Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Spirit of Christmas

My thanks to Political Site of the Day for grabbing this article out of the Houston Chronicle.

It records a conversation between a Chronicle reporter and Jon Lilletun, leader of the Norwegian Christian Democratic Party.

Here's the portion of the article that caught my attention:

Lilletun also couldn't grasp how the United States could be so rich — just as Norway itself is — yet not feel an obligation to share with those less well resource endowed. Norway, as it happens, gives the highest portion — almost 1 percent — of its GNP to foreign aid of any country in the world.

"Since America views itself as a Christian country, why does it give so little to help poor countries?"

Someone really ought to tell the people in poor countries that Christmas comes from inside their hearts, and if they only looked to the little boy or girl within, they would find true happiness without taking money we otherwise could spend on a new iPod. (Come on! Why do they need us anyway? Don't they have Santa in the Third World?)

No, what Lilletun has grasped here is the essential hypocracy of most (I said most!) religious Americans. Sure, some religious people in this country genuinely follow the tenets of their religion: they donate to the poor with both money and time, they're kind to their nieghbors and the elderly and the sick, and all they want is to live in peace and harmony with their surroundings.

But that's not most religious Americans. Or, at least, not the vocal ones or the voters. For them, religion is about restricting the rights of people you perceive as "evil" or "sinful," like gays or Muslims. It's about making sure everyone believes what you believe, and behaves accordingly. But it's not about caring for the concerns of others, particularly the less fortunate. It's the Jerry Falwell School of Christianity, that religion is about giving you the right to judge others, not the responsibility of helping those who can't help themselves.

I think people in this country (and I include myself here, as I'm not the most charitable, helpful guy in the world) could learn a lot from a country like Norway. Sure, they have a different, less fanatical breed of Christianity than we have in this country, and that's fine, but they seem to have retained more of the true meaning of spirituality than we have, and that is cause for concern.

Nearly Half of U.S. Made Up of Dumb Racists

Yes, I'm afraid that's according to a nationwide poll out of Cornell University.

No, actually, here's what the report really says:

Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.

I mean, that makes sense, right? The guys who flew planes into the World Trade Center were dirty Arabs. So why shouldn't we just throw all Arabs in jail? Then, no one will be out and about and ready to fly a plane into a building. Brilliant!

And you get three guesses as to which Americans overwhelmingly favored the "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" approach to domestic policy...Was it the blue staters who "hate America" and worship Michael Moore and drink mysterious beverages known only as "lattes," or was it the good all-American red staters who love Jesus' philosophy and respect his teachings and just want to raise their kids in a nice, safe, traditional community?

The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims' civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious.

Oh. Oops. I guess they skipped over the "Love thy neighbor" part of the Bible and went straight for The Book of Revelations.

But, hey, let's look on the bright side. Maybe all these people who responded to the survey didn't really mean they wanted to seriously restrict Muslim-Americans civil rights. Maybe they misunderstood the question...

The survey showed that 27 percent of respondents supported requiring all Muslim Americans to register where they lived with the federal government. Twenty-two percent favored racial profiling to identify potential terrorist threats. And 29 percent thought undercover agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations to keep tabs on their activities and fund-raising.

Oh. Dang.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Paris Hilton Watch

If you're like me, you wake up in the morning with the burning desire to know what Paris Hilton is up to. That's why, each and every morning, I check out Paris Hilton Watch online. It keeps me posted on what Paris is doing that day, whether it's picking out a new Louis Vuitton handbag for her chihuahua Tinkerbell or making out with some scuzzy producer at the Chateau Marmont.

Here's the site's Mission Statement:

Paris Hilton Watch is a web log giving mostly daily updates on the universe that is Paris Hilton with info written by a loser who a) would like to bone Paris and b) is both fascinated and appalled with this human headline.

I'm so ashamed. I wanted to spell Louis Vuitton right above, so I don't look like the completely non-couture goober that I am, so I had to check for the spelling online. But failing to even know where to begin, I simply typed in "Paris Hilton" and "handbag" into Google.

If my computer is ever investigated by the FBI, and they go through and find every search I've ever done on the Internet, that's going to come up, and they'll think I'm totally interested in Paris Hilton's handbags. Now, who's the loser?

And it's still not nearly as interesting to check up on as the Artie Lange Death Watch.

With Probably More Depth

Brilliant interview with Pastor Joe Simpson, father of Jessica and Ashlee, over at Pop Culture Junkies.

Apparently, our very own Ashlee was going to play a lesbian in an upcoming film called Wannabe. (How appropriate!) But Dad 86'ed this idea (he was, after all, a preacher).

I changed it. It doesn't work for her to be gay the first thing out. "It's cool for a woman to be a lesbian," and I'm like, "That's true, but not her first role." She's going to be a huge movie star, like Meg Ryan or Cameron Diaz, with probably more depth.


Fans of the "Ashlee Simpson Show" will remember that Ashlee was already on the path to stardom before giving it all up to pursue her dreams of a singing career. You'll recall her tantrum on the way to the recording studio?

Yes, that's right, she had a supporting role in the Rob Schneider smash The Hot Chick, which obviously has more depth than anything Meg Ryan or Cameron Diaz have ever done.

Here's another tantalizing quote from the same interview:

Jessica never tries to be sexy. She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she's sexy in both. She's got Double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!

Why, Pastor Joe, I never expected to hear such talk out of you! And so close on the heels of "Nick and Jessica's Family Christmas Special." Maybe a little too much eggnog this week.

Young Dorkocrats

Great suggestion today by Kos on the future of the organization the Young Democrats:

I would love to see the YDs taken over by innovators. First order of business -- eliminate Roberts Rules of Order. No person should ever have to suffer through a Point of Order. Parliamentary procedures have no place in a meeting of hipsters. Second bit of business -- vacate those leaky party HQ basements for the local hip coffee shop.

Two simple changes, a huge cultural transformation.

I totally agree. I never got involved in organized politics during my undergraduate years, not because I didn't have the interest that I do know (I totally did!), but because the major political clubs and organizations at UCLA (in this case, the College Democrats) were filled with, well, dorks. Or, at least, I perceived the organizations as being dorky, debate-team-style affairs where everyone got off on playing dress up and having conventions where they could make out in small hotel rooms with their UC Davis counterparts. Maybe I was wrong...I don't know.

But I do know that making these sorts of organizations more casual and inviting can only be a positive change. We've seen that young people can be energized by the democratic process, and that was with John Kerry running, a man who competes for charisma points with the corpse of Fred Gwynn. Imagine if Howard Dean takes control of the DNC and the Young Democrats suddenly become really active...We might take control of West Virginia!

Super-Meal Me

Check out this Yahoo story telling everyone to eat something called Polymeals, or Supermeals. It's basically a meal that you eat every day that includes all the various foods known to prevent or delay heart disease. Here's the money graph:

The Polymeal includes ingredients that research has consistently shown can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. The menu includes wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic and almonds. All ingredients must be consumed daily in the recommended amounts, except for fish, which research suggests should be eaten four times per week.

So, they want you, every day, to eat wine, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic and almonds. Hmmm...sounds like that could get old pretty fast. I mean, my roommate makes a mean garlic and rutabega chocolate souffle with a white wine sauce and almonds sprinkled on top, but I don't know if I could eat it every day.

This is just another example of why nutritionists are dumb. They're always coming out with bizarre new experimental ideas that contradict one another. Other scientists aren't always doing this, like saying things like "Don't eat carbs!" and then coming back two days later with "If you don't eat any carbs, you'll die!" and then changing it to "Eat carbs but only the kind contained in dark chocolate!" They have one consistant opinion: the world if round, for example.

You don't see front page stories on Yahoo every other week saying things like "Scientists advance new 'world is cylindrical' theory." They came up with a theory, tested it, and made a conclusion. Basic stuff.

Also, what could possibly be the ingredient in dark chocolate, but not other kinds of chocolate with almost all the same ingredients, that makes it so good for your heart? And, if we know what it is, why can't we take it out of the dark chocolate, or replicate it in a laboratory, and inject it right into people's hearts? This is the kind of radical thinking we need in the scientific community. Too bad I didn't understand anything in chemistry beyond Boyle's Law.

Flux Capacitor

Apparently, this has been on the Web for a while, but I hadn't seen it yet.

It's Charlize Theron all done up in her Aeon Flux outfit. I know Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool visited the set in Berlin where they're shooting this right now. I'm a big fan of the old MTV cartoon, not to mention of Charlize Theron in skin-tight black spandex, so I'll definitely go check this out in the theater, but I don't know.

I'm thinking that, as a mainstream movie, the weirdness and complexity that made the show fun will be watered down, and it'll just be more post-Matrix effects-heavy quick-cut nonsense. It's from the director who did the independent Girlfight a few years ago, which I haven't seen, so I'll refrain from any further criticism and just wait to see the movie.


Okay, if you are under the age of 18, or suffering from heart problems, or a pregnant woman, don't click this link. In fact, just don't click that link. It's gross.

Like Turge Babonet, I have a feeling that BeastMatch, the (hopefully) world's first Beastiality Dating Service, is some kind of weird Internet joke. But just in case it's not...we should hook these guys up with the Furries.

Seriously, let them have sex with a big guy in a pink panda suit, and leave all these poor dogs, cats, horses and (dare I even say it?) gerbils alone.

Oh, and thanks to my good friend Cory for the link. I don't know how he found that site...and I kind of don't want to know. I have to hang out with this guy.

The No Truth Zone

So, host of "The Factor" Mr. William Jefferson O'Reilly III made yet another boneheaded, ridiculous comment the other day, which Media Matters has thankfully brought to my attention. Here's the O'Reilly quote:

In response to reports that actor and comedian Chevy Chase called President Bush a "dumb f---" while co-hosting a December 14 People For the American Way awards ceremony in Washington, DC, FOX News host Bill O'Reilly asserted on the December 16 O'Reilly Factor that "you don't see this kind of thing on the right." He added: "You don’t see prominent conservatives cursing out Democratic members of Congress, for example."

Except you totally freaking do?

Or does everyone forget Dick Cheney telling Patrick Leahy to "go fuck himself"? And Bush calling a reporter from the New York Times an "asshole" during the 2000 campaign. The fact of the matter is, everyone swears, and we should stop making a big deal about it on either side.

So, once again, shut the hell up, O'Reilly!

You would think that, with the guy running his mouth for hours every day on television and the radio, he'd eventually stumble upon a rational, well-reasoned argument purely by chance. But, thus far, it hasn't happened. I'll keep you posted.

Collaboration Ruling the Nation

I've been working with a small team of writers/producers on creating this cartoon for about two years now. No, I'm not going to tell you what it's all about, just so you can steal the idea and make your own cartoon. You really think I'm falling for that one?

But, anyway, we've all found it very difficult to focus, to get all on the same page so we can do any actual work on getting this thing out there into the world, where all of you can see and enjoy it, and then pay us millions of dollars. Basically, I feel like every time we all meet, we have a different idea, a different direction, and we get off-track very very easily.

To me, this is the problem every time I've tried collaborating with other people on creative projects. Not like I'm so motivated and can get all this done on my own or anything. Just that, when a large group of people interact, everyone has their own ideas. No matter what role we usually play in life, when a creative enterprise gets going, everyone wants to be the leader, everyone wants their vision to get through, and this has become entirely frustrating.

So, now it looks like the new plan will be to get this thing up on the Internet, so we can start building a fan base (if a potential one exists). I'm excited about this plan, if only because I love Homestar Runner so much that I want to emulate some of its success. Seriously, if you guys aren't watching Strong Bad e-mails every Monday on that site, you are missing out.

So, I'll certainly keep you all posted out there in Inertia-ville should anything come of this project. (Don't hold your breath). Bear in mind, this is the same creative team that thought, about a year ago, that we were going to write a script for Snoop Dogg in which he plays a time-traveling pimp who saves Beyonce Knowles from the evil executives at Capitol Records. So, you know, it's a highly professional operation.

The Geek Hierarchy

Once again, thanks to Kaz for this link. He's a good kid.

And he informs me that everyone in San Francisco already knows about Furries, which is a shame, because there's really no sexual fetish imaginable that's more amusing than a guy bragging about his sexy pink panda outfit. Who is left to make fun of that will seem fresh to the jaded folks in the Bay Area?

Perhaps the Geek Hierarchy?

I've always more self-identified as a dork than a geek, and accordingly, most of my sick dorky fetishes (like owning every Terry Gilliam movie on DVD, or having a complete set of Tom Robbins books) don't appear on this list, but it still hits pretty close to home.

Super Furry Animals

Big ups to my good buddy Kaz for sending me this hi-larious Craig's List link.

First, a word about Furries. Furries are sick weirdos who like to dress up in animal costumes and have sex with each other. Seriously. They have conventions where they all get together and compare costumes and stuff. Plus, they say things like this:

Yes, my panda suit is crotchless, please make sure your suit is too! In costume, I'm a 5'6" slender pink panda. I had my suit custom-made...I'm sure you will not find another in DC like it!

Please, folks out there in Blogger-land...If you ever find yourself typing the phrase "Yes, my panda suit is crotchless," just use a moment to look around and take some stock of your life. You're a grown man, my friend, running around having sex in a panda outfit. That makes me a very sad panda.

It gets worse, sadly:

Are there any parks or recreation areas around here with lots of trees? I'd really like to dress up and run around in the woods...that's something I never got to do in Phoenix. ;)

Please note the emoticon wink at the end of that phrase ;) This is supposed to let you know that this is a "normal, okay guy" who likes to dress up as a panda and have sex around a lot of trees in a public park or recreation area. Not some wacko.

Get the Hell Out of my Office

So, The Donald chose his new Apprentice, and it was, in fact, Kelly, as I predicted earlier this very day. I was never a big fan of his, myself, preferring the plucky young Andy, at least until he attempted to bribe his staff at Pepsi into working faster with $100 bills. Seriously, what a bonehead.

On Yahoo, they have the application to be the next Apprentice online. I'd really like to be on the show. There's just that one small detail: I have no actual business experience. Unless planning events for an Orange County Barnes & Noble counts as business experience. But it probably doesn't. I was mostly doing business with guys like Ermal Williamson, professional John Wayne look-alike and author of WORDS WITH THE DUKE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ERMAL WALDEN WILLIAMSON. Please do yourself a favor, by the way, and check out his website here. It includes the following quote:

Ermal does not hold back. Moreover, as an ordained minister, he still conducts weddings as the Duke in Western or military wardrobes on location, in a church, or aboard Duke’s famous yacht the “Wild Goose". Ermal has written patriotic poetry as: “John Wayne, American”, “Just a Piece of Cloth”, “America’s Kids Today”, and others that he recites on-stage and/or on horseback. Ermal has been told throughout the years, (on more than a hundred occasions) that he is more of the Reincarnation and Embodiment of the Great John Wayne than an impersonator, following in the footsteps of one of America's Great Heroes, inspiring those around him by seeking his dreams in his own devout and dedicated way.

Oh, man...That is too good...Must...not mock...kindly...old man...but can't...resist...

He conducts weddings as The Duke! Thank God the religious right in this country has preserved the Christian definition of marriage, so that this guy can perform this sacred ceremony dressed like John Wayne on a yacht called "The Wild Goose." That must be a classy affair, right? There's only one caveat: he won't marry you if one member of the couple is a dirty Sioux savage or a pinko commie traitor.

And I'm sure that poem "America's Kids Today" is classic, but I sadly couldn't find anything else about it online. Maybe I can get Ermal to ride on over here and recite it to me on horseback.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The President is Dumb

My thanks to Atrios for the picture.

And she does her little turn on the catwalk...

It's official, folks: Eva is America's Next Top Model.

What? You didn't watch this season of "America's Next Top Model"? What the hell is wrong with you? It was great.

See, the genius of this show is that they find these really attractive girls who have been told since the onset of puberty (and possibly before) how beautiful they are, and then they parade them around in embarrassing situations on national television each week, after which they insult and degrade them, and tell them how unattractive and unappealing they really are. And then they send one home, and the others get all excited, because they are allowed to remain and be insulted again next week.

Seriously, the judges on this show are 10 times more foul and ill-tempered than Simon Cowell, who has apparently never gotten over being cruelly kicked out of Wham! on the eve of their break into stardom. (Okay, I made that last part up).

Janice Dickinson (repeatedly referred to by host Tyra Banks as "the first supermodel," as if she broke, Jackie Robinson-style, through some barrier against the prefix super-) looks as if she might leap out of her seat and begin to strangle the girls to death with her bare hands, and fashionista Jay Manuel couldn't get through 10 minutes of the show without rolling his eyes and scoffing at these girls complete lack of couture.

Couture itself being some indefinable property that some of the girls would randomly display while for others it was as unfamiliar a concept as "the double Western bacon cheeseburger." I myself have no idea what it means, except that a model is apparently displaying it by staring into a camera like she wants to start humping the lens.

But, anyway, the season finale last night was especially delightful, because the bitchy YaYa, who spent the entire show putting all the other wannabe top models down and acting like she was so great, lost to the upstart Eva, who wasn't really one of the hottest girls on the show, but had one of the better (okay, only) personalities.

My personal favorite model, the uber-hot Ann, was cut a few weeks ago for failing to make the proper facial expressions during a fashion shoot, or something. She would have won if the show was "America's Next Girl Whom Lons Will Harbor a Crush on for Several Months Until Another Reality Show With an Even Hotter Girl Starts on UPN and She Winds Up on the Cover of FHM With Half of Her Cooter Sticking Out," but it wasn't, was it?

So, congrats to Eva. Now, can you believe I'm actually going to miss the season finale of "The Apprentice" tonight? Argh! Oh, well. We all know it's going to be Kelly.

Free Lance!

I'm currently trying to get work as a freelance journalist. You know, nothing full-time that would tie down my busy lifestyle. Just a little bit of writing work to keep me on my toes, and provide valuable clips, so that one day, perhaps, if everything goes according to my plan, I could become a bi-monthy columnist for the Sacramento Bee.

No, seriously, one day I'd like to be a film critic. I think I'd be good at it. (Go check out the reviews at the right side of this website, and let me know what you think...Unless it's negative. Then keep it the hell to yourself).

And, let's face it, film criticism would be the greatest job on the planet. I go see all kinds of new movies for free, and then all I have to do is spout off to anyone who will listen about what I thought? That's it? I don't have to mop up the theater afterwards or anything?

It's just a matter of proving why anyone should give a crap about what I think of a movie, and that really is, on one level, kind of a pointless endeavor. My idea is that a review should just be an exploration of the themes and ideas of a movie, that it should be more about analysis than critique. But that's not always what people want to read. They want clever takedowns and nicely compressible soundbites. Like "The Blair Witch Project is scary as hell!" or "Clint Eastwood deserves to have that flesh-eating scarab from The Mummy placed firmly in his rectum as retribution for the reprehensible Space Cowboys."

So, who knows if I'll actually turn up any work this way. I need some activity to fill the long days now that I'm not working. Just blogging isn't going to be enough, and I'm running out of whippets. (Ha ha!)

By the by, I'm sending all these editors the blog address in addition to my clips, so everyone, please be on your best behavior. They could be watching! They're all around us!

How the Grouch Stole Christmas

My favorite commentator and yours, Professor Emeritus William J. O'Reilly (known here as Billy O) has been ranting and raving on his TV show all week about how "secularists" want to cancel Christmas. Here's a sample profundity:

"If they could, secularists would cancel Christmas as a holiday. That's how much they fear the exposition of the philosophy of Jesus." During his syndicated radio show O'Reilly intoned darkly, "The small minority that is trying to impose its will on the majority is so vicious, so dishonest -- and has to be dealt with."

Yeah, B. Rip, you're absolutely correct. I fear the exposition of the philosophy of Jesus. You found me out. That's why I hate Christmastime. It's not the overblown consumerism, not the cheesy, phony sentimentality of TV specials that say that Christmas is about sharing and comes from within while hawking a million new toys and electronic doodads, not the droning, atonal carols that play constantly out of every speaker in the nation from Halloween's the philosophy of Jesus.

It doesn't bother me any other time of year, though...Just on Christmas.

Actually, to turn the sarcasm off for just a moment (then, I promise, I'll turn it back on again), I'm all about the philosophy of Jesus. I'm full of religion now.

No, not really, but I dig what Jesus was all about. He agreed with me about most stuff. He was anti-death penalty, even if the President couldn't recall that (on Billy O's very own show in 2000!) He was anti-war. Hell, he believed in the sort of welfare state that conservatives like William readily and openly mock. (Remember that thing with the fishes and loaves? He wanted to feed the poor! And not just by giving them back a small piece of their taxes, either! By feeding them and taking care of them when they get sick!)

Really, if not for the son of God thing, I'd be all about Jesus, too. And, yeah, I hate Christmas, and wish it would go away, or at least become a lot less important in our culture and society.

But I don't think you should be prevented from celebrating any holiday you want, as long as it doesn't involve human sacrifice or eating poo or anything really gross. This is what's so clever about Billy and Fox News' approach: they make you think they're on the defensive (we've gotta save Christmas from these heathens!) when really they're on the same side as the people running the show. Brilliant!

But Billy O, of course, is not the worst offender. Check out this quote (which, to quote Dave Barry, I swear I am not making up), from William Donohue of the Catholic League:

"Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes."

Well, it's true that there aren't a lot of nativity scenes on public squares around here in LA, thank goodness. But where did that "anal sex" line come in? Has Donohue been reading my blog or something?

It's odd that the bizarre neo-conservative war plan requires them to pretend to support Israel abroad, yet they still want to hold Jews responsible for "anal sex" and cancelling Christmas in this country. (And, as for the charge of "hating Catholicism in particular," I'd like to comfort Mr. Donohue...I don't have time to divide Christians into separate categories...I look down upon you all).

So, now you know. We Hollywood Jews are determined to destroy the holiday of Christmas, and there's nothing you can do about it, except send a lot of money to the Catholic Leauge. And, for the love of all things holy, keep a close watch on your manger scene. Someone may want to steal your Baby Jesus.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

In Like Clint

I know I promised to stop linking to Salon so much, but I had to point you all to this review in which Charles Taylor brutally savages Clint Eastwood's boxing movie Million Dollar Baby. The movie's getting great buzz right now (I have not seen it, though I think it's out in LA at this point), and Clint's taken the Best Director prize from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Taylor takes apart not only this movie, calling it a cliched, sap-ridden mess, but Eastwood's entire directorial career, calling his films pained and boring. I for the most part agree. Everyone seemed to love Mystic River, but it wasn't near as interesting, personal or colorful as the Dennis Lehane novel upon which it was based. His adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a disaster. Really, with the exception of Unforgiven (the reason I hedged my bets with that "for the most part" above), his directorial career is surprisingly undistinguished.

But then there's those New York Film Critics. Are they just totally wrong on this one? I often find Taylor overly critical and smug, as in his takedown of Alexander Payne's tremendous Sideways. So, I thought I'd check out who the NYFCC has awarded Best Director to in the past few years...

Last year was Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation. Okay, I'm with them so far. The year before that, 2002, was Todd Haynes for Far From Heaven. Another solid pick in my book (though I'd probably have gone with Scorsese for Gangs of NY). 2001 was Bob Altman for Gosford Park, another great choice (though David Lynch's Mulholland Drive of that year would have taken the prize at the Lons Awards). And 2000? Steven Soderbergh took the prize for the dual projects Erin Brockovich and Traffic, content to award David Gordon Green's magnificent George Washington with Best First Film. Good enough for me.

So, I'm thinking Taylor's just being his usual snarky discontented self, and this movie's actually quite watchable. I could be convinced to check it out...Let you all know if I do, of course. Cause that's what I do.

The Zooooooooooooom Quilt

This thing is trippy. It's some sort of online graphic design/art project, but if you've done any hallucinogenic drugs lately, I'd advise staying away. Your brain might get lost in there, never to be seen again. Everyone else, check it out, because it's pretty awesomely outrageous. Just think...this is probably what Wayne Coyne sees every time he closes his eyes.

And, as long as I'm sharing with you the scarily psychedelic, has everyone by now checked out the teaser for Tim Burton's upcoming adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Holy bejeesus, this thing looks warped. Can the entire movie possibly be this weird?

Miss Butterface

Okay, here's the e-mail argument I'm currently engaged in with several friends...

Is it offensive or mysogynist to call a woman a "butterface?" (You all know the term butterface, right? Everything about the woman is beautiful, but-her-face...Butterface. Okay, now everyone's up to speed...)

See, I say it's not offensive. You're just making an observation about whether or not you find a woman attractive. I realize that women don't really perceive attractiveness in this way - if they are attracted to a man, they generally find all of his features attractive, whereas men can look at women in a more segmented, fetishized way - but the principle is simple, to my mind.

Now, saying something like, "I'd have sex with her, if you put a bag over her head" is far more crude and insulting. It implies that you'd like to confront, and even sexually punish, a woman for her appearance, which kind of does strike me as improper.

The counter-argument, proposed by my frequent conversational nemesis Yancy, is that any demeaning comment leveled at an attractive woman by an unattractive man (such as myself) is degrading and in poor taste, and reflects my own insecurities rather than any real commentary on the attractiveness or unattractiveness of a woman. (We are discussing, by the way, Sandra Oh, supporting actress from Sideways and wife of director Alexander Payne).

Here's Yancy's case in a nutshell:

You know, women ARE different. They do objectify - but I don't think awoman would go "Oh, that dude is ugly but his ass is great" - if they don't like the guy's face/personality, they're not gonna go piece-meal shopping onthe rest of his body.

I basically agree with this, but don't think it means I'm not allowed to think Sandra Oh has a butterface. I mean, look at that photo on the IMDB page I linked! Leggo my uggo!

The City of Angels (and Flashlight Beatings)

This is an actual headline from the front page of Yahoo this morning:

LAPD Plan to Curb Flashlight Beatings

Well, as long as they plan to curb it, that's alright. I was upset they might attempt to avoid whapping possible criminals over the head with flashlights altogether. But, according to the article, they're trying to "discourage" officers from using their flashlights on a suspect "except in the event of an emergency." An emergency like having the sudden urge to nail someone in the head with a blunt instrument, I presume.

I mean, the LAPD needs to work on their public relations, right? Surely there's a way to phrase this without making it sound like department policy to allow officers to use their flashlights against people while making arrests!

And don't come at me in the comments with some "cops should be able to do whatever they want...they keep the streets safe..." line. Cops are essentially professional bullies with badges, and I recognize it's a hard job and some of them are well-intentioned and just trying to help people out and provide for their families, but they shouldn't be hitting people with flashlights. That's all I'm saying.

Mazzy Star Will Eat Your Soul

Had a very odd experience tonight. I found a song on my computer, downloaded the other night in an apparent daze. It's Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You," a minor alternative radio hit in 1993. If you don't recognize it by name, you're not alone. I didn't either. But I double-clicked it, because, well, what the hell...and out of my computer speakers came this song. This really great song that I used to love back in, well, in 1993, during my formative, high school years. For reference, I'm going to have to ask you all to go out and find a copy of this song, preferably legally through iTunes or some such service (WINK!) and then come back...

Okay, you've heard it. Remember that song? Yeah, it is really good.

But the thing is, aside from just liking this song, I have some bizarre emotional connection with it. It occurs to me that something important or significant in some way happened to me while this song was playing. For a while, I was certain that it's in some mid-90's movie that impacted me in some way, but a thorough Googling didn't turn up anything. It turns out that the song was in Angus, but that movie didn't impact me in any particular way, as I didn't see it. So, it's something else.

Then I thought, maybe I had a touching adolescent sexual blossoming moment with this song in the background. But this is also not possible. In 1993, I was roughly as sexual as Nick Nolte after a 10-day coke binge during a Viagra shortage. I tell you, folks, I was unpopular with the ladies. The Swiss Army got more action than me. I'm telling you, I was lonely. I used to read Ziggy for the romantic advice.

Whew, sorry...Got caught up in a Rodney Dangerfield zone there for a second. Where was I...Oh, yes, Mazzy Star has eaten my soul.

I can't get this song, this mood, out of my head. It's been haunting me for about the last 2 hours now, just putting the song on repeat, ruminating about why I feel such a bizarre connection to it. The last time I put a song on repeat for this long, it was The Smiths' "London," and I very nearly went completely insane.

So, if you have any ideas about pop culture ephemera of the mid-90's relating to Mazzy Star or "Fade Into You," by the way, please do leave some indication in the comments section. I'll be checking it religiously over the next several days, unless I can think of another song to push this one forcibly out of my head. Maybe "The Safety Dance"...

Just in from Yakutsk

I know I link the Onion every week, but every week there's something so damn funny in there, I can't help myself. This week, it's the following headline:


ALBANY, NY—Alfred Wu, the 13-year-old winner of the 2004 East Coast Risk Championship, flunked his 8th-grade world-geography test, social-studies teacher Jane Laurent reported Monday. "His test paper was filled with names like Kamchatka and Yakutsk, and the Ukraine spread over half of Europe," Laurent said. "And, by his account, the U.S. is made up of only three states: Eastern United States, Western United States, and Alaska." Last week, Wu received an "F" on a paper he wrote about Napoleonic military Stratego.

An obvious joke, perhaps, but it works for me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Birthday Bloody Birthday

Seriously, how great a title for a movie is Bloody Birthday? I mean, that tells you all you need to know right there. It's someone's birthday, and there's blood everywhere. In fact, the only trouble you'd get into naming a film Bloody Birthday is if you forgot to include a scene where it's someone's birthday, and they or someone close to them winds up extremely bloody.

I mention this only because Bloody Birthday will be playing, along with the less-expertly-titled The Children at the New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood on December 21st, and I will definitely be attending. It's the monthy exploitation double feature hosted by Eric Caidin of Hollywood Book and Poster and the true-to-his-name Johnny Legend, absent the past few months due to an extended fishing vacation in Florida.

These events are a total blast. I really can't recommend the Z-grade low-budget fare of the 60's, 70's and 80's enough...At past double-features, I've seen classics like Barbed Wire Dolls, Mondo Teeno, The Candy Snatchers, even Night of the Bloody Apes, which surprisingly takes place largely during the daytime and features not a single actual bloody ape.

Still not convinced that you want to spend four hours in the charmingly unrefurbished New Beverly Theater, right in the heart of Los Angeles' exclusive Wino District? Check out this plot description for The Children, fresh from IMDB to your monitor:

A busload of children has disappeared from the quiet New England town of Ravensback, and Sheriff Billy Hart is on the case. A short while later, he manages to track down the kids, but unfortunately they seem to have been transformed into murderous zombies by a cloud of radioactive gas. How can he stop the killer tykes before they destroy the town?

The part I love is that the children "seem to" have been transformed into murderous zombies. Is that really something that could appear to have happened, if it had not really happened? As in the sentence "the children seemed to have transformed into murderous zombies, but it turned out they were just hungrily ripping the flesh from terrified co-eds for sport," which, you'll recall, is from "The Bell Jar."

Well, I for one cannot stand to live the rest of my life without knowing how Sheriff Billy Hart will manage to stop the rampage of these insane tykes who seem to, for some reason involving radiation, have developed the desperate need to kill. Or possibly superpowers. Or both. Wait, I think I'm getting a screenplay idea...

Elmer Fudd is an Uncle Tom!

Interesting post on Who Wants Gum? about political propaganda during wartime. He found an image of Elmer Fudd online with the caption "Be Vewy Vewy Quiet...I'm hunting Iwaqis..." It's pretty disgraceful, I must say.

At a time when we could be looking at almost 100,000 Iraqi casualties, most of them, obviously, non-military, non-terrorist civilians, it's more than a touch crude to make sick jokes like this. It's only by dehumanizing these people that our government and media can get away with this sort of behavior, and we shouldn't stand for it.

Look, I'm not for censorship. I think people should be allowed to draw any cartoon they want, and post it anywhere they like. And I'm not even sure if any actual harm can be done by images like this, or sick jokes that spread around junior high schools in the aftermath of tragedy. When I was in elementary school and the Challenger spacecraft exploded on take-off, the kids made up cruel jokes (example, purely for empirical nuance and detail: N.A.S.A. = Need Another Seven Astronauts), and I grew up to be a fairly humane, decent, caring individual.

I'm just saying that we should all be mindful of the propagandizing of the War in these dark times for America. And I don't just mean the Iraq War, or even the War on Terror, but the seemingly unending War that the Bush Administration seems intent on visiting upon the whole of humanity. Don't believe the hype, and don't believe everything you read. Except for the stuff that's on this blog. Believe all of that, even if it sounds like I totally made it up.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I suppose this review should start with some context. I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan. Check out the previous post entitled "Wes Side" (what a great glad I went with that title...) for more details. Basically, Rushmore could be considered a personal favorite movie of all time, and Bottle Rocket and Royal Tennenbaums are both movies to which I return with great regularity and reverence.

Which makes the following sentence really really hard to type: Despite its immense likeability, gorgeous cinematography and home run comic performance from Bill Murray, Life Aquatic fails to achieve the greatness of the remainder of the Anderson canon.

The problems with the film are hard to define exactly. It looks, sounds and acts like typical Anderson. All his trademarks are there: a beautiful soundtrack combining original music by Mark Mothersbaugh with classic rock songs, a brilliant ensemble cast of performers, gloriously fleshed-out, detailed backgrounds, interstitials and sets, and a bittersweet, melancholy sensibility off-setting a great deal of verbal wit and astute observation.

And the story sounds like another delightful riff ripped from one of the most imaginative minds in American film today: Aging oceanographer and documentarian Steve Zissou (Murray, as cranky and bitter as he's been since Groundhog Day) and his team of oddball assistants (including a Teutonic Willem Dafoe, in the films silliest performance) set out on an expedition to film and then kill the possibly non-existent jaguar shark, who previously devoured Zissou's partner and best friend. Coming along for the ride are a pregnant British journalist (Cate Blanchett), Zissou's estranged wife (Angelica Houston), and a young pilot from Kentucky who may or may not be Zissou's long lost son (Wilson). Desperate for a hit following a string of uninteresting flops, Zissou pushes the limits of his men, and common sense, in his obsessed quest for undersea revenge.

Sounds perfect, right? Touching family drama, adventure on the high seas, an ensemble comedy with Bill Murray. What's not to like?

First off, there's a flatness to the proceedings, an air of artificiality that the movie never overcomes. Sure, Anderson's films have always taken place in some sort of tangential universe of quirk, a hermeneutically-sealed work in which bizarre, eccentric personalities intermingle, exploring their neuroses in their own patient manner, and Life Aquatic seems no different. But it's more cartoony, less fully realized. Part of this (I think) comes from genre: all of Anderson's previous films have been straight-ahead comedies.

Rushmore follows the classic format of the coming-of-age story, even drawing early comparisons in reviews to The Graduate, despite having no real connection to that movie. Royal Tennenbaums has a wider scope, following the lives of an entire family of people over several decades, but it also follows the classic structure of a film about a dysfunctional family reuniting under pressured circumstances, a topic explored endlessly in the history of cinema.

With Aquatic, Anderson attempts an adventure movie, and this is the crucial misstep.
Anderson's working with a larger canvas here, and with a new co-screenwriter (Noah Baumbach, filling in for Owen Wilson, who still appears in the film), and he doesn't make the transition seamlessly. The film's initial 15 minutes, setting up all the crew members and explaining their mission, is woefully slow and overly expositional. Worse yet, much of the actual "adventure" footage is unengaging and even unnecessary. It's obvious that the bulk of the film's appeal will be the relationships and the comedy, as with all of Anderson's films, so the (multiple!) gun fights with pirates and helicopter crashes feel extraneous and occasionally tedious.

As well, the tone skips around a bit too frantically. Anderson has always had skill at mixing light and dark, combining gags with scenes of great pathos (as when Max Fischer steals into his teacher's bedroom one night pretending to have collided on his bike with a car), but here, the script zips back and forth from violence to tenderness to slapstick, it's hard to know how to feel from moment to moment.

I feel that I'm coming off overly negative. The movie is a lot of fun, a great piece of entertainment, and I would recommend catching it theatrically if at all possible. There are numerous great performances (Jeff Goldblum, in particular, shines in a small role as Zissou's main adversary), and the Portuguese renditions of classic David Bowie songs that play throughout the film are a perfect companion to the visuals. And, of course, I'd be remiss in not mentioning that Murray is hilarious in this role, making the absolute most out of every scene in which he appears. He has become one of our finest working actors, and there is just about no one I would rather spend 2 hours with in a theater.

The movie, for me, becomes an exploration of how someone's life becomes intermingled with their work. Zissou formed a crew, Team Zissou in order to make films, and they became his family. Now that the films are no longer successful, does that mean they have somehow failed one another? It's a common theme for Anderson: magnificently successful people of great promise who come to see their great potential as a curse, who sadly regret their mistakes because of how fantastic their lives could have been. In its own way, Aquatic explores these ideas with as much sincerity as any other Anderson movie, but the storytelling on the screen undercuts them as often as it highlights them.

It's hard not to be a bit disappointed when one of your favorite directors and favorite actors suffer a misstep. Anderson's films have always maintained a delicate balance; they're cartoonish but relatable, silly but sincere, whimsical yet sad. I'm certain he'll get back there some day, but regrettably not with this movie, which is simply well-made, professional entertainment.

Fishing with Scott

Yahoo informs me that the jury has recommended execution for Scott Peterson.

Now, I'm against the death penalty, because it gives juries a right I don't think anyone, even an official, legally sanctioned group of people, should have - the right to kill someone. Plus, I don't think it makes any sense, as no one's ever been able to show that it prevents crime or affects the criminal mindset in any particular way.

I mean, Scott Peterson knew he might be executed if he killed his pregnant wife. I mean, hell, if any crime is heinous enough to warrant lethal injection, it's killing your pregnant wife so you can run off with your massage therapist. But he did it anyway, because the death penalty is not a deterrent. It just makes people feel a little better about things, I guess, like there's some justice in the world somewhere, even though there isn't.

Scott Peterson will likely never even be executed, because California doesn't opt to do so very often. And I'm glad I live in a state that has at least a modicum of respect for human life, rather than a state like Texas, that will happily murder the retarded, the innocent, or anyone who doesn't stand and sing along to that Lee Greenwood "God Bless the USA" song.

The Chronicles of Narnia

I liked the cartoon The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a kid, so I read a few of the Narnia books (which ones, I don't quite remember). I thought they were okay, and then, a few years later, I found out they were all really about Jesus and stuff, and I totally lost interest.

But the new Narnia film being made by Walden and Disney does sound interesting, mainly because all the practical effects work is being done by the geniuses at WETA, the crew responsible for the eye-popping effects in Lord of the Rings. Harry Knowles over at Aint It Cool premiered a sneak peek at some of the work being done on the film at his annual 24-hour film festival/birthday party the Butt-Numb-a-Thon, and now this footage is available online. I highly recommend checking it out here.

The movie doesn't open until a year from now, but it's never too early to start being unnecessarily bombarded by hype about a movie, right?

Chomsky on God

I was just reading a thread over on the always-interesting Eschaton, and someone posted the following quote from Noam Chomsky:

You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible--not only did he order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide--...but was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide--you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive--that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful.

I know it's pointless to continually point out to religious people that the Bible is full of weird crap, because they just believe it to believe it, but I felt this was a particularly well-phrased argument. Way to go, Noam.

The Koufax Awards

Now, far be it from me to suggest that you should nominate me for a blogging award, as I've only been doing this for a few weeks. But nominations are now open for the Annual Koufax Awards, the awards for the best in left-wing bloggery, and it's definitely worth checking out and nominating somebody.

They do have a Best New Blog category, by the way. And, let's not forget, I posted a photo of the President with his fly open.

Be a Sport

I don't understand the appeal of sports. I've written about this on the blog previously, I know, but I'm reminded every day about its relative rarity as a personality trait. Most people seem to love sports, or at least some sports. And I'm not just talking about men here. Of course, the stereotypical sports fan is a big fat guy, possibly from Chicago, mouthing off about the importance of special teams in between bites of Polish sausage, but most of the females I know can at least tolerate watching an entire sporting event. And, of course, some women are huge sports fans.

This is totally lost on me. I'm not going to go off on some silly rant about how dumb sports are, or about how pointless it is for everyone to sit transfixed by some 300 pound meathead bouncing a ball around. I realize that people enjoy the competition and the spectacle, that they admire the physical prowess of athletes, and that sports provides a valuable outlet, hobby and bonding experience. Moreover, I'd theorize that sports fandom itself is an inclusive activity. People follow sports, root for specific teams, and thus join a club, a kind of elite society full of people with common interests and goals, excluding people who don't pay attention to the right statistics or listen to the right columnists.

But it's the sheer amount of time, attention and importance that some people apply to sports that truly boggles my mind. As I sit here, my roommates are watching SportsCenter for what I can only estimate is the third time today. That's naturally in addition to the football that was on all afternoon. Tomorrow will be football as well, and the rest of the week will be dotted by more sports news and, of course, a few Laker games. And I'm not even counting ancillary pseudo-sports like poker, billiards, horse racing and Classic Sports documentaries that may find their way into the televising schedule. These activities are not fleeting entertainments, the way I see reality shows or most people see movies and magazines. This is a passion, a subject about which intense interest is invested. Some people will spend literally all of their waking hours in pursuit of deeper, more nuanced understanding of the nickel defense.

Again, I don't mean to make it sound like I'm complaining. I have a television in my bedroom and can watch whatever I want. But why do these men (and women) want to spend what amounts to the bulk of their leisure time following the athletic exploits of strangers, men who they know only through feats of strength and the occasional 30-second pointless interview? Are our lives (and I include myself here) so empty that any activity with visceral thrills and an unknown ending provide us with a minimal amount of entertainment? Or is there genuinely something deep and awe-inspiring about sports that I've simply missed, despite hours of forced viewership. I honestly don't know.

I do know that it can't be easily dismissed. I am unable to say that sports fans are not smart, as I know a great deal who are. I am unable to say they don't have other cultural passions, as of course, they do. All I can say is that I'm not one of them, and sometimes it makes me feel alone.

Work for Turge Babonet!

Sometimes, on Craig's List, you can find some truly wonderful, insane people.

If you don't know Craig's List (CL from here on), where you been, man? It's the Internet classified, basically, for every major North American (and soon international) city.

There are all sorts of funny classifieds on CL. If you want scummy guys looking for desperate women to do unspeakable acts to them, try "casual encounters." Ads for prostitutes? Try "erotic services." But some truly hilarious content can be found under "writing gigs."

Such as the following ad:

Babonet LLC seeking personnel

Hmmm...Babonet LLC, I think...I've never heard of it, but let me click ahead just to check it out some more. I am, after all, looking for work and, as you surely have noticed, simply brimming over with talent.

Following a link in the ad:

I arrive at a cheesily designed website offering work for Turge Babonet. Specifically, I read the following:

MAN-ON-THE-GO Hollywood heavyweight A-List industry professional with mile-long track record seeks accomplished screenwriter to consummate pending/spec major studio script deal immediately if not yesterday. NO AMATEURS.

"Interesting," I think. "This sentence contains 5 cliches for "important member of the entertainment industry." (1) Man on the go, (2) Hollywood heavyweight, (3) A-list, (4) industry professional and (5) mile-long track record. I should read further."

But wait, I think...I should look up Mr. A-List himself, Turge Babonet, on IMDB! Surely, he must have some amazing credits, being 5-cliche important here in Tinseltown!

Get this...Turge Babonet doesn't appear on IMDB. Now, I personally know a guy who made it on IMDB. It ain't that hard. So, I had to Google Mr. Babonet. Get this...NOTHING. Nothing. On Google.

Everyone's on Google, man! I'm there, my Mom's there. That weird guy who hangs out on the corner near 7-11 and tells you about how the traffic cops steal his medicine while he's talking to the aliens probably gets more hits off Google than this blog. How could Turge, Hollywood A-Lister Turge Babonet not be on the Internet anywhere? I mean, check out this resume, from his website:

Turge Babonet, former Executive producer/Rediffusion France, Manager/Dokkorder AG Filmwerkes Berlin, Director/Israeli National School Of The Arts in Haifa, four times Cannes finalist, Biarritz gold medal, etc. etc. etc.

Three etceteras, people! Turge is that important.

But, seriously, this is the part that made me wipe the tears of happiness and joy from my eyes, the part of the whole story that just makes life on this miserable little rock of a planet worth living. Here's the description of the man Turge wants so desperately to hire as an assistant:

Applicant must be a TEAM PLAYER, take my direction, flesh out my concepts, nurture my ideas, humor my brainstorms, PLUS accomplish rewrite overnight if needed, get cappuccino, pick up kids at Soccer, etc. NO PRIMA DONNAS. Email a one page resume and first 2 pages of a sample screenplay - it must blow me away - or I will spit on it and hurl it into the trash. Grip me, thrill me, make me weep or I won't even read past the first SENTENCE. You may lose me on the first WORD if you're not good. I may not even OPEN your email if it doesn't have the right "feel." NO WANNA BE'S.

No wannabes! You absolutely have to be as famous and important as the un-Google-able Turge Babonet. No exceptions.

And you have to thrill him with the first 2 pages! Or he'll actively spit on your screenplay! And once a script has Turgespit on it, it's history in this town, baby, done! Over!

I can't stress enough the importance of you going to this guy's website if you need a good laugh. I'll post that address again:

If this is a joke, bravo, sir. You are hilarious.

If not, Mr. Babonet, sincerely, please consider my application. I have a killer first two minutes, and I've already won six International Israeli Totally Not Fake awards...Just don't try to Google them, because for secrecy's sake, I've removed all evidence of myself from the Internet.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

How to Get Kids Into Your Van

Step #1: Buy, like, 20 puppies...

No, I'm kidding. I would never write an article like that. It's so cliche.

I just saw a commercial that said 1 in 5 children has been sexually propositioned on the Internet. Could this possibly be true? My roommate Nathan's immediate response was, and I quote, "use the part of your mind that is not retarded to deduce that that's stupid." I'm inclined to agree.

I know there's a lot of pervs out there, particularly on the Internet. It's the whole connected-to-the-world-from-your-bedroom thing that really brings out the freak in people. And, for the most part, I'm for that. I'm glad there's guys out there who are able to look at one another's genitals via webcams for kicks. I wish I didn't know about it, but I'm glad it's there.

But are there really that many adults out there trying to seduce young children? And when I say seduce, I mean ply for real-world sexual contact. I don't mean goofing around on the Internet flirting with children. That's disgusting and wrong, but that's not what the commercial seemed to be talking about. It's also probably the responsibility of parents - if your child is on the Internet at all hours chatting with strangers to learn about sex, you've got some problems.

I suppose it's a larger problem that I would assume. I remember when Internet chat was the new hotness, when I was at UCLA. Everyone got ICQ and Yahoo! Chat and fooled around with it and played tricks on one another for a few months, and then most of us (myself included) got very tired of it. Frankly, I don't even enjoy Instant Messenger very much. I prefer e-mail. Call me old-fashioned.

But out there in the trenches, there are apparently a lot of adult men looking to hook up with young girls. How revolting. Check out this website, Perverted Justice. They try to expose these creeps, the ones that try to seduce kids into meeting up in real life. It's pretty clever, actually. They pretend to be young girls and then lure older guys into conversation, and of course the older guys soon enough try to get the girls to meet up with them at a bowling alley or a movie theater or next to the dumpster behind the Piggly Wiggly on Route 219, near the outhouse where Cousin Jedediah lost his pinkie toe in the moonshine explosion of '74. Gross!

At the site, they actually post the whole online conversation, along with Blind Date-style commentary. I think whomever the guys behind the project are doing a great public service personally, even though they seem to be getting off on exposing these weirdos. Maybe if they get enough publicity and word gets out that there are perv-hunters on the loose, less dirty old men will be inspired to hunt down children on the Internet, and will go back to hunting children the old-fashioned way, with promises of ice cream sundaes and a good length of duct tape.

Anyway, I was surprised this was a big problem in the first place, then I find out there's this huge website set up to combat this exact problem. Sigh.

Don't know quite was inspired me to write about this issue. I suppose I'm feeling particularly Dostoevskyian tonight (Dostoevsky-ish? Dostoevsky-esque?) Every time I think I have people figured out, they stoop about 10 degrees lower than I thought imaginable.


Just got home from a day with my parents in Irvine. My Dad and I ran some errands, drank some coffee (I had a Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, if you must know), and we ate some dinner with Mom.

They're not pleased with the blog. Well, let me rephrase. They like the blog, but they hate the posts I did a few days ago about getting all hammered and stumbling home drunk from the Cozy Inn in beautiful Downtown Culver City. Mom says she wants to give my blog address to her lady friends from work, and she would be embarrassed for them to have to read about my intoxicated shenanigans.

Well, I've decided not to remove the offensive material. After all, what's the point of having a journal online if you're just going to censor everything you do that might be halfway interesting.

You hear that, Mom? The drunken stuff stays! But you should give your friends the address anyway. They've gotten falling down drunk, too, I bet, probably some of them in the very recent past. I bet one or two are drunk right now. The only difference is that I'm the only one with the balls to go on the Internet and tell the whole world (or the 258 people out of the whole world that have visited this site, according to the handy free hit counter on the right).

Don't mean to sound resentful, because I'm not. Just making a point. I refuse to censor myself on this blog, and those people who can't handle it (or maybe just don't want to know how I really feel about all this sort of stuff) can go read Billy O. (I don't know if you've heard, but he's got some shitty books to sell!)