Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? She is a national treasure, like the Great Smoky Mountains or Kansas City BBQ; she’s the toast of Branson. She is responsible for the anthem you hear in your head every Monday on your commute to work, that is, if you work 9 to 5. You’ve probably sang “Islands in the Stream” with your inebriated friends at karaoke more times than you’d like to acknowledge. You’ve seen her show in Branson. What more could Dolly Parton possibly give you? More Internet presence!
Over the weekend, we were alerted to the glorious news that Dolly Parton now has an official Tumblr. Sadly, she was unable to acquire “Fuck Yeah Dolly Parton,” which probably is a thing that exists, but this one is legit, according to her official social media people. Even though it’s probably some interns or publicists doing all the work, we’d like to think it’s Dolly herself tracking the tag, reblogging pictures of herself on TV or Instagrammed/ornately hand-drawn reiterations of her lyrics from blogs with names like “truckyeahcountrystars” and “lorettalove.” And who knows? If you’re a rabid enough fan of hers on the Tumblrs, maybe Dolly will follow you if you ask nicely enough. We wish you well in your quest.
Welcome to Fern Bar Fridays, a lighthearted romp (is there any other kind?) through a decade of cool music and even cooler drinks. The fern bar era, which roughly spanned 1975-1985, was filled with giant lapels and ties (and then later teeny tiny lapels and ties), ridiculous drinks, and sweet sounds. Every Friday we’ll bring you a song and drink pairing emblematic of that delightful time to help you get the weekend started off on the right loafer-sans-sock-shod foot. Today we’re singing in two-part harmony with: "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
What really is there to even be said about "Islands in the Stream" that hasn’t been said before in Tiffany lamp-lit saloons the world ’round? Show me the person who doesn’t like "Islands in the Stream" and I’ll show you a person who has lost all capacity for joy.
As for Kenny Rogers? He can Roger my Roaster any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And the song? The song is sublime. In every possible way. I mean, it was written by the Bee Gees, and when Kenny and Dolly perform it live they do so in formalwear.
I’m utterly enamoured of their formalwear. I’m also, obviously, utterly enamoured of Dolly’s onstage cheek and banter.
The song title is, of course, inspired by the posthumously published Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway. We keep a copy of it at Rita’s, the imaginary fern bar that exists in my head—and also by now don’t you all know what Rita’s is?? Sweet ferny Moses, haven’t you been paying attention? Do I have to repeat myself every week? (No, no, you haven’t. And yes, yes, I do. Because you’re not really supposed to have to pay attention to the things that go down at Rita’s. It’s a fern bar, you’re supposed to get blitzed on amaretto-based cocktails and whatever color pill Bertie is handing out that night.)—on the shelf right next to the bust of Abraham Lincoln and our tattered copy of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Dictionary.
Now then. In keeping with the new tradition we’ve established at Rita’s, and in a nod to Dolly’s, ahem, ample bounty, I must address the fact that resident sawfly Miles Klee has once again plum ticked me off. And, as such, is back outside shivering in his stupid sweater. What, you may ask, has Miles done this week? Well, I’ll tell you: he’s gone and issued edicts about proper usage of the terms ‘tit’ and ‘boob’:
Compliment your girlfriend on her “boobs,” however, and you may not get to touch them fora while. The bedroom is where “tits” come into play. It’s the dirtier, more intimate word, and as such will turn up in all manner of breathless naked imperatives: “____ my tits,” a woman might say, never “____ my boobs.”
First of all, unlike everything about Kenny and Dolly, this is just WRONG. You may indeed compliment me on my ‘boobs’. (Seriously, go ahead. I’m quite pleased with my boobs and would be delighted to know that you are as well! My boyfriend does it all the time and I hope he never, ever stops, even when my boobs are hovering somewhere around my waistline.)
Second of all, you don’t get to make up rules about what people can and cannot say in the bedroom. Sorry. ‘Tit’ is not part of my sexytime lexicon. ‘Giraffe pussy’ might work its way in there, but never ‘tit.’
And finally, absolutely under no circumstances never ever ever do you get to expound on what a woman may or may not say. Just in general. To put it in Jezebelian terms—OH YES, I’M GOING THERE. You mess with the fern, you get the fronds, Klee—you’re "universalizing about how everyone feels." To put it in JolieKerrian terms: Knock that malarky off and busy yourself with something useful, like bringing me fresh ice for my wine spritzer. Or better yet, get to cracking on making me one of these babies:
1 ¼ oz. melon liqueur ½ oz. Cointreau 1 ½ oz. orange juice 2 oz. mango juice ⅓ oz. blue curacao 1 oz. whipped cream
Shake the melon liqueur, Cointreau, orange juice and mango juice together and strain into a pina colada glass filled a bit more than halfway up with crushed ice. Add the curacao, and then float the whipped cream on top. Garnish with bar fruit and serve with two straws.
Offer your date a sip through your extra straw. No one in between. From one lover to another. Uh-uh.
There’s a long, hallowed, and profitable tradition of American celebrities endorsing commercial products — especially if they can snag a check overseas for endorsing crackers or soda or udon noodles without freaking out their American fans. Somewhat rarer are celebs turning their personal brand into a product brand, with the notable exception of fragrances (even Justin Bieber couldn’t stay away from that honey pot).Even rarer still are celebs willing to lend their name to food products, since there’s just something about eating food named after a person that makes it hard to take person seriously. Or any more seriously than before.
Perhaps the most succesful food-related product is Mr. George Forman and his mighty Grill empire, pictured lovingly above. There are others of course, of which this is just a partial list. To further explore the juxtaposition of celebrity brand and food product, we thought it illustrative to … illustrate these relationships by way of the "At First I Was Like" meme form, perhaps most perfectly captured in the seminal Ice Cube example. Enjoy.
I never know quite what to make of David Gordon Green as a filmmaker, which is no small compliment. That he made both George Washington and Pineapple Express is a fact which puzzles, delights, and disappoints equally by turns. I know that after the former I expected different (read: more challenging) things, but that seems feeble justification for disparaging where he’s gone instead. He’s variously hazarded a romance (All the Real Girls), a small-town gothic (Snow Angels), a buddy pic (Pineapple Express) and a troublesome remake of Night of the Hunter (Undertow). As with other prodigious genre-jumpers Linklater and Winterbottom, I sometimes find myself admiring the breadth and busyness of the oeuvre more than the works themselves. Nevertheless, it’s a rare enough thing to have an American filmmaker keep one on one’s toes like this, and Green aims at nothing less. How else could you explain his sustained desire to remake the 1982 Kenny Rogers kid-racer Six Pack?
I saw this film in the theaters and recall only that Rogers plays a race car driver and has kids for his pit crew. I’ve heard this mentioned before as a pet project of Green’s and, as Jay A. Fernandez reports from SXSW, it looks to be gaining momentum.
… Green sparked to the idea of writing an original script when he was living in an economically depressed neighborhood in New Orleans years ago and discovered that most of the African American kids there were obsessed with NASCAR. After sending the script he wrote with Barlow Jacobs around, he got a call from Fox asking him if he would rewrite it to be more of a specific remake of “Six Pack.” And there we have the kind of Hollywood story that makes writers scratch their heads …
Although the whole thing sounds like a goof, its arbitrariness is vintage Green, something that would enable him to add “family film” to his ever-growing resume. Is it, however, something I would actually want to see? In any case, there’s no trailer for the original floating around the web, but I did locate this delightful clip reel of one of the younger cast members cussing. Enjoy!