Everyone has gaps in their pop culture knowledge. There’s just too much content out there. Even someone like myself, a person professionally tasked with maintaining a thorough understanding of the zeitgeist, is bound to miss some things.

And those blank spots can occasionally lead to opportunity.

Take “Twilight,” for instance. Now, I have a general understanding of the overall mythos, as someone who was, you know, conscious during the mid-00s – the whole thing was inescapable – but I never read the books and I actually only saw the final two movies, based on the final book in the series (I was … let’s just say confused). So yes – a basic understanding without much knowledge of the specifics.

This confluence of circumstances means that I get to review Meyer’s return to the “Twilight” universe with eyes of unexpected freshness.

This new offering is titled “Midnight Sun” (Little, Brown and Company, $27.99); it’s a retelling of the events of the first “Twilight” book, only from a different perspective. Instead of the story unfolding from Bella’s point of view, we get to experience Edward’s interpretation of events. And boy oh boy are there some EVENTS.

Now, I can’t speak to the relative merits of this book as opposed to its predecessor – I don’t know how well Meyer has aligned this latest offering with the work that came 15 years before – but I can say that, while I might not have found “Midnight Sun” to be the most literarily brilliant work I’ve read, it certainly didn’t live up (down?) to the less-than-stellar stylistic reputation of the first four books. The writing isn’t spectacular, but neither is it spectacularly bad.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:59

Celebrity Slam - Jan. 9, 2013

Public relief

In this segment, we're going to discuss two different celebrities. These two men found themselves faced with one of nature's calls in very public places; one was called while at the airport, the other while at the White House. However, each of these men dealt with the situation very differently.

We'll start with Bronson Pelletier, a young actor who stars as one of the werewolves in the thankfully-concluded 'Twilight' series of films. Late last month, Pelletier was taken into custody by security at LAX after urinating in the middle of a terminal while waiting for a flight. Ordinarily, we would qualify that charge with an 'allegedly' especially since the guy claimed he didn't do it.

However, incontrovertible video evidence has surfaced. Seriously there's actually video of the guy straight-up peeing on the floor in an airport. The dude did it.

On the flip side of the coin, you've got 'Today' weatherman Al Roker, who recently revealed an embarrassing event of his own. In a 'Dateline' interview, Roker confessed that during a White House visit a month after his 2002 gastric bypass, he felt the need to fart. He was alone, so he figured he'd let it rip alas, more than mere gas would pass. In his words: 'I pooped my pants.'

Roker bee-lined to the bathroom, ditched the dirty drawers and covered the rest of the event while going commando. That, my friends, is a pro's pro.

The idea of famous people peeing and pooping in public is undeniably hilarious. It's just remarkable to be able to see the spectrum of how such things come to pass. You've got the drunken entitled asshat who thinks that just because he's in some terrible movies, he can do whatever he wants. If there's a bigger douchebag maneuver than taking a leak on an airport carpet, I'd like to hear it. Then you've got the guy who, despite dropping a deuce in his pants (an occurrence which would assuredly bring our respective workdays to a close), went ahead and did his job while at the freaking White House.

It's almost a metaphor for celebrity attitudes: punks do their business wherever they like and damned be the consequences; professionals push through the problems and get st done.

For love of the game

There were a lot of contenders for the second spot in this week's Celebrity Slam. Jimmy Kimmel is starting a talk-how-host beef (one of the finest kinds of beef) with Jay Leno. Charlie Sheen is in the midst of a party-hearty he-said he-said with the mayor of Los Angeles. And of course, there are the free-flowing Justin Bieber weed-smoking allegations.

All of those would be fun stories to address. However, none of them would be quite as much fun as the one we finally settled on.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was on vacation in the Bahamas when a photographer captured a picture of him sporting a tattoo that islet's call it 'interesting.'

The image is a woman bearing a striking resemblance to Ryan's wife Michelle. She is wearing a Jets jersey with the number six the same number as that worn by increasingly-embattled Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and nothing else. She also appears to be striking the pose popularly known as 'Tebowing' a possible reference to Jets backup QB and ESPN darling Tim Tebow.

When questioned at a press conference, Ryan claimed that if Sanchez didn't shape up, he'd get the tattoo changed. He also said that he's had the ink for three years now, and that the numeric correlation is just a coincidence.

Suffice to say, we call shenanigans on Coach Ryan.

Leaving aside the fact that there's already some established weirdness in the relationship between the Ryans remember the weird foot fetish video stuff from a while back? this is all just a little too convenient. She's wearing your starter's number and posing like your backup; are we really supposed to believe that you didn't do that on purpose? No one cares what unconventional crap you and yours get up to in the bedroom, but you should probably try to keep it to yourself. Permanently inking some weird football/sex amalgam on your arm even if it's something that would be hidden ordinarily just comes off as a creepy announcement of how into quarterbacks your wife is.

Or maybe this is all part of your attempt to motivate your terrible team and even worse quarterback into having something resembling a decent season in 2013. You're a lunatic, after all who knows what you'll get up to?

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:29

The end of the Twilight' saga

'Breaking Dawn: Part Two' is the fifth and final movie in the 'Twilight' series. 'Twilight' fans were thrown through hoops and were on an emotional roller coaster while watching this film. Thinking that I knew what to expect from having read the novels, I was surprised by quite a few scenes, one in particular which even caused me to shed a couple tears. Anyone who has been a fan of 'Twilight' since the novels, or just fans of the movies, will not be disappointed by the way the saga finalizes. The ending is certainly an unexpected twist.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 13:32

The Twilight of Twilight'

You know, I'm a sensible woman. I like to think that we're all sensible people. We may read books, watch movies, and play Sudoku to escape the humdrum of everyday life, but we've still got our wits about us. We don't need fairy-tales, so why, oh why, when Kristen and Rob broke up, did it hurt so much?

You may think I'm kidding. What kind of grown woman - English teacher extraordinaire, mother of three - could seriously feel heartbreak over the breakup of two 20-somethings in Hollywood? It's not like I'm going to film myself crying copiously into my Kleenex on YouTube. I'm not about to put on a public display of my private mourning, though I am writing about it in a newspaper (the warning signs were there all along).

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:09

The Hunger Games' tops MTV Movie Awards

LOS ANGELES - The fan votes - not just the odds - were in 'The Hunger Games' favor at the MTV Movie Awards.

The dystopian survival saga escaped from Sunday's 21st annual extravaganza with the most golden popcorn-shaped trophies, including best fight for the film's final three-way battle and best on-screen transformation for Elizabeth Banks' over-the-top futuristic makeover. 'Hunger Games' stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were also honored for best female and male performances.

'I've wanted to hold a golden popcorn since I was 4 years old,' beamed Hutcherson.

With four wins out of eight nominations, 'Hunger Games' didn't totally decimate the competition. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2' won prizes for best cast and best hero, while 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' won for movie of the year, and 'Twilight' stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson locked the best kiss trophy for the fourth straight year.

Published in Buzz


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