BAKER STREET

 by Eric J Baker

Welcome to Pure Film Creative or, as I like to think of it, Tiger Beat for intellectuals (and perverts; you know which one you are).

Regular readers of these pages will often find us opining on who is sexy (Ashton Kutcher, Duran Duran, Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and who is not (Killough’s former landlady Susan Blais, Russell Crowe, pre-Raphaelite painters). It’s easy to do when you’re talking about movie stars and fashionable pop bands, since good looks are a prerequisite for such roles in society. With political figures, the distinction is murkier. Much like the sewage most of them crawled from.

What's not sexy about an Aussie thug in a tub with a stogie, a brew and phone he's about to brain the hotel maid with?

I don’t find ugly liars attractive, but I seem to be in the minority. Last week, before the shocking truth exploded, I wrote on PFC that Anthony Weiner couldn’t have e-mailed his cock-bulge photo to a 22-year-old woman because he’s not that dumb. What I thought, but didn’t write was, “Who the fuck wants to see Anthony Weiner’s dick, anyway?” He is not a good-looking man. He’s not charming. He doesn’t have a nice voice. He isn’t Senator Scott Brown, a legitimately handsome guy who actually got paid to show his junk once upon a time. Weiner is a congressional rep, one of hundreds.

Ted Kennedy's replacement Scott Brown once posed for Cosmo.

It turns out Weiner is that dumb, and that women do want to see such photographs, or at least the six or seven (that we know) who were willing to join Weiner’s circle of cyber girlfriends. Perhaps it’s not the winner’s circle, but at least there’s plenty of company.

It is a politics fetish? The Web has been abuzz for almost three years about the alleged hotness of Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann, crazy-eyes notwithstanding, has staked out her own corner of that market. As physical attractiveness goes, these two women are on the plus side of average, but you’ll find more beautiful and way smarter women working in the nearest office building or at the shopping mall.

Our own James Killough wrote recently about the sexiness of former New York governor Elliot Spitzer, which I gather is based on an intellectual attraction. For complex reasons that involve me preferring boobies and vajayjays to Mr. Happy Helmets, I may be immune to the sexual charms of a man in a position of power. Still, I’d wager that Russell Crowe would beat Spitzer handily in a survey of who’s sexier. He’d beat Spitzer even worse if he had a telephone for throwing. I’d make a joke here about Russell Crowe and Naomi Campbell in a fight to the death using ordinary household items as weapons, but it would be three or four years past being topical. That, and it might interrupt the flow and cause me to lose track of where I am in the story.

Where was I? Oh yeah… people finding political figures attractive when they aren’t any better looking than the rest of us. In most of my stories, I save the petite brunette for the end, like a delicious cupcake, but I have a legitimate reason to move her up today. Think about the so-called hot politicians we’ve been discussing, and then take a look at this picture of the actress Katie Cassidy (who also comes in blond, if that’s your taste). You’re telling me Sarah Palin is somehow hotter?

If we showed you which image Baker really wanted here, you would be too shocked. It was Katie reading in front of a radio mic, and that was just too suggestive of big penis for PFC.

I don’t know anything about Katie Cassidy’s personal life (which is, I’m sure, exactly the way she wants it), but I hope she doesn’t drive an Audi.

To the Audi drivers who are reading this, I’m sorry for what I am about to say. The thought of hurting your feelings is painful for me, so I’ll be gentle: Audi drivers are the biggest bunch of fucking jerk-offs on the planet Earth. Except for a friend of mine who drives one and also reads this blog.

[Say “hi” to your hubs for me, darling. xxoo, Eric]

Everyday I witness the smug, entitled assholishness of people steering those over-engineered terror wagons around the streets of central Jersey. Driving up the shoulder because they are too important to wait in traffic. Getting in the left-turn lane merely to speed around the people in front of them and continue going straight. Lurching into parking spots others were patiently waiting for. It goes on and on.

What is it about owning an Audi that inspires such self-centered and boorish behavior? Or is there something about the brand that obnoxious people find alluring? Having worked in the luxury car business in the 90s, I can say with certainty that truly wealthy, worldly people do not degrade themselves with such trashy acts. You can’t buy class, folks.

Jerseylicious babe atop a Jerseylicious hood.

Besides, it’s a frigging Audi. They run commercials for those during hockey games and episodes of Pawn Stars. Stop acting like you bought an Aston Martin, jackass.

With ivy league Princeton University a few miles down the road, I’m forced to contend with Audi drivers every time I take a spin around the block (funny how Mercedes and Lexus people manage to integrate into the driving environment without a problem). It’s a worthwhile trade-off, though, to live a few miles from Princeton. When I grow weary of Anthony Weiner, Sarah Palin, tornados, tsunamis, and double-dip recessions, I can always ride downtown, park, and head over to the University’s art museum. There, I forget the stress of the day while strolling through serene galleries that are home to over 70,000 artworks, including paintings by Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Monet, ancient Greek and Roman pottery, Byzantine carvings, and much more.

I write this having returned a few hours ago from the museum, where I looked at 16th and 17th century Dutch paintings. My past musings on art here focused on the classical tradition, which touched Netherlandish art to some extent, but those crazy Dutch are more than just wooden shoes and lax marijuana laws. They are also master painters whose ranks include Rembrandt and Vermeer. Well, some of them are probably shitty painters, but enough of them were good that you can get a Ph.D. in 17th Century Dutch Art.

Alas, despite my admiration, these guys were pretty preachy sometimes. Italian religious art of the time, AKA, The Bible’s Greatest Hits, is presented in the tradition of mythological art: Instantly recognizable events and characters (religious art is mythological art, in my view, but that’s a different blog).

The Dutch, on the other hand, painted “genre” scenes… everyday life being lived by ordinary people. Often, the men depicted were drunk and the women were hookers. Sounds great so far! But look closely and you see a skull somewhere, or perhaps a dead flower; symbols of the fleeting nature of life. The message therein being that one should forgo the pleasures of the flesh in favor of the pure, heavenly pleasures that await the boring and sexless who never stay up late on a Tuesday or leave teeth marks on their lover’s buttocks.

Pre-Amsterdam red light district, a bunch of hookers titter in The Procuress by Van Honthorst. The lute is a stand-in for the vagina; it's the same word for both in Dutch.

Typically, the woman is to blame for tempting man, a belief that is perhaps the greatest bane of monotheistic religion. Indeed, it was Dutch ‘humanist’ Johan de Brune who wrote that even if a woman is beautiful she was still “conceived in shame and delivered in unclean blood.” Yup, de Brune sure was a humanist. If the suffix “-ist” means -misogynist with such perverse sexual hang-ups that he molests little boys and likes to tea-bag is scrotum in a rat trap.

If de Brune were alive today, he’d be, like, almost 400 years old, which would make him the most famous person in history. He’d also be blaming those seven women for tempting Anthony Weiner to e-mail crotchy pictures to them. But he’s dead, so eff ’im.

Don’t let my self-righteous sidetrack taint your opinion of 15th -17th century Netherlandish painting. They were using oil paints well before the vaunted stars of the Italian Renaissance thought of it; they became unrivalled masters of chiaroscuro; and they took Italian theories on perspective and said, “You think you got it goin’ on, honky? Why don’t you try multiple vanishing points. Boo-yah!” Multiple vanishing points are cooler than anything that happened in The Matrix or Inception, I’ll tell you what.

And I guarantee not one of them drove an Audi.