Anne Hathaway

anne-hathawayNot all actresses have talent.

Some land on the cover of Vogue with dress and smile alone. Large breasts. A publicist.

Sure, a stereotype but true—and hard to overcome. Attractive people get the better job, make more money, live it up.

Ever notice how often the hero of a film is handsome and the villain ugly?

Still, good looks in Hollywood doesn’t translate to respect necessarily. Sometimes it’s a problem. Many aren’t taken seriously—just written off as marketing ploys to win at the box office. But there are others…

Anne Hathaway could have retired on a picture deal with Disney. Her beauty, girlish charm and modest smile is a perfect fit with the company. A life-long relationship probably danced in the dreams of company big shots. But then she got naked in “Havoc”, playing a character different  from her wholesome, family image.

Was she a spoiled Hollywood actress whose pretension outweighed her ability? A stomping teenager? Maybe ungrateful?

Turns out she just likes to act. And does it well.

For proof, go watch “Rachel Getting Married,” a family-in-crisis film so poignant and universal that it should run on muted-repeat behind the podium of an AA meeting. Here, she plays an alienated youth fresh out of rehab, recovering from parental neglect as much as drugs.

Of course, she’s beautiful. But she’s more than that. She transcended it and became…what? An artist? Maybe, but that’s better served for off-Broadway acts struggling to pay rent. So, what? How about something more scarce. More elegant. How about credible?

Great Ideas for Christmas

16bNothing says “I love you” like a Kmart gift card.

Conveniently located just a few hundred miles from most major cities, Kmart is a shopper’s paradise, offering the latest in fashion, jewelry and appliances at an affordable cost, as well as a huge selection of electronics (that blows Radio Shack out of the water)—and don’t forget the toys!

Buy a $50 or a $100 gift card and your loved one will thank you.  

Check out the new Reebok Pumps, worn by NBA star Dee Brown.

Check out the new Reebok Pumps, worn by NBA star Dee Brown.

Kmart has boomboxes, Nintendo Gameboy’s, even Rubik’s cubes—(Dad might like that too).  
Buy your wife or girlfriend a pink spandex exercise outfit. Or maybe just a simple wool suit to climb up that corporate ladder.
And music lovers will love the new cassette tapes from artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna and Guns N’ Roses on sale now for just $5.99.
 
Gift cards are available in the check-out.

The Worst Celebrities I Can Think Of

In honor of celeb week—the famous who avoided (what, in a sane world, should have been) obscurity:

 

5. The Commentators on VH1’s “Where are they Now?”

The only thing worse than a bombed celebrity are the Grade D comics and B-movie stand-ins on this show. You were hired by a second-rate “music” channel to spit criticism at celebrities more unfortunately famous than yourselves. Cute! Yeah, you’re funny. Yeah, you’re witty. Yeah, you still play to an empty house in Hollywood. (Then again who else could be such an acute judge of poor talent? Way to go to VH1.)

 

4. Hayden Christensentove

Talk faster man! Why is this guy big? (How’d even get a gig?). No offense Hayden—you know, in a way, I admire you. You make a bundle of cash, royalties out the ying-yang and probably girls at your behest who are under the illusion that Natalie Portman found you desirable. Really, I don’t blame you. I blame drugs. And casting agents too high to know the difference between bad acting and good-looks. 

 

3. That Parachuting Writer Guy

I’m being mean. So, I’ll congratulate this character—a man so desperately in-love with his manuscript that he parachuted onto a soccer game in the U.K. to promote it. Not as successful as Kris Kristofferson but it got laughs—and high-fives from his mates at the pub.

 

 

2. The Nintendo Power Glovepowerglove

You. 

Before technology worked, there was the Power Glove. A $100 waste of wrapping paper. Dasher of 12-year-old hopes and dreams of immortality, you couldn’t knock out Glass Joe. 

 

1. George Bush 

Had to be here.

Five Trends in Entertainment

 

  • Fashion: Secondhand thrift stores selling clothes at 5th avenue prices.
  • TV – Major network shows (such as NBC’s “Lost”) airing in the Spring, not the Fall.
  • Fashion – Young males assimilating into differing sub-cultures with clown-baggy or runway-tight clothing.
  • Technology – The attraction of the Rockstar video game series. Why don’t these gamers just learn the instrument?
  • Fashion – How life has changed for the “Big and Tall”. What happened to those clothing stores? Is it harder for a skinny guy to buy clothes? Would a chain of “Small and Skinny” stores be successful? As successful as the “Big and Tall” stores of the 80’s? 

The Warehouse District – Bar Guide – Austin, TX

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Walking east over Congress avenue from the row of college bars on 6th St. in Dowtown Austin, TX, a refined gentleman and lady of “higher taste” and more luxiurous attire will find their comfortable, Upper-Class hang-out in the Warehouse District, a 4-5 block square of restaurants, nightclubs and bars with higer door fees, more expensive drinks, and the occasional limo parked street-side.  

Here’s a list of those haunts catering to the more affluent Austinites in town.  

  • Antone’s
  • Rainbow Cattle Co.
  • Whiskey Bar
  • Apple Bar
  • Lucky Lounge
  • Red Fez
  • The Ginger Man
  • Lavaca Street Bar
  • Starlite
  • Kenichi
  • Cuba Libre 
  • Halcyon
  • Fado
  • Vicci
  • Marie Marie
  • Saba Blue Water Cafe 
  • Truluck’s
  • Rain on 4th
  • Oilcan Harry’s 
  • Lounge
  • Ringside at Sullivan’s
  • Taproom
  • Sullivan’s Steakhouse
  • Royal Blue Grocery
  • Volitant Gallery
  • Cork & Co.
  • La Traviata Italian Bistro
  • Manuels
  • Taverna

Games of Social Change

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Call it a social trend or just a liberal gimmick. Nonetheless, new games focusing on social issues are hitting the Internet in fast numbers and are winning the applause of video-gamers and reformers alike.

The latest game is called “ICED” whose theme is immigration. In “ICED” (short for “I can end deportation”) players are one of five characters weaving around a fictitious American city, doing their best to avoid the ICE (the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Each character is different: an illegal immigrant, a visa-holding college student, a green-card worker, a U.S-born son of illegally immigrated parents, and an African American girl who wrote a disparaging college essay about the Patriot Act. 

The game was developed by a non-profit educational organization in New York and is free to download.

http://www.icedgame.com

At the Newseum

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Journalism is often a thankless, overlooked, and underpaid profession. Thomas Jefferson loved the press, but who else?

A lot of people view journalists as icky, side dwellers or sycophants feeding off the tragedy and misery around them. “A shooting on the West Side? I’m on it!” “A plane crash in the Midwest? Let’s do it!” 

You can blame 5 o’clock TV news (and I do) but regardless, aside from the patriotic claim we hold to in having a free press in this society (especially during war), people often look at journalists like they do lawyers—with skepticism, even though journalists average about half their salary.

So how great is it that journalism got its own museum? 

nytimes-newseum-photo-10-apr-2008

Located across the street from the Smithsonian museums, the “Newseum” is just a stones-throw from the Capital building in Washington D.C. The massive, six-level museum is entirely dedicated to the study and celebration of journalism.

The museum posts the front page stories of newspapers around the world on the outside windows. And on the wall, a large concrete excerpt from the First Amendment hangs, facing the Capital. 

Inside, visitors will see a large HD TV hanging from the rafters which plays re-runs of historical TV news. 

Admission is $20. If you have all day then it’s worth the price, if not, the Smithsonian museums are free and just down the street.

But should you fork up the cash, a great museum awaits.

True to the digital evolution of journalism, the Newseum is also packed full of multimedia exhibits, such as on-demand videos, Q&A’s with virtual instructors, even video games, like the one below (pull a reporter to your corner, correctly answer the pop-up questions and build the biggest newsroom). 

 

 

 

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Also, at the Newseum, you can visit a World Trade Center exhibit. The wall beside a piece of the tower is plastered with the front pages of newspapers around the world, declaring the attack. Circling the artifact is a minute-to-minute breakdown of how the news that day unfolded.

 

 

 

1115081645-01Around the corner, read about the tragic assignation of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for the “Arizona Republic” who was killed by a car bomb planted by the mafia. (That’s his car pictured).

 

 

 

 

1115081651-00There’s also the “News History Timeline” exhibit, teaching visitors about the evolution of journalism, from 1455 onward. 

 

 

 

 

 

And there’s a lot more. Next time you’re in Washington D.C., bring $20 for the door. The Newseum is great for both history buffs and journalists alike.