Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 30, 2012

Celebrity Death Matches: Lohan v. Taylor, Swift v. Mayer

Elizabeth Taylor’s “love nest” trailer from the *Cleopatra* movie set, from which she ruled the world with a smile and a well-placed birthmark.

I feel so dirty.

I use as my internet homepage when I sign on, mostly as a way of knowing the day’s actual news, before I begin the petty little business of my own life. But occasionally, a less newsy, more sordid or sensational headline grabs the attention of my inner teenager, and I fall down some movie trivia well or pop star rabbit hole for a few minutes (or longer) as I turn over the wheel to this impetuous teenage driver.

Which is what brought me to La Liz’s half-million dollar 1963 Cleopatra movie set trailer, a real museum quality collection of artifacts recently TRASHED by this era’s “bad girl” Liz Taylor wanna-be, Lindsay Lohan.

Apparently the owner of the trailer is a small businesswoman creating a tourism site to capitalize on Taylor’s lasting appeal (an appeal which I find strange… Liz was beautiful, and a great actress, though not unlike Lohan seriously messed up in the head, two train wreck personalities we can’t help but watch… which also helps explain the odd friendship Taylor had with Michael Jackson, yet another famous youngster who grew up in the limelight and was ultimately ground up by the various inner and outer demons that seem to gravitate toward celebrities who fit this unique profile).

The trailer was rented by a movie studio to bring to the set of Lohan’s upcoming Lifetime cable movie “Liz & Dick” about Taylor and Richard Burton’s torrid love affair. (Lifetime… this is what Lohan’s career has come to… what a shame… not to mention Richard Burton’s incredible talent being overlooked because of his love/hate thing with Taylor.)

Lohan claims she had nothing to do with cigarette burns and items stolen from the trailer, but several sources confirmed that she and her friends had been in the trailer several times after hours. Now we all know what kind of trouble Lindsay gets into when she’s unsupervised… so who you gonna believe? 

So now some insurance company or the movie studio will likely be paying the heartbroken trailer owner several million dollars of settlement money for Lohan’s substance-addled antics in the trailer. Plus some lucky member of the movie crew or Lohan’s entourage now has the bragging rights of rocking him/herself to sleep in Taylor’s high-priced Cleopatra rocking chair, one of the items not returned when the trailer was sent back.

There’s this “so bad it’s fun” aspect to this type of celebrity-watching, but there’s also a darker side, isn’t there? These people are mostly no more shallow or dumb than we are, but they take on the burden of  doing it in public, with TMZ, radio, and the internet acting as a sort of sacrificial altar for our sins. Which leads back to me at my computer this morning…

I managed to wrench the steering wheel back from my inner teenager for a few moments and went back to, but then depressing stories about Republican blowhards and floods in New Orleans apparently overwhelmed me, because the only story I wanted to actually read was about musician John Mayer and all his angry, famous ex-girlfriends. Thus the steering wheel was gently surrendered back to my inner trailer-trash teenager again.

The fact that I’m a genuine fan of Mayer’s music (I once called him the “James Taylor of Generation Y”) does not excuse me from admitting that I think he is generally a douchebag, as human beings go. Or at least a douche in terms of his love life, his self-admitted heavy-duty marijuana habit, and his generally narcissistic, spoiled rockstar behavior.

Here’s some “fun bad”: in the trashy CNN story, John looks so HIGH in his photo with Taylor Swift, with whom he was romantically linked in 2010. It’s just perfect, because it’s wrong on so many levels (the age difference, her squeaky clean image, how easily we excuse rock star excesses while telling our own kids to “Just say no”).

Here’s some more fun-bad: Taylor Swift gained the upper hand by writing a hit SONG about what a dog John was (or cradle-robber Jake Gyllenhall, or Taylor Lautner, or some other famous ex-boyfriend, …but probably John, given the “Dear John” title…)

Here are my favorite lines from the song:

You are an expert at sorry and keeping lines blurry.
Never impressed by me acing your tests.
All the girls that you’ve run dry
have tired, lifeless eyes
‘Cause you’ve burned them out.

Copied from

And John’s public response:

In June, Mayer told Rolling Stone that Swift’s track “Dear John” made him “feel terrible” … “because I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.” However, Swift has never officially confirmed that the song is about Mayer.

So, okay. I’m sure Taylor Swift is no angel, either. But I like that she shows some edginess, some strength with a song like this. I like her other music and lyrics well enough, also. But she’s no Emmylou Harris or Joni Mitchell as an artist. John’s probably a better songwriter, and most definitely a better overall musician.

But what do I do with the fact that he’s an ass? I don’t want to like these mercurial, self-centered, manipulative people, but I can’t HELP it. They’re complicated… like me.

Oh well… time to go to work and talk it over around the water cooler.

John, you scamp. And Lindsay, Liz, Jacko, etc etc… We love to hate you, hate to love you.



  1. One of Caleb’s fellow band members or friends was talking about how John Mayer, though a great musician is such a terrible person. I no nothing about it. First time I ever heard it. Wonder of it’s sort of like urban legend info…just plain out of control gossip. I don’t’ know. Don’t really care that much either. When you find out about the personal lives of famous people they often disappoint. Jimi Hendrix stuck me as a very selfish hedonistic person. People think John Lennon is God-like but “Imagine there’s no heaven” is foolish in the Biblical sense, which is to say not only not unwise but morally bad, to say the least. (Please anyone spare me the “It actually means…” response) I once posted something about how Steven Stills “Love the one your with” was foolish on FB and got “corrected” by ex-hippie sudo-Christain outrage. After seeing a documentary on Harrison Ford it was hard to get past how he seemed to dump his wife (who supported him so much) as soon as he hit it big.

  2. From a new article at tv –> [ ]
    ************************* *************************************

    … but it comes as a pleasant surprise that he [John Mayer} now admits he was wrong in airing his dirty laundry in public.

    “I was just a jerk,” Mayer said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, according to US Weekly.

    [Other tvguide link} : *John Mayer “really humiliated” by Taylor Swift’s “Dear John” *

    Mayer’s most famous foot-in-mouth occurrence was referring to former fling Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm.” His other relationships include Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Minka Kelly, among others.

    So first of all, wtf does sexual napalm even mean, anyway?

    Secondly, that’s quite an impressive list of past flings. Not that I’m envious… no wait. I am. God help me, I am jealous of his ability to get all that action with those extremely high-maintenance women, who would probably eat ME for breakfast. Maybe I’m sexual napalm, too?

    Most importantly… I’m not surprised by this mea culpa. John’s a smart, thoughtful guy. So when God knocked him on his ass, put him in a position to maybe lose his voice or career, he seems to have sat up and taken notice. Will it last? Who knows. But I think it’s genuine regret.

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