Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic 2012 Hopeful: Brit Sprinter James Ellington

This is a riot... writing about sports on a daily basis, as if we actually give a flip about athletics. After a brush earlier this week with British diver Tom Daley, we now move to fellow Brit hottie James Ellington, who will compete in the men's 200m sprint and men's relay race at the London games this week... or this month... or something like that. *

Carrie Underwood Conjures 'Wizard Of Oz' In New Music Video

Carrie Underwood's new single "Blown Away" (smash hit, absolutely) offers a maudlin tale that plays out like a mini movie. And look at gorgeous Carrie, with Rapunzel-like extensions!

The clip here opens in black & white, as she deals with her sad drunken daddy... Next thing a twister sweeps them all away. Her own dog Penny plays Toto. The clip seems to be contrary and isn't always loading. If that's the case, see it here. *

Monday, July 30, 2012

No Go(ld) For Tom Daley In Men's Synchronized Olympics Diving

Tom Daley and partner Peter Waterfield failed to win an Olympic medal for the Men's Synchronized 10m Platform competition, coming in fourth. Next up: Individual diving. *

CNN Sorry For Accidentally Playing 'Stupid Girls' Before Palin Segment

CNN has apologized for what it says "was a poor choice" of music when it played Pink's "Stupid Girls" before a news story about Fox News contributor and former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin. The quick piece revolved around Palin proving what an upstanding conservative dimwit she is by visiting a local Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant.

"Stopped by Chick-fil-A in The Woodlands to support a great business," Palin tweeted following an appearance at a rally for Republican Senate primary challenger Ted Cruz outside Houston. "Love me some Chick Fil-A."

Some viewers noticed the correlation, and complained. I, mind you, would have been laughing through my tears. The Hollywood Reporter received a statement from CNN apologizing for the incident: "The music selection was a poor choice and was not intended to be linked to any news story. We regret any perception that they were planned together."

It may not have been intentional(?), but it sure was on-target. Meanwhile, Palin may be one of few who "loves me some Chick-Fil-A." Since Prez Dan Cathy's homophobic remarks, the brand's public persona has hit the skids. *

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tom Daley Goes For Olympic Gold On Monday!

Our fave Olympic hopeful Tom Daley will compete Monday afternoon in the Men's Diving competition. He is seen as Britain's leading contender. Good luck!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

William Levy & Vanessa Williams Peddle M&Ms!

Fantastic new English-language commercial for M&Ms, starring William Levy and Ms. Brown (aka Vanessa Williams)! * 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Week In Music: Pop Reigns Supreme At CHR Radio

Pop music continues its magnanimous reign on the Singles chart this week, as Carly Rae Jepsen dials in a seventh week at No. 1 with her now-ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe.” That's the longest run by a female solo act since Adele logged as many weeks on top with "Rolling In The Deep" from May to July 2011.

Jepsen’s “Maybe,” in its 17th week inside the top 10, is the third chart-topping single to log six weeks or more at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, following "We Are Young" by fun. f/Janelle Monae, with six weeks; and "Somebody That I Used To Know," with eight. That hasn’t happened since 2002.

The reign of melodic music at the top is hardly a coincidence. A new study by Alan Burns & Associates surveyed 2,000 core female listeners of CHR and adult top 40, and found that pop and pop-rhythmic music are their favorite sounds—by more than a two to one margin over hip-hop (111 and 108 to 40). That’s a momentous change from just two years ago, when the three genres were practically on par (108, 98, 95).

Pop’s rally at CHR—and hip-hop’s decline—is reflected in the entire top 5 of this week’s Hot 100. Following Jepsen is Maroon 5's "Payphone," f/Wiz Khalifa, at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for a sixth frame, also topping Radio Songs for a fourth week. At No. 3 is Katy Perry’s dance-pop “Wide Awake,” which earns top Airplay Gainer props, moving 5-4 on Radio Songs. The song is pushing hard to become Perry’s eighth No. 1 single, next week.

Brit singer Ellie Goulding's dance-pop "Lights" climbs 5-4 in its 31st week on the chart, ascending 4-1 on On-Demand Songs, and a No. 6 ranking on Radio Songs. And at No. 5, down 1, is former chart-topper Gotye f/Kimbra with "Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Flo Rida's "Whistle" rises 7-6 on the Hot 100, fueled by sales as the top-selling Digital Song—surpassing more than 1 million downloads this week. Rounding out the top 10: Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" edges 6-7; David Guetta's "Titanium," featuring Sia, holds at No. 8; Usher's "Scream" rises 10-9; and, P!nk's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" drops 9-10. That’s likely a temporary setback for P!nk’s first single from her upcoming sixth studio album "The Truth About Love," due Sept. 18, as the track rallies 23-17 on Radio Songs. In addition, the music video was released July 26, which will drive streaming in the weeks to come.

Just outside the Hot 100's top 10, country act Jason Aldean ignites onto the chart at No. 12 with the week’s highest new entry, "Take a Little Ride.” While the single sold a robust 189,000 downloads—the most ever by a male artist at country—there’s a major caveat. Much of the track’s first-week action comes from an alliance between indie label Broken Bow and Clear Channel, with coordinated hour-after-hour airplay July 16 at the radio giant’s country outlets.

The last time such a stunt was engineered was Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” which CC simultaneously launched on 95 radio stations in February. While it propelled the song into the top 10, top 40 stations immediately retreated in the following weeks. (In the U.K., sans Clear Channel’s assistance, “Luvin’” peaked at a paltry No. 37.) While there’s no indication the same will happen with Aldean, it does show the potential plight of “manufacturing” a hit. At the least, it’s hardly an upstanding maneuver.

Meanwhile, No Doubt also returns to the upper reaches of the Singles chart, launching at No. 34 with "Settle Down." The pop-ska quartet’s first single since 2004’s remake of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life,” opens at No. 13 on Digital Songs and No. 65 on Radio Songs. The song previews No Doubt's sixth studio album, "Push and Shove," due September 25. It’s their first studio album since 2001's "Rock Steady." *

Pink's Music Video: 'Blow Me (One Last Kiss)'

Already one of my top 30 for mid-year 2012. The video is highly styled, and shows us a vengeful Pink, getting even with the man that dared to cross her. Nasty, nasty girl! Thank god the video is the unedited version, full of ribald language. Go, Pinkness! *

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Prez Dan Cathy's Homophobia Bites Him In The Ass

Oh, poor, misguided codger Dan Cathy. The Chick-fil-A president's recent homophobic comments against same-sex marriage aren't sitting so well with a United States that has grown much less tolerant of the old guard's wearisome tirades against gays... because the Bible tells them so.

In addition to The Jim Henson Co.'s Muppets pulling its toys from the fast-food chain and seguing its financial support to GLAAD, Jon Stewart devoted an entire episode of The Daily Show to Chick-Fil-A's bombastic absurdity, alongside the Boys Scouts of America's proclamation that open gays are unwelcome.

And now, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has fired off a letter to Cathy (god, I love that name!) urging him to stay the fuck out of his city: "In recent days you said Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it has 'an arrogant attitude,'" he began.

"Now, incredibly, your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston. We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people."

In a radio interview, Cathy continued to put a big chicken bone up his ass when he whined, " I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

His original bullhorn tirade against gays went like this: "We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

Oh, broooother... That collective "we being married to our first wives"... That's a good one! As if all stalwort Christian soldiers never divorce. Funny, I could swear that the 50% D-I-V-O-R-C-E rate in American struck a majority of said Christians. What a bunch of chicken-shit...

Meanwhile, former Arkansas Governor and one-time Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee showed what an antiquated fathead he is by supporting Chick-fil-A's stance. He whined that he is "incensed at the vitriolic assaults on Chick Fil-A. Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers and intolerant."

Oh, dear God. In one more generation forward, these kinds of comments are going to horrify what I count on to be a United States that stands for equality. But it's reassuring that already, such rhetoric sounds like a dinosaur brigade. Let's hope they're all soon extinct. *

Nanny Bloomberg's Soda Ban Hearing Fosters Plenty Of Opposition

Hundreds packed a NYC Board of Health hearing Tuesday to protest Mayor Nanny Bloomberg's civil rights-stomping plan to ban sugar sodas larger than 16 oz. in movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts, restaurants and delis.

The proposal is so absurd that it has gained national attention. USA Today called it a "misguided effort to curb obesity," pointing out that the day after Bloomerg announced his latest political whim on May 31, the closet queen had no issues celebrating National Donut Day.

The July 24 public hearing gave proponents and detractors a single opportunity to express their views before the 11-member Board of Health—all of whom were personally appointed by Bloomberg—rubber stamps the legislation in September. Mind you, during the hearing, not a $ingle of the Board member$ uttered a word. God forbid they $tand up again$t their lucrative appointment by New York's emperor.

The ban, which would be the first of its kind in the United States, drew such a crowd in Long Island City that an overflow room was needed. On the one hand, Kelly Brownell, a food policy expert at Yale University, te$tfied on behalf of the Bloomberg admini$tration: "Larger portions lead to overconsumption. This is established in science."

Daniel Halloran, a member of the city council representing Queens said, "When they came for the cigarettes, I didn't say anything, I didn't smoke. When they came for the MSG, I really didn't care because I didn't order it very often. I'm not a big salt eater, so I didn't mind when you guys regulated salt. But what will the government be telling me next?"

Saying he is "ashamed" by how the city is using its money and time, Halloran insisted the city should be addressing cultural changes, including nutrition & exercise, not intruding on people’s decisions. "What is the government going to tell me next? What time to go to bed? How big my steaks should be?"

My hero, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, an opponent, offered a rare bit of comic relief during the hearing, saying he is overweight not because of soda, but too much pasta, cheesecake and red velvet cake: "If someone has the right DNA, they can drink an entire two-liter bottle of soda and not gain a pound. If I do that, I’d be twice as big as I am today."

Meanwhile, The New York Times weighs in: "It is hard to think of a better way to turn soda into a symbol for intrusive, meddlesome, government than to have a humorless billionaire poking his finger of disapproval into one’s daily life and arbitrarily saying 'your cup shall not runneth over 16 ounces.' Bloomberg might as well have replaced Lady Liberty’s torch with a Big Gulp. He is a walking advertisement for libertarianism.

Indeed, no matter how bombastic such a move craps on individual's freedom of legal choice, we all know how Bloomberg works: Two months from now, his whim will be law. And New York will again be the laughing stock of the free world. *

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aw, Man... Chad Everett Dies At 76 After Cancer Battle

Ah, man, oh, man, this one bites. Chad Everett, the dreamy star of the 1970s TV series Medical Center has died. He was 76. Everett's daughter, Katherine Thorp, said he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half-long battle with lung cancer.

Everett played sensitive doctor Joe Gannon for seven years on Medical Center, which earned him two Golden Globes and an Emmy nomination, as part of a 40-year career in TV and films. He was a favorite of my mama's... and mine, as a little gay boy who didn't quite understand why he had such a crush on the good doctor.

Everett was born in South Bend, and graduated from Wayne State before moving to Los Angeles and becoming a contract player with MGM. He was married to actress Shelby Grant for 45 years until her death last year.

Let's give Chad a real Smoking Nun send-off, with a fine collective of pics throughout his career. *

Eagle Scouts Return Medals Over Boy Scouts' Bigotry

Here's a stance that truly demonstrates the metal of Eagle scouts. An uprising has begun where dozens of such former Boy Scouts are returning their badges of honor to protest the BSA's recent homophobic stance of not allowing openly gay people to serve as troop leaders or members.

Boing Boing writer Maggie Koerth-Baker posted a story about how her husband, Christopher Baker, a former Eagle Scout, returned his medal to the Boy Scouts of America. The post, which included Baker's letter to the BSA, drew such a robust reaction that other Eagles are voluntarily clipping their wings.

Baker wrote: "I am returning my Eagle Scout medal because I do not want to be associated with the bigotry for which it now stands. I hope that one day BSA stands up for all boys. It saddens me that until that day comes any sons of mine will not participate in the Boy Scouts."

Baker is not gay, nor are any of the other men who have submitted resignation letters to be posted on Boing Boing. Koerth-Baker said she is receiving a tirade of letters from men who have resigned from the Eagle Scouts.

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith responded: "While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society. Although we are disappointed to learn of anyone who feels compelled to return his Eagle rank, we fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy."

I'm assuming the Boy Scouts also, at one point, had a policy against little colored boys being members, as well. And handicapped kids. Grow up, BSA. It's 2012, not 1912. *