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21 posts from June 2006

Stars: They're Just Like Each Other!

One of the celebrity mag bits I'm getting sick of is the whole, "is sister A trying to turn into sister B?!" thing.  Basically, the shtick is to take two pictures of a pair of famous sisters wearing similar hairstyles/outfits and imply that the weaker sister is going through an identity crisis and trying to co-opt the stronger or more popular sister's image.  See Hilary and Haylie Duff:


And, of course, Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, who are classic victims of this treatment:


I should mention that the reason this bothers me is not because I give a shit about the state of Ashlee Simpson's sense of self.  It's because it's lazy-ass trickery on behalf of the magazines who run this stuff, and I feel like I should be able to flip through my pictures of pretty people without having to be assaulted by 72-pt. bold non-sequitur about how the fact that when one sister looks like another it means a gigantic struggle for dominance is going on.

Hey, here's a thought--maybe they're just related.  Maybe that accounts for the striking similarities.  Maybe instead of inferring that the Simpsons or the Duffs looking alike means that one wishes she were the other, we should infer that when two already genetically similar people undergo the same set of standard-issue Hollywood grooming conventions--teeth whitening, microdermabrasion, eyebrow shaping, etc.--they start to look really F-ing similar.

And on top of that, when these young women are photographed all day in numerous outfits and hairstyles, I think it would be hard not to find a few pictures of them dressed in similar outfits.  Hell, maybe they even share their clothes because they are SISTERS.  The fact that you had a photo intern rifle through 800 stock photos doesn't mean shit to me, but thanks.

I even tested the theory that you could choose two polar opposite celebrities and find pictures of them wearing essentially the same thing.  The two I chose were Bruce Vilanch and Nicole Kidman and, I swear to God, by the time ten minutes passed I had created the following graphic:


Again, I'm not outraged on behalf of these celebs.  I just hate it when my magazines are lazy and un-creative, and I'm completely OK with saying that I expect more.  Maybe it's not US News & World Report, but it's what I read and I'm holding it accountable to my standards.  So there.

Adorable Ethnic Babies: Gotta Catch 'Em All!

Forgive me for being cynical about the celebrity foreign-baby-adoption trend.  It just seems like way too sweet of a deal for celebrities: not only do they get to avoid the pain and weight gain of pregnancy, but they also achieve popular sainthood, political relevance, and untold amounts of positive publicity.  And though they are inspiring ordinary people to adopt, they are doing it in a way that essentially seems to reduce these babies to little living Pokemons, with each ethnicity carrying its own strengths and political statements.  Don't believe me?  Then explain why Angelina Jolie's kids fit the Pokemon-card format so unbelievably well:


And while Angelina Jolie is clearly proving to be the kid in class who has way more Pokemons than anyone else and even keeps them in a cool binder with laminated inserts, the trend is in no way limited to just her.  Meg Ryan, for example, recently jumped on the bandwagon and adopted her daughter Daisy from China, earning her the coveted "Chinese baby" card, which can beat all other types of Asian orphans in head-to-head battle.


Rumor has it that Jessica Simpson has considered picking up a baby from Mexico, and I think once she sees how well a little bebe can improve her post-Nick image, she'll be booking herself on the next available plane to Ciudad Juarez.


Whether or not Jessica Simpson decides to get on it, we can be sure that foreign orphan babies will continue to be the new Ugg boots for a while to come.  After all, if you want a constant companion and you're allergic to Chihuahuas, you've really got nowhere else to go!

YouTube Proves Its Worth Yet Again

This video is a Japanese program that combines English lessons with working out.  The episode below combines useful phrases for crime situations with deltoid workouts, and I swear, when the '80s music beat sets in and the dancing Japanese girls start doing arm exercises--well, if that's not the funniest thing you've seen all week then you must live in a really magical place.

Heat Exhaustion

Last night as the clock ran out on the NBA finals series of Mavericks vs. Heat, the nation's news editors breathed a Shaq-sized sigh of relief and immediately commenced pulling lame "heat" puns out of their respective asses.  "Heat," after all, is far richer fodder for lame wordplay than "Mavericks" could ever be.

So the nation's headline-writers owe the Miami Heat an immense debt of gratitude, because thanks to them they were able to really phone it in today.  A quick glance at some of the nation's online newspapers confirmed that no actual brain cells were used in the sports journalism world today:


"Heat Wave!"  How creative and, I daresay, daring for the headline writers to use this one.  After all, the operative term here is one commonly used to describe a weather phenomenon that destroys crops and kills old people in their hot apartments.  But whatever.

Now, not every single editor used the "heat wave" line.  Some of them thought for about a nanosecond longer and came up with this gem:


Also extremely catchy, and good for publications that are tight on space!

While 'heat wave' and 'heat rises' were extremely prevalent, there were some papers that stepped it up and didn't use either of those phrases.  Instead, they opted to take any common phrase with the word 'hot' and use it to describe the Miami team:


. . . And so on.

I guess my point is that if Britney Spears can take a stance on something totally insignificant like photographers, then I can take a stance on something like the use of heat puns.  And for the record, I'm very anti.

It's Not a Bad Outfit, It Just Has the Wrong Backdrop

One of the pleasures of my day is looking at "Star Tracks," a daily feature on the People website that shows photos (and lame accompanying captions) of what celebrities have been doing out and about in the past 24 hours. It's always a joy to click through, but today was especially interesting because I noticed that the celebs picked seemed to be wearing even more bizarre outfits than usual.  It all started with Brooke Shields in this outfit:


The People caption:
Oops! Brooke Shields heads back to a Brentwood, Calif., restaurant on Sunday – apparently to pick up the shoes she left behind.

Well, I thought it was a little remiss of the People copywriters to ignore the fact that Brooke is dressed like a caveman, so I went ahead and corrected that for them and added a new caption to boot:


Oops!  Brooke Shields heads back to the Triassic Period on Sunday--apparently in search of the last time her outfit was acceptable.

(Spare me the e-mails about how this was actually, like, the Cenozoic period, and how humans and dinosaurs never coexisted, because I don't care.)

Anyway, I went ahead and gave a few more inappropriately-dressed People celebs the LMNOPeople treatment.


People: Mary-Kate Olsen, who celebrated her 20th birthday last week with twin Ashley, makes a solo coffee run in Brentwood, Calif., on Monday.


LMNOPeople: Mary-Kate Olsen, holding a parcel of tarot cards and tambourine wax, treks behind her gypsy caravan.


People: Renée Zellweger and a friend stay hydrated during a warm Saturday morning stroll through New York City's West Village.


LMNOPeople: Renee Zellweger and some equally awkward and stringy-haired friends take a break to look through their prize bags before performing in the seventh-grade band concert Saturday morning.


People: The O.C.'s on- and offscreen couple Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson make it a date, southern style, at Hollywood restaurant Memphis recently.


LMNOPeople: The O.C.'s on- and offscreen couple Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson make it a date, western style, at the 1800s saloon where he bartends and she sluts around the piano.


People: Tom Cruise makes a high-seas entrance at the premiere of Mission: Impossible 3 in Tokyo on Tuesday.


LMNOPeople: Tom Cruise takes a recreational boat out for a doctor-supervised spin at the Los Angeles Mental Hospital Tuesday.


I am alarmed to report that the factual accuracy of LMNOP has been called into question.  A person named Matt who claims to be an athletic trainer seems to have found this post by doing a Google blog search for "athletic trainers."  The post, which calls into question the skills and worth of athletic trainers, was a March correspondence report from Michelle.  Unfortunately, according to a comment this Matt person left yesterday, our report does not present a fair look at the athletic training profession:

"OUCH. although athletic training and physical therapy do overlap as far as rehabillitation goes, we treat different patient populations. ATC's deal with athletes and the physically active, PT's deal with a variety of different populations. Also we are not "less-educated" we are educated in a different setting. Besides the gross misrepresentation of my profession, thanks for getting the word out there."

As with any quality publication, LMNOP understands that it is nothing without its journalistic credibility.  As such, we would like to apologize for our gross misrepresentation of the athletic training profession and offer the following correction:

Athletic trainers are not, as previously stated, "essentially a poor-man's/college athlete's, less-educated physical therapist."  Rather, they are the poor man's/college athlete's differently educated physical therapists.  Furthermore, while they may not be trained to work with as many populations as physical therapists, they are fully capable of Googling themselves and composing passive-aggressive, poorly-punctuated compensatory rants using the same sort of sad logic that dentists employ when trying to argue that they are real doctors.

LMNOP regrets the error.

I Think Mrs. Fields Had a Stroke

Thanks to the Mrs. Fields at Lakeforest Mall for making this Father's Day so special for those of us who think there is no better way to recognize Dad's hard work and sacrifice than with a cookie cake that looks like it was frosted by a fingerless chimpanzee with double vision.


Since Updates on Mid-'90s Cult Celebrities Are Part of My Beat

Weirdal The day before I heard about Weird Al's new song--"You're Pitiful," sung to the tune of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"--I had just been wondering what he was up to these days.  One has to imagine the pop music world is just as ripe for parody now as it was in the '80s and '90s.
I encourage you to go to his website for the free download of his new song.  Just be prepared to engage in a philosophical debate with yourself as you wonder whether his old songs were really better, or if your impression of the "Alternative Polka" at the age of 12 as the greatest song ever cannot be reliably compared to any judgements you make today.

Also, I'd be remiss in not telling you that Dustin Diamond is having some problem paying for his house or something and needs you to buy a T-shirt.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.