Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday is Recycling Day
In honor of two celebrity news items making the rounds this morning, I'm bringing back two related pieces: First up, since Miley Cyrus has been voted "Worst Celebrity Influence of 2009" by the kid readers of AOL's JSYK.com, let's look back fondly on last year's Today Show interview with the man whose semen and bad parenting skills gave us this national treasure: Billy Ray Cyrus. Remember, folks, this is the guy who, when asked about his 16-year-old daughter's pole dancing performance at this year's Teen Choice Awards, said, “You know what? I just think that Miley loves entertaining people.”
"Cyrus the Virus" (Originally Published, 6.17.08)
Back in high school, a friend of mine and I had a kind of litmus test, an instant and surefire barometer used to determine whether someone was a complete fucking idiot.
That test: sunglasses indoors.
I'm not talking about the person who walks inside from a sunny day and happens to leave his glasses on for a few minutes; I'm talking about the one who seems to go out of his way to purposely keep his eyes covered in the hope of, I'd imagine, escaping detection from that flock of adoring fans and the strobing flashes they'll all soon be aiming in his direction.
Whenever my friend and I spotted this special brand of clown, one or the other of us would make it a point to walk up to him and say something like, "Hey, you know, if it's too bright in here we can have somebody turn the lights down for you."
Sunglasses indoors screams one thing: douchebag.
So it's no surprise that during his interview this morning on the Today Show, Billy Ray Cyrus kept his oversized neo-Elvis shades on the entire time.
Which confirms something I've suspected for quite some time but have hesitated in officially declaring.
Billy Ray Cyrus is the world's biggest douchebag.
From the over-the-top Beverly Hillbilly aesthetic -- the blonde highlights, ridiculous soul-patch and Gucci calfskin jacket meets University of Tennessee t-shirt he wears without even the slightest hint of irony; to the preening, ego-laden seriousness with which he takes his role on Nashville Star; to his insistence on spouting trite "country wisdom" every chance he gets -- as if he's still some dumb-ass hick living in Appalachia and not worth a goddamned fortune; to his comical belief that Achy Breaky Heart was actually some sort of cultural touchstone; to the fact that he's the father of America's most virulent social disease, Miley Cyrus, and a guy who's managed to shamelessly exploit his daughter merely for the opportunity she's handed him to thrust his own worthless ass back into the spotlight; everything about Billy Ray Cyrus's ill-advisedly inflated sense of his own self-worth makes him a walking joke. A living, breathing advertisement for the necessity of safe and legal late-term abortions. The kind of guy that, if you wanted to create a "douchebag army," you'd need only a tiny sample of DNA from.
This morning on Today, Cyrus was in fine form -- which means that he was a pompous idiot. As he adjusted himself on the high stool opposite Meredith Vieira, assuming the one-foot-on-floor-and-the-other-on-rung-of-chair pose common to douchebags everywhere -- as if he were a J. Byron model, circa 1979 -- I waited patiently for him to apologize for his appearance. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he might have recently undergone some sort of eye surgery that had left his pupils dilated and therefore required him to wear sunglasses at all times. But no -- of course not. He was simply wearing them because he's just that cool.
Once again -- douchebag.
Vieira began the interview by asking him about the full-length feature film he's now shooting with his retarded daughter and will soon foist on a defenseless American public.
Cyrus did a quick shake of his chemically straightened mane and said, "Yeah, it's gonna be great. We've got a great director, a great script, a great team of folks, and we're shooting in the great state of Tennessee."
I'm kidding about none of this and, as such, would highly recommend that Billy Ray invest some of that money he's making off his daughter in a fucking thesaurus. And for the record, that "great director" he's talking about is Peter Chelsom, who helmed the forgettable TNT/TBS staple Serendipity and the atrocious Beatty/Keaton/Hawn "comedy" Town & Country, which was released in 2001, making it the second unfunniest thing to happen that year. In Cyrus's defense, I'm not sure that anyone who was raised thinking The Dukes of Hazzard was the height of artistry would be qualified to recognize a decent director when he sees one.
Vieira then brought up, of course, the almost baffling success of his kid, Miley Hannah Cyrus Montana.
"Condé Nast says Miley will soon be worth a billion dollars," she enthused.
I held my breath and waited for Billy Ray to respond with an angry, "What'd you call my daughter?!" But no such luck. Instead, he flashed a full row of those perfectly capped teeth and reacted with what I guess was supposed to be pride but what looked eerily lupine. Suddenly, the utility of the sunglasses became obvious, as they were probably hiding the big-ass dollar signs in his eyes.
After awhile, Vieira finally got around to the heavily promoted nexus of the interview: Billy Ray Cyrus's supposed "first public comments" regarding the media-driven scandal over his daughter's sexed-up spread in Vanity Fair. At first, she asked Cyrus whether he was even there when the most controversial of the controversial photos was taken -- the one with Miley looking like she'd just woken up after a one-night-stand with the Joker. Billy Ray insisted he wasn't, adopting a sudden air of bullshit humility as he quietly proclaimed that, at the time, he had to get to Washington where his presence was required at a gig honoring U.S. troops returning from Iraq. He dropped the troops at least one more time before the end of the interview.
When asked if he thought another of the photos -- the creepy-as-hell shot of his daughter draped over him while he stared pensively into the distance, presumably at the big bag of money off-camera -- was a little too explicit, as some have suggested, he basically didn't even bat an eye (at least not that I could tell with the sunglasses on).
"Nah, I think it just shows a daddy that loves his daughter a whole lot," he said, then added, apropos of nothing, "We love acting. We love music. We love each other."
"Well, thanks for not making that whole thing any weirder," I said out loud as I sat on my living room couch, munching Funyuns.
Vieira then asked why Cyrus didn't fight back against the accusations of those who found the picture offensive. Cyrus, as expected, responded with some good old-fashioned frontier gibberish: "My daddy used to say that the more you stomp in poop, the more it stinks."
It was right about this point that my intestines began moving up through my throat in an effort to mercifully cut off the oxygen to my brain.
The whole thing ended with Cyrus offering one more pearl of wisdom regarding the whole miasma. "You git knocked down, you git back up," he said, smiling with apparent pride at his own profundity.
"Good advice," Vieira responded, returning the smile.
I'm pretty sure my jaw went slack, I lost control of my bladder, and the upper part of my body tipped sideways until it plummeted into the couch like a falling redwood.
And all of this was before Today brought out "The Clique Girlz" -- three bleach-blonde 'tweens named Paris, Destinee and Ariel who look like Hot Topic exploded all over them and whose music is about to "take America by storm."
Wanna guess whose tour they've already opened for?
Congratulations Billy Ray, you pass the test with flying colors.
Next, because it's going to take years of therapy for me to get past the image of Kate Hudson enjoying being nailed by Alex Rodriguez directly under the portrait of him as a mythical centaur that supposedly hangs over his bed, here's what I once had to say about the fair Miss Hudson. I'm finally forced to take it all back.
"Penny Laid" (Originally Published, 8.16.06)
I usually do my best to ignore the wellspring of celebrity rumor and conjecture that passes for legitimate news these days; I figure I have more important things to concern myself with than whether or not Nick Lachey has a small penis, and how many minutes of manual strangulation on his part it would take to put Jessica Simpson into a permanent coma for publicly suggesting one way or the other.
But despite the claims of several ex-girlfriends, I'm human -- and every once in awhile something gets my attention.
The fact that the marriage between Kate Hudson and The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson is coming to an end isn't much of a surprise. I won't be one of those people who makes the case that their attempt at inter-species mating was doomed from the start, but I'm willing to bet that a near-constant barrage of this sentiment from everybody else on the goddamned planet constituted enough pressure to break even a marriage made out of titanium.
Now, though, the New York Daily News (motto: "The Second-Best Newspaper to Train Your Puppy on in the Tri-State Area") is reporting that Owen Wilson may have had something to do with Kate's ultimate decision to leave her husband.
Understand something: To me, Kate Hudson will always be Penny Lane. She turned in one of the best performances, creating one of the best characters in possibly the best rock n'roll movie ever made -- Cameron Crowe's almost perfect Almost Famous. Thanks to that movie, and her role in it, I'll always love Kate in much the same way that I'll always love Zeppelin; she just had the ability to speak to my soul without saying so much as a word.
She could make Raising Helen IV: Annihilation, and I'd still sigh like a smitten schoolboy at the thought of her.
Owen Wilson on the other hand constitutes one of the most baffling cinematic curiosities since, well, the canonization of M. Night Syhamalan. (Sorry, I don't think that's ever getting old.) He's made an entire career out of playing the guy who lived down the hall from me, and everyone else, in college -- the borderline autistic whom you wouldn't bother with if it weren't for the fact that he's a near-bottomless reservoir of pot, and even then you're wary simply because to gain access to his drugs you have to endure hours of ridiculously fucking giddy observations about why refrigerator magnets work or how Emily Bronte is the thinking man's Charlotte Bronte or a vast array of other crap that employs stoner-logic.
There's only one Wilson in the history of film that's turned in a duller, more lifeless performance, and he starred opposite Tom Hanks in Castaway.
Now I have to live with the possibility that a guy who couldn't get me into a theater for any of the movies that he's made, somehow got himself into Kate Hudson's heart and nether-regions.
In the immortal words of Weezer: Say it Ain't So.