A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as Grotesque Crippling Disease Other Cultural Revelations

Overview

Whether you lust after it, loathe it, or feign apathy toward it, fame is in your face. Cintra Wilson gets to the heart of our humiliating fascination with celebrity and all its preposterous trappings in these hilarious, whip-smart, and subversive essays. Often radical and always a scream, Wilson takes on every sacred cow, toppling icons as diverse as Barbara Streisand, Ike Turner, Michael Jackson, and -- for obvious reasons -- Bruce Willis. She exposes events like the Oscars and even athletic jamborees as having ...
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Overview

Whether you lust after it, loathe it, or feign apathy toward it, fame is in your face. Cintra Wilson gets to the heart of our humiliating fascination with celebrity and all its preposterous trappings in these hilarious, whip-smart, and subversive essays. Often radical and always a scream, Wilson takes on every sacred cow, toppling icons as diverse as Barbara Streisand, Ike Turner, Michael Jackson, and -- for obvious reasons -- Bruce Willis. She exposes events like the Oscars and even athletic jamborees as having grown a "tumescent aura of Otherness." Wilson's scathing and irresistible dissections of Las Vegas as "The Death Star of Entertainment" and Los Angeles as "a giant peach of a dream ... crawling with centipedes" pulse with her enlightened rejection of all things false and vain and egotistical. Written with her trademark zeal and intelligence, A Massive Swelling is the antidote for the fame virus that infects us all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141001951
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/3/2001
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Cintra Wilson
Cintra Wilson has made her own fame with her sendups of pop culture, from her popular Salon columns to her debut novel Colors Insulting to Nature -- a brazen, biting take on the celebrity scene that caused the San Francisco Chronicle to crown Wilson as "the Dorothy Parker of the Cyber age."

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Wilson:

"The last ‘real job' I had was when I was a Jagermeister Shot Nurse at a nightclub in San Francisco. I had a reclining dentist chair and a bedpan full of Jagermeister and a large irrigation syringe, and I would wear bondage-style nurse attire and shotgun blasts of Jagermeister down people's throats for $2. Most of the shot usually ended up being dribbled down their shirts."

"I have ADD, so I really couldn't read books until I was around 28, and medicated. Until then I mostly read comic books: Edward Gorey's stupendous Amphigorey and its sequels; Love and Rockets by Los Bros. Hernandez, Eightball by Dan Clowes, all of Lynda Barry's books, plus truckloads of Mad magazines and National Lampoons from the 70's and 80's. A friend of my dad's gave me all the Mad magazines -- a huge box of them, starting with Issue #1 and going all the way up chronologically until 1972. I adored them and read them every day and worshipped them and then one day I got home from school and my mother had thrown them away because she said they made me ‘too much of a smart-ass.' I like to torture her now by telling her how much they would be worth today on eBay, and how I will be denying her that dollar amount in future emergency medical expenses when she is dependent on me.

"My marriage recently dissolved, so Benicio, baby, I got an oiled bear rug and a bottle of Cold Duck and a with your name on it. Grr-wow. Come to Mami."

"I truly love miniature golf. And never stand between me and the karaoke machine."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      G.E.D., 1984; attended San Francisco State University

Table of Contents

Statement of Intent, or How to Read This Book Without Wanting to Hurt the Author xiii
Part 1 The Heart-Touching Magic of Music
1. Cock Rock for the Twelve-and-Under: Little Girls and the Unhealthy Way They Love 3
2. Championship Karaoke: Singing to Win 29
3. Jacko, the No-Nosed Man from Motown (A Morality Fable) 39
4. Las Vegas--The Death Star of Entertainment 50
5. The Shipwrecks of Rock 62
Part 2 I Feel Pretty
6. Only the Cute Survive 77
7. Women in Sports 93
8. Jump Through the Flaming Tire, Honey... Thatta Girl 109
Part 3 L.A. Is My Lady
9. As a Dog Returneth to Its Own Vomit, So Doth L.A. 123
10. Crossing Boundaries: Towards a New Hermeneutics of Dumb Pimps Like Bruce Willis 144
11. Hi-Diddly-Dee, an Actor's Life for Me: Brown Dwarfs and Hungry Ghosts 158
12. You Will Now Watch the Hollywood Awards Ceremony 173
13. The Two-Headed Calf 196
Part 4 Orchestra Tickets to Grief
14. A Few Short Words on the Literary Life 209
15. Mein Uberkampf: The Unfair Distributions of Cash and Joy in the World 213
16. A Composer, a Director, a Writer, the Greatest Band in the World, 3 Movies, 2 Surfers 228
Acknowledgments 229
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