Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hello, Stranger.

Do not expect anything resembling cohesive explication as I continue the arduous task of collecting my thoughts and wrapping them around last night's screening:

Scalpel. Adult. Precise. Jarring. Caustic. Irredeemable. Genuine. Scathing. Joyless. Disquieting. Mons pubis. Croupier. Plaintive. Calculating. Penetrating.

Monday, November 22, 2004

LOL line from The Sports Guy

“Random Thoughts From The Pacers-Pistons Fight”
12. Underrated moment of the night: Jim Gray's one report where his voice started inexplicably quivering ... someone on the SOSH message board compared it to Michael Jackson breaking down at the end of the "She's Out of My Life." And this was the same man who interviewed Mike Tyson after the second Holyfield fight! How could he be rattled by this melee? By the way, the way his career is going, I'm surprised Jim Gray wasn't on hand when Jack Ruby shot Oswald and O.J. was first introduced to Nicole. He's like the Zelig of horrible incidents.
Unfortunately, I changed the channel from the game with about three minutes to go. Fortunately, I flipped past ESPN just in time to see an inexplicably emotional Jim Gray melt down as if he was the lone survivor of a nuclear detonation. Truly compelling television at its best.

And for the weekend, only topped by Buster’s mistaking Santa Ana, California for Enconta, Mexico in terms of pure hilarity.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

And how did you spend your evening?

This was the sole tolerable moment. Depressingly withering review forthcoming...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Actually, I'm home **pause** sick today. Well, not truly sick, but unwell. Maybe not unwell, but certainly under the weather. Ah perhaps not under the weather, but rather afflicted. OK, apparently not afflicted, but essentially recovering.

Oh, fuck it . . . ate too much blue fin toro and drank way too much sake last night to realize even a semblance of productivity today. So here I sit, alone in my apartment, reading "I Am Charlotte Simmons" and waiting for tonight's screening of "Alexander" with very special guests.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Upon hearing that “The Lost Boys” was one of my all-time favorite movies, Joel Schumacher stared me down and delivered the above line with his singular manic intensity. Unfortunately for Messr. Schumacher and the good folks at Warner Brothers, that instant was the undisputed highlight of the evening. I can find absolutely nothing within the super special advance screening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” that even comes remotely close.

When the only moments in the film that generate an audible reaction are those featuring Minnie Driver as a (not exactly) caricaturesque diva, you know you’re in for an overblown and exhausting two-plus hours. While the ornate production design and the breathtaking costumes are certainly Oscar™ worthy, that style, typical of Lloyd Webber, belies any trace of substance. Indisputably a tremendous feast for the eyes, “Phantom” leaves its audience cold and wanting and hungry for anything invigorating.

Critical disdain for “Phantom” will likely be trained squarely upon its director, and that is hardly fair. While Schumacher is certainly responsible for much of the morass on screen, he had a tremendous handicap from the start: Lloyd Webber’s overwrought, inflated and flatulent musical. Whether your production stars Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman or Gerard Butler and (18 year-old superstar-in-waiting) Emmy Rossum, it is impossible to escape a weak book and an imminently forgettable score.

Think about it: When was the last time you actually heard someone hum “Music of the Night”?

This is everyone from last night’s screening. And this is the enchanting Ms. Rossum.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Incommunicado no more

If you were one of the recipients of either a drunken phone call or text message from me (or apparently both if you're particularly HOTT™) this past weekend, I sheepishly apologize. Saturday morning, my good friends at Sprint hand delivered a replacement Treo, which indirectly led to my current inability to wholly reconstruct the events of the past 48 hours. And directly led to the dozen or so new phone numbers with names galore but nary a face to match.

While I vaguely recall snippets of Eva Longoria and Lindsay Lohan and complimentary bottles of Cristal, I'm still not certain how I found myself at some random house in the hills, playing Halo 2 at 5:15 Sunday morning. And to the very sweet, attractive (?) young lady who drove me back to my car, well, uh, thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

“Every positive value has its price in negative terms . . .
the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.” --Pablo Picasso

Positive: I will be here for the next three days.

Negative: So will 150 co-workers.

Positive: All expenses paid.

Negative: All lawyers.

Positive: Hospitality suite w/open bar.

Negative: Meetings. Lots and lots of meetings.

Positive: Unscheduled time.

Negative: A grand total of two hours.

Positive: Spending time away from the office.

Negative: Spending time watching departmental presentations.

Positive: A leisurely drive down the coast.

Negative: On the 405.

Positive: An evening of casino gambling.

Negative: Not for real money.

Postive: The avoidance of any real work.

And the OVERRIDING NEGATIVE: The premiere of a studio short film starring a heavily-coerced yours truly.

Monday, November 08, 2004

There but for the ‘Monkey Business’ went he

Gary Hart acutely tackles evangelical hypocrisy in today’s NYT Op-Ed:
A neglected thread of church doctrine was the social gospel of John and Charles Wesley, the great reformers of late 18th-century Methodism. The Wesley brothers preached salvation through grace but also preached the duty of Christians, based solidly on Jesus' teachings, to minister to those less fortunate. My political philosophy springs directly from Jesus' teachings and is the reason I became active in the Democratic Party. Finally, in the qualification-to-speak category, I will seek to pre-empt the ad hominem disqualifiers. I am a sinner. I only ask for the same degree of forgiveness from my many critics that they were willing to grant George W. Bush for his transgressions.

As a candidate for public office, I chose not to place my beliefs in the center of my appeal for support because I am also a Jeffersonian; that is to say, I believe that one's religious beliefs - though they will and should affect one's outlook on public policy and life - are personal and that America is a secular, not a theocratic, republic. Because of this, it should concern us that declarations of "faith" are quickly becoming a condition for seeking public office.

Declarations of "faith" are abstractions that permit both voters and candidates to fill in the blanks with their own religious beliefs. There are two dangers here. One is the merging of church and state. The other is rank hypocrisy. Having claimed moral authority to achieve political victory, religious conservatives should be very careful, in their administration of the public trust, to live up to the standards they have claimed for themselves. They should also be called upon to address the teachings of Jesus and the prophets concerning care for the poor, the barriers that wealth presents to entering heaven, the blessings on the peacemakers, and the belief that no person should be left behind.
. . .
There is also the disturbing tendency to insert theocratic principles into the vision of America's role in the world. There is evil in the world. Nowhere in our Constitution or founding documents is there support for the proposition that the United States was given a special dispensation to eliminate it. Surely Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator. But there are quite a few of those still around and no one is advocating eliminating them. Neither Washington, Adams, Madison nor Jefferson saw America as the world's avenging angel. Any notion of going abroad seeking demons to destroy concerned them above all else. Mr. Bush's venture into crusaderism frightened not only Muslims, it also frightened a very large number of Americans with a sense of their own history.

The religions of Abraham all teach a sense of personal and collective humility. It was a note briefly struck very early by Mr. Bush and largely abandoned thereafter. It would be well for those in the second Bush term to ponder that attribute. Whether Bush supporters care or not, people around the world now see America as arrogant, self-righteous and superior. These are not qualities of any traditional faith I am aware of.
It is unconscionable to permit mysticism driven by fear to overwhelm the pragmatism that has propelled two centuries of American achievement.

When the Personal Shouldn’t Be Political

Remind me to send David E. Kelley one hell of gift basket this Christmas

Q: Why is “Boston Legal” the best new show this season?

A:Rhona Mitra.*

The woman steams up my TV unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. And when she speaks, she purrrrrrrrrrs…

*No slight to Emmy-winner Bill Shatner intended. Denny Crane. Yes, Denny fucking Crane.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Silver lining

At least the bumper sticker peeled right off...

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