Locked Lips Sink Ships

The media still seems to have its collective crotchless panties in a twist about the ‘shocking’ kiss between Madonna and and Britney on the MTV Video Awards. And, oh yeah, that lip-lock between Madonna and that other skank.

Madonna, as reported in a second-day lead, takes credit for thinking up this stunt. Collective memory being what it is, the media seems to have conveniently forgotten that not more than a couple of months or so ago, Madonna was doing a publicity tour saying that she didn’t want any more publicity and that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But, like a lost little street addict, she couldn’t live long without her drug of choice — publicity.

Those who forget history are doomed to be subject to Madonna’s bullshit.

Now, I’ll sit up and take notice when 50 Cent and Snoop show some mutual tongue action on national television. That’ll put some shizzle in my fizzle. (I know. I’m a white guy. I have no idea what that means.)

Fourth-Rate Fourth Estate

I know I’m a few days late in writing about this, but it took a while for reality to catch up with me after watching the Michael Jackson interview/documentary.

I can’t imagine that I can say anything about poor misguided Michael that hasn’t been said before. But I can make some remarks about the so-called journalist who put the thing together. I was so appalled that this was billed as a documentary. Last time I checked, a documentary filmmaker was someone who laid out the facts in some sort of sequence, and then allowed the audience to come to its own conclusions about what they saw. This used to be one of the basic precepts of journalism.

But Martin Bashir befriended Jackson and his family, established a certain degree of intimacy and trust, and made his film over the course of many months. But as soon as the film was in the can, his attitude was one of an editorial writer, of a commentator. He determined that he couldn’t trust the audience with what we saw in his film — he had to interpret it for us, and he had to make sure that his (and our) interpretation was negative.

And how is he punished for this amateurish approach to journalism? ABC is reportedly “punishing” him with a multi-million dollar deal for several more “documentaries.” I hope that any potential subjects of his future reportage have the good sense not to let this man cross their doorsteps, because he’s made it abundantly clear that he can’t be trusted.

Jackson is reportedly taking legal action against this hack and, for whatever else I may think of the way he lives his life, I hope Jackson wins this round.

Shame on the Beeb. Shame on ABC. But, mostly, shame on Bashir. The fourth estate is fourth-rate.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Dignity …

Hmmm …Mexican drug trade as Aaron Spelling camp. What will they think of next?

And, in these troubled times, they’ve given America just what it needs — more sociopath role models.

Predictably, Mexican-American groups are already decrying the stereotyping being done by ‘Kingpin.’ And rightfully so. There are precious few Latino characters (and actors) in prime time. Does the network have to make the first show that features more than a token sidekick so derogatory.

But aside from all that, I’m also decrying how cheesy the show is. ‘Kingpin’ is supposed to be NBC’s answer to ‘The Sopranos.’ But to me, it looks more like ‘Dynasty’ with machine guns.

If I want the cheese factor, I’d rather have it full tilt and unabashedly. I’ll stick with ‘American Idol.’

California Hat Dance

Maybe it was the fact that, despite the naysayers, Jesse Ventura was actually elected governor of Minnesota. Maybe it predates that, way back to the über celebrity-turned-politician, our not-so-illustrious Prez #40. But somehow, it seeped into the collective American consciousness that the only thing one really needs to be a politician is name recognition. Qualifications be damned!

Based on an announcement earlier today, it’s feasible (though, admittedly, not exactly likely) that we could face a country in the not-too-distant future in which Jerry Springer could hold a U.S. Senate seat, Arnold Schwarzenegger could be the Governor of California, and — saints preserve us — Rev. Al Sharpton could be sitting in the Oval Office. And, yes, behind the desk. (Do you think Tawana Brawley could pass muster at a Senate confirmation hearing for a cabinet post? Even that’s possible, if Jerry Springer is doing the questioning.)

I wonder who’ll be the next to declare?

Perhaps ballerina-manqué Lara Flynn Boyle will run for Governor. It would have to be Delaware. You know where I mean — it’s that really skinny state on the right hand side of the country. Just don’t expect any promises of school lunch programs from her.

Maybe Survivor’s Jeff Probst will take a stab at a run for office. He has all the current qualifications — he’s telegenic (or maybe tele-generic would be a better word choice), he can read cue cards, he can say utterly ridiculous things with a straight face. And, at least, in office, he’d be obligated to wear long pants, so we wouldn’t have to look at his bony knees.

Why is that Kaczynski-esque tarpaper shack in the mountains of Montana sounding more and more appealing to me every day?

8 Miles of Ego: Melts on the Screen, Not in Your Hand

Living in L.A., one is subject to relentless entertainment marketing. It seeps into your consciousness, without you ever making an effort. The most recent example of this is the current round of hype around ‘8 Mile,’ Eminem’s foray into the big screen.

This burst of hyperbole is in the form of ‘For Your Consideration …’ bullshit that used to be limited to trade publications but now manages to find its way into mainstream advertising outlets. (I guess, the bigger the lie, the bigger the machine you need to propagate it.) They’ve been airing the most odious radio ads, begging anyone who’ll listen to nominate this third-rate piece of crap for Oscars. (You know the drill: theme music behind golden-throated voiceover announcer, who reads all those seemingly-glowing review quotes totally out of context.) Without compunction, they hail him as a genius.

Apparently, it doesn’t seem to bother anyone that the same word most people reserve for Mozart, Einstein, Thomas Edison or Stephen Hawking is now being applied to this third-rate self-indulgent semi-literate wannabe who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Never mind that ‘8 Mile’ looked as dated and hackneyed before it was even released as ‘Flashdance’ does 20 years hence. (The only thing that’s missing is the off-the-shoulder sweatshirt, but I’m sure his ratty-ass badboy skull cap will serve as a substitute.)

Never mind that Eminem’s people (I’m sorry, his ‘peeps’) in Hollywood are undoubtedly scared shitless that the house of cards they somehow managed to create with the hype for ‘8 Mile’ is destined to come tumbling down around them because it’s unlikely that anyone can think of a single other role that Eminem is suited for (besides playing himself).

Never mind that his whole tired ‘disaffected youth/angry young man’ schtick has been done much better by dozens before him (and will undoubtedly be done better by many more who come after him).

Never mind that an innate ability to rhyme is a symptom of certain severe forms of autism. (Only difference is, autistic folks are usually better at rhyming, because they understand that rhymes actually follow the same phonetic pattern, instead of the Eminem type of rhyme which would claim that ‘phonetic’ and ‘electric’ are rhymes, a problem that a quick trip to Barnes & Noble would remedy with the purchase of a rhyming dictionary, but that would never happen because the illiterate halfwit probably has never been to a bookstore in his life, but he would, however, attempt to rhyme ‘bookstore’ with ‘back hair.’)

Never mind that the same multimedia conglomerates who produce such schlock movies own all the outlets that publicize them (to wit, Eminem appearances on ‘Access Hollywood’ for something like 10 nights in a row) and pay the bills of the people who vote at Oscar time.

None of that matters because we’re supposed to believe that he’s so sensitive that feels things more deeply than any of us. Please.