lazypadawan: (Default)
Remember Jason Biggs, the guy who became famous for meretricious relations with a pie among other things in those nasty “American Pie” flicks? He is among the voice talent for Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” show, which debuts on September 29.

But that’s not what is drawing attention to the former pastry fornicator these days. I always say that if I were a Hollywood agent or publicist, I would make damn sure my clients stayed off of social media unless somebody with half a brain and is sober 24/7 was making posts for them. Unfortunately for Biggs, he has a Twitter account as does his wife, an alleged actress who doesn't seem to have done much besides obsess over sex toys (getting herself kicked off of Instagram in the process) and write pieces online about how she hired a hooker to help spice up her not-that-long marriage. Biggs posted some truly misogynistic, disgusting things. When I say disgusting, I mean it. They are VILE. I will not repost them here and while the actor has deleted the offensive Tweets from his account, I have seen the screencaps. The internet is forever. The Mrs. also made some really nauseating comments about eighth grade girls and their um, body parts concerning the Teen Choice Awards.

Nickelodeon, seemingly unaware of the kind of posts Biggs and his wife were making on Twitter, linked to his account in a Tweet about TMNT. I realize TMNT has an adult and teenage fan base, but there are kids who love them too. I’ll just reiterate that Biggs’s posts were appalling enough to me and I’m 43. Could you imagine a 10-year-old being exposed to that stuff? Oh sure, you might say a kid that young shouldn’t be on Twitter but why would Nickelodeon, a children’s/family network, have a Twitter account if kids weren’t on there? Even if you monitored every Twitter account Junior followed, there’s no reason to think Nickelodeon’s account wasn’t “safe.” Until now.

Now there’s a push to get Nickelodeon to dump Biggs from the show. So far Nickelodeon hasn't taken any action but the Colorado Rockies have dropped plans for a Nickelodeon Night at one of their games. Normally I would say that a performer’s personal opinions and his personal life are his business and if we were to make sure we only had kid-appropriate performers we’d actually allow to use our bathrooms at home, the talent pool would be very small indeed. It doesn’t matter unless it goes public, such as an arrest for DUI or driving around with a few kilos of coke in your car. I don’t like to deprive anyone of a livelihood. On the other hand, posting stuff under your own name on the internet IS making your personal life public and frankly, it’s stupid for a children’s network to associate with someone like that.

I follow all of the Clone Wars main players on Twitter. I think they realize they are ambassadors for the show, even with Matt Lanter’s other commitments on “90210." They know how important the show is to us and the importance of the Star Wars brand. They are more aware of it than even the folks who were in the movies (cough, cough). I can tell you they've never posted anything in the league of what Jason Biggs posted.

So in conclusion, I say, “Watch Clone Wars on September 29 instead!” Yay!
lazypadawan: (devil)
As noted on Facebook and Twitter, I did not watch the Oscars. So it was this morning when I got wind of something Chris Rock had said during the show about voice actors. In summary, Rock was presenting for one of the animation awards and he went on a riff about how easy it was to voice an animated film, where you just sound like yourself and they throw millions of dollars at you.

This annoyed many professional voice actors. As Clone Wars's James Arnold Taylor posted on his Facebook:

Okay to sum up my thoughts on the Chris Rock joke at the Oscars. The sad truth is what he said is true... for him that is how VO works. They hire celebrities to sound like themselves and they do pay them about 99.9% more than us. It's my hope that through things like my stage show I can show people what real VO work looks like for the many amazing folks that do it daily. It is an art and it should be recognized as that... not as a punch line for the super rich "artist elite" at their awards show that still required talents like Tom Kane and Melissa Disney to announce all of them.

It's true. Known stars are hired for the big feature animated films and they are hired to sound just like themselves so that you know you're hearing Chris Rock or whomever. They're not hired as much for their vocal skills as they are for pure marquee value. Hollywood thinks you're more likely to see "The Lorax" if it starred Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift, and Zac Efron than if it starred voice talents you wouldn't know by name unless you read the credits at the end of a Cartoon Network show.

Now there are exceptions. For example, Johnny Depp actually played a character in "Rango" instead of just sounding like himself or worse yet, riffing off a character we're already familiar with. But for the most part the personality hired is the personality as an animated turtle, giant robot, or Ninja warrior. So while that person must have some acting ability to be able to read the lines right, it's not the same thing that people like Taylor or Kane have to do just to do an episode of Clone Wars. The latter are hired to sound like anyone BUT themselves. To be able to create a unique voice (or to sound like an established character) and act takes a lot of skill. The best in the field make it seem effortless but that's not without years of professional experience.

Because most top-tier celebrities have little to no contact with professional voice actors, it's a part of the business that's easy for them to overlook. After all, voice actors don't get acknowledged outside of the Annies. Even the animated Emmy awards go to guest stars who of course sound just like themselves. And for the celebrities who have done voice over work, it might seem like Casual Friday since it's not 15-hour days of hair, makeup, shooting, and re-shooting for five weeks.

It's pretty typical for people who live in their Hollyweird bubble. Not only are they unable to relate to anyone outside of their world, they can't even relate to other professionals toiling away in the same industry.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Sandra Lee hosts "Semi Homemade," a Food Network show that features over-the-top decor, bizarre "recipes" from thrown-together ingredients, and cocktails. LOTS of cocktails.

It's too late to ruin for any of her Hanukkah ideas, but Christmas and Kwanzaa are still just around the corner!

Do you love to drink? Well, Sandra has a Christmas tree just for you lushes:



Barware as Christmas decorations! Gee, not even Martha Stewart has ever thought of that! I hear that originally Sandra wanted to put an angel holding a cosmo on top of the tree, but the producers thought that was in bad taste.

Now watch as Lee concocts this delicious Kwanzaa cake made entirely from, as one YouTube wag put it, ingredients you can buy at the gas station:



I love how Lee won't use the name Corn Nuts. ROTFL!
lazypadawan: (wtf)
From celebrity gossip/news site Amy Grindhouse.com:




The Mrs. wore a pig costume while their son Liam was the only normal one, dressed in a L.A. Dodgers uniform.
lazypadawan: (Default)
In this corner, we have convent school graduate Stefani "Lady Gaga" Germanotta. In the other corner, we have daughter of Evangelical pastors Katheryn "Katy Perry" Hudson.

Apparently, Katy didn't care much for Gaga's new video "Alejandro," where Gaga shows everything she learned at Madonna University: dancing dudes in tight outfits, cone-shaped bras, changing hairstyles, sex, and blasphemous religious imagery. Remember Madonna prancing in front of a burning cross and a saint statute miraculously coming to life just so he could make out with her in the "Like A Prayer" video back in 1989? Yeah, same kind of thing...in this one, Gaga wears a leather nun outfit and drops a rosary into her mouth. Come to think of it, "Alejandro" sounds like True Blue-era Madonna.

Now, I don't care for this sort of thing. Not only because of the potential lightning strike or eternal damnation factor, but also because it's just so boring. There is nothing "outrageous" or risky about offending Christians because it has been done so many times before: 90% of the programming on Comedy Central, a good chunk of Madonna's career, Marilyn Manson, etc.. It's not as though the Pope is going to cancel his plans to catch Gaga on tour over this.

Katy had thus to say on Twitter: "Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke." Given that she's engaged to Russell Brand, she ought to know! Katy's new video for "California Gurls" has yet to debut but a short preview was shown at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night. No, there was no blasphemy per se, but Katy is seen wearing her own set of cupcake bras with strategically-placed cherries and another bra with stuff shooting out of it. Somehow, I don't think that quiiite pleases the Lord either.
lazypadawan: (headdesk)
Now that young star Shia LaBeouf is in Cannes promoting Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps, he's burning bridges like a pyromaniac on speed. Let's see if he comes back for Indy V after telling the press this:

The last time Shia LaBeouf came to Cannes, in 2008, it was to promote "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," the revival of the swashbuckling adventure franchise that went on to earn a whopping $787 million around the world. LaBeouf is back on the Croisette this weekend to flog "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," another revival of a classic from several decades ago. But he's not willing to forget about what he says were rampant problems with Indy 4 -- and he doesn't expect fans to, either.

"I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished," LaBeouf said, explaining that this upped the ante for him before he began shooting the "Wall Street" sequel. "If I was going to do it twice, my career was over. So this was fight-or-flight for me."

Meeting with reporters Saturday on a terrace at the Hotel du Cap, he had some strong, confessional words about his acting in the film, which he said he felt didn't convince anyone that he was the action hero the movie claimed him to be. "You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg, who directed]. But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."

LaBeouf said that he could have kept quiet, especially given the movie's blockbuster status, but didn't think the film had fooled anyone. "I think the audience is pretty intelligent. I think they know when you've made ... . And I think if you don't acknowledge it, then why do they trust you the next time you're promoting a movie." LaBeouf went on to say he wasn't the only star on the film who felt that way. "We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn't happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn't universally accepted."

LaBeouf added, "We need to be able to satiate the appetite," he said. "I think we just misinterpreted what we were trying to satiate."

Asked whether this was difficult to say, given his deep relationship with Spielberg, LaBeouf continued with the directness.

"I'll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I'm not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he's a genius, and he's given me my whole life. He's done so much great work that there's no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball."


Of course the internetz are praising his candor and refreshing honesty in biting a big hand that fed him. If he really felt that way, he should have said so years ago, not two years after the film comes out. There's nothing that I hate more than actors (especially actors) and people associated with a film going on about how pleased they're with it and it's so awesome, blah blah blah and turn around and call it crap when it doesn't do well. Except in this case, Indy IV did do well but wussy lil' Shia couldn't take all of the mean things they were saying in the entertainment media and by the internet Neanderthals. So he decides to pull a Megan Fox with Steven Spielberg and in a classier move, drags in Harrison Ford. Ford was on Jay Leno prior to the film's release and told Leno he absolutely loved the film. So is LaBeouf calling Ford a liar? I imagine if this Wall Street flick doesn't fly, he'll just throw the blame on Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas.

What a drunk driving douchebag.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Actor Corey Haim died early this morning from an "accidental overdose" at the age of 38. As sad as it is, it's also not terribly surprising.

Gen X-ers recall the reign of the Two Coreys: Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Back in the mid-to-late '80s, Feldman and Haim appeared in a string of teen films together: "License To Drive," "Dream A Little Dream," a few straight-to-video/straight-to-cable movies, and their magnum opus, "The Lost Boys." The quasi-comedic vampire flick has remained a cult favorite since it came out in 1987.

Haim though made his first splash as the lead character in another Gen X cult favorite, "Lucas," a 1986 teen flick that co-starred Winona Ryder and Charlie Sheen. I also recall him on his short-lived sitcom "Roomies."

Unfortunately, Haim lived out the stereotypical ex-child star/teen heartthrob narrative as did his old buddy Feldman. Both of them ended up on drugs and in trouble, with various intervals of sobriety over the years. A couple of years ago, they were reunited on a short-lived trainwreck A&E series "The Two Coreys." The show Haim should have been on was "Intervention."

It's hard to say why some of these young actors go off the rails when their careers hit rough patches and why others graciously accept that at least they were part of something meaningful during their time in the business, and move on from it. There are the Danny Bonaduces (miraculously still alive) and the Dana Platos who came from dysfunctional family situations but with some of these other guys, I'm just scratching my head. Maybe they invest too much of their self-worth into being famous and popular without really understanding those things often fade with time.
lazypadawan: (kissintwins)
Since there's no "Ghost Whisperer," I was stuck watching the Olympics before Clone Wars starts. They showed the remake of "We Are The World," recorded after the Grammys to raise money for the Haitian earthquake.

Ah, when good intentions go horribly wrong.

It's CRAP. I never liked the original song, despite its noble aspirations. Like its predecessor, "Do They Know It's Christmas," it suffered from cheesy lyrics and shameless mugging for the cameras. I remember some alt musician mocking the song: "We are the world/we are rich bastards/we drive fancy cars/and we don't pay taxes." The fights that occurred at the studio in 1985 are legendary: Bob Geldof complaining about the fancy spread (until he found out it was donated), Waylon Jennings leaving after Stevie Wonder proposed singing the song in Swahili (they don't speak Swahili in Ethiopia).

I don't know what happened with this revamp, but it makes the '85 original sound like the greatest song ever. Michael Jackson's old vocals. Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and Josh Groban over here, a bunch of rappers over there. Wyclef Jean wailing away. Lil' Wayne throwing in his .02 before going off to jail. Isn't that Jordin Sparks? Isn't that Miley Cyrus? Look, there's Pink. What's Jeff Bridges doing there? Wrong awards show, dude, unless he's filling the Dan Ackroyd role. Sadly, I don't really recognize anyone else.

At least the original blended the different styles of performers. This just sounded like a mess.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Folks, it's been a crappy week. Everybody at work is sick and it's been crazy trying to manage the workload when we're down people. Of course, when we're short is when the DDAs have all kinds of problems. On top of it all, I've been keeping a cold at bay almost all week. I keep popping Cat's Claw (it's a vitamin made from a plant, not literally a cat's claw) and vitamin C and it minimized my symptoms. Today I'm not as sniffly, but my throat feels a little raw. It was cloudy and rainy today too. So I guess it's just as well I'm not going to see Star Wars In Concert :(.

Count me among the disappointed and disgusted at the entertainment nitwits who threw in their support for fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski. Like the old Pop Will Eat Itself song goes, there is no love between us anymore.

And now David Letterman is outed as a lecherous, creepy, sexual harassing bastard. I was never a Letterman fan...when he was the shiz back in the '80s and his show was must-see-t.v. for my peers in high school and in college, I kept thinking, "He's not that funny." I just don't go for that too-zen-for-you, barely-crack-a-smile humor. What can I say, I'm more of a Johnny Carson and Jay Leno kind of gal, and I love Red Eye on FoxNews. But aside from that, I always found Letterman had a weird, creepy air to him and now I know why. It must be a fun place to work, always wondering if he's going to grab your boobs. Anyway, that guy who was trying to extort Letterman for $2 million was an idiot...if he'd just put the book out, he'd easily make more than $2 million and he'd be out of jail.
lazypadawan: (evil!ani)
Kanye West crowned himself King of the Douchebags with his "performance" on the VMAs last night (which I didn't watch). He's entitled to think Beyoncé should have won and maybe he was right. Beats me. But to run up there and grab the mike from Taylor Swift like that to mouth off was the equivalent of dumping pig's blood on Carrie at the prom. He'd better be glad that Miss Swift doesn't have deadly telekinetic powers. But with West, it's always been about me, me, me. Beyoncé did the classy thing by trying to make it up to Swift later on, while professional jerk Russell Brand had the nerve to defend West. Can you see why I really have no use for these people?

Serena Williams's behavior at the U.S. Open was appalling. Not even John McEnroe pulled that kind of nonsense in his day.

Meanwhile, Michael Bay and Megan Fox are teaming up for Transformers 3: Battle Of The Egos. It all got started when the not-so-bright Fox gnawed off the feeding hand by saying Bay is kind of like Adolf Hitler on the set of his films. Then three crew members wrote anonymously on Bay's OWN website a long piece defending the director and portraying Fox as a dumb, untalented, harridan (but that's not the word they used). Fire up the Jiffy Pop and sit back for some entertaining reading on Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood. Not only is the letter from the crew members entertaining, so are the replies. People are accusing Bay of writing the letter himself while other comments accuse Fox's defenders of being part of her PR posse. Other comments dish on the horrors of working with the both them:

http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/transformers-crew-talk-back-to-megan-fox/

Fox shouldn't say anything not written for her in advance and Bay shouldn't have plastered the missive on his website, as funny as it is. Can you imagine something like that getting posted on starwars.com?

Finally, we return to the realm of SW with another what-were-they-thinking moment. I won't link to it, but there's a video at CollegeHumor.com featuring stormtroopers looking back at the destruction of the Death Star, i.e. where they were and their "theories" on what happened. My problem? It's called "Stormtrooper 9/11" and it's posted right around the eighth anniversary of that date's atrocities. Worse yet, the starwars.com blog cheerfully linked to it and I saw a lot of Twits on Twitter laughing about it.

As some level-headed soul posted on the starwars.com blog, the 3000 people who died were real. I recall a skit on Saturday Night Live that aired in the '80s about Buckwheat's assassination. It was funny not because it made a joke of murder but because all of the satire was about media coverage of tragic events. A few years ago, I posted a list of "Death Star conspiracy theories" because it didn't make fun of 3000 people getting killed, it made fun of conspiracy theorists.

But this just left a really bad taste in my mouth and really, shouldn't the people at starwars.com know better?
lazypadawan: (Default)
I was out of town for a few days with limited internet access, so I haven't had the opportunity to throw in my .02 on the death of director/writer John Hughes or the sudden departure of Karen Traviss from the SW expanded universe.

I'll get to Traviss in another post.

I have to say that I've never been a fan of the films that made John Hughes the Voice Of A Generation, even though I'm squarely in that generation. Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty In Pink, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off all came out when I was in high school (eeek, really dating myself here). Now I do understand why kids initially flocked to those films. Prior to the Hughes era, most teen movies starred people who obviously graduated during the Ford administration and were focused mostly on some dweeb on a quest to lose his virginity. Some of Hughes's leads actually were teens and while sex played its part in his films (Sixteen Candles even had booby shots), they were more about trying to fit in than anything else. Teen movies changed after that. They were less like Porky's or Fast Times At Ridgemont High and more like The Breakfast Club.

So what bugged me about the movies that appealed so much to my peers? Maybe it's because I've never cared much for the teen movie genre, not even as a teenager. But maybe it's because I found the characters and situations so utterly grating. To this day, I cannot explain the appeal of Molly Ringwald. The Rich Chicago Kids Have A Party And Trash Their Folks' Mansion got old after it was used for the third or fourth time. In fact, it annoyed me to see these spoiled upper-middle class and rich kids destroy their parents' property, mostly for laughs. My folks would have given me a beating for wrecking their stuff. When Hughes tried to show a kid from the wrong side of the tracks for a change, we got Molly Ringwald and her restored Karmann-Ghia, a collector's car. And the whining, my God, the whining. The only thing more annoying than spoiled kids trashing their homes was spoiled kid angst. Of that whole run of movies, I found Ferris Bueller the most enjoyable because of its lack of Molly Ringwald and because Matthew Broderick really sold the character. Not much about it was realistic but realism wasn't the point of that particular film. It does veer into Rich Kid Destroys Parents' Stuff territory but at least the guy understood there would be consequences.

Anyway, I liked the non-teen stuff a lot better, stuff that Hughes either wrote or directed: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Home Alone (another adventure in the rich Chicago burbs, but at least the point was to deter a burglary), and National Lampoon's Vacation in particular. And his movies had a broad effect on the popular culture, making Ringwald a star and opening the door for obscure college radio/new wave bands like Simple Minds or Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark to score top 10 hits in the U.S.. Hughes was one of the few directors who seemed to get how to use pop music in a film. He knew how to create an Iconic Moment every now and then.

But by the mid-1990s, he had fewer hits and he'd retired from directing altogether by 1991. While Hughes was known for being a young, hip director who took his young stars to rock concerts and stuff, the fact is he was never one for the spotlight. Even at the height of his career, he made George Lucas look like a social butterfly by comparison. When he quit directing, he became even more of a recluse. He hadn't given an interview in at least a decade and he spent the past several years farming in Illinois.

Still, it's another '80s icon gone and fellow Gen-Xers are feeling that much older.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you probably know that Paula Abdul has quit American Idol due to the typical "pay me more" dispute. I'm not really sure what to think. I think AI will go on just fine--Simon's the guy they really don't want to lose--but I think that it benefits the competition to have an actual performer on the panel. Maybe they'll have a rotating guest list of performers to serve as judges, who knows?

As for Paula, I think her future is uncertain. There's a rumor they want her on "So You Think You Can Dance?" but the facts are Paula's career as a pop singer ended a long time ago and it was AI that brought her back to the limelight. Her exploits on AI and her ill-advised reality show reveal there's a few loose screws in there. And t.v. has a long history of stars who leave in a huff over money, thinking they can do just swell on their own, only to find that they can't.

Meanwhile, another batch of nekkid piccies featuring High School Musical starlet Vanessa Hudgens have appeared on the internet. I felt bad for the ESPN gal because of either she was the victim of an evil pervert or the victim of an evil smear campaign. But I just think this chick's behavior is plain skeevy, as you kids like to say. It's a campaign on her part to shed her image as a teen idol and draw attention to a new flick of hers that's coming out soon. She's not a victim of anything except desperation.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I don't have any tattoos and have no desire to mark myself up. Yet, I've found L.A. Ink and Miami Ink quite entertaining. I love Kat Von D's line for Sephora. So I tuned into the second or third show of the new season last night and was dismayed. WTH happened? Kim Saigh and Hannah Atchinson are gone and now there's a tribe of goofballs populating the program. I know every one of those "reality" shows are contrived, and L.A. Ink was no exception. For one thing, there never seemed to be anyone there besides the show's stars. Kim and Hannah were shipped in from Chicago just for filming. Corey has his own shop elsewhere in Southern California. What were the chances some celebrity was going to casually stroll in right when Kat had a free moment? But this is so contrived now not even a five-year-old could miss it. The irony is it looks like they're trying harder to make it appear like a working tattoo shop. For the first time you see lots of customers and the so-called B-team (the tattoo artists who work full time at High Voltage Tattoo, the real name of the shop, but aren't featured on the show) working away in the background. But the rest of it just seems fake, fake, fake. Who does Kat's goofy brother hire on his own to work as a receptionist? Why, it's Aubrey from VH-1's "Rock of Love!" I guess New York was too busy. (I only know this because of Twitter.) When Kat decides to bring in a fledgling artist on a trial basis, the cameras conveniently happen to be there when the artist gets the call. The artist, named Amy, turns out to be another goofball whose work is good enough but isn't on par with the stuff Kim or Hannah created on the show. I may not be a tattoo girl, but half the fun of the show is seeing the work these artists create. And boy would I be upset if I signed up to get a tattoo on the show and I find out they set me up with a noob nobody thinks is good enough! I wouldn't want anybody besides Corey or Kat coming near me, even if it's just a smiley face. To me, bringing in Aubrey and Amy is a set up to create "tension," so Kat would blow up like Gordon Ramsey. Hey, why not bring in the artist who did Hayden Panettiere's misspelled tattoo? Or the guy from Belgium who did the constellation on that girl's face? Wouldn't that be "rad?"

In other news, I hear that Mischa Barton is in the psych ward. Yikes.
lazypadawan: (alliwanted)
I'm sure you are all dying to see what I think about various celebrity scandals and faux pases that have occurred over the past few days. Or maybe not. Either way, here's my .02 worth.

First, Bruce Springsteen chewing off the Wal-Mart hand that fed him. In recent years, Wal-Mart has successfully launched albums by established but somewhat over-the-hill acts that haven't had hits in a while, most notably for The Eagles and AC/DC. Springsteen, whose last album was launched at Starbucks, hadn't had a big hit since "The Rising" 7 years ago and certainly nothing on the scale of "Born In The U.S.A." in 20 or so years. He has however managed to maintain a following. So Wal-Mart got the exclusive rights to sell his latest album "Working On A Dream" first. But the kind of crowd that considers Wally World one of its bete noirs also makes up the bulk of music critics, music journos/commentators, and possibly Grammy voters (I think this album will qualify next year). They didn't like that the Boss deigned to associate himself with something so declassé. So what does he do? Does he say, "I'm just trying to reach where my fans shop?" Or "Wal-Mart has a great track record launching albums?" How about, "Wal-Mart doesn't treat its employees any worse than the recording industry has treated artists and consumers for decades?" Nope, Springsteen caves, treating his association with Wal-Mart like a drunken one-night stand that gave him crabs. Given that Springsteen has been pretty comfortable since I was playing with Barbies and a bazillionaire before I got my driver's license (that's a long time ago), I'm pretty sure he has never set foot inside a Wal-Mart. But he can't pretend he doesn't know what the store is or that some people consider it controversial. He only considered the Wal-Mart deal a mistake when the people he was trying to impress--not you the consumer by the way--turned their noses up at him. That doesn't make him principled, it makes him a jerk.

Next, Michael Phelps caught in a pic with a bong. He deserves a beating not just for smoking dope (good term), but also for being a moron. I know he's a young man and young men routinely do stupid things. But he's not Joe Frat Boy either. Not only does he have millions of dollars' worth of endorsements, he is a role model to young people. What separates him from a rock star, an actor, or a famous-for-no-reason celebrity is that he earned where he is from remarkable achievement as an athlete. He is supposed to exemplify what happens when you combine hard work and discipline combined with talent. He represented not just himself, but his country in the Olympics. Apparently nobody sat down and explained this to him (not even after his DUI in 2004). As they said about 15,000 times in the movie Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.

Which is why in my old-fashioned way of thinking, Phelps should lose his endorsements. He needs to understand and we need to understand that when we behave badly, there are consequences. He's not owed our good will. He has to earn it. This amoral attitude of "whatever" in the name of looking progressive or out of greed doesn't do these people or society any favors.

The next person on my smackdown list is actor Christian Bale. Bale may be talented but his tirade against a hapless director of photography on the set of the new "Terminator" flick also shows he's a bigger diva than Miss Piggy, Maria Callas, and Diana Ross all rolled together. The DP might have made a mistake but it doesn't justify at all Bale's infantile tantrum, which supposedly took place the same day his sister and mother called the cops on him last summer. What's worse is the wimpy way director McG (what kind of name is that?) handled his star's freakout. Bale walked all over the girlyman director. Somehow I can't see Bale pulling this kind of crap on a powerful director like Steven Spielberg or Clint Eastwood.

Just for once, how about the frustrated crew of a movie reading the riot act to a pampered star who blows a scene for the 60th time? Or a star who shows up to work hours late and doesn't even apologize? Wouldn't that be something to see? This just proves that these Hollywood stars who claim they are for the little people or the regular guy are full of it. This is how they treat the "regular guy" when nobody's looking. Like Ashton Kutcher going postal over a neighbor's construction job at 7 a.m. just days after he posts a stupid celebrity-filled video where stars pledge to be nice to their neighbors.

But there is one celeb I'm going to defend today and that is Jessica Simpson. Everybody's saying she's fat all because of an unflattering outfit she wore to a show recently. First of all, high waisted pants aren't for very petite women like Simpson. She's short waisted as it is and the higher waistband combined with a thick belt just made it look worse. All you could see was some flesh puckering over the belt and her large-ish boobs. It was a bad outfit, but treating her as though she's morbidly obese is ridiculous. Can you wonder why women have all kinds of neuroses about their bodies when apparently being more curvaceous than a twig is worse than being a drug addict, a child molester, or a murderer in the celebrity press?

Update: Apparently Bale apologized on L.A.'s KROQ 2/6/09.
lazypadawan: (Default)
The story about the Paula Abdul stalker/fan who killed herself outside of Abdul's home is a really disturbing one. It took her audition segment from a couple of seasons back to jog my memory of who she was. This young woman wasn't so much looking to become the next pop superstar as she was looking to be in the same room as the object of her obsession and seek her approval.

Living in a celebrity-saturated age and having been in fandom for a long time, I've met more than a few people who glommed onto a celebrity and literally made that person their lives. I don't mean 16-year-old girls who buy every Tiger Beat with the Jonas Brothers or something but people you'd think would have matured beyond that point and go much, much further than sending a fan letter or traveling to see a concert. I'm not naming names, but I once encountered a middle-aged fan who followed the object of her obsession for several years, crashing the sets of his films, seeing him in the audience at every late night talk show appearance (on both coasts), hitting every red carpet event, etc.. It got to be so frequent, the actor avoided her for a while. I saw what other fans called "The Shrine" in her home, a room completely covered with his pictures. It was all a bit creepy but more than anything else, I felt really sad for her. Here she was spending so much of her time, money, and energy on someone who couldn't possibly reciprocate any of it. Worse yet for these people who invest so much into a star, they're investing in something that isn't even real. Most actors of a certain stature craft personas, a public image that's a go-between their real personalities and the roles they play. It's a way to protect themselves. Unless we hang out with these people 24/7 or knew them before they got famous, all we know about them comes from that artificial persona.

Poor Paula Goodspeed either never figured that out or she finally did once she hit the big 30 and couldn't handle she'd wasted so much of her life on something that was a fantasy in the first place.

But you can't blame her completely. The celebrity media creates a false sense of intimacy with these people in the first place and sell us the idea that their coolness can rub off on us plebes too.

Take Gwyneth Paltrow's bizarre new website GOOP. What the hell does GOOP stand for anyway? Through e-mails beamed from this site, Gwynnie seeks to share with the great unwashed her secrets to awesome living. Of course, it's easy to live the good life if you are a Hollywood princess whose last movie made major bank and you are married to a successful, but irritating, rock star. In Gwynnie's world, you can run errands in your $995 Gucci boots and wear fabulous clothes only meant for tall and skinny women.

Well, who needs that? Maybe I should start my own lifestyle site where I share my amazing secrets to fine living. Stuff like, "How To Hide Things At T.J. Maxx So They'll Get Marked Down Further" or "The Best Restaurants To Visit When Someone Else Is Paying" or "How I Scored $500 Shoes For $75 On eBay" or "The Best Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese." Things you'd really want to know.
lazypadawan: (kissintwins)
Just for laughs and giggles, here's how Britney Spears sounded over the microphone during a live performance in Las Vegas from a couple of years ago. Ah, the magic of a sound board and a backing tape! Because otherwise, she'd never make it out of an American Idol audition:



And here's Enrique Iglesias, who sounds indistinguishable from a cat dying in agony:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flvC3Uokdtw
lazypadawan: (Default)
I guess a guy who 1) played a porn-collecting FBI agent 2) hosted "The Red Shoe Diaries" and 3) stars on a show called "Californication" miiiight have some issues:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080829/ap_on_en_tv/people_david_duchovny

Oh my.
lazypadawan: (anakinsabs)
Move over, Britney, Lindsay, and Paris. Here comes Vanessa.

So I see on FoxNews.com that yet MORE photos of a scantily-clad (not to mention underage) Vanessa Hudgens have been "leaked." What, does this girl send out naked pictures of herself instead of Christmas cards? And what about her parents? Didn't they teach their kid anything besides making it big in Hollywood so they can mooch off of her for the rest of their lives?

Look, I can feel a smidgen of sympathy for a naïve girl who's fooled by a boyfriend who "really loves her" and wants to memorialize that love by having her pose like an amateur centerfold so he can post the pix on the internet the second the affair is over. But I have no sympathy for Hudgens. In fact, I'm not even sure if this is all unplanned. Hudgens probably doesn't want to be tagged a child star or a Disney girl for long, so she has all of these raunchy pictures of herself taken and conveniently leaked by other sources who come across as backstabbing friends. That way she can play the sympathy angle while she's showing Hollywood she can be a sexpot. Who knows? She might even be trying to get out of doing any more "High School Musical" shows out of fear it will be an albatross on her career over the long-term.

That's all pathetic enough. But what really burned my biscuits in the FoxNews.com story is a quote attributed to a so-called source close to Hudgens. This shadowy individual said something along the lines of, "Who hasn't done something like this when they were teenagers?" I was a teen back in the '80s, so we didn't have MySpace or Facebook, but we did have photography. I never did anything like that and neither did anyone else I knew. Today there are *millions* of young people who haven't either, even with beauty queens, drunken co-eds, and other exhibitionists grabbing headlines by making fools of themselves for the public eye. Why do we want to spin this sort of stupidity into normal it's-just-growing-pains behavior? Especially since in the real world, "naughty pictures" could damage someone's credibility and reputation forever. It's an insult to every teen and young adult who understands the values of self-respect and personal dignity to blow off Hudgens's attention-whoring as ordinary teenage behavior.

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