The nude Britney birthing sculpture: Weird on so many levels it's difficult even to write about, an upcoming gallery show in Brooklyn, N.Y., called "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," centers around a large sculpture of a naked Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug. Capla Kesting Fine Art co-director Lincoln Capla -- tongue-in-cheek, it has to be assumed -- says, "A superstar at Britney's young age having a child is rare in today's celebrity culture. This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision." (Speaking to Broadsheet, though, Capla and others seemed totally sincere.) The piece also tries, for reasons unclear, to tie itself to the antiabortion movement, proclaiming the sculpture to be "the first pro-life monument to birth." From the gallery's shudder-inducing press release: "Natural aspects of Spears' pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, [sic] compliment [sic] a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean's head. The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva's pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear's ears with 'water-retentive' hands." (Send2Press via Drudge, Broadsheet)
The little scandal that wasn't? A talk that "Super Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock gave to a Pennsylvania high school last Friday has stirred up the cultural waters, even getting conservative blogger Michelle Malkin mad at him. The Associated Press writes that Spurlock "joked about the intelligence of McDonald's employees, about 'retarded kids in the back wearing helmets' and teachers smoking pot in the balcony." In his own blog, Spurlock explains that while he did say "fuck" and joked about kids in the back wearing helmets, his comments were taken out of context: "First and most importantly, it should be made clear that the only person I called 'retarded' was myself when I was unable to hear a question from the audience." He also says the school had asked him not to bring up fast food: "The group that hired me to speak asked that I not mention McDonald's in any of my talk because one of their board members owns a franchise. That would be like asking Neil Armstrong to speak but tell him he can't bring up walking on the moon, so needless to say, I didn't agree to their censorship." (Associated Press, Michelle Malkin, Morgan Spurlock)
In another school speech incident, Kevin Smith, speaking at the University of Pennsylvania, confessed to hating Reese Witherspoon (but still gave her his Oscar vote): "I did vote for her for 'Walk the Line' because she was so good. I forgot how much I hated that c---!" (Lowdown) ... According to the forthcoming biography "Barbra: The Way She Is," by Christopher Anderson, Barbra Streisand's list of lovers is, well, long: Among others, it includes Warren Beatty, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Steve McQueen, Richard Gere, Kris Kristofferson, Don Johnson, Jon Voight, Andre Agassi, Peter Jennings and both Prince Charles and Princess Diana's lover Dodi Fayed. (Page Six) ... Despite reports last week that Isaac Hayes was still recovering from a stroke and had no hand in crafting the press release that announced his resignation from "South Park," a spokesperson from Hayes' production company now says the singer was only hospitalized in January for exhaustion and high blood pressure, and that "the press release did come from him. He is the one who decided to leave 'South Park.'" (E! Online) ... Spike Lee's "Inside Man" topped this weekend's box office, taking home an estimated $29 million -- it was the biggest opening yet for star Denzel Washington. (Box Office Mojo) ... In a long interview, Harper's senior editor and Flashmobs inventor Bill Wasik points out an interesting thing about the label "hipster": "The one weird thing about 'hipster' is that it's a word that nobody applies to themselves, or openly admits to being." (Vulture Droppings) ... Country singer Buck Owens -- father of the "Bakersfield sound" and longtime host of the country variety show "Hee Haw," died on Saturday at age 76. (Associated Press)
"24" creator Joel Surnow -- who also says that "the Hollywood Left has alienated itself from mainstream America" -- wants to see his show as a uniter, not a divider: "Rush Limbaugh and John McCain have been to the set. I send DVDs to Mary Matalin, and I know many on the White House staff are fans. But Barbra Streisand says it's the only TV show she watches and Dianne Feinstein is an avid fan, too. What people respond to on both sides of the aisle is that it's hard core." (Rush & Molloy)
Natalie Portman on why she doesn't take roles just for the cash: "I don't want to be working for money because then you are no different [from] a prostitute." (The Scoop)
-- Scott Lamb
Sci-Fi airs Part 1 of the two-part miniseries "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King" (9 p.m. EST), while the WB's "Everwood" (8 p.m. EST) returns from hiatus, and Bravo's "Outrageous & Contagious Viral Videos" (10 p.m. EST) has its first-season finale. Elsewhere, Sharon Stone is on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35 p.m. EST), and Lucy Liu and John Leguizamo sit down with Leno on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST).
-- Joe DiMento