Thursday, March 30, 2006

Toxic Art

Eegads. One of my readers wanted to know what I thought about the Britney-giving-birth statue. When she asked, I hadn't even heard of it. I really wish I was still in that glorious state of blissful ignorance. I really don't even know if I can say anything about this. It just defies explanation.

Here it is, for those of you who haven't seen it yet or can't get enough of it. Uhhh.....I'm really trying here. I just, I don't know. I'm not in "shock" because nothing involving Britney shocks me any more. I'm not "disgusted" because she's pretty much living above the limits of vulgarity at this point. And I understand that art is subjective, but come on. I don't think this is a point of view that anyone really wants or needs to see. Besides, it looks more like a sculpture of how Britney got pregnant, not one depicting the end of her pregnancy. I just don't get it. If that makes me an uncultured slob, then bring on the BJ and the Bear reruns and give me a Big Gulp and a bag of Fritos. That's "art" I want no parts of.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Celebrity Meeting/Celebrity Sighting

Monday night I had to work at the media check-in desk for a movie screening. My firm was promoting an IMAX film called...well, let's just call it a movie about cyclists in the Tour de France. (Not sure I want this so Google-able!) I haven't been able to see the movie yet, but I've heard it was pretty interesting. It's all about how a cyclist's body and brain functions during such a high-stress event. I haven't ridden a bike since my days of cruising out to the candy shop on my yellow Huffy, so it's all foreign territory for me.

The premiere was held at Lowe's in - Midtown? It was around the 50s, so I'm guessing that's Midtown. Hey, I'm still new here, and this was the first time I've been above 42nd Street, so you can't expect me to know this stuff. Anyway, as it turns out, the narrator of the movie was Alfred Molina. Alfred has a pretty solid acting resume, and seems to be quite the distinguished gentleman, but unfortunately or fortunately for him (depending on your point of view) he is recognized most often as the super-cool villain of Spider-Man 2, Doc Ock. As far as comic book movies go, the Spider-Man franchise is definitely the most entertaining and I think Molina made one of the greatest villains of the genre. I did get to meet him, as I wrangled my boss into introducing me. He shook my hand and said hello, and then my boss said something about me being a big Spider-Man fan, which prompted me to immediately feel the need to say something along the lines of, "I'm not a comic book geek, I just really liked the movies." He just smiled. He seemed like a pretty nice guy, although he looked tired and seemed like he wanted to go home. He doesn't look like the type who really goes for those big, elaborate parties.

Good thing he didn't venture downstairs. On the lower level, a different kind of movie premiere was happening. The sucky kind. It was the grand premiere of Sharon Stone's latest, Basic Instinct 2. One of my co-workers was downstairs directing people upstairs for our movie, so she got to see some of the celebs who came in. It seems that we only missed Alan Cumming and Usher. No big whoop. The big rumor was that Brad Pitt was supposed to be there, but I didn't think Brad would be bothered with such a stupid movie. Anyway, at some point soon after the movie started there was some hubbub down in the lobby and we looked down over the railing in time to see Ms. Sharon on her way out, posing for the paparazzi. She had a red dress on that she was probably too old for and was sporting a long, blonde ponytail which I believe was mostly extensions. She looked pretty good from what I could see - but it was like one of those movies where they're trying to convey that a celebrity is walking by, but they only show the person from a strategic rear-side angle so you know it's probably just a lookalike. I never saw her full-on. Not that I really care. I'm not a fan of hers by any means.

First of all, she's a bad actress. This was confirmed again by two of my co-workers who managed to score tickets to the screening. I guess they wanted to check it out because they were curious to see what other stars were in the theater, but I certainly had no interest in sitting through that mess. One of the girls said that people were actually laughing during the movie. Now, unless the director of this particular chapter of The Ice Pick Diaries decided to go for a comedic angle, I doubt that laughter was not the intended reaction he/she wanted from the audience. I'm guessing that's why Sharon skipped out early. She didn't want to sit there while the full horror of her sub-B movie unfolded around her. Probably a smart move.

Secondly, the woman is from Crawford County, Pennsylvania, a pretty rural area that's a few hours north of Allegheny County, where I'm from. She has always tried to pretend that she's not from such a place and has never really had anything nice to say about PA. Aside from that, I've heard numerous people say that she's a royal bitch to anyone who isn't "important". In other words, if you can help further her pathetic career, she loves you. If not, she'll probably throw you in a cage with a komodo dragon. Or maybe she only does that to her husbands.

Finally, she just seems like a nutbag. She walks around like she's got a gold-plated ass or something. She's just so damn fake. And I love how she tries to act like some kind of philanthropic angel of Hollywood. Like we all needed that stupid Katrina song of hers. My co-worker told me that before the movie last night, she spoke to the audience about how it was dedicated to (or somehow helping) children with AIDS...and then the first scene of the movie was a shot of some guy's hand down her pants. I'm sure that's very helpful. Sharon Stone, you are truly one of the greats.

Of course, now I'm left wondering how much longer until I get to be in a situation like this when there is a John Travolta movie premiere involved. I just hope I know about it beforehand. I'll have to make sure I'm wearing some Depends on that night.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Eye Boogers

Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following news items are curiously fascinating:

Whoa, Pat...Tom Wopat! - Wopat, aka Luke Duke, was busted for drunk driving a couple of weeks ago. I find this so ironic. You see, when I was younger I was a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan. My friend, Donna, and I never missed an episode. When my Dad took us out to dinner, we would insist on crawling in and out of the car through the windows, just like the Dukes. She liked Bo and I liked Luke. (Always did like those dark-haired men!) I used to get so mad that Luke never got to drive the General Lee. I remember him driving a couple of times, but they were very rare occurrences. Bo always drove. I wanted Luke to run over Bo. But now, maybe there's a deeper reason for Bo not letting Luke drive? Dukes don't let Dukes drive drunk? Now that I think about it, this isn't really irony. It's just stupid. But I still found it kind of funny.

Chris Daughtry Cashes in on Live Cover. - For those of you who don't watch American Idol, well...first of all, give yourselves a hand. You're stronger than me. Moving on, Chris Daughtry is one of the AI contestants. He's been one of my favorites thus far - slipping into the role of token rocker left vacant by Bo Bice and shamed by Constantine Maroulis. The guy definitely has a good voice. He's slightly hot. But, I'm a bit annoyed with him at the moment. Last week on AI was '50s Week. Now, most of those kids panic when they have to do songs from the '80s, let alone 30 years earlier. It's unreal to me how many of these so-called music lovers have no interest in learning about any music that wasn't produced during their generation. Some of them did fairly well though, and Chris's performance was one of the highlights of the evening. He covered the Johnny Cash classic, "I Walk The Line" and it was a very interesting, soulful but rockin' arrangement. Everyone was impressed with his ability to make that song his own. But it turns out that he did nothing of the kind! He just covered Live's version of the song, which they recorded for a Sun Records tribute in 2001. On one hand, it's not a big deal because it's still the same song and technically it was written in the '50s. BUT...on the other hand, he never bothered to fess up that he just jacked someone else's creativity and took credit for coming up with an original take on the song. And he would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those kids and their internet! I certainly never heard Live's cover of it. I doubt a lot of people, outside of die-hard Ed Kowalczyk fans, have. That's what Chris was banking on I guess, and that's what pisses me off. Besides that, his side-stepping of the musical time periods is becoming a pattern. Two weeks ago for Stevie Wonder week, he covered Stevie's "Higher Ground", but did it Red Hot Chili Peppers style. He said he was relieved when he found out that was actually a Stevie Wonder song...so what does that say? He can't do any other genre but rock? A real rocker can take anything and make it rock. As I once heard a comedian say (who I would credit, but I can't remember his name), "Led Zeppelin could sing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' and make it sound either evil or sexy". Of course they could. But Robert Plant had long, flowing locks. Little Chris has none. Maybe that's the difference.

99 Luftballoons on the Wall....99 Luftballoons... - VH1 Classic is going to play the German and English videos for "99 Luftballoons" continuously for an hour on Sunday, March 26. Why? Because some moron donated $35,000 to a Hurricane Katrina relief fund and his reward was the opportunity to choose an hour's worth of videos. Naturally, he frittered away this perfect chance to have VH1 Classic pull out some really cool, possibly forgotten stuff by opting for a damn Nena marathon. What's the appropriate phrase I'm looking for here? A fool and his money are soon parted? Go for quality over quantity? Smart men, foolish choices? No....maybe just one word will do. JACKASS.

Randy Quaid Wants to Break Brokeback's Bank - Giant, uh, star Randy Quaid is madder 'n a possum in shit because he claims he didn't get paid enough for his supporting role in Brokeback Mountain. Listen here, Randy, I think the guys who were simulating sweaty ass-sex deserve most of the acting budget. Then again, it probably is worth it to pay you extra to keep your clothes on. So I'm not sure whose side I'm on here.

The Simpsons Go Live - This Sunday's episode of The Simpsons will feature a live-action opening sequence with apparently jaundiced actors who look like the characters. I love this show, but this just reeks of jumping-shark bait to me. I think they should call it quits. (Not likely since it was just picked up for two more seasons.) Honestly, the only time I watch it anymore is in reruns. I rarely catch the new episodes.

Cheney Shoots...His Mouth Off - Not literally...but how funny would that be? No, Dick responded to Democrat complaints that the Bush administration was mishandling Iraq by saying, "If they are competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on American Idol." Well Dick, why don't you go show 'em all how it's done? On the front lines. You're handy with a gun. Go. Now.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Here's One Sure Ta Go To The Top O' the Charts

Aye, I was a wee bit bored, so here's a little St. Pat's Day song for all of you. This one is going out special to Robert Plant and Bar Bar A.

Leprechaun (sung to the tune of "Ramble On")

Shamrocks growing all around,
Time I was on my way.
Rainbow forming in the sky,
Breaking up the gray.

So now 'tis time for me to go,
Playin' bagpipes on the way.
And I can smell the rain starting to wane
Now I gotta make hay.
Oh, sometimes I grow so tired,
But I know I've got one thing I got to do...

I'm a leprechaun!
And now's the time the time is now
To sing my song,
I'm going around the world,
I gotta find me gold.
On my way,
I've been this way since I was a wee babe.
Leprechaun!
You steal me gold I'll knock you out cold.


Got no time for Lucky Charms,
My riches I depend upon.
And sure, I'll find them at the rainbow's end
'Cause I'm the leprechaun.

(Pipes solo)

I'm a leprechaun!
And now's the time the time is now
To sing my song,
I'm going around the world,
I gotta find me gold.
On my way,
I've been this way since I was an elf babe.
Leprechaun!
You steal me gold I'll knock you out cold.

Toora-loora-loo-ra-lie...

A leprechaun ya can not hold,
Our freedom we hold dear.
But years ago in days of old,
After ten pints of beer...
'Twas on the craggy cliffs of Moher,
One met a girl so fair.
Forced him to give up his gold,
And then she slipped away with it.

But nobody's gonna get mine...

Or I'll hit 'em with my shillelagh!
I'm not gonna taaaake (any shite from any of ye filthy fecks)
I'm a leprechaun, so pogue mahone
Gonna work my way back to my gold (leprechaun, baby)
A doodl-y-oo dee dee dum dee dee doo.....
I can't stop tryin' to find my pot,
Gotta keep searching for it, baby (aye, aye, aye, aye...)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Taking it 15 Minutes at a Time

Tonight marked the beginning of the competitions on two big-time talent shows: FOX's American Idol and USA's Nashville Star. I am inexplicably a fan of both, so it's about time for me to weigh in.

American Idol
AI has been on for weeks now, but everything prior to tonight has been preliminary rounds and eliminations leading up to the "real" contest between the final 12 contestants. If there's one thing this show does well, it's filling up blocks of time. During the semifinals, the show needlessly took up three nights of primetime, including lengthy coverage of auditions and general nonsense. Now the series will only be on twice a week, but the second night or "results night" generally consists of Ryan Seacrest trying to be cute while making the contestants sweat it out, horribly corny group performances and even cornier commercials for Coke and Ford starring the prospective Idols. That's it, AI...teach 'em to sell out before they even get in.

One thing that I noticed tonight is that the songs didn't seem as truncated. This could just be my imagination, but all the contestants seemed to perform longer than they used to. I looked around on the AI website but couldn't find any proof of this. This is a good thing though. I've been wanting them to change this since the first season. I don't see the point of these people getting all gussied up every night to go out there and sing for a minute. The songs are definitely still edited, but they seem much fuller. And even though the old Idol stand-bys are still being trotted out, contestants this year seem to be picking a lot of songs that haven't been done to death already. Yay for positive change.

The first night of the finals was "Stevie Wonder night," with all the contestants picking one of the legendary artist's tunes to perform. Probably more than half of the finalists didn't even know a good majority of his songs, yet they kept saying how "honored" they felt to be in the same room with him. Damn kids.

Now, without further ado, on to the contestants...

1. Paris Bennett - Paris is a really cute girl with a really good voice. Very spunky and young, I can almost see the diva inside trying to break free. I think she's a little too nice to go completely diva though. However, her little sing-reply routine with Ryan tonight after her performance immediately annoyed me. Simon looked annoyed too. Simon and I tend to agree a lot. And I still think he's hot, I'm sorry.

2. Kevin Covais - This is the kid who assures me that the judges don't necessarily pick the most talented people for the finals. It's quite obvious that they pick some of them based on ability, but then there are others who are thrown into the mix purely to make good TV and stir up controversy. Kevin is this year's token "nerd-boy." They have one every year. Last year it was a toss-up between doofy oaf Scott Savol and nerdy-cute Russo-American Anthony Federov. In Season 3, it was dorky redheaded crooner, John Stevens and Season 2 had Clay Aiken, of course. I can't really remember Season 1, but I remember that A.J. guy being kind of a dweeb. Anyway, Kevin is definitely the underdog of the show, which means that he will coast through to at least the Top 5 or 6, causing Simon to pop a vein when Paula sweetly defends his being there. The kid can kind of sing...he could probably find a few parts in some off-Broadway shows. Maybe. If he didn't have that damn lisp! But then, the lead singer of The Romantics had a lisp and they were a big hit back in the day. Who doesn't love that song - I hear the thecreths that you keep...when you're talking in your thleep?

3. Bucky Covington - No picture needed here. Bucky Covington. Get an image in your mind of what a "Bucky Covington" should look like and you're right. That's him. He seems like a decent guy, but he has no chance of winning. First of all, Simon hates country music. Sure, Carrie Underwood won last year, but she has "crossover" potential and a great voice. I don't think Bucky has either. He covered Garth Brooks's "The Thunder Rolls" last week, which sounded pretty good, but his first song on the big stage was "Superstitious" and it was not great.

4. Chris Daughtry - It annoyed me that Chris didn't know that Stevie Wonder wrote "Higher Ground." What Stevie did he think Anthony Kiedis was rapping about at the end of the Red Hot Chili Peppers version? Did he never look at the liner notes? I freakin' LIVE for liner notes. Anyway, I like Chris. He's got a really nice, strong rock voice and he has great stage presence. I'm not too into the bald men, but he's kind of hot. The overgrown soul patch needs to be pared down a bit though.

5. Taylor Hicks - I like Taylor quite a bit. He's one of the older contestants and he seems to actually really LOVE music. Not just performing, but everything about music. The judges always make fun of his dancing, but when he's onstage singing, he just lets it fly...kind of like Joe Cocker or some other choreographically-challenged white man. He really is a wonderful soul singer, very reminiscent of Michael McDonald. (Of course, he covered a Doobie Brothers song last week and nailed it.) Taylor is definitely a fan favorite, but he probably won't win the competition because he doesn't "look like an Idol," as Simon is so fond of saying. Apparently a guy can't be an Idol with gray hair, but it's okay if he's roughly the size of a barn. (Yes, Ruben...I'm talking about you.) The only thing that annoys me about Taylor is that Ray Charles lean-back move he does at the end of all his songs. I really, really want him to stop doing that.

6. Elliott Yamin - Elliott is one of those guys who just doesn't stay in my memory after the show is over, which is strange because he has one of the best voices in the competition. But, I swear he's sung a Stevie Wonder song in every episode, including this one. He's coming off as a bit of a one-note performer.

7. Mandisa - Mandisa is filling the role of yet another token player...the "fat chick." Of course Simon already told her in the semis that she needed to lose weight, Paula got indignant and Randy pretended to care while giving her backhanded compliments. But, all the judges have come to an agreement on one thing - girl's got some pipes! I dig Mandisa. She can really belt it out, and she's very sweet and classy.

8. Melissa McGhee - I don't get this chick. As Simon would say, she's "utterly forgettable."

9. Katharine McPhee - Katharine is one of the early front-runners, and she may very well go on to win. She definitely has a beautiful voice, and it seems to come so naturally to her. I like her for the most part, but there is something really quite annoying about her. She bounces around a lot and makes goofy faces and then acts like a complete spaz during her interviews. She just comes off as a bit fake. However,the way her hair and makeup was done tonight, she reminded me a bit of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Many of you already know of my monstrous lesbian crush on CZJ, so that resemblance certainly serves Katharine well as far as I'm concerned.

10. Kellie Pickler - Talk about annoying. Katharine McPhee, on her worst day, could never make me as nauseous as this chick. I am so sick of the "I'm just a sweet little Southern Belle who's never been off the farm so I don't understand the simplest things and gee ain't my stupidity cuuuuute" routine. Simon said last week that he prefers Kellie to Carrie Underwood. Here is one area where Cowell and I disagree. Carrie may have been fairly robotic onstage, but she had an awesome voice and didn't need to act like a moron to get attention. This girl doesn't have the vocal skills and she's annoying. Did I say she was annoying? Kellie Pickler is annoying.

11. Lisa Tucker - I want to like this girl, because she's young and sweet and has a nice voice, but I can't completely get behind her. She just seems like one of those kid stars who grew up onstage and, as a result, became very mechanical and fake. I feel like I'm watching a pageant every time she's on. And this week, I think she sang horribly and the judges still raved about her. They're way off the mark on this one. She did "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours", which is my favorite Stevie song, and completely screwed it up. I thought it was dreadful. Appalling. Karaoke? I'm trying to find just the right Simon-ism. Uh...I've heard better at weddings. No, no...on a boat cruise! That's it. That's the one.

12. Ace Young - "Hi, I'm Ace. Ain't I pretty? Please let my perfect teeth and wavy hair distract you from the fact that I'm kind of a hack." Sorry, Ace...can't do it. And you're not that cute either. Sorry.




So there is your final 12. I guess it's prediction time now, eh? Well, I'm going to guess that either Bucky or Melissa will get voted off this week. Bucky seems like he might have a fan base though, while Melissa could probably get lost in the shuffle a lot easier. Therefore, I'll say that Melissa will be the first to go. As far as who will go all the way...it's a bit hard to say right now. As I mentioned above, Katharine is the current favorite. But I think a good guess for the final four is Katharine, Taylor, Chris and Mandisa. Mandisa and Taylor won't win because neither of them look the part. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to say that Chris will win, because out of four seasons, three winners have been female. I have a feeling that TPTB want a man to win this year. Still, it may be hard to keep Katharine down. I can't commit to a final winner right now. I'll get back to you guys on that one.

Nashville Star
Here's what I love about Nashville Star - they don't waste precious air time. Tonight was the beginning of the season, and all they did was give a brief run-down of where they went to audition people, how they whittled down the contestants for the finals and then finally introduced the final 10 performers. All this in the first 10 minutes of the show, and they still had time for the first round and a performance by Big and Rich. Now that's an efficient show! On top of that, the judges eliminated one of the contestants at the end of the first episode, so they're already down to 9! Yes! Me likey!!

After the first episode, the judges are pretty much just there to mouth off (a la AI) and the viewers get to determine the winner via online/phone voting. The Nashville Star voting system is a lot better than the AI one too...but we won't get into all that. It's all been said before. Simply put, Idol could change things if they wanted to but they're more interested in high caller numbers and watercooler talk about the various "voting controversies."

Another thing I like about NS is that it appears to be embraced by the country music world, whereas AI doesn't have much cred with most serious musicians, especially in rock. It's nice to see big country stars like Martina McBride and Clint Black really supporting the show. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that contestants on NS aren't just merely performers - they all write their own songs and most of them play instruments. Nashville Star requires the finalists to play original material during the contest, which is the biggest difference between it and American Idol. Overall, the level of talent on this show is much higher and there isn't as much of a focus on style.

This year's finalists are...

1. Jared Ashley - Jared is an ex-Navy boy, so he's got that whole Officer and a Gentleman thing going for him. (Were they in the Navy in that movie? Or the Air Force? Am I thinking of Top Gun? Ah, who cares.) He dresses too much like Clint Black, which bothers me. He was pretty good, but doesn't really have any kind of "wow" factor.

2. Shy Blakeman - Is that a great name or what? His momma wanted him to grow up to be a country singer. In his pre-interview, Shy admitted that he doesn't have the best voice in the world, which is strangely endearing. He also got shot in the face once. Yowsa. He kind of looks like Christopher Atkins back in the Blue Lagoon days. No, scratch that. He looks like the love child of Shaun Cassidy and Donnie Van Zandt. Ponder that, if you dare. As it turns out, Shy was right...he doesn't really have the best voice but it's certainly not bad and he's a good performer. Besides that, he sang a song from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, so it's all good.

3. Jewels Hanson - I guarantee you that this girl's name is Julie, people used to call her Jules, and then one day she changed the spelling of it to Jewels and insisted that everyone call her that because she thought it was so cool. Either that or her dad named her after his nuts! Ha ha ha...oh, I crack myself up sometimes. Getting back on track - plural Jewel has a pretty decent bluesy-rock voice, but the song she was doing was so loud that no one could really hear it. She was trying too hard to be, well, hard. She really wants to fill the role of "tough chick with attitude." She kind of reminds me of JoDee Messina, what with the worn-out hooker look and all. But, JoDee can sing circles around this chick. I'd probably at least pay the $5 cover to see her play at a bar though. Then I'd get drunk and flirt with her bass player, most likely.

4. Nicole Jamrose - Another great country singer name. Nicole is apparently playing the role of "MILF making her last attempt at fame and fortune." When everyone sang at the beginning of the show, she sounded pretty good so I'm fairly certain she can sing but I didn't like the song she picked for her solo performance. It sounded more like she was talking through most of it rather than singing. I also think she's trying too hard to channel Sheryl Crow, hairstyle included. I'll have to hear what she does next week before I can decide if I like her or not.

5. Monique LeCompte - Monique dubbed herself "the fat chick," knowing full well that every reality show needs one these days. I didn't really think she was fat, she just has giant boobs. That certainly won't hurt her. Regardless of her size, her voice is really beautiful. She totally kicked ass on a boring Faith Hill song, yet some of the judges said her voice was too "theatrical." They didn't think she was country. And Faith Hill is??

6. Matt Mason - Matt's a pretty good looking guy, although he's kind of a weird cross between Elvis and Wayne Newton. He definitely has a good, solid country voice although he had a bit too much of that nasally twang that I really don't care for. But he was still ok.

7. Kristen McNamera - A blonde Britney-esque bimbo in a black bridesmaid dress and boots. Let's hear it for alliteration! I really can't root for the Barbie doll, but she actually sings pretty well. And hey, she even yodeled. It was cute at first, but I would've flipped after about another minute so I'm glad it wasn't a long song.

8. Casey Rivers - Casey looks like a typical frat boy, though I know in this picture he kind of looks like Frankenstein. Jeez, and I thought I was unphotogenic. He is better looking than this pic suggests. Not gorgeous, but not bad. He's got a good voice, but it's the typical modern country voice that I probably couldn't tell apart from a handful of other popular country singers. I like him though. He's definitely pleasing to the ears.

9. Melanie Torres - Here is a spicy little Senorita who is an ex-beauty pageant girl. She also looks like she should be working at Coyote Ugly. That combination usually results in a woman that I want to slap, but Melanie surprised me. I like her. She covered a Martina McBride song, which is always tough, and she sounded really good.

10. Chris Young - Chris is young. I think he's just about 20. Mmmmm hmmm. That's just about right up my alley. This boy is so darn cute...I know I say that these competitions shouldn't be about looks and they shouldn't. Really, Chris has a wonderful voice. It's a shock to hear it because it totally doesn't fit his body. It's very deep and rich - a good old fashioned country voice. So there. He has talent. Now that we've established that, I can go back to his other positives. That boyish face. That smile. Those dimples. Yeeeeeeeee-haw. Giddyup.

Before I make any predictions, I should probably let y'all know that the judges already eliminated Jewels, so we won't be treated to her rendition of "Piece of My Heart," which was surely on tap for next week. Now, as to who the viewers will vote off....that's a tough call. I'm thinking it's either going to be Jared or Kristen. I'll go with Kristen. And for the overall winner, I may have to pull the same thing I did with AI and get back to you later. However, my early feeling is that Chris, Melanie, Casey and Nicole will be in the top 4. Obviously, Chris is my favorite but I admit that I'm blinded by superficiality right now.

I just realized that I left some people out - the judges and the hosts. I should probably do a little side-by-side comparison of those folks too...

Ryan Seacrest (AI) vs. Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy (NS)
I don't dislike Ryan Seacrest as much as I thought I did. Yeah, he's kind of a schmuck, but he's easy on the eyes and pretty good as far as talking heads go. He seems to develop a good rapport with most of the contestants, too. I have to give him the edge here in the host category, mainly because Wynonna really irks me. She is so self-absorbed. Before the judges eliminated someone at the end of the show, she went on this big spiel about how many times she's been told "no" and how she has a great career, yadda yadda. Then she tries to get all Dr. Phil with the contestants like she really cares about them, yet any time one of them touches her she looks like she's about to whip out a can of pepper spray. I was never really wild about Leann Rimes (the original host) but now I miss her! I do like Cowboy Troy though - he brings a lot of humor and personality to the show. Maybe he should host by himself?

Randy Jackson (AI) vs. Phil Vassar (NS)
Randy has grown on me, but his vocabulary which consists of "dawg", "dude", "we got a hot one", "you did your thing," "you worked it out," and "what's going down" grows more tiresome with each episode. They could really replace him with a bobble head doll that looks like him. Paula could just push a button and it would say one of those phrases. Phil is kind of a cool guy, but he seems to have a limited vocabulary too. He says "great" a lot. "You were great, man...you have a great voice...the whole thing was just great." Maybe his hero as a kid was Tony the Tiger, I don't know. Still, I think he knows more about music than Randy, isn't constantly promoting himself and dropping names and doesn't have a "dog pound" to do that outdated, Arsenio Hall-era "whoo whoo whoo" thing behind him. Therefore, I have to say I like Phil a teensy bit better than Randy.

Paula Abdul (AI) vs. Anastasia Brown (NS)
I don't even need to think about it - I pick Paula Abdul, hands down. Do you know how sickening you have to be to be less tolerable than Paula Abdul? Sure, Paula's breathy gushing over everyone drives me mad, but this Anastasia chick is just beyond repellent. Who is she? Why does she think she's an expert on anything? Why won't she just shut up?

Simon Cowell (AI) vs. No One (NS)
As if there could be another Simon. Come on. Nashville Star's 3rd judge this year is a rotating guest judge. And no, I don't mean it's someone who just sits there and spins around, but that would be funny! Maybe they could get Pete Burns from Dead or Alive. And I'm back from the pointless '80s tangent in 3...2...1. Yes, the 3rd judge is always different so there's no way to compare him/her/them to Simon. Not that anyone could compare to the brutally honest Brit. I'm so disgusted with myself that I find him so sexually appealing. I need help.

So there you have it...all you could possibly want to know about American Idol, Nashville Star, my strange attractions and obviously boring life.

Thanks to the AI Website and USA Network's Nashville Star page for the pics that I may or may not be allowed to use here.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Other Guy" of the Month

Every month I pay homage to or catch up with some poor guy who had his chance to be a star but was overshadowed by someone else's fame instead.

Mr. March - Peter DeLuise
I'm sure everyone recognizes the DeLuise name, originally made famous by patriarch Dom DeLuise. While Dom was a well-known comedic actor, a big chunk of his career was spent playing second banana to Burt Reynolds. Apparently the "sidekick" act was passed along to his sons, Peter, Michael and the other one from the dog food commercial whose name I can't recall. It doesn't matter. Obviously, my focus here will just be on Peter.

Peter got his big break on the classic late '80s cop drama, 21 Jump Street. I absolutely loved that show. Never missed it. My sister, who was living in Texas at the time, suggested that I watch it because she had gotten hooked on it. As with most female fans of the show, she was quite smitten with the main character, Officer Tommy Hanson as played by the unreasonably gorgeous Johnny Depp. I certainly thought Johnny was cute when I first started watching, but as time went on I developed a major crush on his sidekick, Doug Penhall, played by Peter DeLuise. Even back then I went for the funny guys. DeLuise may not have been as Tiger Beat cover-ready as Depp, but he was still handsome and created a very endearingly goofy character in Penhall.

It seemed that after a while, Penhall became a huge fan favorite, so I'm not sure why Peter's star didn't burn as brightly as Johnny's. I guess it just all came down to looks, and even though Johnny Depp famously rebelled against his teen idol image, he just couldn't change that glorious face of his. It has to be tough to share screen time with a guy who looks like that. He couldn't help but be the center of attention. So even though Peter had a lot of fans, Johnny still probably had more and they were much more vocal.

The DeLuise/Depp appeal is best described this way. Imagine being a girl in high school with "Doug Penhall" and "Tom Hanson". Let's say you get to know Doug, think he's really cute and funny and basically a giant teddy bear. You just loooove him. You go on some dates and he's a total gentleman. He's the best. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Tom asks you to the dance. You've never spoken to him before and have no idea how he even knows who you are. What do you do? Say YES of course! LOOK AT HIM! Doug who??? You know it's completely rotten but this may be your only chance to go out with such a ridiculously beautiful man. The cheekbones win again. And you can tell yourself that it wasn't a completely superficial choice because Tom is a nice guy too, but you know that you've never even seen his inner beauty because the outer is completely blinding. Face it, you're shallow. But it's ok because you have the hottie.

This post is getting away from me. The bottom line is that Peter was popular, but he could never quite get out of Johnny's shadow. Then, the powers that be at FOX tried to bury him even further by bringing in vapid, pretty boy Richard Grieco as Booker. That didn't quite work. Even though Richard eventually got his own (lame) spin-off show, he was never fully embraced by Jump Street fans. Sure, he had the pack of girls who thought his dark and brooding, Johnny-wannabe schtick was adorable, but Peter's popularity was never in danger of being eclipsed by his. Besides that, most fans liked the rapport between Peter and Johnny. They made a good on-screen duo, and by all accounts they were good friends off-set. When Johnny Depp wiggled out of his contract and left the show, that was sort of the beginning of the end for Jump Street, but it wasn't all just because Johnny was gone. Peter DeLuise remained on the show almost until the end, and was still a big draw for many fans. However, the big problem was that they were bringing new people in and it just didn't have the same vibe as it did at the beginning. Once the team of Hanson and Penhall was dissolved, the show just wasn't as fun to watch. I think if DeLuise had left the show before Depp, it would've been the same. So, in the context of that show, DeLuise wasn't completely overshadowed by Depp, even though Johnny was the bigger star according to the media. On 21 Jump Street, they complemented each other.

However, once Jump Street was over, Peter DeLuise sort of faded away into the background as a bit player while Johnny Depp became one of the biggest movie stars and most respected actors of our time. I always thought that they would both break out in a big way after that show, but I guess Johnny's fame was too huge for anyone else to get around. He's really a special case though, because he has the matinee idol looks, but he's also amazingly talented. As much as I always liked Peter DeLuise, he definitely doesn't compare to Johnny Depp as an actor. Still, I think he could've had a better career than he has. He could've been a good character actor like Steve Buscemi or Joey Pants. I think he is at his best when he's playing the semi-tough goofball. I'm immediately reminded of his guest role on Friends, where he played a coffee shop bully who terrorized Chandler and Ross. He was really funny on that episode. More roles like that for Peter! Hopefully I'll see him on My Name is Earl one of these days.

I have discovered that while he may not be in the public eye very much, he's still keeping quite busy with the sci-fi series, Stargate, for which he has acted, written and directed. Another of my favorite ex-teen stars, Corin Nemec (aka Parker Lewis) used to be on that program as well. I just can't get into it. I've tried watching it, but they keep changing the cast and I can never
figure out what's going on. It's one of those shows that I'll start watching and then when a commercial comes on, I'll start flipping around the dial and forget that I was watching it and end up getting sucked in by something else. That's just the way it goes. Regardless, I'm glad to hear that Peter is doing well.

He's lost a little bit of hair (no longer sporting the kick-ass '80s mullet) but he's still a cutie-pie. And these days I would always go for the cute teddy-bear over the brooding hottie. Wow, I feel so grown up.

Friday, March 10, 2006

BeckEye is Here to SatisfEye

I was checking my keyword analysis on Stat Counter again, and was amazed by a pattern that has been forming over the last few days. It seems that lots of people are finding my page while looking for the lyrics to "Dancing In Heaven" from the '80s SJP movie, Girls Just Want To Have Fun and "Joy and Pain" by Rob Base. Now, I have mentioned Girls Just Want To Have Fun and the catchy chorus of "Dancing In Heaven" in a previous post. I've used "Joy and Pain, Sunshine and Rain" as one of my post titles. However, I don't have the lyrics to either one of these songs on my blog. But since I always aim to please (or more to the point, I have nothing else to write about right now) I will post them for all those curious folks out there who are humming and singing the wrong words to these songs. Enjoy.

Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop) by Q-Feel
(Are you Ready? Here We Go)
Slow-Slow- Quick Quick Slow
Slow-Slow- Quick Quick Slow

Countdown Its getting to the flight time
Night stars are shining in my eyes
My shoes are going to be the first ones
To dance deep up in the skies

Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)
Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)
(Kick it out)

Slow-Slow- Quick Quick Slow
Slow-Slow- Quick Quick Slow

I'll be the first to Bassa Nova
Ten thousand miles above my legs
You dear, my lady on the Radar
I'll bring a child to Outer Space

Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)
Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)

Hey, Here I am
I hear the Universe Sing
The Celestial Scream
I am not alone
Are you receiving me clear
There is Others out here

Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)
Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)

Hey, Here I am
I hear the Universe Sing
The Celestial Scream
I am not alone
Are you receiving me clear
There is Others out here

Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)
Dancing in Heaven I never thought I could get my feet this far
(Orbital Be-Bop)...

Wow. How did that never win a Grammy or an Oscar??

Joy and Pain by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Well I'm the new kid, I'm just comin' up
A lot of rappers think that I can't tear it up
Well I'm 'a show 'em and ignore 'em
And when they think I ain't lookin' I floor 'em

I mean take 'em out I keep groovin'
A slick bass line keep the beat movin'
They can't take it they just fake it
They wonder how the Rob Base make it
I get ill, you know the deal
Cuz this is how the Rob Base feels

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

I keep smokin', hot like fire
You had the turn, now retire
Don't talk back, I'm not a new jack
Cuz I'm fresher than you, an' you're whacked

I keep tryin', I'm not lyin'
Up to number 1 is where I'm flyin'
I won't slow down cuz I'm the new kid
With the devastatin' sound that hits
In the house where I used to practice
No one knew the Rob exists, but now
I'm gettin' greedy, don't lead me
The wrong way cuz is just might, might, might
Bring me down, I'll have to fight to get back up
Move away cuz I just won't slack up

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Now, I go to shows to watch other MCs rock
And if they're good, I don't knock
The way they perform cuz I like to see a good show
After that, go play C-low, y'know
Cuz I'm a leader, no I'm not a follower
And MCs like you I swallow 'em

So don't look and try to judge me
Because you think that I'm another MC, well
I'm the new kind, I just moved around
But that don't mean I can't rip up the town
Me an' my boys, we make noise
I hate MCs that think they're with toys
I'm hittin' harder than any other MC
Who try to come up and go against me

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Not from the old school or from the new
Applaud the boom, do what you want to
Talk to me then try to put me down
We used to be cool now we don't hang around
Used to be friends but now we're foes
Ask me why, man, no one knows
Maybe jealousy between you and me
Could be the fame, could be the money
I'm goin' for mine and I don't really care
Cuz the spotlight Rob Base don't share
I'm the headliner of this show
And you're just a kid and you need to grow, because

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Alternate title: It's Hard Out There Bein' a Sucka MC

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I LOVE it. Toldja!!

As I mentioned a few days ago, Pearl Jam released the first single from their soon-to-be-released (but not quite soon enough for me) record this week and are offering it as a free mp3 download on their website.

So? What are you waiting for? Go get it!! It's an awesome song. It's great to hear them coming right out of the gate with a raucous tune, since the debut singles from their last two records were both pretty mild. ("I Am Mine" from Riot Act and "Nothing as It Seems" from Binaural.) Also, while Riot Act did have a blazing rocker in the form of "Save You", most of the other songs on that album were a bit restrained. Not that that's a bad thing, because Riot Act is my favorite PJ record...or at least tied with Vs. for top honors. But it's always great to hear Eddie and the gang laying it down and having a great time. They're also back to sticking it to Dubya. I heard a friend say the other day that there really isn't that much activism in music these days, at least not where the lyrics and actual musical content is concerned. Well, I don't think there's any doubt as to what this new Pearl Jam song is about....

I felt the earth on Monday. It moved beneath my feet.
In the form of a morning paper. Laid out for me to see.

Saw his face in a corner picture. I recognized the name.
Could not stop staring at the face I'd never see again.

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean when the war has taken over?

It's the same everyday in a hell manmade
What can be saved, and who will be left to hold her?

The whole world...World over.
It's a worldwide suicide.

Medals on a wooden mantle. Next to a handsome face.
That the president took for granted.
Writing checks that others pay.

And in all the madness, thought becomes numb and naive.
So much to talk about. Nothing for to say.

It's the same everyday and the wave won't break
Tell you to pray, while the devil's on their shoulder

Laying claim to the take that our soldiers save
Does not equate, and the truth's already out there

The whole world,... World over.
It's a worldwide suicide.

The whole world,... World over.
It's a worldwide suicide.

Looking in the eyes of the fallen
You got to know there's another, another, another, another
Another way

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean when a war has taken over

It's the same everyday and the wave won't break
Tell you to pray, while the devil's on their shoulder

The whole world,... World over.
It's a worldwide suicide.

The whole world,... World over.
It's a worldwide suicide.

Monday, March 06, 2006

We're Not Gonna Take It, Steve Alter! And Neither Will Billy Chenowith!

I'm sure everyone remembers the Twisted Sister video for "We're Not Gonna Take It". Remember the kid at the beginning? The one who said,"I wanna rock" and blasted Niedermeyer (or The Maestro, depending on your frame of reference) out the window with one guitar chord? Well, I always thought that kid was cute because he looked like a young John Travolta. I've often wondered how that kid grew up. I figured if he looked like John Travolta as a boy, chances were good that he'd grow up to be pretty hot.

I'd like to thank the IMDB for confirming my suspicions. That kid did grow up to be hot. Not quite John Travolta, but still pretty good. In fact, he grew up to be my "Number Three Man", right behind Johnny and Eddie Vedder. That kid was Jeremy Sisto!

As soon as I read it, I knew it was true. But I rushed over to You Tube just to catch another glimpse of the video to make sure. That's Jeremy, all right. That's Jeremy looking like Vinnie Barbarino's younger brother. They really don't look alike now, but they're still both sexy beasts with the one trait I love most - a nice, thick head of dark hair. (Well, John's is thinning a bit these days, but it still looks good.)

This is one of those little trivia tidbits that I love finding out. I don't know how I didn't discover it until now. Regardless, my week is made.

Hey Jeremy, I wanna rock too.



**Update - Futher photographic evidence for the "non-believers"...




Look at the mouth. It's totally the same. And those eyes....and that thick, lustrous brunette mane. (Thanks to Jeremy Sisto's World for the shot on the right. Lots of good pics and info over there!)

Oscars, Shmoscars

This being a pop culture blog, I imagine I'm required to post something about the Academy Awards. Wonderful. I didn't watch the whole show and I haven't seen too many of the nominated movies, so I obviously don't have much to say. I guess I'll have to pull a Joan Rivers and talk about what people were wearing, just for the sake of having an Oscar-related entry. (Thanks to Yahoo! for the great pics...they have tons more in their special Academy Awards section.)

Hottest Chick of the Night: Uma Thurman. Now, I've never thought she was as beautiful as the media makes her out to be and she's worn some pretty atrocious dresses in the past, but holy moly, she looked awesome! That dress was gorgeous and her hair looked fantastic. Great makeup job too. She looked like she belonged up on Mt. Olympus. Eat your heart out, Ethan Hawke!!



Hottest Chick Runner-Up: Jessica Alba. Make room on the Mount, Uma. Both of these women are just lucky that Catherine Zeta-Jones wasn't there. She wasn't, was she? Please don't tell me that I missed her!



Hottest Guy of the Night: Matt Dillon. Strange, I was never a huge Dillon lover back in his heyday. Girls were gaga over him back around the time of The Outsiders and I never could see the attraction. But he's another guy who's proving that men age remarkably well. Every time the camera panned to him in the audience, I kept thinking, damn he looks good.

Hottest Guy Runner-Up: John Travolta. No surprise there, right? Look how nicely his tie matches the giant Oscar behind him. I didn't make him #1 because I don't like his haircut. Whoever cut it should be smacked. It's way too close, making his head look much too round. I should know - I have a big old pumpkin head myself.


Best Hair of the Night: Russell Crowe. My best friend was a bit put off by the curly-Q but I loved it. Say whatever you want about Russell, he's a hell of an actor (Cinderella Man was one of the few nominated movies I saw) and he's totally hot. A tough guy with hair like that....he looks like he should be one of the T-Birds. He appeals to my inner Pink Lady.



Coolest Chick of the Night: Dolly Parton. She's adorable. You gotta love her just for being able to walk upright.


Best Reason for Better Security: Who the hell let Gary Busey in? Even he looks confused as to why he's there.



Best Impression of a Casket Lining: Jennifer Lopez. Apparently this was from the Lily Munster collection. At least it wasn't white...that would've been really creepy.

Best Impression of a Hot Dog Topping: Michelle Williams. Ick - mustard! Oddly enough, the color went really well with her skin tone but it's still a disgusting shade. Maybe it's just because I hate mustard.


Best Pimps: I almost picked Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson, but Three 6 Mafia narrowly edged them out. Those old, white pimps just don't have it as hard out there.


Worst Waste of Talent: Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. These are two of the funniest guys on the planet right now, but that "makeup" skit was pretty lame. Couldn't the writers have given them something better to do? If they came up with that themselves, I'm pretty disappointed. The visual was amusing, but only for about 10 seconds. Remember when Ferrell and Jack Black sang the "unknown lyrics" to the "wrap up your speech music" last year? Now, THAT was hilarious.

Worst Dressed: Charlize Theron. You may ask yourself, why such a big dress? Really, she looked like an extra from the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" video.


And finally, the "Why Does This Woman Get Invited To The Oscars When She Has No Reason For Being There Other Than To Wear a Slinky Dress and Show Off Her Perfect Body?" Award goes to....Lisa Rinna.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More Fun With Steve Alter, The Plagiarist

Since Steve quickly removed the post he stole from me - and I have nothing else to do today - I have decided to dig a little deeper into Steve Alter's blog history. It should come as no surprise that I've uncovered more proof that Steve Alter is a plagiarist.

Exhibit A:
Here is a blog entry from Shakespeare's Sister, dated March 3, 2005:
Imagine How Diverse the Disciples Would Have Been if Jesus Hadn't Had to Worry About Federal Funding

Now look at Steve's entry, dated March 4, 2005:
G-d Bless America

Exhibit B:
Here is a blog entry from Neal Pollack. This is actually the link to his March 2005 archive, but just scroll down to the entry titled, "Braaaaaaaains!": The Maelstrom - Braaaaaaaains!

Now look at Steve's entry, dated April 20, 2005:
What Else...Braaaaaaaains!

For this one, Steve actually did "alter" it slightly. I think he did so in order to raise any eyebrows due to the fact that there was geographical information included, and the original writer said he grew up in Scottsdale, AZ. Being a Jersey boy, Steve decided to replace Scottsdale, AZ with Nyack, NY. He changed a few very minor details, but that doesn't mean it's still not plagiarism. Those details were obviously changed in order to cover his own ass. He could've covered the same story without using the original writer's same anecdotal set-up. But since Steve Alter is devoid of originality or conscience, he just took someone else's story and personalized it a tad, in order to make it sound like it came from his head.

Exhibit C:
Here is a blog entry from The Astute Blogger, dated March 28, 2005: Would You Want Your Ex To Be Your Legal Guardian?

Now look at Steve's entry, dated April 1, 2005: Schiavo...

Again, he altered this slightly, but only the set-up and last sentence. This is one of his most pathetic rip-offs because in his set up he claims that, "Many of my friends have asked me on which side of the arguement I resided during this trying time for the Schiavo and Schindler families". So basically, he is trying to pass someone else's opinion on the Schiavo case as his own and that he's finally taking the opportunity to "weigh in" on the issue. In other words, he needed to wait until he found a well-written opinion that he could steal, because he probably didn't even know who Terry Shiavo was.

Exhibit D:
Here is a blog entry from Fergie, dated July 8, 2005: Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

Now look at Steve's entry, dated July 14, 2005: Oh Katie!!!!

I find this humorous because it appears he "altered" some of the answers to the Scientology quiz, which the post is about, yet he managed to get the same result as Fergie with different answers! Oh, Steve!!!! You lame ass! He also added a little line at the end about wanting Katie Holmes's phone number. I thought you were a family man, Steve...what gives? Is the husband and father schtick all a hoax too? I haven't found any proof of that yet, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Below are the screen shots I grabbed from Steve's blog, should he decide to put his tail between his legs and delete them all in an effort to mask his e-kleptomania. You can click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Steve Alter's Random Thefts

I'm a little stunned. It was pointed out to me today by an anonymous commenter that I have been plagiarized. Apparently this little net thievery happened back in September, going undetected by me or any of my readers until just now. A very undistinguished gentleman by the name of Steve Alter (if that is, in fact, his real name) writes a blog called, ironically enough, "Random Thoughts", in which he published one of my blog entries verbatim. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I suppose I have a myriad of emotions right now, which are:

1. Shock - How lame is this guy? I have always tried my hardest to not even come close to plagiarism, even when relaying news stories. I'm always very concerned about it. Also, I always cite my references or link to the articles I'm writing about. Yet this guy took my post WORD FOR WORD and didn't even credit me. He just passed off every one of my thoughts as his own. Again, how lame is this guy?

2. Overblown Pride - I must be pretty damn brilliant if someone finds my blog worthy enough to steal! Pre-tty damn brilliant. Yep, yep, yep.

3. Bewilderment - How has this gone relatively undetected? It seems I'm not the first pretty damn brilliant blogger to be ripped off by this guy. Most hardcore bloggers are a smart bunch - they are good at sniffing out this kind of behavior and burning offenders at the virtual stake. Maybe a few people were aware of Steve, but thus far no one has shamed him into ending his sham of a blog.

4. Pity - Does this guy not have an original idea in his head?

5. Confusion - He didn't even take one of my better posts. Personally, I think the Tom Cruise/tryptophan post was the funniest in the life of this blog. I have yet to top it. He really should've taken that one. Maybe then he would've gotten a few comments.

6. Annoyance - I had to be reminded of a word that I can't spell. I had to look up the word "plagiarism" because, as good a speller as I am, I ALWAYS spell that one wrong. Hmm, maybe it's because I'm not a jackhole plagiarist who is familiar enough with the word to know how to spell it.

7. Perverse Glee - Your ass is mine, Steve Alter. Tom Cruise is gonna bless the day I found you. I don't care if you are a family man. You steal my schtick, I'm gonna schtick it to ya.

So, after doing a little research of my own, I found some mention of this guy on another person's blog, who had her own Alter-ed experience. After she and a friend called Steve out, evidently he removed the entry in question from his blog. Way to be a wuss, Steve. You all better hurry up and check this out before he removes the post he stole from me...I wish now I hadn't posted a comment to him because then it would've taken longer for him to realize that I'm on to him:

My original, dated Sept. 9 - Oops I Didn't Do Anything
His carbon copy, dated Sept. 12 - Oops I Didn't Do Anything Redux

At least he didn't steal the groovy pictures that I so nicely Photoshopped.

Now for the really funny part. Here is an entry of Steve's, dated October 18, 2005:
(Oh, and Steve, you see how I'm specifically saying that these are your words and putting them in quotes? That's a little device that writers use to keep from being labeled plagiarists.)

"So, as you might imagine, I got bored of blogging in just a short couple of months. Everyone who knows me should be well aware that I have the attention span of a goldfish and can't be counted on to consistently amuse and entertainment with my useless ramblings on a regular basis. However, I choose not to abandon my blog all together. It's too important to me that I communicate with all of my "peeps" without having to write 170 emails all containing the same dribble. Therefore, I am happy to announce that I will be changing the format of this blog... It will no longer be useless ramblings about inconsequential topics. Instead I will cover the new adventure I am about to embark on... FATHERHOOD!"

Here are my thoughts on the above:

1. The first sentence should read, "as you might imagine, people are on to me and I'm pissed".

2. He can't be counted on to consistently "entertainment"? Ok, I'm starting to see why this guy needs to steal other people's words. People who understand the difference between a verb and a noun. Anyway, that part should read, "I can't be counted on to scour the internet for entertaining stories that I can cut and paste into my own blog".

3. What nerdy white guy from Jersey says "peeps", unless he's talking about those marshallow Easter candies?

4. The word is drivel, not dribble. And why would a guy who is so good at cut and paste have to write 170 emails? And does he expect us to believe that he knows 170 people who want to hear his dribble, er drivel? Please. He can't have that many friends. A guy who can so carelessly steal other people's words is probably the kind of guy who you say something really funny to, and then when you're in a big group of people he says the same thing and gets a big laugh and passes it off as his own, while you're standing there fuming. People don't like that. Friends don't let friends steal their material. Therefore, he does not have 170 friends.

5. Useless ramblings about inconsequential topics? So he steals other bloggers' ideas and then calls them inconsequential? If it's really all that useless, why the hell did he waste all his time looking this stuff up in the first place?

6. I hope he's a good father. I hope he teaches his kid that stealing is wrong.

I probably shouldn't give this guy any publicity, but being in PR, I guess that's just what I do. We'll find out if there is such a thing as bad publicity. Perhaps we could ask Jayson Blair? He can probably give Steve Alter a few words of advice. Not his own words of course, but words nonetheless.


**Update - as expected, Steve Alter has already removed the pilfered post from his blog and has also disabled comments, so no one can confront him with his wrong-doings. Keep running from yourself, Steve. Heaven forbid you should be a man, admit that you're a plagiarist and apologize to those whom you stole from.

I Said I Was Waiting for the John Travolta Sex TAPE not Sex CHANGE!

After hearing rumors about it for the last couple of weeks, it's official. John Travolta will be playing the role of Edna Turnblad in the movie remake of Hairspray - a role originated by Divine.

Well, who knows, maybe this will finally get him an Oscar. Felicity Huffman was nominated this year for playing a tranny, so why not. I'll say this - John may be gorgeous but he doesn't make a great looking woman. Did anyone ever see him impersonating Barbra Streisand on SNL? Not pretty. Although he did look marginally more attractive than the real Babs.

I never saw the original Hairspray, and still don't have a burning desire to check it out. I've never been a big Ricki Lake fan. And I thought Cry-Baby was one of the dumbest movies ever, so I'm in no big rush to check out the rest of John Waters' films. However, it IS a musical and I'm glad to see John back in his old element. I don't know if he'll actually be singing any songs, but I would love that. He sang a song in A Love Song For Bobby Long (a severely underrated movie, by the way) and thought he sounded great. It's a no-brainer that he'll be dancing. He's always dancing.

Still, this is another example of the movie industry rehashing all the old stuff. Aren't they getting the message that we are all sick of all the remakes? They keep griping about how profits are down, but don't bother to fix the problem.

I'm hoping that the other rumor I heard a while ago stays a rumor. That would be the talk of making Grease 3, which would catch up with Danny and Sandy after they're married with kids. I can't stress what a horrendously bad idea that is. The perfection of Grease was already messed with once - Grease 2 is just about as lame as it gets. But to try to mess with that formula again, not to mention mess with the image of Danny Zuko?? That's insanity. It's like making a new chapter of Gone With the Wind, with Scarlett as a lonely old spinster. NO ONE wants to see that.

Friday, March 03, 2006

PooPooYow

I saw the funniest You Tube video on Echeevo's blog the other day, and damn near laughed myself silly. It was a clip of K-Fed Spears jamming out to his new single, but with that Peanut Butter Jelly song dubbed in. Why I couldn't just enjoy the hilarity is beyond me. Why did I have to seek out the real video? Why did I need to hear the real song? Answer: I am a masochist.

Actually, the real video is much funnier when you see Kevin's obvious pride over a song that can only be described as ipecac for the ears. Your eardrums will actually try to deflect the sound waves coming in, but unfortunately the body doesn't work that way, so you'll just end up with one giant headache. But it's the kind of funny that only lasts until you either vomit or punt your computer out the nearest window. It's really the kind of display that will plant murderous feelings in your head. And unless you're lucky enough to actually run into Mr. Spears and get the opportunity to beat him down, those unresolved feelings will just fester in the back of your brain and eventually surface at an inappropriate time.

That said, I'm providing the link to this musical travesty. Watch at your own risk. I claim no responsibility for any anger management issues or aneuryisms that may occur as a result.

K-Fed Unleashes "PopoZao" on the World (PopoZao is Portugese for "Music for me to Poop On".)

Recommended: It's Peanut Butter Feder Time!

"Other Guy" of the Month(s)

It occured to me today that I sort of dropped the ball on my recurring segment "Other Guy" of the Month. That is where I pay homage to or catch up with some poor guy who had his chance to be a star but was overshadowed by someone else's fame instead. Well, I haven't sung the praises of any "other guys" since Charlie Schlatter in November. Mmmm....Schlatter.

Since I've missed three men, I'm just going to shove them all together in one post. They're "other guys". They're used to not getting special treatment. Coming up with three of them right this second is a bit of a challenge, but one I shall take on.

"Other Guy" of the Month - December

Ted Wass - Depending on how old you are, you'll either remember Ted as the hunky son of weirdo Burt Campbell on Soap or as the slightly less hunky, super-understanding Dad on Blossom. On Soap, he was actually pretty funny as Danny. Since it was an ensemble cast, he was never really overshadowed by other actors and given a decent amout of storylines. Ah, remember when he was forced to marry the mafia daughter (Dinah Manoff, or Marty Maraschino to me) and then he really fell in love with her? And then she died?? Good stuff. Anyway, he may not have seemed like an "other guy" at the time, but I consider him to be one since Billy Crystal, who played his gay brother, ended up having a much more successful career. He got to do Comic Relief. He got to kiss Meg Ryan. Wass got to play Daddy to Mayim Bialik.

No, I was never a Blossom fan. It was just another lame sitcom that tried to depict a "realistic" family but failed miserably. No family talks about their feelings THAT much. (I will say that it wasn't nearly as bad as Full House.) Not all family squabbles are resolved in 30 minutes flat. It's just too bad that Ted couldn't parlay the success of a cult hit like Soap into a bigger or better role than Daddy Blossom. And what's sad is, he became the "other guy" on that show too, playing second, no third, fiddle to a girl with an endless supply of oversized, floppy hats and the Lawrence kid who always says, "whoa".

And now where is Ted? According to the IMDB, he did a bunch more of those forgettable sitcoms and is apparently still acting. He did the Sheena movie with Tanya Roberts. Actors - if you ever find yourself in a movie with Tanya Roberts, you might want to go back to school or look into a day job. She's a black widow. She'll suck your career right out of ya. (Yes, I know she was on That '70s Show. TV is different. And the casting director was being ironic.)

"Other Guy" of the Month - January

Philip Michael Thomas - Hey, I have to come up with three guys here, so I'm shooting for an obvious choice. Detective Ricardo Tubbs, Miami Vice. I just thought to myself, "Gee, I wonder whatever happened to Tubbs" and as the IMDB page loaded, the first thing I read was this: "Trivia - A bank foreclosed on his house in 1998". I don't know why that made me laugh, it just did. I'm rotten. What did Tubbs ever do to me?

I'll tell you though, Tubbs has a surprisingly extensive resume on the IMDB. When you think about it, although Don ("Crockett") Johnson came out of Miami Vice with the huge career, the two really aren't that different. They were both on a supremely stupid show, neither one could act really well and they both made ill-fated attempts at music careers. So why did Don's star rise while Philip's burned out? The only thing I can think of was that Don was shagging Melanie Griffith. She was a big star then. And look at her now. She looks like Norma Desmond on crack, Don Johnson's career is in the toilet, and '80s nostalgia is back with a bang. I think it's time for PM-Thom to make his move.

"Other Guy" of the Month - February
Ilan Mitchell-Smith - Ilan starred (er, appeared) in Weird Science as Wyatt, Gary's (Anthony Michael Hall) best friend. He was much cuter than Hall but very annoying. He had a really nasally voice that kind of made me angry. Rage from watching a classic '80s teen flick? Just a little - his voice was like nails on a chalkboard.

There's not really much to say about this guy. He was in a few other small things and then pretty much gave up acting. I love it when these people accept reality. He's not sitting around whining about how he's not getting good roles and drinking a bottle of Jack a day. So, he used to annoy me but now I kind of have some respect for him. And he probably gets some perverse pleasure that most of the people he was taking a backseat to in that movie are now probably worse off than he is. Anthony Michael Hall has made somewhat of a comeback after his career disappeared for a while, although he kind of looks like a Bruce Banner experiment gone wrong these days. Then there's Kelly LeBrock, who was the "it girl" for about 10 minutes and was last seen on Celebrity Fit Club. And let's not forget Robert Downey, Jr. I think we all know what his various problems are. That just leaves Bill Paxton. He's had a decent career, I suppose. He really isn't a great actor though. Honestly, I think Chet in Weird Science was his best role ever.

Now it's March and I'll have to come up with another of these forgotten men pretty soon. Someone worthy of his own separate post. Someone like...Charlie Schlatter. Could I reuse him? Mmmmm....Schlatter.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Still Waiting for the John Travolta Sex Tape...

Why don't we git drunk and screw...

So, yet another celeb has a sex tape out. Well, actually two celebs. Well, actually it's Kid Rock and Scott Stapp, so together they probably add up to one whole celebrity and maybe about one half man.

As the story goes, Kid Rock-Bottom and Scott Stapp-Me-if-You've-Heard-This-Song-Before (eat your heart out, Chris Berman) were on tour together and decided to tape a night of partying with strippers in Kid's trailer. Kid Rock is blaming it all on Stapp, saying that he is an "idiot" for "losing" the tape. Now, it's no secret that Scott Stapp is an idiot (as well as an Eddie Vedder wannabe, Narcissist, poseur and all-around jackhole), so why would Kid Rock entrust such a private tape to an idiot's care? Who is the real idiot? The correct answer is: "both" or "who the hell cares".

I'm not taking sides here because both of these guys are insufferable, but really, Kid Rock should know better. He dated Pamela Anderson, the Queen of Sex Tapes for crying out loud. He had to know that it would get out. Somehow, celebrity sex tapes always get out. Whether the celebs in question secretly leak them as publicity stunts or they are actually stolen and sold, they will get out. It's a fact of life. It's like when you're watching a football game and the kicker is setting up to kick the winning field goal and the announcer says, "he's never missed a kick in a clutch situation". As soon as those words leave the commentator's mouth, it's a given that that ball is not going through those uprights. It's not even coincidence, it's like a force of nature. Same deal with the sex tapes. If anyone even remotely famous makes a porno and thinks it's gonna stay private, it will be on the internet in no time. Especially if they say they'll erase it. It's not getting erased. It's getting e-blitzed.

Rock says that he doesn't care anymore, he's just mad that someone else will be making money off of his "performance". Maybe he has a point. But if the person making money off of the tapes ever paid for a Kid Rock record or to see one of his concerts, then I think that's fair. I only had to sit through a 3 or 4 song set of his when he came through Pittsburgh with Farm Aid and I still think I'm owed some punitive damages.

My favorite part of the story was Kid's quote, "It's not any big revelation that this goes on in rock 'n' roll, especially with who I am." Who he is? Who is he? Some obnoxious hack who hasn't bathed in a year? Yeah, I guess no one should be surprised that he's getting tons of play. Especially with strippers. Because they're never swayed by money or anything - so he must really be as hot as he thinks he is. Gee, I was so looking forward to seeing his greasy, nasty ass drunkenly attempting sex, but alas, he's won a court order to prevent distribution of the "film". Darn.

Well, so far anyway. He may have won the battle but I think the video promoters will win the war. They always do.



I don't want anybody else, when I think about me I touch myself...

EIGHT

It's distressing that my best friend actually had to point this news out to me, but hey, I've been busy today...

BeckEye is a happy, happy girl. It's just been announced that the long-awaited (by me, especially) new Pearl Jam record is set for release on May 2. And on March 8 (that's only six more days!) the first single, "World Wide Suicide" will be made available to radio stations that will play it once and then go back to playing "Alive" and "Even Flow" every once in a while in between blocks of Puddle of Hoobastaind nonsense. Luckily, the track can also be downloaded for free on Pearl Jam's official website during the first two days of its release. Oh, the people at work are gonna love me next week once I get that baby on my iTunes. I'm not worried that I won't like it. I mean, it's possible. They have a few songs I don't like. But the odds are in their favor. I'm sure I'll like it. If I don't, I'll let you all know. I'll let you all know if I love it too...just much more vociferously.

After that....another tour! Yay!! For those of you who remember my last concert fiasco, this time I will be using will call or stapling the tickets to my ass, ala Steve-O.

 

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