By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
J. Lo's famous ex-boyfriend is hoping he doesn't go to jail for fleeing the scene of a nightclub shooting, with guns ("it was an unfortunate situation," Lopez sighs), because it would mess with his recording career. The guy who used to kind of be my boyfriend (it was an unfortunate situation) is hoping he doesn't get dropped from his record label, because it would mess with his recording career. People call him "puffy" too, because of what his face looks like when he drinks too much Bud Light, which is most of the time.
J. Lo likes to stay in and nest. Hey, K. Sul does too. I'm at home writing on a Friday night when young Hollywood is out snorting coke and sucking face. You think I care?
J. Lo is ambitious. "I'm looking forward to the ninth album, the thirtieth movie," she says. I feel you, J. It's nice to collect stuff. I own, like, five movies right now, but I notice where they're selling used tapes now at Video Hut. You might want to check it out, too, sister. Just a tip.
J. Lo knows how to keep it real. Says one of her many producers: "[J. Lo] still comes to the Bronx and sleeps on her mother's couch." Up in my crib, we keep it so real, I even sleep on my own couch sometimes.
"When we're in the studio," says the producer, "she orders Chinese from, like, the place next door." Me too, totally! "One day she left the studio and got in a cab because she didn't want to wait for a car," he says. "She's got a little bit of thug in her." In that case, I'm a regular gang-banger--I walk, drive, and take cabs. I put the "hug" in "thug," yo.
J. Lo also likes to have fun: "Wherever she's at, she's got her crew that rolls with her," says the producer, "and they party." Apparently she spends more time with these dancers, managers, stylists, and publicists than with her family or boyfriend. Let's see. I must have a crew lying around here somewhere... I'm pretty sure I had a crew--
Good God! I forgot to let the crew out of the closet when I got home from Food 4 Less last week! They've had nothing to read but Rolling Stone!
Of course, J. Lo has a thoughtful side, too. She thinks about things, because she has lots of things to think about. Things like, you know, thoughts. For example: "Things I go through, things I see my friends go through. You get to a certain age and you start thinking about other things." Speak!
And still, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be like J. Lo: "When she's not demanding everyone do as she does, everyone just seems to want to." That used to happen to me all the time--till I told everybody, Look, Barbie--and Skipper, and you too, Cher: You're going to have to fend for yourselves some day. It still happened after that, but at least I warned them.
Actually, I don't know J. Lo and I don't really mind if she pulls her Madonniest stunts to pop the superfame barrier. She's like an international diplomat for the shelf-asses of the world, and I'm personally grateful for that. She's an okay actress. She's not cloning babies or inventing sheep AIDS or giving money to the Scientologists (that we know of). So what the hell?
But still, she and her single, "Love Don't Cost a Thing"--in which her voice is reinvented by recording technology to resemble a set of robotic triplets, their programs set on "Destiny's Child-lite"--just leave me feeling cold and alone. When a person manages, after years of struggle, to capture the flaming baton of public attention, and they're really running with it, and they're actually starting to master it, I guess I kind of want them to do something with it. Say something. Give me something for my attention.
Not to be too predictable, but supposing you gave me a sign that you feel the things I feel: self-doubt, fear, loneliness, even wild obsession? (Sorry, but confessing you're "addicted to love!" doesn't cut the muffin.) Don't try to sell me that dorky lie that you're part of some immortal club of people who, having achieved humanity's lamest values--fame, wealth, and power--have shed all human qualities but greed and smugness. It only makes you look desperate.
If you can't do that, then sell me a dream, because I love dreams. But make it a goddamn beautiful one. Can you do that? Can you make a kick-ass dream that inspires ass kicking? Can you make it a multidimensional dream that contains hidden doors to larger dreams? Can you be a force for good in the world, and not just a force for you in the world?
You know what? I'd even be happy with a cool bad dream. Just don't give me this "I'm totally bland, have no imagination, and have been completely desalinated by the teams at corporate who have reprogrammed me for the pursuit of money and fame" bullshit.
When you get like that, J., you just remind me too much of reality.