Why so sensitive?

Because we never miss an opportunity to make a reference to Heath Ledger, Warner Bros. announced that it is canceling the release of The Dark Knight in China, citing “cultural sensitivities.”

Well, we know that Chinese culture is totally cool with someone spying on their communications at all times, so that can’t be it. What about a Chinese national being one of the bad guys? Nah, they can’t be that sensitive. Maybe it’s because part of the movie takes place in Hong Kong, which just so happens to be within their borders, and the forcible kidnapping of said Chinese national from within China to the U.S.? Well, maybe, but the movie did well in Hong Kong.

Then maybe it’s because the movie features a woman in a powerful position. Yep, that’s the one.

Keeping an eye on ghoulish figures

Zombies! They claim they only want brains, but we know the truth. The “brrraaaaaaaaaaaaains” bit is an act; they’d rather have what’s in our pants.

And by that, we mean money. (What were you thinking?)

Forbes Magazine just listed this year’s top dead earners, 13 of which earned a combined $194 million dollars this past year.

Elvis was number one, of course, earning $52 million, presumably in velvet painting sales.

Charles Schulz was number two with $33 million, thanks to a huge back catalog of Snoopy merchandise (and the occasional other Peanuts character product).

And our old buddy, Heath Ledger — a zombie finance newbie (a z00mbie) — had an impressive $20 million year, grabbing the undead celebrity bronze.

Honorable mentions include Albert Einstein, Aaron Spelling, Dr. Seuss, John Lennon (who didn’t care about possessions until zombification), Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman (another z00mbie), James Dean and Marvin Gaye.

Tupac Shakur failed to make this year’s issue because, as Dr. Snee explained, that’s how iron lungs work.

You Missed It: Eights are wild edition

It’s Friday. More than that, it’s an 8/8/08 Friday. Does that mean something special to you? It should, because it’s the last time we are going to see all three date categories matching up until 9/9/09, and we all know that is way too far in the future to comprehend. Anyway, if you were busy airing fake political ads this week, odds are you missed it.

Lucius Fox will not drive the Batmobile anytime soon
Actor Morgan Freeman and his wife’s friend were involved in a car accident in Mississippi. Reportedly, Freeman was driving at night and the car left the road, flipping into a ditch. He had surgery and was released, but it turns out he and his wife are getting divorced. It just so happens Freeman has been rumored to have a mistress that was one of his wife’s friends. Draw your own conclusions on the cause of the accident, if you know what we mean. Freeman’s accident is the latest in a series of mishaps and tragedies that have befallen the cast of The Dark Knight. First Heath Ledger’s death, then Christian Bale’s assault charges, then Maggie Gyllenhaal’s droopy face.

The Olympics are seeing red
Today marks the first day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This means that we can expect a great deal of sports coverage on television for the next couple weeks. Security is said to be very tight at the event, so that means all the athletes have to worry about is smog, SARS and possible jail time for even saying the word “Tibet.”

Georgia on Russia’s mind
In a military operation totally not planned to happen the same day as the beginning of the Olympics, because that would just too conveniently take the world’s eye off the ball for a little while, Russia has invaded Georgia, making it the first time since General William T. Sherman in 1864 that an invading force has–wait, I’m being told there is more than one Georgia. Apparently there is one in Asia, too. Russia says next it will invade New Jersey, the one in Asia.

Packers send Favre packing
Brett Favre (pronounced FAV-ree) has been traded by the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets this week after being reinstated in the NFL and a drama that has been going on since the end of last season and Favre’s (supposed) retirement. Favre is clearly going through the classic mid-life crisis, where a man looks around at his life, at his NFL records, his Super Bowl rings and his piles of money and asks himself “Is this really all there is?”

MasterSchools Theater: ‘The Dark Knight’

NOTE: Chugs is too cool for school this week, so Schools is filling in.

Yeah, we get it.

You’re cool, hip, deep and brooding. You’ve gone to see the new Batman flick for all the right reasons. You read the comics, still revere Michael Keaton as the best, and in noooooooooooo way let Heath Ledger’s death influence you on your own personal opinion of the film.

Bravo. Now on to the real results. Continue reading MasterSchools Theater: ‘The Dark Knight’

Great Ledger’s ghost!*

The ghost of Heath Ledger still refuses to move on.

While alive, he lingered around, making us watch horrible movies like 10 Things I Hate About You with our girlfriends (or A Knight’s Tale with our boyfriends).

In death, he haunted the Internet through creepy necrophiliac fans. Then he nightstalked his ex-girlfriend. (Sorry, Heath. If marriage ends at death, then dating ends at the pill coma.)

Now, he’s angling for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance as ICP in The Dark Knight. Look, it’s bad enough that Hollywood is dangling his reanimated corpse in front of us this summer, but rewarding zombie labor? They’re stealing our jobs (and accolades)!

*Bonus Headline:

The McBournie Minute: Passing of a legend

By now, many of you have probably heard the sad news this morning that George Carlin died yesterday. I know you are thinking I should not care about celebrity deaths, but it would be a major faux pas on this blog’s part if there was not some mention or tribute paid to Carlin, though he himself would probably tell you he doesn’t deserve it–not because he was modest, but because he is made from the same diseased, festering piles of humanity that the rest of us are. Even so, when the someone like Carlin passes away, the comedic world is shaken to its core.

I remember when I saw him perform in Burlington, Vermont several years ago. Not being a big town, Carlin used the performance, as many comedians do, to try out new material and figure out what works. I was amazed at how this man, then in his late 60s, was so full of energy, almost to the point of hyperactivity. Here was a man I had grown to admire as I was exposed more and more to him in my high school days. My parents, who were sitting right next to me, had grown up listening to his edgy comedy. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Passing of a legend

Heath Ledger will haunt you–literally

In breaking news, Heath Ledger is still dead.

From what it looks like at this point, he won’t be coming out retirement to make any new movies in the near future. However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been making a few cameos since parting this mortal coil. Ledger has apparently been haunting former fiancee Venus Michelle Williams.

Williams, who asserts she is not just plain honey roasted nuts, said Ledger has visited her, apparently in a new role as a “shadowy figure.” No word yet as to whether the couple have made pottery together.

Maybe if you had gone to see his movies, you would get a personal visit, too.

(Thanks Rick)

The McBournie Minute: Heath Ledger’s death is not important

Last Tuesday, actor Heath Ledger died an untimely death. That night, I saw my friends’ reactions expressed in their away messages on AIM. Most had some kind of message expressing his or her sadness at hearing of Ledger’s passing. I took the time to leave my own away message expressing my thoughts on the day’s news.

I don’t care.

It’s not that I am glad he passed or anything, I just don’t have feelings one way or the other about it. This came as a shock to a few people. They said I was insensitive to say such a thing. After all, the man had died only a matter of hours earlier, his body was scarcely cold and I refused to show humanity. But still, I don’t care about Heath Ledger’s death. Why should I? His life had little effect on me.

Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Heath Ledger’s death is not important