Friday, June 30, 2006

Whole Foods and a Whole Lot More

After taking a job near a Whole Foods recently, I thought I hit paydirt. Fresh food and a chance to rub elbows with Uma Thurman at the salad bar? Yes, thank you. But there’s a drawback I hadn’t counted on. It appears that Whole Foods is ground zero for every lefty campaign/advocacy group in the tri-state area. Want to save the whales? Stalk Whole Foods customers. Concerned about sweatshop labor? Then hustle over to 24th and 7th to get down with those who crave organic.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the Democrats taking back Congress and for outfitting every spotted owl with its own Prius. I really do care deeply about these issues. Just not enough to break stride.

But since I consider myself an empathetic person, I always take time to mouth “sorry” with an accompanying waist-level hand wave that says both “wish I weren’t in such a rush” and “seriously, don’t come any closer.” Sadly, the ipod used to provide enough of a deterrent, but now it just serves as a reason for them to talk LOUDER when strolling alongside you.

But it makes me wonder: What’s the Whole Foods equivalent? Where’s a young GOP’er go to rally the faithful? I say it’s Dean & Deluca. That place has always had a “Let them eat $55.00 Flourless Lemon Almond Cake” vibe. (And it's not like we have a Wal-Mart in town.) And, oh, I should be so lucky to have a D&D move in next to Whole Foods. The inevitable rumble would just be too delicious. Clipboards at high noon! The right to be ignored by an apathetic lunch crowd hangs in the balance.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Been There, Seen That

Okay, technically this was a New York Times story that might not have merited front page status. But it was a summer Saturday, and really, how many pieces can we read about that unending war, huh? Anyways, Women Have Seen It All on Subway, Unwillingly was right there below the fold, and the gist of the story was that virtually every woman in New York has gotten flashed in the subways at one point or another. And I, being part of that demographic* (*there is no need to make rude remarks about the size of my chest here, thank you), very much concur with the article's thesis.

Reader* (*Mom), this is my story:

Several years ago I worked on a sitcom that filmed at Kaufman-Astoria Studios in lovely downtown Astoria, Queens. Though many of you decry the crappy state of sitcoms, feeling that a computer could generate funnier lines of dialogue in binary code than most TV writers come up with, let me assure you that it's not for lack of hours spent trying. In fact, we'd often sit in the writers' room from 10 AM to 2 AM (five days in a row) in order to produce 22 minutes of television. So, okay, the point of this was that we were in the midst of one of those horrendously late night work weeks.

I think I'd been at the studio till 3:30 or 4:00 the previous night, and so we're told we don't have to come in till 11:00 the next morning. After a few hours of sleep, I hop on the G train around 10:00 AM the following day, well past the rush hour crowd (especially for those doing a reverse commute into Queens). But I'm so exhausted, I don't realize/don't care that I'm the only person on the train except for a homeless guy who's sleeping at the other end of the car.

I take out my New York Times (ironically enough) and start reading the Metro section--something properly lurid, if memory serves--and I just zone out my surroundings. Well, I start to zone back in when I feel the top of my paper start to rustle. Slowly I look to see what's causing this and sure enough, I'm now eyeball to eyeball with the homeless guy's gigantic member. He's placed it on the top of my newspaper as if he's offering it as a hand towel. What do I do? What do I do in the face of a potentially mental flasher?

I start to laugh. Something about the fact that this guy was presenting his penis to me swaddled in the New York Times just struck me as very funny. I mean the New York Post, sure. But the Times? Seemed a little fancy.

Well, apparently my girlish giggle elicited from the man the type of response he was trying to get from me. His eyes widened, his face turned red and he ran out of the subway car in shock as soon as the doors opened.

So though Saturday's NYT story seemed to suggest that subway flashing was just a fact of life here in Gotham, and really there was nothing to do about it, I'd like to offer my experience as a counterpoint. Ladies, since the subway system here is pretty much like theater in motion, I suggest next time you get flashed, you just sit back, giggle and enjoy the show!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Security Advisory System Goes Bananas!

Remember the color-coded security levels from right after 9/11?

Remember how sometimes when you woke up it was an Orange Alert Day! or a Red Alert Day! Other mornings it was just a Blue day ("guarded risk"), but it was never just a friendly Green ("low-risk") day. Some mornings you were suddenly at super-severe risk of a terrorist attack on who the fuck knew where or from whom--but be careful, people, evil terrorists lurk everywhere and they want to rob you of your democracy, freedom, prosperity and happiness, cuz they don't have any and they're jealous.

So you were supposed to...well, there was nothing you could do. Nothing except worry, see your shrink more, call the ex-BFF you dropped and make peace in case the sky was falling. Nothing except venture forth into the yellow ("elevated risk") danger of the world's new terrorist threat. Then the administration realized elections were coming up and that it was stupid to get everyone all worked up. So they just started tapping phones, secretly gathering private bank data, and making the FBI an institution you felt you could trust with your security.

But there's good news today, just in from one of our closely-supervised West coast ports (possibly administered by well-educated executives in Yemen or Quatar): We now know the source of the terrorist threats!

You don't have to worry about anthrax, sarin gas, bombs in the subway, or terrorists on planes. Just don't eat the bananas from Guatemala!

This news, hot off the wires just a few hours ago:

PORT HUENEME — The Port of Hueneme in Ventura County was closed off this afternoon while authorities investigated a possible terrorist threat on a cargo ship, a port official said.The action came just before noon after a dockworker discovered a possible threat written in the cargo hold of a ship carrying bananas from Guatemala, said Will Berg, the port's marketing director. Berg said the message read: "This nitro is for you Mr. George W. Bush and your Jewish cronies."

So for those of you who are neither George Bush, nor Jewish, consider it a Green day. As for the rest of you--that means you, Robin and Jay--you better fucking run untess you have anti-nitro Jewish superpowers.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm Sorry You're Such A Pussy

Wow, Robin’s really on a tear this week. Smackin' up Rather. Sticking it to Curly. Easy girl. Get back on your meds. Curly and Rather are just trying to make a buck, like everyone else. Now I know you made things right with Dan this week, but what about Curly? I think you owe Curly an apology.

But not an Ozzie Guillen apology. No, definitely not one of those.

For those of you who use the sports page to line your kitty box, Ozzie Guillen is the manager of the Chicago White Sox (that’s baseball, Robin). And he’s a little, oh, how do you say it, um,…oh, right…batshit insane! Successful, but crazy nonetheless. For example, earlier this month, Ozzie was seen chewing out one of his pitchers on live tv for failing to throw at a batter’s head. (Yes, this is a baseball thing. When one of your guys gets thrown at, you order the pitcher to retaliate. But Ozzie’s pitcher did throw at the guy. It’s just that he missed. So Ozzie went nuclear.) Well, Ozzie went and did it again. Only this time it was much worse. This time he referred to an admittedly awful Chicago sports writer as a fag. Oh, Ozzie. How positively eighties of you.

Now of course it’s hateful and wrong. So Ozzie went into damage control mode. His first attempt? In his country, Venezuela, “that word is not a reference to a person's sexuality, but to his courage.” Uh, not so helpful, Ozzie. Try again. His second attempt? Ozzie says he has gay friends, goes to WNBA games, went to the Madonna concert and plans to attend the Gay Games in Chicago. A little better, Ozzie, but still too “I mean, I’m not a racist, I have lots of black friends”-esque. And WNBA games? Come on.

But here’s the kicker. His third attempt. The ultimate in sports and politics apologies. Drumroll please….

“If I hurt anybody with what I called him, I apologize."

Ta da! Yes, the non-apology apology! The ultimate way to say, “whatever, if you’re such a sensitive little pussy that my hateful remarks bother you, well, I’m sorry for you.” People, there is no “if.” You know what you said and you know it was wrong. You know it offended people. You are simply sorry. When, oh when, is someone going to offer an apology that simply says “I hurt people with what I said and I’m sorry.”

Robin, the floor is yours. Curly is waiting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Curly Is Here!

Granted, I’ve been feeling pretty peevish this week. For instance yesterday I gratuitously bashed Dan Rather like a Teletubby piñata at the Republican National Convention. (I apologize, Mr. Rather, I blame the humidity and the impossible search for fairly priced housing in Manhattan--more on that another day). But I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to call out this, the dumbest of stupid advertising campaigns in recent memory, after it popped up on my computer screen this afternoon (despite my pop up blocker. Damn you, Earthlink!)

CURLY IS HERE? This is supposed to entice us to buy an airline ticket? Curly? The poor man’s Carrot Top? Curly? The pasty-armed Hawaiian shirt-wearing hermaphrodite? Curly, the eyebrow-less wonder? Curly, the midget whose stunted lower body is almost entirely obscured by grass?

The fuck? If Curly is here, I want off the island!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Rather Long Goodbye

Call me unsentimental, hard-nosed, head strong, a cool customer or a tough nut (my mother's fave term of endearment for me), but I think Dan Rather should be doing a dance of joy that he lasted 44 years at CBS instead of boo-hoo-hooing his way off the stage and into the crisply pixellated sunset of HDTV. In a story in today's New York Times , Rather sounds distinctly pissed at his former employers: "My departure before the term of my contract represents CBS's final acknowledgement... that they had not lived up to their obligation to allow me to do substantive work there." That's right, I have no doubt that the honcho's at CBS had the septuagenarian emptying trash pails, answering telephones and leading tours around the newsroom while fighting off the unwelcome handsy advances of senior newsmen.

Give me a break, Grandpa! You've had your job--a great job, an exciting job, an important job where someone did your make-up for you every single day(!)--for 44 years. Forty four years! That's two score and four for anyone who keeps score. How many of us folks in the media today think we'll be able to hold on to a job for that long? And if you do, A) I need your contact info and B) I need the number of your dealer.

Yeah, I suppose one could say, "But Robin, the man has faithfully served our nation for four decades, doesn't he at least deserve a dignified goodbye like that 4 hour "We Love You Katie" Today Show type thingy?" And before snickering at the state of hagiography we bestow upon our camera puppets, I might remind you to briefly pause to recall the whole "oops, turns out I made up evidence and reported it as fact," Bush skipping out of National Guard Duty business. See some felt that Rather really should have bowed out at that point. Me being one of the some. (Look, no secret Dubya weaseled his way out of service, but forging documents to prove the point is unseemly any way you slice it.) Let's say, though, that you didn't think the issue of journalistic integrity was terribly important. Say you thought to yourself, "Good Lord, this man has been on the front lines of more hurricanes, war zones and Puerto Rican Day Parades than anyone should ever have to endure. He should get a pass on fudging facts regarding the President considering the President fudges facts all the time--and the commandant's fact-fudging drags our country into a deadly protacted war with no exit strategy--let's just give Danny-boy a pass on this one." Sure, I'll give you that, especially since a multitude of other broadcasters have been given passes (Hello Rush, you illegal drug abuser! How's it hanging with you and the sexual harassment stuff, O'Reilley?)

Still, rather than bemoaning the fact that he's being sent to the glue factory, I think he should be thrilled it didn't happen a lot sooner. But ultimately I think I know why Mr. Rather seems so down... No one wrote him a torch song sign off to sing. Oh, Connie... Journalistic integrity, where hast thou gone?

...actually, Jay has some ideas on this subject today, too, so hop on over to the McSweeney's site to read what he has to say.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It takes An Angie

Thank goodness: another child saved.

Angie tells Coop--Mrs. Jolie-Pitt, that is, in her first interview since returning to the US, which she accorded to Anderson Super-Hot Shit Cooper--that she and Mr. Jolie-Pitt will definitely adopt next. The interview airs tomorrow night, and it makes perfect sense that this is the nugget they're leaking, because while Angie was once an actress who made movies, kissed her brother, and made provocative comments about her exceedingly ripe sexuality, well, who cares anymore?

What we care about is that she'll have another pet to add to the menagerie, another little soldier to add the glamorous Jolie-Pitt Family Army as they march through airports in Paris, Ouagadougou and Laos, all baby-mohawks, Snuglis, Vuitton luggage and wraparound shades.

She tells Coop that she hasn't decided yet which country will get the Brangelina endorsement, but undoubtedly dozens of developing countries everywhere are lobbying for the priceless product placement opportunity. Demonstrating proof of being able to breed an indigenous specimen cute enough for the Jolie-Pitts guarantees instant United Nations membership and voting status on the security council.

Seriously famine-stricken and war-torn applicants only, please.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Cops Now Have Same Rights As Your Mother

In a discouraging yet not unexpected move this week, the Supreme Court turned back a century of homeowner privacy rights when they decided that the cops no longer need to knock and announce themselves when executing a warrant. Signaling that he is in fact the lap dog we all knew he’d be, robe rookie Alito cast the deciding vote that basically now gives cops the same rights your mother had when you still lived at home. Closed door or not, they’re coming in. Only this time, probably not with your laundry.

Now, of course the defendant in the case was caught with a stash that could tide Kate Moss over for at least a month. But knock-and-announce has been the rule for ages and the defendant is entitled to have his Hefty bag of blow excluded from trial if the cops violated that rule. The defendants are never saints in these cases, but that’s the way it goes. Unwilling to let Booker T walk though (the defendant’s real name, I swear), the Court held that upholding the knock-and-announce just wasn’t worth the risk of letting the bad guys go free. But what is most fascinating about the court’s opinion is that once again certain Justices display just how hideously out of touch they are with modern times. Explaining why he voted to toss the rule (which traditionally meant cops must wait 15 to 20 seconds before entering), Justice Scalia stated that it wouldn’t have mattered had the cops bothered to knock and announce because – and this is priceless – the defendant wouldn’t have had time to do anything about the drugs anyway. What??? Has he never seen an episode of Cops? Trust me, these guys can haul ass when the cops show up on the scene. And I’m betting that 3/4 of that bag would have been flushed and on its way to the Pacific Ocean by the time Barney Fife even made it past the welcome mat. I mean, let’s give these guys at least a sporting chance.

And, even better, Scalia claimed that the knock rule is essentially irrelevant because it only protects "the right not to be intruded upon in one's nightclothes." Yeah, well I don’t know about Grandpa Scalia’s social life, but not all of us tuck in around 9 after a little Nick at Nite. Some of us would rather not have the cops bust in on our weekly meth-fueled baby oil wrestling match with a couple of midgets and barn animals.

Nightclothes, indeed. Buy a better lock this weekend, people. Because the Supreme Court just sent you to your room.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In Praise of Hall

Big news today, people! Beeeeeg news. No, I’m not talking about the quickie Prez Bush gave the soon-to-be assassinated Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in Baghdad yesterday, sneaking in and out of the country under cloak of darkness in a manner more befitting a discreet whore than the “leader” of the free world. I’m not referring to the fact that Rove wriggled out of yet another indictment, pinning all Plame on a Muppet named Scooter. (Seriously, how many souls can Rove have to sell to the devil? You gotta figure even Lucifer is getting suspicious of the dude at this point… unless, of course, he is Lucifer, which has always been the viewpoint of this editorial page.)

Nope, I’m talking something far more grandiose and important to the soul of our nation (assuming we still have one): the appointment of Donald Hall , the man at the right who looks suspiciously like the actor Rip Torn, to the position of.... wait for it… Poet Laureate! “Well wait a second,” you’re thinking to yourself. “First Scott McClellan, now this? What’s this shake up supposed to prove? Besides, I thought Maya Angelou was doing a fine job.” And I’ll be forced to remind you that no, Angelou was never actually the head cheese PL, she was just an honoree at Oprah’s Legends Ball, which, arguably was a lot better for sales.

But let’s for a moment forget that you have no idea who Hall will be replacing. (Hint: it’s not Jewel, even if she has outsold Walt Whitman.) And let’s put aside the fact that the only poem you can remember start to finish deals with the Mudville Nine. What’s newsy about this particular appointment is that Donald Hall is a poet and a hater!

Just like Renée, he’s on record as being critical of the Religious Right’s influence on the government (so apparently he doesn’t get out much, either.) He’s called out members of Bush I’s administration for being art-bashing bullies. Hall recently said that if he sees a violation of the First Amendment, he’ll speak up about it – that’s right, he’ll probably dash off an angry sonnet or add a spiteful extra syllable to a haiku. Regarding the rest of the new job, he’s also quoted as saying, “I have a terrible miscellany of thoughts.” And, since as with most utterances of poets I have no idea what that means, I’ll just let those words speak for themselves.

Still, Mr. Hall looks to set an important agenda for himself: “I’d like to encourage NPR to pay more attention to poetry.” A noble goal indeed, and I wish him well on that! Now if he can first get Americans to pay more attention to NPR than say, Nascar, he’ll be off to the races.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fast and Liberal Times at Ridgemont High

I've been cooped up at home, sick, for the past few days, which is the only time, really, when I wish I had cable. I mean, c'mon, how can you be sick without cable? At least there's TBS and I got lucky enough that this week they're broadcasting lots of 80's classics. Including THE 80's classic: Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Where do I begin? The movie is, of course, awesome. It's like a period film from this distant time in history that, uh, I actually remember really well. The weird part was how grainy and poor quality the movie was. Other things dated it, too--but in an awesome way: the girls wearing socks with their high-heel pumps, and the guys wearing package-hugging gym shorts with polo shirts. Forest Whitaker with a 'fro and looking like he's barely sixteen. Sean Penn putting on new Vans sneakers for the prom, with absolutely no irony.

But what really dated Fast Times for me was a plot twist that I'd actually kind of forgotten about. The part where the Jennifer Jason Leigh character, Stacy, gets an abortion. Stacy has impromptu sex in the pool house with the high school lothario, Damone. Interestingly, we don't see any of the sex--in fact, we barely even see them beginning to make out before the scene cuts away. He never calls her back, and she has to hunt him down after school some time later to tell him she's pregnant. It's not even a question of whether she'll get an abortion, it's just a question of who's going to pay for it. Damone flakes out completely, and Stacy ends up having to take care of things herself. We see her getting dropped off at the Planned Parenthood, we see her in a hospital gown on the operating table--we even see the doctor reaching between her legs which are lodged in stirrups.

Can you imagine any mainstream, blockbuster teen movie today depicting a teenage abortion so explicitly? Can you imagine an abortion in the plot of, say, Mean Girls? Or rather, can you imagine any major Hollywood studio in 2006 taking on the risk of picketing, death threats, insensed lobbying from the Christian right, and the media frenzy that would surely ensue if it chose to even allude to a teen getting an abortion? Let alone a teen getting an abortion on her own without telling her parents?

Fast Times came out in 1982, almost 25 years ago. We don't typically think of the beginning of the Reagan era as a particularly liberal time. And yet, at the time, Fast Times wasn't all that provocative. By today's standards of sexual explicitness, the movie could have been rated a G.

And yet it's a chilling reminder of just how much we have regressed, culturally, in those 25 years. Roe v. Wade hadn't even been in effect for 10 years at the time. Abortion was still relatively new. But now, over 30 years after the decision that made abortion legal, the idea of an all-American high school girl getting an abortion has once again become unimaginable.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Hills Are Alive . . . With The Sound Of Muzak

Adding to its already abundant crop of reality series, MTV (seriously, drop the “M” already, it’s been like ten years since the channel played any music) debuted the Laguna Beach spin-off, The Hills, this week. And, as a 33-year old male living in Chelsea, I am, of course, the target demographic. So I watched.

I am a sick, sick person.

Not surprisingly, The Hills breaks no new ground. The show is mostly a mélange of Los Angeles stereotypes, bland blondes that sustain the "God, I hate LA" comments you hear everywhere but LA. But something did occur to me while watching the show’s fourth rerun in two days. There’s a scene where the show’s protagonist, LC, goes into Teen Vogue for her internship interview. During the interview, the rag’s editor, a scary Anna Wintour knock-off, skeptically asks LC if she can write. LC, of course, lies and says yes. Well, that’s good enough for the editor, so LC gets the job. (And kudos, MTV, for showing kids how the real world works. I think your viewers are now more than prepared to take the work world by storm).

That’s when I discovered the true value of the show: the weird ironic premise that LC actually interviews for the job. Teen Vogue knows what they’re getting out of this. LC could have debilitating rage issues and a severe case of Tourette’s and she’d still get the job. Frankly, I’d prefer if, at least during one take, LC plops her little Manolo’s on the editor’s desk and declares that she’ll be working half-days and needs a corner office. With a view. I mean, this editrix basically works for LC. And if LC doesn’t get what she wants, I fully expect her to go postal on everyone at Teen Vogue while shouting, “Welcome to The Hills, bitches! Now get me a latte!”

(And on an unrelated note, happy 40th to Brenda and Terry. Well done. But Linsy and I moved out years ago. You can drop the charade and go your separate ways now.)

Dead Puppy Jokes

What's funnier than a dead puppy?
A dead puppy being used as an assault weapon!

What do you get when you put together a dead chihuahua and a crazy broad?
Dead puppy rage!

What soft and brown and gets used to beat someone upside the head?
A dead puppy!

None of which would be funny if they weren't, uh, also true. Today's big headline from the heartland (I swear to god I didn't make this up):

Missouri Breeder Beaten With Dead Puppy
Published: June 9, 2006
A St. Peters woman angry that her new puppy had died pushed her way into a dog breeder's home and repeatedly hit the breeder on the head with the dead Chihuahua, the authorities said. The woman, 33, went to the home early Wednesday and tried to get another puppy, but the fight ensued, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The police said they were considering burglary and assault charges against the woman.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

United Colors of the E Train

I was coming back from the Samuel French Short Play Festival on Monday night, where I saw the brilliantly creative Suzanne Dottino’s play, The Burning, (Suzanne’s also the co-Editor In Chief of the KGB Bar Lit magazine) when I had one of those very cool New York moments.

It started, as many of these things do, in a smelly E train. It was around 9 pm and an incredibly diverse crowd of people got in the car with me at 50th Street and 8th Avenue. We were all of different ages and different shades of skin tone (though one guess who was at the most extreme end of the color chart?) Anyway, I pull out my copy of the New Yorker--only doing so so I can pretend to look at it while staring at people, and my attention is immediately drawn to the two high school age girls sitting across from me.

They’re talking about a dress and one says to the other, “I really want to get it, it was so pretty but I don’t know how it would look with my skin.” The speaker looked Hispanic and her skin was a very light brown tone. Her friend, a dark skinned black girl, replied, “Well what color is it?” The first girl says, “Shoot, I can’t think of the name.” She then looks up and catches me gawking.

“Miss,” she says, pointing to my pants, “What color is that?”
“Khaki?” I reply.
“No, that’s not the name. What’s another color name like that, but lighter?”
“Cream? Ecru?” I offer.
“Beige? Tan? Buff? Sand? Oatmeal?”
“No,” she says, “None of those.”

The rest of the people in the car slowly start looking up from what they’re reading or the conversations they’re having and turn their attention to us. A hush actually falls over the train as they wait to see if I can come up with the name for this girl. I feel like a contestant on a J-Crew sponsored game show.

“Uh,” I say, starting to choke but trying to picture my box of 120 Crayolas (you know the one: the box that called pink “skin”) “Fawn? Biscuit?”
The girl shakes her head, “Whiter than that.”
“Mushroom? Milk? Toast? Milquetoast?” Clearly I’m getting desperate.
“You know it,” she says, and suddenly my confidence is bolstered. I will not let this girl down… until I realize she’s no longer talking to me. She’s now looking at the very dreadlocked woman sitting to my right. “You’re smiling,” the girl says, “I can see you know it.”
The woman nods.
“That’s it!” the girl claps as do several other riders. “Ivory!”

Everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief. The bespectacled man sitting a few seats down on the bench says, “Thank God, now I can sleep tonight!” People are smiling, genuinely happy that we all came together to solve this conundrum.

I must admit, even though I wasn’t able to offer the right answer myself—for which I flagellated myself later--I walked off that train feeling pretty good. It was a moment of community among city dwellers. It was a group of people with nothing in common sitting together and helping each other out. It was New York to me -- exactly what I miss when I find myself outside this City. And it was also pretty freaking ironic that the whitest chick on that subway couldn’t come up with the word “Ivory.”

NOTE: This is a post by Robin, although it says Renée below. Renée is just doing a courtesy for Robin who is currently jet-setting laptopless.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Star Politics

Movie stars and politics have always been such a welcome addition to our quality of life. Ronald Reagan is, of course, the outstanding example of how many good things come from mixing the two: cold war, deregulation, tax breaks for the wealthy, global ridicule of the President--all the things that make you proud to be an American.

From the time of Hanoi Jane, the media has loved nothing more than covering the strong opinions of Hollywood stars who decide to Get Involved and Have a Voice. And, generally, ridiculing them. With the exception, maybe, of Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins--who are low key and liberal and, frankly, not assholes--most other stars get the coverage that's coming to them. There wasn't a single stupid Terminator joke that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't deserve, and Sean Penn needs to shut up and stay home before something bad happens to him in Iraq, or more likely, before he goes nutso and they arrest him on the Hill because they won't let him smoke during his congressional testimony on the State of Things in the Sunni Triangle.

But it seems that the previous experience of other actors just doesn't register. And yet another one has come out recently with a Really Strong Opinion About the War. But you'll never guess, not Warren Beatty or Babs, or even Ben Affleck. Think more B-list...give up?

Of course you do, because who would ever have guessed that...Mickey Rourke cared about the war? Turns out he does--he cares for the war, and he cares even more for our illustrious president: "George is doing a hell of a job during very difficult times, more power to him," says Mickey. "Screw all them people who don't like him." Yeah! [Pump fist, jab finger in the air.]

Spoken like a true plastic-surgery-addled, d-list, wife-beating washup. Thanks for sharing, Mickey.

Friday, June 02, 2006

We're Not In NBC Anymore, Toto

So there's really only one thing to discuss this week and that's the departure of Katie Couric from the Today show and the (seemingly) 14 hour love-fest they dedicated to her. Now, I'll be honest. I've never watched the Today show and I'll be damned if I was going to tune in just for that farewell farce. But, I've seen enough highlight clips that I feel more than qualified to weigh in with my two cents. A few observations:

- The sheer number of people packed into Times Square was ridiculous. Seriously, when the troops come home they'll be lucky to draw even half that crowd.

- It was probably wrong of Katie to subtly check her watch every five minutes, quietly mouthing to herself the number of minutes until she's gone.

- The whole thing had a weird Wizard of Oz quality to it. The way Katie lined up some of her more famous interviewees in a line to say farewell. It was like Dorothy going back to Kansas. "I'll miss you most of all, Central Park Jogger."

- I think it would have been a nice touch to have a mascot dressed as Katie's colon in the line-up.

- And for those of you that TIVO'd it, and I know there are plenty of you, play the last ten minutes back in slo-mo and you'll see a wild eyed Diane Sawyer crouching behind a teleprompter, Gilooly-style, with a lead pipe in her hand.

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