THIS WEEK: Mar 20 – Mar 26, 2011
OMG: As far as I’m concerned, the Oxford English Dictionary is the English language Bible. Forget Websters or Dictionary.com—the OED is the only way to go. Which is why I’m a bit shamefaced to say that the online abbreviation OMG (short for “oh my God”) has now been added to this greatest of dictionaries. So too has LOL and IMHO. On first hearing the news, my immediate response was to bemoan the state of the modern world—oh, how far we’ve fallen, I thought. But then I remembered that I’m balding, which means I’m old. Which is a very roundabout way of saying that I’m out of touch. But you know what? I can live with that. OMG, indeed. Jesus wept.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR: By now you’ve heard the news of the passing of Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor. The 79 year-old died on Wednesday of congestive heart failure, and will be greatly missed by family, friends, and fans. Personally, the news struck a particularly strange nerve, as I was more unsettled than upset. Taylor, who is best known for starring in such films as Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, shot her best work well before I was born (in 1984, for those of you taking notes). As such, she has always been more of a legend than a mere movie star. When her name arose during my lifetime, it was often in the tabloids, though her acclaimed past was never far from view. For me, she has always been the personification of Hollywood—glamour, scandal, and—at the best of times—artistry. But now that she’s gone, so too is my image of classic tinsel town. Small beans, perhaps, but felt nonetheless.
IT GETS BETTER: Have you heard about the It Gets Better project? Author Dan Savage started the campaign (via an online video website) in hopes of preventing suicide amongst GLBT youth who were bullied for being (or suspected of being) gay. The site (and campaign) has become quite popular, what with over 6,000 video entries posted by celebrities and common folk alike—and all of them with the same message: it gets better. But now comes It Gets Better, the book, with essays from David Sedaris, Ellen DeGeneres, and even President Barack Obama (click here for more info). As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Savage deserves a mighty good pat on the back, and I hope his message will reach those who need to hear it most. After all, he’s right.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2: That’s right—even though The Amazing Spider-Man won’t make it to the big screen until summer 2012, screenwriter James Vanderbilt has been given the thumbs up by Columbia Pictures to start writing the sequel (click here for the full story). The first movie, which won’t even finish filming until next month, is directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and stars Andrew Garfield (The Social Network). It seems like Columbia is getting ahead of itself, though—I must admit—they do have some real talent on both sides of the camera. Still, I’d wish they’d wait to see how well the first movie does before ordering another. Common sense would dictate that that would be the wiser decision. Then again, common sense would also dictate that a man bitten by a radioactive spider wouldn’t gain incredible super powers; no, he’d just die.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Ching Chong! Asians in the Library Song
Did you see that YouTube vlog from UCLA student Alexandra Wallace? You know, the one where she complains about Asians and their bad manners, especially when in the library (If you haven’t seen it, be sure to watch it before clicking the video below). In any event, Ms. Wallace received a lot of heat for that vlog, and deservedly so—her rant was ignorant, insensitive, and bordering on racist. Many people responded to her, but nobody responded with as much originality and…well melody as this fella did.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.