Could it be true that legend Bob Dylan lifted words from a 1989 book "Confessions of a Yakuza" by Japanese author Junichi Saga for his song "Floater"? You be the judge. But Saga, who only had a vague idea of who Dylan was, said if the borrowing happened he wouldn't sue. "To take something that made people around the world happy and try to exploit it for money -- that's poverty," he said. How Zen. (MobyLives)
When the idea for the European Union came up several years ago, some wondered "How are the Italians and Germans going to get along?!" Now the world is finding out. First, Italian firebrand Silvio Berlusconi suggested that the German representative to the E.U. might be a good choice next time Steven Spielberg makes a movie about Nazis. Now we have the Italian tourism minister, Stefano Stafani, saying that Germans are "hyper-nationalistic blondes" who rowdily invade Italian beaches. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder immediately huffed and puffed and canceled his planned vacation to Italy this summer. Yikes! Americans aren't going to France, Germans aren't going to Italy ... does that mean everyone's going to Disneyland? (BBC)
Speaking of Disneyland, it's one thing to get a not-so-good review of your movie, but Johnny Depp's latest, a pirate funfest inspired by a ride, got slapped by veteran reviewer Kenneth Turan today: "The Disneyland ride Pirates of the Caribbean is a considerable treat, a brisk and thrilling entertainment experience memorable years after the fact. As director Gore Verbinski takes pains to accurately point out, it is 'ingrained in our collective psyche.' Verbinski's movie, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,' loosely based on that ride, is not fated to be similarly enshrined." Don't worry, Depp fans, Turan goes on to say, "In fact, the only inducement 'Pirates' provides for anyone to watch at all is Johnny Depp's eccentric and quirkily amusing performance as temporarily unemployed pirate captain Jack Sparrow." So that's what's making the unemployment figures soar -- all those out-of-work guys with eye patches. (Los Angeles Times)
Forget the strange, supposed pairing of Sharon Stone and Adrien Brody earlier this week. Picture, if you will, wild Irish actor Colin Farrell partying down at Stringfellow's in London with wheelchair-bound genius Stephen Hawking, while the latter's nurses appreciated the male striptease talent. Please, let it be true ... (MSNBC)
Tucker Carlson is probably working on shoe and tie condiments as we speak, since his vow to eat said items if Hillary Clinton's book sold 1 million copies is now coming back to haunt him. The former first lady's tome hit the 1 mill mark just now and those who keep track of such things are demanding he make a lunch of "filet of sole." With tie-tar sauce? (Take Back the Media)
-- Karen Croft
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Bad blood between Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton? Jolie says she feels no compulsion to maintain a relationship with the man with whom she once shared many a bodily fluid. "We're not friends, no," the actress told Barbara Walters in an interview airing Friday on "20/20." "It's like we just changed, we became very different people, and I wouldn't know what to talk to him about." Jolie also says that, in the interest of being a responsible parent to her young adopted son, she's sworn off marriage and self-mutilation. "I think when you make a decision to have a child, you cannot think about suicide again and you can't be self-destructive," she says. (MegaStar)
Former MSNBC talk-show host Michael Savage says he's sorry and insists he didn't know he was on the air when he called a caller a "sodomite" who should "get AIDS and die." Savage adds that "MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves" for canning him for his "mistake." (N.Y. Post)
Despite their insistence to the contrary, illness and substance-abuse issues, the Osbournes are coming back for another season. "If you thought we wouldn't re-sign the Osbournes for another season, you're crazy," MTV president Van Toffler told the press. (Associated Press)
"American Idol" host Simon Cowell: "I would like better looking people this time. I don't want this to turn into 'American Ugly Idol.'" ("Extra" via N.Y. Post)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: A partygoer at a Hamptons bash says host Puffy, to please guest Bruce Willis, insisted that all female guests "take their clothes off, go topless or leave," and adds that Willis doffed duds too, jumped in pool. P. Diddy says it didn't happen, but "it sounds like a good idea." Plus: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu freeze Demi Moore out for stealing their "Charlie's Angels" spotlight; Traci Lords accused of enjoying sex; and Jade Jagger insists she "loves" father Mick's young girlfriends.
Rush and Molloy: Was the wife of Kerry Kennedy Cuomo's alleged lover involved -- albeit briefly -- with Jack Nicholson? Colin Farrell and Stephen Hawking get lap dances; Angelina Jolie says, "If I fell in love with a woman tomorrow ... it's right to want to kiss her and touch her"; Michael Savage denies writing letter to Allen Ginsberg describing backyard boy kiss.
The Reliable Source: Red alert at the Federal Emergency Management Agency: black wig found on floor, claimed by "very sheepish" employee; Greta Van Susteren and Maureen Orth fight over Larry Flynt, professional ethics; Elvis Costello shops for cellphones.
Cindy Adams: Norah Jones and Julianne Moore snag snazzy new NYC apartments, Jason Priestly and Warner Wolf dump theirs, make killing; Gen. Tommy Franks keeps a war journal, says "history must be set straight"; New Zealand brothel called "Monica's" prominently features photo of a certain former White House intern.
Roger Friedman: Tommy Mottola's new deal with Universal Music Group brings him within spitting distance of his ex Mariah Carey and nemesis Michael Jackson.