||July 27, 2007
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE DOGS
- ... The tables have turned for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, indicted for allegedly engaging in dogfighting. Justice is letting the dogs out.
- ... Charges are that he conspired to sponsor dogs in animal fights and transported them across state lines.
- ... He's not only in trouble with the law, but with the NFL (poor conduct), animal rights groups (Humane Society, PETA) and even Nike, whose deal Vick has with the athletic shoe maker (to release the Air Zoom Vick V) and AirTran are now in jeopardy. So he's got a lot to lose.
- ... The fights allegedly took place on his property in Virginia and dogs that didn't pass muster were shot, slammed to the ground, electrocuted, drowned and hanged. Sound like Auschwitz?
- ... PETA VP Bruce Friedrich : "Dogfighting is a coward's blood sport that deserves harsh punishment, no matter how famous the alleged perpetrators are."
- ... Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) got on the Senate floor on last week and made a speech about how great dogs are and said this about the situation: "... I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt."
- ... I'm gonna go get Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, to go bite Vick. She'll tear him limb from limb.
- ... Vick arrived at a federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., Thursday for his arraignment and pleaded not guilty. He was all suited up and dapper and held his head high and visibly showed no reaction to the raucous crowd outside.
Mr. Big Stuff informs us that GEICO (an acronym) stands for Government Employees Insurance Company and started out in 1936 marketing its insurance coverage to federal government employees and only in the '70s began to sell to the general public. So there's the history of it all. Do you care?
Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry will be "honored" with a wax statue of himself in the new Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum when it opens in the nation's capital Oct. 1. In a contest, Barry got the most votes and won over Cal Ripken Jr., Al Gore, Denzel Washington, Carl Bernstein, Halle Berry, Martin Sheen, Marilyn Monroe, Oprah Winfrey and Nancy Reagan.
- ... Someone wrote in to Washington Post Metro columnist Marc Fisher's online discussion and asked if Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore was going to accompany Mr. Barry. Ha Ha Ha.
- ... She, remember, was the one he was with at the Vista Hotel in Washington, D.C., back in 1990, when he was caught on videotape in an FBI/D.C Police sting and arrested for smoking crack cocaine. His famous words at that time about Moore, who turned out to be an FBI informant, were: "Bi- - h set me up."
- ... So distinguished citizens are made statues of in the Wax Museum.
- JUST ASKING. Does duck sauce come from ducks?
- UNUSUAL. Last Sunday's This Week With George Stephanopoulos was preempted due to the British Open - in all time zones. Historically, the Sunday talk shows are very seldom preempted and, if anything, air times are adjusted for different U.S. time zones if there's some special event, usually sports, going on. But last Sunday was an exception, so we hope that everyone on the staff over there at ABC had a nice day and enjoyed not getting up at 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning.
First, heated seats in cars. Now they've got air-conditioned seats in Cadillacs, Mercedeses, Saabs and other high-end cars. Sounds refreshing on a hot day.
- GOD BLESS TAMMY FAYE. Gone now but to be remembered as a camp figure in pop culture, the woman with all that eye makeup, survivor of church scandals (the PTL Club), eternally optimistic, upbeat, and later became more famous as a reality show participant (The Surreal Life). She wasn't your typical church lady and to see her you'd certainly know that.
- ... In life, she encouraged people to live for today and not to fear anything.
- ... Her last appearance on Larry King Live was not to be believed, many people thought. She was supposedly down to 65 pounds and looked it, spoke in a whisper - the colon cancer had spread to her lungs - and, with all that black eye makeup on, looked somewhat ghoulish. But there she was doing her last interview and she wanted it with Larry King.
- ... A coworker of mine said she looked like a talking skull (cruel).
- ... And on Saturday, July 21, King announced her death on the cable network and did a nice remembrance piece on her. According to CNN, that's what Tammy Faye's family had requested.
- ... When Tammy Faye learned of then-husband Jim Bakker's affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn back in 1980, Tammy Faye was quoted as saying: "It was as if someone hit me with a 10-ton truck." She talked like regular people.
- ... It used to be that those commercials for erectile dysfunction were low-key and serious. Now check out drug maker Pfizer's new marketing campaign for Viagra. It features middle-aged cowboy-type buckaroos all raucously singing Viva Viagra to the tune of Elvis's Viva Las Vegas (RCA-Victor, 1964), celebrating their manhood, playing guitars, driving motorcycles and vintage cars. Having a good old time. Good God, what's next?
- ... Health advocacy groups are critical of the ads already, saying they're "shamelessly promoting Viagra as a party drug," says Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
- ... BUSH'S BOOTY'S CLEAN. That's what the doctors say now that he had five polops removed from his colon last Saturday.
- ... So is he now Bootylicious?
- ... HAIRSPRAY. The new movie, based on the Broadway musical which is based on the original John Waters movie (1988), opened last weekend and came in number 3 in the box office. It's good but ... not great. John Travolta as the mother (Edna Turnblad) in it is a bit much and I'm not sure if it works. In a fat suit, adopting a "Baltimore" accent, looking, some say, like Miss Piggy ... it's a little weird. Why he did this role I'll never know. The girl (Nikki Blonsky) who plays his daughter, Tracy Turnblad, is good, upbeat and talented.
- ... So the movie and original ideas have gone more mainstream, big time, Hollywood. The charm of the story is really no longer there and now it's just one big production number.
- ... My advice? Rent the original movie (1988), directed by the creator, John Waters, himself.
- ... Lee Cowan, former CBS News correspondent and now with NBC, had a report on NBC Nightly News last Friday about the new Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." But this story was about printing the Braille version of it and showed the factory workers at a plant in Boston getting it ready for the big release. The thing weighs a whopping 12 pounds!
- ... Out of that piece anchorman Brian Wilson, er ... I mean Brian Williams, said goodnight and wished everyone a "good week end," as he often does, accenting the second syllable of the word weekend. Why the affectation? Just say it like any normal person would, for crissakes.
- ... David Beckham comes to this country and can't play in the first game because he hurt his ankle. But he does go in as a substitute. What good is he? All that money they're paying him. He oughta be more careful in his comings and goings.
- ... And Tom Cruise looked like a little boy with a bowl haircut standing next to wife Katie Holmes in a group shot along with Beckham and his wife Victoria and Jada Pinkett and Will Smith earlier in the week. They all were at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., for a welcome party given the soccer star by Cruise and Smith.
- ... HANDING OUT ADVICE. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards seems to know a lot about hair. He needs to pass that on to his wife Elizabeth whose brown locks seem dyed lighter giving her complexion a washed-out appearance, doesn't look good. So she needs a stylist too; hope she gets one before it gets too late in the presidential campaign. After all, the election's only 16 months away.
- ... They act like it's tomorrow, for cryin' out loud.
- ... And Mr. Edwards snagged another magazine cover, this time Esquire, the "Man's Man" magazine. He's on it, fronting an article called "Can a White Man Still Be Elected President? If So, John Edwards Will Have To Battle Image, Cancer & the Forces of History.
- ... He's got his hands on his hips, looks svelte and is gazing upward, I guess, maybe dreaming of a better world.
- ... ABC's Ryan Owens visited Heidi Fleiss in Nevada and talked to the former madam about her various business ventures last week for Good Morning America. Fleiss, out there scouting locations in the desert for her all-male bordello/stud farm, talked about that as well as opening up a laundromat, contemplating a 'wind farm' and now, collecting birds (parrots).
- ... So she's got a lot going on, diversifying. Owens did a good job with a straight face, didn't stoop to a lower level and maintained his professional distance from the interview subject.
- ... TASTY. The new Miller Lite beer (110-calorie light lager flavored with lime and salt and comes in long-neck green bottles) is called Miller Chill and has a Mexican twist. It's good on a hot summer day, at least I thought so.
- ... Actors Rebecca Romijn: and Jerry Connelly got married outdoors a couple weekends ago. The wedding was in Calabas, outside of L.A. and that day it was 100 degrees for the outdoor event.
- ... They had a gospel choir there that sang the Foreigner power ballad, "I Wanna Know What Love Is." Gospel choir? At a wedding?
JUST ASKING. What woman wears a Size 0? Have heard this a lot lately and I, as a man, can't figure out what a Size 0 would be for any clothing. Do women disappear in it? Are they incredibly shrinking?
- ... Campbell Brown, who's leaving NBC for CNN and a new program rumored to replace Paula Zahn's 8 p.m. timeslot (this could change), said, according to USA Today, in referencing the amount of time regular networks devote to actual news (22 minutes per half-hour) rather than the softer fare, that she's a hard news gal. "I want to have a long career in this business, and I don't want to do entertainment."
- ... We'll see about that. She'll wind up doing whatever the producers deign to be hot at the moment, whether it's the Iraq war or Lindsay Lohan. Highfalutin journalism is out now. So we'll see how much she turns the tide.
- ... She starts at CNN in September but won't be on the air until November because her NBC contract prohibits it, so she's on lockdown.
- ... HOW MANY KINDS OF TEA ARE THERE? Green, black and now white. Give me Lipton and make it simple.
- ... And could someone tell Starbucks to start having a few lemons on hand for my iced tea? Is that so much to ask? They're real uppity and offer lots of other choices. What's this about no lemon, a simple condiment? Make it happen and next time I ask for it don't look at me like I'm a moron.
- ... SHOOTING A MOVIE. In my home town, Havre de Grace, Md., believe it or not. This first-hand information from Freda Fisch, my mother and long-time resident of the picturesque town on the Susquehanna River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Called "From Within," it's described as a horror/thriller and, according to IMDb (the Internet movie data base site), the plot centers around the residents of a small, very religious town who begin to die (by suicide) and "a girl finds herself caught between her own community and the son of an ostracized family with alternative beliefs."
- ... Director is Phedon Papamichael and has worked on previous films "The Pursuit of Happyness," "Walk the Line," "Sideways" and others.
- ... No big stars in it but it does have Rumer Willis (Bruce and Demi Moore's daughter) and Steven Culp (played Rex Van De Camp, Bree's husband, in Desperate Housewives) in it. Release Date: 2008.
- ... I do hope they don't depict my home town as too weird or in a bad light.
- ... UH ... My Home Town - Paul Anka, on ABC-Paramount, 1960.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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