Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bullets in the Head

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...I was Mrs. Danvers and seriously got down with was soooooooo hot...

No, sorry, that was for a different blog.

Last night I dreamt that I was in the newspaper business and had a general interest column, and, desperate to arrive at a new topic to write about, fell prey to the lowest form of the columnist's art: the bullet point.

Some of the bullets were interesting and fresh, some were stale and pointless, like this blog itself. Others seemed as if they were written by a totally different person...

Then I awoke with the following freshly typed on my computer screen. Some dreams can come true…

Ever wonder why The Commodores' "Machine Gun" doesn't have the sound of a real machine gun in it? I sure do.

I am trying to write a magazine-length essay about a habit I've given up (the nature of which I won't share, but it's not substance abuse, gambling, sex, or writing), the type of essay that will be sold to magazines, lead to an inevitable book deal, and make me so much money that I can yell at everyone, "See ya, suckers!"

But the essay is going nowhere. It's too serious. I can't do serious! When I try to make the piece funny, it's dumb. When I try to make it serious, it's dull. As profound as a car wash.

Looks like a movie star

Was it just me, or was Selma Hayek the only woman at the Oscars who really looked like a movie star? I mean, Sandra Bullock looked like she'd been run over in "Crash"! Or was that just me?

I don't know about you, but I really wish Jerry Springer would get back to what he does best! Marty Allen too.

There was something beyond sour grapes with Annie Proulx's takedown of the Oscars. Especially her back-handed praise for Phillip Seymour Hoffman's work as Truman Capote.

[W]hich takes more skill, acting a person who strolled the boulevard a few decades ago and who left behind tapes, film, photographs, voice recordings and friends with strong memories, or the construction of characters from imagination and a few cold words on the page? I don't know. The subject never comes up. Cheers to David Strathairn, Joaquin Phoenix and Hoffman, but what about actors who start in the dark?

I presume to mean her actor who "starts in the dark" is Heath Ledger, who had a brilliant turn as Mumblin' Ennis Del Mar, a character who he constructed from Proulx's own cold words on her page.

Actually, Proulx is full of shit, and as a writer of fiction, knows better. It's not just enough to sound or look like Truman Capote; Hoffman had to embody the emotional and intellectual depth of a character. Hoffman playing the character of "Truman Capote" was no more mimicry than Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch.

Nor does one create fictional characters out of pure thought. When she created Ennis and Jack Twist, it wasn't to her disadvantage that she had a blank slate; she drew from experience and imagination both. The imprint left behind by an actual person did not box her in, and she didn't have to worry about comparisons between her characters and "the real" Ennis and Jack, for there are none.

What is about Depends that makes everyone so uncomfortable?

Movies I hated so much that the mere mention of them makes my skin crawl: "Magnolia," "Swimming Pool," "Wings of Desire," "The Pillow Book." Especially "The Pillow Book." I HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED that movie. In case you cared. I HATED "The Pillow Book." HATED it.

In the matter of the online test, "The What classic punk band are you Test," survey says:

You are Black Flag
This surprised me, being that I am a dye-in-the-wool Ramones fan, being that I saw the band numerous times (with Dee Dee! that's how old I am!), and being that the day Joey Ramone died was the saddest celebrity death I've had to stomach, worse, even, than John Lennon.

Then again, with my rugged, movie-star good looks, cleft chin, hot bod, intense demeanor, everybody mistakes me for Henry Rollins, without his levity.

I don't know about you, but wouldn't it be great if they'd bring back ABC's Wide World of Sports. Where else could you watch barrel jumping (on ice!) and Figure-8 racing? Awesome television that our nation needs in this time of war.

Sport at its finest

Don't you hate it that you can't get a six-pack anymore with those plastic thingies holding the cans together? They used to make great, cheap toys for the kids to play with.

What's on my nightstand: "The Gay Talese Reader," "Collected Novellas" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a few unread New Yorkers, a short story collection, and "The Big Book of Sudoku #2." Also, a lamp, clock radio, and six varieties of house dust.

Actually, I don't read books, but I don't hold it against others who do.

Don't you hate it when you get put on hold, and the you hear a Muzak version of The Police's classic, "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da?" Give me the real thing, please?

I was going to write a full blog singing the praises of Frederick Exley's "A Fan's Notes," given that this was billed upon publication as a "fictional memoir," as opposed to a certain recent author who pretended to be a real memoir, but who the fuck wants to read more on James "Can't Stop the Lying" Frey?

Why are all those French students rioting? They may not have a future, but they've got great wine and cheeze. Plus, the Effel Tower and berets! Not to mention all those gorgeous French women, at least those with good teeth. Ooo la la!

You can make up rap lyrics, but you can't make me say them.

Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible. Also true for Swanson Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak Dinner.

I've always wondered about what it would be like to write a blog with pointless bullets.

Now I know.