In Which Mandy Moore Redeems Herself For “trite, blah pop music” Though She Already Had Done So in 'Saved'

I was a Mandy Moore fan from the time she screamed that she was full of Christ’s love and beaned a chick with a Bible. So the admission in the third to last graf in rather moot. But it’s certainly interesting.

Mandy Moore: I struggled with depression

NEW YORK – Mandy Moore has a lot going for her, including a starring role opposite Diane Keaton in the upcoming comedy “Because I Said So.” Even so, she says she’s grappled with depression.

“A few months ago I felt really low, really sad. Depressed for no reason,” the 22-year-old actress-singer says in an interview in the February issue of Jane magazine, on newsstands Tuesday.

“I’m a very positive person, and I’ve always been glass-half-full,” she continues. “So it was like someone flipped a switch in me. I wanted to figure out why.”

Moore, newly single after high-profile relationships with actor Zach Braff and tennis standout Andy Roddick, says her recent split with Braff didn’t help matters.

“The breakup added to what I was going through, but it’s not the complete reason,” she tells the magazine. “It definitely doesn’t help if you’re already in that place … .”

Moore, who is working on a new record at a studio in Woodstock, N.Y., and feeling better for doing it, says writing songs “away from friends in L.A. or New York” is good for the soul.

“Writing has been really therapeutic,” she says of her music. “These little nuggets that have come up over the past eight months have made me look at things in a different way.”

Moore started out as a squeaky-clean teen singer and later crossed over into movies with featured roles in such films as “A Walk to Remember,” “Saved” and “American Dreamz.”

“I feel bad that people wasted their money on such trite, blah pop music,” says Moore about her earlier music.

Moore has been looking inward a lot of late.

“I’ve been going through this really crazy time in my life it’s what I imagine people fresh out of college go through,” she says. “I’m asking myself life-altering questions, like `Who am I? Where do I fit in this world? What am I doing, what do I want to do? Am I living to my full potential?'”

Say Hello To My Little Friend

A few random comments regarding some popular culture, um, thingies.

Jesscita and I watched Scarface, both for the furst time last weekend. We have been trying to expand our basic background expertise in the realm of popular culture by renting those entirely quotable movies, the ones you sort of have to have seen to actually understand The Simpsons. We didn’t like it, not much, but I have to admit, it does stick. She and I decided that it has the world’s most twisted montage evar, and that it wasn’t very nice of that man to chainsaw that other guy’s head, and that the music was wretched, and that the film never really gives you a chance to actually root for Tony Montana, you go from a mild aversion to really hating this sadistic, wacked-out bastard. We concluded that it must have been a really powerful film when it was released…something that Ebert—who apparently LOVED Scarface—confirms in his review.

In other news, I’m watching Idol now. Yes, I know. I’ve eschewed this idiotic show—until now, but…sweet holy crap, Ottawa, Kansas, REPRESENT! Am also watching the White Rapper Show due to its excellent host, MC “Back To The Grill Again” Serch. Propah.

Helen A.S. Popkin Gets It

Stolen from msnbc.msn.com:

Howard Sterns Sirius question is answered
Whether radio is worth around 43 cents a day was resolutely answered on Sept. 21, 2006, 256 days after “The Howard Stern Show” made its move to subscription-based Sirius Satellite Radio. Thats the day the show’s comedy writer/sidekick Artie Lange copped to snorting smack.

Langes spontaneous heroin admission wasnt the most shocking or outrageous event on The Howard Stern Show since its Jan. 9, 2006, Sirius premiere. Out of range from the Federal Communication Commissions jurisdiction, the Stern Show is now free from the astronomical indecency fines that haunted its last years on terrestrial radio. Puerile and sexually charged bits now rock the content with impunity.

During the first Sirius year, comedy writer Richard Christy had his genitals waxed on air, his howls and shrieks delighting the Stern cast and audience. Porn star Jenna Jameson inaugurated the in-studio Sybian, a saddle-like sex toy since utilized by many female guests including Blue Iris, a geriatric sex star in her own right. And Stern Show wack packers Crazy Alice and Elegant Elliot Offen phoned in their weekly football picks, spewing expletives and insults with every call.

Compared to such antics, Langes confession is tame. His substance abuse problems were never a secret. Hilarious anecdotes such as scoring cocaine in full pig makeup while on the cast of Foxs MadTV, or his accidental hookup with a prostitute, are Stern Show staples, repeatedly referenced since Lange replaced Jackie Martling on Sterns cast in 2001. But Langes confession to recent heroin use while in Sterns employ, seemingly a surprise to even Stern, was different.

Very little is sacred on The Howard Stern Show. Every in-house conflict or personal issue warrants full audience disclosure. No doubt many that followed Stern to Sirius are there for Jameson and her peers or the in-depth discussions on bodily functions. But to echo pretty much every highfalutin Stern proponent ever its this intangible community that makes the Stern Show great. Its what copycat shock jocks cant duplicate. Allowed to bloom beyond terrestrial confines, The Howard Stern Show is arguably the best radio on the airwaves and possibly the best its ever been.

Radio revelation
Lange’s slip comes during a segment in which three homeless men compete for the saddest life story. The winner gets a lap dance from a couple of strippers. Its a fairly standard bit. Stern and cast question the contestants. Lange is particularly empathetic to a 21-year-old heroin addict. The kids got a $120-a-day habit. On occasion, the kid has turned to prostitution. His parents have given up on him and hes very worried about his future.

Lange asks if the kid has tried Subutext, a prescription drug that stops heroin cravings. Yeah, the kid says, until he lost his insurance. And then Lange comes out with it: If you guys agree not to grill me on it, I actually have those pills … .

Lange reveals the pill bottle. Co-host Robin Quivers sums up the studios surprise: Wait a minute! and What the hell are you doing?

Lange: Its a long story, lets not get into it.

Stern: Maybe you need the lap dance.

There’s laughter. The subject is momentarily dropped. The pills are not shared. The game continues. The winner (not the heroin addict) receives his lap dance. Hilarity ensues. Break.

Stern: Im still trying to figure out how Artie has those heroin pills.”

Quivers: And were going to get to the bottom of that.

And they do. I remember you said this to me one time, Lange says to Stern. You know how something pops in your head and you want to be honest because you know its so entertaining and interesting and then you just blurt something out . Lange spills it all. How he fell back into the habit while doing a stand-up tour; the shows he missed in 2005; the withdrawal sickness; and the toll it took on his family and girlfriend.

There are moments Lange chokes, falls silent, or mumbles its something he shouldnt have said. Quivers asks how they can help. Stern says hell share a worse revelation: Now that hes 52, his pants are constantly urine-stained from dribbles. Sound guy Fred Norris plays Steppenwolfs The Pusher. Stern groans, saying its like the time he overdosed on acid and his friend kept playing the Grateful Dead. They try to make Lange laugh. They tell him it only matters that hes OK now. And they never stop asking questions.
Humanity among the fart jokes
Langes story wasnt crass or pornographic. It also wasnt anything youre likely to hear on radio or most other entertainment forums. Between contrived reality TV and soulless celebrities unable to admit their flaws even as they issue fake apologies, popular culture is starved for humanity. Seriously, kids. Langes confession, even the running joke its become on the Stern Show, is real. Its human.

Its true, Sterns audience is about a third of what he commanded on terrestrial radio. Whether the majority can ever wrap their heads around paying for something theyre used to getting for free remains to be seen. Its still early in the day for satellite radio. But any questions or criticisms surrounding Sterns decision to move are now moot. No matter the loss, no matter the cost, the creative freedom is worth it.

Again, to echo the highfalutin, its not about the cuss words or the poopy talk. Its the freedom to swear, or rather not prescreen every syllable before its said, thats blown Stern’s show wide open. Between the vomit fetishists and unbleeped fart jokes, real life has room to spread out and tell its story. And thats interesting and entertaining.

Helen Popkin listens to Howard on her Sirius boombox from her Bronx home.

2006 MSNBC Interactive

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Wisdom

Never pin your hopes on a migratory bird.

My Funny New Year's Mammary

Jesscita’s housemate was talking about her new neighborhood in Philadelphia, and said something about all the cat noises, and how it was sad about all the cats in her neighborhood fighting all the time.

And so I had to pipe in. “Taunya,” I said,”They’re not fighting.”

The room took a moment to soak in what I was saying. They all breathed at once.

“Oh.”

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