WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Entire Obama Presidency Discredited

Plus, Frank Ocean pays back Chipolte and the reunited Black Flag is still a disaster

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The President gets no respect from most conservatives (and he can't spell it either), Frank Ocean pays back the check Chipolte gave him for a commercial he didn't want to do and if they ever make a low-budget nightmare version of This is Spinal Tap, Black Flag has to star.   

When All the Old People Die, So Will the GOP

10 Comments · Friday, October 4, 2013
John Boehner is 63. In 20 years he’s going to be an 83-year-old disgrace to this country.  

Absorbing Foreign Media Coverage Vital for Syria Context

0 Comments · Thursday, September 19, 2013
For a news junkie, the Internet helps me understand the Middle East where someone always seems ready to make life miserable for someone else.   

Curmudgeon Notes 09.04.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
• Accurate reporting requires context. Why is gassing hundreds of Syrian civilians in Damascus worse than shooting and killing as many or more civilians about in and around Cairo? Why is the killing and wounding of thousands in Cairo worse than endlessly raping, wounding, mutilating and killing millions of civilians in the horribly misnamed Democratic Republic of Congo?    

Worst Week Ever!: July 31-Aug. 6

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 7, 2013
WEDNESDAY JULY 31: People who say that things are “meta” are usually annoying and prone to trying to make themselves appear way more intelligent and informed than they truly are. That said, there seems to be a debate within the debates when it comes to the upcoming Cincinnati mayoral election.    

The Unjustified Contempt for Watchdog Journalism

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
 If sources begin to think twice about contacting us in any fashion other than midnight meetings in darkened parking garages, public service reporting will become an endangered species.   
by Jac Kern 03.20.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

The remaking and re-imagining of classic films and TV shows is often met with high expectations and harsh reviews. Despite this, I was really looking forward to A&E’s new horror-drama, Bates Motel. Something of a warped prequel to Psycho, the thriller places a young Norman Bates and his mother Norma in charge of a previously foreclosed motel in a contemporary setting. With the swoon-worthy Vera Farmiga (big sis to American Horror Story’s Violet, Taissa Farmiga) starring as the mother to the future sociopath (who is portrayed by creepy-yet-cute Freddie Highmore), I really thought it was going to be awesome. It wasn’t. Check out my full reaction in this week’s TV column. I know I should have lowered my expectations — prequels generally suck — but I was really pulling for this one. Sadly, I’ve felt more suspense in an episode of A&E’s Intervention that in this show where multiple people were murdered in the premiere. Dammit, Bates Motel, I was rooting for you! Popular restaurant recommendation site Urbanspoon recently listed the most buzzed about bar-n-grills across America and Cincinnati topped the list with seven restaurant-bar mentions — matched only by Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis. The restaurants include A Tavola, Adriatico's Pizza, Bakersfield OTR, Nada, Senate, Taste of Belgium Bistro and Terry’s Turf Club. With Covington’s Wunderbar bringing the local count up to eight, it looks like Greater Cincinnati is the place to go for beers and bites! Usually when my mom shares with me something she found on the Internet, it’s either a pug photo shoot on YouTube or an MSN slideshow of inappropriate advertisements, but recently she sent me something even better. Check out this informational North Korean documentary footage of American life: Ah, America: Where there aren’t any birds, except for the ones we all ate yesterday. Just a reminder, next time you order your snow coffee, make sure to ask if it’s local. Thanks for the cake, North Korea! So the Catholics got a new pope last week. Remember: There’s always money in the Vatican! Usually when I hear “Satan” and “Obama” in the sentence, I quickly tune out whichever Fox News zombie or disgruntled family member is ranting, but this week the two were compared for a new reason. The History Channel’s incredibly factual miniseries The Bible obviously features the devil, an important supporting character from the original masterpiece, but some people are upset about the resemblance to our president. Check it out for yourself here. The Princess Bride is a classic, but what if little Fred Savage’s grandpa gave him another book instead? If the kid hated all that kissing in PB, I can only imagine what he’d think of GOT’s uh, adult scenes.Hey remember my American Horror Story Season Three guesses? AHS: Coven = confirmed. Witches! Squee!
 
 
by Jac Kern 01.09.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Thirteen may historically be an unlucky number, but we’re all sure to be blessed with pop culture gold this year. Sure, Heidi and Spencer are back on TV and Kim Kardashian is cooking up a baby with Kanye West — don’t run for the hills quite yet. The fact that the New Year was rung in by a washed up Jamie Kennedy and a stoned Macy Gray on this low-budge Los Angeles NYE show has to be a good sign of what hot messes are to come. Here’s a peek at what’s to come in 2013. Many spoilers lie ahead; proceed at your own risk. WINTER This Sunday, the Golden Globes (aka the one show where TV and movie stars mingle while drunk) will be hosted by women for the first time ever! OK, the show has only had an official host since 2010, but it’s been Ricky Gervais every year since. This time around, dynamic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler run the show. The pair have a long history, back to their improv days at Second City in the ‘90s. Over the past decade+ they’ve proven their comedic chemistry on Saturday Night Live and in Baby Mama, but they’re also awesome in their respective rights, as seen on 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Check out some of my unlikely-but-hopeful Golden Globes picks here. The Chinese calendar may deem 2013 the Year of the Snake, but according to my diva calendar, this is definitely the Year of Beyonce. The musical maven, who just celebrated baby Blue Ivy’s first birthday with hubby and baby daddy Jay-Z, is set to sing the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration Jan. 21. Next, she’ll fly down to New Orleans to headline the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3. Bey is rumored to perform with a reunited Destiny’s Child (FINALLY) and the Hov. Just two weeks later, HBO will premiere Queen B’s full-length documentary on Feb. 16. The Bey-directed doc touts a personal, never-before-seen look at “Beyonce the person” (there’s no way she’s 100% human, but whatever) as opposed to Sasha Fierce the performer. A few things I’m really hoping to see: Jay-Z changing Blue’s Egyptian cotton diaper; Beyonce eating actual solid food; a baby bump shot to put those pesky rumors to rest; at least 13 different hairstyles/weaves. The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of Season Three on Feb. 10. We’ll pick up with the new Woodbury/prison storylines introduced in early December’s mid-season finale. Fan fave Daryl has been captured by the Governor, who places him in the demented fighting arena against his brother Merle (who was pretty much presumed dead by the group after leaving a trail of blood and sawed-off hand behind in Season One). Loyalties will certainly be tested when the Dixon bros meet for the first time and, according to this sneak peak, the Woodbury clan wants them to battle to the death. Back at the prison, Rick questions his leadership role and Tyreese (a character plucked from the comics) will step up as the group’s token black guy. On the other side of the camera, showrunner Glen Mazzara, who took over for Frank Darabont after a rather sluggish second season, will be stepping down. Some speculate the move may be due to a lackluster second half of this season, but Mazzara, AMC and comic creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman all claim the departure is on good terms. We’ll see for ourselves next month; meanwhile, check out this preview: SPRING At first glance, Game of Thrones did not seem like my small screen cop o’ tea. I generally don’t read or watch anything too fantastical/mythical (but bring on the zombies and True Blood), plus the number of characters and settings almost make fictional family trees and note-taking a must. Regardless of TV preferences, though, GoT is an addictive epic. And on March 31, fans will return to Westeros for a third, slightly super-sized season. See, in the past, episodes were generally just more than 50 minutes long. This season promises several eps as long as 57 minutes, ultimately adding up to almost a whole extra episode. Way too nerdy and nitpicky? Well, that’s Thrones for you. But another fun addition to this season is that fans can now drink along with the show as New York’s Brewery Ommegang releases a series of Game of Thrones beer. The first, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, is set to debut in time for the season premiere. And speaking of TV show beer tie-ins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will also get its own brew with Aleman and Two Brothers Brewing Co.’s Dayman Coffee IPA, also slated to come out this March. Let’s just hope the gang hasn’t touched the stuff. And since you can’t even read the word “Dayman” without singing: Moving along to May, you better scratch those Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo plans. Cult hit Arrested Development is coming back with a new season, to be released on Netflix in its entirety on May 4. Of course, everyone is happy to have a little more Tobias Fünke in their lives, but this is a huge, possibly telling move for television in general. Plenty of failed shows gain a following after their demise on TV, but rarely do these shows actually get picked up again, and certainly not 7 years after cancellation. My only fear is super-fans’ high expectations will be hard to meet in just a single season. 'Til the release, catch up on the series and look out for these Easter eggs. After being pushed from its original Christmas 2012 premiere date, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby will hit theaters May 10. The director is known for his visually exciting films, such at Romeo + Juliet (which starred Gatsby himself, Leonardo DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, and likes to blend contemporary music and themes in with those of the films’ eras. For example, in the following trailer, Kanye West's “No Church in the Wild” juxtaposes the 1922 setting. If that's not enough for ya, stay tuned for more 2013 pop culture previews for summer and fall.
 
 
by Jac Kern 11.08.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Election season is over! Regardless of how you voted, I think we can all celebrate the fact that our portals to pop culture — television, radio, social media and the rest of the Internet — will no longer be clogged with annoying political rants, campaign advertisements and baseless polls, making more room for puppy cams, nail art blogs, unflattering celebrity photos and other important things the American people deserve. But, since we’re talking politics, this week we witnessed what can only be described as the best Rom-com of 2012. Here’s a sampling of the finest presidential gifs:And, for old time's sake:As people in Colorado and Washington are legalizing recreational weed, the cannabis king himself, now known as Snoop Lion, is working on his first Reggae album. While the release date for Reincarnated is yet to be announced, Snoop debuted his video first single under his new moniker, titled “La La La.” While it’s no “Oh Sookie,” this colorful Jamaican adventure looks straight out of Pee Wee’s Playhouse and was directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Grindhouse). Here’s a really freaky map plotting out the expansion of Walmart locations over the past 40 years. Remakes and sequels have become a staple in Hollywood at this point. It’s irritating, but can you blame ‘em? You’ve got your foundation already set, there’s a built-in audience and, presumably, it requires a lot less effort than a completely original work. Generally, I detest the modernization of classics (or even silly childhood gems), but my heart skipped a beat when I read Disney is in the early stages of a Boy Meets World sequel.The ‘90s T.G.I.F. staple followed Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) as he grew from an adorable sixth grader to the best college-aged husband ever (oops, Spoiler Alert). From 1993-2000 audiences got to know and love Cory, his family, BFF Sean, GF Topanga and neighbor/principal Mr. Feeny. Girl Meets World, Disney’s proposed sequel, is to follow Cory and Topanga’s tween daughter as she comes of age herself *wipes tears*. Casting Savage and Danielle Fishel (who played Cory’s main squeeze/’90s lioness) is crucial to this being acceptable in my book. Savage’s work has been sparse in the past 10 years — a couple indie flicks and a few single TV show episodes — and if Fishel can take a break from her “I almost lost my virginity to Lance Bass” tour, I’m thinking they can make this work. In actually-confirmed-television-projects news, MythBusters is working on an episode devoted to Breaking Bad. While Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage won’t be cooking any of the blue stuff, they will be trying two experiments from the series’ first season. One involves the stomach-churning scene where Jesse uses hydrofluoric acid to dispose of some evidence. Since BB has offered countless other scenes begging to be myth-busted, there is talk of additional episodes dedicated to Walter White & Co. The episode, airing in Spring 2013, will feature Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) and creator Vince Gilligan. Breaking Bad is one of those shows that, if you are or ever even plan to get into, you really don’t want anything to be spoiled. But in this age of the Internet, where millions of people think an unsolicited “woah can’t believe [character] just died on [series]” is a necessary and interesting message to share with the world, spoilers lurk around every corner. College Humor created a helpful guide to dancing around spoilers. TV people, take note.
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 11.07.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)
 
 
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Don't Quit, Willie!

Bill Cunningham to seek advice on retirement because of Obama re-election

Voice of the common man, conscience of the American people, shepherd of men and 700WLW staple Bill Cunningham made an impassioned plea to his radio audience Nov. 2, saying if Mitt Romney lost the election, he would end his 30-plus year career in radio. “For nearly 30 years I’ve been the voice of the common man and conscience of the American people. I have led you and you’ve allowed me to lead you through thick and thin, through good times and bad, through recessions, depressions, wars, feasts and famines, through hurricanes, tornadoes and more,” Cunningham said. “If Mitt Romney does not win the election, I, Bill Cunningham, your shepherd, will quit radio on Wednesday Nov. 7. I’ll give it up. Continue my great television career and practicing law, but if my credibility means anything between you and me it means that you will listen to what I have to say.” Now, in the morning after, a time when we ourselves have often felt that “oh God, what have I done” feeling, we at CityBeat want to make our own impassioned plea: Don’t quit, Willie. Cincinnati needs you. You’ve always been a source of inspiration and wisdom to budding journalists and truth-seekers at CityBeat. Were it not for your Aug. 28, 2009 interview with Cincinnati Profile, we would never have known what “my baby daddy” was. We might forget what Barack Hussein Obama’s full name is were it not for your show. Without your faithful shepherding we’d go on believing the lie that things like assistance to the disabled and payments to workers who are injured on the job were good things! We’re glad to hear that you are backtracking on your Nov. 2 pledge planning to go on an intervention with Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman to determine your future in radio. As you said on your show today, “every herd of sheep needs a shepherd,” and you’ve been our shepherd for more than 30 years. Please don’t “take [your] staff, crash in [your] skull and kill [yourself].” We, the bleating masses of Cincinnati, still need you.
 
 

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