I Wished for this on New Years Eve…

24 01 2014

… As Miley Cyrus idiotically rang in 2014 with Ryan Seacrest, and as Dick Clark no doubt turned over in his grave, I told my family I wanted but two things to happen this year:
1. I want Miley to go away. Girlfriend is twerking all over my last nerve!
2. I want a cure for Bieber Fever. This kid is such a tool (who hasn’t EVER had a #1 single in the US)!

J. Bieber Mugshot, via Miami PD Twitter

J. Bieber Mugshot, via Miami PD Twitter

So as I started my day (1/23), with usual still bleary-eyed readings of People and TMZ to get my pop culture juices flowin’, I was filled with joy at the headlines about Justin Bieber’s early morning arrest in Miami, FL.
Do I wish him harm? Of course not. He is incredibly lucky he has a huge team around to cater to his every whim and block off public streets for drunken drag racing. He’s also damn lucky no one was injured or killed, as he did have a passenger in the obnoxious yellow Lambo.
I do wish someone would teach this fucking moron man-child a thing or two about responsibility. It’s obvious his parents are not capable of influencing him in a positive or constructive way (Mom, Dad; let the finger-pointing begin). You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, someone who just won’t take your advice that waving to fans as you are released from jail is tacky… Especially if that someone is your teenaged child, who makes more in one month than you could in a lifetime.

This is a 19-year-old KID who has more money than he can actually fathom what to do with, and millions of fans who hang on his every tweet, affirming all of his poor behavior with empty pledges of “love” and praise. Under normal circumstances, the Biebs would be just another college kid. And college kids make mistakes. The difference here is, the whole world is watching him– and because he takes their money for iTunes singles, stupid flashy merchandise, and concert tickets– he is accountable to that audience. He has to play the part of squeaky-clean, hormonally-neutral, parent-approved teeny bopper. That is literally what he signed up for.

Justin Bieber: Professional DBag.

Justin Bieber: Professional DBag.

The Biebs is just the latest example of a child star gone off the rails. Historically, a family background of addiction, generational criminality or domestic abuse, and disadvantaged economic status are common among child performers. Such factors are present in the Bieber background, having been not only acknowledged, but openly discussed for [further] profit, by Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette.
As the adorable-now-sophisticated Mara Wilson, former child star (Matilda, One Simple Wish, Mrs. Doubtfire), explained in a spring 2013 article for Cracked.com, ‘many child stars find themselves wanting to rebel in ways that would be detrimental to their careers.’ Some stay in line, and end up miserable,’ having been pushed into acting as a means of supporting their families.’ Others are presented with inappropriate opportunities or set up for exploitation, given the ‘adult nature of Hollywood that sometimes prevents even the best parents from being able to protect their child from the industry.’
Joke as we will, but with too much money, nothin’ but time, and nobody to say ‘no,’ there are a finite number of conclusions to the career (and life, if he keeps this up) of Justin Drew Bieber. Here’s a little list for you, with other child stars individuals to consider, as we think about what’s going to be Team Bieber’s next move…

*Best Case Scenarios:
Drew Barrymore
Demi Lovato

*Desperate Obscurity:
Dustin Diamond
Erin Moran

*Worst Case Scenarios:
Mackenzie Phillips
Brad Renfro

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SAM BERNS, 1996-2014

14 01 2014

Sam Berns, the precocious New England teen who became the face of an incredibly rare, oft misunderstood genetic condition passed away on Friday.

Drs. Scott and Leslie Berns with their son, Sam

Drs. Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon with their son, Sam

Berns, 17, was the focus of an HBO documentary, Life According to Sam (made by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix), that aired in the fall. The film chronicled the young man’s struggle with his debilitating condition, Progeria, and his dedicated parents’ fight to research the rare disease and prolong the lives of all affected.
Doctors Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon, along with Sam’s aunt, attorney Audrey Gordon, formed the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999. In the mere 15 years since, they have not only identified and isolated the gene mutation that causes progeria, but also run successful clinical trials with a drug called lonafarnib. While there is no cure, as of yet, the trials with lonafarnib are encouraging for the treatment of progeria’s hallmark symptoms; hair loss, scleroderma, deterioration of the kidneys and eye sight, and prolonged cardiovascular issues. Berns had a winning personality, seemingly endless ambition, and a zest for life that should be admired by all. Though he would inevitably to go before his time, as those who suffer from Progeria die before adulthood, Sam Berns was invested in his education, optimistic about the future, and possessed an adventurous spirit that lead him to many rich experiences and to touch many lives.

Of his participation in the HBO film, an official selection at the 2013 Sundance Festival, Sam Berns said:
“I didn’t put myself in front of you to have you feel bad for me. I put myself in front of you to let you know you don’t need to feel bad for me. I want you to know me. This is my life, and progeria is part of it.”





Married ‘Smash’ Director Catches The McPheever…

22 10 2013

Like many families across the US, mine were avid “American Idol” watchers (until the abomination of Nicki Minaj judging took over the airwaves).  Our hooting and hollering was usually in good fun, unless we found ourselves at odds over a contestant.
Season 5, which aired in 2006, was a particularly hostile year.  I couldn’t explain it, but I was dead-set against Katharine McPhee. Week after week as she progressed in the competition, I did not catch ‘the McPheever.’  I deliberately wrote the call-in numbers down wrong so my family couldn’t vote for her!

I have always thought, though McPhee has been candid about her struggles before reaching stardom, she was one of those needy, annoying starlets who didn’t have the chops to live up to the hype her ‘people’ generated.  Her turns onscreen in The House Bunny and Shark Night 3D were less than Oscar Razzie-worthy.  Her albums, released in 2007 and (two in) 2010, were only modestly successful.

In 2008, she made headlines (in People, Us Weekly anyway) for marrying her significantly older beau, Nick Cokas.  Earlier this year, McPhee told Lucky magazine that although she had pictured life a little differently, she is glad not to have any children yet. “I’m selfish right now, but that’s how and where I should be. The thing is, work is the thing I love the most,” she said. Her  five-year marriage to Cokas was confirmed/acknowledged in the article as well (January 2013 issue).

I fully admit to being a gossipy, judgmental kind of person sometimes, but when someone doesn’t sit well with me, it is never for no reason. The personality flaws and errors in morality may not be immediately apparent, but I’ve had the misfortune of finding, eventually, everyone is who I think they are.
I also will disclose that I am guilty of often letting the personal lives of some celebs, as told by those nagging glossy tabloids at the grocery check-out, get in the way of my enjoying their work. (HALLE BERRY & TOM CRUISE, for example. )

(Photo Credit: TMZ)

(Photo Credit: TMZ)

So today when I logged into TMZ, as I do every day as I snack on my lunch, I was not surprised to read that McPhee was caught, in the middle of the California sunshine, kissing her ALSO MARRIED former Smash series director, Michael Morris.

I was incensed by this news because Morris, who previously produced and directed for ABC’s Brothers & Sisters series, himself is married– to the wonderful, talented, hilarious Mary McCormack (formerly of The West Wing and In Plain Sight).  How can these celebs continually misbehave and think they’ll get away with it? When you live a public life, you are never alone and, depending on the level of fame you achieve, your business is never just your own. It’s the price you pay for willingly participating in an industry that is in cahoots with the sensationalism of a 24/7 news media.

Though I anticipate statements from each camp by week’s end (a source has already told TMZ McPhee and Cokas have been living apart for 6 months), I can’t help but be reminded of the love-triangles and humiliating marriage-ending affairs passed… (Just to name a few!)

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordgren; other woman: Rachel Uchitel (among many others).

LeeAnn Rimes and Dean Shermet; other man: Eddie Cibrian (who was also married, to Brandi Glanville).

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James; other woman: Michelle McGee (among others).

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart; other man: Rupert Saunders (who was married to model Liberty Ross at the time).
**Stewart is also said to have cheated on her boyfriend of 3-years, Michael Angarano, with Pattinson.

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe; other woman: Abby Cornish.

Former POTUS Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton; other women: Monica Lewinsky, Ginnifer Flowers, Paula Jones…

Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid; other man: Russell Crowe.

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher; other woman: Elizabeth Taylor.





Kaitlyn Hunt Accepts [Generous] Plea Deal

5 10 2013

Have you guys heard about Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida high schooler accused of sexual assault? There was significant news and social media coverage of the case in the spring, but surprisingly few people I have encountered are up on the story.
I have been reading about her, and the situation, for the better part of 2013. I waited to post anything regarding the case, in hopes that it would resolve itself before much more damage to the self-esteem and reputations of all involved was tarnished much further.

That sort of came to fruition in the form of a plea deal, which Hunt accepted this week.

Regardless of who you support in this, Kaitlyn Hunt or her girlfriend/the victim, we all have to agree that This. Is. A. Mess.

Stephen Hunt, Kaitlyn Hunt and Kelly Hunt Smith seated in the gallery of an Indian River County courtroom (Photo Credit, Keith Carson for Vero News)

Stephen Hunt, Kaitlyn Hunt and Kelly Hunt Smith seated in the gallery of an Indian River County courtroom
(Photo Credit, Keith Carson for Vero News)

The gist of the saga is Hunt entered into a relationship with a female teammate last year. Both girls were students at Sebastian River High School; Hunt was a senior, the other girl was a freshman… which itself poses a problem with state statutory laws. After a few months of ‘dating,’ the relationship became sexual.

When their basketball coach  became aware of their involvement, he called the younger girl’s parents. Shortly thereafter, in February, the girls’ parents, Laurie and Jim Smith, called the police.  (Though their daughter, who is a minor, has remained unnamed in this epic- Kelley Hunt Smith wasted no time name-dropping her parents on a now defunct Facebook page.)

It has been reported that sexual contact occurred twice in the bathroom at school, and on one occasion at the Hunt home, after the girlfriend ‘ran away from home.’
Hunt was not only kicked off the basketball team when her relationship came to light, but was forced out of Sebastian River HS and enrolled in an alternative school.

Upon her arrest, it was speculated that a conviction for lewd & lascivious battery of a child could land Hunt in prison for 15 years and require her to register as a sex offender.
In 2007, the Florida state senate passed a law, known as the Romeo & Juliet law, that would allow high school age people engaged in a relationship to petition the court for leniency (of sorts), thereby distinguishing them from true child predators.  It was suggested that Hunt could/would appeal for this categorization moving forward to [avoid] trial.

It has also been widely spread, by Hunt supporters, that among the complainants’ (unnamed partner’s parents) reasons for pursuing this case, is they think Hunt coerced their daughter into a same-sex relationship– suggesting that their child is not in fact gay.
There has been an incredible movement to “Free Kate” thanks in part to her family’s vocality online. People protesting that the other girl’s parents were being vindictive because they don’t accept their child’s orientation; that Hunt is being persecuted for being a lesbian; and that Hunt doesn’t deserve to be jailed because “she is just a kid.”

In a segment of ABC’s “20/20,” which aired on October 4, 2013, Laurie Smith admitted that “We’ve had the conversation, and I’m perfectly fine with who she is.” Effectively negating all the allegations of hate the “Free Kate” camp had been spewing.
This statement reiterated what the Smiths shared with WPEC-TV back in May; this whole debacle is NOT a matter of race, orientation or personality, but age. They claim to have warned Kaitlyn to stay away from their daughter on two occasions, because the relationship was “wrong,” before resorting to involving local authorities.

Kaitlyn Hunt, self portrait

Kaitlyn Hunt, undated self portrait.

Hunt, who turned 19 in August, has been jailed for violating a no-contact order. It was discovered that Hunt continued to exchange thousands of text and picture messages with the victim. A judge revoked her bond, and a(nother) plea deal was rescinded.  It has been suggested that Kelley Hunt Smith, Kaitlyn’s mother, was not only aware of continued contact, but herself urged the victim to cover their tracks.

This week, Hunt accepted a plea deal in which she pleaded ‘no contest’ to two counts of misdemeanor battery, misdemeanor contributing to the dependency of a child and two counts of felony interference with child custody.
Prosecutor Brian Workman stated that, per the agreement, Hunt “will be sentenced to four months in jail, to be followed by two years of house arrest with electronic monitoring, and nine months of monitored probation after that.”

She will not have to register as a sex offender, and has the option of petitioning for her case file to be sealed and/or expunged after 10 years. However, Workman added that “If she violates the terms of her supervision, the judge may sentence her to any lawful sentence, including prison.”

———————————————————————————————–

My issues with this case and all the debate it’s sparked:

– An 18 year old and a 14 year old, regardless of orientation, is a cut and dry crime. Its common sense; two people in very different phases of their adolescence have no business being together!   If Kaitlyn Hunt were a boy, this hoopla would not be happening; nobody would be protesting anything. The bottom line here is that a 14 year old cannot consent to any kind of intimacy, and that is the violation Kaitlyn Hunt has to answer for.

I think in an effort to prevent a situation like this, the laws should be taught within high school health class/sex education– just like “No means No” and “Drunk people can’t consent,” high schoolers should be made aware that age laws matter too.  I do not believe Kaitlyn Hunt should be labeled as any kind of predator in the future– but she did behave defiantly after she had had been charged. Hunt blatantly disregarded the order to stay away from her girlfriend and continued to send private messages and photos/video to the younger party. She definitely dug herself a little deeper, as evidenced by the plea deal that Vero Beach prosecutors took off the table following her bond revocation.

– Hunt family attorney, Julia Graves, has stated that they wish to work with lawmakers following Kaitlyn Hunt’s release in order to change the law so teenagers attending the same school cannot  be prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationshipsAre you kidding me? The arguments that laws are unfair, considering public schools have students who are of age enrolled simultaneously with those who are under the age of consent, are ridiculous. Are districts supposed to reassign staff and students to new buildings? That would be a logistical and tax nightmare no one would volunteer to participate in. I think the Romeo & Juliet law sufficiently addresses these scenarios, if they are unable to be resolved in pre-trial mediation.

Kaitlyn’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, had been active in writing on a Facebook group (the page has since been taken down); sharing content I don’t feel was particularly helpful to her daughter or the looming legal situation. 
(Ex:) “Does my daughter deserve to lose her life for 15 years, or 3 years, or to have no life, because of one choice she made in high school, absolutely not!!”
(Ex:) “The (assistant) state attorney, Brian Workman needs to use taxpayers money to prosecute REAL criminals, not a high school student who has never been in trouble a day in her young life, all because she had a mutual consenting relationship with someone who has bigoted parents.”
—> INTERESTING REBUTTAL TO THIS SEEMINGLY DEVOTED MOTHER’S PARENTING STYLE AND OVERALL APPROACH TO LIFE <—

It’s not like she’s Casey Anthony. By the time her probation/house arrest is over, people outside her town will largely have forgotten about her/this. Kaitlyn Hunt was able to walk with her class at Sebastian River High School’s graduation, and will have the opportunity to take college classes online while she is finishing her sentence– so she isn’t quite ‘losing time’ or ‘ruining her future’ as her family suggests. This black cloud will not follow her forever. She should be grateful she isn’t having to register as a sex offender! If she is truly the warm, personable girl her family has claimed, she should be able to gracefully explain her situation to future partners and employers.

 

 

UPDATE —> Kaitlyn Hunt gives an interview from jail; not really taking responsibility for her behavior AT ALL.





Oh, Mia Farrow, You Attention-Starved Hasbeen…

4 10 2013

Why exactly is it a big deal that Mia Farrow and 8 of her 15 children agreed to be interviewed by Vanity Fair?

(Undated file photo, via People.)

(Undated file photo, via People.)

I read the teaser article and contributor Maureen Orth’s original, sprawling 1992 profile of  Farrow (and the custody battle of the decade), but I am at a loss as to why this is pertinent news. (We can all thank the Journalism Department at the University at Albany for my keen evaluation and desire for stories that are timely!)

Mia Farrow’s career consists of films made mostly during the 1960s-1980s. She has worked only sporadically on screen since the 1990s, and has not been in a mainstream, money-making film of note since 2006′s The Omen; so excuse me for pointing out her lack of relevancy. (She appeared in Jack Black’s comedy Be Kind Rewind in 2008 but let’s be real, nobody saw it! The film, which basically ripped off a Nickelodeon kid’s sketch, grossed only $30 million.)
I will grant however, she has done remarkable work on behalf of UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations. But in our salacious, often invasive, 24/7 celebrity media culture, your good deeds only get you so far in the press.

Undoubtedly aware of this, Farrow coyly answered Orth’s blunt question of son Ronan’s paternity; “Possibly,” she claims, the 25-year-old could have been fathered by Farrow’s ex-husband Frank Sinatra. The very inkling single-handedly sent blogs and weekly glossy mags into a frenzy.
Though Farrow claims she and Sinatra “never really split up,” despite her having been served with divorce papers on the set of Rosemary’s Baby in 1968; Barbara Sinatra (who was married to the prolific musician from 1978 until his death in 1998) was quoted by BBC that the mere idea “sounds like a phony to me.”
Woody Allen, Farrow’s partner of over a decade and presumed father of Ronan (born Satchel O’Sullivan Farrow; later called Seamus Ronan Farrow), stated through a representative that “The article is so fictitious and extravagantly absurd that he is not going to comment.” Although estranged from Farrow, and thereby Ronan, since the early 90s when he took up with now-wife Soon-Yi Previn–it would appear that Allen still holds the boy in regard as his only natural child.

(Present day Farrow; Photo via Esquire)

(Present day Farrow; Photo via Esquire)

I kind of can’t help but think of Farrow as a former good-time-girl with a grudge. Was Woody Allen’s betrayal absolutely depraved and immoral? Yes.  Does she have every right to be humiliated? Yes.  But to toss around accusations like this, 20 years after the fact, is just sad. Everyone in the free world knows about DNA testing, and I feel like in 1992 when shit was goin’ down that having a paternity test done would have been just the nail she needed to close the door on Allen for good.

This whole thing seems, as Miley Cyrus would say, a strategic hot mess.

Some people have viewed her as an ethereal, Earth Mother-y woman, but former Farrow family nanny Kristi Groteke says, “Scratch the surface of Mia’s naivety and bewilderment, and you get a woman who knows what’s happening.”  It should be assumed, at this point, that a woman with so much experience with men letting her down (her father was a philandering drunk, her ) is not the doe-eyed ingenue of Peyton Place. This crusader for the underprivileged has enough world experience to know how to play all the detail-hungry Hollywood games.

This will no doubt continue to be media fodder until the whole article is released, in VF’s November issue, but I am more interested to see if anything truly comes of it. Perhaps on the first edition of Ronan Farrow’s rumored MSNBC weekend show he could do a cross-over special with Maury Povich and out WHO IS THE FATHER! (I kid, but that would be awesome.)

 

 





Michigan Mother Arrested for Attempted Murder of Disabled Teen Daughter

7 09 2013

I am so appalled by a People magazine brief I read online about this Michigan mother who tried to kill her autistic 14-year-old.  I can’t not comment on this.

Kelli Stapelton Mug Shot; Benzie County, MI

Kelli Stapelton Mug Shot;
Benzie County, MI

I can imagine, to a degree, what it’s like to parent a differently abled child; as my mother has been an educator and administrator in the special ed sector for nearly three decades. She worked with kids who were emotionally disturbed, had mental retardation, and autism. I have grown up being exposed to, and fairly well educated on, their issues and limitations, as well as the strategies and successes; and participated in different activities with and for autistic children and young adults. On several occasions, particular students that struck a chord with her would be brought into our home and included in family activities.
My mom’s stories about some of the pitiful families these kids come from turn your stomach and break your heart. These children are not disposable, not a single one of them, no matter how impaired or volatile. People with patience can achieve results that will leave the kid feeling capable and valuable.

That said, reading about the the accused, Kelli Stapleton, sent me immediately into a kind of rage. HOW could any parent kill their child? HOW could any parent of a disabled child turn on them that way? HOW will this girl, if she ever recovers, be able to trust her mother (and primary caregiver) again?!

I was compelled to read Stapleton’s blog, which is titled “The Status Woe,” which was not only referenced but quoted in the People article. (DISCLOSURE: Like this page, it is hosted by WordPress.)

I cannot believe what I read.  It is one thing to advocate for your child, a very necessary thing whether they fall on the spectrum or not, but quite another to admit to bullying your way to get what you want-– when the trained professionals have a different plan for how best to manage your child’s day to day. “It takes a village,” unless Kelli Stapleton lives in that village. She is a one-woman show.
Besides the fact that this woman has put their entire lives, every bloody detail, out there for the world when her daughter has no way to protest; I was disturbed by the amount of attention-seeking and immature illustrating Stapleton does.  How can someone expect to be respected and taken seriously when they have adorned their “website” with gifs and banners, admitted to being profanely vulgar towards a county mental health staff, or chastising a teacher (and co-worker of your spouse!) because she dared to do her job and input on the ‘behavior plan.’

There are certain phrases, buzz words if you will, that people in this industry- parents, educators and aides, and (OT/PT) therapists- do not use. (Ex: Normal.) Stapleton’s blog is littered with them and she places blame on the child for behavior she is not yet able to control (Ex: stating her daughter makes their homelife ‘horrific’). These are not altogether unforgivable offenses, but they raise red flags.  Stapleton is very ‘me me me,’ telling the Traverse City Record-Eagle last February that she started her blog because “I felt like I needed witnesses… If I didn’t survive this situation, I wanted people to know that I was a good mom and I did everything I could do, and I asked for help from all these resources.”
She even blogged that, “For 12 years, I have done a fabulous job of complementing professionals to stroke egos, kissing enormous asses to get needs met, flexing my muscles when necessary, and begging when it was called for,” but stated outright that no one would be “FUCKING WITH THE BEHAVIOR PLAN.” Seems to me like it’s Stapleton’s way or the highway, and that means her daughter’s well-being hangs in the balance.

I won’t feign sympathy for someone who tried to kill their child, and being that her family has volunteered personal information by way of that blog, and a Facebook group, I CAN CRITICIZE HER ALL I WANT.

Isabelle, and her father, Matthew Stapleton. Photo source: The Daily Mail (UK)

Isabelle, and her father, Matthew Stapleton.
Photo source: The Daily Mail (UK)

Stapleton’s husband, Matthew, wrote (in part) on the “Team Issy” Facebook September 5th: “So many of you have been very supportive of Isabelle and my family… and for this we are grateful. We are blessed with supportive friends, family, and an incredible community. Even strangers have been supportive of Issy and we ask that they continue to do so during this tough time.
We are also aware of the many stories and rumors that can accompany such events. We ask that you continue to keep the focus on Isabelle’s recovery and not necessarily on the events that have brought us to this unfortunate fight for her life. We ask that people don’t judge, but instead direct their positive energies on the recovery of this beautiful young lady.”

Seriously?  Haven’t you asked your community for enough?  They bought bracelets and t-shirts, they signed petitions and sent letters, they consistently fundraise. Your wife, who previously said the community’s continued support was “just so humbling and beyond generous and amazing”, just tried to kill your daughter.  How dare you even consider asking more of them.

Autism is no one’s choice, but the situation the Stapleton’s now find themselves is entirely Kelli Stapleton’s fault. Her choices to strong arm the insurance companies, the clinical organizations and therapists, the school district… all lead to this family’s back being against a wall and their daughter with no program to attend. Stressful as that is, killing her solves none of the problems, and further, doesn’t teach her mother to be less selfish.  Several news outlets (GOOGLE IT, I can’t link to them all) report that the “incident” was a murder-suicide… perhaps. But as we see entirely too often with filicide, the parent survives. THAT is why Kelli Stapleton has been charged with a crime, THAT is why Kelli Stapleton deserves to be in jail, THAT is why Matt Stapleton should get a good divorce lawyer.

I look forward to the comments and continuing coverage of this story. I can only hope it reaches national news channels and crime shows (I’m looking at you, Nancy Grace), and justice is properly served for this girl.

—————————————————————————————————————
UPDATE     Despite statements made to police that Stapleton believed it was time she and her daughter “went to heaven,” as she had reached “her wit’s end” with her daughter’s condition; a court appearance has been set to determine her competency in participating with her defense.  Stapleton admitted that she lured the girl to the family van, drugged her, and then set ablaze two charcoal grills to kill them both– because “this would be the best solution for the family” to end the her frustration with the girl’s condition– according to trial transcripts and a Michigan State Trooper affiliated with the case.
Kelli Stapleton’s husband, Matt, who is prinicipal of Frankfort High School, has petitioned for divorce and full custody of their three children.

I think it’s very clear what Stapleton’s motivations and intent were, and there should not be a judge or jury in the world compassionate enough to believe that a mother who claims to have devoted her entire existence, and blogged about it for all to see (praise), to creating a full life for her daughter, could have “snapped,” or behaved in such a way without premeditation.  This was her life for over a decade, which means she had nearly 4,000 days to consider how, when and where to kill her middle child.

 





2013 VMAs… I’m Officially Too Old for This Shit.

26 08 2013

I was only half involved last year, having realized in adulthood that it is dumb for MTV to continue hosting the VIDEO Music Awards when they barely show videos anymore. Seriously, the days of TRL are long passed. The only time to avoid Rob Dyrdek yelling over viral videos, teen moms making mistake after mistake, or Tyler Posey running around a treed soundstage in facial fur, is 3am-6am when the videos play.
Watching the (pointless) preshow and red carpet coverage made me, again, feel entirely too old to be tuning in, but, the rumors of an NSYNC reunion were enough to secure my butt in this seat a good hour before start time, 9pm.

I will review and recap the festivities in timestamp fashion, as I am too lazy to actually make this post any kind of polished literary offering.

8:55pm – Shailene Woodley is here, and I could care less about the movie trailer she’s promoting. Love. Her.

9:05pm – Ok, Gaga. I appreciate the incorporation of wigs that recall your hits like “Just Dance” and “Telephone,” but “Applause” more confirms your endless quest for attention than affirms your love of your Little Monsters.

9:08pm – First award is “Best Pop Video” and it goes to Miss Selena Gomez for the not-so-Disney-friendly jam “Come and Get It.” She gives a blah speech, with blah hair and an outfit that is only half-appropriate.

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

9:20pm – Miley Cyrus is complete trash.  Hannah Montana is officially dead.  I can’t believe her mother was smiling pridefully when they cut to her in the audience… It makes me sad how nasty their whole family is.   I can’t even give her respect as an artist, as a creative, because it’s all so gross. It just makes no sense.   Someone who has that much money, and therefore the creative freedom to do what she pleases, should not be trying THAT hard to break away from the images people used to have of her, because now we do in fact think she is a ‘ratchet white girl.
Aditionally, Robin Thicke has just cheapened himself by singing with her. Someone who has really made a splash recently, would absolutely been able to swing NOT performing with her. He should have ducked outta this one!

9:24pm – Lil Kim, is that you? If so, Letoya Jackson called and would like her face back. Ouch.
The formerly well-respected MC may be the “Queen Bee” of the B-K, but she is lookin’ a mess! A shell of her former self– looks, rep and style wise.

9:26pm – Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis win the second award of the night, Best Hip Hop Video, for “Can’t Hold Us.”

9:38pm – Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. “Blood on the Leaves” is entirely too heavy for the VMAs. People don’t so much respect you, as fear you. You make us uncomfortable.  (Before he started, my brother said “Oh, That’s what he looks like?” Then went on to acknowledge he had never seen him without sunglasses, nor without the contortion of rabbid, paparazzi-aimed rage.)

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

9:49pm – Taylor Swift wins the third award of the ceremonies, Best Female Video, for “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Daft Punk, Pharrell and Nile Rodgers presented (pictured at right).
Breaking from her usual, seemingly feigned, “I can’t believe they like me” gushes of gratitude- Swift stated “I want to thank the fans because I tweeted about this a lot, I really wanted this.” Adding, “I also want to thank the person who inspired this song because he knows exactly who he is, because now I’ve got one of these.”
Harry Styles of One Direction, her most recent ex, looked on unamused. Speculation has circulated that the diddy was about him, written more than a year ago following their initial encounter. Other claims are that the power-pop tune takes aim at one-time Swift beau, actor Jake Gyllenhaal. (I, however, refuse to believe he was at all toxic or drama-causing; confident that she ruined that union.)

9:51pm – Mackelmore takes the stage again to claim his trophy for “Same Love,” which won the 4th category: Best Video With a Social Message. He gave a heartfelt speech, driving home that this song not only has purpose but sincere meaning for him as a person. I’m glad Mackelmore won, but I have to acknowledge the ridiculous, made-up for this occasion category… Really, MTV? You’re only televising 8 awards and this one is total BS.

9:59pm – JIMMY FALLON!!! The greatest host in the history of this program has returned to the stage, now to introduce what proves to be a lingering vanity piece for Justin Timberlake.
JT starts in with “Take Back the Night,” before actually arriving at the stage, and going into an extensive medley of his hits: “Sexy Back,” “Like I Love You,” “My Love,” “Cry Me a River,” “Rock Your Body” among them. Going backwards through his catalog is KILLING MY NERVES as I wait pretty impatiently for the four men with whom he made his name to appear…

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

10:10pm – THEY’REEEE HEEEEERE! About 90 seconds of thrill (Thinking ‘This is epic!’) and a brief snippet of 2 songs, “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye”, broke way to feelings of ‘WTF, all that hype and it’s just a segue’ to “Suit & Tie.”

10:12pm – Jimmy is back and he is presenting BFF Justin with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Whatever the fuck that means.
JT says “I don’t deserve this award, but I’m not gonna give it back,” then goes on to acknowledge that his past successes, including 4 ‘Moonmen’ statues from the VMAs, are due in part to the men of NSYNC. “We can keep it at my house, but I share this with those four guys.”

10:25pm – I almost don’t feel like finishing this. Now that I have been significantly disappointed, watching a DVD of ‘Veronica Mars’ sounds like a better option than watching Katy Perry hop around to “Roar” (which at this point we all know bears striking similarity to Sara Barellis’ “Brave.”)

10:27pm – Kevin Hart is only funny half the time, so his second appearance as flashy little filler is weak. Nobody booed but I didn’t hear a ton of laughter either. This is one of several instances tonight I have though “What’s the point of this?” aloud.

10:29pm – Fifth award, Song of the Summer, goes to One Direction for the antagonistically catchy “Best Song Ever.” I would like to formally protest; “The Way,” by Ariana Grande and Mac Miller, should have not only been an option but the winner.

10:32pm – Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis perform “Same Love,” following an intro from Jason Collins, recently out NBA player (which is significant), and A$AP Rocky (which is a shameless plug). Much as MTV has diverged from their MUSIC Television roots, they do keep on trend and on topic- politically not just pop-culturally.

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

10:43pm – Best New Artist goes to Austin Mahone, whom I’ve never heard of. He looked genuinely excited, and also a bit like he was up passed his bedtime. He is a knock-off Justin Bieber; thanking God, his single Mom, his friends and PR team. His fans are apparently called “Ma-homies,” which made me gag a little. (Why do fans need nicknames now? They’re titles make them sound like the least threatening gangs ever– Mariah Carey calls her fans “Lambs,” Nicky Minaj’s refers to fans as “Barbs” or “Barbies” and The Killers’ followers are known as “The Victims.”)
A quick Wiki search does little to raise my interest– the 17-year-old gained attention through his Youtube covers, before traveling with Disney’s Bridget Mendler and country crossover Taylor Swift.

10:45pm – TLC introduced Drake. Somewhere about a lyric into “Hold On, We’re Going Home” I began to wonder if it were about Rihanna; and then whether it was at all awkward to sing about her whilst in the same room with her and a few thousand other people. Cameras cut to her, and she looked unfazed. Interesting.

10:55pm – Best Male Video, the 7th trophy awarded, went to “Locked Out of Heaven” crooner Bruno Mars.
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a little like Kanye here when I say it should have been Robin Thicke.
And may I just say, I’m pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down, MTV… having Taylor Swift present best male video? Not-so-subtle but definitely not out-of-line. Touche.

11:15pm – The ever-sexy Joseph Gordon-Levitt took to the stage to hand out the night’s final, and allegedly most prestigious or most anticipated, Video of the Year. Man of the night, Sir Justin Timberlake took the cake, for his single “Mirrors” off of the album “20/20 Experience.” He adorably huged his mom and manager before going up to thank and dedicate the concept of the song/video to his grandparents. I kept wondering though, as they cut between stage and seats: Where’s your wife, dude?

Photo Credit: MTV/Getty Images

11:18pm – Is “Roar” really Katy Perry’s biggest hit, as we have been told all night? Because I am fairly confident in assuming that “Teenage Dream” was the peak of her career. The performance is under the Brooklyn Bridge… Which only made me concerned about the unbelievable traffic for that whole borough last night! Yes, honestly, during all the pop festivities MTV had to offer, I was preoccupied about the traffic.  Why? Probably because KP was lookin’ a mess! The hair is natural, and on trend with the braids, but the outfit. Whoa.
Tiger sports bra; flame-edged, shiny boxing shorts; white, knee-high tube socks and gold hightops? WHO Let her out like this? It was a mostly spoken word performance, with a few runs thrown in. I give her credit, because it did appear as though she sang live, and who can fault her for not staying on melody when she’s got some pretty sprawling choreography to keep up with.

In the words of ‘American Idol’ judge Randy Jackson, “It was just OK for me, dawg.”

11:22pm – It’s over. Oh wait, it’s starting all over again. Time to pop in that ‘Veronica Mars’ DVD I mentioned.