BIG BROTHER, the George Orwell version (not the Julie Chen version), takes its form in so many ways.
According to deadpsin.com, hypersensitive NBC has gone to Twitter and gotten the masters of the 140-character universe to delete the account of Guy Adams.
Who's Guy Adams? He's the Los Angeles bureau chief of the British newspaper The Independent, and, as you might expect, he has been taking a keen interest in the London Olympics from his base in Southern California. He had also been ripping NBC's coverage via his Twitter account.
Some of Guy's best ripostes:
"Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?"
"According to NBC's commentary team, the Surrey countryside is full of 'chateaus.' "
"Matt Lauer: 'Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies.' "
And "I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards."
But this is the tweet that got Adams banned: "The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven't started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.email@example.com."
After complaints from the peacock network, Twitter informed Adams that he had violated the company's policy of publishing "private and confidential information."
Adams responded to Twitter's European PR head: "I didn't publish a private email address. Just a corporate one, which is widely available to anyone with access to Google, and is identical to one that all of the tens of thousands of NBC Universal employees share.
"It's no more 'private' than the address I'm emailing you from right now."
Or the address at the bottom of this column.
Making this form of corporate censorship even creepier, Twitter is one of NBC's information partners in its coverage of the Olympics, which is weird since Twitter provides spoilers for all the events NBC is holding back to show in prime time.
It's a good lesson to learn, kids: Free speech always takes a back seat to big money.
Speaking of free speech, on the other, allegedly less free, side of the globe, testimony has begun in the trial against three Russian feminist rockers from the band Pussy Riot, charged with hooliganism for performing a "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral against Vladimir Putin's return as president. The charges could carry a punishment of up to seven years in prison.
The band members — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 — have been in custody for five months since their February stunt. Their prosecution has caused a sharp public divide and drawn protests from rights groups who have declared them prisoners of conscience.
On Monday, the three defendants said in statements read by their attorney that their goal was to express their resentment over Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill's support for Putin's rule.
They pleaded not guilty to the official charges of hooliganism driven by "religious hatred." Tolokonnikova said that she felt sorry if some of the believers felt insulted by their act but that they didn't mean to offend anyone.
Basically what happened is that Pussy Riot and two other women (still on the lam) took over the church's pulpit for less than a minute and sang "Virgin Mary, drive Putin away!" The performance, which became an Internet hit, also contained diatribes against top Orthodox clergy. Patriarch Kirill condemned the rockers' act as "blasphemous" and denounced those believers who called for the church to forgive the rockers.
Russia's leading liberal politicians and some of the nation's most prominent cultural figures have strongly protested the trial and criticized the church for supporting the criminal case because, heck, we'll say it, it's nuts. Amnesty International has called the three women prisoners of conscience. At the same time, some Orthodox groups are urging strong punishment for an action they consider sacrilegious.
Putin has avoided comment on the case, but many pundits believe he has given his blessing to the prosecution of Pussy Riot as part of a crackdown on dissent following unprecedented protests in Moscow against his 12-year rule.
Jonah Lehrer, a writer for the New Yorker and author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, has resigned from the magazine, and his book has been yanked from shelves and e-readers. All because of his ... creativity.
In a statement released through his publisher, Lehrer, 31, admitted that some Bob Dylan quotes appearing in his book did "not exist." (Actually, they existed, but Dylan never said them.) Others were "unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes."
(The real quotes, my friend, are blowin' in the wind/the real quotes are blowin' in the wind.)
London Olympic organizers say former Beatle Paul McCartney and other star performers who took part in Friday's opening ceremony received one pound (a mere $1.57) — for their performances.
The nominal fee was offered to make the Olympics contracts binding.
Bret Michaels and longtime girlfriend Kristi Gibson have called off their engagement.
And their relationship.
Michaels' publicist, Joanna Mignano, said in a statement Monday that the couple have separated after ... about 18 years. They got engaged in 2010 and have two daughters, Raine Elizabeth and Jorja Bleu.
In the Newtonian universe of relationships, however, the National Enquirer reports that Raven Symone is marrying her girlfriend, androgynous model AzMarie Livingston. The couple hopes to marry in New York, where such nuptials are legal — and she's hoping first lady Michelle Obama will officiate since daughters Malia and Sasha are fans.
That seems like a long shot but that's so Raven.