never been a bitch so I don't act bitchy

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

You Get A Choice!

A few years ago this space used to be really good. I had nothing but time to craft a special entry five times a week. Sometimes you got little plays. Sometimes dirty confessional stories. Sometimes the equivalent of desk pieces. There were also daily contests and sub-sections and pictures and all sorts of good stuff. These days, you don’t get that.

However. You now have an option!!!

You can, for free, read the blog—my occasional word or two, jotted when I have a second.

Or, you can pay me 10 bucks a month, and have access to my new journal! Where you’ll find at least three entries a week, all as funny as they used to be. With jokes and photos and contests and confessional revelations. JUST LIKE YOU USED TO GET. Isn’t that great?! Aren’t I generous?! Don’t you just fucking love me?!

Sound shitty? Well, the above is exactly what the movie industry is doing to us by introducing “upscale’ theatres, like Hollywood’s Arclight.

The deal is this: movie theatre quality has steadily declined over the years. From assholish service to the seldom-cleaned theatres to the constant stream of commercials before the regular commercials (previews). Sure, seats have gotten nicer and sound better, but it doesn’t make up for the low-quality service.

So, with the Arclight and other theatres, the exhibitor industry has decided to suddenly offer a decent level of service again—but at a premium price!

What a deal! they trumpet. You now have a choice! You can get the crappy, dirty, mean, baby-crying-behind-you-in-The Matrix service you’ve been getting lately, at the normal bargain 9 bucks, or, for only 14 bucks, you can come to the Arclight and get the normal, decent level of service you used to be able to rely on! But wait! That sounds like a shitty fucking deal to you? No! You’re wrong. Check it: you get assigned seats! Why? Uh, because it sucks to get to sit where you want. Too much pressure. See, now, if some big guy sits in front of you… you have the awesome pleasure of just sitting and bearing it, because you’re in an assigned seat! How is that good? Uh…Let me tell you about the other benefits!

Parking. Parking is free! Pretty sweet, huh? It’s also free at a lot of other theatres? Well, but here it’s… “upscale free!”

Did we mention that we have sausages on rolls? Yeah, fuck popcorn and Junior Mints. It’s all about sausages on rolls. How can you enjoy of movie without a good artichoke pesto sausage on a caraway seed roll? What if you don’t like the smell of meat invading your nostrils while you’re trying to watch a movie? Well, just move away from the guy eating the sausage. Oh, wait, you can’t move because of the assigned seat thing… Uh…

Did we mention that before the movie a happy employee will stand in front of the screen and announce the film? Yeah. Sometimes they’ll even ask, “How you guys doing?” before telling you that you’re here to see “Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood.” How fucking helpful and caring is that? Does the AMC do that? Hell no!

And wait! The best part! Check it! No commercials! Yeah, that’s right, baby. We proudly offer no commercials! You never used to get commercials? I know. But times have changed. The economics of the industry are blah blah blah. Look, man. It’s up to you. Come to our upscale theatre and pay 14 bucks to see a movie, or go to another theatre and pay to sit through twenty minutes of commercials. It’s your choice.

Who owns the other theatre? Oh, well, we do. So we get your money either way.

C’mon, you know you want a sausage roll.

Actor Sizemore Gets 6 Months for Beating Up Fleiss


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Rock Band Radiohead Looks to Future

This is a great quote.

He tells how he suggested that "Airbag," the opening track on "OK Computer," should begin with sleigh bells. The band thought it was a horrible idea, but Yorke insisted and eventually got his way.

"I can't believe I got away with that," he says. "Even I didn't think it was a good idea."

I feel that way about most things I do.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Love Says She's a Fit Mom

No she isn't.

Alan Alda Recovering From Appendectomy

And the award for most alliterate celebrity emergency surgery goes to...

Friday, October 10, 2003

Jon Carroll is the best

I don't need to tell you that. But this classic column will remind you. It's about the fact that everything is funny. Even terrible, horrible things.

In writing comedy, I fairly often offend people. I don't have the talent or desire to be an Ellen Degeneres, taking pains never to hurt. I like comedy that has bite. And there will always be someone who has a personal sensitivity to something you're not treating with total reverence, and they get offended. It's a natural reaction. And every time I get a "I can't believe you made light of BLANK" letter, I feel bad. I do. I may be dismissive, but it always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, because I do not mean to hurt anyone. I just often do.

The book I wrote -- the one that's slowly making it's way around the publishing houses in New York -- has furnished me with a fair number of rejection letters. Now, this is not to say it's the best book in the world and no one should reject it (well, I do think it's the best book in the world and I can't believe anyone would reject it, but for arguement's sake...) -- but the book is about Sept. 11th, and as you can guess, it's not the most serious book in the world. Yes, I wrote a comedy about September 11th. A dark comedy. And a lot of the rejection letters have included something to the effect of, "This is a really good book. This just isn't the right time for this kind of book."

And okay, granted, I don't live in New York anymore, like all the publishing houses, and so I was personally less affected than them. But "sensitivity" and "timing" seem to me a thin reason to decide not to publish a book that you like.

This is not to say that the book finds humor in people dying. Not at all. It just looks at the whole thing from the point of view of a removed person. A person living 3,000 miles away. A self-obsessed, not too bright person, who suffers a mental breakdown in light of the tragedy, but continues to try to live his rather thin life. And some people find shifting the focus away from the uber-serious, to be a bit hard to swallow.

Sour grapes. Sour grapes. Yes. Many. But still. Dark comedy is still comedy. In fact, sometimes it's the best kind.

Dark things are always funny, unless it's just not a very good joke.

Monday, October 06, 2003


Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's terrible. Maybe it's uncouth to say, but I find the mauling of Roy by his trained tiger, to be both sad, and really, really funny.

And in thinking about it, there is often a sense of, "He got what he deserved" whenever someone who trains animals for the amusement of us humans is injured by the animal--say, when an elephant is forced to stand on stools and carry people around has had it and stomps his trainer. But at the same time, there is not that same sense when someone knowingly engaged in an equally dangerous endeavor purely for amusement (football, NASCAR, rock climbing, stuntmen).

And so is it our secret feeling that nature should not be tamed? That when the tiger stands up to his master, somehow nature is beating us, and we have the secret suspicion that we somehow deserve it? That somehow it's perverse that while we've decimated the tiger population, (and regardless of whatever good S & R have done for the species--something I assume but don't know for sure), at the same time we travel to Vegas to watch the big kitties act tame and silly for us as we hold our plastic cup of quarters, drink our Mai-Tai out of a six-foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, and dig the soft pack of Kool's from our fanny pack so we can light up the second we step outside the goddang non-smoking theatre. But if it is just about nature getting it's ass-kick on, why do I not feel secretly pleased when a tornado knocks down some homes? Or an earthquake levels a city?

One gets the sense that the prognosis is not good. And that's very sad. And so perhaps if the outcome is death, any amount of humor I find in the situation will disappear. I sort of hope so, but I'm not counting on it.

What's the conclusion? I'm not sure. Gallows humor is nothing new, and nothing that can be wiped out, no matter how many recriminations of "That's not funny!" you hear.

Because you know what, for some strange reason, it kind of is.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Courtney Love Booked and Hospitalized

Well. Isn't this a shocker.

Isn't breaking one window usually enough to get into a house?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Bringing Out The Drunk

Poor Tom Sizemore.

About a year and a half ago I saw the Howard Stern show on E! and had to call people into the room to have them confirm what I was seeing: that the actor was dating -- actually dating -- Miss Heidi Fleiss.

I've never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, so I don't know, but exactly how can one find oneself sitting in the Howard Stern studio with the former Hollywood Madam, and think somehow that something isn't wrong in one's life? Or do you know? Do you know the car is going 100 mph and your hands aren't on the wheel and still, you just can't find the brakes? Or do you think, "Shit, Heidi's a good woman. So, she ran a prostitution ring. Everyone has their demons. And I just do crack a little bit. But just for fun, man. Michael Madsen, he can handle his shit. I'm just like him."

Although, Val Kilmer did just reveal that Madsen had to borrow a significant amount of money from him a few years ago so his wife didn't have to go get a job.

Just watching Sizemore on screen, it wasn't hard to deduce that something was probably going on to create that volitility and imprecise acting style, not to mention the frequent startling weight gains. (The only mystery was why he was hired so often by such A-list directors.) And when you couple that with his off-screen behavior, why were his friends/agents/parents not holding daily interventions? "Good morning, Tom. It's 10am. Time for your intervention. Here's some coffee."

A friend of mine is a sports reporter, and he was covering the ESPY's two years ago. I wish I still had the email, (I suddenly feel like I've already talked about this. Let me know if I have.), but basically there was a press area and stars were coming up and being asked questions like, "If you weren't an actor and had instead gone into sports, what would you have done?" And Tom Sizemore got up there and rambled for about half an hour. THEN, when they finally got him off the stage, he stole my friend's sandwich from his plate, then apparently, remembering that he had a lot more to say, ran up on stage again during Wayne Gretzky's interview time, and proceeded to expound for another fifteen minutes.

Good luck, funny man. I hope you get the help you need. I also hope that during your 7th step or whatever in which you make reparations for those you hurt, you pay my friend back for the sandwich.

...on a side note: isn't it rather ironic that the hot new rehab place is called "Promises." Isn't that what people around you are sick and tired of you constantly breaking by the time you reach the point of having to enter a facility?

...Terribly wrong thing heard last night while I was talking on the phone with a friend -- I was heading to a party for the AIDS Walk L.A. & he was going to see The Station Agent:

STEE: Alright. I better go. Talk to you later.
FRANK: Have fun at your AIDS party.
STEE: Have fun at your midget movie.

...Also, I'm just tallying up the 80's movies votes and will post the results soon.