CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2013 |
Just past sundown the kids, the punks, the surf rats swarmed up Main Street in Huntington Beach and decided - well, what the heck - let's riot. Shirtless and clad in board shorts, they taunted the police. One guy grabbed a stop sign and plunged it through a bike shop window and then raised his arms as if celebrating a fourth-quarter touchdown. They set fires, smashed a defenseless news rack and tipped over portable toilets, one poor occupant actually spilling onto the street.
July 24, 2013 |
Scott Phillips's latest novel, “Rake” (Counterpoint: 192 pp., $25), is narrated by an actor whose name we never learn. That, of course, is only as it should be, for what's important is not who he is but who he plays: Dr. Crandall Taylor, a central character in an American soap opera that has become a prime-time hit in France. The point is that image matters, that we are, in the most fundamental sense, who we say we are. This becomes increasingly apparent as Phillips' charmingly sociopathic protagonist bluffs his way in and out of danger, hopping from bed to bed and engaging with an international arms dealer, all in the hopes of trying to get a movie made.
July 16, 2013 |
Pippa Middleton has reportedly taken legal action to shut down a parody Twitter account that uses her name after the account holders published a novelty book doling out inane parenting advice. Publication of Pippa's widely panned party-planning book, "Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends," apparently gave rise to the account @pippatips . Said to be run by Mat Morrisroe and Suzanne Azzopardi, it dispenses simplistic tips and observations for followers based on the tone of the younger Middleton sister's predictable tome.
June 27, 2013 |
In the weeks since renegade National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government is harvesting phone and online data, a humorous series of Internet memes has been taking comic aim at artist Shepard Fairey's famous "Hope" image of Barack Obama. The parodies, which have appeared on numerous blogs and news sites in recent weeks, deconstruct Fairey's image, giving it a biting, NSA-themed spin. In one parody, Obama is shown wearing headphones with the words "Yes we scan" emblazoned above him and with text circling his head that reads: "United we progress toward a perfectly monitored society.
June 27, 2013 |
Darren Criss sat at a grand piano, leaning in as he played and performed with a group of Burbank high school students. "Standing in the Hall of Fame and the world's gonna know your name," he sang. Criss was belting the inspirational chorus of the Script's hit song "Hall of Fame" to the John Burroughs High School choir, but he could have been singing to himself. One of the breakout stars of "Glee," Criss is becoming a household name. In between a concert tour and movie premieres, Criss actually spent Saturday in the Hall of Fame.
May 24, 2013 |
"Girls," HBO's critically acclaimed and controversial comedy series about the lives of twentysomethings in Brooklyn, tackles a number of issues with brutal frankness and sometimes uncomfortable realism. Sex is one of those issues, and the show has raised eyebrows with a number of graphic sex scenes. So it's not really surprising that "Girls" is the latest show to get a XXX pornographic parody. And series creator and star Lena Dunham isn't amused by it. "This Ain't Girls XXX," produced by Hustler, is part of a recent trend of pornographic parodies that seek to replicate their less dirty inspirations.
May 2, 2013 |
Of all the potential Lego franchises, AMC's "Breaking Bad" exists probably at the bottom of the list (if it's there at all). But a parody video making the rounds online shows just how much fun playing a Lego version of Walter White could be. The animated video, created by Brian K Anderson, demonstrates what a "Lego Breaking Bad" video game as designed by Travelers' Tales would look like. For those who aren't fully caught up with the series, be warned that a few potential spoilers exist in the video, but as long as you've seen through the end of Season 4, you should be all right.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2013 |
A member of a UC Irvine fraternity seen wearing blackface in a parody music video isn't the first time charges of racism have been lobbed at the campus community, students said. “This blackface video isn't the first, nor is it the last, example of racism that's been shown on this campus,” UCI Black Student Union co-chairwoman Ainaria Johnson told the Daily Pilot . In 2011, the campus cafeteria served chicken and waffles on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Officials at UC Irvine have launched an investigation after a public outcry over the recent video, which involved four students doing a parody of a song that included mimicking of performers such as Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z.
April 23, 2013 |
"If history were to repeat itself," warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1944 State of the Union address, "and we were to return to the so-called normalcy of the 1920s, then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home. " The "normalcy" of the 1920s that Roosevelt referred to was a time of peace and prosperity. The decade began with Republican President Warren G. Harding commuting the sentences of many of the people imprisoned under a sedition law during the Wilson administration, including the socialist leader Eugene V. Debs.
April 12, 2013 |
Poor Charlie Sheen! In the opening of "Scary Movie V," no sooner does he bed Lindsay Lohan - both barely convincing playing themselves - than a ghost kills him and kidnaps his three kids. (Legal troubles aside, Lohan is fine.) Three months later, Snoop Dogg finds the now-crabwalking moppets in a haunted cabin in Humboldt County and delivers them and their new ghost mom back to civilization. Three months is auspicious. "Scary Movie V" lifts its plot from Jessica Chastain's surprise horror hit "Mama," released in January, and if you think three months is an impossible amount of time to write and produce a feature film, well, it is. In the Oscar nominee's role is former Disney star Ashley Tisdale, here seen having her way with a microwave.