Rounded Up

New Music on the Way From Richard Ashcroft

W J Street at The Killing Moon - 8 minutes ago
On Monday, we'll get some idea as to what Richard Ashcroft is going to do. *A few weeks ago, we told you that Richard Ashcroft had finished recording his new studio album.* *According to Ashcroft's new manager, Steve Kutner, former The Verve's frontman, Richard Ashcroft finished recording his new material. Kutner took to IG to share news on the new album posting a picture of a cd and writing below 'It's finished' #richardashcroft a few weeks ago.* *The album was apparently recorded at This is Metropolis studios where The Verve recorded one of the best albums of all time 'Urban Hym... more »

They Kicked Him in the Balls

W J Street at An American Lion - 20 minutes ago
This man is remarkably upright after being kicked in the family jewels I hate to be crude, but how do you top this? *Some of Jeb Bush’s most steadfast allies think Saturday might be the end.* *Donors, who poured millions into his campaign and super PAC, have stopped giving – one refusing a direct request to raise $1 million this week. Bush himself is hitting the phones, pleading for patience with his most influential supporters. And even some of his confidants are suddenly dejected after a dispiriting week capped off by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley rejecting Bush in favor of ... more »

Going to War Against the Pope

W J Street at An American Lion - 16 hours ago
It's a Henry VIII kind of a deal: *When Pope Francis announced he would be holding a large Mass on the U.S.-Mexican border as part of his apostolic journey to the region, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused the holy man of playing politics and not fully understanding “the danger of the open border we have with Mexico.”“I think Mexico got him to do it,” Trump said, “because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is—because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”Well, Trump may have been right—at least about the Pope’s political intentions. During... more »

Why Aren't There More Guitars Like This?

W J Street at The Killing Moon - 16 hours ago
It seems like a no-brainer to me: *St. Vincent, otherwise known as Annie Clark, has created a guitar designed specifically for women. She now joins Albert Lee, John Petrucci, and Steve Morse in the release of a signature guitar with brand Ernie Ball Music Man. Given free rein on the piece's design, Clark set out to create something that would tackle her own past issues with the standard design of the instrument. "For me a guitar that is not too heavy is really important because I’m not a very big person," she told Guitar World. "I can’t even play a Sixties Strat or Seventies L... more »

Long Shadows

W J Street at WJS - 19 hours ago

Elitism on Television

W J Street at Foolish Blood - 21 hours ago
Well, if this isn't elitism, what is? *For the first time in more than a decade, a single network had all 10 of the highest-rated programs on TV last week. And, proving once and for all that you and everyone you know are completely, irreversibly out of touch with the wider TV-watching public, that network was somehow CBS.* *“Well, sure, Big Bang Theory,” you mumble to yourself, confident that you have a weak but stable grasp on the actual shape of the world. But you’ve already forgotten the network’s top-rated show, NCIS, which has been on the air for 13 years of uninterrupted uns... more »

Things You Can Read About

Who is Disturbed by Hillbilly Themed Porn?

Jason Street at Hillbilly Thrill - 17 seconds ago
I'm not buying the premise of this: *There is a rising trend in pornography: hillbilly porn. Instead of the usual bevy of coked out blonds with fake boobies from California, these fine films feature rednecks from the South and Appalachia. It’s no wonder with the popularity of shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Swamp People celebrating the inbred and ignorant. According to Gamelink, the niche market for movies with toofless white trash going at it started selling in quadruple numbers about two years ago. While I can’t say that I understand the appeal of watching homunculus tro... more » 

On a Friday

Jason Street at The Killing Moon - 5 hours ago
The world is a shrunken, global mess of release dates and embargoed intellectual property, and I don't know if this really fixes anything. Does it change the fact that artists will release their albums on vinyl before all other formats in order to earn cachet with hipsters? To me, release dates hearken back to the 1970s, which is when an album release would actually generate attention. That's gone now--there is no album being released this year by anyone that people are going to shit themselves over, save perhaps a Kanye West album or a surprise album by Beyonce. And you just got ... more » 

The Dumbassery, It Abounds

Jason Street at Wretched Corners - 1 day ago
People have been offended by art again. You can read about it here. This is the money quote: *Small told Hyperallergic that when one billboard was being installed, a group of locals surrounded the workers, "shouting obscenities and claiming that the billboards were either Satanic or Islamic."* It's unfair to pick on New Mexico for being home to a bunch of backwoods jackasses, but still. How do you conflate art and someone's attempt to do something like this with the fear experienced by people who are too stupid to understand that ISIS is not coming to blow up their town? Answer--... more » 

A Show For the Ages

Jason Street at Foolish Blood - 1 day ago
You may click to embiggen... more » 

Parks and Recreation

Jason Street at An American Lion - 1 day ago
And that's the end of them. *Parks and Recreation* was the last "NBC" comedy that I liked. *Community* lives on in a Yahoo! format that I don't think anyone will decry or mind, but that show has shed the network that failed to make it a hit, not the other way around. I don't know what's coming, but I do know we need another paintball episode, fast. *The Office, Community, 30 Rock*, and *Parks and Recreation* were four of the greatest comedies ever. They rank up there with *Newhart*, which is a show that has never been forgotten specifically because it had the greatest finale ever... more » 

Rounded Up

Jason Street at Rounded Up - 2 days ago
Keith Olbermann Has Been Suspended From ESPN Jason Street at An American Lion - 6 minutes ago I swear to God, I really was going to write a blog post about how I was wrong about Keith Olbermann and his new job with ESPN. I was going to reference this post, where I wrote, in July of 2013, that Olbermann's being hired by ESPN was a bad idea. Then I saw this. Then I went, whew. Good luck, Keith. You belong at 9PM on CNN. You are a talented, consummate professional and a great, great broadcaster. The problem is, you are a crappy employee in a world where you ought to be the employer. Oh... more » 

Keith Olbermann Has Been Suspended From ESPN

Jason Street at An American Lion - 2 days ago
I swear to God, I really was going to write a blog post about how I was wrong about Keith Olbermann and his new job with ESPN. I was going to reference this post, where I wrote, in July of 2013, that Olbermann's being hired by ESPN was a bad idea. Then I saw this. Then I went, whew. Good luck, Keith. You belong at 9PM on CNN. You are a talented, consummate professional and a great, great broadcaster. The problem is, you are a crappy employee in a world where you ought to be the employer. Oh well. And, I don't know about you, but as soon as I saw that Bill O'Reilly had absolutely ... more »

We're All Eleventh Cousins With Somebody

Jane Austen
This is a little ridiculous:
Jane Austen wrote the ultimate fairy tales, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is living one herself. But that's not all these two women have in common. 
The famed romance author (1775-1817) and the newly-minted royal, 29, have family ties, according to findings from
The ladies are eleventh cousins, six times removed, according to the site, and they are linked through Henry Percy, the second Earl of Northumberland, who was born in 1392. 

We all have family ties with royalty or the historically famous or both. I don't think this is newsworthy at all.

The very nature of modern life dictates that we all come from common ancestors and a bloodline that traces back to someone notable in history, and this is true for all of the cultures of the Earth as well. This is not a white European fact; it's true for people from all over. The fact that they had to go back to 1392 to find a common ancestor is enough for a good laugh. And I don't know what's funnier--going back 619 years or expecting useful information out of People magazine.
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Burying the Heart of the Last of the Hapsburgs

This is the end of a historical epoch--and they're sticking with medieval tradition and they're burying his heart in a separate place. This is the sort of thing that wouldn't have raised any eyebrows a hundred years ago. Today, you wonder if someone isn't going to file a lawsuit to reunite the man and his internal organ.

This is Sexist

Veev vodka is hoping you'll accept the joke here. Unfortunately, it's a transparently sexist and somewhat culturally insensitive ad.

The stereotypically harsh and unattractive Russian/Slavic/Eastern European depiction of a hectoring wife is supposed to sell alcohol to who, exactly? I'm not sure who the target audience is but any man married to a "beast like this" (which is what the advertiser is signaling here) must want to drink themselves into a state of unconsciousness.

When you're using humor to kick down here, you have to remember that there is a fine line between satire and being stupid about cultural signifiers. You're not supposed to link your product to something that doesn't have some sort of redeeming quality. Being smashed, cheating on your wife, and fostering a stereotype isn't exactly the smart or uplifting quality being sought here.

Veev makes a vodka that is useful for your suicide by drinking because your horrible wife is a sexless babushka? Really? And now that means you gotta get a third or fourth bottle for your bros?

Stupid. And, of course, sexist.

Silver Dollar Baby

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Silver Dollar Baby: a Norman Rogers story[Kindle Edition]

Warren Jason Street 

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One Million Moms Can't Get Their Heads Around the Appeal of Schweddy Balls

At least these panicked, reactionary prudes are organized. It takes a great deal of effort to get a successful boycott off the ground, what with all of the apathy and economic desperation out there. I'm glad these people have found something serious and substantive to do with their time. What's worse? A high-end ice cream product or the typical swill of violence and sexism force-fed to our kids every day?

Are the One Million Moms boycotting things like MTV, Fox News and edible underwear? If not, then they should be.

Moderate Those Comments, Please

There's a very nice story about Heather Matarazzo and her long-time girlfriend Caroline Murphy. They plan to marry in the state of New York in the near future, and it's the sort of story that I normally wouldn't blog about because how many times can you say, "congratulations," and "that's wonderful."

I'm only putting this up because of the single comment at the bottom of the story:

Just the one "thumb's down?"

Harrison Ford Has Another Movie to Sell

Pretty much the only time anyone does a fawning, sycophantic profile of Harrison Ford is when he has a movie to promote. Any other time, well, forget it.

Ford's movies make a lot of money. What else is there? I can't remember the last time that I actually wanted to see a Harrison Ford movie. As in, actually went out and saw it because he was in it. The films he's made over the last decade are forgettable. Absolutely forgettable.

I hope there's something good about Cowboys & Aliens. I hope he isn't a piece of wood in it.

Years ago, I figured out something. If you put Michael Caine on one side, and Harrison Ford on the other, which one of them would be more compelling and real?

Michael Caine.

The difference between them is rage. Caine has the acting chops to show the kind of rage that a leading man and an actor should possess. Sean Connery, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Al Pacino, and Mel Gibson had (and perhaps still have) that rage as well. Think about how unfair it is to compare Ford to the actors that I've mentioned. It's unfair as hell because he hasn't done anything that could top the work those actors have done.

Harrison Ford doesn't have anything that can compare. He has a lot of profitable, popular films that showcase his everyman talents. Beyond that, what is there?

What Does a Guy Have to Do to Get Kicked Out of the Navy These Days?

I think that there's a need to begin reducing the size of the military, and this is one way that they are going to go about it.

After 1991, and the so-called "peace dividend" that allowed the Department of Defense to reduce the size of the military, there was a "zero defect" mentality that took over. With fewer and fewer slots available, anyone with any kind of defect was gotten rid of.

Wars create defects in people, however. Is it really a good thing to get rid of a lot of people who, despite their so-called "defects" have a great deal of practical experience actually fighting wars? Do we really want to go back to those "zero defect" days?

Universal Dumps the Dark Tower

New projects are too risky, apparently. Universal will take that money and create sequels and remakes and feed the culture more nonsense and schlock. The danger of trying to start and maintain a quality series of films was too much for their corporate outlook, apparently.

What do you hang your hat on? At one point, a Universal executive was ready to make the Dark Tower adaptation his thing and his ticket to the big time or oblivion. And now, this much-loved series of books spins off into the ether and nobody seems to get it--risk taking has vanished in Hollywood. Vanished.

These are the people who, by the way, are turning "Battleship" into a theatrical film.

That's right. "Battleship."

When the River Disappeared

Sometimes, an entire river just disappears and leaves a bunch of fish there for people to pick up and take home with them.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I knew that a river just up and disappeared, my first impulse wouldn't be to go find the river--it would be to walk in the riverbed and look for cool stuff. But that's me. When rivers disappear, my priorities are completely out of whack.

Instead of an Emmy, Give Peter Dinklage Better Parts

I agree with this. Peter Dinklage is woefully unappreciated as an actor. What he really needs are the same parts everyone else gets. I have always hated seeing him serve as the butt of a lame joke or as a two-dimensional victim of someone's bigotry about height.

Dinklage needs better parts. He's more than capable of doing whatever people give him. Why not consider him for a part that normally wouldn't go his way?

I have a favorite and it's probably not everyone else's favorite. Well, I have two favorites. The first is the 2005 film Lassie where Dinklage plays a kind of street performer with no hint of self-pity. This is the version filmed in Scotland, Ireland and on the Isle of Man and nobody seems to have ever seen it. The other is, of course, Underdog, which is a guilty pleasure. Watching Dinklage kick the crap out of Patrick Warburton is worth it.

Good Luck With Your Cease and Desist Order Mr. Peterson

Did it occur to Drew Peterson that the people behind Rob Lowe's new project might have the right to do what they're doing?
Drew Peterson is out to stop Rob Lowe's next role.
As we previously reported, the "Parks and Recreation" actor's set to star as the ex-cop accused of killing his third wife and suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife in an upcoming Lifetime television movie.
Not so fast says Peterson, whose lawyers have filed a cease and desist letter, In Session confirmed.
The letter takes issue with the Lifetime Movie Network film tentatively titled, "Ladykiller: The Drew Peterson Story," which it notes is "written by screenwriter Teena Booth, based on a so-called 'true story' 'non-fiction' book, 'Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson' (the 'book'), authored by Joseph G. Hosey, a former reporter with the Chicago area’s Herald News."
The communication goes on to state that the book the movie would reportedly be based on  "is a biased and malicious portrayal, far from a 'non-fiction,' 'true story,'" and  is "a deliberate and calculated assemblage of falsehoods constituting a character assassination."
I think "creative license" comes into play here. The people producing this film clearly own the rights to produce a film based on what's in the book. If Peterson is in the process of suing whoever produced and published the book, okay then. Proceeding with a dramatization might be problematic.

Unfortunately, Mr. Peterson is not in a position to make the case that he is going to be the victim of character assassination if this movie gets produced. I think that the producers are well-versed in what they can and can't get away with and I think that they will, ultimately, deliver a movie to Lifetime that Mr. Peterson simply won't like. Whether he can do anything about it is for the lawyers to figure out.

Here's the lame Leno joke (or whoever). It will be something along the lines of

"Drew Peterson has sent a cease and desist order to the people making Rob Lowe's new movie about him. Peterson claims--did you hear about this?--that having Rob Lowe portray him in the movie is "character assassination." Yeah. Now, if they had gotten Andy Dick to play Peterson, okay, but Rob Lowe? Come on!"
Of course, no one will laugh.

No Man Would Ever Talk This Way

When women talk about their friendships, it means they care:
This video is the second in HuffPost Women's four-part series on female friendship inspired by Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan's upcoming film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which will have its premiere in Los Angeles on July 15.
One of the film's principal themes is the power of female friendship -- to overcome life's obstacles as well as enhance its joys and successes. Wendi and Florence met 10 years ago at a dinner party and have been an emotional support system for each other every since. Partnering for this special film project has brought them even closer together.
This series' first video, which we ran last week, features Wendi and Florence talking about how they became friends and what that bond has meant for each of them.
Fave quote: "You know, we're low maintenance friends."

Men don't talk this way. But, if they did, their friendships would probably mean more and last longer. Women have a way of cutting through the bullshit that I don't think men are smart enough to appreciate. These two women speak openly and honestly and it doesn't sound forced or canned. It sounds low maintenance. And men should try to do low maintenance as often as they can.

Regular Joes and Regular Janes Dating Celebrities?

This is the sort of thing that is going to get completely out of hand in about three or four news cycles:

This morning on the Access Hollywood Live program, co-host Billy Bush, the human embodiment of a Teddy Ruxpin doll, said that Mila Kunis will not be going on her Marine Corps Ball date. Oh no!
Over the weekend Kunis agreed to be Sgt. Scott Moore's date to the Marine Corps Ball after he asked her out on YouTube, and everyone was excited and warm of heart. But now sinister old Billy Bush says that Kunis is filming two movies around that time in November, so she can't jet off to Maryland to fulfill her treasured promise. Hmmmmm. I bet they'll find a way though, right? That would be incredibly bad PR to back out at this point, wouldn't it? I mean, the guy was so excited. His mom was going to help him pick out a corsage and there was a limo and everything and they were supposed to go to Jake Murphy's house afterward 'cause his parents are at Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend. It was gonna be awesome! 
Yes, it's a sweet story, but when we get to the point where Charlie Sheen is going to someone's prom and where someone is asking Teri Hatcher to drop everything and appear at their company Christmas  party after driving around Dubuque in a snow storm, wake me up so I can go back to paying attention.
There are so many tangents that a story like this can go. What if they fall in love? What if he shoots his battalion commander by accident? What if she ends up with a terrible case of the hives? What if he can't find the right pair of shoes to go with his top hat and cane? What if her hair falls out because of a chemical reaction to the East Coast? What if the limo they ride in gets stuck under a stolen rental truck? What will happen when people realize that stories like this exist only to help the celebrity media maintain their web site traffic statistics?
I don't know, either. But if I was a hot young Hollywood starlet, I'd be utterly creeped out if I woke up tomorrow and found out that some sad sack wanted me to go to a cotillion or a sock hop or a corporate retreat somewhere not in California or New York.
And for the guy who wrote me and said, "he'll probably end up fucking her," I would say, "we'll all probably end up fucking her one day because there isn't any privacy or decency left in the world anymore."
I mean, yeah. You could ask an iconic, beautiful celebrity to go to your thing with you, but why not ask someone you know who might want to connect with you on a personal level? Why not live and enjoy a moment of reality instead of some unsustainable fantasy? If you can't appreciate and engage with someone who's right there and in your life and in your surroundings, just get out. Go. Fly off to some other part of the world and do whatever you want. Because I can guarantee you there is probably a young woman or a slightly not quite young woman who is in this guy's life or who knows him or whatever who isn't going to get to go to this thing with him because she's not as hot and as famous as Mila Kunis.
And, really. Who is? And why does she need to be?
Love the one you're with, baby. Love the one you're with. It's that simple.
If celebrity is such a wonderful thing, why'd I call it a disaster and make a blog out of it? Right?