Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011



With the ceremony now officially a mere MONTH away, international news outlets like the DUNER BLOG are scrambling to deliver the latest dish on the year's most anticipated event. Wills and Kate have a wedding website, as well as Facebook and Twitter pages. Unfortunately, they're all about the cake designers, the historical wedding rings and hints that the dress might be designed by Alexander McQueen. They've also posted way too many cute baby photos of Kate. All of which is nice...but our readers want more. Let me speak for all bloggers when I shout: "C'mon, Clarence House spokesperson AMANDA FOSTER! Tell us who got invited and who didn't!!!"

Sorry, but the HOUSE OF WINDSOR is notoriously tight lipped about the GUEST LIST. So the only way for trusted news sources like the DUNER BLOG to find out who's in and who's out is when the invitees themselves share the news. And only a few lucky recipients have come out to boast / blab / comment about their coveted invititations. Two such folks were painfully predictable with the news. DAVID BECKHAM told RYAN SEACREST about it on a L.A. morning radio show. SIR ELTON JOHN let CTV in Toronto have the news in an exclusive interview. But aside from these two (mandatory) admissions, it seems almost no celebs, rock stars and sports heroes made the cut.

So who has gotten in so far? Other royals of course! (Let's face it: This is the only time the few remaining monarchies left in the world get to do anything meaningful!) First up: Monaco's House of Grimaldi. Yes, Prince Albert will be there with his hottie South African fiancee. Next up: Queen Beatrix of Holland and the Belgian Crown Prince. Check. Representing Scandinavia: The Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. Got it. Margrethe of Denmark is a close friend of Queen Elizabeth's and King Harald of Norway is a distant cousin. They're both in. We're still not sure about the Dukes from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, but there was one surprise: Attending the British Royal Wedding are two disposed European monarchs! It seems King Constantine of Greece is actually Will's godfather, so he's in. I've never heard of King Michael of Romania, but he got the nod as well.

Who else got in? Lots of royalty from the Middle East. The Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, The Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said and Sheik Muzah from Qatar are all coming. But my favorite is Queen Raina from Jordan. (She is fine and I can't wait to see her dress!) The Sultan of Brunei is coming, but Japan's emperor Akihito canceled out of respect for the earthquake / tsunami victims. Finally, the world oldest monarch, the Thai King Bhumibol (83 years old) is in ill health and will be represented by his daughter. NOTE: There are no monarchies in the Western Hemisphere.

Aside from Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, no foreign politicians were invited. (This snub includes the Obamas and the Sarkozys). Instead, Wills and Kate have invited some very ordinary people from the Middleton hometown of Buckleberry. Kate's mailman, grocer, butcher and local pub owner John Haley will all be there. Also of note: one person has turned down the invite. New Zealand rugby star Richie McCaw rudely announced he wants to concentrate on the upcoming World Cup instead. Finally...we saved the best surprise invite for last. Believe it our not, KANYE WEST got a royal invitation to the affair. It turns out Wills is just crazy about the rapper and his music. Let's just hope he leaves the Hennessey bottle at home!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



Here at the DUNER BLOG, we have a policy about OBITUARY BLOGS: We don't do them. While we did blog about the deaths of the SONY WALKMAN and TV SHOW THEME SONGS, these don't really count because they're not exactly human. BUT...we did make an exception when news hit the DUNER BLOG HEADQUARTERS yesterday morning about the passing of ELIZABETH TAYLOR. We were instantly flooded with calls, posts, texts, e-mails, tweets, twits and twats...all begging us to blog. We couldn't possibly answer all your questions, so we picked five at random.

#1 Is Elizabeth Taylor a US or a British citizen? Scott in Cincinnati, OH.
Great question, Scott! The answer is YES. Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London on February 27, 1932 and is therefore a British citizen. But, her parents were both US citizens, so she is automatically given US citizenship as well. Her dad was a successful international art dealer based in the UK. The family moved to the USA in 1941 to escape World War II.

#2 Are Elizabeth Taylor's eyes really violet? Simona in Milan, Italy.Indeed they are, Simona! Technically, violet eyes are categorized as "blue mixed with a red pigment." It is very rare, and can only occur in one of those weird 'double recessive' genetic codes. (Sorry...we're not scientists here!) Aside from Liz, violet eyes are "commonly found in a few remote and high altitude areas of northern Kashmir." We also discovered she was born with mutated double eyelashes, which is both gross and sexy.

#3 How many husbands did Elizabeth Taylor have? Tracy in Manhattan.Always a trick question...do you count Richard Burton twice? (Of course you don't, Tracy...that would be foolish.) All toll, Liz was married to SEVEN different people. Her first marriage was to Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton's grand-uncle. It was also her shortest, at only six months. Her last marriage to construction worker LARRY FORTENSKY was her oddest. But I believe she was happiest with film producer MICHAEL TODD. He was the only one she DIDN'T divorce. (He was killed in a plane crash in New Mexico in 1958.)

#4 Over years, Liz has endorsed a lot of products. Which was the most lucrative? Julie in Sydney NSW.Right you are, Julie! Liz Taylor was one of the first Hollywood celebs to do endorsement deals. In the 1950's she pitched everything from Whitman's Chocolate to Lux Soap to ArtCarved Diamonds. But her most successful teaming was with the Elizabeth Arden Fragrance Company in the 1980's. The classic commercials for BLACK DIAMONDS and WHITE PEARLS perfumes still air every Christmas.

#5 What is your favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie, Duner? Vicky in Mexico City.Without a doubt, it is A PLACE IN THE SUN. Prior to this role, Liz had been known only as a child actress, melting hearts in classics like LASSIE and NATIONAL VELVET. Now a stunning 21-year-old, Liz was out to prove she wasn't a cute girl anymore. Not only does she look great in a one-piece swimsuit, but the plot, acting and casting is great. Everyone was surprised at the 1952 ACADEMY AWARDS when the shallow Gene Kelly flick AN AMERICAN IN PARIS beat it out for Best Picture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



We humans think we are soooo smart. We humans always think we can conquer MOTHER NATURE. We ignore her attempts to warn us. Everyone knows that earthquakes come in all different sizes at any time of the day and night. So it's probably not a good idea to build a nuclear reactor on a fault line scientifically proven to be seismically active. But... hey...we're smart...we know the chances of a 8.9 quake occurring today are pretty slim. Problem solved...until tomorrow!

When I was a kid...way back in the 1970's...I was always puzzled by the anti-nuclear protests. There were lots of them (way back then) and I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. OK, I understood why other protests were happening. For example, the anti-war movement seemed straightforward enough. I also understood the need for union picketers and the pro-life movement. Heck, I even understood why PETA is mad! (But I still think they're kinda silly.) But I could never understand the anti-nuclear protesters. Why would people want to spend their time, outside, in the freezing cold, marching in circles outside the locked chained-linked fence of THREE MILE ISLAND or DIABLO CANYON? Why are they so mad about something that might possibly happen in the future?

For years, the dire warnings painted on their signs didn't happen. The protesters, once so emblazoned with passion and rage, began to slowly fizzle out. By the time an actual disaster occurred in Chernobyl in 1986, their shouts of "I TOLD YOU SO" were too few to notice. During the 1990's and the 2000's, the anti-nuclear movement further splintered and failed to gain any headlines or true concern. But now...suddenly....just weeks from 25th anniversary of the UKRAINIAN NIGHTMARE...we are painfully forced to ask ourselves again: Is Nuclear Power really worth the risks?

Just because something is new doesn't mean that it is necessarily better. People are always seeking out a way to do something easier now so we can have more leisure time later. Let's review two 'great' human inventions from the 1900's and see how wonderful they turned out to be.

Exhibit A: Baby Formula. Moms in the '50's and '60's were told this 'miracle powder mixed with water' would make their infants healthier than breast milk. Nowadays, we know that the million-plus years homo sapiens spent suckling their young is...in fact...the better way.

Exhibit B: Margarine. People have been churning butter for a long time as well, but scientists created a substitute made of sugar, plastic and yellow dye. Yuck.

Oops, got a little off track there. Back to nuclear power. Gandhi asked us to "listen to those who have no voice." Today we need to hear what JUNISHIRO TAKASHI is trying to tell us. Who is she? She is a six-month-old baby living in the 'Evacuation Zone,' the 12-mile region surrounding the spewing Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Today, it's up to 1,000 millisieverts (whatever the hell that is) of radiation and her organs are in danger of failing.

Sure...nuclear power is safe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



Throughout history, there has been a huge problem with royalty. The simple question is: Are some people really just better than the rest of us? Does their 'royal blood' actually make them superior to the common man? If you were to ask THOMAS JEFFERSON, he'll tell you that "All Men Are Created Equal" and then he'd go off on what a jerk KING GEORGE III is. But, if you were to ask KING LOUIS XIV about the subject, he'd chop off your head quicker than you could say "Sacre Bleu."

So as we approach the first big ROYAL WEDDING of the new millennium, the same question inevitably arises: Are members of the current House of Windsor really all that different than you and me? We'll let's see...sometimes the British Royalty really do pull it off. Like when QUEEN ELIZABETH addresses Parliament. She's got her royal escort of immaculately dressed Beefeater guards who proudly pound ceremonial the royal staffs to proclaim 'her highness has arrived.' But other times, some members of Windsor have an uncanny ability to act just like the kids on JERSEY SHORE. I think you all know who I'm talking about. Let's have a big round of applause for PRINCE ANDREW!

Just when you think the ROYAL FAMILY has it all together with a lavish wedding with two gorgeous people, along comes that crazy uncle to screw everything up. You know...the relative no one wanted to invite but you have to as a family obligation. That's poor Andrew. He's always been getting in trouble, especially with the ladies. As a lad, 'Randy Andy' garnered a reputation for his brash actions with the fairer sex. Later, his infidelity and insensitivity was largely to blame for the dreary divorce to SARAH FERGUSON. So it comes as no surprise when Andrew was recently photographed in a Florida nightclub with his arm around the waist of a teenage prostitute who is in the center of a ugly international sex trial.

So...okay...maybe PRINCE ANDREW doesn't have the best of luck/taste in women. That's his prerogative. (So we here at the DUNER BLOG will let him slide on that one.) But what has recently got the London tabloids angry is his duties as the Special U.K. Trade Representative. What exactly this position entails is any one's guess, but Andrew interpreted it to mean that he could gallivant all over the world with anyone he pleases with the British taxpayer paying. Not a bad job!

All would have been fine and dandy for Andy...until the unrest in the Middle East. See, the prince is close friends with SEIF GADDAFI, Moammar's oldest son. Seems the two have a lot in common: They both love to spend other people's money on themselves. As more and more details emerge, the greater the disdain for the Prince. Last week, a member of the House of Commons, CHRIS BRYANT, asked Parliament: "Isn't it time we dispensed of the Duke of York's services?" Naturally, Buckingham Palace has defended Andrew. In a statement, they claimed these relations fall "under the mandate of his post."

It's only FIFTY MORE DAYS until the Wedding...Let's hope Andy can stay out of the headlines!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



Many people around the world were surprised to see the recent TV interviews with troubled Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi. Let's face it, he's dressed like Liz Taylor, he slurs his words like Dean Martin and stares into space like Jim Ignotowski from the TV show TAXI. How could this man be a renowned World Leader? He is categorically insane!

Well, to those of us here at the DUNER BLOG, Muammar's actions came as absolutely no surprise. We know he's been crazy his whole life As a boy, Gaddafi grew up worshipping neighboring Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser, who famously blamed all Arab problems on the evil Western influences. As a leader, Gaddafi took this flawed philosophy to a new level, creating a haven for anyone who remotely disliked the West. Soon, Libya was a summer camp for PLO mercenaries, Olympic bombers and Maoist drones.

But, the main thing that separates Gaddafi from all the other loonies out there (Are you listening, Kim Jong Ill?) is an petroleum-powered treasury to finance his most wildest dreams. While there is no blog long enough to describe all of his insane plans over the last 40 years, we have widdled it down to a TOP FIVE list of Gaddafi all time craziest plans:

#5 His Title. It's been said you can tell how crazy a world leader is by how many words are in his or her name. Gaddafi's official title, which must be used at all events, is 18 words long. Officially, Muammar is the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. What a mouthful!

#4 War With Chad. Gaddafi hates his Southern neighbor and has always disputed their shared border. The Aouzou Strip is worthless desert, but both nations claim it as theirs. The famed Toyota War broke out in 1987 when Gaddafi's army invaded Chad. With 8,000 men, 300 tanks and Russian-built Mi-24 helicopters with bad-ass rocket launchers, the Chadian army looked doomed. But the Libyan army got lost and surrendered to a bunch of yahoos in Toyota pick-up trucks (hence the war's odd name.)

#3 Alliance with Idi Amin. Like Lex Luther, Gaddafi surrounds himself with some of the world's evilest villains. His opulent villa in Tripoli has entertained an array despised despots over the years. This includes the former Serbian president Solobodan Milosevik (currently awaiting trial in the Hague for Mass Genocide), Venezuelan President-for-Life Hugo Chavez and...wait for applause..Saddam Hussein! But none of these compare to his alliance with the Ugandan Nightmare IDI AMIN, who killed a half-million of his own people.

#2 Support for Somali Pirates. Over the years, Gaddafi has lent his support to many a questionable cause. He called AIDS a "peaceful virus," gave weapons to Colombian drug lords and Irish terrorists and loves female circumcision. But his most mind-blowing stance was his support for the Somali Pirates. He said they are "helping thwart imperialism."

#1 Female Body Guards. Since 1980, Gaddafi has employed the Amazonian Guard for his personal protection. The cadre of machine-gun totting hotties follows the glorious leader everywhere and has been the source of many a rumors over the years. Well, you decide which are true and false:

They must all be virgins.
They are allowed privileges (makeup, high heels, etc) that other Libyan women aren't.
One woman (named Aisha) died when she threw herself in front of an assassin's bullets.
Their camouflage fatigues are specially made by Italian designer Prada.
They beat the crap out of Hefner's Playboy Bunnies in a WWF Pay-Per-View event.

Ah, Muammar, what will life be without you?