Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


Public Service Announcement Of The Day

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My main girl Minnie edited this video and the song is rad — BUT I didn’t even know that until after I had watched it and liked it. So. True friendship.

Everything I Know About OKC, I Learned From My Friends

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Case in point:

Unidentified friend says “1. This isn’t all of them 2. Ask me how many I remember…”

Giving proof to the age-old saying “A picture is worth a thousand OKC dates.”

Love It When You Can See The Wheels Turning

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I assume someone helped him out.

Previously: Whoops Part 2

Kate Is Too Busy Being Highbrow At The Theater So It’s Emma’s Turn To (Un)Liveblog The Emmys

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In case you don’t know who I am (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN), I am the editor of this blog’s smarter and stupider younger sister. This is my first unlive blog experience.

(Confession: I was busy with my last meal at home before I returned to school and was aghast to find the DVR acting up, so witty commentary for the first 15 minutes is absent. But let’s be real, what did I really miss.)

Note: I apologize for the excessive caps lock. I don’t know how else to express my excitement.


8:15 pm LOUIS C.K!!!!!! I can’t decide whether Louis pretends to be sadder than he is…I want to pretend he’s really enjoying life and living it to the fullest in wake of his divorce, but I’m not totally convinced.

8:20 pm Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara are both nominated. Julie Bowen wins and Sofia tries her best to look supportive…but we all know the real story.

“That’s my Sofia, god bless you.” Maybe the feud is no more? I really can’t keep up.

We all know Julie Bowen is crazy but GOOD GOD HER ARMS. And she has officially said “nipple covers” too much in this speech.

8:30 pm Miss Chanandler Bong is presenting for Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy…He has a new show that’s Community-esque and is pretty funny. Plus it looks like he’s been back on the wagon for awhile (though the picture below is not the best highlighter of that) so four for you, Matthew Perry.

8:32 pm Jimmy Fallon and Kathy Bates presenting for Comedy Direction. Realtalk, Lena Dunham is grating on my nerves lately and I really don’t want to get on the Girls hate train so I think I’ll just stop following her on Twitter and pretend I’m still in awe.

BlahBlah from Modern Family wins Best Direction, to no one’s surprise. More like Middle-Aged White Male Director of Accessible Middle Brow Comedy Series, AMIRIGHT?

8:35 pm Modern Family spot pretending the newest Lily actress, Aubrey, is a sadistic four-year old is actually pretty funny. ESPECIALLY CAUSE KEN JEONG MAKES AN APPEARANCE and that’s just gold.

8:37 pm Man, everyone really seems to be laying on the bronzer lately. I.E. Jimmy Fallon and everyone else who shouldn’t be wearing bronzer.

8:37 pm Mindy Kaling and Melissa McCarthy, both funny women, are talking about funny men! P.S. Just got a glimpse of Mayim  Bialik behind Jim Parsons and DAMN, “aspiring modern orthodox” cleans up good.

I would be happy with any of these nominees winning. Except  Jon Cryer….DAMNIT. WHY. Two and a Half Men is the least funny show on television, as 99% of the population knows.

Jon Cryer is either in real-shock or fake-shock. Either way, it’s 1/3 endearing, 2/3 wildly irritating. Also, just thanked his wife.

According to the Emmy announcer, you can tweet at the winners on Twitter with #EmmyCongrats. Because the big shiny trophy and applause of thousands of people really isn’t enough for these folks.

8:44 pm Colbert time, presenting for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. “We should not be having a war on women…we should be celebrating women.” Sincerity 4DaWin! Amy Poehler looks beautiful and I DON’T KNOW WHO I WANT TO WIN.

Julia Louis Dreyfus!!! Veep is incredible, I don’t care what anyone says, so four for you, Julia.

Julia starts to read a speech written by Amy Poehler…SHE AND AMY PROCEED TO SWITCH SPEECHES. Comedic gold, dead serious. Second year that Amy Poehler has been at the forefront of an Emmy gag, and here’s hoping it continues.


8:50 pm The Beek is presenting with Damon Waynes, Jr. The latter being the high point of ABC comedy series, Happy Endings.

The Amazing Race wins for Outstanding Reality Series. I’ll be real with you, the only episode I’ve seen of this show has been the one where a woman slingshots a watermelon into her own head accidentally, so I figure I hit it at it’s highest point. (P.S. The comments of that last linked video include the likes of “thats the second biggest load she took to the face…” People just continue to keep it classy.)

8:57 pm The Big Bang Theory spot makes me sad. Remember when this show used to be funny? Sheldon is in a CPA Fan Club, apparently.

Did those accountants seriously come on, wave, and walk-off?

9:00 Did the Emmys always have so many awards for reality tv?

9:01 pm 2012 Year in Drama montage! That’s what I’m talking about. Incessant reminders that I need to watch Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead, that The Good Wife, Mad Men and Breaking Bad continue to be incredible, and that Once Upon A Time is still be wildly disappointing.

Of Grey’s Anatomy: Mom: I can’t believe this show is on the air.

I had to use serious earpluggage for the Breaking Bad Sequence, because I’m only at Season 3!

9:04 pm Claire Danes looking stunning.

Mom: That’s an unfortunate dress (I guess we don’t always jam.)

Aaron Paul wins for Best Supporting Actor. If you’re not watching Breaking Bad, you’re doing something wrong. And if you don’t follow him on twitter, you’re making an even more egregious mistake.

And he’s crying. The rest of this liveblog might be me reacting to Aaron Paul reacting because he is my new Ryan Gosling. Actually maybe not because UGH he’s engaged and his fiance is gorgeous and I am irritated.

@gracehelbig Breaking Bad more like Breaking DECENT ENOUGH TO WIN EMMYS amiright?! #emmys

Love me some Daily Grace

9:12 pm distracted because Mom is talking about the Space Shuttle flyover that happened two days ago.

Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel are doing a bit. Eh.

9:14 pmConnie Britton and Hayden Pannewaytolazytolookupthespelling presenting.

Ted: Connie Britton is hot.

Mom: Which one is Connie Britton

Ted: The tall one [or the old one, but okay…]

Writers for Homeland win, so I guess I really should be watching this show.

Ted: DON’T PLAY THEM OFF. Let them talk for two fucking minutes!

9:17 pm Maggie Smith couldn’t be at the Emmys because she’s fucking Maggie Smith who owned the Battle of Hogwarts while kicking cancer’s ass and probably has some sort of endangered forest to save or diseased animal to nurse back to health.

9:26 pm Jimmy Kimmel has put together a faux-In Memorium montage for himself. I’m on the fence.

9:27 pm Julianna Marguelies WHAT ARE YOU WEARING.


Mom: I like it.

Damien Lewis lives for Best Actor in a Drama Series for Homeland. OKAY I GET IT I’LL WATCH THE FUCKING SHOW. Just called himself a “pesky Brit.”

“My two children at home thought Daddy had  been nominated for an Emma.” THAT’S RIGHT.

9:36 pm All in agreement that Tina Fey looks wonderful.

Will this be the year Julianna wins? I think I can vouch for Kate and say we both hope.

Elizabeth Moss counts as Lead Actress in Mad Men?

Okay Clare Danes wins and I’m sure it’s well-deserved but ugh Juliannnnaaaaa.

Clare agrees with Ted that the writers were cut off far too soon.

Mom: You’re boring!

Okay Clare Danes is pregnant so I guess we can excuse her babbling a bit? We’ll call it Natalie Portman syndrome?

9:42 pm The world stops when Aziz Ansari puts on a British Accent. “Bloody brilliant…fish and chips…cheers.”

When was the last time Neil Patrick Harris didn’t host the Tonys?

3 for 3 for Louis C.K!

9:49 pm Is it just me or does Once Upon a Time have like the WORST special effects?

Ted: I don’t get this whole fucking vampire thing. [Editor’s Note: Agreed.]

9:50 I get nervous every time Ricky Gervais is on stage. “They’ve flown me out for  a big one…Outstanding Direction for a Variety Special.”

Rando in the Emmy Direction Booth wins, and his speech is a little too meta for me.

9:55 Colbert nominated, as usual.

Me: Is he ever going to win?

Ted: Tonight. He wins tonight.

NOPE. Jon Stewart again. He, Colbert and Fallon wrestling to the stage. Incredible.

“Years from now, when the earth is a burning husk, aliens will find a box of these and realize just how predictable these fucking things are.” Moment of the night.

10:00 pm Jimmy Kimmel’s mom can’t move her face, it seems.

10:03 pm I really do need to watch miniseries’.

83% of the reason I don’t watch Boardwalk Empire is because Steve Buscemi gives me the heebie-jeebies for reasons unbeknownst to me. [Editor’s Note: It’s his face.]

10:08 pm Guys, In Memorium is coming up! Get out ‘dem kleenex.

In other news, Internet Explorer is trying so hard to be relevant again.

10:12 pm Is there anyone who doesn’t like Ellen DeGeneres? She’s the kind of person that can do unfunny things and make them hilarious. She’s also not wearing pants tonight.

10:14 pm Kerri Washington’s head is a little too big for her body. I can say that because my head is a little too big for my body and therefore I am an authority.

10:21 pm I know it’s tacky but I can’t help ranking the saddest deaths in the In Memorium. Tony Scott may just kill me (err….for lack of a better word) more than Steve Jobs…

@BrianJMoylan Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Amanda Bynes crashed her car into the stage at the Emmys during the In Memoriam

Also, ABC promos reminded me that in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, this is your PSA that Castle and Beckett did the dirty.

10:27 pm Either the show is getting less-funny as the night progresses, or I am losing steam.

HEYYYOOOOO Doyle from Gilmore Girls wrote Game Change! Learn something new every day.

Unsurprisingly, Julianne Moore wins for Game Change. Won’t lie and pretend I’m cultured and saw it, but I’m guessing it was well-deserved. I mention that I saw her on the street once. Mom mentions she sat next to her at a lunch. COOL MOM guess you win, as usual.

10:31 pm@JuddApatow I am sure we will win best comedy series. Bank on it. @girlsHBO#HBO  [difficulty discerning tone]

10:35 pm Commercial break and we’re talking about recent rapes in NYC parks. Uplifting! But for real, educate yourself folks.

10:38 pm I really want to love Ginnifer Goodwin. Like I really, really, really do….

10:40 pm Kevin Costner gives a rambly speech.



10:45 pm How many awards for the Miniseries category can there be? The answer is at least 12 because Game Change won that many.

10:48 pm Homeland is the new Mad Men and wins for best Drama. Begin the 9,000 year sweep.

10:51 pm Is anyone more excited for This is 40 than me? Is anyone more obsessed with Maude Apatow’s twitter feed?

10:52 pm Jimmy Kimmel introduces Michael J. Fox as “everyone’s least favorite person.” Standing ovation. Work it.

10:56 pm Modern Family wins for best Comedy Series again. Fuck it, I’m out.

I Saw This Play And It Is BLEAK

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But accurate. Bleak but accurate (and funny!). Except I don’t do that much coke I swear Mom.

“The thing that’s probably most autobiographical is just the sentiment of the piece. Like, this sucks. This really sucks. I feel inadequate as a woman and I’m not exactly sure why, and I’m not exactly sure why I was handed a piece of paper that said ‘feminism’ at the top and it was actually just a to-do list of things I was supposed to get done by the time I was 30. I was just like, what the fuck is this? That’s not — I don’t want it all. I don’t actually want that.”Leslye Headland

This Week, I Gave Advice About Things

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To People. Men-people. It was probably a mistake.

What Helen Gurley Brown Taught Me About Hard Work And Looking Good

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Helen Gurley Brown, in the portrait accompanying an Esquire magazine article by Nora Ephron in 1970.

I never thought I’d become invested in the life of Helen Gurley Brown. I mean, she helmed a magazine that featured headlines like “Yes, you can have a bigger bosom!” two years after the Miss America Beauty Pageant protest that lead to the misrepresentation of feminists as “bra-burners” (bra-putters-in-trashcans would be more accurate). The woman who created Cosmopolitan magazine as we know it today might have been a visionary in regards to letting single women who just wanted to get some off the hook, but she was, even in her time, so antiquated in her view of what else they could get some of. Given my distaste for so much of what Brown believed, it was odd to find myself sitting at my desk this past week reading AP wire copy, slowly realizing not many around me would understand getting upset over a woman who I didn’t even agree with on many fronts.

“…having a man is not more important than great work, it’s as important,” Brown told the New York Times in 1974. “I know intellectually that jobs are as important. But they’re not as good for Cosmo in terms of sales. We have had major articles on careers, on nursing and library work. But they don’t have nearly as much clout as an article on ‘Find Your Second Husband Before You Divorce Your First One.'”

Well, she was definitely right: That same article noted that a “career piece” ran in the magazine about once every half a year in the 1960s. But by the mid 1970s, facing pressure from women’s groups and magazines like Ms., Cosmo tried to do “one major job piece every third month.” They were often about “fringe” or “glamour” jobs though, like being a “lady bartender” or a reporter (Hey! Not so glamorous anymore…), “jobs that make good copy but are not realistic options for most women”, wrote Stephanie Harrington, a reporter herself, for the Times. All you have to do is check out April 1969’s article “I Was a Nude Model” by Alice Denham to get what Harrington was talking about.

Work, unless you look at it Brown’s way, isn’t that sexy. After all, the Huffington Post didn’t start a vertical with Brown contemporary Nora Ephron on work; they started one on divorce. But work was interesting to Brown: She adored it. She worked all the time. If she’d been in business during our mobile-friendly times (Brown was essentially pushed out of the magazine she helped invigorate in 1997, after thirty-two years there), she could have worked without heading into her trademark pink corner office anywhere she liked, perhaps sipping a Mai Tai on a beach while wearing a Diane von Furstenberg caftan.

Brown wrote about work tirelessly. Despite the fact that her magazine endlessly shilled a particular form of beauty and attractiveness required to snag a man that boxed out anyone who didn’t quite fit that image, to read Brown’s books is to realize that this woman cared more about work than sex — not that you could tell it from her magazine.

And, perhaps more importantly, she felt even beautiful women should feel that way too: her two mantras might as well have been “Every Cosmo girl needs to work” and “Every Cosmo girl needs a man”, in that order. But that these two things (working constantly at one’s job and working constantly to get a husband) “are at odds with each other, seems never to have occurred to Helen,” wrote Harris Dienstfrey in his article “That Cosmopolitan Girl” in a 1983 Antioch Review.

Brown was an equal opportunity advocate of hard work for people of all attractiveness levels: “Gloria Steinem, pretty enough to go through life as a goddess, got a job as a Playboy bunny (waitress), wrote about her experience, kept writing until she became an editor of Glamour and New York magazines, then became a leading figure in one of the most important revolutionary movements of our lifetime – the Women’s Liberation movement,” wrote Brown in her 1982 book Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money…Even If You’re Starting with Nothing. And of those women like Steinem who were blessed with the beauty and the brains? Brown wasn’t even sure she wanted such a thing for herself. “I’m just saying if I had to choose beauty or brains, I’d take brains. Every time.”

This didn’t mean that you shouldn’t stop trying to have both though — after all, the book was called Having It All. Her 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl, the infamous work that got her the Cosmo gig in the first place, was an entire tome devoted to making sure you looked your best — which meant you had to work at it. If you were a single woman, you had to spend money to make money.

Brown devoted a whole, less-popular version of Sex and the Single Girl to this very topic, called Sex and the Office, where she implored women in the workplace to care about what they looked like both for themselves, and for the men that they inevitably could snag while working. “…you must love yourself enough to employ every device…voice, words, clothes, figure, make-up…to become [a beauty],” she said.

To Brown, the skills a woman learned in romantic relationships were interchangeable to those they should practice in the workplace. During a seldom-seen interview between the aforementioned Steinem and Brown in a 1982 documentary (but one which I recommend trying to check out from the library), Brown outlines to Steinem how she moved from one ad agency to another during her years working as a copywriter prior to heading to Cosmo:

Brown: …Many men feel that you’re nothing after they get you. They wanted you desperately but when you belong to them, you’re nobody. So this agency stole me…
Steinem: Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Brown: (laughing) It happens.

Boy does it happen — or it did, in Brown’s world. For “…in an ideal world we might move onward and upward by using only our brains and talent but, since this is an imperfect world, a certain amount of listening, giggling, wriggling, smiling, winking, flirting and fainting is required in our rise from the mailroom,” Brown wrote in Sex and the Office.

Unsurprisingly, her contemporaries and modern feminist authors have taken Brown to task for her views. In her book The Joy of Work: Helen Gurley Brown, Gender, and Sexuality in the White-Collar Office, Julie Berebitsky wrote, “As [Brown] saw it, the feminine ideal was not necessarily an iron cage but a weapon in a woman’s arsenal, one of the few forms of female power and a way to circumvent men’s hostility toward ambitious women.” In short: women shouldn’t expect men to change, but they could figure out a way to make them more tolerable.

Berebitsky is particularly critical of Brown’s way to success in the office, and rightfully so: most of what Brown asserted was a way to move up in the workforce, but that which did nothing to try to right the wrongs of an incredibly patriarchal society that makes ours today look relatively sex-stress free. But Brown was really a victim of her own pragmatism: it’s like she could get behind reupholstering a couch, but couldn’t imagine throwing out the old one and buying brand new. She advocated for the single working girl when none were doing so, but couldn’t advocate for a woman she wouldn’t get to see live for several decades.

Though Brown clearly lacked imagination, she taught us something so utterly American it’s surprising no other womens’ magazine but Cosmo had captured it so fully until she did. Want to look sexier? You can! Want to move up at work? You can! Want to sleep with a married man? (You get the picture). Women’s magazines have always been about wish-fulfillment, but Brown took it a step further. She identified with the American impulse in all of us, that hard work can totally transform a woman physically, emotionally and professionally.

We need only look at the covers of women’s magazines, the Amazonian goddesses on billboards and ads, to appreciate her legacy: I can make my own money. I have. I work all the time. Who doesn’t? I’m single or attached or whatever, and I’m fabulous.

As I’ve stated before, I know a lot about a few things. This piece comes from some of that.

Bruce Springsteen Is A Secret Hit Among The Hip

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Doing research for Pitchfork, I have discovered the hipster dirty little secret.

It Was Purposeful

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This was, I mean.

“The custom typeface is the work of the Los Angeles–based production company Grand Jeté. ‘Truth be told, there were countless hours spent on the pitch, because I believed in the project,’ says Howard Nourmand, the firm’s creative director. After landing the job, he worked closely with Girls‘ creator, Lena Dunham—who also wrote, directed, and stars in the series—to strike a balance between something bold and something beautiful.”

A Goodbye

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There are lots of reasons I love Nora Ephron, but I think perhaps the biggest is how relatable she was. Not even to my set of life experiences, but how comfortable she felt, like my mom or my grandmother or my aunt. She even looked sort of like them. She wasn’t just relatable in one medium; not just her romantic comedies or her essays or her journalism or her novels. All of it was good. She was the kind of writer and thinker I’d like to be; funny and self-deprecating and honest. Even the serious stuff wasn’t serious enough to be dull.

The only way I could think to memorialize Ephron in a succinct manner that hasn’t been summed up with this excellent obit from the New York Times, as well as numerous other sources (though I do think she would have been a great subject for The Last Word) was to excerpt a section of my thesis paper, where I couldn’t avoid talking about her even if I tried (even though the topic was hardly all about her). Here, I use Ephron’s personally revealing writing to make a larger argument about the state of women of her generation. So thanks Nora, for letting me bastardize your life, in this discussion of an article you wrote about Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown in the February 1970 issue of Esquire:

This article, which was eventually republished in Ephron’s book of essays, Wallflower at the Orgy, is a fascinating look at the Cosmo girl way of life by a woman who was part of the media, but also profoundly affected by the conflicting messages she was receiving as a feminist and as a woman. Ephron was a strong example of a woman who was stuck between the Cosmo girl and the Ms. woman; she expressed an interest in maintaining personal attractiveness, but questioned cultural demand for it. Of Brown, Ephron wrote: “She is demonstrating, rather forcefully, that there are over 1,000,000 American women who are willing to spend sixty cents to read not about politics, not about the female-liberation movement, not about the war in Vietnam, but merely about how to get a man.” This comment was clearly aimed towards the writers of Ms., who featured more articles on political issues that Cosmo often trivialized or barely talked about. Yet Ephron had a point: Cosmo was more fun to read than Ms., as indicated by the vast difference in their readerships. Ephron herself explained that her often-complex relationship with the magazine existed primarily because she did not feel she was the magazine’s target audience – “I have not been single for years” – but she was still “suckered in” by its headlines. “Yes, I should know better. After all, I used to write for Cosmopolitan and make this stuff up…Buy a padded bra, the article on bust lines tells me. Fake it, the article on orgasm says. And I should be furious. But I’m not. Not at all. How can you be angry at someone who’s got your number?” Here, Ephron confirmed that even the most knowledgeable women were simply looking for answers, something Cosmo’s traditional prescriptions provided, however limiting the method or the results.

Ephron was an excellent example of a “new woman.” She did not fit into the archetypes associated with a woman who read Cosmo or a woman who read Ms. She remained at the edges of the New York women’s movement, keeping her distance from activism. In another essay in her anthology written in May 1968, she described a makeover she received courtesy of Cosmopolitan as one of the most depressing experiences of her life, although she had gone into it willing to be transformed. Ephron explained that originally, Helen Gurley Brown had edited her essay so that it became a description of an upbeat experience. But the anthology contains the original piece. “Like most of my friends who have been overexposed to fashion magazines, I had come to believe that cosmetic and plastic surgery could accomplish anything. Perhaps plastic surgery – but I am here today, with my long face and drooping eyelid, to tell you that cosmetic surgery can do close to nothing.”

Why did Ephron find her makeover so depressing? Perhaps because nothing permanent about her looks or her life had actually changed. Ephron explained that she has been looking at magazine makeovers for years, but in her experience, the makeup washes off, the hair goes back to what it looked like before, and you are left with what you started with. After the makeover, Ephron wrote that, “I looked exactly like Nora Ephron used to look. Only a teeny bit better.” She had experienced most feminists’ greatest problem with “deep-cleavage feminism”: It offered only a fleeting path to liberation. Nonetheless, Ephron represented the woman who responded more to Cosmo’s strategy than to the daunting and fiery language of Ms., with its goal of consciousness-raising at all costs and its dismissal of issues of beauty and body image that preoccupied most women. Though it was frequently dogmatic, not to mention repetitive, Cosmo certainly covered body image issues that most women were immediately concerned with more often and more thoroughly than Ms. ever did. Brown never considered that she could be entrapping women even while advocating for them, which may be one reason by feminists never targeted Cosmo like they did Playboy, which was more flagrant in its sexist expectations of women. In Brown’s own way, she did represent a “real” woman – a woman who was unsatisfied with the way that she looked and acted, and wanted to be the best she could be. Even women like Ephron could identify with such dissatisfaction. But, the confidently liberated women of Ms. magazine seemed far out of reach for most, and were more difficult for everyday women to identify with.

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