Shit, Valentine's Day was yesterday? Well, just because we totally forgot to get you anything doesn't mean we don't care. In fact, it's a little embarrassing to admit, but when the shadows grow long and the chill of loneliness gets a little too much to bear around here, we often warm the cockles of our heart with thoughts of you, dear readers: You, huddled over your computers anxiously awaiting the moment our carefully crafted handiwork hits the web so you can mark it with a "First!" You, concocting clever flames to throw us into "hissy fits." You, registering your disgust with our ill-informed opinions and grammatical errors, and bemoaning the site's general slide into a self-referential miasma of hipster elitism. Would it make you uncomfortable if we said that we loved you? It would? Well, how about we just stick to shallow trinkets then? They may be a day old, but please accept these arsenic-laced bon-bons and a half-dozen long-stemmed Friday Buzzkills as a token of our affection. Don't go changin'.
- Hey, the writers' strike is over! Executives and scribes buried the hatchet, all was forgiven, and most of your shows are
is-you-fav.html">already back in production. It seems like everyone was pretty much welcomed back with open arms and no one paid the ultimate price for their insolence, right? Well, except for three staff writers over at Last Call With Carson Daly, who were given hearty backslaps followed by pink slips, part of a mass firing that included nine employees in all. The network insists that the strike had nothing to do with it, but considering it threatened to scrap Last Call altogether if Daly didn't cross picket lines and go back to work–resulting in a memorable disruption by picketers–it's still kind of a dick move, and one that further illustrates just how much NBC actually cares for its writers. (Or maybe it's just trying to do whatever it can to kill off Last Call before Daly's two-year contract finally expires.)
- Certainly Daly doesn't have the sort of network backing afforded to Sir David Attenborough, who's been allowed to create a vast series of BBC nature documentaries for over two decades regardless of cost or shifting public tastes. Sadly, the "institution…whose name is synonymous with integrity, trust, and an astonishing wide-eyed pleasure in what he does" has stated that his latest series on reptiles, Life In Cold Blood, is his "swansong," the last of a cycle that began with 1979's Life On Earth. While Attenborough still intends to make the occasional special, the 81-year-old filmmaker more or less has his sights set on retiring, which means the end of an era for British television and nature documentaries in general. All hail the new generation:
- It's a shame that Attenborough is retiring so soon, considering there are still so many bizarre species left to study: The wily Bai Ling, for example, who–despite no discernible talents, horrendous taste in fashion, and a knack for ruining already-terrible movies with her distracting presence–maintains enough celebrity status that it qualifies as headline news when she shoplifts a couple of magazines and a pack of batteries from an airport newsstand, a total of $16 in merchandise. A ridiculously petty theft, which just makes it all the more pathetic that anyone cares, but this story comes with a triple-shot of sadness: First, there's the hee-larious Fox News lede, "Bai Ling's first name may not be synonymous with her actions." (Score, dudes!). Then there's Bai Ling's official blog on the matter, which includes weepy freshman girl poetry like, "My emotions are running through me like a wild river, tears come from the lake of my heart hurt my eyes." [Grammar is, unfortunately, correct.] And then, of course, there's the mugshot:
- With Ling's skills as a wordsmith, perhaps she should get in on some of the new trends picked up in this story over at Idolator. Apparently MySpace, the social networking site that everybody pretends they're over but still secretly checks anyway, held a survey last month for a report on "Top Trends For 2008" that we're praying is just the result of some clever kids fucking with everyone. Among them: Slash/Slash Kids (MySpace stars who are "creative multi-skillers and making cash from their talents"); Cheemos ("a combination of a chav and an emo kid"); Double Dressers ("dressing as twins with your friends"); and Superheroes Anonymous ("individuals who give themselves superhero aliases and dress accordingly to become citizen do-gooders, crime fighters, or activists.") Even more disturbing, the report identified a handful of new music genres: Toystick/Joystick Jungle ("sounds made from recycled plastic toys, game consoles and children's Casio keyboards"); Grindie ("a blend of grime and indie"); Tape Music ("the new way chill-out sound moving from ambient to acoustic psychedelic"); and Super Super Kids ("a mix between New Ravers and New Romantics"). We're starting our own scene here at the Buzzkills desk: Barfcore, a mix between punk, emo, new wave, and puking our fucking guts out whenever we think about the future.
- While some of those are (hopefully) completely made up just to fool clueless rock journalists, there's one new Frankengenre that is all too real: Country-rap, the growing interest amongst hip-hop artists in the sounds of Nashville. You may already be familiar with Lil Jon's recent remix of Big 'N Rich's "Loud," but is the world really ready for a T-Pain duet with Mr. Big Dog Daddy himself, Toby Keith? Would "We'll put a boot in your ass" sound better through an auto-tune? Unfortunately, you might just find out.
- It's been some time since we've closed a Buzzkills session with an obituary, so here's a double to make up for it: Character actor Perry Lopez, best known for his role as Lt. Escobar in Chinatown, has died at the age of 78. Another memorable character actor perhaps best known for playing cops died this week as well: Robert DoQui, otherwise known as the gruff Sgt. Reed in all three RoboCop films, passed away at the age of 74. DoQui was also an ensemble favorite of Robert Altman's (appearing in Nashville, Buffalo Bill And The Indians, and Short Cuts) and played the pimp King George in the blaxploitation classic Coffy.
Have a super weekend!