August 14th, 2009
11:50 PM ET

Getting to know Woodstock

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping and came across an awesome graphic shirt with the words “Woodstock 69.”  I headed toward the register when it dawned on me … do I even know what Woodstock is? Would I become a poser?  I’m 23. The only thing Woodstock and I have in common is that we were both born in August –my birth taking place almost two decades later. So, the shirt went back to its rack and I went home empty handed.


The summer of 1969 held many historical events, like the moon landing, the Manson murders, and of course… Woodstock. The moon landing was taught in history class and the Manson murders have often been in the headlines, but Woodstock was left out.  I had a vague idea of what it was – some type of music festival, like Coachella – but it was never intriguing enough for me to Google.

With the festival’s 40th anniversary at hand, I thought what better time than now to really find out about Woodstock and if it is still relevant to us. I went out to ask fellow members of the “millennial” generation, how much they knew about Woodstock. Most of the responses I got were not surprising to me at all. “Um, I’ve never heard of that actually. Oh, I remember! It was like, wasn’t it really old and like there was a bunch of hippies.” One person actually started talking about accounting and stocks when I asked them if they knew about Woodstock.

While some might cringe and wonder if this is our future, I can relate to my “young” generation.  It’s not because we're too involved with “who’s wearing what and who’s dating who.” It’s because some historical events are just that to most of us - history. We know it definitely changed a part of culture, but it’s also something of the past.

Knowing the facts would not be enough. One would need to know about the emotions which filled that year, and led up to that great music festival. Those that lived through the music extravaganza understood the significance of everyone getting together; the peace, love and value of unity that came at the end of turmoil and excitement of that year.

In 1969, many of the issues that generation fought for are no longer issues to us. In 1920, a woman voted for the first time in history, but today when we decide to or not decide to cast that ballot we don’t think about what our fellow women had to go through in order to fight for their rights.  While we celebrate our first African American president in 2009, forty years from now, young people might not know the significance it had on us.

Michael Jackson is an icon of our time and was considered the King of Pop. His sudden passing shocked the world. Though millions of fans watched his memorial service, it will be a moment remembered in history, but not taught in history class. Perhaps forty years from now, our children’s children will wonder what the big deal was about – maybe we’ll even hear “Michael Jackson… was he, like, a singer?”

After “getting to know Woodstock,” I’ve come to the conclusion that you just had to be there … be there in that moment of time. I might read the books and watch the movies, but I will never truly know what Woodstock is. I’ve realized, though, that it’s okay, because my generation too can say we’ve lived through historical events that some might not understand in the near future.

As for that shirt, I don’t think I’ll go back to get it, but next time I see a shirt with “Woodstock ‘69” on it, I definitely won’t feel like a poser.

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Filed under: Music
August 14th, 2009
04:32 PM ET

Aerosmith: Get well soon

Dear Aerosmith,


Hi, guys! I guess I should say, "How are you all feeling?"  When I got the press release announcing the cancellation of the remainder of your summer tour, I breathed a sigh of relief.  This trek has been jinxed.  Steven, I'm sure you're nodding in agreement - if you can, with 20 stitches in your head and a broken shoulder from a fall off the stage last week.  Ow (I've seen the video on YouTube).

Even before you hit the road, Brad bonked his head - reportedly getting out of his Ferrari - and was forced to miss the first seven shows.  Then Tom left the tour due to what's only been described as "non-invasive surgery."  And Steven, just before your latest mishap, Aerosmith had to postpone some concerts because of your torn quad muscle.

Of the 15 shows the band managed to eke out, none were with the full line-up. Now I don't want to blame anything on age, because 60 is the new 40 (or something like that). But take the rest of the summer off - go to Martha's Vineyard or whatever it is you guys do in Boston.  You'll be "Back in the Saddle" in no time.  And feel better, please.  I'm running out of get well cards.

Love, Denise

August 14th, 2009
01:00 PM ET

Samuel L. Jackson goes "Ezekiel"

Samuel L. Jackson had a problem on the red carpet Thursday at a cancer fundraiser in Beverly Hills. No, not with any members of the press. Instead, the "Snakes on a Plane" star was a little perturbed with what we'll call his red carpet handler.


First, a little background for those unfamiliar with arrival line etiquette. Often times at red carpet events, stars are accompanied by someone with public relations credentials who escorts them down the line from interview to interview. For members of the press, these PR humming birds are, at times, a nuisance.

They often ask us to "limit the interviews to two questions, please" or whisk their talent away saying, "gotta go, sorry guys." Some less-experienced handlers can be found standing right in front of their assigned mega-stars when our photographers are trying to shoot some much-needed and ever-so-valuable video. There are events when a star will have their personal publicist with them – and this publicist more often than not has a close relationship with their client.

At this event, however, Mr. Jackson's personal publicist was nowhere to be seen on the carpet, and it was more like seeing Mr. Jackson with Patrick Wilson in "Lakeview Terrace" instead of John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction."

After the first interview, the handler in question apparently got a little too close for comfort to Samuel L... causing the actor to channel the on-screen persona that's made him the subject of hundreds of homemade YouTube videos.

"You're about to make me say M***** F*****," Jackson said to the humbled handler. "I mean for real."

It's important to note here that Mr. Jackson wasn't screaming at the top of his lungs, like in the famous courtroom scene in "A Time To Kill" or the fast food stick-up scenario in "Coming to America." He even had a sly grin on his face... but with that commanding voice, there was no mistaking his meaning. During Jackson's interview with CNN, the handler kept his distance.

About five or six interviews later, that thundering voice returned. "MAN, WHO ARE YOU?!?!?"

Any movie fan can recognize that voice and its meaning.

But you have to tip your hat to the handler in question... the guy kept his cool and managed to save some face despite laughter from members of the press.

Whether or not Jackson was completely serious during this handler heckling remains to be seen... but anyone who's seen "Snakes on a Plane" should know when "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!"

August 14th, 2009
10:38 AM ET

Pulling and partying on Atlanta 'Housewives'

There was so much utter foolishness on Thursday night's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" that I don't even know where to begin.

From the conclusion of the fight between Sheree and Kim where the latter's wig was tugged, to Dwight's "Wild Kingdom"-themed party and penchant for commenting on women's "melons," I was aghast.

Since Bravo continually hyped Sheree's assault of Kim's blond wig, we all knew that was coming, but what did surprise me was the level of sympathy I felt for Kim. She honestly seemed like she was trying to handle the screaming and cursing match as best she could by hustling out of the restaurant as fast as her heels could carry her.

By following Kim (and threatening to whup her you-know-what), Sheree just seemed like a bully, especially when she tugged on the wig. Any wearer of the fake hair will tell you that is a definite no-no.

Then there was Dwight's party. Known as "the seventh sixth housewife" despite his gender, Dwight brings the flamboyance every time and his soiree more than lived up to his reputation.

There were people made up to look like animals, swings suspended from the ceiling and Dwight insisted that the models hired for the party exude sex, urging one ample-bosomed woman to prop her girls up for better display.

But the kicker was when, by way of an introduction, he grabbed the newest housewife's, Kandi's, breasts and proclaimed them to be nice melons.


Can this show get any more outrageous and off the chain?

Essence has more on "Real Housewives of Atlanta."

August 14th, 2009
09:15 AM ET

Sugarland sits on top Billboard chart

The country music pair's CD-DVD package called "Live on the Inside" is selling well. Also, famous wheels in films are being auctioned off. Get the latest Hollywood news in The Buzz:

Filed under: Music • Sugarland
August 14th, 2009
08:37 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Stewie from Family Guy

"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane says that the character of Stewie is gay, according to The Los Angeles Times.

"We had an episode that went all the way to the script phase in which Stewie does come out,” MacFarlane told Playboy in an interview. "But we decided it’s better to keep it vague, which makes more sense because he’s a 1-year-old."

MacFarlane also revealed that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and former Bush administration strategist Karl Rove are set to play themselves on a future episode of the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Limbaugh previously made a cameo on the show in 2007.

It's full speed ahead for a sequel to this summer's "Wolverine."
Variety reports that Christopher McQuarrie, who worked on the first "X-Men" movie uncredited, has been tapped to write the film's script.

Meanwhile, Bryan Singer, the director of the first two "X-Men" will take on a feature film version of "Battlestar Galactica," according to Variety.

The heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel won a round in court against DC Comics and Warner Bros., according to The Hollywood Reporter. A judge ruled on Wednesday that they had recaptured rights to key portions of the character's origin story, including the first two weeks of the classic Superman comic strip.

At the box office this weekend: "District 9," "The Time Traveler's Wife," "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," "Bandslam" and "Ponyo."

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Filed under: Family Guy • movies • television • X-Men
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