Damien Hirst: 'I'm Not Buying Art -- But You Totally Should!'

Y.B.A. posterman Damien Hirst -- yes, he who smashed Picasso's 1993 single-artist auction record back in September with a $199 million haul -- is not buying art these days.  Seems he is one of the wealthy patrons whose reticence accounts for the 30 to 50 percent drop in contemporary art acquisitions.  Nevertheless, he'd still like you to open your wallet -- he'll be making bronze meteorites soon, he thinks (quote: "They're going to be out of this world!") and Lord knows we all need one of those.  About as much as we need a $100 million diamond-encrusted skull, or a dead shark suspended in aqua formaldehyde.Check out his entire too-cool-for-school interview here.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Channing Tatum

The "Fighting" star and upcoming pretty face in summer's blockbuster "G.I. Joe," Channing Tatum talks to NEWSWEEK's Ramin Setoodeh in our "7 Things" series -- topics include his former career in pet sales (?), his reluctant adaptation to a tech-savvy society and his favorite place to read scripts.  Click the player to view!

Why Ben Bernanke Is Actually Jack Nicholson

It has come to our attention -- thanks to some bored banker friends of ours -- that the ongoing letter-writing campaign to the federal government from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, regarding the bullying tactics of the Federal Reserve, uncannily echoes the plotline of "A Few Good Men," which was about a letter-writing campaign to the federal government, regarding the bullying tactics of the Marine officers stationed at Guantanamo Bay.  Which is nice, because we haven't watched the above-linked monologue in a while, and it's one of our favorites. So here's the skinny that justifies our whiling away hours on YouTube:In real life, Cuomo is blowing the whistle on some untoward demands from high up the food chain: that Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, was ordered to acquire Merrill Lynch even though it was a bunk investment that caused his shareholders to hemorrhage cash.  Lewis now says he did so only because Henry Paulson threatened him -- if he...

Satirical Mash-Up: Reality TV's Latest 'Apprentice'

Our quirky satirical video series "Mash'd" continues with this latest installment -- the video team's version of what disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich would look like on a slew of TV's top reality shows.  Nevermind that his dreams were recently dashed with "I'm A Celebrity -- Get Me Out Of Here."  How about "The Biggest Loser" (hint: slo-mo jogging is involved), "The Apprentice" or "Tool Academy" to fill the void?  Click the player to view!

Morning Mix: Lee, Tarantino Up for Palme d'Or; Lohan Is Not

Tarantino, Lee Up For Palme d'Or.  The Festival de Cannes has released the names of the 20 films up for the prestigious Palme d'Or, the festival's marquee award. (The French festival opens May 13 with Pixar's "Up").  Quentin Taratino's "Inglourious Basterds" is among them, as is Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock" and Jane Campion's "Bright Star" (about Keats).   Many of this year's directorial nominees have already won.  [BBC News]'Millionaire' Back in Late August.  He's baaaack!  Regis Philbin will resume hosting duties of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" which will return to the airwaves this summer for a two-week tournament.  To what can we attribute this return?  Perhaps the prominent featuring of the show in this year's Best Picture? [New York Times]Lohan Wants Her Career Back.  Like so many during the recession, Lindsay Lohan is protesting the state of her career -- and...

'The Hills' To Get Season Six? Gotta Get Through S5 First

Ratings for MTV's darling, "The Hills," are down this year over the last season -- whereas Season Three netted over 4 million viewers, this outing (the fifth) has been flatlining around 3 million.  This might be less surprising, if it weren't the cherished show's last season (or, at least, supposedly the last with heroine Lauren Conrad intact -- the AP is reporting today that the show's producers are in talks about a Season Six) and if it weren't a markedly better, more dramatic, more eventful season than the fourth or even its putrid spinoff, "The City."Why no love for Lauren? The L.A. Times and other have speculated that viewers will continue to atrophy as the show distances itself from the actual lives of its "real" main characters, and now more than ever does that appear to be true.  The first few installments of this season have led us to believe that Heidi and Spencer -- -- are calling it quits. And that the "...

Mini Q+A: Daryl Hannah Shares Her Earth Day Tips

Green actress Daryl Hannah is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Garden," about a group of community farmers and eco-activists who protested a Los Angeles developer's move to turn 14 acres of communal garden space into warehouses and factories.  (You may remember Hannah's arrest while protesting the development in 2006, when Los Angeles police removed her from a tree.)  The film opens in New York theaters on May 8 -- ahead of its release, and in honor of Earth Day, Hannah shares her favorite green tips with Pop Vox: Always keep a refillable stainless steel water bottle on hand (in your car or in your backpack) wherever you are, to alleviate the need for ridiculous, excessive plastic bottles that outgas.Try to grow some of your own fruit and veggies -- if you don't have a garden, you can even do it on window sill and it's fun!Use only non toxic, biodegradable products to clean your body, your home and your yard.

Morning Mix: Happy "Earth" Day!

Cruise Script-Tailoring Is Keeping A Handful of Men Really Rich.  Not everybody is scaling back or earning less these days.  Variety reports that Tom Cruise has "single-handedly propped up the script-doctoring biz," with a veritable army of rewriters he has working on his next five projects, some earning $250,000 per week.  As the paper reports, Cruise often has notes to alter the words, and has the rewriters tailor to his specifications after the studio's own rewrites are through.  What's the excuse for "Valkyrie's" lame dialogue?  [Variety]Green Movie Opening Today To Jones' Soothing Tones. Happy Earth Day! Opening in honor of today's green holiday is Disney's documentary "Earth," a wondrous look at wildlife and our environment that NEWSWEEK says will terrify your children.  James Earl Jones provides spot narration -- which is enough to make us want to see it. [NY Daily News]Susan Boyle + Leather Jacket = The Makeover We...

Blago Sees Reality-TV Fame Slip Through His Fingers

Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was denied in his quest to join the cast of "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" earlier this afternoon.  U.S. District Judge James Zagel, in a move that shocked approximately no one, declined to alter the terms of Blagojevich's bond to allow him to travel to the show's set in the Costa Rican rainforest. We guess his entertainment television legacy will begin and end, then, with Jason Sudeikis on "Weekend Update."  Or will it?!  Stay tuned to Pop Vox for an offering from NEWSWEEK's satirical video team later this week that may sate your Blago-in-the-jungle craving.

Morning Mix: Why Are We So Excited About 'Moneyball'??

Lohan To Strip In Vegas?  To further distance herself from career-arc comparisons to Elizabeth Berkley or Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan is now in talks to appear in burlesque musical show "Peepshow" in Vegas, once Kelly Monaco ("Dancing With the Stars," "General Hospital") is through with the role.  Sigh. [EW]Today In Movies We Are Really Excited About. More updates about "Moneyball," the great Michael Lewis book that will become a Steven Soderbergh film. We already know that Brad Pitt is on board to play the main character, Oakland As' Billy Beane. Now, Demetri Martin, the stand-up comedian, is set to play the Harvard statistician whose "Earned Run Value" mathematic formula Beane used to juice the most out of his roster.  Real players will also make appearances in the film, including David Justice and Scott Hatteberg; former players like Daryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra will do on-camera interviews about real-life experience with...

Jon Meacham Wins Biography Pulitzer!

NEWSWEEK Editor Jon Meacham won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography on Monday afternoon for "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House."  Click here to read an excerpt, or here to download his interview with NEWSWEEK ON AIR about the book, which was selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2008. While Meacham was in his home state of Tennessee, Newsweek Managing Director and Washington Post Co. Vice President Ann McDaniel, had this to say:It gives me great pleasure to announce that Jon Meacham has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for biography for his best-selling book "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House." The Pulitzer Board described Jon's book as "an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life." You can read an excerpt from Meacham's award-winning book here, and you can read his Newsweek columns, cover...

How Will Nielsen Battle Back?

Warranted or not, Nielsen's ratings are often blasted as non-representative and capriciously collected. Just last week, Slate blasted the company's box system for skewing the numbers at this crucial point in the TV year, right before May sweeps.  The Big Money argues that if you really want to stage a "Save My Show" campaign, you and all your friends had better watch it online -- rather than on your old TV set.  At least then, your "vote" will be counted -- Chadwick Martin argues that you just can't trust Nielsen's minute sample size and clunky system to pick up on a groundswell movement.Talk about timely -- TiVo to the rescue?  The television DVR company company announced a new service today called Stop/Watch Local Markets, which will begin to gather an incredibly detailed list of anonymous information from subscribers -- information that, while not directly supplanting Nielsen data, greatly expands and broadens the reach, and is of...

Video Satire Mash'd: Stop Hating On Susan Boyle!

The media -- and, oh yeah, the 20+ million YouTube clip viewers -- are all enchanted with erstwhile church-choir singer Susan Boyle, the small-town Scottish biddy who got famous this week on UK reality show "Britain's Got Talent" when she sang a "Les Miserables" showtune -- and betrayed some seriously powerful pipes.  The only problem?  Haters are saying her Frida Kahlo browline and granny-chic attire make her more likely to see William Hung's fame arc than, say, Celine Dion's. Why all the haters?  Click the player to see the NEWSWEEK satirical video team's mash-up of all the Boyle-dissing!

7 Things You Don't Know About Michelle Trachtenberg

Sometime "Gossip Girl" star Michelle Trachtenberg -- she's returning soon! -- is promoting new movie "17 Again," in which she costars with Zac Efron.  So does she, in real life, wanna be 17 all over again?  NO!  Find out why in our latest "7 Things" video, in which the porcelain-skinned actress dishes about her separation anxiety on vacations, how the "Gossip Girl" cast really gets along and what her age-limit is for potential boyfriends.  Click the player to view!

Morning Mix: Vintage Edition

Raw Version of Tarantino Clip Now Online. The uncensored version of the sneak peek at "Inglourious Basterds," Quentin Tarantino's new film, is now online.  The early look at the film came on Tuesday's "American Idol," when Tarantino made an appearance.  Check it out here. [Youtube]'Father Knows Best' on the Big Screen. The classic 1950s TV show is slated to become a movie -- again.  This comes after separate attempts in 1994 and 2003 to project the show on the big screen -- this time, New Regency and Fox have roped in the estates of star Robert Young and the original show's creators and producers.  [Variety]Little Edie Chic?  Ahead of this Sunday's HBO premiere of "Grey Gardens," the Drew Barrymore/Jessica Lange-starred movie version of the famed 1975 documentary, there are several stories about a potential revival in the younger Beale's granny chic.  Possibly because Barrymore in essence wore a period costume to the...

Some Good News About 'HP6,' Finally.

It's being moved up two days -- per Variety's report, Warner Brothers moved the summer flick from Friday, July 17th, to the Wednesday, the 15th. It is customary for studios to release major blockbusters on Wednesdays in the summer -- funny that it's only just being upgraded to blockbuster status?Speaking of Variety, it looks to have been completely redesigned over the course of the day.  That, or I'm going crazy.  I read it this morning in its old-school, green-highlighted form.  And now?  It's all graphic-y and red and pretty and stuff.  It looks a bit -- gasp! -- like Newsweek's front page.  Check it out here.

Morning Mix: Blago Wants to Skip Town -- to Costa Rican Jungle?

Blago Slated to Headline NBC Reality Show.  Impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich already has his next move underway -- he's set to star in this summer's "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here," in which he will battle it out with nine other "celebrities" in the Costa Rican jungle.  Pending, that is, the court loosening his travel restrictions.  Can anyone forsee a judge OKing this?! [Variety]Nobody Cares That Adam Lambert Is Gay.  The media is trying to raise some interest in this story about Adam Lambert potentially being the first gay winner of "American Idol" -- he's the frontrunner right now.  He won't specifically address his sexuality, but he "wears eyeliner" and there are online photos of him kissing men -- which ABC is comparing to the same "Idol"-run-ending past that David Hernandez faced, once it was revealed that he was a former male exotic dancer to primarily gay clients.  And Bill O&apos...

Satire: 'Parental Control: Bristol Palin Gets Set Up'

 The Palins have long been content to simply kvetch that Levi "I'm A F**kin' Redneck" Johnston wasn't exactly the polished suitor they hoped Bristol would nab -- let alone the ideal father for their first grandchild.  But after Johnston took a blistering rebuttal -- and pair of hilariously wandering eyes -- to the couches on Tyra Banks' talkshow, Alaska's First Family has its guns ablaze.  Here's what it would look like if the moose-eating matriarch and snowsuited sidekick took their famous daughter to MTV's "Parental Control."  We're the Newsweek satirical video team, and we heartily endorse that move.  Click the player above to view, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Lindsay Lohan Goes For Funnybone -- But Misses

So The Blogosphere has been chuckling -- we all sit in one big beanbag-riddled rec room, you know -- for the past day or so over Lindsay Lohan's FunnyOrDie video spoof (above), in which she emulates an eHarmony video soliciting a new significant other.  (Lohan has very publicly split up with girlfriend Samantha Ronson).  She takes herself to task for all the crap she's been through -- "I’m looking for someone I can...

Living On (Digital) Love: An Avatar Story

The latest from NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett is this feature about finding and keeping love in a virtual world -- a virtual, 3-D, avatar-based world. Bennett follows two unmarried single parents who, though geographically separated, have found a lasting and almost marriage-like relationship as avatars in 3-D computer game Second Life.  I'm really thrilled that people can finally read this story, as it's been in the works here for a while now.  It's fascinating and really sticks with you, as in this observation that I haven't been able to get out of my head, regarding the pair's round-the-clock connectivity: "At night, they wear headphones to bed, so that even while they sleep, they can hear each other breathing through Skype." Now that's love.

Morning Mix: Spector Guilty And Faces Life In Prison

Spector Found Guilty of Murder.  Six years after 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson was shot to death in the foyer of famed music producer Phil Spector's house, Spector was found guilty of the crime.  In his 1960s heyday, Spector was the man behind a slew of major hits, including "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Be My Baby."  He faces 18 years to life in prison, barring a successful appeal -- he will be sentenced on May 29.  [Associated Press]Sans Prenup, Robyn Gibson Could Get Paid.  People is reporting that Mel Gibson's divorce from longtime wife Robyn could be the most expensive in Hollywood history -- causing Gibson to ink a $500 million check, about half of what he's earned in their time together.  (Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ... Mel Gibson is worth a BILLION dollars?!) [People]Spring Awakening To Come To Big Screen?  McG -- he of "Terminator" tirade fame as the pipsqueak telling Christian Bale to cool it...

Harrelson to TMZ: No Biggie, I Just Thought You Were A Zombie.

I can't wait for Seth Meyers to "Really?!" this one:Once upon a last Wednesday, Woody Harrelson was en route to New York after wrapping "Zombieland," in Georgia -- a horror flick costarring Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone in which Harrelson was repeatedly attacked by, er, zombies.  So when a TMZ paparazzo got in his face for a photograph, Harrelson allegedly lunged for the lens, shoved the guy and attacked back -- and now blames those actions on his film-honed, fast-twitch zombie-defense reflexes.  Seriously.  Per the statement Harrelson made through his publicist late Friday, which was summarily blasted by CNN and others: "I wrapped a movie called Zombieland, in which I was constantly under...

Morning Mix: Cyrus And Her Alter-Ego Revel In The Spoils

Swiss Architect Claims Pritzker Prize.  The architect Peter Zumthor, an almost Zenlike master of buildings that fuse modern and organic, natural elements, will claim the prestigious 2009 Pritzker Prize for architecture and its $100,000 award in Buenos Aires on May 29.  Zumthor joins a league of architects that includes Frank Gehry and Oscar Niemeyer.  He is 65.  [Washington Post]'Hannah Montana' Nabs Top Spot.  Miley Cyrus snagged a $34 million opening weekend with her first non-concert "Hannah Montana" movie, making it the best opening weekend for a live-action, G-rated movie yet.  After her success with "Bolt," which went on to earn $100 million, plus her concert movies, Cyrus is officially box-office gold, averaging about $30 million per opening. [Associated Press]Sheen Joins 'Twilight' Gang As Tony Blair.  Okay, Just Kidding... Michael Sheen, he of Tony Blair fame and Peter Morgan attachment (see "The Queen," "Frost/Nixon,...

7 Things You Don't Know About Trumpeter Chris Botti

Our Friday arts video series continues as we talk with Chris Botti, the famed jazz trumpeter whose latest live-performance album, "Chris Botti in Boston," is (as per the usual) on the Billboard 200 chart.  The ultra-hip musician, sporting a leather jacket, vents about how his instrument is like a needy ex-wife.  He also reveals for the first time what song he could first play all the way through on the trumpet.  Ramin Setoodeh reports -- check it out in the player above!

Morning Mix: Sundance Sputters, Kanye Mutters

Fawcett Released For Holiday Weekend.  Farrah Fawcett was finally released from the hospital yesterday; her doctor, Lawrence Piro, said she wanted to spend Easter at home with her family.  Hopefully she'll have some family left -- her son has already been detained for heroin possession while she's been away. [Reuters]Kanye Is Humbled By Animated Version Of Himself.  Would you expect Kanye West, ridiculed on "South Park" this week for his reputation as a major egomaniac, to be able to take it in stride without even one online rant?  Well, he's out to prove you wrong: yesterday afternoon he uploaded a generally sweet response (albeit in all caps) that included this: "I'M SURE THE WRITERS AT SOUTH...

Anna Faris on 'Observe and Report,' Her 'Love' Scene

In "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," cuddly Kevin James at one point slaps a tiny hot-pink, cartoon-cat-festooned Band-Aid over a minor injury he incurs on the job. Tee hee. In new mall-cop "comedy" "Observe and Report," Seth Rogen violently bashes in some kids' skulls in with a skateboard....

'Observe and Report:' the Redband Trailer

Totally NSFW.  But if you want to understand the kerfuffle going on right now on Jezebel, the New York Times, and a ton of other outlets about the movie's now-infamous date rape scene, you might wanna watch this through to the end:

Morning Mix: Spears Flubs A Concert Appearance

Smoke Bothers Britney -- But Doesn't She Smoke?  Touring Britney Spears, whose recent concerts have already garnered criticisms for being phoned in, walked off the stage last night in Vancouver just minutes after her show started and didn't return for 30 minutes.  The loudspeakers announced that the cigarette smoke had bothered her and the performers wouldn't return until the air was clear.  [EW]'Parks' Getting Meh Reviews.  Amy Poehler's new sitcom "Parks & Recreation," which debuts tonight on NBC, is getting tepid reviews from the press, who say it's just not as funny as Poehler's wacky performances on SNL.  USA Today calls the show "A Bad Day At 'The Office.'"  Ouch.  Just remember that the first "30 Rock" reviews were about the same. [USA Today]How Many Cosmetic Surgery Jokes Do You Predict?  Comedian and surgical enhancement guru Joan Rivers will be the next comic target of a Comedy Central...

Anna Faris, We Applaud Your Easter-Candy Willpower.

Of which we have none.  Pastel-metallic wrappers are littered around us.Anyway, Pop Vox chatted with Anna yesterday as she was chilling pre-premiere, about to don this half-dress for her very va-va-voom red carpet walk. Thanks for the super-close-up, HuffPo -- I can see her   Point being, she made quite an entrance.  Check back tomorrow for her thoughts, plus more about her new movie with Seth Rogen, "Observe and Report."

What's New With iTunes: A User Guide

Yesterday you probably saw a bunch of articles about DRM and label-set price points and other major changes to iTunes that have been in the works since January, and came into effect on April 7. Understanding the new price-point system is fairly straight forward—Apple's negotiations with record labels have led to three new tiers, from $.69 (oldies mostly), $.99 (older hits, generally) and $1.29 (new, hot music).  But how to understand what the rescinding of DRM means? A bit more complicated. PC World has a great user's guide to understanding exactly what the changes mean for niche iTunes functions—like downloading ringtones, etc.—as well as its more basic utilities.  Check it out here.