Lindsay -a note


So let me explain the comments…

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Now I know Lindsay has done nothing , NOTHING worthy of note since her desultory documentary series ‘Lindsay’ which highlighted both how screwed up her life was and how out of touch she remains with reality. But even though I don’t have 4 kids (let alone 4 cats, although it’s a dream that my heart very much makes when I asleep) I would almost consider cheering for Lindsay (sans children) on the big wedding day, like I attempted that night many moons ago in London.

My friend and I, having caught a matinee of Speed-the-Plow on the cheap and on an unseasonably warm October day decided for the hell of it to wait after the performance. We did so to see if the starlet (it was doubtful at this point whether she could still call herself an actress, west end play or not) would come out and sign some autographs for the hangers-on.

No show.

My friend and I, very much free of time constraints moved on to the nearest local and settled in for a few ciders, with the bulk of our chat relating to seeing –in person- the hot mess that was Lindsanity. We agreed, merrily, boozily that we should return to our original spots outside the theatre to see if the fateful crowds had grown and, most interestingly, whether the starlet herself would come out. We were not disappointed. There was a sense of near hysteria from the loyal fan boys and girls who spoke in frenzied and revered tones about their personal experiences and rumours on the grapevine about their girl Lindsay – ‘She come out on Saturday, I know she did… because {the speaker adopts a dreamy, faraway tone} I was there’ said one; ‘I’ve been outside three times,’ said another, clearly desperate for Lindsay to show (her misappropriated dedication and unwavering loyalty was both sad and oddly touching); ‘she shows on matinee days, my friend told me, she’ll totally show’.

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Lucy with the mega-fans

My friend and I, absorbing the fever pitch around us discussed whether this was akin to either Beatlemania or One Direction fanfare, before I pitched in and argued it was more aligned to the three foot deep crowd desperate to catch a glimpse of the oft-mocked junkie/murderer Courtney Love. ‘I should know,’ I sagely added, ‘as she kissed me. On the lips.’

Did LL show? Let’s not be silly! She appeared in the shadows before seamlessly entering the gateaway car outta there, leaving the coterie of loyal minions to take as many photos of her exit  whilst speaking in a sort of Mean Girls inspired reverie ‘I’ve waited for an hour, but I got a picture of her car, it was awesome!’

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The getaway car

You see, Lindsay’s life as a millennial – and I hope I’m not exaggerating here is akin to the other tricky zeitgeist- moments of our lives such as worldwide terrorism, social anxiety over our social media and the more personalised fear that we can’t have *it* all because we currently got nothing, apart from Netflix – and the only way I’m gonna Netflix & Chill is watching Li-Lo’s Labor Pains, you get me?!

In many ways I see Lindsay more than I do actual friends. Her fame helped get my blog another 20-50 hits with the original blog post, a personalised but very much unauthorised-nature-v-nurture biographical piece, We Need to Talk about Lindsay. Similar to the groundbreaking novel the question asked was whether Lindsay had become a pathological liar, occasional thief and sustained law-breaker because she couldn’t be bring herself to follow the laws of the land, or whether it was because, like the Michael Jacksons of this world (my most successful piece by far, although I wasn’t happy when a commenter was told by another commenter that  she could write a far better argument than mine) she had a far-from-ideal childhood. Specifically, with a mother who I’m saying almost certainly (FAO: Dina, I’m saying ‘think’ so you can’t sue me)had drug dependency issues and a father who’s regular absenteeism, embezzling, domestic violence and prison stints made sure they became ever infamous and ever ‘trash’. Whatever happened from my last article, we all knew Lindsay’s career was almost completely derailed.

But how low is too low, how derailed is derailed? I mean I cringed when infamous momager, Dina Lohan proudly announced to the media she had negotiated a generous deal with the owner of the world’s largest animal pornography collection (I read this in Linda Lovelace’s memoir, Ordeal. Truly beyond the pale, that man. Interestingly, as mentioned in the previous piece, Lindsay was meant to play Linda Lovelace, but was too busy possibly/maybe/definitely shoplifting to read the script), Hugh Heffner  for LL to quite literally do a Marilyn for Playboy. ‘It’s gonna be classy,’ said Dina, which of are the famous last words when talking Playboy. Even Glenn Close helped stick the boot in when a paparazzi informed her of Lindsay’s later job – poor girl, she mirthlessly replied.

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A weird drawing I found in an LA restaurant of Lindsay just before the premiere of the unanimously panned ‘Liz and Dick’

I live-streamed Lindsay’s performance in Liz and Dick and accepted all of the (devastating) reviews as gospel.  The film, a biopic—cum-unintentional comedy suffered from catatonic performances and truly underwhelming dialogue (to paraphrase: Elizabeth’s never-aging mother to Elizabeth at a Hollywood party – You’ve been married four times and you’re not even thirty! Elizabeth responds to mother within a beat -Who’s counting!), considering this was meant to be the start of her comeback, it garnered her zero momentum. There was also the wig, the worst wig in televisual history, and the worst fainting scene where Lindsay wears the worst wig in history that helped this movie become a worldwide joke.

Away from acting, I watched (for my sins) all eight episodes of the go-fund-me charity project ‘Lindsay’ in which Oprah, dreadful hack that she is helps orchestrate humiliation after humiliation in the hope of ‘rehabilitating’ Lindsay whilst also scoring mammoth ratings. As ever a genius, she wisely (unwisely?) guesses it makes far better television to let Lindsay circle her way into the gutter. At one point her PA, who has an entirely thankless role, which he leaves by the end of the series, harangues Lindsay to move her car. Lindsay, again confused with the laws of the land tells her PA a way of handling the fines without moving the car. ‘Oh no, what I do is just put the old parking tickets there,’ to which her exasperated PA replies ‘Yeah, I know that Lindsay, they just whack another on. Three tickets and they’ll take your car.’

The show wasn’t renewed and few lessons were learnt, apart from the fact vodka pizza doesn’t actually contain vodka.

In her personal life, I read with stunned horror that the bottom had well and truly fallen out of the operation when more and more accounts of Lindsay’s escorting across Europe spread like a Californian bush fire (she I assume won’t be entertaining on one of the yachts in the south of France when I finally visit next month for my cheese and wine trip).

And I inwardly expressed great sadness when Lindsay used Instagram as a conduit for her family strife by announcing to the world, via Lindsay emoji that she was ‘done with mom,’ before a rapid 180 when she directly called out to mom to get in touch and see her children. Needless to say I didn’t need to read the comments to know that Lindsay was no longer the Lohan cash cow.

I, as mentioned was there, cheering when she FINALLY acted in something that didn’t feel put together within about 48 hours (needless to say The Canyons and other acting cameos are barely worth mentioning.) Speed-the-Plow suffered from being a Hollywood story without a convincing plot, but in a nutshell Lindsay Lohan played a secretary who managed to convince a major producer through her sex appeal to reject a commercial (read: crummy)  vehicle by instead going for a post-apocalyptic tale that nobody in the audience could understand, thereby helping craft his downfall. Think Hollywood weighing up a Michael Mann movie or a Battlefield Earth-type movie). The play at about 70 minutes was punctuated by a pointless interval which completely grounded the pacing of the play and, crucially destroyed any potential for pure theatre. Still, the ovation was had and now I’d finally seen *the* child actor from my generation, I could rest easy, knowing that Lindsay might continue acting, possibly hooking, but that her day in the sun was all but had. Yesterday’s hero, yesterday’s news, but at least with a final acting hurrah of sorts.

How good, then to find out that Lindsay had got engaged. So good it created a comment from Adrian, 43, father of 4 and this very article. Unlike others I avoided the glaring pointers – ‘She looks 50’ ‘This won’t last’ ‘if the Russian had a brain he wouldn’t marry her’ ‘What did Lindsay see in the multi-millionaire’ ‘what an asinine comment [to say she’s pulling a Robert Downey Jr.], Lindsay will never work for a legitimate film company again, not even n their Men’s room’ and felt this was a true celebration. The engagement party, for example was so steeped in love that the parents, you know the dad who said he thought Lindsay would die at 27 and the mum who wouldn’t even return her daughter’s calls turning up to congratulate the union, for richer, never for poorer.

At least temporarily, I can put the most divisive questions from my previous article to one side. At least for the present it seems we no longer need to talk about Lindsay Lohan-Tarabasov. Pazdravleniya

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A week in Hollywood: Scientology.


It was when I were in LA that I walked past a massive church with a gaudy vertical sign stating in big bold letters the one word that demonstrates such an odd alternative side of America: Scientology. The religion has been making dramatic and very bold headlines, especially because it has managed to recruit some of the biggest top guns in Hollywood. The creator famously once said: Celebrities are very Special people and have a very distinct line of dissemination. They have comm[unication] lines that others do not have and many medias [sic] to get their dissemination through (Flag Order 3323, 9 May 1973). What a prophetic genius Ron was to actively target celebrities. It’s simply hard to know whether Ron know the fallacies of trying to promote such a divisive religion with the gaggle of misfit celebrities that have thus far been enlisted. And perhaps he should have guessed there would be a rival, faddish religion to target the ‘slebs, in this case Kabbalah,  as opposed to the relatively more canon of celebs that joined the Kabbalah faith (with ‘magical wonder (and overpriced) water’ and fashionable bands worn by some major A-listers).

The Master of the order

The Hollywood story for this week is a fully researched melodrama akin to some of the best Hollywood exposes yet. It’s a silently powerful sleeper of a tale; an inverted love story featuring the doe-eyed, listless Katie Holmes escaping from a small and tiny – but ultimately very controlling husband, Tom Cruise with a little girl in the middle who is followed endlessly by waiting papparazzi. Several of the stories we’ve heard so far of the religion itself revolve around the little known process of auditing the mind to repress any tendencies that don’t conform within the branch of Scientology. Ultimately this has led to multiple conspiracy theories about what is hidden about the members – noticeably Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Certainly one particular article I’ve witnessed demonstrates just how potent a religion it really is. In particular the coverage has progressed to a full unveiling of the Sea Org location which has been deemed the Scientologist equivalent of a religious order and is thought to be about 6,000 strong. Better than any of Cruise’s recent movies (who has time to even add a note about Holmes’) we have seen several members talk about the horrors of the religion, the darkness (the hole, which sounds pretty akin to the prison from The Mount of Monte Cristo), the auditing. And thereafter, when people realise that the religion has too much ownership over their lives, the calls in the middle of the night from members trying to keep ex-members on their books (the retention team for the soul, or some equally passe name I’d imagine), which makes the whole religion sounds even further like a viable Hitchcockian thriller. On top of this, the divorce between TomKat took just two weeks to finalise, leading the general public to question just exactly what Katie had on Tom, or what Tom has been trying to hide from the public for a while.

The Scientology camp via an aerial shot. A production by Cruise and co, no doubt

 And the revelations about the all American boy are starting to surface, specifically as to why Katie ran through the fire exit instead of the front door in terms of the divorce. For starters he apparently sees himself as an OT: an Operating Thetan. To refer to Reitman’s investigation about Scientology this week, she notes that: ‘OTs can allegedly move inanimate objects with their minds, leave their bodies at will and telepathically communicate with, and control the behaviour of, both animals and human beings’ and ‘at the highest levels, they are allegedly liberated from the physical universe, to the point where they can psychically control what Scientologists call MEST: Matter, Energy, Space and Time.’ One can only imagine how incredibly exhilarating it would be to act as a fly on the wall at a meeting and see how many of these myths are discernible from reality.  Certainly the revelation I saw ‘revealed’ today has kept me guessing about the secret lives of the Hollywood elite. That blind tag is listed below : This celebrity couple is close to a final agreement over how everything – including the child/ren – is going to be divided in the divorce. However, the wife’s legal team is having her keep one chip in her pocket for the divorce trial. If the husband’s team tries any last-minute maneuvering, the wife is not afraid to reveal an incident where she (along with their child/ren) caught her husband in bed with a family friend of theirs. The friend is a professional athlete. In case you’ve been wondering why the couples rarely get together for more than an hour and a photo op – this is the reason.

Whatever the case, this information is true gold dust and let us hope more revelation keeps on coming with this firecracker of a story, and another week in the lives of the major Hollywood players.

A Scientology wedding, in Hollywood style with Hollywood smiles. I gave it four years at the time. It lasted longer than I expected in retrospect.

A week in Hollywood: John Travolta.


Hollywood: a town cloaked in secrets and lies. Originally, in the golden days of Hollywood, where everyone had a talent – and celebrities were respected, we believed implicitly in the celebrity leading clean and honourable lives. The studios were able to suppress any scandal which could threaten the careers of their stars – and managed to with a great deal of panache. When the studios ceded power to the agents, managers and publicists of the individual star, it was their role to keep the candle burning by maintaining the illusions and white lies that kept their stars marketable, successful and – above all – financially viable. And when celebrities started to get loose and reckless we noticed. When they started to stem from reality television shows and celebrity parents we embraced them, These people lacked talent and more importantly lacked class and sophisication. So the boundaries of the celebrity relationship started to change quickly. Privacy was ignored for many, a forgotten concept for others and, with our obsession with the celebrity growing and growing, secrets started to creep out faster and faster. Those cover ups and the unknown facets of celebrity lives has allowed the magazine rags a huge business with publications looking to discover gold dust whether possible. If they have to make a few lies and fabrications of their own to sell copies, they’ll do that too.

And it is the National Enquirer that has became the boss of fact and fiction. The special areas they cover include: sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs and celebrities carted off to rehab, dodgy bribes, bad behaviour, diva behaviour, violence, extra-marital affairs, affairs in general, the list can go on and on really.

For hot messes like Britney Spears, Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan we have been the voyeurs into their breakdown stages – a week or so of unrelenting coverage as we watch the celebrity lose the plot in front of a paparazzi. Britney’s hairless, knickerless week of madness was gripping news, Chris Brown using his fists on superstar Rhianna had everybody talking and Lindsay Lohan’s general last few years have guaranteed designated weeks of wonderful coverage about Lindsay’s latest (drugs busts, home arrests, twitter spats etc), which people like myself can’t get enough of. This week the celebrity caught under the radar is John Travolta: a superstar whose reputation is curdling fast. John has been a major player in Hollywood since the 70s, where he played a bad-ass jock in Carrie; danced to The Bee Gees’ melodic harmonies in Saturday Night Fever and danced and sang his way into Sandy’s leather pants in the perennial favourite, Grease.

Flying high? John Travolta shows off his pilot's 'wings' which entitle him to fly a jumbo jet John flying high in the glory days.

For a while his career went off the boil as he went from dirge to dirge, before having a minor success in the Look Who’s Talking series, with a co-star whose fluctuating weight is just as noteworthy as his, Kirsty Alley. His big star turn in Pulp Fiction however meant that John could always be guaranteed work, as he was the dude who had a legendary conversation about hamburgers. From then on he was cool and slick. So Johnny will be hoping he can hang on to that image as he attempts to survive the week ahead. So far there have been three lawsuits with the possibility of ‘one hundred’ more, although one has already been dropped and another not being taken to trial.  Currently we have had five men come forward to say that John has behaved in an improper, sleazy fashion. The damage is mounting fast, although kudos are in order for John’s lawyer who is deftly deflecting the lawsuits as best he can, referring in direct terms that these lawsuits are all hack-handed and all a sort of pulpy fiction his client barely has time to acknowledge. The news couldn’t fail to hit red alert status when it related to seedy massage parlours all over LA, our attentions by then hit fever pitch. The stories, if we piece them together revolves around John paying big bucks for a session and being happy to discuss the ‘bad deeds’ he had to do to secure a television role with Jewish producers (if the stories are a work of fiction, it was a deft touch of the first masseur to add the Jewish tag in for maximum authenticity). Whilst divulging this fairly big news to a stranger, John would peel away the towel hiding his gluts. After that John would quickly get up close and personal with the masseur with those (surprisingly) nimble, flabby digits of his. The result, supposedly at this present stage is hundreds of people queuing for million dollar compensation payments.John’s famous kiss.

John’s wife and children must be reeling from the revelations and the Church of Scientology can’t be too delighted either. They must have to ultimately decide whether to cut the hand that feeds the church or dispel him back to the parlours that seem to litter LA. Luckily if he gets desperate he could always ask advice from his bbf, Oprah’s best friend Gail, who has spent the best part of two decades having to deny rumours she’s having a relationship with Oprah.

The research for the first lawsuit, now dropped, was fascinating. We tracked that John was in NY, as opposed to LA on that day eating dinner at Mr Chow’s. He spent $382 and left a $100 tip. Some have speculated that with a bill that mammoth, he must have been eating with a few people. Or at least his portly bbfs, Oprah, Kirsty Alley or the fat kid from Hairspray. Although having said that, based on the size of John Travolta, it’s not overly surprising that he could rake up a $400 bill all by himself. Others have suggested that John, being a trained pilot, he could have been dashed back to LA to put his grand plan of getting a masseur under his belt by the end of the night. Conspiracy theories begun quickly. This was probably gawkers pushing the envelope of reality, but people were enjoying adding an extra level of grease to an already awkward situation for John.

Such a happy family: Kelly Preston shared this video made for her on Mother's Day by 'her husband Johnny' A family united?

John had two major slurs to his name prior to the recent oral explosions that have shaken up Hollywood. The first occurred when his supposed friend, Carrie Fisher implied that it was an open secret he was gay, telling the Advocate that everyone knew and ‘she was sorry he wasn’t comfortable about it.’ It’s hard to tell whether she remotely considered his wife and children when she happily divulged these details to a magazine such as The Advocate, however his wife can only have been thrilled with these little slips of tongues she had. In fact she probably must have demanded a muffin basket from Carrie for would have been the metaphorical shaving of her beard – if you get what I mean. Maybe though, if Kelly really bought in to the whole Scientology thing, she could have confided in the church which she’s been a prominent member of for a number of years. I’ve heard if you can drop a few seven digit donations, salvation somewhere in the universe is possible for people like John and Kelly Travolta.

The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta
Numerous headlines about John’s double life.

On top of this rather awkward declaration from a friend of his, an article spread like wildfire over the internet a few years ago. Entitled The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta, it was an article that so incensed the star his lawyer threatened to sue. As it mocked, very openly, John’s sexual history so far, referring to his penchant for bad wigs and his wandering genitals. John was then further knocked for a 66 when a book called You’ll Never Spa in This Town again was published. The salacious revelations were never ending from this novel. Riper than the juiciest of California’s fruits, John’s habits, desires and obsessive sexual urges were candidly unveiled for the public as the author liberally caved in to the several meetings he’d shared with Travolta, displaying an almost cathartic pleasure in ringing in the dollars from such a huge celebrity icon.

And this week looks like the rumour mill is just to start all over again. John was apparently so infatuated with his Grease co-star, that he tried to make a move on Jeff Conaway whilst he was unconscious. Whilst I’ll let you discover the details for yourself, it’s clear that nobody will be able to watch Grease now without the image of Danny getting with Sandy, only to ditch her for his fellow leather-loving best friend.  The revelation was seedy, shocking and hugely gripping to the public. And considering I thought the lawsuits would be the end of the week for John Travolta, it looks like a thirty plus career is bringing about a lot of past-revelations, be they true or fictious, that have been saved for a rainy day. John will be dying to get back to basics. Fly his planes, wears his make up and wigs (complete with a generous amount of hairspray of course), make a few movies, spend time with his two kids and wife (and potentially visit a few saunas)… the stuff he did before everyone got on his coattails.

Whatever happens, it goes to show just how intense one week in Hollywood can be for the rich and famous.

The rise and fall of the celebrity through the life and death of Whitney Houston


Picture the scene: Beverley Hills, home to the rich, famous, successful – and also to the Real Housewives. With Paris and her family being regulars of the exclusive suburb, and it being the area it is, it’s hardly a giant surprise that one of the most successful hotels in the neighbourhood is the Beverley Hilton – after all it is the playground for the ‘slebs who have made it to the top of their game. And it was there that 48 year old Whitney died this week in a bathtub surrounded by a cocktail of prescription drugs, booze and the most gourmeted of fast food available in America. The first time anyone saw her after she died her tongue and feet had turned blue; it was a lonely death. This lavish disorder will help turn the Beverley Hilton into a vantage point for those fans obsessed with both scandal and anything vaguely ghoulish. No doubt in the future there will be confirmed reoprts that Whitney’s voice echoes around the 434 suite.

Tragic celebrity deaths I have discovered are salacious and they also manage to turn the public into vultures descending at the corpse for clues and further information as to the cause of the demise. In my writing alone, I have acknowledged the death of two juggernauts of the music industry because there seems a canon of things to say, something entirely readable and totally write-able to the author and the reader.

Why as an avid reader and analyser of celebrity culture is this the case? I’m gotta give it my best shot to explain why.

Scandal:

Hotel California lyrically seems to uncover fairly aptly what we love to hear about: avarice and hedonism, greed and destruction. Even the Hotel itself has mystical powers with the final line being “you can check out, but you can never leave”. This song is cloaked in mystery, with many saying it revolves around the ghosts of the Chateau Marmont in L.A, and others saying it has its meaning within the Illuminati (whatever the case, it definitely feels appropriate with how Whitney bowed out). But I digress, the point of such a song is the ability to break through the surface, much the same way we try and discover the secrets of celebrities, their scandal hidden beneath the surface. In the 30s and 40s, celebrities were part of the studio system, this system had the power, for its press agent were in total cahoots with the press, meaning that many of the scandals of the stars were discovered far later, and way past their heyday. In one particular book I read, I was stunned to discover that one movie icon, Lana Turner married a man after a date in Los Angeles in Las Vegas on the same night (and this was also the first date!) This act of rebellion was to assert some power and agency in her life. Stars nowadays have the freedom to do more of what they like (not completely; again, everything is shrouded in secrecy) but have to accept that their lack of privacy is just something they can whine about to Oprah and Vanity Fair. The website TMZ alone uncovers further celebrity clues by following inebriated stars out of clubs and restaurants showering them with the most personal and crass of questions A couple of years ago these same hacks hounding the stars got a collection of tits and ass shots of celebrities in a state of undress. The media, we can safely say is now boss.

It’s hardly surprising that Whitney dying alone in a bathtub, surrounded by drugs and alcohol is the scandal that has people paying attention here.

Voyeurism:

A two-way street for celebs in the digital age as shown by stars like Demi Moore in particular. She gives us the goods via a never-ending twitter feed only then to be deeply uprooted of privacy and respect when she has a mid-life crisis/breakdown. The shots of her devastated at a recent funeral for her ‘second mother’ were tacky, and the shots of her being shuffled into rehab were humiliating for her. Yet we still read all about it and are the ultimate voyeurs.

We do it because we are escaping reality, but we also get hot tips of current styles, brands and looks as well as knowing exactly where the celebrities are, whenever we need to know, whether it means anything or not.

With Whitney and voyeurism she fell into the second great voyeurs’ trap: reality television. In Being Bobby Brown (a typical kind of title hinting at everyday celebrity lives) Whitney commits the ultimate faux-pax by simply appearing in a programme where Bobby told the world and his mother about how he had to give Whitney an enema. This wasn’t the one moment in time Whitney wanted the world to know about. The biggest voyeuristic moment however is the shameless photo that emerged from the bathroom in the house where Whitney spent seven consecutive months hiding from reality. Sad… but we still lapped it up anyway.

The original ‘bathroom’ shot leaked by Bobby Brown’s sister telling the world Houston had a problem

Condemnation:

It’s not right to condemn anyone really… but it’s okay if they’re a ‘sleb behaving badly. Just the other day Sean Penn waded in to the Falklands question by stating that Britain was behaving like colonists by keeping the islands British. A worthy sentiment I guess for an actor who wants to prove he has far higher intelligence than other actors his age (one-time-winning-now-obviously losing Charlie Sheen and Mickey Rourke – one word: the face) but how will this help Haiti? Celebs have a tough audience because everyone’s a critic. When Whitney utters a line like ‘crack is whack’  we can only aim and take fire. Whether it’s special treatment, bad surgery or bad career/romance choices, we the public, who buy into the brand believe ourselves entitled to give our two cents whether the celebs wanna hear it or not. Need I mention what the public originally thought – and is still thinking – of Bobby’s prerogative on life.

The coat isn’t even my major issue with this photo for a change…

The Body Beautiful:

A shallow addiction but a shallower industry, we must have a 360′ came purely for the celeb body at all times. The reason for this is as simple as the philosophy that you’re only as hot as the next batch of celebrities entering the domain. Whitney’s gaunt emaciated figure only fuelled the obvious, that drugs were ravaging the body (much like they did Jacksons’). Again it is out role to inform the brand whatever way we can what’s hot and what’s really not. Whitney’s face, bloated like a soccer mum on a pit stop to Wendy’s was the clue that she was not looking after herself… and hadn’t been for quite a while.

Satire:

Obviously a big thing without my having to reference programmes like SNL. Well it was American Dad that featured a desperate Whitney performing for Stan and Francine’s anniversary purely for a bag of coke. Whitney’s problems became tongue-in-cheek jokes across the country, even my friend gave me a poster once with the title ‘Don’t feed Whitney any more crack!’ Just before her death, another friend sent a link to her final outing with the text, you must write an article about this. That’s the life of the celebrity. Their messy antics make for great entertainment, it’s undeniable. Just the comments section of any website is the perfect example for people to make witty puns about stupid celebs. Again, we lap it up.

Whitney being lampooned

Conspiracy Theories:

What we live for. A movie without the final scenes. Whether it be whether Marilyn was assassinated or committed suicide or whether Phil Spector really did kill that girl from the bar for another reason, we love the idea of stars leading double lives and are desperate to grab for the dirt. This manifests in Hollywood literatures (which I read and love) referring to all the characters going on crack binges, having affairs and backstabbing each other to buggery.

The conspiracy theories about Whitney that are my favourite: well, naturally that a), she was a secret lesbian and b), that Osama Bin Laden hated America as much as he did but loved the declining Whitney Houston, to the extent where he wanted to kill Bobby Brown. As long as there are unauthorised books…and there are rumours like those, we’ll always have time for gold – and I really mean gold – like that.

Lastly:

The sting of Hollywood continues as pills and liquor still rules the lives of many. And we will, for right or wrong, be there to follow these stars every step of the rehab-ing way. The gospel singer turned American starlet turned wife and mother ending on a wrong turn from those humble christian roots to rather sad crack addict. Luckily her attributes in voice will live on. Discos will continue to play I Wanna Dance With Somebody just as funerals will continue to play I Will Always Love You. Divorcees will still listen to Didn’t We Almost Have It All? and I’ll still listen on occasion to the ridiculously catchy My Name is Not Susan.

A fallen icon but a true Hollywood legend none the less with fans who’ll love her eternally. For many that’s the greatest love of all.

How to survive Disney


Walt Disney Studios – the magical link to the very essence of a Western childhood. From dwarfs dancing, heroes battling beasts, talking animals and musical ditties, we’ve all grown up with Walt’s magical legacy. Just as prominent as ever in the Twenty-First Century, Disney continues to weave its spell over generation after generation, and to continue this, Disney must keep its stars as family-friendly as Mickey himself. The main problem with the very young, very preened, smiley-smiley stars however is how they transition into adult stars – because a lot of them make some major mistakes along the way. These are my eight simple rules for surviving Disney.

Avoid chastity (unless you’re really REALLY serious about it…)

If there’s anything more wholesome than wholesome, it’s copyrighted to the home of family values: Disney. Right after Disney for wholesome values is the belief in chastity.

To some stars at Disney, they can go the distance. For example, Kevin Jonas looked pretty happy waiting for marriage, especially after he had supplemented the chastity ring for a wedding ring with his young wife, Danielle. However, if you’re Britney Spears, this will end up being one PR stunt too far. The Hold It Against Me/If You Seek Amy (entendres abounding all over those song titles alone) singer promised herself for her husband (which, presumably we’re meant to believe would be her first), but neither her Vegas or trailer trash husband were the ones that Britney first said “gimme more” to. It was in fact her Mickey Mouse co-star and very bitter superstar ex, JT who claimed America’s sweetheart. In many ways it’s hard to believe that Britney ever believed in chastity because it sounds oddly like a weird Chinese whisper now.

  Skanky Britney

Rule #1: avoid chastity. In today’s society it’s cute when 13 and kinda career suicide when you’re 15…

Avoid Taylor Swift. At all costs.

She may look like a harmless (if slightly crazed) doll, however Taylor is swift to write-up any Disney star a piece of humble pie if they meddle with her mindset; case in point: Joe Jonas. Joe, desperate to break out into a more edgy star with his undercut and without his J-bros must have regretted his fatal attraction to the ever needy Taylor the moment she told him what would happen if he were to ever leave – whack their relationship into a top 10 country track! To be fair to Taylor, Joe must have been terrified of Taylor giving him her icy stare because he broke up with her in a 30 second call. Ouch! Good intentions aside, that ends up looking like a massive fail for Joe’s longtime image, after all Joe’s fans are surely all 15 thing year old girls.

 Taylor’s takedown.

Rule #2: avoid Taylor Swift at all costs; the relationship will haunt you for years after it (no doubt) ends. Also, don’t consider interrupting her on stage either…it’ll only end in tears.

Avoid drugs & liquor.

It seems obvious that nobody should be encouraged to take drugs – especially after Nancy Regan argued it was as easy as just saying no. But if you’re gonna do it anyway, in the public eye, be far more subtle than Lindsay Lohan. Since she started on the sauce/coke she has

*Flashed her firecrotch.

*Drank several times when driving.

*Entered rehab more times than she’s made movies the last few years.

* Dated Calum Best and a selection of other degenerates of Hollywood.

*Ended up looking like a Real Housewife Of Cracksville.

The list of problems go on and on, I mean we haven’t even discussed the whole home arrest dramarama or her relationship with her bible-belt father and her momager, her biggest enabler. To give Lindsay Lohan an ounce of credit, with a childhood spent under the gaze of being a Disney princess, it would have been admittedly pretty impossible to do drugs on the downlow. The good news for Linsanity is that the public largely still likes her (unless she says such lines as “I think prison is only for murderers”) and wants her to succeed. I mean, who doesn’t want to see The Parent Trap 2?

 Li-Lo on a Tuesday

Rule #3: avoid drugs in the public eye, for all the reasons above.

 Avoid bongs at public parties.

Miley Cyrus, of Hannah Montana fame, with her country-upbringing, her odd beaver-like mouth and her all American twang couldn’t have been bigger with the tweens. However, can you upgrade your fan base whilst still holding onto the vast majority of your original teen audience? Well Miley gave it a go; her music is still in the throes of teen-pop, however her outfits are getting shorter and the teenage angst is becoming ever more apparent. However, whilst we know she can’t be tamed on her social climb to mature pop star status, Miley should have avoided going to a public party and doing relatively normal things for a teen, like being photographed with a massive bong.

Obviously, Miley shouldn’t really have to suffer for the whole teenage population of America but she is a role model, and parents won’t want their sons and daughters going to that kind of Party In The USA…

 A TMZ exclusive

Rule #4: avoid bongs in case you break your father’s achy-breaky heart.

Avoid drunken car journeys and fist fights…

Without trying to reference Lindsay’s DUI fails, it’s Shia LeBeouf, star of Holes who owns rule number 5. Whilst Shia is completing a full-scale re-intervention, seemingly as deceased bad boy and all round tortured soul, James Dean, Shia has struggled most to control his cocktail of anger, attitude and alcohol. Drink, girls, cars and fist-fights, Shia is doing a sharp 180 from his Disney past, so sharp in fact that an inebriated Shia had a dramatic car crash which almost cost him the use of his left hand. Although not Shia’s fault per se, Shia was above the legal alcohol limit and lost his driving license. As well as dubious driving, Shia has also had fights with security guards and bar brawls with random people, the latest being Marilyn Manson. Whilst Hollywood waits with bated breath for Shia’s next misdemeanor, movie audiences may no longer be waiting for his next movie.

Mad!

Rule #5: avoid turning into the next Charlie Sheen until you’re 40, unemployable and have violent torpedoes of truth to tell the world. Via twitter, obviously.

 Potentially avoid a childhood working for Disney

Demi Lovato is slowly getting back to normal. Her original problem was an unhappy childhood, which got worse with the international fame that comes with working for Disney. For many children watching their favourite show, the idea of becoming a Disney childhood star could be a dream come true. For Demi, who suffered with depression, cutting, bullying and bulimia, the fame that came with working for Disney led her straight to rehab. That, or the fact she punched a back-up dancer on a plane. Maybe the emotional and physical issues were exacerbated by working for Disney, maybe it was working with the Jonas Brothers. But maybe, just maybe it could be working for the demons at Disney.

Disney survivor

Rule #6: Only work for Disney if you can hack it. Oh, and don’t punch people, it’s just not nice.

Don’t show off your goodies especially if you could be a beard {hint hint}

The original Gleesters, the High School Musical crew gave Disney studio’s a brand new set of wheels. Crazily successful, people went gaga for those clean-cut all-singing, all-dancing American teens. Whilst some of the actors are still trying to make the grade from  forgotten teen star to ‘serious’ actor, Vanessa Hudgens did something that will make her infamous for years to come…

Supposedly for her boyfriend at the time, Zac Efron (huge question mark) Vanessa let everything hang out. Literally. Not even wearing the complimentary hotel dressing robe, Vanessa’s naked portrait to Zac got leaked, unbeknownst to her, for the world to see (again somewhat suspicious), and it seemed Vanessa had finally graduated from her high school days.So whilst this is a good way to separate from future Disney type-casting, there are better ways to make a transition. We’re still waiting, Vanessa.

Vanessa’s faux-pax

Rule No.7:
Avoid taking off the underwear unless it’s for ‘the character’s development,’ however, if you could get caught au natural, make sure you get paid for it first!

Don’t hang out with Paris. No seriously, I’m not joking here.

A businesswoman, a reality star, the original celebrity for being a celebrity, the inspiration for young Mario’s blog, Perez Hilton and star of one of the most-acknowledged celebrity sex tapes, One Night In Paris, we know that Paris means business and doesn’t take fools lightly. Hell, she even had a whole show where you had to audition to become a friend of hers.

The issue with Disney starlets becoming friends with Paris is not actually because of her reputation as a’ porn princess,’ it’s the pantiless, partying (potentially pill popping) Paris that has left two Disney alumni’s with some major issues. With Britney, we saw her Caesarian peeking out when she adopted Paris’s penchant for leaving the panties at home. More severe, the married Mamma of two became obsessed with clubbing and booze. Who can forget a self-shaved Britney attacking a photographer’s car? Yeah, I’m blaming Paris here.

And Lindsay Lohan? Well, for starters, she still made movies before she met Paris. See above for several of the meltdown-moments that came after Paris met Lindsay.

When Britney met Paris…

To stay safe in Hollywood please follow Rule. No.8: Say T.T.Y.N to Paris Hilton.

So there you have it. These are my eight simple rules to avoid when either working for, or graduating Disney. Until then we’ll wait and see how the current alumni survive AD: After Disney.