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Thursday, March 10, 2005
What is it all about the House of Windsor that stirs so many inquiring minds? Is it the way their freakishly large ears pink up to nicely when they tromp around Balmoral in giant rubber boots? Is it the fairytale accoutrements of castles and horse drawn carriages? Perhaps. But more likely it's all the juicy revelations suggesting that the Queen and her kin are just a human as the rest of us. Rumors of infidelity, same sex liasons, addictions, topless sunbathing, and other royal screw ups make for fascinating tabloid reading -- the grainier the accompanying photo, the better. Even ancients scandals have an undeniable allure, whether they involve Queen Victoria's possible love affair with her Scottish manservant John Brown or the sensational antics of King Edward VIII, who would have made a terrific guest at the Jerry Springer show.

You can't help but get misty about the woman who has sat on the throne of the United Kingdom since 1952. Maybe it's because Elizabeth Alexandria Mary Windsor sort of reminds us of our own grandmother-- if our own grandmother rode around in a gilded carrriage and never left the castle without putting on a pair of full length white gloves. And let's not think too deeply about the fact that we probably know more about Her Majesty's royal likes and dislikes than we do about those of our own grannies. Sure, she's had some bad press, and maybe she was'nt the best mother-in-law, but after 50+ years on the throne, she still has a hat to match every outfit, savors her gin and tonics, and speaks perfect Queen's English. But then. how could she not? Every monarch should be so cool.

Media analysts have called it morbid, explosive, and an out of-control, merchandise-driven myth machine. But the truth of the matter is that everybody remembers what they were doing when they heard about Princess Diana's fatal 1997 encounter with pillar 13 of the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris. A 2002 History Channel poll revealed that Brits considered Di's death to be their nation's most historic 20th century moment, edging out World War II. The sentiment is almost as strong on this side of the pond, where the princess's face launched thousands of magazine covers and fans of the royal towhead fill their bookselves with sappy requiems such as Diana: The People's Princess and Diana: The Lovely Princess-- as well as a few juicy tell-alls, such as Windsor insider Lady Colin's Campbell's The Real Diana. We can't seem to get enough of this story, with its tragic heroine and an entire cast of bad guys -- the paparazzi, the icy mother-in-law, and the cheating husband. Years from now, long after we've put away our "Shy Di" commemorative plates and Dodi Fayed is but a line on a Trivial Pursuit game card, we'll probably still get a little misty during the piano interludes of "Candle in the Wind."

Fans of James Bond movies like their women sexy, submissive and saddled with nasty-sounding names. For hardcore acolyte, the unveiling of each installment's sophomoric, sexually charged moniker is as highly anticipated as Q's latest gadgets. Admittedly, making up new ones gets harder (and not so obvious) wordplays are taken. Who could top such "triumphs" as Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress in Dr. No), Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles in Moonraker), and the never-to-beimproved-upon Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman in Goldfinger)? The Addition of Pierce Brosman as Bond in 1995's Goldeneye spawned an attempt to bring the franchise's views on women into the '90s (or, at least, the late '70s).

Cursed and blessed with more tragedies and triumphs than the complete works of Shakespeare, the Kennedy clan has captured American imaginations ever since Rose started birthing boys in 1913. No need to recap here the specific incidents, but suffice it to say that whether you're a defender of all things Hyannisportian or a closed scandalmonger, there's endless fascination in following the exploits of America's unofficial royal family.

Frederick Mellinger-- the same famed Fred who is Frederick's of Hollywood--wedged his way into lingeries history on Aug. 2,1981. The butt-floss revolution began when Mellinger mass-marketed his "Scanty panty", now known simply as the THONG. Formerly worn only by trashy hos and exotic dancers, his creations are now crammed up the cracks of mainstream soccer moms and socialites alike, making these tiny- T-shaped drawers the fastest-growing segment of the $2billion a year women's panty business. Frederick's alone sells about 75,000 pairs a week, but the bottomless bloomers are also sold everywhere from Bergorf's to Wal-Mart. So why have women tossed their traditional undies for these skimpy skivvies? If you'd ever spent a day at the office or for a night on the town, trying to nonchalantly dig a pair of cheek-creepes out of your derriere you'd know. With THONGS, it's Destination Butt Crack as soon as you slip them on. However, their dearth or posterior fabric actually makes them comfortable, unlife full-bottomed panties that bunch up into a wicked wad. An even bigger advantage. THONGS eliminate VPL (visible panty lines) When wearing them under snug-fitting pants or skirts, your tush remains smooth and naturally rounder --unlike the "rump roast tied in twine" look created by VPL.

Remember, in the video for the title song from his album Thriller, how Michael Jackson said, "I'm not like other guys"? Well, truer words were never spoken. Yet hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when his fans could proclaim their devotion from rooftops without drawing a second look. Back when he served as the diminutive front man for the Jackson 5, and during his early 20s as the force behind the album Off the Wall and Thriller(which has sold over 50 million copies to date) Jackson may well have been the undisputed King of Pop. But during the 90s his high pitched squeling and dance-friendly melodies were muscled off the charts by grunge and rap. Still dressed in what looked like castoff's from the Beat It video, he became a Lawrence Welk -like anachronism. His home has an amusement park, complete with rides and a petting zoo; "married" one of his groupies and then "fathered" two children via artificial insemination, dangeld his son off a hotel balcony in front of dozens of photographers; and underwent so much plastic surgery that his face looked like a waxwork model left under a sun lamp. All of which makes it harder and harder for fans to say, "I like Michael Jackson", without drawing quizzical stares.

When a band called Bjorn & Benny,Agnetha & Anni-Frid soldiered out of Sweden in 1974, it looked like just another phonetically challenged novelty act. But thanks in large part to music clips creatred by fellow Swede Lasse Hallstrom (who would go on to direct The Cider House Rules and Chocolat), the popularity of the quartet (sensibly renamed ABBA) endured long after it stopped performing "Waterloo" and "Dancing Queen" in 1982. Credit this to its two-tiered fan base. On one level were the proudly fanatical ABBAnatics; on the other, those who joyously bobbed their heads to "Super Trooper" and "Knowing me, Knowing You",but would'nt own up to it in public. A resurgence began with the the 1994 film Muriel's Wedding, which appropriated many of the band's greatest hits for its soundtrack. It climaxed with the all ABBA Broadway smash Mamma Mia! (which had all the insight of a Love American Style episode). Nevertheless, it gave the group a longevity and a standing equaling, if not the Beatles, then at least the Bee Gees.

by: Sam Stall, Lou Harry and Juila Spalding)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:57 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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