Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Friday Buzzkills: No qualifications necessary

As you slip off to your local swimming hole for some old-fashioned summer reverie–somehow undeterred by the threat of Iranian missiles, rampant wildfires, salmonella poisoning from your next bite of cilantro, and maybe even the fact that your brand new iPhone that you just spent hours waiting for can't, you know, make a phone call–take a moment to truly appreciate these dog days, when news slows to a static point where Jesse Jackson can make headlines by offering his veterinary services and someone actually gives a shit about what happens to Christie Brinkley. Once the weather cools and the election kicks into high gear, after all, every news report will become so weighted with importance that ignoring them will take even more effort on your part. In the meantime, we invite you to kick back and dog paddle your way around the fecund pool of pettiness that is Friday Buzzkills, where the livin' is easy (it's the finding a reason to that's hard).

- Rapid weight loss, a slight respiratory wheeze, weakening pulse, Dancing With The Stars–the signs have been mounting for years now, but it's safe to say we can officially call a time of death on the notion of "celebrity": 3 p.m., July 8, the moment E! News reported that "the most infamous hooker in America" (sorry, Dennis Miller) Ashley Dupre is nearing a deal with Handprint Entertainment–the management company that successfully mined personal failings for ratings gold with Nicole Richie and Pamela Anderson–to develop a "dating-type reality show," which is (along with her nascent recording career) all part of her plan to become "the next Tila Tequila." Seriously, this is it. The carotid has been slashed, and all the meaning has drained from the idea of "fame" as we know it into a sticky pool on the cultural landscape. We're about to hand over a production deal to a former prostitute whose icon is a faux-bisexual MySpace quasi-porn star (and whose own reality show somehow equated eating pig vaginas with proof of "true love"). The snake is no longer eating its own tail, folks. It's already eaten its tail, puked it back up, and now it's forcing all the other snakes to compete to see who can eat the puked-up tail the fastest while knocking back the most vodka shots. Somewhere Andy Warhol is having himself a gay old laugh.

- Of course, Dupre might actually have a shot at being the next Tila Tequila now that the original has taken up more scholarly pursuits–like writing awful, squirm-inducing poetry and posting it on her still-insanely-popular MySpace site (then deleting it as soon as everyone catches on). For anyone who's ever watched Tequila's crumple-faced kiss-offs to contestants on A Shot At Love after deciding that maybe the stars weren't aligned for them to be soulmates–"but thanks for letting me participate in a hot tub orgy with your family!"–and wondered aloud about the sensitive soul within, please kill yourself. And for everyone else who just wants to openly snicker at the lyrical musings of one of the 21st century's most shameful creations, we present the original, saved-from-the-fire draft of Tequila's "Thunderfuck" without further comment, except to say that it's surely destined to be the "Howl" of this eminently stupid generation:

Thunderfuck my mouth is shut. Been a while, feel like a cunt.

Can't wait for this drama to pass.

Oh the joy…..fuck you. My ass.

Live a lie.

Tell my mind.

Over soon. I can't deny.

You will all soon see, the truth in my eyes.

Smile on my face, the loving embrace….but instead I'll punch you in the face.

For a long time coming….I let you touch me….now that it's over bitch….You better start running.

Pent up inside….telling these lies….this has gone too far…..the world will soon die.

Only 1 more day. To feel this way. Tomorrow I smile….brings another day!

Back to myself. Nobody else. Fuck all this bullshit. I'm back to myself. Yes. Thank the fuck God.

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- And it's not just hookers and pseudo-hookers dabbling in areas well beyond their expertise: Ever since the California election that pitted porn star Mary Carey against Gary Coleman–and resulted in this unending waking nightmare where CNN correspondents have to refer to "Governor Schwarzenegger" without adding "…seriously?"–the phenomenon of "celebrity-turned-politician" has officially crossed the line from amusing lark to "Holy shit, Kevin from The Real World is running for Congress." While the former Vibe reporter always was Mr. Serious in the New York house (though it's not hard to shine when you're competing with the likes of Eric Nies), we're thinking his campaign could hit a snag once his rivals get hold of certain incriminating evidence about his character (and no, we're not talking about that "overalls-under-a-suit" ensemble"):



- But then, that's nothing compared to the circus of the surreal we're likely facing in the Senate run-off in Minnesota, where comedian Al Franken is due to square off against former governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who called Franken an "opportunist and a carpetbagger" this week in an interview with cutting-edge politico magazine The Midwest Wine Connection. "Why didn't [Franken] run in the states he was living in?," Ventura said while brandishing the business end of a blush chablis. "Clearly, for being a Harvard graduate, he's not too smart on taxes, is he? Everybody laughs, saying I came from wrestling. But at least I knew when I wrestled in 40 states, I had to pay taxes in those 40 states." Sure, Mr. The Body, everybody does laugh, saying you came from wrestling. And…uh…Sorry, I forgot where I was going with that.

- As Keanu Reeves once eloquently stated in Parenthood, "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father." Though Reeves typically only plays a prophet, it's eerie how accurately his words presaged the rise of the Wentzspawn, that forthcoming collaboration between Fall Out Boy's walking-target-for-all-the-bitterness-in-this-world and his blushing-with-inbred-insecurity bride Ashlee Simpson. Recently Wentz appeared on Ryan Seacrest's radio show and put the lifelong complexity of raising a child into the only terms he could understand, saying it's "like making a record, but knowing you're going to mix it for the next 18 years of your life." Right, and then when it finally comes out, everybody wonders why you even bothered in the first place. (Oh, and nice try, Wentz, but you're fucked if you think Jay-Z is going to drop in and change any diapers.)

- But as easy (and fun!) as it is to rip on Pete Wentz, proud poppa, there's a much uglier baby threatening to kick-step its way out of the womb: A proposed collaboration between Michael Jackson and New Kids On The Block, which the deposed King Of Pop hopes will help him reclaim his curiously stained throne once it's released on his still-in-progress, "much-anticipated" (so everyone can slam it) new album. Of the "top-secret" talks being held at Jackson's Nevada home, Donny "The Formerly Almost-Respected One" Wahlberg said, "It's one big party and everyone wants to join us." Upon hearing the news, most attendees at the party edged closer to the front door, mumbling something about stepping out for cigarettes.

- What with the valiant efforts of both Jackson and NKOTBLOLZ to set the clocks back to 1989, perhaps they should consider opening up a little bit of their temporal fold to welcome in Warrant. The aging hair metal hornballs whose blockbuster ode to busted hymens is no doubt this very moment rattling the walls of the Hard Rock Café inside your head have fallen on hard times of late, with the "triumphant" return of lead singer Jani Lane to the group already turning out to be a possibly career-ending blunder. As a practice run for their headlining set at this year's Rocklahoma, Warrant recently stopped in at Nevada's Sunset Station Hotel And Casino and delivered what may be the saddest performance ever captured on film. (Yes, those are boos. Yes, this performance disappointed fans who actually paid to see Warrant at the Sunset Station Hotel And Casino–perhaps the lowest bar any band would have to clear outside of playing their cousin's bat mitzvah.)



- Sometimes in our rush to get these published in time to ruin your weekend, we manage to overlook a few notable passings, and last Thursday we narrowly missed reporting on the death of Larry Harmon, who passed on that day at the age of 83. Although not the originator of beloved children's programming staple Bozo The Clown, Harmon's version was unquestionably the most recognizable, and it was Harmon's initiative to acquire licensing and TV rights–as well as his personal training of more than 200 regional variations–that spawned the Bozo empire as we know it, ensuring that kids everywhere knew the answer to the question, "Who's your favorite clown?" Harmon was also a successful animation producer, spearheading many cartoon shows starring Popeye, Laurel And Hardy, and, of course, his most famous creation.



- Finally, while few things can top the death of a clown, we're especially saddened to have accidentally skipped eulogizing one of our favorite character actors, Don S. Davis, who died June 29 at the age of 65. Davis had well over 100 TV and film roles from the '80s on, including appearances in Look Who's Talking, A League Of Their Own, Needful Things, Hook, and Con Air, but he was probably best known for his frequent portrayal of military types on shows like Stargate: SG-1. To us, of course, he will always be Twin Peaks' Major Garland Briggs, whose fear that "the possibility that love may not be enough" often comes to us in our darkest hour. We wish you nothing but the very best in all things, Major.



Have a super weekend!

[Friday Buzzkills will return July 25.]

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