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Much Ado About Nothing

Celebrities live out their lives in upon the lighted stage, and are frequently inclined do things that might get ordinary civilians shamed or fired.  So it’s always entertaining when one these gilded Icaruses veers into the scorching rays of hypocrisy, as in the matter of 22-year-old Paulina Gretzky’s suddenly redacted Twitter feed.

Many responsible news organs (Globe & Mail, National Post, CBC, CTV—all of whom really ought to know better) repeated the speculation that this was somehow engineered by paterfamilias Wayne Gretzky, who was allegedly displeased by the racy photos made public by his daughter.  To be fair, this supposition and the subsequent media frenzy was initiated by the young lady’s own tweeted revelation: “Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha #SIKEEE [sic]”

If this is in fact the truth of the matter, then I will not stop laughing for a week.  Here for your own examination are a selection of photos culled from Ms. Gretzky’s feed; I have deliberately selected the most revealing—which for our purposes might be called the most “racy”.

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I grant that none of these poses would be commonplace amongst the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union, but neither is Ms. Gretzky displaying more of herself than one would for sunbathing in the presence of families at Kew Beach.

No father is bound to greet his daughter’s blossoming sexuality with anything like cheer, but Paulina is 22 after all, and by law, an adult.  Whatever she chooses to put out there is, for better or worse, her own decision.

The supposed displeasure of Paulina’s famous dad is all the richer because of the ah, road to fame taken by her mother, Janet Gretzky—or as the readers of the March 1987 edition of Playboy would know her, Janet Jones.  Here, for purposes of comparison, is a brief selection of photos of the then-26-year-old Ms. Jones.

NOTE: Links to these images will be deprecated after 15 days to protect the copyright of the original publisher.

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I leave it to you, the discerning reader, to determine which is the more prurient in nature.

1987 was also the year that Wayne Gretzky ended a seven-year relationship with Canadian singer Vikki Moss.  Details are a little hazy as to whether things with Moss had officially ended before or after the fateful Gretzky-Jones meeting at an L.A. Lakers game.  According to the 19 February 1997 episode of Howard Stern’s radio show, Gretzky and Jones hit it off right away, and consummated the relationship that very night.  Author Stephen Brunt has chronicled the essential elements:

It happened fast—as he would confess to radio DJ Howard Stern a few years later, everything happened very fast.  (“That’s why they call you The Great One,” Stern said.)  There was a post-game dinner at a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley with Thicke and a few of his friends.  (Two years later, when Jones and Gretzky were married in Edmonton, Thicke brought the chairs from the restaurant where they had sat that first night, and gave them as a wedding present.)  The next morning, Gretzky phoned one of his buddies.  “You’re not going to believe this,” he said.  “You know that chick from The Flamingo Kid?”  Soon enough, Moss was history, and at the training camp for the Canada Cup tournament the following September, Gretzky went public with the fact that there was a new woman in his life (which, in Edmonton at least, was treated as very big news).

— Brunt, Stephen.  Gretzky’s Tears: Hockey, Canada, and the Day Everything Changed.  Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2010. Print.  p. 100.

We may surmise, then, that Gretzky pater did not find it objectionable that his future bride disrobed for a men’s magazine—to say nothing of getting intimate on the first date.  I would also like to enter into evidence Janet Jones’ 1998 interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Jeff Pearlman:

Right before the nuptials, newspapers asked Wayne about the March 1987 issue of Playboy, the cover of which was graced by his nearly naked bride-to-be. (“You can’t see anything,” he said at the time. “I showed it to my mother; she loved it.”) That wasn’t good enough for the press. What was she thinking, they cried? Where were her morals’?

— Pearlman, Jeff.  “A Tough Post-nup.”  Sports Illustrated, 20 February 1998.

As something of a curmudgeon, I lean toward the cynic’s view that Paulina Gretzky’s Twitter shutdown was a calculated effort to gain attention for the lacklustre offspring of a famous parent.  Otherwise, one would have to conclude that Wayne Gretzky is a patronising hypocrite, lecturing his adult daughter about the very liberties that he and his wife were happy to exploit for their own benefit.

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Flaccid Torpedo of Fail

Natalie Kenly and Charlie Sheen (WUF / Splash News)

Well, you knew it was only a matter of time before this happened:

LOS ANGELES — Charlie Sheen is no longer winning when it comes to his so-called goddesses — his last one walked out on him, TMZ reported Monday.

Cannabis magazine model Natalie Kenly, who accompanied the actor on his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” tour, moved out of his Los Angeles mansion last week, sources close to Sheen told the entertainment website.

— “Charlie Sheen single after last ‘goddess’ walks out.” New York Post, 27 June 2011.

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Bono knows he’s an annoying git

U2 vocalist Bono earns a few brownie points for being self-aware enough to know that when his preachiness and self-righteousness get turned up to 11, he’s insufferable:

He explained, “I know I can be a pain in the a**. I have an annoying gene; it’s in my DNA – I even annoy myself. When righteous anger turns to self-righteous, projectile vomit is the right response.”

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Sh*t my grandma says

Before she was famous, a cocaine-addicted Lady Gaga took stock of her situation, decided she had hit rock bottom, then called up her mother to admit her problem and seek help.

Gaga’s mother apparently freaked out, went and picked up her daughter, and delivered her to the doorstep of her 82-year-old grandmother in West Virginia.

Whereupon Gaga spilled the beans to grandma, and the following happened:

“I cried. I told her I thought my life was over and I have no hope and I’ve worked so hard, and I knew I was good,” the star recalls. “What would I do now? And she said, ‘I’m gonna let you cry for a few more hours. And then after those few hours are up, you’re gonna stop crying, you’re gonna pick yourself up, you’re gonna go back to New York, and you’re gonna kick some ass.‘ ”

— Forbes, Sophie.  “Brunette GaGa BEFORE she was famous (as star reveals she’s lonely and celibate).” Daily Mail, 3 August 2010. [Emphasis mine]

Words to live by.

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By the Sword and the Cross

In what is surely a case of life imitating the imagination of the Flea, on New Year’s Day, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ, announced that he is working on a symphonic metal album based on the life of Charlemagne (or Charles the Great)—King of the Franks, and foremost leader of a Frankish empire that would later become the Holy Roman Empire.  The album derives its name from Charlemagne’s motto (or dictum), and is due to be released in mid-March of this year; the Manchester Guardian has more details:

“To my surprise and indeed great pleasure, I have suddenly found that there is another string to my bow,” Sir Christopher said in a video message. Due on 15 March, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross features the 87-year-old singing and acting alongside a full orchestra, choir, and a large cast of undisclosed guest vocalists. “There’s a lot of characters in this particular album,” Lee explained. “A lot. There’s Charlemagne himself of course, which I sing, and then there’s young Charlemagne, Charlemagne’s father, Charlemagne’s brother, … [even] the Pope.”

… “It’s pretty unexpected,” Lee admitted. Although he has previously worked on metal projects – narrating several records by Italian band Rhapsody of Fire, and collaborating briefly with Manowar – he has never released an album before. This particular project resonated not just with the actor’s dark, storm-whipped soul – but with his family tree. “I am through the Carandini family [his mother’s] actually descended from Charlemagne,” he revealed.

“It’s fascinating for me that at this stage in my life, people are beginning to look upon me as a metal singer,” Lee said. “When this comes out as a complete album, it’s going to be sensational.”

— Michaels, Sean.  “Christopher Lee to release ‘symphonic metal’ album.” Manchester Guardian, 5 January 2010.

We at the Company like to think of this as Sir Christopher’s belated apology for that whole Count Dooku thing, not to mention the last half-hour of The Man with the Golden Gun—where Scaramanga gets stupidly himself killed well in advance of the finale, and then James Bond spends a lot of time pointlessly fighting Scaramanga’s pint-sized henchman Nick Nack/Tattoo.

Here are some samples of the tracks on the forthcoming album:



Myspace music playerQuantcast

RELATED: Christopher Lee singing with Italian symphonic metal band Rhapsody of Fire, on their 2005 single The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

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Also, Cracked magazine has a pretty entertaining overview of Christopher Lee’s life and career.

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Louise Brooks (1906-1985)

I admit (with some trepidation) that I was unaware of Ms. Brooks’ existence until a recent post by James Lileks at The Bleat highlighted one of her performances in Weimar-era German cinema.  A brief Googling indicates that even a quarter-century after her passing, and a full seventy-one years after her last film role, she still draws an ardent fan following today.  One such aficionado is Laura Loveday, proprietor of Louise Brooks Online—also the source of all images displayed below.

Wearing the 1930s equivalent of Princess Leia's gold metal bikini.  Early in her dance career, either with the Denishawn company, George White's Scandals, or the Ziegfeld Follies.

Wearing the mid-1920s equivalent of Slave Leia's gold metal bikini. Early in her dance career, either with the Denishawn company, George White's Scandals, or the Ziegfeld Follies.

Candid shot, c1930s

Candid shot, c1920s

brooks_whitebead

Shimmery "flapper" dress, c1920s

A variant of her trademark bob hairstyle.

A variant of her trademark bob hairstyle, without the usual bangs. c1920s

Studio publicity still for "Rolled Stockings", c. 1927

Studio publicity still for "Rolled Stockings", c. 1927. By Eugene R. Richee.

Still from filmed interview "Lulu in Berlin", shot c1970s but released in 1984.

Still from filmed interview "Lulu in Berlin", shot c1970s but released in 1984.

Ms. Louise Brooks was born 103 years ago on November 14th, 1906, and died on August 8th, 1985.

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Shakira with a chandelier on her head

In spite of the fact that her music really isn’t my cup of tea, Shakira wins a certain amount of respect because she dreams up wacky ideas (clearly believing they are great ideas) and goes ahead full throttle regardless of the potential shame.

Shakira is the crazy girlfriend whose crazy quotient is limited to being a goofball in public, as opposed to the I’ll-shoot-you-in-the-leg Megan Fox variety of crazy.

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