Monday, February 28, 2011

Fabulous. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Of course, being a gay man, you know I'm going to be entranced by the Oscars. But this year it really blew me away!

I was hooked from the pre-show chitchat on the red carpet. Loooved what's apparently become a new trend. Stars have always borrowed designer clothing or million-dollar necklaces in exchange for casually dropping the designer's name. Well, this year the stars actually wheeled housewares and home appliances down the red carpet. It looked like year-end clearance at some fabulous Wal-Mart.

Sharon Stone plugged her gown -- Armani, of course -- but also showed off the $20,000 worth of hand-carved Baccarat barware she was carrying. "Isn't this decanter lovely?" she asked Susan Holt of Access Hollywood. "A fourth-generation crystal craftsman etched every single one of those lines!" Jenna Elfman wheeled a high-efficiency Amana washer/dryer down the red carpet topped by a fuchsia bow that matched her Dior gown. "It uses half the water of a regular washer," she blabbed to Carmena Fischer of Entertainment Weekly. "And saving our planet's resources is what it's all about!"

From the opening bell it seemed like the telecast was itching for a fight between old Hollywood and new. They showed clips from Gone With the Wind, and later Salt. They played music from West Side Story, and later Randy Newman sang.

Yup, it's unanimous: It's new Hollywood by a knockout!

I laughed when Christian Bale defended Melissa Leo by saying he's dropped the F-bomb "plenty of times" before. That's real class, turning everything into a story about you. It certainly shouldn't have prompted Ms. Leo to run back onstage screaming, "Motherfucker! Cocksucker! Whore!" Luckily James Franco defused the tension by saying Winter's Bone had pulled out of Rabbit Hole and was now pounding on the King's Peach.

And I loved loved loved Kirk Douglas. How did he never win an Oscar? Heck, with his naughty asides to Ms. Hathaway he almost convinced me that he could still get an erection. I shed a tear for those long-gone times when you didn't move your face because you were a gladiator, not because it'd been disabled by Botox. Note to Nicole Kidman: Spartacrissy!

Kirk totally stole the show while somebody -- I think it was a female -- tried to accept some award. Note to Kanye: after you have a stroke and an eye job, we'll cut you some slack too! There was a standing O at my house when they finally dragged him offstage.

Anne Hathaway and Gwyneth Paltrow proved they could be singers if -- ha! -- the acting didn't work out. That song about Hugh Jackman was so funny I'm sending them a ditty about Adam West as we speak. And didn't Jennifer Hudson look pretty? That woman is a fabulous role model, showing everybody she isn't giving up her singing career because of a man. No, she's ditching it because of success.

Anne congratulated Hollywood on its diversity, and she got that right: straight white women played more lesbians than ever this year. It's like we were janitors at some high school: there were lesbos everywhere we looked! Okay, so there weren't a lot of African Americans in the program. In fact, I only saw two, one of whom was dead. But all those cute black kids more than made up for it. I'm sure Oscar isn't saying that, like dogs and cats and child stars, they just don't age well. Besides, hiring a hundred black kids for an hour is even better than hiring a grownup dude full-time.

For me, though, the absolute highlight had to be that closing montage of all the good bits from the new movies. I can't wait to see the King's Speech now! That narration was so, so moving! The king didn't stutter once during his --


Like Melissa Leo said while wheeling her Amana Radarange back down the red carpet, "Shit-eating, motherfuckin' cunt!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Metamucil is a big company, and they must spend lots of money to advertise. Maybe they'll fork over a small pile of cash, then, if I share this fabulous new contest with my readers.

Win a Heart to Heart with Dr. Oz! Mehmet Oz, M.D., is the award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show, and he probably did something even before Oprah discovered him. Well, one lucky person will actually win a chance to speak to Dr. Oz!

Oh. Sorry. I guess I should have warned you first so you could brace yourself.

I can already hear your excitement. "What?" you ask. "Are you fuckin' kidding me? Why, ever since I was a small child I've dreamed of talking to a medical professional. I think my grandfather did once, though the doctor's reply was something on the order of, 'I'm on vacation; do I really have to be subjected to grilling by a bellboy?' I knew America was a fabulous country, but I didn't realize that I could actually win competent medical advice!"

Yes, imagine the envy of your neighbors as you float into the rarefied stratosphere of folks with adequate medical coverage like Donald Trump and Paris Hilton, who can actually speak to doctors and get replies back, and don't solve their medical problems by Googling phrases like "+arm +'shooting pain.'" If you overcome million-to-one odds, Dr. Oz might actually speak with you for an hour or more, and -- although there is no guarantee -- he may actually glance away from his Blackberry while he's talking.

Needless to say, there can only be one winner, and if Dr. Oz says something like, "You need an appendectomy stat!" it doesn't actually bind him to performing any kind of treatment or taking the slightest bit of interest.

By now you're probably saying this is too good to be true. "Are you sure this isn't just an appointment with Dr. Oz? And he'll keep me waiting eighteen hours before I'm finally met by some Jamaican woman whose only qualification, as far as I can tell, is owning a pair of blue scrubs?"

No, you will actually meet with Dr. Oz, and you'll get to ask him anything! Now you can confirm that something's definitely wrong when your eyeballs move independently. Now you can ask if it's okay that your testicles are as green and hard as hand grenades. Now you can find out why the creams you buy at Rite Aid won't stop that weird cauliflower growing on your ass.

Enter every day, and good luck to you all. Me, I'm just pleased as punch that one of my readers might get to see a real live doctor, though maybe not quite so thrilled that seeing a member of the medical profession in America is valued right up there with all-expense-paid trips to Disney World. I think that's why I'm shaking right now, though if I don't win I'll never know for sure.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be adding another stamp to her passport in March, when she takes a trip to India.

And when she comes back, look for her new book, "Tweet, Flay, Gov."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well, I made a New Year's resolution that I'd find a way to make money off this blog, and now it's time to give it a try. I saw a commercial on TV last night for Golden Corral, that $10 buffet place, and I think if I reprint it here and a lot of people read it maybe they'll send me a check. The commercial went by really quickly so I might have gotten some of the dialog wrong -- and I purposely made the announcer a little more sensible, because it really cried out for an opposing viewpoint -- but I did my best.


SCENE: Mom, Dad, and two kids are standing on a white stage talking to an invisible announcer.

MOM: We're real seafood lovers. Who's got the best seafood tonight?

DAD: How 'bout some tilapia?

ANNOUNCER: Tilapia? Whoa, you're fuckin' shooting for the stars, dude. Let me get this straight: you're seafood lovers. You can ask me for any fish in the universe. Sea bass, tuna, halibut, swordfish. And you ask for a bottom-feeder that usually comes from the country that soaks children's toys in lead paint?

MOM: Maybe grilled? Or with a zesty sauce?

ANNOUNCER: Zesty sauce. Fine. Forget that, according to Wikipedia, farm-raised tilapia is just slightly worse for you than frostbite. How about our new Jalapeño Glazed Tilapia, drizzled with Jalapeño Glaze and garnished with jalapeño slices?

DAD: Sounds awesome! Do you have any more tilapia?

ANNOUNCER: Sadly, yes. Our new Sweet Pecan Tilapia is fried to a golden brown and topped with pecan pieces, adding some small semblance of flavor to a fish that has absolutely none of its own.

DAD: Mm. That sounds delish!

MOM: What about me? Do you have anything a woman would like?

ANNOUNCER: Sweetie, those two dishes aren't exactly covered in eyeballs. Well, we've got Seafood Newburg, which is pretty much a croissant on top of some kind of marine life.

MOM: Fabulous! And do you have a seafood salad for a real seafood lover?

ANNOUNCER: No. Our seafood salad is a blend of vegetables and Surimi crab, which contains about as much real crab as an Almond Joy. But Dad, I've got great news!

DAD: Wait. Gulp. Do you mean . . .

ANNOUNCER: Yes! Surimi is a processed fish paste made of many undesirable fishes, including tilapia.

DAD: Hooray! We're hooked!

ANNOUNCER: Awesome! And make sure to come back next month for Golden Corral's Meat Lover's Paradise.

DAD: Oh boy! Will they have bologna?

ANNOUNCER: Dude, shut up and get in the fucking car.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day trip to Philadelphia. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When Absolut vodka invites you to a Lady Gaga afterparty, you go. You don't stop and think, "Well, I was going to eat that leftover Chinese, and then watch Face Off on TV." You decide whether you're going to dress hip or stylish, and then you hit the road.

I went for stylish. Unfortunately, the dress code was sports coats for males and meth tramp togs for females.

Now, I hadn't hung around a lot of heterosexuals recently, but I was shocked by how much they'd changed. Really, now Jon Gosselin lookalikes deserved two stick-thin, scantily-dressed Asian models? Really, now women couldn't cross their legs without the tops of their nylons being bared? Now unattractive dudes making out with smokin' hot chicks throw their hands in front of their faces when photographers appear?

The club, La Pomme on West 26th Street, could have been part of the problem. The decorator was obviously instructed to make the place look posh on a $700 budget, and that price included decorative plywood wall details, giant murals of kissing women, and twin stripper poles.

Rudolfo and I got there around elevenish, just in time to hear the DJ play every song recorded in 1972. I know it's not smart to go out before midnight, but I didn't realize they actually punish people who do. Eventually the place filled up, and the music went Top 40 and really loud. It was definitely an improvement: when it's loud enough to shake your clothing, even Katy Perry sounds okay. Two professionals took to the poles at precisely 11:45, trying to look sexy without actually moving. It was annoying, like watching a marching band walk an entire parade route without playing a note. At 12:15 the whistle blew and suddenly they were lithe Fred Flintstones racing to little stone homes.

By now, though, the party was in full effect. Chicks were holding their cellphones at arm's length to snap pictures of themselves having fun. They vastly outnumbered dudes, and not one of them weighed more than ninety pounds or had more than six inches of fabric below her waist. The lines for the stripper poles rivaled the ones at Space Mountain.

I was horrified. Rudolfo was thrilled. "We're walking on the wild side!" he crowed.

I smiled and got another Absolut Wild Tea, which is delightfully floral with undertones of lemon. And when disaster appeared, as always, it took a female form.

We'd noticed Cronkite the minute she'd walked in. She looked fun-loving and quirky, and moved just slightly faster than a mouse with its tail caught in a trap. She worked the stripper pole like a champ when all the other girls just grinded against it and moaned. When she'd worn off most of the silver, she turned her attentions to us. Rather than introducing herself with, "May I join you?" or "Is this seat taken?" she leapt on us like a golden retriever. She spat dialogue way too fast to be intelligible, though we hadn't seen her with a drink. "What are you guys doing," she yelled, "sitting here all gangsta?"

Rudolfo hollered something in her ear, and then she turned to me. "Really?" she asked excitedly. "He's your BOYFRIEND?"

A little pink butterfly fluttered in my stomach. That's a bit premature, I thought, considering it's our first date, but who I was I to argue with employed & hunky? "Yup," I said. "Totally. We're walking on the wild side tonight."

"I LOVE gay guys!" she said. "All my friends are gay guys! But let's make sure once and for all."

And that, kids, is how a forty-year-old Sicilian architect and a blogger who looks like Abraham Lincoln got their first lap dances.

Cronkite didn't actually wait for a reaction below Rudolfo's belt, because every inch above it was screaming "You seem like a delightful woman, but please GET OFF ME." He was leaning so far back, in fact, his head was in a different time zone. Thinking me a more likely prospect, Cronkite changed seats and my gay life flashed before my eyes. What happens if I get an erection? I wondered. Does it mean I'm bi? Will I have to download different porn? Will I have to buy ugly shoes? Somewhere a bird chirped and Cronkite's attention was diverted, though, and she climbed off and scampered away just as Rudolfo declared, "I'm on fire."

Really, this puzzled me. He didn't show the obvious signs of combustion. He wasn't engulfed in flame. Just judging from outward appearances, in fact, he could just have easily have been saying, "This rumaki is so tasty!"

"Are you sure?" I asked.

He turned and showed me the shoulder of his jacket, where he'd backed into a candle. "I put it out pretty quickly," he said. "Luckily it's fire retardant. It just kind of melted."

An odd smell enveloped the room, and reality smacked me like a hammer. "Is that coat polyester?" I asked.

Rudolfo scowled at me. "Are you really asking about the jacket before asking me if I'm okay?"

We stared at each other, without a word, and then pretty much simultaneously decided to hit the road. While we were cutting through the oblivious crowd, a man veered into our path with a camera, but we threw our hands in front of our faces and ran for the door.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two days ago:
Open Letter to Westboro Baptist Church

We, the collective super-consciousness known as ANONYMOUS -- the Voice of Free Speech & the Advocate of the People -- have long heard you issue your venomous statements of hatred, and we have witnessed your flagrant and absurd displays of inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism. . . .

ANONYMOUS cannot abide this behavior any longer. The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action. Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites.


Kacey Jordan told Radar Online that she just had an abortion. She claims Charlie Sheen may have been the father but adds, "A week earlier I had been with another celebrity, so it could of [sic] been his. I get pregnancy very easily."

Well, I think that's understandable. I mean, Custer surrended at Little Bighorn, and he only got pounded by a couple hundred dudes a day.

Belgian men, in a protest against government incompetence, have stopped shaving and started walking around in their underwear.

Palin 2012!
Mark Wattier, a political science professor at Murray State University, has taken early retirement after making a controversial comment to two black students who showed up late for class. As one of the students relates, "[Professor Wattier] said, ‘Well, it's OK, I expect it of you guys anyway. We asked him, ‘What did that mean?' And he said the slaves never showed up on time, so their owners often lashed them for it. "

Another holdover from slavery? Waiting until the master turns around and then hitting him with a rake.


Men protest.

Women clean.

¡Viva la Revolución! Hey, honey, you missed a spot.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I don't know why it annoys me. Nobody bothers with crap like spelling or grammar or punctuation, so I should just let it go. Join the crowd. Type incomprehensible messages on my $500 phone and slap a few happy faces at the end.

For some reason, though, I just can't let it go. Steve is writing a text to a new guy. They went out to dinner, then to a club, but somehow they got separated and Steve went home alone. I'm eating a muesli-and-fruit cup at our neighborhood coffee shop; he's tip-tip-tapping on his phone. Naturally I'm curious, so when he says, "You want to read it?" I say okay.

And this, reproduced exactly, is what he wrote: "had a great time last night sorry i didn't blow you off"

"Nice," I say. I try to get my eyes to twinkle. "That is really fun."

Of course, I've never been great at faux-sincerity. "Okay, grandma," Steve sighs. "What's wrong with it?"

I take a sip of coffee to fortify myself. "You know, punctuation wasn't invented just to make texting difficult. You need, at the very least, a semi-colon, unless you're saying you really wish you'd orally serviced him."

Steve looks at his phone again, then back at me. "Leave it to you to read it that way," he says. "Anybody else would know what I meant."

"When you use the language properly," I say, "you remove all semblance of doubt."

He glares at me for a few minutes, then goes back to the tiny keyboard. Tap tap tap, I hear from across the table as I ferry melon balls to my mouth. Finally he says, "You'll approve of this one," and he hands his phone to me.

"went to pee and guess i missed you," it reads.

"You know," I say, suppressing a sigh, "maybe you should forget about apologizing. It sounds strange without any context. Just tell him you had a wonderful time and you're looking forward to seeing him again."

He looks like he's going to fling his croissant at my polo shirt but he picks up the phone instead. This text takes him literally half an hour to compose. He's changing screens. He's hitting three buttons at once. He's capitalizing, he's punctuating. I'm actually starting to feel proud of him. And he's going to be proud of himself, I think, as he feels the sense of achievement that comes with correctly employing one's native tongue. For probably the first time in his short life he's going to send a text that's not open to random interpretation.

"Now, wasn't that worth it?" I say as he finishes his work and hands me the phone.

He smiles sheepishly. "Yeah," he says. "You were right, of course."

And then I read this on his phone: "I enjoyed eating dinner with you on our first date. Now I'm really looking forward to number two."

It's a bit difficult for me to muster up a supportive smile, but I manage a quick, "That's excellent." He hits the send button as a waiter appears with the check, and I decide that I could use the bathroom as well.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apparently it kept falling across her boobs.

Cpl. Michael Tscherkassow, an Edmonton soldier who bragged on Facebook that he had “Superman-punched” a gay man on the dance floor of a nightclub, was sentenced to 12 months in jail after being convicted of aggravated assault.

And today all the other prisoners agreed that dude has an ass of steel.

Once again I'm in awe of Christians for finding yet another instance of insidious subliminal marketing in a Disney advertisement. It's absolutely despicable the way they shove their hidden agenda down our throats. This ad looks totally harmless, but there's a secret message. Your brain, without any conscious effort, will notice it -- "SEX," in big, curvy letters -- and it'll make a little mental note that says, "Wow, I really want to see that film!" And then that night, as the lights come back up in the theater, you'll finally return to sanity. "Why the fuck did I see that?" you'll think to yourself.

So, thanks, Christians. You're amazingly perceptive. Sure, you missed how the dude's eyes are all but screaming, "Girlfriend, let me go! I've got a boyfriend and two teacup poodles that miss me!", and how he's just a blonde wig and a tiara away from singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend," but I'm guessing scanning ads with a magnifying glass probably fried your tiny brains.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If Clarence Thomas were an athlete, he'd be a boxer. He'd sign up to fight some up-and-comer on an undercard in Atlantic City, and then he'd show up flabby and forty pounds overweight. He'd shake hands, then punch his opponent in the groin. One roundhouse to his glass jaw, though, and he'd be out like a light.

"One day!" he'd mutter to himself as they hauled him away on a stretcher. "I'll be on top one day!"

His wife would be caught smuggling steroids in from Canada. He'd have a tattoo of the cartoon character Calvin taking a wizz across his forehead.

Unfortunately, Thomas is just an accomplished idiot who came in handy when George W. Bush needed one. And he's currently making a name for himself as a liar who writes American laws.

Three years ago, Thomas went to a political retreat for wealthy conservatives sponsored by Charles and David Koch, brothers who spend millions financing conservative causes. It was a “brief drop-by," a court spokesperson said, and Thomas gave a short talk.

Later, though, it was revealed that (1) Thomas was there for four days, and (2) all his expenses were paid.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that last year Justice Thomas helped pass a Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations to donate to political causes with very little public disclosure, directly aiding the "brief drop-by"'s hosts.

If a film were made about Thomas the boxer, he'd be played by Gary Busey. He'd blather ridiculous excuses knowing nobody'd dare touch him while -- just in case -- Justice Scalia stood nearby holding a folding chair.

I hate to pass along bad news, but, well, that's life. You know Serene Branson, that CBS reporter at the Grammys who started talking complete gibberish? Really, just babbling nonsense that pointed ineluctably to serious mental collapse, and paramedics were called?

Sadly, her family confirmed today that she's been hired by The View.

Charlie Sheen has told the producers of "Two and a Half Men" that filming can resume any time because he's "peeing clean."

"That's absolutely true," say eight gum-cracking hookers. "We barely need to shower any more."

A team has been suspended from England's all-Jewish football league after they were caught fielding a roster of fake Jews.

A player supposedly named "Simon Laub" was actually Colombian banker Javier Guevara, and "Danny Potter" turned out to be Polish personal trainer Mariusz Mielniczuk.

Refs got wise when "Simon" didn't answer to his name, couldn't remember his birthday, and then tried to rent an apartment from himself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kansas GOP Rep. Connie O'Brien says she can tell who's an illegal because of their "olive complexion."

Hey, I'll contribute to the buffet. I can tell who's crackers.

President Obama recently told us that the best way to jump-start the economy is to invent new industries, so naturally I'm doing my part. I came up with two great ideas that could help make America competitive again.

Whenever Raoul sleeps over, I know it's going to be bad. Not the sleeping part, of course, but the part where we wake up. "I have to get up at nine," he insists. "I have a very full day planned." I set the alarm for nine, and it wakes me up at nine. Nothing short of a jackhammer, though, could wake up Raoul, so naturally the job goes to me.

"Raoul, it's nine o'clock. Time to get up."

One eye opens. It scowls at me. "Why won't you let me sleep?" he accuses. "Bastard. Now I'll never get to finish that incredible dream."

Got that? Yes, it's entirely my fault, though I personally don't need to get up until two minutes before RuPaul's Drag Race starts. In fact, it's only slightly better than when I don't wake him up, because at least he doesn't blame an entire day on me.

The smart person can learn something from this story, aside from "Most dudes are assholes." ALARM CLOCKS ARE FUCKED UP. Ostensibly they wake up whoever wants to be woken up, but in reality they rouse the dude who didn't finish off the Cointreau.

Which is why I came up with this: an alarm clock with a tiny spit-cup on top. Whoever wants to get up spits into the cup. The clock analyzes the DNA and, at the set time, rousts anybody matching that DNA.

Sure, I realize it's a little technical, but it doesn't really have to be that precise. I don't care if it wakes up his parents, or any possible offspring. But it definitely shouldn't bother anybody who's got his DNA on them, or -- knowing my part-time boyfriend -- New York would actually be the city that never sleeps.

My other invention is a space-age slicer/dicer. Basically it's a box lined with mirrors and a laser stuck in one end. You put a loaf of bread in the box, hit the SLICE button, and with a quick zap your bread is sliced. Put in an onion, hit the CHOP button, and your onion is chopped.

Really, I don't know why nobody's made these already. Weren't lasers supposed to revolutionize the world? At the very least they were supposed to zap all our eyes out. Can't their awesome power be harnessed to facilitate guacamole? Instead, I find myself cursing the scientific establishment as my dull Henckel squashes all the juice out of a tomato. I find myself agreeing with the other, more sensible scientist who was surely hanging around when the laser was invented.

INVENTOR: I've done it! I've created a device that emits electromagnetic radiation through optical amplification of the stimulated emission of photons. Do you realize what this means?

SENSIBLE SCIENTIST: Ohmigod! No more boring Pink Floyd shows at the planetarium!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Black King's Speech

I'm mystified by all the acclaim for The King's Speech. I watched the BAFTA awards last night -- Britain's equivalent of the Academy Awards -- and it was a clean sweep. Everybody loves the movie. It's wholesome, it's smart, it's great!

Of course, I haven't actually seen the movie, but I won't let that stop me. I mean, when I heard it was about a white person helping another white person, I thought, what? Did all those fabulous white folks already fix all the blacks?

I know Michelle Pfeiffer was keeping the black teens in high school, Hillary Swank was getting them into college, and Sandra Bullock was helping the oversized ones play pro football. But did that fix them all? Is the genre finished? Are we going to start seeing whites help other white people now?

Theoretically I'm all for that, just as equal opportunity, but in reality it means another black man is out of a job. Given the choice, I'd rather have The King's Speech follow the usual formula. I've rather see a white dude help a black dude. I'd rather see a black king.

See, when movies are historically accurate, they portray a time when minorities were second-class citizens. To do this, though, they have to treat minorities as second-class citizens again. "We're portraying a terrible time in history here," the casting agent says. "So white people only, please!"

I'm picturing the casting call: how do you dodge the words "MINORITIES NEED NOT APPLY"? It's like those Civil War reenactments. The folks running it could be pillars of tolerance, but if you're Chinese and you want to take part, better bring fake pigtails and a bottle of Tide.

Really, I don't see anything wrong with watching history reenacted with different faces. It's all about pretending, isn't it? I don't think anybody's going to storm out screaming because women never served in the real cavalry, and General Ulysses S. Grant didn't have an Afro. And frankly, I think The King's Speech would have been better with a black king, because at least there would have somebody to root for.

As it is, I'm just not getting the empathy. I'm not understanding the conflict. We're supposed to root for the rich white guy to win? People in the audience are sitting with their fingers crossed thinking, "PLEASE prove that nepotism works!"? Really? That's the cliffhanger? If the king can stop stuttering, it'll show there's nothing wrong with a system of Caucasian control passed down as birthright. If he fails, the angry demons of democracy may rear their ugly heads, and power may shift to the ill-mannered, or beige.

Yes, I realize with a black king the movie would have been totally exploitative, because that's the way Hollywood works. The two main characters would have been slightly rewritten.

I think I nailed it. Dawg, that speech went aiight.

If you'll pardon my saying, sire, you may have alienated some of the crowd by describing everything as "mothafuckin'."

Do you think so? I was surprised that so few people put their hands in the air.

Also, my liege, I believe your subjects might be more receptive to your message if you didn't automatically end every line with, "Know what I'm sayin'?"

Servant, you have crossed the line of insubordinance here. Are you daring to disrespect me? I'm your mothafuckin' KING, know what I'm -- (SIGHS.) Merciful heavens, will our ceaseless toil never end?

If the film has to be all white, there's a simple fix there too. Show that, in the end, the system is fucked. Let the king disappear in a yellow spiral as he announces, "Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Repeat Friday: Stripping Grammar Naked

Once in a while, somebody will ask me where I learned to write. Sometimes I tell them about the year I spent under John Rechy at Princeton. Sometimes I tell them about the short-story classes I took with Edmund White, or the sabbatical at that writer's colony off the woodsy coast of Nantucket.

And sometimes I tell them the truth: that I learned everything I know from sitting naked in front of my computer and reading lots and lots of godawful porn.

Experts know the best way to learn what's good is to study what's bad. For instance, I learned how not to cook Mexican food from Taco Bell, what not to wear from Wal-Mart, and how not to have sex with ex-husbands 1, 2 and 4. Desperate to find the very worst in writing, I cruised the sleaziest internet porn sites, searched Google for every four-letter word, and scrutinized every fan-fiction site where Spock and Sulu ever touched.

To save you time, though, and from discovering your belongings heaped on the doorstep by an intolerant boyfriend who knows about Internet Explorer's "History" file, I've compiled the most miserable writing I've found in many hard years of study. If we take a moment to examine these examples and see what mistakes were made, we can use that knowledge to write up some rules that we can use to improve our own work.

(1) He had nice thick chest hair that covered his entire body.

The first thing we learn is, never eat breakfast while surfing porn sites. Because while chest hair can be reasonably fetching on, say, a chest, when it creeps over to the forehead or the elbows it can make Jim Belushi spew up his Sugar Pops. It doesn't take an expert to realize chest hair is best confined to the upper torso, in much the same manner that toenails should remain in the vicinity of the feet.

(2) Jim grabbed his ass through his tight shorts and said, "I want you bad."

From this awkward construction we learn that if there are two or more males in your story, avoid using the word "his." Your dramatic scene will turn farcical if the reader thinks your hero is grabbing his own body parts and expressing his feelings of desire. Similar examples include the following:

-- The stranger wrapped his hungry mouth around his mushroom head.
-- Standing at the side of the bed, Gustavo grabbed his ankles and lifted them high into the air.
-- Slowly Maury worked his lips down to his stomach.

(3) All night long Carl slept, sprawled naked across the bed, and Max approached with anticipation.

What we learn here is, modifiers in the first half of your sentence also apply to the second. We’ve got a scene that’s probably eight hours long, which means Max moves about as slowly as gay rights.

(4) Brad's endowment was throbbing so hard Joshua thought it'd explode.

The problem here is painfully obvious: Don't frighten your reader with images from Japanese horror movies. You've spent hours conjuring up the perfect picture, then you go and spoil the mood:

-- Chuck's erection grew so hard it could have knocked over Hitler.
-- I'd never seen an ass pounded so relentlessly, and I watch Bill O'Reilly.
-- His equipment, trapped in those thin white shorts, looked like my grandma in her bra.

(5) Max took out Walter's penis and played with it.

Watch out for the words “took out.” While you may assume it’s equivalent to “bared" or "uncovered,” the reader may opt for another meaning, like “to remove from a box.”

(6) I really wanted to have sex with him. After I finished my french toast, I slid over next to him and brought it up.

Here we've got a confusing pronoun -- in this case, the word "it." The writer is hoping he can refer all the way back to his previous sentence, but instead the reader stops at the closest noun, which just happens to be "french toast."

Other regrettable examples are:

-- My wife and I made love on the deck of our pristine white yacht, then I tied her to the pier and went home.

-- Cooper and I took the dog for a walk. I couldn't resist the way his ass swayed back and forth, so I dragged him behind a bush and took him from behind.

(7) He grabbed hold of his meat and pulled out a condom.

This sentence shows that sometimes there's a weird synergy between different parts of your sentence. Either half of this line is fine by itself, but put the two together and it sounds like a magic trick.

Similar missteps include:

-- I squeezed the bartender's nipple and he refilled my empty glass.
-- Wayne rubbed Raoul's butt until Barbara Eden appeared.

(8) On my knees, Stephen grabbed my head and guided it toward his groin.

This is what's called a "dangling modifier," because the writer has misplaced a clause. Rather than being turned on, the reader pictures a Cirque du Soleil-style attraction. Re-read your articles searching for sentences like:

-- Covered with mayonnaise, Roger took a bite of his sandwich.
-- Engrossed in the newspaper, his penis lay there quietly.
-- Nearly at orgasm, Puddles the dog trotted in.

Well, we've just barely scratched the surface, but today's lesson has to come to an end. Remember, there are serious side effects to reading too much porn. You start to feel inadequate by constantly comparing yourself to these perfect, unreal images, and your self esteem can suffer as a result.

Honestly, though, I swear to you: usually I can go on for hours.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Okay, so I finally got that new Confession app for the iPhone. I really am startled by how good it is. It almost makes damnation fun.

See, my memory has never been that great. I walk into the confessional, and all of a sudden my mind goes blank. What did I do again? Why am I here? Suddenly I start judging myself on a curve. How bad could I have been, comparatively speaking? I mean, this is New York.

I wrack my brain while the priest sighs and checks his Tag Heuer. The folks in line outside tap their feet. Finally I just say, "Oh, I read my ex's email, and told my neighbor to go fuck himself." Like Trix is part of a balanced breakfast, these are a big part of my average week.

Without fail, though, the second I step outside it all comes rushing back. I can't believe I forgot about blowing that jogger! And didn't I shoot a dog?

With this app, though, you can type in the sins as you commit them and not have to rely on your memory. Steal somebody's Fiero? Install a hidden camera above the toilet in your Texaco? Just a couple quick taps and you're cool. Plus, you're safe: your sins are stored in a password-controlled database.

When you finally decide to go to "Confession," the app shows its real skill. You type in basic information about yourself, and it customizes a list of questions just to make sure you didn't miss anything. "Have you had dirty thoughts?" it asks. "Have you touched yourself?" Wow, I think: those are sins? It's really going to crucify me if it asks whether I looked at a dog's balls and then started fantasizing about Ed Asner.

Still, it's not entirely perfect. Its mind seems to wander. "Do you like pizza?" it asks. "What are you wearing?" And then, "Are you parents home?" But in the end I think it's the best --

Whoops. I gotta go. There's somebody at the door.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A major porn studio is recreating Charlie Sheen's recent 36-hour sex and drug bender for release as an X-rated film. Kacey Jordan, one of the girls Sheen paid to party, is set to star.

The weekend began with five call girls and a "briefcase full of cocaine," and ended with Sheen being rushed to the hospital and the paid "guests" hitting just about every news program to cash in on their payday.

The binge has been the nadir of a spiral of self-destruction that prompted Sheen's friends and family to discuss involuntary commitment and may cost CBS $250 million in licensing fees.

Hearing about the upcoming film, Sheen reportedly said, "Wow -- can I play me?"

A 35-year-old central California man was killed at a cockfight after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its limb.

Police say the man, previously convicted of animal fighting, was part of an organization that specially bred birds, then put them into a ring and encouraged them to fight until one was incapacitated or killed.

Ironically, this afternoon they're serving chicken clubs in hell.

Last Friday a mother in Queens bought her kids a Nickelodeon DVD at the local Toys "R" Us. The DVD wasn't exactly what she expected, though: in fact, it was hardcore porn. "I saw a Caucasian lady and man and they were naked," said the woman's 11-year-old son. "I was surprised. I was very disgusted."

The kid realized something was wrong when somebody started exploring Dora for a change.

America's Poet Emeritus Maya Angelou has just come out with her very first cookbook. I'm not much of a cook, but I have to say I'm really, really enjoying it. Here's one of what must be a hundred simple, evocative recipes suffused with her own particular brand of poetry.


My grandfather used to sit on the porch
while my grandmother toiled over the stove.
Wise and strong, she spread
salty Doritos in a pan,
topped them with biting orange cheese
piquant jalapeños
and briny olives
and broiled them underneath the fire
of her desire.

The cheese is my burden.
I am those chips.

Makes a great halftime snack.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

He's thinking: Wow, that is one special woman!

She's thinking: God, I love my life!

We're thinking: Weren't the Mayans supposed to warn us about this shit?
2001. American forces have Osama bin Laden cornered in the mountains of Tora Bora.

It isn't exactly a fair match. Hidden in a network of caves, bin Laden has an army of nearly two thousand. A mile below, mixed in with a ragtag group of local armies, are approximately three dozen U.S. Special Forces troops. They're the only ground forces that President Bush has sent.

Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding 4,000 marines nearby, asks the Bush administration if his men can help. CIA Director George Tenet and Gen. Tommy Franks ask Bush to send additional troops. All these requests are turned down, and bin Laden gets away.

2004. Defending the decision not to send additional forces, the Bush administration insists that nobody really knows if bin Laden was there or not.

2005. The Pentagon admits he was there.

2011. In his new book Known and Unknown, Bush's Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld convincingly frees the Bush administration from any blame. See, he says he sent a memo to CIA Director Tenet that apparently went a little something like this:

Dear George,

I was just thinking about Tora Bora. There sure aren't many Americans there! We might be missing a great opportunity. Do you think we should send more troops? Some people might claim later that they asked for more troops and we turned them down, but nobody's asked me for anything. I'm really surprised they haven't, in fact, considering we all think bin Laden is there. Because really, there's no way we'd turn you down if you did.

My best to the wife and kids,

Monday, February 7, 2011

A water ride just completed at a British amusement park may be haunted by ghosts.

The ride -- Storm Surge at Britain's Thorpe Park -- was apparently built on top of a medieval cemetery, and its builders complained about sensing a supernatural presence and feeling cold spots.

Cold spots. Yeah. Cold spots on a water ride are scary. Call me crazy, but it's the warm spots that freak me out.

The Catholic Church has okayed a new Confession app for the iPhone.

The app, retailing for $1.99, prompts users through a "personalized examination of conscience." The Church hopes the app will encourage lapsed followers back to the flock.

Actually, it kind of scared me off. I typed in all my sins and it gave me fifteen Our Fathers and eight OMFGs.

A Lithuanian company plans to construct a luxury resort in the Maldives staffed entirely by blondes. "Staff who are not blonde will wear a blonde wig to make everyone look similar," said a spokesperson.

Coincidentally, there won't be a single room where the carpet matches the drapes.

A former best friend of TV shrink Dr. Phil McGraw is suing the TV host, claiming she was attacked by his dog. In her lawsuit, Janet Harris says McGraw must have known the pet was dangerous, because it previously attacked at least three other people and may have killed the family cat, a pet rabbit and various skunks in the neighborhood.

Police say the TV personality could be charged with five counts of Falling Out of the Dumb Tree.

Second Best TV Dialog of the Week: Glee

WHITE STUDENT #1: Gosh, the football team really aggravates me. They don't think it's cool to sing multipart harmonies, or to dance in intricately-choreographed movement.

WHITE STUDENT #2: Well, we'll teach them! Let's put on a show and not do any of that stuff.


Best TV Dialog of the Week: Glee

WHITE STUDENT #1: And for the halftime celebration, let's pay homage to Michael Jackson's 1983 zombie classic, Thriller!

WHITE STUDENT #2: Tie-urd. Girlfriend, everybody and his mother has been there and bought the t-shirt. (PAUSE) I've got it! Let's do a mash-up! That's a trend that didn't get boring until 1996.

WHITE STUDENT #1: Yeah! That sounds super cool.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I see their point. I mean, either way you're going to light up a fag.

Brenda's Boyfriend Likes To Go To Sleep After Sex. Brenda Likes To Doodle.

The red swimsuit that Farrah Fawcett wore for her infamous 1976 pinup poster has been donated to the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

This iconic swimsuit helped make the “Charlie’s Angels” actress a 1970s icon. In a special ceremony on Tuesday, Fawcett’s longtime companion Ryan O’Neal and her nephew Greg Walls also donated scripts from Charlie's Angels and a 1977 Farrah Fawcett doll.

The article doesn't say which branch of the Smithsonian will get this treasure, but I'm guessing it'll be the National Airbags and Space Museum.

A museum spokesperson said they're thrilled about the donations. "This'll be the biggest celebration of boobs and beaver since Sarah Palin's Alaska, she said.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For the second time in two months, notorious cult leader Charles Manson has been caught with a cell phone in his prison cell.

In December, Manson was caught with an LG flip phone under his mattress. The latest discovery was in a highly secure area on Jan. 6, prison officials said.

What tipped them off? All the little piggies in Farmville are dead.

An Italian art researcher said yesterday that the model Leonardo da Vinci used for his Mona Lisa wasn't in fact female, but in actuality was his male apprentice and lover Gian Giacomo Caprotti.

So what prompted the smile? As any dude who's ever worn a dress knows, it's that indescribable combination of balls and cement.

Jennifer Aniston has taken her first bold step into the world of perfumery. Jennifer Aniston the fragrance -- combining top notes of citrus with blooming jasmine and undertones of musk and sandalwood -- makes its debut at Sephora stores today.

And tomorrow, Angelina Jolie is stealing it.

Police in Osage Beach, Missouri, say a pair of thieves have devised a new way to rip off the local Wal-Mart. The man throws himself to the ground and fakes a seizure while his partner in crime takes advantage of the distraction and pushes a cart loaded with merchandise out the front door. The man then gets up and walks out.

Police are worried the stunt might prompt copycat crimes by other Wal-Mart customers who don't bounce.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Science News For The Squeamish

Specially-Trained Dogs Have Learned How to Sniff Out "Timmy" in Your "Well"

Everyone knows dogs have extremely sensitive noses. In a recent study, though, researchers have found that some dogs have such highly-refined olfactory skills that they can actually detect instances of "Timmy" in someone's "well" with a success rate as high as 95%.

Scientists are hopeful that this will prove a breakthrough in early "Timmy" detection, because many people are reluctant to let a trained professional poke around for signs of "Timmy" anywhere on their "property."

Yves Saint Laurent's latest collection of menswear for Fall/Winter 2011 was strong and eminently wearable. Veering away from its reputation as an edgy bad boy of fashion, YSL stuck to a more classic and conservative collection that easily charmed the crowd.

"I really, really loved it," said Georg von Trapp.

The pro-Mubarak forces sent in to quell the uprisings in Egypt are posing a serious danger to U. S. journalists. "America's sweetheart" barely escaped after being surrounded by an angry mob.

Katie Couric didn't do so well either.

Controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has struck a deal with British graffiti artist Banksy to swap one of Borat's old moustaches for a painting of Thomas the Tank Engine valued at $160,000.

Sure, that seems like a lot of money for a mustache, but it doesn't come close to the record price John Travolta paid for a beard.