April 23, 2012



  1. . . . That’s what they’ve discovered on some of the red snapper off the Alabama coast in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report on the CBS Evening News last week by correspondent Elaine Quijano.
  2. . . . Wildlife experts down there say it’s the result of the BP oil spill from two years ago when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.
  3. . . . It’s like a fungus infection that eats away at the flesh of the fish. It doesn’t look nice.
  4. . . . Not appetizing.
  5. . . . BP says seafood from the gulfis safe and everything’s coming along fine since the disaster.
  6. . . . They say so in their “Gulf Coast Update: Our Ongoing Commitment” commercials.
  7. . . . Community Outreach spokesperson Iris Cross pitches the good news standing on a pristine beach, narrating a report illustrating what the oil company is doing for fish and wildlife and the environment and showing happy people in restaurants being served and gobbling up plates full of the gulf’s bounty.
  8. . . . It looks like an ad for Red Lobster.
  9. . . . They act like it’s a bed of roses down there.
  10. . . . It’s a PR gimmick.
  11. . . . “I was born here, I’m still here and so is BP,” says Cross, assuredly.
  12. . . . Is it all believable?
  13. . . . I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be eating my red snapper and wondering if they cut out the fin rot to make my fish wishy look good.
  14. ASKING. Does David Axelrod, presidential adviser and communications director for Obama’s reelection campaign, have to appear every weekend on every Sunday morning talk show? Is he the only administration type they’ve got?
  15. . . . And can someone tell the networks that he’s no longer an “exclusive” guest and to stop promoting his appearance that way?
  16. . . . As Mike Wallace would say, “Come on.”
  17. ASKING. Is it really necessary for the “anchors” of the Saturday edition of “CBS This Morning” to keep reminding viewers that “You’re watching “CBS This Morning Saturday”?
  18. . . . It’s a mouthful to say.
  19. . . . Everybody knows it’s the weekend clone of the Monday through Friday show. They’re not dumb.
  20. . . . Just say “You’re watching CBS This Morning” and stop reminding people what day of the week it is.
  21. . . . They don’t care.
  22. . . . Stop making a mountain out of a molehill.
  23. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, got into a tussle with Emmylou (named after the singer Emmylou Harris), one of owner Sally’s friend Heather’s horse-farm dogs, over a water bowl that Sally was carrying for Hanalie on her way into the barn.
  24. . . . Emmylou wanted it too and both dogs got mad at each other.
  25. . . . I heard the sound of the dogs growling from a distance. Their teeth were gnashing.
  26. . . . Sally had to separate the canines to break up the fight.
  27. . . . After that they stayed away from each other and Emmylou was put in one of the stalls until the anger subsided.
  28. Advertised on the back page of the “C” section of The New York Times last Wednesday was an ad for “A Taste of New York,” a combo deal sponsored by the paper and food company Russ & Daughters (smoked fish, caviar, bagels, specialty foods) in which you get the Sunday paper and a breakfast that can serve six people plus a set of four New York Times crossword mugs.
  29. . . . “These two iconic brands have come together to deliver an “authenticNew York breakfast, anywhere in the United States,” says the advertisement.
  30. . . . Ready for this?
  31. . . . For $179.99 (with free shipping)!
  32. . . . Jesus, I’d say that’s a little steep.
  33. . . . I guess they have high-end demographics.
  34. . . . I’d just as soon go down the street and grab a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese, a cup of coffee from my local coffee shop and buy the paper at my supermarket.
  35. . . . I don’t need fancy schmancy.
  36. Levon Helm, the drummer/guitar player/gravel-voiced singer with The Band, who first collaborated with Bob Dylan and then went on with the group to be become popular and influential on their own, died last week of throat cancer in New York. He was 71.
  37. . . . He said this about getting out of a future of planting cotton on his father’s farm in Turkey Scratch, Ark.: “I found out at about the age of 12 that the way to get off that stinking tractor, out of that 105 degree, heat was to get on that guitar.”
  38. . . . He couldn’t see himself in the family business. To him it was no life.
  39. . . . So he got the hell out of Dodge.
  40. Gov. Chris Christie (R) of New Jersey said he wasn’t napping at a Bruce Springsteen concert on April 9 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  41. . . . Some “joker,” said Christie, snapped the picture.
  42. . . . He said he wasn’t sleeping when asked about it at a news conference; he was reacting to a spiritual song (“Rocky Ground”) and “sat up on my seat, leaned my head back, closed my eyes and listened to the song.”
  43. . . . He wasn’t zoning out.
  44. . . . He said this was an example of “the level of intrusiveness in my life.”
  45. . . . It’s been reported that he’s seen Springsteen 126 times. (Time to get a life.)
  46. . . . He’s a real fan.
  47. . . . He’d never fall asleep while The Boss was playing.
  48. . . . Shucks, stop picking on the guy.
  49. MORE ON DICK CLARK. (See April 19 Random Thoughts: “Dick Clark and American Bandstand: The Early Days)
  50. . . . Barry Manilow asked Clark how he was doing after he had the stroke (2004).
  51. . . . “It stinks,” he admitted. (Plain talk.)
  52. . . . He also told Manilow, “I’d give it all away [success] if I could walk.” (Most people did not realize that it affected his mobility but he told Ryan Seacrest on the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve of 2005/2006 that he had to teach himself how to walk and talk again.)
  53. . . . His ashes will be scattered over the Pacific.
  54. . . . Speaking of Ryan Seacrest . . .
  55. . . . OVERJUDGING. That’s what happens on American Idol nowadays.
  56. . . . Randy Jackson, who has taken to wearing jackets that resemble womenswear from Chanel, goes too deep in his critique of the contestants. He rambles on and on.
  57. . . . We don’t need to hear all that from him.
  58. . . . He goes overboard.
  59. . . . And shouts everything he says.
  60. . . . Tone it down.
  61. . . . And Lopez, er . . . Jennifer . . . It’s all a love fest to her.
  62. . . . She personalizes everything.
  63. . . . Her talking voice reminds me of how inferior her singing voice is.
  64. . . . Steven Tyler is the only one who makes things short and sweet and knows when to shut up. He doesn’t feed into the hype of the judging panel and he doesn’t pontificate.
  65. . . . AND WHILE I’M AT IT. That whole Jessica Sanchez thing a couple of weeks ago . . . when the voting results were announced and we learned that she was in the bottom three.
  66. . . . (Surprisingly?) Randy and Jennifer and Steven got up from their seats, headed to the stage and acted like they were in shock because she came out so low on the totem pole.
  67. . . . They refused to stand for it, couldn’t believe the vote and unanimously gave her a second chance.
  68. . . . Host Seacrest acted like it all was spontaneous and that this was a first.
  69. . . . Cut the crap. The whole thing seemed staged to me.
  70. . . . Manufactured drama. After all, it’s a “reality TV” show.
  71. . . . How much do you expect the television audience to believe?
  72. A huge picture on the front page of the Style section in The Washington Post last week showed the space shuttle Discovery (piggybacking on a 747) during a flyover of the Washington Monument.
  73. . . . The picture made it look like the plane(s) was propped up on the tippy top of the obelisk, like the two were touching.
  74. . . . The photographer (Jonathan Newton) got the precise moment of juxtaposition.
  75. . . . I thought the image was a little odd, almost not real, made up or something.
  76. . . . I looked at it twice and wondered what was happening.
  77. . . . I thought, “Collision.”
  78. . . . Alarming.
  79. . . . It reminded me of 9/11.
  80. . . . (The shuttle was being retired and heading for Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., to go on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Va.)
  81. APPEARANCE IS EVERYTHING. Tim Tebow was captured by a TMZ (the gossip/celebrity tabloiders) photographer getting a manicure and a pedicure at a salon in L.A., his hands resting on the work table and his feet soaking in a tub below.
  82. . . . Do you need that to play football?
  83. Brad Pitt had a “vision” for the design of the engagement ring he gave to Angelina Jolie.
  84. . . . He brought his idea to L.A. jeweler Robert Procop, who said they “collaborated to fabricate it together.”
  85. . . . Another jeweler said Brad’s sense of aesthetics is amazing.”
  86. . . . Pitt’s rep, according to Starpulse.com, said of his and Angelina’s pending wedding, “There is no date set at this time, but the couple will be busy with work in the next few months. Besides, for now they are content to bask in their new betrothal.”
  87. . . . They all need to get off their high horses, if you ask me.
  88. NO COMPLIMENT. Fox News president Roger Ailes was asked about the firing of Keith Olbermann (by Current TV) at The Hollywood Reporter’s “35 Most Powerful People in the Media” event and said that he felt sorry for anybody who’s out of work and that he didn’t want to trash him.
  89. . . . FUTURE IN TV? Ailes continued, “...Everybody has some redeeming quality, so people find a job again. But it’ll be, you know . . . a pet show in St. Louis, or something.”
  90. . . . Transference of a skill set?
  91. . . . Incidentally, Olbermann was one of the Roundtablers on Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos program, a timely booking.
  92. . . . He was pretty good and said some things about politics (and later baseball, along with George Will) that made sense.
  93. . . . He did have to share the stage with a packed panel (when isn’t it?) of Will, Matthew Dowd, Peggy Noonan and Donna Brassiere, er...I mean Brazile.
  94. . . . Overall, he handled it well.
  95. . . . He’ll probably be invited back.
  96. PHOTOSHOPPING THINNESS. That’s what it looks like they did to Janet Jackson in those magazine pix and TV commercials for her Nutrisystem makeover. She looks like she’s been vertically stretched.
  97. . . . Her waist looks so cinched in that a pea couldn’t pass down her gullet on the way to her tummy tum tum.
  98. . . . Jennifer Hudson looks the same in her ads for Weight Watchers. They place her side-by-side with herself to show how fat she was then and how thin she is now.
  99. . . . And Mariah Carey for Jenny Craig. Her ads don’t make her look so slimmed down. Instead she writhes around confidently in a tube top and scanty bottomwear, singing and being sexy, running her fingers through her hair and rubbing her legs and other body parts.
  100. POLITICAL HIP-HOP. Candy Crowley of CNN asked Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about what music was on his iPod.
  101. . . . (He’s been the subject, lately, of lots of speculation about whether he may be Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president.)
  102. . . . He said he’s a “hip-hop fan from especially the 90s” and says some of the modern stuff has changed.
  103. . . . But he said he’s discovering that he’s a fan of Nicki Minaj, “who raps and sings,” and he likes Pitbull, who is “involved in the soundtrack for “Men in Black.”
  104. . . . So it sounds like he knows his stuff.
  105. . . . Obama’s got Rafael Saadiq, No Doubt, Florence + The Machine and Arcade Fire on his.
  106. . . . Wonder what’s on Romney’s iPod, Lawrence Welk?
  107. . . . UH . . .Bubbles in the Wine” - by “The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk,” on Okeh Records, 1938 (on a 78 rpm record). The song later became the theme for “The Lawrence Welk Show,” which began on ABC in 1955.
  108. . . . Dancers on the show did the fox-trot to it.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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