Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Scary Halloween Tale For the Ages

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

A message

From our Chairman and Founder...


I have been interchanging "palpable" in place of "plausible" for years now. Why didn't anyone nudge me in the shoulder about this earlier? Like, when I was 22?

What's French for "overrated movie"?

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


This is two times in the last three weeks I have had lamb for dinner. Sorry little guy!

A channel for obsession

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

Checking in

Mood: Disconcerted

Upsell: Yes, I'd like fries with that.

Recently-spotted celebrity: Allan Havey

Lighter: Bic

Oil: Coconut

Day of the week: Not Friday

Status: Promoted

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bundle of Joy

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

The Ethnocentrist's Travel Guide

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

Slow strangulation

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.

In the end

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

Want to be my friend?

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."

Monday, October 09, 2006


Hi! I'm the Rock-Biter from the poorly-received 1985 German opus "The Neverending Story," a movie that you probably remember because... you don't, I guess.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The clarion call of service

Do you hear that? Do you smell it? That's the call of service! Serve your nation! America needs you, yogic flyers!

Isn't this a doozy? The New York Times took money from these people to run an ad in its Thursday edition. When the chips are down, and we're just lucky to be alive, we should consider thanking the yogic flyers of the Iowa area for conferring all that invulnerability on us. If only they had gotten their act together back in 2001; or in Madrid; or in Darfur.

A yogic flyer, by the way, is a devotee of transcendental meditation who believes that all of your fucking om powers can be channeled into levitation if... you... eat... a bunch of pori bread. I guess. Or some shit. Long story short, it's just more imaginary bunkus that people waste their time on when they could be busying themselves with recycling or tightening their bathroom fixtures, so they don't waste so much water. You know, something that doesn't involve unicorns and leprechauns making me a poached egg while the yeti reads the opening night NHL box scores to me wearing a pair of bifocals.

I'll ask it again -- is the material world so bereft of wonder that people need to curl up into lotus position and not experience the magic of John Mayer's music, or the haunting cry of a 31-year-old man?

Generally unnecessary

I don't see the sense in a bear driving a motorcycle on a tightrope with a woman suspended beneath.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Hi, my name is Kalbfus Kreinenstedtler, and boy-howdy! As you can imagine, the news of that guy taking a bunch of guns to a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, school really bugged me this week. Not least of all because I'm Amish myself, but also because I made plans coincidentally to be the first Amish serial-killer school-shooter.

Sonuvabitch. I spent the entire month of September carving these bullets out of pine. Now what am I supposed to do with them? I have a laquered, mortis-and-tendon double-barrelled shotgun that I slaved over for days. Days. What, you think lathes just push themselves around?

I'm pissed off about buttons. You know -- buttons on your clothes. We have to use hasps and hooks to close our shirts. Apparently, the simple button is the work of the English devil. Barn-raising and endless churning is one thing. I'll even accept the fact that my wife is never going to give me oral. But don't expect me to live with these indignities while fumbling with fucking hasps whenever I'm trying to get dressed. I'm so tired of hooks. How can the button be so bad? What is so decadent about the English devil's invention? It's not as if I'm braying like an ass for a Playstation 3. Buttons! That's all.

And now this bag-of-dousche goes Kleibold on a school full of little girls, playing out whatever sick fantasy he had running through his head. This guy has no idea how much he fucked up my week. Well, while I'm on the subject, do you think that Iranian fella Aqua-mini-chad has any use for a peck of teak hand grenades?

Monday, October 02, 2006


The efiw and I just got back from a few days in loverly Newport, RI, a town I have a lot of fond memories from many childhood visits to see fambly there back in the 1980s. I don't have much affinity for New England as a general tourism destination, but I have to admit that Rhode Island has always done it for me. I dunno -- probably too much nostalgia.

Seeing as to how I've just recently allowed myself to be swallowed whole like some kind of modern day Jonah of the capitalistic workplace by a metaphorical whale of the mercantile system, there has never been a four-day furlough that the Salad has sucked more hungrily at for its delicious marrow and sweet, sweet corpuscles.

We started out by taking the cross-sound ferry from Long Island (which is descended etymologically from the Pequot Indian word for "spit of land consisting of a long length") to New London, Connecticut.

By the way, Connecticut has as much to offer mankind as Ohio and a lobster fork in the tear duct. Sorry, Constitution-Staters.

There was a handy safety guide on the boat about the proper way to affix a life preserver to one's self, as directed by a pudgy, unhappy lad.

Once in Newport, we saw the famed mansions of the damned bastard plutocrat robber-barons, especially the dazzling Vanderbilt-hewn "Breakers."

There was plenty of encouragement to be found from the locals.

We were accompanied by a Marquez-ian swarm of butterflies wherever we went, which was only weird until Janice got cholera, which finally made sense.

We stopped by Kingston Beach, just south of the wharf area, to visit the Marquis de Rochambeau's pointy statue.

I took the opportunity to make short work of this stone wall with my prodigious strength and naturally leathery exterior.

When night came, the twinkling lights that I recalled from past visits came to play.

My favorite feature in town is the reliable Pell Newport Bridge, which was the largest landmark in my early consciousness until I finally got out of the damn house and saw bigger things.

Now that we're back home, it's time to get back to doing what I do best -- nurse a bottle of brandy as I soak my pillow with tears of resentment and disappointment.