- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Star friends

“Or maybe, in the case of LeBron James and his decision to join his friends [Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade] on the Miami Heat, the rules of friendship and the logic of business have become interchangeable. James‘ decision has earned him a torrent of abuse, and yesterday, no less than Michael Jordan dismissed these ‘kids’ by offering that he was more interested in beating his rivals than joining with them. ‘But that’s … things are different,’ Jordan remarked. ‘I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.’

“Things are, indeed, different nowadays. Players rarely try and strangle each other, most of them become friends years before entering the professional ranks, and many of them studied Jordan not only for his on-court success but the acumen of his marketing team, as well. Without getting into the intricacies of the doubtlessly sincere Wade-Bosh-James friendship, the version of the NBA that Jordan describes seems to perfectly embody the logic of the Facebook age: better to unite in some kind of possibly empty, David Stern-facilitated harmony than diss a friend of a friend. And it’s a very of-the-moment way for a media entity to be - the center of a network, rarely all that polarizing, appealing enough, etc.”

- Hua Hsu, writing on “Random Thoughts on LeBron and Social Networking” on July 20 at the Atlantic

No Elvis

“Lady Gaga stirred up a bit of religious controversy during her concert in Cleveland - when she compared Jesus to a bisexual dancer. According to a report in The Plain-Dealer, Lady Gaga declared during her sold-out concert that one of her bisexual dancers was like Jesus, because, ‘Jesus loves everybody.’ During a stop in Toronto, one reviewer noted how she delivered ‘a deliciously profane Catholic prayer to Jesuss inclusive nature conducted while writhing orgasmically on the proscenium in a black-leather teddy while slathered in fake blood.’

“For the record, Elvis never did that. …

“During an appearance on CNNs Larry King Live, she reportedly said, ‘So I suppose you could say Im a quite religious woman that is very confused about religion.’ [Catholic League President Bill] Donohue said that might be an understatement.”

- Todd Starnes, writing on “Lady Gaga: Jesus is like a bisexual dancer,” on July 16 at his Fox News Radio blog

Hits make stars

“Pop quiz: what do the following [25] movies have in common? Gone with the Wind (1939), Star Wars (1977), The Sound of Music (1965), E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Ten Commandments (1956) …

“If you said they all made scads of money, bravo - they are the top twenty-five domestic box-office champions of all time (adjusted for inflation, of course). But consider another similarity: surprisingly few of them relied on established A-list movie stars … ‘Gone with the Wind’ had [Clark] Gable, yes. ‘The Sting’ had [Paul] Newman and [Robert] Redford. ‘The Godfather,’ [Marlon] Brando.

“As for most of the rest, they either featured no A-listers at all, or used them before they became bonafide movie stars. In fact, many of those pictures can take credit for sending now-famous actors into the celestial Hollywood firmament in the first place. ‘Gone With the Wind’ made Vivian Leigh known to the world. ‘The Ten Commandments’ did it for Charlton Heston. ‘The Graduate,’ Dustin Hoffman. ‘The Godfather,’ Al Pacino.”

- Leo Grin, writing on “Death of the Movie Star: Overpaid and Overrated,” on July 21 at the Andrew Breitbart site Big Hollywood