Stephen Simon, a movie producer whose credits include What Dreams May Come and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, was horrified recently when he noticed a mother who had brought her young son to a showing of the R-rated End of Watch in Tigard, Ore. "It was very violent and very profane from frame one. There were people getting beat up and shot," Simon said. "I thought this is child abuse." Simon was so upset by the woman's choice that he confronted her and called Child Protective Services. Says Simon, "The woman [at CPS] told me on the phone I was absolutely right and this was a dreadful thing to do but then said there's nothing we can do and suggested I talk to the manager." Simon told United Press International that he's been calling some theater owners to ask them to have their ticket sellers talk to parents about R-rated films' content when they try to take young children with them. "In the box office, they should ask if parents are aware the movie has very violent or profane content," he said. [upi.com, 9/26/12]
"I used to be really dark. Now, I wake up and check [my daughter Willow's] pulse and make sure she's not having a temperature. And then we dance. Then we go on bike rides. And we dance some more. Everything's a song. It's just a lot more fun."
—pop-rocker P!nk, who says about her newest album, The Truth About Love, "This time I'm married and a new mom and only a tad angry." But she also says, "Even in my darkest moments, when I'm not sure if my life is going to be OK, I know that it's going to be fodder for my next record." [Parade, 9/23/12; AP, 9/19/12; Rolling Stone, 8/30/12]
"The theme of this record is magic. I went on a spirit journey by myself. No security guard. No managers. I just went around the world and lived on a boat. I was in Africa rehabilitating baby lions. I went diving with great white sharks, and just went on this crazy spirit quest. I got hypnotized, and I just really wanted this record to be really positive, really raw, really vulnerable and about the magic of life."
—pop singer Ke$ha, who also describes her celebrity lifestyle this way: "I'm trying to keep the rock 'n' roll mentality—'Let's destroy s‑‑‑ and party and get laid!'" Her forthcoming album is titled Warrior. [Rolling Stone, 8/30/12; huffingtonpost.com, 9/27/12]
"To my abusers: I forgive you."
—Pattie Mallette, in her autobiography, Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom. The book details years of sexual and drug abuse that she suffered through prior to her mother kicking her out of the house when she became pregnant with Justin at age 18. Mallette says she faced intense pressure to abort Justin, but says, "I knew that I had to do what it took. I just couldn't abort him." Mallette became a Christian following a suicide attempt at 17. She says she made a choice at 21 to be sexually abstinent until marriage, and she pledged to Justin that she wouldn't begin dating again until he turned 18. [foxnews.com, 9/24/12]
In 2005, News Corp. ponied up better than a half-billion dollars to buy MySpace. Then Facebook came along. In June 2011, singer/actor Justin Timberlake, along with entrepreneurs Chris and Tim Vanderhook, purchased the website for just $35 million. Now they're angling toward a grand relaunch with a revamped interface featuring a horizontal scrolling design that, according to Slate writer Will Oremus, "makes Facebook look stodgy and dated by comparison" and which "seems to borrow liberally from the image-sharing network Pinterest." The new version of MySpace will cater to musicians, artists and celebrities. [slate, 9/25/12]
Facebook officials say there may be 83 million fake or duplicate accounts on the popular social network. That's 8.7% of Facebook's 955 million registered users. Some may be devoted to pets. Others to spam. [time.com, 8/3/12]
YouTube videos continue to inspire kids and teens to pull dangerous, sometimes fatal stunts. David Nuno is a recent, tragic example: The 15-year-old had just finished watching a video in which someone passed out and decided to try it himself. He lost consciousness, fell forward and broke a drinking glass, a shard of which pierced his throat and jugular. Other videos depicting everything from Fight Club-like beatdowns to "cinnamon challenges," in which someone tries to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon without throwing up, have kept emergency room personnel busy. "If you get one kid doing it, you tend to see more kids doing it," says Dr. Thomas Abramo, chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "The spread of the event is definitely faster." [abcnews.go.com, 9/28/12]
"It's the I Love Lucy of rape."
—salon.com columnist Mary Elizabeth Williams, writing about NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She notes that SVU is doing an episode themed to the bestselling S&M-peppered novel 50 Shades of Grey, and adds, "You can praise the show for its innovative exploration of topical themes—or squirm in your chair at the image of a series whose writers must have to troll daily for the grimmest, most depressing headlines of the day for their material—who realize they've hit the jackpot when an especially unusual or gruesome case makes the news." [salon.com, 9/27/12]
There are about 5 million homes in the U.S. that don't get television service, according to Nielsen. But two-thirds of them have televisions anyway. What gives? Those TV-without-TV-service households still use their sets, often getting television programming through Netflix or Apple TV, or they watch shows via DVD, or they dispense with traditional television programming altogether and play video games. [usatoday.com, 9/11/12 stats]
"If Jesus doesn't have a sense of humor, I am in huge trouble."
—comedian Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, talking about his Roman Catholic faith [foxnews.com, 9/15/12]
"Your political views really denote your spiritual views. And America, I think, is largely devoid of a prioritized spiritual [view], whether it's practice or a belief that is based on love and based on kindness, as the Dalai Lama talks about. It's almost like religion is co-opted by the political, ego, fear-fueled machine in our own selves or political structure, so it becomes a tool for the political campaign that's winning as opposed to, 'How does it personally show up in one's life?'"
—singer Alanis Morissette [rollingstone.com, 5/2/12]
"I've now had all this hate mail and there have been death threats, too. All the queens out there now have it in for me. I'm loathed by them. I'm having to take evasive action."
—gay actor Rupert Everett, telling the U.K.'s Telegraph that his recent statement "I can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads" has triggered a backlash [huffingtonpost.com, 9/30/12]