Beyonce It Isn’t So

Poor old Beyonce, she performs at the Superbowl…


Gets her funk on during the performance…

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show

And it was not pretty.


Ms B struck a multitude of unflattering poses while getting fierce at the Superbowl, and the photos were released (because bad photos are better than good photos).  Her publicist contacted the offending website, politely asked for the photos to be removed.  But, once it’s on the internet its kind of like asking the the guy who took your virginity to please put it back.  And so, because of a demand to remove all traces from the internet, there has been quite the back lash, in the form of internet memes.


What’s a meme you ask?

Why, you see them everyday on your Facebook feed.  It can take form in a the way of a link, hashtag, a video, or say, an unflattering picture of Beyonce turned into a joke or a catchphrase.  This term was derived from the ancient Greek word for “imitated thing”, and was coined in 1976 by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book “The Selfish Gene”. (And its pronounced “meem”–not “mimi”, which is how I’ve been saying it in my head.  Thanks Wikipedia!) I learned this after I tried to jump into a Twitter conversation like it was a game of double dutch and someone dismissed with me: “It’s just an internet meme”, to which I crawled into a hole to Google the concept.  A meme is simply a means to spread a concept or notion across the masses. It is mostly humorous, satirical and if popular, has the capacity to spread like wildfire.


I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy unflattering photos of myself. In fact, I have a ton of not-so-great angles, but you’d hope to be cool and confident enough to brush off a bad picture–‘whatevs, I know how good I look in real life’.


You know how it is, God giveth and God taketh away. Sometimes you are deemed “World’s Most Beautiful Woman!–exclamation point no less–all the times I was given the honor I said “Cool it on the with the exclamation point guys, they already know that I’m beautiful, no need to shout it from the rooftops”.  But sometimes, you strike the wrong pose and graphic designers photo-shop the image next to Chris Tucker in the cult classic comedy “Friday”.

bey firday

Or Ben Hur…

beyonce-ben hur

Or the Mona Lisa…

beyonce mona lisa

I’m not sure what’s happening here…but I like it.

beyonce closet

Oh Beyonce, I wonder if you had just been cool, confident and quiet that you would have earned this hilarious, yet humiliating place in the world of internet memes.  I mean, it’s not like you don’t take an amazing picture, what’s a couple of nasty ones tossed into the mix?  Take it from one “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” to another, we all have bad days.  A lot of photographers and fashion designers say I look a lot like a young Elizabeth Taylor.  Here’s one from a recent shoot.


I’m going to let you in on a little secret.   That is totally retouched.  I mean, of course I am still a jewel to behold, but on any given day without the filtered lens, its a little bit more like:

liz woolf

Hmm, maybe there’s still a soft focus happening here.  Okay Beyonce, here it is, untouched, unforgiving–what I look like first thing in the morning:


Okay, you got me, I was just trying to make you feel better.  I’m actually quite ravishing from the minute I open my eyes in the morning.  That’s just one of the alligator snapping turtles we have at the exotic zoo on our expansive property.  You know how it is eh, B? When you have so much money you run out of the normal things to buy and eventually think you can control things like the internet?  Listen, girlfriend, I know you’ve had a rough go recently, with people thinking you faked your pregnancy, accusing you of lip-synching the national anthem, joking about your hulkish manner and the most recent scandal, soaking with your baby in a hot tub.  But you are Beyonce, and don’t think for a second I wasn’t emphasizing each syllable when I said your name.


You’re going to be okay, you’re young, popular, the wife of a famous rapper and the mother of a baby whom you named after a color.   While you are the victim of the occasional backlash, you have enough talent to bounce back, and enough money to make documentaries about yourself or even buy a planet…and not even a small measly one.  You really have your pick of the solar system.  Because you’re a star darling, and don’t you forget it.  Those knuckleheads behind the internet rarely meme what they say anyway.


What’s In a Name?

When my best friend Evelyn and I were teenagers, we read a lot of ‘Jane’ magazine, listened to a lot of Hole, and even wrote a ‘zine, “Kult Zero”–(‘K’ because was cooler) for a brief period of time.  But because we were too busy using Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill’  as a pubescent Rosetta-stone to identify how we felt about boys, the zine didn’t last long.


But mostly it was just us, smoking cigarettes we pinched from my mother, listening to music and imagining the kind of awesome women we were going to be.  The first thing of the agenda was to make our names more awesome.  We really admired the application of an apostrophe, a la D’arcy from “Smashing Pumpkins”.  A’licia.  Ali’cia.  Alici’a.  Eve’lyn.  E’velyn.  Ev’elyn.  The possibilities weren’t mathematically endless, but there were some options.  If we were crushing on a guy, and “Jagged Little Pill” made us realize that we were in fact “Head over Feet”,  we would then toy with the marital name game, pairing our first names with their last.  Evelyn’s name always went beautifully with others, whereas mine did not.  But her thighs were much skinner than mine, so she’d probably get married far sooner than me anyway.

When I  met my husband, and I told my mother about him on the phone.  She asked me his about last name.  “Ashcroft”,  I tell her.  “Alicia Ashcroft…good writer’s name”.  “I know right?”  My maiden name would have been sufficient,  Alicia Price was short and sweet, but Ashcroft has a lovely sing-song quality.  I once had a fiercely feminist professor that justified changing her name after marriage: “I loved how his name sounded, why wouldn’t I take it?”  Then again, I think I’d have a good enough first name to drop my surname and go it alone.  I think it’s the vowel at the end–“Alicia”, like I could totally have a talk show.   It’s not so common, and Alicia Keys will always be “Alicia Keys”, and therefore, there is a small window of time where I could come on the scene and Ms Keys will rue the day she had a last name–“Argh! Why didn’t I think of that?”

ALICIA-KEYS-GIRL-ON-FIRE-PROMO-THAT-GRAPE-JUICEJesus, girlfriend…calm down, I understand that you’re jealous, but there’s no need to set your piano alight.  I’m frankly, I’m not sure what the deal is with your beret.  I would seriously rethink the whole look.

The thing is, your name has to be unique enough to stand alone.  I don’t think you could be called “Brenda”, and it stand up on it’s own.  It’s people like Madonna, Oprah, Beyonce–names that can not be replicated.  Unless you are damn crazy, you couldn’t name your baby ‘Beyonce’.  Tina Knowles did it first and ruined the fun for everyone else.  Now, it just wouldn’t work.  It’s too recognizable.  But good for them, their names are apart of their whole fame platform.  They are those names.  No one ever says: “Did you mean Madonna Jenkins? Oprah Henderson? Beyonce Sipowtiz?” It’s like “Highlander”, there can only be one.

beyonce and oprah

“Bitch please, I invented having just one-name”.

Although I feel like it started with Madonna, who’s been around so long she once roamed the earth along with the dinosaurs.

madonna black white

Or was it Cher?


Needless to say, Adele is doing well without the last name.


Rihanna’s got one name, an eye-patch and a perfectly stupid finger tattoo…she’s got it all!


God help me, Lady Gaga doesn’t quite fit into my one-named theme, but an eye-patch sub-theme has a occurred, so I’m rolling with it. After all, it’s my blog bitches, so you better step it line. I’m A’licia, I can do what I please!  And please, you could refer to ‘Gaga’ and no one would wrinkle their nose and say “You mean Senator Gaga? Emperor Gaga? Beloved surgeon Doctor Gaga?”

gaga eye ptach

Oh no, I’ve gone off the rails, But Bette Davis is out to prove you can have a last name and still be a stone cold bad ass.  So maybe I’ll keep the last name, and get an eye-patch instead.

The-Anniversary-1All Images Courtesy of Google

Double Duchess

The general outrage and upset garnered from the recent closing of the local strip joint “The Duchess” is the kind of things that failing business owners hate.  “I can’t believe it’s shutting down…no, I was never a patron…but I was happy knowing it was there”.

kamloops-hotest-new-club_5242149I went there ten years ago when it was known as “Outbacks”.  It was dark and dingy, and it was there that I saw my first and only pregnant stripper.  At least…we were pretty sure she was, otherwise that gal was in serious need of an ab-roller and some bran muffins.  Outbacks was also the place where I say my first-and only wet t-shirt contest.  Three girls: over-weight, under-weight, under-aged and three dudes with spray bottles.  Now you could have put a wig on a dumpster and it would have looked better than these three combined.  Even the sprayers looked hard pressed to moisten the bra-less cotton clad participants.  Watching this like one witnesses a fiery car crash, my face is twisted in fascinated horror.  I feel a tapping on my shoulder, and I glance back at a leathery old man exposing a gummy, toothless grin.  “See that one right there? The one is the middle? That there is my granddaughter”.

Shut it down.

“You must be so proud”, I say, with as much sincerity I could muster.  I guess this girl didn’t take part much in the way of school plays or track meets.

The first time I ever went to a strip club was around my 18th birthday, at a place called “Pinky’s Show Palace” in Alberta.   I think I had seen “Flashdance” far too many times, because the real thing was kind of bleak.

Flashdance_011PyxurzOne performer, Misty, looked tried, bored, and was chewing gum like a cow does with cud. She didn’t dance, as much as she generally walked around onstage wearing nothing but clear plastic heels.  I slumped in my seat.  I figured there would be a routine.  I always imaged that if ever I were a welder by day and a dancer by night a la “Flashdance”, I would really do it up right.  I’d go by Audrey Rugburn, and my playlist would be as followed:

-“One of These Nights”, the Eagles,

-“Crazy in Love”, Beyonce and Jay-Z

-And…because it seems like a stripper essential, “Cowboy” by Kid Rock, but I’d add an unexpected twist, a mash-up with Bob Seager’s Night Moves”.

natalie wood stripper

But the sad stripper at Pinky’s clearly hated her job, and those who gawked at her goodies.  For the ‘floor number’, she writhed around on a plush blanket with a unicorn–you know the kind, those sold out of vans on the side of the road with Bob Marley and “Scarface” etched into the material.  (PS: Urban Dictionary refers to them as a”skanket”).  She hung keychains on her nipples, and stuck posters…in other places and customers would find new and disgusting ways to retrieve these prizes.  I thought the whole thing was rather unsanitary.  Patrons chucked coins at her nether regions, and her eyes were elsewhere while her naked body was pelted by someone’s filthy change.  I just felt so upset as she neatly folded up her blanket so as not to lose a single cent.


If ever a strip joint was visited, it was the “Rendezvous”,  it was a  popular spot, and always a good time.  Around one closing time, after many, many drinks and encouragement from equally drunk friends, I rushed up on stage to swing around the pole.

Props to the core strength of these dancers–for that shiz is not easy.

I grabbed the pole and slid down–“Swing, swing!” my friends cried.  “I can’t…it’s too greasy!”, I just slid down the shaft lamely.  Once back in my seat, a waitress came by to clear the multitude of empty glasses.

“Hun, I would go wash your hands before you touch your eyes”.


The Rendezvous was close to my one room apartment, a place that had become known as the “Hippie Hut”.  In the bathroom…well, in one corner of the room was a shower, in the other corner was a small enclosure with a toilet, and a pink sarong acting as a door.  For the longest time there was a poster inside said space of a stripper that had included me in her act.

I was sitting with friends along the bar that wrapped around the stage, the aptly titled “gyno row”.  This is not an ideal spot, as the strippers will crouch down in the middle of a set and have a chat, and there’s this rather large part of you that wants to ask–“Does your mother know you are here?”  Nonetheless, I’m sipping a gin and tonic, and watching the show, when all other members of the row start pounding their fists on the bar.  My G&T dances like a wind-up toy, and rat-a-tats towards the edge, dumping all over my lap.  And of course, I’m wearing light covered denim, so that spill is as obvious as motel room stains under a black light.  I panic, grab a fistful of napkins, and try to rub out the excess liquid.   Some drunken character draws attention to my one arm feverishly jerking back and forth, pointing out that it looks as if I’m doing myself a big favour. I then say possibly one of the top ten stupidest things of my life: “No-no, it’s not like that, I’m all wet!”  Hooting and hollering ensues.  I was hoping that I could sit long enough for the pants to dry, but clearly, between the rubbing and my inadvertent announcement of particular wetness, I decide to retreat to the bathroom and make friends with a hand dryer.  I get up, turn around, and the stripper makes a grab for me, pulling me from under my armpits and dragging me onstage.  In a packed club.  In my gin soaked jeans.  She then bends forward and dips her sweaty, glittery breasts onto my face, like apples into caramel–it was that sticky.  And then she gave me a poster, which I then used to hold over my crotchal region as I exited to the washroom.  With dryer pants and further cocktails, I saw the dancer later and she autographed the poster, saying something along the lines of having ‘power over men with another word for kitty-cat’.  And so, it came home with me, and was placed near the toilet, for all to enjoy.


The Rendezvous eventually closed, and the Duchess was the only place in town where you could get boobs, beers and a burger in the same place.  But now that her days are numbered, there is a considerable buzz about the possible importance of a titty bar in a city’s landscape.  There are women’s groups that support it’s closing, but there are other types of women’s groups that think it’s a darn shame that these professionals have to leave the province to find work.  I can appreciate both opinions, but I hate to think of this next generation of young people who are going to miss out on wonderful memories of gin-soaked jeans, expectant strippers, glittery breast sweat, and the souvenirs you’d get to take home…just as soon as you wash your hands before accidentally touching your eyes.

stripteaseAll Images Courtesy of Google