I, James Brown HAH! being of sound UH! mind and body, do OWWW! HIT ME! Get up, get on up; get down, into the ground! HUH! HIT ME!
I hereby bequeath my SEX MACHINE! OWWW! to the citizens of New Orleans (New Orleans!), Detroit City (Detroit City!), Dallas (Dallas!), Pittsburgh P.A. (Pittsburgh P.A.), New York City (New York City), Kansas City (Kansas City), Atlanta (Atlanta), Chicago, and L.A.!
I no longer FEEL GOOD! HAH! HIT THIS! Thusly, on the occasion of my passing, I would like to establish a financial trust to COUNT IT OFF! ONE! TWO! THREE! HIT ME! HUH! OWW! OPEN CASKET! GET UP!
IN THE SOIL! DIG IT! ROCK TO ROCK! ASHES TO ASHES! DUST TO DUST! LEMME HEAR IT NOW! OK fellas, when I count down, let the undertaker GET FUNKY! Super highways, coast to coast, easy to get anywhere on the transcontinental overload. OW! HUH!
Smokestack, fatback, many miles of railroad track HAH! UHH! HIT ME! Rolled-up ham and various COLD-CUTS at my wake! OWWW! AHHH! GET BACK NOW! My wishes are such that I require two days of public viewing in ATLANTA! HEAR IT NOW! BREAK IT DOWN FOR ME! EYE TO EYE! COAST TO COAST!
In summary, my estate retains proper remuneration to provide for all known heirs and we're gonna HAVE A BALL sure as you're born. I'M GONNA DANCE, DANCE, DANCE DO THE POPCORN!
Signed, witnessed, and legally attested to,
James Joseph Brown, Jr.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I, James Brown HAH! being of sound UH! mind and body, do OWWW! HIT ME! Get up, get on up; get down, into the ground! HUH! HIT ME!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
This is Charlie Callas, an American master, telling a joke whose punchline doesn't really matter by the time you get there.
I lost my shit on the pantomime rotary dialing, and never found it again.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
With any respectable person celebrating Christmas in a matter of days (sorry Jews!), I'm sure that many are looking for late scores when shopping for gifts at increasingly-stripped mall racks. Looking for a cashmere muffler? Go fucketh oneself. Interested in a Nintendo DS? SsssssssSUCKA! Shoulda got here a fortnight ago, Michael Richards!
What is one to do? Well, I asked myself that same question, thinking about all the poor bastards out there facing shoddy Christmas present options. That's why I decided to do something about it.
In the course of my research (read: a superfluous glossy circular that fell out of my morning paper), I have discerned that the most heavily hawked items this Christmas season turn out to be celebrity fragrances.
Take Sarah Jessica Parker's "Horseface," for instance. I mean, the list of themed scents goes on and on, but what that list tells us is that middling cable actors want Macy's shoppers to smell like they're married to a barely closeted man-boy.
Rather than adopt an adversarial tack this year, I've decided to give in to the pressure and license out the Bill Scurry/AmericanCaesar brand vis-a-vis a delightfully cromulent new cologne for men.
I like to call it... FEET.
Now don't sweat it, it doesn't actually smell like feet... although it doesn't smell much better than feet. In working with ConHugeCo, my go-to multinational conglomerate that handles all fossil fuel-based transactions for AmericanCaesar Enterprises, we decided to go down any number of alternative routes that "Big Aroma" dares not tread. ACE's "FEET" contains the following scents/smells/noxious fumes:
-Notes of bacon
-Hints of goldfish
-A sour, penny-like taste
-Basil... I guess
-A tincture of Dristan
-Oh yeah, and feet.
The MSRP on this bitch is $89.95 (yanqui dollars), but you do score a three-quart paper carton of the stuff for your money, in a container not altogether unlike what you buy 2% milk in. In fact, we're experimenting with running photos of missing children on the side. Only as a joke -- the kids will be making funny faces. It's all good, we're not heartless here.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This is the new shit from the guys who cooked up "Lazy Sunday," Lonely Island. This time, Justin Timberlake plays along, and I have to say that this kid has a great sense of humor. The two best SNLs in recent memory were the ones he's hosted.
Friday, December 15, 2006
I just got back from Tehran a few days ago, where I was a keynote speaker at the two-day conference on refuting the Holocaust. In addition to bringing up the fact that we just don't know what those gas chambers in Poland were actually used for, I also asserted that perhaps all Hitler and the German army were really interested in was delivering bundles of pretty, aromatic flowers throughout Europe. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. There is something much more serious that begs discussion, something most of the so-called "intellectual West" won't even begin to touch with their "enlightened viewpoint" and supposed allowance for equal time on all subjects.
I'm talking about lunch. I deny lunch.
There's no factual basis that it ever happened. All we ever hear is that it was served on plates and it was accompanied by a cream soda. Now, this is the narrow view of a select group of people for whom it serves an overrriding interest. In order to maintain a certain, how shall we say, world climate conducive to their aims, these same groups perpetuate the myth that there was a folded napkin wrapped around a knife, fork, and spoon accompanying lunch service.
But we know better than that. We know that there is no record of a knife being present at any lunch, especially one that was not served in the first place. This is base intellectual dishonesty and pure pish-tosh, the worst kind of smokescreen these interests generate to avoid the truth on the issue.
There was no delicious, crispy pickle on the side. The wheat bread was not toasted to perfection. The turkey club sandwich was not served in four sliced wedges, each with a decorative sword toothpick through the top. The scoop of potato salad was not the option over a handful of fresh potato chips, and it was not made with skin-on russet potatoes.
These are all lies that people have been fed for decades.
To whit, there was not a sprig of parsley intended as a garnish on the margin of the dish. Also, we did not remove a packet of Equal sweetener after the meal was finished and fold the rumpled trim into various shapes. And by no means was the waitress tipped in excess of the 15-percent gratuity because she took the time to refill the beverages again and again.
Prevarication. Apocryphal calumnies, all. Why is the world so afraid the stand up to these people, these lunchers, and say We Will No Longer Believe Your Lies? Why do I and my intellectual brethren have to travel to that Denny's off the 405 to be heard? Maybe we're hitting a nerve.
Accordingly, the slice of Reese's Peanut Butter cheesecake was not exquisite, and it wasn't served with a scoop of rum raisin ice cream.
Monday, December 11, 2006
One hell of a trip to Walt Disney World. Notes along the way...
The big landmark castle was almost constantly being fussed with by a giant crane. I think Mickey has a more concerted rebuilding plan than the morons in charge of the World Trade Center rebuilding effort.
The mirth was obvious and abounding. And so forth. Janice's head looks very funny while adorned this way.
It's a shmoopie sandwich, and Pooh's the meat! We ate at so-called character breakfasts as often as we could rob other families of their reservations, and were usually the only childless folks in the house. That made us the only people in the room who still have sex and piles of that cash we "childless-by-choice" folks use to promulgate abortions on teenagers.
At the same breakfast: this portly dude behind my pumpkin-like cranium was awesome -- he was traveling solo, about 40 years old, with a shock of white hair, and each day we saw him he was wearing a different New Wave tee; first Depeche Mode, then the Smiths, and so on. We named him "Evan."
When I misbehave, I get pilloried for all to see in the center of town. Consequently, I must also put the lotion in the basket, or I get the hose again.
Taking a break with my imaginary improv pipe, waiting for my steamboat to pull in.
Our favorite place, the closest thing there is to church for godless bastards -- Space Mountain.
Taking aim at passers-by outside of Tom Sawyer's fort...
"Oh, hi! You've caught me in the middle of an assassination!"
Things were going great during the meet and greet under the Ewok village until...
I must have said something to tick the Lord of the Sith off, because he got a little frisky with me.
The wife was pulled out of the crowd at Epcot the participate in a little wacky street theatre with the Brits.
The nightly parade was wicked... how do they do this twice a night?
Central Florida isn't a very Jewey place to begin with, I realize, but this was the ONLY bit of recognition that there are other faiths on planet Earth.
The "Fantasmic" show, 25 minutes of special effects like broadcasting movies onto waterfalls and setting a lake on fire. On fire?! It's water for chrissakes... how do that do that?
Hanging out on the roofdeck of the Contemporary, watching fireworks from 20 stories above.
Expedition Everest, a fairly awesome new coaster at the Animal Kingdom. Foreground: the man who rides it.
Janice finally made a monkey out of me.
Why come back home? Life on the dying world is only bearable so long as I have a belly full of Haribo gummies and a Splash Mountain fastpass in my hand. Someone feed me some sleeping pills and applesauce! I'm coming home, Marshall Applewhite! Where are my black Nike high-tops?
Sunday, December 10, 2006
There's nothing better in life than doing things at the age of 31 that you were supposed to have done at the age of six. More to come, including me getting choked by Darth Vader.
Stick around folks, we have a great show for you tonight.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I may be your home learnin' globe, but I'm dealing with some serious issues -- body issues. I'm suffering some serious dismorphism. Have ya seen me lately? I'm huge!
Everything would be OK if you went about business a litle bit differently, like, if I was a map. Then, I'd be all laid flat on a wall, or framed -- mostly just two dimensions. But you need to have a globe -- you're killing me! Do y'all have any idea how unflattering lines of longitude are? It's a real bitch to look at Ecuador, or Slovenia even, and see these parallel lines running all over me. See the Tropic of Cancer?! A huge sign on my midsection that screams, "Look at the oblate spheroid!"
I can't take it anymore. I do everything I can, really, but I just can't seem to lose an inch. It's always there, a constant 360º all the way around. I figgered that if I could have shaved the Svalbard off, or maybe the Ross Ice Shelf, then my self-image would be inproved. I'm talking massively. No amount of spinning in this cheap brass mount seems to be working on dropping the weight.
This Mercator Projection makes my ass look huge. And you already know about longitude... I don't see any horizontal-striped shirts in your damn closet. Some giveback latitude is supposed to be. Urrnk! Sorry, wrong answer! Tell them what they don't win, Bob! They all bow out from only two poles. Is that supposed to help me? My Borneo-Celebes look ginormous.
I wish I was never born. I wish I was an atlas.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
On the occasion, or near, the occasion of this space's one-year anniversary. Way back on November 8 of 2005, I decided to add to the congested bandwidth of this nation's ailing internet with a thoroughly disposable sounding board consisting of nothing but facile, poorly thought-out opinions and, more often than not, pure calumny.
I say again, huzzah. There is microwave pizza up front, served on festive napkins featuring characters from the 1998 computer-animated flop "Antz," because those particular napkins were marked down at the party store. Also, there are three bottles of crystal Pepsi, although I know them to be flat. Help yourselves to it.
Anyone want to make a call? My rotary phone is up front. Please keep it to local calls.
Everyone having fun? I knew that this particular group of people would lead to some interesting anecdotal conversations. I shall move across the room to raise the volume of the music a bit now, to add a more festive mood to the party.
Why, this is a cassette of Journey's last album, "Raised on Radio," in fact. You might remember that album yielded the hits "Be Good to Yourself" and... maybe another. After side two, I put in the soundtrack to "Jurassic Park."
Save some room after the pizza, because there is a half a crumb ring on the kitchen counter. There are also some jordan almonds in the glass bowl on the coffee table.
Having a good time? Did you meet so-and-so? I thought you guys might hit it off.
GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT YOU FUCKING MOTHERFUCKERS! GET THE FUCK OUT MY HOUSE! HOW FUCKING DARE YOU! YOU FUCKING MUTTS! HOW DARE YOU! JUST GET THE FUCK OUT! I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU WITH THIS KNIFE! FUCKING LEAVE! NOW! FUCKERS! I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU! ALL! I'LL FUCKING CUT ALL YOUR BELLIES OPEN! COCKSUCKERS!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
You have got to wonder what happened. I think that Michael Richards was bombing, got desperate, and decided to go out there to handle the people talking during his set. Why the whole n-word thing? There's sufficient reason not to go there unless you're Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, or a similarly competent entertainer. If the thing you're best known for is opening a door wackily, I suggest you stay away from racial material at the Laugh Factory. But the remark about being upside down with a fork in your ass -- is that some kind of harkening back to Jim Crow/segregation bad-old-days? I never read about the Klan doing that to anyone.
I can't wait for Jason Alexander to go up at the Improv and start insulting the Koreans in the audience.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Forgive me for dwelling on this point, but last night's Playstation 3 mania was a real test for the species. Not only were people encouraged to abuse their bodies and abandon their lives for a week to camp out on city streets, there was an alarming amount of violence exhibited in the chase for a video game system:
HARTFORD, Conn. - Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new Playstation 3 game system to go on sale in Putnam early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.
Have people taken leave of their senses? Is it not crazy enough to replicate the homeless experience (making mockery of true disadvantage and suffering) for a material bauble, or beset violently upon your fellow man for said bauble? How is it that the same species who bakes pies and donates bottles of water en masse to World Trade Center rescuers easily finds in itself the ability to act downright australopithecine toward each other, over meaningless circuits?
Yes, I'm awful upset that I wasn't able to score one myself. But, as I deliberated my course of action last night, it occurred to me that I would have had to have been camped out for over a week to have scored one of only 100 available Sony boxes. What kind of ugly math is that? People want millions, and Sony only produces 400,000 -- good move. Or, we can listen to the doushebag in charge tell it:
Jack Tretton, executive vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment America, said retailers will be receiving new PlayStations daily — expedited by plane rather than ships. "At some point we want to get to some degree of normalcy, but that remains to be seen," Tretton told The Associated Press, adding that seeing all the people camped out and lined up for the console "kind of makes all the effort worth it."
Kind of makes the effort worth it? Fuck off, you Marketing 101-washout motherfucker. You enjoy seeing people miserable out in the rain for a week, just for your widget? What kind of Kozlowski-Tyco shenanigans are going on over at Sony anyway?
The final word, for me, comes from one of the greedy cretins on line for the thing in San Francisco:
Edgar Alcala, 18, who grabbed one of the first spots in line at San Francisco's Sony Metreon Mall on Wednesday morning, said he was looking forward to a warm, dry bed and a hefty profit. "When I get home, I'm going to take a quick picture of it, slap it on eBay and go to sleep," Alcala said minutes before the store's doors opened at midnight Friday.
You waited that long on line, just to hold it ransom online for a vastly inflated figure? Edgar Alcala, are you the guy who pees on the toilet seat in restaurants, bars, and movie theatres? Is there a jagged piece of anthracite coal where your heart should be?
Again, angry that I was denied a PS3 by fools like Jack Tretton and Edgar Alcala, if that needed to be clarified.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
[The author is walking down 14th Street in Manhattan to the Circuit City to buy himself a kickass Playstation 3 when...]
Me: Zounds! Hay-zoose Marimba! What is this dogshit!?
[There is a line of hundreds of people behind police barricades, stretching down Broadway for two blocks. The assembled throng looks like it's slept on the sidewalk for a week.]
Me: What the?! I just... how?
Scruffy Guy In Crowd: Hey buddy, this is the end of the line. It begins down there on 12th St.
Me: Fer rills? All this for a Playstation 3?
SGIC: We've been camped out here since Monday morning, asshat.
Me: My entire value system has been smashed to pieces.
SGIC: You're going to have to wait, like, six months for one of these babies. I, on the other hand, will have given up a week of showers, sleep, and pride to be 35th on line here -- but I'll be able to play Madden 2008 waaaaay before you will.
Me: I don't understand what's going on here. You've been camped out a week in front of this Circuit City?
Unwashed Woman in Crowd: I've been here for a week and a half.
Me: You! If you have the kind of time to spend a week on the street, how is it that you have the 600 bucks to spend on this thing?
UWIC: I'm here in the city living off a trust fund. I don't need to work.
SGIC: I go to NYU. I ditched Poli Sci for a week for this.
Bummy Looking Guy: This is a repudiation of everything you stand for, a naked display of corporate avarice and greed that rewards the mentally ill and lifeless people who would gladly volunteer for the horrible experience of living on the street, except in this case, for a mere video game system.
UWIC: Isn't this the height of irony? We're taking the kinds of things that people in Russia had to do to get whitebread and toilet paper only a generation ago, and making sport of it. Hah hah!
Me: Glurgg.... mrrr.... rrrggghhhh...
SGIC: And, in the process, we're reinforcing the corporate mentality that comes up with schemes like this -- if demand is in the millions, only produce 25,000 units to keep the buzz going.
BLG: And who loses? You do, Guy Who Turns Up At the Store the Day Said Product Goes On Sale Actually Expecting To Go Home With One. Didn't you ever hear of Cabbage Patch Kids, motherfucker?
Me: Dark... becoming dark... and so cold... I can't feel my legs...
UWIC: Why don't you just go back home and play with your Playstation 2? I hear that Splinter Cell is cooler the third time around.
Me: .... [thump]
Monday, November 13, 2006
Who dares? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, that's who!
What happens when good men do nothing? Evil roosts! Well, not on JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS's watch!
When the situation calls for a hero? Only JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS can fit the bill!
When the going gets tough? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS gets going, and sends the bad guys packing!
Who's the "Man of Unbreakable Cobalt"? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, that's who!
What can stare down a kodiak bear? Only the steely eyes of JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS!
Who the hell is JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS? It's a goddamn name that was in the subject line of junkmail I received last week, and there has to be a better use of this random word association technology than to confuse my spamfilter.
What is the title of a thinly conceived blog-post? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, and you'll find yourself on the receiving end of the toughest adventurer/explorer in the Lost Continent's patented "Flying Fist Fury" if you're in league with Professor Chen-Lu and the Masters of Crime!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Some changes afoot: the House of Reps switches from a Republican to a Democratic majority, with the Senate likely following suit; the Democrats picked up a number of key governorships last night; and Rummy steps down as Sec'y of Defense. This is certainly an impressive sequence of things falling into place.
Your Uncle Salad is skeptical about what it will all actually mean once the new terms begin in January. When Bush squeaked by in the 2004 general election, he coined the term "political capital" to indicate his slight margin of victory being a mandate. Of course, reality begged to differ. I'm afraid of Pelosi and the rest of the Dem ruling class thinking along the same terms, as if the country weren't still polarized along the same red/blue lines it's been since the 1996 midterms.
While this election was a referendum on Iraq (among other things), there is still a prevailing culture of social conservatism among a great deal of voters. Just because they wanted a change in Iraq policy doesn't mean that they want homos gettin' married and shit. A buncha states managed to pass restrictive gay marriage bans, even if South Dakota killed the abortion ban referendum.
All's I'm saying is that this was a symbolic groundswell of public opinion, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans just yet. Prove to me that this will change anything to a great degree, and I will mail you a copy of the official "AmericanCaesar Salad Home Trivia and Behind-the-Scenes Factoid Companion", a handy guidebook to the goings-on of the No. 1 Google-rated* internet destination. Enter early and often -- void where prohibited, families of employees not eligible.
*A bald-faced lie.
Posted by Bill Scurry at 11/08/2006 03:06:00 PM
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
A fog creeps across the land, and the still, wet air is swollen with the hiss of dragging and moaning... the dead walk again. They pull their enervated carcasses across the earth, looking for the merest scrap of warm flesh to consume hungrily, an unrelenting craving conferred by the decay of the grave. Entrails wet with disease and rot slide over grass and asphalt, as legless bodies claw their way towards the living, all for that one thing they crave monomaniacally -- brains.
In an insolated farmhouse, the damned that hell hath angrily spat up munch and slurp hungrily at a freshly dismembered corpse with toothless maws, the still-warm blood pulsing out of throbbing arteries as a heart beats its last. Two lumbering, dessicated forms move their grasping digits inexactly at the flesh, mindlessly filling their ruined jaws with the meat.
Larry: This one is is quite good.
Bob: I agree. There's a good measure of fat marbled throughout.
Larry: I don't remember anything tasting quite this good.
Bob: I actually can't remember much, myself. My brainpan was shot away by that farmer in the last frame.
Larry: Tough one, there.
Bob: Yeah... but I agree. This is really hitting the spot right now.
Larry: Like a glass of cool water after mowing the grass on a hot day.
Bob: Something like that. I really can't say for sure what grass is, at this point.
Larry: I wonder how we ever got along without the taste of brains.
Bob: I'll say. By gum, I used to not eat brains at all!
Larry: Me too. Back when I was alive.
Bob: That'll do it to ya. This whole deal is a bitch.
Larry: Granted. I'm tired of pulling an empty torso along the ground. My guts spilled out a long time ago.
Bob: I thought I saw a squirrel in there before.
Larry: I know! You, with those knee stumps and one arm -- you're practically on a vacation!
(There is a momentary pause as they voraciously shovel tissue and bone marrow into their throats.)
Bob: Hey Lar, you ever stop to think why we love the taste of brains so much?
Larry: No. Not really. Can't say I ... no. I know I like it, and there's not much more to it than that.
Bob: I can't stop thinking about it. I used to love bacon, and heavy cream, and mint chocolate chip, and braised lamb, and Slim Jims.
Larry: Slim Jims?
Bob: Those little beef jerkies you can score at the convenience store.
Larry: If you squint hard enough at this person, some of the marrow looks like jerky.
Bob: You're missing the point -- I don't care about lamb shanks anymore, or chow fun, or even Count Chocula! All I want is BRAINS!
(From another wing of the house comes the low vocalized moan of "BRAAAAAIIINSSSSS!")
Larry: Great, now look what you did! All those idiots are going to come and mooch off our farmer's wife. I'd like to see 'em get up these stairs.
Bob: What happened to us, man? Where did we go wrong? One minute we had pools, and Hondas, and TiVo. Now, we're shambling corpses.
Larry: Here, have some pectoral muscle, it'll make you feel better.
Bob: I've had enough of this woman to eat. Enough! It's time that we had some changes around here. Big changes!
Larry: We were only turned into ghoulish abominations of nature, like, yesterday. Give it some time, homes.
(Coincidentally, the remaining pulpy mass of Bob's spent cerebral tissue bubbles out of the sizable shotgun wound to his skull.)
Bob: Hurrm, what was I saying?
Larry: You asked me for some bile duct.
Bob: Oh, I love bile duct! Pass the perineum, please?
Saturday, November 04, 2006
As part of the wiff's physical fitness regimen, she runs her ass off on the treadmill as if a grown man of 31 years and six feet of height were chasing her around the apartment with an erection. To motivate herself during said workout, she jacks up an iPod full of her favorite thumping disco tunes that feed her the willpower-sausages she needs to keep going.
The only problem is, her songs-o'-empowerment all deal with throwing her man out.
The guy's been a real bastard, been underestimating her, been cheating on her -- treating her in a bad way, yo. Apparently, the missus enjoys the feeling of independence you get from belting out Beyonce's "Irreplaceable":
You must not know 'bout me/
I can have another you by tomorrow/
So don't you ever for a second get to thinkin'/
Disturbing much? And then there's Aguilera's "Fighter":
You were, there by my side/
Always, down for the ride/
But your, joy ride just came down in flames/
'Cause your greed sold me out of shame, mmm-hmm
Or maybe, Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style":
When you go then everything goes/
From the crib to the ride and the clothes/
So you better let him know that/
If he messed up you gotta hit em up
Did I do something wrong? I thought I was doing OK. Now, I find out that I'm a fucking bum whose domestic partner entertains power fantasies of tossing me out on my ear. I don't sing songs on the treadmill about disintegrating some bitch with heat vision, or tossing city buses at a shrill harridan from a great height. The least she could do is exercise the same courtesy.
Posted by Bill Scurry at 11/04/2006 11:59:00 PM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
What's the matter with you? Do you cuss like that all the time? I don't like that kind of talk in my house!
I can't believe, god forbid you could go more than five minutes without cursing. Always, with cusswords. You know, that everytime you you curse it makes you look cheap and stupid? And what if a child had heard you say that? Pray tell, what they might think. They would repeat what you said, because that's what children do. Why can't you have a smidge of politeness and watch your cursewords? I don't like that kind of talk around here!
We live in a civilized world where people have decency towards each other, and you walk into this place with your... foul language. All the nice young ladies are never going to give you a second look if you use that kind of language around them, for pete's sake!
I'm of a mind to give you a slap for that cussword. I swear, I think that's the only way you'd learn. Stringent parenting... I used to give my own kids a heaping dose of guidance whenever they would slip up and use a curseword they learned in school, whether it was at the dinner table or in front of the TV.
First, I'd work little Stevie over with the rubber plumber's mallet, pounding his knees and elbows until he screamed and begged me to stop. Afterwards, Stevie couldn't walk or move his arms for a few days, which was just as well, because more often than not he'd be locked up in the crude hot-box my late husband -- god rest his soul -- built in the backyard out of aluminum and timber. After three days in that sweltering pit of hades, Stevie wasn't one to cuss in front of his mother and father, that's for sure!
If Alex, our oldest, acted up with any attitude that he'd brought home from those little urchins he called friends, I left it to my husband Peter to take care of him. Peter never let me see what he did to Alex, because he wanted to share equally in the child-rearing, which you have to understand was very unusual in those days. Now, all the families do that, but back then, we were among the first. You kids think you invented gender equality. Anyway, if Alex ever gave any lip, Peter would start by binding his wrists with piano wire, hoisting him up on a hook, and dunking his feet five times in a pot of boiling water. He always did this same thing first, time after time, before he'd move the parenting into the toolshed behind the house. That was was the part Peter kept separate, and I think that Alex was all the better for it. That boy knew there were consequences to using that coarse talk in the home, and by gum, he'd pay for it.
Our children learned manners, young man! They grew up to be polite citizens... why, I bet you don't even hold the door open young ladies, do you? You're so far gone, I don't know how your parents lost you!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Gather round and here a hellish tale of blood, gore, and frighthood. Scariness!
There was once a place where unending scariness reigned! It was a horrible place full of bats, and dirt, and undercooked food! There was a mean person who dwelled in this dark underworld of horribility, a person who had become so adjusted to the misery abounding that he reacted to it all quite calmly. In this shadowy world of suspicion and dread, there was also a precondition of horrible pain. Searing pain! The kind of pain that a simple cold-compress could not overcome. No, this pain was far worse than any pain anyone had ever imagined, it's being portrayed without any hyperbole. Said pain was as bad as the time the aforementioned guy -- the one who lives in this horrible warren of doom -- chipped his tooth last year by knocking the lip of a drinking glass against his incisor. Oooh!
It was also dirty in there! This fact was brought up before, but you shouldn't underestimate how long it had been since the place was last cleaned. It was so long, that the dishes had started to develop a film of scum around the edges that protruded from the water.
A bat just flew by! Maybe it was two, actually. It's hard to tell because it's so dark. So dark! The light bulb burned out over a week ago! Boogah!
So, there was so much horror built up over time that there came to be a feeling of dread to all who passed by this dreadful, doomed demesne. No one was exempt -- the mailman stopped visiting this abominable shanty-of-sin ages ago. The pizza guy, even longer. Maybe because... there was a dead guy nearby! Somewhere in the back, maybe! Can't really tell, but there is a bad smell coming from around there. The level of fear in the air -- stemming from the unpleasant sensation one feels around human cadavers -- is thick. In the the dense, frightful air, the wicked air of despise and regret, choked with the damned sobs of someone who skinned a knee, mildly.
Do you know what happened to the last cruelly-forsaken soul to stumble across this foul scorched ground of baleful resentment? That person FELT BAD ABOUT HERSELF! She ate, like half a pie, alone, until "Billy Madison" came on the USA Network and distracted her for an hour and a half until her friends called and took her out to a club.
Beware, generally, of unpleasant places that resemble the one mentioned above, the goal being to avoid that particular sort of horror. At all costs!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Talk about getting hornswoggled! With all the diesel talent in behind Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige," you'd think it would have a little more going for it than a dreadfully overlong game of "Duck season! Rabbit season!" Nolan's talent is estimable, as are the chops of his leads Christian Bale (not altogether ugly) and Hugh Jackman (not nearly hideous either). But, perhaps it's the combination of two cooks in the kitchen -- the brothers Nolan -- or perhaps poor source material that renders this movie incredible and rather tedious. Without spiling too much, it's pretty much about fingers getting shot off and David Bowie shooting electricity at a tophat. I say there, old bean -- what the fuck?
And, oh yeah, Piper Perabo's cheekbones continue to issue the worst English accent ever committed to film.
This is a tough kind of movie to get right, and Nolan even had a head start with Batman and Wolverine in his cast -- but, in the words of John Cleese's Mr. Praline, it has ceased to be.
Friday, October 27, 2006
What's my new favorite thing? I'm glad you aksed! Me and Count Wife-ula (blah!) bought an 80GB video iPod last week, to go along with the three others in the house. But -- none of them can play bomb-ass videos. This thing fucking rules... it's a reason to live where there was none before. I speculate that the Spartans had just discovered the video iPod at Thermopylae, and that's why they turned back Xerxes and the Persian horde so hard. It fucking rocks the Bronze Age.
Within hours of slicing the packaging on this bitch open, I was all buying The Office episodes and whatnot off the iTunes store. Yay Steve Carell! Then, I got an idea: Why can't I digitize my DVD liberry and stuff it on the iPod?
The above is a picture of me, holding the only known sold copy of the "Mr. Show with Bob and David" movie "Run Ronnie Run!". This is the kind of thing that, should you bump up against me on the 4 train going to work one morning, I will surely be watching. Also included on this list: David Lynch's "Dune"; John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China"; and Carl Sagan's "Cosmos". All 13 discs. All 13 discs.
I see daylight, people, and fun outside, but it all looks so far away.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Hello, I'm Jeff Bridges of filmed-entertainment fame. I've appeared in over seventy movies -- some good and some not so good -- so I feel qualified to speak my mind today.
I can't claim to be happy with everything I see going on. I know about Darfur and the Sudan, and everything I read about it saddens my craggy, care-worn heart. I also studiously read up on the Indian economy, and how it's poised to do things for the developing world the likes of which we haven't seen since 19th century America. And what exactly is a "popozao"? I heard my daughters mention it like, a year ago, but I never got in on the joke.
But things are good for old Jeffrey Leon Bridges, son of Lloyd and bro of Beau. How can I complain? I'm a celluloid icon, part of a storied Hollywood dynasty with the sun-dappled look of a aging California kid, acting chops to go the distance, and an intriguing taste in scripts that make for a legendary filmography. Am I insulated from the troubles of the world by a bubble of comfort? Sure, I'd be a fool if I didn't acknowledge that much. My children want for nothing, and my wife is able to tool around west Beverly in that Bentley she's always wanted. But maybe that's the problem -- how is that a way of life, when so many lack so much?
I'll admit it, I've taken a few jobs strictly for the paycheck; for every "Fat City" there's an "Arlington Road" in the pile. How can I defend myself? We need to put an extension on the ol' casa, and I call my agent for a quick five-mil. What a world, right? What a fucking world! It's like going to an ATM, you know? They just back a dumptruck full of money to your house, and you just shoot on a soundstage in Toronto for five months to earn it.
It seems almost too late for me now. I grew up in this culture -- I love the money and the comfort it brings. It's second nature. I mean, I'm not out stabbing people in the eyesockets, or ripping off old ladies like Enron. Is there a sliding scale? Am I making the world a worse place just by being in it?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Hello world! It's me! Little Baby Failure! I've been born again, most recently, in New York City. It might be coincidental what with the 300 millionth person in the U.S. being born this week and all, but my birth is special and extraordinary! Aren't I cute!? Waahh!
I'm here because MetLife, the unscrupulous insurer who's been a New York City presence since 1868, has successfully sold the cluster of buildings known as Stuyvesant Town to an equally unscrupulous realty concern called Tishman Speyer for an ungodly sum of cash plus acres of rotting human flesh and human depravity -- although, I think the flesh was thrown in as a bonus.
With this transaction, we're all witnessing one of the largest tracts of middle- and lower-class housing in the whole of New York City wiped off the map in favor of transforming the 110 building complex into, essentially, a gated luxury community within a generation or so. Much of the apartment units have been rent-controlled or regulated in some fashion, enabling people who aren't hedge-fund managers or Earth-plundering robber-barons to live in the borough of Manhattan. It was an ingenious postwar idea, and it survived happily until Wednesday, October 18.
And that's when I was born! Coo! Poop!
You see, no one of any significant power lifted a goddamn finger to stop the ludicrously-enabled real estate interests of this berg from cherry-picking one of the most undervalued properties in a land mass with diminishing real estate. Gone is a bumper crop of rent-contolled apartments, and gone is any hope of people being able to maintain a generational existence in New York City. Our Plutocrat Mayor decided to do what he does best and "let the market decide" -- which is bullshit, of course, because the playing field in New York has always been tipped in favor of luxury development. There's nothing fair or organic about it.
So, bouncing Baby Failure entered the world that day, heralding a transaction that ensures the middle class get a one-way ticket to western New Jersey or possible homelessness, as the rents in Stuyvesant Town are now allowed to reach "market value" as the units turn over to new ownership. The city's leadership seems pitted in cage match-style combat against its most needy citizens as it rolls over for the same 20 or so real estate entities, who develop the city skyward (at all costs) for people with seven-digit incomes. There's failure all about -- this fucking place is practically a nursery full of dented, asthmatic babies without a future.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Welcome, fellow travelers! My name is Rafe Bostwick, and I'm the host of "The Ethnocentrist's Travel Guide." I'd like to take you around our little watery marble floating though the cosmos, and show you the best secrets she has to offer. Let's not waste any more time dilly-dallying -- off we go!
The first stop on our itinerary is Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, a wonderful little tropical getaway on the gulf-side of the country. Every time I go there, I fall in love with the white-sand beaches and sunny blue skies -- but there's nothing quite like the good old U.S. of A., is there? So, I quickly tire of this backwater shithole and hunger for the asphalt paradise of my home country and all the amenities it offers, like an Arthur Treacher's on every corner.
The next place out voyage takes us to is Durban, South Africa. Long obscured by the cruel former regime of apartheid, South Africa is experiencing a wonderful rebirth in the "aughts" due to a tourism boom and the lure of its pristine Indian Ocean area, some of the most gorgeous, untouched coast on the continent. The people are gracious to have your tourist dollar, and English is most certainly spoken here. And why shouldn't it be? I should go to some godforsaken Third World death trap and be expected to listen to these jackasses drivel and slur through some Zulu bullshit? I think not. Another reason why I should never leave Utica.
Ah, we now come upon one of the most dazzling places in all of an area that used to be called "Indochina" not so long ago -- the Cambodian city of Angkor Wat, a majestic Buddhist temple that holds its own architecturally with anything that ancient Rome or Greece has to offer. Within the countless grottos and nooks contained therein, you'll find some of the most beautiful bas reliefs and friezes in all of southeast Asia. Make sure to bring sunscreen, though, as the tropical sun can easily reach 100 degrees on a hot day! All the more reason to avoid this mosquito- and poverty-infested mistake of a country. The food sucks, all the chinamen smell like fish, and the whole fucking bunghole looks like a ghetto, even in the quote-unquote nice parts. I'll take the lower 48, thankyouverymuch.
Well, thank you for joining our wonderful excursion through some of the wonders of the natural world. If you're anything like me, though, you're tired of little smelly brown people, a definite lack of air conditioning, and bearded peasant women so hideous looking that you wouldn't fuck them with Ed Asner's dick. I say, let's bomb the fuckers back to the Bronze Age and be home in time to watch the game. I've been your host, Rafe Bostwick. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Hello, I'm Aaron Sorkin, the reprobate teevee-show creator and self-professed genius responsible for "A Few Good Men," "West Wing," "Sports Night," and, currently, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Have you ever wondered what it would look like to take a brilliant idea for a show -- one that's been excellently cast, to boot, and given a plum time slot -- and choke it to death in front of diminishing numbers of viewers? I suggest you tune in to NBC on Monday night at 10 p.m. to find out. We even foley in the sounds of celery stalks breaking to replicate the noise that vertebrae make as they are slowly and gruesomely cracked by the hands of a creator who somehow has no idea how to handle his great fortune.
Am I smoking gypsum and dijonnaise blunts again? That must be the case, because how else can you explain how tone-deaf and flat-footed the early steps of "Studio 60" have been? I somehow made a movie where Tom Cruise seemed plausibly clever, and another where Michael Douglas seemed plausibly warm and human. I created one of the most lauded shows of the last decade, "Sports Night," and in so doing, launched the careers of Peter Krause and Felicity Huffman. I even exploited America's love and Kennedy and Clinton porn and spun the "West Wing;" insufferable, yes, but the birthplace of the Thomas Schlamme School of Tracking Shots and pop-gun political banter. So, how is it that I'm dropping a bucket into my own well of public ignominy and pouring the abnegation into your TV for a hour a week, laid bare for all to see -- and fucking it up? (Drugs are bad, mmmkay?) I'm practically making an infrared-cam Paris Hilton video of what goes on in TV comedy, a subject that should be irresistable and unfuckupable. Yet, the fuckupage abounds.
I'm making a show within a show about the most cutting edge sketch show on TV, and all the sketches that get aired look like MadTV rehearsal cuts. My show has the most tortured and gifted humorous writer in the history of TV, yet, all be produces is the comedy equivalent of circus peanuts. My show within a show is full of Hollywood's greatest comedic sketch talents, and yet all they can do is walk around biting their bottom lips, trying to out-grave one another like Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Earnest-lympics. For a light and humorous sketch comedy hour, the people involved in putting it together sure do walk around like it's Medecins Sans Frontiers.
How did I fuck this up? Have I huffed one tube of carnauba wax too many? I took a slam dunk, "Sports Night" crossed with "The West Wing," and somehow turned it into "Falcon Crest" crossed with "Coach."
Hmmm... do you think John Wells is busy now that they canceled his "Smith" over at CBS? He did such a great job of purloining "The West Wing" after I cracked-out a few years back that I might just consider taking a long car ride with Oliver Stone, Robert Downey Jr., a handgun, and a bag of psilocybin mushrooms to San Diego for a weekend. Consisting of four years.
How could Flav not pick Deelishis? She has constantly proven herself to be a lovely and level-headed young woman, well educated and well spoken. There was some heady competition on "Flavor of Love 2," but Flav made the right choice. How he let New York in to the top two is mystifying, unless he was ONLY searching for good TV -- but Flav, dawg, it's all good TV. You could have had Buckwild Becky and Like Dat in the top two, and we still would have watched. Brigitte Nielsen could have been on top of the brass dinosaur shooting flaming arrows with a crossbow at Toasteee, and we still would have watched. Actually, that scenario would have made the show even better.
And to end the show in Belize -- great choice, VH. You've thusly sold me and my wife Redd Snappah on an all inclusive to that beautiful country. If only New York (who is from Utica, by the way, and not the metro area as she might have you guess) could have ratcheted down the drizzama at the end, when Flav picked Deelishis, and walked her anger off with a last stroll around that bomb-ass resort in Placencia. I'd yank chicken entrails at a soul-food joint to earn a clock from Flav if it would get me a night at that seaside retreat. He'll, I'd clap my ass for Warren G. if it would have gotten me a date aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
In summation, the hero of the fall T.V. season is the bomb-diggity Deelishis, a.k.a. London Charles. The show turned to something it was unintended to be -- sincere and sweet -- every time she got the camera. Good on you. Meanwhile, New York (a.k.a. Tiffany Patterson), there is a date with Nicolas Cage waiting for you in Pismo. Sorry about the hair plugs, but he'll be just about all the crazy you could possibly be looking for, in the personage of a wealthy Coppola scion.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
So glad you could come by. I know we haven't really met before, outside the office, and I know that a text message about cancer is a strange way to introduce yourself to someone, but it's good you're here nonetheless. So, I may have overstated the case in that message -- I don't have cancer, nor do I have dengue fever. I didn't specifically mention dengue, but I figured I'd just toss that in.
If you're feeling a little bitten by this deception, I don't blame you. It's only natural. If you can turn your disgust with me off for one moment, there is a question I need to ask you -- the reason why I set up this little ruse. Would you be my friend? I mean, I have lots of friends. Women friends, black friends, Jewish friends. I even have a gay friend, and he's second-generation Chinese American from Michigan. I'm not desperate or anything, I was just maybe thinking that you might have had nothing better to do tonight than hang around here and drink a bunch of Amstels and play Madden ’06.
This newest Madden kicks the fucking ass of a werewolf.
I'll give you a couple of minutes to think about it. Not too many -- the Papa John's guy is on his way with an extra large Meat Lovers. Yes, that's the Pizza Hut version, but PJ's has a similar pie. They lack for those delightful little crazybreads, but I have a pint of pistachio Haagen Dazs in the freezer for afterwards, so we shouldn't fill up anyhow.
Has that been enough time to consider? Remember, I'm not actually sick, so there won't be any downer talk about "chemo" or "transfusions" to spoil the fun.
I know I'd say yes if I was offered this.
Did I mention that I know some magic? Perhaps you've heard of me -- I'm Harry Blackstone Jr., famous magician known the world over, back in the 1980s. I can light some flash paper that I keep up my sleeve. I can also pull a bunch of multi-colored ribbon from inside my mouth. Or, at least, it will look like it's coming from inside my mouth! Actually, it does come from inside my mouth. The tricks get better than that -- later on, I have a tangled pile of metal rings that look really messed up, but you'll be amazed as I just yank them apart, magically. Or, if Madden's not your thing, we can tool around in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I didn't buy the newest version because I never actually finished this one. Maybe you can help me beat the drug den level.
Sounds too good to be true, right? How could you not want to stick around now? I can see us becoming real good friends. We'll hang out, be each other's wingman, cruise for hot babes. Good times. I mean, they can be good times, if you'd like to have them. With me.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Me and the wife went to go see the Barbra Streisand show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Oh-mah-gawd! Let me just say it was worth every penny of the $425 (a piece!) we paid for those tix. I have never been to a show as great as hers, and she is true showbiz royalty in this shallow world of pretenders like Pink and Nelly Furtado.
I had never seen a Babs concert live before, but since I have all her albums and DVDs, I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass me by. So, Barbra comes out in this smock-like number -- oozing classy -- and starts belting out "Woman in Love." We all let out a geschrei -- me, the wife, and all the 60-year-old gay couples sitting around us. After that, Barbra just kills "Evergreen," and it was off to the races from there. Without stopping for air, she gave us "People," "The Way We Were," "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "Aqualung," "Carry On My Wayward Son," "Master of Puppets," "Pump Up the Volume," and "Rapper's Delight." Rapper's-effin'-Delight, people! There is nothing she can't do!
After she sang a medley of Digital Underground and Exposé tunes, some grips came out and attached jumper cables to her earrings and shut the power in the Garden off. Babs started into the first few bars of a cover of Snow's "Informer," and the lights started to flicker on. Barbra was powering the entire fucking Garden with her sheer charisma! It boggled the mind, as well as thermodynamic principle.
Later, Babs cames out on a unicycle and sings "Second Hand Rose" while trick-throwing knives at diminutive 70s singer-songwriter Paul WilIiams, who had been affixed to a spinning disk. She never missed once! Her aim is true. After four-and-a-half hours, she finally starts bringing the show to a conclusion, where's she's joined onstage by John Kerry, Liza Minelli, Elmo, John Cameron Mitchell, Sylvester Stallone, Harry Nilsson (I know!) and LeVar Burton for a rollicking version of Ini Kamoze's "Here Comes the Hotstepper." The audience was moved to tears, in waves and waves.
I pray that this was, indeed, her last show, because I don't think the old ticker could stand another go-around with Babs. Put me down for "I Can Die a Happy Man Now."
Posted by Bill Scurry at 10/11/2006 10:51:00 AM