Friday, December 19, 2008



This is my last column of 2008, so what better time to look back on some of this year’s highlights (or in some cases, lowlights) in entertainment? And since it's the holiday season, what better way to reflect than in song? Feel free to go door-to-door serenading your neighbors … but don't count on me to be your one phone call from jail.

To the tune of “It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”:

It's a most ponder-ful time of the year!
A time to reminisce - who did that, who said this?
Who did we jeer or cheer?
It's a most ponder-ful time of the year!

Britney Spears staged a comeback, while Winehouse smoked more crack
Madonna and Guy called it quits;
She's been seen with A-Rod, who's kind of a big clod,
But at least he's still scoring hits!

It's the flashback-iest season once more!
Looking back at the rich - who got hitched, who got ditched?
Who made ratings soar?
It's the flashback-iest season once more!

The '08 election, lampooned to perfection
By Tina Fey, funny and smart;
Her good-natured nailin' of Governor Palin
Made it hard to tell them apart!

Teenage stars made many headlines this year!

Jamie Lynn caused a stir, parenthood ended her
Disney TV career!
Teenage stars made many headlines this year!

When young Miley went bareback, she caught a ton of flak,

But there was more scandal ahead...
The fans went bananas when Hannah Montana
Took photos that would make your face red!

Oh, the stork worked overtime all this year!

Stars were breeding like bunnies and it sure seems funny:
Twins from there to here!
Yes, the stork worked over time all this year!

Angelina and J-Lo bore double the payload;

Their photos were quite the big scoop!
Ricky Martin had two boys and now he knows the joys
Of livin' la vida de poop!

'Twas a year of gaiety, this is true:

Katy P kissed a chick - and she really liked it;
Lindsay Lohan, did too!
'Twas a year of gaiety, this is true!

Then Clay Aiken came out (like there was any doubt),

Ellen wed Portia at their posh pad;
Major Sulu's big trip wasn't on a spaceship,
But down the aisle with his beau Brad!

Sadly, we lost some bright stars this past year:

Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac and Paul Newman - it's fact:
We wish they were still here!
Sadly, we lost some bright stars this past year.

To Heath Ledger: Goodbye, you were too young to die;

Farewell, Carlin, your humor lives on!
Other people of fame - there's too many to name
Laugh with you in The Great Beyond!

There'll be more headlines and footnotes next year!

First, a new Head of State ... "High School Musical" eight?
Yes, the forecast is clear …
There'll be more high jinks and low points next year!

Friday, December 05, 2008



There are no stupid questions. At least that’s what our parents assured us as children. But like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and “Your face is gonna freeze that way,” it was just another of those little white lies adults tell kids because harmless fibs are cheaper than the therapy we’d need after being called stupid.

If you believe there are no stupid questions, just turn on the radio. Recently, I was rocking out to The Clash – "Should I stay or should I go now? If I stay there will be trouble, if I go it will be double" – a song I’d heard countless times in the past 20-plus years, but never deeply contemplated. Let’s see … staying = an indeterminate amount of trouble, while going = even more trouble. That’s like saying, "If I stay, my girlfriend will burn my clothes, but if I go, she’ll burn my clothes with me IN them." Given the options, this seems like a no-brainer. (P.S. He ultimately left her, lived to tell and scored a No. 1 hit in the process.)

It doesn’t matter if you dig classic rock, Top 40, R&B, country or post-nuclear techno-cabaret, insipid inquiries transcend genre and generation. For instance:

* "The Way I Are," Timbaland: "Can you handle me the way I are?" – Does he have multiple personalities or just bad grammar? Either way, I can’t handle this song the way it am.

* "On the Bus," Destiny's Child featuring Timbaland: "Why you sleepin' with ya eyes closed?" – Probably because I’m not a goldfish.

* "Earth Song," Michael Jackson: "What about elephants, have we lost their trust?" – I reckon that depends on what the elephants have heard from the pre-teen boys, Mike.

* "Pinball Wizard," (The Who): "How do you think he does it? I don’t know!" – In the verse and chorus preceding this line, it is explained that the Pinball Wizard "does it" by intuition and sense of smell, not to mention he’s got such a supple wrist and crazy flipper fingers. Pete Townshend presented the answer before the question, which is fine … if you’re playing "Jeopardy."

* "Sk8tr Boi," Avril Lavigne: "He was a boy, she was a girl … can I make it any more obvious?" – A pointless question, as gender differences are usually obvious to begin with. But apparently, Avril felt the need to elaborate and continued singing for more than three minutes. Had she realized the folly of her query, the song would have ended after that opening line – a monumental improvement, in my opinion.

* "Hero," Enrique Iglesias: "Would you tremble if I touched your lips?" – Tremble? No. Feel incredibly creeped out and in immediate need of lip sanitizer? You bet.

* "You Really Want to Hurt Me?," Culture Club: "Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?" – Oh, Boy George … can I make it any more obvious?