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The Morning After
 
by Jac Kern 09.20.2011
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Reviews, Is this for real? at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
charlie-sheen-roast

R.I.P. "Winning": The Roast of Charlie Sheen

They say you only roast the ones you love, but what can be said about someone with few redeemable qualities, who's essentially spent the past year roasting himself in the media? Quite a bit, apparently.

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by Danny Cross 02.23.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
costanza-pool

Mitt Romney Misquotes Seinfeld

Jason Alexander burns him in response

During a debate last night Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was in the middle of an awesomely cliché jab at President Obama about his ruining of the American dream and all, when the eager audience interrupted him with a round of awkward applause. The break prompted Romney to look over at Rick Santorum and say, “As George Costanza would say, ‘When they’re applauding, stop.’”

Santorum seemed to enjoy the line, nodding and waiving his hand across the desk, like, “Yea, just stop … haha.”

The bad imitation is a disservice to "The Burning," one of the many great Seinfeld episodes (synopsis by Wikipdia): "Elaine thinks that boyfriend David Puddy may be religious after finding Christian rock stations set on his car radio. At the coffee shop, George laments to Jerry about losing respect at a project meeting led by Mr. Kruger after following a good suggestion with a bad joke. Jerry suggests that George use the Vegas showmanship trick of 'walking off' after a high note."

(Fun Wiki-fact: The title of this episode is the same as the 1981 slasher film The Burning, which was Jason Alexander's film debut. It may also allude to Elaine's supposed damnation, Jerry's "burning" to know the tractor story, or Kramer's dramatic interpretation of the burning sensation caused by gonorrhea." Ha.)

Here's a link to an abbreviated version of the episode on YouTube. And on a sad note, the actor who played Mr. Kruger, Daniel von Bargen, was hospitalized yesterday after shooting himself in the head at his Cincinnati-area condominium. Friend of CityBeat Joe Wessels reported the story for Reuters here.

Romney reportedly used the same stupid joke at a Republican Jewish Coalition forum back in December, which caused Jon Stewart to point out that it isn’t even George’s line Romney was butchering — it was Jerry’s, and it goes, “Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off.”

Jason Alexander responded on Twitter to Romney incorrectly referencing his old character: “Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character. I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he'd embrace that again, he'd b a great candidate.”


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.25.2011
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Casting Call for New Season of "My Strange Addiction"

Do you seek attention so desperately that you'll poison yourself on national television suffer from an unusual obsession that is negatively affecting your life? Would you reveal your addiction on cable TV for $800-$1000? If so, TLC wants YOU!

UPDATE: CityBeat has been informed by the direct casting agent for "My Strange Addiction" that individuals will not be compensated for their participation in the show.  Because paying people to harm themselves on television is wrong.

Sandra Dee Casting (no relation) is on the hunt for men and women aged 18 and older for the new season of "My Strange Addiction" which, for those who haven't had the pleasure of viewing, is exactly what it sounds like.  Each episode features two individuals with obsessions that take control of their lives, endanger their well-being and concern their loved ones.

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    I guess it all started when my parents got divorced...

You might be wondering what exactly constitutes a strange addiction.  Well, for starters, there was a woman who takes laxatives to lose weight, a man who works out constantly to compete in Strongman competitions and a woman who cleans 8 hours each day in order to deal with OCD.  But, of course, these are the tame examples.

                                                                                                      Just ask this guy.

Other addictions range from almost funny (being a furry, ventriloquism) to really upsetting (trillotrichomania) to, "Bitch, what the hell is your problem?!" (sleeping with a hair dryer). So if you struggle with behaviors like these, you're just going to have to get a little stranger to make it on next season.

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       Addicted to giving your baby hair plugs? You're in!

If you or someone you know really wants to appear on the same channel as Sarah Palin, e-mail your name, age, current city, phone/e-mail, your "addiction story" and a few recent photos to MyStrangeAddiction@SandraDeeCasting.com.

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                     Because heroin is for pussies.

 
 
by Kelly Tucker 04.11.2011
Posted In: Culture, TV/Celebrity, Life, Interviews at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

UC Pop Praxis: Social Justice & the Media

I opted out of typing music listings and attending sociology class Friday in favor of checking out the conference taking place on the University of Cincinnati’s campus: Pop Praxis: Social Justice & the Media. With discussion topics like, “Disco Stick: Lady Gaga and the Phallus” and a keynote speech from Bitch Magazine’s own Andi Zeisler, I was stoked for an enlightening day of stimulating pop culture discussion.

The conference was the result of a collection of papers, presentations and workshops submitted by speakers ranging from undergrads to professors to alumni from a number of universities. Submissions were required to regard "pop culture as it relates to feminism, race, disability or queer theory, class, consumption, and all forms of political activism or cultural production."

It was an honor for the university to welcome Andi Zeisler, co-founder and editorial/creative director of Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. She wasted no time launching into a pointed discussion about the importance of feminism today, despite the general public’s tendency to assume that the movement is past and irrelevant.

“Any media needs to make money,” Zeisler pointed out, “and the quickest and surest way to do that is to sell out women.”

In short, while addressing the frustrating roadblocks today’s feminist advocates face, Zeisler commended technology and blogging as new ways to comment on the media and bring important issues to public attention, keeping intelligent discussion going that might not have been able to take place before.

Zeisler said Bitch’s goal is to help people think about pop culture in a more critical way, so it makes sense that the speakers in the sessions that followed did exactly that.

While the main event was arguably Zeisler's speech, the presentations and workshops were fun and eye opening.

During the first session, Sarah Mitchell called out Winnie of The Wonder Years for her textbooks that attempt to make math “sexy” for middle school girls in “Postfeminist Math Barbie: Danica McKellar’s Provocative Education Advocacy.” Lee Serbin also pointed out the shaky, back-and-forth stance Tina Fey’s character holds between feminism and postfeminism in 30 Rock during her discussion, “30 Rock and Feminism in Flux.”

Some women in the media, however, aren’t so bad to look up to. One presenter discussed how Lady Gaga rocked the phallus on the cover of Q Magazine as a response to the public’s accusation that she’s packing a package. While still technically enforcing the belief that a penis equates power, her gender-bending humor puts sexists in their place.

A strong argument was also made for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Admittedly, she was skinny and blonde, but more importantly, she overcame that image to kick vampire ass. The slayer was decidedly deemed a pretty solid female role model for something popularized by mainstream television.

Feminism wasn’t the only topic of the day, however. One student discussed Batman as an extreme representation of hypermasculinity who tends to equate violence with being a man. That, and maybe steroid use after all the bulk the superhero’s acquired over the years.

During the same session, another speaker addressed the somewhat androgynous image of the emo kid. This speaker deserves props for researching something so fickle in the world of teenage cliques. She concluded that, while the emo subculture allows for somewhat of a break from that Batman-inspired masculinity, only the white boys of suburbia seem to make up this social group.

While it was impossible for me to make it to each presentation, at the end of the day, the message was clear: People need to be careful about what they consume.

There are no clear answers. Watching a Lady Gaga video over 30 Rock isn’t necessarily going to be more empowering, and children who prefer Batman to Chris Carrabba aren’t doomed to a life of violence. The important thing Pop Praxis stressed is that the discussion remains open and that we, as responsible consumers of popular culture, keep a critical eye on it.

 
 
by Eli Johnson 10.06.2011
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Movies, Life at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
poobike

Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

Stop waiting for a streetcar to pick you up! Get on your fixed-gear and go get yourself a "poop as you go" TOTO Biogas Bike. This Japanese invention runs completely on human waste and the company calls poop the "new coal."

TOTO is predominately a toilet maker but thought they'd try their hand at making motorcycles that not only run on poop, but use “residual light imagery to write messages in the air as it zooms by." Not to mention, it “can also play music to entertain spectators.” Finally, the toilet actually talks, a feature with which TOTO has been equipping many of its toilets.

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by Jac Kern 02.23.2012
 
 
mia

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week

Thanks to Facebook friends with good taste, my mom's stream of animal photo chain emails and my voracious appetite for gossip and craft blogs, I'm constantly exposed to some of the greatest items from the far-reaching corners of the internet. Here's what I just can't get enough of this week.

"Bad Girls"

OK, so M.I.A.'s video for "Bad Girls" came out a couple weeks ago, and despite looping it for hours on end since then, I cannot get enough of it. It's one of those tunes that makes me want to dance in public even without a (few) cocktails in my system. With a penchant for controversy, the video (filmed in Morocco) depicts what seem to be Middle Eastern women in traditional-yet-pimped-out garb racing cars in the desert and dancing to music with strong, sexual, pro-femme lyrics.

Though it’s been said that the political standpoints M.I.A. makes in her music contradict her lifestyle, or sometimes don't even make sense, the “Paper Planes” singer is the queen of juxtaposition when it comes to her videos. It's also important to note that “Bad Girls” comes during a time when women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving. So whatever her intended/implied/confusing statements may be, this video is a pretty hot way to say “F that.”


Go here to watch her response to fans’ YouTube comments on the video.

Bonnaroo

The mega-fest’s initial lineup was released last week, boasting headliners like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and The Beach Boys. Every year I go back and forth on my decision to go: Can I afford the ticket plus all the cash and supplies that go into surviving there (screw anyone who says you just need water and a sleeping bag)? Can my poor Irish skin bear four days in the blazing sun? What if next year’s lineup is even better? I still haven’t quite decided, but 2012’s lineup looks good to me for less-than-obvious reasons.

Ben Folds Five — As in, the original trio reuniting. One of my all time favorite bands. I’d die.
The Roots — I’ve been a fan of the crew since I first heard “The Seed (2.0)” when I was in eighth grade. And their day job as house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has only solidified my love.

Ludacris — Not ashamed.

Of course there’s also this year’s #whoarethey Grammy winners, Bon Iver, Donald Glover’s alter-ego Childish Gambino, The Shins, jam band supreme Umphrey’s McGee and dozens more. Aziz Ansari (Parks and Rec, Funny People) is even confirmed to perform, though the rest of the comedy lineup is yet to be announced. It turns out most people go to ‘roo for music, but I will nerdily admit as a comedy fangirl, the stand-up tent was one of my favorite (and most air-conditioned) experiences during my trip to the fest in 2010. Ansari also appeared that year and Conan O’Brien, fresh off his firing from NBC, headlined.

Taxidermy Art

A friend on Facebook recently posted a link to Hi-Fructose Magazine’s blog, a page covered in creepy-cute taxidermy art. Netherlands-based art partners (artners?) Les Deux Garçons create whimsical pieces in which real taxidermied animals are embellished with knick knacks, toys and lush decorative ribbons. If that weren’t enough, many the animals are dual-headed conjoined mammals, or are transformed into unicorn-esque creatures with crazy horns. These (ethically-obtained) animals are transformed into their own art form that carefully walks the line between beautiful and grotesque. Observe:

Arianna Huffington

The media queen came to town Feb. 22 to speak as a part of the SmartTalk ConnectedConversations series, and boy, do I have a crush on her. She spoke (in a sexy Greek accent, BTW) on becoming fearless in love, work and life, providing many hilarious and interesting personal anecdotes along the way. Advice she gave included getting more sleep, turning off that negative voice, or “obnoxious roommate” in our heads and the importance of finding a “tribe” of friends we can all relate to and depend on. Fun Fact: She launched The Huffington Post in her fifties, thanks to help of a $100,000 loan from her tribe-mate Laurie David (former wife of Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David). Pretty inspirational. She ended the evening answering audience questions with Channel 12’s Cammy Dierking, who clearly also has a bit of a girl-crush on Huffington, and who nearly made me wet myself when she used the phrase “That’d go over like a turd in a punch bowl.” It was truly a fun femme-fest.

Sleigh Bells on SNL

Despite my undying love for Saturday Night Live, even I can’t deny the amount of lackluster musical performances on the show. Granted, it is one of the few “really live” shows left, details often aren’t finalized until the last minute, sound is often off and the tiny stage isn’t ideal, but who could forget Ashlee Simpson’s career-killing disaster on the show? This year, it’s all about hating on Indie songstress/mannequin Lana Del Rey’s performance. Personally, I don’t think the performance warranted such a backlash, but judge both for yourself. And check out SNL’s hilarious response to Lana-gate (with Kristen Wigg as LDR) here.

Thankfully, Noise Pop duo (now touring with a third musician) Sleigh Bells killed it on last week’s episode. I wasn’t expecting the live TV format to do them justice, but they sounded great and were entertaining despite a nearly naked stage.


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.06.2015 24 days ago
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Lamb Watch 2015

Weekly 'American Idol' recap featuring Cincinnati's Jess Lamb

With the news of local musician Jess Lamb competing on the 14th season of American Idol, I’ve been watching and waiting for the initial audition episodes to end so we can really get into the competition and see more Jess. This week was the first half of Hollywood rounds, where some 200 contestants that received golden tickets during the aforementioned auditions before the judges — Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. — converged under one roof. The musicians and singers will perform solo and as groups for the judges, who will gradually dwindle the crowd down to the top 24 finalists.

Unfortunately for locals (Spoiler Alert), we got about 30 seconds of Jess Lamb air time between this week’s two episodes. But on the upside, she’s still in the game!

On Wednesday’s episode, the judges surprised a room full of contestants, telling them a select few would be called onstage to perform right then. For viewers at home, we’ve seen these folks before — they’re the ones we saw audition and receive golden tickets (but keep in mind there were many more than what we saw), the judges’ “most memorable auditions.” But they don’t know that. For those in the crowd, it seems like random contestants were pulled up to perform in front of their competition with no immediate feedback from the panel of mega-stars. And the judges were continuously bewildered as to why these kids were coming up scared shitless.

Highlights:

First up was Jax, who looks like a PG-13 Ke$ha that got puked on by Forever 21, but gave a really cool cover of “Toxic” by Britney Spears.


Walking New York stereotype Sal was also called. According to the show he’s 19, but this man is definitely at least 45 judging by his voice, appearance and penchant for standards (his name is Sal for crying out loud).


Afro’ed Adam — who gave a boisterous performance of “Born to be Wild” in his audition — surprised everyone with a softer side that the judges didn’t seem to like.


Fast-forward through what seemed like a million 15-year-olds that made me feel like a stale prune…

And it was nice to see Garret, the blind cowboy with a voice of a thousand Country angels. He so needs to be in the top 24.