Archive for September, 2010

Breaking: Thanks CAITLIN for linking us to a contest to Write the First Page of Snooki’s Novel

Novelist, screenwriter, and essayist Erica Ferencik is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Cracks in the Foundation. Her work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, on Salon.com, More.com, and National Public Radio. Her new humor column will be appearing monthly in the Metrowest Daily News.


Because I’m such a trendsetter, I like to see who’s “trending” online when I open my e-mail. For a few weeks in a row, somebody named “Snooki” kept sliding to the third, second, sometimes even first place on my Yahoo homepage.

After a few days of Snooki-watching, I got curious. This Snooki person was trending higher than the Pakistan flood and the fifth anniversary of hurricane Katrina. She was blowing away Jennifer Aniston, for crying out loud, who was languishing at ninth. Just who is this brilliant, fascinating person, I thought, to be so everywhere?

Couldn’t Google fast enough.

According to the wiki(pedia, not leak) she is the bronzed, bouffant, 4’9″ star of the hit reality show Jersey Shore.

Yes, you say with a heavy sigh. We knew that.

But did you know she has over 429,000 followers sucking up her every tweet?

Here’s her Twitter bio:

“It’s Snooki! I snook the night and snooked for love on Jersey Shore! I live my life to the fullest and don’t take anything for granted! Just sayin :)”

Nearly half a million followers. I have 23. I feel, I don’t know. Annoyed. Less than. All right, let’s just go there: Invisible. What was I doing wrong? (more…)

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PS Caitlin points out the Government is willing to apologize (rightly) for an STD scandal in Guatemala…  PPS: Caitlin had hopeful contact with MA senate offices since the STD apology; follow links to Brown & Kerry to add your voice.

Caitlin McCarthy‘s excellent Post on the DES Drug disgrace inspired Diana Bianchini to write a powerful piece on DES on THE HUFFINGTON POST, linking our blog.  DES groups and celebrities like producer Ted Hope and Rock star John Payne have also been inspired by Caitlin to lend their support.

I too have been inspired– and I’m asking any readers to LET ME KNOW if you know of a ‘disgrace’ that you feel needs more attention (and hopefully more action to right it).  Please send in your idea as a COMMENT or as a Direct Message to me on FACEBOOK and I will consider a Post or Guest Post to help draw attention as Caitlin has done.  THANKS Caitlin and here is an UPDATE from her:

I just received the following email from Senator Brown’s office (copying Senator Kerry’s office):

“Hi Caitlin:

Unfortunately, and despite our offices many attempts to raise awareness of this issue, it does not appear that the US Government–including the FDA–will issue a formal apology at this time.

If you would like to continue to pursue this matter, we suggest that you consider working with members of the Senate HELP Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FDA.  The Senate HELP website can be found herehttp://help.senate.gov/

We wish we could have provided you with the resolution that you desire and wish you the best of luck in your future efforts.

Thank you.”

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to comment on my blog post, add the blog post links to their Facebook and Twitter pages, and spread the word about the DES apology attempt. I honestly did my best. Moving forward, I’m going to focus my attention on raising awareness about DES through my feature film screenplay WONDER DRUG.

I encourage anyone who wants to continue pursuing the DES apology to contact the Senate HELP Committee (see link above).

Thank you again for your help and support   — Caitlin

(photo: Caitlin photo courtesy of author; priceofoil.com)

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THANKS Diana Bianchini for her powerful piece in the HUFFINGTON POST inspired by- and linking- Caitlin’s Post.  Welcome first-time readers.  Please visit our film website… Thanks also to John Payne, lead singer of ASIA Featuring John Payne, who says that the fight for the DES apology has his “full support.” And THANKS to supporters in AUSTRALIA plus producer TED HOPE for his help on Twitter

An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has two feature films in development: “Wonder Drug” with director Tom Gilroy (“Spring Forward”); and “Resistance” with director Si Wall (“The Dinner Party,” premiering November 2010). She also has a TV series treatment, “Free Skate,” which is currently being considered by top production companies.


Caitlin & Sen. Brown

Politics and apologies. They’ve been on my mind this week, what with Tuesday’s primaries and Elizabeth Searle’s recent blog post “I TAKE THAT BACK”: Public Apology Twists, Two-Steps, Tweets & Tunes by Pastor Jones, Kanye West & more.

We live in a country where kids are taught to apologize if they hurt someone. But how often do adults apologize for this – let alone countries?

I am a big believer in the power of an apology. As such, I have been working jointly with the offices of Senator John Kerry and Senator Scott Brown to secure a long-overdue apology from the US Government for the DES (diethylstilbestrol) tragedy.

DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a toxic and carcinogenic synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to millions of pregnant women for decades: from 1938 until 1971 (and in a small number of cases for several years thereafter) in the United States; and until the mid-1980s in parts of Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the Third World.

DES is the world’s first drug disaster, often referred to as the “hidden Thalidomide.” The currently proven effects of exposure include a rare vaginal cancer in DES Daughters; greater risk for breast cancer in DES Mothers; possible risk for testicular cancer in DES Sons; abnormal reproductive organs; infertility; high-risk pregnancies; and an increased risk for breast cancer in DES Daughters after age 40. There are a number of other suspected effects, including auto-immune disorders, but many of these effects are still awaiting further research. (more…)

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For more twists on ‘New Reality,’ check out our CELEBRITIES IN DISGRACE film plus BRISTOL PALIN on DWTS…Thanks RON for sending in his song about Lindsay Lohan… GOOD LUCK to Lindsay as she faces reality…

The New Reality… by Elizabeth Searle

Casey Affleck now ‘admits’ his documentary on Joaquin Phoenix was a ‘hoax.’ Or no: some critics call it a hoax, some call it a fascinating look at Celebrity; Afleck himself calls it a ‘Gonzo’ documentary.’

Affleck declares that in his weird appearances on Letterman etc, Phoenix gave the performance of his life.

Only it wasn’t really ‘his life’; even the home movies in the ‘mock-doc.’ are fake.

And what layers of fakery could describe Ben Stiller’s Oscar Ceremony take-off on Phoenix’s own take-off on– what, exactly?

Director Affleck eagerly explained his real-life brother-in-law (or is that part faked too?):
“His performance is compelling, always watchable, manages to be repulsive and charming, believable in all emotions, completely committed, incredibly brave… How difficult to resist the cheap joke, the wink, the nudge…He has the tools for this. He has the goods in spades.”

What is the ‘this’ Joaquin has the tools for?  With ‘Reality Shows’ and ‘documentaries’ employing the tools of fiction, what new twists can be concocted on the ‘new reality’ we now inhabit?  WDYT?

(photos: allieswired.com, popcrunch.com, eet/a.com)

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Check out our own film’s stirring trailer

REMEMBERING BIG RED… by Elizabeth Searle

I had a crush on Secretariat.  Seeing the stirring trailer for the upcoming SECRETARIAT movie brought it all back to me: Big Red, the immortal horse who won the Triple Crown in the era of Nixon, when we all– especially an idealistic little girl like me– needed someone to admire.  Someone perfect.

Check out the YouTube clips of the great Secretariat and his unforgettable Belmont win, in which he blazed along (as the breathless announcer put it) like some ‘tremendous machine’– outdistancing the pack by 30 lengths and managing to run each quarter of the grueling race faster than the last.  He pounded down the homestretch at record-setting supernatural speed.

When he died, Secretariat was found to have a heart twice the size of a normal horse’s.  When he was born, his owner Penny Tweedy (played in the film by a fiesty and elegant Diane Lane) thought at first he was ‘too pretty to be any good.’  She (and millions of others) came to marvel over how one horse could truly have it all: superlative looks, heart, stamina, speed and brains.

Groping for appropriate athletic comparisons, video commentators mention Tiger Woods at his Masters’ Win. This week, a very different Woods finished his season at an alltime low.  In a happier sports story, tennis star Rafael Nadal ecstatically captured the Grand Slam.  Though not all implode like Woods, many big-leaguers struggle in ‘real life’ and few humans achieve the flawless athletic performance of Secretariat.

Golfing great Jack Niklaus has said he found himself weeping at Secretariat’s Triple Crown win.  Haywood Hale Broun remarked that even such a fine athlete as Niklaus stives so hard to be perfect– and in Secretariat’s Triple Crown win, that’s what we all saw: pure unmarred perfection.  What a win; what a horse.  WDYT?

(photos: Secretariat.com, tennisonlineblog.com, sportsstories.com)

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Breaking: Taylor Swift does sing (‘sort of’) about Kanye West & he performs an emotional finale at VMAS…Pastor Terry Jones now claims he will ‘never’ burn the Koran…For more Celebs in Disgrace spirit, see our film website

“I Take That Back” by Elizabeth Searle

Taylor forgives Kanye in song at VMAS

Ever alert to the evo/devolution of new Celeb. Trends, we notice some additional ‘twists’ in the dark arts of publicly apologizing and/or publicly ‘taking it back’ – including multiple twists by instantly internationally ‘famous’ Pastor Terry Jones

*THE TWEET: John Mayer tried Tweeting his desire to ‘take back’ his racist Playboy interview remarks last summer; Kanye West has tried every known form of Public Apology to make up for wresting a VMAS award from Taylor Swift— most recently, Kanye took to Tweeting his regrets in an epic-length series.

*THE TUNE: Not satisfied with creating the world’s longest Tweet Screeds, Kanye has written a ‘song so beautiful’ he wants Taylor (he refers to her as ‘lil girl’) to perform it.  However, Taylor sings her own song about Kanye at the VMAS awards…

*THE NON-APOLOGY: Rock icon MORRISSEY says he ‘stands by’ his incendiary remarks calling the Chinese people a ‘sub-species’ for their treatment of animals.  Meanwhile, champion boxer David Haye Tweets that he won’t take back a ‘joke’ he made about ‘gang rape.’

*THE TWO-STEP: Levi Johnston set a new low bar by ‘taking back’ the Public Apology he’d issued to the Palin family; as a flabberghasted fellow blogger asked: ‘Is that even allowed’?

*THE TWO-STEP, PLUS NON-APOLOGY, PLUS TWIST: Tricky moves, but Pastor Terry Jones in Florida first threatened a public book burning of the Koran, then ‘took that back’ but without apology– and now, in a new twist, he is ‘rethinking’ his change of heart.  Blog fave LupinsSupins sums up what Jones got in the bargain:

“Let’s see, 24/7 network appearances, news media from around the world on his lawn, calls from the Sec. of Defense & Gen. Petraes, messages from the POTUS &; the VATICAN (!) &; the pres. of Afghanistan, riots in several Muslim cities and an ABC sponsored trip to the Big Apple/Sin City!”

Is that even allowed?  Lives are threatened in the rioting caused by the Jones uproar.  ‘Sorry’ to ask, but WDYT?

PS: new twist, conservative Pat Buchanan urges Obama to arrest Pastor Jones

(photos: virtualmatterblog, keyobjects.com, VMAS.com)

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Welcome John Payne fans; enjoy this interview (including a world exclusive on Payne’s new album title) & visit our Celebrities in Disgrace film website.

An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has two feature films in development: “Wonder Drug” with director Tom Gilroy (“Spring Forward”); and “Resistance” with director Si Wall (“The Dinner Party,” premiering November 2010). She also has a TV series treatment, “Free Skate,” which is currently being considered by top production companies.


After my blog post about supergroup SCRAP METAL went live on this site, I received an email from the manager of rock star John Payne (ASIA Featuring John Payne) – and my first celebrity interview was born! John was down-to-earth, compelling, and a true gentleman during our near hour-long chat.

John Payne has had an amazing career. He became the frontman of the supergroup ASIA in 1992 at the invitation of keyboardist Geoff Downes, replacing vocalist/bassist John Wetton. ASIA extensively toured the world for the next 14 years performing new classics and old favorites. With John Payne fronting the band, ASIA released eight stunning studio albums and several live recordings. In 2006, Geoff Downes left the band to reform the 1982 line up for their 25th anniversary. On May 9, 2006, John Payne, Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe contractually agreed that John Payne would continue his 14 year legacy with ASIA as ”ASIA Featuring John Payne.”ASIA Featuring John Payne have commenced touring in North America and a new studio album is planned for release on Steve Vai’s label Favored Nations in the near future.

The interview below contains the name of the new album – you heard it here first, a world exclusive!

  • Caitlin McCarthy (CM): You have a long and distinguished music career. What was your big break?

John Payne (JP): My first break was working with Roger Daltrey.  His producer Alan Shacklock heard me singing locally, and we got to talking. He said, “I’m producing this singer. Would you like to come over and do some backing vocals?” Then when he told me it was Daltrey, I was over the moon – which is fitting, because the album was called “Under a Raging Moon” [one of Roger Daltrey’s solo albums]. This really helped moved me along because I then got involved with Roger Daltrey’s manager. This helped propel my career.

  • CM: Early in your career, you toured with the biggest acts in the industry, such as KANSAS, Peter Frampton, STYX, Paul Rodgers, DIO, URIAH HEEP, NIGHT RANGER, THE FIXX, BERLIN, THE OUTFIELD, Ted Nugent, and David Lee Roth. What was the best advice someone gave you about the ins and outs of the music business?


John Payne's likeness on FAMILY GUY

Don’t do it! (John laughs.) Someone once said to me, if you want to do this, it’s a real rollercoaster. You have money, you don’t have money, you have success, you don’t have success. The best “advice” I actually got was by watching other people and knowing that you can have an extraordinary amount of talent, but you also have to work at it. A lot of people think many musicians just go out and play and record a little bit of whatever, but it’s a full-time career. I’m working seven days a week in the studio. The only times I’ve had off have been for tour, and that’s been for the last year or so. Successful people, in any genre from pop to heavy metal…it’s not just luck. Luck does help a bit. It helps a lot. But they also need to keep themselves going through sheer hard work. Anyone who’s really successful works really hard.

  • CM: Can you share any crazy tour stories? You can omit names to protect the “guilty”! (more…)

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