Saturday, May 31, 2008

Japan Jam

Pittsburgh native Jerome White Jr. is the biggest star that you never heard of. Wearing a do-rag and askew baseball cap, he croons syrupy ballads with a Sinatra-meets-Jarreau style. This 26 year old has mobs of women screaming after him.

His songs about lost love are sung in perfect Japanese.

His fan base is also Japanese.

Jero (his professional moniker), is something unique. An African-American man (his maternal grandmother was Japanese) who has a hip-hop persona singing ballads that are distinctly Japanese accompanied by over-the-top symphonic orchestrations. That is definitely a first. And, there probably won’t be a second.

Keep in mind that Japan is one of the most homogeneous countries on earth. Gaijin (foreigners) are generally associated with crime, litter, sloth and other unpleasantness. Xenophobia is the overwhelming attitude of most Japanese... which would seem to make Jero’s success impossible.

The one thing that makes him the exception to the hard-lined rule is his grandmother.




Masako Osawa, a 59 year old Japanese housewife, caught Jero’s appearance at the Big Hop mall. According to The Washington Post, she said:

“The fact that he treasures his grandmother makes me feel warm toward him.”

If you would like to see what the fuss is all about, check out the video below that shows Jero in action:



We Shall Come Rejoicing... Bringing in the Sheets

Laundry day... and my bi-weekly frustration is folding the fitted sheet. I have a California King size bed and those 1,200 thread count sheets are comfy... but folding that sheet with the elastic around it is maddening.

Fortunately, I found a video on-line that explains exactly how it is done.

My laundry is saved!

Click here to get yourself edumacated.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things That Make You Go, Hmm...

The song “Amazing Grace” can be sung to the tune of the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.

Also, vice versa... you can sing the Gilligan song to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”

Interesting... considering that Dawn (Mary Ann) Wells has appeared on the world’s first Christian Sitcom, Pastor Greg!

Young Hillary

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shirley Manson the Terminator Maker?


Shirley Manson, Scottish singer who was front for the group Garbage, is joining the cast of Fox’s The Sarah Connor Chronicles as the CEO of a high-technology company.

It might be fun to see her get into a smackdown with Summer Glau, the female terminatrix assigned to protect John Connor.

Do you think, maybe, she might sing while Glau does more ballerina moves?

Go to The Hollywood Reporter for more details!

R.I.P. Harvey Korman

I think it was last year’s TV Land Awards where the cast of the Carol Burnett Show were honored. Harvey thanked his doctor for giving him pills that allowed him to stand erect. Despite the obvious entendre, I thought he looked rather frail and sickly and wondered how much longer we would have his comedic genius.

Sadly, Mr. Korman departed the planet today at the UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The world has suffered a great loss.

Read more about this great comedian at The Associated Press and additional details (with a funny comedy sketch between Korman and Tim Conway) at MSNBC.

Dwight Schrute: Transformer Killer?


The latest news from The Hollywood Reporter is that Rainn Wilson will join the cast of the second installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers.

In case you don’t recognize the name, Wilson is the actor who portrays Dwight in NBC’s The Office and appeared in a number of movies including My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Wilson will play Shia LeBouf’s college professor in Transformers 2.

The role will likely be small.

The role will also likely be extremely funny!

The Great Debate

Now I have seen everything! There is a new CGI animated presidential debate featuring the Three Stooges being interviewed by Larry King, a space alien (presumably illegal), and others.

Click here to take a peeky peek.

My favorite line was where Moe says...

I never had relations with that woman. She wouldn’t let me...

Let us know what you think about this new technology way of bringing back the Stooges.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book Bashes Bush

President Bush’s former Press Secretary (and former hierophant) Scott McClellan has published a book that seems to be intent on taking some negative shots at the current administration.

According to an article at Yahoo! News, current White House press secretary Dana Perino poo-pooh’s McClellan’s book as the rantings of a disgruntled former employee... or some words to that affect.

Somebody let me know when the Cliff’s Notes come out... too busy to read...

One Step Closer to Same-Sex Marriage in NY

Following California’s lead... New York governor David A. Paterson, is moving NY closer to acknowledging same sex marriages.

Read all about it at The New York Times.

Fourth Axel

Looks like this sequel trend is continuing. We’ve seen a gay Superman... we will see a post-modern Batman... and after a couple decades, a fourth Indiana Jones.

Word on the streets is that Eddie Murphy will be returning to the role that cemented his status as a box office star...

the fourth Beverly Hills Cop will bring Axel Foley back to the screen.

This go-round will presumably be directed by Brett Ratner who (hopefully) will not inflict any more Rush Hour films on us.

Details are availble at Variety.

Moslem Actor Portrays Jesus Christ

I was reading in the Los Angeles Times that an Iranian has made a motion picture about the life of Christ.

Unlike Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, this book is based on the Qu’ran and the non-canonical Gospel of Barnabas.

This film does not present Jesus as the Son of God who died and rose from the dead... but, rather, as a prophet as most Moslems believe.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gas for 14¢ a Gallon?

Yes, you can buy gasoline for $0.14 per gallon... but you gotta go south of the border.

Way south.

Father south.

Like Venezuela!

Details at CNN.

R.I.P. Sydney Pollack


The acclaimed Hollywood polymath Sydney Pollack has exited the planet at the age of 73.

Pollack he left a large body of films, as producer, director, and sometimes actor.

A current film that was touched by Pollack’s immense talents is the currently released “Made of Honor.”

Additional details are available in The New York Times.

This great talent will be missed.

Happy Memorial Day

As a veteran, I have many wonderful memories of my military service. I am glad to be living in the greatest country on earth. To my fellow vets... and to those currently serving... and those who have fallen in service to this country... I salute you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Night Dick!

Some of you may be too young to remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

This show... perhaps the offspring of Ernie Kovacs... or maybe it was the citified cousin of Hee Haw... was a psychedelic experience for those of us who never tried drugs.

It introduced us to Kate Hudson’s mom (Goldie Hawn) and the acclaimed Lily Tomlin...and many other zany comedians.

It was also the training ground for the creator of another groundbreaking comedy series... Lorne Michaels of SNL fame.

Co-host of the program, Dick Martin, has exited the planet. According to the New York Times, Martin died Saturday of respiratory failure in Santa Monica, California.

Will the funny guy be missed?

You bet your sweet bippy he will!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Five Dolla, G.I.

Over five dollars a gallon?


In La Jolla, CA -- one of my favorite hang out spots -- you can pay nearly six bucks a gallon if you choose full service. Yikety Yikes! Next time I want a fish taco at Georges at the Cove, I may have to go by bicycle!

Or, not...

Open Mouth. Change Feet.

Just when I thought it was safe to pick up The New York Times, we read about Hillary Clinton’s latest bon mot...

Apparently, Senator Clinton basically used the assassination of Bobby Kennedy to explain why it was important for her to stay in the presidential race. She later explained that her comment had to do with Senator Ted Kennedy’s recent health challenges.

Spring Sales


You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round...

Sorry to put that infectious disco song back into your head, but we are seeing an unprecedented number of spin-offs in development. I guess the networks feel that if something works, why not do it again.

Well, I guess we can’t truly say unprecedented, given the number of spin-offs that came from that classic 70’s show, All in the Family. Still... check out what they have in store for you this coming season:


Original ShowSpinoff
NBC’s The Office To be announced
Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar GalacticaCaprica, which is filming a two-hour backdoor pilot
Fox’s Family GuyThe Cleveland Show
Fox’s HouseTo be announced
Fox’s Prison Break To be announced

24 Season Seven

I was excited to read in The Hollywood Reporter that there will be a prequel to the 7th season of the Fox hit series 24.

The prequel will feature Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) battling an international crisis in Africa while a new American president faces Inauguration Day.

Stars will include Eric Lively (from Showtime’s L Word) as the president’s son, plus well known actors Tony Todd and Gil Bellows.

Some gossipy fans may recognize that Eric is the brother of Gossip Girl star Blake Lively.

And now... a sneak peek at the upcoming season of 24:

R.I.P. Richard Towne “Dick” Sutcliffe

Richard Towne “Dick” Sutcliffe, the creator of Gumby’s Christian cousins, Davey and Goliath, passed away on May 11th at Dallas’ Baylor University Medical Center.

Sutcliffe, who was 90 years old at the time of his departure, was experiencing complications from a stroke.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Sutcliffe’s memorial service will be at 2 pm May 31st in the chapel at St. Mark’s School of Texas.

Oh, Davey...

Philo T. Farnsworth Spinning in his Grave?

Vladmir Zworkin, Philo T. Farnsworth, and the other inventors of the household appliance known as the television, probably never anticipated the internet.

Al Gore, the alleged inventor of the internet, probably never anticipated the evolution of broadband as a type of the BORG.

Television will be assimilated.

Resistance is futile.

And like many great innovations, our friends in Japan have appeared at the forefront of what promises to be the end of TV as we know it.

According to an article in Australia’s The Age, television will never be the same again.

Of course, many people watch their favorite shows over the web now... but this innovation means your cable box will soon be replaced by your home computer.

Wow...

Friday, May 16, 2008

The 2008-2009 Television Season

Shows Returning This Fall

ABCCBSCWFOXNBC

Shows That Are Sleeping With The Fishes

ABCCBSCWFOXNBC

Brand New Shows

ABCCBSCWFOXNBC

Shows Changing Networks

  • Scrubs is moving from NBC to ABC
  • Back to You was cancelled by Fox but Variety reports that CBS may be considering it. Fingers crossed...

For more on the 2008-2009 schedule, see the TV Hit List at IMDB.

Wright and Wrong

I received a copy of one of my favorite Christian publications and was amazed to see an article by the editor condemning presidential candidate Barack Obama because of the outrageous statements made by his former pastor.

The writer inquired, how can we elect a man to run this country when he was anointed by this flamboyant and controversial pastor? How could Obama spend 20 years in a church and not be 100% in line with his former pastor.

Um... hello?

Is any Christian 100% in line with what his or her pastor says?

I mean... come on.

Really?

I attended a church for years where the pastor spoke against the gift of tongues. Unbeknownst to my former pastor, I had received this gift of the Spirit in my dormitory room during an hour of Bible study and prayer. I wasn’t seeking it... but God was gracious to give it.

I kept the fact of my gift quiet and just continued to, as my god-sister told me, chew up the meat and spit out the bones. In other words, accept those things that you can digest and ignore those things that you can’t.

Despite the fact that my former pastor preached vehemently against tongues, I continued to attend because I enjoyed many other aspects of that church:

  • the music
  • the fellowship
  • the Bible studies
  • the free fried chicken dinners
  • the majority of the pastor’s teaching.

Whenever my former pastor said something that I didn’t completely cotton to, I would simply chew on the meat and spit out the bones.

So I can understand how Obama could spend 20 years in a church and not be 100% in line with any controversial statements made by his former pastor.

Maybe he kept attending because of the chicken dinners?

The Only Person Who Eats For Free is Bill Cosby!

A colleague asked me, as a Howard University graduate, if I had eaten at the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl. Unfortunately, I was too broke back in the day to do Ben’s (although we got pretty decent half-smokes from Leon “Pierre” Slade on the campus).

This restaurant, a Washington DC landmark since the 1950’s, is famous not only for its classic fare but for its famous clientèle, which include:

  • Dr. Cornell West
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bill Cosby
  • Denzel Washington
  • Chris Rock
  • and, Yours Truly...

Okay, so maybe I am not in the same league as the aforementioned, but everyone that hears the name of this joint experience simultaneous widening of the eyes and watering of the mouth.

Of course, I made sure to pop some chitosan, glucomannan, psyllium, oat bran, and a Lipitor® tablet when I saw the chef take the french fry basket and shake the grease from the fries onto the half-smokes.

It made me think of another favorite eatery, Dyers in Memphis. They are famous for deep-fried cheeseburgers... using the same grease (recycled, natch) that the founder used when the original restaurant opened roughly a century ago. Yum!

I enjoyed the chili half-smoke with onions and mustard... and the chili cheese fries. Sadly, the milkshake machine was busted. It saved me from deciding whether I wanted a vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, or pineapple flavored shake.

And now, I will begin my diet of bran flakes and Omega 6’s...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wasn’t About Obama. Was it?

Maybe you’ve read the New York Times article about President Bush’s comments in Israel that many take as a veiled attack against Senator Obama. Comments that have generated considerable controversy on the hill.

Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, called Mr. Bush’s remarks “reckless and irresponsible.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Mr. Bush had behaved in a manner “beneath the dignity of the office of president.”
Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic caucus, accused Mr. Bush of violating the unwritten rule against playing politics overseas.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s rival in the Democratic race, said that “President Bush’s comparison of any Democrat to Nazi appeasers is offensive and outrageous, especially in the light of his failures in foreign policy. This is the kind of statement that has no place in any presidential address.”
And, finally, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden, of Delaware, angrily said: “This is bulls--t. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the President of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset... and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”

Yowch!

Following is an excerpted quote from Mr. Bush’s speech:

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It’s natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

And, as Norbit’s ex-wife might ask, “How you doin?”

Deep In The Art of Texas

When I tell people that the great Republic of Texas is the state that I refer to as home, I often get the snickering little jokes about backwards cowboys wanting to “smoke ‘em out” or “get ‘er done.” Of course, those of us who are true Texans know of the great variety of cultural delights that exist in our state.

The Stark Museum of Art contains, perhaps, some of the most exciting collections of art from the great American West covering the vast period spanning the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Western Art collection includes two centuries worth of iconic images from the historic Wild West to modern artistic colonies. The extensive list of artists in this collection include (but, of course, are not limited to) the following:

The Decorative Arts collection primarily contains works produced in glass and porcelain. Artists contributing to this extensive collection include:

The American Indian art collection contains artistic works from members of many Native American tribes. You can find Pueblo pottery, kachina dolls, as well as Navajo rugs and blankets. Artists in this category include:

The museum also has a collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts including rare treasures that are beloved by art lovers worldwide. The collection includes The Birds of America by John James Audubon.

Stark Museum of Art also hosts exhibitions, such as the Celebrate Shangri La event currently in progress through June 28th in honor of the opening of the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas. This event is a must-see for aficionados of flowers and nature... and includes a pavilion for children that provides interactive games and a reading table.

When planning your future vacation, be sure to put Orange, Texas on your itinerary and be sure to enjoy all that the Stark Museum of Art has to offer.

So Secure... It's Just Crazy!

A lot of hassles await those who want to fly in the USA these days. You have to remove your shoes... get rid of any liquids or gels you might be carrying... and go through all types of hassles.

Doesn’t that make you feel secure?

Well, here is word of even greater security. According to the Washington Times, security on some recent flights was so tight, the air marshals assigned to protect those flights were not allowed to board.

That’s right, federal air marshals somehow were added to the “no fly” list, thus preventing them from boarding the flights that they were assigned to protect.

In other news, we have obtained a photo of the officials who made this decision -- take a look...


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Double Standard?

It is interesting the grief that Barack Obama is catching over Reverend Wright’s slight-of-mouth. Yet, John McCain isn’t catching any grief over statements attributed to John Hagee.

A good friend forwarded a video to me (and probaly dozens of others) that alleged that if Obama were elected to the Oval Office, he would have terrorists come here to saw everyone’s head off. Her next spam... erm, I mean, forward... spoke about the utopia that would result when John McCain enters office (and we begin the 100 years in Iraq).

Ne pas?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jenna's Wedding


Behind a strict wall of privacy, First Daughter Jenna Bush was married to Henry Chase Hager.

According to The New York Times, The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a supporter of Barack Obama, officiated the ceremony.

More photos from the event may be viewed at the New York Times by clicking here.

R.I.P. Dottie Rambo


She was a giant in the music industry.

She will be missed.

http://www.fortmilltimes.com/124/story/160359.html

http://www.dottierambo.net/

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

R.I.P. Mister Ice Cream Man

Irvine “Irv” Robbins, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins empire, left the planet at the ripe age of 90.

He was at the Eisenhower Medical Centre in Rancho Mirage, California at the time of his departure.

Robbins started the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream chain in 1945 with his brother-in-law, the late Burt Baskin.

The next time you are enjoying some of those 30 plus flavors, remember this pioneer of the ice-cream industry.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dr. Maddahi

One of the most important things here in Beverly Hills is looking good. If you are in front of or even behind the camera, you have to put your best face forward in this town. And what impresses people more than a brilliant smile?

When it comes to dentists, Dr. Maddahi at Beverly Hills dental is one of the best in the business. His technique is truly painless… rather than drilling into your skull with metal, he uses air. Don’t believe it? Well, the mini-cameras that he will place in your mouth allow you to see everything as it takes place.

This is a phenomenal experience. You owe it to yourself to see Dr. Maddahi.

Iron Man


Iron Man
Iron Man
Does whatever
An iron can...

Uh, no... that’s wrong...

But I must admit that the film is awesome and a must-see for any Marvel Comics fan. I am sure that the late Jack Kirby is proud... even if his partner Stan Lee was mistaken for Hugh Hefner...

It is interesting how well done this film was... both in the clever script and top-notch production... as well as in the casting and acting.

Well, they could have put a wee bit more into the final fight scene... but still... it was well worth the money.

One thing I kept doing was subconsciously reaching for my Tivo remote so that I could rewind and watch some things in slo-mo. D-ohh!

I read that Samuel L. Jackson would appear in the film and didn’t see him. Well, that is because I left shortly after the roll of the credits. If you haven’t seen this movie...

Stay through the credits!

If you leave too soon, you will miss a great surprise!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mission Accomplished: Five Years Later

Next to Godliness

Three young ladies stopped by and gave my house a complete cleaning... carpets vacuumed, linens changed, kitchen and bathrooms scrubbed to a sweet smelling shine. All in all, the place looks and smells wonderful.

On top of that... I took out a garbage bag of clutter... mainly old magazines and catalogs that I have no time to read. They will find a good home...

I wonder how long before I trash the place again?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Babel

The life of a writer is a tough one. While the industry needs what you produce, they make you run through gauntlets only to be given the most capricious speculative judgements.

It is also a solitary one. Granted... television writers enjoy the life of the pack mentality. Other writers, however, are the lone wolves on the edges of the mainstream and scorned to show face on a film set. Unless, of course, you are a playwright where your words are sacrosanct.

Part of the drama is finding a place to write. Some people thrive on isolation... but I would like to be at least in proximity to other human beings. Perhaps I might see or hear something that sparks a tangential foray into humanity. That is, unless one finds himself in the midst of...

BABEL

Cell phones ring in a cacophony of tunes. No one uses vibrate.

An African woman speaks loudly in her language.

A cute Russian girl with a Bettie Page hairdo speaks to someone behind me.

Two women with their terrible-three-tykes speak in loud baby talk.

Finally, two hotties sit at the table next to me. They start loudly discussing medical cases. They are ER nurses? I hate hearing medical speak. It gives me psychosomatic horror.

Time to go sit in a nice quiet isolated location...

The Ghost of Steppin Fetchit Haunts Televisions...

There is a lot of hype about the MyNetworkTV series, “Under one Roof.” Starring Flavor Flav, the show features a nerdy Black man with a golddigging white wife, a nerdy son, an airheaded daughter, and an ex-con older brother who moves in.

High comedy ensues.

Not.

And, to make sure that African Americans are not the only ones offended, there is a female Chinese character reminiscent of Hop-Sing from the old Bonanza series. However, Hop Sing was Macbeth compared to this show...

I predict, on an upcoming episode, someone will trip and fall face first into a vat of shoe polish... and then jump up and tap dance outside into the middle of a watermelon patch.

For more about the show (assuming your TV isn’t locked on MyNetworkTV... or you don’t have Tivo -- which is heavily promoting the show) check out the article at The Los Angeles Times.

R.I.P. The DC Madam

Poor child gets sentenced to a half-century in jail for running an escort service and commits suicide...

So sad...

So very sad...

You can get gas for less than $1.50 a gallon...

In China, that is...

Check out international prices at CNN.

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