The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

Current posts can be found here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

March 1, 2004 by s.z.

A Couple of Fun Things
Mark from Fried Green al-Qaedas throughly dissects Armstrong Williams' "Dance, Mary, Dance" TownHall column.  In case you were wondering what Armstrong meant about gay sex being "insipid," and other issues raised by the column. 

And TBOGG announces the winners of his "Happy, Shiny Bush Slogan" contest.  Sadly, Meghan Gurdon's slogan, as submitted by her daughter Listerine, didn't win, but you may recognize some familiar names among the winners (like a certain Dr. BDH).  Congrats to all.

5:24:21 AM    

World O'Crap Bookclub Selection: Oscar Edition

The Return of the King won everything.  Everybody in New Zealand got thanked.  Nobody's dress fell off.  Billy's jokes weren't that funny.  Only a couple of small digs at the Bush Administration.  So, a pretty boring Academy Awards Ceremony.  You should have skipped the whole thing and read a book instead.  Just not THIS book:

Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrityby Andrew Breitbart (Author), Mark Ebner (Author)
Book Description
In this entertainment industry exposé, Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner pull back the curtain to reveal the twisted culture of Hollywood and the preposterous penchants of today's high-profile celebrities. From John T, Tom Cruise, and Ann Heche to Eddie Murphy, Oliver Stone, and Courtney Love,Hollywood, Interrupted presents the mind-altered behavior of the most reality-challenged celebrities from all walks of life and every genre.
I bet you didn't know that Ann Heche used to be a lesbian and had a mental breakdown a couple of years ago -- and that her first name has an "e" on the end of it!  And Courtney Love?  Well, it turns out that she's addicted to drugs!!!  Oh, and Oliver Stone is weird, and Tom Cruise is a Scientologist.  And John T. Walton (I guess that's who they are referring to) inherited a fortune now worth over $20 billion, and is an advocate of school vouchers! 
Hollywood, Interrupted explores how the pathological behavior of celebrities has destroyed comedy, snuffed relationships, and demeaned family values.
You'll enter a world where:
  • Statutory rapist Roman Polanski can win a Best Director Oscar, but can't collect it because of the criminal conviction against him in the United States
  • Celebrity nannies get so stressed they've formed a Beverly Hills support group
  • Mathew Perry, Robert Downwy Jr., and Ben Affleck, among others, vacation atarm's "five star" rehab resort centers.
A world where Roman Polanski is a convicted rapist?  Well, I never!  And one where nannies get stressed (and blab to gossip peddlers )?  Whoda thunk it!  And Mathew Perry (but with two "t"s), Robert Downey, Jr., Ben Affleck, and Rush Limbaugh went to rehab???  Apparently so -- except that I don't believe Rush's story is included in this book.  And I have no idea what "atarm's" means.

Anyway, why would we want to enter this world?  As Publisher's Weekly said:
So, it sounds like the usual tawdry tabloid fare, but with an extra dose of venom and cruelty.  It should be ignored by all decent, family oriented, clean-minded, Christian people, right?
Yes.  But the wingnut are promoting the hell out of it (the publisher apparently having decided that social conservatives were the natural market for a mean-spirited book of celebrity gossip).  Here are some of the cover blurbs, courtesy of Amazon:
Rosemary's baby has grown up and is running Hollywood. One of America's greatest industries has become one of the most destructive. Entertainment titans like Walt Disney, Morrie Ryskind, and Frank Capra have been replaced by people whose idea of a good Christmas movie involves Santa having sex in the back seat of a car with a barmaid shouting '*** me Santa *** me!' People you wouldn't allow to meet your children are spending hours alone with your children. Hollywood, Interrupted describes the misogynist, pill-popping degenerates who now define American culture." —Ann Coulter, bestselling author
Isn't it rather "kettle, black" of Ann to be complaining about other people being misogynistic?  (The "pill-popping degenerate" bit sounds like a shoe that might fit her too.)  And wouldn't you much rather have your kids spend a couple of hours alone with Bad Santa rather than Bad Ann?  And didn't you already know that Bad Santa isn't a kids' movie?  And now you're stuck with the mental image of Ann Coulter screaming for Santa to f--- her, which can't be healthy.  So thanks for nothing, Ann!

And do you really think that Ann is a big Marx Brothers fan, or does she just adore "entertainment titan" and writer Morrie Ryskind because he appeared before HUAC to denounce the left, and later joined the John Birch society?  Anyway, I suggest that you let your kids watch Animal Crackers, made back when Morrie was a commie.  That'll show Ann!
Now let's read another celebrity endorsement:
This basic critique rings true to me , and I live here (well, nearby, anyway). Their book will . . . rip the lid off the decadent culture of the showbiz rich. . . but who would have suspected that Barbara Streisand was actually a good mother?" —Mickey Kaus, Slate magazine columnist
Of COURSE this all rings true to Mickey -- he's never met a rumor about a liberal or a "cultural elite" that he subjected to the slightest critical scrutiny.  And why in heaven's name wouldn't we think that Barbara was a good mother? And doesn't she spell her name "Barbra"?  (The spell checking on the jacket copy seems a likely harbinger of the level of fact-checking we will find between the covers.)
"This is a great book to read and a dangerous book to write. Breitbart and Ebner can hide in my basement when the Powers that Be in Hollywood put out a contract on them." —Jonah Goldberg, National Review
Yeah, that would be so cool!  Jonah could show them his Star Wars action figures, and they could tell him the shocking details of what happened to Yeoman Rand after the Star Trek years!
But Jonah's comments brings up the authors' clever marketing plan: being oppressed.  It seems that just like how the Jews were attacking Mel Gibson's movie before they even heard of it, the Hollywood powers are out to get these guys -- and it's your duty as a conservative to buy their book, to show those pesky liberals! refers us a London Telegraph article which claims that the authors are being persecuted for their dedication to truth and moral outrage:
Breitbart and Ebner knew their tales of inmates running the asylum wouldn't play well in California, but they were surprised to get the cold shoulder from the big television networks in New York. This week, their appearances on two television chat shows were abruptly cancelled, and they were told that their book was too hot to handle, despite an estimated first printing of 100,000 copies.
What seems to have unnerved the media establishment is not the sordid truth, but the authors' moral outrage.
Or maybe the media establishment just think the authors are lying creeps.  Here's an item from the NY Daily Newsgossip column:
MSNBC host Deborah Norville phoned me to answer the insults of "Hollywood, Interrupted" authors Mark Ebner and Andrew Breitbart, who claimed in yesterday's column that she declared during a recent conference call with their publishers that she found the book "offensive," resulting in their appearance being canceled. "What I find offensive," said Norville, "are people so desperate for their 15 minutes of fame that they would make stuff up just to get ink about their project. Truth is, I don't participate in calls with the publishers, and never heard of these two writers or their book, which Publishers Weekly reportedly calls a 'sour and joyless read.' "  
This might make you wonder about the author's credibility (again), but don't, because here's another endorsement:
"Hollywood is worse than you ever imagined, and Hollywood, Interrupted pulls no punches. It would be depressing, if it weren't so hilarious." —Prof. Glenn Reynolds,, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
I don't know who I feel sorrier for: Glenn, a "Distinguished Professor of Law," who is reduced to endorsing cheap Hollywood tell-all books; or the authors, who are reduced to getting recommendations from credulous hacks like Kaus and Reynolds.
And here's the Corner's Rod Dreher:
In the deliriously scandalous tradition of Hollywood Babylon, Breitbart and Ebner’s juicy dispatch from the spiritual capital of the Porn Belt reveals Tinseltown to be a glorified cathouse populated by collagened sociopaths.
Rod just loves spiteful gossip, porn belts, and glorified cathouses.  But he's all man! 
One last prestigious endorsement:
There are tales of the fabulously famous here you would never know if not for their work. Hollywood, Interrupted is a book you have to put down frequently in order to catch your breath. Absolutely riveting.”
Lucianne Goldberg, Publisher,
News Forum and Talk Radio Network host
Wow, famous people known for their work -- what a novel concept!  So, let's now know them for their sexcapades, addictions, and mental illnesses: that way, people who are known only for furthering other people's scandals can feel better about themselves.

The "little people" seem to be responding to the marketing plan (unless they're all shills, planted their by the book's publicist), writing stuff like this at
Reply 20 -  2/29/2004 9:25:19 AMGood luck trying to find the book.
Funny how it isn't in book stores or libraries.
Get it if you can.
Celebs are strong-arming the "newsies" to keep the author from promoting it.
Let's send it to #1.
And this, from Amazon:
my what a book"..."my what a book", February 25, 2004
Noone has connected "all the dots" that show the depraved lifestyles of those we label as CELEBRITIES and how they lead to the destruction of our society LIKE ebner and breithbartThis is a MUST READ for anyone who loves to see all the latest hollywood movies and its especially a good read for college and high school students and their parents, for you FINALLY have the advantage to evaluate the movie performance against the BIOGRAPHY of the celebrity
 Finally, Hollywood Writers with Guts, February 26, 2004
 I'm relieved to pick up a book about these people that so many Americans rely on as role models, political advisors, international policy experts and so on, and have it talk about what they really are - a bunch of freaks. Ebner and Breitbart are gutsy and God bless them, honest.
The only way you won't like this book is if you are as needy and weak as the people they write about, not ready to face the fact that your idols are as imperfect as you. 
How about if you just don't care enough about celebrities to read gossip about them, and don't like this book on general principles: what does THAT say about you?

So, Hollywood Interrupted.  If you're interested in this kind of thing, buy People or The National Enquirer instead -- that way, your scandal will be current and served up without a lot of moralizing, and you won't have to feel like you're taking recommendations from Lucianne Goldberg and Ann Coulter.

4:23:00 AM

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