Friday, 31 October 2014

Word of the Day

  • fainéant
  • audio pronunciation
  • \fay-nay-AHN\
: idle and ineffectual : indolent
Deanna's parents warned her not to become fainéant during the summer; even if she didn't want to work, she should travel or volunteer somewhere.

"We go on, Beckett-like, enacting the rituals that define existence, trapped in an existential spiral, too fainéant to change, ... doomed to repeat the same mistakes and fall into the same situations." — David Krasner, A History of Modern Drama, 2011
You've probably guessed that fainéant was borrowed from French; it derives from fait-nient, which literally means "does nothing," and ultimately traces back to the verb faindre, or feindre, meaning "to feign." (The English word feign is also descended from this verb, as are faint and feint.) Fainéant first appeared in print in the early 17th century as a noun meaning "an irresponsible idler," and by 1854 it was also being used as an adjective. As its foreignness suggests, fainéant tends to be used when the context calls for a fancier or more elegant word than inactive or sluggish.



I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Groucho Marx
 (1890 - 1977)

Viz Bits

Viz Advert arse Andrex kitten

Outrageously Offensive Ads

We have come a long way since the 1930s. Back then advertisements were all about the money. It did not matter who they hurt in the process. Just take a look for yourself. Here are ten ads from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s ads that makes the Ku Klux Klan look like a bunch of saints.

10. AC Spark Plugs

In the 1930s, AC Spark Plugs had an ad in The Saturday Evening Post that depicted an African American as being a small monkey in a suit. Many ads during that time used monkeys or small apes in place of African Americans.

9. Aunt Jemima

In 1939, Aunt Jemima was making the best pancakes. Aunt Jemima always used an African American lady who was supposed to be a slave as a spokesperson. On all of the ads, she used “slave” slang.

8. Van Heusen

Van Heusen had an ad for ties that showed a woman on her knees serving a man coffee. When did women become slaves?

7. Del Monte

In 1953, Del Monte ketchup bottles got new lids. The ad was a picture of a woman opening the bottle and it read “You mean a woman can open it?”.

6. Elliott’s White Veneer

In 1935, Elliott’s White Veneer came out with an ad that showed a young African American boy painting another young African American boy with the veneer. It stated “SEE HOW IT COVERS OVER BLACK”.

5. General Electric

In 1937 General Electric became racist, also. They came out with a new ad for a sink. The ad showed an African American lady, who was supposed to be a slave, standing by the sink and saying “I’se Sure Got a Good Job Now!”

4. Drummond Sweaters

Drummond Sweaters came out with a sexist ad that showed two men standing on top of a cliff, talking, while a woman dangled from a rope beneath them. The poster began by saying “Men are better than women”

3. Dacron

Dacron had a very sexist poster ad. The ad showed a picture of a lady on the floor with a rug for a body. A man was then standing on her head and was saying ” It’s nice to have a girl around the house”.

2. Cream of Wheat

Cream of Wheat had a poster ad of an African American man holding a chalkboard with a message written on it. Several words were misspelled as to say African Americans were ignorant.

1. Fairy Soap

Fairy Soap had a poster ad of a young white girl asking a young African American girl “Why doesn’t your Mama wash you with Fairy Soap?”. This siuggesting that African Americans were dirty.

F & P

An Eye For Opportunity

Man, it's hell finding a parking space around here!
Is that a new hairdo, Pidjin? So trendy, man! Lost some weight, Fredo? Lookin' good, sport!
Who the fuck are... The name's Gugustueck. Passionate, certified professional hero.
Your skills..My passion for management..We'll attain such power I have a vision!!!
Omg! Where are my eyes? Look, I could show you, but I don't see how that would help.

Earworm of the Day

A very rare, live version of Phil Lynott's Grand Slam, just before he died.

Thursday, 30 October 2014



The name Richard is very old and was popular during the Middle Ages. In the 12th and 13th centuries everything was written by hand and Richard nicknames like Rich and Rick were common just to save time. Rhyming nicknames were also common and eventually Rick gave way to Dick and Hick, while Rich became Hitch. Dick, of course, is the only rhyming nickname that stuck over time. And boy did it stick. At one point in England, the name Dick was so popular that the phrase "every Tom, Dick, or Harry" was used to describe Everyman.


There are many theories on why Bill became a nickname for William; the most obvious is that it was part of the Middle Ages trend of letter swapping. Much how Dick is a rhyming nickname for Rick, the same is true of Bill and Will. Because hard consonants are easier to pronounce than soft ones, some believe Will morphed into Bill for phonetic reasons. Interestingly, when William III ruled over in England in the late 17th century, his subjects mockingly referred to him as "King Billy."


The name Henry dates back to medieval England. (Curiously, at that time, Hank was a diminutive for John.) So how do we get Hank from Henry? Well, one theory says that Hendrick is the Dutch form of the English name Henry. Henk is the diminutive form of Hendrick, ergo, Hank from Henk. Hanks were hugely popular here in the States for many decades, though by the early 90s it no longer appeared in the top 1,000 names for baby boys. But Hank is making a comeback! In 2010, it cracked the top 1,000, settling at 806. By 2013 it was up to 626.


The name Jack dates back to about 1,200 and was originally used as a generic name for peasants. Over time, Jack worked his way into words such as lumberjack and steeplejack. Even jackass, the commonly used term for a donkey, retains its generic essence in the word Jack. Of course, John was once used as a generic name for English commoners and peasants, (John Doe) which could be why Jack came became his nickname. But the more likely explanation is that Normans added -kin when they wanted to make a diminutive. And Jen was their way of saying John. So little John became Jenkin and time turned that into Jakin, which ultimately became Jack.


"Dear Chuck" was an English term of endearment and Shakespeare, in Macbeth, used the phrase to refer to Lady Macbeth. What's this have to do with Charles? Not much, but it's interesting. However, Charles in Middle English was Chukken and that's probably where the nickname was born. 


The name Margaret has a variety of different nicknames. Some are obvious, as in Meg, Mog and Maggie, while others are downright strange, like Daisy. But it's the Mog/Meg we want to concentrate on here as those nicknames later morphed into the rhymed forms Pog(gy) and Peg(gy).


The name Ted is yet another result of the Old English tradition of letter swapping. Since there were a limited number of first names in the Middle Ages, letter swapping allowed people to differentiate between people with the same name. It was common to replace the first letter of a name that began with a vowel, as in Edward, with an easier to pronounce consonant, such as T. Of course, Ted was already a popular nickname for Theodore, which makes it one of the only nicknames derived from two different first names. Can you name the others?


Since Medieval times, Harry has been a consistently popular nickname for boys named Henry in England. Henry was also very popular among British monarchs, most of whom preferred to be called Harry by their subjects. This is a tradition that continues today as Prince Henry of Wales , as he was Christened, goes by Prince Harry. Of course, Harry is now used as a given name for boys. In 2006, it was the 593rd most popular name for boys in the United States. One reason for its upsurge in popularity is the huge success of those amazing Harry Potter books.


There are no definitive theories on how Jim became the commonly used nickname for James, but the name dates back to at least the 1820s. For decades, Jims were pretty unpopular due to the "Jim Crow Law," which was attributed to an early 19th century song and dance called "Jump Jim Crow," performed by white actors in blackface. The name "Jim Crow" soon became associated with African Americans and by 1904, Jim Crow aimed to promote segregation in the South. Jim has since shed its racial past, and is once again a popular first name for boys all by itself, sans James.


Sally was primarily used as a nickname for Sarah in England and France. Like some English nicknames, Sally was derived by replacing the R in Sarah with an L. Same is true for Molly, a common nickname for Mary. Though Sally from the Peanuts never ages, the name itself does and has declined in popularity in recent years. Today, most girls prefer the original Hebrew name Sarah.
Mental Floss

Self Destruct- 2

#2. The Audience Feels Stuck With Them

Was there anyone on Earth who wasn't kind of let down by the final season of the only moderately funny show to ever appear on CBS, How I Met Your Mother? If the final season accomplished anything, it was to illuminate just how stuck viewers felt with the character of Ted Mosby.
As far as sitcoms go, he was a pretty typical lead.
Whoa, that guy was the lead?
However, since we'd watched him go in and out of relationships for so long, all while still pining for the same girl, to watch him continue to face the same problems with his unrequited love for "Aunt" Robin was disappointing. The show had made a huge deal about how you were finally going to "meet the mother." Instead, we were treated to How I Met Your Eh Never Mind.
So we're positive this guy wasn't the lead, then?
A good show usually maintains a certain level of quality when you rewatch it. The initial shock caused by the surprises and plot twists is gone, but you gain a new kind of insight that allows you to focus on different things, like the little details that passed you by the first time. With How I Met Your Mother, though, a rewatch forces you to put up with Ted, and the last thing you want while watching something again is the feeling that the main character is painfully tied to you, with no hope for relief.
And it wasn't this guy, either? Huh.
So much of the original run of that show was spent wondering who the mother was, and when the girl that Ted was with would turn out to be "the one." Any further examination turns him into a grating romantic storm that you can't seem to escape. There is no allure to him, now that you realize that what he is clinging to in the first episode are the things that he is going to cling to in the final seconds of the show. That's a zero-degree-angle arc of storytelling.

#1. They're Simply Not Interesting Enough

Creating a lead character who's interesting enough to be the center of any kind of entertainment is hard, especially if that brand of entertainment is meant to run for eight to 22 times a season, year after year. Of course, sometimes you have things that, despite all odds, flourish, like Smallville, which lasted for 10 years and had a cast primarily made up of the same, blank expression.

Superman takes a lot of flack for being boring, and that's a valid criticism of a guy who, when asked about what powers he has, could reply with, "Most." Add that to the blandest narrative possible and you have a show that lasted for 218 episodes, with enough substantial story to maybe fill four. Will Clark Kent finally become Superman? Who cares? Now let's see if he can solve this whole magic crystal plot before audiences start to figure out that it's utterly meaningless.
And then you have shows like The Walking Dead, which distribute character traits seemingly on a whim. Whoever makes it to the set earliest gets their pick of what motivates their dialogue and decisions that day. Some people get a lot of them while others are simply left being "that guy with the backpack who seems pissed." The latter category includes the show's main character, Rick Grimes, who, in the initial "Personality Aspect & Quirk" draft got stuck with "unsure about being a leader" and "father."
Don't forget "boring."
Now, those things could possibly be compelling. And, in the show's best moments, there is the hope that, maybe, when the cast can finally escape the single set location that the season's budget has allowed them to be plunked into, things will improve. But since the narrative tends to solve every problem both philosophical and physical with "Yeah, we'll probably shoot at it," any passion that you may have had for keeping up with the whole thing deadens. Unless there is some magical turnaround where Rick Grimes is saddled with a backstory and a few more internal issues, he is going to spend the rest of The Walking Dead with close-ups of his face wearing that same concerned "Carl?" expression.
Pictured: The least likable child on television.
The people behind The Walking Dead are always banking on the zombie carnage saving the other aspects, and I might get my horror fan card revoked for saying this, but at a certain point, it's hard to care about all the head splitting. Everything that's ever promoted The Walking Dead as a show and comic has always made a gigantic point to tell us just how much of it is about the characters, yet they still haven't figured out a scheme to create more than two good ones. And with the "Oh, shit!" response to the zombie carnage waning, the longer the show goes on, the more that they're going to need to invent some kind of machine that pumps out a leading role with more than three attributes. Perhaps they could call this machine "Adequate Writing."
Heh. Good one, me.

Self Destruct- 1

Making a TV show is hard. Just how troubled does your white guy lead need to be? And just how charismatic do you need to make him to balance out all the terrible immoral shit he's about to do? How oblivious does his family need to be? How British does the antagonist need to sound? Will you choose a B-List actor with surprising talent, or an A-List actor who can only sign on for one season? It's so damn difficult to be wealthy and in a high position of creative power!
But despite this near-impenetrable formula, they still find ways to mess up main characters. Here's how it happens ...

#5. They're Made to Be Infallible

It's important to give your characters flaws, but it's even more important to make them feel the ramifications of those flaws. That way, you have something other than the word "Terminator" when you're writing up a cast list. There's an arc to the story of someone who has flaws and manages to rise above them. But there's a flat line for characters who have flaws but are better than everyone else regardless, as with the character of writer Hank Moody in Californication.
That's him on the right, sort of.
By the end of Season 6, David Duchovny's character has slept with close to 75 percent of the female cast of the show. If you're wondering who the last quarter of those people are, they are primarily made up of a female main character who was married to Hank Moody's best friend, and Hank's daughter. Otherwise, all characters were fair game. I don't want to say that Californication had issues with coming up with complex women, but it's weird to think that the only thing stopping what would be a perfect batting average is that the life of a playboy writer would be seriously hampered by allegations of inbreeding. One might think that this would eventually take a darker turn, considering Duchovny himself had a history of problems when it came to boning things within his vicinity, but the show, in all of its seven seasons, never reached that level of maturity or self-awareness.
Californication was written like some poor showrunner had six seconds to come up with a way to combine Charles Bukowski and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and hadn't been previously told exactly what a "Bew-cow-skee" was.
Wait, it's not the sex thing?
Hank Moody is flawed, but he maintains a superiority over everyone else in the show, solely because he's the guy who's given the one-liners, while the rest of the cast is left to say, "Hank!" or, on rare occasion, "Hank?" Every dilemma is solved simply because Hank Moody is roguish and charming. There's a certain kind of thrill that comes with this, as Hank is the wish fulfillment for any guy who wants to be a writer, except with none of the verb form of it.
This is easily contrasted with an egomaniac from another comedy: Kenny Powers in Eastbound & Down.
"Something about titties!"
Now, on the surface, it's easier to play Kenny for laughs since Danny McBride resembles a weird cousin to the entire state of South Carolina, and Duchovny is proof that the key to being a successful paranormal investigator is looking like an underwear model. But Kenny is a more interesting character because when he gets embarrassed (which is very often), he takes the full brunt of it. He is constantly humiliated, and it doesn't weaken his character. Hank Moody could've used the same treatment, but since all of his wacky situations (Hank Moody's got his dick caught in a hot single mom! How can he possibly orgasm his way out of this one?) end with him grinning and prancing away, he ends up being nothing more than a caricature that no amount of depressing blowjobs can save.

#4. They Never Evolve

If you managed to stick it out through all eight seasons of Showtime's Dexter, what you were generally treated to was a frustrating "one step forward, every step back" progression that never let up. At the end of each season, we'd sort of discover the answer to a prominent question (usually something like "Can Dexter have a successful relationship?"), only to start the next season with the exact same question looming ("Can Dexter have a semi-successful relationship?").
Audiences spent eight years learning the same thing every season. Yes, Dexter can give a proper handshake and look normal. The creative team also spent eight years trying to force us into thinking that it was more substantial than this. Yeah, it's a handshake, but it's a deep handshake. In the pilot episode, Dexter looked down into an empty box of donuts and said, "Just like me. Empty inside." This actually happened. It's one step away from the writer leaning in from the side of the screen and saying, "And that, kids, is a metaphor."
diego cervo/iStock/Getty Images
Write it down.
This was then multiplied 96 times until the show finished.
On the opposite side of this, you have Breaking Bad, which, if you didn't hear, is a show that people seemed to dig. That show was explicitly all about transformation, and not just within a single character. The supporting cast of Dexter were placed in a constantly rotating wheel that either set them as bewildered or suspicious. While this certainly played to Dexter's strength of comparing his personality to a container sans pastries, it didn't help a TV show that was meant to be murdery and serious, and it especially didn't help the intended audience reaction of "Oooh, such moral ambiguity!"
Instead, from 2006 to 2013, whole families would gather around their screens for 12 weeks out of the year, just to shout "WHY IS EVERYONE IN MIAMI SO FUCKING DUMB?" The last time I was in Miami, I watched a guy crash into the back of another person's car and handle it by getting out and kicking at his own bumper. If that guy was a character inDexter, he would have been what's known as "president."
Reminder: this sign doesn't even exist.
And it's totally cool to have idiot characters who don't make smart decisions. But when faced with constant serial murders, done by a variety of people, odds are pretty good that you'll change your outlook and the way you react to things. The dumbest people in the world don't repeatedly touch hot stoves. Breaking Bad excelled at this, because the people caught in this hurr-meth-icane (named that because I'm an idiot) were dynamic. They questioned Walter and gave the slightest of shits about what was going on around them. This helps the lead character, because now they have different things to interact with that aren't the products of blatant idiocy.
Dexter, on the other hand, was surrounded by the perfect sarcastic environment for a vigilante serial killer: people who had gone through years of police training, only to be dumbstruck because the culprit couldn't possibly be Dexter Morgan, the guy who lives alone, shuns human contact, and is constantly somehow personally involved with the biggest murder sprees that the United States has ever seen.

#3. They Get Lost in the Mix

If you watch any show with a plethora of characters for long enough, eventually it starts to feel a bit like a chess match. Characters start getting shuffled and moved around in the hopes that maybe some kind of inorganic spark will light. You just keep pairing characters together until enough witty banter occurs. Game of Thrones remedies any potential issues in this area using the magic of surprise deaths. You liked that character more than the rest? Did they seem like they would become a focal point in the future? Or did you hate them? Regardless, got you! It's not HBO if it comes without graphic mutilations.
Steve Buscemi, a fine actor who plays Nucky Thompson on Boardwalk Empire, is someone who got lost in the mix of a show where he should have been the focal point of the whole affair. The main conflict of Boardwalk Empire is that Nucky is both a politician and a gangster, which means that, due to the inherent nature of drama, he's going to want to be involved with the nicer option, while constantly getting himself involved with the more reprehensible one. The problem with Nucky Thompson is that he's just not as interesting as the people who are willing to go all in on their crime shit.
Everyone be more like Jimmy Darmody, please.
Nucky, as a character, is complex, has changed, and has broken and formed new relationships, so it's not that he's boring. Still, the show often feels like it's phasing him out, even though he's still onscreen for the same amount of time. You don't want to have to spend any more time with him than you have to, especially when the alternative are things like the masked sniper Richard Harrow, or Kelly Macdonald's driven, curious portrayal of Margaret Thompson. Nucky Thompson is the center of the show, and way too often it feels like he shouldn't be.
Deadwood, on the other hand, often becomes "The Al Swearengen Hour," and this is no fault.
"Curse words!"
The creative forces behind Deadwood are very obviously in love with him, and that's because, in a sea of entertaining characters, Al is just a little more entertaining. Ian McShane's portrayal, like most good main characters, was extravagant enough to be memorable, and nuanced enough to be taken seriously.
At one point in the second season, Al gets a kidney stone and spends the majority of a few episodes writhing in pain. Now, one would think that Swearengen would exclaim, "Fucking kidney stone cocksuckers!" and pull it out with his own hands, taking shots of whiskey to dull the strain of the people around him. But the writers manage to rein him in enough that he reacts like a normal human.
kirza/iStock/Getty Images
So this, then?
While he is bedridden, the rest of the town feels lost, but no less appealing. The nucleus of their cell is missing, and it's hard for them to function. This should be the weight of a good main character. You need to miss them.
Boardwalk Empire is a solid show, but if I watched four episodes of it and never saw a glimpse of Nucky Thompson, I'd probably wonder why I watched four straight episodes of Boardwalk Empire before I wondered where Buscemi was hiding.



Why Not?

Bizarre Things Which Are Seen Rarely 030


Leonardo da Vinci left many paintings unfinished and destroyed most of his work.

Viz Bits

Cut gas bills

Archive Post

Mothercare closures
The announcement by Mothercare that it intends to close a quarter of it’s UK stores could lead to a reduction in the number of men seen ambling 10 yards behind their partners with a look in their eyes that would suggest they’ve have lost the will to live.
Men have welcomed the news, and spoken of their relief at not being in a situation where they have no alternative but to agree with absolutely every single suggestion put forward by their partner.
“I tried to disagree once,” revealed 32 year-old father of three David Maclaughlin.
“I made the mistake of saying that the cot bed that my wife wanted to buy was a bit on the expensive side, and that maybe we should consider going for a cheaper option.”
“I soon learned that buying any item that is not the most expensive item on the market is tantamount to child abuse. From that point on I realised that it’s safer to just nod.”

Mothercare closures

However, it’s not all good news for men, as a Mothercare spokesperson revealed that they will continue to offer a wide range of online services.
A spokesperson for the company said, “We would like to reassure mothers that they can still shop from home and enjoy the authentic Mothercare experience from the comfort of their sofa.”
“In fact, the virtual experience might be more fun as they can still test whether their husbands are listening by asking their opinion on items such as buggies and travel cots whilst Match of the Day is on.”

Simply Red

If you have partaken in an adult beverage at a party within the past 35 years or so, odds are it was in a red cup. Their ubiquity in real life is only surpassed by movies and television, where these cups are guaranteed to make an appearance at any house party scene. So, why exactly did we all agree on red? Or was that decision already made for us?
First, let’s quickly get to know who would have possibly made that decision: The leading producer of party cups is Solo. The Solo Cup Company was created in 1936 by former Dixie Co. employee Leo Hulseman, and got its start marketing the small paper cone cups for water coolers in the 1940s. In the '50s, they brought wax-lined cups designed for fountain sodas into the world. Then, in the '60s, came the funnel-shaped Cozy Cup creation for coffee. And in the 1970s (the exact year is unknown), the red solo cup was first marketed as a recreational drink container.
Sixty percent of Solo party cup sales are for the red variety, and red has been Solo’s best-selling color since the beginning. There are many theories as to why. Kim Healy, the VP of consumer business for Solo, was only able to confirm as fact that they were the first company to introduce a party cup before saying, “I’ve been here 12 years, and I’ve tested this over and over. Consumers prefer red, and it’s not very close. I think for one thing it’s a neutral color that’s appealing to both men and women. It’s also just become a standard.”
Via recent e-mail inquiry, a Solo employee also theorized that red’s gender neutralness was a key factor. Some believe that red’s signification as a color with intensity and energy might play a part, which might explain why Solo turned its original, almost maroon red cups into a brighter red as time went on.
Three different websites that sell “American Red Cups” to American theme party-seeking Europeans all give the same definitive reason: opacity. “The question is why are the cups red?” asks itself in the FAQ section. “Well, if you had a clear cup you’d be able to see what was in your cup, so by making it red you can then easily conceal what you’re drinking. It’s as simple as that!”
If only it were that simple. Plenty of other colors besides red can hide what liquid is in your cup. Modern partiers may simply be copying what they had seen at the movies—the 1999 romp American Pie is credited for being the first movie to portray red cups as a staple of American parties.
Mental Floss

C & H II

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Thought for the Day

Don’t talk down or about others. That says more about you than it does about the other person.


66% of people keep their eyes closed while kissing.

One Off

Full Steam Ahead

Hollywood Burds- 2


I'm not going to get into whether women are competitive or not, that's a whole other can of worms. The point is that chick flick catfight movies like Bride Wars or, to a lesser degree, My Best Friend's Wedding, are banking on the fact that female audiences are going to cheer for the catfighters in the movie.
Maybe if they were actual cats.
And whether you think women are catty bitches or not, this makes no sense. Non-competitive women would obviously be unable to identify at all, and most competitive backstabbing women still have enough social awareness to know it's not something to be proud of, and would cringe at having their worst traits magnified on the big screen.
That probably explains why Bride Warssaw a dramatic dropoff due to bad word of mouth after an already-weak opening weekend, since its entire basis was that best friends will turn on each other in an instant if some stupid female treasure like their "perfect wedding" is threatened in any way. Strangely, women did not flock to the movie shouting, "That's me! That's my life! It's funny because it's true!"

"Why, yes! I also try to bite my friend when we have disagreements!"

A Token Weakness

The problem with putting a character on the screen that a normal woman can identify with means that they'll have to be Hollywood fat (average sized) and Hollywood ugly (normal looking), and people don't pay ten bucks to go to a theater and see that business.
But if you make your lady character too perfect, nobody in the audience can identify with her. You can't compromise on the looks or the weight, obviously. You can't compromise by giving her a realistic job. She can't be a jerk, or the audience won't root for her. If you're doing one of those career vs. personal life plots, then her flaw is that she loves her career too much, so you got that cut out for you. Any other plot, the only option you've got left is to make her clumsy.
That's why pretty much all romantic comedy women are clumsy. Like Jessica Alba in Good Luck Chuck, Amy Adams in Leap Year, Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality... oh hell here's a montage.
Some choice excerpts.
It takes hard work and a good eye for human nature to be able to come up with flaws for your character that make them human and relatable, but don't drive away audience sympathy. Better to just go with "clumsy" and leave the afternoon open for cocaine.

Women Be Shopping

I don't care about the stereotype of women shopping. Women do like shopping - at least a lot more than men do - and a lot of women get excited about designer shoes or whatever. That's a big part of Sex and the City's success - they cater to an audience that's interested in Manolo Blahniks and uh... that's the only label I know. Anyway, there's a big audience that definitely cares about that stuff.
Neiman Marcus
I don't want to get on a high horse and say how many kids you could feed for a year so let's just say that will buy you almost 4 Playstations.
So as they moved from the success of the first movie to making Sex and the City 2, apparently they decided to just focus on the clothes, which turned out to be a mistake. Box office dropped to about 66% of the first movie and word of mouth was meh.
See, apparently the first movie, and the show, had at least some semblance of character development and some life lessons about friendship and love, even if it was delivered in that cheesy bullshit way that Sex and the City will do, whereas the second movie was half travelogue and half fashion show, and even series fans didn't feel like their favorite characters were moving through anything more than a series of outfits.

It looks like "costumes" might be a better word.
Apparently the fact that a character likes shopping isn't enough to get a female viewer to invest themselves in that character for, let's see... holy shit, that movie was 2 1/2 hours long? Yeah, bad idea.
They way they treat somewhat "accurate" stereotypes can be just as bad as their misses. Just because a lot of women identify with one thing doesn't mean you can just throw that one thing on some woman characters and wait for the money to start rolling in. I like chocolate and I find "that time of month" annoying but I'm not going to watch a lady eat chocolate and complain about Aunt Flo for 2 hours.
All that said, I suppose it's just a matter of time before this hits theaters: