April 9, 2010
By Todd Hirsch
Alberta Business Columnist
CALGARY, AB, Apr. 9, 2010/ Troy Media/ — No one reads economic news, and who can blame them? It’s often boring and full of jargon no one understands. Yet people are voracious readers of the Hollywood gossip columns. Can the lives of celebrities really be that much more interesting than stories of interest rates, currency markets and public finance?
What if the stars of the economic pages were gossiped about as if they were stars of TV, music and film? It might read like this:
Hip-hop artist Mark Carney, the lead rapper of Bank-O-Canada, says he and his band are nearing the end of their current Rock Bottom Rates tour. The band’s 2009 CD of the same name was critically acclaimed, and fans have been packing stadiums since the tour began in September of last year. “The tour’s been great,” says Carney, “But we’ve got to move on with the times.” He wouldn’t say for sure when the tour would end, but did say “We’ve committed to our fans to keep touring until at least the summer. But that’s a conditional commitment.” The rappers’ new album, reportedly titled The Crisis is Over, is expected in July. Or maybe June.
Across the pond, a skirmish has broken out on the set of the hit TV series Desperate Eurowives. The starlets of the show are apparently having a hard time getting along. Long-time show star Germany is angry and frustrated at Greece, a relatively new cast member. “First of all, she lied to get on the show,” charges Germany. “She’s not really that thin. She wore a girdle to the audition.” Greece stormed back to that allegation, “OK, I’ve got an eating disorder. So what? Maybe Germany could be more supportive and help pay for a personal trainer.” Germany threatened to have Greece kicked off the show, according to insiders.
And the battle of the bulge didn’t end with the Europeans. Daytime soap star Ontario is rumored to be in talks with the producers of reality show The Biggest Fiscal Loser. Ontario, who has packed on an amazing 21.3 billion pounds in th e last season, says he feels awful. “I just can’t stop eating,” he sobbed to reporters. “And I hate exercise. It’s too taxing.” The star refused to elaborate on how, exactly, he plans on losing the weight, but insisted that he’ll be back in shape soon. In the mean time, he’s been spotted around town wearing a lot of green, a very fashionable color this year. But fashion experts are mixed in their reviews. “Green is a bit tough to pull off. It’s not as slimming as people think,” says one stylist.
Former fashion super-model Alberta is doing well, according to close friends. The runway star was admitted to rehab in 2008 on addictions to hydro-carbons. “It was just the saddest thing to see,” said one of her close friends who did not want to be identified. “She had it all – fame, fortune, and the look.” But in July 2008, Alberta collapsed while on a photo shoot. The street drug commonly called oil, also known as Black Gold, had long been keeping Alberta going on those strenuous tours and demanding photo sessions. But having spent most of 2009 in rehab, Alberta is reportedly ready to work again. “She’s feeling much, much better,” says a spokesperson for the model. But friends still worry, adding “She certainly looks better, but I think she’s doing oil again.”
Seedy bars and casinos
Getting a Grammy nod this month was Canada’s very own Loonie. The singer-songwriter has already had a long career, but he was always known for playing seedy bars and casinos, particularly ones in the basement. “He’s horrible,” slammed one Wall Street Journal critic a decade ago. But now, the artist has turned heads around the world. “Whoa! Where’d that come from,” gushed the foreign press. “We’ve been looking for a new sound, and Loonie has it going on. He’s at least as good as anything coming out of the States these days.” His newest single, Commodities, went straight to #1, a strong follow-up to his 2009 break-out hit How Da Ya Like My Banks?
Finally, movie celebrity China was spotted on the red carpet this week. The reclusive star is promoting her new movie Restraint, where she plays a rags-to-riches celebrity trying to adjust to her new found wealth and fame. So far, critics are mixed in their reviews. The American press was particularly vicious, saying the film’s story is contrived and not believable. Controversy has also swirled around China lately because of her willingness to work for next to nothing. Other movie stars, particularly American ones, would like to see her fees rise. “How can we compete with her when she’s working practically for free?” blasted one US star on her blog.
Channels: The Prince Albert Daily News, April 16, the Slave Lake Lakeside Leader, April 21, the Montreal Gazette, May 13, 2010