More Purple Prose

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Memo to The Purple: YOU ARE STILL DUMB.

And I'm still sick to death of the political landscape. Obama's "ex-gay" gospel singer used the platform Obama provided to spew more of his "Jesus will take away your cock cravings" bullshit. And Obama's fine with that, because bigots vote too. Obama! More hope, less fucking audacity! FUCK POLITICS. In both senses of the phrase.

Thank goodness for the soothing, succulent balm of The Purple in these trying times! Finally, a news organization willing to take on the tough topics, like, oh, an entire page-and-a-quarter on how lead is bad for you. If you still don't know lead is bad for you in 2007, it's too late. A page and a half in USA Today will not help you. You've already licked one windowsill too many.

I'm much more fascinated by the coveted upper right hand corner ad, to be honest. If my eyes are to be believed, the fine people at Mastercard have decided to counter Visa's hate campaign against American currency* with a positive message of personal improvement. Which would be commendable, except for the unfortunate fact that said message takes the form of a series of web-based "pep talks" from football's Peyton Manning.

What's worse is, the ad says you can send these pep talks to a friend. I have an almost infinite supply of nouns I could use to describe someone who thought that a pre-recorded message from a goddamned quarterback shilling for a multinational credit card company is just what I need to get through the fucking day. "Friend" ain't one of them. And on that note, if you think it'd be a cracking joke to send one of them, send me the golf one. I've already decided that would be the least least funny one to send me.

Because segues are for losers, I'd also like to point out that The Purple has developed a unique brand of context-specific mathematics. As part of their non-stop coverage of Stars In Trouble (24 column inches yesterday alone, by my rough estimate), they had a chart showing singers with personal foibles and their subsequent album sales. Now, I understand that what the entertainment industry considers success is a capricious and incomprehensible thing, but it's still painfully obvious that author Brandon Weigel tied his interpretations of sales figures to the stars' narrative arcs.

Paul McCartney sells 539,000 records after his messy divorce, and that's "solid numbers", because, well, he's the "nice" Beatle who everyone sided with over that amputee from the dancing show. Yet his sales were actually LOWER than everyone else in the article.

Kelly Clarkson sells 683,000 albums, but disputes with her managers and the record label earns her total an "only" from Weigel. And she should consider herself LUCKY. Janet Jackson showed her titty to the world by accident, and her near-million-selling album gets "panned by critics" and "well below [her] peak". I will not posit an explanation for the trend, over three datapoints, that the sales go up but the description gets worse as you move farther away from White Male. I will only mention it, as it holds true, especially if you throw in R. Kelly, who managed to get a "started strong" and "almost reached platinum" despite selling about 65,000 fewer records than Janet. Oh, and the whole "charged with fucking a teenager on tape" thing.

And then there's poor Whitney Houston. Three quarters of a million records. Two hundred thousand more than McCartney. And Whitney gets "slammed by critics", "worst-selling album to date", and the dread modifier "just". I think that's unfair. At least Whitney's tenuous grasp on reality came from all the alleged crack smoking. Which is, the last time I checked, slightly less debasing than an interior page byline in The Purple.

*Seriously, Visa. Paying for shit with cash money will not throw a monkey wrench into our incredibly efficient capitalist paradise and earn you the universal scorn of your fellow cash-free citizens. Give it a rest already.