Friday, January 27, 2006

Oprah Makes Me Sick

Regarding fiction author, James Frey's visit with Oprah yesterday...

Oprah says she was duped by Frey's book, A Million Little Pieces. Frey admitted to MAKING-UP (Oprah: "Lying, James, lying!") parts of his story.

Who cares?

It's a memoir. Who said, "A memoir is the most outrageous form of fiction"? Smart observation. From watching Oprah's show (and all the pundits who followed on the cable news oulets), I've come to realize that the term 'memoir' has many different meanings to different folks.

The guy altered the details. So what? How does this effect anyone? He made the book more readable. Are addicts all over the world now going to stop "holding on" because Frey stretched the truth? Does he still get points for those that continue to keep the faith? What happens to all the kids that believe they can fly after closing the book on Harry Potter ? Wait'll they find-out that J.K. Rowling based her hero on an unemployed cousin.

Look, it's no secret Frey shopped the manuscript as fiction. If the reports are true, he was turned-down by seventeen different publishers.

Then Nan Talese entered the picture.

If anyone should be scrutinized, it's Talese. Some say that it was Talese who decided to market the book as non-fiction.

Wasn't it fun to watch Nan distance herself from the book on Oprah? Just think: yesterday's show would never have happened if Nan had simply added the words, "some events have been altered to protect certain identities."

How about Oprah making herself out to be the victim in all of this. She screeched at Talese for being derelict in her duties as publisher for not properly vetting the book. Hey, wait a minute-- shouldn't Oprah have vetted the book, too? Wasn't Oprah accusing Talese of commiting the same sin that she, Oprah, is guilty of?

One last thought: Oprah shredded Frey on live TV yesterday for portraying a false image of himself to his fans. You know what I'd love to do? I'd love to grab the guy at Hermes in Paris and ask him if he saw the same Oprah clawing at his locked door that we see everyday smiling from our TV sets?

(A portion of this column appeared in the LA Times)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Disney-Pixar Deal Blows!

Here's my first, true, Hollywood thought:

The Pixar deal blows.

Mark my words: it will soon go down as the worst Hollywood mega-merger deal since Time Warner/ AOL.

Here's another prediction: Bob Iger 'aint long for the biggest, most padded chair in the Board of Directors room. I predict that Steve Jobs will be staging a coup for that seat sometime in the next two years.

To some observers it appears that Steve Jobs fancies himself as the next Walt Disney. To borrow a phrase, he is no Walt Disney (funny how most of Walt's successors have thought they were the second coming; must be something about taking that corner office).

Again, I digress.

OK, here's my real beef on the deal:


For what??!!??

Used computers? Ratty old Ikea office furniture?

From what I've seen the Pixar digs are cool-- but seven BILLION dollars worth of cool? No way. Perhaps the real estate and what's on it is worth seven MILLION dollars... but Iger over paid. By a lot.

OK, maybe you're saying, "Hey, that seven billion also buys you a valuable film library."

Nice try... but wrong.

Disney already owns "Toy Story," and "Finding Nemo" and all the other Disney/ Pixar releases.

So, again, I ask: "What the hell did they pay seven billion for???"

One answer: John Lasseter.

He's the guy (along with his key creative personnel) that are behind the creation of all those great films and their animated characters.

God help Iger if he didn't sign Lasseter to a LONG and VERY BINDING contract when he signed the dotted line of this week's Pixar deal. As of the moment, it appears Lasseter is only signed through 2009. Uh-oh.

I, for one, will be at the next share holder meeting (March 15th at the Arrowhead Pond) requesting Iger's head if he didn't do the RIGHT DEAL and sign Lasseter.

Bottom Line: Why the hell didn't Iger just steal Lasseter away from Pixar and set him up in his own shop? I guarantee it would have been a lot cheaper.

(A portion of this column appeared in the LA Times)

Sixth Seed Makes The Super Bowl

Does anyone really believe that the Steelers are a sixth seed?

C'mon! Seriously?!?

Were it not for some mid-season injuries, the team would have been 14-2 (maybe 13-3). Pittsburgh is truly the best team in the AFC.

Fine. Maybe it's better to fly under the radar and have everyone underestimate your team.

It's also better to be the underdog. Everyone loves an underdog.

It was funny -- and maddening -- to hear the big-brained TV commentators predict the Steelers weekly demise with each passing game. Most seemed to think that Pittsburgh would be killed by the Bengals in the first round of playoffs by recounting the teams last meeting (Pittsburgh was trounced). One big difference for the playoffs: The Bengals were meeting a different (read: HEALTHY) Steelers.

Enough blabbing.

Get ready for a new NFL dynasty... it's shifting from Massachusetts and heading east to Pittsburgh.

Bottom Line: Steelers over Seattle by 10.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Steelers Go All The Way-- YES!

Going out on a limb and predicting that it's a Steelers Vs. Carolina Super Bowl.

With that happy thought in mind, here's a little ditty that might come in handy for your ipod play list on game day. The lyris are slightly dated, but it'll get any fan in black and gold revved-up...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Does Reggie Bush Get Payola???

Let me first say that I'm a USC fan.

That said, this photo from today's LA Times has me concerned.

How does a kid from the inner city afford diamond earrings and an expensive watch?

Aren't there restrictions on how much dough amateur athletes can pull in? Maybe I'm just a cynic. It's probably just a gift from the owner of the Houston Texans...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bad Penny

Welcome to my first blog. Ever. Anyone care???

Is it just me... or does anyone recognize the fact that society is losing the ability to properly make change?

Let me explain:

When I was a kid (and I'm not that old), I was taught how to CORRECTLY count-out change.

Example: The bill is $10.50 and you hand me a twenty. I first start by handing you fifty cents (this was waaay before anybody would have thought naming themselves after a couple of quarters was a cool idea), and saying, "fifty makes eleven," and then handing you four singles and a five (all the while counting aloud, "twelve (give 'em a single with a snap!)... thirteen (snap a single!)... fourteen (snap!)... fifteen (SNAP!)... and five (give him the fiver), makes twenty.").

Here's the point of this pointless blog:

I gave you the silver FIRST. I didn't do what the gang at the corner Jack-In-The-Box does today: put the bills in your hand first, and THEN slap the quarters on top of the rumpled mass FOR THEM TO SLIDE OFF AND ONTO THE DRIVEWAY.

Speaking of Jack-In-The-Box: Has anyone ever ordered a Jumbo Jack with Cheese and heard it read back through Jack's mouth? Take a listen (or do it for fun). It sorta sounds like they're saying, "You want a Yumbo Yack with Jizz?"

Uh... yeah. Gimme the Yumbo Yack-- but hold the jizz. Please.

I digress.

So where did everything go wrong?

Its Digital World, baby. The computers do our thinking. The cats at McDonald's H.Q. saw the slide our kids were taking in school and figured they'd be losing millions via incorrectly counted change. The solution, of course, was smart cash registers. Why have a Stridex slathered teenager get flustered over figuring change (and getting it wrong), when a register can do it for you instead?

I won't even get into telling time in the digital age... and the loss of old sayings like "half past eleven" or, "quarter 'till."

Sooo... what does all of this mean???

First, this post reveals I'm spending too much time in drive thrus... and with folks that are forced to wear name badges.