A Tale of Two Manns

I don’t know why I buy fashion magazines, I really don’t. I don’t know why I buy any magazine really, it’s one of those things I do like order the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese from Noodles & Company when I’m both lactose intolerant and bad with wheat, or change the channel to Toddlers & Tiaras. I know I’m just spending time and money to bring about my own eventual paralyzing agitation, but I can’t help myself. Like a fat Georgian housewife to televised child abuse.

Flipping through the September 2012 issue of Elle, I only managed to hit a couple articles before my diarrhea ended and I got off the toilet I wanted to turn into she-Hulk and beat everyone around me with a blunt object.

The first was an old blurb about old women making music again and why we should care. There wasn’t much attention to genre or any overarching trend, just you know, here are some olds who play instruments. Diana Krall. Gwen Stefani. Tori Amos. Aimee Mann. Not being treated as women with long, insanely successful careers, and dedicated fan bases who have you know, changed the face of music, just like, ‘hey remember when it was 1993 and there was that lady that temporarily made it alright to like jazz? Yeah she is like still alive or something.’

That’s not satire, that’s a near exact quote.

The one that really chapped my ass got my panties in a twist caused my tampons to grow arms and try to punch everyone at Hearst in the goddamn face was their describing Aimee Mann’s lyrics as “Twitter-sharpened.” Are you kidding me? Are you attributing anything about the verbal dexterity of a woman who has been making music since 1982 to a ephemeral internet phenomenon where 12-year-olds go to threaten to kill Justin Bieber’s recess partners? And you’re supposed to be making a magazine for women?

The second was a longer piece on actress/comedian Leslie Mann which I admittedly did not finish because there is only so much excess verbiage I can take. I don’t know if this is a new trend or just something I was too stupid to notice or magazines have come under new regulations to make more words or something, but every article I read is like 90% “as she nibbled on a plate of truffles made from cocoa beans from the finest of Peru and dabbled with gold foil mined by the orphans of same-sex Swedish amputees; in a Bengali cat hair woven blazer by Alexander McQueen in a capsule collection for Imitation of Christ available only in countries beginning with the letter S…” and 10% press release. Like word for word press release.

All I know is I know more about Leslie Mann’s cardigan than I do about Leslie Mann. It was described as “filmy.” I’m not sure that’s really a complimentary adjective for a cardigan. Some venti Americano’d out intern was probably sent to thesaurus.com to look up a synonym for gauzy or diaphanous which are according to my own personal studies are the #1 and #2 adjectives respectively to appear in fashion magazines. S/he probably went a little astray, like how Timbaland knew vaguely what promiscuous meant, but not enough to know it wasn’t a compliment.

And then we all spent 2006 lining Nelly Furtado’s bank account.

Anyways, back to the article, it just seemed like it was apologizing for claiming Leslie Mann was funny for a woman, like it had some primitive notion that that idea is sexist, but had no idea how else to describe her. There were a lot of lines like ‘she’s not just funny in scenes with Paul Rudd!’ or ‘this is a film where women take center stage, but don’t worry you’ll laugh at it!’ It was like watching a toddler at the mall scream “look at that fat person!” and when scolded by their parents they give that look that says “I am vaguely aware I did something wrong, but that person is fat, what else do you want me to do.”

Oh and Leslie Mann is also really hot you guys. Remember that. She is 40 but she can pass for 25. Her skin is poreless and she wears skinny jeans even though she has two children.


When I was 12 or 13-ish, it was my dream to play this song at my wedding. I wanted to be married on either October 18th or October 21st, I just thought those were perfect dates. I wanted a dress that corseted up the back and to wear black and white checkered Vans. I wanted to walk down the aisle to the string part of The All-American Rejects’ “Swing, Swing.” Rufio’s “One Slow Dance” would obviously also be in the rotation.

I started writing this so we could all have a good collective laugh at my expense, but now that I’m thinking about it, it was kind of sweet really. I still love all three of those songs and will ensure they are all played at my actual wedding so the dream stays alive. My heart could still be captured by those songs a decade (a DECADE!) later. Honestly by the end of the night the Vans might get broken out as well.

Just read out all the lyrics to Daisy. Holy fuck, I mean that album is just so insane. It’s so insanely good. I didn’t like it on the first round, I missed I don’t know, the fuller sound of The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me? Describing music is so difficult and futile and probably stupid. The point is it didn’t sound like The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, it sounded like something else that I liked less initially. But the more I listened the more completely and utterly obsessed I became. I mean “Gasoline”? “Sink”? How the fuck do you come up with that. The lyrics alone are crazy. Then this music that is so repetitive and jarring and distorted and soothing. The whole thing reminds me of a sonic There Will Be Blood, it’s like sparse and bleak with this overwhelming Satan-tinged darkness. I can only pray to be able to write like that one day.

Where was it where I first heard a sweet sound of humility?
It came to my ears in the goddamn loveliest melody
How grateful I was then to be part of the mystery
To love and to be loved. Let’s just hope that is enough

Bright Eyes “Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love And Be Loved)”