Week in Review 2/10/11

by by Emily Gogolak

In response to recent government stalemates, Belgians are insisting that their politicians don’t get any until they get down to business. The spouses and partners of members of the Belgian parliament are being encouraged to withhold sex until the two disagreeing majority parties can get together and make whoopee themselves.
The idea for this sex strike was started by Socialist senator, Marleen Temmerman, after a recent visit to Kenya, where a similar strike in 2009 resolved a political crisis in less than a week. The feud between the New Flemish Alliance and the Socialist parties has left the parliamentary chamber empty and wanting since the election in June, over 240 days ago.
In addition to the sex strike in Kenya, there was also a “crossed-legs” campaign in Colombia in 2006 to encourage gangsters to stop gun violence, and Temmerman was first inspired to voice her idea by Belgian actor Benoit Poelvoorde, who started a beard-growing campaign in response to the crisis. So far, Temmerman’s bush-withholding idea has not been successful, but she says the majority of the feedback she has gotten has been positive.
Nevertheless, there are some for whom abstinence is not the best policy. Belgian senator, Catherine Frock, told the UK’s Daily Telegraph that “politicians are not there to strike… politicians are there to arouse the country.” Fortunately for her, the unresolved political tension seems to be getting all sorts of Belgians hot and bothered. —AS

Dick says, “I’m tired of the nuts.”
Recently, Dick Wadhams announced that he no longer intended to run for a third term as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. Despite ostensibly having the voters all over him to win the position again, he cited tiredness and frustration with “those who are obsessed with seeing conspiracies around every corner” and “the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party’s role is” as his reasons for withdrawal.
Tea Party groups had been hypocritical of Wadhams’ role in the 2010 elections, some haranguing him for too much of a hand into the election, some arguing that he did too little. Wadham also denounced the idea that being able to unite conservatives was all that was required to win elections; indeed, it requires being well endowed in a variety of areas. Certainly, the Colorado Republican Party won’t be any more unified after his departure as many Republicans speculate that it will cause even more candidates to try to jump on his position. —AS

Furry fanatics and sadomasochists aren’t the only ones trying to find hook-ups on Craigslist. Apparently it’s prime hunting grounds for senators too. Indeed, New York senator Chris Lee just resigned his position after sending shirtless photos of himself displaying quite the gun show to a woman in response to her personal ad on Craigslist.
However, the most interesting part of the story isn’t that a senator would stoop to such levels. Indeed, the married-with-kids Republican senator/congressman/mayor/governor who spouts Christian family values by day and gets his freak on by night is an old trope by now. No, the real shocker is that Chris Lee is actually incredibly ripped. The man has washboard abs and—as his photo will attest— quite the gun show.
The 46-year-old Lee, who has a wife and child, portrayed himself as a 39-year-old single lobbyist on Craigslist, but his photo is unmistakable. He should have tried his luck as a furry and avoided baring it for all the world to see. —AS

Things we associate with Urban Outfitters: decorative zippers, chunky sweaters without zippers, primary-colored tights, knock-off Keds. These are hardly items that correlate with your cousin’s wedding registry. But get ready, because just in time for Valentine’s Day Urban Outfitters will launch its newest brainchild into the retail market Bhldn—or ‘beholden’ for those who don’t communicate via text message.
Urban is hardly a newcomer to the casual wedding market. J Crew its flagship bridal outlet on Madison Avenue last year. Just this past week Vera Wang teamed up with David’s Bridal. JC Penny and The Limited also have recently jumped on the bridal bandwagon. All of these brands offer relatively digestible prices, but Urban brings something new to the mix: matrimonial hipsterdom.
The goal is practical wedding gear for the modern couple. The frocks will go for $1,000 to $4,000, and the February 14th launch will be online only, but eventually the brand hopes to expand to two to three stores by 2012. “We’re confident that we’re filling in space that no one’s filling in. Traditionally, people got married in churches. Now, they’re getting married on beaches and mountain tops. We’re building our assortment for the ultimate end use.” Don’t worry, this will not exclude tasteful tiaras, feathered headbands, and enameled flowery accessories.
And Bhldn doesn’t have its eyes only set on brides. “We want to be about parties, all the parties in your life,” Norris said. Mitzvahs, anniversaries, you name it—Bhldn has your back. —EG & EW