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Archive for December, 2013

First, big thanks to–jbmagesscreenwriting star Caitlin McCarthy, for kicking off our discussion.

A ‘Winnner’ has been chosen.  Eloquent COMMENTS from our readers sited this celebrity’s ‘dishonesty,’ ‘deeply embedded and enduring racism’ and ‘flagrant overuse of butter.’  Yes:

PAULA DEEN ‘wins’– with Miley Cyrus as ‘dishonorable mention’ (saved from first place by compassionate commenters who argued that Miley is merely acting her age, as well as acting out the Curse of the Child Star).

For those wanting to re-live the Year in Disgrace, no one summed it up better than Caitlin did (quote preserved below).  And I agree with a Comment proclaiming that Caitlin ends here with the ‘best statement’ that’s been made on the subject of Cyrus.

Speaking of smart words about not-so-smart celeb.s, a must ‘re-read’ piece is our wise and witty Guest Post by Luis M. Luque on our Disgraced Celebrity of 2013: Paula Deen Cooks Up a Hot Mess

CAITLIN’s ‘TAKE’ ON THE YEAR IN DISGRACE:

Is it me, or did more celebrities make anti-gay and racist comments this year? Phil from “Duck Dynasty” has the headlines right now, but who can forget celebs like Paula Deen, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin (et tu, Steve?!) having to apologize for unfortunate comments. here-are-the-companies-that-are-supporting-paula-deenIt’s the 21st Century, people. Let’s not go backward! 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made me wish Chris Farley was still alive — he would have enjoyed playing the disgraceful pol on SNL.
 
If Justin Bieber doesn’t retire, it’ll be a disgrace that he got my hopes up. miley-cyrus-we-cant-stop-1-650-430
 
And it’s a disgrace that anyone wants to date George Zimmerman. Really, ladies. Adopt a dog if you’re that lonely. 
 
Speaking of ladies, for once they haven’t topped my list of disgraces. But I’ve got my eye on you, Miley. Please, put your tongue back in your head and stop the twerking. I may be old, but you look ridiculous. 

CAITLIN McCARTHY

(photos: GoogleImages; businessinsider.com; billboard.com; mmtv.com)

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Tammy Wilson 2Tamra Wilson is the author of Dining with Robert Redford and Other Stories, short fiction about small-town life.  Her creative work often explores themes of family conflict, belonging and obsession with celebrity. She is an alumna of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the University of Southern Maine and serves as a Road Scholar for the North Carolina Humanities Council. Visit her website at http://tamrawilson.com

 Discovering the world of the Noonatic by Tamra Wilson

pnUnknown-1My cousin has seen “Camelot” 38 times and Barry Manilow 27.  I thought this was over the top until I discovered Noonatics.

OK, I’ll admit I was a Herman’s Hermits fan back in the day. No, it was more than that. Lead singer Peter Noone (“Herman”) was my teen idol, but I didn’t realize he still had a fan club until I saw that he was giving a concert in Lenoir, NC on Dec. 7. The ticket website noted “Noonefest at noon.”

Noonefests, I learned, are pre-concert rallies with games, Q & A with Peter and pre-concert sound check. This happens only once a year, a light-hearted State of the Union for Noonatics, and here it was coming to my back door. After 47 years, I became a card-carrying fan.

Dozens were assembled by the time I arrived. The Noonatic ahead of me in line asked me how many concerts I had attended.Childhelp USA Celebrity Charity Drive

“Tonight’s my second,” I said. “How many for you?”

“Five hundred,” she said. “I drove in from Kentucky.”

My gasp told her I was a rank newbie. I’d seen Peter at the Jingle Bell Hop 16 years ago in Charlotte. We had shaken hands, but moderation ruled. I hadn’t hyperventilated, and I hadn’t forced our paths to cross again.

“Kentucky is a long way to drive,” I said.

“Not really. There are fans here from England.”

My eyes popped. People travelled four thousand miles to get here?

Obviously these folks like Peter Noone a lot. Attending concerts is what they do, and they have plenty to choose from—more than 100 a year.

UpnknownClearly I had stumbled upon a parallel celebrity universe. Think family reunion with the founding patriarch. Peter knows many members by name, and they know one another. But the juxtaposition is more than a pop singer and adoring fans. Peter and the club are family without apparent squabbles. He is graciously appreciative; they offer devotion that most performers (and families for that matter) would gladly give their eyeteeth.

Later, during the concert, the energy between star and fans was something magical.  Few screamed, but all of us reveled in the Sixties and its good-time music as only this icon can sing it.

And I have no doubt that a few Noonatics headed to Miami the next morning.  Another concert to log in less than 21 hours…

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(photos: Googleimages; bradcoveb.com, theprovance.com, last.fm)

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We thank our resident political wise man, Ol’ Bill, for letting us reprint these words of truth about our nation’s biggest ‘disgrace.’  This piece originally appeared in slightly different form in The Arizona Republic.

THE DEVASTATING TRUTH ABOUT ABSURD INEQUITIES

by Ol’ Billincome-inequality-yahoo

Opposing political partisans initially pinned the cause of recession on one party, then another, first on public overspending, then, properly, on lack of public investment in job and wealth producing assets. Significant popular opinion long since seemed to assume that those born poor stay poorer while the rich get richer as the natural order of things.

Billions of tax dollars are spent trying to soften the economic shock of recession. But observers have noted the disproportionate share of new wealth that was generated growing from recession has ended up in the pockets of the richest one or two percent of the population. Few editorial writers or politicos or  voters have asked why.unequal_soup_business_desk

A brilliant statistical analysis by tax lawyer Bob Lord (AZ Republic Nov. 30) identified the reason that recession has dragged on for decades, and projected the ultimate catastrophe. Titled  “Absurd Inequity Is Threatening U.S.” Mr. Lord concludes what should be obvious to every voter, editorial writer and politician: “We need to reverse course and stop adopting economic and tax policies that are making the rich richer and the poor poorer.” I’d conclude it’s not the natural order of things that needs reversing; it’s just crooked politics, bought and paid for.

Nobody needs a PhD in economics or law to understand if voters don’t massively revolt, present trends will continue and, by 2044 two-thirds of the population of our gigantic consumer based society will hold only a puny 1.5 percent of the wealth and a quarter billion Americans will be flat broke if not already.

Obviously billionaires own our debt but don’t buy the huge quantities of consumer items it takes to keep most of us in middle class employment and prosperous. It’s a miracle and tribute to the vitality of our underlying economy that we haven’t suffered violent revolution years ago by millions of debt ridden unemployed.

Bob Lord’s understated conclusion should be today’s burning conviction of every voter who values our freedom and prosperity: “We need to reverse course and stop adopting economic and tax policies that  are making the rich richer and the poor poorer.” Our future is endangered by the power grab of a few moguls. Why isn’t it obvious to all?

We have the peaceful ballot box power to change in everyone’s interest, including the moguls. Why don’t we?

(images: pbs.org)

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