Monday, September 27, 2010

Does Hollywood Pay Osama Bin Laden Residuals?

Gimme five points on the back end, Infidel!
If there isn't a P.O. Box in Kandahar stuffed with uncashed checks then Osama should seriously think of switching agencies. CAA would make certain that the self-styled "Cecile B. DeMille of Tora Bora" was getting a taste. He is after all the creative visionary behind much of the last decade. Bruckheimer? Abrams? A couple of hacks that have been riding Osama's coattails all the way to the bank. Seen it a million times in Hollywood: one guy comes up with a fresh take and then the imitators get rich packaging and repackaging the idea until it's a stale cliche. That's how we felt watching the premier of The Event last week - just another riff on the Bin Laden zeitgeist.

Film has long served as the coal mine canary for American paranoia and fear. Not because it is some sensitive touchstone that reflects the culture back to itself. No, it's mostly because capitalizing on people's fear is an easy buck, and Hollywood doesn't like to think that hard. In the 1950s, during the dawn of the Space and Atomic Age, audiences were either bombarded by gruesome things falling from the sky (The Thing, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Blob) or else menaced by a revolving carousel of giant irradiated monsters (Them, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Godzilla). Out went supernatural and in came super-science as the source of all that scared the bejusus out of Americans. The plots remained essentially unchanged, but Hollywood gave the bogeyman's back story a ripped-from-the-headlines makeover.

The Sixties saw horror make a nascent shift from rubber-suited monsters to people themselves as monsters. Evil children were a major motif: Village of the Damned, Rosemary's Baby, Psycho. Psycho wasn't about a child, but it was a nasty little postcard from Hitchcock on the danger of being a bad mother - raise 'em right or they'll embalm you, dress in your Sunday best and kill Janet Leigh in a shower. Sorry Boomers, but you basically scared the shit out of everybody. Imagine if you will... a small, peaceful farming community until a half million unwashed, shambling creatures descended on it. Are we describing Night of the Living Dead or Woodstock?

By the late Sixties/early Seventies things were finally turning good and bloody courtesy of Vietnam. Apparently, if you televise combat footage at dinnertime for ten straight years the country may come out hungry for entrails. Lesson learned, and lesson exploited. Formally bloodless genres like the western and the gangster flick got painted red in The Wild Bunch and Bonnie and Clyde. Sonny Corleone kissed his clean, quick death goodbye in favor of being swiss-cheesed at a toll booth. While over in horror, guys such as combat photographer Tom Savini were treating us to gore-fests like Dawn of the Dead, highlighted by his famed zombie head-shot montage. Youth also made a comeback in the late 70s, but less as the monsters and more as the catch of the day. Responding to the sexual permissiveness of the decade, Hollywood took Savini's technical innovations and combined it with Little Red Ridding Hood to give birth to the slasher. The medieval version, mind you, where Little Red wanders of the "path" and gets eaten by the "wolf" for being a "slut." Countless teenagers were sacrificed on the altar of Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers and their merry band of crazies to teach America that in the era of AIDS that Sex = Death.

Frankly, the 90s saw horror enter a bit of a wasteland. The Cold War was over, the economy began to hum and American life enjoyed a short, uncontentious period that left Hollywood unsure how to proceed. The best they could muster were prestige projects like The Silence of the Lambs, self-referential irony like Scream or else gimmicky snot-fests like Blair Witch. Articles speculated that horror might be dead as a genre, and there wasn't much on the horizon to indicate otherwise. But deep in the bowels of Tora Bora, a plucky polygamist named Osama Bin Laden was cooking up a fresh batch of holy shit! And on September 11th, Bin Laden reminded Americans how much they need to be scared to death. The brilliant PR firm of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove hyped the hell out of the project, and Hollywood has been recycling his script ever since.

Well it's been a good run fellas, but it's getting old and we're ready for something new. Torture Porn? Been there. Cities CGI'd out of existence? Seen that. Biological agents? Yawn. We'd argue that The Human Centipede, 2012 and 28 Weeks Later effectively signaled the exhaustion of those three topics. But the single most overused device in Hollywood's arsenal is hi-jinks on a plane. Please knock it off. It was fine for a while but enough, find something else. No more passengers getting sucked off a disintegrating planes. No more cockpit takeovers. No more snakes or vanishing children. And find another way to kick off a sci-fi series on television. It was cool when LOST started with a plane crash, but then Abrams went back to the well for the premiere of Fringe and a mysterious planeload of dead passengers. The final straw came on Monday when NBC debuted it's new we-want to be LOST show The Event, and the whole thing comes full circle. The episode was about a group of "detainees" at a secret facility and a plane being used as a missile. Hmm. Even the passengers didn't seem all that alarmed...a little shrieking and that was it. Like maybe they'd seen it all somewhere before... scary.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Columbine of Inappropriate Metaphors

Which is Tower Two?
In her recent article, "My September 11th in New York" Ines Sainz discussed her fractious visit to the New York Jets locker room, and how the media's reaction has "set the women's movement back by fifty years."  Delusional sense of her impact on the gender politics aside, did she just liken her locker room encounter to ground zero? Not to soft peddle sexual harassment, but that is a mighty bold statement, Ms. Sainz. Is there the possibility that perhaps you've overplayed your hand just a smidge? We think this is an excellent opportunity to address proportional metaphors or similes. We thought we'd made ourselves clear last week when David Haye compared his boxing match to a gang rape, but apparently the fine points of our argument slipped past some people.

Metaphors are wonderful things. We're all for a nice, palate cleansing metaphor. When used well, a metaphor can make a difficult concept comprehensible by relating it to something that the reader knows well. So comparing your love to a summer's day is a fine way to giving the abstract (love) a concrete form (summer's day). Fun! Try comparing your love to some stuff while we wait. It's easy, and for the most part uncontroversial! Try comparing your love to a bird in flight, a bird in the hand, or Larry Bird's jumper if you can make it work: my love is a baseline jumper with the D draped all over me! The applications are endless. But, and this is a big but, there needs to be a sense of proportion in a metaphor. Don't compare your love to the firebombing of Dresden. We don't care how beautiful she is, the sentence, "my love is hotter than the raging inferno that consumed Dresden" is only going to skeeze out your paramour, and get you on an NSA watch list.

So let's say you get harassed by some millionaires in a locker room (not condoning millionaire harassment in any form). As you come to terms with your experience, as you grasp for the words to convey what occurred... perhaps you should shy away from comparing it to to a commercial jet laden with aviation fuel slamming into a skyscraper. And especially not on the tenth anniversary of said tragedy. Actually don't compare it to anything. Never, ever. No matter how personally difficult it may have been. "My personal 9/11" is just not a phrase we want skipping about the lexicon. Let's just agree now that it's off-limits. We understand that it might not be a big deal in Mexico, but 9/11 no es bueno. And making use of it as a metaphor to your personal crisis isn't going to win you any allies.

On the off chance that we're still being opaque, Ines, here's a starter list of metaphors to avoid (we hope it helps):
  • "We're watching the Killing Fields of Bowl Games."
  • "This is the Hiroshima of overcooked burgers."
  • "My heart is the broken hull of the Arizona."
  • "This club is quieter than Anne Frank's attic."
  • "That idea is the magic bullet from Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle."
 Feel free to expand on the list...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Does Ben Affleck Think He Is?

What Happened to Affleck-ageddon?
What is your major malfunction F. Scott FitzGerald? We were promised "no second acts in American lives." Direct quote. You said it, F. Scott, so you explain the whole Ben Affleck situation to us. We thought the book closed on the Ben Affleck experience, but now The Town is trying to pry the book from our cold, dead hands. What if he turns out to be talented?

Let us catch you up. Come take a stroll down Ben Affleck memory lane. Bland pretty boy with an early career of supporting roles in middling dramas and a few leads in horrific movies like Reindeer Games, Phantoms and Forces of Nature. Inexplicably kept getting roles in Kevin Smith movies due, we think, to the fact Smith wanted a good looking dude to hang out with him. Won an Oscar for Best Publicity Stunt by a Weinstein for Good Will Hunting. Torpedoed the Jack Ryan franchise. Got Bruckheimer-ed twice for his trouble: Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. And gradually became better known for being one of J.Lo's concubines than his acting. By 2002, he was well on the way to becoming the male Catherine Zeta Jones...he was A-List but no one was really sure why...maybe just for being pretty.

Now, being the male Catherine Zeta Jones isn't the worst gig in the world (apart from pleasuring a flesh and bone Montgomery Burns) so no one felt bad for Affleck. He had a long, complacent career ahead of him. The universe had dealt fairly with the situation. Underdog Matt Damon had gained our grudging affection for somehow becoming a movie star despite resembling a garden gnome. And Casey Affleck seemed poised for his big reveal as the actual talent in the family. We were at peace. But then 2003-2004 arrived.

2003-04 saw Affleck break the record for consecutive career ending decisions previously held by Richard Nixon. Affleck stretched the record to five with Daredevil, Gigli, Paycheck, Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas. In that order. We'll put that five film run up against any career flame-out in history. You can't accidentally make five films that bad in succession. It's not possible, and you certainly can't come back from it. Just how bad are those five films? Well they've managed to rack up a combined twenty-five stars on IMDB. On a ten star scale, mind you. Gigil, with a 2.4, ranks just behind It's Pat on IMDB's list of the 100 worst films of all time. How bad are they? Well, it's been scientifically proven* that the most non-judgmental time is between two and five am on Saturday night. At 3 a.m. on a Saturday night, remote in one hand and a bowl of Ramen in the other, most guys will happily watch Office Space for the three hundredth time. It's the booty call of cable movies. But no one scrolls down their cable listings and pauses when they get to Daredevil or Paycheck...not even at 3 a.m. That's how bad those movies are. They're not even watchable pre-hangover.

*It has not been scientifically proven.

And like that, we were free of Affleck forever. His career was over. Sure he popped up now and again in cameo roles, and supporting parts. He was passable in Hollywoodland, which sold eleven tickets and critics gave him condescendingly positive reviews using phrases like "pleasantly surprised" and "doesn't totally suck the air out every scene" as if that's supposed to be a compliment. Collectively we judged him a washed up, talentless pretty boy. That was the agreed upon narrative: Oscar winner to punchline. We had judged Ben Affleck, and judged him harshly with the callous spite that the ordinary reserve for the famous. We were fat, self-satisfied and happy about it. 

The first sign of real trouble was Gone Baby Gone. It was good. We liked it though it pained us slightly to admit it. And it confused us because, you know, we'd put a lot of time into judging Ben already. Commence Operation: Tap Dance. Sure, we rationalized, it was pretty good but that was because Ben wasn't in it. Gone Baby Gone just confirmed that Casey Affleck was a talented actor covering for his brother. Sure, that's it. The fact that Ben directed was an inconvenient, but dismissible truth like a drunk guy hitting a half court shot at halftime of an NBA game. Never going to happen twice. Whew, problem solved.

But then the trailer for The Town looked pretty good, and we felt our ulcer start to act up. It couldn't be. It was just an illusion created by snappy editing. We would go and we would unmask Mr. Jennifer Gardner's latest film as the farce it had to be. We would confirm our mean spirited conclusions about his career. Well... that didn't happen. Apparently, we loved the movie. Well acted, well paced, with appropriately scaled ambitions given its genre. And Ben Affleck appeared to be a movie star. If we'd never seen the guy before we might say we were developing a small man-crush on him (call us Ben!). We feel a little ill. That wasn't how it was supposed to go down. And the ramifications are severe. If you can't write off Ben Affleck then who the hell can you write off? Picture all the people you thought were out of your life forever. What if they realize they can attempt an Affleck? Think about it. Paris Hilton sure is.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Briquettes of the Week

1. William Tyler Black
Great, Kid! Don't Get Cocky.
It's always sad to see a Jedi tempted by the dark side of the Force. In William's case, he was spotted "choking the wookie" in an aisle at Toys R Us and wiping off his hand on a plastic lightsaber. We always kinda suspected Brooklyn Decker was secretly working for the Empire; shame on you, Sports Illustrated. The young Jedi appeared contrite today, and said he just felt the Force penetrating and binding him to all living things. Just got out of hand. When asked for comment, Master Yoda reportedly replied, "Jerking off? Heh. Public masturbation? Heh. A Jedi craves not these things." No word yet whether Darth Mauls-Himself will be copping a plea.

2. Clinton Portis and The 53 Packages

Gather round for Story Time!!!
Clinton Portis called into the Mike Wise radio show this week to tell a classic tale of greed and lust; sort of an Arabian Nights thing but with jockstraps. It went a little like this...
Once upon a time, a sports reporter named Ines Sainz learned of a cave of wonders. She overheard that this cave was filled with treasures so rare that no woman could lay her eyes upon them without being overcome by desire to possess at least one. Such was the varied splendor of the cave's bounties. Determined to see for herself, the brave sports reporter waited until after a mighty battle and crept into the cave. Inside were fifty three warriors and each one guarded a magnificent package. Some were large and some were small, but each was greater than any package she had ever seen. Such is the special nature of these warriors' packages, Clinton explained, and she could not help but become transfixed by their wonderousness. Transfixed and in their thrall, she became careless and so the warriors noticed her and began to harass the poor sports reporter for invading their cave. They chased her from the cave hurling taunts at her. She did not manage to steal any of the packages, but she dreams of them to this day.
It was a ripping good yarn, but apparently the Redskins and NFL didn't appreciate Clinton's storytelling. The Bard of Landover was forced to issue an apology for spinning his tale of adventure and daring-do. Probably because they don't want word leaking out in advance of his upcoming anthology 1001 Athletes' Nights and Other Tail, which will include such modern classics as: The Running Back and the $3000 Champagne Room Bill, The Golfer and the Three Blackberries, The Second Baseman Battles the HGH Monster and Wilt the Stilt Versus the 10,000 Nice Ladies.

3. Jessica Gamble

Our final Briquette this weeks comes from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jessica teaches us two valuable lessons today. One, don't encourage your two-year-old daughter's nascent pot habit, and two, don't make cell phone videos of your two-year-old daughter's nascent pot habit. Sadly that appears to be two lessons more than she's bestowed upon her daughter. Look, we get that most children's television seems made by stoners for stoners. Don't tell us someone came up with a pineapple under the sea while sipping mineral water. And what is up with those square pants, man? We mean...they're so fucking square. Makes you think.... Actually makes us think that good parenting isn't teaching joint etiquette. We're as progressive as the next childless doofus, but we're pretty sure that "don't Bogart the joint" is not on the SATs. We prefer our recreational drug users the old fashioned way: potty-trained white dudes majoring in Women's Studies. Party foul, Jessica... party foul.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why So Serious, Bill Kristol?

Wanna Know How I Got These Scars?
There's a sequence in The Dark Knight when Bruce Wayne is discussing the Joker with Alfred. The Joker, originally hired by the criminal powers of Gotham to kill Batman, has spun out of control and proved to be uncontrollable and a far greater menace than anyone imagined, threatening both the city and the very men who unleashed him. Alfred, speaking of the crime families, argues, "You crossed the line first, Sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand." We imagine a similar conversation is currently underway about Christine O'Donnell and the Tea Party Movement as a whole.

See, it was all fun and games when the GOP thought it had the Tea Party under it's thumb. For two years the T.P. was just a valuable nuisance to unleash on Democrats, stir up useful yet unseemly topics that the GOP didn't want pinned directly to them, and "energize the base." Well mission accomplished - the basest elements of the right are gruesomely energized. You've frothed them up better than a Starbucks barista. Don't let the lack of clown makeup fool you, they're every bit as crazy, spun up and out for blood since the GOP helped convince them that their way of life is in danger. They weren't energized by reason; they were energized by emotion. So if Bill Kristol, Karl Rove and Co. think the Tea Party can be calmed by reason now...well, good luck with that.

The challenge of wooing populist, fringe politics in any age is not allowing it to overrun you. It's a bit like building a fire in your living room: its comforting and lovely to look at when it's snapping and crackling in the fireplace, but best keep an eye on it lest a hot ember leap onto your deep pile shag carpet. Exit picturesque hearth enter bonfire in your house. But that's the danger of courting the extremes of any ideology, lend them your legitimacy, boost their ego, pander to their delusions and they may discover that they don't need you after all. They may just discover that they've outgrown and outpaced you and you need to burn, too. Did you really think that you could wink, wink and smugly cover for them when they yelled "nigger" at Rep. John Lewis, and then neatly rein them in when election season rolled around?

Truth is, populist movements aren't controlled, they're ridden - ridden the way fleas ride an elephant. You fool yourself into thinking you're in control until you try and steer, and only then you realize that the reins are just for show. Now you're on the back of a crazed, pissed off elephant that knows you're there and wants you off. Did you entirely miss the end of the French Revolution? You know the part where Robespierre et al. got a taste of their own guillotine? How are those necks anyway? So in the immortal words of Gandhi as he sensed he was losing control of his movement, “There go my people. And I must hurry to follow them. For I am their leader”!

Do These Glasses Suit Me?
Ordinarily we like to have people die in a fire around here, but it's feeling a wee redundant this morning since the GOP is surveying the charred remains of Mike Castle's candidacy, and their chances of winning a senate seat in Delaware. We think that's enough arson for one day so we'll just point out that perhaps the GOP have turned to a movement that they "don't fully understand." That a week of attacks on O'Donnell from serious, thoughtful members of the party had about as much effect as a Justin Beiber sleeper hold. And remarks from Kristol such as, "I know Sarah Palin. I respect Sarah Palin. And with all due respect- Christine O'Donnell is no Sarah Palin" reinforces not undermines the legitimacy of her candidacy. Doesn't it indicate that the Republicans have become the Tea Party's enemies too? Not as much fun now, is it? They've unleashed yet another grinning clown on American politics, and with all due respect to Bill Kristol she is Sarah Palin, it just took her much, much longer to get her college degree.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

David Haye Should Die in a Fire

Float like a butterfly, sting like a child molester.

Opining regarding his upcoming bout versus Audley Harrison, boxer David Haye observed coolly that it would be, "more one sided than a gang rape." In one masterful stroke, English pugilist and later day Oscar Wilde has given the world a bon mot to savor. Consider the idiosyncratic use of metaphor, the playful use of a heinous, traumatic crime to invoke a jolly good time at a sporting event...the frolicsome bonhomie, the devil may care attitude.

If you can't hear the music in his phrasing then perhaps imagine it said with one of those Cambridge educated British accents that makes everything sound a little wittier this side of the pond. Perhaps a Hugh Laurie or an Emma Thompson doing a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest:

Mr. Worthington: Lady Bracknell this tea is hotter than a Koran burning!
Lady Bracknell: Oh, Mr. Worthington, you are like domestic violence on a sunny day... best if hidden behind closed doors.
Mr. Worthington: Well the only thing worse than being gang raped.... is not being gang raped, Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell: Oh, I say! Won't you stay for supper Mr. Worthington?
Mr. Worthington: I'd love to old girl, but if I don't get back to London faster than an ethnic cleansing I fear Ms. Gwendolyn will defecate down the neck of my lifeless corpse.
Lady Bracknell: An honor killing is too good for the likes of you, Mr. Worthington.
Mr. Worthington: Good day Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell: Good day Mr. Worthington.
(exit Mr. Worthington)
Lady Bracknell: What a charming young man. I'd keep him hostage in a soundproof prison in my backyard for fifteen years, I say I would.

Don't you just love a good drawing room farce? We're just delighted that Mr. Haye has a career awaiting him as a man of letters. But tragically like other daring linguists before him, Mr. Haye has courted controversy and a fair bit of outrage for challenging our Victorian sense of propriety. Not everyone appreciated his interplay of classic tropes, and like his predecessors he responded to his critics with a biting retort: "If I apologised for every stupid/ignorant thing i said, I wouldn't have time for anything else during the day!" Zing! Well said Mr. Haye, well said. Would that also leave you time to die in a fire, what what?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Briquettes of the Week

1. Heath and Deborah Campbell

Direct from a lost Jon Waters film come Heath and Deborah Campbell, proud parents of Adolph Hitler Campbell 4, Aryan Nation Campbell 3, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie 2 (Hinler apparently is Daddy's interpretation of Heinrich Himmler's name). They lost their bid recently to have their three children released from Child Protective Services. Anyone who is surprised hasn't been paying attention to the ego driven child naming loose in America. Just ask Kal-el Cage, Little Pixie Geldoff or Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette if they can empathize with Adolph Hittler Campbell. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George wanted to name his kid "Seven" in honor of Mickey Mantle? Apparently Andre Benjamin didn't get that it was meant as a joke. Did any of these motherfuckers go to elementary school? Kids are cruel if your name rhymes with "fart" imagine what will happen to a kid named Banjo Griffiths. Why would you decide that your kid will never be president at birth? Maybe naming your kid ought to be good for the kid, and not a way to garner some weird hipster cache at your next key party. We're just bracing for someone to sell the naming rights of their kids for a college scholarship. Coming to a preschool near you: Pepsi Playtex Thompson. Child as viral marketing... don't think that's what's already happening?

2. Levi Johnston

The fastest growing spectator sport in America is watching some poor soul who accidentally bled into the public consciousness scramble pathetically to stay there. It's like watching a dog change directions on a hardwood floor - their little legs are pumping but they ain't getting no traction. In pole position this week is little Levi Johnson. Levi's story is a classic American feel good, pull yourself up by your bootstraps tale. Except in this case, instead of bootstraps he pulled himself by his unused condoms.One day he's a high school dropout, the next he's the Palin baby-daddy. A role he clearly prefers to being an apprentice electrician in the Alaskan oil fields. Personally, we think that's a race to the bottom either way. It's been a graceless, uncoordinated slide ever since with his tasteful Playgirl spread serving as a metaphoric and visual nadir. Things had quieted down, and we felt good and rid of Levi until his tepid bid to run for Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Fear gripped us...was Levi back? Then we saw Levi's polling numbers this week: 4% positive / 76% negative. Just to give it some context, John Edwards, another pretty boy scumbag and the former least popular man ever, managed to poll 15% positive / 72% negative. Levi...the universe is trying to tell you something when you are less popular than a guy who screwed around on his wife with cancer.

3. Kim Jung-Il

North Korea is sixty-two years young and looking fabulous. It has hung in there despite being mightily misunderstood. The first mistake people make is confusing North Korea for a country. It's not; it's a theme park. The greatest Dark Ages themed amusement park in the world. Presided over by the brilliant yet eccentric Kim Jung-Il, the Willy Wonka of dictators. Maybe the North Koreans are Umpa Lumpas? It explains why no one goes in, no one comes out...all we need is a golden ticket hidden in a enriched uranium rod and we're talking feel good hit:

Come with Rhee,
and you'll be in a world of pure oppression.
Take a look
And you'll see
into your indoctrination.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Like...What is that Ticking Sound?

And now the end is here, and so you face the final curtain, Paris. You sure gave it a good run; no one can take that away from you. The way you've flailed before the American attention span like an epileptic fruit bat has been an inspiration to talentless attention whores everywhere. You announced your arrival with a grainy porn tape, deftly segued to that reality show with Lionel Richie's miscarriage, then on to the failed music career, the failed movie career, the failed modeling career, the failed cheeseburger spokesperson career. It's been a wild, well-tweeted ride and America has no one to blame but itself. But no matter how much America loves its idiots, Andy's fifteen minutes waits for no one.

Look we know it's hard, you're getting pretty manic as the clock nears 15:00 and attention withdrawal is making you do desperate things. We thought that helicopter video of you on the balcony was particularly telling. Wasn't there a knife wielding stalker loose somewhere on your property? Why the fuck were you traipsing around on your balcony in a towel? Was it a fluffy Kevlar towel? A normal person would stay inside when there's a nutcase outside, but apparently not needy socialites on their way down.

That came on the heels of your outrage at being photographed topless while vacationing on a yacht in St. Tropez. First...vacationing from what? Second, nice "outrage". We haven't seen pictures that posed since McCain warmly embraced the Palins. The whole thing was a valiant effort but since you began your career with a porno tape, who do you think would be titillated by some long distance shots of you topless. Seriously, eat something. All that was missing was a fly dancing across your eyeball and a Sally Struthers voiceover to get us pumped for some hardcore famine relief.

Desperate times call for skanky measures, and we like your latest ploy the best. The whole cocaine in my purse plus it's not my purse plus I thought it was gum maneuver in Vegas last week. Just awesome. Mainly because it's such a mash up of the greats. You threw in a dash of the rampant partying and drug use of Lindsey Lohan and mixed it with the inbred stupidity of Jessica "Chicken of the Sea'" Simpson. We respect a good homage. All that was missing was a passel of adopted African orphans and a good old fashion cop slap...

Which brings us to our advice, Paris. Don't worry so much. Even though no one is paying attention anymore, and you're about to turn thirty. Thirty being the tipping point when vacuous party girls begin to learn that being old, dumb and full of cum doesn't have quite the same ring to it. As they slowly emerge from the nightclubs that have masked their inability to hold a conversation with deafening music...well lets just say things have a tendency to go all Whatever Happened to Baby Jane in a hurry. If you want to avoid being the subject of Grey Gardens II then we suggest you study the career of your predecessor... the one and only Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Zsa Zsa was the original Paris: marginal talent, insatiable need for attention - did a few bad movies, sang a bit but mainly earned her bones by making a general nuisance of herself and descending into self-parody. Dahhhling, you should have slapped that zilly police officer! The nine marriages didn't hurt either. Zsa Zsa carried on like the Hungarian Liz Taylor. Hell, she was even married to Paris' great-grandfather Conrad Hilton (He's easy to pick out; he's the Hilton who did something.) Zsa Zsa didn't let being talentless stop her. She found a way to get her attention fix: game shows. Game shows are your future, Paris. You have just as little talent as your ex-great grandmother-in-law. Why should you be denied a thrilling career as a "personality" on daytime game shows? The thing to do is get someone to restart Hollywood Squares, Password and Match Game. You could work up an adorable shtick where you ask your little rat terrier for the answer and...Boom, you've easily bought yourself another eight years of people staring at you. Circle gets the square, bitch! The only other option is to get an education and make something of your life. We know...ew. That's not hot.™

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Briquettes of the Week

1. The Marin County Sheriff's Department

Peter McFarland filed suit this week against the Marin Count Sheriff's Department. Seems the sixty-four year old had a wee run-in with the deputies last summer. While being treated in his living room for injuries sustained falling down his own stairs, the deputies arrived to arrest Mr. McFarland because someone reported hearing him complain, "if I had a gun, I'd shoot myself in the head." Fearing for his safety, the officers tased McFarland three times when he kept "resisting." Apparently in Marin County resisting arrest means sitting legs crossed on your settee. Scoff if you will. We know you don't see this position in too many MMA bouts, but that staid old man was seconds from unleashing a senior citizen discount on those cops. Look at him, he's coiled like a bowl of split pea soup. We're talking Crouching Cockapoo, Hidden Schnauzer. The video of the tasing clearly demonstrates that McFarland was threatening to talk them to death before they ably defended themselves.

2. Everyone at Warner Bros. Responsible for Final Destination 5

Five of them? Five fucking films about a non-corporeal entity gruesomely dispatching witless idiots who somehow "cheated" death the first time? For those of you with better taste, it's the identical movie every time with the only suspense offered being how the knuckleheads are dispatched. My personal favorite were the two girls UVA'd to death in tanning beds. Death by suntan. Seriously, it was very exciting. The way rewatching episodes of Murder She Wrote with your aunt is exciting. So you can excuse us for getting our hopes up when they called the last installment, The Final Destination. But in the grand tradition of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Warner Bros. honcho Alan Horn has resurrected it for yet more contrived murders. Maybe this time someone will die by over-officious Marin County Deputy. Oh, and we have an idea for Final Destination 6: a film franchise undeservedly escapes turn around but death finally brings down the beast with a good old fashion projector fire.

3. Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac

Perhaps the good doctor was a closet Final Destination fan. We can't think of too many other reasons why a forty-nine year old physician would decide to break into her on-again, off-again boyfriend's house by going all Kris Kringle down his chimney. Rescue workers had to smash through the chimney when they finally located her body three days later. Which raises the question, doctor of what? And from where? This can only lead to a lawsuit because the chimney didn't have a warning label:

Warning - Do Not Attempt to Enter the House Via the Chimney. Doing So May Lead to Accidental Clogging and Loss of Life. In the Event of an Accidental Clogging Pray to God You Can Reach Your Cell Phone.

We'll leave the rest to the good people at the Darwin Awards. Just wow.