Grrr! Paris Will Get You Every Time

The Click Value of a Name | Sing, But Don't Tell Me Whom to Vote for | Your Grrrs

What's in a Name?

Paris Hilton will get you every time.

So will Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears and Howard Stern.

Whether you like any of the above-mentioned celebrities or not, their names in the headlines guarantee that you'll read those items. Why?

It's like the NBC Radio marketing character in Stern's "Private Parts" movie says, which was something to the effect of "the people who like Howard Stern listen to him for a certain amount of minutes just to see what he's going to say next, and the people who don't like him listen to him even more ... just to see what he's going to say next."

That's not the exact quote from the movie, but the idea's the same.

Ditto the click value of certain celebrities today. You may be sick and tired of seeing, hearing and reading about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, but if you like the couple, you'll read to find out what they're up to, and if you don't like the couple, you'll read just to get your blood boiling.

I'm so Grrr'd over J.K. Rowling's latest "Harry Potter" tome that I had to shut off the TV on Saturday morning. Every news show I tuned into had some anchor either dressed as a witch, or had a panel of Potter geeks sitting around telling us how far into the book they got since midnight, and how "wonderful" it is.

Well, good for them, but I don't have to watch it.

Just as I shut off the TV and Grrr'd the shows, there was a knock on my front door. The UPS man. Guess what he delivered to Mrs. Grrr? Yup, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

"Come out with your hands up. You're surrounded."

And while I may be surrounded by Harry Potter, we're all surrounded with popular culture and we love it. Remember when "Gigli" came out at the height of "Bennifer?" There was so much glee in the country when the movie tanked, I wrote a column about how silly we are as a group.

We giveth in the form of buying the tabloids, watching the "Entertainment Tonights" and clicking on the stories online -- and then we taketh away in the form of not going to see the movies. It's a strange dichotomy, no?

I wrote a column back then about how Bennifer would disappear and how another coupling would take their place, and lo and behold, Britney marries a serial sperm disseminator, and then along came TomKat.

Pop culture icons like Hilton and TomKat are nice distractions, whether we like them or not.

Sing, But Don't Tell Me Whom to Vote for

I caught John Mellencamp and John Fogerty on their summer tour, and let me tell you, they were awesome.

Fogerty was flawless playing most of his biggest Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, and I imagined Mellencamp was sweating backstage thinking his opening act was a killer.

Mellencamp didn't disappoint, however, and he came out and rocked the house with his inspiring lyrics and awesome showmanship.

He also showed tremendous respect for his audience, opening the show in a three button suit on a hot and sticky day, displaying a class and a maturity that many rock stars don't ever bother with.

It was refreshing to see how Mellencamp knows he's not the kid in the t-shirt and jeans anymore.

Last November, these two were pretty outspoken about their politics, and while freedom of speech is one of the benefits of our great country, when one makes his living by selling to both sides of the aisle, it might be better to keep one's politics to one's self.

That being said, there was very little talk about politics at this concert (although Mellencamp said that the lyrics for "Rain on the Scarecrow, Blood on the Plow were more prescient today), and a good time was had by all.

If you want to see a really good show, where not one synthesizer or backup track is in sight, then go see Mellencamp this summer.

But promise you won't tell me how to vote.

Your Grrrs

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on