News of the Week: Bond, Baby Buggy, and Breakfast Anytime

This week in pop culture: The Web strikes out against James Bond’s newest author, why Seinfeld’s lemonade stand for charity was shut down, and recent changes to the McDonald’s menu.

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The Name’s Elba … Idris Elba

Idris Elba at the "Takers" World Premiere, Hollywood, CA. August 4, 2010Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Idris Elba at the “Takers” World Premiere, Hollywood, CA. August 4, 2010
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Time for a little social media math:

Being able to post your opinion instantly + 140 character limit + lack of reading comprehension x people’s outrage = Twitter is terrible.

But it’s not just Twitter. It’s the Web in general. Its seems there’s always a new outrage to talk about, and the big one this week was centered around this Daily Mail interview with Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new James Bond novel Trigger Mortis. In the interview Horowitz is asked what he thinks of Idris Elba taking over the Bond role when Daniel Craig steps down, something Elba fans have wanted for the past few years. Here’s the exact wording in the article:

“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.”

He names Adrian Lester, star of Hustle.

“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

Now, we can certainly argue if Elba is suave enough to take over the role (Craig is doing fine and he’s rather rough), but that’s a separate issue. The problem is people who didn’t read the article (which is most people) and instead just read a “hot take” on it or maybe a headline or something in a comments section and immediately labeled Horowitz a racist, saying that “street” was a code word for “Bond shouldn’t be black.” But as you can see in the actual text, Horowitz does say that he can think of other black actors who would make a good 007, including Adrian Lester, who stars in the British series Hustle. But the specific mention of Lester was a detail that some articles conveniently left out in their initial reporting of the story, including this one at Gawker.

And what happened when this was pointed out to people who dumped on Horowitz? A lot of them said it didn’t matter, and of course he’d name Lester, because Lester isn’t as black as Elba is!

Wow. Think about that for a moment.

Horowitz has since apologized, saying he shouldn’t have used the word “street.” Of course, the problem with apologizing for something you don’t have to apologize for is that it legitimizes Internet and social media outrage culture. And besides, this whole thing is out there on the Web forever. You can’t get rid of it. And that’s the danger of everyone piling on in the digital age.

But I will say that Horowitz is wrong about one thing: Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies, not the worst. I mean, come on.

What’s the Deal with Jerry Seinfeld’s Lemonade Stand?

Don’t worry, the comedian hasn’t lost all of his millions and been forced to sell lemonade on the street. The lemonade stand was for Baby Buggy, a charity founded and run by Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica. East Hampton Village police shut the stand down because peddling is not allowed in the area. Neighbors complained that traffic was getting out of hand and cars were parked illegally. I guess that is bound to happen when Jerry Seinfeld is involved in a lemonade stand. Mrs. Seinfeld posted a picture on her Instagram account that sums things up.

This would have made for a great episode of Seinfeld. I can just see Kramer and Newman opening up a lemonade stand, Kramer knocking over all the cups and Newman drinking all the profits.

Now You Can Have an Egg McMuffin at 3 P.M.

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

For years, McDonald’s customers have pleaded for one thing: Please let us order breakfast after 10:30 a.m.! If you just can’t survive without having hash browns for lunch or hotcakes and sausage for an 11 p.m. snack, October 6 is your lucky day. That’s the day the fast-food chain will start serving breakfast ALL DAY LONG.

There needs to be several changes made in each kitchen though, because McDonald’s doesn’t want to use the same equipment that they make lunch and dinner with at the same time they’re handling food like raw eggs for breakfast. They’ll also need new toasters installed and there will also be some streamlining to the breakfast menu to make things easier.

What I want to know is, if we can now have breakfast anytime, does that mean I can also have a Big Mac and fries at 7 in the morning?

TCM Launches New Campaign, Fans Freak Out

There was a major panic this week when Turner Classic Movies announced that they were launching a new promotional campaign to draw more viewers to the classic movie channel. A lot of people took the press release words to mean “we’re changing TCM!” or “we’re adding more recent movies instead of the classics you love!” A lot of this was due to the wording in a story at Deadline. TCM’s official press release explained things better, but fans were still a little antsy. We’ve seen networks change before (AMC and TV Land are just two examples).

But TCM GM Jennifer Dorian and host Ben Mankiewicz saw the uproar on Twitter and both put up posts to ease the fears of fans:

Some people have a “wait and see” attitude. I can’t think of another channel where big changes would cause me to get upset more than TCM. You want to make ABC a home shopping network? Fine. You want to make Lifetime a 24-hour farm-report channel? Go for it. Just don’t touch my TCM.

National Cheese Pizza Day

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Tomorrow is National Cheese Pizza Day, and you could obviously just get on the phone (or on one of those “apps” I keep hearing about) and order one from your favorite takeout place, but what about making your own?

Food.com has a recipe for Basic Cheese Pizza. Betty Crocker has a recipe for Easy Cheese Pizza which uses Bisquick mix. And if you want one that’s a little more fancy, try Epicurious’s White Four-Cheese Pizza, which has basil and goat and ricotta cheeses.

I’m a guy so it’s embedded in my DNA that I like pizza, no matter what kind (even frozen). To me, every Sunday is Cheese Pizza Day.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

President McKinley shot (September 6, 1901)
SEP Archives Director Jeff Nilsson has a look at the 25th President, who just had his mountain taken away from him.

Labor Day (September 7)
The Department of Labor has a detailed history of the day on their site.

Buddy Holly born (September 7, 1936)
Remember when rock was called “rock and roll”?

President Ford pardons President Nixon (September 8, 1974)
Ford took to the airwaves to pardon Nixon for any role he might have had in the Watergate break-in or cover-up.

Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time (September 9, 1956)
Elvis sang “Love Me Tender” during his first appearance on the CBS variety show.

World Trade Center and Pentagon attacked (September 11, 2001)
Here’s part one of NBC’s coverage of the attacks as they happened (the other three parts are on the right).

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Comments

  1. The whole James Bond/007 film franchise had a good run, but it’s long past due to be retired…permanently retired. It’s a parody of itself, right down to the played-out theme music, and this is coming from a fan of the series.

    Having a black actor in the role in and of itself isn’t the problem. It’s just a gimmick at this late date to make something ancient seem fresh and new. They’ve long been replaced by the mind-numbing tens of thousands of unwatchably bad cut and paste ‘action’ films for many years now, and of course the high end ones like the ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘Bourne’.

    I was talking to various friends over the Labor Day weekend about ‘Bond’ before commenting (I read this feature Friday) and the general consensus is that they need to end, desist, and really should have as long ago as the ’90s.

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