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Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.

Michelle Obama’s ‘low-level depression’ is not a mental illness; Donald Trump appears unwell

Feted and minted former US First Lady Michelle Obama is worried. The BBC tunes into her podcast and hears her say: “I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness.” The older we get the less well we sleep. “These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually,” says Mrs Obama. “I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression.” Depression is a disease. It’s not to be confused with feeling low or blue. It comes from somewhere other, an invasion that kills your sense of reason and infects your being with a “lie of the mind”.

Rod Dreher likened his depression to walking around the house “as if I were wearing a heavy wool blanket soaked in cold water almost all the time.”

Depression kills. So why is Michelle Obama a little bit depressed? She explains: “Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

Pathologising the Trump presidency and being woke – literally awake – might be a step beyond. And you don’t need therapy to cure yourself of Trump-phobia – you need better politics and ideas.

And if we are going to talk about mental illness, can we talk about Donald Trump? The man does not seem to be well.

Posted: 6th, August 2020 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment


State approved rap rebel Wiley finds sympathy in the Guardian and NME – antisemitism is mainstream and the Left is OK with it

The musician Wiley (MBE for services to music), aka Richard Cowie, is in the news over what the Indy calls “antisemitic social media posts”. Tweets include: “I would challenge the whole world of Jewish community on my own I am not scared I can handle them”; “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out.”; “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.” In a video reported on by ITV, Wiley says, “crawl out from under your little rocks and defend your Jewish privilege”.

The establishment have loved Wiley. They gave him an MBE. They praised him:

And how did the Press and big brand media respond to Wiley’s recent nastiness? With blinkers on – by making it mostly about Israel. And you know how it’s ok to hate Israel:

Did he not say a bit more than that? But when you have an agenda, a hot take is needed. Anti-semitism? No. It’s just anti-Israel, says the Left. Shame on the Guardian.
Hey, NME – good work explaining things (and making it worse) . ‘Israel tweets’? No. Not really. No.

Thankfully, some people get it:

You can say what you like about Jews. Anti-semitism is mainstream.

Posted: 25th, July 2020 | In: Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


Those Beastie Boys videos have been remastered in HD

beastie boys

The Beastie Boys’ videos have always been immensely enjoyable. Ever since She’s on It (1985), the band has been cranking out a lively and fun blast of sight and sound. And now they’ve remastered 36 of their videos for the internet age.

Six of the video were directed by Spike Jonze, who also directed the Beastie Boys Story film. The pick of the bunch has to be the video for Sabotage.

The Beastie Boys love the fisheye lens:

Check out the playlist.

Posted: 22nd, May 2020 | In: Film, Music | Comment


Stewart Lee mocks a Jewish MP’s name for sounding too foreign in the right-on Observer

After all the clever wit aimed at racists and Daily Mail readers, stand-up comic Stewart Lee, self-effacing star of the BBC’s Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, used his Observer column to take the piss out of someone for having a funny Jewish name. Lee never mentioned Tom Tugendhat’s Jewish heritage in his column, the one entitled “Now Boris Johnson is talking through his Tugendhat”. But what he did say about the Tory MP was enough for the Jewish Chronicle’s editor Steven Pollard to write beneath the headline “My father changed his name because of people like Stewart Lee. Nothing changes”:

Seventy years ago my dad needed to change his weird foreign name to avoid the sly glances of bigots. Stewart Lee is that bigot – a man who thinks the best response to a foreign sounding Jewish name is to ridicule it in a national newspaper

Might be worthwhile to see what Lee wrote before we brand him an anti-Semite or make him Labour Party leader:

Stay alert! Many names – Fisher, Cook, Smith – derive from ancient trades. But “Tugendhat” is just different words put together, like Waspcupfinger, or Appendixhospitalwool, or Abortionmaqaquesymptom. This former intelligence officer is the nephew of a real man called Baron Tugendhat. Baron Tugendhat is not a character from a 19th-century German children’s book about a baron with a weird hat, the end of which gets tugged.

It’s a weak joke. But the mention of solid English names to mock Tugendhat makes it all it bit stinky for Mr Lee, which is a name not derived from Levison, Levi nor Levine (I’ve checked). He wants us to compare and contrast those ancient yeoman of olde England with the weirdo foreigner. In 2012 then Labour leader Ed Miliband championed his family’s immigrant roots by telling conference in Manchester: “My family hasn’t sat under the same oak tree for the last 500 years.” Fisher, Cook. Smith. They have. You can understand them. Their roots run deep and true.

Tom Tugendhat was unimpressed by Lee’s snipe. He retweeted the following by Jonathan Greenblatt:

Stewart Lee Jews

If you see anti-Semitism, brace yourself for what Lee went on to say:

Peasants! Get back to work! Over the top, boys! Gas! Gas! For God’s sake, gas!

No. No! His analogy is for WW1, not the later conflict WW2. The gas Lee mentions is mustard, which killed Smith, Fisher and Cook in the trenches. It’s not Zyklon B gas, which murdered Levy, Cohen and Zitter in the Nazi death camps.

The anti-Semites didn’t murder Benhamu because he fled Spain’s Inquisition a few hundred years ago, eventually becoming Benham so that my mother’s family would stand a better chance of dodging Jew haters and finding work in London. And the bastards didn’t get Zaransky either, which became Sorene at the will of a border guard when my great-grandfather wisely listened to a premonition he had about a looming pogrom and fled Poland, arriving in Leeds having survived on a diet of dumb luck and pig swill.

Sorene is still a bit unusual, of course, and when a French teacher at school used to pronounce it ‘sirène’, like siren, and go ‘mee-maaa-meeeee-maaaaaaah’ when he wanted me to respond and get a cheap laugh from his tame class pets, I never thought him an anti-Semite, just a condescending twat – which brings us to Lee.

Posted: 18th, May 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


Fight Coronavirus with a DEVO Energy Dome PPE face guard

Devo Energy Dome PPE

DEVO are helping the world fight coronavirus with their personal protective face shield, modelled on their Energy Dome. You can buy one here.

Against all odds after unfortunate experiences with some bad actors & pandemic related delays, we are now able to offer cool DEVO stuff to any spud who might want it. In addition to the masks and classic T’s we have a spiffy, clear plastic, DEVO PPS Shield that is designed to attach easily to the DEVO Energy Dome to protect you from invisible microbes and unwanted bodily fluids. Stay safe in devolved style!

Devo energy dome coronavirus

Wear one and feel cosmic energy vibrate thought your body”

It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds, it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case, the Dome collects the Orgone energy* that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy.

Posted: 16th, May 2020 | In: Music, The Consumer | Comment


Coronavirus cure update fakery: Emma Bunton still working on it

Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton admitted today that she has still not found a cure for coronavirus Covid-19.

Spotter: @FakeShowbizNews


Posted: 15th, May 2020 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Clap for the NHS with Nigel Farage

NHS Farage

Every Thursday since (how long has it been now?) people have been coming onto the street to clap for the NHS. If you can’t clap, either download the Clapp App (TM) or bang a spoon on your saucepan or tin hat. And, as in Stalin’s Russia, no-one wants to be the first to stop clapping. Everyone’s doing in. Here’s Nigel Farage:

Anyone know what he’s tapping out in Morse Code?

Posted: 1st, May 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


A Supercut of Social Distancing in Wes Anderson movies

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson was right. Social distancing is the way to survive the modern world. Luis Azevedo has created this supercut of characters in Anderson’s movies practicing sound social distancing techniques.

Posted: 30th, April 2020 | In: Film | Comment


Boris Johnson’s daughter in Prada headband storm

Laura Johnson Boris

When they invented prime ministers, they also created Prime Ministers’ children. Unlike the SADDOS (sons and daughters of stars) who can mime, pose and pout in their instagram branded knickers as they work on their celebrity status, the politicians’ kids can either join the Party or find their own way. Carol Thatcher went into Golliwogs, for her brother Mark it was Africa, and Euan Blair went into the boozer and then vomited over Leicester Square. Lara Walker-Johnson went to Oxfordshire and bought a Prada headband. We know all about her purchase because Laura wrote about for Vogue magazine in a story entitled How Time-travelling To My Teen Wardrobe Helped Me Understand Who I Am Today. It’s the kind of vapid tosh made to reassure the unconvinced that minted toff Meghan Markle’s editing of the expensive magazine that advertises expensive things was not a seismic moment in race relations.

“I’m trying my best not to buy more clothes right now, uncertain about future financial prospects and conscious it isn’t the time to splurge,” says Lara in Oxfordshire. The posh always name the county they’re visiting not the village or town. A town has windows, public transport and numbered doors. A county has sprawling mansions, bridle paths and land. “But, I must confess, I did buy two headbands,” she adds, “one black and fluffy, from Shrimps, and one pink and from Prada – that I’ve been drooling over for months.”

The critics some fast. “Lara who, according to her website, is a fashion writer,” snipes one writer, adding: “I have no idea what her future financial prospects are, but her recent accessories acquisitions make me think that she’ll be okay.” The mind boggles to think what the backstory will do to the bands’ resale value. “In a moment when economic inequality, globally, and in the U.K., has never been more conspicuous – and when so many peoples’ lives are in her father’s hands – I might have kept this confession to myself.”

Two headbands in and Boris Johnson is King Herod.

In the Daily Mirror, Lara’s purchases are given no lesser importance: “Meanwhile, more than 100 NHS and care staff have died after testing positive for COVID-19 – as keyworkers beg the government for more vital PPE to protect themselves on the frontline.”

Meanwhile is the literary split screen. There’s Lara shopping online for fancy goods and a fashion philosophy while below her the huddled masses look up beseechingly and wonder if all this coverage of to-die-for Prada headbands means Lara will never need buy one again, and if they make face masks?

Posted: 29th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Ross Kemp saves the nation by pulling on PPE and strolling through an intensive care ward treating coronavirus patients

By now you’ll be wondering what Grant Mitchell, aka Ross Kemp, is up to? Have pretended to be a soldier on EastEnders, the BBC’s fly-on-the-wall documentary on London life, fearless, selfless Ross Kemp now goes to war against the coronavirus in Milton Keynes.

Ross Kemp is real. No-one bothered to make him up.

Posted: 12th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


This comment on Jamie Oliver’s coronavirus cooking wins

Jamie Oliver says ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’…

Jamie Oliver

Keep cooking and carry on…

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities | Comment


John Prine sings Sam Stone

John Prine sings Sam Stone

Chicago folk musician John Prine (10 October 1946 – 7 April 2020) recorded Sam Stone “to say something about our soldiers who’d go over to Vietnam, killing people and not knowing why you were there”. He told Rolling Stone in 2018: “And then a lot of soldiers came home and got hooked on drugs and never could get off of it. I was just trying to think of something as hopeless as that. My mind went right to ‘Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose.’ I said, ‘That’s pretty hopeless.’” Sam Stone was voted the 8th saddest song of all time in a Rolling Stone readers’ poll. It’s beautiful:

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Music, News | Comment


Make Your Own Vinyl Records with an Easy Record Maker

Make Your Own Vinyl Records with an Easy Record Maker

You don’t need a factory to make vinyl records. Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki has crested the Easy Record Maker:

To cut a record, you simply play audio through an aux cable and lift the cutting arm onto a blank disc. Once the record is cut, you can instantly play back your recording through the tone arm and the in built speaker!

More like cute your own records — look at how wee this thing is:

Spotter: Kottke, Design Week

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: Music, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Eddie Large died with Coronavirus not from it

Eddie Large died “with” Coronavirus, says the BBC. The entertainer, one half of the Little and Large comedy duo, contracted the virus in hospital. He had been suffering with heart failure. So how does the Mirror report on the death of the 78-year-old? Not well. Eddie Large’s death is presented as part of the “Coronavirus Crisis”. “Eddie’s heart wasn’t strong enough to fight the virus.” But the virus didn’t kill him.

Eddie Large coronavirus tabloids

Eddie Large was not killed by Covid-19. Well, not unless you read about his death in the Mirror:

Eddie Large coronavirus

The Mail says Eddie Large “death in hospital from coronavirus while being treated for heart failure”. It adds: “Mr Large, who was famous for his singing and impressions, is the most famous Briton to be killed by coronavirus, which has now claimed almost 3,000 lives in the UK with deaths hitting 500-a-day.” Deep into the story we’re told: “The father of three had a successful heart transplant in 2003 – but it appears that the organ began to fail before his death, leading to his hospital admission in Bristol.”

The Sun notes: “The comedian had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the deadly virus in hospital.” To say nothing of heart failure being deadly, which it doesn’t.

Eddie Large’s son, Ryan McGinnis, wrote on Facebook:

“It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my dad passed away in the early hours of this morning. He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight. Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day. We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”

Eddie Large: Edward Hugh McGinnis (25 June 1941 – 2 April 2020).

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Kate Winslet is well placed to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic. As Sky News tells it, Winslet starred in the film Contagion about a hypothetical virus outbreak. All of you who think EastEnders is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about London life stay tuned. After this look out for Winslet telling us to maintain a youthful complexion into your second century of living (see the Titanic CCTV footage from 1912).

People have been grateful for Kate’s expertise and selfness willingness to educate:

Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic
Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

It’s not a Sky News production. GQ explains:

In addition to [Matt] Damon and Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle have also filmed PSAs, which were made with the help of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns teamed up with the school’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology who also served as an advisor for the chillingly realistic 2011 movie.

“The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs,” Damon explains. “Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”

It’s only real if a famous face says it is.

Posted: 1st, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Mega-rich TV evangelist executes judgement on Covid-19

Evangelist covid-19

US televangelist Kenneth Copeland will slay the coronavirus by channelling God’s powers. It’s the smackdown we’ve been waiting for:

Here’s Kenneth explaining why God made private jets:

Posted: 31st, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, News, Strange But True | Comment


Morgan Freeman narrates Grandma Sandy

Morgan Freeman narrates Grandma Sandy

Morgan Freeman – The Voice of God – narrates Grandma Sandy’s home experiment:

Posted: 28th, March 2020 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Coronavirus: Daily Mail wants to isolate GMB presenter Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid

The Daily Mail is hot on news and more news on the Coronavirus. It’s worried about the wellbeing of the aged (its readers). So the front page carries sage advice: “We CAN show mums out love this Sunday by self-isolating Susanna Reid.” Tough on her. But hard to argue with.

Posted: 19th, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, TV & Radio | Comment


Back to The Future’s Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox meet for Parkinson’s poker night

‘All in with Christopher Lloyd at Michael J. Fox Poker Night!’ To help the Michael J. Fox Foundation in its quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox met his Back To The Future co-star Christopher Lloyd for a night of charity poker.

Posted: 7th, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Lawyer creates 68 billion musical melodies by algorithm so you can never be sued for copyright infringement

Two lawyers think if every piece of 12-note musical melody can be created by an algorithm then all music is publicly owners and nobody gets sued for copyright theft. So lawyers Damien Riehl and Noah Rubin came up with a way to record all melodies because, as they see it, only a finite number of melodies can exist.

Riehl explained more in a Tedx Talk. The crux is that music becomes copyrighted the moment it’s recorded and anyone can be sued for “subconscious infringement”. You can be an unwitting thief if a melody in your song sounds like a melody in one of thousands of songs that formed your musical appreciation. The other argument is that hasn’t Riehl just infringed the copyright of thousands of songs?

You can test the theory flicking through one of the 68 billion melodies created at allthemusic.info.

Posted: 4th, March 2020 | In: Key Posts, Music, Technology | Comment


Read the Rolling Stone essay that became Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

HUNTER s thompson

You can read for free the 23,000-word essay for Rolling Stone that Hunter S. Thompson turned into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Thompson’s tale begins with the death of Ruben Salazar (March 3, 1928 – August 29, 1970) at an anti-Vietnam War protest. During the rally, Salazar was struck by a tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy. The story of Salazar’s killing became Thompson’s story Strange Rumblings in Aztlan.

Thompson strayed off subject. Waylaid by a jaunt to Las Vegas for the Mint 400 desert race for Sports Illustrated, the story fanned out. The eventual 23,000-word piece appeared in the November 1971 issue of Rolling Stone as ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.

Spotter: OpenCulture

Posted: 1st, March 2020 | In: Books, Celebrities, The Consumer | Comment


Coronavirus: Mission Impossible filming stopped; Tom Cruise defeated by virus

Coronavirus: Mission Impossible

Time to rewrite the latest Mission: Impossible film. Filming in Italy for the seventh outing for Tom Cruise and Can Do gang has been stopped because it’s impossible to take on the coronavirus and win. Not so much Mission: Impossible, as Mission: Likely to Succeed Pending A Risk Assessment.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice,” say Paramount in a statement.

“During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”

Plans for the film series’ diminutive lead actor Tom Cruise to take on a coroanvirus is hand-to-hand combat are said to be premature.

short presentational grey line

Posted: 26th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Harvey Weinstein: all the facts in your red-hot dailies

The Guardian says Harvey Weinstein “face jail after being convicted of rape”. You might have thought he’d face a holiday in the Bahamas, but the Guardian has the scoop.

Harvey Weinstein

In other newspapers facts on the trial of a fallen Hollywood mogul, the British press are equally on form. How long is Weinstein going to prison for?

The Times: 29 YEARS!

Harvey Weinstein

The Mail: 25 YEARS!

Harvey Weinstein

Such are the facts…

Posted: 25th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


Harvey Weinstein goes down

Harvey_Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein will never w**k in Hollywood again. The onetime movie producer has been found guilty of third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. He was acquitted of of predatory sexual assault. He had denied all charges. And there’s to be a sequel. Weinstein still faces charges of rape and sexual assault of two women in 2013.

Posted: 24th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


Maria Snoeys-Lagler’s fabulous found photo album

To a thrift store in Belgium thrift store, where a lost album of phots is on sale. Inside are photographs of a woman with A-listers: Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford and others. We know their names. But we didn’t know the who the woman was until some detective work. It’s Maria Snoeys-Lagler, a former member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) who got to choose winners at the Golden Globes Awards.

Maria Snoeys-Lagler died in 2016 at the age of 87, which possibly explains how this particular photo-album ended up in a thrift store.

Maria-Snoeys-Lagler
Maria-Snoeys-Lagler
 Maria Snoeys-Lagler’s fabulous found photo album
Heather Locklear

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 19th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment