Does History Repeat Itself?

Ben Affleck with Oscar for Argo at Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2013

Ben Affleck’s win for Best Picture this past Sunday got me thinking about the last time he won, with Matt Damon, for Best Original Screenplay in 1998 for ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Their acceptance speech was exciting to watch since they spoke over each words, but most of all they really showed how surprised, humbled and happy they were for their win. It wasn’t rehearsed, but it did nicely fit within their allotted 45 seconds.
I mention this because it got me thinking about what I was doing 15 years ago. Which when I was younger, seemed so far away – 15 years – but now, not so much.
Let’s see – first off – I was still in college. I had one more semester to go to get my journalism degree – and then of course, I decided to stay another year-and-a-half and get another bachelor’s degree in theatre.
I had just turned 22 a few months earlier and could enjoy alcoholic drinks to my heart’s content – legally.
It was also about six months since Princess Diana died in Paris.
I started to do some research and see what other memorable events happened 15 years ago:
• All California bars, clubs and card rooms became smoke-free.
• The U.S. population grows to 268 million+.
• Then President Clinton says, “I want to say one thing to the American people I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Impeachment hearings start.
• A federal judge gives “Unabomber” Ted Kacynski four life sentences and Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison.
• The last episode of Seinfeld airs.
• And – Google is founded by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Now, 15 years later we have Capitol Hill hearings on Libya and a shooter who killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Apple becomes the world’s biggest company while Google stock hits $800, Facebook has over 1 billion users and the last episode of 30 Rock airs.
Almost like 1998 huh?

Stone Temple Pilots Fire Singer Scott Weiland


The Stone Temple Pilots have fired singer Scott Weiland.
In a one-sentence news release Wednesday, publicist Kymm Britton said: “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland.” No other information was provided.
The band’s 1992 debut, “Core,” has sold more than 8 million units in the United States. Their hits include “Vasoline,” “Interstate Love Song” and “Plush,” which won a Grammy in 1993 for best hard rock performance with vocal.
Weiland was also in the supergroup Velvet Revolver with Slash and other musicians. The 45-year-old has dealt with drug addiction, run-ins with the law and two failed marriages. He released his memoir, “Not Dead & Not for Sale,” in 2011.
Weiland said in a statement that he learned of the separation in the media.
He added: “Not sure how I can be “terminated” from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits.”
Weiland said he looks forward to seeing his fans on a solo tour starting “this Friday.”
The Stone Temple Pilots’ latest album is their self-titled 2010 release. (AP)

MacFarlane: No Way I’ll Do That Again!


Seth MacFarlane is a man of his word. He said before he hosted the Oscars that he’d only do it once. And now, he tweets that there’s “no way” he’ll return as host. He did say it was a lot of fun to do.

Television Ratings Up for Oscars, to 40.3M People

Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz

The Oscars telecast was seen by 40.3 million people, a slight increase over last year’s show.
The Nielsen Company said Monday it was the most-watched Oscars telecast in three years. Last year’s show, when “The Artist” won best picture, had an audience of 39.3 million people. After bringing in “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane as host this year, ABC saw an 11% ratings boost over 2012 among viewers ages 18 to 49 years old.
The Academy Awards exceeded 40 million viewers four times in the previous 10 years.
The Oscars regained its traditional status as most-watched awards show, after the Grammy Awards topped it last year. (AP)

The Onion Apologizes for Offensive Actress Tweet


The Onion is apologizing for calling the 9-year-old star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” a vulgar and offensive name on Twitter.
The satirical newspaper on Sunday referred Quvenzhane Wallis with an expletive intended to denigrate women. The Onion was lambasted overnight, and asked for forgiveness on Monday.
CEO Steve Hannah wrote: “It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.”
Hannah said the offensive tweet was taken down in an hour and the newspaper has “instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures” to ensure it will not happen again.
He said those responsible would be disciplined.
Said Hannah: “Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.” (AP)

Americans Spent Over $53 Billion on Pets Last Year


The economy may have remained sluggish last year but Americans refused to scrimp on their pets, with animal lovers spending upwards of $53 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other services in 2012.
That’s up 5% from 2011, when spending first broke the $50 billion barrier, says the American Pet Products Association, a trade group based in Greenwich, Conn. And APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere predicts another 4% gain this year.
At about $34.3 billion, food and vet care represented about two-thirds of total spending, with money spent on supplies and over-the-counter medications rising by more than 7%. Spending on the growing market of alternative vet care, such as acupuncture, totaled about $12.5 billion.
Vetere says spending on services like grooming, boarding, hotels and pet-sitting grew nearly 10% during 2012 to almost $4.4 billion. (AP)

‘Les Miserables’ Musical Broadway-Bound

Someone is dreaming the dream: “Les Miserables” is coming back to Broadway.
Producer Cameron Mackintosh said Monday that the national tour of the epic musical about life in 19th-century France will make a stop on Broadway in March 2014 at a Shubert theater.
The move comes on the heels of the Oscar-nominated big screen adaptation directed by Tom Hooper and starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
It will mark the third time the show has made it to Broadway. The original landed in 1987 and played 6,680 performances, ranking as the third-longest-running musical in Broadway history. A revival was mounted in 2006 but closed in 2008.
The national tour, currently in South Carolina, began in November 2010 and has played 64 cities throughout North America.
Online: (AP)