Cowell: Stupid Might Beat Boring But I’m Tired of Throwing the Punches

Knob manufacturers Arton and Leonard Brother have negotiated a deal with Simon Cowell for a new television show.

American Preservationist will debut on ABC on March 16, 2012 and it will be hosted by Stephen Hawking. Executive producers are Brother’s sister Susie Brother Love, former CEO of Hallmark’s NASA division, and folk singer Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot will arrange the title tune, a “sunny keyboard version” of Natalie Cole’s “Miss You Like Crazy.”

Simon Cowell describes the show as “an Idol show for anyone, or anything, on the verge of extinction.” The difference between the new show and Cowell’s previous endeavors, he says, is that this time he’s turning the spotlight on things actually worth saving. Cowell claims that he’s “dead tired” of disposable teen idols, and painfully regrets signing new three-year deals with ITV for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor. He says that the prospect of having to endure “these ridiculous fatheads” well into his sixties scares him shitless.

The Brothers are excited about the opportunity to get a break from the knob business. “You know, it’s a broad concept. We can move from Tony Orlando to Mike Love, and then to a moth-ridden desk, in an instant. Hopefully we’ll squeeze some knobs in there as well, but that’s not important, really. It’s an opportunity for us to do something completely different — and it’s nice not to worry about profits for a change, because honestly, no one expects the concept to catch on with sponsors. We’re doing it because it’s not knobs.”

Stephen Hawking doesn’t want to comment on his role. When we asked him about the show at a local protest targeting plans to enlarge a hotel complex on the River Cam recently, he simply shrugged his shoulder. Metaphorically speaking. that is.

Shaoncé vs. Foucault: The Use of Pleasure

Pop darling Shaoncé has revealed details about her new album scheduled for release in early 2012. After the tremendous success of her previous album, Shock, people are curious to see if she can live up to the hype — but judging by yesterday’s press conference in Paris there is no need for concern. Sporting an outfit that would make Lady Gaga proud, the young singer won the world press over with her sharp wit and acute observations. Her warm, conversational style created a unique and friendly atmosphere, and even old codgers like myself had to let down our professional guard a bit to enjoy the exhilarating intelligence and humanity of the encounter.

Produced by the people behind the hit tv series Glee soundtrack, the title of her new album is The Use of Pleasure. It’s primarily based on original texts by the French philosopher Michel Foucault, translated into English by acclaimed American songwriter Diane Warren, occasionally assisted by ms. Shaoncé herself.

On her new album, Shaoncé is particularly preoccupied with Foucault’s disassociation from the structuralist movement and how it has affected what she perceives as impotent principles of application in computational semiotics. This is underscored by the extensive use of FM synthesis and autotuning. “I would never use autotune under normal circumstances,” she says. “But for this album we really had no choice — there is no better way to represent the concepts of artificial intelligence, computer-human interaction — all that stuff that we’re dealing with on the album. So you may say that autotune is the recurring theme here, a kind of non-musical leitmotif.”

I asked her if this meta-perspective might not get lost on her audience in a musical landscape where autotune is, per se, the default. “But, you see, what you’re saying, that is the beauty of it. No one knows for certain whether it’s one thing or the other. That’s my point — our ears are so accustomed to autotune that we don’t question it anymore. It’s the same with semiotics. We are so entrenched in one way of thinking — the wrong way, I’d say — that we can’t really see what’s right anymore.”

The Use of Pleasure will be released on EMI in 2012.

LeRoy: I Am From the Future

As a self-proclaimed inventor focusing on time/space issues, Paul LeRoy (36) has a dubious record. Following his amazing discovery that it is possible to move chromium through time,  further research has provided little insight — and it has indeed been claimed that the spectacle surrounding his Cr24 AnaChrom experiments was never anything but a carefully considered marketing plan masterminded by his sponsors, and that the entire project was a hoax. When LeRoy’s book “Time As I See It” was released three years ago, he was written off as a hack and a madman by peers in the National Society of Inventors.

His reputation is not going to be redeemed by the astonishing statement he made in Bern yesterday. At a press conference at Hotel Bellevue Palace, he claimed that the Paul LeRoy of our time was murdered a couple of weeks ago. As luck would have it, the 2013 version of LeRoy found out about his 2011 fate, and survived his own death by traveling back in time to a point where he was actually still alive. Had he not made it back in time, he says, his 2013 self would apparently have been killed off along with his current — or perhaps we should say his former — self.

These claims are of course contrary to most popular theories about time travel, according to which his future self would have evaporated the instant he was killed in the present, but then again, all of these theories are entirely based on fiction. LeRoy says popular belief surrounding time travel is based on an essential scientific misconception about the nature of time: Time, he says, is not chronological and, thus, not consequential.

The implications of this idea would be overwhelming, to say the least. Unsurprisingly, however, leading psychiatrists state that there is no doubt LeRoy is suffering from severe mental illness, and colleagues tell us that he has been under a lot of pressure in the last couple of years, following negative publicity and the loss of several important sponsors. So far, the Swiss police has not investigated LeRoy’s murder allegations.