Kelli Stapleton: A Year Later (And Still a Coward)

22 09 2014

My original post about Kelli Stapleton, 46, the Michigan mother who tried to kill her then 14-year-old daughter, Issy, has been getting a little more play lately as Stapleton’s trial loomed.

According to People, in the eleventh hour Stapleton took a plea, copping to first degree child abuse rather than moving forward to face the attempted murder trial.

Dr. Phil McGraw interviewed Kelli Stapleton in jail, which aired in two parts on his afternoon talk show last week. In that interview, Stapleton said, appallingly, that “the jail of Benzie County has been a much kinder warden than the jail of autism has been.”   That doesn’t sound anything like remorse to me, ladies and gentlemen.

In a July court appearance, Stapleton deflected responsibility or acknowledgement of her despicable actions by stating she could not recall certain visits or conversations with law enforcement and social workers in the aftermath of September 3rd, as she was suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

Though in the Dr. Phil interview Stapleton states that she misses Issy, and she’s “not even worthy to beg for her forgiveness,” she admits that her concerns for her other children do not outweigh her instincts of self-preservation. She tells McGraw that given the opportunity, in a perfect scenario, she would not try to resume contact with or caring for her daughter if released from jail.

Friends of Kelli Stapleton are interviewed for the program, and they describe teenaged Issy as having “a difficult time communicating her wants and her needs,” “agitated easily,” and “impatient.” They allege that at the hands of her child, Stapleton has suffered a traumatic brain injury on three occasions. Their tones are very melodramatic, going so far as to say the child “terrorized” her mother and members of the immediate family lived in fear every moment that Issy could/would kill them.

Of course this whole mess is terrible, but arguably, its been indicated that Kelli Stapleton exacerbated the family’s predicament.

 

upnorthlive_stapleton

 

The response to my other post, published a year ago, has been mixed… with some people so sympathizing with Kelli Stapleton as to attack me. You have the right to voice your opinion as much as I do, but you overlook the actual words I used to frame the reason I wrote about this situation at all. It clearly reads “I can imagine, to a degree,” because of my experience with this community; NOT I understand exactly what Kelli Stapleton’s life and the lives of every other parent of a disabled or autistic child goes through every day of their lives. I was qualifying my perspective, not in any way trying to discount the struggles and sacrifices many of you have had to endure/make.

Furthermore, that is one of the more minute details in my coverage of Kelli Stapleton’s merciless assualt on her daughter. You can think I’m an asshole all you want, but an individual claiming to be the defendent’s sister-in-law wrote to me, and several other online outlets, explaining how my perceptions of Stapleton as a narcissist and a borderline-sociopoath are correct. Laura Kelm commented, “She was and is all about herself. And now she is using the media to dupe people into feeling sympathy where none is deserved. She was not an amazing, involved parent that only had her family’s welfare at heart. And it makes me sick reading comments all over the web from people feeling sorry for her.” [From the research I’ve been able to conduct, Kelm seems legit. The Detroit native, a mother herself, is the step-sister of Matt Stapleton.]

We should be focusing on Issy, and how after her remarkable recovery from the carbon monoxide poisoning she suffered at the hands of her mother, she and her family must cope with an entirely new, challenging dynamic. Kelli is facing life in prison, but even if she were to escape with a lighter sentence than the law calls for (and the public expects), Matt Stapleton has moved forward with divorce and custody proceedings.  She failed to kill herself and her daughter, but she did manage to immeasurably and permanently alter the Stapleton family structure.

 

 

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OWN Takes A Major Gamble On LiLo Series

14 03 2014

Legendary talk show host, entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey shocked audiences across America when she retired from her beloved afternoon syndicate, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in favor of heading her own network. Harpo Productions teamed with Discovery Communications to present “a mix of original programs, strips, specials, documentaries and acquired movies,” to replace the fledgling Discovery Health Channel.

OWN-OprahWinfreyNetworkOWN has established itself as a network with the sort of dynamic and dramatic content viewers ate up on Oprah’s original show; offering in-depth conversations on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (now “Oprah Prime”), investigative documentaries on “Our America with Lisa Ling,” and scripted drama on “Tyler Perry’s ‘The Haves and the Have Nots.’
As of Sunday night, the reality program “Lindsay” joined the 2014 line-up, with a production order of eight episodes.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you know who the titular Lindsay refers to. The circus that is Lindsay Lohan’s personal life raised its tents over Los Angeles over two years, notably between when she was filming Herbie: Fully Loaded (erratic behavior and vague hospital stays for a “kidney infection” held up production) and Georgia Rule (unpredictable attendance and attitude, along with a myriad of doctor’s visits for “dehydration and exhaustion” left co-stars and crew in the lurch).
LiLo_graphic1
A once-promising young star, Lohan has been sidelined from big-name and big-budget projects of late for being an ‘insurance risk—’ the industry’s way of highlighting that the actor/actress lacks credibility and poses a threat to the budget and schedule of a project (Film Insurance covers any unforeseen cost overruns related to the legal hiccups (like an arrest or lawsuit), illness, injury or death of cast and crew members of a given production.) Additionally, a string of poor reviews and financial returns have taken the light out of her star.
In the last decade, Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab six times; been charged with two DUIs, theft, assault, and possession of cocaine; violated her probation twice; and served a combined six weeks in the Century Regional Detention Facility, also known as Lynwood Jail.
lindsay-own-tv-show main
The series began filming in the summer of 2013, during the week after Lohan’s release from her sixth facility, Cliffside Malibu. In an effort to maintain the sobriety that has evaded her in the past, Lohan travels to New York City with a sober companion who is employed by the rehabilitation/counseling center. She states the move is to give her a (deserved?) clean slate, and keep her away from the temptations of L.A. nightlife.

While Lohan says all the right things about her struggles and the uphill battle she continues to face without alcohol or recreational drugs to dull/twist her reality, she continues to lack a certain accountability — despite telling filmmaker Amy Rice, “I know this is my last shot.” There is a fine line between acknowledging and blaming one’s dysfunctional family and upbringing as a source of stress that exacerbated their addictions. Lohan is still full of excuses, at one point foregoing a planned AA meeting because there are paparazzi outside her hotel. Understandably, she didn’t want to bring that sort of prying chaos into the lives of other attendees, but being seen at a meeting could only help her at this point; a fact she remains blind to. Finding a “sanctuary” she can call home is priority number one, when finding a regular therapist in the Big Apple and productive hobbies to fill her time should be.
Regardless of what mantras she spews or plans she alleges, it is difficult to picture Lindsay Lohan riding the subway (like Jay-Z) or walking her kids to school (like SJP). Ever. Jail and rehab have not provided a sufficient bottom, indicated by the “This Season on ‘Lindsay’” clips that followed the show.

Following her stint in rehab, Lohan was given an opportunity to appear on the cult-hit HBO series “Eastbound & Down,” which stars funnyman Danny McBride. Reportedly, the episode filmed without incident, and Lohan was a gracious guest. Recently, dual appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and a cameo scheduled on CBS’ “Two Broke Girls” are about all the work Lohan can hope for. She has a long road back to blockbusters— given that her most recent ‘feature’ The Canyons co-starred an adult figure (James Deen) and grossed a measly fifty grand.

The reality show, or ‘docu-series’ as Oprah is calling it, has elements of established guilty-pleasure programming many of you readers will be familiar with. In the roughly 48 hours since it premiered, I have watched the inaugural episode three times. I can assure bits of murky substance dependence, ála “Intervention;” a kooky cast of oblivious family members, ála “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo;” a misplaced desire for all things luxurious, ála “The Real Housewives of…;” and a borderline delusional self-assurance, ála auditions week of “American Idol.”  It’s damn near riveting, and at times not for great reasons. At one point, Lohan will declare: “Until I fuck up, you can’t assume I am going to.” History repeats itself, particularly in her life, so excuse us while we brace for implosion.

0202123As a former Lindsay (the actress) fan, I will undoubtedly continue to watch the mayhem that is in-store on “Lindsay” (the show).  I admit, I loved Mean Girls and even occasionally rock out to “Rumors” when it comes across shuffle on my iPod.
There’s a fine line between celebrities who genuinely struggle with addiction or mental illness and those who squander their chances and egregiously self-sabotage. Historically, I have given up (interest and/or creative admiration) on people whose personal lives eclipse their professional achievements.
[For example: In my mind, Katherine Heigl is an ungrateful twat who deserves to never work again; LeAnn Rimes is an attention-starved former childstar who knows she peaked at 13; and Justin Bieber is going to end up with a shell of his career and eternally on probation, just like Chris Brown, because nobody tells him ‘no’ or points out that saying ‘Jesus is my homeboy!’ doesn’t negate your moral misdeeds.] I digress.

I want to look at Lindsay in a decade and not even recall the criminal and pharmaceutical issues that plagued her for the last decade. There is no denying her talent, from her mature and intuitive turn as Ali Fowler on “Another World,” to her comic chops in Freaky Friday and emotional range shown in Prairie Home Companion and Chapter 27. Unfortunately, ratings for the series did not start off on a high, with a reported 693,000 viewers tuning in. It would appear that people are so over the hype and the shortcomings of this woman. Even in our 24/7-media cycle, stalkerazzi, fame-obsessed society watching this kind of epic failure loses its salacious glow and becomes just plain sad. 

I hope that LiLo gets herself together, for real, this time and pulls a Drew Barrymore-level or Robert Downey Jr.-level comeback. Those are the ideals for this situation. Seven more episodes to go; we’ll have to wait and see if the woman known for millions of water-cooler moments can work her magic once more, and reform this squandered celebrity into a stable, sober, consistent adult actress.





Startling Number of Celebrity Scientologists

12 07 2013

So, breaking news in dedicated pop culture circles (like the one I live in):
Actress Leah Remini, best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on King of Queens, has left the controversial ‘religion.’ She has previously admitted to participating in the Scientology organization for “half my life” (during an interview with Howard Stern) despite being born into a Catholic family in NYC’s Bensonhurst neighborhood.

Read her tweet in response to the news here, via People.

What people perhaps do not understand is just how many Hollywood figures are involved with this organization, to varying degrees. Tom Cruise and John Travolta are the two celebrities most often mentioned in Scientology talk, but they are just the guys standing on the tip of the iceberg.

I have always been fascinated with Scientology, but after reading Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book Beyond Belief and subsequently finding Tony Ortega’s blog I am simultaneously horrified by the very existence of such a group in this country, let alone how many people subject themselves to the ridiculous rigmarole and hierarchy.

I understand that Wikipedia information is to be taken with a grain of salt, as just about anyone can register on the site and begin ‘educating’ others. However, it is the clearest, most comprehensive list of past and present members of note that I have come across. It is worth noting, there is over 100 citations on the page, linking out to independent pages to research the claims. I believe this is so that anyone working for Scientology cannot claim otherwise, as they so often do. Additionally, it has been suggested that full staffs within the Scientology organization are tasked with surfing the internet for anti-Scientology materials and defeating them; be it through threat of legal consequence, blatant comment-bombing and general slandering, or

Here’s a few names that I’ve come across in my Scientology enraged information collection research that surprised me the most (and a little identifier for those of you who fill your brains with meaningful trivia):
– Erika Christensen; the beautiful actress, best known for roles in Traffic and on NBC’s Parenthood series. Christensen was homeschooled, and raised within Scientology.
– the Masterson brothers, Christopher and Danny; actors who have appeared on Malcolm in the Middle and That 70s Show. The boys, along with their half siblings Jordan and Alana, were all raised in ‘the faith.’
– Elisabeth Moss; breakout star of Mad Men is the daughter of (one of) the most powerful entertainment agents in Hollywood. She too was born into Scientology.
– Ethan Suplee; the former Boy Meets World bully was introduced to Scientology by his My Name Is Earl co-star Jason Lee (who is a hugely enthusiastic about the organization).
– Greta van Susteren; former practicing attorney, current news anchor and contributor for Fox News and CNN networks. Honestly, I can’t help thinking “She’s too smart for this.”
– Giovanni Ribisi; accomplished character actor and downright dreamy dude. He and his twin sister, model Marissa Ribisi, were born into the group. Marissa is married to musician Beck, a second-generation Scientologist himself; while Giovanni married British model Agyness Deyn, subsequently bringing her into the fold.

Please keep in mind, these are also people that will probably not befriend or work with Katie Holmes for the next billion years or so, as she remains persona non grata following last years very public (and very courageous) split from husband of 6 years, Tom Cruise.

UPDATE: See this Huffington Post article about Kirstie Alley’s twitter freak out! Alley, an actress known for her roles in the 80s and 90s, is reportedly ‘livid’ about Remini’s defection from Scientology. Great little whos-who of celeb Scientologists slide show attached!





Post-Blogdum Depression

28 05 2012

It was brought to my attention recently that I have very much neglected my blog. I have in fact not logged in since mid-March. Whoops.

I can narrow the cause only to my being incredibly busy doing NON-writing work and genuinely being too damn tired to create witty, dynamic posts in a timely fashion. I have a Tumblr, which allows for me to share links and images in seconds — there’s no thought to it, but it was fulfilling for a while.

This blog started as a school project. In all honesty, it feels stupid to keep it up being that I graduated a year ago and have had NO success getting a job in the field. I’m wasting my degree, I’m dulling my skills and I feel kind of like a loser continuing to plug away at something that yields no results… But if I don’t keep doing it as much as I can I’ll feel like a bigger loser for giving up.

SO, I am going to do my best to post once a week, maybe twice, for the next month. We’ll see how I feel after that.





That Ain’t Yo Mama’s Wedding Announcement

19 01 2012

I’m not your typical swoon-at-babies, gasp-over-rings, weep-at-weddings kind of girl.

But I’d be lying if I said that last week’s Yahoo! gallery of Disney-inspired pictoral engagement announcements didn’t bring a wide smile to my face.

I adore the “Up” spread,

and the boldness of the “Toon Town” edits.

 

 

In light of these highly creative and hip I went searching through the bowels of Google for others who have struck out of the box to share their special news.  Amongst other things, I learned that mini-movies are so 2010.
Enjoy!

 

1.  Nicholas Sparks approved!  This clever card was designed by Wedding Paper Divas (as seen on Bridal Guide)

2. These adorable message in a bottle make your guests work a little for their invites! 
(Found on Lovelio, available for purchase through The Original Message in a Bottle Shop)

3. Repurposing a poster or scene from a favorite movie is very creative!
This couple used an image from the iconic film “It’s A Wonderful Life” (Shared via Flickr)

4.  Not even the Zombie Apocolypse could stop these two from marrying.
The 2011 Amanda Rynda sequence is best seen in it’s entirety…  here.





Ohhh New Jersey. It’s So Easy to Hate You.

9 12 2011

Arguably the only good things to come out of New Jersey to date are Frank Sinatra and Bruce  Springsteen.

I contest that it’s time to add newly-minted online satirist Joe Steinfield to the list!

This rendering of the state posted this week is not only hilarious, but fairly accurate. Steinfield should know, he lives in New Jersey, and works for the DEP.

Following some negative commentary from NBC News’ “man on the street” poll about the image, Steinfield said “It was never meant to be taking seriously. I do regret that I offended a few people, however, for the most part, the feedback I’ve been getting is very positive.”

There are so many stereotypes about New Jersey and it’s inhabitants. Unfortunately anytime they’re given the opportunity to prove those perceptions wrong, say, in the form of reality shows about hard working residents – – the anthisis of  “Jersey Shore” – – they drop the ball!  (Cake Boss, Jerseylicious) 
Therefore, I agree wholeheartedly with Steinfield’s map. And I very much appreciate that someone who calls NJ home can acknowledge their collective shortfallings and maintain a sense of humor about it!

 





New Music Fixes Everything!

5 04 2011

Today started out as a sincerely terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I got up at 6:30am for work, only to arrive there and promptly be sent home. Their schedule was, inexplicably, different from the copy I had. Wonderful I delayed my assignments in order to go to bed early because I absolutely loathe getting up any time before 9am (and when I say 9 I really mean 11!), and this happens.  You would think a major corporation like __[Name Witheld]__ would have their act  together a little more!  Not so. 
Can’t wait to leave… gave them my official letter of resignation this morning!  So perhaps the trip over was not a total loss.

Moving on,  I was way to jacked and angry to go  back to bed, so I attempted to finish the draft of a profile due in my magazine writing class (JRL366 @ SUNY Albany).  That would have been a lovely use of my time, if my subject had responded to my follow-up questions.  He still hasn’t, although the class came and went.

Highlight #1 of the Day came in said magazine class, when the teacher released us 45minutes early.

To the library I went, as I have neglected my blog as of late. There really just aren’t enough hours in the day…
Anyway, I logged into Youtube as I often do for a little amusing background noise while I write here.   That’s where Highlight #2 of the Day came.

I love Michael Buckley, like more than what some would consider normal and/or appropriate, so of course I clicked on his page to see if perhaps there was an upload I somehow missed. That doesn’t happen often, as I am a proud subscriber, but I like to make sure!  Well it turns out I was an episode behind in his second season of BUCK FACTOR.

Of the five artists showcased, two really got to me.

Enter: Brian O’Reilly (BriBryOnTour)

Reasons I loved him immediately:
– Sense of Humor
– Sense of Adventure
– Music is honest, thoughtful
Raises money for cancer ward of Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital in honor of his friend Ross Nugent
– Miles more real than those Buried Life guys on MTV
– Adorable accent !

 

Enter: Harry and Alfie.

 

Reasons I loved them immediately:
– They’re pretty cute.
– They’re Irish.
– They write their own material.
– They play several instruments.
– They seem like genuinely nice, grateful people.
– & I generally agree with everything Buck says!

 

So I will be encouraging everyone I know to give them a listen, and I will be spending any free time for the rest of the week making my way through all of their 100+ videos.  

Let me know if you like Harry & Alfie too!
Or share links in the comment section to independent bands/artists you’re digging right now.  Thanks!

________________________________
UPDATE
Highlight #3 came in the form of a wonderful chicken quesadilla I made myself for dinner!  Yum! It’s the little  things =)