Friday, February 12, 2010

Lover's Dance

The clever Jib Jabbers caught my fancy with this "classic" silent short. Brangelina watch your back... the First Couple could make the screen sizzle and sell their share of popcorn.

BTW:my recent unofficial, unscientific survey of blog hoppers and radio listeners, has candy beating flowers for Valentine's Day gifts. But romantic dinners trump all. And with all his money, Donald Trump better come up with all three (rim shot optional).

All of the above are sweet treats as far as I'm concerned, though I also enjoy teddy bears, books and music. And, fyi, if you're planning on giving your sweetheart a "deferred gift," like say, Broadway show tickets, it's a good idea to actually come up with the goods before the next holiday rolls around. And while you're bestowing imaginary big ticket items, some of us would enjoy an imaginary trip to Paris. Just a suggestion.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Drive safe. Play nice. Think LOVE!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Palin's Cheat Sheet

I swore I was going to ignore the crazy Tea Party Rally last weekend. Planned to steer clear of Sarahcuda's $115,000 keynote speech. But I can't resist a mini rant. Caribou Barbie just annoys me, I guess. While she was busy taunting Obama supporters asking, "how's that hopey changey stuff workin' for ya now?" and deriding the President for using a teleprompter, Palin was "palming" her talking points.

She scribbled "energy, " tax cuts, " and 'Lift America's Spirit" on her palm, and appeared to glance out it frequently during the Q & A following the big speech.Think she'd have those conservative 101 ideals ingrained on her brain. Still, gotta hand it to her, at least Palin's an old-fashioned fourth grade kind of cheater!

And a hypocrite, too. Last week Sarchuda went gunning for White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel after a dopey and insensitive remark he made last August surfaced in an article. Okay, he shouldn't have used the 'R' word. But he shouldn't be fired over it either, as Palin has demanded. The fact that Emanuel called progressives boycotting Democratic congressmen who didn't support a public option f--- retarded back in August wasn't just insensitive to the mentally challenged it was a big political tell, too. It was a clear indication that the White House was never eager for or willing to fight hard for full-scale health care reform.

But I digress. Back to Palin. She wants Rahmbo tossed, but she defended Rush Limbaugh's big mouth. Rush added his two cents last week skewering political correctness saying, "people are so insulted because somebody called a bunch of retards, retards." Nice, Rush. So when pressed to comment, Palin first sent a lukewarm rebuke via a spokesperson that decried general "insensitivity" without mentioning Limbaugh by name. Then days later, after the Grand Pooh Bah's people must have called the Wasilla compound, Palin said there was a big difference between Rahm and Rush. Yeah,something like 400 lbs and 300 IQ points "What Rush said was satire," she said.

Yep, Rush is big on satire.You know the way Beck is big on comedy. It's all unintentional.

Think the quitter,half term governor of Alaska's got thing for double standards? You betcha!

Drive safe. play nice. Think peace.


Late Night Super Summit

So I didn't go to a Super Bowl party(saved myself something in the neighborhood of 4,500 unnecessary calories). I always manage to dodge those invites... not a big football fan. But had Oprah called, well, I'm pretty sure I could have summoned the interest. Kudos to both Letterman and Leno. Somehow the famous trio managed to keep the spot under wraps and eluded the paparazzi. The back story has Jay arriving last week in a faux mustache and hoodie at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Well, done, folks. Hopefully some hatchets were buried.

I didn't even watch the game. But I pointd my remote in CBS' direction during the halftime show and managed to see a bit of The Who... not bad for geriatric rockers. Guess the 'kids" are still alright.And I'm happy for the Saints who won their first Super Bowl in their 45 year history. Good, too, for the battered city of New Orleans still recovering from Katrina's devastation.

And the commercials have gotten their money's worth....along with the Letterman promo, my fave is the Betty White Snickers ad. Abe Vagoda get a nice little punch out of it, too. Sorry, they pulled the plug on the Betty White spot. Some legal mumbo jumbo. Oh well, hope you got a chance to catch it. In protest, think I'll pass on the Snickers and hit the M&Ms instead. Wait, aren't they made by the same company?

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Popcorn & Papparazzi

They rolled out the Oscar nominations today. And you'll find more surprises in Cher's costume closet and more cliffhangers at Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon's office.

All the acting categories have clear favorites: the oft-neglected, now five time nominee Jeff Bridges who scored the top prize at both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards--considered predictors for the Big trophy--looks poised for a long over-do win for his acclaimed role in Crazy Heart . Same can be said for first time nominee Sandra Bullock, whose role in the Best Picture nominated The Blindside ,also scored top prize at the Golden Globes and SAGs. Ditto for Best Supporting nominees Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz, winners for Precious and Inglorious Bastards, respectively.

Of course, the Academy has been known to throw a curve or two. Remember when William Hurt won all those years ago for Kiss of the Spider Woman? Or Gwyneth Paltrow's inexplicable victory for her lightweight turn in Shakespeare in Love? If there's a curve this year, look for a tie bewteen Bullock and Meryl Streep for her amazing performance as Julia Child in Nora Ephron's uneven Julie & Julia.

The real drama could be a battle of the exes as James Cameron's Avatar faces off against ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker in a few categories most notably Best Director and Best Picture. Bigelow has already nabbed the coveted Director's Guild Award, usually a solid Oscar predictor. But Cameron won the Golden Globe.

The Best Picture nominees are:

Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Precious, An Education, A Serious Man, Inglorious Bastards, The Blind Side, District 9, Up and Up in the Air.

The big question: now that there are 10 Best Picture nominees, how long will the show be? Place your bets. I've got dibs on April 15. I figure they've got to get home in time to hit the local H&R Block and pay homage to the tax man. And with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin handling the festivities, the evening could be a delight or a disaster. Let's just hope they fare better than Gervas at the Globes and Colbert at the Grammys. They really should have an eject button installed and Billy Crystal warming up in the bull pen.

I can't comment on all the films, but Up in the Air -- which captured the cultural zeitgeist--might pull out a wild card win. Read more in my News Junkie Post review.

Living in Limbo: Clooney Soars Up in ‘Air’ | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Drive safe. Play nice. Pass the popcorn.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Not so Gaga over Grammy

OMG: I just realized Mario Cantone is my mother! Okay, wait, that's impossible. But I just saw the comic's acerbic Grammy review on The View Monday, and it was like reliving Sunday's broadcast with my mom's commentary running as the colorful play-by-play. Both Mom and Mario had some choice observations about Lady Gaga's get-ups. Mario: "she thought she'd relax in an outfit that makes her look like the Winter Warlock." Mom: "What's all that schmutz on her face about?" Mom didn't get Elton's mambo mutant Ninja earring either. Or those decorative arms-- discards from the "fame factory"-- that adorned the piano. "What is this early Halloween?" would be the popular refrain of the evening.

Pink's damp costume and ( actually amazing) Cirque de Soleil tricks, Beyonce's Tina Turner moves and the Black Eyed Peas garnered quips from both pundits. Mario's commentary about the Peas was a tad more R-rated (especially for morning TV) than Mom's. He thought the back-up dancers looked like a particular part of the female anatomy with which he may not be all that familiar. Mom just said they looked like "aliens." No wait, she edited herself, "they're robots." No, "They're alien robots from another planet." Thanks for clearing that up, Mom

And the lyrics to most of the songs eluded both Mario and Mom. At one point during the Eminem, Rap act, I think, they were bleeped. No need, as Mario and Mom pointed out, you can't understand them anyway. Mario said he was dialing his cable company for a refund. "I'm not paying for those three hours. I want a credit." Mom didn't make the claim, but I bet she was thinking it."The whole thing is giving me a headache already, " Mom lamented as we pushed through the show's interminable first hour.

She dozed off before the lackluster Michael Jackson 3D tribute, which unless you were--as Mario pointed out--one of the nine people with the special glasses--only looked blurry. And a tad boring.

There were highlights: among them The Zac Brown Band playing with Leon Russell( Mom: "Santa Claus missed the last Sleigh home. Mario: They gave Father Time a life time achievement award); Maxwell singing with Roberta Flack and Taylor Swift singing with her childhood icon; Stevie Nicks, who as both Mario and I(uh, oh, I'm morphing into Mom, too) pointed out has been sporting the same do and the same flowy black dress from the wiccan catalogue since the '70's.

Beyonce won six Grammys--the most by any female artist on a single show--including song of the year. But record honors went to the deserving Kings of Leon, and the album of the year was Taylor Swift's Fearless. The Zac Brown Band got best new artist honors. And one of Westchester's former favorite sons,Louden Wainwright III won his first Grammy for best traditional folk album. Gaga didn't score any of the top prizes, but the Madonna of the new generation didn't go home empty-handed. Along with her costumes she got to schlep Grammys for both electronic/dance song and album of the year. Congrats to all.

Oh, and Quentin Tarantino: Mario's Aunt wants her blouse back. Wait, I'm pretty sure that's the same blouse my Aunt Frieda wore to my cousin's baby shower in 1978. Maybe we are related.

And Lady Gaga's alien- from-the- green-lagoon costume will give Mom nightmares for weeks. Be on the look-out for our new show, "Watching TV with Mom" It will be a huge hit. On No Tube.

Oh, and all that ringing in your ears, Mom? No extra charge.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Battle of Titans: Huffington vs. Ailes Shakes Up Walters on ABC | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Political junkies and media mavens enjoyed a spicy Sunday TV talk brunch thanks to the punches served up by liberal blogosphere queen Arianna Huffington and Fox News conservative king maker Roger Ailes on ABC's This Week. Too bad guest host Barbara Walters cooled things off. Think the ladies on The View have made her a little skittish. Still there was enough to feast on. The best Sunday talk in a long time. Read more about it in my latest News Junkie Post piece. And while you're there please Digg, Tweet & comment... I mean if that's your thing. And check out the other great stuff, including Dolores Bernal's remarkable on-the-street reporting from Haiti!

Battle of Titans: Huffington vs. Ailes Shakes Up Walters on ABC | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Promisies, Promises

So we survived President Obama's first State of the Union speech. My take? The man can talk. And talk and talk. Honestly, I had to bail at 10 pm to catch the second half of the Spectacle finale with Elvis & Springsteen. And that was a rockin' show! Flashed back during commercials, and Obama was still going. The Energizer Bunny with a teleprompter. The President is as eloquent as he is loquacious, but I think he loses a lot of people. The speech--as most of his--would have been far more effective at half the length. Less is more. When it comes to deficits and speeches. He needs to appoint a White House Speech EDITOR.

Look, if you read RG regularly or follow me around cyberspace at News Junkie Post, who will win the 2012 election & other sites or have heard me on the radio, you know I'm a liberal, not a crazy shrill no compromise every Republican is a meanie liberal, but a liberal nonetheless. Still, I'm disappointed in Obama's first year performance. If I had to, I'd give him a far lower grade than the inflated gentleman's B plus he gave himself last December during that Oprah interview. But I went to Sarah Lawrence( Rahm Emanuel's alma mater) where they give you grades, but hide them with white-out and evaluations until it's time to apply to grad school. So I'll hide Obama's grade--hoping to see tremendous improvements-- for another two and a half years.

Let's hope he can deliver on all those jobs, jobs, jobs. And by deliver I mean get a real comprehensive plan through Congress that actually creates good, secure jobs. Not some watered down tree killer deal that does nothing but further line the fat cat bankers' pockets. You know, the reverse of the big go nowhere health care reform. To be fair, the Prez isn't giving up on that either. But so far, we've got nothing, And if they pass it tomorrow, it will just give the insurance companies a reason to dance like nobody's watching.

He also served up some pretty lofty talk about finally repealing that dopey "Don't Ask,Don't Tell." If Gay Americans are willing to serve and put their lives on the line they deserve the same rights as anyone brave enough to serve our country. With two wars going and an all-volunteer armed forces stressed to the max, we need all the help we can get. And we need to be grateful to all of them.

As an aside--and it's a big one-- I did notice Justice Alito shaking his head and mouthing "not true" when Obama criticized the Supremes for selling America to the corporations. A big no no, Justice Alito, bigger than Joe Wilson hurling " You Lie" during the health insurance speech.Whether Obama made the right legal citation is being debated in the blogosphere. But what can't be debated is this: the Supreme Court justices and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are always supposed to sit stoically through speeches. Showing emotion or signs of agreement or disagreement politicize the very members of the government who MUST display neutrality at all times. So Alito was not merely being impolite, he was in fact, violating his office. Was the infraction grave enough for Alito to forfeit his robe? Doubtful. But, I think a three month suspension is fair. And as a temp-to-perm replacement I nominate Judge Judy.

Still, I was buoyed by Springsteen's passionate performance of "The Rising." And if Obama and the Congress can harness some of that spirited American energy, real change could happen. If not, we'll have to do it ourselves. We're Americans. We'll find a way.

Drive Safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Monday, January 25, 2010

All fall Down

Season three of FX's Damages opens with a bang! Literally. Patty Hewes
(Glenn Close) is driving through Manhattan, savoring Curtis Sliwa's talk radio rant about her favorite topic, herself when POW someone crashes into her car! The driver then disappears. And oddly enough there are no witnesses. On a crowded NYC street. In broad daylight.

The first episode, filled with the show's signature time shifts and smart character explorations, forshadows an exciting season.

As usual there's also a lot of guest star power in the season that will take on the powerful Tobin family whose patriarch has been nabbed in the biggest Ponzi scheme.Sound familiar? Lily Tomlin plays a desperate and fidgety Ruth Maddoff type. Martin Short is the fallen family's sleazy lawyer. And Campbell Scott is the son Joe Tobin, who--hellbent on proclaiming his innocence-- beats up a guy in the street who wants his money back, or at least a bag of groceries from the so-called straight arrow son.

Oh,Ellen Parsons( Rose Byrne) is still in the picture,though she's ditched Hewes & Associates(which by episode's end is officially renamed Hewes-Shayes and Associates, as long suffering associate Tom--the unflappable Tate Donovan--finally gets his due)for a desk prosecuting drug dealers at the D.A.'s office. Patty-- who can't leave well enough alone-- sends Ellen a $3000 Chanel bag that winds up--in the 6 month fast forward-- in the cart of a homeless man who is somehow connected to Patty's car crash. Oh, yeah, and among his other belongings, there's a dead body. The identity may or may not be revealed, but I'm not giving up the potential spoiler for those who've yet to indulge in this guilty pleasure.

I know some people find the show's time transitions too jarring, the story lines too confusing. But if you stick with Damages, the pay-off is a deliciously thrilling psychological ride. One of the best on television these days. Too bad it now goes head-to-head against the other best show, TNT's Men of a Certain Age. Thank God for cable re-broadcasts. And DVRs. Both Damages and Men of a Certain Age originally air Mondays at 10PM; check your cable guide or station websites for additional airings.

Stay tuned.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stewart Skewers Olbermann

"Daily Show" maestro Jon Stewart skewers Keith Olbermann in a hilarious and oh, so spot-on spoof "commentary." Olbermann-- who kinda lost it last week with explosive criticisms lodged at Massachusetts new Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown--first underplayed Stewart's parody on Fridays' "Countdown," hinting it was a weak version of Ben Affeck's "SNL" skit last year. You are wrong, sir! But by the end, Keith concedes: "You're right, I have been a little over the top lately."

If Keith can cop to his mistakes and laugh at himself, we all can. Hey libs, if you don't have a sense of humor, you better cultivate one. We're all gonna need it!

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meryl Streep is ‘Golden’ as Julia | NEWS JUNKIE POST

I know early RG regulars may have seen this way back in September when Julie & Julia first hit the big screen. But with all the Awards hoopla and potential Oscar buzz, I updated my review for News Junkie Post. Please check out and Tweet, Digg, comment at your leisure. Meryl Streep is ‘Golden’ as Julia | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Oh, yeah, if I had to place a bet, I'd say Meryl definitely gets an Oscar nomination, but may lose out to Sandra Bullock's role in The Blind Side. The Academy might just think it's her time. Or maybe they'll tie, as they did in the Critics' Choice Awards January 15. It's been done-but rarely.

Too bad, the Oscars--which has expanded its Best Picture roster to 10--doesn't follow the Globes and offer a Best Comedy & Best Drama category.

More movie musings in the coming days and weeks. So keep the popcorn popping. Duds, too. As in Milk. Not Mystery Date.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

What Would Martin Luther King Say? | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Let's never forget the "fierce urgency of now." In honor of MLK, let's keep that in mind when it comes to helping those suffering in Haiti and those at home working for civil rights, real health care reform, job creation, educational opportunity, environmental advocacy. etc.

As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, I decided to think about what he might say about the crisis in Haiti and the inhumane rhetoric spewed by folks like Rush & Robertson.Take a look at my latest News Junkie Post piece. And, yeah, I ask that you "Digg" and Tweet if you can. Thanks.
What Would Martin Luther King Say? | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Late Night Tango

The late night drama's been good for ratings. But no one comes out unscathed in the notorious tango that appears to have Coco exiting--and Jay back behind the Tonight Show desk.Looks like Letterman's having the most fun. For now. All that mean-spirited humor could backfire,Dave. Then again, maybe not. As for the real villain, look to that Ari Fleisher look-alike, NBC Chair Jeff Zucker. Read more details in my latest News Junkie Post piece. And please take the time to "Digg" and Tweet. I mean, if that's your thing. Thanks. BTW: don't forget to check out a slew of other good pieces while you're on the NJP site.
Late Night Tango: Looks like Conan’s Out, Jay’s Back on NBC’s Tonight | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Palinpalooza officially Hits Fox News! | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Yep, it was a no brainer. Sarachuda's headed to Fox News. Check out my News Junkie Post video entry, featuring a video welcome mat from Media Matters. Pay attention. Palinpalooza officially Hits Fox News! | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Did you watch it? Here's the quiz: who said: "Sarah Palin looks hot in that hat?"
who called her "a goofball?"

Drive safe. Play nice. think Peace.

and oh, yeah, please Tweet and Digg.... if that's your thing. Do I appreciate your help? You betcha!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: Dems Give Reid a Pass | NEWS JUNKIE POST

As usual the Sunday morning talks shows gave my blood pressure a run for its money. I'm not going to waste time bemoaning ABC's continued confounding decision to turn Liz Cheney into a pundit. I'd rather ignore the troll and hope she goes back under her bridge. What really got me, was the Democratic hypocrisy that simply wants to ignore Harry Reid's year old racist remark. Okay, if Halperin and Heilemann didn't out it, it wouldn't be news. But they did and it is. Read more in my latest NewsJunkiePost piece.Please Tweet and 'Digg." I mean if you're into that sort of thing. While you're there, check out other great articles on NJP, too!Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: Dems Give Reid a Pass | NEWS JUNKIE POST

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Goodbye Gumby's Dad

Sir Gumby
Originally uploaded by Worker101
Sorry to note of the passing of Art Clokey. The famed animator, who created Gumby died on January 8 at 89.

Gumby became a beloved character for many late end Boomers and Gen Xers. The loving green oddly shaped bendable "claymation" pioneer remains a cult pop culture icon today. Gumby's distinguishing feature--his oddly curved head-- was an homage to a hairdo Art's father ( who died when Art was only nine) sported.

I loved watching Gumby and his companion horse Pokey as a kid. Yeah, I even admit to loving Davey and Goliath, the oft- lampooned Christian claymation show Art created, too. There is something so profound in the simplicity of the stories, the inherent kindness in the characters. And their creator. Art--who I had a chance to interview on a radio show some years back--was a delightful man, who conquered many obstacles, using his talents to bring joy to millions. Check out the great documentary Gumby Dharma ;released a few years ago, it offers great insights into Art's personal struggles, passion and his spiritual journey.

And oh, what a joyous legacy he left behind.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

All Shook UP

Some say Vegas killed him. Maybe it was genetics, short-circuited by an over-indulgence in fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Not to mention all those pills.

His end surely came far too soon-in 1977 at the age of 42-- but the King of Rock 'n' Roll continues to reign. On what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, we have to celebrate his indelible mark on music and pop culture. Check out this performance from his famed 1968 TV concert special. Here he's at the height of his powers--strong, handsome and fit with the voice and moves that made him famous twelve years earlier.

Elvis, his majestic voice and dangerous moves made him the first superstar in the startling youth culture that shook, rattled and rolled its way down Lonely Street, forever changing the American pop culture landscape. This young truck driver from the most modest of Tupelo, Mississippi homes, drove through every town, gathering teenage hearts and souls with enough raucous indignation to set a generation on fire.

While it seems so tame by today's standards, the sexual alchemy his hips and lips generated posed a threat to stunned parents and a TV execs, who after one pulsating appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, censored the lower half of his body from future shows.

Never known to be overtly political, Elvis did have a fascination with joining the DEA as a special agent. Ironic, of course, considering his later abuse of prescribed medication and alcohol. He never got that appointment, but he did pose for a famous photo with President Nixon ion 1970. The photo is, in fact, the most requested image from the National archives, beating out the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

He reportedly maintained a "phone" friendship with Nixon, calling the disgraced ex-president after Watergate and during a bout of phlebitis.

Another president, of course, would be oft-compared to the King. Bill Clinton--a proud Elvis fan--shares some of his idol's swagger and sway, an unmistakable charisma that has earned him both devotion and controversy.

As for Elvis, his music remains a cherished part of America's musical legacy, an influence and primer for all that has come along since. And just in time, a new boxed set of his songs has been released. Good Rockin' Tonight features the hits, B-sides and rarities.

Never mind the industry he has become in death, earning billions he never came close to seeing alive or the tacky official website that serves as the gateway to the spectacle that is Graceland. Forget the Vegas impersonators. And all those infamous sightings.

It doesn't matter what they tell you; Elvis never really left the building.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cheney Family Values | NEWS JUNKIE POST

New Year, Same old rhetoric.... Dick Cheney & darling daughter Liz are busy flinging the fright wind propaganda against Pres. Obama. "Digg" my latest News Junkie Post piece. And check out a slew of other cool and provocative articles, too!
Cheney Family Values | NEWS JUNKIE POST