Glorious Gag Order
Michael Jackson's outlandish kiddy-diddling trial has become a mind-numbing exercise in media over-reaction (War? What war?). But it has had one good consequence. Comedic hack Jay Leno has been forbidden to talk about the trial on his show because he has been subpoenaed as a character witness by Jackson's defense. Were it not for Martha Stewart, this would mean dead air for the first 15 minutes of The Tonight Show during Leno's dreadful show-opening monologues. Leno has countered by having guest monologuers do his horrible Jacko jokes (as opposed to actually trying to be funny and original). Seeing as how Leno is still stuck in a rut of O.J. and Monica Lewinsky jokes, the comedy craptacular will no doubt continue uninterrupted.
New Rap Attack
Al Sharpton is a Democrat, right? Some recent comments suggest the perpetual Democratic presidential candidate wannabe might have more in common with his neo-con foes than even he realized. The usually-sharp Sharpton's heart is in the right place, calling for a radio and TV "ban" on artists who use violence to settle scores and hype new albums.
The Rev. is referring to a recent shooting incident involving the entourages of The Game and 50 Cent, which resulted in one of The Game's men getting shot in the ass. "There has to be a way to step in and regulate what's going on with the airwaves and with violence," Sharpton told New York's Daily News. Uh, regulating airwaves? Isn't that one of G.W.'s (and his Christian Right pals') biggest pet projects? If a Republican senator originally came up with this idea, would he have joined the fight? Sharpton is reportedly contacting the FCC to insist his cause should be treated with a fervor equal to the cultural jihad that followed Janet Jackson's boob flash at last year's Super Bowl. Once again, freedom of expression appears to only be valid if you agree with what's being expressed. We suggest Sharpton take a cue from Essence magazine's "Take Back the Music" campaign, which is fighting the negativity and misogynistic nature of some Rap music by educating and raising awareness about its effects.
Old Farts Talk Shit Too!
Smack talk: It's not just for rappers anymore. Knight/charity innovator/washed-up Rock star Bob Geldof was quoted as saying that The Clash were "shit" and that his British Punk/Pop band Boomtown Rats deserved to be more revered than they were. UK Web site Contact Music reported Geldof's rant, which accused The Clash of faking their revolutionary, Punk image and asserted that their music hasn't "survived" (go back and listen to your solo albums, Bob). Fellow '80s has-been Boy George also appears to be missing the spotlight lately. Ironically, just a few days after slagging Elton John for publicly criticizing other celebrities, George is being widely quoted as calling Madonna a "hypocrite" because of her Kabbalah fixation. George allegedly asserts that the Kabbalah teaches that being gay is a curable disease, while Madonna has used homosexuality in her past to further her career.
Hey, Ho ... Get Out!
Legendary New York City music venue CBGB's is in danger of closing its gob-encrusted doors for good. The pioneering Punk breeding ground was first hit with news that a $20,000-a-month rent increase was on the horizon last month. According to the Village Voice, the club now faces eminent eviction for failing to pay rent in full. The club's owner says one of the venue's landlords didn't inform the club of smaller annual increases, which have resulted in over $75,000 in unpaid back rent. Reports say that if the issue is not resolved by August, the venue will have to close.