Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Registered Sex Offenders Who Look Like Celebrities

In a new (and potentially recurring) feature that's soon to sweep the nation, The Pop Culture Petri Dish (not-so-)proudly presents:

"Registered Sex Offenders Who Look Like Celebrities"

For our inaugural installment, we take a look at a man convicted of Aggravated Sexual Battery who just happens to resemble everyone(except Larry the Cable Guy)'s favorite never-nude -- you may know him best as Arrested Development's very own Tobias Fünke -- Mr. David Cross!*

You be the judge (well, not literally, because I think he's already been found guilty)!

Have you seen a registered sex offender who you think resembles a celebrity (excluding sex offenders who are celebrities)? If so, mail it into:

Registered Sex Offenders Who Look Like Celebrities
c/o The Pop Culture Petri Dish

You could win the elusive Official Pop Culture Petri Dish Gold Star (and much shame for making light of a repulsive epidemic)!

*To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Cross himself has never been convicted of Aggravated Sexual Battery.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005


It takes guts to plagiarize something back to the source from which it was plagiarized, especially when there's a prize at stake. But that's exactly what "J K." of New York, NY did. And he got away with it!

Compare entry #6 in this week's Late Show Top Ten Contest ("Top Ten Rejected Titles For 'Brokeback Mountain'") with #2 on this actual Letterman Top Ten List from April 7, 2004 ("Top Ten Rejected Titles For The Upcoming Gay Western").

Now, I could understand if someone coincidentally duplicated a simple pun like "Seven Brothers For Seven Brothers" or "Dances With Men", but magically coming up with a word-for-word, ellipsis-for-ellipsis copy and paste of a title like "Go West, Young Man... Now South... A Little More To The South... Oh God, Yes! Right There!"? That's a bit much to believe, J K.

And no, I'm not bitter that I didn't win a Late Show mousepad for any of my submissions. Well, not just bitter.

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Top Ten Best Non-Christmas Christmas Movies Ever

1. Home Alone
2. Gremlins
3. Die Hard
4. Love, Actually
5. Batman Returns
6. The Apartment
7. The Family Man
8. Edward Scissorhands
9. Catch Me If You Can
10. Go
10½. The Long Kiss Goodnight

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Silverback Mountain

"You still thinkin' 'bout Naomi?" "No, I'm not thinking about Heath."

Is it wrong that I found the love story between Ann Darrow and King Kong more genuinely romantic and more emotionally involving than the lust story between Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar? Let's compare, Cosmo Quiz style:

WARNING! This post contains MASSIVE SPOILERS (in invisotext)! If you have any interest in seeing either King Kong or Brokeback Mountain, do NOT highlight the invisotext. I promise, it will spoil your potential enjoyment of these films - especially Brokeback Mountain. Even if you don't intend to see them, please, please don't use these spoilers to ruin it for anybody else. If you haven't seen both movies, why not read this post instead?

Okay, you've been warned.
The Meet Cute

Jack & Ennis: Exchange many a furtive glance but nary a word while waiting for the same job interview.

Kong & Ann: She's strung up by island natives as an offering to him.

Verdict: While neither meet is particularly cute, the latter is more unique and memorable. One point for Kong & Ann.

Opposites/Similars Attract

Ennis: Drawn to Jack because he possesses the only other orifices on the mountain (besides the sheep).

Kong: Drawn to Ann because she is the only white woman on the island. And he's apparently got a thing for 'em.

Verdict: Not exactly star-crossed lovers. Let's call this one a draw. No points for either.

Making the First Move

Kong: Puts Ann in his hand against her will.

: Puts himself in Ennis' hand against Ennis' will.

: Which is more romantic? Abduction or Hand Rape? Another draw. No points for either.
Physical Expressions of Love

Kong: Wrestles Ann from the jaws of a T-Rex.

: Wrestles Ennis from his clothes until his jaw bleeds.

Verdict: This one's easy. One point for Kong & Ann.

Verbal Expressions of Love

Kong: Can't express emotions because he's a monkey.

: Can't express emotions because he's a man.

Verdict: Another tie. No points.

Inviting In and Showing Off

Ennis: Doesn't want Jack coming into his home; afraid of his wife seeing that he's in the closet. Embarrassed of their relationship, he tries to keep it hidden from the rest of the world.

Kong: Immediately brings her back to his bachelor pad; unafraid of her seeing the skeletons in his closet. Proud of their relationship, he takes her to the top of the tallest building in the city for all the world to see.

Verdict: Another easy one, plus, bonus points for invoking Sleepless in Seattle and thus also invoking An Affair to Remember. Three points for Kong & Ann.

Idea of the Perfect Date

Kong & Ann: A private ice skating session for two.

Jack & Ennis
: Sending "Booty Postcards" cross country in the hopes of private sessions.

Verdict: Kong & Ann's date, while less original, is more traditionally romantic, plus bonus points for invoking Rocky and The Cutting Edge, minus bonus points for invoking Serendipity. One point for Kong & Ann.

How Far They Will Go For Love

Ann: Makes quite the climb to the top of the Empire State Building to stand in the way of fighter pilots who are trying to shoot her beloved.

Ennis: Won't make the trek to Texas to see his beloved.

Verdict: Someone needs to listen to some Proclaimers. One point for Kong & Ann.


Kong: Won't settle for just any blonde. Tosses aside many women (literally) who aren't his Ann.

Jack: Will settle for just about anybody. Tosses the salads of many men (figuratively) who aren't his Ennis.

Verdict: Obviously, one point for Kong & Ann.

I Would Die for You

: Dies because of his love for Ann. It was beauty killed the beast.

: Dies because of his love for random man. It was booty killed the Twist.

Verdict: While Jack's death is more tragic in a real life sense, it doesn't do much to sell the whole romantic "love story" angle. One point for Kong & Ann.

Moving On

Ann: Soon after Kong's death, she finds solace in the arms of another man.

: Soon after Jack's death, he finds solace in the arms of Jack's bloody shirt.

: I have to give this one to the cowboys. One point for Jack & Ennis.
Final Tally

Jack & Ennis: 1, Kong & Ann: 9

So, that proves, scientifically and without a doubt, that King Kong is by far the more romantic of the two films. Keep that in mind on date night.
"I wish I knew how to quit you!" "Oooh oooh aaah aaah aaah!"

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Top Ten Rejected Titles for Brokeback Mountain

(with all due respect to The Home Office in Wahoo, Nebraska)

10. Bone-anza
9. Way Out West Hollywood
8. Young Buns II: Blaze of Glory Holes
7. Prances With Wolves
6. Westward Homo
5. Bi Noon
4. Male Rider / Tail Rider / Pole Rider (tie)
3. McCabe & Mr. Miller
2. Rawhides
1. Blazing Saddles

Coming Soon to the Tomkat Theater

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Crip Digger

This just in:
Oscar winner Jamie Foxx is to join Snoop Dogg on his upcoming tribute to condemned former gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

The rapper has recorded a new track, Real Soon, as an anthem for those fighting to save Williams from death by lethal injection next week , and Foxx will sing on the record.
No word yet on whether Foxx plans to sing in character as Williams.

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Ray-traction V?

One of this blog's most visited (and most controversial) posts claimed that it was Ray Charles, and not Jamie Foxx, singing the hook on "Gold Digger". A concerned reader commented:
The song Kanye sampled for Gold Digger was from Ray Charles. Jamie resung the hook.

Don't be an idiot your entire life.
I conceded rather easily (and snidely), presuming that someone who founded a professional website dedicated to hip hop (which you can read more about here) would know more about this subject than a casual music fan like myself. And admittedly, as I admitted then, I hadn't done enough research. I'm an idiot, end of story.

Now, today, I look again at the comments section on that old post and see two new ones. The first:
you should at least edit the original post so you don't keep spreading fud
Loathe as I am to spread fud (But was I really spreading fud? Uncertainty and doubt (or "ud"), maybe, but are people really afraid that Jamie Foxx didn't sing the hook on "Gold Digger"? Unless Anonymous was using the word in the Scottish sense, in which case, that's just nasty), I feel the comments section on that post speaks for itself. However, I'm happy to bring this heated debate to a new post, especially after reading the next new comment:
I am a hip hop fan and it annoys and frustrates me that everyone thinks that it is Jamie Fox singing on this track. I live in NYC and even the two hip hop radio stations here seem to think he is singing on this track as well. He is out there taking credit for something the late, great Ray Charles did (Not specifically for this track, he was obviously sampled) did, not him...
Great. So maybe I was right the first time and retracted too quickly. But then again, what makes Freddy a more reputable source than Steven Samuel?

A simple Google search reveals that there is still no consensus. Wikipedia says:
Though he is given full credit as a featured artist on "Gold Digger," Jamie Foxx's only vocal contribution is the a cappella introduction to the song, an interpolation of Charles's "I Got a Woman" (Foxx opens the song with the line "She take my money/when I'm in need/Yeah she's a trifling/friend indeed," and it's repeated throughout the song).
Meanwhile, contactmusic.com offers this take:
Taking it’s framework from Ray Charles "I Got A Woman" and using the man who played him in the movie Jamie Foxx as the vocalist. Jamie’s voice is so uncannily like Ray’s that had ray not died last year I’m sure someone would have claimed that Jamie was Ray’s reincarnation.
Interestingly, when the track was nominated for two Grammys last week, Foxx's name was not included among the nominees, even though De La Soul were cited for their contribution to Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc.", also nominated for Record of the Year. In addition, "Gold Digger" was mentioned in the Best Rap Solo Performance category and not under the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration umbrella (where West was nominated with John Legend for "They Say").

So at this point, the only thing I feel safe saying with any certainty is that there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding Foxx's involvement in one of the hottest singles of the year. If anybody can point me to a definitive statement, preferably straight from the mouth of either West or Foxx, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Me Pop Culture Petri Dish, You Jane Schmo"

Oh. My. God. I've just stumbled upon the single greatest discovery of my year-and-a-half long blogging career. Actually, I should say the single greatest discovery stumbled upon my blog.

I was browsing through some old posts, deleting spammer's comments, when I read a comment that at first didn't make sense to me. In response to Alex's suggestion that "we should cast a serious Law and Order-y drama with nothing but Joe Schmo alumni", somebody wrote: "If so... can I play? -The original Jane."

I re-read the comment. An idea popped into my head... but it couldn't be. I clicked on Sober in the City's profile. Nothing in there indicated that this was the profile of a reality tv goddess... and really, wouldn't a reality tv goddess make that abundantly clear in her profile? I moved on to her co-op blog anyway. At the top of the page it said something about "a former reality TV 'er' working in fundraising." My hopes were now officially up. But I needed something more solid...

And then I found it. This post. This fascinating post. This fascinating, witty, well-written, at times heart-breaking post. If you have any love in your heart for The Joe Schmo Show, this post is a must read, though I have to warn you, it kind of strips away the magic and makes the brilliant producers and actors look like Joe Schmucks. It's sad to see that the star of the show didn't have nearly as good a time with it as we, the viewers, did.

Still, I've now discovered the blog of Ingrid Wiese - original Jane Schmo and #2 on the list of My Top Ten Biggest Reality Infatuations Ever (though after reading her profile, her posts, her columns for the college newspaper and her comment on this very blog, I'm officially moving her up to #1, even though I apparently fall outside her desired age bracket). If I could hug the Internet right now, I would (that is, if I wasn't afraid I might catch something).

Now #1: I'd give her a pearl necklace in a heartbeat

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Parking Kong

It occured to me the other day who will reap the real windfall from King Kong and its mammoth running time: Parking lot owners. While exhibitors have to deal with fewer numbers of shows each day, parking lot owners are going to rake in the cash since most movie theaters (at least in the L.A. area) only validate for three to four hours. And with Kong being the sort of blockbuster that requires you to get to the theater at least an hour early... you don't have to be Summer Roberts to do the math.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Retraction IV

Portrait of the Pop Culture Petri Dish as a Young Girl

All right, so maybe I'm the one who's disconnected. Thanks to (nearly) internal dialogue, I've learned that SAT scores in fact do go up to 2400 now. Boy do I feel old (as if I don't feel old being 25 and still watching a show about high school kids).

Does this mean lap dances last longer than they did in my day as well?

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Friday, December 09, 2005

O.C. Math

"Math is hard!"

Wow, Summer is like totally smart! On last night's episode of The O.C. (fittingly titled "The Disconnect") Summer bragged that she scored 2300 on her SATs. That's like 700 more than my freshman roommate (and I thought he was smart!)!

Perhaps the writers could've used Summer's impeccable math skills to figure out the episode's timeline, because unless I'm mistaken, not only did Summer get the highest SAT score ever, but Ryan got the longest lap dance ever! In the time it took him to get one dance from Sipowicz (don't worry, she looked nothing like Dennis Franz), Marissa ate dinner, watched part of a movie, watched Johnny fall asleep on the couch and got worried that she hadn't heard from Ryan (who she'd spoken to just two minutes before his marathon tease began). Man, the bill Matt slipped that stripper must've been Mr. Burns' trillion dollar bill.

I expect illogical timelines from 24 (they have no choice), but not The O.C. Okay, I expect it from The O.C. too.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

"I Can't Believe it's a Grammy (Grammy... Grammy... Grammy...)"

The Grammys, to their infinite credit, nominated R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet (Chapters 1-5)" for Best Longform Music Video. Amazing!

With moves like this, they're giving The People's Choice Awards a real run for their money.

"Now I'm nom'd for a Grammy, and if I don't win one, I'ma shoot somebody!"

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Poduct Placement

Was it coincidence or savy synergy that the new video iPod was featured so prominently (as the best Secret Santa gift ever) on The Office yesterday... the very same day NBC announced it would be offering, among other series, The Office for download on iTunes?

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Monday, December 05, 2005


God bless The People's Choice Awards. They've done the impossible... brought Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie together at last... for an all-out catfight to the death! Or to the Olay Total Effects Fans Favorite Look Award. One or the other. Too bad Gwyneth Paltrow couldn't nudge out Jennifer's TV-sister for the trifecta.

Also a pity (no pun intended): The People's Choice Awards inform winners in advance that they've won, so we'll be denied a reaction shot of the loser (if this lame award is even handed out during the actual ceremony). Still, A for effort, People's Choice. Way to stir stuff up!

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