Thursday, March 16, 2006

SwanShadow breaks it all down for you

Things are poppin' in the pop culture universe. Fortunately, you have your intrepid SSTOL reporter on the scene to chop up these momentous happenings into tender bite-size morsels for your noshing enjoyment. Fasten your seat belts — it's going to be a bumpy post:
  • Future porn star Melissa McGhee became the first member of this season's American Idol Top 12 to take the Singout of Shame after she forgot the lyrics to Stevie Wonder's "Lately," not just once, but twice — in her solo coaching session with the music legend, and again onstage Tuesday night. How do you not go back and study up after suffering the embarrassment of screwing up the words to a song in the presence of the man who wrote it? Don't let the doorknob hit you, M'liss.

  • The Federal Communications Commission smacked CBS with a record-shattering $3.6 million indecency fine for a December 2004 Without a Trace episode depicting "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy." I'm thinking the chances of that epi showing up in the rerun package just disappeared... well, you complete the punch line.

  • Will Ferrell wants the world to know that, despite rumors floating around the Internet, he isn't dead. Those rumors were likely touched off by people who saw Ferrell and Steve Carell in that deadly unfunny makeup skit at the Oscars and figured the real Will Ferrell would never have stooped to that level.

  • CBS newsman Mike Wallace announced that he is retiring from his anchor position at 60 Minutes, on his 88th birthday in May. Unlike Will Ferrell, Mike Wallace actually passed away several years ago.

  • Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have, at long last, approved a script for the fourth Indiana Jones film. Despite the 63-year-old star's advancing age, there is apparently no truth the the persistent reports that the new Indy flick will be titled either Indiana Jones and the Enlarged Prostate or Indiana Jones and the Search for Metamucil.

  • One of my alma maters, Pepperdine University, dumped its head basketball coach Paul Westphal after an abysmal 7-20 season. Good riddance — the program has foundered under Westphal's tepid leadership for the past five years. Personal angle: When I was a communications major at Pep, I was the primary engineer for the basketball team's radio broadcasts. Over two seasons, I heard every minute of every hoops contest as I sat alone in a dark, cramped studio, twiddling knobs and punching in commercials. And they say broadcasting is a glamour profession.

  • It's a nice day for a Black wedding: Jack Black and his girlfriend Tanya Haden dashed off to Big Sur and got married recently. I care about this only because (a) Tanya's sister Petra released an entertaining CD a while back featuring a cappella covers of songs from the classic rock album The Who Sell Out (thanks for my copy, Unca Phil!), and (b) Black's longtime and now ex-main squeeze Laura Kightlinger appeared on a live comedy jam KJ and I attended many years ago, and was easily the funniest performer of the evening. That's all I've got.

  • Speaking of weddings, looks like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are tying the knot this weekend at Lake Como in Italy. Seems your Uncle Swan's invitation got lost in the mail. Not a problem — I have already have plans.

  • Kevin Federline, aka Mr. Britney Spears, says he'll become a male stripper if his rap career tanks. Hope your other assets are better developed than your musical talents, K-Fed.

  • Sad to hear about the passing of roller derby queen Ann Calvello. The longtime star of the San Francisco Bay Bombers was one of a kind. They don't make tough broads — and I use that term with sincere respect — like "Banana Nose" anymore.

  • Jessica Simpson backed out of a joint appearance with President Bush at a Republican benefit for Operation Smile, a program that pays for plastic surgery for poor kids with facial deformities. I think Jess was afraid she might actually have to be present for the surgery, and she's a little uncomfortable around sharp instruments. You know, like intellects.

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1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Damon offered these pearls of wisdom...

Both my wife and I got a chuckle out of today's SSTOL installment. Your reference to "future porn star Melissa McGhee" is easily the best laugh I've had all week. My better half mentioned that she thought Ms. McGhee deserved to go for screwing up the lyrics, and your comments certainly confirmed that.

But I did want to give you a clarification on your Jessica Simpson comments. As I understand it, the purpose of the Republican fundraiser was NOT to raise money for Operation Smile. The purpose was to raise money for the Republican Party. She was invited to come and speak with Bush about Operation Smile, because she's a spokesperson for that charity. She declined to appear because the charity is non-partisan, and she thought that appearing at a Republican fundraiser would make it look as if she were endorsing that political party.

I'm no fan of Jessica's -- and for the record I think she probably is a Republican -- but in this instance I'd have to say she made the right decision. For what its worth, I think if she had accepted the opportunity to have a private meeting with Bush, she could probably say for the first time in her life that she was the smartest in the room. Yeah, tacky, I know...

6:36 PM  

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