Saturday, September 29, 2012

"...Turns Out 'Idol' Hands Are The Devil's Workshop, Too..."

Three sad tales.

One common thread.

And not the thread that might immediately come to mind.

Tale one...

Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham on the hit sitcom "Happy Days" and then again on the spin-off "Joanie Loves Chachi," is homeless and bouncing from hotel to hotel in Indiana, according to a tabloid report.

The 51-year-old actress and her husband were allegedly kicked out of the trailer home they were living in with his mom, according to the National Enquirer (via Radar Online). They were photographed two weeks ago looking a bit rough outside a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Ind., as shown by the Daily Mail.

In June, a rep confirmed to ABC News that Moran and hubby Steve Fleischmann had in fact been living with "her ailing mother-in-law" for more than a year. “They are helping take care of her, as any loving family would do.”

The couple lost their Palmdale house to foreclosure in the second half of 2010.

Tale two...

Is the world ready to forgive Michael Richards? Well, his former co-star Jerry Seinfeld is, at least.

Richards, who busted down Jerry's door countless times back in the '90s as wacky neighbor Kramer on the mega-hit "Seinfeld," effectively killed his career in 2006 by going on an ugly racist tirade during a stand-up comedy gig, dropping the N-word on a heckler. The actor hasn't shown his face in public much ever since, but he reappears on the latest installment of Seinfeld's web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" to reunite with his old pal

And, of course most horrifically, tale three...

 The "Sons of Anarchy" actor suspected of killing his landlord before falling to his death on Wednesday had drug issues, mental health problems and was a threat, his probation report said last spring.

The May 17 report says that Johnny Lewis, 28, "suffers from some form of chemical dependency, mental health issue and a lack of permanent housing. Given this, (Lewis) will continue to be a threat to any community he may reside."
Police are seeking to understand what may have sparked the rampage that led to the death of Katherine Davis, 81.
She died from "blunt head trauma and strangulation," according to preliminary findings from the autopsy conducted Thursday, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said.
Lewis was arrested twice in February on burglary and battery charges in Santa M
onica, according to records obtained by CNN
Woe, misfortune and/or outright tragedy notwithstanding, these three celebrities share a commonality that should be obvious but, in the current cultural climate, seems to more often than not get lost in the translation.
They are, to a mere mortal, nothing more, or less, than just that.
Mere mortals.
With all the potential for good, and evil, right, and wrong, success, and failure, possessed by any one of us who share space on the planet.
Put another way.
While they might be special to friends and family, they are, at the heart of it, no more special than you or I.
They are, we are all, at the heart of it, mere mortals.
A thought that might be of some value the next time the temptation arises to adore, worship and/or spend hard earned, better spent elsewhere time and/or money on those whom we seem always too quick and ready to spend hard earned, better spent elsewhere time and/or money.
Mere mortals.
No one special.
Rhymes with Kardashian.
And Lohan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"...Medicine Doesn't Have To Taste Good To Work....Clearly That Lesson Has Been Forgotten..."

The word "failure" is sure flying around heavy these days.
Here's the thing, though.
Seems to me that "success" is more appropriate.
Back in a minute.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL conceded Tuesday that a bad call cost the Green Bay Packers the game — yet still upheld the Seattle Seahawks' victory.
While coaches, players and fans — even athletes in other sports — ripped the use of replacement refs, the league met with its locked-out officials Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

Two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that the sides were meeting Tuesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made public.

The NFL said Seattle's last-second touchdown pass of the "Monday Night Football" game should not have been overturned in the 14-12 victory — but acknowledged Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch.

Frustrations over the replacements have mounted through the first three weeks of the season and reached an apex Monday when a highly questionable call decided the outcome of a game.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, normally a soft-spoken player who didn't say much after the game, lashed out on his radio show a day later.

"First of all, I've got to do something that the NFL is not going to do: I have to apologize to the fans," he said.

Even President Barack Obama got in on the conversation Tuesday, tweeting: "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon."

The controversy began on the final play when Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone with Seattle trailing 12-7. Tate shoved away a defender with both hands, and the NFL acknowledged Tuesday he should have been penalized, which would have clinched a Packers victory. But it was not called and cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings then both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

"It was pinned to my chest the whole time," Jennings said.

Instead, the officials ruled on the field that the two had simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Once that happened, the NFL said, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.

"The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review," the league said in a statement.

Saying there was no indisputable evidence, though, is not the same as confirming the initial call was correct. Simultaneous possession can be reviewed only on plays in the end zone.

On his weekly appearance on Seattle radio station 710 KIRO-AM, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made no apologies Tuesday, saying, "The league backed it up and game over. We win."

"Golden makes an extraordinary effort. It's a great protection. It's a great throw. It's a great attempt at the ball and he wins the battle," he said. "They were right on the point looking right at it, standing right over the thing and they reviewed it. Whether they missed the push or not — obviously they missed the push in the battle for the ball — but that stuff goes on all the time."

But Rodgers, in a reference to referee Wayne Elliott not seeing indisputable evidence, said: "I mean, come on, Wayne. That's embarrassing."

The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. Unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the league opened the season with replacements, most with experience only in lower levels of college football.

Coaches and players began griping about the replacements in the preseason, but the frustration seemed to boil over in Week 3 this past weekend.

Scuffles after the whistle were frequent with players appearing to test the limits of the new officials and coaches were fined for berating them.

Las Vegas oddsmakers said $300 million or more changed hands worldwide on Monday's call. The Glantz-Culver line for the game opened favoring the Packers by 4½. Had the play been ruled an interception, Green Bay would have won by 5.

The call also found its way into Wisconsin politics, with Republican Gov. Scott Walker tweeting for the regular officials to return. Opponents noted that he seemed to be supporting the referees union after going after public employee unions last year, though Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach added: "We're all fans, first and foremost."

Almost everyone who even knows what professional football is has joined the chorus of those screaming about what a "failure" the use of replacement referees has been.

Technically, that's correct.

That said, much like the wife who actually walks out on the husband to prove to him that, regardless of what he thinks, he will, in fact, not be able to function very well without her, the union had their guys walk out to prove to the league (and everyone else) that, regardless of what they thought, they would, in fact, not be able to function very well without them.

If we can all agree that was the union's (and ref's) goal....

then we all have to admit that their method of getting there is a lot of things...

...but a failure it ain't.

"...Far East...Far Out....Thin Line...."

Today's submission from the "missing the big picture" folder.

Victoria's Secret sends models down the runway in angel wings and next-to-nothing outfits, but it's a "Sexy Little Geisha" outfit that has the nation's most famous lingerie company in hot water.

The Columbus, Ohio, company, famous for its annual televised Fashion Show, has removed its entire "Go East" collection of Asian-inspired lingerie wear from its website after feeling heat from bloggers for the "Sexy Little Geisha" it described on its website as "Your ticket to an exotic adventure."
The $98 lingerie one-piece featured a "sexy mesh teddy with flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals," according to its description, which has since been removed, on its website. The outfit also included a removable obi belt with a bow in back and came with a matching fan and hair chopsticks.

The "Go East" collection drew criticism last month for an apparent Photoshop job done on one of its models, and then the "Sexy Little Geisha" number was singled out this month by bloggers who questioned the company's taste.

"Considering the complicated history of geishas, repurposing the "look" for a major corporation to sell as role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless," wrote Jessica Wakeman on the women's website

"It's the kind of overt racism masked behind claims of inspired fashion and exploring sexual fantasy that makes my skin crawl," blogger Nina Jacinto wrote on

"When someone creates a collection like this, making inauthentic references to "Eastern culture" (whatever that means) with hints of red or a fan accessory or floral designs, it reinforces a narrative …," she wrote. "But when a company takes it one step further by developing a story about how the clothes can offer a sort of escape using explicit sexualized and exploitive language, it takes the whole thing to another level…"
While the product has now disappeared from the Victoria's Secret website, screen grabs of it have gone viral. Links for both the "Sexy Little Geisha" URL and for the entire "Go East" collection now lead straight to the company's home page.

If this issue had been intended as a satire or parody, it would have failed as both satire and parody.

The real failure, though, is that those who are criticizing the outfit are offended by the racism while seemingly unperturbed by the continued sexual objectifying of women for profit.

Simply put, being offended that Victoria's Secret is racist is like being offended that the heart clogging grease used to fry KFC turns the batter a little too dark.

Big picture, people.

Big picture.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

"...To Err Is Human....As Are Those Who Seek To Serve...."

In this election season, I find myself with two trains of thought suddenly running on parallel tracks.

John F. Kennedy.

Shirley MacLaine.

Celebrated author and Facebook pal Alanna Nash FB-posted a link to an online New York Times story describing, in her words, a "truly fascinating", behind the scenes look/listen at the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

A look/listen that describes the following episode.

BOSTON — President John F. Kennedy opened the newspaper one day in 1963 and learned to his horror that military aides had built a hospital bedroom for his pregnant wife at an air base on Cape Cod in case she went into labor. He thought the $5,000 spent on the furniture was wasteful and would be a public-relations disaster that would prompt Congress to cut his military budget. The angry president picked up the phone.

First, he a took a press underling to task. He demanded that the furniture be sent back and that those responsible — including “that silly fellow who had his picture taken next to the bed” — be transferred to Alaska.

He then called Gen. Godfrey McHugh, his Air Force aide. “What the hell did they let the reporters in there for?” the president thundered. “You just sank the Air Force budget!”

And he was not finished venting his rage about the aide who appeared in the newspaper picture. “He’s a silly bastard!” he exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have him running around a cathouse!” Before hanging up, he characterized the entire episode with an expletive.

The story came straight from Kennedy himself.

Though even some of his closest aides did not know at the time, Kennedy recorded more than 260 hours of Oval Office conversations, telephone calls and dictation into his Dictaphone. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has culled the highlights into a new book of annotated transcripts and two audio CDs. Some of the audio portions will be available online.

The book, “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy,” with a foreword by his daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and an introduction by Ted Widmer, a presidential historian at Brown University, offers “the raw material of history,” said Thomas Putnam, the director of the Kennedy Library.

“This is the memoir that President Kennedy never got to write,” Mr. Putnam said.

Being the same age, Ms. Nash and I share, clearly, an affinity for the times and, apparently, the paradox that was the life of the 35th President.

I've actually heard the first recording mentioned, the temper flare that JFK exhibited when informed of the expenditure at the Air Force base. It's pretty obvious from the tone and presentation that Kennedy was sincerely pissed about it, if only because of what he instinctively realized would be the political ramifications.

Through the years, the hype and hoorah of the "Kennedy mystique" has often blurred or obscured what was, in its time, a very astute, world class talent for political strategy. The Kennedys, JFK in particular, were without peer at their understanding of the written in stone maxim that "politics is perception...and perception is reality."

What occurred to me, though, as I read this NYT promotional piece and was reminded of my earlier hearing of said recording, was the aforementioned presidential paradox.

Time, and the revelations that the passage of it often unearth, has painted an historic portrait of John Kennedy that clearly shows both wisdom and weakness, a character both deeply formed and deeply flawed, an ability to see the massively big picture when it came to understanding what "beating the Russians" meant to the national psyche and/or morale at the time, yet either blind, or indifferent, to the possible collateral damage that could result from sexual indiscretions should they become public.

Pondering that paradox brought to mind the second of my two thought trains.

The wit and wisdom of Shirley MacLaine.

In the day, MacLaine was an outspoken, ardent fan of the Kennedy White House, a obvious, if not official member of the infamous celebrity "Rat Pack" that included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and other pro JFK fans, not the least of which, of course, being Kennedy in-law Peter Lawford and, of course, the leader of the pack and, for a time, most passionate presidential pal, Frank Sinatra.

Years after the assassination in Dallas, when the first aforementiond unearthings of Kennedy's many mattress dances began, MacLaine found a microphone stuck in front of her face by an ancestor of today's TMZ type tabloid terrorist and asked, with a zesty combination of sarcasm and snake venom, "well, Ms. MacLaine, now that it turns out JFK was a top notch tomcat, what do you think of your hero now?"

With the style and grace that only a keen mind can conjur up when confronted with a much less evolved life form, the noted star of stage and screen responded both succinctly and sharply.

"Well, to tell you the truth, I'd rather have a President doing it to women instead of doing it to the country."

Personally, I'm not so sure that particular patriotic expression doesn't deserve placement somewhere up there on the shelf alongside the whole "ask not" thing.

Because, much as we'd like to convince ourselves to the contrary, we still, when it gets right down to it, are choosing our leaders from a list of mere mortals.

The kind of mere mortals who get pissed off at lackeys who don't seem to grasp the political ramifications of frivously spending five grand on bedroom furniture.

"...A Tradition Of Faux Fame...Since 1968..."

There are, admittedly, times that I not only embrace the idea of a head full of gray (silver) hair that has become part of my presentation, but the occasional tried and true stereotypical "old person" cliche'/remark.

For example....

"You young people have a lot to learn about...."

Yoko Ono joined supporters calling for the release of three imprisoned members of Pussy Riot today in New York when she presented the LennonOno Grant For Peace to the husband of one of them, Reuters reports.

"I thank Pussy Riot in standing firmly in their belief for freedom of expression and making all women of the world proud to be women," Ono said as she presented the grant to Pyotr Verzilov, spokesman and husband of the jailed Nadezhda Tolokonnikova; their four-year old daughter Gera; and the group's Russian legal defense team.

Ono added that she "wanted to express my love and respect for them, I want to work for the immediate release from the prison they are in."

On October 1st, the band is set to appeal their two year prison sentence after they were convicted of hooliganism when performing a "punk prayer" protest against President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral. Tolokonnikova and the two other jailed members, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, are currently listed on Amnesty International's Prisoners of Conscience list, which seeks to free those wrongfully imprisoned for political, religious and other beliefs.

"At it's core this case is about three young women who are in jail for the crime of singing a song," said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International's USA Executive Director. "Anybody can relate to this case and to these women and you cant help but feel your heart tugged."

Madonna, Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more have offered messages of support to Pussy Riot, and Sinead O'Connor Wednesday issued an open letter to Putin through Rolling Stone.

Yoko, Yoko, Yoko....

Or, as John once sang/probably often said, "...oh...Yoko."

You still got it, girlfriend.

And, by way of offering unsolicted advice to the current generation of wannabe headline grabbers, please allow me a use of the aforementioned cliche'/remark.

"You young people have a lot to learn about taking what amounts to pretty much a total lack of talent and fashioning it into a status of celebrity that, while, at best, tenuous, is capable of sustaining for decades to come."

Put another way...

Dear Kim, Khloe and the farm that forty years from now, even Wikipedia will have forgotten who you are/were.

And Yoko will likely still be screeching, hamming and/or shoving her way onto one center stage or another.

Trust me.

It's in the bag.

(Obscure, but generationally poignant and meaningful Lennon/Ono reference).

Monday, September 10, 2012

"...Turns Out 'The Sopranos' Was A Reality Show...."

Epcot, scmepcot.

Get a load o'this....

(CNN) -- FBI agents arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city on Monday after he allegedly accepted bribes during an undercover sting operation, according to the FBI and court records.
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was charged with conspiracy to corrupt commerce by extortion, according to a federal complaint.
Mack, 46, was arrested early Monday, FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff said.
The mayor, his brother Ralphiel Mack, and business associate Joseph A. "JoJo" Giorgianni all face federal charges in connection with the scheme which allegedly involved accepting cash payments from a developer.
"The investigation revealed evidence of a conspiracy among these defendants and others to corrupt certain functions of Trenton City government in favor of purported developer seeking to build a parking garage on city-owned property in exchange for cash payments totaling approximately $119,000," according to the complaint filed in federal court.
To avoid detection, the complaint said, Mack employed intermediaries, "used code words and limited discussions of the scheme over the telephone."
The charges were the result of a two-year FBI investigation.
Two months ago, agents raided the homes of Mack, his brother, and Giorgianni, before raiding Trenton's City Hall the next day.
Mack responded to the July raids by saying he had "not violated the public trust in any way, nor have I violated any of my public duties."
A Democrat who began his term in July 2010, Mack has been beleaguered by questions about public finance and accusations of cronyism.
Last May, his deputy mayor, Paul Sigmund IV, was arrested and charged with heroin possession and assaulting a police officer, which led to his prompt resignation.
Ralphiel Mack was the head football coach at Trenton High School, according to the complaint.
Giorgianni was the owner of a sandwich shop and clubhouse in Trenton who, according to the complaint, described himself as someone who acts as a buffer for the mayor's questionable activities.
The complaint details meetings, telephone conversations and text messages starting in September 2010.
In one of the alleged meetings, Tony Mack met with Giovanni at an Atlantic City casino and accepted a cash-stuffed envelope that had come from an FBI informant posing as a representative of the developer.
Thinking of taking one more quick weekend getaway before the holiday madness begins?
Tired of the same old blah blah blah Orlando/Disney World adventures?
Looking for something besides the Smithsonian and its cousins to teach kids how government works?
Trenton looks like a lot of fun.
And a lot closer to the reality of everyday governing than you might think.
Or want to believe.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"...SHM KP YGG...DE STFU...."



I'll BRB with the 411.

(By Dan Evon/The Inquistor) Kellie Pickler shocked her fans earlier this week when she shaved off her golden locks. But the country star didn’t shave her head to make some radical fashion statement. No, Pickler shaved her head to support her longtime friend, Summer Holt Miller, who is battling breast cancer.

Needless to say, Pickler has seen an outpouring of support from her fans for the generous gesture.

Ellen DeGeneres wrote: ”You have never looked more beautiful.”

Another fan wrote: “WOW!! You are an amazing friend to Summer!! I can only hope that my friends would do the same for me!”

Pickler thanked her fans, and Ellen, on Twitter writing:

“”I cannot thank everyone enough for all the love and support you’ve given Summer… Chemo starts tomorrow.

“Thank you so much Ellen. You made my day! Hope to see you soon! Xo

Pickler’s gesture will hopefully make life a little easier for her friend. Miller, however, believes that Pickler’s gesture reaches far beyond her life.

Of Pickler’s head-shaving, Miller says that not only is the gesture sweet, but the singer’s star power could also save lives:“If this compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it…"

What do you think of Kellie Pickler’s bald head?


First, Kellie's head shave is obviously a loving gesture from a friend on behalf of another friend.

And while it's not like cutting off an arm (hair grows back, after all), it is a wonderful and classy way to show support while raising the awareness that, in Summer's words, might chage someone's mentality and save their life.

Not to mention the kind of use of celebrity that invokes pride and appreciation, as opposed to the usual self aggrandizing, self centered bullshit shoveled by, oh, say....hmmm...let me think...oh, yeah....the Kar.......

You know what? This piece is about shining a light on those who shine a light, so no blocking of said light by those who simply will not move their overpublicized/sized badonkadonks out of the way.


So, Summer Miller and Kellie Pickler...WTG, girls.

Meanwhile,  for Mr Evon,  the writer of this particular piece...

"...What do you think of Kellie Pickler’s bald head?..."

I mean, WTF, dude?



Saturday, September 1, 2012

"...Discretion as An Element Of Surprise..."

Condolences...and congratulations...

Atlanta (CNN) -- A spectator died Friday night after falling 35 feet during a college football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, authorities said.

The incident occurred during the North Carolina State and Tennessee game.
Isaac Grubb, 20, fell from an upper level of the stadium, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office.
A shocked fan told CNN affiliate WSB that Grubb fell right after Tennessee had scored a touchdown.
"It looked like [he] was doing a fist pump, and then he was gone over the top," William Coates said.
"He was just laying there between rows. He wasn't moving. His chest was moving a little."
Grubb died later in a hospital.
Condolences, of course, to the family for the tragic loss of a loved one.
Congratulations to the writer of the item.
Who obviously bucked the trend and times by avoiding the currently almost always inevitable inclusion of the final score of the game.