Friday, January 08, 2010

Artie Lange suicide attempt - Lange had "so much to live for"

An Artie Lange update. The Hoboken Police confirmed and the Associated Press reported that Howard Stern Show sidekick Artie Lange tried to commit suicide using a 13-inch Wolfgang Puck kitchen knife. Artie Lange was found by his mother unconscious but breathing last Saturday. Lange stabbed himself 9 times, six of them described as hesitation wounds and the final three complete stabs.

What is so troubling about the news of Artie Lange's suicide attempt is that he told the New York Post he had so much to live for and made statements that generally signaled he was on the upswing in life in an interview posted October 30, 2009. (The statements were broken up into paragraphs to make it easier to read that what appears in the NY Post, but this is not the entire interview, just portions for this post.)

In the NYPost interview Artie Lange said:

I had a heroin problem. And I’ve been clean since April. Off of everything. And I’ll tell you, I was taking Subutex to combat that, and I put more weight on me than I ever have, and I got off of that, I got off of heroin, and I lost about 50 pounds, and I tell you I’ve never felt better. I’m completely clean and sober now.

But in this statement, Artie Lange gave a window into a possible episode that caused his suicide attempt;

I think a lot of comedians would tell you that they suffer from depression and are addicts, and I don’t know, it’s the most surreal thing to do for a living. Because you know you’re on stage being the life of the party and trying to get laughs and then in a lot of ways, you don’t have anything to give once you give it to the people.

And for the last decade I’ve been doing it on the radio for five hours a day and then on the road all over the country on stage, you know what I mean? So, you know, you have a lot of dark times.

The road is a lonely place and that sounds like a cliché, you know, like what is my life? I’m like the master of ceremonies being funny and then sometimes people you’re with, girlfriends and stuff are like, ‘God I wish I had the person on stage to be with all the time.’

I have a girlfriend now who’s like a saint, or she’s very supportive of me, I see her and I smile, and that helps too but sometimes you drain a person. It’s so easy to take advantage of a person like that if they’re so giving because you can be selfish.

You’re like well, there’s a lot of times where I’m like, you know what, I can’t go out and have dinner with some of our friends and have fun because I just did five hours of radio all week and then I went to Pittsburgh and flew back and stuff and you know, comedy without question, as another cliché, comes from tragedy.

And so much of my material is very dark. I talk about my problems, I talk about my drug use, I talk about a lot of things, especially on the Stern show and the book is very honest. When I became a standup comic my hero, one of them, was Richard Pryor and you know, I think that comedians like, comedians talk about hacks, and what a hack is, is someone who does stuff that’s not original.

For the entire interview, visit the NY Post here.

Meanwhile, this is a 10-minute video recording of Howard Sterns reaction to the news in New York Post Page 6:

Stay tuned.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums should not run for reelection

There's rumor and talk - uncomfirmed - that Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is considering a run for reelection as Mayor of Oakland. Mayor Dellums should not run again.

In all of the post war, post 1964 Civil Rights Amendment history of Oakland, there has never been a more unpopular Mayor of Oakland than Ron Dellums. The reasons for Oaklanders dislike for Ron Dellums the Mayor, but not Ron Dellums the person, is Dellums now legendary failure to been seen as a leader. It started even before the Oscar Grant Murder in 2009 and the riots that followed, and really has its roots in the formation of Dellums' own plan for Oakland.

The plan was formed after a number of task force groups were formed. But Dellums error was in an insular approach where only supporters and cronies were invited to staff them. Then, rather than have the task force documents available online for everyone to see, Dellums' people placed them in the Oakland Public Library, thereby assuring their invisibility from ready public view in the 21st Century.

The next error was in Dellums lack of understanding and desire of how to issue a message via both new and old media. Many Dellums staffers have openly complained to me about his dislike for the media. Those persons have worked to change Dellums, and have made major headway, but its too little too late. Councilmember Jean Quan, for all of her faults, does at least "get" media and constantly issues her weekly newsletter, weekly.

Dellums failure to be the "first voice of Oakland" on so many issues has cemented his fate. But beyond that, his wishy-washy handling of the Deborah Egderly matter was a case study in Dellums failure to make a clear, swift, decisive move. First she was in, then out, then in, then out.

If that wasn't enough, Dellums failure to come out and make a statement right after the murder of Oscar Grant was horrible. But even worse was the legion of errors made during the Oscar Grant controversy. So many that it led to this rant by Hip Hop Journalist Davey D:

Davey D speaks for a lot of people. Again, it's not personal, its the business of running the City of Oakland that's the focus.

If Mayor Dellums runs for reelection, he has to answer for what must be the most draconian and expensive parking fine and enforcement system in America. A system that has allowed City of Oakland Parking Enforcement workers to tickets almost at will, causing more Oaklanders to get more than five tickets, and making them car tow candidates. Taking their cars away at the time they need them to find work.


Oakland has a 17 percent unemployment rate. And where Dellums would point to the $65 million in economic stimulus money gained, evidence shows that a good portion of that money is not being used to create new jobs or save private sector jobs, but to maintain City of Oakland government jobs. In other words, to help the City of Oakland make payroll

That's not an economic stimulus.

But the main reason Mayor Dellums should not run for reelection is that his certain election loss would be an embarrassing end to a legendary political career.

Google Nexus One Phone like iPhone but not in retail approach

The Google Nexus One Phone was released this week of CES 2010 and to rave reviews. At CES, many are touting it as an iPhone killer, and TechCrunch Michael Arrington (who's tech start-up award event called "The Crunchies" is tonight), wrote that he uses the Google Nexus One Phone (or "G-phone") as his main mobile phone, having switched from Apple's iPhone.

The Google Nexus One Phone looks like the IPhone and operates in ways that are not far removed from the iPhone. It's a sleek, elegant, even sexy design that is worthy of the considerable buzz it's caused. It's a welcome addition to the smartphone market and promises to give the iPhone a challenger. But there's one thing that could hold it back: it's online-retail only availability.

When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, part of the considerable rush to buy one came from seeing long lines of people at Apple Stores and AT&T retail outlets. TV news cameras captured the event, and happy video-blogging buyers made videos that showed then tearing open the box to show their new iPhone tech toy. The result has been a number of "iPhone unboxing" videos, like this one:

The live-action, ground level, want-it-so-buy-it retail strategy was Apple's genius. With Google's desire to challenge the iPhone, it would seem logical to mimic such an approach.

Google didn't and this is a big mistake.

The Google Nexus One Phone, as of this writing, is available only online. The desire to obtain one by walking down to the local T-Mobile store was blunted by the fact that they're not there. Because of that decision, legions of G-Phone fans that would be walking down the street with their proud new device, aren't. They're waiting for the Google Nexus Phone to be shipped to them.

While not aligning the Google Nexus Phone to one network, as Apple did with AT&T, was a great move, restricting purchases to online-only status as of this writing is a marketing error that actually kills the G-Phone buzz.

If Google wants the Google Nexus Phone to supplant the iPhone as the smartphone king, it should change its retail strategy. The sooner the better, so I can satisfy my desire to have one.

Stay tuned.

Casey Johnson's daughter with Johnson family, not Tila Tequila

Casey Johnson's daughter will be raised by the Johnson family and not Tila Tequila, according to Casey Johnson adopted three-year-old Ava-Monroe (named after Casey's idol Marilyn Monroe) two years ago but she has been living with Casey Johnson's mother Sale for several months in 2009.

The Johnson family wants Ava to remain with Sale Johnson (who was married to billionaire New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson) for the rest of her life. Sale's married to former Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver and NBC Sports Announcer Ahmad Rashad. (The same Ahmad Rashad who was married to Phylicia Rashād from The Cosby Show.)

Prior to this news, Tila Tequila said she would take care of Ava, which would have completed a process that saw her fly to New York City with Casey to reclaim Ava in December, according to the New York Post.

Tila Tequila's claim was in part at the center of her dispute with blogger Perez Hilton, who claimed that she would do it just for attention and publicity.

Here Casey Johnson talked about adopting Ava two years ago: