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Saturday, November 28, 2021

jailbird
So unbridled is Hollywood screenwriter Roger Avary’s expressive creativity, that even a prison sentence can’t stifle his Twittering.

And his online candor cost him. The publicity accruing from a jailbird-celebrity tweetstream resulted in an incarceration upgrade, from a loosey-goosey work-furlough to, apparently, a real prison:

Thursday evening, @avary — who has been referring to himself as #34 - tweeted, “#34 is ‘rolled up’ to a higher security facility for exercising his first amendment rights. The truth he has discovered is too dangerous.”

[Ventura County Sheriff spokesman Ross] Bonfiglio said that Avary had not previously spent a night in the jail because he posted bail the day he was arrested. When he reported to jail Oct. 26, records show he was remanded at 7:54 a.m. and released 11 minutes later.

Bonfiglio said it was likely a “procedural process” and that Avary was then referred to the work furlough program, where he spent his days on the outside.

But you wouldn’t get that impression from what are believed to be Avary’s tweets, which chronicle life inside amid heroin smuggling, lockdowns and strip searches.

“#34’s new roomie, EZ, takes Yeyo’s old bunk, locker, AND number. He regales awesome tales about his former life as an Oxnard gangbanger,” @avary tweeted Tuesday at 9:17 a.m.

Two weeks earlier @avary tweeted: “‘It’s your birthday! announcing that #34 is to receive a random strip-down and cavity search to be performed by a leering, rotund officer.”

So Avary’s been out and about, yet has been tweeting “Oz”-like dispatches from inside the big house. Obviously there’s a disconnect. Call me crazy, but since we are dealing with someone who writes/directs movies for a living, it’s entirely possible that he’s embellishing just a tad here. I realize that goes against the supposed transparency tenets of social media, but nobody said the mind behind the big-screen version of The Rules of Attraction had to play by Web-etiquette rules.

The point may be moot, as the @avary account is now no longer publicly-viewable. A fitting condition, to match the author’s actual enhanced lockdown.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/28/2009 02:14pm
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Social Media Online, True Crime
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Thursday, November 12, 2021

I gotta say, originally I wasn’t enamored with the cottage-industry spread of the signature phrase to come out of the Kanye West-Taylor Swift incident at the MTV Video Music Awards this past fall:

“Imma let you finish, but…”

But it has grown on me. My acceptance was helped along by the Become Kanye West Game, an exercise in staged jerkery:

You start by interrupting the person before you. Then you accept your own reward. The format for the interruption is from Kanye himself: “Yo [Person receiving award], I’m really [Emotion] for you, and Imma let you finish but…” The rest is up to you.

Here’s an example:

I am receiving the award for best pie of behalf of cherry…
Yo Cherry Pie, I’m really Happy for you, and Imma let you finish but Apple Pie was one of the best pies of all time. All TIME.

Cute way to extend the meme. Although I’m happy with just the heart of it, i.e. “Imma let you finish”, as a timely quip.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/12/2021 11:58pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Society
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Tuesday, November 10, 2021


Does anyone else look at this logo for “The Dr. Oz Show”, and mentally transpose (and rotate) the letters so it spells “Dr. No”?

Just me, I guess. I’m no fan of Oprah’s pal Doc Oz — nor, for that matter, of Dr. No. But I’ve seen enough advertising for “Oz” over the past few weeks that this logo is playing tricks with my eyes. It has to do with its fearful-symmetry design: An almost-perfect square with sans-serif font, lending itself to subliminal visual reorientation. Rotate it 90 degrees to the left, and you have an up-and-down negatory moniker.

Then again, you could tip it 90 degrees in the other direction, and get “Dr. On”. Either way, we’re not in Kansas anymore, right?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/10/2021 05:17pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV
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Sunday, November 01, 2021

ficke
Since he’s being term-limited out of office next year anyway, California’s “People’s Governor” is dropping governmental decorum and letting it rip in Sacramento. Arnold is being creative about it, though:

To recap: on Tuesday a hidden message was detected in a note accompanying a veto Governor Schwarzenegger sent to California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. When read like an acrostic poem, the first seven letters in seven consecutive lines spelled out “FUCK YOU.” The message was not without precedent — earlier Ammiano had told the governor to “kiss my gay ass.”

And here’s the line-by-line dis-missive, by necessity presented as a fixed-positioned image:

When presented digitally as below, the proper vertical line-up suffers, hard-returns or no; so I’ve {brackted} the pertinent letters:

{F}or some time now I have lamented the fact that major issues are overlooked while many {u}nnecessary bills come to me for consideration. Water reform, prison reform, and health {c}are are major issues my Administration has brought to the table, but the Legislature just {k}icks the can down the alley.

{Y}et another legislative year has come and gone without the major reforms Californians {o}verwhelmingly deserve. In light of this, and after careful consideration, I believe it is {u}nnecessary to sign this measure at this time.

Schwarzenegger insists this was just a coincidence, but the laws of probability disagree:

How likely is that? According to Stephen Devlin, the chair of the math department at the University of San Francisco, not very. The odds are one in 10 million he said, and added, “Not surprisingly, it’s virtually impossible for this to happen.”

Alternately, he could have knocked down the odds and delivered the secret-decoder message in his native German (which, I believe, would have spelled out “FICKE SIE”). It probably wouldn’t have been caught, and he’d still have his laugh. Stay classy, Governator.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/01/2021 01:04pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Politics
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Wednesday, October 21, 2021

go joe, you betcha
Here’s an interpretation of the lovely Sienna Miller’s recent work in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra that I hadn’t picked up on:

For half the movie she’s the Baroness, a brainwashed villain in glasses and dark hair who looks unnervingly like Sarah Palin.

What’s the official backstory on The Baroness? Does she happen to be descended from a clan of exiled Russian royalty who have a centuries-old estate in — wait for it — Alaska?

Otherwise, the character’s long dark hair and rimless sunglasses certainly do evoke everyone’s favorite former Alaskan governor. I’m sure this is just an outcropping of the New York Times’ stealth bias against the fringe Republican sweetheart. Still, I feel a bit unclean now, since Miller as a brunette badass in skintight leather actually made me consider going to see the flick.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/21/2009 09:03am
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Politics, Pop Culture
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Tuesday, October 13, 2021

If the idea of getting impregnated by some anonymous seed from a sperm bank leaves you cold, perhaps you’ll warm up to sperm from a celebrity look-alike donor:

Donor Look-a-Likes helps answer the would-be clients’ most frequently asked question about their donors, which is who do they look like, said California Cryobank’s communications manager, Scott Brown.

“The goal was not to say you can have a baby that looks like Bob Saget,” Brown said. “The goal was to say this donor happens to resemble this celebrity.”

The site offers a search function with donors who sperm bank staff believe resemble actors such as Aaron Eckhart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Errol Flynn and a “young” Russell Crowe (versus the current Russell Crowe, who is 45). Donor Look-a-Likes are not limited to thespians — the sperm bank’s vast Web search includes Tom Brokaw, Tiger Woods, Stephen Colbert, Lance Bass and Adam Carolla.

Only in Southern California could aspirational star-fucking become womb-filling reality. And here’s the celebrity-guided procreational urge in action:

One prospective mom told NBC that the process of selecting a donor had been mind-numbing for her. “I’m flipping through the catalog with a friend of mine, feeling like I was about to recruit a basketball team, because it was just all stats.” And while she whittled down her list, the Cryobank couldn’t show her a picture of the donor — but it could tell her one of her finalists resembled Freddie Prinze Jr.

“For me, that clinched it right then and there,” she said. “I’ve always found him attractive!”

I see a wave of fake paternity suits in about five years’ time, thanks to the resulting resemblances. Given how some Hollywood celebs can’t account for where their penises end up on any given weekend, some mommy’s going to cash in out-of-court — and only she and her fertility doctor will know for sure…

If you’re one of those people who can’t resist giving a Web-based search database a whirl, have at it. God help you if you look for a Jaleel “Urkel” White stand-in sperm.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/13/2009 09:05am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, Science, Society
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Monday, September 28, 2021

I wasn’t a fan of the original “Little House on the Prairie”, despite it being a TV fixture for a good chunk of my childhood. Still, the show was a pervasive pop-cultural force during my formative years. So I appreciate the unique irony in Melissa Gilbert revisiting the familiar terrain of her “Half-Pint” character, but in a decidedly different, if equally familiar, role:

The star of TV’s long-running “Little House on the Prairie” — she played the young Laura Ingalls — is back on the prairie. Only now, at 45, she’s onstage, in a musical version at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, through Oct. 10.

This time, she’s playing Ma. That didn’t throw her, Gilbert says, but the singing did.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Are you crazy?’ ” she says. But after two years of extensive training, she now feels confident, especially since she’s doing it “with the safety net of material that is like home to me.”

So Gilbert graduates from frontier daughter to frontier mother, which provides the hook for this play. It probably won’t last, as Gilbert is already planning on coming back to Laura Ingalls, if not the “Half-Pint” part:

“I would like to play Laura again 20 to 25 years from now as a one-woman show, when Laura was at that age when the books were published. Kind of a Will Rogers-type thing,” Ms. Gilbert said. “I think that would be fun.”

I dunno, it’s still not fully resonating with me. I guess my emotionally-invested equivalent from TV-land would be a grown-up Malcolm-Jamal Warner starring as Heathcliff Huxtable in a stage version of “The Cosby Show”. Maybe in 15 years or so…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/28/2009 11:14pm
Category: Celebrity, Creative, Pop Culture, TV
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Tuesday, September 15, 2021

lesser color
We’ve all heard the rumors about the ridiculous contractual demands made by pop bands when they’re on tour. Among the screwiest is Van Halen’s early-1980s insistence upon being served M&M’S with all brown-colored pieces removed — which turns out to be absolutely true.

I take a similar approach while enjoying my M&M’S, although with a reversed premise: Instead of discarding a particular color, I eat around all the green pieces, saving them for last. (Why green? Because they’re the tastiest ones, duh — and it’s my favorite color, not-so-incidentally.) When you’re digging into a little single-serving bag of the candy, it takes some finger-digital dexterity to successfully extract the non-greens. It quickly becomes an Easter-egg hunt if I luck out with a bag overloaded with greenies.

So I guess this irrational segregation of sugary snacks is my way of being the rockstar that I’m not, and never will be. At least I’m left with chocolate.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/15/2009 08:57am
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Food, Pop Culture
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Monday, September 14, 2021

Are high-profile public outbursts infectious? For whatever reason, the past half-week saw three notable stack-blowing performances in the mass-media spotlight:

- South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” outburst during President Obama’s healthcare speech on Wednesday;

- Serena Williams going off on the line judge during the US Open;

- And last but certainly not least, Kanye West and his upstaging MTV Video Music Awards tirade versus Taylor Swift.

West’s histrionics are suspected to have been calculated for maximizing effect ahead of his The Jay Leno Show appearance the next night (tonight); and since it was the VMAs, it’s safe to assume that it was staged. Wilson’s and Williams’ performances certainly came off as more authentically heated.

All I know is that this sudden spasm of friction has certainly affected me. Not only am I hesitant to interject a comment during a business meeting, lest I spark a “you lie!”-sized incident; I’m also suddenly afraid to win at anything, lest Kanye bust in on my acceptance speech. Such is the resulting climate…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/14/2009 11:41pm
Category: Celebrity, Other Sports, Politics, Pop Culture
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Wednesday, August 26, 2021

prop master
Everyone is entitled to personal touches in the office space, including California’s “People’s Governor”. And when the Golden State’s executive office is occupied by Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’d expect him to decorate with some outsized souvenirs from an outsized former career:

Only in California can the Governor have a barbarian sword and a human hunting robot lying around in his office. Even with California’s increasing state budget deficit, less than average educational system, horrible pollution, and insane traffic, I still would have to say that I am proud to be a Californian.

Yes, as confirmed via his Twitter account, and the accompanying TwitPic photo, Ah-nold keeps the prop sword from his Conan the Barbarian days prominently on display in his Sacramento digs. Less prominent is a miniature T1 figurine near his desk. Of the two, I’d think the big honkin’ blade makes more of a Governatoring statement.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/26/2009 05:24pm
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Politics, Pop Culture
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Saturday, August 22, 2021

I’m not one indulge in the typically voyeuristic media coverage of a high-profile murder du jour. But the grisly details of a Southern California model’s death have, I admit, snared my attention:

When Jasmine Fiore’s body was found in a Dumpster in Buena Park, Calif., Aug. 15, her fingers had been cut off at the second knuckle and all of her teeth had been pulled out. But authorities were still able to identify the swimsuit model from the serial numbers on her breast implants.

“We actually have had several cases where we identified the victim or the defendant in that way,” Orange County District Attorney spokeswoman Susan Schroeder tells PEOPLE. She says implants carry serial numbers “because of the potential for recalls.”

Body parts removed in such a way as to betray the desperately calculating state of mind of the killer — and the horrific task winds up not being thorough enough. I’m sure DNA testing would have identified Fiore if the implants couldn’t have; to go through that level of minute mutilation indicates that the killer was just trying to buy enough time to escape, knowing that everything would be revealed sooner rather than later.

And all indications are that Fiore’s ex-husband, real-estate millionaire Ryan Alexander Jenkins, is the killer. Adding to the case’s twists is Jenkins’ visibility on recent reality TV shows on VH1, which he qualified for despite a documented criminal record in his native Canada. He’s currently on the run, crossing the border into British Columbia en route to a hideout either in Canada or elsewhere.

I hate to say it, but as disturbing as this whole situation is, I can’t help but compare it to something out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. The callous disregard for human life, the mindset of the privileged class, and the celebrity subculture all combine into a nihilistic mess. Ellis’ dark visions were limited to his fictional Los Angeles; Fiore’s murder hints of real-life LA intruding upon a similar brand of darkness.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/22/2009 12:51pm
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, RealiTV Check, True Crime
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Wednesday, August 12, 2021


Today’s earlier mention of the oral transposition of “L” and “R” among Asian English-speakers reminded me of an old joke involving Telly Savalas.

I’m kind of amazed that, after so many years, “Kojak” is still such a recognizable pop-culture icon. I can’t believe that the reruns are still in syndication anywhere. But I guess Savalas’ bald head and oversized Greek personality left a lasting impression, to the point where even Israeli police refer to their squad-car portable sirens as “Kojak lights”.

Anyway, the joke. It’s probably apocryphal, but it fits with Savalas’ abrasive personality, and it takes place in New York, and it’s funny. So I’ll roll it out:

He used to go to dinner at the old Hong Hing Co. on Mott St., a “greasy-chopstick” where Telly would mercilessly tease the waiter, Joe, about the way he spoke, by saying, “You got some Flied Lice today, Joe? Bling us some of that Flied Lice!” One time he was there, Telly teased Joe about the Flied Lice as usual, but you could tell from Joe’s determined expression that something was different. Joe had been practicing his speech and had been waiting for this moment, and, sure enough, when he brought out Telly’s food he said, very slowly and deliberately, “Here’s your FRRIED RRICE, you GLEEK PLICK!!”

Who loves ya, baby? It’s better than the nonsensical schoolyard joke I heard as a kid, during the show’s ’70s heyday: That the reason Kojak was bald was because one day, he got that lollipop stuck in his hair, and yanked out all his follicles while pulling it out…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/12/2021 04:21pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, New Yorkin', Pop Culture, TV
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Wednesday, August 05, 2021

A photo gallery of notably tan-less Hollywood stars conjured up just one thing for me: Vampire chic, catching on.

Oh sure, a trend toward the pale-skin look (which only Caucasians can pull off, barring skin-bleaching) could be attributed to other factors: Skin cancer awareness, an unconscious group-reaction to having a black man in the White House, or even a periodic turn in the cyclical socio-cultural perception of attractiveness. But with all the nosferatu-mania rippling across pop culture, I’m blaming the bloodsuckers.

Perhaps the likes of Kelly Osbourne and Jim Gaffigan are just angling to be cast in the next Twilight spin-off and/or rip-off? Either that, or the palefaces making it obvious that their show-biz success is attributable to dark forces. For instance, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that sheet-white Conan O’Brien has poofy hair that’s reminiscent of that found on Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula”

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/05/2021 12:23pm
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Pop Culture
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Tuesday, August 04, 2021

it's britney, bel canto
If you think the life (so far) of Britney Spears evokes the fate of Madame Butterfly, then an opera based upon the pop tart’s imagined death scenario should resonate with you:

The work is called Timberbrit — as in Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. It’s a tragic tale that imagines Spears’ last concert, in the final hours of her life. Timberlake returns after a long absence to win back Spears’ love, but in the end she chooses the audience’s love above all else.

[Composer Jacob] Cooper began work on the opera by experimenting with a technique called time-stretching. Using digital audio software, he slowed down Spears’ songs — and suddenly the light pop tunes seemed hauntingly tragic. Phrases like “Hit Me Baby One More Time” took on an entirely different and more weighted meaning.

Cooper then collaborated with his performers to create new pieces of music inspired by those slowed-down hits, and writer Yuka Igarashi crafted fresh lyrics using the vernacular of Spears’ songs — tears, love, dreams, innocence.

Shows you the depths you can plumb (or, at least, emulate) via the art of the remix. Not to mention reigniting the torch for the failed relationship between these two former Mickey Mouse Clubbers. I’m sure many a GenYer will be crying buckets over this wish-fulfillment.

A sample of the operatic stylings being applied to the Britney oeuvre: A music video of “Worst Fantasy”, based upon her hit single “Toxic”:

Somewhere, a diva weeps. And prepares for her aria. All while driving around LA.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/04/2021 09:34pm
Category: Celebrity, Creative, Pop Culture
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Tuesday, July 28, 2021

Even if someone had anticipated William Shatner ever doing a sequel to his infamous spoken-word interpretation of “Rocket Man”, I doubt they would have guessed the source material would come from the Republican Party’s newest ex-Governor. Or that Conan O’Brien would be the facilitator of this politico-artistic synthesis.

So if that alone isn’t mind-blowing enough, here’s Sarah Palin’s farewell speech, as channeled through Shatner:

Poetic verse doesn’t make that rambling goodbye to Alaska any more coherent. But as they say, at least it comes with bongos.

Let’s just hope that this is where it ends. Because if Palin does, indeed, make it to the White House, and at the same time Montreal native Shatner fulfills his ambition to become Canadian prime minister, we’ll know where the future North American Cold War will have started…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/28/2009 10:46pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Politics, Pop Culture
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Monday, July 20, 2021

brit-chael
It’s been a while since the last shuffle-generated listing of my iTouch’s song output. Today, this curious sequence came out:

Two Britney Spears remixed tracks to start, followed by a couple of Michael Jackson classics (one remixed and one from the Jackson 5 era). It’s almost like the two pop superstars decided to go to war, right on my music player! And in the midst of that high-voltage pop playback, one-hit wonder Noel somehow snuck into the mix.

And with that, let’s roll the last five songs to randomly tick up in my earbuds, along with a semi-cryptic lyric snippet from each:

1. “Circus (A Crowd Electric Remix)”, Britney Spears - I’m running this.

2. “Womanizer (Mr. Vega Combined Power Rework)”, Britney Spears - Baby you got all the puppets with their strings up.

3. “Thriller (Villains Thrilla Remix)”, Michael Jackson - Tonight.

4. “Silent Morning”, Noel - I’m on fire.

5. “I Want You Back”, Jackson 5 - Every street you walk on, I leave tear stains on the ground.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/20/2009 10:43pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, iPod Random Tracks
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Saturday, July 18, 2021


I was walking up Lafayette Street when I saw it: A giant billboard for E! Network’s “Chelsea Lately”, starring the eponymous Chelsea Handler.

Hard to tell from the above cameraphone photo (even in embiggened Flickrized mode), but it’s actually a two-piece billboard: Handler’s head and shoulders are placed on the smaller top board, while the rest of her body accompanies the show title, broadcast time, and that “The Sharpest Tongue In Late Night” tagline on the larger board below. There’s a noticeable gap between the two sections, which gives her a disembodied look, which I guess is why I looked for longer than 5 seconds.

Then, as I kept walking and looking up, I noticed the parked van in the foreground, directly in my line of sight. The URL on the van’s back door is for Chelsea Rental, a local truck rental company.

Coincidental juxtaposition: Chelsea up above, and Chelsea down on street level. So I had to take the picture. And maybe there’s a gag in it somewhere — is it possible to rent Chelsea Handler?

And the kicker is that neither of these “Chelsea” visuals were anywhere near the actual Chelsea neighborhood, but rather, clear across town in NoHo. The van, I guess, will eventually find its way back to the West Side. The billboard stays perched above Lafayette, for now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/18/2009 03:55pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, New Yorkin', Photography, TV
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Monday, July 13, 2021

plastic doll
I don’t pay much heed to who’s dating who in celebrity-land. But when it comes to Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo, and their just-terminated romance, I have to point out the following circumstances:

A source close to Simpson confirms they broke up the night before her 29th birthday July 10. She was supposed to celebrate with a Ken and Barbie-themed party. (On Simpson’s birthday, Romo spent the night at Los Angeles hot spot My House.)

“She canceled her party because of this,” the source tells [Usmagazine.com]. “She’s doing OK.”

“Barbie party didn’t happen, but I turned 29 and feel like I am on top of the world yelling I LOVE GETTING OLDER!” she wrote on her Twitter page Saturday.

A Barbie party? Seriously? Aren’t those strictly for 8-year-olds? I’m thinking 29 is extremely long in the tooth for anyone, even a pop princess like Simpson, to be playing-acting with plastic dolls. And if I had to guess, that displayed behavior is what prompted Romo to turn tail and run.

Based on this, I’d say that Simpson is sure to go for a Disney Bridal selection if/when she ever gets hitched. Thematically in line with the fantasy-romance blend.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/13/2009 10:42pm
Category: Celebrity, Football, Pop Culture, Women
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Sunday, July 12, 2021

stayin' alive
As much fun as the boys of “Entourage” had in dressing up as The Bee Gees for a photo shoot, Adrian Grenier (posing in the center as lead Gee, Barry Gibb) decided to up the ante, disco-style:

[Co-star Kevin Connolly] told Conan O’Brien, “Adrian put a sock [in his pants]… When he was doing it, I said ‘What are you doing?’ and he said ‘It’s what they did in the ’70s.” I didn’t know that. And the photographer’s like ‘Adrian, we’ve got to lose one of the socks.’ And all of sudden when the photo came out I’m getting calls from girlfriends of mine, like ‘So, Adrian…’ And I didn’t want to throw him under the bus with the individual girls. I figured I’d wait until I got here on The Tonight Show.”

In keeping with the tone of the show, this sounds like something Grenier’s TV brother, Kevin Dillon, would pull while in Johnny “Drama” Chase character. Not the least because Drama is probably old enough to have seen the Bee Gees live in concert, and thus have experienced that rampant ’70s sock-bulging enhancement firsthand…

For the record, remember that the antiquated assassination-associated word “sockdologizing” means “manipulative”. Fits this episode.

P.S. - Yeah, I recognize a manufactured “outing” when I see one, all in aid of the premiere of the new season of “Entourage” this week. Therefore, I’m also being sockdologized, albeit willingly. At least there’s no sock-stuffing going on in my pants…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/12/2021 09:21pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV
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Saturday, July 11, 2021

Everyone blames the Internet for false-death reports, which were piled on especially high during the recent cluster of celebrity demises. But websites only disseminate such rumors more quickly and easily than in the old days, when the same disinformation was being spread:

Nicholas DiFonzo, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology who studies the psychology of rumors, said that the mass confusion over [Michael] Jackson’s sudden death probably left people craving a feeling of control. “People spread rumors when there is some uncertainty or anxiety that they are trying to calm,” he said.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death on April 12, 1945, caused similar morbid ripples, according to Alex Boese, who wrote a book about historical hoaxes and founded an online Museum of Hoaxes. Back then, rumors spread that Frank Sinatra, Babe Ruth, Al Jolson, Errol Flynn and other notables had suddenly expired as well. “This has been going on for hundreds of years,” Mr. Boese said. “It’s the people, not the Internet. You can’t blame Twitter.”

I’m betting part of the dynamic is declaring a preferred celebrity death: You didn’t want Michael Jackson to die; you’d rather see Jeff Goldblum bite it. Pathetic grasps at “control”, but we are only human, after all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/11/2021 02:28pm
Category: Celebrity, Media, Society
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Sunday, July 05, 2021

While dissecting yesterday’s news about how Yahoo’s omg! is now the leading gossip site based on Web traffic, I pretty well rejected the premise that this success was due to a less-snarky “positive” tone in its coverage.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that that was true. Accordingly, if Yahoo! wants to get down-and-dirtier with its celebrity dishing, there’s a simple way to inject an edgier tone:

Go from omg! to omfg!, of course. Because we all know what that “f” stands for, right? Perfect for not-so-nice exposés.

No omfg.yahoo.com exists just yet, but I’m sure it’s forthcoming. Brand extension doesn’t get any easier.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/05/2021 11:56am
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Internet, Media
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