Pops' Bucket
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Sometimes Something Is Just So Awful, Even The Presence Of Joe Morton Can't Save It
I'm very happy to be me. I'm smart, I'm attractive, I'm reasonably fit, I can spell and I adhere strictly to a time-honored code of morality. Sure, I don't make any money and I can't ever go anywhere or do anything I want to do because of my responsibilities to my children, but what's the alternative? Be someone else? No way. Even if I were offered the chance to experience in real-life what happens in all those excellent, excellent body-switcheroo movies (Freaky Friday, Vice Versa, Like Father Like Son, 18 Again, A Prelude to a Kiss, Freaky Friday again), I totally wouldn't do it for two reasons: 1) judging from these movies, if you're a guy, the prerequisite for participation is to be an actor of the caliber of a Judge Reinhold, a Kirk Cameron or a (heaven forbid) Charlie Schlatter and 2) I've just gotten all my pants broken in just where I like them.

For the most part, it's good to be Pops. No commute, no co-workers, no bleeding ulcers. I read blogs all day and (every once in a while) make sure none of the kids are bleeding/unconscious/dead. Not much to complain about.

Except. Except except except. My gifts are many and sometimes I forget their potency and the havoc they might wreak upon a consumer society predicated on mediocrity and--even moreso--the ability to sell mediocrity on a massive scale. I should always be mindful of the fact that when a voice of great resonance speaks, it echoes down the corridors of society at large, filling ears both willing and unwillling, splintering edifices and rattling foundations.

I recognize now that it was irresponsible of me to bad-mouth the movie Stealth last Friday. My goal was to have a little fun at the expense of a silly action movie I had no intention of seeing, but when my words have such a profound effect that a film that cost well over $100 million to produce debuts in fourth place with a total of $13.5 million in its opening weekend, I'm doing the country a disservice. I'm costing people jobs and dealing a potentially crippling blow to the already reeling American film industry.

Damn my easy glibness! Damn my effortless charm! Damn my magnetic abundance of personal charisma!

If you don't hear from me again, it's because suddenly-untouchable director Rob Cohen has hunted me down and killed me. In my defense, I will say that in putting him out of work, I've only done what his complete lack of talent should have done years ago. The truth is sometimes an awful thing and it hurts hurts hurts. It's the way I felt when my mom told me I was adopted. It turned out in the end that she was kidding, but that was the longest three years of my life searching for my non-existant birth-parents. Oh how she laughed.

I guess in retrospect that didn't really have much to do with the truth since she was lying to me... but the point I think is still valid. Somehow.

After destroying something as good and wholesome and pure as a craptacular load of wank movie like Stealth, it is incumbent upon me to do something to make up for the damage I inadvertently caused. Follow this link to the list of cars made my United Auto Worker labor and then go out and buy one. There. When the American auto industry is single-handedly revived, I will have made my penance.

Of course some of those UAW cars are made by evil foreign Canadians, so you have to be careful. But it's a chance I'm willing to let you take.

I swear henceforth to be more diligent about the employment of my stupendous gift of persuasion. Unless something else comes out that is so obviously sucky that it makes me laugh, then who can say? It may very well be every man for himself.

God bless you all.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0


PS- My mom is in town. That means me and Mrs. Pops got to go out. We finally saw Batman Begins. At the risk of sounding all gushy, the only word that adequately works is the unfortunate fanboy acclamation: it was badass. Grueling and brutal, played very smartly like a monster-movie where the monster is the good guy. Christian Bale was great as Bruce Wayne and... OK as Batman. That sounds weird, I know. One complaint: whoever cut together the fight scenes is a moron. Big jumbly unintelligible messes of monochromic swirly-ness and punchy sound-effects. Impossible to follow. Other than that, like I said: badass.

See, I'm only seeing movies 8 weeks late. That's pretty good for me.

Friday, July 29, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #11


starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and one magic plane

directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, XXX, The Skulls)

The best first-line of a movie review I've ever read in my life was written by Scott Tobias of The Onion AV Club regarding this film:

"A sort of retarded Top Gun, Rob Cohen's Stealth revisits the world of cocky fighter pilots and war games turned real, but it has some serious moral quandaries on the brain, and too much thinking gets it into trouble."

You had me at "sort of retarded Top Gun," Mr. Tobias.

Actually I think some of the thrill of it comes from the shock of the comparison: wasn't Top Gun already "sort of retarded" all by itself? Am I the only one who remembers the volleyball scene? Or that thing Val Kilmer did when he chomped his gum really hard one time in the locker-room showdown with Mav? That movie had at least one damaged chromosome.

And now here we are faced with this, a 2005 remake of the 1986 classic Short Circuit. The government-built artificial military intelligence machine gets zapped by some giant power surge and starts thinking for itself. Instead of hanging out with Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg (or as I call him, Goot) and making all kinds of hi-larious current (for 1986) pop culture references, the machine in Stealth gets all moody and aggressive. Imagine Short Circuit but instead of Johnny Five having a shoulder-mounted laser cannon, he's got a functioning nuke and he really really wants to use it.

The altered AI in Stealth is an airplane, which means we need hotshot pilots in other airplanes in a desperate bid to stop it, save the world and reassert human superiority to machines in every way. Cue the slow motion back-lit long shot of three people in pilot gear walking slowly toward the camera to slow, echo-y, martial-sounding music.

Jamie Foxx. Jessica Biel. Josh Lucas. Never has an action blockbuster been launched with so little star-power behind it. Sure Jamie Foxx won an Oscar, but not before he shot this movie. If Ray had tanked, I think we might have been seeing this one in January when studios burn off the crap they're embarrassed they made (see: Pauly Shore).

But then action movies with no star power are Mr. Cohen's specialty, apparently. He went with little-known Vin Diesel in XXX and... um... you know, I can't remember who was in The Fast and the Furious. But it did make money.

Critics generally... oh, what's the word... hated it. They hated it. It offended them on both a visceral and an intellectual level, where it registered intellectually at all.

The lack of Goot is criminal and unforgivable, in my opinion.

But man, did you see in the trailer where that plane was refueling in mid-air and then the magic, evil plane shows up and drops fuel around it in a big ring and then ignites the ring into a big flaming circle of flaming death?

Awesome. And the film is thus spared the dreaded Zero Babysitter rating and earns itself

Image hosted by Photobucket.com One (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

It might have gotten two, but I never thought Jessica Biel was that hot. It's probably something to do with the 7th Heaven taint. It's exactly the same reason why I'm not attracted to Stephen Collins. I even remember him in that one-piece jumpsuit in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and still... nothing. That's some powerful taint.


Thursday, July 28, 2005
Hey You Kids, Stay Off My Lawn
At 31, I'm in that sort of gray area that hovers between pop culture currency and the ossified stodginess that one earns with a little bit of experience. The popular culture of our youths always seems so fresh and satisfying, but that's only because we haven't been around enough to realize that everybody is ripping somebody else off. For instance I don't have to listen to Jet because I've heard AC/DC and don't need to spend a lot of time bothering with a tired, echo-like, idea-free imitation.*

I do still like new music, though. And new movies and new television shows and new books. But that doesn't mean I don't catch myself saying stuff like "What the fuck is wrong with these kids today?" with the piercings and the tattoos and the ass-bearing pants** and the crazy big hair and the political conservatism...

Every once in a while you read something that sparks a random realization, setting the passage of time and your place in it in some kind of heretofore unrealized perspective. Like this story with the headline E-mail is for older people, teens say.

When I saw it, I freaked out just a little bit. I thought "Oh my God, they've invented something else without telling me and now millions and millions of young people are using it without me. That's it, I'm finished, it's time to curl up and die and crumble into dust and blow away and nobody will notice or care."

Then I actually read the article and realized they were talking about instant messaging, a technology I had actually mastered and then gave up a long time ago in favor of making out with my girlfriend at the time.*** Who knew there could be something more exciting than that sound AIM makes when you get a new IM?****

What the article did make me realize is that I'm living amongst the second generation of internet-addled technophiliac infotainment junkies, the cutting-edge forward-thrust of which no longer necessarily includes me. Even the surveys taken by news agencies about tech usage among young people are re-runs of the same shit they used to ask Gen Xers when we were peddling our own tired disaffection in flannel shirts and uncomfortable-as-all-hell Doc Martens.

As far as technology goes, things change quickly. You know, when I started this blog, I was pretty proud of myself. Full participation in the technological now, right? Sure it's kind of faddish and trendy, but it's what people are/were doing and just like that I was doing it too.

Now, just 12 months after I started, nobody talks about blogs as much as they used to. Now all the newspaper articles about the popular and growing tech-hobby of choice is all about goddamn podcasting. Well, fuck. What, now I have to go out and buy a microphone for my computer and pretend to be Howard Stern just to keep up? You people are exhausting me. What would be the point of even trying? There was an article in Entertainment Weekly about people making and distributing their own serialized TV shows on the internet, so I'm sure that'll inch its way into the mainstream and push podcasting off the forefront in a matter of months anyway, right when I get my regular podcasted show where I want it.*****

Nope, I'm giving up. In fact, I'm going completely the opposite direction. I'm going totally retro. All tight-fitting poylester clothes in garish, clashing colors and patterns. All my music on 8-tracks with gigantor Princess Leia-style headphones. Cars that get 6 miles to the gallon, highway. Big, poofy coiffed hair held in place by all kinds of Aqua-Net. Huge, cheesy, unkempt mustache. That's right, I'm going to be Gabe Kaplan from Welcome Back, Kotter. I'm going back to 1977. Sure, laugh now, but in 10 years when a new group of stupid-ass kids thinks all that crap is new, I'm going to be a 41 year old god. Fuck with me at your peril.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0


*= although I think "Look What You've Done" is a really good song. But one-off examples are what peer-to-peer file-sharing software is for.

**= honestly, isn't the primary function of pants to cover your ass? Isn't it?

***= if Mrs. Pops is reading this, I'm totally talking about you, baby.

****= come on, sing it with me: "boodlee-DOO!"

*****= a sidekick, lots of gimmicky regular features, celebrity guests and a big whopping fine or two from the FCC.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Behold Thunderdick!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

In the ancient, misty past of human pre-history, in the dark early days of man's wandering presence on the earth's coldest, darkest, dampest (semi-)continent, proto-Europeans warred against nature and Death itself to found societies that would one day become the great and hallowed fountain of all the world's pompousness.

They braved the life-sucking cheese-swamps of Gaul, conquered the high craggy peaks of the Alps despite the flesh-hungry guardian Bumbles, tamed the wild, intoxicating beer-trees of Allemania and bent them to their will.

And when their labors were complete, when the land bore their mark and did their bidding, all was quiet. Except maybe for the virgins who were being sacrificed on stone altars to appease the gods whose incipient wrath could only be slaked by offerings of warm human blood, that part wasn't so quiet. Those chicks could really scream, especially when stabbed.

After nature had been tamed and civilizations founded and gods appeased and all the laundry folded and put away... it was time to party.

Let me tell you, nobody parties like barbarians. A great steaming pile of writhing, slithering, humping humanity lubricated by an oozing slick of wine, mud, vomit and sweat.

And then in the end when all the drink had been drunk, when all stomachs had been purged, when all red-eyed berserker rages had been spent, when all the casualties had been cleared, when all the cribbage pegs had been lost, the pile would break up into smaller piles, lazing away in the smoky post-orgy haze, snoring or giggling or making idle smalltalk in the barbarian manner,* suddenly all would go quiet. They would look at each other and they would know it was time. One of them--probably a priest or a chieftain--would disappear for a moment and return with a heavy wooden box. The box would be set in the center of the room and slowly, reverently opened.

And there, lying in its fur-lined vessel, would be the Thunderdick, the Great Stone Dildo of Heaven. The women would quiver with a mixture of fear and great anticipation while the men shrunk away, their brawny, filthy barbarian masculinity made cheap and wanting in the presence of a great big granite cock.

Let me tell you, you haven't been diddled until you've been diddled with a strap-on made out of rock.

It was never comfortable for them as the use of lube was strictly prohibited. Plus the instrument was all chipped and nicked up from people using it on its days off as a hammer, a nut-cracker, a cudgel, a fire-extinguisher, an whisk, a fly-swatter, a chisel, a torch, a tent-pole, a sign-post, a fence-rail and a sanitary napkin. But the point wasn't for it to feel good, it was to be touched by a relic that seemed really, really holy after four or five barrels of mead.

The next day their orifices would begin to heal and the buzzing in their heads would wear off and they would swear never to do anything like that again. And because they were barbarians, they would one day invent new gods of fertility and sexuality, ones that thought lubrication was a good idea and encouraged the use of more forgiving materials for the construction of their phalluses, like tree-branches or wool or plastics.

So the Thunderdick was lost, forgotten in a cave on a hilltop in present-day Germany for thousands of years. Until this past Monday, that is, when it was found by paleontologists and then written about in an article for the BBC by--apparently--Beavis and Butt-head. Seriously, read the article, it's hysterical.

Actually I found out about this yesterday via Technorati. If you click on the tab that says "Popular" it will tell you what the most-linked-to article for that day is. Yesterday, it was Thunderdick. You people frighten me.

The good news is I think I might have accidentally uncovered the plot for the next Indiana Jones movie. In the dark days before Viagra, the Nazis are on the trail of Thunderdick in an effort to restore Hitler's mojo and thus win the war. But not if Indy has anything to say about it! Maybe throw something in there about eugenics to make it all science-y and sinister. And a hot young chick for Indy to nail at the end in a comic sequence when his triumph in acquiring the object has hi-larious indirect consequences when it kicks his flagging, old-man libido into white-hot Sean Connery-esque overdrive.

This might be going some where. I got dibs on this idea, people, don't you try to steal it.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.0


*=usually this involved taking turns punching each other in the face.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
As I Stepped Out Upon The Landing My Heart Was Already Down The Stairs
I'm not going to lie to you people, I'm feeling a little down today. Not really sad or depressed, just sort of... I don't really know. It's hard to put a finger on.

Maybe it's the war. Maybe it's the bombings in Baghdad and Egypt and London. Maybe it's all the global warming. Maybe it's the side effects from the Xanax I bought off the internet from a guy in Nigeria. At least I think it's Xanax. It's supposed to be Xanax. It's hard to tell anymore since the label has faded so badly; I should have known something was up when it came all written in pencil. Plus the pills taste kind of minty. Is that right? It doesn't seem right. Ah well. It was only $800 for a three month supply. He told me it was a bargain, so I guess the joke's on him. He can afford to cut prices now that Africa is awash in all those giant piles of Live 8 money, so I don't feel that bad for him.

I've thought long and hard about it and I think I can pinpoint the source of my malaise. I seem to have arrived at another plateau in my blogging popularity. My Sitemeter numbers have been hovering steadily for a while. Part of it was because I was gone for a week, but I know what it is. The only thing between me and immortality is--still, after all this time and despite my best efforts--the fact that I don't have a nickname.

I covered this topic in some detail a while ago, but it still hasn't happened for me yet.

It's necessary, I know it now. All the greats have nicknames and until I get one of my own, I'll never amount to nothing.

See that? If I had a nickname, I totally would have avoided that double negative right there.

And don't tell me that "Pops" counts. It doesn't. It's not a nickname, it's a pseudonym. It's a nom de plume. No, hang on, that makes it sound a little fruity. A nom de guerre, then. Eh... less fruity, but still French. Let's go back to "pseudonym".

The point is I gave it to myself and everyone knows you can't give yourself a nickname. If you could, I would have been known as "Crackerpants" all through high school somewhere other than the inside of my diary. I don't know what it means, I just liked the sound of it. Try it out, go on, say it out loud: "What up, Crackerpants?" See, it just works.

It's the last stumbling block for me, I think. My writing is obviously genius and eminently readable, so there's no reason why it shouldn't be sweeping the nation. No, it's the lack of a nickname that's gummed up the works, I just know it.

Everyone who's anyone has a nickname. Honest Abe. Papa Hemingway. Babe Ruth. Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy. Billy the Kid. Wild Bill. Buffalo Bill. 50 Cent. P-Diddy. Ben "C-Note" Franklin.

Even executive-branch behind-the-scene douchebags like Lewis Libby and Karl Rove get to go around with great nicknames like "Scooter" and "Turdblossom". You think those people rose to those positions of power on merit? No sir. The nickname's the thing.

Like most growing boys, I think I just want to emulate my heroes. Look at the back cover of Elvis Costello's 1986 album Blood and Chocolate:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

There are five different names--the circled ones--that the man goes by on one CD. And he's been making records for over 30 years. Coincidence? I think no.

And just to underline the point that you can't make up your own nickname, you'll notice that the name "Napoleon Dynamite" is one of the names on this 1986 album cover. So the kid who made that movie who thought he was being so original and clever, well... unless his friends start calling him "Sparky" or "Chip", he's SOL as far as this nickname goes. I hate to expose a guy like this and ruin his career, but the rules have to apply to us all evenly. If I can't be "Crackerpants", you can't be "Napoleon Dynamite".

I gotta go. It's time for my pill.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.8


Monday, July 25, 2005
Monday Lite: The Whites Of Their Eyes
For some reason, I totally love this headline:

We will shoot to kill again, warns police chief

It's ain't Texas, oh no. That's from the London Metropolitan Police who "accidentally" shot a Brazilian in the head five times in front of a whole gaggle of people.

Their basic position is "Look, we know he was Brazilian and an electrician, but in our defen[c]e, he was totally foreign and on the subway. What else were we supposed to do? We're not saying you're not allowed to take the Underground if you're a foreign-looking man, but if it's all the same to you, why not walk? London is a lovely city, especially in the summer. The exercise will do you good. If you do decide to take public transport, be advised that we've unlocked the gun cupboard and we have no plans to re-lock it in the near future."

What I want to know is: what do they do in Egypt after the bombing in Sharm El Sheik? Scads and scads of Arab-looking dudes down there, I shouldn't wonder. Luckily for law-and-order, the Egyptian government takes a less racially selective position in regard to shooting people.

Happy world, happy world. Suddenly my hemmorhoids seem like no big deal.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.9


Sunday, July 24, 2005
There are people I know who don't have kids who come up to mine all the time and say stuff like "Awww, they're so adorable. You must have so much fun together. They are so precious. I can't wait to have my own. I can't wait."

These people are retarded.

I know it's not politically correct to call non-retarded people retarded, but in this case I think I can make a strong argument for the actual retardation of these people. And I speak from experience because I used to be one of those people. OK, not so much with all the "adorable" talk, but I've always wanted to have kids. Always. I will admit to you that the desire to procreate was (at least in my early teen years) driven by the near statistical certainty that in order to have kids I would need to be having some kind of sex. With a lady.

Tall, short, fat, thin, whatever. Procreation = sex, so I was on board with the idea. Of course it is possible to have sex without procreation, but I'd been trying to get to that for a while and I just wasn't seeing the kind of results I would have liked up to that point.

Plus I figured out that if you told chicks how much you really wanted to have kids in the future, that actually increased your chances of gettin' it on. With the stupid ones, anyway.

The stupid ones came and went and eventually I hooked up with the conveniently-named Mrs. Pops and we got married. Two retarded people, living together in wedded bliss, just busting to have them some kids.

Our first son was born three months and two days short of our second wedding anniversary. That's the thing about retarded people: no sense of time.

The good thing about this sort of retardation is that, unlike actual retardation which is tragic and sad, this one is actually curable. It is cured by the act of having and then having to keep children in your home. And then every once in a while you have a totally voluntary relapse because of the fucked-up inarguable retarded logic of shit like "Oh, this child needs a sibling to play with otherwise it will grow up friendless and tactless and spoiled" and later again "Oh, these two boys we have now are more than our bodies can handle, but let's us try for a girl, just one more time."

So sophisticated, educated intellectuals become mush-brained mouth-breathing thought-challenged imbeciles given to wild flights of vanity and masochism. The long nights, the crying, the diapers, the worrying... frankly it's more than we deserve.

The hardest part about parenting, the thing you can't even imagine when you're young and moronic, is the part where you have to take this innocent, experience-free, mostly defenseless proto-person and make them into self-aware, self-motivated, high-minded, decent, happy, non-moronic human beings. Well, maybe not totally non-moronic since we want grandkids some day, but at least enough to know that cutlery and electrical outlets don't mix.

The problem is balance. You want them to be healthy, self-respecting, courteous, and fair people with so much self-esteem that it comes shooting out of their asses like bright white rays of lilac-scented sunshine.

For instance, you want them to be health-conscious and eat right. But in trying to make them aware of what they put into their bodies, maybe you harp just a little too much and suddenly little Sally is 17, she weighs 68 pounds and--if you hold her up to the sunlight--you can see through her because she hasn't eaten anything except lettuce and melted Jell-O since she hit puberty.

Or you want them to be achieving go-getters who know what they want and know how to get it, but then one day you have to rush them to the hospital to treat another bleeding ulcer/anxiety attack, this one set off because they think they got a B+ on the final of their Ancient Mandarin For Reading Fluency summer elective course.

My big problem is safety. I want to raise people who will be able to assess risk vs. reward when it comes to doing things , especially physical activities, so that when I'm not around when they're 17 and one of their dumb ass friends thinks it will be a good idea to race a train to the railroad crossing, they'll spontaneously know to opt out.

The problem there is that when you take them out to do something that is fun but has some inherent danger--say like swimming--it's just possible that their wound-up, constantly hovering father will carry around with him a 100% All Safety/No Fun Zone, which guarantees that they will never, ever, ever learn how to swim because that involves dad letting them put their faces under water for more than 3 seconds.

The long-term result is that you end up with kids who get made fun of because they can't swim or aren't allowed to play out front or can't ride bikes or skateboards because dad thinks they're too dangerous.

And you know what? Dad's fucking right. I'm having the people come out tomorrow to pad the walls, ceiling and floor of the garage with 12-inch thick foam-rubber panels. If they want to play, they can play in there. And no lights because you could hit one of those things on accident and there'd be broken glass everywhere.

Plus everyone knows that in a room like that, it's almost impossible to drown.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.7


Friday, July 22, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #10
Before I begin, there was a little confusion over this feature last time it aired here in the Bucket, so I think for the benefit of newer Bucketeers (and a little re-focus for myself), a little primer wouldn't hurt. From now on, the post title will be a link to the first-ever MIHNIoS post that explains all this nonsense in great, excruciating, bleeding-eyeball detail.

Just to be clear, though, just because I Have No Intention Of Seeing these films does not mean that I automatically assume they all suck. Some of them I'd quite like to see in the theater, actually, but can't because I have small children. Incidentally, my kids are also the reason I don't get nearly as much sleep, sex or disposable income as I'd like, but I haven't figured out how to turn those frustrations into gimmicky blogpost regular features yet.


Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #10

The Island

starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Michael Clark Duncan and (because he is contractually obligated to be in every other film produced in Hollywood) Steve Buscemi.

directed by Michael "KA-FUCKING-BOOM!" Bay

It's very trendy these days to make fun of Michael Bay. For some reason, his brand of raw, kinetic, populist movie (as opposed to film) entertainment is looked down upon by a whole class of sniveling, effete, self-important, pompous windbags who hate everything that is liked by more than two people at a time.

I am one of those people.

I will say in my defense that I didn't arrive at this opinion based on what other people told me to think. I've actually seen several Michael Bay films (he actually hasn't made that many). I actually liked the first Bad Boys and The Rock was fun if you didn't think about it too hard.

But then I saw Armageddon and it struck me like a bolt out of the blue: wow... this movie is really, really awful. To this day I have not seen Pearl Harbor mostly because of the advertising posters. Pouty-faced Ben Affleck and pouty-faced Kate Beckinsale and strainy-faced Josh Hartnett... the whole thing just oozed forced earnestness that I knew would burn a hole right through my stomach.

Just so the magnitude of repellant-ness is fully appreciated, understand I refused to see a movie that has Kate Beckinsale in it.

The last nail in the coffin, though, was this past week when I saw Bad Boys II on HBO.

I just... I... the words don't... I mean it was so... It was bad. It was really, really terrible. It was crass, it was vulgar, it was (and this is the worst part) dead boring.

Plus, do girls ever get to do anything in Michael Bay movies? Gabrielle Union was supposedly a DEA agent in Bad Boys II but still ended up being the hot-hot, under-dressed damsel-in-distress. Every other Bay film: total sausagefest.

The thing about The Island now is that it's supposed to "mean something". In interviews he's given, I've noticed two things: 1) Michael Bay is a big baby with a Wang Chung haircut and 2) The Island is an important movie we all must see because it touches on all kinds of relevant social issues like cloning and... um... cloning. Plus there's some kick-ass space-motorcycle chases.

Right now, the main challenger to Michael Bay for the Hollywood Big N' Loud Craptastic crown is Roland Emmerich, the man responsible for Godzilla (the Matthew Broderick version) and Independence Day. His most recent film was also supposed to be "relevant", the ridiculous The Day After Tomorrow. You know, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal gets chased by killer CGI freezer-burn because, you know, the government killed the environment.

I started to freak out a little bit when I heard about The Island because I started thinking "holy shit, were all those Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich movies supposed to teach me something?" I spent many hours pondering the deeper meaning of Armageddon but all I could come away with was the fact that I don't really care for that Ben Affleck. So yeah, I guess it did teach me something.

And the message of Independence Day was so obvious: never, ever trust foreigners. Also: President of the USA + fighter planes = good. Mission accomplished, Mr. Emmerich.

The Island does have a couple of actors that I like immensely (Ewan McGregor, Sean Bean). The appeal of and acclaim for Scarlett Johansson, frankly, confuses me somewhat, but I've never seen Lost In Translation, so maybe I'm missing something. Her acting style always brings to mind a block of wood; firm, taut, young, supple, creamy wood.

But I've been told specifically by Mr. Bay that she keeps her clothes on, so that'll cost 'em one Hot Babysitter at least.

The reviews I've seen are decidedly mixed, which for Mr. Bay constitutes an absolute rave.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBut another demerit for the hair.

And so the final tally:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com One (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

But I hear the explosions explode real good.


Thursday, July 21, 2005
Come On Down!
First of all, I'd like to extend a sincere and hearty "fuck you" to the people whose job it is to predict the weather for the little sidebar info blobs on my my.yahoo.com start page. The predicted high temperature for Riverside yesterday was 108°. Just so you know, sitting there at 9 am looking at something telling you that it's going to be 108° can really mess with your psyche. It's like an official pronouncement telling me "We're sorry, but your good mood has been canceled for the day. Please begin sweating immediately." Which I did.

And then when it tops out at a very comfortable, not at all death-inducing 99°, you'd very much like to kill somebody. As I said, you'd like to, but you can't risk the heat stroke again, not since that last time you tried to stand up and walk across the room.

I hate summer.

At least it's a dry heat. But then there's no room for any moisture in the air as all the extra space has been taken up by floating particulates in the form of sweet, sweet smog.

I hate summer.

This is why it costs $2 million for a 450 square foot bungalow in Newport Beach, where it never rises above 72 degrees and the wind carries all your car exhaust away to be packed snugly into the inland valleys, but you know, who the fuck cares about those people anyway. If they were smart, they'd all just move to Newport too.

I hate summer.

No, out here in Riverside County, life is different. While they're living the good life out of a Jimmy Buffett song in South Orange County, I have to read in the paper today that about 2 miles from my house, Riverside County Animal Control people had to break into a house and remove 96 cats. That's 96 cats that they know of. [I would link to the story in the local paper's website, but I think it requires registration, so fuck them]. Neighbors had been complaining about the smell for two years before the county did something about it.

I can't even fathom how someone ends up with 96 cats; like what the series of events could be that would end with a person owning and (not) caring for 96 cats. I'm going to hazard a guess, though: they failed to spay and/or neuter their cats. My theory is (see if you can follow this one) that in between shitting and pissing on the floors and walls and creating a toxic health hazard in the middle of a suburb, there was a whole lotta cat-bonin' going on.

Someone, I think, has neglected to listen to Bob Barker. I feel vindicated now in the choices I made as a young man to do exactly as Bob Barker says. Not just about the cats and dogs, I mean about everything. It's tough to apply his wisdom to all situations as his pronouncements are sort of limited and narrow--usually involving how to bid on Rice-A-Roni or Turtle Wax--but it's not impossible to take a couple of spare sayings and spin them into all sorts of dogmatic and abstract laws and restrictions by which I live my life. People have been doing the same thing with Jesus for 2,000 years, so I know it can be done.

One good thing about where I live is that it's not that far from Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, one of the foremost children's hospital in all the world. That gives me a lot of leeway when I feel like my kids are old enough to try some of the things boys have to do before they become men, like jumping off really high stuff, swinging baseball bats in the house in close proximity to one's siblings and putting holes in drywall with your head. These are just some of the things boys do and it's good to know that we're only a short emergency medevac airlift to a first-rate pediatric medical facility.

The downside to living near Loma Linda is that the local paper picks up every extraordinary case of horrible suffering children (I mean the suffering is horrible, not the children) and runs it as local news.

Like today they carried this story about this three-month-old baby whose parents had named him Kal-El. You know, like Superman's "real" name from Krypton. My eyes caught that and I was all ready to make fun of him and his dorktastic parents, but then I read the rest of the story and--wouldn't you know it--they weren't in the paper just because of his crazy, crazy name. It was this long story about the congenital heart defect he had been born with, how he had never left the hospital in his life, how he had been awaiting a heart transplant with little/no hope and how--in a double-edged tragi-miracle--someone else's baby died at Loma Linda and provided Kal-El with his transplant heart.

Look. People. It's already hot. We got more shit blowing up in London. There are hurricanes all over the place. I don't need to be reading stories about kids with funny names unless I can make all kinds of fun of them. Sure it's nice that the kid got his transplant, but any story that involves dead babies is, by definition, fucking depressing.

I hate summer. I'm going back to yesterday's post and looking at the picture of George "The Animal" Steele again. That always makes me smile.

Oh yeah, and Jimmy Buffett sucks ass. Margaritaville... what a douchebag.

This post on the goddamn Narcissus motherfucking Scale: 8.whatever


Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I'm Happy Tonight To Announce My Nominee, George "The Animal" Steele
I've said it before and I'll say it again: thank Jesus for George Bush. After a long string of Supreme Court appointments just given away to black guys, chicks and Jews, he has restored the dignity of that august body by returning 1/9 of it--which had for 20+ years now been occupied by the First-Wave Shock Trooper Of The Gynocracy, Sandra Day O'Connor--into the safe, benevolent hands of a white Protestant dude.

This is it now. This is what we've all been waiting for. During the brouhaha about filibuster and the "nuclear option", the conventional wisdom in the media was "thank God this is about lower-court judges because if/when it's about the Supreme Court, we'll be looking at World War III."

Yeah, I know the media exaggerate, but holy crap, this seems like it should be fun. Democrats, of course, jumped right in with both feet to respond to the nomination. I'm so giddy I'm actually shaking as I'm typing this. It's is on, people. It is so on.

Let's review some of the blood-curdling responses as the sides gird their loins for a long, protracted battle.

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war, bitches!

Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader:
"The president has chose someone with suitable legal credentials, but that is not the end of our inquiry. [Aw yeah, here it comes...] The Senate must review Judge Roberts' record to determine if he has a demonstrated commitment to the core American values of freedom, equality and fairness [That's right Harry, cut the motherfucker!]... I hope that he does, and I look forward to giving him the opportunity to make his case to the American people."

Wait, huh? Is it just me or was that last part a little conciliatory-sounding?

Barbara Boxer (D-Funkytown)
"Without prejudging the nominee [What the fuck is this shit? Steady now, Boxer...] , I do believe Judge Roberts' record raises questions about his commitment to the right to privacy, protection of the environment and other important issues."

Phew. There she is. That's my girl. She even used the abortion code-words "right to privacy", which was nice. Now we're headed in the right direction.

More! More!

Ted Kennedy (D-Taxachusetts)
"What all Americans deserve to know is whether Judge Roberts respects the core values of the Constitution and falls within the conservative mainstream of America, along the lines of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor... I will not decide whether to support or oppose him based on any single issue."

OK, what the fuck, Ted? The words you are looking for are "out of touch" and "dangerous" and "tool of the religious right" and "assault on basic American freedoms". Can't somebody circulate some better talking points? At this rate, nobody is going to be compared to a Nazi at any point in the proceedings. I can't take much more measured, circumspect caution.

Let's go to the clean-up hitter. Someone who won't let us down. Someone with their eye on 2008 who needs this to establish their bona fides as a true conservative-crusher for the benefit of primary voters three years hence.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N to tha Y to tha C)
"I look forward to the committee's findings so that I can make an informed decision..."

You know what, just stop. Just... don't. You fucking people are killing me. Killing me. I was told this was going to be Armageddon and all I'm getting is "informed decision" and "no prejudging". Is this any way to run an hysterical, hyper-partisan, self-paralyzing government? What the hell am I paying for basic cable and it's several all-day news channels for if I can't count on my elected representatives to be intractable idealogical demagogues on the biggest issues of the day? I mean come on, this is a Supreme Court nominee. Didn't I mention he was a WASP? White guy taking a chick's job? Anybody? Hello?

Do you think that in the run up before the actual Armageddon the people on the Jesus side are going to say "You know, I don't want to pre-judge this Anti-Christ person. He seems very genuine and personable on television. I look forward to sitting down with him and getting a better feel of who he is as a person... ish-type-being"? No. My senators need to get themselves some serious lack of perspective, and quickly. I need some blind ideological knee-jerking and I need it STAT.

I'm already disappointed. I was led to believe that I would see blood spilled on the Senate floor--not that namby-pamby metaphorical blood either, I mean the actual liquid essence of human life, all slippery and red, oozing over the pretty blue carpet. They aren't selling this very well and I'd like to remind them that it's not too late for me to get my pay-per-view money back. Get Don King. Get Donald Trump. Get somebody who knows how to not only sell this thing, but how to deliver. If Bill Frist doesn't at some point punch Barbara Mikulski in the face, I'm suing. I don't know who yet, but expect to hear from my lawyers.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.7


UPDATE: Brent dared me. I can't pass up a dare. Here it is:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I couldn't find one with a good shot of the green tongue. You'll just have to use your imaginations.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
¡Feliz Cumpleaños!
Well, that's it. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to squeeze Harry Potter for a full week's worth of posts, but that's just how it goes I guess. If I say any more, I'll really have to give some plot-points away and ruin the experience for those who haven't read it yet. I know how much enjoyment it would have robbed from me to know ahead of time about Ron and Hermione's secret wedding right at the end. It's my own personal sensitivities that make me so thoughtful and empathetic, I think.

It is time to move on. I know when the well has run dry. I know normally around here, dry-wells usually mean three or four more days of scraping at the sandy, muddy bottom in the constant, desperate search for material, but today's a big day.

Today is Mrs. Pops' birthday. She's 31, just like me.

She's one of those strange ladies who says "don't get me anything" and actually means it. The thought of spending money on stuff makes her hyperventilate.

But luckily I, unlike her, understand that there is good hyperventilation and bad hyperventilation. What's the difference, you may ask? Well, running out and spending $50 on a gift for her would make her turn blue, pass out, possibly choke on her own vomit and die. So that's bad.

The good kind of hyperventilation is the kind where you're surprised, maybe a little adrenaline flow mixed with just a tiny hint of endorphins.

Like for instance if I were to show her something like this:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Sure, maybe it is a little passive-aggressive of me to make it too small, but look, she complained that the last picture I posted like this didn't show "enough leg", so it's never going to be exactly right.

Maybe it seems a little emasculating to post pictures of some other guy for my wife's viewing pleasure on my own blog, but only for those of you out there who haven't been married for nearly eight years (or more). For those long-time marrieds out there reading, they understand: it is totally emasculating.

But that doesn't mean we can't have any fun. I mean, look at this one:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
"Hello darling... Do not deny it... I know you are looking at my ball..."

I bet the guys on the team never gave him any shit for that one. And this one...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWe'll just have to let this one speak for itself.

As it happens, today is also my dad's birthday. If these pictures do anything for him... well, frankly I don't want to know about it.

That's all. I know it isn't Harry Potter or Tocqueville, but I think it's somewhere safely in between.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9


Monday, July 18, 2005
Pops' Bucket Monday Lite Review Of Book(s)
Well, I've finished it.

Harry Potter's come a long way since that first book.

I anticipated most of the things that happened. As the larger story progresses, we get more and more of an idea of the way Rowling likes to present things and it gets easier and easier to figure her out.

I will admit though, while I expected a little more sticky, face-sucking randy-ness among hormonal teenagers in this book now that Harry and his mates are 16-ish, I was completely shocked by the orgy.

It's not just that they decided to have a blood-and-sex witch's sabbath, but the graphic--almost pornographic--detail she went in to in what is supposed to be a children's book I thought was a little excessive.

But that's what happens when you're a superstar author whose name on the front of a book is a license for publishers to print money. Editors can't tell you shit.

Beyond that, for anyone who doesn't know, the subject matter requires an almost total suspension of disbelief. I mean it's a book about teenagers and there isn't one single reference to methamphetamine. Completely ridiculous. Yeah yeah, magic wands and flying horses, whatever, but come on.

Happy reading. I will say in general that I enjoyed it, right up to the part where Harry dies about half way through. The rest of the book is just a bunch of people sitting around looking at each other, not doing anything, just like a bunch of supporting characters minus their protagonist might. I don't know what the 7th book is supposed to be about but it's shaping up to be a real downer.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 5.0


Sunday, July 17, 2005
I said it on Friday and I'll say it again: I love me some hype. Can't get enough of it. The American Consumer Society Machine working at full-capacity is a beautiful thing to behold, generating need out of want, want out of awareness and awareness out of nothing at all. It's balletic, it's poetic and at the same time carries all the grace and subtlety of an eight-pound kidney stone. This sort of thing really puts the "awe" in "awesome".

So which hype-inflated event did I take witness and/or take part in this weekend?

Sandra Bullock's wedding to a guy named after an old time criminal? Nope.

That nationally-riveting CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament quarter-finals? Again (and this time with some genuine sadness), nope.

All right, hell, I'll just tell you. You people suck at guessing, by the way. Sandra Bullock? Does that sound like me?

I bought me a Harry Potter book.

Yay for overexposure! Yay for two years of free-marketing-time on every "news" station in the country!

In part at least it was a defensive gesture. With all the hoopla surrounding the release, I had half-convinced myself that if I didn't buy one, large men would break into my house and jam a copy of it down my throat. Of course I have a lot of fantasies about large men breaking into my house and forcibly jamming things down my throat, but this one had none of that familiar pleasantness about it. My therapist thinks this one just seemed scary and mean.

Past the hype, I'm also a sucker for a good zeitgeist ride-along. It's good and proper to keep culturally current so that we might better relate to those around us, especially for something like this Harry Potter thing that has evoked such strong feelings (mostly positive, but a few negative) on such a large scale. Of course with Harry Potter this mostly means that I'll be keeping most in step with 11 and 12 year olds the world over. Don't scoff; I'm a huge hit on the slumber party circuit. It's a combination of total mastery of Potter arcana and my ability to buy Near Beer.

It's hard to deny the numbers: 10 million copies sold. An astounding number for a book--any book.

But then I started thinking... 10 million... and that's world-wide, yes? Hang on, a reasonable hit TV show racks in about 15-20 million viewers per airing and that's just in one country. How big of a "phenomenon" could it be really if more people on a regular basis watch first-run episodes of Numb3rs? That piece of shit stars Rob Morrow, of all people, the man who almost single-handedly ruined Quiz Show, which should be one of my favorite movies ever but isn't because he was in it. Plus, it's a TV show about math. And still it kicks Harry Potter's ass.

OK, yeah, so I fell for it. Again. Whoop it up, haterz. What else was I supposed to do? I had just spent two months reading the 225 page Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche. I had to find something to read to counteract all the goo-ifying trauma that had been done to my brain. To give you some kind of insight into what I mean, I read Nietzsche in two months and I've read 400 pages of Rowling in about 24 hours. For some reason junior detective novels about magic and wizards and snogging and Evil Dark Lords just go down easier than the constant drumbeat of human uselessness to this point in history translated from the German. Go figure.

But don't worry, after I finish this Harry Potter, the plan is to read the second half of Tocqueville's Democracy In America. So for now, live it up as much as you can; make fun of me as much as you like for being a dork. As soon as I finish and move on to Tocqueville, you're all going to be stuck having to make fun of me for being a nerd again instead.

For now I gotta go. Something inexplicably horrible's happened to Ron Weasley! I must know more!

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.0


Friday, July 15, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #9

Wedding Crashers

starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson

directed by David Dobkin (Clay Pigeons, Shanghai Knights)

Despite most people's endemic level of natural, healthy self-loathing, I think most of us think of ourselves as basically good, strong people. It's hard to coax out sometimes, but you usually see it during bitch-sessions when we're gossiping and talking shit about other people. The dynamic has to be right--a small number of people who trust each other to keep shit to themselves--but for the most part, I think good long talks between friends where the subject matter is everybody-else-sucks-except-for-us are as necessary and reflexive as breathing.

And sometimes you just can't help yourself. I mean, just look at Other People: they're stupid, they're weak, they lack self-control, they whine all the time about the lamest stuff, they're creepy, they're clingy, they always hang around when you want them to go away, they're boring, they dress poorly, they're getting fat, they're slutty, they talk too much, they never stand up for themselves, they lie, they give dirty looks, they had sex with Other Other People's girlfriends and they always have some stupid excuse when you need help moving.

Yeah, Other People. They used to be cool, but they've really let themselves go.

Then of course there's Us. We're the opposite of all that. We are kind and decent. We speak at the proper volume and never accidentally spit on people. We bathe, we have recognizably decent table manners, we wear flattering clothes. And if it had been Us who that waiter had been rude to that one time, we wouldn't have just sat there and taken it like Other People did, oh no, we would have totally gone off because we don't take no shit from service-industry people. Yeah sure, it might have cause a scene, but strong, self-possessed people like Us don't give a shit what Other People think.

Of course once this conversation circle is broken, the spell of mutual self-delusion is broken and whammo, we're back to our regular selves, the people who sometimes don't have time to brush their hair and would rather eat a sandwich made of shit and axle grease than cause a scene in public.

From time to time the everyday humiliations that come with being a living person serve to underscore and remind us of our own Other Peopleness.

Take me, for example. I had decided I wouldn't do Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing for a while, maybe ever. I usually do it on Fridays, which according to Sitemeter, is the slowest day of the week (not counting Saturdays when I don't post) here in the Bucket. The feature actually takes a slight (and please understand that I mean slight) amount of work to put together for minimal reward. So, badass that I am, I decided "You know what, fuck those people. If they don't want to read it, I'll throw up another post on Fridays about 70s television and Brad Pitt's dick, just like every other fucking day. Goddamn ingrates."

Sadly, it only took one person--one person--to say they wanted it back for me to collapse completely. Yes! Yes yes yes, I'll put it back, anything you want! Please, just don't leeeeaaave meeeee!

It's pathetic really. I'm disgusted with myself. But here we are.



I have cable. Over this past week I've seen Starsky & Hutch and Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy. Next month I get to see Dodgeball. In the midst of all this, this new movie, Wedding Crashers is released.

It seems that comedies don't get made anymore without the participation of one or more (frequently all) the members of this floating troupe of players that includes Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (and on the side, Luke Wilson, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell). It's lucky for me that I, for the most part, like all these guys and think they're funny. For anyone who has a particularly strong negative reaction to any of them (and I know people who hate hate hate Will Ferrell), you're SOL if you want to see a comedy. Unless you want to wait for the next Mike Myers thing...

I like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson just fine, so that's not a stumbling block.

Another issue is hype. I'm already on the record saying I love me some hype. There's nothing I love more than being beat over the head with the sledgehammer of media saturation. For some reason I find it quite empowering to know that studios are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in order to get the attention of just me, Consumer With Disposable Income. Of course the joke's on them because unless they're going to send over their teenage daughters to babysit for me, I'm not going to their movies. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the process.

What bugs me about the hype process sometimes is the approach that has been taken with Wedding Crashers. They've decided to market this movie as a "sleeper hit" before it's even been released. There's nothing more irritating to me than trying to artificially generate underground buzz. How can a movie be a "sleeper" if it's on the cover of Entertainment Weekly the week before it comes out?

What offends me about this is that they are no longer spending their advertising budget to appeal to me directly. Now they're trying to appeal to someone I know so that they can then tell me how I should see their stupid movie. It's a national-media-driven word of mouth campaign which, I'm sorry, I find personally offensive.

The reviews for the movie are generally positive. Most of them extoll the virtues of "screen chemistry" between Vaughn and Wilson; the critic's blurb in the ad for the movie is from Time magazine (not bad) and compares them to Newman and Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which is kind of stupid, but whatever.

Despite my irritation with the marketing, I am nothing if not a slave to what Other People tell me to do. Between critics and advertisers then I should be chomping at the bit to run out and see this movie-I-have-no-intention-of-seeing.

Plus: Jane Seymour naked. She's 54 years old, but damn...

All that considered:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale


Thursday, July 14, 2005
From On High
After you've been doing this for as long as I have, you build up a base of knowledge and wisdom all neatly archived by the fine, fine people at Blogger. That wealth of information is, of course, there for the edification of my readers at any time, so that they might partake of some small part of my deep and staggering intellect whenever the need arises. Sure, most of what I say will be incomprehensible to smaller minds and I recognize there's a danger that misunderstanding will cause harm to the feeb who don't read so good or to those around him/her. For instance when I say "go out and kill cats", someone might misinterpret "cats" as some kind of jazz beatnik slang meaning "people" or more specifically "my ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend" or whatever when really I'm only making the harmless suggestion that they should capture, torture and murder their neighbor's feline pets.

The important thing is that I recognize my voice carries weight amongst those listening and I should take my potential to reshape the world in just a few short keystrokes very, very seriously. It's like my Uncle Cliff Robertson told me once, "with great power comes great responsibility". But that was just before the carjacker got him, so what the fuck does he know.

There are few in the world who enjoy the same kind of immediate credibility as I do, whose voice automatically lends weight and resonance to anything they have to say. Whole communities can hang on the word of a person like that, whole worldviews remade on the slightest hint of instruction from one of these elite and noble sources.

You've probably guessed by now that I'm talking about Ben "Cooter" Jones. Ben Jones, as you obviously know, played gruff but loveable truck-driving Duke boy pal Cooter on The Dukes of Hazzard. He's come out publicly this week to say that people shouldn't see the new Dukes of Hazzard movie starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson. The most shocking thing is that he's not saying you shouldn't see it just because it stars Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson. No, his point is actually about content.

Ben "Cooter" Jones objects to all the raunchy nastiness of the new movie, apparently. He remembers his old show as family friendly and wholesome and feels the movie, with it's suggestive dialogue and racy innuendo, besmirches the memory and legacy of the show. This from a man who played a character named after a slang term for "vagina".

Also, didn't he ever notice Catherine Bach's ass hanging out of her cut-off denim short-shorts? They actually call them "Daisy Dukes" now, don't they? Well, if he didn't, I did. And I was pre-pubescent, so that's saying something.

But we shouldn't dismiss Twat's--sorry, Cooter's--objections out of hand. After all, this is a man who has dedicated his post-Dukes life to wringing every last cent out of the warm childhood memories of people who liked to watch cars jump over stuff when they were 8. Nostalgia for cash and the distant glow of sad, faded celebrity: what could be more American than that? Perhaps we owe him a chance to say his peace.

But then I remembered: oh yeah, he also used to be a Congressman. All goodwill spent. Credibility approaching zero... I think we've all only got room for one late-70s cheesy TV show veteran turned congressperson in our hearts and that space is taken by Fred "Gopher" Grandy. Cooter, I hate to say it, is just sloppy seconds.

Now as much as I didn't want to see the movie, I have to just to spite Cooter. Thanks a lot.


One last thing: I never, ever want to be in charge of a tabloid. The pictures are small, but they're the covers of two I saw side by side in the supermarket checkout line.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Notice two things: the main pictures in each are somewhat similar. No wait, make that exactly the same. They're from the recent Affleck-Garner blessed union. The second thing to notice isn't the knocked-up bride's white dress, no. It's that both magazine banner headlines scream EXCLUSIVE! With the exact same pictures. Beauty.

I don't know who the photographer is who sold the same two exclusives (my guess: Scott Foley) to two separate tabloids, but s/he's my new hero.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.9


Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Just to finish the thought and clarify a little about yesterday's Rove post: if I sit and think about it and imagine (in a totally non-sexually stimulating way) everything in this whole current swirling mess dropping the way Democrats and other anti-Bush types would like it to go, what would happen? What would really happen if the hardcore partisans got their wish?

The most-favorable-condition best-case-scenario is that the charges stick. Rove loses his White House job. And then...


Nothing. We can all high five each other about how we got Karl Rove's shiny scalp, but it doesn't change anything about who's president, where the soldiers are, tax cuts, deficits, WMD, terrorists, blah blah blah. Only now when the president wants to talk to Karl Rove he'll have to do it over the phone or fancy videoconferencing instead of seeing him in person.

Whooot! Ha! Eat it, GOP!

But you know what, what the hell, I'll still celebrate. Any excuse to get loaded, right? For instance this morning I'm celebrating the fact that none of the phlegm I brought up this morning was black. Only a healthy, healthy combination of olive-green and bright yellow. I must be getting better. Yay! Dewars and Kool-Aid for everybody!


I'm going to take a second now and ask all my loyal Bucketeers out there, wherever you are, to stop what you're doing and drop to your knees.

No, it's nothing dirty. I just need you to pray with me. Pray, goddamn you, like you've never fucking prayed before.

Everybody knows by now that the #1 referral to this site is people looking for pictures of Brad Pitt's dick. I don't pretend to understand the logic of it, but that's just how it is.

It's been a fixture amongst people wandering in here for so long that now I sort of rely on it. You want me to say it? I'll say it: I need Brad Pitt's dick. I need it to artificially inflate my Sitemeter numbers so I can keep thinking I'm more popular than I am. It's the only thing between me and the dark, bottomless pit of black depression; it's always there, always following me around, stalking me--vast, cylindrical, fathomless--conveniently placed should my demise be required, like I'm the bad guy in a Star Wars movie.

But now we've got trouble. Brad Pitt's dick is in jeopardy. The problem is it's attached to the rest of him, all of which just checked into a hospital out here exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

I'm so scared I don't know what to do. We all know there's a code for celebrity sickness as a cover. It could be worse and he could have been "suffering from exhaustion" which we all know means accidental massive drug overdose.

"Exhibiting flu-like symptoms" is just... well, it's scary. The main problem is that I'm not 100% sure what it means. I know from all the movies I've seen about super-plagues wiping out giant swaths of the population that they always start with someone who has "flu-like symptoms" and next thing you know the freeways are empty, the world's a ghost-town and we're walking to Vegas with Molly Ringwald.

I do know that Brad just got back from Africa where he went with Angelina Jolie (whom he is not banging) to pick up the newest foreign kid she bought. We all know that Africa, a tropical continent, is rife with all kinds of endemic local diseases that our delicate temperate immune systems can't handle. It's also rife--and by that I mean completely filled--with foreigners. We all know they're nefarious and can't be trusted. There's the outside chance that Brad was the target of a (foreign!) madman's ingenious plot to introduce a deadly synthetic pathogen into the United States, the antidote to which only he has and will sell to us for $100 billion, counting on our worship of celebrity that he could bypass all the standard protocols of health and security by infecting a movie star, all the while sitting safe in his throne underneath a hollowed out volcano, hooting and cackling wickedly for the horror and bemusement of his stunted underlings.

Like I said, we need to pray.

The only other option for "flu-like symptoms" is... um... I hesitate to say... well, let's put it this way: we may have a Rock Hudson situation on our hands.

But if that were the case, at least then we'd know he wasn't banging Angelina Jolie.

It would also explain Troy.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.4


Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Shots At Ten Paces!
As a left-wing blogger, I guess I'm supposed to post all kinds of shit about Karl Rove and who said what when to whom about somebody's wife and oh what a bunch of lying weasels all Republicans are.

Frankly I don't have the heart to invest any vitriol into this yet. I've been burned too many times. Everytime there's some dark, nefarious, scumbaggy shit going down attached to this administration we get all worked up for the furor only to be left, once again, itchy, overdressed and unfulfilled. Just like Prom Night.

So I'm staying out of it for now. I got nothing. I do miss the good ole days when if someone said some shit about your wife and it got back to you, it was pistols at dawn. Hamilton and Burr, man. That's the way thinking people handled stuff. Of course it's complicated now since Valerie Plame is a CIA field agent and probably a much better hand with a firearm than her bureaucrat husband, but I think the point remains: watching people get shot is more fun than watching cable news.

The pay-per-view rights alone... well, I shudder to think. I daren't even dream.

Anyways, like I said, I'm a liberal so I'm obligated to pile on. Now I know how conservatives felt a year into the second Clinton term: beaten up and exhausted. But delirium tremens will do that to a guy.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comInstead of saying anything nasty, I guess I'll just throw out a picture of Karl Rove for your viewing pleasure. Go on, make your own jokes about necklessness or receding hair or skin-pastiness or multiplicity of chin-age. They kind of write themselves. I can't seem to get up for that sort of thing at the moment. He sort of looks exactly how I think every male underling in every department in Washington must look. If Google didn't tell me this was Karl Rove I would have had no idea. Look at him. If I told you he was the Third Vice-Undersecretary of Agriculture for Chick-peas and Soy, you wouldn't immediately know I was wrong, would you?

Hey, do we have a Third Vice-Undersecretary of Agriculture for Chick-peas and Soy? It seems like we should. Them Arabs are kicking our asses in the hummus department. It's time for that to stop.

Oh yeah, and Karl Rove totally sucks.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.8


Monday, July 11, 2005
Give It Away Now
Well, this is quite a way to start the new blog year. I completely forgot to post my usual half-ass late-afternoon Monday post.

So here now I come to you semi-live late Monday night. Theoretically this means I should have had plenty of time to gather myself, to collect my thoughts after my normal late-Sunday-night post and bring you a high-quality full-sized post, the kind of excellence you've come to expect in this past Year of the Bucket.

I said theoretically. But as theories go, I think that one's a lot more "flat earth" than "general relativity". For instance, it doesn't take into account the acid-spewing battery in my wife's car that took me 3 hours to clean up, remove and replace.

Just as a tip for those who don't know but always wondered: car battery acid doesn't taste nearly as good as it looks. It's a mistake you only make once.

But past that, I don't really have the energy to put together a post, but not because I'm physically exhausted. No, it's my heart: it is broken.

I know what you're thinking, "Hey Pops, you're taking the news of this whole Tiffani-Amber Thiessen wedding way too hard" to which I'll say yeah, probably. But that's not everything, you know. It's not just that now I know Kelly Kapowski and I will probably never be together anywhere but in my 114-volume self-published leather-bound collection of Saved By The Bell erotica fan-fic.

Not only did Tiffani-Amber Thiessen get married, but... oh God, it's almost too horrible to say... she's dropped the "Amber" from her credited name.

Jesus. Here comes the nausea again, hang on...

Nothing is sacred anymore. You know, you watch and watch and watch a person toil in the public eye to make something of themselves. You follow their every career move in meticulous detail on your cork board/index card/colored yarn flow chart. You write their agent to ask for a correspondence address. You wait for days and days outside the house you think they probably live in only to find out it was Charlotte Ross's place all along. And then when you do find out where they live, you follow them around town, slowly-slowly, maybe even sneak into their gym and steal an article of clothing from their locker while they're in Tae-Bo class, take pictures of yourself wearing it and then mail it all back, pictures and clothing, along with a long rambling letter about the psychic bond forged by common garment familiarity you now share written in pigeon's blood.

See, you invest yourself, that's the trap. And then they not only get all "Oh, my lawyer says you can't come within 500 feet of me" and hit you with the pepper spray, but then they go and change their fucking name on you.

God. It's like nothing means anything anymore. I gotta call her Tiffani Thiessen now, la-dee-dah, Queen-of-Fucking-Spain. Just like Ricky Schroeder and Johnny Cougar and Cole Dammett, like all the sudden, snap-of-the-publicists'-fingers and we're all "Rick" and "Mellencamp" and "Anthony Kiedis". OK, "Cole Dammett" was a stupid stage name and Anthony Kiedis actually sounds, like, a thousand times better so maybe it's not the best example, but I think my point is clear. No respect for established tradition, man.

Just beware, Hollywood. Beware. One day you're going to push it too far. Not everyone out there is a together guy like me who a) can read TROs when they are presented and b) have a parole officer, AA sponsor and Scientology auditor to keep their darker impulses in line. I'm not pointing fingers or naming names, but if in her next project Jennifer Garner is credited as "Jennifer Affleck", some bad shit is going to go down. Don't say you weren't warned.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.4


Sunday, July 10, 2005
I'd Like To Thank The Academy
Welcome everyone. Today is the day after my 1 Year Blog Anniversary. There are lots of funny, funny names for this auspicious occasion made by various smashings-together of the words "blog", "anniversary" and "birthday" like blogthday or blogiversary, but I don't want to use them, mostly for the rational and sophisticated reason that I don't like them.

I've learned a lot since my first posting. Many many lessons have been taken in, some easily, thoughtfully, respectfully, others more reluctantly, only after some force and with no small amount of lube. Intellectual lube, I mean. Don't be gross.

For instance right now I'm learning that being annoyed by lingering sickness and taking nasty antibiotics that make you feel more nauseous than a vegan on the Ted Nugent Home Tour might not constitute the best mood to write self-celebratory blogposts.

But since this is going to be all about me and I hesitate to let myself down, I will soldier on. I know it seems like it's just for me, but think about it: in the bargain, you all get fresh Bucket. So eventually everybody wins.

I have had my crack writing staff breaking down and analyzing 12 months' worth of posts and comments, categorizing and cross-listing, referencing and collating, taking my words and making some kind of rational sense of it all, using sophisticated statistical models to take a rational step back so as not to be dazzled or mesmerized by the lush everyday poetry of my magic words. They were instructed to approach their task with an eye toward the overarching, to find a rhythm in the chaos by looking at the larger picture as a whole over what the French Annales school would call the "longue durée". But then I remembered that I never did get around to teach the Guatemalans who live in my attic to speak (let alone read) English. So for the most part the effort was a bust. But it did remind me to feed them, which was lucky. Another week or two and things might have turned... unfortunate.

Some facts and numbers:

First Post: July 9, 2004, aptly titled "I have no idea what I'm doing"

First Appearance of the Narcissus Scale: July 13, 2004 (though it originally appeared as "the Narcissism Scale" July 11, 2004)

First Paris Hilton Reference: July 11, 2004 (it's possible I've gone to that well one too many times)

First Comment: July 12, 2004 by "Ex-Rite Aid Wench" whose blog disappeared shortly thereafter.

First Commenter Who Bothered To Stick Around: July 14, 2004; the lovely and talented Rita, my once great mentor and Internet Tour Guide whom I have since surpassed in every conceivable category, so long as we are not counting web design, social awkwardness and basic human potential.

Total Number Of Posts To Date: 336

Total Number Of Comments To Date: A large number that I will choose to characterize here as a "fuckload"

Number of Uses of the Word "Fuckload": 1

Most Frequent Commenter: Probably either SJ or MPH. I suppose I could count, but I have to sleep some time.

Number of People Who Read This Blog Who Know Me In Real Life: 4 (that I know of)

Search Engine Search-strings That Have Been Frequent Referrers to the Bucket: scrotum weights, Vietnamese hookers, tamale steaming buckets, "cherry pops", Brad Pitt's dick

I could go on and on making up categories and their insignificant answers, but you and I both no that won't do any good. Unless... ooh, unless there's ever a Blogger version of Trivial Pursuit that comes out and the Bucket is one of the categories. Then you'd all come begging, wouldn't you?

As I went back and re-read some of my really old stuff, for all the expected floundering, I was really suprised at the consistency of tone I've been able to keep up right from the beginning. Nearly every post is in some way winking, shrugging, forgettably insincere, imprudently meta with regards to blogging in general, dismissive, always looking for cheap laughs rather than real insight. If I had to cram the whole thing into a single-word nutshell, I guess it would have to be "asshole".

That's not self-pity or false modesty people, I'm proud of my asshole-ish tendencies. It keeps this whole lurching behemoth of a blog slippery and loose, skimming along the treacherous surface. Everyone knows what the alternative would be: toil, friction, burnout.

Besides the Narcissus Scale, this blog started out with another numerical index for the first three weeks or so that measured the "Estimated Days Until Blogger Burnout". I think the existence of that running tally shows me two things: 1) not all allegedly comedic devices are necessarily funny in retrospect, especially when the motivation for their creation was crude pre-emptive self-defense against the potentially negative feedback from people I'd never met before and 2) I realized straight from the beginning that if I started pouring my heart out and talking about my real life 6 days a week, we never would have made it to the 1 Year Blog Anniversary Mega Spectacularo. Making shit up might be harder sometimes, but I never feel like I want to kill myself when I'm done.

Besides, there are days and days and days where literally nothing out of the ordinary happens in my actual life. It's safer just to make shit up. If I tried to make a sincere effort at this, the Bucket would have been empty months ago. Who knows, in desperation for something to post, I may have been tempted to go out and buy a cat. As much as I've enjoyed our time together thus far, Bucketeers, I don't like you that much. I don't like the people I actually know that much.

Regrets? I've had a few. Mostly the 6-days-a-week precedent I set early on. Youthful enthusiasm... it will ruin you every time.

Anyways. Thanks for your (continued) patronage. Sorry this post sucked by most modern Mega Spectacularo standards. I blame the antibiotics side effects. It's hard to concentrate when your urethra's on fire.

[The Narcissus Scale has been given the day off as its presence here today would be completely and entirely redundant]


Friday, July 08, 2005
Fiction In The Archives
On this the day before my one-year blog anniversary, I've had some time to reflect on blogs and blogging and blog-posting and blog-writing and blog comments and blogs in general. Most of my really deep thinking came last night as I lay sweating and writhing in a fevered semi-conscious state while my body tried desperately to expel yet another viral invasion (two in one week! only no projectile spewage this time, sadly).

In my altered state of heightened consciousness, a couple of things occurred to me. First, if an oversized furry animal of some kind--say a rabbit or a vole--starts talking to you, don't respond. You'll only encourage it and those conversations, however benign they might start, always end with Mr. Bunny telling you to off your family with a machete.

Secondly, if you ever do make the mistake of engaging talking woodland creatures who exist only in your head and then subsequently they tell you to do harm to others, you should under no circumstances blog about it.

I think I got into blogs at just about the right time. I really didn't know anything about blogs in particular as I had spent zero time reading or researching or anything before I decided the world needed to hear my voice on an almost daily basis, but I had learned through cruel experience about internet-based communications, the immediacy of it, the false intimacy of it, the willful personal disconnect we sometimes foster that lets us forget that people are reading what we write and that the things we say sometimes have actual consequences. I learned this lesson in the early days fo the internet on BBSs, through e-mail and chatrooms when some of the things I said led to all sorts of dire and unexpected (and mostly pretty embarrassing) results.

I don't want to get into too much detail as I have no desire to relive my past internet humiliations, but just let me say you don't throw around words like "dead hooker" to total strangers unless you mean it. And while I'm sharing, also: 500 lbs. of ham is harder to get rid of then you think, no matter what kind of discount you got for it. Learn from my mistakes, people.

The thing about blogs, just like any other type of text-only communication on the internet, is that they are so seductive. Since it's just you and your keyboard, there are so many gaps of information about your audience that need to be filled in in order to make the enterprise worthwhile. The first conceit, of course, is that anyone really truly gives a shit about anything you would have to say. As Americans, this is the mildest and most hardwired of fictions. We as a people might not be able to make a decent car anymore, but man can we do some self-importance. The picture of people leaning slightly toward their monitors, straining to drink in every word you post almost paints itself.

Assuming you do build an audience, I think the second mistake would be to assume that everyone reading your blog is sympathetic to you and the positions you take. Again, this is an easy falsehood to construct because, by and large, it's true. Why would anybody bother with the time and energy to read it if they weren't interested, right? But as most of us know, it only takes one the attention of one jackass/griefer/law enforcement officer to completely disrupt your blog life and bring the whole house of cards down.

All of this is further complicated if you are, let's say, completely fucking crazy. Like the guy in Idaho who (allegedly) murdered three people in a family and then kidnapped the two remaining kids, killed one of those and then got arrested in a Denny's with the last surviving child. Turns out caucasian had himself a blog.

See? This is just what I'm talking about. Anyone know what the difference between first degree and second degree murder is? Pre-meditation. If a DA can show you were thinking about and planning shit before it went down, then you get the needle. Sure, he can always play up the "crazy" angle, but his blog can't help his case. Like I said before, it only takes one computer-literate cop to ruin your whole alibi.

To sum up: if you're planning a crime spree of any kind, keep it to yourself. Your blog is for cat pictures and poetry and memes, full stop. If I can say anything about this last year of blogging, I hope it's that I taught you this one thing. You are welcome.

My actual blog anniversary is tomorrow, but as we know, Pops don't post on Saturdays, so you'll all have to hold your breath for late Sunday/early Monday (depending on where you live) for the Pops' Bucket One Year Mega-Spectacularo. Start hydrating like crazy. And it wouldn't hurt to stretch a little. Consider yourself warned.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.1


Thursday, July 07, 2005
OK You Got Me, I Admit It, I'm Scared
Well holy shit.

I had some really great material worked up and now it's all gone out the window. Terrorists in London have caused untold death and suffering among the people there and now on top of everything else, they pre-empted my solid-gold blogpost about airplane food and the differences between men and women, forcing me to talk about some dark, depressing shit instead. It's a step too far.

The thing that freaks me out the most about the London attacks is the possibility that they were carried out by suicide bombers. For some reason I can dismiss thoughts of weapons of mass destruction as so horribly unimaginable that they exist as vague concepts about which I can do nothing. If the bad guys set off an H-bomb in the garage next door, it's not like I would necessarily notice what with being instantly vaporized and all.

But suicide bombers, that's an idea that seems way too frighteningly personal and much, much too easily possible. When I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, we flew back home from a city with a large Arab population. Of course this means you're constantly surrounded with obnoxious American kids who look vaguely Arab in shopping malls rather than obnoxious American kids who look vaguely [whatever major local immigrant community lives near you]. But as you're waiting in the terminal for your plane to board, you start to look at the conservatively dressed college-age-and-older Arab men (you know, the ones without the backwards ball caps and the color and style of whose boxers are a mystery), the women in the hijabs, profiling. And then your mind starts working and you think "Hmm, if I were a wily terrorist, I wouldn't try to look like I just came from Central Casting, I'd try to blend in, be inconspicuous, like... that guy!" And then you realize you shouted "THAT GUY!" outloud and scared the shit out of 70-year-old Chinese man sitting next to you.

And then I feel better about myself because I realize that--like a good liberal--my fear isn't based on any particularly irrational response to the presence of a maligned racial minorty but rather out of a more general sense of how I am a complete and total pussy, race-non-specific.

All the time, of course, I had nothing to worry about because by the time we reached the gate, all of us had to pass through the crack team of infallible airport security screeners. There's something about putting your keys and your cellphone in that little bowl that just sets a guy's mind at ease.

I've been to London and spent several hours in total on the Underground. That memory plus today's events plus my already-established fear of and fixation on suicide bombers pretty much guarantees the programming for tonight's round of bed-shitting nightmares. As bad as it sounds, it will be a nice change from the giant man-eating crickets I've been getting lately. Even my therapist doesn't know what to do with that one.

Lastly, as if the terrorists hadn't done enough, this was an opportunity for us to make some progress between the American and British people. This is obviously a date that will live in infamy for them, much like 9/11 was for us and March 11 is for the people of Spain. For the British people, though, "9/11" doesn't mean "September 11", it means "November 9". See, they do their numerical shorthand day/month instead of month/day. In commemorating this date forever, the clash between cultures as we would bring it up and share with one another may have led to some kind of detente on this issue, where we English-speaking people might agree at last on one goddamn way to do things so everything doesn't have to be so needlessly confusing.

But then I started thinking about what day it was and I realized: it's the 7th day of July. It's 7/7.

Fucking terrorists.


PS- Here's what our President said in response to the news: "The war on terror goes on." Fuck you, Chimpy. This doesn't make you right about anything. The first Republican advocating some kind of policy or nomination who starts a sentence "What the attacks in London tell us..." gets wedgied.

UPDATE PPS- Almost forgot: I told you people so.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Advocatus Diaboli
First of all, I was disappointed by the lack of public interest in seeing my exposed ass. I posted a few days ago that I'd be willing to share with my readers pictures of my American-flag-tattooed posterior if they would only shoot me an e-mail to express interest. I got one.


It's not that I expect any of my regular Bucketeers to be interested in seeing my naked ass. Truth be told, I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea of nude pictures of any of you either. A little too familiar, thanks. But when you consider that the #1 referral to my blog is still people looking for naked pictures of Brad Pitt, you'd think there would be some kind of crossover audience for my star-spangled heiney.

To the one person who did respond, I'm sorry, but I'm so disgusted that I'm calling it off. I have my pride. If I can't get a crowd clamoring for Pops nudity, then I'm taking my balls and going home.


I know these days Tom Cruise is an easy target. He rants, he screams, he jumps up and down like the rhesus monkey he is. See Tom explain! See Tom proselytize! See Tom scold! It's all so silly. And through it all, at bottom we all realize it's impossible to take a man seriously when we know he's wearing lifts.

Besides the outright crazy-crazy stuff, the conspiracy theories about his very public relationship as a beard to cover his homosexuality, he's mostly getting pilloried for wandering (stupidly and ill-advisedly) into the realm of conception, labor and childbirth, which in my experience is the shortest route to getting kicked in the nuts with a pointed shoe. It works almost as fast as "Hey baby, nice tits. How much you pay for those?"

Here's a thought I've been having, something I can't seem to shake and--because I used up all my good vomit material yesterday and I'm desperate for blog premises--I wanted to share with you, loyal readers:

What if Tom Cruise is right?

What if underneath that whole giant pile of obviously retarded Scientology wrongness about space aliens and bodies possessed by multiple misanthropic spirits and secret handshakes and Xenu and the whole thing they completely by accident are on to something with this whole anti-psychiatry thing, especially with regard to psychiatric drugs?

I'm not saying necessarily that I believe that to be the case. But consider the fact that neuroscience, for all its advances, is still in its infancy in all respects. I only know a couple of people who are on regular anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. They are constantly having their dosages and combinations altered and messed with. They're only anecdotal examples, but it seems like there's a great deal of trial-and-error going on with these drugs after they're prescribed, which seems somewhat backward to me.

The problem is that anti-depressants aren't antibiotics, where the scope of the drug's job is narrow and clearly defined and can be accomplished in a fixed dosage regimen where the benefits clearly outweigh the risks from side-effects. I think if asked, most people would prefer some achy joints and nausea to rampant infection, sepsis and death.

It's like the difference between the First and Second Gulf Wars. The First Gulf War was about clearing the Iraqi army out of Kuwait to the tune of a Lee Greenwood song and the roar of football stadium jet flyovers back home. This Second Gulf War is... um... well, we're not really, sure. We're just trying this, trying that... we're not really sure when we'll be done. Whenever Iraq decides it "feels better". Or at least tapers off on the self-mutilation.

For me the complicating factor is the pharmaceutical industry. The same way dedicated political interests have (in California anyway) completely bypassed the State Legislature by appealing directly to voters in the form of ballot initiatives (the California State Legislature's only remaining job now is to fight with governors over the budget every year) pharmaceuticals have run around the roadblock of doctors and prescriptions with heavy direct advertising to potential patients that promises to cure you of all your bad feelings, ever. That vague public awareness in addition to the financial pressure on doctors to promote one drug or another (the assortment drug-name-emblazoned tchochkes you see in doctors offices are astounding... I know I couldn't resist the allure of free pens and sun visors) compromises the whole enterprise.

This is of course completely separate from the lame, brainwash-y Scientology party-line about psychiatry being inextricably linked to Nazism. It's the trap you fall into when your propaganda was built in the early 1950s by a man embittered by the psychiatric establishment laughing at his touchy-feely Dianetics hooey. The last 60 years of pharmaceutical psychiatry is all-American, baby, with everything that entails, positive and negative.

And it's not like convention medical wisdom has never been wrong. Who else remembers thalidomide?

I know, I've never had post-partum depression so I have no idea what I'm talking about. And anything out of the mouth of Tom Cruise is suspect, I concede that as well. I guess what got me thinking about it was a quote by Tom's Scientology cohort Kelly Preston. She's married to John Travolta, so automatically I question her judgment a little bit as well, but she said this about the Brooke Shields thing:

"If you're going to be advocating drugs, which she does in her book, you need to be responsible for also telling the people of the potential risks."

Now I haven't read Brooke Shields' book (it's on my list right after I finish my Carol Channing unauthorized biography) so I don't know what she says or doesn't say about risks and side-effects. But I think that's a fairly sensible quote.

And NO, I'm not just siding with Kelly Preston because she has a nicer rack than Brooke Shields. Although it doesn't hurt her argument.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.7


PS- Don't get all uppity and yell at me for saying I don't think drugs help people, because I do think drugs help people. I think keeping the psychotics all doped up is a really good thing, socially speaking.

PPS- I only included a link to an anti-Scientology site. In fairness, I am including a link to their official site so you can get the information with a whole different color of varnish. The frustrated journalist in me demands that I let the goofy fuckers have their own say.


Powered by Blogger