Archive for September, 2009

What tangential argument did we lapse into while debating Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland?

–*Provincial Americans don’t appreciate fine, sophisticated sex with 13-year-olds.

–*Everybody’s a hypocrite. Polanski. The judge. The prosecutor. And especially my ex-wife Laraine.

–*Well I certainly hope people forgive me after 32 years for whatever I might have done, though it’s none of your business what that might have been.

–*You Polanski defenders make me sick. He goes free while you Zionists continue to live on our Palestinian soil.

–*Look, the girl he raped is grown up and she said she forgives him. Why do you people have to bring the law into a relationship that was belatedly between two adults?

–*How can you pick “The Tenant” over “Rosemary’s Baby”? You’re just being an asshole now.

–*I don’t care what you elitists think, an artist should not be spared when he commits a crime, not even when his mother was killed by the Nazis, his wife by the Manson Family or his chance for a fair trial by a showboating Hollywood media whore judge.

–*We shouldn’t ever take mitigating circumstances into account when somebody commits a crime, and if that sounds extreme to you, then come back in a week when my lithium has kicked in and I’ll probably sound a bit more reasonable.

–*I’m sure that the U.S. would willingly give up its own international fugitives from France if asked. Like Henry Kissinger, for instance.

–*I know it’s an important topic, but did “The Pianist” have to be so depressing?

–*When a person is victimized as a child by people like the Nazis, it’s very explainable how he might victimize somebody himself later on, and we owe Roman Polanski the benefit of our compassion. But honestly, I’m still inclined against him because “Bitter Moon,” was such a misogynistic and self-indulgent piece of shit.

–*Hasn’t Roman Polanski suffered enough for his crime? For 32 years he’s had to sit in France and get medals and money and fuck his highly erotic wife Emmanuelle Seigner. Can’t we just leave him alone?

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How do we feel as we watch Mackenzie Phillips on Oprah confess to an 10-year incestuous relationship with her father?










–*Alienated from men

–*Alienated from Papa John Phillips

–*Alienated from Mackenzie Phillips

–*Alienated from The Mamas & The Papas

–*Alienated just generically from all mamas and all papas

–*Alienated from everybody connected with the Phillips family, including Billy Baldwin

–*Like we need a shower

–*Like we need a delousing

–*Like we need Penicillin

–*Like all the rubbing alcohol in the world will not wash this Oprah interview off of us

–*Repulsed in a way we just haven’t felt since we watched Oprah last week

–*A bit disappointed that Chynna and Mackenzie didn’t get in a cat fight.

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Last night, I rolled over in bed and gave my wife a playful squeeze.

“Take control,” she said.

“Oooo!” I whispered. “Take control of what?”

“Take control of proposals and awards.”

Yes, my wife talks in her sleep. She’s always done it. I’ve often rolled over thinking she was trying to have a meaningful conversation with me, only to find out that she’s talking to the phantoms of the office.

“It’s not fair,” she said once. When I asked what was not fair, she said: “No incomplete forms.” Another time she whispered, “Research takes a long time. It’s the program.”

Now, I see the lascivious light coming on in your head, dear reader, like a candle in a pumpkin: that these late night mumbles might allow me to prey on my wife’s deepest secrets. That her somniloquies could take me deep into her psyche where no husband should go. That I’m playing a dangerous game by delving into her parasomnic world.

What if I found out something that drove me mad with jealousy? What if I were to poke and prod in a desperate search to find out what she really thinks of my love handles? What if I find out that she thinks some other guy is hot? Not just Jon Hamm, but some actor she’s worked with in an off-off-Broadway version of Chekhov’s “The Bear,” an actor who might still be on our subway line.

Isn’t it right and proper that everybody, even my wife, have the right to a private internal life where she can imagine scenarios, ponder, reflect and work out the troubles of the world by herself in peace without my second-guessing their meaning?

After all, if I did find out something suspicious, wouldn’t my perception of it be completely disproportionate to the actual reality, which is usually pretty silly?

Indeed, wouldn’t a guy’s obsession with his wife’s internal life lead him to jealous ruin? Didn’t Orpheus lose Eurydice forever when he looked back at her and she was still in the land of dreams? I ask you, weren’t the Ancient Greeks and the rock band the Romantics onto something?

And yet the truth is much stranger than any anticipated by these questions. Because, in fact, my wife Stephanie only ever seems to talk about her work day. That’s it. That’s all she’s got. I’ve seen the deep internal workings of the soul, and it looks a lot like a memo from human resources.

Now I know my wife’s not a dull person. She has a great sense of humor and great observational skills and likes to tell stories and laugh. I’m really dumbfounded as to why, when she’s sleep-talking, she never recites lines from Shakespeare or even Neil LaBute for that matter. God knows she reads their monologues enough when she’s awake. And yet the things that make her fear, the things that stir her soul, the things that tickle her dreams are all straight out of the Staples catalogue.

I had a psychology professor in college who you might call the anti-Freud. He not only dismissed the idea that dreams held important symbols but stressed to us all the time that dreams were usually just the prosaic trifles of everyday life–washing dishes, talking on the phone–organized only haphazardly into scenes so that the brain could make sense of them. I’d never heard the mystical world of psychology put in such crass, unmagical, horrifically boring terms. But I liked the contrary approach and after a while espoused it myself for the sake of perverse iconoclasm. Now, when people are asking me what their dreams mean, I really love to kill the wave and say, “I doubt seriously your dreams are important.”

Still, when Stephanie talks in her sleep now, I have started playing a really strange game. I actually try to engage her in the terms of the discussion. Not because of what I think I’ll find out, but because I want to be with her where she is. I want to understand. I want to be privy to the secrets of her night world.

“It’s the program,” she says sleepily out of nowhere.

“What program?” I reply.

“The program.” She starts to look confused at this point, as if I don’t understand, yet I keep mercilessly asking because I feel like maybe I’ll learn something about the subconscious–or at least how to remain compliant with NIH grant application rules.

She starts to mumble. She can’t get her point across.

“The fasafafafafafa…….”

And that’s it. She’s gone.

What have I learned? Was Dr. Buss, my psychology professor, right? Is there nothing to learn here? Will I one day unlock a sort of Jungian-Enigma dream code within my wife? A Rosetta stone for getting to the bottom of her ineffable world? Or am I doomed to talk about bureaucratic protocol like they do in Office Space?

Perhaps it will always be just a little bit lonely–wherever it is my wife is going off to. Maybe I’ll just have to let her navigate Ultima Thule by herself for a while, knowing that it’s her journey alone, but happily anticipating that she’ll eventually come back to me.

On the other hand, maybe she’ll wake up and we’ll have sex. You never know.

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Crawfordsville, Indiana (API) Sammy McBrayer was sitting at home last week watching YouTube when he came across a video people had been talking about at work: A clip of Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards jumping up in the middle of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video award and insisting that artist Beyonce Knowles deserved it instead.

“I just went ballistic,” he said. “How dare this guy who wasn’t even involved jump in and steal this woman’s moment of glory? I thought somebody ought to give him such a smack.”

But then, McBrayer said, “I looked up Taylor Swift’s song book. Now I’ve got to turn down my sanctimony a few notches. I think Kanye might have been onto something.”

And after spending a few hours delving into Swift’s career, McBrayer says he really had to put everything in a new context.

“[Swift’s music] really blows. I mean it’s really a bunch of s***,” McBrayer said. “And supposedly she sings country music? Who did the calculus on that? Doesn’t sound much different than any of the crap my 13-year-old daughter listens to. You know the thing about 13-year-olds is that they turn 14 eventually.”

McBrayer says that though he still thinks West’s move was rude, “sometimes you have to be rude to do the right thing.”

“I realize now what Kanye was doing. Sometimes a brave person has to jump in the vortex–throw himself bodily into the crossfire to protect people like me from trifling mediocrity, the stuff that kills us from within … every day.”

McBrayer asked a bunch of people to come to his house to talk about their feelings later that night, and the group soon turned into an angry mob.

“Maybe we could go to her house and remove the award from her hands by force,” said a female neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

“Yeah,” said another. “Or maybe we could invite Kanye to our town and tell him how sorry we are that we were all so nasty to him on the Internet.”

The crowd grew unruly, and McBrayer thought it might even spill into the streets.

Few of those gathered even suggested that they were big fans of Kanye West’s music, though they conceded that at least it was original, unlike the preconceived, glozed and corporate manufactured fluff that Swift was making to pander to kids and dummies.

“You can’t help but admire him,” said McBrayer. “Even if you don’t like his stuff, you’ve got to admire it. It’s innovative and rough in the right ways. He’s an artist, and meanwhile you’ve got this little piece of jailbait dancing around in her pajamas trying to render us helpless and stun us into mute stupidity with her poison electric stinger. Why are we taking her side on this?”

Though earlier in the week president Barack Obama had entered the fray by calling West a “jackass,” many of his advisors hoped that soon the president would recant and give West a medal of some sort.

“I just feel so bad,” said McBrayer. “I mean, I know that Kanye West doesn’t know me from Adam, but I was saying so many nasty things to him in my head, and it’s just bad karma because now I know he was doing it for me. I was so wrong. I was so very very wrong.”

The crowd departed with no immediate plans to take action.

As another neighbor of McBrayer’s said, “We’ve got to let it go. After all, Kanye will probably do something else that’s dumb at another awards show sooner or later. He can’t seem to help it. We weren’t right to be angry this time. But I guess he’ll earn it back somehow.”

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Washington, D.C. (API) Shelly McAdams, a 9/12 protester from Barnwell, South Carolina, was marching along with thousands of others last Friday to rally against what she saw as the overreach of federal government when suddenly a reporter asked her a question that made her blood boil.

“Don’t go there,” she said to a reporter who asked her if the health care legislation currently in the Congress might bring affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. “I was a nurse for 20 years. I had people puking on me. There was blood and vomit and brain and skull and kneecaps all over the place. Don’t even start talking about that.”

McAdams had come exhorted by Glenn Beck to fight the creeping threat of fascism and socialism and communism. When told that many of those political philosophies were incompatible and stemmed from different schools of economic and social thought, she raised a big index finger in the air covered with acrylic nail polish.

“Now you just stop right there,” she said, as her nostrils briskly dilated and the hair on her ears stood up, “You don’t want to bring up that stuff with me because my step-daughter came from Korea and she ate out of trash cans. You can’t even say the word communism to me because I might start spitting blood right now if you ever remotely decide to go there. That is an off-limits topic for me because I know first hand that pain she felt when she told me about it second hand.”

McAdams, who was holding a sign up that said, “Sean Hannetie [sic] for president,” was then asked if other government actions by the previous administration, like the invasion of Iraq, codified approval of torture and illegal wiretapping, might have merited more of a protest than a simple change in health care policy.

“Now you just wait one minute!” McAdams said, a yellow-purple phlebitis jumping around from her neck to her face. “I don’t know if you know who you’re speaking to, but my grandfather was on the beaches of Normandy and he fought for this country. So I hope I’m just deaf and you didn’t even dare bring up something army related. If I thought for a minute you were putting down my grandpappy’s service on that sandy hell-hole, making the ultimate sacrifice for those Frenchies, well I’d be so angry that I might start sneezing pink-colored phlegm through my eye sockets!”

McAdams went on a stammering tirade about several other things having to do with taking her country back and bailouts and Ted Kennedy.

“Oh boy, you do not want to talk to me about Ted Kennedy. My second cousin Maybell drowned in 1962. I take that very personal that Chappaquiddick business. If you even bring that up, it’s like you’re hitting me in the genitals with a shovel and I’ll have no choice but to fight back.”

McAdams was also wearing a shirt that said, “We want a Christian president, not a Muslim.”

When asked whether she thought the libertarian message of Beck was possibly at odds with the demand for a Christian president, McAdams’ eyes rolled back in her head, and a sap-colored fluid started to come out of her ears.

“You did not just attack the Baby Jesus I hope. Don’t deny you did it. Oh my God … if you were even for two seconds to go near the topic of the Baby Jesus, well I’d be fully justified in pulling out a gun because that’s just a personal, off-limits topic. I’d be so angry that I’d go blind and a little alien creature might just start coming out of my stomach with sharp teeth and that creature would eat all of you alive.”

When asked if her grandchild was enjoying the nice weather, McAdams dropped down on all fours and said,

“That’s it. You elite liberal media types have gone too far when you bring my special needs baby into this. Oh my God I’m having a stroke or an aneurysm. I swallo ma ton….floffle floflle bizzle bozzle mum mum mum mum…..”

When asked if maybe she was not understanding the true nature of the debate she was having or what exactly she was protesting, McAdams jumped down in the mud and began rolling and whining and kicking with her 12-year-old dachshund Joe.

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What are some of the spring 2010 trends currently popping up during New York’s Fashion Week?

–*Sharp-shouldered silhouettes are in vogue, replacing last year’s ultra-hot potato sacks

–*This year’s party dresses are vibrant and should have the blood of a freshly killed animal on them.

–*Last year, wide belts made you look like a genius. This year they make you look like a retard.

–*Metallic zippers on black fabric make a bold statement, even more so if it is Vera Wang’s patented “cootchie zipper.”

–*Laser cut patterns are in, and according to your taste, can make you look like you’ve just fallen out of a either a sausage grinder or a paper shredder

–*Last year’s ruffles recalled exotic sea creatures. This year’s ruffles should recall bottom-feeding arthropods.

–*This year has seen the return of beige–the kind of beige you see painted on the wall of immigration offices

–*Last year was butterfly appliqués on tulle. This year it’s mosquitoes trapped in wire mesh.

–*This year’s couture dresses will look stupid if you’re not constantly puckering.

–*You will always get attention by hanging on to that blue dress covered with semen.

–*This year’s broader shoulders demand that you accessorize with a statement necklace, a garnet brooch or a syringe full of hydrocortisone.

–*Three words: Orthopedic kitten heels.

–*A mix of beige, olive drab and natural dun and taupe colors will protect you when you are being shot at by enemy combatants in Central Asia.

–*”Harem pants” is a great way to not have to say “mom jeans.”

–*Cinch your waistline with a giant bow, and if that doesn’t feel silly enough, wrap yourself in fishing tackle festooned with live bait

–*Be sure to wear tiny, tiny micro stripes if the impression you want to make is to give somebody an epileptic fit.

–*Be sure to wear Christmas lights in your hair if you want to look like somebody’s mother.

–*This year’s bandeau top will look all the more impressive if you’re also carrying an Uzi or a 9 mm Glock.

–*There’s no need to have a clutch with a sequined dress, because sooner or later, you’ll fool some idiot into buying the drinks for you.

–*Be bold and show off your unyielding dedication to metal gussets by eating them.

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–*Inflation might be higher than reported because the reporting agencies keep it artificially low.

–*The personal savings rate going forward might not be enough to re-energize economic growth.

–*Kanye West is an obnoxious bully who must compensate for low self-esteem in childhood by constantly feeling out and redefining his own ego boundaries without any sort of inhibiting social force to stop him.  Given his lack of self-understanding and the sense of powerlessness he likely feels, the gold paraphernalia he wears is of little real value.

–*According to the “efficient market hypothesis,” the market as a whole understands the true value of things because of constant adjustments, value that individuals alone may or may not understand. In other words, the market has developed cognitive thought and will rise from the murky depths like Godzilla and crush you.

–*But really, if the market always knew best, then tell me: Why in the hell are the Jonas Brothers still popular?

–*Too much government intervention hurts the economy. This is said with much conviction these days by people who live in trailers.

–*Supply side economic advocates say that increased private sector investment creates extra supply that foments its own demand. Keynesian economists, on the other hand, say that increased governmental spending on infrastructure causes a cascade of spending and growth in the economy. Either way, it tends to help Steven Spielberg.

–*People during fashion week look totally “money” as Vince Vaughn said in Swingers.

–*People who adhere with ideological purity to their small government beliefs will destroy the economy, the government, you, me and themselves before they ever let that particular conviction of theirs die–and thus let the intellectual insecurity behind it stand naked.

–*The market is efficient and people know everything they need to know to make an informed decision. Except, of course, Bernie Madoff’s clients. Boy, did those guys ever get fucked in the ass!

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–*Subtitles in English, French, Apache, Kurdish and Kanji Japanese.

–*Commentaries explaining the plot of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and Beethoven’s 2nd if you’re not following them.

–*Director’s Cuts

–*Studio Edit

–*Your Mom’s Edit

–*A special “Edit Your Own Fucking Version of Apocalypse Now” feature

–*Slow-motion “Quaalude Vision”

–*Fast-motion “Dexie Vision”

–*Fractured, Blinking “Epilepsy Mode”

–*Go Straight to “The Sorrow and the Pity” Button

–*Special “communist” filters tell you when characters are acting according to selfish bourgeois interests by seeking success, falling in love or driving a car.

–*Subtitles with a bouncing ball

–*Subtitles with the bouncing head of Herve Villechaize

–*Subtitles all disordered in special “Charlie Manson Vision.”

–*A feature that adds Amish muttonchops and hats to every male character.

–*A feature that automatically removes actress Rebecca Pidgeon

–*Face eating snakes coming out of the television

–*A special blank screen called “Get-Out-Of-The-House-And-Make-Something-Of-Your-Life Vision”

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Here are a few imperatives for you, dear readers, as you go about your day.

This is the anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 2001. I exhort you to do the following:

Live. Breathe. Eat. Hug. Read something. Write something. Tell someone you love them. Make love. Brush your teeth. Go to the bathroom. Walk. Think. Dream. No, don’t just dream. Dream big. Why shouldn’t you? You’re alive. And that makes you the luckiest son of a bitch there is.

Don’t think about what you haven’t done. It’s a waste of time. Don’t think of what you’re too old to do. There’s no such thing as too old. Don’t think of what you’re too young to do. You can do plenty. Don’t think of missed opportunities. While you’re thinking about them, you might miss more.

Take responsibility for your own happiness. Take responsibility for your unhappiness too. If you got up this morning with happiness to spare, share it. Whatever you’re doing, try not to become too obsessed with the end result. Just realize that in the act itself, there is a dignity and the integrity of a living person making his or her way on this planet.

The universe may or may not be a fluke, but you change it just by being here. Time doesn’t exist. Not unless you weave it into something. Make it something good.

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What were some of the highlights of President Barack Obama’s address to Congress Wednesday night?

8:15 p.m. Obama thanks the health insurance industry for making the 111th Congress possible.

8:20 p.m. Obama name checks a distinguished pantheon of Americans who have so far totally failed to bring you decent health care, including Teddy Roosevelt, Teddy Kennedy, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, George Bush and Alan Alda.

8:25 p.m. Obama stops and smokes a cigarette.

8:30 p.m. Obama excoriates those who have tried to kill reform altogether by spreading lies about the health care bill. Though he doesn’t name them personally, those people pretty much admit their guilt by sitting down and not clapping for this statement. We thank those people for telling us who they are.

8:40 p.m. Obama stops briefly while the field crew sweeps the floor and dances to “YMCA”

8:45 p.m. Obama stops to remind people that the Bratz dolls still dress like sluts

8:50 p.m. Obama suddenly inserts orders for American children to kill their parents according to plans laid out in his Tuesday speech to classrooms. “You know where the forks are. Like we talked about. On three!”

9:00 p.m. Obama is heckled by South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson for the “take her home like a six pack” joke.

9:01 p.m. Wilson yells “You lie!” after Obama says that illegal immigrants are not covered by the health care bill, after Obama says Teddy Roosevelt was president, and after Obama reads the list of specials in the Congressional cafeteria

9:10 p.m. Joe Biden still has something in his eye

9:15 p.m. Obama says that amid the health care debate, America has seen Congress at its worst (when it does nothing) and at its best (when it does nothing).

9:16 p.m. Rahm Emanuel eats a severed human hand.

9:18 p.m. Wow, after three beers … Nancy Pelosi man … I’m just sayin’.

9:20 p.m. Obama thanks the pharmaceutical companies for making Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh possible.

9:25 p.m. Obama wonders aloud why such strident political ideology is hindering progress. He just can’t imagine why influential Republican swing voter Sen. Charles Grassley, for example, would be so ideological about this health care bill.

9:30 p.m. Obama makes some controversial statements about how much his health care plan would cost, saying a lot of it was money already being spent anyway. This rankles Republicans who insist that only they be allowed to run up crippling deficits, because they do it for good reasons, after all.

9:31 p.m. Katie Couric says Obama shouldn’t kiss so many people what with swine flu running rampant.

9:31 p.m. Actually, kissing up to pigs happens a lot in this business.

9:32 p.m. Republicans several times fail to get up to clap, showing that, as an abrasive and loud minority, they are not afraid to use their thumb-sucking petulance as a weapon.

9:35 p.m. In response to Obama’s remarks, several Republicans hold up copies of a booklet which, given their complete lack of interest in reforming health care, is probably a copy of the new “Harry Potter.”

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