DICK CLARK hospitalized for a mild stroke. The real shocker: He's only 75 years old! At least that's what he'd have you believe...
ANGELINA JOLIE would marry a woman. A story which undoubtedly sets back the cause of gay marriage by years. Hetero guys don't want her off the market. Gay guys will resent the fact that lesbians (or, more accurately hotl lesbians) are much more palatable to the public. Lesbians may be excited at first, but then wonder whether the generally unhinged Jolie should be their poster child.
DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND (also: "I love this man): Donald trump is getting a 1.5 carat wedding ring for free. Guess the bankruptcy got him some sympathy. Someone acted on the story i previously linked about diamond-laced martinis. But no woman has more best friends than this Russian woman.
DUDE: A word for all purposes. Plus, it inspired Ann Althouse to wax on The Big Lebowski soundtrack and sage lyrics from Bob Dylan. UPDATE: Sylvia Hauser tells me she has been called "Dude" at work, as in the linked article.
JIM TREACHER: What's on your tombstone?
POWER LINE: Very conservative, but remembering John Lennon on the anniversary of his untimely death. And there was even a Richard and Linda Thompson reference yesterday.
LILEKS covers several subjects today, but his take on the new movie Closer is pretty close to what I would say in a review, and Lileks hasn't even seen it:
"It's amusing to read reviews of "Closer", a film that sounds like 100 minutes of attenuated gum surgery: four shallow bitter people trading lacerating quips with their transient sex partners. If you believe that puddle-deep self-obsessed people engaged in two-backed beast construction is somehow the most illustrative example of the human condition, I suppose the movie will strike you as high art, but the notion that trivial people screw a lot and argue afterwards is as illuminating as the fact that dogs don't get married after they knock paws."
THE GRAMMYS: Sure, Ann Althouse has it dead on in noting that they are historically clueless -- and she's thinking of the 1960s. They were just as bad in the 1970s; for example when the 1978 award for Best New Artist went to Taste of Honey (of "Boogie Oogie Oogie" fame) instead of Elvis Costello, or even the Cars. During his lifetime, Elvis Presley won two Grammies, both for Gospel music. Or how about the 1989 for Best Hard Rock Performance going to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica? The list is so lengthy that one goes into a Grammy award show hoping the awards will be merely innocuous. Nevertheless, there were some interesting nominations to note:
Scanning a decent-sized list of the noms, I note that Brian Wilson's Smile got two nods -- Best Pop Vocal Album and Mark Linett for Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The odds don't look good: it's up against things like the posthumous Ray Charles duets disc, Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan. Moreover, the Beach Boys were never awarded a Grammy during their heyday (they may have gotten some ersatz lifetime thing since). However, Brian is being honored as Person of the Year by MusiCares, a charity set up by the Recording Academy, so maybe Brian will go home with a statue.
Bill Clinton got nominated for the spoken word version of his autobiography, but he's up against a tribute to Mr. Rogers. You may recall that Bill won this award last year for a reading of Peter and the Wolf, so I think there may be a speedy delivery to the Neighborhood.
Also notable: Dan Zanes, former leader of the Del Fuegos, is nominated for Musical Album for Children. I can't say I think much of the Bluegrass noms. But the noms for Historical Album are quite good; it would be tough for me to choose between The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra and Woodchoppers (1945-1947) and Goodbye, Babylon; and no, I'm not kidding. Finally, for Best Country Song, Loretta Lynn is nominated twice, which may split her vote, opening the door for "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long," by Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill -- which would be great to see on television.
YOUR TAX DOLLARS NOT AT WORK: The latest OECD international study of the math skills of 15 year olds shows that the United States has the poorest outcomes per dollar spent on education. Actually, there's probably plenty of blame to be spread on this one. Even good teachers in good schools are hard-pressed to overcome bad parenting or lack of parenting. However, you won't find many teachers saying so publicly, as it's politically unwise to alienate parents.
E-COMMERCE AND THE REPEAL OF PROHIBITION clash as the Supreme Court heard oral argument over New York and Michigan laws that require out-of-state wineries to sell through state-licensed wholesalers, while permitting in-state wineries to deal directly with individuals.
PROTEIN WISDOM: Scenes from a Voir Dire, which, for you non-lawyers, means jury selection.
MOST MUSICIANS do not consider peer-to-peer file sharing a major threat, according to a new poll.
REPORTERS TRAIL BADLY IN GALLUP POLL ON HONESTY AND ETHICS, but they beat out lawyers. I'm so proud to be a lawyer.
THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO? Mozilla will follow up its launch of the Firefox web browser with the Thunderbird e-mail client.
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE SOMETIMES, against all odds.
ALSO NICE: Tipster turns down 40 thousand dollar reward for murder arrest.
CAT STUCK IN TREE? Not quite.