The Moron the Merrier

When money and fame supersede common sense.

Earlier this year, Carlos Santana and his wife, Deborah, handed one of the guitarist's yes men his walking papers. But it wasn't because the employee had embezzled thousands of dollars that he blew on hookers and blow, or because he'd pissed in the coffeepot, or because he just couldn't make it in before noon. Nope. Our man Bruce Kuhlman, the ex-employee who's suing the couple for wrongful termination, claims he was cut loose because his "spiritual calibration" was alarmingly out of whack. According to Kuhlman, who spoke with MTV.com last spring, Deborah had commissioned a spiritual advisor named Dr. Dan to assess their employees' level of spirituality. And after the good doctor reportedly deemed Kuhlman unfit for the God squad, he was unceremoniously sent off to the unemployment line.

It's not surprising that Santana, a gifted guitarist whose 1999 Grammy-winning album was titled Supernatural, would look to a consultant from the spirit world for guidance. It's monumentally absurd, sure, but hardly astonishing. But it got us to thinking: What's with these freaking stars nowadays? Money and notoriety must drive them all bat-shit crazy. Because as moronic and pretentious as the Santanas come off in this episode, they're hardly alone. Here are two other artists who've recently caused the Moronmeter to redline:

Artist: Diddy

Details

With Robert Randolph & the Family Band and the Salvador Santana Band, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 27, and Wednesday, September 28, Red Rocks, $49-$69, 303-830-8497

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Moronic move:Last month, just as the hype machine was warming up for the MTV Video Music Awards, modern-day Renaissance man Sean Combs -- who in the past has answered to Puff Daddy, Puffy, Puff and, most recently, P.Diddy -- announced yet another pseudonym change, to Diddy. "One word. Five letters. Period. I needed to simplify things," he told the New York Post. "Nobody knew what to call me. I'd notice that people were uncomfortable when I'd meet them for the first time, and then they'd ask me what they should call me. I even started to get confused myself -- and when I called someone on the telephone, it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long."

Diagnosis:People didn't know who he was? Yeah, right. We're guessing that nobody has ever had the stones to tell this guy that the only thing more self-indulgent than coining your own nickname is organizing and throwing your own birthday party. Oh, wait. Never mind. Here's one word made of five letters that is more fitting: Moron!

Artist: Korn

Moronic move:Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has announced on his blog (www.buttsexcrips.com) that Otep guitarist Rob Patterson will fill the slot vacated by Brian "Head" Welch, who recently had a literal come-to-Jesus experience. "So, yes, we hired Rob Patterson to play guitar for the European dates, but he will not be on stage," Davis wrote. "We don't want to use samples or tape, 'cause that would suck. We are not ready to have a new guy on stage with us."

Diagnosis:Listen, chief, using samples on stage is the least of your worries. We're pretty sure Patterson doesn't mind getting paid to play in the wings -- that way, he'll avoid being linked with you barely-has-beens. In the words of Hillary Duff, you're so yesterday, buddy. Today your band is as culturally relevant as Tom Green. The fact that Virgin was dumb enough to give you a pile of loot and a share in its company just proves that it's as delusional as you are.

 
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