The problem with the latest allegations against photographer Terry Richardson, which we wrote about the other day, is that there have been so many similar ones, we’re all eager to believe anything at this point. As we mentioned, Richardson’s people maintained the message he supposedly sent to model Emma Appleton were faked, and she deleted her Twitter account after doing so, all of which made the situation seem a little fishy. None of that dismisses the many other actual allegations that have been made against him, but it’s important to point out when false ones are made, as appears to be the case here. Although that’s according to a report in Page Six, so who even knows anymore.
But sources told us Facebook found the account from which the message was sent in violation of standards of authenticity, and not from a verified Richardson account.
Online forensic expert, Theo Yedinsky, said Facebook had removed the fake account, which he discovered was set up two weeks ago from “some random Gmail account.”
To be honest I’m a bit exhausted by the daily routine of cultural appropriation policing that we have to go through every time a white person references another culture in their art, but without it the internet would probably grind to a halt and we’d all have to go outside and talk to one another, so let’s do it anyway.
You may remember Avril Lavigne’s weird-as-shit “Hello Kitty” video from the other day. It came under fire on the internet with some calling it racist, which means a content producer searched for “Avril + racist” on Twitter and embedded a few tweets and called it a day. NOT THE CASE, says the Canadian singer. Some of her best fans are Japanese, she explained in a series of tweets I searched for and will now embed below.
RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video…
— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) April 24, 2014
…specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.
— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) April 24, 2014
While the whole “I know people of a different culture/race and they participated in the making of this arguably ‘racist’ thing” isn’t a heartening excuse — it’s pretty easy for a rich person to hire people of color to appear in their videos, for example (via Miley) — sometimes a corny-ass video is just a corny-ass video. Was this video racist? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Maybe? Has it hurt Japanese people? Probably a couple? Who gives a shit in the grand scheme of things? Not this one white guy.
If you want a reminder of what real racism is, look no further than the latest right wing cause célèbre for evidence. Now that’s some good racism!
While this map of the most famous book in every state put together by Business Insider is from a few months back, we just spotted it posted on Mental Floss today, and it’s new to us, so let’s take a look anyway, shall we? As is this case with any sort of map that purports to be the Most Whatever In Every State, it’s obviously subjective, and merely a fun exercise in jogging our memories about books we’ve read and engendering debate. While some seem like slam dunks, To Kill A Mockingbird for Alabama, for example, and The Great Gatsby for New York, there is plenty of room for arguing here. Walden for my home state of Massachusetts is a fine enough choice, but I sort of expected Infinite Jest was going to make the cut. What do you think? Any glaring omissions here?
We thought we’d seen the weirdest mashup of musical styles and cultural signifiers of the week with Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty” yesterday, but this one from British act Kelsey Ellison is giving it a run for its money. Ellison’s style falls somewhere between Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Die Antwoord, and the video reflects that inherent bananas-hop car crash. It’s also going to worm its way into your brain for the rest of the day once you listen, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
“The song is about losing your mind during the times when you feel stressed out and a little crazy,” Ellison told us. “We added in some cartoonish references and visuals to the lyrics to reference an escape from the madness of reality, and to make the song more fun! ‘Shake your pom pom pom’ doesn’t really make much sense on its own, but when you put it with the rest of the song, it almost feels like the right thing to do.”
The video, she said, is inspired by Japanese and Korean pop and fashion. “I love the colors and the animated feel to those particular styles, and I thought it was really suiting to the song. It also matches my personal style, but we made it even crazier for the video.”
Finally a selection from People magazine for their Most Beautiful cover that we can agree with. The magazine chose the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong’o to cover the annual edition, and boy did they get it right this time.
“It was exciting and just a major, major compliment,” she said of the selection. “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [it] and feel a little more seen.”
We interviewed Nyong’o in October of last year for Bullett. She credited her time at the Yale school of drama for much of her success. “There is no way I would have even got past the first audition if I hadn’t done my training there. I think it opened me up to a larger existence and gave me the courage––to fail. Because that is one of the biggest lessons. Sometimes you’re going to fail and that’s okay and life goes on.”
Read the rest of the interview here.
“We wanted to write the kind of song that would be created in a parallel universe where Grace Jones and Giorgio Moroder slept together,” The Penelopes explain of their new “Time to Shine.” The London-based Parisian duo of Axel Basquiat and Vincent T. make good on that high-concept on their new 80s-style disco hedonism single, out soon on Pour Le Monde Records.
Photo by Scarlet Page.
You know what I love about Avril Lavigne? I keep getting older and her weird shtick stays the same age. That age in question here is somewhere between Gwen Stefani’s mid-2ks Japanese appropriation period, and circa 2010 dubstep. But, as I’ve mentioned here before, and as I will continue to do until this beautiful disaster of a Canadian circus folds up the flaps on its bizarre, traveling tent, Avril can do no wrong. She shifts the contours of style and taste to alter reality. Things that were de facto bad are thus rendered good again having appeared in one of her songs or videos. Perception is maleable. We bend to her will. (h/t Vanyaland)
“I wrote this after watching someone’s relationship fall apart and end, only for the aftermath to spiral out of control and into an obsession,” Welsh vocalist and songwriter Violet Skies told of us the track “Her Touch”, premiering here today. The song, a collaboration with Bristol producer Peter Cooper, aka Stumbleine, marries his hazy, dreamy production style with her sultry, provocative r&b emotion. “It was a destructive and dark place for both of them, and musically, when Stumbleine played me his initial ideas, the mood of the track captured their relationship perfectly.”
“Her Touch” is a taste of what’s to come from their joint LP Dissolver, out today in the UK and next week in the US on Monotreme Records.
The sad, gross tale of Terry Richardson continued over the weekend, with yet another allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior from the photographer surfacing. Model Emma Appleton shared what she claimed to be a Facebook message from Richardson offering an appearance in Vogue in exchange for sex. She soon deleted the post, but it can be seen here.
A spokesperson for Richardson told Buzzfeed it was a fake, and Appleton later deleted her Twitter account.
We still don’t know whether or not the message was the genuine article, but apparently enough of these sorts of stories have emerged for Vogue to release a statement regarding Richardson. “The last assignment Terry Richardson had for US Vogue appeared in the July 2010 issue and we have no plans to work with him in the future,” the magazine’s PR rep Hildy Kuryk, said on Sunday to The Wrap.
The early 2000s were basically the exact same thing as we have now, except instead of dancing to shitty EDM at giant clubs while wasted on molly the kids danced in shitty LES dives at parties named after obscure Brit Pop songs on bad coke. Unfortunately there’s no recorded evidence of any of this happening because phones didn’t have cameras yet. Everyone had a mod haircut and wore denim tuxedos I seem to recall. Electro-clash and garage were a thing. Either way, we still have the music, which I’ve compiled in a handy playlist for you here.