Saturday, December 18, 2004

Feed the World

One of my badly-kept pop culture secrets is that I adore the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" recorded by Band Aid back in 1984. I love it to the point that I learned to play it on my keyboard, and every time I do, I pretend I am surrounded by 80s rock stars, and that we're all singing our hearts out to raise money for starving kids in Africa.

I was just reading a Guardian article about how it's bad for your career to record a Christmas single, and in the part about Band Aid, they mentioned that the song was rerecorded this year. Since my world is MTV-free at the moment, I hadn't heard, so I immediately Googled for more info and found Band Aid 20's official website, where you can watch a clip of their video. (Sidenote: It made me feel REALLY old when it hit me that they are called "Band Aid 20" because it has been 20 years since the original song was recorded.)

That video looks okay in a helpful hipster sort of way, but I think I'd rather participate in the the 1985 live-in-concert version. You can see the video of that one in its awesome entirety on Yahoo's Christmas video page.

If I could have just one pop culture wish this Christmas, I would choose to time travel back and crowd onto that stage with all those famous and not-so-famous people. Maybe I'd be slightly tipsy because it's the end of a big night, and maybe I'd share a mic with David Bowie or George Michael, and we'd all sort of sway together as we sing a tiny bit off key because we can't quite hear ourselves over the noise of the crowd. And for four minutes or so of giant-concert euphoria, we would look out at all the dancing people and know that we were helping hungry kids just by rockin' out. God, that would be cool.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Vampire's Kiss

Nicolas Cage's character in National Treasure was delightfully wacky, but I really didn't know what I was in for when I downloaded the movie Vampire's Kiss from Movielink tonight. IMDB's trivia page about the movie explains Cage's snotsy accent (which is a relief, because for a while I was thinking he was just a bad actor back in '89), and that's also where I found out that he ate a live cockroach for this movie. The reviewers on Amazon act like Vampire's Kiss is an overlooked gem, but I would've liked this movie better if it were one scene long. There's this great part where Cage is in his psychologist's office freaking out about a misfiled contract, and he screams the entire alphabet at the top of his lungs. That alone was worth watching.

Since I have a one-track mind when it comes to vampire stories, I think this movie would've been a lot more fun if Buffy had shown up in the next scene to put Cage's character out of his misery (and me out of mine).

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Kiss Saves Santa

Sadly, that Christmas special only exists on an episode of The Family Guy, but I did get to watch the Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special tonight. Like the recent Nick and Jessica special, it features lots of celebrity cameos, but Pee-Wee's show was about a thousand times more fun to watch. If you're having trouble catching the holiday spirit, I suggest buying the DVD. Don't you deserve a slice of fruit cake-flavored pop culture history?

Here's a recent NPR interview with Paul Reubens where he talks about creating the character of Pee-Wee Herman, and describes a few upcoming Pee-Wee movie projects.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Get Lost

As promotional T-shirts go, this one for the show Lost is actually kind of cool. Seeing that on ABC's website inspired me to investigate the promotional offerings of the other shows I've been watching lately. This Desperate Housewives shirt is funny, but to anyone who hasn't seen the show, you'll just look pitiful. Fox's Arrested Development store features the Free Anyong tee, which directs sympathetic shirt viewers to Free


I think it's kind of funny that the skin product Proactiv advertises mostly through infomercials. I mean, their target audience seems to be the least proactive group on the planet -- people who are too lazy to change the channel. Or people like me, who watch TV in the background while they work, and then suddenly realize they're 23 minutes into a half-hour long commercial. Have you ever noticed that Jessica Simpson is strangely fascinating when she talks about her skin?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Which Desperate Housewife are you?

This Which Desperate Housewife are you? quiz isn't all that entertaining, but at least it matched me up with Susan. I think that makes sense on a normal day. Today I'm feeling rather Bree, because I just wrote out like fifty of my homemade Christmas cards. It was very Martha Stewart, in a pre-prison sort of way.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sets in the City

Isn't Sets in the City the cutest name for an online list of New York movie locations? And it's run by the mayor's office, so you know it's not just some idiot with a weblog making stuff up (like, say, if it were a site run by me).

Now you can get your friends together and recreate scenes from Spider-Man 2 or Taxi (not the TV show, that movie with Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah) at the actual locations!

Skate The O.C.

I was checking out the Fox website earlier today to see if I could find a preview of tonight's Arrested Development, and instead I found this OC-themed game that bears a strong resemblance to Tony Hawk Pro-Skater. Go pretend you're Seth Cohen and skate in the pool.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Paying the price

A few years ago, I was thinking of writing a Popcrazy article about what you get for your money when you join celebrity fan clubs. (Sometimes I pretend I'm doing important pop culture research just so I have an excuse to spend money on something dumb.)

This Ask the Answer B!tch column from E Online reminds me why I lost interest: celebrity fan clubs are damn expensive.

Back when I joined the official Buffy fan club, I paid $30-something and received just three issues of the poorly-written Buffy magazine. This was partially my fault, because I signed up just as the show was moving from The WB to UPN, and I think my money got lost in the network cracks. I never received the Buffy fun pack I was supposed to get when I joined, and my complaint letter went unanswered.

Around the same time, I spent another $30-something to join Mary-Kate and Ashley's official "fun club." I got a box of twin-themed stuff in the mail, including a low-quality mouse pad with their photo, a little foam brush to keep my computer monitor dust-free, a cardboard membership card to carry around in my wallet, and a booklet with the lyrics to all of their songs (which I'll admit provided at least 15 minute of amusement). I also got an invitation to subscribe to their magazine (now defunct), because a subscription wasn't included in my membership fee. I never heard from them again, so instead of joining a fan club, I felt like I had been tricked into purchasing a box of overpriced M-K & A junk.

From the E article:
"Remember," scolds Dell Furano, whose company, Signatures Network, runs fan sites for Jessica Simpson and others, "recording artists don't make as much money now, because of piracy, so many artists are looking for other sources of revenue."
That quote makes me want to poke someone in the eye. (Dell Furano, I guess.) I think fan clubs should be free, or at most, cost like $5. And instead of a pile of junk, you should get some kind of insider info, so you feel like your star respects you and isn't just trying to suck every possible dollar out of your wallet.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Staplers of the Stars

How much would you pay for a stapler that Adam Brody drew all over? Or for a stapler autographed by Alice Cooper, or Benicio del Toro? Check out those (and lots of other staplers marked up by celebrities) at this charity auction. (via

Not-so-horror movies

Would you like The Exorcist or The Shining better if they were only 30 seconds long and starred animated bunnies?

Go here. (Thanks to this site, I now think the shark in Jaws is kinda cute.)
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