Archive for February 9th, 2009


But Is It Acting?

In case you don’t know this great bit of Hollywood lore, it was said that, in order to prepare himself for a scene in Marathon Man in which his character was supposed to have been kept awake for days on end, Dustin Hoffman himself refused to go to sleep all night. When his co-star Laurence Olivier learned of this, he asked Hoffman, “Have you ever tried acting, dear boy?”

This is how I feel about Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Don’t get me wrong: I think he’s amazing in it, and should rightfully have garnered his many nominations. I do not, however, think he should be winning acting awards. Why? Let’s take a quick gander at character vs. reality, shall we?

Randy “The Ram” Robinson: Wrestler-cum-actor
Mickey “El Marielito” Rourke: Actor-cum-boxer
Randy: Hugely popular in the 80’s.
Rourke: Likewise.
Randy: Relegated to the trash bin of his profession as a relic.
Rourke: Relegated to the trash bin of his profession as a douche.
Randy: Estranged from family because he’s kind of an asshole.
Rourke: Arrested by the LAPD in 1994 and charged with spousal abuse.

OK, now, like I said, I think it was both brave and spectacular that, given these embarassing similarities, Rourke put aside both ego (and, reportedly, any money whatsoever) to do this role. After all, the only aging actress who would take on the role of Norma Desmond was one of the few who still had a thriving career (Mae West was, I believe, particularly acid in her refusal of the part). Still, when up against people who had to completely transform themselves to play a role (last I checked, although a liberal Bay Area resident, Sean Penn was neither gay nor cuddly-loveable), I just think this should be taken into account.

Although I am grateful for Rourke’s reappearance so I have an excuse to plead for the republication of his book of poetry.  Or was it just a dream that it existed?


Your Love Is Still Not Better Than Chocolate

So it appears hormones are responsible for kissing feeling so good. Which is nice. But…

This is not the first research to analyse the physical effects of kissing. In 2007 British scientists measured the brain and heart activity sparked by passionate kissing, but found it was less intense that the stimulation produced by eating chocolate.

Romantic love has also been shown to have a close link to neurological activity, with scans showing that it has similar effect to cocaine on our brains.

So, wait, are we supposed to become fat-assed drug addicts if we’re single, just to fill the void? Cause if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a fat cokehead.

Exhibit A


Gimme Shelter

Time to get serious for a moment.

An ETA (Basque Liberation Front) bomb just exploded near a building where my friend works in Madrid. To me, this is terrifying. To my office mates, it’s taken seriously, but is just another in a series of bombings that constantly pepper this country. (It seems no one was injured, as the bomb threat that was called in was taken seriously and the building was evacuated. To be fair, this seems to be the new ETA policy. To be fairer, it should also be noted that they have been responsible for 850 deaths since their inception 30 years ago.)

My own trembling hands and saucer eyes are just highlighting a fact I was just discussing with my husband last week: Americans are seriously coddled when it comes to war. Yes, we have been attacked on our soil a handful of times, but think back on the last 7 years of war with 2 countries…were there substantial blocks of time during which you kind of forgot they were happening? I’m sure there were, and that’s normal. After all, there aren’t bombs exploding every day in our markets, nor are there scores of dead civilians choking our sidewalks.

I was just discussing this last week because I had been rather blissfully ignorant of our wars as anything The Bush Doctrinebut political tools. We’re pulling out of Iraq? Finally! We’re doubling down in Afghanistan? Well, that sounds reasonable.

And then we found out my nephew got called back to service. My nephew who’s already lost hearing in one ear from a roadside bomb, who was supposed to finally set up for a “cushy” (relatively speaking) career in local law enforcement, whose mother had finally been able to breathe freely. He’s part of the double-down and, because he still wants his career in law enforcement when he gets out, he can’t claim he’s too disabled for combat duty.

So that bomb and this bomb have both sobered me up (a frightfully difficult task) for a moment and reminded me of howeasy it is to armchair quarterback terrifyingly real atrocities. I know this should go without saying, but I feel like it doesn’t nowadays. It needs to be said, and more often. We need to remind people that there are all-too-real consequences to their actions, and that one of the consequences of war is a life of mortal fear for whoever has to live where it is waged. Period.


A Bad Year For The Big Dog

Dear America,

Well, this year has been quite a ride. And by “ride” I mean “shit sandwich.” First, I got to go stump for my wife to turn the Clinton legacy into the Clinton presidential legacy, and what did I get for my troubles? My base either calling me a racist, an old fart, or an irrationally angry, egotistical, racist old fart. And then I lost my title (“The First Black President”)–which, by the way, I learned I never really earned–to the real deal. And rather than said “real deal” coming into office with a metric ton of baggage and people all ready to hate him, it looks like people really like this guy. Like really, really like him. And Hillary and I couldn’t find anything to prove they shouldn’t.

So, yeah, that’s great.

And my prize for all these travails is now to help out Hillary with her new SoS post. Translation? I’ve been instructed not to fuck up her chances at a Nobel Peace Prize. So I get to lie low, which I nakedly looove to do (but I do love to do nakedly…wokka wokka!).

But this just tears it.

A Nobel, an Oscar, and now Al Gore has won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.

Al Gore??? AL GORE????? THIS GUY Has Won a Presigious Award Given For SPEAKING WORDS COMPELLINGLY???????????

The man so boring he couldn’t even charm his way into winning his home state in 2000? The man whose voice has been linked to Ambien by every hack comedian ever to perform at the Catskills?? The man who was felt to be so utterly without charm and sentiment that the visage of him kissing his wife immediately joined the Michael-Jackson-Lisa-Marie-Presley kiss as creepiest ever??? (only to be outdone by Liza and her ever-gay then-husband, but I digress)

And why didn’t Tipper try to ban that album? Jesus, it’s terrifying!!! And what will we tell our children if they listen to it and come to us wondering how human beings can be capable of such atrocities against living things? Should we show them pictures of the Holocaust and say, “You’re all grown up now, Timmy, mah boy??” WORK with me here!

This makes me so mad, all I want to do is nail an eight-mile-high stack of 14-year-olds in the back of Ron Birkle’s private jet, but apparently that’s off-limits nowadays.

So, thanks, America. Thanks for a great year. I hope you’re happy with your charming man-boy president and his gorgeous-but-stuck-up wife (WHY won’t she return my calls?). And I hope you’re happy with your fat-and-weirdly-Botoxed award-winning Tennessee madman. And if you’re not, don’t come crawling back to me cause I’ve moved on.

Fuck you very much,

February 2009