Archive for June, 2010

An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has two projects in development: “Wonder Drug” with director Tom Gilroy (“Spring Forward”); and “Resistance” with director Si Wall (“Marbella Nights”).

“See Me, Hear Me – Why Matthew and Gunnar Nelson Deserve A Second Look” By Caitlin McCarthy

Matthew, Gunnar & Caitlin

“People only hear what they see.” Sandra Dee said this to Bobby Darin in the great biopic “Beyond the Sea,” when he wasn’t being taken seriously by audiences because of his hippie appearance in the late 60s.

The same could be said of Nelson. They have undeniable talent as musicians and songwriters. Their harmonies are to die for. But some people are blind to this, because they only remember what Matthew and Gunnar looked like 20 years ago. You’d think the twins were the only ones who ever wore long hair and spandex.

I think it’s time for Matthew and Gunnar to experience a career renaissance. They’re young (42) and still rocking. They’ve recently reformed Nelson as a band, and they’re currently putting the finishing touches on a new album. (I believe the title will be “The Blond Leading the Blond” – clever!)

Mark Slaughter & Caitlin

I recently caught Matthew and Gunnar’s latest tour celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their multi-platinum debut classic album “After the Rain” at Mohegan Sun. Mark Slaughter, the Nelsons’ longtime friend, was a special guest who opened the show with a solo acoustic set and then played guitar with Nelson. Matthew, Gunnar, and Mark had an amazing banter and entertained every single person in the Wolf Den.

And let me tell you, there were A LOT of people in that Wolf Den. The line for the show started forming three hours in advance. (Seating was first come, first serve.) The show was standing-room-only, with a large crowd swarming the stage. Those who couldn’t get into the show leaned against the rails that separate the Wolf Den from the casino. (more…)

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Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality televison, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.

The Bachelorette: Heating up in Iceland

As we enter into the fifth week The Bachelorette, we find our heroine Ali and her band of merry men heading east across the Atlantic to Iceland. Here, amongst the glaciers, active volcanoes and sweater shops, she will choose which seven bachelors out of the remaining nine will continue with her on this journey. Will Kasey reveal his secret? Will she learn the truth about Kirk’s past? Will she open her heart to passion hot as flowing lava, or will she instead turn her heart from them, cold as the permafrost…?

On the Reykjavik Poetry Slam and Kirk’s One-on-One Date

Sarah: So we began with a gambit: this week’s one-on-one date wasn’t assigned via date-card as usual; rather, the gang held an impromptu poetry slam on the streets of Reykjavik, in which the object was to win fair Ali’s heart with a hastily composed love poem — preferably incorporating some Icelandic phrases.

Tigh: Ja! You know, I often feel a little inadequate when it comes to my poetry writing abilities, but after watching these guys I feel a lot better about myself.

Sarah: Honestly, it made me a little sad about the state of our American literary education that, out of all these guys, it didn’t occur to a single one of them that poems don’t have to rhyme. Seriously, guys — it’s the 21st century.

Tigh: Especially Frank. Isn’t he supposed to be a writer and somewhat literary? And since they all chose rhyming schemes, I was a little disappointed that Chris L. didn’t at least fulfill his birthright and come up with a ‘Man from Nantucket’ limerick.

Sarah: That would’ve been brilliant, actually.

Tigh: But the clear winner was Captain Kirk, who by far had the best poem and presentation. His “eyes like root beer” line was actually pretty good, I thought. And Ali’s eyes are indeed like root beer, one of a kind. But the downside to the exercise was that it forced heretofore Silent Chris to express himself verbally. It was in this way that the question of whether his silence was strategic or a result of a complete lack of personality was quickly and painfully answered. (more…)

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Kevin St. Jarre has published three novels under the pen name Michael Hawke: Nightstalkers, Nightstalkers: Coercion, and Nightstalkers: Homefront.  His publisher is Berkley Books, a subsidiary of Penguin Putnam.  He has published articles and poems in many magazines including Kappan, English Journal and Northern New England Review.

General Stanley McChrystal  by Kevin St. Jarre

The problem is not speaking truth to power.  The problem is speaking your truth to Rolling Stone.

General Stanley McChrystal not only had a remarkable career in the army, but he did it by living and leading within the most respected and most formidable of America’s warriors.  He commanded soldiers in the storied 82nd Airborne, the world-famous Rangers where he rewrote the hand-to-hand combat training doctrine, and in the Special Forces which many civilians refer to as the Green Berets.  McChrystal reportedly ate one meal per day, ran between 5-10 miles per day, slept 4 or 5 hours per night.  He was, in short, the kind of leader that soldiers will not only follow and die for, but also come to virtually worship.  A soldier’s soldier.

McChrystal was also not without controversy.  Anyone in that sort of business will eventually get some things wrong.  While he is generally credited with leading the destruction of Al Qaeda in Iraq, he was also allegedly at the heart of the cover up when Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman was killed.  McChrystal can also be distantly connected, at least with a sideways dotted line, to the scandalous and shameful conduct at Abu Ghraib. (more…)

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Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce bluntly proposes to revoke the  constitutionally guaranteed citizenship of children born to  undocumented parents, and send them all back to where they came from,  regardless of family longevity in America and age of the children.  Pearce’s outrage over “illegals” makes him a popular potential  gubernatorial candidate in Arizona.

Veteran journalist Helen Thomas also bluntly addressed migration  issues of a sort, suggesting that Israeli Jews “get the hell out of  Palestine” which in past columns she had described as “occupied” land where Israeli military power “oppresses a helpless (Palestinian)  people”. When asked where the Jews should go, she responded caustically and not too seriously, “go home” to Europe. Unlike  Pearce, her outrage prompted loud negative public reaction and a  tragic quick end of her distinguished half century journalistic career.

From opposite ends of the political spectrum Senator Pearce and  Helen Thomas are both provocative and outspoken. But there’s a  difference. The Senator loudly rejects America’s value laden  tradition of welcoming newcomers to our “land of immigrants”. He  concentrates instead on a blunt, insensitively destructive approach  to migrations of needy people like those preceding most of us.

On the  other hand, the maverick Ms. Thomas silently takes for granted the  two state land for peace traditional approach of American mid-east  policy. But she enlivens the argument with seldom heard richly irascible criticisms of the dominant Israeli power.

What does this tell us about the values of fellow citizens who  support one and condemn the other? What’s it say about public  tolerance and our tradition of free speech?

(photos: exposehary.com, globalgrind.com, azdreamactcoalition.com, saudiaramcoworld.ae.jm.org)

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Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality televison, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.

Bachelorette: Week 4: UNICORN LOVE

As we opened on week four of The Bachelorette, Ali and her band of merry men were off to New York City for the first stop on their round-the-world Journey To Find Love.  Amidst the stock panning shots of yellow cabs and the Brooklyn Bridge, Ali gamely tromped her way (in knee-high heeled boots courtesy of an InStyle makeover) through two one-on-one dates and a group date on the set of Broadway’s The Lion King, all while battling what looked to be a nasty cold.  Meanwhile, the drama of the week became Kasey’s ever-unravelling case of the Krazies.  And oh, what a drama it was…

To Guard and Protect: Kasey’s One-on-One Date

Tigh: If we wanted to, we could probably dedicate this week’s entire column to Kasey. I mean there were so many WTF moments in it; it was surreal.

Sarah: We totally could.  He is an emotional minefield in a way we haven’t seen since Jake.  Except even more than Jake, actually.

Tigh: And as I said in our first article of this season, I think he even kind of LOOKS like Jake–like a baby version of our favorite fly-boy. There’s an icy insanity in his eyes that we got a really good look at this week as he got his first one-on-one date with Ali. The couple set off in a helicopter (natch) and got a bird’s eye view of NYC before setting down for a brief picnic dinner.

Sarah: Were they on Ellis Island?  I couldn’t tell.  I briefly thought perhaps they’d explore America’s conflicted immigrant history.  But of course instead, for their next stop, they were off to a private, after-hours date at the American Museum of Natural History.  Definitely a cool date.  Once, when I was a girl scout, my troop got to spend the night in the Field Museum in Chicago.  We ran barefoot through the pyramids and ate ourselves silly from the vending machines near the mummies.  It was the first time I ever stayed up all night.

Tigh: Well, if I were on a date with Kasey in the Museum of Natural History, I’d probably be up all night too. I kept yelling at the television, “Ali, don’t close your eyes!!” But let’s not forget about the other scary part of the date, back at the picnic, when Kasey finally got to put his singing talents on full display.

Sarah: Oh yes.  I think I may have repressed that memory, it was so traumatic.  But now it’s coming back to me in all its awkward, twangy horror. (more…)

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Our ensemble ‘class’ cast 

GREETINGS BLOG READERS: Thanks to one and all for visiting this blog– ‘enabling’ disgraced celebrities everywhere and supporting the forthcoming short film CELEBRITIES IN DISGRACE, produced by Bravo Sierra.  We are happy to announce that our film has been chosen as an official selection of the WOODS HOLE FILM FESTIVAL on beautiful Cape Cod.

YOU ARE INVITED to the premiere at the festival.  For those far from the Cape, please watch for our online Preview, coming soon…  Meanwhile, enjoy new photos of the rising stars who played ‘the class’ and supporting roles in our film.

Ryan Castro (left)– who is now studying acting at Hunter College in NYC– plays ‘the policeman.’  Ryan had this to say about the shoot:

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with director Matthew Quinn Martin and all of the crew at Bravo Sierra. Their professionalisim and innovative ideas inspired all of the actors on set and made for a productive atmosphere. Of course it is all owed to the creative mastermind Elizabeth Searle; her unique story will engage audiences to come. Overall, a fantastic day of filming.”

Girls #1 and #2 were played by Michelle Jones (right) and Cassandra Dailey.  Both study theater at East Stoudsburg University.  Michelle said the movie “gives me, as an actor, a better understanding of how the filming process works.  I enjoyed every minute.”  Cassandra said of the shoot: “It was simply pure bliss.”

THANKS to all our young stars.  If our audiences enjoy the film half as much as we enjoyed concocting it, we’ve got it made.  More film photos are available in our StarLit Gallery; and check out our film’s Facebook Page

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Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality televison, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.

As we move into the third week of The Bachelorette, we find Ali feeling good about things. She’s happy with her group of guys, fully immersed in ‘the process’ and getting the opportunity to go on some very unique dates. Also, last week, with the help of The Weatherman (Jonathan), she managed to weed out someone who wasn’t there for the ‘right reasons’: Craig M., the debonair man-about-town with perfect hair and an AARP card. With his removal, has Ali finally brought peace to the House of Bachelor, or will someone else take up the Craig M.’s douchey mantle?

On Roberto’s One-on-One Date

Sarah: So, week 3: when the number of men Ali’s kissed starts to approach slightly gross levels. Seriously.  My friend and I had a conversation a couple years ago about how, in college, we’d play spin the bottle and totally kiss 20 people in a night without a second thought. But somehow you get to be an adult and all that kissing starts to seem kinda… icky. Like, all those cold germs? Clearly I am aged and decrepit.

Tigh: No, I can see what you’re saying. I mean, if I was one of the guys, sitting there watching her make out with another one of the guys (a la Frank at the end of last week’s episode), the last thing I’d really want to do would be to go kiss her right after. I mean, germs aside, you’re kind of vicariously making out with the guy you think is unsavory. I wonder how much of the show’s budget is dedicated to mouthwash. However much, I’m guessing it’s not enough.

Sarah: Exactly. Cooties! So many cooties.

Tigh: It’s funny how we are hyper-aware of cooties as children and adults, but not as young adults.

Sarah: So true.  All those pubescent hormones must temporarily overpower our cootie-detectors.

Tigh: So this week, the first guy to stake his salivary claim was Roberto, which Sarah, you totally called in last week’s article. Well done.

Sarah: Yep, I was not at all surprised to see him get the first one-on-one date of the week. And the date itself was another Bachelorette classic: we got a helicopter ride, a high-wire walk, and a rooftop dinner/cuddle-fest. Was this a carbon copy of Jill and Ed’s first date or what?

Tigh: Well, there are only so many dream dates out there, I guess. It also reminded me of the first date between Jake and Vienna (taking a helicopter to a bungee-jump). (more…)

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CAST A VOTE –as a COMMENT, from now till June 21rst–FOR ‘DISGRACED CELEBRITY OF SPRING, 2010’ (see Post below)

WHAT ‘TIPPED’ AL & TIPPER? by Elizabeth Searle

Not Al and Tipper!  “I can’t handle this,” I said to my computer screen when faced with the shocking news.  Even as a hardened celebrity-watcher, I’m having trouble with this one, folks.

I met Al Gore briefly during his Presidential bid when he heeded my sister’s rope-line plea to ‘Kiss this baby!”  Gore obligingly stepped over and greeted (but did not kiss) my baby son.  I stared into his extremely pale blue eyes; intelligent eyes, but not warm.

It was Tipper, of course, who provided the warmth and oomph that Gore as political performer so badly needed.  Tipper with her great smile and great hair; Tipper, so refreshingly down to earth in the glossy world of politics.  Tipper, who took on as her improbable causes not only racy rock lyrics but depression, frankly admitting that behind her sunny persona, she’d struggled with it.

The couple had just purchased a multimillion dollar California mansion– suggesting their split was not long planned.  I hope in six months or whatever passes these days as a discrete interlude, we are not treated to photos of 60ish Al Gore bandying about some comely young Environmentalist.

If Bill Clinton can act his age, Al Gore ought to.  And probably will.  Perhaps we will never know what brought down the house of Gore.  Could it be celebrity-hood itself?  After his searing election loss, Al Gore had unexpectedly become cool.  He’d won the Nobel Prize and, even ‘cooler,’ the Oscar. (Another example of the post-Oscar Divorce Curse??)  These days, Al is said to travel nonstop.

Tipper seems more the homebody type; more of a regular person.  Which is maybe what makes this particular celebrity break-up, for me, a heartbreaker.  How about you?  Does the Gores’ break-up– or other surprise celebrity break-ups– get to you?  (Charles and Di?  Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman?)  A final note from ‘a place called Hope’: Al and Tipper are officially ‘separating’ but not yet officially ‘divorcing.’  Does anyone but me see a chance for a second chance?

PS: Thanks Litotes for Polar Al cartoon & yourpallesley for woodland Al & Tipper photo

(photos: wonkette.com, suprmchaos.com, bookerrising.net, Clinton1nara.gov)

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As Jesse James said on Nightline: “Bad is bad.”  Can anyone top Jesse in our race for disgrace?  James gained sympathy from some (even from fellow blogger ‘Mean Betty‘) when he cried in his interview over his own failings and his father’s abuse.  He told Nightline he ‘self-sabataged’ his life.  True– but Jesse did have some help.

In fact, Jesse’s Tattoo-lady mistress, Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee might beat out Jesse as our blog’s Disgraced Celebrity of Spring, 2010.

Yes, with Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to squint through the sun into the past disgrace-laden months and choose Disgraced Celebrity for Spring, 2010.  From now until June 21rst, cast your votes in ‘Comments’ (below).  Jesse and his betrayal of Sandra Bullock one week after her Oscar win will be hard to ‘top.’

But Blog Wise Woman Judith Podell sent in an early nomination for The Pope.  In the ever-fertile world of politics, Nikki Haley— Sarah Palin’s SC candidate and protege of Disgrace legend Mark Sanford– faces infidelity rumors to rival Matt Lauer‘s.  Now Haley’s opponent has doubly disgraced himself by insulting both Haley  and President Obama with an ethnic slur.

In LA, Lindsay Lohan faces a judge.  Miley Cyrus faces ‘controversy’ over a ‘faked lesbian kiss;’ John Edwards may face jail time.  Not to mention executives (disgraces, but are they ‘celebrities’?) from Wall Street and BP.  Tony Hayward, anyone?

No doubt my overloaded celebritized brain is blocking or forgetting other outstanding springtime disgraces.

So send in your votes as Comments– let us know who you feel ‘owns’ DISGRACE in the springtime of 2010.

(photos: spreadit.org, nydailynews.com, thehollywoodgossip.com, techfused.com, guardian.com)

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Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality televison, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.

After sending more than a third of the bachelors home last week, Ali, our heroine, begins the dating process with the remaining men. In this episode she will set off on two one-on-one dates as well as a group date with them before sending three more back to the magical island of single men (a.k.a: their lonely, soiled futons in their empty, sad apartments above that Chinese restaurant you only go to when you’re drunk). Tonight she will wing her way to Las Vegas, cruise Hollywood in a vintage Cadillac and prance along the golden beaches of Malibu, looking for love.

On the One-on-One Date: Frank

Sarah: So, week two is when it seems to me that the Batch actually gets interesting. (Well, as interesting as this show ever gets…) Suddenly there are actual dates, and actual personalities start to emerge. Characters! Conflict! It’s when we fiction writers get into the good stuff.

Tigh: We’re getting to the stage where we’re finding out who we’re rooting for, who we’re rooting against and who just scares the holy hell out of us. Of course, one of the self-described biggest personalities in the house is Frank, and (lucky, lucky Frank!) he got the nod to be the first one on one date of the season. Congrats, man!

Sarah: And what a date it was — classic Batch. The vintage car, the iconic locales (Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood sign), the romantic dinner under the stars. Ali and Frank did contend with a breakdown in their classic car, but I wondered if even that was contrived by the producers to introduce some “madcap” into the glitz.

Tigh: I totally had the same thought. First of all, there’s no more obnoxious car than the 1959 Cadillac Biarritz — the epitome of late fifties decadence, replete with notoriously bad transmission. But did you notice that when the car broke down initially (with a dubbed-in sound effect that sounded like a thrown rod, which is pretty dire and could not be fixed over the course of an afternoon as this particular car was) it was on a freeway, next to a concrete retaining wall… but when they got out of the car and started their “madcap” dash towards the taxi, the car was parked next to an earthen shoulder with trees and shrubs? Bad editing confirms your suspicions; that breakdown was as fake as the Batman out in front of Grauman’s.

Sarah: Ha — exactly. The knowledge that there’s a producer and camera crew mere inches away from the “spontaneous” couple never entirely leaves my mind when watching this show, but never was it more obvious than during this little segment. (more…)

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