John’s school for the untalented

Elton John and Ashlee Simpson have more in common than the obvious stuff. Sure, they’re both famous “singers” and are both drama queens, but more importantly they both rely on platitudes based on humanity’s cliches. Ashlee said, “Things happen; I’m a human being,” referring to her screwup on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 25.

Sir Elton John, though, employed his usual indignity to rationalize his foul-mouthed public behavior in a recent quote from Britain’s Sunday Times magazine. He explained his behavior has changed since alluding drug addictions 14 years ago, however, “the rage and the temper are still there … but it’s part of being creative.”

John’s recent outbursts have recently fallen on Taiwanese photographers, whom he cursed for surprising him, and Madonna, for her pricey concerts, in which fans pay to see the star lip-synch.

“Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay 75 pounds ($134) to see them should be shot,” he said.

Using John’s logic, perhaps Simpson should try a new technique; maybe she should have gotten pissed on SNL.

Why is Ashlee Simpson famous? Like most in this E-generation, she’s a multitasking quasi-overachiever whose parents pushed her to crave success.

After several appearances on TV shows and landing her own reality program on MTV geared toward (cue the band) finding her success as a pop diva, you have to wonder if she even knows what she wants anymore.

After kind of writing her own songs on her debut album Autobiography, we can presume she has enjoyed being this year’s biggest debuting female artist, whose album remained the top album on Billboard three weeks after its release.

Fortunately for those of us who like real artists, this sort of success is temporary (although I’m sure there’s another just like Ashlee waiting to be exploited). To be a real creative spirit, Simpson can try anger. She’s already savvy to it on her album cover, as Simpson is seen clawing at her tortured forehead with a single dramatic blue eye gazing out from under her black bangs. It would have been nice to see her get mad during her botched performance; it would have shown that she cared. More to the Elton John method, she could have indignantly slapped herself. As a montage to the year in gimmicky divas, Simpson should have then kissed another female (say, Tina Fey) after a wardrobe malfunction — now that would be entertaining.

I know what you’re going to say: “How can a symptom of something change the cause?” It’s not unheard of; in fact, Simpson already has practice in first projecting an image and then becoming it. This is the premise of her program on MTV with the novel title of The Ashlee Simpson Show.

Heck, this kid is a quasi-overachiever; she can do anything she sells her soul for. If she works hard enough, she may even make it to Elton John status in 30 years: 50 pounds overweight in a shell-suit, jealously ranting at reporters about Madonna (who will probably still be touring with success) as a pair of gaudy earrings dangle about chubby jowls.

In the meantime, Simpson can consider hooking up with Courtney Love, just as Madonna helped Britney Spears’ career. Of course, Love is no Madonna, but neither is Simpson equal to Spears. When Simpson gets tired of her career-managing father, Love can give Simpson tips on how to marry someone more talented than herself.

Contact Entertainment Editor Harold Valentine at