Saturday, August 9, 2008
Since the fifties, whenever the names of Tabloid newspapers pop up in a conversation, they conjure up wild images of tales about babies born with three heads, nine-legged aliens that have landed from outer space, whatever!
In recent years - the fodder has tended to be a little tamer - with a big thrust on sex scandals, drug abuse, and corruption in high places.
Like me, you probably expect that when you come across a photo alleging two Hollywood Stars are dating, that the two individuals have never even met; instead, were thrust together in a scandalous clinch by virtue of the skillful hand of a photoshop artist.
Nonetheless - many shoppers at the local supermarket are inclined to give the weeklies a surrepticious glance - before they head out the door with their groceries.
Alhough titillated, many are too embarrassed to be caught dead actually purchasing a dog-eared copy.
For the most part - many Americans are under the distinct impression that - The National Enquirer, The Examiner, and The Star - print up juicy tidbits of salicious gossip without even verifying the facts.
Well, I can attest to the fact that such an allegation would not be true.
A few years ago - I answered an ad in the local newspaper - that was canvassing for talented writers for a "popular" weekly magazine.
When I scheduled the interview, though, I was surprised when I found myself face-to-face with the Editor-in-Chief for one of the top sleaze-bag tabloid newsies in the country.
As one of my favorite characters on "In Living Color" would say,
"I'm not one to gossip, but - "
Although I'm not the type of individual to sort-through dirty laundry, or hang outside sleazy Motels in search of incriminating evidence, I thought - what the heck - I'll give it a shot.
There was one hitch, though.
The Editor requested that I come up with ten story "ideas" before they would sign me on as a regular feature writer.
So, I trundled off in search of a handful of leads from friends and business associates in the industry. God, it was like trying to pull teeth!
One day, I crossed paths with an old friend, and mentioned my dilemma.
"If you hear anything, give me a call."
As it turned out, my gal pal was dating a bartender at a trendy watering hole in Santa Monica. And - her lover noted in passing - that heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio and Director Oliver Stone were spied huddling in the back room one night snorting cocaine!
When I called up the editor to pass on the tidbit, he demanded the name of the bartender and the exact location of the nightclub.
I put out a call to my friend with a request for the specifics.
At this point, she panicked. Her friend (who happened to be a woman) was antsy about stepping forward. After all, she was a Christian. Also, she was worried about losing her job.
"Well, see if you can get her to change her mind," I urged. "The newspaper will pay well for the tip."
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, the tabloid proceeded to contact the Bar behind my back in a scurrilous effort to secure the facts on their own.
Talk about a knife in the back!
Because I let it slip the bartender was a woman - and there was only one female barkeep employed at the establishment - they were able to quickly zero in on her identity.
Then, staff writers proceeded to pester her at work and later at home!
The poor gal freaked out.
The newspaper wouldn't print the item on DiCaprio and Stone since none of the eyewitnesses were willing to step forward and confirm the facts.
I was surprised as he**.
But, the whole bizarre scenario was reassuring, too.
Until then, I was under the distinct impression the tabloids printed any old piece of gossip unchecked.
In light of this, I expect you'll linger a little longer in front of those screaming headlines at the check-out counter, eh?
Shortly after the shocking news about the John Edwards' scandal hit the fan - critics started pointing fingers at the mainstream media - accusing 'em of looking the other way.
In spite of the fact "The National Enquirer" managed to dredge up a few juicy kernels of evidence to merit a story (which they published many months ago) the big guns at the major dailies allege they struggled to drum up leads but came away empty-handed.
Curious, when you consider the John McCain fiasco.
If you recall - without much fodder to go on - a major daily accused McCain of being involved in a love tryst a few months ago. Later, the rumor turned out to be false.
Years ago - in spite of the fact reporters were well aware of President John Kennedy's womanizing - the media was inclined to play along.
In fact - when screen siren Marilyn Monroe appeared on stage and sang "Happy Birthday" to the President - there was a lot of winking back and forth.
Yeah, everyone knew the score.
But, that was a different era. As long as the President fulfilled his duties to the Nation, who cared?
Of course, today the media is more vicious. In fact, anything goes.
So, the issue is a mystery.
According to Sam Feist - CNN's political director - there just wasn't enough evidence available to give the "green light".
"In a story like this, these are significant allegations. I think it's entirely appropriate to wait...to wait to report a story until they have information that they're comfortable with reporting."
But, the whole scenario makes a sensible person wonder a bit.
How is it that an underdog like the "National Enquirer" (a "Tabloid Trash" news outlet) appears to have a significant edge over the all-powerful competition in the news-gathering arena?
Maybe the dailies need to "hire on" some down 'n dirty investigative reporter-types who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done come he** or high water.
After all - the scandal is not only an embarrassment to Mr. Edwards and his family - but to the media as well.
The Democratic hopeful managed to hoodwink the entire legitimate press.
We've all heard how slick politicians are.
In retrospect, it's evident now. John Edwards was mighty good!
Ben Okri once said,
"The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing."
Friday, August 8, 2008
There must be something about Politics that revs up the old libido.
But - somehow - everyone thought that Edwards was a different kind of stud - um - breed of horse (in that regard, anyway).
To many, he gave the impression of being a loving husband and family man.
Golly - when I compared him to a charismatic John Kennedy - I was closer to the target than I ever imagined.
After all, John Kennedy was such a womanizer.
As George would say in - "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" - what archery!
After all, it's just been reported that John Edwards had a clandestine "affair".
Apparently - when the handsome Presidential Candidate was first confronted with the allegations - he dismissed the so-called gossip as "Tabloid Trash".
On the heels of the startling revelations now, many are irked by the fact he gave the stalwart impression that he was a forthright husband standing by his cancer-stricken wife.
Golly, there have been allegations that he fathered a child, too.
But, he's off the hook on that one.
A former campaign staff member stepped forward and acknowledged he is the father.
Sounds like this young lady was passed around, doesn't it?
The seedy goings-on along the campaign trail sure titillate!
Edwards confessed that he disclosed the tawdry details to his wife and family long ago. Then, shame-faced, he revealed he hoped the knowledge of the love tryst would never see the light of day.
An ABC News feature intends to report this evening that Edwards lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. And, that he has admitted that Tabloid reports that he secretly met with Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton, were actually true.
"In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake, and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public."
He added that he was ashamed of his conduct and the choices he made with regard to his supportive family.
"I took responsibility for my actions back then. I take full responsibility now, publicly."
But, he has not stepped forward, without a lot of soul-searching.
"In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.
David Bonior - who managed Edwards' bid for the presidency - acknowledged to the press he was not only disappointed, but angry.
"Thousands of friends of the senator's and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him, and he's let them down," said Bonior.
"They've been betrayed by his action."
Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards' future aspirations in public service, Bonior astutely noted for the record,
"You can't lie in politics and expect to have people's confidence."
The whole fiasco makes him look like such a hypocrite, too.
After all, when Edwards was a Senator, he made some pretty disparaging remarks about President Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
"I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
There are also hints of some other improprieties, too.
Edwards' political action committee allegedly paid $100,000 (in a four-month span) to a firm run by Hunter to direct Web videos showing Edwards in candid moments.
But things get curiouser.
The payments to - "One America Committee to Midline Groove Productions LLC" - started just five days after Hunter incorporated the firm in Delaware.
The initial six-figure payment was followed with two smaller payments totaling $14,461 on the first day of April in 2007.
Sounds like pay for play, doesn't it?
Well, as I always said,
A stiff di** has no conscience!
On the occasion of the unveiling of the $434 million-dollar U.S. Embassy in Beijing, President Bush surprised quite a few folks when he slyly jumped on the opportunity to criticize China's continued acts of repression within its borders.
Once the dedication ceremonies were underway - and the President had basically taken care of the Nation's business - he was inclined to expound on his thoughts about free speech.
"We strongly believe societies which allow free expression of ideas tend to be the most prosperous and the most peaceful."
When you consider his remarks were made on Chinese soil - well - it was a pretty ba**sy thing to do.
Now - I expect - they'll cut 'em off and serve them up as a delicacy!
But, Hail to the Chief, anyway.
The Foreign Minister was quick to put the PREZ in his lowly place, though.
"We firmly oppose any words or acts which interfere in other countries' internal affairs, using human rights and religion and other issues."
If the President's motorcade disappears, we'll know just how much of an affront the remarks were to the Chinese.
And, one more thing, George.
Get yourself a food taster you can trust, real fast!
Bush speaks in Beijing as Barack Obama looks on...
As I strolled past the wax museum on my way to the Venetian Hotel, I was taken aback when I spied Whoopi Goldberg's "Dummy" propped up out front of the museum for all the tourists to take a gander at.
The wax rendering was better-dressed than Ms. Goldberg has ever managed to be!
Heh, Whoopi, you've got to charter a wide-load bus and zip on down to Vegas to rustle up some fashion tips from the curator.
Those clown outfits you've been wearing on the "View" - with the padded shoulders, wild zany ties, and offbeat shoes - have gotta go!
Dummies wax poetic at Madame Tussaud's in Las Vegas...
A few weeks ago I got a ticket.
Because the Police Officer was a bozo, I decided to contest the citation.
Unfortunately, even if a motorist chooses to argue the merits of a dismissal of a case, the court requires that the "defendant" post "bail" pending a determination by the Judge.
There are a couple of problems with that, in my estimation.
For starters - depending on how busy the court is - a hearing date may take weeks to place on calendar.
And, if a citizen requests an extension due to family problems or work commitments, the time frame may be extended a few weeks.
Meanwhile, the court holds onto the money. But, is it held in trust?
No, not in any manner of speaking.
In my instant case, once the ticket was dismissed, I was advised that my "bail" money would be returned within sixty days.
But, it was not until the eve of the due date, that a check finally arrived in the mail.
Then, I noticed something curious.
In spite of the fact the check was written two weeks earlier, the postmark reflected the court neglected - for some inexplicable reason - to mail it out until the day before I received it.
Notwithstanding, I was flabbergasted when I noticed that in spite of the fact the "bail" money was held in the court's bank account for a few months, no interest had been added to my draft.
Doesn't that sound dishonest and unethical?
While my paltry sum didn't amount to a lot of interest standing alone in an account, imagine how much interest would be generated on monies deposited on funds collected from thousands of motorists each month!
Is the interest accounted for? Are the funds declared?
And, more importantly, what does the court do with money?
I'll wager that Judge Parkin is behind the interest scam.
If you recall, Parkin is the Presiding Judge who got his hand caught in a slush fund at the courthouse a few years ago.
I suppose he's divvying up the ill-gotten gains among his corrupt cronies down at the courthouse.
Do 'ya think?
There outta be a law!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Some might say that the purpose of a film is to entertain, enlighten - provoke thought, perhaps - or reflect the heartbeat of a culture
Two films that I caught last night - "Murder-set-Pieces" and "Chaos" - had very little redeeming value in the great scheme of things.
Of course, there were a couple of excellent acting turns on screen - Kevin Gage in "Chaos", for instance - and special effects that were riveting.
But - ultimately - a lot of guts, gore, and mutilated bodies standing alone do not a good film necessarily make.
Years ago - when "Caligula" first alighted in an Art Film House in Vancouver (B.C.) - the seats were basically empty opening night. After all, many filmgoers in the picturesque seaside town were unfamiliar with the Guccione project.
But, once the word got out about the graphic sexual images and gut-wrenching violence on screen, religious fundamentalists parked out front of the theatre to protest.
The lines started forming down the street and around the block the next night and "Caligula" became a knock-out box-office success selling tickets for weeks on end.
Nonetheless, a controversy swirled over the explicit nudity on screen. Did Guccione go too far? Also, many were outraged by the shocking brutality which was damning - so realistic - and in-the-face.
In the case of "Caligula", I was inclined to side with the those who supported the film on the basis of its "artistic merit".
Although the producers went over-the-top - and to use an old cliche - stridently "pushed the envelope" - the filmmakers succeeded in making a valid statement about the decadence of the Roman Empire in the final days.
In the case of "Murder-Set-Pieces", the director failed to meet any standard.
When I asked Nick Palumbo - "What was the purpose of this film?" - he noted that friends with the Las Vegas Police force who investigated brutal serial killings were his inspiration for "Murder".
"I wanted to make a film about true crime, about the mind of a psychopath, without pulling any punches. I wanted realism."
Well, he got that in spades. The scenes were so gory - that on occasion - I was forced to hide my face behind my hands. In spite of my attempts to block out the revolting images, I still felt queasy and half-expected I'd throw up at any given moment.
Actresses couldn't even stomach the idea of playing the roles, the director noted, almost gleefully. So, he was forced to hire a couple of prostitutes to inhabit the tender skin of the characters on screen.
Another part of the problem - for me, anyway - was the lead actor. Although he had a powerful build, which suited the role, his acting was uneven. One moment his performance resonated with a kernel of truth; a few moments later, the acting was stilted, laughable, and unconvincing.
The problem may have been due to the script.
When a filmgoer in the audience asked about a Nazi storyline, for instance, the soft-spoken director confessed that story idea was thrown in last-minute.
And, clues he dropped like lead balloons here and there in flashbacks, were never resolved.
"I wanted to leave it open."
As a result, "Murder-Set Pieces" ended up being - forgive me - a bloody mess!
In fact, William Lustig - the director of "Maniac" - chewed Palumbo out when the film was first released.
"You took the genre to a level it should never have been taken to."
Undoubtedly, that's why the slasher film - budgeted at 2 1/2 mil - bombed at the box office and was a financial disaster.
The producers of "Chaos" - on the other hand - attempted to give the impression that their film was a cautionary tale.
When the credits first rolled, the filmmakers harped that the film was intended to warn parents about what may happen if they neglect their children or their family responsibilities.
In view of the storyline that unfolded on the silver screen (splashed with generous buckets of blood, scraps of flesh, semen, urine, you name it) it was a flimsy excuse for making this revolting film.
In a nutshell, two teens venture into the woods in search of a rave party.
A trio of wacko deadbeats kidnap the nubile young ladies and proceed to wantonly "have their way" with them.
In "Chaos", the filmmakers were not content to rape, ravage, or even demean their characters.
After slashing the carcasses brutally, and debasing the human body in a myriad of disgusting ways, the attackers proceed to engage in wild sex romps with the dead bodies.
The minds that conceived "Chaos" are - undoubtedly - demented and the individuals obvious social misfits.
As Michael Moore would say,
If there was a stronger rating for a film than NR17, I'd highly recommend it.
The two films screen again tonight at the New Beverly Cinema for those keen (and brave enough) to determine on their own the merits of this "trash" masquerading as "art".
The Ambassador to Sudan states that there is no genocide in his country.
In fact, in the documentary film - "Darfur Now", he boldly alleges that the idea is a myth created by politicians in the United States to land black votes.
In a matter of minutes, though, those absurd notions are quickly put to rest as the tragedy in Darfur unfolds on screen.
Villages have been looted and burned, women have been raped, and children murdered mercilessly at the hands of the Janjaweed (known as the "Devil on Horseback") and all is sanctioned by the Government of Sudan.
Accusers say Sudan's government is guilty of "ethnic cleansing" and crimes against humanity.
Likewise, "The Human Rights" watch accuses government-backed Arab militias of systematic attacks on black Sudanese peasants and government forces of starving black Sudanese to death in concentration camps.
On the heels of these reports, the United Nations has alleged that the government and the militias (the Janjaweed) have systematically starved refugees under their control.
More than seven million of the world's nearly twelve million refugees have been confined to camps, special settlements, or other conditions in which their basic human rights have been denied for ten years or more, according to the 2004 World Refugee Survey released by the U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR).
Without doubt - it's a complex situation fraught with unnerving truths, sinister characters and enough mysteries - to satisfy any amateur sleuth pining for closure.
In this stirring documentary, the filmmakers engage in an admirable effort to lay bare any uncertainties, with the specific aim of exposing the corrupt underbelly of an ugly all-powerful criminal regime in control.
And, the filmmakers accomplish the task in a novel potent way.
With great insight, the camera focuses on six different individuals from inside Darfur and around the globe who are involved in bold-faced efforts to throw a searing spotlight on the tragedy in Sudan.
These brave activists consist of a Darfurian woman who becomes a rebel, a Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a focused United Nations worker, and a justice-seeking UCLA graduate with ties to Sudan.
In the process, the producers unmask a noble truth:
One person can bring about a difference to millions in the scheme of things.
It only takes one foot to step forward to start effecting real change.
A thread of the intricate tapestry which is Darfu - unravels - as one man (the head prosecutor at the International Criminal Court) begins an investigation into the alleged atrocities with the specific aim of bringing the responsible culprits to justice.
With a pervading sadness - the Official recalls the criminal proceedings in his own homeland (Argentina) - where corrupt officials were brought to trial.
Those humble beginnings in that heady historical era ended up forging a foundation for his life's work ahead.
When frustrated reporters quiz him as to why the wheels of justice are turning so slowly - and hint that there appears to be a failure to bring the evil-doers before the court for speedy prosecution - he is crestfallen.
Bottom line - he'd like to surge ahead - but understands from past litigation that an airtight case backed with solid indisputable evidence - is the key.
Then, the tale shifts to a U.N. worker and his frustrations in dealing with mounting problems on the battlefront.
Although the "World Food Project" delivers tons of food daily, the shipments are often hijacked by the Janjaweed, stolen, or kept from the mouths of the hungry and the needy.
At times, he feels as if he is just spinning his wheels.
There must be action, now!
The filmmakers proceed to expertly weave into the tale the quest of two men - who hatch up the idea (out-of-frustration really) to hit Sudan where it hurts most - in the pocketbook.
The dedicated duo commence with the arduous task of organizing a petition and gathering signatures with the ultimate aim of introducing a "Bill" in California for the "Divestment of Funds" (pension monies) from Sudan.
Meanwhile, the story shifts to the countryside, where a handful of rebels - rest, perch in trees and hide behind rocks - at the ready to hold back the Janjaweed, if necessary.
The intense fearful talk drifts to lofty ideas.
The villagers imagine what it will be like when the "white people" come. Ah, they envision paved roads, electricity, and the creature comforts of a home.
All manner of manna from heaven.
Until then - rag-tag members of the Woman's Union vow to fight for their lives and for Darfur - as ubiquitous automatic rifles protrude from their laps.
With suppressed smiles, they recall a day when there were orchards and lush gardens, and plenty for all.
Darfur had been a virtual Garden of Eden, but was thrown asunder for some inexplicable reason.
Don Cheadle, one of the producers for the gripping documentary argues,
"If all the people who call up American Idol each week also rang up the Government and protested," he asserted, "Some legitimate action would be underway today."
As he stood on the sidelines - the Ambassador to Sudan - taunted the filmmakers by boasting that the protests of outsiders would fall on deaf ears and that rebels fighting his regime would be pushed back.
"The Government has a monopoly on violence," he remarks matter-of-fact.
But, near the end of the documentary, there is good news.
The "Bill" to divest investments in the Sudan has not been vetoed by the Governor.
In one of the few humorous scenes in the movie - Schwarzenegger strides out - and strikes up some idle talk with Don Cheadle.
"I've never seen you in a suit. You look good," - something to that effect.
In another scene, Hillary Clinton steps into a meeting room looking for-all-the-world like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
Will she inherit this legacy?
Is that why she's being cautious?
With a flourish, Schwarzenegger signs the "Bill", and it is introduced into Law in the State of California.
To add to the joy of the tireless workers - the two political figures responsible for the heinous crimes are finally indicted and named as defendants - to be arrested and prosecuted at trial in the Hague.
But, the Ambassador is resolute.
The two political bag men will never be turned over to authorities, he assures the filmmakers.
At the close of the movie - it's evident the "heroes" of this documentary have impacted the Sudanese horrors - significantly.
But, life (and death) goes on in Darfur.
"Unless this criminal conduct is stopped," says one political insider, "The rest of the world will be like this in twenty-five years."
The price of apathy, perhaps?
Henri Frederic Amiel once noted,
Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
A news clip in an out-of-the-way bottom section of the LA Times noted that Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee are setting aside $20 million to mobilize Latinos for the upcoming election.
Well, they should start their efforts at both McDonald's and Jack-in-the-Box, for sure.
After all, each morning around 6 a.m., it's a real struggle for all the Latino workers to get the fast-food joints open to hungry consumers on time!
If things couldn't get worse for McCain, on the heels of the Hilton fiasco, it's been revealed that Carly Fiorina has risen in the ranks to emerge as his high-level advisor for his political campaign.
Ms. Fiorina is a law-school dropout, among other things.
Couldn't pass the bar, Carly?
In spite of the fact, Fiorina taught English, tried her hand as an executive at a telecommunications firm, and was even the first woman to be hired (and fired) as a Chief Executive of a Fortune 500 company (Hewlett Packard).
What a fu** up.
Barack must have horseshoes up his a**.
If Carly wants all-American, I got it in - um - spades!
This past week - an acid remark John McCain tossed into the political arena about Barack Obama may have boosted media attention his way - but there were repercussions.
When the war monger accused Barack Obama of taking a cue from Paris Hilton - and acting like a celebrity - all he** broke loose.
After all, the Hilton family contributed to the windbag's campaign.
Although mommy held a press conference - and stood by her darling - Paris was inclined to demonstrate her own capacity for chutzpah, too.
With a gaggle of attentive handlers in tow, the celebrity known for being - well, um - famous - shot a video to launch her cause celebre
As she coyly lolled about in a leopard-skin swimsuit before the cameras, Ms. Hilton not only proceeded to poke holes in McCain's hot air balloon, but ended up writing him off as a "wrinkly white-haired" old man.
To many young women your age, Paris, they're known as lovable "Sugar Daddies".
But, with all your big bucks, I don't expect you'd fit in the role of trophy gal!
Although the contributions from the Hilton camp have dried up, McCain has allegedly ventured down the dusty back roads of America in search of untapped blood.
At a Hell's Angels rally this past week, he obviously struck gold!
When the aging Lothario strode on stage - excited bikers belched and revved their motors - in support.
Unfortunately, Obama was not on hand to offer up any expert advice on the Art of Motorcycle maintenance!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
When you make a purchase through March of Dimes - "Shop to Help" - a percentage of the purchase price goes towards helping the organization give every baby a healthy start.
There is a wide selection of onesies, maternity wear, totebags, T-shirts and more.
Attractive Designs available online include those spawned by "Share-Wear", the original "Dimes Logo", and the "NICU Graduate".
As I headed toward the fountain at Doheny on the edge of tony Beverly Hills, I spied an excited throng of tarted-up teenage girls hyped-up over a concert about to flash across the stage at the old Troubadour nightclub.
When I asked one pretty young thing who was playing, she eyed me somewhat suspiciously for a second or two, then sighed -
Ah, teen flavor of the week!
Actually, Amanda MacKinnon Palmer is a talented songstress most noted for being the lead singer, pianist, and lyricist/composer of the "Brechtian Punk Cabaret" duo known as "The Dresden Dolls".
Back in her home town in the early days, Amanda staged shows based on the creative musings of the legendary "Pink Dots".
Once Ms. Palmer found herself actively involved with the - "Shadowbox Collective" - the talented musician began devoting herself to staging theatrical shows (Hotel Blanc).
Brief stints in street theatre at Harvard Square were well-received by a growing number of admiring fans, too.
Once "The Dresden Dolls" (formed in 2000) were launched, Palmer invited artists to perform drama pieces at her live shows which ended up quite the novelty for her fans.
For example, ticket-holders have been treated to a wild array of colorful costumed characters - life-sized marionettes, coin-operated boys, living statues - who often mingle with the crowd before the curtain goes up.
In fact - the circus-like atmosphere and burlesque-style antics - draw the audience into the Dolls' music, and likewise, create a participatory atmosphere which amounts to a sensory smorgasbord.
A "True Colors Tour" in 2007 included a debut at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.
Allegedly, Amanda Palmer has an online following of 60,000 fans!
On a personal note, Ms. Palmer confesses -
"I'm bisexual, but it's not the sort of thing I spent a lot of time thinking about."
"I've slept with girls; I've slept with guys, so I guess that's what they call it! I'm not anti trying to use language to simplify our lives."
"I actually tend to like really femmey girls," Palmer said. "You can deconstruct this with armchair psychology and really nail me, but I like girls about my body type and about my mix of masculine and feminine."
In my day, Amanda, we called 'em "lipstick lesbians".
They turn me on, too.
Flipping the dial on the radio this morning in early-morning traffic, I stumbled across "Monique" & "The Man" chit-chatting on FM Radio, at Jack 10.07.
According to the "Dude", a Rod Stewart fan sashayed up to the Pop Vocalist as he sauntered out of a trendy watering hole last night (?) pining for a signature on a CD set.
"She was pretty. About fortyish," he quipped.
"You know what his fans are like."
Stacked. Stretched into a leopard-skin cocktail dress, perhaps. With a mane of luscious lustrous locks, framing a come hither look. And, intoxicating perfume, sure to charm the jeans off of any stud.
Allegedly, Rod strode by. Blew her off!
Mr. Stewart, if it weren't for fans like that young lady - who thought you were "sexy", no doubt - you'd be just another has-been pop star with big hair and an ego the size of a flaccid di**.
As Don Williams, Jr. once said,
"Fame and riches are fleeting. Stupidity is eternal."
According to the inside buzz - staff members at blogspot have brought three new additions - Ryan, Aditya, and Haley - into the world in recent months.
Although the wee tots have little to post just now, their adorable faces speak volumes.
Congrats to the team at blogspot!
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
Monday, August 4, 2008
This week, the California Senate will vote on an ASA-sponsored bill that will establish employment rights for hundreds of thousands of medical cannabis patients throughout California.
AB 2279, which has already passed the State Assembly, has the support of three labor unions representing nearly one million workers in California.
The new bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), will negate a recent California Supreme Court ruling, which stated that employers can fire workers just for being legal medical cannabis patients, legitimizing job discrimination for seriously ill Californians.
AB 2279 aims to protect patients who strive to be productive members of society.
But, according to organizers at Americans for Safe Access, it has come to "crunch time".
The advocates for compassionate use of Medical Marijuana don't have a tally verifying which way all the Senators intend to vote on this explosive subject.
And, it is imperative that some action be taken, since the bill may come up for a vote in the next few days.
Therefore, ASA is urging that all supporters of AB 2279 get actively involved.
ASA recommends that residents of California call or e-mail State Senators right away and urge that they pledge their support for medical cannabis patients right to work pursuant to AB 2279.
Kevin Costner must have been elated this past week when a couple of journalists requested interviews on the eve of the release of his new feature - "Swing Vote".
After all, no one has been much interested in the faded star in recent years.
A couple of clunkers - "Waterworld" in particular - just about sank his career. However - "Dances With Wolves" - proved he either has real talent or was just a flash in the pan.
Hankering for some of that old magic, Costner was inclined to forgo on rustling up outside backing for the political yarn; instead, he opted to fund the project himself to the tune of $21 mil.
"I'm no fool," he smugly remarked to one local reporter.
On the contrary.
Judging by the lukewarm reviews, it appears Costner may be left with a heap load of fool's gold!
Maybe the likable thespian should just focus on acting. If, he can find a vehicle like - "The Tin Cup" or "No Way Out" - to skyrocket his career back into the stratosphere, that is.
Otherwise, he may end up a B-list actor (God forbid) with ongoing guest appearances on mediocre cable shows.
Seasoned stage actors co-starring in "Robin Hood" put Costner's acting skills to shame...
We didn't take out a mortgage on this one...
With Barack Obama so focused on moving into the White House in recent days - a voter on the campaign trail among the thronging masses in Fargo (N.D.) - was inclined to query whether the anxious Democrat might consider decorating the Lincoln bedroom with African Kente Cloth.
What was the presidential hopeful's response?
"A copy of the Gettysburg Address would look more appropriate than the flat-screen television currently affixed to the wall," he mused.
Barack, aren't you taking this whole patriot "thing" a little too far?
Or, are you just a bit kinky, Sir?
Maybe you're inclined to dress up in a wig and military uniform and recite the historic document - while your wife Michelle - writhes on the bed moaning to every sanctimonious word?
In view of all the wild presumptions emanating out of Obama's camp of late - clearly a journalist at the Los Angeles Times succinctly put it all into perspective today - when he opined,
"The biggest challenge may not be Republican John McCain but rather his (Barack's) own hubris."
For starters, maybe it's time to clean out the old pipes.
Barack - give it a shot the old-fashioned natural way - with a diet consisting partly of bran, succulent fruit, and a finely concocted herbal remedy.
But, if the sh** keeps bogging 'ya down, go the quick route with chocolate a go-go (Ex-Lax).
Contrary to what you may think, Barack, you're in dire need of a Royal Flush!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
When I was a youth, there was one thing that separated the men from the boys.
The studly athletes generally sported buzz cuts or closely-cropped styles that underscored Virility! Manliness! Nothing sissy, dude!
The longhairs were fags, potheads, drop-outs or good-for-nothings!
Forget about the nerds!
Actually - when Bill Gates moved up in status and became one of the wealthiest men on the planet - a couple of my old school buddies moaned that in retrospect they wish they'd learned a little computer-speak in those pimply-faced teen years!
So, when it was reported that Sasha Vujacic stipulated that his new pact with the Lakers exclude a "haircut clause", I was a little flabbergasted.
Like Samson before him, were his lustrous locks the source of his stamina?
No matter, it wasn't the hair that bothered the General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
"It was the net or whatever that is. The hair's OK actually."
Well, it's great that Vujacic managed to secure a contract he's content with.
Otherwise, the Laker star would have been shipped off to Russia where he'd be freezin' his n**ts off in sub-zero temperatures.
Talk about stranded!
That's the long and short of it.
Yes, I have a few quirks.
The dictionary defines a quirk as:
"A peculiarity of behavior or an idiosyncrasy."
And, according to Harriet Beecher Stowe:
"Every man had his own quirks and twists".
Call 'em pet peeves, if you'd like.
Right off the bat - I tell 'ya - there's nothing less appealing than a "warm" Kiwi.
Yup, I prefer 'em chilled.
And, condoms that are too small - ironically - tend to be a big frustration.
So, I slip on "Long Love" sported by Becks!
Underwear that "rides up" is especially annoying (particularly a thong strap when it gets caught in the crack) and more so when I'm in a pinch and have to grab down into my jeans on a bustling city street to free 'em up.
If I have to slip a matchbox under the leg of one more wobbly table at a local Cafe, I'll scream!
Yes, self-sticking hooks that come unstuck (in particular those that come unloose and send keepsakes crashing to a hardwood floor) are worthless, too.
Last - but not least - I can't stand pregnant pauses.
They signal I've put my foot in my mouth once again!