At the end of last week, the communications team for the Chicago Department of Transportation was tasked with making citizens aware of the campaign to report potholes in need of repair. Getting people to care about and be proactive potholes is not always easy, and although it is important to make those who can fix the potholes aware of the problem, it’s not always the most fun or engaging topic to write about. So the PR person for CDOT did what any normal communications professional needing to spice up a topic would do: ride the heels of a more popular Chicago event (Lollapalooza, whose lineup had just been announced) and lay on the band name puns as thick as possible. The result? The most ridiculous press release we’ve seen in a while.
"Tired of Drivin ‘N Cryin’ in Traffic over the Minor Threat of potholes in the Pavement? Ready to see nothing but The White Stripes on the roadway and not worry about The Cars swerving to avoid potholes?
This weekend, if you are motorist or a Motörhead, participate in the first-ever “Potholepalooza,” the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) call to Chicagoans to report as many street potholes as possible. Then watch the show next week as CDOT has The Cure for your Moody Blues and fills all of the potholes reported from Friday, April 5 through Sunday April 6 so that your car doesn’t do the Harlem Shake and give you Divine Fits."
Wow. As a lover of bad wordplay, this is a goldmine. But I feel like by working with mostly only band names, even if there are some truly masterful stretches ("Men At Work gave Blood, Sweat and Tears"), the writer really missed out on some quality references. Like, you’re really going to do a music reference-packed press release about potholes and not include a nod to De La Soul’s classic, "Potholes In My Lawn?" Or maybe the writer knew that’s what people who pay too much attention to things like this were expecting and decided to deviate.
Maybe this could become a series for CDOT. Maybe the next one will be all covert references to the raunchiest tracks in the writer’s iTunes catalog. "When you’re on the road and feel a little ‘Bump ‘n’ Grind’ in your tires, be sure to let us know." "Be careful with potholes, or whiplash may have you screaming ‘My Neck, My Back!’" It would certainly get people talking about the important issue of local infrastructure.
When I was in high school, this girl who lived a couple towns over earned local (and regional) notoriety by having a “Save the Date” website for her bat mitzvah (called JessiesBatMitzvah.com), featuring an ill-advised music video of her perpetuating all the stereotypes and singing along to Gwen Stefani’s Fiddler on the Roof-butchering single, “Rich Girl.” We thought ridiculous and stereotype-enforcing bar and bat mitzvah excess had ended with JessiesBatMitzvah.com, but this week, the Internet reached peak bar mitzvah ridiculousness, and I can hear the “oy veys” of my elders now as I watch it.
Meet Daniel. Daniel is from Atlanta, and he won’t let you forget it. And in May, he will be called to the Torah and become a man in the eyes of his faith. Which makes now the perfect time to make an elaborate, ridiculous promotional video. Daniel raps to Jermaine Dupri’s “Welcome to Atlanta,” but changes the lyrics to be about his big day, all the while visiting different ATL landmarks (the Georgia Aquarium, Turner Field, CNN) and hanging out with Special Guest Stars like Ne-Yo, Charles Barkley and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed. I have a lot of questions about this, the least of which are how much did it cost, how many favors had to be called in and why would this be the logical conclusion of how to mark a pretty serious religious occasion and a young man’s acceptance of responsibilities in his faith? He’d better have a pretty solid mitzvah project and a kickass d’var torah to back this up. Oh well. We’ll see what happens when the little broseph tries to join AEPi at Emory and his prospective brothers find this in the depths of the Internet.
“This is not a show on Logo,” a man in a bowtie tells us. “I want real men. None of this shaved-nutsack shit.” This is, of course, in the trailer for a show that was just picked up by Logo. Larry Kennar’s young-lovers-in-California drama, DTLA, begins a seven-episode run on the network on Wednesday, October 24th, and will premiere after that on Out TV Canada. Kennar, a former producer of The L Word, financed the show himself with a little help from the masses at Kickstarter, making this the first time a Kickstarter-funded show has gotten network distribution in the U.S. and abroad.
“Given that it has been seven years since Queer as Folk, we are eager to put our voices back in the world and give the next generation an opportunity to see themselves reflected in our characters and stories,” Kennar writes on the show’s Kickstarter page.
DTLA, which Kennar describes as “a cross between Queer As Folk and Swingers,” shows Downtown Los Angeles (duh) through the experiences of seven friends of varying backgrounds and sexual orientations. Darryl Stephens of Noah’s Arc and Matthew Stephen Herrick play Lenny and Bryan, the couple whose unraveling relationship is at the center of the story. The rest of the cast is totally bananas, and includes Erin Daniels (Dana Fairbanks from The L Word), Danny from The Real World: New Orleans, Sandra Bernhard, Luenell from Borat and New York from I Love New York.
Like any drama series, let alone one with LGBTQ themes produced by a producer of The L Word, DTLA has potential to be problematic, but from the trailer, it actually looks pretty good, if not refreshing following the network comedy straight-man/preening queen dichotomy set up by producers following the School of Ryan Murphy. The show looks sexy and drama-packed in a way that kind of makes us miss The O.C., and actually features gay people of different ethnicities and family backgrounds and manners of presentation which is a thing that doesn’t even happen on most gay-themed cable shows, let alone network. Dana Fairbanks—er, Erin Daniels—has some drama! Julie Goldman plays a cop! And Danny from The Real World: New Orleans, you guys! This is gonna be fun. We hope.