That obscure object of desire

Really interesting article about soul singer D’Angelo in GQ — dream sequences involving Marvin Gaye, good discussion of the sacred/profane roots of soul music, so you know it’s right up my alley.

Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress zeros in on the fact that D’Angelo started to lose it after his famous Untitled (How Does It Feel?) video made him a sex symbol:

But as D began to fall apart, the video would be the only thing many fans remembered. “The video was the line of demarcation,” says Harris. “It sent him spinning out of control.”…The trouble began right away, at the start of the Voodoo tour in L.A. “It was a week of warm-up gigs at House of Blues just to kick off the tour, draw some attention, break in the band,” says Alan Leeds, D’s tour manager then and now. “And from the beginning, it’s ‘Take it off!’ “…

D’Angelo felt tortured, Questlove says, by the pressure to give the audience what it wanted. Worried that he didn’t look as cut as he did in the video, he’d delay shows to do stomach crunches.

[…..]

On the last day of the eight-month tour, Questlove says D’Angelo told him, “Yo, man, I cannot wait until this fucking tour is over. I’m going to go in the woods, drink some hooch, grow a beard, and get fat.” Questlove thought he was joking. “I was like, ‘You’re a funny guy.’ And then it started to happen. That’s how much he wanted to distance himself.”

Obviously, our society does this to women all the time. It’s sad.

89 replies
  1. 1
    BruinKid says:

    Since Cole was one once, this is interesting. National Review writer Michael Fumento has now parted ways with the right. The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to have been the Heartland Institute bashing anyone who believes in global warming as being akin to the Unabomber.

  2. 2
    Shinobi says:

    Only if you’re attractive. If you’re an ugly woman then you are clearly not worth anyone’s time or attention, so you should spend all your time trying to be hotter.

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    Yeah, that’s the reason that I grew a beard and got fat too. People kept telling me to take off my clothes all the time. I couldn’t stand it. Then I got old.

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Obviously, our society does this to women all the time. It’s sad.

    No, it’s worse for women, and it’s a universal problem.

    For example.

    New Mom Aishwarya Rai Is Too Fat, Say Assholes
    __
    Heaven forbid a woman gestate a human and not instantaneously return to super-svelte shape! The Indian media have proved themselves every bit as concerntrolly as their US counterparts after commentators went after Bollywood legend Aishwarya Rai — not only for selfishly getting pregnant, but also for having the nerve to not shed pounds immediately following the birth. (Her new baby is a mere six months old.) Causing outrage after getting snapped looking roughly 0.00067% less hot than normal on her way to a party for UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, Rai’s been likened to an elephant on one website — complete with trumpeting sound effects — resulting in some impassioned commentary.
    __
    “She is a Bollywood actress and it is her duty to look good and fit,” typed one commenter

    For most male celebrities, looking hot is an extra. For women, it is a essential, defining feature.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Lord, I loved that video.

    just loved it.

  6. 6
    Someguy says:

    I’m sorry but fuck whiny celebrities and how unfair it is they have to be hot.

    They get super famous for being pretty and singing songs and having cut abs, or for strolling around a pool in a TV series or video in a skimpy swimsuit looking good. That’s their job. Nobody is forcing them into it, and if they don’t like it they can leave.

    If D’Angelo feels so bad about how society fucked him with its high expectations, he should give back the money, the fly-ass cars, the houses, the women, and move back into obscurity. Nobody is making him be rich, famous and popular, and to have to fend off hot women anxious to jump his bones. Society did this to him my ass.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Of course, Rush Limbaugh does the drop weight, put on weight, drop weight thing too, just as Oprah does.

    Except no one in their right mind would consider Limbaugh to be a sex symbol, no matter what his weight. The ugly of his sick, racist mind always shows through.

  8. 8
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Brachiator: Never thought Aishwarya was all that hot any way. I have seen her in a movie or two and she is pretty wooden. In Devdas too, which I saw recently, Madhuri Dixit ate her lunch, both in the looks and the acting department.

    ETA: Do agree with your overall point though.

  9. 9
    Joel says:

    @BruinKid: Fumento is just in stage one. He’s definitely still a right-winger. But from the looks of it, he’ll be Charles Johnson by the week’s end.

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Fear of rejection because of fat is what did Elvis in.

  11. 11
    amused says:

    Reminds me of Ann Wilson from Heart, after MTV became the music standard back in the day.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Well, Aishwarya Rai is Bollywood royalty, being Amitabh’s daughter-in-law and all.

  13. 13
    Silver says:

    Fat coke addict? You’re doing it wrong.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    @Someguy:

    They get super famous for being pretty and singing songs and having cut abs, or for strolling around a pool in a TV series or video in a skimpy swimsuit looking good. That’s their job. Nobody is forcing them into it, and if they don’t like it they can leave.

    If you’re serious, you’re an idiot.

    If you’re not serious, you’re still an idiot, who can’t do irony.

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Fear of rejection because of fat is what did Elvis in.

    I thought it was the drugs, the crazy food and overindulgence. But I see your point.

  15. 15
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Amir Khalid: Being even real royalty doesn’t make you hot, case in point, Princes Charles.

    ETA: Aishwarya pretty hot compared to the average Jane, but I think she is far from being the hottest or the most beautiful actresses from Hindi film industry.
    She is a tad overrated, I think. Of course YMMV.

  16. 16
    wasabi gasp says:

    Christopher Cross should punch D’Angelo in his fat bearded neck.

  17. 17
    slag says:

    @Brachiator:

    For most male celebrities, looking hot is an extra. For women, it is a essential, defining feature.

    Indeed.

    It’s going to sound silly, but I was reminded of this fact recently when I was watching reruns of The Muppet Show. I hate to disparage Kermit, but whenever he was introducing a female special guest, he almost always (I started tracking the percentage after a while, and I want to say it was like 95% of the time) referred to her appearance in the intro (aka “lovely/beautiful and talented” in that order). He rarely (I want to say like 8% of the time at the most) referred to the appearance of a male special guest in the intro. Of course, that was from the 70s. I don’t know what a modern Kermit would do.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    For most male celebrities, looking hot is an extra. For women, it is a essential, defining feature.

    Yep. Just ask Amanda Palmer, whose record company decided she was too fat to show her stomach on a cover. And she is someone who is comfortable with her imperfect body, to say the least.

    (Yes, that’s author Neil Gaiman on keyboards, who also happens to be married to Palmer.)

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Never thought Aishwarya was all that hot any way. I have seen her in a movie or two and she is pretty wooden. In Devdas too, which I saw recently, Madhuri Dixit ate her lunch, both in the looks and the acting department.

    It’s not a contest. The world has room for plenty of talented and beautiful actresses. But I take your point.

    By the way, my commuting buddies and I decided that The Avengers was missing a Bollywood dance number, which could have easily taken place when the camera circles around the superheroes as they stand on the New York city street, planning their next move.

  20. 20
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The more people have made me look, the more I’m convinced Harry is not the progeny of Charles. It will never get looked in to, since Diana is now gone and the trainer got paid a nice sum to shut up about it. But at least William looks like his mum. I think he inherited her innate shyness as well. I still say she skips Charles entirely and grants succession to William, mostly because he isn’t a total tool like his dad.

  21. 21
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @BruinKid: I think he’s broken with them pretty hard. A guy who characterizes modern conservatism with my new favorite line, “extremism in the defense of nothing” ain’t coming back.

    I don’t know what he turns into, that’ll be the interesting thing. A John Cole? A Charles Johnson? (both traditional conservatives in the old sense of the word, meaning not certifiably insane and I could likely hash out something reasonable with them). A Joe Hill? Not bloody likely but strange things happen when paradigms fall apart for folks.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Never thought Aishwarya was all that hot any way.

    ***spit take***

  23. 23
    Joel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Jill Scott was the one who wrote the lyrics to “You Got Me” but Geffen made them put Erykah Badu on the vocals, because.. you can guess the rest of this story.

  24. 24
    Joel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Jill Scott was the one who wrote the lyrics to “You Got Me” but Geffen made the Roots put Erykah Badu on the vocals, because.. you can guess the rest of this story.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @slag:

    Of course, that was from the 70s. I don’t know what a modern Kermit would do.

    This comment has warped my tiny little brain.

  26. 26
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Brachiator: For some reason, Aishwarya irks me, I saw her on 60 min once and her goody two shoes act was a bit much. I live with my parents and I don’t kiss boys, I think she was well in her 30s at the time. All said in a simpering little girl voice.

  27. 27
    bobzilla47 says:

    For most male celebrities, looking hot is an extra. For women, it is a essential, defining feature.

    Adele disagrees strongly with your opinion.

    I’d guess, from their actions, that most of the female musicians marketed as sex symbols strongly embrace it because (talent otherwise lacking) good looks = $$$

  28. 28
    MattR says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Well, Fumento proudlylinked to the article he wrote in 1987 explaining that the idea of AIDS being a serious problem in the heterosexual community was nothing but a myth or mass hysteria and that there was nothing to back up the CDC’s prediction that 9% of new AIDS cases will be the result of heterosexual activity. If I am reading recent numbers from the CDC correctly, in 2009 that figure was roughly 30%.

  29. 29
    slag says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    A guy who characterizes modern conservatism with my new favorite line, “extremism in the defense of nothing” ain’t coming back.

    Well, at least he finally realized it. It really is hard for me to figure out what took so long, though. I remember when I was a kid and Faux News was just starting to get hot during Clinton and my parents were suddenly espousing views that were almost completely opposite of the views they espoused just a year or so before. And I literally thought to myself as a kid, “Republicans are pretty much nihilists!”. And of course, that view has only deepened in the ensuing 15 or so years. Maybe Mr. Fumento finally went ahead and watched The Big Lebowski.

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    @BruinKid: I caught that, but I stopped reading around here-

    You see, I’ve published articles saying I do “believe in global warming.” Yes, I’ve also questioned the extent to which man-made gases have contributed to that warming and concluded that expenditures to reduce those emissions would be as worthless as they’d be horrifically expensive. No matter; just call me “Ted.” Or “Charlie.” Or “Fidel.”

    So centrist!

  31. 31
    srv says:

    @wasabi gasp: Dude still tours, saw a flyer up today.

    @Someguy: I can see those who perpetuate sexual objectification by actively embracing sexual objectification becoming victims themselves. But the guy did have a platform to make a change, and he chose to go out to the woods instead.

  32. 32

    On the topic of sex symbols, few can top the Clenis in that category, and relish in it. Oh Bill, what have you gone and done now?

    Personally, I approve of ex presidents rubbing elbows with the stars, of whatever kind. Prudish America? also too, but not in public. Somebody call Ken Starr on the wingnut shoe phone.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yep. Just ask Amanda Palmer, whose record company decided she was too fat to show her stomach on a cover. And she is someone who is comfortable with her imperfect body, to say the least.

    This kind of crap reminds me of the general insanity of entertainment media, which gives lip service to issues of body image as they continue to photoshop the shit out of women to make them look impossibly fit and thin. Related insanity goes to the bizarre trend of lightening nonwhite actresses (and some actors) to supposedly make them more acceptable to white consumers.

    @slag:

    He rarely (I want to say like 8% of the time at the most) referred to the appearance of a male special guest in the intro.

    I can’t totally blame Kermit. He had some guy’s hand up his ass. But yeah, non-muppet tv hosts do this as well. I give kudos here to someone like Craig Ferguson, who will do a perfunctory “beautiful and talented” introduction, but then treat both male and female guests equally. And, going back to the days of the mighty Carson, Ferguson has had male and female guests on who have done crazy shit like write books, and such.

  34. 34
    slag says:

    @Corner Stone: Welcome to my world. I’m blaming my head cold. What’s your excuse?

  35. 35
    the Conster says:

    Adele’s doing OK, and she’s no tiny thang. Her talent is ginormous and she’s gorgeous, so who’s going to convince her to change? I guess if you can only name one big woman star though, the point is made.

  36. 36
    JGabriel says:

    Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I think [Fumento has] broken with [the right] pretty hard. …
    __
    I don’t know what he turns into, that’ll be the interesting thing. A John Cole? A Charles Johnson? … A Joe Hill? Not bloody likely but strange things happen when paradigms fall apart for folks.

    In the same article where he allegedly breaks with the right, Fumento also writes:

    Limbaugh infamously dispatched a young woman who expressed her opinion that the government should provide free birth control as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

    While Fumento’s disdain for Limbaugh is commendable, he’s still thinking and mischaracterizing like a true conservative. Fluke didn’t argue that “the government should provide free birth control”; she argued that insurance companies should be mandated to include birth control as part of the insurance services she pays for.

    With rhetoric like that, I predict Fumento will become that most treasured of cable news celebrities, The Centrist(tm).

    .

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    For some reason, Aishwarya irks me, I saw her on 60 min once and her goody two shoes act was a bit much. I live with my parents and I don’t kiss boys, I think she was well in her 30s at the time. All said in a simpering little girl voice.

    Actors sometimes “perform” during interviews, knowing that their fans are hanging onto their every word. They can’t be totally honest, even if they wanted to be, because some of their fans are more interested in the fantasy than the reality of the stars’ lives.

    On the other hand, I once watched Charlie Rose interview the late Natasha Richardson. At some point, I think she realized what a poseur he was, and how smitten he was with her, so she just started toying with him, charming him and deflecting his dumbest questions.

    On another occasion, I remember seeing Michael Caine being interviewed by an American host who was an unprepared nitwit. So Caine in effect interviewed himself, tossing off amusing anecdotes about himself and his friends Peter O’Toole and Sean Connery. Again, it was a performance, not a revelation of the star’s deepest secrets. The audience loved it, and I think the host felt relieved that he didn’t have to do any thinking.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @slag: Well, I’m forced to start from the premise that Kermit himself had an ambiguous and uneasy “relationship” with a certain Miss Piggy. And she was certainly a multitudinous character, embracing not only her innate pigdom but her desire and projection of “star” quality. Based on this clearly female dominant relationship, what are we to make of ’70s Kermit?
    Throw in the question of a frog muppet evolving over 40 years as TV host and it’s boggling.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    I still say she skips Charles entirely and grants succession to William, mostly because he isn’t a total tool like his dad.

    Also because the King/Queen of England is still the nominal head of the Anglican church, and skipping over Charles dodges the sticky question of whether or not a divorced monarch can be the head of the church.

    Okay, stop laughing. That apparently is considered a problem if Charles inherits the throne.

  40. 40
    slag says:

    @JGabriel:

    With rhetoric like that, I predict Fumento will become that most treasured of cable news celebrities, The Centrist™.

    The Centrist. There’s a post-punk superhero in the making. What will its superpowers include? The ability to spout prolix equivocations while consuming Oakeshott in the Widener library?

  41. 41
    rlrr says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    and skipping over Charles dodges the sticky question of whether or not a divorced monarch can be the head of the church.

    Didn’t seem to stop Henry VIII…

  42. 42
    Ash Can says:

    @JGabriel: Time will tell. He’s obviously already given this a lot of thought, but if this is essentially a first step in his personal journey, it’s a doozy — it’s not a step, it’s a half-gainer off an 80-foot cliff. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The problem is not so much Charles, as it is the status of Camilla. Is she to be the Queen-Consort, seeing as she is not the mother to the future Prince of Wales and his brother, who would be #2 in line for the throne when Charles is King?

    Remember the issue with that Simpson woman is that she was a divorcee, and potentially the mother of some future heir to the throne. That was considered to be a huge problem.

    There’s also the question of what name Charles would choose for his reign. His two predecessors as Charles had some pretty heavy duty history…particularly Charles I, who lost his head. Literally.

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It is my understanding that no matter what Camilla will not be named Queen. And that is a sore spot for both her and Charles right now. Since Elizabeth is still alive and kicking (GSTQ) there will be a few years yet to decide this, but the succession question may go to the House of Lords. And they may not take to two divorcees representing the kingdom well. Their out, of course, is William.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Her 90’s Tamil films…if looks could kill, I’d be dead…

    Anyway, I don’t think anyone is really qualified to decide, if someone is sexy or not, if they don’t want to have sex with them.

  46. 46
    slag says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Based on this clearly female dominant relationship, what are we to make of ‘70s Kermit?

    I question this premise. Piggy may have had a flair for the dramatic, but her most acute weakness was clearly her devotion to Kermit. I think you’re letting Piggy’s superficial acts of self-assurance obscure your view of her deeper areas of vulnerability.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also because the King/Queen of England is still the nominal head of the Anglican church, and skipping over Charles dodges the sticky question of whether or not a divorced monarch can be the head of the church.

    I’m not sure that this is a problem anymore. Some recent changes will allow a future heir to marry a Catholic, and will ensure that if William and Kate’s first child is a daughter, she will have the right to be first in line to the throne. I hope they do have a girl, and name her Diana (though I imagine they will do something like Elizabeth Victoria Alexandra Diana).

    I also get the impression that the English have come round on accepting Charles and Camilla, as opposed to a time when the idea of bypassing Charles first started floating around.

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    Speaking of crazy body types, look what’s happened to Dr. Jack – Mathew Fox – from Lost:

    Mirror

    Wow!

  49. 49
    Brachiator says:

    @slag:

    I think you’re letting Piggy’s superficial acts of self-assurance obscure your view of her deeper areas of vulnerability.

    I recall when the tabloids went after Miss Piggy for gaining weight, calling her a Porker.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator:

    ROTFLMAO

  51. 51
    Someguy says:

    @Brachiator:

    Please. Politics matters but not enough to make me admit that, say, a nude love scene between Kathy Bates and Jack Black would make me hot. In fact it’d be somewhat repulsive. Is it unfair to Kathy Bates and Jack Black to say that? I don’t think so. A lot of roles don’t really call for “hot young thing” and I really don’t care if an aging artist with a sagging face & ass fills them, in fact some roles call for those things, but “soul artist singing about a searing romantic first love gone bad” kinda does. I guess I’m just shallow.

    Now go ahead, tell me how hot a Kathy Bates / Jack Black love scene would make you, and how it’s their inner beauty that gets you turned on…

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    Ash Can:

    Time will tell … but if this is essentially a first step in [Fumento’s] personal journey, it’s a doozy—it’s not a step, it’s a half-gainer off an 80-foot cliff. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

    Maybe, but I have my doubts. In the same article, Fumento praises the kind of conservatism that I think it’s safe to say he aspires to:

    … a few small holdouts like the American Conservative magazine or that battleship that refuses to become a museum, George Will …

    Or later in the same paragraph:

    But, based on my own conversations with liberals, I think – nay, I know – that if more of these allegedly godless, treasonous people understood real conservatism a lot would embrace many conservative positions.

    Fumento seems to be auditioning for the role of an American Sully, defending an imaginary True Conservativism that exists only in his own mind and of which his own views are its only measure and he its paradigmatic exemplar.

    I can’t know for sure where Fumento will go from here, but my guess would be that he intends to combine Will’s views with Sully’s faith in a Magical True Conservatism that somehow always manages to conform itself to his own views — the kind of pundit who would thank DougJ for calling him “the scholarly David Broder”.

    But I could be wrong. I never would have predicted, for instance, LGF’s turn from Stormfront Lite to it’s current anti-extremist incarnation.

    .

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @slag:

    Piggy may have had a flair for the dramatic, but her most acute weakness was clearly her devotion to Kermit. I think you’re letting Piggy’s superficial acts of self-assurance obscure your view of her deeper areas of vulnerability.

    No, no, no. That wasn’t devotion, that was obsession. We were clearly inside the mind of the proto-stalker, the “if I can’t have him, no one will”, but back when people thought it was romantic if a guy asked a girl out 17 times before she said “yes”.
    Miss Piggy got the benefit in the ’70s because women were the weaker sex. But it’s clear, IMO, she was a bacon wrapped powder keg of insecure rejection and fury.
    I’m reminded of the time in one episode where she busted out that window, grabbed a shard of glass, cut herself to the point of blood, and threateningly told the female co-host to stay away from her Kermie, “He’s mine!”.

  54. 54
    redshirt says:

    How was Kermit the head of that gang anyways? Never could figure that out.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Someguy:

    A lot of roles don’t really call for “hot young thing”

    Case in point, Denise Richards being cast in the Bond film The World is Not Enough as a nukular scientist, and love interest. I mean, really?

  56. 56
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If Charles had just had her head chopped off in the old tradition, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Someguy:

    A lot of roles don’t really call for “hot young thing” and I really don’t care if an aging artist with a sagging face & ass fills them, in fact some roles call for those things, but “soul artist singing about a searing romantic first love gone bad” kinda does. I guess I’m just shallow.

    Yes, you are. His fans loved it when a fat Luther Vandross sang to them; many felt he lost a certain sizzle when he lost a ton of weight.

    Now go ahead, tell me how hot a Kathy Bates / Jack Black love scene would make you, and how it’s their inner beauty that gets you turned on…

    One of the hottest films at the Cannes Film Festival will certainly be a challenge for you.

    A graphic film featuring a middle-aged woman traveling to Africa for sex with male gigolos has been praised at Cannes Film Festival.
    __
    In Paradise: Love, the first part of a trilogy, director Ulrich Seidl explores the subject of sex tourism among rich, European white women
    __
    The film had its gala premiere yesterday where it is one of 22 films competing for the Palme d’Or.
    __
    The movie stars Margarethe Tiesel as a 50-year-old Austrian whose search for love turns increasingly predatory.
    __
    Previously a stage actress, this is her first major film role and she appears nude through much of the film and has several graphic scenes with Kenyan beach boys.

    Needless to say, Margarethe Tiesel is not a skinny little starlet.

  58. 58
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: He’s freaked about government spending and seems to have some other odd beliefs. It’ll take time, if anything.

    He also appears to have a mancrush on Ronaldus Magnus (read the article).

  59. 59
    patrick II says:

    What a schizophrenic comment thread. Comments generally agree with Dougj that women have the burden of being judged too much on their appearance while simultaneously trying to decide whether Aishwarya is not/not hot.

    I’m voting hot by the way.

  60. 60
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: It’s not a serious problem in the white heterosexual community. Communities of color don’t count.

  61. 61
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @patrick II: Big difference between plaudiering over whether a media personality is hot or not and going into a creepy forum rage over a former hottie not being hot enough for creepy forum stalker to get it up today. That’s… fucked up. Also, what happened to using your imagination for wanking inspiration? Or just turning SafeSearch off of google images and entering random keywords? Jeez.

  62. 62
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Someguy: Holy shit! That much bitterness concentrated in one spot is dangerous. I think your post killed some of the pixels in my monitor with its unfiltered spite.

    Spread it out a little, man. Maybe a sentence about how awful D’Angelo is for daring to have human emotions in one post, and then later on you can do a short rant about that stuck-up bitch who turned you down for the prom. Pace yourself!

  63. 63
    rammalamadingdong says:

    Thanks Doug that was a very interesting article. It made me stop because I realized the only song I knew was Untitled, and that was because of the video. I felt shame. Then, in the spirit of introspection I popped over to YouTube to see the video again. I am so weak. His grandma must have made the best collards evah. Just sayin’

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @patrick II:

    What a schizophrenic comment thread. Comments generally agree with Dougj that women have the burden of being judged too much on their appearance while simultaneously trying to decide whether Aishwarya is not/not hot.

    Hah! A previous attempt to respond got moderated. Here is a cleaned up version.

    If it makes you feel any better, actor Michael Fassbender is both hot and hung.

    Charlize Theron has joked Michael Fassbender’s manhood is a ‘’whole working entity’‘.
    __
    The ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ actress stars alongside the ‘Shame’ actor in forthcoming movie ‘Prometheus’, but she didn’t manage to see his member – which doesn’t make an appearance in the sci-fi film – because she believes it was too busy working alone elsewhere.
    __
    She quipped: ‘’Oh my god. I don’t think it was available. It was shooting the sequel for ‘Shame’ so we couldn’t get it for ‘Prometheus.’
    __
    ‘’I had to see it, because it was gone, so it was on dailies from New York. It’s a hitch p@nis. The p@nis attaches and works separately, it’s a whole working entity.’‘

    More seriously, a number of film critics think that Fassbender was denied an Oscar nomination because of the full frontal scenes in Shame. They got nervous and couldn’t concentrate on his acting.

    Worse, Margo Stilley had trouble getting acting roles because of the non-simulated sex scenes in 9 Songs. She went too far for many in the industry. Strangely, Kieran O’Brien, who as the Wiki notes “became the only mainstream British actor who has been shown ej@culating in a mainstream UK-produced feature” has had no problems getting acting roles.

    ETA: Wow. Still moderated. Oh, well.

  65. 65
    WereBear says:

    Thank goodness Aretha Franklin was pre-MTV era.

    When all you had to do was sing like glory, and it was okay.

  66. 66
    Origuy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Remember the issue with that Simpson woman is that she was a divorcee, and potentially the mother of some future heir to the throne. That was considered to be a huge problem.

    The other problem with Wallis Simpson was that she was a Nazi sympathizer and was getting Edward VIII entangled with the pro-Germans in Britain.

  67. 67
    she's crafty says:

    @bobzilla47:

    Adele disagrees strongly with your opinion.

    Adele has an extraordinarily beautiful face that looks great on album covers.

    Not to mention, she’s incredibly talented, which is pretty much what it takes to overcome her size in the industry. Do you think she’d be where she is if she had to be Auto-Tuned?

    And I’m so glad that Aishwarya Rai’s fuckability is being discussed.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Origuy:

    The other problem with Wallis Simpson was that she was a Nazi sympathizer and was getting Edward VIII entangled with the pro-Germans in Britain

    Mmmm…that’s kind of hot.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @patrick II: There is no debate.
    Aishwarya is smokin’ hot.

  70. 70
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @rikyrah: I used to love it but I can’t see the video the same way after reading that GQ article.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Someguy:

    And sometimes people get themselves so freaked out at the prospect of seeing someone with more than 10% body fat naked that they miss the entire point of a scene. Bates had a nude scene in About Schmidt where she gets into a hot tub naked with Jack Nicholson’s character, and people seemed to get so wound up in deciding that the reason Nicholson’s character was freaked out was because Bates’ body was “gross” that they missed the point that it’s totally inappropriate to naked hot-tub with your future in-law. It would have been just as inappropriate if the character had been played by Helen Mirren, and yet people were so fixated on body image that they missed the point.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And sometimes people get themselves so freaked out at the prospect of seeing someone with more than 10% body fat naked that they miss the entire point of a scene.

    Agree with your take on About Schmidt. And coming back to Shame, some of the dumbest comments I saw about the scene criticised Carey Mulligan for not being waif thin in her full frontal scene. But it was a deliberate choice to make sure she looked like a real woman, and to photograph her looking like a real woman. And since Michael Fassbender’s character has already been shown to be a man with a porn problem and a voracious sexual appetite, viewers should feel alarmed and protective of Mulligan’s character, and not be focused on whether the actress is looking hot.

    And yes, for the record, both Aishwarya and Helen Mirren are smokin’ hot.

  73. 73
    Someguy says:

    @Brachiator:

    One of the hottest films at the Cannes Film Festival will certainly be a challenge for you.

    You insinuating that I’m a racist? Because I’m not. I’m an ageist.

    I shouldn’t be so pissy about it but hearing a young millionaire soul singer gripe about fans expecting him to be sexy is like hearing a millionaire businesman’s self-pitying complaints about how high taxes are. If D’Angelo’s life is that tough, he should probably buy a private island somewhere, someplace he can go contemplate the many ways life is cruel to him.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @Someguy:

    You insinuating that I’m a racist?

    Nope.

    I shouldn’t be so pissy about it…

    Yep.

  75. 75
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    if he felt he was misunderstood musically, and reduced artistically to an image, then its an apt comparison.

    of course, since these are the internets if the comparison isn’t pitch perfect, someone will shoot holes in it like cheney’s copies of the dixie chicks.

  76. 76
    nastybrutishntall says:

    He and Bilal both got stopped in their tracks too early. Good to know he’s back on his game.

  77. 77
    Paula says:

    Alyssa Rosenberg may want to be careful with her argument there.

    The video for “untitled” was a sensation because it was a very refreshing take on masculinity at the time (some ppl would say specifically black male masculinity). It was sexy as all get-out, but also a display of emotional and physical vulnerability that made D’Angelo’s display quite different from a lot of other male musicians who’ve displayed their bare torsos in videos or on stage. It also makes his situation a leetle different than the Kate Moss comparison suggests. The result is the same of course — commodification and continuing pressure to sell. But I hate how this all suggests that it was a BAD idea for him strip down.

  78. 78
    Paula says:

    Also, journalists’ take on the whole “neo-soul” thing was problematic from the get-go. Here they were OMG BLACK MUSICIANS who didn’t do the whole hippity-hoppity thing with the horrible inner city violence we can’t grok.

    A lot of artists felt kind of boxed in by the prospect of being asked to represent a certain kind of black culture to mostly white audiences.

    Anyways, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party kinda covered this …

  79. 79
    Valdivia says:

    Ah, title win as always DougJ. Bunuel! Big grin at that.

  80. 80
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Paula:

    If loving anyone who sounds like Marvin Gaye is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paula:

    A lot of artists felt kind of boxed in by the prospect of being asked to represent a certain kind of black culture to mostly white audiences.

    After seeing it on TCM Underground, G and I got slightly obsessed with an art movie from the 1970s called Ganja and Hess, which is this weird, discursive movie that explores ideas about religion, class, education, gender relations and addiction through the metaphor of vampirism. But because it was made by a black writer/director and starred an almost entirely black cast, white critics at the time thought it was just bad filmmaking, because everyone knows that black filmmakers make straightforward stories about crime and life in the ghetto, amirite? So if something in a black filmmaker’s movie was dreamlike or not completely clear, that must be because of bad filmmaking, not the intent of the director.

    Ironically, Terrence Malick’s very similar films are very highly praised, but Bill Gunn only directed one other film after the failure and re-editing of G&H.

  82. 82
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ever seen “Killer Of Sheep”? Suffered much the same fate.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    I saw it in film school, which was twenty*cough* years ago. I remember liking it, but not much else about it, sadly.

  84. 84
    rea says:

    @slag: Kermit says that with irony, though.

  85. 85
    rea says:

    @WereBear: Young Aretha was kinda skinny: http://topics.nytimes.com/topi.....index.html

    She’s 70 years old this year.

  86. 86
    Paula says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Its day came late, but it still came. I think the story is that the director, Charles Burnett (being a film student @ UCLA at the time), couldn’t get money to clear all the music samples used in Killer of Sheep for an official release. So it was mostly a cult fetish object for film nerds until a few years ago, when Steven Soderbergh put up some dough. The movie made a lot of people’s top 10 lists for that year.

    Also noteworthy, Killer of Sheep was one of the first movies distributed by Adam Yauch’s company, Oscilloscope Labs.

    I saw it myself for the first time only a couple years ago on TCM. I can honestly say that I can live a long life and it will still be among the finest movies I have ever seen.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @she’s crafty:

    And I’m so glad that Aishwarya Rai’s fuckability is being discussed.

    Where?

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @rea:

    Kermit says that with irony, though.

    I always suspected he wasn’t fully into it. Almost like someone else was forcing him to do those introductions…

  89. 89
    Paula says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Dougj, I think the issue w/ the neo-soulers was not so much that they were being praised as the next [fill in great soul artists here]. It’s that they were being cast as the “foils” for gangsta rap, which basically took over the airwaves from “The Chronic” onwards.

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