No secret I drive into Manhattan mainly due to my contempt for New Jersey Transit and the humans that use it. The other big perk is Howard Stern on the radio.
Say what you will about Mr Stern, and many do, there isn't a better radio program on during morning drive. He can be foul and offensive. He can be a bully and inconsiderate. He can be stubborn and egotistical. But put an "A" list celebrity in front of him and NOBODY does it better.
Yesterday, Lady Gaga sat down with the King of All Media and the results were amazing. And I have said, no less than a week ago (http://madison.patch.com/blog_posts/what-are-you-listening-to) that I am not really a fan of Ms Gaga. What I must admire is her candor, confidence and talent. They were all on display during the hour plus interview. She talked frankly of drug usage and her "fame." She showed a compassion and understanding for her fans and her moment in time. Then she sat at the piano and sang 2 powerful songs on a borrowed Steinway piano.
Please take a look at these excerpts and decide for yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_GMgkcc2KM "Edge of Glory"
Once you are there you could search for some interview clips too. If you stick around to check them out I think you will be surprised at her candor and good humor. In an age when Paris Hilton is a star (what did she do again?? oh, right, she had a "talent") it is a breath of joy to hear a megastar have fun and destroy a 2 song set list. She good have easily phoned the morning in, play coy and not touch the piano. I have seen others do this with Stern for years.
They moan about how early it is. They cry that their voices aren't in shape. I may not be running to download Gaga's album. But she won me over nonetheless. Now if Daniel Lanois can produce her next record we might be on to something.
I had the misfortune of watching the HBO documentary Mann vs Ford (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1498566/ )last night too. This is the type of film that has Tea Party and Republican folks fuming. It is made by leftist do gooders (Robert Redford's brother is involved.)
The story: Ford Motors systematically dumped toxins into the Ramapo, NJ woods and reservoir. The Ramapo indians (native to that area) have become ill at a staggering rate. Wayne Mann takes up the cause for his people and starts a lawsuit against the auto giant.
You get the drift from there. In fact, we have heard this story countless times over. Giant corporation cuts costs and ignores laws and public decency. Profits are made at the expense of others (read: poor and uneducated.) Years go by and the repercussions are finally felt. Corporation settles out of court setting the wheels in motion once again.
The EPA (or any other Federal agency) looks the other way and/or takes some hand out. In the end nothing changes.
There are still paint deposits and dioxins contaminating land and water just 30 miles North of me. I have a feeling this story is playing out in dozens of communities nationwide. Think Akron has good air quaility these days? Detroit? How is the gulf coast these days since Katrina and the oil spill?
Say what you will about global warming... we cannot be making our environment any better here, can we?
They say "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." You can be sure if it was in the US we would be polluting the hell out of it.
Finally, can we put an end to the Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake/Marine's Ball story? These adorable little movie stars are getting a lot of play accepting invites from Corps members to their big fall formal.
It is sweet and I admire and respect any and all service men so here, here! But if these two stars were not promoting a film (Friends with Benefits http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1632708/ )this story would not exist. If this movie tanks you best believe the next time you here this story is when they release it on DVD the same week as the Ball.
Cry Me a River.