Had he lived, Elvis Presley would have been 104 years old today. He's most famous for being the most famous singer ever, with hits including, "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (to the Waffle House)" and "(Let Me Eat Your) Teddy Grahams."
An excerpt, in which Robertson addresses people speaking out against Chik-Fil-A's anti-gay stance:
“I was reading today in Leviticus, which is the law of the Old Testament, but it lays out the reasons why land will vomit out its inhabitants and it goes through a category of stuff we are calling Constitutional rights: killing babies, offering them to Moloch, and it says it is an abomination for a man to lie with a man as with a woman. It’s what it says. That is the moral law that God set forth and now we’ve got people at a university petitioning because somebody said I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I defy these homosexuals to bring forth a baby from that part of the anatomy which they concentrate on, when that happens I will change everything I’m saying; until that happens, I wish those demonstrators would shut their mouth.” Robertson warned that legal abortion and homosexuality are violations of God’s law and are “the reasons why land will vomit out its inhabitants.”
Um, okay. Dear Pat: one "part of the anatomy" that female homosexuals "concentrate on" is called a vagina, and vaginas have brought forth every baby ever born (except those delivered by cesarean, of course). Also, alongside the "homosexuals" decrying Chik-Fil-A's bigotry are millions and millions of heterosexual Americans, who also have a weird habit of producing babies, including gay ones! (I love how in the minds of Pat Robertson and Bryan Fischer and Porno Pete LaBarbera, anyone who supports gay equality is automatically a man who is actively putting his penis in the butt of another man.) Finally, that's neat how that book you like says a thing that supports your bigotry. I like books, too. But I don't presume that the books I like—say, Myra Breckenridge—are eternal blueprints for righteous living. Get over it, or drop dead.
Among the other things secretly recorded by the FBI: "that Blagojevich mentioned naming Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry to Obama's vacant Senate seat so he could 'have a shot' at having sex with her."
It appeared at Radar.com, in an item about Miley Cyrus written by Radar News Editor Amber Goodhand:
[Miley's] latest "Look at me!" move is to post a Twitter photo showing her rapidly vanishing waist and rock hard abs, and RadarOnline.com has exclusive insight in the emotional trauma that lies behind her raunchy pic.
Here's that "raunchy pic." The whole item is extraordinarily sordid, not for any reason tied to the behavior of Miley Cyrus, but because of the writer's garish storytelling, nauseating tonal shifts, and ridiculous implication. Enjoy! (And good luck, Miley Cyrus. Your life must be really weird.)
In this week's Last Days, I wrote about the passing of J.P. Patches, in an item that, I'm thrilled to report, features a quote from lifelong Patches Pal Grady West, AKA the man behind Dina Martina.
SUNDAY, JULY 22 In happier sad news, the week continues with J.P. Patches, the TV clown who entertained several generations of Northwest kids with his daily shows on KIRO 7, whose news department today had the sad duty to inform us that Chris Wedes, the man who created J.P. Patches, has died at age 84. "The JP Patches show was first broadcasted in black and white... in 1958, live from the 'city dump' where he served as mayor," reports KIRO. "The shows were spontaneous. Nothing was scripted. And if something went wrong on live television, they just rolled with it." The results were beloved and highly influential. In the words of Seattle performance artist/2012 Stranger Genius Award nominee Grady West (the man behind Dina Martina): "J.P. Patches was a huge part of my life, as he was for any kid raised in Seattle. Captain Kangaroo and all the others did their duty when it came to reading storybooks and teaching manners—J.P. was no different in that respect—but he and his girlfriend Gertrude were actually hilarious and the 'goofball' element was much more prominent on his show. Plus, you could always hear the crew totally losing it behind the cameras, which made you feel like you were really in on the joke. At the end of his morning show, he told you to go to school, and then he was on again in the afternoon to welcome you home from school. That's two live shows every weekday and one on Saturdays, not including countless personal appearances. Looking back, I realize he was one of the most consistent and positive things in my childhood. He was my idol."
I'm less thrilled to report that I effed up Grady's quote. As he wrote in the comments to the column:
I was/am totally honored to have been asked for my thoughts on J.P., however, I didn't refer to Gertrude as J.P.'s girlfriend. That would be like saying Lucy was Schroeder's girlfriend.
Grady's right, I shoved "his girlfriend" in there, as Gertrude hadn't been mentioned previously and I thought she needed a slight introduction—but of course there should be [brackets] around "his girlfriend" (which should actually be "his costar") and there are not. My apologies for the slovenliness, it has all been corrected online (and filed away for the 2012 Regrets issue).
That's the wonderful headline that Gawker gives to the ongoing Jackson family hubbub, but most of the info comes from Radar.com, which has unloaded an avalanche of drama-packed headlines over the past couple days.
Beloved comedy actor Fred Willard was arrested Wednesday night for lewd conduct in an adult cinema in Hollywood. No one died, no one was injured, but Fred Willard must live out the rest of his days (or at least the next ten years) braced for the stupidest wank jokes and puns inevitably coming his way. (No pun intended.)
The best thing about Take This Waltz—writer/director Sarah Polley's devastating study of marriage, desire, and the war between marriage and desire—is the way it moves through time. A lot of directors get stuck when moving the narrative forward by a matter of weeks or even days. In film, it's almost easier to skip decades or centuries than it is to skip a few seasons. But Waltz spans a year or so in the relationship of a young married couple named Lou and Margot (Seth Rogen is the affable husband, Michelle Williams is the sensitive wife) as Margot develops a crush on Daniel (Luke Kirby), the artist who lives across the street. In a recent phone interview, Polley says Waltz is about "what you do with the passage of time," and in her hands, the passage of time appears to be an effortless thing.
Waltz challenges its viewers by testing their patience. Polley employs tweeness as a tool; Williams and Rogen are the kind of young, hip couple that make imaginative jokes out of everything, like an improv class attended by precocious children. Their home decor—thrift finds and kitschy magnets all over the refrigerator—feels more precious than functional. And when Margot meets Daniel, she tells him she hates airports because she's—gag—"afraid of connections."
Polley isn't herself a twee or precious director; she just happens to be making a film about people who occasionally behave in twee and precious ways. Polley admits, "I wanted at the outset to feel like we were entering into an almost cliché rom-com." When she watches Waltz with an audience now, "I'm almost cringing for the first 25 minutes. I don't completely begrudge anyone for not liking the way it begins—I hope that people get by the end that I'm not that dumb..."
How was it possible for me (being who I am and all of that) to read about Pitt and his fanatical mother and not think about this fanatical father and his famous son? There exists no power in the world that could have prevented me (being who I and all of that) from making this troubling association. That said, here is Pitt having some sexual healing on the big screen...
That's the headline of a Hollywood Reporter story that is packed with remarkable chunks of text. Here are some of my favorites:
Holmes appears more aggressive and fearless than those who have taken steps to distance themselves from the church or have "blown" — Scientology parlance for leaving the church — according to one-time key members of the church who have left, many after years of soul searching, and endured what they claim was often harassment, intimidation and being cut off from their families. But some of Holmes’ apparent courage could stem from the fact that many of the high-ranking Scientologists who ran interference for Cruise during his marriage to Kidman and often discouraged or intimidated mainstream media from reporting on Scientology have left the church. A number of them are now actively working against Miscavige and Cruise by spilling church secrets to the very reporters they once threatened.
"Katie ambushed Tom Cruise and in so doing outwitted some of the most controlling people on Earth," says Karen De La Carriere, who was once one of the most powerful executives in Scientology and was married to Heber Jentzsch, Scientology's longtime president who mysteriously hasn't been seen in years.
Even Rupert Murdoch tweeted this week that the church was "evil" and "creepy" in a move some saw as proof that the media should no longer fear reporting about the church. Fox News' Geraldo Rivera followed the boss’ tweet with one of his own on Monday, asking, "Does Scientology have special program to provide cover for closeted gay superstars?"
"Katie could blow Scientology wide open," says Rathbun, who was in the church for 22 years before leaving in late 2004. Rathbun, who calls himself an "independent Scientologist" and writes a candid blog popular with former members, was Cruise’s auditor and handled Cruise’s divorce from Kidman."If Tom’s smart, he won’t fight her on anything, even custody. He should just try to settle his way out of it," says Rathbun. "She could press this sole-custody issue and litigate it, and that would be the biggest nightmare in the Church of Scientology’s history. It would be a circus they couldn’t survive."
Now that we've all had nearly a week to watch, re-watch, and obsessively re-re-re-watch Todrick Hall's world-conquering YouTube masterwork Beauty and the BEAT!, I can narrow the focus to one of the video's brightest lights: Vonzell Solomon, a former American Idol contestant who delivers shitloads of hardcore funny throughout Beauty and the BEAT! (Greatest moments: What she does with her elbows beginning at 2:48, and the entirety of her performance from 4:10-4:11.)
And here she is doing what she does when she's not killing the world with hilariously expressive elbow movement, from season 4 of American Idol.
Andy Griffith was the hot new find of director Elia Kazan, "the man who brought you Marlon Brando and James Dean!" (If you haven't seen the great and creepy A Face in the Crowd, you must. Trailer below.)
Props where props are due. From this week's Last Days:
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 In better news, the week continues in Seattle, with a story that happened yesterday but which we are reporting today, for yesterday was devoured by the conviction of Sandusky and this story is too great to be bumped out of print by some predator perv. The setting: Seattle's Interbay neighborhood, where yesterday Hot Tipper Patkins ventured into Whole Foods and received a dazzling faceful of Fabio. As Patkins reports, the great man was there to promote Fabio protein powder and was surrounded by fans and well-wishers, for whom he posed for pictures and autographed lids of his nutritional powder. After dazzling Patkins with his laid-back normality, Fabio revealed himself as a star. "A couple of army reservists from the nearby armory stood in line to have their picture taken with Fabio," reports Patkins. "Afterward, they continued into the store to shop, and Fabio paid for their groceries." (Confidential to the many young folk wondering, "What is a Fabio?" As you should've read in your history books, Fabio invented the cotton gin.)
...but because it's a little Ryan Gosling singing a cover of Michael Bolton's cover of "When a Man Loves a Woman" and dancing to C+C Music Factory in a Mormon kid's talent show, it's somehow even more adorable.
As a straight man, I should hate Ryan Gosling. But I can't. I just can't! (Sob.)
Alas, Prince Rogers Nelson's career starting going downhill because he doesn't have a quality control button. I'll tell you right now that his best record is called Around The World in a Day. I'm allowed to say this because I'm writing this. You can disagree in the comments, but I am right.
"I shit you not —I know a guy who was working as a masseur at a New Orleans hotel and had to end a massage early after Travolta made a pass at him," reports my friend Jason. "This is apparently not the most battlefield earthshattering news, but there it is."
There's a NEW lawsuit alleging John Travolta sexually harassed a masseur! From Radar.com:
A second accuser — another male masseur — filed a $2 million sexual battery lawsuit against John Travolta Tuesday morning and claims to have "substantial documentation and numerous witnesses regarding the substance of Travolta's actions," according to the docs, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
The unidentified male masseur is being repped by the same attorney who filed the initial sexual battery lawsuit against the Oscar nominated actor. According to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday morning in Federal Court in Los Angeles, the second victim alleges that while working at an unspecified resort in Atlanta, Georgia on January 28, 2012, he did an in-room massage on Travolta. The Plaintiff doesn't normally do in-room massages and asked a co-worker to take the assignment, but he declined because "Travolta has been banned from a spa that the coworker used to work at in Los Angeles."
On the morning of the massage Travolta had "a strange demeanor, bloodshot eyes and climbed onto the already setup massage table...Travolta removed the entire sheet from his body, and he claimed the sheets were sticky and could not tolerate the heat...Travolta further indicated that he likes a lot of "Glutes" work meaning a massage on his buttocks...While he was massaging near Travolta's buttocks area, Travolta would open his legs and spread his butt cheeks open and had a full erection and would maneuver in a way to try to force Doe Plaintiff No. 2 to touch his anus and around his anus."
Tales of Travolta's steam room wanks have been part of West Coast gay lore for decades, making both lawsuits oddly plausible. Travolta's Scientologist lawyers will fight this to the death, because if the world already knows that John Travolta is gay or bisexual, the organization will have nothing to hold over his head to prevent him from defecting. DO IT, TRAVOLTA. COME OUT. Not just as gay/bi, but as an eyewitness to Scientology's awful shenanigans.
The suit claims Travolta stripped naked, appearing semi-erect. The masseur says he told Travolta to lay down on the table and the first hour went without incident. Then, according to legal docs, Travolta began rubbing the masseur's leg, touched his scrotum and the shaft of his penis. The masseur claims he told Travolta he did not have sex with his clients, but Travolta was undeterred, offering to do a "reverse massage," adding, "Come on dude, I'll jerk you off!!!"
The suit goes on to allege Travolta then masturbated and told the masseur he got to where he was "due to sexual favors he had performed when he was in his 'Welcome Back Kotter' days," adding "Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity."
Courtesy of TheWrap comes this audio of Mel Gibson freaking the fuck out at Joe Eszterhas (living the dream!). As TheWrap reports, the blowout happened in Gibson's Costa Rica home in December, and was recorded by houseguest Eszterhas. Enjoy!