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Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for July, 2011

Patriotic Waterworks at Bellagio

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

“Al Pacino” aka Frank Caliendo on Richard Roeper

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Time for Ald. Ed Burke to give in on bodyguards

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

At this point, Ald. Ed Burke’s just being stubborn and arrogant.

He knows he doesn’t need those bodyguards.

He knows the mayor knows he doesn’t need those bodyguards.

He knows probably 99 out of 100 Chicagoans don’t believe he needs those bodyguards. (I’m being generous to Burke here.)

He knows that even though four police officers aren’t going to make a huge difference in the overall scheme — but almost any reassignment of those four officers would be a better use of their service and a more prudent expenditure.

He knows that if he wants to pretend he’s an international diplomat of some renown or a high-level government official in a dangerous job, he can dip into his own $8 million war chest and surround himself with some impressive-looking men wearing suits and earpieces and firearms.

He knows there’s something almost obscene about taking advantage of a decades-old court order that gives him those four police officers at a cost of nearly half a million dollars a year including salary and benefits.

There was a time when Burke’s need for police protection might have been legitimate. But Ed Burke saying he needs four bodyguards in 2011 because of the Council Wars of the 1980s makes about as much sense as Corey Feldman saying he needs some muscle looking out for him when he goes to the mall, lest he be overrun by overzealous fans.

Marquee value?

Around 11 p.m. on Independence Day at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, hundreds of young women in super-tight skirts and super-high heels and and equal number of guys were queued up outside the Marquee nightclub.

For those of us who are long past the days of wanting to get in to a place with ear-splitting, conversation-killing music and colorful drinks (and those of us who never really cared for places with ear-splitting, conversation-killing music and colorful drinks), it’s a spectacle that raises questions, such as:

How long do those people wait in line before they give it up and go somewhere else?

What do they all do for a living?

Who’s paying for the drinks once they’re inside?

Of course, there are young people making good money, even in these economic times. And I wouldn’t even think to suggest that some of those attractive young women waiting in line are going to depend on the kindness of strangers to keep those drinks coming.

I’m just curious. If you’re a regular club-goer, whether it’s in Chicago or in Las Vegas or someplace else, what’s the deal these days? Do you save up to go out once every couple of weeks? Go easy on the drinks once you’re inside? Hope to have drinks bought for you once you’re in there?

It’s the shoes

Earlier this year, I was at the Encore in Las Vegas when a young couple approached me and offered me $100 for my shoes.

That was a new one.

“You want my shoes?” I said, wondering if this was the start of a new scam or a bit on a hidden-camera reality show.

“A hundred dollars for your shoes, and you can have my boyfriend’s shoes,” said the young woman, who was clad in a turquoise miniskirt not much larger than the size of a Barbie doll outfit.

The boyfriend was wearing gym shoes. The club to which they were trying to gain access did not allow such shoes.

Hence, the proposed shoe trade.

I took a pass.

“Why is everyone saying no to us?” said the young woman.

Maybe it’s because most of us prefer to return home in the shoes that got us out the door in the first place?

No helmet, no chance

He died in a protest most non-motorcyclists just don’t understand. Philip A. Contos, 55, of Parish, N.Y., was participating in a protest against mandatory helmet laws when he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike, hit his head on the pavement and later died.

“State police say . . . Contos would have survived had he been wearing a helmet as required by state law,” CNN reported.

I truly don’t care if you wear a helmet or not. I just don’t quite get the risk-vs.-reward value of not wearing the helmet.

“Robert De Niro” aka Frank Caliendo on Roeper

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

News flash: You can’t trust what’s on Twitter

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Sometime around 1 a.m. Central Time on the Fourth of July, the Fox News Politics Twitter account was hacked, and the hoaxers started posting messages such as:

“@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead.”

“@BarackObama shot twice at Ross’ restuarant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP, Obama, best regards to the Obama family.”

“We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

The @foxnewspolitics Twitter account has more than 35,000 followers, so there’s little doubt that even at that post-midnight hour, some folks read those Tweets and believed them to be true, if only for a few moments before checking any and all other news sources to verify the information.

At one point, the Fox News logo was replaced by what appeared to be “SK” and the Twitter description, “H4CK3D BY TH3 5CR1PT K1DD3S,” i.e., “hacked by the Script Kids” or “Scriptkiddies,” the group that claimed responsibility for the hack.

In an interview with Think magazine, someone claiming to be a member of the hackers said they were linked to the notorious group of hackers known as Anonymous and stated, “We are looking to find information about corporations to assist with antisec [a collective hacker effort to disrupt corporate and government security]. Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting.”

On Fox News’ unhacked website, a statement was posted:

“Hackers sent out several malicious and false Tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. Those reports are incorrect, of course, and the president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family at the White House.

“FoxNews.com alerted the Secret Service, which is declining public comment.

“FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false Tweets may have created.”

Give us back our Tweets!

Perhaps more surprising than the hacking incident was that some nine hours passed before the false Tweets appeared and were taken down. Obviously the legit people had a difficult time wresting control of the account back from the hackers.

As for anyone that may have been duped by the Tweets, may have re-tweeted the false reports or contacted a friend to say, “Oh my God, did you hear what happened?” — such moves can easily be prevented. Whenever and wherever you read a Tweet or a Facebook posting or any social media entry about breaking news, you’re literally clicks away from being able to check it out from multiple other sources.

Talented as these rogue groups are, they can’t hack the entire Internet.

Can they?

A real original

Somebody sent me a link to a show coming to the Auditorium Theatre July 6-24.

It’s called “The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers ™,” with tickets priced from $25-$55.

“For three weeks only, your favorite Blues Brothers moments and songs come to life in the legendary Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers. Jake and Elwood Blues bring a humorous, swinging and lively show to Chicago …

“The Blues Brothers trademark is owned by Daniel Aykroyd and Judith Belushi Pisano.”

Aykroyd of course created the Blues Brothers for “Saturday Night Live” in 1978 along with John Belushi. Judith is John’s widow. The “SNL” appearances led to a bestselling album, “Briefcase Full of Blues,” which led to a hit movie in 1980.

Various editions of the Blues Brothers played on after Belushi’s death in 1982. There was the Aykroyd-Jim Belushi-John Goodman edition that did some live performances, starred in the forgettable movie “Blues Brothers 2000,” sanctioned copycat bands that have played at theme parks, video games, a cartoon, more albums …

And now we’ve got a tribute band to an act that was a tribute band in the first place. I’m thinking some of the audience members for this show will have only a passing knowledge of John Belushi’s work, let alone the music of the blues artists that inspired the act that inspired the tribute show they’re watching.

 
 
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