Acting with James Franco
In Spring Breakers, James Franco has made the role of a lifetime: Alien, a gangsta white-boy townie from Florida who seduces (and in turn gets seduced by) the trio of bubble-gum co-eds turned criminals played by Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and director Harmony Korine’s wife, Rachel Korine. He’s a creepy, status-obsessed wannabe, but Franco managed to take inspiration from outside of himself anyway.
Since the beginning, rapper Riff Raff has been promoting the film, saying the Franco character was based on him. And the similarities are evident: the gold grill, the dreadlocks, the fact that one of his albums was called The Golden Alien and he and Korine appeared on a Sneeze magazine’s cover together.
All was kosher. That is, until James Franco got upset over the idea that his performance could have been done by the From Gs to Gents contestant himself.
Does it seem super convienent that the day after North Korea started letting its citizens use 3G wireless to tweet and send pictures to each other (that’s what wireless is for, right? God, wait till they find out about Facebook!), Dennis Rodman announced that he had become besties with Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader whose government had invited the Worm and members of the Harlem Globetrotters to shoot a VICE TV show about “basketball diplomacy.” Sure. Is it weird that Rodman is suddenly claiming to be friends with the dictator? Maybe, but come on, the guy’s always found weird partners. Remember that time he dated Madonna?
How do you sell a $24.5 million Upper East Side townhouse? Try starting with a lawsuit, asking too much, churning through brokers, dropping the price, then pulling the property off the market. But hey, it worked! The Albert Ellis Institute has found a buyer!
As far as sales techniques go, the Albert Ellis Institute’s methods could be described as erratic, eccentric, maybe even distraught. And as with so many other troubled children, the psychotherapy training institute’s real estate problems can be traced back to its father figure, Albert Ellis, who both founded the Institute and donated his townhouse at 45 East 65th Street to it. While the acquisition of the house remains a matter of some dispute, its disposition became a matter of even more controversy when Ellis tried to take the property back to help cover his late-in-life medical expenses. After a lengthy legal battle that spanned the last years of Mr. Ellis’s life and a few years after his death, his estate and the Institute settled amicably, and the Institute listed the townhouse for $29 million.
IP Uh Oh
Rumors of Andrew Mason’s imminent demise as Groupon CEO started swirling back in November, but the bubble officially burst today following Groupon’s “disastrous” financial report.
Yesterday, in response to question about how the numbers would affect Mr. Mason, Groupon spokesperson Paul Taaffee told Bloomberg, “He’s here today.” He was speaking literally.
Groupon just announced that Mr. Mason is being replaced. The company has named a “newly created Office of the Chief Executive,” led by executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis, who will “serve in this role on an interim basis.”
With the $85 billion in automatic so-called “sequester” budget cuts set to take affect tomorrow, the National Republican Congressional Committee has released a series of press releases blaming the situation on President Barack Obama’s fondness for “martian menus” and “robotic squirrels.” According to the NRCC, President Obama and House Democrats are more interested in funding wasteful programs and “scaring American families” than protecting the country from the impending, drastic cuts, so they highlighted a series of initiatives, including plans to develop food for astronauts and funding for a “Robosquirrel” used to research rattlesnake behavior. Several versions of the NRCC statement were released pairing President Barack Obama with different Democratic members of Congress.
“Most Americans will never get to order off the ‘Mars Menu’ that their taxpayer dollars are funding, but instead of cutting wasteful programs like that one, President Obama and Jim Himes are allowing cuts to important programs and services,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in the statement targeting Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes. “Rather than trying to scare Americans, Obama and Himes should agree to responsible cuts to wasteful Washington spending.”
Obviously every marketer in America fantasizes about their every video advertisement going wildly viral. But hey, why not skip a step and just cast someone who’s already Internet famous? That seems to be the thinking behind the appearance of Sweet “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That” Brown in a new ad for the startup WePay, as Business Insider reports.
XXX in Tech
When you hear of someone who has an AOL email address, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? A dad? Someone who still uses dialup? A TechCrunch employee? Now you can add “strip club aficionado” to your stereotypes of AOL email users, at least according to a new study by the British event planning group Chillisauce.
Angelina “Trash Bags” Pivarnick, the Jersey Shore cast member who left the show in the first season after only three episodes, wants a second chance at the spotlight. On Monday, Ms. Pivarnick launched a Kickstarter page called “The Comeback,” which aims to raise $8,000 to help her get her own reality show called–yes–The Comeback.
Rock You Like a Hurricane
Congressman Pete King was not pleased with his fellow Republicans who opposed the federal Hurricane Sandy relief package. Accordingly, Mr. King told us he was shocked to learn that Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who’s widely seen as a potential 2016 presidential contender, has been raising cash on Wall Street after voting against the Sandy bill.
“Being from New York we’re not supposed to be suckers,” Mr. King told Politicker this morning. “It’s bad enough that these guys voted against it, that’s inexcusable enough. But to have the balls to come in and say, ‘We screwed you now make us president?’”
Take a minute to process the illustration below, which is the cover of this week’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek.
Got it? Four African Americans, it appears, in various absurd stereotypical poses. The son is zoned out, wearing headphones, feeding a dog a bowl full of money; the daughter has an angry look, a weird Read More