Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater

Louis CK is one of the most innovative comedians out there today, at the forefront of both cutting-edge and mainstream comedy. His show Louis is like Curb Your Enthusiasm without all the sweetness. It’s unadulterated comedy, which means that it is both sharply funny and deeply painful.

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Victoria’s Secret and Child Labor

The Washington Post reports on a Bloomberg report that some of the goods sold by Victoria’s Secret are made using child labor.

The extra twist is that this refers to cotton used in their “fair trade” lingerie.

Their parent company, the Limited Brands, rushes to reassure us that:

“If this allegation is true, it describes behavior that is contrary to our company’s values.”

As is the norm with most corporations, their values come in their mission statements, not in their actions.

Stern’s Got Talent

The TMZ Live poll asking whether Howard Stern is “too raunchy for television” stems from the mistake of confusing the performer with the program. Certainly there is often an overlap between the two, but astute Stern watchers know that the man is bright and, more importantly, a consummate broadcast professional.

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Howard Stern hired as a Judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’

NBC has hired Howard Stern to be a judge on their show America’s Got Talent. This is a man who hates to travel and loves to be in bed by 8, so they’re moving the entire show to New York City for his convenience. If the other two judges stay the same, it should make for some interesting chemistry. It was actually on Stern’s radio show and former E! show that judge Sharon Osborne and her husband Ozzy first proved to be so fascinating as reality guests, and it was also on Stern’s show that judge Howie Mandel first opened up about his personal life, including his OCD.

Entertainment Weekly: Howard Stern hired as judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Do CEOs Cause Poverty?

Two bits of income-related news today. The first is that:

Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. (CBS News)

And the second is that:

America’s top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. (The Guardian)

Is it possible that these facts are related causally? Aren’t CEOs rewarded for driving their employees into poverty or low income? Presumably, reversing that perversity would require actually reforming the system.

Kayak joins the Lowe’s Bigotry Bandwagon

Kayak.com has decided to join Lowe’s and refuse to run ads on the TLC show “All-American Muslim.” Their marketing director Robert Birge is courageously direct about their cowardice:

“It’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions.’’

They are outraged — outraged! — at being asked to engage in ethical behavior. Okay, so it’s clear that Kayak feels no ethical or financial obligation to constrain its anti-Muslim stance, but aren’t they the ones fueling the controversy by bowing to the bigotry brigade?

Lowe’s is similarly staunch in its abdication of morality.

“It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political, and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy,’’ the statement said. “We are sincerely sorry.’’

I have to agree that Lowe’s is sorry, but I mean it in a very different sense of the word.

Boston Globe: Kayak won’t renew ads on Muslim TV show

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