Thursday, February 27, 2003
Please Won't You Be My Neighbor, St. Peter? Special
Mister Rogers dies at 74
Today Fred "Mister" Rogers joined the pantheon of distinguished, deceased children's entertainment icons. His new neighbors in the Neighborhood in the sky include "Sesame Street's" Mr. Hooper and Mr. Greenjeans of "Captain Kangaroo."
R.I.P, Fred. You managed to get through nearly 33 years of shows without getting caught in a scandal or doing anything sinister. This is a huge achievement that will probably never be equalled.
In tribue to the kindly giant of children's TV, here's the WFOoBH Top Five Mr. Rogers Euphemisms for Death:
5. "Catching the last tiny trolley to Eternal Sleepyville."
4. "Getting mauled by Daniel Striped Tiger."
3. "Sticking your hand up the ass of the Grim Reaper puppet."
2. "Taking off the final shoe."
1. "Speedy Delivery to nothingness."
[Bonus material: How to tell your kids that Mister Rogers has passed on ]
A Song of Myself
Every so often, I'll get an e-mail from a reader that goes a something like this: "Hello. I am an avid reader of your site. But I'd like to know a little more about the person behind the multinatonal internet enterprise that will one day subsume cyberspace as we know it. What are you like?"
Usually I'd just direct an inquiry such as this one to the FAQ, but at the moment I'm feeling expansive. I just watched Saddam Hussein give a sit-down to Dan Rather. And I'm sitting down. And Dan Rather's here, having a cup of Dunkin' Donuts French Vanilla, running some ideas for tomorrow's lead story by me. So here's what I told Dan after reading aloud the sample question above:
"Do you remember the first time your parents (and I'm only referring to two-parent families, because it's just not the same if your parents split up at a young age) took you to the beach? You were probably four or five years old, and when they let you go, you splashed happily into the damp sand, but stopped short of diving into the water. You were probably too young to fully comprehend the experience, but an innate sense of awe was gently shaken awake, like when your parents (again, two-parent households only) woke you the morning you first went off to school. Then you tore off into the surf, kicking up clumps of the moist shore as you plunged in.
You returned to the same beach as a young adult. You stood at the edge of the sand, again staring into the rolling waves and churning surf. And you were suddenly aware of how insignificant you are in the face of all this nature, the power of this raw creation.
Well, that's the difference between you and me. I looked out into the surf and thought to myself, I am bigger and wetter and my waves crash with more force and I can stomp on every sand castle and swallow this beach whole and spit it out in the parking lot and cut donuts with my dune buggy as women, children, and lifeguards alike scatter. I can drink a fifth of bourbon with Keith Richards behind the lifeguard tower and then kick him in the balls and run away. I can blot out the sun and do some breakdancing in the eight minutes that will elapse until the earth goes cold and we all perish. Then Keith and I can vomit in a stained trash can next to the snack bar, fall asleep on top of a picnic table, rising only when a beach person nudges me and asks if I am going to finish my fries. I can tell him to go ahead and finish them. I've fed the hungry and my day is complete, so I can go back to sleep. I am a Whitman poem gone horribly wrong."
So, yeah, that's what I'm like.
And Dan goes back to his coffee, mumbling, you should probably keep that to yourself.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Interview with the Dictator Dept.
CBS releases Hussein interview excerpts
WFOoBH's elite Propaganda Team decodes Saddam Hussein's interview with CBS news anchor Dan Rather. Read on to wash away the rhetoric and slice through to the creamy center that is the truth.
Rather: "Mr President, have you been offered asylum anywhere? And would you, under any circumstances, consider going into exile to save your people death and destruction?"
Saddam: ""We will die here. We will die in this country and we will maintain our honour - the honour that is required... in front of our people. I believe that whoever... offers Saddam asylum in his own country is in fact a person without morals."
Saddam Decoded: "I have already been to the Neverland Ranch and have determined that I am scared shitless of Ferris wheels, giant self-aggrandizing portraits that do not utilize me as the subject, and children draped in kitchen linens. I can't live like that and would rather face certain death in Iraq."
Rather: "Mr President, Americans are very much concerned about anyone's connections to Osama Bin Laden. Do you have, have you had, any connections to al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden?"
Saddam: "... Iraq has never had any relationship with al-Qaeda and I think that Mr Bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his speeches, given such an answer that we have no relation with him."
Saddam Decoded: "I did not have relations with that terrorist mastermind [pause] Osama Bin Laden. This "My buddy went to the caves of Tora Bora and all I got was this lousy kaftan" was a gag gift from one of my staffers. That Tariq Aziz, he so crazy."
Rather: "If there is an invasion, will you set fire to the oil fields? Will you blow the dams or your reservoirs of water to resist the invasion?"
Saddam: "I've answered the hypothesis, but to indulge in the details: Iraq does not burn its wealth and it does not destroy its dams.
"We hope that, however, that this question is not meant as an insinuation, so that the Iraqi dams and the Iraqi oil wells will be destroyed by those who will invade Iraq in their possible invasion of the country..."
Saddam Decoded: "I sincerely hope that any invaders will not sneak up behind my soldiers, knock them on the head, rendering them unconscious, steal the uniforms from their bodies, dress in these Iraqi military uniforms, grow mustaches in order to better fit in among the Iraqi citizenry, learn the Arabic language, and pretend that they have unquestioned orders -- written in my very own blood -- to set fire to our oil fields once it's apparent my regime may be less than victorious. I hope that's not your insinuation."
Rather: "I want to make sure you understand, Mr President. You do not intend to destroy these [banned under UN resolutions in 1991] missiles?"
Saddam: "Which missiles? What do you mean? We have no missiles outside the specifications of the United Nations and the inspection teams are here and they're looking... So, the missiles you are talking about, the missiles that are against the resolution of the United Nations, these do not exist and they have been destroyed."
Saddam Decoded: "I think there may be a communication gap in this matter. What you call 'peanut butter sandwiches,' we refer to as 'missiles.' So we are in full compliance with the UN resolution to destroy all of these peanut butter sandwiches. Tens of thousands of sandwiches were disassembled between 1991 and the present: bread is stored in the South, the creamy peanut butter in the North, and the chunky has been separated and enriched in a centrifuge. I always sensed we may have been talking about two different things when the resolution was agreed upon. But a deal's a deal."
Saddam: "If the American people want to know more through dialogue through television screens, I am ready to dialogue with Bush, with Mr Bush, the president of the United States, and to appear together before the television. And I would say what I have to say, what I have to say about the American policy and he can say things about the Iraqi policy and let that be on television in a just and fair way."
Rather: "Are you speaking of a debate?"
Saddam: "Yes, a debate... We are not asking for a contest with weapons. All I'm asking is to appear before the American people and other people in a direct discussion in a conversation between me and Mr Bush that's broadcast by television."
Saddam Decoded: "A contest with weapons is also known as a war. We don't have a good track record in wars with America. So I was thinking that maybe we'd shake it up a bit, throw this against the minaret and see if it sticks. Of course, I would have to choose the categories for the debate -- you know, things like 'Eliminating Threats from Within Your Own Family,' or 'Gassing the Kurds Because a Kurdish Woman Once Told You There was a Piece of Baba Ghanouj in Your Teeth,' or 'Ruling Without Popular Mandate: Election Irregularities.' Maybe not that last one. I want to maintain a little bit of a handicap since President Bush is quite adept at the public speaking."
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
New Poll Time Special
After what seems like years with an old, snarky poll, I've provided a new one for the amusement of no one in particular.
We all know Mike Tyson's crazy, right? And tends to be violent. And just started (started!) a tattoo on his face. There's a lot to work with here.
So vote like you've never been hurt, vote like you don't need the money, vote like no one's watching.
[Old poll result: Somewhat predictably, I can only ask you a question depending on what the question is. At least there wasn't a button for "That IS a question!" or I'd have to personally punch all of you in the gut.]
From the Cradle to the Tube Section
TV influences infants, study says
A Baby Deconstructs Some of Your Favorite Television Shows
A recent study at Tufts University revealed that after about 12 months of age, babies are actually learning about the world when they watch television. Realizing that today's televised offerings of debased reality shows, nearly-pornographic depictions of sex, and nonstop consumerist bombardments could potentially harm an infant viewer, I borrowed a friend's baby boy, sat him in front of recordings of a recent episode of "Joe Millionaire," a "Real World" marathon, and one episode of "Sesame Street." Surprisingly verbal for his 14 months on this planet, Baby Boy Steve (not his real name) was forthcoming and introspective about his television-watching experience.
WFOoBH: Let's get this out of the way right now: people are going to find it hard to believe that you can talk at 14 months, much less buy into claims that babies are really understanding what they see on television at an early age.
Baby Boy Steve: My parents were very progressive. My mother played Vivaldi concertos through headphones placed against her womb after the first trimester. When I was born, she would put Nabokov audiobooks in my Teddy Ruxpin. There was something very sweet yet despoiling about "Lolita" delivered through the mouth of my fuzzy teddy bear as I drifted off to sleep in my basinette. My father would tell me that I was going to be the smartest baby in the world. I don't know if that's the case, but this talking thing is a pretty good start, wouldn't you say?
WFOoBH: Indeed. What about the television comprehension alleged in the Tufts study?
BBS: It's all true. I can give you a plot summary of this season of "24." [Baby Boy's Steve's face twists into a grimace, he issues a gentle belch, and a sticky stream of drool rolls down his chin. I wipe it up for him.] I'm sorry. That's so embarassing.
WFOoBH: It's quite all right. Let's talk "Joe Millionaire." You can follow the premise of this show?
BBS: There's something complicated about baiting attention-starved actress wannabes with a hunky, dim, supposed-multimillionaire? This ain't "The Sound and the Fury," bub.
WFOoBH: What did you think of how it ended?
BBS: The American people were jobbed. They replaced the bloodlust that originally drew in an audience with a happy ending that wouldn't have been out of place in a Disney straight-to-video sequel where they cut out all the good voice actors.
WFOoBH: True enough. Did you know who was going to win?
BBS: I knew from the beginning that the winners were the people who sell advertising at FOX. It put up Super Bowl numbers. That show's a demographic world-beater.
WFOoBH: Wow. That's slightly cyncial and sophisticated.
BBS: Thank you. [Baby Boy Steve begins to cry. I pick him up from his high-chair and gently pat his back. The crying doesn't stop. I sniff him -- he doesn't need a changing. I give him a sip from his bottle, and the crying abates.] I have to apologize again. I'm really not at a stage of development where I can effectively communicate my needs. I glad I didn't do a poopy diaper. That would have been awkward for both of us.
WFOoBH: Well, ease up a little on the bottle until we're through. [Nervous laughter.] Let's talk "The Real World: Las Vegas." What are your thoughts about it?
BBS: My mother and father seem to think that I'm going to be a theoretical mathematician, but I think I'd be happier working in a casino. I want to play with the colorful chips and dice. They remind me of my alphabet blocks, which I often rearrange into the first lines of famous novels.
WFOoBH: Chips and dice have numbers on them, though.
BBS: Let's not split hairs. I can arrange them into the first fifty places of Pi instead.
WFOoBH: Do you think you'd want television cameras following you around all the time, documenting your every move?
BBS: I guess it's a trade-off. There seems to be a severe loss of privacy that makes these people under scrutiny act out. But I'd have four more pairs of breasts around for mealtime, so maybe it would be OK.
WFOoBH: You're smiling. Do you like that idea?
BBS: You know how when babies smile everyone says that it's just gas?
WFOoBH: I've heard that.
BBS: It's just gas.
WFOoBH: Lastly, I had you view "Sesame Street," which is more traditional children's programming. Did you find that it was a better fit for you as a viewer?
BBS: I know there's supposed to be a certain suspension of disbelief with any kind of entertainment, but come on. A talking, huge, yellow bird?
WFOoBH: Kids usually like Big Bird.
BBS: Please. And I'm not sure that I like what the show says about the plight of the homeless. Oscar lives in a garbage can and his best friend is a worm. That's troubling. Why don't they just have him wetting himself and biting his shoe?
WFOoBH: I'm not sure he's supposed to represent the homeless.
BBS: And I bet that you think that Ernie and Bert aren't lovers. At least the show's displaying a little social progressivism by portraying a same-sex parent dynamic. Although I don't know how I feel about the rubber ducky as a stand-in for a child. Why not just give them a kid? It's a stable home, they've been together for over thirty years! My rubber ducky's just for my baths in the sink. Mommy says I'm not big enough for the tub yet.
WFOoBH: Thank you, "Steve." You've given me a lot to think about.
BBS: You should watch your television with a more critical eye. It shouldn't be left up to babies to understand what's going on in their entertainment. [Grimaces.] Oops. Poopy diaper.
[Style note: Close readers of WFOoBH may notice that the preceding feature contains a shift in punctuation style. Instead of the usual italics used to denote a television show, movie, or book title, we've switched to simple quotes. It's less showy, perhaps a touch classier. And if there's one thing that we stand behind as an institution that has been at the vanguard of Internet opinion, it's class.]
[Content note: The preceding contains what is probably the final mention of "Joe Millionaire" on WFOoBH. The series finally took its bow tonight with its superfluous "Aftermath" show, which was little more than a "East Riverside Falls News at 10: What's Going on with Evan and Zora?" feature with three soundbites and immediately followed by the Channel 55 Person Who Gets Angry For You! exposing the bags of garbage accumulating behind your favorite diner. Goodnight, Joe. I reserve the right to revive you if you do something stupid or interesting. Here's to hoping it's something stupid, because there's nothing quite like poking fun at a dumb guy.]
Monday, February 24, 2003
Dept. of the Red Ones
WFOoBH reports from the 45th Grammy** Awards
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK. Firstly, as I stalk the backstage of world-famous Madison Square Garden, I feel compelled to note that the backstage craft services spread is wanting. Is serving Polly-O string cheese next to a platter of delicate foie gras someone's idea of a joke? Likewise, the Pharmaceutical Bar does not appear to be in compliance with the WFOoBH Media Coverage Rider. While it is stocked with an impressive array of prescription-only celebrity mood-enhancing staples like Xanax, Valium, and Darvocet, but where's the Claritin? Some of us are deathly allergic to the fur coats that P. Diddy's entourage are so nonchalantly swinging around like they're on the catwalk, and Courtney Love's insisted on bringing eight ermine on leashes. My face is about to bumpily inflate like a badly-patched bicycle tire.
But I digress. By and large, I've been treated like the internet royalty that I am. The Grammy producers have obligingly provided me with a cardtable for my laptop just offstage from where I can post a minute-by-minute account of the action. A dose of complimentary Ritalin (plus a handful of these cool-looking red ones, a couple of yellows, and this one horse pill that someone assures me is all-natural) has done a commendable job of letting me focus on the task at hand instead of the orgy that's taking place just twenty feet away. I won't tell you who's cavorting in the flesh pile -- this ain't Page 6 -- but let's just say that it's a sandwich with a distinctly Latin flavor.
I settle in at the laptop and type feverishly away before a single act has taken the stage. I've got fifteen single-spaced pages done before the show begins. Following is an excerpt of the minute-by-minute proceedings I recorded before being carried from the backstage area, trying to gnaw off my socks:
--Simon and Garfunkel open the show with a heartfelt rendition of their timeless hit, "American Pie." The five people in attendance over forty years of age are enraptured.
--Dustin Hoffman reprises his beloved Tootsie role, appearing in a red-sequined dress. It must be the anniversary of that landmark film's release. The five people in attendance over forty years old are again very pleased. This is shaping up to be their show.
--The Hell's Angels from Altamont lead a deeply heartfelt candlelight salute to the victims of the Great White tragedy in Rhode Island. A dry eye in the house can't be found as the tribute ends in a dazzling pyrotechnic display.
--Seemingly conjured by the leaping multicolor flames, the apparition of the dead one from Milli Vanilli alights at the podium to finally return his ill-gotten award. The camera pans across the crowd, finally settling on the living Milli Vanilli guy, who is wearing his Grammy statue in true bling-bling fashion. He quickly clutches it to his chest and rushes out from the theater.
--Eminem accepts the Grammy for Best Rap Album and is canonized by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and a giant alligator via satellite.
--A tear comes to my eye as Rick Dees provides a bravura performance of "Disco Duck" backed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; one really can't appreciate the emotional range of that song without a full complement of strings to put flesh on the lovely bones of the original arrangement. By the end, I am openly weeping from every pore of my being.
--Unexpectedly, Avril Lavigne calls Gwen Stefani on stage at the end of her hit "Sk8r Boi" (creative spelling is hers). As she and Stefani harmonize over the song's final chorus, Lavigne unhinges her jaw and swallows the No Doubt chanteuse whole, finally belching forth a pair of low-rider jeans.
--Robin Williams introduces Bruce Springsteen entirely in a pantomimed pig-Latin; a deafening silence greets the Boss as the audience tries to decode Williams' wild gesticulations.
--Springsteen segues from a cut from his post 9-11 effort, "The Rising," into a Clarence Clemons-led version of the Pre-Vatican II Catholic Mass. The audience follows without missing a single instance of sitting, standing, or kneeling. Little Steven Van Zandt handles the tricky transubstantiation ritual with aplomb.
--Nary a boy band has appeared. This dilemma is solved as the surviving members of 'N Sync (their numbers depleted because three of them perished in the Columbia disaster, or so I'm told by a man in a black suit and pink earmuffs) sing a medley tribute (the four thousandth such tribute of the evening) to the Bee Gees, ending with "Staying Alive." At the conclusion of the song, a dramatic walk-on by John Travolta halts the joyful singing three bars early as the "Saturday Night Fever" star gets handsy with Justin Timberlake.
--The ethereal beauty Norah Jones wins her record three-hundredth Grammy of the evening. She is also awarded a Tony, three Oscars, the Staples Employee of the Month for February, and the prestigious Booker Prize for her album "Come Away with Me." Seeing at how many plaudits Jones needs to cart from the stage, I stumble to her side to offer my strong back to her service. She whispers in my ear that I'm a magnificent animal the likes of which she's never seen, and manages to slip her hotel room key into my pocket. All goes black.
The notes become incomprehensible after this point. In fact, I am lucky to have recovered any of the minutes as I come to pinned to the floor and straddled by Kiss entrepreneur Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper tearing ferociously at my earlobe. Disaster is averted as Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx (late of Motely Crue) each grab a leg and drag me to the relative safety of the room where Madison Square Garden's Zamboni is garaged. My blood dapples crimson on a pile of snow, and a fresh wound is opened on my brow as the laptop is carelessly tossed on the crumpled heap of my person. My hand immediately goes to my pockets; the Crue must have spirited away the key to Norah's room as they "saved" me from the duo of cartoonishly theatrical rock incubi.
I discover the show's over as I slouch through the Garden's barren corridors and return to my hotel, where I file this report. The red light on the hotel phone blinks insistently as I try and make sense of what I've typed. I give in to curiosity and check the messages. It's Norah's smokey voice, plaintively wondering "I don't know why you didn't call." I listen closely in hopes she'll leave a number. Instead, I hear two male voices hollering in the background. It's Lee and Sixx.
I can only make out the following: "Next time lay off the red ones, asshole!" Then laughter.
Norah's giggle is the last thing I hear before the roar of the dial tone. I am sure of one thing: sleep will not come easily.
[**Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. They own the word Grammy, the award that looks like a tiny gramophone, and your grandmother if she is referred to as "Grammy." We at WFOoBH recommend that you call either of your parents' mother "Grandmother" or "Nana" or by some other ethic diminutive that does not bear a homophonic semblance to the NARAS trademark. Should you insist on referring to her as "Grammy," representatives will hunt her down and end her long, distinguished life with a pillow as she sleeps her last, and you will get no more fresh-baked cookies nor ten-dollar bills on Valentine's Day.]
[It's a wonder this site ever gets published given all the "partying" of the last week. I ask you all, why must I rock so hard, with such duration, at such magnitude? I'm just talking out loud. Don't mind me. I can't sleep with Lee and Sixx's voices echoing in my head.]
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Zora chooses...the horse
In an interview following FOX's Joe Millionaire finale, winner and newly-minted half-millionaire Zora Andrich let it be known where she found true love: "Oh, I loved those horses. Being with the horse, the one whose name meant 'Sweetie' in French, I was in heaven. That's who has my heart. The horse."
After being informed that the "Sweetie" was, in fact, actually a donkey, Zora replied, "I love him regardless of what type of ungulate he is. I love him for him."
Immediately following these remarks, a representative from Animal Planet presented Zora with her very own dude ranch, containing a stable stocked with a variety of horses. "Zora has once again proven that she loves purely and unreservedly. We'd like to reward her for her pristine heart," said the rep.
"This really is like a fairytale come true. I feel like a princess!" gushed the new ranch-owner. "Did I mention I would love this diamond ring even if it turned out to be a Ring Pop?"
The Question that Burns Dept.
One of the great things about hanging out in bars in the middle of the day in Los Angeles is that you get to throw back a few with people who are much more famous than you are. People who find a way to subsist far from the orbit of the entertainment industry may find this hard to believe, but celebrities of all stripes can often be found whetting the whistle at an hour when most of the workaday world finds itself punching clocks or making photocopies or plugging figures into Excel spreadsheets or whatever it is that you people do.
With the U.S. (my former nation before establishing the breakaway republic of ISB) clawing at the precipice of Not Bombing the Fuck Out of Iraq with the very tippy-tips of its fingernails, the rich and famous are passing the daylight hours on bar stools, trying to figure a way to pull America back from the brink of war.
You may go about your business collating or consulting or teaching the children; I'll belly up to the bar and ask your country's leading personalites the WFOoBH Question that Burns: What should America do about this Iraq business?
WFOoBH: What should America do about this Iraq business?
Alec Baldwin: Our President is something of a pinhead. He should go and fight Saddam himself if he wants it so bad. If we invade, I'm headed back to Canada.
WFOoBH Follow-up: How did that moving to Canada after the election thing work out for you?
Baldwin: I joined the Toronto Entertainment Hockey League. I checked Michael J. Fox into the boards with such ferocity that he stopped shaking. But I eventually moved back to Long Island.
WFOoBH: Good to have you back. Sorry to hear about you and Kim.
Baldwin: That's OK. I couldn't go back there after Eminem hit it.
WFOoBH: What should America do about this Iraq business?
Chris Rock: Who the fuck cares if some crackers go and blow up some slightly darker crackers?
WFOoBH Follow-up: Fuck that honkey shit.
Rock: Damn straight. Gimme some love. [Rock leans in as if to chest-bump me, then pulls back.] Fuck that, cracker.
WFOoBH: What should America do about this Iraq business?
Brittany Murphy: [creepy, etheral voice] I'll never tell...
WFOoBH Follow-up: You've been in fifteen movies since then. Think you can retire that line?
[We retire to a secluded bathroom stall to make out for ten minutes. I can't help but agree with Baldwin about not wanting to go back where Eminem has been and climb out the window while she freshens up her eye makeup.]
WFOoBH: What should America do about this Iraq business?
Herve Villechaize: I try not to concern myself with such matters since taking my own life in 1993.
WFOoBH Follow-up: Holy shit, you're a ghost?
Villechaize: A really tiny ghost. With a strangled accent of indeterminate origin.
WFOoBH: It's refreshing you're so at peace with that.
Villechaize: I've had some time to work on it. [whispers] Everyone in heaven is tall. Just like here.
WFOoBH: What should America do about this Iraq business?
Harrison Ford: I think our leadership has to build something of an international consensus, so that if force is necessary it won't be unilaterally imposed...oh, not you again.
WFOoBH Follow-up: So we meet again, Dr. Jones.
Ford: I really wish you'd stop that.
WFOoBH: The only thing I'm going to stop, Dr. Jones, is your heart.
Ford: [Sighs, hold head in hands] Okay, don't make me get out my whip.
WFOoBH: What do you know about politics? You live on a ranch in Montana and fly your little whirligig and rescue campers who don't pack big enough picnic baskets.
Ford: That's really uncalled for. You asked me a question and I just tried to answer it.
WFOoBH: [Loudly] Oh, so now I'm the asshole! Everyone look at the asshole!
Ford: You're making a scene.
WFOoBH: [Louder] Oh, so now because I think that you've rendered a sensible opinion on a volatile situation, I'm the asshole?
Ford: You think it's a sensible opinion?
WFOoBH: [Even louder] Yes, I think that you've actually thought some about this thing and have some reasonable ideas, unlike most celebrities, so NOW I'M THE ASSHOLE, DR. JONES?
Ford: You shouldn't spend so much time in bars in the middle of the day.
WFOoBH: [Throwing arm around him, toasting] You're probably right, Indy.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Birth of a Nation State Dept.
Incorporated States of Bunsen formed
Fuck this, I'm outta here I scrawled on the bathroom mirror with a chalky stick of Right Guard rubbed within an inch of its life. And with that bold declaration, The Incorporated States of Bunsen was born.
The ISB doesn't have a President. It has a Head Asshole. The ISB doesn't have a Treasurer. It has a Greenspan (the HA knows that Alan Greenspan is not the treasurer of his former nation, and he doesn't want to hear about it. "Greenspan" is a perfect money-moun.) And there's no Secretary of Defense at ISB, either. For a small financial consideration, ISB was able to lease Charlton Heston from the NRA, provide him with large caliber hand-cannon, and deprive him of his Alzherimer's medication. He's ornery and demented. Don't cross him. The border is secure, except when his diaper's being changed.
The one thing the ISB does have is interns. Lots and lots of interns. Interns to do the dishes, interns to clean up the HA's room, interns to do the laundry, and in the bathroom.
[There are lots of other things about the ISB you might want to know, but Sweet Jesus, didn't you read about how hard I partied last night?]
And in its first official contact with the international community, the ISB will now insult both France and Germany.
An Open Epigram to France:
Don't come crying to us when you find you can't culture a half-way decent cheese from camel milk.
You've been warned, Jacques and Marie.
And the back of the hand for Germany:
While you produce fine malt products and sexually permissive women in strangely arousing traditional garb, you are extra-shitty at world domination.
Notice has been served, Helmut and Heidi.
If you'll excuse me, I must take my leave to violate UN sanctions regarding the export of mother jokes to fundamentalist Islamist states.
Notes from The Official WFOoBH Joe Millionaire Postgame Party
It's finally over.
Or almost over, but we'll get to that later.
More Pregame Than Rod Carew
Over 300 people show up at Hollywood's super-chic lounge/oxygen bar/fetish club Dirt to revel in the long-awaited culmination of six weeks of JM cliffhanger. The party reaches a fever pitch before the dozens of fifty-inch flat-panel plasma monitors snap to life and hold all in attendance in thrall, but that could have just as easily been due to the Red Bull-absinthe-Vanilla Mist Glade cocktails that were the hit of the night. International house electroclash DJ Black Monsoon Hitoshi's turntables stop mid-scratch as FOX unfurls the Hour One of the double-size suspense orgy. The first speedball of the night is just starting to scramble me, and I crowbar my way out of the pregame show's supermodel sandwich to get a clear view of the FOX feed, where the jilted women of JM were telling all.
One of them reveals that she was a hula-hoop champion. Next! Another, a comely brunette flight attendant, opines that Evan had chosen his Final Five (Sarah, Zora, Melissa M., Mojo, and Allison) based on the obvious coincidence that all were "big boobie girls." I turn and chuckle "That's crazy!" into the two pairs of double-D's that were throwing back body shots on either side of me. Their antics nearly caused me to miss the life lesson the stewardess (yes, I know, don't call them that to their face!) threw down for America: "Picking your future mate based on whether they have big breasts, I don't think that's right." Amen, sister, breathes the throng. I break free of the gravitational pull of the saline cleavage all around and got closer to the monitor.
The temperature of the club jacks up a couple of degrees. The crowd grows uneasy. Why were we wasting time with the elimination crowd? No doubt at least three of them were in attendance at the party, trying to play it cool as all present groan through their insights into Evan's integrity, all ear-to-ear tooth necklaces and pretending they were so above it all that if they found themselves picked, they would have left cash-strapped Evan even more strapped for companionship. The early-dismissal crowd continues to cat it up, revisiting the fact that Heidi with her comically poor, Pepe Le Peu-learned French was just as big a bitch as she'd seemed on the show. Apparently, not everything in reality TV is in the editing.
Just as it seemed a riot might break out due to a momentary, unfortunate shortage of Grey Goose, the stunning face of Final Fiver Alison beams into the room. Finally. Someone we recognize. She and Evan had nothing in common...and? There was no and; this was last month's news.
Then more Mojo. Equally crazy and creepy this time around. There's more talk of the infamous "I CHOOSE YOU!" puzzle that was her golden ticket back to the Chinatown electronics shop where she bought the birth certificate stating she's 24 years old. A closing nugget for Mojo before waiting for the phone to ring from Celebrity Taildaters: "It does not mean a girl is a golddigger just because she wants a man who is financially stable." Another "Amen!" from the crowd, and I produce my platinum money clip with a flourish to purchase another drink with a sexually suggestive name that I make up on the spot.
On to Melissa M, third runner up and The Official WFOoBH I Got Shafted on Reality Television Poster Girl. There's a clever montage of the roughly one billion times she squealed Ohmygawd!, including one that may or may not have been superimposed on a shot of Evan's closing boudoir door. You know, with her joining him in the boudoir. It seemed that Melissa M. may have harbored some genuine affection for the big lug, but it was hard to hear any more of her segment; DJ Black Monsoon Hitoshi has already mashed up a sample of Melissa M's Ohmygawd! into the latest 50 Cent jam and that shit is crunk.
Sarah's friends say some things, no doubt concerning how quaint and perfectable acceptable they find her foot-fetish/bondage film moonlighting.
The crowd dances a little while Zora cuddles some fuzzy woodland creatures in her very own Disney movie, JM style.
My cocktail needs a fill-up, 92-octane style.
Halftime Is the Right Time
With only two-plus minutes between the Secrets show and the actual Joe Millionaire main event, things have to move along quickly.
For a not immodest fee, Aerosmith rocks the stage between the two giant, cast-iron birdcages where the WFOoBH KittyKat Revue writhe in accidental syncopation. The bulk of the ageless rockers' appearance honorarium was in response to our provision that they lip-synch to a 75 rpm version of "Love in an Elevator" as RuPaul is lowered to the stage in a rococo Easter basket. Add a zero onto any check and things can be negotiated.
The Apotheosis of America's Favorite Big Lug and Other FOX-y Miracles
Grey Goose sends over one of those trucks you see at sporting events and large-scale college drinkfests -- the kind with taps jutting out of the side like teats from the flank of a lactating sow. It pulls around the back alley of Dirt, where the entrance is disguised with a Hollywood Neighborhood Watch sign, and impressively-cobranded Red Bull volunteers hand out drinks like sandbags at the February Mississippi Delta floods. Disaster is more than averted; it's beaten back with cruel and unusual force. A higher gear is improbably acheived.
All of this new distilery-quality positivity is directed back to the plasma screens. Paul Hogan, who has now supplanted Jeeves as the most name-checked butler in the history of polite society, teases us and draws us in. It's time for Evan to make his choice. And oh yes, there's still this Big Twist to be revealed.
[No one at the party knew this, but I'm the only one who knew who Evan would choose. Cellphones, PDAs, Blackberrys, carrier pigeons and smoke signals were all banned to avoid any East Coast spoilers riding the electronic red-eye into Los Angeles. I had no insider knowledge, but I had taken the time to do the math. Using the common numerology system of A=1, B=2, C=3...Z=26, I had calculated the winner as I hunched over one of the stainless-steel commodes of Dirt's little boys' room, ostensibly chasing a wayward eight-ball around the marble floor. I'd found some sucker middle-season Road Rules refugee cracked on low-grade GHB to take the sucker's bet. I was ready to cash in.]
Evan sits Zora down. He's visibly on edge. If his entire primitive nervous system weren't already overcommitted to the process of not falling out of his chair, he would suffer a grand-mal seizure in what is supposed to be his finest hour. When he does manage to remember how to speak, his speech is pockmarked with pregant pauses. He "tries to find the words," which is only slightly less ambitious undertaking than a quadruple amputee wiping his ass. But find the words he does: "I've chosen you."
[I know that I win (as numerology told me that Evan and Zora both add up to 6), as the Road Rules guy forks over the keys to his pumpkin-colored Fiat, which I've already flipped over to the stunt coordinator of Fear Factor in return for the phone number of the next model-actress Joe Rogan dumps.]
The beauty (and exquisite torture) of Joe Millionaire is that we still don't know if Zora wins. Evan then drops the bomb that he's roughly 50 mil light of his claimed inheritance due to his employment as a dig-dirt operator with no dead, rich relatives to speak of. DJ Black Monsoon Hitoshi plays a hot clip of a pin dropping, and the whole party hears it.
Zora takes it all in. She's going to need time. Evan's going to need to break the bad news to Sarah. FOX is going to need a few more minutes to plug some Wonder Years ripoff that will likely air four times prior to being replaced by a special about Michael Jackson's secret midget bones collection.
Quicker than the comely producer's assistant next to me can uncap a Barcardi Silver, Sarah and Evan are back in the salon. This time, Evan decides to come clean on the money issue before punching her ticket off the Continent. He's poor, we've all known this for six weeks, the sun continues to rise and set. Sarah asks him if he thinks that she's concerned about the money. Evan stares blankly at her for so long I can hear the contracts of her next cheerleader-in-rubber-restraints flick being signed. He tells her he didn't choose her. They hug, and she's out of there, holding it together admirably for the phalanx of cameras.
As some sort of booby prize, Melissa M. is imported to help Sarah pack, because what she really needed is the comfort of a woman who a few short days ago might have sliced her throat with a pink Gillette as she slept. Sarah wonders if her Amazing Adventure in Subtitles Barely Disguising a Carnal Act might have been responsible for her not being chosen. FOX helpfully inserts more subtitles so that the viewers know she's talking about the naughty thing she did in the woods with the guy who just rejected her on the timeworn get-the-milk-for-free principle.
Sarah and Melissa M. make a nice wine from the sour grapes of their reality-show discontent and ride off into the sunset in a silly French station wagon. For a fleeting second, I think our butler casts the bird carward as they leave, but nah. A cheer not unlike any of the ones that sent a legion of blue-faced warriors off into certain death in Braveheart erupts from the Dirt crowd. The black-hat set had been run outta town. Behind me, Andy Dick asks a former Melrose Place regular if she's ever seen someone squeeze their own testicle into a shot glass.
Back at the Chateau of Potentially Shattered Dreams, Evan puts on a suit with minimal help from Paul Hogan. Our big lug has come a long way. Lickety-split like he's standing in the salon to await his jilting beneath the chandelier. Zora appears in a fetching blue gown and glides across the parquet to render judgment unto Evan.
But the jilting never comes. America, she wasn't in it for the money! Do you hear me? She went to France to spend a month in a huge chateau with US$189 in her checkbook to meet a man who she thinks has inherited the GDP of Sierra Leone, but her love don't cost a thing! In fact, the whole inheriting-the-GDP-of-insert-cashpoor-African-nation-here sort of turned her off. So she's on the Evan train, first-class or caboose, don't matter.
In the words of one of our finest, fictional, renegade military heroes, I love it when a plan comes together. And so does the party. Suddenly, everyone's hugging. It might be the five-dollar ecstacy that was getting passed around like a personal-injury attorney's business card at a pile-up on the 405, but there's hugging. Even Vincent Gallo's got his arms around someone, and he's been sitting in the corner booth all night shredding bar napkins while pretending to ignore the show.
Paul Hogan's in the salon, serving up a ring box on a platter like a petit-four. Evan gives her a promise ring that looks a whole lot like a huge engagement rock, but he's careful to undo the bethrothal mojo (pardon the unfortunate pun) by slipping it onto her right hand. Paul Hogan's smile turns on the high beams. He's happy with Evan's choice. One gets the sneaking feeling that he's some heroically eccentric multimillionaire who gets his jollies out of coaching reality mooks while wearing a penguin suit.
But the good manservant does have one more trick up his sparkling cuffs. There's but five minutes of JM left, and it's time for the Big Twist.
He's got another platter. And this time, he means business.
FOX intends to end the fairytale with a true fairytale ending. Paul presents the mooning couple with a check for a million dollars, making them millionaires (or, more accurately half-millionaires as we can assuming the joint-chcking account has yet to be established).
Zora's speechless. Evan proves there's another level of inarticulateness in some distant, stammering realm past speechlessness. There's talk of miracles that stops just short of the phrase "touched by an angel."
The party, of course, is not as speechless. Money changes hands faster than at a sidewalk card game as those in the "Evan's Gay" camp fork over to the "FOX makes someone a millionaire" camp. Yeah, it's a cyncial bunch. Cynicism is the new sincerity for the post-post 9-11 West Coast world. But that's part of what makes the WFOoBH party so damn hot.
DJ Black Monsoon Hitoshi's laid a sample of Michael Jackson talking about little kids in his bed not being sexual into a Missy Elliott B-side that doesn't drop stateside for another two weeks.
My shit's blowin' up as I'm getting hit on the hip on my new Nokia.
Most don't even hear that there's more next week on Joe Millionaire: The Aftermath, where we find out what's happened to Zora and Evan.
Most don't see Alyssa Milano waving a finger in my face, telling me that if don't write some strategic lies about her pretty soon, she's going to give Shannen Doherty my phone number and tell her I like to scrap in bars.
Too bad Alyssa's fucking that guy that's married to Jennifer Garner, the chick from Alias and the star of this weekend's box office champ, Daredevil, or I'd throw her one myself.
Monday, February 17, 2003
The Official WFOoBH Joe Millionaire Finale Pregame Show
Strap yourselves in as all secrets are revealed, as you are rocked by Aerosmith, as the horrible suspense of the last six weeks is resolved.
Will Evan pick Zora? Will it be Sarah? What will the Big Twist be? Will FOX make Evan a real millionaire? Or will they give his chosen lady walking papers and a cool mil to hit the bricks?
WFOoBH is proud to present The Official WFOoBH Joe Millionaire Finale Pregame Show.
To view the wild festivities of The Official WFOoBH Joe Millionaire Finale Pregame Show, click the image to the left.
[You was robbed.]
The Eagerly Anticipated Are You Hot? Post
I am a pig. And reality television is my slop.
I greedily eat from its trough. I coat myself in a blanket of its filth to protect me from the heat of the Southern California sun, eagerly devouring the bits that flake off from the vigor of my flailing.
ABC's Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People is not the Joe Millionaire, first-season Survivor quality, grade-A stuff. But I'll roll around in it for a while.
If reality television is the SUV of the entertainment world -- unsafe, popular in spite of all arguments against it, and probably in some way benefitting terrorists -- then Are You Hot? is going to manage four miles to the gallon on the highway and roll over at school-zone speeds while launching an ad campaign trumpeting these shortcomings. It's probably produced on a Korean assembly line, paying thirteen cents a month in wages.
If Are You Hot? were a horrible, extended, mixed metaphor, it would probably involve both pig slop and sports-utility vehicles. And quite possibly a reference to the thing that's perched where Michael Jackson's nose used to be.
AYH? is disarmingly unapologetic in its aims. The show's host, J.D. Roberto (soon to be shipped off to the Logan's Run disposal of Bland Reality Show Guys), tells us up front that they've hacked away the "talent" portion of the American Idol-style competition like so much gristle and left the only the meat of "Face. Body. Sex Appeal." You're not going to see anyone dismissed from the proceedings for having the ill-advised fetish film in their pasts. If these people are HOT enough to earn their ropes and gimp masks, they can parade underneath the enormous, fire-and-ice HOT and NOT signs and await the judgment of the celebrity panel: will they live to HOT another day or be banished to the backstage NOT crying room?
And ah, our celebrity judges. Those so versed in the ways of HOT that they can parse exactly what's NOT with the flickering dot of a laser pointer or an equally scorching barb. Our panel consists of Lorenzo Lamas, "international sex symbol"; Rachel Hunter, supermodel; Randolph Duke, fashion designer.
Lamas is quite obviously striving to fill the Simon Cowell Memorial Meanie role. He's a sex-symbol who, when viewed from certain angles, seems to resemble a cross of a wild turkey and Leona Helmsley. (You know, a Hot, Harley-Riding, Samurai-sword-wielding, Turkey-Helmsley hybrid.) His bonafides in the HOT realm have been proven by causing spontaneous panty moisture in many a Ding-Dong pounding, Falcon Crest devotee haus frau of 20 years past. He's able to hold forth on the HOT of women and men alike with equal aplomb, flaunting a comfort with his sexuality no doubt earned by banging countless Valley waitresses that have mistaken him for Lou Diamond Phillips and who in all probability have never experienced a proper orgasm. And either the show's wardrobe supervisor or Lamas himself is deadly determined to reframe the Renegade biker rebel into an underground gay cigarette ad from the 1950s. In the prelimary HOT rounds, Lamas wears outfits that alternately cast him as the Gay Cowboy, the Gay Bomber Pilot, and the Gay Gold-Rush Miner, an effect unintentioanlly exaggerated in his desire to butch it up for the camera whenever possible (sample line: "Shut up and let me look at you").
Next to the Lamas Outlaw Biker Kendo Hour sits Rachel Hunter, a supermodel whose litmus test results skew slightly more acidic than those of AI's Paula Abdul. She's the lone female voice of HOT. She immediately displays an aversion to the bulked up, Pumping Iron "gorillas," a predilection not entirely unheralded by her aborted marriage to the ancient, doughy Rod Stewart.
Randolph Duke, the least notable of the judges, looks something like a young George Hamilton, but thankfully upholstered in material much less leathery. It's unclear if the men or ladies are catching his eye; he often looks as if he'd get down with someone in stripper-pumps or the ridiculous Jams they've strapped all of the pec-deck meatheads into.
If there's one thing that AYH? proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, it's that the nature of HOT is unpredictable and mysterious. A random sampling of things that are HOT: guys from Rahway, Asian guys whose barbers are obviously inspired by anime, black guys (all deemed HOT at one point or another, though strangely none making the final cut), chicks named Skylar, sunglasses on top of heads. The NOT platter includes strung out bellydancers, guys who hook their thumbs in their pockets, chicks named Skylar (maybe her real name was something like Mildred and Eustice), guys who have asymmetrical shoulders and who cry. Points were deducted for teeth and for having difficulty with the superlative form (blabbing about wanting to be the "most sexiest," "most funnest" or being "most comfortablest" amongst the HOT got you a ticket home on the first Greyhound--and I don't need to tell you what type of person rides the bus). Some who seemed HOT enough to the untrained eye were dismissed. In the end, though, it did seem that somehow HOT did prevail through the machinations of the pagaent: all of the finalists did indeed seem to pass HOT muster.
Tough choices have to be made.
And in the end, I'm glad it's a guy dressed as a Gay Marlboro Smokin' Sailor (outfit to follow in Hot Zone 2) who'll make the HOT call, and not me.
[Make sure and stay tuned Monday as WFOoBH presents its Joe Millionaire Finale Pregame Show!]
Friday, February 14, 2003
This will be my lone tip of the cap to this awful, fake holiday. Enjoy.
Dept. of Corrections
How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days: A Day-by-Day Plan: Revised**
Day 1: Fuck his best friend. Claim you were drunk.
Day 2: Fuck his brother. Claim you were vulnerable.
Day 3: Fuck his ex-girlfriend. Claim you were experimenting.
Day 4: Fuck his dentist. Claim it was the gas.
Day 5: Fuck his sister. Claim you were just making sure.
Day 6: Fuck his stepfather. Claim it was your daddy issues.
Day 7: Fuck his favorite waitress: Claim he was waiting to do it himself anyway,
Day 8: Fuck his mother: Claim you just need to express that side of yourself.
Day 9: Fuck his father: Claim they have the same expressive eyes.
Day 10: Fuck him. Tell him you just got back from his best friend's house.
[**It was pointed out that perhaps the original 10-day Plan was labeled in the wrong order. So I am re-posting this list in the correct order. We regret the error and hope that an acceptable level of hilarity can be salvaged from this oversight.]
The Smoking Palm
Wil Wheaton, one-time star of "Stand By Me" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (and all-star blogger) makes masturbation jokes on discussion thread of popular site Fark.com.
I feel somewhat guilty for posting this, but it struck me as really funny. Not that the famous don't have needs that can be settled on their own terms, but hey. I suppose he could have ordered up that box of Kleenex and a bottle of Lubriderm from the replicator, maybe including a stick of deodorant and some shampoo just to throw everyone off.
Am I Hot? Well, We'll Find Out
Due to unavoidable conflicts involving unchaining myself from the computer and going out to drink in the company of others generally more scantily clad than I, I was unable to watch ABC's Are You Hot? when it was originally broadcast on the West Coast. Rest assured, I will watch it via videotape tomorrow and render the official WFOoBH opinion on this Latest Reality Show Pushing the Boundaries of Good Taste. We're committed to getting down with all that is morally suspect on TV and rolling around in the scraps, cackling loudly as we revel in our own entertaining filth.
In the meantime, you can render your verdict about the relative hotness of this very site.
And it is scorching indeed.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Energy Best Spent Somewhere, Anywhere Else Dept.
Reality television has gone too far. This time, it's MTV that's taken that particular envelope and pushed it right underneath the door of all that is good and holy, never to be seen again.
I'm talking about the series Crib Crashers, in which design giant Todd Oldham renovates the humble living spaces of music fans to look somewhat like the lavish, mega-tricked-out pads of the fabulously wealthy. They made some rocker dude's little garage pad look a little like Tommy Lee's bacchanalian-deathtrap rumpus room. They took some beach dude's lame little apartment and made it look like the lame Mexican beachfront has-been pad of Sammy Hagar, complete with bar stocked with the trough-distilled pigsweat tequila that the (cough) Red Rocker is obsessed with (he writes songs about it, he started a company to make it, he probably brushes his teeth with it and puts it in the dog dish). They made another homey-dude's place into a "fly" Nelly-style crib, complete with a ludicrous number of television screens.
That stuff is wonderful. A TV show that makes superfan-dudes with a limited ability to breathe through their noses happy and gasping for breath when the big reveal happens (sample reaction: [pregnant silence, then] "Doooood..........doood. Dude..... I can't..... You guys are the best) is a fine idea and will no doubt help sell more Creed records.
But like I said, this time they've gone too far. On the episode that aired tonight, singer Nick Lachey of C-level boyband 98 Degrees is having the crib that he shares with wife/C-level Britney clone Jessica Simpson transformed by the network that briefly propped up their ephemeral success. They've taken away the "Ohmygod doooooood" moment of the show and replaced it with two semicelebs scrambling to regain a flash of MTV airplay. (Sample reaction: "Todd Oldham did a nice job, but I'm going to get P. Diddy's guy to turn this shit out once he leaves.) There's no sense of wonder. There were no kids with greasy hair and unironic Tesla T-shirts stumbling in on a surprise their overloaded, feeble mental wiring renders as something like awe and appreciation. There were no posin' playas lost in the 'burbs reflexively grabbing at their crotches, covering their mouths, and fighting back tears in front of their boys.
Over the years, MTV has taken many things from me and my peers, the first "MTV generation" (for starters: endless hours of time, our attention spans, and, well, music videos).
And now the Crib Crashers money shot's gone.
Advice for the Determinedly Lovelorn Section
"How to Lose A Guy" is No. 1 movie
How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days: A Day-by-Day Plan
Day 10: Fuck his best friend. Claim you were drunk.
Day 9: Fuck his brother. Claim you were vulnerable.
Day 8: Fuck his ex-girlfriend. Claim you were experimenting.
Day 7: Fuck his dentist. Claim it was the gas.
Day 6: Fuck his sister. Claim you were just making sure.
Day 5: Fuck his stepfather. Claim it was your daddy issues.
Day 4: Fuck his favorite waitress: Claim he was waiting to do it himself anyway,
Day 3: Fuck his mother: Claim you just need to express that side of yourself.
Day 2: Fuck his father: Claim they have the same expressive eyes.
Day 1: Fuck him. Tell him you just got back from his best friend's house.
Frenchie Got Fingered
American Idol contestant booted for porn past
The Smoking Gun has outed another FOX reality-show contestant with a kinky skeleton in her closet. This isn't quite so innocent as the dirty-soled, tied-up antics of everyone's favorite greedy Joe contestant. The plus-sized (let's throw in another plus for good measure) Idol-wannabe was all sorts of naked, pretending to be underage, and, uh, making nice with herself for "Daddy." You know, flicking the bean. Buffin' the muffin. Rubbin' the nubbin. We could go on. OK, one more: Genital stimulation via phalangetic motion.
We yearn for the simple times of reality-show scandal, back when Darva didn't like Rick because of that silly restraining order and the toilet in his front yard. Those were the days. Though, in a related note, Rick is probably taking care of his own business these days.
"Oscar" is a Registered Trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dept.
AMPAS Announces Nominations for the 75th Annual Academy Awards
To insure that black actors will not win Oscars in consecutive years, this year the Academy nominated Queen Latifah as Best Supporting Actress
In keeping with its reputation as the leading source of timely and accurate information about the world of entertainment, WFOoBH presents its brief Production Notes for each of the five films nominated for Best Picture.
"Chicago": Actually filmed on location in several Pizzeria Uno locations nationwide...Catherine Zeta-Jones is not actually 34 years old as she claims, but rather 58 and from the moon rather than Wales...Renee Zellweger managed her second Oscar nomination despite not gaining twenty-five pounds for the role.
"Gangs of New York": To lend gritty authenticity to the massive sets built for the film, Martin Scorcese only hired Irish immigrants who had not bathed since the Draft Riots of 1863 to lie about and swill homemade ales...Daniel Day Lewis prepared for his Oscar-nominated turn as Bill the Butcher by spending five months in the company of people named Bill...Leonardo DiCaprio proved himself to be just one of the guys by treating the entire Italian crew to pedicures.
"The Hours": Named "Ultimate Chick Flick of 2002" by Your Balls in Her Purse Magazine...due to long hours on the set and in each other's company, the menstrual cycles of Nicole Kidman and Jullianne Moore synchronized, while Meryl Streep merely pretended that hers also fell into step; Streep entered menopause in 2001...Streep regularly flexed her chameleonic acting prowess by portraying Kidman's prosthetic nose in Virginia Woolf sections of the film.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers": Upon hearing of his LOTR films being nominated for Best Picture for the second consecutive year, director Peter Jackson drove to the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, CA to personallly kick George Lucas in the ass and to tauntingly shave the "Star Wars" auteur's beard with a pink Lady Schick...Sean Astin shared daily anecdotes about his feet actually being hairy since his apperance in "The Goonies"...Viggo Mortensen somewhat defensively recounted his triumph in his "G.I. Jane" fight scenes with Demi Moore around the craft services table, begrudgingly lauding the efficacy of Moore's left hook and massive fake breasts..
"The Pianist": Is not the story of famed composer Marvin Hamlisch's guest-hosting turn on The Muppet Show...takes radical stance within the entertainment community that the Holocaust was bad...director Roman Polanski is still wanted in the United States for a statutory rape conviction and is considered a fugitive from the law.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Hey Joe, Where You Going With that Vacant Look On Your Face?
We was robbed.. America was robbed. If we want to keep going with this, perhaps the entire universe finds itself, well, robbed.
The folks at Joe Millionaire sat 20 million slack-jawed, rapt Americans in front of their TV sets and gave us the dreaded clip show. Instead of fresh drama, new and shocking dumb-guy revelations, and straight-off-the-shelf cattiness, we were served up a serires of flashbacks, like we were watching A Very Special Episode where Alex and Mallory sit around the Good Old Kitchen and reminisce about all the wackiness that unfolded around the yellowed fridge and breakfast nook..
We was robbed.
To be sure, this blue-balling episode did have its pleasures. Unfortunately, indulging the pleasures of the dreaded clip show are like picking up the trashy-but-good-enough gal by the jukebox, bringing her home, getting knocked on the head, and feeling that woozy-making deja-vu as you sidle up to the same Wurlitzer a week later and compliment her on her selection of that great Foghat song . Occasionally, we'd get what seemed to be a fresh shot of Evan gaping blank-faced like a clock with the numbers rubbed clean then realize that we'd already pointed and laughed and remarked about how slow Our Favorite Big Lug seemed to be on the uptake. There was the same litany of Freudian slips made all the more deliciously Freudian by their utter incomprehensibility to the smooth gray matter that let them fly. There was the endless supply of "I don't know's" to any question requiring the aforethought of anything with an attention span greater than that of your developmentally disabled fruitfly. There were the same old dagger glances cast across the ladies' bedroom that seemed always on the verge of erupting into the greatest pillow-fight ever captured on film. We were even thrown the delicious, ratty, old rawhide strips of Mellissa M. in the hot tub and a reprise of the World's Most Suggestive Subtitles. But this wasn't enough. This was nothing.
This was a Twilight Zone episode of causal viewer cruelty, where at the end we could half-expect stately butler Paul Hogan to calmly announce that we were bad people that don't deserve to know whom Evan is going to pick and flip us a classily white-gloved bird. FOX's favorite Jeeves one-upped that feverish nightmare by taunting us with a teaster about a big twist in next week's series finale. A finale which is SEVEN. LONG. DAYS. AWAY.
Fuck FOX and their reality crack, leaving us to twitch in anticipation of the big finish, when either conniving Sarah or probably-conniving-but-much-better-about-it Zora are gonna get their just desserts, and the back of the hand that's going to be served our 19K jackhammer boy by the deceived object of his affection.
Fuck me, fuck us all for not tucking away the currency of our attention in our shoes as we walked through the seediest part of the television neighborhood, hooting and hollering about how sweet life seems on payday. We all asked for this. And we'll get it a long week from now.
Oh, Come On
Really now. You've absoultely gotta be kidding me.
Monday, February 10, 2003
Like Hitting a Beachball with an Oversized Tennis Racquet Whilst Shooting Dead Koi in a Barrel Dept.
London marketers to advertise on foreheads
Yeah, here it comes...
[Whistle go wooooo...]
New Poll Time
Everyone's least favorite feature has finally been updated after several weeks of crunchy, Wesley Snipes goodness.
You have no say as to whether or not we go and blow up a bunch of people in the Middle East, so why not click a little circle in a place where your opinion matters?
[You love it when I get political. I know you do.]
Finally, a Hero for These Uncertain Times--OR--
I Don't Need Nothin' When Shit Like This Happens
Brazilian Mayor found safe after three-day brothel drinking spree
An endless stream of supermodels, fried plantains, and now this.
More irrefutible evidence of how Brazil is going to one day dominate the planet, and why I am going to be the first one in line wearing the sandwich board proclaiming, "Faša exame de me no seu maravilhoso, o bosom que Ú como o creme."
Didn't I Say I Got Nothin'?
Need a Conference Venue? Rent the Entire Country of Liechtenstein
A similar plan was attempted in Poland circa 1939, but went horribly awry when Polish officials didn't refund Adolf Hitler's entire deposit for incidentals. History was made over a minibar, three overpriced jars of macadamia nuts, a lukewarm Diet Coke, and an uppity front-desk clerk.
[I just like writing that.]
Sunday, February 09, 2003
I Got Nothin' Special Fold-Out Section
Five Pick-Ups Lines Designed to Bewilder the Object of Your Affection
1. "You are hotter than Marvin Gaye in a bathtub with a curling iron."
2. "Two ankles. Everything seems to be in order."
3. "Last night I wiped the corner of my mouth with the most erotic paper napkin imaginable."
4. "Pick-up lines don't work, so instead I bought you a pony ride when you were eight years old."
5. "I'm at a loss for words, so instead of striking out with you I'm going to go back and tell my friends that I just
decided that I'm gay." [Does not work if one is actually gay.]
Thursday, February 06, 2003
The Inevitable Piece on the Removal of All Doubt Regarding the Possibly Criminal Strangeness of One Michael Jackon Dept.
Tonight, American televisions were ablaze with British journalist Martin Bashir's documentary Living with Michael Jackson, his eight-month journey into the heart of darkness that is the Erstwhile King of Pop's daily existence. For his time spent at Neverland Ranch, Bashir will henceforth be known as the Dian Fossey of celebrity freaks.
In the next couple of days, the (understandable) media reaction will be as follows: outrage, bewilderment, a litany of the damning facts picked over in agonizing detail, a call to keep children away from his Xanadu of roller coasters, ferris wheels, and cheap Italian ices. But WFOoBH instead turns its attention towards the misunderstood Jackson, trying put ourselves in the epaulets and bespangled single glove to see Michael's side of things. Then we breathe a sigh of relief and explain how it could have been worse.
Problem: Jackson's three children are very light-skinned. On television, they all appear to be Caucasian.
Michael Jackson's Perspective (MJP): The huge-hearted popster would love the children even if they were plaid and entirely covered in fur like those wolf-children in Mexico, just as long as they were healthy.
It Could Have Been Worse (ICHBW): Jackson's children could have been covered in cactus needles, making them difficult to embrace and imperil on German balconies.
Problem: MJ drapes the children's heads with towels and veils when they appear in public, even when he's feeding infant son.
MJP: The children's privacy must be protected at all costs; tiny suits of armor submerged in rolling tanks of piranha are on back-order.
ICHBW: MJ could cover his brood entirely in tinfoil with tafetta accents and hit them with wiffle ball bats just to hear their "natural music."
Problem: His nickname for youngest son Prince Michael II is "Blanket."
MJP: MJ loves the blankets that he hid under while Tito and Marlon double-teamed a procession of eager groupies.
ICHBW: His youngest son could have been nicknamed for another item from MJ's childhood bedroom, and forever been known as "Ball-gag."
Problem: Arranged for surrogate mother to produce third child.
MJP: It was a mutually beneficial business arrangement that made both parties richer in their own way.
ICHBW: Did not sell third child on eBay black market to finance acquistion of skeleton of Billy Barty. Barty's skeleton was purchased long ago by Terence Trent D'arby.
Problem: Goes to casino shopping mall and offhandedly ignites million-dollar shopping spree.
MJP: It's really hard to spend a million dollars in an afternoon without overspending on enormously tacky Ming vases.
ICHBW: Could have purchased entire casino and filled it with hungry, red-assed baboons.
Problem: Multiple and unnecessary plastic surgeries have left MJ's face nearly unrecognizable from its 1978 state, while claiming only two surgeries on nose.
MJP: Actually had only two surgeries, each in fifty-eight discrete stages.
ICHBW: Could have had shameful Jackson Five face completely removed and replaced with that of friend and fellow high-singer Andy Gibb.
Problem: Favorite activity is climbing trees; asserts that bulk of songwriting takes place in branches of "Giving Tree."
MJP: Did not fling feces from safe perch at top of tree.
ICHBW: Could have attempted a normal, healthy, adult sexual relationship with female while whistling though nose-hole and hanging out with llamas.
Problem: Dangled baby from Munich balcony; children nearly trampled by fan-stampede at French zoo.
MJP: A born entertainer, MJ has to give the fans what they want, even if that entails the most important thing in his life being crushed underfoot.
ICHBW: Did not attempt to boil his children in giant cauldron and toss bones to adoring legion of fans.
A Measure of My Illness
Since this site's unholy birth in May of 2002, WFOoBH has published 47,942 words. When the entire text* of this site is pasted into a standard, 12-point Times New Roman MS Word document, it spans 167 pages.
[*This number does not include the text of the polls, nor does it account for jokes used more than once. After this adjustment, the document is 357 words that fit on a single page in Wordpad.]
Newz Flazh: So Much for "Best in Show II"
USA Network spays Joe Garagiola: out as host of Westminster Dog Show
Poor, affable, canine-unknowledgable Joe G. got a ticket on the red rocket like a Shar-pei mounted by an Alsatian.
All Atwitter, All the Time
The documentary where Jacko proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has indeed lost all contact with the fragile thing we call reality airs tonight at 8PM on ABC.
I'm so excited that I nearly stood up today.
The Death of Romance Section
ABC's Second Bachelor says engagement is off
My faith in humanity shaken, my belief in storybook endings rent in two, I turn the tatters of my hope back towards the last beacon of hope: Tom and Nicole.
Just One More Thing...
If you read this blog, why not take a second and write a quick review? Help me catch more random, surfing victims in my evil sway.
Ad It Up, the Sequel Dept.
You've seen that Verizon commercial? Yeah, that one where the sensitive guy with the guitar is thinking that his girlfriend (or ex, the backstory isn't really clear; after all, this is a 30-second commercial--let's just say for the sake of argument he fucked her best friend.) He's all torn up inside. The Girl won't return any of his calls...she's screening him with the answer machine. She's not replying to his emails. He's taking a bath with his guitar, because the only way to shake the kinda blues he's got is to strap on his six string and let the Calgon take him away, wondering if there's any way he can get off by jamming his member into the axe's sound hole. But he's beyond even the restorative power of Mr. Bubbles. Running through the background of all this wrenching heartache is a beautifully Muzaked version of "All I Need is a Miracle," sung by some recording journeyman whose last gig was undoubtedly a very heartfelt rendition of "Summer of '69" at the third wedding of a Toledo receptionist and her plumbing-supply salesman groom. At the end of his romantic rope and needing a fresh approach for his borderline-stalking behavior, he goes to one of those novelty photo booths and takes just the most darling tiny little pictures of himself, his puppydog eyes pleading to be let out of the backyward and into the house. Then he puts them pictures on a piece of paper and faxes them to The Girl. All previous forms of communication have met a heroically unflinching wall of I-Dumped-Your-Cheating-Ass resolve. But the fax catches her off guard, and she's moved to sprint off through a monsoon to throw her lips back into the face of Mr. Guitar and His Multimedia Assault of I'm Sorry. Off-camera, just as James Earl Jones is proclaiming something about Verizon changing our lives for the better, the reuinited-and-it-feels-so-good couple are engaged in a sweaty bout of make-up coitus, with her trying extra hard not to think about whether or not her best friend's breath smells like his cock. He's thinking, "I gotta remember to thank the Staples clerk for that fax machine trick."
You've seen it?
Yeah, I fucking hate that commercial.
But I cry every time.
I Found a Tiny Bib in the Back Seat Special
Two charged with practicing glue dentistry in back of Honda
This just goes to prove my theory: any procedure that begins with the words, "Just get in the back of my Accord" and ends with "don't worry, the superglue will probably hold," is probably not endorsed by the American Dental Association.
[Probably. There's always that mysterious Fifth out of Five Dentists to contend with.]
Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology Section
Elle MacPherson gives birth to baby boy
Immediately upon birth, newborn Aurelius Cy Andrea Busson issued this statement through his neonatal publicist: "I have already decided that I am going to pursue a gay lifestyle. After passing though my supermodel mother's birth canal, all female genitalia is henceforth going to seem awfully anticlimactic."
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Dept. of Sand Traps and Disturbed Eternal Slumber
If you have a bad day at golf, under no circumstances should you beat a caddy to death with your nine-iron. It's considered poor ettiquette, and you might anger the spirits of the dead Injuns from the ancient burial ground the golf course is built on.
[The funny thing here is that I found the link to the article after I wrote this nonsense. You can really find anything on the web.]
[Whistle go woo.]
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Laughing All the Way to the World Series Dept.
I NEVER link outside to humor pieces, especially for the comedy Evil Empire, but this time I'll make an exception:
Yankees Ensure 2003 Pennant by Signing Every Player in Baseball
The Whistle Go WOOOOO Special
Bubb Rubb. Feel me. Take a listen of the Bubb Rubb song, "Ghetto Hooptie Woo."
Learn more about Bubb Rubb.
Live by Bubb Rubb's example, and heed the exhortations of Lil Sis, for the end is nigh.
You better tell somebody.
Requiem for a Customer Service Rep
I come here to bury Melissa M,. not to praise her.
OK, maybe I come here to praise her a little.
Melissa M., the frazzle-haired, 24-year-old customer service vixen of Joe Millionaire, was voted off by hunk/world's worst-remunerated construction worker/world's worst liar Evan Marriott. In tonight's episode, Evan instead opted for the continuing company of Sara, fetish model and sales associate, and Zora, the improbably-named substitute teacher and also sometime model.
Oh, Melissa M., we hardly knew ye. Or perhaps we started to get to know you too well. We know that you can't cook a lick, stumped by any culinary feat with a degree of difficulty north of the chopped salad. We know that you confuse the word "mercenary" with "missionary," a primetime Freudian slip as memorable as any since, well, since Evan asked Zora "Did you get that breast in Paris?" while presumably trying to compliment her stunning evening gown with the precipitous-like-the-cliffs-of-Dover neckline.
Ah, Melissa M. You sensed the end, didn't you? We'd like to think so, as you noted that the vibe between you and Evan was becoming more and more filial as the time wore on, as your concerns about romance slipping away were cleverly intercut with Evan sharing a story of tragic foot fungus and the emergency efficacy of Super Glue in the treatment of lacerations. These conversations do not a happy ending make. But you gamely gave it the proverbial college try (did we go to college?), slicing off a little piece of leg for the gam-obsessed lunkhead to drool over here, dropping a little cleavage into his dim sightline there. (Whoa, where did those come from? Oh yes, there was a sneak preview in last week's hot tub.) And, finally, in your desire to empty the chamber of your competitive six-shooter, you offered to inspect the hotel suite's Posturepedic to make sure all the "Do not remove these under penalty of law" tags were intact, no doubt in fear of what the French jailhouse philosophers would do to our heroically unreflective hero.
We can say this for Melissa M.: she knew what she wanted and she went for it full-steam ahead even as the red convertible of Fifteen Minutes of Fame tumbled into the chasm of reality-TV oblivion. She sleeps with the Gervases now.
[Someone around here referred to the female contestants on the show as "greedy sluts who are getting what's coming to them." But over the course of the last month, haven't the ladies been humanized for us with their hopes, their dreams, their (crocodile) tears? Are the dollar signs in their eyes not exceeded by the capaciousness of their hearts? Haven't we all started to pull for them a little, if not to win the Pyrrhic prize then to at least shuffle off with some dignity intact?]
[Of course, none of this applies to MoJo. She's creepy.]
Monday, February 03, 2003
Yeah, it's not funny. Yeah, I usually don't do this. But go here to read a fantastic, comprehensive article on the music industry and the future of file-sharing.
[If the link doesn't work, try this one.]
Sunday, February 02, 2003
[WFOoBH apologizes for the previous post. We know that we can't bring that weak-ass stuff up in this humpy-bumpy. But now we know that if we kill the joe, we make so mo'. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.]
[But hey, did you check out the new blue brackets?]
Kingpin: it sure ain't no Sopranos.
[Is it really necessary for actors to put on exaggerated Scarface accents for viewers to register that they're supposed to be Latino?]
[It goes without saying that I don't think they can tell the difference between Cubans and Mexicans. Let's fight one battle at a time, OK?]
[The next thing you know, you'll be expecting me to educate Americans on the difference between the Koreans and the Japanese when the Sopranos knockoff about the Asian triads comes rolling down the network pike.]
[But it is nice seeing Brian Benben getting some work.]
[The great thing about the Web is that I can throw a link on an obscure name, like, say...a Brian Benben, or a Pirmin Zurbriggen, and someone can click on it and I get to avoid the smarty-pants, referential Dennis Miller/David Foster Wallace thing. Instead, I can be metareferential by calling attention to DM/DFW. I'm so fucking meta that I can't stand it as I sit here commenting on all the narrative tricks that I'm half-winklingly using.]
[Dennis Miller or David Foster Wallace fans who are upset that I lumped them together: please direct all complaints to John Cheever.]
Saturday, February 01, 2003
WFOoBH is proud to announce a usability and design upgrade launched today, intended to make your experience on this site more satisfying. The brackets (a distinctive feature in the overall site design) surrounding the links to the Bunsen FAQ and to the feedback e-mail address have been changed from white to blue. This enhancement is meant to create a more consistent and pleasing user interface, as the "curtains" of the links now perfectly match the "drapes" of the site title. WFOoBH's design committee, in league with the Web's top subliminal marketing consulting firm, determined that this change will subconsciously increase the site's ease of use by fourteen percent per page view and postively impact reader satisfaction by a whopping twenty-one percent per page view. This change will not negatively impact the quality of the site's content (heretofore referred to as "Crap.") The Crap published on this site on a near-daily basis will be of the same questionable utility, the same dubious entertainment value, the same overall degree of moral turpitude. However, the new feature will make the Crap seem vaguely more pleasing and relevant. After reading the Crap in a new post, a temporary (though minimal) euphoria will overtake the reader -- for example: the morning coffee will seem to have slightly more bite, a tuna-salad sandwich will seem to have just the right amount of mayonnaise, auditory sensations will momentarily seem to have color. The letter 'e' (lower-case only) may seem to be a friendly smile (in certain instance, the site's typeface may seem to rearrange itself in a fashion analogous to the "Chinese fire drill" popularized in the 1970s). The reader should not be disturbed by any of these augmented sensations; in fact, the reader should merely surrender to the new, improved experience of WFOoBH and let the Crap work its peculiar alchemy.