggestion because your crowd is caught up in one scene.

When you make statements, that have some merit, but no foundation of their own, it not only disrespects the other artist, it disrespects their fans. How likely am I to buy Kanye’s next album or his ridiculous Adidas lineKanye_3

How likely am I now to read another Jonathan Frazen book? The answer to all those questions, is highly unlikely, even if they have critical acclaim. Why should my cash line their pockets when they clearly value their own taste and are unwilling to leave room for anyone else’s? Fans who started the #whoisbeck Twitter campaign are also in need of some more cultural exposure. Why must we tweet about our own ignorance or make statements in the press about it? Why not show the courtesy to make an informed opinion and allow that while not your taste, it can be very important to other people.

My friend Courtney Smith’s book, Record Collecting For Girls, has a chapter on guilty pleasures. It was inspired by our conversations. I don’t believe in having musical guilty pleasures. If it speaks to you, if it helps you, touches you, makes you dance or feel good in any way, then go right ahead and enjoy it.

9780547502236_p0_v1_s260x420 However, Courtney calls bullshit on that in her book and says anyone who doesn’t say they have guilty pleasures is either boring or lying or an asshole. That was the chapter she read on a book panel we did during her book tour. I started with the question “did you call me an asshole?” We have lively debates to say the least, but during that panel people asked me the most questions because they wanted to know about the popular artists that I got to work with in pop music over obscure indie bands — yes, even in Brooklyn! Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.

Popular doesn’t mean bad. Jennifer Weiner is a fun, great writer who writes heartfelt stories about women that I can relate to, in fact, she is one of the reasons I got a dog. She wrote in her novel “Good in Bed,” every writer should have a dog. So, thank you, Jennifer Weiner for not only providing me and many other women with entertaining fiction we want to read. Thank you for standing up for female authors getting equal press coverage. Thank you for using the platform you EARNED for sticking up for everyone else who does not have it.