With Easter coming up this Sunday many Christians will rejoice, not only because their religion tells them to but also so they can once again indulge in the activities they gave up for Lent. These activities are extremely variable - ranging from serious sacrifices like chocolate and sexual intercourse (40 Days and 40 Nights, anyone?) to simple activities such as playing video games or watching TV.
Not only average Joes give up things for Lent, so do celebrities! Well, at least they do in our March Madness-inspired fantasy celebrity Lent sacrifice bracket. Here are seven celebrity and entertainment industry-related companies that should try to make it to the "big dance" (a.k.a. Easter Sunday) by giving up the following things:
Give up having, adopting, heck, even standing next to, children. They already have four with another on the way. What are they trying to prove? We get it...THEY LIKE KIDS. But if they have too many more, they're going to need to build their own Neverland Ranch, and we all know what a great environment that is in which to raise a family.
2. Tabloid Magazines
Stop trying to unveil every single detail about Brad and Angelina's life together. Yes, it was a scandal when they got together. Yes, they are both extremely good looking and make for good magazine covers, but come on. The industry is based on providing bored women with a way to pass the time while waiting to get their hair done; can't you come up with anything NEW?
No more screenwriting. Or at least screenwriting comedies. Date Movie should have been the first clue, but it got worse from there. With three releases in three years, these geniuses have managed to make a fairly decent mockery of themselves, with not just one but two films (Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans) on movie website IMDb's list of the "Worst 100 Movies of All Time."
No more philanthropy. Sure, it's nice to be charitable, but it's possible to get to a point where you're doing it more for the publicity and self-indulgence than out of actual generosity. Congratulations on your Nobel Peace Prize nomination, now can you please get back to making U2 music that doesn't involve random Spanish numbers?
Quit making straight-to-DVD sequels. It's quite sad to see how pathetic Walt Disney studios has become after its Golden Era in the late 80s-early 90s. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King all captured the hearts of kids worldwide with their catchy songs, spectacular animation, and overall good filmmaking. Then something happened: either every single writer that worked on any of those films simultaneously dropped dead, or the surge of full-length computer animated films made said writers obsolete. That's the only explanation for the unimaginative, pretty much completely lame straight-to-DVD sequels churned out by the production company in recent years ("Cinderella 2?" "The Lion King 1 ½?" Honestly?).
Stop making things as miniscule as physically possible. First there was the iMac, a mini-PC with no tower, no CD or disk drives. Then came the iPod, a mini-Walkman with the ability to store thousands more songs. But they didn't stop there. They even made smaller versions of their own products - iPod nanos and MacBook pros, for example. Sure, there's the saying that big things come in small packages, but now it's bordering on gimmicky. The first couple of times it was cool, but now it's just sort of annoying.
Stop trying to make funny commercials with those same four moronic guys. When Alltel first started its marketing campaign it was clever because the hired actors who actually resembled the real-life spokespeople of the various competitors' phone companies (Catherine Zeta-Jones, the "can you hear me now?" guy, etc.). Even when Alltel first changed its campaign from the impersonators to the nerdy guys, it was okay. But now it's just redundant, annoying, and completely unfunny. And the sad thing is, it's supposed to be funny.
While it is doubtful that any one of these celebrities/companies will be able to give up these things for even the few days of Lent that are left, it's okay. If anything, it gives others hope that maybe there isn't a fiery inferno waiting for us should we decide to eat that enticing chocolate brownie during Lent..or, at least if there is, we get to share it with some interesting people.
Story by Allisyn Keyser
Starpulse contributing writer