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Archive for February, 2012

RIP, Davy Jones.  ‘Daydream Believer’ lives on…

See Michelle Soucy’s moving Guest Post on singing with Davy Jones…

OLD-SCHOOL Oscar

Oscar had a comforting if somewhat numbing retro feel last night.  17-time nominee Meryl Streep (deservedly) took home the gold along with 82-year-old winner Christopher Plummer.  9-time Host Billy Crystal (joking that  “We’re gonna slam the 78 to 84 demographic”) led the audience gently into this long night, culminating in an Oscar for a film inspired by 1920’s Silent flicks.

My own ‘Best’ grades, the bright lights in an Old School show:

BEST CRYING: Octavia Spencer ‘freaking out’ with memorably genuine tears

BEST PERFORMANCE BY PRESENTER (tie): Robert Downey Jr. & Emma Stone bringing manic inventiveness to their schticks–

BEST ‘FLYING COLORS’: Michelle Williams and Jessica Chastain rocking the house with their brilliantly colored gowns (Michelle scoring duel Flying Colors in Oscar history since this year’s coral gown rivaled her classic daffodil gown)–

 BEST QUIP: Crystal introducing Bayle: “A dark knight, a charismatic coke addict, a psychotic killer.  You’ll get to pick one on Super Tuesday…”

BEST LEG-UP: Angelina Jolie flashing her gam with movie-star panache– and inspiring an insta-parody by screenplay winners plus a Tweet-tag for AngiesRightLeg

BEST SPORTSMANSHIP: Meryl Streep laying a motherly hand on Viola Davis’s cheek before claiming her prize–

BEST-DRESSED DOG: scene-stealing Uggie in bow tie…

And finally, for a comment on the evening’s sole scandal, we consult own Oscar connection: screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy.  Her film in development, WONDER DRUG, has just signed on Academy Award® nominated director Joan Stein Schimke.  Joan was nominated for an Academy Award® for her short film ONE DAY CROSSING.  Caitlin offers this view of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Red Carpet ‘Performance‘:

The Dictator dumping Bisquick (or whatever that was) all over Ryan Seacrest wasn’t funny. Ryan didn’t seem to be in on the joke.  I thought Ryan handled himself VERY well. Sacha can kiss E! coverage goodbye

(photos: buzzbox.com, abc.com, hitfix.com; Googleimages)

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PS: So I follow the irresistible headline Santorum Defends Satan Comments only to find he did so in AZ…followed by a Wild West GOP debate truly worthy of this ‘Weird Capital of America’ state…

ONLY IN ARIZONA by Elizabeth Searle

Only in Arizona, I thought when I heard about the Sheriff Babeu scandal.  I love Arizona, my former home.  It is a gorgeous state full of friendly and sane people.  But there is a dark side to sunny Arizona.

When anything truly disgraceful happens nationally, it seems there is almost always an “ARIZONA CONNECTION.’

 Maybe the extreme heat and red-hot right wing politics fry a few brains, but Arizona has a knack for scandal.  The week my family moved to Arizona, Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heros fame was bludgeoned to death in a local motel.  When writing the libretto for TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA, I was not surprised to find that knee attacker Shane Stant had lived in AZ as a ‘survivalist’.  Timothy McVeigh plotted his horrific OK bombing from Kingman, AZ.

Recently on the blog we featured Gov. Jan Brewer ‘giving Obama the finger’ on an AZ tarmac.  And now we welcome to the Celebrities in Disgrace blog embattled Sherriff Babeu.  Our resident political commentator,  Ol’ Bill reports from ‘the ground’ in AZ:

 ONLY IN AZ: can a right wing anti immigrant Pinal County Sheriff, an ally, imitator  and PR rival of Sheriff Joe [Arpaio}, decide to run for Congress in a contentious R primary and be immediately unmasked as a Gay muscle man with an allegedly illegal immigrant lover. Sheriff Babeu (what a name)  owns up to it all, except his lover’s charge that the sherif threatened him with deportation if he revealed the relationship. Sheriff responds only that he doesn’t have that power.

In the words of Jodie Foster in the movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: “Weird.  That’s weird for Phoenix and Phoenix is the Weird Capital of America.”

(images: politicalhumor.about.com; mrc.org; dailykos.com; Googleimages)

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This week, Grammy performer Nicki Minaj (left, with ‘Pope’) incites ire among the Catholic League, who complain they are also dealing with a ‘hostile’ administration in Washington.  Meanwhile, anti-Choice candidate Rick Santorum surges and Catholic Church Bishops reject President Obama‘s contraception compromise, calling the situation a ‘grave moral concern.’

Our resident political commentator Ol’ Bill offers much-needed words of wisdom…

BANNING CONTRACEPTIVES OR LIBERTY?   by Ol’ Bill

 Why is birth control a political issue among many of our most patriotic Americans? Why do true blue politicians line up with true believing male bishops to insist it’s their way or the highway for all potentially pregnant women of all persuasions? What happened to scientific inquiry?  What happened to liberty? What happened to individual choice? What happened to our sacred Constitution?
“We the people,” have the constitutionally protected power to speak and think individually, to choose for ourselves among policy and leadership alternatives, relatively free of oppressive influences from others. Indeed freedom to choose among alternatives is the essence of individual liberty; we are all “prochoice” in this constitutional sense.
Organized Religion has grown in power and influence in all its diversity and doctrinal competition, in this fertile land of liberty and relative tolerance. But there is a growing need to limit the political power of organized religion in order to preserve our most sacred value of individual liberty and freedom of choice. Too many world wide examples exist of religion and politics infecting each other to the detriment of all.
~~~~~~~~
(images: cgl.geiden.org; moonbattery.com, dailytruffle.com; Googleimages)

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 A poem of a Tweet by star poet DA Powell:

“It gets stuck in your head until finally you’re saying to yourself, “Yes. I really DO want to dance with somebody.”
LIVING FOREVER, DYING YOUNG by Elizabeth Searle

~~RIP to a superstar and super voice.  The voice, of course, lives on– you can hear Whitney Houston‘s pure and glorious high notes in her legendary Star Spangled Banner  performance, worthy of a rocket’s red glare.~~~~Is it really a surprise that iconic performers like Houston and Michael Jackson– living in an unimaginably ‘glaring’ red light of publicity, acclaim and scandal– ‘burn out’ too soon?  Edna St Vincent Millay’s poem flared to life in my mind when I heard the news about Houston.~~~~(photos: CBS.com, blogs.indiewire.com, Googleimages)~~~RIP, WH.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.~~~~~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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RIP, superstar WHITNEY HOUSTON…Thanks to Susan on Facebook for posting a super NPR piece on why Madonna lasts…

Madonna ‘Malfunction’: Middle-Finger-Gate & Mistake-Mania by Elizabeth Searle

Why would any star want to tackle the Super Bowl gig?  Ever since Janet Jackson made ‘wardrobe malfunction’ a household word, the media and eager Tweets all over the world watch the halftime show poised to pounce on the slightest mistake or mis-step.

This year, a single middle finger upstaged Madonna’s tour de force Vogue-ing.  The 53 year old diva gamely donned cheerleader gear and turned a perfect ‘assisted cartwheel’ for an audience of over 110 million– but the media deemed two moments of the elaborate halftime show worth mention:

**Singer MIA giving the world the finger

and 

**Madonna herself making a slight and quickly recovered mis-step in her six inch thigh high boots.

I loved the boots; I hate the media’s ever-growing obsession with ’embarrassments.’  Every time I check my email, Comcast news regales me with unwanted video links to the latest ’embarrassing moment’– not all featuring jaded celebrities.  Jilted brides, overweight restaurant eaters, bewildered pets; all are deemed worthy of worldwide embarrassment on the Web.

Recently, and most unforgivably, the ’embarrassing moment’ of the Comcast news-cycle featured an earnest crewcut teenage boy in a Spelling Bee who apparently had mis-spoke in some way i couldn’t stand to watch.

Enough, already.  We all stumble now and then.  While Madonna can handle the flack (vanishing in an expensive cloud of smoke on her golden-paycheck parachute) ordinary citizens unluckily caught on camera don’t have that luxury.  I for one am sick of having their ’embarrassments’ broadcast on my personal computer screen.  Is there a Spam Filter for ‘Embarrassing Moments’?  WDYT?

(photos: radar.com, elephant journal.com, Googleimages)

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  • Miley Cyrus is Just an Adorable Brat by Sheila Johnson
  • Last week, the Culture and Media Institute came down on Miley Cyrus after TMZ released pictures of her licking a penis cake at her boyfriend’s birthday party. The Christian-based institute got their panties in the proverbial bunch, labeling the photos and her actions as “disgusting and ill-fitting for a role model of young girls everywhere.”
  • Cyrus & the ‘cake in question’ (blocked!)

    CMI’s response plays directly into the hands of Cyrus’ marketing ploy. The blowing of a penis cake is another obvious attempt by the former Hannah Montana of bad-assing her image. Like all her previous stunts, this one is not only contrived, but a complete dud in terms of shock factor. Remember the time she was caught on the street wearing no bra? Even worse was the time she bragged about being a “stoner” while blowing out the candles of her own birthday cake, which depicted an image of Bob Marley. There couldn’t be anything less extraordinary or scandalous than a teen girl smoking weed and listening to generic reggae. Sadly, I get that feeling that Cyrus is trying to enter Paris Hilton/Lindsey Lohan territory, but that would entail blowing an actual penis on video and/or doing something that is actually illegal. The only reputation Cyrus is acquiring is that of a desperate do-gooder. (more…)

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