Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rethinking Eugenics

Entertainment Weekly, Fall TV Preview '07

Thanks, EW, for giving readers a real photo of a woman. I was surprised and then excited that you would show lines, pores, and freckles on a movie star's face. And Reese still looks beautiful, even so close up.
Jessamyn Saxon

Auburn, Ala.


Jessamyn (if that is indeed your real name),
I, too, was amazed that a woman could look beautiful close up - I usually have to close my eyes whenever I get within three feet of the fairer sex for fear of stimulating my gag reflex! Lines, pores, and freckles? That shit's fucking grotesque! If women don't look like airbrushed Maxim covers at all times, how can they ever hope to catch a man? They can't, that's how. And you know what? I can't believe EW's stooped to doctoring photos - everybody knows movie stars don't have pores! Or freckles! Come on!
You're right, though - Ms. Witherspoon's true beauty shines through despite the magazine's cheap attempt to sabotage her love life. Besides, even if she does stop landing acting jobs due to her facial lines, she can always use her chin to cut glass. So don't cry for her. She's living the dream.

Where is my spleen?,
John

Reese Witherspoon is a class act. Attractive, talented, and smart yet humble. I'm happy to see such a positive force on your cover in a time when many young Hollywood girls seem to have gone mad.
Karyn Oswell

Enfield, Conn.


Dear Karyn,
Is that the extreme feminist way of spelling "Karen" now? I can't keep up with every wacky fluctuation in the chicks' lib tide, you know.

Oh happy day!,
John

It's about time the porkpie hat got its due (News & Notes)! However, you forgot to include tenor sax man Lester Young, who famously sported a porkpie with a wide brim. In fact, Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" was written about Young, not about the hat style itself.
Mike Medina

Chicago


Mike,
Lester Young? Charles Mingus? Did you not realize you were writing to Entertainment Weekly? I'll let it slide for now, but the next time you want to bring up artists with actual talent, please try to do it in the appropriate environment. Nobody wants to hear a dissertation on the work of Cassavetes when they're standing around the water cooler chatting about America's Next Top Model, you dig? Try a little consideration once in a while. For realz, dawg.

I love to sing-a about the moon-a and the June-a and the Spring-a,
John

I've been fortunate enough to see My Chemical Romance live six times - twice on the Projekt Revolution tour alone - and each time they've delivered a unique, high-impact performance. Reviewers are often too preoccupied with MCR's fan base or wardrobe choices to notice the band's energy and musical integrity. Kudos to Shirley Halperin (Music) for paying attention.
Tiffany Clemmons

Powhatan, Va.


Free range minks: The humane alternative

Tiffany,
Reason no. 47 that we will never conceive children together: I consider myself fortunate to have never seen My Chemical Romance live. I consider myself equally fortunate to have never seen Fallout Boy, and when I stop to reflect that I've also never seen Marilyn Manson, Korn, or Slipknot, it's almost enough to make me believe in a higher power. Then I'm reminded of the fact that I once attended a concert where I was forced to sit through Jimmy Eat World, and the horror of existence is brought back into sharp focus. Oh, but feel free to listen to whatever makes you happy. I'm not one to judge.

My God, you have horrible taste in music,
John

What a lovely tribute to Tony Wilson (News & Notes). This music icon's influence grew as his fledglings - namely Happy Mondays, New Order, and Joy Division - spread their wings and became the basis for the Manchester sound. A brilliant producer and a true artist, Tony will be missed.
Julie Bate
Glenview, Ill.

Julie,
Since, like Mike Medina above, you in fact seem to know your head from your ass, I'll assume you wrote to EW while in the grip of an intense 'shroom freakout. However, you might still want to check to make sure you're not sticking your noggin in the toilet next time you go to the bathroom, because Tony Wilson, as far as I can tell, never produced any of the bands you mentioned. He was part owner of Factory Records, which put the albums out, but unless you're using "producer" in the sense of "somewhat responsible for the manufacture of the actual physical albums" - which, to keep it real, would be quite stupid - you pretty much just pissed away your street cred like so much cheap wine. Not that I would expect EW to catch your mistake - they probably thought Tony Wilson was the grumpy old man from Dennis The Menace - but if you're going to be cool, at least do your homework so you don't make such a rookie mistake. It's like the time, in my senior year of high school, when I met this girl at a party and we seemed to be hitting it off - chatting about music, making clumsy stabs at sexual innuendo - and then she told me how much she enjoyed the latest album by "Echo & The Rabbits". Was she drunk? Undoubtedly. Yet I could not let it slide, and I've never spoken to her since. Now, dear Julie, you don't want to die alone, do you? Then heed my advice: In most situations, it's highly beneficial to just keep your yap shut, even if you're fairly certain you know whereof you speak. I say this strictly out of agape. Go forth, and sin no more.

It's getting hot in here,
John

I'm sorry, but not having a penis is no excuse for not laughing all the way through "Superbad" (Movies). This movie was not about delving into the angst and confusion of teenage boys; it's about having a super-good time at the movies. Next time you feel the urge, Ms. Schwarzbaum, just say no to your buzzkill ways and let the rest of us enjoy.
Leif Tillotson

Enosburg Falls, Vt.


Yeah, how dare that Schwarzbaum utterly prevent you from enjoying a film by offering her opinion! And, to top it off, it sounds like she's one o' them shifty Jews, to boot! If I were you, I'd relocate to a remote bunker, stockpile ammo, and prepare for The Great Reckoning.

Nothing you can do that can't be done,
John

Thank you for the spotlight piece on Brad Paisley. The statement "who might be the best country entertainer we've got" should have actually read "who is the best..." Paisley's music is always terrific - from the funny songs to the ballads.
Wendy Pender

Wilson, N.C.


Wendy,
You poor fool - the ballads are the funny songs.

p.s. But then, so are the non-ballads.

p.p.s. But then again, they're not so much "ha ha" funny as they are examples of why we have terms like "existential despair" and "Wal-Mart lifestyle".

It's all gravy, baby,
John

People, Dec. 3, 2007

Anyone who has seen Keith Urban perform can tell you that he is an amazingly talented musician and entertainer. After reading your interview with him, we can see that he lives his life with the same honesty and pure emotion that he sings about in his songs. It is wonderful that Keith has found his soulmate in Nicole and peace in his first year of sobriety. Thank you for your story about this extraordinary artist.
Kathy Lawler

Cicero, N.Y.


Keith Urban: Ironically, not a hit on urban radio

Kathy, Kathy, Kathy,
Considering Nicole found her last "soulmate" (do people still use this incredibly retarded term?) in Tom Cruise, perhaps it's worth considering that Keith isn't quite as salt-of-the-earth as his publicity machine would have us believe. I mean, apparently the guy likes to play his guitar naked while sitting on the couch (there were 2 different pictures of this on the first page of my Google Image search!), completely unconcerned about what kind of stains he might be leaving for the maid to have to clean off later. Does that really sound like the kind of guy you want singing your ersatz country ditties? Or, more to the point, like the kind of guy who's found peace in his first year of sobriety? And anyway, nobody's at peace when they're sober - that's why we have alcohol in the first place! Stop being so provincial.This is the late '90s, not the Eisenhower era.
Also, Santa Claus is a big fucking lie. Yeah, I said it.

I wanna sex you up,
John

Keith sings a song in which he says, "Everyone has a story to tell." Truer words were never spoken. Thanks to Keith for sharing his story with all of us, and thanks to his beautiful wife for inspiring him to be a "better man". Mission accomplished, mate!
Kip Frerichs
Raleigh, N.C.


Kip,
Really? Truer words were never spoken than "Everyone has a story to tell"? How about "Idiots go apeshit for clich├ęs"? Or "People from North Carolina sound like assholes when they use Anglicisms like 'mate' "? But maybe you were just trying to sound "folksy", eh? In that case: Mission a complete failure, dipshit!

I love how you love me,
John

Kudos to Oprah for going to her Leadership Academy in South Africa and apologizing to the students' parents. Oprah has selflessly done so much for people worldwide, especially in Africa, that we shouldn't condemn her for the misconduct of others. She has taken responsibility for the people she hired and will deal with this situation as she does with all other things: admirably.
Lynda Drew
Danville, Calif.

Lynda,
Sure, but she still has creepy fish eyes.

You go girl!,
John

When I was 10 years old, I was taking a ballroom dance class with Fred Kelly (Gene Kelly's brother). During one of the classes, a very handsome young man stopped by to visit. His charm caused all of the girls in the class to release a collective sigh. As the music began, he walked up to me and asked if I would honor him with a dance. When I think of that moment, I still smile - 47 years later. That is the Robert Goulet I will always remember.
Wendy Haas

Atlanta, Ga.


Robert Goulet: Sweet hoary mother of fuck!

Wendy,
What a coincidence! When I was 13, I took vocal lessons from Vince Neil's plumber! Well, he called them vocal lessons, but it wasn't until recently that I realized what he had really taught me: the art of making gentle yet passionate love for hours at a time (which in retrospect seems inevitable, after all his babbling about "pipes" and "tubes"). I wouldn't give that up for 10 Bob Goulets - mostly because, ever since I was a kid, I had the unsettling suspicion that Robert Goulet was the physical manifestation of Satan on Earth. In fact, I urge any readers who are so inclined to make a pilgrimage to R.G.'s grave, exhume his corpse, and drive a stake through the freaky old fucker's heart to ensure that he won't rise again and finally realize his dream of enslaving humankind (and forcing us to listen to his "singing").
Oh, but I'm sure he was being sincere with his line about you honoring him with a dance.

I'm so pilled up I R-r-r-rattle,
John

Could someone please point out to Kate Hudson that her son Ryder is in dire need of a haircut? I'm sure he would be absolutely adorable if he looked like a little boy instead of a little girl.
Kathie Rementer
Yardville, N.J.

Kathie,
I think you just did point it out, bitch.
As for why no one else pointed it out: Maybe it's because it's been 4 goddamn decades since long hair has been associated exclusively with girls in this country. Maybe it's because even motherfucking crack fiends know enough about manners to not mock the appearance of a defenseless child. Perhaps they assumed (rightly) that it was none of their business. Or maybe they realized that it made absolutely no difference to their lives.
But I'm sure you'd be absolutely adorable if you weren't such a petty old crone.

Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?,
John

Note: The final letter for this issue was all about the death of family members, and while that topic can be quite the laugh riot in the right hands, I couldn't figure out how to make it work in this instance. So instead of trying, I urge you to insert your favorite fart joke here in its place.

2 comments:

mia said...

The harsh, harsh goodness of this blog nicely complements my bitter morning coffee. A delight.

Anonymous said...

My favorite fart joke:

Girls Night Out
The other night I was invited out for a night with the 'girls.' I told my husband that I would be home by midnight, 'I promise!'
Well, the hours passed and the margarita's went down way too easily. Around 3 a.m., a bit loaded, I headed for home.
Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hallway started up and cuckooed 3 times. Quickly, realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another 9 times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution in order to escape a possible conflict with him.
(Even when totally smashed... 3 cuckoos plus 9 cuckoos totals 12 cuckoos = MIDNIGHT!)
The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, I told him 'MIDNIGHT'... he didn't seem pissed off in the least. Whew, I got away with that one!
Then he said 'We need a new cuckoo clock.'
When I asked him why, he said, 'Well, last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said 'oh shit.' Cuckooed 4 more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another three times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the coffee table and farted.