BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Big Story

Good morning.

The most important story today --

"Two US 'defense contractors' killed in Iraq?"


"1,514 soldiers down since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom?"


"Gas up to $2.50 in Los Angeles?"


Mario Vazquez Drops Out of 'American Idol'

Oh, God, please help me, no!
LOS ANGELES - "American Idol" finalist Mario Vazquez, citing "personal issues," withdrew from the talent competition Sunday, and producers of the Fox show called in the son of a baseball Hall of Famer as backup.

Fox bumped Nikko Smith, the son of baseball great Ozzie Smith, into Vazquez's spot because Smith got more votes than Travis Tucker when both were voted off Wednesday, the network said.

Vazquez, 27, had been picked by many fans and three fellow finalists as a favorite to win the competition.

He told TV Guide's Web site that he dropped out to "take care of some personal issues with my family in New York. And with `Idol' being a live show, it just wouldn't have worked out schedule-wise."
Wow. Dude busts out with the "I have to spend more time with my family" excuse.

An excuse often used by politicians, corporate fat-cats and pro-athletes after they've been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Because you'd never hear them say --
"Uh, I'm retiring today because, uh, my wife is threatening to sue me for divorce because she just found out about my, uh, 'relationship' with Miss November."
However, rumors on-line suggest that Vazquez took-off because did not want to be tied to the exclusive contract these kids have to sign with Simon Fuller, the show's creator and Exec Prod.

From an article on, Jan. 21, 2004:
As creator of the "American Idol" franchise, Fuller manages every aspect of the careers of Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson and all other instant "Idol" celebrities.

But Fuller earns far more than the typical 15 to 20 percent that most managers keep from their clients' gross earnings. As the "American Idol" phenomenon begins its third season Monday on Fox, Fuller's franchise is raising questions about exploitation and the price of fame.

Fuller says that as the primary imaginative force behind these artists, and the one with the connections to transform Clarkson from struggling Texas waitress to pop diva, he deserves a larger percentage of their earnings.

In an interview last summer, he described many of his "Idol" relationships as "partnerships" in which he receives from 25 to 50 percent of all earnings. The Sunday Times of London estimated that Fuller earned about $44 million in 2002 and $60 million in 2003.

Fuller's company, 19 Entertainment, oversees not just the recording deal for "American Idol" stars, but also controls merchandising, touring, sponsorship and movie deals."
A good gig if you can get it.

Moving case you forgot --

Apparently, Osama Bin Laden wanted the head of --

"Don Rumsfeld?"


"Colin Powell?"


"Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas?"


Osama Bin Laden wanted the head of --

Russell Crowe.

"Get over!"
"Crowe Says al-Qaida Wanted to Kidnap Him"

By Associated Press
Published March 9, 2005, 9:51 AM CST

SYDNEY, Australia -- Russell Crowe says Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network wanted to kidnap him as part of a "cultural destabilization plot," according to an Australian magazine.

In an interview published in the March edition of Australia's GQ magazine, Crowe said FBI agents told him of the threat in 2001, in the months before he won a best actor Oscar for his role as Maximus in "Gladiator."

"That was the first (time) I'd ever heard the phrase 'al-Qaida,'" Crowe said. "It was about -- and here's another little touch of irony -- taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as sort of a cultural destabilization plot," he added.



Makes me think.

We need to take a look at some, uh, recent deaths in H'town.

Carson. Dangerfield. Bob Hope. (He's dead, right?)

"Natural causes?"


"Hey, it makes sense to me. I've been feelin' culturally destabilized since Johnny passed away."

"Me, too."

Same here.



OSAMA BIN LADEN is sitting at the head of a giant conference table; he is surrounded by a number of aides and body-guards. The camera pans around this "war room," revealing a bunker filled with computers, guns and hi-tech equipment. We can also see a massive wall of monitors and televisions running popular American programs (Friends, Oprah, Simpsons, etc).

A young SOLDIER approaches Bin Laden and hands the Al-Qaeda leader a large folder.

SOLDIER - We have a bead on the Australian pig dog.

BIN LADEN - This news pleases my left ear. Allah be praised. Where he be?

SOLDIER - He's eating at the Ivy. (Dramatic pause) With target twenty-seven.

BIN LADEN - Kidman? You're kidding! I thought they broke up.

SOLDIER - So did we.

BIN LADEN - Wow. (Pause) She still into Scientology?

SOLDIER - Dunno. We haven't been able to crack that nut.

BIN LADEN - Yeah, they keep a really tight grip on their info.

Bin Laden pauses and takes a massive drag on his unfiltered cigarette. Then...

BIN LADEN - Fuck it. I like her. "Stepford Wives?" Totally underrated. The Gladiator gets a pass. For now.

Bin Laden thumbs through the folder.

BIN LADEN - What else ya got? You know, for Operation Cultural Destabilization?

SOLDIER - Lessee. (reading) Ashley Judd, Ethan Hawke, The Rock. (then, indicating) Here's one. Johnny Carson.

BIN LADEN - Ooh, that's a good one! Spans across a couple of generations. People will totally bum out.

SOLDIER - And, we can make it look like Johnny died of "natural causes."

BIN LADEN - Me likey. (Then) Well, what are you waiting for? Hop to it, soldier!

The soldier salutes Bin Laden and sprints away. Bin Laden takes another drag of his cigarette and we...



Two AL-QAEDA TYPES drag their raft out of the Pacific Ocean and onto a deserted beach...

More later...

More later...


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