November 20, 2007


  1. . . . The onslaught has begun.  (It's been going on.) Ads for the 'Ove' Glove on TV, stores with Christmas trees in every nook and cranny, Jingle Bell Rock on the radio, the Internet draped in red and green, Vince Vaughn as Santa Claus's brother Fred, office parties already scheduled, people saying Happy Holidays all over the place. All this to capture the spirit of the season and hook you in to the commercial crassness of it all.  Gimme a Break!   I can't take it already.
  2. . . . Can I go off to a desert island for the next two months or so and wait 'til it blows over?
  3. . . . Sorry for the humbugging.
  4. QUOTE:  "We're gonna be as far away from each other on this earth as is physically possible," said NBC's Matt Lauer a little while back, of Ann Curry, referring to their planned trips around the world (along with Al Roker) for a special programming titled Today Goes to the Ends of the Earth, in which Lauer would be in the Arctic Circle (Greenland) and Curry would be in Antarctica (Al Roker at the equator in Ecuador;  with Meredith Vieira holding down the fort in New York.  Why didn't she go anywhere, she's the main co-anchor?)
  5. . . . On the first day of their trip, Lauer made the point again,  repeating the mantra about being way far away (12,000 miles) from Curry again.  He must've liked saying that.  If I were him I'd say it too. 
  6. . . . It was all part of the network's "Green Is Universal" initiative.  Celebrating the planet and all that.  Who doesn't now?  They even changed the NBC peacock logo down in the left-hand corner of the TV screen.  Instead of being multi-colored, the old bird was just green (boring looking), like Kermit.  (CNN did the same thing when they did their global warming two-night special, Planet in Peril.)
  7. . . . Oh, the creative juices were flowing.
  8. . . . The bandwagon for global warming is very full, overflowing it seems.   But there's always somebody new hopping on the environmental tailgate party.  Now it's the car dealers.  Chevrolet advertises a car that's a — are you ready for this? -- vegetarian, for crissakes, and uses  "E85 FlexFuel."  The dumb commercial has a "teacher" conning a buncha kids with this crap.
  9. . . . And Toyota has an ad where it looks like a car is "growing" up from the earth out in a pristine area with a lake in the background, built with sticks and brush, using time-lapse photography to illustrate  it coming to life (the Frankenstein monster?), becoming a complete automobile and then aging and reducing  itself back to the earth.  Good God!  What brain trust thought that one up?  Inanimate things coming to life in the name of global warming?  I've heard it all.
  10. . . . Somebody lock up Al Gore now.  He started it all.
  11. . . . And  another BANDWAGON HOPPER-ONNERJulia Roberts tells Vanity Fair that her "dream life," now that she's 40 and a stay-at-home mom, would be "growing our food that I then make, and then composting and growing more."  
  12. . . . Oh yeah, composting.  Forgot about that.  That's something we all better do too in our spacious backyards that we all have.  Stack up all the biodegradables in a big pile, slap a fence around the garbage and watch it all rot.
  13. AMERICAN GANGSTER.  Movie about New York (Harlem) drug boss Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who has heroin smuggled out of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, cuts it down in small packages by female workers who are naked (so they can't smuggle anything out), labels it Blue Magic and makes it ready for sale on the streets.   But along with his illegal business he takes care of his family, gets married to a Puerto Rican beauty queen (Eva, played by Lymari Nadal), brings his brothers into the business and goes to church on Sundays.  But former outcast cop and now detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is after him to try to bring him down.
  14. . . . Good movie, not great.  It runs about two hours and 40 minutes — that's long — but it doesn't seem it. 
  15. . . . Both men, Lucas and Roberts, are still alive in real life. 
  16. . . . Rapper Jay-Z's -- in real life -- new album is also called American Gangster.  He says it was inspired by the movie.  Z saw similar things in his life, i.e., small-time drug dealer rising to the top, and the accompanying violence that  ensues.  It's No. 1 now.
  17. . . . Great role models.
  18. Terri Irwin, wife of Australian crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, who died last year as a result of injuries he got from a stingray, told Barbara Walters on 20/20 recently that "he was hot in the cot" and that she and her children (Bindi and Bob) -- every night --watch one of dad's shows.
  19. . . . Irwin (Terri) said she didn't think it was morbid or anything,  She thinks it's nice to keep dad in the kids' minds.  (Whatever.)
  20. SUSPICIOUS.  Of Mitt Romney graying at the temples and seemingly nowhere else on his head.  Yes, it's generally thought that that touch of gray at the temples looks distinguished and, I guess yes, he does.  But is the rest of his head courtesy of Just For Men?  Just wondering.
  21. JERRY SEINFFELD, Shameless Promoter.  His Bee Movie character is hawking for breakfast at McDonalds -- how cute -- in TV commercials.  Many people, even Seinfeld fans, have been turned off by the constant plugging of his movie which opened up at No. 2 its first week of release and then No. 1 in its second and it's still holding. 
  22. . . . Would the wife (Jessica Seinfeld) approve of hubby Jerry doing commercials for a fast food restaurant?   She just wrote a book (Deceptively Delicious) about how to make children  eat healthy.  This seems to clash.
  23. . . . Wifey's been criticized for being deceitful with her book advice, which basically advocates hiding vegetables in kids' food so they don't know they're there, like putting cauliflower in macaroni and cheese and spinach in brownies.  Sounds yucky.
  24. . . . And did hubby get the idea for Bee Movie from those Nasonex commercials that feature a Spanish accented bee fluttering around flowers with a runny nose and nasal congestion?   This bee's got a lot more facial expression and personality than the wide-eyed insect in Seinfeld's movie.  Take a lesson Jerry.
  25. . . . And Jerry's bee's knees/legs … Why are they paper thin like stilts or something?  Would've been funnier fatter.
  26. SCREEN LEGEND.  Dustin Hoffman. Looks/acts absolutely ridiculous in new movie, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.  He plays toy store owner Edward Magorium.  And yes, the toys come to life — what's new? — in this tale of magic, magic, magic.
  27. . . . Hoffman talks and acts in a dumb, doddering, goofy manner reminiscent of comic old movie star Ed Wynn whose silly, costume-wearing character was known as The Perfect Fool.  That's how Hoffman appears in this career-ender movie role.
  28. . . . He's got big hair, big eyebrows that move up and down and a "funny" way of talking.  It costars the ever-smiling Natalie Portman who can't stop looking at everything in wonderment. 
  29. A while back presidential candidate Barack Obama, appearing on an MTV/MySpace forum, was asked  which star would play him in a movie.  He said Will Smith "cuz he has ears that match mine, Denzel's [Washington] taken."  Ha Ha.  The movie title would be The Audacity of Hope, his (Barack's) own book that he wrote, and he said, regarding a co-star,  "My wife's (Michelle) too beautiful.  There's nobody that good-looking so she'd have to play herself." 
  30. . . . So I guess he's got a sense of humor about himself and he loves his wife.
  31. . . . She, by the way, will be a guest co-host on The View, that woman's program on ABC, on Dec. 5.  What about the other candidates' wives?  And what about Hillary Clinton's husband Bill?  Does equal time apply to spouses?  Somebody look into this.
  32. ANOTHER SHAMELESS PROMOTION.  For the History Channel's 1968 With Tom Brokaw, a two-hour special airing Sunday, Dec. 9.  They're wrapping an entire Acela train (Washington-New York-Boston route) in a moving billboard advertisement for it.   So it'll be everywhere.
  33. . . . I don't like that.  I've seen it on some buses, when the whole thing is covered by colors and ads.  It's hard to see the actual vehicle. I think it's dangerous.  Some of 'em look camouflaged.  For crissakes, be careful, you're talking about traffic and people out there.
  34. . . . It's like the elephant in the room or something, so big you can't see it (if that makes any sense).
  35. . . . And as for Brokaw, he never stops.  This special, based on his latest book (yes, another one) , called Boom! Voices of the Sixties.  And before that was the Greatest Generation and its million incarnations.
  36. . . . He can't stay out of the limelight, retired too soon from TV.  Doesn't he ever stay at home on that ranch he bought in Montana?
  37. . . . Get out and milk some cows, paint the barn or take a nap.  Stay in one place for once in your life.
  38. French President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to kiss the hand of first lady Laura Bush when he arrived at the White House state dinner in his honor a couple of weeks ago. It was actually an air kiss, how chicken of him.  What's wrong with actual body contact, too germy? 
  39. . . . You know that wouldn't have happened if Hillary Clinton were in the White House.  She wouldn't play any damsel to some knight in shining armour.
  40. . . . Laura better watch out.  Sarkozy's a wolf on the prowl; he recently got divorced.  But never fear, hubby George was right there next to both of them on the scene to make sure nothing else happened.  Jealous?
  41. BLACKOUTBritney Spears's new album.  It didn't open up No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts because they counted in The Eagles's first album in 28 years (Long Road Out of Eden), which was available only at Wal-Mart.  (Usually records that are sold with exclusive arrangements aren't tallied into consideration but at the last minute Billboard decided to count it in, and consequently upset some Britney fans by taking away the opening No. 1 distinction).
  42. . . . Britney sold 290,000 vs. Eagles 711,000.  Wow.
  43. . . .  So some say Britney was screwed (excuse the language please).
  44. . . . Nevertheless, Blackout, the album,is okay, if you ask me.  Her voice is electronically altered a lot on many of the cuts but not on all of them.  Mostly dance-type selections and they're good — for what they are.  It's not highfalutin, that's for sure, but it works and has the sound that's popular now and that current hot producers are peddling.  And it's got good art/photos/graphics on the cover and inside and it's all (the songs) about sexy things.
  45. . . . So go out and burn up the dance floor.
  46. "I'm not interested in being vice president,"Democratic  presidential candidate Bill Richardson told the aggressive Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday recently.  Yeah, they all say that.  They all want the No. 1 job and won't talk about anything else.  False sense of reality?  I guess they think if they believe hard enough, it'll come true. Power of positive thinking.  They don't want the public to know they'd be willing to settle for second best.
  47. . . . They're all putting on happy faces.  They believe in themselves.  They're going for the gold.  Too bad they'll have to face the truth one day soon.
  48. Why don't they just call Boys II Men just Men now?  They've been grown for years.
  49. . . . They're down to three members now and not four any longer.  They have a new album out called Motown:  A Journey Through Hitsville USA, produced by none other than Randy Jackson of American Idol judge fame.  So it might be okay.
  50. . . . FYI: Hitsville USA was another name Motown founder Berry Gordy gave to his record company.  A sign above the building's front window said it. 
  51. VERY EXCLUSIVEFats Domino appeared on the Today show last Friday and sang Blueberry Hill (1956, Imperial Records). That is a real coup, knowing that music great Antoine (his real name) shuns publicity of any kind.  (He was in New York for a benefit concert (Tipitina Foundation)  for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
  52. . . . Domino had hit after hit in the '50s and early '60s and is considered a trailblazer in the classic R&B/rock 'n' roll genre, featuring the distinctive sound of New Orleans on his records.  His first hit was The Fat Man in, believe it or not, 1949, and he co-wrote most all of his hits with his songwriter/producer partner Dave Bartholomew
  53. Le Ann Rimes and Reba McIntire's singing When You Love Someone Like That was a highlight of the recent CMA Awards show.  A lowlight was Jamie Foxx duetting with Rascal Flatts on She Goes All the WayFoxx was okay but the song, a typical belter done in that high-voiced, screaming-the-crescendo style of Gary LeVox, was a carbon copy of country power pop dreck. 
  54. . . . Foxx got into it, but for what?  He's got a totally non-distinctive voice.  He just likes to constantly show his versatility, i.e., actor, singer, comedian, whatever. 
  55. . . . ADVICE.  Stick to one genre and master that before you go on to the next thing.
  56. NOTICED.  At some polling precincts on election day recently the stickers they gave you upon exiting said I Voted in English and Spanish (Yo Vote').  Someone wrote in to The Washington Post complaining about this,saying, in essence, that he/she thought that since you had to be an American citizen to vote and therefore speak English then why have Spanish  at the polls.
  57. . . . Controversial, to say the least.
  58. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, accompanied owner Sally down to Virginia horse country (Sperryville) last weekend and had fun running alongside Charlie, Sally's registered quarterhorse, 'cept the dog's barking behind it spooked Charlie, caused him to jump and nearly throw owner Sally off his back.  But all's well; they all recovered.
  59. When the deal for a cable talk show (on MSNBC) fizzled for Rosie O'Donnell she wrote this in her blog in her shorthand style: "poof/my career as a pundit is over/b4 it began."
  60. . . . Pundit now, huh?  Well, she rants a lot, if that's what you call being a pundit is.
  61. . . . Can you imagine a cable TV talk show with her?  Nobody would get a word in edgewise.
  62. I hope Tom Cruise has finally let that Nazi haircut grow out  (It did look legit).  He had it done for the picture he's been shooting, Valkyrie, in which he plays Claus von Stauffenberg, who was executed by the Nazis for attempting to kill Adolph Hitler with two suitcase bombs in 1944. 
  63. . . . Movie sounds interesting, I wanna go.
  64. . . . JUST ASKING.  Does Katie Holmes play Trudle Junge, der fuhrer's famous secretary, in it?
  65. TIRED CONCEPT. Mr. Big Stuff points out that Entertainment Tonight is doing yet another  thin-person-in-a-fat-suit feature to see how people react and treat them.  But this time they're using models from Deal or No Deal.  So will the show segment be called Meal Or No Meal?  
  66. UH . . . Treat Her Like a LadyCornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, on United Artists, 1971.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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