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Monday, June 30, 2003


A Modest Proposal

As I sit here, typing away at this keyboard in little more than a mink stole and a pair of Calvin Klein boxer briefs, the great state of California is on the brink of financial disaster. (This is front page news for the Washington Post website, but curiously not for the LA Times, but I digress.)

California, you see, is facing a $38 billion budget shortfall. To illustrate how historically large that sum is, it's roughly half of the money the RIAA says it loses daily to the downloading of mp3s.

Many of you know that I am a fabulously overcompensated writer living somewhere in Hollywood. But most of the readers of this site do not know that I am also an economic visionary that recently solved fiscal crises in Argentina and Afghanistan. So I present a modest proposal for heading off California's financial disaster at the proverbial pass.

And it all starts with Ashton Kutcher.

Yes, I know he's over, done, finished, whatever. But it's precisely his overexposure that's going to steer the Golden State through its troubled times.

Starting immediately, we will hold a daily auction to win a date with Ashton on eBay. Each auction winner will get to spend a day with the Hollywood It-boy and impish host of Punk'd.

Here's how it works:

The state of California will file a 38-day budget extension as the auction racks up $1 billion in bids per day (a one-bil reserve price sounds reasonable and attainable). At the end of the 38 days, disaster will be averted and California will be restored to solvency.

An MTV camera crew will document each of the 38 dates, which will be run marathon-style throughout the month, preempting all other programming other than TRL. Ashton will keep an online journal during the marathon from which additional funds can be collected via a Paypal "Donate" button. Bonus auctions of the tank-tops and trucker hats he will inevitably wear on each date will go to pay government employees until the date-cycle is finished.

Kutcher gets to put his immense-yet-rapidly-fading popularity to positive, civic use. And 38 women and men (the one-time male model is gay-friendly!) from the ages of sixteen to sixty get a day they will never forget. Everyone wins.

California, your white knight is here, and he's wearing a puckishly-askew, mesh John Deere cap.

You can thank me in 38 days.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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