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Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Of the Old In And Out

In: Jamie Foxx. What will Howard Stern say about his title "King of All Media" being co-opted by his fellow radio satellite host Jamie Foxx. While Stern outearns Foxx ($80 million a year, until 2010), Foxx is, quite frankly the bigger star. He was feted last night at Armani/Ristorante, within Giorgio Armani's flagship store on 5th Avenue. From TheHollywoodReporter:

"How hard is it to actually surprise a celebrity these days? The folks at RCA Music Group really tried hard last night, and it worked. They tossed a surprise party for Jamie Foxx on the third floor of the new Armani store on Fifth Avenue. It worked. When Foxx stepped off the elevator, he truly looked shocked.

"The occasion was to give Foxx plaques for his mega-million selling album, Intuition, and its hit single, 'Blame It.' You can see the star studded video for that track here.

"'Blame It' featuring T-Pain was number 1 on the R&B charts for 12 weeks. Now it’s a pop hit. Foxx manages to fit all this in, mind you, between movies. He’s also a Best Actor Oscar winner. And he does a great Obama imitation.

"He told a funny story last night in front of all the record company people who made 'Intuition' a success, including his music manager Breyon Prescott and his everything-else manager Marcus King. He was on TV in 'In Living Color' doing skits. He was playing a transvestite in a skit, but wanted to get a tape of his music to Teddy Riley, who was on the show that week.

"'I ran up to him in costume. He saw this big muscular transvestite coming at him, and he said, You know I feel very uncomfortable right now.'"

Fame is a fickle thing. In 2004 Foxx, who paled in star wattage to his former In Living Color host, spoke existantially to Fade In magazine about the nature of celebrity. Now he, too, is in the firmament.

Out: Steroids In Baseball. The entire concept of "sports journalism" escapes this blogger entirely, particularly now that that questionable literary genre has its collective jockstrap in a twist (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).

Not a good look.

Either one participates or spectates but why-o-why spend one's intellectual energies chronicling a physical act in an intellectual medium? The two are incommensurable!

And don't all post-game interviews sound the same? The winning team coach or player speaks words in equal parts coated in honey and drenched in hubris while the vanquished speaks of not being in the right mindset in a suppliant tone. What more is there to say about hitting a ball hard or putting it into a hoop? And who gives a fuck if a bunch of immature, adenoidal hunks of beef want to inject themselves with things steroidal. After all, do we not treat our meat with hormones to make it bigger and juicier? Why then is our inorganic sustenance, our junk food, less important than grown men who make their living playing the sports of little boys? And we say this with only the vaguest amount of sarcasm, reader.

No more Congressional hearings, please. And do not allow your children to idolize fucking "ballplayers." Just let those natural libertarians ("win! win! win!") do what they please with their all-too-human bodies and enjoy the freakshow.

In: Internationalism. Everywhere internationalism is on the rise. Our President's name is Barack, he grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii and his father was Kenyan. Padma Lakshmi is the hottest woman in the world, and the close second is the Danish-Peruvian Helena Christansen. The smartest show on television is hosted by a guy named Fareed Zakaria. The Oscars had a Bollywood theme this year. Vogue is finally becoming colorful. And China is on the rise.

Hollywood has always been the place for what the Japanese call "face." It is the ne plus ulra of celebrity and status in global entertainment. Even though Jackie Chan was richer than God and already well known to hundreds of millions of people on the Asian continent, he felt the need to come to Lalaland to establish his bona fides (The Corsair sips a Kame no O sake by Wataribune). More and more though nowadays that pretense of Hollywood cool is giving way to the raw realities that it is all about international box office, of which Los Angeles is only one very glossy part. Though Angels and Demons was a domestic flop, it is an international smash. From Variety:

"It's been a topsy-turvy summer so far at the worldwide box office.
Hollywood studios have come to depend upon foreign coin for their franchises, with many tentpoles doing bigger business overseas than at the domestic B.O.

"This summer has already seen more pronounced examples than usual.

"Sony's 'Angels and Demons' is the latest striking example of a title that works much better overseas. The sequel to 'The Da Vinci Code' has grossed $319 million at the international box office. That's nearly $200 million more than the film's $123.2 million domestic gross (through Sunday).

"'Angels,' which reteams director Ron Howard with Tom Hanks, boasts a worldwide tally of $442.2 million, making it the first film of 2009 to jump the $400 million mark. 'Da Vinci Code' grossed more than double its domestic take internationally."

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