The Greatest Blog In the World

Thursday, August 28, 2003

 

MTV VMA's, IMHO: OMG



Like a man in his late fifties wearing a Member's Only jacket and sitting in the bleachers eating popcorn at a girl's high school soccer game, I tuned into this year's celebration of all things MTV, the Video Music Awards. The VMA's are MTV's time to wake from a year of napping through its youth culture-making machinery, stretch its arms, and in a move incredibly limber for someone its age, lean just far enough forward to take a mouthful of its own cock. And just like someone gifted enough to perform the golden feat of autofellatio, MTV never feels the need to step out of its own living room and taste the outside world.

Don't get me wrong; I've spent many an afternoon on the delicious brink between giving myself a blowjob for the ages and a lifetime of spine-snapping paralysis staring at the carrot-on-a-stick that put me there. The VMA's are just my cup of tea.

And even though the show's a predictably loud awards show spectacle, there were some genuinely surprising moments among the shout-outs, the thank-you-Jesus's, and the artfully executed lip-syncs:

--The much-ballyhooed three-way kiss between Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Like a Virgin" is overshadowed mere minutes later by a surprise onstage golden shower party thrown by the reunited members of Menudo.

--Justin Timberlake accepts a surprising Lifetime Achievement Award solely for describing the sexual experience that claimed Britney Spears' coveted maidenhead. His somewhat clinical description of "rupturing her hymen" is believed to be the first use of that phrase on "Total Request Live" since Jerry Lee Lewis demonstrated the devirginizing of his 13-yr-old cousin-bride on the top of a baby grand to the shock of original TRL host Ed Sullivan.

--"Newlyweds" stars Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey labor through a tired comedy bit in which they read from their prenuptial agreement. After some forced laughter at the skit's conclusion, Lachey whispers heavily into the microphone, "If you ever leave me, I will kill you and then myself, I don't care about the cameras."

--Hip-hop sensation 50 Cent puts to bed one of gangsta rap's greatest rivalries when he serves high tea to Ja-Rule. Ja solidifies the end of bad blood by sucking on 50's toes.

--Chaos briefly erupts as Video Vanguard crackpot Michael Jackson highjacks the microphone from host Chris Rock to unleash a plague of enraged llamas on the unsuspecting crowd. Disaster is averted and casualties kept to a minimum when pop-punk stalwarts Good Charlotte stop their rampage, but the entire band later expires from wounds suffered in the melee. They are replaced on the bill by an all-star tribute to Good Charlotte fronted by Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osborne, who choke back tears dueting on "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous."

--A divatastic tribute to Bob Hope's brain, suspended above the stage in a giant vat of formaldehyde (tastefully decorated by MTV style homo Todd Oldham) includes solos by Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, and the ghost of Ethel Merman. Unfortunately, the Merman apparition suffers a bout of laryngitis and her soaring rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" is cut short. [Congratulations to this item for scoring two Bunsen clichés (though we prefer to call them tropes) for its use of Bob Hope's brain and a "ghost of" joke.]

--No MTV coverage would be complete without a mention of Carson Daly, who is bloated, vanilla, and the only person to have seen as much talentless, drapes-don't-match-the-curtains, hot alocholic actress action as yours truly. Shout out to my man Carson, woooooo!



Wednesday, August 27, 2003

 

New FAQ City



Each and every day, thousands of my regular readers complain that they don't know anything about me. You've been reading me for years, you say, but lack any real insight into who Bunsen is.

Don't I give enough to you people? If I weren't getting paid in the seven figures for the things I write in this space I would say that you are extremely spoiled and apply a stiff-wristed smack across your naughty, naughty bottoms. Unless, of course, you are a naughty man, in which case I am so secure in my heterosexuality that I feel no need to spank you and will let you off with a stern, chiding look.

So for now, you'll have to settle for reading a new FAQ.

Enjoy the new insights that this will bring to you, the longtime reader/fan, and you, the wonderfully lucky user of a search engine.



Tuesday, August 26, 2003

 

If I Say I Have a Dream, Will You Be There When I Wake Up?



Auction juggernaut Sotheby's announced that they will be showing a huge collection of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr's* private papers and then placing the 7,000 item lot up for sale.

Apparently, King was a fastidious chronicler and the collection of his extemporaneous writings reveal new and exciting facts about the man and his world, some of which I may or may not list below:

--lived under a fog of existential dread that he would not survive long enough to own a TiVo

--wife Coretta Scott-King's pet name for him was "My Little Dour, Driven Civil Rights Pioneer"

--carried on a secret, torrid, long-time correspondence with Marilyn Monroe conducted in a da Vinci-like mirror writing, which thoroughly confused King, who'd always preferred Jayne Mansfield

--once had a late-night pow-wow with Suge Knight that "coincidentally" took place the night before Malcolm X was shot

--had once sketched plans for a Neverland-style ranch on the back of a series of Birmingham diner cocktail napkins

--originally coined the catchphrases of black sitcom giants Jimmy J.J."Dyno-mite!" Walker and Haywood "Hey hey hey" Nelson while smoking peyote with Medgar Evers

--predicted that "wiseass suburban whiteboy will run out of civil rights giants to list and resort to a joke name-checking Rosa Parks"

--complained that Rosa Parks let her fame get to her head and took to wearing extravagant costumes displaying the message "My ass drops 10/14 on Montgomery Local Line" in huge rhinestones

--briefly ran a financial conglomerate as the dupe in a bet by two good ol' boy white businessmen, but ironically did a better job running their company than they did, wound up besting them in the end, and left them penniless on the streets of Manhattan

--never really understood all the hoopla about J. Lo's ass

(*Incidentally, if Hollywood ever gets its act together and makes a movie about this guy, I hereby nominate Eriq Lasalle, the finest African-American actor not named Denzel Cheadle, to play the lead.)


Monday, August 25, 2003

 

Don't Make Me Fire Up Total Fucking Victory Again




Who do we have to invade to get gas down to under two bucks a gallon in California?

Good thing I have my gold gas card to get me through these trying times.


 

Mondays are for Lovers



The "dog days" of summer have set in, and this weekend they officially humped the living shit out of the leg of Hollywood's box office.

But the fact that audiences stayed away from the multiplex in proverbial droves won't stop me from revealing the secrets behind this weekend's box office results.

No. 1: "Freddy vs. Jason"
The Big Secrets: Horror boogeyman super-project actually started as buddy cop action-comedy starring Fred "Rerun" Berry and Jason Bateman (reprising his role as "Teen Wolf, Too"). The film's second week at the top of the box office has led to the development of a slew of other "Vs." movies:
--"Eddie Murphy vs. The First Ten Years of His Career"
--"Ashton's Quick Trigger vs. Demi's Osteoporosis"
--"The Tip of Bunsen's Manhood vs. The Back of Anna Kournikova's Throat"
--"Bunsen vs. Celebrity Cease-and-Desist Letters"
--"References to Lame, Kitsch-value 80's Sitcom Stars in a Buddy Cop Movie vs. Actually Being Funny"

No. 2: "S.W.A.T."
The Big Secrets: Irish wild boy Colin Farrell's sexual conquests of the cast and crew ended only after a drunken escapade in which he mistook the craft service table for Michelle Rodriguez in a Carmen Miranda fruit hat... Interestingly, Farrell can now only achieve erection inside of a phone booth... Samuel L. Jackson collects pewter spoons commemorating the 50 states -- which he uses to kill drifters in his down time between scenes.

No. 3: "Open Range"
The Big Secrets: Costner begged the studio to allow him to make a Western about a gunslinging postman. The studio balked, but Costner relented when they worked out a deal with the USPS to allow the star to hand-deliver two million letters to Santa Claus this holiday season... I have not ridden a horse since a horrible dude ranch accident that left me feeling physically inadequate, even though I understand intellectually that I shouldn't be comparing myself to enormous animals.

No. 4: "Freaky Friday"
The Big Secrets: The latest body-swapping movie is having trouble escaping the huge shadow cast by the Fred Savage/Judge Reinhold classic "Vice Versa"... I'm still wondering when I missed the movie where Jamie Lee Curtis switched bodies with a saggy, middle-aged housewife... There would be a bit where I list other "body-swapping" movies in development, but I think the "vs." list above pretty much put that one to bed, and I will spare you a joke in which I suggest a movie in which I switch bodies with Jennifer Connelly and then sit around looking at myself naked in the mirror all day.

No. 5: "The Medallion"
The Big Secrets: I've never even heard of this latest Jackie Chan release, but it's apparent that the American heartland can't get enough of a Chinese with limited grasp of the English language wreaking some comedic chop-socky havoc... Chan is famous for his Elvis impression; rival newcomer Jet-Li is renowned for his gallery of vintage, erotic Liberace photography.

And at the bottom of the list...
No. 10: "My Boss's Daughter"
The Big Secrets: Constant on-set battles over proper possessive punctuation rules for the word "Boss's" between Ashton Kutcher and New York Times language guru William Safire... Boozy ingenue Tara Reid promised not to vomit up her daily pitcher of Sex on the Beach cocktails until the wrap party, a vow she dutifully kept for the first two days of shooting... The long-shelved movie was originally intended to be the first "straight to the back page of a Hello Kitty diary" release.

No number: "Marci X"
The Big Secret: Lisa Kudrow, as a member of the cast of "Friends," is not funny... Took in less on a per-screen average than a Santa Monica Boulevard gay porn theater jizzmopper (and not in one of the classy places, either).


Friday, August 22, 2003

 

A Note On the Past Week



This web site will have been on a somewhat abbreviated publishing schedule this week. I thank you in retrospect for your continuing support and undying loyalty to The Greatest Blog in the World. Bunsen Preferred Members should have watched their mailboxes this week for their Jose Cuervo and Mrs. Fields gift baskets. My enemies (and they are legion) should have scanned their computers for the Blaster worm, which should have served as a warning for complaining about my abbreviated publishing schedule. If these worms had done any lasting damage, I will have disavowed any knowledge and blamed the sabotage on such internet blogging evils such as Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan.

An abbreviated week, but wow, what a week it was. Remember Tuesday? Man, that was a day... (Note: Your computer screen may become wavy as we descend into reverie.)

I took my hand off the toilet handle. "Indy, we've gotta do something about this blackout."

"I was thinking of doing something. Shouldn't I fly my helicopter over there and, you know, start rescuing people stranded on the top of skyscrapers without power?"

"Don't be stupid."

"Well, what then?" said Ford, then breathed loudly through his nostrils.

"Two words: blackout party. We're gonna turn off all the lights and play flashlight tag!"


Man, that was something, that Tuesday.

It's almost enough to make me a little nostalgic for a spectacular Hump Day screed on a certain hack magician, when I challenged him to... (Did it suddenly get blurry with sepia tones in here?)

...ten consecutive sexual encounters with Fiona Apple without even once imagining that we're copulating with a skeleton


Those were the days. Thursday's a little hazy. Maybe if I concentrate for just a second I'll remember what happened as the weekend crept closer... (You know the drill...why is everything in black and white?)

SO DONE: Celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal semiautobiographical nonblogging
OVER IT: Winking, celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal, semiautobiographical nonblogging
WHATEVER, NEXT: Masturbating to a picture of Jennifer Connelly and what's-his-name, with a picture of a certain celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal, semiautobiographical nonblogger's head sloppily taped over what's-his-name's face


Oh, yeah. The usual thing.

Happy Friday, my little children!


Thursday, August 21, 2003

 

Whatever, Next Dept.



No matter how many times I refuse to return their phone calls and callously toss aside their fly-away subscription cards, the folks at Vanity Fair find me. Once again they demand that I provide them with the ultimate guide to what's So Done, "It's" that we're over, and whatever's marching down the pipe, screaming until it captures our attention.

The following is a preview of what Vanity Fair managed to beat out of me, thus changing the course of pop-culture and world events in the coming weeks.

SO DONE: California Recall Election
OVER IT: Schwarzenegger Candidacy
WHATEVER, NEXT: Lou Ferrigno solves CA budget crisis by selling miracle "Ab Pulverizer"

SO DONE: R. Kelly
OVER IT: Kobe
WHATEVER, NEXT: Bob Hope's floating-in-a-jar-of-formaldehyde brain forces itself on the Olsen twins on the night before they're legal

SO DONE: Everybody Loves Raymond actor sick-outs
OVER IT: New Man Show juggies controversies
WHATEVER, NEXT: Matthew Perry threatens to deflate Jennifer Aniston's breasts with a BB gun if someone doesn't get him a BLT with turkey bacon right this second

SO DONE: Extreme Makeover
OVER IT: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
WHATEVER, NEXT: Diana Ross' Maxillofacial Reconstruction and Strap-On Spectacular

SO DONE: Gigli
OVER IT: Uptown Girls
WHATEVER, NEXT: a $200 million still photograph of Ashton Kutcher and Will Smith high-fiving

SO DONE: Suicide Bombings
OVER IT: Liberian Peacekeeping
WHATEVER, NEXT: U.S. uses Canada as organ-farm

SO DONE: Uday and Qusay killed
OVER IT: Chemical Ali captured
WHATEVER, NEXT: Saddam Hussein gets painful sunburn on Bali beach

SO DONE: Garage Rock
OVER IT: Electroclash
WHATEVER, NEXT: Semi-ironic Pots, Pans, and Jugs Bands

SO DONE: Celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal semiautobiographical nonblogging
OVER IT: Winking, celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal, semiautobiographical nonblogging
WHATEVER, NEXT: Masturbating to a picture of Jennifer Connelly and what's-his-name, with a picture of a certain celebrity-obsessed, egomaniacal, semiautobiographical nonblogger's head sloppily taped over what's-his-name's face


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

 

Hegemony Dept.



It has come to my attention that I have finally conquered Google.

A simple search for "Bunsen" now returns this site as the number one result. As you may be aware, Google is the most popular search engine in the universe.

And I am the most popular Bunsen. It was only a matter of time.

Take that, you blind Muppet motherfucker and you, inventor of the Bunsen burner. Your meager contributions to human history have been rendered meaningless.



 

A List of Things


Now That I Have Finally Broken Down and Admitted That Calling a List a List is Probably Not So Bad After All


It's really hard for me to objectively say whether or not my disdain for close-up magician/model-fucker David Blaine stems from my being constantly mistaken for him at parties or a lack of awe at the announcement of his latest stunt. This mix-up isn't so much due to my passing physical resemblance to Blaine as much as it is spurred on by my habit of standing around at parties and stubbing out cigarettes on quarters. So here is:

Tests of endurance to which I will challenge close-up magician/model-fucker David Blaine:

--Spending twenty minutes in the woods with a member of Phish without having our images captured in a Polaroid "art photo"

--44-day suspension in a glass box above the Thames with an intravenous feed of Taco Bell MexiMelts, with a colicky rhesus monkey guarding the adult diaper supply

--Standing in front of the Sacramento Capitol for fifteen consecutive days without declaring candidacy in the recall election (which I am still ignoring)

--Sitting encased in a block of ice for five days playing patty-cake with hotel empress Leona Helmsley while having our every move documented by a crew from E! Entertainment Television

--Ten consecutive sexual encounters with Fiona Apple without even once imagining that we're copulating with a skeleton

--Twenty--four straight hours of doing the close-up magic staple "I got your nose!" with the Special Olympic 100-meter hurdle team without screaming in frustration "Stop laughing! I don't really have your fucking nose!"

--One hour sitting in a room and listening to me wonder aloud as to whether if Ben Affleck's agent ever passed along the t-shirt I had made for him since I have not be deluged in retaliatory, surplus Gigli promotional material


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

 

Turn Out the Lights Dept.



A huge portion of the regular readers of this site expressed concern that when they fired up their favorite web browser, they were left without a fresh post to help them shake off a Garfield-strength case of the Mondays.

Fear not, gentle readers. Bunsen brings you back from the brink of the Tuedays.

I didn't neglect to post and intentionally, cruelly leave the world without interesting, self-obsessed words. I had a nobler purpose. Some of you might not know this, but most of the Northeastern United States was plunged into darkness and medieval chaos when some night-watchman yahoo who'd had one too few Diet Cokes mistook the Don't Touch This Button, It Will Plunge 50 Million People into Darkness and Medieval Chaos But With an Oddly Warm Sense of Community Button with the Button That Turns Up the Volume on Matt Lauer.

Luckily, this man's negligent actions didn't affect the West Coast, where me and my ilk could continue the business of entertaining the people of the world unimpeded by candle-light working conditions. But somehow this didn't seem fair. After I'd done my best to roll in the happy pig-shit of unlimited electricity resources, pangs of guilt began to set in. Why should I have light and Blind Date three times a day and chilled Aste Spumante while people in the world's greatest city sit on stoops, forced to interact on a neighborly level? So I did what I've always done when Guilt takes up extended residence in my poolside guesthouse:

I called Ford.

This wasn't easy, since it had been quite a while since we'd last locked horns.

"Oh, look who's calling now?" he sing-songed in my ear. "What are you going to do, flush the toilet and hang up on me?"

I took my hand off the toilet handle. "Indy, we've gotta do something about this blackout."

"I was thinking of doing something. Shouldn't I fly my helicopter over there and, you know, start rescuing people stranded on the top of skyscrapers without power?"

"Don't be stupid."

"Well, what then?" said Ford, then breathed loudly through his nostrils.

"Two words: blackout party. We're gonna turn off all the lights and play flashlight tag!"

"I am going to do no such thing," he said. "There are people that need help."

"Fine, don't play." My dismissal of his wishes was utterly casual.

"I won't," he said. "I've got to go and run Calista's bath, so if you'll excuse me..."

I let the line go silent for a long moment. Then, with the indifference of a hooker on her fifth trick of the night, I said, "If you are not over here in ten minutes with a flashlight, I'll just walk over to my tote-board and chalk this up as an easy victory in what is becoming an awfully lopsided titan-feud. And I'll write that you didn't show up because you had to run Calista's bath."

I heard only an incredulous "You wouldn't!" as I placed the phone's receiver in its cradle.

Eight minutes later, my door-answering girl responded to an impassioned knock.

Ford was, as they say, in the house.

"So how does this work, exactly?" he asked, pushing past me, clutching the biggest Mag-lite male-impotency totem available on the retail market. I, naturally, used a pen-light.

I explained that on my signal, the basement rumpus-room attendant would flip all the circuit breakers in the house, rendering my Hollywood compound a power-deprived oasis in a desert of excess wattage. I'd loudly count to ten as Ford would scramble through the house and then start the hunt for my blinded supernemesis. He nodded in agreement and absent-mindedly ran his fingers over the Mag-lite, much as a musician touches his strings while pretending to listen to you when all he can think about is the next chord.

"Power!" I yelled. The in-house curator of my acclaimed porcelain tiger collection flinched at the sound, as she'd never heard me yell anything but my own name in the boudoir. The house, like millions a continent away, was plunged into darkness.

"One!" I shouted, listening to Ford's feet scramble over the marble floor. Then, filling my lungs with the predictable air of treachery and poor sportsmanship, yelped "Ten!"

I tore off into the black, confident that I would stumble on no stray obstacles. I'd spent the previous two weeks grappling a severe writer's block (I was down to an anemic ten pages a day) by practicing running at top speed through a darkened house, quickly becoming so adept at navigating without my sight that I'd ask the staff to lay down in doorways when they'd hear me coming.

I had an inkling that Ford would immediately head upstairs, but knowing that he'd think I'd go upstairs to look for him and then countermove by hiding in the basement, I decided to ferret him out in the pantry. The mental chess game was on as I leapt into the pantry with my pen-light ablaze, apprehending only a half-empty box of Bisquick with my beam, my heartbeat thrumming in my ears. I wondered if the foot I thought I'd seen scurry out was a trick of the night; it could have just as easily belonged to my pretend-archaeologist quarry or one of the Twinkie-pilfering help.

"Where exactly do you keep that tote-board?" came a voice from behind me.

Ford.

I knew defeat was nigh as I turned slowly, my vision washed white in the corona of his Mag-lite's beam. I could make out only the silhouette of his leather fedora (a fashion choice I'd always found affected), until he dropped the spotlight slightly and I could see he was feasting on a chicken leg from my refrigerator.

"I'll draw you a bath," I said, shoulders slumped, "and call Calista. Lights!"

The house was restored to its energy-guzzling normalcy, abandoning our brotherhood with our blacked-out compatriots. Televisions buzzed in unoccupied rooms around us.

Ford walked off toward the master bath, twirling the picked-clean legbone in his fingers.

Just as he disappeared around a corner, I turned to my tote-board and carefully marked a line in the Ford column, turned off the lights, then erased it with a swipe of an elbow.

Such wonderful things happen in the dark.


Friday, August 15, 2003

 

A Fair and Balanced List of One, Followed by a Delightfully Fair and Balanced Vignette Starring My Testicles and the Top of a Media Baron's Head



One thing that is more Fair and Balanced than Fox News Channel's reporting:

My balls on top of Rupert Murdoch's head as he serves me a delicious martini, asking me if I think the shine on my left shoe, which he has just spit-polished, is as good as that of my right shoe.

"How's the lawsuit going, Rupee?" I ask him.

"Not quite like as well as we'd hoped. It seems that advocates of free speech have their nuts in a twist over this," he says.

"Speaking of nuts, " I say, "please talk a little softer. Moving your jaw is really making my balls bounce in a most uncomfortable fashion."

"Sorry, sir," he says, softly, freshening my drink. "How long do we have to do this?"

"As long as it takes, my little Rupee," I say, a long ash on the end of my Parliament 100 tumbling onto his shoulder. "As long as it takes."



Thursday, August 14, 2003

 

Dark Days Dept., the Fair and Balanced Way*



Things I've been doing with the ample electricity in my Hollywood compound since discovering that much of the East Coast has been plunged into darkness by an inexplicable blackout:

--getting my life-scale replica Electric Parade out of storage and making my yard the happiest place on earth
--breaking off the "Power Saver" switch on my robot bartender
--blender races
--having sweaty relations with Jennifer Love Hewitt underneath an array of sunlamps
--turning on and off my air conditioner to observe the ebb and flow of my nipples
--trying to unshit myself after finding out the blackout wasn't terror-related
--making fun of "Gigli"
--doing my part in the effort to create a militia of "blackout bastards" in nine months even thought the power's on in LA


[*In solidarity with another Neal Pollack and Blah3-led internet crusade, I'm doing my inestimably huge part in putting a finger in the eye of the litigious News Corp for suing Al Franken for satirizing their favorite slogan.]


 

The Return of the King Dept.




The Bunsen e-mail bag overfloweth.

----------------
From: "Charles Taylor" [exileinguyville-nigeria@hotmail.com]
To: "Bunsen" [lovemail@bunsen.tv]

Dear Old Friend,

By now you have doubtless heard that I have finally left my home of Liberia and my post as President to cast myself into exile to end the civil war in my beautiful homeland. My Nigerian brothers have given me the safe haven of asylum (you should really visit the Lagos Four Seasons, it's really something), but some are demanding that I answer for what they consider my "war crimes."

I'm considering turning myself over to answer these spurious charges, but not before I have answers for a few questions of my own.

Such as, what kind of genocidal madmen decided to give Roseanne and Whoopi Goldberg new television shows? Has the world itself not spoken with one voice that their services in rendering entertainment are no longer needed? Is Roseanne's indication that she would like to once again be referred to by the name "Roseanne Barr" not proof enough that the people should not be subjected to a new offering from her, much less a work of "reality TV" where cameras capture her notorious behind-the-scenes tirades?

Is it not apparent that if I were guilty of the spurious allegations of pressing children into military service, I certainly would not invite a camera crew to document a gift for Amnesty International, that cabal of liars?

Can we not agree that enduring just one more minute of Whoopi's dreadlocks flailing as she pretends to be a fifteen year old "Valley Girl" is an evil born from the same devil that would amputate the limbs of his enemies or rape their women?

Until these questions are answered to my satisfaction, I will bide my time in the barely humanitarian conditions afforded by the heart-shaped hot tub I am having a soak in.

Yours in peace,
Charles Taylor

PS--I kept my word and left Liberia after deciding that the Liz Phair album is a crass grab at the commercial success that has mostly eluded her in her career.

PPS--And I haven't yet come to a decision on declaring my candidacy for the California recall election. I do know that I desire to possess Arianna Huffington carnally and take her as my bride-in-exile.


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

 

Aftermath Dept.



It's been nearly 24 hours since Ben Affleck launched me into late night TV history by quoting one of my bon mots about his box-office disaster Gigli on Monday's Tonight Show.

And my life hasn't been the same since. Affleck's mention of "Bunsen television" has been the biggest boon for my livelihood since Robert Evans called me "the greatest cocksmith that Hollywood has ever seen" in the middle of a coked-up soliloquy on the Dick Cavett show. But just like that tossed-off homage to my handling of the tools of the masculine trade, these things often come with a price.

It all started when I awoke Tuesday morning to the sound of knocking on the door of my Hollywood compound. I'd demised my door-answering girl for the night in a shortsighted, absinthe-fueled haze of generosity after hearing the sweet sound of my name tumble across Affleck's lips. This left me to roll out of bed to answer the door myself. I don't think I'd turned my own doorknob in over a decade, but somehow I puzzled through it to stop the incessant knocking. I opened the door to a stampede of belly dancers flooding into my place, the cacophony of finger-cymbals and spectacle of ample hips slamming into me rendered my confused cries ignored. A note pinned to the navel ring of the lead dancer explained that they were a gift from Matt Damon, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Smith.
Bunsen, Thanks for giving Ben something humble and self-deprecating to say about that mess of a movie. You just may have saved Jersey Girl from certain ruin. If only you'd been around for Daredevil... Enjoy.
PS-- J. Lo is still not speaking to you. She thinks she's bulletproof.

I laughed softly to myself, as Damon knows full well my phobia of finger-cymbals ever since an unfortunate incident in the champagne room of The Seventh Veil (a Middle Eastern-themed skin joint). The sound of the cymbals alone is enough to geld me for a week.

Luckily, the dancing girls brought bagels and schmear, so the morning was not completely ruined. I also thought I recognized former "It Girl" Gretchen Mol hiding behind one of the veils. I didn't want to embarrass either of us by calling attention to her identity.

After I managed to shoo the last of the dancers from my place (do they all have to be so hippy?), I wanted nothing better to collect my thoughts on my place in the Hollywood food-chain in the wake of The Ben Mention in the place where I do my best thinking. But that plan was ruined when I smelled something amiss in my first floor commode/inspiration chamber. Closer inspection revealed that I'd been the victim of the dreaded "upper tanker" and a voicemail on my cellphone claiming responsibility in a badly-disguised girlish titter that could only belong to my supernemesis, Harrison Ford. I groggily remembered that I'd dismissed the entire staff along with the door-answering girl the night before, leaving no one to clean up the mess and providing Ford with an ill-gotten (albeit temporary) win in our Hollywood blood feud. I will leave it to courser Internet destinations than this one to speculate as to the national origin of the cuisine that led to this ephemeral semi-victory.

(This incident reminded me of the time when Ford hired someone to hack into my email account -- surely you didn't think the simple part-time carpenter understands how to get his AOL mail, much less initiate a computer breach, did you? -- and sent messages to Jessica Alba in my name declaring that I wish I'd gotten to her when she was 15. Dr. Jones is nothing if not a dirty pool player.)

I thought I might go for a drive to clear my head of the mischief my sudden incremental burst of Ben-induced celebrity had visited upon me. But I found all four tires on my Tuesday car (decorum dictates I withhold the make) had been relieved of air pressure. Another note.
You didn't really think that I found that shit funny did you? Jennifer is firing my publicist as we speak for allowing me to emasculate myself in front of that anvil-headed, squeaky-throated panderer. Take your third-rate, Kimmel-monologue Gigli joke and walk yourself down the hill to get yourself some fresh air for your tires. See you at The Standard tonight. Your pal, Ben

And this after I'd had my people rush him the famous "Bunsen made fun of my box office disappointment and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" T-shirt after he stepped off the Leno stage, redeemed.

I decided that maybe I'd relax in bed and catch some Dr. Phil with the basket of cookies and brownies that Ben's agent had sent me in thanks for helping to show off Ben's lighter side. But in the chaos of the day's events I'd briefly forgotten that I'd left one of Ben's comely PR flaks, on loan from San Francisco to stanch the Gigli bloodletting, collapsed in an exhausted heap on the waterbed after a heroic evening of Ride the Crossover Internet Celebrity Writer. There'll be no Dr. Phil and snickerdoodles this day, I thought, as I left her softly snoring.

Sigh.

Can a man with a suddenly-elevated industry profile ever know peace? I suppose that's my particular burden to ponder on this day after Ben Dropped the Bunsen Bomb.


 

Afflecked Dept.



The following post was quoted by Ben Affleck himself Monday night on The Tonight Show...

So enjoy it again, for the very first time.

This, of course, demands the following bit of incredulity:

Ben Affleck can read?!?

[Ahh, another cheap shot in the spirit of the original post.]

Easy Like Sunday Morning Dept.



My inbox has been flooded with breathless requests for me to creatively ridicule this weekend's box-office failure of Gigli. It's never been the practice of this writer or this site to kick a $50 million dollar debacle while it's down, or to "creatively ridicule" anything. It's just so much easier to just list...

Several Things Slightly Easier to Do Than "Creatively Ridiculing" the Ill-Conceived J.Lo/Affleck Star Vehicle Gigli:

--Speculating that the $3.8 million dollars Gigli earned at the box office came from the purchase of two $1.9 million tickets bought by Ben and Jen

--Comparing critically panning Gigli to shooting retarded fish in a very small barrel

--Making a joke about the movie's improbable sequel that ends with the words "Gigli 2: Electric Boogaloo"

--Nonsensically noting that the plot for Gigli was stolen entirely from Richard Simmons' Deal-a-Meal cards

--Helpfully noting that the difficult-to-pronounce Gigli rhymes with "cinematic ass rape"

--Digressively commenting that Kobe Bryant's weekend appearance at the Teen Choice Awards "writes its own punchline," then going on to note that former Teen Choice honorees included R. Kelly, Roman Polanski, and Jerry Lee Lewis (to cover all my demographic bases) and that next year's guests will include the guy that zaps the Olsen Twins at the stroke of midnight on their 18th birthday and that man's name very well could end in --ffleck, a speculation that makes this list entry once again relevant to the topic at hand

--Suggesting that perhaps Gigli's box office fortunes could have been improved if Ben Affleck put his penis into a pastry and simulated copulation, then noting that Jennifer Lopez's vagina does not constitute a pastry

--Opining that worse movies than Gigli have been filmed, but those almost invariably involve fat women in bikinis sitting on balloons until they pop



Sunday, August 10, 2003

 

Save Me, Lord, For I am So Damn Weak*



I said I was going to ignore this California recall election thing. Rest assured, I am still ignoring it.

Some popular misspellings of California Lieutenant Governor (and recall election candidate) Cruz M. Bustamante's name:

--Cruz N. Bustamante

--Cruz M. Bustarhymze

--Arnold M. Schwarzenegger

--Penelope M. Cruz

--Diane Feinstein-Bustamante

--Manny Mota

--DJ Party-Starter M. Bustamante

--Cruz M. Bustros-Bustros Bustamante (please, someone, fucking stop me)

--Cruz M. Udaymante y Qusaymante (Really now?)

--Gigli

--Count Choc-uluz

Bonus Section, still ignoring the recall election thing:

Recall election hopefuls missing the candidacy filing deadline (and reasons for their failure):

--Gregory Hines (death)
--Bob Hope's brain floating in formaldehyde (bell jar out for cleaning)
--Ronald Reagan (wandering halls of Ronald Reagan library, asking shocked patrons for the location of issues of National Geographic with bare Guatemalan breasts)
--Carl Weathers (deferring to buddy Schwarzenegger, reading script for long-awaited sequel to Action Jackson)
--Gray Davis (current cuckolded governor, lost papers during rolling blackout)
--Jesus Christ (delayed at U.S.-Mexico border, after making dashboard statuette of Virgin Mary cry at Tijuana souvenir stall)
--the slow kid from Life Goes On (making French fries at McDonald's)
--Bunsen (my sexual magnetism would lead to a steamy, on-the-desk romp with Arianna Huffington. That's the name of that porn chick that's running, right?)


[* For no good reason, post headings will now be featured in red. I reserve the right to return to black at any time, and to follow the red headings with black sub-headings. Sub-heads may not under any circumstances appear in red. I will not let this space descend into anarchy.]



 

Requiem Dept.



To properly memorialize the passing of tap-dance colossus Gregory Hines, please go read Rob Diener.

He just might be the second funniest person on the internet. And his soft-shoe rendition of Aida is really first-rate.


Friday, August 08, 2003

 

Perhaps this is the last you'll hear from me until Monday



There's a flash mob in my pants.


 

Coming Attractions Dept.



I promised myself that I would turn a blind eye to the candidate list for California's recall election, and damn it, I am going to keep that promise. There is no acceptable humor to be found in Gary Coleman's candidacy since Emmanuel Lewis drained the well of "Little Black Kids with Organ Failure from 80's Sitcoms"jokes by riding Hammer's shoulders on "The Surreal Life."

None of this is important. I have fantastic news to report. Yesterday, a brick sailed through the window of my Hollywood compound. Upon closer inspection, I found that the brick was embossed with a cross, a street address, and a time. Being a naturally inquisitive type, I decided to reschedule my twilight tea with my Jennifer Connelly Real Doll and follow the crude invitation to see where it led me.

I soon found myself outside of an abandoned Quizno's. The storefront's door silently swung open. Inside, a projector was throwing a shimmering test pattern onto a makeshift screen constructed from an old bedsheet and tacked up over a giant caricature of a toasted pastrami sandwich dressed up like an Hesidic Jew. I sat down across from the screen. The silence was shattered by the blast of a celestial horn and the test pattern was quickly replaced with the words "Hello, fellow Christian. Welcome to a special screening of Mel Gibson's The Passion."

I was floored. I never dreamed that I might be selected to screen Gibson's controversial retelling of Jesus Christ's final hours, but there I was at the Quizno's, the smell of old roast beef and stale mustard hanging in the air around me.

What followed for the next three hours was miraculous. It's been a while since I've flipped through Scripture or stolen a nap in a church, but I am certain that Gibson has taken some dramatic license with the Christ story. (I'm not at liberty to divulge any spoilers from the film, but in the pivotal cruicifixion scene, Gibson's Christ breaks the fourth wall, uttering the only line in the movie not in Aramaic: "Ye shall sign the holy nondisclosure agreement on your way out of the sub shoppe. Also, file sharing is a cardinal sin.") But suffice it to say that I don't remember the New Testament explicitly indicating that Jesus referred to Mary Magdalene as a "chickenhead panty-dropper" (thank God for the rough-cut subtitles) or a chase scene with Jesus piloting a Hummer H-2 through the streets of Jerusalem while being pursued by a legion of Pharisees in Mini Coopers.

Despite these little dissonances, the movie was nothing short of a religious catharsis. I stumbled out of the screening clutching my souvenir Von Dutch crown of thorns, feeling compelled to stop in my local church and light some candles to give thanks for things that I had been taking for granted, like Zack being voted out of Paradise Hotel forever, condemned to a postlapsarian ten seconds of fame. I smiled at an elderly woman on Hollywood Boulevard despite the fact that she was trying to sell me a dime bag while rifling through my pockets.

And I told the Jennifer Connelly Real Doll that for at least one night I was going to sleep on the couch.

Praise the Lord for Mel Gibson's Passion.

Let's give the Big Guy an Associate Producer credit for all of His inspiration.


Thursday, August 07, 2003

 

Mike Piazza was unavailable for comment



I hate nothing more than "blogging," but this quote is too hard to pass up.

Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez on his motivational techniques:

"I don't talk about what I do behind closed doors... We all have to keep each other in check and make sure we tap each other in the butt."




Wednesday, August 06, 2003

 

Welcome to My World!



Given that I consider myself completely above dirtying my hands with the nonsense that is politics in California, I have only this to say about Wednesday's announcement that Arnold Schwarzeneggar will run on the Republican ticket in the recall election before I plug my ears and hum until it's all over:

I predict that Carl Weathers will complete the unstoppable Predator Political Mandate by being named the next Secretary of State.

So at the risk of ignoring current events and indulging a passion that is so hopelessly over, passé, and generally pissed upon by the vanguard of Hipster Nation (really, what's next, a piece on trucker hats or camoflauge cargo/capri pants with heels? Trucker hats are so over that no one in LA is even wearing them), here is my autoreply message to those joining my Friendster network:

---------

Hello, new Friendster!

Welcome to the greatest and most important personal network in the Friendster galaxy!

Due to the enormous time demands of my jetsetting lifestyle, it is quite unlikely that I will never meet you in person. (That blow doesn't throw itself up my nose!) So here are a few things you may need to know to make the most of your Bunsen Friendster experience:

*Other people's Friends lists are clogged with fake celebrities. Bunsen's Friends list contains only certifiably true celebrity profiles. When you see Harrison Ford's smiling, weather-beaten face in Bunsen's network, you'll know that he actually enjoys naked Whack-a-Mole tournaments -- it's not just the invention of some snarky hipster!

*If you are female and your bustline has not been surgically enhanced to the specifications of any Los Angeles talent agency, perhaps we can show you something in a nice Match.com profile. You may not feel this is a necessary procedure in rural Kansas, but I assure you, it's necessary in Bunsen's Personal Network.

*If you are male and do not control access to needy, sexually-liberated aspiring actress types, or if you don't have the authority to greenlight six-figure screenplay assignments, are you hitting on me? My casting couch days are over, which were made even more painful and pathetic by the fact that I am a writer.

*Yes, all the photos are unretouched representations of me. And no, I don't particularly remember the circumstances that led me to be in a bubble bath with Robert DeNiro and a drag queen in a Big Bird costume, but it's pretty flattering picture nonetheless -- and that's not easy with my Roman profile.

Again, thanks for joining my Friendster Network! I'll see you at the Rapture, when only those within four degrees of Bunsen will be saved!



Tuesday, August 05, 2003

 

Mash-Up Dept.



My relative silence on the Kobe Bryant matter has stunned the Internet.

My deafening neglect of the Madonna Gap ads has destabilized the governments of seven West African nations, and maybe caused some minor discomfort in the Middle East, where the residents' only respite from turmoil is a daily visit to this site.

In the interest of satisfying Kobe rubberneckers and fans of the Material Menopausal Female alike, I am forced to conjecture how the world might be different if the two stars' situations were reversed. [The word reversed is rendered in italics just so you can get an instant, visceral representation of just how mind-warping this conceit actually is.]

If Madonna and Kobe switched places...

...Guy Ritchie would look awfully metrosexual in that gaudy $4 million diamond ring.

...Madonna would average a meager 4.5 points per game amid the distractions of the rape trial controversy raging around her. New Lakers Gary Payton and Karl Malone grumble about having to pick up the slack, wondering why they ever chose to come to Los Angeles.

...the fact that Gigli has largely made people forget the disastrous Swept Away would be cold comfort for the fact she might be spending the rest of her life in jail.

...the public would find it hard to believe that the clean-cut nice guy in the sharp khakis and crisp, white Oxford might have forced himself on the likes of Missy Elliot.

...Nike would be forced to release new line of basketball sneakers with six-inch stiletto heels and covered with pink rhinestones.

...Kobe's simulated fellating of an Evian bottle would make the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption, "Is the NBA ready for homosexuals?"

...Warren Beatty would be thrown into an existential sexual-identity crisis in which he wonders how it was possible Kobe slipped by him into his pantheon of conquests.

...Madonna's impromptu performance of "Like a Virgin" in the Eagle, Colorado town square would universally be considered in bad taste.

...Larry Flynt offers $15 million for the rights to the Madonna rape trial story, hiring Jenna Jameson and Courtney Love for recreation scenes.

...Guy Ritchie would make a crappy movie in which a bunch of gangster wannabes with impenetrable Cockney accents sail through the air in slow motion as they try to avoid a hail of Kobe's unwanted seed during a heist gone wrong.



 

Easy Like Sunday Morning Dept.



My inbox has been flooded with breathless requests for me to creatively ridicule this weekend's box-office failure of Gigli. It's never been the practice of this writer or this site to kick a $50 million dollar debacle while it's down, or to "creatively ridicule" anything. It's just so much easier to just list...

Several Things Slightly Easier to Do Than "Creatively Ridiculing" the Ill-Conceived J.Lo/Affleck Star Vehicle Gigli:

--Speculating that the $3.8 million dollars Gigli earned at the box office came from the purchase of two $1.9 million tickets bought by Ben and Jen

--Comparing critically panning Gigli to shooting retarded fish in a very small barrel

--Making a joke about the movie's improbable sequel that ends with the words "Gigli 2: Electric Boogaloo"

--Nonsensically noting that the plot for Gigli was stolen entirely from Richard Simmons' Deal-a-Meal cards

--Helpfully noting that the difficult-to-pronounce Gigli rhymes with "cinematic ass rape"

--Digressively commenting that Kobe Bryant's weekend appearance at the Teen Choice Awards "writes its own punchline," then going on to note that former Teen Choice honorees included R. Kelly, Roman Polanski, and Jerry Lee Lewis (to cover all my demographic bases) and that next year's guests will include the guy that zaps the Olsen Twins at the stroke of midnight on their 18th birthday and that man's name very well could end in --ffleck, a speculation that makes this list entry once again relevant to the topic at hand

--Suggesting that perhaps Gigli's box office fortunes could have been improved if Ben Affleck put his penis into a pastry and simulated copulation, then noting that Jennifer Lopez's vagina does not constitute a pastry

--Opining that worse movies than Gigli have been filmed, but those almost invariably involve fat women in bikinis sitting on balloons until they pop



Friday, August 01, 2003

 

Gaze Dept.



It seems that everyone in New York is sitting around and staring at each other. Since those of us who find ourselves held against our will in Los Angeles are terribly sensitive about feeling left out of any East Coast fun, I thought it prudent to import a diluted, West Coast version of the hipster-ironic Stare-Off competition to LA. Beer-pong, it seemed, never really got a foothold out here.

I invited my good friend Christopher Walken (and about thirty percent of the current Hollywood B-List to observe the throw-down) to a locked-gaze duel. Chris and I had first met at a "Get Unexpectedly Struck in the Hindquarters" Party that he threw at his mansion in the Hills, when he quite stealthily managed to smite me with an aluminum replica of a fraternity paddle that he'd had custom-made for the event. It made a "ping" sound similar to a baseball being hit in a Little League game by a Dominican kid lying about his age when he cranked me across my rump while I was whispering something filthy in Elizabeth Shue's ear. Once I'd stopped vomiting from the pain and surprise, we played some eight-ball (he's a shark, naturally) and became fast friends while getting shitcanned on mojitos and ketamine.

I returned to Walken's house as he graciously offered to host our contest. We sat cross-legged across from each other on the floor of his living room as the other guests circled us. Michael Bay had volunteered to direct an eye-popping, CGI-enhanced production where our contest would be projected on the walls around us and simultaneously on the Diamondvision at Dodger Stadium, but Chris and I are nothing if not old school. We eschewed the Hollywood foofaraw in favor of a bare-knuckles version that inexplicably required that I wear a Hello Kitty thong ("House rules," he explained -- but I wouldn't be cowed by bush-league mind games). Our ground rules: first one to break the gaze or smile loses. The room started to quiet down as we were ready to engage each other in a stare that couldn't be broken, but soon the chatter around us started to take on an uncomfortable Thunderdome quality. Walken slashed a finger across his throat and the hum was instantly silenced.

Somewhere, an egg timer jangled. Game on.

Looking into Walken's eyes on an ordinary day is not an exercise for the squeamish. His stare, intense and barely concealing the Rube Goldberg clockwork of his mind, has been known to cause incontinence in rookie directors. But in a staring contest, his eyes are a literal weapon. When first we joined our gaze I felt a sensation in my lower abdomen that I somewhat hysterically believed to be my testicles liquefying.

Some say his eyes are dead. They are wrong. You can't know this until you sit across from him joined in competition.

I did not look away.

After a minute or so of uninterrupted staring, Walken made the first move. He raised a hand to his mouth and simulated fellatio, his tongue poking at the inside of a taut cheek as an invisible cock readied to drop its salty payload in The King of New York star's throat.

No reaction from me. I wasn't going out like a punk on some feeble blowjob pantomime. I counterattacked with an admittedly weak move where I pretended to pull an invisible piece of string through my ears. I just needed to get my stare-legs under me.

Walken snapped his fingers. Verne Troyer waddled just to the side of our sight-line, wearing a tiny grass skirt and a Carmen Miranda fruit basket hat. I felt a twinge at the corner of my mouth, the birthing of a smile. But I swallowed it down as I wondered if the Mini-Me move was even legal.

My countermove was no move at all. I was going to take him on with the bored stare of a starlet bent over the desk of a producer who promises a shot at a SAG card.

We sat there for an eternity. He was content to fight back with the slumped eyes of a disappointed parent. Damn him for being so brilliant, I thought.

Then he made a move. Using only the muscles around those crazed, yet supremely expressive, eyes and some carefully considered body language, he managed to convey to me the thought of Kathy Bates in a carrot-eating contest.

I was floored, a glass-jawed victim of Mike Tyson in his prime. My eyes wildly panned across the faces in the rapt crowd, all of whom looked away as if I had just splatted on the sidewalk smoking area outside their office's high-rise.

Walken wins, someone shouted, Walken wins.

I stood up and started toward him with an outstretched hand, the gracious loser approaching the net.

"You never stood a fucking chance," his left eye said. "Show yourself the door, pussy," said the right.

We smiled and I headed for the door, still disoriented enough to forget that I was wearing skimpy underwear with a cute Japanese cat stretched across my package.

I spent the rest of the night bobbing slowly on the edge of my bed, clutching a handheld mirror, practicing the arched eyebrow of Jack Nicholson after eating out a woman thirty years his junior.

I'll be back, Walken.



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."
If You Like Bunsen, Then You'll Love Bunsen
-->

Archives