Archive for the ‘Circus of the Stars’ Category

Like An Old Hag

August 23, 2008

What is the opposite of a MILF? Oh, right. The Anti-MILF.

Last time I saw a crone this scary, she was getting out of the bathtub in The Shining.

Going to go scrub eyeballs and try to remember when people thought this piece of gristle on a stick was reasonably attractive.

Pete Townsend Smashes Guitar, Hip

July 18, 2008

Vh1, formerly a channel that played music videos (ask your parents), had some kind of tribute to The Who broadcast tonight.

Having watched it, as well as all the various docu-promos that MHD Channel (a joint venture of CMT, MTV and VH1, a subsidary of Viacom) could dig up, I can only come to one conclusion: It’s time to hang it up. Please. You are on the razor’s edge of embarrassing yourselves. I’m begging you. Go home and lie down.

It’s not that Roger’s voice is starting to sound like Vito Corleone’s. It’s not that the vibe of the show is less anarchic rock lightning captured in a bottle and more small-market PBS pledge drive. It’s that every fucking concert is starting to sound like CSI: The Medley. Seriously, Pete. Stop taking the money. When Sean Penn got up and made the statement that “The Who never sold out”, he obviously doesn’t get CBS on his tin-foil hat. At the network upfronts this summer, I think they announced CSI: Gatlinburg would be premiering this fall. The opening credits are a montage of Dollywood to the strains of “Squeeze Box”. Sean also doesn’t remember the ’82 tour when The Who were sponsored by Schlitz. Schlitz Rocks America! Not surprising. It happened sometime between Spicoli and Shanghai Surprise.

While we are on the topic, take Peter Fonda with you. That poor bastard must be broke. I saw him on an infomercial, decked out in the Easy Rider jacket, hawking Time-Life Sounds of the Sixties Flower Power. With dead eyes he kept reading off of those cue cards like a pro. Who else has shilled for Time-Life in order to gouge nostalgic baby-boomers to buy music they can hear on the local oldies station or download off the internet?

Oh, that’s right. Roger Daltrey.

Make all the money you want, boys. More power to you. It’s your legacy to do with as you please. The best performers know when to get off the stage and leave the audience wanting more. Just a thought. At least Entwistle and Moon went out like rock stars.

Meanwhile, the soundtrack to my teenage years is marred by this fucking douchebag every week. Thanks, for the memories.

How Much For The Little Girl?

April 29, 2008

This hasn’t been a good month to be a young girl. I’m not speaking from personal experience, this is more of a general observation. The creepy Lolita subtext that pervades our culture has crawled from the slime to the surface. In fact it is casting a shadow on the door of a cottage on the shore of a dark Scottish lake many miles away, many miles away….uh, where was I?

The other night, we wound up having The Talk with the boys about Girls. Thirteen came home with all the middle school gossip. Included were tales calculated to drive parents mad and provide fodder for Evangelical Spook Houses. At one of the suburban middle schools, a seventh grader is pregnant at the hands of an eighth grader. Another eighth grader had a miscarriage, thereby avoiding an awkward moment breast feeding her child during Health class. Not sure when the State of Tennessee allows kids to start learning about procreation, but making it part of the Head Start curriculum may not be a bad idea.

The other gossip involved a middle school girl blowing a boy in the bathroom and getting caught. All of this information was revealed in the presence of Ten, who only knows that he likes hot girls and hasn’t really thought it out past that point.

So, we had to have the talk. It was clearly more embarrassing for the boys than it was for us. It all seems rather soon for all of this and the boys are far from being ready for grown up activity. But, there is a lot of misinformation out on the street. The whole “guys talk, you hear things” bit has degenerated into the worst game of Telephone ever. No example was more obvious than when asked the definition of a “douchebag”, Thirteen replied that according to his peer group it meant “used tampon”.

At one point, I did lose my cool while discussing, I believe, condoms. He doesn’t quite have the nomenclature down or is just, I don’t know. No points for sensitivity were won by me that night.

“Yeah, I know. I know. You put the condom over your balls.”

“Not your balls, your penis.”

“It’s all the same.”

“No it isn’t. They are two different things entirely.”

“Well, that’s what I call everything down there. Balls.”

“Then people will think you are an idiot.”

Which segues nicely into the media coverage of Miley Cyrus. Clearly, the American public is far more idiotic than science is yet able to measure. Last night, the lowest rated local newscast showed their commitment to hard hitting investigative journalism by leading the broadcast with local teen reactions to photos (click the video link on the page) that only the dirtiest minds would find titillating. In fact, they even try to get mileage out of the picture of her with her father by using a tsk-tsk tone to get blue noses out of joint.

Let us assume for argument’s sake that her pandlers (that’s a portmanteau of parent and handler. All Rights Reserved) approved the pictures before this manufactured shit storm hit the public and are now back-pedaling like crazy to distance themselves and their golden goose from the “bad” publicity.

First problem I have with this is, she isn’t topless. Not that I really want to see Hannah’s little Montanas, but if there is faux-outrage over supposedly topless photos, shouldn’t she be a little more, you know, topless? Her back is exposed. Her front is covered with a sheet. No boob, no foul.

What is the responsibility of the media in all of this? It is similar to a self-aggrandizing interview Paul McCartney did back in the 60’s where he admitted quite openly to doing all sorts of drugs, much to the chagrin of the rest of the band who were far ahead in the drug taking. The interviewer asked about his responsibility to the Beatles’ young fans. McCartney rightly countered that it was up to the press to publicize it or not. If they were so worried about “the kids” maybe they shouldn’t air the interview.

I don’t see any difference here. If the high moral pillars of decency that make up the news departments across the country were interested in the impact that pictures (from a magazine that 90 out of 100 Disney Channel viewers have never heard of) would have on young, impressionable girls, then why did they show them to the point of parody on every news program in the last 48 hours?

Because sex sells. Especially underage sex. That’s the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about in our culture. We all want to slow down and gawk at the wreck. We gawk a little longer when the wreck involves a school bus full of private school cheerleaders on their way to the beach. Media knows this and can sell more advertising when they know we will tune in for gripping stories involving high school age girls. Just ask Chris Hansen.

As for young Ms. Cyrus, her career is going according to plan. She’s bigger now than ever. What could go wrong?

She’s finally old enough to be dating Roger Clemens.

Or, be a baby machine for some crazy ass Mormons in Texas.

Or, be a baby machine for your crazy ass Dad in a dungeon in Austria.

Or, be Tabitha Tuders, five years later.

Makes me glad I have sons. I hope they continue to sound like idiots for the next several years.

Oprah Wept

November 5, 2007

Today’s Sign of the Apocalypse:

I found myself admiring Oprah Winfrey today.

For those of you who didn’t see it, or know about it, she put on a clinic in Crisis Communication this morning.

Evidently there has been some shenanigans involving the girls at the Oprah’s school in South Africa. It’s the kind of shenanigans one would normally expect from the Catholic Church, but with boys. No, this is what happens when you have the perfect storm of celebrity guilt money, poorly supervised adults in a land where AIDS is given to children like Halloween candy, and lots of hot young African girls.

But, kudos to Oprah. Really. She got in front of this story before it brought her down. She owes her PR team big time for this one. She confronted the problem, had her people looking into it before the newshounds got a hold of it, took immediate corrective action, accepted that the ultimate responsibility was hers and made honest and concillatory overtures to the victims to stave off any litigation.

It was a thing of beauty to behold. If only that sort of leadership was evident in any of the presidential candidates.  No kidding, this case study will be taught in business schools to future scandal-plagued CEOs and ethically compromised Corporate Assholes.

I may have to go lie down. This clearly is the work of a fever-addled brain.

A Girl’s Best Friend

October 17, 2007

Normally, these sorts of stories go right into the “Who Gives A Shit” file.

To recap, Ellen DeGeneres adopted a dog from some sort of rescue operation.  Being it the Litigious State of California, she signed a bunch of papers with the do’s and don’ts of dog ownership outlined.  The dog didn’t get along well with her cats.  The dog got handed off to the hairdresser’s family.  Dog rescuers became aware of this possible danger to the dog and showed up at the hairdresser’s house demanding the dog back.  Ellen goes on television sobbing like a mother without tits.  Dog rescuers get death threats from Ellen’s fans.  Hilarity ensued.

That about cover everything?

Here’s what I want to know, if someone showed up at your door claiming to be from Puppy Liberation Front, or whatever the fuck sanctimonious Gladys Kravitz pet shop they claim to be from, and said you had to give up the dog that your children had bonded with, because  they had a piece of paper signed by a talk show host, what would you do?

I don’t know what kind of sheep the people of California have become, but at Casa Sarcastro you aren’t getting a damn thing without a warrant or a bigger gun.   If you think you can show up at our door and waive some Word document in order to take one of our family pets without needing medical attention, you are welcome to try.

Except for maybe this goddamn kitten.  You can have him.  His cute and rambunctious behavior is no longer cute at 2 a.m. when he is sitting on my forehead purring and digging his claws into my scalp.

On the other side of the celebrity/canine spectrum, how much must it suck to be Randi Rhodes dog?  First, the poor pooch has to bear mute witness to Randi’s indiscretions and dissembling.  Second, other Barney Gumbles in the bar mistaking the dog for Randi’s twin sister when making lurid suggestions concerning the three of them “go back to my place”.

Poor doggie.

La Bomba

July 3, 2007

Yesterday, the unintentionally funniest thing ever showed up in the mailbox. It was the solicitation from TPAC’s Broadway series.

What stood out from the standard touring company productions of shows that were either movies before they were plays, or plays that were movies and are now plays again, or pandering Hee-Haw level tripe that was never a movie or a Broadway play that no one really wants to see in either format was one line. It was in the blurb for Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot.

Lou Diamond Phillips as King Arthur.

Eat shit, Emilio

Does this mean Lancelot will be played by Melissa Etheridge?

Introducing the DeRetardinator 3000

January 25, 2007

In order for my brain to digest the infotainment and gossip headlines, I have constructed a device that will help me understand what is going on in the world of show business.  The DeRetardinator 3000.  Here’s a demonstration of its awesomeness.

"Grey’s Anatomy" star in counseling after gay slur  A guy I’ve never heard of who is on a show I’ve never watched got in trouble for calling another guy I’ve never heard of a "faggot".   Unfortunately, the name callee was not a bundle of sticks, but an actual homosexual.  In a related story, the eighth grade boys of Rock Springs Middle School will also be required to attend counseling.

Has ‘American Idol’ Become Too Cruel?   Insofar as treating the untalented contestants in a cruel manner, which is the only reason people watch the show.  The cruelty of subjecting the American public to the bland pop warblings of the star-struck hopefuls has yet to be measured.  NASA is working on it.

‘Armed & Famous’ Angers Cop’s Widow.  This is totally off topic, but is every citizen of Muncie  mentally retarded, overweight, addicted to crack or some combination of the three.  Really, that’s all they show.  Of course, in Anytown, USA that’s the majority of people who wind up getting the cops called on them.  Muncie seems to have more than their fair share.

Controversy Swirls Around ‘Houndog’.  An little independent film that no one who doesn’t have the Sundance Channel was going to see makes world headlines because of a fake rape scene of America’s favorite child star since Dana Plato, Tatum O’Neal, Lindsay Lohan, Jodie Foster.  You can’t buy that kind of publicity.   Shrill do-gooders and religious types get to scream at film critics on cable news shows.  Cable news executives pray to their pagan idols to send them more crap like this to fill the day.

New Paris Hilton Sex Tape.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

 

American Dreams

January 18, 2007

The schadenfreude involved in watching dreams being ground to dust on American Idol has already been chronicled here.  Let me just add that it was nice to see the lovely Paula Abdul act in a coherent manner.   She deserves high praise.  Had I been faced with the unending horde of freaks, losers and edgy drifter types, I would have been tempted to follow her strict regimen of Stoli and Lortab.

I think I have the formula figured out.  They hook you on the show by spotlighting the deluded Wiccan and the overweight, borderline retarded kids.  Inbetween those, they sneak in someone with some actual singing talent.  When that person finally shows up in the program, you are so desperate to hear someone with a pleasant singing voice, it doesn’t matter that you hate that type of music.  Not just any kind of run of the mill hate, but a hatred that borders on violence.  By the end of the show, you find yourself so emotionally invested in, say, the Hindu Donnie and Marie, that you have completely blocked out how shitty the music is.

Another show that I’m ashamed to admit to watching is Armed and Famous.  That show is fantastic.  It’s like COPS, Reno 911 and The Surreal Life had a three-way and someone wound up pregnant.   Jack Osbourne and Erik Estrada would both make excellent police officers.   In fact, I would recommend Estrada for the El Protector job here in Nashville.

In other celebrity news, last night I had a dream that Carnie Wilson had a time machine.  She went back in time to tell her younger self to not associate food with love and that her father’s mental problems aren’t her fault.  This winds up damaging the space-time continuum so that the Vietnam War goes on for another thirty years.  Tens of thousands more American boys die. An additional millions more of Vietnamese wind up dead.  The nonagenarian President-for-Life Richard Nixon was coming over to Saigon to inspect my barracks.  Thanks, Carnie.  Glad you got your daddy-issues all worked out.

No more Thai food before bed for me. 

 

Vodka, Painkillers & Failure

January 17, 2007

I watched my very first American Idol tonight.  If you told me a year ago that I would be watching this show, you would have gotten a rabbit punch in the kidneys plus written instructions to shoot me in the head should that prediction have come to pass.

It has come to this.  I submitted myself to the television juggernaut.  Holy shit.  I knew it would be a trainwreck, but damn. 

Between her obviously impaired speech on tonight’s episode, and that video clip of her being totally gonzo wasted that’s making the rounds, Paula Abdul is a fucking time bomb.   She’s a "Niggers and Jews" rant away from a stint in rehab.  I used to date a girl who was on the same booze and pills regimen.  Coincidentally, she was trying to make in the music business.   Pretty sure she used to rant about the Niggers and Jews, come to think of it.  Yessir,  the vodka for breakfast bit was fun, but after awhile you get sick of Drunky the Clown slurring her way through the day being obnoxious and stupid.

Expect Paula to not make it through the entire season if tonight was any indication.

Overall, the show isn’t to my tastes.  I don’t care for the Karaoke/Talent Show.  The story about the plucky little crack baby or the guy who sold his kidney to get on the show doesn’t really interest me.

I want to see abject failure.

I want to see people so self-deluded that they refuse to believe that they can’t sing despite all evidence to the contrary.   Bring me more people whose friends and family are too spineless to tell them that they have absolutely no talent.   Load me up with losers who have placed their entire concept of self-worth on staggeringly unrealistic dreams of stardom. 

Please, please let there be more horrid abominations whose retort to their obvious lack of musical ability is to proclaim, "But I have a college degree in vocal training!"   Of course you do, pumpkin!

If that dumb broad wasn’t a metaphor for everything wrong with America, I don’t know what is. 

Ok, American Idol, you win.  Thanks to the insistence of the people in my household, you have my attention.  I’ll continue to watch until they get to Hollywood.  After that, it won’t hold my interest.  Without the looming spectre of humiliation,  shame and ignominy, the show has nothing for me.

Except, perhaps, for little Ryan Seacrest to get all pissy when a contestant refers to him as short.   In keeping with the theme of disabusing people of their delusions, 5’7" isn’t "average".  Sorry, little buddy.

Vodka, Painkillers & Failure

January 17, 2007

I watched my very first American Idol tonight.  If you told me a year ago that I would be watching this show, you would have gotten a rabbit punch in the kidneys plus written instructions to shoot me in the head should that prediction have come to pass.

It has come to this.  I submitted myself to the television juggernaut.  Holy shit.  I knew it would be a trainwreck, but damn. 

Between her obviously impaired speech on tonight’s episode, and that video clip of her being totally gonzo wasted that’s making the rounds, Paula Abdul is a fucking time bomb.   She’s a "Niggers and Jews" rant away from a stint in rehab.  I used to date a girl who was on the same booze and pills regimen.  Coincidentally, she was trying to make in the music business.   Pretty sure she used to rant about the Niggers and Jews, come to think of it.  Yessir,  the vodka for breakfast bit was fun, but after awhile you get sick of Drunky the Clown slurring her way through the day being obnoxious and stupid.

Expect Paula to not make it through the entire season if tonight was any indication.

Overall, the show isn’t to my tastes.  I don’t care for the Karaoke/Talent Show.  The story about the plucky little crack baby or the guy who sold his kidney to get on the show doesn’t really interest me.

I want to see abject failure.

I want to see people so self-deluded that they refuse to believe that they can’t sing despite all evidence to the contrary.   Bring me more people whose friends and family are too spineless to tell them that they have absolutely no talent.   Load me up with losers who have placed their entire concept of self-worth on staggeringly unrealistic dreams of stardom. 

Please, please let there be more horrid abominations whose retort to their obvious lack of musical ability is to proclaim, "But I have a college degree in vocal training!"   Of course you do, pumpkin!

If that dumb broad wasn’t a metaphor for everything wrong with America, I don’t know what is. 

Ok, American Idol, you win.  Thanks to the insistence of the people in my household, you have my attention.  I’ll continue to watch until they get to Hollywood.  After that, it won’t hold my interest.  Without the looming spectre of humiliation,  shame and ignominy, the show has nothing for me.

Except, perhaps, for little Ryan Seacrest to get all pissy when a contestant refers to him as short.   In keeping with the theme of disabusing people of their delusions, 5’7" isn’t "average".  Sorry, little buddy.