If you don't watch 'Big Brother' on CBS, you're not missing anything. Every summer they trot this turkey out so we can watch hideous human beings compete for money while the cameras roll and host Julie Chen rolls her eyes.
This summer has been no exception. Normally, these people just expose their greed and stupidity. This is a group of people, after all, who in eight seasons have never cracked a book or discussed anything other than their appearances.
But two nights ago on CBS' overnight feed on Showtime Networks, a player named Amber Siyavus Tomcavage stirred things up. The 27-year-old Las Vegas cocktail waitress must have forgotten that the cameras were on when she — under her breath — had a long discourse with housemate Jameka about "the Jews." Her mother must be so proud.
The essence of Amber's complaint? That Jews she has met are "bad" people, and you could tell them by either their noses or their names.
Jameka, who professes to be a Christian, made no reaction to Amber's declaration. None of the footage has been shown on CBS' broadcast so far, but it's all over the Internet.
Amber's exact statement: "The majority of people I know from New York are Jewish, and the majority of Jewish people I know, my gosh, so many are so selfish. So weird. Even my sister always tells me, she's like my sister, and my mom will meet someone and I'll be like, 'I don't like that person. That person doesn't seem like a very good person to me,' and my mom and sister are like, 'You know why?' Why? 'They're Jewish.' How do you know? 'Amber you can tell by their last name, you can tell by their nose.' I'm like, 'Really?'"
There is at least one Jewish player in the house, Eric Stein, also 27, of New York. Stein was made "America's Player" when the game began — a secret unbeknownst to the other players — and should win barring any surprises. His main quality has been that he is the least offensive of the group.
And what a group they have been. There's a 44-year-old father who looks like Tommy Lee. His pretty, blond, undernourished 20-year-old estranged daughter is in the house as well. She had a thing with a 25-year-old hunky failed football player (since evicted) who also flirted with the other men and talked about having gay sex.
Only one half of another gay couple is left. They were actually former lovers, but not before we learned the now-evicted one gave the other an STD.
Is this America? No. These are people whose lives are so pathetic and desperate that they want to be on TV 24 hours a day.
In England, there's a whole channel devoted to "Big Brother" around the clock. Here, thankfully, it's only three hours a night.
Still, even giving this gang one hour is too much. They are empty souls, devoid of nearly anything remarkable other than their ability to cause revulsion.
P.S.: There was one exception to the awfulness of the types who have come and gone from "Big Brother" since it began stateside. Cassandra Waldon was on the first season back in 2000. Waldon still works, as she did then, for the United Nations. She is now a communications officer. How she got on "Big Brother" is anyone's guess. She was heads and tails above all her other housemates then. With this latest group, she would have needed an interpreter.
Warner Music Group ended the day with its stock at $9.89. On Aug. 8, 2006, the stock finished at $22.08. This is called perspective.
WMG — the M stands for Miscellaneous, Mismanagement or Muck — is a disaster. They can lay blame for their failure on "the decline of the record industry" or "the unanticipated rise in popularity of downloading," but let's face it: Other record companies are in business, and toughing it out.
Some are having great luck simply by concentrating on old-time music skills. Epic Records' Charlie Walk has had a summer home run with Sean Kingston, for example. New Line is selling a lot of copies of "Hairspray," an album that WMG rejected. A&M/Interscope has a steady seller in Amy Winehouse. It can be done.
Even Hollywood Records, the literal dog of the industry, has ferreted out a hit with the Plain White Ts hit single, "Delilah." It's the song of the summer, proving every dog has its day. Thanks to the Sirius Radio in my car, I have heard lots of fringe acts this summer — from Gomez to the Starting Line.
The problem is that nobody at WMG is really in the record business. They are in the hit-and-run business. By now, the executives have pulled their millions out of the company and fired as many staffers as they can get away with.
In all likelihood, Madonna — their marquee name — will leave when she can, for the greener pastures of a retail deal similar to Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell.
Meanwhile, it's fairly clear that WMG is indeed turning into a management and concert firm, with only viable CD sales in their catalog.
Edgar Bronfman Jr. has put his money into Irving Azoff's Front Line Management, Chris Lighty of Violator and now Bulldog Entertainment's luxury concerts. No new act would sign with WMG now, and the old standbys will probably give third and fourth thoughts to sticking around.
Julia Roberts has been out of the Hollywood fame game for some time now. She's been busy having a family. But Julia makes a comeback this fall in "Charlie Wilson's War" alongside Tom Hanks. And now I'm told that Vanity Fair has landed the Oscar-winner for a fall cover, either October or November. Bravo!
Jermajesty Jackson and his brother, Jaafar, are now in the middle of a legal fight between their father, Jermaine (Michael Jackson's brother) and their mother, Alejandra. The latter wants more money out of the former, based on the fact that his girlfriend is loaded.
I ran into Jermaine, the kids and his girlfriend a couple of weeks ago outside the Beverly Hills Hotel. She was driving a Bentley convertible. The kids didn't look unhappy. Alejandra, who was first married to Jermaine's brother, Randy, thinks the court should go after the girlfriend. Good luck!
Jermajesty and Jafaar are just two of Jermaine's six kids. Luckily, the mother of one pair, Margaret Maldonado, has a successful casting agency and requires no spousal support.