“A court official said, “Ron has to clear outstanding traffic warrants” before a name change can take effect.”—That’s from an LA Times report stating that Lakers forward Ron Artest is not legally allowed to change his name to Metta World Peace just yet. After all, perhaps Artest was changing his name not because he wants world peace, but because he was finding a sneaky way to avoid paying his parking tickets. That’s totally a Ron Artest move.
If Your Mom Isn’t Embarrassing You On Facebook Yet, She Will Be. A new study from the Pew Center (is there anything they DON’T study?) found social network use among baby boomers has increased 60% in the past year alone. I expect a corresponding 60% decrease from people aged 20-35, who will delete their Facebook account the second their mom posts a “we’re concerned about your size because we LOVE you” message on their wall.
Your Hurricapocalypse Sextuple Feature. A hurricane is coming. You’re going to be trapped inside. You’re going to need something to do. You’re going to need movies to watch until the power goes out and you’re forced to huddle in the basement and eat all the canned herring. Why not try these soothing features?
“You know what else a hurricane could be good for? Hurricane make-outs. Here’s how to find your hurricane boyfriend.”—The Village Voice has five simple ways for you find someone to hook up with during Hurricapocalypse 2011. But they left out the best way of all: HOARDING. If you hoard all the candles and water and beef broth and flashlights, then people will be forced to hook up with you just to survive. LOVE PROFITEERING IS TOTALLY ETHICAL.
“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray,” he says, “That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that ‘Ghostbusters’ is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of ‘Ghostbusters 3′ is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”—That’s Dan Aykroyd, again telling everyone that “Ghostbusters 3” is going to start shooting, like, right away in a thinly-veiled attempt to get Bill Murray to finally agree to join the project. And all this dillydallying by Aykroyd just proves that Murray really IS bigger than “Ghostbusters.” Like, way bigger.
“Our Idiot Brother wants to be an of-the-moment indie comedy version of a family drama, but it doesn’t have the courage of conviction to make any one of its main characters anything other than a walking cliche. These are cardboard cutouts of quirk that I’d refer to as sitcom … if I were being as lazy as the filmmakers.”—That’s Will Leitch panning yet another disappointing offering from Hollywood this coming weekend. He even calls star Paul Rudd a “throw pillow,” which I think Rudd might actually consider something of a compliment, given his cheery demeanor. Perhaps Rudd’s amiable complacency is beginning to bleed a bit too much into his work.
“Know this much about Ryan Gosling: Man loves candy. He speaks of it the way rich men discuss wine; he picks it from the shelves like he’s working piano keys. He knows where it lives on the racks — low or high, above what display, betwixt whatever chocolates squat there. (Gosling has no use for chocolate.)”—That’s from Esquire magazine’s new profile of the gifted actor Ryan Gosling, and while I admire a man who appreciates the quality of a good bag of Haribo (it is the BEST), I must call into question the maturity of a young man who limits his palate strictly to non-chocolate items.
“She’s not as approachable as the others. She’s really serious about what she does. Everyone else is so nice.”—That’s one-time Bobby Draper Jared Gilmore, who said the above in reference to his former colleague on “Mad Men,” the oft-maligned January Jones. And I’ll be curious to see how much of Miss Serious we get from Season 5 of the show, with Don marrying someone new and Betty becoming more and more insufferable. I put the over/under on her screen time for the whole season at about twenty minutes.
“I think we can safely assume that one of them will be the new all-digital Yoda in Episode I.”—That’s from the folks at Digital Bits who report that George Lucas is again tinkering with the Star Wars movies, this time in advance of their Blu Ray debut. And he can change “The Phantom Manace” all he likes because it was terrible. But if he tosses a digital Jar Jar into “Empire,” then we’ll have words.
Holy Earthquake. I was downstairs and I heard a rumbling upstairs and I was all ready to yell at my kids for stomping on my floor when my wife, who was up there with them, was like, “What was that?”, which caused me to realize EARTHQUAKE, and then stuff really began to shake. You West Coasters may be inured to this sort of thing, but I’d prefer it if that never ever happens again. (Reported from Maryland).
A-Rod Gambling Again OMG! In the midst of being investigated by Major League Baseball for participating in illegal underground poker games, Alex Rodriguez was reportedly seen at the whale tables at Mohegan Sun. And leave it to A-Rod to be unable to resist being part of a trend that otherwise died out five years ago. I can’t wait to see his new Friendster page.
“Wallace isn’t responsible for his imitators, much less for the stylized mess that is Gen-X-and-Y Internet syntax. The devices can be traced back to him, though, if indirectly; they were filtered through and popularized by Dave Eggers’s literary magazine and publishing empire, McSweeney’s, and Eggers’s own novels and memoirs, all of which borrowed not only Wallace’s tics but also his championing of post-ironic sincerity and his attempts to ward off criticism by embedding all possible criticisms within the writing itself.”—That’s New York Times writer Maud Newton arguing that the late David Foster Wallace may have unwittingly inspired some of the blogosphere’s worst tendencies. And she didn’t even touch on the whole footnotes business. Like, I really kinda sorta can’t stand them, even though I kind of understand, like, why people might use them. You know?
“Even when I was taking my first math class, I started getting calls from friends of mine who were in the same business saying, ‘Duff, you’re in business school, can you help me invest my money?’”—That’s former GNR and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan talking about starting a wealth management firm dedicated to managing the money of fellow musicians. And unlike, say, Lenny Dykstra, McKagan has attended business school and has the reputation of being a decent person. So I’ll vouch for him so long as Jim Cramer doesn’t.
“90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command + F.”—That’s according to a search anthropologist at Google. What does “Control F” do? Let me Google that for you. What’s Google? Oh man, you people really are hopeless. Don’t tell you’re reading this post on Internet Explorer.
“The bug, for its part, “does not wish to live in us,” says Schaffner, and the likelihood of it doing so and causing infection is “about 1 in 10 million.””—Remember that brain-eating amoeba we told you about earlier this week? Well turns out it probably WON’T eat your brain. Apparently it only eats brains if it HAS to, which is comforting, or if you swim in stagnant waters or do a cannonball. I guess I won’t be staging my annual high dive splash contest at the local peat bog. Seriously though, I STILL LIVE IN FEAR.
What Do Jello Pops, the McRib, And Bill Nye Have In Common? They were all featured in the #iwishtheywouldbringback Twitter trending topic, the perfect salve for our nostalgia-adoring culture. Allow me to add the following to that list.
"Gwyneth Paltrow Saved a Life on Sept. 11" That’s a real headline from the website of People magazine. And how did Paltrow save this life, you might ask? Ah well, she nearly hit a jaywalker with her Mercedes, and the ensuing incident caused the jaywalker to miss her train to work in the World Trade Center that would have gotten her there before the plane’s hit. If only more celebrities cared enough to nearly run over people with their SUVs, the world would be a better place.
“The Onion’s prevalence over real news outlets on Twitter, even when it comes to real news, has become something of a norm. This week,The Onion welcomed its 3 millionth follower on Twitter. That’s about 300,000 more than Time, three times more than The Economist and 1.6 million more than Newsweek.”—The folks at Mashable have done a brief exploration into why The Onion has amassed a much larger following on Twitter than several legitimate news outlets. And I imagine the number one reason why is because all you need from The Onion is the headline. It’s much less stressful than having to click through and read an actual news article.
“The amoeba typically enters a swimmer’s nose and invades the brain causing an almost always fatal infection, according to Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist at the CDC in Atlanta.”—Holy smokes, did you know there are amoebas in the ocean that will eat your brain? This Yahoo report about the death of a 16-year-old girl in Florida confirms it. And I kind of wish news like this was censored from publication, because what do you do with it except sit there wondering if the next time you go for a swim, a microbe will burrow into your skull and kill you and there’s NOTHING you can do about it? This knowledge is a CURSE, I tell you!
“We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s ‘The Jersey Shore’ to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”—As if it wasn’t bad enough that “Jersey Shore” cast members are paid good money to tour the world, now Abercrombie & Fitch is offering The Situation money to NOT wear their clothing and do further damage to the store’s already questionable brand image. Meanwhile, you got passed over for a managing gig at Popeye’s that 560 people applied for. The world isn’t right.
“Lindsay Lohan, Jesse Metcalfe and Steve Carell are reputed fans, as is Katherine Heigl”—That’s from the New York Post’s recent trend-spotting piece about e-cigarettes, electronic cigarettes that deliver nicotine without actual smoke. And what a trend! If such widely admired people as Lindsay Lohan, Katherine Heigl, and the dude from the Tucker Max movie are doing it, why you’d be a fool not to join in! (NOTE: You’d be a fool to join in. Nicotine itself is still harmful.)
“Four new University of Buffalo studies have found that when a lady wants to be considered “romantically desirable,” she will distance herself from manly pursuits such as math, engineering, technology, and science.”—That’s from this post from Jen Doll at the Village Voice, and the key word there is “considered,” because it means that this is merely a perception some women have, and not necessarily an accurate one. So hold off on worrying that you have to twirl your hair and snap your gum more often, ladies. Some of us menfolk like you just the way you are. As long as you aren’t smarter than us.
“That’s weird……I just got an email from Kanye West.”—That’s Suns point guard Steve Nash in a tweet that got called out by Harris Wittels of Grantland in his monthly Humblebrag roundup. And while Wittels is doing the Lord’s work singling out self-absorbed Twitter braggarts, I’d love to see the man get a crack at all the humble bragging going on at Facebook. Facebook is like a Humblebrag clearinghouse.
“The musical performances, taken from a recent concert at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, were separated by stories of real-life “Glee” fans that have gone through tough times, and how the show has helped them cope. I’m a cynical person, so I thought the segments were pandering pieces of crap meant to force-feed a message about how amazing and life-affirming “Glee” is. But so did the rest of the crowd. Groans filled the theater when the film cut back to the self-proclaimed “dwarf” and her quest to become prom queen.”—Warming Glow writer and confessed “Glee” watcher (but not full-on Gleek) Josh Kurp sat through three consecutive showings of the “Glee” movie yesterday, and he left the experience with some pretty harsh words for showrunner Ryan Murphy, and it’s easy to see why. Ryan Murphy is the kind of egomaniac who sabotages his own good ideas by constantly telling you how revolutionary they are.
No Johnny Depp As Tonto For You. Disney just pulled the plug on a $250 million remake of "The Lone Ranger" because apparently even the presence of Johnny Depp can’t stop people from saying, “Wait, you wanna spend $250 million on the freakin’ Lone Ranger?” Now all they need to do is cancel Willow Smith’s “Annie” remake, and Hollywood may finally be headed in the right direction.
“Don’t: Unless you are a family of four, and plan to travel under an umbrella as such, along with all of your worldly goods, do not buy a family-of-four-sized golf umbrella and use it on the streets of Manhattan, or even in the outer boroughs. Do not get such an umbrella at your office picnic for free and think, because it’s free, you can use it to proclaim to your fellow pedestrians that you own the space underneath it, because you do not, unless you are very, very tall and other pedestrians can move underneath your umbrella freely with their own large-size umbrellas. And even in that case, be careful: These umbrellas engender hatred among city-dwelling humans, who will rise up and smite you.”—That’s Village Voice writer Jen Doll outlining one of many rules for using an umbrella in New York City, and as someone who has been firmly anti-umbrella his whole life, I applaud these rules. Bumping into someone with your stupid golf umbrella and spilling five gallons of runoff onto them should get you twelve years in prison.
“I was born inside the movie of my life. The visuals were before me, the audio surrounded me, the plot unfolded inevitably but not necessarily. I don’t remember how I got into the movie, but it continues to entertain me.”—Those are the first three sentences of "Life Itself," Roger Ebert’s upcoming memoir. Ebert posted the opening to the book at his blog, and while some of it reads like he’s been reading too much Twitter poetry, the man has been a writing machine since recovering from cancer, so don’t be surprised if the rest of the book knocks you on your backside.
“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics, they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”—That’s a statement from the Sesame Workshop in response to people demanding that Bert and Ernie get married. And I love the argument they made, which was a good one: THEY’RE PUPPETS, YOU IDIOTS. OPEN YOUR FREAKIN’ EYES. You can just tell how fed up they are with the whole thing.
“Everything is in another language. You’re reading and it’s, like, different words.”—
That’s Deena from “Jersey Shore” complaining about hanging out in Italy, for which the cast of the show were handsomely paid, I might add. And combine this with the fact that contestants on “The Bachelor” get to fly around the world for free, and it’s clear that’s it’s not the rich getting richer in this country, it’s the dumb.
“When you interviewed Lane during the late nineties, he would talk about “Cherry Pie” like a man who’d thoughtlessly married a gorgeous woman and immediately came to realize he’d irrevocably altered the very meaning of his life.”—That’s Chuck Klosterman eulogizing former Warrant frontman Jani Lane, who died today at age 47 from yet-unknown causes. I saw Warrant open for Poison back in 1990. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, but I’m usually too embarrassed to tell people that. And you have to wonder what’s it’s like to walk around the Earth for a couple of decades being a musical punchline, despite many people secretly enjoying the fruits of your labor. It can’t be easy.
“That state of deprivation though is, of course, the condition that many of those rioting endure as their unbending reality. No education, a weakened family unit, no money and no way of getting any. JD Sports is probably easier to desecrate if you can’t afford what’s in there and the few poorly paid jobs there are taken.”—That’s British comedian Russell Brand in a thoughtful op-ed about the causes behind the current rioting going on in London. Am I wrong, or is Brand far more entertaining as a writer than he is as a performer? Between this and his Amy Winehouse tribute, I kind of hope he never makes a movie or does standup again. The man can punch keys.
So start decorating your house with disposable diapers! And remember to stuff dad’s rubber boots with cole slaw! And pay tribute to a show so blindingly brilliant upon its inception that it later exploded into mediocrity not once, but TWICE. It was the Guns ‘N Roses of cartoons.
“This world often seems bereft of inherent meaning (though several of the movies take a measure of comfort in simple human decency: The Coens are not nihilists), and it is haunted by evil and death. It’s also a world rife with misunderstandings and poor decision-making—hence, frequently, comedy.”—That’s Slate writer David Haglund, who watched the entire Coen Brothers filmography, finding the above common theme, which is as good a distillation of the directors’ work as you’ll find. If the Coen brothers’ movies feel cold at times, that’s because the WORLD is often so very cold, and knowing there’s a team of filmmakers out there who get that so perfectly is actually quite reassuring.
“Is our pastime so past, its vision so backward, that, with his team lacking its own history, Fred Wilpon (or some second-tier manager) was so desperate for a folksy, Mickey-and-the-Duke feel that he had to glom on to the history of the Dodgers?”—That’s Grantland writer Peter Richmond lamenting the depressing nature of Citifield, along with virtually every other new American stadium. Richmond argues that most of these stadia are designed with revenue in mind and very little else. And it’s a shame, when you spend a billion dollars of taxpayer money on something, the least they can do is make it DIFFERENT.
“We go to spots that I personally think are cool and fun for all budgets. In every case, these are places where I either did go, or would visit even when the cameras are off. ‘The Layover’ is a reflection of what I’ve learned over time. It’s about telling a story that viewers can recreate themselves.”—That’s chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain explaining his brand new Travel Channel show "The Layover." I already think his “No Reservations” is one of the best shows on TV, so the idea that Bourdain will get yet another show can only be good news for TV fans. So long as there are no boat scenes.
“I’m not arguing that Hubert Keller is responsible for the worst restaurant website ever created. That’s a bit like trying to decide on the most awful serial killer in history.”—That’s Slate writer Farhad Manjoo lamenting the terribleness of restaurant websites, sites that seemingly go out of their way to prevent you from viewing menus, making reservations, and getting proper directions. But if you think restaurant websites are awful, they’re amateur hour compared to the sites of most rock bands. You know your industry does a lousy job of web design when a band’s MySpace page is usually an improvement over their official site.