Sorry I've been mostly M.I.A. today. At the crack of dawn this morning -- 10:45 a.m., thanks a lot -- I had my appointment with the retina specialist on Madison Avenue. Telling the story now it was all kind of hilarious, in a "Three's Company" sort of way. But living it was pretty awful. First off, they put all these different drops in my VERY SENSITIVE eyes, which not only dilated my pupils (leaving me quasi-blind for five hours), but also burned like crazy. Then this doctor-in-training did all of these tests and examinations on me with all sorts of machines and VERY BRIGHT lights. When she was finally done, she said she was going to go over her findings with the specialist and he'd come in to discuss them with me.
So I'm sitting there playing with my cell phone when I suddenly realized -- a la Jack Tripper -- I could hear them talking in the next room. She spoke very quietly, but then I hear a male voice say, "On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a definite brain tumor, where would you put him?" My heart started beating SO FAST that I seriously thought it was going to burst out of my chest. I've never been so scared in my life. She said something that I couldn't hear, then he said, "So you'd say a 4?" At this point I'm already calculating the odds and thinking, it could be worse. They still don't know for sure. A 4 is WAY BETTER than a 1 or a 2 or a 3. There's STILL a chance I'm not dying. This goes on for another minute or so and then suddenly the door swings open and this man puts out his hand and introduces himself while saying, "How are you today?" There was no disguising my fear and I just blurted out, "NOT GOOD. I hear you talking about a brain tumor." He quickly told me that they were talking about someone else and that I was perfectly fine. (What the other doctor saw was drusen, some type of calcium concretions on my optic nerve that he says I was born with and are not an issue and probably never will be.)
Once I knew I was OK, I laid into the doctor(s) for what had happened, to which the more experienced (at being tone-deaf?) one said: "Why would you possibly think we were talking about you?"
Now I realize in an actual 23-minute episode, Janet would have been the one who overheard the "results" and would have started treating me EXTRA NICE when I got home (fluffing my pillow and rubbing my feet on the sofa). But let me tell you, two minutes was more than long enough for this misunderstanding. So I'm alive and well, but was mostly useless throughout the day.
My vision is just now getting back to normal, but I was encouraged to see that TheInsider.com has removed those sickening polls about Rihanna and Chris Brown from its site, even if they haven't acknowledged how tone-deaf they were in the first place.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 6:13 PM
But after stumbling upon this "poll" yesterday -- BETWEEN CHRIS BROWN AND RIHANNA, WHO DO YOU THINK IS IN THE RIGHT? -- I instantly felt outraged and compelled to speak out against its creators, the entertainment television show "The Insider."
While something so insensitive and misogynistic from an outfit that derives its name from the boorish Pat "hire a hooker and get some coke" O'Brien shouldn't really come as a surprise, it's still hard to believe CBS Television, which also distributes "The Oprah Winfrey Show," would allow something so reprehensible to be on its site, one that is frequented by millions of young people. (I don't watch the show, but Michael says they are running similar on television, too.)
I later went back to the site and realized the polls rotate periodically. But the follow-up -- DO YOU THINK CHRIS BROWN'S NAME WILL BE CLEARED, with the first response choice being, YES -- I'M SURE THIS IS ALL JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING. CHRIS BROWN ISN'T ALL BAD! -- is equally callous and tells me that the people at "The Insider" just do not get that making light of domestic violence is both unconscionable and morally wrong. A victim of domestic abuse is NEVER WRONG, and a MISUNDERSTANDING is when the kid at Baskin-Robbins thought you said you wanted chocolate chip and you got mint chocolate chip. Bashing someone in the face repeatedly is not a misunderstanding.
If you agree that violence against women is not something that should be treated as a celebrity WHO WORE IT BETTER? showdown, please take a minute to let the people at CBS Television Distribution know.
Shoot an e-mail to
Lisa Summers Haas
Vice President, Communications
"Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider"
or call her at (818) 655-4928
The show's executive producer, Linda Bell Blue, is certainly not above sensationalism having been recently involved in the bogus "Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins early" story. But surely she recognizes that exploiting domestic violence is not helpful to anyone.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 9:00 AM
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:00 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 3:41 PM
What gay doesn't love him some Anderson Cooper? But if he's gonna stay silent about his sexuality and then get into a war of words with a Village People look-alike pol from the Bronx, he might want to refrain from invoking the M-word.
The silver fox CNN host ridiculed veteran Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel on Tuesday night for staking out a choice aisle seat 12-1/2 hours in advance for President Obama's address to Congress.
Anderson hissed: "It's like waiting for, like, Madonna tickets or something. It was ... kind of pathetic." (Like, SNAP!!!)
Engel, a perennial early arrival for presidential speeches to Congress who has a beard to match that 'stache, lashed back.
"What's really pathetic is that Anderson Cooper apparently doesn't share my enthusiasm for participating in such a historic and wonderful celebration of American democracy," the 10-term congressman told the Daily News. "I am sorry he is so jaded."
I can hardly wait for the 360 retort. Nobody calls a queen jaded and expects to come away from it unscathed ...
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 3:31 PM
UPDATE: It seems baby got FRONT, too.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 12:21 PM
Listen to Craig read the first chapter, below, and you'll see what I mean:
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 11:30 AM
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 10:25 AM
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:30 AM
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saw this one at the supermarket checkout this afternoon:
President Barack Obama is caught up in a new gay sex and drug scandal -- and his loving wife is heartbroken, sources tell GLOBE in a blockbuster world exclusive. Find out all the details of the letter Michelle Obama received from the MAN who claims to be her husband's lover -- and how America's devastated First Lady is fighting back against a shocking new tell-all book. It's must reading!
I wonder if this is the same "new" gay sex and drug scandal that surfaced over a year ago when limo driver Larry Sinclair came "forward" to say he blew Obama while O was snorting cocaine back in his state Senate days (so coordinated, that new president of ours!). I guess I'll have to pick up a copy to see if it mentions Sinclair's insistence on taking a polygraph, which he failed miserably. Still, as patently false as this Globe item obviously is, you can't help but wonder if there was a hint of truth in all of those "Laura Bush in Agony as George Falls Off the Wagon Again" stories over the years ...
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 7:53 PM
With the release of "War Child presents Heroes," a new album of cover songs to benefit children affected by war that features Duffy doing the Wings classic "Live and Let Die," it got me thinking of some of my all-time favorite gender-bending covers. While I understand why some people think covers are an cop out, I've always felt there's something magical about a transgender cover, the way the new point of view always makes me hear the song as if it were completely new. (How often do you get to fall in a love with the same thing twice?) Occasionally, I will know the "new" version first -- as in the case of Blondie's "Tide Is High" -- and will enjoy discovering it in reverse (an equally thrilling proposition).
Off the top of my head, I came up with this list of winning gender-reassigned cover tunes. While I prefer female vocalists, there are a few FTM songs that might surprise you. Now tell me some of yours.
"Crimson and Clover" (Tommy James and the Shondells)
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Arguably the greatest cover song of all time.
"Tougher Than the Rest" (Bruce Springsteen)
Everything But the Girl
My favorite song from my favorite Bruce album, "Tunnel of Love."
"All I Want" (Lightning Seeds)
"The Tide Is High" (The Paragons)
This clip uses the original 1965 Paragons version and sets it to the 1980 video of Debbie Harry & Co.
"(They Long to Be) Close to You" (Carpenters)
"Don't Worry Baby" (Beach Boys)
Brian Wilson apparently wrote this song for Ronnie, but Phil Spector wouldn't allow her to record it (so the Beach Boys did). She finally got to do it as a solo artist many years later.
"If Not for You" (Bob Dylan)
Hard core Dylan fans make fun of this, but I still say it's the definitive version of this masterpiece.
"You've Got a Friend" (Carole King)
"When You Were Mine" (Prince)
Watch the unusual one at her peak during the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards.
"Baby, I Love You" (Ronettes)
Thought of as a one-hit wonder for the 1974 No. 1 smash "Rock Me Gently," the Montreal-born Andy Kim actually had a Top 10 hit with this rollicking cover of the Ronettes' "Baby, I Love You," making the song all his.
"Stormtrooper in Drag" (Gary Numan)
"I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" (Beatles)
"September Gurls" (Big Star)
How the girls could let Michael Steele sing lead on this pop gem but REMOVE the line "I was your butch"(!) is one of the great mysteries of pop music.
"You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" (Smiths)
"(Don't Go Back to) Rockville" (REM)
"I Want You" (Marvin Gaye)
Working with the incredible Massive Attack, Madonna was never more sensual.
"The Scientist" (Coldplay)
"Out of Control" (Rolling Stones)
Pal Shazar (download HERE)
"For What It's Worth" (Buffalo Springfield)
Holly Beth Vincent
"The First Cut Is the Deepest" (Cat Stevens)
"My Guy" (Madness)
Turning a girl into a guy, Tracey Ullman rode this Madness favorite to No. 23 on the U.K. charts back in 1984.
"Femme Fatale" (Velvet Underground)
"I'll Keep It With Mine" (Bob Dylan)
"These Days" (Jackson Browne)
"Long Train Running" (Doobie Brothers)
I was never a fan of Doobie Brothers music, but after hearing this Youth-produced track by the Nanas, I sure was.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:30 AM