Thursday, February 14, 2008


Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 21, 2007

As a die-hard Potterphile, I am speechless with glee over your choice for Entertainer of the Year. I'm not surprised, of course: J.K. Rowling has been one of the most brilliant and influential figures of the past decade. You have made at least one reader very, very happy.
Allyson Gronowitz

Teaneck, N.J.

As a die-hard Potterphile, I imagine you're stricken speechless with glee over any number of phenomena, such as watching a YouTube clip of a puppy hiccuping, say, or finding an extra meatball in your spaghetti at The Olive Garden. But that's neither here nor there. What really counts is that you're happy. Which I'm sure has no relation to the fact that you're able to achieve multiple orgasms over children's lit. I'm just guessing, obviously - it's not like I'm some kind of wizard with the ability to watch your every move in my magical crystal ball. I mean, that would be just flat-out insane, wouldn't you agree? Insanely sexy.

I know this world is killing you,

The Harry Potter books are interesting reads, but you've blown them out of proportion. Yes, J.K. Rowling should be commended for inspiring more children to read. But ultimately, they're just books.
Lance Berry

Ashburn, Va.

Yeah, and ultimately, your letter - indeed, your entire life - is just a meaningless and finally futile attempt to deny that one day you'll be consumed by The Void, and no one will even remember you existed 100 years hence. So what? Doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a nice plate of hot wings right now, does it? You can apply your "They're just books" sophistry to pretty much anything in the universe, but you know when it comes down to cases most people feel some kind of intellectual or emotional attachment to such trivialities as "just books" or "just nature" or "just sex" or "just other human beings". So either you're intentionally putting forward a logical fallacy and trying to pass it off as a basic principle of philosophy, or you're some manner of futuristic life-like robot, a la Carson Daly. Are you some kind of punk bitch robot, Lance? Because if you are, take heed: If there's one thing the movies have taught us, it's that even robots can cry. So chickety-check yo'self.

Back that ass up,

Thanks for including Gerard Butler on your list. This tremendously talented actor is not only conquering the world of film, he can also slay a talk-show audience with his wit and charm. Keep the buzz going loud and strong!
Grace Young


Dear Grace,
What's with all the violent imagery? "Conquering worlds", "slaying audiences" - sounds like someone could use a hug! But, in the (damn near inconceivable) event that you're having trouble finding someone willing to hug you, here's a picture of a kitten:

Isn't that just the most adorable thing ever? Of course it is! Anyway, I do hope that quells your rage, even if only temporarily. One step at a time, Grace. One step at a time.

p.s. Who the hell is Gerard Butler? Was he the guy who played Buck Rogers on the 80s TV show, or the bass player for the Psychedelic Furs?

There is no love in this world anymore,

While you made some great choices (Tina Fey, Vanessa Williams), I was shocked by certain oversights. Where was Ellen DeGeneres? And what about the ladies of The View? No show captured America's attention this year like it did.
Matthew Cormier
North Scituate, R.I.

If by "America" you mean "the unemployed; heavily medicated nursing home residents; stoners who work the graveyard shift; and housewives/husbands trapped in suffocating loveless marriages"; and if by "attention" you mean "single remaining functioning brain cell not devoted to gross motor functions"; and if by "this year like it did" you mean "I am a stupidhead dum-dum halfwit", then we are in complete agreement.
As for where Ellen DeGeneres was, I'm going to have to say: using her tongue in some fashion to please a hotter woman than you'll ever score. Though I have a nagging suspicion that scoring hot chicks isn't high on your "to-do" list. Call it a hunch.

Your kiss is on my list,

I appreciated the "Save This Career!" commentary on Wes Bentley (News & Notes). In college, I'd scour the internet for any information about him. As time passed and the news dried up, I moved on. Seeing this gives me hope that producers may rediscover him.
Jennifer Rokasky
Woodbridge, Va.

Sounds like you've got a bit of a problem. What's more, it sounds like you've got a bit of a problem that no one else on Earth shares with you, with the possible exception of Wes Bentley's mother. But I hear the psychiatric and neurological departments of some medical schools will pay big money to study walking freakshows such as yourself. So, there's your silver lining. You're welcome.

Bass! - how low can you go?,

What? No mention of Hermione's "top of the stairs" moment in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Style)? When she turned the corner in that pink gown, she went from a frizzy-haired brainiac to a true young woman.
Jessica Richards

League City, Tex.

Oh, the shock horror! How could they forget Hermione's "top of the stairs" moment? Don't they realize there's nothing more beautiful than a girl's sudden blossoming into womanhood? I bet they overlooked Raven Symone's first menstruation, too! Misogynistic pig-fuckers! Let's all call up our local N.O.W. chapters and organize a boycott! Sheeeit.

When you're born a woman, you're born to be hurt,

You missed the most significant death scene of all time (The Glutton). How could anyone forget the funeral pyre for Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi? It was gooey and sad, human yet otherworldly. Death doesn't get much better than this.
Ed Wahl

Fillmore, Calif.

"Gooey and sad"? Did you use some kind of random adjective generator to compose this letter? Who in their right mind describes a funeral pyre as "gooey", save perhaps the poor wretches who have to clean up afterwards? Maybe you skipped the day they covered this in 2nd grade, but words have specific meanings, and you can't just go around combining them willy-nilly, or the entire bedrock of civilization will crumble. What are you, some kind of terrorist or something?
As to how anyone could forget the scene in question: Well, I can't presume to speak for everyone, but I pretty much blocked it from my memory once I realized it occurred in what was possibly the lamest installment in what was a pretty goddamn lame franchise to begin with. I mean, I'll take Jar Jar Binks over those treacly little muppets any day. At least he was a rasta, and so presumably only talked like a retard because he was high off his ass all the time. But those Ewok bastards had me rooting for Darth Vader to destroy their rodent-infested planet tout suite. So, in a way, I guess I agree with you - it was sad that he died! Thanks for helping me see the light. Now get the fuck out of my sight.

I want to reach out and touch the flame,

Why didn't you include Francis Ford Coppola's magnificently staged slaying of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather?
Ken Sheil

Moorestown, N.J.

Because they're fucking idiots, maybe?

Just a crazy feeling I have,

I've disagreed with you before, but I was incited to write in about your A- review of Kathy Griffin's new stand-up special (What to Watch). I was expecting a D-, as she's ceased to make jokes and merely recites the news.
David Crespo


That's fascinating. Please, keep writing, no matter how many rejection letters you get! Geniuses are seldom recognized in their own times.

I give your letter an F - for "fantastic"!,

People, Dec. 24, 2007

Drew Peterson seems to have convenient excuses and explanations for everything, which makes me rather suspicious of him. I think he is not only arrogant and controlling but quite capable of murder as well.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach, Calif.

I bet you're picked for juries all the time if you display that kind of rigorous analysis and thoughtful insight during the selection process. God knows there aren't enough people in this country who possess both the intellect and tenacity to wade through an entire People Magazine article before rushing to judgment. Bravo, sir! You are a true patriot, and, if I may be so bold, a hero for the ages. I can only hope that I'll be able to achieve the same level of - ah, screw it; you're a douche.

I once was lost but now I'm found,

While reading your article on Sgt. Drew Peterson, I couldn't help but wonder: Here is a cop who has been married four times, has several children and is buying his wives furs, jewelry, matching motorcycles and breast implants. Where's the money coming from?
Tina House

Dallas, Texas

Just a hunch, but I'd venture it came from the evidence locker, kickback from drug dealers and thieves, mysterious suitcases found at busts that never got entered on reports, and shakedowns at routine traffic stops. Jeez, have you never met a cop before?

Fuck tha police,

Drew Peterson has a history of wife abuse and the fact that no charges were brought against him is disturbing. Unfortunately, this may be a situation where the law tends to protect its own.
Nelson Marans

Silver Spring, Md.

And a bang-up job they're doing of it, too, what with him getting a cover story in a national magazine painting him as a murderous scumbag and all. Heck, if they keep it up, maybe he'll be nothing but a head attached to a stump by the end of the week! It's just too bad the victims weren't minorities - then the cops wouldn't have had to cover up anything, because it never would have made the national press in the first place, and your faith in the justice system could have remained unshaken.

I love it when you call me names,

Your article on Celine Dion showed us many things about this multitalented, free-spirited, down-to-earth woman. Not only is she a rare breed but she is raising a son who, no doubt, is going to turn into a mature, well-rounded young man. Amen for letting him decide his hair length.
Beth Wilson

Raleigh, N.C.

Yeah, if he's got his father's genes he's definitely going to turn out "well-rounded", if you know what I'm saying. Do you know what I'm saying, Beth? His dad's kind of a fattie! Ahaha! Isn't it great making fun of others for totally superficial reasons? You cold, heartless witch.

Did you ever notice how white people dance like this, and black people dance like this?,

I'm all for parents letting a child make a decision. However, does a 6-year-old really know what they want? Celine needs to tell Rene-Charles he needs a haircut. I thought he was a girl when I first looked at the pictures!
Rachel Case

Castle Rock, Colo.

Rene-Charles Dion: Almost certainly a Godless homo

Seriously, what the fuck is this obsession People readers have with the hairstyles of celebrity offspring? It's honestly getting alarming. Maybe the tyke has some disgusting tumor on his neck he's trying to cover up - did you ever stop to think of that? So why don't you stop trying to cock-block him? Childhood is confusing enough without having your gender questioned by busybodies in Colorado. I agree with you on one point, however: 6-year-olds don't know shit about nothin'. Why, when my sons were 6 and would constantly whine about wanting dinner, I just told them they weren't old enough to know what they wanted and sent them to bed with a packet of Chiclets. That's called "building character", and now that they're older they thank me for it. At least, I assume they do. I kind of lost track of them half a decade or so ago.

It's a Man Ray kind of sky,

As a nurse, it always amazes me that many people do not consider cosmetic surgery a true surgical procedure. Any time anesthesia is involved, it is surgery and any surgical procedure, no matter how minor, can have risks such as death. Donda West unfortunately paid with her life. People contemplating any surgical procedure must check out their doctor. Get onto your state's Board of Medicine web site, make sure that the physician is board certified and no matter what the surgeon says, get a pre-op internal-medicine clearance so any medical problems can be determined and managed. Consumers need to be responsible for their care.
S. Shore
via e-mail

Frankly, that all sounds like quite a bit of effort. And really, if people wanted to put effort into things, they probably wouldn't be getting tummy tucks and pectoral implants in the first place, would they? So I really fail to see quite who you think you're addressing here. Also, are you not aware it is a Constitutional right to rush ill-informed into life-threatening situations if it means there's even the slightest chance you'll come out of it with a set of abominably enormous tits? I guess they don't make nurses study history anymore, because that's the most important principle upon which this country was founded. Even immigrants know that. In fact, mark my words: In another couple decades, fake tits will be on all our currency, and this nation's infrastructure will be subsidized by Microsoft and Coca-Cola. As one of your fellow do-gooder hippies once "sang", S., the times they are a-changin'. But don't worry - I went to Wikipedia and edited the entry on cosmetic surgery so everyone will know it's OK to dive right in without researching the procedures whatsoever. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you that your archaic model of the world is no longer relevant. Luckily, there are about a million pills to help you cope with the anxiety such a realization will no doubt cause you. Here's to Utopia!
We don't need no education,

I loved your update on the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but you forgot one member: Spike! James Masters was a delicious villain, not to mention Buffy's love interest for several seasons.
Kelly Schmidt
via e-mail

Here's a surefire way to keep up on what's going on with James "Spike" Masters: First, roll a single 20-sided die. Make sure you're clear of any Orc raiding parties, then multiply your roll by the number of gold pieces you acquired at the end of your last adventure. This will give you the value of Spike's charisma. Now, all you have to do is - Oh, shit! I just took away all your hit points with a single blow from my +20 broadsword! Daaaayum! Oh, dude, I totally fucked your shit up. Seriously, you should have seen your face! Oh, man. Priceless. Heh.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow...,

1 comment:

Lance said...

Just came across your under-the-radar blog. Wow, an angry letter written about my letter in Entertainment Weekly a couple years ago, wherein I stated the Harry Potter books were just that...books. Very (un)impressive.

Look, everyone has their opinion, and of course you're entitled to yours. But seriously...J.K. Rowling did a really good job of stirring up a pot of mythology that had been around for thousands of years and taking credit for it by adding some simplistic, ridiculous sounding words for spells. Woo-f'in-hoo! She's totally awesome for it, duuuuuude!

Whatever. Just please try to remember that when you're writing a "humorous" take-down of someone else and their ideas, the key ingredient you have to be sure to include is actual, genuine H-U-M-O-R(Webster's Dictionary, page 565, just to help you out). Well, you know what they say: try, try again.

As for not being remembered 100 years from now, you obviously can't see the irony in reposting my letter here and ensuring that others will see it for some time to come. Good job there, Skippy...I can relax now, knowing that when I'm "consumed by The Void", at least this blog will stand the test of time in memorial to my letter.