Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, November 13, 2005


Cheers and Jeers

When I was a kid, growing up in rural Ohio before the advent of the internet and without the benefit of cable television or sidewalks, I waited every week for our copy of TV Guide. This little magazine not only informed me when I could catch new episodes of Manimal, it also featured hard-hitting journalism, which helped to put my world in perspective. Sadly, today's "full-size" TV Guide has given up on comprehensively listing local programming, in favor of a more Redbook-esque size and sensibility. So I've decided that I will do my best to take up the baton (in the relay race sense, not in any sort of chunky majorette type of way) and help America--and our English-speaking Canadian friends--get a better handle on our cultural landscape. And so, I bring you...Cheers and Jeers.

Cheers to rapper 50 Cent, for courageously sharing with us the story of his triumph over poverty and other people with guns. Oh, sure, Fitty may have changed the character's name, but we all know that that guy on screen brutalizing people is really our favorite coin-man. Rumor has it there's already talk of a sequel, in which 50 Cent's character finally learns how to make some sort of facial expression.

Cheers to FOX. The network has canceled Arrested Development, thank God. Can you imagine what might have happened if a show that intelligent and hilarious had been allowed to remain on the air? Viewers might start to question how network television has the temerity to put on absolute shit like Stacked. It might have led to rioting. Anarchy. Chaos. No, no, much better to just shitcan the best thing on TV and avoid the potential collapse of our way of life.

Jeers to the makers of the new movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This movie is going to send the wrong message to our youth on so many different levels. First of all, what exactly are we saying to our kids when we show them a movie in which all of our worst problems can be solved with magic? I don't know about you, but I'm fairly certain that we're not going to bring democracy to Iraq with Spello-Tape. Second, I'm warning you here first: in the coming months, you're going to be hearing about house after house that was burned to the ground because some Potter-besotted youngster got mommy and daddy's kerosene out of the garage and poured some in their sippy-cup in an attempt to create their very own Goblet of Fire. Harmless, escapist fun? I think not.

Cheers and a raised martini glass to Sir Sean Connery, who's been selected to receive his very own Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. If there's one thing the AFI loves doing more than releasing lists, it's honoring cinematic royalty, and the former Bond certainly qualifies. This Cheers marks something of a reconciliation between Hairshirt and Connery, who completely failed to respond to our invitation last year to be keynote speaker at the First Annual Hairshirt Film Festival, which kicked off here in my living room with a gala showing of the Connery classic, Zardoz. So, no hard feelings there, Sir Sean.

On the other hand, Jeers and very hard feelings to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, whose latest book is titled, "Are Men Really Necessary?" Between Ms. Dowd's trashing of First Amendment Martyr Judith Miller--who spent time in jail and is therefore obviously above reproach--and the super-snide title of her book (which I haven't read, but must assume is a humorless feminist rant) she has earned a Jeers in an extra large font, which I would do if I knew how. And I can answer your titular question in one word, Ms. Dowd: sperm. Those eggs don't fertilize themselves, lady.

Okay, that's all we have time for today. I'm fairly certain our encouragement and admonishment will be taken to heart by our targets. And the world will be a better place for it.