July 12, 2007


  1. . . . They're everywhere. They look something like Dutch wooden shoes with holes all in them, clogs, but the popular soft plastic (foam resin), lightweight shoes, originally designed for boating and outdoor-wear because of their non-slip features, have really gone bonkers in the sales department. People who have 'em swear by 'em, say they're comfortable.
  2. . . . Other people say they're silly-looking and wouldn't be caught dead in 'em.
  3. . . . They come in all kinds of colors, many of them fluorescent. Some people mix 'n' match 'em, and their wearers span generations - from little kids to grampaw.
  4. . . . I think it's all a crock.
  5. Cybill Shepherd was on Entertainment Tonight the other night, crying, when she revealed to ravenously hungry-for-juicy-gossip ET reporter/anchor Jann Carl that she was abused once upon a time. She recalled it was violent and chairs were thrown around. Did not mention who did it to her.
  6. . . . So who hasn't been "abused" at one time or another? Get a new agenda and tell all the rest of your Hollywood crowd the same thing. Hop on that therapist couch. We're sick of hearing your cry-on-camera stories.
  7. Kelly Rowland, former member of Destiny's Child and solo act (new CD, Ms. Kelly), said, in Entertainment Weekly's Spotlight: The Makings of Me full-page feature, this about Oprah Winfrey: "Nobody's perfect, but she comes so close! She's like the female version of God. She inspires me to work hard and give back."
  8. . . . Hmmm. Why doesn't she sing that song (You're My) Soul and Inspiration (The Righteous Brothers, 1966, Verve Records) on her next album and have her be on Oprah, down on her knees wringing her hands and giving fealty to the talk show queen? Good God!
  9. Does Madonna really play guitar? She did so at the Live Earth concert last weekend. Seems not natural. She resembled those women who played in that Addicted To Love video by Robert Palmer, all robot-like, using the instrument as a prop.
  10. . . . What does Bob Geldof, organizer of Live Aid (1985) have against Al Gore, organizer of Live Earth? He was critical of the concert for global warming and said, in essence, what's the big deal now about it when we've known about it all along?
  11. . . . Sour grapes. Geldof's been out of the spotlight for a good while now and I think he's envious. Misses being in charge? Awww.
  12. . . . Oh, and Al Gore ... What's the deal with the slicked-back hair? It seems a bit excessive, accents his weight gain.
  13. Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan's gonna run against Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif., and Speaker of the House) if Pelosi doesn't introduce articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks. Her deadline's July 23. That's when her 13-day caravan of supporters arrives in Washington from Bush's Crawford, Tex., ranch.
  14. . . . That Cindy, she's unstoppable.
  15. . . . If she runs, do you think she'll get a makeover? She's a top candidate, if you ask me. Oughta go on a talk show.
  16. PREDICTABLE. Now Barry Manilow's doing The Greatest Songs of the Seventies, it's been reported. This will be the third in the "series," with him having done the 50s and 60s. Some of his own biggest hits were in the 70s decade and he'll be "covering them," doing new, paired-down versions (with small band) for the new album.
  17. . . . These things obviously sell but they tend to sound Muzaky, cranked out and not very distinctive. He can do better than that.
  18. . . . In a way, it's pathetic and karaoke-like.
  19. RATATOUILLE. Nice little movie, the latest from Disney-Pixar. About a rat (Remy, voiced by Lou Romano) that wants to be a chef (he's got dreams) in a Paris bistro who hooks up with a slacker kid (Linguini, voiced by Patton Oswalt) who needs to keep his job in the restaurant but knows nothing about cooking. Remy's culinary skills help keep the kid employed. There's a mean head chef (Skinner, voiced by Ian Holm) , a bossy young girl (Colette, voiced by Janeane Garofalo) and a classic, snobby, funny-looking food critic. (Anton Ego) excellently voiced by actor Peter O'Toole.
  20. . . . So Ratatouille is not the name of the rat. It's a rustic French vegetable stew-type dish that is made by the chefs at the end of the movie that - SPOILER HERE - wins over the heart of persnickety food critic.
  21. . . . The movie's been doing well at the box office but not quite like the other Pixar hits which seem to go over the top. The concept - rats, France, etc. - seems not universal enough, perhaps a stretch for American audiences to appreciate. The movie's fine but the subject matter may put some people off. But you have to see it to appreciate it. Enough now, I'm done.
  22. Where's Obama bin Sama?
  23. . . . A New York Post headline last Saturday read, Osama Blessed Brit Plot, in their War On Terror newspaper coverage of last week's car bombings in England. When I first saw it I thought it was Obama, as in Barack, the presidential candidate, but obviously it wasn't. But it was confusing, wouldn't you say? And the names are so much alike.
  24. . . . Name change anyone?
  25. WE'VE HAD ENOUGH. Of the Beckhams, Victoria (so-called Posh Spice) and David. How much publicity do they want, fer crissakes? Now they're posing almost naked for W magazine in a photo spread and having "intimate" moments in the bedroom, racy. They're a bit much.
  26. . . . Who do they think they are? Aren't they somewhat over-the-hill in their respective professions?
  27. . . . And does Bend It Like Beckham have enough tattoos?
  28. Gene Robinson, columnist for The Washington Post, did a lot of talking on TV Tuesday about Iraq and whether there was dissension in the White House ranks about troop withdrawals and the "success" of the "surge." Then he went to his online chat (www.washingtonpost.com/discussions) to chat some more about it. He referred to it as his cyber-yak. And that's what he did, more yakking.
  29. JUST ASKING. Why do we need seven new Wonders of the World? What's wrong with the old ones?
  30. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he had a "gut feeling" about another terrorist attack on the U.S. and that summertime seems to be a good time for al-Qaeda to do it. He expressed his feelings to the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
  31. . . . LATER. He appeared on all the major network morning shows to further explain himself. To get himself out of a jam?
  32. . . . They say it's right to trust your gut.
  33. . . . And Chertoff has a new look and I couldn't figure out what it was until it finally dawned on me that he's clean-shaven now, cut the beard off, face looks thinner, appearance is that of being fit. Good.
  34. . . . But I was confused when I saw a picture of him used by the Washington, D.C. area's Newschannel 8 when their local anchor reported the story. Up in the box to the right of anchor Beverly Kirk's face was a picture of the old Chertoff with the beard, not as clean-cut looking, a bit scraggly. That was the pre-Chertoff and not the current, more camera-ready one.
  35. . . . They're a news channel, for cryin' out loud, and they need to bring their photo files up to date when they report the news. This is of national concern. Get it right!
  36. . . . Appearance is everything.
  37. TRANSFORMERS. Terrific summer blockbuster flick, if you ask me. All special effects but action-packed. Robots from another planet invade Earth in search of the Cube, the Allspark. Young hot stars of the moment Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson are in it along with more veteran actors Jon Voight (plays the secretary of defense) and John Turturro.
  38. . . . Worth seeing, go.
  39. So Tom Cruise is going to play the German military officer (Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg) who plotted a failed attempt to assassinate (1944) Adolf Hitler in the currently-filming Valkyrie, but the moviemakers are having trouble shooting in certain locations in the country. Some think it's because of Cruise's Scientology affiliation which Germany regards as a dangerous cult.
  40. . . . Can you imagine little Tommy Boy as a German army officer skulking around? Seems a stretch.
  41. NBC's Stone Phillips did his last Dateline last week, a retrospective of his work for the newsmagazine over the last 15 years. Pretty good, major stories covered, impressive. His last segment was about his father and his life and how he, Stone, is very much like him and was inspired by him. So we won't see anymore of Stone on NBC. Where's he going? Will he end up on CNN too?
  42. . . . Now all we have to look forward to is the insufferable Ann Curry. Who's running that show?
  43. JUST WONDERING. Should George Stephanopoulos be doing cooking segments on Good Morning America? Does that whittle away his hard news credibility?
  44. When I asked a friend of mine if she saw the movie, A Mighty Heart, with Angelina Jolie playing Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, she said, in referring to Jolie, "With that skank in it? Did you see her at the Academy Awards? She French-kissed her own brother."
  45. . . . Guess she doesn't like her. And I guess she's not going to see that movie.
  46. THE SINGING BEE. The first of two competing new game shows featuring contestants who have to sing song lyrics (a la karaoke-style) accurately or they're voted off. Hosted by Joey Fatone of 'N Sync and more recently, Dancing With the Stars.
  47. . . . Wanted to like it -- didn't. As most every game show that's on TV now, it's all hyped up. The contestants and the show all seem rehearsed which, I'm sure, they are. They're too in- your-face and ready for their 15 minutes of fame and seem phony and are too bold and out front. Isn't anybody low-key anymore? The whole thing ... I'd give it a D.
  48. . . . KARAOKE WARS. That's what the press is calling Bee and Fox's Don't Forget the Lyrics! , the same kind of show which debuted the next night. Mr. Big Stuff saw Fox's and from what he said, it sounds better, more thought out, although they don't have as many contestants.
  49. Several people complained that the PBS coverage of the Fourth of July fireworks in the nation's capital was less than great. Said they captured "probably less than 10 percent of the fireworks" and spent too much time on artistic closeup shots of the Washington Monument. "Why not just pan out and show the fireworks," one viewer complained.
  50. . . . Another said the TV coverage on the New York City fireworks was much better and that they had "a better camera person."
  51. . . . Amen. Just show me the action on these types of events; don't get all artistic on me, let me see what the people there were seeing and not some highfalutin idea of what a TV director thinks it should be. So there.
  52. I think Johnny Knoxville, the comic actor who had that MTV Jackass show and movies, looks like a combination of Sigourney Weaver and Josh Duhamel. What do you think?
  53. LOOKING FOR . . . CONDOM TESTERS. Both male and female. In Melbourne, Australia. Durex wants 200 volunteers who will not be paid but get a chance to win $1,000 plus "professional prestige," said the company in a statement.
  54. . . . "Professional prestige"? What the H does that mean?
  55. . . . Applicants have to explain why they would make good "experts."
  56. . . . They didn't say how they plan to test the condoms.
  57. . . . I've got a few suggestions.
  58. DO THE MATH. It was reported that 63,000 people attended the Concert for Diana a couple weeks ago at London's Wembley Stadium and that tickets were $90 a pop. That would come to $5,670,000. Wow, that's a lotta dough. To be donated to AIDS and teen homelessness, said Princes William and Harry, which is what their mother, Princess Diana, would have wanted.
  59. . . . So I guess it was successful, money talks.
  60. . . . What, apparently, wasn't so successful, at least in network television viewer numbers, was Al Gore's Live Earth concert last weekend, which aired (some live/mostly edited) on NBC last Saturday night. It only pulled 2.8 million viewers and was the least watched program of the evening.
  61. . . . But NBC wasn't the only "venue" it was on, you see, because the "networks of NBC Universal" also aired all or portions of it on Bravo, CNBC, Telemundo and The Sundance Channel. They pulled good numbers, say NBC brass.
  62. . . . Think they own enough? I'd say they have multi-platforms, as network execs like to call it.
  63. UH . . . (No More Tears) Enough Is Enough - Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, on both Columbia and Casablanca Records, 1979.
  64. . . . Hated that thing.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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