Saturday, November 18, 2006

Disturbing Cultural Trends

-People are paying O.J. Simpson for a book deal postulating if he had committed the murders. This is a disturbing trend because it's the lowest ever that any culture ever has sunk, ever - except for any culture that based its nationalism on a malignant strain of Jew-baiting and then Jew-exterminating, but why bring up such ugly details of world history?

-They never tell the story of the guys who actually nailed Jesus to the cross. I can just imagine some Christian enclave in the early ADs where they're stoning a Jewish guy for the death of Jesus, and a merchant from a nearby shop goes, "Oh, no, it was Claude over there," and he points to a guy chiseling a wheel or something. And yes, I do think that no technological advances were made between the stone age and the invention of the steam engine.

-An instructor who works in a cubicle near me (that's the only way to describe our plebe offices, anyway) is either terrified of me or can't stand me. I was talking too loud one day and did not apologize to her when she called me out in front of one of her students. Anyway, she didn't wear her glasses the other day, and it threw my entire routine of avoiding people off. I think I nodded to her in the hallway.

-Out of respect for the innocent, I won't mention any names except for Ashby's, but the other day in workshop, the shrillest, fattest, most insecure (and that is saying something) member of the workshop had a story up for discussion. It was about a shrill, insecure, inherently worthless actress who mentally makes biting remarks of other actresses she runs across, and I thought we were supposed to rebuke her along with her friend, an improbably tall Irishman who apparently is the best method actor since Brando. And is straight (wish-fulfillment?). Anyway, she ends the story with this self-righteous rebuke of the audition process, which would be fine if we hadn't been conditioned to hate this character and did not want her to die. There were a few ways of looking at this ending that were not damning to the story - the rebuke, or the rebuke is supposed to hilarious! But this writer, let's call her Fat T... wait, that's too descriptive... how about Shrill Fat Mound of Woman and Fat, for one kept talking during the discussion, which is a breach of both the rules and etiquette of our kind of workshop (and it wouldn't be a big deal, except no one else does this, and even if they do, it's an isolated comment, not tidbit after tidbit of what something really meant), and then made quite clear at the end of workshop that she likes this character, who is right on and supposed to be hilarious in her actions in the end (which are both a lampoon of the process and a legitimate piece of theater)... and, well Ashby almost punched out a window because she was so chatty and such a shitty writer. I think it's mostly the shitty writing that drove him over the edge. Side note: this girl has a myspace blog where she mentioned Ashby's full name and then intimated that he made up this name to appear more writerly and slandered him in her typical poorly-written, barely-thought-out manner. Another side note: another person in the class wrote a story where just about every character was stereotypical (I argued that they were too generic to be stereotypes... makes you think, doesn't it?) and someone pointed this out, and our Moundy Fat Girl said, "But these stereotypes work. I like them." She said that. I think she's related to Paul McGuire.

- If you like movies like Hostel or Saw, you have a sociopathic aspect to your personality and should also probably be euthanized for being stupid. And I am sick to fucking death of hearing how horror movies more than any other genre reflect society. They point to George Romero's rebuke of materialistic society with his Dead movies, or how slasher movies tapped into late Cold War paranoia or ennui somehow, or how the Exorcist resonated with people who had a 2nd grade level of knowledge about the Catholic Church and tapped into their underdeveloped sense of self. Here's how, in reality, horror movies resonate: poor acting, worse dialogue, improbable action, crass stereotypes, and trite moral messages. Be honest: no one goes to horror movies to think. Shit, I think I may have just joined the Jim Rome School of Pointing Out Easily Defendable Truisms. Well, that just ruined my Saturday.

I Had a Dream

And it was wonderful. I was talking to Glenn Beck, and I called him a "horrible twat." He didn't know what to say to that. Joe - 1, Reality - 0.

My friend Chris is picking up his Oregonese girlfriend at the airport today, and my friend Ashby is going to England with his charming wife. My friend Joe might be pistol-whipping one of his parolees, I'm not sure. All of this is to say that the ole' therapist has strongly suggested I go out and do things so I actually have real things to fictionalize (as opposed to fake things to fictionalize), and I'm watching two college football games as I clean the basement for our VFW Hall-themed Thanksgiving.

I'm trying to find the transcript, but I haven't been able to so far - but yesterday, O'Reilly was interviewing Geraldo (which is always hilarious, because they kiss each other's ass). They were talking about how disgusting this OJ interview thing is (I think they both went to the Jim Rome school of taking an easily defendable hard line on a spurious issue), and they got into talking about Geraldo's interview with Chuck Manson, where Geraldo defended himself by saying, "I had a serious journalistic intent," and that after he got the necessary information, he let Manson have it. Nice to know that Geraldo is part of some secretive media Junta. Then, hilariously, O'Reilly said, "Yeah, I do the same thing. When I interview a scumbag, I get the necessary information from them, and then I let them have it." It was like watching two kids with yellow-belts in karate talk about their skills.

Other admissions from the O'Reilly-Rivera jackfest

- "When I get a jar of peanut butter, I get all of the peanut butter I can out of it, and then I throw the jar away." (O'Reilly)

-"When I masturbate, I have a thumb up my ass, but I wait until I really get into it, and then I let that rectum have it." (Rivera)

-"Hitler was evil, okay? And I know that some people out there want to defend him, but you just can NOT do it (points at camera), okay? It's just indefensible." (O'Reilly)

-"Who caters here? I love these salami rolls." (Rivera, commercial break)

-"Have you read "The Giver"? It's a wonderful book." (O'Reilly)

-"I'm writing a novel. It's about a reporter who gets into a love affair with a gorgeous Kenyan, and he gets dragged into the blood-diamond wars. Have you ever seen a black woman's vagina, Bill? It's like purple licorice." (Rivera)

I know; I was disgusted, too.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In literature, they say intent is 9/10 of the law.

I know a guy who has a tattoo that looks startlingly similar to the old minstrel cartoon characters from the '20s and '30s. When I say "looks startlingly similar to," I mean "is one of." I recently read an article that pointed out that the early Mickey Mouse was essentially a minstrel with mouse-ears. Anyway, this person revealed that his great-granduncle or someother had invented the Merry Melodies or had helped develop it and had created this character he now had tattooed on his arm. My great grandpa had his legs took off by a train, I wonder how I can misguidedly memorialize that. Anyway, I guess it's understandable that this guy would want to memorialize his family's creation, except that it has such clear racist origins. Does the presentation as a tattoo of this cartoon character change its meaning, in spite of where it comes from? What is its legacy - because it was famous, are you supposed to be proud of it? I'm sure if there was some similar pop culture sensation created by someone in my distant-in-the-past family, my family would celebrate it today, but I would hope I and my more sensible relatives would be just as embarrassed as the rest of my family would be proud. Unless we were to receive the royalties.