May 04, 2005

Springsteen vs. Nugent

October 1976, and my 5th grade friend is combing through her older sister’s records, looking for a Bruce Springsteen album because she wants me to hear a certain song. While waiting, I check the finer details of the Ted Nugent Free For All album.

The friend triumphantly holds up the Springsteen album, and I note that The Bruce and The Nuge have very similar album covers. My friend assures me they are not at all the same, and plays “Born To Run” for me. She makes special note of the slightly naughty “Just wrap your legs ‘round these velvet rims/and strap your hands ‘cross my engines,” in case I miss it.

I hold up the Nuge LP and remind her it has even naughtier lyrics like “Beat me beat me/Come on eat me.” She rolls her eyes as I cackle madly, but even then, I preferred comical raunch to overblown angst.

Nugent’s political beliefs are 180 to mine, but he’s an entertaining cartoon character. Springsteen’s political beliefs closely match mine, but he’s bored me since before puberty. Nuge rants come off like carnival barking because he’s a clown, while Springsteen’s new hair plugs kind of undermine his earnest, working man poetry.

Sure, Bruce Springsteen has written lots of great songs, and inspires fervent awe and admiration amongst legions of loyal fans. But there’s also something so joyous, raucous and understandable about this:

Much like the fan art that once graced teeny bop magazines, or Napoleon Dynamite’s drawing for Trisha, there are moments in all our lives when we react with purity of intent. What was once a brief and inconsequential moment can gain great emotional power as time goes on. For the most part, we try to be decent and cool but, truly, how much fun is that? Sometimes you just got to ease up on what’s proper and have a goof; sometimes The Nuge trumps Springsteen.

May 03, 2005

Cruise & Holmes Astrology

Even the astrologer at Star IQ is not buying TomKat, but says so in a softly scientific, oh-so-polite kind of way.

“Katie Holmes was born an ethical Sagittarius (December 18, 1978; Toledo, OH; time unknown), with her Moon in regal Leo. Katie's Venus in Scorpio is strongly placed by virtue of the many aspects to other placements. The conjunction with Uranus gives a sexual magnetism that comes across clearly on-screen, while the supportive sextiles to Saturn and Pallas in Capricorn (Saturn's sign) give her depth and guidance from her elders.

In Katie's life, the elder role has fallen onto her father, who is also her lawyer, and tends to chase away would-be boyfriends. The Capricorn-Saturn influence on her effusive sexuality (Venus-Uranus) has tempered her willingness to be intimate without the sanction of marriage. This moral principle is a deeply personal challenge, and can be seen astrologically by her Venus squaring Juno, the marriage asteroid.

At the moment, transiting Neptune is conjunct her Juno (and square her Venus), highlighting this no-sex dilemma. Neptune is a master at dissolving firm boundaries, and last week Tom played his part by sending her jewelry, roses, and 40 Armani outfits. In any case, with or without Tom's attention, we should be seeing much more of Katie Holmes as transiting Pluto is nearing her Sun, which is often a transformative shift into fame.”

May 01, 2005

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes

Mr. Cruise announces the new girlfriend, and echoing rounds of punch lines fill the canyon. The most wickedly funny cracks circle Cruise’s alleged homosexuality, as if taunting him to sue yet again over bits like:
On last night’s Access Hollywood, Katie Holmes’ father, Martin Holmes, released a statement saying he is “happy and excited” about his daughter’s relationship with Tom Cruise. Of course he is – it’s not like she’s going to be fucking him.
- - Noelle Hancock at Gawker.

My gut instinct says he’s completely incapable of anything but self-love, if even that. Tom Cruise, Inc. (TCI) is the ultimate Hollywood corporation, and corporations are not sexy. He is not copulating with Katie Holmes, but incorporating, which is why it feels such the bloodless union.

The media’s yawning cynicism comes from how blatant TCI was about introducing its latest merger. After years of international trade, he’s returned to the American Stock Exchange with Virgin Barbie (blockbuster movie ticket accessories sold separately). The media’s distrust of TCI motives is based on the notoriously private CEO’s paramour behavior. Most fledgling Hollywood romances try to retain a bit of privacy until the paparazzi hits the fans. Cruise is the only one to make sure that even Aunt Ethel in Paducha knows of the new acquisition. The press gets a week to bask in the love before the boardroom doors shut out the prying eyes of investors.

When dealing with an empire as powerful as TCI, nothing is left to chance. Tom does not casually make merger offers over a late lunch, sealing the deal with a handshake and a new car. No, terms are minutely detailed with lawyers present, and a notary public conveniently pops out of a closet as “the love object” reaches for the pen to sign the contract. It makes me a little sad to realize that the seemingly sweet Katie Holmes has grown into an aggressive power player, but I am impressed with her courage to risk a merger with a company that is not as stable as it once was.

Chairman Pat Kingsley’s resignation resulted in increased Scientology output and reduced box office scores. Penelope Cruz proved that being a Tom Cruise mate is no longer a sure thing; seems only Nicole Kidman knew how to fully work the investment. Miss Holmes is obviously aware of these factors, for evidence shows negotiations between her and TCI went on for many months.

She expertly dropped a merger hint in October 2004. By early 2005, Holmes fiancĂ© Chris Klein is ejected, and loads of liquor didn’t deaden the mechanical cruelty of it all. The final 2 months of negotiations must have been grueling, for all traces of Katie’s personality have been erased, replaced with the glazed look of one who diligently follows daily Dow Jones figures. It appears that she has sacrificed the things that made her unique for the good of TCI.

Despite her deft financial wrangling, I worry that young Katie is not yet savvy enough to disguise Tom’s business strategy with a veneer of romance. In that crucial press release moment, she accidentally disposed of any romantic pretense. For the sake of what remains of her soul, I hope she can bluff her way to victory.