Monday, November 30, 2009

Comic Wanda Sykes Suggests Domestic Violence In Tiger Woods Jokes; NATIONAL ENQUIRER Runs Claimed Mistress Story

On her edgy Saturday night comedy program, outspoken comic Wanda Sykes pushed the envelope on the Tiger Woods story by suggesting that he might have been the victim of domestic abuse. Sykes picked up on a news report claiming that the wife of Tiger Woods was reportedly "hovering" over him after his accident. "Hovering is never a good thing. You know who hovered? Muhammad Ali hovered when knocked Sonny Liston out. That's hovering. She beat the hell out of Tiger. That's what happened. But I don't know if she used the right club".

Certainly comics make jokes with some poetic license. However, the mainstream media hasn't ventured this far into this story with the same domestic violence suggestion by any means. But THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER has ventured into a new story claiming that Tiger Woods had an affair with a 34 year old mistress. However, the woman, Rachel Uchitel, denies this story, claiming only to be a friend of the golfer, and has hired an attorney to sue THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER over the story. She claims that she's "devastated" by the story, which she claims is completely wrong. Uchitel claims little contact with the golfer, and only to be one of many casual friends of the golfer.

CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin has noted where Uchitel has hired top attorney Gloria Allred to represent her. Usually, Toobin notes, that clients of Allread tend to remain in the news.

This is all part of the growing public image problems for the golf champion. He has failed to answer police questions three times now, although the Fifth Amendment protects citizens from self-incriminating themselves. Toobin notes that Woods isn't required to answer police questions. And search warrant is unlikely. But some segments of the media from comics to the tabloids are starting to fill in the blanks about the story on their own terms, even if their information may only be mere speculation or even humor. Tiger Woods needs to quickly step up and be upfront on this story to stop this rumor speculation mill from completely trashing him far behind any self-inflicted damage that he has done to his own reputation. The story is unlikely to go away on it's own as Woods might hope.

Tiger Woods' good reputation is now quickly circling the drain. He needs to be upfront now, and to meet with the police to at least offer his own side of the events and to be public on the real details of the story because the public wants some answers. Otherwise, the trashing of his reputation will only continue as others in the media run with the story, sometimes with wrong information.

Today, Tiger Woods has also now removed himself from his own upcoming Golf event due to the injuries he has from the accident.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cars You'll Never See: The 1962 Edsel Corsair

An awesome website called "What If Car Designs" offers some interesting prototype drawings for some great 1950's and 60's cars that never were marketed.
Here's a fascinating projected 1962 Edsel model based on the Mercury frame. It's not a bad looking car by any means. This Edsel model appears more mainstream than previous controversial "horse collar" models and might have found more public acceptance....only if.

Swedish Detective Work: Moose Implicated For Murder; Jailed Husband Cleared.

Swedish detective work is just marvelous. When they had the wrong man arrested, crack Swedish detectives found the real killer. A moose.
An elderly man who was arrested for the death of his 63 year old wife was finally cleared and set free from jail as moose hairs and moose saliva was found on the murder victim. It seems that the woman took a stroll through the forest and met up with foul play at the hands of the murderous animal.

Here's a Swedish police mugshot of the suspected real killer.
No word yet, whether the moose had some squirrel accomplice.

Tiger Woods Cancels Interview With Police For Third Time

Champion golfer Tiger Woods has only managed to complicate the questions surrounding his bizarre accident that sent him to the hospital. For the third time since the accident, Woods canceled his appointment with police for an interview. Woods instead posted a sort of apology to his fans for his conduct claiming that the accident was his own fault, while not addressing any of the questions surrounding the unusual crash.

In his statement on his website, Woods claimed that the incident was a "private matter" and that he wanted to "keep it that way". However, any such dramatic event by a celebrity of the level of Tiger Woods will certainly remain news for days and will be only be the subject of much tabloid news as well.

According to Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol, Woods has not "rescheduled" his canceled interview to explain the incident. However, it is highly likely that Woods might be waiting for Monday so that he can seek professional advice from a lawyer or legal representation before he is interviewed. Woods might even face serious traffic offense charges unless a lawyer can assist him for the incident.

Woods has certainly damaged his clean and wholesome image with the entire incident. But whether he loses his huge product endorsement deals is a question yet to be asked. This incident is hardly good by any means.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger Woods' "JERRY SPRINGER" Moment

Just like some shirtless moron family on COPS or JERRY SPRINGER, Tiger Woods and his wife decided to make news with their own whacked-out "white trash" type moment. Police want to interview Woods about the buzz that he and his wife were fighting, then he angrily got into his 2009 Cadillac SUV and backed into a hydrant and then hit a neighbor's tree. And as a bleeding Tiger Woods was knocked unconscious, his wife broke the back window of the truck with a golf club. All of this could have just another typical "white trash" type family disturbance. But it wasn't. This is a major embarrassment for the greatest player in golf history and one of the most admired athletes in American history. Huge endorsement deals ride on his reputation. Blowing that all for acting like some "white trash" family on display on Jerry Springer just isn't worth it.

The fact of the matter is that Tiger Woods and his his wife are a beautiful and very wealthy couple. They are both very intelligent. So why act just like a dirt dumb "white trash" family on Jerry Springer?

Certainly police are going to have a lot of questions to ask Woods. And the tabloids are going to have a field day. But an invitation to guest star on JERRY SPRINGER isn't too likely.

Friday, November 27, 2009

THE AUDACITY OF HYPE: Anarchist Jello Biafra's New Album Takes On Obama

American anarchist-punk musician, Jello Biafra, has decided to take on President Obama with his latest album of far-left anti-government and anti-authority songs. The former Dead Kennedys front-man's new album has a cover that parodies the 2008 Obama Campaign "Hope" posters. Biafra looks positively demonic on the cover.

Biafra has been active in the Green Party for some time. Outrageously, in 2000, the New York Green Party nominated Biafra for president, and of all things, Biafra chose a convicted cop-killer and death row inmate as his running mate just to be absurd. Biafra also ran for San Francisco mayor in 1979 on an absurd platform of forcing businessmen to wear clown suits within the city limits. Strangely, nearly 4% of actually voted for Biafra.

All of this brings us to this new release which is a mostly loud and surprisingly musically tight anarchy-punk feast of outrageous rock in the tradition of The Dead Kennedys. There are few mellow moments here. This is some loud head banging stuff meant for some serious slam dancing. Biafra's new band features a former musician from Faith No More and other talented performers. The new band is indeed tight.

If you love new punk releases, then this has to be one of the best of the lot. Highly recommended +++1/2

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Great Christmas Comedy Albums From Bob Rivers & The Three Stooges

Tired of the same old Christmas song shlock every year? Well, with Christmas season just about here, there are a few really great funny Christmas albums that really stand out as real gems. On Amazon there's music downloads available of the rare and hard to find CHRISTMAS TIME WITH THE THREE STOOGES album. The album only has nine songs, however it's a short but sweet charmer. These guys are just as delightful clowning around with music as they are with their short films.

Some of the songs like "I've Got A Cold For Christmas" are outrageous and funny. The opening track, "We're Coming To Your Home" is real funny as well. This is a great Three Stooges Item. A real must have for any real fan.

Bob Rivers who has a Seattle based radio show has some of the best song parodies ever made. And he has three three funny Christmas song albums including a really cool boxset that is available for download at Amazon as well. THE TWISTED CHRISTMAS BOXSET is a real gem, featuring some great song parodies of AC/DC, with "JINGLE HELLS BELLS" and 38 more great tunes. Strangely this Cd box also includes many other non-Christmas songs including a parody of Melanie about Tonya Harding and a Devo parody about Michael Fay's Singapore caning for vandalism. But a real gem is the Temptations parody, "Grampa Loved The Rolling Stones". This is a great funny song about the aging rock band. The Black Sabbath based parody, "I AM SANTA CLAUS" is real good hard rock fun.

WHITE TRASH CHRISTMAS by Bob Rivers opens with a great Jethro Tull parody entitled "Aquaclaus". "The Little Hooters Girl" is real charming parody of "The Little Drummer Boy". It's heartwarming in a perverse way. "Osama Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is a great redneck funny tune.

CHIPMUNKS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE has a great little CCR parody with "Goin' Up To Bethlehem", as well two great parody songs about The Chipmunks. It's a great Christmas comedy album to enjoy on the holiday.

Strangely, Bob Rivers twice appeared as an extra in two STAR TREK ENTERPRISE episodes. So besides being a prolific producer of the some of the best song parodies ever made, Rivers appears to be a devout STAR FAN.

However, if you're a real cheap guy who doesn't like to pay for anything, and own every dollar that you've ever earned, then you need to check out the website run by April Winchell. April is the daughter of the famous ventriloquist, Paul Winchell. And she features a large page of absurd song downloads for absolutely free. If you'd like to hear a real crappy version of the "Darth Vader Theme"as done with ukulele and toy whistle, or the original AVENGERS, Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman struggle with "Kinky Boots", then this site is for you. The lost Kim Basinger album is here for free download as well. This is a real treasure trove of trash funny music by celebrities and others who were simply horrid singers. You howl with laughter at Bing Crosby's attempt at "Hey Jude" among other bad gems here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Beatles Stereo Remasters: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

On one hand, the newly remastered Beatles seem like a great repackage of their music, especially for the younger generation of buyers who never bought the original Beatles on vinyl. On another hand, there are some disappointing aspects about the remasters. For some reason it seems like part of the "wall of sound" aspects of the original Capital and Apple recordings are gone and the sound seems a little more naked with a greater empathsis on the vocals and some instrument aspects. Part of what made the old Beatles recordings so great was that slick "wall of sound" production.

There is also that nasty little packaging problem. While the cardboard covers are like miniatures of the original UK album releases of the old vinyl, the Cd's simply fit way too snuggly into the sleeves and are very difficult to remove without putting your fingers onto the discs. At some point, you just know that the discs are only going to suffer damage because of all of this abuse. And because removing the discs is such a chore, you'll be more than unlikely not to play the discs as often as usual because of all of the hassle to remove them.

On the bright side, at moments on songs like "Let It Be" the sound is pretty crisp and dynamic. But other songs sometimes seem less brilliant than you might expect. The remastering job is a bit of a mixed bag.

Yet as a Christmas gift package for someone, what could make a better gift than this. This is quite a great package despite some real serious short comings. Who can't help but recommend the Beatles. +++1/2

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tough Guy Actor Jerry Orbach Was Actually A Romantic

Tough guy actor Jerry Orbach was actually a real romantic according to his wife. Every single day he left her with a poem that he wrote that would just melt any heart. His wife, Elaine, had just recently passed away as well. However, she leaves us with this wonderful new book from Simon & Shuster of wonderful poems.

Orbach was best remembered as the tough guy detective, Lennie Biscoe, on NBC's LAW & ORDER and as the dad in DIRTY DANCING. But Orbach was also a talented New York stage actor as well. This new book of poems is a great remembrance of this multi-talented actor. It's more than worth a look. Highly recommended ++++

Gay Performers Like Adam Lambert Held To A Different Standard

If anything, the outcry over the controversial American Music Awards performance by gay singer Adam Lambert proves that gay performers are held to a far different standard than heterosexual performers. For years, performers like Michael Jackson, Madonna or Britney Spears have been performing shows with highly sexualized content such as crotch grabbing or suggestive sexual movements. But when an openly gay performer Adam Lambert did the same thing at the American Music Awards, then the public outcry began. Further, it has been social conservative organizations such as the Parent's Television Council which have pressed members to file FCC complaints.

This is part of the problem. Entertainers in the United States are supposed to create entertainment, yet are tightly constrained by a complex web of censorship legislation that social conservative complainer's can use to mow down freedom of expression by using government as a tool to impose huge and excessive fines, or in some cases imprisonment. Couple this with the anti-gay rights focus of many right wing social conservative organizations. All of this sets up a climate of hostility where a gay performer such as Adam Lambert will be judged by a far different standard than a heterosexual performer like a Madonna or a Britney Spears. Probably the gay kiss of a band mate might have been the straw that broke the camel's back for many social conservatives.

Compared to outlandish performers such as Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert's American Music Awards performance wasn't all that much different. But in the current repressed social climate in the U.S. where gay rights are far less socially acceptable than in Europe, gay musicians are only likely to be judged by a different standard here.

As part of the backlash to Adam Lambert's AMA performance, GOOD MORNING AMERICA quickly bent to public pressure and canceled a scheduled appearance of Lambert as a result. No one can accuse GMA of having balls. Maybe they should grow a good set and not so easily wilt to public pressure. There is no guarantee that Lambert would be raunchy. This is simply a blanket ban on an entertainer. It's like a modern-day Joe McCarthy type blacklisting. Will popular TV shows begin to blacklist gay entertainers out of fear?

It might take a few days for the dust to clear. However, the fallout over the Adam Lambert performance might mean a more tight and repressive social environment for performers to operate in with less freedom of expression in at least the short-run. But for now, the gay kiss by performer Adam Lambert is like the gay kiss heard around the world, or at least in the more socially conservative United States.

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Bad Three Stooges

Hey Moe! The Three Stooges are like gods in my book. I grew up in the late 50's and early 60's watching The Three Stooges shorts on TV. Their comedy bits as guys trying to earn a buck and work going horribly wrong are classic. That's probably their appeal to working guys. Guys do work like plumbing, carpentry or auto repair, and the Stooge screw-ups on these jobs are legendary.

Hey speaking of screw-ups, look at these guys.
But on the positive side, far better Stooges are coming. Look for Jim Carrey to play Curly in the upcoming Farrelly brothers production of THE THREE STOOGES. Carrey is reportedly putting on 50lbs. to play the role(You have to wonder what his main squeeze, Jenny McCarthy, thinks about that?). And rather than a biopic, the film will likely consist of several short films within the film, just like the original nearly 200 short films by the Stooges. The film might even spur a new series of modern Three Stooges films.
Strangely, Sean Penn, who is often a dead serious actor will play Larry. And even more strangely, look for great dramatic actor Benicio Del Toro, to play Moe in the film. So that heart knuckleheads. Better Stooges are on the way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

College Football Game Ends With Cheerleader Knockout

College football is popular on TV. But some unruly fans must have thought they were at a pro-wrestling event when they were at the Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona Wildcats game. Near the end of the game, pretty blond Oregon cheerleader, Katelynn Johnson, was struck by a flying bottle and collapsed on the field when the fortunes shifted away from Arizona toward Oregon.

The college junior cheerleader was hospitalized with some injuries, although is expected to fully recover. Arizona fans were gathering to storm the field for an expected victory. However, with just six seconds left, Oregon had upset the game and took away the victory from Arizona. Police are now reviewing tapes and television feed of the show to prosecute fans who threw batteries, water bottles and other items at the Oregon players and cheerleaders.

SNL's Hu & Obama Press Conference Skit Is All The Talk

Saturday Night Live has survived for 35 seasons by offering up cutting edge satire that has often became the water cooler talk for days after. This weekend, SNL once again managed that feat by offering up some pointed satire on the press conference in China between President Hu and President Obama. Issues such as the spending on the economic stimulus package, the cash for clunkers program, health care reform and the huge debt to China were all presented in a satirical manner. Comedy often works best when it is both timely and can focus on real issues. Often effective satire works far better than any serious editorial if well enough done.

SNL began to sharpen it's humor attacks on political leaders when it debuted in 1975 as an edgy late night humor and sketch comedy series. Familiar targets ranged from President Nixon all the way to the current president over the 35 seasons. No president escaped the humor attacks. And even candidates for office such as former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin could not resist the urge to make a little guest appearance on the show, hoping to drum up a few votes and maybe gain a little more respect from the writers and cast of the show. For a while, former head writer and SNL player Tina Fay made a few guest appearances portraying Palin.

But in the deeper realm of things, it means problems for some politicians when SNL's humor barbs grow too sharp. It means problems and the response to those problems are growing huge when for example the current White House is portrayed in a manner where their grasp on the issues seems tenuous.

Part of the why a White House should be deeply concerned about how they are portrayed on SNL is that the program is something of a mirror of public opinion. The opinions expressed on the program are part of growing public perceptions. Yet at the same time SNL sometimes seems to lose fact of the seriousness of the issues a White House faces. For example, the current White House has to struggle with the most serious global economic crisis since the Great Depression as well as twin wars against elusive enemies. Even Abraham Lincoln only had the major issue of the American Civil War to deal with at the time. However, now problems grow more and more complex to deal with. The United States is only one of 191 nations in the world, and how to cope with only the American response to the global recession is complicated by the fact that other economies such as those in China, Russia and the EU all have their own way of dealing with the crisis and their response can sometimes complicate the American response.

In order to boost auto sales, both Germany and the United States both had limited "cash for clunkers" type programs that encouraged owners of older cars to trade them in for new ones. Russia, on the other hand, is boosting their economy by upping defense spending by a big 8% to make up for the expected 8% contraction in their economy this year. China, France, England, South America all have their own policies and programs to shore up their sagging economies.

It is very easy for SNL to make up jokes. Yet, comics often fail to see the complexity of the problems that a White House deals with. It is far easier for some comedy writer to write smug punchlines than to understand all the complexities of two major economies such as China and the United States dealing with complex trade and economic issues. Both nations want certain trade policies working in their favor, and a complex balancing act ensues with many hard negotiations.

Yet, SNL has entertained audiences for many years. And whenever SNL tackles important issues with satire it often seems that days of water cooler talk will follow. SNL may not have a total grasp on the complexity of the issues, but SNL does have a pretty good grasp on the public mood and perception of how a White House is dealing with those problems. From an editorial standpoint, SNL's read of the issues is an important read.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Only a few days ago NBC had announced that TRAUMA was being canceled by the network. But NBC decided to let the program continue to air until the purchased episodes had run out.Then something magic happened. TRAUMA began to find an audience and pick up in ratings over the endangered HEROES series.

Now, in the greatest death to life resurrection since Lazarus himself, NBC has uncanceled TRAUMA and ordered new episodes to be filmed. Just like a like a set of heart paddles, the patient lives on. Now, HEROES looks like an endangered species.

Sometimes strange things happen on your TV.

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Ringo Starr

Actually, Max Frudd of the UK is pretty dead-on lookalike for Ringo Starr in many ways. However, the runner-up always has to be the late Yasser Arafat......
Frudd To Get You Into My Life. Yellow Fruddmarine. It Don't Frudd Easy. Frudd Naturally. Sgt. Frudd's Lonely Hearts Frudd Band..... Only what if?

The real Ringo is pictured next to Arafat. Frudd is the "Ringo" in the hat.

Opie Taylor Cuts Me A Check

As much as I respect Ron Howard as a filmmaker, I'm having a little dispute with his production company, Restless Productions, over some scheduling problems for some filming that is supposed to take place at the classic Clinton Market grocery store I own. It seems like RESTLESS is taking longer to film than expected and is running days behind schedule. Last week, on Thursday, Restless Productions was supposed to shoot at my business. However, no one from Restless Productions bothered to call me and it impacted some wine delivery and other store functions such as new stock orders. Every day I need to restock the store with groceries, wine and beer.

Restless Productions knew that I was very upset at this. And they didn't want me to pull out of the project and deny them use of my store to shoot at. There is a critical scene in the film that takes place at my store, which has been in business since 1914. It is probably the oldest grocery store in Portland, Oregon that is still in operation. So Restless offered me an amended contract, and upped their pay scale to me, plus offered me a check for the lost day which impacted my business.

Ron Howard's agent offered me his sincere apology and had me sign the renewed contract and cut me a check. Ron Howard is always a gentleman, and his agent was very sincere and promised to handle business better in the future for the shoot which is now scheduled for either November 30 or December 1. Like all Ron Howard productions, RESTLESS should be a great film. Howard is paying all the production costs for the film and putting director Gus Van Sant in charge of the local work along with a large crew of production people. The film should be ready for release sometime next year.

Hey, what can I say, Opie Taylor is okay in my book!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nothing Beats Psychiatric Patient Performance Art

Where in the world but in Havana, Cuba would you find psychiatric patients from a local mental hospital performing a play by a French playwright?

The bizarre play featuring mental patients in costume had some wandering around with prop skeletons and other unusual items. All in all, it was a very bizarre performance, somehow meant to improve the patient's self confidence of all things. So now it seems that Cuba is not only the world capital of old 1950's automobiles, but also now mental patient performance art. Okay?

Hey a little Marat De Sade, anyone?

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Bad AMERICAN IDOL Lookalikes

Here's three not very good AMERICAN IDOL lookalikes for your amusement. Hopefully this "Paula Abdul" is much more together than the real one. The other one is a handful. "Simon" and "Randy" look a little funny too!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ron Howard And Gus Van Sant Filming RESTLESS In Portland

Producer Ron Howard and director Gus Van Sant are filming RESTLESS in Portland, Oregon currently. One of the locations they chosen for filming is my own Clinton Market, which is nearly 100 years old. Clinton Market will be the location for a key scene involving the first kiss by 20 year old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. Wasikowska will play a 16 year old girl who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness who falls in love with an off-beat boy who likes to attend funerals. Under the production of Ron Howard, the film should prove to be a major feature.

The quirky screen writer for RESTLESS is Jason Lew. This is his first major film. However, it is a great sign of faith that two giants of film like Ron Howard and Gus Van Sant have enough confidence in his script to bring it to film. The script just might prove off-beat enough to have appeal as a great film.
RESTLESS should wrap up filming sometime in December. Look for it at theaters sometime next year.

Oprah Winfrey Will Quit in 2011

Oprah Winfrey the most popular talk show queen of all time will shock her audience today with the announcement that she is quiting in 2011. In the history of day time talk shows no celebrity has been more important than Oprah Winfrey. She has proven herself to be the biggest money earner ever for a talk show host as well. Her Harpo Productions company is a major force in the entertainment business.

While Oprah will announce that at the end of her 25th season on September 9, 2011 she will quit her network program, it is not entirely clear whether she might continue some program on her cable TV network. Not doubt her future plans should become more clear in a few days. But for today, expect Oprah to make big news with her stunning announcement. This will be big news.

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Disturbing Alfred Hitchcock Lookalikes!

Alfred Hitchcock was indeed an unusual genius. And although a great filmmaker, sometimes he was truly creepy. But, even more frightening are a couple of Alfred Hitchcock lookalikes. Look at your own risk!
I warned you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Bad SEINFELD Cast Lookalikes!

Holy Crap! This is like the awful SEINFELD cast on the Bizarro planet or something! Unbelievable! Maybe NBC needs to sign up this cast and put them into a comedy that some people might think is SEINFELD or something, ugggh.

NEWSWEEK Goes For The Hip ROLLING STONE Cool Cover Look With Controversial Sarah Palin Cover

NEWSWEEK like most print journalism is in a real struggle right now for better circulation. Magazines and newspapers are dropping like flies in this recession. So what does NEWSWEEK do to grab a little attention? Why, it rips off the hip formula of ROLLING STONE and uses an offbeat, but memorable photo of Sarah Palin to grab readers attention and sell some magazines.

The Sarah Palin cover is all the talk right now. If NEWSWEEK ever wanted to get noticed, then it more than succeeded in that goal. Just the cover photo, and not even the writing or opt ed opinion pieces are dominating public discussion right now. If anything, the marketing wizards at NEWSWEEK sought to do something daring to be noticed at the newsstands. And they are indeed being noticed.

But beyond the offbeat cover, NEWSWEEK is far different magazine inside than it once was. It is amazing just how many pages of opt ed opinion pieces you have to page through just to find the main cover story. NEWSWEEK appears to be wanting to be more hip and cool, like a news version of ROLLING STONE, and potentially attract some younger readers by looking cool and trendy. I'm not sure if that hip face-lift will work or not. But still the magazine is a far different NEWSWEEK than I once knew.

The long Sarah Palin piece did have some important thoughts in it. One of the most vital was the comparison with Barry Goldwater. Is Sarah Palin a populist cult following type of candidate who is so unelectable that she only promises to ruin the Republican Party in the 2012 election if she wins the GOP nomination? Yet, I seriously doubt that even GOP voters would nominate such a silly candidate as Palin. There are far more serious and capable candidates than this one who didn't even serve out one entire term as governor of Alaska before quitting for some sort of screwy and convoluted set of reasons that I still haven't quite figured out. But the cover of NEWSWEEK is also right in pointing out that Sarah Palin is a real problem for the Republican Party. She does little to restore faith or respect for that party with her constant sideshow. And the more public and outrageous she is, the worst it is for the Republican brand image. For what few GOP voters she attracts, she no doubt turns off 2 or more serious voters far more likely to vote. That's hardly a fair trade-off.

Even die-hard supporters of President Obama, like Oprah Winfrey realize how really harmless Sarah Palin is to their president. Oprah did no harm to the president at all by showcasing Sarah Palin on Monday's show. Palin is a kook and goofball foremost, and lastly a serious political figure. In fact, the more public exposure of Palin, the more she becomes seen as the leader of the Republican Party, which helps President Obama and the Democrats, and only worsens Republican odds of a comeback in 2010 and 2012.

But both Oprah and NEWSWEEK recognize that Palin has enough supporters that she draws attention and ratings or sells magazines. Her book signing yesterday in Michigan had huge lines waiting to buy a copy or to meet the candidate. And Palin is toying with the notion of hosting a talk show( you only have to wonder how long that will last before she quits that gig). Why this outrageous know-nothing is this popular defies real explanation. She has a poor grasp of economics, history, and even politics. Quiting the role as governor of Alaska was hardly a confidence building career move.

But NEWSWEEK did better itself by hitching itself onto Sarah's star this week. For no good reason at all, Palin draws lots attention. And NEWSWEEK could sure use the boost in sales.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Bad James Bond Lookalikes

Hey you James Bond fans, look at these great funny lookalikes from over at the UK. The Daniel Craig lookalike is pretty good, but some of the others are pretty funny. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad Celebrity Lookalike Of The Day: Susan Boyle

Holy Crap! Boy, does Jules Coll of the UK bear a funny and outrageous resemblance to UK singing sensation Susan Boyle! What do you think?

Tuesday's Big Entertainment Releases!

Hey kidz , there's lots of way cool new entertainment products out today. So open up your wallets and get prepared to stay home from work and spend hours enjoying these cool new releases in your underwear:

STAR TREK: This big budget sci fi blockbuster film is available today on both 3 disc Bluray set and dvd. While the new cast takes a little getting used to for a few minutes, the movie is darn great with tons of cool special effects and a great storyline. This fun blockbuster made nearly $257 million at the box office, and only promises to clean up big time with dvd sales as well. On bluray disc this is must own product. Get it.

BRUNO: The thoroughly offensive and funny gay Austrian model character send-up by UK comic Sasha Baron Cohen raises havoc on film at fashion shows and other venues, sometimes with legal problems. Darn funny stuff. Highly recommended new dvd release.

THIRST: Is one of the best Asian horror films ever made. If you dig vampires and great horror flicks, then you need to rent or own this great film out on dvd today. Highly recommended!

The Doors LIVE IN NEW YORK: Is the highly anticipated new cd box set by the legendary band. About one third of the album comprises unreleased live material. The sound quality is amazing. For the last several years. The Doors have released a wonderful new cd of some sort that makes a great Christmas gift. Buy one for yourself and buy some for friends as gifts.

Sarah Palin "Going Rogue": The controversial new book by the political diva debuts in bookstores today. While critics have discounted the truth and accuracy of many of Palin's claims, the book nonetheless stands as major autobiography and a great first person account of the 2008 presidential race. Certainly this book is newsworthy. Love her or hate her, this is an important new book and worth reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Update: Critics Attack Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" Book

Although, the new book "Going Rogue" was recommended by me as a pretty good historical document on the 2008 campaign this past week, new critics are starting to emerge for Sarah Palin's new book. Chief critic has been Steve Schmidt, John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign manager, who termed the new book by Sarah Palin as a work of "total fiction". Even some say that John McCain is privately "surprised and a bit disappointed" by the book, while refusing to make any public comments on the book.

Schmidt was angry at some accounts by Palin such as her claim of him using obscenity in the presence of her 7 year old daughter. Schmidt claims that no such event ever happened. Further, other former McCain staffers dispute the claims of Palin being an unwilling participant in the $150,000 spent on wardrobe for her by the campaign or the Republican Party. One former McCain aide claimed that all that this book does is to portray Palin as who she really is, "Dishonest, small and petty".

Further, Associated Press has examined many of the claims of Palin in this book, and has knocked down a number of her assertions with a "facts check" feature. For example, Palin used Ronald Reagan as an example and falsely asserted that Reagan faced a greater recession in the early 80's and "showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all". However, there are many factual problems with this assertion. For one thing, the early 80's recession only lasted 16 months. This is a far deeper global recession that has lasted at least 23 months so far within the United States alone. Further, Reagan never ended the estate tax. And capital gains taxes are now at lower rates than under Reagan as well. While unemployment did peak at 10.8 under Reagan, the current October 2009 high rate of 10.2 is expected to only worsen in coming months, before any decline is noted. While Wall Street is running at a higher level recently , this market performance usually runs ahead of unemployment by about six months. About all that one can take from Palin's spin of the facts is that she desperately wants to appear to be far better informed and more intelligent than she actually is.

Palin further exaggerated the financial health of Alaska, claiming how "independent" the state is from Washington. However, the Associated Press own "facts check" investigation found that Alaska actually receives far more in federal money than taxes it pays. Alaska receives $1.84 from Washington for every tax dollar it pays. On assertion after assertion, Palin made bold comments that simply wilt under the facts. It's almost pathological to claim how independent from Washington Alaska is when it actually requires nearly two tax dollars from Washington for every dollar it sends there. But such is the mythical world of Sarah Palin. Her fans hang on her every word, even if it's only complete fantasy.

THE NEW YORK TIMES also had a less than glowing review of the book as well, summing it up as "part cagey spin job, part earnest autobiography, part payback hit job".

Yet despite the critics, the book is still written by a major figure involved in the 2008 campaign, and this fact alone makes the recollections in the book worthy of a read. Maybe the honesty of this book is questioned by others involved in the 2008 McCain Campaign. And maybe the facts prove that many of the assertions of Palin are complete works of fiction and not really supported by the true facts. Yet this book is Sarah Palin's own document. And because this book is newsworthy makes it must read. I stand by my recommendation here.

Weekend Box Office: 2012, No Box Office Disaster!

2012, the high budget apocalypse thriller was hardly any box office disaster. In fact, the movie broke some records by cashing in with a mega-huge $65.0 million take, easily becoming the #1 hit movie this weekend. Critics didn't view the film as high art by any means, however the movie is a more than good enough popcorn and snack thrill ride to rate as worth viewing with awesome special effects. If you like the thrill of a roller coaster ride, then this is your ticket right here.

Coming in at #2 this weekend was DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, with a more than healthy $22.3 million dollar take. While audiences tend to love this movie, like most Disney films, some critics warn that Robert Zemeckis's awesome 3D imagery acted as something of a distraction to the fine performances of actors like Jim Carrey in this latest retelling of the Charles Dickens classic tale.

At #3 is the darkly satirical war film, MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. It took in a paltry little sum of $6.5 million this weekend. With a great cast, this movie is a little better than you might think.

#4 this weekend was the excellent inner-city tale, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY PUSH SAPPHIRE. While this movie only had a box office take of just $6.1 million, it is far and away one of the best films in theaters currently, if not all year long. This is an excellent movie worthy of winning awards. You should see it!

Rounding out the top five is is MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT. It took in a fair $5.1 million dollar box office take. If anything, this is a pretty good concert film well worth seeing even if you're not a huge fan of the troubled late pop singer.

At #6 this weekend with was the hokey and mostly awful, THE FOURTH KIND. Viewers lost more than the $4.7 million that they paid. They'll never get back the two hours of their lives they lost by watching this dreck. But even worse yet, was that COUPLES RETREAT came in at #7 with $4.3 million. Two real good examples of bad and much worse here.

#8 with a $4.2 million take was the very good film, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. If you want to see a genuinely good shocker, this film has far more than enough great moment to work real well. This is a great film. Should make a great DVD real soon.

Bringing up the rear of the pack at #9 is LAW ABIDING CITIZEN with a meager $3.9 million dollar take. If you like sub-par acting and a silly script with overdone violence, then this is your film. But for everyone else, Jami Fox should feel ashamed of this mess. He's far too talented for this crap.

Finally, at the bottom of the rotten apple barrel at #10 comes THE BOX at $3.2 million. This film aspired for great things, but instead delivered a mostly preposterous mess that fell way short and hardly seemed much like a cohesive whole. Not a particularly good film, nor a simply awful one. But hardly a film as good as it might have been.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NIGHT COURT's Markie Post Still A Major Babe At 59

Here at Progressive Values, we often have a little fun with shocking photos of celebrities who have not always aged real well. The public often has a set image of many celebrities, expecting them to look the same regardless of how much time has passed. Well, you can't stop father time. But some celebrities age real well, like a fine wine. One great example is actress Markie Post, who's still a major babe at the age of 59.

Why more producers don't run to her her door with job offers to act is a real good question. She's a great actress with both comedy and drama. A few years ago, in THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, Markie Post was just about the hottest mom character ever, playing the mother of Cameron Diaz. Markie Post is still a goddess. No question about it. To steal a line from Wayne and Garth, if Markie Post was president, she'd be "Babeham Lincoln".

SNL's Opening Joe Biden Skit Unfortunately Too Good Satire

Last night's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE opening Joe Biden skit last night was unfortunately good political satire that played on several important key public perceptions of the Obama Administration. Even though this administration is only 10 months into office, more and more the public feels that this administration owns it's own problems with the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as concerns about health care reform and the federal budget.

Comic actor Jason Sudeikis, unfortunately hit the nail on the head in many ways. Skilled comics often have the ability to satire things in a manner that no other editorial can do. All of this should send a wake-up call to the White House that public perception is a critical component even though reversing years of economic decline in just 10 months in office is a very difficult, if not impossible task. And complex foreign policy problems like Iraq or Afghanistan are very easy situations to get into, but difficult to win. Both situations involve homegrown civil wars between feuding rival religious groups within Islam. The history of any superpower winning these little civil wars around the world has never been good.

But the public isn't entirely free from blame either. They have a very short attention span, and seem to forget that problems with the last administration in creating some of the difficult problems. When the economy started to slow, where was the last administration? And instead of concentrating for success against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, that war got diverted for the side war in Iraq. But is just 10 months, the public seems to have forgotten that.

Another problem is that both parties seem more incapable of dealing with complex problems than they used to be. Part of that is the complexity of red tape to do things now compared to years ago. In the 1930's it was far easier for Franklin Roosevelt to more immediately put Americans back to work through road construction projects and other public works projects. Today, millions of dollars in studies, environmental impact statements, and public hearings often needs to be spent before even one brick can be laid in order to start a project. This has blunted much of the stimulus efforts of Washington.

But SNL did nail one critical notion last night. Public perception is an all important entity. And the Obama Administration needs to manage the nation's problems as well as they managed their campaign for president. Public perception is everything. SNL was dead-on last night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Business Of The Carrie Prejean Sex Video

Vivid Entertainment, the world's largest and award winning, adult video production company wants to release the Carrie Prejean sex video that they have in their possession. But you aren't very likely to see it for a very good reason.....they want Prejean to sign a legal agreement releasing the video.

CEO of Vivid, Steven Hirsch, wants the release to be all legal and without any chance of a lawsuit from Prejean. But Prejean is highly unlikely to sign such a release, even if there's substantial money involved. Prejean can probably make about as much money from books or speaking engagements, etc. But Prejean did lose her $1 million dollar lawsuit recently with the Miss USA Pageant, and her reputation might just as well be toast after too much controversy this week, so signing a video release for a cool dollar figure might just make good economic sense after all, but is highly unlikely.

And while Prejean claimed on the TODAY SHOW that she was just 17 at the time, Hirsch of Vivid has absolute proof that Prejean was well 18 at the time. The sex video in question is far more recent than Prejean claims it to be.

Some other celebrity sex videos have hit the market legally because some party has signed off to release the video. For example, while Tonya Harding publicly claimed to be upset about the wedding night sex video shot of her, the fact of the matter was that much evidence exists that Harding and her former husband actually were active parties in selling the video in order to make money. The video sold many copies on Ebay and elsewhere.

The question is whether Prejean wants this video released or not? And there might be as many such sex videos that Prejean filmed out there between the ages of 19 to 20 years of age. Prejean could make a few deals if she really wants. Yet, at the same time Prejean used her new book to attack pornography. Publicly, Prejean claims to a porn critic. Privately, she makes the stuff.

But Prejean is big news these days. If she wants to cash in, then she needs to jump in while the story is in the news. Does she want to market these videos or not?

The answer is probably no. But then again, this has been a crazy celebrity story for some months now, and stranger things have happened.

Books: "Going Rogue" By Sarah Palin

Maybe, Sarah Palin was hoping to bury any hards feelings with her daughter's baby father, Levi Johnston, when she made a gesture toward him this week on OPRAH inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. But Johnston was quick to decline the offer.

Johnston turned a little more caustic in his new PLAYGIRL interview, claiming that "You could tell by her laugh(on OPRAH) that she was full of it". Johnston apparently didn't view the Thanksgiving invitation as really all that sincere it seems.

But Palin's appearance on OPRAH was largely in support of her new book, "Going Rogue" as well. Her appearance was hardly solely for some peace gesture towards Johnston or to repair bad feelings. The Johnston family has seen their share of bad headlines as well. Johnston's mother was arrested on drug dealing charges for example.

Interestingly, Palin didn't address the ongoing family feud with Levi Johnston at all in her new book, but instead appeared to offer a sort of olive leaf to her grandchild's father. It's certainly understandable that a baby's father should be an active part of a baby's life. But Palin's book does offer up plenty of surprises. In Chapter 4 she raise the question, "Who the hell was managing the McCain/Palin Campaign?" Palin certainly felt that the campaign's bad management style was a large part of the reason for the loss by 9.5 million votes at the polls, as well as the loss of many traditional Republican leaning states like Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado as well.

Palin also relates how a staffer arranged her first major interview with Katie Couric rather than a more friendly interview with FOX or some other outlet. Palin wasn't expecting the hardball line of questions on foreign policy or other topics. At the time, Palin was glowing in the excitement of being only the second major female nominee for vice president in American history. The interview which went badly was only the beginning of problems for the McCain Campaign which actually threw away a small early poll lead coming out of the Republican convention.

Like Palin or not, "Going Rogue" is still an interesting read and a decent enough first person account of the behind the scenes action at the failed McCain Campaign. Palin doesn't appear to accept too much blame for any missteps in the campaign, and too often seems to deflect blame on others. But that's probably about as much as can be expected. But the books is a good enough read to recommend.

If anything, "Going Rogue" is a surprising decent read by an important figure in the 2008 presidential election, and offers up more than a few fresh insights into the internal problems in the broken McCain organization. It may be well short on looking to shore up any personal shortcomings. But then again look at the source.

Pastor Joel Osteen's New Book Preaches A Message Of Patience Through The Recession

Pastor Joel Osteen, whose upbeat positive thinking books have been embraced like a success manual by millions of followers, is now preaching a new message tailored for survival through the recession. The message is to be patient and wait for better times ahead. This is far different than the normal prosperity gospel preached by most popular televangelists who often treat the connection between making donations to them and economic prosperity into some sort of spiritual lottery machine.

But a reality check proves that those of faith are not less likely to lose their job, face economic hardships, or to be faced with other economic distress issues than those with no faith at all. The claimed connection between making donations to a church and receiving favor from God doesn't seem to change the odds of not facing economic hardship during the recession to any measurable degree in most cases. Some people of faith will do well in the bad economy, while some will do poorly. Some of no faith will do well as well, while others won't.

All of this leaves Paster Joel Osteen in a position where he needs to offer up a new message of faith to get his followers through bad times. Osteen's new book, It's Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, And Increase In God's Favor" is far cry from millionaire preachers like Pat Robertson who continue to argue that if you donate to them that your life will prosper. Osteen seems to be making faith into that personal trust and faith in God once again, compared to so many in the world of Protestant evangelism who have largely recreated religion in their own image as a sort of personality cult surrounding themselves. This far differs from the type of loyalty of some persons who look to their pastor as leader, and seem to lose sight of God.

If anything, Osteen's new book is a far more honest faith path than the personality cult by other preachers. With bad times lingering on, some faith to get you through can't really be a bad thing.
Pastor Joel Osteen writes great books. This is worth owning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The GILLIGAN'S ISLAND "Professor" Today At 85

Remember Russell Johnson who played Roy Hinkley, "The Professor" on GILLIGAN's ISLAND? Well, Johnson is alive and well at the age of 85 and living in Washington state. Johnson has written a great book about his experiences entitled, "Living On Gilligan's Island".

One of Johnson's demands from producer Sherwood Schwartz, to accept the role of "The Professor" was the scientific accuracy of any statements that he would make. Schwartz was impressed that this actor wanted credibility.

Few know it, but Johnson was awarded the Purple Heart after being shot down in the Philippines by the Japanese and breaking both ankles. He flew 44 combat missions as a bomber for the United States Army Air Force.

For some strange reason, as "The Professor", Johnson's character was able to build just about anything out of coconuts, except a rescue boat. Few know it, but Johnson was not in the pilot episode of GILLIGAN's ISLAND. There was actually some sort of school teacher that filled his role, yet strangely in the first aired episode of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND some of the three actors who were in the pilot but not in the regular series were clearly visible knocked unconscious in the wreck of the Minnow.

Holy Crap! Look At Judas Priest Front-man Now!

Hey you headbangers! Remember Judas Priest, those heavy metal guys from the UK. Well, blond haired front-man Rob Halford always made a striking presence in his black leather-clad neoS&M look. Today, Halford's all grown-up at 58 years old. Time has changed him a little, you think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Steven Tyler Denies He's Quitting Aerosmith

legendary rocker Steven Tyler did a strange thing last night. He stormed onstage during a live show of The Joe Perry Project, grabbed the microphone and argued that he's not leaving the band. But he refused to speak to Perry and abruptly left the building. WTF?

All of this says that there might just be serious internal conflicts in the band, and the group might just be ready to burst apart at the seams. The other day, Perry claimed that Tyler was no longer answering his phone calls, before Perry announced that Tyler was probably done as lead singer for the band?

Hey, dude looks like he's being laid off?

The News Business: Lou Dobbs Abruptly Quits CNN

Lou Dobbs pulled a sudden shocker yesterday when he abruptly announced that he was quitting CNN. Today, John King was announced as a replacement for Dobbs by CNN. It is only the latest strange twist in the Lou Dobbs saga. Dobbs sometimes outrageous antics have been a source of friction over at CNN which attempts to be a moderate and middle of the road type news organization. However, conservative leaning anchors such as Lou Dobbs and Glen Beck have been offered their own opinion piece shows. Now both have left the station.

Lou Dobbs started out as a business reporter, however his opinion-oriented news program created a new image as a tough independent voice. But, the program slowly devolved in a sort type of tirade against illegal immigration and often was viewed as an attack on many Latins in general, even though Dobbs denies that. CNN begin receiving massive complaints from Latin American organizations and citizens about Dobbs. Increasingly, this put both Dobbs and CNN at odds with each other. Former CNN personality, Glenn Beck who switched over to FOX has recently caused Rupert Murdock some heartache as well for some wacky statements there such as calling President a "racist".

CNN had attempted to give some conservative leaning personalities their own programs such as Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs to add more diverse opinions to the station. However, in both case, each often became outrageous and erratic and a source of complaints and trouble for the network. Now, even Glenn Beck has proven a problem for the conservative-oriented FOX network.

Network news such as CNN hoped to be all things to all people. However, the caustic personality of Dobbs and the weirdness of Beck both proved to be too much for the network. Now, CNN might just have to go back to appealing to a mainstream of viewers instead, and stop going out for all opinions.

CNN has sufferd a ratings loss recently as well. Problems with some personalities don't help either. Business is a little tough for CNN right now.

New Problems Mount For Former Miss California Carrie Prejean

In the last 24 hours. former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, has managed to create a lot more bad publicity for herself. Last night, she nearly walked off the LARRY KING show set when she was confronted with some information that she didn't want to hear. Further, the former male friend that Prejean sent the sex video to claimed in an interview that Prejean had asked him to lie and claim that she was only 17 years when she sent the infamous video. He refused to do that.

In the interview with TMZ the former best friend claimed that Prejean was actually 20 years old at the time she made the sex video, and in fact had made many videos that she had sent him between the ages of 19 to 2o years of age. It is also an important legal difference if the videos were made when Prejean is over the age of 18 as well, so it seems bizarre that she attempted to urge her friend to claim that she was underage at the time. Prejean had previously misrepresented on the TODAY SHOW earlier this week that the video in question was a big "mistake" made at the age of 17. Now, it turns out Prejean had produced many videos that were sent to the male friend who eventually broke off his relationship with Prejean.

Prejean today canceled a speaking engagement at a Republican organization in the light of the ongoing controversy she has created for herself. In addition, a Miss USA PAGEANT official was quoted as saying that that he believed that Prejean needs some sort of professional mental health help for her problems.

Prejean is also attempting to market a book promoting many conservative Christian views, however in the light of all of that falsehoods that recently came to light just this week alone, the book is probably mostly a work of fiction and not even close to an honest book. This has to be one of the greatest downward spirals for any former beauty contestant of all time. It's like watching a train-crash.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fergie Claims Her Girl-Girl Fun Is Behind Her

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie admits to having some great bisexual girl-girl sexual fun. But now she claims that's all behind her with her happy marriage to actor Josh Duhamel. Fergie raised a few eyebrows with her new sexual admission. The singer claims that therapy also made her realize that having fun with other girls is a form of cheating, and she intends to do what she can to make her marriage work to Duhamel.

The singer also claims that one of her sexual loves is a "well-endowed man", and apparently her new love, Duhamel excels in that area. Well good for her. A hard man is good to find.