Man Vs. Woman: Guilty Pleasures

What are your guilty pleasures?

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It’s once again time for Kristen Ashly and Dan Buffa to go head to head in popular topics. One man. One woman. One topic. This week, it’s guilty pleasures. What do you watch and kind of feel bad about afterwards? What do you eat and wish you hadn’t done so? Is it something else? Do you like plaid shirts or turtlenecks or that polka dot dress or shirt? What is it?

Buffa- 1980’s and early 1990’s action films.

Little dialogue, little logic and lots of one liners, muscles and bad special effects powered action. Fist crackling fun. I am talking Robocop. Commando. Lock up. Cobra. Double Impact. Lionheart. Out for Justice. Showdown in Little Tokyo. Soak it up ladies and gents. They don’t make them like they used to, and for the most part that’s a good thing.

Remember Out for Justice. Sure you don’t. The bar scene where Steven Seagal walks in, covered in black and rocking a pony tail, looking for William Forsyth’s Richie. Clean shaven (facial hair was petrified to grow on that face) and moving like a jungle cat, Seagal stalks the place before kicking the shit out of everybody in sight. Check it out.

I don’t know what it is about these films, but I eat them up like skittles. As Seagal says in the clip, maybe it’s my need to impose my will on my fantasies. How one man can walk into a room, talk tough, and back it up with an ass whopping few men can handle. He didn’t need bulging muscles either. Just a well-known mastery of many martial arts. Did I mention the man wore all black? Fear and common sense are the only things that could stop Seagal and even they failed miserably.

Commando. Arnold in his heyday. A one man army looking for his daughter and stopping at nothing until he got his girl back. It’s 85 minutes that seems like 25 because all Arnold (who also doesn’t need a beard to be tough) does is find people, beat them up and collect guns and one liners along the way. “Let off some steam, Bennett!” So good.

What was better than Jean Claude Van Damme back in the day? Two Van Dammes! Try out Double Impact, where twin brothers from Belgium with knots on their foreheads dish out leg kicks like pizza at a parlor on Friday night.

Cobra. Under-appreciated Stallone classics. Sly’s cop in Cobra didn’t utter more than 10 words but he had a cool pistol with a…guess what…cobra on it and he wore an incredibly heavy trench coat and rocked a little stubble. What else did a man need in 1986?

They don’t make them that hot anymore. Special effects, box office needs, superheroes and the need for remakes have drowned out the glorious days of a movie simply about “one man, one job and one line required in the alphabet”. It’s a dead ship that must be revisited from time to time. Watch one of these movies and make a cheap Jack’s frozen pizza while you do it. Drink a six-pack of cheap beer too, like Stag or Steel Reserve.

Kristen- Taylor Swift

Yeah, I can hear you grumbling. I don’t care.

Taylor, born in Wyomissing, PA, moved to Nashville at the young age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She did just that. She became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift’s self-titled debut album in 2006 shot her to the top of stardom. Her third single, “Our Song,” made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number one song on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Her second album, Fearless, became the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, making Swift the youngest ever Album of the Year winner. Swift’s third and fourth albums, 2010’s Speak Now and 2012’s Red, both sold more than one million copies within the first week of their U.S release.

As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Swift’s other achievements include seven Grammy Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and one Brit Award. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—including 27.1 million in the U.S.—and 130 million single downloads.

The facts speak for themselves. Sure, most of her record sales were due to her ever growing crowd of tween fans, but that crowd is arguably the biggest track buying group, anyways.

Personally, her music speaks to me. She’s a few years younger than me, but I went through similar trials and tribulations. Every girl in her teens and early 20s likely will. Her music is classic, timeless, and ever evolving. Yet, her message never changes: women and girls have needs and wants, and you should listen to them. Her style is also classic and timeless. She’s tall, blonde, lovely, and rocks red lips like no other. She always reminds me of the movie starlets from the early years, with no regret. Just look:

Her personal life is pretty public, and critics and haters often bash her for that reason. But really, who hasn’t had a roller coaster of a love life? Who hasn’t made dumb decisions they later regretted, especially at such a young age? Throw the first stone.

I’m not the only one who thinks she’s talented, and her songs catchy. Artists like Bill Withers, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Jon Bon Jovi, and Lindsey Buckingham have all sung her praises, stating she’s sure to stick around for a long time. How can you argue with any of them? You can’t. Just try. No, really.

If you ever get the pleasure of seeing me cruise around town, just watch for the song I’m singing at the top of my lungs: guarantee it’s a Swift.

Kristen Ashly contributes to Up All Night News. Follow on Twitter @KristenAshly.

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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