The Help was Dominique Strauss-Kahn's worst nightmare, while the funniest film of the year—Bridesmaids—went beyond the sink-crapping to create a smart and likable shit pie about female friends learning about one other. Only the icky love interest brought it down to the gutter level.

Verbal diarrhea stank up the Oscars themselves, with producer Brett Ratner stepping down after blithely saying "fags" at a press conference, and host Eddie Murphy following him out the door as the gays cheered and threw things.

On TV, Chaz Bono broke new ground as the first transsexual on Dancing With the Stars (since Marie Osmond, I guess), but the show continued to stop short of having a same-sex couple take the floor. Apparently, not only can't gays get married in California, but they can't dance there, either!

Michele Bachmann looked impeccable in debates, thanks to her husband, Marcus, choosing her outfits.
Chad Griffith
Michele Bachmann looked impeccable in debates, thanks to her husband, Marcus, choosing her outfits.
Activism replaced bottle service via Occupy Wall Street, a grassroots movement hating on the corporate corruption that has led to drastic social inequality, unemployment, and crappy pizza.
Chad Griffith
Activism replaced bottle service via Occupy Wall Street, a grassroots movement hating on the corporate corruption that has led to drastic social inequality, unemployment, and crappy pizza.

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Oh, well. Even with the TV on, NYC was Fun City, as waiters dropped the attitude, locals willingly gave tourists directions (even correct ones), and groups of giddy-despite-it-all nut jobs were spotted doing drunken line dances on the street. People I know who moved far away from Manhattan when it got too glossy visited and found the city a hoot again, the trust-fund babies having given way to a ragtag bunch of nouveau hippies ready for all kinds of expression. It's too bad it took economic devastation to get us here, but still, this could turn out to be the craziest free party in decades. And if not, the Rapture is coming anyway!

musto@villagevoice.com

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