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Thursday, May 26, 2005
One would think that the two major Detroit dailies have seen enough trouble in the last few months to last them a lifetime, wouldn't one? But just like the late Nell Carter succumbing to temptation and raiding her freezer at 4am for a fix of a few dozen bonbons, both The DetNews and The Freep just can't seem to get enough scandal to whet their undying appetites.
What you're looking at in the two blurry cameraphone pics above are yesterday's editions of our local fishwraps. If you have the eyesight of a young Ted Williams, you'll note that both front pages are identically clad with the stars of our nation's flag (holla back, Betsy Rizz).
(EDITOR'S NOTE: At this point, I ask all readers under the age of 18 to avert their eyes. Thankyouverymuch.)
But what is not evident from these snaps is that good ole Stars N Stripes is, in this instance, NOTHING BUT A RUSE! Lest you think that the Detroit Newspapers organization was letting its patriotic freak flag fly, both papers were actually wrapped with an advertisement for MARSHALL FRICKING FIELDS, the largest department store in the area!!! While I'm not sure if this egregious ad placement is unprecedented, this reader certainly cannot recall a time when the day's top headlines were usurped by a Memorial Day sofa sale. And I'm not the only one who noticed ... a few eagle-eyed Freep readers wrote scathing indictments and even Romenesko picked up the story.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not na´ve enough to believe that the sanctity of separation between editorial and sales (nor between church and George Bush's state) is as pure as the driven snow. Hell, newspapers have just as much right to make money money as anyone else. But, in this instance, a line has definitely been crossed. Not a line in the sands of coolness (Troy Dire stizz), but a line in what the local newspapers represent in our community. That's not to say they can't earn it back, but on the heels of the Mitch Al-Bomb scandal and the revolting way that Carole Leigh Hutton handled the results of investigation, your Uncle Grambo would say that hill just got a little bit steeper.
UPDATE (5:04PM): Once again, your Uncle Grambo is threatening to storm the gates of Pseudo-Legitimacy. This post is being covered by both the all-mighty Romenesko and the Ivy League schmucks who run the Columbia Journalism Review. Bovs all over your wealthy tees!
Here's some quick bullets fo' that azz:
And with that, my fine feathered friends, your Uncle Grambo is off. Over the next six days, I'll be making a cross-country trek from Los Angeles to Detroit. Updates to this here blog are not likely to occur until I return, but hey, you never know. Have a fab Memorial Day weekend; I'll catch all y'all on the flipside. Snootchie bootchies!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
After months of abstinence, your Uncle Grambo finally acquiesced to an overwhelming amount of peer pressure and tuned into "American Idol" last night. After watching Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice each perform three wildly mediocre (and at times cringe-inducing) numbers, I think it's safe to say that the "American Idol" franchise ran out of gas sometime after Season Two and is effectively coasting on fumes at this point. Who's to blame? I say "Survivor."
If you have spent as much time watching TV in your lifetime as me, it's readily apparent that both blockbuster reality shows have followed almost exactly the same career trajectory. Both launched with only a mild amount of fanfare, but gained ratings and buzz steadily throughout their first seasons thanks to the irresistably potent cocktail of novelty and genuinely compelling characters. Their respective second seasons failed to break new ground yet still rampaged through the Nielsens, benefitting from the natural human desire to be part of the pack -- in other words, those who missed out on the watercooler convo the first time around joined the herd during Season Two, arguably getting more involved than those who had been on board from the get go. By the time Season Three rolled around, the shows began losing their luster when networks got greedy by bookending seasons (as one ends, the other begins). The fourth season of both shows are perfect examples of what we in the business call "going to the well once too often" -- it's impossible to argue that the water coming from this well after four vanilla seasons has begun to taste pretty damn rusty. And while the desperate masses still cling to what's familiar (ratings are down but not by that much), almost all involved agree that the show's quality and audience share can only continue to slide from here.
Even having a former (?) cokehead in the final two proves to be yawn inducing -- I kept hoping that Bo Bice would blow a bunch of backstage rails last night and get kooky to "Black Betty" by Ram Jam (which, as you'll recall, was immortalized in Ted Demme's final film as perhaps the ultimate cocaine anthem evs). Unfortch for us all, we had to settle for a horrible rendition of "Vehicle" instead ... oy gavult!
All that said, you gotta give the "American Idol" producers some credit -- they certainly know their audience. I don't know if Nielsen ratings reflect this, but the show has turned on its ear in an effort to play big to the Red States. Both of the new "Idol" singles overtly reference Yahweh, namechecking "angels" and "revelations" and other Christian imagery up the proverbial ying yang. I bet somewhere in the District of Columbia, G. Dubz is twiddling his thumbs and cackling lightly to himself. Even a show created, launched and nurtured by a bunch of limeys is under his Texan thumb. Verdict? NO BUZZ!
Thank you for the propers, Mr. Stephan Thomas Erlewine. The following is taken from his review of the new Limp Bizkit record on AMG: "...Not for nothing has his name become a synonym for 'worst' in the blogosphere: Durst doesn't seem to have any sense of perspective or sense of self." [via Theakston]
Next time your pizza delivery guy is late, please heed this advice: don't call 911.
I sat down to write a list. Big Matt turned in an outstanding review of Sunday night's Butch Walker / Fags show at The Magic Bag.
Who's zooming who? Both Pink Is The New Blog and Miu von Furstenberg had eerily similar lines about this picture of a nearly naked Jack Osborne sitting on a motorcycle. Quoth TRENT, "Hope you haven't eaten lunch yet." Quoth Miu, "I hope you've eaten breakfast already." Coincidence? Probs. But still, your Uncle Grambo says DEVELOPING!!!
Recently, The Village Voice called "Separation Sunday", the new jawn from The Hold Steady, "an early contender for record of the year." You know what? They're right. Even Pitchfork gives the record a great review. I say buzz.
Bad news for fan of the old, amply-bosomed LiLo (not to mention the B.O. prospects for "Herbie: Fully Loaded"). Disney has spent over $1MM "digitally downsizing" her tees. WORST!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
I've got an idea for the lackeys at VH-Best. Let it be noted in the here and now that your Uncle Grambo has got dibs on the copyright for "VH-1's Most Classic Celebrity Freakouts Caught On Camera", yo. Bill Bonds challenging Coleman Young to a boxing match? Check. "24 Hours Of Love"? Got it. Mariah's post-"Glitter" TRL striptease? Mars. Farrah Fawcett all hepped up on goofballs on "Letterman"? Word to her play tricks on ya nerves. And now, with the benefit of nearly 24 hours of hindsight, I think that it's safe to assume that yesterday's Tom Cruise spazariffic meltdown on Oprah is memorable enough to earn a spot on the list.
Holy flaming crapballs, did you SEE yesterday's "Oprah"? Defamer's oh-so-hott screengrabs give you a taste of the maniacally manic antics of everybody's favorite Scientologist, but even they cannot paint the full picture. The entire hour was Fellini-esque; it reminded me of a mash-up between the scene in "Jerry Maguire" where Jerry flips out in front of his entire office and an imaginary "SNL" sketch featuring Mr. Peepers high on peyote with Mexican jumping beans in his pants. Or maybe ants in his pants. I dunno, all I know is that it was weird times nine. I mean, when was the last time that you saw a movie star hit "The Thinker" pose over ten times in one hour, followed by rapid and repeated bouts of Gorilla Monsoon inspired "tests of strength" with the world's most powerful African American female? If you said "nevs", my reply would be "obvs." C-R-A-Z-E-D!
And what of Maverick's alleged "love" for Katie Holmes? Some say the biggest sham since the Liza Minelli / David Gest nuptials. Kate Bosworth, while you may have sacrificed a Nikki Kidman type career by turning T. Cruise down, at least you escaped with your soul. Tom Cruise is officially cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Times nine. Which kind of makes him more appealing, but somehow also leaves his legacy in flux. As they say in the bizz, DEVELOPING!!!
Morgan Freeman fights piracy at Cannes. Yeah yeah yeah, that's all well and good, but wouldn't you rather see Morgan Freeman fight PIRATES at Cannes? Someone call Luc Besson ... If he can get "The Transporter 2" greenlit, surely he can convince Morgzies to get his swashbuckle on!
Second best headline of the day? In a Durst-case scenario, Limp sales for new Bizkit disk. Yodel atcha, New York Daily News! Where's my royalty check? [via Blonde Alex]
Clearly Freep reporter Julie Hinds needs to get out more. There is a direct correlation between the amount of brainpower expended on the stillborn fourth season of "American Idol" and the amount of times that one has gotten laid in the last six months. Shouldn't someone get Steve Wilson on the horn? Surely he could arrange an intimate evening between Miss Hinds and Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute.
Loftus, this one is for you. Sky Sweetnam revealed (SFW)!
This must be one of them "special" cows that turns out string cheese. Mootown Snackers steez.
Zulkey gets Freaky ... NOMICS!
Foxy Jess: The Gothamist Interview.
Now that's what I call a DICK-tator. Tina Fey, call me anytime you need help with "Weekend Update." Marzipan. RELATED: Is LiLo getting the ole pickle tickle from Jared Leto? Perez Hilton says yes.
Slate has got the latest installment in Edward Jay Epstein's series of "inside" stories about the Hollywood power structure. Insurance companies ... who knew? Like a good neighbor, indeed!
Probably the single greatest video game performance of all-time. Super Mario Bros 3 completed in 11 minutes. [via The Clizzark]
How do you get by? Specifically, how do you get by casting an NBA MVP vote for the just-better-than-mediocre New Orleans Hornets power forward PJ Brown? Flak's Bob Cook investigates. Darsindoes!
Apologies to the FOW Nation. Your Uncle Grambo has been battling some technical issues with my hosting company for the last few days (something about unresolved FTP connections -- WORST!), something that left me unable to post for the last few days. I heartily apologize for less-than-timely revelation of Nummer and H-Bomb's Pre-Show comments for Saturday night's LiLo hosted ep, as well as for the (previously) dead Ferrell / Queens episode link.
Please accept my apologies, more in a bit...