Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A View Of The TEM's Head Clutter

I've got a block of head clutter this big, and it's got VFTT written all over it. Fortunately, the stuff falls into some pretty distinct categories.

  • What's going on in your head? - It seems that Steely Dan is not too thrilled with Owen Wilson right now. In a letter posted on their website, they claim Mr. Wilson stole the idea for his current movie, "You, Me, and Dupree" from their song, "Cousin Dupree." (Click on the link for more info and a link to the song.) Trouble is, Owen Wilson is the star of the movie, not the writer. If anyone stole the Dupree idea, it would've been (according to the IMDB website) screenwriter Mike LeSieur. Seems like a lot of fuss for a movie described by many critics as a bad idea all around. It also seems like some pretty good publicity, too. (Update - 6/28/06: Here's a link to a really funny summary of this feud I found on TV Guide's website. Her take on this tempest in a teapot is almost as funny as the Steely Dan letter. Enjoy.)
  • A head too big for the room - Remember Ken Jennings? He was the winningest contestant in the history of "Jeopardy," collecting about $2.5 million in a 74-game streak. You'd think he'd be forever grateful to the show for his windfall right? Wrong. In a July 19th post on his website, he bites the hand that fed him. Check out the part where he lets loose on Alex Trebek. The show's management and Mr. Trebek have decided to keep a cool head, opting not to comment on the post or Mr. Jennings's half-hearted apology in a later post. Did you know that Alex Trebek's real name is Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek? That's enough to give anyone a slightly swelled head.
  • Get your head out of the gutter - Kudos to BET for finally pulling the plug on "BET Uncut," the late night video show that featured videos considered too hot for airing during prime time. According to reports, the show isn't being pulled because of the racy, often misogynistic content (remember the fuss over that Nelly video?), but because the station wants to do something different in the time period. I can't help but wonder if part of the change has to do with a woman, Debra Lee, being in charge of the network now. She may have a bit of a battle on her hands with this one because some of the show's more loyal fans are circulating petititons to keep "BET Uncut" on the air. These folks illustrate that old adage that if you don't stand for something, you'll be forced to jack off to other things.
  • You need your head examined, part 1 - I hope I will never be able to understand or comprehend the anguish John Walsh and his wife Reve went through when they lost their son Adam. I hope that if I'm ever faced with such a horrible catastrophe, I'll be strong enough to fight to protect other children and families from ever facing such a fate. I also hope that I'll never become callous enough to make a joke as tasteless as the one he made during the Summer TV Press Tour about punishment for child molesters, though I do understand where that sentiment comes from. What makes this story even sadder is that Mr. Walsh acknowledged the inappropriateness of his comment and made it anyway. Twice. The only good news in this story is that Mr. Walsh's show, "America's Most Wanted," will be back on the air for its 20th season to continue the fight against crime this fall and that the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act broke free of the usual political wrangling and was finally passed on Tuesday.
  • You need your head examined, part 2 - This story broke my heart on many levels. Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a Houston, Texas today for the drowning deaths of her five children, aged 6 months to 7 years old. She claimed that, in a psychotic episode, she was trying to save her children's souls by killing them. She'll be committed to a mental institution instead of the life sentence she faced had she been found guilty of murder. You also may remember that she was found guilty at her original trial back in 2002. That verdict was overturned when it came out that a psychiatrist for the prosecution had embellished his testimony and lied about some of the facts in the case on the stand. Do you also remember the story leading up to this tragic incident? Her husband had been aware of her history of post-partum depression, including suicide attempts, but kept insisting on having more children anyway. See if you can guess who else needs to be institutionalized in this story along with her.
  • You're a real blockhead - That's all you can say to a jockey so frustrated with the performance of his horse in a race, all he could think to do is head butt the animal. He later apologized. (Wonder if he apologized to the animal like Mr. DVD apologized to his animals.) CNN's Jeanne Moos, knowing a good story also has an even better historical heritage, recently aired a report about the history of head butting for the good of all mankind.
  • How did that get in your head? - That's the $64,000 question in an Independence, Missouri courtroom as a man goes on trial for allegedly ramming a cell phone down his girlfriend's throat during an argument. I am not making this up. According to the prosecution, Marlon Brando Gill was jealous and angry. The defense counters that Melinda Abell intentionally swallowed the phone to keep Gill from calling another woman. Complicating matters is the fact that Ms. Abell's story has been inconsistent, partially because she admits that she had too much to drink the night of the incident to remember what actually happened. Never drink and dial, folks. And what must the roaming charges have been?
  • You've got a good head on your shoulders - Let's end this on a happy, uplifting note. Here's the story of a local man who did the right thing and is being rewarded quite nicely for his efforts. Charles Moore, a homeless, unemployed man here in Detroit, found a bag containing about $9,000 in bonds. (The bonds would be worth $21,000 upon maturity.) He turned the bonds in at a homeless shelter, and they were returned to the rightful owners. They gave Mr. Moore a $100 dollar reward, and the story made the local news. Normally that would've been the end of the story, but some other people in the community felt he deserved more. As of today, he's received about $4,000, clothing, and a job offer, with an outpouring of thanks continuing to come in for him. He said he never had a second thought about what to do when he found the bonds. "The best policy is honesty," he said, wiping away tears of gratitude for the love being sent his way. If that doesn't make you smile or warm your heart, nothing will.

More to come later, once I get my head out of the clouds.

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