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Pete Seeger Pens a Joe Stalin Song

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 04 September 2007 07:38 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Pete Seeger Pens a Joe Stalin Song
2. Amanda Bynes, Paris Polar Opposite
3. Ali Larter Gets Real for the Emmy Awards
4. Sean Penn’s Penchant for Puffing
5. Clintons Float ‘Bill for Veep’ Trial Balloon?

1. Pete Seeger Pens a Joe Stalin Song

Peter Seeger is a musical legend, having authored or co-authored songs like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

But the folk singer/songwriter is also a former member of the U.S. Communist Party and in the 1950s and 60s was a mega-protester of the musical kind.

Now 88-year-old Seeger has written a song about one of the worst despots that ever lived, Joseph Stalin.

This time, though, Seeger hammers at the infamous Communist dictator.

“I'm singing about old Joe, cruel Joe. He ruled with an iron hand. He put an end to the dreams of so many in every land,” Seeger writes in his new song, “The Big Joe Blues.”

Seeger exited the Communist Party around 1950, and years ago he apologized for not recognizing the evil that Stalin had wrought.

In describing his Stalin tune, Seeger tells the Associated Press, “It's the first overt song about the Soviet Union.”

He’s quick to add, though, that when he was over there he should have asked, “Can I see one of the old gulags?”

2. Amanda Bynes, Paris Polar Opposite

Amanda Bynes continues to blossom.

The talented young Hollywood star has appeared on the small screen where she headlined a variety show called “All That,” had her own program “The Amanda Show” and tried her hand at comedy in a series called “What I Like About You.”

She’s made the feature film scene, too, and become a pin-up for teens with her convincing performances in movies like “She's the Man,” “Hairspray” and her latest flick, “Sidney White,” a Snow White-goes-to-college tale.

Bynes even has her own line of fashion. The actress’ new clothing collection is called “dear BY Amanda Bynes” and is tailor-made for adolescents.

Adding to her appeal is the fact that Bynes has not gone on the party circuit, not entered rehab and not had to pose for a mug shot.

Evidently, her values are not those typically associated with Tinseltown.

“I like being with my family and friends, and I don't need to be out at the clubs,” Bynes tells “Access Hollywood.”

“If you're hanging out with the partying people or your parents don't care, then it's going to be harder. For me, I'm really close with my parents,” the actress adds.

Bynes brings up the names of some of her famous peers when she talks with Contact Music, relaying that she has little in common with Lindsay, Paris and Britney.

“We're only compared because of our age . . . I'm in no way in competition with them. I feel like I have a totally different thing,” Bynes says, which has moms and dads smiling along with their kids.

3. Ali Larter Gets Real for the Emmy Awards

One actress is bucking a longstanding Hollywood trend.

While other stars spend hours having their hair coifed prior to walking the 59th Primetime Emmy red carpet, Ali Larter will be readying herself by “going real.”

The “Heroes” actress and co-star of “Resident Evil: Extinction,” the third and final installment of the movie series that is based on the video game of the same name, is collaborating with Dove Hair Care and foregoing a professional hairstylist.

Instead, just like the average person, Larter will be doing her own hair for the event.

Her mission is to inspire women to start loving the hair they have and not comparing it to the unattainable images seen in the media and Hollywood.

Typically, a squadron of cosmetologists spends hours of glam-up time per star to achieve the results seen at red carpet events and photo shoots.

Of course, most folks are unaware of the extent to which the beauty brigades have teased, tugged and twirled to attain the hot hairdos.

Unable to meet high hair expectations, countless viewers feel as though their self-esteem has been flat-ironed. Larter and Dove Hair Care are out to change that.

Interestingly, nearly 60 percent of women believe that the images in the media set the standard for beautiful hair, according to a recent survey done by Impulse Research.

Larter is getting the word out that “there is a lot of work that goes into Hollywood hair.”

“I am doing all of this to help women realize the potential of their own hair and feel more confident every day,” she adds.

4. Sean Penn’s Penchant for Puffing

Sean Penn recently went to Venezuela to visit his pal Hugo Chavez.

While way down south, Penn prattled on geopolitically, saying, “I think we're past that point in human evolution where there's such a thing as winning wars.”

Penn’s name also popped up at the Toronto International Film Festival. There’s apparently a plan for a smoking crackdown at this year’s event.

The Toronto-fest bosses are reportedly seeking to avoid last year’s controversy when Penn violated Ontario's anti-smoking laws and was caught on camera sucking on a cigarette at a festival press conference.

Seemingly on a search for critical acclaim and maybe another Academy Award, Penn is directing an Oscar bait adaptation of a highly praised book called “Into the Wild.” But so far the actor-activist is getting mixed reviews from the critics.

Variety said that Penn delivered a “compelling, ambitious work that will satisfy most admirers of the book” and characterized the movie as a “youth-rebellion flick in the classic late '60s/early '70s mode.”

Meanwhile Tinseltown’s other big trade publication, The Hollywood Reporter, slammed the movie and called it an “extravagantly ambitious, unfocused film,” opining that Penn “clutters his narrative with gimmicks.”

5. Clintons Float ‘Bill for Veep’ Trial Balloon?

If there’s one thing we know about the Clintons, it’s that they’re masters at media manipulation.

During Bill Clinton’s two White House terms, the “trial balloon” technique was used ad nauseam; you know, the one where an idea was floated across the dome of public opinion to see how the thing played out before it was implemented.

Well, in a recent appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” by senator and prez wannabe Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Macy’s Parade-sized trial balloon appears to have been floated.

Asked by Letterman if her husband and ex-prez Bill could serve as her veep should she be elected to the White House, Hillary used humor to suggest that Bill is really fond of the idea.

“Believe me,” she said, “he looked into that.”

The former first lady added that, if the Constitution didn't bar a president from a third term, Bill “might be running.”

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THE LEFT COAST REPORTA Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Pete Seeger Pens a Joe Stalin Song2. Amanda Bynes, Paris Polar Opposite3. Ali Larter Gets Real for the Emmy Awards4. Sean Penn’s Penchant for Puffing5. Clintons Float ‘Bill for...
Tuesday, 04 September 2007 07:38 PM
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