Sunday, February 28, 2010

What do they say about good fences?

Overheard through the window next to my bed the other night, after I was interrupted mid-movie by shouting within the too-close-for-comfort range:
"How many times have I been in jail because of you? How many times?"
"That's right--I've been in jail THREE TIMES because of you."
"How many times have you been in jail?"
"That's right. And I'm sick of your fuckin' shit and I ain't gonna take it no more. Where you goin?"
"I'm goin' to tha BATHroom..."
"What was that?! Say it to my face, say it to my face, say it to my face!"
I never thought I would be the kind of guy who would one day hope to overhear somebody making sour love over an unflushed toilet, but that was exactly what happened.

There was something about this situation, despite the fact that I could only picture it with my imagination, or maybe because of that, that was so loaded with tension ripe for the cutting, that made me realize there were only a few possible outcomes for it--and compared to sweet murder, sour love sounds like a pretty good option.

Instead, I heard nothing but silence for the rest of the night, ever since. Which is somehow creepier.

These are my neighbors--either next-door or one floor below--but this is the first and last time I've ever heard their voices.


Is Eric Bana Even Alive?

Or is he some kind of bland, boring robot programmed to entertain some obscure-yet-profitable demographic that fails to respond to interesting people?

I think the jury is still out here. I found his action movie(s?) boring and the romantic comedies embarrassing. Wait, who are we talking about here--Gerard Butler?

Hmm. Maybe both. Gerard Bana. The line has been blurred, the line has become irrelevant. But I kind of liked him in Funny People, albeit playing a cuckold.



The Next Three-Day Blockbuster Already in the Bag

Seeing as this movie not only stars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler but has already undergone a transformation from Holiday in Hawaii to Pretend Wife to Just Go With It (Oooh, I hate it when they're right...eventually...), I don't have high hopes for this product.

By the way, we can go ahead and call this a product instead of a movie, right? I didn't think I'd hear any objections.

Let's looks at the evidence:

Production budget = $52 million
Advertising budget = $100 million (estimated)
Total budget = $152 million
"Yikes. This movie needs to make some money! Should we make it good or sugar-coat it for the masses?"

"Experience dictates a vote for the sugarcoat, sir."


"I'd have to agree. Under those terms, projections indicate $75 million for the four-day weekend, plus foreign take around...$30 million, a 70% drop in second-weekend sales, but still on enough screens to pile up some more B.O, plus a steady stream of rental income to catch the stragglers. I see a profit here, gentlemen."

"Alright--let's do this turd. Get me whoever wrote Valentine's Day on the horn right now. If we can't get him, we'll get that kid that did Lucas in Love. And the guy who directed Zohan. He's killer. Meanwhile, sign every actor and model you can think of who'll sell themselves out for some cash."
- overheard in an imaginary office somewhere
You know Jen is sweatin' this one. She's sweatin' that comparison photo, this sexier, younger version of herself. Do you see the fear in her eyes?

It's a tough life on top.


Friday, February 26, 2010

What is the Deal With One-Word Movie Titles These Days?

That was spoken with my best Jerry Seinfeld impression, by the way--and it is awesome.

Exhibit A:

Gravity, Wanted, Moon, Alien...

Exhibit B:

Avatar, Up, Twilight, Taken, Duplicity, Adventureland, Zombieland, Fighting, Obsessed, Julia, Management, Tetro, Cheri, Surveillance, Bruno, Orphan, Shrink, Bandslam, Spread, Extract, Gamer, Whiteout, Splice, Fame, Trucker, Amelia, Antichrist, Motherhood, Skin, Precious, Uncertainty, Armored, Brothers, Invictus, Nine...

Have I belabored my point yet? And that is only a selection of movie titles from 2009 and beyond.

And I didn't even count the ones that started with The.

Are audiences that stupid that they can only process one word now? That they're only credited that meager of an attention span?

Maybe. Maybe we deserve it. Sadly. Or maybe we don't.
"I know what you're thinking when you say you want the title to be Silence of the Lambs, but I think we need to change it to Cannibal. Trust me--I'm an expert in marketing to dumb people. Have you heard of Crash? Speed? Batman? I did all those. Besides, think of how much you're paying me--I know what I'm doing here."

"Will you take a check? Or do you need cash so you can avoid taxes? I will gladly spend a million dollars to earn a million dollars--I'm kind of like the parking enforcement office in that way."
And the world turns, relentlessly, groaning under its own weight, strangely determined to outlast us.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jobs I Don't Want: Vol.45

(photo courtesy AFP)

A WWII-era bomb is discovered in France during the construction of a hospital and these unfortunate people are called in to drill holes in the side of it, touch it, and gather round as it decides whether or not to explode.


Bad Science

I had never heard of this movie until I read this disappointing article on movies featuring bad science today, which is surprising because Delroy Lindo has been my favorite actor since Romeo Must Die.

I know we all know how bad movies can be, but still--check out this summary:

Who the hell thought this movie would be attractive at the multiplex? Were they ever allowed to make a decision again? Sadly, they were.

The majority of movies that involve bad science are tolerated because most people have no idea it is bad science and the story is enjoyable. Examples: Not that many people know cold fusion does not exist, much less what it is, but they still enjoyed The Saint; time travel is not possible, yet Back to the Future is awesome.

However, I feel like every person over the age of eight knows that the center of the Earth is so hot that people would be instantly incinerated before they even got there, even if they aren't aware of the lethal poisonous gases down there or the fact that the Earth's core would not stop spinning.

So how does the movie get around all this? It doesn't. The scientists unload at the Earth's core without masks, protective gear, or some sort of jerry-rigged "heat neutralizer." Instead, they just sweat a lot.

An even more interesting problem, however, is the fact that after the hydrogen bomb detonates in the Earth's core, the resulting tidal wave of lava radiating outward would most likely cause every volcano on Earth to experience a simultaneous eruption of epic proportions, killing untold millions and spewing so much ash into the atmosphere that we wouldn't see the sun for years causing crops to fail, people to riot, Armageddon--a species extinction on par with that of the Cretaceous period.

But that doesn't matter, because science must always serve the story, and this is a great story, right? be fair, let's look at the plot more closely, in pictures:

This is where a nerd with a huge penis drops the science, explaining to the audience what exactly is going on here, and why it is an urgent problem; Aaron is enthralled.

This is where the Douche Dream Team, doing their best Armageddon impression, is finally assembled and goes for a walk on the beach before breaking fast at the Ihop near LAX.

This is what it looks like when they get down there,
exactly as predicted by the nerd's sophisticated 1976 modeling technology.

This is what it looks like when the Fat Man sings.

Aaron and Hilary are unable to avoid getting hot and bothered
as they watch the nuclear explosion from a nearby ridge,
in Aaron's sweet-ass Thunderbird convertible.

For no reason whatsoever, since they were totally a safe distance away,
Aaron turns into an asshole/scientific implausibility
and ruins the moment with Hilary, so they all go home.

Preparing for her new role of celebrity planet-saving-scientist,
Hilary exercises like a madwoman every day and loses touch with reality.

In retrospect, maybe it wasn't such a bad movie after all...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Coolest Boat Ever?

I wonder what it looks like below deck...


Japanese Cowboys

Japanese businessmen don't give a shit--they will continue to kill whales, bluefin tuna, dolphins, and themselves, whether or not it is legal.

It's what they do.

Perhaps a manageable solution--for those of us who like whales, dolphins, the Earth, and sushi--is to start killing Japanese fishermen and the men who work for the companies that employ them. This will not only help us out in our cause, but will also save them the trouble of killing themselves in three years when there are no more bluefin tuna left and they are ashamed because their companies goes bankrupt.

This could be done fairly easily, by cornering their boats--one at a time is best--in a discreet cove somewhere, hopping aboard, hacking them to pieces until the ocean turns red, and dumping their lifeless bodies overboard. They will understand this method and respect you as an adversary in the cutthroat world of marine survival.

Once everybody onboard has been dispatched, attach a tow rope to the boat, take it out to deeper waters, blow a hole in the bottom with explosives, and watch the evidence sink to the bottom of the ocean. Repeat.

Whoever gets mad at you should also be killed, since these are the people that own the boats, channels of distribution, etc.

Take solace in the fact that your efforts were not in vain--not only did you preserve the beautiful marine ecosystem for a while longer, but you fed millions of animals with the delicious decaying corpses of fishermen, by the time those nutrients work their way up the food chain.

Seems like a perfect solution, right?

Who's in? Australia? Greenpeace? Greater-Michigan Dolphin Fanclub?


...and the Idiot of the Day Award goes to...

Rajkumar Karotia, of India, who narrowly beat out Sarah Palin and every resident of Texas in the voting this morning.

Pankaj Kishore Karotia, a 21-year-old Indian groom, was shot and killed by his uncle at his own wedding celebration, after a "revelry shot" went horribly wrong.

Karotia's bride had been waiting for him in the car as the wedding party drew to a close in Noida, India. His uncle, Rajkumar Karotia, drew a licensed pistol to shoot a celebratory shot in the air. As the pistol was loaded, a shot accidentally went out, hitting the groom in the head.

"He was eager and excited about the wedding and was attempting to fire in the air to mark the end of the wedding," said the groom's father, Kishore Karotia. "The bullet hit my son on his head."

The groom was taken to hospital but soon died. His uncle has been arrested for culpable murder.

(courtesy Huffington Post)

Rajkumar has the enviable choice of not one but two major awards--life in prison among the rats, rapists, and excrement, or a self-inflicted bullet to his own head as he awaits a speedy trial.

What will he choose? Well, with all the excitement swirling around old Rajkumar today, it's hard to tell which way he's leaning, but once things settle down we should know one way or the other.

I'll keep you posted--it's what I do...


Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Mean...He COULD Have Been, Right? It's Not Like He Ever Had Sex With a Woman. Or Did He? Wait, Are You Avoiding the Question? Hello?

Perhaps as a return blow for being conspicuously absent on the Pope's list of the Ten Best Pop Albums of All Time, Elton John let him have it this week:

"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems," John said in an interview posted on the website of US celebrity news magazine Parade.

"On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead," said John, who is gay.

(courtesy Yahoo News/AFP)

The Pope responded with a brief comment uttered between naps on the expansive veranda of his opulent palace in Rome:

"You're probably right."

Kidding. The Pope didn't even realize Elton said this because his ears were inadvertently blocked for days when an avalanche of gold coins nearly buried him alive after a retaining wall in one of his numerous vaults gave way under the obscene load of charitable donations to the Catholic cause.

When staffers went to check on him during their weekly rounds and realized what had happened, they quickly rescued His Supreme Excellency, Ruler of Earth, from the eminently-avoidable catastrophe, but chose not to inform him of Sir Elton John's inflammatory speculation, lest their figurehead have a heart attack, which would necessitate another pesky search for a replacement bag of bones. Besides, why dignify that comment with a response, right? Right?

The Catholic League (the largest U.S. Catholic rights group, which, let's be frank, only exists because, goddamnit, the Catholic Church just can't get a fucking break...), however, was quick to respond:

"Jesus was certainly compassionate, but to say he was 'super-intelligent' is to compare the son of God to a successful game-show contestant," league president Bill Donohue said in a statement.

"More seriously, to call Jesus a homosexual is to label him a sexual deviant. But what else would we expect from a man who previously said, 'From my point of view, I would ban religion completely'?"

Huh. So...Jesus was not super-intelligent? Was he just 'kind of smart-ish, but regular' so as not to offend potential followers, who seem to only be drawn to the dumbest figureheads you can think of (Sarah Palin? Pat Robertson? Mitt Romney? George Bush?).

Also, "ban religion completely?" Did I need another reason to love this guy? No. Do I have one? Yes.

Long live the real King of Pop!


Well, SOMEbody Was Afraid of His Own Dick...

Ever wonder why after you eat a bowl of Corn Flakes it feels like you just got a yogurt enema?

Well, it's no accident--buckle in, hang on tight, and enjoy the ride:

"John Harvey Kellogg (February 26, 1852 – December 14, 1943) was an American medical doctor in Battle Creek, Michigan, who ran a sanitarium using holistic methods, with a particular focus on nutrition, enemas, and exercise. Kellogg was an advocate of vegetarianism and is best known for the invention of the corn flakes breakfast cereal with his brother, Will Keith Kellogg.

"Kellogg attended...New York University Medical College at Bellevue Hospital. He graduated in 1875 with a medical degree. He married Ella Ervilla Eaton (1853–1920) of Alfred Center, New York, on February 22, 1879. They did not have any children of their own, but raised over 40 children, legally adopting seven of them, before Ella died in 1920.

"Kellogg was a Seventh-day Adventist until mid-life and gained fame while being the chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The San was run based on the church's health principles. Adventists believe in a vegetarian diet, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco and a regimen of exercise, which Kellogg followed, among other things. He is remembered as an advocate of vegetarianism and wrote in favor of it, even after leaving the Adventist Church. His dietary advice in the late 19th century, which was in part concerned with reducing sexual stimulation, discouraged meat-eating, but not emphatically so.

"Kellogg was an especially strong proponent of nuts, which he believed would save mankind in the face of decreasing food supply. Though mainly renowned nowadays for his development of corn flakes, Kellogg also patented a process for making peanut butter and invented healthful, "granose biscuits."

"Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient [in his sanitarium -Ed] was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt -- half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema, “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service." The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky-clean intestine.

"Kellogg believed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora; that bacteria in the intestines can either help or hinder the body; that pathogenic bacteria produce toxins during the digestion of protein that poison the blood; that a poor diet favors harmful bacteria that can then infect other tissues in the body; that the intestinal flora is changed by diet and is generally changed for the better by a well-balanced vegetarian diet favoring low-protein, laxative, and high-fiber foods; and that this natural change in flora could be sped by enemas seeded with favorable bacteria, or by various regimens of specific foods designed to heal specific ailments.

"Kellogg was a skilled surgeon, who often donated his services to indigent patients at his clinic. Although generally against unnecessary surgery to treat diseases, he did advocate circumcision, allegedly to prevent masturbation.

"He had many notable patients, such as former president William Howard Taft...arctic explorers Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Roald Amundsen, world travellers Richard Halliburton and Lowell Thomas, aviator Amelia Earhart, economist Irving Fisher, Nobel prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw, actor and athlete Johnny Weissmuller, founder of the Ford Motor Company Henry Ford, inventor Thomas Edison, and famous actress Sarah Bernhardt.

"As an advocate of sexual abstinence, Kellogg devoted large amounts of his educational and medical work to discouraging sexual activity, on the basis of dangers both scientifically based at the time - as in sexually transmissable diseases - and those taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He set out his views on such matters in one of his larger books, published in various editions around the turn of the 20th century under the title Plain Facts about Sexual Life and later Plain Facts for Old and Young. Some of his work on diet was influenced by his belief that a plain and healthy diet, with only two meals a day, among other things, would reduce sexual feelings. Those experiencing temptation were to avoid stimulating food and drinks, and eat very little meat, if any. Kellogg also advocated hydrotherapy and stressed the importance of keeping the colon clean through yogurt enemas.

"He was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation; this was an orthodox view during his lifetime, especially the earlier part. Kellogg was able to draw upon many medical sources' claims such as "neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism," credited to one Dr. Adam Clarke. Kellogg strongly warned against the habit in his own words, claiming of masturbation-related deaths "such a victim literally dies by his own hand," among other condemnations. He felt that masturbation destroyed not only physical and mental health, but the moral health of individuals as well. Kellogg also believed the practice of "solitary-vice" caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility – "dimness of vision" was only briefly mentioned.

"Kellogg worked on the rehabilitation of masturbators, often employing extreme measures, even mutilation, on both sexes. He was an advocate of circumcising young boys to curb masturbation and applying phenol (carbolic acid) to a young woman's clitoris. In his Plain Facts for Old and Young, he wrote

A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.


In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid [phenol] to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.
"He also recommended, to prevent children from this "solitary vice", bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages, sewing the foreskin shut and electrical shock."
(courtesy wikipedia)


So...he invented Corn Flakes, gave everybody under his command yogurt enemas, routinely used acid to burn the clits off teenage girls, and patented a genital cage?


I'd love to see what that cage looks like...



Friday, February 19, 2010

Masturbation Deaths on the Rise?

A long, but very worthwhile, excerpt from the New York Times recently:

Eleven years ago Mr. Bentley was a 21-year-old Juilliard dropout living in Los Angeles with a Polaroid for a head shot and not enough money to eat at Taco Bell. But after his performance as the stoner-voyeur Ricky Fitts in “American Beauty,” which won the Academy Award for best picture, he was riding in limos and drawing paparazzi. Admiring film critics were forecasting a bright future for him.

“I wanted fame, but I thought it would be incremental, and I became afraid of the overnight-sensation thing,” Mr. Bentley said, speaking to a reporter about his life since “American Beauty,” after a decade of keeping his own secrets. “I started walking into rooms, and everyone would look at me, and I would freeze up. People kept saying, ‘You have to find your next movie,’ and that didn’t make life any better.”

His is both a familiar and cautionary Hollywood tale. After his initial success, Mr. Bentley said, he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the stardom that he was unprepared for, and then addiction took over his life for several years.

The son of two United Methodist ministers in Arkansas, Mr. Bentley said he abandoned the spirituality of his youth and turned to partying in a group house that he shared with the actors Brad Rowe and Chad Lindberg, among others. Soon his recreational use of marijuana and alcohol, which began as a teenager, exploded into cocaine and Ecstasy and other pills. Eventually heroin had him completely.

He would spend nights doing cocaine at clubs and then sleep until 5 p.m. Eventually his friends, concerned about him, refused to join in, and he would drive around the city alone in search of heroin. He said he spent days in drug dens. At the same time, he said, he had “stacks of scripts, great scripts with great offers attached,” that he would never read because of his addiction.

In 2008 Mr. Bentley was arrested and pleaded guilty to heroin possession and to trying to pass a counterfeit $100 bill. He was mandated to community service and counseling and 12-step programs, but he relapsed. He continued using heroin until he was broke, he said, and began trying to get sober until finally, back in Los Angeles after a vacation, he hit his bottom last July.

“I had come back to L.A. for something, and I drank a whole bottle of Scotch, and I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to die in this hotel room with this bottle of Scotch,’ ” he said. “It was after that I told a friend for the first time: ‘I’m a drug addict, and an alcoholic, and I need help. I need help or I’m going to die.’ ”

Mr. Bentley briefly entered a rehabilitation program and began attending 12-step program meetings on his own, which he said he still does.

He said that he was now seven-months sober and wanted to share his story in the hope that he might help other young actors who are overwhelmed by success. He also readily acknowledged that there is a self-serving aspect to disclosing his story.

“I want to earn more work because I’m doing good work,” he said, “but people were questioning if I was even in shape to do auditions. Telling my story is a way to say, ‘I’m O.K., things are better.’ ”

Mr. Bentley said he wanted to be in “Venus in Fur” [The current play he's pushing - Ed.] as soon as he read the script, but he was also just as eager to get any work, even if it paid pennies compared with film. As for sobriety, he emphasized that he was still at an early stage, and that he knew his own story might not be enough to sway a full-blown addict. Still, he said, he wished that when he was in his early 20s he had heard a story like his own.

“This would have helped me, at least, if someone would have made me realize that you don’t need to do drugs to be artistic and express yourself,” Mr. Bentley said. “If you want to be artistic, if you want to be creative, if you want to express yourself, you can’t let things get in your way, and drugs are included in that.”

Conclusion: Wes Bentley is dumb.

He has somehow never heard of John Belushi, Eric Roberts, Robert Downey Jr, River Phoenix, Chris Farley...and many more actors I can't remember right now.

All of them fell into the same trap of alcohol, drugs, money, and fame--and all of them could serve as warnings to a young actor with eyes and ears open.

I guess that's what you get when you take a delightfully-creepy-eyed preacher's son from Arkansas, move him to LA, and pay him a chunk of change to steal scenes in an Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser.

Not only that, but he doesn't know how lucky he is.

True, the dude fell into a downward spiral post-American Beauty, complete with the requisite heroin addiction, AA/NA stint, and post-fuck-up 'theatrical stage' (pun!) of his career, but least he wasn't found dead in the wrong end of Hell's Kitchen with a noose around his neck, his cock in a vise, and nobody else around.

At least he didn't go the David Carradine route. Or the Michael Hutchence route.

Which makes me there somebody who keeps statistics for masturbation-related deaths, regardless of whether or not drugs are involved?

Is it Wes Bentley?

No? Well, somebody should--how else are we to know if there's an epidemic afoot?

I'd hate for masturbation deaths to sneak up on us like AIDS did, with centuries of "well, clearly this healthy 27 year-old died from a nasty cold/pneumonia/headache" impeding awareness of a clear and present danger...


Almost Swimsuit Season!!!

As it is almost March, when I historically close-up shop Stateside and air-out my Mediterranean villa for the glorious summer season that keeps the ravages of time at bay.

Yes, the water is fairly cold in March, but I've always been a bit of a polar bear at heart (have you ever tried seal meat? It's at least fourteen times better than the cutest baby cow you've ever devoured) and besides, my doctor only advises I take the waters for ten minutes at a stretch, once every hour, to battle my rheumatism.

Anyway, I am in the process of shedding those pesky thirty pounds I pick up every winter from lounging fireside, draining casks of fine wine, feasting on the easily-overpowered animals roaming my vast estate--I recommend a crash diet of nothing but milk and honey and laxatives--and it is time once again to motivate myself by choosing the perfect bathing tunic.

What do you think of this little number? Is it too modest? Or is modesty 'in' this season, in light of all the poor people losing so much money the past few years?

Hmm, well, as long as they have it in size two and it costs at least $800, I'll buy a few of them and see what happens.

In the meantime, def forward any other ideas you might have, as I love to ridicule the suggestions of others.

Not at all yours,


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pope's P.R. Man is Cooler Than You Thought, But Still Lame

You can do whatever you want as long as you confess before you die, you'll never get into heaven unless you buy these indulgences, the Earth is flat and revolves around the sun, God built the world in six days, condoms cause AIDS, fish is the only meat that should be consumed on Friday, rock'n'roll is the Devil's music...the Catholic powers-that-be have said some really funny shit over the years.

Luckily for the meek, the Church always flip-flops once it's clear that all of its followers are disobeying them in secret and they can be sure there will be no push-back for suddenly changing God's opinion on things.

With that in mind, here are the Pope's Top 10 Pop Albums of All-Time, courtesy of L'Osservatore Romano, via The Guardian:

What can be learned from this list, aside from the fact that God likes lists to be ten items long and carved into stone tablets sitting in my bathroom?
- The Pope only listens to men playing music, specifically men from England/Ireland and the United States. Oh, yeah--and a Hispanic afterthought to quell the biggest Catholic base in the world.

- He has good taste (Graceland, Revolver) and bad taste (Achtung Baby, Rumours).

- He never liked Santana until he paired himself up with a series of douchebag Gringos (I'm looking at you, Dave Matthews and Rob Thomas!)

- The best pop music was recorded between 1966 (Beatles) and 1995 (Oasis), a bold statement that I'm sure Lady Gaga would love to vomit on, if only out of respect for Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Peter Bjorn and John, Of Montreal, and Elvis.

- Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, and Mick Jagger are peeing in the holy water at St. Peter's as we speak

- The Pope has a soft spot for albums that have sold a shit-ton of copies:
Thriller - 110 million
The Dark Side of the Moon - 45 million
Rumours - 40 million
Supernatural - 27 million
(What's the Story) Morning Glory - 22 million
Achtung Baby - 5.3 million (as of 2003)
Revolver - 5 million (as of 2003)
Graceland - 5 million (as of 2003)

Along with a couple dark horses from industry veterans, to appear interesting:
The Nightfly - 1 million+
If I Could Only Remember My Name - ?
Is any of this surprising? No. Does anybody really care? No. Will the Pope win any religious converts with this pandering list? No. Will any artist on this list experience a sudden increase in back-catalog album sales? Definitely.

I wonder if Catholic Church, Inc. has arranged for a cut of said album sales. I mean, come on, they're not idiots over there--let us not forget they've been running an international cult for almost two thousand years, own more real estate than you can fathom, and made a $9 billion profit in 2001 alone.



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From the Vault: Movie Recommendation

There is a movie called The Boondock Saints that has attained a cult-hit status among the Fast & Furious crowd (read: the male equivalent of the Made of Honor crowd) over the past few years.

Despite the fact that Willem Dafoe is in it, this movie sucks.

However, there was also a documentary made about the making of this movie that is awesome. This movie is called Overnight and you should watch it. I've already watched it 400 times and never regretted it.

The Pitch:

The writer/director of the useless turd known as The Boondock Saints is a pudgy prick named Troy Duffy. Troy was a bartender at a bar in West Hollywood who somehow managed not only to sell a script to Harvey Weinstein (of Miramax) for six-figures, but also to get his shitty band a deal to record the soundtrack. As icing on the cake, Harvey even bought the bar Troy worked in and made him a partner.

Sounds great, right?

Troy thought so, too. After he finished puffing his feathers and strutting around the mating grounds unnoticed, he told his bandmates the good news and hired two friends of his to make a documentary about how awesome he is.

All I can say is, we're all fortunate that the releases got signed while emotions were running high, because they are no longer friends yet we get to see the crash and burn in all its glory; this is a rags to riches to rags story, after all.

Rent it!

[Paid for by The Committee to Keep Harvey Weinstein Afloat For Some Reason]


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

what the fuck

How easy do you need to make a test before you just decide to pass everybody and end the whole charade?


Item: Teabaggers Aren't Republicans!

They just act like them.

The gist of this New York Times article about Teabaggers is that they are a motley crew of anti-tax crusaders, financial conservatives, strict defenders of the Constitution, crazy people with guns, armchair economists with embarrassing math skills, and people who don't know what socialism is.

They hate Republicans and Democrats alike, blaming them--especially Bush and Obama, naturally--for how fucked-up the country is today.

It doesn't seem to bother the Teabaggers that they didn't have a problem with anything the government was doing until the economy tanked and people started losing jobs, bankers started receiving Republican bailouts, etc. It's just coincidence, I guess.

For some reason, these unaffiliated angry citizens have not formed their own political party, despite how catchy and down-homey The Tea Party sounds (think of all the stuffed animals and dollies that would join the fight!).

Instead, they have thrown in their lot with the Republicans--aka the guys with the most blood on their hands. The Republicans, predictably, have responded with open arms and begun eagerly courting these wily mustangs, grateful that anybody still loves them:
At a Tea Party protest in Las Vegas, Joe Heck, a Republican running for Congress, blamed both the Democratic and Republican Parties for moving the country toward “socialistic tyranny.”

In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican seeking re-election, threw his support behind the state sovereignty movement.

And in Indiana, Richard Behney, a Republican Senate candidate, told Tea Party supporters what he would do if the 2010 elections did not produce results to his liking: “I’m cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I’m serious about that, and I bet you are, too.”
Really, Richard Behney? You're gonna go cowboy on us and shoot up the statehouse or something? Because of the unfavorable results of a democratic election? What are you saying here, that you will literally obstruct the will of the people and throw a wrench in the democratic process? That seems...hypocritical, doesn't it?

Or are you saying that sometimes a minority is more intelligent and capable than the undereducated masses, that it would be better for the country to be ruled by an elite oligarchy than by those most able to buy/cheat/steal elections?

Cuz that's funny, since I believe the same thing. Most people do. The problem is that we all disagree on who should be a member of that oligarchy. You think it should consist of Harley-riding tax-allergic plumbers with gun collections and I think it should only include logical, forward-thinking, compassionate, smart people without irrational religious convictions or firearms.

I think we're both going to be very disappointed come November.

My life will go on much the same, I reckon. Will you stay true to your word and ready your guns for battle?

I wonder. Because something tells me you're not the kind of guy that wants to risk his asshole in an Indiana penitentiary for any cause and that regardless of what happens in November, you'll wind up going home and fondling your gun by yourself. Per usual.

But, then again, I don't really know you. Let's see what kind of man you are:
My wife and I have three children. We moved to Fishers, Indiana in 1994 from Tennessee and fell in love with Indiana. My plumbing business operates in the central Indiana area. I love being an entrepreneur. I enjoy working alongside my plumbing crew, sitting on the back of a truck at the end of a hard day and talking about life. I also like where I live, going to football games and having my neighbors over for a backyard cookout. My wife and I often dream of the day when we have all of our kids raised and we ride a Harley down to Key West for an extended vacation. In other words, I am in the midst of living out the American Dream.
Yep--I was right. Now stop yapping like Glenn Beck's lapdog and get outta my face, Dick--I've got my own oligarchy to mobilize.

Or maybe I'll start that next year...



Monday, February 15, 2010

And the Hot Trend in Fashion This Season Is...

Oddly (or is it?) coinciding with Oscar season, the month-long back-slapping circus that is Fashion Season has officially begun.

It is Fashion Week in New York City, people.

And your favorite Authority on Everything, Goodtime Charlie, has front-row seats in Bryant Park. Who will he love? Who will he hate? The world wants to know; the world will never get to know, unless it first has sex with me.

Before those pesky Winter Olympics copycats made it passe, MBFW/NYC claimed its first casualty just as the first black-rhino-skin stilettos were poised for the opening runway strut, beneath a malnourished-but-still-very-fuckable-come-on-let's-give-her-a-break waif.

Yes, edgy British wunderkind Alexander McQueen is dead at 40, found hanging from a rope in his multi-million-dollar London apartment, Simon & Garfunkel's Richard Cory on repeat:

Fear not--the show went on as scheduled, folks.

Trendy tragedy aside, I must report that one thing has been made abundantly clear at Fashion Week:
Expensive clothes are totally "in" this season.
This unexpected development sent shockwaves across the globe, surprising attentive clothes-wearers from the halls of the New York Athletic Club to the chateaux of Gstaad. Their concerns mingled with cigar smoke in the rafters of five-star bistros the world over:
"How will we know which of these items to choose?"
"What shoes do I wear with these gowns?"
"How on Earth does one stylishly pair these exquisite separates?"
Fear not, my fellow fashionistas--as always, I have the answer:
Meet Toni Ferrara, who is just one of many fashion stylists available to you for an initially-exorbitant-seeming-but-then-totally-reasonable-when-you-think-about-it fee. How reasonable, you ask?

Check it:
Thank God there are such selfless souls out there willing to affordably perform these essential services. Can you imagine how dreary the dock denizens of Dubrovnik would look otherwise? I hesitate to even contemplate that garish scene...

On the other hand, if you are so stinking rich that you don't even know what numbers mean or that poor people exist, then you qualify for the services of Yours Truly and should contact me immediately so we can begin draining one of your off-shore trusts post-haste.

Trust me--it's worth it.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Italy Takes a Brave Step

Sono spiacente, bambinas, but if you are a woman in Italy younger than 18, you are no longer allowed to get breast implants.

If anybody needed concrete evidence that Berlusconi's power has waned, this is it, folks.

The details, according to The Telegraph:

[Italian Undersecretary Francesca Martini] said: "This legislation is primarily aimed at the growing number of girls under 18 who have breast enhancement surgery purely for fashion reasons and have no idea of the risks involved.

"Far too many adolescent girls are unaware of the fact that there are risks with this type of surgery and it should not be used purely for fashion and looks. At the moment we have a Wild West, cowboy style system of plastic surgery for young women and this must stop."

So, wait. They are not aware of the risks involved and they do it for fashion? I had trouble understanding you since you repeated everything twice; maybe that's why you're still an undersecretary, Frankie?

Anyway, the Undersecretary for Redundancy made it very clear that this "Wild West, cowboy-style" system has gotten out of hand and is out of control. So...exactly what kind of numbers are we talking about here?
According to statistics from the Italian Society of Plastic Surgeons there are around 85,000 breast enhancement operations a year in Italy, of which 70 per cent are for aesthetic reasons and 30 per cent follow cancer treatment.
Okay...but how many teenagers, since that's the point here? Well, it turns out the Telegraph did not feel like that was an important detail, but according to Huffington Post, "approximately 10,000 teenage girls worldwide had the surgery performed in 2008."

Too many? Certainly.

"Cowboy?" No.

Unless 99% of them occurred in Italy, which I find difficult to believe considering the current level of Stateside shenanigans...


When Will All the Strippers Meet Their One and Only?

Will it be the same day the video-game nerds get theirs? Will these two seemingly disparate worlds one day be cosmically linked, their union blessed by the good Lord, when the customers finally decide to buy the merchandise and the merchandise relents in order to retire to a life of comfort, boredom, painkillers, and torrid affairs with lawncare workers?

It isn't hard to imagine, since it seems just about anybody can find a perfect mate once they consult a computer and find a member of the opposite sex who also likes nachos and Spiderman 3.

Am I being cynical here or is hyper-convenient, low-risk, algorithmically-blessed, manufactured love more than a life raft for desperate/ugly people who would rather settle for something harmless than risk failing in their life-long quest for companionship?

Well, let us put our collective ear to the ground and gather some evidence the old-fashioned way, shall we?
"The first guy I dated was the one for me--I've never been more sure of anything in my whole life, despite my lack of any sort of comparative relationship. We have sex once a year, on his birthday, and I pretend not to notice how much time he spends looking at porn on his computer."

"We got engaged two weeks after we had our first webchat. We just had so much in common that we didn't want to waste any more time than we already had. I mean, he really wants to have kids and so do I. Since I'm 29 years old, I was at the point where that was really the only thing I was looking for in a man. LOL! It's kinda true, though..."

"Anyway, she reached for the potato salad at the exact same time as I went for the buttered poundcake a la mode at the TGIFriday buffet and as soon as our sausage-fingered hands accidentally touched, I immediately knew that, although we may have our differences, we will never, ever part ways, no matter how unhappy we will become."
Hmmmm...I remain unconvinced. It should be noted, however, that as I get around more than a Greyhound bus, I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to a man and a woman mating for life. Maybe it's sheer bliss?
That being said, here is my questionable advice to all those would be lovers out there:

Ladies: Stop expecting to meet your man on a yacht somewhere, since you've never even known anybody with a boat and you grew up in Wisconsin. Stop being so picky, expand your horizons, try it on with a lot more guys so you actually know a good thing when you find it. Your savior is near, but he probably has more hair on his back than you imagined.

Gentlemen: You're not all going to wind up married to a model. Lower your physical standards a bit and find a girl who's interesting, because no matter who you are, you two will be doing much more talking than fucking. Oh--and don't just get married because it's what you think you should do after college or because you're afraid you'll wind up alone. In addition to being depressed a lot, lonely old bachelors have a lot of fun--usually more than married old men. Instead of putting two kids through college, how about you take a sex vacation to Thailand four times a year? You have options.

There you have it. Now get out there and make it happen, people!


Monday, February 8, 2010

I Think This Is What the Kids Call a 'Hot Mess'


I'll Have a Heart Attack, Please

Tired of paying for food?

Just gain like 200 pounds, move to Arizona or Florida, and you can eat for free until you die young. It's true!

Two cardiac-arrest-themed fast food joints on opposite sides of country are locked in a federal lawsuit over restaurant themes.

Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Ariz. has sued Heart Stoppers Sports Grill in Delray Beach, Fla. Heart Attack's owners argue that Heart Stoppers is too similar to their own restaurant.

Both feature monstrously fatty menus, scantily-clad "nurse" waitresses, and signage with an EKG design. At both restaurants, customers over 350 lbs. eat for free. At Heart Attack Grill, customers who finish the biggest burger on the menu get wheeled out of the restaurant in a wheelchair.

According to Heart Attack's owners, the proprietors of Heart Stoppers were in talks to open a franchise of Heart Attack Grill before they opened their own restaurant in December.
(full article here)
Well, I think the lawsuit is pretty cut and dry, in favor of the Heart Attack Grill. But what about all the future lawsuits, from customers who actually do have heart attacks after eating at their restaurant? I mean, they don't really have a leg to stand on there, since they practically brag about how their food causes heart attacks...


Don't Fuck With a Canadian Donut Store Franchisee

Get a load of this stupid shit that went down in Canada recently, eh:

A coffee enthusiast in St. Andrews, N.B., has learned the customer may not always be right.

After complaining three times about "burnt" decaffeinated coffee at the local Tim Hortons, Jimmy Craig is now banned for life from that outlet and the one in nearby St. Stephen.

"It was like brown, burnt water," said Craig. "I almost, you know, got sick in the sink."

Craig said he voiced his concerns to the store manager and corporate office, then got a meeting with the owner, Edwin Dow.

That's when Dow served Craig with a letter banning him under the province's trespass act.

Craig has contacted a lawyer to try to get the ban overturned.

Meanwhile, he can only return to the Tim Hortons if he's on the job as a paramedic, responding to a medical emergency.

So he's brewing his own coffee at home, which, he said, is cheaper and always fresh.

(full text of article here)

Second of all, Jimmy Craig, if the coffee sucks...why do you care if they ban you from their store? Do you want to keep buying/drinking shitty coffee? Is the local Tim Hortons where girls go to get picked up by overweight middle-aged men?

I don't get it.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Review In Brief: A Single Man

Dear GTC,

I finally saw A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford, and even though the projection wasn't so great at the shitty theater, I could tell the movie was pretty lush.

Too lush? It struck me as little more than a 99-minute perfume ad starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and two bad actors that play male sex objects.

More than anything, this movie made me want to be rich, so that I could not work very much but still afford a beautiful glass house in the hills--near the beach--and wear a nice watch, fine suits, expensive cologne, drive a Mercedes roadster...

Does this make me gay?

-Lost In Los Angeles


Dear LILA,

Maybe. It depends on what sort of people you like to have sex with.