* Whiskey Rebellion tonight at the iO Theater (next to Wrigley Field). 8 p.m. Tickets: $12. Attendance: Mandatory.
* Aretha Franklin was not happy with her inaugural performance. But she WAS happy with her hat? That bow is being recruited by the Secret Service for doing such a good job blocking the President. I hear Aretha is a total diva. When she does concerts, she demands a certain air temperature and humidity. You look at her interview here and she blames the cold for her performance. This sounds like a whiny “American Idol” contestant after a failed audition. Also, she now looks vaguely like a walrus. Great voice wrapped up in a crazy package.
* After totally blowing the inaugural oath, Chief Justice John Roberts got a do-over in the Oval Office. Kinda makes you wonder what else the Supreme Court is going to decide to re-do. I hear Ruth Bader Ginsberg is notorious for ordering a meal and changing her mind right when the plate arrives.
* Arch Nemesis Producer Jim brought pizza into the newsroom to share with Highlander Producer Carol and me. Fattening us up for the kill? Must investigate further…
* The FBI kept a file on George Carlin that called him an “alleged comedian.” Which makes me think of the FBI as an alleged law enforcement organization.
* The Labrador Retriever is the most popular pure-bred dog in the United States for the 18th consecutive year. The least popular? The Illinois Blago Hound.
* 80% of people to lose their jobs over the last year were men. ‘Cause if your job is looking pretty and being pregnant, it’s hard to get fired, right ladies? (Upon typing this line, the sound of a thousand high heels being whipped at my head became a deafening roar… until I was rightfully clobbered for such a backward, sexist remark.)
* Uhhhh… gotta make up for that last bit. Here we go: Young women are best at spotting cute babies. And I’m best at helping young women make them. (Why? Why can’t I be a gentleman? Bad Ben. Bad.)
* Legal gay marriage means polygamy should be legal, too, right? Good luck with that case, goofy Canadian lawyer guy.
* “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” has been rightly nominated for a Razzie. I kinda slammed it in my scripts today and Rob and Zoraida got all huffy. Apparently they liked it.
I love Indiana Jones, but the last movie was a travesty. Even the dreadful “Temple of Doom” had a few cool moments. In “Crystal Skull,” our beloved curmudgeon becomes all soft. Instead of fighting with Marion, he acts all lovey-dovey toward her. And instead of searching for ancient relics, he ends up discovering aliens. The supporting characters were lame, the action sequences were forgettable and no one named “Shia” can pull off a tough character. I don’t think I have any desire to see that movie ever again. But Rob & Z liked it? Even that stupid, stupid ending? Even Indy letting an obvious backstabber hang around him for so long? Even John Hurt’s unnecessary character? Even ALIENS IN AN INDIANA JONES MOVIE? Ugh.
* Cleaner air has added 5 months to our lifespan. Unfortunately, that’s five months at the end of your life, and you’ll spend it staring out the window of your nursing home, wondering why your kids never call.
* Time and Newsweek are falling apart. “Morale in both shops has been devastated as staffers complain about a blurred identity, lack of direction, management snafus and outsourcing to big-name writers that has left them wondering if reporters still have much of a role.” Expect more of the same across the journalistic spectrum. The same changes that gutted morale at WNBC in New York will soon be coming to Chicago. Since when did storytelling become such a money loser? (This from the man who writes a blog for free.)
* When you hear the words “urinary infection,” you usually don’t expect that to be surrounded by phrases like “beauty queen” and “hands and feet amputated.” I’d expect there to be a greater likelihood of the phrase “horse ninja” before words like those.
* Britain’s Daily Mail wonders if we’re going to see a baby boom in nine months from all the Obama supporters gettin’ it on. Sounds like I’ve got a new pickup line. “Hey there, Gorgeous. Wanna make an Obama baby?”
* More British people died on the Titanic because they didn’t push and shove like the Americans. Except that one British chick who hogged the floating door and let her American lover freeze to death. Nice goin’, Rose.