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Monday, July 31, 2006

Famous Moments in Drunk Driving

With Mel Gibson’s arrest for drunken driving making headlines, I thought I would take this opportunity to point out a few highlights in the history of boozing and cruising. Although Mel apparently made a complete ass out of himself that night, his tequila-fueled outrage of drunkenness, speeding, anti-Semitism, and belligerency hardly ranks up there with some of the more infamous cocktails of man, machine, and alcohol. Please let me know if I’ve overlooked any truly epic cases.

To make this a little more interesting I’m going to enter this essay on my palm pilot as I drive. Let me just pull over at this convenience store for a six pack. That didn’t take long. The 16 oz. cans are a better deal—I got a twelve pack. Where was I?

3,500 B.C.- Beer was first made in Mesopotamia around 5,000 B.C. and the wheel was also invented there around 3,500 B.C. I’m guessing that within 24 hours after the invention of the wheel someone in Mesopotamia decided it would be a good idea to mix these two hallmarks of civilization, with disastrous consequences.

April 14, 1912- Captain Edward John Smith wrecks the Titanic with the subsequent loss of 1,516 passengers. I have no evidence that he was shit-faced but it happened at 11:40 p.m. You be the judge and jury. The ship had an excellent selection of tequila. When in 1985 a joint American-French expedition located the wreck using a video camera, they discovered a salt shaker and limes near the steering wheel.

May 6, 1937- The Hindenburg Airship explodes in a fireball over New Jersey. Radio reporter Herbert Morrison’s cry of, “Oh the humanity!” makes more sense when you learn that the pilot of the Hindenburg was partial to a flaming shot called The Humanity (equals part Bacardi 151 rum, Goldschlager, and Rumpleminz set ablaze). History shouldn’t be so hard on the captain. Have you ever tried to parallel park a zeppelin?

I’m making good time, even in this traffic. I’m on my fourth beer and I’m only about 4 miles from home.

September 30, 1955- James Dean hits a tree in the middle of nowhere while driving his roadster. Police investigators theorize that he was just trying to pull over to take a leak behind the one tree on Highway 46.

1980-2006- This represents Robert Downey Jr.’s entire driving career to the present. When he first registered for driver’s education as a sophomore his blood/alcohol was found to be more than twice the legal limit. He never looked back. His custom-made Maserati Quattroporte has a martini holder in the driver’s console.

I haven’t tried to “shotgun” a beer in a long time. I bet that would be fun.

March 24, 1989- Captain Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez slams his oil tanker into a reef while he is trying to make another batch of frozen margaritas. The lesson here is that friends don’t let friends drink and drive ships carrying 11,000,000 gallons of crude oil which, when dumped into the ocean, can destroy 470 miles of pristine Alaskan coastline.

August 31, 1997- Henri Paul, Princess Di’s driver, slams her car into a wall in a Paris tunnel. Turns out he was shit-house drunk—even for French standards. A world-wide wave of grieving is unleashed along with a good joke:

Did you hear about the princess who stayed out past midnight?
She turned into a concrete wall.

This joke is incredibly insensitive, but not nearly as callous and insensitive as allowing your chauffer to drive 120 mph down a busy urban thoroughfare. Her car was being chased by photographers, not Al Qaeda assassins.

I’ve never noticed that stop sign before. The good news is that I won’t have to worry about it tomorrow unless someone comes out and puts it back up.

July 16, 1999- JFK Jr. crashes a plane that he wasn’t really qualified to fly. There was no indication that he had been drinking, although his flight pattern was incredibly erratic. Your honor, I would like to call to the stand my first witness, Mister, or should I say Señor José Cuervo.

Good evening, O-ci-fer. Or is it morning? What time’s it? Is’t after last call? Shit. You sure? You want me to touch my what with my what? Why you big…

It was pretty bad after that, at least what I can remember. I sent this off this morning to my publicist.

"I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the New York Yankees community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge. I believe that Yankee fans are very similar to normal human beings and have the right to coexist and be protected by most of the laws set aside for people. When I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. I don’t really think the Yankees suck. That’s just a figure of speech we use in Seattle."

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Life-Long Dream Revised

Ever since I can remember, ever since I saw my first game on a grainy black and white television, all I have ever wanted was to play football for Notre Dame. Play football for Notre Dame and have a threesome, although I think that if I was playing football at Notre Dame having threesomes probably just comes with the territory—not that I’m saying the only reason I want to play football for Notre Dame is to nail some nice FFM action, or perhaps some FNM if one of them happens to be a nun—which is totally believable if I played football at a Catholic university. I don’t know why I never considered throwing a nun into the mix before, and I mean a hot teenage nun (but legal, of course) and not an old hag nun with a hairy wart on her upper lip. Do they have nun cheerleaders? Talk about killing two deep-rooted sexual fantasies with one stone.

Now that I think about it, you can scratch the whole ‘playing football’ shit—just sign me up for the threesomes' part of my dream. Going to practice would definitely screw up my sex life if I was nailing a cheerleader nun and one of her bi-curious teenage (18-19 only please) playmate-worthy friends.

Going to Notre Dame University was only contingent upon my place on the varsity football squad so if I get cut for missing practice I definitely have better things to do than go to class. Things like exploring each and every lurid fantasy of a voluptuous teenager who, although she looks quite young, is nevertheless a consenting adult. And who am I to judge if she and her friends have a rather surprisingly large collection of adult toys that require complicated instructions, not to mention dozens of D cell batteries? Now that I’m off the team I can show what a good sport I am by consenting to make videos with the nun and her friends even though I feel that I’m really not that photogenic.

As a young boy, playing football in the vacant lot with Billy Bob, Jimbo, and Billy Ray I, like all young boys, would inhabit my world of fantasy. I would think to myself, “If I make this touchdown pass it means that I’m destined to go to Notre Dame.” I would take the snap and fall back into the pocket. I could almost hear the crowd cheering wildly as I looked for a receiver downfield. And then I’d picture the teenage nun with oral skills honed in the Catholic school system which actually encourages fellatio, and I would spot the intended receiver. In this case it was a kid we used to call “Stone Hands” McIntyre. It is almost impossible to throw a football while trying to disguise the fact that you have a raging hard-on. Stone Hands would have dropped it anyway. I threw a perfect spiral right through the back window of the auto body shop run by some surly-looking Puerto Ricans which meant that our football days were over until someone got a new ball for their birthday or Christmas.

I think the moral of this story is that you should never give up on your dreams. Unless constantly thinking about your dreams is seriously impeding the blood flow to some of your vital organs not connected with the reproductive system. If this is the case then perhaps you should just go to a costume store and buy a goddamn nun outfit and a cheerleader uniform and try to get these twisted notions out of your head for a few hours a day so you can function like a normal person.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Conspiracy Theory

I am the kind of person that would read that title and immediately move on to read something else, anything else. Maybe ‘conspiracy’ isn’t the right word for the evil machinations that I have uncovered? Maybe I am stating something that is so blatantly obvious that it’s like I’m the last person to understand the forces that make the world go around? Maybe I’m the last person who isn’t getting paid to go along with the program? What I do know is the forces responsible for making shitty movies in America have bought and paid for those responsible for reviewing movies, both shitty and otherwise.

David Denby and Anthony Lane, the twin twats who review movies in The New Yorker magazine, are either the two most tasteless adults to ever have entered a Cineplex 18, or they are being paid by the big studios to favorably review the offal that those studios call movies—although there is nothing preventing both statements from being true. How else can anyone explain how these two film critics at this hallowed magazine find glowing things to say, week after week, about some of the worst efforts ever captured on film? Think of some of the worst movies you can imagine, movies you wouldn’t watch if you were languishing in a South American prison, and I’ll bet these two can find lots of nice things to say about them. Don’t take my word for it, I’ll abandon my usual irresponsible style and provide quotes from the Now Playing section of the magazine that has thumbnail captions from the reviews:

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo (some fucking thing) The third in a series about sexy boys and their supercharged cars stars Lucas Black as a reckless rebel who. after a drag race gone wrong, flees to Tokyo to live with his father. There he discovers the thrill of drift racing (rocketing a car sideways by gunning the engine and hitting the brakes at the same time) with a group of yakuza wannabes.

Nacho Libre This story is just an excuse for Jack Black to jump around. He looks great in thick curly hair and a moustache.

The reviewers have a penchant for treating the big studio turds with kid gloves. They save their ire for the small, independent films. It is the movie critics’ equivalent of beating up the little kid with no big brother to defend him. In the same issue in which Denby praises Nacho Libre he savages the small, low-budget film The Road to Guantanamo. Here is his thumbnail for it:

The Road to Guantanamo Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’s film about three real-life British nationals mistakenly imprisoned at Gitmo is confusingly told and possibly disingenuous.

Now, I have seen neither Libre or Guantanamo, but as someone who subscribes to the NYer, I could actually imagine myself seeing an independent film like Guantanamo. I can’t imagine that anyone who reads the magazine would bother with films like Libre or Fast and Furious

In the arts sections of the New York Times (14JUL06) there was a fairly favorable review of a new frat-boy comedy You, Me, and Dupree while the serious foreign films were relegated to the back pages of the section. It’s not that I equate foreign with serious, or foreign with good—there are loads of shitty foreign films. What I am saying is that if you are trying to make a serious film that has actual human characters, don’t expect to get any help from the media unless you fucking accidentally, through no fault of theirs, somehow make a bunch of money with your project. At that point the big media conglomerates will be falling over each other to kiss your ass, thus insuring that your next film will be a complete load of crap more worthy of major media praise.

It isn’t difficult to understand why this is the situation in America today. There are three companies that own practically every newspaper, magazine. radio station, television outlet, and movie studio in the entire country, maybe the planet, maybe the entire solar system for all that I know—I’m not invited to the board meetings.

Generally speaking, I hate critics. I love the story about the venerated New Yorker film critic, Pauline Kael, who was invited to Hollywood to give a try at film writing. Here was a woman who obviously knew everything there was to know about movies, after all, she had been eviscerating and praising them for years in the magazine, so who better to write the perfect screenplay. Of course, she failed miserably and went back to New York with her tail, or whatever it is critics have, between her legs. This is why I hate restaurant reviews—especially when they are highly caustic—written by folks who have never worked in a restaurant. I would love to read movie reviews written by people who actually make films.

I find the type of film reviews that are found in major American publications to be almost criminally disingenuous in their façade of objectivity. It is obvious that someone is telling the critics how to steer their reviews, so just say so. Precede the review with a short blurb explaining how The New Yorker is owned by Time-Warner, and they make movies. and their objective is to get you to pay to see them.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Allez, Allez Les Bleus!

Excuse my pride in my French heritage during this incredible month of World Cup excitement. There are eleven players but France is now personified by Zinedine Zidane, perhaps the best midfielder to ever have played the game. I'll leave you with this catchy tune.

La Marseillaise

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats.
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

Amour sacré de la Patrie
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie
Combats avec tes défenseurs!
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre!

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons