Biting the Hand that Wanks you

shameoneyou.jpgThe hard-hitting newsmen and women at CBS News in New York decided to follow last night’s spankin’ Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (Grambo review, TK) with a report on how unsanitary Victoria’s Secret retail stores are. Here’s a cringe-inducing sample of the report:
John, not his real name, is a disgruntled former employee of two Victoria’s Secret stores. He came to us with the revolting allegation that it was store practice to take back used underwear and then resell it.
“When women would come in, I would be disgusted. I knew they were returning something they wore out to a date or just wore out to a club and it’s like, you want another woman to buy this?” said John.
[Reporter Arnold] Diaz asked John if there were there times that he put back underwear that he was pretty sure was used, “Yeah, all the time, all the time. I don’t even like touching it, I hold it by the tag because I don’t want to put my hands on that.”

What the hell do you call that? An apology? A rebuke? Synergy?


Reports of Her Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

courtney1.jpgCourtney, we really, really knew ye.
You know that totally narcissistic fantasy you have about being able to attend your own funeral and hear what everyone has to say about you? (You know, like this guy.) Well, the girl with the most cake gets to have that experience without all the messy details of dying first.
This week, The Stranger looks back at the life of Courtney Love from her musical legacy to her amazing Hollywood make-over. There’s also a peak at new Loves and a celebrity humurist/eulogist to crack wise. (David Kamp wasn’t free, so they got this dude.)
It’s sad. She had so much to live for, but I guess she just couldn’t live through this.*
* Please don’t post that Courtney, as of 8AM EST is still alive. I get the joke, okay?


Delusions of Commandeur

bush-blaine.jpgPresident Bush, who apparently reads People magazine just like the rest of us, is hip to B-level pop culture. According to Fox News, when the president was asked about the large-scale protests that greeted his arrival in England this week, he indicated his appreciation of the phenomenon by acknowledging that
"the last American to cause such a ruckus in the city was illusionist David Blaine, who recently spent 44 days in a self-imposed fast in an elevated plastic box above the Thames River. For the first few days, Blaine’s box was pelted with food and the people jeered at him.
‘A few might have been happy to provide similar arrangements for me," Bush said, adding that he was grateful to the Queen for interceding and allowing him to stay at Buckingham Palace."
Oh, and one other point about this article. While it’s so, so passé to marvel at the amazingly limited worldview of Fox News and its audience, some of their antics continue to provide fresh opportunities for amazement. Such as today’s headline (since relegated solely to an appearance on the front page) for this "Blaine-dropping" article: "Bush Gets Royal Treatment."
"Royal treatment" apparently no longer implies "pampering," "adoration" or a waitstaff tending to your every need. This new iteration somehow incorporates negative poll numbers indicating that a majority of British citizens were opposed to and inconvenienced by his visit, as well as managing to invoke the plans for nearly 100,000 protesters to march upon and topple a Saddam-esque effigy of the President in Trafalgar Square on Thursday.



lbj-at-desk.jpgWho knew trash-documentary producer Nick Broomfield was such a history buff? It just has to be the crazy and conspiratorial Broomfield who produced a documentary that aired on the History Channel last night entitled, “The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Guilty Men,” which alleges that Lyndon Johnson was somehow involved in the assassination of President Kennedy 40 years ago.
Wait, sorry. It turns out one “Nigel Turner” produced this edifying film for the History Channel, but LBJ’s presidential foundation is pretty plum pissed off regardless of its origin. Apparently having learned nothing from the conservative task force that set out (and subsequently succeeded) in preventing this month’s airing of CBS’s “controversial” Reagan miniseries, Johnson’s family members and former aides had the temerity to allow this thing to air!
According to an AP story, LBJ Foundation Chairman Tom Johnson stated, “We left the decision on editorial content and accuracy up to the History Channel.” What a nimrod!
“He and Jack Valenti, another former Johnson staff member and current president of the Motion Picture Association of America, issued a joint statement on behalf of the Johnson family and others.
‘Sadly, President Johnson and the staff members who are wrongly smeared by the conspiracy theorists are no longer alive to defend themselves,’ the statement said. ‘In televising this production, The History Channel has distorted history beyond recognition.'”
Tom Johnson, incidentally, is not related to the former president. He is, however, “a former president and CEO of CNN.” This probably has nothing to do with the foundation’s going after the A&E-owned History Channel.
That would be both crazy and conspiratorial.

Satirical Shallow

A low culture exclusive: Michael Jackson Bombshell!

Perry Watson-Hoover III, as Michael Jackson, leaving a Santa Barbara Court House
D.A.: Jackson to be charged with child molestation; Bail set at $3 million
Charges that Perry Watson-Hoover III, a professional Michael Jackson impersonator, molested Jonathan Lipnicki‘s stand-in on the set of Stuart Little II were dropped when it was revealed the stand-in was 29 year-old Peter Feuerman. The Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office issued an official apology in the matter and Watson-Hoover expressed his relief and hope that he can continue to impersonate Michael Jackson for years to come.


This isn’t only about what you think it is, I swear

charles-toe.jpgHello, anglophiles and throne-watchers! Quick: what have you been missing out on here in the U.S. for the past six years? That’s right, a visit by Prince Charles, the future King of England, who hasn’t set foot on American soil since coming to New York in 1997.
While this may seem topical only due to President Bush’s current visit to the United Kingdom, or maybe recent events in Massachusetts’ judiciary, it has nothing to do with American intolerance of homosexuality. We think. The Prince of Wales, after all, isn’t gay, for one thing (just check out the photo above: President Bush would never, in good conscience, shake hands with a gay bloke).
But he can shake hands with the “pro-Palestinian” Prince Charles. The Guardian quotes a source close to the issue as saying,
“It [concern over Charles travelling to the US] revolves around the perception that the Prince of Wales is fairly Arabist. He has, in American terms and international terms, fairly dodgy views on Israel.
“He thinks American policy on the Middle East is complete madness and he used to express that quite loudly to a lot of people, including ministers and various ambassadors.”
The source added: “The system basically thinks that he is unsound on America and he has not really wanted to go anyway. He doesn’t much like American culture.”
But, Charles, don’t be so unfair! Americans love both selective inbreeding and tampon reincarnation.
It’s just this “gay” thing we need to work on. And the Middle East, I guess.


Blind Man’s Blurbs

slackphoto.jpgAnd in other local alternative press news, I’ve been seeing Jim Knipfel‘s name popping up in The New York Press as a B-movie DVD critic.
Maybe the jokes on me here, but how can Knipfel be a film critic, since he’s, like, blind? Knipfel is a decent writer, but, I mean, can he really be a film critic?


Reaching: Towards a New Hermeneutics of the Post-Structural Pachyderm

Part of The Village Voice‘s recent redesign is the inclusion of a weekly cultural essay, creatively named The Essay. I’m all for this, since it might give me a chance to one day repurpose some of my old college papers (anyone out there wanna see yet another piece on Muhammad Ali and Norman Mailer?), but this week, The Essay goes over the deep end.
Using Gus Van Sant’s film Elephant and The White Stripes’ album, um, Elephant as a jumping off-point, the impressively-named Leland de la Durantaye treats us to a 1442-word essay on… elephants called “The Cleansing of the Elephants: Trumpeting, flapping, crying: a cultural history, from Ding Yunpeng to Gus Van Sant.”
I skipped it.
This is the sort of thing Entertainment Weekly could’ve done in a 200-word charticle.
Next week, we’ll be treated to 2,000-words on little people using The Station Agent, Elf, and Bad Santa.


Michael Jackson: Is This Scary?

It’s you who’s taunting me
Because you’re wanting me
To be the stranger
In the night…
Is that scary for you baby
Am I scary for you oh boy
Is it scary for you big baby
Is it scary for you
You know the stranger is you
Is it scary for you big baby

From “Is This Scary,” by Michael Jackson from Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix
You know this kid is scared.

Grave Unintentionally Hilarious

Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 9