Friday, September 30, 2005

These Effects Aren't Very Special

Today, my niece was telling me about some weird story that one of her classmates made up and one particular phrase had me in hysterics. I'll try to make this short, because this conversation was merely an inspiration for my post today. Still, I felt the need to share this as a Bill Cosby "kids say the darndest things" kind of anecdote. Miss T, as I'll call her for storytelling purposes, was babbling on at some length about either an assignment or some free time activity that she and her friends came up with, where they created stories based on figures from games and TV shows. Her one friend decided to derive most of her characters from the game, Candyland. One of these characters was a demented "Candy-Cane Man" who liked to cut off people's limbs. She then prefaced the next segment of the story with a side note that the class had recently watched a movie about a woman who lost a leg and later went through much physical therapy. Therefore, Miss T's crazy classmate came up with a bit of dialogue that could rival any Schwarzenneger or Van-Damme action-movie catchphrase. Just before Candy-Cane Man was about to chop off a victim's leg, he said to her, "I hope you like physical therapy!". Oh, let me tell you, we were in the car when she told me this and it took all I had to not go on a laughing jag and drive us into a tree.

After I composed myself, I started to wonder if it's true that children today have become desensitized to violence, due to the proliferation of staged violence on TV, in movies and in video games. I'll admit, I thought it was a funny thing to say, but I thought back to the way I was when I was a kid and I'm quite sure that the thought of someone getting their leg cut off wouldn't have been amusing to me. I hated slasher movies because I didn't like blood and guts. Now, Miss T is a bit squeamish, but my younger niece, Miss B, absolutely loves horror movies. But to her, nothing is scary unless at least one person dies a grisly death. She thought The Sixth Sense was boring, but loved Saw. I haven't even been able to bring myself to see the latter movie.

It certainly seems that kids today don't appreciate any form of entertainment that doesn't include the latest advances in technology or special effects. I know tastes and ideas change from generation to generation, but just because something's from an older generation doesn't make it less interesting. As dated as they are, I still find some Alfred Hitchcock or Vincent Price movies scary. Not "shivering under the covers all night" scary, but just enough to give me a thrill. Those films were "thinking man's movies". They were able to be scary by just hinting at what was feared, without resorting to gratuitous gore. But now plot takes a back seat to FX. For example, I rented The Omen for Miss B and I to watch one night. Now, when I was a kid that movie scared the beejeezuz out of me. To this day, when I hear that crazy Latin chant music, I look over my shoulder for some possessed freak, or a swarm of locusts, or a devil dog, or a crow that wants to peck my eyes out. Of course, I don't find the movie as scary now as I did then, but I figured that it would be at least a bit unsettling for an 11 year old. But noooo. She thought Damien was "cute". She thought the crazy Latin chant music was "cool". She laughed often and kept remarking how "weird looking" everyone's hairstyles were. Yet, my sister rented The Grudge for her and she was scared for weeks. My sister said it stunk. I didn't see it, but judging from the previews it was just another convoluted story with bizarre special effects used to plug up the plot holes. Special effects, you win again.

This attitude also extends to what is often thought of as a child's primary source of entertainment - games. Kids have always had short attention spans, but it seems even more pronounced these days. Even toddlers who used to go crazy for Candyland can't be bothered now. Too boring. Not enough colors whizzing by their faces. They want to crawl up on mommy or daddy's lap and play along with Blue and Dora on Whatever happened to the days of the whole family sitting around the table playing Life or Clue? Well, now they have CD-ROM versions of board games. Apparently, everything is better when it's simulated. They've even got computer versions of Connect Four and Yahtzee, for goodness sake.

Now that kids have GameBoys, X-Boxes, Playstation and PCs, Milton Bradley and the Parker Brothers can't seem to catch a break. Life has been replaced by The Sims. Monopoly has given way to the Tycoon games. Hungry Hungry Hippos? Well, I guess that's evolved into Zoo Tycoon. I guess kids can't be bothered to move a game piece around a board when they can do everything with a click of the mouse.

I'm all for technology, but "new" or "advanced" doesn't always mean "better". Sometimes when we're faced with so much razzle-dazzle, we can forget the simple pleasures in life. I'll never forget how aggravated I was when my family and I went to Disney World a few years ago. Disney was nice, but three of us decided to go to the Universal Studios theme park on our last day. There are two segments, the Studios and Islands of Adventure. Rip off #1 - there were separate entrance fees for each park. I wanted to go to Islands of Adventure because I saw one of their roller coasters advertised on TV, and I am a total coaster nut. Somehow, I got outvoted and we ended up going to Universal Studios. Rip off #2 - Just about every ride there is simulated. Now, am I crazy, or is the point of going to an amusement park to ride rides? I don't want to walk through 10 minutes of an elaborately themed queue, listen to some 17 year-old, dead-eyed part-timer recite the "story" behind the ride, then be led in to some type of slow-moving vehicle or a giant set of bleachers on hydraulic lifts, just to be jerked around in my seat while watching what is essentially a life-sized commercial for various Universal pictures. All I want is to ride a damn rollercoaster, is that so wrong??

I know what's happening here. I'm just getting older. Eventually, I'll be just like so many other old folks, complaining about how things were so much better in my day and treating technological advancements as if they were precursors to the end of the world. Yeah, I saw The Lawnmower Man. Computers are evil. Evil, I say. This would be the time to cue the crazy Latin chant music, but even that has been replaced by some form of techno/trance/death metal. Sheesh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Battle of the Blands

Her Royal Ho-ness
With Britney Spears off in Mommyland, there is a gaping hole left in the world of heavily-processed, contrived, T&A-style pop. What will the easily entertained masses do without their reigning pop queen? Will they patiently await her return to the throne, or will they get bored and crown a new leader? Given the fickle nature of Brit's target audience, I'm guessing it will be the latter unless she loses that baby weight and shows up on MTV in some skimpy outfit P-R-O-N-T-O.

And just who does the public have to choose from? Let's take a look at some of Mrs. Spears-Alexander-Spears-Federline's ladies in waiting and their odds of stepping into her shoes.

Christina Aguilera - She seems to be MIA lately. I'm guessing that while Britney has been off making a baby, Xtina has probably just been busy doing baby-making dry runs. Who knows. Years ago, she would've been the obvious choice to take Brit's crown, but I really haven't heard much from her since that radio-staple, "Beautiful", was finally given a rest. And she's not quite the same as she was when she first hit the scene. She used to be cute and perky, with kind of a valley girl way of speaking. Now she's a stringy-haired greaseball who seems to be trying to channel Rosie Perez every time she opens her mouth. On a positive note, the girl can actually sing, which is a novelty in this market. Here, image is everything. In that regard I think she overshot the mark. She soared right past Provocative Tease Land and landed smack-dab in the middle of Skanky Whoresville. The TRL crowd likes their girls dirty, but dirrty is going a bit too far. Odds: 15-1

Jessica Simpson - Jessica's got the most Britney-esque qualities of all the pop tartlets out there. She's got just the right mix of vocal inability and shamelessness. She even managed to ratchet the dumb Southern belle routine up a few notches, which seemed to be working in her favor. What is working against her though, as Brit's chief rival, is the virginity factor. Both girls claimed to be "waiting for marriage", but we all found out that Britney was rockin' Justin Timberlake's body after all. The public likes that. They don't want to hear about chastity. How can Jessica expect to achieve Spears-size fame if everyone knows that she really is a good girl, deep down? Odds: 10-1

Ashlee Simpson - I suspect that Ashlee has gone blonde again as part of her bid for Pop Queendom. As we all know, brunettes are much too "edgy". Perhaps she's hoping that the new look will confuse people who still recognize her as the SNL hoe-down champion. Like Brit and big sis, she can't sing worth a damn. Unlike those two, she doesn't seem comfortable shaking her cans and doing unnecessary bends and squats. At least when she was brunette she could pretend like she was the anti-pop grrl and could get away with staying covered up. Now that she's one of The Blondes, she's gonna have to at least start wearing push-up bras to stay on the radar. Odds: 50-1

Shakira - Even when she's speaking in English, I have no idea what this chick is saying. It really makes no difference, since I'm betting that it sucks in any language. What she has going for her are big curves, small clothes and some fiery Latina pelvic gyrations that none of the other plain old corn-fed American girls can match. Still, the mall crowd can't be bothered with learning Spanish lyrics. That's almost like, uh, learning or something.
Odds: 15-1

Hilary Duff - The Duffster has the stamp of approval from Disney, much like Brit did at the beginning of her career. (Mickey Mouse has kind of severed his ties to Britney in recent years, because Minnie was getting jealous.) Now, I know I'm not part of the teen set but I can still at least name one song by each of the girls I've already listed. I couldn't tell you one song that Hilary sings. And the very best part is that she recently came out with a Greatest Hits record. When I first heard about "Hilary Duff's Greatest Hits", I thought it was a video collection of her and Lindsay Lohan in various catfights. Who knew she actually had some musical hits under her belt? I know virtually nothing about this chick, but I know I don't like her. And that commercial for Ice Breakers where she and her sister are trying to be all cutesy makes me want to put my fist through the TV. Odds: 50-1

Lindsay Lohan - Now that Lindsay has gotten rid of her natural red and gone blonde, we have to start considering her as one of Britney's possible replacements. Like her arch-rival Duff, she has enjoyed a successful acting career, and felt the need to tarnish that success by trying her hand at something she really wasn't very good at - singing. She's had a few hits, all rather boring and forgettable, but at least I've heard them. I used to really like Lindsay. I thought she was a naturally beautiful girl, and she was very funny in Mean Girls. Then she started hanging out with Paris Hilton and the rest is history. If anyone can help unlock her inner ho, it's Paris. Odds: 30-1

Kelly Clarkson - As you may know if you read this site regularly, I am a fan of Kelly's. Not a rabid fan, but I do like her. Honestly, ever since she was on American Idol, I've always felt that she was destined for stardom but that she was above the Britneys and Xtinas of the world. However, it seems like lately her handlers have been trying to make her over into the prototypical female popster, complete with new dye job and sluttier clothes. At first I thought she was being moved in more of a rock direction, judging by the sound of guitar and drum-fueled hits like "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes". But it turns out that it's the Avril Lavigne definition of rock, which really isn't rock at all, just pop with a bit of a snarl. I have nothing against pop music. The problem with the genre today is that it has nothing to do with music and everything to do with image and marketing. I don't like when labels try to market pop singers as rock singers. It doesn't work. They need to stop dressing Kelly up in these Hot Topic ensembles and trying to pass her off as something she's not. She's a pop singer. She's very good at it. In my opinion, she's the best singer out of all the girls I've listed, including Christina Aguilera. However, as I've been pointing out, becoming Britney really doesn't require that much talent. And even though Kelly's gotten a slightly sexier wardrobe these days, it's nowhere near the realm of streetwalker-chic needed to really put her over the top. Odds: 20-1

Avril Lavigne - As I mentioned above, Avril has tried to pass herself off as a rocker, a punk and the anti-Britney. She can put on all the smoky black eyeshadow she wants; she's still no Chrissie Hynde. Avril also has the distinction of being one of the few among these girls who can carry a tune, but she doesn't act like a tramp and she doesn't seem to like the media. She's got no chance at this title. Odds: 100-1

Carrie Underwood - Another American Idol winner, who seems to be doing fairly well for herself right now. It's a little too early to tell what direction her career will go in, but she's definitely most at home in the country genre. I'd like to say that Carrie might go on to enjoy crossover chart success like Faith Hill and Shania Twain, but I have a feeling that she may be treated to a pop-tart makeover as well. We'll see. Right now, putting her up against Britney would be like having a cage match between Debby Boone and the devil. Pointless, and not pretty. Odds: Slim to none

Monday, September 26, 2005

Jackholes Are The New Black

My mind can never seem to wrap around how, judging by the various pre-awards shows and other celebrations of rich people in tight clothing, the most annoying, unattractive and haphazardly-dressed people have become the most trusted fashion critics. First of all, do we really need anyone to tell us who looks good and who doesn't? Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? And aren't the fashions that are to one or the other extreme on the "normal" scale pretty simple to judge ourselves? Does it really take some hag screaming in our faces for us to grasp that the dress Uma Thurman wore to the 2004 Oscars was a Bavarian hoochie-mama nightmare? I think we've got it.

The aforementioned hag, as you all may have guessed by now, is none other than the oldest woman in show business, Joan Rivers. It's unbelievable to me that a network like E!, known for its plastic bobble-head reporters like Todd Newton, Steve Kmetko and Jules Asner, would hire this botoxed nutbag as a fashion/beauty correspondent. It might be mildly humorous if she went the Don Rickles route and just skewered everyone walking down the red carpet, but she actually expects us to take her seriously. When was she ever known for her style? I guess she just got bored one day in between skin-stretching sessions and decided she wanted to be a fashionista rather than a comedienne. Since she's already famous, she pretty much gets to do whatever she wants. And we're all just supposed to pretend like she's really some fashion authority? Get real. Then, as if she isn't bad enough by herself, she has to get her daughter involved. Now, Melissa Rivers has a pretty decent figure, cleans up well and isn't too bad looking. But, she is so whiny and boring that most people can't tolerate her for more than two minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up taking over the title role of The Nanny, if the TV Gods ever feel evil enough to reprise that show. I'm sorry, but when I start taking fashion advice from these two broads, it'll be to decide on an outfit for the Christmas Ball at the asylum.

Next up for inspection is Stephen Cojocaru, who has been dubbed "Cojo". Hmm, I guess if you showup at the Oscars dressed badly, he'll foam at the mouth and stalk around your limo, raving and barking like a maniac. Cameron Diaz, you have been warned. I really don't know what to say about this guy. Where the hell did he come from? If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say he was the product of one long-ago drunken night shared between Tom Petty and Martina Navratilova. I try not to dwell on that thought for too long though.

I probably shouldn't be this surprised that these types of people are given high-profile jobs in the fashion industry. Look at a good majority of famous fashion designers. Moron-chic never seems to go out of style with them. Case in point, Betsey Johnson. She looks like the fallout from an explosion involving Tammy Faye's makeup bag and Cyndi Lauper's closet. What normal person could get away with looking like that and not be mocked on a daily basis?

Then there are those who work in fashion, but one can never really be sure exactly what it is they do. All we know is that they make a hell of a lot more money than most of us. Take for example, Nole Marin, best known as one of the judges on America's Next Top Model. What does he do? I read his profile and I'm still not totally clear. He's a fashion "stylist"...which, to me, means that he probably gets paid to stand in a dressing room with B-list models and actresses making disapproving faces and barking orders at store clerks, all while while holding his yapping dog in one hand and a martini in the other. The guy looks like a member of the Lollipop Guild, but with better shoes. Who, in their right mind, would take anything he said to heart?

Whatever happened to non-descript,"quiet" style reporters like Mr. Blackwell? A lot of people didn't like him (namely Cher), but he really only popped his head out into the spotlight for a big event like the Oscars or the Golden Globes to see what everyone was wearing, and then issued simple top 10 lists of the best and worst dressed celebs. He's still around, but big-mouths like Cojo have pretty much muzzled him. He's just not loud and obnoxious enough to hold the spotlight. Not that he is the epitome of all that is fashionable either, but at least he never gave me a headache. Just thinking about the Two-Headed Rivers Beast has me reaching for the Tylenol.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bruce Willis...You've Just Been Punk'd

Yeah, the whole Bruce Willis/Punk'd joke has probably been done. I'm not trekking to Tibet just to soul search and find the perfect, original joke. It'll do for now.

According to Us Weekly and People, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have finally tied the knot. I suppose I could make jokes about the age difference but, quite frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. Demi is smokin'. More power to her. Really, if they get along then that's all that matters. Kutcher is obviously a big goofball, and being a fan of big goofballs myself, I can certainly understand what Demi sees in him. And I'm sure her kids think he's pretty kewl.

It was also reported that ex-hubby, Bruce Willis, was present for the nuptials. A lady in the next pew took this photo of him, which suggests that he may have been unhappy. Or he could've been happy, amused, confused, angry, in pain, shocked, sleepy, hungry, paying attention, not paying attention, ready to kick ass, imagining Demi naked, contemplating making Die Hard 4, seeing dead people or just chillin'. He's kind of a tough one to read.

I really have no snarky remarks for the happy couple; I'm just dishing out the latest. However, given the shelf-life of most celeb marriages, I'm not completely optimistic about this one. It would be great if the younger man/older woman could be the ones to beat the odds but if Cher and her bagel boy didn't make it, what hope do these two have? I see something in them though, so I'll give it 6 years, which is really an eternity in Hollywood time. And hey, if it doesn't work out, I'm sure Demi won't be lonely for long. There is no shortage of young boy-toys in la-la land.

Waiting for his chance...Frodo Baggins, Lord of the MILFs

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Model Behavior

So, it seems that Kate Moss is in a bit of trouble, stemming from allegations that she is a coke-head. Burberry is just the latest fashion line to drop her from a high-profile ad campaign. This turn of events has the whole fashion and entertainment world buzzing, and is practically ruining whatever time Moss has left in her life as a model. Let's face it, at 31 she's ancient by industry standards. There are more than enough beautiful, young, catty girls willing to take an aging model's place. As Neil Young said, "it's better to burn out than to fade away", so perhaps this is all for the best. Or she could look at it in the Bon Jovial way, which she might more easily identify with, that she's "going out in a blaze of glory". Not that losing your job due to drug use is a glorious affair. But in the glitzy world of entertainment, you become an instant icon when your vices become your undoing. The media and its minions like nothing better than a big crash and burn. It's the ultimate celebrity cliche...and people never stop talking about it.

I've never liked Kate Moss. She looks like someone I'd like to smack. Not because she's a model (oops sorry, supermodel), because I've never been the type to be irrationally jealous of beautiful women whom I don't personally know. (Now, my friend Dana looks like she could be a model and as much as I love her, I'd like to smack her too. She's the Scarlett O'Hara to my Melanie.) However, I was somewhat on her side in all this. Not because I'm a toot-head myself. Absolutely not. I just think it's so hypocritical of the modeling industry to turn this girl into a pariah for doing what, no doubt, a lot of models do without getting caught. I was on her side until she issued a public apology. This is one of my peeves about celebrities and their misdeeds. Their agents force them into issuing these half-hearted "sorries" when we all know that they're either not sorry or don't feel like they should have to apologize to a bunch of people they don't know. And why should they? If Kate Moss wants to apologize to her mother for doing drugs or getting photographed snorting a line, that's perfectly understandable. But she doesn't need to say a damn thing to me. I don't care. Furthermore, she doesn't care that I don't care.

According to the above-linked story,

    A week ago Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper published grainy video camera stills which appeared to show Moss using cocaine in a music studio where her rock-star lover Pete Doherty - a self-confessed drug addict - was recording with his band.

    Other newspapers took up the story eagerly, with tabloid titles running a series of lurid allegations in the following days about Moss involving sex and drugs.

First of all, I have to point out something that always makes me laugh. Did you ever notice that when the media is trying to portray someone in a seamy light, they will refer to his/her significant other as a lover rather than a girlfriend/boyfriend? It sort of conjures up images of those softcore Emmanuelle movies that are in constant rotation on Skinemax. Ooh,that Kate Moss. What a whore! She has a lover. They may as well just spell it luvah, because that's how everyone reads it. How Eurotrash of her to take a luvah and snort nose candy. This is how the media wants us to interpret that passage.

Secondly, as I said earlier, how is anyone in the celebrity realm at all surprised by this story? How are they allowed to show any type of shock or disdain for Kate Moss? These people are living in the biggest glass house in the universe. Models, actors, singers, randoms: lay down your stones. Give it up.

How do people expect someone like Kate Moss to keep up with the schedule of a supermodel and stay rail thin, without the aid of certain substances? Didn't any of these industry morons who are so disappointed in her now ever have a shred of concern for her before? People just don't start doing lines overnight. And women who don't have a penchant for drugs don't immediately start looking for things to stick up their noses just because they've hooked up with wannabe rock stars. (Yeah, I can say "wannabe"...he's in The Libertines for Christie Brinkley's sake.) There had to have been signs. The biggest sign? Uh, well, she's a supermodel. And not just any supermodel. She was the damn poster-girl for "heroin chic" back in the not-so-distant day.

It may help to understand why models would be prone to drug use if we take a look at a typical supermodel's diet.

Breakfast: 1/2 rice cake
3 cigarettes
5 cups of coffee, black

Pre-Lunch Snack: 1 cigarette
3 Mimosas

Lunch: 1 slice of fat free turkey breast on a cracker
2 cigarettes
Large bottle of Evian water
1 extra-strength Ex-Lax

Post-Lunch Snack: 4 cigarettes

Dinner: 4 oz. caviar on pieces of cut-up cardboard
Bottle of champagne
10 cigarettes

Midnight Snack: 2 cigarettes
4 squirts cherry flavored Binaca

Now, is it any wonder that these gals may need a little something to keep them alive, conscious and not ravenously hungry? I'm not surprised to hear that Kate Moss has a coke habit. I would be surprised if I heard that she was a huge pot-head. I doubt too many models smoke weed on a regular basis. No one wants to hire a model with the munchies.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What's in BeckEye's Ear...and the New Musical Discoveries Just Keep Comin'

The whole what's-in-my-ear thing was supposed to be a recurring post too, much like "Eye Boogers". However, it seems that I've dropped the ball on this one because I haven't done it in a few months. I shall now pick that ball up and lob it over to you, my lovely readers. I love listing the songs that I'm digging, because I always hope that someone, somewhere will trust my taste enough to go look up something that they may have never heard and end up loving it. There's nothing better than discovering a band or artist whose existence had previously been a mystery. And before I get into what my favorite songs are this month, I have to comment on a new musical discovery I made just last night.

I heard that Glen Phillips was coming to town, and being a fan of Toad the Wet Sprocket, decided he might be worth checking out. I had been hearing some of his new tunes on THE radio station, WYEP, and thought they were pretty good. Therefore, I happily plunked down the $20 to see him. First off, the venue was very cool. It threw me for a bit of a loop that I have lived in Pittsburgh all my life and didn't even know this place existed. They've created a little section of downtown called "the cultural district", filled with smaller music venues and performing arts theaters. Since I no longer work downtown, I really don't keep abreast of happenings there. I guess I should!

I had expected Glen and his band to be the headliners, and since I heard that he was touring with Kim Richey assumed that she would be the opening act. Instead, the small stage was just set up with three chairs. It was an all acoustic show performed by Phillips, Richey and the aforementioned discovery - Griffin House. Each took turns singing songs and for one of the encores performed a cover of The Band's "The Weight" together. Before I get into "the discovery", let me just say that this was one of the better shows I've seen in recent memory. It was very relaxed and sort of off-the-cuff. I felt like I was watching a concert in my own living room. They explained that it was only their 2nd show of this particular tour and hadn't really gotten it together yet. They were all quite entertaining, cracking wise and playing to the rather vocal crowd, when not stunning us into silence with their undeniable talents. They all seemed to really enjoy being there, with each other and with us, as evidenced by their nearly 3-hour long set. Yes, it was a show length of Springsteenian proportions.

Being that I went to see Glen Phillips, I never expected to come out of there such a fan of a guy I had never heard of. However, Griffin House won me over from the minute he opened his mouth. His very thoughtful, colorful, sometimes amusing lyrics are brought to life by a smooth, yet slightly rough-hewn voice. He clearly loves music and seemed to be having a great time onstage, no doubt aware that he was winning over many others in the crowd. I suggest everyone go check this guy out. I should've bought his CD, Lost and Found, at the merchandise table, but it was a bit crowded. However, I'm definitely getting my hands on a copy, as well as the new CD when it's released.

Oh, did I mention he was kind of cute? Hey, I'm a red-blooded American woman. I can be a real music lover and still notice these things. That's not why I'm now a fan, but it certainly doesn't hurt. He's cute in an unconventional kind of way though. Imagine a cross between Breckin Meyer and Bono. I know it may be difficult to picture, but I found him attractive. And he had messy hair. I love guys with messy hair. It's just a weird thing with me. I think he became more good looking to me as the night went on. No, it had nothing to do with beer. I only had one. It's just that the more I enjoyed his music the more intriguing he became. Ok, so I'm a sucker for a man with a guitar. I've always been.

And now without further ado, here are the songs that are presently stuck in my head:

1. Waterfall, Griffin House - Well, of course! Did you think I would yammer on about the guy and then not put him on the list? His sound is a mix of rock and folk with sprinkles of alt-country thrown in. I liked every song he played, but this one really stood out for some reason. His voice sounds particularly sexy and soulful on this one, a song that seems to be based on that old adage, "If you love something, set it free, blah blah blah". Griffin puts it much more succinctly in the chorus with "If you hold on to your love, it might not be coming back". But then he gets rid of the "if", which changes the whole meaning. So I'm confused. Ah, who cares, it's a great song either way. You can check it out here.

2. Thankful, Glen Phillips - This song has been getting a lot of play on WYEP, and rightfully so. It's a rather bouncy but still rockin' track. Glen's voice is still as sweet and crisp as it was back in the Toad days. And I have to say, he's a pretty funny guy in a live setting. You can hear this song and others here.

3. Hello Old Friend, Kim Richey - I have never really heard any of Kim's songs. I just knew of her because she sang harmony on local favorite, Bill Deasy's, "So It Goes". She has a voice similar to that of Patty Griffin's, but with more of a country flavor. This was my favorite of the tunes she performed last night. She explained that it was about a guy she used to know who made the drunken 2 am call to her one night when she was feeling particularly low. Ah, drinking and dialing. I'm sure everyone has experienced that at some point. What fun.

4. So It Goes, Bill Deasy - Since seeing Kim Richey made me think of this song again, it's been in my head all day. This was from Deasy's first solo record after The Gathering Field split up. If you're not from Pittsburgh you probably have no idea what I'm talking about right now. Well, you're missing out. I've heard some folks say that Bill doesn't have much of a vocal range, and while that may seem to be true, he's got such a sultry, rich voice that it really makes no difference how many octaves he can go. Look at Mariah Carey. She has a range that goes from "Barry White" to "dog whistle", but she still has no soul. I like singers who really believe in what they're singing. And Deasy fits the "bill". (Sorry for the lame joke.) You can hear a sample of this song at CD Baby,and for more of Bill's music check him out on MySpace.

5. Dancing With Joey Ramone, Amy Rigby - This is one of the coolest, cutest, catchiest songs I've heard in a while. It's got a great '50s rock beat, highlighted by hand claps. There are certain elements that, I feel, will make any song immediately better and hand-clapping is one of them. The song is very bouncy, and really does sound like something The Ramones would've come up with. Fitting, as the song is about Amy going to a party and dancing with Joey. I had never heard of this singer before now, but she's apparently been around for a while. Thanks again, WYEP.

6. Soul Meets Body, Death Cab For Cutie - I was never a huge fan of this band, but this song really caught my ear. It's very reminiscent of '70s-era Fleetwood Mac with all the jingling and jangling and great harmonies.

7. Let Her Dance, Los Super Seven - Like Bill Deasy, this band made one of my previous lists. The other was a song with Lyle Lovett on vocals, while this one features Joe Ely. There aren't really a lot of lyrics to this song, basically they keep repeating the same ones which usually bothers me, but it seems to work here. It's just a rollicking mix of mariachi and rockabilly. Kind of makes me want to make a run for the border. The real one, not Taco Bell.

8. Shootout At The Candy Shop, Jess Klein - I've actually been a fan of this song for several months now, but never mentioned it before. Jess is another singer I was introduced to through my dear radio station. I have no idea what the title of this song means, even after listening to it countless times. I imagine it's an analogy of some sort but I don't get it. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them! I understand the rest of the song though, and it a folky sort of way.

9. Fine Line, Paul McCartney - Wow, when I first heard this song I really thought it might be a lost Beatles track! But no, it's just Sir Paul in all his glory. I've always thought his solo career was a bit uneven, but his new record is getting a lot of critical acclaim. Critical acclaim often adds up to a big pile of nothing, but Paul's new stuff is also generating a lot of buzz among music fans.

10. They Can't Buy The Sunshine, Turin Brakes - These guys have such a dreamy sound, like some type of new-age, psychedelic rock. I first heard of them a while back when I accidentally discovered their song, "Pain Killer", which remains a favorite of mine. This tune's happy, carefree melody matches the lyrics. I've interpreted them as being about an increasingly greedy society or quite possibly how the music industry favors cash cows over quality artists. Yet no matter how much money the richies have, "they can't buy the sunshine". Sweet. Now this song will always remind me of that episode of The Simpsons, where Mr. Burns tried to block out the sun because it gave people "free light" and he wanted to jack up their electric bills. Wouldn't it be funny if that episode was also the inspiration for this song? I may have to write a letter to Turin Brakes to find out for sure.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Heavy Metal Crutch

If you've ever been to a rock concert, or at least seen concert footage on TV, you'll know that there are five things always present at such an event. They are as follows:

1. Lighters
2. Weed (if you don't see it, you can still smell it)
3. Beer
4. "Devil horn" symbols
5. Exposed breasts

There is a sixth object that can usually be found in the audience as well, but it is specially reserved for metal and/or hard rock. The above items are those that, while most prevalent at metal shows, can still be found at just about any musical performance. I've seen clueless guys making the devil-horn sign while jamming out to Steve Miller. I'm sure some weird chick has even gotten wasted and flashed her boobs at a John Tesh concert. It happens. But there is one thing that John Tesh will never share with the hard rockin' bands out there - the heavy metal crutch. (The term "heavy metal crutch" was coined by far as I know. You may use it freely, but only for personal use. Any commercial use of said phrase will result in paying me any money you might inexplicably make from it.)

You've seen it at the Metallica or Motley Crue show. You've seen it immortalized in thousands of metal videos. There's always one. A crutch rising up out of the darkness, waving like the ultimate flag of coolness. Rarely do you see the crutch's rightful owner, but you just know that he (most likely a he) is a serious bad-ass. If you could talk to him, he might say, "Sit out the Whitesnake concert just because I broke my leg in two places? Hell no, man...I ain't no pussy! Rawk 'n rooooooooolll!"

I suppose that leg/ankle injuries are fairly common, so it would stand to reason that at least one or two limpers might be found in such large groups of people. Still, it's rather strange to find a gimp at every show. Many lesser rockers sell their tickets and stay home, faced with the possible pain and inconvenience involved in shuffling through the sea of people, trekking to their seats and finally being crammed in like sardines while fans thrash around and stumble drunkenly about. Not Crutch Man. He will be there. He might even attempt to mosh or start a fight. He rules.

Generally, there is usually only room for one Crutch per show. Occasionally, two such Gods among men will show up at the same concert. Even less frequently, they will run into each other. If this happens, an instant bond of friendship will be sealed between the two. They will be like Mick and Keith or Page and Plant...true rock icons and masters of the universe.

Now, please take out your lighters and pay homage to the Heavy Metal Crutch.

**By the way, thanks to everyone for their input on my new template! I'm rewarding you with this somewhat disjointed, weird post. And no, I wasn't high when I wrote it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Eye Boogers

Why yes, "Eye Boogers" is becoming a recurring topic. Thanks for noticing!

Britney Pops Out Her Kid - It's a boy named Sean. Didn't Brit get the memo that all children of celebrities must have bizarre names? I guess she and the hubby are trying to give the poor kid a break by giving him a normal name. No reason to make his childhood more traumatic than it needs to be. Although he'll probably grow up thinking that his name is actually Yermommasaho. (That's right, sound it out.)

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney Split - Wow, another casualty of the Hollywood marriage-go-round. The only people who are shocked by this still think that Milli Vanilli could really sing. Renee's only explanation for the break-up is one cryptic word: "fraud". What could that mean, I wonder? Fraud is a word generally reserved for identity-theft cases, not divorces. Is his tractor not as sexy as he claimed? Did she find out that no shirt and no shoes really do equal problems? Or was it something a little more common? Renee dear, lots of guys exaggerate about what's going on "down there". But when you get married, you've gotta roll with the punches, honey.

Geena Davis Stars as The President in New Series - Oh sure, like the press wouldn't find out about that little crime spree she went on with Susan Sarandon.

Man Breaks Couch Potato Record - Suresh Joachim now holds the Guinness world record for longest time spent watching TV, at 69 hours and 48 minutes. Immediately following this feat, Joachim also broke the record for biggest ass-sore.

John O'Hurley and Kelly Monaco Ready for Dance-Off - Ah, a good old fashioned dance-off. That's how we always settled disputes back in my day. The dubious "champion" of Dancing with the Stars, Kelly Monaco, will square off once again with runner-up John "Got Robbed" O'Hurley for a final showdown. America once again gets to decide the winner. The public has a history of liking anything second-rate, so I'm predicting Monaco to come out on top once again. However, I'm sure ABC would like nothing better than an O'Hurley victory so they can air a "Best of Three" show later this fall. The concept hasn't been properly milked dry just yet. So, I may have to change my prediction. In other words, I've just covered myself so that regardless of the outcome, I'm right.

50 Cent Disses Brangelina - Fiddy thinks that Brad and Ang are stupid for being so hush-hush about their relationship stating, "If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were open, they wouldn't have paparazzi following them". Take notice folks. Mark this day in your calendars because this is the only time you will ever see this phrase written on my blog. I agree with Mr. Cent completely. Can't stand the guy, but he's right. The press and some of the more gossip-hungry fans are like little kids. Kids want whatever they can't have. Brad and Angelina just need to come forward and lay it on the line. Then people will lose interest. Remember when Ang was dating Billy Bob Thornton and they happily told the paparazzi that they shagged in the car on the way over to wherever the heck they were? Everyone jotted it down and then backed away slowly. TMI will get the media off your backs pronto.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Are We Scared Yet?

Tonight was the premiere of the new WB series, Supernatural. I have been looking forward to this show since they first starting airing the promos a few months back. What is it they say about too much build-up to an event making the actual event anti-climactic? Whatever they say, it's just about right.

Now, I'm not saying that I hated the program. I'll probably watch it again next week. Pilots aren't always the greatest indicator of how a show will turn out. The basic premise is interesting enough - two boys head out in pursuit of a supernatural force that killed their mother years prior. The boys' father raised them to be something like spirit-world serial killers, and together they have destroyed countless "forces" while on the hunt for their mother's "murderer".

I am usually a sucker for ghost stories and the like. But they have to be done well. I'm very particular about what I'll allow to scare me. I can't remember the last TV program that was genuinely engaging and spooky. For that reason, I generally get my kicks watching the real ghost stories on Discovery or TLC. I don't watch that crappy ghost hunter show though, because there's only so much night-vision, shaky camera work and screaming at nothing I can take. "So much" meaning less than one minute.

My first impression of Supernatural isn't really bad, but it's not "super" either. First of all, I'm annoyed by the way the mother died. It's as if the writers were trying to concoct some bizarre killing method that hadn't been done before, as if that in itself would make it shocking and scary. The scene went as follows: Daddy thinks he hears a noise and goes to the baby's room to investigate. Daddy sees baby smiling and cooing peacefully. Suddenly drops of blood are found on baby's blankie. Daddy looks up to find Mommy pinned to the ceiling, looking as if someone had stabbed her in the stomach, because there is a line of blood across her abdomen. Then, for no reason, the ceiling bursts into flames and the whole house eventually catches on fire. Wow that was so shocking, I may have blinked more than twice. Come on, that was just something that Freddy Kruger and Firestarter cooked up one night over drinks. When will these writers learn that they don't have to keep coming up with unique ways of killing people? Unique stories will suffice.

And because the story so often hinges on the characters telling it, good acting is also key. It's especially important in a "strange tale", because it's easier to believe what is inherently an unbelievable situation if you buy the actors' performances in it. I was only hoping that the cast members wouldn't just be some mildly good looking people who were skilled in screaming and looking afraid. In this area, I was pleased. The two brothers are played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, and I liked both of them. They had a nice, genuine chemistry. I especially like Ackles. Ah, I remember when little blondie used to be on Days of our Lives. He really brings out the cradle-robber in me. I have no idea how old he really is, but he looks like a 16 year old pretending to be 18. Hey, I wouldn't ask him for ID. But I digress.

It looks as if most of the episodes will deal with different legends and folklore myths. The premiere revolved around what seemed to be a mixture of the Woman in White and Vanishing Hitchhiker legends. I am a big urban legend buff, so I was interested to see what they did with these tales, especially since the "vanishing hitchhiker" is one of the most widely known. I wasn't completely satisfied with their rendering. Basically, what I know of the story of the woman in white is that her husband was unfaithful to her which caused her to go mad and kill her children, and finally herself. The legend went that her ghost could be seen roaming the streets looking for her children. The updated version for the WB is that the woman went mad and drowned her children, then jumped off a bridge. Her ghost walked the road at night, looking to get picked up by men. If they proved themselves to be "unfaithful" by giving into her advances, she would kill them. The bodies of the men were never found.

Now, herein lies my major gripe with Supernatural. How the hell can a ghost physically kill someone? I realize that all spook stories require some suspension of disbelief, but if a ghost isn't tangible then it couldn't possibly use its hands or a weapon against a human. Didn't we learn this stuff from watching Casper as kids? I've heard tales that ghosts can scare you to death, possess you or steal your soul, but never physically assault and/or kill a person. Of course, there are the "poltergeists" that just like to throw things around and make a big old mess, but that's a different entity. Anyway, it was discovered that this hitchhiking ghost killed her victims by reaching into their chests and pulling out their hearts. As far as where the bodies went later, well, that was never explained. It was just a little bit ridiculous. I was hoping for something a little more otherworldly, not the pointless violence and gore that has become "scary" by today's standards.

Overall, I grade the first episode of Supernatural a C. Some of the story elements were lame, but it managed to hold my interest most of the time, was well-acted and seems to have promise. I guess I'll see what the ghost-hunter boys with the cute butts have in store next week. They better step it up though. I suggest finding the real Bloody Mary or getting some vampires in there. I've always had a fascination with vamps. Though I prefer the hot ones like Billy Wirth in The Lost Boys over the aesthetically challenged, old-school ones like Nosferatu.

Monday, September 12, 2005

MTV Killed The Video Star

I've been wondering for a while now why MTV and VH1 bother to keep the "M" and the "VH" in their respective names. (They stand for "Music" and "Video Hits" for any of the younger generation who have probably seen neither on these channels and may have been curious as to the meaning of the acronyms.) I will occasionally catch some videos on VH1, but usually just in the wee hours of the morning. Aside from those few occasions, it has basically turned into a Reality TV/Nostalgia Show network.

MTV is much worse. First of all, at least VH1's shows are entertaining. I can't say the same for the crap I've seen on MTV. Laguna Beach? What the hell is that? Maybe I'm just old. At any rate, I remember back in the early days of the station that they didn't have enough videos to play, resulting in much repetition and having to air clips of bands performing on talk shows. Now that there are an infinite number of videos in existence, they don't play any! The only time I've ever seen videos on MTV is on TRL, where the same videos are always played and usually for only a minute, so they can give more airtime to all the screaming teens in the studio and out on the street. MTV should just morph into TTV (Teen TV) and VH1 could become HSC. Do I really have to spell it out? Come on people, what else? The Hal Sparks Channel, of course.

I remember when I was a teenager, my oldest brother often called me a "mindless video drone". I would tune in to MTV for hours on end, just hoping for some Duran Duran or Billy Idol. Now, however, watching a video is something of a novelty. I'm really not sure why artists still make them. They don't seem to be as important of a marketing tool as they were back in the '80s and early '90s. If you want to see a new video, you pretty much have to look for it online.

Since Comcast is my ISP, I will sometimes check out videos on "The Fan" on their homepage. I've recently viewed a bunch and would like to give my take on them. If you're not a Comcast subscriber, all of these videos can be found on Yahoo! Music.

Tommy Lee - Good Times
Let me just say first that I really like this song. It's insanely catchy, with a great melody. But, I almost can't believe that this is Tommy Lee. I see him there in this video singing, but I'm waiting for Scooby and Shaggy to come along and pull his mask off, revealing someone like Jason Mraz or the lead singer of Train. This is pretty damn far from Motley Crue. It's pretty damn far from his last band, Methods of Mayhem, too. Being that the last thing I heard from this guy was the bombastic and raunchy "Get Naked", this song surprised the hell out of me. A pleasant, yet strange surprise. Don't misunderstand me, it's not "wuss music", although Vince Neil would probably think so. And the idea that Vince Neil probably hates this makes me like it even more. Because, let's face it, that guy is a complete toad. As far as the video goes, it's nothing all that spectacular, but enjoyable enough to watch. We find out from the get-go that Tommy still likes scantily-clad chicks, and the more the merrier. The scenes of him doing the backfloat in a huge swimming pool while wearing a white suit kind of creep me out. It's like something out of The O.C., but then when you see his stomach tattoo, it kind of feels like a missing scene from Cape Fear. As the video goes on, I get no more used to the clash of the sight of this weathered, heavily inked-up rocker singing such a pretty, feel-good song, but he has a genuine quality about him that ensures me he's not pulling a Milli Vanilli. And then at the end, he throws a fun marshallow roast. I just hope that when he was done singing that song, he didn't bust into "Kumbaya".

Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
As Randy Jackson would say, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Yeah, that's what I say too. Girl, why did you have to go blonde? I was so proud of you and your longtime brunette status. Anyway, I guess that's neither here nor there. They all go blonde at some point. (Unless they are already, and then they go brunette to be "edgy". Phfft.) Aside from wondering about the gold locks, I had two main questions running through my head during this video: What the hell is she wearing and what the hell is going on? As far as the clothing, I'm not confused about the wedding dress. I'm talking about that Maid Marion-meets-Xtina get-up she's wearing for the "performance" segments. At first I thought I had stumbled onto secret footage of Willow: The Musical, but Val Kilmer was nowhere in sight. As far as what is going on for the "concept" segments, I really don't know. After viewing the video twice, I really don't care anymore either. Something about getting married, or she doesn't want to get married, or she wanted to marry the guy who looks like a ghoulish Donovan Leitch but he's marrying the girl who looks like Jami Gertz, or all of it is just an excuse for her to roll around in the mud for a while. Now that I think of it, it's much like an old-school '80s video. They were always seemingly about something, but really added up to nothing while using a lot of cool visuals or atmospheric cinematography. Therefore, I've decided that I like it. Go Kelly.

My Chemical Romance - Helena
I had written this band off as one of these crappy new "screamo" bands without ever really hearing anything they had to offer. So, I decided to give them a chance. I am now writing them off as one of these crappy new "screamo" bands. Or is it post-hardcore? Or pop punk? Do we really need so many genres to describe what is, essentially, crappy music? Actually, I kind of like the chorus to this song. The singer sounds like he has a half-decent voice. But I was so distracted by him the entire time I was watching this video. I just kept thinking that he is a dead-ringer for someone who hasn't even been conceived yet. That person would be the child of Meg White and Billy Corgan. Honestly, I felt like I was in the middle of one of Conan's "If They Mated" skits. And when did being Goth suddenly come back into fashion? Is that cool again? Was it ever cool? Should we all brace ourselves for another crappy SNL-spinoff movie starring Chris Kattan, reviving his Azrael Abyss character?

Shakira - La Tortura
The most important thing I've learned from this video is that Shakira can move her boobs independent of the rest of her body. It's a maneuver that's a lot more difficult than it looks, believe me. I tried recreating it myself and damn near threw my back out. The other thing I learned is that grease is the word, once again. But not in the good, T-Birds kind of way. Apparently a woman shimmying around covered in grease is sexy. Of course, "sexy" is in the eye of the beholder, and the guy that's doing the beholding in this vid is one weird dude. He sees Shakira in the kitchen chopping up vegetables and MUST HAVE HER. He practically attacks the poor little half-naked chef. Yet later, she's writhing around on a table and simulating sex on the floor and the guy just sits there, calmly eating his box of Chinese take out. What is with this guy? Oh, and on a personal note, I'm kicking myself now for using the "sounds like she's singing with a mouthful of peanut butter" analogy on much less worthy Jessica Simpson. If anyone has a Jif addiction, it's Shakira.

Missy Elliott/Ciara - Lose Control
"I've got a cute face, chubby waist, thick legs in shape, rump shakin' both ways, make u do a double take". Wow, how much do I freaking love that? I'm not a huge Missy Elliott fan, but I gotta give my girl props on this one. Straight up. Oh God. Did I just say that? See, this is what always happens when the white people get a hold of stuff like this. We suddenly feel all "urban", try to show it and just end up looking whiter. John Tesh-white. There are some kick-ass dance moves in this vid, which we white chicks will plan to recreate in the club later on when we hear this song. It just always devolves into that same sorry-ass white girl shoulder-jerk shuffle step. And the guys just keep on doing, as Billy Crystal so perfectly dubbed it in When Harry Met Sally, "the white man's overbite". If I could just learn to shake my rump both ways, I'd be set. It sounds more difficult than the Shakira boob thrust, though. I should probably just sit this one out lest I really injure myself.

Hey...I want my MTV. The way it was before.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Oops, I Didn't Do Anything

Since Hurricane Katrina, many celebs have been using their fame and wealth to draw even more attention to the disaster. Many take part in public benefits, some quietly donate money and Jeff Spicoli is out there trying to round up people in a boat. (Sure, I make fun of Penn because he is a weird guy but I can't say that he doesn't care.) The beautiful people often come to the rescue in times like these because, quite simply, they can afford it. And regardless of whether they're lending a helping hand because they are genuinely concerned or to get some publicity, if they're doing something, that's fantastic.

I've seen several stories on the web about stars doing their part for the relief effort.

Oprah visited the ravaged South, lending hurricane victims an ear or a shoulder to cry on. She brought along big-time friends like John "Love of my Life" Travolta and Faith Hill to lend support and pass out food and drink.

A vast array of musicians and other entertainers appeared on tonight's Katrina benefit, Shelter From the Storm. The program aired on every major network in the US as well as close to 100 other countries around the world.

Many celebs, such as Ellen DeGeneres and Hilary Duff donated large sums of money. Duff will also join up with Hank Azaria, Jennifer Tilly, Jeremy "My #3 Man" Sisto and many others in's celebrity poker tournament. Top players will compete for $100,000 which will be donated to the Red Cross.

The list goes on and on. So many stars finding ways to give. I know I like to pick on them (and I would probably have nothing to write about if I didn't) but it really is wonderful to see people aware of all that they have who are willing to give back to people in need. I've never necessarily felt that celebrities are required to be charitable, but in a situation like this it's pretty damn pathetic if they can't at least dig into those deep pockets and give what, to them, would be spare change. And this is where the title of my post comes in.

I was reading most of these stories on the Comcast home page. Underneath all of the headlines announcing Hollywood's fund-raising activities was this one: "Britney Spears Praying For Victims". I thought there must be more to it than that. After reading the article, there isn't. Here is the exact story from the Associated Press:

Britney Spears, who was raised in Kentwood, La., says she is praying for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

In a posting on her Web site, the 23-year-old pop star writes that her "thoughts and prayers go out to everyone" in the states along the devastated Gulf Coast.

"All of my family members there are safe and thank you to all my fans for your concern," says Spears.

I have yet to see any reports of this LOUISIANA NATIVE donating so much as a pack of gum to the Red Cross or any other organization. Praying is great, but when you have more money than God, you might want to think about writing out a check. And I'm not really sure any of her prayers count ever since that little deal she made with the Devil a few years back.

I did a little more digging and the next horrifying tidbit of news was all I could come up with regarding her "charitable work". An article on reveals that Spears may tape and televise the birth of her baby, donating all profits to the hurricane victims. Offers have been pouring in for the tape, which have topped out at a whopping $9 million.

Now I must quote myself here. I said earlier, "...regardless of whether they're lending a helping hand because they are genuinely concerned or to get some publicity, if they're doing something, that's fantastic". After reading this story though, I may have to amend that. Ms. Spears, please. You have more publicity than any one person knows what to do with. Just give the damn money and save us all the disgusting spectacle of those carefully scripted first moments between Mama and baby.

I'm starting to wonder when relief efforts will be set up to benefit the victims of Hurricane Britney. The state of music suffered a critical blow when she (and later, all her little bland- er blond -followers) came along. The damage still hasn't been repaired. We need some good old-fashioned ugly rockers to pull us out of this sea of no-talent T&A. The good looking ones can help too, as long as their music is genuine. Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell, I'm talking to you. You guys can rescue me any day.

**Post-script: I feel slightly fraudulent, so I must confess. I like "Baby One More Time". And "You Drive Me Crazy". Ok, and "Stronger". Dammit, all right..."Toxic" too!! What can I do? She made a freakin' deal with Lucifer, people! Remember? You can't fight that. I don't own any of her records though. I would never spend any of my hard-earned cash to support her over-exposed ass, Devil or no Devil.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Whatever Floats Your Boat

I hopped on the Stat Counter bandwagon about a month ago, with the intention of using the site to track where my readers were coming from, how long they visited my page, and other important webby things like that. However, as a vast majority of bloggers have discovered, I've found that the most entertaining piece of information, and therefore the most interesting is the "keyword analysis". Some of the keywords that surfers find my blog with are hilarious, and many are just downright perplexing.

Checking out some recent keyword activity, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't delve deeper into off the wall pop culture subjects. Maybe I should give the people (weirdos) what they want. I'd like to examine some of the stranger topics that the search engines have determined can be found right here at The Pop Eye.

Rate my naughty cheerleader - Ok, huh? I may have said the word "naughty" at some point, but I don't think I've ever tackled the exciting world of cheerleading. Never even mentioned how much I love that stupid movie, Bring It On. But if they want to lump me in with all the softcore porn sites out there, that's fine. More traffic. Lots of disappointed guys with one hand on the keyboard, but still more traffic.

Diarrhea jokes - Sure, diarrhea is funny as long as someone else is inflicted with it. But I don't think I've ever mentioned diarrhea once on this blog. I don't know any diarrhea jokes offhand. If someone knows a good one, please let me know. I did a search for some, but I was just referred back to my own blog. Curses, foiled again.

Geritatrics - I imagine this is supposed to be "geriatrics". Unless "geritatrics" is some perverse sex-with-grannies kind of fetish and then I don't want to know anything about it. Seems there is porn out there for every walk of life these days. Just hit up one of the search engines. Roosters having sex with cigars while being watched by transsexuals riding alligators? Yeah, we've got that. (Trademark: Staples. Or Office Max. I get them confused.) Anyway, I wrote one piece about old folks but I don't think I ever used the term "geriatric" in any form or misspelling. Regardless, it remains one of my favorite entries. Therefore, a little shameless promotion is in order. To read the "geriatric post", click here.

Popeye having sex - As I said, there is porn for everyone. This fascination with cartoon sex seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon, and one that I just can't grasp no matter how I try. I don't understand how such a seemingly large chunk of the (predominately) male population can get off on this. I mean, sure, we all made little doodles of poorly-drawn characters getting it on when we were young, but most of us grow out of that. It's just not interesting. I remember that when I was younger, I wasn't allowed to watch that movie, Heavy Metal. When I eventually caught a late-night airing on HBO, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Oooh, cartoon people and aliens having sex, smoking and swearing. Big whoop. It didn't stimulate my adolescent urges at all. And getting back to these specific search terms, of all the cartoon characters to watch having sex...Popeye?? Really? He and Olive Oyl have to be two of the most unattractive people on the planet, real or imagined. If you absolutely have to watch cartoon porn, at least let it be something like a salacious affair between Blondie and Rex Morgan, M.D. I would still think it's rather twisted, but at least if they were good looking cartoons, it would stay just this side of demented. (Speaking of demented, I am so ridiculously proud of this doctored picture. Ah, I love when I crack myself up.)

Sunday 9-4-05 Lindsay Lohan - Wow, how strangely specific. What was Lindsay doing on September 4 of this year? I MUST KNOW!!! I tried searching with the same terms but came up empty. Maybe she had a sandwich. Or maybe she dyed her hair some other putrid color that completely clashes with her complexion. I'm sure it was something very exciting.

Jani Lane/Bobbi Brown - Ok, so this is a pretty normal search, but these are the keywords that have led folks to my page most often in the past few days. What's odd is that no one has cared where these two have been for years. Now all of a sudden they're a big deal. I imagine it's all due to Jani's recent appearance on Celebrity Fit Club, which I do watch on occasion. I happened to catch the final episode the other night, in which ex-wife Bobbi issued a taped congratulatory message to Jani. I have mentioned these two previously on my blog and believe it was in one of the music quizzes. I think I said something about how weird looking Jani is/was and how it was a mystery that he ever managed to snag a hot model like Bobbi. Well, the times they are a changin'. Bobbi now looks like a slightly younger version of Jennifer Coolidge, the ubiquitous dumb blonde from Legally Blonde, all those Christopher Guest movies and, most recently, Joey. She seems a bit puffed out in the face, probably has had at least one cosmetic surgery and doesn't believe that the words "subtle" and "make-up" belong in the same dictionary. And she's still rockin' the big '80s hair. I think she may have actually used some that Jani lost to fashion some sort of weave.

Stephen Pearcy of Ratt on his thoughts about the hurricane Katrina - My personal favorite. I'm hoping that actually using this exact phrase in my blog will bring that phantom surfer (who I will just refer to as "Way Cool Junior") back here, so I can ask Junior what he/she is smoking. Now, I have mentioned Stephen Pearcy here once. I briefly mentioned Ratt, though I am not a fan by any stretch. I have spoken about Hurricane Katrina. But never, before today, did I think that these two could actually go together! I can't fathom why anyone would give a Ratt's ass what this guy has to say about this subject. Sure, some people like to know what celebrities think about current events. But the ex-lead singer of a has-been band? What light could he possibly shed on this topic? I imagine it would be something along the lines of, "Whoa dude, yeah like...damn, that f'ing Katrina man, what a bitch. That sucks, man. F'ing hell, dude. Hey, you wanna see my new kick-ass race car?". (Disclaimer: The preceding quote is not an actual quote and does not express the ideas or opinions of the real Stephen Pearcy. Although I think it's probably pretty damn close.)

To sum up, I'd just like to thank Stat Counter for opening me up to a whole new world of blogging. I will do my best to bring more freaks on board. Speaking of, anyone want to take bets on how long it will take "rooster sex" to show up in my keyword analysis? I'm guessing three days, tops.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine