This entry of Big City James is brought to you by Sparkle. Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston star in this surefire summer hit from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Is Whitney Houston dead? Not in Sparkle! Only in theatres.
Forgive me my terribly long absence. The past two weeks have seen me packing bags and unpacking bags, loading cars and unloading cars, saying hello to friends and saying goodbye to friends. Now I am in a new Big City with new horizons to explore and expectations to meet and find that the most pressing crop of Dreams (find a job, make new friends, master the deceptively difficult Edmonton dialect) to be at best, a little daunting to consider, and at worst, a little tedious to read. But that doesn't mean this week's Big City James shouldn't be our biggest, boldest, most circulated entry ever.
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Dream: Create a Big City James September Issue.
Goal: Achievable. Conventional wisdom in the publishing industry used to be that any monthly publication would see it's highest sales at Christmas. While that's surely still true of gift catalogues and reindeer porn, such figures have been upset in recent years with the rise of the September issue. As trends often do, this one began with Vogue magazine. I once knew a fey but stylish man who spent a good third of his time and income shopping for little outfits and he said, "If you care at all about the clothes on your back, you need to know only two things. Your measurements, and Vogue's September issue." Instead of pushing him in front of a moving car for so simperingly justifying the gay male stereotype, I heed his advice and every year since, buy September's Vogue when it hits newsstands. Not for my own little outfits, you understand, but just to pore over the excess, the style, the pageantry of it all. And I am not alone. Circulation is so high for Vogue's September issue that a documentary film was made about its production, its estimated ad revenue hovers around $100 million, and other publications follow suit. Victoria Beckham covers Glamour this month, Katy Perry does Elle, Kate Middleton has this month's Vanity Fair, Lady Gaga landed this ridonkulous Vogue spread, even Prancer gets this month's Reindeer Porn Digest. So why can't I get in on the action with my little blog?
Get in on the action for your September dinners with avocado, the vegetable that tastes like nothing! Add a negligible amount to a soup, a pinch of zilch to your casserole, weird green stuff for your sandwiches, with avocado. "Mother, can we please have avocado?" no children will ask. Look for it in the blandest part of your grocery store.
Plan: Take what I know about September issues and apply the same features to my blog. Features like:
Advertisements. This month's Vogue is over 900 hundred pages and more than half of them are ads. While I have been ad-free up until now, the keen-eyed reader will notice a few subtle endorsements throughout this entry.
An interview with a hot young star. If I had my druthers and could interview whomever I liked, I might put the Twilight stars on the cover, mopey Kristen Stewart and sickly Robert Pattinson, but inside I'd profile two far more interesting co-stars. I haven't seen the Twilight movies, but the imdb entries for them reveal two familiar names to me that I want to know more about: Bronson Pelletier and Nikki Reed. I wrote a brief piece that mentioned Bronson Pelletier for this book, but always felt like a bit of a faker, having written about him but not contacting him directly. I'd still like to know how he forged a path from the Askinootow First Nation to the biggest movie franchise in the world. Were there opportunities afforded his small Plains Cree home that helped him? Or his journey solely the product of his own tenacity and talent? Likely some combination of the two paved his road to success, but how does he feel representing a small, heretofore largely-unknown community and culture via the pop culture juggernaut known as Twilight?
Then in turn I might ask Nikki Reed how she feels about teenage girls. Reed's first film is Thirteen, an especially wrenching movie about a girl who, at thirteen, begins to experiment with drugs, sexuality, and self-harm when she is introduced to another thirteen year-old who begins to exert her bad influence. Reed doesn't play the protagonist, but rather the "bad" thirteen year old who shoplifts, cuts herself, and tries to seduce men. What's interesting is that Reed herself wrote the film, and did so when she herself was thirteen. She allegedly based the film on her own experiences which were those of the film's protagonist, not the bad girl she ended up playing. Do you follow? She writes a movie, which against all odds get read by the right person, greenlit by the right studio, casts Holly Hunter as the concerned Mom, then casts Reed as the bad influence that was her own undoing, and Evan Rachel Wood as the main character. I wonder what the experience must have been like for her, especially as that is the only writing credit she has to her name. She has since appeared as an actress in typical teen fare, like The O.C. and now, Twilight, a franchise bankrolled almost exclusively by teenage girls. I wonder what she thinks about teenage girls, whether she knows something we don't, and whether she'd ever go back to being a teenager herself, or if the price was too high.
No price is too high at Anthropologie. Crummy knick-knacks? $80! Old watering can? $240! Peasant top? If you have to ask you can't afford it! Why are our prices so high? Fuck you, that's why! Ha ha ha! Anthropolgie! Suck our dicks!
A report on the latest trends in fashion. I don't know if it's a thing yet, but I have high hopes for a men's onesie or, if you prefer, a Mansie. A Mansie would be a trendy long t-shirt that, when it hits the crotch, changes fabric colour and texture to look like high-end underwear. Calvin Klein briefs, maybe, or Diesel boxers. Anway, the boxer material extends below your danglies, then tucks underneath the crotch and buttons somewhere in the ass area, with the back of the shirt. Like a onesie! You'd wear this with a pair of jeans that covers the bottom part (except maybe the underwear logo if you're materialistic like that). The advantage to this seemingly uncomfortable design is this: no matter how you bend or stretch in the Mansie, unlike a regular t-shirt, this will never ride up your sides or lower-back because it simply can't! It's affixed beneath your danglies! No longer will men fear leaning forward to get the last chip off the floor and exposing rolls of back fat. Leave your wobbly, white side rolls where they belong, beneath your shirt. I figure my eating habits suggest the self-control of a baby, so why not dress like one? Someone make this, I'll buy it.
Finally, I suppose I'd have to feature something about what to expect for Fall 2012. I have no idea. But I do know the friends I have here, the people I've met, and the guy I now live with 24/7 have made this transition pretty great. I may not have a job yet, or any new little outfits, but I hope to be a bigger and bolder Big City James this September and all year round. The party's just getting started, time to circulate.