Tag Archives: Entertainment

LeAnn Rimes’ personal trolls

31 Aug

I don’t usually get caught up in celebrity news, but this story intrigued me. LeAnn Rimes is suing two members of the Twitter-verse over a private telephone conversation between the singer and one of the avid Twitter(ers). I’m having trouble figuring out what to call these people. From what I have gathered, the person was not a fan of Leann and had been posting hateful statements about her online.

Okay, so there is a lot more to the story and if you Google it, you will find all the information.

There are a couple of elements to this that I found interesting enough to delve into. To start off, that a celebrity would get caught up in such controversy. I have always heard that once you are in the spotlight, the criticism can be brutal. You just learn to deal with it. LeAnn has gone through a messy divorce and an affair scandal, which I imagine can cause quite a toll. Add on the fact that she is a social media junkie, and there’s a big problem. One word of advice: Get offline. I mean, calling a person you don’t know on the phone to get her to stop ridiculing you online isn’t the best idea. She should be above such a thing. Getting rid of my Facebook identity would be difficult and upsetting, but if need be, it could be necessary if problems arose. If she absolutely has to stay on Twitter or other sites for her fan base, hire a publicist or an assistant to manage the page.

Don’t get me wrong: Rimes is in her every right to sue the pair, as recording a private phone conversation without permission is illegal in the state of California. But as a celebrity with years of experience dealing with the general public, she should know better then to get embroiled in this kind of situation.

Two, about the two people named in the lawsuit. Allegedly, it is a mother-daughter pair, with the screen names of Kimberly Smiley and Lexi Smiley. The mother is a teacher in California, while the daughter is still a teenager. I have a Twitter account and write nonsensical things once and awhile, but this is ridiculous. I went on to the site last night, and discovered a whole bunch of people that call themselves the “Brandi Bunch,” people who are fans of Brandi Granville, the first wife of Rimes’ husband. These people make it their livelihood on the Net to find celebrity gossip that could potentially hurt the singer. Post after post, they call her out on her weight, her relationship with her husband and step-kids, her fans, whatever. All I can say, it is pretty sad. When you are devoting so much time to a person you don’t know in real life, just to brutally attack them because of their personal lives — yuck.

The mother-daughter factor is another troubling element. A mother, supposedly a teacher, exhibiting such bad behavior online and to allow or encourage her offspring to do the same — well, wow. Mother of the Year! I don’t care what beef she has with Rimes. That is deplorable. The fact that she is a teacher, well, I hope that her school figures out that she is in this mess. If such a person were teaching my child, I would have huge reservations on her priorities and what kind of behavior she is exhibiting in the classroom.

These people are trolls. Just like the people commenting on online news articles. People with nothing better to do with their lives. Go read a book. Talk a walk, get off the damn Internet and accomplish something for yourself or others, rather than bash people you hardly (or don’t) know. I can just imagine what their obituaries would say in the future: “Well, for a good three years of their life, this person attacked a famous singer online.  Together with their catty friends, they just went on and on and on. That seemed worthwhile.”

My favorite part of this: I went on Twitter and maneuvered around the “Brandy Bunch” accounts. Rimes is calling them out for bullying, and they are defending themselves, “saying ‘and she isn’t bullying us?” As if it were justified. I am sure that Rimes and her fans were doing a fair amount of lashing out, but that is just it. It’s bullying on both sides, which is not right. Someone has to be the bigger, better person and just bow out.

I think I will just stick to commenting on ridiculous items of the day, and fight any of my battles in private. With people I actually know. Have I learned anything from my experience, trolling on other peoples’ accounts to read their stupid thoughts? No. Not at all. I might be dumber now for experiencing it. Yes, definitely dumber.

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The ‘favorite movie’ question

27 Aug

What is your favorite movie? I have been asked this numerous times lately. And while it shouldn’t be too hard to answer, it always is.

Do I give the snobbish reply of “Annie Hall” ? It is one of my faves of all time, but not one that I watch every day. There is a likelihood that the other person hasn’t seen it, and I can say with an air, “It’s my favorite Woody Allen,” like I watch his films all the time.

Or do I say one of the classics of my childhood that bring thoughts of the past? Some are obvious, such as the Disney classic “Cinderella.” But others might make people wonder. “Warriors” is one. My siblings and I watched it a lot. A NYC gang trying to survive the night as rival gangs try to beat the living crap out of them. It’s full of violence, horrible language, and I became entranced with it at the age of 8. “The Wiz” comes to mind, as my mother rarely listened to anything other than R&B or Motown. While we grew up in the Midwest where country ranked supreme, it was frowned upon in the Olson household. It confused me immensely in middle school that others had not heard of the likes of Marvin Gaye or the guitar skills of Eric Clapton. (I’m trailing, this would be better off left for another blog post.)

Maybe I just repeat what my go-to movies are, the ones I watch when I’m depressed or having a blue day. But that is information I don’t readily give out. See, I like to usually give the impression that I am sophisticated or worldly, and the reality is, I’m just like any other girl out there. If I’m ready to eat a gallon of chocolate ice cream, “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is it. If it’s a rainy day, I’ll reach for a Jane Austen flick, like “Sense and Sensibility.” Homesick? Then “Little Women” is my pick. And the movie marathon kind of day requires the “Harry Potter” series or a little “LOTR” action.

So? You say. So? So? That makes me look like any other girl. I’m not extraordinary or have unique tastes. I’m mainstream. And around my friends or family, that is fine. But everyone else? I’d like to pretend there is a little mystique. Oh well.

My favorite movie is likely an Audrey Hepburn movie like “Sabrina.” It might be “Ever After,” and on a given day, “Die Hard” works, too. It is ever-changing, like my mood. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a film, book or an album that is “IT,” that defines me. It’s kinda impossible, actually.

The next time I get asked that question, what will I say? The truth? Sorry. I will probably make some comment about a flick I only saw once before. This before going home to my apartment, to watch a mix of “The Princess Bride” and “Sixteen Candles.”

Fifty shades of red

16 May

If you haven’t heard of the best-selling fiction novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, you might be living under a rock.

Not because it has been on the New York Time’s bestselling list for weeks or because of the film rights bidding war it has caused – but for it’s explicit content.

Bookstores have been unable to keep it, or the two other books in the trilogy, on the shelves. Kindle eBooks has ranked the books No. 1, 2, 3, respectively, for almost 60 days.

What’s it about, you ask? Well, uh, a recent college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a very successful young businessman named Christian Grey embark on a very, er, romantic relationship.

That is really all you need to know.

Have I read it? Um, yes?

Here’s the story: I had a lot of free time this weekend, I was stuck at a Barnes & Noble, it just happened to be the first thing I saw in the store and there was barely anything else on the shelves (not true.)

Actually, curiosity killed this cat and I just had to check it out. Not only that, but when there is a popular book out (even if I know it’s just not my thing), I feel compelled to see what all the hype is about.

Was it worth it? Let’s see, how should I put this delicately let’s start with the positives. Like “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer, it has its “endearing” qualities. A certain pull that draws the reader in and makes them want more. Such as the emotional connection between the two main characters and um, yeah, that’s all I’ll really say.

That is my positive reaction to the books. In complete honesty, the novels are absolutely horrendous. The prose is atrocious, the plot line is questionable and most of the time, it felt as if I was reading an 11th grade writing assignment gone wrong.

The protagonist, Anastasia, is this mixture of everything I hate in a female lead character. She’s really stupid (an understatement), weak and a complete mess of a person. I’m not saying that those people don’t exist, but this blows Twilight’s Bella out of the water. At first it was cute – when you got to the second and third novels, I was rooting for something bad to happen to the girl. And Grey – don’t get me started. I was so angry at the creep – he is into some really weird, kinky stuff and although I’m not going to go too much into it, I felt his character advocated misogynistic ideas and violence against women. (Yes, she consented to the situations I’m referring to and I could care less. It angers me to no end.)

Yet, people have the right to read such novels and fantasize what they wish about their lives.

“You’re reading too much into it!” fans will say. “It’s just fun.” I call foul, but whatever. So many college women are reading this in their free time, and I know what I was like at that stage. Vulnerable.

And, not that this rant is in any great, polished form, but the grammar, oh, the grammar – it is so bad! The words are repetitive, stereotypes run rampant, phrases that never existed are right in front of you and some of the words that seem smart, feel as if they were pulled right from a thesaurus. Intelligent verbiage just to fill space – completely and utterly pointless.

Okay, okay, I know – people are not reading these books for its witty content. Yes, I get that; I will also commend the author on getting so many women to read, just like Stephenie Meyer – but seriously. Seriously? I’m at a loss for words on this series.

My opinion probably means nothing to most, but I shook my head and smacked my forehead with the palm of my hand so many times during my reading of the first novel. I just – I – no words – uh. I is dumber for reading it. Yes, I know I wrote that wrong. The book is that bad.

If you want to read it, you’ll read it. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s just a bit unnerving that this is the trilogy that gets everyone reading.

Perhaps New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said it best, “Even though James writes like a Bronte devoid of talent, her saga is the first smash hit in the era of “Mommy’s naughty reader.”

Bitten by Edward Cullen

9 Nov

“I thought I’d explained it clearly before. Bella, I can’t live in a world where you don’t exist.”
When Edward Cullen utters that line in the second installment of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, you could hear girls around the world drop the book they were so enthralled in. Jaws plummeted, fainting ensued.
Those are words that every hormonal teenage girl “needs” to hear —  but never does.
“The moment Bella’s heart stops beating, I will be begging for you to kill me.” Oh, Edward.
Instead, they must fantasize that the 14- or 15-year-old crush of theirs will suddenly stop with their immaturity. Drop the baseball or football and start lessons from Edward instead. That desperate yearning of “maybe, someday, it will happen to me” takes over the girl and delusional fantasies swarm.
The “Twilight” book series and film franchise should really come with a warning. Something along the lines of: “WARNING: May cause girls to swoon and establish unrealistic expectations. Mixed with massive amounts of hormones, it may create a dangerous monster.”
After a frenzied movie marathon or finishing off one of the novels — Twi-Hards have become entranced with the idea of someone or something providing comfort from all that they fear. That dreams will come true with just a man’s touch. Such an innocent thing as text or film has become a danger to our young society.
These girls have been bitten by the pearled teeth of Edward Cullen — desperately wanting to be devoured wholly by the handsome, good-listening vampire/boyfriend/savior.
After having to endure preview after preview of the first part of “Breaking Dawn” in the last couple months — I was completely in shock and disbelief over their decision to capitalize more on the teenage girl’s foremost desires. Okay, not really.
Bella Swan and her blood-sucking fiancé are united in marriage. From what I can tell it is a beautiful, perfect ceremony, followed by the honeymoon of a lifetime. Here is where my own horrified jaw did drop. You have young actors getting married and quickly getting sexual. The amount of time spent in just the preview on the honeymoon action is what concerns me. And from what I have read in the book, it’s pretty graphic.
So you have young adults, pre-teens and children in the wee morning hours, holding onto their tickets to get the first glimpse of this romantic tryst. And what will they see? I’m going to guess a whole lot. And even if it is “well done,” “artistic,” or doesn’t show all the nitty-gritty details due to its PG-13 rating — I’m sure it will leave a lot to the imagination.
“But they’re married!” some will whine. “They can, because it’s right.” Sure, I understand Meyer’s stance on premarital sex, but I have a big problem with how it is portrayed on screen and on the page, even if they are hitched. They are young, pretty and what many kids want to portray. So even if these teens are not old enough to get married, they may think they are old enough for the rest of it.
In my honest opinion, I think that is a bit scary. Kids seeing something explicit and expecting the same beauty in reality. Okay, maybe they won’t give birth to a half-vampires — but there is the distinct possibility of earlier experimentation.
So although I know that the opening weekend will probably break more records — I’m a little more than disappointed at the lack of moral responsibility by the author and movie producers. It seems that the need to capitalize on sexual fantasies of teenagers is more important. It will make them a lot of money, but it still doesn’t make it right.

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