Pop and culture in brief

The Big Hurt
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 18, 2012


Note: in honor of the Phoenix's bold new party flavor, I'll be broadening the scope of The Big Hurt to occasionally mention things other than music. Topics may include birdwatching, popular culture, lyric flights of fancy, undisguised product placement, Heineken, and worryingly specific insults toward the reader. Mostly music, though.

Last month, a peculiar scrap of music history went up for auction in England: a framed pair of ELVIS PRESLEY's husky briefs — "unwashed," according to the BBC, and still "soiled with stains." NME was more specific about the character of these stains, calling them "yellow" and "suspicious." I am baffled to report that this item did not sell, despite a modest reserve price of just £7,000. There must be thousands of rich, disgusting idiots in the world — not one of them would lay out the cash to huff the King's dong residue?

Here's a fun thought: how should Elvis, looking down from heaven, feel about nobody buying his pee-peed whities? Relieved? Disappointed? A previously undiscovered combination of the two?

Treasured public asshole BRET EASTON ELLIS coaxed fancy gasps recently by tweeting a tirade of withering beef toward fellow novelist David Foster Wallace, who is not alive. Some called Ellis unsporting for engaging a recently deceased colleague in a one-sided public slapfight, while others have pointed out that Wallace gave it, during his lifetime, as good as he got it. However, by taking sides in the matter, we risk losing sight of the true issue at hand: who cares, books are for nerds.

But! Some books actually have great social merit. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, for example, is an important work: it makes your dear old mom want someone to beat her on the bottom with a belt, and that is hilarious. The book stayed in headlines this week with a tantalizing rumor: immaculate cutie-pie Ryan Gosling may be under consideration to play the Main Butt Slappy Dude in the film adaptation. Or, maybe the source of the rumor — the author's husband — was just wishing aloud.

Fan reaction to the prospect has been positive, and I agree with that sentiment. Gosling is a fine actor, and the part demands one — I only made it through about 30 pages of the book, but the Main Spank Bro would smile mysteriously and/or make inscrutable facial expressions roughly 50 times per page, so the actor in the role would need the ability to rapidly twitch and contort his face like a glitched-out video game. (I also hope they can find an actress who can blush, then flush, then blush again within the span of half a page.)

That's enough about book stuff — in fact, let's forget about books forever, because the new season of Showtime's GIGOLOS has arrived! If you're not caught up, get your ass familiar: this is the Breaking Bad of grody medium-core semi-scripted male-prostitute reality erotica.

It was a dramatic off-season for the plucky 'tutes, with Clark Kent–wholesome Jimmy arrested on charges of beating his girlfriend — he's off the new season, naturally, with some convenient fictional excuse. In his place shall be Ash, a pony-maned Miami hunk with, according to their pimp, an "Eastern medicine" vibe. Can an aging Brace compete with this smoldering mystic Fabio? Yes, because Brace fucking rules (and vice versa) — I predict our craggy surf Adonis shall take on all comers (and vice versa).

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Related: Photos: Most popular slideshows of 2009, The Big Hurt: Clench and release(1), Joyride, More more >
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