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Pinch your nose and dive on in as we recap what stunk in entertainment this year

Wire • Jan 1, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Alewives are the stinky fish that used to wash up en masse on Lake Michigan beaches. So it is that we bring you the 17th annual Alewife Awards to commemorate the rankest cultural flotsam and jetsam to hit our shores over the past year.

When pop stars review their own concerts: Justin Bieber vomited twice onstage during a Phoenix concert and afterward claimed he had abused a substance: milk. Never one to be outdone, Lady Gaga considered what best goes with milk and tossed her cookies four times on a Barcelona stage a week later.

Plus, it was an “Exorcist” tribute without barfing: We’re used to wacky Grammy Awards performances, but our heads are still spinning 360 degrees from Nicki Minaj’s exorcism-and-levitation rendition of “Roman Holiday.” That was even more over-the-top than Minaj’s subsequent feuds with Mariah Carey, Barbara Walters and Steven Tyler.

At least no naked wrestling was involved: The spoof Kazakhstan national anthem from Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 comedy “Borat” mistakenly was played to honor the Kazakh gold medalist at a shooting competition in Kuwait in March; she stood there with her hand over her heart while the following lyrics came over the speakers: “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region/ Except of course Turkmenistan’s.”

Ridiculing the Chanel No. 5 ad: Inevitable: “It’s not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on. The world turns, and we turn with it …” Seriously, Brad Pitt, what the hell were you talking about, and why should it make us want to buy a ladies fragrance?

Yes, this is the network formerly known as The Learning Channel: Bad enough that TLC gave us the exploitative “Toddlers & Tiaras,” but in August it spun off the bottom-feeding “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which celebrates, among other things, a flatulent mom giving her now-7-year-old beauty-pageant-contestant daughter “Go Go Juice” made from Red Bull and Mountain Dew.

Not so effin’ Golden: It was nice of Paramount to tout Barbra Streisand’s Golden Globe nomination in ads for “The Guilt Trip” earlier this month, but it would have been even nicer had the Globes actually nominated her performance.

The Neverending Story, part whatever: Is it piling on to ridicule Lifetime’s “Liz & Dick” biopic and Lindsay Lohan’s woeful Elizabeth Taylor impersonation in it as well as her lackluster “Saturday Night Live” hosting turn in March and her November arrest for punching a psychic who should’ve seen it coming and her continued pileup of legal woes and family dysfunction and Charlie Sheen (Charlie Sheen!) helping bail her out of a six-figure tax debt? Thought so.

Soon he’ll be paying Lindsay Lohan’s taxes: Angus T. Jones, the 19-year-old who makes a reported $300,000 per episode to play half a man, said in a church video: “I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth.” Subsequently he fine-tuned his message to say: “I am grateful to, and have the highest regard and respect for, all of the wonderful people on ‘Two and a Half Men’ with whom I have worked and over the past 10 years who have become an extension of my family.”

At least his tweets are shorter than his novels: Bret Easton Ellis, who last wrote a good book … um … wait … still thinking, took to Twitter to trash actual talented people such as the late David Foster Wallace (“the most tedious, overrated, tortured, pretentious writer of my generation”) and 61-year-old “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow (“since she’s a very hot woman, she’s really overrated”). Funny how that word “overrated” is top-of-mind for him.

Who could’ve seen this coming? The musical duo known as the Civil Wars — aka Joy Williams and John Paul White — canceled all tour dates and split due to “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”

I’m mad as hell, and I’m going to be preachy about it: On Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series “The Newsroom,” men got to say important things about the sober job of reporting the news and cutting through political clutter while the women mostly wandered around flustered, unable to figure out how to send emails from their BlackBerrys. The sanctimony spilled into real life as Sorkin told a Globe and Mail reporter, “Listen here, Internet girl, it wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while” — to which she pointed out in her story: “I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper.”

Do ya feel lucky, chair? Winning Oscars in his 60s and 70s and continuing a prolific filmmaking career into his early 80s, Clint Eastwood was the poster boy for aging wisely and gracefully. Then he started arguing with an empty chair at the Republican National Convention.


By Mark Caro -  Chicago Tribune (MCT). He can be reached at mcaro@tribune.com. Carmel Carrillo, Leo Ebersole, Steve Johnson, Chris Jones, Nina Metz, Phil Vettel and John von Rhein contributed to this story.

©2012 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

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