Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is there anybody ALIVE out there? (Vol. II)

So what did you get? We got about a hundred Kit-Kats, several gummi body parts and a lot of Twizzlers. Also, stomach aches for everybody!

Hope your Halloween was rockin', like it was for the folks lucky enough to be at the L.A. Sports Arena last night:












Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Miley Cyrus' real name is 'Destiny'! Give me tickets!

The kerfuffle over the quick sellouts and huge scalper prizes for Hannah Montana tickets (at last check hordes of suburban mothers had trapped Ticketmaster executives in their West Hollywood headquarters and were waiting for them to come out in search of food so they could kill them and eat them) has yielded at least one good suggestion: Someone has proposed asking people questions about their favorite artists which they must answer correctly before they're allowed to buy tickets.

I want to go down on the record as wholeheartedly in favor of this idea, and not only because I'm tickled at the thought of people holed up in their kitchens cramming Van Halen trivia like Ralph Kramden preparing for his appearance on "The $99,000 Answer." No, I just want someone to finally reward me for all my useless and pointless knowledge. (See -- just knowing that last phrase could have gotten me into the last Dylan concert.)

I'm still in the building


Well, the annual list of top-earning dead celebrities is out, and once again Elvis made more money than me, despite being deceased. On the other hand, he's still dead, so I do have that over him.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wait ... Was he one of the Wonder Twins?

Seems to me I should be more excited about the Green Lantern movie. He's green! He flies! He shoots a big green hand out of his ring! He's impervious to everything except half-naked space tramps! Wait, I meant to say he's impervious to everything except the color yellow. My bad.

But something about him never seemed that cool to me. Maybe it was the fact that he got all his power from a ring, which means pretty much anybody could be a Green Lantern. That said, I'll still take Green Lantern over certain other superheroes. I think you know who I mean.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Somehow I thought it
would be a little warmer here

Excuse the lack of blogging this week: I forgot to mention that I'm on vacation. I'm currently on a tour of the extensive cave systems of Borneo with my native guide, Ibnu, and definitely not sitting on my couch in my pajamas watching the Red Sox trounce Colorado. Anyway, I'll be back in regular posting mode next week. In the meantime, rock on, viral video stars!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Faith will be rewarded



Spotted on the message board at Backstreets.com, the Springsteen fan site:

For anyone interested, the topic of discussion at the First Parish Universalist Church in Stoughton, Massachusetts on Sunday, October 28 will be "Springsteen's Magic". Come on down and listen to some of Bruce's music (and a thoughtful consideration thereof) in a far-from-usual setting. All are welcome. The service starts at 10:30 (that's AM), and the church is located at 790 Washington Street in beautiful Stoughton Square (at the intersection of Rt. 138, 139 & 27). Free coffee and goodies afterwards, too. And good conversation. Thanks! Rev. Jeff S.

See, now that's how you get parishioners down to church. None of this "going to hell" stuff. Unfortunately the post has drawn some mindless U.U. bashing, which just shows that there are even morons among Springsteen fans. They're the same ones hoisting jumbo beers and high-fiving their former fraternity brothers as they scream "Play 'Thunder Road'!" during the slow songs.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This week's column:
Take my robot wife, please

You can stop wondering, because the rumors are true: In the future, people will be allowed to marry robots. Finally, we’ll be able to avoid all the drawbacks that come with marrying another human! This will surely be worth the minor tradeoffs, like increased risk of electrocution.

Yes, according to artificial intelligence researcher David Levy, robot marriages are inevitable. He cites the fact that human affection was at first reserved only for other humans, “then it expanded to include pet animals, then virtual pets,” with robots being the logical next step. Levy expounds upon this theory in his new book “Love and Sex with Robots,” which is one of those books you probably don’t want to leave out on the coffee table if Mom is having her friends over to play Mah Jongg. (“Nu, sex with robots?”)

Granted, there are certain issues you can take with Levy’s logic. For one, you don’t hear of many people wanting to marry their pets, even if they do love them more than their actual spouses. As for virtual pets, the reason people love them so much is because they don’t have to follow them around with a plastic bag — that seems like setting the bar a little low when it comes to choosing a life mate.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We should have known this would happen

R.I.P., Iggy.

I don't know ... You'd think
he'd be much better groomed

This just in: J.K. Rowling has announced that Dumbledore is gay! Because apparently she thought that she could be just a little more unpopular with devout Christians.

In a related story, Rowling has decided that now that she doesn't have anything left to write, she's just going to spend the rest of her life just messing with us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Although I guess what I
really miss is Lee Majors

I finally got around to watching a little bit of the new NBC hit "Bionic Woman" show last night, and I have to say, I'm still a little disoriented, like I just got off the teacups at Storyland. Is it me, or was bionic action a lot easier to follow back when they did everything in slow motion?

Also, what happened to that beep-beep-beep sproing-sproing-sproing sound you used to hear whenever Jaime jumped over a wall or threw somebody across a room? I liked that beep-beep-beep sproing-sproing-sproing -- it let you know what was happening even if you were only sort of half paying attention. Say, if you were also doing a Mad Libs and drinking Tab.

Sigh ... I miss the '70s.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Also, Ellen has threatened to cry again

I know that yesterday I neglected to comment in detail on the controversy over Ellen's dog, enamored as I was with the news of the new Hardee's Country Breakfast Burrito. And while I still think that the latter is easily the most important Breakfast Burrito story so far this year, I can no longer remain silent on the Ellen-dog issue.

You have probably heard that the Mutts and Moms dog adoption agency (motto: "Just try to get one of our dogs") is now receiving death threats after refusing to return the dog, Iggy, to Ellen's hairdresser. To which I respond: What did they expect, messing with Ellen fans? These are violent, desperate individuals. If "Ellen" had been on in 1969, these are the people they would have recruited to do security at Altamont.

We can only hope this ends peacefully, and not with Ellen's studio audience marching on Mutts and Moms with torches and pitchforks, like they do every Friday afternoon at Anne Heche's house.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This is what God had in mind
when he invented the burrito


Yes, I know there are important things happening in the world today, such as the crisis over Ellen DeGeneres' dog, in which the dog was removed from the family of Ellen's hairdresser because it is a lesbian.

But how can we dwell on such things when today also happens to be the day that Hardee's unveiled its 920-calorie, 60-grams-of-fat Country Breakfast Burrito? (It of the two egg omelets filled with bacon, sausage, diced ham, cheddar cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy, all wrapped inside a flour tortilla. No, it's not deep fried -- yet.)

Hardee's is just tickled with itself at having come up with this idea, noting that "It makes this big country breakfast portable." This comes in especially handy for farmers who'd like to eat their two egg omelets filled with bacon, sausage, diced ham, cheddar cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy while driving their tractor, so they can get all their plowing done and still have time for their heart attack.

But leave it to the namby-pambys at the Center for Science in the Public Interest to rain on Hardee's sausage and diced ham-filled parade, calling fast-food items like the burrito "food porn." Which is absolutely, definitely a movie I don't want to see.

Monday, October 15, 2007

You know, I'm starting to think she says these things just for the shock value

This time Ann Coulter has gone too far.

Key quote:
"What's the deal with all these orphans?" she asked. "Do these dirty little losers think they actually deserve parents?"

Somehow, Bill O'Reilly will
find this anti-American

So Springsteen invites members of Arcade Fire up on stage with him in Ottawa -- and then sings one of their songs. In a related story, the guy from the Hold Steady's head exploded from jealousy.

Here's the fan video:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This week's column:
Suing my way to a better life

Looking at my bank statement last month, I couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t more money in there. At first I thought it might have something to do with my lack of ability at anything particularly lucrative, or my debilitating shortage of ambition. But then I realized it’s probably due to the fact that I’ve never sued anybody. What was I thinking?

Why I’ve been so determined to navigate life’s challenges in a non-litigious fashion is beyond me (probably a poor upbringing), but I’ve decided that from now on, my soon-to-be-procured lawyer will be No. 1 on the speed dial I have yet to figure out how to program. That way I too can be like the Croatian woman who, according to Ananova.com, is suing her 10-year-old son’s teachers for giving him bad grades. If this works out I suggest that she follow up by suing Croatia, just for existing.

Of course, the teachers have a slick legal defense, namely that they gave the boy bad marks because he is a poor student. Now, we know an American jury would see right through that flimsy excuse, but we can only hope that the Croatian justice system is as perceptive. On the plus side, I’m guessing that in Croatia the teachers are much more likely to be given a punishment involving wall shackles.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We're living in a material world,
and she is a material ... something

Thank you, Live Nation! Thanks to your $120 million deal with Madonna, we've pretty much been assured that we're going to look up in 20 years and see a wrinkly old lady dancing around in a cone bra.

Please, everyone, close your eyes and pray that she reinvents herself as a folk singer. She can just sit on a stool for that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

But if the mistress turns out
to be Larry Craig, all bets are off

Yes, we all know that the last time I chose not to believe something reported by the National Enquirer, they made me look like an idiot. But as I've said time and time again: That is not hard to do.

So I am choosing again NOT to believe their latest report, that John Edwards, the Southern Baptist with a wife battling cancer, had an affair on the campaign trail. Not that the Enquirer doesn't have a reliable source: an unnamed woman who forwarded e-mails from the alleged mistress, who refused to comment about the story. You'd have to be a technical genius to fake an e-mail from someone nobody ever heard of.

The story came to light when Ann Coulter mentioned it on MSNBC, just before rubbing her chalk-white bony hands together and eating a live weevil. But until I hear it from someone reliable, like the guy who sold his soul to the devil to run TMZ.com, I'm going to continue to believe that John Edwards cares only about the poor and the disappearing middle class, as opposed to harlotty campaign strumpets.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Of course, I missed the beginning --
it took me 20 minutes to find MSNBC

Quick thoughts on the Republican presidential candidate debate:
  • GOP savior Fred Thompson turns out to be about as charismatic as your old high school social studies teacher who couldn't get enough of hearing himself talk about feudalism.
  • Mitt Romney is shocked and appalled. About what? Whatever you want him to be shocked and appalled about.
  • Within minutes of Rudy Giuliani's election as president, Tehran will be a smoking crater.
  • Ron Paul -- he's a Democrat, right?
  • I may have dreamed this, but I would swear Mike Huckabee said he plans to institute a pimp tax.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meanwhile, Billy Ray Cyrus tickets
continue to sell for 1/3 of face value

OK, so let me get this straight: Ever since Al Gore invented the Internet, I've been watching Springsteen shows sell out in eight minutes (often to my own person exclusion) only to see tickets pop up online minutes later for the price of a used Volvo. But no matter how much Eddie Vedder and I complained, law enforcement refused to do anything about it, claiming they were too busy prosecuting, you know, crimes.

But a few kids miss out on Hannah Montana tickets, and suddenly, the entire justice system is up in arms. Attorneys general in Connecticut, Missouri and Arkansas are launching investigations, and scalpers beware: At least one of those AGs -- Dustin McDaniel of Arkansas -- has a daughter who watches the Disney Channel. And you know what they say on the street: Keep Hannah Montana tickets away from an AG's daughter, go to jail. Or something like that.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

This week's column:
Scaring up a costume drama

Halloween costumes just aren’t what they used to be. I think I first realized this when I was telling my 6- and 8-year-old kids Tim and Jackie about my go-to childhood get-up, the venerable “Hobo.” “What the heck’s a hobo?” they asked simultaneously, with that dubious look they get whenever I try to explain something from my long-gone childhood, like the LP or broadcast television.

“Well, it’s sort of …” I began eruditely. “I guess you could say it’s a person …” It was there, in mid-sentence, that I realized I was about to explain to my children about the times I went trick-or-treating dressed as a homeless person. Never mind that it was back when vagabonds were romantic and endearing, like chain smokers: These days, that’s a tough sell.

Of course, the downtrodden are no longer considered acceptable costume fodder. But you can (and, most likely, you will) get your kids basically anything else these days, from princess to pop star to Power Ranger, all with the most sophisticated accoutrements.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bruuuuuuuuce

OK, I've been listening to "Magic" for two days now, and I have to agree with EW: Bruce Springsteen is back in the masterpiece business. Yes, yes, I know, I'm the guy who loves his mumbly solo acoustic albums, who downloaded his duets with Sam Moore and Jerry Lee Lewis, who did little giddy backflips over his Pete Seeger covers. But I am somewhat discerning: I didn't start liking "Human Touch" until about 2002. (What? "Soul Driver" grows on you.)

But what I'm really looking forward to is the live show, which hits Boston Nov. 18-19. Apparently he's planning some interesting tour debuts.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We know you need to justify
all the grant money, but come on

Further proof that paleontologists are just making things up as they go: Now they've gone and "discovered" a giant duck-billed dinosaur with more than 800 teeth. "It really is like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of dinosaurs — it's all pumped up," ad-libbed Scott Sampson, curator of the Utah Museum of Natural History, before trotting off to high-five his paleontologist buddies and come up with more dinosaurs out of thin air. (Suggestion: How about one with giant flippers and the head of Fred Thompson? Now that I'd like to see.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

I think Helio Castroneves
was one of the Three Tenors

I'll admit it: I have no idea who three quarters of the people on "Dancing with the Stars" are this season. Yes, I'm aware of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Marie Osmond (who used to be a little bit country, but is now a whole lotta annoying), and of course Wayne Newton, whose signed copy of "Mr. Las Vegas" I most assuredly do not have under my mattress. I don't care what you've heard.

But I wouldn't know the rest of these people if I paso dobled over them. So does that make me hopelessly out of touch, or is it possible that ... they're not actually stars? Naaaaah.

Meanwhile, this won't be a dilemma next season, which is already slated to include some real stars.