Friday, February 28, 2014

Under The Gunn, Ep 7: Steampunk'd

The designtestants meet up with Tim at a place called Travel Town, and so I first thought this was going to be some kind of cartoon challenge to dress an animated rabbit or something. I was wrong. This challenge is about Steampunk, which might be best described as how Victorian era people thought the future might turn out; it very HG Wells, very cool, very retro futurism.

This could be good; especially since the designtestants have $300 and two days to complete an avant-garde inspired Steampunk look. And, with special guest judge The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ in the house, this is going to be fabulous.

Let’s rip….
Mondo kind of got the invisible edit this week. We saw a little interaction with his team, and we saw him in that Peter Pan Goes To Moscow hat, and we heard him complain about his team being safe, but we didn’t see much more than that.

Still, his whole team is safe.

Her look is very retro-futuristic Victorian, but I didn’t get a lot of Steampunk elements to it. Still, it’s very cool, though more of a nod to her winning Zendaya look from a few weeks back with the use of the plaid.

I thought it very Gothic Victorian, and I loved the exaggerated tails, but the thing on her head reminded me of a Steampunk Bottle Stopper; and I want one.

Sam is annoying and egocentric, and then he sends down the kimono-esque looking hand-painted number. Just because you throw goggles on a model doesn’t make it Steampunk.
Nick pulled back again this week — though there was a moment when he was sketching for Stephanie — but he was worried about Natalia ... a lot, especially with the cranks and the fact that she almost didn't finish.

This week was Good Mentor Nick, maybe next we'll go back to Hands On Bad Mentor Nick.

He nearly fainted at the idea of an avant-garde challenge — “It’s like candy for a baby — but he then goes way over the top. He tells Nick he wants to do a crown, a kind of a Pope hat. Luckily Nick helped him down from that precipice.

He was also pulled back from the edge of Revolution Cliff, after showing Tim and Nick that he had painted, or sewn, the word ‘revolution’ onto the skirt of his dress. They talked him out of that, but then he just flipped it around and left the word on the underside of the gown.

I love it. This is very me.

Sadly, I must agree with Sam: it does look very salon girl. Just because you slap a clock on a belt doesn’t mean its Steampunk. Still, it’s so well-made and really beautiful.

The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ marveled at Oscar’s draping, though she thought the clock was a little much. And she called the hat ‘sweet.’ Zanna Roberts Rassi loved the impeccable craftsmanship, which caused Oscar to explain how the massive skirt comes off to reveal a bubble skirt beneath. And that caused Jen to say there are some things you can’t unsee and she needs to unsee that. And she asked about the ‘revolution’ inside the big skirt, and was pleased that Oscar listened to his mentor and didn’t show it on the outside. That might have made Oscar go Bottom Two.

She loves Steampunk and she has parents who are engineers and she’s a designer so she has this in the bag. And then she wants to put cranks on the dress so the model can hoist it from knew-length to mini. Cranks.On.A.Dress. Sounds like a bad Sam Jackson movie.

But she does it — she actually does it — and it works. I thought it kind of a gimmick, but hey, there was mechanics to the dress so she gets those points.

At this point I’m very happy with it. But when you have an actual mechanism in your dress you’re gonna worry.

I thought the tossing off of the cape at the start of the catwalk was a little too Cher Show for me, but the dress is Steampunk, and the cranks worked so … Good on Natalia for actually finishing an idea.

Rachel Roy called it striking and strong, while Jen loved the use of the lace and the heavy taffeta, along with the hardware and the working cranks. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ called it a great concept.

She doesn’t do avant-garde. She doesn’t do avant-garde? How does a designer not do that? I mean, not all the time, but surely she’s had some kind of training in thinking of fantasy, out-of-the-box fashion at least once?

I’m really excited. I think the silhouette is great. I just hope it’s full enough.

It looks cheap and just not enough. I mean, she was told to go wild, and fantasy and avant-garde and she does this? And the sheer skirt looks like a cheap drape afterthought.

Rachel Roy called it a costume, like out of Disney’s Snow White, though it had no magic and was drab and depressing. Jen Rade called it best: “futuristic geisha meets waitress at the Aladdin Casino.” Then she mentioned something about gold fangs at the neck and a Mister T belt. Ouch. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ thought the lace was a bad idea, though maybe not as bad as the cheesy gold pleather.
Let me say that i love Anya. i love that accent, and I've loved the way she's mentored, mostly, on UTG. But, damned if I don't think she has a little street-fighter in her, especially when it came to Blake and Nicholas; one said he needed her and one didn't listen to her, and both made crap.

I'm thinking it's gonna like another Don't annoy Nina, except it's Don't piss off Anya.

He’s completely lost at Travel Town; he’s heard of Steampunk but has no idea what it means or how to execute it into fashion. Plus, he’s still beating himself up after last week’s near elimination.

In the workroom, he’s still lost, and somewhat defeated, when Tim and Anya visit. But as Anya mentioned that there was no connection between the top half of his look and the bottom, and Tim mentioned separates, suddenly Shan was inspired to create something new.

I feel really good. I’ve never seen anything like it before, so I hope the judges take that on.

I didn’t get a real Victorian vibe, but with the belts and straps, and cutouts on the shoulders and knees, it did look like a marionette, or a Steampunk robot.

Jen loved the concept, calling it a futuristic warrior, while The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ loved how he seemed to have taken apart the function of clothes and shown how clothes work with cogs and gears. Rachel Roy loved that Shan had gone back to great tailoring.

He also has no idea of Steampunk design, but since there were a bunch of clocks around, he’ll make a circular dress with a clock motif. Only that doesn’t work at all and he stops, and whines about not having Anya around to give him an idea.

Then she does come around and he whines that she’s turned into a drill sergeant because she has two designers who seem to have no creativity at all and no backbone when it comes to their work. He says he wants to design to please Anya and Tim and Anya remind him that he needs to please himself first.

It definitely moves so beautifully and that to me is the saving grace.

It has no retro-futurism at all. Just because you throw gears on it, and make a necklace of watches, doesn’t mean you’ve gone Steampunk.

Zanna loved his inspiration — of a time-traveling timepiece — but said none of that seemed evident in the final look; she also said it seemed a little slapdash — okay that’s my word — for a two day job. Rachel Roy said he could have used more editing and Jen called Blake on the carpet for always complaining about trusting himself.

He starts off by saying that now that he’s been in the bottom twice, he understands what he needs to do; yes, it took two times of being told that his work sucks for him to understand that his work sucks.

Then at Travel Town — that name still conjures up Roger Rabbit to me — he says, “I get very excited about ….. transportation.” I think he gets very excited about very little, actually.

He buys mostly black and copper fabric, but seems to have no real idea what he’s doing until he gets back into the workroom, where he really does nothing. He has nothing to show Tim and Anya and I seriously thought he was gonna get an Anya Beat-down. Especially when she told him he needed to make something so she could help him, and then he went and had a nice leisurely lunch! I swear I saw the actual steam escaping from Anya’s ears.

But he finally gets something done, and badgers Anya about what to do and she says, "Finish it." The he wonders about copper tubing on the collar and you just know he’s going home … and possibly in a body bag if he keeps pissing Anya off.

I feel like it a drastic difference from everyone else and I’m wondering: is that a good or a bad thing?

It’s another tunic. Only this one looks like the Tin Man’s bathrobe dug out of the Lost and Found at the Emerald City Motel 6. It’s that bad.

Zanna liked the menswear approach but said it wasn’t avant-garde enough, though The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ said sometimes avant-garde could be simple if the cut and color works; she liked the color combo, but not the cut. Rachel agreed that avant-garde can be simple if it’s beautiful and well-made and this look was neither of those things.
Mondo’s team is completely safe. Stephanie and Oscar are safe. Shan from Team Anya and Natalia from Team Nick are in the top and Shan gets the wins.

Blake and Nicholas from Team Anya are in the bottom — Nicholas for the third time — and once again the judges tell Anya to pick, A no brain er after the way Nicholas performed in the workroom … and the lunch room. He’s out.
I missed Mondo … except for that hat.

Sam’s a little bitch. He whined that since he painted fabric once now everyone was doing it. Except the only one doing it was Oscar, until Sam decided he’d do it again. Note to Sam: one-note.

Blake’s voice bothers me; it has that Kim Kardastrophe Reality Show Scratchiness to it that’s annoying and lazy.

I loved that after Tim and Nick visited Stephanie and told her she needed to bring more fantasy to her look, and she said she’d ‘make it happen.’ Tim replied, “Around here we say ‘Make it work.’” Snap. I also loved Tim sneaking into the Mentor’s room and saying to Anya, “I just had to report in that Nicholas is having a lovely lunch.”

I did find it kind of low that Anya questioned whether Nicholas really made the clothes in his portfolio since he’d shown nothing like them on UTG. But then, as he said, he spent a week making one coat, so he’s slow, and slower, and slowest, when it comes to work.

I’m glad Shan won, because he always makes really great clothes when he listens to himself. I’m semi-glad Natalia was in the top, though I still think she has trouble with her vision and how to actually follow through.

Oscar is great, but needs to tone down the over-the-top-ness.

Stephanie’s probably next to go home if Blake doesn’t get his act together.

What did YOU think?

Would You Hit It?

Musician, and favorite to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this weekend, Jared Leto.

And one simple question:


Yes or no.

I Didn't Say It ....

Michele Bachmann, batshit crazy Congresswoman, on what to do if Hillary runs for President:

"Two things that need to be done: Remind people [Hillary Clinton] is seeking to become commander in chief … how she has operated in the past with these types of responsibilities. She was in charge during the Benghazi debacle. If a person reads the Senate Intelligence [Committee] report and the House Foreign Affairs [Committee] report … it is damning for Hillary Clinton. Effectively she would be Obama’s third and fourth term in office. I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt. People don’t hold guilt for a woman. I don’t think there is a pent-up desire."

So, Michele says we aren’t ready for a female President, and yet she continually touts herself as Presidential material.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Oh hell, laugh, it’s Michele Crazy Eyes Bachmann after all!
Bristol Palin, on those kids these days: 

“’Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 10:4.’ … I came across this Scripture and wanted to pass it along.  I love it because it reminds me of my parents and the work ethic they instilled in all of us kids. If you want something, you go out and work for it. No one owes you anything, and I’m embarrassed to be in a generation that doesn’t have that mindset. Honest, hard work, is the only way to do it right. Don’t rely on anyone to provide for you. The world doesn’t owe you anything!"

This from a barely educated high school graduate whose only claim to fame is riding her wackadoo mother’s failed attempts at politics to a role on a TV dance competition.
Seriously, Blister, take a seat. You’re more done than your mother.
Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique’s former President, on anti-homosexuality laws in Africa: 

“We can no longer afford to discriminate against people on the basis of age, sex, ethnicity, migrant status, sexual orientation and gender identity, or any other basis – we need to unleash the full potential of everyone. As an African who has been around a long time, I understand the resistance to these ideas. But I can also step back and see that the larger course of human history, especially of the past century or so, is one of expanding human rights and freedoms. African leaders should be at the helm of this, and not hold back. Not at this critical moment.”

One rational voice in a sea of homophobic lunatics.
Greg Ellis, former Dallas Cowboys defensive end, on Michael Sam joining the NFL:

"If he pats somebody on the butt — I hope ESPN don’t get mad and never have me back — but if he pats somebody on the butt, how is that to be received? If he does that how is that to be received? If he said, ‘Come on baby’? I called guys baby all the time on the football field, but when you have taken a stand and went and go public and say that, ‘I am gay,’ how is that going to be received? I’ve seen guys, I had guys on the Dallas Cowboys football team — I won’t mention names — who did not want you to pat them on their butt. So God forbid if you pat one of those guys on the butt it’s going to be a major problem.”

Wait, so Greg Ellis pats guys on the ass and calls them ‘baby’ and he’s worried about Michael Sam.
Get a mirror, Greg and take a good long look.
Greg Ellis, again, going on and on about Michael Sam and locker-rooms and showers:

“People who’ve never been in an NFL shower room, not just locker room, it’s a open room. We don’t have private curtains. It’s just an open-form shower, so everybody sees each in the nude. Well if you’re looking at men as if you’re looking at women or vice versa, how are those guys to receive that? I don’t know. I don’t know how they will receive that. But I do know it would be a situation where I would go to the coach and try to work something out to say, ‘Obviously this is going to be a problem. What can we do? The kid can help us play, can help us win football games. We need him on the team. But this situation right here, we need to do something.’”

Sounds as though Greg liked to touch guy’s asses, call them ‘baby’ and then look at them in the shower.
Seriously, does he really think Michael Sam, or any gay player in or out of the closet, has spent their lives working and training and practicing football to make it in the NFL just to have sex?
Take a seat next to Blister Palin, Greg, because the Dumbass Bus is coming to get you, too.
Desmond Tutu, on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the “kill the gays" bill:

"When President Museveni and I spoke last month, he gave his word that he would not let the anti-homosexuality bill become law in Uganda. I was therefore very disheartened to hear last week that President Museveni was reconsidering his position....We must be entirely clear about this: the history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste, and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God. There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts."

It’s a shame Museveni doesn’t have the thought processing capabilities of someone like Tutu.
It’s plain and simple; it’s love and why should it bother anyone?
George Takei, the now openly gay Sulu, writing to Arizona in the wake of the state’s proposed Gay Discrimination law:

"Dear Arizona, Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses — even those open to the public — to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individual’s 'sincerely held religious belief.' This 'turn away the gay' bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us … If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know–from large corporations to small families on vacation–to boycott. Because you don’t deserve our dollars. Not one red cent."

I hope folks, gay and gay friendly, listen to this and turn away from Arizona.
You don’t think I’m worthy of being served by your business? I don’t think your business is worthy of me.
Paula Deen knows just how Michael Sam feels:

“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying. I’m fighting to get my name back.”

Notice how she can't be bothered to remember his name?
And how does this disgraced cook know how a black gay athlete feels about coming out and how does it compare to a racist losing money because she's a racist.
Seriously, Paula, I asked you once to stop talking.
Apparently you weren't listening.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Random Musings

Texas? Texas? TexasTEXAS? Why you gotta go and surprise us all like that?

Granted it was a judge and not the people of Texas, or their wack-a-doo governor, but still, this is big.

And I, for one, did not see that coming.
We all know that crackpot Teabagger Texas Governor Ricky Perry nearly crapped his Depends when the ruling came down, but the funniest response of all is from ISBL Asshat of the Week winner, and longtime Teabagging Friend'o'Ricky's, Dan Patrick, hurriedly sent out a Tweet in response to the overturning of Texas' same-sex marriage ban. But, um, his response went like this:

He immediately deleted the Tweet and spent the rest of the afternoon clarifying what a big homophobe he is:
"Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period."
An hour later, he Tweeted this:
"MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!"
And then this:
"oops! #twittertypo. We have a new job opening on our campaign: social media intern. Send resume to contact (at) ... I want to re-emphasize my long held position: Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Period."
Methinks he doth protest too much, but then maybe he hasn't found his Mister Right.
With all the hullabaloo in Arizona over their proposed--and yet newly vetoed--“Don’t Serve The Gays” bill, it nice to see one little corner of the state instantly standing up to the discrimination.

The owner’s of Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria have decided to take the spirit of the bill, only their position is slightly different; it isn’t The Gays they don’t want to eat their pizza, its Arizona legislators and posted this to their Facebook page:
“As a longtime employer and feeder of the gay community, Rocco’s reserves the right to eject any State Senators we see fit to kick out. That is all.”
Snap. Show on the other now, eh? How does discrimination feel?
Jason Collins recently became the first openly gay athlete to play in a professional sport in this country when he was signed to a ten-day contract with the Nets.

Ten days? Hopefully it will be extended and extended and extended …. But the big news is that requests for Collin’s jersey have so swarmed the NBA that they are now rushing it into release.

It’s about time. I’m thinking of getting a Collin’s jersey and then a Michael Sam one, too.
So, Ugandan President Museveni signed that bill penalizing homosexuality with life imprisonment into law.

Yup, bein’ gay is like bein’ a murderer in Uganda, y’all.

And, before he signed this ridiculousness, he actually suggested that the law was made necessary by arrogant western groups promoting a behavior that threatens Ugandans’ “way of life”. Then he qualified The Gays into three sets: recruiters, exhibitionists and mercenaries.

He also said he didn’t understand how men could fail to be attracted to Uganda’s beautiful women and, instead, are attracted to fellow men and …

Let’s stop. It’s because they’re gay you dipsh*t. Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant:

Then he paraded the mostly Ugandan scientists who concluded that homosexuality wasn’t genetic because these scientists probably don’t have one single active brain cell between them.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is back, y’all, and I am lovin’ me some queens.

While drag ain’t my thing—I sport a goatee and it just wouldn’t work unless my drag name was Bearded Lady … and we all know that’s Michele Bachmann’s drag name—but I love the camp and the art and the talent and the creativity of it all.

This week, my favorite Queen was the campy, fun and frisky Ben De La Crème, who, in the runway challenge where he was tasked with representing The Golden Gils, sashayed own the catwalk in a gown he said wasn’t so much sewn as crafted though “sweat and desperation.”

Ben won this first week, and let’s see if she can keep up with her Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent.
And, while I was waiting for Ru to start, I was channel surfing and came across TNT’s reboot — get it reboot — of Dallas and the sight of one Josh Henderson in a pair of skimpy, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination briefs.

Plus, his voice has that dripping with honey and bourbon kind of Southern drawl reminiscent of a much younger, oh so much hotter, Tommy Lee Jones.

I may not watch anymore of Dallas — it’s not quite my show — but if I do, I’m hoping for more Josh Henderson and boxer brief scenes.

Just sayin’.
Another show I also don’t watch is The 700 Club with that wack-a-doody Pat Robertson. But, whilst surfing the interwebz, I caught a small soundbite of Pat talking about Arizona and Don’t Serve The Gays.

And Pat, true to the mindnumbingly asinine mentality that he possesses began saying that he thinks business owners, all business owners everywhere, should be able to deny services to people they, and I quote, “don’t like.”

Yes, not just The Gays, but The Jews and the Blacks, The Muslims. If a business owner doesn’t like you they can just say, “Go away.”

But the scariest part of all is that, in support of his, um, for lack of a better word, argument, Pat noted that classic episode of Seinfeld, “The Soup Nazi.”

Yes, his justification is that they did it on a scripted comedy show.

Sit down, Pat, before you fall down.
Good news for the South …

Freedom to Marry, the national pro-gay marriage organization based in New York, has announced a new $1 million television ad campaign, dubbed Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, which will highlight prominent politicians and community leaders who back same-sex marriage.

Now, in all fairness, the ad campaign isn’t trying to win legislative support for same-sex marriage since every single state in the South has passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, and the GOP dominates in almost all Southern state legislatures.  Instead, the campaign will push for public support for same-sex marriage.

Currently there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on same-sex marriage pending before state and federal courts in Southern states, and Freedom to Marry hopes that building public support for same-sex marriage can influence those judges’ decisions. Just lately, in fact, judges in Oklahoma, Kentucky Virginia have struck down those state bans on same-sex marriage, though those rulings are stayed until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.

But maybe, with a little grass roots push, we can get support building down here for full equality.

That’s sounds mighty nice, y’all.

File Under: Jack Burkman Is An Idiot

Boy oh boy, there are quite a few idiots out there jumping on the Don’t Serve The Gays ... or Jail The Gays ... or Kill The Gays, ... or Ban The Gays bandwagon, and yet none of them seem to be aware that their actions have repercussions.

Folks, gay folks and straight folks who dislike discrimination of any kind, big business, the National Football League, Apple, Delta, and many others are calling for a boycott of all things Arizona if the Don’t Serve The Gays bill gets signed by Arizona’s idiot governor, Jan Brewer.

For her part, Brewer says she’ll do what’s best for Arizona, meaning she’ll do what’s best for her own personal political agenda. But I digress. This post isn’t about Arizona, or Indiana — whose Hate The Gays bill is now dead — or even Georgia — whose Hate The Gays bill is on life-support — it’s about idiotic Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman who announced earlier this week that he would push for legislation to prohibit the National Football League from employing gay players:
“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it.”

Burkman later admitted it was all a publicity stunt, though how one gets publicity by being a bigoted homophobic douchebag is a new one to me, but it seems as though his stunt has backfired.

See, a lot of Burkman’s clients aren’t keen on his stunt — he represents mostly companies in fields like medical devices, clean energy, and pharmaceuticals — and several of his clients — many of whom are LGBT pro-equality allies — now believe his efforts no longer represent their interests, .
Bruce Brimacombe, founder and CEO of GOE3:
“I believe in doing things that will bring this country together, not pull it apart.”
Ed St. Amour of the international business company G-PROP:
“I think those positions are a little bizarre. It certainly wouldn’t be anything the company would participate in, [they're] not our values at all.”
David Sher of Greenbacker Renewable Energy:
“I personally do not agree with his positions nor are they the positions of Greenbacker.”
Daniel Penchina, a principal at The Raben Group and president of Q Street, an association of LGBT lobbyists and advocates:
“Burkman’s clients should not only be concerned with being associated with his views, but also his judgment and competence as an advocate. Ultimately, he’s promoting his public image at the expense of his clients. That raises real questions about whether he can adequately represent his clients’ interests before policymakers.”
Now, to be fair, this act of Burkman’s should really come as no surprise to his clients. He once argued that parents should remove their children from Boy Scouts of America because they now allow openly gay youth in the organization and he once said women should not be allowed to serve in the military, become doctors or lawyers because they should be home raising children.


Michael Sam got into the fray, as well, Tweeting that Burkman would “need a Delorian [a reference to the Back to the Future time machine], not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room.” And even Jack Burkman’s openly gay brother weighed in with his own Tweet that Jack was “being an ass.”

Well, and a bigot and a homophobe, too.

Still, though some of his family and most of America denounced Burkman for his statement, nearly all his many of his clients decided to stick with him except one ...

CEO Jeffrey Carpoff and COO Paulette Carpoff of DC Solar Solutions, Inc., a California-based green energy company, released a joint statement:
“DC Solar does not condone or support Mr. Burkman’s homophobic views, and since learning about his misguided efforts to write legislation banning gay athletes from the NFL, we have ended our relationship with him. DC Solar values diversity within our company and within our communities, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any sort. As a company working to address issues about our country’s future, we have no intention of working with those who are stuck in the past.”
That was good to hear, though it is dismaying to hear other companies denounce him for his ridiculous views, publicity stunt or otherwise and yet keep him on the payroll. So, good on DC Solar for standing up against intolerance, and bad on all those other businesses that talk and talk but do nothing.

But here's the real deal: in a world where some countries want to literally jail people for being gay, and other countries want to kill people for being gay and here in America, where some states are trying to allow legalized discrimination of gay people, this kind of publicity stunt is not funny or amusing or cute.

It;'s dangerous and stupid, and I only wish more companies that employed Jack Burkman had the balls to fire his ass.