CIRCUS FREAK

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 We were under the impression we could simply avoid this whole Jersey Shore thing, but quelle surprise, we were wrong. The MTV reality show about a group of stereotypical Italian Americans (self-identified "Guidos") invading a New Jersey beach town has not only become a bona fide runaway hit, but has made cast members "Snooki," "The Situation," and "J-WOWW" national celebrities that are more recognizable than Madeleine Albright. And now that the show has been picked up for a second season with the original cast intact, certain people (besides Albright) aren't very happy about it. "[The cast] has more in common with the adolescent residents of Animal House than with Italian Americans," bemoaned the National Italian American Foundation in brusquely written press release. "[Their behavior] is laden with promiscuity, debauchery, and violence." Damn it! Now we're going to have to watch the entire series online! Thanks for the inadvertent publicity and destroying the next three weeks of our life, NIAF! MEANWHILE... On the other hand, if you need an impetus to stop watching Jersey Shore (or keep solid foods from staying inside your stomach), RadarOnline reports there are newly discovered NUDE photos of the orange-skinned exhibitionist Snooki racing around the internet, in which she is pictured in her bedroom, on her knees with one hand on the ground and the other holding the rail of the bed frame. Urggh. But wait... there's more? RadarOnline continues, saying there is yet another photo—but "the shot is too graphic to describe." (Heave... heave...) Quick, Greg Oden nude pictures hanging on our bathroom mirror! Wash this image forever from our minds!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 There's nothing that can markedly improve a Tuesday like a massive Christian FAIL. According to CNN, a group of 10 American Christians belonging to an Idaho group known as New Life Children's Refuge (NLCR) have been detained on kidnapping charges after trying to transport earthquake-stricken children in Haiti to the Dominican Republic—kind of without permission. "We came into Haiti to help those that really had no other source of help," explained NLCR's Laura Silsby who claims they were just trying to get the kids to a converted hotel across the border. However, that's not exactly how the children—or their parents, or the Haitian judge who charged them with child trafficking—saw it. "Some of them for sure are not orphans," said George Willeit of SOS Children's Villages, who eventually ended up with the busload of Christ-napped kids. "Immediately after she arrived here, a girl—she might be nine years old—was crying loudly, 'I am not an orphan, I do have my parents, please call my parents.'" Naturally, the Christians are denying they did anything wrong, and predict they will eventually be vindicated. "We have our Bibles and we are okay," said Carla Thompson, a NCLR member. "God is our provider and God gives us strength and comfort." Note to Carla: There is no God, which means that at least metaphorically speaking, you're an orphan. Can someone escort her across the border, please?

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Damn you, MTV! Not only are we fated to watch Jersey Shore, now we're going to have to watch The Hills, too?? According to People, an upcoming episode of The Hills will feature Heidi Montag's mom freaking out after seeing her daughter's mutilated face following her "10 plastic surgery operations in one day" incident. "[My mom] was looking at me almost like a zoo animal," the disfigured post-op Heidi told People. "It wasn't like I was her daughter anymore. She was looking at me like I was a circus freak." Well, which is it, Heidi? Are you a "zoo animal" or a "circus freak"? (And she completely left out "narcissistic fame whore.") MEANWHILE... The National Enquirer (who has been on a disorienting streak of being "right" lately) has another depressing blockbuster: Disgraced former presidential candidate/Senator John Edwards has been accused of striking his wife (WHO HAS CANCER, BTW) during a marriage-ending brawl. This news comes on the heels of Edwards' admission that he's the out-of-wedlock father of a two-year-old, AND the revelation of a sex tape involving himself and former mistress Rielle Hunter. Tune in next week for news that Edwards strangles kittens and thinks an Oscar nomination for Sandra Bullock is "a really good idea."

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4 Tiger Woods is out of sex rehab, you guys, and... and... Tiger, we know that's you behind us, and for your sake, that better be a mini-flashlight in your pocket.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 We're going to be honest with you, Portland: You need better celebrities. That guy from Everclear? Beau Breedlove? Storm Large? Come on, people. And while we've been trying to avoid giving him any attention, a recent addition to the Portland "celebrity" scene is Daniel Baldwin—who isn't so much famous on his own as he is for having a brother named Alec. Daniel's set up house both in Lake Oswego and on the Twatter (twitter.com/BALDWINDANIEL) where he regularly twats insights like, "You say YES, I say NO, You say WHY and I say I DON'T KNOW !!!!," "Born again HARD my friends, I am yoken up !!!!," and, this weekend, "30 Pounds !!!! That's right, There is nothing wrong with your eyes or my spelling. The big boy has now hit the 30 pounds lost mark. AMEDREN." (We assume he meant "Amidren," a "once daily formula" intended to combat male menopause.) And yet? Portland's crazy for him—Danny's already making celebrity appearances and is rumored to be getting his own radio show. Is it too much to ask that even a C-lister move here already? Maybe Snooki's sister?

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Lindsay Lohan's relationship with Samantha Ronson has turned violent, reports RadarOnline! "One time I saw [Lindsay] and she had a large welt on her head," a source told Radar. "She told me that Sam beat the bleep out of her.... I never thought I'd ever say this, but I really do feel sorry for Lindsay. She is just lost. She's alone. She has no friends to turn to." Well... she might have one friend—but Jessica Alba refuses to believe it! "Jessica Alba is shutting down rumors from last November that her husband, Cash Warren, hooked up with Lindsay Lohan," reports omg.yahoo.com. "Lindsay's had to deal with this [rumor] for so long," the Sin City sexpot told Cosmopolitan. "She's really nice... we hang out and chat for hours about girl stuff." Alba does admit LiLo and Cash have been spending some time together. "My husband may do a TV show with [Lindsay]—ironically, about the ridiculousness of tabloids," Alba claimed. "Um, yeah. Yeah... working on a... uh, TV show. Sure, that's it," Cash Warren said when asked for comment.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Brace yourselves, dears. "It would be absurd to not consider what it is that I can potentially do to help our country," Sarah Palin said today on Fox News when asked if she would consider running for president in 2012. It was a busy weekend for Palin, who also gave the keynote address at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, where assorted teabaggers chanted, "Run, Sarah, run!" following her speech. ("How's that hopey-changey thing working out for you?" was one of Palin's crowd-pleasing quips.) But the best part came after her speech, when she answered some pre-screened questions—and, after a particularly tough one, read the answers off of her hand. (Yes. In the proud tradition of remedial sixth-grade students everywhere, she had scrawled down answers ahead of time.) Allow us to add our voice to the half-wits' chant, Sarah: Run, Sarah, run! Nothing would please us more than seeing you bumble about ineptly for a few more years—as trainwrecks go, you make Lohan look like an amateur.