Tara Reid Kills the Messenger

Friday, September 30, 2005

Tara Reid laments wild girl rep

This is rich. Tara Reid is complaining that the media is giving her a bad image. Umm...Tara...they're only reporting what you're doing. If you don't like having that image in the press, then the best course of action isn't to attack the media. The best course is to stop doing it.

If you don't want to be known as a party girl, don't go out to clubs and get so hammered that you can't see straight. Don't show up to events and be so out of it that you don't have a clue when your dress falls half off your body. There's a long list of do's and don't's but they all boil down to showing some common sense about when and where to let your hair down.

Then she goes on to say that she needs a great movie role for people to change their opinion of her. Here's a clue: producers and directors are not going to risk their multi-million dollar investment on a party girl. In order to get that primo role you claim to want, you're going to have to chill on the lifestyle. In every life, we have choices to make, and there are consequences for every choice whether we like it or not.

You have every right to party as much as you want to, but by the same token, people have an equal right to draw whatever conclusion they want to about your behavior. Freedom is a double-edged sword and if you want to stop getting cut by it then exercise some judgment instead...

Kate Moss in Rehab....Again...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kate Moss in rehab clinic - Sep 29, 2005

Well Kate Moss has taken the PR people's advice and checked herself into rehab. Is there any chance it will work this time when it hasn't before? Nope...

Recovering from addiction is about more than just getting the drugs out of your system, it's about changing your environment. She hasn't indicated any willingness to give up hanging around the other drug abusers within her circle of friends (or even her drug-abusing boyfriend), and without that she will end up using again because she's already shown she doesn't have the desire or ability to resist the temptation.

It makes for good PR, but the reality is that she isn't making a real attempt at cleaning up her act. She's playing the game like she's done time and time before: hoping that a stint in a rehab clinic will clean up her image. Amazingly enough, there are already companies getting in line to sign her up...

The more things change, the more they stay the same...It just proves that the industry doesn't take it any more seriously than she does...

Quack Uses Hindsight to Foretell Aniston and Pitt Break-Up

Gray: Aniston, Pitt 'didn't have a chance'

John Gray, the supposed relationship expert, has brilliantly predicted that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt will have marital difficulties. He's such an expert that he couldn't hold his own marriage together, but now he's some sort of expert on other people's relationships. I'm not the only one who thinks he's a quack: other people have done the research...

Where was he before they got married? I didn't hear him making any such comments beforehand, so his opinion that they "had very little chance of lasting" is Monday-morning quarterbacking at its worst.

Now he's predicting that Pitt and Angelina Jolie have little hope of succeeding. Given his track record, that may translate into a 20- or 30-year marriage....

Jennifer Garner Slips a 'She' Baby

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Garner inadvertently reveals baby's sex

It looks like Jennifer Garner slipped up on The Tonight Show and called her baby "she" - perhaps accidentally revealing the sex of the baby she is having with new hubby Ben Affleck.

Given her reaction, it's probable that the baby is indeed a girl; however, don't put it past her to have engaged in a little Hollywood misdirection...She IS an actress after all...

Commander in Chief - Chiefly Moronic

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I just turned off Geena Davis' new show Commander in Chief because it was simply awful. I couldn't watch it any longer.

The premise is ridiculous. A Republican president picks an independent as a vice-president? It would never happen, any more than a Democrat would pick one. Vice presidents are party loyalists, so the concept of a vice president who is so diametrically opposed to the president's view is simply beyond the realm of possibility.

It's an obvious stalking horse for Hilary Clinton's pending run for the presidency and not entertainment in any way shape or form. I'm sure it'll have a following amongst her political supporters, but the stereotypes of Republicans as evil are way over the top and could only have come from die-hard Democrats - not the independent that Geena Davis is supposed to be portraying. It couldn't be more thinly disguised propaganda than if they were running commercials for Hilary at every break.

A show with the premise of a first woman president had potential: it's too bad that the show's producers were less interested in entertainment than in pushing their political agenda. I won't be tuning back in, and I'll be surprised if the show lasts the season.

Bruce Willis Says No to Kabbalah

Willis wants kids kept away from Kabbalah

Bruce Willis is an understanding ex-husband - even going so far as to attend ex-wife Demi Moore's recent marriage to Ashton Kutcher. But he draws the line at drawing his kids into Kabbalah - forbidding her from bringing their kids to the Kabbalah Centre - perhaps the real reason that the marriage didn't take place there.

Although Kabbalah has roots going back centuries, it has become a trendy religion amongst celebrities trying to show people just how "deep" they are underneath all the glitz and glamour with recent adherents such as Madonna and wannabe-Kabbalist Britney Spears. But I put it into the same realm as Scientology which has gained so much recent press because of celebrity followers such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

I don't know much about either "religion," but neither has received widespread acceptance anywhere outside of show business and that should be warning enough for normal folks to stay away from it. It's hard for me to believe that any worthwhile religion is the exclusive territory of the idle rich with their notoriously shallow "values." Both strike me as simply the "in" thing to do that will eventually find themselves alongside the hula hoop and the pet rock as momentary trends that lacked any lasting intrinsic value.

Good for Bruce for putting his foot down and preventing his kids from being swept up in it...

Not the Way to Get Pamela Anderson...

Pamela Anderson seeks restraining order

So you've put together a great movie script and you'd love to see Pamela Anderson as its star, what do you do?

Does stalking her and her family sound like a smart way to accomplish this? That was this guy seemed to think. (I won't publish his name as it would just give him the publicity he was trying to get.) How twisted do you have to be to think that sort of behavior is going to get you what you want?

This is the downside of celebrity: you're a target for every half-baked lunatic on the planet. Still want to be a star?

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher Get Married

Monday, September 26, 2005

Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher marry in Los Angeles

After months of speculation, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher got married over this past weekend.

The article says the ceremony was "pulled together at the last minute" and yet 100 guests were present. When was the last time you could get more 5 friends together "at the last minute"? Of course it wasn't really put together at the last minute, nothing short of a quick flight to Vegas really ever is, but it was obviously a pretty well-kept secret and relatively small by celebrity standards.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Visions of Anthony Hopkins

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hopkins' hallucinations

30 years ago, Anthony Hopkins was not the silver screen icon he is today. He was an alcoholic with such a strong taste for tequila that he frequently hallucinated.

We would have missed out on one of the greatest villanous turns in movie history as Hannibal Lector had he continued down that road. It's a suprising revelation - as much for its content as its honesty.

Thank God he cleaned up his act - both figuratively and literally...

Reviews for Jennifer Love Hewitt Something to Shout About

Friday, September 23, 2005

Jennifer sees dead people

I confess that seeing the previews for Jennifer Love Hewitt's new show "Ghost Whisperer" left me unimpressed. It struck me as having a plot taken directly from The Sixth Sense combined with a title taken directly from The Horse Whisperer. It didn't exactly look like a promising project for Jennifer.

The show is getting decent reviews though surprisingly enough. Perhaps it'll find a devoted following as with shows like Touched by an Angel and it will have a nice long run. I might have to catch an episode to see how on- or off-target I find the reviews for myself...

Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie Grant Little Boy's Wish

Angelina Visits Hospital, Mall

A 6-year old boy with cancer has gotten two very high profile visits recently: Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. He's suffering from a nerve cell cancer and was treated to a visit from Kidman during his stay at a Ronald McDonald House. He told her that he wanted a cure for cancer and a visit from Jolie, so she passed the word and sure enough, Angelina Jolie popped in for a visit.

I really can't say enough about how impressed I am with Angelina's work with kids over the last few years. From those to whom much is given, much is expected and Angelina appears to be upholding her end of the bargain.

How much better would it be if our wealthiest and most famous celebrities each did their part too?

Jodie Foster Not Driven to Act

Foster in flight

reveals that she "doesn't have the burning desire to act" in a new interview. She goes on to explain that, if not for her mother, she probably never would have chosen to be an actress at all.

While we all would have missed out on her memorable performances, I think this really illustrates the problem with parents pushing their children into show business careers. We've seen it over and over again: child stars gone bad (not, of course, that Jodie ever did) or burnt out on life before they ever reach the point in life where other kids their age are just starting life. I blame the parents for this phenomenon completely: there is no excuse to go overboard and shuttle children from audition to audition - denying them the childhood that we all need to grow into healthy adults.

Who knows what Jodie would have chosen to do if not for the machinations of her mother. She says, "If I could do one thing all day, it would be to go see films, talk about them and organize the setups in my head." But she was never really given the chance to spread her wings and find her own way. She just sort of ended up acting because it was all she knew from the age of 3.

How sad is that? As wonderful an actress as she is, who knows where her talent might have led her? Shouldn't she have had the chance to find out without her mother determining the rest of her life for her?

I think so...

Kate Moss Exposes Fashion Underbelly

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Kate Moss saga exposes fashion world's flaws

Kate Moss is hardly the only drug-abusing model in the industry as this article points out. From designers to photographers to models to their various and sundry hangers-on, the industry is well-known for its rampant drug use and the generally unhealthy lifestyle choices of its members.

To turn on her the way they have is hypocritical, but typical of the industry. It's as if she has been thrown out the door and had it locked behind her after her hosts got her all liquored up. They close the doors to protect the secrets they still have to hide, but everyone knows that throwing her out did nothing to stop the partying that is still going on inside.

I believe it was right to cancel Moss' contracts, but it's also right to finish cleaning house. She's not the only perpetrator here, and the industry owes it to their customers to admit it and then do something about it. Anti-industry public pressure is rising in the UK, and it's time we started putting a little pressure on our fashion icons here too...

Is There a Market for Daily Nelly?

Nelly Hot for Reality

..that's my question. It's possible that someone will pick up the reality show that Nelly is shopping around, but I'd be surprised if many people watched it.

He's had a few hit songs, but the appetite for reality-style shows seems to be declining rapidly and his show may be a casualty before it ever gets started.

Networks love reality shows because they cost next to nothing to produce, and their audiences tend to be extremely loyal as they follow the day-to-day antics of the "star" of the show.

Nelly says he wants to highlight his charity work in the show which is admirable, but not exactly the stuff that keeps audiences hanging on the edge of their seats wondering what's going to happen next.

We'll see what happens, but if I were Nelly I'd make sure I had other projects in the works....

Cocaine Costs Kate Moss Even More

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kate’s blown it big time

Burberry and Chanel have both followed H&M's lead and have dropped Kate Moss following the very public outing of her cocaine use.

I'm glad that both firms have taken this step, but they haven't exactly been leaders here. They waited until H&M bit the bullet and public pressure in Britain reached a head before they did so. Not what you might call being responsible corporate citizens.

Kate Moss has now lost 5 million British pounds - over $9 million - to her habit. Untold damage to what reputation she had remaining has been done, and now the British police are investigating the matter.

I hope the high was worth it, Kate...

Mariah Carey Racks Up the Nominations

Mariah Carey racks up American Music Awards nominations

Mariah Carey's comeback is complete with her four American Music Award nominations including Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Album.

Other noted nominees include Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, and 50 Cent - each of whom garnered three nominations.

It'll be interesting to see how closely the results of the AMA's track with MTV's VMA awards where Green Day and Kelly Clarkson cleaned up...We'll find out on November 22nd when the ceremony is held in LA...

Kenny Chesney Responds...Sort Of...

Kenny Chesney says, "I'll be OK"

I had guessed that Kenny Chesney would respond to announcement that Renee Zellweger was seeking an annulment of their marriage by Monday or Tuesday and he has...sort of...

He reassures his fans that he'll be OK following the breakup, but that is the sort of non-responsive response of someone who doesn't have anything positive to say for himself. I understand the desire to keep your private life private, but that cat is out of the bag so it's far too late for that.

If he were a rock star rather than a country star, he could simply lay low for a couple of months and everyone would forget about it soon enough. But he's not...

If he thinks that this is going to satisfy his fans, he's wrong. As I mentioned in a previous post, country music fans aren't about to let go of this - especially because of the claims of marital fraud. Witness the fact that the Dixie Chicks' career has never been the same since their decision to turn a concert into a political statement against the president. That was just politics: this is about family, and country fans don't take that sort of thing lightly.

If he did something wrong or there was a difference over whether to have children, then he really needs to come out with it. In the absence of facts, people will simply stay away from a man they assume has something to hide.

It's one of those moments when he's going to have to choose: his career or his privacy...He can't have it both ways after this...

Lisa Kudrow's Show Not Going to 'Comeback'

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

HBO Cuts Short Kudrow's "Comeback"

HBO has given Lisa Kudrow's show, Comeback, the ax because of chronically low ratings.

My feelings about Kudrow are that she's an awesome supporting actress, but she's not a leading lady. As part an ensemble cast, as she was on Friends, she's great. But I just don't think she's the kind of actress who can carry a project completely on her own shoulders.

Kudos to her for bringing a character she originally created as an improv actor to HBO and selling the idea. It's a testament to her intellect and creativity that she was able to do that. Unfortunately, this one didn't beat the odds.

I'm sure she'll surface in another role or bring her creativity to bear on another project. We certainly haven't heard the last from her...

Rebecca Romijn Gets Engaged

Rebecca Romijn engaged to Jerry O'Connell

It's a sad day for men everywhere today. After recently divorcing John Stamos, Rebecca Romijn has gotten engaged to Jerry O'Connell.

It's another case of co-star love, as the two recently wrapped filming Man About Town and had previously worked together on The Alibi, an unreleased film. (Now that the two have gotten engaged though, I'm sure it'll at least be released to video to take advantage of the media coverage.)

It seems the best way to land a Hollywood actress these days is to land a role as her co-star. It's the best argument yet for taking up acting...

Kate Moss Gets Dropped

Kate Moss dropped from ad campaign

It looks like public pressure has finally forced H&M to do the right thing and drop Kate Moss from their line-up. It's about time...

They announced that "after evaluating the situation, we have decided that a campaign with Kate Moss is not consistent with H&M's clear disassociation from drugs."

That's not really true, of course. What they mean is "we got caught trying to have it both ways, and it looks like keeping the cokehead would have cost us more than we would have earned by keeping her on." Whatever.

It's a pity they couldn't have done the right thing without having to be shamed into it, but maybe others in the industry will have to take a second look at their practices in light of this incident and re-examine how they're doing business too. Hey, I can hope, right?

Renee Zellweger Wants Babies, Not Kenny Chesney

Monday, September 19, 2005

Renee's hubby's aversion to kids caused their split!

According to a "source," the reason that Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney are splitting is because she wants kids and he wants nothing to do with them.

That's definitely plausible, but it's a real stretch to say that meets the legal standard required to get an annulment for 'fraud.' One would certainly think the subject had come up before they got married, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Kenny had been less than truthful about his willingness to have children. Lots of people say they do because they know it's what the other person wants to hear, but when faced with the reality, change their mind or reveal that they never wanted to in the first place. But would that rise to an annulable marital fraud?

If they weren't celebrities capable of getting strings pulled, I would say the answer is a definite 'no.' A reasonable judge would tell them that they should have spent more time prior to marriage to figure it out and will have to go through the regular divorce channels to end their marriage. But they're not like you and me, and even if this is the whole story, I'm sure they'll be able to find a friendly judge who will sign off on the annulment anyway.

I know more than one person who finds out their spouse lied to them before they got married and wishes it was that easy to make a marriage go away...Too bad we can't all be celebrities, huh?

Felicity Huffman Earns Her Emmy

It's deja vu at Emmys as past winners are recognized again

There are a lot of prognosticators out there with some serious egg on their faces this morning, and one very deserving actress with an Emmy. Felicity Huffman surprised a lot of people by winning the Emmy for Best Actress, Comedy over her co-stars Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross.

I have to say that I'm surprised that the Emmys recognized Felicity, but she definitely deserved the award with her portrayal of the executive-turned-mother of Wisteria Lane. Although the storylines involving Hatcher and Cross get more media attention, I think that the show owes its success to Huffman's character. The rest of the show has such outlandish plotlines that without the grounding of her realistic and relatable harried mother trying to keep her marriage together it would be otherwise ridiculous. Basically, it's the glue that holds the show together and too many self-styled critics have completely missed how essential her performance is to the success of the show.

While Eva Longoria's character has an out-of-reach glamour, Hatcher's character is dizzyingly flighty, and Cross' character is borderline creepy; many a viewer can empathize with the struggles of Felicity Huffman's character - allowing them to inhabit Wisteria Lane alongside these other larger than life personalities. Without her the audience is on the outside looking in at the soap opera-esque antics of a bunch of strangers: with her, the audience can live in the neighborhood too and every scene becomes a guilty look inside the neighbor's window.

So congrats to Felicity...it's well-deserved recognition for a very underrated role...

Tyra Banks Proves They're Real

Paris Hilton's selective amnesia

If you had a bet that Tyra Banks had silicon implants, then it's time to pay up. She takes off her push-up bra and undergoes a sonogram to prove her breasts are real on her new show in an episode to air Tuesday.

I didn't even know there was a debate raging over this, but we can all rest easier at night now that we know for sure...

Kate Moss' Fame Outweighs Company's Principles

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kate Moss admits cocaine use, clothing chain says

Awfully big of Kate Moss to admit that she was using cocaine after being caught red-handed. She's set to model a clothing line for H&M whose policy specifically states that their models are to be "healthy, wholesome and sound."

Yeah, right...as if...Kate Moss is the poster child for drug abuse by models. If they meant what they said, they never would have hired her in the first place. But now that she's been busted, they still want her. Why? Because they never meant it in the first place.

Fashion designers and the stores that sell them don't care a whit about either the models or their consumers. If they did, H&M would have dropped her like a hot potato as soon as they had the proof in their hands. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case their actions speak volumes about how much they care about using a coke fiend to boost their bottom line.

Firing Kate Moss would have sent a message to other models that the industry won't tolerate it. But we know the industry will and does no matter what it says in their neatly worded press releases.

Renee Zellweger Fails to Clarify

Explaining Zellweger's "Fraud" Claim

Renee Zellweger issued a statement yesterday in which she says that the term fraud in her court filing is "simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny's character."

I agree with the lawyer they interviewed for this article: claiming someone committed a fraud is very definitely not simply legal language, and it is absolutely a reflection of Kenny's character.

To her credit she's trying to put the best face on what is obviously not the best moment of her life, and I can't blame her. The lawyer makes clear though that, in filing for annulment, she has to clear a high legal bar in order to get one. California is different than Nevada where Britney Spears got a quickie annulment of her drunken marriage, and Renee's going to have to submit papers proving that Kenny Chesney in someway defrauded her into marrying him.

I still believe that country music fans aren't going to be satisfied to let this go without more explanation. I'm sure Kenny's huddled with his lawyers and PR people trying to figure out how to respond, but I expect to hear something from his camp by Monday or Tuesday. If we don't, then we'll know that they just don't have a good explanation and are just crossing their fingers and hoping it will go away.

If I know country music fans, it's not going to do that. I sure hope Kenny's putting together a good plan because he's going to need it....

Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. a Hit

Stefani's L.A.M.B. line roars at Fashion Week end

Apparently, Gwen Stefani's fashion line, L.A.M.B., was a big hit at New York's Fashion Week.

Fashion shows are never just about the clothing: they're also about the showmanship of the designer, and as we all know that's Gwen's specialty. Her show included models getting out of tricked out cars with hydraulics: just what you might expect from a Gwen Stefani production.

The article has some pictures of the runway models sporting her clothes, and to me they definitely look like something you might catch Gwen wearing. If a celebrity is going to put together a fashion line, it should reflect their personal style and Gwen's certainly does.


Renee Zellweger Says It Was Fraud

Friday, September 16, 2005

Actress Zellweger ends marriage

Renee Zellweger is claiming that Kenny Chesney engaged in some sort of fraud in her court papers seeking an annulment.

Whoa...That's a heavy claim to make. According to the article, that fraud can take many forms including hiding the fact that he was already being married, was impotent, or has a criminal record. In this day and age, I'd be surprised if she didn't already know if he was impotent or not before they were married, and neither of the other apply to the best of my knowledge. My guess is that her claim of fraud is probably based on insincerity of the wedding vows: meaning that he never intended to honor his vows and therefore the vows were never valid.

Usually when a claim like this is made it's because the spouse has been unfaithful. It wouldn't be terribly shocking to find out that this is the case since Kenny has been on tour virtually since the day they were married.

On the other hand, she also specifically requested that the court rule out any possibility that Kenny would be eligible for any sort of financial support. Given his successful recording career, that's kind of surprising but that leaves open two possibilities: a) her lawyers are just covering their bases, or b) that Kenny has blown all his money and that may be the fraud she's claiming in the annulment papers.

Who knows, although I'm sure that since this article has hit the wires Kenny won't really have any choice but to respond in some way. He really can't afford to have this kind of speculation going out there. Country music fans aren't rock fans: they're typically family-oriented people, and his career will definitely suffer if allegations of marital fraud aren't answered to their satisfaction.

I'd be surprised if this is the last we hear on the subject...

Angelina Jolie Replaces Gisele Bundchen

Angelina Jolie the new face of St. John

Angelina Jolie is going to be the new face of St. John luxury clothing and a spokesman for their new children's cause charity replacing Gisele Bundchen.

The article says that their charity is a new one which tells me that they probably formed it in order to obtain the services of Ms. Jolie. If she placed that demand on them, as I would guess that she did, then good for her.

Whatever you may think of her behavior prior to her adopting children, you really have to take your hat off to her for throwing herself into her new role as an advocate for children around the world. Kudos to Angelina, and congrats to St. John for landing such an illustrious spokeswoman.

Mrs. McCartney Plans to Stalk Jennifer Lopez

Heather to stalk fur-loving J-Lo

This is just stupid. The second Mrs. McCartney, Heather, says she plans to stalk Jennifer Lopez over the use of fur in J-Lo's fashion line, Sweetface.

These fur nazis never know when to stop. All they do is make themselves look like complete fools when they pull stunts like this. If they think they're gaining any converts to their cause by publicly calling people out, they need to think again. All this kind of behavior does is make me want to go out and buy a fur suit and dare one of them to do something about it. I can guarantee you that splashing paint on me is a good way to wind up with a fate worse than that in the videotapes they brandish.

I'm all for a more humane way to kill the animals to get the fur, but humans have been wearing fur since the beginning of time. It's long past time they figure that out. The high priests and priestesses of Political Correctness have become the Puritans of our time. For all the grief they want to give Republicans, these killjoys are really the ones who are actually bent on controlling every aspect of our lives: trying their best to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of it for everyone who doesn't live according to the arbitrary and ridiculous rules they put forth.

Enough's enough. These people think they have the right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, if they think it will force someone to submit to their PC agenda. It's time to tell them where to go, and I'll give you a hint: Heather McCartney has a good start on her destination with the first two letters of her first name....

Britney Spears Names Her Baby Boy

Britney Spears' baby name revealed

Sean Preston

That's the name that Britney Spears has chosen for the 6 lbs., 11 oz. baby boy she gave birth to at 12:57 PM on Wednesday.

I worried that they would choose some off the wall name combination for him, but it appears that good sense prevailed and he was given a normal name.

The article makes a big deal out of all the expensive accomodations at the hospital, but let's be honest: if every mother giving birth had the option, they'd be doing it too. I can't fault her for doing it up in ultimate comfort.

I hope her baby has the same effect on her that adopting a child did for Angelina Jolie. It would be a nice change to hear about Britney and Kevin doing something positive once in a while...There's a child to think about now: I hope they remember that...

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney Over Already

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney split

Well that didn't take long at all...

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney are splitting up and are going to have their marriage annulled.

They only met in the middle of January and were married by mid-May, and now it's over. Wow! Talk about your whirlwind romances. It's one of those cases where opposites attract but they don't last for long. It was always an unlikely pairing, and now it turns out that it was even more unlikely than even they knew at the time....

Kate Moss Not So Clean After All

Kate 'caught snorting coke'

This is not good news. Kate Moss has been caught on camera cutting and snorting cocaine while at a recording studio with her boyfriend Pete Doherty.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. She has a history of drug abuse, and Doherty was busted a month ago with both heroin and crack cocaine in his luggage. The odds of a supposed ex-junkie dating a using junkie and not relapsing are pretty much nil.

If it were just her unwillingness to let go of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle at issue I wouldn't care. She tossed away so much potential with her drug use and failure to get clean and stay clean that I don't have much sympathy left for her. She's had more chances than 99.99% of other junkies, but craves the bright lights too much to walk away from it.

What makes me mad is that she has a two-year old little girl who, by all rights, should be enjoying the best of everything given the fame and wealth of her parents. Instead, she's got a junkie mom without the sense to build a life outside the drug-infested whirlwind that is the music scene.


Paris Hilton Hacker Gets Off Easy

Hilton Hacker Jailbound

The punk who hacked into Paris Hilton' account and posted the phone numbers and personal information of everyone listed on the internet has been sentenced to 11 months in juvy and 2 years of probation where he's prohibited from any device that can connect to the internet.

According to the court records, this was pretty much the least of his computer crimes. He had hacked into a number of other places as well. Before the usual whining hacker boys start complaining about how they're performing a public service by exposing security flaws, that's a bunch of hooey. He wasn't trying to perform any public service, and he didn't have any right to that information. He was using his computer knowledge to get his jollies off. Plain and simple. There is no defense for what he did.

He's 17-years old: certainly old enough to recognize the consequences of his actions, and as far as I'm concerned he should have been sentenced as an adult rather than as a juvenile.

He got off easy. Think about someone taking your information, posting all over the internet, and then having every moron on the planet start harassing your friends and family for no reason other than because they're losers who have nothing better to do with their lives. Everyone you know has to change their phone number and get security to protect themselves from stalker weirdos, and now they all have to think twice before giving you their new contact info. You get to decide what happens to this fool: you think 11 months vacation from high school is sufficient punishment for that kind of havoc being wreaked on your life?

I sure don't...

Britney Spears Has a Baby Boy

Britney Spears gives birth to baby boy

In probably what is the most anticipated celebrity birth of the year, Britney Spears has given birth via planned Caesarian section to a healthy baby boy. They haven't released the little man's name yet, but it's good news for all concerned that both mom and son are healthy and doing well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't try to get too terribly inventive with his name. He's going to have enough of a struggle growing up as the son of Britney Spears without being saddled with some kind of weird name...

Heidi Klum Gives Her Baby Boy a Whole Lotta Name

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Heidi Klum names newborn son after husband and father

First, congrats to Heidi Klum and her husband Seal on the healthy birth of a baby boy. They've given him a name:

Henry Guenther Ademola Dashtu Samuel

Whoa! That's way too much name for such a little person. What happened to the time-honored tradition of first name, middle name, last name? Did they really need to give the child 5 names?

I understand the drive to honor her father and the baby's father by passing on a name, but couldn't they just pick one from each? Did they really need to use all the names?

I feel for the poor kid...While all the other kids in kindergarten race through writing their names, he's going to wind up struggling for a half hour to get through the essay his folks saddled him with...

Dave Chappelle Likes Smaller Crowds

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dave Chappelle happy to be working clubs

Dave Chappelle gave an interview to the Cincinnati Enquirer in which he talks about his decision to walk away from his show. He explains that he prefers the feeling of doing stand-up comedy in clubs and getting the feedback from the crowd.

I remember a young Dave Chappelle when he used to handle the emcee duties at a local Baltimore comedy club over a decade ago. More than once, my friends and I left the club commenting that he had been far funnier than any of the acts he was introducing. None of us knew then that he would go on to acting in movies and having a hit show, but we knew funny when we heard it.

I'm glad that Dave is happy. No doubt that his fans, me included, are disappointed that he chose not to continue with his show but it took a lot of guts to walk away from that kind of success. I applaud him for making such a tough personal decision and hope that one day he'll chose to return, if not to the silver screen or TV, at least to a club near me...

Mariah Carey and Snoop Dogg Didn't Get the Memo

Carey to sing on hurricane song

Evidently someone forgot to give Mariah Carey and Snoop Dogg the memo that Michael Jackson is to be avoided like the plague.

Both artists, amongst several others, are involved in Michael's new hurricane relief song. I realize that the song is a benefit for hurricane victims, and that's certainly a noble cause, but c'mon...Michael Jackson?

The man, beyond being a walking warning against the dangers of plastic surgery - which although freaky beyond words is a matter of personal choice, is a pedophile. Given half a chance he wouldn't be writing songs to benefit the children, he'd be having them at his house for sleepovers. Where is the 'Ugh...' factor for these artists? Are you seriously telling me that his project was the only one available to choose from? Yeah right....There are a million aspiring songwriters and as many established ones who would love to be involved in a project like these. Here's a brainstorm: why not record a song by someone from the Gulf Coast? Why choose the pedophile's music?

As an aside, I will say that I think the recent court case against him was a total sham: the mother was completely out to extort money from Michael Jackson. That being said, I don't believe you pay $50 million to hush up an innocent sleepover, and he's paid more than once to more than one family. I won't even go into what I think about the parents who let their kids sleep there. But to take part in any project he's putting together is just sending the message that these artists don't care about his pedophilia.

It's the wrong message to send, no matter the cause...

Korn Pockets $15 Million

Monday, September 12, 2005

EMI Hungry for Korn

Korn has signed a deal with EMI that pays them $15 million in upfront money in exchange for 25% of their publishing, merchandising and touring money.

After all the recent talk about Paul McCartney "selling out," I can only wonder if the same people are going to be levelling those accusations at what is obviously a purely corporate deal. The breakeven for each side of this deal is at about $60 million: if Korn makes more, they wind up making less than they would have without the deal; but if they make less, then EMI overpaid for what they're getting.

The end result is that you can be sure that EMI will be pushing Korn front and center in order to recoup their investment. It's a great way to make sure your band is getting top-notch promotion, but Korn has always been kind of an anti-establishment band, so it'll be interesting to see how their fan base responds to this deal.

Their new album is due to hit stores on November 22nd, so we won't have to wait too long to find out...

Matt Damon's Off the Market

Matt Damon, girlfriend reportedly engaged

Sorry ladies, Matt Damon is no longer on the market. He has proposed to his girlfriend of two years, Luciana Barroso.

In a town of whirlwind on-the-set romances, the fact that the relationship has already lasted for two years is an accomplishment in and of itself. He even managed to be one of Angelina Jolie-s co-stars (in the upcoming The Good Shepherd without getting romantically involved with her, so the relationship must be on pretty solid ground.

I've always liked Matt as an actor and, from what I've seen and heard from him, as a pretty squared away and intelligent guy, so congrats to both Matt and Luciana....

Matt Damon's Dessert Not So Tasty

Matt Damon's dessert up for auction

How crazy is this kind of thing? Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie (how's that for a box office powerhouse duo?) have wrapped up filming on The Good Shepherd, and some crew member is auctioning off Matt's partially eaten dessert from the set.

This follows in the tradition of the auctioning off of Britney Spears' chewing gum. It also follows in the tradition of other "gone too far" fan behavior.

In a weird way, it's got to be a little flattering that someone would be willing to pay for your half-eaten dessert. On the other hand, it's got to be creepy to think that every cast-off from your life is subject to someone rooting through it so they can make a quick buck off eBay.

Personally, I think you've got to be a little off your rocker to place a bid; but if that's your cup of tea then knock yourself out...

Taking Celebrity A Little Too Seriously

Celebrity obsession is turning nasty, academics warn

On Monday, leading academics are holding a conference to discuss society's obsession with celebrities. Now that's going a little too far. It's not rocket science to figure out why people are interested in the lives of celebrities: either because we're want to be like them, because we enjoy tearing them down, or just because it's a pleasant diversion from the mundane aspects of our own lives. Whatever.

To have a bunch of "academics" get together to try to figure it out borders on the outrageous. I hardly got through the article without snorting soda out of my nose when one, evidently with a straight face, said David Beckham could be seen as a "post-modern religious icon." What? He's a very attractive and very talented professional athlete...period.

This is my problem with much of academia: it's full of self-important people who have no clue how ridiculous all their pretensions are. So much of what passes as academic research is just an excuse to justify getting a salary to sit around and look down your nose at everyone else. Anyone who attends this conference should be summarily fired and forced to find work in the real world....

Kelly Clarkson Still Sick

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Clarkson Forced to Cancel 3 More Shows

Kelly Clarkson has now cancelled a total of five concerts due to a bout of bronchitis. I think she was being overly optimistic about the time it takes to recuperate from bronchitis, so it should almost have been expected that she was going to have to cancel more than the original three.

It's good to see that she's committed to trying to "go on with the show" anyway, but bronchitis for a singer is nothing to play around with. Reschedule if you need to Kelly, but take a couple of extra days to recover or your voice is going to suffer....

The Myth of Musicians Selling Out

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sir Paul Sells Out

That's a powerful headline. It's also a pile of baloney. There is no such thing as "selling out" despite the best efforts of self-important artists and fans to claims that such a mythical beast exists.

The reality is that every single artist that you have ever heard of has "sold out" to one degree or another. If they hadn't, you'd never have heard of them. The only question is the degree to which one's personal taste accepts the capitalism of their favorite artists. And that's exactly what it is: personal taste. There is no set standard for "selling out": it's just a label that someone sticks on an artist for making money in a way of which they don't approve or, in some cases, for making money at all.

The reality is that every musician who ever recorded a song is in the business to make money - as much of it as possible, for as long as possible. They may create airs that they pretend to be uninterested in the almighty dollar, but when was the last time one gave away an entire album of their work to the world? When was the last time one went on a nationwide tour of free concerts? The answer is simple and obvious: never. Actions speak louder than words, so citing quotes to the contrary is useless. Show me their free concert tour and freely released body of work or believe the truth about your favorite artist: there really isn't any middle ground.

(Before the naysayers start: releasing a single song for free is just giving away free samples to induce you to buy the full product. They do they same thing in supermarkets.)

They sell t-shirts, and CDs, and keychains, and all manner of other memorabilia and none of that is questioned. They get a cut of concession sales, appearance fees, and various other types of financial compensation without a peep from the peanut gallery. What kind of sell-out is every artist who ever went on a corporate-sponsored tour? Who is more the product of corporate promotion: the Rolling Stones or Britney Spears? The honest answer is that both are. The only real difference is only in the degree that Britney's fans tend to be more honest about how much corporate money their favorite artist accepts.

They are all, at the heart of the matter, capitalists who earn their livings through the old laws of supply and demand. No different than any CEO or Working Class Joe like you or I. Their product is their music, and they are the heads of sales and development. You and I are the consumers, but none of it is a sacred relic forever beyond the impurity of the profit motive.

Some draw the line at using a song to sell a particular product, claiming that those who allow their music to be used that way have "sold out." If you love the music, then every opportunity to hear it should be a joy. Does it truly matter if it's on a commercial or on a CD? Not to a truly objective listener. But there's the crux of the matter, isn't it? If a piece of music or an artist has touched us emotionally - either for good or ill, then we can no longer be truly objective about it or them any longer. To claim an ability to be objective is either to lie to ourselves or to have failed utterly in any emotional connection to the music.

What people are truly upset about is they have been forced to face the fact that their favorite artist is a capitalist, and no one likes having reality imposed on them that way. But that doesn't make it any less true, and it doesn't mean that the artist wasn't a capitalist before they were given the opportunity to have their song used for a different commercial purpose.

On the flip side of loving a song or artist is the utter disbelief that another person would find a song that you hate to have value and be willing to pay for it. Either way, it's not the money that's truly upsetting: it's the disconnect between reality and our own personal beliefs about the music that drives the emotional response.

*** also posted to Blog Critics ***

Katrina Telethon to Air Friday

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Benefit producer won't edit political statements - Katrina hits entertainment

He's received assurances from all involved that there won't be any more political outbursts like the one from Kanye West during the NBC telethon. As the producer says:

"I think people understand that politicizing this will certainly not be a smart thing to do as far as inspiring people to call in and rally around this cause," he said

Which is precisely the point that many of us made as well. Trying to divide people unnecessarily (and wrongly) down racial lines in the middle of an event designed to bring people together to help others was stupid, and I'm glad that this event shouldn't be marred by any more grandstanding.

The list of stars scheduled to appear is impressive: Dixie Chicks (who have their own issues with injecting unsolicited political opinion inappropriately), Alicia Keys, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Nicholson, Chris Rock and Sela Ward are all slated to appear along with many others.

It's only supposed to be an hour long, so I don't know how they're going to fit in all that talent within the timeframe. It's a worthy cause to be sure, so make sure you set either set aside the time to tune in and donate, or - if your schedule is limited - find another time to make the call to give your time and/or money. These folks need our help...

What Goes Around, Comes Around....

'Survivor' winner indicted

Have you ever felt like there's some justice in this world? After reading this article I certainly do.

I watched the first season of Survivor which Richard Hatch won, and I had come to the conclusion that he was a nasty little man who was more deserving of being stranded on a real desert island than winning a dime. What he claimed was simply gamesmenship for the show was obviously the product of a naturally obnoxious and arrogant personality with an unnatural talent for deceit. It turns out that his lies and deceit weren't nearly restricted to his on-show antics at all.

He's facing up to 75 years in jail for basically defrauding everyone from the federal government to his "non-profit" camp. Federal prosecutors have a 95+% conviction rate, so the real question at this point is not if he's going to do time, but how much.

Throw the book at him. Anyone who wins that kind of money, and then turns around and feels the need to commit all manner of frauds in order to get even more money - especially in setting up a "non-profit" and misusing the funds - deserves to be locked away for a long, long time.

Bye, bye Richard...Enjoy your stay at Hotel Fed: They're keeping the light on for you...

Madonna In Charge and Paris Corners the Market

Will Moore turn Katrina into film?

This article has a couple of items that caught my eye. I skipped right over the Michael Moore bit because he's a fraud and a liar who won his Oscar only because the anti-Bush crowd wanted to spit in the President's eye by giving an award to Moore's movie.

Crammed at the end of the article is the fun stuff...

First, evidently Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie has such a snoring problem that she regularly boots him out of bed. I wonder if the snoring's that bad or if she's just tired of him stealing all the covers...

Second, I feel kind of bad for Paris Hilton. She ran into a store that was stocking bumper stickers that says, to be kind, that the car's owner would like the chance to steal her covers. Unlike the recently publicized incident where she took the DVD of her nocturnal activities, she handled this situation with a lot of class and simply bought out the store's entire inventory. Personally, I'd get a kick out of seeing bumper stickers that said that about me, but I definitely understand her chagrin. That's why making tapes of intimate moments is never a good idea: you never know what's going to come of it....

Will Kanye West Keep His Mouth Shut?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kanye West: Won't 'detract' from NFL show

Kanye West is saying that he'll stick to entertaining when he performs at the NFL's kickoff concert on Thursday. I hope so.

I'm all in favor of celebrities speaking their minds...when it's appropriate. When a celebrity is asked to perform whether it be on TV or at the opening of a local mall, they are NOT being asked for their opinion on anything. They are there to do a job. No different than the security guard, the janitor, or the cameraman.

Everyone has an opinion, but most people have the sense to keep their opinions confined to coffee breaks, lunch hours, and other off-work venues. Why? Because the boss isn't paying you for your opinion and if he doesn't like it there's a good chance you'll lose your job for choosing your work hours to express it.

You compound your arrogance when you take the occasion of a national tragedy to express your opinion, and that's what Kanye did when he spoke out on the telethon. I won't rehash how ignorant the comment itself was, but when you're asked to appear because of your talent to entertain, it's never an appropriate time to express your personal views on anything, let alone something on which you haven't taken the time or effort to properly educate yourself.

(We also have the right to give the celebrity's opinion the proper weight when we consider the value we assign their opinions. The vast majority of celebrities either have no more than a high school education or never even completed high school at all. They lead insulated lives where the bills are paid and chores are done by other people. They certainly have a right to express their thoughts: but most would be better served by keeping them to themselves.)

It sounds like his management team reamed him good after his telethon stunt and made it clear to him that there's a time and a place to express his opinions and that place may be in a sit-down interview or on a personal blog, but it's certainly not during a performance.

Britney Spears' "Mind-Blowing" Baby

Spears pregnancy is 'mind-blowing'

Britney Spears gave an interview to USA Today about her pregnancy and upcoming motherhood.

She talks about being 'introverted' before she met Kevin Federline. Huh? Has she not seen her own videos and magazine photoshoots? Was that someone else who kissed Madonna live on television? It must have been some other young singer who ripped off the better part of her flesh-colored outfit while performing as well. I'm trying to remember the last introverted person I knew who would even consider doing these things except at gunpoint.

As the character Inigo Montoya says in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means."

She also talks about her decision to have a C-section instead of delivering naturally and how it's going to be 'mind-blowing' to have a child. I agree. It's a huge responsibility, and I've seen very little to indicate that she's grown-up and mature enough to handle such an incredible responsibility. Maybe she's changed over the last few months, but her actions to date really don't indicate a person that truly appreciates motherhood and the selflessness required to be a truly good parent.

Her eagerness to duck the pain of childbirth gives me pause to wonder how many other shortcuts she's interesting in taking when it comes to the raising of this child. She says that 'motherhood is going to help [her] not be influenced so much.' That's just absolutely ridiculous. You don't become a mother to work out your issues: all you end up doing is passing them on to your children. She should have had the sense to get her head on straight before getting pregnant, not hope that her pregnancy will get it on straight for her.

I hope she's done some serious maturing while she's been contemplating the birth of her child, but this interview isn't exactly inspiring a lot of confidence...

Feed an Obsession, Cure Cancer

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bid on celebrity photos, help fight colon cancer

It's not often that you get the chance to do something for yourself while doing something good for someone else at the same time. The Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance is going to be auctioning off autographed celebrity photographs to benefit colorectal cancer research.

Curing any kind of cancer is a great cause, and if you can get a one of a kind autographed celebrity photograph then you'll be getting a great collectible to show off at the same time.

The auction will be held over the internet on eBay, so you don't have any excuses not to contribute to this worthy cause. To bid you'll need to register for eBay which you can do by clicking here.

Kirsten Dunst Just Says 'No' to Orlando Bloom

Kirsten on Orlando

Kirsten Dunst is putting the kibosh on rumors that she and Elizabethtown co-star Orlando Bloom. Any time these rumors fly, you never know whether to believe them or not. Angelina Jolie famously declared that she hadn't had a fling with Brad Pitt, and we all know how that turned out. Ditto for Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. And the list goes on and on of rumored off-screen pairings that, despite denials, turned out to be absolutely true.

Whenever I hear these rumors I assume that the two were acting in a way that people might assume they were together, even if nothing ever actually happened. Maybe they spent a little too much time together, sat a little too closely to each other, or whatever. But the inevitable result always seems to be that whatever relationship they were in before the filming winds up falling apart soon afterwards.

If I were Jake Gyllenhaal, I'd be more than a little concerned...

Move Over J-Lo, It's Gwen Stefani's Turn

Gwen's little L.A.M.B. is hitting the big time

Gwen Stefani will be following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez by introducing her very own fashion line at New York's Fashion Week on September 16th.

While Jennifer's line is called Sweetface, Gwen's is L.A.M.B., which stands for Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Gwen's definitely got her own style which has won her accolades for her red carpet appearances with more hits than misses. If I had to handicap the odds of her new line's success, I'd probably give them a better than average chance. If she brings her red carpet fashion sense to her line, then the lines to let women sample some of that fashion should be long enough to be considered a winner.

Gwen's not going to have an easy time of it though. Jennifer has just opened her Chicago boutique and right behind her are Beyonce and Jessica Simpson with their own fashion lines due out in the near future.

It'll be interesting to see who sinks and who swims...

Greta Garbo To Take a Licking

Monday, September 05, 2005

Garbo gets stamp of approval from U.S., Sweden

To commemorate Greta Garbo's 100th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service and Swedish Post will be issuing commemorative stamps to honor the late actress. She died 15 years ago, yet interest in her remains high.

She left acting behind at age 36 and never made another movie. Many of today's actresses such as Diane Lane and the like are just seeing their careers take off as they reached that age.

It just goes to show that true celebrity survives even beyond the grave. Something that would be good to remember for those of today's celebrities who waste their talent, beauty and fame without a care for the legacy they have the opportunity to leave behind...

Kate Winslet is the Yummiest

Kate 'sexiest mum'

In what may be a surprise to many in the U.S., Kate Winslet beat out the likes of Elizabeth Hurley and Gwyneth Paltrow to be named Britain's sexiest mom.

Kate has two children, Joe at 21 months and Mia at 4 years old, and it was as much her attitude as her beauty that earned her the top honors. Fans appreciate a down-to-earth attitude from their celebrities. Acting as if you're due some special because you've been lucky enough to gain some measure of fame is never going to endear any celebrity to the public.

It's a lesson that many celebrities would be well served to learn....

98 Degrees Gets Back Together...Sort Of...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

98 Degrees Heats Up Election

The guys of 98 Degrees will be gathering in Cincinnati to support Justin Jeffre's run for Cincinnati mayor. They don't plan on a concert: mainly it's a show of support for their former bandmate.

Justin is protesting that he doesn't think he's being taken seriously in his run for mayor. Should he really be surprised? Being able to hold a 'C' note isn't exactly an overwhelming recommendation for political office. Sure, Jerry Springer once held the office, but his showbiz career came afterwards - not before.

Arnold Schwarzenegger made the leap to politics. But he had a long-time reputation in the state as a savvy businessman, a personal fortune to back him, was married to a Kennedy, and had long been active in politics before he made the decision.

Justin is a young man and has plenty of time to dig in at the grassroots if that's where his heart lies. But to jump from the obscurity of retirement from a boy band to mayor of one of the largest cities in America probably isn't realistic for him today.

Kanye West Shows His Racism

Stars offer heartfelt performances in benefit - Concert for Hurricane Relief

This really makes me mad. Kanye West took the occasion of a benefit for victims of Katrina to slam President Bush for not caring about black people and the rest of America for being set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."

Being famous for vocal talent is obviously not the same as being famous for not being an ignorant fool.

Help for victims of New Orleans was there as soon as the weather allowed. What delayed, and continues to delay the help? The criminal actions of New Orleans residents. Evacuations had to be halted because they shoot at the helicopters. Hospitals couldn't help people because they were being looted by drug addicts stealing their drugs. Firefighters were trapped inside a building with their families by sniper fire from the residents. Residents stand by while their fellow residents are being raped and murdered in the middle of a crowd of 9,000 people. Police can't help the true victims because they have to police looters and thugs from stealing everything that isn't nailed down.

The mayor of New Orleans is black. Where is the blame for his failure to properly prepare the city for an inevitable category 4 or 5 hurricane? Where is the blame for the city's police chief for disappearing in the aftermath? Is he a racist too?

Where is the blame for the city's residents who were able-bodied and financially capable of leaving but chose to stay? Rescuers are having to spend time convincing these people to leave instead of being able to spend time helping those who could not and cannot help themselves.

It's ignorant and racist to blame whites for the actions of black residents. If there is blame to be assigned, it needs to start with the failure of the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana to properly prepare for something which has been forecast for over forty years. To pick a white face from outside the state to lay blame just shows the ignorance and racism of those assigning the blame.

This is a human tragedy caused by Mother Nature. To take the occasion to get up on your soapbox and put your ignorance on display is quite frankly, unforgiveable.

Kanye West...educate yourself and look in the mirror the next time you look for the racist in the crowd because you're looking at him....

More Celebrities Kick In for Katrina

Friday, September 02, 2005

NBC benefit set; Duff, Diddy, DeGeneres offer money

More celebrities have stepped up to the plate and are offering both performances and their own cash to the Katrina relief efforts. It's a rapidly growing list, and its membership represents the best that the entertainment world has to offer.

Too often celebrities forget that regular folks, like the ones affected by Katrina, are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the huge mansions and expansive lifestyles that celebrities enjoy. It's good to see that a number of them haven't forgotten that basic truth.

I think a big part of who gains lasting fame and who is quickly forgotten is public perception of the person behind the fame. I know that I, personally, am more interested in the future work of those willing to give back in times of need than those who sit atop a Malibu hillside and do nothing. Just something to keep in mind the next time you stop by the store to pick up a new CD or DVD...

Hilary Duff Puts Her Money Where Her Mouth Is

Duff to donate $250K for Katrina victims

I'm the first one to criticize celebrities when they tell us, the fans, to donate to a worthy cause while doing nothing but pay lip service to it themselves, so it's only fair that I should also be first in line to make note when a celebrity donates first and asks later.

Hilary Duff is donating $250,000 to benefit victims of Katrina. Hats off to Hilary for walking the walk that too many celebrities can only talk.

Speaking of which, Britney Spears sends her "thoughts and prayers" to the victims. What? She's from Louisiana. This is her backyard, and the best she can do is send "thoughts and prayers?"

Compare and contrast the actions of Hilary Duff and Britney Spears...draw your own conclusions about what kind of people they are....I have...

CBGB Help Misguided

CBGB Landlord Declines Lease Renewal Despite NYC Rally

I have to confess to being more than a bit confused at the misguided efforts of the musicians who have been rallying to save legendary punk club, CBGB. The bottom line of the dispute with the landlord is that the owners of the club have failed to pay $300,000 in rent over the years, the landlord is fed up with getting screwed out of the rent, and they've had enough. I have yet to hear a single musician criticize the owners of CBGB for failing to pay the rent.

If you or I failed to pay our rents, how long would our landlord tolerate it? I give it 60 days until the legal eviction proceedings were complete. Yet evidently the landlord has let it go on for several years out of consideration for the club's historic status. How much are they supposed to take? If it were my building, you bet that I'd take action to collect that money. $300,000 is no chump change. This isn't a dispute over not paying the rent until a leaky pipe is fixed. This is $300,000 that the owners of the club have systematically and purposefully withheld because they figured that CBGB's landmark status would prevent the landlord from ever taking action against them.

That's absolutely ridiculous. The owners of CBGB's should be subjected to every manner of socially acceptable abuse for their greed and slick maneuvering to get out of paying bills that they legally incurred. I'd be willing to bet that if anyone owed those musicians who are gathering to criticize the landlord that kind of money, they'd have taken action against them - one way or the other - to get that money back. I would have. And so would you.

Someone needs to be asking where the money to pay the rent has gone. There's no doubt that the owners aren't living on the streets, so they've taken the money and done something with it. Whether it be to support extravagant lifestyles or just poorly managed the legendary club, before I went to support the owners I'd be asking some serious questions about whether those people deserve to continue as stewards of the club.

That brings me to the next point: why don't these musicians donate money themselves? Any one of the acts who have gathered at the club could afford to pay the back rent. When you're worth millions, $300,000 isn't that big of a chunk of change - especially if it were divided up by the number of acts who are protesting the club's closure. The landlord made it clear a long time ago that they would be willing to discuss renewing the lease once the back rent was paid: why don't they just pay it? Instead of making a token appearance and talking down the landlord, why not actually address the real problem which is the club owners' failure to pay the rent. Acts like Blondie, The Ramones, etc. who owe their entire fortunes to the start they got at that club are willing to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

This is yet another case of celebrities wanting people to do as they say, not do as they do. The owners of CBGB want a free ride because an accident of history blessed their club with fame. No one gets a free ride in this life, and it's just too bad that the landlord is stuck looking like the bad guy, it's not fair to them. The only ones to blame are the irresponsible owners of the club who are finally reaping the consequences of not paying their bills...

Sharon Stone Not Happy About Getting Older

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stone furious over role lost to Zeta-Jones

I understand Sharon Stone's frustration at losing a plum role to the younger Catherine Zeta-Jones, but the reality is that Sharon isn't a spring chicken any more.

For years, aging actresses have been complaining about losing out on roles to younger actresses and have been crying "age discrimination" and the like. Now I haven't heard Sharon saying that in this situation, but it's a good opportunity to talk a bit about it:

Every aging actress was once an up and coming young actress hungry for plum roles. They gained their current fame by beating out older and more established actresses to get the roles that made them famous. Were they crying about age discrimination then? Did they complain about how unfair it was they were given a career opportunity at the expense of an actress slightly past her prime? Of course not. But now that the shoe's on the other foot, too many cry foul because they're on the losing end of the game they used to win.

The reality is that Hollywood will always be an unfriendly place for aging actors and actresses. There will always be a younger, more beautiful man or woman waiting in the wings to take those plum roles. Making movies isn't an equal opportunity employment project: it's about creating illusion and making money.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but 47-year old women like Sharon Stone are simply going to have to accept that certain roles are going to be forever beyond their reach because they're not of that age any more. Aging gracefully and accepting what life deals you as you get older isn't easy for anyone, but none of us gets a choice and fame doesn't buy you a free pass from Father Time...

Ellen DeGeneres Touched by Katrina

Ellen DeGeneres: My aunt lost everything

It just goes to show you that no matter how much celebrity you have, there no way to completely insulate your life and your loved ones against the pitfalls that strike all of us. Ellen DeGeneres is talking about her aunt losing everything to the ravages of Katrina.

Like so many others in the area, her aunt has lost all her material possessions save the four pictures she took from her home. You have to feel for these folks who did nothing more than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Every region has its version of natural disasters whether they be earthquakes, tornadoes, floods or whatever: so there's no way to hide from Mother Nature forever.

One of the benefits of celebrity though is having the power to reach out and do something significant when disaster strikes. Ellen is currently talking to the networks about organizing a telethon to benefit other storm victims.

You don't have to have clout with a major network to do something for these folks though. We can all help in our own way by donating to the American Red Cross.

Take a minute to think how you'd like people to respond if you were in their shoes, and act on it....

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